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Old 05-04-2016, 02:01 AM   #1
vertigosity
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Default Vertigosity's Verdigris V8 Wagon

I'm lazy about writing about my own stuff, especially before it's 100% completed, or if it's not something particularly novel (which, lets be honest, this isn't), and I know people don't like to read things that require tl;dr summaries (which is how I write), or don't have lots of pictures (no time for pics, too busy wrenching). At any rate, I've built a decent knowledge base of what to do, and a bigger one of what not to do, so it's time to stop dropping text bombs in other people's threads, and start my own. Progress is typically pretty slow; the project is located in a shop 50 miles from me, so I can only really work on it on weekends, and practically 2 out of every 3 weekends are tied up running or running in local autocrosses and track events.

TL;DR summary: STSmachining mounts + automatic transmission + no strut tower brace = easy swap!
I like doing things the hard way and spending money like an idiot, leading to a cascade of and reinventing the wheel.

Starting off, I had a '74 145, but there isn't much in the way of bolt-on performance stuff for that, so I found an '80 245 to play with junkyard B230FT stuff, and my '74 became my "don't mess with it" daily. Eventually, I followed the lead of all the cool kids, and adapted a 16V head. It was a fun power curve, but with a 15G, ultimately never made much more than 200rwhp, got about 16mpg on the highway, and after 5 years of being beat on in every local motorsport event I could use it for (autocross with 3-4 different clubs, some rallycross, some drifting, HPDE, towing a Spec Miata), it was developing special talents for spraying fluids everywhere and making funny noises, which... is fair.

(Yes, the only shot of my 16VT engine bay was one I took with a potato to sell an Ultra Racing strut bar I was test-fitting against JohnMC's old intake. It didn't fit. I later got a fresh head and a DNAsequence shortened B234F intake. It was roughly similar :p)

I analyzed how much it'd cost to re-bore/seal/ring my 16VT stuff, get a better-sized turbo, top-mount exhaust manifold, redo my downpipe, and hack together engine mounts that wouldn't rip away every time I put my foot down, and decided that if I "forgot" to carry several zeroes, I might as well start an LSx swap. With some inspiration from some local pro-touring guys (Blu Balz and Project GatTagO, for the curious), I did just enough research to convince myself that I actually had a ghost of a chance of completing the project with mainly clever parts binning and subtractive and percussive (cut / grind / drill / file / hammer) fab work (I don't, and welding has/will occur(ed)), threw all sense to the wind, and bought an aluminum 5.3L (LM4, from a Buick-disguised '04 Trailblazer).


Pulled my 16VT, did most of the harness re-pinning required to make the original harness "standalone," swapped on a Holley 302-1 oil pan, LS3 dipstick (for which the pad isn't drilled on the LM4 block) and Hooker 8501 exhaust manifolds, and did some initial initial test-fits on the '80. I tried some C6 'vette engine mounts, which turned out to be a non-starter: they're in about the right place front-to-back and about the right height but are WAY too wide. I considered trying Dirty Dingo "street rod" mounts, but before I had time to mull that over, the STSmachining group buy picked up steam, so I waited for that. Immediately, I found out that the early rack has clearance issues against the STSmachining mounts: if you bolt the rack on after the driver side mount is installed, it should work, but you can't rotate/slide it in, or drop the engine in with mounts attached. Moot point, because...

...I picked up a paint code 412 ("verdigris") '93 with a few dents, not much remaining clearcoat, and some unique wiring problems (the driver side engine bay harness had been cut off and linesman-spliced back together mostly in the correct order, and with factory-correct-looking covering, but with the highbeams wired straight to battery positive, because its wire was red) for $400-something from a neighbor of a friend. I switched to it as the recipient for the V8 because I hoped the later GM-based receiver/drier-based system would be easier to mate to a GM compressor, and also because the '80 got a promotion to "designated safe boring reliable daily driver," status after my '74 got taken out in traffic.


At this point, the process of trial-and-error test-fitting begins in earnest:

Steering column shaft hits exhaust manifolds:
The rubber isolated "dog bone" shaped steering shaft will hit the Hooker exhaust manifold.
Solution: http://www.colemanracing.com/Steerin...ned-P4078.aspx
Even then, it's still pretty close, but there's an air gap, I'm calling this one solved until it grinds apart, probably during an 80mph interstate Moose Test. There might also be a bit more room yet to be gained by unbolting the column inside the dash and trying to play with its angle there.


The F-body T56 shifter turret is about 4 inches too far back (Edit: no, it isn't, but it has to go in with the engine, and will need a similar offset stick in the opposite direction to my TKO), and will overlap with the back of the tunnel in an area that doesn't look like it'll lend itself to sledgehammer-based modding. I can't confirm any of this, but the Magnum, Viper, and Cobra tailhousings all look like better fits, and the remote shifter used on the TR6060 would be easily modified. I got a TKO and a reproduction -621 bellhousing.

Most LSx TKO installs use a flywheel from a truck, which is thicker (to offset the difference in crank depth between an SBC and an LSx) and heavier. I didn't like that idea, so I kept my LS6 flywheel and clutch, added an LS7 pilot bearing (it sits further back than the LS1 style, but is the same inside diameter), and a Quarter Master 721-100 throwout bearing. That all went together pretty directly, but that style throwout bearing requires that the transmission and bellhousing be installed as a unit (like an M46), which in turn requires considerably more tunnel clearance than installing the bellhousing without the transmission. I managed to install the engine and transmission as a unit by dropping the engine crossmember to the last few threads of bolt, and drafting an assistant to work the engine hoist while I bench-pressed and floor-jacked various parts of the drivetrain. Seriously, just f***ing notch the crossmember already. Yes, I got it in /without/ doing it, but it will make your life so much simpler.

The TKO shifter hole is about 2" too far forward. I decided to solve the problem by throwing money, got an American Powertrain White Lightning 2.25" offset shifter, success.


Transmission mount:
Mustang T5 mounts (both a gsellstr-style hacked SN95 crossmember, and the Yoshifab part) are way too low to be used with the GM TKO. STSmachining's 4l60e mount is the perfect height, but needs to either be about 1cm longer to work with the crossmember in the rear-most position, or 1in shorter to move the crossmember forward one set of bolt holes. So, I broke out the drill press and grinder bits, and slotted my transmission mount:

Note that I did it backwards - the instructions for the mount say to keep the curved part pointed at the rear of the car, so… whoops.

Intake manifold
The truck intake won't clear an IPD/Cherry Turbo cross-brace, even with "shaving." Since I planned on keeping that brace and/or converting to a flat hood, I got a Dorman LS6 reproduction intake. The truck throttle body and MAP sensor mate, and the vacuum/PCV plumbing differences will work out with standard hoses and tee fittings. The truck carbon canister purge valve (which I'm keeping for some reason) won't be easily reused, so I'm picked up an external valve from the junkyard from a 3800 (which uses the same part as an LS1/LS6). The truck alternator/PS bracket interferes with the vacuum nipple for the LS6 purge valve on the Dorman intake (it's a little higher and further forward on real LS1/LS6 intakes, so it probably isn't an issue there), so I modified it to point vertically by hacking off its nipple, drilling out its base, using the base as a clamp for the freestanding nipple, and using the O-ring that used to be on the base to seal the nipple against the intake - it's a dumb little detail that I spent way too much time on, but I'm actually kinda proud of this one.


Fuel rails:
I have tried several approaches to hacking the truck fuel rails to work with the LS6 intake, but haven’t come up with anything that I’m happy with. http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gener...dy-intake.html looked promising but didn’t line up for me. I'll probably end up getting some Holley rails (one of the less "bling" options available) and a Corvette filter/regulator (which requires a corresponding ECU change, for the early 'Vettes and trucks, which were vacuum referenced). Earls sells an adapter that threads onto the Volvo fuel feed, but I don't think the shape is quite right: https://www.holley.com/products/plum...rts/9919DFHERL.

Belt-Driven Accessories:
The truck water pump interferes with the throttle body after switching to the lower intake, so I swapped on an L99 (automatic G5 Camaro) water pump. The idler pulley section of the truck alternator/PS bracket interferes with both the throttle body and the water pump, so I cut it off and got a Dirty Dingo idler pulley relocation bracket.

The Trailblazer has a DR44-sized alternator, which clearly won't clear the hood, so I went to my local U-Pull-It and pulled a CS130D-style unit from an S10, which 77volvo245 and Ttownthomas have both confirmed to fit.

Power steering lines hooked up directly, as the Trailblazer uses a Type II pump nearly identical to the one that Volvo themselves used on B230F 240s. The ABS-era high pressure line has a slightly better path than the non-ABS 86+, but the low pressure line I ended up using is actually from an /early/ car, as it lacks the metal line at the rack side, making it easier to snake around. Go figure.

A/C... I'm still trying to figure out. An original Volvo compressor will bolt to a Holley Sanden-conversion bracket, and should be straightforward to convert to serpentine belt, but after some initial rough test fits, I'm not sure the stock late-era hoses can be used in any way that makes sense. I also have the original Trailblazer compressor, but its original bracket can't be used as it bolts to the Trailblazer oil pan instead of the block (like a truck). Lines removed from a friend's '95 Silverado match up to my '93, but might also likewise point in unusable directions with a low-mount truck bracket. Plan on buying a crimp tool and making your own lines; I expect to before I declare this a solved problem.

Clutch: I plan on using a one-off McLeod clutch master for Fox body LSx conversions (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mcl-14-330-01) and a universal end to mate it directly to the 240 cable clutch pedal. This is a dumb idea. Do http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=149175 instead.

And that's where it was... a month or so, ago.


Next up: finish deleting ABS to make room on the driver size fender for an ECU, get back to wiring, more AC and fuel rail test fits, clutch/pedal work.
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Last edited by vertigosity; 12-06-2017 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:58 AM   #2
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Cool. Looking forward to seeing it on the road.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:30 AM   #3
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Sweet, look forward to progress
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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This is going to be great! Like your paper towel holders.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:45 PM   #5
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Got a couple of weeks where I won't be able to visit my shop, but I brought my intake manifold and pedal hangers home so I could work on them in my living room.

I went ahead and got the Holley fuel rails, so I don't get any "budget build" points here, but I did manage to manage to reuse my truck injectors.
Popped the caps off, swapped on normal-Bosch-injector sized O-rings. Rail mounts flipped upside down, attached with one bolt (of the normal two), at an angle, over 3 1/16" washers. Fits like it was meant to go together :p - classic Turbobricks.

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Old 06-20-2016, 07:50 PM   #6
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After a few weeks of not getting out to the shop, I did get some stuff done two weekends ago, and this past weekend.

* Learned how to make AN hose, made a crossover for my fuel rails. Still need to decide if I'm going to put the Corvette filter/regulator next to the pump and run 8ft of AN line to the rail, or reuse the Volvo line, run two filters, and put the filter/regulator in a similar location to a K-jet car.

* Decided I didn't like the ECU on the driver strut tower any better than on the wiper fluid bottle bracket. Swapped the Bank 1 and Bank 2 injector and coil leads (nearly a full evening's work!), and almost all the wire lengths fell into place nicely, with the exception of the MAF and crank sensor leads being 6 feet, and 4 inches, respectively, longer than they needed to be, and the CLT leads being about a foot short. The long guys I can just tuck into the harness; the CLT I'll extend with some scrap from pulling the automatic transmission controls (seriously, I got a ton of good scrap wiring, most of which has ECU pins, out of that). I also got a Current Performance bare-bones fuseblock (http://www.currentperformance.com/sh...erelay-module/) - having those circuits already sorted out helped me visualize where stuff needed to go tremendously. Still need to solder all the joins together, then I should be ready to loom up the engine-bay part of the harness. The part going to the cabin and DBW pedal... still needs thought, and love, and some extra wire.

* Decided against using the Holley high-mount bracket - nice piece, but takes up too much room in a space where /something/ (air intake, wiring harness, etc) clearly needs to go, and would put the '93 AC lines in the hood.
* Picked up a truck AC bracket from the JY... Trucks and Trailblazers use incompatible bolt patterns, oh well.
* Picked up a Vintage Air low-mount Sanden bracket, and test fit it with my Volvo V-belt compressor. Everything fits together with decent clearance, and my '93 low pressure hose didn't protest too much. The high pressure hose I can probably cobble together, either abusing my '93 hose to go to its original hardline, or abusing an early hose to go straight to the condenser. Might try to save a few bucks and get an SD508 from an 81-90 Jeep, or the pulley from a later Jeep. 850/960 compressors are out, they use a fitting I don't recognize, and their pulleys look to be one-way-crimped onto the clutch.
* Still oughtta make or get made custom lines, but this should be good for at least a test run
* Doing some reading on LS1tech - as GM never made an ECU/tune for DBW + E-fan + analog AC request, I'm going to need to get another ECU and/or revise my wiring down the road probably, and maybe get a AC pressure sensor (not switch) integrated into custom hoses. Or just say "eff it, let the idle sag until the DBW compensates, and run the E-fan off the high pressure switch, like Volvo did on the 940" like 99% of the people who keep AC on swaps.


* Not directly related to the V8 swap, but I got a double flare brake tool (which, even though single flaring is part of the double flaring process, the first step with the die makes double flares ultimately way easier to successfully complete than single flares) and got my Texas240-like ABS delete 3/5 done. Just need to hook it up to the master cylinder!


* Haven't done anything with my clutch pedal yet, making all other effort essentially pointless. Also, since I've got the brake system completely disassembled, now that I've seen Trevor57's successful T56 mount, I'm tempted to chuck the car on the lift, drop the subframe entirely, and try installing my T56 again (despite it being pretty clearly "not going to fit" the first time around). I'm a masochist!
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:13 AM   #7
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HA!!!! Didn't think any one was paying attention to the abs delete I did. Make sure to bolt that sucker to the strut tower.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:16 AM   #8
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I'm getting there - had to knock off for the weekend and put a bag over it

I actually planned to do it more or less the same way and bought the valve before I saw yours, but seeing yours kinda made me say "yup, that's how it's done!"

Last edited by vertigosity; 06-21-2016 at 12:24 AM..
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:27 AM   #9
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what length shaft did you buy???
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Thank you very much everybody... i now feel sufficiently retarded and will go cry in the corner...
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:29 AM   #10
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For steering? 12" - roughly the same length as the original Volvo dog-bone.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:31 AM   #11
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awesome!
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:19 AM   #12
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For steering? 12" - roughly the same length as the original Volvo dog-bone.
Did I miss this?
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:22 AM   #13
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So my dbw does compensate for ac idle but for some odd reason my idle is set at 567 rpm which is going to get tuned up to 700-750rpm. But its nice knowing that it does catch it. Im using the stock 240 low/ high pressure sensors and wiring. I was over thinking this when I started then I realized I should just see what would happen and it works. These pcm are well thought out
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas240 View Post
Did I miss this?
Yep - from my initial TLDR megapost:
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Originally Posted by vertigosity View Post
Steering column shaft hits exhaust manifolds:
The rubber isolated "dog bone" shaped steering shaft will hit the Hooker exhaust manifold.
Solution: http://www.colemanracing.com/Steerin...ned-P4078.aspx
Even then, it's still pretty close, but there's an air gap, I'm calling this one solved until it grinds apart, probably during an 80mph interstate Moose Test. There might also be a bit more room yet to be gained by unbolting the column inside the dash and trying to play with its angle there.
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So my dbw does compensate for ac idle but for some odd reason my idle is set at 567 rpm which is going to get tuned up to 700-750rpm. But its nice knowing that it does catch it. Im using the stock 240 low/ high pressure sensors and wiring. I was over thinking this when I started then I realized I should just see what would happen and it works. These pcm are well thought out
Awesome! I, for one, have spent way too much time researching ECU PN + settings combinations for making it ECU-managed, without really finding one that's entirely promising.

Setting it up like an Express Van (which is conceptually the same as a '91-'93 240, 940, or trinary-switch aftermarket setup), using an S10 or Express Van ECU (1MB PCMs like the Trailblazer lack the input for a 12V AC request - they had a BCM to do the job and report in over the serial bus. The 512KB PCM on the earlier trucks, F-bodies, and Corvettes, I believe all have the input), having the fans only controlled by CLT, but having the high or low (I'll just take whatever my 940 relay harness went for - the Regina 940 NA and Bosch 940 Turbo harnesses disagree on which should be the pressure-triggered input) also controlled by the high pressure switch, has been the best option I've come across. Us '91-'93ers have the one on the metal hardline, but the Vintage Air trinary switch will thread into the '75-'90 drier, I believe. Should actually be easier to mix-and-match / bodge up AC lines for that setup, actually... making my choice of using the '93 for it's GMish AC kinda ironic in hindsight.

Supposedly, 500RPM idle is normal for these guys - they've got enough fire events going at any given time that it doesn't start breaking up like our 4-bangers do at that low of a speed. 750RPM is still low enough it probably won't have a major effect on stuck-in-traffic-all-the-time fuel consumption...

Last edited by vertigosity; 06-21-2016 at 01:47 AM..
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertigosity View Post
Yep - from my initial TLDR megapost:

Awesome! I, for one, have spent way too much time researching ECU PN + settings combinations for making it ECU-managed, without really finding one that's entirely promising.

Setting it up like an Express Van (which is conceptually the same as a '91-'93 240, 940, or trinary-switch aftermarket setup), using an S10 or Express Van ECU (1MB PCMs like the Trailblazer lack the input for a 12V AC request - they had a BCM to do the job and report in over the serial bus. The 512KB PCM on the earlier trucks, F-bodies, and Corvettes, I believe all have the input), having the fans only controlled by CLT, but having the high or low (I'll just take whatever my 940 relay harness went for - the Regina 940 NA and Bosch 940 Turbo harnesses disagree on which should be the pressure-triggered input) also controlled by the high pressure switch, has been the best option I've come across. Us '91-'93ers have the one on the metal hardline, but the Vintage Air trinary switch will thread into the '75-'90 drier, I believe. Should actually be easier to mix-and-match / bodge up AC lines for that setup, actually... making my choice of using the '93 for it's GMish AC kinda ironic in hindsight.

Supposedly, 500RPM idle is normal for these guys - they've got enough fire events going at any given time that it doesn't start breaking up like our 4-bangers do at that low of a speed. 750RPM is still low enough it probably won't have a major effect on stuck-in-traffic-all-the-time fuel consumption...
I've read conflicting info on rpm's at idle. I for one have a miss fire that is clearly evident at 540ish rpm. Hoping that swapping out two new coils for the two that had the hard plastic break off where the spark plug boot fits on will help narrow down along with some better plugs and new wires. Im also considering that the stock volvo 93' intake fuel pump and bosch 044 might not be getting that magical 60psi that the rail/regulator/ injectors need to see. A few forums talked about if you don't have 60psi you get a weird miss fire bog at the top end of the rpm range.

If not those fixes then hopefully a turner in town can see a bit more action on a dyno and logging it. So far I am impressed on how easy this was and how my setup started and ran on the first try.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:35 AM   #16
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Yeah, I'm not sure a stock NA transfer pump can keep up. IIRC, I had similar issues with a stock NA transfer pump on my '80 with just an 8V and a T25... switched to a pump out of a 740TI, and never had that exact problem again
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:48 PM   #17
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Yeah, I'm not sure a stock NA transfer pump can keep up. IIRC, I had similar issues with a stock NA transfer pump on my '80 with just an 8V and a T25... switched to a pump out of a 740TI, and never had that exact problem again
hmmmmm
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:01 PM   #18
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what type of steering rack are you running? zf or the other one?
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:10 AM   #19
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I'm actually not sure... will have to look, next trip I take to the shop. I know it's a different design than the ones on my '80, my Mom's '83, or Dad's 84 - those, the rack has to be installed after the driver side (STSmachining LSx) engine mount, sandwiching it in. But if it moves the steering shaft 2mm outward... that design's the one to use
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:50 AM   #20
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Last week and yesterday: Finished making brake lines, mounted the proportioning valve to the inner fender, re-removed the whole shebang so the brake booster isn't in my way as I work on the clutch, and powered through soldering a large potion of wiring (joined my "standalone conversion" fuseblock to my harness, extended ECT/CLT and TAC leads, roughly placed the TAC inside the car, roughly routed the wires for AC, cruise control, instrumentation, switched power, fuel pump power, etc).

Today: spent some time not near the car, banging rocks together with my pedals - finally decided to stop futzing about with Mustang conversion master cylinders and reverse-swing pedals, take my own advice, and call up a welding-capable friends/family who can weld, to duplicate Volvorod85's hydraulic pedal conversion. Took a detour to do some therapeutic (although largely irrelevant until things like the clutch are sorted) instrument cluster work:
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:14 AM   #21
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Howdy, nicely coming along. MS3pro supports DBW now, and analog AC request, and fans, and idle up features with fans.

I might have a look into that.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:04 PM   #22
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what type of steering rack are you running? zf or the other one?
It's CAM/TRW. There's definitely some monkey-room inside the cabin, I had my father push on the wheel gently and clearance happened, so I think I can get clearance from loosening stuff up in there and tightening it back up at a /slightly/ different angle.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by vertigosity View Post
Last week and yesterday: Finished making brake lines, mounted the proportioning valve to the inner fender, re-removed the whole shebang so the brake booster isn't in my way as I work on the clutch, and powered through soldering a large potion of wiring (joined my "standalone conversion" fuseblock to my harness, extended ECT/CLT and TAC leads, roughly placed the TAC inside the car, roughly routed the wires for AC, cruise control, instrumentation, switched power, fuel pump power, etc).

Today: spent some time not near the car, banging rocks together with my pedals - finally decided to stop futzing about with Mustang conversion master cylinders and reverse-swing pedals, take my own advice, and call up a welding-capable friends/family who can weld, to duplicate Volvorod85's hydraulic pedal conversion. Took a detour to do some therapeutic (although largely irrelevant until things like the clutch are sorted) instrument cluster work:
What gauges and little warning light strip is that?
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:02 AM   #24
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Gauges are Speedhut, warning light strip is New Vintage: http://newvintageusallc.mybigcommerc...-eng-polished/


If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably would go for New Vintage gauges with the indicators built in just to cut down on holes to cut and wiring, but the Speedhut stuff is awesome, and they let me put a moose on it

Last edited by vertigosity; 07-18-2016 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:09 PM   #25
vertigosity
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Memphis, TN
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Had my father do some welding (first thing he's welded in years, and we suspect our 120V MIG setup just isn't big enough), and I'm now a card-carrying member of the "cool stuff made with crappy looking but functional welds" club!


I'm pretty excited. Everything else at this point is just procedural - finish the wiring, get a driveshaft made to length, add fluids, and do a test fire. After that, it's on to non-swap-specific stuff, like cleaning up the $400ishness of the shell and waiting in line for a set of Kaplhenke suspension parts!

Edit: Maybe I should add exhaust to the list before I get too ahead of myself, but, hey - progress!

Last edited by vertigosity; 07-24-2016 at 02:14 PM..
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