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Old 05-07-2018, 02:51 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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rang-a-stang's summer project/build

OK here we go! I passed CA smog on Friday the 4th of May which means its time for me to start my summer project.

Plans:
I have tons of little plans that will go into this but here are the high level requirements:
-Engine rebuild: My 401 is going to have the compression bumped up to 9.5:1, the bottom end will be balanced, and a new cam installed. Don't get sick but I plan to only clean my heads this time around and put new Comp Cams springs on. I don't have the money to do the heads right now and I they are pretty solid so that's where they stay.
-TBI: I am installing a DIY TBI injection modeled after the Howell kit but will allow my computer to control my timing and EGR. Both timing and EGR control will be stealthy and look like they are being controlled like the Howell kit.
-Electric fans: Doing the Contour fan install
-Serpentine Belt: WesDog gave me a serpentine belt kit so it's going on.
-Re-wire my entire front end: My wiring is in pretty good shape but since I am adding the TBI, a CS130 105amp alternator, and electric fans, I am also going to put my headlights on relays and add a couple fuse blocks. Also adding a pair of offroad lights to my bumper (again, because I have them).
-Clean my engine bay: Previous owner wrecked my truck in the front passenger side. He swapped parts from a blue rig so I have one yellow inner fender, a blue inner fender, and a blue core support. I am going to re-paint my firewall factory saxon yellow, but the fenders and core support will be satin black.
-Fix all my leaks: my trans leaks from somewhere. Bad. So it's coming out and getting re-sealed. Same with my Xfer case.
-Paint my dash and steering column: since I am taking out my dash to properly mount and wire my TBI computer, I am going to paint it, install a factory AM radio, and install an indicator and control panel in my glovebox.
-replace the windshield: mine's cracked. I have another windshield from a donor that will go in.
-clean up my brake and trans cooler lines: I had to replace my front hard brake lines recently and put them in "good enough" But now that my front clip is off, I am going to do a much nicer job on them. I am going to mount a separate trans cooler while I am at it.

Schedule:
-I hope to be done before Christmas.
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Last edited by rang-a-stang : 09-12-2018 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:52 PM
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OK, day 1:
Pulled the front clip. I didn't have ANY rusted or seized hardware. Taking the clip off was pretty straight forward. Was also stoked not to find any cancer hiding behind or under anything.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:03 PM
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oops, hit post to soon:





The more I tinker on this, the more I curse the previous owner. Notice my side marker lights don't match. I have had this thing for over 2 years and just noticed it.



I knew he had bondo'ed over the gap between the fender and the core support but I assumed he did it so it would look cleaner; I used to see that in the 90's all the time. But after I finished pulling all the hardware, they still wouldn't separate so I took a wire wheel and ground the bondo off to discover a giant weld blob. Awesome. Thanks dude. The other side just had a light tack weld on it.

I pulled out a 4" grinder and was able to get them apart without much drama. Luckily I have a spare core support from a 77. I can't just swap them becuase the brackets are different between a razor and a pignose but I'll figure something out when I am putting it back together.

After these pics were taken I pressure washed the front, disassembled the front end for storage, and pushed my Jeep into the garage. Tonight I hope to remove all the engine front dress, timing chain cover, and manifolds. I really want to drop my block/crank/rods off at the machine shop this weekend. Shop says they will need a few months to get the work done so the sooner I get it there the better.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:38 PM
nightglide nightglide is offline
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I have some late 71' heads......apparently these are the ones to have.
#3212993-1
I'll let go for a reasonable price.........
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:52 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightglide
I have some late 71' heads......apparently these are the ones to have.
#3212993-1
I'll let go for a reasonable price.........
Hm. I'll PM you.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:43 PM
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Had a good hour to work tonight. got all the front dress off, the intake, and the exhaust manifolds are loose. Sure is easier to work on when there is no fenders/rad support in the way. Had to stop becuase I do not have the correct puller for the balancer.

Dizzy gear has very light, very normal wear. I think it's good enough to re-use. We'll see what the cam side looks like tomorrow (Hopefully).
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2018, 08:59 AM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Hm. I'll PM you.

Another set of heads and you may as well go through them before installing.

One day into it and already the budget is out the window!
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:44 AM
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Driftwood Driftwood is offline
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang (May 2018)
-I hope to be done before Christmas.

Rang. Ya gonna make it this year? 116 more days!
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:21 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood
Rang. Ya gonna make it this year? 116 more days!
I don't know man. This thing is killing me. If I could smog it, it would be on Craigslist today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLSAKS
dang-it rang
I am so ready for you to get that backfiring solved
sounds like the wires are the culprit
doesn't Taylor make some heavy duty wires ?
keep us posted.
dave in NC

Thinking... maybe I should change my name to Dang-it-stang. You and me both!! (ready to get rid of the backfiring). Yeah, these Taylors are super nice!
*************************
I got my Taylor's this weekend and installed them last night. They feel SOOooo much nicer than the Summits. The crimp on ends were much tighter and they just generally feel like a MUCH nicer set. Again, spent about 90 minutes making, installing, and routing these.

Random thought: Anyone else hate these holes? I have at least a wrench and a socket u-joint that are now a permanent part of my truck because they have fallen through these holes, and into the little nook inside the radiator support, behind the front turn signals. Now I tape them as I start working.


I started it up around 8:30 last night and the sun was already down. I turned the lights off in my garage and it was pitch black. No glowing arcs; awesome! I did see a slight yellow glow on the drivers side. I turned on the light and the connector where my Oxygen sensor heater is connected to the 12v ignition power bus bar was hot hot hot. I took my multimeter out and measured it as shorted. I unhooked it for now and tucked the connector away. I don't "Need" an Oxygen sensor heater, it's just nice to have.

Started it up again, shut the hood, and took it for a spin. It fell much better as I heading out my neighborhood. Lots more power. I went out around the corner and gave it some beans. It started to spin a tire, then bucked, backfired, and evened out. I noticed I was almost out of gas so I headed about 150 yards to a gas station to put 5 gallons in the tank, assuming that when I goosed it, the fuel sloshed aft and I lost fuel pressure. BUT I could feel the sweat starting to form on my brow from stress that I was not out of the back fire woods yet.

Left the gas station, and cruised toward the freeway. It seemed to be running pretty well but seems to have a slight miss every once in a while. I stopped at the light at the on ramp for a few seconds then started up to the freeway. I got to 70 and POP! I was so every muscle over my belt line tensed up and I released a word this forum blocks, so loud I thought my windshield was going to crack worse than it already is. Heading home, I could feel it missing every once in a while. The back fire sounded a little different this time, though.

My hope is one my plug wires is not seated all the way on the plug. When I got home, I popped the hood and there were tiny little arcs down near my plugs but I think that is fairly normal. I also saw an occasional arc from my #4 wire to my valve cover. Hopefully that is the one that not seated all the way (if there is one not seated all the way). I have put EVERYTHING (other projects/other fixes/other upgrades) on hold until it no longer backfires. All mental and financial hands on deck for this one. Not being able to fix it is so incredibly demoralizing. It's hard to not take out my frustration on my wife and kids when I come in. I don't mean I hit them or anything, but I am super grumpy and distracted but they don't deserve that.

So where do I go from here? Well, tonight, I check my wires and make sure they seated. I am going to move #4s wire a little farther from the valve cover. I am going to change my EFI bin WAAAaaaaayyyy back to where it was when I tried to make it to Hungry Valley a few months ago (stock 454 timing table, stock 454 fuel tables). My oxygen sensor is now suspect so I may unhook it and run open loop and see if that makes a difference, too (babywag has asked me like 3 times to do that but I haven't been ready just yet).
The other thing that sucks is the fender flares I bought are full of bondo. I am sure they could be fixed and used but honestly, that was $100 I probably wasted. Awesome. I started to strip the paint, saw the bondo and welding from the body shop, and kind of gave up. I will take them to the blaster and get them blasted at least and may try to sell them here to recoup some money but I am not hopeful on those either.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:28 PM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
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son of a gun !!!

I was hoping the Taylors would solve the problem.

let us know how tonites test goes.

I got my fingers crossed !

dave in NC
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:38 PM
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Wagoneer Taylor Wagoneer Taylor is offline
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Big old BUMMER!
Sorry man, keep at it we are rooting for you.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:36 PM
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Driftwood Driftwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
I released a word this forum blocks, so loud I thought my windshield was going to crack worse than it already is.

Funny. I thought I sensed a disturbance in the force....And I was clear up in Coeur d'Alene.

But seriously, I did some research on the cause of backfiring and found the following info. My apologies if I'm restating the obvious.

A fuel-injected engine may backfire if an intake leak is present (causing the engine to run lean), or a fuel injection component such as an air-flow sensor is defective. ... Poor or unregulated engine timing is often a cause of intake backfires, but can also be responsible for exhaust backfires.

And this....

Engine backfires can be produced by a vacuum leak, bad timing, problems in the ignition system, a faulty sensor, an exhaust leak, or some other system fault. ... You can hear the combustion as a mild, cough-like ignition or a loud bang. A strong explosion, though, can cause severe damage, like cracking an exhaust manifold.


My money is on a possible vacuum leak followed by a exhaust leak. Wish I could be of more help.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:46 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood
F...I did some research on the cause of backfiring and found the following info. My apologies if I'm restating the obvious.

A fuel-injected engine may backfire if an intake leak is present (causing the engine to run lean), or a fuel injection component such as an air-flow sensor is defective. ... Poor or unregulated engine timing is often a cause of intake backfires, but can also be responsible for exhaust backfires.

And this....

Engine backfires can be produced by a vacuum leak, bad timing, problems in the ignition system, a faulty sensor, an exhaust leak, or some other system fault. ... You can hear the combustion as a mild, cough-like ignition or a loud bang. A strong explosion, though, can cause severe damage, like cracking an exhaust manifold.

My money is on a possible vacuum leak followed by a exhaust leak. Wish I could be of more help.
Good info, Ed! I am going to ponder on it some more. I am going to start another thread here, on theamcforum, and gearhead-efi looking for this exact type of info.
*********************************
Update from last night.

Here is where I started:


I went to each cylinder, removed the wire, slopped a little bit more dielectric grease on each plug's ceramic and took my time reinstalling the wires. #5 felt like it 'might' have been loose? Maybe? I also might be grasping at straws. Then I looked at where #4 runs next to the valve cover (this was arc'ing on Monday night):

I couldn't really move it so I put a length of black corregated plastic conduit around it. That not only made a barrier but it made the wire a little stiffer and it caused the wire to curve in a way that it was a little farther away. I felt pretty good about this.

I also thought back to driftwood's post and decided to plug my PCV for now.

I fired it up in the garage with the lights off, hood popped. I saw an occasional arc from the coil wire to the oil fill cap and another one from #3 to the Distributor body. So I put some conduit on those, too.

I then started my data log and went for a spin. Here is my route:

Red lines are 45 or 50 MPH speed, black is 65. Run 1 is about 2 miles, run 2 is about 3/4 of a mile, run 3 is about 2.25 miles.
First time out, I had my tune in it. It ran amazing down Run 1 toward the highway. Smooth, powerful, Awesome. If it ran like this all the time, I would be a SUPER happy camper. I stop at the light at the end of Run 1, head up the long onramp at about 1/2-3/4s throttle, get up to about 65 and pop! I slowly easy off the gas and and it pops and burbles occasionally. As I turn exit the freeway and head up run 3 at about 50, steady throttle, it's popping and I can feel it running terrible.

I turn right, at the gas station, pull over, shut off and swap my EFI BINs. The one I put in has stock 454 fuel and timing tables. I start it up and it idles MUCH smoother, right off the bat. As I pull out and make a right to re-do the route, I head down run 1 and it is running OK. it has alot less power but it is running OK. I feel an occasional pop as i come up to the light in front of Harbor Freight. As I get on the freeway, hit 55 or 60 and POW, POW, POW!!! I left off the gas and POW! As I coast off the freeway, an occasional pop. As I head toward home on Run 3, its running the worse it has run all night. So I got home and park it.

I didn't feel "that" beat because I wasn't really optimistic anyway. Like I said, I am going to start another thread on this and the other forums. I also need to look at my data logs and see if I see anything odd in there. I wonder if I have a mechanical problem. I am fairly certain my pushrods are too long so maybe that is a contributor? I still have all my duraspark stuff (except the dizzy itself), maybe I will swap that on. If that does not work, maybe I have to put a carb on it? I am running out of ideas.
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Last edited by rang-a-stang : 09-05-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2019, 09:40 AM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
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nice detail on the map of test drives/runs,...

hope you get it solved.

dave in NC
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