Archive for 1999

The Shadow: November 1, 1999

by on Nov.01, 1999, under Shadow

Well I took the old hood off, threw it in the grass, and started jumping on it to straighten it out.  After that and some work with pliers and wooden block, the hood was straight enough to close.  The Shadow is now back as my driver, though it looks pretty shabby from the front.

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The CSX: October 19, 1999

by on Oct.19, 1999, under CSX

A few more weird things happened lately.  First the long, steel fuel line on the fuel rail cracked at one of the bends, causing the rail to depressurize when I accelerated.  Then I started getting very bad hesitation.  it got to the point where the engine would not even want to run under any load, then would suddenly be fine.  Turned out to be the ignition coil mounting bolt, which was stripped out.  Now all is good and the car is flying.

The next thing that needs attention is the tires.  There appears to be flat spots from a 4 wheel lockup (panic stop).  It has been doing this since I bought the car.  I’m not sure if the tires can be salvaged, but the vibration is very annoying at high speeds.

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The CSX: October 12, 1999

by on Oct.12, 1999, under CSX

For the first time in a while, less bad news.  🙂  I finally got the Conquest intercooler installed last week.  I found some 90-degree 2-1/8″ I.D. hoses for the connections under the front cross member.  I found them at Trak Auto for some kind of Ford van.  The rest of the plumbing consists of mandrel-bent and straight exhaust pipe.  The turbo-to-intercooler run is two 2″ mandrel bent pipes and some straight hose.  The intercooler-to-throttle body run is two 2-1/4″ mandrel bent pipes and a long 2-1/4″ straight pipe.  All connections were made with bits of truck radiator hose and many stainless hose clamps.

Now that this car is intercooled, I return boost control back to the logic module.  So now the 16psi ND computer can do it’s thing.  No more pinging at 13psi either.  While I was at it, I relocated the MAP sensor to the firewall right next to the brake booster.  I made an aluminum heat shield to protect the sensor and solenoids from the turbo.  I took great care in replumbing the vacuum lines such that critical sensors will not be effected by other vacuum devices.  These include the MAP sensor and fuel pressure regulator.  Now the funky fuel curve problem is gone.

The setup worked great for about a week until I started getting problems where the engine would QUIT just as I would start to accelerate.  I also noticed an erratic idle speed.  I have have always had a code 15, so I just unplugged the frickin’ speed/distance sensor–problem solved.  I don’t have cruise, an automatic, or electronic speedometer, so the usefulness of the sensor is questionable anyway.

In other news, the piston slap is as bad as ever and the engine is consuming oil, though I don’t notice any smoke or smell at all, nor do I see any in the coolant, etc.  I loose about a quart every 1000-2000 miles.  I’m sure it’s just the rings.  Blow-by is horrible…the dipstick isn’t blowing out, but it is very tight in the tube.  Oil is coming out of the oil cap and it just recently blew some RTV out of the valve cover seal.  Due to the Shadow’s current condition, the Shelby is now my daily driver.  I hope it holds up….

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The Shadow: October 12, 1999

by on Oct.12, 1999, under Shadow

This past weekend I straightened out the subchassis and fixed a few broken items.  These include the oil pressure light switch and the oil filter, which got whacked by the radiator fan motor and shroud when the subchassis got pushed back.  Our handy-dandy hydraulic kit saved the day again.  It’s just a basic narrow cylinder with various extensions and ends so that you can stick it anywhere.  Works great for separating ball joints, too.  Anyway, I got the subchassis back where it should be and straightened out.  I also fixed the grille brackets, headlight bowl/bezel, and fender.  What is left of the grill is back in place and the headlights will be fixed as soon as I get some new alignment screws.  If I can’t find a grille, I may just patch-up this one and use it.  It doesn’t look great, but it will get me through the winter.  What I really need is a hood…I cannot save this one.

In light of the hood bulge rarity, I may just put the T1 radiator from the CSX back into the Shadow and either convert back to T1 or use the Conquest  intercooler setup.  This would put the CSX back the way it was and allow me to use a flat hood on the Shadow.  I like the look of the bulge hood, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.  I’m not sure that the Conquest intercooler is any better than the stock T2 unit.  It’s longer than the T2, but doesn’t have any fins in the tubes (they are just flattened round tubes).  Flow may be a bit better (maybe), but I think efficiency is questionable.  Also, the CSX doesn’t have A/C, so air flow to the stock IC in the stock location should be better than it is on the Shadow.  I’m probably going to keep the BOV on the Shadow since it has the little Mitsu turbo.

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The Shadow: October 4, 1999

by on Oct.04, 1999, under Shadow

Well, it appears that my luck has run out with this car.  I was traveling about 35-40 mph (in a 50 mph zone) on a dark back road near my house when a deer jumped out of the tall corn field from the left right in front of me.  I slammed on the brakes and swerved to the left hoping to avoid it (it was already more than half-way across).  The result was the right corner of the hood and grill caught the deer in the rear in mid-air and flipped it into the right shoulder.  My hood, grille, and headlight took most of the hit, but not before it bent back the subchassis behind it.  The right fender was also bent outward, but easily recoverable.  The big problem is finding an ’87 or ’88 P-body hood with a turbo bulge.  I need the bulge to clear my upper intercooler hose and radiator fill cap (T2 unit).  I saw a 4-door version of my car (red and all) in a yard.  Unfortunately, the car and hood/grille is gone.  If you know where I can find one, please let me know.

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The Shadow: September 27, 1999

by on Sep.27, 1999, under Shadow

I finally solved the last of the annoying boost gremlins on this car!  I had yanked the Bosch BOV setup on the upper intercooler hose and replaced it with a stock T2 ribbed upper hose.  I have bad boost stacking without the BOV (very bad for this little turbo), but no more boost drop-off or random boost amounts.  Even though I have already tried removing the BOV and plugging the hole with a piece of wood, I wanted to dump this setup anyway.  First of all, I don’t like using that crazy setup with the two restrictors, check valve, and bleed to keep pressure on the BOV to keep it shut.  Second, I know that my IC has quite a pressure drop at high boost, so the BOV would probably be more effective on the lower IC hose.  Since I am not running more than 14psi (nor do I plan to), the stock BOV is perfect and it will also serve as protection because it will blow off the seat above 15psi in case something goes wrong with boost control.

So, I fabricated a new hose connection on the lower stock hose by cutting out a small section and putting a 1-1/2″ copper drain pipe in its place (the stock lower IC hose is 1-1/2″ ID).  I opted for copper because it was easy to solder on a 3/4″ fitting to attach the BOV hose.  It’s a 3/4″ copper T-fitting that I sliced along the back and spread open to match the curve of the big pipe.  It took some bending, hammering, and patience, but it worked.  I then used a short piece of 3/4″ copper pipe in the fitting to connect the hose to.  I connected the BOV to the copper pipe in the fitting with a short piece of 3/4″ I.D. heater hose and then to the air box with another piece.  I already had a 3/4″ copper pipe fitting on the airbox, so I just put a short piece of 3/4″ copper pipe in it to serve as a reducer.  The Bosch BOV used 7/8″ I.D. hose, so the 3/4″ fittings (not 3/4″ pipe) were the perfect O.D.  I squeezed the fittings so the pipe would fit tightly, sanded the surfaces, and then RTVed them in place.  I didn’t want to solder so that I could switch back easily.  The setup works wonderfully and for the first time, my boost is predictable and solid!  This car SCREAMS!!!

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The CSX: September 22, 1999

by on Sep.22, 1999, under CSX

Well, the weekly strife with this car continues.  Monday it barfed out the block core plug behind starter…it had rusted out from the inside.  I replaced it with a expanding rubber core plug (Expand-Tite), which seems to be holding.  The next plug down has some evidence of a very slow leak.  Looks like that one is next.

The piston slap is slowly getting worse.  I think I should start thinking seriously about building-up a new, solid bottom end for this thing.  No screwing around this time….  *sigh*

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The CSX: September 17, 1999

by on Sep.17, 1999, under CSX

Still no leaks, trans fluid, coolant, or otherwise.  The tires are severely out of balance or out of round.  I will try to get them balanced.  That metal-to-metal squeak turned out to be my 2.5″ exhaust rubbing on the rear axle cross members.  That Dynomax muffler is very heavy and it has stretched the stock mount.

Other than that, the car needs new ball joints and outer tie rod ends (boots are gone).  A new set of bushings will probably be good too.  I may just try to find a ’89+ K-frame and put the new ball joints and polyurethane bushings right on it.

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The CSX: September 15, 1999

by on Sep.15, 1999, under CSX

Well, I wanted to get started pulling the trans last night.  This is the first time I got near it since I discovered the left side of the trans, axle, and engine bay covered in trans fluid on Saturday.  I jacked up the car and grabbed the axle.  It was not sloppy at all, compared to how it was before I installed the stabilizer bearing.  Then from the topside, I noticed trans fluid all over the TOP of the trans as well.  It appeared to be coming from the top of the shifter plane (slider) selector lever.  There is a plastic cap on the shaft, which I assume is the gear case vent (it’s not on the bearing retainer plate like on the A525/A520/A555).  I am in the habit of overfilling my trannies by about 1/2 quart.  It works fine on the A520s.  On the A568, it seems to puke the extra oil out.  The oil would run into a webbed area of the top of the trans, fill it up with oil, then it would run down the side, right over the left-side axle.  It appears that this is where the oil is coming from.  I cleaned the whole thing up with acetone so that it is dry and drained the excess fluid from the case (it was still very high).  I then proceeded to address a coolant leak from that stupid head (helicoils).  I may just have lucked out.

I fixed the coolant leaks at the thermostat housing by using the solvent-safe PFTE thread tape with Master #2 Gasketmaker (not RTV, this stuff stays soft).  It appears to be holding up just fine.

I have no doubt that this tranny needs to at least have the diff re-shimmed.  Perhaps even new spiders.  But, it looks like it may be salvageable otherwise.  The stabilizer bearing appears to be doing its job.

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The CSX: September 13, 1999

by on Sep.13, 1999, under CSX

It appears that the stabilizer bearing has self-destructed.  On the way home from the SDACCL meeting on Saturday, I started to notice a sort of vibrating metal-to-metal squeak that was getting louder and louder.  When I got home I found the entire left side of the tranny covered in oil.  I guess the bearing just can’t handle it.  So, it appears that I will be looking for a replacement differential.

Before the meeting I was able to install the new “Jessie Buhr” 2-1/2″ aluminized exhaust system (thanks Mark!).  The fit was mediocre at best and some bending and cutting/rewelding was required.  It’s still a bit off, so I will have to make some tweaks to it.  Aside from that, it is a nice system.  The original 2 1/4″ exhaust with no muffler droned way too much when cruising.  So, I opted for a Dynomax Super Turbo muffler (part# 17710).  It’s a nice unit and is the perfect length to fit in a P, J, or G-body.  It’s a 7″ round, 18″ long unit.  It has a nice sounding idle and seems to be quite good at the top end. Not as good as an open pipe, but good enough for me.

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