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Everything posted by wingwalker

  1. Okay, out with the volt/ohm meter. I'll dig in and find something. And after that, on to the brakes. I'm getting close enough to visualize starting this thing.
  2. Anyone have suggestions for sources of switched power other than cigarette lighter circuit? I kinda hate to pull that source out to the engine bay, since I may need it for something in the future in the cockpit.
  3. Thanks, JHM. Good point about only cooling the fluid in the radiator. Maybe there would be some block cooling due to percolation (the strategy the early Model T Fords used), but for a big hunk of iron like the GMC V8, probably negligible. So it makes sense to look for switched power. I can pull it off the cigarette lighter circuit, but are there other sources folks use?
  4. I'm back at work on this project, and nearing the end of wiring hell--but I have two issues hanging and would like advice. If this C-19 keeps me close to home for a couple more months, I just may get this thing on the road. I'll post a couple photos that show how I solved the earlier issue. I used a heavy-gauge wire and ran around the front. It's protected and out of the way. And I got rid of the fusible links with four robust fuses per some write-ups in this forum. I mounted four relays for high and low beams, ignition and starter. I was about the wire in another for the electric cooling fan, when my searching showed me that I'll need to tie in the air conditioning compressor--so I'll wait until the Vintage Air system is on hand.to do that. But I also should put a relay in for the fuel pump. I'm thinking of mounting that relay on the firewall and using the existing wiring to run power back to the fuel pump (and in fact I've mounted the pump and wired it into the existing 280Z fuel pump wires). I can tap into the ignition wire at the HEI (since it is switched) for that relay , but I also have a source of +12 that is always hot that I could use. And why I am thinking of using that constantly-hot source is that with the car shut down on hot days, the fan will continue to run until the thermo switch tells it the engine has cooled to the set temp. When it opens, the fan will shut off. My former fun-car, an Alfa Romeo, would do that, and the setup never ran down the battery. Thoughts on this? That's the first question. The second has to do with the electric cooling fan. I read somewhere that it isn't good to pick up power from the ignition side, and instead I should use the Aux feed (Cig lighter?). I think that the reasoning was that as the fan costed down, it would feed power back into the circuit and keep the engine running for a little extra time as it acted like a generator using its inertia). I could use that always +12 source mentioned above and depend on its thermo switch to shut it down. Let me know problems with either of those scenarios, please. And if I might throw in a third question, other than the cigarette lighter, where else might I pick up switched power?
  5. These projects take time, so if you are paying the mechanic, and insist on doing all you've outlined, I think labor will eat up all that budget and still not be done--with the parts to come on top of that. I'm working on a 280Z with a 350 engine that someone had tried to drop into it (I've had to redo almost everything). I'm using a 2004R tranny (beefed up to handle a lot more horsepower than my engine will ever produce). I've had to refurbish the dash--they are all cracked, so expect that. I'm going to order a Vintage Air A/C this summer. I had looked for a car with the factory A/C, which mine has, but as I removed it, it was clear it would take a lot to bring it to life. I'm pretty sure the Vintage Air will be easier and probably no more expensive. Body work and paint will also eat deeply into your budget if you have that done. I'm doing some of my own (I have experience). Just to put this in perspective, my last project was an Alfa Romeo roadster. It had solid rockers and floors and appeared to be rust-free, but I still found rust. And after I stripped it, I found two past fender-benders that had been repaired with way too little body work and way too much Bondo. Those had to be bumped out and required some small patch panels. I'm not fast, so it took forever. But a body shop would have insisted on new panels and then would have spent many, many hours prepping and fitting (expensive). I painted it with a former body-shop manager, and together we put 40 hours each into the prep, sanding, masking and painting. I intend to do much of that to my 280Z, and still expect to pay a good paint shop around $4K to fine-tune the prep and shoot it. I'll color-sand and buff it. You haven't mentioned wiring, which will take time and will be expensive. My free advice would be maintain your vision, but do the car in stages. First take car of all the rust you find--and there will be some. I found far more than I expected under the battery tray and had to replace a big hunk of the inner fender and the firewall. Before dropping the engine in, you might just take care of the dash (you almost have to remove it to install new A/C). Then drop the engine and transmission in, upgrade the brakes and do the interior. Before dropping the engine in, you'll want to clean up and paint the engine compartment and do all engine wiring while you can get to everything. I'm thinking just that work would eat most of your budget, unless you do most of the work yourself--and for me, that's the fun of it. Seats are a fun area. There are so many choices. Sparco and Bride both make great seats--but you can spend anywhere from many hundreds to thousands on a pair. I had a good upholstery shop redo my stock seats. Cost was $750 for the pair--which is more than just using a kit--but they came out more modern-looking and very clean. Using the stock runners will save a pile of time and some money. That would get your car on the road. You'll then drive it and discover what you really want. It may be the body kit, and by then you may have the money for it (lots of body work to fit such a kit). You may want to go another way. But after driving it some, you'll know. Either way, you'll then face the expense of paint and any upgrades to the interior, suspension upgrades air bags and other fun stuff. And by driving it, you'll also know how much upgrade the rear end will need. And you do want it on the road. My own project has gone on way too long (life gets in the way--have you budgeted for that? So that's my free advice--worth every penny it cost you.
  6. I just downloaded the Tremec Tool Box app. Terrific--saved me a pile of time. And I am certain it is more accurate than the magnet-base angle finder I bought at Harbor Freight. This should be a sticky.
  7. Michael, Thanks for the comments, but when I made one singe change, problems cascaded. I had spoken with someone at Vintage Air, the manufacturer of the AC system I will install, and he suggested that if the compressor is placed on the passenger side, routing of hoses will be easier. So without enough thought, I decided to switch the standard GM configuration. Main issue is that the valve covers are of course staggered, and it is the driver's side that is forward. I do have the long water pump and a newer, shorter version of the alternator, but at you can see in one of the photos I posted on Feb. 23, the back of the alternator hits the valve cover when I attempt to tuck it in. And from there the issue cascaded. Hindsight is wonderful. Had I stuck with GM's configuration--alternator on the passenger side and compressor on the driver's--my life would have gone easier. I have, I think, got it solved, but such is hot rodding--which is what we are doing when we swap engines. It has been far too hot in my shop to get much work done, but I am anxious to tackle the remaining issues and see what other trouble I have created for myself. I want to get this car back on the road.
  8. The engine is in and bolted to the front mounts. And it appears my modified brackets will work. Whew! Here are a few photos.
  9. Grog and Twisted46, The alternator is 65 amps and I won't be running a huge stereo amp, so I believe 8 gauge will be okay. It think total it will be about a five-foot run. At the most, six. And I have been using the JTR book, but because this car had been hacked--not just wiriing, but on many other levels, the book is for me just a starting point. I think I have the correct wires for the HEI. At least I hope so. In a separate post today, I show some photos of us stuffing the engine onto its mounts. Feels good to have most of the wiring behind me, and the engine now bolted to the front mounts. (The transmission right now sits on a box. Fitting the rear mount will be next.)
  10. A young man comes to our little hobby farm about once a month to help with chores that my wife and I have fallen behind on or stuff that takes a lot of muscle-power (such as digging up burst sprinkler lines). He was here yesterday, I had finally finished wiring for the V8 (wiring hell, it was), and I realized with his help I might get the engine and transmission into the car. Finally. Our first attempt was a bust. My hoist could not get the engine close enough to the mounts. So, while he went about other chores, I lengthened the arm and removed the hood hinges and the torsion bars that were interfering with the hoist. And I pulled off the lower panel of the front valance, which was also holding back the hoist. Then we tried again. There was still a little shortfall, but with some mighty pushing, we got the engine in and bolts into the front mounts. Whew! I feel great, even though there is still a mountain of little chores before this old Z will once more be on the road. Here are a few photos.
  11. Richard and JHM--thanks. I appreciate the input. As I mentioned, I ordered (from Jegs) a more robust 8-gauge wire kit, and when it arrives, I'll finish that bit. Right now I confused as hell about the wire to drive the tach. I have a blue wire separated and labeled for that, but I'm pretty sure it's wrong. I want to get this right, because I really don't want to cook the tach. -------------------- Okay, I just tested the blue wire to the tach resistor, and sure enough, they have continuity. So, I'll attach the blue wire to the negative on the HEI when the engine goes in and see what happens. The JTR book says to turn the brass adjustment on the back of the tach 45 degrees, but the text doesn't mention which way. I'll leave that step until after I have the car running, since this may have already been done (it previously had a SBC in it). Getting closer.
  12. Richard and JHM--thanks. I appreciate the input. As I mentioned, I ordered (from Jegs) a more robust 8-gauge wire kit, and when it arrives, I'll finish that bit. Right now I confused as hell about the wire to drive the tach. I have a blue wire separated and labeled for that, but I'm pretty sure it's wrong. I want to get this right, because I really don't want to cook the tach.
  13. Okay, without any feedback encouraging me to take the unconventional path, I will carry this feed-wire the long way around. But to avoid voltage drop, I have ordered 8-gauge to replace this 10-gauge wire. When It arrives, I'll route it around the front and be done with wiring hell. Finally.
  14. Here's the latest on the bracket saga. I tried three sets sourced by Summit Racing, and when the third set (made by Grove) was going to hit stuff, I bit the bullet and fabricated (actually, I modified the last set I got). The folks at Summit were super about the returns, but when the third set didn't work, I felt embarrassed. After all, three times! I used 1/4-inch aluminum plate to make the modified parts, and used as many parts as I could of Grove's stuff. The compressor is off now, but with both in place, I measured and measured, and I am now certain--well, almost certain--that these will work. Here are some photos.
  15. I've been working on my 280 Z and will test-fit the engine (carbureted Vortec 350) once I am able to bundle up this bird's nest of wires. Because the guys at Vintage Air suggested I mount the compressor on the passenger side, I have my alternator on the driver side. And that means the wire feeding the alternator needs to run a long way. As you see in the photo, I was about to send it back to the firewall, across and then forward to feed the alt. But a few minutes ago I noticed that if I run it along the inner side of the cross-member, it is a pretty straight (and much shorter) shot. I have drawn in an arrow to the wire in question. Once that's decided, I can begin re-wrapping the harness. (By the way that relay closest to the firewall will be either for the fuel pump or for the electric fan--I haven't decided (and I'll take feedback on that issue, too).
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Thanks for the info, Theczechone. So, what are my options? And does it even come out, or is it glued in place?
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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?
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