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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I've decided to start a build thread for my Fleetwood project. I recently totaled my Roadmaster wagon, and subsequently picked up a 1995 Fleetwood that has been sitting outdoors for 10 years.

The Fleetwood was parked when the trans went out, and at the time, it was in excellent condition. After sitting for a decade, it has obviously acquired some rust and some mouse debris, but it has really held up well considering the circumstances.

My plans are to build a street/strip car that most normal people would never consider driving on the street. I will be using some of the parts from my totaled wagon, as well as some new parts that I have acquired. Here is a basic outline:

ENGINE:

Original LT1 with 180k miles
1.6 stamped steel rocker arms
Edelbrock valve springs

DRIVETRAIN:

Edge 2600 stall converter
4L60E built by Atomic Transmission in Villa Park, IL (Z-Pak clutches, full Transgo kit, Beast sunshell, etc.)
4.10 gears
Mini-spool

EXHAUST:

Summit long tubes (uncoated & wrapped)
No cats
2.5" catback

SUSPENSION:

Front: Bilstein shocks with SS springs
Rear: Monroe SS shocks with 9c1 springs

I will keep the factory sway bars and just throw some poly end links & bushings on.

============================================================

My original plan was to use the LT1 from my wagon, but at this point I intend to get the existing LT1 running. It turns over fine.

Stay tuned for much more, including PICS!

Thanks,

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I am currently in the process of replacing the fuel pump and sending unit, as I have no fuel getting to the engine. We will see what happens. If the engine still doesn't start, the next step will be to start replacing all the electronics (opti, coil, ICM, pugs & wires, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just an update:

I have been screwing around with the gas tank on the Fleetwood (and the wagon). I have no idea what I'm doing, so... I'm certainly learning quite a bit.

I verified that I have 12v at the harness attached to the rear bumper. I just have no power getting to the pump itself. This tells me that the wiring inside the tank is bad. I have a newer sending unit that I pulled out of the wagon, but unfortunately the wagon unit is slightly different. For one, the metal tubes coming out of the tank are way longer on the wagon. Also, the Fleetwood has a 4-wire harness, whereas all the other b-bodies have a 3-wire harness. I plan to basically take both units apart and make one good sender. Wish me luck. I will document the process, at least lazily.

This morning I was itching for a boost of motivation, and I decided to spray a bunch of starting fluid in the throttle body of the Fleetwood and see if it would fire. Sure as ****, it fired right up and even idled for about 5 seconds. This is after sitting for over a decade. I am now pretty confident that the car will run as soon as I get fuel pressure.

I will post pics ASAP, as well as an update on my frankenstein sender.
 

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Well I'll be, the fleetwood sending unit in the Rock Auto catalog has four wires coming out of it! I wonder what the fourth wire is for! And RockAuto says it's only for the '94-96 Fleetwood. Learn something new every day.
 

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Just an update:
....
I will post pics ASAP, as well as an update on my frankenstein sender.
Mein Gott In Himmel! Just when I'm convinced I have to be the absolute cheepest ass "repair-never-buy", along you come rebuilding 20-year old GM stuff that was marginal performance to start with when new. lol Srisly treat the old gal to all-new guts in the tank. She'll be ever so grateful maybe you don't have to fart with it for another 2 decades.
I can appreciate the gratification in re-rolling your own, but this junk is really just regular PM and seems low value to effort reusing old parts. - Especially with a boring dirty tank drop. Pump-sock-sender-harness = all in one fell swoop.


But good news it fires on ether and you know the trouble is the ass end and not the motor. But both FPR and 12v jumper tests could have told you that too. I'm not that smart but had to learn all this too. Crimp the harness connectors to the lugs real good (or solder). Ask me how I know, and how I got good at dropping a tank. ::rolleyes::


QUOTE Sherlock: I wonder what the fourth wire is for! And RockAuto says it's only for the '94-96 Fleetwood.

The 4th wire might have something to do with powering all the separate little lit bars v. just the single sweep dial on B-bodies. ?????
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mein Gott In Himmel! Just when I'm convinced I have to be the absolute cheepest ass "repair-never-buy", along you come rebuilding 20-year old GM stuff that was marginal performance to start with when new.
Thanks for the compliment! :smile2:

I can appreciate the gratification in re-rolling your own, but this junk is really just regular PM and seems low value to effort reusing old parts.
Just to be completely clear, I won't really be using any old parts. The sending unit in my wagon is a Delco unit that is basically brand new. I paid like $250 for it or whatever. I'm not going to throw it in the garbage. After a little bit of inspection, I believe the entire top of the sending unit comes right off. That means that I can just transfer the metal tubes from the Fleetwood unit onto the wagon unit. This allows me to use all of my new internals. The Fleetwood does have an extra wire in the harness for the digital gauge, but the wagon uses the same 4-pin connector with one spot open. Effectively, I think I will be able use my entire wagon sending unit if I just swap the top piece. I am assuming I will lose my fuel gauge, but for right now I simply don't care.

But good news it fires on ether and you know the trouble is the ass end and not the motor. But both FPR and 12v jumper tests could have told you that too.
Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that I already went through the troubleshooting process awhile back. I applied 12v to the jumper wire and such. My schrader valve is bone dry. I knew the pump was completely dead, I just wasn't sure if there was anything else wrong with the car. While I am sure there will be some maintenance to take care of, I now know that the car will at least start and run once I get fuel pressure.

The 4th wire might have something to do with powering all the separate little lit bars v. just the single sweep dial on B-bodies. ?????
Bingo. That is my understanding.
 

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Have you ever driven a car with a spool? You should try a Detroit Locker instead. It will be a lot more friendly to drive on the street.
 

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Caddylack::
Just to be completely clear, I won't really be using any old parts. The sending unit in my wagon is a Delco unit that is basically brand new. I paid like $250 for it or whatever.

Ah so, "almost new" and $250. Thank god my ch. ass rep is safe. You know I was just razzing a fellow FWBer. Seriously, smart you're re-purposing and sounds like taking advantage of carmaker's default to commonality whenever they can pull it off.

Fred, I read up on Detroit Locker and it looks pretty slick. For Fleetwooders improving on the pegleg is tough considering the traction control. I imagine it's possible to swap out the carrier for that or another LSD, but it would also require of course resetting or changing the ring & pinion. At least (I don't think) there's no issues with reluctor(s) as those are installed on the axles, not pinion. As the least costly "posi", and without tearing the rear apart, the Powertraxx No-Slip seemed perfect. $400 and an afternoon and done. There were some impressive clunks at first when it released from being bound up, but now with it worn in only a little thunk every few months mostly real slow in a parking lot. For FW'ers, outside of always risking the TC's dreaded 'Throttle Relaxer' if gassing it too strong (and usually at the most inopportune moment with a dumptruck gaining on your ass), probably the biggest benefit is not ending up completely stranded when there's little traction (snow/ice/mud/gravel). Normally the TC instantly retards timing and slams off the accelerator at the slightest provocation whenever one wheel loses traction. In real bad conditions it ends up like all 4 brakes are locked. Sure you can turn off the TC but then it's fulltime permanent one-wheel spin, but only worse than any other one-wheel-drive car I've owned.

Now if putting a foot in it just a split-second of stall and then full lockup and zoom. I'll have the wife flip off the TC for even faster launch when crucial. Now with my black car the Auburn is dying at 75,XXX. It'll likely get a gear upgrade with an Eaton or that locker.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you ever driven a car with a spool? You should try a Detroit Locker instead. It will be a lot more friendly to drive on the street.
I have never driven a car with a spool, but I have friends with welded diffs. I'm also not quite right in the head.

I would love a Truetrac, but we are talking about the difference between $50 and $500. Have you guys ever even seen a Fleetwood with a spool? It would be unique, if nothing else.
 

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I would not be able to see if it had a spool, except for hearing the screeching of the slipping tire when going around a corner, be it left or right.
 

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hahaha Fred quote:
...except for hearing the screeching of the slipping tire when going around a corner,...

Seinfeld:: "Not that that's a bad thing."

Take a look at the Truetrac as well.
Interesting. Spreads load through 6 helical gears = strong. On the face of it all these sound better than LSDs using frictions. Numerous gear lockers out there, and I went did the No-Slip as it's "normally open" until tromping on it, or with even slightest less traction one side = very reassuring. I've learned to maintain steady pedal around sharp turns to avert lock-in - unless of course I decide I need to real bad "for strictly safety purposes dontchano"..... ;)
 

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I would not be able to see if it had a spool, except for hearing the screeching of the slipping tire when going around a corner, be it left or right.
Oh, damn you! :grin2:

Interesting. Spreads load through 6 helical gears = strong. On the face of it all these sound better than LSDs using frictions. Numerous gear lockers out there, and I went did the No-Slip as it's "normally open" until tromping on it, or with even slightest less traction one side = very reassuring. I've learned to maintain steady pedal around sharp turns to avert lock-in - unless of course I decide I need to real bad "for strictly safety purposes dontchano"..... ;)
From what I have gathered, the "locker" style differentials such as the Truetrac are far superior than the clutch style as far as durability. In theory, they should pretty much last forever. The issue is that the clutch style differentials are king when it comes to road racing. If you like to take corners at speed, you probably don't want an "on/off" type of differential.

Guys... I will post some pics tonight when I get home from work, even if I don't actually make any progress.
 

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Should Make Ya Feel Better -

Here's the progress I made on getting the re-re-re-built opti back on. As in not very effing much.... Shoveling for wify's Tribute's eventual escape took precedence. Of course motivated by all the usual ulterior motives:


 

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I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Just so Bob can shovel snow.>:)
Back on topic. So a clutch style is better for the road? No racing planned just thinking of an upgrade from my factory limited slip. Looking at the Eaton site showed how the locker worked. I thought that would be the way to go. I managed to confuse myself.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Just so Bob can shovel snow.>:)
Back on topic. So a clutch style is better for the road? No racing planned just thinking of an upgrade from my factory limited slip. Looking at the Eaton site showed how the locker worked. I thought that would be the way to go. I managed to confuse myself.

Mark: Snowman-33
Lockers are fine for the road. My Trailblazer has a locking differential from the factory.

However, if you want absolute maximum cornering performance, you want a clutch style differential.

The majority of people would probably never be able to tell the difference.
 

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Preciate the reply. I have read more than one thread that said the Eaton (clutch style I guess) was the way to go for the road. Then the locker came up here and my head almost spun a bearing. Thanks a bunch.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here are a few pics, finally.

One of my other projects lately has been removing the stupid security system that was installed on the car. All sorts of gizmos and gadgets.
 

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Now... A bit about sending units...

In the first pic, you can see the fully assembled sending unit from the wagon. In a matter of seconds, and with no tools, the unit can be disassembled to the extent that you see in the second pic. I will snap some pics of the old Fleetwood sender and button everything up tomorrow or Monday at the latest.
 

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Glad to see you're not pussy footin around about this. We need to keep them alive. At one time I thought of alarms and remote start but I keep hearing of all the troubles they cause. I'm thinking I may go a different route on security. Keep it coming.

Mark: Snowman-33
 
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