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pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/2/21 8:41 p.m.

Is the crank getting offset ground?  Sounds like you'll end up at basically the same displacement as the previous engine. 

 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/4/21 3:25 p.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

Is the crank getting offset ground?  Sounds like you'll end up at basically the same displacement as the previous engine. 

 

Crank is the same stroke. Going bigger bore so I'll end up at 384 vs 362.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/5/21 7:32 a.m.

Progress over the last couple days. I designed a new lower control arm bracket with two sets of holes for possible wheel base correction depending on control arm angles. Also turned the shock mount 90 degrees and made that adjustable as well to move it with any significant ride height changes or raising the rear. Also for geometry reasons. The rotated shock also made access to the bound/rebound adjustments easier.

Also fabricated spring perches which I'll hold off on until mocked up in the car as the old rear had them out of alignment at my lowered ride height.

Strike_Zero
Strike_Zero UltraDork
2/5/21 4:12 p.m.

How did I miss this thread?

Sweet G-Body. Which Procar seats are those? How do you like them?

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/8/21 10:42 a.m.
Strike_Zero said:

How did I miss this thread?

Sweet G-Body. Which Procar seats are those? How do you like them?

Thanks

They are the "drifter" style. I like them a lot! Fit is really nice for me, no sliding around during track days and not too bad to get in and out of when street driving. The slider is decent and helps a bunch for easy in/out. Their mount brackets leave a lot be desired. Seat sits too high and they the deflect enough to unlock one slider when cornering hard. Easy to fix with some modification or start from scratch and build your own brackets. There are better sliders out there too, such as the ones a friend of mine got from Bimmer World for his car. They used a bent bar release vs. the handle/cable of the Procar. 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/12/21 8:24 a.m.

More progress this week. Doing what I can stand to out in the garage....the week long high temp has been 1 degree, otherwise get past -15 every night and that's with the big lake a mile away. Farther out it's even colder.

Brake parts came in and started the mockup. I'll be getting rebuild kits for some swap meet calipers (same as I did the front) so I got dirt track rotor hats, light weight 11.75x1.25 rotors, and fabricated brackets from a metric caliper set. 

I also ran the suspension through it's travel range to check both brake clearance and shock travel with the new mount locations. 

I wasn't looking forward to doing the transmission work in the garage given the cold so basement bar it is!

Taking the transmission down to swap to an upgraded input shaft, .81 OD gears, a 3-4 billet shift fork, and replace syncro rings for 5th and Reverse.

BigIron
BigIron
2/22/21 1:28 p.m.

Out of curiosity, what did you think your laptimes would be at Road America if not for the sick motor as it was braking and cornering much better than previous?

 

Haven't worked with an Olds in a long time but I'm wondering if the distro gear issue might have some thing to do with lateral loading/oil control in the carousel. Happening twice at the same track might point to it being a particular corner? Does it have oil restrictors in it?

 

Rocket Racing is a specialty Olds shop that, while being drag focused, may have an idea what is going on with your engine. John is pretty sharp.

 

Very cool seeing a G body out there hot lapping a road course. Need more of them out there.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/24/21 12:04 p.m.

In reply to BigIron :

I was hopeful of a low 2:40s around RA. Oddly enough my minimum corner speed didn't go up much more than 1 or 2mph from the previous year. However corner exit was a huge improvement (thanks to traction) with nearing 110mph into the kink vs mid 90s before. I think mid 2:40s (about a 10 sec improvement) would have been realistic.

I don't see the carousel / lateral load as being the problem. If she'd have oil starved I would have seen it in the main bearings but they looked great during tear down. The distributor gear isn't only getting eaten at RA. The last 2 years its need one put in mid season too. I think RA is just so much extended high rpm runs that it just happens faster. Lifter restrictors are on the list (of several things to reduce or eliminate this problem) for this year as an addition to both the old (back up engine) and new block. They should give a pressure bump to the oil squirt onto the gear (drilling it bigger too) and keep more oil in the bottom end. 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/24/21 1:51 p.m.

More progress in the last week.

Got some relocated upper control arm points made/fabricated. Raises the location by 2" and gets the upper arms almost dead level. 

I'm looking forward to doing some testing with this change. When cycling the rear suspension in the stock location at ride height I measured 1/32" of rear steer at bump stop. Rear is very neutral this way. It took all the lower control arm drop at the alxe to keep it from counter steering. I think it was nearly 1/8" in the stock lower control arm location which made the car very stable but actively resisting any turns. Moving the upper control arm to the raised hole and cycling the suspension again got me just over 3/16" (.210 measured) of rear steer. That was again at the bump stop. Realistically the car won't be getting to the bump stops (3" of compression travel) but at a reasonable 1-1/2" compression travel it will see almost an 1/8" of rear steer. 

How much will this help lap times? No idea...but it "should" do a few things: First the raised control arm location will add rear traction on throttle by loading the rear axle. This applies to straight line and I hope some corner exit. Especially since the car likes to be on throttle through a corner. Secondly the rear steer will "free" the car up. I'm thinking it'll turn in easier and quicker as the body rolls into the corner and make the car naturally want to take a tighter arc. Any "loose" over steer that may arise might be balanced by more rear grip on throttle. Third this opens the door for finer tuning as playing with the ride height and lower control arm location will allow changes to the instant center, and rear steer. 

More rear end stuff included fill and drain plugs for the housing, welding on the spring perches, and disassembly of the brake calipers for rebuild. 

BigIron
BigIron New Reader
2/24/21 9:49 p.m.

It's possible your block is worn enough to allow the cam to walk which is eating the distro gear. Rocket racing has parts for this but I'd talk to John first before throwing parts at it. Here's the page on their site with shims and button. https://shop.rocketracingshop.com/Camshaft-Accessories_c20.htm

 

While it's cool to see a Cutlass winging around the track the fact it is Olds powered is even better. Had a '70 W30 for 20+ years so I'm definitely partial to the Rocket power. Got to say I'm amazed you found three diesel blocks as I was under the impression they are rather hand to find anymore. Definitely a good base to build on but probably overkill. Not that that is a bad thing.

 

I read through the thread the other day but don't recall if you have posted if you have dynoed the motor? Mid to low 2:40's is pretty good at Road America so apparently it has some steam under the hood as G's are not light.

 

Good luck on the motor and look forward to seeing what the car can do in the future.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/25/21 6:41 a.m.

In reply to BigIron :

Thanks. The 362 was never on the dyno but I've built several similar that were all 400-420hp on the engine dyno and 440+ ft lbs. She went mid 2:50s around RA on less brake, less tire, less chassis the previous year so even with the same power I expected a good improvement. 

The block is wearing but that's side effect not the cause. Cam thrust was perfect before I started tracking the car. And up until needing to replace the old MSD distributor for a failed ignition module I wasn't having problems. After that I had a badly machined distributor, put more cam in after that too. I'm confident that if I only drive street miles it all would last no problem. Bet being that it's getting road course use that adds up to 2+ hrs of 3500rpm+. I bet a track car engine sees more total high rpm use in one weekend than most drag cars do all year. I'll be checking the gears for engagement pattern like a ring and pinion gear set and shim the cam as needed this time around on the gas block. The new build on the diesel block is getting a roller thrust bearing, roller cam, lifter restrictors, increased gear oiling, and check/set the pattern.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/5/21 4:10 p.m.

Been a while since I posted an update and quite a bit of progress has happened.

Collected a whole lot of small parts I needed. Rear end got new seals and axle bearings. Housing was cleaned and painted. Axle retainers were swapped for machined ones to work with the weld on caliper brackets. Gear pattern checked. Spacers for the rotor hats machined and spacer for the shock relocation too. Axles needed to be machined for a few thou off the hubs to fit the bore in the wheels and re-drilled the bolt pattern for 5x4.75 and the 12mm studs.  

Seals and bleeders came in to rebuild the calipers. Also needed a couple bolts and to machine a bridge spacer. Cleaned up everything and fabricated one new cross over tube. Once reassembled I put the pads in and bolted up the caliper brackets then slipped over the rotors. Once centered and positioned where I wanted the brackets were welded onto the housing. Installed the axle back in the car and hooked up the shocks on their brackets, welded the tabs on for the brake lines, and put the swaybar back on.

With the Rear finally finished up I had parts coming in for getting started on the aero upgrades.  Decided to start at the front of the car with a splitter. I went with 3/4" plywood for material and will be utilizing several Professional Awesome products incuding their quick release mounts and splitter rods. First step was getting the plywood cut to clear the tires so I could get it positioned and fabricate some mounts for the back that facilitate quick removal and install. After a lot of plans and seeing what I had to work with I settled on a 3/4" OD tube that slips into a 7/8" ID tube. The 3/4" tube got a plate welded to it to spread the load and support the splitter and the 7/8" tube welded to the cross member.

I was looking at two different mounting positions for the quick release. Settled on the more rearward location in order to provide as much approach angle as possible with the splitter removed. This car is 3ft from contact patch to bumper and I was needing to remove the fiberglass one with the air dam last year to get on/off the trailer. Goal now is to only need to drop the splitter (and have it be done quickly). I'll cut the fiberglass shorter so it can stay on the car and mount an air dam to the splitter so I can gain the needed clearance. Outer profile of the splitter is at the class rule max of 5" all the way around. It has more flat area in several places than that because the body overhangs quite a bit in places and the rule is "as viewed from above".

I just had to throw the bumper on to see about how it would look.

After some deliberation and tests on what to do with the fender in front of the tire I settled on a 2" pull and tire spat. The other options were a 5" pull which would completely cover the tire as seen from the front and tire spat only. The 5" pull made a point out of the fender that just ruined the looks and make it seem fat in the front. It could be the best aero option but I just didn't like it. Tire spat only made for a lot of frontal area in a vertical plane. The 2" pull is a good compromise as it doesn't poke the fender out and cuts the tire spat frontal area in about half.

Given where the mounts are ending up I'll be running 4 splitter rods across the front. Two more mounts at the tire behind the fender (access through the wheel well to insert a pin) and between those and the quick release I'll be installing Professional Awesome's front diffusers. I was going to fab my own but the space available is nearly an exact fit for the Pro Awesome diffusers so why make more work for myself.

I've also picked up a 9 Lives Racing Wang (71") and several plates of aluminum to fabricate mounts with. I was worried that and raised wing would look stupid/ugly but the quick mockup (boxes stacked on things to hold up the wing) looks pretty cool so far.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/15/21 12:26 p.m.

More progress on the splitter this week. Ended up removing the grills, and fascia? upper bumper cover? To have access for welding on brackets for the splitter rods. Only after working around all of it to make sure the brackets were tacked in where they needed to be so all the holes lined up when going back together. 

Here I have the fiberglass bumper and airdam fit up to the bash bar again. I needed to re-due the brackets that hold it on after cutting away the bent and no longer needed lower section.

Once finished with welding and confident it was all going to fit I shot some paint on the bash bar for the first time. Upper brackets are for the splitter rods and lower ones for the fiberglass bumper.

Once all put back together I installed the splitter rod clevis and cut 3" off of the air dam section of the bumper. It was largely beat up already, required removal to get on/off the trailer and had bias against large bumps and steep approaches. With the setup for the splitter rods it is now much more difficult to remove and I don't want to anymore anyway. This will be "street" trim for cruising and beer runs. For those that may be wondering why so many approach angle problems...the car is 3ft from contact patch to the bumper. An E46 BMW has nearly the same wheel base (less than an inch different) but is just over 14ft long while the Cutlass is a little over 17ft. It sucks because I can't go as low as other cars without having lots of ground contact problems on the street or if track curbs are large it could be a real problem for the splitter....which adds another 5" in length. Other side of that coin is all that extra length is leverage for the aero. So maybe it'll pay off in that respect.

Last night I reached the point of beginning the final steps so it was time to do something with the wood itself. Rather than just paint it black I decided to go for some style points. Had stain left over from from doing my basement bar during which I had fun trying out the burning technique so why not do that here too. Sand, burn, brush, stain, and clear coat with some SC1 (Maxima oil stuff I'd been given) that is supposed to be super good as a water/mud repellant and wipe off cleaning. Trying it on this. Once dry I can say it has a glossy finish and slippery feel to it.

Started mocking up for the air dam that will be attached to the splitter with CAD and trying to figure out the best way to go about rounding the corner from a vertical to compound curve on the angled front section of fiberglass airdam while still being vertical at the splitter......I'll be messing with it more tonight. Working with the Speedway Motors "race car body" plastic roll if anyone knows some secrets to shaping/molding that stuff. It does bends and folds in a strait line decent but this is much more complex of a shape needed. Cut an plastic weld maybe??? Other idea is metal corner caps to make the transition.

 

obsolete
obsolete Reader
4/15/21 12:42 p.m.

Wow, love the direction you're going with this and looking forward to seeing the finished product.

I haven't worked with the Speedway plastic before, but the website says it's HDPE, which I know can be vacuum formed pretty easily. I'd try making a buck for the shape you want, maybe out of wood, then try forming the plastic over that with a heat gun.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/15/21 10:57 p.m.

5 hours of progress tonight. Figured out how I wanted to do the air dam. I tried forming with heat and cut/bend/plastic weld but it just wasn't going how I wanted. Then after staring at it I realized I could just do a bend and tuck it under the bumper overhang with a little clearancing. Used clecos for the first time ever. Made me feel like a pro builder....and they worked great!

Before I screwed up a long straight cut I got some screws out and made myself a quick fence to get a straight even cut over the length of the air dam plastic which worked perfectly.

Rivets, a little clearancing and 4 bolts for the brackets by the wheels to get it mounted to the splitter. Then moved on to the bending and mounting the end plates. Still have wheel wickers, skid blocks and the diffusers to do. 

I'm happy with it so far. Maybe finished the front tomorrow evening other than remote controls for the quick release mounts. Still deciding if I want to do direct rod actuation in the wheel well or attempt something with cables to under the hood. Have both release and lock to deal with. Locks will need some sort of positive latch in both positions to work correctly.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
4/16/21 5:13 p.m.

I like how more and more serious this car gets.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/19/21 8:05 a.m.

Goal for last weekend was finish the wheel wickers and diffusers Friday night and get the Nine Lives Racing WANG mounted.

Goal Accomplished!

This was a lot of work with a jig saw and grinder as my shear wouldn't go through the 1/4" thick aluminum plate. I'm happy with the results as the it came out square, and level. I have 2 degree angle adjust increments from up 1 to down 15 for angle of attack.

Position is just shy of maxed out for class rules in height and rearward placement. I have an two inches of vertical height drop available and the ability to do more if needed.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/23/21 9:15 a.m.

Knocking things off the lists....

Finished plumbing brake lines on the new rear end, straitened the rear bash bar and reinstalled the bumper cover. Fabricated a different rear tow hook that won't smash into the ground when unloading off the trailer.

Inspected the front spindles, brakes and wheels. No cracks or bends I can see, pads are worn pretty uneven. They'd been great all year but my bet is Road America took it's toll.... which it seems to do to this car every year. 

New pads on the way and suspecting the increased wear was heat related I quickly fab'd up some cooling ducts/air catch/ or whatever you want to call it. They hang below the splitter and should at least direct some air to the inside of the rotor.

Button head stainless hardware showed up for the wing mounts.

Also the dirt track rocker panels showed up to use for side skirts. I wasn't sure about these (the stock photos suck) until I saw a civic with them... was not bad looking so I went ahead with it. I think they look decent and will do the job. I was able to mount directly to the frame and at 3 bolts each they should be quick install/removal. Plus they're flexible enough they should be able to take a hit without a problem.

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/24/21 8:58 p.m.

Fabricated new motor mounts today and modified the frame side parts too. I've had problems with the rubber mounts beginning to come apart. These have a sleeve of recycled PTFE which is stiffer than rubber but still compliant. Pressed them into some DOM tube that I welded into the chassis side.
Made mounts for the new expansion tank I'm adding to the cooling system. It's also now the highest point in the cooling system which will help with bleeding air out.

 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
5/7/21 9:38 p.m.

Finally after a few evenings working on a new transmission cross member it's done! Compared to the old one it's stiffer, lighter, more exhaust clearance, better bushing and even ties in the body to chassis at the tunnel. Should stiffen the chassis up and drops 14lbs over the old cross member.

Fluids showed up so the diff is now done and ready. Started on changing out the front brake pads which rolled into might as well clean up the calipers and re-pack the wheel bearings. Should finish that up tomorrow.

And the new rubber showed up today!!! Only 5 weeks of back order instead of the "could be mid June" I was warned about.

Now as long as the engine parts that have holding me up come in (fingers crossed)....I'll be able to make Blackhawk Farms in 2 weeks to test and be on sticky rubber for the first time.

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