Progress Thread The Official Gila Monster Build

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by madmike1157, Aug 29, 2013.


  1. hoopty5.0

    hoopty5.0 Mustang Master

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  2. elarm1

    elarm1 Active Member

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    Keep those pics comin!
  3. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    ***** sigh****
    Conflicted,......again.

    I started tearing apart the monster that is a 4R70W yesterday. Just getting it up on a bench to work on it required my 16 yr old help me lift the heavy assed SOB up on there.

    There are several telltales that can give you an idea as to the internal health of an auto trans depending on what you do/where you look. The first, most obvious is to look at, and smell the trans fluid. If it smells and looks burnt, chances are that the trans is pretty well cooked.

    Mine was dark, but to be expected in a transmission w/ potentially 60+k miles on it. It didn't smell burnt.

    The next inspection is a pan removal.

    4R70W's/AOD's have a big honkin' magnet in the bottom of the pan. If the clutches have failed in the transmission, that magnet will be coated w/ the debris that comes off of the metal pieces rubbing together.

    My magnet was almost perfect.

    When I bought the transmission rebuild kit, the guy at PATC told me that there were certain parts in an 4R70W that wouldn't handle the potential 600 RWTQ that this engine was potentially capable of, I told the guy that it would never see a sticky tire, or a drag strip,....but that I did want to roll into the throttle at 60 MPH, and light the tires.
    Evidently,....that was enough to cause some little stock input shaft to fail.

    So based on that,....I bought all of that junk, including the hardened replacement for that little input shaft. It was also the same reason I justified taking apart a perfectly good transmission. Because the more I got into it, the more it just kept sayin' "Why are you taking me apart?" The clutches and bands are perfect.

    But once you start down that path,....all of the seals, and sealing rings are now compromised. so I push forward.
    Until I make this kinda mess:
    [​IMG]

    Now believe me when I tell you that all of this really doesn't bother me that much w/ one exception:
    See that razor scraper? See that little doo-dad directly above it? That came out of the trans,.....not attached to anything. No idea where it came from, or where the hell it's supposed to go back.

    Again, I trudge forward.

    That Transgo kit in the pic is an AODE-3 valvebody conversion kit. I'm not calling it a shift improver kit, because this kit goes way beyond improving the shift feel. It allows you to completely convert the computer controlled trans over to full human controlled manual shift. ( w/ an electronically activated OD, and lock up on the converter)

    The process to modify it is just like any other shift kit,.... You replace this valve, or this spring, you don't put this thingy back, you restrict this, you block that, or you drill this hole bigger. The problem w/ this kit is that you also have to drill the valve body casting itself.

    At an angle.

    Between two narrow passages.

    In aluminum.

    When was the last time you took a drill bit, put it on a piece of aluminum then angled the drill 45 degrees off of that surface and expected the bit not to just walk off? Well for some reason the guys at Transgo expect exactly that. That was the hardest part.

    What I have left from that is the reason for my conflict.

    The hole in the passage is probably significantly bigger than 1/8",....and the top of one of the fluid passages was made thinner where that bit touched it while trying to drill into the adjoining passage.:fuss:
    Like I don't have enough to worry about w/ the engine, Now I gotta worry about whether or not I just made an "improvement" that is some future fail point, causing the Alto red clutches and bands that I'm installing (that I really didn't need to replace) to burn the hell up.:doh:

    Additionally, after you drill the valvebody, and make all of the recommended improvements, you have to drill the case for a vacuum fitting. The process to control the trans manually, also replaces some electronic control solenoid w/ an old school vacuum modulator.

    Another point of conflict for me.

    What happens to the transmission vacuum modulator when it stops seeing vacuum, and starts seeing 16 lbs of positive pressure?:nonono:

    It was all too much to worry about, Transgo was closed so I couldn't call dude and ask him those questions, so I went over to the other potential time bomb, and installed stuff that was sitting in some un-opened Summit box onto it.

    [​IMG]

    Head studs came in yesterday, so I figured I'd screw them in for the sake of doing it. Also bolted on my SBF harmonic balancer to see if I'd have enough room to put the crank trigger wheel behind it. (I do). So I'll remove it an have the balancer modified to allow me to do that.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  4. 84Ttop

    84Ttop They make new pistons every day, so why worry? SN Certified Technician Mod Dude

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    I'm pretty sure you released the black magic inside of that 4R70w, more power to you for attempting that!!!
  5. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Two possible answers for the drill at an angle problem.
    1.) A 135 degree split tip drill bit. These are designed not to skate off when you start drilling. I used them for many years when I did aircraft structural repair.

    [​IMG]

    2.) Better answer - see your machinist friend. He probably has access to a drill press that allows pivoting the drill press head at an angle or a monster drill press vise that tilts, or a drill press with a tilting table. Bridgeport vertical milling machines often have this feature and can be equipped with a Jacobs taper mounted drill chuck.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  6. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    I guess we'll just have to see now won't we?
    As Usual,..great info but too late. the holes are drilled, The nut is red-loctited. I'm not gonna try to get it off, because I don't want to have to redo it if it is really on there good.
    ( kinda a catch-22 scenario,..if I don't check it what happens if it comes off real easy?)

    But again, I'll worry about that another day,...(it's hard to stay focused when every stinkin' day some new sh it is arriving at my door.....:runaway:)

    Today USPS, Fed ex, and UPS all graced me w/ gifts from the red white and blue logo'd equivalent to the North pole.

    UPS brought me a 140 amp one wire Chevy alternator, w/ Ford bolt locations. ( I hope that's enough)
    They also brought my Vintage air unit. This time that bitc h is going up front instead of the worthless rear mounted POS that I used last time.

    Yea!:poo:

    Fed ex brought me the nuts that go on those studs.
    USPS brought the washers.

    (Kinda seems relevant that Fed ex, and the USPS should be left to carry the un-importants don't ya think?)

    I called Transgo. He immediately said the boost hitting that vacuum modulator would be a bad thing. Fortunately they make a kind of check valve that vents to atmosphere when it's pressurized. I can get it at Summit for 29.99.
    ( Now that I think of that,...I wonder what happens to my boost signal if all of the sudden there's gonna be a leak:chin) .............:dammit:
    I also told him about the drilling fiasco,..he was un-concerned about the size of the hole, and said that next time to keep the bit from removing the top part of the adjacent passage, protect it w/ a piece of steel, and center punch the hole first.

    There better not be no stinkin' next time Willis.

    My converter ships Monday, My Cobra I/C pump is in transit,My Fatmat is also out there somewhere.

    Even if I could "aford" it (get it?? get it??,....did ya get it??) and PAY to have it painted what time would it save me?

    I gotta have the car to fit the engine, wire it, plumb it, an finish all of the interior fab work (which is gonna be HUGE!! HUGE I tell you.)
    Potentially,..depending on how long the rest of the fab work takes I could have a running car by end of summer.

    One year after that raggedy mo fo showed up on a trailer.
    A5literMan and stangboy like this.
  7. 95BlueStallion

    95BlueStallion Well-Known Member

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    A while back there was this guy that sold me on this little thing I have come to fall in love with.

    [​IMG]

    Being able to change your shift firmness on the fly to suit your mood is a pretty cool thing.
  8. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    Ohhh I don't know,..I've always seen myself as a hard and firm kind of guy. But I guess up in Iowa the ladies like it less firm.

    When are they in the mood for less firm?:banana:
  9. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    The car won today.

    6 hours and all I have to show for it it a pic of the crank trigger wheel installed.[​IMG]

    This stupid balancer has been on/off the engine about 6 times. I started out solely intending to mount it behind the balancer, but the dilemma was trying to properly locate the thing so I could. The machinist used the front balancer hub to reference off of, and that was way too big when I flipped the thing around. I did finally manage to locate it, and drill (4)10-24 holes in the outer ring of the balancer.
    I painted it, mounted it up, and reinstalled the balancer.

    It hit the timing cover.

    Back off it came, and I di cked around trying to mount it on the front instead. That proved to be a no-go because of the balancer I bought from Summit. It's flat faced, and comes with a big steel pilot hub that goes in the front to use as a locator for a crank pulley. You beat this thing in the balancer, install the pilot, and then you use a big honkin' snap ring that came w/ the balancer to hold the pilot shaft in.
    After that your supposed to be able to install the pulley over the snap ring to jam that assembly together. All of that left no room for that crank trigger wheel up front, so I fell back to the original plan. It looked to me like it was hitting the timing cover at the crank pilot, because it was sticking proud of the rest of the cover. So I cut the hell out of the crank trigger so it would get past that, and tried again.
    The screws were now hitting the oil pan lip. Off it came again.
    I ground the heads of the screws, and beat on the oil pan lip, and reinstalled it. It cleared.
    [​IMG]
    Now as I write this I realized that I have installed the snap ring on the wrong side of that pulley. There is absolutely nothing holding it in the front of the balancer, so I still am not done w/ this damn thing.

    I also don't know if that little assed pulley is gonna charge the alternator, I may have to go the route that Scott went @RacEoHolic330, and get one custom made.
  10. gearheadboy

    gearheadboy Mod Dude

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    Worse case just change the one on the alternator. They are cheap and easy to obtain.
  11. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    Ok. Again, another not worthy of a pic update.
    Stuff is pouring in. Got the Cobra WP yesterday, the fatmat, and the torque converter today. Still waiting on the copper HG, but it should be here anyday now.
    Fixed the pulley situation.
    Ordered my radiator, my starter.
    I'm getting down to the nitty gritty. Seat belts, carpet, push rods, switches, a steering wheel, engine oil cooler, some lines and fittings.......... it's getting hard to think what is actually left to buy.

    I tell ya. Last year this was a daunting task. I was still working at Carmax when I bought this car, and save for the purchase of the car, wheels and tires, and the Cobra brakes,...all of the junk necessary to build this pig was still in front of me. I left in Oct. and went back in business for myself. Thankfully, it's been so good I've been able to build this car in this period of time. For anybody that still stands on a soap box and says the economy is still in recovery, I'm sayin' it's recovering pretty damn fast.
    Unlike Scott ( and most everybody else) My car will have to roll before I start on the body work. Having a completed rolling chassis to worry about keeping free of over spray as opposed to doing it the other way where the car is painted first, then assembled will have to be my demon.
    In theory, I can wire and start this car before any of that happens.

    I think I prefer my way.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
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  12. 95BlueStallion

    95BlueStallion Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear things are going well for you man, and it keeps this thread interesting also.
  13. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    It makes sense to me to put it together as a roller and then paint it. That way the scratches and little dings that happen as part of the assembly process can be repaired before the final coat of paint goes on. You only have to do the prep and paint one time and not have to go back and redo something that got dinged or damaged.
    stangboy likes this.
  14. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    That's what I'm sayin.:nice:
  15. tannerc91gt

    tannerc91gt More durable than coconuts and twice as fast

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    You've done an awful job of posting pics of the full car. In pieces or not, I need continual reminder of the whole picture.
    See my blog for examples. It's the same 4 pictures over and over again so no one forgets that it's both "ugly" and a "bastard"

    Although not a bastard, they're ugly the same
    See @Noobz347 , if we just start callin em blogs your works already done
  16. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    I was gonna put the thing on four wheels, and back it out to determine if the ride height I'm guesstimating is correct, to adjust for bumpsteer, but I don't wanna have to raise it back up 2' after that to put the exhaust, and related under stuff on it after the engine is in for good.
    Finishin the trans today, will make my accessory brackets for the A/C comp, alt, and Cobra PS pump.

    I should have a "substantial update" later this weekend.:rolleyes:
    stangboy likes this.
  17. Boosted92LX

    Boosted92LX Mustang Master

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    I'm in agreement with tanner. Moar pics. Push her out of the garage!
  18. RacEoHolic330

    RacEoHolic330 I like to dress like a pretty girl SN Certified Technician

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    Where's the substantial update??
  19. tannerc91gt

    tannerc91gt More durable than coconuts and twice as fast

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    It's Sunday night.
    I know by now youve had dinner at 4pm, mumbled about Milk prices and Reagan ,yelled at the neighbor kid to move his bike, taken your Metamucil and passed out in the recliner but we want updates!
  20. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    look at biting off more than I can chew.

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