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So I'll post up something that is a little interesting and a little embarrassing because I should have noticed it sooner. I'll start by showing my little quickie body work project. I've had some trouble ever since I built my car with some rubbing on the driver's side, which came to a head recently as I hit a road bump recently and my tire actually contacted the quarter. It wasn't serious damage thankfully, but it caused some paint damage when I hit it back in place. I'll fix this the right way this winter, but for now I had some Duplicolor color match rattle can paint that did a really nice temporary job. Just sanded it back a little with 400, then tapped it off, hit with primer and paint. Pretty pleased for a 20 min fix. Definitely not perfect, but it won't get any worse now.





When I was putting the wheel back on I started looking at that area and noticed that it seemed to be closer to the front than the rear. Then as I stepped back and got down I realized that the wheel wasn't centered in the wheel house. I didn't have tape measure right handy, but I checked and had two finger gap on the driver's side, and a loose 3 finger gap on the passenger at the front of the quarter. After I investigated further the rear axle had shifted forward at some point causing the wheel to not stay centered. I loosened up both the leaf spring pocket and the u bolts and made some adjustments and now it's the same on both sides. No idea how I didn't catch that sooner.

Before:



After:





Much better now!! I've driven it around and so far zero scrubbing.

I never drive the car at night, but I figured I should install the dome light. My son was interested in what I was doing when I was doing so I had him help me install it and cut the headliner. I also showed him how the circuits work. Probably forgot it already, but he was super interested at the time haha.



Best,
Ryan
So I'll post up something that is a little interesting and a little embarrassing because I should have noticed it sooner. I'll start by showing my little quickie body work project. I've had some trouble ever since I built my car with some rubbing on the driver's side, which came to a head recently as I hit a road bump recently and my tire actually contacted the quarter. It wasn't serious damage thankfully, but it caused some paint damage when I hit it back in place. I'll fix this the right way this winter, but for now I had some Duplicolor color match rattle can paint that did a really nice temporary job. Just sanded it back a little with 400, then tapped it off, hit with primer and paint. Pretty pleased for a 20 min fix. Definitely not perfect, but it won't get any worse now.





When I was putting the wheel back on I started looking at that area and noticed that it seemed to be closer to the front than the rear. Then as I stepped back and got down I realized that the wheel wasn't centered in the wheel house. I didn't have tape measure right handy, but I checked and had two finger gap on the driver's side, and a loose 3 finger gap on the passenger at the front of the quarter. After I investigated further the rear axle had shifted forward at some point causing the wheel to not stay centered. I loosened up both the leaf spring pocket and the u bolts and made some adjustments and now it's the same on both sides. No idea how I didn't catch that sooner.

Before:



After:





Much better now!! I've driven it around and so far zero scrubbing.

I never drive the car at night, but I figured I should install the dome light. My son was interested in what I was doing when I was doing so I had him help me install it and cut the headliner. I also showed him how the circuits work. Probably forgot it already, but he was super interested at the time haha.



Best,
Ryan
Center bolt on the spring is sheared. It will move again.
 

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Yikes!! I'll definitely be pulling that apart to check it out before I drive again. If it is sheared, any recommendations for a replacement bolt? Grade 8 or ??
I think you can still get the real thing from a dealership. Grade is better in tensile and I think grade 5 is better in shear. The bolt keys into the spring bracket and shock plate to keep the diff in place
 

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Discussion Starter · #404 ·
I called Hotchkis and they said that a regular 3/8" Grade 8 bolt is what they recommend.

I've been looking to update my seats for a long time, but have been getting along find with the stock 53 year old seats for 5 years now. I guess the biggest reason for me keeping the seats (other than my budget), is that the seats were born with this car. They are far from perfect, but are in much better shape than most after that long. That said, I had been thinking of updating my seats recently and sent a message to my buddy Don. He has a 1967 Camaro that he pulled these out of in favor of some dedicated racing seats since his car is more oriented towards Auto X. He gave me a deal on the seats, first gen brackets and a matching rear seat cover. He lives a little over 2 hours from me, but he was going to be at an AutoX event this past weekend and said he'd bring them along. I was considering going to the event anyway, so it was a great opportunity to take the car out and the weather was a beautiful upstate, NY fall day. Changing leaves and all. Unfortunately I didn't grab any pictures...

Anyway, drove up to the event and swapped the seats right in the parking lot haha. My brother-in-law rode up with me and we had them swapped out in about 20 mins. Got to watch Don and the others race a few times and then hit the road back home. Next year I'll get my car out to an event. It took me most of the summer to dial in the car, but it will be ready for next year. Here's the car loaded up with the new seats installed and the old seats in the back. Driver's seat fit in the trunk and the passenger had to go behind my seat.



We had a great ride home, but after I filled up I smelled some raw gas. I didn't think much of it because I had done a few hard accelerations and figured it was coming out of the filler neck or something. But then we got about 20 mins from home and it got interesting. Was cruising along, then all of a sudden my wideband started flashing yellow/red on my 3.5" screen and it died. Tried cranking it over and nothing. Fuel pressure is only reading about 15 psi?? I got the car pulled over to the side of the road then after a little troubleshooting, I tried it again and it went right back to 43psi where I have it tuned for. That was strange??

Ran fine, but I went easy on it. Then after I dropped off my BOL, I was about a mile from the house and it got bad. It would only build about 10-25 psi, and wouldn't stay consistent. I was thankfully able to limp the car home. I haven't had time to diagnose the issue, but I'm leaning towards bad fuel pumps or possibly a cracked fuel fitting on the assembly which is very common on the CTS-V pumps. I'm not happy about the fueling issue, but I will say that without the Terminator X system I would have had to get a tow truck. What is simply amazing about this system is because of the learning features, it added 50% fuel across my fuel tables which enabled the car to run enough to get me home. I was already thrilled with the ECU/software already, but for me this was just amazing. I can only imagine the many other situations where this system could save engines by it's learning capabilities.

After I got home, I unloaded the car and then grabbed some pictures of the seats. I'm in love with them, and they look right at home. Love the bolstering and how much more connected I feel to the car. You feel so much more planted and even the clutch engagement feels more solid now. Very pleased! Thanks Don.



I need to do a little tweaking on the seats because they seem to be interfering with my seat belt retractor. I had to pop off the little covers so that I could get them to fit and slide without hitting. I'll address that soon.





The other big win is that the seats allow me to have more leg room, while keeping my son's seat at the same location! I think that if I could find a different car seat for him, we would both be much more comfortable.



I need to dig into the issue with the fuel pump because I'd really like to do so cruising this fall. I hooked up the heater in the car this spring so that I could drive it later into the fall! I'm hoping it is a simple fix, but we will have to see.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #407 ·
It's been a little bit since my last update. I haven't been able to drive the car because of the fuel issue. After further investigation, I determined that unfortunately the fuel pump outlet has some micro-cracks and is weeping fuel. So that explains why I was losing pressure and got a slight gas smell after I drove the car and parked it in the garage.

It was really hard to capture in a picture, but there are a few hairline cracks on the top. The real issue I found later on though.



Rather than buying a whole new fuel pump assembly for $1k+, I opted to buy an ALM Performance replacement hat that is machined from billet aluminum and comes with a full flow -6AN fitting. It was a little pricey, but much cheaper than buying a whole new pump. It's a shame that it will be hidden under the car too. I'll have to open up my hatch from time to time and look at it.





Speaking of the fuel pump hatch, I'm SOO glad that I installed that hatch now. It was incredibly easy to remove the fuel pump. A few wiring connections, the fuel line, locking ring and it popped right out. Took me less than 3 minutes.



In order to remove the hat, you have to pop out these little c-clips. I made a little hook on the end of a piece of mechanics wire to grab and pop them off.



Pulled it all apart and cut the stock hose off.







Then to get to the other side of the hose, I had to pull apart the assembly. Started with a few little clips that retain the pumps to the bucket.



Popped off this hose.



Had to carefully pull up on this piece. There's an o-ring that seals it together tightly, so it took a little effort to pop off.



Then here's where I found the real issue with my fuel pressure. When I removed the fuel pumps, I found this junk in the bottom of the fuel bucket! Looks like a rubber band and some cardboard remnants! Upon further investigation, there was a piece even wedged in the pump inlet at the bottom of the fuel bucket!





To top that off, the fuel pump sock was disgusting. There were little bits of that cardboard among other junk. It was a used pump and I could blame the guy I bought it from, but he gave me a great price on it because it was in unknown condition. It's on me for not inspecting it more closely. There is also the possibility that the cardboard could have fallen into my tank at some point. regardless, I'm glad I found this out now before I grenaded my motor.



Huge shout out to Carl with Vaporworx! I had mentioned to him the issues with fueling that I was having and he offered to test out my module at no charge. It fit in my timeframe and he turned it around within 24 hours. It was back to me within a week, so I'm very grateful for that. Then to top it off, when I found this fuel sock I wasn't able to find a replacement. He had one in stock and got it shipped to me right away! I had it in a few days and it got me back together. If you need anything fuel related, go to Carl!



 

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Discussion Starter · #408 ·
After I replaced the fuel sock with the new one, I moved on to installing the new fuel hose provided with the kit. I carefully sliced the old hose with a fresh razor blade and it split right open.





Clamp down the hose tightly. I happen to have a pair of the crimpers that are made for these style clamps. (I'll edit this in the future, but I'm having a fuel pressure drop at WOT that I think is from not clamping this hard enough. Will update when I find a solution)



Then I moved on to installing the new hat. It is installed in the reverse of how it was disassembled. I had to pop in those little c-clips into the guide rod, put the pump assembly back into the fuel bucket and the springs into the pocket of the bucket.





There are also a few wiring components that need to be de-pinned and put into new connectors. They are all provided with the kit.



One thing I didn't like was that this connector is bulkier and to get full compression needs to sit outside the bucket. It's not a "problem" since you can remove and install it like this, but worth noting.



Now I have a complete assembly again with much better fuel fittings. The full flow fittings should allow the pumps to flow fuel more easily so in theory should be easier on the pumps and potentially more at full duty cycle. I also measured the new outlet just for fun and it is substantially larger. By my calculations it's roughly 37% larger ID.







Next up was reinstalling the pump. I grabbed a cheap pump ring installation tool on Amazon and this is well worth the money. I popped it on and it clicked right into the slot easily with my breaker bar.



The last thing that needed to be done was swapping over the connect for the pumps. Because the mating connector for the fuel pump side isn't made, it is necessary to de-pin and reassemble using the new connector.



Good news is I was able to get in the car and after a few cycles of the fuel pump I had full pressure again. Fired up the car and had full fuel pressure! Took the car out for a spin and it performed flawlessly. What better way to break in a new fuel pump than a 2nd gear rolling burnout?

I didn't get any pictures but last night I finally got around to wiring up the manifold referenced signals to the PressureWorx module. I'm hoping to get out tonight and test it out. Should provide more fuel pressure as the boost increases. Should ensure I have no fueling issues up top. I got lazy. I ran the wires front to rear, but never took the time to hook them up. I also extended the wires for my flex fuel connector, connected it and ran it into the car. Now let's see how long it takes me to actually hook it up haha. The closest e85 station to me is about 45 mins so I'm not in a huge rush to finish the install.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #409 ·
Oh and for those who are interested. Here is a picture of my fuel learn table after I drove home with the low fuel pressure. It added fuel where I was trying to keep the car running. This is an important thing to remember when you have the EFI systems that have learning capabilities. I made sure to reset the table and reflashed it back to my ECU, because if not it would be adding all that fuel and be wayyy rich. It would have probably fouled plugs and generally been bad for the motor. Similar issues happen to guys when the wideband O2 fails. When you install the new part you have to remember to reset the fuel learn tables.

 

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Discussion Starter · #410 ·
Ok, well I've been through a bit of a rollercoaster since my last update. As I was tuning my car before my dyno session for some power pulls, I realized that I was running out of fuel in full boost. It was very discouraging, because I was really looking forward to getting the car on the dyno... Being that I'm in NY, we have very little time before we get a snowstorm and the towns all spread salt on the roads. But after bouncing some ideas off some trusted car colleagues (thanks Andrew), I was able to determine that it's very likely that my one or both of my stock fuel pumps are failing or weak. They are just not able to keep up with my fuel demands in boost and rpms. I took a data log and you can see here in the blue is my fuel pressure and the yellow is the ECU trying to add back fuel. Fuel pressure gets down to around 22psi in full boost, but with the fuel module it ramps up the fuel pressure 1:1 with boost. So, I've definitely got a problem...

One thing that may not be clear from this graph though is Holley saved my engine. If I was running a stock ECU that didn't have the ability to add that much fuel up top in boost, I would likely be shopping for a new short block.



The solution was to contact Carl at Vaporworx and order a pair of upgraded fuel pumps from AEM. He recommended a pair of AEM 320 lph @ 43psi pumps which are a direct swap for the stock 190 lph CTS-V fuel pumps. This should provide me plenty of fuel all the way up to 60+ psi and even have enough flow if/when I run e85. Carl was able to expedite them to me and I was able to swap them out last night.



I'm getting pretty good at this by now... here's how the stock pumps attach inside the bucket.





Pop off the white retaining clip, and the fuel pumps pull right out.





Here you can see the fuel pumps are an exact direct fit for the stockers. Wiring harness and all.





One thing that does need to be swapped over is the little white spacers from the stock pumps. They go on first and I used one of the new o-rings that came with the kit.



Then they just slide right in. The fuel socks are separate, but they all fit inside the bucket nicely. Then it was all back together and ready to go. SOOO glad that I added that fuel door in the trunk. I would have gotten sick of pulling that tank by now...





Then it was time for the moment of truth. Was that really the issue??? I went out to do a little testing and tuning and found out that was exactly my problem! I took the car out for about an hour during my lunchbreak and honed in my in boost fuel VE table. It was way out of wack, but I was able to get a few data points and get it looking wayyy better.

Here I am out mingling and trying to fit in...



I played around with my fueling once I grabbed lunch, then took a log on the way home. Bingo, that's what I wanted to see! Rising fuel pressure along with the boost. Blue is fuel pressure, yellow is CL compensation, and I added green for boost. Fuel pressure stays constant, then rises with boost. Fuel trims still need work as you can see. Too rich as it's pulling 25% fuel, but I'd rather be too rich than too lean up top. Looks like for this run I topped out at just shy of 11psi.



I also got this cool shot when I brought my car to work last week.



I re-scheduled my Dyno appointment for Monday so wish me luck. I think I'm ready now. It's definitely running as strong as ever now.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #411 ·
In preparation for the dyno appointment on Monday, I was checking over the car for anything that could be an issue. Then I noticed one last thing... My rear end slid forward on the driver's side again! So this is definitely an issue and since I had already bought all the parts to fix it, I pulled it all apart. As soon as I got the shock plate off, it was clear that the bolt was sheared off.



Quick fix with the new grade 8 hardware.





Went back together and was centered back in the wheel well just like before. Not sure why it broke, but now it should stay in place.

Now the car was as ready as it was going to be and I headed out to the dyno. I made a couple pulls on the highway and still had rock solid fuel pressure! That bad pump really messed up my VE tables, but I was tweaking on it every time that I drove it since I swapped fuel pumps. I got it dialed in to where I was +/-5% in closed loop and still was after I opened her up. I had prepared 3 different tunes loaded on the handheld for the car. Dyno 1 tune was the same one I've been running all summer. Second and third each had the same tune, other than progressively adding timing in the WOT areas.

I arrived at the Overdrive Automotive and we got right to work. I had my dyno 1 tune in the car, we got the car up on the dyno and he got the car rolling in 4th gear and hit it. You could hear the car load up at first, but then quickly hit the rev limiter. Spun on the dyno! They sprayed some sticky aerosol and tightened the straps a few more clicks. Next run we were able to get a clean pull although he said it was still spinning a little bit around 3500 rpms. 596 HP and 497 TQ! In my head I really wanted to hit 600 rwhp, so the fact that we were this close right out of the gate, I knew that we could do it. He did make a few adjustments on the next few pulls to the timing tables between 60-100 kpa which he said was mostly for drivability and we bumped the rev limiter from 6500 to 6950 on my dyno 1 tune rather than loading dyno 2 or 3.



Here's the video! I love the way it sounds.


We continued to have traction issues, and he added some solution from VP that really helped with traction for drag racing applications. That was the ticket and we ended up with final numbers of 633 HP and 619 TQ! I couldn't be happier with the results and how it all came together. What's amazing to me is that the tune is still on the more conservative side with my timing. He said that if we wanted to we could keep adding power because with a change of .5* of timing we gained around 7 HP on the last pull. He guessed we could probably add another 2-3 degrees. But I'm more than happy with this power level right now. I can always get a full on dyno tune, run full length headers, pulley changes for more boost and even add e85 to my tune up down the road for more power.





What I've learned from this whole experience is number one... I need more traction! Number 2 is that your tune is everything. Holley makes their software really easy to use and make good power, but it isn't self tuning by any means. You either need to read up and do a lot of homework like I did, or leave it to someone who really knows what they are doing. Even with all of the homework that I did, there is no replacement for an experienced tuner. Tom at Overdrive made a few changes to my car on the fly and it made a big difference as far as the drivability after the dyno. I've learned a lot just watching him and can't wait to continue tweaking the tune. He mentioned adding a 2 step to a clutch pedal, that I may give a try for next year.

I've still got some nice weather in the forecast so I'm looking forward to getting the most out of this year and get some more miles on her.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #416 ·
Thanks guys, I appreciate it! I really thrashed this last winter getting the new driveline together and worked on the car a good part of the late spring and early summer getting all of the kinks worked out. I do want to work on the car this winter, but I'm not sure to that extent again haha. I'm considering a pair of mini-tubs and frame connectors, but I'll be sticking with the rear leaf's for now. I'll be keeping an eye out for a shock relocation kit, or possibly making my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #417 ·
I haven't done anything with the car since the snow started flying here in NY. I've been planning out some smaller projects for this winter and found a few good deals on Black Friday.

I'll start by saying a big thank you to EBC brakes! I entered a raffle on Camaros.net, and they picked me for a free set of front brake pads! They let me pick what I wanted so I went with the Red Stuff pads for my C6 Z51 brakes. Should make a difference with stopping power and they are supposed to have almost zero brake dust.





This year I'm not planning on doing any big projects like last year; full engine rebuild, engine swap, trans rebuild, supercharger swap to name a few...

One thing that did bother me last year was that my rear gears are too short now with the supercharger. After a lot of thought and calculations, I decided that I need a 3.42 rear gear instead of the 4.11's I'm running now. I need to get something taller, but unfortunately for me I opted for a 4 series carrier rather than the 3 series when I first built the rear diff. So that means that along with gears I also needed to buy a new carrier. I've only used a posi unit with clutches, but decided that this time I'd like to try a gear type carrier. While searching around for my options I found that for a few dollars more I could get an carrier with 33 splines. So what started as a gear swap, turned into a full upgrade. I bought a 33 spline Eaton TrueTrac, Richmond 3.42 gears, Timken master rebuild kit and a pair of Yukon direct replacement 33 spline axles.







When I built my rear differential originally, I really wanted a TA cover but opted for the stock one due to my lack of budget. Since I was going to have the cover off anyway, I decided now was the time.



The gear swap should only take a few weekends to finish, and I'll have to take my break in period in the spring.

They haven't shipped yet, but I also picked up a set of DSE frame connectors for a really good price on Monday. That will be a much more involved project, but looks pretty straightforward. I'm going to take my time to ensure that my fitment is spot on. I've decided that I'm going to stick with my stock wheel tubs and figure out how to get it to hook. It may involve a set of 15" wheels and sticky tires.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #418 ·
As I do most nights, I was checking out FB marketplace to see if anything interesting was posted for sale. I found a guy who has posted up a pair of 18x9 Rocket Attack wheels with Falken 660 tires with about 1k miles on them. He was asking a really good price, but more than I wanted to spend. On a whim, I asked if he would be interested in my 12 bolt axles, carrier and gears. To my surprise he said yes, and after a little back and forth we traded on Saturday. The problem was everything was still installed in my car, so I had to rip it all out on Friday night.

I was able to pull it all out in about 1.5 hours, so I was pretty happy about that. No real drama.



Before I did the swap, I wanted to check a few things because when I was looking up the pros/cons of upgrading to a 33 spline axle in a 12 bolt one thing that came up was the weight of the axles. The guys were saying that the added weight in rotational mass may not be worth the added strength since the 30 splines are really strong anyway. What was great is I happen to have one stock 30 spline axle, one aftermarket 30 spline axle, and 2 aftermarket 33 spline axles. So I thought why not throw them on the sale and measure the diameter of the shafts.

First up was the stock axle shaft. Weighed in at 14.2 lbs, and 1.26" in diameter the majority of the length of the shaft. It was hard to measure since it varied.



Next was the aftermarket 30 spline axle. Weighed in at 14.8 lbs, and had a diameter of 1.32" until it gets close to the splined section where it necked down to 1.26"





And lastly it was my new aftermarket 33 spline axles. Weighed in at 14.8 lbs. (although this didn't include the studs), and had the same 1.32" diameter the entire length of the shaft right to the splines. I'd guess that the studs will only add maybe another .2 lbs. so still very close to what an aftermarket 30 spline weighs.





So the conclusion that I'm going to draw is that if you are upgrading to an aftermarket axle shaft, there is a minimal weight difference between the 30-33 spline axles. I received my studs and some brake line plugs on Sunday so hopefully I can pull the diff so that I can install the new gears up on my work bench rather than on my back.



Oh, you guys probably want to see some pictures of the wheels.





I really love the wheels, but I'm still unsure if they will actually work on the front unfortunately. They are 18x9 with a 4.5" backspacing and have a 255/35 front tire. I would feel much better with a 5" backspacing, but time will tell if they will work.









I'd love some input from anyone who's run a similar wheel and/or tire size. Rolling the fender lip is out of the question, but I may consider notching the inner fender if necessary. I actually have fiberglass inner fenders so this wouldn't be too bad to modify. If I can get them to work, I'll sell my BMW wheels and then pick up a matching set for the rear in 18x11 with a pair of Falken 660's in 315 flavor! Fingers crossed.

I'd also possibly be open to any creative options that I could do for relatively cheap to effectively increase my backspacing. Only thing I can think of is possibly running a different hub that could tuck the wheel in further, but that also creates other issues.

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #419 ·
Pretty excited about this next update. I orders some frame connectors and mini-tubs from Detroit Speed. Thanks to MCB for being so easy to work with and having the best prices around. They said the wait for the 67-69 mini-tub kit was 3-4 weeks, but it showed up in 1 week the same day they said the frame connectors were to arrive. Thanks Kim and Melissa.







I've also pulled the rear differential to get it prepped for the re-gear. It kinda feels like I'm going in the opposite direction, but it is progress. The new gears should make a big difference toward putting the power to the ground and the frequency that I was shifting. In case you missed it in an earlier post, I'm swapping out the 4.10 gears for 3.42 gears. When I originally ordered my Yukon Duragrip carrier, I went with a 4 series rather than the 3 series. So dropping down to a 3.42 gear meant that I needed a new carrier... Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose. I went back and forth between buying a 3 or 4 series a few years ago. But since I needed a new carrier anyway I decided to go with an Eaton TrueTrac and after looking around it was only a few dollars more to upgrade to 33 spline axles. When I originally put my differential together it had one stock axle and one aftermarket. I was planning on getting a new axle at some point anyway so this was an opportunity to get two new stronger axles at the same time. Differential kit with gears came from Quick performance and the axles were from Ron's Machine Shop. Best prices on the internet for both if you are in the market.





I should have the differential together soon. I got the new Koyo bearings pressed on the carrier and pinion gear. Jim, I'll try and do a sort of step by step for you if I can.

Cheers,
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #420 ·
Jason, Thank you for the compliments, but sometimes I think I have a problem haha.

I was able to make some time here and there over the holiday break between visiting family to get the rear end set up. I'll do my best to do a quick write-up to hopefully give confidence to others to attempt. Really isn't that difficult with the rights parts and tools.

I started by completely disassembling the differential and took it down to the carwash to get power washed. First step is getting the new bearings pressed onto the pinion gear and carrier. The gear kit that I bought came with brand new Koyo bearings with the master install kit.

Before you can install the bearing on the pinion gear, you first need to add a shim. Best advice I've gotten was to start with the stock shim that came out of the differential. My stock shim was .0315, but if you don't have that shim my instructions that came with my kit said a stock 12 bolt shim is .030. So that would be a good starting point. I found two shims that came to .031 and used that as a starting point.





I installed new bearings and races about 3500 miles ago, but if you are doing a complete rebuild, I would suggest knocking out the races and installing new at this point. Next I took my new pinion gear and installed it in the rear end without a crush sleeve. It's important at this step that you just snug the pinion down until there is no play in the bearings. Since there is no washer it would be very easy to get the bearings too tight and ruin them at this stage. Just get the pinion nut tight enough that the play front to back is gone and maybe a touch more to give it a bit of preload. But it doesn't take much. Spin it around to make sure there is no binding. It's also a good idea to put some gear oil on the bearings since they are brand new.



I bought this handy tool to hold the yoke while I tightened the nut and it worked beautifully. I think it was from Ratech, but I can't remember. I used this for both tightening and loosening the pinion nut.

Next up was installing the ring gear onto the carrier. I used a file on both the ring gear and carrier to make sure that the surface was completely clean and flat before installing the gear. I did actually find a little nick in the carrier surface that needed to be filed down. Would have definitely caused it to run out of true. This is an important step and is also in most instructions. The gear fought me a little getting lined up but just take your time and use a little heat. I used a small torch and lightly heated up the ring gear then made sure to get one bolt lined up and tapped it into place with a deadblow hammer. I know it's not recommended, but once I got a few of the bolts started I used them to pull the gear up flush. I only turned the bolts maybe a 1/4 turn at a time and went very slow to walk it up flush. Then I pulled all the bolts, added Loctite and torqued.





I had planned on using my old shims, but realized that at some point the old shim pack had wiggled out of place and was contacting the axle. Not good, but glad I caught it when I did. I mention this because although my rear was making no noises, I think that I didn't have enough preload on my carrier bearings. Either that or the bearings weren't quite pressed on all the way. I was able to pull the carrier out of the rear without prying on it upon disassembly. I think what happened was a kept the shims loose enough that I could pull it in and out for the next step, but never added the shims back in to give pre-load. Gotta post the good with the bad.



Next was to get the carrier installed in the rear to see what adjustments need to be made. What I did was kept the old shims labeled from when I disassembled earlier on. I measured those shims and use that measurement as a starting point. What's nice about these new shim packs is that they use a capture style setup, so they become almost one piece once installed.



When I used the measurements from the last go around, I found that I needed to add several shims to get the tight preload needed for the carrier bearings. I wasn't taking any chances this time and decided to get them tight from the start even if it's more challenging to get in and out. Initially I was pretty close and had a backlash of .016, but we are shooting for between .007-.009 since my gears and bearings are new.



The instructions said that you need to move in increments of .003 to notice a difference, so I kept moving .005 since that was the smallest shim I had in those packs. I kept fighting with the shims because when I would swap the .005 from side to side, it would either be .006 or .011. So I measured all of my shims and played around with it and got it to .010. I decided that it was good enough. So I painted the gears with the yellow paint to see where my pattern was. The instructions I had gave a ton of scenarios for what was acceptable and mine look good according to the pictures. pattern is mostly centered top bottom and left right on the gear faces.





Then I blew everything apart to prep for final assembly. I pulled off the yoke applied silicone to the splines and both sides of the washer. This time I installed my old crush sleeve and put it all back together with Loctite on the pinion nut. If you are using a new crush sleeve you have to get ready to crush it. It takes something like 400 lb ft to get it to crush so make sure you eat your Wheaties. I re-used my crush sleeve since it was new and still had tons of tension. As a matter of fact it had so much that I had to crush it more to get the 14-19 in lb rotational torque. I used that yoke holder and added a bar for more leverage. I don't have a dial style torque wrench for in lb, but have a bar style and click type. I used both of those to check one another and I feel confident my settings are good.

After I got the pinion nut torqued I reinstalled the carrier with the shim packs and tapped it all back into place. Torqued the carrier caps and I got lucky or something because when I rechecked the backlash, I was right on .009! I'd rather have mine on the loose side anyway than too tight.





Then with it all torqued down, I test fit my TA cover. Looks really good now! I've always wanted one of those covers and so glad I went for it this time around.





It's not quite done yet because I still need to paint the raw steel ends of my axles then install with the c-clips and center plug. Once that's done though I can button it all back up and put it back in the car. I first need to find someone to help me get it off my work bench. It's way heavier now that it's fully loaded!

I also want to say that the car community is so great. Thanks to a fellow member of Camaros.net who sent me some parts he won't be using. Thanks Frank!! It's a set of 67 spring perches for running my springs inboard. These should work perfectly for me.



I also need to re-clock my brake line tabs since they were hitting the exhaust. I didn't realize that, so I will just move them down more in line with the stock brake line tabs. Then I can get the rear back under the car and start on the frame connectors.

Cheers,
Ryan
 
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