Monthly Archives: May 2007

It Runs!

An amazingly long post follows the video:

So, this post needs quite a bit of explanation. Or, I should say that I *want* to explain more of it :-) Last Sunday, the car started. It was around 5pm. In order to get that to happen, I had spent the previous week and a half getting things done after work, and on the previous weekend. Generally, I would work until around 11pm. It was quite an accomplishment. The sheer number of things done on the car, however small, all still had to happen before it could run.

So, flashback to a few weeks ago. After getting the dash fabricated, welded up, fitted, sanded, painted, and to the point where I called it “done”, it was time to take it all back apart. I had to replace the Sport Comp fuel pressure gauge with a new phantom gauge so that they all looked identical – all except the AEM UEGO. After that, there was a fair amount of work to get all the plumbing done – all the plumbing on the car is AN, including the vacuum lines if you haven’t already noticed. So, it was kind of a clusterf*ck to get that all worked out. I also needed to get a fuel pressure isolator, and I was looking for one compatible with alcohol, in case I decide to run methanol, ethanol, or e85 in the future. And, for what it’s worth, you generally can’t find them. Malory makes one of them – it’s about $65. So I get the plumbing knocked out, and what’s next?

The gauge wiring harness. This thing was actually a lot more complicated than I thought it was going to be. The gauge harness actually a series of four harnesses: one for the AEM UEGO that connects to the o2 sensor, one for the lights (+12V switched on the switch panel,) one for the Tachometer & water temp gauge, and one for power to the AEM UEGO gauge and the EGT gauge. So, Why did I essentially make three harnesses? Well, the gauges need to be able to be *removed* from the dash, and without splitting the harness up, I would never be able to take the damn thing apart. The EGT gauge and the Tachometer have permanent wires coming out of the back of them, so they were good candidates for a base harness. the UEGO gauge has two connectors on the back of it – one with 6 wires going to the o2 sensor, and the other with four wires: power, ground, o-5V out and serial out. I ran the 0-5V out to the Haltech’s o2 input, so that I would be able to log voltage on the Haltech. Anyway, I took the UEGO’s power side harness, and merged it with the EGT harness, and used a 6 pin metripack connector to get all of those bundled into one harness. The other harness was similarly bundled: The water temp gauge has three spade connectors on the back of it, power, ground, and temperature sender. These were bundled with the Tachometer which also has permanently affixed wiring. to differentiate these, I used a 5 pin metripack connector. the last bundle was the lighting, and fortunately all the lighting is removable from the gauges that I have, so the lighting circuit was a much simpler circuit than it could have been :-o Anyway, while doing that, I had remembered that I had no TACH signal, so I would have to run one from the factory power transistor back into the car to the gauge cluster. That was a pain to do, but only because it was time consuming. so yeah, no big deal, right? ;-)

Next up on the list was hooking up the Fuel pump. I’m using an Aeromotive A1000 pump, but it hadn’t yet been wired in the back of the car. So, I broke out some connectors and wired it up to the battery shutoff switch. It was one of the simplest pieces of wiring on the car :-) The pump is controlled through ground by the Haltech, and because I wanted to have some control over it, I ran a switched +12V signal to it. So, the Haltech has to be on and want to control it, and I have to allow the Haltech to control it. If I don’t, then computers may take over the world and all hell will break loose. In addition, the “rear wiring harness” (as I call it) also has a circuit for the lighting that runs to the center brake light in the wing. This will allow me to race at night :-)

After the fuel pump was done, I started on the oil pump pickup. I already had a version that I was going to use, but it needed some adjustments because I had created it before deciding to go with a kiggly racing girdle on the car. After deciding to use the girdle, I had to shave the supports off of the pickup tube and remake them. So, Monday night rolled around and I pulled an old greasy block out of the shop. I threw it up on the engine stand, pulled it all apart, and fabbed up the brackets for the oil pickup tube.

Tuesday night rolled around, and now it was time to get the oilpan installed. I put the newly fabbed oil pickup tube on the car, and then test fitted the oilpan on the greasy engine-stand 4g63. Everything was set. So, I RTV’d the new oilpan and the engine block. And then all hell broke loose. First, the stock pan bolts were too short to fit with the new oilpan’s flange, which is significantly thicker than a stock flange. No big deal, I have other bolts. So, I break them out and start bolting the oilpan to the car. Except I can’t bolt all the damn bolts to the car – some of the holes in the pan won’t lineup. Crap. Okay, now I have about 16 out of the 20 bolt holes all lines up, but I cannot get the holes on the front and back of the back to lineup, and I have to be careful because they bolt into aluminum :-o So, I had to take the pan back off and cleanup *all* the RTV – off both the pan and the block. Then, I had to ream the oil pan bolt holes just slightly to get them to allow me to bolt them all up. But, it all bolted up to the mockup! Tolerances are a bitch sometimes. Anyway, got the holes reamed, and then did a complete test fit on the block under the car. All in all, I removed and replaced somewhere between sixty and eighty M6 cap head screws that night – not fun!

Wednesday rolled around and it was now time to get all the cooling system tightened and squared away. I started on the coolant neck – I pulled it off the car, made a restrictor plate to put between the head and neck, and then got all that RTV’d together. After that, I removed all the 12AN lines, and lubricated them before going through and getting them all tightened up. It wasn’t hard, but it was time consuming. After I was done with that, I pretty much called it a night, I think. If I didn’t, I just did other random stuff ;-p Oh, yeah, I ported the oil filter housing.

Thursday was my wife’s birthday. You can’t work on the project on your wife’s birthday.

Friday was a day of complete random stuff. I don’t know what I did, but I spent most of it working. I think I finally got the turbo support bracket mounted to the car, among everything else. I also worked on the Haltech software on Friday, and found out something I didn’t want to know. The E6S, which is an older Haltech model, requires pullup resistors on the Ign Out and the Aux out 1 in order to be used with the stock power transistor units. I didn’t have these resistors in the car. Okay, to clarify, I didn’t *know* that these were required – the manual says nothing about them – but I found information that said that they were.

Saturday morning I spent the day running around – I went out and got a belt for the Alternator, new bolts for the oilpan that were 8mm longer (to allow room for lock washers,) and a few other things. Friday night I had already picked up oil, ATF, gear oil, a filter, distilled water, and some other things. By the time I got back, it was past 2:00, and Mark still wasn’t at the house. He finally got there, and we spent the rest of the night getting more stuff buttoned up. I replaced the oilpan bolts, and then we pulled apart the exhaust side of the engine apart. We had to reassemble it with gaskets. then, we put the flywheel on the car, which is an event in itself. We ended up working until about 10:30pm, and called it a night.

Sunday morning Mark got to the house around 11:00. I started working on the final maps for the Talon while Mark ate breakfast, and then we got to work. We started the day by getting the oil system all squared away – I put oil in the Talon, changed the oil filter, and pulled the timing belt off the car to prime the system. About 10 second into priming, oil started leaking out of the head where the stock oil feed bolt to the turbo goes. Oh crap – I completely forgot about that. So, Mark cut and fabbed up a bolt for me because we didn’t have anything short enough. It didn’t make too much of a mess, thankfully. Oil bolt plug in, we could now move on to the cooling system.

As I filling the cooling system, I started to go over all the connections in the system. Unfortunately, I forgot about two of them in the CSR water pump. The pump has two inlets and two outlets – I’m only using one of each. Because of that, I didn’t tighten the two plugs in the unused inlet and outlet. I discovered this when water started pouring out of the pump. Oops. Unfortunately, the plugs needed a 3/8″ hex wrench to tighen them, and I didn’t have one. I did, however, have a 3/8″ nut that I welded onto a bolt, and used that to tighten the whole mess. After that, the system was sealed :-) Sealed so well, in fact, that we couldn’t get an air bubble out of it :-( Damn! the not-so-quick fix we came to was simple. We jacked the front of the car up, pulled the jackstands out from underneath it, and lowered the front end of the car down to the ground. This gave us just movement of the cooling system to release the air bubble, and allow water to get to the water pump. Once we did that, I had to add the rest of almost two gallons of water. At this point, I have no clue how large the cooling system is, because I can’t tell you how much water we sopped up off the floor. I imagine it’s around a gallon and a half. Anyway, good riddance! That took *forever* to get done. Next on the list?

The Powerglide. The powerglide in the Talon is from Dave Buschur. I bought it off him back when he sold his tube car. So, it’s filled with previously used fluid. Getting the PG in the car was a pain, too. it’s difficult to lift, and I honestly should have just lifted the car up on the jackstands more than I did to get it in the car. Instead, I tried to lift it up while standing in the car. This was a mistake. I tilted the PG, and about 3 seconds later, ATF came pouring out the back of the transmission, all over the floor and under my shows. Argh. So, we cleaned that up (that’s three of three fluids on the floor for those of you who are counting) and then managed to get the PG in the car. Thankfully, I spent adequate time making sure that I didn’t get ATF all over the interior of the car.

While installing the PG, Rick showed up to lend a hand. I immediately put him on the laptop to check out the maps, and to compare them to a base map that I found. He spent the majority of the time working on that, but lent a hand when we needed tools or rags :-)

After the PG was installed, I continued working under the car by getting the transmission crossmember bolted in and getting the driveshaft installed. While I was doing this, Mark started filling the rear differential with gear oil. Right around this point, the fact that I only had a small set of hex wrenches bit us again. This time, Mark couldn’t get the fill plug out of the moser diff cover. So, he started fixing this issue by sanding down a 10mm nut, so that he’d be able to weld that to a bolt and be able to extract the plug using the method in which I installed the water pump plugs. Unfortunately, after welding that up for him, he broke it. Inside the diff plug! Argh! And, to make matters worse, he wasn’t able to get the nut out of the diff – it was completely smooth, and there was a ridge in the diff plug so he couldn’t get it out by any means :-( So, I took my time under the car with a piece of tig filler rod and the mig welder. I mig’d the filler rod to the broken nut, and extracted it carefully. Mark got it really really stuck, and it was very hard to get it back out, but I was thankful that we didn’t make too big a mess. At that point, it was time to run up to the store and buy a proper hex wrench set. $8.99 solved that problem. I came back from the store, and filled the rear diff with fluid. It’s *large* – I put 2.5 quarts of cheap 70w140 into the rear diff. I used cheap fluid because the differential needs a break-in, and then I will drain and recycle the old fluid, and put some quality fluid in it’s place to replace it.

Ahh… Okay, now what? It was time to install the fuel system. This, fortunately, went without a hitch! How it that even possible? It’s not. Upon turning on the fuel system, I found that one of the lines that was previously tested was leaking. You don’t want fuel leaks in general, but because it was just weeping, we decided that we’d let it slide and fire the car anyway.

So, we verified that the fuel pump worked, the water pump worked, along with the fan. We then made sure the Haltech had the correct settings, and then plugged in the power transistors for the coils and the cam angle sensor. Then, we tried to fire it. It didn’t fire. We quickly discovered that the injectors were working by using a spare CAS to simulated the engine cranking. The Haltech saw RPM, so we knew that coils were the only issue. Right here, I remembered that the Haltech needed 1000ohm 1/4 watt resistors. Mark wanted me to show him the ignition schematic, so I whipped it up on paper for him. It would be a crime for me to get amnesia ;-) Anyway, After I whipped it up, I grabbed a handful of resistors, and went soldering away. Sure enough, the car fired right up. But, it was only running on two cylinders. Okay… a quick wire check showed that I inadvertently wired the aux out 1 (the second coil trigger in this case) to the ground – I added a pull-down resistor instead of a pull-up resistor. I soldered a new resistor in place, and we fired it back up.

I would have loved to talk about how we got the map spot-fricking on and it purred like a kitten, but the fact of the matter is that wasn’t what happened. There was surge, and some sputtering at times, but nothing that we can’t tune. And actually, the car does start right up, but stumbles for a few seconds because I have to mess with the post start map – after about 10 second, it actually does run very well for just eyeballing a map out of it. It will get a whole lot better with one or two tuning sessions, but I didn’t want to make any of the neighbors angry ;-)

It Lives!

It Lives!

05/27/07 – It’s about damn time!

Over the past week, I can’t tell you how many small little updates, completions, fixes, and everything else that I’ve done to the car – It’s been quite insane. We’ve finished up the turbo mounting; fabbed up oil pickup tubes; painted things here and there; installed new parts; removed parts from the car; reinstalled parts again; modified everything; finished up details; puked oil, water, ATF and Gear oil on the ground; checked wiring; added pull-up resistors here and there; and the end result is this (An amazingly long post follows the video) :

So, this post needs quite a bit of explanation. Or, I should say that I *want* to explain more of it :-) Last Sunday, the car started. It was around 5pm. In order to get that to happen, I had spent the previous week and a half getting things done after work, and on the previous weekend. Generally, I would work until around 11pm. It was quite an accomplishment. The sheer number of things done on the car, however small, all still had to happen before it could run.

So, flashback to a few weeks ago. After getting the dash fabricated, welded up, fitted, sanded, painted, and to the point where I called it “done”, it was time to take it all back apart. I had to replace the Sport Comp fuel pressure gauge with a new phantom gauge so that they all looked identical – all except the AEM UEGO. After that, there was a fair amount of work to get all the plumbing done – all the plumbing on the car is AN, including the vacuum lines if you haven’t already noticed. So, it was kind of a clusterf*ck to get that all worked out. I also needed to get a fuel pressure isolator, and I was looking for one compatible with alcohol, in case I decide to run methanol, ethanol, or e85 in the future. And, for what it’s worth, you generally can’t find them. Malory makes one of them – it’s about $65. So I get the plumbing knocked out, and what’s next?

The gauge wiring harness. This thing was actually a lot more complicated than I thought it was going to be. The gauge harness actually a series of four harnesses: one for the AEM UEGO that connects to the o2 sensor, one for the lights (+12V switched on the switch panel,) one for the Tachometer & water temp gauge, and one for power to the AEM UEGO gauge and the EGT gauge. So, Why did I essentially make three harnesses? Well, the gauges need to be able to be *removed* from the dash, and without splitting the harness up, I would never be able to take the damn thing apart. The EGT gauge and the Tachometer have permanent wires coming out of the back of them, so they were good candidates for a base harness. the UEGO gauge has two connectors on the back of it – one with 6 wires going to the o2 sensor, and the other with four wires: power, ground, o-5V out and serial out. I ran the 0-5V out to the Haltech’s o2 input, so that I would be able to log voltage on the Haltech. Anyway, I took the UEGO’s power side harness, and merged it with the EGT harness, and used a 6 pin metripack connector to get all of those bundled into one harness. The other harness was similarly bundled: The water temp gauge has three spade connectors on the back of it, power, ground, and temperature sender. These were bundled with the Tachometer which also has permanently affixed wiring. to differentiate these, I used a 5 pin metripack connector. the last bundle was the lighting, and fortunately all the lighting is removable from the gauges that I have, so the lighting circuit was a much simpler circuit than it could have been :-o Anyway, while doing that, I had remembered that I had no TACH signal, so I would have to run one from the factory power transistor back into the car to the gauge cluster. That was a pain to do, but only because it was time consuming. so yeah, no big deal, right? ;-)

Next up on the list was hooking up the Fuel pump. I’m using an Aeromotive A1000 pump, but it hadn’t yet been wired in the back of the car. So, I broke out some connectors and wired it up to the battery shutoff switch. It was one of the simplest pieces of wiring on the car :-) The pump is controlled through ground by the Haltech, and because I wanted to have some control over it, I ran a switched +12V signal to it. So, the Haltech has to be on and want to control it, and I have to allow the Haltech to control it. If I don’t, then computers may take over the world and all hell will break loose. In addition, the “rear wiring harness” (as I call it) also has a circuit for the lighting that runs to the center brake light in the wing. This will allow me to race at night :-)

After the fuel pump was done, I started on the oil pump pickup. I already had a version that I was going to use, but it needed some adjustments because I had created it before deciding to go with a kiggly racing girdle on the car. After deciding to use the girdle, I had to shave the supports off of the pickup tube and remake them. So, Monday night rolled around and I pulled an old greasy block out of the shop. I threw it up on the engine stand, pulled it all apart, and fabbed up the brackets for the oil pickup tube.

Tuesday night rolled around, and now it was time to get the oilpan installed. I put the newly fabbed oil pickup tube on the car, and then test fitted the oilpan on the greasy engine-stand 4g63. Everything was set. So, I RTV’d the new oilpan and the engine block. And then all hell broke loose. First, the stock pan bolts were too short to fit with the new oilpan’s flange, which is significantly thicker than a stock flange. No big deal, I have other bolts. So, I break them out and start bolting the oilpan to the car. Except I can’t bolt all the damn bolts to the car – some of the holes in the pan won’t lineup. Crap. Okay, now I have about 16 out of the 20 bolt holes all lines up, but I cannot get the holes on the front and back of the back to lineup, and I have to be careful because they bolt into aluminum :-o So, I had to take the pan back off and cleanup *all* the RTV – off both the pan and the block. Then, I had to ream the oil pan bolt holes just slightly to get them to allow me to bolt them all up. But, it all bolted up to the mockup! Tolerances are a bitch sometimes. Anyway, got the holes reamed, and then did a complete test fit on the block under the car. All in all, I removed and replaced somewhere between sixty and eighty M6 cap head screws that night – not fun!

Wednesday rolled around and it was now time to get all the cooling system tightened and squared away. I started on the coolant neck – I pulled it off the car, made a restrictor plate to put between the head and neck, and then got all that RTV’d together. After that, I removed all the 12AN lines, and lubricated them before going through and getting them all tightened up. It wasn’t hard, but it was time consuming. After I was done with that, I pretty much called it a night, I think. If I didn’t, I just did other random stuff ;-p Oh, yeah, I ported the oil filter housing.

Thursday was my wife’s birthday. You can’t work on the project on your wife’s birthday.

Friday was a day of complete random stuff. I don’t know what I did, but I spent most of it working. I think I finally got the turbo support bracket mounted to the car, among everything else. I also worked on the Haltech software on Friday, and found out something I didn’t want to know. The E6S, which is an older Haltech model, requires pullup resistors on the Ign Out and the Aux out 1 in order to be used with the stock power transistor units. I didn’t have these resistors in the car. Okay, to clarify, I didn’t *know* that these were required – the manual says nothing about them – but I found information that said that they were.

Saturday morning I spent the day running around – I went out and got a belt for the Alternator, new bolts for the oilpan that were 8mm longer (to allow room for lock washers,) and a few other things. Friday night I had already picked up oil, ATF, gear oil, a filter, distilled water, and some other things. By the time I got back, it was past 2:00, and Mark still wasn’t at the house. He finally got there, and we spent the rest of the night getting more stuff buttoned up. I replaced the oilpan bolts, and then we pulled apart the exhaust side of the engine apart. We had to reassemble it with gaskets. then, we put the flywheel on the car, which is an event in itself. We ended up working until about 10:30pm, and called it a night.

Sunday morning Mark got to the house around 11:00. I started working on the final maps for the Talon while Mark ate breakfast, and then we got to work. We started the day by getting the oil system all squared away – I put oil in the Talon, changed the oil filter, and pulled the timing belt off the car to prime the system. About 10 second into priming, oil started leaking out of the head where the stock oil feed bolt to the turbo goes. Oh crap – I completely forgot about that. So, Mark cut and fabbed up a bolt for me because we didn’t have anything short enough. It didn’t make too much of a mess, thankfully. Oil bolt plug in, we could now move on to the cooling system.

As I filling the cooling system, I started to go over all the connections in the system. Unfortunately, I forgot about two of them in the CSR water pump. The pump has two inlets and two outlets – I’m only using one of each. Because of that, I didn’t tighten the two plugs in the unused inlet and outlet. I discovered this when water started pouring out of the pump. Oops. Unfortunately, the plugs needed a 3/8″ hex wrench to tighen them, and I didn’t have one. I did, however, have a 3/8″ nut that I welded onto a bolt, and used that to tighten the whole mess. After that, the system was sealed :-) Sealed so well, in fact, that we couldn’t get an air bubble out of it :-( Damn! the not-so-quick fix we came to was simple. We jacked the front of the car up, pulled the jackstands out from underneath it, and lowered the front end of the car down to the ground. This gave us just movement of the cooling system to release the air bubble, and allow water to get to the water pump. Once we did that, I had to add the rest of almost two gallons of water. At this point, I have no clue how large the cooling system is, because I can’t tell you how much water we sopped up off the floor. I imagine it’s around a gallon and a half. Anyway, good riddance! That took *forever* to get done. Next on the list?

The Powerglide. The powerglide in the Talon is from Dave Buschur. I bought it off him back when he sold his tube car. So, it’s filled with previously used fluid. Getting the PG in the car was a pain, too. it’s difficult to lift, and I honestly should have just lifted the car up on the jackstands more than I did to get it in the car. Instead, I tried to lift it up while standing in the car. This was a mistake. I tilted the PG, and about 3 seconds later, ATF came pouring out the back of the transmission, all over the floor and under my shows. Argh. So, we cleaned that up (that’s three of three fluids on the floor for those of you who are counting) and then managed to get the PG in the car. Thankfully, I spent adequate time making sure that I didn’t get ATF all over the interior of the car.

While installing the PG, Rick showed up to lend a hand. I immediately put him on the laptop to check out the maps, and to compare them to a base map that I found. He spent the majority of the time working on that, but lent a hand when we needed tools or rags :-)

After the PG was installed, I continued working under the car by getting the transmission crossmember bolted in and getting the driveshaft installed. While I was doing this, Mark started filling the rear differential with gear oil. Right around this point, the fact that I only had a small set of hex wrenches bit us again. This time, Mark couldn’t get the fill plug out of the moser diff cover. So, he started fixing this issue by sanding down a 10mm nut, so that he’d be able to weld that to a bolt and be able to extract the plug using the method in which I installed the water pump plugs. Unfortunately, after welding that up for him, he broke it. Inside the diff plug! Argh! And, to make matters worse, he wasn’t able to get the nut out of the diff – it was completely smooth, and there was a ridge in the diff plug so he couldn’t get it out by any means :-( So, I took my time under the car with a piece of tig filler rod and the mig welder. I mig’d the filler rod to the broken nut, and extracted it carefully. Mark got it really really stuck, and it was very hard to get it back out, but I was thankful that we didn’t make too big a mess. At that point, it was time to run up to the store and buy a proper hex wrench set. $8.99 solved that problem. I came back from the store, and filled the rear diff with fluid. It’s *large* – I put 2.5 quarts of cheap 70w140 into the rear diff. I used cheap fluid because the differential needs a break-in, and then I will drain and recycle the old fluid, and put some quality fluid in it’s place to replace it.

Ahh… Okay, now what? It was time to install the fuel system. This, fortunately, went without a hitch! How it that even possible? It’s not. Upon turning on the fuel system, I found that one of the lines that was previously tested was leaking. You don’t want fuel leaks in general, but because it was just weeping, we decided that we’d let it slide and fire the car anyway.

So, we verified that the fuel pump worked, the water pump worked, along with the fan. We then made sure the Haltech had the correct settings, and then plugged in the power transistors for the coils and the cam angle sensor. Then, we tried to fire it. It didn’t fire. We quickly discovered that the injectors were working by using a spare CAS to simulated the engine cranking. The Haltech saw RPM, so we knew that coils were the only issue. Right here, I remembered that the Haltech needed 1000ohm 1/4 watt resistors. Mark wanted me to show him the ignition schematic, so I whipped it up on paper for him. It would be a crime for me to get amnesia ;-) Anyway, After I whipped it up, I grabbed a handful of resistors, and went soldering away. Sure enough, the car fired right up. But, it was only running on two cylinders. Okay… a quick wire check showed that I inadvertently wired the aux out 1 (the second coil trigger in this case) to the ground – I added a pull-down resistor instead of a pull-up resistor. I soldered a new resistor in place, and we fired it back up.

I would have loved to talk about how we got the map spot-fricking on and it purred like a kitten, but the fact of the matter is that wasn’t what happened. There was surge, and some sputtering at times, but nothing that we can’t tune. And actually, the car does start right up, but stumbles for a few seconds because I have to mess with the post start map – after about 10 second, it actually does run very well for just eyeballing a map out of it. It will get a whole lot better with one or two tuning sessions, but I didn’t want to make any of the neighbors angry ;-)

Talon Brakes – Wilwood Dynalite Front and Rear Brake Kits

The Talon’s Braking System

The Talon has Wilwood’s dynalite brake calipers on each corners. Up front, the Talon is equipped with Wilwood’s Dynalite front drag brake kit. You can see spec on the kit on Wilwood’s site. The front brake kit consisted of a new billet aluminum hub made by Wilwood, along with an aluminum hat and solid steel rotors. The calipers are Wilwood’s dynalight four piston calipers. They’re drop forged, and then powder coated black. They look good :-)

In the back, we’re using a Wilwood Dynalite rear drag brake kit for a Ford differential. Yep, the rear end of the car, even though it’s a Chevy, has Ford bearings in it, so it’s got Ford bearing housings on the end. Because of that, it has to use brakes for a Ford, or we’d have to fabricate our own mounts. These also have Wilwood’s dynalite calipers bolted to them. This way, the braking forces on any one corner of the Talon are the same. But what if we don’t want that? No problem, we just dial down braking forces with a Summit Racing proportioning valve.

In addition to these parts, and a Summit Racing line lock, a Wilwood master cylinder along with a Wilwood brake pedal top off the braking system’s needs. Everything is plumbed using AN lines and hardware for a nice, reusable fit and finish.

Dash Wiring and Painting

My aluminum dash

My aluminum dash, during mock-up

Dash test fit into the car

The dash, almost complete

The dash, painted and complete

Painted, powered up and ready to go!

So, over the weekend, I got a little bit of work done on the Talon. I painted up the dash, so that is looks all nice and spiffy, and I also worked on getting the wiring in the dash done up. I spent about 4 hours working on the wiring for the dash, and it’s almost all done. The lighting was cake, and the gauges requiring other electrical are almost done. the I have to dig through the Haltech manual to find a tach signal somewhere (can I just use one of the ignition outputs, I wonder? No, it looks like a tach adapter is available – okay, then I will just have to hook up the tach signal from one of the power transistors and that will work as a tach signal.) and I also need to get the Autometer EGT box hooked up. Oh, and I need to hook the AEM UEGO wideband 0-5V output up to the Haltech to be able to log that data for tuning.

I should also note that I have a new laptop. The pisser about it, though, is that it’s a Dell Inspiron 6400, and they have no serial ports. “Just get one of those USB to Serial adapters!” you’re saying to the screen right now. Well, I would, but I haven’t found one of them that is officially supported in Vista, and that’s what came on my new laptop. So, I can’t use one. I actually have one, and Vista recognizes it, and it *appears* to work properly, but it doesn’t appear to pass any data. It didn’t even work with my old Laptop on Windows XP, even though the real serial port on that machine works without a problem. In addition to that, I’m using the E6S, and that’s got ancient DOS software. and, it must use some special VESA mode, because it won’t run in Vista. When I try to run it, I get an error that says “This program cannot run because your system does not support running in FULL SCREEN mode” or something to that effect. So, that would also have to be fixed, too. It has been. I found an ExpressCard from Startech.com that you actually has a port dongle hanging off the side of it, and purchased it because it claimed to have support for Vista. And, amazingly enough, the driver CD that came with it works. So, I now have a one-port ExpressCard slot, which completes the Serial communication need of the computer. Now, I needed something that would actually allow me to use the E6S software. This was accomplished using a piece of software I found called DOSBox. DOSBox allows you to emulate DOS under Windows XP/NT/2003/Vista/Etc and even has serial port support. I quickly found a shareware software serial port sniffer, and started it up. Then, I configured DOSBox to use the new ExpressCard serial port, and bingo, it works. So, the computer is finally squared away, too! (and it only took a month and a half!)

But, this post isn’t about any of that stuff – it’s about the Summit Racing order I just made at lunchtime today. I ordered up a Kirkey Pro Street Drag seat and seat cover. Because there were issues with fitment of the Corbeau Racing seat, I started to think about selling it. So, I asked Warren if he knew anyone who wanted to buy it after seeing his Corbeau seat in a picture he sent me. Well, Warren took it off my hands for me :-) He wants to scare passengers in his FWD racecar. That’s crazy ;-)

Oh, yeah, I also ordered up a few small bits and pieces – a new fuel pressure gauge, a fuel pressure isolator, and some fittings. they should be here tomorrow. Although I will say that I will be amazed if that race seat shows up tomorrow. I imagine it’s over UPS’s girth limit. I guess we’ll see :-)

New Dashboard and Gauges

Well, I’ve already written this up for a few friends, a few times, so I should post it here too. I’ve been working at nights on stuff for the Talon, and last night managed to get the new dashboard all welded up. I made up the front plate a few days ago, and have managed to cram 7 gauges in an amazingly tiny space. Thursday I decided on an AEM UEGO gauge-type wideband, and ordered it up from Summit Racing. Then, I got to work on the new dashboard.

The old dashboard for the Talon was just a piece of .120″ 6061 aluminum that I bolted to stock locations on the stock dash bar. And actually, it worked great. I had four 2-1/16″ gauges, along with two 3-3/8″ gauge holes – one for the tachometer, and one for a speedometer that never made it into the car. I never ended up getting a speedometer. Now though? Hell, now I know if I’m at 9000RPM in second gear, I’m doing better than 185mph :-o that’s what a powerglide, 4.56’s and 29.5″ tall tires with growth will do for you. Anyway, last night I welded it up, and am happy with the results. I’m going to end up sanding on the weld beads to make it one continuously smooth surface, and then I’m going to paint it up so that I don’t get some shiny sunshine right in the face when the car finally sees the light of day and I’m trying to check my gauges. It should look good when I’m done with it :-)

Random Pictures and Progress

Simpson 10-ft Skyjacker parachute

Simpson 10 foot Skyjacker chute, right at home.


CSR universal electric pump

CSR universal eletric water pump and custom mount


The front suspension, topped with a Wilwood drag brake kit.

The front suspension, topped with a Wilwood drag brake kit.


SX Fuel pressure regulator, with custom mount

SX Fuel pressure regulator, with custom mount


AN plumbing and wiring

A lot of plumbing and wiring, tucked under the intake manifold


Front hub and brake bracket assembly

Front hub and brake bracket assembly

Okay, so some of the things I’m going to talk about are a little bit overdue. First, I went around the car the other night and snapped a few pictures of things that I may have done a long time ago, but didn’t really cover very well, or that you’ve never seen a picture of. Anyway, the following are a bunch of pictures and explanations – click on a picture for a fullsize view:

A guy who lives here in Howell, Matt (One of the only active participants of the Eagletalon.net messageboard too ;-) ,) mentioned that the back of the car looked a strange not having any taillights, and asked what I was planning on putting back there.

The plan has always been to put the stock taillights in the back of the car, and I even went as far as putting the rear end of the car together at one point in time. But for some reason, I had never taken a picture of it all together. So, there it is. :-)

I also hadn’t actually taken any pictures the water pump and water pump bracket. The water pump is in relatively the same spot as the stock factory aircan, if you can imagine that. It’s a CSR racing electic pump, mounted to an aluminum bracket that I wanted to make sure was nice and beefy. And, well, it is. I can stand on it. And it’s light. It’s amazing how strong you can make things. And actually, now that the water pump has power to it, the water pump bracket is probably way overkill, but I would rather have it be light, strong, and never have to worry about it. And It’s mounted to the framerail on a series of bolts that’ve been mounted in the framerail. You can see that I actually took a sheet of 1/8″ steel and welded that to the framerail. Again, this is probably all overkill, but it works well.

The other thing I haven’t really shot any pictures of is the front strut assembly. Now, the pictures that I have now aren’t the final version of the assembly – I actually have to replace the upper mount with a set of billet aluminum mounts that I got from Ty at RRE, and I also have a new set of Koni struts, and strut bodies that will be all cleaned up and on the car. Basically, all the rusty shit in the next picture will be replaced ;-) In the background, you can see the -4AN turbo oil feed line, the -4AN oil pressure gauge line, and the -8AN turbo turbo line. You can also see the sweet ass header (ahh, modesty ;-p) Plus, the big cool damn Wilwood dynalite front brake kit.

The next item on the list is something I actually finished up this week. Tuesday night, I finally put together a drill press that I got for Christmas. I guess it was only a matter of time before my Dad wanted his borrowed drill press back, but it [i]was[/i] nice of him to get me one of my own for Christmas. this post isn’t about that though ;-) It’s about what I did with it. I took my SX Fuel pressure regulator, and finally made it AN Compliant. The SX regulator, by default, has an 1/8″ barb on the side of is for the vacuum port. You hook that up to your intake manifold, and that’s the vacuum / boost reference. All the other holes machined into the FPR are either 1/8″ NPT or AN Port. And, my master plan is to have all the plumbing on the car to be AN – So, the FPR needed to be modified. I drilled out the 1/8″ barb, and tapped a 1/16″ NPT hole into it. I got a 1/16″ NPT to 4AN adapter fitting, and threaded it in. So now, it’s all set, and most of my plumbing is set. I still have to figure out the Wastegate setup, but almost all of the vacuum and oil pressure lines on the car are now AN.

And, this is the rats nest of a wiring harness. In this picture, you can see the bottom of the intake manifold, which is where all the plumbing and wiring for the engine is hidden. The wiring is okay – most of it has been tested, and all I need to do is find a way to mount it to the intake manifold – no big deal. The main trunk sort of has all these things coming off it. I’ve spent a lot of time making it as tidy as I felt I could. Anyway, you can also see the aluminum mounted on the side of the engine – that has the MAP sensor and the two mitsubishi power transistor units mounted to it. They’re wired into the Haltech harness, and determine when the COP ignition is fired. The car has two Power trasistor units because each unit contains two transistors – and instead of hooking them up in parallel, I wanted the coils to have their own ignitors. The “proper” way to do this is really to run a CDI ignition box, but I want to see if this can work because it’s a more simple solution. I guess we’ll see ;-) In this picture, you can also see all the mad AN plumbing action, with the exception of the MAP sensor. It’s a standard GM 3 bar map, so it has a 1/4″ barb fitting on it, with no option of anything that I can convert to AN. So, until I upgrade to something like an AEM 3.5 bar sensor, this is just going to be the setup. I guess I can live with it. You’ll also see the 2 gauge wiring going to the starter. And, the alternator is also hooked up. I actually managed to use the stock alternator plug connector, and was able to remove and replace the stock spade connectors in it with new locking spade connectors that also work with my modular relays that I’m using in other areas of the car.

Ugh – okay, carpel-tunnel setting in ;-o Last but not least is a picture of the back of the front upright setup. About 14 months ago, we finished this project up, but aside from some pictures of the front uprights bare, I had never really posted a picture of the whole assembly. Well, here you can see it. The upright has the Chromoly kingpins, which is what the Wilwood brakes connect to. And, as you can see, the Wilwood has been all safety wired so that none of those Really Important brake bolts will come loose. Also, you can see the steering arm welded to the rest of the upright, along with the spacer underneath. All of these have been designed to minimize bump-steer, which is generally considered to be something somewhat misunderstood by a lot of people. Anyway, you can also see all the grade 8 hardware mounting the Wilwood caliper to the upright. And, of course, the 3AN teflon lined brake lines. “For offroad use only” :-)