Progress Thread Time For A Revival Of My '91 Gt

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by J_Squared, Apr 22, 2014.


  1. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Another small improvement over the past day or so. Put the cleaned up intake back on and plumbed it all up. I just need to make sure all the vacuum lines are hooked in and the TPS is set right and hopefully she'll run without any input from my right foot this time! Tires will be here tomorrow and with any luck I could get it on the road next week. STOKED!

    For a quick comparison here is before and after the intake was cleaned up.
    Before: IMG_3554.JPG

    After:
    IMG_3914.JPG

    As always, there is still plenty of work to do and cleaning. But that alone makes it look so much better.
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  2. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Well, it lives and breathes! Friggin' awesome. Tires tomorrow, new set of brake lines Friday. I am betting I could get it on the road next week!

    Here is a quick roundabout exterior video of how it sounds now. I only had to tune the TPS (was at 1.3VDC) and adjust the idle set screw to get it to stay at 700. Wooh. So awesome.

  3. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    She has driven her first mile in years today! I am very pleased with the project so far.

    I tried timing the ignition today as the first half mile seemed underpowered. Correct me if I am wrong but this is how I did it. While the car is off, remove the ignition bung. Start the car and with a timing light setup the timing as desired(10* for now). Turn off the car and replace the bung. It didn't seem much if any better than the first time. I did it correctly jha?

    Aside from that I corrected the sole remaining vacuum leak which made a world of difference as you would imagine. However the issue of the starter and flywheel mating is still around. Only during that 5* or 15* section of the flywheel the starter will not engage and could leave me stranded. I intend to replace the flywheel and starter at this point. While I am at it I have thought about going aluminum. Any suggestions? Pros vs cons?

    Since everyone likes pictures here are a couple from today.
    image.jpg

    image.jpg
  4. 95BlueStallion

    95BlueStallion Well-Known Member

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    Congrats getting her on the road. I cant remember for sure, but if you search I think you might find that you can run 14* base timing before running into any detonation issues. Have you cleaned the MAF wires yet with q tips and MAF cleaner? If not, that may make a HUGE difference in your lack of power issue. I have replaced a couple flywheels and stuck with stock on both. From what I read, an aluminum flywheel will take more revs to get you going off the light, and you cant putz around as easily as it doesnt have the rotating mass to keep the car moving under little/no throttle. That is just my $.02, I would be interested to see what you thought if you do go with aluminum though.
  5. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Thanks for the response @95BlueStallion I checked the codes and did as you suggested and cleaned the MAF a little bit. It looked clean but it couldn't hurt to try.

    I took it for a quick ride afterwards and it felt maybe better? I am half wondering if it just has been so long that I forget how it felt speed wise. It IS basically stock and I've driven some 12s cars in the past couple months... It may be in my head.

    KOEO codes were:
    11
    29
    34
    41
    63
    91
    96

    KOER codes were:
    12
    41
    91

    At first glance nothing seems too out if line. I didn't have the O2 sensors plugged in when I first started it. I am not sure if that defaults to lean in that case or not. Otherwise I can't pin point out anything from the codes. Anyone else have experience with any of these codes?

    As for the flywheel question. I didn't really think too much on that subject yet. Just tossing out my gut reaction to go lower rotational inertia drivetrain. I don't have any experience with an aluminum flywheel otherwise.
  6. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Well the car is one step closer to being back in action, I got it insured and registered. Now I am just waiting on some brake lines to come in, get the tires mounted, as well as a couple small odds and ends like the speedometer gear that I destroyed, somehow, years ago. I did, however, bump the timing back up to 14* and took it out for a quick ride and it felt a lot better. It is still a little sluggish but again that may all be in my head. I was able to easily spin the tires in 1st without trying and a little in 2nd. So I am hopeful that it is running fine. It should be out for cruises any week now!
    stykthyn likes this.
  7. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    So short rant time... I ordered some brake lines almost a month ago now and they have yet to arrive. I was told almost a week after ordering them that they were on 'backorder', but should be in "this week". I called again this week and they said they won't have them in stock to deliver until the 17th of June. So as of today they still haven't gotten them in and I am still likely two weeks out, minimum, before getting them. /rant

    That being said does anyone know where I could pickup locally a small line? The one that is currently broken is the short one between the master cylinder and I believe the proportioning valve. Unbent it is about 14" but has a small stress relief loop in it. I've been down to the local Advanced Autoparts with no luck. Although the guy that was looking for them didn't really seem to know what he was doing as I had to point out two wrong fittings after he found what he thought was the right one. Not trying to knock on him but I didn't want to get home and it be wrong, I've done that too many times before. Thanks all, here is a pic of the one I am talking about.

    IMG_3595_2.jpg
  8. madmike1157

    madmike1157 the humor is still lost on me SN Certified Technician

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    There is no way in hell I'd be waiting for a brake line. You can go to any parts store and buy a straight piece of line that long (it'll probably be 18").
    Brake line is easy to bend w/ a cheap tubing bender. A double flaring tool is cheap too, as is a tubing cutter.
    Get the line, cut off the ends, take your old line cut the ends off it, transfer those ends to the new line, bend it to match, cut it to length, double flare the ends, done.
    30 minutes,..... tops.
    Granted you're gonna have more invested in it than just the back ordered brake line, but the tools last forever.
  9. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Considering the state of the car at the time I purchased them, I didn't see the rush. However, now that the car is basically driveable sans that one brake line, I am definitely leaning towards that option. Especially considering that it is such a short line. Brb, off to the store...
  10. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Brake line finished! I was able to find all the tooling I needed at Harbor Freight for only ~$40. Picked up some 3/16" line at the local automotive store and went to town. Thanks @madmike1157 for the 'tipping point' advice. It didn't take me long to get the short line made. Tool learning curve and all.

    I also managed to stumble upon a sears liquidation sale and picked up a DA Sander/Polisher for like $50 at like half off. I had previously started hand compounding/polishing earlier this week and itched for a polisher like I had at the body shop I worked at years ago. This one will do for now and will cut down on the soreness and time. I started on the spoiler and passenger side, making it to the passenger side of the hood. The difference is night and friggin' day. I can see all the actual imperfections in the paint now but it looks like something to be proud of now. The car is finally coming back to it's former glory. I may take it to work this week if I get it ready enough. So happy to have it back!
  11. boostfrk

    boostfrk Active Member

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    Nice progress thread man! Reminds me of when I restored my '90 LX a couple years ago and documented it all in a progress thread. Very rewarding as you see it all come together.
  12. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Thanks @boostfrk, it very much is satisfying to have it have been in such great shape, only to see it come on hard times and get back up to where it was. I am getting there. I just started polishing up the paint last week and it still has a nice shine left under all that dirt that accumulated over the years. Here are a couple snaps.

    2014-06-04 19.57.38.jpg
    2014-06-07 16.58.18.jpg
    2014-06-08 14.55.41 HDR.jpg
    2014-06-08 14.55.33 HDR.jpg

    I also just finished up the speedometer gear and sensor yesterday. I actually only managed to damage the sensor with the gear still inside so I only had to replace the sensor which was nice. Took a little convincing as it was nearly flush to the transmission. See below. But a proper sized screw with coarse thread and a set of vice grips and it pulled right out. Now I can tell how many miles I am putting on it while putting around. I managed 5 whole miles yesterday, hah.

    2014-06-09 16.50.53.jpg 2014-06-09 16.57.07.jpg
    Just a few more things to do to get it cruise ready, and then hopefully :track:.
  13. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Coming back to the starter issue, I replaced the flywheel yesterday and it is a night and day difference. I can barely hear the starter before the car fires right up. So satisfying to finally have that issue resolved. I wound up just going with a factory replacement. As much as I'd like to think I am made of money I really am not and a $100 fix to a lifelong issue(it didn't sound this clean starting ever since I bought the car c.2005) is music to my ears, literally.

    Now to toss the tires on and fix an exhaust leak and it'll be sitting pretty. I expect to get some detailing materials this week and then I'll make it shine(before and after pics will come shortly after). I also am already itching to mod it but I have promised myself to get it to a good state before I head down that road. As far as what though, I am still doing some research, but a mild street car that can dip into ... high 12s or low 13s is my end game I think. I say 12s or 13s because again, I don't remember/know how much I will have to give up in terms of reliability or comfort. But again, I will figure that out once the car is is good mechanical and cosmetic shape once again.
  14. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Update:
    It has been a few weeks since I last posted. I have been crazy busy with work and nice weather activities. Otherwise the car is finished being polished and looks tons better. Plastics will need some paint at some point but for now I think I will just enjoy the car as is until funding becomes more readily available. Exhaust leak is fixed. It turns out the damn EGR was leaking at the back of the passenger side head. The crimped-welded-pipe(aka plug) must have come loose after all the rough idling and sitting over the years now it sounds like it used to!

    Only remaining things I want to accomplish are my sub-frame connectors that I have had lying around for years, probably get a new headliner as the only one was toast before the car sat and finish troubleshooting the engine codes. I am running lean on both sides and I have a ECT outside of normal reading (21,41,91 were the codes) As for the ECT, I don't know if I fixed it accidentally while checking the sensor with a multimeter (running for voltage, off for resistance) and it appeared to be just fine. I coincidentally confirmed the thermostat works. While running the voltage hit the 185* value and then about 20-30 seconds later I had checked again, hoping to see it hit the 195* point but it dropped down to about the 170* value. So the issue may be a connectivity one so I cleaned the ECT pins as best I could. The gauge still reads low, about 140*, even when the sensor was at 170-180... Then again those gauges aren't the best, so I assume it is just a faulty gauge.

    As for the lean codes(both driver and passenger sides) I am not sure if the ECT was incidentally reading high or low(since the gauge doesn't seem to be accurate). However I would imagine if the sensor faulted it would be to 0 volts. which is closer to the 'hot' coolant temp so it could have drawn less fuel causing it to be lean? That is my theory for now. I am going to go for a drive tonight/tomorrow to see if the code comes back. I just cleared them all, there were quite a few stocked up in the continuous memory. The only other code was something to do with my A/C, which I am less concerned about promptly fixing. I haven't even tested the A/C yet so, no bother.

    Oh have some pictures.

    2014-06-22 20.48.33.jpg 2014-06-26 19.54.49.jpg
    2014-06-25 19.58.14.jpg 2014-06-30 19.07.10.jpg 2014-06-30 19.07.25 HDR.jpg 2014-06-30 19.07.36.jpg
  15. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Hope everyone had an awesome 4th! :flag: I had a nice sunny weekend of beer and friends, you know the usual.

    As for the car, I took it for a quick drive and got the codes to come back after clearing them the day before. Only KOER 21,41,91 came up this time, KOEO was all clear and same with CM codes. I'm thinking it still has to do with poor connections on the ECT since I double checked the sensor while running and it still looks like it is good. However if my attempts to clean the plug better to reduce the chance it is losing connection intermittently I will probably just replace it.

    Separate from the ECT/Lean issues I had my tires mounted and balanced and then I decided to check my plugs/gaps since I realized I hadn't since the rebuild four years ago. Four were gaped just fine, 2-3 were a little tighter gap than factory and one was pretty tight, like ~0.38, but they all looked clean. They DO only have a couple hundred miles on them, so there is that. I also managed to snap one as I was putting it back in(DOH!) so I didn't try firing it up after, but I was able to get it out of the head. I'll pick up a new one today and see how it goes.
  16. 84Ttop

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

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    No lack of progress or pictures here! Keep up the great work, the car is really coming together nicely!
  17. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Thanks @84Ttop. I am trying to keep chugging. I hope to get some temporary cheap painting(rattle can) on the plastics until a bigger paycheck comes in.

    Either way, I tested my ECT sensor AGAIN after those codes still came up and this time they read 0.15V after only a minute of running/idling in the driveway(If my interpolation is correct that is roughly 240*). I ordered a new sensor straight-away. Hope that clears up my CEL issues and that I will be back to full power. *crosses fingers* Now to find somewhere to inspect me with no cats... Or just suck it up and get high flow cats.
  18. J_Squared

    J_Squared Member

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    Progress has slowed down a bit unfortunately. I received the new ECT sensor and did a simple test before removing the old one and installing the new one. My thought may be unfounded but I figured it was 80* outside so the error shouldn't remain if I just plug the new sensor in and lay it outside. I still got the codes but thought maybe it was due to not being grounded or because I didn't clear the codes before trying again. I cleared the codes yesterday and plan to try again and just ensure the sensor is grounded(if it even needs to be). Am I wrong to think if the sensor reads 80* air temperature it should not throw the same codes? If it persists I may just install it and eliminate that possible fault.

    I tried to get the car inspected too but the shop I have been using for the past few years gave me flak for the exhaust, my front brakes and apparently my tie-rod end was loose. I ordered a new tie-rod end and when I went to install it, I noticed the cotter pin was missing.... So I just torqued it down and viola no longer loose. Frustrating, but a welcome easy fix. I also replaced the front brakes with some shiny new factory rotors and pads. While down there I cleaned up the calipers a bit with a wire brush and gave them some high temp black paint, the rust/coloring just wasn't working for me. I forgot to take any pictures but believe me, the calipers no longer stick out which is nice, especially with the clean new rotors. Maybe next time I'll do the same to the ugly drums in the back. Now to see if I can manage an inspection with the darn cat-less mid-pipe. I sure as schnitzel can't afford a new one, with or without cats. Oh well. We will see.

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