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User Journal

Journal Journal: Chevelle engine! 2

So, this time I decided to have someone else rebuild my engine for me. Mainly due to having little time, but also because I wanted someone to break the thing in for me. So I had to find a shop with an engine dyno. I ended up going to Gustaf Engine in Moline, IL. Ron's a good, knowledgable guy, and worked with me to get things done pretty much within my budget. The final result is that I have a .040 over 350 (about 357-358 CID) which made 330 horsepower and 394 ft-lbs of torque. "What, just 332 horsepower?" Yes, and a whole mountain of torque across the whole RPM band - average from 2000 to 5000 RPMs is 370.8 ft-lbs. Combined with the 3.73:1 posi rear and the TH200-4R tranny, this car should be pretty fun to drive on the street. And since the transmission's "only" supposed to be built guaranteed up to 410 ft-lbs, I probably shoulnd't put much more power through it anyway. :)

This is why I wanted someone with an engine dyno to do it. I wanted to know the real numbers the car's making, sure, but there are better reasons. I wanted everything dialed in, and the thing first run on the dyno. They've got better instrumentation, and can make sure everything's working right during those critical first few minutes of runtime. That's more difficult in a car. And having the engine dialed in with real numbers, rather than going by the seat of my pants, well, it's well worth the $400 extra.

I also think it's cool that the engine holds 54PSI of oil pressure at 2000 RPMs, climbing to 68.3 PSI at 5K - which should be good for reliability - and that these numbers were generated with the coolant temperature at about 165. With my big aluminum radiator and dual high-volume electric fans, the 160 'stat should be able to maintain that pretty well.

Hopefully I'll get it in this week...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Weird /. member

Tonight someone added me to their foe list. I probably shouldn't care, but it's weird. I looked it up, and at first I thought it was the rat guy, who I think I may well have pissed off. Then later I thought it was that boob who kept posting responses to things I didn't type. But no, it was neither of those people. In fact, looking at the profile for "JamesM77", this person hasn't ever posted anything. He's got about two pages of friends, and as many foes. The weird thing is that he has fans, despite having never posted. I dunno, the relationship thing isn't a great big deal to me, though I've added a couple of people to my foe list for reasons I forget. I've gotten on a few people's lists, for reasons which I probably don't care about. But this one's just weird. I guess I'd like to actually personally irritate someone for them to do that - it strikes me as odd that someone would just disagree with what I say (probably just once) in a conversation I'm having with someone else.

Like I said, it's just weird. I've also never seen a foe list (for a real user) that long. Huh. Eh well, back to waiting for warm weather to return and that POS Caprice to sell. :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: The car, almost done 1

Well, I fixed the radiator. Unfortunately, the heat I applied to the fitting I braxed on was apparently enough to melt the solder/brass sealing the cooler itself. That resulted in a leak internal to the radiator tank, turning another $7 worth of antifreeze pink. Argh.

So I bought a new radiator - which, surprisingly, O'Reilly just had in stock for about $100. Their regular price beat on this one. It also beat, but I would suggest *never* buying anything from I bought one radiator from them for my 1971 chevelle - I got the 4-core radiator which was intended for the 1970 LS6 454 (you know, most powerful production muscle car built, 500+HP) with air conditioning. In other words, the best heat dissipator that could go into that car. I also was using a Flex-a-lite black magic fan (one that moves more air than the stock engine-driven fan) with a shroud. That POS radiator could not keep the very mild (8.5:1, should be about 300-320HP) 350 cool. On top of that, I now get spam to radiatorbarn@my.catchall.domaion. has been great to deal with, though (I got the radiator for my cop car there), and they don't spam me. Plus, they shipped faster.

Anyway, I got the new radiator installed, and I got everything painted. I put on the antique plates this weekend, reactivated the insurance, and drove it around a little. It runs well, after the choke opens. I bent the choke spring, though (didn't initially plan to reuse the carb and intake), so it doesn't open quite fast enough. That's annoying. The brakes also aren't working very well - it'll stop, but a panic stop just ain't happening. I'l try bleeding them tonight - that might help - or it could just be something in one of the lines. I wonder if anyone local sells a brake pressure gauge?

Today the amplifier I bought on eBay should get here (after a month of waiting for some guy to ship the last one I won - he made up some crap about his wife having cancer, probably because "who would question that?" and now is no longer an eBay member). It'll complement the two 10" subs I put in a box I already had, and I think that having a little thump in the black Caprice with tinted windows and loud exhaust might attract a few more buyers in the target market - and I can add more to the price than the $75 that stuff cost me. Or maybe it'll work so well that I'll want to keep the box and amp, who knows. I wonder if I should consider getting a CD player for the car, since it just has a tape deck now... :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: More car problems

Sigh. The transmission cooler line blew out. I had soldered a replacement fitting in to the radiator, and built up a layer of JB-Weld around it. But that's inadequate, so it seems. So I've bought a torch (my little propane torch running mapp gas didn't get hot enough, so I've got a real cutting torch now) and brazing rods, and will be fixing it right this time. It's a bit of a pain having the car covered with transmission fluid... It does run reasonably well, though, so it should sell.

I'm sanding the car down today, too, and hope to have it painted by week's end. There'll be pictures when it's done... :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: getting warmer

It's almost warmer-enough to allow me to finally paint that stupid Caprice. I'll be glad to get rid of it. It runs alright, what with the new head gaskets and general clean-up, and it looks pretty good under the hood, since it was all painted. Painting the rusty chrome wheels gave them new life, too. Once the body and chrome is totally blacked out, it'll looks reasonably nice, too. It's be better with an actual strong engine, but who needs more than 175 HP in a 4500 lb car anyway? ;)

User Journal

Journal Journal: That engine

Well, I got the engine put together. I decided to just leave it stock so I could sell all of the junk in the garage and keep some useful stuff, instead fo selling the useful stuff and being stuck with some old crap cylinder heads, an old cast-iron intake, and an old 2-bbl carb. No, it didn't actually take me several months to put it back together, but I figured I'd go ahead and post an update for the benefit of both people who look at my journal. :) Oh, wanna buy an '80 Caprice 2-dr?

Also, comments are disabled on future car posts. It seems that anonymous cowards, who are below my view threshold, BTW, feel compelled to post uninformedly on my car journal entries. Like the idiot who claimed that lower compression raises power somehow. That moron says the exact same engine made more power with less compression in '71 than '70, but then goes on to explain that the cam and head design also changed. Huh. Imagine that. I wonder if the cam, head design, and carb had anything to do with the power increase? I wonder why the higher-compression LS-6 454 (the *real* 454) made more power than both of the LS-5's put together?

Anyway, coments are disabled since it's mostly just idiots commenting anyway. I don't much care what uninformed idiots have to say, and non-idiots can find other ways. Maybe one day I'll subscribe, and limit posting to friends. Maybe.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Stuff inside an engine 1

Well, I guess it's not good to have stuff inside of the cylinders on your typical small block Chevy engine. My car started making a knocking noise a week or so ago, but the valvetrain was fine. So, since I was planning to change the cylinder heads, intake, carb and cam anyway, I pulled it apart. In #1 and #4, there were some cast zinc (also known as pot metal) pieces, such as may have been on a carbueretor. Well, the carb's not missing any pieces, and nothing else is made of that material (the air cleaner's stamped steel, and the heads + intake are cast iron). My best guess is that the previous owner of the car this engine came out (80K mile '71 Chevelle) of dropped something in there, and it just recently broke free of whatever crap was holding it in place. The ports on the intake are comicly small, so this sounds reasonable to me.

Eh, nothing was damaged aside from the little chinks in the pistons (which aren't bad). The new heads (which I gasket matched and polished using Standard Abrasives' really nice kit) have bigger ports and a 58cc chamber rather than the 76cc stock combustion chamber, which should result in much more fun than the stock 8.5:1 compression ratio was giving me - this oughtta put me at about 10.5 or 10.7:1 if I'm getting the swept volume right. The small 4bbl carb works better than the stock 2bbl, the aluminum intake will be lighter and flow better than the cast-iron dualplane, and the mild cam is *way* better than the 1971 smogger engine cam. The engine was originally rated at like 170HP (307 cid / 5.1L), I'm hoping for 280-300 with a good torque curve this time, since the car's an '80 caprice "sport coupe" that still weighs a lot and has bad gears.

Anyone have a 7.5" chevy rear with something like a 3.08 ratio that they wanna get rid of? :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Old cars

I like old cars. They're easy to work on, easy to get parts for (usually), and can be made fairly fuel efficient with some simple attention to detail. I've had several cars that make more power than modern SUVs *and* get better mileage - and were more capable off-road vehicles (even though they're cars).

Having more mass than other cars on the road is helpful when some drunken/distracted boob in a small car drifts into your lane, too. Yay momentum and conservation of energy. :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: fake CS degrees

Some day I'll have to learn why people are so stupid. I mean, why would someone spend several thousand dollars and several years of their life to get a half-arsed MIS degree when they could've actually gotten a *real* CS degree? I can't understand why someone would choose MIS over, say, just majoring in business and taking a couple of programming classes at a community college. At least then they wouldn't confuse people who don't know any better.

"Hey look at this guy, he's got an MIS degree. Must be just as educated as someone with a CS degree". Degrees are generally pointless anyway, but MIS? Sigh.

In general, if something sounds like the name was made up to make it sound more impressive ("Management Information Systems", "Sanitation Engineer") or has "applied" stuck onto it ("Applied Mathematics", "Applied Computer Science"), it's probably not impressive at all, and should be avoided.

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