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Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

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Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

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Old 10-13-2016, 10:05 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Yeah thats why you set them once and leave it be. Ofcourse spring pressure is gonna drop the plunger down with no oil in the lifters. Once you run motor it will charge up again
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:28 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Alright guys, everything is connected minus the alternator and coolant. I'm loading a new starter bin that I am putting together, I essentially started with a stock LB9 bin but I made some timing changes, injector changes, IAC changes, etc. Gonna Flash it in now, then the first start is coming up. I will film the "true" first start, no changes or anything, just the loaded bin and the distributor timed by eye. Let's see what happens...

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Old 10-13-2016, 10:43 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

K guys, remember that something happened to the audio on my i-phone, and it cuts out and gets low (thanks Lou lol), so please turn up your speakers. Open headers, haven't gone down there to hook up the y-pipe yet. I think its safe to say the lifters worked their way back in a matter of seconds. I shut it down fast due to no coolant...

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Old 10-13-2016, 11:10 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

replace the lifters its nto worth worrying about them since they are only a few bucks each , when u had them out and apart i should have shown u how to modify them like i do on the v6 motors
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:35 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by project89
replace the lifters its nto worth worrying about them since they are only a few bucks each , when u had them out and apart i should have shown u how to modify them like i do on the v6 motors
Everything is all glued and bolted down, I really don't want to take it back off lol. Maybe if I switch to the HSR replica from ebay I will swap the lifters for new ones, but they seem to be fine. Engine was sitting for awhile prior to all this, and those two were more than likely in that downward position, and they just got comfortable for the time being...

In any event, coolant needs to go in. I need a heater core though, another one crapped out on me and spewed, wtf why are heater cores for these cars so cheaply made nowadays. Anyways I may just plug up the ports I made behind the cylinder heads for the time being. Alternator is on, exhaust is next, then let the street tuning begin. If I can click off a solid 13 second pass on engine alone I will be a happy camper, and I'm hoping to get to e-town soon. Will have plenty of vids coming. Turbo headers and the turbo are next on the list after all the tuning and NA runs are done...
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:50 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
On solids perhaps, but on hydraulic I've always found the lifter pumps up a bit and the valves end up tight. Also different lifters react differently.

When my howards bleed down, you can almost move the pushrod up and down. You wouldn't notice this but say you shut the motor off, then you rotate the motor by hand sometime later. A valve that was open and is now closed will have a ton more lash.

So, over the years I just find it easier to do a running adjustment, and then the preload is a 1/4 or 1/2 turn depending on thread size and pitch of the stud.

-- Joe
no need to over complicate things.... at a resting unloaded state, the hydro lifter plungers are at the top of their travel. put the lifter on the backside of the lobe, remove all slack in the rocker and pushrod, and then introduce 1/2-3/4 turn of preload (or whatever the lifter mfr recommends). all that does is puts the plunger roughly in the center of its travel. at operating temps the lash will increase on a solid roller, but the hydro lifter is able to adjust itself if you have the plunger centered in its bore.
so, where you set it on the engine stand is where it needs to be.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:46 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by DIGGLER View Post
no need to over complicate things.... at a resting unloaded state, the hydro lifter plungers are at the top of their travel. put the lifter on the backside of the lobe, remove all slack in the rocker and pushrod, and then introduce 1/2-3/4 turn of preload (or whatever the lifter mfr recommends). all that does is puts the plunger roughly in the center of its travel. at operating temps the lash will increase on a solid roller, but the hydro lifter is able to adjust itself if you have the plunger centered in its bore.
so, where you set it on the engine stand is where it needs to be.
That's fine if you do one cylinder at a time as you rotate the engine over, but the second a valve tries to open it collapses the plunger and it won't return to the top. So if a valve has moved that you have not yet adjusted, you probably will end up with it being too tight. This is where the potential "error" exists.

Plus, it takes forever to adjust them on the stand, and 5 minutes when it's running

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Old 10-13-2016, 01:12 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
That's fine if you do one cylinder at a time as you rotate the engine over, but the second a valve tries to open it collapses the plunger and it won't return to the top. So if a valve has moved that you have not yet adjusted, you probably will end up with it being too tight. This is where the potential "error" exists.

Plus, it takes forever to adjust them on the stand, and 5 minutes when it's running

-- Joe
ive never had those problems. the lifters always return to the top with no load. there is a spring inside the lifter to push the plunger back up. on most stuff i do half the intake/exhaust valves, then rotate it 1 revolution and do the other half. done. all lifters exactly where they should be.

how do you start from nothing if you want to just adjust them by ear? where do you adjust them to initially? how can you be certain you arent too tight/loose? will you nip a valve on startup, or will they be so loose the car wont start? my experience was adjusting a bunch of clackity rockers by ear took way more than 5 minutes spitting oil on the headers the whole time, and once done i couldnt say where the lifter plungers were in their bores.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:31 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by DIGGLER
ive never had those problems. the lifters always return to the top with no load. there is a spring inside the lifter to push the plunger back up. on most stuff i do half the intake/exhaust valves, then rotate it 1 revolution and do the other half. done. all lifters exactly where they should be...
When I did these lifters, I did them in the garage on that ramp I showed in the pics. Brought it to TDC number one, then did them in firing order. As I did them, after going the extra half of a turn after removing the slack, the rockers were nice and tight, but by the time I finished the next set, the set prior were a tad loose already, which is good, over the years I realized they're supposed to be after they bleed with no oil pressure. Was always told that the "initial" feel after that half a turn when doing them with the engine off will tell you they are secure, this is why we leave them sitting in oil over night. The oil is what keeps them coming up though, the spring in the lifter is tiny. Without any oil, the piston in the lifter gets caught to the bore very easily, and that spring becomes meaningless once they sit dry for awhile...
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:06 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by DIGGLER View Post
ive never had those problems. the lifters always return to the top with no load. there is a spring inside the lifter to push the plunger back up. on most stuff i do half the intake/exhaust valves, then rotate it 1 revolution and do the other half. done. all lifters exactly where they should be.

how do you start from nothing if you want to just adjust them by ear? where do you adjust them to initially? how can you be certain you arent too tight/loose? will you nip a valve on startup, or will they be so loose the car wont start? my experience was adjusting a bunch of clackity rockers by ear took way more than 5 minutes spitting oil on the headers the whole time, and once done i couldnt say where the lifter plungers were in their bores.
When assembling the motor just bring them close with the ratchet. The motor will start with them quite loose. This is how we did hundreds of motors over the years, and I didn't buy into the business until 1998. I was more into the performance stuff, but my partner did nothing but long blocks.

Oil splatter was never a problem unless you revved the motor.

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Old 10-13-2016, 05:33 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Weird, I always disable VATS in the bin, I also jump the VATS module with the correct resistance. Car starts fine, but the light remains on during key-on. It's no big deal, but it is annoying me. Meh, I'll figure it out. Anyways, figure I'd talk about the FMIC. It's a 4" big boy tucked in behind a custom box that I fabricated and welded to the crash absorber/bumper. I have a nice black diamond grill for the front bumper, just haven't had the chance to install it yet. I made the IC brackets on the bottom also support the power steering lines, wanted it to look factory, and it actually does. The brackets go back to the bottom of the radiator support and bolt to metal brackets that I welded to it. Disregard the hood, the stock GTA hood and emblems are going back on once I paint around the windshield, fenders and nose, as well as the aero spolier out back. Was going to customize the hood in the pic by making my own version of an extractor hood, but I'm not going to bother with it anymore, it's going bye bye. May just go 2" fiberglass cowl, but more than likely the stocker's going back on. I also want to get those 315 MT drag radials on the back asap as well...

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Old 10-14-2016, 06:11 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Now all you need is a supercharger.

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Old 10-14-2016, 02:20 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes
Now all you need is a supercharger.

-- Joe
I keep considering it, but the cost is ridiculous. I gotta stick with the turbo though, you guys are going to like the way it comes out, now I can at least focus on getting that part done while I dial the engine in. I couldn't find any damn rubber plugs to plug the coolant ports with, was positive Auto Zone or Advanced Auto would have some, but they don't. I might have to loop it for the time being. Just put some power steering fluid in, and the coolant is waiting on me to plug up the two coolant ports in the back of the heads. Pretty cold out there today, was planning on hooking the rest of the exhaust back up, but it's too cold lol. I just hit the weights again after a five month hiatus Joe, this was after working out for fifteen years straight. Four to five months of no gym activity and my body is freaking shot from muscle shrink, WORST pain ever. Tonight is going to kill.

I need some motivation from my man Arnold lol...

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Old 10-14-2016, 05:24 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Okay guys this will be the last "still" update, the rest I'm hoping will be videos. The good people at Advanced Auto got back to me and said they found a set made by Dorman, I'm providing pics in case anyone needs part numbers ahead of time. Coolant is now in and ready to go. Exhaust is getting done tomorrow, but I won't post pics or update, the next update will be with a moving vehicle, preferably on the highway after a few VE Learns. Here is the set I nabbed, and one 5/8's and one 3/4's clamped on in the back...

Have a great weekend fella's...

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Old 10-15-2016, 08:37 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Figure I would add this one last picture to the thread. This was the last datalog that I took with the old engine before the flywheel went on me. This was approximately 12-psi of boost pressure, and I let off before the 330 foot mark which was covered in 5.1 seconds regardless. The stall converter bit at only 1700-RPM from the dig, wait until it bites at 3000-RPM from the dig without me letting go of the throttle this time lol. Next time will be at the track though, although I certainly do trust the EBL-P4 1/4 mile graph...

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Old 10-16-2016, 05:47 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Street, I'm finally catching up with this thread.

It's very interesting to me how parallel our builds are in a way, and even though you're getting crap for taking forever mine is going to take longer (sometimes life is ust that way). I'll start with that mine is a TA (not a GTA but will likely get non TA fenders at some point, not that i'm trying to make it into something that it's not, it just needs fenders and I never run into good TA fenders) with a '91-92 wing on it. It's even turning black one panel at a time, used to have a plain 'bird hood o on it (it's under my deck, I've considered putting it back and making a heat extractor hood out of it), and currently has a 2" cowl on it now (which you've mentioned thinking about doing to yours. Both 305's, both originally stick cars (and mine will likely get swapped to auto also, though I have a 4L80e in the garage and 3500 stall PI converter for it in the garage)



Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
I shared with everyone above why I started this build, I started it years back almost on a dare. The build was to emulate the way most Grand National enthusiasts build their cars, because that is who I was hanging with at the time. I already know the engine will run the numbers, it just needs to hold without tearing apart.
LOL, I looked at the numbers and realized years ago that the 3.8 in a lot of ways works out to be a 305 with 2 less cylinders, same breathing issues, even smaller valves... I even sized my cam more like a turbo buick guy would as opposed to the more typical timings small block guys use (really I ended up in between, but with some oddball asymmetric lobes and I did do the 4/7 swap that you decided not to, my argument was it's a little smoother power delivery which might help keep the stock bottom end in the block a little longer, at least that's how I justified it ).

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Might use this for a possible Monte SS project down the line, once coated...

I mocked up something that follows almost exactly the same path on a junk LT1 in the garage (since that will have the same port locations as my heads). I have a similar header to use on the driver's side but I'm likely going to use a manifold for packaging and durability reasons.

Would you move anything for serviceability or any other reason if you were to do it again (mine is in 2 pieces right now and even those are just tacked together so it would be no big deal for me to change it). The only thing that looks like it might really be melted by that layout is the knock sensor, at least on my mockup.

Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
I only have a power cable to my starter. I run all the leads to a Ford solenoid mounted on the firewall. Also makes it easier to start the car when I'm working in the engine bay.
Where did you mount it? I've done it a few times and never been happy with where I put it. Are you using a stock starter?

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Alright, the cylinder heads. The only reason why I even bothered with a set of 416's is because I was inspired by Donnie over on Turbo Buick who ran mid 8's with a smaller valve than the 1.84" intake valve found in these, mind you with two less cylinders. Running 8's is irrelevant though, what it told me was that they could be made to flow. So the porting began, and they are ported to the max. Still need to clean them up on the combustion chamber side, you can't see anything so I didn't take a picture there yet, but once I pull the valves and clean everything up, I will show you the work done to the chambers and the bowls, they flow more than you realize...
Again, parallels... I started working on a set of 416's for mine that I saved off of my 83 just for such a thing before I stumbled on the lt1 heads (honestly I got them for free and was using them as a test for setting up a head to mill on a bridgeport)

'they flow more than you realize...' do you have flowbench numbers?

Also showing the coolant port that was drilled and tapped in the back, both heads have them, they run straight to the heater core, and you can't even see the lines. Did this to avoid the downpipe and to clean up the engine bay, heater works fine this way.
Do you have any pictures of how you ran those? I planned on doing the same from the rear 'burp holes' on the LT1 heads, but in the end I couldn't figure out something that didn't look like an abortion so I drilled and tapped the thermostat housing and ran them over the top of the manifold, but i'm not too thrilled with that, it seems to work well but looks very "race car" when you open the hood.

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
If I can click off a solid 13 second pass on engine alone I will be a happy camper, and I'm hoping to get to e-town soon. Will have plenty of vids coming. Turbo headers and the turbo are next on the list after all the tuning and NA runs are done...
Honestly I'd find that disappointing. This is my very close to stock LB9/5 speed running a 13.662 with a coil wire popping off (details in the description) before my top end/cam swap:

If I ever get mine back to the track again before the turbo setup I am hoping for a solid 12 without lunching the T5, you could guess what I'd be hoping for based on things like your HP estimates from my datalog if it wasn't for the T5 (I don't really want to say it out loud because people would think I was crazy, I don't need to start more arguments here )

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Okay guys this will be the last "still" update, the rest I'm hoping will be videos. The good people at Advanced Auto got back to me and said they found a set made by Dorman, I'm providing pics in case anyone needs part numbers ahead of time. Coolant is now in and ready to go. Exhaust is getting done tomorrow, but I won't post pics or update, the next update will be with a moving vehicle, preferably on the highway after a few VE Learns. Here is the set I nabbed, and one 5/8's and one 3/4's clamped on in the back...

Have a great weekend fella's...

Those seem to be the only ones that I ever manage to find, and I've had more than one blow apart on me. They typically crack and start falling apart in less than a year, I really don't get it. I have one on my radiator return fitting right now that I need to replace before it starts leaking. There really has to be something better out there.

Last edited by 83 Crossfire TA; 10-16-2016 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:21 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Haha, if I could better 13 seconds naturally aspirated it would be tremendous. I don't think it's going to happen though, but if it did it would be fantastic. Static compression and RPM is holding me back a little, as I calculated compression to be a tad under 9.0:1, and my RPM is capped at 5800-RPM, although the cam will easily pull to 6500. I will be very happy with a 13.50, but will be floored if it's closer to 12.99...

Rest of the exhaust is back on. Got back last night and finalized the timing at like one in the morning in my driveway on purpose to annoy my neighbors. Wanted to bang it all out because the weather is going to be in the 80's this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I want to be out there tuning. On a side note I started on the turbo headers a little. Was just looking for any possible pin holes for re-welding, as well as started smoothing down existing welds. Should have her back on the city pavement tonight or tomorrow...
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:59 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by 83 Crossfire TA View Post

Where did you mount it? I've done it a few times and never been happy with where I put it. Are you using a stock starter?
On the bracket where the MAF relay used to be. I'm using a small race starter for 168 tooth flywheel.


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Old 10-18-2016, 08:32 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Small update; VE Learns still pending. New narrowband wasn't putting the ECM into Closed Loop, and after confirming with RBob that the O2 sensor simply wasn't getting hot enough because of the long tubes, I then ordered a heated Bosch #13077 through Auto Zone. Yes, the heated AC Delco's have a much better rep as far as heated narrowbands go, but I can't wait for one to get here in the mail, it's gotta go in tomorrow, and to be honest I never had a problem with the Bosch one's in the past, usually the problems come from when switching back and forth to race gas at the track. Also need to redo valve lash, clackity clack.... don't talk back.

Adjusted them when the engine was in the garage, so I am not surprised they are loose and making noise. Forced to do it with the engine running though this time, and that part I am not looking forward to at all. Other than that the tune is pretty close sitting in Open Loop and untouched, so VE and fine tuning will be a breeze once I get the three wire narrowband in there. Y-Pipe is back off in the video because I had to go back down there and adjust the grommet in the transmission diptstick again, still seems to be leaking fluid. One out of the two lifters that were stuck still didn't free up yet. You can hear it clear as day when I tell my buddy to turn the engine off, it just falls back down onto the cam lobe. Damn thing better free up soon, I do not want to pull the intake off again. Yes, I gambled with it, I know I know...

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Old 10-19-2016, 07:57 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Update;

Never plan your tuning days, something always fawks it up. Had to pull the passenger header off to remove the transmission dipstick tube, and once pulled, the grommet had a big tear in it. Picked up a replacement from Dorman for three bucks at Advanced Auto, as well as more damn tranny fluid. Took most of the afternoon to do, because at first I needed to make sure the trans cooling lines were not loose, and I honestly forgot how hard that is with the trans in the vehicle. Wasn't quite sure if perhaps one of the lines kinked causing a tear by the saginaw fitting, and was cringing when I finally started the engine after replacing the trans dipstick grommet because if it was a crack in one of the cooling lines, well... just glad it wasn't. Luckily it was the grommet, trans leak issue is gone, all back to normal.

Effin grommet caused the delay, most of the day was wasted on a ridiculous trans leak.

The O2 sensor. Turns out the non heated O2 actually works, but it takes about two extra minutes to reach operating temperature. I brought it back anyway and got the heated O2 sensor in its' place. Easy hook up, just a pain in the @ss working around the long tubes, but it's grounded, has 12 volts key on, and is hooked to the ECM. Five VE Learns done so far, three with the non heated O2 sensor and two with the new one. Just idle Learns, taking it out on the street tomorrow...

Lifters. You were right Joe, it's better to set them with a running engine. I'll admit I should have just got new ones, but this engine isn't an ideal engine, so I was not looking to invest that much into it, and whatever I did invest can be used for a larger SBC if need be later on. I took this video for you Joe, look how loose they were after removing the slack and going half a turn more. This is after the engine was running, and with the lifters oiled. They are still loose after setting them a second time with the running engine, but definitely not as bad. It is what it is though, clack is essentially all gone (see below, this was after the first initial valve lash setting when I was assembling the engine on the ramp)...

Edit: Mark throw up that video you sent me, your 305 sounds freaking sweet...


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Old 10-19-2016, 08:33 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal
Effin grommet caused the delay, most of the day was wasted on a ridiculous trans leak.
Here's the effin culprit, little fawker...;

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Old 10-20-2016, 03:54 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Haha, if I could better 13 seconds naturally aspirated it would be tremendous. I don't think it's going to happen though, but if it did it would be fantastic. Static compression and RPM is holding me back a little, as I calculated compression to be a tad under 9.0:1, and my RPM is capped at 5800-RPM, although the cam will easily pull to 6500. I will be very happy with a 13.50, but will be floored if it's closer to 12.99...
I guess my math works different than yours. Did you look at the video that i posted above?

All the details are in the description if you click through to see it on youtube, but that is with a stock 120K mile, oil burning LB9+T5 with headers headman shorty headers and exhaust (but the rest of the drivetrain has been messed with, it's running a megasquirt...). When I took the top end apart on it I found what looked like a totally stock short block (though I wasn't expecting dished pistons, when I cc'ed things I got a little over 8.3:1), correct cam for the engine, correct heads... everything untouched as far as I could tell besides at some point someone stuck some thick felpro headgaskets in it (I posted pics of everything as I pulled it apart on ******Militia, but one of the active members lives in my neighborhood and knew how stock that car was):
Pass 5
Lane 2
Reaction 0.183
60ft. 1.852
330ft. 5.564
1/8 Mile ET 8.667
1/8 Mile Speed 79.73
1000ft 11.351
1/4 Mile ET 13.622
1/4 Mile Speed 99.89
The car weighed 3580 and I weighed ~245 that day.

Oh, and I literally had a the coil wire pop off on that pass, if you watch the video you can hear it popping and not wanting to go over about 3200rpm in the burnout box, and I couldn't keep it running coming down the return lane, popped the hood and one of the MM guys was like "hey, your coil wire is just sitting next to the coil..." (I was using a spark plug wire as a coil wire and the longer spark plug boot was pushing it off the coil tower)

I would be downright pissed off if just adding a cam and some head porting didn't get me into the 12's. OTOH, I haven't heard anyone else getting into the 13's with a stock LB9, and I sort of have a record for putting down crazy times.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:55 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Edit: Mark throw up that video you sent me, your 305 sounds freaking sweet...[/url]
Sure, when I posted my own thread about this thing it turned to **** in like 3 seconds...


For those of you that haven't seen anything about my car it's relevant here because it's the same idea with slightly different (and slower) execution: I see no good reason why if a stockish GN 3.8 can be pushed into the 10's with some careful abuse that basically adding 2 cylinders (making a 305) with a similar small bore in a lighter car can't get you into the 9's. And that's my goal. Well that and I want to still be able to knock down >25mpg on the highway

Anyway, this was shot a few nights ago, it was still kind of cold so it sounds "freaking sweet" because it hasn't warmed up and smoothed out yet but IRL it's much quieter than a stock car with a flowmaster on it. Its still the same SBE 305 (>120K miles loosens up the rings nicely so they're not likely to butt together when they see boost. See, I planned this out ), but with my home brew top end on it, modified LT1 aluminum heads, old school victor jr converted to EFI with a welded elbow on it an LS style truck throttle body on it (almost all of it machined/welded in my garage). The cam is my own custom deal, short duration, almost .600" lift, 4/7 swap, LS style billet blank cut for a lunati distributor gear... short travel lifters, big springs... It revs to 7000rpm easily (and by the VE curve seems to be making power up to at least 6800rpm), but I'll likely impose a limit around 6000 at the track to try to prevent blowing it up before it gets boost. Right now I'm planning on using a Holset HX52 off of a Volvo semi which should move just enough air to get this car into the 9's:
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:04 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

It's true Mark, years back we all thought it was their magical LC2 engine, but it's all in the converter and turbo. Their upgrades in the Buick world rival our stock parts, not so much in strength because their aftermarket parts are extremely strong, but in size. Their upgrades still have smaller valves and small cams in comparison, but lightning fast turbo's with excellent stall speed. We're running bigger valves, bigger streetable cams, bigger turbo's which aren't subjected to lag because of the naturally aspirated horsepower difference, and essentially same stall. If the engine holds, the 305 will easily run the numbers. Easily. I know not too many are fond of the 305 on this website, but the 305 to their 231 is like what a 383 is to us...

Loving that video by the way, but wow time flies. I remember pulling up at the gas station and seeing a 2nd gen Trans Am and thinking damn that thing is old. Now today's kids must be thinking the same thing with our cars, yet they still feel normal to me. Time flies. Should have nice walk around vid myself tomorrow if no other sudden leaks spring up. Look at this before and after with the amount of fuel pulled during idle yesterday, well beyond rich. Have to pull the plugs today and clean them, then go in manually and pull fuel as opposed to letting the VE Learn adjust the mixture, can't get over how rich it is even after changing the injector size, and it was still pulling fuel. Almost convinced the injectors may be stuck open. Didn't start tuning yet folks, this was trying to clean up the idle a little to help with setting the lifters. Today we'll see what's going on in there...

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Old 10-20-2016, 08:12 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

I still think you should pick up a used vortech head unit and make a passenger side bracket like I did.

You've got a clean engine bay, nice headers. Why muck it all up with a fabricated turbo setup?

If you had a set of STS manifolds that would be one thing but.

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Old 10-21-2016, 12:29 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
If the engine holds, the 305 will easily run the numbers. Easily. I know not too many are fond of the 305 on this website, but the 305 to their 231 is like what a 383 is to us...
There's more to it than that. The 231 has a 3.8" bore to the 305's 3.736" bore, and if you just added 2 cylinders to the 231 you get very close to a 305 (231/6*8=308).

Both have the same small bore/small valve breathing issues which are irrelevant with an efficient turbo (you can force enough air into either to pulverize parts), and both have the same bore combustion efficiency advantages allowing you to push pump gas farther and do it more efficiently.

Put this all together and there is a place for the shorter camshaft durations that they tend to use and make great power with, and the other weirdnesses that don't seem to match with what the rest of the performance world "knows" to be the case. My "crazy" top end project was sort of focused on this and even though I was very tempted to go with a properly big cam to get a 305 to see the numbers thinking like a SBC guy (I have a CC XFI 280 cam that almost went into it, 230/236/113), I am very glad that I didn't go that way and went with my custom 218/218/112 which already gives me WAY more rpm than I know what to do with (I suspect my HP peak is in the 6800-7400rpm range, I also suspect that if I winged it up there regularly the SBE would fly apart on me, I'm REALLY trying to exercise discretion and try to limit myself to something in the low 6000rpm range, but its hard do when this thing wants to rev so much).

Loving that video by the way, but wow time flies. I remember pulling up at the gas station and seeing a 2nd gen Trans Am and thinking damn that thing is old. Now today's kids must be thinking the same thing with our cars, yet they still feel normal to me. Time flies. Should have nice walk around vid myself tomorrow if no other sudden leaks spring up
I totally shot that video after talking to you and thinking "I'll just show everyone now not badass this thing sounds for something that revs to 7K..." Oh well.

Yea, we might be getting old

I remember being like 20 in college and going over to Sport Chevrolet and hitting on the "older" blond sales girl in a really short skirt/low cut blouse (she was like 30 and hot ) and taking a 92 Z28 off the showroom for a test drive... we ended up taking that car out to dinner ;-)

Now I can't believe how often I get something like "cool old car," or "that's an old T-bird or something, right?" sitting at a gas station or leaving the gym with this thing, which to me is a total heap that i am using to experiment with.

Look at this before and after with the amount of fuel pulled during idle yesterday, well beyond rich. Have to pull the plugs today and clean them, then go in manually and pull fuel as opposed to letting the VE Learn adjust the mixture, can't get over how rich it is even after changing the injector size, and it was still pulling fuel. Almost convinced the injectors may be stuck open. Didn't start tuning yet folks, this was trying to clean up the idle a little to help with setting the lifters. Today we'll see what's going on in there...
You know, that's another weirdness that I've always had with this car- it just wants to idle rich. Even with the stock top end on it, it was hard to get it to idle correctly leaner than the high 12's. Right now I have mine idling around 13.2 and it's really borderline. I can get it to idle well above that, but leaner than that it just does weird things once in a while, like stall when I push the clutch in with no throttle and that spot where you go just a little bit richer and it sounds much smoother is like at 13 or maybe slightly richer rather than in the 14's like with most engines...
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:23 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes
I still think you should pick up a used vortech head unit and make a passenger side bracket like I did.

You've got a clean engine bay, nice headers. Why muck it all up with a fabricated turbo setup?
Haha, if you made me one I just may, but then I have to look around for a head unit...

The turbo system isn't that bad though, just a lot more maintenance...
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:57 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by 83 Crossfire TA
I totally shot that video after talking to you and thinking "I'll just show everyone now not badass this thing sounds for something that revs to 7K..." Oh well.

Yea, we might be getting old

I remember being like 20 in college and going over to Sport Chevrolet and hitting on the "older" blond sales girl in a really short skirt/low cut blouse (she was like 30 and hot ) and taking a 92 Z28 off the showroom for a test drive... we ended up taking that car out to dinner ;-)

Now I can't believe how often I get something like "cool old car," or "that's an old T-bird or something, right?" sitting at a gas station or leaving the gym with this thing, which to me is a total heap that i am using to experiment with.

You know, that's another weirdness that I've always had with this car- it just wants to idle rich. Even with the stock top end on it, it was hard to get it to idle correctly leaner than the high 12's. Right now I have mine idling around 13.2 and it's really borderline. I can get it to idle well above that, but leaner than that it just does weird things once in a while, like stall when I push the clutch in with no throttle and that spot where you go just a little bit richer and it sounds much smoother is like at 13 or maybe slightly richer rather than in the 14's like with most engines...
Right now my target air/fuel is 14.5 in Closed Loop. I go into the Open Loop tables and set them for the same air/fuel during warm up temperatures above 120 degrees. Most stock bins have OL at 13.5 at those temps, which drives me insane with the stock Closed Loop timers during warm start, add in a cam with 110 LSA and you can imagine how rich the exhaust is during warm start at say 140 degrees with nothing changed...

Haha you're bringing back some memories. Was fun back in the day when used GN's, 442's, Monte SS's, Fox and 3rd gen F-Body's were modded and predominantly on the street, not to mention in the used car lots everywhere we'd look, and in the magazines. The 90's were awesome. It does go by very fast, and I find myself laughing telling today's kids what it was like back then when I was a kid myself lol. We need to put something together one weekend for the East Coast Third Gen guys, plenty of members who would be down for a get together and racing event. I was going to do that years back and set up a racing event with a bunch of Grand National guys, but there weren't enough F-Body guys. If fifteen to twenty guys would be down, I could set up a pretty cool event, whether against GN's, or against Imports. The fella's at NYCE1's could get involved to to promote it, but those guys are fast, so peeps need to bring their A game...
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Old 10-22-2016, 06:04 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Oops, almost forgot an update. Intake is back off because the lifters are absolute garbage, and I shouldn't have gambled with them by reusing them. They're that bad. I thought about the intake that Dave is using with the TPI removed, but it would take additional time to port it all out, so I am going to maintain my siamesed Tuned Port Injection system I already had on there. Also wanted to send the injectors to SouthBay for a cleaning, and if they are serious about a 24 hour turn around time I think I just may send them there...
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:49 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Oops, almost forgot an update. Intake is back off because the lifters are absolute garbage, and I shouldn't have gambled with them by reusing them. They're that bad. I thought about the intake that Dave is using with the TPI removed, but it would take additional time to port it all out, so I am going to maintain my siamesed Tuned Port Injection system I already had on there. Also wanted to send the injectors to SouthBay for a cleaning, and if they are serious about a 24 hour turn around time I think I just may send them there...
You should wait a week or two for me to give up on my Miniram.

I sold both vettes this morning. It's like fall cleaning.

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Old 10-23-2016, 09:25 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

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You should wait a week or two for me to give up on my Miniram.

I sold both vettes this morning. It's like fall cleaning.

-- Joe
I agree about the Fall cleaning, I just watched the Buick Regal get taken away after selling it a few minutes ago. I'm glad too, it was just in the way of everything and becoming an eye sore. If I bought that Miniram from you I would put it on something better though, I wouldn't waste it on a 305. A chinese HSR replica is one thing, but a Miniram deserves to be on something deserving of it. Hell I may even just buy something deserving of it along with it lol...
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:21 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Lifters are here, have them soaking and I'm also going to wait for a warmer day to install everything back on. Got cold out of nowhere. With the Regal flipped and gone, I promised myself no more cars to flip on the side, until I came across another third gen locally lol. Won't deviate from the GTA build, but this next one just pulled in a few minutes ago and I figured I would share. She's getting some body work done, repainted Pearl White with the black inserts in the front and back bumpers, light interior work, new rims and tires, and maybe a turbo for the 2.8 V6 tuned with the stock ECM. Already started pulling the factory stickers on the bottom. Freaking third gens, I just can't escape them lol...

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Old 10-26-2016, 05:08 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
She's getting some body work done, repainted Pearl White with the black inserts in the front and back bumpers, light interior work, new rims and tires, and maybe a turbo for the 2.8 V6 tuned with the stock ECM. Already started pulling the factory stickers on the bottom. Freaking third gens, I just can't escape them lol...
Why are you sinking all that time and money into a $200 parts car?

Why don't you buy a '67 Firebird or something nice if you want a new project?

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Old 10-26-2016, 06:12 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes
Why are you sinking all that time and money into a $200 parts car?

Why don't you buy a '67 Firebird or something nice if you want a new project?

-- Joe
Haha, if I came across a '67 Firebird for what I paid for this one, it would probably be just a frame with title and no wheels lol. It has plenty of potential, and the title says under 100,000 on the odometer, just need to run a car fax to confirm where it is. Came across a 5.3 for cheap last night too, and I was planning on a build like that one day, I think this hardtop will make it happen this Winter. For now was thinking to put the GTA rims back on the GTA and running 275 drag radials on the back of it instead of 315's, and slapping the TT2's on the hardtop. The paint and body work I will be doing myself so it won't cost that much. Have a soft spot for third gens, and whether I pursue the turbo 5.3 or just slap a turbo on the stock V6, which is more than likely the direction it's going anyway, it'll still going to make for a very fast street car...
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:18 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Haha, if I came across a '67 Firebird for what I paid for this one, it would probably be just a frame with title and no wheels lol. It has plenty of potential, and the title says under 100,000 on the odometer, just need to run a car fax to confirm where it is. Came across a 5.3 for cheap last night too, and I was planning on a build like that one day, I think this hardtop will make it happen this Winter. For now was thinking to put the GTA rims back on the GTA and running 275 drag radials on the back of it instead of 315's, and slapping the TT2's on the hardtop. The paint and body work I will be doing myself so it won't cost that much. Have a soft spot for third gens, and whether I pursue the turbo 5.3 or just slap a turbo on the stock V6, which is more than likely the direction it's going anyway, it'll still going to make for a very fast street car...
I'm sure you paid around $200 for it. I just don't understand why you would build it. You must be really bored.

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Old 10-26-2016, 08:21 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
I'm sure you paid around $200 for it. I just don't understand why you would build it. You must be really bored.

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.... I am, you nailed it.

Truth be told I'm now going to build it for my nephew, so the V6 is staying, converting the '302 harness to the '165, then over to the EBL Flash. AC and heat work believe it or not, so if I go turbo it's going to get a rear mount. I don't care if it lags, could always get one of those Advanced Auto high stall converters (2400 RPM) for the V6 tranny to help out. Hey I bet it's faster than Dave's turbo V8 car when I am done with it lol (kidding Dave)...
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:40 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
.... I am, you nailed it.

Truth be told I'm now going to build it for my nephew, so the V6 is staying, converting the '302 harness to the '165, then over to the EBL Flash. AC and heat work believe it or not, so if I go turbo it's going to get a rear mount. I don't care if it lags, could always get one of those Advanced Auto high stall converters (2400 RPM) for the V6 tranny to help out. Hey I bet it's faster than Dave's turbo V8 car when I am done with it lol (kidding Dave)...
gt35 front mount
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:09 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

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gt35 front mount
Need to isolate then correct a problem first. I have no way to datalog this engine until I get an EBL Flash for it, as all of my old Moates stuff are long gone. Car is surging bad during cold start with a lot of breaking up when blipping the throttle, and when warm she maintains an idle but continues to break up the same way. The break up happens between idle and 3500-RPM, but once over 3000-RPM she clears up and revs nice. Was talking to RBob about it, but its like shooting arrows in the dark without a datalogger. I agree with him though, it is more than likely un-metered air past the MAF sensor. I was considering a flaky CTS too which would cause the cold start surging, but will know for sure tomorrow when I get a chance to look into it more thoroughly as well as run a fuel pressure test. Once sorted out maybe I'll get Mark to make me a set of turbo headers, cuz I'm honestly too tired to go through all of that welding all over again. I did pull the exhaust by the converter though in preparation for it, so she sounds a tad loud at the moment...

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Old 10-26-2016, 10:16 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Need to isolate then correct a problem first. I have no way to datalog this engine until I get an EBL Flash for it, as all of my old Moates stuff are long gone. Car is surging bad during cold start with a lot of breaking up when blipping the throttle, and when warm she maintains an idle but continues to break up the same way. The break up happens between idle and 3500-RPM, but once over 3000-RPM she clears up and revs nice. Was talking to RBob about it, but its like shooting arrows in the dark without a datalogger. I agree with him though, it is more than likely un-metered air past the MAF sensor. I was considering a flaky CTS too which would cause the cold start surging, but will know for sure tomorrow when I get a chance to look into it more thoroughly as well as run a fuel pressure test. Once sorted out maybe I'll get Mark to make me a set of turbo headers, cuz I'm honestly too tired to go through all of that welding all over again. I did pull the exhaust by the converter though in preparation for it, so she sounds a tad loud at the moment...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cKMTUtaKnQ
just pull the plugs that thing has a dead cyl down low should be pretty easy to figure out which one
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:22 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by project89
just pull the plugs that thing has a dead cyl down low should be pretty easy to figure out which one
Bro it's 20 degrees out there, hellz no lol.

I'll pull them and check them out in the morning.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:32 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Bro it's 20 degrees out there, hellz no lol.

I'll pull them and check them out in the morning.

lol it snowed here on saturday , and today it was 75*
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:35 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

RBob was right, it was definitely un-metered air bypassing the MAF sensor with the V6. I'm still going to check the plugs Dave, but I'm positive it is a vacuum leak now. I'll share the two videos I made for RBob below if anyone is curious, I made them an hour and a half ago and purposely waited for an ice cold engine. I was leaning towards the TPS or CTS prior to a datalog, but don't need to even datalog the 2.8 anymore, which is good because I didn't want to waste money on another cable and box. Now I can just change the harness and get an EBL Flash and call it a day. Hmm, the first 2.8 running an EBL Flash? Should be pretty cool, especially with boost. Until then though, I'll see if Mark or someone can disable the EGR and Vapor Canister in the memcal for me, as rather than look for and isolate the vacuum leak with miles and miles of vacuum line I'd rather just pull it all off and plug it up. Honestly forgot that these engines didn't come with a smog pump Dave, but it doesn't matter anymore, twenty years or older they are exempt from smog here in New Jersey...


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Old 10-27-2016, 05:17 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

You people talk funny in Jersey.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:28 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
You people talk funny in Jersey.


Kind of a blend between NYC yuppie and Brooklynite...
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:57 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post


Kind of a blend between NYC yuppie and Brooklynite...
Kinda reminds me of a "life of agony" interview I remember from the early 90s.


You should buy my vortech setup and miniram for the GTA. Then you can go fast without a ***** turbo

-- Joe
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:17 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
Kinda reminds me of a "life of agony" interview I remember from the early 90s.


You should buy my vortech setup and miniram for the GTA. Then you can go fast without a ***** turbo

-- Joe
how much?
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:25 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Originally Posted by DIGGLER View Post
how much?
The the head unit, brackets, pulleys, belt, plumbing, intercooler, complete miniram, probably around $3200 + shipping and paypal fees.

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Old 02-06-2017, 10:50 AM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Okie doke, torn ligament in my right arm during those last few posts a few months back, right by the outer elbow. I "rolled" it on the damn cement when under the car with my body weight and I thought I cracked bone, and somehow when I applied clamping pressure soon after that I felt it tear. It made squeezing and grasping tools next to impossible...

Doctors were right, it took a long time to get better because it was in an area that is used constantly throughout the day, and I refused a brace. Seems better now though, but it was a pain in the @ss waiting for it to heal. GTA sat this whole time the way I left it, new lifters are still here in the box, and now I have to pull the damn TPI intake again to install them. Still seemed to have a leak down by the transmission dipstick grommet before I stepped away from it, but with the weather seemingly getting better I'm hoping to get it back up in the air to inspect everything...
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:07 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

Weather has finally gotten back to normal. Pulled the GTA out of the garage, and the damn dust on it was overwhelming. Lifters are getting done tonight, finally. Also need to get my alternator back, as well as the T-Clamps that my other car borrowed over the Winter from the intake tubing. Had the battery disconnected, but figured I would connect it and see if it would start. Damn thing fired right up and idled like a kitten. Open exhaust again which is why you see smoke behind the engine, but damn it felt nice to get it going again. You can still hear how bad those lifters are when my wife shuts the engine off, can't believe I wasted my time trying to reuse that set.

Meh, what's done is done. I bought an '87 V6 Firebird as a donor car as I needed its' hatch glass, pull down assembly, and a few miscellaneous pieces that the GTA needed, got the hatch glass on and the original deck lid transferred over on it earlier today. Once this damn thing is tuned I'm more than likely selling the long tube header setup after I get the turbo back on, as well as the V6 Firebird, so if anybody is interested, shoot me a PM...

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Old 04-23-2017, 03:40 PM
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Re: Chronicles of a 9 Second Trans Am... Final Chapter

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