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  #741  
Old 12-16-2016, 06:01 PM
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Not much of an update, but I'm scheduled to see the tuner on Tuesday, so I have been knocking out small items on my list like sway bar end links, interior trim, last bits of wiring, hoses, etc. I haven't taken too many photos, except when my son helped me install the front shocks. We put some new short u-nuts into the control arms that were previously missing. The new shocks (not shown) are Hotchkiss-valved Bilsteins. On this project he learned how to use a mechanical torque wrench.





I've kept an eye out for used helmets on craigslist and finally found an XL to fit my big head for autocross. As a bonus it has a highly reflective shield.



I also picked up a cover for my Hurst quarter stick. The cover kit includes a completely redesigned reverse lockout lever, so you have to take most of the shifter apart to get it on. It was a PITA to install but I'm happy with the results.



I also mounted a pair of 2-1/16 Speedhut CAN-bus gauges under the dash. I wired them up last night, but haven't had a chance to see them operate. These gauges pull the coolant temp and oil pressure signals from the ECM, and they include very bright LED warning lights. I also put a small red LED in the panel to serve as a MIL lamp. I need to redo and tuck the stereo wiring which is all over the place.



I am trying to keep my interior "classic hotrodder", so no plans for any fancy custom instrument panel in this car. I am thinking about getting Procar Rally seats in a houndstooth pattern, which should end up looking something like this:



I'm excited and terrified about going to the tuner. The drive is about 30 minutes and includes a few miles up a 7% grade. The car hasn't had a lot of road time yet so I hope to stretch the legs on it some this weekend while I'm inside of the AAA towing limit. There is an autocross going on at the local airport on Saturday so that might be a good excuse for a drive, just to spectate.

One issue I've had is the drain plug on the Autokraft oil pan is not sealing and it has a slow drip. It uses a flange bolt and a white plastic washer - I think on the first oil change I will try swapping to a copper sealing washer.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 12-16-2016 at 06:12 PM.
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  #742  
Old 12-17-2016, 11:32 AM
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louis louis is offline
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Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post

I also mounted a pair of 2-1/16 Speedhut CAN-bus gauges under the dash. I wired them up last night, but haven't had a chance to see them operate. These gauges pull the coolant temp and oil pressure signals from the ECM, and they include very bright LED warning lights. I also put a small red LED in the panel to serve as a MIL lamp. I need to redo and tuck the stereo wiring which is all over the place.
Nice progress. Where did you tap into the CAN-bus for the guages? I am starting an installation of a Chevy V6 into an older car and it looks like people are connecting the guages into the ODB2 port. I would prefer to leave that available for diagnostics of these is another option.

Thanks,
Louis
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  #743  
Old 12-17-2016, 06:18 PM
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I tapped into the high and low CAN wires at the back of the OBD2 connector. I just put two wires into each metripack terminal - one from the ECM and one to the gauges.
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  #744  
Old 12-18-2016, 12:15 PM
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I tapped into the high and low CAN wires at the back of the OBD2 connector. I just put two wires into each metripack terminal - one from the ECM and one to the gauges.
Thanks, I will add that to the project list.

Louis
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  #745  
Old 12-21-2016, 01:56 PM
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Over the weekend I took a few shakedown trips around town in the Nova. For the most part they went well. The car didn't leave me stranded and things generally seem to be working.



My son helped me put the front bumper back on and test turn signals/running lights. Afterwards he begged me to go for a drive, so I strapped a carseat down and we headed out. So far there's been no bigger joy from this car than sharing it with my son.







With the car up to higher speeds, I discovered the transmission (TH400) was acting up. After up shifting to 3rd, it started cycling back and forth between 2nd and 3rd at light throttle. If I gave it a little more throttle it seemed to stay in 3rd, but in light throttle it was acting up. I tried playing with the vacuum modulator adjustment and replaced the vacuum line with some even thicker fuel line just to make sure it wasn't collapsing, but observed no change in behavior. The kickdown switch is completely disconnected. I checked the shifter cable adjustment and it was spot on. I talked to the tuner and we decided if we couldn't get it to hold 3rd, we could do the tune in 2nd. Theoretically it should not affect the tune, but would show lower numbers due to 2nd gear being a bit less efficient.

So yesterday I drove the car 20 miles to New Era Performance in Agoura Hills to get the engine tuned. Along the way I stopped for gas - figured I might be burning through a few gallons on the rollers.



With fewer then 50 miles on the new engine, the car went onto the dyno at 11:30am.







With the car strapped down, we found the transmission would also downshift 3rd to 2nd under hard throttle. It would not hold 3rd unless it was at part load/part throttle - at light throttle it would cycle back and forth 2-3-2-3-2-3 and at hard throttle it would just downshift and stay in 2nd. We checked to make sure the kickdown was still disconnected (it was), we disconnected the vacuum modulator, and we tried starting at different rpms to see if it would hold 3rd, but no luck. So we had to use 2nd gear for WOT tuning.

After a few hours of adjusting things on the dyno, the tuner was happy with where it was running and took the car out for a drive to log and make further refinements. Then he had me drive while he continued. I found the car had a bit of a stumble on hard throttle transition. He confirmed the car was going lean and was able to tune out the stumble by adjusting the power enrichment tables. At this point the car was running pretty good so we called it a day. I left a few dollars poorer and a few ponies richer. I even got a piece of paper with some graphs and numbers on it.





So in 2nd gear, the car put down a peak 408rwhp @ 6,000rpm and 393ft-lb @5,200. Based on experience, the tuner estimates it would pick up around 10-15hp in 3rd gear and he offered to make another run once I get the transmission sorted out. If I believe it would pick up 10-15 horsepower in 3rd, that would be around 420rwhp peak which is right about what I expected looking at similar builds.

Mostly I am happy nothing exploded on the car and it got me home again without any major problems. Now I just need to figure out what changed on the transmission that would cause this goofy shifting situation.
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  #746  
Old 12-21-2016, 03:21 PM
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Sweeaattt, I am sort of blown away by the numbers.
I didn't really expect them to be that high but I haven't actually investigated what they are putting down.

400+ fuel injected street car horse power is AWESOME. I have had a really fast street car with far less power.
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  #747  
Old 12-21-2016, 07:32 PM
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I'm excited about getting so much power to the wheels and having the car run consistently day to day. Hopefully she's good to me for some time.

The crazy thing is the new completely stock LT1 engines in the latest Camaros and Corvettes are getting about the same peak RWHP and it looks like an overall better curve. Amazing what they've been able to do with direct injection and a few tweaks to the basic LSx architecture. I am already behind the times.

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/first...-torque-screen
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  #748  
Old 12-22-2016, 10:47 AM
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Very cool to see it all come together.

Sucks about the trans though. T56 time...

Dan
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  #749  
Old 12-24-2016, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post

One issue I've had is the drain plug on the Autokraft oil pan is not sealing and it has a slow drip. It uses a flange bolt and a white plastic washer - I think on the first oil change I will try swapping to a copper sealing washer.
I really like using these washers for sealing bolts.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#sealing-washers/=15m3r9i
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  #750  
Old 12-27-2016, 10:59 PM
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Asm109 Can you give me a part number example? The link is taking me to their entire catalog of different types of sealing washers.

My dad is visiting from Texas this week, so my son and I took him for a spin. Here's a little video of our shenanigans. My son (6yrs old) says we were "twisting noodles" in the Nova.




https://youtu.be/fW6QipZ0hNE
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  #751  
Old 12-28-2016, 12:26 AM
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Sure thing.

This should be a washer for a 5/8 inch diameter bolt.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#93783a035/=15nqpnb
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  #752  
Old 12-28-2016, 12:38 PM
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Sure thing.

This should be a washer for a 5/8 inch diameter bolt.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#93783a035/=15nqpnb

Those are commonly called Dowty seals in the hydraulics industry. You might be able to get one locally under that name.
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  #753  
Old 12-28-2016, 12:51 PM
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Those are commonly called Dowty seals in the hydraulics industry. You might be able to get one locally under that name.
Local Parker distributor will have/get em:
http://ph.parker.com/us/en/fastener-seals

E
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  #754  
Old 12-28-2016, 12:58 PM
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I want them to bring junkyard wars back and we can be team OFN!
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  #755  
Old 01-03-2017, 06:37 PM
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Thanks for the pointers on that seal. I like that type - I just need to identify the size of the plug bolt and make sure it's flat under the flange so this can make a good face seal or pickup another flange bolt that is.

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I want them to bring junkyard wars back and we can be team OFN!
I loved that show. I don't care if some items were conspicuously "planted" into the junkyard or if they didn't actually stick to the production time - it was still a cool show.

I haven't had time to troubleshoot my transmission 2-3/3-2 downshifting issue yet, but I came across a very nice explanation of operation for the TH400 here:
http://www.ckperformance.com/Files/1...HAPTER%206.pdf

Also came across some interesting troubleshooting info in this thread along with some decent explanations of how the modulator and governor work together to control shift points: http://forums.hotrod.com/high-perfor...arm/page1.html
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  #756  
Old 01-06-2017, 02:35 PM
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I finally had a chance last night to get the car off the ground and crawl underneath to check into my transmission woes. Here's a recap of my issue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
With the car up to higher speeds, I discovered the transmission (TH400) was acting up. After up shifting to 3rd, it started cycling back and forth between 2nd and 3rd at light throttle. If I gave it a little more throttle it seemed to stay in 3rd, but in light throttle it was acting up. I tried playing with the vacuum modulator adjustment and replaced the vacuum line with some even thicker fuel line just to make sure it wasn't collapsing, but observed no change in behavior. The kickdown switch is completely disconnected. I checked the shifter cable adjustment and it was spot on. I talked to the tuner and we decided if we couldn't get it to hold 3rd, we could do the tune in 2nd. Theoretically it should not affect the tune, but would show lower numbers due to 2nd gear being a bit less efficient.

***SNIP***

With the car strapped down, we found the transmission would also downshift 3rd to 2nd under hard throttle. It would not hold 3rd unless it was at part load/part throttle - at light throttle it would cycle back and forth 2-3-2-3-2-3 and at hard throttle it would just downshift and stay in 2nd. We checked to make sure the kickdown was still disconnected (it was), we disconnected the vacuum modulator, and we tried starting at different rpms to see if it would hold 3rd, but no luck. So we had to use 2nd gear for WOT tuning.
Since the issue seemed to be engine load dependent, I figured I should inspect the vacuum modulator valve to see if the vacuum diaphragm was working right and look at the valve rod for signs of damage. The diaphragm/spring system seemed to be working just fine. The vacuum side was filled with accumulated engine oil, but it still responded to vacuum and seemed to hold/seal just fine.

So I turned my attention to the valve itself, which is a rod-shaped piece that slides into the transmission. This is a sort of spool valve that is moved outward by governor pressure and inward by a spring in the vacuum modulator. After much research, here is how I understand the operation of this modulator valve: as speed builds, the governor pressure increases, moving the spool outward and causing a 2-3 upshift. A spring in the vacuum modulator acts against the valve this to delay the upshift until enough governor pressure /speed is achieved. At lighter engine loads, vacuum acts to relieve the spring, allowing the governor to more easily move the valve and make the shift happen at lower speeds.

Attempting to use a magnet to pull it out, I found this modulator valve got stuck about 5/16" from the bottom of it's travel. I grabbed some pliers and found it took a considerable force to get it out - it was badly hung up in there, with a good 1/4" of travel feeling like a press fit. I think this is what caused my issue and may have contributed to a long-standing issue I've had with the transmission refusing to 2-3 up-shift under WOT. My guess is the valve has never moved out beyond this point as it was design to and this new engine / vacuum combination has been sticking and un-sticking the valve, resulting in the weird 2-3-2-3 back and forth shifting. That is my theory at least - I haven't had a chance yet to drive the car to test it out.

The fix was pretty easy. I cleaned out the bore with a pipe cleaner brush, then I worked the offending surface on the valve with emery cloth until it moved freely in the bore.





The photo below shows a shiny area where the valve was hanging up.



In the next photo, I've cleaned up the surface with emery cloth until it slid freely in the bore of the transmission.



Hope to get the car off jackstands tonight and give it a test drive.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 01-06-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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  #757  
Old 01-06-2017, 05:17 PM
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Good tech there.
Allot of improvement for spools in bores comes from just polishing up the spool. I am sure sonnax has a improved version as well but you have probably taken care of the issue.

Wishing you an improved shifting experience.
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  #758  
Old 01-06-2017, 05:42 PM
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You're right - I probably should have polished it! I may pop it back out and do that in the near future, especially if the problem returns. I just hope this fixed it.
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  #759  
Old 01-06-2017, 09:41 PM
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Dang. Took her for a spin and no change. Still hunting back and forth between 2nd and 3rd. I think vacuum gage is next and then inspect the governor.
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  #760  
Old 01-09-2017, 01:00 PM
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You'll get it. Keep hammering it.

For reverse motivation we got 33 miles in on the burban, no issues besides a plugged #8 injector. It's going to be a Hot Rod summer!

Last edited by CarterKraft; 01-09-2017 at 01:08 PM.
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