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Tmielke
Tmielke New Reader
12/31/20 2:39 p.m.

In reply to V6Buicks :

Too funny, man.  Loved "it gets to sit and think about what it's done for a while."  The GN is a cool vehicle and tough to sell, but it isn;t as much fun when it TOO valuable to drive anywhere!!  Thank you for the info on this build!!

Tmielke
Tmielke New Reader
12/31/20 2:49 p.m.

In reply to obsolete :

I love my 3800.  I would like more information on all the potential available.  Please send some ideas that I can research.  I get the LS comments all the time, but I don't want a heavy V8.  Mine is in a Black 96 Firebird.  A very cool-looking car that gets a lot of attention because there aren't many of them.  I am looking for potential that doesn't include fabbing my own turbo system.  I wish I was that guy, but it ain't gonna happen.  Flowing the heads and manifold, headers, cat back, ratio rockers and cam, LSD, suspension upgrades I can understand and handle.  Bigger injectors and a tune.  Yeah, I get that.  I'm looking for more torque, more RPM.  300 lb /ft and 250-300 HP would be perfect.  (I know, lame, right!?!)  I've had much more HP than that and should have gone to jail!!!  

Tmielke
Tmielke New Reader
12/31/20 2:56 p.m.

In reply to obsolete :

I love my 3800.  I would like more information on all the potential available.  Please send some ideas that I can research.  I get the LS comments all the time, but I don't want a heavy V8.  Mine is in a Black 96 Firebird.  A very cool-looking car that gets a lot of attention because there aren't many of them.  I am looking for potential that doesn't include fabbing my own turbo system.  I wish I was that guy, but it ain't gonna happen.  Flowing the heads and manifold, headers, cat back, ratio rockers and cam, LSD, suspension upgrades I can understand and handle.  Bigger injectors and a tune.  Yeah, I get that.  I'm looking for more torque, more RPM.  300 lb /ft and 250-300 HP would be perfect.  (I know, lame, right!?!)  I've had much more HP than that and should have gone to jail!!!  

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/3/21 12:33 p.m.

In reply to Tmielke :

I'd hate to burst your bubble, but you would likely be breaking an NA 3800 S2 world record with 300 whp.  The highest I've ever seen is a Firebird with 11:1 pistons, E85, custom cam, ZZP aluminum heads and a whole bunch of voodoo.  It still only makes 295 to the wheels or something pitifully disappointing like that.  That's a TON of money and work just to be blown out of the water with an $800 turbo system on an engine that hasn't even had its valve covers removed.  It's not a great kit, but there is a stainless turbo manifold set for 3800 F-bodies available on Ebay.  If you haven't seen that before I would give turbos a second chance!  You can also put the M90 on an F-body, but that will require somebody who knows how to weld cast aluminum among other little roadblocks.  There is very little that will come easy on these without boost.  Even with boost, a lot of the F-body PCMs are problematic turds.  I plan on upgrading mine to the 7440 so that I can trn my knock sensors back on.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/3/21 12:59 p.m.

Not much has happened to this one.  I've been way too busy keeping our Volvo 240 from suiciding during it's active duty.  With the transmission blown in the Camaro, I have to do whatever it takes to keep that car going down the road!

While I save my pennies I've been working on finally finishing the underbody.  I may have finished the floors, but I was still missing my frame extensions.  Big yikes...

So I got to work making new ones.

That'll work

With that in place, I can finally weld in my subframe connectors!  It's not pretty, but it's functional.

I thought the other side was going to be more difficult with the brake and fuel lines in the way, but upon further inspection, it should be even easier than the other side.  I should have more clean existing metal to work with, and I might even be able to avoid pulling the carpet.  We'll see.  I'm taking a break from body work for a little while.

One mini project I took on to boost my motivation was the center caps.  I can't stand misbranded and/or replica center caps.  I don't know why.  This happens to be both.  I don't have a fake Corvette or even a real one!

So I found some knock-off SS caps....

scuffed, primed, painted...

and convinced my fiance to design a vinyl sticker for me.

I love it!  They're perfect for my modernized wannabe GN

 

Stay tuned.  My garage heater fan quit, so I'm getting a new one to hard wire.  This prompted me to start looking at how mine was wired in the first place.  Not good.

Once I get all this up to code with 10-3 and a new heater, I'm going to continue putting off the other subframe connector.  I don't want to wait to install my new goodies.

LS6 springs and 1.9:1 aluminum roller rockers are a fairly mild valve train upgrade, but eliminating my valve float should really wake this puppy up!  ...whenever I get a trans. lol

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/8/21 11:59 a.m.

Here we go!

Well this isn't a fun way to start.  Looks like I'll need to rebuild this turbo before I put this car back on the road.  Luckily the oil seal kits are $15.

Here's a picture I took right before I gave up.  This HF spring compressor is worthless!

Time to get crafty.

Much better!  Works great.

LS6 springs are in!

And here ar my roller rockers.  These things are way too nice for this car.

After fiddling with the HF tool, making my own tool, having issues with one of the valves and locks getting jammed, and typical F-body cowl annoyances, this was all I could get done.  I'll hop over to the other side after work!

obsolete
obsolete Reader
2/8/21 12:16 p.m.

I love that valve spring compressor!

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/8/21 12:42 p.m.

In reply to obsolete :

Thanks!  It did the job and only required materials which were destined for scrap anyway.  Grassroots tool making challenge? cheeky

obsolete
obsolete Reader
2/8/21 12:57 p.m.

In reply to V6Buicks :

Yeah, it seems like there's no way this forum has been around this long without several grassroots garage-made tool threads, but it would be fun to start one with that valve spring compressor and see what everybody else has been making lately. I'm betting that various lockdown restrictions over the past year have inspired even more creativity than usual. I know I have one to post!

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/9/21 8:27 a.m.

Is there anybody familiar with E85 who knows what's going on here?

I'm being told that this could be from running much too rich.  Unburned E85 shows up as water which explains why I'm always leaving puddles by the tail pipe.  Maybe that WAS the case...

But I suffered through the remaining springs and rockers last night.  I put the car all back together, started it up, and heard it run for a couple seconds before it just died.  It did that a couple times.  I don't have my down pipe on yet so I can't see the AFR, but I'm guessing it's way lean now.  I'll play with HP Tuners a little bit tonight and see if I can figure that out.

obsolete
obsolete Reader
2/10/21 3:07 p.m.

IMO, a catch can full of milky water+oil emulsion doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong. Crankcase fumes are going to have water vapor in them, and I agree there's probably more if you're running E85 full-time. When I drain the catch can on my Corvette, I always get more water than oil, especially in cooler weather. That car only runs pump gas, so it's not just an E85 thing. Warm crankcase fumes hit the cool catch can and the water vapor condenses into droplets and collects there. Some cars, especially ones where the catch can drains back into the crankcase, run coolant lines through the can to keep it warmer and prevent the condensation.

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
2/16/21 7:35 p.m.

I couldn't see from your dyno video , but what rpm do these usually run out of steam? Will the new springs and rockers help with higher rpm's?

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/17/21 9:18 a.m.

In reply to Somebeach (Forum Supporter) :

They are low revvers.  The LS6 springs should bump my redline up a bit.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/18/21 11:55 a.m.

I ran out of excuses to NOT finish the sub-frame extensions and connectors, so I put my coveralls on and got to cutting.

The night started off with a big win.  I don't have to undo the brake line or fuel lines.  I just removed the clip and shaved a block of wood between them and the body so that they were out of the way.  I did NOT want to bleed brakes again.  I also have enough solid metal left that allows me to rebuild without putting plug welds in the floor.  This means no interior removal!

Moving right along.  Before we know it, I'll have nothing left to do except for the transmission conversion.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
2/24/21 8:08 a.m.

I got sidetracked because my floor was way too darn cold to be laying on.  I've also always hated this radiator hose.  Why so many bends??

Time for a "quick" side project!

I'm not entirely happy with the fitment or the fact that it's steel, but this was a project I was willing to give marginal effort to.  I didn't want to waste time with aluminum because neither this radiator nor t-stat housing are part of the car's end goal, and I don't have time or money for all of that right now.  This is what I could do with $10 worth of pipe!

That looks much better to me, but it leaks.  So much for a quick side project!  After dealing with paint adhesion issues for two days I finally noticed a leak where I ground a weld down too far.  This might be an opportunity to make it fit better, but I'm going to deal with it later.  The weather got warm this week, and suddenly I'm motivated to get under the car again.  This is rare, so I need to take advantage of it while I can!

It's still not pretty but my welds are getting even better.

Then I noticed another spot that I should deal with before wrapping up the extension.  This cross brace that the extension connects to was braced during my floor pan job, but never chopped up and capped.  I guess today is the day to do something about that.

Cuts

More cuts and grinding

I cut and bent a cap which was welded in place.  Then I sprayed some Eastwood internal frame coating inside the channels.  I'm certainly making progress, but there is still a long way to go!

To wrap up the day I pulled out my new piece from UMI.  Nobody makes a transmission crossmember for 4th-gen T5 F-bodies, so I went with a 4L60E version on a hunch that it was going to be close and easiest to modify.  I was correct.

All the other variations of this cross-member are either miles off from fitting (T56 is the worst) or have a round tubular construction which could make modification for my application much more difficult (TH350)  I'm happy with my decision, but I'm not going to get too carried away with this right now.  The TKX is advertised to have the same mounting location as a T5, but I've seen wierder things happen.  I'm going to size it up when I have the actual transmission installed.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
3/5/21 7:11 a.m.

I'm getting closer!  Both subframe connectors are finally welded in.

I also fixed the leaky water pipe, but it took several failed attempts.  I couldn't grind the weld down flat without breaking through the thinner metal next to it, so I ground new leak-free welds about flush an filled the area around it with Bondo.  Bondo is supposed to work with surface temps up to 260 degrees, so I should be okay!  Let me tell ya, spreading bondo evenly over a a 1.25" round pipe is not easy.  I think painting it without runs is even more difficult.

There are some small craters, but it looks even better than it did before!

I also cut the pipe a bit shorter so that there was more hose.  Installation is much easy and it allows more flex when the engine rocks.

All that's left is some paint and undercoating before I buy a transmission.  My bonus arrives in two weeks!

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
3/5/21 9:47 a.m.

I admire the crafty effort, but there might be a simpler solution.

    One hose with a 90deg bend and a hose with a 45 deg bend, connect the two with a hose connector.  Check the Pegasus catalog, they have a good selection of this stuff, of course there are many other sources.   The hoses tend to come with enough extra straight length, so two hoses should reach the required length.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks New Reader
3/5/21 12:19 p.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

That was my next move if I continued to have issues, but I really didn't want any sort of plumbing running that way.  Eventually a CAI will run over the pipe and under the fuse block. 

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
3/8/21 11:12 a.m.

I started gathering more parts for the TKX conversion. Although I'm using the 3rd gen bellhousing, a 3rd gen fork and slave is not going to work. My driver side exhaust manifold exits right above where the slave would sit, so I'm stuck with using an all aftermarket system. To do this, I need https://shop.bowlertransmissions.com...-gm-800-6001-a I already installed the Tick adjustable master cylinder, so I will be hydraulically set to go once I make a custom -4AN hose to connect the two cylinders. The only thing that worried me initially was the bearing face size. After poking around Rock Auto and other Tilton suppliers, I noticed that Tilton makes a drop in kit for C5-7 Corvettes with the same bearing. Then I found that Corvettes with T56s and 97+ Camaros with T5s have the same release bearing part number.  I felt like Sherlock Holmes as I added that kit to the cart.

While I'm in there I'm going to address one of the sketchy parts of a modified 3800 with manual transmission. These cars have eight bolts holding the flywheel in place which is great, but they're itty bitty 5/16" L9s. This is not a bolt you can just pick up at the hardware store. They're also TTY and $7 a piece at through GM.  Yikes.  I bought new bolts when I bought my last flywheel, but I reused them last time I did the clutch. Reused bolts are known to back off even with red locktite, and ARP only makes a shorter set for flex plates. The solution? Drill the crank for 10mm bolts, and buy a bolt kit for an SR20DET. It should be the last set of flywheel bolts I ever need.

Now for the bad news. I started the car up for the first time in ages and let her warm up.  Noise issues (squeking) that caused me to install the roller rockers twice are not gone.  It's still much better because I never hear it at idle, but I can hear it at about 2500 rpm and up. At this point, I'm not going to be doing anything about it. I want the higher lift, and I don't want to buy another set just to go back to stock when I replace the cam. It's either going to work itself out as it gets more run time or destroy a roller tip.  I guess I'll find out when the transmission conversion is complete.

Here's the most recent look of the engine bay. Despite the amount of frustration it caused me, I'm very happy that I built that water pipe.

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
3/8/21 12:11 p.m.

This is coming along great! thanks for sharing. Looking forward to TKX content as well.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
3/9/21 6:14 a.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

Thanks!  I've been planning and thinking about it for so long that pushing the "buy now" button doesn't seem like my actual next step.  One week from today, I should be awaiting my shipping confirmation.  Hopefully everything goes according to plan.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
3/10/21 10:48 a.m.

Starting my bell modifications!

There's no turning back now!  This bell will forever be used without a fork.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/10/21 11:03 a.m.
V6Buicks said:

In reply to Somebeach (Forum Supporter) :

They are low revvers.  The LS6 springs should bump my redline up a bit.

Angry dyno midget is literally my favorite. 

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
3/10/21 11:54 a.m.

In reply to Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) :

Hahaha!  Are you talking about Dyno Brian?!  He's pretty awesome.  He was super grumpy when we first got to the shop.  We were his first appointment and he showed up about 15 minutes late.  His attitude was flipped like a light switch as soon as the car started making 10psi without spilling it's guts all over the place though.  10/10.  I will for sure go back to him when I have a new cam in the car.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/10/21 12:20 p.m.

In reply to V6Buicks :

I am, being late and not having a car is how to make him grumpy. 

We where there last year and a guy brought a car that was pissing coolant. 

 

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