Old 2001 News

  1-2-2001 -My SS has had to back in for repair. The oil leak has been getting worse. We replaced the gaskets on the timing cover last night. Afterward, the oil problem seemed worse. I'm attributing it to the fact that I'm using a high-pressure oil pump.  
  Also, today, one of the starter bolts snapped on me. It appears my starter came loose from the block. Not sure on that one. So, we're going to pull my engine this weekend. The oil pan seals will be replaced, along with the starter bolt getting fixed. In addition, the valve seals are going to be replaced.  
  I may be buying a daily driver if the problems with my SS continue to be on a daily basis. I love performance, but it seems that some of the problems I'm having are stupid ones. I don't want to give up my love for power.  
  1-16-2001 -My SS was back on the road just two days after changing the oil pan gasket and oil pump. Unfortunately, I still have the nagging oil leak. I'm going to see about replacing my oil pan and timing cover here in the next month or so.  
  I've had to replace my starter twice over the past weekend. On Friday, I discovered one of the two through bolts holding the starter together had come out and was hanging. My guess is that the end of the bolt was coming in contact with the inner electronics of the unit.  
  Well, I had maybe 7 starts on the new starter when it went down on me again on my way to work Sunday night. The back of the starter housing that covers where the gear pops into place to turn the flywheel had broken in two places. So I put on another one yesterday. The starter bolt hole we tapped into the block when we originally put the engine in the car is off a bit. I had to file the holes out where the bolts go through, and I also had to shim the starter.  
  The electrical system has given me problems in the past. I've discovered occasionally that one of my wire crimps from rewiring the system came aloose. The problem was fixed until we pulled the engine a couple of weeks ago. Then it came back. I rechecked the wiring and the distributor. I ended up purchasing a new alternator, but the problem was still there. I've been needing to replace my keylock, so I did as such. I found that there were two broken pieces of plastic inside the mechanism, and the could have been forcing the electronic contacts to make unnecessary contact with each other.  
  1-28-2001 -The oil leak has been fixed for the most part. We replaced my timing cover last Sunday. It had three dents in it, which was a result of forcing it into place when replacing the gaskets on it in the past. Now I only lose oil when I get on it. So far the ring seals aren't that bad.  
  Now that tax season is just around the corner, I have plans to get the cowl induction hood. Once I get it, I can go back to having a 14" filter on my engine as opposed to a 9". The 9" is definitely starving the engine of air. I took it off the other day and fired up my SS with no filter on it. It could not even keep an idle.  
  2-12-2001 -My SS has been running pretty well for the past couple of weeks. No major problems as of yet. It's a good feeling, too. I'm still burning / losing oil, and the dipstick is still blowing out of the engine at WOT. I'm guessing its still crankcase pressure building really high, possibly a result of blowby somewhere in the piston rings. That, unfortunately, is a bad thing, but I'm already considering building another engine for my SS.  
  I learned that my transmission is doing a lot of slipping. The stall is definitely there, but the gears just don't slam like they used to when I had the original engine. The only thing the computer controls is the TCC lockup feature. Some Internet research has mentioned that the TV cable (aka kickdown cable) also controls pressure and flow in the valvebody. If this is true, I will be hooking it up soon.  
  My buddy Jim and I replaced the shocks on my car Saturday. Gone are the old shocks with support springs. The new shocks ride as well as the old setup. And the lack of the springs should help make the car sit better when I get on it.  
  We did some burnouts yesterday. A couple of the guys were videotaping. I found out that I don't even have limited-slip positraction. Time to shop for a new rear end! That and getting my cowl induction hood are the immediate desired improvements.  
  2-27-2001 -The TV cable has been hooked up for over a week. The response of the transmission is much better, save that of a hesitant response during the 1-2 shift. I'm guessing I may still have to get the valvebody checked out.  
  A couple of problems are convincing me to break down my upper block. Oil is beginning to appear at the two inner intake bolts on the passenger side. A trickling water leak on one of the head bolts on the driver side is getting worse. And I believe I need new ring seals / valve seals on my heads (although I think the majority of oil consumption is coming from the ventilation kit that I'm using on the valve covers).  
  In the mean time, I changed out my distributor. The engine had been set up to completely use centrifugal timing (i.e. no vacuum advance). Well, a few weeks ago, I hooked up my vacuum advance line thinking it would perhaps help with city driving for fuel consumption. That put my timing way beyond 50 degress at WOT. I disconnected it about two weeks ago, and the engine ran better. I guess I had not noticed the response was not as good. However, the vacuum advance helped to compensate for another problem I had in the past: timing fluctuations. My tachometer had always shown signs by doing alot of dancing around idle. The old distributor I had was really worn out, as the weights were sticking underneath the rotor.  
  3-9-2001 -I replaced my intake manifold gaskets this past weekend. I resealed the one head bolt with liquid teflon, but the leak is still there. However, the leak is minimal. And I may be building another engine to replace mine sometime in the future. In the mean time, the cowl induction hood will be ordered within the next week. Then I will sand my SS and paint it primer black until I get some body work done.  
  3-25-2001 -The pictures of my engine are finally up! you can see them on the Engine Page. In addition, I have put up three new pics of my SS Monte Carlo. Also, I have set up a page for my buddy Jim.  
  My cowl induction has been ordered. After receiving it, my buddy Jim and I will be sanding down my SS and painting it primer black. This will come just in time as I have changed my license plate. There will be new pics of my SS once all this has been accomplished.  
  Some bad news regarding my transmission. By not having the TV cable connected for so long, my 2nd gear clutches have worn out. The SS will be going into the shop soon to get serviced.  
  4-22-2001 -The cowl induction hood is in. Just waiting on getting my transmission fixed. I painted the car primer black until I get some body work done. Then I will see about painting it.  
  In the mean time, Jim's Corvette is no more. We took it out last night to do a test quarter-mile run. His throttle linkage became stuck open. Jim downshifted into 1st gear, but it did no good. As a reflex, he cut the car off. Well, that locked the steering wheel, and we hit the ditch going about 100 MPH. Luckily, we slid along the ditch. I can tell you I feel really weird about what happened. I sorta feel like a walking ghost.  
  5-8-2001 -Still waiting on my transmission. It's a long story, but it should be done by the end of the week. In the mean time, I have broken down my upper block to redo the valve seals in my heads and change my intake to an Edelbrock Performer RPM. I don't really run above 6000 RPM, although I believe my engine can take it. In addition, I will have the opportunity to make sure my head bolts are sealed really well so they won't leak.  
  Pictures of the wrecked Corvette should be posted soon. Jim is taking a break from racing. But it won't be long before he gets back into it. He is considering another Corvette, or perhaps a Camaro or Monte Carlo LS.  
  5-21-2001 -My SS is back on the road. I should be adding new photographs of it soon, as I have painted it primer black and installed my cowl induction hood. It definitely has a different feel and appearance.  
  My buddy Jim and I put some quality time into redoing a few things. We broke down the whole upper block and found out I was leaking oil around the back of the passenger-side head. My heads had absolutely NO seals in them, not even O-rings. They do now, along with umbrella seals. I also found out that my heads only have 1.94 / 1.5 valves. They also don't have a 3-angle valve job. The springs were taken off and replaced with Crane springs; we believe that the triple springs were too much. We did install the Performer RPM intake manifold as well.  
  I still have a couple of problems. My engine is still smoking. Jim says it is my piston rings. My transmission is still slipping between gears 1 and 2. I have written to Art Carr Performance in an attempt to find out more about what the problem could be. I am suspecting a problem with the valve body or the torque converter.  
  The things I have recently discovered about my engine are not bothering me, since I am still considering building a new engine sometime this year. I have been treating all this as a "live and learn" process.  
  5-30-2001 -A couple of changes are in effect. After rebuilding the upper block, we discovered oil still leaking around the heads. It was deemed they are warped. So, with the help of Jim, I ported the old heads that were on my original engine. Although the valves are only 1.84" / 1.5", it has a more distinctive rumble thanks to the smaller combustion chambers (58cc). And, that also has increased the compression. I believe that I did a really good job doing the port job. Jim ran a set of these heads on one of his engines last year, and he was able to obtain 13.0s in the quarter mile.  
  After a long battle with my transmission, I have finally decided to take it out and replace it with a Turbo 350. This will put a bit of a damper on highway speeds, but that is no big deal. A solid, reliable transmission is all I am asking at this point. In addition, I will be swapping out my carburetor for a 750CFM vacuum secondary model.  
  6-20-2001 -The transmission swap has not been completed as of yet. I have hardly had the time to work with my buddy Jim to do it. A few of the links are no longer working, or they have changed their projects. Jim is still working on getting a new project of his own.  
  7-11-2001 -The transmission swap is finally complete. Jim and I ended up putting in a stock 200-4R this past weekend. It is performing pretty good, and I am grateful to have a 2nd gear. In fact, it seems to peel quite a bit of rubber on the 1-2 shift. The only problem with it is that the TV cable is set high, which means it pushes the shift points higher. Guess I will have to keep an eye for the cops so they won't think I'm racing.  
  Jim recently purchased an '85 Trans Am. It was almost a shell when he first got it. The fenders and front nose had to be reattached. All the ground effects and interior had to be installed. The rear hatch has been changed out. Luckily, Jim got two of just about everything; the previous owner was planning on restoring it. The engine from the Corvette he had has already been installed. Jim was hoping to get a 700-R4, but it seems no one has one for sale. So he has decided to forego installing a turbo 350. His personal page will be updated as soon as we get some pictures of it.  
  7-30-2001 -My SS was off the road for about two weeks due to an impending oil leak. I replaced my intake manifold gaskets again, but I am facing the fact that I won't be able to prevent oil from leaking somewhere around the back of the car.  
  Since my current engine is smoking so bad from the mis-seated piston rings, I am highly considering building a new engine. It will be another 350, and I am not planning on building it really high like I once wanted to. Since I have had problems with the engine I have now, I want a motor that will be just a powerful but have less problems. I already have the block, crank, piston rods, and heads.  
  The block is a .030 350. The crank is stock. I will go with Keith Black flat-top pistons again, but they will be the two-valve relief design. They will be mounted on X-rods. For the heads, I will take the double humps I had on this engine and get them reconditioned. I will also have the decks shaved down to 58cc combustion chambers. The Crane Cam I have selected will deliver the best power from 3,000 - 6,000 RPM. I am not sure what intake I will use. It will either be an Edelbrock Performer RPM (1,500 - 6,500 RPM) or an Edelbrock Torker II (2,500 - 6,500 RPM).  
  8-23-2001 -Not much happening right now. The transmission is running good. However, it has a problem with holding the gears too long between shifts. I have purchased a B&M Transpak shift kit for the valvebody, and I will be putting it in within the next couple of weeks.  
  We went to the track a couple of Fridays ago. My car only ran low 14s, but I can think of several things that are preventing me from doing better. One is tires, as I still run radials instead of slicks. Another is the transmission. It alone is probably costing me about a half-second. I do have a posi unit purchased, but I have not put it in yet. That will also help out.  
  I will be attending Super Chevy in October. If any of you live near the southern Virginia border, come out and see some of the baddest street rods around. Jim will have his '84 Trans Am there as well.  
  9-11-2001 -The B&M Transpak shift kit has been installed. The transmission definitely shifts better, though there is a lack of the chirp of the tires. Guess I can't have everything.  
  I failed to mention that I bought my mother an '85 Monte Carlo at the end of June. It is only a V6, and it will remain a daily driver. It is in fairly good condition, and I picked it up for $1,400. In addition, I just bought an 86' SS Monte Carlo today! It is candy apple red and has T-tops. I will be keeping this one original. Pictures of both new Montes will be posted soon.  
  9-16-2001 -Pictures of my new '86 SS Monte Carlo are up. Also posted are pictures of Jim's '84 Trans Am. Both Jim and I are on the verge of building new engines for our racing rides. I am debating on a stroker motor, but Jim is confident in building one better than that which was in his '80 Camaro.  
  The front sway bar has been removed from my '85 SS. In addition, the Holley double-pumper 650CFM has been swapped out with a 750CFM vacuum-secondary. As Jim explained, the vacuum-secondary helps compensate better for air flow because the secondaries respond to the amount of air the engine is trying to draw in. The double-pumper would simply dump fuel when launching off the line.  
  10-26-2001 -I was unable to make it to Super Chevy. My carburetor decided to act up on the way there. It was a dissapointment, but there is always next year. I have posted a picture of me at the track back in September.  
  I am currently putting together the last components necessary to build a new engine for my '85 SS. My last decisions are whether to use a hydraulic or solid lift camshaft and the type of intake. I am also still debating whether to build a 350 or 383 stroker motor.  
  My buddy Jim is changing his project again. Gone is the Trans Am. I will post new information on it as it comes.  

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