The GTM Supercar Build Log

Archive for April, 2009

First Start Attempt and Troubleshooting

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Thursday night I tried the first start on the motor. The first time I turned the key to ON nothing happend. The fuel pump SHOULD come on and prime itself for three seconds. The gas pedal should also work. After some troubleshooting I realized the FFR manual on how to wire the ignition is WRONG. The pink ignition wire needs to be grouped with the orange wire on the ignition lead. FFR has you group it with the purple starter wire on the starter lead. With that change the fuel pump now primes itself when the key is turned to ON. 

With that out of the way, I tried to crank the engine. The engine cranks, it turns over briefly, then backfires/pops, shoots flames, and dies. Timing sounds like it is off somehow. The gas pedal also still does not work.

Friday and Saturday I did as much troubleshooting as I could without a GM scan tool. What I see so far is that the APP #1 sensor on the gas pedal isn’t getting a 5v signal from the Throttle Actuator Control Module (TAC). The other two APP sensors are, so I am thinking I will need to have FParts send me a new TAC. That would explain the total lack of throttle control. The throttle does flutter when the key is turned to ON, so I know it is getting communication from the TAC, and I verified the throttle body sensors are working. With that problem ‘maybe’ figured out I moved on to trying to find the timing/firing order issue. Since the spark plugs cannot be plugged in the wrong order the fuel injectors and ignition coils needed to be looked at. Unfortunately they are all 100% correct. Continuity between the PCM and ignition coils was tested as well to ensure I did not have a bad engine harness. All grounds were verified, also.

Right now I am stuck until the GM scan tool (friend is coming with one Sunday) shows some codes and hopefully leads me in the right direction. At least at this point I know my fuel system works (verified that fuel was being pumped into the driver-side tank, fuel pump primes, engine gets fuel, etc), there is spark (hence the flames), the starter works, and the other wiring I could test all works (headlights, wipers, foglights, etc).

Fuel Filter connected to rail, Transmission Cooler and Pump Install Completed, Fluids Filled, Fuel Gauge Tested, Clutch Bled

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

The other night the fuel filter output was finally connected to the fuel rail, and the transmission cooler was installed. With the cooler in place the AN lines were made and connected. I am using an inline oil temperature sensor that will activate the oil pump when the oil reaches 180 degrees. This connects to the cooler inlet and wires to the oil pump (wiring needs to be done yet). 

With the transmission and fuel lines completed the transmission was filled with Swepco 210 gear oil, the fuel system got 5 gallons of gas, and some coolant was added. When the engine runs the coolant fill procedure will be followed.

With some fuel in the tank I wanted to test out the fuel gauge. The gauge takes a switched 12v, ground, and the fuel sender wire in the painless harness. The first time I hooked it up it pegged at way past full, which was obviously not the case. After some research I realized I did not have to wire the fuel harness sensor ground to the PCM, so I cut the wire and ground it to the chassis and the fuel gauge worked. It reads at around 1/8th tank with 5 gallons, so it is reading low, but that is better than reading high!

I also replaced the oil-fill cap with a screw in K&N breather, and finished bleeding the clutch slave. To finish the clutch slave bleed the slave had to be removed from the transmission and held high with the bleeder at the highest point. This got the rest of the air out of the system and the clutch is extremely firm now. The pedal only needs to travel half its full range-of-motion to engage the clutch.

Engine Oil and Starter Harness

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Tonight I filled the engine with oil and loomed up the starter harness and got it away from the headers/exhaust. I also watched a few episodes of Family Guy while waiting for the oil to empty.

Clutch and Brakes Bled, Oil Pump Lines, Oil Cooler Bracket Fab, Steering Wheel, Underbody Panels, Misc Wiring

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Things are starting to fall into place. The AN lines were ran for the oil pump and cooler. Once the final bracket is fabbed up to mount the cooler I will mount it and connect it all up, assuming the last piece arrives. I am still waiting on the inline oil filter for the pump. The inline oil temp switch arrived today so that the oil pump will only turn on when the oil temp is at 180-degrees. I am also wiring a sensor that will trigger an in-dash LED in-case the pump fails, so I had to run that wire from front to rear.

The clutch and brakes are bled – mostly. The brakes are done, but the clutch will not fully bleed. Some further research on the forum afterwards shows that I will have to remove the slave to bleed it fully, then reinstall it.

An engine ground strap was installed, connecting the engine block to the frame, and more work was done in moving wiring away from the headers. The steering wheel was installed, and the fuel tank underbody panels were riveted in place, also.

The first start is coming soon.

Cable Shift Completed, Passenger Fuel Tank Installed, Most Passenger Tunnel Aluminum Installed, Engine Harness Cleanup

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Finally got the cable shift working. Some extra fine-tuning and adjustments had to be made within the cable shift box to shorten the shifter cable, but things work great now. Nice short, crisp shifts.

After doing the cable shift I moved onto the passenger fuel tank installation. Before I could put the fuel tank in I had to rivet the second rear aluminum panel into place. With that out of the way I slid/forced the tank into place and connected up all the lines. The vapor exit tube was linked to the previously installed filter on the driver side fuel tank. All that remains to complete the fuel system is to connect the fuel filter output port to the fuel rail.

Finally, I cleaned up the engine harness some more by looming the starter wires, and moving any wires that stray too close to the headers.

High-temp Wire Loom, Starter Wires Extended, Tunnel Aluminum, Oil Cooler Mounts

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The high-temp wire loom I ordered from Cable Organizer arrived so I was able to loom up the wiring that runs closest to the headers. This stuff is capable of withstanding 1000+ degrees within an inch for hours.

With the loom in place I installed the rear tunnel aluminum that needs to go in before the passenger fuel tank. I made this panel removable with 8-32 thread-cutting screws. I put some double sided adhesive tape on the back of the panel to act as a ‘buffer’ between the panel and frame.

The starter wires were extended and connected.

Finally, the brackets for the mounting the oil cooler are in the works. Josh and I made some rough brackets to get it mounted, and now Josh will make the brackets nicer for proper installation.

Oil Pump Mounted, AC Belt, Sound Dampening, Cable Shift Attachment Fail #2, Wiring Organization, Fuel Tank Cover Rivnuts

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Over last night and tonight I painted and then mounted the oil pump mount Josh made, and then mounted the pump to it. Turned out very nice.

Last night I installed the lower rivnuts that the fuel tank covers use. During this process I realized why I have had so much trouble with tightening these things – the rivnuts Factory Five provides are too large! Their ‘clamp width’ is 0.25″, when it needs to be 0.027″ to 0.165″. The Marson rivnut tool came with a packet of these and they work MUCH better.

The new AC belt came today. I had previously picked up a LS2 belt (since I have a LS2 motor), but it was too short. Since I am using a LS1 compressor I decided to try the LS1/6 belt – success!

I also added sound dampening to the tunnel underbody aluminum, as well as the footbox cover piece.

The new shifter cable attachment that connects the shift cables to the transmission shift rod came today to replace the wrong one I received with the kit. This shifter attachment is also wrong, awesome! I don’t think this is Carquip’s fault, but Brandwood’s (the maker of the cable shift system). Regardless, this is very annoying. The latest attachment only lets me install the cables so I can shift 1-2, nothing else. At this point I might just modify the first one I received, as that one should work – it just needs a new hole drilled into it.

Lastly, I connected the footbox wiring to the frame with some of the padded hose clamps (just flattened them in a vise and then drilled them into the frame to support the wires. I also loomed the windshield wiper harness and attached the wiper harness to the frame.

Carpeting, Suede, Footbox Aluminum, Clutch Pedal Reinstall

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Tonight was productive. I started out by installing the front footbox aluminum panel into place. Afterwards I moved on to tackling the thing I probably have been dreading more than anything this entire build – the driver’s side suede installation. I wanted to do the suede now so I could then in-turn install the footbox carpeting, which would then allow me to install the clutch pedal (otherwise it would just get in the way of the carpet install).

The suede is just one big piece and it is a pain to work with. My main advice is to just be patient with the process. I had to place, lineup, mark, remove, and cut frequently before I was satisfied with how the suede fit. Once I had it taped in place and cut to allow the fabric to be pushed flat without bubbling or wrinkling I got to work. I started gluing in the footbox, working from the floor up, and then outwards down the tunnel. The driver’s side is a pain due to the concave aluminum panels, so I glued the concave portion first then smoothed outwards towards the top and bottom, avoiding any wrinkling and extending my cut lines as necessary. Once everything was glued I trimmed the excess at the top and glued it to the frame.

With the suede in place I them moved on to the footbox carpeting. This was a pain due to the pedals being in the way, and having to fit, mark, and cut constantly, but patience prevailed. After the carpeting was done I reinstalled the clutch pedal. As you can see, the modified pedal allows for more foot space and freedom between the pedals.

After doing all this I realized I forgot to open up the duct outlet for the heater/ac. I slit the fabric above the vent and trimmed it a bit, then rolled it back down the edges of the Dynaliner to the mesh so it looks nice and clean.

Oil Fill Neck, Carpeting, VSS and Starter Wiring

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Tonight I installed the oil fill neck and cap since the engine’s valve cover did not have one. I then moved the engine harness back to a higher position on the engine so that it does not come close to the headers. As a result, I have to lengthen the starter wires. The only remaining wire to lengthen now is the thick 6 gauge wire.

Afterwards I connected the VSS’s two wires. The only major thing remaining in the back of the car to wire up is the oil pump.

Before I reinstall the clutch pedal I want to get the carpeting out of the way, so I installed the driver-side lower-outer footbox piece. I will do the suede before doing the rest of the carpeting.

First Start To-Do List, Revision 2

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Thought I would post an updated to-do list of things to do before the first start:

– Connect fuel filter output to fuel rail
– Install passenger fuel tank and tunnel aluminum that precedes it
– Connect cable shift to trans (awaiting the adapter piece)
– Mount transmission oil cooler and pump and run its hosing and wiring
– Wire up VSS
– Extend Starter wires
– Run AC belt
– Reinstall modified clutch pedal

– Bleed brakes and clutch
– Oil trans and engine
– Fill coolant
– Charge AC