2016, The Chevelle Awakens

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TireSmoker
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2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:37 pm

With the interior complete re-done, the car is totally transformed. It is super nice to drive now! I feel like I can really drive it anywhere.While it still needs paint, the car is solid, interior is quiet, and runs smooth and powerful. It doesn't even seem terrible on gas, but I havent done an actual measurement.

But there will still be things to accomplish this year. I really want a lock-up torque converter, but I'm sorta cringing at the idea of taking my drivetrain apart when it's otherwise 95%. The weatherstripping around the doors/windows is deteriorating badly. And a radio, since I already have the amp and speakers installed. I'm gonna take it to the Woodward Dream Cruise this year.

Finally, I wanna win some races! I doubt my slicks are gonna make it through the year, but when it's time to replace them, I should hopefully end up with a set of slicks or drag radials mounted on a set of Centerlines to match the front. More on that later.

-Dave
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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby ttamrettus » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:58 pm

I am so happy for you Dave. I know it's been a long road.
Matt Sutter

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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Wed May 25, 2016 11:51 pm

Not sure what happened to my pics, or if I had some other posts, I thought I had written more. I did have to restore from a backup a couple months back, but I didnt think I had lost anything. Oh well.

I got around to making up a cold air intake. I had been buying a couple pieces here and there and finally got it all together. With the setup I had been using, with a filter right on the throttle body, it was essentially taking in hot air right off the radiator. I bought an elbow off ebay that was oddly expensive at $80, and also oddly sized at 3.5". I picked up a piece of 3.5" exhaust pipe from Summit, because the 3 different exhaust places I stopped at had nothing bigger than 3". I found a 3.5" 45* angle piece on Amazon, and a 3.5" Summit-branded K&N cone filter. It looks kinda cool, but it was worth absolutely nothing at the dragstrip. Next time I go, I may try some back-to-back testing to confirm, but I've only been there once since putting it in.

I also went out and had a dyno session at TI Dyno in Ashtabula. I know the rest of you have gone to Hutter, but I wanted to try this place out, as I've seen some good running cars at the track with TI's sticker on them. My air-fuel ratios were already pretty good from my street and drag strip tuning. We tested a couple different ignition settings (32, 34, 36*). I had played with the igntion timing at the strip, using MPH as my guide. On the dyno, 36 produced a higher peak number, but it fell off faster past peak, and Kevin said I should stick with 34. My drag strip testing gave me bet MPH at 34. We did all the testing with the exhaust closed, and I completely forgot to open the headers at the end, as I was focused on reading the datalogs, making computer changes, etc. In the end, I really didn't find any more power, but it did validate my tuning methods/procedures really do work, which was totally worth it. I got to do the 'driving' on the dyno which was kinda cool. I had the gopro running the whole time, I'll try to post some video later. Kevin @ TI was good to work with and he struck me as a pretty knowledgable guy. I would gladly go back or recommend him to others. He only charged me $75 for the hour I was on the dyno. Peak HP on the dyno was only 312 HP. (Mustang dyno)

So the last thing I need to do is replace the torque converter so I can get the lockup working. I found a place on Facebook that is over in Walton Hills called Perfect Converter Company to see what a custom converter would cost -- I got a little sticker shock when the guy said $750 for a 10-inch unit. That's more than I want to spend. I'm going to ask around a little more. For comparison, a Summit-brand 10" unit w/lockup is ~$350. Name brand units around ~$550 at Summit. I want to get this done before I drive 3+ hours to Detroit for the Woodward Dream Cruise in August, as the lockup should really improve how it drives (and MPG) on the highway.

-Dave
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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby ttamrettus » Thu May 26, 2016 7:13 am

So the dyno says 312 HP to the wheels. If you do the calculation, ET, mph & gear ratio what does it say your HP is ? HP doesn't matter anyway, it's all about the ET.

Great work on the chevelle Dave. Love it. Any chance of finding a blue straight KAI piece to match the elbow?

Keep it up.
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Basement Paul
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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby Basement Paul » Fri May 27, 2016 4:57 pm

My TCI converter is a 10" unit, claimed to be around 3500 stall with lockup. I think it was around $550. I've had good luck with TCI converters with new ones in three different cars. The truck will be the fourth.

-BP

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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:02 am

I finally got to the point where it was time to fix the torque converter lockup. After pricing out custom converters, finding from $750-850, I felt that was way more than I needed to spend for my power level, despite everyone online raving about how much difference a good converter made compared to what they had. I had no complaints with my dragstrip performance, so I ended purchasing a Summit brand 10" 3000-rpm stall converter with lockup for just under $400.


Since I knew the trans was coming out, I ordered some new speedo gears. The original setup was close, but off a little bit (maybe 3-5 mph at 60+). After the success I had in swapping the Blazer's speedo gears (and it is dead-on accurate now), I bought a new set of gears for the Chevelle hoping for the same result.

I got the trans out relatively easy. Next-door neighbor Jerry even had a trans jack tall enough to use under my lift! I did all the prep work, removing driveshaft, bellhousing & converter bolts, cooling lines, shifter & speedo cables, passenger side header, etc and got everything ready for removal. Jerry's trans jack doesn't have the usual pan support/clamps, so I waited till Tony could come over and help me get it out. It was a very painless effort.

After filling the new converter with a quart of trans fluid, Tony and Chris both came over to help put it back in. Again, very easy -- took us maybe 10-15 minutes to get it in with a couple bellhousing bolts and the crossmember in place. I'll button everything up this week.

Fingers crossed that this solves my issue.

-Dave

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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:17 am

Success! (mostly) I got everything buttoned up tonight, it started right up, went into reverse and drive, no funny noises, seems slightly tighter than the previous converter.

I went for a nice little after midnight test drive, no problems! However, I didn't have the wires inside wired up to test the lockup. But I've at least got the physical swap done without issues. Car runs and drives just as good as before.

Might try to go to Friday TnT @ Quaker after work.

-Dave

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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:14 pm

After getting the trans back in on Wednesday night, I tested it on Thursday, and everything seems to work fine.. except for the lockup.. grrrr. Next step will be to remove the pan and see if anyone online can help me figure it out, or bite the bullet and find a trans shop.

So I went to Friday test-n-tune at Quaker with the new converter installed. I ended up getting a late start, and didn't get there almost 8pm, then there was weather in the area too, and all told, I didn't run until at least 9pm and and the 2nd pass was probably 2 hours later. Both were 12.90 @ 102. This was with the exhaust closed. Car felt good, but it was just bad air. I won't read too much into these results, since it was at a different track in lousy conditions, but the small numbers were a little disappointing.

On Thursday, I filled the car at the flying J @ I-90/45, got it weighed on their CAT scale (3700lbs w/me, that puts the car at 3490.) I put 199 miles on it, including the drive to-from Quaker and my 2 passes there, consuming 12.3 gallons -- 16mpg. I'm pretty pleased with that! This converter is noticeably tighter at low speeds, so it does drive a little nicer.

-Dave

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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:38 pm

So after the disappointing passes at Quaker, I didn't race it for the next few weeks, because I wanted to make sure I didn't break anything since I wanted to make sure it was good for driving to Detroit for the Woodward Dream Cruise. My friend Jered lives up in Washington, MI, so I drove up Friday afternoon and was going to stay with him and his family overnight. We have known each other since we were kids.

The drive went flawlessly -- mostly. I was in Detroit rush-hour on I-75, just north of the city, about 3 hours into the drive, had just gotten off the phone with Jered that everything that was going perfect, see you in an hour. Then the temp started going up. Over 200. It's never runs over 180 before. Traffic was stop and go, so that wasn't helping either. I cranked up the heater and tried to drive to at least keep moving, as it seemed to come down when I kept airflow. Fan dead? By the time I was able to get off the freeway, I pulled into an Autozone, popped the hood and the fan was still running. ?? Bought a gallon of 50/50 mix and it took maybe 1/4 gallon. Kept on going but still seemed like it had trouble cooling itself, but I was able to keep it under 200.

After getting to Jered's, I took his boy Charlie (13) for a drive in the Chevelle, including a big burnout near his school.. :-) Friday night, Jered and I went to cruise Woodward and it just wasnt running right. It was missing on a cylinder or two. Found 2 plug wires sitting on the header. Zip-tied them up and running good again. Car was still having cooling trouble, so we left a bit earlier than hoped for.

Saturday morning, we drove down to Woodward, about a 25 minute drive. Cooling seemed fine, but just as we were parking, I saw it get hot and this time it was leaking a little coolant. Grrrrreat. Pop the hood and see the fan off (sort of a relief, actually) and a small leak at the top of the radiator. It seemed the fan relay was a little too close to the radiator and a little warm. After I moved the relay away from the radiator, it never had another problem. Drove the whole length of Woodward including prob almost 30 minutes of almost stopped traffic in 85+ degree weather, never over 180.

I left for home around 5pm on Saturday, and drove through a torrential downstorm through downtown Detroit.. 45mph on the freeway for a while. Some of the worst rain Ive ever driven through. The weather eventually cleared up and I got home around 9:30. The car never missed a beat.

I put over 650 miles on it that weekend and other than above, it handled it like a champ. With the tighter converter, it will cruise 75-80mph in OD*very* comfortably. It really rides pretty comfortably, too. On the leg from home to Toledo, I measured 15mpg. Not bad! The seats are comfortable even on a long trip. Not perfect, but good. I have an amp mounted in the trunk with the 2 trunk speakers working, so I had tunes during the drive too. In short, it's a pretty nice car to roadtrip in, and can run mid 12s when it gets there.

I took it out Sun-Mon-Tue, raced it Wednesday. It's so cool having it be nice to drive, fast, and reliable again.

-Dave
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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby TireSmoker » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:01 pm

So while I just posted about how much I love that its a good street car again, I have the pieces to make up a new induction system. The fact that my car doesn't MPH like two other known ZZ383s (110-111 to my 106-108) has been bugging me. The ports on my Holley Stealth Ram looked noticeably smaller than what was on the 4-bbl single plane that it came with from GM. Well, I'm not about to give up my EFI, but I think I need a better intake.

If you look at my datalog screen shot, you can see how the red line (MAP sensor) peaks around 4300, and then MAP goes down a bit for the rest of the RPM range. That's the same thing as seeing some vacuum with your undersized-carb, at WOT, yes?

And so like any good project, this one has begun with a craigslist purchase. I found a guy selling a 4-bbl single plane style manifold, but an EFI version, with fuel rails, so I picked it up. He had a pretty serious looking turbo-LS S10 in the garage. The injectors pictured are from inventory. Holley makes a pretty nice 4-bbl EFI throttle body that has an included TPS and IAT sensors, and IAC motor, and the throttle linkage is 700r4-ready. The ports on this thing look like it should move air a whole lot better than my current HSR.

After I got the throttle body, I quickly found out the Holley linkage didnt clear the fuel rails. Crap. A 1-inch open spacer solves the problem, but the intake is now starting to get a bit tall. And the bracket I thought I was going to use for the 700r4 TV cable doesn't clear the fuel rails either. Another option may be to get an elbow adapter and use an LS-style throttle body. Those just don't look as cool, though.

To be continued...

-Dave
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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby Basement Paul » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:18 pm

Looks to me like you're going to already have hood clearance issues without putting anything else on top of it... Looks badass, but very tall. Time for a glass hood with a 4" cowl.

-BP

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Re: 2016, The Chevelle Awakens

Postby wxo » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:15 am

Dave, thanks for the great posts. Tiresmoke has been too quiet lately. We need some authentic hot rod reading material out here in the boonies. Good job on the cruise pictures, too.


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