Discussion Forum - Northstar Chevelle Club

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Dan Williams 65 convertible


Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Dan Williams 65 convertible
Permalink  
 


Some of you may remember seeing this car around at some club functions. Dan took the car apart for upgrades, I think about 12-13 years ago. He got a little carried away with the project, like we all do, and freshening things up turned into a full repaint, a 500+hp 383 SBC, 200-4r, suspension rebuild, disc brakes, Vintage Air, Holley Terminator EFI, etc etc etc...

Sadly, Dan didn't get it back together before he passed away about 2 years ago.

Some very generous friends and neighbors helped Cathy get it put back together so she could drive it, however, not all of the help knew much about building cars, and some of the work wasn't quite done correctly, so she was having a lot of problems with it. She called me asking for help, so I told her I could come pick it up and work on it over the winter. 

I picked it up in November, but have been kind of busy with organizing my parts-hoard, so progress has been slow.

dans65-1.jpg

dans65-2.jpg

 

It was running very rich, and the fresh 383 was only showing about 25psi oil pressure cold... oil smelled like gas, and was very thin. Fresh 15W-40 brought the oil pressure back to 45psi, which is still a bit lower than I'd hope for, but Cathy won't be beating on this thing like I would, so I think it will live a long time like this. Still, just moving the car would burn my eyes. 

 

Plugs were wet, and starting to foul out, so I replaced those. I also pulled the injectors and sent them to be checked to make sure there wasn't one stuck open. 

I put it up on the lift, and the O2 sensor was only partially threaded in, so it's possible it was drawing air past the threads, but not sure yet if it's cured. 

dans65-3.jpg

 

Fuel tank was leaking when full, and would run out when gauge showed about 1/4-tank. 

It's a Tanks Inc. unit with in-tank pump and separate universal sending unit they use with all their different configurations.

I dropped the tank out and replaced the gaskets on the pump and sending unit, and set the depth of the sending unit so it would have the full range of motion. 

 

dans65-4.jpg

 

Fuel pump was wired with 14ga wire, which I didn't like, and all the wiring was done with cheap crimp connections with those hard plastic sleeves, so I'm replacing with better crimp connections and heat-shrink tube. I'm running all new 12ga wire to the fuel pump. Also, the pump was wired to keyed power, so it was on constant when the ignition was on. I'll change it to add some safety to the system. I think the Holley system will run it similar to the OEMs do with the pump triggered to prime on startup, and stop if oil-pressure goes to 0. 

I still need to do some research on that... Also, to control the fans as well, as those are just run to keyed power as well right now. 

dans65-5.jpg

 

There's a LOT more to do on this car. 

Once I get the fuel system back up and running, if I can't get the rich condition figured out, I'll take it to a local tuner with a lot of Holley EFI experience.

 

This Holley EFI is all new to me, so I'm learning as I go...



Attachments
__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



1K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 1270
Date:
Permalink  
 

Derek you are a saint. Thank you for all of your time and effort on Dan's car. I am sure he is smiling down on you every step of the way.

__________________

 

'69 Convertible,  Lemans Blue, 454, 200 4R, 12 Bolt. 

Jon H.  Lino Lakes



1K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 1183
Date:
Permalink  
 

DITTO!

Is there anything other willing club Members could contribute to assist in your endeavors?

Dan was a special guy; we were fortunate to meet and know.

Karl



__________________

More ambition than brains,

If you have more than 5 of anything, best to stop counting!



1K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 1321
Date:
Permalink  
 

Very generous of you to get this sorted out for Cathy.tiphat



__________________

Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

 



Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Permalink  
 

Cathy wants to drive it to the Northern Ohio Chevelle Club's show near Cleveland in August... no big rush for anything before that, so some of this will wait until spring when I can do some test-driving.


The list of problems that remain:

Running rich - if I can't figure it out, I know a tuner who can. Display is not working on the handheld Holley controller, so I'll need to hook it up to a laptop. I have not tried this yet. Also, fuel pressure goes to 0 as soon as the pump shuts off... not sure if that's typical of the Holley system, or if it's supposed to stay primed like the OEM systems. Could be a regulator problem. There's no port in the system to check fuel pressure, so I just cracked a line right after shutting off, and there was no pressure in the system. I'd like to order up some AN fittings to plumb in a port for a gauge, but will wait to see if I can read it with the laptop.

Wiring fuel pump to be controlled by Holley EFI rather than keyed power. Ideally, if a hose is ruptured or disconnected, the engine will die, and SHOULD cut power to the pump so in a crash or fire, the pump doesn't keep feeding the fire or pumping gas all over the place.

Wiring electric fans to be controlled by Holley EFI or thermostatic switch rather than keyed power. Noisy and draw a lot of power... kind of just an annoyance, but also puts load on the electrical system.

Heavy brake pedal. This was Cathy's biggest concern... much of the other stuff she wasn't aware was a problem, other than the fuel gauge.
This may just be too small of booster, maybe just pedal ratio. Her neighbor added a vacuum pump and that didn't fix it, so it's not related to the big lopey cam
I have the Hydroboost that I took off my Chevelle, so that might be the solution if a stock type 11" booster or a dual-diaphragm.

Get the cruise-control working... I'm completely unfamiliar with this aftermarket cruise system, and haven't started looking into this at all.

Charge the A/C. Has new Vintage Air, but needs a leak-test, and then charge it.

__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



Mega Poster

Status: Offline
Posts: 707
Date:
Permalink  
 

For the fuel dumping into the oil pan, I see you sent the injectors out to be tested. I would run over the installation versus the manual to see if something might be out of order / forgotten, etc.. bad bypass regulator? Holley supplied fuel pump components or pieced together from who knows what?

My experience is based on the HP efi version, not the terminator efi version. It should be able to control the fuel pump, cooling fans and distributor ignition timing.

The running rich issue is most likely the system was never setup to match the engine combo and using a default quick program setting that gets you close enough to run. I played around with the software from mine (HP version not terminator version) and you can definitively tune in the fuel ratio. Is the distributor also being controlled by the EFI? Wide band O2 installed? ECU seeing the correct coolant temp?

Also what temp is the T-stat opening at? I had a 160F and the engine really did not like it and was much happier with a 180F or 190F (cannot recall)

Once you get the laptop hooked up with the ecu, you will be able to see a lot of parameters and identify if something is not right and then optimize the programming.

Holley link for files
www.holley.com/support/resources/

__________________

John E - Rogers, MN

Instructions? All I need is the exploded view.
70 El Camino soon to be ls1/t56
64 Malibu SS



President

Status: Offline
Posts: 7308
Date:
Permalink  
 

Like Karl said, if any of this can wait, or extend into March for a club function, we have you as a possible for that month anyway.
Which cruise control? I have the Dakota Digital in the '38 and should still have the instructions somewhere at home.

__________________

Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

Lifetime member of the "Cars apart Club"

Some Assembly Required

1966 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1970 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1967 Camaro SS/RS 350 M20



Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Permalink  
 

I had that in mind. It might work out well if anyone has Holley EFI experience.

 

I also want to see if I can get the L78 in my '68 SS to fire up. It hasn't been started since about 1985, but turns over. 

I do need someone to teach me the ways of making a solid-lifter Big Block run well... everything I've ever owned has had hydraulic lifters. 

 

Could mess with both, as long as everyone doesn't just show up, take things apart, and leave. laughing

 



__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



1K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 1183
Date:
Permalink  
 

Have everyone give their keys to your Bride on arrival. dunno

You are too far out there for anyone to Uber home.

I make a good cheer leader,  nana no other mechanical skills.

Karlnana



__________________

More ambition than brains,

If you have more than 5 of anything, best to stop counting!



President

Status: Offline
Posts: 7308
Date:
Permalink  
 

The steps I would take to fire the L78 is, remove spark plugs and turn the engine over until the rotor points directly at the firewall, note position of vac advance nipple with tape/chalk, etc on dist base to intake. Remove distributor and valve covers, then prime the oil system until most push rods pump oil. Turn the pump rod to align with the dist gear to drop all the way back down, so the rotor and advance points at the same place so timing isn't changed, much... With covers off, go thru and check/set valve clearances. This can be done with only 4 positions of the damper, not all 8 cylinders. If you are unsure about the tank and lines, run a hose to a gas can. A very small funnel will fill the float bowls thru the 2 vent tubes. Might want to test this early, as the carb will most likely leak from dry gaskets. With luck, they will swell and seal, or you may need to re-gasket the bowls/metering blocks. Clean, gap and install plugs
Once you have all this done, 2 pumps of the carb linkage and it should fire off immediately.
If you just have the carb in usable condition when we get there, we can help with the rest. I have a priming tool and feeler gauges that have set solid lifters 50 years go, if you don't...thumbsup



__________________

Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

Lifetime member of the "Cars apart Club"

Some Assembly Required

1966 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1970 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1967 Camaro SS/RS 350 M20



Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Permalink  
 

Again, I know the helpers who put this together were well-meaning so I hate to criticize, but last night I stripped out 10' of wire with 8 butt connectors, 2 soldered splices, and 2 unnecessary switches that will all be replaced by one new butt connector.

I counted 13 potential failure points just on the power wire to the fuel pump.

I'll run the 14ga to a relay, run the pump off 12ga wiring direct from battery. 

 

20240220_202550.jpg



-- Edited by Derek69SS on Wednesday 21st of February 2024 09:09:37 AM

Attachments
__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



1K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 1321
Date:
Permalink  
 

Sounds like a pretty good plan!rolleyes



__________________

Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

 



President

Status: Offline
Posts: 7308
Date:
Permalink  
 

Don't cha love that level of restoration. When I bought my '66, every circuit under the hood was "rewired" with red 14 gauge from the same spool and a whole bag of butt connectors. American Auto wire was the first purchase for the car.


__________________

Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

Lifetime member of the "Cars apart Club"

Some Assembly Required

1966 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1970 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1967 Camaro SS/RS 350 M20



Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Permalink  
 

Because the handheld controller was not working, I couldn't see ANY of the diagnostics or the setup of the system so anything I could do was guesswork. All I could do was cover the basics. New plugs, cleaned and reinstalled the Oxygen sensor, cleaned and flow tested the injectors, and looked over the install for any obvious problems.

Now that the salt is mostly off the roads, I took the car to a local tuner who is much more familiar with these EFI systems.

He had a handheld controller with the same part number as Dan's, so we plugged that in... nothing. No power up, no communication.
He then plugged his laptop in to the USB port, and it wouldn't communicate since he didn't have an old enough version of the software.
Holley website didn't support that early software either.

He then popped the SD card out of the handheld, put that in his laptop, and then was able to get it to communicate.

First big problem was that whoever did the initial setup entered the displacement as 454 instead of 383.

He did a bunch of adjustment then on the idle, fan controls, fuel trims, etc.... He also put some limits on how much "self learn" it's able to do so that it won't go crazy if something was wrong. It was set to allow 150% self learn on the fuel trims, and is now set to 15%, so it is limited to only 15% over "normal" fuel trim if it senses it needs it.

Now I can safely run and drive it to start working through all the other issues.

Once the brakes are better and I get the fan & fuel pump wiring done, I'll take it back to the tuner for a road test and make whatever adjustments it needs from there.

__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



1K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 1321
Date:
Permalink  
 

Sounds like a major step in getting it done!

__________________

Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

1971 Malibu Convert

 



Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Permalink  
 

Yeah, that's a big step, mostly because I had no idea what was wrong, and couldn't safely run or drive the car to test any of the other things.

__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



2K+ Club

Status: Offline
Posts: 2763
Date:
Permalink  
 

Derek. Could you ask this tuner friend of yours if he knows anything about tuning an old Holley Commander 950? I purchased it from Keith Anderson off his El Camino when it had its first road race setup & the software for this thing is literally, Windows 95 (but there are modern emulators out there). I havent started using it yet but it would be nice to find someone that can tune an ancient relic of outdated EFI setups.



__________________

Chris - Ramsey, MN.

Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist.

While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water. I drank it!

Sincerly,

The opportunist.



Founding Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2764
Date:
Permalink  
 

That system might be older than the guy who tuned this one. laughing

 

I sent him a message to find out, but he's probably never even seen Windows 95. 



-- Edited by Derek69SS on Monday 22nd of April 2024 08:25:30 AM

__________________

Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Chatbox
Please log in to join the chat!