Build Thread 1978 Fairmont…Back in my lane.

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CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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I took the drive shaft to dude.

He said he thinks he’ll be able to get to it tomorrow.

Im looking / thinking about at changing the vibe again,….( shocking I know)

The issue(s) with the out-of-round wheels have me considering a different wheel. Ive found a company that I really like. They’re one piece cast as opposed to these two piece things currently on my car. For that reason alone, they should be very nearly perfectly round, They’re bronze although they look gold, but that’s what I want. I think they’ll look really good against the orange. The best part is the price, I can buy 4 for the price of just two of the current wheels And on top of that,…(they’re on sale).
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They‘re not w/o their own issues…The widest the rears come is 17 x 9…I’d have to have them widened, which would add about 200.00 per wheel. I’d be in the rears for about 425.00 ea.

The fronts…I can get them in 17 x 6; 17 x 7; and 17 x 8” sizes to fit. I’m thinking…Maybe I‘d try on the “ big-n-little“ look and run maybe the 17x6 up front….Then again maybe id just stick with the 8’s like what are up front already…again this is all just idle thinking for the next big thing..
 
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WhiteCobra95

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You've raised the bar too high. I was expecting a switch to a dual clutch transmission. ;)

I think those wheels could work, and really change the look of the Gilazilla quite a bit. I like how they're kind of a modern take on a traditional pattern, which gives it a solid muscle car vibe. Didn't you have a set of bullet wheels with a similar color scheme back in the day? Have you tried any photoshopping with these wheels and recent pictures as a low cost trial run?
 
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CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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You've raised the bar too high. I was expecting a switch to a dual clutch transmission. ;)

I think those wheels could work, and really change the look of the Gilazilla quite a bit. I like how they're kind of a modern take on a traditional pattern, which gives it a solid muscle car vibe. Didn't you have a set of bullet wheels with a similar color scheme back in the day? Have you tried any photoshopping with these wheels and recent pictures as a low cost trial run?
The other wheels I had on the car originally were torque thrusts..I mistakenly painted them green-gold. Waaay too much green. Those got blasted and repainted black an orange..
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WhiteCobra95

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Those look really good! They flow well with the color scheme and make the car look like it's sitting lower. I really dig that look because it balances the color focus across the whole car.
 

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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Those look really good! They flow well with the color scheme and make the car look like it's sitting lower. I really dig that look because it balances the color focus across the whole car.
Well those wheels are no more…they got sold off when the current versions arrived.

MOF, the wheels I’ve linked above are out just as quickly as they were in.
Unbeknownst to me ( because it’s been so long since I ordered them), my front wheels have the same backspace as an SN 95 wheel.

My front wheels have 6” of backspacing…the wheels above are only available in 4.5” backspacing. The 1.5” of positive won’t work.

I think sometimes hurdles pop up like karma to keep me from doing stupid sht.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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Whether this was yet another one of my wasted time projects, I’ll know soon enough ….
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I now have one of the two brake projects complete. This lever valve will allow me to manually lock rear brake pressure to serve as a park brake. It seems like it’ll work, ( at least it does in the air)…but there is still air in the lines, and i gotta get that purged before i can road test it for real.

I thought i had installed self bleeder screws, and that might be the case, but trying to self bleed that way isnt getting all of the air out. I have a HF vacuum air bleeder, and that will be the next plan of attack. I’ve been working on this most of the day ( what,…with having to fabricate a bracket to hold the valve on my Vise-O-Matic forming tool, and follow that up with my motorized spiral hole boring fixture, followed by a little juditious re-aligning using a Binford CH metal smashing tool, and finally sealing it against future oxidation with a Pressurized hand held coloring vessel.)

But i finally got everything bent, and mounted…I just needed to take a little Break from the brakes.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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At about 4pm After bleeding and bleeding the brakes system, I put the car on its tires to test that, and to determine as to whether the other things that bug me have changed. The pedal is soft, but i can safely stop the car.

I roll out of the driveway, and let the thing warm up as I drive.

I roll into the throttle in 1st, and let it break the tires loose, yank second and mat the pedal, the tires are boiling but I’m able to drive it, I stuff it into third with my foot still on the floor,..the tires are still hazing, kinda hopping every now and then, almost like they’re tryin to hook, while at the same time trying to break loose. I’m going about 100 mph…The tires, as insufficient as they are, are vastly better than the Sumitomos. And, Whether equalizing the rear ride height can be credited with helping make it all better, I can’t say…But It isn’t so damn scary to let this thing eat now.

If there’s a vibration…it’s barely perceptible. The scary, unpredictable dancing rear, is staying behind me.

Drive shaft dude said he didn’t do anything to the driveshaft. he has it on his lathe when I get there this morning, so he can show me runout. It has none. Yet,….He’s painted it. If there was something that the driveshaft was doing before, I seems like it‘s better now.

I decide to take it to the gas station to fill it back up…One of the tail lights is on.

Only one…of four.

I think to myself that brake line pressure is getting trapped by my newly installed park brake valve…but before the tank is full, the light goes out.

I add another thought….” the light went out because pressure has bled down, and the pressure switch that activates my brake lights has equalized”.

I drive the thing home.

When I get home, the brake lights are full blaze…only this time, they never go back out. I figure that the valve is to blame..I remove the thing, I have to put a loop in the brake line to couple the ”in” and the “ out” lines back together. I throw away 8 hours.

I re-bleed the brakes, only this time, they bleed using the self bleeders, and the great pedal that I had before returns immediately.

But the brake lights won’t go out. These lights are sequential. There is a circuit board controller thing that sequences the tail lights…it’s been on the car since 2015. I don’t have a clue whether it’s the board, or it’s some short feeding that board. The problem is I don’t have the old schematic I don’t know which wire is which back there.

Ive emailed the guy hoping he can provide me with a wiring diagram,…I’m so freakin mad that for every step I go forward, there’s some other damn thing related or not getting in my way.
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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Yeah,……..forgot about that. For whatever benefit anybody gets from that in a street driven car, the IRS swap isn’t worth the wheel choice limitation in my book.
Originally I was going to widen the car. Not going that route now. A really wide tire adds handling issues unless you can get it square front and back. A 265 tire can actually bite pretty good with the right brand tire on the street ( in moderation ). There was a study done somewhere. It has to do with the loading of the tire. The wider it is the less pressure for x weight....blah blah blah....but other dynamics of the tire suffer. Tire contact patch can end up about the same in measurement of actual contact.

The IRS is the best 700 bucks I ever spent on a fox. No more side hops on turns. Stays plated so much better.
 

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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In retrospect ….After thinkin about it…

All I did was clean the circuit board, and re-do the grounds. Whichever fixed it, I’m glad it’s done.As stated earlier, the rear tail light wiring is now a jug fck. That’ll be something for another day.

As for now,….in the present,…..I’m driving it.
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CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie franchise “ The hills have eyes”, It’s a typical gore filled movie from the early 2000’s remade from a late 70’s movie of the same name, involving typically stupid victims being chased, killed, and eaten by mutant cannibals living in the desert southwest who are they/themselves byproducts of the nuclear testing in the late 50’s.

Whew..

Well I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to go to the desert southwest to see those mutant people….They are alive and well about 45 miles north west of Birmingham Alabama.

And they haunt car shows looking for hapless victims.

Today I took off. Now that the brake light issue was solved, and given that it was an otherwise cloudless low humidity, high 70-low 80’s kinda day,…I wanted to go to a couple of car show things, and enjoy the day, and the car.

I started at Cars and Coffee at 9 am.

This’ll be the second time I’ve been to C&C, and now that that is done, I can say that a car dressed as a late 60’s-Early 70’s muscle car is out of place in this venue. I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone that has been to these, but my local C&C is usually populated with Exotic Eurocars, a few High end Jap cars like NSX, and GTR’s , A couple of Skylines, a whole bunch of lesser ricers, and a few groups of late model muscle clustered here and there.

Then I get there.

I gotta admit, a whole bunch of folks look up and watch me come in, and after I park it and open the hood, there is a brief crush of people that flock to see what is under there that is making no kinda noise when it rolled in.

There was a very receptive reaction from a crowd of about 12/15 people. A few hang back and talk, but after a few minutes, everything goes back to the way it was…and I’m standing there, by myself. I walked the venue admiring the Mclarens, Lambos, Porsches, and Ferraris,… Then get back in the car and head out for venue #2.

Hoping I don’t get a flat, have car trouble, or suffer through any other issue that might strand me in the hills….that have eyes.

I’m in Warrior Alabama about 45 minutes later.
I get checked in, and registered. I’m at Rickwood Caverns state park. A beautiful venue, set into the lower Appalachian mountains. Evidently there are caverns somewhere in this park that are pretty freakin amazing, but am I gonna go off on a hike and explore some of that?.

By myself???
Whadya,…..think I’m stupid? It’d be my luck that I’d get back there, twist my ankle, have no cell signal, and the next thing I know, end up as the BBQ at some Mutant family picnic..

I chose to stay by my car, amongst the relative safety of the rest of the group.

There was this guy walking around with a stomach tumor so large, he had to use a walking stick to offset how much weight it was displacing on one side. There was this girl…standing next to her parents..
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I’m thinking……she needs to eat.
But wait a minute……zoom in on her face…
She also needs to shave.

The band comes in, and dude shows up carrying something “ essential”…

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The bottom of those pants are shredded, and dirty..And it’s only 10:30AM…

I think….” I’ll bet he smells”.

There’s an older red neck guy wearing a Harley shirt ( normal I know) it reads on back “I’m guilty of snatching kisses”
( and Viceaversa)

I had to laugh.

Ordinarily there is usually a fair amount of eye candy….the females that attach themselves to the guy cruising around checking out the cars…
But not today,….Not at Rickwood Caverns state park in Warrior Alabama…Today, I have to avert my eyes to avoid having my mouth fall open.
Not the ordinary “Whoa” kinda mouth drop you get when a 20 something wearing not enough clothes walks by mind you…
This was more like the whoa you get when watching some stupid person face planting on a fail video.
No eye candy. It was more like Eye irritant.
I lasted 2 hours…at 1:30 I’m out.

The car doesn’t have the drivetrain vibration anymore…That’s not actually a good thing though.

I now have to check myself..85 mph is way too easy…and the engine and car are happy to just keep going faster if I don’t watch it.

Since it was so early, I decided that I’d buy the stuff to break back into the brake system ( see what I did there?) and install the line lock in the front brakes.
That required a quick stop…
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* different camera angles and lighting make this car look shorter than a notch sometimes.
I get home at 2:15, fully intending to do that, but Kate is Home…She asks me If I wanna spend the rest of the day with her…

So we go to Costco, and spend 500 bucks..
I told her that she’d have to help me bleed the brakes tomorrow at some point..She objects,…Ive already helped you Breed your blake’s……
“That was the clutch”….And it‘s “ bleed the brakes”….not,… “breed the blakes”.

She agrees.

I love this woman.
 
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revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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I don't think the South agrees with you Mike. You should probably consider moving.

Kurt
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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I don't think the South agrees with you Mike. You should probably consider moving.

Kurt
Then what would he write about, designing, building than rebuilding a power steering bracket?
Oh, he can post vids of Kate make'n 2J starter sounds (prolly after a couple glasses of wine or a brownie (or both?), That was priceless :nice:
Cept he may get a punch in the gut when she see's it.
 
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Olivethefet

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Mike, come visit me in Enterprise. I'll take you to the Hobo Pantry in Ariton. We can hang out with the redneck folk. These are the the people that people outside of the south imagine all people in Alabama must be. It's scary! I'm Alabama born and raised and I get freaked out. I can introduce you to some of my operators at the plant. I've seen things that you just can't make up. LOL

Nice to see the car on the road. :nice:
 
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CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
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Well….

Im exactly in the same place I was in late April….
With very few “ tolerable” exceptions, I have a very near perfect completed monster again.

I drove that thing about 150 miles on Saturday. It cold starts perfectly by priming the engine twice. It immediately settles into a dead steady 1000 rpm idle. A hot start only requires one prime. Except the rear end noise that only occurs in 5th-6th gear, The car is a pleasure to drive again. The last time I said that was last April after returning from the last Emerald Coast Cruise-in in panama city, but at that time, the car had the 4l80e in it.

Despite the near perfect status when the car had the 4l80 in it, a manual trans was alway a planned modification especially considering the lack of bottom end torque the engine has when out of boost.

Now that’s done, all that’s left to do is drive it.

( How long do ya s’pose that’ll last?)

The clutch will chatter if you slip it too much…Trying to hold the car on a hill has revealed that to me Saturday . Since a line lock was in the plans, I added that yesterday primarily to address that issue. I haven’t tested it out yet, but what the hell…..it’s a line lock. What’s to test?

The new Toyo DR’s will be here Wednesday…I gotta decide if i want them on for the trip to Mississippi. Weather so far has been perfect, But that trip is still 10 days away, and this is the gulf coast we’re talking about. I guess there’s another named storm (Sam) forming in the Atlantic…I’ll just have to watch and wait.
 
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