After a couple of days off to ride coasters at Cedar Point (yes, with a concussion!) and visit Wellzy… I’m back home and back to work.
Today’s task: More engine diagnosis. Pull remnants of bumper and put car in service mode so I can further inspect engine and sensors. Do compression and leak down tests (using new tools that arrived yesterday). If OK, let it run a bit to burn oil out of cylinders, see how it runs, and let the bearings work a bit. Pull oil sample to test for bearing damage.
First, took an opportunity to look at my left GP skirt which got removed WITH MALICE by the ditch. Sadly, it sheared off EVERY SINGLE MOUNT in the painted part of the skirt, and also ground it up pretty well. Also cracked up the GP sill plate.
I’m gonna see if I can get replacements; I DO own a GP, after all. If not, I’ll fabricate replacement mounts and epoxy them in, and fix the other problems.
Took about an hour to get the remains of the front bumper off. The left crush tube was CRUSHED, and bent with the bumper frame in such a way that the only hope (without cutting) was to get the tube and frame off together. That worked.
First, I had to fight for awhile to get the M7 air diverter plate off. The bolt holding it was also quite twisted. Sadly, the nice CF plate is history.
I’m not sure if I can use one anyway with the RMW dual pass radiator I’ll be installing. If I decide to use the plate, I’ll get a new fiberglass one and paint it to match the GP bumper.
My custom red stainless intercooler diverter plate was mangled, and the corner of the ultra-expensive GP intercooler cover was busted, but it’s fixable and usable, I think. Soon I plan to have the RMW FMIC anyway.
Uh, the intercooler really shouldn’t sit at an angle like that…
Oh well, I have a spare. And that will go away with the RMW front mount and custom manifold, anyway.
Also, my TMAP sensor was squished. That’s probably one reason it was “chugging” when I ran it for a few seconds last week. I have an old spare TMAP in a box… put it on.
Pulled off my strut bar. It seems fine.
Once the plugs were out, I pulled the fuel pump fuse and did compression testing. Results:
1: 190 psi
2: 190 psi
3: 190 psi
4: 200 psi
That looks good.
Then did leak down tests, at 80psi. All cylinders held at 75-78psi, cold (you’re really supposed to warm up the engine first). That’s only 5-6% leak down, which is quite good for a cold engine. The oily cylinders & rings probably helped that a bit.
Since compression and leak down seemed OK, decided to top up the cooling system with water, replace the crushed TMAP sensor, and try to run it…
It’s amazing how well the motor runs, considering how broken the rest of the car is, and what it’s been through.
I pulled an oil sample for analysis. If it shows high lead, that’s an indicator that I may have bearing damage. If it doesn’t… I’m probably good to go with the motor as-is.
A friend sent me this oil analysis kit, he had extras. He gets them from the local Caterpillar equipment dealer… only $15 per test. I’ve used Blackstone and BobIsTheOilGuy previously… but will be using this service from now on, the price is RIGHT. Comes with a great little pump for filling the sample bottle from the dipstick tube.
And the oil lab they use is right here in town… so I expect to have results this week. Then can make a go/no-go decision on whether I’ll run the engine as-is, or send back to RMW for rework.
Got started on some disassembly today…
Started pulling out the left interior bits, in hopes that I could get the door open once I got that out of the way…
Corbeau LG1 driver’s seat is in good shape, mechanism works just like it did before the crash…
But note that the side bolster on the left side (right in the photo) is bent outward. Must have happened when I landed the car on the right rear corner, and all my mass hit that HARD. I wasn’t sore or bruised there, but I must have done that. There’s a steel frame inside there, I can’t bend it back by hand. I’ll probably disassemble the seat and inspect the frame, if it looks sound I may try to massage it back into shape.
It’s really starting to sink in, just how much punishment this car took for me.
I thought the roll bar was just scraped from when the car settled into place… but it took a harder hit than I thought. There’s a definite flat spot on this corner, right beside my head, probably happened the same time I got road rash on my scalp at the same spot…
Even with all the interior panels out of the way, prying and using the BFH, I can’t get the door to budge. I may just leave it, or I’ll have to cut it open. There’s some serious sheet metal origami going on here…
Worked for a couple of hours to get the front wheels and suspension wreckage off. This was the part I was dreading the most, because it was a mess and the wheels were really jammed in there. Took a lot of doing, but finally got one free.
The sense of urgency for this, is I need to send my RMW axles back for a rebuild. They’re rated for 500HP… but not for vertical or inverted flight, or for deep ditch trailblazing. Still, with some cleaning, reassembly and maybe new tripod bearings, they’ll be good as new.
Spent most of the day under the car. Which isn’t so bad, with the car on a 4′ lift and me on a padded TailBone seat. I’m soooooo happy I have the lift, to do all this stuff. It would REALLY suck on jack stands and a creeper.
Healthy heart harvested from the corpse, ready to transplant into a healthy body.
Only about a day’s work left to finish stripping it. That will probably happen sometime next week, after the new body goes to the fabricator.
Also received the tapless adapter for my oil pressure sensor.
Slow progress, but progress. I’ll be glad when the stripping is done… because it sucks, compared to building.
Spent a few hours today working on the convertible top. Was attempting to get the whole top off intact. Well, that didn’t happen. But I made a valiant effort… Also removed the trailer wiring adapter and some other wiring stuff while back there.. and removed the boot door and all the trim in the back.
They don’t really design the top (or most of the rear interior trim) to be completely removed without being able to cycle the top up and down at least a bit. Some of the bolts are hard enough to access when everything is working properly… When it’s not… and when part of the car is crushed… ugh.
Here are three of the critical bolts. Which were hidden behind a crushed and stuck taillight, and a crushed and stuck hydraulic pump. After removing those, they were still arm-deep in a hole like one Indiana Jones would have to feel around inside…
Two of these three came out easy with a ratcheting box-end wrench. But the third was wedged against crushed sheet metal. I had to work it out with an open end wrench…about 35 degrees of rotation, flip wrench, another 35 degrees, flip wrench… repeat, blind, by feel, for 45 minutes. But finally got it.
Only to find that there were even MORE fasteners I couldn’t see and couldn’t access.
The “sunroof” panel will be used to build the front seal/latch portion of my “bikini” top. The tensioner assembly will be the rear attachment point for the tonneau cover.