Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT) - Page 2 - Photos & Media Forum

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Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Friday, July 01, 2016 5:50 PM
Well got really lucky at the junkyard.
Found a very clean 03-05 sub-frame that someone already pulled the control arms AND steering rack off of, so was super easy to remove.
Getting it on mine.. not so much lol


BUT no more rusted out sub-frame... which wasnt even that bad, only bad spot was that one area by the sway bar bushing.

Didnt take any photos, cos I was hot.
And it was boring.

But scored a set of 95-99 Z24 wheels with good tires..

But the best part was... watched them bring in a Grand Am... which,,. happened to have...

So I was able to grab a LO intake manifold W/ throttle body, and more importantly a 95' intake cam.
Just need the pre 94' exhaust cam now for the "secret cam" swap.

I think the previous owner filled the airbox with oil cos this thing was COVERED and FILLED with oil lol

But it cleaned up nicely.

Gonna take it to a shop next week to have the protrusions cut off and the intake cleaned up.

Hoping to find the exhaust cam before the end of the month, so I can install the cams when I change the timing chain and waterpump(since I'm already gonna be there).

Building it one piece at a time

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Saturday, July 02, 2016 6:42 AM
FYI you can get the exhaust cam new for $141.99 from parts store. MC832

FU Tuning

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, July 03, 2016 3:30 PM
I think I have sourced for one 6 alot less than new.
But we will see, Still have to get a timing chain set and water pump, really hope to find the exhaust cam cheaply before the end of the month so I can do everything at one time.
But if not, oh well I guess.

Thanks to a friend, have these coming soon for the evil eye mod for my hood.

Cleaned up the manifold at the car wash, still gotta get the unused moutns cut off though, and paint it.

And was out driving, and grabbed some pics because why not.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, July 03, 2016 5:01 PM
I do recommend a new timing chain tensioner, but I would reuse your factory chain. Also recommend the 1 piece tensioner.

Also would you be interested in some trunk carpet for a fire? I have the 2 sides in great shape!!

FU Tuning

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 10:09 AM
The motor has almost 220k miles, would the factory chain still be okay to reuse?

It would definitely speed up the cam swap by cutting out having to save up for a timing chain.

Well I've finally acquired the LO 2.3 exhaust cam, just need to get the parts to fix the noisy tensioner and they will be going in.

Had to replace the alternator few weeks back, in doing so I found that the stock 2.4 intake was leaking at the gasket between manifold and head.
Got lucky and found a low mileage 2002 Alero with a flawless alternator.
Since I had everything to swap to the LO 2.3 manifold, decided free upgrade was better than buying a $30 gasket for the stock manifold.
Still need to go back and clean up the swap's aftermath, hide all the wires and vacuum lines that I didn't bother hiding when swapping,

Didn't want to drill a hole into the intake tube for the 2.4 IAT sensor, so i did a experiment in the junkyard and found out if you cut the 'guides' off the 2.4 IAC plug, it'll work with the 2.3 sensor.

Had to extend the wires, but it works and I don't have to plug that hole now because its being used.

Hoping by the end of the month(August) I'll have the secret cams installed.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 7:28 PM
Love this project. How's the evil eyes going on the hood? I got a new hood, and decided against doing that, thinking it would be more hassle than it's worth. I'm also in the middle of body work, and painting my 95 2.2

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Friday, September 23, 2016 11:46 AM
Well can't get pics right now, my laptop is down.
But motor is torn down, timing chain was a lot worse than I expected, lucky it didn't jump time.

Hoping to order the new timing set and water pump Monday.

One snag, which ended up being being a interesting experiment is the gentleman is bought the exhaust can off of for the secret cam swap sent the wrong cam, but this one may work better.

For those unaware of the secret cam swap;
Stock LD9 cams;
Intake 198* .50" .354
Exhaust 198* .50" .345

Secret cams
95' intake 200* .50" .360
Pre-94 LO exhaust 200* .50" .375

87-89 exhaust (what I'm gonna run)
212* .50" .350

So it only adds .005 of lift, compared to the .030 of the LO, but adds 14 degrees of duration.

Hopefully have everything back on the road next week.

Also I've scrubbed the cam towers, and as soon SD the timing housing is off they all are getting painted a aluminum color, while the 2.3 manifold and IDI cover will be gun metal.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Saturday, September 24, 2016 8:25 PM
Finally got pictures to go with this update.
WARNING this will be a BIG photo post.

First off, going back a bit before the motor work stuff, had a few little updates.

before and after I did some clean up under the hood;

Also picked up a set of wheels.
18x7.5" ADR Victory, need some center caps and I plan on painting the center spokes gunmetal while leaving the lip polished.
How I got them vs some cleaning

On the Sunfire. YES lowering it is on my to-do list.

Since I needed something to seal the EGR after doing the 2.3 manifold swap till I cut off the flange on the EGR bracket and used it to seal the hole.
Once the motor goes back together I'll run a 00+ exhaust manifold gasket, but this worked great as a temporary fix.

But now onto the tear down stuff.
After getting everything torn down for the timing chain and water pump replacement, I decided itd be a waste of time if I didn't go ahead and replace the head gasket while I was this far into the motor.
So new HG and bolts are being ordered with the rest of the parts off of
Even better the Fel-Pro HG is on blowout sale, so it was a mere $6.

Condition of the timing chain.

Got the cam towers town down.
Not shown yet, today I got the housing removed.

Scrubbed the cam towers(since at the time it was the only parts I had off to clean).
Top half is after scrubbing, bottom is before.

This week I am going to scrub down the timing housing and intake manifold and prep them for paint.
Decided I am going to paint the Head/Towers/Housing aluminum, wanting a "factory" look.
While the Intake manifold will be gun metal, IDI cover will be both aluminum and gun metal.
Fuel rail will be 'polished' and motor mounts, brackets, etc will be just black.

And finally, had a small change in the 'secret cams' I was gonna run.
Was sent the wrong exhaust cam, but after talking to the guy I bought it from and some people on the Quad 4 Facebook page I think this cam will work even better.
First of all, if you don't know what the cam swap is, well here's a brief run down.
Stock cams:
Intake 198* duration 50" .354 lift
Exhaust 198* duration 50" .345 lift

"secret" cams
95' Intake 200* duration 50" .360 lift
pre-94 LO exhaust 200* duration 50" .375 lift

Well the exhaust cam I got is a older LO cam and is as follows;
212* Duration 50" .350 lift

a stock and new exhaust cam.

Unlike the stock and 95' intake cams, the difference in duration is obvious just by eye sight.
Only way I can tell the intake cams apart(since I dont have a caliper) is to measure the distance between the lobe and cam tower wall.

It doesn't have as much lift as the LO, but has much more duration which on the exhaust side should see some nice improvements.
We shall see.

Well thats all for now...
Ordering parts Monday, and Tuesday I will hopefully get the header off(having a hell of a time with the down pipe bolts, need a breaker bar and more spray haha), water pump removed and head taken off.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, September 25, 2016 6:40 AM
Why are you doing a head gasket if you dont have a issue? It is not really one of those things that you replace in case, like a water pump.

FU Tuning

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, September 25, 2016 9:41 PM
Figured why not?

With 220k on the motor, seems like a waste not to go ahead and replace it since the motor is already torn down this far, and it's only adds $20 to my total cost of parts.
Is it going to cause issues or something?

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, September 25, 2016 10:03 PM
Well after reading up on it, I guess I won't bother with the HG.

Building it one piece at a time

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Monday, September 26, 2016 4:51 PM
Well the parts have shipped out today, will be here (hopefully) Thursday and it'll be back together this weekend.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Thursday, September 29, 2016 9:52 AM
Well got the final part off that needed to come off yesterday, water pump housing.
Gave it a quick scrub and its ready to go back on tomorrow.

Was not going to put everything back together without painting it.
Scrubbed everything down, and gave them a good paint job.
Timing housing, cam towers, head and transmission are silver(actually Aluminum according to the can).

Secondary color is.. well was supposed to be gun metal but apparently I got "New Ford Gray. But I like it, feels "Factory" to me.

Wanted to see what it was gonna look like.

Since at this point I had full access to the transmission, I scrubbed it clean and gave it some primer and a coat of silver as well.


I have all the parts now, and tomorrow(friday) it all goes back together.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Thursday, September 29, 2016 5:44 PM
Yeah on the HG, just alot of work.

The Aluminum color looks good. I like it.

The "Ford grey" does looks stock. I'm curious to see it back together.

Good job.

FU Tuning

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Saturday, October 01, 2016 7:34 PM
Thank you!

its back together, and I'm quite happy with it.

Only issue I have as of right now is a small oil leak on the lower back side of the exhaust tower, same spot there was a leak before.
I cleaned both surfaces, I'm thinking there must be a nick in the metal or maybe a slight warped spot.
Its not a horrible leak, I'd say at the most it'd cause maybe a qt every other month or so in lose oil.

Theres no more tapping, or knocking coming from the motor so it was all timing chain related.
When I laid the new chain next to the old chain the old chain was almost a full link and half longer, it was stretched BAD.

But it runs great, between the cams and new timing chain it feels like a different machine.
Off the line it definitely has more "oomph", doesn't feel like it hesitates getting momentum.
But the gain seems the most noticeable after 3k RPMs, doesn't seem to drop off at all, goes right up to redline, and doesn't seem to "lag" when the transmission shifts anymore.

Had to reuse the old worn out mount, as the one I was having made couldn't get done in time.
I'm sure its hindering performance a little, especially off the line and between shifts.

But over all I'm very happy with it.
I need to take some pictures with the IDI cover on.

And here are a few pics I took putting it back together, not many because there really wasn't anything that exciting to show.
(and the A/C system was drained by the owner before the guy I bought it off of)

I will go back in the next few weeks and clean up, and paint if I have to the alternator, it just looks.. out of place now. haha.

But looking forward to getting it on a dyno before the year is up and seeing what its putting down.
And eventually getting it on the track.

Near future goals;
*Urethane control arm bushings
*Rear hub spacers
*Header(maybe a flowmaster or similar non rice muffler)
*New auto transmission mount
*Evil Eyes on hood
*If I cant clear up these headlights, new headlights
*Deal with the right side pain issues when it warms up

For now though, I'm gonna enjoy driving it.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, October 02, 2016 6:20 PM
Well the small leak on the back of the exhaust tower seems to of stopped, I tightened the cam bolts one extra lb to 14lbs of torque and it seems to of stopped leaking.

I have done some.. "spirited" driving today and gotta say, it feels great.
I really want to get a tune on it, seems like the power curve wants to go past the rev limiter, it will hit redline and then stay there for a moment before the transmission shifts.

Could a stock valve train handle maybe 500rpms added to the red line?

Here's some "final" product shots.

I think I'd like to do something with the lettering so it stands out a little bit.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, October 02, 2016 9:04 PM
valve train can handle more RPM's, but you will be surprised you want have any more power up there. I have dyno sheets of stock cars and ones with your cams. They look the same and power starts to dip down after 6k. I know how it feels, but the truth is different.

FU Tuning

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Thursday, October 13, 2016 5:01 PM
This is a sick build for sure. I like everything about your motor work. The attention to detail and how neat everything is. Overall, I like it a lot.
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 12:08 PM
Josh, glad to see it is back together.

PRND321 Till I DIE
Old Motor: 160whp & 152ft/lbs, 1/4 Mile 15.4 @88.2
M45 + LD9 + 4T40-E, GO GO GO
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Thursday, October 20, 2016 4:35 PM
Well ran fine till about 2 weeks ago(probably closer to 3 now), I blew the #3 injector o-ring on the rail side, made a big mess of my engine bay.
But luckily I was leaving my wife's work and was able to borrow her car to go get O-rings.

Both Advance and Napa couldn't get the o-rings in till the next morning so I went to a local parts store and we sized up some rings that fit.
Worked great until a few days ago When it developed a misfire, and idle issues.
Found the cause to be #2 injector o ring failed.

Hard to see, but its misformed.
So ordered the correct ones and the next day had them in(swapped ALL the injectors to these).

Apparent;y the black ones weren't meant for high temps.
But its running again.

While I was there, replaced the spark plugs as well.
You can see where #2 failed how much darker that one plug is, I'd noticed some idle issues before it failed so I guess itd been burning bad for about a week.

May not of been the cause, but seems odd the plug from the cylinder the o-ring failed was darker *shrug*

Some older updates.
Got the EvAP system completely removed now.

Not a big fix, but cleaned out and got the cig lighter working again, so now I can charge my phone in the car again

Also replaced the extremely worn out lower mount with a better condition one I grabbed for $5 at the yard.
It'll suffice till I have the funds to upgrade it.

on the 29th my local yard is having another 5gallon bucket sale, anything that fits in the bucket is $30.
Some of the things I plan to grab are;
*Delta platform battery cable for a battery relocation
*lower drivers door hinge, as mine is worn out and the door doesnt want to close all the time
*Gauge Cluster(My trip doesn't work)
*Right headlight(mine is internally yellowed)
*Fuel rail(for cleaning up, and hopefully lower mileage injectors and spare parts)
*Rear speakers(mine are blown)
*steering wheel(mine is literally melting lol)
and a few odds and ends.

I'm currently trying to sell the 18s to buy a fellow J-body-er's lowering set up and slap the 95-99 Z wheels back on.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Saturday, October 29, 2016 9:58 AM
when buying single o rings from parts store you have to be carefully if they are compatible with fuel. Not all are. I have been in your shoes before.

I would not call that plug burnt, actually close to burning right as the others are whiter/leaner. It had something to do with the o ring on that cylinder for sure, as air fuel ratio changes when you have a leak.

FU Tuning

Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, October 30, 2016 10:05 PM
Well car is running, most of the time.
Having some idle related issues as of lately still.

When started up from cold, runs fine.
I can drive anywhere and it runs like a dream.

However, if I shut it off, wait a few minutes and start it back up itll idle like crap, often stuttering and sometimes stalling.
But most of the time a few small revs and its fine, or just start moving, it runs fine from that point on.

I've also had the car studder and stall going down my steep gravel road.
Doesn't always happen, but occasionally it does,
It'll start up just fine with no idle issues.

I've got a few things to replace, and see if it fixes the issue in the next week or two.

Friday went on a field trip with my son's 2nd grade class.
Things were fine.
Till I left the gem mine place onm our way to the park where they were gonna eat lunch.

and YES I KNOW I need new tires,

Happened to have a patch kit in my trunk from patching a friends tire a few weeks ago.
Hopefully it'll hold over till December when I get a extra payday and can afford some tires.

On another note, had a good day at the bucket sale Saturday.
They didn't have alot of the stuff I wanted, but I did get everything I needed.
-Lower door hinge, mine is worn out to where you must lift up on the door as you shut it or it wont latch
-Replacement headlights, didn't want to put the time and effort into mine so I got some cleaner ones to refurbish.
-Replacement rear speakers since mine are blown, found some Pioneer so I guess thats a upgrade over stock
-Replacement fuel rail(amazing shape, looks brand new) also thought idle issue may be a bad FPR so theres that possibility
-Various odds and ends I needed, few random sensors to have for back up
-Some parts to try and sell

You cant really see the fuel rail in this shot, but its the shiny silver thing behind the coilpack(for selling) lol

With just some toothpaste, the replacement headlights already look amazing compared to the old ones.
Just gotta charge up my drill and I'll be running a headlight restoration kit on them.

I'll take better pics of the above mentioned items as I swap them on.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Saturday, November 12, 2016 9:39 PM
Well here are a few little updates.

Finally located the source of that annoying rattle/knock.
The crank pulley bolt came loose.
No more knocking, amazing how good it feels knowing there isn't anything wrong.. like rid knock lol

Installed those Pioneer speakers in the rear, but they lack any bass at all.
Didn't think they'd kill the sound so bad.
Oh well.
Going to make some adapers to use them in the doors, and buy some nice 6x9s for the rear.
I cannot stand my music so flat.

Cleaned up the headlights I got with a cheap headlight restoration kit I found at.. well I dont remember lol
It helped alot, but I want to get a better kit and get them even better.
Already look, and put out much more light at night.

Also solved another issue, the idle problem.
Swapped out the fuelrail and FPR I got at the bucketsale, no more rough idle or stalling after shutting it down and starting it back up.
Plus it looks great, also cleaned up the fuel lines, and painted them as well.
Upgraded the OEM 7mm plug wires with 8mm plug wires.

Decided to finally hook up the air/oil separator to the intake tube again at last.
Know a few friends who run oil catch cans, and so I figured it'd be a perfect thing to add at this time.
At the time I figured they were all the same.. wrong lol
Found a auction that was ending soon, bought one for $6 shipped.
While the can itself is nice, its completely empty inside.

Ran it a few days like this, and you could see the condensation before and after the can.
Not good.

Well after some research, I decided that I'd modify it to work.

While I dont have pictures of the mod, first thing I did was add a copper tube from the IN side down to the bottom of the can.
In theory it'll give the dirty vapors a chance to settle at the bottom, instead of being immediately sucked into the intake tube.
I've ran it like that since then, about 3 days now.
I'm not sure about the oil/fuel residue, but there is no more visible moisture in the clear tubing past the can.
Next step is to cut the can open, I found a old silicon intake tube coupler reducer fits the can perfectly, so I'll use it to seal it after its cut open.
Inside I'll add steel wool on the bottom, with some filter material used to strain cooking oil.
Should work just as good as any expensive catch can.

Tuesday, my friend is going to be welding on a flowmaster for me, part of a payment for the 18" wheels I sold him.
Can't wait.

And finally.
A former Jbody owner and friend of mine cut out and mailed me evileye blanks.
Just gotta wait for my brother-in-law to have time to get them welded on for me.
They are upside down/wrong side in these pictures, but I just wanted to see them on.

Building it one piece at a time
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Saturday, November 12, 2016 10:00 PM
Looking good, lots of pics. Might be a dumb response to ask but is the polarity correct on the speakers?

ReD RaiN
Re: Back in the game(98' Sunfire GT)
Sunday, November 13, 2016 6:03 PM
T!M8!T wrote:Looking good, lots of pics. Might be a dumb response to ask but is the polarity correct on the speakers?

You know what, I'm not sure I had to make connectors for them, I may not of wired them in correctly.
I will reverse them and see if anything changes.

Building it one piece at a time
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