Exorcising a '78

Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
949
761
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Minnesota
He knew I wanted to change to a curved handle due to Enzio's experience.

I did not use MSD for the shift handle. I traded my straight one to another guy for a brand new curved one he was going to use on an AC Cobra he was working on. I too wondered why they didn't have a shorter shifter. It's a pain to remove the consol with the long one. It can be done but not easily.
 
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extra_stout

Mustang Master
Aug 27, 2018
612
695
103
Germany
How is your shifter boot looking?
DIY shifter handle is easy to do, if you can borrow a tube bender.
img_20210115_173412-jpg.670303



Done with that tube bender (except it is yellow):
pipe-bender-m100-3.jpg
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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I guess I caused a ruckus at Modern driveline. I cc'ed the email chain to the owner last week. Yesterday I received a call from another gentlemen from MD. He apologized repeatedly. They were preparing for SEMA last week and once he read my email took a couple days to do some verifying in house. Apparently the salesman I dealt with is being terminated. I was not the only one he dropped the ball on. The gentlemen claimed they care about their public image and will make this right.

They do carry a shorter shifters for us. They do carry shift boots. All of which the previous salesman claimed they did not carry. He sent me some links for replacement parts. Asked for pics of how this shifter fits. Time will tell but it seems they want to make it right.
 
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Enzio

Dang it. I was hoping mine would get 3 more inches
May 14, 2019
949
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Nice to know. I had quality help with them. Other than my salesguy didn't know about the shifter. Something to add to my spring list.
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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I received my replacement shifter. They even comped me a shift boot. I went with the Lokar 6" 30degree arm. Looks great and location is now perfect. Modern Driveline really stepped up.

I added 2 degree shims to the rear axle. The vibration may be a little less. Doesn't seem to hit as hard. May come on a few mph higher. Really hard to tell much difference. I also have 4 degree shims but have not tried them.

Carpet and Noico black insulation pads have been ordered. Hoping this makes the interior cooler on those hot days. I also have a factory black console in one of the parts cars to install. This one was red at some point and shows it.

IMG_20211116_160027878(1).jpg
 
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extra_stout

Mustang Master
Aug 27, 2018
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I know one guy who tracked down the vibration issues of his car down to the drive shaft itself. He had several different driveshaft installed (all new or freshly balanced) and it took him 2 years. He than stared this procedure:



And has now same wheel balancing weights on his drive shaft and it is gone.
:shrug:
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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I did not jack it back up and run it on stands today but previously I have and can see the pinion bounce as the vibrations start. It happens with the axles removed. Either I am missing something completely obvious or it has to be the angles. I believe I have eliminated every thing else. At this point I've been through 2 stock driveshafts and 4 sets of u joints. I think it's a left/right angle vs up/down. Not much I can do about left right. I have loosened the mounts and shoved the tailshaft left right and center but thats about an inch variance and doesnt change the vibration.

I have a quote from a driveshaft company to make me an aluminum one with a cv joint replacing the front u joint. It would have been ordered already but a friend of mine is retiring from being a tech and wants to sell his snapon box full of tools. I can't pass up the deal and have to pay him first.
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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I decided to flip the 2 degree shims placing the pinion front down. That seems backwards in my mind. Installing the t5 makes the tailshaft drop. I thought. In my mind the pinion would then have to raise to stay parallel. It did help some though. No where near smooth but the harshest vibrations are less. I took it to up to 70mph and it still vibrates but not as bad as it did. I drove it for 30 minutes to make sure it was warmed up and it did not get worse as it did previously. I am waiting on 4 degree shims to try them but it looks like winter is coming this week and if they salt she will be grounded till that's is gone. It may be spring before I get meaningful seat time again.

I also noticed the rear axle is not even front to back. I have about 3/4" difference in tire to quarter panel gap. I had the first shop set thrust angle when he aligned it. He even talked about how easy it was using the traction bars. Either things moved or wasn't set right. Kinda hard to move on its own with the traction bars. Maybe that is contributing as well. I wish I had a rack and way to shoot a laser grid upwards onto the chassis and measure away.

I will try to get her realigned and see if I can find a road force balancing shop. I wonder if the sticky weights or old wheels on the front are contributing as well.
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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Ran her up to 75 with just a mild vibration!!!!!!

I centered the rear wheels in the well. Front to back. Just loosened the u bolts and adjusted the traction bar to get it eyeball close. It will need a proper alignment but that will happen sometime over the winter/early spring.

Then I had the tires road force balanced at Discount Tire today. They are the only place I could find near me who does it. Tire discounters, Bob Summeral and the local shop have balanced them previously on a regular balancer. None made much of a difference in the vibrations. Replacing the rear wheels and tires didn't help. Therefore tires were ruled out as the problem. Discount Tire did not find excessive run-out or any bent wheels. All were out of balance though. One was 2 oz out and the rest were under 1.5 each.

It is not stable at 65+mph as the caster and toe are off as well as the thrust angle now. But !!!!! It is a lot smoother. I still have a mild driveline vibration at 60+ but it's not enough to think its about to self destruct. My better half commented how we can actually have a conversation now that it's so much smoother.

It still has the 2 degree shims in place. The tires and axle adjustment made such a difference I am going to remove them and see what it feels like.

Basically wasted a year chasing my tail. Replacing parts and being frustrated. Just needed the most basic of steps done competently. I probably changed the thrust angle when I replaced the traction bars. A performance shop touched her next and set the thrust angle wrong. He even told me how easy it was to set using the traction bars. Then Bob Summeral didn't catch it when they re aligned it. I should have caught it myself as well.

The best part is now I am able to move on to the pretty stuff! Carpet will be here in a week or so. Maybe I can get new seats and a stereo before summer!
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
15 Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
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It seems the "simple stuff" is often overlooked and we almost automatically assume it's something major. Been there myself! :shrug:
Happy to hear you've gotten it to a manageable level! :nice:
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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I have been enjoying riding around and not fixing car things! As long as the weather permits this is my daily driver now. Daily as in the once or twice a week I actually leave my house. Took her on a highway trip a couple weeks ago. About an hour away. She cruises fine at 70mph. Still some vibrations around 50 to 60mph but gone at 70.

Since the highway road trip went so well we decided to do a back road day trip to see covered bridges in southern Ohio. We were about an hour from home on a backroad when I lost a lower caliper bracket bolt. The left front wheel locked up every time I touched the brake pedal. The caliper was wedging itself into the wheel since I lost the bottom bolt. We had to limp back home using the emergency brake and downshifting. Luckily it was all rural roads and little traffic. Make sure that emergency brake works. I would have had to tow it home if mine was not working.

I have been collecting interior parts over the winter. Since I am waiting on a new forged caliper bracket I am going to pull the seats and start installing sound deadner and insulation. Then the new carpet. I picked up Noico brand insulation. Noico Red is what I purchased but after reading up on it some more I found it needs to be placed on a foil backed insulation as it does not stick to metal very well. I picked up some killmat to install first.

I have tried for 2 years to find the updated t top seal and it is still out of stock with no timetable as to when it may be available. I am going to reinstall the factory trim and found a roll of sticky backed felt to use on the aluminum trim pieces. Not ideal. The felt will probably fail relatively quickly but I am tired of having to tape the tops down when going above 60.
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
340
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USA
I need a new caliper bracket. I originally bought the speedway 11" wave rotor brake kit on sale. I cannot say I would recommend it. The bracket is just plate steel. The bolt backed out which is my fault but the bracket is no longer straight. The stainless braided line has a twist and the wave rotors cause a noise and harshness when braking. I ordered forged caliper brackets and will eventually get new rotors and replacement braided brake lines. I don't like the pedal feel with these. Doing it over I would get a better kit with cast brackets and normal rotors or piece the kit together myself.

Seats are out and most of the rubberized noise dampener has been removed. I found a small amount of surface rust in drivers floor. Treated that with coroseal. Wiped floor clean with degreaser then glass cleaner. I did remove a significant amount of loose seam sealer. I guess I will have to replace that before installing the killmat. Two steps forward and one step back.

I did not make as much progress as I had hoped but I did get to drive it sitting on the floor. I now understand why my wife hates that 5 letter S word. Short.

A friend showed up with his 69 Cutlass and I had to move my car to the other bay. We fixed his brake issue and some wiring problems. Whoever had his car seems to have cut up the taillight harness and headlight harness and tried connecting various wires to fix what ultimately is a couple bad sockets. If you don't know wiring learn or ask a friend who knows. Don't just chop :poo: up and use a bunch of wire nuts. Get a decent test light or multimeter. Get a decent crimper and use good connectors. Use heat shrink. Not wire nuts and electrical tape. They do not last. I replaced 1 headlight socket and both taillight sockets and rewired it back to stock. Shockingly it works when you remove a bunch of garbage wiring . And have working bulbs. That helps a lot too.

PXL_20220430_212713193.jpg
 
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extra_stout

Mustang Master
Aug 27, 2018
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that looks very good! I also removed a lot of seam sealer, because it was brittle.
See it like that: condition will improve a lot and now you know what you have.
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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USA
I treated the surface rust that was there with corroseal. Looks like moisture from wet shoes or possibly water intrusion around the bolts for the torque boxes. I sealed the seams paying special attention to the rusty area. It says paintable in 30 minutes but it takes a full day to actually dry. I tried using a caulk gun but wound up smearing it on by hand as the gun doesn't push the sealer into seams. These two steps caused a few days delay as they dried.

I used degreaser then glass cleaner on the floors. Just used a rag wiping it on then wiping it off. Installed Killmat then the Noico red on top. I used the 150mil for most of the floors and the 80 mil for the trans tunnel. The carpet is laying in the car but wrinkled from being in the box all winter. It's rainy/cloudy here so I cannot leave it in the sun for a couple hours. Looks like Monday for our next sunny day. I may get it cut and installed before then wrinkles permitting.

I now have a working stereo! I only used the fm radio during testing but the usa740 is installed and looks great. A little too modern but it's the best match in a new radio I could find. The lettering on the display is hardly noticeable in use. It comes with the correct filler piece installed and has spacers for our odd radio mounting. They did not just label this for II's. It's setup just for us out of the box.

I took a bunch of pictures but they were all cloudy from the lens protector I put on my new phone. Here are the ones that turned out okay.

PXL_20220503_161457545.jpg


PXL_20220502_210531533.jpg
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
340
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USA
Carpet is installed. It's chilly and cloudy here this morning so the carpet was a little harder to manipulate. If your installing your own, trim the carpet. Then tighten down the threshold trim then install the outboard seat belt bolts. The carpet is just wide enough to be captured by the threshold trim. When doing the inboard seat belt bolts it pulled the carpet from the threshold trim. I had to remove the inner bolts and do the outboard bolts first. To keep the carpet under the threshold trim I kneeled on the threshold trim as I tightened the Inboard ones. I imagine a warmer day may make this easier.

I put the dash cap on. Its not glued yet as I am debating if I am going to paint the steel portion. It is a snug fit without the glue. I was planning on having an all black interior but am warming to the mismatched interior as it matches the body. I have the v6 t top which has black interior and hounds tooth seats. The tracks and brackets are rusty but the seats are in better shape than these red ones. Its a cancerous mess but I have a hard time stealing parts from a complete car.

Does anyone know what changes they made to the ac system for 77 and 78 models. I know the fittings for the evaporator are different. I know they fit each other as I swapped a 76 ac system into a 78 years ago. I had to switch some wires and used the 76 heater control. I have the parts cobra which had ac but its a 76. I found a company on ebay who carries 77/ 78 evaporators. I am wondering if it will fit a 76 heater box.

PXL_20220504_181517129.jpg

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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
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T Tops are done for now. I painted the original trim pieces and riveted them in place. Installed some 1' wide thin felt. It looks similar to the factory stuff. Fist time I have seen the top finished. It looks good. My pics haven't updated to my google drive yet so they will be attached to the next post.

I pulled the dash pad and painted the metal portion with SEM Trim Black. I will post pics once it dries and I get it reinstalled. Looks good hanging there drying though.
 
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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
340
457
73
USA
Finished the 1 wire alternator install. I needed an alternator belt one inch longer due to the larger case hitting the water pump. This prevented using the last inch of the adjustment bracket. I did not get the right belt so I just wedged the original sized belt on as far as it would go and bumped the engine over causing the belt to fall into place. I have about 1/4 adjustment so the belt was hard to get on but not too tight.

I am getting a lot of alternator whine in the stereo now. I had a slight amount with the factory alternator but the 1 wire is causing a lot of whine. I have my battery in the trunk and use a bulkhead fitting on the firewall for common power point in the engine bay. Constant is connected to the bulkhead but ignition is through the original wiring. I will order a noise filter.

Finished up the dash pad and layed it in place. I will have to paint the original cushion as I can see a red line where the new cover does not cover the old pad completely. I will also have to get a dash speaker. It's empty I can see the back of the red dash through the now black speaker grill.

The roof looks so much better now that I have the t top trim on. I don't think I want the newer felt that deletes the aluminum trim anymore.

Very satisfied with the SEM trim black paint on the dash cap panel. I have not driven it yet but it looks great and being matte finish shouldn't have a glare.

I cannot wear my regular gym shoes in the car now. They are too wide. I used the 80mil Noico on the tunnel and the Mass Backed Carpet. This raised my floor a little over an inch and the tunnel is about 3/4' wider. My shoe hangs up on the brake pedal when applying throttle. I may remove the brake pedal some day and try to bend it to give me a little more room.

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IICrew

Advanced Member
Mar 29, 2020
340
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USA
Had the front wheel rebalanced as the weight came lose with the caliper hitting them. The unilug holes are now round. The lugs have excessive side to side movement in the holes. I guess when the caliper jammed itself in there the wheel shifted and the aluminum gave way. Cannot be sure it's centered on the rotor.

Gonna need new front wheels now. They made me sign a waiver to take my car back home. Uggg. Cannot find new 14's. The only 15's I can find are 5 or 7" wide. I would have prefered 6" as that's what it has now. I will have to get new tires as well. No decent 215/50/15 tires are out there. I will have to go to 205/60 which are 1/2" taller and or a 195/60 which is 10% narrower. I think the 205's will rub more with the additional height even though they are not as wide. I am going to loose the low and fat look I have on the front end with the 14"s. Off to the tire fitment thread and see what has worked for others. Sigh.
 

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mod Dude
Mar 5, 2019
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Stupid Unilug pissing me off too...
Well a big ballast stop the stereo whine? IDK
But T tops is looking good. :nice: