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rustomatic
rustomatic New Reader
7/7/20 10:06 a.m.

It would be a bit of an engineering exercise, but you might look into the somewhat wide independent rear ends from the last generation (pre-'16?) of Camaro.  They're pretty cheap for what they are, and the differentials would work well for higher power levels.  It might be on par, cost-wise, with a custom cambered stick axle, but would have so much more potential . . .

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
7/7/20 11:20 a.m.

In reply to rustomatic :

That sounds interesting if I were to come across one. It would force this car into a higher class for Time Attack though...which is the goal. At this point I'm stuck with the factory chassis pickup points as the rules are written.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
7/24/20 8:05 a.m.

Don't know how I missed this one, but super relevant since I'm always shopping G-bodies. Can't wait to see how this develops.

Question WRT the cage: Did you add plates to be able to separate the body? Looks almost like it's tied straight into the chassis and would have to be cut to remove the body? 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
7/24/20 9:49 a.m.

In reply to CLynn85 :

Welded strait to the chassis with the main hoop and rear down bars which per safety rules in NASA, SCCA, NHRA the roll cage must be mounted directly to the chassis. The door bars are more of an add-on for rigidity and side impact protection on the street. They tie directly to the top of the body mount at door center and the floor just over the forward body mounts under the windshield.

I did give some thought to making a "bolt in" style but decided against it for several reasons. First off being that I plan to competitively Time Attack the car with GridLife and safety became a big consideration for me after having the urge to flat foot the kink at Road America last year (car would have done it) on 225/245 tires. Started delaminating the fronts, tore 2 body mounts through the frame (below windshield), 2 body mounts wound up missing and fifth tore though the body in the trunk. On that note, I go over my car before and during events. I never considered that the body mounts would be loosing bolts or tearing out... The tires ended my weekend as I didn't have spares and I was only going to miss one session the next day anyway. Second and third reasons are chassis rigidity and complexity of fabrication. A bolt in solution would require the making frame stand-offs, plates, floor modifications so it all sat flat, getting the height exactly right, etc. And any non solid mount...even though its bolted tight, is a point of movement that is possibly going to fail in a crash situation...especially if its up off the frame and now has sideways leverage. Could have done removable floor sections and bolted directly to frame but space is tight and its a lot more fabrication as well. Lastly I just finished completely redoing the chassis over the winter. Frame off, boxed, fixed welds, repaired body mounts, gussets, plates and inner frame rails, frame notch for mini tub, braces, tunable mounts, blasting and paint. I don't for-see the body coming back off anytime soon, much less in the remaining lifespan of the body. If it needs to the two options are cut it out or cut the floor like dirt track guys do for body swaps. Knowing myself and how my projects go, if the body comes back off it'll be because some very major work is about to happen and I likely won't be reusing either the body or the cage at that point.

I have every intention to keep this a street car, but I needed a legal 4pt cage to do some competition classes with. I have another '82 Cutlass, same color and everything that will be a Time Attack unlimited car if I ever get around to finishing it. This car ('85) is acting as the testing platform to figure out suspension setups, weak points, requried changes, ideas and more to apply to the 82 while its still stripped down.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
7/27/20 3:29 p.m.

Seems legit. Was just curious. The only full-framed "cars" I've ever owned have been 2 Crown Vics (1 of which became my F100), so I'm not used to having the luxury (if you could call it that) of being able to separate the two entities. 

I'm following your build with great interest (and followed you on instagram as well) as I've never had many GM products and want something different, so a road race (ish) build like this is definitely on my radar. G-bodies especially, as they're some of the last affordable good-looking RWD platforms out there IMO. 

I've also been flirting with the idea of sliding a street body onto a latemodel or similar circle track chassis, as the safety, stiffness, and adjustability is already there, but at that point you're doing more of building a car rather than modifying it. After "finishing" my F100 I'm not sure I want to do another chassis swap right now.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
7/28/20 10:08 a.m.

In reply to CLynn85 :

What's your opinion of the crown vic swap for the F100? I looked at just that project earlier this year as a possible GridLife GLTC build since body swaps are not against the rules and it would be badass seeing a 70's Ford pickup out there wheel to wheel racing. Had to pass up due to available funds at the time and not wanting to get distracted from this car. QA1's new chassis setup for the F100/150 looks to be great choice now too. All new parts and probably a lot less work as well.

Converting a stock car is no small job. If you haven't seen it over on Pro-touring this thread does a decent job showing what the problems are getting it all put together. https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/132099-Another-67-cougar-with-a-big-twist

Personally I'd be more inclined to take what I want off a stock car and convert to use on the body donor vs trying to cut and fit a body onto the stock car chassis. I think It would be easier and more customizable. Plus there's the changes needed to make it turn left AND right.

rustomatic
rustomatic New Reader
7/28/20 2:57 p.m.

The Crown Vic chassis/drivetrain makes a fun/easy hotrod that puts a good modern touch under an old body, but it has serious performance limitations (especially in the front end).  In other words, once pushed, they run out of performance pretty quickly.  That said, I did a track day a couple years back in a 2008 Crown Vic, and it was fun for a while, then it got boring, as it could only do a little over 90 on the main straight (Thunderhill in CA).  With that speed level in mind, it did not take long before there was extremely little braking (and near constant use of the full travel of the gas pedal).  The car was supremely stable and was able to use all of its power quite easily.  So one might say that the Crown Vic is a decent 3800-pound momentum car, especially with good cop tires and shocks, and the later ones had pretty darn good brakes and steering (rack vs. box post-2003).

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
7/28/20 7:59 p.m.
asphalt_gundam said:

In reply to CLynn85 :

What's your opinion of the crown vic swap for the F100? I looked at just that project earlier this year as a possible GridLife GLTC build since body swaps are not against the rules and it would be badass seeing a 70's Ford pickup out there wheel to wheel racing. Had to pass up due to available funds at the time and not wanting to get distracted from this car. QA1's new chassis setup for the F100/150 looks to be great choice now too. All new parts and probably a lot less work as well.

You can't beat the bang for the buck of the P71 swap, by far the cheapest way to get disk brakes, rack and pinion steering, double a arm suspension, fuel injection, and overdrive into your F100. I quickly got mine to the 80% complete level and started driving it and still have a ton of loose ends to take care of.

That being said, it mostly just makes for a solid reliable cruiser. It's still underpowered, undersprung, and lacks torsional rigidity. There are parts out there from ridetech and adtr to address some of the shortcomings, but you're still going to dump a decent amount into it to take it to the next level. Hence why mine still sits as it does. Long term goals were always a Coyote 5.0, 6 speed, worked over suspension and mild cage, but at the end of the day I just don't think it's worth it and my efforts and cash would be better focused on a more mainstream platform. It's still a killer daily driver and I've done multiple long distance drives/rallies in it.

I really need to update my build thread on it. Was thinking about doing the $2020 challenge (did I mention I'm still way under budget) but I suppose that'll be canceled this year as well, if it hasn't been already. 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/5/20 2:55 p.m.

Post Powercruise USA update:

No problems all weekend in 4 hours of track time other than the throw-out bearing getting sticky on the transmission snout after about 2-1/2 to 3hrs. Some penetrating oil took care of it. This was a problem I encountered last year also. Considering the article about excessive clutch pedal stroke in the latest GM issue I'm looking at fabricating an adjustable stop for the pedal and a heavy return spring to pull the clutch fork back to the released position. It was lightly greased back in march when I was reassembling the car but like last year the dust/dirt just gets in there and makes a sticky glue substance.

For chassis adjustments the only thing I changed was dropping the rear lower control arms all the way down to the very bottom bolt hole on the brackets I make.  This was a 3-3/4" drop from the factory location on the axle housing and cut the counter steer of the rear axle significantly. The result: Car felt planted through out the corners, on throttle corner exit was noticeably better. Especially when the rear wanted to step out. Best guess is half or less as much steering input needed to catch it, and the threshold was a little higher as well. The few times I was able to go a little hot on corner entry I was rewarded with a definite resistance to under steer compared to before. It wasn't happy, but she didn't push much wider than where I was trying to make it go. Overall I'm happy with the improvement as there were no down sides that I noticed with the change. Will need to start changing the upper arm mounts around for further tuning and more traction in the future. For now its keeping the rears hooked up through the corner on throttle so I think I'm alright for now until more power is added. 

My custom front upper control arms arrived the same day I was loading up in preparation to go. Didn't get a chance to install them in order to test and did not want to take up part of my for fun weekend making changes and a new alignment at the track. Got them on the car last night and the look like my math was good. Still need to do the alignment in a few days but the wheels are not significantly off center of the wheel well considering the 1-1/4" change in offset to add caster. I also tilted the arms by using the front top hole and bottom (the 3/4" drop holes I added last winter) in the rear to increase anti-dive. I'll try to do some testing (pictures) to see if the wheel tuck under braking is reduced. I hope so because i'm getting all over the bump stops currently. Also looking at an adjustable shock upgrade before GridLife @ Road America in September. Last fall I was 30 seconds off the leaders in Street Mod at RA and my goal is to put a significant dent in that this year without any extra HP. 

A series of other modifications in preparation have been put in motion including: Relocate battery to trunk on pass side, fender vents, additional hood vent(s), rear brake pad change, and optimize the engine tune.  I should also look at changing up my seat mounting and going to a 5 or 6pt harness as the stock seat belt just isn't keeping me planted under hard braking.

Photo credit: Mike Busche

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/6/20 7:32 a.m.

A few more pictures from the weekend at Powercruise USA.

Photos by Alayne Vetter

Roll racing other cars is a lot of the fun of this event along with being able to take passengers. Powercruise was my first on-track experience a few years ago and was a big part of getting me motivated to get myself out on track with my own car.

This Chevelle just makes my cutlass look so small by comparison. I should save this for when people tell me how big of a car I have. Although when comparing to my buddy's E46 a few weeks back we found out the wheel base the same within an inch but the cutlass is nearly 3ft longer....

 

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) New Reader
8/6/20 2:58 p.m.

This Chevelle just makes my cutlass look so small by comparison. I should save this for when people tell me how big of a car I have.

i have to say, what stood out to me is how tall it is... clearly a “run what you brung” event, but it looks like a lot of fun!  I’d kill to have something like that near me. 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/7/20 7:23 a.m.

The new upper control arms are on. Haven't had time to align it yet but my eye says zero to 1 degree camber with no shims on driver's side and what's needed to match on the passenger side. Which puts it just about perfect to have tuning room for camber or extra caster with minimal shims.
Also notice the increase in anti-dive geometry. The upper front mount hole is used while the lower rear is used. This should help keep the nose from dropping so hard under braking and therefore maintain more traction under braking. Camber gain will be reduced from using both lower holes but still more than both upper holes. With any luck I can maintain a nice flat/level tire in the corners while increasing the braking performance back to what it was with less camber back at Gingerman.

These new Joes Racing Products control arms should also add rigidity to the front suspension with the beefy steel cross shafts over the old AFCO arms with aluminum cross shafts.

RESPECT THE G BODY!!!

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/11/20 9:45 a.m.

Alignment is done now after a last minute decision to go to GridLife Alpine Horizon this coming weekend.

Then new control arms have a lot of range now. Especially in the ability to add caster.  I now have 6.5 degrees of caster vs 5 before and camber has come down to 2.3 with Toe 1/32 In. From where its sitting I have enough room to add a lot more caster and/or camber but I think this is a good place to start. I'm looking forward to seeing how it handles now with the changes and it'll be on the PPIR roval no less.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/18/20 1:15 p.m.

GridLife Alpine Horizon Recap:

The trip out to Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado was uneventful and accomplished in about 24hrs with a 6hr nap in there. Arrived Thursday evening and setup camp and get to work reinstalling the front end and big spoiler trunk. Then Alayne yells at me "get your car over there NOW!"

These are the shots

Friday I fought with overheating and fuel supply problems. By the end of the day I had changed fuel filters because the pre-pump had some sand like stuff shake out, the post-pump rattled like a maraca....I spent half of two sessions parked off track in a safe zone only to get it restarted and limped back to the pits at the end of the session without needing to be towed. Also found that my harmonic balancer decided it was time to start disassembling itself. Had to re-tighten the face-plate screws after every session despite excessive thread lock. Gasket maker proved more effective by the end of the weekend and I'm currently down to 4 out of 6 screws in place. I'll be taking a long look at increasing or repairing the threads and screws or get an entirely new balancer of higher quality. Fuel problems didn't end there and by evening I had pulled the fuel tank, cleaned it, removed the foam (just in case that had something to do with it) and the crappy sock filter thing. Some more adjustment to the tune  (noticed that the high temps put me in spark cut and if the engine won't idle down to commanded it cuts spark to cranking setting) after a test drive and all "seemed" well.

Saturday was a day of up and down with black flags ensuing. Right away I get under the car and start Gorilla taping up any opening around the radiator and stuffed a towel in the gap underneath it. First session out ran the car ran well and stayed below 212. 5-6 laps in I was getting into rhythm and thinking hell yeah! this is what its supposed to do....well damn....they're pointing a black flag at me...now what??? Go in and pull up to the pit box, "you're spilling fuel out the back". Oh, Check the cap then. They throw some rags around the filler neck/cap and send me out again and I finish the session. At this point there's a long break and Alayne and I decide to take the Cutlass for a drive up the mountains and maybe go up Pikes Peak. The constant uphill and slow speed didn't go over with the radiator being able to keep things cool so we decided on Garden of the Gods instead. A little over half way through the clutch stops releasing....crap! After realizing there's no way to fix it there I manage to get it started/rolling and not stop until out of the park and near a gas station. Buy some hose clamps to space out the clutch cable and get it working enough to get back to the track. Adjust the clutch, bag seal the gas cap, check wheel torque, etc and go out for 2nd session. 5-6 laps in Black Flag....still leaking, more rags, one lap, still leaking....back to pits. I realize that maybe its the vent hose and not the cap that's leaking fuel. Add about 3ft to it and loop it up high in the quarter panel. Next session out....your guessed it Black Flag after 5-6 laps. Come in to pit throw on an filter in the vent line to just try it. No go still getting BF....well hell. Go to town to top off the gas for Sunday and soon as I crack the cap its pushing fuel out!!! and not a small amount....Ok, so the gas tank is getting pressurized enough to push fuel out the vent line. A few minutes and a 2gal gas can later I have a catch can in the trunk. Go for a drive and test it, wind up with gas in the can. Ok well, at least it isn't going to be all over the track now. 

Sunday: First session and all of them after, NO LEAKS, NO Black Flags and the car is running Good! Adding all the rear spoiler angle to try to find traction in the infield didn't make the car faster but it helped stability a lot without slowing the lap times. After the first session I was looking at my tire wear and decided to increase caster to get the tires more even with the wheel turned. Second session I went .5 sec faster and tire wear was noticeably more even. Went out again for 3rd session and knocked another .4 off by pushing more in the high banking of 1 and 2 and brake zone from 3 to 4. General consensus from other racers was that the gas tank is getting heated up from the exhaust which is causing the pressure. It's not closer than a few inches but some heat shielding won't hurt.

All in all it was a great weekend and I'm glad we last minute decided to go.  I have a long list of things to go through before Road America in a month and can't wait to get started. 

I'll share more photos as they get posted later in the week.

iansane
iansane Reader
8/18/20 1:29 p.m.

Damn, stressful! But at least it ended somewhat positively, with a possible solution. And those picture look amazing!

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/18/20 9:30 p.m.

Here's some on track pics from over the weekend. I forgot to mention earlier that it's crazy how much the traction changes between the oval and the road course here at PPIR. It seemed endless on the oval but the rear just wanted to kick out with throttle on the in-field.

It's also crazy how many people on this trip came by to check out the car and say they thought it was the coolest thing at the track. I was even getting questions at fuel stops and people giving thumbs up while going doirhe road. They all added to the fun of the weekend for me.

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
8/19/20 2:27 p.m.

Just wanted to say congrats on this months GRM magazine write-up. So awesome. 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/20/20 10:14 a.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

Thank you.

 

And since I forgot to mention it above the changes to the car with the upper A arms and anti-dive geometry were a success. The front end dive under heavy braking have been cut dramatically. Up to 50% I'd estimate. I accomplished what I wanted to and that was get my deep brake zone back. Its really close now but was noticing that I needed more camber with how the tires were wearing so rather than add camber on Sunday I only added caster. The next two sessions are when I finally went faster. I had added rear spoiler to increase grip in the infield but it was a wash on Saturday. No faster, no slower but the the car was much more stable so I left it. The caster change was enough to bring the tire wear into a visually better place. I'm thinking I'll need to put some more static caster back in it but not a lot. Currently at 2.2 shouldn't need to go any higher than 3. However I do have shock upgrades ordered and will likely not have any testing in between putting those on so I'll be leaving everything where its at for now then test at Road America. Overall I'm happy with the changes and confident they did pay off. As a rough (take it with a grain of salt) calculation for the track length (PPIR at 1.3mile vs Gingerman at 2.14) vs. how many seconds I'm trailing the Street Mod record setters I have picked up 6.9 seconds since early June. Nearly all of which has been chassis/suspension geometry adjustments.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
8/20/20 10:38 a.m.
OjaiM5 said:

Just wanted to say congrats on this months GRM magazine write-up. So awesome. 

X2

rustomatic
rustomatic New Reader
8/20/20 10:56 a.m.

I appreciate the reality this thread provides:  Having fun with a race car is a lot of work!

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/24/20 1:50 p.m.

I can't believe I missed this. I am going to look into the vintage air setup for my Monte Carlo. Is there a write up somewhere on using the mustang bits for the transmission swap?

 

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
8/25/20 10:51 a.m.

Mein Gott! I love this car. I would love to take part in a PowerCruise. I didn't realize we had any of them stateside. I've watched plenty through MCM and been jealous.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam New Reader
8/25/20 3:48 p.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

I don't really have a write up on using the mustang parts. Mostly because of the fab work involved is above normal. But here's the overview: Olds block, Tremec 3650 (ford modular bell housing), Mustang clutch and pressure plate, Olds flywheel, 3/8" thick adapter for the bell housing bolts and dowels, pilot bearing adapter and centric hub extension, 1/4" spacer between the flex-plate and flywheel. Ford/mustang throwout bearing, pilot bearing, clutch fork, and clutch cable and quadrant (BBK). 

Yes I'm running the both a flex plate and flywheel. Need the flex-plate for engine balance and starter engagement. The pilot bearing adapter i machined to fit a std mustang needle bearing and it doubles as a hub centric locator for the flywheel. Spacer under the flywheel to get the clutch positioned correctly on the input shaft (this is because of the 3/8" setback of the bell housing adapter). Longer bolts into the crank sandwich it all together. Flywheel had pins that lined up and just needed the bolt holes drilled for the mustang pressure plate. Clutch fork, throw out bearing and cable were all direct fit for each other so no problems there. Note: the cheap headers (on the car when I purchased it) were another story. The American Racing Headers I have now clear it all with zero problems. For the pedals I took them out of a Ford Ranger and modified the stock brake pedal bracket to hold both clutch and brake. Clutch pedal was modified to bolt on the mustang cable quadrant and brake pedal modified for the correct pin location for brake pedal ratio. It was easy enough to bend the pedal beams to get the footing positions I wanted and a stop on the clutch set pedal released height. Note: after September Issue of GRM i'm planning for a floor stop as well. Where I like the clutch pedal when released has inches more travel than needed by the time it hits the floor. Firewall got some sheet metal work to bolt on the cable while still clearing the wipers and brake booster.

Other notes: I could have saved some effort by getting an Olds pressure plate and the mustang clutch disc, obviously as long as they were the same diameter. The trans bell housing did need to be cut/clearanced around the starter because ford is on the pass side instead of drivers like an Olds. The trans is rotated 1 degree (might have be 1.5) to the passenger side. This is so the dowel pins didn't overlap between the olds and ford. Which worked out and placed the shifter in the center console perfectly....just got lucky there. Adapter plate was made by machining in the B.O.P. bell housing bolt holes and a pilot hole at crank center to blueprint (easy to find) then set transmission on (using pilot snout as locator) and transfer punched the trans holes (because ford blueprint for mod motor is not easy to find). FYI the mod motor and standard SBF share dowel pin locations and 2 other bolt holes. My way worked out best though because of the rotation needed which I didn't know was needed until at the transfer punch stage.

This setup has worked very well for street and track use for about 2 years now. Only problems have been needing to install bronze shift fork pads, and syncro wear from hard use. Why not use bolt on parts? Total cost was looking to be over $6K with a new TKO. This swap was completed for under $1500 with the cost of a yoke and to shorten a larger driveshaft I had laying around. All of that money saved was much better spent on suspension and reliability upgrades. FYI I picked up the trans used and pulled for $500.

If I make the move to add more power I'll need to upgrade the trans to an 1-1/8 input shaft which in turn will push me to get a custom aluminum flywheel and dual disc clutch of a smaller diameter to shave significant weight. All of which costs money either way, would/will be a needed upgrade, and still has me way below the upfront cost of a "bolt on" solution.

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
8/25/20 5:08 p.m.
NOT A TA said:
OjaiM5 said:

Just wanted to say congrats on this months GRM magazine write-up. So awesome. 

X2

X3

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