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Thread: Cuda's Cars, v2.0

  1. #91
    The manual from 1991 just says "Dexron". But I want to use Redline PS fluid since A) it's compatible with that specification and B) it's likely to do a better job of not sucking when worked hard.

    Can't I just cover the bottom of the pump in JB Weld?

    Naturally the car calls for 1 1/8 qt. Gonna have to buy two!

  2. #92
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    2 quarts is no big deal. Especially when a leak is involved.

  3. #93
    My mom's car is doing something a bit funny now...

    '95 Camry V6. 1MZ-FE. 122k miles. Owned since new, no real problems.

    It's running rough and kind of stumbly on start-up, at lower than normal idle, almost like it's down a cylinder. It lasts 10 seconds or so before running normally again. BUT it only does this after the engine's been warmed up and the car sits for a bit. Start it right up after turning it off and it won't do it. Let it sit long enough that it cools down and it won't do it.

    My thoughts lean towards something fuel or hot-start related but I can't work through what it might be. If it was a leaky injector or something it would have even more trouble after sitting overnight, I'd think.

  4. #94
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Man, I don't know crap about those motors, but it definitely sounds like a heat soak issue. I'd probably look at the ignition system first, them move on to the fuel system. Something like a coolant temperature sensor or an unhappy fuel pressure regulator could generate that type of activity. Sounds like it's under-ignited or over-rich when at its hottest.

  5. #95
    Heat soak sounds plausible. Why didn't I think of that? I'll mention it. Most likely the dealer will investigate and fix it but it helps to have the problem be repeatable.


    The blue Z now has moar low. Details soon.


  6. #96
    I'm trying to get the car ready for its debut autox this weekend... it requires a catch can, which requires that the stock battery be removed to make room. Good thing I have a tiny battery. Bad thing it will be a b*tch to secure and the OEM negative terminal is way short, and doesn't fit the post. Nothing is ever straightforward with this car.

    This might kinda sorta work in a pinch...

    The neg terminal needs to be a couple inches longer. The shortest extension I can find is 12"! So I mocked this up using a second terminal oddly attached to the original. The surfaces on the old terminal that squeeze the base of this shiny new terminal aren't completely flat (third picture), so who knows how good the connection is there, and the new terminal turns into an oval when I tighten it enough to make contact with the post (so it only grabs on two sides, instead of all the way around). The original terminal won't even tighten that much. The pos and neg posts that came with my Shorai are about 2mm different in diameter, both tapered. The positive fits fine in the positive terminal. Neither the positive or negative post fits in either negative terminal I have (the positive post is too large). I would think these would be standard sizes (SAE??).

    Weird stuff. I know from doing the install on T's car that Odyssey automotive terminals fit the Shorai. I might make the trip all the way across town tomorrow to Batteries Plus to see what they've got. The Miata just got a fat screw in the tire today, and it's leaking air, so my runabout parts-getter is down too.

    Securing the battery will also be a challenge. At least I think I know where the catch cans will sit. Not the most ideal place for hose layout but I can at least secure the cans this way.

  7. #97
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    The battery looks like about the same dimensions as the Braille in the Falcon. This is how I secured it:

    It's a piece of rectangular tube aluminum. I cut out a notch in the underside to give the battery lateral support, leaving enough of the vertical wall (like 1/8") to reinforce the bridge across the battery. I used parts of an Autozone battery hold down kit to secure it to the Falcon's tray. I was able to use one end of the tray's existing hold down hole, so the only modification to the tray was a 3/8" hole drilled in the middle for the other side. It would have been easier to use a hole saw and make a 1" hole, but I didn't want that much "damage." End result is that the hold down has to be inserted at an angle and then tilted up. Not a big deal.

    I know you know this, but that battery ground situation is hella jenky. I'm sure it'll be fine for a little while, but I would address that sooner rather than later. You can buy battery cable eyelets at Napa (maybe other places, but I don't think Autozone), and I think a few places rent low-end battery terminal crimpers. You could buy that 12" bit, cut the end off, and recrimp it to a new length. Alternatively, sometime this month I am going to buy a real battery crimper (like a $250 Quickcable crimper). If you tell me what you need and don't mind paying for the supplies (I'm guessing $4-$8 ) I'm happy to knock out a custom battery cable for you.

    Edit: I have 10' of that tube aluminum. If you want to go that route, I'm happy to cut one for you. I will never use 10' of giant rectangle tube aluminum. Too late to help you for this weekend, though.

  8. #98
    I do have one of those 2-piece plastic adjustable battery hold downs. It should work. I don't mind drilling an extra hole in the battery tray for the second post. It'll be a lot skinnier in spacing than the stock battery.

    I agree the ground setup I mocked up is pretty hokey. Nissan didn't allow much freedom with the chassis ground right there up high by the battery. I suppose I could move it down but I don't know what's behind the sheetmetal there...

    I also have L-brackets that came with the battery. I could probably use one for the positive side. Problem is my negative terminal is crimped on to the very old-looking bare wire, which I'd like to not damage. I can't simply unbolt the terminal from an eyelet, because there isn't one. Hmmm.

  9. #99
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    It looks like the weird crimpy thing on the fender is just bolted there... is it not?

  10. #100
    Time for an update of last week's adventures.

    All packed up and ready to drive 2.5 hours to my friends' property, where a lift and many manly tools were waiting (along with a couple of great engineering minds).

    Getting started. Exhaust removed, driveshaft disconnected...

    The rear u-joint has a little bit of play. I hear these driveshafts aren't serviceable, IIRC. I'd love one of the lightweight 1-piece driveshafts, but they aren't legal in STX.

    Hovercraft Mode: ON

    The rafters are low enough you can't raise the car to the point where you can stand under it. One has to bend over to walk under the car. Or use the stool. This was my hell for 5 days. Ow my back!

    Subframe assembly out!

    Quite some time later...

    Parts and tools strewn about. Ken looking war-worn from the Battle of the Bushings.

    Not even a press could pull the new bushings in straight. They'd wiggle sideways. We resorted to using all-thread, many washers, sockets of various sizes, nuts, ratchets, lots of sticky icky grease, and giant pliers to get the job done. It wasn't pretty - and we broke some tools/hardware. I probably will never do bushings again. So I guess I'd better keep this car a while to enjoy them right?

    Some of the old bushings came out using this method. Some did not. For those, a hole saw was used to cut through the rubber, and then the rest of the rubber was burned off. Another tricky thing was some of the bushings had outer sleeves we needed to re-use. The subframe bushings had two outer sleeves - and we had to destroy the inner one while keeping the outer one pristine. Oy.

    Die bushing die!

    Diff swap! Old VLSD on the far left.

    The little blue specks are leftover remnants of paint from checking backlash.

    Stinky icky fluid!

    I took this opportunity to disassemble the KW coilovers and see if I could add any extra bump travel in the hopes of improving the ride quality on the street. I measured how far the shock could compress before bottoming internally, measured springs to determine when I'd hit coil bind, and cut bump stops appropriately with a margin for the forces of harsh impacts. Cool thing: the rear shocks compress fully without bottoming out. I was able to cut approximately 1" of bump stop for the rears. The fronts did bottom out at a point, so I only took 0.5" of bump stop out.

    Completed (and greasy) subframe ready to go back in!

    I drove 15 minutes to a shop where another friend worked, to get an alignment. It was a bit... lively. I had about an inch of toe-out up front! That's what happens when you replace one steering rack boot and don't take the extra time to eyeball the toe when you put the tie rod back on. I didn't want to keep him waiting.

    Sitting in the car for the alignment. I ended up choosing, without putting a ton of thought into it:

    Front: -3.1 degrees camber, 1/16" total toe out
    Rear: -2.4 degrees camber, 1/8" total toe in

    So the car now has all new bushings (at least 20 off the top of my head), a Kaaz 1.5-way "SuperQ" clutch LSD, KW Clubsports slightly revised, adjustable upper arms front and rear, Stillen hollow front sway bar, and a proper alignment. On a damp/dirty uphill driveway the diff felt quite locked. I had Kaaz build it at 60% lock (a couple plates de-activated on each side) to hopefully avoid drift-car behavior of a locked diff, which is how they ship from JDM-land. It also chatters sometimes, mainly around sharp turns at parking lot speeds. The SuperQ is not supposed to need break-in, and isn't supposed to chatter. Hmmm.

    On the long drive back home the cut bump stops did seem to improve the ride, maybe about 10-15%. I was hoping for more. But at least now I know the stiff, bouncy ride on the street is down to either spring or damping rates. I'd like to figure out which it is, if it can be primarily traced to one source, since this is intended to be a DD. On a decent road it's fine, but anything on the rough side (ie, almost all of LA freeways) really jostles me around. I'd love to play with high speed bump - unfortunately it's fixed, these being the 2-way adjustable Clubsports, not the 3-ways.

    I started hearing a light clunk about halfway home. I couldn't feel it through the steering, but I decided to stop and check it out. A guy stopped right after me (in a parking lot) and talked to me about the car for a bit. Anyway, I couldn't get my hands on much of anything with the low ride height and big fat wheel/tire on there, even with the steering at full lock. I surmised it was a loose endlink, as I've had that in the MR2 and this sounded a lot like that. The clunk went away on smooth roads too. But it was really noticeable in some low speed bumps so I was pretty sure it wasn't the semi-loose fender liner whipping into the fender at speed. Hmmm.

    The next day I put the front end in the air, both tires removed, and nut-and-bolted everything up there. I found the passenger side adjustable upper arm had finger loose lock nuts, and the chassis mount bracket for that arm could have been made more snug on the bottom. I also broke out a bag of fender liner clips and secured them good. Hopefully the clunk is gone. I haven't driven the car again since doing this.

    No pictures but we did drill a hole in the rear interior panels to access the rebound adjustment on the rear dampers. Rubber plugs fit nicely to keep noise down a bit. But they're orange, not black... would like to find some black ones eventually.

    Most of my bushings were intact, but a couple of diff mount bushings were torn almost all the way through. The car is now easier to start off from a light while being smooth. Excellent. I've been working a lot with shift feel off and on for a while, too, and it's pretty good now. Went back to the stock shifter (had a short-shifter in there for a while) with fresh nylon bushings, changed shift knobs again. I missed the weighted feel of the stock knob, and I like leather too. That combination in a Nissan thread pitch isn't easy to find. My Duracon knob was kind of tall so I had to reach around it to operate some stereo controls. And the boot never sat flush with the base of the knob. I heard of a Mitsubishi knob (from a Lancer or Galant I think?) that fit Nissans and was weighted and comfortable. They used to be cheap. Mitsu caught on to this, because they're now $120+. Ridiculous. I happened to check eBay and found one, just one, for $40. Jumped on it.

    Both knobs are about the same height. The Mitsu knob threads deeper onto the shifter, so it actually sits lower. And meets the boot. Now my OCD can relax.

    A little over-shiny, I know. I had *just* put leather conditioner on.

    Edit - forgot "after" pictures!

    The extra camber (compared to -2.0 all around on my red car) makes for less flushness of the wheels and tires. Minor bummer. But this car is for fast, not for furious. I do have 5mm spacers I might put up front. It's wide enough in the back already (gotta be able to sneak between the cones!).

    Yessir, some roof trim, mud flaps, silver wheels, black lugnuts, a good detail, maybe some window tint, and this car will be pretty nice. Nicer than my MR2T if I'm not careful! When I bought this car I didn't have intentions of making it this much of a restoration project.
    Last edited by CudaMan; March 6th, 2014 at 09:33 PM.

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