CamT's build thread

I'm using a Mighty Mouse catch can. I hooked it up as per David Childress from Mighty Mouse. But I refuse to disclose the top secret hose routing he had me use on my LS3.

Dude. Lol I think the Mighty Mouse is an open PCV which is not applicable to my particular car. That information would probably best be posted in the “other” thread though. On the other hand this is a pretty hot topic and you may be able to pull a few Benjamins for that info ...
Cam and Rich, did you purchase the Bosch 044 pump or did you get the fuel system kit with your car?
Del - I purchased both mine from eBay (it's the only way I know of to get one of these pumps into CA). Since Allan's got your car I'm sure he wouldn't mind taking a few photos of the terminals and crimping area to see if you have a potential issue. It's difficult to know how pervasive these counterfeiters are; if Allan's still got the box your pump came in there's a serial number/code on the outside that you can enter on Bosch's site to verify legitimacy. I'd say if it came in a yellow box and your terminals are the same length there's good cause to be concerned. I believe the yellow boxes were phased out in 2016 but I'm sure RCR purchases a bunch at a time; hopefully yours was purchased after they made the change to blue boxes. Otherwise take a close look at the crimping and terminal lengths.

I'm sure a year from now we'll be talking about how the counterfeiters are now running unequal length terminals!
Thanks for the info! It appears mine is good, but if it does fail at least I'll know there's copies out there. I'd never have guessed a fuel pump until you brought it up.
I wrote a book! (Actually 2!)

I turned my blog into a book using, a pretty cool service. A few clicks and you’ve got a book and the pricing was reasonable.

Page quality and resolution came out very nicely, paper weight is also good.

Apparently my verbal vomit is extensive, I exceeded their allowable page count and had to break it up into 2 books.


Joel K

I wrote a book! (Actually 2!)

I turned my blog into a book using, a pretty cool service. A few clicks and you’ve got a book and the pricing was reasonable.

Page quality and resolution came out very nicely, paper weight is also good.

Apparently my verbal vomit is extensive, I exceeded their allowable page count and had to break it up into 2 books.

Very nice Cam, I have to say you really embraced the build process and have a great car and documented memories to go with it. I’ve enjoyed your material very much.

Roger Reid

Cam. What you have done is a first. I feel you have just increased the resale value of your SLC by, well, a lot. That's if you ever wanted to sell.
Thanks guys, appreciate the kind words!

I’ll throw this out in case there’s any interest. The site is running a -20% promotion right now. For both books I paid $300 total. There’s 370 pages total between the 2 books, total weight is 9.2lbs - pretty beefy!

There’s a volume discount but I have no idea at what point it kicks in. If anyone wants a copy I’d be happy to place the order and distribute to whomever would like a set. If there’s only one person interested then it’s a simple drop ship, any more and I think it’ll depend on what the discount is versus shipping cost (my $300 included shipping).

I’ll check as well, I think there’s something I can do to make the books available for anyone to purchase, that may be the way to go just to keep me out of the equation.
I think roger is right. What better way to document your build. Using a hard bound book and knowing that you will do this in your build You can an it out and really make a professional presentation if and when you decide to sell your car. Imagine handing that to a prospective buyer. He’s going to think 1 your can is world famous. And 2. You have been published. Then you can break it to him it’s just the way you documented your build. Cam. Really a great idea. Thanks for passing that along. When Allan gets started on mine. I’ll make sure he takes a lot of pictures and notes.
Well, the last couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least. In particular this last week has been very hectic.

I won't re-type everything I did in the other thread but I'll go ahead and link it here:

Getting this new fuel system online has been anything other than smooth. Lots of things added up to confound finding root cause of my issues and it seems it's a multi-issue cluster F that's dogged me these past few days.

I've been surprisingly productive this morning and it's not even 8AM yet! I've published 2 more posts to my blog recounting the saga that's been redesigning my fuel system and I've put together a new video.

Incorporating the new FiTech surge tank/fuel pump has been a challenge. Here's the story of a bumbling fool who attempted to do so:

66. Fuel me once, shame on you! Fuel me twice, shame on me! Fuel me thrice and I'm an idiot!

As part of the work leading up to incorporating the FiTech, I got to really learn about these Bosch 044 knock-offs. I actually purchased another counterfeit pump - yes, that makes THREE in total now. I wanted to see what the latest and greatest batch of fakes looks like - this one came in the blue box (as current ones do) but the eBay seller states it's part of an older batch (which is why it doesn't have the unique code/serial number label) - HAH! I also spent some time going over the new FiTech install in my car.

Fixing my broken fuel system - YouTube link

And last but not least, this morning's heartbreak. #SLC4Life!

67. 20 hurts so bad

Roger Reid

I'm sorry Cam. It's not as important as your personal health. The next chapter should be named "Take a breath". You will figure it out.
So a fair amount of activity on the SLC this last week. Thanks to everyone who suggested I look into alternate surge tank vendors. The ones I focused on were:

  • Integrated Engineering
  • Deatschwerks
  • 034 Motorsports
  • Radium Engineering

At the end of the day I decided to go with Radium Engineering's surge tank coupled with my genuine Bosch 044 pump. It seems we've gone full circle - and I'm sure more than a few people are scratching their heads regarding my decision to go back to the Bosch pump.

The two things that seem to have really screwed me over with this whole fuel system drama has been poor quality (fakes) and poor assembly/quality control. The knock-off pumps are of low quality and have a low expectation for life. The FiTech system was rife with questionable design and poor quality control. So I figured the Radium Engineering unit was the best way for me to personally address those two issues.

The RE surge tank has the option of coming with or without a pump - and they can accommodate multiple pump designs. I elected to supply my own pump because I didn't want to chance that they'd send me a knockoff (I actually don't believe they would), but I also didn't want them to perform end of line assembly either. On top of that their charge for a Bosch 044 was $250, a pretty significant mark-up. Lastly they don't offer any warranties with their supplied pumps - run fuel through them and you're out of luck if it kicks over dead in 20 miles. So final assembly would be performed by me, if there was any cross-threading to be done, it would be my own damn fault - I can live with that.

The linch pin that set me along the RE design was my ability to source my own legit Bosch pump via Summit. Now that this doorway is open to me I have a supply of known-good future pumps should it become necessary. I also believe if the pump died in the first 20 miles that Summit wouldn't hesitate to cover me with a replacement. As far as I know, the Bosch pump is also the only pump on the market for which you can verify its authenticity. Every legit pump comes packaged with a serial number you can use at a Bosch website to verify it's the real deal - I don't think you can do that for anything else out there. Of course, the likelihood that someone in Asia is going to knock off a Deatschwerks pump is pretty low but at this point I'm sticking with the tried (by others!) and true.

In addition to those two big points there were several other design reasons I preferred the Radium unit over the others.

OK, time for some photos!

Here's what the FiTech unit ended up producing when I dead-headed the pump. At this point it should be producing its maximum outlet pressure since it's at full restriction. This test confirmed there was definitely some internal issue with the pump.

OK, I didn't think all was lost. Allan had mentioned that the internal feed tube had broken on his and photos of the FiTech guts looked like it was a simple hose clamped on either end. No biggie, I can fix that - except that I couldn't. At least one, possibly 2 of the screws holding the FiTech surge tank together were cross-threaded. Someone either reefed down on it and prayed they wouldn't snap the bolt during assembly or they used an electric/pneumatic drill and just went to town without first starting by hand. After getting kicked in the face and missing the Concourse, then finding that the assembly was performed by a monkey I'd had enough. I was thoroughly disgusted with FiTech and I couldn't stand the thought of them making any money from me - no more chances.

So here's a few pics of the Radium unit:

It's similar to the FiTech - billet aluminum, lots of nice machining and anodized. It definitely drips of high quality. Total capacity is probably comparable to the FiTech, maybe a bit less. I'm not too concerned about running it dry.

The two tanks next to each other:

Bonus points - the Radium and FiTech have the same mounting pattern so it's literally a drop-in replacement.

Top view - the fittings are arranged a little differently between the two. The RE unit has a MUCH more robust electrical connection, and it's placed toward the outside which makes getting to it a lot easier. You can install the harness with your fingers. I had tried to install the electrical last on the FiTech and discovered that getting a tiny 5/16" wrench down between all those fittings was very difficult. On my second unit I had pre-terminated wires and installed them first, before securing my hoses.

Closeup of the wiring:

Here's what the guts will look like once they're installed into the tank. There's no hose between the pump discharge and the top plate - it's a metal fitting that passes through the top plate. Similarly, the pump is hard mounted to the lower plate which serves as the inlet feed for the pump.

Of course this story wouldn't be complete without a dash of bad luck. Literally, the last component to get installed before closing out the surge tank is a nylon washer that acts as a seal between the green fitting and the top plate. My hardware kit was missing this $0.05 washer. Uuuuungh. And of course by the time I'd realized this it was Friday. I called Radium and they were pretty cool about it - they apologized and said they'd have a washer for me in the mail immediately. Unfortunately I'd already bargained with my wife for a day this weekend to work on the car and I'd burnt a lot of currency doing that - and now I wouldn't be able to work on the car! I inquired about next-day shipping and was told it would be $70. I guess I didn't need the washer that badly ...

So being the DIY kind of guy I am, I got the specs for their washer and made my own out of some rubber I had laying around. The washer is nylon so I went a little thick on the rubber to give it more compression.

It felt pretty solid after I got everything tightened down. I then plumbed the system and fed +12V to the LP pump to fill the surge tank - all looked good, no leaks. I then ran +12V to both pumps so I could set my FPR and look for any leaks. Again, all looked good - it appeared my rubber washer was working!

It was about 10PM when I'd gotten this far and I couldn't go to bed without attempting an engine start. I knew this was going to eat up some of my "good neighbor" currency but I couldn't help myself - the engine fired right up and sounded healthy! I only let the engine run for a few seconds before shutting it down and calling it a night.

The next morning I hopped out of bed and got into the SLC for a shakedown drive. I had a tough time sleeping, I was looking forward to driving the car so much I woke up ~2hrs earlier than I'd intended to. It was way too early to be waking up the neighbors, I'd already probably irked a few the night before. When I heard the neighbor's gardener running their leaf blower I knew it was time!

I made it a few blocks then checked for any leaks - and wouldn't you know? That cloud that's been following me around decided to strike right then and open up on me - yep, fuel leak - right where my ghetto washer was installed. Uuuuungh ... OK, no choice now but to wait until I get the real deal washer from Radium before I can give it the beans. At least now I feel like I've got a solid solution and there's just a small bit of work to do before I can finally close this chapter and move on. I'm a pro at R&R'ing my entire fuel system now!

Another YouTube video, hopefully the last having to do with my fuel system. The short drive was pretty glorious, that car is just such an awesome experience. I know I bitch about the sound at highway speeds - but in the city, it just sounds SO DAMN GOOD.

More words and photos on my blog. In the immortal words of 2Pac Shakur -

68. "Defeat is not my destiny, Release me to the streets" - 2Pac
I was out on my maiden video run Sunday evening to get some bulk footage, there is much to learn and understand. For cameras I have at my disposal - two Contours, three GoPros and one Vivitar. How do you capture engine sound? Any camera mounted outside the car is useless for audio (wind noise) and one inside the cabin does not really get all the engine soundtrack. I was thinking of mounting one camera under the engine cover just for audio, then synchronizing the audio with various external footage in the editing phase.

Your thoughts?

BTW: It's annoying how confidently you can shift your car..... Stop That.
Rob - I haven’t figured out a way to get good exhaust sound, I looked into getting something fancier for a few minutes but realized I only have maybe one or two videos left in me and didn’t want to make the investment. My exhaust pops a good bit (man do I love that sound!) I imagine that would give most mics a tough time. Most pro shooters I see have a big wind sock of some kind on their uni-directional mics. Probably having something that can focus at a location helps with not picking up wind noise.

I just saw a YouTube video where a guy taped his iPhone freebie headphones/mic to the rear bumper and it sounded pretty decent! I may try that for the next video. I’ve got an old iPhone that I wouldn’t be too sad if it got damaged. I’ll tape it and the headphones to the rear diffuser and let you know how it does.
Rob - on the shifting - you have a Ricardo right? Those things are still in demand, I’d bet you could probably swap it out for a Graziano and a new shifter mech for nearly a wash or even come out ahead. The shifting experience adds a lot to my overall enjoyment of the car. The paddle shifter guys are going to miss banging through the gears if they’re not all about time slips.