Sunday, September 25, 2011

Computer and A/C are now friends

Today I was able to mark another thing off my list. I was successful in getting the computer to know when the A/C was on. I literally spliced in an 8 inch long piece of wire so pin #10 on the computer received a 12v signal to alert it to compensate for the A/C. Now when I turn the A/C on or off, the idle stays the same.

While the car was on the lift, I also planned out my next task which is the emergency brake. The stock system used a horizontal lever that multiplied the force that the driver pulled on the in-cabin handle with. I plan to replace this with a vertical lever mounted left of the transmission. My exhaust system forced me to abandon the stock setup. I'll attach a new lever to the bracket that holds my clutch slave cylinder which should allow me to pull the brake cables with enough force to engage them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Skimp On Sensors

I mentioned earlier about the car not running well. I took it to a friend who has a SnapOnBrick and that was used to determine that both the O2 sensors were reading lean, and my ECT sensor was returning garbage data.

According to the Brick, both banks of cylinders were receiving as much extra fuel as the computer could give them to correct for a lean condition. Obviously, this points to bad O2 sensors or a big vacuum leak.

The Brick is able to show data in real-time so we were able to determine the ECT was bad even though it was not posting a code. Seems the ECT was giving a constant reading of 154 degrees to the computer. This was in stark contrast to the Autometer gauge in the dash that showed 200.

I went to Napa and got their premium Bosch O2 sensors, and the best ECT they had. While at the counter, I thought about my 16 year old IAC, so I got one of those too.

I also recently replaced the distributor to fix a bad PIP. Once everything installed, the engine ran like new. Looking back, I should have replaced all of these components during the engine swap. That said, I don't like to replace things that aren't broken.

I wonder if there is a way to make my car NOT sound like a modern 5.0. I have the same "hollow" drone while cruising that all Fox based Mustangs have. Perhaps a cam replacement will take care of that.

Are these Classic projects EVER finished?

All in all, it would be hard to be more pleased with how the car has turned out. The rack & pinion, good brakes, and modern FI motor have transformed the car into a wonderful daily driver.

I'll be hooking up the A/C to the computer sometime soon, but with Fall setting in on the Florida peninsula, I feel the urgency fading. Sometime during the Christmas break, I'll replace the top. I've got all the parts, just not the time. I've still got to design a new emergency brake cable system, and get my horn working. I've got a generator style steering wheel, and an alternator car. I could replace the wheel, or just switch to a relay actuation setup. I'll probably go with the relay.

One final note, I am amazed at the number of Mustang convertibles (of all years) I see down here with their tops up. Often they will pull up beside me at a light and comment on my car. I invariably ask why their top is up. Most common answer: "I don't know". I my humble opinion, if you have a drop top, and you are in Florida, why not enjoy it? Perhaps they take the sun for granted. That or they don't want to arrive at their destination a sweaty mess like I do. :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Daily Driver.....

I've been enjoying being able to drive the car whenever the opportunity presents itself. The constant use of the car has exposed several things that I've needed to address. Nothing huge or expensive.

I kept losing spark whenever I parked the car for a few minutes. Traced it to a bad PIP, so I just got a remanufactured distributor and the problem was solved.

Got the A/C charged once a new condensor was installed. My old one was plugged up. This has exposed a poor choice on my part. In an earlier post, I described wanting to keep the VintageAir system separate from the car's computer system in the name of simplicity. This has turned out to be the wrong thing to do.

From the Computer's point of view, the idle will suddenly drop for no apparent reason. Why? Because I turned on the A/C. So the computer compensates by opening the IAC valve to raise the idle, then makes a note to refer to from now on. So when I turn the A/C off, the IAC valve stays in the same spot, resulting in a 2000rpm idle speed. Over the next 10 minutes, the Computer realizes that it has the idle speed too high, and makes another note, lowering the idle to normal. This repeats each time I use the A/C.

Therefore, I am going to have to have to allow the computer to at least know the A/C is turned on. I'll probably go a bit further with the integration so I can be sure that the computer will compensate for the A/C without any negative side effects.

Overall, I am thrilled that I have the car back.

Happy Motoring