Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
3/6/18 9:09 a.m.

Bushings showed up yesterday, but I decided to use the time I had between work and getting dinner going to drag my lazy butt back into getting some exercise. I will hopefully get some work done tonight, but I'm thinking that I will be trying to replace the brake lines before I put the sway bar back in. Probably going to see if I can get the retainer pin in the wastegate actuator as well since I've got better access to the back of the engine at the moment, and will probably try and get the power steering pump belt installed as well.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
3/7/18 2:42 p.m.

Took some time yesterday to use the blasting cabinet to clean off the driver's side caliper and part of the hub so I could use some of my ancient (seriously, at this point it's like a decade old...) silver caliper paint on them to spruce up the brakes. I unfortunately won't likely have time this evening to do much both because of time and the fact it's a lot colder today.

I was thinking about it a bit while swapping out the brake line on the driver's side- since I've got so much pulled off, and access is a lot easier, is there anything crucial/very beneficial that I should be looking at doing to the transmission?

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
3/9/18 10:57 p.m.

Not really. There's almost nothing on the side or top that needs to be accessed unless it starts leaking. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
3/12/18 9:00 a.m.
Vigo said:

Not really. There's almost nothing on the side or top that needs to be accessed unless it starts leaking. 

OK, that's good to know.

Only progress over the long (for me) weekend was spraying penetrating oil on the passenger front hard-to-rubber brake line connection so hopefully it will be easier to undo (driver's side came loose easily enough but the fitting on the hard line wouldn't spin on the hard line so I had to spin the whole caliper assembly & rubber line side so as to not kink the hard line...). I suck at being motivated to work out in the garage when it's cold out...

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
4/20/18 8:37 p.m.

After doing essentially nothing for the last month, finally go back to work this week. This afternoon I finally tackled trying to get the heater core swapped out, and managed to get the hvac system out and the old core removed. With as much work as that was though, I have to say that it's sorely tempting to just not put any of it back in. That would mean no fan or heat, but it would also lose a good bit of weight and make putting everything back together a lot simpler. Regardless though, I plan on pulling the rest of the AC hardware while I have it apart.

One good thing is that with the dash (partially) pulled I have a good excuse to re-do the gauges so I have the more useful ones actually in the dash.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
4/23/18 2:51 p.m.

Didn't get anything else done on the car over the weekend, with the weather nice outside I needed to get some things done that couldn't be done in the garage. But I did finally get out to a local Metals Supermarket to try and find out if I could get a decent deal on aluminum tubing to hook up the intercooler. They didn't have any in stock but said they'd get a quote for me- and sent it to me today. 6' of 2.5" tubing would be $50... which is definitely better than the $100 or so most intercooler piping kits run, but is still a solid hit given I'd need to come up with the connecting hoses as well.

Stampie
Stampie UltraDork
4/23/18 3:02 p.m.

I wanna see this come back in 2018. Can you tease me with some current pictures?

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
4/23/18 3:33 p.m.
Stampie said:

I wanna see this come back in 2018. Can you tease me with some current pictures?

It's definitely my intent to have it back this year- but honestly the only difference in the pictures from what it looked like last year would be that the dash is halfway torn out and the HVAC unit taken apart to replace the heater core. :/ I haven't gotten much of anything useful beyond that done on it yet, and am not sure I'm really going to until mid-July- once I have to start building the rest of the platforms for my wife's next show they're most likely going to take up the better part of the garage such that I'm not sure I will be able to get a car into there. I'd really like to get the intercooler hooked up and the parking brake cable replaced so I actually have a working parking brake before I lose the garage, but likely any of the visual improvements will have to wait until later in the summer. If things go really well, I may be able to get the rear sway bar installed so I can see if it helps in running the Rampage around the Autocross course.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
4/26/18 9:03 a.m.

Spent some time yesterday out working on the Rampage, the main result thereof being that the new heater core is now in and the HVAC unit is back (mostly, heater core hoses aren't hooked back up yet) in the car. I pulled the evaporator out since the AC isn't going to be hooked up anytime soon (if ever again), so that's a few pounds less weight (negligible compared to what some dieting on my part would lose... -_-;;; ) and a bit more space under the hood without having the connection for it poking out.

I was planning on pulling out the driver's seat and the carpet to see about cleaning up the floor and re-running some wiring, but that is proving to be a lot more challenging than expected since the front attachments for the driver's seat are welded to the floor vs. being fastened. From what I can tell, a good bit of the floor pan was at some point replaced, and in doing so it seems that the access to the underside of the holes for the front of the seat connections were covered over, so they just welded the front attach points to the floor. I'm torn on whether it's worth grinding the weld out so I can pull the seat and seeing if I can figure out a way to fix it so you can properly attach the seat in a removable way vs. just saying 'berk it' and not bothering as I don't really NEED to pull the seat & carpet.

With the HVAC back in I can technically put the dash back in, but will be holding off on that to do at least two thing: re-do the instrument cluster and wire in a newer stereo. The stereo will be removable such that I can pull it for the competition itself so it won't be in the budget but will give me a usable stereo for driving it around (and if I drive it down to the Challenge vs. towing it).

For the cluster, I'm planning on moving the boost gauge and the water temp gauge from where they are under the dash in front of the gearshift up into the actual cluster. The plan is to replace the aftermarket tach and the spot opposite it on the bottom left that right now has just the (largely useless, since it's not hooked up with the new engine harness) CEL with the two other gauges and replace the current smaller tach with a larger one mounted on top of the dash and more in line-of-sight when driving so it will be easier to see to shift when on the strip. I have several that were part of a box of parts I got from eastsidemav when I started on the El Camino that will be no more of a hit budget-wise than the current one. This will make it a lot easier to track what's going on with the car without constantly looking down to where the gearshift is to see the temp & boost, and as I mentioned before, make it easier to manually shift the trans on the drag strip with being able to see the RPMs more easily.

I'm also still working on the intake/intercooler setup. I really want to be pulling air from someplace that's NOT right next to the turbo (right now I just have a cone filter on the turbo intake behind the engine), so I'm looking into turning the currently decorative 'vent' in the middle of the Shelby hood into a functional intake- either by fitting a high-flow rectangular filter (like stock intakes use) into it or by replacing the vent on it with a scoop over the top to use something like the cone intake I currently have on the turbo intake. Plan to use some form of flexible tubing (like dryer vent hose) to connect it to the turbo intake. Also still trying to work out the intercooler piping. Unfortunately it's looking like, barring miraculously finding a setup I can adapt in a junkyard or someone letting one go really cheap on CL, the $50 or so for the aluminum tubing from Metals Supermarket may be my cheapest option.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
4/26/18 9:23 p.m.

Unless you already have couplers in the budget or plan on going without them, just buy the cheap eBay piping kit.  It's 80 bucks but has all the stuff you'd need.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
4/26/18 9:25 p.m.

Whatever you use for intake ducting, make sure it can't collapse on itself. I had a long silicone 45 in my intake plumbing that would actually suck shut and choke the engine when i hit a certain boost level on my challenge van (same turbo as you). There's definitely an argument that the filter was contributing (its just a very normal knock off cone filter) but intake tubing that CANT suck shut is still probably 'best practice'. cheeky

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
4/27/18 7:36 a.m.

Unfortunately I'm not too certain that the eBay kit would have everything- the routing for the piping will likely be a bit convoluted since the non-turbo's radiator doesn't leave any really good way to run it. Either both lines have to cross over behind it or I'll have to route the hot-side line through the vent where the computer traditionally is mounted. I do have some couplers that came with the intercooler I've got. I'll see what I can make work.

I am taking into account the concern of the intake collapsing. I may, if I can find what I need and make it fit, have a fairly inexpensive way to re-route the intake air with fairly minimal mods to the hood (basically just working out a way to attach the hose to the 'airbox' under the existing vent). In looking around for an air filter to use I stumbled across this,  which I'm pretty confident I can make one of my own of for almost nothing (additional) if I can find a food tin the right size to fit over the existing cone filter that I have. Though not usually the cheapest option, Spectre makes an intake hose that's about $15 that may work perfectly, though if I get out to one of the junkyards and can source some stock hose/piping that would obviously be even cheaper.

wae
wae SuperDork
4/27/18 8:14 a.m.

I found a way to get pretty cheap what-appears-to-be-silicone I/C piping is to pillage the turbo PT cruisers at the junkyards.  There always seems to be a couple floating around and they used a lot of soft line in their system.  I've not had any of it collapse on me and the yards will usually let it go pretty cheap.  You'll get a bend or two in it that you can cut out and use and even if you don't want to do any large straight sections, it makes great coupler material.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
5/3/18 1:25 p.m.

Unfortunately there didn't appear ot be any Turbo PT's at Bessler's last wekeend- but I did come home with a whole lot of piping and tubing for the budget-breaking price of $10 that combined with at least some of the aluminum tubing from the Metals Supermarket should make a good intercooler piping system (and I grabbed some intake hoses that should allow me to get colder air into the intake too).

I really need the garage back for some other projects for my wife's non-profit fairly soon so since the weather will be decent the next few days I'll be pushing hard to get everything put back together and the Rampage running. Will be a definite crunch to get it all done... what needs to be done yet is:

  1. Re-configure the instrument cluster (includes diagnosing the ammeter & fuel gauge and modifying it to fit the boost & water temp gauge)
  2. Wire up the harness for the new radio
  3. Reinstall the dash
  4. Install the new front sway bar bushings & the bar itself
  5. Put rest of front end back together
  6. Center engine
  7. Fabricate & install CAI, intercooler, & piping
  8. Replace frozen parking brake line
  9. (OPTIONAL) Replace rear brake lines (have longer ones to eliminate the load-sensing valve
  10. (OPTIONAL) Adapt & install rear sway (from an S-10 I believe)
84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
5/3/18 1:56 p.m.

WOOT Besslers - one of my favorite pull and pray yards!  I knew I should marry my then girlfriend when she stood over me in a storm with a golf umbrella while I pulled a transmission out of a scirocco there.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
5/3/18 2:36 p.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

It's definitely pretty good at times (I really wish I'd had the time and an appropriate vehicle to have pulled the engine from one of the two RX-8s in the yard during the 50% off sale last weekend), but the selection can be frustating at other times. I really wish I had a yard less than an hour away, but that there are like 5 very different ones within an hour and a half works out pretty well- assuming it's not something really old/rare (*cough*turbododge*cough*) I can usually find it between the 5 of them.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
5/3/18 2:59 p.m.

I'm about to get rid of a complete good condition 2.2 16 valve from a Spirit RT. With all accessories. 

You know you want it!  wink

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
5/3/18 3:51 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

That would be a solid power increase- but also a considerable amount of additional work to swap it in, wire up the harness for it, etc. And without an upgraded/differently-geared transmission I'm not sure that it would be of all that much practical benefit...

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
5/3/18 4:05 p.m.
Ashyukun (Robert) said:

In reply to SVreX :

That would be a solid power increase- but also a considerable amount of additional work to swap it in, wire up the harness for it, etc. And without an upgraded/differently-geared transmission I'm not sure that it would be of all that much practical benefit...

Its mostly a drop in.  It uses the same motor mounts and it will run the automatic just fine (they are seriously tough units, don't sweat it, they'll handle 300hp with good cooling and adjusted bands, a reverse manual valve body makes them more enjoyable).  You have to add a pickup to the top of the transaxle.  Electrical is mostly the same with the main differences at the ECU mounted in the fender.  As long as it comes with the engine harness and ECU, exhaust bolts up the same, you can drill a hole in the top of the transaxle while its apart.  Throttle body is the same, just located differently, etc.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
5/7/18 8:50 a.m.

Even with it being relatively simply, it's still likely more work than I'm going to really be able to do with the rest of what I'm going to have going on- and that's assuming I could fit it into the budget. Also, as I said- I'm not certain how much of an advantage it would really be as far as the Challenge goes... from what I've seen I think that the car will run out of gearing before it runs out of power on the strip, and the extra power isn't going to be that much of an advantage in the cones.

As usual I didn't get as much done over the weekend as I would have liked, but still moved things along. I have the cluster re-done and the radio surround modified for the newer head unit. I should only be an hour or so away from having the dash & cluster re-installed. I was also smart and took the time to work out the resistors needed to keep the LED-backlit boost gauge from being as bright as the sun when lit up at night, so it should blend in better and be more usable now (especially since it's now in the cluster and not next to the gearshift in the console).

I tracked down the larger tach I got in a purchase from eastsidetim back when I first started on the El Camino, but I need to figure out if it will read properly on a 4-cylinder or if it's specifically made for an 8-cylinder as there isn't a switch on it like there is on the newer one. Hopefully in the next few days the aluminum tubing to try and hook up the intercooler will be in. It would be really nice if I could get everything besides the rear end stuff done by the end of this weekend...

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
5/7/18 9:02 a.m.

In reply to SVreX :

 Feel free to pm me a price if Robert isn't interested.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
5/7/18 11:18 a.m.

In reply to Ashyukun (Robert) :

I was thinking of the WOW factor of such an unusual swap in the front of an otherwise odd car.

Would be worth some potential mag coverage and concours points.

I don't know that it would hurt your top end with the right diameter tires due to the higher redline potential on that motor.

Another thought would be to hold onto it for a later build where it is fitted in the bed, driving the rear wheels.

Selling off the existing drivetrain could help with the budget.

Just some thoughts, but I understand you've got plenty to do already to do.

BTW, I haven't forgotten about the parts I was going to send.  I haven't found them yet, but I'm still looking.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
5/7/18 11:55 a.m.

In reply to Stefan :

Oh, believe me- from the standpoint of 'This would be really cool!' I'd be all-in on doing it, but unfortunately at least over the next few months I've got a LOT on my plate to get done and having time to do all of it is a big concern, so I'm not sure that starting back a few steps on the engine (since I would have to re-wire things again) would be that wise. And as far as a potential future upgrade, I at the moment don't know exactly what the plan is going to be for the Rampage after this year's Challenge. I have quite a soft spot for the little ute, but in practical terms it may not be in the cards to hold onto it if things over the next year go remotely the way my wife and I hope they will.

Picking up the engine and just holding on to it for down the line isn't likely going to work well either- I already have one engine (the supercharged 3800) sitting on my engine stand waiting for me to either put it in the DMC or sell it- I don't really have room for another engine at the moment (honestly I don't really have room for everything I already have... things on the Rampage would be going more quickly if I had the garage organized such that I could find things easily...).

Looking the engine over though, it looks like I'd need to work out hooking up its PS pump to the Rampage's rack (on the current swap I'm 80% sure they just kept the original Rampage PS pump) and find an AC compressor delete pulley. Look like I'd still need to custom-route the intercooler as well.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
5/7/18 12:13 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun (Robert) :

Completely understand.  I'm slowing trying to get rid of stuff, but I'm rapidily reaching the point of ordering a dumpster and getting rid of everything in a weekend. 

To be honest, a SRT4/PT Cruiser turbo swap makes more sense these days just due to parts availability and support.

Even though I don't have any cars that use those motors anymore, I'd still pause and think before I'd turn down one of those motors for a reasonable price.

Anyway:

Just use the Spirit R/T pump hose, it will fit right into the stock rack.  Return line is low pressure hose sold in bulk.

There's a shorter belt that can be used when the A/C is deleted.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UltraDork
5/10/18 7:39 a.m.

Was able to get the dash almost completely reinstalled- only having a difficult time figuring out where one lone pink wire is supposed to go in the bundle that goes to the steering column. Holding off on finishing up as I've not gotten the tach reinstalled either- I had planned on using one of the two larger (like, 6" face) ones I have lying around, but when I test-fit them they're clearly WAY too big for the dash so I'm just going to relocate the 2" one to a gauge pod on top of the cluster. There aren't really any I've seen cheap that are really what I'm looking for, so I did some poking around and found an almost perfect one on Thingiverse- so it looks like I'll finally be getting to use the Maker Space's 3D printers for something. Planning on incorporating the CEL into the pod as well, having ordered a pack of 50 12V pre-wired LEDs (for like $14 shipped... can't complain about $0.30 LEDs...).

This would leave just the oil pressure gauge on the mount under the center of the dash... debating whether to simply lose it completely or make a 2-gauge mount for the top of the cluster. Or just leave it there all on its lonesome, doesn't make too much difference.

Yesterday I finally got to trying to test-fit the hoses & piping I picked up at the 50% sale at the junkyard to hook up the intercooler- and holy crap! I can essentially make one half of the install (cold side) just from that- it fits almost perfectly, I just need to cut one of the hoses a bit shorter. The hot side looks like it may take using some of the aluminum tubing I picked up, but probably not much more than a foot of it which will keep the price pretty low. At the moment it's looking like the whole thing will end up being less than $20.

The only potential problems are that I need to figure out how to hook up the BOV... right now I don't have a good way to connect the one I have up (needs like a 1" hose or so, and if I use the original hose that ran from the turbo to the throttle body as looks like may work well it only has a like 2/3" or so nipple on it for the stock relief valve). The other concern is that at the moment the intercooler will be right up against the bottom front of the radiator (essentially where the condensor would be if the car still had its AC) and I'm worried that heat from the rad will lessen how effective the intercooler is. Conversely, it means that the fan will be pulling air through the intercooler before it goes through the rad, so there is that advantage. I can probably locate the intercooler further up in the front fascia, but it will require a few more connectors and probably another foot or so of the aluminum tubing.

I need to dig up one of the smaller aftermarket coolant reservoirs and install it as well, since I pulled the stock one out to put in the intercooler piping.

Our Preferred Partners
doVEj0HsHd17jWOnVSsaFDrOcJwx3zFEcIN9es85S3FK4GghY4Umpq219zDo1uBq