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The 83GT... back to BBF

Discussion in 'The Turbo "Builds" Board' started by BBR, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. tbird

    Sep 1, 2004
    Was gonna offer up some advice on the shifter if its an issue with not manually upshifting consistently . Or if it goes into park but not 1st manual. Guess it depends on the shifter and if thats even your issue.
    BBR likes this.
  2. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    I think I figured it out.

    First the shift plate in the shifter wasn't super tight. It would rock back and forth a little depending on which direction you were shifting.

    Second, the shift arm clamp bolt was binding on the transmission shield.

    Third, and this is probably the biggest part, when the trans is in N, the shift arm should be pointed straight down. This one had moved (probably caused by the binding) to where N was well forward. That made the shift cable over-extend going to P and made P & R very inconsistent. I flipped the bolt and clearanced the shield with a die grinder.

    I readjusted everything and then tested it on jackstands in the shop. Shifter feel is much better and it seems to snick into all the gears like it should.

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    tbird, nxcoupe and Pro-SC like this.
  3. tbird

    Sep 1, 2004
    yep the third one is common. I myself had issues until I understood the issue. Then later had a buddy that had the same problems and I was able to get it right for him.
    B E N and BBR like this.
  4. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    Drove it to the gas station yesterday and filled it up. Then I drove it around for quite a while logging data. I made some changes to the tune this morning and will upload later. I added some timing in a bunch of places, and smoothed out the VE table in the cruise area. I also reduced the accel enrichment some more but richened up the VE table at WOT areas to smooth that transition. It would hit low 10's AFR when you whack the throttle, then come back up to low 13's. I also added some fuel to the cold start enrichment to keep it running when it is cold. It's crazy how much less accel enrichment this version wants vs. the last. Although when the exhaust was under the car, you really couldn't see the plume of black smoke when you whacked the throttle.

    Engine temp got up to 190 yesterday and stayed (when parked) , which is about as high as I really want. Hoping the additional fuel and timing will pull that down just a skosh. I was only running 29-30 degrees of timing. It probably wants more with these dished pistons. I might heat wrap the exhaust pipes to further mitigate the underhood temp.

    I am going to change the oil today, hopefully there are no surprises. The china wall behind the distributor is leaking a tiny bit so I need to pull the distributor and seal that up.

    I commented that the front exit exhaust sounds weird and yesterday I figured out why. With the driver's window down, you only really hear the 4 cylinders on that side. Your ears are constantly telling you it is about to die, but your the tach does not agree. So particularly on decel, you find yourself looking and listening and looking and listening way too much. haha. I'll get used to it I guess.

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  5. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    This thing has really been frustrating me.

    It just seems inconsistent and weird and I think I am figuring out that it has a grounding problem maybe. The logs are real choppy and the CLT, which should be fairly consistent, is bouncing around and seems to mimic the injector pulse width log.
    nxcoupe likes this.
  6. TurboSnake281

    Dec 13, 2021
    Directly ground the engine to the negative battery terminal with a large diameter wire. Verify all other main grounds to battery negative terminal connector. Ohms matter.
  7. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013

    Yeah, something is different now and I don't know what it is just yet. This is exactly the same setup we ran on Raceweek last year with no efi/ignition related issues. Logs from last year show a tiny bit of noise, but nothing like it is now.

    I turned on BattV in the log and it is wonky. High is 14.4 and low is 11.4. Zig zags up and down quite a bit.

    Might be an alternator issue. I looked at logs back from the Turbo 302 and the BattV is rock solid. I may swap them (same style alternator) and see if that clears it up.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2024
    nxcoupe likes this.
  8. Russell

    Jan 13, 2019
    My shot in the dark world be to run a ground from the intake to the heads to the block.

    Good luck!
    BBR likes this.
  9. TurboSnake281

    Dec 13, 2021
    Make sure you have a fresh battery before you swap out alternators for that issue.
    BBR likes this.
  10. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    Straight up driving me bananas. Changed some grounding today. Took it for a drive. It ran super crazy good at part throttle and moderate accel. I think the coil swap and dwell drop was a move in the right direction.

    WOT it was surge-y. It will rev to 5000 and then hit a wall like a soft rev limiter. Won't rev over 5k under load. It will free rev to 6000, but seems to experience the same phenomenon. Valve float has crossed my mind, but I am running a spring that is in spec with the spring recommended by COMP and 5000 seems low for float.

    Came back to the shop, swapped the alternator to the old one off the Turbo 302. Looks like that helped clean up the battery voltage a bit.

    On a whim I though I might swap the TFI module to a genuine Motorcraft one (again from the Turbo 302). Mind you, all I am using the TFI for is to provide a good signal to the Megasquirt. It is not controlling dwell or anything that like that, so it isn't subject to the heat failures TFI's are known for. I swapped it on and.... Nothing. Crank crank crank crank. Won't start. Swapped back to the other module. Won't start. Check for spark when cranking? Yep. It's good.

    At this point, my patience is wearing very thin. Runs great sorta, restarts fine several times in the shop, then wont start to save it's life.

    Next move is to bolt on the Brawler 850 and just forget trying to control fuel for now. The MS will still handle the spark, unless it acts up, then I am going to jam the old HEI distributor I used to run on the 545 in this thing and go have some simple fun.

    This car really needs a rewire job bad, I just don't have time to do it before Raceweek.
    nxcoupe likes this.
  11. B E N

    Nov 22, 2016
    Are you logging fuel pressure by chance? Sort of sounds like fuel starvation.

    Nothing like gremlins on a fresh build :(
  12. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    No, not logging fuel pressure.

    That thought came to mind, but I'd think the AFR would reflect it, like it did when the fuel filter clogged on the Nanner truck.

    I might investigate that a little more this afternoon. I have a braided line I can run up to the windshield and watch it. Provided the dumb thing will start.
    nxcoupe likes this.
  13. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    Fuel pressure was rock solid. I am done jacking with it.

    I started de-efi-ing it today, which really just consists of poking in some old 14lb injectors as hole pluggers, replumbing the fuel lines and bolting a carb on.

    Holley had their 850 Brawlers on clearance so I bought one. (This pic is an old 650) It will be here tomorrow. My youngest son put an 850 Brawler on his BBF '69 Galaxie and it was great right out of the box so maybe this one will be pretty close too. If not, I have airbleeds, jets, squirters and pump cams, etc.

    The Megasquirt will stay in the car and hopefully control the spark. If it doesn't work right, I'll probably put the old-faithful HEI in it that I used to run with the 545. Car ran 10.40's like a clock back then.

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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2024
    tbird, nxcoupe, B E N and 1 other person like this.
  14. silver82GT

    Sep 20, 2005
    I have felt your pain a few times with battle I had/have with the Super Sniper.
    BBR likes this.
  15. Krazed

    Jul 6, 2012
    You know.. I used to have a similar issue with my turbo smallblock.

    Let me tell you a story...

    It was October 2021.. COVID was still in the air, the smell of hand sanitizer and clorox wipes had become the norm. I was preparing my mustang for an adventure in Tucson Dragway that is the great "Duct Tape Drags" ! Hours of upgrading, and many hundreds of dollars lead up to this point. I was fighting issues found from last year's duct tape drags all year and thought this was my shot! This was my time to shine, this year, I would beat everyone with my super ridiculously low budget turbo small block build! But alas.. it wasn't to be.. No matter how many used ebay parts and junk yard finds I would throw at this car, it still wouldn't behave the same way it did on the street.

    Getting in the car and mashing the gas was always a joy. Tire smoke for days, zero traction, it was a blast to drive. Everyone loved the car, and any time I drove it there were children pointing, looking, grinning.. people stopping me on the streets, men and women throwing their sports bras at me. I was changing lives, people! I WAS IMPORTANT FOR ONCE! This was my moment!

    Back in January 2020, I had first drag raced a car I built just 45 days prior from scratch, so I knew there would be issues. I lined up on the drag strip, did a gnarly burn out, had zero traction for the first 100+ feet.. and then it stuck. The moment the tires got traction... my acceleration stopped. What the hell? I was confused, distraught, embarrassed as this monstrous looking car, turbos sticking out of the engine bay like some kind of demon eyes, ready to devour your soul, would only muster a 13.8.

    How can that be? I don't understand... the recipe was perfect! 1990 5.0 HO.. check. Blow through Carb conversion and eBay intake, Check. Unknown Turbo Roller cam, Check. Scorpion Roller Rockers, Check. Cheapest Taiwanese Tornado Twisters, check. Amazon HEI distributor for $50, check. 4r70w Transmission with shift kit and reverse manual valve body, check. Cheapest eBay Torque converter I could find, check. It was unstoppable!

    But it fell flat on it's face, it wouldn't go. How can this be happening in front of hundreds of spectators, who until now, looked at me in awe, with the same look you give superheroes. And now, I was shunned by the masses. Never again to be feared. I vowed to get my revenge... vowed to spend tens of dollars fixing this metal beast to perfection for the next year. They will laugh at me no more!

    For the rest of the year... it sat. I did nothing, and I did it frequently. Every night, every weekend, I would ignore the car. It was a perfect plan. Do nothing until two weeks before the next event. Perfect. This is how they do it on TV, it must work. What could go wrong?

    Two weeks before the event, I ordered a replacement torque converter, front pump, and even a new distributor. This time I went big, using an upgraded torque converter that was $150 and from a truck! It had a higher stall of 2000rpm, so it must be good. Who cares if it was used? I even used a brand new pump, and purchased a Bluetooth HEI distributor with a rev limiter from Progression Ignition.

    I slammed it all together in a few nights work, and determined that it was flawless and perfect. Test drove the car, and it had more power than ever. It instantly ignited the tires, gave me all of the torque down low with the new ignition tuning I could do, and put a smile back on my face. I drove it everywhere, without any problems, hiccups, or even the slightest hint that it wouldn't blow everyone's minds this year at Duct Tape Drags.

    Two weeks later, here i am again at Tucson Dragway, on the drag strip, lined up with my friend ImperialBeachDad. His fuel pump quit working right after the burnout.. so I had a win in the bag! Light turns green, I actually get grip and accelerate! Huzzah! I grin and say to myself behind my helmet, "I am the king of the drag strip!", click it into 3rd gear, and then.... nothing. No more acceleration. It revs to around 5000rpm.. shakes and vibrates.. but doesn't go anywhere. I return to the pits, embarrassed once more and drink myself into a shamecoma with miller light. The only beer I could round up from friends.

    I've since come to the determination that the real issue, ultimately, was the torque converter. It couldn't hold the power under load, slipped tremendously, causing weird shaking, vibrations, but no acceleration as long as I have traction. On the street? Zero problems, it'll go forever (until you hit about 90) and thinking back on it... always had the same problem. Zero acceleration at high speeds, but no issues what so ever as long as the wheels would spin.

    So, my friends, I come here and tell you this story of love, loss, and sorrow, in hopes that you'll heed my warnings. Spend the money on a good torque converter, ignition system, and maybe, just maybe... you'll avoid my folly.

    But if that doesn't help, then I guess you can always do what I did... a few weeks later, I tore the drive train out, and sold it to some unsuspecting poor sap. Turbo's and all. Bought myself a big block (not really, it was free and in pieces) and a new transmission (also...free..) but I paid dearly for a great ProTorque converter, and this time I used a different eBay $75 HEI Distributor that I'm sure is an upgrade!

    Maybe I'll have a different outcome this time. Maybe I'll hang my head in shame once more. But at the very least, I finally got it off my chest, and just... maybe... it'll help someone else.
    BBR and TurboSnake281 like this.
  16. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    Only the third brand new carb I've ever bought in my life. Haha.

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    Edit: Converter is the same one I used to run in this car with this trans and a more powerful big block. It's a proven piece. That version of this car ran 10.1's. I mean it could be bad, but it is somewhat unlikely.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2024
    B E N, silver82GT and TurboSnake281 like this.
  17. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    Made 2 fuel geysers yesterday. Haha.

    It seems that even if you back off the efi reg it still has more pressure than the needle and seat can handle. Haha. I swapped in the correct spring and it's good to go now.

    Had to pull the plugs and spin the motor over to clear it out.

    Fuel line interferes with the rail. Figures. I have a fix though. I have some shorty injector plugs on the way. That will hopefully drop the rails down and out of the way.

    I started it briefly but it was not happy that the passenger side injectors didn't have anything holding them. 4 vacuum leakers. Haha.

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    Last edited: May 3, 2024
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  18. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    Fuel unjectors have arrived. Haha.

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    nxcoupe, B E N and silver82GT like this.
  19. silver82GT

    Sep 20, 2005
    Where did you get them?
  20. BBR

    Jan 3, 2013
    nxcoupe likes this.
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