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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All:
As some of you folks know, my sole involvement in tbirds is because I have a 1995 Tbird that started out as a V6 auto I use for crapcan endurance racing (24 hours of Lemons). After blowing up my splitport V6 19 laps into my third race (first race was stock, 2nd race was with a manual trans, 3rd race was with the splitport upgrade), we entered the fourth race with a 5.0+m5r2 setup AND an entire backup engine + transmission sitting on a shopping cart base.

Here's how our latest race went:
* After rebuilding the engine, I drove the car 200mi to/from Sacramento to get my rollcage updated to 2014 Lemons rule spec. No problems.
* Blackstone oil test didn't come up with anything odd. Iron & Tin (bearing material) was a little high but they attributed that to the engine being a new rebuild.
* Scarily, we started noticing a little Rod knock before the race so we switched to 20w-50 with some lucas at the suggestion of most of the 5.0 racing lemons veterans (the ones who's 5.0s have actually lasted). They also wished us good luck.
* The car performed fantastically as we were now able to out handle, out brake, and (surprising to us) out accelerate a good deal of the field of 170 cars. The car was a dramatic improvement from the V6 days (basically when there were only a handful of cars we could pass on the track. The catch was that 18 laps in (yes, 1 less than in race 3), the engine severely overheated and then dropped in power dramatically.
* We pulled in and began swapping the engine.
* 8 hours later, we had the backup engine and transmission running and idling nicely. We are getting pretty good at this after learning all the tricks from Dan (examples: 1 - drop the diff and let it hang by the axles to give you enough room to pull the driveshaft out of the trans without dropping the gastank. 2 - Have a spare yoke stub ready to shove into the tailshaft to prevent the fluid from oozing everywhere).
* We then noticed a regular drip from the clutch slave cylinder so we then started swapping the race transmission back into the car. A little over 2 hours later, we had that in and the car ready to go for day 2.
* We had the car and race all day on Day 2 -- making up good time. I was particularly glad that my 3 other teammates could actually race this time (vs last year where we just wrenched both dates). We can literally pass over half the field now and the car is quite fun to drive whereas before our fastest lap was 160th out of 170 cars (10th worst). With the v6, the only time we could really "dominate" was when it was raining (and everyone else spun out). It doesn't seem like the V8 has upset our handling or braking at all though so I'm quite happy with that.

* The only incident I ran into came up 30 min before the checkered flag. The car died just after a sweeping hairpin turn (turn 11). It started up, I puttered around the track and then died a 1/4 track away from the pit exit and had to be pushed it. I THOUGHT I had killed engine #2 but it turns out that... I had just run out of gas.

* A quick refill later I was on the track again and took the checkered flag (no more DNFs for us).

Bottom line: My team and I are getting quite good at swapping tbird engines & transmissions (it helps to know all the little tricks and to have all the necessary tools like the transmission jack).

UPDATE 1: My teammate Brett took apart the engine this morning while I went to work.
- It looks like we spun a bearing on Rod 1.
- He says that the nuts felt like they were held on with different amounts of torque. This means that mistake was likely my fault but the consequences are the same -- I'm going to take the block in to my machinist friend.
- That doesn't explain why the engine always felt really really hard to turn though (you really couldn't do it by hand with a cheater bar) so I'm definitely planning on taking the block to my machinist friend.
- I will open up a separate post-mortem thread once I've had a chance to take apart the engine further.

QUESTIONS - ANSWERED BELOW

Q: 5.0 COOLING - Its clear that my V6 radiator is being outmatched by the heat output of the V8 while on the track. The engine temps seem to rise to about 210-215F when you really get on it even with the elec fan wired to be on HIGH all the time.

From this thread, it sounds like Mustang radiators may be too tall and I should be looking for something that's 27.5" x 19"
While this is a bit racy for my taste (I wasn't something less noticable), what do you guys think of this option?
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/gri-1-26242-x/overview/

To make more room, I may need to install a pusher fan. With the radiator in the stock position, it takes a ton of work to get the electric fan from my V6 onto the car (you have to move it around and there's very little distance between it and the water pump.

If I have to go with a pusher e-fan, do you folks have any cheap recommendations on one? I'm totally OK with getting one at the junkyard if its a common enough part.

Q: 5.0 EXHAUST See separate thread
http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?p=1505517

Q: FUEL GAUGE: - I replaced my fuel pump and bent the floater so that it would rise/fall as per the instruction. However, it stays on FULL for a long time and empty is just under 1/2 tank.

Q: Did I mess something up with the floater or are there any v6/v8 differences in the gas gauge on the cluster itself that my cause such an erratic reading (in truth, I don't remember anymore if the gas gauge was from a v6 or v8 car).

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. A few pics of the silly lemons car I've built.
This race's team was Bosozoku Texino -- a mashup of our previous theme (Bozo Texino) and Bosozoku/Kaido style (Japanese biker/road racers from the 80s and 90s). Despite being in CA, its still street legal (barely) but won't be in a few months...
Regards,
-g


Stuff that Really Helped Swapping an Engine+Trans quickly
* Key Tool: Makita BTW450 lithium ion cordless impact gun has as much breakaway torque as my air tool but much more convenient. ~$200
* Key Tool: HF Transmission Jack worked like a charm to support the transmission when we needed it (esp with the removal & replacement of the race transmission).
* Key Tool: load leveler for jack. This was absolutely needed to angle the transmission in.

* Key tool: acquire the stub from the front half of a driveshaft to use as a buttplug for the transmission. This will prevent a mess (or loss of expensive synchromesh fluid) if your transmission tilts backwards.

* Pre-Race Prep: I had a custom SS clutch line made approx 3' long (~1ft longer than stock) with a screw compression fitting in the middle of it. This let me disconnect the transmission without getting into the bellhousing.

* Pre-race prep: I used a tap and die set to cut new threads on ALL the exhaust related studs (on the manifolds and on the flange between the two halves of the exhaust). This made the bolts super easy to remove (you will still need a wobble joint and some extensions but there will be far less cursing).

Additional Lessons Learned
* Unless you want to cut and weld new exhaust hangers, remove the front half of your exhaust by removing the bracket from the transmission. The driveshaft will hold the transmission in place. You can then use the transmission jack to stabilize the trans while you pull out the driveshaft.
* Create room to pull back the driveshaft by removing all four bolts holding the rear diff up and let if hang from the axles. This will give you enough room to slide the driveshaft back.
* Don't forget to plug the tailshaft of the transmission before it has a chance to ooze everywhere.
* Remove the four bolts holding the shifter from the top of the transmission before trying to pull out the engine/transmission. This will give you a LOT more clearance -- esp if you are trying to rotate and pull the transmission out while still attached to the engine.
* If removing the transmission while on the engine and the car is only lifted up with jacks (not a hydraulic lift) , use the jack to lower the transmission from its mounting position, set it on the ground, and then push it forward through one of the wheel wells. You will probably need to take a wheel off but this will be easier than trying to jack the car up so high that the bellhousing can clear the bottom of the car.




 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Cooling

S4gunn said:
QUESTIONS

Q: 5.0 COOLING - Its clear that my V6 radiator is being outmatched by the heat output of the V8 while on the track. The engine temps seem to rise to about 210-215F when you really get on it even with the elec fan wired to be on HIGH all the time.

From this thread, it sounds like Mustang radiators may be too tall and I should be looking for something that's 27.5" x 19"
While this is a bit racy for my taste (I wasn't something less noticable), what do you guys think of this option?
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/gri-1-26242-x/overview/

To make more room, I may need to install a pusher fan. With the radiator in the stock position, it takes a ton of work to get the electric fan from my V6 onto the car (you have to move it around and there's very little distance between it and the water pump.

If I have to go with a pusher e-fan, do you folks have any cheap recommendations on one? I'm totally OK with getting one at the junkyard if its a common enough part.
I see you're running the stock V6 radiator, and I assume the stock V6 electric fan..

If you havn't already..Step up to the MN12 V8 electric fan wired on high..The V8 fan pushes more cfm's than the V6 fan..

I would recommend the Mark VIII fan, but I doubt your stock alternator can keep up with it.. :(

The 03 Cobra Radiator looks fairly stock, but is kind of pricey-->>03 Cobra Radiator

It might pay off to look around for one of those..That would definitely be an improvement over the stock MN12 radiator for your cooling concerns..

The nice thing is..The cobra radiator requires very little modifications to fit..

One other thing to mention is..Make sure you have good air-flow going to the radiator..If you havn't already..Yank the A/C Condensor..

That will help get that air to the radiator faster..You could also build a better air deflector to get the air channeled to the radiator better..

392Bird built one..Here's a link-->>Air Deflector



Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I see you're running the stock V6 radiator, and I assume the stock V6 electric fan..

If you havn't already..Step up to the MN12 V8 electric fan wired on high..The V8 fan pushes more cfm's than the V6 fan..

I would recommend the Mark VIII fan, but I doubt your stock alternator can keep up with it.. :(

The 03 Cobra Radiator looks fairly stock, but is kind of pricey-->>03 Cobra Radiator

It might pay off to look around for one of those..That would definitely be an improvement over the stock MN12 radiator for your cooling concerns..

The nice thing is..The cobra radiator requires very little modifications to fit..

One other thing to mention is..Make sure you have good air-flow going to the radiator..If you havn't already..Yank the A/C Condensor..

That will help get that air to the radiator faster..You could also build a better air deflector to get the air channeled to the radiator better..

392Bird built one..Here's a link-->>Air Deflector


Rayo..
* You are correct about me using the V6 fan.
* Thanks for your tip about the 2003 Cobra radiator. It looks like its out of production now so I'm not sure how much it makes sense.
* I haven't had an AC condenser since I swapped the transmission to an M5R2.

As far as your air deflector is concerned, I'll have to think about it. I use apiece of coroplast right now to prevent air that comes in from the air dam from spilling out before reaching the radiator. I understand that this is supposed to scoop air inwards but I'm not sure how well that will work (air from forward can spill out below -- will I lose or gain airflow through the radiator with this scoop?).


-g
 

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* Thanks for your tip about the 2003 Cobra radiator. It looks like its out of production now so I'm not sure how much it makes sense.

-g

I have a spare 2003 Cobra radiator .. except it has a broken nipple for the overflow that my cousin never got around to welding. It could possibly work if you tapped the aluminum and installed a nipple fitting instead. Brand new, never used. :rolleyes:
 

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LOL

Love that spoiler! :tongue:

... and the C&D blog is hillarious! :tongue:

Thanks for a laugh.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a spare 2003 Cobra radiator .. except it has a broken nipple for the overflow that my cousin never got around to welding. It could possibly work if you tapped the aluminum and installed a nipple fitting instead. Brand new, never used. :rolleyes:
Let's talk, Dan.
I'll also need to arrange to pickup my engine stand again. It looks like I need to dig into it.
-g
 

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Discussion Starter #9
LOL

Love that spoiler! :tongue:

... and the C&D blog is hillarious! :tongue:

Thanks for a laugh.
Which one? The snowboard or the ricey aluminum one that came from a friend's Civic?
His comment was "look Gunn, now you can remove that silly snowboard from your car."

I didn't exactly take his advice :)
-g
 

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The snowboard strapped to the shopping cart handle. That's ingenious!

The shopping cart handle is at just the right height and angle to provide optimum downforce! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The snowboard strapped to the shopping cart handle. That's ingenious!

The shopping cart handle is at just the right height and angle to provide optimum downforce! LOL
15 degrees and in laminar flow... although I'm not sure how the star shaped exhaust will affect the possible downforce from this wing though :)
 

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Let's talk, Dan.
I'll also need to arrange to pickup my engine stand again. It looks like I need to dig into it.
-g
Ill need to call my cousin or stop by his house to pick it up, but yeah .. its not doing anything except collecting dust if you think it might work out for your application .. you might need to use it with a resivoir with the pressure cap, I have a couple of those also. Possibly some spare coolant hoses to adapt to your 5.0 engine so you dont have to buy new ones, if I can dig them out of my junk pile.

Yeah I forgot I had your other stand also, still on the side of my house. I can probably unbolt the top secton so you can put it in the back of your car easier also.

Ive been really busy with work the last week, overtime, saturdays .. now they have me at Stanford for a shut down on their steam system. Fun stuff. Hit me up anytime.
 

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Sorry to hear about your blown motor, but glad you got it back up and running and got some track time in. That is exactly why I don't bother rebuilding motors for my lemons car anymore. I just buy another running 5.0 explorer, and run it as is, then when it blows, I can sell the heads and intake at the swap meet for what I had into the whole motor.

As for the cooling issue, I'm using this rad in my lemons car, and we have never had a problem with overheating, even running in 100 degree weather
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-380428/overview/

You will have to make some brackets to bolt in in place and to bolt the fan to it, but it works beautifully and will save you a few bucks compared to the Griffin. I will say though, it looks like the price of the Griffin has come down quite a bit. When I bought my Summit rad, it was about half the price of the Griffin. One thing to keep in mind, depending what kind of speeds you are hitting, it is possible to have a rad that is too thick! The thicker it is, the harder it is to move air across it, and on a tight course, you may not be regularly running fast enough, and your fan may not be powerful enough to move enough air through the rad and keep it cool, so depending on your average speed on the track and the cfm rating of your fan, it is possible that installing a 3" thick rad could cause overheating while a 2" thick one would be fine.

For your fuel gauge issue, the sender and the gauge are both the same regardless of whether they were out of a V8 or V6. Your gauge reading off like that likely means either the float is not calibrated properly, or there could be additional resistance in the circuit, either in the wiring or on the sending unit board itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry to hear about your blown motor, but glad you got it back up and running and got some track time in. That is exactly why I don't bother rebuilding motors for my lemons car anymore. I just buy another running 5.0 explorer, and run it as is, then when it blows, I can sell the heads and intake at the swap meet for what I had into the whole motor.

As for the cooling issue, I'm using this rad in my lemons car, and we have never had a problem with overheating, even running in 100 degree weather
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-380428/overview/

You will have to make some brackets to bolt in in place and to bolt the fan to it, but it works beautifully and will save you a few bucks compared to the Griffin. I will say though, it looks like the price of the Griffin has come down quite a bit. When I bought my Summit rad, it was about half the price of the Griffin. One thing to keep in mind, depending what kind of speeds you are hitting, it is possible to have a rad that is too thick! The thicker it is, the harder it is to move air across it, and on a tight course, you may not be regularly running fast enough, and your fan may not be powerful enough to move enough air through the rad and keep it cool, so depending on your average speed on the track and the cfm rating of your fan, it is possible that installing a 3" thick rad could cause overheating while a 2" thick one would be fine.

For your fuel gauge issue, the sender and the gauge are both the same regardless of whether they were out of a V8 or V6. Your gauge reading off like that likely means either the float is not calibrated properly, or there could be additional resistance in the circuit, either in the wiring or on the sending unit board itself.

Thanks for your tips, MadMikey.


Ford Explorers: thanks to cash for clunkers + gas prices + relatively long commute distances, you don't see as many 96-01 Explorers out here on the ground for cheap here in the Bay Area CA. How much are you seeing them for on the east coast? I only found one with high miles for $1900 (probably can get it for $1700).

Since i don't have a ready outlet for explorer parts (unlike tbird bits), the most I could probably consider getting would be a few hundred for the trans and maybe diff + the scrap cost $300-400.

Considering I would need to re-do my exhaust to deal with the GT40P heads AND I would still need to devote 2 entire days to parting it out, I'm not sure the economics work for me.

COOLING: Thanks for your tips on the radiator.

Fuel Gauge: yup, it's on my list to check out. Now that i have a handy fuel access flap, this shouldn't be too scary.


Stuff that Really Helped Swapping an Engine+Trans quickly
* Key Tool: Makita BTW450 lithium ion cordless impact gun has as much breakaway torque as my air tool but much more convenient. ~$200
* Key Tool: HF Transmission Jack worked like a charm to support the transmission when we needed it (esp with the removal & replacement of the race transmission).
* Key Tool: load leveler for jack. This was absolutely needed to angle the transmission in.

* Key tool: acquire the stub from the front half of a driveshaft to use as a buttplug for the transmission. This will prevent a mess (or loss of expensive synchromesh fluid) if your transmission tilts backwards.

* Pre-Race Prep: I had a custom SS clutch line made approx 3' long (~1ft longer than stock) with a screw compression fitting in the middle of it. This let me disconnect the transmission without getting into the bellhousing.

* Pre-race prep: I used a tap and die set to cut new threads on ALL the exhaust related studs (on the manifolds and on the flange between the two halves of the exhaust). This made the bolts super easy to remove (you will still need a wobble joint and some extensions but there will be far less cursing).

Additional Lessons Learned
* Unless you want to cut and weld new exhaust hangers, remove the front half of your exhaust by removing the bracket from the transmission. The driveshaft will hold the transmission in place. You can then use the transmission jack to stabilize the trans while you pull out the driveshaft.
* Create room to pull back the driveshaft by removing all four bolts holding the rear diff up and let if hang from the axles. This will give you enough room to slide the driveshaft back.
* Don't forget to plug the tailshaft of the transmission before it has a chance to ooze everywhere.
* Remove the four bolts holding the shifter from the top of the transmission before trying to pull out the engine/transmission. This will give you a LOT more clearance -- esp if you are trying to rotate and pull the transmission out while still attached to the engine.
* If removing the transmission while on the engine and the car is only lifted up with jacks (not a hydraulic lift) , use the jack to lower the transmission from its mounting position, set it on the ground, and then push it forward through one of the wheel wells. You will probably need to take a wheel off but this will be easier than trying to jack the car up so high that the bellhousing can clear the bottom of the car.
 

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That is just awesome ! I would like to take a turbo coupe to run in this series....but right now I have a DOHC swap going on for my 91 bird so not gonna happen anytime soon lol
 

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They are dirt cheap out here. I have bought 5 5.0 explorers, each for $600 or less. 3 were wrecked, and 2 were higher mileage beaters, one of which ran and drove but had no title and the other needed a fuel pump. I guess the fact that they rust out like crazy probably works to my advantage out here, but in CA I guess any of them that weren't nice got junked long ago. I take the motor, ECM, harness, etc. for the racecar. I can usually unload the rear diff pretty quickly for $200 because it has 3.73 gears and someone always wants it to do a rear disc brake conversion on some old muscle car. I used to pull the trans, transfer case, front diff, etc. but they don't really sell, and I'm left hanging onto them for too long. One team-member's wife has a Mountaineer, so he is sitting on a spare front diff, rear diff, trans, and transfer case incase anything goes wrong with her's, and now I just junk it with those things still in place. Other than that, I just cut out the cats and take off the aluminum wheels to scrap separately, so when it is all said and done I can usually get $300-350 for the scrap, $40 for the aluminum wheels, and another $75 or so for the cats, so not counting labor, that means all the motors were free!
 

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Cooling

:wavey:

I run a twin core racing aluminum radiator.
still gets hott!

2bbl. 351w with stock intake.

You also need to open the nose & get a good air deflector.

My engine runs lean up top. (above 5000rpm):crazy:

My last race, she hit alot higher than 210*

*side note*
what oil pan &or windage tray you run?

:zbench:
 

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I don't know about gunn, but I'm running a stock double-hump 5.0 oil pan.
 

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Radiator

:wavey:

Keep in mind I blew the side off of a stock radiator, Years ago.

put a fox radiator in, 2 core worked OK

went with a twin core racing radiator (1in, oval tubes)
I have a 22lb radiator cap now.

I also don't run a thermostat, I run a 7/8" restrictor.
swapping to 3/4"

BUT I only run 30 to 50 hard laps.

:wiggle:
 

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Ford Explorers: thanks to cash for clunkers + gas prices + relatively long commute distances, you don't see as many 96-01 Explorers out here on the ground for cheap here in the Bay Area CA. How much are you seeing them for on the east coast? I only found one with high miles for $1900 (probably can get it for $1700).
It's not just you. Here in Oregon, where there is apparently a pricing vacuum in that if one only drives to Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, or....anyplace else in the continental 48 states, prices are lower on pretty much everything. To that end, yes, it's kinda hard to find almost anything used and also get decent pricing on said anything.

Pricing is similar here for Exploders, and in lots of cases, even more insane, as 300K+-mile examples routinely show up for sale on CL for over three grand...

And on another note...it might not be a bad idea to open up the hood a bit...via' some cleverly-placed vent holes...and give the heat somewhere to go. Since heat rises anyway....
 
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