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On the 1996 RMW, more little things...

The rear level sensor and linkage are installed. I located everything to the stock locations and lengths as best as I could, so we'll see how it goes when I get the air springs in.


I took pictures of last weekends front fender (both inner and outer) modifications for tire clearance. This is at the rear, bottom of the front fenders. Just rolled them up/back so they clear and even if they do hit, they won't catch, just slide (hopefully :)).





I also worked on the crankcase vent. What is everyone's opinion on location? The first picture is ~inline with the shaft of the turbo and likely the smoothest from an airflow standpoint, however more difficult fabrication...
The 2nd picture is about 1.5" from the end of the elbow and is a perpendicular port (same "plane" as the 1st picture, just slid down) - Easy to fabricate, but maybe not the optimum airflow? Might not matter? It's a 3/4" hose going into a 4" elbow/intake tube.

Not many other options for location or angle.





I also changed the 23 pin connector that got damaged, re-programed the ECU for the larger diameter tires, have a plan for the horns, fixed a clamp that was loose on the engine oil dipstick, re-bent the hood secondary latch rod so it's a better fit and probably a few more things that I forgot :).

On the 1994 RMW, I checked the transmission fluid level, aimed the headlights, turned the drivers side seat belt 180 degrees so it wasn't twisted across my lap anymore. Been getting a solid 20 MPG on the highway with it which seems decent for wintertime driving at 60 and 70 MPH.
 

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I don't need any more rust, so she's sitting (outside) mostly during salt season. I covered the roof rails with plastic, put on a trickle charger and filled the tires. Actually, I only put 900 miles on last year. Miles at 124,850.
 

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Nothing specifically on the wagon, but for it...

Stumbled my way through SolidWorks to get a 45 tooth ABS ring modeled up. Found a place online that will laser them out of 1/2" thick material for what seems like a reasonable fee, but will do some checking around locally now that I have a model to share.



Also worked on re-re-re familiarizing myself with the wiper circuits and what I need to come up with to make that work. Should be one of the last things besides the horn that I need to wire up to make is truly road worthy.
 

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I have been fighting an overheating issue with my 91 OCC that has a 454 in it. I finally found a trapped air bubble in the intake manifold. I filled it with coolant and it "burped" on Friday. It is now holding temp, and running fine. I thought I had that solved, so did not suspect that issue. I now have another protocol for changing coolant. I will fill up the block to the level of the thermostat, and then install the thermostat and upper hose before filling the return hose for the coolant. I would like to put a small bung on the upper cap for a bleeder as well. I now have a spare radiator, and water pump. Now on to the AC that had a leaky hose. I will be ready for summer.

I hope they have the Spring Turkey Run, so I can get together with all the wagon guys this year. Anybody who got tickets last spring when it was cancelled can get a pass this year at no extra charge.
 

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These are the pics I have. The only difference is that I have a filler cap at the top of the upper hose.
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If you are open to suggestions, long term I would put a pressurized surge tank in place of coolant recovery (like the LT1)
Get rid of all the other caps .
Tiny bleeds , like #3 off the rad and high point of engine were air gets trapped
to the tank.
Tiny bleed hole in thermostat.
Engines will "make air" either from cavitation or localized hot spots and an active bleed system does work better than a manual bleeder.
Large return to heater hose return to pump.
The lower pressure will keep purging air, also the surge tank and cap will be at the lowest pressure point of the system.
Remember the old top tank rad cap cars spitting during high speed or rapid accel?
Restriction across the rad , causes pressure rise in the top hose relative to the lower hose, water pump inlet.
I take care of a number of cars with pretty big power , engines on different ends than rads, multiple low mount rads, some pretty wierd setups.
They more or less follow the above and the cooling is reliable in them.

For system filling, a vacuum bleeder is one of the best investments you can make .

Hope this helps.
 

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I put a cap on the top hose to allow me to fill it to the top, but I lost my bleeder in doing so. I am going to have a bung welded on the cap to install another bleeder. The cap on the radiator is only there because it came with the radiator.
I did put a tiny bleed hole in the thermostat.
I do not remember spitting fluids from the cap.
I have considered a vacuum bleeder, but do not have one at this time.
It worked fine up to when I changed fluids.
I have decided on a protocol that requires that I fill the block up to the thermostat housing before installing the thermostat and housing, then filling the system to the top cap. With the installation of a bleeder in the top cap, I should be able to get the last of the air out.
 

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I mis read you had a rad cap in the upper hose.
Out of interest, does your setup have the bypass hose from intake to water pump like the typical BB Chev?
 

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I have the bypass hose. I drove it today, and the gauge showed overheating, but the coolant was only warm to the touch. It seemed to have no pressure in the system, and it was full. I am going to take the thermostat out, just to see what that does.
 

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Good day fellow wagoneers,
Been in the shop busting my knuckles and bleeding all over the place for the past week. Installed a few parts

Rebuilt my upper and lower control arms with new bushing and ball joints, these bushing were a nightmare especially the lower control arm bushings.

Changed out the old spindles for belltech drops, coils spring and shocks, it wasn't bad except for installing the springs. The springs I brought were way too stiff and they rasied the car up. So I chopped 1 coil off and had her sitting low like before.

Got a aftermarket aluminum radiator from champion cooling, it fits ok however will not work with LT1 radiator bracket. But it cools my car down quicker than the old factory radiator. I haven't seen anything over 190 degrees yet.

Last but not least installed my Holley Terminator X for my 5.3 swap and that thing is awesome it fired right up and within a few minutes that engine was running great. I had a 411 PCM tuned and that PCM worked great for years but I want more flexibility and the ability to tune on the fly, so I scopped up the Holley.
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Frasierraheen - Nice color combo there. The emerald green and wood look nice and the wheels set it off well too!

On the 1996...

Got the crankcase vent welded into the turbo inlet and all assembled.






Also worked on the underhood fuse block. The plan was to use a few of the unused circuits for my own purposes so I don't have to further clutter things up with auxiliary circuit blocks. It's getting full! There are 4) 280 series relays and J Case fuses that are available toward the center of the block, however they are not populated on the circuit board.


So, get a donor circuit board, remove the necessary terminals and populate the one on my car - seems easy enough...


The circuit board is actually two boards held together by ~125 pins soldered around the perimeter...


So...250 solder joints just to get the two boards apart and another 125 to put the original back together - Plus whatever terminals I need to re-locate - so at least 400 solder joints on a conformal coated board without lifting a trace or screwing any of them up...I think I see some room "over there" for that auxiliary circuit block :)

Did a bit more documentation for the wiper circuit - validated a few things on the delay functions.


On the 1994...The 2-3 shift was loooonnnnnggg and getting longer so, dropped the pan to adjust the pressure valve clockwise ~60 degrees. To get access to this, the 2nd gear accumulator comes off and a broken spring was found which explains some of the inconsistent 1-2 shifts as well as some of the 2-1 shifts. New spring installed, pressure valve adjusted, new filter, fluid and pan gasket and it shifts much better now. 1-2 is consistent, just a touch firmer and the 2-3 is perfect and crisp, not harsh, not long, just in the next gear.


I pulled the wheels to balance them due to a bit of a vibration. The shop happened to have a set of 235/70/15 snow tires that found their way on the rims along with 112 studs/tire.




I also attached a retrieval mechanism for when I inevitably stuff it in a ditch :)
 

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If you are going to use a crankcase vent, put a catch can on it to keep at least some of the oil out of the engine.
 

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It's got one built into the valve cover with an external drain back to the oil pan. Rather complicated setup if you ask me, but it must work well because in the 200 miles that I've driven it without this connected there is no oil residue at all. In the 135k miles before this, there was only a mild buildup of oil residue in the charge air system.
 

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I ripped out all of the front suspension and steering components.
Replacing springs/shocks with Coil-Overs on all 4 corners, replacing factory control arms with tube arms and replacing all steering components.
While waiting for the parts to arrive, I am going to be cleaning up some of the wiring in the engine bay, replace the coolant reservoir and the coolant hoses & clamps.
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Looks like you have it all handled then👍👍
It is still getting hotter than is should. I may have a defective head on the passenger's side. I am going to attempt to isolate the temp issue left to right. I have a sensor on the driver's side for the computer, and am going to monitor it to compare with the one on the passenger's side to see if there is a difference.
 
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