Archive for the ‘Engine’ Category

Clutch Pedal Linkages

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Today the clutch pedal linkages were installed and distributor gear replaced.  The linkages and pedals installed nicely except for the clutch pedal return spring.  This spring is supposed to hook into the clutch fork and then connect to the frame rail.  The coil length is rather long and ended up hitting one of the header tubes.  A spring with a shorter coil length was purchased from Auto Zone to correct the problem.  Lastly, the iron distributor gear was replaced with a polymer gear purchased from Butler Performance.  The polymer gear is supposed to last much longer than the bronze distributor gears usually required for roller cams.

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Doug’s Header Installation

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Doug’s D570 Headers were purchased from Summit to go on the Trans Am.  They were more expensive than most other brands but I’ve heard many horror stories about the fitment and modification required of cheaper headers.  Most unanimously agree that Doug’s fit best.  The installation wasn’t bad and it appears at the moment that only a slight modification will be needed to a bolt on subframe brace.  The passenger side header just barely contacts this brace and won’t allow the header flange to contact the head correctly.  The headers are for a ’73 Trans Am Pontiac 400 which is what I have only installed in an ’81.  I put a thin layer of Ultra Copper Sensor Safe High Temp Silicon sealant on both sides of the gasket as the instructions specify.  The headers come with gaskets and hardware but do not come with the sealant.

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IMI Hi-Torque Starter Setup Part I

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

I decided to go with a high torque mini starter primarily due to it’s compact size.  Since I’m not running high compression (about 9.5:1) starting even with a factory starter wouldn’t really be a problem.  The difference in size between the mini and stock starters is simply amazing.  Since I’m running headers, I figured I’d need as much clearance as I could get.  The aluminum body aides in heat dissipation better than the stock.

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Custom QuickTime Bellhousing Pocket Covers

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

My only complaint about the Quik Time bellhousing is the openings on both sides.  In my opinion, this leaves the clutch and throw-out bearing susceptible to road dirt and debris.  Perhaps this would be fine for a race car but the Trans Am will certainly be a street car.  The opening on the starter side has proved extremely helpful when setting up the high torque starter.  This opening allows the backlash to be set without removing the bellhousing.   I contacted Quick Time about this issue and spoke with Ross Mccombs, the CEO.  Ross claimed that the openings would be fine even for a street car as they would allow clutch dust and heat to escape.  I however feel more comfortable keeping the bellhousing closed.  The stock bellhousings were sealed and have worked fine on thousands of cars for many years.  My guess is that they’ve received complaints about this as Ross informed me that they will now be welding pocket covers on all bellhousings .  He offered to replace my bellhousing with one that has been welded up.  I thought this was a great gesture but didn’t want lose the opening for the starter in case it ever needed to be replaced.  I also didn’t want to replace the bellhousing since it had already been dialed in.   He then offered to send the covers at no charge.  I decided to modify the covers with flanges on each side so that they could be unbolted if needed.   The fitment of the covers was horrible.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t going to weld them to the bellhousing.  I probably couldn’t have if I wanted to since there were gaps on each side almost 0.25″ wide.  At least it was a good starting point.  I can’t really complain though since they were free.  As the saying goes, never look a gift horse in the mouth.

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Offset Dowel Pins

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The standard dowel pins had to be removed from the Trans Am’s block.  As you can see in the first picture below, there’s not much engagement for the QuickTime bellhousing after the backing plate is installed.  The new Lakewood offset dowel pins were quite a bit longer which solved this problem.  First attempt at removing the stock dowel pins with vice grips was unsuccessful.  The bellhousing backing plate was too thick to get a good grip on the dowels pins.  Finally the dowel pins were drilled and tapped in order to use a slide hammer for removal.  The pins were case hardened so a few thousands had to be ground from the surface with an air grinder for the drill bit to start.  Some old spare nuts and collars were welded to to a socket head screw in order to use the slide hammer.  The Lakewood dowel pins were easy to install.  The extra money spent proved to be well worth it.  The flats on the pins were undoubtedly easier to adjust than a slot for a screwdriver on cheaper offset pins.  I still think I could have dialed the bellhousing in more accurately.  With frustration setting in after a few hours, I finally had to settle on .004″ offset which is just under the .005″ spec.  After the bellhousing was dialed in, the dowel pins were locked in to place with a socket head screw running through the center.  The bellhousing was removed again for clutch installation.  The clutch, pressure plate, and bellhousings were then put back in place for final assembly.

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