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#1071289 - 07/04/21 12:28 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Unfortunately, if it's a pro going after it, they're going to get it. Everything else is just to keep the smashers and dopers moving past your car (or from easy access) and to slow down the semi-pros.

I think if I were you, I'd clean up the wiring on the alarm system and add at least one hidden kill switch. I can pass on some ideas via PM or email if you're interested. A buddy back in the early 90s had an alarm installed with an interior motion sensor that would set off a warning "Please step away from the car." if you looked in the window. If you looked in the window again it would set off a couple chirps. If you looked in a third time it would set off the alarm. That was a super cool set up. Had a remote stand-alone battery for the alarm and connected to a pager.

#1071376 - 07/20/21 01:46 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Been super busy at work and have not had any time for the car, I have been driving it a lot on the weekends so thats a good thing. Last night I got the car up in the air with cribbing under all 4 wheels, between frame and concrete I have 19". Hopefully start removing stuff tonight, going to pull the headers again and get them recoated. When I started the engine after the build the timing was way retarded and put off a lot of heat and burnt the coating off, it was hot enough that it pretty much melted any wiring and plug wires within 6", lesson learned. I hate to spend the dough on the recoat but there is a huge difference in temp under hood since the coating was removed and it doesn't look very good. I figured while I've got the car in the air, starter removed now would be as good of time as any, headers slide right out from the bottom.

Atleast while the headers are removed it will be easy to get spark plugs out and extra room to work. I need to remove plugs to easily turn the engine over so I can indicate in the bellhousing runout. First thing to do after removing everything is drain oil in engine and inspect filter. Ive got right at 600 miles and if any problems now would be the time to see them. If all looks well, which it should ill move on to to the trans install. Install flywheel and bellhousing, put magnetic base and indictator on flywheel and hope bellhousing runout is within .005" when going around the opening. This is a requirement from tremec to prevent sideloading of bearings. If not within .005" i will need to install offset dowels. Not sure if this is common on all transmission. Here is a video of the process.

https://youtu.be/fu9bg-fJdnc

Hopefully have more updates and pictures coming soon. I'll try to get a little done this week but im off 4 days coming up and 3 of those will be on the car hopefully.

#1071380 - 07/20/21 05:07 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Height of the car on cribbing depends on a couple things. First is waist line, and BMI, are you comfortable under the car without restriction. Second is the weight of the trans. At a mere 100 lbs the TKX would be a simple lift and slide into place for some young guys with biceps. In the days of a Muncie 4 spd one person could easly handle the weight, today's 5 and 6 spd are a lot bigger and heavier.
When I did the T56 an auto trans jack was used, a wood platform was made for the t56 to sit in and cradle the trans and that was screwed to the top of the jack. This required a rocker height of 24" to be able to roll the trans in and out from under the car.

Initial install of the T56 required numerous times of install and remove so the tunnel could be massaged, crossmember mods done to achieve tailhousing height. No clutch was installed during all this to make trans ins and outs easier.

Sometimes those alignment dowels in the block can be a PITA to pull. Hoping the old bell doesn't have a lot of runout, but would guess it ain't near perfect, it's OEM form decades ago.
On a steel bell like the Lakewood scattershield the method is a little different. Instead of offset dowels a sleeve goes over the dowels and once the steel bell is located the sleeves are welded over the dowel holes to the bell. This was done with the engine out of the car, hanging on a hoist in my case. Not possible to do this on an engine stand.
https://www.jegs.com/p/Lakewood/Lakewood-Bellhousing-Locator-Kit/749396/10002/-1

If you find the dowels on your engine can't be removed the alignment holes in the bell could be drilled oversize, sleeves made of alum, and TIGed to the bell. No the easiest method but an alternative.
Bob

#1071382 - 07/20/21 05:45 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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I slid my T5 under the car, then the jack, then slid/lifted the T5 onto the jack (back end first as it was the lightest) when under the tunnel. The T5 would not fit under the car on the jack, while the car was on 4 jack stands under the frame.

I was not able to lift the transmission into place without the jack (I was by myself).

#1071384 - 07/20/21 06:50 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Mark, you just need bigger jackstands. When i did the trans the first time borrowed two 12 ton stands from a friend that does "big" trucks. A few years later he showed up at my shop with an old set of 12 tons he bought for cheap at an auction, free to me. They will safely go 24"+.
In the rear my Lincoln 3 ton set are used under the rear to get the car level at 24" rocker height.

We all wish we had a lift in our shop space.
Bob

#1071387 - 07/20/21 10:29 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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SSLance Offline
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My jackstands go up to 9' tall... laugh My problem was finding a trans jack tall enough...


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1071389 - 07/20/21 10:59 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Rub it in, Lance, just rub it in...

I thought I was going to build a 2 1/2 car garage this year with clearance for a lift, but it turns out I'm actually building a "shed" that won't really fit a car (but will have 11' ceiling, I suppose....). Between being too busy at work, material prices (lumber) going insane, and now breaking my foot in a dozen places, I suppose plans are bound to change. Oh well, I still get to follow along on you guys spending money on your cars beer


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1071390 - 07/21/21 01:32 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Bob, 5' 11" 195lbs, not sure on bmi, doctor gives me a rough time about my weight every time says I should be 180 lbs. Definitely not going to be bench pressing the trans in place, 10-15 years ago I would give it a try, I like to think I'm smarter now but more likely just not as strong, lol. Cribbing is 11" which has the frame at 18", I can get more height if needed.

I already took measurements of jack and both transmissions, going to see what I can come up with, I don't want to be under the car with trans in place trying to work something out. As we know it will be a balancing act between getting the car high enough and getting the jack with whatever I come up with to go that high.

If Lance were closer I would have had him come over and help me remove my headers tonight, I remember reading in his thread how much he loves working with long tube headers. Got the starter removed, headers pulled, removed some of the things attached to the trans, and flywheel bolts out. Not much but I just had a couple hours tonight.

Shawn, hope your foot heals up quick sounds like a bad situation. I work out of a garage that is 24' x 24' ceilings are 12' but a lift just won't work. I have to leave space for my wife to park but its much better than outside. My dad's garage would be the best place to do any type of work but being 30 minutes one way is not worth the hassle. Probably won't get anything else done til Sunday but atleast ive got a decent start. Here is a picture of my car on the cribbing.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by 88ssBrent; 07/21/21 01:33 AM.
#1071396 - 07/21/21 02:52 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Thanks, it's not too bad, but does have me completely non-weight bearing for 8 weeks minimum, possibly 12-14 and I'm about 3 weeks in.

"Just a few hours" and got starter and headers removed and transmission basically unbolted? Pretty good progress. You'll be slamming gears in no time.
And through many discussions about building a garage, me and my wife determined we had some differences in the definition of a garage. I said it was a building where you take non-working vehicles and make them work, and take working vehicles and make them not work. She thought it was a building that is used to store Christmas decorations and use for making/building/painting stuff for the house. At least we both agreed that only under threat of imminent hail storms should a regular, daily driven vehicle be parked inside it, so at least we have that in common.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1071444 - 07/27/21 02:14 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Pulled the old trans out Sunday evening , here is a few pictures for comparison with the new trans. The tkx is
roughly 2 3/4" longer.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image][Linked Image]

#1071445 - 07/27/21 02:26 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Is 2.75 inches what we came up with a few weeks ago, when considering whether you need to buy a new driveshaft or cut yours?

I wonder what Tremec used as a requirement to design the length specification for the length of the TKX? It is 1/4" shorter than the Camaro T5, longer than a Mustang T5, and 2.75" inches longer than a Muncie, T10, or Saginaw.

#1071446 - 07/27/21 02:38 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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I indicated in the bellhousing and runout was only .0035", so no offset dowel pins for me, thats a good thing. I was really surprised it was that close. I checked it about 5 different times and always came out the same.

I got the transmission in and believe it or not if you slide the g force 200-4r crossmember up 5 1/4" everything lines up perfect and the transmission angle was dead on what the old transmission angle was. Just need to drill some new holes.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Here is a picture of the closest spot in the tunnel and you could easily get your finger by. I will get better pictures tomorrow.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The hole in the tunnel ended up being right between the 2 rivnuts where the auto shifter bolted in. I cleaned up the hole more with a file latter. The plate is a spare one Bob had for reference, ill probably cut my boot hole a little farther forward and slide the console a little more for ward.

[Linked Image]

#1071447 - 07/27/21 03:05 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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The 2 rivet nuts are still in the floor? That is very convenient.

#1071449 - 07/27/21 06:31 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Nice, looks like things are going extremely smooth, lucky you.

Double check your engine trans angle, make sure the trans is high enough in the tunnel before you lock everything down. That angle is very important, less is always better.
When the engine torques over the left side of the trans gets closer to the tunnel. make sure you have enough clearance between the trans and tunnel, more than 1/8" to compensate for that.

The console can be moved forward a little, not much play in those slots in the back.
The front mounts for the console were on the shifter, new mounts should be made to support the front.

Shifter hole, location, looks goods.

Also remember the engine trans is not centered in the frame, offset about 1" to the right. Trans crossmember to frame left to right need to be verified. Should be good but just something to insure is correct.
Bob

#1071450 - 07/27/21 01:19 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Looks good, and making good progress!


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1071451 - 07/27/21 04:57 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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SSLance Offline
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Nice progress, and fantastic luck with initial fitment. Good work...


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1071454 - 07/28/21 08:53 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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On the riv-nuts I had to remove the passenger side one. Everything was going well but when I went to put in the transmission I got to the last 1/2" and never could get it to go all the way in. Plastic alignment tool has lots of play so I think that is the issue, can't get the input shaft into the pilot bearing. I tried 20 times wrestling the transmission every which way and decided to call it a evening and cool off and think through it. Did some searching and the first thing everyone says is push the clutch in. At the moment I don't have the csc or master cylinder bled. Did some research and it seems lots of people have good luck using the metal alignment tool. Called silver sport and they said they have one thats the exact size as the input shaft, $40. Probably won't get a chance to work on car til Sunday or Monday but other than that small issue everything is still working out great. Hopefully my luck continues. Probably take me another week or so with my work schedule to get everything done.

#1071455 - 07/28/21 09:41 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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If the alignment tool is not a snug fit, center it the best you can while tightening the pressure plate. I once was successful by eye, but now have a plastic tool that is very tight that came with a clutch kit some time ago.

The pilot of the input shaft is a snug fit into the pilot bearing, if you are using a roller bearing. The transmission must be square to the bellhousing or it may be difficult to pass into the bearing. A bronze bushing typically has a tapered entry, so is a bit easier to fit into.

It can be frustrating when the transmission won't go in, so I feel your pain. Don't try and pull the transmission in with bolts, or the ears of the transmission may break off. If the interference is with the input shaft and the disk, you will damage the disk.

If you haven't done so already, the spline on the input shaft should be lightly greased, emphasis on lightly, to allow the disk to move freely when the pressure plate is disengaged.

#1071467 - 08/02/21 02:57 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Not had any time to work on the car much but hopefully get back on it tonight. I did recieve the tool from silver sport , same dimensions as input shaft so hopefully it will be the ticket. The tool does have a bevel though.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by 88ssBrent; 08/02/21 02:59 PM.
#1071468 - 08/02/21 04:02 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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It looks like a quality piece. If it is a snug fit into the pilot bearing and clutch disc, you will be golden.

Based on the other parts made by Silver Sport, I would expect it to be a quality piece.

#1071469 - 08/03/21 02:18 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Put the new tool to use, tightened the pressure plate bolts jacked the trans up and it slid right in. That $40 is the best money I've spent in a while.

[Linked Image]

#1071473 - 08/03/21 12:01 PM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Very Nice!

#1071479 - 08/04/21 01:55 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Did my final alignment on the crossmember tonight, it is slid forward exactly 4 7/8", all holes are drilled through the frame and everything bolted in. The crossmember I am using is the G-force for the 200-4r.

#1071480 - 08/04/21 06:17 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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I remember the first time I picked up one of those G-force crossmembers. The wife and I drove 2 hours to see Henry Helfman in NJ so I could test drive his 1987 SS that Crazy Bill built, 350 / TPI / T56 / 8 1/2" oh, and a GP dash. A couple decades ago Crazy Bill was the man in the SW, good parts, my 8 1/2 and XH steering box came from him. Henry flew out to NM bought the car from Bill and drove it back to NJ. It was a very nice car and build using F-body parts.

While looking at Henry's car I noticed a G-Force crossmember laying on the floor. They were just coming onto the market about 2001. I picked it up and was impressed by how overweight it was, it's a beast, maybe 35 lb. It's a shame that much bulk has to do such a simple job.

Because I'm running a cat-back the stock crossmenber was reused. The trans mount height and forward/rearward location changed. Later a second crossmember was fabbed because i wasn't happy with how high the tailhousing was, needed to go up higher in the tunnel. Rather that redo the crossmember a donor was removed from an 86 Old Cutlass at the U-pull. I couldn't believe the difference in the steel gauge used. I think the Olds was 17 lbs and the SS crossmember was 13. That modified Olds crossmenber has been in the car almost 2 decades now.

A consideration when setting trans to tunnel clearance is condition of the body bushings. As they collapse, rot, decay, fall out, the body gets closer to the frame. Just throwing that out there, I've seen it.

My wife, Henry and me at the helm of my first T56 Monte test drive happened that day in NJ, 2001. I knew instantly how much it changed the cars personality. That was the Fall of 01, ordered the wife's new 02 SS for her Christmas present and by June was driving an 86 SS 2200 miles to a car show, in a T56 car.

May the grins on your test drive be the reward for all that time and effort.
Bob

#1071484 - 08/05/21 04:24 AM Re: 88ssBrent's Build! [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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BadSS Offline
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Those G-Force crossmembers are worth every ounce and penny.

I had the welds break loose on a modified stock crossmember as I shifted into third gear at around 100mph. Transmission drops down, busting the transmission housing, breaks the input shat, converter ears spinning around slaps and cracks the block. Driveshaft twists and snaps past the safety loop, and if I had not cut the wheels hard to the right when the rear-end started to pole vault, it could have flipped the car. To add insult to injury, once I got the car stopped, headers ignited the transmission fluid that was everywhere. Fire was relatively contained and I was relatively calm at this point. I grabbed my fire extinguisher, slid to the ground, just to have it go "poof" (one little puff came out) when I pulled the trigger. That's when I started to panic. This was on an isolated extension road that I used for testing and I had never seen a car on the road at this time of night.

Jumped up, pushed the car forward, while on fire, to get it away from the puddle of transmission fluid that had formed under the car. Grabbed a towel from the back seat and jumped back down to the ground trying to beat out the flames. Fuel line was very close - thankfully I was running big thick fire retardant hydraulic lines instead of the more common braided rubber hose, but time was still limited and I was having no luck beating out the flames - they were getting worse. Just as I had come to grips that I was going to have to watch the car burn to the ground, this car skids up behind me. Dude jumps out and runs towards the car with a huge extinguisher yelling for me to away from the car. He has the fire out in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, it was a volunteer fireman. Absolutely unbelievable stroke of luck after a devastating break.

Dude carried me to the nearest pay phone (before cellphones were common) so I could call a wrecker friend of mine. The fireman would not take a dime, saying it wasn't out of his way and could get the extinguisher refilled at no cost to him. I do believe people like that are few and far between, even back then and for sure now-a-days.

Long story short (LOL) - don't skimp on a crossmember and routinely check your fire extinguisher!!!!

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