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Gunchsta Dork
5/10/22 2:54 p.m.

Wow that pedal box is beautifully simple. And the car is super rad! 


A panther with 3 pedals is something I'll always lust over. This will be cool! 

akylekoz UltraDork
5/10/22 3:54 p.m.

If you want to upgrade to 31 spline axles, how about $50 plus shipping for this.  It came out of my 08 Mustang so it has carbon clutches 31,500 miles on it.

gumby Dork
5/10/22 5:18 p.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Tempting at that price point but this car doesn't need 31sp, I have a 28sp here already, and I also have a 31sp Torsen on-hand...

I appreciate the offer though!

gumby Dork
5/15/22 8:25 p.m.

Pilot bearing installed, flywheel fitted up and belhousing screwed on. No clutch or throwout fork yet; plenty of mocking up before we get there. In that vein, the trans has been in and out a couple times already. Hole in the floor made, and edges folded over.

Then I swapped the AOD mount to the T5 and fitted the crossmember. No changes there. I started the afternoon thinking I would mess with the slave cylinder. I got a Wilwood pull-type slave to match the master on the pedal, but it looks like a complete pain in the sack to setup pulling forward so I punted and ordered a Miata slave from RockAuto.

Looking at the old y-pipe I made for the 3.8 in the Tbird, it matches up to the 5.0 manifolds peachy but hits the crossmember. This got me fully sidetracked into building exhaust...so I slid the driveshaft in to check available real estate in the tunnel. Zero plunge depth at the tailshaft with the flange installed on the pinion! I'll drop the d/s off and pay the man ($40) to have ¾" taken out to match the extra depth of the sn95 bellhousing.

Chopped the y apart and started hanging bits, setting up a nice game of connect-the-dots.

Basic Thrush turbo muffler going on

Also cut apart a Fox Mustang tailpipe to finish up over the axle and out

I 'free' overnight'd a pair of v-band kits so I can keep moving on the exhaust. No reason to not see this thru; it all has to get done sometime. Miata slave should arrive Wednesday.

gumby Dork
5/23/22 4:54 p.m.

The dog alerted me at 7:26a that the V-bands had arrived; before I even left the house! The exhaust is all tacked together, hangers hung, and the whole mess removed from the car in service chunks. I will finish weld it at some point before its time to go back on for good.

The slave cylinder on the other hand was late. Several. Days. Late. When it finally showed up I got busy mounting it to the bellhousing.

Went ahead and installed the clutch, checked some clearances with the bell on the engine again, and did need to notch the edge of the fork slightly to clear the new hardware inside the bell. I tried to drill a hole for the locating nub of the slave pushrod, but no joy. I cut a piece of tubing and welded it to the fork as a retaining cup instead, and removed the nub from the pushrod.

gumby Dork
6/20/22 9:55 p.m.

I fell off the pic wagon, but got the hydraulics done, installed and bled. Master was too small. Called in a 3/4" master, got that changed out and bled. All good now with full clutch release, decent pedal feel, and good modulation.

Shortened d/s shaft installed, swapped rear springs, rehung the exhaust, cut another hole in the carpet, installed seats, and went for a drive!

Test drive survived, and I'm gonna take it to work tomorrow.

Special thanks again to Nonack, Chandler, and Patrick for handling the relay on these seats!

I need a boot and a different handle for the shifter. Also still need to put in the Trac-Lok, change the front shocks, swap out the noisy fuel pump, and fix the trip ODO gears, but each of these can be dealt with individually and none require a dead wagon hogging the lift 8wks at a time.

10001110101 Reader
6/20/22 11:10 p.m.

Manual V-8 wagon with woodgrain. You are doing it right. 

gumby Dork
6/24/22 11:20 a.m.

What are the tell tale signs of an abusive relationship?

I got two trouble free days from the T5 swap, picked up some cooling system flush to try and get more of that mess handled, and before I could get back into it the water pump peed all over the driveway....

But then, after a day of mental anguish thinking about how many bolts I was going to break and how far this scope was going to creep

They all came out and aren't even corroded. 

Shavarsh Reader
6/24/22 12:48 p.m.

In reply to gumby :

Wow, that is unusual, glad all the bolts came out. I haven't checked in on this thread in awhile and it just keeps getting better. Every Gumby thread delivers. This is yet another push to convert the janky cable clutch setup in my pinto to the miata hydraulics I have on the shelf.

gumby Dork
6/28/22 7:43 a.m.
Shavarsh said:

Every Gumby thread delivers.

Big praise, thank you!
As far as the Miata hydraulics go, with the slave tucked in on the T5 fork, everyone's choice for a master seems to be a Land Cruiser part which has the same 3/4" bore as I ended up with, and "fits" the Miata pedal easily. Should make a good retro fit as long as you have the firewall real-estate available.

The wagon cooling system is back together. Alternating drive cycles and flushing, I have spent several hours and dozens of gallons of water trying to eradicate the remaining brown/orange contamination. Before fall I should be confident to put coolant back in without it feeling like a futile waste of funds.

The 225lb rear springs have taken a set at 1/2" of rake vs the full inch it had with 250's. The little things hit just right sometimes.

Really digging the longer shift lever too. Bent a chunk of 7/8x0.065" SS, smashed one end flat for attaching to the shifter and welded a bolt in the other end for the knob.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/28/22 11:05 a.m.

Everyone loves a longer shaft. Now you just need some rubber for protection.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
6/28/22 11:30 a.m.

That center control panel is the hotness. Brings back my childhood. 

hobiercr UltraDork
6/28/22 12:40 p.m.

That new shift lever is spot on!

gumby Dork
9/26/22 6:20 p.m.

Made it three months.... then, two Thursdays ago, the wagon ate its throw out bearing.

There were signs. Small ones, hardly noticeable, and definitely none that said "woah, this E36 M3 is coming apart!" Until, it wouldn't go into first, at a light, in traffic. I had to limp it home without the clutch, and yanked the trans to find this guy

The bearing itself is fine, but the assembly disassembled! Seemed kinda odd.
When I slid the trans away from the bellhousing, the fork fell out. That ain't supposed to happen.

Comparing the fork I was using(right) to another sn95 fork, the pivot ball socket is only partially formed and the end is slightly shorter.

I believe the fork slid part way off the pivot and was causing some bind during clutch actuation. This became super evident after I had everything back together with the other sn95 fork(left) and went for the first test drive. Pedal travel is smoother. Engagement is easier to modulate, and no more chatter. The issues were minor and had developed gradually, but the correction was quite apparent. Hopefully this means a long and healthy life for the replacement throw out bearing.

While it was apart, I went ahead and tossed in a v8 box with a better overdrive ratio. 3.35/0.68 vs 3.35/0.72, ya know, sincuwas

Before this RUD, I did work on a couple little things. Niceties.
I cut out a bracket to remount the cruise buttons. I need to chase some more wiring there because the cruise still doesn't work #sadpanda
New tires. 255/45/18 this time. Looking for more A/S tread options than the 275/40 variety.
I replaced the trip ODO gears. The trip ODO is great for not running out of gas when your fuel level gauge is inop, but it kinda forces you to track mpgs too. 17-18 in town is pretty not awesome, but it knocks down 22-23 on the interstate!

orthoxstice Reader
9/28/22 6:32 a.m.

17-18 in town and 22 on the highway is slightly BETTER than my similarly aged Volvo wagon, and I bet you can run yours on regular! This thing is awesome.

onemanarmy Reader
9/28/22 11:12 a.m.

You gotta get a new pic in front of the basket store! (if its still there)

Nukem New Reader
9/28/22 8:24 p.m.

This is great, and I'm definitely going to steal your clutch slave setup.

garaithon Reader
9/29/22 9:31 p.m.

Glad to hear it's mobile again! We will get the wagons together sooner or later!

gumby Dork
11/21/22 7:55 a.m.

How about a drivability concern next? Surge/bucking in 5th gear between 45-50mph. This is a very common cruise zone in my daily commute.

Initial thought was secondary ignition so I loaded the parts cannon with plugs, wires, cap and rotor. No change.

Inspected EGR. Valve not stuck, idle quality says valve is sealing fine. Stuck a ball bearing in the reference line. No change.

A week of driving around the problem returned 12mpgs and a 1/2mi walk each way to the gas station when the tank ran out quicker than anticipated.

A little deeper into the tune-up well; air filter, fuel filter, and KAM reset. No change.

More drive cycles. Paying attention to when things are bad vs. when it runs fine revealed some repeatable results. Everything is great with a dead cold engine, but as it warms up the symptoms begin. 

Thinking this may be open loop vs closed loop operation, I tossed o2 sensors at it. This was fun because there is no way to get tools on the original sensor locations AND have room/leverage to break them loose. I chose to drop the y-pipe and add new bungs in accessible locations.

OE locations visible up in the manifolds


No change.

Ran a sweep on the TPS; looks good. Swapped MAP for a spare; no change.

Running out of low hanging fruit here. Current thoughts are shifting back to ignition, but on the primary side. Gonna check the pick-up in the distributor next.

bobzilla MegaDork
11/21/22 8:52 a.m.

In reply to gumby :

Not a ford man but.... on the old GM TBI small cap distributor it wasn't uncommon for the pickup to crack around the rivets giving extra signals and sparks causing a misfire or random backfire. 

Check fuel pressure yet? FPR leaking past the diaphram? 

gumby Dork
11/21/22 8:59 a.m.
bobzilla said:

Check fuel pressure yet? FPR leaking past the diaphram? 

I knew I was going to leave something out of that post...

Yes, fuel pressure checks out. 40psi prime, 34psi idle w/hose on, 42psi idle w/hose off. Pressure responds to throttle, and doesn't drop after engine is shut off. None of this rules out a low flow condition, hence the filter change to cover as many bases as possible.

No fuel in the reference hose.

Shavarsh HalfDork
11/21/22 10:32 a.m.

I'm with Bob, do you have an extra distributor to try? I had one give me fits on a foxbody with intermittent issues. The parts store replacements were also bad which was a convincing decoy.

gumby Dork
11/21/22 10:41 a.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

The only other v8 distributor I have on hand is a DSII unit, not TFI. And yeah, FLAPS remans don't inspire confidence for me either.

I plan to pull the SPOUT connector to check if base timing is bouncing around after the engine warms up, and go from there.


*edit, I have a handful of Lima TFI distributors and one in a 3.8
Obvs the reluctor is different, but I will research if the PIP interchanges.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/21/22 10:50 a.m.

Coolant temp sensor? Maybe the engine thinks it's cold all the time and is therefore overfueling when hot. The one for the computer as I assume your gauge still works.

Also, o2 sensors change would not show up as you'd never be going into closed loop.

gumby Dork
11/21/22 10:54 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Not ruling out the ECT, but have experienced several fail and all failed the same way. No start or very hard starting with terrible idle due to overfueling.

Still, I do have a spare sitting on the bench ready for my next round of testing.

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