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Gimp SuperDork
4/7/15 1:54 p.m.

Tell me more about your long term 2nd Gen F-Body project...

SilverFleet UltraDork
5/18/15 12:26 p.m.


Ok, so over the weekend, I decided to start wrenching on the car, with a goal to have the car on the road by the 4th of July. First order of business was to take a look at the valvetrain (remember, a rocker arm fell off a couple years back!) and get it running.

I properly tightened down the offending rocker arm, and to my surprise, the car started right up on it's gross 3 year old gas. Wow, ok! But there was a problem: the engine was making some bad noises. Panic mode set in, and I thought I broke something internally when the rocker arm, pushrod, and lifter fell out. But it also sounded like an exhaust leak. Hmm...

After some poking around, I noticed that the header bolt for the cylinder that happened to toss its rocker was loose. Better yet, there was a chunk of header gasket missing. BAM. It was an exhaust leak. Now I will need to order some gaskets and fix that.

I also looked into the transmission "issues" I was having. It seems to be caused by the brakes being rusty and the fact that I forgot that I put a higher stall torque converter in it. Fluid is fine, and it shifts into all gears, I think. I'm going to run it until it blows up, and then it will be 200-4R time. I also have sourced another 8.5 10-inch rear end out of a Trans Am that I will be installing the S10 Blazer rear brake swap on and some better gears when that happens.

Here's my current list to get it back on the road:

-Fix front floor rust

-fix driver's quarter rust and door rust

-install new (to me) gas tank

-replace header gaskets

-clean up brakes from sitting since 2012

Gearheadotaku PowerDork
5/18/15 7:45 p.m.

We need pics when its running (and burning rubber)

SilverFleet UltraDork
5/21/15 8:27 a.m.

I'll get some more pics up soon.

I have a set of these on the way:

I got them cheap on Amazon. They are probably not much better than the crappy ones the headers came with, but that's fine. I will get the fancy copper ones when I replace the headers down the road. Hopefully I can find the time this weekend to toss them in and get rid of that noise so I can focus on the rest of the car.

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
5/21/15 8:32 a.m.

I hate header leaks. Which, by extension, means I hate headers. On anything short of a balls out build, thw extra five to ten horsepower is not worth the added noise/heat/maintenance/hassle to me.

Can you even get stock manifolds for this thing?

SilverFleet UltraDork
5/21/15 8:56 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

The stock log manifolds these came with were terrible, but they do make reproductions of the "Super Duty"-style cast iron long manifolds for cars with D-Port heads like mine. They are pricey though.

Most cheap Pontiac headers are three-tube headers because of the siamesed center ports. I chose these Summit ones because they are true 4-1 tube headers, and because I got them from a friend brand new in the box for under $100. I figured I could use these until I could score a deal on a better setup.

I plan on changing the exhaust on this car from the engine back eventually. I have a custom made straight 2.5 in. system with twin Flowmaster 40's on there now, and it is just too loud, and it also bottoms out on everything. I also have an older Flowmaster 2.5 in. header-back system with an H-Pipe and crossflow transverse muffler that tucks up and out of the way that I can use, but the muffler may need to be replaced.

JacktheRiffer Reader
5/21/15 8:59 a.m.

We demand burnout pics!

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
5/21/15 8:06 p.m.

I've come to be of the opinion that a fairly thin coat of Permatex Ultra Copper combined with reasonably flat flanges makes the best exhaust gaskets.

SilverFleet UltraDork
5/26/15 8:21 a.m.

Small update: I worked on trying to get the header loose enough to remove the old gasket and slip the new one in. There are 6 bolts holding it in, and I only managed to get 2 of the 6 out. Looks like I will need to pull the wheel and inner fender out of the driver's side to be able to reach them. I'm hoping to have the car exhaust leak-free by the weekend.

SilverFleet UltraDork
5/28/15 11:45 p.m.

I had the day off from work today, so I decided to tackle the rest of this header gasket issue. I had to jack the car up, pull the wheel, and get to the bolts from below the car and also through the fender well. Good thing is that I didn't have to remove the inner fender. After a lot of swearing and contorting my body, I was able to remove the remaining header bolts.

Here's the offending gasket on the car. Notice the missing material.

And here it is out of the car. Yeah, that will make some noise.

Another thing I noticed was that my flange pipe that goes from my header to the rest of my exhaust was loose. I tightened that up as well. After that, I started it up and no more bad noises! Car sounded healthy and the clanking sound I heard before was gone. It's very rare that I can win a battle with this car without some collateral damage, so I'm going to enjoy this victory.

Next up, I'm either going to tackle the floors or cleaning up the used gas tank I picked up recently and installing it. Making progress.

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
5/29/15 5:35 a.m.

Gas tank. You can drive the thing with rusty floors.

Rad_Capz HalfDork
5/29/15 12:20 p.m.

X2 on the gas tank. Drive it around a bit and get a return for the time invested. Floors can lead you to the edge of a very slippery slope.

tuna55 UltimaDork
5/29/15 12:27 p.m.
Rad_Capz wrote: X2 on the gas tank. Drive it around a bit and get a return for the time invested. Floors can lead you to the edge of a very slippery slope.

X3, read my build thread for the definition of "slippery slope".

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
5/29/15 12:41 p.m.


My frame off started with patching rusty floors.

SilverFleet UltraDork
6/1/15 8:30 a.m.

Here in MA, they will fail you on your state inspection if you have Flintstones floors, so there will be no driving it around until they are fixed. I will be doing the gas tank first because I will need to borrow a welder (and some friends to help, which are all busy from now to eternity) and the fact that I don't want to weld near a leaky gas tank.

And the slippery slope... I will not be heading down that until I can get my other car out of the garage. I plan on doing a body-off on this car later on. Right now I just want the car back on the road and mechanically sound and safe to drive.

Mazdax605 UltraDork
6/1/15 2:02 p.m.
SilverFleet wrote: Here in MA, they will fail you on your state inspection if you have Flintstones floors, so there will be no driving it around until they are fixed.

Depends where you bring the car for inspection.

mbruneaux New Reader
6/1/15 6:10 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote:
SilverFleet wrote: Here in MA, they will fail you on your state inspection if you have Flintstones floors, so there will be no driving it around until they are fixed.

Depends where you bring the car for inspection.

X50. I remember failing cars at the dealership for pizza size holes in the cabs to only see the same car get a good sticker from the gas station down the street the next day with the same hole! That was Attleboro and 25 years ago though..

SilverFleet UltraDork
6/2/15 8:51 a.m.

My truck did pass when it had the worst tires I have ever seen that still held air on it at a place in town, but when I can see the ground rushing by my feet, I think I want to fix it, inspection requirement or not. I may take it and get the "Type R" sticker just to have a checklist of what needs to be fixed once I re-register it.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
6/2/15 10:57 a.m.

Yeah fix it first. While driving it will be tempting, there is a safety issue with rotted out floors.

SilverFleet UltraDork
6/8/15 8:28 a.m.

I spent some time with the Trans Am over the weekend.

First, I worked on prepping my $15 Craigslist fuel tank for install. Here it is after a bit of crust and de-grossing:

There were a lot of spots like this:

And this:

So, I decided to paint it with this:

I hate rust, so when I saw an opportunity to make it never come back again, I took it! The old tank was rotted around the seams, but with all the extra surface rust, I decided to just paint the whole thing. And I didn't even get any on my hootus.

And here comes the depressing part.

I also started looking at the rusty floors I was talking about. They are worse than I thought.

That's just the driver's side. From looking under the car, the passenger side is even worse.

My hopes for having the car on the road this year have been dashed. I was going to just fiberglass the holes and run with it, but I don't have the time or money to waste on a temporary repair, so I am going to save up for the front floor pans and try for next year. I am going to re-focus on putting my CSX back together so I can get that out of the garage and get the Trans Am in there for the winter and fix it right. I'm just about ready to head down that slippery slope.

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
6/8/15 9:16 a.m.

it'll buff out.

with a welder and sheetmetal brake.

youre headed down a VERY slippery slope.

enjoy the ride.

PseudoSport Dork
6/8/15 11:53 a.m.

I wish the rust on my other vehicles was this minor. Get some sheet metal and I’ll be over to patch this up.

Harvey HalfDork
6/8/15 2:30 p.m.

How much do the floor pans run?

SilverFleet UltraDork
6/8/15 2:56 p.m.

In reply to Harvey:

Regular front floor pans without the toe boards run around $130-140 + shipping, but I should get the ones with the toe boards. Those run about $160 + 130 to ship them! That is just ridiculous. I may either get the regular ones and fabricate the toe boards I need, or just fabricate the entire patch altogether with sheet metal like I did with my CSX. The floor braces appear to be fine. $290+ for floor pans is just stupid.

I think the next order of business will be to gut the interior and assess the rest of the rust. I already pulled the back seat, and there's no rust back there. I may have some issues on the floor behind the driver's seat. Either way, the CSX looked a lot worse, and aside from the outer rockers (which they did make) and the trunk floor (which I haven't tackled yet), we patched up giant gaping holes in that car without pre-made stamped reproduction patches.

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
6/8/15 3:33 p.m.

Check rockauto. They had the cheapest price on floors and shipping that I have found for a few different cars.

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