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Old 09-24-2010, 02:23 AM   #1
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Talking A fun weekend ahead of me

Two lessons learned about having a job that pays irregularly:

Lesson #1: Sometimes, you have to make do with what you have.

In this case, it started by me stripping the first 1/4" of two consecutive lug nuts and studs. (I didn't get the "always start threading by hand" memo.) I got the nuts back on, but that warped the rotor, which killed the pad, which covered my wheel in what I assume is rotor dust. Not cool. (Though I discovered oven cleaner is great on wheel covers, and won't remove the paint.)

After picking the forum'* collective brain, finally getting a sizable paycheck, and waiting for UPS, look what R1 Concepts sent to me:



Two slotted rotors, an axle set of Posi-Quiet ceramic pads, and at Boosty'* recommendation, a set of new front hoses. Sure, it cost almost twice as much as a brake job at the local garage with the handwritten "Brakes $89.99" sign out on the street. But, not only do I get much better parts, I get to learn how to do brakes, a lesson that lasts a lifetime. (Hey, another lesson. Let'* make that Lesson #2.)


Lesson #2 (or #3): If you get a great deal, grab it while you still can. So what did I get for cheap? It'* late, I'll tell you tomorrow.

One hint: Getting rid of a safety hazard is good, but I wouldn't call a brake job fun.

Okay, one more hint: A fellow member and I will need the help of our favorite purple dinosaur for this one.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:55 AM   #2
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Doing a brake job is fun in comparision to what you are going to be put through this weekend. Imagine...your the horse and I got the bat dh2 ...oh and here'* Justin (aka Nighthawk) He'* the guy in the middle.

Best I call tell you, is there will be no whining, scratches don't mean "break time", eat fast and expect to be tired, sore and hurting by Sunday at 6pm.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:41 AM   #3
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Well, after 20 hours of nonstop "I'm not touching my phone with these hands" labor, we removed this offending piece:


Now you may be asking, what was wrong with this camshaft? It was too slow.

We also had some time to give the transmission a bath. Cleaned most of the years' worth of engine grime and leaking oil off of the subframe.


Bill and Justin got busy. It was a little weird seeing the engine that I drove here with being torn to bits.


It wasn't all roses inside, though. I had been keeping up on oil changes as of recently (the past few years). Apparently, I can't speak the same for the previous owner, or during my broke time in college. It was enough to make Justin think I had mixed black spray paint into my oil; a fair amount of sludge, too.

I got stuck with cleaning duty after that. While scrubbing valve cover gaskets, the pushrods were a little bit rounded on the ends, so out they came.

Eventually, we were ready to reassemble.


We remarked on the thermostat housing gasket'* crappiness as we were rebuilding, but I didn't have an extra one, so in it went. Of course, during the test drive, we got a nice steam cloud out of there. More coolant, new gasket; no surprises here.

Plus, it tends to stall out right after shifting into gear, if you don't give it a little gas. Maybe we can tune that out, or raise the idle speed.

All in all, it'* been a fun weekend. Can't wait to drive home and marvel at the little extra oomph.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Looks like your getting a lot done. Bet your looking forward to the final results.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:08 PM   #5
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For a second there, I thought I seen a picture of MY engine bay! lol.

Lots to be learned here. I think more people should dive into projects like this. The more you learn, the more you save by not going to rip off shops. Unless you went to Bill'* house. J/K!

Were those brake lines the new and improved slotted lines?
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
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Looks like a good bit of work
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:02 PM   #7
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Great work guys. There is no better way to learn than hands on practice.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:44 AM   #8
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The engine made some pretty weird noises while cranking (ICM unplugged), but after the oil got flowing, it sounded normal enough again. Not for long. Started up the engine, put the plug wires on the correct cylinders, and then restarted itů one of them said that it sounded like a Mustang. Maybe not, but not too shabby for an NA engine with a mild cam and no exhaust work.

During the initial test drive, as I mentioned, the thermostat housing gasket gave out, the air mix actuator stuck on cold, the end cap gasket blew, and we pegged the temperature gauge when the coolant boiled off. Driving a modded 3800 with zero coolant five miles back to Bill'* and not cracking the UIM (or worse) is a real testament to this motor. Plus, it somehow fixed my hood so that it pops up when you pull the release.

While reassembling, we unsurprisingly found a couple of bad parts: struts, torque converter (the one part Bill didn't have laying around, stupid 4T60), both front wheel bearings, a slightly-worn inner tie rod, and sticky pins on one caliper (we broke the bleeder on the other). But that gives me plenty of things to do before my next mod.

Not too bad for most of a weekend. I feel good.


@Mike1995: The brake lines were only replaced (with the R1 Concepts ones) from the wheel well to the caliper. Don't think they're slotted, but the rotors are.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignOfZeta View Post
It wasn't all roses inside, though. I had been keeping up on oil changes as of recently (the past few years). Apparently, I can't speak the same for the previous owner, or during my broke time in college. It was enough to make Justin think I had mixed black spray paint into my oil; a fair amount of sludge, too.

I got stuck with cleaning duty after that.

I have retracted my thoughts about the previous owner. You've had the car since 2005 according to Justin. The oil sludge etc has all been pinned on you sir. As pennance you will change the oil from now on at 2500 miles. 3000 only when you are already on a trip and you can not find a place to do it. I've never lifted a valve cover, put it back on that fast and run for the door to cry for my Mommy, never until I saw your motor.

The deal Colin struck wtih me was he and Justin needed a place to do the swap and very little technical advice. I was not to lift a finger. BTW Colin..next time you should probably let Justin know he'* the primary guy on a cam swap.

My viewpoint on Friday night. Shame you can't see the beer in my hand or the comfy Regal seat I was chillin in. Buddy Max was in the other seat with beer as well.


Saturday I had plans in the afternoon and wanted to jump start the 7 hour engine pull from the evening before. We hopped on the project at about 10am (very late for me) and had the motor back into the car by 4pm. I cleaned up and the guys finished up. First test drive was somewhere around 11ish?? (keeping in line with the 7 hour removal )

Sunday morning the car was sitting outside with something leaking down the driveway. I wasn't 100% sure how to read that. I knew that it being nose down in the driveway meant it wasn't towed back. . There are always a couple of finishing touches to be done. Overall you guys did a great job and got it done. It'* not good go overheat (should have called for water) and the internals of that engine are the worst I've seen. Glad I had a set of rockers and pushrods laying around.

A few more pictures




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Old 09-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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Things I learned on this rebuild
  • Don't be the guy to have dirty internals
  • Rear engine covers are sharp and will cut your head
  • Put the engine block ground on before you put the oil presure sending unit back on
  • Don't put the radio remote on top on the radio where bill can't reach it

Things Colin Learned:
  • Do oil changes regularly
  • That car has alot of DD (daily driver) maintenance to take care of
  • Taking it easy in the first 500 miles doesn't mean go WOT out of the drive way with a cold engine.
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