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Thread: Project Sebring GT Spyder
          
   
   

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  1. #751
    Hotrod46's Avatar
    Hotrod46 is online now CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Thanks, Navy!

    Here’s an update on preparations for the next road trip.

    Had two oil leaks on the engine. One on the adapter that feeds the Accu-sump and one on the right valve cover.

    The adapter leak was fixed by installing a new adapter. The original one was bought from an independent guy on another forum with a CNC shop that was trying to break into the LS parts business. The part looked well made, but leaked where the -10 fitting threaded into the adapter. I even recut the o-ring seat myself in an attempt to salvage the part, but it didn’t work.

    The new part was made by Improved Racing and seems to have fixed the problem. Replaced the adapter when I changed out the original break-in oil. This was the second oil change, actually, I changed out the startup oil at 50 miles, cut the filter open. Everything looked good.

    The old adapter:



    And the new one:



    BTW – I would have never thought that finding name-brand non-synthetic 5W-30 oil locally would be so difficult. Four different parts chains didn’t have it and WalMart didn’t either. It simply does not appear to be sold in my one-horse town. I did find some 10W-30 Comp Cams break-in oil that is regular oil. Looks like I’m going to have to order it. I don’t want to run synthetic until I get a couple of oil changes on it. Looks like I’m going to have to order dino oil online! And, it takes slightly over 7 quarts to change it out with the Accu-sump.

    The valve cover leak gave me fits. It took 2 attempts to get it sealed. I discovered that the Holley valve cover adapters that I’m using have to be pushed up on the mounting bolts as far as you can to get the lower rail to seal. Wound up making a couple of long, threaded dowls to help position the covers while installing the regular mounting bolts. I also trashed the Holley cover bolts and installed some original LS bolts. They seemed to work better.

    I cleaned the oil off the bottom of the car and inspected everything I could get to. Discovered that the driveshaft u-bolts were slightly loose. Not sure how that happened. I must have just snugged them up and forgot about them.

    I still need to recheck the front ride height and it would be nice if I could get it up in the scales and check corner weights.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 10-19-2022 at 12:39 PM.
    Mike

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

  2. #752
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    I also tackled the temp gauge mismatch issue. I had a theory about what was causing the abnormally high temp indication. The gauge was showing 235-240 while the ECU was seeing around 220.

    Here is what I thought was going on. There are only two places on an LS to normally mount a temp sender. The ďnormal, factoryĒ sender location is in the left cylinder head near the front of the engine. Since the heads will work on either side, the other location is in the rear of the right head (left head flipped around). The Speedhut sender uses 1/8Ē pipe threads and the LS head has straight metric threads, so I ordered a brass adapter from Speedhut when I ordered the gauges. On my car the firewall wraps around the engine pretty tightly and is insulated on the inside of the passenger compartment. To make matters worse, there is a nice heavy steel exhaust manifold runner right by the sender.

    On the highway, there is enough air flow through the engine bay to keep everything reasonably cool, but in traffic, the heat from the exhaust was being reflected back to the large brass adapter and brass sender. All this junk was getting heat soaked. I was reading some exhaust temp and water temp. Due to itís front location near the exit to the radiator, I felt that the front ECU sender was actually seeing what should be the hottest water in the engine.

    I got lucky in that Holley had provided a hole threaded for 1/8Ē pipe on the back of the water pump right in the center of the return to the radiator. This was normally for a steam line fitting from the heads, but I ran my steam line to the expansion tank. I ordered a new sender (no way to get the old one out. Too close to the firewall) and a new harness. I spliced this to the old harness and moved the sender to the water pump. Basically, the same deal as putting the sender on the intake manifold of a Gen 1 SBC.

    This worked pretty much perfectly. Up to 200, the gauge reads about 5 degrees colder than the ECU, but after that, they match within 1-2 degrees. As far as Iím concerned, that problem is solved.



    If you have been following this build since the beginning, you may find it ironic that on my maiden voyage home from Florida 8 years ago, I had false overheating problems due to a misplaced temp sender and I had nearly the same issue on this maiden voyage. Fate? Irony? Coincidence? Maybe all three.

    Worked on an electrical issue that was bugging me. The voltage seemed to be all over the place. It would read 12.5 and then go to almost 14. The dash gauge and ECU agreed, so I figured it was a real issue.

    The Holley accessory drive Iím using uses an alternator that appears to be based on a very late model Corvette part. May even be the same part. It is rated at 150 amps (I think thatís right) and is a 6-phase alternator. Basically, itís two 75 amp 3-phase alternators in one case, which is supposed to allow it to put out more amperage at low RPM. A little research turned up that the Corvette units also have a more sophisticated voltage regulator than older GM alternators, that can supposedly analyze the battery condition and has a wider range of outputs to correct issues and save fuel. Couldnít save much fuel, but I guess every little bit helps. 12.5 to 15 volts is normal and Corvette owners reported that the voltage would vary in that range at any given time.

    I was about to dismiss my issue as a non-issue when I noticed the voltage falling to 12 on the ECU. Gauge concurred. Nope, that ainít right. I checked the alternator output and it was at 14.7 while the fuse block was showing 11.7! I found a loose connection on the battery disconnect. After tightening it up, the voltage settled out at 13.5.
    Mike

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

  3. #753
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    Like the old Clint Eastwood western, every big project has some of the good, the bad and the ugly. Some things that just donít work out (at least mine do) and this project is no exception.

    As in the movie. I'll deal with the ugly first. Just a total screw up on my part. Basically, neither top (hard or soft) will fit! When I made the roll bars, I thought I measured the hard top correctly and even attached the soft top bows to make sure they cleared when folded, but apparently I screwed up all that.

    The hard top is a full no go. No way to make it fit without it looking cut up or goofy. My body man says we can make it work, but Iím not sure that the results would look right. At any rate, it would be a big job to cut and paste this one enough to work. It would have to have a couple of molded bubbles, like the Gurney roof on the GT40, to clear the hoops. The rear window frame would have to be completely cut out and leaned back about 2Ē for clearance, too.

    The soft top could be made to work, but will need a new fabric section made. Pretty much a completely custom top. No way to get this done before going back to the coast. The wife and I will have to treat it like a motorcycle trip and rough it. Weíve traveled by motorcycle before, so we are somewhat used to that. Drove a T-bucket with no top for about 10 years and made several long trips. This car, in theory at least, is much more comfortable than the T. At least Iím completely behind the windshield on this one, not so much for the T. That sure made driving in the rain (and hailstorms, another story) ďinterestingĒ to say the least.

    As they say, when given lemons, make lemonade. If I have to have new top fabric made, then I will also attempt to make a new folding top mechanism that works more like a real folding top. The original Sebring top is more closely related to a boat or simple Jeep top, with very simple top bows and windshield attachments. This setup has to be pretty much ďerectedĒ like a tent. I would really like to have a setup that simply folds up and down like a Miata or later model British sports car. Quick and simple to put up or down. This will be my next big project, probably for the next several months as there is much engineering and fab work to do. Most likely a few aborted attempts will be made. The hard part will be finding someone that can sew a top and then paying for it! Probably wonít be anything close to cheap, but the car is nice enough now to justify the outlay.
    Mike

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

  4. #754
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    With the ugly out of the way, letís talk about the bad. This one isnít really a screw up, Iím just completely dissatisfied with the results.

    I simply do not like the electric steering! It does work, but I donít like the way it feels on the road. It does provide assist and isnít unsafe, but I still donít like it. The overall feedback is not what I want. I have read that cars with electric steering can have a dead feel and I get it now. It is most certainly NOT how a sports car is supposed to feel. IMO Ė A sports car should feel alive, constantly telling the driver whatís going on between the tires and road. This one doesnít. The steering wheel is just a device to control the direction of the car. I might as well be driving a video game.

    When I did the steering, I considered this as a possibility and I left room for a hydraulic rack as a plan B. I will be going in that direction in the very near future. I will probably do this before starting on the top mechanism. Yes, I dislike it that much.

    While this may sound like a big job, I donít see it that way. It will entail removing the steering column, tearing it down and replacing the main tube and shaft ( I have several old parts on hand). I will have to duplicate the unusual mounting setup that the power unit has. I want something that just bolts in and doesnít require major changes to the under-dash framework. This will also give me a chance to try the car with no power steering. Turning the electric off doesnít count since it adds considerable drag to the steering when off. I might not need power except for two reasons. One, Iím using a lot of caster in the front end, so steering effort will probably be very high at low speed with the fast ratio rack Iím using. Two, I need the car to be able to be driven by my wife in an emergency, so, see reason number one.

    Making this change should not be too difficult since the steering column is completely separate from the rest of the steering system. Meaning the column is short and has a separate short driveshaft that runs to a firewall pass through bearing setup. The car will not look any different in the passenger compartment and only the addition of a power steering pump will be evident in the engine compartment. The Holley accessory drive Iím using already has the provision for a pump and I have the pump. All I need is the rack and hoses.

    Iím not sure if I will use a standard Fox body Mustang rack or get one custom built from Flaming River. I may call them and see what they say. Iím looking for something with a higher effort and might need a performance rack with a larger torsion bar in the valve body. The SN95 Cobra R racks are said to be the perfect compromise between effort and feel, but finding a genuine Cobra R rack would be pure luck. They were rare to begin with and even though there are rebuilt R racks available, there is no real way to know if you have a genuine R rack. All the differences are internal and they will easily interchange with a standard rack. I may start with a standard Fox rack, since they are fairly cheap (well cheaper). If it doesnít work out, I can always use that on my 46 when I redo it later. I will most likely add a cooler to the return line, too.

    These two posts sum up the biggest disappointments with the car. One is pretty easily corrected , but the other will take some thought and work.
    Mike

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

  5. #755
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    stovens is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Great updates and awesome your knowledgeable and familiar with upgrades that will make this car work for you. It's a beauty
    Hotrod46 likes this.
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  6. #756
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    Well, it wouldn't be hot rodding if there weren't changes to be made somewhere. I remember someone telling me that they are never finished... I'm wondering now if it was you!?!?!? 8-) The steering rack, is there some reason the Omni rack is no longer mentioned or is even considered? Just wondering.. The tops - well that just plain sucks! But we'll all be curious to see what you come up with! Thanks for the update(s). Enjoy the weekend!
    Dave Severson and Hotrod46 like this.

  7. #757
    Navy7797 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    A friend of mine has a Cobra with no top and has spent a few hours hiding under overpasses, not that is the answer by any means. I hate being cold and wet. That car is so beautiful I'd never take out on a cloudy day ! The steering would give me a lake of confidence. I'm sure you'll get it all to your liking. Again, I gota say that's a Dam nice car !
    Hotrod46 likes this.

  8. #758
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    That is so cool you were able to get it done enough to take it on a road trip and to make a lap on the auto cross to boot! It looks beautiful on all angles. The engine bay looks remarkable too. Very well done!
    Hotrod46 likes this.
    Ryan
    1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor 354 Hemi 46RH Electric Blue w/multi-color flames, Ford 9" Residing in multiple pieces
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  9. #759
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    Sorry for the delay in making more posts. The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me.

    As of the last post, I had two car shows left for the season. One in Crosset, AR and another in Panama City Beach, FL. The Arkansas show was a one day affair we attended just to visit with some old friends. I managed to blow the hydraulic throw-out bearing while there and had to get a friend with an enclosed trailer to come get the car. Luckily, we were only about 100 miles from home. This meant that I only had a few days to repair the car and get ready for a 460 mile trip to Florida. I was really bummed by this since it was only the second time in over 25 years that one of my cars didn't make it home under it's own power. This meant that I only had a few days to repair the car and get ready for a 460 mile trip to Florida.

    I’ve known from the beginning that working on this car would not be easy. If it had been an old pickup, I could have dropped the trans and fixed it in a few hours. This car ate up the biggest part of 2 days. Of course, I did have to stop and modify my bargain basement transmission jack to actually work under my lift.

    I think the slave cylinder was just defective. It appears to have blown out where the hydraulic pipe enters the slave. There is just an o-ring to seal it and the fit was much looser than I would have made it. Still, it was supposed to be a high quality part from LUK. I replaced it with one from NAPA that was the same brand. Hope the first one was a fluke. So far, the new one has performed flawlessly, even better than the one that blew. I think it was allowing air to leak in around the loose connection. It seems to go into gear and shift a lot better now. Glad it blew close to home and not in Florida.

    Here are a few pictures from the Cruizin the Emerald Coast car show in Florida.













    The show had close to a thousand cars, maybe more. There were so many, it was hard to figure out what to take pictures of. Got to visit with George Poteet and see the Speed Demon streamliner he drove to over 480 MPH at Bonneville. I met him about 25 years ago, briefly, at a car show in Mississippi. He is officially the fastest man alive in a piston driven car. The record is 439 MPH , but he did a 480 MPH one-way pass. The record requires a 2-way pass for an average speed. He seemed to be having a great time letting kids sit in the Speed Demon.

    On a side note, I had the only Sebring or Austin Healey at the show. There were a couple of Cobra's though. The little green car was a hit with everybody that stopped to look.

    The weather was a mixed bag. Great on the down leg of the trip. Drizzly rain on the second day and beautiful for the next 2. The trip home was COLD! Temps in the 40’s and 60-75 mile per hour wind in the car makes for quite a wind chill. A week or so before we left, I decided to buy some heated motorcycle clothes. My wife questioned the expense, but by the time we had gone 20 miles, I was a genuine hero! Would have been a very miserable trip without them. Really gotta get a top built for this thing!

    Oh, we did make a detour by Lambert’s Cafe in Foley, AL for a chicken fried steak and throwed roll! We try to never miss one. May be a touristy place, but the food is actually good. If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault!

    Also stopped by a Buc-ee’s convenience store not far from Foley. If you’ve never been to one, I think you should stop at least once. Everyone I’ve been to had about 50-60 gas pumps and the cleanest bathrooms you’re likely to ever find on the road. Then you get into the food that is available. Everything from homemade fudge, jerky in every flavor imaginable to barbeque. If you remember the old Stuckey’s from the 60’s and 70’s, then think of this as the super Wal-mart of Stuckey’s. The things are simply huge! I’ve even heard of people making them a vacation destination in themselves. I wouldn’t go that far, but you do need to see one, if you’re close.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 11-20-2022 at 12:05 PM.
    Mike

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

  10. #760
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    Wow mike great update! Loved the part of seeing George Poteet and the Speed Demon streamliner. Watched a cockpit drivers view of a 426mph run at Bonneville. I thought 105mph on my old 72 Honda 750 motorcycle was nuts when I was a kid...LOL!
    Last edited by stovens; 11-20-2022 at 01:07 PM.
    Hotrod46 likes this.
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  11. #761
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    Sounds like the trips were a (mostly) success. Shame about the T.O. bearing but "it happens"right? And the heated clothes sounds like a winner also.
    I hit up one of those super stations in Texas once. It's an eye opener for sure. Not much else to say LOL..
    As always, thanks for the updates. Glad you made it home ok.

  12. #762
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    Your comment about the motorcycle outfits brought back a memory from my late October 2014 (their early Spring) trip to NZ, attending their NSRA Nationals with jb & Rosie Norton. One of their group had a sweet 427 Cobra, but departure day came quite chilly, with heavy rains the night before. He and his passenger were outfitted in what appeared to be snowmobile suits, and even had communication headsets in the hoods! He was just pulling out for
    a three or four hour drive to the north when I snapped this farewell photo.
    -
    IMG_4037 (1024x683).jpg
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  13. #763
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    That's RJ and (then wife,) Vanessa. Nice people. We've known them better than thirty years, I may have been told his name at some stage, but all I know him as is RJ.
    That car was his brother's, he smashed it and killed himself.
    The car was a helluva mess, but RJ rebuilt the car essentially from the ground up.
    I don't think I could take over my brother's car after he'd died in it.
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  14. #764
    v8nutz is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    I had really bad luck with a Mcleod hydraulic throw out in my v8 miata, it failed three times and I got fed up and put a regular slave on the outside. May just be a bad brand, I know OEM's use them all the time.

  15. #765
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    Sorry to hear about your slave issue but glad you got it fixed. It definitely sounds like you're having a blast and enjoying it!
    Hotrod46 likes this.
    Ryan
    1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor 354 Hemi 46RH Electric Blue w/multi-color flames, Ford 9" Residing in multiple pieces
    1968 Corvette Coupe 5.9 Cummins Drag Car 11.43@130mph No stall leaving the line with 1250 rpm's and poor 2.2 60'
    1972 Chevy K30 Longhorn P-pumped 24v Compound Turbos 47RH Just another money pit
    1971 Camaro RS 5.3 BTR Stage 3 cam, SuperT10
    Tire Sizes

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