Archive for the ‘Engine’ Category

Oil Catch Can II

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

I didn’t include all of the details behind he reasoning of the catch can in my last post.  The car has a bad hesitation when you really get on the gas.  After pulling the spark plugs I noticed significant oil on the plugs and on the pistons.  This had me concerned  about rings not seating, rings installed improperly, etc. Or, perhaps sucking liquid oil through the PCV hose.

The valley pan I have is an aftermarket aluminum piece from Butler Performance.  The valley pan has a baffled piece of aluminum tubing for the PCV.   I bought a few things to try and troubleshoot the problem. I bought the catch can to see just how much oil was getting sucked into the intake system.  The video below shows the oil collected after only about 20 miles. It may have been about a shot glass full.  Needless to say it was significant.  As a precaution I bought a leak down tester to try and rule out the rings.  The numbers looked good with only around 5% leakdown.  Next I plugged the old PCV setup installed a set of Earl’s Performance valve cover breathers with a PCV valve built in to rule out oil being sucked through the valley pan.  Turns out this was the problem.  After the same 20 miles trip I showed no oil in the catch can this time.  A change out of the fouled spark plugs and I should be back in business.

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Oil Catch Can

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Decided to try out a Mishimoto oil catch can.  This device is utilizes a bronze sintered vent in line of the PCV system to collect oil vapor which condenses to liquid as it passes through the vent.  The bottom of the canister unscrews to dump the collected oil.  A machined aluminum bracket that I made locates the piece nicely on the cylinder head.  A nylon insulator will be machined to sandwich between the bracket and cylinder head to shield the parts from heat.  Nylon is a decent insulator having roughly one thousandth of the thermal conductivity of aluminum and is stable up to around 400F.

The part comes with plastic NPT fittings with 3/8″ barbs.  These fittings were replaced with Aeroquip AN fittings.  Aeroquip pushlock hoses will connect the system.


Alternator Pulley

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

The alternator belt I had never sat in the pulley groove correctly which caused the belt to squeal.  I suspect when I bought the alternator I picked one for the wrong year which didn’t match the hodge-podge of other components.  I found a machined aluminum pulley by a company called CVF racing.  Their prices are great but they don’t include anodizing or powdercoat that some of the other more expensive companies offer.  Quality is excellent so I plan to switch the other pulleys over in time and will probably have them black anodized at a local shop.  The old pulley came off with the removal of the nut and new piece slid right into place.  Ultimately this will all be replaced with a serpentine setup but I have bigger fish to fry at the moment.


Air Cleaner

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

A relatively stock height engine setup was retained in order to avoid fitment issues with the shaker since I was unwilling to fasten the shaker to the hood as some have done.  This stock style setup included a Tomahawk intake, quadrajet (built by Sean Murphy Induction), and the original 301 shaker.  With all of this there were still clearance problems.  To correct the problem I used a metal shaker base from a ’77 Trans Am and drop air cleaner from Pro-touring F-body.  I went with the EP-401 while using a 1″ air cleaner spacer.  This air cleaner setup looks to be terribly restrictive but it seems to be a fair compromise at the moment.


The faux air inlets of the shaker were cut out to make it functional.  Some honeycomb mesh epoxied in the shaker matches the fender vents.  The drop base shown below is actually the EP-402 which I also tried.  This one however had too much drop and would require a modification of the fuel line to the quadrajet.  If  Pro-touring F-body had setup the EP-402 base for a 2″ filter instead of the supplied 3″ this would be the perfect setup in my opinion.


If I had known earlier that modification would be required for the air cleaner I would have chosen an Edelbrock Performer dual plane intake instead of the Tomahawk.


Pypes 2.5″ Crossflow Exhaust

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

The Pypes 2.5″ Crossflow system was installed on the Trans Am today.  This is an interesting setup since it closely replicates the factory system but is improved in every imaginable way.  Even though the system has one muffler, there are two completely separate chambers.  Basically two individual mufflers in one casing.  This is a huge upgrade from the factory muffler since it had only one exhaust line in and then split into two.  The ground clearance of the kit is absolutely amazing since the single muffler tucks nicely between the rear axle and gas tank.  The “X” pipe design allows the exhaust to virtually hide in the drive shaft tunnel.  The overall fitment of the kit was excellent with only a couple of minor issues.  One is the the brake hose on the rear axle just about touches the exhaust pipe and will have to be relocated.  The second is that few inches of pipe will have to be cut off in order to install the factory style Trans Am splitters.  A separately purchased Pypes adapter was required for proper alignment of the splitter.