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Patientzero HalfDork
4/14/21 3:29 p.m.

Here is some more parts to take up space until I have time to actually put them on.  I went with a 2qt Accusump.  I think this paired with the baffled pan should keep the motor safe.  I need to figure out where and how to mount it.  The Edelbrock move really has made some parts scarce.  Jegs was the only place I could find the Russell AN fittings I like to use.  They should be here later this week.  I basically have 95% of the parts I need for this phase and I need to get it all together so I can measure for a new driveshaft again.  The next step at this point is getting the motor and trans pulled.

Patientzero HalfDork
4/28/21 9:05 p.m.

The planets aligned so I could finally get some work done on the car this weekend.

During teardown I noticed this tab was completely broken off my Moroso PS reservoir. I don't know how or why that would have happened but I'll each have to get a new one or weld it back on and re-powdercoat.



I decided the best plan of attack was to just pull the whole engine and trans as a unit. I didn't want to mess with re-squaring the K-member or unhooking brake lines. Completely by myself it only took about 6 hours from drivable condition.





I got it the engine put up on the stand and stripped down this morning. I found my bad lifter in the process and it's ready to be cleaned and put back together. I don't see a reason to pull the shortblock apart so this is as far as I'm going. Unfortunately between my work schedule and my wife's new job I won't be able to get back to it until next weekend.






Patientzero HalfDork
4/28/21 9:06 p.m.

I actually had a couple hours of free time today so more progress was made.

I threw the lifters in some oil to get them ready for install.



New cam slid into place.



Oil pump installed and aligned.



Front cover back on and ready for the damper and oil pan.



Patientzero HalfDork
5/6/21 10:02 a.m.

I got the heads put back on and basically the whole motor is back together minus pushrods. I cleaned the block and heads really well with mineral spirits to get back that shiny aluminum bling bling.


With the new Johnson lifters I had to measure for longer pushrods. I came up with 7.525" which should be perfect to give me the recommended .035" preload.


While I was waiting for parts to come in I took the opportunity to weld in a bung for the steamport on the radiator. I previously had the steamport plumbed back into the water pump. It has been a few months since I welded aluminum so don't judge too hard. I also ordered a -16AN bung to weld on the upper outlet so all my coolant lines will be AN fittings. I ordered a fitting from Autoplumb to go on the upper water pump outlet, no welding required so the pump can be replaced easily if need be.




captainawesome Dork
5/6/21 10:05 a.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

I'm guessing you won't have this ready for Heartland the 15th and 16th?

Patientzero HalfDork
5/6/21 4:09 p.m.

No way.  It's going to need re-tuned, I have very little time, and I'm sure kinks will pop up.  I'm shooting for May 23 for our first Solo event in Independence.

Patientzero HalfDork
5/10/21 3:38 p.m.

I was getting the headers put back on today and noticed the passenger side header looked alot worse than I remember. Just as a refresher, these are brand new Hooker Blackheart headers with about 10 miles on them. I had to put these headers on after I switched to the Maximum Motorsports K-member. I also replaced the transmission at the same time because I blew it up at the Topeka ProSolo. When I started the car up with the new trans(and these new headers) I heard the tapping that led me to replace the lifters. I figured it had also happened in Topeka and I just couldn't hear it from inside the car. At the time I did notice the leak on the header and tried a new gasket to see if the sound went away because it did sound oddly like an exhaust leak. The new gasket didn't seem to make any difference to the sound so I went forward with the lifters. After now seeing just how bad this flange is I'm not so sure that it wasn't the problem the whole time. There is a pretty significant gouge right next to the primary, probably .010-.020" deep. I tried to flatten it out on my belt sander but the stainless pretty much laughed at it. I dropped it off at a machine shop so hopefully they can figure out how to fixture it and get it cleaned up. I may have spent a whole bunch of time and money for no reason. Really not happy about this after spending $1200.




It's difficult to see in the picture but looking at it in person it's plain as day. This is where the gouge(and leak) is.


golfduke Dork
5/11/21 10:21 a.m.

oh man... that's really warped!  

iansane GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/11/21 11:22 a.m.

That's frustrating. It's a hell of a warp if your belt sander isn't fixing it. The old machine shop I used to go to would fix all the manifolds/headers with a belt sander in a vice. 

I have a similar issue on my trans am. I can't tell if it's exhaust leak or lifter failure. So obviously new headers and a big turbo cam are my solution.

Patientzero HalfDork
5/12/21 3:52 p.m.

I'm still waiting to get my header back from the machine shop but as of 2pm today they are telling me "tomorrow". We'll see. I am pretty steady knocking stuff off the list though. Nothing very photogenic other than the coolant hoses so here are pictures of those. Driver header is back on, my 31 spline yoke should be here tomorrow, engine/trans are completely bolted up, wiring harness is hooked up. The main things left are; fluids, driveshaft, exhaust, passenger header, spark plugs, power steering reservoir(I ordered a stock Corvette piece), intake, clutch lines, and steering shaft. I think that's it. I'm hoping to test drive it this weekend.

This is the AN adapter from Autoplumb, it's pretty awesome.



I'm using -16AN pushlok hose so now it matches the bottom. This stuff is cheap, looks nice, and is really easy to work with.




84FSP UltraDork
5/12/21 5:09 p.m.

You are going to love the power upgrade.  Nice looking build and attention to detail sir.  

Patientzero HalfDork
5/12/21 5:27 p.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

If we spec'd the cam correctly it should make less power.  The point of the new cam was to kill power to move down a class for time trials.

Patientzero HalfDork
5/14/21 4:13 p.m.

I had the rare opportunity to use some Ford Performance parts on this car. I was actually able to use a stock 2002 Mustang u-joint with this Ford yoke with my existing driveshaft and it worked out perfect.






I also got the stock Corvette power steering reservoir put on since the Moroso piece was busted.



Basically the whole car is back together at this point, I'm just waiting for the machine shop to get off their ass and finish my header. I'm pretty much gonna sit and twindle my thumbs all weekend instead of retuning and breaking in the transmission. 






The machine shop told me Wednesday that the flange needed .010" cut off, which is what I told them when I dropped it off. Yesterday they said they could only cut .005" per pass because the stainless was so hard and it took 25 minutes per pass. They sent me this picture at 11am this morning and said it would be done "Monday, guaranteed". It is already on the surfacer and has already been cut but they can't finish it until Monday. Maybe I'm missing something but the math and timelines are not adding up. It's safe to say I will never be back to this machine shop. They have been telling me "tomorrow" everyday for the last week. If anybody wants to buy me a shop full of tools I'm accepting donations. I'll make you guys some cool stuff too.


Patientzero HalfDork
5/28/21 10:20 a.m.

Finally some updates. I've been super busy lately so haven't had a chance to post.

It took over a week but I finally got the header back from the machine shop.


After getting the header on it was ready to fire up. Started up without issue and I drove it down the street and back. I started to notice a sound that didn't seem right and digged in a little deeper. Here is a video from under the car of the sound. At first I thought it was throwout bearing related. I removed the throwout bearing completely and reinstalled the transmission, it didn't make any difference to the sound. I was pretty sure something was wrong with the brand new transmission at that point. Everything else was known good parts.


After pulling the transmission a couple times and checking everything I finally figured out what it was. I can pull the transmission in 30 minutes btw, lol.


The stud that gets installed on the front of the transmission for the throwout bearing was about .025" too long and hitting a couple of the clutch forks. 100% my fault for not checking it.


Here is another video after trimming back the stud and getting it together.



I drove it home from the shop. Everything seems to work fine but it need the tune cleaned up for the new cam. If I can get some time without kids or rain I will work on that. I also want to get it on the dyno after I get the transmission broken in.


Here is the current list of stuff to do until I think of more.

Patientzero Dork
7/27/21 12:27 p.m.

Some copy-paste updates.


June 3, 2021

I've been putting miles on the car to get the transmission broken in. I've driven it to work a couple times this week (100 miles roundtrip, RIP A052's) and everything seems to be working well, except....

I'm getting a pulsing vibration that is speed dependent. At 75-80mph it's a wub....wub...wub... and it gets faster with speed. Clutch in or out doesn't matter and still does it while coasting. I thought it might have been a flatspotted tire but it seems way to slow to be a tire so I think that leaves a driveline/driveshaft issue. I think it's possible a bent one of the ears on the driveshaft when removing the old u-joint because it was a MAJOR PITA to get out. I'm going to check runout on the driveshaft to confirm. I might have to have a new driveshaft made after all. I have rechecked the pinion angle, trans and pinion match. Trans to driveshaft and driveshaft to pinion also match at about 2°. Any ideas from the crowd?


July 19, 2021

I dropped the driveshaft off today to get checked out. They said they would get to it possibly this evening or in the morning and give me a call. If I can get that taken care of then I'll see if I can get the car on the dyno this week or next and try to make it out to the Kansas City Region double header the weekend off the 1st. It would be my first event in over a year... 


July 20, 2021


I picked up the driveshaft and they said it really wasn't out of balance and had no runout. I guess that's good but now I get to start playing with pinion angle again. I also ordered one of the Holley transmission crossmembers that bolts into the factory location. The crossmember I'm running now ties into the subframe connectors so I'm just trying to eliminate that as another possible issue. I'm going to put the car on jack stands in the morning and run it without wheels to see if I can figure anything out.


July 21, 2021

Still have a vibration. I made a new thread with more details. Going to pull the rearend apart and start inspecting bearings and axles.


Patientzero Dork
7/27/21 12:33 p.m.

So, a couple updates.

I tore down the rearend to start checking things out and try to find a possible cause for this vibration. I really didn't find anything concrete to point to but I did find a couple irregularities. All the bearings looked great so I don't think there is any issue there. I found a couple chips out of the edges of the ring gear and pinion gear. It doesn't seem like much but might cause an issue when the two bad spots meet. Doing the math the gears would line up at the same position every 11 revolutions which would point to my slower-than-wheelspeed vibration.

These are pictures of the chipping, doesn't seem that severe but the gears have less than 1000 miles on them.


I had a set of factory 3.27's so I decided to swap them in. I will be able to do 85mph in second gear but I'll have to swap to something else later. While I was setting up the backlash on the new gears it seemed like the carrier shims were not fitting as tightly as they should so I started swapping out shims for ones a few thousandths bigger until I got it fitting nice and snug. I was able to get about .020" more shims in it than it had before which blows my mind because I remember them being a real pain to get in last time. This could be another possible source of my problem.


Here's where it's at now;
-Pinion drag - 20in.lb
-Backlash - .009"
-Carrier Runout - .001"
-Carrier side to side movement <.001"

Here's the mesh pattern with the new gears.


My lastest issue is the axle spacer cover retaining ring was destroyed trying to take it out so I'm now trying to find a replacement snap ring which is proving to be more difficult than I ever expected. Eaton sells a kit with the snap ring, cover, and axle spacer for $62 but I only need the $2 snap ring. I contacted Eaton and they said it's 2.420" resting diameter. I've been to Oreilly's, Autozone, Carquest, Napa, Family Center, Transwest, Golden Valley Tractor, Fastenal, Gears Unlimited, Tractor Supply, and called Summit Racing. Nobody has this damn snap ring. I ordered the closest I could find from McMaster-Carr and hoping it will work but the car is dead on the lift until it gets here. If I can get the vibration figured out I'm scheduled for some dyno time on August 19th at Knight Performance to retune for the new camshaft.

Patientzero Dork
8/14/21 10:20 p.m.


I finally finished the fire suppression installation. I made a mount to fit in the unused vent hole on the dash. This should be easy to reach for the driver or a corner worker if needed. I got decals on the way. The kit did not come with near enough tubing to get the nozzles where I wanted them so I had to order another roll.


I have one nozzle pointed toward the battery in the trunk, one nozzle pointed at the driver, and I put the last 360 degree nozzle right over the top of the engine.


Here's where I mounted the pull cable.


I also replaced the harmonic damper. I was looking into a rebuild of my ATI damper and while reading the literature on it I noticed something. There are 6 bolts that hold the damper together and another 3 bolts for adding another pulley if needed. The instructions say all 9 bolts must be used even if no pulley is added or DAMPER DAMAGE WILL OCCUR!! in big bold letters. My damper has never had all 9 bolts since it's been on the car. It was given to me originally and I assumed it was good so just installed it. I bought a SFI approved Summit Racing brand damper and swapped it out. It was totally worth it. The engine has never run smoother. I ran it up to 120mph on my private road and it feels great. I may still look into having the ATI damper rebuilt but I see no reason to not run the Summit damper. I'm really looking forward to some dyno time later this week and autocross next weekend with Kansas City Region.

KentF Reader
8/15/21 1:08 p.m.

I like the fire handle mount you used. Looks like it was made for it.  On the harmonic balancer - I have always expected this was just a block of machined metal. What gets "rebuilt" on these?

Patientzero Dork
8/15/21 2:40 p.m.
KentF said:

On the harmonic balancer - I have always expected this was just a block of machined metal. What gets "rebuilt" on these?


The ATI damper has an elastomer ring inside it that needs to be replaced every few years.  They actually have different hardnesses of elastomer so you can essentially "tune" your harmonic damper.

KentF Reader
8/15/21 2:52 p.m.

That is cool. I have the stock unit on my engine. It also has the elastomer sandwich but, of course, is not re-buildable. Hmmm....

Patientzero Dork
8/19/21 1:39 p.m.

We made it to the dyno this morning and got the tune finished up for the new cam. It didn't exactly go how I expected but I'm not complaining. I think the last cam was just really mismatched for my combination. It put down 500hp/477tq on 93 octane. Over 400ft.lbs from 3500 all the way to 6500. Now autocross on Saturday after almost 2 years away.


Patientzero Dork
8/22/21 6:22 p.m.

My first autocross since 2019 went pretty smooth.  I won a small CAM-T class but my time was also good enough for 2nd in CAM-C.  The car did great.  I even went for about a 2 hour drive today with my daughter.  None of my equipment worked yesterday so I don't have any video and my GPS wasn't synced with my phone for some reason so the data is really choppy.  Front grip is a real issue.  I just can't carry much speed through the corners without pushing and I'm running so much camber that I'm locking up the wheels under braking.  Next time I'm going to take a little bit of camber out to try to help braking but otherwise I'm not sure what the real solution is.



Patientzero Dork
8/24/21 7:51 p.m.

After talking to Jack at Maximum Motorsports he recommended I go up to a bigger diameter rear sway bar to move more of my weight transfer to the rear of the car and get rid of the understeer.
I currently have the 1" x .120" and he suggested the 1.25" x .125".


I had the car on the scales yesterday and noticed my corner weights were off since changing the transmission and all the other work I've done since I last corner weighted it. So today I took some time to get it set back up correctly.

Here's where it ended up with me in the car and a full tank of gas.


I used this calculator. https://robrobinette.com/corner_weight_calc.htm


I also used this as an opportunity to swap out my sway bar end links for my newest version. The old ones were steel, these are 6061 aluminum. I had a batch made about a year ago and never remember to put a set on.

Patientzero Dork
9/11/21 5:26 a.m.

It's not much but I got my trans temp gage installed and working. I had to add a ground wire to my 1 wire sensor. I also have a matching oil temp gage that I need to install at some point. Diff temp probably wouldn't be a bad idea either.


Since I have absolutely nothing better to do with my time I installed a button for my 2-step. There is no practical reason for me to have this outside of a ProSolo but it's cool and I wanted to, lol.

I also got my swaybar swapped out to the bigger one. No pictures. It looks like a swaybar but bigger than the other one. It feels very different to drive, like it's pivoting around a point closer to the rear of the car. I can't wait for our next event.




Patientzero Dork
9/13/21 11:58 p.m.

The car is loaded up for Track Night in America tomorrow at Heartland Park.  This will be the first time I've had the car on track since 2016 when it had the stock motor, stock suspension, run flats, and lowering springs.  I'm really excited to see how it does, it's been way too long.

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