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eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/25/19 1:47 p.m.

For some reason, i am having a hell of a time getting a solid number measuring camber on the s10 right now.  Neither of the phones I'm using to measure it match up, and I'm not sure which one is right, or if both are wrong.  Looks like approximately -1 degree, so at this point I'll leave it.  Am I correct in assuming that's not going to cause too much where in the 1600 mile round trip to Gainesville and back?  I'll double check toe, and might set it in a tad, and maybe adjust so the steering wheel is actually centered, and call it done, so I can move onto other work.

Also, leaving this link to another thread where I did the alignment a ways back, so I can find the numbers I had back then:  DIY Alignment thread

 

EDIT:  Found the digital angle finder I used in the other thread.  It's looking like both wheels are in the -.7 to -.8 range.  I'll chalk the difference between the original settings and now to a bit of driving around, and my garage floor not being perfectly level.  Either way, I don't think I'm going to risk messing it up.

EDIT 2:  Toe still appears to be pretty much 0.  I don't think I want to risk messing it up to center the steering wheel.  I'll move on to underhood cleanup, then maybe get the truck out on the highway to see how it acts at higher speeds.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/26/19 11:56 a.m.

After checking on the alignment, I spent some time under the hood. The main objective was to get it to a state where I am less afraid of damaging something or melting wiring when I drive.  A combination of leftover aluminum and some zip ties were employed to make a few brackets, and to hold a few pieces of the wiring harness in place.  One issue that wouldn't be solved by this was the blower motor resistor. It is sitting in the open, since the wiring is too short to bolt it to anywhere:

After some looking around for something to contain it and keep it from shorting out, I realized it fit inside a ricotta cheese tub:

A quick check online said #5 plastic has a melting point around 338F, so it should survive, as long as it doesn't come in contact with the exhaust manifold.  I cut a hole in the lid to fit the connectors, and put the lid in between the resistor and wiring harness, and simply snapped the tub onto it:

That should keep it protected for a bit.  After taking the picture, i added a bit of tape to hold it all together.

This is all mostly temporary, but may still be in place during the challenge, depending on my time and motivation.  Not a huge fan of jerry-rigging, but I want to put some miles on the truck to make sure there is nothing else likely to break before I drive it to Gainesville.

Once all that was done, i finally drove out onto the highway for the first time.  It drove fine, I think any steering issues it has are related to steering box wear.  Temps stayed around 205 for the whole drive.  When I got home, I let the truck idle while I rearranged the fleet.  Temps went up to 220 on the gauge, and the cooling fan kicked on, so that has been tested now, too.   I'm feeling a lot better about it making the trip.  Haven't sent in my entry yet, but plan on doing so soon after a little bit more work.

I have a used LT1 starter on its way from ebay, as no cars with them have shown up in the local yards.  Once installed, hopefully it'll fix my heatsoak issues.   The garage bay is back to being taken by the Beetle, and it may need some disassembly, so any work on the S10 will be getting done in the driveway for a bit.

After the starter install, I think the most critical goal is going to be getting traction.  With the amount of time I've been able to spend on this, I am tempted to just build some spring clamps like in this link, but if I have more time, I may look into building my own slapper bars, or even caltracs clones.

I also need to figure out FMV on an empty ricotta cheese tub.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
8/26/19 9:37 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

For some reason, i am having a hell of a time getting a solid number measuring camber on the s10 right now.  Neither of the phones I'm using to measure it match up, and I'm not sure which one is right, or if both are wrong.  Looks like approximately -1 degree, so at this point I'll leave it.  Am I correct in assuming that's not going to cause too much where in the 1600 mile round trip to Gainesville and back? 

In my mind and experience, camber doesn't actually cause significant wear.  However, if you add some out-of-spec toe then that teams up with the camber and wears tires out quick.

Hopefully others can back me up (because I'm honestly not completely sure on this...it's just my experience).  It seems a lot of people are of the mindset that camber (alone) will cause tire wear issues.  I feel you'll see the effects mostly at the end of the tire's life.  

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/27/19 7:59 a.m.

In reply to ClemSparks :

Cool!  With toe being 0 tire wear should not be a significant issue.  The street tires on the car have little mileage on them, as they are my budget exempt set. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/27/19 8:35 a.m.

Oh yeah, the starter showed up in the mail yesterday.  Not sure when I’ll get a chance to install it, though.  Weather is bad today, and I am busy after work Wednesday and Thursday.  Maybe Friday will work out.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
8/31/19 4:45 p.m.

Minor frustration with the starter - I need different length bolts, and supposedly they need to be "special" bolts with knurling on them to help locate the starter properly.  The cheapest I've found them online is 7.99 +9.99 shipping.  Dorman makes one of them, but I kind of need both.

Fortunately, I figured this out before taking the old starter out.

At one of the local yards, there's a 95 Caprice with a 4.3 V8 that cross references on rock auto as using the same Dorman long side starter bolt.  I'm debating whether or not to run up there tomorrow morning to see if I can luck into the short side bolt being the same, too.  Could also potentially grab the starter, but it is not gear reduction and may be just as susceptible to heatsoak as the one I already have.  Also, the bolt cross references to earlier LT1 starters, which use a slightly different bolt length.  Aargh.

Just a year or so ago, LT1 F-bodies were a fairly common sight in the yards around me.  Guess not any more.

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/31/19 8:41 p.m.

I think i bought the bolts i needed at orielleys once. In the help aisle. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/1/19 4:35 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

I think i bought the bolts i needed at orielleys once. In the help aisle. 

It looks like if I had a 93-94 starter, that is an option, but they changed lengths for 95-97.  The help aisle could still get me the long bolt, but not the short one.  I’m thinking of trying to build a heat shield for the current starter out of some scrap in my garage, and seeing if that works.  But not today, I cut down a tree, and am a little worn out and very disinclined to do anything outside right now.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/1/19 6:01 p.m.

I’m an idiot.  Was checking the local junkyard sites to see if anything had come in in the last couple of days.  Under the Chevrolet search for one was Caprice Classic, which showed a Caprice with a 4.3.  Next search term, which I somehow missed, was “Caprice Classic or Impala”, and under that is a 1995 Caprice with a 5.7.  Not sure if the yard is open tomorrow, but if they are, I plan on going.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/8/19 11:19 a.m.

Swung over to the junkyard on Labor Day to get the LT1 starter, then proceeded to be way too busy the rest of the week.  Yesterday, I finally had some time, so pulled the old starter and swapped in the replacement.  Took some effort to remove the old one, as there just isn't a lot of space under there for it, and the wiring was pretty hard to get access to.  I eventually had to pull the starter and then undo the solenoid wire while it was hanging.  Fortunately, the replacement was considerably smaller, so I was able to loosely bolt it in place, and get the wiring together, then tighten everything down.  New starter is 9 lbs lighter than the old one:

 

Installation was slowed a bit by my across the street neighbor's brother wandering over, and chatting for a while.  He's a bit of a car hoarder, but has finally realized he doesn't have the time to deal with them all.  If I had more space and time, I'd probably be interested.  Anyone need 10 Fieros?  All need work, some are just parts cars at this point, and sadly, none are 1988 models.

Once it was in, I took the truck out, gassed it up, started to drive it long enough to heat it all the way up, and suddenly realized I had forgotten to tighten the right front lug nuts.  After carefully driving home, and snugging them up, I fired the truck back up, and the starter gave me no problems yet.  Took it out for a several mile drive, brought it home.  Shut it off, and started it up a couple minutes later.  No heatsoak anymore!  It can now be driven regularly, so I can see if there is anything that needs to be fixed.  Hoping to take it on a 2-3 hour drive at some point, to get an idea if it is going to be road trip reliable.

May spend some time today cleaning it up, and taking a clay bar to the previously silver/now gray portion of the paint and see if I can bring it back a bit for the challenge.  Still plan on running in the "Don't Judge Me" category, but would like it looking better anyway.

 

Still trying to determine what traction aid to build for the challenge, if any.  It doesn't have a limited slip, and the rear end gearing is 3.08, so it can use all the help it can get.

  1. Spring clamps.  Pro is that they should be easy and cheap, at most about $30 hit to the budget.  Con is that I think I'd have to drill out a rivet and remove a slider from the leaf springs, and there is a chance I want to remove them and sell them after the challenge, so that could be a bad idea.
  2. Generic bolt on traction bars.  About $50 from Summit or Jegs.  They should help, but are not long enough to reach the spring eye, so may end up bending the leaf springs.  Would also need to budget for some u bolts to keep them from hitting the ground on deceleration.
  3. DIY traction bars.  I'd guesstimate closer to an $80-90 hit to the budget, once all the hardware is purchased, even if I weld them to the spring perch instead of clamping them.  Would work a lot better then generic ones, as I could make them the exact right length, and using a set of screw in bumpstops, would have adjustable preload.
  4. Drag Radials.  The most expensive option, but a zero budget hit, as they could be part of my "free" set of tires.  Not really feeling like I should spend that much on a vehicle with a 305 TBI engine.  Plus, there'd be a bit of logistics in rounding up a set of wheels to move a pair of street tires to, remounting them, and getting the drag radials mounted to the included wheels, in order to keep my wheel budget from going up.  I also suspect the track will be sticky enough that I will have more problems with wheelhop than I will with enough friction.
  5. Caltracs clones.  I'm dreaming.  I suspect it'd be $200 in parts, plus a lot of time spent cutting thick plate steel with rudimentary tools.  Would be really nice to have, though.  Might have to remove some stuff in order to have enough budget room.
  6. Limited slip rear end.  I picked one up a ways back, but sold it.  Would really like to find one with 3.42 gears, 2WD width, and drum bakes, so I don't have to add a proportioning valve, but no such luck yet.  Ideally, I'd find an 8.5" 10 bolt with the above characteristics for post challenge use, but I'm not holding my breath.

Any thoughts, suggestions?

 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau SuperDork
9/8/19 3:15 p.m.

I think you could build DIY slapper bars for the cost of 4 u-bolts, 4ft of scrap tube, and junkyard bumpstops. $20 for the set max. 

Also if you buy the generic ones but they aren't quite long enough, you won't hurt the leaf at all.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/8/19 3:28 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

I think you could build DIY slapper bars for the cost of 4 u-bolts, 4ft of scrap tube, and junkyard bumpstops. $20 for the set max. 

Also if you buy the generic ones but they aren't quite long enough, you won't hurt the leaf at all.

Will need a bit more length to be able to hit the spring eye up front, maybe 6ft total.  Just checked, and the local scrapyard that I take stuff too has finally started selling metal, so I'll have to check in and see if they have what I'd need to make them.  Seems like 2x2 isn't uncommon to be used for making them.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/13/19 8:46 a.m.

Ran to the scrapyard before work this morning, and $23 later, I have two lengths of rusty 2X2 square tubing, and some angle iron, so just need 6 u-bolts, some hardware, and bumpstops to make traction bars.  One of the pieces of tubing is not as straight as I thought it was (selection was awful), but I think I can shim a u-bolt bracket, or adjust the size of a bumpstop to compensate for it.

If I can make it to the junkyard this weekend, I'll see about grabbing some bumpstops, and try to mock everything up, so I can measure and figure out how long the u-bolts need to be, and order them.

klodkrawler05
klodkrawler05 HalfDork
9/13/19 8:51 a.m.
ClemSparks said:
eastsideTim said:

For some reason, i am having a hell of a time getting a solid number measuring camber on the s10 right now.  Neither of the phones I'm using to measure it match up, and I'm not sure which one is right, or if both are wrong.  Looks like approximately -1 degree, so at this point I'll leave it.  Am I correct in assuming that's not going to cause too much where in the 1600 mile round trip to Gainesville and back? 

In my mind and experience, camber doesn't actually cause significant wear.  However, if you add some out-of-spec toe then that teams up with the camber and wears tires out quick.

Hopefully others can back me up (because I'm honestly not completely sure on this...it's just my experience).  It seems a lot of people are of the mindset that camber (alone) will cause tire wear issues.  I feel you'll see the effects mostly at the end of the tire's life.  

 

A bit late to the party but I'll back this. Out of spec toe usually wears tires much faster than camber. On the BMW's we run -3 to -3.5 even on the street and never see any accelerated wear on the inside edge of the tire. But as soon as toe goes out of spec it's game over.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/13/19 9:25 a.m.

In reply to klodkrawler05 :

That’s good to hear, since toe is about the easiest part of alignment for me to test and adjust.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UberDork
9/13/19 10:33 a.m.

Those rearends are cheap and plentiful iirc.

 

Can you just weld yours?

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/13/19 11:51 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

Those rearends are cheap and plentiful iirc.

 

Can you just weld yours?

I’m planning on driving to the challenge from Ohio, so it’s probably not a wise idea.  Years ago, I think the LuK team brought a firebird with one open and one welded rear end.  If I was in contention, then I’d consider something like that, but I’m just hoping to finish without embarrassing myself too much, so I’d rather relax in my down time vs. swapping rear axles smiley

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/14/19 8:49 a.m.

Bump stops were cheaper to buy new online than at the local junkyard, so I have a set on their way to me.  May still try to do some cutting and mocking up this weekend to get an idea what u-bolts I need, but have to wait until I get parts for final measurements.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/15/19 7:02 p.m.

Spent some time this weekend fiddling with little stuff, had a few minor issues to take care of like a fuel line rubbing against the bellhousing, and the exhaust flex pipe rubbing against an ebrake cable.  Changed the oil and filter, hopefully for the last time before the challenge, and did a bit of work mocking up the slapper bars.  They will definitely be clamp on style.  The tires I'm running in the autocross have a small enough diameter that even with anti dive bolts, I'd be afraid of them hitting the ground on braking.

 

Bigger news is I took the car on about a 2 hour continuous drive, in order to suss out any issues.  Observations:

  1. My exhaust hanger fix didn't work great - the exhaust isn't rubbing the ebrake cable, but it's a lot closer to it than it was after I "fixed" it.
  2. The truck runs at 205 degrees pretty much constantly on the highway.  It doesn't take long to heat up to 220 when sitting at idle, though.  The fan kicks on then and keeps it from getting hotter, but doesn't seem to cool it down either.  I'm guessing I just don't have much excess cooling capacity.
  3. I thought I had an exhaust leak before I left.  Now I am certain of it.  Seems like it got a lot worse after a full throttle acceleration on an onramp when I was close to home.  I suspect the exhaust manifold-to-y-pipe connection is getting a bit loose.  Hopefully, it'll be solved by snugging up the exhaust nuts.
  4. Some occasional vibration through the steering wheel, mostly.  I'm not sure if its because of the worn steering box and the solid steering shaft (from a Jeep Cherokee), a potentially bad lower ball joint, or maybe slightly out of balance tires, or something else entirely.  I'm most worried about the ball joints, as I'd rather not take the budget hit to replace them right now.
  5. The transmission shifted somewhat "softer" near the end of the trip.  I'm guessing the engine does not mind 205-220 degrees, but the trans does.  Might have to see if I can fit one of my used trans coolers in the budget.  Another possible cause on this is the cooler lines run pretty close to the exhaust.  Maybe  I could put some heat shielding around them, or wrap the exhaust when they are close to each other.
  6. The headliner foam is disintegrating.  Got it in my eyes a few times, and it was all over the place at the end of the trip.  I need to budget for some headliner glue to fix it, or just pull it down.  I could use the extra sound insulation, though, especially since I removed the insulation on the firewall.
  7. After I got back, I realized I hadn't hooked up the crankcase vent to the air cleaner.  I accidentally broke the end in the air cleaner assembly trying to reattach it.  Should figure out a fix for that.
eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/16/19 8:54 a.m.

Issue number 7 is just a $2 part on RockAuto.  However, might be able to change things up, and not need to replace it.  I may have an open air cleaner setup in my storage locker.  Going to check sometime this week.

Weather is supposed to be good all week, so I should probably rearrange vehicles and get the truck back in the garage to fix all I can.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/16/19 9:03 a.m.

Oh yeah, any advice on extracting heat from under the hood would be helpful, especially if it isn’t a method that will let too much weather into the engine compartment.  I have all the various seals and trim pieces to direct air into the radiator, which is why I think the coolant temp stays nice and steady while cruising, but I think for the sake of everything under the hood, I need a better way to get hot air out.

Edit:  I get the feeling the “Roadkill method” will not be approved of at the challenge.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/17/19 12:55 p.m.

Issue 3 is figured out.  Passenger side exhaust manifold to y-pipe connection lost a nut.  Hoping driving it with an exhaust leak that high up didn’t do any damage.

U-bolts came in today, and I already have the bump stops, so I’m going to get to spend more time mocking up the traction bars.  I desperately need to get my spreadsheet updated, too.  I have a rough idea where the budget stands, but I want to be more precise as time gets down to the wire.  Since it’s likely to be driven to Gainesville, I need to keep some budget room open for unexpected breakdowns.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
9/17/19 10:46 p.m.

Sounds like it's going well.  Good deal and keep on plugging away!

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/18/19 10:03 a.m.
ClemSparks said:

Sounds like it's going well.  Good deal and keep on plugging away!

 

Thanks!  Been getting a bit done in the evenings during the week, and hoping to make a final decision on the challenge entry by this weekend.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/23/19 12:13 p.m.

Exhaust leak appears to be fixed, confirmed by a quick test drive yesterday.  I spent a good chunk of my garage time on the traction bars.  Here's one being test fitted:

I was checking to make sure the length was right,where to drill holes for the snubbers, and to try to find a location to mount the anti-dive u-bolts.  I figured that out and welded them all up, but was concerned about the mounts for the them being too weak.  I have an idea to reinforce them, just need to do a bit more cutting and welding.  Once finished, I'll paint them up, remount them, and give them a quick test.  I may need to hold off on the final adjusting for them a bit, due to budget issues.  I also needed to make a couple of spacers out of scrap metal to move the parking brake lines out of the way.

Found three trans coolers while digging through storage - need to figure out an FMV for them and the mounting zip ties.  I've got a picture in the FMV thread on the $2000 Challenge board, but no responses yet.

Also, thinking of ordering a set of lower ball joints and replacing them, in case they are the reason for issue 4 above.  Wouldn't surprise me, as it looked like this truck live a rough life before it got parked.  I'm thinking of ordering some spare parts at the same time, in case anything breaks on the drive to Florida.

I'm worried about running close to the limits of my budget, so I've started looking for places to potentially save some budget.  Several ideas involve spending more money to reduce budget costs, which I'd like to avoid, but that may be needed.  I suspect I can keep it under budget if nothing else goes wrong, but I'd like to have a little budget room.

  1. Give up on the 14" wheels with throw away r-compounds on them, and just run the 600 TW tires I put on the 15" wheels from the fireturd.  Saves me $80 in mounting fees.  Car would be legal for CAM and 200TW tire class (but not competitive in either)
  2. Same as #1, but pick up some better tires for the 15" wheels to run in the autocross and drags.  Save $80 in budget, and probably cost at least $500 in the real world (based on ordering 225/50R15 Kumho Ecsta AST tires and getting them mounted locally).  More expensive if I try for better tires or other sizes.  There are white letter BFGoodrich tires in multiple sizes I could use.
  3. Run the 14" r-compounds in both the autocross and drags.  Then I can consider the cost of mounting them to be budget exempt. They may not be good drag tires, but it's not like I'm making much power.  I'd need to check ground clearance with them and the traction bars.
  4. Pull the seat cover, and replace it with a cheap Mexican blanket.  Probably get about $25 back in the budget.  Not going to go with no seat cover at all, the stock bench seat is nasty.
  5. I need to check, but I think I only needed one exhaust gasket donut, instead of the two I ordered, based on the design of the exhaust manifolds.  If so, that's about $10 right there.
  6. Skip running the the traction bars.  Not likely after the work I put in them, but it would probably get $60 out of the budget.  Pretty much a last resort, in case there is a breakdown on the way to the challenge that costs budget $ to repair.
  7. The big one - switch back to stock rear springs, and use a set of 2" lowering blocks.  Would cost me around $30 in real money, and would get my about $200 back in my budget.  It would likely level the truck out a bit so the back end isn't lower than the front.  I'd really rather not do this, but if a big expense comes up, at least it's an option.  Also, may need to adjust the traction bar setup.  I did plan for this, and made some mounting shims, but I may also need new snubbers if I trim the current ones down for the lowering spring setup.
  8. Don't install the oil pressure gauge.  $40 budget savings, but this seems like false economy.  I'd like a working gauge for the trip up and down at least.
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