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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

Went for a little drive...
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
In my younger days we were all mad when Michigan passed a law that you had to wear a helmet. As I got older I thought you had to be crazy to ride without a helmet. I see many riders down here riding with no helmets, including women. I've seen 8 people on the pavement so far (8 years) and only 2 had helmets. I know some of them didn't make it. My brother was wearing his helmet, so that was a blessing anyway.

Believe it or not, we were heading to Tampa 2 weeks ago on I-75 and I looked in the rear view mirror and a guy on a motorcycle behind me popped a wheelie at 70 mph.
He rode that wheelie for at least 1/4 mile and I told Sue to look at that nut. He came out of the wheelie and sped up so fast he had to go between cars like a blur. Looked like a Suzuki Hayabusa and all I could think was that he won't be around long.
Old 07-01-2018, 01:26 PM   #12
Rich Z
No matter how good of a bike rider someone is, just the slightest dab of bad luck from Mr. Murphy will overrule all that experience and ability.
Old 07-01-2018, 01:29 PM   #13
Rich Z
Well, guess it's a good thing I took the car out for a ride when I did. The rains have set in for a few days, it seems. Unless I want to take the car mud bogging on my dirt/sandy road, the car stays in the garage till the road dries out enough. I really hate cleaning mud out from underneath the car.
Old 07-01-2018, 03:30 PM   #14
Several years ago I was driving my Corvette to Florida and I stopped for gas in Tennessee. As I took off I heard a grinding noise in the first 3 gears but it quit when I got to 4th. I got off the expressway at the next exit and slowed down and put it in 3rd and heard the grinding again and what seemed like a little vibration. I drove to a couple small garages but none had a lift, and wouldn't jack the car up. The Chevy dealers were all closed, so I got a motel room to wait till they opened. The motel owner said there was an oil change place down the road with a pit, so maybe they would take a look. I drove there and the guy on duty came up from the pit after checking for anything obvious. He said it was all fixed and charged me $5.00. Turned out a shield under the car was dangling because a little rear bolt had fallen out. At slow speeds the shield dragged, but once the air pushed it up there was no noise. I gave him a twenty and left much happier.
Old 07-01-2018, 04:43 PM   #15
Rich Z
Lordy, I wish my drivetrain noise were that easy to fix. I've spent I don't know how many hours with the car up on the lift tugging and pushing on things, looking for anything simple that I could just be overlooking. When I replaced the starter and the motor mounts, I was hopeful that perhaps one or both were contributing to the noise. I put in motor mounts that were 3/8ths of an inch shorter than stock. The starter was to correct a design flaw from GM. The starter mounts with two bolts to the block. In the stock C5 starter, there is a shorter side and a longer side to the flange the bolts go through. There have been cases of that shorter (and weaker) flange breaking on some folks. When that happens, the starter is only being held on by the single bolt. Well that wouldn't be that much of a problem, except those folks that discovered the problem found out about it when the starter just broke off from the block. The WAY it broke off was a really big deal. Because part of the engine block broke off that the single holding bolt was attached to.

Needless to say, I didn't way long to get a replacement starter and get that older one out of there. That RHS block I have in the car is NOT cheap. Yeah, I guess someone could weld that part of the block back together, but not easily (if at all) while the engine is still in the car. Any way you look at it, you were looking at a very expensive repair, which I certainly didn't want to have to experience first hand.

But in any event, neither of those repairs/mods made any change in the drivetrain noise, unfortunately.
Old 07-03-2018, 07:05 PM   #16
I meant to ask you if there are any speed shops, or hot rod shops, in your area. Those guys usually seem to know more about cars than the factory engineers. I loved hanging around the local speed shops, and couldn't believe how fast they could rebuild an engine.
Old 07-03-2018, 09:00 PM   #17
Rich Z
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
I meant to ask you if there are any speed shops, or hot rod shops, in your area. Those guys usually seem to know more about cars than the factory engineers. I loved hanging around the local speed shops, and couldn't believe how fast they could rebuild an engine.

Not really. About the only notable place is this one ->

They build some very high end custom Trans Ams. Top of the line one (the 455 Super Duty) is something like $170,000.

Had a couple of shops professing to be experts about such things, but from the evidence I saw with my C5Z, they are anything BUT experts. People will try to talk the talk, however.

There are some places that will do engine machining and the sort, but they are more like general machine shops and not apparently "hot rod" oriented as far as I can tell. But maybe there are some low key places that I just haven't heard about. Seem to be a fair number of hot rods around here, but I get the impression that most of them are doing their own wrenching.
Old 07-03-2018, 09:15 PM   #18
You might want to attend any car shows in your area and talk to some of the car owners. They will know who is dependable to work on the Corvettes and high performance cars. I agree, some car owners insist on doing their own wrenching, and are knowledgeable, but down here some of the guys have money, but not knowledge, and seek good mechanics.

I always wanted my brother to convert a Miata to the 5 liter Mustang engine version. He did the conversion for others but I never had the extra cash to pay for the project.
Old 07-04-2018, 12:13 AM   #19
Rich Z
Connie and I do go to some of the car get togethers now and again. Really can't call them car "shows", since that seems more formal with prizes and such. Mostly older cars are there, but some new ones, most of which seem to be Mustangs. Doesn't do much good asking an owner of a C2 Corvette who works on his car (which is probably himself anyway), since there is a world of difference between the older Corvettes and the new ones. I certainly don't want someone who thinks it is OK to get paid for OJT working on MY car.

After the fiasco I went through with the C5Z, I look at everyone who claims to know what they are doing with a very jaundiced eye. And, of course, my car is not very close to being stock any longer.

I compiled a list a while back of all the mods I have done, and had done to that car.
  1. 427 engine built by LME
    • RHS 9.240" DH aluminum block
    • Callies Compstar forged 4340 4.0" stroke crankshaft
    • Callies Compstar 6.125" H-I beam rods w/ARP 2000 7/16" bolts
    • Wiseco forged FI 4.125" x 1.115" x -20cc w/ multi fit VP's
    • NPR Seal stainless top, napier 2nd 3mm HT oil rings
    • Cam motion custom hyd. roller cam (pn XA-232-350-228-350-16)
      • Duration @ .050" = 232 228
      • Lift. = .630" (intake & exhaust)
      • Lobe separation = 116
      • Intake center line = 109.25
    • RHS double roller timing chain w/ torington bearing
    • Melling HP ported oil pump (10295)
    • Performance Induction heads
      • Jesel Pro Series shaft mount J2K 1.8 1.8 rocker arms
      • REV hollow stem stainless intake valves (X1129)
      • REV severe duty stainless exhaust valves (X1123)
      • PAC dual valve springs (KIT199-675)
      • Titanium retainers
  2. F.A.S.T. LSXR 102 intake manifold
  3. LS2 polished and ported 90mm throttle body
  4. Dual in-tank fuel pumps by Lonnie's Performance
  5. 2 BAR MAP sensor, relocated to front of intake manifold
  6. Oil PCV Catch can
  7. Breather can to valve covers
  8. Fuel pressure regulator - vacuum/boost regulated
  9. Vacuum line manifold
  10. LGM long tube headers Jet Hot ceramic coated
  11. All exhaust pipes wrapped and insulated
  12. Turbo charger insulated covers
  13. Granatelli zero ohm stainless steel cored ignition wires
  14. Centerforce Dual Friction clutch
  15. Dewitts Aluminum radiator
  16. STS dual rear mounted turbochargers (T3/T4, 57 trim compressor, stage 3 turbine)
  17. Dual turbo wastegates with 14 lb springs
  18. RPM Level V transmission T56 2.66 Convert to M6 from M12
  19. RPM Stage II differential
  20. ECS transmission brace
  21. Pfadt transmission mount
  22. Pfadt adjustable shocks
  23. Pfadt sway bars
  24. Polyurethane suspension bushings
  25. Hinson 3/8s inch short urethane motor mounts
  26. Elite engineering 1/4" Torque tube Tunnel plate
  27. Elite Engineering rocker panel rails
  28. Gauges: Fuel pressure and boost/vacuum
  29. Stainless steel braided brake lines
  30. Drilled and slotted brake rotors
  31. Tuned using EFILive with COS, semi-speed density tune
  32. Harness mount bar
  33. MGW shifter
  34. AntiVenom transmission shifter detent mod
  35. ACDelco reman starter with 2 long bolt mounting flanges.
Old 07-04-2018, 10:13 AM   #20
Awesome list and I know why you want a quality mechanic working on the C5Z. But I was talking about someone who has specific knowledge about clutches and drive trains. They don't need to do anything to the engine itself, other than change the flywheel, if necessary, along with changing the clutch assembly. There's got to be someone with the ability to work on the C5Z, you just need to locate him.

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