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 Big block build for the Starship

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:03 pm

I got the relay installed, and, to avoid possible issues later, made a bracket to keep the upper coolant hose away from the serpentine belt. It bolts between the tensioner bracket, and the alternator bracket. It has a nice platform for the hose to rest on. I may put a rubber bushing on the top to keep the hose a little higher.

I have three things to do before Wagonfest; AC line/charge, speedometer modifier, and front tires. I am anticipating getting the speedometer corrected on Thursday, and if that is done, I will go get a couple of tires. I can not get in to the AC shop until next week.

The check list is getting shorter.

Of course something more has come up...the driver's seat has decided to wear through at the bottom rear of the seat. It can wait until after Wagonfest.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:29 pm

I got the speedo corrected. Now on to the tires and AC. I was told that I should have both fans running all the time that the AC is on. If that is so, I will need a little more powerful alternator. That is a simple swap.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:26 pm

My mom came home from the hospital today, and I did not get any time to work on the car. I may have some time tomorrow afternoon to do an oil change. I also found that the LED headlights did not work, and took them out, only to find bent pins in the connectors. I straightened them, and put the lights back in.

I may just put a second 150 Watt fan in for the secondary fan. It is a half way measure, but the original FW setup turned the 100 Watt secondary fan on when the AC was turned on. If that was good for the FW, it is good for my OCC. The second 150 Watt fan would make me want a higher amp alternator.

I found a matched set of Firestone tires for the front, but at $110 for 2 used tires vs. $160 for 2 new is a tough decision. Anybody know anything about Fuzion tires?
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:49 am

I believe they are a lower end,Firestone product. Ive owned a couple of sets,but cant speak to their longevity.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:57 pm

I did a search after posting, and they are made by Bridgestone. I do not know anything else either.

I changed my oil today, and put the other 150W fan in place of the 100W secondary fan, so now I have two 150W fans. I may upgrade the alternator to 100A to give me some cushion on the amperage use.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:09 pm

Rock Auto had some 140amp units starting around $100. AC Delco.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:36 pm

I can get a 100A unit locally in the same case size/style as my original 65W unit for $100. I usually have to re-clock the back of the case to move the + lead away from my valve cover.
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occ6.6



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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:08 am

bridgestone is the parent company to firestone if I remember correctly(at least up here in Canada).fusion tires are ok,tread wear rating usually lower than average.just make sure there load rating is high enough.remember up to 2 3rds of the car weight may be on the front & more during braking/cornering.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:26 am

I have used 215s on the front before, and the BB install only weighs about 50lbs. more than the small block (aluminum heads).
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:01 am

I got a pair of 215/60/17s on the front, and no more rubbing the fenders...now I can take it to the AC shop.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:50 am

After $411, I finally got the AC working in my 91 OCC. It is really crowded under the hood with the BBC in there. It will be nice cruising to Wagonfest, in Daytona Beach, FL this weekend.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:56 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
After $411, I finally got the AC working in my 91 OCC. It is really crowded under the hood with the BBC in there. It will be nice cruising to Wagonfest, in Daytona Beach, FL this weekend.

Looking forward to seeing it, I know it's been a long journey.

Tom
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:19 pm

Drove to WF Florida and back without incident. AC worked, and had a good time. I got about 10 MPG for the weekend. I may put a little quieter mufflers, and over the axle pipes on it in the future. It got a little ear numbing on the trip. I think it is geared a little high for the engine. I do not come on the cam/intake until about 80mph.

I am not into beating the car, because the posi is pretty much shot, and burning a single tire does not really do anything for me. I have almost all of the parts to build another rear, so it is a near future project.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:13 am

Im sorry I missed it. Sounds like a nice shake down run.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:00 pm

My AC was not functioning correctly, and I thought it might be the electronic fan control, or the vacuum motor control. Well, it was neither, I forgot to plug in the vacuum line from the engine (now vacuum pump). I plugged it in, and low and behold, I have proper working AC.

I also installed 1/4 inch of shim under my throttle pedal, because the throttle plate would not open fully on my Holley MPFI. I now have about 1/2 inch more pedal travel, and the throttle plates open properly.

My twilight sentinel started to act up by turning the lights off while driving at night, and not turning the lights off when I shut the car off...fortunately I have spare parts, and dug under the dash to replace it. 91-93s have it hidden to the right of, and above the column. I have not tried it at night yet, but I parked it in the shade, and the lights came on. I think it will work correctly now.

I measured and made a cardboard template for a fan shroud because I need more cooling for the BB. The cardboard is a lot easier to modify than the aluminum, and a lot less costly to change. I got a couple of 16 inch fans, and had to make an unusual shroud. I will probably need a higher output alternator for the added draw of the motors. I will transfer it, and the small modifications to the aluminum sheet, and start cutting.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:01 pm

I got the new radiator installed, and the fans with the custom shroud. I now have excellent engine cooling.

The BS never ends. The oil pressure sender decided to spring a major leak...I almost had a car fire. The leaking oil made a small flame on the exhaust pipe, but I got it out before it set the rest of the car on fire.

I have also noticed that my torque converter lockup has decided to not function. I think it is a ground problem, because the tach got an input from the turn signal. I need to get some things done, so it may have to stay that way for a little while.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:14 am

About a week before the hurricane hit, my fuel pump quit. I finally got the beast running again yesterday. I replaced the pump, rewired it with 10 ga. wire, put a new relay in and it still would not start. I also found a second relay controlling the main relay from the Holley computer. It had a burned out coil. I rechecked fuses, and found one that I had already checked was blown. I replaced that, and the engine started right up. So now, almost 6 weeks later, I finally have a running car again.

BTW both of my cars made it through the hurricane intact, only to have a street sweeper throw a stone into the windshield of my 91, and had to have the glass replaced. Prices of glass have gone up due to the hurricanes, and the replacement cost me $285 ($185 3 years ago).

Another issue popped up, and I had to change the steering intermediate shaft. The DS header is so close to it, and hot, that the heat destroyed the rubber boot around the upper joint. I put a heat shield over the entire shaft to protect the donor part from the heat.

The torque converter lockup is functioning again, and the turn signal no longer affects the tach.

I also found that the right bank was running richer than the left. I changed the orientation of the pressure line, from the right bank to the left, because the regulator is on the right bank. I should get a more even dynamic pressure between the two banks. When I did that, the fuel pressure increased to over 60 psi. I changed the regulator, and two days later the pump quit (see above). It seems like it is a never ending battle with this car.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:37 pm

I have not reported on the 454 install in my 91 OCC for a while. The latest events have sidelined the car for about the last 3 months (since the hurricane). It started with an increase of smoke from the passenger's side exhaust. I decided to check compression, and found that I was getting air into the coolant system, and hence getting coolant into the cylinders. I discovered that when the coolant overflowed the reservoir while pressurizing one of the cylinders to swap the valve spring. I had to assume a head gasket was faulty.

I needed to check starting with getting to the valves. There is a lot more to pulling the valve covers than the seven bolts in each, because I had to pull other parts before I could get to them to get them off, including the wiper motor. When I got the valve covers off, I noticed that there was a slot worn in the rear of the passenger's side cover. This turned out to be done by the tang on the hose clamp for the heater core hose. I trimmed the length of the tang, and now it is easy to put the valve cover back on. I checked the valves, and found two of the poly-locks were backed off, and the intake valves on #two and four cylinders were not opening. On top of that, the rocker arms were beaten up badly, and I had to replace them. It appears that I was running on six cylinders, and dragging two.

The next part to come off is the throttle body, because the throttle linkage is so close to the cowl, that I can not get the intake manifold off with it attached. I then removed the intake manifold with all of the ancillary parts attached to it, including the distributor. I looked into the valley, and there was a broken lifter on the #two intake, so I decided to replace the #four intake lifter, as well, even though it did not look damaged, as preventive maintenance.

I had to remove the FEAD brackets with all of the accessories. While I had them off, I had them sandblasted so they look nice. I found the PS pump front seal was leaking, so had to get a “new” pump. I decided to paint the FEAD brackets, and forgot to tape the bolt holes so I did not get paint on them. The brackets are part of the ground system for the car. I had to sand the areas where the bolt heads sit, and where it contacts the block/heads. The shorty headers came out through the top after I removed the steering intermediate shaft.

When I finally had it down to the short block, I checked the decks for flatness,and found them to be fine. I took the heads to the machine shop to be checked. They turned out to have one high spot that was corrected. I also found that the springs that came with the heads were the wrong valve springs for the cam, so those got changed, and the keepers were an offset, so I replaced them with “0” offset keepers, so I have the correct installed height. I purchased a couple of spring compressors to change the springs, and neither worked to my satisfaction, and I had the machine shop replace the ones that the compressors I got would not work on. The cylinders looked excellent.

I got a gasket set for the top end, and started reassembling the engine. Heads went on nicely. It is difficult to torque them with the engine in the car, and having limited space to work. I thought the passenger's side would be more difficult, but it turned out that the driver's side was the bear. I had much better leverage on the passenger's side.

While loosening the poly-locks, one rocker post turned out with the poly-lock, so I also went around, removed them all, and re-torqued the posts after putting blue thread lock on them. I set the valves, and tightened the poly-locks. Scorpion recommended that I “bump” the nuts after tightening the locks, so I did that, and it is still in spec. Bumping the nuts is turning them a little after tightening the lock screw, so that the screw bites into the top of the rocker post.

The next step is installing the intake...with the distributor in the hole. Doing this myself is a monumental job. I figured out how to do it and make it fairly simple. First I glued the intake gaskets to the heads, and trimmed and put the supplied cork gaskets on the end rails. I put a large bead of silicone on them, and into the corners. I wrestled the intake on top of the engine, and used a broomstick pivoted on one wheelhouse, and lifted on the other. I tied the manifold to the broomstick and could lift and move it easily. I had it in place in about five minutes without any issues. Bolted it down, and engaged the distributor with the cam gear. I had to move the crank to get the oil pump engaged. To give you an idea of how tight the fit is...I have just enough room to put my hand behind the passenger's side injection rail to work on the distributor, and can not remove the cap from the car without removing the passenger's side fuel rail. The distributor is trapped under the cowl. I can not remove the cap from the distributor without removing the four rear spark plug wires.

I reinstalled the FEAD brackets to the adapters for the S-10 brackets. Installing the FEAD bracket on the passenger's side requires that I put the AC compressor in the bracket before installing it on the engine, because of the custom hoses. The hose from the intake manifold to the water pump must be replaced every time, because it can not be removed without cutting it in half. It is the worst part of installing the intake manifold, or the water pump. Putting the new one on is a miserable chore.

I had a couple of diversions while working on the car. Three colonoscopies, a PET scan, and an MRI. I injured my shoulder in mid September as well, and can barely lift my arm in one direction.

Before installing the headers, I added some heat insulation to the starter cable, steering intermediate shaft (the rubber boot almost disintegrated after two years), transmission wiring where the looming melted, and oil pressure sensor/wire looming that melted. Installing the headers was not too difficult, but I had to torque the two back bolts on the passenger's side from under the wheelhouse.

My speedometer was fluctuating the last time I drove it. I swapped the cluster, and that did not fix it, so I decided to swap the VSS...Did you know that when you take the VSS out, about two and a half quarts of trans fluid comes with it? Fortunately I put a tray under it, just in case. I found out that the trans was mounted too close to the crossmember, and could not get the donor VSS in. I ended up slipping a few fender washers under the trans mount, and gained enough room to insert the VSS.

Including a couple of weeks or so worth of rain, ordering (waiting for) specific parts, figuring out how to get the parts positioned properly, and a few upgrades and modification, no help from my friends, discouraging words from my father and a friend (suggesting I sell it), I finally got it back together about two weeks ago. Since then I have had to realign the distributor, because it was off a tooth, and I moved it too far, so had to move it back one tooth. I accidentally screwed up the computer program, and had to figure out what I did, and fix it, the new power steering pump did not work, so I had to replace it. I also changed the oil, changed the master cylinder, and proportioning valve (no change, the brakes are still weak). All these little things take time, and thought on the direction of repair.

I got to drive it today for the first time in three or more months. It seems to have more power. I put heat shields on the exhaust pipes, and they are drumming in gear at idle, so I have to remove them. Of course it is raining again. Boy am I tired of working on this car. I am going to bleed the front brakes again tomorrow afternoon, and remove the heat shields. If the brakes are still weak, I am taking it to the only mechanic I trust, to see if I bled it correctly.

Now I have to work on the custom hood, and flaking paintjob.

Update: It has not stopped raining, so the plans for today are moved to tomorrow.


Last edited by Fred Kiehl on Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:11 am

Holy cow! I feel challenged by wrestling with whatever is holding the chime module in place, and getting it free without a trip to the ER for stitches. I'll never complain again about fixing stuff on my car. I am not worthy.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:32 am

Sometimes I think a break from a project is necessary to maintain ones mental well being. There will always be someone saying,"sell it." Most times from people who just don't get it. Hoping you get well soon...Mentally and physically. What a Face
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:09 am

I was working on it Sunday, and could not get it to idle correctly. I got disgusted with it, and slept on it overnight. My ever working brain came up with the probability of a vacuum leak somewhere. The favorite place for this car to have a vacuum leak is under rear of the throttle body, or the rear of the linkage plate, so I am going to check there first. I did not remove the throttle body from the linkage plate when I disassembled it (siliconed on with a gasket), so the most likely place is the plate to intake manifold joint. I really do not want to remove the intake manifold again, but that is the only other place I can leak.

I will also be checking the ignition wires, because it popped back, and blew the air hose to the filter out of the carb hat adapter.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:15 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I was working on it Sunday, and could not get it to idle correctly. I got disgusted with it, and slept on it overnight.
That must have been very uncomfortable,..
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:35 pm

No lumps in that pillow. Good relaxing sleep, and cleared my head of erroneous inputs.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:12 pm

The appearance of a leak is actually a computer induced issue. I am going to change the TPS, and try to get the system to figure out when it is supposed to be idling, and when it is under throttle.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:25 pm

I was out working on the car Tuesday, and no joy. I started again today, and got somewhere with it. The TPS was not going to "0", and so the engine thought is was under throttle. This makes the IAC valve locate to its "home" position, which is 30%. This acts like a vacuum leak.

I finally got the TPS to stay at "0" when the car is idling. Now it idles at about 900 RPM. It is supposed to idle at 800, but this is good enough to drive. I may try putting a new PCV valve on it, because that is the only thing that is basically an open vent for vacuum. The valve may be too big, or not working properly.

So I drove it today, and it has about the power I expected when I built the 454. It is a lot more fun running on all 8 cylinders.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:59 am

If you could have a do over,would you still go with that setup?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:08 pm

Mostly yes, but I would do more research. This has been a learning experience.

I would probably use a different ignition system with individual coils for each plug. I might also consider oval port heads and intake, and may have used stainless roller rockers to allow for smaller valve covers.

I found that the heat made by the engine requires a lot more shielding than I expected, and like any customization, there are unexpected issues that come up.

I could have used the OEM intake and injection system with the accompanying computer to give me a lot more clearance under the hood, but would have required a program to adjust it if needed. The performance may have been limited by that as well.

The one major item that I would do different is to use a "better" brand of cylinder heads. That would have relieved me of a major headache, and saved about a month of screwing around with the BS of the ones I have. The ones I have work fine, since I got all the BS out of the way.

There are a lot of small details that I found, that would have eliminated some of the issues I dealt with. I would be a little more picky with people to give me a hand, because sometimes their help is more of a hindrance. I had to do at least 3 things over because of "help". Either they can not follow instructions, or they only give a half-assed effort, so I have to undo the garbage, and redo it myself. On top of that, it usually costs me $50 to buy new replacement parts every time someone "helps" me.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:46 pm

Fred will have all the kinks ironed out, when he puts a 454 in the White Elephant.

Tom
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 pm

I have thought about it. I need some donations before I can attempt that.

I was planning ahead and was in the turning lane when I noticed a bus stopped to pick up someone. I had to stop a couple of cars behind it. I looked in the rear view mirror, and saw that the adjacent lane was empty for about 100 yds., so I hit the loud pedal, and took off. The RR tire chirped as it went into 2nd. I think I was going about 50 at that time. It sure is a lot more fun to drive since it is running on all 8 cylinders.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:54 am

I talked with Holley yesterday, and made a couple of adjustments to the tune. It appears that they did not tell me that I had to uncheck a box to set the timing, so I did that. I was about 4 deg. off. I also checked a box for an A/C bump, and I did not have to do that, the IAC controls the idle when the A/C compressor turns on. Now the idle is smooth, and does not jump when the A/C compressor turns on. I also found that it is not drinking oil, as I though, because the reading is the same as when I changed it. I am becoming much happier with the overall performance of the car. I think the next step is a new hood, then paint. I also have a few things to do on the inside.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:38 pm

I was doing a U turn the other day, and just before I got it straightened out, I punched the throttle. That resulted in breaking the rear tires loose, and fishtailing a little down the street with the tires crying.

I also took it on a small trip to Venice to get some parts from a soon to be crushed super rusty wagon. It got about 15 or a little better mpg. It really gets to 80 quickly.

I have a little drumming from the exhaust just above idle. I may put over the axle pipes on it later this spring. A 2 1/2 inch Impala set from JEGS or Summit with a small modification to go around the tank would be nice. I'll have to wrap the pipes near the tank as well.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:05 am

II lost some coolant when driving to Venice last week. I could not find a leak, so I put some florescent dye in the coolant. A couple days later I checked it with a UV light, and the lower radiator hose was leaking. I tightened all of the clamps, and the leak cleared up.

Cold weather makes the tires and street slippery, and it did a nice burnout with both tires, so my LSD is still working to some extent.

This thing is a totally different car than it was at last March's Wagonfest in Daytona.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:20 am

Glad to hear youre getting more smiles per gallon.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:02 am

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:52 am

No iguanas around here.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:36 am

""so my LSD is still working to some extent""

Some of that stuff from the 60s was pretty powerful.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:24 am

Tripping... cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:10 am

Who's seeing iguanas now???
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Fred Kiehl

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Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:54 pm

My car's LSD makes it see all of the other wagons as frozen lizards trying to catch up.
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phantom 309

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Age : 108

PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:46 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
My car's LSD makes it see all of the other wagons as frozen lizards trying to catch up.

Your car has rejected any semblence of reality and substituted its own.
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Fred Kiehl

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Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:10 pm

It is a wonderful reality. Blatt, Blatt, Blatt, Screeeeeech, Zoom, Zoom
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Fred Kiehl

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Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:50 pm

Since the accident, the car has been in body rehab. I was over to see it, and did a little rearrangement of the intake. I am looking forward to getting it back at the end of September. There are some other mods in the works as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   

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Big block build for the Starship
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