RubberCarrot

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RubberCarrot last won the day on October 31

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About RubberCarrot

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    Participant (30+ posts)

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  • Car Model and Year
    1995 Fleetwood Brougham
  • Engine
    5.7L OHV V8
  1. Thanks - I will follow up with a rundown. This weekend is gonna be full of Cadillac work. There are a some things particular to this vehicle above and beyond the average LT1. I will follow with details after I am done. I will also put together a logical stream of pics that may help others in the future. I am fixing (or preemptive fixing) a ton of plumbing issues along the way so I keep getting side-tracked. But it's all stuff to do now so I never have to come back into the area. Stay tuned.
  2. LOL. I grew up in NY. Moved here when I was 39. NY inspections were were something to contend with! Are they really talking about 6 month intervals? Measuring thickness of rotors and killing you for a sloppy ball joint. I always had my "inspection connection". LOL. Been down here for 23 years. Probably as hard to beat the system up there as here now-a-days. Computers. The demise of us all. So I just think I found the cause of my cars' deteriorating condition. Just got home, so no work tonight but a co-worker noticed this today, in pics I took last night. I totally missed it. I will see if I can upload a couple pics. But it looks like the coil wire (at the distributor) was arcing to the back of the water pump. (bottom portion of water pump pic) Basically, wires aging out and a really tight configuration. That's cool. Go all the way or stay home is the way I play, It will be worth the work and I may find more of the same when I get to running wires. Distributor may be just fine. Water pump shaft looked good for 135 k miles. But it all needs to go because I don't want to revisit the area. BTW, that coil is gonna go too. Just waiting to get it in my hand so I get the correct one. MSD. If you guys think it's worth it, I will put together a bunch of pics when all said in done. Could be a decent reference? Let me know.
  3. Yeah... They don't even make my pump anymore. It was a $400.00 piece when they did. Boneyard/used is the only way to go now. I don't even want to consider the plumbing. Wow. But mine still works so... I'm in NC and the emissions inspection thing is a county by county game. My county is emissions free but if I move 300 feet east or in any reasonable direction/distance around me, I would be subject to the emissions inspection problem. (I'm already violating that one with the MSD unit I am putting in but you can't see it so nobody will notice) So given that it came out relatively cleanly and as long as I can complete the job without mangling it, I guess I will just put it back in and keep life simple over the long term. Thanks for the feedback. I got excited at first, thinking of the mindless hacking I was gonna get to do. 🙂
  4. OK - Question. I got the water pump off tonight after much hassle with the air injection pump and it's mounting bracket. What a goofy over engineered mess. So, that whole apparatus is gonna be a headache throughout this job. I have seen where people remove the entire system and cap off the fittings at the manifold. I have also seen arguments for retaining it, above and beyond the pollution control aspect. (back pressure requirements in the exhaust, etc) I tend to lean towards keeping it because I don't want to be the one to butcher up the car. At the same time... opportunity knocks and being a 1995 and OBD1 the computer won't gripe and the PCM would need reprogramming. So what do you guys think? Keep it or lose it? Thanks!
  5. Hi All - I didn't die. lol. I figured I would update you. Got all my parts. Pulled the car in the garage and got it in the air. Immediately got smacked by side quests. Keep in mind, this car has not been butchered up. So a lot is original and undisturbed. Throttle body bypass. Done. May be good for 6 - 9 HP (dyno tested). Nobody has ever seen one ice up and I am in NC. So, for what it's worth... Got that done without removing throttle body. Found lots of vacuum hose issue as I took things apart so re-plumbed a lot of that. I had a battery put in at Advance Auto about 6 months ago (cuz I have gotten lazy) The guy commented that the battery tray was rough. Well... holy crap. First thing I did after flushing and draining the cooling system before pulling it in the garage was notice the battery was free floating! So when I got it in the garage I pulled the battery and the tray was nothing but rubble! Somebody must have had a battery explode. It was a mess. 50% of the tray was gone. Most of the inner fender under the tray that reached forward to the bulkhead was as good as gone too. That 12 sq. inch area had more rust that the entire rest of the car. So... New sheet metal to rebuild the inner fender to the bulkhead. I used to work in sheet metal fabrication so, no biggie. Just a pain. Found a tray on the internet. It was for a blazer but the tray was identical. Drilled out 4 spotwelds to get rid of the giant support leg and it was perfect. Just got that all together tonight. Rock solid. New inner fender metal and a new tray on top. The battery was totally excited. Tomorrow, I shoot for my last side quest. Remove and clean out the coolant reservoir. I just can't help myself. So much crap in there and I ran my garden hose through that engine until I could drink the output without kidney failure. So as stupid as it is, I have to do it. Then, it is on to the task at hand. Actually, I think the worst part is gonna be running the plug wires. It looks fearsome. I could cheat and do it the old school chevy way and run them wide outside the manifolds but that goes against my grain. So I will see what I see when I get all the crap out of the way. MSD distributor, coil, wires and ACDelco double platinum plugs as well as a NEW ACDelco water pump. I will update you all when it is warranted. This is a spare time project. I don't expect it to be done in less than a month. Thanks for your input and always, feel free to shoot your thoughts my way. RC
  6. No worries OldCadTech. Thanks and I agree. The best choices seem to be AC Delco or MSD. I think I am leaning toward MSD. @barczy01 - I pulled the EGR vacuum line and no change. I believe that is as it should be? As far as the coil goes, I will be replacing that as part of the job so... FYI to all - Good vacuum on the distributor vent. No clogged plumbing. Also, there is a distinct rich smell (new symptom) at the tailpipes and it is requiring more cranking to start cold. For anyone with time to burn, here are a couple good videos on replacing the OptiSpark. (What were they thinking?) The 2nd one is a year or two older so it had a spline drive rather than the pin I will find. All else is the same. The 1st video is on a Corvette, the 2nd a Trans Am. I have a ton more room for the harmonic balancer puller. Like almost a foot more. That will be nice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T02OKd4-uOU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ7lDztK21Y Looks like a fun job. The seals (Video #2) seem to be worth the trouble. My kind of thinking. I do think I will pass on on replacing the intake gasket. Not broke, don't fix it. Anybody got any thoughts about that harmonic balancer hub installation tool? I don't recall ever using anything more than the center bolt or one like it but longer, to pull one back onto the crankshaft. Am I missing something? It has been a few years... Thanks all!
  7. No worries OldCadTech. Thanks and I agree. The best choices seem to be AC Delco or MSD. I think I am leaning toward MSD. @barczy01 - I pulled the EGR vacuum line and no change. I believe that is as it should be? As far as the coil goes, I will be replacing that as part of the job so... FYI to all - Good vacuum on the distributor vent. No clogged plumbing. Also, there is a distinct rich smell (new symptom) at the tailpipes and it is requiring more cranking to start cold. For anyone with time to burn, here are a couple good videos on replacing the OptiSpark. (What were they thinking?) The 2nd one is a year or two older so it had a spline drive rather than the pin I will find. All else is the same. The 1st video is on a Corvette, the 2nd a Trans Am. I have a ton more room for the harmonic balancer puller. Like almost a foot more. That will be nice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T02OKd4-uOU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ7lDztK21Y Looks like a fun job. The seals (Video #2) seem to be worth the trouble. My kind of thinking. I do think I will pass on on replacing the intake gasket. Not broke, don't fix it. Anybody got any thoughts about that harmonic balancer hub installation tool? I don't recall ever using anything more than the center bolt or one like it but longer, to pull one back onto the crankshaft. Am I missing something? It has been a few years... Thanks all!
  8. Thanks Rockfangd - I will be doing some homework before parts shopping. I will look into the intake gasket situation too. The distributor mounts on the front of the block and is driven directly by the front face of the camshaft (a pin on the cam is received into the distributor). I haven't had one in my hands but it looks like the shaft might be all of 2 inches long, if that. From what I read, it is the optic sensor that ages out. Ozone kills it given enough time, they say. The shaft or bearing almost never goes unless the front cam bearing is bad putting excessive load on the bearing in the distributor. I did learn something today... a misfire condition can be caused by a blocked distributor vent tube. The distributor has manifold vacuum applied and the vent tube permits a constant flow of air through the distributor, flushing the ozone. It is possible that if the vent side is plugged, that the front surface of the distributor cap can be sucked in enough that it actually interferes with the rotor. It can also cause crossfire between the ink traces. Easy test - Pull the vent tube from the intake tube up by the MAF sensor and see if there is vacuum present. I will look at that tomorrow night. Odds are it isn't the problem but I like to find out all these details. Interesting stuff. Glad it's not my daily driver though. LOL. I would be stressing.
  9. Don't read me wrong there OldCadTech. It may be extreme to just replace the distributor but I am just being cautious. Maybe it isn't necessary? I don't know. Tell me where I'm wrong. I don't mind saving a bit of work and a few bucks if I'm comfortable with it.
  10. Hi - I don't know when it was last tuned up. I am the 3rd owner and have owned it for 7 years and put 30k miles on it. Sorry for my sarcasm/slang. When I say crumble I mean and all over the place roughness in which I am beginning to discern a skip or two. Severe enough the hood vibrates. (I am a fanatic. If it isn't purring, it's broke) You think replacing the entire distributor is extreme? I have not worked on these ever so my thought is to eliminate as many issues or potential issues as possible along the way. Considering the water pump involvement, I would just as soon not have to go back in to fix something else in a couple months. And correct me if I am wrong but that base timing is simply established when the distributor is bolted on the engine, correct? There is no rotation of the distributor or tab with timing marks on the harmonic balancer as there is on a typical small block Chevy. The guy that had it before me was an old guy in bad health who owned it about 5 years and 15k miles. I bought it off his wife a year after he passed away. I kind of doubt he had it tuned up. He didn't do a lot with it. The original owner had it 12 or 13 years and 90k miles. I assume he would have had it tuned somewhere along the way. To be honest, I have never looked up the maintenance schedule so do not know when the first tune up would have been done, assuming maintenance schedules were followed. I have done a fair amount of work on it beyond the initial INTENSE cleaning it needed but not on the engine except for an idler pulley when I first bought it. Like I said earlier... not broke? Don't fix it. Besides, every time I approach it with a wrench, 500 bucks flies out of my wallet. lol. Seems to be a "thing" with this car.
  11. There is no ignition timing with the OptiSpark. The distributor bolts on in one position only. The ignition timing is totally controlled by the PCM programming.
  12. OK. Problem wasn't water in the gas. The TPS came in today and I put it in tonight. No difference. Now I have a spare TPS 🙂 Tune up it is. Anyone have experience with aftermarket distributors vs OEM. I figure to replace the entire thing as well as put on a new water pump when done. I have seen suggestions out there to replace the the intake manifold gasket while there. That seems odd to me. Is there any substance to that? That's where all my "good ideas" come into play. I mean, if the intake comes off then why not go a bit further and put LS4 heads, intake and throttle body on. Pick up a few HP. And while I'm there the cam would be taunting me. And I could eliminate any current or future timing chain doubts with a sturdy double row chain. See what happens...
  13. My TPS won't be in til Tuesday and I probably won't get to putting it in until next weekend. That is my next step. Meanwhile I have been looking into the OptiSpark distributor. It has a few inherent problems. I will probably opt for straight up replacement vs fixing. Comparing aftermarket units like MSD etc. Lot's out there. I don't suspect the timing chain because symptoms came on so suddenly but, you never know where this could go. I can be crazy at times and keep looking for and fixing problems (or making improvements) far beyond the problem at hand. Years ago I had a Chevy where the chain was so stretched it slapped the side of the timing cover at idle. LOL. At idle it sounded like it it had a crazy cam. My Caddy runs far worse than that did. Ignition timing? I don't believe the OptiSpark gives you that option. Please correct me if I am wrong. Gonna drive it today to see if any possible water in fuel problems have healed after soaking in tekron and dry gas for a few days. Not expecting any miracles there. Just eliminating a cause. TPS this week and then start looking seriously at the ignition. I see my garage being very full of a large white Cadillac for a while, in the near future. Once I get started... I have a lot of "good" ideas rattling around in my head. Great engine and it can be greater... I am my own worst enemy. LOL. Stay tuned and feel free to advise! RC
  14. Ok Folks - I was a bit premature on that "all good" announcement. Worked on it Sunday, Drove it about 10 or 15 miles and filled the tank. It seemed OK. Definitely smoother leaving idle but that was due to cleaning the TB. Drove it about 100 miles on Tuesday and about 20 miles in it was apparent the problem persisted. By the time I got home that night it had devolved from a stumble to a full blown crumble. LOL. I pulled codes. There were no new ones. There were several old ones in the CCM (prefix of "1") and I cleared them. Ran the car and checked them again. One returned, as historical, 128, VES Open or short. Did it again, 128 came back. That isn't my issue but it does explain why it feels like flying a plane when it drives which always struck me s odd. Caddy's don't don't feel like that. Maybe an old Mopar but... So to rule out water in the gas, last night I threw two bottles of Tekron in and a bottle of Heet to eliminate any water. Last time I put dry gas in it 7 years ago, the gas gauge went crazy. Took 5 Tekron tanks to fix that. Figured I would do it all at once this time. I just drove it for 20 miles and no change. I ordered the TPS today and will just finish off that line of thought. But I think I am headed for a tune up. That is why I am writing now. What are your recommendations regarding the distributor? (OptiSpark) Cap and rotor or just replace the whole thing? I have never touched one. Coil? Replace? I will replace the water pump while there because I know it will hemorrhage all over the new distributor after I put it together. I need to look around at parts options but I always look for ways to pick a HP or few so if you have any suggestions let me know. Otherwise, I will play it safe and buy good OEM stuff. Thanks guys.