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Old 26th October 2010, 11:40 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tractorboy View Post
One thing I've learned...everyones got an opinion and feel their opinion is the only one thats right. Its been one of the most difficult parts of owning this car. Who to listen to and who to trust. Good Luck in your fix.
True story!

I actually believe that the engine builder is pretty good. The motor was built by Lawrence Racing Engines out in NYC. The builder has been very supportive during this process and I am pleased with his responses.

I think this is a problem with poorly supplied components although the selection process was well intentioned and correct... aka, who would have thought that these rocker arms (that should be top 10% in rocker arm quality) would fail.. eh, stuff happens.

We are on the road to recovery
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Old 25th December 2010, 12:34 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Kevin,

You haven't posted here in awhile. How did the engine repair go?

In a surprising move, even to myself, I changed my status, too, a couple of weeks ago. Like you, I was hoping to find a RHD drive car even if it meant starting from scratch. I budgeted a lot of time for the project. However, when a car came up that I couldn't refuse, I ended up with a really nicely built LHD and I'm very satisfied with the result.

Actually, I'm more than satisfied. The prior owner is a wonderful fellow and I actually think of him as a budding friend. Also, for kind of roads I drive the car on, LHD is eminently safer.

Have you been driving your car a lot since (hopefully) fixing the engine problem? What kind of driving have you been doing?

For me, it's been an addiction having the car. I can go a dozen miles in any direction and be out of traffic and onto my choice of straight empty roads or curvy empty roads. In the two weeks I've had the car, there have only been three that I haven't driven it and one of those was because of rain. It's a blast!

My car has TMW FI with a Big Stuff 3 ECU. Have you played around with the ECU in your car? I love to tinker on computers which brings up a story about the college girl, Sage, who's grandmother lives next door.

Sage and her roommate, both babes, had come to visit Sage's grandma just as I was pulling the GT40 out of the garage on my way to appeasing my addiction. They came over to oogle the car so of course I offered first Sage a ride, then the roommate.

After I had taken them both our for fairly lengthy rides on one of the twisty routes, they were oogling the car some more and one of them asked, "What are those two round things in front of the windshield?"

"They're gas caps," I explained.

"It has two gas tanks?"

After I told them it did, one of them turned to the other and said sort of dreamily, "It just keeps getting better."

So, back to the ECU,
I was up till 1:00 the other night playing with the Big Stuff program on the computer. Like I said, I love that kind of shit. I think computer programs are like computer games in need of mastering. The next morning I was up kind of early and playing with the program again. My sugar plum, also a babe and who, of course, knows how much I like to play around with computers, said, "It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?"

Like you, I also considered that RHD car at Chicago Motor Company (CMC). The car I bought was in the Chicago area and I called CMC beforehand to ask about the ridiculous price. I told them I was going to be in their neighborhood, how much cash I was bringing, and asked if it was worth my time to stop by and look at the car.

My easy decision was no, it would be a waste of time. The car is privately owned and at their place on consignment. The owner's lowest price was $115 K. Geesh. It would cost about $120 K to duplicate the car as I would have if I had one built new. The car I ended up with would cost $135 to duplicate and the prior owner allowed me to have it for considerably less than CMC's lowest price.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas. I know mine has been.



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Old 25th December 2010, 09:20 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

John,

Congratulations on the new car, I am sure it is a joy. I look forward to seeing a few pictures of the new ride; bonus points if you get Sage and her friend to pose with it!

My car is still WIP for a variety of reasons, most of which are my travel schedule that keep me on the road. At this point the new rocker arms are in and lashed but we are still working to mill out the valve covers. Trial fitted them last Thursday to find we still needed to work on them further (by we, I mean Dennis my very helpful builder) but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Once we get those done, we need to increase the height of the water coolant return line as that now fouls on the valve covers when putting them on; that should be an easy spacer placement.

When all of that is done we are in the waiting game with Mother nature as Southern WI and Chicago have multiple inches of snow on the ground. Net net, it will not be on the road until Spring even if the engine is working tomorrow.

This entire process has been a learning experience, I have met a number of very knowledgeable folks that continue to help me along, be it the Nascar engine builder, an individual that has built vintage Can Am cars since before they were vintage, retired circle track racers, etc; it is nice to enter the fringe of the racing fraternity.

With that said, if I had it to do all over again I would have simply purchased a set of stud mounted rocker arms and driven the car again... I had no idea how much a simple part change could have a domino effect across the engine; rookie mistake that I am confident I will make numerous times in the future.

Once fixed I look forward to diagnosing the problem with the HVAC controls, identifying why I have a heater core in a cardboard box, beginning to fit heat and sound insulation to the cabin, adjusting the rear clip, dropping the engine idle (at 1500 now) and etc.... these things are always WIP and that is what makes them fun.

Interesting you made the comment about RHD, it seems difficult to find a car in the US with RHD unless one orders it... regarding CMC; they are behind silly, I look forward to watching them own that car for many years at that price.

Have a great Christmas and take care

Kevin
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Old 15th January 2011, 08:52 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

It is finally back alive

I have a new found respect for the builders, I cannot imagine the feeling of turning over the engine for the first time after a multi-year building experience.

More effort in the near future but at least the engine makes loud noises again, at least the right kind of loud noises.

Kevin
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Old 16th January 2011, 09:25 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Kevin, do you know if the engine was run in on the dyno when it was first built? Just curious. These problems often show up much later, but it is worth knowing if it was.
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Old 16th January 2011, 03:18 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

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Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
Kevin, do you know if the engine was run in on the dyno when it was first built? Just curious. These problems often show up much later, but it is worth knowing if it was.
Yes Jim, the engine was put on the dyno before installation in the car.
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Old 6th May 2011, 06:50 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

It has been a long winter... After the engine was all back together I took the car outside to idle and warm it up and within 5 minutes another rocker arm was broken... apparently there was a larger issue and something beyond my skill set.

Recognizing that I am better with a checkbook than a spanner, the car was shipped to the very capable hands of the Olthoff crew. I sent along a set of requests including to have the motor fixed. Overall I am very excited about what I believe the results will be. The car is still being finished up and I will share all the gory details when it is home, but here is a quick summary:
- Car was not perfect when I got it (they never are)
- As referenced above, my fixes may have caused more harm than good. We all get an education, I had individuals who I thought were capable helping me, unfortunately it appears we made some bad decisions
- I will lose about 1500 RPM off the top end as I went for a cam setup that would not require such high maintenance nor would be as hard on the parts (each of the valve stems were mushroomed)
- Dennis and team are amazing to work with

I will have more details later.

Kevin
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Old 19th May 2011, 10:24 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

The journey starts tomorrow about 6pm CT, I hope to be in NC around 10AM Saturday to pick it up.

I cannot wait.

Kevin
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Old 20th May 2011, 01:51 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Kevin,
I've re-read this entire thread and in your first post you state "The previous owner also spent a fair amount of time debugging he car over the last 700 miles so I am hoping it is at least a little reliable. Truthfully I am in love with it.*"

As we all know now sadly the car's engine has not been reliable. I really feel for you....truthfully you must be beside yourself with frustration and more than a little grief. Saying nothing of how much money its cost to get the car sorted. If its any consulation I too finally lived out my dream and bought a GT40. I mentioned the rocker problems I also had in a previous post on this thread and that was follwed up by waterpump issues. (mine ate 2 Ford Racing waterpumps in less than 300 miles) This required numerous hours of grief and frustration in trying to find out why. It lead to a lazy mechanic somewhere along the line who failed to properly align the belts with the pulleys and used belts that were far too short for the application. If it wasn't for an engineering angel at March Performance I'd still be crying. Then alternator problems. But I found an answer to that issue too. I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Ownership of these cars is a real labor of love. I REALLY hope and pray that your issues are behind you and that you'll be driving your beloved GT40 until the tires go bald. There is so much more I want to do to my car. But for right now I just enjoy driving it. Good Luck. I'm sure everything is going to be perfect and you'll be telling us about the long drives you're enjoying.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 06:41 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Thank Jimmy, all is much better. I question if the original owner just got sick of the issues and gave up, we will never know. I do know that finally calling up folks that know what they are doing is a much better solution.

The car came home this morning after a 34 hour driving marathon from Chicago IL to NC and back. We made it to Olthoff's shop about 10AM yesterday where Dennis proceeded to describe in great detail all the findings. The engine turned into a bigger issue than initially thought due to the way the heads had been machined to support the high tension springs for the aggressive roller cam. As a result, we needed custom springs and a variety of other tweaks to the heads. The other large issue was the wiring, it had burned out many parts and required quite a bit of troubleshooting to identify the multiple issues. It would appear the original shop may have not understood the intricacies of the GT40 when it was built. In summary, is close to the total list of what was repaired/replaced/adjusted:
- New camshaft
- New roller rockers
- New springs and pushrods
- Resurface valves and cut seats (prior cam shaft pounded down the valve stems)
- Replace burned out rheostats (all three were burned out due to improper wiring)
- Replace incorrect clutch bushing (clutch would not engaging fully)
- Repair cooling fan wiring
- Rewire MSD box (it was not wired to the battery)
- Replace washer bottle and pump (pump was also burned out)
- Relocate water lines (they were running over the engine)
- Re-plumb heater connection (water lines were reversed through heater core)
- Install fender liners, center caps, carpet, and window hinge kit
- Repair engine wiring including the alternator wiring
- Adjustment of all body panels
- Plug chassis holes with foam to reduce heat transfer
- Adjust alignment and ride height,
- Test Drive (this is the single item I helped with)

As a result of the new cam, the RPM dropped from 8K to 6.2K but the torque curve also fell and now comes on strong at 1800. The power is still far too much for me, 493HP at the wheels and net I think the engine only lost 20-30 HP on the top end. At the end of the day, the car is finally operable and very enjoyable. While nothing looks different on the outside, it is a very different car on the inside. I donít think losing the RPM is a big deal at all, factored in with the reduced maintenance I am very excited about the end result.

Dennis and team treated me very well and were always upfront with any issues they found. The end price for what was essentially a total rebuild was more than fair. I highly recommend Dennis and team, they helped me out of a jam by which usage of individual repair shops (engine, body, electrical, etc) would have been a much more drawn out process. As indication in the level of detail they used on the car, two clear stickers were placed where the gas cap cover would impact the body to protect the paint. I thought this was a great touch.

Finally, I was able to wander around Dennisí shop. I forgot my camera so I only had the cell phone to take pictures with, as a result I only have three. The first one is the truck trailer combo we took, then two very nice looking MK4ís that were being prepped for vintage racing, and finally my car sitting ready. Aligned to a different thread, I did talk with Dennis about a fix for the three reservoirs that sit up under the front shell (this i being discussed in a different thread). He indicated that a solution is not yet complete yet but they are working on something.

I am looking forward to a great summer with the car

Thanks
Kevin
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Old 22nd May 2011, 07:10 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Thumbs up!
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Old 22nd May 2011, 07:40 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

What a long strange trip it's been! I'm really relieved on your behalf that you got through that so directly. The hassles with the highly tuned engine i kinda understand, but the wiring stuff just sounds bizarre. What did they do, plug it into the wall?

Glad to see you've had a similar experience with Olthoff as I have. That's a first class operation. Taking it to him was a really smart move.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 02:25 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Thanks, it has been a trip. Regarding the electric issues, no idea what was going on where they burned out the components.

The radiator fans were an easy diagnosis, they had the FAST FI system controlling the fans rather than the cars' circuits. This impacted some of the way the AC worked. There were other oddities such as that.

Kevin
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Old 13th September 2011, 07:27 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Small update, car has been trouble free since this summer. Have put about 1500 miles on it and it brings smiles to me, all that see it, and most of those that ride in it (if they aren't screaming).

Looking forward to another month or two of driving before she goes up on jack stands for the winter for some upgrades. I am looking forward to spending a bit of time wrenching on it while things slow down after Summer.

Kevin
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Old 13th September 2011, 07:51 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

OK, fantastic that you're driving and enjoying the car at last. Now what about Sage and her roommate?
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Old 13th September 2011, 03:50 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Hi Kevin,

Very nice car! A shame that I did not know/realized you were in the Chicago Area.
Just there about 2 weeks ago to spend a couple of days in the city with my family.

I would love to see you car some time

Cheers!

JP

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Old 13th September 2011, 06:25 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Drive the heck out of it, I do every chance I get. Good for you Kevin!
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Old 13th September 2011, 11:11 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Kevin,

That is a beautiful car, I love the Blue.
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Old 14th September 2011, 12:01 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Quote:
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That is a beautiful car, I love the Blue.
So do I! I wish had one that color... Oh wait, I do!

One way or another, some day Kevin's car and my car are going out together. I don't care if one of them has to drive to Chicago to do it.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 12:02 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Re: I have changed my status....

Thanks all.

She sits squarely in the middle of the city and would be happy to show the car off if folks make it to Chicago; I am just west of the loop.

Alan, you are more than welcome here in Chicago and/or when you get that beautiful MKII done we can meet half-way. I will drive her there.

Kevin
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