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russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
10/19/18 7:15 a.m.

I gave it a wash last night, and it looks much better. I'll try to get some good photos tonight! I did notice some crud in the front passenger fender. I eventually took out the bottom body mounting screw and simultaneously pulled the fender out and ran water through the openings to get all the debris out. I'm fairly certain a chipmunk had been living in there before I started dailying it and, honestly, I'm not surprised that one had. I then did the other side, and I'm stuck wondering where else in the car will have these hidden secrets. I have to find all these areas before it drives me crazy lol.

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
10/22/18 6:41 p.m.

(Picture edit) here's a small update!

I got a little bit of work done tonight before the sun went down. And I took a few pictures. 

I did what all the cool kids would call a "sun visor delete", or maybe what Colin Chapman would call "adding lightness", but what I would call an "I am too damn tall for this car and I can't get a full view of the road so lets think of a better solution than twisting my neck down to see traffic lights".  So, sun visors out, and almost sold (surprisingly quickly I might add)

I can't live with holes in the ceiling so washers, JB plastic weld, a dremel, and black spray paint to the rescue.

Start with this:

After dremel work, glue, and spray paint, get this:

And that makes this:

So, overall a cleaner look in my opinion, plus I have another inch of eyesight, which feels like it opens up the cockpit much more than 1 inch.

And the real update here is my Elite engineering oil catch can. Install was super straightforward. We'll see how much oil I get at my next oil change. 

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
10/28/18 4:30 p.m.

Got a little bit of work done today but, as always, not as much as I had anticipated.

I installed my LMC5 column lock disabler today after I got my first "remove key, wait 10 seconds" prompts. F that, I'm not gambling with it anymore. So, I was stuck in this space for 30-45 minutes (EDIT: over the next few days I got the message a few more times so I then completed the "brown wire mod". This is what the instructions tell you to not do until you get the message after the initial install)

easy install, but not a fun space to cram into!

I also changed my oil yesterday and added a magnetic drain plug. I decided to check my oil catch can, and here's what I got after about 250 miles:

Next up was spark plugs: I did my plugs, wires, and added heat shields too. I actually only got halfway through - my hands are too large and it took a lot longer than expected to do this job. So, in between I tackled some other stuff.

There's entirely too many badges on this car. EVERYWHERE you look you're greeted with "CORVETTE" or the crossed flags symbol. I hate it. So I took off the trunk emblem. I would do the same to the front bumper emblem but apparently it leaves 2 little holes for alignment and I don't want that either.

Started with this:

Ended with this:

Needs more polish and rubbing, but its a good start. 

My hood insulator was also getting ratty, and it had yet ANOTHER crossed flags symbol on it. I didn't take a picture so below is one stolen from the internet. Imagine this but dirty and grungy:

So I took that off, drilled out the rivets for the light, painted a few bare spots, and ended up with this:

It actually looks pretty good in natural light and considering it was a half an hour project, I'm pretty happy. 

That's it for today - just need to get back and finish the second half of plugs and wires when I get a chance!

 

 

LimitedTimeOnly
LimitedTimeOnly New Reader
10/29/18 11:38 a.m.

OMG, you have ruined a collectible car, it's no longer original, and you even are selling parts that a future owner may want!

Okay, glad you are making it yours, and it looks like the catch can is worthwhile for sure. Why didn't you want to keep the under-hood light?

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
10/29/18 1:16 p.m.

In reply to LimitedTimeOnly :

Haha ain't that the truth though? You wanna know something that will REALLY blow some corvette owner minds? I drive it in the rain! Actually, knowing that it's not in a hermetically sealed garage may blow some minds lol. 

And I didn't keep the underhood light because it was weaker than my phone light, and definitely weaker than the flashlight I carry in my car anyway frown

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/6/18 7:30 a.m.

Okie dokie - Hive mind question.

My power steering fix is coming up. After it heats up (like 30 minutes of driving, and then sitting in traffic), I'm getting surging on/off of power steering. It was much worse in the summer, and happens much less in the fall, and doesn't happen when I'm moving (I.E. when air goes through the cooler). All signs point to overheating. Since this is the z06, I already have a power steering cooler. It's clearly not cooling enough, so my plan is the same as before, with a twist.

 

My parts list is as follows:

Turn One T40Y power steering pump (will replace my crappy refurbed unit, and claims to reduce fluid temperatures)

Baffled aluminum Fluid reservoir (probably overkill, but better safe than sorry, and aluminum is purdy)

New high pressure hose

Larger Power steering cooler (universal fit, not sure on size yet - will probably grab dimensions from current unit and double it's capacity)

New low pressure hoses.

 

So, my question falls on hoses. Since I'm fabbing up my own cooling system, I can't use factory part numbers, but I'm not sure what type of hose I need to buy, or the fittings necessary. Can I buy standard hydraulic hose and use worm gear hose clamps to connect ends at hoses A/B/C (in blue) below?

 

Also, before I do anything, I will be keeping the system the same and taking fluid temperatures over a week or so, along with time driven and ambient temps. This will give me a baseline to see what the new pump and cooler/rad are doing for me. Ideally, I would do it in steps, (only install radiator, take temps, then install pump, take temps) but I would rather mess with this just once. 

Thanks in advance for the advice! Also I fixed/upgraded a few other things over the weekend so I'll have an update later!

dclafleur
dclafleur New Reader
11/6/18 9:17 a.m.

If you don't have one yet pick up a swivel spark plug socket, its helped with almost every spark plug on a V engine I've had to change, especially as you approach the firewall or emissions piping.   Those lines all look like low pressure lines, even in the stock setup I think they just used hydraulic hose and clamps.  The high pressure side all has swedged together fittings.  Don't dismiss the corvette forum so quickly the autocrossing and road racing section has a lot of good information and these cars have been around for 20 years there isn't a ton of reason to re-invent the C5, just don't put louvers on your tail lights..

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/6/18 9:38 a.m.

Haha, no louvers for me. And NO CHROME!!!

I actually haven't dismissed corvetteforum- I'm on there a lot and there's good info, but you have to sift through a lot of "if corvette engineers wanted you to have X, they would have given you X!", which is quite annoying.

I think you're right that the low pressure lines are just hydraulic hose, but they're all using a double wire type clamp that I'm not used to (on part A in the drawing above, for example).

The top hoses (B and C) use this type of clamp, and I'm comfortable using worm gear hose clamps instead of these

dclafleur
dclafleur New Reader
11/6/18 10:06 a.m.

Another tool recommended, I can blow your entire car budget on cheap tools.. I like to use a cable operated spring clamp plier for those, makes them so much easier to get on and off, I prefer them to a worm drive clamp as a result.   I wonder if the bottom clamps are the crimp style which are single use, I don't know of any way around cutting off the crimp part to remove them and then replacing the clamp.

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/6/18 11:02 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :

I actually bought a set of those just for this car, and it has made everything much easier!

I am (attempting) to do this grassroots style, and obviously sometimes it's better to spend the money once than 2-3 times for quality and that's a judgement call in itself, but tools are something I'm not afraid to spend $$ on, because it should save me money down the line!

I did some more seat mods that have made the stock seats much more enjoyable and supportive for spirited driving, and I'll post them when I have some time, but I found out that no matter what I do with the seat, short of buying a race seat, I won't have enough headroom with a helmet. Not in the mood to spend $800 on some race seats at the moment- that's getting into some scope creep and this is a daily driver anyways.

Good news is that 03-04 model year Z06s had a bulge in the headliner near the rear, but 99-01 FRCs all had a headliner without a bulge in it, and they're interchangeable.

03-04 shown below (bulge in question at bottom of headliner)

So I can replace it with an earlier model and have helmet headroom. Bad news is that they sell for $400, and the part is discontinued.

My thought is that I can try to modify it myself - maybe do cutouts where driver and passenger heads go, or try to chop off the whole drop. I can sell a good 03-04 headliner for about $125, so I may risk trying it myself. We'll see how it goes.

dclafleur
dclafleur New Reader
11/6/18 11:12 a.m.

I had heard the headliner thing, I've got an '01 and have plenty of headroom with a helmet (I'm 6').  I can vouch that a co-worker who is substantially taller than me sits in it just fine too but struggled with an '04 Z06.

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
11/6/18 4:09 p.m.

I'm a little suspicious of the power steering overheating just from sitting around and the culprit being the cooler. If the cooler was the issue then why would it start working again once you are in motion? It seems if anything that the cooler is actually working, but you might have problems with the fluid.

Did you try flushing and bleeding the system?

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/7/18 5:20 a.m.

In reply to Harvey :

Yup, I have flushed and bled twice. I know that the cooler is working, I just think it's insufficient for the task at hand. The PS overheated last night in about 10 minutes of traffic, and it was 50* out. My oil and coolant temps shot up in this time too, but the fans kick on at 228* and cool it off quickly. If I turn the AC on, the fans kick on and keep coolant at about 205-210* (idling engine, not moving). So all in all, the car runs hot (as do all c5z's, from what I've read). A fan would probably be another answer to my problem.

After searching various forums, I found an autocross instructor who said any of his students with the stock c5z PS system had overheating problems, so it's not uncommon. Lots of people fixed it with a Turn One pump and synthetic fluid. But if I'm going to spend $400 on a new pump, I'm going to spend a little time making sure it lasts by upgrading some cooling. 

The only info on fluid temperature I've seen is 180* is optimal. I'll check this soon when my IR thermometer gets in.

dclafleur
dclafleur New Reader
11/7/18 8:45 a.m.

Sounds like you need to pull the radiator shroud and clean out your radiator and a/c condenser.  Also, I find that low mile cars that sit tend to have problems with the water pump, when you were changing the accessories and belt did you give the water pump pulley a spin?  These cars run "hot" but I'm surprised your temperature is creeping up that much in stop and go traffic when the ambient is that low.

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
11/7/18 9:31 a.m.

That sounds unusual. I can see the PS overheating during an extended autocross session, but in traffic in 50 degree weather? That doesn't make any sense.

The cooler isn't going to do anything when you're sitting in traffic, because it's not getting any airflow, so upgrading the cooler isn't your answer.  At the same time the pump isn't really doing anything when you're sitting in traffic either so the fact that it's overheating points to some other issue with the system.

As dclafleur says in 50 degree ambient the fact that the car gets that hot is unusual. Check other areas of the cooling system before you start swapping out the power steering stuff.

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/7/18 9:37 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :

I pulled the shroud and cleaned it before, and have been looking up there for debris about every 2 weeks. I'll check again though. I did spin the water pump and it ran freely and didn't make any noise. I didn't try pulling it out to see if the bearing is shot that way though.

dclafleur
dclafleur New Reader
11/7/18 9:58 a.m.

Did you hit the radiator with some compressed air to blow crud out from in between?  It definitely sounds like you've got something else going on with your cooling system that would be worth digging into.  Base C5s didn't even come with a power steering cooler so the power steering overheating in traffic is definitely a symptom of something else going on. 

If you're looking to build a new power steering cooler just because I'd also explore better mounting locations too.  The stock location makes it prone to getting the fins banged up working on things and also makes it a pain in the neck.  It also doesn't get a lot of airflow there.  My long-term thought on power steering cooling was using something like an integrated oil cooler on a high performance radiator (Ron Davis/Dewitts) and plumbing it to the power steering instead.  

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/7/18 10:10 a.m.

In reply to Harvey :

Well, isn't the pump work only dependent on RPM? While sitting it's still spinning and producing high pressure fluid (yes, only at idle RPM), but the fluid is being diverted to the return line at the rack.  So whether I'm moving or not, the pump is still creating similar heat, it's just not moving air through the cooler when I'm at 0mph. So I see why you say don't upgrade the cooler (as it cools when I move), but to me this all points to the pump, which is getting replaced since it's never acted right. I guess the cooler was insurance in my head is all. Here's a link to an article on the F-body version of the pump I'm installing P/S pump

I wasn't looking at the other areas because they're not connected - the PS cooler is a standalone so the whole system could only be getting heat transfer from the pump (as a heat sink as it is attached to the motor), and as a heat sink from the radiator (sits about a foot from the radiator so I doubt that).

And when running on the freeway, I'm right at 183* coolant, regardless of weather, so I had assumed that system is the one working properly.

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/7/18 10:18 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :

No compressed air when I cleaned it out, just brushed the crud out between radiator and AC on both sides. I'll try that one soon - just got a new (small!) air compressor!

And yeah, that was actually my thought too on the integrated cooling. I saw one guy who had coilovers and set it where the leaf spring used to be, but that's not going to be my route lol. I also saw a brake duct setup, but then I'm blowing hot air into my brakes! 

 

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
11/10/18 5:42 p.m.

When I said the pump wasn't doing anything in traffic I should have said instead the steering rack isn't doing anything in traffic and so it's probably not the problem in that it isn't getting any fluid being pushed into it in traffic, but you're right that the power steering pump is going all the time and that the fluid pressure increases as RPM goes up.

This really points to some sort of fluid flow problem. It could be an actual blockage in the system or air in the system, but since you've done some checks in that regard it is probably the pump is just not able to flow enough to keep the system from overheating at low speed. Then when you accelerate the cooler comes into play and/or higher pressure flows more fluid which cools things down.

If you have a refurb PS pump I'd probably just get the new pump like you're planning and see if that fixes the issue. I wouldn't bother spending bucks on an upgraded cooler at this point. If the pump doesn't fix the idling overheating problem then there is some sort of blockage elsewhere in the system, but I'm betting the pump is it. Refurb parts these days are often not very high quality.

The temps you see for the cooling system though are normal apparently. The fans turn on at low speed at 226 unless you run the AC at which point they turn on at 185. High speed is 235. I wouldn't worry about those temps. I keep thinking of regular motors, but these are not regular motors and are designed to run hot. The LS7 in my C6 also runs hot.

 

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/10/18 9:01 p.m.

In reply to Harvey :

Thanks Harvey! Yeah, those are a few good points. I’m relatively certain in what I’m doing but since I’m inexperienced in fixing cars, I like a second opinion. 

I think I’ll go with the new pump and new hoses, and now that I have an air compressor, I’ll blow out the cooler (since it and the rack will be the only things I haven’t replaced). It should probably fix everything, and I’ll change my fluid to some redline synthetic also. If that doesn’t go well, I’ll return with questions lol. 

Sadly, I had to put up the car for the winter since it’s going to snow this week. I added some Seafoam, filled the tank, and gave it an Italian tune up lol. Let it cool down for a few miles of drive, then put it in the garage. A lot of work planned over the winter, but it’s a cold garage, so  we’ll see how much I get done! 

Thanks for all the help!  

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/11/18 9:32 a.m.

OK, a little update on some small updates that did wonders for the car. 

The seats in the c5 corvette are known for being horrible. The problems are lack of bolster support, bolsters break apart, the seat foam breaks through the springs in the bottom, and some seat back problems. I'd like to fix these things before they're a problem. There's plenty of aftermarket choices, but I'm not keen on dropping $1k on some seats, so I went in search of some cheap fixes. 

The bottom of the seat looks like this:

To spread the load out and protect the foam, I put some old fabric between the wire and foam. I also put paracord where the spring used to be, just far enough to where the leather won't break because of no springs, but I still get to keep my lower seat. 

To fix the bolsters, I found an easy fix where you push the foam that is on the outside of the bolster to the inside.

From this:

To this:

And to add support to the bolsters, on each side I cut some 1/8th UHMW and plastic welded it to the bolsters:

New seat is 100x more supportive, comfortable, and doesn't let me slide around when I get on it:

After 2 weeks of driving around with the new seat, I still love it. I will do the same mods to the passenger seat soon.

 

Also, I sprung a leak in my windshield washer fluid tank (near the pump wires - somewhat common problem). I'm thinking it was a cheap/old GM plastic thing, and hopefully it doesn't happen to my radiator overflow tank! Anyways, I just removed it and cleaned up the wiring. 

 

Also, I've had 3 of the problems that A 401 CJ posted about above lol. Windshield washer tank problems, steering wheel lock problems, and leak problems. I fixed 2, and am fixing leaks as I go. I'm filling up leaks with silicone and stopping them as I notice them lol. No pictures, but it's not overly exciting anyways.

So here's my winter project list - I tried to keep it reasonable because of time constraints lol:

-Power steering fix

-Fix passenger seat like I did the driver seat

-Modify my headliner so I can sit comfortably with a helmet

-RTV some more leak spots

-Fix my headlights (or get fixed headlights like depos and save 40lbs) EDIT: that's the weight saving on corvette forum - I don't believe it 

-HID interior lights, current ones look very dated

 

That's it for now - thanks for reading!

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
11/12/18 6:23 p.m.

Wait, did you remove the windshield washer tank entirely? laugh

russ_mill
russ_mill New Reader
11/13/18 5:07 a.m.

Yeah, I can’t remember the last time I used it and it was a leaky, yellowing plastic eyesore so out it went! 

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
11/13/18 2:08 p.m.
russ_mill said:

Yeah, I can’t remember the last time I used it and it was a leaky, yellowing plastic eyesore so out it went! 

You're funny. You're just not really interested in conventional things are you?  laugh

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