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Everything posted by CadVetteStang

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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."
  4. 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.......
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. When the Deville upper strut mount is in its modified location, it leaves a lot of daylight at the forward side of the strut tower opening. The Eldorado strut towers are very strong, but about 68% of the car's 3800 lbs. Is going to be pushing on the strut mounts that were designed to be supported all the way around. There would be too much flexing of the mount where the bearing needs to glide over a flat surface. I will for sure need adapters to provide a strong foundation for the mounts.
  18. I've been working on how and where to mount the Deville upper strut mounts. To get any noticeable gain in positive caster and negative camber, I had to modify the strut tower openings. This will require a 1/8" steel plate to be used as a reinforcement and to close the gap between the mount and the forward outboard section of the tower. This will also effect the ride height slightly. I discovered that if I slightly notched the outboard mounting hole, I could use two of the three extsting holes. The inboard is a slotted hole and the lineup is exactly at the back of the opening. This means that my left hand side and right hand side upper strut locations will mirror each other in alignment. After modifying the opening and verifying the desired mounting position by driving out one mounting stud and sliding the other two into the desired holes, I removed the mount and bolted it upside down on top of the tower and used it as a jig to drill the new hole. The mount touches the inboard wall and rear wall of the tower. There is room to slot the new hole for forward movement in alignment adjustments if desired. . I'm going to clean up the strut tower modification before I post a photo of the strut mount in its actual position because the unfinished mod looks very rough right now. NOTE: on the driver's side (shown) there is a black bracket that hangs over the top. I had to chisel off the bung that was welded in place underneath due to a clearance issue. I'll have to move that mounting hole to remount the bracket.
  19. Thanks. I'm working on the front suspension right now (see that thread in this forum). I'll get back to body mods after I get the suspension build completed and address an oil leak that has gotten much worse while the car has been parked over the last year. However, I've also been planning the mods to make a Fiero wing adjustable and have bought a few things for it.
  20. Although this car is not being built as a show car, it will appear in many videos, some indie films, several hotrod parades, shows, online forums and hopefully a car magazine or two. I am not wanting anything wild or gaudy or that reeks with bad taste. I am aiming at a classic muscle car theme that is paired with some functionality (ram-air, adjustable wing, brake coolers and front spoiler (air dam). The stripes will be permanent as will most of the vinyl lettering, but the racing numbers, class letters, and sponsorship signs will be magnetic vinyl and will not be on the car for everyday use (too much of a cop magnet). The car will eventually be a deep red color, maybe a crimson or maroon. The paint I have is in very good shape so I will keep the car as a “blonde” for now (Champaign Gold); I just wish there were fewer door dings and scrapes). This is the stripe kit and ram-air, wing, spoiler look I like the most and (except for the placement of the side stripe) should work well with the Eldorado body lines. I love the adjustable Mach 1 wing; I just wish they were not so expensive. The chin spoiler would work well too as this Mach 1 is very close to the size of my Eldorado. This is better placement of the side stripe; note the bolt on hood scoop. I have mixed feelings about one like this. But I will have hood pins just like these: Here is the same paint job in Champaign Gold and will reflect the look I am after with the current color:
  21. SHAFT ADAPTER: A metal spacer I made to bridge the gap between the heights of the shorter Caddy mount and the longer GP mount.... If positioned below the upper mount (as the picture suggests in the previous post) the Caddy strut mount top would be in position relative to the GP mount and allow full use of the available coil spring area. The overall strut assembly would be approximately 1.25" shorter than the Eldorado strut when fully extended. The goal is to have the strut positioned in mid-travel when the car's weight is on the springs. Since the way that I am lowering the car not only involves a 1.25" shorter strut, but also a 1.25" raised suspension (by removing the bushings between the engine cradle (AKA "K-frame") and the body, the actual lowering the car will be a "body drop" in the front that does not effect suspension geometry except for the tie rod angle.(and I might be able to lower the rack to fix that if there is no exhaust system or swaybar clearance issue. This 1.25" body drop should not adversely impact the Eldorado's handling. I will discuss a more dramatic lowering of the car in the next post. Note: I added extra info in the previous post at the pictures.
  22. Rebound Bumper: I had planned on re-using the Eldorado billows & rebound bushings so I didn't buy new ones for the rebuild kit. I didn't like the tall, soft Grand Prix bumper because it was 2.6" tall. It may have worked okay with the GP's poorly designed upper strut mount, but was going to limit too much travel with the beefier Deville design. (Note: the Grand Prix upper strut mounts are very tall, contain a lot of rubber and are designed so that will undulate before the strut shaft moves. When using stiffer springs and struts, GP owners install "anti-pogo washers" on the top of the mount- held in place by the nut- to lock the excessive rubber in place. I chose to use a well designed upper mount made for a heavier car and for a sport suspension.... Forget the bandaid.) However, when I disassembled the Caddy strut, I found that the bump stop was rotten and crumbling. I couldn't find the stops without buying the billows and didn't want to invest another $30 buying a set of two when I was sure something else stronger and cheaper was out there somewhere.... I explored at AutoZone with the help of someone who took an interest in the project and chose Radius arm bushings for an 80's F250 Ford Truck. I had to order them to get polyurethane. I wound up with 4 useable pieces (enough to build two racing Eldos) for half the price. The size and fit is PERFECT! Above: the Grand Prix strut shaft diameter is smaller than the Caddy strut shaft. The Ford F250 Radius arm bushing fits in such a way that there is no slack and no binding. It will remain at the shaft base during operation. It also fits within the Cadillac billows (larger diameter than the Grand Prix's) so that there is no interference. Below: this is a bottom view of the Deville upper strut mount with the upper spring seat in place. Below: here is the bumper's fit if the strut tries to bottom out. There is still room for the compressed billows to fit in the spring seat at the top. Below: the raised area of the bumber doesn't contact the upper mount, in light a bottom out scenario, but it does reach far enough through the strut bearing that it might make contact with the upper mount in a hard bottom out event provinding some crush protection to the spring seat by transfering part of the impact force directly to the mount (seen in background). Note the black adapter that I made for the strut shaft. It is 3/4" long. More about it in the next post.
  23. Thanks for the complement and the story. I was not able to edit my post to add that I use a 7" Dewalt abrasive blade from Lowe's that costs less than $10. I also pre-set the blade depth so it goes about 1/4" below the coil and does not touch the coil bellow.