Well, if you're like me, you look for deals anywhere you can find them. Swap meets, junkyards, eBay, Craigslist, and the classifieds; they are everywhere. Sometimes identifying those chunks of gold can be difficult. As I have mentioned in earlier columns, mortec.com is a great resource for casting numbers.
Last week, our pal Ken Casey at Burt Chevrolet was telling me a story about a gentleman who had purchased a set of seats from a wrecking yard for his early Chevy. The seats were out of a late-'90s Cadillac that was equipped with seat warmers and full power. The man was looking for the connectors that would plug into the seats so he could easily wire them up. Well, with the extensive option list that the donor Cadillac could have had, including various seat options, Ken wasn't able to help the man with his connectors. They would have had to order in a few different sets, and they are very costly. What would have made the identification of the seats a no-brainer would have been to have the donor car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). After '90, all GM cars identified the options within the VIN. It's amazing the amount of info you can get from the VIN at a GM Dealer.
I love wandering through our local Pick-n-Pull, looking for electric cooling fans. Our yard will have deals on cooling fans from time to time, selling them for $10! I found one several months ago for my '80 Malibu Wagon race car. It was from some mid-'90s Cadillac. Did I get the VIN number off the car to identify if it had HD cooling? Of course not! If I need to change the electric motor or fan assembly, I'll be up a creek! If it dies I guess I'll just go to the yard and get another one. However, I will get the VIN next time.
Ramjet Engine Swap
Q I saw a RamJet crate engine swap into a '92 Camaro RS in one of your sister publications. I would also like to do this swap, as I have a '92 RS with a 305 TBI engine, and I have a 700-R4 trans that I would like to keep. I printed the article, but was wondering if you could direct me as to where I could find more specific information on what is involved with the swap. Especially regarding the speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, and amps. Also, how would I keep my torque-converter lockup and the air conditioning?Dustin Meger
A The RamJet is a great EFI-equipped crate engine to upgrade your RS Camaro. Yes, many of the factory-equipped gauges and controls will be compromised if you swap out the engine with no regard to the original PCM computer. Our friends at GMCOPO have developed a line of jumper harnesses that will allow the original PCM to control the various vehicle-specific tasks (i.e., TCC apply, fan and A/C control, tach) while the RamJet MEFI 4 computer runs the engine. Since you keep the original PCM live, it will also output the electronic speedo signal. Give Tom Woodside a call at GMCOPO for the proper wiring harness adapter components at 248.275.5828; he will help you have your cake and eat it too!Source: gmcopo.com
Stroker Rod Knock
Q I'm building a 383 small-block. The block was bored out to 0.030 inch over. I have put in an Eagle rotating assembly. The stroke is 3.750 inches, and the rod length is 5.7 inches. The cam is an Edelbrock with the duration coming in at 232/234 at 0.050 inch tappet lift, and 0.488/0.488 inch max lift. I'm also using a Summit dual-idler geardrive. I set my timing marks up with the crankshaft at 12 o'clock, and the cam at 6 o'clock. The problem is as I rotate the crankshaft off of TDC and just before the No. 1 piston can get back to the top of the exhaust stroke, a cam lobe hits the No. 2 rod and all stops! Not sure where to go from here to fix it. The rods look like they are installed correctly. Can you give me some help? Thanks.Ron SagerSacramento, CA