Monthly Archives: July 2017

7/25/2017: Broken Stud Removal

After a nice long weekend at Fenwick Island, DE, I had a little time to start on the head work for the Ricer’s bent valve issue. The first item I wanted to get done was to remove all of the intake and exhaust studs from an old LS head I had sitting around. To remove the studs, I just double nutted the stud, put some heat to stud and a little PB Blaster, and they spun out with little issue.

Once that was done, I took a look at the head I got from eBay and noticed that it had an exhaust stud broken off. Not too happy, but it gave me a chance to try a procedure that I read about but never tried. I cleaned the broken stud the best I could with Acetone and found a nut that had an inside diameter roughly the size of the stud. I broke out the welder, and with the nut out of the way, I built up a little tack weld on the stud. I placed the nut over the tack weld; then, I used the welder to weld the tack to the nut and made sure it was a good weld. With my fingers crossed, I used a wrench and turned the nut welded to the stud, and with success, the broken stud spun out with no effort. I always read that the heat from welding also helps to loosen up the broken stud, and with this experience, I cannot disagree.

7/20/2017: Volvo C30 Front Brake Change

The front pads on the C30 were getting pretty thin, so I decided it was time to swap the pads. The car has been pretty maintenance free since October 2009, and I did complete a “pad slap” once before, so it was time for a little love. I decided to replace the rotors, pads, calipers and brake line. While this was more than what was needed, I hoping that these new parts will last for another 100,000 miles with little to no issue (with the exception on new pads at some point).

Once I got the car on the lift, the swapping of the parts was a lot easier than I expected. The caliper and caliper bracket was removed, on both sides, with no problem. Once the caliper was unbolted, I decided to remove the brake line from the hard line, left the line connected to the caliper, and the caliper\caliper bracket\brake line was removed as a unit. With the bracket removed, the rotor was pulled off with little effort. The removal effort was the same for both sides, and I was happy with the basic design.

The installation was reverse order. The rotor slide on no problem, and I used a lug nut to hold it in place as I bolted on the caliper bracket. I did connect the brake line to the caliper; then, connected the soft line to the hard line. Once that was connected, the pads went into the caliper, and the caliper was connected to the caliper bracket. Once again, I was pleased with the ease of installation.

Once everything was tighten down, I used my pressure bleeder and bled all four calipers. The fluid was due a change, so it made sense to do all four at this time. After the air was bled out of the front calipers, everything was doubled checked, and it seems to be good to go.

7/17/2017: My Dogs

I did not do too much this weekend, so I relaxed around the house with my dogs. Circe, the brown dog, is almost 14 years old. She is showing signs of old age, but she is still a crazy dog. When she is not napping, she on guard and patrols the back yard for any critter that is not part of her “pack”, and over the years, she has done a masterful job of keeping the yard clear of unwanted critters.

Buddy, the black dog, has been a member of the pack for almost three years. We got him after the passing of Circe’s brother, Rocco. When we got him, he was around 6 years old and had a pretty tough go of it. He was well taken care of at the Antietam Humane Society for 6 months when we meet him. It took him a long time to adjust and trust us, but in the last 18 months, he has really became a part of the family. The biggest change is his love for walks and truck rides. When we first got him, he was terrified of rides and walks, but now, he is so excited for them.

7/13/2017: Parts, Parts and More Parts

1. It still looks like I got bent valves on the Ricer. I have been troubleshooting the misfire, and so far, it is looking like bent valves. The last item I want to check in the distributor. I got a new one showing up today, and if that doesn’t fix it, a good used head is arriving on Friday. I’ll swap in the good used head for now, and over Fall\Winter, I’ll get the current head cleaned up and rebuilt with new cams.

2. I also got new plug wires and plug wire heat shield showing up tomorrow. I had the FFR out the other day, and I noticed a miss, so I check the plug wires, and I had two that got against the header and burnt through the outer layer. I’ll add the heat shield to the new plug wires in hopes that I won’t have this issue again

3. Last but not least, I got new front brake parts ordered for the Volvo C30. The car has 98,000 miles on it, and the front pads need to be replaced. Since the car has 98,000 miles on it, I decided that I will replace the front brake hoses, calipers, rotors and pads at the same time. I figured if these items are swapped now, I should be good to go for the next 98,000 miles (with the exception of new pads at some point).

7/10/17: Things I Learned Today

1. After my last track day, I thought I may have bent a couple valves due to a miss shift, so over the weekend, I did some diagnostics. First, I ran a compression test, and all four cylinders had similar and very good compression. The second test was a leak down test, so I borrowed a friends leak down test kit, and my results showed that all the cylinders are good. With the leak down results, I may not have bent valves, so I looked at the timing, and the intake cam has jumped a tooth on the timing belt. After a little research, a jumped tooth has symptoms that I’m experiencing, so this week, I will reset the timing belt and pulleys to see if my symptoms are fixed, and if so, I will replace the belt and put everything back together for the next track day.

2. It is difficult to go back to work after a few days off. I was very productive on my days off and enjoyed the weekend; however, reality kicked in this morning when I had to get ready for work. I much prefer on working around the house, but every paycheck generates savings which gets me closer to retirement.

7/09/2017: 4-Post Lift

After about 10 years of looking at 4-post lifts, I finally got one. I got the PRO8 with RJ-35 sliding jack combo. The ordering and shipping portion went better than expected. After a quick call to Greg Smith Equipment, I had the combo on order, and I selected the free shipping to a nearby freight depot that is 35 minutes away from my house. The lift was ordered on a Monday, and the lift arrived on Thursday and could have been picked up as early as Friday; however, I had vacation planned, so I delayed pickup until the following Wednesday which was no problem with the Old Dominion depot.

My Uncle came down with his truck and trailer on Wednesday morning to help with the lift pick up and initial install, and after a quick breakfast and a short drive, we were at the freight depot. It took a couple minutes to get checked in and sign for the lift; then, they forklifted the lift and jacks onto the trailer, and we headed home.

Once at my placed, we offloaded the lift pieces, by hand, with the assistance of rollers and jacks. While this was not ideal with two people, we managed without any injuries. With the pieces unloaded, I started to look at the instructions, and these instructions make IKEA instructions look good. The 4-post lift is not a complicated piece, but I did have a couple pieces in backwards, so it did require a little bit of re-work to get all the pieces installed correctly.

I finished all of the big items on day one – posts, ramps, cables, and I finished the details on day two to include the final adjustments. Now that I completed one lift, it would take much less time if I ever help with another lift.

I tested the lift by using the ailing (bent valves) Ricer, and as planned, I can have the Ricer on the lift, and I have room to park either the Cobra or Integra under the ramps. This will allow me to park all of my cars in the garage which I’m looking forward to.

Now that I got the 4-post lift in and working, I feel that I’m pretty much done with large purchases for the garage.

7/07/2017: Track Day Roundup

The TrackDaze track day was a fun day, and once again, it was a well run event. The day started off a little on the bad side when a VW Golf driver ended on his roof in turn 3 on his first lap. This incident did not impact the schedule much.

This was the first time I was on the Summit Main circuit in 7 years, so I did have an instructor with me for the first session, and he was great. He got me on “the line”, and I adjusted through out the day. The Main circuit is fast compared to the Shenandoah circuit, and is fun in a different way. It took a few laps to build trust with the car through the fast turns, but all worked out well.

There were a few really nice “fast” cars in my run group, and it was cool to see a GT350 and a C7 Z06 getting track time. There was other cool cars such as Ferrari, GTR, older Z06es, BMW M series and Porsches.

The bad story is that it looks like I bent valves in the Ricer when I went from third to second instead of fourth. It looks to be a common issue in overrev situations, so I will be working on taking the head off in the coming days. I am borrowing a leak down tester to see if I can figure out which cylinder has the issue. I need to figure out what I’ll do such as upgrade springs\retainers and maybe step up the cams. I do have a head with ITR cams, so a little research will let me know if it is worth swapping the GSR cams for the ITR cams.

Updates to follow.

Links to track day videos:
SL500 creating a train due to no point by

Open track