2015 Progress

This year I started with mounting a Lokar shifter for my 4L80e, it turned out being a little more involved than I originally thought it would be because I bought a shifter cable from B&M and the first thing I noticed when I got it was that it didn't have anywhere near enough travel, so tried to figure out which one I needed and none of the shifter cable companies that I found list the stroke of their cables, so I gave up on that and just decided to build my own linkage; and since my shifter was almost directly above my transmission lever I was going to have to run the linkage back to a bellcrank and then run it back forward to the transmission. My bellcrank might be a little heavier than I would have made if I had made it from scratch but I had this bearing mount that I had made for something probably 15 years ago and I decided to just profile mill it as much as I could and just use it as is.

Shifter BellcrankEmergency Brake LocationEmergency Brake Location 2

After that I mounted my Lokar Emergency brake which took a little sizing up until I figured out how to get it where it would work best and not be in the way or interfere with legroom, ect., I also built floorboard boot mounts for the E-brake and the shifter, the shifter had to be made removable so I could get the shifter out if I needed to, for the boots themselves they are both Lokar.

The shifter boot I got has a digital indicator in it which took a shift gear decoder (Dakota Digital DAK-GSS-2000 purchased from Summit). That is what that small box in my above left picture is on the left side of the picture, it's nice because after you get it mounted you just put it in 1st gear and tell the DAK-GSS-2000 [this position is 1st gear] and go through all the gears like that, it doesn't care if you have a 2 speed or a 4 speed you just tell it what position the gears are.

Then came the steering

This was the one area that I had been the most worried about from the beginning because of the limited room I had around the engine, anyone following along also knows that I mounted the rack and pinion on the axle and I needed to figure out how to get an extendable steering shaft to hook up to this.

I wanted the steering to go down as low as I could get it to try to be level with the rack in it's center of travel but how to go from the steering column to the bottom of the frame was the question: Should I get or make one of those street rod steering drop boxes (which use a chain or toothed belt to drop the steering which I worried about breaking or loosening) or try to do it with double u-joints (like Borgeson or Flaming River make)

After doing some angular measurements and checking I went with the Borgeson double u-joints because they would take a 70 degree angle and it didn't look like I would need anywhere near that, then I went with the Flaming River collapsible-extendable steering column to go from there to the rack. I used ball bearings for the steering shafts for their smoothness over the spherical rod ends and also the fact that I wanted to use the upper steering mount to seal the steering to the firewall which it should show in the steering video below, the steering ended up going together a lot faster than I had thought it was going to probably because I had been designing it in my head for a couple years now LOL.

Borgeson U-jointsFlaming River CollapsableSteering at bottom of travelSteering at top of travel

After getting it all together and checking the suspension travel it looks like I got all my calculations pretty close because throughout the entire 5" of suspension travel the Flaming River Collapsible shaft only moves in and out 1", which should work great.

  After that I thought I might fire the motor up because I found out here a month ago that Accel no longer makes the DFI, a little research about that revealed what happened; It looks like MSD was having some money problems and were acquired by an investor group, this investor group thought the best way to help MSD was to eliminate the competition, so since Accel was also having money problems they bought Accel and discontinued any product that Accel made that competed with MSD, meaning no more Accel DFI.

But another thing I thought might be a good idea was to fire it up on the carburetor before the EFI so I can break the cam in without having to be fighting the DFI Thruster setup at the same time, so I got on EBAY and found a Holley closeout on a new Weiand 8120 dual plane intake and then I found a used Holley 4779-6 double pumper with 4-corner idle circuits that appeared to be in good shape, so I bought it and rebuilt it; you can really tell how much someone knows about carbs when you rebuild one, the former owner of this carb had the rear floats set so low and the jets so far off that he basically had it running on 2 barrels, I'll bet it was crapping and popping like crazy.

 Well I got the carbed motor fired up here in October and then built a "subfloor" under my seat to help me run the wiring so I can mount my 4 computers under there and get the wiring somewhat sanitary,

Floorpan before subfloorSubfloor in progressWith Computers spacedComputers and wiring

 I then ran first the 21 circuit standard street rod wiring harness, then the TCI-TCU transmission control unit and wiring, and then the DFI Thruster ECM wiring.

So then I was able to get a baseline program for my DFI and get it fired up, here's the video of doing that:

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