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Everything posted by wingwalker

  1. Capernix, jhm and Llave, Thank you all three for the responses. Jhm, I have rotated both brackets and, yes, it appears they can be modified so that both the compressor and alternator will be located lower. I'm thinking of dropping the engine into the bay and onto the mounts to determine just where I have room. Then I'll mark up the brackets for mods. After that, I'll take everything back where it is easier to work with the engine on a stand. Likely I'll find a few other issues to deal with while it is temporarily in there. Llave, a smaller alternator may also be part of the solution. But the size of the compressor, I think, is fixed. I plan on using a Vintage Air setup, and the system that will fit under the dash uses a Sanden 508. The 508 is a bit larger even than the 507 I have on hand, and that thing is larger than the alternator. Probably I should start worrying about it interfering with the headers. But I'll wait until the whole mess is in the engine bay. There is an answer, I know there is. I'll have to wait until the weather warms a bit before I hoist the engine. The part of my shop where the Z lives was at 14 degrees this morning and it hasn't warmed much since. I've been driven back into the house (where I should be working on my income tax filing--but, yuk, I'd rather brave the cold).
  2. So, I sent the ICT brackets back, and Summit Racing's tech support guy suggested I talk with the Vintage Air guys (because I will be installing their system). The Vintage Air tech gave me parts numbers and I ordered them from Summit. They arrived in two shipments, with the alternator kit arriving Wednesday. I've bolted it in place, and once more, I think I am in trouble as far as fitting into the engine bay goes. It does indeed pull the brackets in close to the centerline of the engine, but wow, they put it up in the air. My measurements seem to show very severe conflict with the hood. And the compressor kit arrived yesterday, and clearly it will do the same. Once again the issues are: 1. Engine has Vortec heads with tall valve covers 2. I need the compressor on the passenger side, and alternator on driver side 3. It all needs to fit into the engine bay of a 280Z with a small-block (long water pump) engine sitting on JTR mounts. Please help me on this. This problem has to have been solved dozens of times. Photos of the latest bracket below: The issue of clearance with the valve cover can be cured with a mini alternator, but I suspect that the compressor will have a less-easily solved issue.
  3. Okay, as promised, here's the update. The ICT brackets put the alternator and compressor out too far. There is just over 31 inches between strut towers in the engine bay, and these brackets put the alternator to compressor distance out 32.5 inches. And with the JTR mounts, the engine is offset, which means on the passenger side, there is no hope of clearing. So, back to square one. I looked at the March options, and the alternator bracket will work. Nullbound's installation looks very nice. But I'd like to have the alternator on the driver side so that the compressor will be on the pass side, allowing a cleaner path for hoses. And I cannot find a March option that will do those things. Yikes, this has been done many times. There is an answer, but so far I'm lost.
  4. Thanks, JHM. I'll post results after the brackets arrive and I then do a test fit of the engine in the car. Fingers crossed.
  5. Thanks, JHM. These are ICT Billet brackets, and I went ahead and ordered them. I was assured by the vendor they would attach to the Vortec engine okay, so the fit in the engine bay will be the next unknown. For the pair, I'll save almost $50 if they work. I did find drawings with dimensions of both these and the Alan Grove brackets, and in comparison with the Grove equivalents, these appear to be within a half inch different in both side and height. So, we'll see. I'll post the results. I agree that an engine without all the stuff hanging from it will be easier to get in, but I want to test fit all the stuff while it is still accessible. That includes ensuring the pulley alignment is spot on and the belt sizes are determined. Just a lot easier with the engine at a nice working height.
  6. I am about to order this bracket and a similar one on the passenger side for an a/c compressor. But I worry they may not clear the sides of the engine bay. The engine is a Vortec 350. The car is a '77 280Z. If not these brackets, which? I have finally cut away and patched up the rust that grew under the batter tray, welded up excess holes in the engine compartment and have a JTR kit. Following the JTR book, I am now "dressing the engine," as the author puts it. So I want to attach stuff like these brackets and adjust belts before setting the engine in place.
  7. Thanks for the info, Theczechone. So, what are my options? And does it even come out, or is it glued in place?
  8. I have removed the non-working clock mechanism and replaced it with a digital outside air temperature gauge. Looks as if this will work fine, but I need to replace the current lens (which has a hole for the clock adjustment knob) with a blank lens. I assume the lenses on the other two small gauges are the same size and interchangeable. And I also assume they are not glued in and are easily pulled. I case you are wondering if I am abandoning an ability to keep track of time, I won't. As part of this build, I plan to put in a more modern radio, and most come with clocks.
  9. Miles, this is so helpful. Right down to the part numbers. Since my tank is already out, I'll perform those mods to it. And replacing the sender while it's out is solid advice. Just a single fuel line to the engine will make it all less complex. And cleaner. Good tip on drilling the filler cap--I'd have gone nuts trouble-shooting that as the engine stalled a little while after starting it. Your engine bay looks awesome in the partial photo you posted, by the way. I searched to see if you had written up either of your builds and didn't find it. Did you do a write-up on that second build? Or the first? I'd love to see it. Or at least a full shot of the engine compartment. Thanks again for your help.
  10. After I said goodbye to an earlier project, an Alfa Romeo Spider (photo below) that is on its way to a new owner in Everett, WA, I decided the brave the heat and go into the un-airconditioned portion of my shop to tackle the engine compartment. I lasted a couple hours before I felt I was endangering my well-being. So I came in for, as my wife puts it, hydration. A beer would be wonderful, but I'm drilling out spot welds and that takes all my concentration (to keep the cutter from wandering all over the place). So the hydration comes from a mix of ice-tea and lemonade. I think it's called an Arnold Palmer. On our back deck--which is covered and enjoys a nice breeze--the thermometer reads 101. I'm guessing the air in my shop, which is still and warmed further by radiating heat from the metal roof (no ceiling or insulation), is maybe 15 or 20 degrees above that. Hot, hot, hot. Before I came inside I had cut out a number of extraneous brackets. I started in on the battery tray, which in several spots is tough to get the cutting tool to , so I when go back, that's the challenge I face. I am likely to be disappointed by serious rust under it, more than than what I see now. While working there, I was pleased to find that the previous owner brought the brake line for the right front up to the top of the frame rail. His bends were a bit tidier than the illustration in the JTR manual. Nice. I do have a question. I have searched this site and not found the full answer. There are three fuel lines coming from the rear of the car. I believe the smaller one is a vent line from the tank, and the other two feed fuel and then return what is not needed (as FI systems like to do). To clean up the engine compartment a little more, I am thinking of eliminating one of those lines. My engine will mount a carb--a new, still-in-the-box Holley 650 that came with the car, so I won't need the return. If that's a bad idea, please tell me. And could I vent the tank back in the rear and bring only a single line to the engine compartment? That would really tidy things up. Is that done? Here's the engine compartment and a shot of my Alfa (also purchased non-running). And while we are on this topic, why not bring the lines up on the firewall instead of leaving them along the frame rail near the heat of the header? Is that done?
  11. Miles, again, thank you. This list is perfect. I'll test it against the 280Z wires and the schematic I have for it. This'll keep me out of trouble.
  12. Miles, great information. I'll order those from MSA along with the engine/transmission mounting hardware. My wife leaves town in a few hours, and I have a credit card, so I'll do it while she's gone. (Actually, she's supportive of my auto addiction. Less trouble that some of the other varieties.) I'm not ready to tackle the wiring mess yet, but when I do, I'll be asking about which wires can go away. I am okay reading schematics and wiring diagrams, but the one I have for this car is all on a single page--daunting. I go back and forth on this, and it may be a Painless kit, but if I don't go that route, I'll want to clean up the current mess, solder questionable spots and so forth, and then re-wrap it all neatly. Thanks again for the help.
  13. Miles, thank you once again. That sender in the manifold was there, but not hooked to anything in the wiring harness--or what passed as wiring in this Z. The question is, will this sender work with the stock Z gauge, or should I, as the JTR manual suggests, buy their adapter and also buy a Z sender? Cheaper, of course, to just use what is there, but will readings be accurate enough? The oil pressure sending unit teamed with a cut-off for the fuel pump is also detailed in the JTR book, and I'll order the parts necessary to accomplish that. This is all stuff I can get done in a cool room while awaiting temperatures that will allow me to tackle the many issues the chassis presents. However, next week my wife will be gone, so I may set the alarm lots earlier than she prefers and work in the main shop while it is still cool, then retreat when the temperatures soar mid-morning.
  14. Still too hot to work in the part of my shop without air conditioning (which is where the Z resides), so I'm trying to get everything done on the engine and transmission to ensure they will be ready to drop in (after I have prepped the engine compartment). So, using the JTR book I see that need to adapt the Z temp sender and oil-pressure sender to the Chevy engine. And this raises a question that I have not been able to find on this site or the net. There appear to be two spots on the engine that can accommodate a temp sender. I shot a photo of the engine and labeled the spots as A and B. I suspect it is B, but since an adapter is involved, I want to make sure. Here's a photo of the engine.
  15. Thanks for all the help, Miles. Very much appreciated. I just got a call that my torque converter has come in, and in a little while I will go downtown and pick it up. It's for the 2004R transmission I rebuilt this winter. So, once it is on the front of the tranny, I can mate the transmission to the engine and all will be ready for the car. Still lots to do before I put it in, but it feels like progress. Now I'll do that L31 search.
  16. Miles, Thank you for the random thoughts--which are actually not random at all, but very well aimed. They came in after I had sent the last reply. I'm leaning toward the MSA kit, especially now that you bring up the drive-shaft angle issue. Flexibility is a huge positive. Probably makes sense to buy the kit, drop the engine in and then deal with the typical fabrication problems as they come up. There isn't a huge rush, as I have to clean up and paint the engine compartment first. Which, as I think about it, reminds me what a mess the wiring was in. I can devote some time to cleaning up the stock harness, pulling any unused wires, and then warpping the remaining wires neatly. Or I might just buy a Painless Wiring 18- or 20-fuse kit and follow instructions. But first, there are a few rust issues . . . .
  17. Still no definitive answer on this question. I spoke with JTR, and the gent I spoke with is the brother of the man who wrote the book and did the engineering--who died a year ago. So, the brother had no firsthand knowledge of the damper issue. But he did note that they sell a spacer that will separate the front cross-member and the body by 3/8", which may solve the issue. I also spoke with a salesperson at MSA, and he had no information. He did say they had sold lots of kits over 20 years and never had the question. So, perhaps the cross-member spacer from JTR would solve the issue for either kit. I have to think about this some. Miles has been very helpful. Anyone else have information on dropping a L31 350 into a 280Z? Am I worrying about something that is not an issue. Or am I for sure going to have to buy a new damper, rent a puller, and then go through the mounting issues that may come with an after-market damper?
  18. Miles, the dampers in the link you sent are close, but won't work on my engine--which is the Vortec (L31) engine. Close, but no cigar--my engine is also 5.7L, but it was engineered for Vortec heads and roller tappets and I don't know what else. It was for sure a deviation from the small blocks to that point and was used mostly in trucks and Suburbans. Thank you so much for looking. I've scoured the Summit, Jegs and Speedway sites. GM doesn't offer one in less than 8-inch diameter (that I could find). Using Google I did find one last night from a supplier I had not heard of, but then it was going to take the better part of $500 to buy it and have it shipped. I am trying to do this on funds I received when I sold my Alfa Romeo last month--and they are limited. So I next call the folks at MSA and JTR to see if shimming might work.
  19. Miles, thank you again--above and beyond. So it's back to the drawing board. There is a 6-inch available for my engine--but it approaches $400 (and then there is shipping). I'll call both suppliers and then post whatever I learn here.
  20. Miles, thank you. The damper you have won't work on my engine. It will fit small blocks to 1995, and mine is later, when they changed the engine and began calling it a Vortec. Very few dampers seem to be available for that engine. But it if rhw MSA kitt allows it to sit higher, perhaps whatever clearance issue there is will still accommodate the 8-inch now on my engine. If you have a chance and can photograph around your damper where clearance might be an issue, I'd greatly appreciate it. The difference between a 7.25, which JTR says is max and my 8-inch is only 3/4 inch on the diameter--which on each side is only 3/8 inch. Seems like a difference that could be solved with shims using the JTR kit. But the MSA might solve it without any issues, and that would be great.
  21. Now We Begin! Okay, the old Wooden boat that was sitting ahead of the Z has been completed and is out of the shop. The 2004R Transmission I rebuilt over the winter is buttoned up and sealed in plastic (to shield it from all the sanding dust the wood boat project created). It awaits a torque converter. The engine and TH350 transmission that came with this Z have been pulled and separated. And the engine is on a stand in the air-conditioned part of my shop, where I have been going through all stuff I can tidy up and deal with without tearing into it. I did pull the rocker covers, and am glad I did. They had the wrong gaskets (all crumpled up with gaps large enough to dump large quantities of oil out the sides and onto the exhaust headers. There was a nice surprise, however. The heads were clean and topped with roller rockers. They look new. When I pulled the headers off (to clean them up and get some VHT paint onto them, I found soot in the exhaust ports. Not a lot, and none was crusted up as you'd find in an old junk-yard engine. But clearly the engine has been run. It would be nice to think it was on a dyno because the insides are awesome--but that would be dreaming. Whoever was putting this engine in was a sketchy mechanic, so I am hoping he isn't the one who rebuilt the engine--and I have good reason to think he wasn't (but that's a long story for another time). Why do I say sketchy? Well, the exhaust system was supported by the collector tubes at the front and a single hanger at the tailpipe, and nothing else. The motor mount bolts on both sides were finger tight. I didn't have to use a wrench to twist out all four of them. The alternator pulley did not align, and on close inspection, it turns out he used a long 15/16ths socket as a spacer--and of course it was not really the right length. And there was more. But that's all background. I have a question that I have tried to research on this site and cannot find the answer. I have the JTR Manual, and in it I am informed that the harmonic damper must be 7.25 inches in diameter or smaller to use the JTR kit' mounts. My engine is an L31, the Vortec engine built in the late '90s, and the damper on it is an 8-inch one. I cannot find a smaller one to fit this engine in a reasonable price range. There are many for small-blocks made earlier, but the only small one (a six-inch) is priced well north of three hundred bucks--which will take a big bite out of the budget. I can't stick with the Scarab mounts with this tall engine, since there will be no clearance for an air cleaner (a past owner had chopped a square hole in the hood, but I have a replacement hood and don't want a hole or a hump or a scoop). So, here is the question: will the MSA kit allow me to keep the 8-inch damper? And will it drop the engine a bit lower to solve the hood issue?
  22. I continue to struggle with the transmission rebuild. I have kept track of costs so far, and this $125 initial purchase has ballooned to a total $1,154.75. I keep a spreadsheet on my major projects, and am always amazed at how the little stuff really inflates the overall cost. The major outlays after the initial purchase were $238 for a rebuild kit; $204 to CK Performance for a heat-treated stator, a forward planetary gear cluster and a lock-up kit; and $381 for a band, a shift kit and 2.5 hours of labor from the transmission shop (they have a press; I don't). All the rest to get to the total are little expenses for thrust washers, a hardened direct sun-shell (a deal at less than 30 bucks) and stuff to make tools to substitute for the exotic stuff that would make this job go quickly (including $21 at a wrecking yard for a used 27-spline slip-yoke that is helpful--almost necessary, in fact--for reassembly). I am putting all the refurbished elements into the case now, and estimate I am 60 percent done with that. Why so slowly? Because there has been a lot of disassembly after putting parts in and finding clearances are off. Tear it back apart and swap out a selective washer (which means ordering the one you think should work, awaiting its arrival, and then finding it is just a few thousandths off and another needs to be ordered). For others crazy enough to tackle a 200-4R rebuild, I have found good information on the Buick Grand National forum and the K-Body GM forum. Would I do this job again? Maybe. I have learned a lot, and following the CK Performance book I have made modifications that should result in a very strong transmission. On the other hand, I'll have about as much invested as a rebuilt stock unit--which would come with some kind of warranty and would work fine for the cruiser Z I am trying to build.
  23. Hi Seattle Jester, Yep, maybe even too comfy. It's very soft, which wouldn't be great for track work, but likely will be fine for cruising--which is what I am building: a GT type machine. I did test the foam and Gorilla Glue on a piece of rod before embarking on this. I let it cure over night and then tried to tear it loose. I was nicely attached. Over time? Who knows, but this will work while I attend to the many other things needed on this car. And it is far better than what came with the tired old car. By the way, I am using the CK Performance book to rebuild the transmission. Great book, but here and there he suggests using a .008 feeler gauge to push seals into place. Worked on most parts, but not on the lo/reverse piston (or whatever it is called). I tore up both the seal that came with the kit and the serviceable original. So I took the part into the transmission shop. They had new seals, and they handled installation for me. There is a specialized tool to do that job, and they own it. They also pressed out the worn stator from the pump and pressed in the new heat-treated one I purchased. I'll pick up both parts today, and then I will begin assembling the thing. Lots more difficult than rebuilding a 5-speed manual Alfa Romeo box. Lots!
  24. I'm waiting on a few transmission parts--so far I've spent over $500 on parts and rebuild kits. For that reason, I have looked for other projects to do in the warm part of my shop. The steering wheel was rancid. Dirty, of course, but also the rubber around it was rotted and detached from the medal frame inside it. At some point I'll buy a hub and a new wheel, but in the meantime I thought I'd try refurbishing it. I peeled off the rotted rubber, sanded the metal parts and shot it with Eastwood's satin black I had in the shop. Then I ordered--for less then $10 off eBay--a leather cover. At Home Depot I picked up some foam insulation for 1/2-inch pipe. It is spit and forms around the wheel nicely. But it was too bulky, so I cut away about 3/8-inch from one side. I cemented it on it two stages with Gorilla Glue, after first wetting the foam (that stuff reacts with water to foam up and then harden). I used masking tape to keep it in place while the glue set up. I did one half the wheel one day and the remainder the next. Then I stretched the leather cover over it and began stitching. There are a few videos on the net showing this process. Not hard, but it does take time and some concentration (I caught myself incorrectly stitching a couple times and had to pull stitches to make it right). Makes an okay wheel--not fantastic, but okay. It is a tad soft and squishy. But it does look far better than what was in place. And for less than $15 total cost, I'm pleased. If I were doing it again, I'd put the seam at the bottom of the wheel, not the top. I covered the seam with some painter's fine-line tape, creating a contrasting stripe like some racing wheels use. I'll probably pull it off.
  25. Thanks, Michael, The engine appears to have been rebuilt--may even be a crate engine or from Jegs, Summit or some other supplier. I say this because the oil is crystal clear, the black paint on the block and oil pan is separated by clean gaskets and the freeze plugs are clean as a whistle. Normally, they discolor after the engine heats up. So, suspecting that the engine will be solid, I'll install it into the car, run it, and then see if it smokes, sounds bad or otherwise begs for a rebuild. So far the book I bought from CK Performance has been very helpful. It is literally a step-by-step manual. But I do check from time to time with the guys at the transmission shop to ensure I don't go too far off course. I am stuck right now awaiting parts deliveries. But I will have it finished by the time the weather warms enough for me to do more to the car. I did notice the other day that the brake master cylinder looks sketchy. One reservoir (front brakes) is dry and there are telltale traces of rust showing. Just light streaks, but clearly it needs replacement . . . or a rebuild, something I can do in the warm shop. I could, of course, buy a replacement. A stock part appears to go for over $200, but there are others around as cheap as $60. Hmmm. I am trying to work within a budget, so the expensive one is out of the question. And the really cheap version makes me nervous. I'm thinking I'll end up with something safer if I do the rebuild. And a kit costs less than $10. I'm retired, so I have more time than free cash. But I'd like to hear from anyone who has rebuilt one of these.
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