It drives!


May 7, 2005, the Acclaim moved under it’s own power for the first time since I’ve owned it.

I spent the afternoon at Parts Galore, my favorite junkyard, finally yanking the axle shafts out of a forlorn ’86 Daytona Turbo Z that I had earlier rejected because I thought the boots didn’t look perfect. As it turned out, the axle shafts are in good shape, and even though that Daytona was a 5-speed car, they bolted right up (including the intermediate shaft) with nary a problem. I bolted the front suspension all back together, fired up the engine, and took it for a ride!

Of course, there are issues.

  • Haven’t experienced an upshift from the trans, and somehow the gear selector has gone out of whack again. Looks like I’ve got more fiddling to do, and possibly some valve body issues. Wonder what it could be.
  • I’m not getting a lot of power from the motor. Well, not as much as I would expect, anyway. I’ve brake torqued the hell out of it with my vacuum/fuel pump pressure gauge attached and it seems to be stopping around 4psi of boost. There’s a lot of knocking and pinging going on, too, which I am currently attributing to crappy gasoline, but I’m going to have to look carefully to be sure. There’s certainly enough knocking going on to explain the poor power output, though, so I might try a can of that 104 octane boost and see if that doesn’t help the horsepower cause.
  • Evidently there’s a minor transmission fluid leak; probably at one of the radiator hoses.
  • I’m seeing a LOT of water vapor out of the exhaust, but oddly, it doesn’t smell like antifreeze. During tonight’s brake torque run, I drove a LOT of water out of the exhaust system. I wonder if, again, this is a fuel issue, or something more problematic.
  • There’s significant noise around the upper timing belt pulley. Not sure what is going on exactly, though.

I just got the wiper motor and washer pump hooked up tonight, and managed to get that all working properly. The wiper blades need fresh refills, of course, but that’s pretty minor.

Slowly, this thing’s turning into a real car, and I can see where things are becoming very, very positive. Yes, there are some technical issues, and some of them might involve some work to fix, but for the sort of transplant I’ve done here, I expected some issues. Remember, “they” said a newbie shouldn’t attempt to put a turbo into a non-turbo car, it was too difficult, and I’ve done it.

I’ve verified that the turbo wastegate moves freely, and the canister solenoid actuates when pressure is applied (not vacuum!) I’ve got the ignition timing set as best I can figure without a timing light; I’ve tuned it so I get maximum vacuum at idle; around 15-16PSI.

So, I’m on my way. I’m not done by a long shot, but it was very gratifying to drive the car. Now to make it run well and reliably…


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