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Old 08-03-2017, 08:54 PM
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Default Project Hoopty update

Finally making progress again after last years broken valve fiasco.

A Buick GN 8.5" 10 bolt rear end with a posi and 3.42 gears is waiting to be slid under the car to replace the wheezer 7.5" rear with its geriatric 2.41 ratio.

I ordered the required driveshaft from Strange Monday--supposed to be here in ~2 weeks.

"Strangely" enough (pun intended), Strange was at a loss re: the rear universal joint which is required to mate up to the GN rear end. The OE GM pinion requires an oddball "1344" series joint, but everything they build is 1350 series. They had no clue as to the required rear universal joint, so I had to have them build the new shaft with a regular 1350 joint which I'll remove and replace with a MOOG #447 combination 1350/1344 rear universal joint to mate up with the OEM pinion yoke.

I just got this lil' goodie installed today (2nd pic):

Let the games begin.
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:02 PM
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Just got back from one of my "undisclosed" test locations.

Just a quick 0-30 and 0-60 test to get some idea of where things are at now.

Strictly "stab & steer" from an idle--noted a substantial traction problem (about 75' worth lol) through 1st gear. Let the trans up-shift on its own (roughly 5200 rpm).

Not bad for the first hit. I should be able to knock close to a full second off that 0-30 time with traction, which should knock ~1.1-1.2 off the 0-60.

Surprised how hard this heap pulls with that lousy 2.41 screw in the back.

That 3.42 8.5" should really wake things up.
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:05 PM
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The 1st GN rear I ever found was in a Malibu Wagon in Lou's Junkyard in Willow Grove! The painless wiring decal on the back window was my clue to look closely.

That 3.42 gear will really make the Hoopty respond to all the stuff you've done for a strong foundation. Can't wait to hear about your impressions after the rear-end update!
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:47 AM
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Test hit #2 (lol):

Granny-footed it off the line, still spun quite a bit but hooked about 1/2 way through 1st, then I let her eat.

2.6 and 6.0--the pics are a little blurry.

Just got email confirmation that the Strange driveshaft for the 8.5 will be here tomorrow.

Man, this thing takes me back to my youth. Compared to the Chevelle it's obviously a turd, but it's still fun!
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:23 AM
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Nice piece of gear Eric. Results are improving!!!
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:01 AM
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After several unsuccessful attempts to establish some baseline numbers, I finally have a little useful data.

As usual...zero traction through 1st--half-throttle until it quit spinning, then hit it. (It did spin quite a bit worse than usual this time)

With ANY sort of traction through 1st, this is a mid to low 14 second car all day long just the way it sits--considering that pathetic 2.41 screw in the back, I'm more than happy with it at this point. (It completed the run at just over 4400 rpm in 2nd gear lol)

It's FINALLY time to get that 3.42 8.5 under the car!
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:35 AM
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Keep at it Eric. Looking good.

This made me laugh: 4400 rpm in 2nd gear.

Think a new rear screw might help?
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:52 AM
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This car is an absolute riot to drive lol.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:46 AM
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8.5 rear end is in, 7.5 rear end is out...along with my back.

Ow.

Thank God for good friends who volunteer the use of their lift.

Ow.

More details tomorrow...if I survive the night.

Ow.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:40 PM
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The swap was relatively uneventful, but that's not to say it was a cake walk either--there were a couple of obstacles.

The first snag showed up when I opened the Moog universal joint box. I opened the small parts packet only to find that there was a clip missing. The packet contained both outside and inside clips--note that the inside clips come in two thicknesses, and mine was missing one of the thin clips. Instantly that little voice in my head piped up...and as usual, it was right.

Guess which one I needed?

My pal Jeff Roberts came to the rescue--not only volunteering the use of his lift for the swap, but he also brainstormed a solution to machine one of the thick clips down to the same thickness of the thin one. His solution was definitely "thinking outside the box" (which describes him to a "T"), but within a few minutes the clip was within a few thousandths of spec.

I don't want to go into how long it's been since I've messed with drum brakes, but suffice it to say they were the most challenging task of this job--specifically removing the emergency brake cable levers from the spring end of the cable so the cables could be pulled from the backing plates, and moreso getting the damned levers back ON--definitely easier with an extra pair of hands.

Aside from that, it was pretty much a bolt-in deal. The only other significant snag I ran into was when I tried to swap out the speedometer gear. The driven gear I had was "supposed to" work with the drive gear in the trans, but no matter how I held my lip, the spud would not go back in place with the new gear. So, it's off to the transmission shop to let a pro fart with it.

The Strange driveshaft fit perfectly.

The drive back home was uneventful--I wanted to take it easy on it for a bit just to make sure everything's happy before I start pounding on it. The car does drive MUCH nicer now, accelerating easily from a stop instead of riding the converter as before. It buzzes about 2200 rpm @ 55 now where it used to loaf along at ~1800 (couldn't really get an accurate # due to the converter slipping so much below 2000).

I need to adjust the back brakes up a tad, will get that done in the next day or two, weather (and my back) permitting.

Then it's time for some new numbers.
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Last edited by VintageMusclecar; 09-18-2017 at 05:53 PM.
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