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V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
6/16/22 8:41 a.m.

Thanks for the support everyone!  I've been driving this thing pretty regularly ever since the nationals.  The more I do, the less I want to take it apart.  I can finally admit that this car is pretty darn good.  Before nats I was all about throwing a cam in it, but I don't care as much anymore.  I'll still do it eventually, but for now I'm going to focus on the launch and whatever gets me in the seat more often!

I debated the whole 2-step vs wot box vs other forms of launch control, but I decided to stick with the WOT box.  It will be the best combination of cheap and easy to set up.  If I need something better in the future, Holley EFI will take care of it.

I'm not doing any of that until the winter though.  To keep myself busy, I have something I can work on in my cold basement.

I bought two HVAC units from parted out cars yesterday.  I want AC back in the car!  It's kind of sad that I'm working on doing away with the the AC delete with retained heat box that I worked so hard on, but if I can pull this off, it will be incredibly slick.  I'd also be able to enjoy this car every day of the summer which is the true end goal.

I still have no regrets deleting the factory system.  I really had no choice unless I wanted this car to be ugly and horrible to service.  In fact, I still have no plans to sacrifice any of that.  I have this wacky plan that may sound a bit far fetched, but I think I can reintegrate an evaporator and compressor without disturbing anything.  It's going to be a crazy hacking and fiberglassing extravaganza, but it should be worth the effort.

I was inspired by a video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=mRo05wph2F0&feature=emb_logo Adding a belt driven compressor back under the hood that's not completely in the way of something else would be nearly impossible.  However, these 12V compressors are pretty slick even if they aren't as efficient or reliable.  Wiring one in to my stock controls using a big solenoid on the compressor clutch circuit should be relatively simple as well.

We'll see.  I have the smallest automotive evaporator I can find on it's way from Amazon.  If I can find a way to shove it back deep in to the HVAC housing with only a small bump on the firewall plate and room for the down pipe that will be a HUGE obstacle to overcome.  The rest should be gravy.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
6/16/22 8:39 p.m.

How does the 3800 cam compare with the old GN cam? I remember hearing Buick people saying you don't need much cam on mild GN builds so you might as well use the stock cam. I imagine the 3800 cam is a little hotter simply knowing how most car companies were able to go a little hotter as time went on. LT1 cams vs. the various L98 cams for example.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
6/17/22 8:59 a.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

It's pretty good, but still not good enough for my 600hp goal.  I actually witnessed the stock cam record being broke on the dyno.  It made just a hair under 500 hp and a little over 700 ft/lbs.  I don't remember what heads he had on there, but I think he did have bigger valves.  This was a twin-charged setup in a LeSabre, so the big torque through that auto in a big car is pretty glorious.  I would rather have a more top end power at the expense of torque in the case of my Camaro though.  Plus, stock cam GNs sound pretty good.  Stock cam 3800s do not.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
6/21/22 8:01 a.m.

My wife and I decided to get the GN out of storage and take both toys to a car show this weekend.  It was really cool to see both cars showing off side by side.

The cooler part was that this show featured a chassis dyno.  I decided to support the effort of the organizer and get the Camaro up there.  Despite the clutch letting the smoke out and some misfires you can hear in the video, the results really surprised me!  I didn't even turn the boost up, and....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cCqit-ysaQ

Look at that!  That's exactly 50hp more than I made two year ago!  Torque was up over 50 as well!  It's amazing how much was being left on the table two years ago just because the car needed a few refinements.  The beautiful weather over the weekend is certainly at play here too.  It's probably actually doing the most of the work on these numbers because the car was tuned in a 100+ degree barn.  This isn't the same dyno either so you never know what calibration differences there may be.  Regardless, I'm super happy with this.  I have a little more to brag and be happy about before I drop the transmission AGAIN and replace this clutch with something more appropriate.  This one won't be cheap, and I don't have that kind of money right now.  In the mean time, I have a lot of other projects lined up that will require more of my time than money, so I'm going to take it easy on the throttle for a while and see if I can get AC to work.

Last night I actually blew both of my HVAC units apart, and I wasn't particularly impressed.  One is really dirty on the outside but nice on the inside.  The other is the opposite.  I almost regret bringing them into my house because I don't want any diseases.   Dirt can be handled though.  The part that's disappointing is that both have clearly had their heater cores replaced by amateurs.  One has stripped out screw holes and the other has a hole in it where they pinched the the vacuum tube.  It's crappy, but I lucked out in not having the same failures or "modifications" on both boxes.  I removed the evaporators from both, and took all the best parts from each box to make one really nice one.  I'm really glad I got two!

The next step is to cut the whole evaporator housing off so that I can install the new firewall plate.  That piece should be coming today.  The best part about tearing these apart was that I could at least stick the universal evaporator up to the blower and blend door passages and eyeball everything that needs to be cut.   I'm super excited to say that this should fit without much drama!  It's almost impossible to describe my plan without pictures of a finished product, but you'll just have to trust me for now.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
7/6/22 1:36 p.m.

This project is already looking to be a bit more than I can chew, but I'm going for it anyway.  I'm out of fun money and this HVAC box modification is going to be all labor.  At least I can stay occupied without spending more money!

Evaporator housing cut off

New evaporator held up for size.

More cuts and another trial fit.

The height of this evaporator became a slight problem.  I had to make some extra cuts, but the bump over the evaporator's back corner shouldn't be too hard to build.  Resealing the recirculation valve on top of it might be a mess, but I'll figure it out.

I think this is going to be the evaporator's final home.

Tonight I'm planning to blow all the dust off this thing and build some walls inside the blower housing.  Right now there's a dead spot that will be bad for flow.  If that goes smoothly, I will start working on the blend door modification.  Having the evaporator sunk into the box like I have it blocks the actuation in a way that will bypass heat at all times.  I'm going to cut the door to fit and build walls to make up for it.

edizzle89
edizzle89 SuperDork
7/6/22 3:14 p.m.

In reply to V6Buicks :

I was at the car show as well (I had the blue crown vic kart that was up in the 'showcase' parking area next to the dyno) I thought the camaro looked familiar while I was there but I couldn't remember why haha now I realize I'd seen it on the forum before. That thing sounded awesome on the dyno!

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
7/7/22 7:12 a.m.

In reply to edizzle89 :

Thanks!  That was a pretty cool show.  I hope they do it again next year.  That Vic Kart looked like fun. haha

Lsxus
Lsxus New Reader
7/7/22 8:28 a.m.

In reply to edizzle89 :

Hey I know you

edizzle89
edizzle89 SuperDork
7/8/22 8:54 a.m.
Lsxus said:

In reply to edizzle89 :

Hey I know you

Not if I know you first

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
7/18/22 2:43 p.m.

I'm slow, but I'm still chipping away at this.  Delete panel was cut for the evaporator to poke through.  It's also drilled for the locating pins.

I noticed something though.  I'm either going to have to pitch this plate and make own, or weld an extension onto this one.  Once I make an evaporator enclosure with flange, there's no way that the whole unit will fit against the firewall.  I'm going to have to extend the plate out to the red line and cut the firewall accordingly.  I'm going to worry about that a little later though.

I wanted to close the plastic half of the unit up first.  From the scraps that I cut off, I cut some panels to be welded on as new pieces.

\

It's gross but it works!  Next I have to trim the recirculation valve to fit the new bump.  After that, I should be 100% done with plastic.  It's all fiberglass from here, and I expect it to be a lot more difficult.

V6Buicks
V6Buicks Reader
7/21/22 9:14 a.m.

More progress!  I was wrong about being done with plastic, but that's a good thing.  I noticed that the blend door housing was plastic instead of fiberglass which makes life a lot easier.   I cut and welded in some filler pieces to make up for the cut door.  Now the door can move without interference with the evaporator and still seal on each side.

I also discovered that burying metal mesh into the plastic is a lot easier than hog rings.  Is it as strong?  I'm not sure yet, but it doesn't really have to be.  I feel like anything that's tough to tear by hand and bridges the seam helps.  Here's an "in progress" pic with the mesh still mostly above the surface.

Then I cut the recirc valve to fit over the bump I made.  NOW I'm 100% done with plastic and I have a lot less fiberglass stuff to worry about.  Win!

I'll probably smooth the top of the bump out and glue a door seal onto the part that I cut on the recirc. valve.  I don't necessarily care about leaks, but I'm paranoid that a leak through one of my jagged cuts will create a whistle or a howl while the blower is on.  That would drive me crazy.

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