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Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/4/17 12:18 p.m.

Finally got the street exhaust finished up (I hope) last night. It took far longer than I'd hoped it would- and honestly would have been a lot quicker if I'd not been trying to save some money and use the pipe expanders I grabbed from Advance's rental tools to avoid having to get more couplers. I also ended up running out to Lowe's and picking up some Lincoln flux core welding wire to use instead of the stuff that came with the cheap HF welder. It's still not good, but it is an improvement. In the end I did use like 5 exhaust clamps (2 of which were unavoidable since they were on either side of the flex pipe I used). If everything works out well I may go back and weld up some of those joints, but for now it seems to work pretty good. It sounds RIDICULOUSLY quiet compared to before- I ended up using the muffler I got from the junkyard instead of a Thrush glasspack (though I did pick one up and was considering using it for a while). There's little doubt this system will be a bit more restrictive than ideal- but it's for driving around normally and not racing and I'm sure the engine will still put out plenty of power with it.

Since I was under the back of the ute for a while anyway and was getting sick of staring at them, I also pulled out the old gas shocks and mostly installed the new adjustable air shocks- I still have to install and route the air fill lines before I drop the back end off the jack stands.

Unfortunately with the exhaust taking so long I didn't get to even really think about what needs to be done next- pulling the dash to replace the heater core- from my pressure testing it seems there's a small crack in the lower pipe the leaks at full pressure which is why I've had to keep filling it up with coolant repeatedly. Unfortunately replacing the core requires pulling the whole dash out, and if I'm already doing that I'm going to do anything else that would be more easily done with the dash out of the way (like re-doing the cluster with the more useful gauges, re-wiring the cigarette lighter so it has power to use, etc.).

It's a tough call on whether I really want to start on that at the moment of hold off- it's supposed to be colder and a bit rainy this next week, and if I start in on the dash it's going to be a good bit of work and obviously I won't be able to drive it for a while- so it's tempting to hook the old heater core back up (right now I bypassed it under the hood) and just deal with checking the coolant level every so often and hold off on replacing it for another 2 weeks when I've got a Friday off and can actually use my Saturday (today- and tomorrow as well- I'm going to be lucky to even have the time to finish the air shocks and get the Rampage drivable without heat...).

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
11/5/17 12:42 a.m.

I was lucky that my Rampage already had an exhaust that i was really happy with considering it's a slow carb car. 

Glasspacks sound really good on turbo dodges. On about half the ones i've ever owned my exhaust was a 24" glasspack and otherwise straight pipe. Quiet at cruise, loud when you want it. 

What is this junkyard muffler off of?

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/5/17 9:49 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Mine came with the exhaust from the original 2.2 non-turbo from the gas tank back, and I didn’t figure using the 1 7/8” or so pipe would be enough. 

The pipe and muffler were from a full-sized V8 Dodge truck (it had 2, one for each cylinder bank). Probably slightly undersized, but should be good enough for driving around normally on. 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/6/17 8:41 a.m.

Since I've got to run all over town today AND it's raining, I drove the Rampage in to work. It really is amazing how much quieter it is with the new exhaust on it- I can hear the INTAKE (cone filters aren't particularly quiet) far more loudly than the exhaust when it's running now. Which on the whole is a good thing- I can listen for anything else that's happening and it won't be drowned out by the roar of the exhaust. The exhaust has held up great through the driving as well- I was a bit concerned that one of the mounts would rattle against the frame, but it did nothing of the sort. Not bad for my first full exhaust fabrication I'd say!

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
11/6/17 9:22 a.m.

In reply to Ashyukun :

Nice.  Well done.

BTW, I finally was able to get over to the shop and take a gander at some of the parts we have left from our T-D days.  There's A TON of stuff.  Much of it is junk though, but there's some good stuff in there.  There's a complete 2.5" mandrel bent exhaust from our old Daytona.  Some intakes, exhaust manifolds, probably a couple of turbos, a couple of overhead consoles, lots of brake parts, etc.

I'll plan on going back over next weekend and start sorting through it a bit, taking pictures, etc.  If you want some specific, I can keep an eye out for it.  Whatever you don't want/need that I think could be useful to someone else will get thrown on eBay or taken to the metal recyclers.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/6/17 12:43 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

I'm not sure how the Daytona's exhaust would work on the Rampage, though I imagine parts would work. I think for the competition that I'll be working out the side-skirt exit in either 2.5" or 3.0", so I suppose that the forward half assuming it has the same setup (largely straight back, then makes a roughly 90-degree turn toward the driver's side and then another to go straight back) might be useful. I'd LIKE to think that an intake and exhaust manifold would be useful to have to port and polish- but being somewhat realistic it's fairly likely that I won't get around to that level of detail. If there's a usable Garret turbo in there that might be good.

Parts that I've had to pick up that if you have and I could get at a lower price that would be useful to give me more room for performance parts:

  • speed sensor & speedo cable
  • tach & boost gauges
  • distributor

If you've got one of the smaller turbo radiators, that would be useful so routing intercooler piping would be easier. Likewise, intercooler piping & splices (I've already got a free intercooler & can probably sell off other parts to get the BOV I have free) are something I've got to pick up.

I'm really on the fence regarding the brakes... after driving the ute around town I've gotten used to the brakes and don't find that they worry me much anymore- and this is before replacing the older parts with newer ones, so I may not bother with anything brake-wise.

If you do get a list of everything let me know and I'll see if anything jumps out at me, and of course you know a lot better what parts may be useful (if there's an intake for example that would be a drop-in improvement).

Thanks!

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/6/17 12:45 p.m.

Aaaand, I can't have anything go just perfectly it seems. When I headed out over lunch for my errands, the exhaust popped off the downpipe-  I apparently didn't tighten down the clamp enough. Thankfully I had some bungee cords to hold up the exhaust and can hook it back up and tighten it properly when I get back home.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/7/17 8:46 a.m.

So, on the way back home yesterday I realized something- there is actually a certain ironic advantage to the exhaust having come loose like it did- I hadn't thought about it, but having the exhaust hooked up aft of the downpipe will make it much more difficult to 'roll' the engine forward a bit like I'll need to do in order to more permanently deal with the annoying wastegate actuator coming loose (which it did on the way home yesterday). It will also likely be easier to deal with replacing the front engine mount as well.

So, those will be my priority over the next few days. The weather looks like it should be such that I can deal with not having the Rampage as well, so I can also get started on pulling the dash to replace the heater core and take care of some other things in the interior.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/8/17 2:26 p.m.

As expected, I didn't get the chance to do much of anything yesterday on the Rampage- all I was able to do was to get the wastegate actuator hooked back up but wasn't able to get the pin in. That's going to be today's project: get the damn retaining pin in so that the actuator doesn't keep coming loose. Will probably end up swapping in the new front engine mount too while I'm at it (since rolling the engine forward to access the back of it will require removing it anyway).

Dirtydog
Dirtydog Reader
11/8/17 4:10 p.m.

Is the heater core leaking bad?  Maybe a reducer on the inlet side might take some pressure of the core.  I think they did that with Mustangs at one point.  Might buy you a little time.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/9/17 7:24 a.m.

In reply to Dirtydog :

When I pressurize the system to full pressure (15 psi) I get a trickle of coolant from the lower pipe- I'm not 100% certain that it's the pipe and not something with the hose connection, but since the HC pipes are banged up a good bit (looks like they got bumped into when doing the swap) I figure it can't hurt to replace it since it looks like it's either the original one or at the minimum pretty old.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/9/17 7:40 a.m.

Was actually able to at least make an attempt at the main things I'd wanted to yesterday- I removed the bracket holding the front engine mount and jacked the engine up to try and get the retaining pin into the wastegate actuator. Notice I said 'try', because after over an hour of trying everything I could think of and attacking it from every angle I could come up with, I still couldn't get the pin it. I can SEE it thanks to using my phone to snap some pictures- but it's just located such that my hands can't get the pin into the hole it needs to go into. In the end I was only able to get some wire around the actuator rod and the wastegate connection to try and keep the two pieces from coming apart. I honestly do NOT see how it is possible to get the retaining pin in without either pulling or dropping the the engine or top end...

The good news is that I was able to get the front mount replaced after lots and lots of banging with a hammer both getting the old one out and the new one in. After getting that hooked back up I reconnected the exhaust. I had considered trying to hook the heater core back up, but decided to hold off on that- I had been unsure if I was going to need to drive it today, and with it being around freezing would have wanted the heater/defogger working. But I was out of time before I needed to get dinner started and figured it I REALLY needed to drive it I could take care of the last few things this morning (in the end I took the scooter instead).

I won't likely get to do anything more on it until Monday since we'll be leaving tomorrow morning for the weekend to go to a wedding in Charlotte, NC. I have of course been perusing Craigslist and the junkyard inventories there- though perhaps thankfully there's not been much of anything that has really looked irresistible. We will however go right through Knoxville- so I'll have to resist trying to convince SWMBO to let me stop for half an hour or so to grab a few things from the cars there... :P

wae
wae Dork
11/9/17 7:57 a.m.

Is there enough room back there to turn a die on the pin so you could thread a nylock on they're?  Probably not...

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/9/17 9:24 a.m.

In reply to wae :

Nope- it's REALLY difficult (as you know from fighting with it the night of the drags...) to even get your hands on it. I tried putting a push-lock-washer on it, but just couldn't get my fingers on it properly to even try and push it on. It's just an incredibly difficult angle to get to it at- I'd either need to pitch the engine forward a LOT or drop the whole front clip (or pull the head/manifolds- which I may want to do anyway at some point... ideally to swap in a Garret turbo and not have to berk with this crappy setup...) to actually get the pin in.

eastside Utah John Cougar Montana
eastside Utah John Cougar Montana UltraDork
11/9/17 11:02 a.m.

If I make it through town in the near future, I can take another crack at it.  My biggest problem at the track was not being able to see what I was doing.  Was able to get my hand in position fairly easily.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/14/17 8:00 a.m.

After not even looking at the Rampage for the weekend (due to being 6 hours away), I took it out last night on a grocery run and then drove it in to work this morning as I wasn't feeling up to biking in the mid-30's weather today. I didn't re-connect up the heater core, as I figured (correctly) it wouldn't likely make much difference on my short commute or the even shorter run to the store.

Most noticeable thing from the drives is that the new front motor mount makes a LOT more difference than I had anticipated. It's quite clear that the concerns I had with the transmission 'banging' when shifting between forward and reverse was a result of that front mount being compromised. It not only does better when shifting into gears but also is much smoother when shifting between gears, and I think it actually is shifting at better points as well- but that may just be my imagination.

One other rather notable thing- I think I like just listening to the engine when driving more than I should. It's great hearing the turbo spooling and listening to the intake sucking in air and then it dumping boost when it shifts. The fun sounds that a forced-induction engine makes is (illogically) likely going to play a part in my deciding whether I put the supercharged engine into the DMC or go with a normally-aspirated Renesis (which has its own, different, set of fun sounds being a rotary...).

I'm hoping this evening to finally get a start on pulling the dash to swap the heater core. I hope to run to Louisville at the end of the week to grab some parts and run some errands for SWMBO, but will need to work out borrowing a truck/SUV for that. I've wrestled with just hooking the current heater core back up and driving the Rampage- but I'm not wholly certain I'm ready to take it out on a several hundred-mile road trip just yet. If I do decide that I want to do that, i'm going to have to try and do something about the alignment- as it is it would be a bit of a challenge to drive it for several hours...

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/15/17 9:30 a.m.

So, after a bit of consideration yesterday, I've changed my mind on something from the last post- I am going to try and drive the Rampage for my errands across the state on Friday. It's done well enough the last few days driving it around town with the fixes I made that I think it's about time I stopped babying it so much and took it out on a longer run. And I won't ever be out of the 100-mile radius that my AAA membership would cover having it towed back home in, so even if things go horribly wrong I'm not completely SOL. With this in mind, last night I took care of a few things that I deemed necessary before trying to take it on such a trip.

First off, I finally put the replacement hood latch on so I'm not having to ratchet strap the hood down. The 'new' latch works far better than the old one did. One side of the hood still sticks up a bit, so I'm going to have to figure out the reason for that and resolve it, but it's not enough to be that much of a concern at the moment.

Next, I tried to figure out what needed to be done to get the alignment to be less annoying. The ute has always pulled pretty heavily to the right, and I've also been convinced that the steering wheel wasn't on completely straight. I did some testing and came to the conclusion that the steering wheel was indeed off by about 45-degrees, so I pulled it off and put it on what should be straight. I didn't do any adjusting of the tie rods because I wanted to see if this alone would resolve the issue (I didn't, it still pulls to the right albeit less- and it still pulls harder to the right when under power).

 Finally, I tacked something just as important as the alignment- the stereo. cheeky I've had the new front speakers in for a while, but the passenger side one wasn't working since I hadn't put in the newer wires with the proper connectors. I unfortunately still can't find the new wire in the garage (it is, as usual, a mess...) but was able to fiddle with the old connectors to make them work for the time being. Though the Rampage didn't inherently have rear speakers, a PO had run wires to the back and presumably had something rigged up- so I pulled the speaker box I'd picked up for free last year at a yard sale and hooked it up so I've got decent sound for the drive.

I also pulled out the tach and set it properly- it was set on 6-cylinder and not 4 so it was not reading correctly... it now makes a good bit more sense. I'm still thinking thought that I may want to use one of the larger ones I have that I got a ways back and mount it above the dash cluster so it's easier to see when on the drag strip and moving the boost gauge and such up and into the cluster so I'm not always looking down at it.

Honestly, at the moment I think it's such that I can probably drive it on my errands as-is- but there are a few things I'll try and take care of before Friday if I can. First off is figuring out why the gas gauge isn't working- sure, I can do without it by simply topping the take off every 100 miles or so, but it would be nice to know if it's getting low. I don't know whether it's a problem with the sender, the gauge, or the wiring in between, but hopefully I'll be able to figure it out. I may try fiddling with the alignment a bit as well to get it to track a bit more straight. Finally, I'll have to decide whether to leave the heater core bypassed and not have heat or to hook it back up and risk losing a bit of coolant on the drive. As the temps are supposed to be in the low-50's Friday I'm leaning toward leaving it bypassed as I'm not thinking I'll need it, but will see as the forecast evolves.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
11/15/17 12:20 p.m.

I have found that a vehicle pulling one way or the other can be from whichever side has more caster.  Can you change the caster on the right side to something less?  If so, do that and go drive it again.

 

I wouldnt imagine that taking the steering wheel off and reclocking it did anything at all to resolve the issue.  It has nothing to do with wheel alignment.

 

Camber is not usually the culprit of a pull to one side unless it is CRAZY different than the other side.

 

Can you get somebody to help you put a tape measure on the front tires and see if your toe is very out?  If it is, you can adjust it pretty darn close just using a tape measure.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/15/17 12:36 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

I don't think there's an easy way to adjust caster on a stock Rampage- I'm planning on fabbing some caster/camber plates to put on it to use Neon struts, but in stock form I don't think it can really be adjusted.

I didn't think the shifting the steering wheel would impact the alignment- but it definitely wasn't on straight and centered before.

I plan to do some checking of the toe- that's something I hope to try and do this evening if I can scrounge up the materials in the garage to make up a simple toe tool.

On the whole though, it's drivable- and I've pretty much decided that other than perhaps adjusting the alignment a bit I'm going to focus on the Jeep for a while and just drive the Rampage in the hopes I can either resolve the Jeep's problems or decide I don't want to deal with it anymore and sell it (the Jeep).

eastside Utah Johnny Montana
eastside Utah Johnny Montana UltraDork
11/15/17 2:25 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun :

Do you still have the adjustable curtain rods? Those and a couple of vise grips to keep them from slipping once the track width is measured is still my preferred toe alignment method

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
11/15/17 2:31 p.m.
Ashyukun said:

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

I don't think there's an easy way to adjust caster on a stock Rampage- I'm planning on fabbing some caster/camber plates to put on it to use Neon struts, but in stock form I don't think it can really be adjusted.

I didn't think the shifting the steering wheel would impact the alignment- but it definitely wasn't on straight and centered before.

I plan to do some checking of the toe- that's something I hope to try and do this evening if I can scrounge up the materials in the garage to make up a simple toe tool.

On the whole though, it's drivable- and I've pretty much decided that other than perhaps adjusting the alignment a bit I'm going to focus on the Jeep for a while and just drive the Rampage in the hopes I can either resolve the Jeep's problems or decide I don't want to deal with it anymore and sell it (the Jeep).

I just use 1 tape measure.  Have an assistant hold the tape measure in 1 of the grooves of the tire in front of the tire.  Compare that to the same measurement from the same groove behind the tire.  Just requires another human and about 5 minutes of time (assuming you already loosened the locknuts on the tie rods before getting the other person involved).

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/15/17 2:52 p.m.

In reply to eastside Utah Johnny Montana :

I do- how do I make the initial track width measurement again?

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Unfortunately I often have a difficult time getting another person's help- SWMBO is not wholly opposed to helping, but won't be around this afternoon.

eastside Utah Johnny Montana
eastside Utah Johnny Montana UltraDork
11/15/17 4:11 p.m.
Ashyukun said:

In reply to eastside Utah Johnny Montana :

I do- how do I make the initial track width measurement again?

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Unfortunately I often have a difficult time getting another person's help- SWMBO is not wholly opposed to helping, but won't be around this afternoon.

I usually go side to side slowly adjusting them until each side falls on the same bit of tread.  Then lock the length with the vice grips.  One in front and one behind the wheel.  Essentially, you are doing the same thing as you would with the tape measure, but since it won't automatically try to retract every time you adjust it, you can do it with only one person.  Once they are both locked in, you can pull them out from under the car to compare the difference, then adjust as needed.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
11/15/17 7:57 p.m.

After driving it out to get dinner up at 55mph, I'm far more convinced that something with the alignment is badly exacerbating the car's natural torque steer- is there any particular alignment issue that would do that?

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
11/15/17 9:30 p.m.

Without doing research, I would think caster.

 

Caster wants to pull the vehicle that direction.  

 

 

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