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Everything posted by CadVetteStang

  1. Changing front coil springs: I had to cut the front coils two more times to get the front ride height down far enough. I liked the look until I added the strut tower brace plates, because they picked the front back up a little. I could live with the look, but the ride was VERY, VERY firm. I could not cut the springs any more, because I already didn't have to use a spring compressor to install them and they were almost too short... Well, they settled just a bit and that was enough to allow slack up top when the suspension fully extended.... The result was trashed upper strut bearings. I ordered some DNA Motorsport racing springs for a Grand Prix. They are advertised at 450 lbs./inch but I measured them and they are actually 355 lbs./inch which is what I wanted to start with. I measured my current springs after I pulled them off. Wow! I did not realize how stiff the last two cuts had made them. They calculated at 890 lbs./inch! Here is a picture of them as removed along with the DNA springs.
  2. 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.......
  3. I put 2,000 miles on the car and after evaluating the suspension, I'm fixing a few bugs and making an improvement including: 1. Changing front springs 2. Changing front sway bar end links 3. Changing the front lower control arms's vertical bushings I'll cover each in its own post with more details.
  4. They said it couldn't be done. Pete at Discount Mufflers in North Little Rock, Arkansas took that as a challenge and used his 30 years of experience as a pipe bender to make it happen. We even up-sized to 3" pipes after the tight bends around the gas tank. The dual catalytic converters and H-pipe will be installed in about a week during a second visit. The fit is tight, but I have driven the car since the installation and there is no rattling of pipes and they do not bump against the underbody when turning or stopping. Note 1: The low spot in the installation as the pipes curve around the gas tank was done at my request since the tank is made of plastic. Note 2: the key to this installation is in making a clamp-on slip joint on the crossover pipe prior to the flange for the down pipe. This is because the right side of the factory Y-pipe is what holds the left side in place. It's a very tight area to work in and welding is not possible there without lowering the engine cradle. Note 3: this job took a full 8 hours to complete because of the design work and installation of the crossover's down pipe flange. Pete stated that now he has designed the modifications, future installations will be faster. Note 4: My car was the experiment. My price is not your price. Call Pete at Discount Mufflers to get a quote for your Northstar true dual exhaust system. Be sure to identify if your car requires bends that go around the gas tank like mine did.
  5. 18X9 in the front would be an easy fix for fitment issues. And 245/45's would have the same rolling diameter as the 275/40's in the back. But this has never been about what's easy. -LOL. 18X9.5 wheels and 255MM wide tires have always been my minimums for this build. 18x10 wheels with 275-285MM wide tires have always been my goals.
  6. Shortly after getting the car in Oct of 2013, I started researching various tire and wheel combinations. My goal was to find a workable setup that I could use on the street as well as the autocross track. After making a few measurements and considering the planned brake upgrades, I establish the parameters I wanted to work with. Once I install the 12.75" front rotors, the 16" stock wheels will not fit. Therefore, 17" wheels are the minimum diameter I am looking for. Because of weight, I limited the maximum size to 20" (not to mention that 21" and larger wheels on the mid-sized Eldorado looks too Gangster for me. These are 20 X 8.5" wheels with 245/35 R20 tires. So far, it is the only 20" wheel that I like on the car. I don't want bling bling rims, I am after a light weight performance wheel that looks sporty. I will post more pics when I can. Thanks to Arch Street Pawnshop in Little Rock, AR for hosting a half day of wheel fitment tests and pictures. I learned a lot and now have a clear direction to shop for a winning combination.
  7. I had them take many pictures of the repair job. I want to document everything. But I'm waiting on the pictures. It's the same repair done by dealerships. They bought all of the tooling from one that went out of business 15 years ago. Course thread inserts and over-sized bolts. Also the improved gasket set to correct the factory defective ones. $2400 for the job and it includes a new water pump. I had some extra work done. More on that when I get pictures.
  8. Northstar Head gasket repair and oil leaks: My oil leaks are too bad to drive the car farther than it takes to get the crossover pipe hot. I also have 150,000 miles and will be racing the car. The Head bolts have not yet pulled out enough to cause the head gaskets to fail. However, the process needed to repair my oil leaks will have the engine out of the car, so most of the labor costs associated with a head gasket repair will already be in play. I've decided to save money in the long range by spending a little more now and having both jobs done at once. If you cannot drive your car to the repair shop, I highly recommend the U-Haul auto transport trailer. The only catch is that you must be able to climb in and out of the side window.
  9. Alignment: CASTER: I decided to go with the maximum amount of positive caster possible. CAMBER: I decided that one degree negative on all four wheels was the best starting point for testing and may be the best compromise on handling VS. tire wear. Toe: with these custom settings, I would take the recommendation of the alignmen specialist who has 25 years of experience and has aligned race cars. Knowing that I was going to have to drive 50 miles from the engine shop to the alignment shop, I spent many hours with a tape measure and a level to get the initial eyeball alignment as close as possible. As you can see from the picture, the front and rear toe was the only thing that the specialist recommended changing. He was impressed with my backyard alignment. ?
  10. The dual catalytic converters were installed today. I used one spark plug anti-fouler as a backspacing socket for the rear oxygen sensor to pull the stem out of the exhaust gas flow. That will reduce turbulence as well as reduce the chances that the high flow cats will cause a trouble code.
  11. Here is a before and after look at the exhaust system so far. I will be getting the dual cats and H-pipe installed shortly.
  12. This low point in the exhaust was my preference to make more room between the pipes and gas tank.
  13. The myth that you cannot put duals under a last generation Eldorado has officially been debunked!
  14. I had to leave my car with Pete and go to work. This had been an 8 hour installation so far. This picture was taken the next morning at the alignment shop.
  15. I provided my own mufflers, red polyurethane hangers, and angle cut resonator tips, but Discount Muffler also has a selection in stock.
  16. The left section of 3" pipe was created as one piece from the up-size point to where it would connect with the muffler. Note: my goal is to open up enough space between the mufflers that I can build an under-trunk battery relocation box to help with the front-to-rear weight ratio. I also wamt the mufflers visible under the bumper like they are in late Mustangs. We had to mount them at a slight angle, however, because of the plastic charcoal canister behind the left rear wheel well.
  17. Then the left pipe was also bent as one piece and placed. Care was taken to keep the pipe away from the plastic gas tank.
  18. After the necessary clearance was made with a hammer and reciprocating saw, Pete bent and placed the right pipe as one piece from the flex pipe all the way to the up-size point where the system will continue with 3" pipe for the purpose of creating a deeper bass note.
  19. Normally, this would be the point during installation where you would place the dual cats and the ballance tube in whatever location best fits the available space. The final location of the cats may depend if you want your ballance tube to be an X-pipe or H- pipe configuration. NOTE: Use an X-pipe if you want a higher pitched exotic sounding exhaust note with the benifit of the horsepower gains in the upper RPM range.. Use an H-pipe if you prefer a deeper tone with more of an American hotrod sound and want to place the power gains at the lower RPM range. I was not expecting to do the whole exhaust system on this visit, so I had not yet ordered the dual cat setup I had been watching on Ebay for the past 3 years. Discount Muffler does have high flow cats, but no body can beat the price that I could get a set for. So, to make sure there were no surprises when I made a second visit with cats in hand, Pete used two 4" diameter pipes to test fit where my cats would be placed. He also wanted to do the H-pipe at the time of the cats installation.
  20. Seems like an odd angle at first, but when the other side gets bolted up, the difficulty level is apparent