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Finally back to working on the wagons...

On the 1994
  • Took the snow tires off and put the all seasons on
  • Fiddled with the rear brakes to see if they can be more consistent (not really)
  • Greased the front end components
  • Checked the fluid levels
  • Gave it a bath


On the 1996
  • Checked the toe - it looks off visually, but measures good. Checked the fixtures I made and they're good, re-checked toe and still good. Must be an optical illusion
  • Found a place for underhood power distribution and relays for the horn and other future accessories since I'm not de-soldering the board shown a few posts above
  • Got quotes for 45 tooth ABS hubs. I need to just pull the trigger on these and get it done.
  • Updated my "open items" and "things to order" list
  • Installed the Crank Case Vent Oil Drain Line from the CCV to the Oil Pan. There's a steering shaft in the way of the original routing shown in the picture below so I ended up re-routing the line so it goes below the valve cover to the front of the exhaust manifold and then down instead of outside the manifold. No pictures of it in the car - can't see it :)



I found my multi-meter which saves me ~$400 for buying a new one!

Spring and de-salted roads are near, so I better get this finished up.
 

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On the 1994 Roadmaster Wagon
- Smelled gasoline for the last couple weeks when it was running. Found the vent tube hose at the front of the tank had rusted/split generally turned to crap. Remove the hose, which had turned to a piece of carbon black. Replaced it with a new one. When I went to fill up, loosened the gas cap and heard a big sucking sound so it must have sealed up properly :).

- Sometime this winter, the ice must have broken one of the washer clips so it was pointing at the bottom of the windshield. Zip-tied it to the wiper arm - simple/easy fix.


On the 1996 Roadmaster Wagon
  • Painted the CCV oil drain tube from the above post and re-installed
  • Sat down for ~4 hours this morning and wrote out the inputs/outputs and control logic for the wipers - This won't be a walk in the park, but it's not climbing Everest either
  • Measured a few electrical things to validate the above
  • Installed a pair of horns from an 80's caprice - Definitely a hack job, but functional until I get the underhood fuse block work done
  • As mentioned a few posts back (2455), the underhood fuse block looked to be more than I wanted to tackle...but upon further inspection of the donor block, there are over a dozen loose terminals on the board. Kind of like a loose tooth when you were a kid - you can move the terminal back forth easily, but not quite pull it out. Some of the loose terminals power things like the PCM so not really something you want to be loose. So...I guess I'm going to do some de-soldering and re-soldering to make sure this isn't a potential failure point in the future, and as long as I'm in there (famous last words :)) I'll populate the unused fuse/relay/wire terminals so as not to have to add any more auxiliary wiring. There are at least 9 relays and as many/more fuses that are unused, so I'll document and populate as much as I can while it's apart so any future applications can just have the wires added to the connector.
 

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My tach was running 150 rpm high, so I swapped in a different cluster. The donor cluster tach is right on the money, but the speedo was off, and the odos did not run. I set my signal modifier to speed up the speedometer, and took the back off to find the odos were not hooked up. While installing the dash face, I chipped the support, and had to use some JB Weld to make it work. I finally got it together.

Another goofy issue came up...I replaced the rear trailing arm bushings, and the right front arm popped off the front bushing. I got it fixed, and put a couple of tack welds on it to keep it in place.

I must get my AC working again, and a couple of small items done as well as giving it as a thorough cleaning for the Daytona car show next weekend.
 

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Not too much this weekend...

On the 1994:
  • Changed oil - Put 0w20 in to see if it helps the MPG's any
  • Looked for a leak on the evap system - didn't find one. A couple weeks ago I fixed the broken hose on the fuel vent line back at the gas tank. For the next few fillups, when I would unscrew the gas cap, there was a huge sucking sound that it never made before. Then when I filled up this morning and again this afternoon, no more sucking sound when removing the cap. Not sure if this is normal or not?

On the 1996:
- Mocked up some airbags on the rear end to see how well they might work - still TBD, but clearance wise they're good around the exhaust and everything else.



 

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Gave it a bath - and replaced the LP switch on the accumulator to get the ac back online. Glad it was an easy fix.
 

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On the 1994...
  • Replaced all the steering linkage - tie rod ends, sleeves, center link and idler. Nice to have a direct connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels now :)
  • Bled/flushed the brakes at all corners - probably used 1/2 gallon of brake fluid before it cleared up and was bled. Finally have rear brakes now too which is also nice. Guessing there was some air in there?
  • Sucked out and re-filled power steering fluid as well - another 1/2 gallon of fluid used. Not clear yet, but much better than the black coffee that was in both the power steering and brakes!
  • Made list of items to get so brake lines can be replaced (wheel cylinders, hoses, etc)

On the 1996...
  • Measured the current on the digital inputs to the BCM for the wiper "converter" system that's coming
  • Measured the parasitic drain on the battery - Was ~7mA but seems to have jumped up to ~11mA recently. Only able to let it sit ~30 minutes so maybe it did this before and drops down to 7mA after a longer period of time?
 

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Well, I'm a ways behind FixUntilBroke, and am doing it in a much dumber way, but I'm also swapping a Duramax into a Roadmaster wagon. If you want to catch up so far:

This week I dropped the video on my first attempt at re-using and modifying the truck mounts for the Duramax in the B-body frame. I wasn't very happy with the results:

FixUntilBroke went a much smarter way - modifying the B-body steering and crossmember, then lifting the body. I'm doing it the dumb way - cutting out the front 1/4 of the B-body frame, switching to a C5 Corvette front-end, and chopping the floor out, while not lifting the body. We'll see how this goes!
 

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My brakes started pulling to the left a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got a chance to look at the issue. I lifted the front end, and my left wheel would clunk when pushed and pulled at the top...sounds like ball joints. I pulled the wheels, and the brake shoes were paper thin, so I decided to do the brakes while I was under there. I replaced the BJs and found that the right inner pad had almost completely disappeared...had to replace the rotor. I decided to put new calipers on both sides because they looked pretty bad. When I was done, I put it all back together, and the clunk was still there on the left side. It turns out that I had good BJs, but the bearings on the wheel were just a tiny bit loose. I tightened the bearing properly, and did a quick alignment check. DS is 0.15 deg neg, and the PS is 0.05 deg. neg. They are within tolerance, but I may remove a 0.030 shim from the DS stacks. The toe was off at 1/8 inch toe-in, and it showed up in outer edge tire wear. I moved it back to 0.

Since I have drop spindles, and they push the wheels out by 1/2 inch, so I decided to buy a set of 17 inch by 8.5 inch rims with +18 offset to correct it for tire clearance, and bring the wheels back on the proper center line with the ball joints, and steering ends. I fitted one of the rims, and it clears the outer tierod ends by about 1/32 of an inch. I also mounted a "Kleen wheel" disk under the rim that gave me another 1/32 of an inch, and now the rim clears the tierod end by 1/16 of an inch. I never though about the tierod ends being close to the wheels, until I was poking around under the car during the above repairs. I guess you could say I got lucky, because I ordered wider tires that will fit with the change in offset.

I also got a Moon hubcap to experiment with. I am going to copy it in carbon fiber, and fit it just inside the rim edge with Dzus fasteners. I tested the Moon hubcap I bought, and it fits just inside the rim where I wanted it without modification.
 
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Finally got my new front ABS Tone Rings in last week...Waterjet place did a great job on them!


Was able to put them in the lathe and get the center turned to size since they're a press fit on the hub...


And then finally get them installed on the car this weekend...


Hopefully this will make the ABS system think the front tires are spinning the same speed as the back tires :).
 

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Finally got my new front ABS Tone Rings in last week...Waterjet place did a great job on them!
Was able to put them in the lathe and get the center turned to size since they're a press fit on the hub...
And then finally get them installed on the car this weekend...
Hopefully this will make the ABS system think the front tires are spinning the same speed as the back tires :).
If you run the same diameter tires front and rear (or at least pretty close), different tone rings are not needed. You can use a tire comparitor to easily determine the correct match, and it does not cost anything.
 

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If you run the same diameter tires front and rear (or at least pretty close), different tone rings are not needed. You can use a tire comparator to easily determine the correct match, and it does not cost anything.
So...this setup is a bit unique with the engine swap. The rear wheel (vehicle) speed is determined by the transmission output shaft speed sensor and math about gear ratio and tire diameter in the ECM. Front wheel speed is done through the front ABS sensors with the assumption of a certain number of pulses/rev. The front and rear tires are the same diameter and the vehicle speed reads 60 MPH while the front wheel speed shows up as 45 MPH which is right on the harry edge of what the 2012 ABS system will tolerate. Had a few ABS interventions when braking and there's a little bump or when steering/braking at the same time - 90% of the time it didn't care.

Options
  • Do nothing - I can't fix it until it's broke if I don't do anything :)
  • Put 33% shorter front tires on (20.5" diameter) - nope, not the look I'm going for
  • Software fix in the 2012 ABS and/or transmission module - maybe, not in my current skillset
  • Make new ABS tone rings with 33% more teeth on them (45 teeth vs 34 stock) - yep
 

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Tuesday morning I am endeavoring to make 4 carbon fiber moon style hubcaps, and 12 mounting flanges. I hope to have them done by noon. I believe my condensor may have a lot of debris in the fins, and blowing it out is the only way I have to clear it. I am trying to get more airflow over my radiator. I am also going to bypass the trans cooler in the radiator, and put a fan on the radiator style cooler in front of the condensor.
 

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I attempted to make a moon wheel cover today, and it was a fail. The CF is too stiff to flex around the recesses for the Dzus fasteners. I will try again and vacuum bag it.
 

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On the 1994 - Brakes - Every line replaced with NiCu, all 3 hoses replaced and both rear slave cylinders. Front rotors/pads/calipers were new-ish when I bought the car. Tedious and unglamorous, but necessary.

On the 1996 - Nothing (again)
Sad
, maybe in July...
 

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After having the wagon prepped to pull the engine and trans for a few weeks, I was finally able to schedule a day with my 80 year old father to help me out. He insisted he help, after all he flew from MN to NY with me to pick up the wagon and drive it home back in 2017. The transmission had a few hard shifts and we believed that the rear main seal was leaking so we figured we would just pull it all and inspect it. Intend to inspect the wire harness while it is out as well, it seems like a good time to check for any cracks/pinches/frays. The manifolds removed nicely for me, going to be installing CIA headers and cold air intake. Will be installing a FIRST TPI intake as well. Also probably installing 1.6 roller rockers. Hopefully too much more doesn't bite me and spend more money. Also figure this is a good time to replace the plugs and wires, will be cleaning up the frame/cross member and painting them up. Will also be a good time to install the new sensor for the Z28 gauge cluster that is awaiting install. Intend to replace the firewall insulation with a heat resistant sound dampening material.
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