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 Back in a Formula Again 
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
My new Lunati Voodoo cam was on my doorstep tonight when I got home. The lobes on this thing are visibly more aggressive than the old cam I was using.

Image20180704_192857 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


I stuck it in the old block and set about confirming all the measurements on the cam card. All checked out exactly.

Now it was time to install it for good in its new home.........& I've successfully completed my first cam swap on a small block Chevy with the intake manifold and lifters still in place courtesy of the LS lifter buckets I installed a while back!

Image20180704_201916 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Currently sitting here running simulations to decide what intake centerline to install this thing at. Its looking like 2 deg retarded in the 108 deg intake centerline is going to be the winner.....I'll ponder it overnight.

Goals for tomorrow are to set the intake centerline & set the valve lash before I head to work. With any luck, I may be able to get this thing dropped in the car this weekend.


Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:20 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
That is brilliant!

These hoses are no longer available through GM or aftermarket?


auto_god wrote:
So here is a situation most of us have been in.

What do you do when your almost 30 year old & brittle formed vacuum lines break on you? You can't just go to GM and get a new one anymore.

Image20180703_191433 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

You fabricate your own! I measured the old vacuum line at 5/32"......I suspected a 3/16" line would make a nice snug fit in the couplers so I stopped by the local parts store on the way home tonight & picked up a 4 ft long length of brake line.


With a little time and patience, me and my tube bender came up with a nice solution to my vacuum hose issue!
Image20180703_193449 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Image20180703_195319 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Not only will these lines never go brittle and break on me again, but given that I'm fabricating the new lines I can route them as I please in a less intrusive, more cosmetically appealing way than the originals were.

Image20180703_195619 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Image20180703_200130 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
I honestly didn't inquire at the dealer or look aftermarket. This solution cost me $8 & I didn't have to wait for days or weeks on delivery.

chevypower91 wrote:
That is brilliant!

These hoses are no longer available through GM or aftermarket?


auto_god wrote:
So here is a situation most of us have been in.

What do you do when your almost 30 year old & brittle formed vacuum lines break on you? You can't just go to GM and get a new one anymore.

Image20180703_191433 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

You fabricate your own! I measured the old vacuum line at 5/32"......I suspected a 3/16" line would make a nice snug fit in the couplers so I stopped by the local parts store on the way home tonight & picked up a 4 ft long length of brake line.


With a little time and patience, me and my tube bender came up with a nice solution to my vacuum hose issue!
Image20180703_193449 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Image20180703_195319 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Not only will these lines never go brittle and break on me again, but given that I'm fabricating the new lines I can route them as I please in a less intrusive, more cosmetically appealing way than the originals were.

Image20180703_195619 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Image20180703_200130 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Made good progress yesterday.

ImageAA6F68FA-6FE3-46F5-8DE4-FE1B0284905E by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

If I can get the last 2 bellhousing bolts in and the headers back in today I'll be satisfied......everything else will go pretty quickly after that.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:48 am
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Well she is up and running again, but not without an evening of "Uh oh!" going through my head.

Monday afternoon I progressed to the point of first start up, which it did with very little effort. Much to my alarm though oil pressure was considerably lower than what I was anticipating......and in the time it took me to set the timing it dropped to pretty much zero. :shock:

I was surprised as idling for the amount of time it did with no oil pressure would have certainly caused nasty engine noises. It also surprised me as when I primed the oil system before putting the motor in the car, it was apparent from the load the drill was under that the pump was making some serious pressure. Additionally, looking under the oil cap showed what seemed to be adequate oil flow while running, so I began to suspect maybe the pressure was likely OK. Thinking further about the issue I realized this was the same oil pressure sending unit from the old motor......the one that was downstream of the oil pump that took a dump on me. I began to suspect possibly some schrapnel from the old oil pump wound up in the sending unit. I thought it was certainly worth a shot putting a new sending unit in before pulling this motor back out.

Luckily my hunch turned out to be correct and it wasn't something that I had overlooked while building this motor!

Image20180712_122652 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


Last edited by auto_god on Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:30 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Took the car out for a 20 km shake down run this afternoon to grab some data to start tuning the chip with all over again now. The new cam has totally changed the sound of the car (pretty much all the lope it had before is gone, replaced with a very deep sounding thump)......and honestly it does drive much nicer than the old one did. That is good as there were several things I wanted to address when selecting this cam.

Priority number 1 and really, the biggest reason I swapped motors is the last one failed the Idle Hydrocarbons portion of the emissions test. Passed everything else, but even with my idle speed up at 1200 rpm(1250 is the max allowed in the test), there was just too much seat to seat overlap with the old cam (58 degrees I believe, double what the stock cam had). The unfortunate thing with TPI injection being a batch fire system (all injectors fire all at once), is that due to the injectors firing twice per rpm, half of each cylinders fuel load is sitting right there at the intake valve when it opens, so during that overlap period a good portion of that goes right out the headers (causing high idle hydrocarbons). The other issue that creates is that catalytic convertors exposed to large amounts of hydrocarbons burn out quickly. I was pretty sure it was going to fail this part of the test as backing into my garage after being out for a cruise resulted in my wife commenting that "Your car stinks!" I'm pretty sure 2 years of being subjected to all the hydrocarbons that cam generated killed my Magnaflow convertor. Having said all that, I'm just starting tuning the new motor and haven't taken it to have the emission test redone yet, but the smell is gone, so I feel reasonably confident it should pass.

Issue number 2 I wanted to rectify was the idle speed. I really didn't have an issue with the idle speed (775 in gear, 875 in park/neutral), but it did cause the car to push against the brakes while stopping and sitting at lights. Not a huge issue, but if that could be resolved at the same time, that would be a bonus.


So after what seemed like weeks of simulations, I wound up with this.

http://www.lunatipower.com/Product.aspx?id=2010&gid=289

When you first look at the specs it seems like a pretty small cam, but when you look into Lunati's lobe database your perspective changes.

Comparing my old one to my new one.

Lunati BareBones 10030 Lunati Voodoo 60120
Duration .006" 278/288 263/271
Duration .050" 219/229 211/219
Duration .200 132/138 135/142
Lift .503/.503 .508/515


Overlap @ .006 58 deg 42 deg
Overlap @ .050 1 deg -9 deg

So with the new cam I've significantly reduced the valve overlap and toned the idle way down (sits and idles happily at 650 rpm in gear), yet when you look at the duration at .200" (where the cylinder heads are typically really starting to move some air), this new cam is actually bigger than the old one!!

Once I get through the break in period and finish up tuning it, I'm really curious to see what kind of snort this new motor has!


Last edited by auto_god on Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Been out cruising around working on the chip for the last little bit and finally have it dialed in to the point that I was fairly confident to take it in for its emission test.

Got my results this morning.

Image2018 Passed E Test by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

That is the cleanest this car has ever tested!! I'm pleased all of my hard work building the new motor, putting it in the car and tuning it achieved what it was supposed to! Very happy I get to drive my baby for 2 more years now (maybe they'll scrap the etest in the meantime!)

For some perspective, this is the test done with the old motor. I knew by the smell from the car this one wasn't going to pass!

Image2018 Failed Etest by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


And how the car tested back in 2015 when I first got the car on the road being totally stock (other than long tube headers)

Image2015 Emissions by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


So the big take away from this is that the Lunati 262 Voodoo cam is very emission friendly.....an important feature for us 3rd Gen owners as a good percentage of us are required to pass emissions.


Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:43 am
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
So now that I've been driving the new motor for a bit now and its breaking in/loosening up, I thought I'd share my thoughts on this combination.

When I first started driving the car with the new motor and the tune was off and it was pretty tight, my initial impression was....."Oh...this motor doesn't have quite what the old one did, but I guess this is what I have to settle with in order to pass emissions"

Well fast forward several hundred kms to break in and loosen things up, & a much more dialed in tune and my perspective has totally changed. This is a total dual purpose motor. In the mood to just cruise? It will thump along happily producing gobs of torque, sit and idle happily in traffic at 650 rpm, generates WAY less heat through the headers in normal driving, actually seems like it may be getting even better gas mileage than stock. But stab at the gas pedal any amount at all, and instantly it turns from mellow to angry in the blink of an eye.....anything past 1/2 throttle in 1st gear and you're doing burnouts. The instant torque this thing makes just makes me giggle! So far I've been able to restrain myself from matting it while its still breaking in. Perhaps at some point next week when I'm on vacation I'll put my wideband in the car and tune the wide open throttle portion of the fuel map......I'm SUPER curious to see what this thing has at full throttle. My driving impressions say it has a lot more torque than the old motor, but curious to see what sort of hp it makes. Even if it doesn't quite have the top end hp of the old motor, I don't really care. Its such a pleasure to drive, even if it gives up 10-15 whp up top, its so much more enjoyable to drive, I don't think I'd change too much. It doesn't push through the brakes anymore, haven't had any smokey startups with this motor, passed emission testing, good oil pressure, leak free so far......mission accomplished.


Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:00 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
The original engine has started its journey to being rebuilt back to all original.

ImageOE L98 clenaed and painted by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Been completely torn down, cleaned & honed. Now for the time consuming part of measuring everything!

Made sure to not paint this over! Proof this is the numbers matching engine to the car.

Image20180713_122423 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:16 am
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
I've been working away at the tedious task of cleaning all the components of the original engine. So far everything looks to be in astoundingly good condition.

Image3B6B1EEF-8F69-4D4C-A34D-B905B5756E15 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Image3B468BA9-0A84-49D7-B054-DCA846BEA091 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Think I may need to see if I can buy EasyOff in a 55 gal drum! Lol!


But once all the grime and crap was gone I flipped over the first piston I cleaned and made an interesting discovery!

Image55D5B418-2A60-4F5A-9044-21DB1255BB85 by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


I had read at one time that the '90 - '92 L98's flat top pistons were made for GM by Mahle. I only ever saw this mentioned once, and had never seen any visual proof of it so I didn't give it much merit, but now I have the proof in front of me. That's a fantastic thing to find that your OE pistons are Mahle!!


.......and back to cleaning......


Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Had a chance to get my wideband in the car and tune the WOT portion of the chip last week.

Given how much milder the cam in this motor is and how much more refined driving this motor is, I'm pretty pleased with the results.

The blue plot represents the last dyno pull I did with the old motor this spring not long before the oil pump took a dump on me.
The red plot represents the car as it is now.

I could likely squeeze a little more out of it with a touch more timing, but it runs quite happily on 91 octane now instead of the 94 octane the old motor wanted, so I'm not really all that inclined to monkey with it further. I spend more time just cruising around in it than I do at full throttle, so the savings of 91 octane will be nice.


As the graph shows, there is hardly enough difference in performance between the 2 to be noticeable from the drivers seat.

ImageVortec 350 Voodoo vs L98 Barebones by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr


Now that its all tuned up and dialed in and passed emissions as easily as it did, in retrospect I may have changed up my cam choice a touch. At the time I put this motor together and chose the cam I did my #1 priority was ensuring that I passed emissions (mission accomplished there), as I was really only going to get 1 kick at the can of passing before I would have to park the car. However now that I've seen how easily it passed, I'm thinking I could have gone the route of having this same cam custom ground on a 110 LSA and picked up approx. 13 hp over the current combination and still breezed through emissions. I'm not unhappy with this cam by any means, but might have made different choices knowing what I know now. The other decision I was debating was what intake centerline to install this cam at. I decided to install it straight up and see where that landed me. Well the motor is making pretty much exactly what the simulations suggested installed at the centerline it is...….but simulations showed this cam should make another 10 hp by retarding it 2 degrees from its current centerline.....thinking that may be this winters project! That will cost me nothing but my time!


Last edited by auto_god on Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:04 am
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Looking at the graph something is happening around the 4600rpm mark as you see that tq and hp take a dip. If you fix that area I'll bet you find your 10 hp at the top you're missing. Great thread you have going btw.

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Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:42 am
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
So it appears I've found my missing power in a big way!

Current motor blue plot
Last pull with old motor red plot

ImageVortec 350 Voodoo New Oil Filter vs L98 Barebones by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Truth be known I've been debating whether I was going to share this or not as the cause is going to seem too bizarre to be believable, however after looking at the data ( G force readings indicate the car accelerating notably harder, time from speed X to speed Y measurably quicker) it seems the results are what they are.


When I first got the car back out on the road after getting the new motor in my oil pressure would go up to 315 kpa plus on cold start and settle in around 220 kpa once the oil was up to temp. As I started putting some break in miles on it (probably about 500 kms now), my oil pressure on cold start was slowly getting lower and lower to the point that it would just go to 220'ish kpa and just stay there all the time. Suspecting that my oil filter was likely getting full from all the break in going on, I picked up a new filter to put on. But, being curious as to whether it was a filter getting plugged up, or just the oil breaking down, I decided for giggles to change the filter only & go for a quick 5 min drive to see. Well after changing the filter only my pressure has gone right back to 315+ kpa on cold start and stays well above 220 kpa once fully warmed up (this was with the same oil). I also noted on this drive the car seemed like it had noticeably more pep to it...…...but came home, finished changing the oil and didn't give it much more thought.

Several days later while out cruising I again noted the car seemed to have a lot more pep than normal, so I decided it merited finding out whether it truly did or not, and got the results above. Was the improvement from improved oiling? Was the plugged oil filter putting that much of a load on the oil pump? Combination of both? I'll not likely ever know, however the oil filter is the last place I would have gone looking for lost HP, and is the only thing changed between the 2 pulls I made.

In the end I'm just happy that it's finally making the power I thought it should be. All the components I selected for this motor should have had it making about the same hp as the old motor, but significantly more torque. I was a little perplexed when it wasn't initally, but now everything seem to be functioning as designed.

So like I said above.......seems too far fetched to be true.


Last edited by auto_god on Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:03 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:53 am
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
Wow. I had no idea that an oil filter can make that much of a difference. Have you taken apart the oil filter to see if it was plugged for curiosity?


auto_god wrote:
So it appears I've found my missing power in a big way!

Current motor red plot
Last pull with old motor blue plot

ImageVortec 350 Voodoo New Oil Filter vs L98 Barebones by Shane Hewitt, on Flickr

Truth be known I've been debating whether I was going to share this or not as the cause is going to seem too bizarre to be believable, however after looking at the data ( G force readings indicate the car accelerating notably harder, time from speed X to speed Y measurably quicker) it seems the results are what they are.


When I first got the car back out on the road after getting the new motor in my oil pressure would go up to 315 kpa plus on cold start and settle in around 220 kpa once the oil was up to temp. As I started putting some break in miles on it (probably about 500 kms now), my oil pressure on cold start was slowly getting lower and lower to the point that it would just go to 220'ish kpa and just stay there all the time. Suspecting that my oil filter was likely getting full from all the break in going on, I picked up a new filter to put on. But, being curious as to whether it was a filter getting plugged up, or just the oil breaking down, I decided for giggles to change the filter only & go for a quick 5 min drive to see. Well after changing the filter only my pressure has gone right back to 315+ kpa on cold start and stays well above 220 kpa once fully warmed up (this was with the same oil). I also noted on this drive the car seemed like it had noticeably more pep to it...…...but came home, finished changing the oil and didn't give it much more thought.

Several days later while out cruising I again noted the car seemed to have a lot more pep than normal, so I decided it merited finding out whether it truly did or not, and got the results above. Was the improvement from improved oiling? Was the plugged oil filter putting that much of a load on the oil pump? Combination of both? I'll not likely ever know, however the oil filter is the last place I would have gone looking for lost HP, and is the only thing changed between the 2 pulls I made.

In the end I'm just happy that it's finally making the power I thought it should be. All the components I selected for this motor should have had it making about the same hp as the old motor, but significantly more torque. I was a little perplexed when it wasn't initally, but now everything seem to be functioning as designed.

So like I said above.......seems too far fetched to be true.


Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Back in a Formula Again
I'm too curious of a guy to not cut the old filter apart to investigate! Lol! I drilled a hole in the top to drain the oil and plan on cutting it open this weekend.

I likely would have called bulls**t if someone were to have conveyed the same story to me prior to this experience.......always more to learn I guess. :? Perhaps something else was going on that I'm not taking into consideration?


Last edited by auto_god on Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:34 pm
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