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Awesome job and nice write up.  I like the stance. 

What size lift and tires are you running?

 

Have a 2wd in my neighborhood that I think I can get cheap and I am a V8 kind of guy.  Like you I am, or well was a traditional v8 kind of guy. I say this because I finally got my 2011 Camaro paid off and I did a big cam, heads, converter and all can say is WOW.  I am thinking that I can find a lower millage LS and over drive trans for the same or maybe cheaper than building an old style small block and adding the injection.  I am thinking I want the 4.8.  These are not as popular as the larger 5.3 and 5.7 so I think they might be cheaper.  Also a smaller cam sounds larger in a smaller engine and I just love that potato potato potato sound.  What are your thoughts now that you have lived the V8 project .

 

Have you put any thought or upgrades to the unibody upgrades with the V8 power increase?

 

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Thanks for the kind words. I know I really need to upgrade the rear end but it has held up so far. I never have thought about stiffening the unibody but if I had more power it might need it. I will tell you it would be cheaper to go LS than gen 1 or 2 and fuel injection. It cost about $1800 or so for the injection and distributor alone. I probably have about $3500 in the engine. If you do put a V8 in I would recommend buying from Novak or another firm that sells engine mounts unless you are a hell of a fabricator. I seen a post the other day on another site where a guy said he dropped an LS in a Comanche for $200 total and I thought to myself I bet it looks like crap too. Get a good radiator and be ready to go through the whole wire harness to get rid of a lot of wires. It was really pretty easy except for the RFI issues after I put the distributor in. I got that all sorted out and it runs great now. I am waiting for my tires to wear down some more and I am going to start thinking about lowering it and putting street tires and nice rims on it. Oh, the lift is 3 inches and the tires are 31/10.5/15. 

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one of our members (krustyballer16) is working on production of a weld-on frame brace.  it's still in the design stage though.  His goal is for much better fitment than the aftermarket ones currently out there.

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I've had a Vertically Driven center console for awhile now and it was finally nice enough to install. I'm thinking this is the last one for awhile. It is pretty nice and it fits really well in between the seats. I also installed some DOT approved LED headlights and some LED bulbs in the b pillar lights. Other than that it is still running good and no more problems with the RFI.

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looks like it was meant to be there :L:  

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Those seats look nice too ... what's their story?

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6 hours ago, NHMJXJ said:

Those seats look nice too ... what's their story?

I was told they were the seats out of a base model Mitsubishi Evo. Not really sure though. They are wider and were a bit of a pain to put in but are really comfortable. 

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Well, it started acting up again so I said to heck with the electronic distributor.  I'm not a patient person when things act up. I want to get in and go. Anyhoo I sold my old HEI awhile back because it was running good so I had to buy a new one. I got a DUI HEI. they are supposed to be top notch. I also bought their plug wires. This is nice stuff. While I was at it the paint on the rocker covers and breather still had overspray from when moron boy painted it so I repainted them . I'm going to clean the engine bay up while I'm at it. I had it running for a couple days to make sure the distributor was the problem and it was. I was trying to reroute wires and make things look good when it started acting up  and I said to heck with it. The fuel injection is fine but the distributor is to sensitive to RFI. 

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2 hours ago, kansashogan said:

Well, it started acting up again so I said to heck with the electronic distributor.  I'm not a patient person when things act up. I want to get in and go. Anyhoo I sold my old HEI awhile back because it was running good so I had to buy a new one. I got a DUI HEI. they are supposed to be top notch. I also bought their plug wires. This is nice stuff. While I was at it the paint on the rocker covers and breather still had overspray from when moron boy painted it so I repainted them . I'm going to clean the engine bay up while I'm at it. I had it running for a couple days to make sure the distributor was the problem and it was. I was trying to reroute wires and make things look good when it started acting up  and I said to heck with it. The fuel injection is fine but the distributor is to sensitive to RFI. 

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I'm anxious to know how this works out. 

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personally the shop i work at has had a lot of issues with those electronic distributors, the hei imo is the way to go. i need to go back and read this whole thread, id love to do some sort of small block swap in mine. great job so far very informative

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We went to Sonic and grabbed a burger and on the way home I may or may not have went a wee bit over 100 mph and she ran great. My problems started when I put the distributor in. I'm going to put it up for sale and get rid of it. That was an expensive and time consuming lesson. Awinski, i love your truck and I think yours would be a perfect build for a small block. Perhaps even an LS. I want to someday lower mine and do IFS. I was talking to a guy who had an aftermarket Mustang 2 front suspension for sale but he had a guy interested and the guy must have bought it. 

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20 hours ago, kansashogan said:

We went to Sonic and grabbed a burger and on the way home I may or may not have went a wee bit over 100 mph and she ran great. My problems started when I put the distributor in. I'm going to put it up for sale and get rid of it. That was an expensive and time consuming lesson. Awinski, i love your truck and I think yours would be a perfect build for a small block. Perhaps even an LS. I want to someday lower mine and do IFS. I was talking to a guy who had an aftermarket Mustang 2 front suspension for sale but he had a guy interested and the guy must have bought it. 

So are you saying the DUI was a good investment?

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22 hours ago, kansashogan said:

We went to Sonic and grabbed a burger and on the way home I may or may not have went a wee bit over 100 mph and she ran great. My problems started when I put the distributor in. I'm going to put it up for sale and get rid of it. That was an expensive and time consuming lesson. Awinski, i love your truck and I think yours would be a perfect build for a small block. Perhaps even an LS. I want to someday lower mine and do IFS. I was talking to a guy who had an aftermarket Mustang 2 front suspension for sale but he had a guy interested and the guy must have bought it. 

either or would be fun, the mustang 2 stuff is cheap, for the arms, spindles and brakes i was only out about 400 bucks. then i just built my own mounts. 

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Jeep Driver,  so far so good. Awinski, your fab skills far exceed mine. I will keep looking for Mustang 2 stuff. The guy told me the widths of the frame and spindles but when he sold them I deleted the conversation.  

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6 hours ago, kansashogan said:

Jeep Driver,  so far so good. Awinski, your fab skills far exceed mine. I will keep looking for Mustang 2 stuff. The guy told me the widths of the frame and spindles but when he sold them I deleted the conversation.  

Some times I forget most people don't build suspensions as a day job. Most of the mustang 2 stuff comes in around 58.5-60" wheel mounting surface, mine is 65". Either way whatever you decide to do ifs or solid axle always here to help a bit as I'm sure I'll be picking your brain when I eventually engine swap. 

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I had to change out the leaking collector gaskets and I had a heck of a time with the inside bolt on the passenger side.  It is a pretty tight fit with a full size starter so I bit the bullet and bought a Powermaster. It is a mini size similar to the factory ones. When I first put the engine in I had a mini Hitachi style and it always ground and eventually wore the flex plate out. I put a full size factory style in  and replaced the flex plate. This one has good reviews and I'm hoping to get it installed tomorrow. Oh, and I welded the troublesome bolt to the flange so that should take care of that little problem. 

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On 5/24/2019 at 11:01 PM, kansashogan said:

I had to change out the leaking collector gaskets and I had a heck of a time with the inside bolt on the passenger side.  It is a pretty tight fit with a full size starter so I bit the bullet and bought a Powermaster. It is a mini size similar to the factory ones. When I first put the engine in I had a mini Hitachi style and it always ground and eventually wore the flex plate out. I put a full size factory style in  and replaced the flex plate. This one has good reviews and I'm hoping to get it installed tomorrow. Oh, and I welded the troublesome bolt to the flange so that should take care of that little problem. 

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And?

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And...it has been a frustrating couple of days. I put the exhaust gaskets and the starter in and all was good....for a couple hours. After running it for awhile you need to tighten the exhaust bolts again. I tried starting it and....nothing. I was like what the heck?  No fire. GRRR. I traced it to the ignition tab in the fuse box not having power. I put the ignition wire in another switched tab and put a Spal relay in to power the HEI for good measure. A bit of overkill perhaps but 35 bucks isn't going to kill me. Oh, and let me be clear, it took a couple hours to find the problem because I wasn't sure if it had to do with the fuel injection, a sensor or what so I of course found the problem after looking at everything else first. Anyways I got it. 

      Another thing I did was double nut the header collector bolts. I had lock washers on them and they still worked loose over time. I checked them this morning and they were still tight. Fingers crossed. 

     As for the Powermaster starter, it is a gear reduction and it stays engaged for a second or so after starting. They say to make sure as long as it is shimmed correctly it is perfectly normal.  Sounds a bit disconcerting. We will see. But there is a LOT more room in that area.

    I finally got all the wires rerouted and taped/loomed like I wanted. I have a new found respect for the engineers that have to route wires and make them look good. I have redone so many things because I want it all to look factory. 

     Well,  anyways it is running as good as it ever has. I'm thinking the bad connection in the fuse box was my problem all along with the other distributor.  Part of me wants to put it back in to see but the practical part of me says to leave it alone.  I added some pics to show the new, improved parts. 

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I don't want to jinx myself but so far the engine hasn't messed up once. Onto something else. I have a 700R4 trans and for those not in the know they surge when the torque converter locks up under any kind of load. When I got the trans from a friend it had been rebuilt and it had a TCI lockup kit installed. It has a switch to turn power on/off and also vacuum to the trans to make it work. When accelerating I turned the lockup off and when up to speed turned it back on. Kind of like an extra gear if you will. 

     I had an idea that under load if it had more vacuum to the trans it might not surge. Tonight I took the vacuum reservoir off the old Comanche I'm parting out and hooked it up to manifold vacuum and plugged everything needing vacuum to it and took it for a test drive. 

     It never surged once and the engine didn't ping so I'm cautiously optimistic.  There would still be times I would still turn the lockup off such as when accelerating quickly. It locks up at about 42 mph so you can feel it. I just layed it on top of the engine for now to see how it works for a few days and if I like it I will find a permanent place for it.

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I've been pecking away at things and this thing is running great......finally. I was looking around at ways to wire the starter differently and found a way so it doesn't run on. Way nicer. Then I bought a smaller vacuum bulb and got it mounted.  It also rolled over 25,000 miles on the odometer a couple weeks ago. 

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