Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mar 31 - mo parts came in, 3 wheels ready for balancing

I got the brackets for mounting the transmission from Archie today.  Sooner than expected according to FedEx earlier on.  :-)
I cleaned the 2 rear wheels and one front wheel that is still good.  Got the screw holes all cleaned out where there was some questionable spots.  Thread locker on the screws and they're torqued down now.
I think by Monday I'll get the refinished front wheel out of Miami.  Once that one is done I'll make a trip to Discount Tire to have my front tires remounted and all 4 balanced.
I did get Chris back over here to start back on the sanding of the body.  he'll be back tomorrow to get more of that work done.
I'm watching the video from Archie about how to install the 6 speed transmission.  I think I've only got 2 more pieces coming from him and we'll be complete on my order. Shift cable brackets for the transmission side and a clutch line adapter to plug the Fiero hydraulics into the F40 trans and we'll be good to go.  I need to start hunting a donor G6 GT 6sp car to pull the axles and intermediate shaft bracket/bearing from.  I'm sure I don't want to know how much one of them are new.  This will get me started on the custom axle path I'll be on as I try to figure out what size all of this needs to be for my wide track rear end.

Here are some pics where put a rear wheel up to the body and the paint card near it.  I think the car is going to look REALLY good.  Once we get it to where it is in pretty nice shape I think we'll buy a gallon of paint and shoot it once to get it in color and then continue the build.  Then once built we'll come back and take care of little things, clean it up and do a final shoot where needed and clear it.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mar 30 - more parts came in

I got some parts in Saturday and today. 
2 new valve stems (@ $183 a piece, someone better like them) came in last week, if I didn't mention that before now.  Those will be to re-do my two front wheels.  One which was repaired and picked up today and the other was ordered on eBay.Brass Tee that goes to the hard brake lines in the rear of the Fiero.
The reman brake master cylinder came in.
Flex lines for the brakes.
Oil filter relocation kit from Jegs.
The SGI-5 Dakota speedo converter came in last week too.

I did order stuff today.
About $500 worth of Lambo parts (emblems, center caps for my wheels, etc)
New Murci refinished front wheel.

Still waiting on last of V8 Archie stuff to come in.  Should be here by Wed it looks like, but definitely by the end of this week.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mar 26 - Steering Rack swap

So we finally went to West Coast Fiero's web site on putting an f-body steering rack into a Fiero.  It was meant for a regular Fiero and not a wide track but we think we have it now.  We got an LS1 rack.  I say that because the 94-97 LT1 motors f-bodies had a different rack than the 98-02 LS1 motor f-bodies.  I already had the LT1 one, so I was working with what I had.  I was finding out that the little bit of placement difference in the 2 of these were enough that I was never going to be able to get mine to work with the steering wheel position as it was (or needs to be).

So we got an LS1 rack and moved my new tie rods/ends off of my LT1 one and onto the LS1 one.  :-)

Here's a picture to show the difference in the two racks.  You can clearly see an angle difference in the two of them.  All hardware for mounting them swaps between them, that angle of the head where the steering column bolts up is what's really different about them and why you need the 98-02 one if you're going to try this out (Fiero or kit).

LT1 is on top, LS1 is on bottom.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mar 24 - arrange pulleys how?

I've got the AN-8 cap in place and had to grind down the back of the front engine mount to clear for it.  Engine mount got POR'd yesterday and was dry enough today to install.  It's hanging on a couple of bolts to test fit my next attempt to re-purpose stuff.  I've got the old accessory bracket that's meant to be on the left side of the motor (as you face the front of the engine).  The problem with it is the depth as you move it over, the old hole can't be reused, not so much about the alignment as it is about the depth.  You see the number 1 cylinder is more forward than the second cylinder.  The bracket had this difference in its design.

What I'm trying to do is flip where it was meant to be and lean it out away from the head enough that I can get that top pulley (alt) to come into alignment well enough on to the crank that I can clear the water pump.

The bottom mount spot belongs to the A/C compressor and I can not test fit it until I can remove my motor from this stand and attach it to the engine cradle.  There are 2 convenient holes on the back of the bracket (they're hiding in this image behind the power steering pump) but accessible with the pump out.  I'm thinking I'm going to make a mount that attaches there and back to the (typical motor mount in RWD applications) motor mount.  Also when I make my mount for the tensioner, I could add a piece of angle iron to the side that faces the bracket attached on the alternator portion.  And drill holes for mounting that side of the bracket where the alternator is closest to the head.  I think with 3 different mounting locations for the bracket, it won't be moving around any.

Once I can mount the engine/transmission to the engine cradle, I believe the last bits of making this happen will go quickly.

I also had to go buy a tap (3/8-16) and chase a hole to mount this bracket to the block.  That bolt can be seen here directly under the tensioner.  It is my pivot mount for getting this piece right.  Once I locate the proper angle where things line up (from that pivot point), I'll make the motor mount piece that will secure it in this location.  Then I'll work at the tensioner mount.  Lastly I'll be able to finalize the A/C compressor and potentially use it's 3rd mounting hole as a stressed member in the alignment/securing of the big re-purposed aluminum bracket.  I don't want too much stress on any one part of the assembly, I'd rather have all parts participating.  I can ensure it doesn't move/flex any, and that if any part of it moves, it all has to move.  This also allows for smaller material to be used (as the factory does) and not over-engineer the material decisions.  I'd rather over-engineer the whole of it, not every individual piece. I'm not trying to add a ton of weight to this thing.  :-)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mar 23 - Torque that flywheel already!

Geeze, I felt like I was always going to do this and other things seemed to get in the way.  (for about a week).  Well, it was done today.  I set them @ 74~75 ft. lbs on the flywheel to the crank.  Once I get my bolts in from V8 Archie for the rest of that assembly, I'll get it put together and torqued.

Should be getting a remote oil filter kit from Jegs or Summit by the end of the week. 

I did get a cap to block off my oil pan fitting that was a left over from when this motor was supercharged.  I had to grind some material off of the lower engine mount to clear said cap.  All is good there now.  That lower motor mount is also POR'd.

I'll be figuring out how to come up with my own accessories brackets to mount to the front of the motor.  I'd like to have an alternator, power steering pump and A/C compressor.  I've got some pics from V8 Archie that will help.  They show a couple of shots of an LS1, but most of them are of an LT1 that he had in his own car.  It's good to see what others have done successfully.  I think I have a different kind of pulley for my power steering pump, so I'll need to swap which one is above the other on my setup compare to Archie's as one is grooved and the other is smooth for the back of the belt to pass over.

Thanks for those keeping up with me and cheering me on.  It does help.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mar 19 - mo money mo money

Got the Arbor and flywheel back today. Everything all balanced and zeroed out the flywheel. Anyone needing the arbor, we could work something out. I doubt I'll need it again and am thinking about seeing if Archie wants to buy it from me.

Will install said flywheel tomorrow and post up pics of it once it is in.

Also have both front wheels in a rim repair place. Hope to have them back in the next couple of weeks. Finally found my guy I had used last year, will be using him again now and not going back tot he place that hosed up the job. My 2 rears are about to get finalized (cleaned up and torqued down). The one I put the air in, is still holding it. So I'm feeling good about it.

Also have got back onto the emptying of the wallet. I got an SGI5 order off of eBay and 2 valve stems for my Murci wheels. Those stems are $183 a piece currently. Ouch. A lot for a brass valve stem me thinks.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mar 12 - More progress, wheels back, mock up steering

We've been waiting a VERY long time for my wheels to come back from the rim repair shop.  They're real (2003-2004) Lambo Murci 2 piece wheels, if you hadn't seen them before now. 

I had the shop powder my centers black for the Diablo SV look.  My God was that an ordeal.  I should have listened to my intuition on that.  I usually do.  But in this case, I let them stay (I should have done the work and only gave them my centers, not the whole wheel).  But I wanted them to clean the wheels up (which they never did).  Fix the air leaking on the valve stems by cleaning them up (maybe inserting some new o-rings?), using silicone grease (not sealant) on the original o-rings (or new ones, whatever).  Guess what got done?  *sigh*  Well, the guys there thought that the 2 piece wheels, where the two bolt together, had air leaking there.  Those bolts do not go through to the inside of the rim where the tire is.  I told them that.  They didn't believe me.  They put all manner of crap in those holes and over torqued the screws trying to get it all together.  WHAT A MESS!
I'm now paying Nate (who helps on the build and is in a lot of the pics where you can see someone) to go back and clean up their mess.  Oh and the valve stems that wouldn't hold air?  They do.  All I did was clean up the threads on the stems (they screw in) and put some silicone grease (from my swimming pool o-ring goodness) on the o-rings.  Tightened them down.  Put air in the tire.  It held over night at 30 PSI.  I ran it up to 39 PSI today.  I'll have Nate check it tomorrow, I'm sure it'll still be there in the morning.  :-)  It's really not hard, just got to know what you're doing with it.  :-)

Anyhow.  I like the look.  The Murci wheel with black centers are as nice I suspected they'd be.  And that's all that matters right?  That I am getting what I want.  It is my build after all, isn't it?  :-)

Steering mock up looks pretty good.  We used the bracket for the Fiero wheel and the f-body steering wheel/column.  I had to cut plastic out from around the steel to make room for the bracket to do it's job.  We made the mounting height work out right with some spacers and bolts from Lowe's.  So we set the mount location height as on the money as we could for what we need.  It come out well with the alignment (even tho this column/wheel isn't square with the interior), I've held the wheel and spun it in my hands like I'm driving it left and right, it doesn't bother me any.  It's not grossly off anyway.  But purist would be hollering from here on, about it.

I didn't hold the camera exactly center on the wheel, but you can see the gauges inside of the wheel just right when you're in the car.  I raised the point of view so you can see the double bubble better when you peek over the wheel to see the idiot light group.

I don't think I've posted up any pics of the steering rack brackets after they were painted and/or installed painted.  Anyhow, here they are.  I will need to brace them up with some extra metal to cross member tying them down from any twisting action.  So I think I'm just going to weld the brackets in.  No one is going to remove them in the future anyway.  You'll still be able to remove the rack if need be.  So why not?  I'll have that done within another week I'm sure.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mar 5 - Steering discovery

I did find out from installing my long awaited steering rack mounts that they do flex slightly when the wheel is turned back and forth.  This is concerning as we don't really have any load on the system yet.  So I did find the flex points and I have left a place in the original design to cancel that movement if needed.  Looks like it is needed.

So I will be adding two new mounts that will be welded to the cross member and then a flange point for bolting my mounts to this new piece.  Will have updates for that in the days coming.

You can see in one of the shots that the bottom right most bolt does go through the tubing with a deep well socket or extension.  Worked out nicely there.

You can also see the steering column fits within its range to be bolted together to the rack.  It is cramped up near the dash though.  Would have been nice to have another inch or so up there.  I'll be watching all of that alignment closely to decide how to deal with the instruments in that limited space.  Steering wheel is in your lap in these cars anyway.  That's just how it is.  :-)  Action on turning the wheel is smooth and not binding anywhere throughout the range.  So if you have a really wide track front end on your Fiero/Kit car and would like to have a shorter lock-to-lock experience (plus the buttons on the wheel to use and power steering), a 4th gen f-body will do the trick.

I'll post up dimensions for those who would like to see them, or copy them for themselves.

Mar 4 - catch up on steering

We've been slowed due to cold weather lately. 

I do have some pics and updates about the steering rack going into the car.  We've got the boxes all welded up, just need to drill some holes in them now.  We also have the collapsible link removed from the f-body steering column.  So this should allow the steering wheel to be located at the right depth in the cockpit (alignment with the instrument panel) and to meet up with the location the brackets sit the rack into the front of the car.

I've had folks interested in the mounting boxes.  If this all comes out well I will post up the dimensions where folks could replicate what I've done for 4th Gen f-body cars steering rack/column installs into their cars.  I like having the buttons on the wheel to run the stereo system.  I may re-purpose a couple of them for other cool stuff (like switching camera views on my monitor).  One button is enough for that (toggle/cycle views).

Zach working away.

Ran out of wire, will have to finish the job tomorrow.

Boxes are done (welding).

Removed the link from the f-body column.

Here's the finished part.  We ground down the overlapping steel that allowed us to press the cups out from around the cross.  Then we put the yoke on that connects to the column direct to the piece on the rack.