I've been slowly but surely getting things done. But with this oppressive heat we've been having, it's really put the brakes on turning wrenches. That and some recent family issues. But as far as my to do list is concerned, it's a bunch of little stuff that all adds up.
Immediate to do list
- Install mini starter (DB Electrical)
- Go over all battery power wires, check for chaffing, degradation, etc. Adjust, protect or replace as necessary.
- Install Derale trans cooler in series with the radiator cooler and hook up the fan using Racetronix's wiring harness
- Install Kirban's front frame braces
- Hook up trans temp gauges' sending unit, run the wires inside to the gauge
- Install line lock, replace brake fluid, run wires inside car to ashtray switch panel (after prop valve method)
- Cut chrome turbo heat shield to clear the downpipe
- Strip the paint off the other turbo heat shield and have it properly coated
- Install alternator brace / tree bracket
- Install new Continental Elite Poly V serpentine belt (squeeking with this 64" Gates is horrible)
- Install Power 6 wheel center cap overlays onto the Nitro wheels (TR Parts)
- Change oil, clean the billet filter, add ZDDPlus with the oil
- Hook up the battery tender (battery dies when it sits longer than 2 weeks, probably the Pioneer radio draining the battery)
- Replace passengers side lower intercooler hose and t-bolt clamps
- Install pressure transducer for alky kit and run wiring inside to the I/O panel
- Make sure everything with the Powerlogger works 100%, with this "new to me" Win 7 laptop
- Polish the Aluma Star wheels with Blue Magic wheel polish
- Remove rear seat seat belts and sound deadening pad under rear seat (weight savings)
- Retune the TT chip for current conditions
After all of this is piddly stuff is done, here is the rest of the to do list before Bowling Green.
Future to do list (AKA before Bowling Green)
- Install underhood braces
- Install rear seat braces
- Install driveshaft safety loop
- Install Moser 28 spline axles with longer ARP wheel studs and McGard open end lug nuts
- Change rear end fluid, add limited slip additive
- Install rear end cover with carrier cap support studs
- Install 1" rear sway bar
- Swap out fuel pump with a 450lph pump
- Install new 3.5 BAR MAP sensor
- Hook up 3.5 BAR MAP sensor to I/O panel and calibrate it with P/L
- Install pressure transducer for coolant pressure logging (in the side of the block) run wiring inside to the I/O panel
- Install new Alky pump and have current one rebuilt by Julio
- Install Caspers Field Fix harness
- Install Schroth racing harness
- Replace front runners with new Moroso DS-2's (current ones are 9 years old and showing wear)
- Go over all bolts, fasteners for tightness (turbo, downpipe, valve covers, crank pulley, upper plenum, t-body, TPS, all t-bolt clamps)
- Swap plugs
- Empty entire car of all unnecessary items, drain coolant and pour in distilled water (part of my track prep)
- Test & Tune for conditions just before BG
- Don't blow it up
It's a ton of little stuff that all adds up and takes time. Hopefully this weather will ease up a bit so I can get back at it.
Stay tuned for more updates and I appreciate the check up.
P.S. This disease we have.... GoFastItis... Is strong...
Patrick, are you having any problems controlling fuel pressure with the larger pump? Thread is getting long, and I can't remember if you went with larger fuel lines, or not. I had the engine freshened up in my car...and like you...the heat has slowed progress reinstalling it. Thanks for the update! Scoob and I are big fans!
No issues so far. Currently it has a Walbro 340 255lph pump and the lines are -8 feed and -6 return. So with the 450lph pump I shouldn't have any problems controlling the pressure. I'm hoping to turn some wrenches this weekend if the weather co-operates.
Thanks for following my antics with Legend.
I took him out for a cruise last night and to look for street some action.
After charging up the battery yesterday and redoing my tune setting, (battery died) he was ready for a quick bath before heading out. (Yep, Eric's Tune Saver is on my list) I've recently added a Powerlogger and brought the laptop along to work on it in the parking lot. The local scene around here has really gone down hill. Honestly, you never know who's going to be out, if anyone. So, I figured if nobody shows, at least I can get these drivers installed and make sure the PL works. Just as I thought, only a few people showed up, but no one was wanting to race. So I took the time to click the keyboard keys and get the PL up and going. I followed the step by step directions on Erics' Forum and it worked. However, one thing I forgot to do was calibrate my MAP sensor. Nope, no boost for you. Anywho, fast forward to a hour and a half later and it was time to go. It was 78* outside and the humidity was not too terrible. Last night was the only night in the forecast that looked decent enough to cruise. So, turning out of the lot I hit the spacer bar and started making my way to the highway for a quick hit. Rolling along at 55, I purged the alky until all green, waited for my straight away and no traffic.... pulling the shifter down into D, I stood on it. Instant surge of power and we were gone. 60, 70, 80, 90, 98, 100 and bumped it into OD an lifted. SM showed .806 and .7 KR right at the hit. Boost started out at 22 and hit 25 at the top of 3rd as I was watching it like a hawk. Yep, weather conditions definitely affected my boost setting as last time I went out, the temps were in the low 70's with very little humidity. It was rock solid on 25psi then with .808 and no knock.
FF to just a bit ago and I got to look at the log a bit. Voltage was steady at 15.0 - 15.2 under WOT (Caspers Volt booster on board) the pull was from 55 - 102 according to the log, but I have a feeling the mph might be off a bit as I'm on the 27" tires. I shifted into OD at 5050. TPS looked good, O2 numbers looked good. Inj duty cycle hit 63 at the top of 3rd so not too shabby. Spark Adv in 3rd was solid at 19.4*. IAT started at 82* and was at 77* at the top of 3rd. So far, everything is looking good. I just hope the trans holds together for Bowling Green. Next outing I've got to calibrate the MAP sensor and verify it's recording boost. All in all, it was a semi successful outing last night.
So we made it back home and I let him idle for a good 5 minutes to cool off a bit. Shutting him down, I then went through my whole routine. Unfortunately, I do not have a garage to keep him in, so I have to take every precaution of protecting the car the best I can. I put the new trickle charger back on, put a towel on the nose to protect the paint from the power chord, placed and arranged all of the foam mats on the upper surfaces to help protect him from any hail that might come along suddently. I mean, this is Mississippi afterall and severe weather happens almost daily this time of year. After experiencing what hail damage can do to your car first hand back in 2013, I found a quick solution. I am using 3/4" workout foam pads that are sectional and have jigsaw puzzle cuts to connect them. Each one measures 24"x24". I have enough of them to go double all over and triple thickness on the hood. The hail would need to be severe, as in 5"-6" size to make it through these pads. I found a video on YouTube where a guy used these workout mats to protect his car from hail. So I thought, yep that will work. Amazon for the hook up. Anywho, I put the car cover back on and said good night.
This wraps up this semi update for now. The car is such a blast to cruise and is making very good power at this level.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates.
Welp, time is quickly coming up for Bowling Green as it's right around the corner. Thankfully, the weather is somewhat starting to cool off a bit so my work can continue. But my progress has been slow. The heat has really put a stop on doing anything and when it's not 90 quadrillion degrees, it's the mother of all rain storms. (No garage) But anyway, since last checking in I have scratched through a few of the bullet points on my "Battle Plan" list. As well as found and fixed a few issues that recently popped up that I didn't even know existed. So here we go. I finally broke down and ordered a NOCO Genius G1100 smart battery tender and got it on the car. No more slowly dying battery which was a huge relief. Come to find out, the real cause of the battery drain will be discussed later in this report. And those of you who've been into these cars as long as I have, will know immediately what it was. Turning my attention to what could be done inside, vs in the volcanic conditions outside, I hit up the front Aluma-Stars with some good old fashion elbow grease, a micro fiber towel and some Blue Magic Metal polish. That really brought them back to life. I'm gonna work on the rears later this weekend. Another one of the "looks department" tasks, was to bead blast and strip the horribly cracked paint off of my turbo heat shield. Notch it for wastegate feed tube clearance and repaint it with high temp matte aluminum paint. This time I decided to go with VHT brake caliper paint, as it doesn't have a glossy finish when dry. It also contains more fine ceramic particles in the paint. I could not be more happier with the results as now it has a textured, matte aluminum finish that matches my under hood theme. It should with stand the severe temps. (VHT claims 900*)
Moving into the cabin, I decided to R&R the center console cover pieces and replace them with one of Kirban's 3 piece applique kits. It was obvious that at some point in this cars past, these pieces were replaced as they were in decent shape, but not perfect. I peeled them off and proceeded to remove all of the old adhesive with Goo Off and a razor blade. I found it best to let the Goo Off puddle and sit for a few minutes so it could really work on the adhesive. This made scraping it off a breeze. After thoroughly drying and wiping the cover off, the kit went on with zero issues. Each piece fit perfectly. There's a few spots where the chrome had started to pit that caused a few imperfections, but the results were very satisfying. This makes the 4th one of Kirban's kits that I've done to my cars over the years and it really makes the center console pop. I highly recommend his applique kit. P/N 1568. Money well spent.
Moving along. After recently watching some of Emilio's videos, (VenomGT87 on YouTube, thanks for the inspiration man) it inspired me to do some research and find a USB cable connector solution for my Powerloggers' USB cable. Up to this point, I simply had the USB cable "jankily" hanging out of the glove box with it closed when I had it connected to the lap top. Me being in the IT world, I knew there had to be a better way. The bay of E's turned up a flush mount, rectangular switch sized USB 2.0 hub with a 6ft harness. I was hoping it would simply replace one of the switches on my ashtray switch panel. It was an almost perfect fit, but I made it better with some tape. Now this flush mount USB hub, is a flush female to male setup. The Powerlogger cable is a male, so you need to adapt the two together with a straight female to female USB connector. While I was at it, I decided to remove the trans brake button, as it would hit the lid when closed and cover the hole with a rubber grommet plug for the time being. I made a quick label for the USB spot, it's not perfect, but functional. I routed and tucked all of the wiring harness out of the way, twist tied up all the excess cable behind the glove box and wala. Fini. I am currently waiting on a 90* USB male to female connector that will have the cable point directly at the passengers seat when in use. It will hook to a 3ft USB cable so there's very little "cabling" to be seen. There's just enough to tuck the excess between the seats and allow the laptop to stretch over when needed.
So, fast forward to this past Monday night. In my pursuit of somewhat restoring older items and getting the under hood look to be more presentable, I decided to replace the alternator and at the same time install the missing alternator support bracket that was missing when I got the car. The alternator that was on it was really looking dingy and dirty and I had no idea of it's age as it was not the original. I made the decision to go ahead and replace it now and keep the older one as a back up. It came off rather easy, but the first snag that came up was when installing the new one. The bolt sleeve that's pressed into the belt tensioner would not move enough to let the new alternator slide into the mounting slot. So after fighting with it with wrenches and trying to lightly tap the alternator with a hammer and towel, aka forcing it, I remembered a trick a good friend showed me years ago. With the tensioner being replaced earlier this year, it all made sense. That sleeve was a tight press fit and was not budging. It was sticking out and hitting the alternators mounting tab. The trick he taught me was to remove the tensioner, find a socket or allen head socket that is the same size as the insert sleeve, prop the tensioner at an angle so you can tap on the sleeve without the tensioner moving. Once the sleeve is either smooth with the aluminum slot or recessed slightly, the alternator should then slip right in. It took all of 5 minutes to remove the tensioner, tap the sleeve and put the tensioner back on. Now the alternator basically fell into place. And when you tighten the long alternator bolt, that sleeve basically presses back into the aluminum case and locks it down. Basically it's a slip sleeve design.
It's amazing what comes back in your mind when turning wrenches on these cars. That tip was given to me in the mid 90's. I started it up and monitored the battery on the Scanmaster. I noticed something fishy with the readings. The voltage readings were no where near steady enough for my liking. They were bouncing around from 13.4 - 14.3v pretty regularly. I thought that's very strange, so I let it get up to temp. As it came up to temp, I started hearing a clicking sound that had an interval of about 1 second and would not stop until the fans kicked on. I started feeling around looking for the clicking when my memory flashed back to a recent post I read about the fan relays and the dreaded delay relay. In that thread was a YouTube link of John Spina's speech he gave at the 2016 TB.com Nationals.
After finding the video and listening to John, I immediately went to check mine out. I found that it was the low speed fan relay that was clicking, one click per second at idle. Once the temps reached 170*, the fans kicked on and the low speed relay stopped clicking. As I was finished up for the night, I ordered up two fan relays. I was going to take John's advice and disconnect the delay relay. This past Thursday night my relays came in. Removing the relays and inspecting the harnesses, the wiring and connectors looked to be in good shape. But the relays were at least 10 years old and showing their age. The individual harness plugs were also uncovered and bare, meaning no split loom tubing or tape on them. This is very common with the stock harness. The low speed relay was showing signs of failure as well. I unhooked and covered the double harness plugs from the delay relay with tubing, then wrapped them both with electrical tape, making sure to cover the plugs. Then I took a small ziplock sandwich bag and covered and wrapped that double connector again and wrapped it all up with electrical tape for a somewhat clean appearance. I reinstalled the delay relay in it's factory spot and tucked the now taped up, non functioning, double harness plugs back as close as possible to the delay relay. Now it looks somewhat factory, but won't be causing me anymore issues. Moving on to the low speed and high speed relays, I cleaned the connectors, installed tubing on each harness, wrapped them in electrical tape, zip tied the tubing tight, put some dielectric grease on all of the contact terminals on each relay, plugged them up and reinstalled them back in their factory spot. This time everything worked as it should. No more clicking & battery voltage was almost 100% rock steady. Hovering between 13.9 and 14.3v at idle. That voltage fluctuation from the failing relay also explains why my headlights would flicker slightly at night. Success! Problem solved, problem staying solved.
As of today, I have 58 days left until I leave for Bowling Green. All of the little stuff on my list just takes time and cooler weather to get done. It's amazing how fast time flies and how much time it takes to finish up all the little tasks. Especially when my OCD kicks in. Hopefully the temps will start to come down so I can really get after it.
Just as a timeline recap, here are some engine pics of when I first got him, and what he looks like today.
Week one, Nov 2017:
8/22/18 before the relay swap/fix:
Welp, that's all I have for now.
I will keep updating as we get closer to BG and thanks for following along on my journey with Legend.
Patrick...you have an AC convertor in the car if I've been following your thread correctly. I'm assuming it's a NL...and likely a 19930 to match that turbo. Could you post the numbers and letters on the convertor when you get a chance. I'm likely gonna jump up to the turbo you're running next spring along with an AC convertor from my current combo.
Next time I get under it, I will see what it says. However, it is a lock up.
Honestly, when the trans comes out for a rebuild, I want to go with a PTC 9.5" 17 blade non l/u.
I will definitely let you know what it says though.
Thanks so much. I plan on running a 19930...gotta check the letters to define the stall. I'd run a PTC...but I'm up here in Canada and the exchange rate is around 22 percent....shipping...blah blah blah...you get the idea. I can get an AC 19930 rather inexpensively and I'm not looking to squeeze every last tenth anyway. Do you plan on locking the convertor at BG?
Nope, no locking under WOT. TBH, I don't trust this trans that much. I ran a 19930 with my TH400 in RU. It was a very good converter that spooled a 74 GTQ like a light switch with the S2 engine. Eventhough there is some slippage, it's a very potent converter. I hear you about that exchange rate.
With just a few days left before I pack up and head to the Nats, I thought I would give an update as to what I've been up to with Legend. Bare with me as this one might get long. Here we go.
First I will list everything that I was able to get done.
- Order and install a custom car cover from Coverking. Holy cow this thing fits perfectly. No more Cover Craft junk for me.
- Installed Kirban's underhood brace kit, Front frame braces and just this past Friday, the rear seat brace kit.
- Made a custom I/O panel housing using a fried Netgear USB to Ethernet adapter cables' housing. Not bad for something that was just going to be thrown in the dumpster. Re-purposing 101.
- Installed a pressure transducer to monitor alky pressure and used a pre-made 10ft long wiring harness, cut to length.
- Installed an AEM 3.5 BAR MAP sensor and another 10ft long wiring harness, cut to length. Plumbed the vacuum line directly from an un-used port on the vacuum block and mounted it to one of the factory blower motor screws with a cushioned clamp. My thought process was to keep all of the vital vacuum lines from the intake, in a centrally located spot.
- Make a harness for all wires that run into the new I/O housing.
- Install I/O housing close to the factory MAP sensor area.
- Install a 15ft long 8 pin mini DIN cable from the new I/O housing, routed inside the cabin to the Powerlogger/ECM.
- Ordered a 90* male to female USB adapter and a short male to male USB cable. This allows me to put the laptop in the drivers seat with the cable connected to the USB port in the ashtray switch panel.
- Drain alky tank completely.
- Removed and replaced the 3 year old Alky pump with a new one from Julio. Put more split loom tubing on the wiring harness and all lines for protection against rubbing / chaffing.
- Flushed and replaced the brake fluid, following Richard Clark's step by step procedures. It was nasty and probably hasn't been done in a very long time.
- Took care of the broken power antenna and plugged the hole.
- Swapped serpentine belt to a Continental Elite Poly-V 38" belt. No more noise and the tensioner is happy.
- Installed a factory alternator tree brace that was missing. Shout out to FatNat for hooking me up.
- Change the oil with VR-1 10w-30, ZDDPlus and clean the billet filter thoroughly. I now know what my "true" hot idle oil pressure really is.
- Have new Moroso DS-2 front tires mounted and balanced on the skinnies.
- Finish polishing up the Aluma-Stars and install them with a set of new McGard open end lug nuts.
- Remove both rear seat sound deadening pads and the rear seat belts for weight saving.
- Trim some of the t-bolt clamps with a Dremel tool.
- Remove all un-necessary items from trunk and inside of car.
- Vacuum trunk and under the back seats before putting the rear seats back in. (Rear seat brace kit install)
- Install new TR Custom Parts front license plate.
- Install "Dark Gray JEDI mind trick propaganda" on the windows.
- Thoroughly wash and wax the car.
- Touch up paint certain spots.
Now for the bad.
These items on my to do list, are things I will need to do at BG. I honestly ran out of time.
- Swap plugs with a fresh set of Autolite #23's. (normal track to-do list stuff)
- Install drive shaft safety loop.
- Install trans temp gauge and manifold, run wiring into the car to the gauge.
- Install Derale trans cooler with fan, Hook the fan up with a Racetronix universal fan wiring harness.
- If needed, drop the tank and replace the Walbro 255lph pump, with a new Racetronix 340lph fuel pump. Probably won't be needed, but just in case.
- Install AEM UEGO gauge and WB O2 sensor.
- If needed, replace both lower intercooler hoses and their t-bolt clamps.
- R&R stock starter with a light weight one from DB Electric. Big weight savings item that is out of sight, out of mind to most.
- If needed, install line lock, rear x4 long brake shoes and larger 7/8" bore rear wheel cylinders. Brakes hold good now, so another just in case.
As you can see, I've made good progress. Mainly this past month as the weather finally started easing up a bit.
And with that, I will bring this update to a close. I can't wait to get to BG and see everyone. It is really hard to put into words just how good it feels to be back in the Buick game again with another car. I will be testing and tuning with mine, as I don't forsee trying to race in any class. I will also be helping Dave with his car. Stop by and see us under the big circus tent.
Thanks for following along with my antics and I hope everyone that's going to BG has a safe trip.
And lastly, some recent pics.