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Jim, The car looks fantastic! All your time and skills have come to fruition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #282 ·
Long time since last update

I know its been a few months since my last update. I've been busy finishing things up. I finished spraying the last 3 coats of clear on the front bonnet and finished wet sanding and buffing that out. Finished buffing out the rest of the car. I put the radio and heater control panel in. Put in the back speakers and the door speakers. I got the hood mounted, then installed the head lights, fog lights, and running lights. I've been working on the engine tune and I'm getting closer. I can drive the car now, but can't do any full throttle runs so I still need to be careful, but it's getting there.

Here's the first set of pictures of the interior:
 

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Discussion Starter · #283 ·
Graduation pictures

Here's some pictures of it outside and looking mean :smile2:

I will try to make a walk around video soon and post it for you guys.
 

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Jim-

The car looks amazing! I really love that interior!! The two tone leather works very nicely, and the wood trim really works well.

Congratulations on a wonderful build!I am very impressed and seriously jealous!!

Regards,

Steve
 

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awsome job, looks great
David W
 
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Jim,

Absolutely outstanding. I love how you left the window down just an inch or so.

Glen
 
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Discussion Starter · #288 ·
Thank you

Thanks guys!
I know I promised a video, which I'm still going to do, I've just been busy with little things on the car. I'm sorting out my AC. I bought a set of gauges and got the system vacuumed and filled, but when I was filling it, I realized that my compressor wasn't turning on, so I had to jump it to finish filling the system. Now I'm tracking down the problem. I'm using a 97' Ford Explorer ECM (EEC V) (This is what the engine came out of)
I have the ground from the coil of my AC relay hooked to the pin on the ECM that grounds when you go to WOT, but I missed the fact that there is a 12volt input that has to go into the ECM also that tell the ECM that the head pressure sensors haven't opened do to problems with the pressures. So I'm getting ready to run an Ignition 12volt source to that, to satisfy the ECM. Without that input it keeps the coil side of the relay grounded, which is bad because the relay is a normally closed relay that keeps power to the compressor until the computer sees WOT then it grounds the coil side of the relay, which powers the relay and opens it to break the compressor side of the circuit and shuts the compressor off.

Also I found that my ECM coolant temp sensor and my gauge coolant temp sensor weren't far enough down into the coolant stream in my thermostat housing manifold. <<< (what I designed and built for my SC intake) Where they screwed in from the top, the coupler/mounting boss was too high, so they weren't down into the stream and probably were in an air pocket which was causing them to read hotter than the engine was running. So I took the thermostat manifold off and machined the bosses down and re-tapped the pipe thread deeper so the sensor would sit down into the stream of coolant and have an accurate reading. I haven't ran it long enough to tell if this helped, but it should have fixed the problem.
Once I get the 12volt ignition wire run to the AC input on the ECM I can test everything out.
I still need to have the car's front alignment re-checked again and maybe add a little more caster, it seems a little darty or twitchy. If the toe is still good (1/16 deg negative toe) I'll add a 1/2 to 1 degree more caster. I still have manual steering so I don't want to get too crazy with positive caster or it will be harder to steer. Maybe I'll add a Saturn electric power steering unit someday.
I still need to put my aluminum inner fender/splash guards in place, but wanted to wait until alignment is re-checked and things are sorted out.

So anyway, that's the update and I promise to get the video taken in the next week or so.

Oh yes, and Glen, I was hoping someone would notice the window slightly down teaser :laugh2::laugh2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #289 ·
It's been quite awhile since my last post, looks like 5 months. I was too busy having fun driving it and enjoying it. The fixes I made to the coolant system helped get my temp reading accurate. I also installed a fan controller that is adjustable, instead of a fixed temp, so I was able to turn the fan on sooner. It seems that if I wait too long to turn the fan on it isn't a big enough fan to get control of the temp, turning it on sooner seemed to take care of this. The bad thing is it runs pretty much all the time, but the engine stays at 180 F, which is what I wanted. I was able to get the AC working, but found I have a small leak somewhere so that got put on hold and I just drove the car and enjoyed it without AC :) I've determined that I will be switching my rear gear ratio from 3.27 to 3.55. Right now 1st gear is a little fast and you have to slip the clutch a little on launch and if you're at a car show it's just too fast in 1st gear to putt around. I don't want to go to a 3.77 because I like the cruising RPM that I have and don't want to kill that. I also found that 3rd gear in my G-Force T5 is a little noisy. I bought the trans used so I wasn't sure what condition it was going to be in. 3rd is the only gear that's talking a little, so I was pretty happy. I called and talked with G-Force and they told me 3rd is the smallest gear set and tends to wear out first if the trans has had a lot of abuse. I think I will pull it out when I'm doing the rear end and send it back to them to have it rebuilt. They told me they only charge $350.00 for labor on a rebuild and the rest is just cost of parts they find that need to be replaced. I thought that was a pretty good deal, so I think I'll just let them handle it. I ordered a car cover from Car Cover World. The cover showed up and didn't fit quite right so I took a bunch of measurements and sent those to them and they are working on another cover to replace it for free. The new cover should be here today so hopefully it fits well and I'll be all set.
I haven't had time to work on the Coupe since I put it up for the winter so I'll have to get cracking here pretty soon.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Take Care,
 
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Discussion Starter · #291 ·
Well, I'm finally getting around to replacing the 3.27 gear ratio with a 3.55. Man I had a heck of a time getting the half shafts out. I pried and pried, but it wouldn't budge. So I call auto zone to see if they had a half shaft pop tool, sure enough, so I went down and rented that (which is a sweet deal BTW) and one little pop from the hammer on the wedge bar and out it came. If your not familiar with this tool, it looks like a ball joint or tie rod end removal tool (wedge/tapered fork) but it is a wider fork to get around the axle shaft. I also found the easiest way to do this, is to remove the spindles with the axles attached, that way you don't have to separate the axles from the spindles too. Anyway, the diff housing is out and on the bench, now i just need to switch out the gears, reset the backlash, bearing preload and check the tooth contact to make sure the pinion depth is correct still.
 

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Hey Jim, You’re lucky, my axles wouldn’t come out with any tool! Can you send me a picture of your spider gears where the axle clip sits? Mine has no bevel, I’m curious what yours look like. Thanks
 

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Well, I'm finally getting around to replacing the 3.27 gear ratio with a 3.55. Man I had a heck of a time getting the half shafts out. I pried and pried, but it wouldn't budge. So I call auto zone to see if they had a half shaft pop tool, sure enough, so I went down and rented that (which is a sweet deal BTW) and one little pop from the hammer on the wedge bar and out it came. If your not familiar with this tool, it looks like a ball joint or tie rod end removal tool (wedge/tapered fork) but it is a wider fork to get around the axle shaft. I also found the easiest way to do this, is to remove the spindles with the axles attached, that way you don't have to separate the axles from the spindles too. Anyway, the diff housing is out and on the bench, now i just need to switch out the gears, reset the backlash, bearing preload and check the tooth contact to make sure the pinion depth is correct still.
hey Jim.. been building a couple of open wheelers while my Coupe sits fondly in the corner.. (Dirty Dancing style.. dont leave Baby... )... good to see you have gone for the upgrade in your ratio. I started with a 3.55, was advised a 3.73 really makes these cars rockets.. :) Hope all is well.. :) Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #294 ·
Karl,

The half shaft popper looks like this. I rented mine from AutoZone. Two forks come with the kit so you can use it on wider spaces. You'll only need to use the tapered one. It will go between the housing and the large hub of the CV joint. Place it in and hold it tight/no air gap, then hit the end of the fork with a hammer! It will pop and come right out. I don't have pictures of the side gear where the shaft snap ring, snaps into. The side gear snap ring groove should have a slight lead in/out chamfer/bevel, which will help the snap ring compress and allow the shaft to pop out. You couldn't really see a bevel on the snap ring groove of mine, but it is there. You will not be able to pry the shaft out!!! You need to use this fork tool! I pried and pried hard on mine and you just can apply enough force to get it out. When you put that wedge/tapper fork in and hit it on the end of the handle with a hammer, it creates an amazing amount of force for an instant and it will pop right out.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
Brass Metal

Chris, all is well at our house. Just trying to keep away from this pandemic and stay safe.
Hope your family is doing well also. Get back on that coupe and get her done :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #295 ·
Update: Rear housing is back in and everything is buttoned up. I made a new tag for the differential cover to represent what is in the housing. The tag is made out of Stainless steel and laser marked with the proper information. I finished up my rear inner fender splash panels (the ones that come in the kit that look like elephant ears). These were coated with bed liner like the under side of the body and bonnet. I also finished up the front inner fender wells, also coated with bed liner. I'm working on my mufflers again to try to get a few more decibels out of them. I'm hopeful that this will do it.
I'm going to wait on sending the GForce T5 back to them to rebuild 3rd gear. I talked with them and they are somewhat shut down and said it would be best to wait. So that's it for now. I will try to get a few pictures added to show the front inner fender wells.
 

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Jim, that looks like a great tool, I tried to use my ball joint fork in the same way, then a slide hammer. I ended up removing the clips from the inside. I was looking for a picture of the side gears on your traclok diff to see if they had a bevel machined to force the axle ring clip in.
I’m also installing a Truetrac in mine and new 3.55 gears since the ones that Gordon provided have a bad wear pattern. I could have bought a whole new diff for what parts and labor is costing!!
I also see that you’re using rubber bushings for the front mount, I’ve heard that can cause the rear cover mount to break, I have solid mounts up front.
Love your version of the Coupe! Stay healthy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #297 ·
Karl, good luck with the diff. Sorry I wasn't able to help with the pictures. I already had the diff back together before I saw your post. Take care.

Here's the pictures I promised of the front inner fender wells. I didn't take pictures of the rear because I didn't modify the FFR ones, I just simply coated them and put the bulb seal on and installed. The front ones on the other hand, I modified quite a bit. Here's how I wanted them to be. I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy.

Take care,
 

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Karl,

The half shaft popper looks like this. I rented mine from AutoZone. Two forks come with the kit so you can use it on wider spaces. You'll only need to use the tapered one. It will go between the housing and the large hub of the CV joint. Place it in and hold it tight/no air gap, then hit the end of the fork with a hammer! It will pop and come right out. I don't have pictures of the side gear where the shaft snap ring, snaps into. The side gear snap ring groove should have a slight lead in/out chamfer/bevel, which will help the snap ring compress and allow the shaft to pop out. You couldn't really see a bevel on the snap ring groove of mine, but it is there. You will not be able to pry the shaft out!!! You need to use this fork tool! I pried and pried hard on mine and you just can apply enough force to get it out. When you put that wedge/tapper fork in and hit it on the end of the handle with a hammer, it creates an amazing amount of force for an instant and it will pop right out.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
View attachment 358042
Chris, all is well at our house. Just trying to keep away from this pandemic and stay safe.
Hope your family is doing well also. Get back on that coupe and get her done :)

Many thanks Jim... we are all well thanks.. hope you guys are managing to navigate your way through this successfully. :)

Am just doing the electrics on an EJ25 running a distributor driven off the end of a slotted cam now running twin side draft webbers.. :) Shorten and refit the tail shafts and then commission as a running car... apparently.. ! Loving your work and your updates.. hope you are having some fun along the way in your beauty.. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #299 ·
Electric Steering assist!!

Well, I made the decision to add EPAS to my coupe. I did some reading and research and made a final decision to use the EPAS system out of a 2008 Nissan Versa. I had looked at the Saturn Vue and was going to go that route, but what changed my mind is the Nissan unit has a little smaller diameter housing around the ring gear area. I felt that this unit would fit my car better. The Saturn Vue unit would have given me variable power assist by simply turning a control knob, which would have been nice and it was a hard decision, but I decided to go with the Nissan. This unit works in fail safe mode with no input from the CAN bus (VSS), but the power assist is fixed!! So if it's not enough your out of luck! I decided to take the chance because I knew it would fit my particular Coupe better. I'm running the manual rake from FFR and with this EPAS unit the assist is good for me. It is much easier than the manual rake, especially when moving slow/parking, but I don't feel like it is over assisted while running down the road. I extended the #8 power wire and ground wire coming out of the electric motor and extended the control/torque sensing wires also (there are 4 torque sensing wires). This was done so I could place the control module further away in a more convenient mounting location.
So to hook this up, you plug the motor wires and torque sensor wires into the control module, then there is a Battery Power and Ground plug connector that plugs into the control module and lastly you hook a ignition hot wire (small Orange wire) to the control module. The two CAN bus wires do not get used! That's it. When you turn the ignition key to run, after a few seconds you hear a click and the Module is live. Nice for pushing the car. Turn key to run without starting and you have power steering for rolling around in the garage (y)
So I had to build the brackets to mount the unit and had to cut my stock FFR steering shaft up and change it quite a bit.
I used the FFR provide U-joints at the rake and at the foot box/fire wall, where they were when it was manual. I modified the Nissan intermediate shaft and welded it to the FFR rake u-joint. This shaft is still a slip yoke so it keeps length flexibility in the intermediate shaft << like it was for Nissan.
Then I took the Nissan input slip yoke tube/shaft (this shaft goes from the steering wheel down to the EPAS unit) and cut it just above the bulged out portion, which removed the steering wheel splines and about 3" off the top of that shaft. After that I put that slip yoke in the lathe and bored out at the top of the bulged out area so that my FFR shaft (3/4") would press fit into what was left of the Nissan slip yoke input tube. I cut the FFR 3/4" shaft to the length I needed saving the upper U-joint (FFR)and pressed that into the Nissan piece. Once this was done I tapped on it in the lathe until I had less than .001" runout and then I TIG welded it. Once this was done, I put it back in the lathe to check the runout. Of course it pulled a little, like welds always do. So I set the shaft/tube into two large V Blocks and found the high spot then put it in a hydraulic press and lightly pressed and check and pressed and check until I was back down to .001" runout. A way round this would have been to add another U-joint to this input shaft so runout wouldn't be so critical, but I didn't go that route:)
On the mounting bracket, I started out with a 3/16" thick x 3-1/2" wide x approximately 6" long piece of flat stock then cut, machined and drilled on it until I had a piece that would mount to the unit. I then took a piece of 4" ID x 3/16" wall tubing and cut it 2-1/2" long and then cut it in half, to make a clam shell to fit around the main 4" frame rails. Then used a piece of 1 x 1 square tubing that could be used to connect the upper piece to the lower clam shell. After that I took a piece of 1/2" x 1/2" square tubing and built a side brace to connect the main bracket back to the 1" square tube that runs from the foot box down to the X brace area on the Gen 1 Coupes. I'm not completely sure I needed this extra little side brace, but it made it ridge as hell :)
Lastly I made a bracket to mount the Control module on the passenger side of my coolant expansion tank.
You'll see in the pictures a bunch of orange wire wrapped around the control module. I haven't received my fuse block for the ignition wire yet and wasn't sure of the routing, so I kept what was left of that roll of wire on until I know the exact length once I get my fuse block mounted. I will also be adding a 60 amp fuse to the battery wire once I receive it from Waytek.

Here's the pictures to show the details and the finished product other than the fuses that need to be added. Not sure you can see it well, but the brackets were powder coated black to match the frame. I phased the unit so the bottom of the electric motor is about 3/8" from touching the aluminum inner fender when it is back in place.

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