Final Gear Racing 2012/2013

That American Girl

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None, right now. Bye Bye Mustang. :-(
It's big and all, but I wouldn't want to deal with the terrible gas mileage nor would I enjoy the idea of trying to wrangle that monster outside of the highway.
I kept having images of the "Panda Limo" running through my head...:p

I've got more information on the Reatta, my suspicions were correct and the car is indeed packing a later supercharged 3800, and when I found out who was behind the build I should have known. It's Dave Morrow who put an SC 3.8 in his Bradly GT kit car for a race last year along with a stuffing a Pontiac 400 into an old Supra to create "The Judge", the Bradly destroyed a wheel bearing and was sacrificed to the crusher while the "GTO" imploded and somehow shot a pushrod through its oil pan. I'm fairly certain that the same 3800 that was housed in the Bradly is now powering the Reatta.

Last I heard the Reatta was leading Class-C by a half dozen laps, so I'm very interested to see how things turn out.

And, just wondering...didn't the Reatta originally have the same engine? Without the supercharger I mean?

If that's the case, and with it's tranny being able to (hopefully) handle the HP and torque of the 3800...the Reatta should be super fast. :)
 

Punisher Bass

He who drives a Buick
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And, just wondering...didn't the Reatta originally have the same engine? Without the supercharger I mean?

If that's the case, and with it's tranny being able to (hopefully) handle the HP and torque of the 3800...the Reatta should be super fast. :)
Not exactly, it came with what is known as a Pre-Series I, it was something of a bridge between the end of the 3.8 design of the mid 80's Turbo era and when it was reworked into the Series I at the beginning of the 90's. They never did a clean sheet redesign though, just tweaks and changes to the block and heads, added a balanced shaft, that sort of thing. Either way, I'm sure Dave swapped over the 4T65E-HD trans as well because I know for a fact that the old 4T60E was barely able to handle the 165hp that engine produced back in the day, forget about standing up to 240. That was one of the biggest drawbacks about the Reatta, it was advertised and priced as something much more upscale and hand crafted, but under the fancy body work was all of the same every day technology you could get on much cheaper Buick's.

Ate Up With Motor did a really good writeup on the car a couple years ago, http://ateupwithmotor.com/sports-cars-and-muscle-cars/261-buick-reatta-history.html.

Also, the Reatta not only took home a Class-C win but also the covenanted IOE award. At last the SC 3800 has been somewhat vindicated!
 

EyeMWing

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And thus valuable lessons have been learned about bringing cars from the Judge's most-wanted list.

Anyone got a Fuego Turbo for sale?
 

EyeMWing

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So I found what was wrong with the 1-2 shift.



That's the 1-2 accumulator piston and return spring (the other spring is not pictured, and is fine). The return spring is outright shattered and it chewed the hell out of the bottom of the accumulator piston.

This resulted in a nasty 1-2 shift because the way the accumulator works is the chamber fills with fluid, pushing the piston against the return spring. When the return spring can't compress any further, the pressure in the accumulator increases until, eventually, 2nd engages. With the return spring broken, it would hit resistance early, causing it to start engaging 2nd. The spring would then give way again, slip out of 2nd and start filling the cylinder again and so on and so forth until eventually 2nd gear engages.

I won't be putting any return spring back in, and I'll be removing the 2-3 return spring as well. The reason being that, with these removed, the accumulator cylinders stay full, and only need to pressurize - as a result, the shifts are much harsher, which produces less heat at the expense of feeling a bit jerky (oh no! jerky shifts in a race car!)

So, essentially I need to buy a new 1-2 accumulator piston, and a new upper spring for that piston (if the lower one fatigued to death, the upper one can't be far behind) and put it back together.

As for the ground up metal bits, I'm not sure where they actually went, but they had to have been contained to the lower piston area, which isn't wet.
 

EyeMWing

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The 1-2 shift probably gets abused quite a bit racing in this car. It's a 4-speed automatic with a moronic 90's electronic shift map, so that means you're going to spend most of your time in 2nd and 3rd. It'll only hit 4th when it absolute MUST shift to 4th because you're always at WOT and thus in kickdown mode. But, what happens in a technical series of turns? The transmission will be in 2nd because your tootling around trying to navigate a 4000lb yacht around corners that are tight for an Elise or Miata, and then you exit the corner. Foot to the floor, to WOT. Kickdown engages, and the electronic gods get all excited and go "OH! YOU WANT TO DOWNSHIFT! LET ME DO THAT FOR YOU!" and it dutifully sticks you into 1st... With like 100 revs to go in that gear. It then immediately shifts up into 2nd again. Two VERY sudden exercises of the 1-2 springs. The return spring, as the one with no fluid around it to cool it, fatigued to death first.
 

EyeMWing

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Alright. There's some forward progress!

I'm pretty sure we've reached our point of maximum disassembly (well, almost, there's a BIT more interior gutting to do, but that'll get done when the driveline is in and wiring can be done with the ability to check your work). Almost all the parts to make it start, idle, drive, turn and stop and shut down have arrived or are on order.

I took down the overdrive servo module in the trans today. From what I can see, the band still looks OK, and the springs were fine (in fact, the return spring is a replacement with a lower spring rate, which means the 3-4 shift will be harder than stock - someone has built this transmission before) so I popped it back in. I've decided I don't care for reverse enough to bother checking it out.

Other than installing the replacement trans parts, which I will be receiving shortly, there's going to be some modification beyond that already described - sort of a DIY shift kit. I'll put together a detailed post on the transmission when I get to that point.



Last week, a very determined FedEx man insisted on delivering some parts for me to the wrong door. He squeezed between the racecar and an overgrown bush and climbed over a mountain of cast-off car parts to get to what was very clearly not the front door. Idiot. Anyway, Spectre had some parts from his CVPI laying around and we did a deal. Here's what I got:

1 set of Motorcraft Severe Duty front brake pads.

1 set of Raybestos Severe Duty front brake pads.

1 set of Motorcraft Sever Duty front shocks.

If my name were Elwood, I'd be quite enthusiastic about 'cop shocks' and 'cop brakes' and 'a model before catalytic converters' (okay, well, gutted catalytic converters are almost as good).

These join my existing stock of brake bits:

1 set of Wagner Severe Duty front pads

1 set of Wagner Severe Duty rear pads. Except there's one problem here.


These cars were sold with two different material rear caliper pistons. One piston material, which this particular car is equipped with, is called "Phenolic" and my understanding is that it's essentially a pile of chemicals and wood pulp (so... in my mind, that's paper)

The other material is, naturally, steel. The steel pistons have much thinner walls than the phenolic ones, because they don't need it for strength. Phenolic pistons are like two bucks cheaper per caliper. The problem is that the phenolics, at severe racing temperatures, appear to undergo some sort of chemical change and crumble. I'll take some pictures of the rear calipers when I get the replacements - they're effing scary. So I ordered replacements with steel pistons.

Remember how I said the steel pistons had thinner walls? Take a look at the picture of the rear pads up there - note that the inner pad has a silly retaining clip that engages with the inside of the piston walls. It's set up for a 1" diameter hole. The steel pistons have 1.75" holes. So I can't use those pads with the new calipers. As such, I've gone ahead and ordered some more.



Things are hopefully going to start speeding up on this, and more information and pretty pictures will be forthcoming over the next several weeks. We're also coming up on the entry date for Summit Point, so watch this space for further details.
 

Quiky

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No reverse gear...? I hope you have another method conjured up to alter the course of the Vic when forward momentum is inappropriate...

Edit: Still hunting down motors.. it is damn hard to find a complete L67 or a lower end for lemons money right now on the east coast.
 
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Punisher Bass

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I'm convinced Fubar is the reason engines are so hard to come by, they've depleted the stock by destroying so many.
 

Quiky

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Not to mention the engines are 10-15 years old, along with forced induction on a motor that is prone to spontaneous combustion..
 

Quiky

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Double post, but since you were having electrical issues... this may help indicate how well treated the car was;
 

EyeMWing

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Bah, that ratsnest is almost under control now. Picked up a bunch of tranny parts at the stealership today. Some of them will go into the race trans, some will go into the spares bin for modernizing the '93 transmission at some future point.

FedEx also brought me some new rear calipers with steel pistons. Because, well, fuck paper.
 
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That American Girl

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None, right now. Bye Bye Mustang. :-(
No reverse gear...? I hope you have another method conjured up to alter the course of the Vic when forward momentum is inappropriate...

Edit: Still hunting down motors.. it is damn hard to find a complete L67 or a lower end for lemons money right now on the east coast.
The place down the street from me just took possession of a car you might like. It was a repo...says it's supercharged. Starting bid of $100.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/98-M...ars_Trucks&hash=item4ab5dcafbd#ht_1937wt_1082
 

Quiky

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That may be promising. Any chance you could stop by to take a look at it/snap some photos?
 

That American Girl

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None, right now. Bye Bye Mustang. :-(
That may be promising. Any chance you could stop by to take a look at it/snap some photos?
Edit...

Didn't see your response till now...I'll be headed out tomorrow, but there's only 15 hours left on it. I'll try to get out sooner...
 
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Quiky

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If it is in "running" condition and we can get it cheap enough, could we have it parked at your house for a week or two so I have time to grab the truck+trailer and pick it up?
 

EyeMWing

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Gearing up for Day 1 of reassembly. In addition to the parts Spectre sent, I also procured a bunch of other bits, much of which comes out of the safety budget.

Transmission parts (Not pictured: Filter, which is hiding in another box somewhere around here). Plus, new torque-converter-to-flexplate nuts and new starter bolts.


Overview of most of the new parts. New Monroe cop shocks for the back, new rear calipers (with steel pistons), rear brake pads to match the new steel pistons, a U-joint and a tie rod end.


Detail on the tie rod end and U-joint. These are both of greasable type, instead of prepacked permanent-grease. I'm halfway of the mind to replace the other 3 tie-rod ends (which are permanent grease) with these. For now, though, I only got one to replace the driver's side outer, which is torn. As ball joints, they come out of the safety budget. I'll leave the other U-joint alone. The only reason I need to replace the one is because I forgot to mention the needle bearings to the guy who was dropping the driveshaft, so the old one is trashed.


Detail on the new calipers:


Detail on the new rear brake pads, with their gigantic clip to match the gigantic inner diameter of the steel piston


And finally, you'll recall the epic fight to get the transmission off - much of which was fueled by the shitty starter. I bought the cheapest available replacement, and to be frank, I'm impressed by its build quality. It's quite a bit heavier than the OE starter and appears to have more sensible materials choices. It's not a reman, either - it's a 100% new part (or at least, that's what the box says)

 
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