While I was in there I cleaned up some old connections I was not happy with and got rid of more unneeded wires .Got my air to water intercooler installed and working again:
and the last big job I am doing before spring is hooking the water meth injection back up .
When I took the system apart , it was not working .I found a hole in the line that goes from the pump to the throttle body .This was caused by the pump being above the exhaust manifold .I have a vent there , but there was still too much heat .So I am relocating the pump to the front trunk .Most of the wiring is done ,I just need to plumb the pump and mount the controller on the bottom of the trunk lid near the throttle body (low heat area).And install my air filter , and bleed the front brakes .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 02-10-2016).]
Got the water meth system up and running .Took a couple of tries because I had a bad ground at the pump .The controller is mounted on the underside of the deck lid .Should be easy to get at and not get too hot:
The front trunk is a busy place , need to do a little clean up in there :
I have the car ready to bounce it around the backyard tomorrow to see if anything bad happens ....
It is going back below freezing tomorrow but not supposed to snow .First time with the trunk and front hood closed in over a year .
I was going to put it in the shed till spring after the test drive but I still need to weld some mounts for the rear vents so it has to go back in the garage again. I do not have a 220 volt outlet for the welder in the shed .I cant take it on the road as I have no insurance or up to date plates on it yet .
Short test drive around the back yard was a success .Car felt completely normal , no strange noises and nothing let go as far as I could tell .The brakes feel like they need more bleeding , bit of a spongy pedal .That is fine , kind of expected that .I made sure I hit some good bumps , the car had no problems with them .When I bleed the brakes I will have a good look and see if any thing has gone wonky back there . For a car with out a muffler , it is really quiet .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 02-22-2016).]
Put the car in the garage and bled the rear brakes again and now the pedal feels normal again and the brakes are working much better .I did quite a few laps of the backyard over the bumpiest parts I could find and it feels really solid .We have 1.2 acres so there is room to build up a bit of boost and I even did a power slide to see how controllable it would be .It is hard to tell on grass because the wheels dont bite in the best , but I did not notice any rear squat or front dive . I have the mounts set up for the placement of shims to add anti squat geometry but I have not done that yet .I have never had problems with squat or dive on this car ever since I did the ecotec swap .The car is low and fairly light so a minimum of anti dive and anti squat is all that is needed .I expect to do a bit of tuning once I get it on to pavement but that wont happen till spring .Some random picks of the work I did over the last year:
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 02-23-2016).]
While waiting for some drywall to be delivered , I made up and welded the brackets for the rear vents .I also got them painted .I had to hang out in the garage waiting for the truck to show to make sure he didnt just dump it in the driveway .So I had time to kill .
I found out recently that Grand Bend Motorplex added a road course last year .They have open lapping days every week .It is about an hour and a half to Grand Bend from here so I hope to get in about 4 days this year .It will be the perfect place to test and tune the new suspension .85.00 a session , sounds pretty reasonable to me .
As you can see in the last photo , my trunk area needed some sprucing up . Yesterday I removed all the screws and replaced them with pop rivets ,put in some more patches and did some caulking and then covered most of the trunk with Hushmat . I put a double layer over the turbo area .
I am going to try hacking up my OEM carpet to fit .Pretty sure I still have it here somewhere .
I got renewal stickers for my plates yesterday and put insurance back on. So I have been driving it a bit and everything seems really good .Very stable and nice and neutral .Drove it in the rain today and it stays really planted when I give it stink going around a left hand turn .Doing that before would result in a controllable fishtail as soon as the boost built up .I was a bit disappointed with my brakes when I first drove it around the block , but now that I have got some miles on it the pads are bedding in and it is starting to feel similar to my old setup .After a week or so driving like it is , I am going to set the ride height and the rear camber and then get an alignment .I need new rear tires but I am going to wait till I have everything right before I spend the money on them .
I am going to get a mount for my I phone and see if I can make a video .I have put 100 km on it so far and I am now playing with the shock settings to get the ride the way I like it . The stiffest settings on the rear shocks was not a good idea but I tried it any way .So harsh it was hurting my lower back .Right now I have both compression and rebound about 8 clicks up from the softest setting and it feels much better .And the car is nice and neutral and I have not noticed any rear squat .I really expected it to need a rear sway bar but so far it does not look necessary . One problem I have found has to do with the cavalier charcoal canister . With it wired in , it is causing the car to stumble badly .Unplug the cable at the cannister and the car runs fine .For some reason the way the fiero tank is plumbed seems to cause a vapour lock or fuel starvation once the test valve on the fuel tank gets closed by the ECM . Too bad , I wanted that to work because that is the only code that gets thrown . Guess I will have to program out that code and be done with it .
Right now I am happy with the suspension and ready to get it aligned .But the rest of the car has decided to crap out on me .I had an overheating problem that I thought was fixed by getting more fluid in the system but today it did it again .Sqeezing the hoses I can hear glugging noises so hopefully it just has more air in it . And according to a scan I just did , both of my O2 sensors are bad .One I knew might not be good because it is a universal unit but the other is the OEM unit . In Canada , O2 sensors are like gold .Over 250.00 for the pair .So a road trip to Port Huron MI might happen soon . But not in the fiero .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 03-20-2016).]
There was more air in the cooling system .Seems like it takes next to nothing to stop the flow .This time I took off the fitting that sits on top of the fluid outlet on the engine .It is the highest point in the system and sends coolant to the OEM cavalier overflow bottle .I used a small funnel and managed to get about a litre of demin water in there .Now the coolant is flowing to the rad and it is back to running at 90C .I idled the car for 15 minutes and no problems .
That would be great .I took the upstream one off and I found the problem : I managed to squash the metal that surrounds the wires into the wires , shorting them out .Probably happened when i took the old exhaust off .I am going to see if I can bend it away from the wires .Then check for a blown fuse .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 03-20-2016).]
I could not fix the O2 sensor that was damaged so for now I have a similar unt in that I had laying around .Seems to work but it is still throwing a code .I will use it till i get the one that Lunatic is sending me .I have a new OEM style downstream O2 sensor coming this afternoon .Scans say that one is doing nothing .Meanwhile I had to change out a T fitting on the coolant line to the turbo .Thats where my coolant has been disappearing from .And my dashboard lights have quit on me .That should be just a disconnected wire but I will have to take the instrument cluster apart to find it . Can't drive it right now anyway , our nice weather has left us and it is snowing again .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 03-31-2016).]
I put in the new downstream unit and now I am code free .I got the O2 sensor that member Lunatic sent me ( thanks Shayne ) but I am going to just keep it as a spare for now since the other one that I put in seems fine .So I have had some seat time and so far so good .I managed to leave the parking lights on and kill the battery . I charged it up yesterday then today it seemed to have lost its charge and would not start . Charged it for 4 hours and it did it again but I could hear all the fans running and I shoved down hard on the clutch and then it started right up .The stupid clutch safety switch is on its last legs .Tomorrow it will be getting the bypass treatment-cut , strip and wirenut together .
Solved a couple of problems today .As I mentioned earier , the car ran rough whenever I plugged in the wires to the purge canister .After I saw my 2 damaged O2 sensors , I had a suspicion that the shorted out O2 sensor wires were interfering with the operation of the evap valves .After fixing the O2 sensor problem , I still had the cannister disconnected and yesterday it threw the evap system fault code .So I cleared the code and plugged in the canister and it runs normally and no longer throws the code . The other problem was my boost controller was not working .Boost was hitting 16 psi and popping open the blow off valve .I found a leak in the tubing to the controller . I took the controller out of the circuit to be safe and because I need some of the right tubing . So now max boost is 8 psi and I am happy with that . Still trying to get it in for an allignment , my usual shop said Tuesday sometime .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 04-15-2016).]
Got the car aligned today .Runs much straighter now but while it was on the rack we discovered what was causing twitchyness in the front end .I knew something was sloppy because I could pull on the passenger front tire and get about 3/8" of movement on the passenger side .I thought it would be a tie rod end so I brought some new ones to the shop but it was upper arm bushings .Replaced them when I got home and no more twitch .I found the magic setting for a smooth ride - 2 above minimum compression setting and midway for rebound . But that setting for good cornering - forget it .The best setting i have found for blasting tight corners is + 12 compression and +9 rebound .Digs right and I can change direction in a heartbeat .But hurts the back on our bumpy roads .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 04-26-2016).]
Thanks Shayne drop around when you are up next , shoot me an email to make sure I will be home . I consider the work I have done a success for sure .Too bad it was an arm bushing that was the problem , now that I have that fixed the allignment is off a bit now .Pulls to the left slightly .Things I have figured out so far : There is no need to add more anti squat geometry to the upper arms .The car does not squat at all . The stock rear brakes are working really well now that they are nicely bedded in .And I really like having a working park brake . I think I want to try a 400 lb spring .I think that would give a better ride without having to use strange shock settings . Since I need another allignment any way , I am going to play around with the height of the upper A arm mounts just to see what works best . There is no end to the amount of tuning you can do to a setup like this .That is what I really like about it .
While fixing the upper arm bushings , I found the inner sleeves were 1/2" instead of 12 MM so I changed them out for the right size.
I have been tuning the suspension .I did not like how hard it felt , so I tried a 350 lb spring .It is only 7" long so I ran out of adjustment just to get it close to where I had the ride height . But the funny thing was , it made no difference at all in how the car rode .I realized I had the car too low and I was hitting the bump stops as I bounced over the bumps .I dont know why I set it up this way , that is not how I designed it .So I put the 450 lb springs back on and while I was at it raised up the inner pivot points of the upper arms .Even with the higher ride height , they had too much downward angle to centre .This causes huge variations in the instant centre and can lead to stability problems .Stability was not a problem , but I realized that was probably because the suspension was not moving up and down much .So I shimmed the arms and adjusted the camber with the eccentrics (of course throwing my allignment off some more ) This is what the arm mounts look like now:
Took it for a ride and it is now working the way I always hoped it would .Riding on rubber bump stops does not give a smooth ride it turns out . The ride is now still on the stiff side , but it is a ride I can live with on a long trip where before a 25 mile trip was about all you wanted to do .And I have not even tuned the shock settings yet .
Spent about 4 hours setting the camber on the rear now that I have the ride height where I want it .I found a spot in the garage where the floor is dead level and parked the rear wheels right there .With the change in ride height came unwanted positive camber of .5 on the left side and almost 1 on the right .After a lot of wheel off wheel on adjustments , I now have about -.4 degrees on both sides .Close enough to my target of .5 negative camber .Here is a view of the ride heights from the sides :
I am going to put about 500 km on it before I get it aligned this time to let the springs sag if they are going too .That way I can adjust the camber again myself if its needed .Alignments are much cheaper if they do not have to take your wheels off .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 05-16-2016).]
Had to put a new boost controller on .I put the old one back on thinking a leak in the referance line was causing it to let the boost go sky high .Apparently not , as I was merging with traffic the boost got high enough to cause the blow off valve to open and the ECM to cut the timing and go in to limp mode for about 3 seconds .Got to love modern electronics , saved my engine from any damage .This time I bought a Vibrant brand controller because a store in Mississauga had them in stock .In the instructions it said to keep it away from the exhaust heat area and that is where the old one was close to .Maybe that is why it failed . So I put this one on a stand off at the drivers side of the valve cover .Seems to work , with it in the lowest setting I get 10 PSI max boost .
Had to replace one of the axle seals at the transmission today .Priced a new one online on one of the CDN sites and they wanted 29.00 .We have a small autoparts store in downtown Kincardine(Spikes) and they got me one for 11.00 .plus tax .One of the nice things about my rear suspension is I can get the axle out of the tranny by just taking out 2 bolts and letting the spindle flop outwards .Nothing to realign after , just push the axle back in and bolt the spindle back on .
In the above pic you can see the socket I used to seat the new seal .
Today I got another allignment done now that I have the ride height and camber where I thought I wanted it .But when we got the car on the rack , the numbers I thought I had were not there .The left rear was only at - .4 degrees and the right was at - 1.1 degrees .I should have adjusted both sides but we managed to get the left to -.8 degrees so I called it close enough .I wanted about -.8 on both sides but it is close enough for this year anyway .The front left has slightly less negative camber than the right side as well but it is close enough because over the winter I am going to modify the rear upper arm mounts to make them stronger and get rid of the shims .And to get a bit more adjustability as far as camber is concerned .The car feels really good over our bumpy roads now and the only other thing I am going to try this year is a lighter (350 lb.) rear spring .I think it will make an improvement in the ride as the 450 lb springs really do not let the wheels move up and down a lot . The ride is not terrible but it rode a lot smoother with 350 lb springs .The reason I cant get the camber on the left rear where I want it:
I have simply run out of room .But if I make a new mount that rotates the arm mounting bar 90 degrees and is on the wheel side of the old mounting arms, I can get the arm where I want it and have slotted holes for up and down movement .Getting rid of the shims will mean a different way to fine tune camber .Since I have room between the ball joint and tires:
I can use 2 eccentric bolts on the stub adapters to adjust camber .I new starting out that the first try was not going to be the final design .For me , I always try something and then more ideas develop while fine tuning things .I am happy with the way it works , but now I can make it better .
I got some 10" X 350 lb springs and put them on today .I wanted 9" springs but Summitt was out of stock .My shocks are designed to use 9 or 10" springs but it is ackward to put on 10" springs because you have to compress the spring about 1/2" to get the keeper collar in place .A large ball joint pickle fork did the trick after fighting with a set of spring compressors for about 10 minutes .Not enough room between the shock body and the spring to get the spring compresors to work .Anyway , the 350 lb springs made a world of difference .Amazing how much better a suspension works when it can actually move up and down . I really thought the 450 lb spring would be a good fit , but it just did not let the suspension move enough .It is now smoother , quieter and still corners really well .So that is all I am going to do for this season , time to just drive the car and enjoy it .
Ever since I put the car back on the road I have been having problems with boost control . I thought I had it licked with the new boost controller , but the max boost started climbing again .I disconnected the boost controller and that seemed to drop it a bit but within about 20 miles of driving , it was going north of 10 PSI .That level is not too bad but it was causing timing reduction and the car would not develop any power above 6000 RPM in 3rd gear .I thought maybe it was high intake temps because of where my air fiter was so I did this:
Went for a short ride and did not seem to make a difference except the boost jumped up to 12 PSI .So I figured the culprit had to be my waste gate actuator .I crawled under the car and hooked a tube directly to the air signal tube and put 10 PSI from my air compressor in to the tube and all i got was a small opening of the waste gate and a lot of hissing .Took the actuator off and found a corosion hole right in the metal body .What was happening was the hole was getting bigger all the time .I adapted the actuator from my old turbo and hooked everything back together and with the controller set to 0 I have a 6 PSI max .I hooked up the laptop and went for a drive and everything was good but I was getting 6 degrees of KR . I remembered that I had turned the water meth injection way down thinking the problem was too much spray .Set the controller to 4 to 10 PSI range and my KR dropped to 0 .Shows how effective water meth is on a turbo car .
I drove the car down to the SVRA races last thursday and then back on sunday .I 69 between Pt Huron and Lansing MI was a real torture test for the new rear suspension .There is a long stretch that can be best described as shallow moguls .Huge up and down mvement as you hit the little crests in the concrete .Everything held up really well but it did expose some deflection movement of the rear wheels .When I hit a big bump doing highway speeds , it causes the load to be transferred to the rear control arm bushing that then compresses and causes the deflection .The deflection does not cause any loss of control , just a bit of squirming that you can feel .So I need to figure out how to eliminate the deflection .I could modify the lower controlarms to use rod ends but that is a lot of work and I do not want the extra noise .I realized then that it will be easy to make a new link to go from the spindle bracket directly to the frame .This arm will have a rod end at each end and a swedged tube similar to the existing link .The inner mount will go here:
Using a rod end similar to this:
The other thing I have to do is redo my turbo tuning .The wastegate I now have on was supposed to give a max of 6 psi but it is putting out 10 PSI .It is controlling at that level unlike the old wastegate with the hole in it .The new exhaust and intake is causing a lot higher flow of air and now in third gear at RPM above 6000 with the throttle wide open , the power drops off rapidly.Do the same thing with 3/4 throttle and power is strong right up to 7K .So I cant push enough fuel to use full throttle in third gear .I have some 42 lb injectors to put on and some work with HP tuning should fix this problem .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 06-22-2016).]
Got my new swedged tubes and rod ends from speedway motors today .I decided to try it on the drivers side and so far so good .
It is a bit of a hack job at the moment but I will clean everything up and weld in a vertical brace next winter .It really will be just for looks , that area is really strong even hacked up like it is .Took it for a ride and you can feel how planted the drivers side is compared to the passenger side .You can feel the back end squirm when the right rear tire hits a big bump but nothing when the drivers side hits a large bump .This was so easy to do , I wish I had thought of it in the first place . It took less than an hour to do the drivers side .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 06-28-2016).]
I was looking at the way the coilover angle was and I thought that was an area that could be greatly improved . Member Lunatic suggested a more upright position for the coilover and while I agreed with him at the time I did not think it would be worth the work .After modifying the tie rods , I decided to go ahead and move the upper mounts .The old angle caused a lack of freedom of movement .If I tried to bounce the car by pushing down on it ,about a half inch of movement was all I could get .With the new perchs I can bounce it up and down and see the coilover moving while I do it. To get the same ride height I also backed off the spring preload by over an inch .While I was doing the changes I noticed that the ball joint was binding against the shock body on the passenger side .Probably why the passenger side was never as smooth .A little clearencing of the ball joint hosing solved that problem .So here is what it looks like now:
And I figured out that my fueling problems are being caused by the fuel pump .Again .It is starting to do the odd stumble like it did the last time it failed .Did a little research and I found this pump :
Supposedly about double the flow that I need and the right pressure .Very similar in size to the old pump so I am going to try to put it into the OEM housing that I kept when the first pump failed .And this time I will finally get my fuel guage to work properly .I hate dropping the tank .
Thanks for the part number of the axle seal a while back. I'm going to need to get some soon. I see that you bought some swedge tubes and rod ends. I offered you some for free the last time you were here. Once you get it dialed in and the fuel pump replaced, I'll try to make a special trip out there. I'd like to check out all the progress and new parts in person. Gotta run, I have some tubing to cut this afternoon.
PS-We all hate dropping the fuel tank.
[This message has been edited by Lunatic (edited 07-06-2016).]
So it has been a lot of drive and change in my quest to make the suspension work and feel like it came with the car .Moving the coilovers vertical made a huge improvement .But on larger bumps the car felt like it was bouncing over the bump instead of absorbing it for lack of a better term .And it really was not responding to changes in the shock settings .I drove the back of the car up on ramps and I crawled underneath and looked it all over with my flex handle mirror .I found marks where the ball joint housing was getting jammed against the strut adapters .I took the adapters off and ground off about 1/8" off the coilover mounting arms down near the ball joint mount .
I also took a little off the ball joint mount housing as it was still tagging the coilover:
This slight mod made all the difference . I now can drive and not even think about what is going on with the suspension .It is smooth and handles all the bumps now .And I can set the shocks and feel the changes .Right now , I am at setting 9 for both compresion and rebound at all 4 corners and it feels really good .Anything above 5 was brutal before .This was the breakthrough I have been looking for .The next step will be to make nicer upper arm mounts .I am going to use the old coilover mounts for a bolt in brace to go to the new arm mounts .Then I might even paint everything .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 07-25-2016).]