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Everything posted by CadVetteStang

  1. The rear suspension setup is very important for a FWD Autocross car. The stiffer the better almost to the point where it starts to make the car over steer. However, I need to find the balance between good handling and streetability because I drive this car 50 miles per day. I want a sports car ride, not a log truck ride. Here's a look at the stock suspension. However, there are a few things about this donor car that make it a rare a desirable find. To be continued.......
  2. We are in complete agreement on those points. And while the old school raised front or sqatted rear does help with autocross cornering (speeds rarely get above 40 MPH in Solo II and 70 MPH in Pro Solo), the lift caused at higher speeds are dangerous. My 70 Eldorado had a sagging rear due to air shock load leveling failure and in a top speed test, I had to back off of the acceleration when the car reached 115 MPH because the wind under the 4,860 lb. car had lifted the front end to full height and the steering was very touchy. I had plenty of untapped power and would not have lived to see the 150 MPH potential.
  3. A slight forward rake is beneficial for downforce and drag coefficient management at highway speeds and above (as wll as giving the car the "new school" agressive stance). However, the "old school" aggressive stance of the 60's and early70's where the front is higher than the rear helps rear wheel drive drag cars launch and front wheel drive cars corner in autocross due to weight transfer. I just don't like the old school squatting rear look even though it would help my application.
  4. The swaybar end links are not yet connected so my short drive allowed me to get the true feel of the springs and the Comp G struts without the added firmness that a swaybar would provide when both sides of the car are tied together. We can say bye bye to the Cadillac-style ride as this car is now very firm. The stiffness of the springs and the firmness of the struts gave it almost flat cornering and a ride that was very sports car-like. It wasn't bone-jarring harsh, but I'll have to get used to it.
  5. I might be able to trim just enough off of the springs to compensate for the 1/4" of height that the strut tower brace plates would create but that would also only give me only about 1/4" of preload on the springs, which could be anything from 250-300 lbs. of pressure to keep enough friction between the springs and the perches to prevent them from re-clocking themselves if one side of the car is completely unloaded during an encounter with rough pavement in a turn. That should be enough, but if I miss judge the cut and remove too much spring preventing a good lockdown between the perches, then the springs would be trash. I haven't yet decided if I want to risk another cut.
  6. I noticed a bit of optical illusion in the photo caused by the difference in front/rear fender heights; the car actually sits a 1/4" lower in the front. As pictured, the strut tower brace plates have not yet been installed and they are 1/4" thick so if no changes are made, the ride height will be level. For esthetics, I would prefer a slight forward rake, however a level ride would deliver better cornering ability. And as it is now, I no longer need spring compressors to take the strut assemblies apart. The only pre-load is a half inch compression made when the nut is tightened. Not much room to remove more spring.
  7. Not sure where the oil leak is but it's too bad to drive it safely on the street.... Okay, so I tried the struts and the car sat too high, so I cut an extra 3/4 of a coil off. Here is the stock ride height: And here is how it sits now: Just about PERFECT.
  8. I found a company that can reprogram the PCM in my 02 Eldorado, so now engine mods, swaps, tunes, cams, etc. are viable options. It's going to cost $2400-$2700 at a local shop specializing in the Northstar blown head gasket problem to have my engine repaired and oil leaks fixed depending upon how much I have them do to the car. They recommend upgrading to the head stud kit if I plan to add nitrous or a turbo: otherwise use the oversized bolts and inserts they keep in stock. The 4.4 superchargers are affordable in used condition. If they will bolt up in place of the stock 4.6 intake, then it's a no-brainer; we go supercharged. However, will the vacuum valve be enough to control the excessive boost pressures or do I have to use a computer and harness from the 4.4 to regulate it? If the 4.4 cams and/or heads will bolt up, then that is a possibility. However, I can buy a used low miles 4.4 supercharged motor for just over half of what it would cost to get my 4.6 repaired. I just don't know much about how the 4.4 SC motor is set up. Is it a coil-on-plug like mine? Will I have water pump relocation issues? How hard would it be to convert it to a transverse mount configuration? Are the nickle and dime parts and conversions going to cost over $1,000? Either way, the end result must be that my instrument cluster and climate control system functionality remains the same. I understand that the 4.4 is a much stronger block than the 4.6, but I also understand that the 4.6 can handle 1,000 h.p. I'd be happy with anything above 420 h.p. or close. Both options mentioned above would be cheaper than an LS4 swap and the N* would hold together longer than the LS. Decisions...... Who can give some good tech here; I'm stuck at the crossroads. Thanks Cody
  9. At least it is good tech and explains WHY we don't see modded Caddys of this era on the street. I should not have posted this thread until getting a confirmation from that company. I'm still awaiting a response from the Fiero community. They often run turbocharged Northstars. There must be a workaround somewhere.
  10. Disapointing: I received this reply from the 1st shop I foumd advertising that they can reprogram the Northstar computer: "I haven't mapped a P06 N* PCM for a supercharger. frankly i don't want to do such a mail order tune based on theory, unexpected behavior may show up which will require multiple remapping to adequately address. an LS4 swap would present its own problems as the E40 ECM is GMLAN so it will not talk with the J1850 system in this car and the other modules on the bus (BCM, trac ctrl, etc). i suppose one could switch to a P01 (LS1 type) PCM. it's a J1850 PCM but there is still no guarantee it will interact properly (trac ctrl and instrumentation features may still not all work, etc) in 02 N* system."
  11. A very good point, Jim. Very good. The readout would have car show value as well. It may even be possible to incorporate accelerometer data to get lateral acceleration values along with using the ride height sensors to gauge the car's tilt and determine what amount of outboard tilt provides the right balance between loading the outboard front tire for traction in a turn vs. level ride for stability and suspension geometry. Front suspension roll, rear suspension roll and the combination of both could be tuned for the best overall result or for the slow sharp turns of solo 2 races where reaching speeds above 50 MPH is rare as opposed to the faster sweeping turns of pro solo where 80 MPH or more might be experienced. I could even replace the manually adjustable supports on the rear wing for actuators and have a variable rear end down force capability. Come to think of it, I would like to explore these possibilities as a phase 2 upgrade. For now, I will focus on finishing up this phase 1 build and then work on some engine and paint and body issues. As it is, due to time and money limitations, this car has not been driven regularly in a year and a half, and now leaks oil too badly to be driven again without attention to the engine. It has been up on jackstands for 3 months for this front end build, and my suspension build in current form started about 4 years ago. I need to finish baking the cake then work on the icing. BTW: I was playfully using the "geek out" term.
  12. Oh, yeah. I remember seeing those on the ETC models. My lowe A-Arms have unused tabs for them and I bet that all necessary bolt holes are in place too. It might not be such a pain to add on. Worth another look when I get the car farther along.
  13. The Cadillac uses 16MM bolts to mount the struts to the spindle. And it uses slotted lower holes to make camber adjustments. The Grand Prix struts use 14MM bolts and do not have a slotted hole. I bought a 16MM drill bit to open the GP holes, but instead of slotting the lower hole, I chose to first try camber adjustment bolts on the upper hole. The camber adjustment bolts are 14MM with an egg-shaped cam for positioning the spindle. By marking the bolt head and spindle, I can dial in some camber for the track and return it to the original setting for the street.
  14. One thing I didn't mention before. The Thunderbird springs have about 0.10" wider inside diameter than the springs intended for the Cadillac upper mounts. To keep them tight and centered on the perch, I used their isolators in addition to the isolators supplied with the mounts. This made them a press fit and it also increases the vibration absorption. I used the springs' lower isolators in place of the Grand Prix strut lower isolators on the bottom and they fit well with the contour of the strut base. There is just a slight spring overhang on the inboard side of the perch, but the spring is fully supprted and the fit is good and safe.
  15. It is a good idea and it looks doable, but I'm really not interested in spending the time to build or troubleshoot the system for this car... I mean, sure as a scientific minded individual, the prospect of geeking out the car has crossed my mind many times. However, if the final cut of the springs result in fender lips that sit at (or just below) the top of the tire tread, we're good. The Grand Prix struts are also non-electronic. So if I was going to add the ride height sensors, it would be a "from scratch" build. Now if I was using air bags instead of springs, it would be cool to even program pre-set heights and control them from the driver seat. Rough road Smooth road High speed Smooth track Car show low
  16. My car is the ESC with non-electronic suspension. I went that route so that I could build it old school. I'll have to make measurements using a tape measure.
  17. The strut on the left has the shaft adapter on top of the upper mount. It will limit the suspension travel and keep the strut at the mid travel point if the hight adjustment is around 1 and 1/4" to 1 and 3/4" lower. Hood clearance could be an issue in this configuration. Note that I did not install the billows. This is so that I can measure strut travel between the two configurations after the weight of the car has been added. I'm installing one each initially and will record the data.
  18. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the factory Eldorado front strut and the Grand Prix strut with Deville upper mount and Thunderbird rear IRS spring with the dead coil plus one additional coil cut off. On this strut, the homemade shaft adapter was installed first, then the nylon bushing and upper mount. With the added spring pressure, the strut shaft pulls up some and almost equals the Eldorado strut length.
  19. Now to build the replacement struts from Grand Prix GTP COMP G, Deville and Thunderbird parts..... The narrowed section of the Grand Prix is a slightly smaller diameter than that of a Cadillac strut, so to fill the gap, I used these white nylon bushings that I found in the Hardware department of Lowe's. I did an angle cut on them so that even when expanded, the material covered the full shaft. Other items could be used to make this adapter, but this was the cheapest and easiest to work with. No real stress will get put on it; its just there to keep the shaft centered during assembly and to keep the top nut from shifting position during extreme vibrations. On this strut, I'm placing the Deville upper strut mount on first and putting the spacer adapter on top. This will shorten the strut by 3/4" of an inch. For the other strut, I'll put the spacer adapter on first and compare the two side-by-side and on the car before I determine which configuration I will use.
  20. It's a pretty simple pattern that can be used for both sides (just invert one to make left and right applications). I just have to plot the location of one 1/2" hole to clear the back of the pressed in stud that mounts the factory strut tower brace and then it goes to one of my friends for fabrication. Not sure if we will use aircraft grade aluminum or mild steel at this point, but the adapter will be 1/4" thick and that will effect the final ride height.
  21. I also plan to use two 3/8" bolts in the area away from the upper strut mount to attach the adapter to the strut tower so that the strut does not have to do the work of holding it up tight.
  22. It's a pretty simple pattern that can be used for both sides (just invert one to make left and right applications). I just have to plot the location of one 1/2" hole to clear the back of the pressed in stud that mounts the factory strut tower brace and then it goes to one of my friends for fabrication. Not sure if we will use aircraft grade aluminum or mild steel at this point, but the adapter will be 1/4" thick and that will effect the final ride height.