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I kept a diary... I have no idea why. Anyway, Don't miss Page 2. There's a link at the bottom of this page.     --Mike
Trans Am Modifications
Updated: August 15 2018

Diary   |    Costs   |    Disassembly Sequence   |    Cam Profiles   |    Introspective

4Nov05 Discovered why the Trans-Am had been running poorly for the past three weeks. I pulled into the driveway today and noticed a flood of antifreeze coming from beneath the car. Apparently the water pump had been leaking on top of the Optispark distributor causing the engine to misfire. Hmmm... maybe now would be a good time for that engine rebuild!
11Nov05 Welp, I decided to go for it-- again. Backed the car into the garage and began disassembly.
12Nov05 Removed the hood, battery, throttle body, valve covers, drained and removed the radiator and a/c condenser.
13Nov05 Removed the remaining accessories and wiring on the front and top of the motor and transmission...
16Nov05 Removed the center console and shifter from the interior of the car. Turned the car around in the garage so the nose is pointed in (don't ask).
19Nov05 Pulled the motor with the transmission from the car from the top.
20Nov06 Did a cylinder leak-down test. Six cylinders were 80/80, the other two were 78/80. Those Total Seal Zero Gap rings held up well after 50,000 miles! Found 5 leaky exhaust valves though... Removed the cylinder heads and began engine teardown and inspection.
22Nov05 Made a trip to Dallas Exports (Stroker Motor) to have my pistons inspected before I re-use them. As I suspected-- they're fine!
23Nov05 Ordered a set of MAC headers from Jet-Hot coatings to replace the Borlas that I'm using now.
27Nov05 Spent the day removing the rings from the pistons, checking end gaps and cleaning engine parts.
28Nov05 Sent the ring set from cylinder number 7 to Total Seal for examination.
1Dec05 Spent the afternoon profiling the ZZ9 cam intake and exhaust lobes. Noticed that some of the cam lobes are spalled... crap! So much for selling this cam. I'll have to check the valve springs latter, I'll bet they're too strong.
2Dec05 The order from Summit & Jet-Hot arrived today! Headers, cam, plug wires, rod and main bearings are here.
??? My suspicions are confirmed: I measured the valve springs and discovered that they are too strong for a hydraulic roller cam. They'll have to be replaced with a more reasonable spring.
??? Made a trip to Stroker Motor to drop-off the cylinder heads for a performance valve-job.
??? Stayed up late profiling the new custom grind Comp Cams cam.
3Dec05 Spent the afternoon profiling the stock cam. I'll post the graphs of all 3 cam profiles in the near future. Should be interesting! If I can get my hands on some different cams I'll profile them too and post the results.
5Dec05 Spoke with Keith at Total Seal. My rings arrived there OK but he hasn't had a chance to look at them yet. Ordered a new A/C bracket and oil level sensor from Dal.
7Dec05 Spoke with Keith at Total Seal again today. Decided on a 'special' ring set for this motor. It's basically their Max Seal ring set (gapless top ring) with a 'special' Napier second ring for VERY aggressive oil control.
9Dec05 Made a trip to Stroker Motor today to drop-off the block for boring and honing and the rotating assembly for balancing. The valve guides in my cylinder heads are worn and will all be replaced with bronze guides. The valves are OK though! Jury's still out on the valveĀ springs.
15Dec05 Made a trip to Stroker Motor again today with a set of rings and rod bearings so that they could be weighed for rotating assembly balancing. My cylinder heads are complete! Everything checked-out OK... even the valve springs.
16Dec05 Decided the pistons were not worth cleaning up and reusing. Ordered another set from Jeg's.
22Dec05 Delivered the new pistons to Stroker Motor today. Stayed up late playing around on the JE/SRP Web Site and realized that the new pistons -- and the pistons I had been running all along -- could potentially push the static compression ratio much higher than I had intended... to about 11.25:1. in fact! I was aiming for 10.0:1. I wouldn't be afraid of running 10.8:1 to 11.0:1 on the street, but I'm still planning on using a low boost supercharger(PowerDyne) on this car so I'm shooting for 10.0:1 max.

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