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Thread: Project Sebring GT Spyder
          
   
   

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  1. #646
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement guys! I am feeling much better since my rhythm is back on track. I'm hoping that I don't wind up with a pacemaker. That would pretty much curtail my welding. That would really suck. So far no one has mentioned it and I hope it stays that way.

    The valve replacement actually wasn't terrible. Normally, the recovery is only a few days compared to 5 to 10 weeks the old way. That's why it was developed. My heart just didn't want to cooperate! Guess it didn't want to be messed with.

    I'm working on some updates right now. I'm still finding old stuff on my hard drive that I never posted. My internet is messed up now and I'm having to post this using my phone. I hope to get the pictures uploaded this weekend.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  2. #647
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    Well Mike, the ol' body is like some cars, occasional maintenance, and some parts repair/replacement. Another buddy talks about the "heart burn" sign being a tell. He had a stent done about 10 years ago and a couple months ago he started having the "heart burn" feelings again and went straight to Emergency for a replacement. Hopefully folks learn from your example.
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

    It's much easier to promise someone a "free" ride on the wagon than to urge them to pull it.

    Luck occurs when preparation and opportunity converge.

  3. #648
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    Good to hear you were able to get your energy back, and that your cardiologist was proactive getting you better before you got worse! Can't imagine getting cardioverted and having the meds not do anything when then jolt you. I had a guy I'd do home repairs for on his rentals, all to very destructive college kids. One house was a complete tear down to the studs inside and the subfloor. He would randomly show up to the work site and see a breaker was off, and flip it on without checking to see why it was flipped off. I got a lot of 110 jolts back then! I rapidly learned to plug in a radio to whatever circuit was shut down, and put it on full volume. That way I got a warning if I wasn't touching a wire to flip the breaker back off. Never enjoyed the shock therapy!
    Hotrod46 likes this.
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  4. #649
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    Shock therapy indeed.

    I just finished a week in the ceiling of the plant, rolling in a bucket lift. When I got to the warehouse lights (more rolling) I discovered "The Beast" liked to develop a static charge! Then I discovered that the control circuitry doesn't like it when you discharge the static with a lanyard.

    Power it down, then spark it to ground!
    Hotrod46 and stovens like this.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

  5. #650
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Alright, let’s kick this off with some pictures of the firewall going back together after powder coat. These catch up posts will have some pictures from before and after powder coating.





    Here are the aluminum panels being refit and riveted to the steel lower section. I gave the panels a brushed finish with Scotchbrite pads and protected them with SharkHide protectant. You can also see some diagonal tubes running down from the firewall to the frame.



    I added these to replace some tubing that I had to cut out early on in the build. I attached the mounting points at the corners of the steel lower section since that is the strongest point. They have been powder coated now. The angle of the picture makes it look like they are angled weird, but they are not really.







    This hole had to be there to give the gas pedal more clearance. The cover is steel.



    In this shot you can see the firewall taking shape.

    All of the panels are .060 thick except the one were the master cylinders go. That one is just an .030 cover that goes over the actual steel firewall. I made this section out of steel to support the added stress of the MC’s. The aluminum panel is just there to balance out the look.



    I added a battery hold down for an Odyssey 1200 battery. I bought this one off the internet. It was cheap enough that it wasn’t worth me building something. This just unbolts with 4 bolts if I need to change to different battery. This will be the first time I have used one of the “high tech” compact AGM batteries. They appear to pack a lot of amps in a very small package, this one has 725 cranking amps and 540 cold, but I still left room for regular old school battery if I need it. I did have to get a charger that has the output for AGM batteries. Apparently they need somewhere around 16 volts to charge them properly if they are fully discharged. An alternator (at 14 volts) can keep them topped off, though.



    This is all I have riveted for now. I had to get this much done in order to install the engine/trans. It would have been difficult to properly rivet them with the engine in the way. BTW – when I started trying to rivet early on the project, I was using an air chisel with a riveting anvil installed. My results were iffy at best. I found a guy on EBAY selling off some used genuine rivet guns. What a difference! The rivet gun hits slower and harder (IMO) and is much more controllable. I think the air chisel was hitting so fast (even with a regulator turned way down) that the aluminum rivets were work hardening before they were set, making them not want to mushroom as they should. The rivet gun is laying on top of the cowl frame in this picture.



    This is the bracing I made for the shock towers. I wanted it to be removable to make engine service easier.
    NTFDAY, rspears, stovens and 2 others like this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  6. #651
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    Very nice work you've been busy
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  7. #652
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    Thanks Steve. Actually a lot of this stuff goes back months. I got way, way behind on updates. I lost track of what I had posted on some of it.
    34_40 likes this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  8. #653
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    Next, I installed some DEI Floor and Tunnel heat shield.



    I used the black stuff on the lower section of the firewall and the regular silver everywhere else. I used some black liquid shoe polish (remember when you had to actually polish your shoes?) to stain the edges of the black shield. The insulating backing is white and it showed up pretty bad. The shoe polish made the edge “go away”, sure was messy though.



    I covered the entire underside of the floor and trans tunnel with the silver. This car was hot in the footwells before and I’m trying to do what I can to avoid that.





    I left a hole for a drink holder in the console that I built (more on that later), but the holder protruded into the transmission tunnel. I made a bent section out of aluminum to box off that area. I double insulated this. Don’t want my big Sonic drink melting!

    The insulation has a pretty sticky adhesive backing. I hope it stays in place. I used the silver seam tape that goes with the F & T shield and used a roller to go over each section to try and make sure it was well stuck. If you decide to use this stuff, be sure to make patterns of the section you are covering AND orient the pattern correctly on the insulation. Don’t ask me how I know!

    I will say it was pretty easy to work with. You can cut it with a heavy duty pair of scissors, but I used metal shears. It bends very easy too, so it's simple to form it around contours. As long as they are straight bends. I cleaned the area where I stuck it with denatured alcohol. My main complaint is that the plastic you have to peel off to expose the glue can be difficult to remove and it tears easy. I used a utility knife to pry up the edge of the covering to get it started. That seemed to be the method that worked best for me.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  9. #654
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    "Don't ask me how I know!!!" Those words always say volumes without any further explanation.. and we've all spent time there to be sure! LOL...
    As always - nice work Mike. Thanks for the updates/pics too.
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  10. #655
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    Before I could drop in the engine, I had another important thing to do. That was putting a hole in the firewall for the engine wiring harnesses to pass through. Yes, I will have more than one harness running to the engine. One is the Holley EFI harness and the other will be everything else needed to run and monitor the engine.

    One of the major issues with EFI is that you need a pretty big hole to pass all the harness connectors through. Unless, you want to depin the connectors, fish all the wires through and then repin them. Too many spots for errors; way too easy to get something in the wrong place doing that IMO. I did a good bit of research looking for a solution to sealing up the big opening. I found one answer on an experimental aircraft (homebuilt) site. Apparently, some of them use EFI and they have the same problem we do. They need a good seal in case a fire breaks out. You certainly don’t need flames lapping around your feet at 10,000’ for sure.















    The EAA solution uses a split plate. The halves are stepped and the edges overlap. This allows you to split a regular grommet, fit it around the harness and still have it fit tight in the hole. This whole thing makes a solid, well sealed bulkhead. You can see the size of the hole I cut in the firewall and the bulkhead completely covers it. In case you’re wondering about the red grommets, they are high temp silicone. Another idea I borrowed from the EAA.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  11. #656
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    Now that I had pretty much everything done that I had to do before installing the engine, it was time to move on to getting the transmission mounted for the final time.

    I painted the aluminum bellhousing and the transmission with some blasted aluminum paint. The trans had gotten a little white moisture spotting from sitting in my humid shop over the summer. It looked bad against the new bellhousing so I painted it to pretty it up. I had to paint the bellhousing so they would match!

    I installed a new roller pilot bearing that came in the clutch kit and then bolted on the flywheel. The flywheel is a lightened steel part. Lighter than the regular stock piece, but not as light as aluminum.

    I also bought a plate that bolts onto a T56 bellhousing that allows you to check alignment. Mine was within stock specs, so I didn’t try to adjust it. The only other way to do a T56 that I know of is to pull the front cover off the trans and use the input bearing hole to check. I didn’t want to tear into my freshly assembled trans, to I popped for the alignment plate.

    The clutch is a “Stage 2” set sold by Texas Drivetrain (they did the trans work). It is a hybrid setup that has Kevlar on one side of the disc and metallic pads on the other. Supposedly, this gives better holding power and smoother engagement. We’ll see. I flirted with the idea of a twin disc clutch and might still do one if I don’t like this arrangement.

    Sorry for the lack of pics. Apparently, I didn’t take a lot of this step. Here is a shot of the clutch, though.



    The throwout bearing is a stock LS part. I did make one small modification to it. I machined the end of the bleeder to accept a push on hose. The way it was, the bleeder didn’t exit all the way out of the bellhousing and bleeding it would have made a mess. At least this way I have a chance to catch all the extra fluid.





    After bolting the engine and trans together, I was finally able to get it in the car for the final time (hopefully).



    I could have sworn I took a picture of the engine actually in the car, but this one hanging off the hoist is all I could find.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 11-26-2021 at 06:50 PM.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  12. #657
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    With the engine in, it was time to move onto the exhaust. If you have been following along, you will remember that I had built a stainless steel exhaust system that used Corvette tri-y exhaust manifolds. When I built the engine with the Trick Flow heads, I found out that the ports in the manifolds were smaller than the actual exhaust ports in the upgraded heads. I reconciled myself to using some 1st Gen Camaro headers that I had been given, even though that meant redoing the front half of the exhaust system. I wasn’t sure, though, if I could even get the headers to work on the car.



    Turns out that I was right. The right side header went on fine, but hung down way too low. This engine sits well behind the front axle centerline and with the headers so low, I could see this as catching on every speedbump and curb.

    I wasn’t able to even get the left side header on. It interfered with the firewall. I probably could have made it work by cutting it up and modifying it, but it was going to so much work that I think it would have been easier just to build another header! Plus, both headers would need to be shortened.

    Soooo, I pulled out the old Corvette manifolds and gave them a closer look. I had originally thought that the down tubes were just as narrow as the manifold openings, but on closer inspection, that turned out to be wrong. I used a set of spring calipers to roughly measure the tubes and it turns out that they have more area than the head ports. The tubes actually have a slight taper and get even larger once you get past the short turn. But, the manifold port openings were still too small. They were around 1 5/8” (mostly a little smaller) while the heads were 1 ¾”.

    It just so happened that I had on old cheap header gasket left over from the Speed and Performance headers (that I didn’t like) that had been on the car and it had 1 ¾” openings. I laid that on the manifold and it didn’t look too bad. I thought I might be able to port the manifold openings to match the gasket.



    There was another issue (there always is, isn’t there) and that was the EGR setup on the manifolds. Both manifolds had an extra flange added between the center tubes with a cavity behind it that opened into both center tubes. GM used a special gasket that actually used the head itself as the backup for this passage. No one that I could find had a performance gasket with EGR and with larger ports. There wasn’t enough meat in the stock gaskets to open them up, either.

    So I improvised. I used nickel based filler rod to weld up the openings to the EGR passage.

    Then I dressed the flanges down on my belt sander. That part worked out pretty good. The manifolds were not cast iron like old SBC manifolds, but some grade of cast steel and welded great. I may even have been able to use steel filler, but the nickel will get the job done and would have been correct for cast iron if that’s what they turned out to be.

    Now, all that was left was to port them.
    Mike P, NTFDAY and v8nutz like this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  13. #658
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    "......The only other way to do a T56 that I know of is to pull the front cover off the trans and use the input bearing hole to check......"

    Been there done that.....not fun.

    It's always great to get the engine and trans in for the "final" time isn't it?




    .
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  14. #659
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    You are so right Mike. I'm beginning to feel like I've been working on this car forever and I'm ready to hear it run! Still have a ton of "details" to get done, but I'm weeding through them.
    rspears likes this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  15. #660
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    The engine for the 37 sat on the run stand for 10 years before it finally got put in the truck, (at least it got started every 6 months or so).......hell the mock up motor has still been in it longer than the running motor.

    You've only been at this 7 years or so...... you're making a lot better progress than I did.



    .
    34_40 likes this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

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