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Got my intercooler installed and the piping done. Do have vroom-psh.


The intercooler is a tad to wide, so it needed to be modified.



Cut off the intercooler ends at about 10 degrees and cut a lot of 15 degree pie cuts out.





After deburring and cleaning up the pieces, I attempted to fit it all together, one (or two or three) piece(s) at a time.




It turned out I needed one 22.5/15 degree pie cut to get the passenger side inlet the work.




An hour or two later:



It was fun to weld some aluminium tube again. I haven't welded it in years.


Welded the pipes on to the endtanks, which went extremely well due to the quality casting on the endtanks. By 'quality', I mean not oil and carbon soaked for 20+ years. Also gave a quick double coat of black rattle can on the front. I'll take a slight performance hit for not being gaudy looking.





Next up is fixing the piping to/from the intercooler on the turbo/engine side. I did keep in mind that the intercooler should be removable, and it is just so. After disconnecting the silicone couplers you have to slant the right side forward and up to clear the core support, then tilt 90 degrees around the axis of the passenger side inlet, then remove it. Simple!






Luckily both ends just need simple extensions, one weld on each. The turbo outlet pipe is flipped around (from how it was with the last intercooler) so the 90 bend is closer to the turbo, and it sits lower into the engine bay. Then I just welded on a couple extra inches to make it to the 90 degree silicone reducer. For the other side I cut off a 45 bend from the old piping and put that on the end. Then I spent the next couple hours drilling and grinding and waiting for my air compressor for the hole for the new BOV flange.


I only got a couple vroom-psshh's out of it since it was late and I just zip tied stuff up out of the way. Just have the BOV and wastegate hooked up, no boost controller since it needs to be relocated. I did use my new quick-connect boost line to the wastegate though. Nice stuff. 8psi spring, IIRC but I only hit 6 psi and is a bit too lean building boost. I also remembered I have higher compression so I should take it easy, and called it a night.


Before this, I had also cleaned up some of the wiring and ran new grounds to the alternator, engine block, and battery disconnect switch. Still don't have a working turn signal. :(


I need to figure out where to mount my stock coolant overflow or get a new one, and fix the rest of the vacuum lines but the bulk of work is done. Ooh, I did find where the coolant leak is from, the thermostat housing. Shouldn't be too hard to replace...

Edited by BLOZ UP

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I got some more Vibrant 'boost connect' fittings (AKA: Push-to-Connect/Quick Disconnect). I have a bunch of 1/4" tube/1/8" NPT and a couple 3/8" tube/1/4" NPT.


I installed one 90 degree 1/8" NPT 3/8" tube fittings for the BOV and a 1/4" NPT on the manifold . Finally replaced my piecemeal rubber/silicone vacuum line with a nice hard polyethylene one. Not sure what heat rating the 3/8" line is, but my 1/4" is supposedly safe to 250+ degree F.


Earlier I replaced the wastegate line with 1/4", but I still need to figure out how to connect my Greddy Type S solenoid box, which just has smooth nipples. I might get some barb fitting to put on my straight adapters and use some short silicone. Ghetto but should work fine. The other problem is where to mount the solenoid box. I think I'm going to be making a coolant reservoir out of aluminum, and I'll have to put a flange on it for the boost controller.


Also, finally installed the 1/8" NPT boost/vacuum sensor with a 1/4" NPT adapter into the intake manifold.


Also also, am looking into modifying my MS to accept at least 2 extra sensor inputs: Oil Pressure and Fuel Pressure. The SpeedHut gauges use 'Sensata' sensors, as far as I can tell. I do not see the exact part number listed but I see very similar ones. The pressure sensors are 0.5v-4.5v output, so I should be able to tap or tee into that to give my ECU an idea of what's what. It would be real nice to log fuel pressure to ensure consistency.

Edited by BLOZ UP

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So my last updates got nibbled. In short:


Took it to my wedding. On the way back it blew up after I tried to show my new wife how cool I was, in a somewhat not-shady part of New Brunswick. Waited with bride for tow truck. Got a few photos of that.


Coolant sprayed everywhere on the hood and windshield from a location I haven't been able to pinpoint yet. Misfired on 1+ cylinders. Massive white smoke out the exhaust. Suspect blown headgasket. Coolant spray might be from radiator. Not sure, coolant was covering everything in the engine bay. No obvious blown hoses or anything. Might have squeezed by one of the hose connections since none of the pipes are beaded.


  • Got it towed to my house.
  • Drained rest of coolant.
  • Got some LED bulbs for the sidemarkers and license plate lamps. Plan on replacing more.
  • Need to replace headgasket but have been lazy.
  • Fixed boost gauge
  • Been trying to fix right turn signal since the front isn't flashing, but bulb is ok. Hazards also not working.
Edited by BLOZ UP

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Welp, fixed the turn signal and hazards. Guess I can get started on the head gaskets now.


Turn signal was corroded C-3 connector. Cleaned it up and put some dielectric on it to help prevent moisture.

Hazards was bad fuse. Two bad fuses, both from a Harbor Freight pack.

Cleaned up a bit of PO wiring hacks. Refitted the firewall grommet.


Now I just need to get my +12v accessory working for the inverter and whatnot.

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12v radio/accessory circuit was another bad HF fuse. Looks like most of the 10A fuses I have are bust. That's OK, I used the dome light 10A, and replaced it with a 5A since my dome light is an LED anyway. Not sure why it wasn't 5A from the factory... what incandescant bulb uses more than 5A...


Now for the headgaskets... after further inspection, it appears my radiator cap might have been the source of all the coolant. Was it loose and did the car overheat? Possibly. Surely I would have noticed when trying to drain the coolant, and I don't recall it being loose...


Anyway, I pulled the plugs:




#1 is on the bottom. It looks like the gasket that blew was the passenger side one. They all are pretty clean and have water on them. The other side looks OK, except #2 looks a bit hotter than the rest.

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Well, found one problem:




Disconnected charge piping. That would cause it to run worse.


So, onwards to replace the headgaskets. Just disconnected the upper intake and charge piping.




Need to drain the rest of the coolant and oil before going further. But to do that I need to empty out some containers. Advance has a sale on Mobil 1, I meant to pick some up...

Edited by BLOZ UP

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Got one head off today. So, when coolant comes out of your exhaust manifold, it's not a good sign.




Yeah, think the gasket blew. Note that I didn't drain the coolant from the block yet. Had some trouble getting the drain plug loose with the head on. Luckily very little was left in the head.













Deck height on #5 seems to be normal at first glance:




The other side appears to be intact but I'll be replacing it while I'm here. It looks like my cam seals have a leak as well.

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New OEM gasket is noticeably better quality:




Head back on. I got a much needed long 10mm hex driver. My short one gets stuck all the time and it takes three times as long to mess with the head bolts. Hopefully this will allow more consistent torque on the head bolts.



Got the other side off. Looks intact, as the plugs indicated:



I was supposed to get some more LED bulbs in on Saturday, and finish off the replacement off all the incandescent ones. Looks like it got delayed though.


Just need to clean off the head and block, fix an exhaust stud and put it back together. Might have a coolant leak but I won't know until I fill it up and start it.


Hoping to make it to the NJ Z Club car show this weekend.

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So I got the rest of my LEDs in. Here are some shitty comparison photos:





Right-side done:



Both sides done:



Front before:



Front after:



The fronts seem slightly dimmer. It might be the slightly whiter shade. The rears are definitely brighter. The current draw is noticeable less too, since the other lights don't dim when the hazards flash (see video).

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How did you do the conversion, just LED replacement bulbs? Or is there more to it (flasher relays?)




Just noticed your bumper sticker - classic, haha.


Yup, just replacement bulbs. You also need digital flashers, one for the turn signals and one for the hazards. Bulbs were acquired from superbrightleds.com, and are the following:


2x 67-W15 (15 LED license plate lights)

2x 67-R15 (15 LED running lights, upper innermost)

2x 1157-R45-T (45 LED tower for upper outermost brake/tail)

2x 1156-R45-T (45 LED tower for turn signals)


2x 1157-A45-T (45 LED tower for front combination lamps)

2x 67-R9-WV (9 LED red clearance)

2x 67-A9-WV (9 LED amber clearance)


I also have a LED festoon but I got it from my parts car. It's not very bright.

Edited by BLOZ UP

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Planned on getting a bit further today but got held back back this head. 3 stud holes were cross threaded. It took a while to get one stud out and fix it. Even after fixing two and putting studs back in, the exhaust manifold warped quite a bit and it required some persuasion to go back on. I really need to cut out some more of the flange between runners.

But I got it back on. Put the head back on (which, by the way, is heavy with the exhaust manifold. Reminds me of the iron head 5.0 motors). Torqued it up with my nice new long 10mm hex driver. I added 10% to the torque values, so 52 ft-lbs. instead of 47. If that, and the new gaskets (and some extra deck cleaning) don't work out it looks like I'll need to deck the block and heads. If that's the case I'd rather run low boost while I build up another motor.
Tested out the brake lights, which are satisfactory. Turn signals light up dim with the tail lights... that can't be good. Need to put in the LED flashers before I diagnose any further.
Oh, I also measured the current draw of the LED park/tail lights, here're the results:

  • 1.52 A - All incandescent
  • 1.02 A - LED license plate and side markers
  • 0.62 A - All LED

So I dropped 0.9 A, which at 12.5 V is just over 11 W. Meh. I'm guessing peak power draw is down though, as incandescents draw a lot initially.


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Got everything back together, started filling up with coolant and the thermostat housing is leaking again. I think the timing belt cover might be interfering with it, this is the second time in the same place. So I drained what was in there for now, but decided to start it anyway to see if I've got rod knock or anything.


After a bit of cranking and then reinserting the distributor the correct way, it started but was misfiring. I turned it off and decided to wait till another day to check it out. It might just be fouled plugs (pressure test caused lot of pulsing, plus lots of cranking, so it's plausible). So, I go around to the back to start pushing when I notice this:




That's a good cup or so. I dunno. That's coolant that made it out the tailpipe. Kind of odd. That means it had to make it out the chamber, up through the manifolds, turbo, downpipe, up and through two mufflers, and up again and through one more muffler. So how much more is in there I wonder?

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I've looked at your thread before but just realized you ran it at Englishtown and you're in NJ. My car is at work in Manalapan while I've been painting it. Let me know if you plan on heading back to the track any time soon. I'd like to see what my junk does before I dig into the holset swap.

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Not sure when I'll be back. My car's not ready or tuned yet. It'd also have to be a street car only night, since when I went there last they didn't give two shits about street cars until 30 minutes after closing when they rushed me through my 2 or 3 runs.

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So I'm 90% sure I forgot to tighten the rocker shafts on the driver's side head. Which, by coincidence, is the one where the exhaust has to move in order to remove the valve cover. I woke up an hour early and immediately thought of it. Maybe what they say about sleep is really true.


It might be a simple fix.


Then again I ran it for a couple minutes like that so I imagine the damage could be: bent rocker shafts, galling from oil starved shaft, lifters. Valve cover damage.


Sort of glad it was something I forgot to tighten rather than some chance mechanical failure. Not sure why.

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