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10001110101 New Reader
3/11/19 7:21 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

This past weekend, I was fully prepared to swap out the injectors, and try to get the truck running again, but figured I’d hook up the battery and see if it would start.  It did, and I have no idea why it is working now when it wasn’t later.  I’ll toss some fresh gas in it this week in an attempt to dilute whatever aged gas I still in it.

The main thing keeping me from taking it out to test drive is the lack of functioning gauges.  I’ll rig up a GPS as a speedometer, but I still need an oil pressure and water temp gauge, so I can make sure it’s okay, and I’m not about to blow it up.  Thinking of going with Jeg’s 2 1/16” electric gauges, as they are a lot cheaper than auto meter, but don’t seem to be complete trash.  I think I’ll be out around $80-85 for both of them after shipping.  Bosch is cheaper, but the reviews I’ve read are fairly negative.  Anyone got any other favorites?  I want to go with electric gauges, as I don’t want to run oil or coolant into the interior.

Waze (navigation app) has a GPS speedometer function that is surprisingly accurate. That's what I used for a speedo for a couple months before I replaced the cluster in my $750 beater Jetta.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
4/7/19 7:52 p.m.

Sometimes it's the little stuff that can help the most.  Had time today to install a coolant gauge into the truck.  I'd been avoiding driving it, since the dash gauges (other than voltage) are non-functional.  Did run into a snag, though.  I pulled the factory sending unit (one of three coolant temp sensors on the car, one for the gauge cluster, one for the computer, and one for the fan, evidence of how primitive engine controls could be 30 years ago, I guess), and found it was 3/8 NPT.  It appears one way Jegs keeps their prices down on gauges is by not including any adapters.  A quick trip to the parts store netted a 3/8" NPT - 1/8" NPT reducer, and I was back in business.  I salvaged some green wiring (the factory wiring color) from an unused part of the fireturd's wiring harness, and ran it through the firewall.  The radio is missing from the truck, so I used the hacked up part of the harness for a power and ground connection.  Just needed to salvage a bit more wiring from the fireturd to extend the leads.  There is also a wire for lighting there, but I'm not going to worry about that until everything is more permanently mounted.

Speaking of mounting, I came up with a temporary solution by digging through my parts pile.  Somewhere in the past, I got a 2-gauge panel in a parts car.  Zip-tied it to the dash, stuck the gauge in, wired it up, and we're in business:

Took it for a test drive of a few miles, probably the longest drive it has been on in years.  Temps got up to between 195-200 fairly quickly once I was moving, but didn't get higher.  I'm guessing it has a 195 degree thermostat.  Normally, I'd throw in a cooler t-stat, but I'm not sure what water temp the TBI system likes to see before it thinks the engine is warmed up.

I still need to test the cig lighter to see if it works, and throw in an old Garmin to use as a speedometer, as I don't need any tickets because I was guesstimating my speed.  Other than that, I think I'll slowly reassemble things that have been torn apart, put a seat cover on so it doesn't look so gross, and drive it for a while.  I have enough other projects to keep me busy, and I still want to bring this to the challenge, but it needs to be reliable first.  I guess this gives me about 6.5 months to test, and get it dialed in.  It won't get any radical improvements between then and now, just tweaks and fixes as needed.  Just hoping to make it there, 2 years after originally planned.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
4/8/19 9:44 a.m.

Remembered that at one point it heatsoaked the starter, so I ordered some insulating wrap.  The ideal solution is an LT1-style mini starter, but that’s considerably more expensive.  Also decided to order new hinge pins and bushings for the drivers side door.  Hoping that’ll fix the sagging door.

Stampie
Stampie PowerDork
4/8/19 10:20 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

You need to get your Challenge game on and make a heat shield out of salvaged sheet metal from a washing machine found on the side of the road.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
4/8/19 10:46 a.m.
Stampie said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

You need to get your Challenge game on and make a heat shield out of salvaged sheet metal from a washing machine found on the side of the road.

Depending on final budget, that may be what has to happen, but for now, I’m erring on the side of getting this thing usable.  smiley

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
4/10/19 8:05 p.m.

Installed the heat wrap (and the GPS) tonight, and took it for a 10-15 mile drive.  Fastest speed I got up to was a bit over 50, and while the alignment is not perfect, it still drove alright.  Reminded me a lot of my old Pontiac Phoenix, only taller and narrower. 

Once home, I let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, then went to start it again, and it fired right up.  Starter might have turned a smidge more slowly than usual, but the heatsoak issue appears to be dealt with.  I did notice the tail lights were out, but the rear turns signals/brake lights were fine.  Will need to check and see if it's burnt out bulbs or a more serious wiring issue.

Also, I'm not liking the stance right now.  The rear definitely sits a bit lower than the front.  For the summer, I'll pull the truck cap off, and see if that helps.  If not, I may grab a set of 4 cylinder S10 springs and put them on the front.  Won't help with the autocross, but that's probably a lost cause anyway.  I don't mind, since it's more of a cruiser (and eventual drag car) to me.

 

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/10/19 9:22 p.m.

Whack a 1/4 coil out of the front. Shoulddrop it about an inch if i remember correctly 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
4/10/19 9:27 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

So let’s play “what if” for a moment.  My apology for the brief hijack.

what if I have a 2001 Sonoma short/short ZQ8 4.3/5MT that’s been maintained to 100% OE, no mods.  Should I change anything?  Asking for future me, because I think I’m getting one next week.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/10/19 9:36 p.m.

Depends on the end game. 

But tall ball joints at a minimum. Upper and lower. Best bang for the buck in my opinion. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
4/11/19 6:02 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

 

Will tall ball joints affect ride height in any way?  I’m still running stock style ball joints, since when I did the suspension work I didn’t know where my budget would be.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/11/19 6:44 a.m.

They will lower the front by 3/8 to 1/2 inch due to the lowers.

Everyone sayse 1/2 inch, but it varies slightly depending. 

The uppers correct camber gain, the lowers correct bumpsteer. They both work together to make a dramatic improvement in ride/handling/grip/ease of driving 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
4/11/19 7:01 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Brand?

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/11/19 7:17 a.m.

Proforged. 50 each from summit when i bought them. Best 200 i ever spent.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
4/11/19 8:28 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

That’s what I’d do. By cutting a coil you not only lower the car but that will increase the spring rate of the coils left ( make it stiffer )  then if the geometry of the suspension isn’t too wonky , cut a second coil to lower it further and stiffen it more. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
4/11/19 8:42 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

Proforged. 50 each from summit when i bought them. Best 200 i ever spent.

Thanks!  I’ll have to update my budget sheet before I see about taking that hit.  I’m certain I have room now, but I want to keep some space in case anything breaks, and if I decide to actually try to make the truck look good instead of putting a “Don’t Judge Me” sticker on the windshield.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
7/13/19 4:17 p.m.

Been doing a bit of minor work to the truck, slowly reassembling things.  A few of the trim pieces that direct air to the radiator and the bumper side mounts mostly.  Need to put a few more radiator surround pieces on soon.

Earlier this week, I tried to clean up the paint on the hood with rubbing compound and polishing compound.  Neither did the trick:

Today, I tried using a clay bar for the first time in my life.  In the few areas of the hood that the paint wasn't completely destroyed, it did a nice job, but it also revealed to me the cloudy finish appears to just be the primer being visible under the very thin remaining topcoat, and is thus not able to be cleaned up and made to look good:

The likelihood of me having a "Don't Judge Me" sticker on the windshield during concours just went up.  Options at this point are:

  1. Clean up and retouch enough so it looks good in action shots on the autocross and drags.
  2. White boat paint rollered on. (no space in the garage to set up a spray paint booth, and not enough motivation on my part to attempt it)
  3. See if I have enough black vinyl scraps to cover the hood and roof.
  4. Check and see if tinted car wax is still available.  Years ago I had some that worked nicely on a black 1984 Crown Vic with weathered paint, although it wasn't as bad as this.

The silver paint on the side still needs help too, especially on the left where it has been keyed.  Might just put stickers over the worst parts for the challenge.  There's still tons of little stuff to be done, all of it more important to me than how the truck looks.

On that note, one upcoming project I think will be to improve the air intake.  I have a taller air cleaner lid that allows a 1" taller filter, and I may gut the heat riser flap in the air cleaner assembly.  I still have the air cleaner from the 4.3, too, so I'm tempted to use it to create a dual snorkel air cleaner, especially if I can figure out a way to route some cooler air in.  However, everything I've read seems to indicate that the 305 TBI is so choked for air that even adding more hot engine compartment air helps.  Multiple threads over at thirdgen.org report improvement in quarter mile times just going to an open element air filter. 

 

Stampie
Stampie PowerDork
7/13/19 4:20 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

That hood is begging for a quicky lace paint job. Those spots would just blend in. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
7/13/19 4:26 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

I have wanted to try that sometime.  If it gets closer to the challenge, and I have a post-challenge paint job planned, I may have to try that.

Of course, if I paint it white, I may have to see about painting a solo cup design onto the side.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/13/19 4:30 p.m.

Rattle cans. Satun black from body line up, silver or grey down. 

Air filter: 14x3 open fits like a glove. Remove the riser piece to unshroud the injectors. Stack a couple of injector pod gaskets up for a cheap diy spacer, and do the ultimate tbi mods. Bump timing to 10ish btdc. Should be a nice improvement.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
7/20/19 6:41 p.m.

Satin and flat black seem a little overdone to me, but it is still a possibility at this point.  Did pull the cap off this morning before the heat got too bad, and took it for a quick spin around the neighborhood.  Rides a lot better - those rear lowering springs do not seem to have much travel.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
7/28/19 4:05 p.m.

More of the little stuff that adds up. 

Had to pull the door off to get at the hinges, since the driver's door was sagging pretty badly.

The hinge bushings were pretty much shot, and the hinge holes were wallowed out pretty badly.

One of the holes in the upper hinge was too big to hold the new bushing, so I JB Welded it into place.  Won't be fun to remove in the future, but that shouldn't be a problem for a while.  The lower hinges were a tad loose, too, so I just used rtv to hold the bushings in place before reinstalling the door.

Last time I checked, hinges for a 1st gen S10 were not available.  The better way to have fixed this would probably have been to weld up the holes and redrill them to the proper size, but I'm not ready to go to that length.  Anyway, the door closes a lot more easily now, and I hope it won't leak as bad during heavy rains.

Also installed the trim pieces that direct air into the radiator, though I haven't noticed any reduction in temperature.  The temp gauge tends to stay around 205 degrees before and after.  I'm wondering how accurate the coolant sender is, since I think the thermostat should be 195, so it's possible it's just staying around the thermostat temperature.

Finally, got a rear view mirror installed.  Makes driving it around a lot better.

Also got the wipers reinstalled, but haven't tested them.

I'm having trouble figuring out the blower motor wiring, but that's something of a priority, as it'd be good to get the defroster working.

 

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/11/19 10:28 a.m.

Yesterday was the day to figure out the blower.  Took a bit of staring at wiring diagrams, and digging around the garage for some missing parts, but in the end, I got it running again.  The controls are more mangled than they already were, but I can control fan speed, and there is air blowing on the windshield, although I think the vacuum controls for the blend doors are boogered up.  I have a non-AC set of controls, but don't want them in the budget, and their wiring is a touch different.  I may need to add a switch to turn the blower motor all the way off right now, I can't figure out what I broke on the controls that does that.

After that, a little clean up work in the interior, including raising the resale value considerably.  These were the seats I've been dealing with:


Took a bit of time to install a cheap cover I bought ages ago, as it came with some weird installation hardware, and no instructions, but now I have this:


I no longer feel like I need to take a shower after sitting in the truck.

There are now a few more things I want to deal with before taking it on the highway and driving it longer amounts of time - alignment, wiring, and the starter.

For the alignment:

  1. The passenger wheel has about 0 camber, and the driver's side has noticeable negative camber.  I'd like to get them both to around 0.  It may hurt the autocross time, but it'll help it track straight on the dragstrip and the road, and help with even tire wear.
  2. From driving it, there is some wonder steer, but no hard pulling to the left or right, so I'm thinking toe is alright, although the steering wheel is off center.  Might correct that, might not.  
  3. I need to get the Beetle mobile again, and out of the garage, along with clearing some more space out, so I can work in there.  The driveway is too sloped to even attempt a rough alignment on.
  4. I also need to decide if I am lowering the front end before or after the challenge.  It'll look better leveled out or with a bit of rake to it, but I am worried that once I tear the front end apart to cut the springs, I'll end up taking the usual 10 times longer than planned to finish everything.

For the wiring, a lot of stuff is just hanging loose in the engine compartment:

  1. MAP sensor needs a longer vacuum line, and then I should be able to mount it on the firewall
  2. Blower relay might be able to be mounted to the inner passenger fender, or it may need some wiring extension.
  3. Blower motor resistor is just hanging loose near the back of the engine compartment.  It won't fit in the hole in the non-AC heater box, and the wiring is too short to reach anyway.  I assume I should really figure out a way to mount and encase it, though, to keep it from shorting against the body or engine.  I may see about building a bracket to hold it and the relay in position.
  4. The 12V+ junction box is just hanging down near the battery.  On the fireturd, it mounted up near the battery.  In the S10, I think it mounts on the firewall.  I am leaning towards building a bracket mounted to the core support to keep it from rattling around.  It's close to the serpentine belt, so it needs to not have the ability to move much.
  5. There is a bunch of unused wiring, mostly related to the AC and air pump.  I either need to separate it out of the loom, or more likely cut the wiring back, and cover the ends with electrical tape.  Right now, a lot of it is being held out of the way with zip ties.  I also need to accept this thing is never going to have AC again, and I just don't need that wiring.

Finally, the starter.  Even though it is shielded now, I am still running into issues with heatsoak.  That's fine if I'm going to go somewhere and park the truck long enough for it to cool off. But right now, if you drive it for a while, shut it off, and immediately try to restart it, the starter can barely turn.

  1. If I wanted to be creative, I could come up with some fan/ducting to keep it cooler.  I don't want to do that, but it may be cheaper than the alternative.
  2. The alternative is to give in and get an LT1 style starter.  It's smaller, more powerful, and less susceptible to heatsoak.  My budget may not support a new one, at least not without leaving no room for unplanned expenses.  There's nothing in the local upull junkyards that is appropriate right now.  Online, it looks like used starters are in the $45-50 range, so I may just go for that.  Chinese LT1 starters can be had for under $40, but everything I've read says to avoid them.

Today, I need to go through and update my budget, so I have a better idea of where I stand.  Since I started working on the truck again after giving up on it making it to the 2017 and 2018 events, I've just been stuffing receipts in my build folder.  I'm pretty sure I have around $200 or so to work with, but would like to be certain.

Finally, I am pretty close to certain that I'll be in the "Don't Judge Me" category at concours, unless wae decides to come by and work his wiring and detailing magic.  The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards a "no berkeleys given" style build.  I won't intentionally make it ugly, and I will try to keep it cleaned up at the challenge, but I just want something I can have fun with and beat on without caring how perfect it looks.

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/11/19 11:01 a.m.

The later suburban (tbi and vortec) use the mini style starters. My 95 Silverado does. So, i think they went across the board with them in the mid 90s v8 applications, not just lt1 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/11/19 11:18 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

The later suburban (tbi and vortec) use the mini style starters. My 95 Silverado does. So, i think they went across the board with them in the mid 90s v8 applications, not just lt1 

I’ll check and see if they are compatible.  I’m running a 153 tooth flywheel, and I’m not sure what the full size trucks use.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/11/19 6:03 p.m.

Going through unscanned receipts and scanning them right now.  A few observations:

  1. It's amazing how much I bought for the truck in 2017 that I just didn't get a chance to install until 2018 or 2019.  For example, the seat cover I installed yesterday was purchased in October 2017.
  2. I pretty much took most of 2018 off in terms of working on it.  Needing surgery didn't help
  3. There is a Jegs receipt missing somewhere for the water temp gauge I installed and the oil pressure gauge I haven't installed yet.  I'll find it eventually.
  4. I need to figure out the FMV on a set of very well worn 14" ancient Hoosiers.  Or go back and pay the person who gave them to me for a minimal budget hit.

Aside from that, I dug out the instrument panel from an old 1960's Jag I bought years ago because I thought it was cool.  It may not make it into the truck in time for the challenge, but it is likely to be there (with new gauges and switch labels) in the center of the dash at some point.  It's too cool to have laying around in a crate in my garage.

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