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Error404
Error404 New Reader
6/30/19 11:24 p.m.

2 months back I bought myself a birthday present so I wouldn't tear up my DD GTI any worse at track days. I had been searching for a while and finally came across the best lead I had seen yet, https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/cars-sale/89-fox-body-with-ls-swap-save-my-project/153431/page1/. The owner lived right up the highway and drove down for me to take a look, with a couple onlookers to make sure they saw the same car that I did. Later that week I pulled the trigger and brought it home. Work is slow, what with trying to be responsible with my spending and not having a whole lot of time to really dig into the stuff that still needs doing.

Got it home and parked for a bit.

All around, the body is in decent shape. It was love bug season in Florida, so they added their piece. Paint is nothing special, nothing you'd cringe at laying a tool on top of. There is some rust lurking underneath that I haven't tackled yet, I want to do it once and do it right.

The old, grungy headlights. Nearly useless and with a broken adjuster plate on the driver side. We drive to the track rather than trailer so working lights are a must.

What's this? Xmas came early and I didn't get coal this year?!

Not counting the bad hose clamp on the water pump that was letting in air and leading to the po's burping issue, these were the first new parts to go on the car in my possession. You might also note that, at some point in its sordid past, this car was white.

 

Current plan I'm working on is to hopefully have the car ready for a weekend at Roebling in November, preferably with a trip or 3 to The FIRM beforehand to get on the same page as ole Francine here. Doing that will require me to do a decent amount of welding and some fab work as well as pulling the dash out soon so I can get the defrost working, clean the ducts, and do the behind-the-dash work for future AC.
I am undecided on when I want to buy a couple gallons of Lizard Skin for the floor but there is lots of work to do there before anything pretty goes on it.

 

More to follow but I thought this was enough pictures for one post.

Indy-Guy
Indy-Guy UberDork
7/1/19 6:41 a.m.

Solid foundation for a great build and very well bought. yes

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/1/19 12:30 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

Thank you. I will say that, excepting the places where I can tell he was rushed, the PO did a solid job with his work. Even the places you can see he rushed a little to get it running to sell aren't horrible, the car runs and drives.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/1/19 1:08 p.m.

One of the first things I did was put the OEM driver seat back in the car. The Kirkey he had put in was way too far back for my height and made the car undriveable for me. I also replaced the aforementioned hose clamp that seems to have been the final piece in sealing the coolant system. I don't like how high the OEM thermostat is on this engine (190F) but I can get a 180F thermostat no problem. I also have a 1L overflow tank ready to go in so I can route the surge and radiator to something other than bottles.

My next big hurdles are using some sheet metal that came with the car for patching and buying some flat and angle iron to repair the destroyed pinch rails. Fixing the pinch rails will let me use Quick Jacks at the track and also make it much simpler to dial in the toe in and camber. 3/16" toe in, 2.5 degrees camber on the driver side, 4 degrees camber on the passenger. The car wanders a bit.

This needs to be closed up for some noise abatement, weather proofing, and local critter blocking. With that sealed I will be one step closer to having the floor ready for noise coating.

I also plan on using that large hole on the post, which is threaded, as the forward mounting point for a custom plywood cargo shelf to cover the back seat area. There will also be a cargo net to bungie to the roll bar when all is said and done, for safer travelling.

 

Not exactly a spectacular shot but you can see here the condition of the pinch rails. They are notched, rolled, coming apart, and overall completely useless. The plan is to straighten them out, put some angle iron on the back, flat iron on the front, drill through to the angle iron, and fill the holes. This will make tire changes and general maintenance much easier as it will enable the use of Quick Jacks as well as adding some much needed reinforcement to the area.

 

Rounding out the current list of fab projects are new seat mounts. I think I might borrow an idea from olso3904  and his SVO build and remove the front seat mounts. My drivers side forward mount also has some torn metal and I had not realized that the whole piece could be removed with relative ease. I could weld the tear but completely removing that might allow me to fabricate the box for my track seats with a little more room. This will have to be looked at but I was previously planning on taking the idea of the seat box and extending it from the transmission tunnel to the doors and adding a little stiffness.

I traded the Kirkey to a ChampCar team for a pair of these viper style seats from a Neon. The bolsters are lightyears better than the OEM seats and the foam is in much better condition. I cleaned them with a shop back and some diluted fabric spray since they had shop dust all over them. Replacement harness cutouts can be purchased from the ACR Neon that will provide an OEM look. The procedure is relatively simple and decently documented. These seats have a box steel A-frame for the headrest portion and the cutouts (and by extension harnesses) are braced on the bottom by that steel frame.

 

My next post will go into some of the smaller things. The dash plan is on hold for bit as I am recently job challenged.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/7/19 1:00 a.m.

Back again with a small update. Today, I got to tackling a small fix and started on another.

It took longer than I want to admit to but I changed out the dirvers door hinge pins/bushings. You can see in the pictures below just how bad they were; the door hung poorly and I don't think it helped establish a good seal against the weatherstripping. (That's a whole 'nother thing that I hope to get into soon) Whoever changed these out last time left out one of the bushings on the top pin, or it disintigrated. The hole for the bottom bushing on the bottom pin was not a snug fit like the other 3, if I have this car long enough to be changing these again I think that that might need to be addressed more seriously. For now, they're all in and all new. I left the roller in place because it looked fine (unlike the passenger side) and I didn't want to screw with it. The passenger side hangs fine but the roller is a bit gnarly. I'm not so worried about it that I think it will need doing anytime soon, not on a track car.

The top

 

The bottom. This one isn't as bad but was replaced regardless.

The next sub-project is something I noticed the first time I drove the car. The side mirrors are remote manual and they have a lot of slack in the adjustment knob, to the point that the mirror barely moves. I looked around and the only side mirrors I found for sale are power. I don't want power, I have enough wiring to deal with in the car as it is and I am also not sure how much of the center console will be going back in so mounting the switch would likely get interesting. I found a long dead forum post on stangnet showing how the slack can be taken out, restoring normal function. The metal was much softer than I expected so it got a little ugly but I was able to open the crimps by removing sufficient metal to be able to pry them open and then recrimping after my adjustment. I am really hoping that it works out when I get it back in the car or I might be looking at some aftermarket true manual mirrors. The offending piece, pre-mauling, is shown below.

Lastly, with the mirror removed from the housing for surgery, I decided to do something about the oxidized, primer color of the housing. I lightly sanded it and the oxidation (I assume) came off easily. I gave it a scrub with green scotchbrite and some diulted Simple Green and rinsed thoroughly to get it clean. After drying, I gave it a couple too many coats with a matte black Krylon paint I had lying around. It's still pitted, and needs some light sanding to even things out, but it looks much, much better than it did this morning. I might pick up a gloss or satin black tomorrow for a final coat, I haven't decided if it's worth it.

Before

 

After

 

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/7/19 1:02 p.m.

No pictures, yet, but I have decided to pick up some Gloss Black for that mirror housing. And, since I'm picking up paint I may as well pick up some rust treatment and a wire wheel for my Dremel to start addressing the body rust on the rest of the Mustang. This will be my first foray into rust treatment on a car body but I picked up the basics in some previous jobs so I'm just gonna take it slow and start small. The really scaly, pitted, painted over stuff is gonna wait for another day but there is a decent amount of surface rust around the back hatch that I will address, if the rain holds off long enough.

If the rain doesn't hold off, I might switch directions and strip down the headliner to prep it for an application of cotton backed black vinyl. We'll see.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/8/19 11:31 p.m.

Today was a good day for Francine, I got the mirror installed on the car and the gloss black KRylon fits quite nicely with the black on the rest of the car. In some areas, the Krylon looks better. Before putting the mirror back on, I taped off and sprayed the section of the door that is normally covered by the mirror and was still the original, for that door, white. My fix for the adjustment didn't really work, it's tighter but still doesn't adjust in/out with the knob. It does stay where you put it, though.

The before, after to follow when I can get a shot without glare tomorrow.

 

I taped off and sprayed a previously sanded portion of the front bumper that was primer rather than black. The Krylon fits really well with the existing paint and I will probably be buying a few more cans for the rest of the car.

While checking out the rust in the passenger floor board I realized that the passenger door hinge pins are factory. Those will be fun to replace at some point. I also put some WD40 gel lube on the window mechanism to smooth it out a bit.

Lastly, I took a wire brush and some Rustoleum Rust Reformer to some body rust around the hatch. I got a few bare/surface rust spots before realizing that the inside of the bottom of the hatch had some rust that really needed addressing. That took a while. I uncovered some previously patched spots on the back of the hatch, which I had assumed to be gnarly bubbled up rust, where the bondo(?) was coming up and exposing rust on the bare metal. That got some Rust Reformer as well and now bondo is on my list of things to buy and learn how to use. I expect that my War On Rust is likely to continue for a while, slowly but surely.

About 20% of the bottom lip of the hatch looked like this. Not good.

 

Also on my short list of cheap things to do with my abundance of free time is to close up the exhaust leak, prototype my cargo shelf, resurface the headliner, and look into steel for rebuilding my pinch rails. Possibly on that list is working out adapter brackets for the Neon seats with some square tube/box steel. As mentioned previously, I might try working out a whole seat frame deal that adds some reinforcement to the floorboards.

Lurking in the distance is the knowledge that I need to pull the dash. I am not looking forward to that or the work that requires it.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/9/19 9:47 p.m.

Today was a short day between rain and just doing other things. I fought a few skirmishes in the War On Rust, working my way around the windshield and leaving friendly lines to advance on a Rust foothold near the passenger door handle. I feel I have pushed it back a bit but, Rust enlisted Windshield Wiper and drew blood. I am more wary of Rust now, truly it is a wily enemy. I look forward to the next confrontation.

I am getting a lot of use out of the Rustoleum Rust Reformer. Once it dries it is very paintable and it seems to spray on a bit more evenly than the Krylon gloss black. I will be making another trip to Lowes for some high grit sandpaper to smooth and level a bit. I'm more concerned with stopping and preventing Rust but I'm willing to put in a modicum of work for vanity.

I half-heartedly attempted to take out the headliner but didn't get far. I think I'll have to actually look that up and make a real effort. I did feel that the backing board was thinner than I had thought it would be, I am not too sure how well it will hold up to resurfacing but there's not a lot to lose by trying. I'm not sure if I'll keep the dome and map lights, or if the visors will be staying. I have nothing against the dome light, and an LED map light wouldn't hurt to have tucked away up there. The visors, though, I don't see as being very useful since I always drive with polarized sunglasses.

I keep mentioning the cargo shelf and covering the hole in the floor but I started fighting Rust on a whim and now I'm in a groove. I think I finish working my way around the painted portions of the car and dealing with the rust there, saving the pinch rails for another time, before getting into the fab stuff. Or, just as likely, I'll attack some Rust, hit it with Reformer, and then start tracing out cardboard for the fab work. Hopefully I have some more impressive pictures to post up soon.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
7/9/19 9:50 p.m.

I'm so glad you picked this car up. It was so hard for me not to! You are making some great progress on it. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
7/9/19 10:03 p.m.
Javelin said:

I'm so glad you picked this car up. It was so hard for me not to! You are making some great progress on it. 

I agree. I also was glad to see it sell since it was in my area, and I had no shot at buying it.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/9/19 10:36 p.m.
Floating Doc said:
Javelin said:

I'm so glad you picked this car up. It was so hard for me not to! You are making some great progress on it. 

I agree. I also was glad to see it sell since it was in my area, and I had no shot at buying it.

Thank you, I'm trying to do it right. I got into HPDE track days about 2 years ago with the '07 GTI in the very first picture and did some work on that but this is my first project car. I've repaired stuff on my vehicles, of course, but outside of upgrading the GTI brakes (which doesn't really count) and zipping the zip tie on the Porsche brake ducts for the GTI, I've never really modified a car. Consequently I am trying to take this slowly and deliberately with a focus on doing something that will last. My War On Rust is a byproduct of that, wanting to stop it while I have the time rather than do the more glamorous stuff and let Rust continue to eat away at my car. It's also something worthwhile that I can do with what I have available instead of going over to a more established home garage to do things, so I feel like I'm standing a little more independently. I'm not able to buy a welder, bench vice, or drill press to work on the pinch rails so, rather than twiddle my thumbs waiting to buy steel to carry over to someone else's house, I got off my ass and started doing some things.

Enough lolligagging! As you can tell, I'm happy to talk about the car if there are any questions and I'm open to constructive feedback (which is what I would expect from this community) or just plain old opinions. I've been toying with the idea of using my GoPro to do a walk around video of the car, that should do a better job than my cell phone, but I'm not sure if that would show anything worthwhile for the trouble of filming, editing, and uploading a video for y'all to click on. Thoughts?

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/15/19 12:38 a.m.

Nothing new to report this weekend.

I took the Mustang out for a couple short drives this weekend and the in-line PCV makes driving a whole helluva lotta fun compared to driving with a 3/8" vacuum leak because the PCV wasn't working. The car no longer sounds so ragged and actually idles smoothly. 11/10 highly recommend functioning PCV. yes Next, possibly after the full pinch rail repair, is to correct the wonky, wandering alignment.

No work really got done but I did some brainstorming and planning and I have a pretty good idea of how I want to pull off the fab projects (closing the floor hole, cargo shelf, and seat boxes for the Neon seats) which is great. This week, however, is going to be a continuation of last week featuring a new round of my War On Rust but I'll be lounging this time as I work around the lower portion of the car. I'll also be spending a few hours with some borrowed body tools straightening the mangled pinch rails. The plan there is to get them all straightened and cleaned up before putting 3/4" (1/16" wall) angle on the backside with matching flat steel on the front face and plug welding every 6" or so for the length of each pinch rail. It will be time consuming but I am not dealing with bendy, Play Doh pinch rails again. The welding will happen later, probably in the same weekend as at least one of the other projects. These projects are the only fab work, not counting the roll bar, that stand between my car and track readiness.

The seat boxes will require measurements before I know the exact dimensions but, the general idea is to build them independent of the flimsy crossmember already in the car (complete with a tear in the steel) and have them welded front and back, via a plate intermediary, to the door sills and tranny tunnel for added structural rigidity and general safety. It's gonna be a couple weeks, I expect, before I start on that so no cool fabrication pictures for a while.

The floor hole should be relatively straightfoward and, as I already have the sheet metal, might happen this coming weekend. I need to spend some time with cardboard and folders to work out the exact design but then it should be a matter of snipping and riveting before hitting it with some mass for a little insulation. Maybe Boom Mat spray or maybe just a can of Rustoleum truck bed spray. Any recommendations?

Overall, this week is focused on doing the really time consuming, nitty gritty stuff while I have plenty of time on my hands so that, hopefully soon, when I start getting interviews I will be ready to buy parts for install. To that end, unless someone is really excited by pictures of pinch rails, I don't expect there to be much to show this week until I get to the floor hole patch.

I might also start scraping the floorboards, when the pinch rails all get straightened. My plan for the floors is to get it down to metal across the entire car and build it back up uniformly so it actually looks good. Right now it's a mix of rust, sound deadening, and primer. It would be fairly simple to clean it all up and paint it but, I want to work in some sound deadening so the car is a bit easier driving on the longer hauls to trackdays. Longer term, I am thinking about a coat of LizardSkin topped with either a tough exterior paint or some truck bed liner to add durabitility. The goal is to have an unremarkable floor.   Edit: Lizard Skin might get scrapped in favor of Raamaudio Package #1 and a topper of bed liner.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
7/28/19 4:38 p.m.

Small update for me, I start working again on the 5th. Registered for Roebling Road, bought Mustang parts, and the GTI is gonna go into the shop this week (hopefully).

 

Small update for Francine:

I straightened out the pinch rails a bit with some vice grips this weekend. They're sitll pretty gnarly but that much closer to welding. I need to figure out if the fuel lines on the passenger side are being used and, if not, cut them out because they run right against the inside of the pinch rail. If they are being used.... I'll get creative. Fixing these is a prerequisite to be able to get her up on the Quick Jacks which is where I hope to do most of the welding. Another option would be ramps.

I got under the drivers side today and closed up a massive exhaust leak. I think that the header/exhaust install was rushed because none of the 3 nuts were tight and one of them was barely hanging on at all. Took some creativity with wrench positioning but I was able to get them all snugged down. She doesn't scream at me any more under load and sounds much more polite than she did. You can almost have a normal volume conversation. At idle. Smells much better, as well.

Last weekend I adjusted the headlights so they weren't pointing at the ground. One of the adjustment screws on the passenger side looks like it didn't get the hex pattern cut onto it before it was installed so I'll have to take it all the way apart to replace that screw. I tried vice grips but the metal is too soft and they just spin. As a rule of thumb, out of consideration for my neighbors, I try not to run Francine at impolite times so I haven't been out after dark to see how bad the adjustment is on that side. For the little bit of night driving I might do before Roebling, I think it should be fine.

I ordered a new blower motor, blower motor regulator, heater core, and evaporator core in anticipation of pulling the dash and doing that work while I have a free week to do it. The blower started working today, but only blows through the defrost vents.

 

No pictures for now, nothing that is really worth posting. Progress is happening, though. I might wind up pulling the spoiler sometime in the next few weeks to get at some rust spots.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
8/24/19 5:36 p.m.

Progress has been made!

I finally made the time to fabricate, with a good bit of help, a patch for the hole in the back floor. Used a piece of sheet metal from Lowe's racing supply store and some creative bending and riveting to close it up. It's not a tight seal, especially in the front, so I need to figure out what I will seal it with.

 

I sprayed the underside with spray-on undercoating prior to install to help at least a bit with noise and heat through the patch. Long term, I will paint it.

 

Next up on the list of big stuff to do is either pulling the dash and rebuilding the pedal box or fabricating custom seat mounts. The clutch pedal is hooked up real sketch like and the go pedal is actually probably worse as it is bolted to a piece of sheet metal with a 90 bend off the firewall. Very flexible, I can pull it almost over to the brake pedal with no problem.

 

These seats were pulled out of a dusty warehouse by a family hook-up and were "New In Box" vintage MasterCraft seats complete with sliders and 4-point harnesses. The exact mounting system hasn't been decided upon, nor has the choice of long-term seat between these and the Neon seats, but these don't need any work to be harness compatible (obviously) so they will be going in for the short-term. Olive drab would not have been my first choice for seat color but I think that it works out pretty well.

 

On the list of small stuff I need to sort out a bunch of dead-end wiring, figure out why my OBD port is dead, and peel 'n stick the inside of the roof. I also still have surface body rust to combat, I want to put in speed bleeders when I flush the brakes, and there is a host of minor things to be done in the engine compartment. All-in-all, I am feeling hopeful that I will have everything sorted by Roebling time in November. The car won't be done, nor will it be polished, but it will be solid and track-safe.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
8/26/19 8:13 a.m.

I was able, with an extra set of hands, many extensions, and a pry bar, to install the new gasket on the passenger side collector flange thingy. Previously it had been very blatantly missing. 

 

The firewall had to be encourage out of the way to allow access to one of the nuts. The starter and O2 sensor similarly came out for access.

Another was being stubborn, I think the nut had some rolled threads before it was put on by the PO amd it destroyed the bolt. 

 

As expected, the car sounds (and smells) spectacularly better with the exhaust gasketed. Much more pleasant to drive or just be around. 

Error404
Error404 New Reader
8/26/19 8:18 p.m.

I have added caliper rebuilds to the pre-November list, with the engine somewhat tamed I can now hear myself think and I realized that the slack in the brake pedal might well be from old caliper seals. I felt this in my GTI and I know the difference it makes to have them rebuilt, so that is now on the list. And maybe some OD green caliper paint if I can find it. smiley

I also need to get ahead of the growing electrical gremlins, possibly from the brake fluid (clutch) leaking from somewhere and dripping down a haphazard wiring bundle in the pedal box area. My OBD port is dead and my hazard flasher frequency is all out of whack, I really don't want to wait for more to go wrong but there's also a storm coming up from the south that will put a damper on the major project of pulling the dash, running a vacuum line to the LS throttle body, locating and fixing the fluid leak, and rebuilding the pedal box. (And hopefuly paving the way for the install of a "vintage" radio from 02Pilot)

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/26/19 8:27 p.m.

The floor piece looks good! For sealing the front, I would look into some sort of duct work flashing and like 3M panel bond maybe? You can go over the seams with an NVH tape and the big areas with DynaMat to cut down on heat and resonance for not much weight.

The battery in the passenger compartment should have a sealed box before you get to tech.

As for bolts being loose, my Cobra vibrates *everything* loose all the time. Even the strut body to spindle nuts!

Error404
Error404 New Reader
8/26/19 8:45 p.m.

I was actually looking at putting some grey SEM Seam Sealer in my Summit cart to do double duty on the floor and around the future fan shroud. Heat is not an issue in the short term, I hope to address that with Lizard Skin (or approximate) next year while tackling sound. Until then, it'll be peel 'n stick on the roof and hopefully the plywood cargo shelf I want to put on standoffs over those arms and the battery will help baffle and muffle the worst of the sound. It's actually not terrible, relatively, with the exhaust all closed up. Actually, at idle, the loudest thing is the fuel pump.

I'm not happy about needing a battery box, what with all the bigger stuff I have to take care of before it's track ready. Given all the holes in the car, fumes aren't an issue lol .  With that being said, it's been discussed and I've accepted that I'll have to squeeze it into the budget. It's up there with cutting a hole in the bumper covers for tow hooks on my list of "I would rather not but I'll probably be glad I did" items.

 

Error404
Error404 New Reader
9/4/19 4:29 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian is raging outside here in central FL. So, today, I am outside in the breeze busting rust on the Mustang. 

Pulled the spoiler off to find this. 

Sanded away primer around the obvious spots to find this. So far, about 60-70% of the perimeter of the spoiler is rusted enough to be lightly pitted or worse. I'm going to sand this down and cover with Rustoleum rust reformer what I can't sand right now. Hopefully next year a better job of rust repair will be in the budget. 

Error404
Error404 New Reader
9/4/19 5:34 p.m.

We are officially pre-paint!! Well, pre-primer.

It ain't gonna be pretty but this section won't rust out on me, which is the current goal. Function over form and all that. 

 

Found this patch of bondo near what I already knew was a hole. I'll be in here in the, hopefully, near future doing a patch so I'm less worried about this part. 

 

And a coat of gloss black where the spoiler won't cover. 

 

The underside of the spoiler will take some work to clean up, but not as much. It will be staying off for a couple days. I need more Rust Reformer, so a trip to Lowe's will be scheduled.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
9/4/19 6:10 p.m.

So, while the primer dries a bit, I'll go into my reasoning for half-assing this job. 

1) I didn't expect this much rust. I should have, but I didn't. I'm trying to accomplish something notable on the car every weekend and, since Dorian prep took up a lot of the weekend I decided to do that thing today.

2) I don't have the tools available to effectively strip the panel completely.

3) I expect to be going over the entire car much more thoroughly in the mid-term future. It's entirely possible that that will be my big winter project. 

I've been scraping away and Rust Reformering rust on nearly every panel on and off for over a month. The idea is to stop the rust that I can before it eats more holes into the car. Nothing I'm doing is geared towards being too pretty, I have black paint that kinda matches (at 20ft) but what it really needs is an actual paint job. After the rust is gone.

 

Next up on the list of notable things to do on the car is pulling the dash. I will be replacing the heater core, evaporator core, assessing the blower motor, rebuilding the pedal box with a new clutch pedal, and cleaning up a lot of wiring. There should be lots of opportunities for pictures during this process, there's a lot to be done. 

 

Error404
Error404 New Reader
9/9/19 6:32 p.m.

Small update and some questions for anyone who stops by to read.

With help and the use of a more equipped garage the alignment was corrected on the Mustang. It pulls right a bit, which can be corrected, but doesn't wander and feels much more driveable. I also adjusted the Koni yellows down from full stiffness to about 50% and I haven't knocked out any more fillings driving over a cats eye in the road. The car is also about 6-8 degrees cooler in traffic with the exhaust leak not dumping 4 cylinders worth of exhaust right into the engine bay.

The next big thing I am going to work on is pulling the dash to:
-Install the heater core and evaporator core
-Clean up dead wiring and poor wiring connections
-Rebuild the clutch and throttle pedals

For small things, I am working on a 0PSI radiator cap for when my overflow routes to my pressurized surge tank instead of a small Chobani bottle.

 

About a month back I filled up at a bit of a shady BP and ever since I've hit what feels like fuel cutoff at approx. 4400rpm. Before that fill up, the engine would pull well over that. (From what I have found, the stock rev limit should be around 5800) I've put close to 2 tanks of premium and a bottle of Isoheet through the tank since then and still have the same symptom. I've also closed up 2 large exhaust leaks in that time and had the battery unplugged long enough for a reset on multiple occasions. As long as I stay below 4400, the engine feels just fine, it just drops off hard at 4400 and it didn't do that 6 weeks ago. The other problem, which could be contributing, is that the CEL is lit for P0787 and P0973. These are codes for the automatic transmission that the engine started out hooked up to and indicate bad readings from shift solenoid A. I haven't dug into this too much, that's some pretty specific search criteria, but while I tear out the dash it can't hurt to put it out to the crowd and see if anyone has come across anything similar on either front.

Any ideas, anyone?

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
9/9/19 10:23 p.m.

I know on my 5.0 SN95 the factory recommended replacing the fuel filter every 24k miles.  If you haven't changed the filter already, I'd do that because why not.

Hope others that know LSen can help with the codes.  Smells like smoking gun from here but I'm not even remotely educated on these.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
9/10/19 8:59 p.m.

The fuel filter should be new as the fuel lines from the tank to the engine have every appearance of being freshly installed braided steel lines to go with the engine swap. Still, not a bad thing to put on the list to check for general piece of mind and the nagging knowledge that I'd feel real stupid if it failed after I declined to check it.

Error404
Error404 New Reader
9/17/19 7:15 p.m.

Minor progress has been made. I dropped the dash after work today, though it's not fully loose. I will need to loosen it completely so it can be removed to allow room to rebuild the pedal box as well as doing some electrical cleanup. 

In other good news, I was out for a short drive Sunday as was able to rev almost to 5500 before shifting. (I did it slowly and deliberately) It seems like whatever was causing my high RPM issue worked itself out.

My stopping point for the night:

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