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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #301 ·
More than I was planning for.....

Today I just wanted to bend the new front brake lines, connect them to the MC, and attach them to the flex lines at the brackets on the body in the wheel wells. I'll be installing the OGTS big vented rotor kit and, so, I fetched the hoses. Dang it, the hoses won't fit into the holes in the brackets, they're 1/16" too big! None of my drill bits were big enough and the space needed to fit a drill didn't exist. Maybe I'll use a file? No, too awkward an angle. Oh well, I guess I'll have to drop the front suspension, I'm going to have to clean, paint, and rebuild it anyway, I just wasn't planning on doing all that stuff now. Out she came with no fuss. Now you can see my patched floor pan and the nasty weld job done 25 years ago to replace my belly pan with a used one. :)


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More than I was planning for.....

Today I just wanted to bend the new front brake lines, connect them to the MC, and attach them to the flex lines at the brackets on the body in the wheel wells. I'll be installing the OGTS big vented rotor kit and, so, I fetched the hoses. Dang it, the hoses won't fit into the holes in the brackets, they're 1/16" too big! None of my drill bits were big enough and the space needed to fit a drill didn't exist. Maybe I'll use a file? No, too awkward an angle. Oh well, I guess I'll have to drop the front suspension, I'm going to have to clean, paint, and rebuild it anyway, I just wasn't planning on doing all that stuff now. Out she came with no fuss. Now you can see my patched floor pan and the nasty weld job done 25 years ago to replace my belly pan with a used one. :)


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I wish I had your patience, my compliments, and it looks like your project is moving right along at a very steady pace.
I have a front end swap to do (my first time) along with the total R&R of the suspension, which I’ve done before. It looks like the fiber spacers are pretty well in tact, do you typically replace those?

The other parts I’m wondering about replacing are the shock tower bushings & Qty. 2 gasket front end to body ?

Do you typically replace all or some of the above? Any other suspension to body mounting part recommendations related directly to the removal & replacement that I left out?
 

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Well, at least they fit properly.....

I managed to find a used set of original OGTS aluminum louvers, to replace the home made steel louvers I had bought from someone cheap, that had inaccurate, excessively bent, bends and apparent attempts to unbend them. I had the new ones blasted and powdercoated. The yellow of the new louvers is actually the shade of yellow that my car should have been painted, instead of the lighter shade it is. Sheesh, no matter how hard I try I just can't get added parts to my cars painted in matching colors, even when I give them the color code AND the color mix amounts. My red GTX car has 4 different colors of red, my Red Baron car had 5-7 different shades of red in various places, now my latest yellow car has 2..........so far. Urgh! But, at least, the new set fits perfectly and that's what matters to me(Yeah, Gordo, keep saying that to yourself.) I suppose I could have taken them to the body shop to have them attempt to paint them the same color as they painted the car, but they disappointed me, so I'm done with them.

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Maaco has never been known for their ability to match paint.
 
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Well, at least they fit properly.....

I managed to find a used set of original OGTS aluminum louvers, to replace the home made steel louvers I had bought from someone cheap, that had inaccurate, excessively bent, bends and apparent attempts to unbend them. I had the new ones blasted and powdercoated. The yellow of the new louvers is actually the shade of yellow that my car should have been painted, instead of the lighter shade it is. Sheesh, no matter how hard I try I just can't get added parts to my cars painted in matching colors, even when I give them the color code AND the color mix amounts. My red GTX car has 4 different colors of red, my Red Baron car had 5-7 different shades of red in various places, now my latest yellow car has 2..........so far. Urgh! But, at least, the new set fits perfectly and that's what matters to me(Yeah, Gordo, keep saying that to yourself.) I suppose I could have taken them to the body shop to have them attempt to paint them the same color as they painted the car, but they disappointed me, so I'm done with them.

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Any reputable automotive paint supply store should have a camera scanner to color match paint. I’d take a piece of the light colored yellow to them and have them scan it with the camera, then after the give you the paint, spray the louvers to match the car. The potential issue with the current louvers different color is the powedercoat process may have changed the color due to the baking/curing process.

I’d do whatever to make it right, no sense spending all this time and money to have it not match, especially on a fresh build. But that’s just my opinion, which you probably don’t want.
Hope it helps,

Eric
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #305 ·
I'm told that yellow and other colors are translucent and are very much affected by how many coats are put on or how thick a single coat is. This car has a thin single coat.

It was totlly not my plan to go wild on another car or even do another car at all. There was no other car in the world I would have wanted to fix up except for an unfinished gullwing. I could have been offered a perfect GT that didn't need any work and I would have turned it down. But, I bit the keilbasa, bought a too F'd up car, and here I am $25,000 later with what I've got. I'm a year and a half into a frugal retirement and I've been spending like a drunken sailor on this project. Yeah,I took it to a Maaco.......not the high quality choice. I wanted to give the whole car to Keith Lundholm to do, but he's backed up for one to two years anf just doing the body would have cost 2-3 times what I've spent so far. I checked what few auto shops near me that would be willing to take on the project and the prices were astronomical. The chip shortage has all 200 of the body shops within 50 miles of my house to be busting at the seams with work. My GTX needs a repaint, one place quoted me $20,000 just to give it a repaint! Holy Schitt!

My plan is that this car would be my project and pleasure driving car and my GTX car would remain my show car. I know it seems like I'm making another show car, but in my mind I'm just having fun doing mods to this car to keep me busy, I'm actually trying NOT to spend big money and effort on this. I'm failing miserably on that front. :)
 

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FWIW, I wasn't judging you for going to Maaco. They do an OK job for the prices they charge. But their prices are low because they do volume work and volume work means fast work.
When mixing paint they maght skip a step or two that a higher end shop won't.
But a higher end shop would charge at least 5X what Maaco does.

So,, to paint a car, sure. To match paint on a car, don't expect much from them.
You can usually see a Maaco match from a mile away. Especially noticeable on silver and Grey cars.
 
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I am actually shocked you didn’t polish the aluminum louvers like chrome.
 

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Gordon, There was someone at the Nationals who had louvers that flipped up, allowing you to clean the rear window. I don't know who it was, but they are a member here. Hopefully they will see this post and share how they did it. It was a pretty nifty idea. It's looking good.(y)
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #311 ·
Front Suspension Fix Up and Modding Begins

While waiting for parts, I started the disassembly of the front suspension. I'll be installing the big vented rotor brake upgrade and that means that you "probably" should cut off the flange that sticks up around the hub face for caliper clearance. I did this once before on my other car with a sawzall and a file, this time around I did it with a sawzall and my bench top grinder as a makeshift lathe. WOW! It worked great!


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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
@#$%&! Muthafluffin' A-arm Cartridges!

Yesterday and today I spent a total of 7-8 hours trying to get the A-arm bushing CARTRIDGES out. Capital "CARTRIDGES" because most of you and myself have simply blow torched the rubber out of the outer metal sleeves of the cartridges and replaced them with polyurethane bushings. That's a PIA, but not nearly as much of a PIA as actually trying to deal with the outer sleeves. If you want to replace the bushings with the oem rubber-filled cartridges, you're in for a world of work. Basically, the lower A-arm cartridges are fairly easy to get out with a punch, but putting new ones in can be enormously hard, whereas, putting new cartridges into the upper A-arms is fairly easy, but getting them out is a muthafluffa.

The lower A-arm rubber and outer sleeves came out pretty easy, but the inner metal tubes were rusted to the cast iron black thing. I had to grind one side of them off with an angle grinder and then twist them off in a vice. Yeah, yeah, I tried rust dissolver and blow torching, none of that worked. The inner sleeves and rubber of the upper A-arms came out pretty easy, but there's almost no way to get the outer sleeves out. I tried every trick in the book and I've got a thick book of tricks. Finally, I did what I did on my other car and hack sawed the sleeves to form a slot and then was able to crush the sleeve and pull them out with ease. You just have to be careful not to cut into the round housing in the A-arm too much.

My left upper A-arm was bent and they're really hard to straighten, so I had OGTS send me another one. My right lower A-arm was also bent and I spent about an hour tweaking that and it should be okay now. Pics are of the slots I hack sawed into the upper A-arm outer sleeves.


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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #315 ·
Wheel Well Liners
When you put side skirts, Steinmetz flares, or a whole body kit on your car you end up with "extra wheel arches" or deep voids that catch mud, water, road kill, etc.. Even stock GT's have nooks and crannies, shelves, and alcoves that are just rust waiting to happen. On my other car with Steinmetz flares I had a whole bunch of that stuff to cover and hide. My Banana car not so much, but fairly typical of a side skirted and/or air dammed car.

I dropped my front suspension, disassembled it, and it's parts are now at the blaster/powdercoater, plus I'm waiting for parts, so I've got some time to kill. Now is the perfect time to install front wheel well liners. Just about all modern cars have plastic wheel well liners and they're a great idea that protects your car and makes a nice clean look. However, most are flat and don't arc inside-to-outside. Our cars need that, especially if you lower them. My Pontiac Solstice's hood incorporates the tops of the fenders and wheel arches, when you open the hood you see the wheel well liners, which are free standing and darn close to the right shape you'd want for a GT. They're bigger than our wheel wells, so there's plenty to work with. You need to do substantial trimming to line the areas you want to hide and to curve them to the smaller GT wheel wells. It took me about one hour, using the liners I installed on my other car as a guide, to do the passenger wheel well. I used an angle grinder with a cut off wheel to quickly and sloppily do some trimming and self-drilling screws with wide heads to hold them in place. I spray painted the entire inside of the wheel wells before I started. The body shop did a sloppy job on the inside of my wheel arches blending in the body kit, so the liners help to hide some of that. Having wheel well liners gives you great peace of mind knowing that your tires aren't throwing mud and dead squirrels into the dark recesses, even if you don't have body kit stuff on your car.


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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #316 ·
Mud flaps

Not crazy about the color mismatch and I might have them set too low. I can always remove or change their position later. I still have to dress them up a little with Opel emblems or decals. We'll see how they look when the car is built.

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #317 ·
I ditched the yellow mudflaps, they looked crappy.

I got my stuff back from the powdercoater today. Rack and vented rotor calipers are rattle canned with SS epoxy paint. Engine cradle and saddles have regular spray paint. All the rest is silver powdercoat. I can't really put much of it together until A-arm gussets arrive and I take them to a welder to be attached, along with the sway bar mounts, then I'll have to spray them with the SS epoxy paint where they were welded. If I put the gussets on before blasting, it would have been really hard for the powdercoater to blast and paint the inside of the A-arms, so I had to have them blasted and painted before the gussets get put on.


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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #318 ·
Front suspension update:
Well, I've been stuck in the mud waiting for parts these past 6 weeks. OGTS was out of A-arm gussets, but a guy in Germany had made some himself and offered me a set. For some reason he wouldn't send them to me himself, but WOULD send them to an address in Germany, if I could find someone, and they could send them to me. Sheesh! So, the Polish guy who is the source for the 2.4 engines keeps a Post Office box just over the border in Germany and he drives 45 minutes and picks stuff up there. He got them and put them in a big box of parts he was sending to Charles Goin. That was SIX WEEKS ago and we still don't know if it's even in the US yet. Sheesh! It's probably stuck in US Customs and could be released any day now. I was tired of waiting and called OGTS to see if they had gotten them in yet and Gil said that Keith Lundolm had made some and he was waiting for them to arrive. He told me to contact him. With luck they should come to me by the end of next week. The car is sitting on wood blocks with no front suspension or front brake lines installed and I don't feel comfortable starting the next big project on the list, Wiring, until it's sitting on it wheels. I want to wrap up all the under the car stuff before I dive into the wiring project. It will take another week or so after I get the gussets to get them welded on, painted, and the front suspension assembled and installed.


Engine Update:
I could have killed time during the past 6 weeks getting the last of all the parts gathered and the engine all put together and set up, but my engine, after over a year, wasn't ready. The engine is the one from my GTX car and is a 2.5L, which apparently didn't have it's head/block milled flat enough and was chronically leaking coolant into #1 and possibly #2 cylinders. That engine ran awesome for 2 years until a weird quirk with side drafts caused the single side draft carb to slip into "limp mode" because of the "sort of blowing head gasket". If I had a downdraft or FI, I may never have known about the coolant leak into the cylinder. It's not that easy to tell, externally, if you have a coolant leak into a cylinder. Only after removing the head was it revealed.

So, back to the machine shop it went and I installed the previously purchased 2.4 with Motronic FI in my GTX car. That engine took a while to get running correctly due to various and sundry issues, but it finally got going pretty good and I had a year of car shows, my first year of retirement, and the purchase of the gullwing GT, which is now this thread's car: The Flying Banana 2(Flying Banana #1 was my long time GT with the same body kit as this car). But, late last year, a valve cap lock ripped loose, the valve dropped and got bent, and a piston got damaged. That clusterfluff was documented here:


So, I replaced all the pistons.......with the proper rings.......in the car........returned the head to the machine shop, who had put the wrong size locks on the valves, and monkeyed up the previous pistons with cheap azz GM rings. In the meantime, the shop had finished rebuilding/milling the first GTX engine. So, I installed the head from the repaired 1st GTX engine on the 2nd GTX engine and I'm slowly breaking it in and building confidence in it. The head with the bent valve got repaired and it's been awaiting final assembly for quite some time now.

Well, it's finally being assembled and I'm told that it should be ready to go sometime next week. I ain't holding my breath, there's been delay after delay. But, once it's assembled, Charlie says he's going to deliver it to me. He's actively working on getting it together and this pic is my current progress report.:

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #319 ·
From a Facebook post:

Terminator X EFI Operating System

I just pulled the trigger and bought the EFI system above and at this link: Holley EFI 550-936 Holley EFI Terminator X Universal MPFI Kit

I had already bought a Microsquirt system for half the price, but that was actually an error and I had intended on buying a Megasquirt system. Someone on the .com site had STRONGLY suggested that I go with the Terminator X system and after reviewing what I saw I was convinced that it was the better option. The thread where the discussion started is here: Carb or EFI ? Solex or Weber ? OEM Jetronic - Motronic...

My initial goal with this EFI conversion on a 2.4 engine was to come up with a low cost system that benefitted from the advantages of a single side draft configuration(A straight path to the ports, low profile, and favorable possibilities for cold air intake and filtering). I really liked the single side draft system I used to have on the car, but I now have the oem Motronic system. It works pretty good, but it's huge, has a big clunky AFM, and the computer is dumb. I got my feet wet learning the basics of FI, which I knew nothing about prior to 2 years ago, so now I feel confident enough to try to configure a more modern system with a MAP sensor. Since I really liked the configuration and already had the angled Steinmetz manifold that made it's configuration so good, I wanted to see if I could make an FI system that used that manifold. I bought a twin throttle body for $100 that is the same size as the side draft and has a built in fuel rail and TPS. I can reuse the Motronic's 60-2 timing gear on the crankshaft for the CPS function. My idle air control system is a little weird, but is a known to work system. I should just need an operating system that can be configured to operate 2 injectors on a 4 cylinder engine. I wasn't sure that the Microsquirt could do that, but the Terminator X apparently can(see pic of the programming screens showing that I can select that).

I'm retired now and really have no desire to fool around with programming an FI system and monkeying around with different possibilities, like bigger cams, turbos, nitrous, or any of that stuff, I just want a smooth, reliable, running stock 2.4 engine in my GT that I don't have to fuckk around with. The $1300 purchase price for the operating system sort of pushed the price of this experiment past the "low cost" threshold, but not by too much. About $250 for the manifold and $100 for the throttle body, plus a few hundred for various widgets, so figure about $1500 or so for the complete set up.

I'll be wiring up my "Banana" car this Summer and maybe into Fall and then I'll start the FI install.

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter · #320 ·
Basically, I'm running the same set up as a 2-barrel Holley Sniper. Those use 2 injectors mounted BEFORE the throttle plates and the air/fuel mixture exits into the common plenum of the car's manifold. My system uses 2 injectors mounted AFTER the throttle plates, with only a very, very, small common plenum. So, I basically have to mimic the settings of a 2-barrel Holley Sniper.
 
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