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SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
11/18/16 12:19 a.m.

Wait, this was still the Century body style in 1996? Wow my memory does not remember that.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
11/18/16 6:49 p.m.

Yes it was. This body style ran from 1982 to 1996. The Century name went onto a rebadged W-body Regal starting in '97. No wagon available.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
11/21/16 12:01 a.m.

209.3 miles, 10.326 gallons of gasoline. 20.3 miles per gallon. I have been, uh, let's say "indulging myself" with regards to my newfound power. That is an approximate 60/40 highway/city mix, with spirited acceleration. So not terrible, honestly. The new oxygen sensor should help that a bit, as will me not giving it the beans so much.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
12/1/16 5:20 p.m.

Hi.

. . . . . .

"New" wheels for George. The GM Legos at play in this car grow ever larger. They are from a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, with center caps from a 1997 Buick LeSabre. I've had these wheels for something like nine years, and they've been on a couple of cars I've had in the past, including my van. They live, they die, they live again.

Esoteric Nixon
Esoteric Nixon UltraDork
12/1/16 6:52 p.m.

You might not know this, but, that car needs a wash.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
12/1/16 7:08 p.m.
Esoteric Nixon wrote: You might not know this, but, that car needs a wash.

Heh. Yeah, that it does. It's almost two years since I washed it last. Granted, it did sit in my garage for the last eight months or so. That's on the list. I want to take it to my local Cars and Coffee soon. A polishing is in order for that.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
12/3/16 4:38 p.m.

.

3/4 second improvement over stock.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
1/23/17 1:13 a.m.

Hello again. Just jumping in with a little update.

First, the old boy is old enough now to qualify for classic registration. .

I've put about 4000 miles on the car since I finished the swap, and it's been largely trouble-free. I've been chasing a random high idle that ended up being a very dirty idle speed control pintle, and the computer insists the engine is running lean. I've replaced the front oxygen sensor and thoroughly cleaned the mass air flow sensor, both of which were needed but neither made a difference. I will be purchasing HP Tuners soon to look into the lack of proper fueling. Maybe the base tune ('97 Monte Carlo 3.1) just doesn't have enough, despite the 36 pound injectors.

It ran well enough that I felt confident about making a road trip. I partially participated in the Roadkill Zip Ties event. I drove out to Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, CA, then to the lunch stop in Blythe, then back home to Vegas, about 700 miles total. It got 27 mpg, which is slightly lower than its EPA rating, but still good. They even took and posted a picture of my lame-o dad wagon on their website! I spoke briefly with Freiburger about my car and he was "impressed" that I did all the research and work myself. Even if he was just blowing smoke up my ass, it's nice to hear.

.

As I posted above, I ran the car at the local 1/4 mile drag strip, and it did go faster than stock, though not by much (about 3/4 second). Other sites I've posted at have posited that the engine is not breathing well enough, among other things*. This is true; I'm using a Grand Prix upper intake that does not provide the same amount of airflow as the LX9 intake, and it's attached to the stock Century's exhaust manifolds.

Apart from having an entire exhaust done from the manifolds back, I don't really see a way of improving exhaust flow. I can buy a ported 3100 upper intake, but that would only make the exhaust bottleneck worse. Ported logs are available from Milzy, but he actually told me that they don't make much difference over stock, and headers are the way to go for better breathing. Headers would absolutely make a huge difference, but would seriously compromise my sleeper image, along with making it vastly more difficult to maintain emissions compliance, since the only headers commercially available for these engines do not have EGR provisions.

Any suggestions? I know I've painted myself into this corner with my insistence that the car retain its stock underhood appearance.

*Worn out stock transmission, tall gearing, hard street tires, too soft suspension, cold track, lack of driver skill.

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
1/23/17 5:48 a.m.

In reply to Left Ventricle:

Congrats on getting some recognition for all your hard work!

It certainly seems like headers are where you need to start. Are you concerned about their appearance ruining the sleeper look? If so, is there a stock heat shield you may be able to (re)use and cover them up? Also, welding in an EGR port shouldn't be difficult or expensive at an exhaust shop.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
2/20/17 10:56 p.m.

Hi. I made a video where I talk about my car. Thanks for watching.

Shortly after finishing that video, I poked around a bit trying to figure out the random high idle. I took the intake hose off and inspected the throttle plate for binding or dirt buildup, but found no indication of either. After I put it back together, the P0171 code (bank 1 lean) went away! I'm not sure why, but I'll take it.

(Incidentally, is it possible to embed videos here? I know I've seen embedded Youtubes elsewhere on the forum...)

Chadeux
Chadeux Dork
2/20/17 11:23 p.m.

Get the embed code from the share tab under the video. Copy and paste that directly into your post.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hRwvigHXgi0

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
2/20/17 11:24 p.m.

EDIT: Thanks Chadeux!

petegossett wrote:

In reply to Left Ventricle:

Congrats on getting some recognition for all your hard work!

It certainly seems like headers are where you need to start. Are you concerned about their appearance ruining the sleeper look? If so, is there a stock heat shield you may be able to (re)use and cover them up? Also, welding in an EGR port shouldn't be difficult or expensive at an exhaust shop.

I said this in my video, but basically, everything I've heard from people who know a lot more about the 60 degree V6 than I do say that, unless you're making big power, a stock engine is fine with stock manifolds. I have been looking into using manifolds from a different car, or possibly the manifolds the LX9 came with, but finding a crossover that will fit seems to be an issue.

The best flowing manifolds seem to be those used on the LZ engines (3.5 and 3.9 VVT), but the head design changed with those, and the mounting studs for the manifolds are in different locations compared to the LX9 and earlier engines.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UltraDork
2/21/17 6:50 a.m.

I found a solution for the "breathing problems"

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
3/4/17 4:33 p.m.

. .

16" Grand Am SE wheels with Nexen 225-45 tires. I bought them for occasional racing purposes, since the shorter tire changes my effective final drive from 2.97 to 3.16. Hopefully that will let me pick up a tenth or two on the strip.

I may go back to the yard and grab the other two and put on some tall tires for the rear, like 225-60, give the car some old school rake.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
3/17/17 10:46 p.m.

Lightness + shorter front tires = over 1/2 second improvement in ET. No mechanical changes. Before and after.

. .

Also, on today's edition of "Inappropriate Burnouts"...

https://www.youtube.com/embed/JU5QZHa7jsU?ecver=1

AClockworkGarage
AClockworkGarage Reader
3/17/17 10:52 p.m.

Can you fit U-van air shocks in the rear?

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
3/17/17 11:05 p.m.

Vans and cars use the same shocks. I have some KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (KG5555) sitting in the garage that I will be installing this weekend. I just ran out of time today before the race. A bit less weight transfer may help.

Air shocks seem a little more complicated than I'm willing to go at this point.

AClockworkGarage
AClockworkGarage Reader
3/17/17 11:10 p.m.

They really aren't. forget the whole pump and switch setup. mount the shocks themselves with the manual fill kit and just inflate them with a tire pump. If you drag a front drive car you need these...

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
5/15/17 6:39 p.m.

I took the wagon on a 3000 mile road trip last month, and it performed admirably. No issues, averaged 27 miles per gallon, with a couple tanks hitting 29. The trip itself was unremarkable. We went to visit my wife's grandparents in Russell, KS. Coming from Las Vegas, I am unused to things closing at 9 pm, as I found out when I went to get a nip of booze for the wife at 9:30.

There was an enormous rain storm that I had to drive through without my wipers, since the passenger side wiper blade decided to berkeley off the arm. That was fun, and not at all harrowing.

Not much else to report. I will probably spend some quality time with my yellow '92 Century sedan in the near future. It has quite a bit of deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed. Oil change, transmission service, engine and transmission mounts. I'll make sure I take pictures of the mess that is the mounts.

OH! And I applied a new badge to the wagon. This is probably one of the very few cosmetic modifications I will do to this car: Buick tri-shield and Century name badge on the tailgate. This generation of Century has name badges on the quarter panels, but they fell off long ago. That, and my "RUNNING IN THE 90'S" and Roadkill bumper stickers.

And today's edition of "What made you think that was a good idea?", fridge on the roof.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
5/15/17 7:16 p.m.

In reply to Left Ventricle:

Nice!

759NRNG
759NRNG Reader
5/15/17 7:56 p.m.

Dan (aka Left Vntrcl) sorry, but I skimmed this thread and will go back. I applaud your conviction on making this WORK. 1996 technology and you're mashin E36M3 together to make this happen....not to mention some cat is providing 'tunes' for all this un berkelying believable....GREAT job!!! dad rocks!!! 'cuse me while I go back and catch up.... peace out

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
5/23/17 8:20 p.m.
Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
5/24/17 8:02 p.m.

Well, I spoke with Mike Miller of Milzy Motorsports on the phone, and he pointed me to my quick-and-dirty twist-and-tape splicing of a new TPS connector. Upon further inspection, one of the wires was tapeless and possibly touching the throttle cable bracket. That would explain the seeming random nature of the issue. At some point in the near future, I will probably solder the wires. For now, I have rerouted the wires away from the throttle bracket, and once I get a hold of some more tape, I will liberally apply some.

Mike also reiterated a probable cause for my persistent P0171 code: the rear valve cover ventilation hole. It's essentially open and causing a vacuum leak, because I have nowhere to put a hose. I will probably have to drill a hole in the coupler between the MAF and TB to insert the hose.

Wall-e
Wall-e MegaDork
5/24/17 8:13 p.m.

The Grand Am wheels are a good look on that car. The air shocks are really no harder to install other than mounting the fill valves. the easy way would be bolting a small tab under the rear bumper with two holes for the valves and running a couple lines up to the shocks.

Left Ventricle
Left Ventricle New Reader
5/24/17 9:38 p.m.

Air shocks are not something I'm really concerned about. I have only raced this car three times in the 4+ years I've owned it. It's not something I do frequently. I will probably use the old football trick next time, but that won't be for a while. I need to redo the front struts and sort that P0171.

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