What did you do to your B-body lately?

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What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:31 pm

Well, over the weekend, I spent about two hours washing off Hackberry tree sap. What a nightmare and showed it off at the last car show of the season in our little town, had a good time! Now it's getting cooler, I will be toolin and driving it more I hope. I see a new windshield in the future,tailpipes and hopefully new rear tires.
Last edited by hotwheelsboy28 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: What did you do to your B-body today?

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:01 pm

A few weeks ago we got the Caprice running much better still haven't done any exhaust work, Gashed my pinky finger open trying to knock off the cat converter with no luck. I was tired of the original rear brakes grabbing, found out they are 9 1/2 aluminium drums, was hoping for the bigger ones, had my buddy turn them at his shop ask what I owed he said nery! Put new shoes and springs on also much better brakes now! Job was the smoothest ever dealing with drum brakes and had a good time instructing my 13 year old son how to tool together and save money! My next plans for it is to remove the smog equipment (I'm keeping it all of course), modify my crossmember, install headers and true 2 1/4 in., exhaust with regular turbo mufflers to keep it nice and quiet.
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby theholycow » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:42 am

Don't remove all emissions-related equipment, some of it helps the engine run better. EGR, for example, helps prevent spark knock and gives you more freedom with your ignition timing adjustment. PCV keeps the oil clean and prevents combustion blowby acids from eating gaskets (though you can use a catch can instead of piping it back to the intake, if you prefer, with the same result). Thermac and EFE help the engine warm up faster so you can romp on it sooner if you're in a hurry, get heat sooner if you're cold, or just waste less fuel running cold.

Also some things just don't hurt anything but actually do something useful for emissions; a modern catalytic converter (not the one that came on my car) has no detrimental effect on flow but really cleans up the nastiest pollutants.

Then there's some stuff that's rather dubious. First thing that comes to mind is the AIR pump. It's heavy, bulky, and adds a belt and a whole bunch of pipes and hoses, just to pump fresh air into your exhaust. Purportedly that's to help the cat burn any excess fuel, but as far as I can tell the practical upshot is merely that your exhaust is diluted with fresh air when the emissions inspector stuffs the sniffer in your exhaust pipe.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby theholycow » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:57 am

As for what I've done lately...I've got a long list. I didn't do anything in the spring and summer, but in the past month I've really gotten busy with it.

Got a bunch done last Saturday. Big list, may not be complete...perhaps I'll post more as I remember it.

1. Replaced trunk lift struts. Third time's a charm. A couple years ago, ordered from Rockauto, the new ones were no better, they sent a second pair, the second pair kinda held the trunk up on level land in some kinds of weather. I recently was given a parts store gift card and decided to try again, and the pair I bought REALLY works. When I pop the trunk, it opens all the way up on its own, and I have to put a decent amount of oomph into closing it. No more getting bonked on the head! My telescoping snow brush is no longer a prop rod, now it's only a snow brush!

2. Inspected my new rear shock absorbers. I wasn't sure about a bushing/spacer that came with them when I put them on, and it turns out I used it wrong. Potentially the shock could rub something if the spacer is necessary. I see no evidence nor any ability for it to rub so I needn't mess with it.

3. Protected brake line. While looking at that shock thing I noticed that the new brake pipe that was run by the pros for me (didn't have time to struggle with it when it failed) could potentially rub. I slipped a piece of rubber power steering hose over it as a boot and zip-tied it.

4. Replaced broken connector for brake pressure failure sensor. Inspected the rest of the brake pipe, all good, then remembered the brake pressure sensor connector with the broken pigtail. It's been broken as long as I've had the car. Last year (or this summer?) I scored a connector at the junkyard. Today I installed it.

5. Trimmed clutch slave cylinder bracket repair. In the same area as that sensor there is the clutch slave cylinder bracket that I hastily repaired last winter in a blizzard. The scabbed-on piece of steel was sticking out and at the time I bent it to mitigate the risk that it could reach the brake pipes at the combination valve. Today I went ahead and sawzalled the excess piece right off.

6. Replaced the ghetto department store passenger side mirror with an OEM replacement. Had to measure for placement, drill appropriate holes (including a 3/4" hole for which t I thought I lacked the appropriate equipment, turned out one of my Harbor Freight step bits goes up to 3/4" and works REALLY well), disassemble interior panels from the door, etc. The good news: Looks great. The bad news: The reason so many 1980 Lesabres don't come with a passenger side mirror is that it doesn't aim well...its position and range means you can't aim it at the side of the car. It might be close enough to be right in my preferred zone where most people keep their blind spot. I might stick a convex blind spot mirror on it. Additional bad news (but not unexpected): Where the crap mirror was there are a couple screw holes and a bunch of ugly.

7. FOUND MY BUILD SHEET! When I took that door panel off, there it was. It's got a hole where the window crank is but I can still read the equipment on those lines, just not the RPO codes. No problem, I can look those up in the parts manual. Now I know my final drive ratio for sure! "GW9 2.93 axle". I guessed 2.73 before, it's even taller than I thought. Edit: Image That's shorter, not taller. Thanks mtheis!

Lately I've been doing interior electrical work on my lunch break at work. It's pretty cool what I can get done in an hour a day. Here's a list that may also be incomplete:

1. Installed Boss 758DBI stereo. Well, I haven't mounted it yet but it mostly stays in place. Image Anyway it sounds ok, not as great as the Dual DEH665 I put in back in 2005. Its display backlight isn't broken like the Dual's has been for a while, and it has much better connectivity...SD, USB, bluetooth, front panel 3.5mm aux, etc. Unfortunately I have yell at the top of my lungs for the bluetooth to work as handsfree with my phone...gonna contact Boss about that.

2. Installed Harbor Freight "Nitrous" brand 2" tachometer. Only decent place I found blocks my view of my left turn signal indicator, I rarely forget but I still will have to relocate either the indicator or the tach. This tach is as inconsistent and unsteady as the one OEM Camaro tach I had for a while...so apparently the tach problem is in my ignition system. I had no idea if it was even close to reality, but having just found that build sheet a couple hours ago I'll get to find out.

BTW, now that I know my rear end ratio, unless my transmission's gears are not what they should be, here's a few RPM @ MPH notes...
5th gear: 65 mph = 1700 RPM. 55mph (as slow as I usually go in 5th) = 1430RPM. I used to cruise as low as 45, which would be 1175.
4th gear: 40 mph = 1475 RPM. 50=1800. This gear is the only one whose ratio I can be sure of, even if someone monkeyed with ratios when rebuilding the transmission. I'll calibrate the tachometer with this data and be able to confirm my other ratios.
1st: 15mph=2000RPM

3. Installed trunk line for powering devices using a computer power supply cable with 3 hard drive/CD-ROM drive molex connectors. They have 2 grounds, a yellow, and a red...perfect for carrying accessory and always on power (and one extra ground). I should have done this the day I got the car, and I'm going to do this to every car I get from now on. Tapping wires makes such a mess...tap once, then plug everything in with a standard connector. BTW, stereo (which I did before this) uses the same type of connector for power but not on the trunk line. (It also uses a Ford 8-wire speaker connector that I inexplicably had in my toolbox.)

4. Installed high-amperage 2xUSB + 1 12v outlet. Found at Walmart for $10, this thing has 2 USB ports good for up to 2.1 amps each or up to 3 amps total. Best I've seen before was $20 12v USB adapters good for 2 amps total across 2 ports.

5. Replaced failing KEMParts-brand intermittent wiper switch with the 2-speed wiper switch that came on the car. KEMParts, I am disappoint. Never did get intermittent wiper functionality working, and switch eventually failed so that I could barely get the wipers to come on and it took 10 minutes of struggling to get them to shut fully off.

6. Retained Accessory Power. This was SO easy, especially with my trunk line. Spent 5 minutes making the harness with the molex connector and female spade connectors to slide onto the relay pins. Looked up wire colors and found a very conveniently located door switch wire, tapped it, ran wire to the relays, plugged everything in, and it just plain worked right away exactly how I wanted. AWWW YEAH!! Now when I shut the engine off, the radio (and mirror and my accessory-powered 12v outlet) stays on until I open a door.

7. Tinted the mirrors. When you obey speed limits (in the appropriate lane going no less than the limit making every effort to assist people who want to pass) you spend a lot of time with angry people with their high beams on behind you in addition to the usual crew of idiots who forgot to turn off their high beams, jerks who think their HID bulbs in halogen housings are cool, scumbag engineers responsible for the lights in Jeep Wranglers and some pickups, and dumbass pickup drivers whose lights are aimed wrong because they installed 2000 pounds of toolboxes but never modified their springs or re-aimed their headlights. I rushed and half-assed this job. I've done much better tinting before but there are a couple bubbles in the passenger side mirror, the rearview's tint is cut sloppily, and all have some kind of bumpy texture that I can't explain (not air bubbles).

8. Meddled with the position of the tachometer again and mocked up oil pressure gauge position. I realized I could place it between speedometer and wiper switch, blocking my view only of part of the wiper switch, if I twist it so the numbers are sideways and the 1000-3000 range is on the right instead of the left. Also received the second bracket in the mail so I could mount the oil pressure gauge, but I still don't have the sender installed or the wiring done. This was just yesterday so I'm not sure how I feel about the new tach position, and I can't see the oil pressure gauge at all. I'll probably continue to experiment with positioning these. Also, before I realized I could twist the tach I relocated the left turn signal indicator to the gap around the steering column, same place where I've kept the high beam indicator for 3 years since I removed the PRND2L gauge.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:36 pm

Thanks HolyCow for the info on tilt column repairs! I fixed my Dad's last Thursday night . Then last Saturday I dug in like a tick on my Buick steering column. Tired of it being a bit loose, when I finally got to the wonderful bolts that loosen on their own, they were much looser than the tilt felt. I tightened them and put it all back together, man what a difference! I somehow even fixed the horn lol, it ain't worked in 18 or so years I'm a happy camper but I have two other vehicles with loose columns to fix in my yard. Only took around three hours but I'll probably beat that on the next one. I also fixed a leaky radiator hose, tightened the compressor's belt, topped off the antifreeze and took it for a spin, nice driving something different that I've neglected so many years, brought it back to life with a lot hard work, money, help from friends , family and insight. Still a ways to go but I'm having fun with it.
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby theholycow » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:10 am

Hah! You do a few in a row I bet you do get faster at it! ;)

I wonder if threadlocker should be used to prevent them backing off again. It's been a couple years and double the miles that the car had at the time, and mine haven't backed off, so maybe not.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby hotwheelsboy28 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:10 am

Not sure on the thread lock i thought of putting it on mine also, but the two i have fixed so far i didn't. but i don't think it would hurt anything.
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby GLHS60 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:40 pm

My 1981 Parisienne came with factory fender shirts in the trunk but one was missing the steel rod that attaches it to the body. By a stroke of luck a set of skirts were advertised on KIJIJI and I was able to buy them for $20.00, a price I think is a bargain all things considered!! All I really needed was the steel rod but it's spring steel bent in many ways and would be next to impossible to duplicate.

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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby GLHS60 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:47 pm

Speaking of your tach blocking the turn signal indicator, I had a 1967 Chevelle SS396 many years ago with a factory tach and as it covered the left turn indicator it had one built in. A left turn indicator built right in the tach face, I thought that was brilliant!! They probably repop them today but I would guess they cost a fortune.

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Randy

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1967-CHEVELLE-B ... c5&vxp=mtr
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Re: What did you do to your B-body lately?

Postby theholycow » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:14 pm

Yeah, I was thinking of maybe hacking something like that but decided against it. For the right turn signal I have a hole in an OEM 3-gauge cluster that fits my fuel gauge's position (haven't installed it yet) that I think was meant for a turbo boost/vacuum gauge. I could do that but I'll probably keep it symmetrical and use that spot for my displaced high beam indicator instead.

I like that tachometer, it looks like it's very clear to see unlike ones that cram ridiculously high RPM (that my engine will never see) into a small sweep.
1980 Buick LeSabre Limited 4.1 V6 T5 5 speed manual, 38,000 miles, family heirloom. (Up to 78,000 miles now, can't believe my work is holding up!)
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