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Progress report on the Cheap 88 Convertible

 
Old 05-02-2019, 04:57 PM
  #41  
SLVRSHRK
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You are making great progress. I have an 86 convertible that I have been rebuilding and just completed an entire suspension rework on. Here's some unsolicited advice for you to consider....
  • You didn't mention replacing any of the ball joints. If you are in there replacing the bushings and need an alignment anyway, bite the bullet and replace the ball joints in the front too.
  • Definitely use a TON of silicone grease on the poly. Buy and use disposable gloves as that stuff is STICKY! They usually don't give you enough in the kits, so buy an extra container.
  • CHECK THE POLY KITS TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE ALL THE PIECES. I had read about Energy kits missing pieces and sure enough mine was missing some too. Took a good two weeks to get the replacements from them, so check before you start. Hopefully ProThane is better than Energy in this department.
  • When I had the rear out to replace the diff mount bushings I swapped out my original 2.59 rear for a 3.08 that I picked up cheap with low miles. Picking up a low mileage used one is much cheaper than changing out the gears. It made a HUGE difference to me in the car. Second (I have an auto) feels like it actually still is accelerating now and the car just feels better at highway speed sine the motor isn't turning 1600 RPMs.
  • You're gonna have the half shafts and driveshaft out to replace the diff mounts, so replace the u-joints with the good spicer ones.
  • While the driveshaft is out, drop the tailshaft housing from the tranny and replace the rear seal AND the driveshaft bushing. The bushings wear out and can cause a vibration. They are CHEAP.
I had mine apart for about a month doing the work myself, you seem to have a lot more energy and drive, so best of luck!
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:04 PM
  #42  
lotsofspareparts
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Originally Posted by SLVRSHRK View Post
You are making great progress. I have an 86 convertible that I have been rebuilding and just completed an entire suspension rework on. Here's some unsolicited advice for you to consider....
  • You didn't mention replacing any of the ball joints. If you are in there replacing the bushings and need an alignment anyway, bite the bullet and replace the ball joints in the front too.
  • Definitely use a TON of silicone grease on the poly. Buy and use disposable gloves as that stuff is STICKY! They usually don't give you enough in the kits, so buy an extra container.
  • CHECK THE POLY KITS TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE ALL THE PIECES. I had read about Energy kits missing pieces and sure enough mine was missing some too. Took a good two weeks to get the replacements from them, so check before you start. Hopefully ProThane is better than Energy in this department.
  • When I had the rear out to replace the diff mount bushings I swapped out my original 2.59 rear for a 3.08 that I picked up cheap with low miles. Picking up a low mileage used one is much cheaper than changing out the gears. It made a HUGE difference to me in the car. Second (I have an auto) feels like it actually still is accelerating now and the car just feels better at highway speed sine the motor isn't turning 1600 RPMs.
  • You're gonna have the half shafts and driveshaft out to replace the diff mounts, so replace the u-joints with the good spicer ones.
  • While the driveshaft is out, drop the tailshaft housing from the tranny and replace the rear seal AND the driveshaft bushing. The bushings wear out and can cause a vibration. They are CHEAP.
I had mine apart for about a month doing the work myself, you seem to have a lot more energy and drive, so best of luck!
For starters, thank you for the information... I will certainly heed some of your advice.

I don't (at this point) have any reason to suspect that the ball joints are wore out, it seems this car was greased regularly because I pressure washed probably 1/2 pound per side of old grease off the lower control arms. If they give me issues one day I will certainly replace them, but for now I will leave well enough alone.

I had already planned on getting more grease for the bushings, so way ahead of you there. Anytime any of my other vehicles have need bushings (sway bar bushings mostly) I have always replaced them with Poly so am familiar with the lack of grease in those tiny squeeze tubes. I typically wear nitrile gloves when working on my vehicles and am good to go there.

As for the contents of the poly bushing kits, Prothane is nice enough to include a slip of paper in each box that has the contents of said box, according to the content lists, nothing is missing..... Good tip though!!

I have heard from others that there is a gain to be had by swapping out my current 2.73 gears for 3.08 or 3.45. This is something that I will never do. There are a few reasons why. As long as the sun is shining, this car will be driven everyday. My commute to and from work is 66 miles and right now I am seeing a 19.5mpg average and I certainly don't want that to drop any lower, there are some that don't seem to realize that these TPI engines are more than comfortable plugging along at 70mph while only turning 1800 rpms. They are designed to do that and you really aren't lugging the engine at all.

Unless the U Joints have already been replaced, that will be going on my list as that is a good tip. The rear seal and bushing is also a good tip and will go ahead and research the replacement parts so they are ready to go when I get going on this project. I have no intention of letting the car sit for a month whilst I have it apart so will be planning the job appropriately. I figure I should be able to get the steering rack bushings on and new rack installed, front sway bar bushings, and upper and lower control arm bushings done in a weekend. Drive the car for the week and I could take care of everything in the rear the following weekend. It's not unusual for me to be in the shop from 8am till 10pm in the summer time, I'm kind of OCD when it comes to knocking projects out.

Thanks for the advice and the good luck shout out!!

Jared
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:09 AM
  #43  
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Well today was a really, really busy and long day.

I got out to the shop 2 hours later than I normally would have (couldn't sleep, lower back pain) So I made sure to make up that time. Today was a 10am to 12:45am day.

I started by disassembling and cleaning the passenger side suspension for the install of the urethane bushings. Got everything cleaned up and the bushings installed in the upper and lower control arms.... no instructions so there was a little bit of a learning curve. Got it done with only one mistake that required some disassembly and then reassembly of the bushings in the upper arm. Lower arm was super simple and didn't even require a press to get the bushing in..... just had to whack them in with a dead blow.

Once I got the passenger side components reassembled but not yet installed on the car, I figured it would be a good time to pull the sway bar and the steering rack. Was able to get the rack out (what a pain in the ***) got the new rack prepped and the tie rods measured out, and got it reinstalled. Got the sway bar reinstalled shortly after with it's new bushings and then I filled the power steering reservoir and bled the rack.

Once I had the rack bled out, I reassembled the passenger side suspension and started disassembling the drivers side. I got the upper control arm off, the bushings replaced, and then decided to call it a night since I need the pressure washer to clean up the rest of the disassembled suspension. I will finish it up tomorrow and take her for a test drive.

Anyways, I shot quite a few pictures along the way showing the layout of the bushings.... just in case someone else decides to tackle a project like this.

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Old 05-04-2019, 11:42 PM
  #44  
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Got it done!! Drives amazing, and there is more information and pictures in this other thread I started...… https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-bushings.html

Jared
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:53 PM
  #45  
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Now while I do/did appreciate the fact that the McIntosh CD Player that was in the car was cool and nostalgic, and kind of period correct...… the lack of any type of connectivity was annoying.

I decided to stretch out my Best Buy card today and upgraded to a Pioneer AVH-3300NEX

Now I have hands free calling, Pandora control, USB, and DVD should I be stupid enough to watch something whilst bombing down the highway. Has rear view camera input, Nav capability, etc, etc. Pretty much everything you would expect a $500 unit to have.

3 set of 4v preouts….. I am using 2 sets for the Fosgate amp that came with the car but I possibly see a sub.... probably a Solobaric L7 10" with an additional amplifier sometime in the near future. The car has Fosgate Punch 6x9's in the rear, whatever is in the doors, and then just grilles in the dash. I would like to install something in the dash..... even if it is just a set of tweeters. The door speakers are in a really poor position, when my wife is riding with me, our legs are pretty much blocking all of the high tones coming from the speakers and there is ZERO soundstage. I think some tweeters or small mid/tweeter combo could really help up in the dash. Right now all of the music sounds as though it is coming from behind my right shoulder.

A few pictures.....






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Old 05-06-2019, 01:38 AM
  #46  
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Well, if ya gotta replace the Bose might as well be with a real class system.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:58 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by 65Z01 View Post
Well, if ya gotta replace the Bose might as well be with a real class system.
Honestly, had the system been original Delco/Bose and fully functional, I would have left it alone and just used a cassette adapter to plug my phone in and have Pandora that way.

The PO replaced the original system with a really nice head unit... for 1994. I know that the 4 Channel 400w Fosgate amp and the Fosgate speakers are newer... I'm guessing early 2000's.

I like factory stuff so much that I actually restored the non working OEM Mazda Pioneer CD/Tape deck in my 1996 Miata M Edition to fully working condition. Nice factory system in that car, they used real Pioneer speakers with polypropylene woofers and cones. Very loud and bassy for a factory stereo... Now the wife drives it!!

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Old 05-06-2019, 03:01 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by lotsofspareparts View Post
I've heard good and bad things about the KYB's. I installed a set on our 06 Limited Durango and was happy enough with them, but heard that the valving in the ones that are sold for our cars doesn't match the spring rate of our cars. I'm sort of a purist..... I really like OEM stuff, or OEM styled stuff. I went with the Bilsteins because they were still available, and immediately recognizeable. When I popped the hood for a buddy at work today he commented on the Bilsteins and was amazed at how wide the tires were. That being said (more purism).... I have always been in love with the looks of the TPI intake, it is another one of those things that are immediately recognizeable. That is the main reason I installed an L98 engine in my S10. If someone were to offer me a LT1 car with the newer interior in trade for my car.... I would most certainly say no. I got lucky and got the car I was waiting for. The cool digital dash and square interior, and the L98 engine!! I personally think the square interior ages better. I see a lot of 90's C4's that seems like parts of the dash get warped and just don't seem like they fit right. I do like the softer look of the front and rear bumpers of the mid 90's C4's though.

I may eventually break down and pick up one of First's TPI setups, which retains most of the original TPI look but can make massive amounts of power. https://firstfuelinjection.com/

A funny side note about the digital dash..... when I drove the car up to my fathers house he mentioned that he test drove a C4 back in the 80's when he was shopping for a truck. He looked in the car and said he had forgot that the dash was digital. He commented on how far ahead of it's time it was..... and he was right. Look at a lot of new cars you buy today with digital dashes.

Urethane bushings can certainly be noisy, it is important to grease them good before installation. Never install them dry!!

In the end I am just counting on having a car that is safe and fun to drive, that looks cool and retains it's originality...… with enough power to pull away from a Honda Civic...… and pull away with authority!!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. We should get together at some point, you have been the closest member who has commented.

Jared

Ya I love the looks of the tpi to, just wish it preformed better. Ive even spent a bunch of time hand sanding mine when i did my injectors a few weeks ago to give it a bit of polish. Never heard of the first tpi's before, which kind of surprises me. Looks cool and the prices arent bad considering the options that are out there, didnt really show any performance numbers on the website though, curious how they do and if they allow the l98 to rev higher, im thinking with being a similar design they may not. Im totally jealous of your shop Im working on mine outside in the driveway, so the weather has slowed me down some, but seems like it'll be nice here for a bit and were heading into summer now. Also hit a couple big set backs now that I gotta figure out. I prefer the new style bumpers as well and the older interior except for the door panels, I think the last version panels are best but sadly their not interchangeable., Ive already got my old bumpers and belt line off and everything but a few light sockets to put the newer style ones on. That and Ive fixed all my body work, mainly a million rock chips, a broken hood corner and some flaking paint. Think Ive spent 75 percent of my time just sanding something so far lol I like working on cars, but hate sanding.
Careful,what ya wish for, Ive seen some pretty powerful civics doesnt take much to get those little 4 cylinders up to 500hp. Ya, when I finally get my car back on the road again, we should get together and go for a cruise and grab a drink. Be fun to check out your vert. Hope you like your new stereo, I put something similar into my truck, but it was kenwood, seems like about the same features and I was really looking forward to android auto, but after using it was severely disappointed. Think Im going to put a android head unit into the vet when I get to that point. Definitely put some speakers in the dash, they sound amazing up there bouncing off the windshield. The speaker size for the factory holes was weird and small when I did it years and years ago, but even with that it sounded amazing with some decent speakers. Door speaker placement is horrible, their basically firing into the footwell cave down there. Im actually thinking of just deleting mine. Where are you getting your car dyno'd and whats it cost? Eventually Ill need some tuning work done and dont know of anywhere around here thats any good. Corvettes of Auburn is the closet place I liked and that was probably 15 years ago. Keep up the good work

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Old 05-12-2019, 12:35 PM
  #49  
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Well yesterday was another really busy day!!

Got the rear subframe dropped, pressure washed, and all the new bushings installed, and then the subframe reinstalled.

On another good note, the U-joints for both axles and the driveshaft have been previously replaced.

Decided to hollow out the Cat while I had the exhaust off. When I fired the car up without the muffler and before I hollowed the Cat, it still sounded like it had mufflers on it. After I hollowed the Cat I fired it up and it sounded like a Nascar.

It took just about 12 hours from wheels off to wheels back on.

I'm going to call tomorrow morning and schedule an alignment for sometime this week. Until then I am back driving the Jetta.

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Old 05-12-2019, 06:03 PM
  #50  
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Well I'm not getting it aligned this week. After some research on my hit and miss idle (sometimes rough, sometimes not), I came under the conclusion that something must be wrong with the EGR valve. I pulled the plenum and the valve and sure enough it was stuck open. Someone had removed it previously and when it was reattached they used red RTV with no gasket. Some of the RTV must have splooged out and got sucked into the pintle because there was a glob crammed in there holding the valve open. I was able to pull that glob out but the valve when closed was still leaking when I did a mouth suction test on it. I called around and nobody had one in stock and if I had to wait, then I was going to save some money and order one online. RockAuto listed the AC-Delco valve for 55 something dollars and it should be here Thursday.

Since I wouldn't be driving it for a few days at least I decided I was going to figure out how to install a set of component speakers in the dash. I had a set of MB Quartz components left over from a car audio bundle a buddy of mine sold me years ago, everything else went in my RAM pick-up.

The mains are 5 1/4 rounds with 1" tweeters. There was plenty of room on the passenger side, the drivers side required a heat gun to massage the duct behind the instrument cluster.

I also figured out that if I flip the cloth on the grilles, they will be black again and not purple!!

I'll post final pics when I get it all finished up, but here is where I am at the moment.

Jared








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Old 05-12-2019, 10:37 PM
  #51  
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Got the component dash speaker project all wrapped up and I am absolutely amazed with the results!! The sound quality is amazing and now the majority of the music is coming from in front of me instead of behind me.

Took a few more pictures documenting the process I went through. My dash speaker grilles were blanks.... Bose system originally. I couldn't stand the thought of just using a pair of 4x6 speakers. I have a set in the dash of my S-10 and am not impressed with the sound quality. Component was definitely the way to go.

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Old 05-14-2019, 03:08 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Blackcorvette_85 View Post
Where are you getting your car dyno'd and whats it cost? Eventually Ill need some tuning work done and dont know of anywhere around here thats any good. Corvettes of Auburn is the closet place I liked and that was probably 15 years ago. Keep up the good work
Marysville Speed and Custom. They dyno'd my S-10 and are in Smokey Point.

$140.00

Jared
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:52 AM
  #53  
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I got the new EGR Valve installed last night when I got home from work (11:15), runs much smoother now, and has better throttle response.

A week or so ago I drew a vacuum for an hour on the AC system and let it sit and it didn't seem to have any leaks so I went ahead and bought 3 14oz cans of R12 from ebay and charged the system up this morning. 40 degrees blowing out of the center vents!!

4 Wheel alignment on Monday.... next stop will be the exhaust shop!! I can't wait to start driving it again!!

Jared
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