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Thread: 89 Cutlass Ciera Race Car Build

  1. #436
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keiths1976 View Post
    I run timken bearings up front on my 95
    Thanks! I've always heard good things about Timken, so that's what I was assuming would be a good budget-friendly option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke George V View Post
    Timkens are $32 on Rock Auto for the fronts.
    Interesting, I'm not showing that. Mine is only giving me Timken fronts for $66/ and rears for $78/. Unless I'm reading it wrong, and they're sold in pairs?



  2. #437
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    Also, for me being an idiot. For some reason, Fel-Pro doesn't make a 'whole engine gasket kit' for these, so, I'm taking HST9957PT2 and adding some more things to it, instead of the one I posted earlier. It's even $101 (instead of $153) on wholesaler closeout! And, of course, the headbolts as well (Fel-Pro ES72892). It looks like I'll need to throw in an oil pan gasket, timing cover gasket (and seal?), and crankshaft/rear main seal, to get all the same seals (there's a few pictures on the Mahle kit that I can't figure out what they are, but, hopefully if it's something we need, the local parts store will have it close & reasonably priced). That gets me the better Fel-Pro gaskets, with at least most everything else we should need, for not much more money than the Mahle set itself. I'm also going to do a 160 degree thermostat (and seal), new radiator hoses, the dummy distributor cap o-ring, and a transmission fluid filter/pan gasket, to get that side of things fresh too. I'm sure

    As always, many thanks to Daniel and a whole slew of supporting-members for making working on this car exponentially easier and, therefore, removing just a little bit of stress from my life.
    https://www.a-body.net/forums/showth...sket-Job-blind

  3. #438
    Senior Member Duke George V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthew_m View Post
    As always, many thanks to Daniel and a whole slew of supporting-members for making working on this car exponentially easier and, therefore, removing just a little bit of stress from my life.
    https://www.a-body.net/forums/showth...sket-Job-blind
    Cheers mate.

  4. #439
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    Hey all,

    Quick question: We are looking at getting our gauge setup together, and wondering what we might be able to pull out of the OBD2 port on the '96. I am just assuming not much, but, if the information is there, would probably be easier/cleaner to try to run a screen or something from there, instead of individual gauges for everything. We are looking at Temps for Coolant, Oil, and Trans Fluid, as well as Oil Pressure and Voltage. I have a setup that does that in my Trailblazer, which I'm going to try to remember to grab (it's at my sister's house), but, I am assuming it won't work, as I believe the TB (2004) is a CAN-bus system.

  5. #440

    Pontiac6ksteawd's Avatar
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    If you have a mid grade OBD2 scanner, you can look in it and see what information is available. I have a TopDon Elite, and it lets me view the available sources, coolant temp, STFT, LTFT, O2 Status, etc. If you can view it there, you should be able to put together a cluster of some sort.
    Brian - Carpe Diem

    I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
    More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
    01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 125k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 192k - 05 Buick Rendezvous CXL Sport Plus 61k

  6. #441
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    1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, 2007 Subaru Legacy GT
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    ODB2 has a lot of info you can pull. Mine is just the odb1 which doesn't have much info and even when the car isn't running right hasn't even triggered an error. With ODB2 you should be able to get an old tablet of some kind and connect it to the odb2 port. There are a number of apps that will let use the tablet as a custom gauge cluster where you can put whatever gauges you want. Either use it to replace the existing one or as a supplemental one.

  7. #442
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    Hello again! Big update (that I've been meaning to post for, oh, about 4 weeks now) - engine swap is complete! And when I say 'engine', I mean, pretty much the entire front end of the car.





    It was pretty slick, there were just 4 massive bolts holding all of that in. Plus, of course, all of the connections for coolant, electrical, breathing, etc - the time consuming part. Getting the electrical all disconnected was very tedious, but, we got it done. We decided to do that for two reasons:

    - 1, since we needed both the engine and transmission, figured that would be easier than trying to remove them separately, reconnecting them, etc
    - 2, and probably more importantly - since the race car had an indicated 150k+ miles on it (quite a few of them racing), and the parts car had <90k miles, we figured everything on the parts car should be much, much fresher. We did grab spares off of the race drivetrain (ignition coil, the new cam position sensor we bought, etc), but, mostly just junked it, since it's all seen an ungodly amount of abuse. While we had everything out, we did decide to go ahead and do new LIM and Head Gaskets on the donor engine - probably wasn't needed, because the head gasket (I believe) had been replaced at some point with Fel Pro parts. But, at least now we know that it has good parts in it, and will hopefully hold up for awhile.

    Putting the car up on the lift and going over it was great, it appears to be a decently solid car. Not much rust to speak of, and everything seems to be in decent shape, especially considering it was raced. I should add a small disclaimer to my 'complete' statement above - while the parts car stuff is in the racecar, it isn't actually all hooked back up. We ran out of time, so, that's pending to be done. Pretty sure we've forgotten everything we did taking it apart to do the reverse, but, how hard could it be?

    So, next steps. Our race is the last weekend in April (25-26), so, we've got some time, but we've also got a lot of work to do. Stuff I've got to figure out, but am having trouble with:

    A. Radiator. Not only are we racing, but we're racing in the sometimes ungodly-hot South. We need absolutely as much cooling as we can possibly get. I don't want to spend mega bucks, but, what's the best radiator I can get for a reasonable price? I remember reading somewhere that our cars and G-bodies - is that true? I'd think that would probably be my best bet. I also want to do without the built-in ATF cooling - we need mega transmission fluid cooling (see below), and, that just seems like another failure point (the transmission fluid in the racecar was very milky, so the radiator probably failed). I also figure that, without the extra cooling tanks for the ATF, a radiator for a manual trans car might have more coolant cooling capacity. Overthinking this? I've been thinking about just getting a good quality 3-core like seem to be popular in big-block G-bodys. I realize that would probably have the ATF coolers, but, I know there will probably be compromise somewhere.

    B. Oil. I think oil cooling will be simple - since the oil filter is right on the front of the engine, will probably just do a sandwich plate, with some short lines running to a cooler. A bigger filter, right there in the line of airflow, would probably also help cool the oil. Thoughts on an upgraded oil pump? I've read that they exist, but, that they tend to wear out... whatever it is that spins the pump. We will probably just go the route of adding ~1qt extra of oil and hope for the best, but, might not be a bad idea to look into upgrading the oil pump, especially since we'll be seeing a decent amount of rpm.

    C. Trans Fluid. For this, the current plan is to use the AC condenser. The tubes in it are a little smaller than I would prefer, but, is should work fine, and, bonus, it's already designed to fit into the car. Because it's so much cooling capacity, I don't see a need to use the auxiliary tanks on the radiator (it's not like we're going to have a problem heating the fluid up), but, I don't want to be overlooking something important.

    D. Brakes. I don't want to use the stock brakes. Debating the merits of the U-body brakes vs. the DTS/Lucerne V8 brakes - namely, U-body brakes are easier (and probably cheaper), but, DTS brakes are almost certainly a lot better. Not going to worry with the rear drums for now, other than making sure they're in good alignment, but, just can't make my mind up on the fronts.

    E. Gauges. So, I looked and looked and looked, running (okay, slowly stumbling) back and forth from the parts car to the racecar, and I just could not tell where they'd yanked the OBD2 port out on the racecar. I did yank the OBD2 port out of the parts car, along with as much wire as I could get. Is there any chance that that could be wired directly back to the computer? Is that how it is from the factory (just tucked away under the dash in a loom)? It would be helpful to pull codes from the car, and to use that for gauges (again, simpler and less chance that our home-done plumbing for sensors would blow).

    F. Suspension. Honestly, not my biggest concern at the moment. But, still may look into stiffening things up with van springs, building a strut tower brace, and getting that front sway bar, since none of that seems particularly difficult. But, it's also not necessary for our first race.

    Outside of that, we've got plenty of other work to do - relocate the battery to the trunk, install fire suppression system, buy and install a seat, try to cut the support out of the hood (weight savings - will also require hood pins). But, as always when working on the A-body, we do our best to make sure safety is 3rd.... ish.



    Unfortunately, there was a casualty of our work weekend - due to a misunderstanding between myself and my mechanic teammate involving a forklift, our poor parts car bit the dust. But, we did salvage a lot of spares that will be good to have (sadly, no body panels or glass - damned forklift), so, it will live on. I'll spare you the pictures - it's pretty depressing.

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