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V6Buicks Reader
8/18/21 3:26 p.m.

I had some issues making the previous post.  While it's cleaned up now, I don't think all of my ideas were conveyed.  Oh well.  The bearing retainer should be fixed now.  I'll show you what I did.

Tilton makes a universal threaded sleeve for their bearings which is good because they use a very bizzare thread.

I bought that sleeve and had the ID machined to slip over the factory TKX bearing retainer.

That will be plenty of height!

but now the locking pin wont work.  This is shown already adjusted to the height I need.

So I modified a retainer bolt

Hopefully I can put things together and move on to making a shifter handle.

V6Buicks Reader
8/20/21 1:02 p.m.

Still needs a little work.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
8/20/21 1:52 p.m.
V6Buicks said:

A remote shifter would probably feel a lot nicer, but I have no idea how to make one or get one that's universal.  Tips and advise are appreciated!

I just kinda got in there and made one.  Its a near complete hack job, but it works nicely.  The connecting bar being at a higher point than the mounting point on the shifter means that the movement is much smaller, like a 1" from 1-2, unplanned but some basic kinematics work would give you a fairly decent plan.


I tried rod ends on both sides, but I neglected to realize that this would only allow front to back movement, wouldn't do anything for left-right  https://i.imgur.com/tEDVE.jpg

So I built a solid bar https://i.imgur.com/EknhX.jpg and made sure the bolt shoulder was long enough to pass through the solid part so it would pivot nicely https://i.imgur.com/x9yP8.jpg

Semi-finalized mock up https://i.imgur.com/NtsAY.jpg
I need to get back in there and make it pretty, though.


V6Buicks Reader
8/23/21 11:12 a.m.

That's pretty slick and simple!  Nice work.  I just got started on my offset handle.  I just need to get the trans back in the car to confirm fitment, and paint it.

Drilling through thick steel was not happening though, so I spent a couple hours sharpening my drill bits.

After all that noise, I was able to whip up a bracket in about 20 minutes.

I certainly won't have to worry about 1/4" steel plate being flimsy!  That's also a cheap Sikky handle I scored from Summit.  I never understood why handles and knobs cost so much.  I seem to have misplaced my original knob, so I have a new aftermarket knob coming soon.

I can't finish that until I can reinstall the transmission, so I'm going to do a couple other things first.  One is modifying the 4th gen flywheel cover to fit the 3rd gen bell.  I need to drill and tap one hole in the bell.  I got super lucky on the 4th gen bolt hole already being a in a perfect spot for a new hole.  I also need to weld on an extension to cover the 60 degree starter pocket and one of the 4th gen cover holes.  It will include a new bolt hole.  I will not be able to utilize the fifth cover hole, but I don't think it's necessary.

Then there's the bulkhead for the hydraulic hoses.  I think it's just going to get grommets for the hoses to pass though, but I do think quick disconnects would be pretty nice for future clutch servicing.  We'll see what I come up with.

obsolete GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/23/21 11:49 a.m.

When I built a stainless braided teflon -3 AN clutch line for my C5, I stuck one of these in it: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114164115812. It's just a re-branded industrial part, I wish I could remember the actual brand/model of it, but it seemed like quality. It's been in there for a couple years now and hasn't failed me, but I haven't actually tested its ability to disconnect and reconnect without bleeding.

EDIT: Hah, found it! The parts are made by Foster Manufacturing, Springfield MO: https://www.zsi-foster.com/socket-fhk-ds-18-ft.html

V6Buicks Reader
8/24/21 7:23 a.m.

The flywheel cover is not pretty but done.

I was feeling motivated to get going on the crossmember since the welder and grinder were already out.

I ran out of time for the night, but I will cut a u-shaped plate to straddle the existing raised portion for extra rigidity.  I will box the ends of the extension as well.

Lsxus New Reader
8/24/21 7:40 a.m.

A grinder and some paint, makes me the welder I ain't. 

V6Buicks Reader
8/27/21 8:32 a.m.

The UMI cross-member has officially been degraded to MeMI. lol


It's done!  Once I finish the bulkhead I'll be ready to install the transmission in the car again!

Sgt_Sizzle New Reader
8/27/21 9:48 a.m.

Can't wait to see this thing ripping around again. 

V6Buicks Reader
8/30/21 9:01 a.m.

This weekend was very productive and really brought out the light at the end of the tunnel!

I put some RTV on the bearing retainer to hold the sleeve in place, painted the custom bolt, and moved it to a different hole so that I'd have more favorable line routing (one on top and one on the bottom).

Painted and grommeted the bulkhead plate.

Let's do this!

The transmission put up a concerningly tough fight.  I really hope that I didn't mess up the alignment of the bell, warp it, or whatever.  It just didn't want to go into the pilot bearing for some reason.  We'll find out soon.  If this thing makes funny noises when it pulls out of the garage, I'll know where I need to look.

I'm gonna try to ignore that and trust my measurements, because I was eventually able to smash it together.  Bulkhead turned out nice!

Shifter placement was not too far off, but I did have to bend the bracket a bit more and drill new holes a little closer to the dash.  There was also no way around trimming some webbing on the inside of the already flimsy console.  No biggy though.




The cross-member modification worked pretty well.  I just had to clean up my socket access hole with the carbide bit on my die grinder.  I should have been under there with a jumpsuit and face shields because I have a few burns to show for it!

That brings us to Sunday when I was hoping to set my pinion angle.  However, the cross-member didn't come with a bushing.  I thought that was strange since reusing the stock one is not possible regardless of condition.  Then I remembered that stock and aftermarket torque arms use different bushings.  DOH!  I ordered one from Amazon which will be here tomorrow.  That basically left me with nothing left to do on the conversion except wait for parts.  I couldn't NOT work on the car though, so I finally got to work replacing the last remaining factory brake lines.  I had leaks anyway.

You like rust?

That panhard bar is SHOT.  If the car runs and drives okay, I'm replacing all the links.  The amount of deflection I can create just by yanking it with one arm is hilarious.  I've been itching to go ham on suspension parts for this thing anyway.

Patientzero GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/30/21 11:16 p.m.

If I could see any pictures it would probably clear up the confusion but what was the issue with the throw out bearing?  I used a Tilton with my TKX and everything worked out perfect.

V6Buicks Reader
8/31/21 8:08 a.m.
Patientzero said:

If I could see any pictures it would probably clear up the confusion but what was the issue with the throw out bearing?  I used a Tilton with my TKX and everything worked out perfect.

With what engine though?  That's the kicker.  The kit works perfectly fine with bigger clutches, but the diameter of my V6 stuff is pretty tiny.  Therefore, the pressure plate fingers don't come close to reaching the the release bearing when the clutch is fully engaged, and the bearing is maxxed out on adjustment.  I'm not sure why the pictures aren't working, but I basically just needed an extra inch of bearing adjustment on the retainer.  Seeing pictures will definitely explain everything better.

A bit more progress was made on the car yesterday, but mostly in the name of automotive ADHD.  When I have to wait for parts to make more progress on the task at hand, I start moving onto other things prematurely.  Therefore, when I saw another 3800 guy unlock the secret to making a WOT box work with factory ignition, I got a bit excited.  I took my spare ICM out of the hoard and got to work.  I've always wanted to no-lift shift in this thing anyway.  Dropping all the boost from this big turbo between gears really blows.

The problem with cutting the coil power on this system is that you will also end up cutting ICM power.  You can't do this and expect proper operation because you will loose the 7x signal that the ICM generates and sends to the PCM for sequential fuel injection.  Everything would go haywire without this and the and the ICM needs to remain powered on.  The solution?  Divorce the power.

Sticking up is the wire that normally runs from the coil power bar to the board.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

I then soldered a new wire to be ran outside.

Cut an access notch

and siliconed the cover back on.  It's still drying, but these spare coils are doing a nice job keeping the cover in place.  Now I just need to buy a WOT box and figure out how that needs to be wired!  I won't be going down that road any time soon though.

The only transmission progress I made was this little reverse light adapter harness.  I didn't really want to cut up the original wiring, and weather pack stuff is easy enough to get.

V6Buicks Reader
9/1/21 8:35 a.m.

Bushing arrived!  Torque arm installed.


But I also have a brake leak despite having all new parts.  Cool.  I ordered a Napa hose that I'll pick up this afternoon because that cheap Advance hose is likely the problem.  I'll inspect the flares and redo them if necessary.

V6Buicks Reader
9/16/21 12:56 p.m.

It seems that I left you guys at the WORST time.




Here's the cliff notes.  The TKX swap is (I think) completed!  yes  but the engine runs very poorly.  I drove it around a little very slowly.  Everyhitng transmission wise seems to work nicely, but the engine is stupid loud, shaky, and popping.  It even blew a boost tube off once without going into boost.  The never-ending project continues!

I tried to take a log, but I met an old nemesis.  HP Tuners still didn't want to log my wide band.  I knew that logs were worthless without AFR, my dash wiring was garbage, and I was tired of making band aids.  It was time to bite the bullet and redo all this correctly.

A ground bus bar, shrink tube labels, split loom, Deutcsh connectors, and a little planning made things much cleaner.  I also took the opportunity to make a custom dust boot for the shifter hole.  It's still junk, but better than nothing.

I also bit the bullet on a switch plate.  I tried to avoid this and make my own because I couldn't find one that was blank.  Nitrous labels are the only way to get it.  Oh well.  Now I have a nice place for my line lock and some other things down the road.

By the way....

I had been holding on to an AEM electric boost controller for a little while.  Since I didn't want to have to redo all the dash loom when I installed it, I decided to just throw it in now.  I plan to use it as a gauge only until I get the engine running correctly though.  One of the other switches is set up for scramble boost mode. wink

Now I know that everything works except for the HPT Pro Link, scramble switch, and boost warning LED because I haven't tried them yet.  I wanted to check my injectors first though.  Something about stagnant E85 in a vented tank for almost a year had me guessing that the rubber pieces may have seen better days.  I was right.  The injectors were not very well sealed to the rail or intake at all.

The MAP sensor wasn't looking good either.

I found a viton replacement at work and bought some methanol/E85 o-rings for the injectors.  It was $60 for the 12 of them!  What the heck are they made out of?!  I'm guessing it's just a crazy mark-up and I got screwed, but oh well.  I look forward to not replacing those and needing an injector cleaning every year.  It did spark some thought though.  What about my FPR?  That's probably getting chewed up too.  Should I just replace it with a stock one for now?  I have some research to do, but I'm not really wanting it to snowball into a remote adjustable unit with new lines either.

Shavarsh Reader
9/16/21 1:11 p.m.

Looks like massive progress, well done!

V6Buicks Reader
9/16/21 1:24 p.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

Thanks!  I can't wait for the day that I can start driving this thing HARD!

GCrites80s HalfDork
9/16/21 8:50 p.m.
V6Buicks said:

By the way....

I had been holding on to an AEM electric boost controller for a little while.  Since I didn't want to have to redo all the dash loom when I installed it, I decided to just throw it in now.  I plan to use it as a gauge only until I get the engine running correctly though.  One of the other switches is set up for scramble boost mode. wink

Now I know that everything works except for the HPT Pro Link, scramble switch, and boost warning LED because I haven't tried them yet.  I wanted to check my injectors first though.  Something about stagnant E85 in a vented tank for almost a year had me guessing that the rubber pieces may have seen better days.  I was right.  The injectors were not very well sealed to the rail or intake at all.

What does "HEAT" mean on the A/F gauge? Are you manually heating the O2 sensor with your finger on the switch or is something else automatically heating it? See on the 3rd gens there is no way to control when the O2 sensor heats if you install a heated one besides adding a manual or programmable delay switch whereas on the 4th gens there is a delay after the car starts before it heats. This is due to the fact that if there is condensation on the heated O2 sensor element it can crack. But if there is a delay where the exhaust can get an opportunity to blast the condensation off the sensor won't crack. All the '90s GMs that came with heated O2 sensors have this delay built into the circuit.

V6Buicks Reader
9/17/21 6:26 a.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

That's a wide band gauge.  It has nothing to do with the factory narrow bands.  It always says "Heat" when you roll the key on because it cannot display anything accurate until the sensor is up to temp.  The LED bar acts almost as a "loading" bar until the gauge is ready to go.  Once the bar goes to "full" indicating that the sensor is up to temp, it shuts the heater off and displays as normal automatically.

This picture was taken as I was flipping the line lock switch.  That LED in the gauge pod indicates that line lock solenoid is turned on.  The new LED between the scan gauge and boost gauge will be set up to illuminate when the boost reaches a certain level.

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/17/21 9:03 a.m.

Are there newer factory FPRs that would fit from a newer flex fuel GM product? I would imagine the engineers likely already outfitting those with the ethanol resistant seals. I made almost 500 hp on a stock Mitsubishi FPR on my galant vr4. I tried Aeromotive because I heard so many people saying I couldn't do that on stock though it was working fine. So I got paranoid and replaced it, then when the Aeromotive failed the stock went back on and it was perfect again. Ha! 

V6Buicks Reader
9/17/21 9:39 a.m.

In reply to crankwalk (Forum Supporter) :

I did some referencing on RockAuto and didn't see any parts that would appear to help me.  However, the Delphi branded replacement clearly uses a different type of seal that is probably resistant to ethanol.  I'm not going to buy one right now though.  I took mine off last night just to inspect and it looked totally normal.  It also did not have typical rubber seals, so I think it will remain fine for years to come.

V6Buicks Reader
9/22/21 6:32 a.m.

I'm losing the fight against my car. sad

GCrites80s HalfDork
9/22/21 10:49 a.m.

Is that post-cleaning?

V6Buicks Reader
9/22/21 12:51 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :


V6Buicks Reader
10/11/21 8:03 a.m.

Update time.  TLDR: it's not going well.

I bought brand new injectors and had thme flow tested.  They flowed the same as the five good ones in my old set.  I installed them in the car with my new yellow orings.  No change.

That was a drag, but I decided to power through.  At that point, I was thinking either the ECM needs retuned becasue of the rockers or I have a bad vacuum leak.  My buddy has a smoke machine, so I borrowed it for a bit and shoved the nozzle into my boost gauge port.

There were no leaks found.  I honestly wasn't sure if I was supposed to be happy about that or not.  Being unable to find a problem get's old though.

I guess that meant it was time to check the tune.

Yep.  It's lean.  My only ideas now are to ditch the rockers, or put my big boy pants on and learn a thing or two about tuning.  Just adding a bit of fuel in a scientific manner is very easy via HP, so why not?  I can alway revert back, and try Plan A.  I set up my MAF error histogram, and well...


My wideband is suddenly back to it's old ways.  Plan A is still an option which MIGHT get the car back on the road, but it's a lot of work for a demod and it doesn't fix the logging issue.  I just don't get it.  Is my HP Tuners hardware junk?  Is my gauge faulting for some reason?  I think the only way to find out is to unplug the wideband from my pro link, put a meter between my analog output and ground, and observe.  If I have 0 OR 5V with the engine running then my gauge is bad.  If I have something between 0 and 5 then my HP tuners hardware is faulty.

To be honest, I'm tired of messing with anything on this car.  It's been "so close" since April, and the seemingly "never-ending project" as I've been calling it has turned from a joke to what feels like a reality.  I'm now pretty convinced that the car will never leave the garage due to always needing one more thing.  It's cursed!

I have a post on the inactive HP Tuners forum, but I'm not expecting a reply.  I really don't want to spend any morney on the car becasue it feels like a bottomless pit at this point, but I'll make that call when I do my meter test.  Either outcome isn't really a good one.

V6Buicks Reader
10/13/21 6:18 a.m.

New plan.  I was too burnt out to work on the car anymore, so I never got around to the meter test.  I did, however, get some solid replies to my HPTuner forum post.  My gauge and Pro link are wired incorrectly which caused my gauge signal to float.  To make a long story short, signals are delicate and a solid ground isn't always good enough.  I'll fix it tonight!

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