1978 Fairmont Build. How 5/16” may as well be a mile.

When Mike tries to cut the Aerocatch fasteners into the original hood, will I:

  • Do it up

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • Screw it up

    Votes: 7 58.3%

  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .

CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
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I deleted the old thread because it was getting out of control. It was too bloated, and too hard to find any specific item in the build even for me. Having the index worked to a degree, but considering that almost everything has changed on the car, most of the references in that index pointed to stuff that was long gone.
I came on here a few nights ago and started with a new version that was based on chapters/ phases detailing the mods done to the body, chassis, interior, engine, etc,...but even that proved daunting.
And I erased that too.
So i’ve decided that I’ll start here, at the end, and add things that have been done before to the car as I get around to doing it.

Now that that is all said and done...

The 4l80e transmission:

I bought this transmission used at a premium price hoping that it wouldn’t require anything internally other than the shift kit to convert the thing over to full manual control. This kit was a little more involved than the 4r70w version I had installed previously, and required additional modifications to the front pump, and a clutch drum that was pretty deep in the trans. I called transgo, and asked if the internal mods were necessary, and dude told me that they were unnecessary,......” As long as I didn’t intend to rev the engine above 5500 rpm”
:thinking:
A 2jz is still asleep at 5500 RPM...I’m thinking that I’ll actually be revving the combo to something more like 7500 RPM. The internal mods were gonna need to happen.

When you put a 2jz in a car, you quickly come to terms with the fact that you have very few transmission choices. Either you keep the transmission that came with the engine, or you put one from GM behind it. The factory trans is weak, and expensive to upgrade to tolerate any real power, and the GM trans...(the only real alternative if you’re gonna street drive the car)....is huge.
And...expensive.

After attempting to make the old ford trans that I had work..( and dumping about $750.00, and two months worth of time trying). Reality bitch slapped the piss outta me.
A TH 400 would live forever behind whatever power level I aspired to, and was moderately affordable,...But was only 3 speeds.
A 4l60 would fit. It weighed less, was smaller, and had 4 speeds plus OD, but was prone to failure.
That left me me with big daddy.. A 4l80 is a TH400 with a 4th gear, plus OD. And with a converter weighed over 225 pounds, it was bigger, and longer than either of the other two mentioned before. But..it would tolerate just about anything I anticipated throwing at it, (600 whp) and could be upgraded to tolerate well in excess of 1000 ft/lbs of two should someday I get stupid ( er).

I chose to buy a salvage piece that was listed as a 40k mike piece. Paying a premium for a salvage trans that I hopefully wouldn’t have to rebuild anytime soon. Once purchased, I ordered the adapter to allow that trans to mate to the 2JZ,
20200817_182610.jpg

the requisite 10” 3500 stall converter.
20200805_170959.jpg

And the transgo 4L80e-3 Valvebody reprogramming kit that would allow me to ditch the internal electronic controls, and manually shift the trans instead.
20200816_111909.jpg

In addition, to the typical valve body mods that usually come in a shift kit ( drill this hole bigger, add this bigger spring here, remove that spring there,...) This kit required that I open the trans to upgrade the springs in one of the clutch drums to add holding power at higher RPM’s.
20200813_194811.jpg

Getting to that drum wasn’t the bad part, as I had rebult a few AT’s before...But putting it back in after the mods proved to be a challenge. I just couldn't get it to set down onto the clutches from the other drums that this piece of sht sat on top of. Eventually though.....I adapted. I improvised,..I overcame...I got it to see things my way.
Last week I put that trans in place. When it came time to install the drive shaft, It quickly became obvious that it wouldn’t spin. Something in the trans was too tight..Something that I had done was wrong. I removed it yesterday.
Today, I set out to discover what I had done wrong, and fix it. Hoping to be able to get the trans back in by end of day.
Trying to determine what was wrong required that i remove the guts again..a mistake that ended up costing me the day. Because as bad as it was getting the clutches aligned the first time,...this time around had me screaming. One step away from a full blown, flopping around on the floor conniption fit .
After removing everything that I had previously removed, and finding nothing, the one I did find was that part of this trans had JY internals. You could tell from the tell tale JY writing on the replacement part. I’m guessing that the trans came to me tight. it had had its OD clutch drum and input shaft assy replaced. All i really needed to do was measure the clearance after the front pump and fet a thinner shim to add the necessary clearance that this JY added piece was taking up too much of.

20200827_170754.jpg

After bolting the Front pump in temporarily, and preloading the trans by placing a jack under the output shaft, I was able to determine the required shim thickness that would allow me the necessary clearance to make this whole mess live. Unfortunately, that ended up costing me yet another day.
But the drive shaft turns.

Since being technically dead in the water. I decided to modify the shifter, as I had the new gate plate that would allow me to convert a 3 speed shifter into a 4 speed shifter.
20200827_172120.jpg

It does appear that the shifter will have to move further back to engage 1st gear..I may have to modify the shifter bezel as a result.
 

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Rdub6

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Sad to see your 600+ pages go bye bye..... but I’ll be following along here! Hope you get this worked out. I always say, you get out what you put in, and you’ve put in plenty!!
 

revhead347

Just rub Vaseline all over
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I deleted the old thread because it was getting out of control. It was too bloated, and too hard to find any specific item in the build even for me. Having the index worked to a degree, but considering that almost everything has changed on the car, most of the references in that index pointed to stuff that was long gone.
I came on here a few nights ago and started with a new version that was based on chapters/ phases detailing the mods done to the body, chassis, interior, engine, etc,...but even that proved daunting.
And I erased that too.
So i’ve decided that I’ll start here, at the end, and add things that have been done to the car as I get around to doing it.

Good call. I was mildly interested in clicking on that thread, but the 600+ page count was a huge deterrent. Wish I could be more help with the transmission, but I rebuilt an automatic....once....and I think it gave me cooties. I don't touch them or buy them anymore.

Kurt
 
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rdharper02

like kicking myself in the junk
10 Year Member
May 8, 2006
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That was well suprisingly...well Gangster as fugh.
 

CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
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Dude.... You just erased the whole history of the Gila Monster! You’ve gone off the deep end with the Christopher Columbus statue removers!
My purpose is clearly stated.
Sad to see your 600+ pages go bye bye..... but I’ll be following along here! Hope you get this worked out. I always say, you get out what you put in, and you’ve put in plenty!!
Sometimes over, and over, and...
Good call. I was mildly interested in clicking on that thread, but the 600+ page count was a huge deterrent. Wish I could be more help with the transmission, but I rebuilt an automatic....once....and I think it gave me cooties. I don't touch them or buy them anymore.

Kurt
It’s a mutual, but inverse experience for me. You don’t touch Auto’s, and I prefer not to go slower with a manual.
That was well suprisingly...well Gangster as fugh.
Thats me..welcome to my Gangsta Paradise. And you can be in one of my gangs. I’ve decided to start two for older guys that need to belong. I’m naming the one gang the Cripplies, and the other, The Bleeds. The only thing I gotta work out is the initiation....I’m worried if you have to get “beat in“ Ill have to maybe come up with a 3rd gang...The Bleeding Cripplies? :shrug:
You could have just locked that thread, it had some very entertaining and informative information on it, sad.
Yeah, and it would be the same as sticking some old keepsake in the attic. There was plenty of funny junk in the old thread to be sure, ( cat sucker, me adopting a small Japanese child, etc.) but trying to find it required hours of back reading..But in that same light,...I’m the one who wrote that junk. And the last time I checked,..I’m the one writing this.
 
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revhead347

Just rub Vaseline all over
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My purpose is clearly stated.

It’s a mutual, but inverse experience for me. You don’t touch Auto’s, and I prefer not to go slower with a manual.

You don't even know the half of it. A manual is slightly slower in normal circumstances, it's much slower when your left knee cracks every time you move your leg, and your right elbow suffers duress from flying a 50 ton, 65 year old airplane with no hydraulic assist.

Kurt
 

CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
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You don't even know the half of it. A manual is slightly slower in normal circumstances, it's much slower when your left knee cracks every time you move your leg, and your right elbow suffers duress from flying a 50 ton, 65 year old airplane with no hydraulic assist.

Kurt
The only thing I can think of that fits that description is a....707?
 

CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
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This thread is the train wreck version. The “build thread” is just gonna be progress stages w/o outside commentary. Things I’ve already done to the car are being put together behind the scenes, and will be linked from this thread. The stuff I’m doing here now will eventually get edited, and attached to the incognito thread.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
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Ok....back to indecision mode...
I had the pump open, and the pump gears got mixed up. Now I don't know which side is up on the larger ring gear. The inner gear had dots, but the outer gear doesnt...and now I'm at a loss.
If i put these things in one way or the other I have no clue if that is detrimental to either pump life or performance. Clearly, they are hardened pieces, but....( the vids out there show the gears both having these damn dots..) If I put them in and they whine, or fail..

You can just put me into the ground.

Cause the ensuing rage tantrum will surely blow a blood vessel completely out of my head.
 

Foxslider

im not that much of a idiot
Oct 25, 2019
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Ew, thats tough. Does the gear look the same on both sides? No chamfer on ID on one side or somn noticeably different etc... Teeth are parallel on both sides?

Why didnt you mark it?? (Being hindsight guru here)
 

revhead347

Just rub Vaseline all over
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Ok....back to indecision mode...
I had the pump open, and the pump gears got mixed up. Now I don't know which side is up on the larger ring gear. The inner gear had dots, but the outer gear doesnt...and now I'm at a loss.
If i put these things in one way or the other I have no clue if that is detrimental to either pump life or performance. Clearly, they are hardened pieces, but....( the vids out there show the gears both having these damn dots..) If I put them in and they whine, or fail..

You can just put me into the ground.

Cause the ensuing rage tantrum will surely blow a blood vessel completely out of my head.

That's it, chuck it, get a TH400 and a Gearworks over drive like all the guys doing Drag Week. I don't live to far away from you. I am no good at fixing automatic transmissions, but I have a very complete expletive vocabulary. I usually am able to get most things working by applying the correct number of swear words.

Kurt
 

CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
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So,...I called one of the transmission guys I’ve known for like...Dinosaur age...That used to build trans for fleet vehicles.

Says...”I don’t think it matters that much” with regard to the front pump gears on my 4l80e.................

” Sometimes you just gotta say, what the fck...”
 

96pushrod

Mustang Master
May 15, 2018
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Wow, I’m kind of surprised transgo said the 4l80e would only be good for 5500rpm. That’s some bs.

I don’t know about manual valve bodies, but with their stage 2 shift kit (non manual) and a microsquirt we’ve ran them to 7000rpm in ls applications and they’ve always been good. Bone stock 4l80e otherwise, with a fti billet converter.

4l80e is a workhorse. With a good trans cooler and a shift kit they’re known to handle way more power than we ever threw at one. It would be my first choice to put behind anything. We don’t even consider 4l60s unless a customer is absolutely dead-set in using one.