I am for now, but I'll be upgrading the wheels in the future. If I went with that paint scheme I would indeed get black wheels and put rim stripes on them (and blue centers as well, at least a blue Fiero logo), but until then the VW wheels will stay as is. The 'vette actually has the whole dish of the wheels painted, but I wouldn't have dished wheels so the (reflective) rim stripes would have to do. I think it would look good nonetheless. There is a company out there (I forget which, have to search) that makes many sizes, colors, and shades of rimstripes, I would get a set that matches up well.
I'm still waiting for Dave to recover (from more than one thing), but to post something anyway:
Jetstream Blue =
It's a hard core color to pull off, but you might get away with in on a notchback. I've seen this combination on the LamboPower forum where one of the Mucielargo (in blue-but I don't know the name of the paint color) used 19/20 wheels with black centers and matching outer lip. Like the Corvette the Murcielargo is awfully long. I've never seen the combo on a shorter car.
Originally posted by doublec4: I like the colour combo. I don't think the length of the vehicle has any bearing on the body colour/matching lip combination. I did it with my Fiero and I get compliments all of the time.
And your car is what pops into my head when I think of that paint scheme. I really like the stance and paint scheme of your car, though I wouldn't go with black GFX.
I've been working like a dog and making good progress. My website has been updated on the projects page to include the text portion of this swap...pics to be added this week. As for the car, I'll post up more details within the next day or two. Steven, I'll email you tomorrow. Dave
Thanks mptighe, the anticipation is definitely eating me alive.
What is this "done" you speak of? I just keep adding to the list of things I have to do to it! If it ever gets "done", I don't think it'll be the same car!
The low mount alternator bracket has finally been finished to Dave's liking and it's working great from what I understand.
While the first chip I had in the ECU wouldn't let it take any throttle without dying, the second chip I included lets it rev up. The first was my stab in the dark for what should work for the setup, it's based an already modified TGP .bin for a manual tranny. Obviously no dice, so Dave installed the second which is a bone stock TGP code other than disabled EGR. The car should theoretically run and drive with this, but the fueling will be rich down low and lean up top because it has a heads/intake/cam swap (original cam, but higher ratio rockers so more lift). It'll also try to stumble and stall when pulling to a stop because it's expecting a torque converter to be in the loop. There was/is also a lifter tick according to Dave because the new lifters haven't fully primed yet. Hopefully that disappears quietly into the night.
Soon I can go plug in my nifty electronic toys and have peek into the car's brain so I can reprogram it. Good stuff.
[This message has been edited by ALLTRBO (edited 03-21-2011).]
Here are a few pics of where we stand on 3/31/11. I sent an email to Steven filling him in on the ups and downs.
After spending close to three months fabricating a low mount alternator bracket, I had to take over the design part of the build and beat some sense into myself. The circle is not going to fit where the rectangle goes. There just wasn't enough room to mount the alternator low. The custom exhaust logs were in the way up top....and I didn't want to mount the alternator too close to them because the heat would shorten the alternator's life span. Down below, the axle was our interference. If Steven lowered the car in the future and launched the car, the axle would have taken the alternator off the car. The timing cover left us few options to mount the bracket to as well. I just wasn't going to work without causing some kind of issue....belt rubbing, alternator interference, heat, etc. So, we took it up top the stock location. I powdercoated and modified the stock bracket to work. I used a 2001 Alero alternator, a 2000 VW 1.9 timing belt roller and a custom idler pulley to route the belt under the throttle body which is now (has been for a while) on the belt side of the engine. We had to relocate the dogbone as well. Here are a few pics and I'm sure Steven will fill in the details after he reads my email. Dave
Do you have any high resoluton pics of the throttle neck modifications and welds for rotating the upper intake? I've been thinking about possibly modding the upper intake when I get around to doing my HFV6 swap, in a similar fashion. Would like to see more detail on the work done there. Might just send mine up to the Haus to have the mods done when I get around to that swap.
Do you have any high resoluton pics of the throttle neck modifications and welds for rotating the upper intake? I've been thinking about possibly modding the upper intake when I get around to doing my HFV6 swap, in a similar fashion. Would like to see more detail on the work done there. Might just send mine up to the Haus to have the mods done when I get around to that swap.
We don't mind doing the custom welding of parts, but from here on we will be sticking to 3800 swaps only and possibly TDI swaps once our test car is complete. Dave
Originally posted by bmwguru: We don't mind doing the custom welding of parts, but from here on we will be sticking to 3800 swaps only and possibly TDI swaps once our test car is complete. Dave
That's fine with me. I will be doing the actual swap myself. The intake is something I want to look like it rolled off the line, though, as it will be one of the most visible pieces on the car; and my welding skills may not be up to par with that yet. So I'd like to see some more detail on the welding of the throttle neck here, to see how good it really is, because it looks pretty good in the current pics. And if I decide to go that route with the intake, and you'd still be interested in doing it, when I get to that point, I might just send the intake up with some drawings of what I'd want, and have you do the cutting/welding, and powdercoat it for me. Thanks!
I'll keep this short for now, there are a lot more details but I've got a lot to take care of at the moment (It's been one helluva month).
What Dave originally thought was a lifter tick is apparently a valve tap, and he thinks the cause is a worn cam. I'm going to deal with it here whether it's a relatively easy fix or the whole shortblock needs replaced, I'm going to build one anyway. I really wanted to drive it home (since two years ago) but stuff happens. Other than that he says the engine runs a lot better now, my tune was fine (enough), the problem was a bad TPS. The tranny won't shift into first at all anymore, even at the linkage. It shifted through all the gears fine when it was here (at the linkage), so I don't know what happened.
At least this time it will move off of the trailer and stop under its own power. Bittersweet homecoming, but the project as a whole isn't even close to being done yet so it's not the end of the world. I have a lot of great things planned and in the works for the car, most of which I haven't mentioned yet. First priority is to get it running properly.
I'll cut anyone on here a great deal on one or both of my AWD turbo Talons, I still have them and I need the room. The Fiero will get all of the attention now. '96 TSi AWD, 11-second car on race gas and handles amazingly, tons of mods. Needs lots and lots of TLC. Great car to strip and turn into a racecar. '98 TSi AWD, nearly bone stock and in quite nice condition, but needs an engine because it has a rod knock. Beautiful car. I have a 30k mile 2.4l to upgrade to that I'll throw in if wanted. Shoot me an offer for either or both, whatever it is, the worst I'll say is no.
So here's the rundown. I have my car back, and I have a lot of work ahead of me to get it going.
I'm going to try to post only facts here, accompanied by pics and videos where applicable.
Dave mentioned in his final update that he had decided to mount my alternator up high, and until it was already done, I had no idea and believed he had worked out the lower mount based on what little info I had. I'm not happy with it there, it causes several issues. Those aside, the lack of communication with me hasn't sat well and I have said as much to him. He has said that usually his only questions for customers are: automatic or manual? usage of vehicle? color scheme of engine? and how much money do they want to spend? That's fine, but I made it clear from the beginning that I wanted to have a full part in the design of this build and understood that not everything can go perfectly according to plan, but that compromises need to be discussed with me. That didn't happen this time (or some other times that I let go).
He has said that the alternator wouldn't clear the exhaust logs while clearing everything else at the same time. If he had kept to my original design for the exhaust manifolds (shown earlier in this thread) there would have been more room down there. I'm not sure whether or not it would have been enough more, but definitely more. I specified in my original requirements document, that I sent before any work had started, that the alternator location needed to be mounted in the area of the stock alternator, that is, down low. I also drew up my exhaust manifold design and included pipe sizes long before he got that far. Because everything was specified in the beginning, the setup could have been mocked up and measured for clearance before fabrication started. I also specified that I did not want the decklid to be notched. On the turbo side we had both decided that there was no other way, but now both sides are notched and I didn't get any say in the matter. He did take off the cost of the failed low-mount alternator bracket attempts.
Here are the issues that I need to address with the alternator having been mounted up high: * I will need to reinforce the decklid as simply filling in the space in the notches won't provide additional strength, but it's been done. Struts would help, as when the decklid is closed they push rearward on the decklid and not upward like the factory torsion rods. It's when it is closed and thermally cycling that I'm concerned with, not when it's open. * The alternator will need to have another heat shield made either way, but there is a strong chance that it'll fail up there, because while it may not be as close to the manifold, heat rises and collects in that location because there isn't nearly as much airflow as there is at the bottom of the engine bay, and that's one of the reasons why the low-mount was a requirement of mine. These exhaust logs and the Y-pipe will glow bright red in certain conditions (even through the ceramic), they can get up to 1600 degrees or so. * The dogbone location worries me for this reason because it looks like from the pictures that it's much closer to that heat now. I don't know exactly what type of polyurethane Rodney uses for his dogbones, but typically it's only rated to withstand up to 250 degrees. It looks like the alternator wires will have the same problem (among a few other things). Dave did mount a heat shield above the rear bank log and that will help a bit, but I still need to make up more (I did plan on doing that anyway). * I've 'heard' that the middle of the trunk is not a good place to put a dogbone for reasons of structural integrity, but with all poly mounts I don't know that it'll be a problem (it isn't a torque-monster V8, afterall). * The other side of the dogbone has a bracket welded to the turbine support bracket. These two should be isolated from each other because the engine moves independently from the engine bay, but not from the turbo. It can cause the exhaust pipes to crack.
(All pics and video in this post are of the car exactly as I received it, just to clarify.)
As mentioned previously, Dave originally thought there was a lifter tick and that it would go away with some RPM's. It didn't, so he revised the diagnosis to a valve tap, and thinks the cam wiped a lobe or several, backing up the thought with the fact that the original timing chain was very worn. I don't think it has a bad cam, but it sounded like a possibility to me. I hadn't known this when the oil was put into the engine, but all current oils lack enough zinc to lubricate the flat-tappet cams in most older engines. This applies to full synthetics as well, they apparently still don't have the proper lubrication required. Some time in the last few year the EPA limited the use of zinc in oils, but you can get racing oil that still has the right formulation. This has been a cause of many flat-tappet cam failures in the last few years. However, I don't think the engine has run long enough for that to matter yet. I asked Dave to diagnose the tapping for me (if it didn't require tearing down the engine), and I asked if he was sure it couldn't have been the pushrod lengths. He checked the valve lash on the rear bank, and got varying results from .003" to .040". At that point I just asked him to tow it back home to me.
Obviously something is a bit off if they aren't all identical, but as I've tried to explain to Dave to no avail (he doesn't believe me), there should be NO valve lash in this engine. The hydraulic lifters take up all of the slack and should have a factory preload of about .070-085", that is, the pushrods should be pressed down into the lifter by about .075" while on the base circle of the cam, and the lifters' internal springs should press back keeping the pushrods pressed against the rockers, which in-turn press against the valves. At no point should there be any slack in the valvetrain. If Dave didn't take this into account when measuring the pushrod lengths, then the custom length pushrods are too short (and custom length pushrods aren't cheap), that would explain the clickity-clack of what sounds like just about every valve/lifter in there. Unfortunately you can't just adjust the rockers to take up the slack like you can in most other pushrod engines because these are pedestal-mounted rockers, meaning they're torqued down solid and non-adjustable.
Dave, Joey, and family kindly towed my car back for me at the cost of gas and tolls only, which is appreciated. I spent the better part of the weekend going over the car and coming up with a list of things I need to address, some of which I just went over, others of which I will follow up on in the next post...
The trans won't go into first as I said before, but all the other gears seem fine. Hopefully it will be a relatively simple fix once the cradle is out.
Here's something I'm sorely upset about. I thought it strange and worrisome when I didn't hear the distinct sound of the turbine through the exhaust, so I checked the turbo. I cannot say what caused my turbo to go bad, but when it left here nearly two years ago it spun just fine (very freely that is). There are several reasons that would cause it to drag, but the painful fact is that my never-used $850 turbo now needs a rebuild. Again, I'm not blaming anybody because there are a couple reasons it could have gone bad and I just don't know. I haven't checked the oil flow to the turbo yet, if it's restricted or non-existent than that would do it.
Sorry the video quality is less than ideal and you might not even be able to see the wheel when viewing on darker monitors. I had to use the mirror because of the location. What the video shows is that the compressor wheel is not moving at idle and starts to spin up a little when revved, but then stops abruptly when it settles back to idle. The thing should be spinning very steadily and easily at idle, and should never, ever, come to an abrupt stop. When spun with my fingers it should go and go and eventually come to a stop progressively. This is how it was when it left here (my wife concurs, I showed it to her and she thought it cool that it spins so precisely, even with just the protective oil). So at this point, I have a bad engine, a bad transmission, and a bad turbo. This is a real de-motivator, but it won't stop me because I'm more motivated than ever.
[This message has been edited by ALLTRBO (edited 05-01-2011).]
Here are the rest of the pics that I took this weekend (to clarify again, the car is just as I had received it yesterday morning). Some are random, some show issues, none in a particular order. I'm too tired to try to sort through them. Most of the pics speak for themselves, but I'll explain a couple.
Here is the coilpack cover that Dave made. It is attached with two bolts to the firewall and nothing else. It flops up and down and the edge catches on the wiring loom and the vacuum hose:
I don't remember what this connector went to, but I imagine it isn't used anymore. The loom is actually single ended, it just doesn't look like it in the pic. The wire is not tied into the harness by about two feet, so it might supposed to go somewhere.
I think this is where the factory dogbone bracket was. You can't tell from the pic, but the edge that looks blunt is actually razor sharp, I cut myself on it. It's a good thing I wasn't putting my hand down there with my wrist exposed! The upper edge that's nearer in the pic is also pretty sharp.
The brand-new wastegate was supposed to come with its own matching fittings which are a much better design. When I saw that Dave had charged me for wastegate fittings I asked about these, and he said it didn't come with any. I said I wasn't worried about the $10, but he should ask the person he ordered the wastegate from what was up with that because I checked the Tial website and they still show them as being included (as were they with my Talon's identical WG several years back), when he didn't reply to that I forgot about it until now:
(Note the lock washer):
The muffler, which can be seen between the trunk wall and heat shield, has about 1/4" of clearance to the bottom of the trunk, and carpet is just on the other side of that thin sheetmetal. Instead of asking for the muffler to be as high and far forward as possible, I guess I should have asked for it to be as high and far forward as feasible. I didn't get a good pic of it, but the downpipe coming off of the turbo has about the same clearance to the trunk wall. That part will glow red when I push it, and there isn't even enough room to put a heat shield in between. A slightly sharper bend would have given that enough clearance to use a good heat shield.
Reverse view of the same thing (muffler clearance):
Using black wires for both hot and ground is a serious safety issue at my job, and I don't consider it any less serious here.
I know you don't like the alternator location but I did it on my 3400 and 3900. I tried mounting it low on the 3900 but I didn't think it was going to fit. However, at least on my cars, it wasn't necessary to cut both sides of the decklid rib. The outboard side can stay and at least it doesn't loose all support.
There are other things I forgot to mention and I've still yet to look everywhere.
Now I've tried to be as factual as possible and enter as little emotion as possible here because I wanted to lay it down as it is, good or bad. It may be redundant to say that there are a lot of things I'm very unhappy with, but that's the truth and I believe I'm justified to be. I understand that some of the untied loose ends might be because I told Dave the other day that I'll be dropping the cradle again, but most of the issues I see go far beyond that and began long before then. Dave, I'm sorry but I really thought you had higher standards. I'm not sure what went wrong here but some of these are serious problems that, frankly, I'm really surprised to see, and now I need to take care of them. I know I'm a true perfectionist, but this goes beyond what might be considered to be anal personal preference and becomes, in many cases, a safety hazard.
Originally posted by bmwguru: ...from here on we will be sticking to 3800 swaps only and possibly TDI swaps once our test car is complete. Dave
Dave, as I mentioned to you, I saw this coming from a long ways off. I'm sorry my swap was so difficult for you. Maybe it is better to just stick with what you know. :/
To everyone: I just really don't know what else to say other than that I have a LOT of work to do yet (before I can even start on the next phase), and I WON'T let this car sit... So you can all hold me to it and pester me to keep moving forward. Thanks for all the support given so far.
And with that: It's time for a little less talk and a lot more action...
[This message has been edited by ALLTRBO (edited 05-01-2011).]
I'm sorry to hear you are so unhappy, but you designed it and obviously didn't know the limitations you put on me to try and build it to your specs. If you let me design it from the start, the car would have ran fine, shifted into first (remember I wanted to split the case to change the speedo gear to make the wiring easier, but you insisted we use the impulse sender) and the car would have been done last year. I advised you to change over to Rodney's solid dogbone as well. As for the battery cables....they are difectly from Summit Racing and are clearly marked on the ends of the cables. As for color??? I'm sorry, but Mercedes Benz battery cables are black on both sides, but different size battery posts (as your's are) and labeled just like yours are, so maybe I'm not the only idiot that looks at the battery and cables before trying to determine which one is the negative. (hint....the one with the + stamped on it is the positive) You also saw the cables and never said anything about them. I could have easily swapped them out for you. A lot of the things you complained about, you saw in person and didn't say a word to me about it. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/TAY-21542/
I'm not exactly sure of what you do at NASA, but I have been repairing cars for 18 years. I've been asked by the top tech companies to quit my career and instruct diagnostic seminars to head techs all across the country. I also know to not try and fit a circle in a place where a square should fit. You were instructing me to put the turbo in a spot that you thought was 10 inches square larger than it was. Everything you designed was not to scale. Your exhaust design was originally two exhaust systems in one and not cutting the trunk. We redesigned it and got your approval, but had to shorten the trunk anyway....so you can see that when you drew this out, you didn't know how much space you were working with.
And yes, your design sucked. It did, but I promised you that I would do my best to complete it. What you had wanted done was questioned by the four of us that had our hands in it because there were much better ways to do it and after I advised you how we could do it, you said no. You lost your cool when I had enough and mounted the alternator high. The original design fit well low, but if you lowered the car (which you said you would), there was a chance the alternator would hit the axle. If you let me use the original Fiero 2.8 timing cover (modified), I could have done it easy. The Alero timing cover didn't give me any mounting points to work with. The block left me nothing that wouldn't bend over time. Also, I spent three months of my spare time trying to do it your way and failing and one week doing it my way. I also didn't bill you for the three months I wasted. I'm not going to let you cut down my work that was built the way you had asked. Since you were one of the first swaps at my shop, I gave you a hell of a deal on the labor and let you run the show. Giving you the floor was obviously a mistake on my part because you led me to believe you had the design worked out. Your design changed about five times during my build and I had no idea whether I was coming or going with you. This is why on the other swaps, I ask the questions I ask and build the car. I haven't had a complaint on my designs yet. I've built turbo and s/c BMW's, Audi's and VW's too, in addition to over a dozen Fieros. Secondly, if there was such an issue, send me an email and I could have sent you back some money or worked it out with you, but after this I'm not sure. I'm not sure of why you posted pics of the tail pipes. You had asked me to not install tips, but leave them so your tips can be added later. Basically, your turbo design wasn't realistic and no matter how many times I tried to convince you there was a better, easier way to build it....it had to be your way because you were the man paying me to build your setup.
If I remember correctly, the first thing I asked you was why you were going through all this mess when you could just build a turbo 3800. That open connector was for the Air intake temp sensor. I'm not sure where the sensor went, but it wasn't secured because you told me that you were going to put the cold air intake on it at a later date and I figured you would drill a hole in the intake pipe at that time, so we just zip tied it temporarily. As for your harness. You gave me three harnesses to work with and only one of them was the correct application. The other connector that was left open was for your cruise control. I didn't want to hack it in case you decided to change the setup and add cruise in later. If you want to play tit for tat, I could post up the hundreds of emails back and forth, with all your changes in the designs after we already built the first parts. You had us change the injectors and wastegate spring so many times that I can't even remember what spring is currently in there. You had us plan out the intercooler and then provided us with a heat exchanger that was suppoed to fit in a straight through design, but yours was a 90 degree design and wouldn't fit, so you scrapped the idea of an intercooler because I wanted to purchase the correct heat exchanger for $125 and that wasn't good enough for you. As for the deckild notching, I told you that I am not a body guy and I was not able to fiberglass the notches to make them look pretty and be more stable. If I had the skill for that, I would have. My VR6 Fiero is notched much more than yours and had not shown a crack in the paint or any issues in the past few years and many many miles. Also, with your throttle body. You told me you were going to upgrade it at a later date, so rather than flip the spring so it would pull from the opposite end, I had to work with the one you gave me so that the next one would work. I am still wondering why you didn't just give me the final TB in the first place. I also would have cleaned it up a bit too.
On project CR3810N, Michael has asked me to build him a turbo setup and I will be able to do it my way....and when the car is done, I guarantee that he will be very pleased...because it is designed by a guy that has been under the hood for 18 years and not jacking off to car magazines from his cubicle. Dave
[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 05-02-2011).]
hmmm, well now that both of you have had your say in the build thread, could the rest of your discussion be taken to PM's? I would hate to see such an incredible thread go the route of FierociousGT's build (especially when I PM'd Cliff to move this to The Construction Zone in the first place!)
Figure out how to be square with each other, and then let's see this thread continue.
edit: Its your thread, and I think both of you are pretty level-headed individuals, so as long as its civil discourse it should be alright.
And even with all your disappointments, just looking at all the work that DID go into this still floors me. I know its easy to see the things that you don't like, but I would have to say that there was a lot more done right on this car than its shortcomings. (ie. want to trade? )
[This message has been edited by 1988holleyformula (edited 05-02-2011).]
Unfortunately it's not that easy for me. I won't let my design be cut down that wasn't built the way I had asked. I like to think this thread is incredible because it shows the chronological evolution of the build, including everything that has happened and has yet to happen in pretty great detail. I want to share the whole process with everybody during the sweet times and the sour times, as a true picture cannot be painted without both. However, the two things that ruin threads as fast as one can type are immature name calling and personal insults, things I have always tried to avoid doing... and I would appreciate it if, in the future, no one else did it in my thread either. 1988holleyformula, I really appreciate the nomination to TCZ and appreciate Cliff moving it here, and I would like it to stay here. I'd like to think it can if we all act like adults.
I have a lot of a reply written up but I have much more important things to do than finish it right now, like sleep, then work. I have a valid retort for everything posted because I'm interested in sharing the objective truth, but it'll be fine waiting until later. For now you can know that what you see in the pictures and videos above don't lie (hint: they show a lot more than poor design).
[This message has been edited by ALLTRBO (edited 05-02-2011).]
I'll continue this in an email to Steven....just like he should have done with me prior to posting this. The ONLY part of my work that I am not pleased with is that coil cover. That was a last minute add on that should have just been left off and a U-shaped hose added to the BOV to prevent water from getting in it. Other than that, I see Steven's RFT side showing. Not one thing was said about the good parts of the build. He just wants to critique. (I still would like to know what is the complaint with the exhaust design. The exhaust was cut at the tailpipes as per his specs to add his exhaust tips on later.) I also wish he would have understood what it is to do my part of the build. When I built my VR6 swap, the first design I drew out on paper looked great, but when I got the Fiero in front of me, certain parts didn't work out right and I had to redesign most of the build. In the end, it came out great.
This is quoted from 60degreev6.com talking about the turbo.
Originally posted by Joseph Upson: If that's a journal bearing turbo and you don't feel any interference with it when turning the shaft it's probably fine. I've seen that behavior before on one of my own turbos where it looked like something was preventing it from turning but it turned out to be a normal response. Depending on your turbine housing size and exhaust temps it may not rotate at idle. I've had both scenarios on the same engine, lean out the exhaust at idle enough and it'll spin fast enough to hear it whistle and other times it might ratchet around until the engine was reved.
Originally posted by ALLTRBO: Okay, I understand now that it may not spin at idle, I didn't know that (FAIL). Yes it's a journal bearing turbo. However, if you can see the vid, you can see how it slows down and stops really fast. I've never had (or seen) a turbo do that before and it spun freely when I bought it (and sent it off). It does feel like it's dragging a little bit when spinning with my fingers. Contaminated oil is a possibility, but I don't know for sure.
I don't think the turbo is the correct size for the application, but Steven insisted that since he got such a great deal on that turbo, that was the one we were going to use. It does spool up, and you hear the nice whistle, but that starts happening over 3500rpms.
Steven, I wish you luck on this build. I hope it turns out the way you want when it is complete.
[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 05-03-2011).]
I won't be hurt if no one wants to read through this, but I want it to be here now. Updates on my car should continue this weekend.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I'm sorry to hear you are so unhappy, but you designed it and obviously didn't know the limitations you put on me to try and build it to your specs.
This wasn't my design.
This wasn't my design.
This wasn't my design.
This wasn't my design.
This wasn't my design.
I could go on... No, none of that was my design, that was your workmanship and your design.
Originally posted by bmwguru: If you let me design it from the start, the car would have ran fine, shifted into first (remember I wanted to split the case to change the speedo gear to make the wiring easier, but you insisted we use the impulse sender) and the car would have been done last year.I advised you to change over to Rodney's solid dogbone as well.
How would it have ran fine with pushrods that are too short? Your measurements would have been taken the same way. So it would have shifted into first because you would have stumbled upon the problem by chance because you wanted to use an older design non-adjustable and less accurate speedometer sensor that this FWD tranny and ECU calibration never actually used? After I thought about it for a very short time, I knew that was a big "no thanks". It might have been done last year if you had finished it as you said you would back in Novemeber IIRC. It got old thinking for the longest time that it was *that* close but I kept giving you slack because I didn't mind the extra time if it meant that is was going to be done right. You advised me to use a solid dogbone after you changed the design without saying anything because your new design put it very close to the hot turbo exhaust manifold... any design of hot turbo exhaust manifold. I didn't want a solid dogbone and I still don't.
Originally posted by bmwguru: As for the battery cables....they are difectly from Summit Racing and are clearly marked on the ends of the cables. As for color??? I'm sorry, but Mercedes Benz battery cables are black on both sides, but different size battery posts (as your's are) and labeled just like yours are, so maybe I'm not the only idiot that looks at the battery and cables before trying to determine which one is the negative. (hint....the one with the + stamped on it is the positive) You also saw the cables and never said anything about them. I could have easily swapped them out for you. A lot of the things you complained about, you saw in person and didn't say a word to me about it. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/TAY-21542/
Okay, I wasn't aware that it came that way. The battery relocation kit I bought for my twin turbo Camaro from Summit Racing had a red cable for positive, like every car I've ever seen (I don't look at Mercedes' battery cables because I don't care about Mercedes') I personally wouldn't have purchased it because of that, and yes, I know what the little "+" means, thanks. Accidents happen and they're a lot easier when something isn't clearly marked. Call it a flaw, but I've been known to make some obvious mistakes. I can admit to them, though. I may have seen some of these things in person, but I don't lock onto things until I look at them for a little while. There's another flaw I have... In fact, I didn't even notice that both cables were black until I looked at that picture I took. At the time I didn't feel that I needed to inspect the whole car right then and there anyway. I guess I should have, though.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I'm not exactly sure of what you do at NASA, but I have been repairing cars for 18 years. I've been asked by the top tech companies to quit my career and instruct diagnostic seminars to head techs all across the country.
I've mentioned it several times, I'm an Electronics Technician. I have 10 years of experience in the electro-mechanical field and only a couple big-name Aerospace companies have offered me jobs, to which 5 years of Naval Avionics experience has helped. I build, test, integrate, troubleshoot, repair, and yes, even give my design inputs to many different aspects of the aerospace industry. I've even built a few turbo cars myself. I guess my resume isn't as impressive as yours, but that's a moot point. Those pictures and videos of the work speak for themselves. I had thought someone with your credentials wouldn't have sent out any car with some of the workmanship issues that mine has. That's why I said I'm surprised.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I also know to not try and fit a circle in a place where a square should fit. You were instructing me to put the turbo in a spot that you thought was 10 inches square larger than it was. Everything you designed was not to scale. Your exhaust design was originally two exhaust systems in one and not cutting the trunk. We redesigned it and got your approval, but had to shorten the trunk anyway....so you can see that when you drew this out, you didn't know how much space you were working with.
Yep, I learned the circle-square thing when I was three, too. I physically took some measurements when the rough engine/tranny setup was in place, and specifically said that some custom work may have to be done to get it there. If you'll notice, it is in that location. The exhaust design IS two exhaust systems in one... that's the whole point. I said that I *thought* my design would fit in there with the full trunk but that I'm willing to cut the trunk if need be. I believe that that is spelled out in this very thread, much of this is. The one mistake I made, and admitted to openly, was that I forgot about the sway bar going there, as it wasn't installed at the time I took measurements.
Here is my original exhaust design...
It doesn't look like you redesigned it to me, that is the current exhaust, other than that you ignored my original request for a bullet muffer and small cat and ordered a larger Magnaflow which I didn't originally want, and mounted it SO high that it nearly butts up against the trunk. With the bottom of the trunk gone, there is EASILY enough room to give it another 2-3" which I consider to be reasonable, considering that I could actually fit some heat shielding in there that way. Oh yeah, and you wanted to mount a 90* cat straight off of the turbine, before the dual-mode exhaust valve. You couldn't get much further from my design, and I obviously didn't approve that.
(from me)... Dave, Here are the drawings. I'm going to try to ignore my OCD and avoid apologizing for the crudeness, but it should give you an idea of what I want. Obviously all of the angles are not perfect. I'm really not sure about the tailpipes splitting off from the 3.5" (or 3") downpipe, that's one thing I can't visualize properly right now. That needs to be Y'd from 3.5" (or 3") to dual 2.5" pipes, one to each side. A HUGE pet peeve of mine (there's the OCD) is when 80% of someone's exhaust comes out of one pipe and 20% comes out the other. These ones need to be as equal flowing as possible.
That turbo whistle through the exhaust is pure automotive ecstasy. Mine should sound like that with the bypass cutout open, but I'd love to hear some of it through the quiet mode, too. Of course it'll be variable anywhere in between. As the drawing shows, I'd like a bullet muffler (not a normal glasspacked muffler), one like this: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PYE-MVR200S/ In fact, that's perfect. It's SS at a low price, if it'll fit. As for the cat, any performance 2.5" SS cat will do, whatever fits. It just needs to be as low as possible. I think the car will still sound great with all this in there, it's a very short exhaust.
Angle the WG dump into the downpipe at around 45*, this time it should be easier to do. I think a well made SS flex pipe would work well here, because that's what is on my Talon and it's held up for several years without leaks. I don't know where to find that, yet.
A lot of that was ignored entirely, other bits you said you were unable to do. Oh, and your wastegate dump design sucks. That was another thing you fully failed to mention to me before you did it. I mentioned in this thread that I was concerned that it would cause boost creep, and if it did then I would take care of it when it happened. I would still be concerned about that, but it doesn't matter anymore.
Originally posted by bmwguru: And yes, your design sucked. It did, but I promised you that I would do my best to complete it. What you had wanted done was questioned by the four of us that had our hands in it because there were much better ways to do it and after I advised you how we could do it, you said no.
Again, my design didn't suck, but much of your implementation did and I see how far that goes now that I have the car in front of me. If I had believed the best you could do was near-zero exhaust clearances despite more room, misaligned, skewed and RTV'd flanges, improper hardware installed improperly, messy wiring with a broken connector shoved into its socket and loose hoses/lines/cables with bad routing, flimsy sheilding, a dogbone mount welded onto an exhaust bracket, etc., then I wouldn't have had you work on my car. I guess my expectations were too high because I believed you when you touted your work as being among the best and some pictures looked like it may have been. Whatever my expectations, much of your work on my car is sub-par at best. I don't understand how that is not obvious to you if the rest of your swaps are great, as you and customers have said they are. Here is the original PM I sent you. I tried to spell it out pretty clearly from the beginning what I wanted and that there was going to be a lot of custom, un-figured out work that might be somewhat difficult. Please excuse the light-heartedness of this PM, I try to be cheerful most of the time, and that is often sadly confused with immaturity. I am a straight forward, honest and dead-serious person when it counts (though much less than perfect).
(Originally PM'd by me) Hey Dave, I've got a mighty super-big impossible question to ask you, Mr. Haus Guru. Would you be able to complete this? If you say no way in hell, I'll completely understand...
I'm in the middle (beginning) of a custom junkyard Turbo Grand Prix 3.1 swap (1990 Gen II 60* V6 alum. head turbo engine) in my '88 GT plus a lot more, and I honestly don't know when I'll be able to complete it. I am starting a new job which will pay much better, but also require more time put in, and that's very (VERY) hard with the chronic health problems I have. It leaves little time for anything else, but I desperately need this garage ornament OUT. The car had no drivetrain when I bought it and the engine bay was stripped of all parts then coated with brush-on bedliner. It also needs all of the powdercoated suspension put fully together, and the 12" Corvette brake upgrade completed.
The engine and FWD Getrag are bolted together and in the car (dirty) with a Clutchnet clutch and a resurfaced '88 flywheel installed. Everything there bolts in almost as stock. I have no guarantee that the engine/tranny are 100%, but they seem to be okay from external inspections/movements, and came from wrecked cars. There is a lot of custom work needed, though it's still in the same engine family as the stock V6 so it's nothing too exotic. I have a used Gen III (2002 3100) top end to swap onto it, essentially making this a 3100 swap with a turbo. It all bolts together other than needing custom length pushrods, and I only wanted to replace the valve guide seals before bolting it all together (with new gaskets/seals). The 'entire' exhaust for the new turbo setup (headers back) will need to be fabricated, but I've planned almost exactly how and where everything will go. I have the new turbo (huge), and custom oil lines will need to be ran to and from the TGP feed/return locations. I can later take care of the custom intercooler setup it will need as long as the compressor is routed to the TB initially. The accessories will be a bit of a pain, as I plan on a low mount alternator setup in the stock Fiero location. This will require some custom pulleys/brackets and re-routing of the serpentine belt that aren't 100% figured out, but it's the best way to do it. I'll need to acquire a Gen III AC compressor, and that will need to be mated with the Fiero's lines. The fuel lines will need to be somewhat custom, that shouldn't be hard with the right fittings. I planned on installing a Walbro 255 FP which isn't done yet, I may be able to get that in first, not sure. Of course various cooling hoses will be needed. There will also be some small workarounds needed for the 3100 top end's heater/water pump lines. The throttle cable will need to be worked out, and while I ultimately want the newer style electronic cruise control, I can probably hold on that. I have both a stock Fiero wiring harness and a TGP wiring harness to work with, along with several TGP pin-out diagrams and the factory 88 service manual. I'll be using the '730 ECU which is the same internally as the TGP's ECU, that one is just the weatherproof under-hood version of the '730. I'll have the hardware and a custom base tune ready for it which should get it up and going, I'll tune it fully afterward. The tranny is from a FWD but I have the Rodney Dickman parts required to make it work with the Fiero. I think I'll need an SGI-5 converter for the speedometer signal as well. There is also a cradle bolt that spun before I got it, and a hole was cut in the frame rail to access it. I might be able to tackle this myself first, though. There is no battery tray in it, and I was thinking of doing a front mount conversion if I don't want to put the battery in the stock location. As I mentioned, the suspension is only loosely together and will need to be properly assembled and 'performance' aligned, and I have the '88 Corvette brake conversion parts including the rotors which will need to be drilled to the 5x100 pattern, and assembly required. You'll like this, the 17" Volkswagen "Monte Carlo" wheels will have new tires and will clear the brakes easily. That's "all" I can think of to get it on the road. Most all of the parts are there or will be there beforehand, except the completely custom stuff. Oh, I'd also need it towed from College Park, MD behind someone's shiny new Ford semi-truck. You could probably put a Fiero in the bed of that thing. I'd hopefully be able to drive it back.
So, would you be willing to tackle something of this caliber? If so, could you provide a very rough ballpark estimate on total cost and turnaround? While I'm not rich, I understand something like this wouldn't be anywhere near cheap or quick. If it's too rich for my blood then I'll laugh in your face and tell you to get a life. Just kidding! It may well be too rich for my blood if you'll even do it, but it doesn't hurt to ask, I think! If you might consider this but have questions, ask away!
Thanks for reading that mess if you didn't skip to the end, and tell Joey I said hi. Take care! -Steven
Your response was (including but not limited to... I don't need to post the parts that aren't relevent):
Steven, The swap you are planning doesn't sound that difficult.
And after much more dialogue to set things up, I sent you the more comprehensive requirements document, and though it was sent after you towed the car up, it was both sent by me and claimed to be understood by you before any work started. I thought I made it clear that I wanted a lot of communication, what is in red below gives several examples. Obviously there was a disconnect between us as to what communication means because you didn't communicate very well throughout, aside from the now obvious, many many times you did not answer my questions in email or only partially answered them. Yes, there were a couple few months in there where I told you that I was unable to make or recieve calls at work because we were in a critical phase, but that was a relatively short time period, and emails were always open. If it was a problem for you to work with me to this degree, you should have said something. I understand that your four questions to your normal customers leave them no say in anything (and that's fine if they want it that way) but this was plainly obvious from the start, or I would have just said: "manual, high-performance street and occasional drag strip and hard track days, black and silver, as little as possible". Of course I want more than that, or I just would have gone for that black on black 6-speed C5 Corvette instead. I keep telling myself that even though I should have (and still), I'm going to build what I really want instead, even if it still an inferior car. It's about much more than simple performance, and it's been that way from the beginning. Of course some of this changed such as the plans for you to finish the exhaust (which I humbly asked you about part-way through and would have been fine with you not doing it), but again, I clearly spelled out that some things were bound to change. You seem to have grossly misunderstood that based on your reply. Again, some of this was written light-heartedly. I try.
(Written by me) MIDTRBO (in no certain order)
OVERVIEW There’s a lot to do, though it probably took longer to type this than to do it. Sorry for the novel ahead! I’m sure things are forgotten here, and I know that not every issue that’ll come up is addressed. We’ll talk and figure it out. Call me most anytime at the numbers above with the hours listed. All boxes are labeled with what’s in them for the most part (See? I’m OCD too). Some is self explanatory anyway. I’d like the unused parts back unless otherwise specified (or unless otherwise useless junk). The car is fully registered and (liability) insured, with proper documentation in the center console. When the time comes, drive it. J
ENGINE Overview = Gen II 60*V6 3.1L from 1990 Turbo Grand Prix (TGP) Top end = Heads, lower intake, & accessories from 2001 Olds Alero 3400 w/134k miles, throttle body and upper intake from 2002 Chevy Malibu 3100 (identical intake other than “3100 SFI” badge, smaller TB. I’ll upgrade to the direct bolt-on 3400 TB later)
Bottom end – R&R all gaskets and seals w/ sets included (if more needed, those too) If crank seals caused grooves in crank etc, use Speedy Sleeves or whatever it takes to keep the oil in. I’ll leave that determination up to you. You might find the pistons to be wet, that’s okay because my friend put some ATF in the cyl’s before he hand-turned it over (it had been sitting a while). Hopefully nothing else will be there other than some carbon buildup. Relocate turbo oil return to other side of oil pan, block off previous return (turbo location requires this for proper drain). Visually scan internal components (no extra disassembly necessary). Install head studs.
Heads – Clean well, R&R valve seals (I need to locate new ones and have them shipped to you). If you have capability, check deck surface for flatness. Remove remaining manifold studs, one of which broke off inside head (DOH!). Heads are direct bolt-on to the 3.1 except the pushrods, the setup needs to be measured for proper length (one size intake, another size exhaust), send me lengths, I’ll order custom, send to you.
Lower intake – Clean well, install with revised GM torque procedure/specs. R&R broken water neck w/ included replacement, install 170* thermostat (I need to locate and have sent to you unless you can get one easily).
Fuel injectors/rail – In the TGP engine currently are green-top 42lb/hr injectors, return to me with car to install in setup later. Install included injectors (black, 22lb/hr stock TGP units) into new top end. Be wary of uninstalling stock 3100 injectors, there are little round plastic shrouds that install on the bottom side of the manifold on the injectors. I think these should be removed permanently with the other injectors. Determine best way to adapt fuel lines from Fiero to 3400 rail, execute.
Upper intake/TB – Clean well, install EGR block-off plate. Determine best way to connect Fiero throttle cable to 3100 TB, execute.
Water connections – Determine best way to properly route/connect all external water passages/lines, execute.
Spark – Mount coils as comes on 3100/3400 (on rear side of upper intake) w/included bracket (not the one the coil pack is currently mounted to, but with top end accessories). Install new plugs and wires (I’ll order and send to you).
Accessories/Acc. drive – Fabricate or modify a bracket to locate alternator near stock Fiero 2.8 location, determine routing and length of needed belt with that and PS delete, execute. This hasn’t been fully figured out, but is the best way. In the stock Gen II/III location, decklid clearancing is required, weakening the decklid at the point where the spring pushes against it, bowing it upward (unacceptable). Also, a custom dogbone mount would be required; this way the dogbone bracket mounts as stock. Install AC compressor, determine proper connection of Fiero lines to compressor, execute. Do an R-134 conversion (I don’t know how to do this), fill system with R-134. Install Gen III starter (at the proper time, of course). Install 2-bar MAP sensor. (Alternator, AC compressor, starter, and 2-bar MAP sensor will be ordered by me and sent to you).
Perform leak down once together.
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE Overview = FWD Getrag 5-speed from unknown car. (late 80’s I think) Unknown mileage. FWD half-shaft needs to be removed as my friend said he was sure he had the parts to make that work, then didn’t come through.
External – Clean up and possibly paint silver/aluminum
Internal – Shouldn’t need to be messed with, I want the VSS to be wired up for use with the ‘730 (VSS to ECU, ECU to speedometer), slightly more research required on my part (unless you know what to do already). Install new GM Synchromesh trans fluid.
Clutch/Flywheel – (Clutchnet clutch) Reinstall as is, should be all set, along with the resurfaced ’88 flywheel and new TOB.
Cables/Brackets/Hydraulics – Complete before turbo setup to alleviate potential clearance issues. Install included Rodney Dickman (RD) FWD conversion kit and the like. I don’t have a Getrag clutch fork lever for it, but everything else should be there. Install brand new RD select cable, hook up factory shift cable, check out factory slave cylinder, the rod may have popped out of place and may need to be put back together. Look for any obvious signs of damage. Once buttoned up and bled, check for leaks on both ends. IIRC there’s something holding the clutch pedal off the floor in the car, remove before flight.
Axles – Waiting to acquire (I have a lead on both). R&R axle seals in trans, install new/partially new rear wheel bearings/seals (Fiero Store sent me a new one and a slightly used one it looks like, found out too late to do anything about, so use and hope it’s good). The ones in the car are junk, can be trashed.
TURBO SETUP Overview = SWEET! Center of the build, what more can I say? J In reality, if it’s too cumbersome or costly in the long run for me to have you build it, I’ve included stock Gen III manifolds and crossover as a back-up (or in case you want to start the engine pre-turbo install). I don’t yet foresee that happening, though. All parts are not-yet-acquired except the turbo. I know what (in relation to) and where to get the turbo flanges, wastegate and flanges, and some fittings. I don’t yet know where to start with any of the hot-side tubing.
Turbocharger – Borg/Warner S258 with Garrett T3 .82a/r housing machined to fit (by Tim’s Turbos of Virginia). This turbo is massive for the current application, but will work very well for it. It’ll be a tight fit, but will fit where I want it. I showed Shawn for a visual, but to re-iterate, it will be located between the left strut tower and the intake manifold, just rear of where the 3100 TB will sit, with the exhaust outlet pointing at an angle somewhat toward the rear center of the car. Fabricate bracket to support its weight (I was thinking the bracket can be easiest attached to the transmission below.), execute. Determine fittings and line/hose needed to provide oil feed and return (The TGP has a feed, should just need to adapt it, and as mentioned previously the return is to go to rear of oil pan now, kept as vertical as possible) -CRITICAL- Make sure the turbo is “pre-lubed” when installed by cranking the engine over several times without fuel or spark to drive oil through it.
Headers – Fabricate log-style headers, but with primaries “radius’d” in toward direction of flow. (I haven’t been able to locate pre-made stainless 3100/3400 style flanges, so if you can’t (or it’s too much work to) fabricate SS flanges, I’ll concede and go with the mild steel ones that WOT-Tech sells, and they (the headers) will need to be ceramic coated. I haven’t determined the primary size, main log size, or wall thickness, so we should talk about it more extensively. Essentially, I don’t need a 110% efficient race setup, but I don’t want them to be restrictive… or to fail… either. The Y-pipe connection flanges are TBD, we should talk more about this also.
Y-pipe – Fabricate in stainless, (again, header connections TBD). If space requires (and it might), then a pre-made radius’d “T” fitting that is round can be used on a crossover-style pipe in place of an actual “Y”. Header to Y-pipe flange style will determine whether or not a flex-section needs to be used.
Wastegate – Install provision on Y-pipe for wastegate mounting (exact location TBD), route wastegate exhaust out of engine bay temporarily. Connect wastegate to manifold vacuum source with silicone hose (I can order if you can’t get it easily).
After-turbo exhaust – I’m going to build this, but to get it home, install a cheap muffler or cat to quiet it down, and route the temporary exhaust out of the engine bay, pointing to the ground if need be. Simple, temporary, relatively quiet, and reliable for the trip, that’s all I need. The only other necessity is an O2 bung, for the sensor, welded to the pipe just behind the turbo.
Intake – Fit a 4” K&N cone directly to the turbo if it will fit that way, or if it doesn’t then route a pipe to place the filter away from whatever it hits. Connect the turbo discharge to the throttle body with whatever setup is easiest and cheapest. This is temporary, I’ll fabricate the entire intercooler setup.
COOLING Overview – Here’s yet another somewhat-unknown. Install proper coolant tubes (an extra pre-88 tube is there, I didn’t know which one it was, but I don’t need it back) with included brackets. I’m not sure everything is there. Inspect radiator. Install front coolant hoses (drop ship?) and custom rear’s to fit the engine, along with a rear filler setup (common swap stuff I think). The lower air-dam is missing, I should have one sent to you by the time it’s needed. ELECTRONICS/POWER Overview = I’ve never seen the car with a battery or engine bay harness so everything is suspect. Please test out everything when complete.
ECU/Harness – Install and fabricate harness for ‘730 ECU with included harnesses and connectors, wired like a ’92 Chevy Beretta. Included are one stock ’88 (supposedly) wiring harness in rough shape, and one ’90 TGP harness. Between the two you should be able to make what you need. The TGP harness should include the proper connectors for the 3100/3400 sensors, except the coolant temp. sensor. There is no provision for the sensor in the 3400 head like there is in the TGP head, but usually it’s relocated and spliced in somehow (IIRC?) to make two sensors into one. I forget, we can talk. I’ll get you the TGP pinout and the Fiero-to-Beretta pinout swap. This is the best I can do at this time, but should be enough for most of it. I included the TGP ECU (or equivalent) just in case, but it should not be needed.
Tune – The $8F (TGP) code is supposed to run just fine when wired up as specified. Included are three chips, all with EGR disabled. The first is installed in the ‘730 (with adapter) and should be tried first. This is what I guessed should match this setup as a baseline. If the engine doesn’t run or run reasonably well providing the hardware is correct, install number 2, which is (poorly) labeled. This is a bone stock TGP code, automatic tranny calibration and all. It should run the engine, though it’ll want to stall when coming back down from revving among other issues. If it doesn’t want to run, swap in the 1-bar MAP sensor (included in the 3100/3400 accessory bag) and install chip number 3, which is a nearly stock ’92 Beretta 3.1 5-speed calibration (set for TGP injectors). If there were issues with $8F running with this wiring layout, this should let it run. Of course boost = bad with this calibration (even though it’s now very rich at 100kPA for safety), but the car doesn’t have to boost, even to get it home. If none of the above works and it’s a sure bet that it’s the software, then we can troubleshoot and play the mail-order-tune game in reverse (unless you have tuning capabilities at your shop). Hopefully it won’t come down to this, but it’s hard to say with a swap like this. Battery – There are no provisions for battery mounting at this time. We should talk about front-mount options, or re-installing a battery tray. I’m not sure if all the cables/attachments are there, if not let me know what I need to get. I don’t have a battery, though I’d like a good sealed AGM.
O2 sensor – Install and wire a 4-wire heated O2 sensor just behind the turbo. If you don’t have a proper one to sell me, I’ll have one drop shipped.
Fuel pump – Install included Walbro 255 high-pressure pump, everything is there for it. Inspect tank to make sure it isn’t nasty. I think the lines to the overflow are missing, replace those. Inspect everything in the area.
SUSPENSION/STEERING Overview = Most components are new, or at least equivalent. Assume everything about anything suspension related is not torqued or even put together properly.
Rear – Strut assemblies should be 100%, leave as a unit, but check torque on top nut. Stock springs are installed over Koni Struts. All hardware back there should be correct (now), except the nuts for the forward (rear) cradle bolts. “Random Hardware” boxes ‘should’ have the proper ones. Rear cradle bolt spun and previous owner cut hole in frame rail to access. Needs a bracket welded up, and the frame rail closed. It would be preferable to do the other side as well unless it’s determined that it shouldn’t need it anytime soon. Tie rods are new and -very- unadjusted, so probably need to be before all mounting points can be installed. Forward trailing arm bolts are installed on the right, in a box for the left. Rear sway bar should be installed with new RD “zero lash” end links, included.
Front – Go through it 100%, including steering. Previous owner very loosely put it together, I’m not sure if all or any of the hardware is right, as I hadn’t gone through it yet. I do know there are some large flat washers missing for the bushings, but there are a few in “random hardware boxes”. If need more, we’ll figure out which. R&R installed front springs with included stock (uncut) front springs, install Koni shocks (included), make sure adjustment is on “soft” setting for both. R&R installed poly end links with new RD “zero lash” end links, install sway bar. Re-use front wheel bearings
Wheels/Tires – Self explanatory and all set. PLEASE keep these nice. It was a lot of work to finally get all 4 wheels, in nice shape. J
Alignment – Perform performance 4-wheel alignment with specs I’ll give you (don’t have as of yet).
BRAKES Overview = STOP! At least that’s what we want the car to do, very quickly. All of this is in pieces at the moment.
Rotors – Drill 5x100 pattern in 4 new 12” Powerslot Corvette rotors, I included one stock rotor if needed for a pattern. Install on hubs with included centering rings. Install backing plates if they’ll fit without severe modification (unsure).
Calipers – Clean and rebuild stock calipers with included rebuild kits. Install Porterfield R4-S pads. Install with included spacer brackets once proper extra bolts are attained (I might be able to figure this out and have them drop-shipped)
Hydraulics – Stock master cyl. should be good, no guarantees. Install new braided lines, front and rear (slightly different lengths between the two) Fill/bleed with new Motul DOT 5.1 brake fluid (that’s not DOT 5, the silicone based fluid, but rather a high-temp synthetic DOT 3 style fluid, but you probably knew this). I included two bottles, hopefully it’ll be enough. If not, I’ll have more drop-shipped to you.
Parking brake – Install. New cables are partially installed, but I have no idea how to finish them or if everything else is there. If not let me know.
BODY Overview = Don’t put any new holes into it. J Everything else is gravy. Don’t worry about scratches. It won’t even be RED when I’m done. Oh, and keep Joey from taking my nifty new wingstands.
“Internal” – Install wheel-wells. Rears are included; fronts should be on their way before you have to install them. The spare-tire well is just sitting there. Please install properly when the time comes. Remove for easier access to steering. Wow, that’s a lot. I’d like the car sometime before 2016 if you guys can do it, though. J
Originally posted by bmwguru: You lost your cool when I had enough and mounted the alternator high. The original design fit well low, but if you lowered the car (which you said you would), there was a chance the alternator would hit the axle. If you let me use the original Fiero 2.8 timing cover (modified), I could have done it easy. The Alero timing cover didn't give me any mounting points to work with. The block left me nothing that wouldn't bend over time. Also, I spent three months of my spare time trying to do it your way and failing and one week doing it my way. I also didn't bill you for the three months I wasted.
I never lost my cool, and I won't either. So if the alternator fit well low except for my stated 1.5" MAX lowering in the rear I would do, then to fit well when lowered you would need another 1.5" above MAX to be safe. If you had mocked up the requested setup from the beginning, you would have found out whether or not my manifold design which is slimmer and further away in that area would have fit, or at least been darn close in the estimation. I do this sort of mechanical clearance checking and mocking up at work quite often. It's not rocket science. You said you wanted to use the Fiero timing cover and accessories. I told you that they wouldn't work with the aluminum heads and that even if they did I wanted the newer style accessory drive. When you said again that it would be better, I told you to try it. You figured out that it didn't work, and using the newer timing cover was set. It's a TGP timing cover as I've explained, the Alero timing cover is different. I didn't hear you say anything at about spending three months on the alternator, all I heard several times was that it was done and working fine, or almost done. Once you said you redid it because you weren't happy with it, but it was then fine. If you follow our posts in this thread, you can see how something seems a bit off. I was led to believe everything was peachy, and I posted what I heard from you. One week to do it your way? Is that why the execution was so bad? It seems to me that you were fed up and in a hurry at that point. I still don't understand why, after all I've said and shown from the very beginning, that you think it was the right thing to do to ignore my input all together by doing it your own way, and at the same time causing more issues that I already told you were unacceptable to me. Here's the thing. If it was impossible for you to do, communicate that with me plainly. "It's impossible for me to do it the way you want it done". If I still don't want it done another way, then communicate plainly "Then I can't do anything with it and it will have to remain undone, but I'll do that too, it's your call". I expected communication to that effect. Simple, to the point, and quick, while also being professional. What's the problem? It would have saved you nearly three months of wasted effort that I had no idea about.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I'm not going to let you cut down my work that was built the way you had asked. Since you were one of the first swaps at my shop, I gave you a hell of a deal on the labor and let you run the show. Giving you the floor was obviously a mistake on my part because you led me to believe you had the design worked out. Your design changed about five times during my build and I had no idea whether I was coming or going with you.
See my first responses in this post. I didn't ask for sub-par work or any design that wasn't my own. I thought it was a hell of a deal too, all until it culminated into something I didn't want done, a rattle-trap engine with incorrectly measured parts, and seeing the workmanship up close. I thought I'd get a very clean, reliable (within in the limits of my provided parts), and durable build having payed $11,470 in labor, materials, parts and supplies not counting everything I provided prior and during. Some of it seems to have been good work (and yes, I will get to that, and my mindset has VERY LITTLE to do with RFT.) but the core of this build is what I'm focusing on right now because, well, the proof is in the pudding. See above about leading you to believe the design had been 100% worked out, it's in red. My design ONLY changed when you told me you were unable or unwilling to do things fully the way I had asked. You can see from my document above that, by and large, my design is still almost exactly the same as I had originally requested it, except for the parts I clearly stated weren't worked out yet (and I thought talking it over with you was working it out, not me "changing my design"), or the design that you changed without telling me. I have no idea why you were unsure "whether you were coming or going" with me, but you never said anything that led me to believe you had ANY problem in that regard. I can't stress enough, communucation. We humans need that to work together. I don't understand where you're getting any of this, seriously.
Originally posted by bmwguru: This is why on the other swaps, I ask the questions I ask and build the car. I haven't had a complaint on my designs yet. I've built turbo and s/c BMW's, Audi's and VW's too, in addition to over a dozen Fieros. Secondly, if there was such an issue, send me an email and I could have sent you back some money or worked it out with you, but after this I'm not sure.
I'm glad your designs haven't had a complaint, for both you and the customers. That's good for everyone. Does that make everything I'm showing and saying less accurate? Not one bit. I've designed many things that work and have built things that no one has complained about, too.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I'm not sure of why you posted pics of the tail pipes. You had asked me to not install tips, but leave them so your tips can be added later.
Originally posted by ALLTRBO: Here are the rest of the pics that I took this weekend... Some are random, some show issues, none in a particular order. I'm too tired to try to sort through them.
Originally posted by bmwguru: Basically, your turbo design wasn't realistic and no matter how many times I tried to convince you there was a better, easier way to build it....it had to be your way because you were the man paying me to build your setup.
My turbo design is still realistic and would work just fine if it had a better execution. Damn straight it had to be my way because I was paying you to build my setup. It's my car and my money. What's to argue? Again, I'm sorry there was a misunderstanding on what I was paying you to do. I'm not the kind to answer 4 questions then shut up and dish out my hard earned money. I'm becoming a broken record here, but it's fine if someone agrees to do that with you, but I clearly never did. I never would have considered you to work on it if I knew we were at such odds in that regard.
Originally posted by bmwguru: If I remember correctly, the first thing I asked you was why you were going through all this mess when you could just build a turbo 3800.
You aren't remembering correctly because you didn't ask me that, but if you did, my answer would have been the same as it is now. "Because I don't want a turbo 3800."
Originally posted by bmwguru: That open connector was for the Air intake temp sensor. I'm not sure where the sensor went, but it wasn't secured because you told me that you were going to put the cold air intake on it at a later date and I figured you would drill a hole in the intake pipe at that time, so we just zip tied it temporarily. As for your harness. You gave me three harnesses to work with and only one of them was the correct application. The other connector that was left open was for your cruise control. I didn't want to hack it in case you decided to change the setup and add cruise in later.
Just above you claim to know how to build turbo setups and you claim you're getting very good at tuning 3800's, yet you don't know that the right way to do it is to locate the IAT sensor after the turbo and intercooler, and as close as you can get to the *intake valves* without letting it get heat soaked? That's very, very basic. No wonder I couldn't place that connector. Oh, and it was hanging down to hear the axle and not tied in. That's okay, I need to reroute it anyway. As outlined above, I gave you two harnesses and ~1/2 of each was the right application. I told you this and you were perfectly fine with it. There is no "right application" when you're swapping an engine into a car it never came in, I don't even get what you're trying to say. We went over the cruise. Originally I said leave it out and I'll do it, then I inquired with you about doing it afterward (OOP! design change, you got me) and you looked into it and told me you couldn't because it wouldn't work, so I said okay, no problem, I'll do it. I appreciate you not hacking it. Tying it into the harness or out of the way of danger at least is the right way to leave the hook in, I do it all the time when building my ground support equipment harnesses.
Originally posted by bmwguru: If you want to play tit for tat, I could post up the hundreds of emails back and forth, with all your changes in the designs after we already built the first parts. You had us change the injectors and wastegate spring so many times that I can't even remember what spring is currently in there. You had us plan out the intercooler and then provided us with a heat exchanger that was suppoed to fit in a straight through design, but yours was a 90 degree design and wouldn't fit, so you scrapped the idea of an intercooler because I wanted to purchase the correct heat exchanger for $125 and that wasn't good enough for you.
I have every PM and email too, from the first to the very last. In fact, I've referenced many of them to make sure my story is staying as straight as possible. Nobody will ever read through hundreds of our emails, and nobody wants to see all of them on the forum. That's a moot point, but even if it wasn't, I'm not worried about what I said anywhere or at any time. You are obviously very skewed in your memory as I've said before. I asked that the injectors be changed ONCE. I had you change the wastegate spring ONCE. If you changed either of them any more than ONCE, it's on you. Speaking of the springs, where is my 15 psi spring that I asked you to return to me? It isn't in with the parts that came back with the car. From the very beginning and ALL THE WAY THROUGH I've said that I will do the intercooler setup and I just wanted you to run the charge pipe through the stock cat location. You were going to buy a $125 China air-air intercooler and I told you not to because I wasn't going to pay for it, because I wasn't going to use it. Damn straight it wasn't good enough for me. At that point I suggested that if you really want to use a temp. intercooler, I have the TGP intercooler and it might fit though it's an angled design, but I'd bring it up to you so you could try it out. It didn't fit, and I didn't care because I didn't think it bothered you and I wasn't going to use it for very long anyway. All of this is correct, none of what you said is.
Originally posted by bmwguru: As for the deckild notching, I told you that I am not a body guy and I was not able to fiberglass the notches to make them look pretty and be more stable. If I had the skill for that, I would have. My VR6 Fiero is notched much more than yours and had not shown a crack in the paint or any issues in the past few years and many many miles. Also, with your throttle body. You told me you were going to upgrade it at a later date, so rather than flip the spring so it would pull from the opposite end, I had to work with the one you gave me so that the next one would work. I am still wondering why you didn't just give me the final TB in the first place. I also would have cleaned it up a bit too.
As for the decklid notching, I didn't want you to do it in the first place. As I've been iterating over and over, I don't care much about the look of it, I care about the support. I'm glad yours hasn't cracked because that expensive paint job is sexy. I've heard of them cracking before and I don't want my expensive sexy paint job to crack either (or to have a bowed up decklid). You can call this one anal personal preference as it won't affect the performance of the car. Yep, I told you I'd upgrade the TB at a later date, and I've explained to no end on this thread why I'm doing that along with other parts. I also told you to do what you had to to make the TB work because I would do the same thing to the TB I upgraded to. This is the first that I heard you "had to work with the one I gave you so the next one would work". Cleaning it up isn't that hard so I'm not worried about it, but it is ugly next to that beautiful intake manifold.
Originally posted by bmwguru: On project CR3810N, Michael has asked me to build him a turbo setup and I will be able to do it my way....and when the car is done, I guarantee that he will be very pleased...because it is designed by a guy that has been under the hood for 18 years and not jacking off to car magazines from his cubicle. Dave
I hope that Michael is very pleased with his car, he's spending his money and he also seems like a great guy. And here's where you went down the really low road. Do you really think that a pathetic insult like that adds to your credibility? I've stayed away from several vendors in the past and will stay away (in other communities as well) when they don't hold a high professional standard on a public forum, even if they're being attacked personally (which I am not doing). I do feel like an idiot for failing to realize all along that you felt that I'm such an incompetent moron, though. It seems to me that while the whole time I thought I was working with you, you thought I was working against you. Ouch.
Again, there was obviously a gross misunderstanding between us about the meaning of communication and also what I was paying you to do. For that I can apologize only as much as I am responsible, and I do.
To everyone, if you look at it from my point of view, having paid over $11k (and yes I'm embarrased to say that), you might see that I have a reason to be seriously upset at many of the things you see in these pictures, and you might understand why I have been taken aback by this work, and after what has transpired over the last few weeks and days why I feel that my options with Dave have been exhausted.
[This message has been edited by ALLTRBO (edited 05-03-2011).]
Just be glad you got your car back and it is in on piece. There are other "builders" out there that would have let your car rot in a field while the weeds grew through it. I hate to see threads like this, where one person nitpicks the other to death, just to try and damage their reputation because of lack of communication. Take it to PMs or email and if you can't get any satisfaction then you can post about your problems here. He obviously cannot make any corrections to your car anymore, since you have it back, so it will be up to you to make any changes you think you need now. Whining about it here will not solve anything but it will start a pissing war. It doesn't sound like anyone had a specific plan of action or specific plans were made for this project. In before the trash, because that it where this thread is certainly headed.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I'll continue this in an email to Steven....just like he should have done with me prior to posting this.
Okay, emails are fine now after I respond to this. As I just posted, I was and have been overwhelmed by this, and from what I see and have heard, I feel that you were done with me. It's more than just a couple of minor mistakes that could be worked out easily.
Originally posted by bmwguru: The ONLY part of my work that I am not pleased with is that coil cover.
Originally posted by bmwguru: Other than that, I see Steven's RFT side showing. Not one thing was said about the good parts of the build. He just wants to critique.
"RFT side"? For starters, this has nothing to with that website or some of the prevalent attitudes on that website. I hadn't gotten to the good parts yet, because frankly, those are what I had expected. I'd still praise them then. This was all about what blew me away, and there was a lot of it. I hadn't gotten to it yet, but I was planning on saying this: Your welder is a damn good welder from what my untrained eye can see. The suspension and brakes both felt tight and straight while puttering around in the parking lot across the street. The car moves under its own power. The intake looks pretty. From the maybe 5 minutes I've run the engine I haven't seen any leaks. I'm trying for more, but everything else I can think of is directly affected by one of the "critiques".
Originally posted by bmwguru: (I still would like to know what is the complaint with the exhaust design. The exhaust was cut at the tailpipes as per his specs to add his exhaust tips on later.)
Originally posted by ALLTRBO: Here are the rest of the pics that I took this weekend... Some are random, some show issues, none in a particular order. I'm too tired to try to sort through them.
Originally posted by bmwguru: I also wish he would have understood what it is to do my part of the build. When I built my VR6 swap, the first design I drew out on paper looked great, but when I got the Fiero in front of me, certain parts didn't work out right and I had to redesign most of the build. In the end, it came out great.
I do, I'm a technician and I deal with engineers and designers on a day-to-day basis. It's the same way. The rest I covered all too well by now.
Originally posted by bmwguru: This is quoted from 60degreev6.com talking about the turbo. [quote]what I said[QUOTE] I don't think the turbo is the correct size for the application, but Steven insisted that since he got such a great deal on that turbo, that was the one we were going to use. It does spool up, and you hear the nice whistle, but that starts happening over 3500rpms.
And if I had gotten a chance yet, I would have posted this as soon as Tim from Tim's Turbos (who built the turbo) got back to me so I could post what I talked with him about since those posts. You act like I'm hiding something. I already said that I have nothing to hide, and that I'm not perfect and make mistakes, and that I want to post everything relevant to my build, and the turbo most definitely is. You are allowed to think my turbo is too big and that I bought it only because it was such a great deal, but that's your opinion.
I showed Tim my video and he says yes, sometimes larger turbos for the displacement don't spin at idle. However, he said that it stops spinning more abruptly than normal, but it may be a few things causing it, not all of which would cause it to need a rebuild. I'm going to get to that in my updates later because I'm exhausted.
Originally posted by bmwguru: Steven, I wish you luck on this build. I hope it turns out the way you want when it is complete.
Avengador, I hate it too. What can I say, I started it I guess. Thanks for the input. (I'm being serious about the thanks).
(Edited to add: "about the thanks" just then ^)
[This message has been edited by ALLTRBO (edited 05-06-2011).]
This was your idea...without cutting of the trunk.
We went back and forth for a good amount of time discussing this setup. I explained to you over and over that a muffer doesn't go in the exhaust system before the catalytic converter. This will not allow the cat to fire off and function. Also, I suggested a 90 degree cat off the turbo because it would function fine and is used on factory applications. You explained that the purpose of the cat was not for emissions, but to quiet the exhaust system down and you wanted your dump to be a free flowing dump to the tail pipes. So I came back with this and asked you to choose one.
Then we agreed to cut your trunk.
Then we made this.
Also, the dogbone relocation. The mounting is welded on the inside as well which has been proven to hold over an estimated 400whp on Ryan's 3800s/c (will be getting dyno numbers very soon). WCF has their dogbone setup that way as well.
I've fixed other swaps that I found to not meet my standards. Not once have I gone this far to belittle the original swapper. I try and maintain a professional standard or maybe I don't feel the need to air my dirty laundry. You should have come to the shop prior to our delivery and I could have fixed the issues or discounted the price to be fair. For the record, since you aired it out first. You paid me $4900.00 in labor to assemble your suspension, brakes, tear your engine down to the short block, Time Sert the block because the head studs pulled the threads out, assemble everything that came in the many many boxes you sent. Keep in mind the car didn't run, didn't have brakes at all, didn't have a functioning clutch pedal, and was lowered. The suspension was not complete. Everything else you paid was sublet charged to the machine shop, Ryan (he wasn't an employee at the time), or parts. So, I made $2450 a year building your car (which I split with the guys that were working on your car). I believe I can make that on a 80k service on an Audi which will take me one day. You can see my frustration. I build the Fieros as a hobby. I don't make a living building them. You are not going to hurt me or my business by bashing me. I limit the customer's options on my Fiero swaps because the options I give are tested and tuned setups that are working for us. If I don't enjoy doing the build....I don't do the build. If I feel the customer is the kind that can never be happy no matter what, I turn it away. Your car came in before I set that standard.
[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 05-04-2011).]