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The MiniRam & Ram Clutch conversion begins!

69MyWay

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1969 Killer Shark
racecar said:
Top down weather in January??
That sounds great.
It snowed 2" in Oregon today.
How much does the stock flywheel weigh? What is the weight of your aftermarket wheel?

Yep, it was pretty warm this weekend. It had to be bumping 80 during the day. I would say it was easily mid 60's last night. I ran around in short sleeves all weekend. It rained on Saturday while I was running around with no hood and brought a short lived cold front in.

I can't remember the exact weight difference. But go to TPIS.com and look on the on line catalog at the RAM clutch conversion. They offer an aluminum flywheel that is super light. You still use the stock pressure plate for the ZF and the special RAM clutch disc with a special machined fork ball stud to make up the difference as the dual mass is easily twice the thickness of the average one piece flywheel. Like I said, I opted for a new stock replacement 1988 Corvette 4+3 flywheel.
 

69MyWay

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1969 Killer Shark
I picked up a scan tool today. It is an older ACTRON system. It covers most GM from 84-95 (less OBD II).

I spoke with Terry at TPis about my driveability issues. I also ordered a HEATED O2 sensor as there is the very real possibility that due to the O2 being so far from the motor that it may be falling below 600 degrees and dropping me from closed loop.

We also discussed the position of the throttle blades. I will be able to do a base set, shut the car off and restart to check my adjustments. Right now they are the way TPis mailed them to me.

I will also be able to verify with the scanner my engine temp readings across to the computer temp sensor.

Finally, I will take it out on the road to read the Block Learn Mode to determine how to set my fuel pressure.

I can also set my timing by moving it more and more advanced until the scanner pics up the knock sensor retarding it.

Sounds like I need to find a desolate strip of road and with Nikki as my copilot we will dial it in.

I am looking forward to doing this.
 
8

89ZZ4

Guest
Nice job on your 90! Too bad it had to be a vette you beat up on but you take em as you get em. You and Ken get the nice weather - we usually aren't that lucky in Chicago. Had a freaky nice week end so I took the cover off mine and warmed it up good but I can't do my engine swap until I get the kids Camaro out of the garage. Can you believe he used his old (90K+miles) push rods on a 500 HP LT1 so after he broke one and bent another he took the old man's word and let me put him some nice one piece HD units. So I spent Sat mornings reinstalling his Roller Rockers and adjusting them. He's the "trained technician" but I've got a better touch. Maybe I am touched - I did the work.
Couple of questions? Did you disconnect your A/C compressor or could you move it out of the way? Are you running 1.6 ratio Rollers on your "now called" Power Max 2050? What Edlebrack heads are you using - ported?
Keep up the great thread it keeps me focused on my soon to get started project.
 

69MyWay

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Auburndale, Florida
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1969 Killer Shark
This mild weather is pretty nice. The hot summer does not bother me in the least either.


I was able to swing the compressor over the right fender skirt area and did not have to discharge or do any damage to it. I also left the radiator in place as well as the a/c condensor.

I did jack the car up and pull the trans out the bottom. I was able to pull the motor up and out with the trans in, but not going back the other way.

The "2050" cam I am running was made for the LT1 engine (hydraulic roller) with modified heads. So, it is not too radical and has good street characteristics. The heads are right out of the box. The real work on this engine came in the block machine work. I had it fully balanced, line bored, and had the block decked down to dead zero clearance on the pistons for a "true" 9.6:1 compression. Now that is a true compression. I talk to plenty of guys that run the same "flat top" pistons and Edelbrock Performer RPM 64 cc chamber heads and will tell everybody it is a 10:1 ratio. I don't know where they get their calculations from, but they are wrong.

I used hardened Trick Flow push rods and Erson 1.5 full roller rockers with a cloyes true roller double roller chain. When you put the LT1 engine in an older block, you have to change the cam gear pin back to the short style as found on basically all 55-91 V8 Corvettes.
 
P

P-ColaVette

Guest
Wild, Whoop Tushie Weekend !

Hello Chris ! Man, I know you had to be grinnin' like a mule eating barbwire !!!:D I'm sure that Nicki was grinning like a mad woman herself ! Maybe one day I can ease down that a way and hear that awsome beast myself ! Congratulations on a job well done !:beer



:w
Steve.
 

69MyWay

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Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
BAD NEWS

*&%&^%&^$##^(*)_^%$$##*&()(%%$!!!!!!@!$!@!#@!


I am not a cussing person, but I am very close to it. The friggin heater core ruptured on the car. It has been going bad I believe for some time because when you ran the car hard it had a strong odor of coolant in the interior. Last night when I was gunning it the inside of the front windshield was fogging over bad and the defrost would not clear it off. It was a clue that there was a problem brewing.

Tonight, I am running the computer scan and we see what looks like smoke coming out of the dash. Look closer and you can see it fogging the inside of the windshield.

Grabbed the manual. G.M. lists 29 steps to replace the heater core. One of those is pulling the i/p out. *(@&#^&*$^@!#&$^%&^%!!!!!!!!!!! I JUST HAD HALF OF IT OUT CHANGING THE STEREO!!!!!!!!!!

So, I won't be driving it as soon as I planned.

Second, it appears that the temp sensor in the head and the temp sensor in the intake for the computer are running about 40 degrees different. I am more inclined to believe the computer sensor since the engine does not display the typical signs of a motor reaching 260 plus degrees.

I think there is a ground issue in the car as well as some of my readings are a little strange. My brother came over tonight and we logged into with a different scanner and got the same readings (about the time we saw the coolant mist in the windshield).

You have to love it when a plan comes together, then takes a complete different direction.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
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1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Chris, you may not remember last winter when I did my interior, but that is exactly why I replaced mine while I had the thing stripped - I wanted to avoid having to go back in there later. I figured that since it was 15 years old, better to be safe than sorry. ;)

BTW, I was looking in the TPIS catalog today and I saw where they have a different throttle cable set-up for your '90; that's why you had to make a modification to your's, eh?
 
R

racecar

Guest
I have not blown out a heater core since I was in high school. I hope it didn't leave a huge mess on the carpet.
That fog on the windshield may be from antifreeze. It will take several applications of windex to get that off.
 

69MyWay

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Auburndale, Florida
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1969 Killer Shark
Ken, the older throttle bodies have a stud like arrangement for the throttle, where the newer ones have a drop cable. The kit comes with the bracket for the newer style. That is why in my photos my throttle cable looks like a misfit up so high above the engine. I have since made a bracket off a valve cover stud to hold it down.

Keith, as much as I would like to just cap it off, that is not my style. Plus, without heat this time of year, this Florida boy would likely freeze to death right in my driveway.

So far no huge mess on the carpet. However, it is possible between now and Wednesday night (first chance I will get to fool with it again) that it could from a slow drip and gravity. It is just fine misting and spraying inside the casing enough to fog up the inside. I decided to keep the radiator cap on so that there would remain some kind of vacuum in the system that may discourage leaks/drips.


This is not going to be a pretty or pleasant job. I enjoy many things, but something like this just erks me off. Mostly because it is diverting valuable time and money from my primary objective--getting the 69 back in the garage and putting the engine in it. Oh, and Nikki is taking the 00 to the dealer for some minor warranty work this week which leaves this five car family to only one working vehicle and we work on different sides of the river. Hello Enterprise rent a car! Hey wait a second. She is less than a mile round trip to work, and walking is good for her...........
 
8

89ZZ4

Guest
Brave man! Hope you and the Beagle like the garage floor. I feel sorry for you cause it's going to be a fun job which luckily I have'nt gotten as yet. Good luck.
 

69MyWay

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1969 Killer Shark
I have replaced the heater core. I shot a pic of it at:

Heater core thread


Okay, I have some other minor details tonight and this weekend that include pulling the water pump back off, moving/replacing the fan temp switch in the radiator, and finally tuning in the engine. The heated O2 should be on the front porch when I get home today.
 

69MyWay

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1969 Killer Shark
Update

Okay, got the heater core changed, and started to fool around with the adjustments and tweaking.

Here is the deal, the engine temp gauge shoots to 260 plus degrees in no time flat, but my scanner tells me that at least the upper part of the intake is at normal temp. Plus, I can touch the hoses, etc, and no steam or bubbles out the overfill.


So, I ohmed out the wires and found nothing unusual. Next, I replaced the temp sensor in the head. It did not cure anything. So, I put the old sender in the left head (normally plugged off), and jumpered the wire. Bam! Perfect temps in stereo with the temps reading through the scanner on the intake.

Well, I did not want to stop there. Something has been troubling me about the miniram conversion. I am not sure what year, but pretty sure it was/is 1990 when they got the pressure tank mounted over the evaporator case and no more radiator cap on the radiator.

Anyway, this has a "bleeder" 3/8" or so hose running down from the pressure tank to the back of the intake manifold. What/why/how this works I am not sure other than to keep air out of the back of the heads and provide a bypass.

So, I pulled the intake manifold off the car this morning, quick trip to the hardware store for a NPT tap, nipples, and a three way connector and plumbed into the miniram the same water bleed that was "stock" on the 1990 TPI.

I talked to TPiS about this and they said to just cap off the rear hose. Obviously for some unknown reason I am getting extreme temp readings on the right rear head on both the temp sensors I tried.

I have to wait overnight for the RTV to cure on the intake before I can fire it off again. Maybe, just maybe, Sunday after church I can get it out and start my tweaking. Keep your fingers crossed for me, because I have to get this car up and running me to and from work ASAP.
 

69MyWay

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1969 Killer Shark
Almost finished-It runs and drives!!!

Len,

Man, I wish she had a sister. Then I could trade her off with her sister when I make her mad :L

Her mom is pretty cool, and single.

Back to the miniram.

Okay, we timed out for several hours yesterday while the RTV was drying. Came back to the house around 5:00 and gave it a try.

First of all, I am the King of DUFAS. There is something wrong with the reducer that I screwed in the Edelbrock head, or something, because everytime I tighten a temp sensor into the right head it reads off the chart. So, I went ahead and moved my wire to the left head for good. While I was doing that I unpluged the knock sensor lead to get it out of my way. Keep that in mind.

Well, I plugged in and dialed up the scanner, fired off the car, and off we went. I figured we could get a few WOT run at closed loop to watch the O2 etc. for final tuning. WRONG. It would barely run past idle. I stalled several times, was back firing, etc. etc. I limped it home and found code 43 (ESC). Dooooooooh! I left the knock sensor unplugged! Back underneath, plugged in, and away we go...........................

Short of running it on the track, here is the result:

Postive:
1. Extremely fast---as in the fastest C4 I have EVER been in, including a 1990 ZR1 I test drove many moons ago (seat of the pants).
2. Powerful exhaust note-extremely crisp.
3. Rapid throttle response.
4. massive clutch bite with a postive feel (either on or off!).
5. Good idle characteristics, decent road manners. (in terms of throttle response and ease of power transfer with minimum changes to driving conditions and speeds).

Negative:
1. The Ram clutch converion makes the trans NOISY! It is noisy at idle with the clutch out, and in high gear in low RPM on the road it picks up the drive train noise like metal to metal motor mounts. This is not pleasant at all, but is an acceptable trade off for me especially after feeling the difference the lighter flywheel makes on throttle response.
2. Exhaust TOOOO Loud. Other than headers, the car has the same basic exhaust as before. However, this replacment engine is making a TON more noise. It sounds awesome at WOT, and standing behind it. But riding inside is nasty. That goodness for the 10" sub and amp.
3. Rich smelling idle, makes you clothes stink standing behind it too long.
4. There is a small loss in low RPM torque coupled with the light weight flywheel, and short window of slip on the clutch that makes if tricky right now to take off super smooth. I think I gave Nikki whip lash several times last night.



Okay, see, I am honest about the project. This is not a perfect conversion by any means.


Let's talk about power. Hmmmmmm, how can I describe it. I will put it this way. In first and second gear it is near impossible to keep the tires from breaking loose when you punch it. In fact, I can drop the hammer in second and put them up in smoke, pull to third with them still up in smoke before you realize what is going on.

It races to red line like a beast, and there is no sensation that the engine is dropping off the powerband all the way to 6K plus RPM. I found myself shifting gears--not because I was peaking my power,--but for the sake of avoiding 7K RPM.

We warmed it all up, clutch included and hit a long strip of vacant highway. Brought it to a stop, checked the radar detector, then I nailed it. Taking it very easy on the clutch out of the hole I immediatly lost traction up to third, and was at 100 mph within seconds. It will take your breath away.

Providing I can get traction, there is NO doubt in my mind that this mild mannored, polo green stock looking Corvette is a solid mid 12 second car.

I will get some of my specifications and post them up here so you can get an exact read on my
 

69MyWay

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Auburndale, Florida
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1969 Killer Shark
Keith,

Loud mufflers are part of the game plan. I don't need no stinkin resonators!!!!!!!!!:D Just thought I would share some honest critisism of the project so you could get a realistic idea how it all came out.

If I had to judge by the "seat of the pants", Nikki better not meet up with me on a back road with her 2000. At least she has traction control. My problem will be getting the power to the ground without going up in smoke.
 

69MyWay

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Auburndale, Florida
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1969 Killer Shark
traction control

I don't know if I could retro fit that or not.

Not too woried about it. Might be something fun to play with though.
 

Black Thunder

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Oct 14, 2001
Messages
143
Location
Port St Lucie,FL
Corvette
1968 Black Custom Vert 454 BB
Chris... sounds like a Hot ride. But wait till you get that BB 69 fired up. Talk about wheelspin. These torque monsters break the tires loose in a heartbeat.
Even with 3 rear end gear changes & 2 torque converter changes, I can't launch even 50 RPM above a normal 750 idle. With the 3500 stall, 1st gear is over just a few feet off the line, & 2nd is doing all the work.
Since you are going with a manual box, I bet you can forget 1st & try launching from 2nd. One thing is certain you will have your hands full finding a combination that hooks up. Just hang on & enjoy the agony of harnessing all that brute torque!!
Can you handle owning not one but two nasty Vettes:s
John
 

69MyWay

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Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
John, I hear what you are saying. Last night after nailing it a few times and finding so many problems getting traction, I started asking myself how in the world is the 69 going to harness that big block power. I am telling you, this 90 is a rocket now. I almost can't imagine much more accelerating capabilities for a street car.


The good news is, soon I can focus my efforts back on the 69.


Thanks for the input.
 

Black Thunder

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Joined
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Messages
143
Location
Port St Lucie,FL
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1968 Black Custom Vert 454 BB
Chris, your small block is pulling strong but runs out of breath. The BB will pull till well over a 120 MPH with the setup your building.
One ride in a well built BB is what Cu inches is all about. Nothing compares!
Can't wait to read the posts when its running. I can imagine the ear to ear grin clear up in JAX!
John
 
R

racecar

Guest
Every time I drive a hot 427 car it reminds me of a NASA solid fuel rocket.
Once you light the fuse, there is no turning back. They are all motor and you are going for a ride.
Have you thought of getting some sticky compound road race tires for your 90.
They look totally stock, but there is a big difference in traction. They would only last for less than 10000 street miles,
that doesn't matter because you are probably going to smoke them off in less than 5000.
 

JHL

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Oct 24, 2000
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403
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Everywhere
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81 4 speed
HI 69,

I don`t spend much time on the C4 board but have just had a read through your posts and it`s alway good to get the real story and comments, good or bad, on this sort of project.

As I said to Ken recently after reading his posts, I love a good bedtime story.

Cheers
J.
 

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