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About RandyA

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    Major Contributor

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  • Location
    Mechanicsville, VA - Souix Falls, SD or whever we park.
  • Interests
    Fast cars, electronics, big trucks, RV's, boating and my family.

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  1. Ahaaa........ parking spot size. As cars have become smaller so have parking spots. I have found that my GMC dually with an 8' bed simply will not fit in these "new" parking spots. It sticks out at least 4' and left and right rear wheels are right on the parking lines. I must fold in the mirrors to get in or out. I find this extremely irritating. Now for Cracker Barrel - my HDT with the 40' fiver attached easily exceeds the 64' mentioned. I will use the "bus" parking slots as they are longer if they are mostly empty. Actually, I often encounter 40' or 45' class A motor homes with a 16' to 24' trailer parked in Cracker Barrel spots. I am not aware of anyone complaining or traffic being blocked. Cracker Barrel management has not complained when my rig is parked and I am not aware of them complaining to others. Actually, we need more RV'ers willing to step up and speak to those that ignore the basic rules of "free" parking. Escapes has developed a list of rules they publish in their member magazine that can be copied and shared. Sadly, this outspoken individual has overstepped his responsibility with a new "rule" of his own creation. Leave these issues to location management.
  2. I did not know you had been talking with my wife. I prefer to think of it as something else I can check off of my "bucket list". It was a few clicks down from owning and converting the Volvo HDT myself several years back.
  3. Just a follow up. Project is 98% complete. Waiting for a new A/C compressor from Rock Auto as the one on the engine isn't functional after sitting open since 2002. Performance is amazing, exhaust note is pleasing and tires need more glue. 1st gear is totally unneeded - 2nd makes a better start gear. Again, keep in mind I did all of this by myself - NO HELP! .....and I am 74.
  4. SOAP BOX TIME Golly, if I had a nickle for every tire discussion I have had over the years I would have enough money to buy a brand new set of Michelins. BTW - the Goodyear Marathons had a manufacturing site in Canada before moving to China. As consumers in the USA we must consider rules by the EPA, Unions, wages, facility taxes, OSHA, unemployment insurance, and availability of environmentally unfriendly materials that add to the price of the tire that may not be present overseas. Our own need for a living wage, benefits and protections have driven tire manufacturing to countries where rules and needs are more lax. If you remember, the big tire debacle that was back around 1996 with tires made in the USA by Firestore/Bridgestone and used on Ford Explorers was over "Made in the USA" tires. In the RV towable industry manufacturers do everything they can to save a buck and keep the price of their trailers at or lower priced than the competition. For example, trailer A has "C" load rated tires rated for 2,623 pounds at 50 psi. These tires will end up on a trailer using 5,200 pound axles with a total maximum weight rating of 10,200 pounds. Let's see, 4 tires properly inflated = 10,492 pounds. Two 5,200 pound axles = 10,400 pounds. Yep, should be OK since the tires are rated for more than the maximum allowed weight of the trailer - right! Next, the "C" rated tires come from the lowest cost supplier, maybe KungPo in the smog district of an Asian city mounted on a spec wheel with lug nuts and center caps at a cost of only $35 US (including shipping and duty tax) per tire when bought by the container load. Most ( not US!) don't look at the tires, check pressures or avoid tight turns, potholes, speed ratings or weight to see if they are over the rated load - then BOOM - the tire fails and it is named a China Bomb. The RV industry sets up the consumer and it makes me mad! YES, there are bad tires made with recycled and inferior materials, insufficient adhesive under the tread and poor quality control. But, Michelin could make the same tire it makes in the USA in China, Japan, Canada, Mexico or anywhere as long as the same quality standards were met. Where a tire is built is not as important as how it is built. You get bad tires made in the USA and with 65 million tires coming out of China (compared to less than 4 million in the USA) every year you are bound to have China Bombs. BTW - what percentage of USA consumers buy tires by quality, reputation and place built rather than a lower price for a tire that looks the same? We want living wages and benefits but also the lowest possible price. Think about this: When the Coleman-Powermate plant that made portable generators closed in 2008 (Kearney, Nebraska - 200 employees) it was learned that of those employees that owned portable generators few were Coleman-Powermate. Most of the ownership was of lower cost Chinese built generators that were hundreds of dollars less than their product. Go figure?
  5. If you do not want to lose 20% - roll your reservation deposit for Deer Run over to the next year. When 2020 was cancelled, I let them keep my deposit and applied it to 2021 (at whatever dates were to be selected) and did not incur the 20% loss. If necessary, I'll just keep rolling. Much better than current savings interest rates.
  6. I could use Brad's help here. Bolted the clutch and transmission to the engine today and intended to install it on my spare '88 cradle only to discover I needed the front 88 engine mount. It is on the car and I am not ready to pull it yet so ordered one from the Fiero Store. I am now waiting for three different parts orders. Learning very quickly for the umpteenth time that there are no such words as "simple" and "cheap" for anything with wheels, an engine or the structure to go in water. I did get the wiring harness finished and checked out then dressed to the engine. That was an extremely time consuming undertaking (Let's see, red wire goes to blue PCM connector hole #27 and then runs to connector T24 pin #3, etc.) Of course, I still have the wiring from the 3800 PCM to interface with items on the car like gauges, AC, Cruse, etc. Car is OBD1, 3800 engine is OBD2. Many items on car are analog while signals from new PCM are digital. I can convert, but it will require building a few new circuit board interfaces. Things were so much easier when the speedometer had a cable rather than wires.
  7. RandyA

    Bed Shine

    Other than silicone based products that leave everything slick, you "MIGHT" try original Thompson's Water Seal clear applied with a garden sprayer. It will smell horrible for a few days but depending on sun and rain it should last a season. Before you try this be warned just because it might appear that I know what I am talking about does not mean I really do. Any thing like this should be tested in an inconspicuous place first. All the other warnings like "do not drink", wear eye protection, etc. apply. There are several water based sealers for wood and concrete that should bring out the dark black again. Please let us know what you end up using and how well or bad it works. P.S. You do know what an expert is? (A has-been that is a little more than a drip.)
  8. With continued yucky weather keeping me indoors I decided to tackle the wiring harness. The harness I have was handed down with the engine as "professionally made". The more I looked at it the more disturbed I became with what I had. The wiring was wrapped with what I believe to be some cheap imported vinyl tape. The workmanship was just plain sloppy. So, Mr. wire guy here has started cutting off all the vinyl wrap, tracing wiring and connectors, routing the wiring harness and redoing everything with split loom and professional wire wrap tape. It is a slow process as I am checking every wire and connection between the two connectors that go to the PCM and each sensor or connector. The only thing that really puzzles me is there is no wiring or connector for the boost Control Solenoid. I've got to do some research on why that would be so. I have decided to order the front exhaust manifold (Log) from ZZPerformance to replace the OEM cast iron manifold. The manifold on the other side where the 3" outlet resides is OEM header style stainless steel. It will a lot easier to do it now than when it is in the car. For an old guy that grew up on metering rods, carb jets, float levels and ignition point dwell this OBD stuff is a real learning experience. Who would have thought (back in the day) that it would take so many wires just to make a gas motor run 😎 .
  9. AL - For all practical purposes the engine is "NEW". It became a donor in 2003 shortly after the donor car was T-Boned and totaled. Mileage is less than a couple of thousand - maybe much less. I've been inside the engine. Absolutely everything is mint - no dirt, black oil or even a touch of carbon. It has been in storage for 7 years while the previous owner collected conversion parts then decided not to finish the project. The inside of the oil pan is clean enough to eat soup from and definitely free of COVID-19 germs. I've never run across an issue talking about rotation of the main bearing on the 3800 and I have done tons of research on the engine. Like I said earlier, it is historically known as the best engineered engine GM has ever built. Ironically, it is rumored it was slated as an option for the '91 Fiero GT that never made production (to the Corvette's disappointment - I'm sure 😏 !) SPARKY - the 2.8 can come out the top, but it is much easier just to drop the cradle with the trans, struts, suspension and exhaust intact - especially if you are doing a swap and not just a pull-and-fix of the present engine or tranny. To go out the top you need to pull the transmission separately and first. I jack up the front about 18", put shoring under the A frame then remove the rear bumper cover, wheel well liners, decklid and tailights. You can then lift the back of the car by the rear bumper bar and all will slide out. I do everything in a garage with an 8' ceiling, four walls, slick concrete floor, tools handy and plenty of light. The 3800 Supercharged engine is an old and very popular swap. Others are the 3.1, 3.4, 3.4 overhead cam, Cadillac 4.5 & 4.9 - all have the same bell housing. Northstar and of course any small block Chevy are often used with adapter plates or their OEM tranny and PCM. The original high performance Quad-4 was popular with the 4-cylinder guys a decade ago. I've even seen OMC converted outboard motors and all electric drive. Compared to the Volvo D12 engine, clutch and tranny it is something I can do without a crane and 14' high garage ceiling. Any work on the Volvo or fiver other than what keeps the wheels on the ground or no more than jack height for my Volvo must be done outside, under an open sided RV garage port with a gravel floor. Pieces of old carpet adorn the gravel floor for under chassis work and if needed blue tarps can be tied to the side walls to break wind and rain. Still, no way to heat or cool and I am victim of whatever elements the weather brings. The Fiero is inside work - my shop is both heated and air conditioned. Those little things become important as you get older ☺️. To others - I apologize for being off topic. But, most on here are folks I have come to know and consider friends. With stay-at-home orders, projects and discussions as mine, even those drifting to other car projects and personal history are a refreshing escape from sharing with strangers on Facebook. If administrators should wish for me to cease, consider it done!
  10. Winter windshield washer fluid rated for around -30 or better. A bottle of cheap Vodka also works well.
  11. Ahaaaa..... the 392 Hemi. My father owned a 1957 DeSoto Adventurer two door hardtop that had the 392 rather than the smaller 340 something. Two 4-bll carbs. Automatic with pushbuttons on the left dash. A virtual tank that took awhile to get moving but then it was "gone baby gone". Speedo was a drum that rolled from green to yellow then red. Front seats were orange leather and swiveled when you got out. I got it up to the 130 mark on Bethel Valley road one night but it was not well tuned and began to backfire thru the carbs. Young and stupid. Not young any more. Yes, Alan, painting was done with body off piece by piece by yours truly. BTW - I would love to find a 1949 era Ford PU that still had the original flathead V8 and 3 speed at a reasonable and affordable price. It would need to be drivable as at 74 years I don't know if there is enough time left to do my desired type of restoration. And yes, my back has been fixed by a great surgeon and doing great.
  12. Funny you should mention LP injection. I have done that on gas engines. Also water/alcohol using an assortment of home brew electronics, a high pressure surflo plump for water/alcohol along with an oil furnace 1 gph nozzle to atomize and spray into the 454 throttle body throat on my GMC 454 gasser dually. Water/Alcohol injection was used extensively on airplane engines during WW1 and 2 to combat knock from lower compression aviation fuel and altitude. It is actually a very old science that can work well. On turbos it can help to cool the charge and add density to the air/fuel mixture. I have several generators here that I run on LPG rather than gasoline and have really failed to notice the advertised drop in advertised performance over gasoline. My fiver has an Onan 5500 LPG generator on board. My main issue is while gas and diesel prices have dropped they are still charging over $3 a gallon for LPG - at least in my area. One item I am considering for the 3800 is to install a GM cold start injector in the hole left in the manifold by the removal of the gooy EGR and plumbing it to LPG, MAPP or even oxygen or a mix available in disposable screw top containers at most home store tool centers. When my Volvo D12 was suffering from leaking injector cups and refused to start without considerable cranking after sitting I ran a 1/4" nylon brake line into an opening where the pre-heater would have been and flooded the intake with LPG from a disposable tank beside my seat before cranking. I got an immediate start along with a huge cloud of white smoke. I also go back to a 1968 Road Runner with a 383 and Carter AFB that I owned many years ago. At the time I was in the local rescue squad and one day borrowed a demand regulator and a small tank of oxygen. With the outlet from the O2 plumbed into the unplugged vacuum port on the back of the AFB I quickly discovered that there was a marked performance improvement. I guess it was the precursor of the popularity of NOX systems? Anyway, lots of stuff out there to experiment with without spending a fortune.
  13. Yes, 6.8 is optimistic. It is also totally wrong due to a calculator button push error. At 2,200# and 320HP it would be 1HP for each 6.8 pounds. I was computing weight in the 2200 pound category while in truth with AC, passenger, seating, etc. the scales would top in the 2600# weight class. Still, 2600# is 1 hp for every 8.1 pounds - well under the magical 1hp to 10 lbs. You know, it is said and written that the 3100 and 3800 are the best designed and most durable of any of GM's engines. If your are into reading, Kindle or otherwise, General Motors 3800 V6 Engine: The Untold Story by M. Taubitz and R. Vasilow is a most interesting read.
  14. Marcel - there are many DT530/8.7 IH on the road today in school buses and smaller class 6-7 vehicles as well as it's smaller DT466. I would venture to guess someone like Banks could steer you in the general direction you want to go or you might investigate what is being used on the DT570. Keep in mind changing the turbo is somewhat of a landslide project requiring other changes that your EECM/PCM may not see as compatible. Typically, when you increase boost you are looking at a different fuel MAP if not more fuel pressure and/or larger capacity injectors. I have no real idea what I am talking about for you particular engine but be prepared for the possibility of additional and cost. Also consider larger turbos spin up slower on factory engines and exhaust and may actually drop performance.
  15. Some of you are aware I have a 1988 Pontiac Fiero that I have owned for 30 years. It has been through several rebuilds over the years and remains a beautiful (IMHO) car that I love to drive. Well, about 12 years ago I dropped out the 2.8 engine and swapped in a 3.4. I had a turbo but I never could get the ECM and boost sensor to work right despite multiple attempts to burn new EPROMs. The turbo was removed and replaced with a set of custom headers. With the 3.4 the car was reasonably quick and was timed at 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. One too many runs at 7,000 RPM has apparently caused a valve failure. The 3.4 engine is coming out. In its place is a "NEW" 2003 3800 Series II supercharged transplant (how it happens to be "NEW" is an interesting story for another day.). With the stay at home orders I have completed most of the prep work such as the wiring harness, reprogramming the PCM, putting on a smaller supercharger pulley to increase boost, moving the alternator, changing rockers, pushrods and valve springs to 1.75 ratio (1.6 stock) to bring the engine up to approximately 325 HP. If the clutch and Getrag tranny hold I should be in the upper 4 second range for 0-60. I am looking at a weight to HP figure of about 6.8 HP per pound of car. That is a nice figure. Anyway, this is my COVID-19 Stay at Home project for the summer. The Volvo is in pretty good shape and no major projects are needed with the exception of possibly re-plumbing the exhaust due to age and rust mites. The fiver is also in good shape and doesn't need any serious work other than a good wash and wax job. So, I might as well entertain myself with the engine swap. Please don't remind me I am approaching 74 very soon. I must be an idiot.
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