I report back with good and bad news.
First, the bad news. My driveshaft has a faulty universal joint on the differential side. But, the good news is, this is more than likely my problem that I have been having regarding my vibration and metallic “clicking” sound.
I’m not sure if I described this issue in the previous post, but back in August of 2010 (which was the last time I really enjoyed the Z), I attended the Midwest Z Fest and participated in the track day event. I can honestly say that I have never had so much fun in my life! This opportunity to take my car out on the track and see what it has and knowing that I built this machine was thrilling,. to say the least. Anyways, I had my cutout open all day and wasn’t able to notice any kind of unusual sounds if they were to arrise. However, once I left the track, I had closed my cutout and under acceleration leaving the track, I noticed a consistent clicking noise. This clicking had a distinct metallic sound to it that was very worry some. I continued to listen closely as I left the track, and it persisted. Once I was on the interstate, I noticed that there was a slight, subtle vibration as I reached highway speeds, and only worsened as I increased my speed above 55-60 MPH. I was afraid that my new R200 viscous LSD and matching shafts had failed. These pieces are very rare and hard to come by. So I got home, parked the car, and it sat for the winter. At some point the following spring, I decided to pull the engine and essentially, the whole driveline since I knew I had to fix the problem with the vibration. I figured it was, like I mentioned, the rear end or CV shafts. I pulled everything out and continued going to school. Well, there wasn’t a lot of time for the Z car at this point in time, so I didn’t make much progress up until the last couple of months. While the engine was out, I decided that I would do what I’ve been meaning to do and mount my HY35 and Lonewolf intake manifold to the engine, as well as install my HKS 2mm head gasket. So, since then, I’ve completed all of those tasks. Well, in the past couple weeks, I have been working to get the body ready by closing up some holes in the engine bay to make it look pretty. Once I had that out of the way, as you know, I disassembled the CV shaft. Taking these apart was a scary task, because I was almost sure I was going to find something I wouldn’t like. As far as I can tell, only the outer joints are easy to get to, so I took them apart and to my surprise, they looked absolutely gorgeous. No. Damage. At. All. Phew! However, my next worry was the differential. As I mentioned in a previous post, I found very fine metal shavings in the oil, but after speaking with a local Z guru that has worked on these cars, these fine shavings are ok. Also, I did not have any significant shaving on the drain plug, so I am no longer worried about the rear differential at this point. Everything turns smoothly and looks great! At this point, I was stuck. Being an amateur car mechanic, I felt as if I had exercised my knowledge to its furthest extent and felt as though I needed to physically take my stuff in and have them checked out. However, this past week, I attended a Z car club meeting and the Z guru mentioned something about the driveshaft and that I should check the universal joints. I realized that I had not considered this and I felt that it was a little far fetched. I kept it in the back of my mind and told myself that I would check it once I had a day to head back home and work on the car. Well, upon returning home this past weekend, I picked up the driveshaft and started inspecting it. I grabbed the splined side that goes into the transmission and it felt fine, the U joint pivoted as it should and there seemed to be no play. Then, I grabbed the differential side.
The U joint was seized in one direction. I felt a HUGE weight lifted off my chest as I realized this was going to make things much easier.
So, that is where I sit now. I’ve brought the driveshaft back from home and now I will be taking it to someone to have the joints replaced and the shaft balanced. I really hope this takes care of that problem completely.
So, beyond that, I did get a couple of other things done. First, I was able to put my CV shafts back together and repacked them with grease. I also had to hammer out the end caps because of the shafts being too long and running into them under hard cornering condition where the suspension is contracted to the max.
I was also able to put my gas tank back together. I think the paint turned out great! I installed the black box, fuel sender, trap doors and the AN fittings for the feed and return lines. Everything went together without a hitch.
As you can see, I had to bend the fuel sender float rod horizonally to make way for the black box. I don’t see any downside to this, but I could be wrong. I wanted to make sure not to make any kind of adjustment vertically as that would throw off the measurement.
One last thing I was able to do this weekend was load up my Megasquirt box with MS2 Extra. Previously, we were running MS1 Extra with the low resolution VE table map, so since I was making all these other alterations, I figured I would update my electronics as well, just to be a little more current. I also plan to run the DIYAutoTune trigger wheel and use three outputs to fire three different coils using a Ford EDIS coil pack. Originally, I was going to do the sequential coil-on-plug setup, but that seems like overkill and I already have the Ford coil pack. In the future, the COP setup may be something to consider, but I’m only looking to push 400hp at max, which the wasted spark setup will be able to handle easily.
That is where I stand with everything. My goal for this weekend is to figure out and mount my fuel return and feed lines and also mount all of my brake lines, as well. If I am able to get this done in a timely fashion, I’d also like to install the gas tank and rear suspension and get the car ready for the motor. Things are starting to move much quicker than I had expected, and I caught a huge break with the driveshaft discovery.