I pushed hard to drive over the Christmas/New Years holiday…but I fell short by a few days (I had a few issues pop at work just before the holiday and needed to put extra hours in). The main issue I was working through was the engine backfiring…I was able to trace it down to an intake leak in the intake boxes (which I made); at the time I wasn’t 100% certain, so I just ordered a Jegs manifold…luckily it solved the problem. At some point later I’ll revert back to the Harrop ITBs, but at this point I’m aiming to get some miles on the car to shake out everything else.
1st drive (sorta): with a half descent Seattle January day, we double checked everything, my freind held the fire extinguisher…and I tripple checked the brakes and steering. Things went ok…I stalled the car, then realized my clutch stop was too long and the clutch wasn’t fully disengaging; I finnaly got rolling and made it a block up our short hill…then the throttle stopped responding (Drive by Wire) and I had to coast it back to the garage. I think the throttle pedal connector wasn’t fully seated, and since unplugging/plugging the connectors, the issue hasn’t come back.
1st drive (legit): I made everything a little easier on myself for this trip…primarily I made real brackets for the Fuse Panel (instead of zip ties), and made a real dash panel for power cut-off & igntion. This drive went well, as I made it fully powered around the block a few times…only hiccup was when I looked over my shoulder and saw smoke billowing out of the engine; the oil dipstick wasn’t fully seated, and was spewing oil onto the headers! I zip tied it back down, and then later added a breather to the valve cover…I had planned to only have a crankcase breather, but figured this was easy insurance.
-1st Long engine run: sometimes EFI cars can be a pain b/c there’s more sensors, and it’s not always clear what’s causing an issue…but once things are working, it’s really nice! For a longer engine run, I moved my garage exhaust fan duct to the back of the car, opened the garage door, and let the engine idle until everything came up to Temp and the radiator fans kicked on/off. The initial “burn in” of the exhaust emits lots of smoke/VOCs…I was glad my OBDII to laptop cord was long enough that I could stand outside the garage with my laptop and watch all of the critical data (coolant temp, engine oil pressure & Temp, Intake temp, timing, O2 sensors,…)
Fuse Panel Mount: This is a small small portion of the build…but one that I think highlights why this stuff takes so long. I have a GM OEM fuse panel, which uses a unique tray mount for their various vehicles…after much searching, I came up short in finding a GM tray that would work, so I made my own. It’s a relatively simple metal tab with a tapered slot that locks into place, that then bolts onto the chassis; this took me ~2-3 hrs from start to finish. While this was done in 1 night, you can see how every little detail quickly adds up…to date, I’m over 1,000hrs, with more than a 1,000hrs remaining.