Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/13/21 2:17 p.m.

In January, I bought this previous Challenge car from Tripp.  My teammate has a 1970 LT1 350 from a Nova SS, so I was thinking that the easy and cheap approach would be a V8 swapped S10. We were planning to have it ready for 2022.

Then the Morris came up for sale.

63 body with a chopped top, caged, radically set back Vortec 350/TH 350, and a disk brake rear end from an Oldsmobile SUV. It competed in the 2013 Challenge, I think.

This considerably bumped up the timeline, and despite owning a 3 car carage, I had no place to store it. My teammate lives several hours away in the western FL panhandle, and at the moment has no garage space either. So, off to the Uhaul self storage for two months while I dealt with this.

It wasn't easy for my wife and I to get the car on the trailer, and would have been impossible if I hadn't had Stampie's example of a portable ATV winch.

Now the car's home, and I can start working at it.


 

No cash flow at the moment, so I'm on hold again, but at least I'm not paying storage. In the next couple of days I'll start inventorying the crates of extra stuff.

Preliminary list:

Mount the seats.

Posslble (likely) transmission rebuild.

Sort out the shifter, brakes (need a bias adjuster) and steering.

Change all fluids, pre-oil the engine and get it running (starter isn't installed, needs shimmed).

Header extensions and mufflers (currently just long tube headers only).

Quick release for the steering wheel. It came with an aftermarket wheel.

Safety/tech stuff: SFI balancer, flex plate, transmission shield, door bars.

Tow hooks.

Battery shutoff.

Tires, slicks (came with a pair of drag slicks on some turbine wheels).

I'll have a LOT of questions as I get into this. Hopefully we'll make it to the 2021 event.

Oh, and the name? We keep a stash of cash for a Hurricane fund. My wife's my biggest enabler, suggested we raid the fund to buy the car. Teammate suggested the name; I've got ideas about how to work that into the concourse.

 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/13/21 2:32 p.m.

I've been waiting for this build thread so long.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/13/21 2:34 p.m.
03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/13/21 6:38 p.m.

I assume that is setting on S10 rolling chassis?

if so, is it relatively stock chassis? Maybe shortened?

I’ll def. be following along with this one. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/13/21 7:02 p.m.

In reply to 03Panther :

Yes, shortened chassis, mostly stock otherwise.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/13/21 7:55 p.m.

The frame. 

 

Rear suspension is different. Donor vehicles were leaf springs. The rear suspension is now supported by coilovers but it still has the front half of the leaf springs. I suspect that the remaining parts of the springs will work like slapper bars to control axle wrap. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/13/21 8:06 p.m.

Look up quarter elliptical springs, i believe. Think thats the correct name.

They work well when setup right. Ive had a few setup that way, and was impressed by some. Not by others. 

 

Also, im super jealous of this car and deal.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/13/21 8:07 p.m.

Add a driveshaft loop to the list of safety parts. Also harnesses, possibly window nets. 
 

I need it to pass NHRA tech, so I can hopefully make some passes with it before the Challenge. 
 

Tripp estimated 300 HP, 2400 lbs. He said that with the 3500 stall converter it launches hard.
 

With exhaust ported vortec heads, 10:1 compression and an aftermarket roller cam I'm hoping it's capable of a 12 second pass. If it goes straight. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/14/21 5:44 a.m.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/21 9:06 p.m.

Time for a minor Minor update.

Cash flow is really an issue for us right now, and spare time's been really limited as well as I had to sort out some family issues.  This update is mostly about some things that I've learned about the car, and formation of the initial plans.

Today I got one side of the car jacked up. I  have to keep my other two stands in reserve for tire swaps on the autocross car, so I'm waiting for some more jack stands to be delivered. Before lifting it I took a closer look at the driver ergonomics. The halo seat that was in the car at the previous Challenge had been sold, so it came with one molded plastic seat on a homemade frame, and one fiberglass seat.

I set the molded plastic seat and frame in place on the floor and sat in the car. I'm under 6', but the roll cage bars were level with my ears (remember, the top's been chopped in front).  Obviously, that wasn't going to work, and having the steering wheel directly on my thighs wasn't going to be good either. I swapped seats and set the fiberglass seat directly on the floor, and that wasn't too bad at all. It put me well under the roll cage, and the steering wheel orientation was acceptable.

I don't know about the door bars; Stampie suggested that they wouldn't pass NHRA tech,  but I don't think I could get in and out of the car with a higher bar. As it is, it's very tight. I'm going to get a quick release for the steering wheel to facilitate rapid egress.

I got a look at the underside of the engine. Tripp said that the only run time on it after it was built was for the Challenge, and looking up from the bottom it sure looks it. That was good to see.

Good front shocks, that's nice.

One of the things I liked to do when I had Holly carbs was install a quick change adaptor for the vacuum secondary spring, and the lightest spring so the secondaries would tip in as early as possible. With the light weight of this car and the 3500 RPM converter, it needs the light (white) spring. Nice surprise that the modified spring housing has already been installed, and although the paint is all gone from the spring, I'm sure this is the lightest one. Scratch that off the list. Oh, and I found a fuel pressure regulator in one of the boxes, too. Noticed that the jet sizes are written on the metering blocks.

The radiator is small, and there's no fan (or shroud), and no transmission cooler; you can see the transmission lines are joined together under the front of the engine with a section of hose. Cooling is going to be an issue.


There's a couple of small auxiliary type fans in the stuff that came with the car. I'm going to look for a taurus/Mark VIII set, hopefully there's room for them behind the radiator. It's tight down there, but there's a bunch of room behind the radiator with the engine set back.

Engine set back. This is really a front-mid placement.

I'll have to figure out how to cool the transmission. It did come with a pair of small coolers, one really cheap looking one finned one and a stacked plate one that's probably OEM from something. Not sure where I'm going to mount them.

When I picked up the car, Tripp mentioned that it would probably make about 300 HP. It turns out that it has a Comp Cams XFI280 roller cam. With this cam, 10:1 compression, and the exhaust ported Vortec heads, dual plane intake, 750 carb and long tubes, I think a solid 400 HP may be possible. 

Tripp forwarded me the email chain from the Comp Cams advisor, who suggested that 93 octane pump gas might not be adequate with the iron heads, so that's definitely a lot of cam.

I've bought a oil pump priming tool and some Comp Cams break-in oil additive, so after I finish raising the car, I'll dump the oil, let it drip for a day, then refill it and prime it. I'll have to install the starter, put fresh gas in the fuel cell (I hope that ethanol free 93 will be okay for just starting and running the engine), and then try to fire it.

The transmission linkage isn't right, won't shift through the whole range. Tripp said it probably needs a new cable. He also said the transmission was the weak link, so I'll have to see what's up with that. Dropping the pan will be interesting. May need (expect to need) a rebuild.

More to come, but it's going to be slow. 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/21 9:54 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

This build makes me smile.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/21 10:38 p.m.
Stampie (FS) said:

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

This build makes me smile.

Thanks. I think I'll have to actually do something so that I can honestly call it a build.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/21 10:45 p.m.

Forgot to check this earlier. While I have one side of the car off the ground, I rotated wheel that was elevated. No resistance, and the driveshaft spun when I turned the wheel. Does that mean that it has an open differential?

Edit: I realized that the method is to raise both rear wheels, so I just tried that. Brake's locked on the opposite wheel, so it won't turn at all. No wonder it was hard to push.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/23/21 11:30 p.m.

I've got some Dodge Stratus (I think) electric fans laying around here.  Neighbor gave them to me a while back and I was about to throw them out.  Want 'em?

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/21 11:47 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Absolutely! Where are you located? Edit: Oh yeah, you're at the other end of I4. I've got wheels and slicks to pick up over there already.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/23/21 11:59 p.m.

Mom is in Palm Coast, so I head that way once a month or so.  We can figure something out at some point.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/24/21 12:04 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Great!

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/29/21 8:17 a.m.

Dumped the oil last night, had a few shavings stuck to the magnetic plug, plus a very tiny spring. I can't think what purpose it would have inside of an engine like this, so my first thought is that it got into the engine by accident. 
 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/29/21 9:10 a.m.

I didn't pull the oil filter yet, and I'm going to let it drip for the rest of the day, maybe even a few days. We'll see what I find in the drain pan. 
 

I'd like to cut the filter open but I don't have the tool for that. Hacksaw? Seems like a dremel would just make a mess. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/29/21 10:15 a.m.

That is a seal spring, see them tucked behind the rubber seal?  Check for leaks somewhere.  Maybe the crank balancer seal

Metric Oil Seals | Shaft Seals | Oil Seals Houston

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/29/21 1:43 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Yeah, that's got to be what it is. I'll have to see if it leaks somewhere when I prime it. I haven't seen any so far, but I'll bet you're right about the balancer. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/29/21 7:07 p.m.

Now I'm wondering if I should drop the pan 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/29/21 8:33 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

Now I'm wondering if I should drop the pan 

Could be worth it.  Something could be caught in the oil pickup, and you could check the mains and rod bearings while you're in there.

I'd probably reach out to Tripp first and see if he had to replace any seals before he sold it, see if there's a quick answer for it.

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