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Old 03-28-2019, 01:16 PM   #601
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Thanks guys! I'm so pumped on it, I think it'll definitely set the car apart.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:29 PM   #602
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while I've been waiting for parts I needed a project so I finally got into the seats which I've been wanting to do for a few years.




I've always loved that gradient fabric. The seats look great!
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:31 PM   #603
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I think it'll definitely set the car apart.
As if your car wasn't already a huge inspiration.. You gotta take me for a spin in it sometime. Keep up the good work and updates.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:02 PM   #604
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Thanks guys! I'm so pumped on it, I think it'll definitely set the car apart.
You set it apart before the interior work!
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:28 PM   #605
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I think the seats look great. Even though the rear seats aren't recaro... it makes sense to carry over the visual theme. I dont think it makes sense to place recaro logos on the door panels... If you can get a gradiatiant fabric that mimics the recaro theme without saying recaro, it would make sense... Other wise, you might be over doing it... which is just my unsolicited opinion.

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Old 03-28-2019, 06:20 PM   #606
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I like the seats and how well done they are...but (and this is my unsolicited opinion, so take it with a grain of salt), I feel that between the style of the seat and the color scheme that the seats are a bit too "Midnight Club" in a car which has the Sunday morning backroads ripper vibe to it. Maybe seeing them in the car will change an opinion, though.
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:47 PM   #607
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I think the seats look great. Even though the rear seats aren't recaro... it makes sense to carry over the visual theme. I dont think it makes sense to place recaro logos on the door panels... If you can get a gradiatiant fabric that mimics the recaro theme without saying recaro, it would make sense... Other wise, you might be over doing it... which is just my unsolicited opinion.

I'm with you here. In my mind's eye the stock door panels might look out of place now, but I am starting to think of something more subtle that's just a better fabric match to the rest of the interior. Will see how things look in the car. Never been a fan of anything on the stock door panel just not sure how I want to redo it yet.

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I like the seats and how well done they are...but (and this is my unsolicited opinion, so take it with a grain of salt), I feel that between the style of the seat and the color scheme that the seats are a bit too "Midnight Club" in a car which has the Sunday morning backroads ripper vibe to it. Maybe seeing them in the car will change an opinion, though.
I get that, mostly because of the model of the front seats. LS-b's are the de rigeur fit to the car but I don't like them as much to sit in. I don't think you'll see the pop of the Recaro fabric unless you're up close to the car either, more for me to like when I'm inside it. Either way the all black was way too bland and this adds a little something.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:37 AM   #608
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I'm with you here. In my mind's eye the stock door panels might look out of place now, but I am starting to think of something more subtle that's just a better fabric match to the rest of the interior. Will see how things look in the car. Never been a fan of anything on the stock door panel just not sure how I want to redo it yet.
Have you seen the 81 door panels that the grey velour inserts with the black vinyl? That might be a good look or a way to integrate it.
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Old 03-29-2019, 01:14 PM   #609
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Have you seen the 81 door panels that the grey velour inserts with the black vinyl? That might be a good look or a way to integrate it.
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Old 03-29-2019, 01:23 PM   #610
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:53 PM   #611
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Your car is finally off my lift - what's new with it?

Spoiler alert, a lot has happened this spring....
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:57 PM   #612
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Up

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Old 06-10-2019, 08:00 PM   #613
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I want to know!
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:12 PM   #614
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I'll tell you one thing - it's been a long seven months of downtime! Yes, I really managed to balloon this into that much garage time (and cash). But the results seem to be worth it. I've made enough significant changes I've classified this as the v3 iteration of the car in my spreadsheet. Oh yeah, I also made a spreadsheet from day 1 logging all of the buy/sell for the car... that hurt

Gonna start with the head since that's where it all started. It's far enough behind me now I'm not going to wade too far into the details but rest assured we agonized over this thing for months. Once I started working with Ferrea it became evident that my results would be as good as the information I provided to the engineer. This meant I spent a couple months on the phone and running around measuring the head. Luckily my neighbor is a machinist and gracious with the instrument loans, because I had to crawl all over the thing with mics, depth mics, dial indicators, the trusty mitutoyo calipers...

The major complicating factor was the shim-under-bucket conversion; it meant that I had to get my valve length down to +/- .010"~ accurate in order to have the lash be workable at the machine shop. This might sound straightforward but it's not when the head is so worked over and using NO stock components. It became a nice little puzzle of valves, head measurements, lash caps, buckets etc. I have more hours than I'd care to admit invested into this effort, it was honestly a little exhausting. Luckily Ferrea was great to deal with and we were able to put together a list of workable components to assemble the package.



we also took a profile of the RSI stage 3 cam, for consideration of valve acceleration when selecting a spring. The values should be considered directional rather than absolute.



After finally settling on all of the numbers there was one last complication, the valve spring seats were sunk into the head ~.060" by RSI to compensate for the poorly chosen springs they used (after going through this whole process I can say confidently that the RSI head is a nice piece of port/chamber work and a poorly planned valve train). That spring seat work created some constraints on the ID and OD of the locator. Ferrea gave me a 'best fit' part and it would take some machine work to actually have it fit. Basically the OD of the locator would have to be turned down, and the ID opened so it could locate itself on what you'll see below as a small boss around the guide left from the cutting.



Below is a grab of my invoice, for the records. We ended up using blanks for an ls7 and a Ducati respectively, and the locators are a Harley Davidson application. The valves are Ferrea's Competition Plus line. The springs (which are also OE in a Koenigsegg CCX for the record) are beehive, and even with steel retainers compared to the titanium I had previously make for a lighter assembly.



Ferrea measured the RSI springs at 76lbs at install height... basically a stock rate, with crappy bind height, and swinging a 48mm head valve at 7k rpm. Yeah... not surprised I was bouncing the valve. This is such a glaring oversight it's hard to imagine how these heads left the door. I would think 'valve train fundamentals' is a core competency for a "race shop". ANYWAYS... So my valve spring rates are going from ~76/205 to 135/265. I can lay concerns about bouncing valves to rest...

So after much to-do and a payment the goods arrived.



below is a profile of the Ferrea intake and exhaust (note we went with a single groove keeper)



below left is my RSI exhaust valve, and an LS7 valve from our garage on the right. Compare the RSI exhaust here to the Ferrea above. Notice the difference in the back angle - and how much of it there is on the RSI valve. I sent Ferrea pictures of a 530 head sectioned and he advised this would have better flow characteristics in the exhaust port. So we have valves now that are lighter, stronger, AND better flowing in the port.



I bought a few flavors of lash caps (ended up using Manley for 8mm valve stem, .085" effective height), and some spare buckets from supertech (supertech PN CF-37/3.9. 37x26x3.9mm).

For this job I decided to use the machine shop that built my bottom end, which is Larry's Auto Machine in Groton, CT. It was a 3hr round trip for drop off and again for pick up, but I had the confidence in them to give the job the attention I thought it needed. It helps that they do a lot of Volvo work. I ended up waiting the better part of 2 months to get the head worked, which put me in a pinch in May, but Gary at the shop was open about the lead time and I was willing to wait.

Started by modifying the spring locators to fit the head





The tension for me was the test fitting. I was beyond thrilled when they called and said "yup, this all works out. good job on your measurements". I mean huge relief, at this point the time investment was 4+ months, if I screwed it up I was going to feel like crap. The valve lash was set on the valve tip. Future adjustments will require swapping/custom lash caps or taking more off the tips. Is it the most easily serviced setup? certainly not. But the car sees 2k miles on a good year and sits in a garage all winter, it was a concern of mine early on but I'm over it.





the retainer diameter is way smaller than the old setup!



While they were on it they took it upon themselves to do some additional cleanup and polishing work on the ports and chambers which I appreciated. They also put a good finish cut on it for the mls gasket.





here is a closeup of the valves in the chamber.



here is the same shot of the RSI valves. Didn't bother pouring a hole to figure out what nominal boost in SCR I got from losing the dish on the valves.



I finally collected the head on May 13th and it was back on the block pretty shortly after.



Because of the increased seat pressure on the springs (or, because someone here said to do it and I'm suggestible) I converted a round tooth timing belt. I had a spare engine in the yard with round gears, so I just had to buy a new Gates belt and an outer gear for the cam which STS supplied. Worth noting for any 'legacy RSI' cam gear users the STS gears will fit but I had to do a bunch of sanding on the hard coating to get it over the RSI center section.

Because the block has steel o-rings on the deck I also needed to replace the head gasket, it's .040" thick and was available direct from Cometic within 3 days. Ok, here I'll admit that a single use $140 head gasket configuration is getting a little ridiculous

So that takes care of the head, which obviously was the driver for all "2019 improvements". The dangerous part was all the time to kill why I waited for valves and the machine shop so I just kept getting into things... more on that in a bit!

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Old 06-11-2019, 08:51 PM   #615
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Bravo bud. Looks great!
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:25 PM   #616
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Let's see the money shot with the turbo.

That's weird that you had interference with your cam great hub. My STS ring fit right on my RSI hub perfectly.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:36 PM   #617
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Let's see the money shot with the turbo.

That's weird that you had interference with your cam great hub. My STS ring fit right on my RSI hub perfectly.
i have to go through a ton of pictures. Yeah I had to work it to even get it on, as it is I don't think I can adjust it on the car; I just got tired of sanding and tapped it in where I wanted it. Have to go back and get a better fit now that I'm not pressed for time. Probably coating tolerances I guess.

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Bravo bud. Looks great!
Thanks! should be a fun drive this summer
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:37 AM   #618
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Just got caught up on the last 6 months of updates in this thread. Really killer work, love the seats and all the detail you covered on the head rebuild. I also totally forgot that you bought that crankcase breather box, glad it's working out!
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:33 AM   #619
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What are the weight savings with the shim under bucket setup vs. shim over bucket in your application? This car is awesome, and I really appreciate the attention to detail.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:16 PM   #620
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I hear Larrys does really good engine work, definitely worth the wait!!!
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:23 PM   #621
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(after going through this whole process I can say confidently that the RSI head is a nice piece of port/chamber work and a poorly planned valve train).

This is such a glaring oversight it's hard to imagine how these heads left the door. I would think 'valve train fundamentals' is a core competency for a "race shop"
This is pretty much spot on from everyone else I know who has gone through their heads. Nice porting but the valve quality / choice and other hardware misses the mark.

I have a friend that lost 3 complete engines due to the valves eating the guides and spreading abrasive through a freshly built motor.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:53 PM   #622
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Now that you did all of the R&D you can begin slinging your own 8v valvetrain packages. Great job so far, Mike!
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:23 PM   #623
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Just got caught up on the last 6 months of updates in this thread. Really killer work, love the seats and all the detail you covered on the head rebuild. I also totally forgot that you bought that crankcase breather box, glad it's working out!
Thanks! I'm really excited about the seats, I think it did a lot for the interior. The breather box is working out very well indeed! I bought and returned a few variations of cans and couldn't make anything package well on the cold side, this solution works out much better for me (also it's a one-off which I enjoy).

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What are the weight savings with the shim under bucket setup vs. shim over bucket in your application? This car is awesome, and I really appreciate the attention to detail.
that's a great question, I have loose Supertech buckets I can check if I can find a stock bucket kicking around somewhere. Without that big shim it's definitely quite a bit lighter. I have a stock b230ft in my truck and it's hard to believe they are the same basic engine. The 242 revs so fast and readily for what it is (I mean it's not like a lexus v10 or something obviously but it's good!)

SIDE PROJECTS, gotta cover some details before I write a book about the turbo install. I took pictures and you're going to look at them dammit.

Wheel spacers 'n junk. I've been running these chintzy 5mm spacers up front to clear the strut and I've always hated them and thought they were sketchy. I bought 10mm H&R spacers but that required longer studs. I've had the studs for ages so finally had at it. Tore things apart and pressed in a few studs to mock up the spacers. I did not like pulling the studs in with a lug as most seem to do, we did it in the press instead.



Found out pretty quickly the fwd 10mm spacers wouldn't fit. I'm not a wheel guy, so this stuff was new for me and I was only looking at the hub bore. Did not understand until I had stuff in my hands how the spacers are made (duh) and why hub HEIGHT is also important. Because the 240 hubs are so tall, I couldn't use the spacer and maintain the hub ring. Noodled it a bit and ultimately decided that customer spacers were going to be too expensive and hub-centric wasn't the end of the world. So I had my neighbor turn the face off the spacers and turn them into flats. Have run the car up to +100mph with them on now and no wobbles, so I think I'm good with it. In the front I mostly just wanted to get a 'real' spacer in there, but the little bit of extra fill in the wheel well is a bonus.



I'm using closed end lugs for aesthetic reasons so I had to carefully measure everything and cut the studs to length. Fairly time consuming when you are doing 20 of them and grinding a nose onto each one etc. Also FYI when you cut the tip off a hardened stud the tip is hot, no touchy.



"while we're in there" why not put all new wheel bearings on? The rears did need to be done, and it was actually more of a PITA job than I expected. Off the list though, finally. (I bought the rear wheel bearings 3 years ago )



(I drove around like 6 times to find an axle bearing puller that would fit in here. Then I found one, sat down in front of the car with it, and pulled the race out with my fingers )



The REARS I'm going to turn into a bit of a project. I really want to push the rears out to widen the rear track and also just for looks. With how low the car is I can't do that without fouling on the rear part of the wheel arch, which is already all folded over. I really need to center the wheels in the wheel wells in order to have room to push them out. I bought 16.5mm rear spacers from Ben and now have to do something with the trailing arms to fit them. Current trailing arms are all boxed and powder coated so I wanted to keep them. Tate, being the generous guy he is, hooked me up with the stock set of arms from his car so now I can build these on the bench with no rush and keep my nice arms for resale/backup. Thanks again for that bud.

First plan was to cut/weld the arms shorter but I like the idea of having some adjustability in them. So right now the plan is to fashion up a heim bearing for the front bushing mount to get me a little adjustment range. I'll frame and box the rest of the arm and leave the back portion stock. I did buy a set of Ben's spherical axle bearings to install when I do this project. For now it's back burnered, but I did buy all of the hardware. I sized things based off of the stock front bolt which is a 14mm shaft. That's pretty big in heim joint world, so I ended up with these f'ing monster FK bearings. Overkill for sure but I'm certainly not worried about them bending



Throttle cable 'n stuff! Pretty happy to have this one done actually. Another one that was fiddly and took more time than I expected.

I have been using some old Yoshifab throttle spool that came on my OG donor wagon. It's a two piece part that we tried drilling and pinning together and it was still... janky. I also had a 'set screw' style throttle cable barrel that had welded itself inside the spool, and a cable that was too long and had extra play. Soo.. decided to get a new cable, new spool and start all over.

I fished around online for throttle spools that looked like they'd work based on the 960 throttle shaft. No one really lists measurements so it was an eyeball and a gamble. I ended up buying an aftermarket eccentric throttle spool for a Nissan S14. The throttle pedal is light and I have bouncy TPS in my logs so I thought the eccentric spool might help a bit. The spool fit the shaft perfectly but it's mean to be mounted on the opposite side, so I actually had to run it backwards. That works out but because of the shape it brings the spool in really close to the TB, so I had to do a bunch of clearancing on the spool to be able to have a lock nut on the throttle stop.

Oh, a throttle stop! Didn't have one... and I can't weld aluminum. Hmm. Grabbed a chunk of aluminum from under the bench and made this little wart thing for the back of it, with a leading edge that can act as the stop. Ended up with this, it's not fancy but it actually worked out fine. I attached it to the spool with JB Weld (this is the first JB on the car, truly a tbrick finally) and then tapped it in two places for little 1-64 button heads. Didn't want to have to worry about it falling off..





it also has the benefit of being much better looking than the yoshi spool



AND the cherry on top - a proper cable end (ooh ahh)



No set screws this time, found the right size fitting from Motion Pro and a cheap $15 solder pot from walmart. I peened the wire over, dunked it in flux, dunked it in lead (left over body lead from the truck project) and it worked out great! I can now actually remove my throttle cable from my throttle body... wow, small victories!

phew, ok. sick of it yet? one more to knock out on the spooly boi then I'm done.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:36 PM   #624
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Found out pretty quickly the fwd 10mm spacers wouldn't fit. I'm not a wheel guy, so this stuff was new for me and I was only looking at the hub bore. Did not understand until I had stuff in my hands how the spacers are made (duh) and why hub HEIGHT is also important. Because the 240 hubs are so tall, I couldn't use the spacer and maintain the hub ring. Noodled it a bit and ultimately decided that customer spacers were going to be too expensive and hub-centric wasn't the end of the world. So I had my neighbor turn the face off the spacers and turn them into flats. Have run the car up to +100mph with them on now and no wobbles, so I think I'm good with it. In the front I mostly just wanted to get a 'real' spacer in there, but the little bit of extra fill in the wheel well is a bonus.
Looks like you figured out why I dont sell a 10mm spacer for the 240.

The thinest hubcentric spacer I have been able to safely make while still having enough material to be durable is 15mm on the front of a 240.

We sell those and 16.5mm if you ever want to get something thats thin + hubcentric and will go on a 240 easily, as you probably know.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:54 PM   #625
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Now that you did all of the R&D you can begin slinging your own 8v valvetrain packages. Great job so far, Mike!
Great option for the 5 of us left still investing heavily in 8v heads

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Looks like you figured out why I dont sell a 10mm spacer for the 240.

The thinest hubcentric spacer I have been able to safely make while still having enough material to be durable is 15mm on the front of a 240.

We sell those and 16.5mm if you ever want to get something thats thin + hubcentric and will go on a 240 easily, as you probably know.
Oh yeah, there was definitely a moment of "ohhh, that's why 15mm is his min.". I bought the 16.5's for the rear, will throw them on the front at some point and see how it shapes up but probably don't want them out that far.

Worth noting that the epsilons are actually a 67.1mm center bore, so even in the rears I had to buy a wafer thin spigot ring to retain hub centering. Hopefully I can get the rear arms built fairly soon. I'm pretty burnt out on the car after the big push in April/May, so need to take a few weeks off to enjoy it.

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This is pretty much spot on from everyone else I know who has gone through their heads. Nice porting but the valve quality / choice and other hardware misses the mark.

I have a friend that lost 3 complete engines due to the valves eating the guides and spreading abrasive through a freshly built motor.
I can kind of understand the valve selection. They fit and worked, not the highest quality but I'm sure at that point they needed to controls their COGS to turn some sliver of profit. The springs I can't really excuse, it's just an abject failure of application engineering. They weren't right for a stock head, they weren't right after the spring seat machining... they just dropped the ball there for whatever reason. Wonder if I can sell my fancy shmancy titanium retainers hmm
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