View Full Version : Lxfiveo's winter upgrades and engine rebuild

04-19-2010, 07:18 PM
Ok...so I know I've snapped off some crappy cell phone pics here and there, but finally got some real pics of a few of the things I did in the late fall and over the winter. Biggest thing to happen in the fall was switching from an Ultimate converter to a ProTorque converter...night and day difference in the car! With that, made me want to rethink how the car would hook with a Steeda 5 link system on the car....thing held up like a champ over the years, but it wasn't ideal for track duty. So before I destroyed it, I found a good home for it and switched to a drag setup from UPR. Called Jeremy and told him what I was trying to do and the big boys I was trying to run with and he gave me his extreme duty kit for the same price as his pro series kit.


Also switched over to all QA-1 adjustable shocks/struts, which he also gave me a deal on. You can always tell the true drag racers who run performance parts companies as they often are willing to help out racers in any way they can. Their shit is on some VERY fast cars, so I know it works and I'm happy to have them involved in the project now!

So anyhow, here's a couple pics of the rear now. Also did dual caliper Strange brakes in the rear so that I could foot brake on the first light to build boost....those things hold the car to about 14-15#'s of boost, which is probably about 600+ to the rear wheels. Now THAT's some stopping power!


Note the new driveshaft above....went back to steel after hitting Atco in late November. Managed to snap a really nice Mark Williams aluminum driveshaft in half on my 3rd and final pass (guess the car is hooking now!! lol). Some things you are simply better off skipping the weight savings and sticking with strength and reliability, like driveshafts, engine blocks and connecting rods for example.


After hitting Atco in November, it was clear from the pics I saw I needed to rethink the weight up front. Was still running those big HRE rims and Nittos, as well as a massive set of Baer brakes. This was one of the original Baer sets when Alcon was still making the calipers for them, so they are at the very upper end of what a 4 piston brake will do. However, they are huge and impeded my ability to put an off the shelf set of skinnies upfront. So I decided to sell them and put another set of Strange 4-piston Pro's upfront and run a skinny. Here is the setup with a borrowed Weld Alumustar on the front (I have a new set of Holeshot Holestars on order to throw on the car).....



04-19-2010, 07:49 PM
So the only thing I really did over the winter was add the brakes upfront, move to a larger 60mm Tial wastegate and try and get the AMS 1000 boost controller setup and in the car (still trying to get that last task accomplished...hopefully it is in and done by Wednesday...had a couple of parts snafus). Car was basically ready to roll last month. So I decided to hit LVD on opening day and try and finish up my NHRA license passes. Got the car running on Saturday at Eric's shop to check a last couple of items and he picks out a faint metallic noise coming from the engine. Shuts the car off and starts checking for anything loose, especially where the converter mounts up as we had changed nothing else on the car at all since a few weeks earlier when we had it running it wasn't making a peep. Check the rockers to see if one of them needs to be adjusted....one of them is a little loose, so it gets tightened back down. Start it up....still making a the noise. So Eric starts working his way down on the motor. After a couple of hours, the culprit was found.....


Not sure how many of you have had motors apart, but that is a simple little lifter. A nice super strong set of Crower lifters in the car, but this one began to fail. The needle bearings inside of it started to come apart which allows the roller part to move, which in turn causes more damage as it runs (note the missing metal to the left of the roller on the lifter). Luckily, it was caught at idle and ran for very little time in this condition. However, having tiny pieces of hardened steel running through your motor is NOT GOOD! lol A friend of mine had a lifter fail a few weeks earlier at Bradenton and made two pasees on it.....destroyed his motor as the cylinder walls become gauged and the pistons end up with hardened steel embedded in them, which will never come out. Destroys the cam lobes and will likely wreck the crank as well if it run hard enough.

So now Eric pulls the motor from the car knowing the entire thing has to be gone through and will likley need new pistons and a cam....might even need the cylinder walls honed. After some careful inspection later that night, he calls me and gives me the scoop....some scuffing, but he's seen worse go back together and make more passes without issue. Knowing that I eventually want to stroke this motor which will require some machine work, a new crank and new pistons, I told him we would simply clean it up and put it back together. So he and I spent this entire past weekend doing just that. It was cool for someone like me who often was working 70 hrs/week with little kids and never had the time to even consider attempting to do my own work to be involved in tearing it all down and putting it back together.

So we got the block down to bare block and laid out all the parts. Luckily, the largest mess of metal, which looked alot like getting glitter on your hands, was in the oil filter and pan and never really had the chance to make it's way though the motor. The minor scuffing damage was contained to the rear two pistons/walls and the cam lobe below the failed lifter. Here below (I know it isn't the best picture, but it ain't easy shooting a cylinder wall!) is one of the effected cylinders....you can make out the scratches, which at this point, had been sanded down with scotchguard pads.


Probably easier to show you the scuffing on one of the pistons from the two effected cylinders that we sanded down with a very fine grit sandpaper before finishing off with the scotchguard pad....


04-19-2010, 07:55 PM
So I got to work on cleaning up the heads an intake as the gaskets have to come off and then the remaining residue crap needs to be razor bladed off. This is a time consuming task, especially for anal bastard like me.



...and after....


These all got cleaned up with brake cleaner to make sure I got any lingering metal out of the valve springs, blew out the intake and exhaust valves with compressed air and then took the scotch pads to them again to make sure they were smooth as silk on the outside and ready to be regasketed. Here's the other cylinder head all cleaned up and ready to roll....


04-19-2010, 08:16 PM
So now for reassembly.....first thing that goes back in is the crank, so you start on the bottom of the engine. This I've done before, and as long as you have the proper clearances on your bearings, is a pretty straightforward task. Luclily, all of the bearings for both the cranks and the connecting rods were in mint condition (they should of been, only had two passes on them!! lol)



04-19-2010, 08:26 PM

04-19-2010, 08:36 PM
I let Eric handle the pistons as he wanted to go through them while putting them back in....luckily all of the rings were in perfect condition and we got any remaining metallic residure off of them. While he was doing that I was finishing cleaning up the last head, then I hopped on getting the stud hardware back in the block.


Got the crank and timing chain back in the motor and whipped out the new head gaskets (which felpro now makes a REUSABLE set...imagine that! lol). Time for the heads to go on and start getting bolted on. Tourqed all of the bolts down to 75#'s for the first pass and then went back through them working from the thrust bearing section (middle of the block) inner first, then outer, then move my way out in both directions tourquing them down to 100 ft pds.


Repeated for the other side, now it was time to throw the new crower lifters in and reinstall my Harland Sharp rocker arms.



Made a rookie mistake on the rocker arms. While cleaning them, some of the hardware slipped out of the rod. Wasn't really paying attention, and I slipped them all back in, but backwards! One side of the rod is recessed to accept the bolt head. Well, Eric wasn't paying attention either and bolted the set down I had the hardware backwards on. Luckily as we got further on, he noticed it, but one of the bolts was a PITA to get out now that it was threaded in backwards. Had to rethread the hole and reinstall, which set us back a half hour because of my stupidity. So anyhow, here's the mostly finished motor.....


Now all there was left to do was clean out the oil pan, where the brunt of the metal ended up. Sounds easy enough, right? Well....and hour and a half later with a lot of brake clean, paper towels and two trips through the parts washer, finally had it clean enough to go back in. Just imagine back to when you were a kid and played with glitter....that's exactly what it was like trying to clean this. Nealry impossible to get glitter completely off of you and this left over metal was the same way. Final product on the oil pan.....


So motor is going back in tonight now that it is back together. Have to give HUGE props to Eric Laferriere for working all weekend with me so that the car can put on a show at Ed Day. The guy is gone 12 hrs a day helping DMC Racing pump some shit out of the shop during the week and then he gives up his entire weekend to help me straighten out this mess. Time to stop talking and show up at Ed Day and make some jaws drop!!! lol

Michael Plummer
04-19-2010, 08:56 PM
WOW...... You had a long weekend but thanks to Eric, you got thru it. Every now and then these guys (Eric, Dez and Chris @MPE) go out of there way to help out a customer. Not surprised Eric stayed all weekend long, he did me a few favors back in the day and I'll never forget those times. I'm hoping, I can make Ed Day and watch the show and I'm looking forward to see that badass yellow Mustang.

04-19-2010, 09:12 PM
Lookin' great so far!

04-19-2010, 09:16 PM
Sweet, a lotta nice parts there. Can't wait to see her run.

04-19-2010, 09:23 PM
interesting post, info and pics. thanks for sharing:thumbsup:

04-19-2010, 11:01 PM
Now this is a BIG.....Sweet, exciting thread!!:thumbsup:

I'm Subscribing!!!

04-20-2010, 07:32 AM
Sweet ! looking good...Great thread !

04-20-2010, 08:40 PM

Wow...What a Fiasco, but you guys made real quick work of that major project...Cant wait to see that beast run again...

04-20-2010, 08:59 PM
Here's a shot I had from the 2005 Fun Ford event....


04-20-2010, 09:02 PM
and one from the tru street cruize....


04-20-2010, 10:40 PM
Strange brakes all around = race car! hahaha

looks great man...you just added 5mph with those brakes alone.

04-20-2010, 11:00 PM
Also did dual caliper Strange brakes in the rear so that I could foot brake on the first light to build boost....those things hold the car to about 14-15#'s of boost, which is probably about 600+ to the rear wheels

Meant to ask........I know you were working on "Brake Boost" strategy" last year. Has this solved that, or is there still more testing/tweaking to be done??

Brake boosting can be tricky business, and know alot of people seem to think that brake boosting is extremely harmful to your drivetrain/brakes.....if done improperly this can be true. Interestingly enough, there are dynos that can put more load on your drive train than brake boosting the car (http://www.srtforums.com/forums/#) yourself can. There are a few risks in brake boosting and the biggest one is blowing off your vacuum line system so make sure to positively secure any and all vacuum connections. Just keep an eye on the brake booster line....you'll know its no longer attached when the brake pedal gets rather spongy and not too responsive.

Looking forward to watching you rip down the track, and seeing it all come together.

04-21-2010, 09:52 AM
Strange brakes all around = race car! hahaha

No back seat = race car! Lol

Bob - foot braking isn't the issue, sitting on the transbrake trying to build boost is the issue. That's what took out my thrust bearing a couple of times with a tight converter. Will never sit on the trans again....not worth it. Moot point now anyhow as pro torque hooked me up with their new converter technology and the car is coming right up and leaving like a raped ape now.

04-23-2010, 12:25 PM
Great thread steve...sorry to hear about the misfortune but it looks like you guys got it worked out. It's awesome to see that Eric is working with you to make sure the car is running and ready.

I can't wait to see how you do on Ed day.........just got a flip and plan on taking a ton of videos

04-23-2010, 11:22 PM
is coming right up and leaving like a raped ape now. Gotta love that thrusty/gut wrenching feeling in your gut!

I launched my GT500 once, and got that sensation....and I knew right away, factually that it was going to be my best time. Haven't been able to recreate that moment since?!?!? I've been wanting to work on slipping the clutch better, but am fearful of being to close to the edge and risking the chance of stalling. Launching with your combo, must be a very rewarding experience.......and totally stimulates your senses.:burnout:

04-24-2010, 01:56 AM
Is she all ready to go for ED day? I'm really looking forward to seeing that thing tare down the track. Sounds like some worthy improvements do you have a target # you are shooting for?

05-06-2010, 12:26 PM
Steve.....How are you making out with the car as of late???