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Discussion Starter · #961 ·
Hey everybody, ol'Markus O'Disappearious here again. Man time flies when you're not watching. Thankfully, John popped in on a PM and checked in on me to see if I was still alive, LOL. Seriously, his PM reminded me that I had a lot of good friends over here and that I was hold up in my little world out here in the desert. So I wanted to jump back in and give out all my updates. I have been popping in here and there to see how the other projects were going, just didn't have the time to communicate. Well it's time for me to take the time.
It's been a long a crazy winter and I did get a lot done. I got all the car wiring done and so far it seems everything is working and doing what it's supposed to be doing, with the exception of the fuel gauge. It will not register so it could be the gauge or a connection??? It's been a low priority so it's on the back burner for now. The dash and all the gauges are in and working. All the lights are working. Speaking of lights. I stayed with the idea of not using headlights in the headlight buckets. I found a pair of motorcycle headlights that I mounted down on the front frame horns kind of tucked away inside the engine compartment and they turned out to work great. The under dash wiring is a nightmare but I tried to make it as neat as I could and still get it all to work and go where it was supposed to.
The change to EFI presented a whole new layer of wiring. I did go to coil on plug so the coils all get individual wiring, the injectors of course also. I did not go with my Hilborn fuel pump driven off the cam, and I could no longer use the front distributor I built but I did need a cam sync of some sort. So I found a cam sync that the '80 Chevies use for the port injection etc., that looks just like a distributor. So I modified the chevy cam sync just like I did the distributor and mounted it in the front where the distibutor was going and Badda-Bing, Badda-Boom. I have me a cam sync. My Son designed me a trigger wheel on cad-cam and had it cut out for me, which bolts up perfectly in front of the balancer. I built a trigger sensor bracket and now that is on and ready to go.
I completed the Tunnel Ram bung install and the intake is all ready and installed. I traded my dual 4150 top with a guy for his dual 4500 top and that took care of that. I had to make another scoop base plate for the dual 4500 throttle bodies, do some mods to the intake piping from the intercoolers to the Sho-Gun scoop since everything was moved around a little, and finished installing the whole intake system for fire up. Installed all of the coils and again all the motor wiring for the EFI and the engine sensors and wiring. The engine is all pre-oiled ( I did it all while the intake was off using the usual drill and pump driver method). The water/cooling system was completed, filled and a leak fixed but the cheap E-Bay 50 GPM water pump I bought could not move the water all the way from the rear radiator, thru the motor and back again. So I went to a Mezeire remote and it is working flawlessly at this point. Not sure what will happen under driving conditions but so far it seems to really move the water. I had to sell off the original Magnafuel fuel pump because it really was not suitable for EFI pressures and the added flow that I will need for the injectors, (which are 2000CC injectors--Gulp, gulp, gulp!!!). But I got another bigger EFI Magnafuel 750 that will handle everything I need now. -12 line to the front, split to twin -10 fuel rails and lines and regulated (bypass) back to the rear fuel cell. Everything there working fine with no drips too. PHEW!!!!
The problem holding me up right now is the MS3. Everything checks out inside, but for some reason it will not communicate with any laptop/computer. Something is not connecting there. I've had the car completely put together, pre-oiled, valves all set, water filled, fuel ready, and ready to fire--and we can't talk to or get info from the computer. We have the stem unit for testing the MS3 and that works great telling us everything inside is ready to go. We just can't get a start up tune into it for start up or check that all sensors are energized and/or ready to go. DAMNNNN!!!!

So. I was hoping to have a video of the thing running before I came back to you guys but right now I'm at the mercy of my Son and his getting it fixed and back to me for a trial start.
I will get some pics of the engine compartment as soon as I can.
I look forward to hearing from all you guys and I have to sit down and go over your builds again to see where everyone is. Sorry it took so long but hopefully it will be worth the self induced hibernation. I'm trying to at least get it running and maybe a trip around the block or two before the real heat hits again. It's been teasing us with some hotter days again just to remind us who's boss.

Good Ol' Markus O'Returnious .
 

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Discussion Starter · #962 ·
I have some pics.
These are the headlights I mounted. They look pretty intrusive but the next pic will show how they hide farther in the engine compartment


The next is the drivers side coil assembly installed on the firewall.

The passenger side coils.

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #963 ·
Next is the fuel lines coming in, the regulator, the chevy cam sync sensor, the trigger wheel and the trigger sensor and mount.

Drivers side on motor and EFI system. Rails, tunnel ram, Throttle bodies, scoop and piping. Big Pontiac valve covers.

Closer look.

Overall front engine view.

Cut the lower front fender leg off and added a filler to both the lower and the upper fender. Still has to be ground and finished and solidly mounted to match the fender when down.
 

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Wow Mark the motor looks amazing. Glad to see you back here. We have been having some issues here at the site with spammers and what not. You might not get a response from everyone yet. Can't wait to hear your motor run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #967 ·
Hi to you all. Good to see your names again. The political world is turning friendships upside down since the elections. All I see here are great friends interested in great cars. It's a nice place to come to relax, LOL.
I did just get word from my Son that he found the problem with the computer not communicating and fixed it. He's coming to cook dinner for Janet for Mothers day ( I am assuming that I get to eat too---but one never knows-HA) and he better have that little box of wires and chips in his hand or I'll get my 1/2 drive torque wrench and tighten his (lug) nuts. He also said he found a program that works on the MS3 that will self tune now. That's a great find. Sooo-maybe tomorrow I'll have some video.
HEY, everybody, cross everything ya have to cross and we'll get that Mutha running on Mothers Day. Now that will be something to celebrate.
 

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Absolutely amazing work Mark! You've been super busy with all the things you've accomplished! I'm sure I'm not the only one who has wondered how you and the Pontiac were doing! Thanks for the great update! I'm really impressed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #971 ·
Thank you guys, your opinions make a big impact.
OK. Son fixed computer. Son checked communications-all is good. Too late to start it up tonight. Son taking our Pontiac G8GT to do some tuning. Adjust tune to 91 octane versus the old 87 tune, adjust firmness/quickness of the trans shifts, turning off the D.O.D. (displacement on demand-maybe and some other things) and leaving his Ram truck with me.
Plan is to return Tuesday night and go further in checking/confirming all the inputs (Injectors, coils, sensors, etc.) then make a start up attempt.
I should have stayed with the carbs. It would have been running weeks ago.
 

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Naw, that just wouldn't be you Mark! You'll be happier with injection once you've got things tweaked, and only do it once, rather than work out carbs and then change to injection! Can't wait to hear that cool Pontiac run!
 

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Discussion Starter · #973 ·
You're absolutely right Vall. I was just feeling sorry for myself---again, LOL. The tune on this thing is going to be super important and you just can't keep that consistent edge, as easily, with mechanical means. It can certainly be done, just not swiftly or easily. I just sent for soft wear that will actually self tune the system for all conditions, as it is running. For a street vehicle that should be worth its cost, which was only $80. Once the parameters are set, it takes over. I've installed Oxygen sensors in both banks with each having it's own controller/outputs. Each side has a lead to the computer and a lead to a small digital readout on the dash so I can watch the numbers in real time. I also installed separate water temp gauges at the head outlets of each bank, and a third temp gauge reading he combined water temps. This is so I can monitor the temps coming from each back and the final combined temp that the sensor for the computer will be seeing. Probably overkill but I'd rather incorporate it all in the beginning and not need it than need it and not have it. My Son and I confirmed that everything is communicating between the computer and the harnesses last night. Didn't have time to run it though. He's coming up Tuesday night and we'll go to the next level, confirming that all the inputs are being seen and accepted in the program. So maybe Tuesday night will be the charm.
These are the three temp gauges in the center of the dash. Left for left bank, right for right bank, center for mixed reading.

These are the two digital readouts located on the ledge of the dash cluster, just above the boost controller hanging under the cluster.
 

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Ditto on that !
 

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I must be dumber than dirt! Oh crap, insulted dirt again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #979 ·
My son is doing the initial se up. He picked up a start up program and tweaked to fit my combination. He came over last night and we started to go through all the electronics. Fired each injector and each coil to make sure they were responding and cylinder 4 injector was not pulsing. We spent an hour trying to find if it was in the harness, the ecm itself or???. I spliced in ready made injector connectors to the MS3 harness and it turned out the splice was not OK. After pulling the harness extension out enough to uncover the splice, it started reacting again. So I cut and replaced the connection and it was all good. We set the TPS, but the IAC, the cam sensor and the crank trigger sensors were not showing on the computer. But we found with almost each instant (tps, coils etc) we had to make sure certain things on the program were either on or off to make the test work. He was here from 6 pm until almost 1 am just to do the things we got right. Another day, another test regimen coming. I swear, no, I VOW, this thing will run before I die-----------well I hope anywho.
On a side note. I have my 2008 Pontiac G8GT and my son, one of his friends and I went in together to buy an HP Tuners unit. He had my G8 from Sunday until last night and went in and tuned it from the 87 octane tune to a 91 octane tune, tightened up the shift harshness ( shifts much stronger) and raised the automatic shift points about 300 rpm for a trial. It really woke the old girl up. Full throttle first to second used to chirp the tires. Now they bark and spin hard. Haven't tried much more but a big difference, all by tweaking some numbers. Wow, talk about not crying for the old days. I would have had to disassemble the carb, lay in the motor to either work on/in the distributor or pull it altogether, to modify the thing. Now you bring up a couple of tables and watch in real time and make changes with a key stroke. Or you download a full program from someone with a car like yours that did all the work for you, and drive on.
Anyway. New ways are not always the worst. The same with the Catalina. As long as you have components (throttle bodies, injectors etc) in place that can be tweaked and increased or decreased as necessary, it's just key strokes away. And with ecms that can store several tunes, you can change the whole nature of the car with a key stroke or a file car inserted. You can literally got from an economy mode, even on a built car, to a full on race gas tune in seconds.
My son mentioned that HP Tuners may be working on a gauge sized unit that will work straight into your computer/ecm that you can use from the drivers seat to fine tune your car and or change the program with pre installed tunes as you drive down the street. Possibilities are endless.
I also wanted to update everyone about the 4 cylinder Pontiac (half of a 389) thingy I was playing with. Everything hovered around a usable crank. I have two so I sent one to a place in Tucson to have it magnafluxed and then determined if I can do the mods I wanted. The crank guy said there was something wrong with the crank. It acted like there was a crack, it magnafluxed to show what looked like a crack, and the guy didn't think it would grind out enough to get beyond it. I found a new engine builder just 3 mile form my house so I got the crank back, took it to him and we sent it off the Mile High Cranks in Colorado. To back up a little, I was working through Paul Carter down in Tucson, the engine builder that built my 406 in the Catalina. They had just bought a portable configurable (on a stalk) microscope at Sema. So when we looked at the anomaly it actually looked like some piece of material, metal, was impregnated in the parent cast crank metal. I was planning to cut the rod journals to Big Block Chevy size and we thought it may cut past t his inclusion or what ever it was. Hence the reason for the cranks trip to Colorado. Mile high determined that whatever it is it will clean up going to the chevy rod bearing size, so we're off.
I was able to procure a full five cap set of billet machined caps originally from an aftermarket (IA-Indian Adventures) block that had broken. I can use splayed center caps right on the block (lager replacement dowels required) and possibly the front cap, IF, the placement of the front cap dowels (they are located in a different location on the IA block versus the factory blocks) do not present a danger of cracking out of the block because they are closer to the inside edge of the factory casting. The aftermarket block is much thicker there. If not, early '60's 4 cylinder block has a very beefy stock front cap and can probably take everything I throw at it. My '60 389 block that I built my 406 from in the Catalina was the same way, and with turbocharging versus a big blower running off of the front crank snout, we determined the original beefy cap will be fine.
So the crank is waiting for the new machinist to add the caps to the block (align and hone) so he can tell them the exact dimensions, with the new bearings, for the final cut on the crank. I bought new rods through the engine builder so they will also get those dimensions as well.
Next I have to determine what brand and what style of head (combustion design) I will be running so I can order pistons. Then I can get the short block machined and finished. If I can continue to work on (moneys available) I can move on to the cam and valve train and maybe get a completed long block done. At that point I need to make a decision on what kind of vehicle to put it in, make all the block to bellhousing adaptors, clutch or converter decisions, etc etc etc. But anyway. This is were I am at the moment. I've been leaning towards a Fiero. It's a Pontiac, it's light, it's mid engine, it would be a hoot to drive around. But it will be a lot of work adapting it the Fireo chassis and if the components you are limited to in a Fiero will take the abuse. All has to be determined. This is where a nice third gen Firebird looks really attractive. But I'm still leaning towards a C4 'Vette. They are attainable, easy to work on (normal transmission location) not too heavy and can be made lighter, look good, and would make the 'Vette purists poop their pants, LOL. OK, enough babbling.
Thanks everyone for all your good vibes for all the work on your own projects that I steal ideas from.

Markus O'Closertostartingious
 

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Hey Marcus! Thought about you this last weekend. Was at the World Of Speed museum and saw the 2cyl version (1/2 of 1/2 of a 389?) and it still put our 300hp! I think it was a small sprint car.

 
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