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 deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre

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deekster_caddy
Master



Name : Derek
Age : 49
Location : Reading, MA
Joined : 2007-01-31
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deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyFri Feb 06, 2015 8:39 pm

Here are some startup videos from my '73 LeSabre. Got the fuel injected 455 running last weekend after we got the ECU back from fast. Spend christmas break putting it in...

First video is my favorite - letting the engine warm up a little bit. The throttle response is very snappy. Turn it up!



This is the first startup where it ran properly, with the repaired ECU.



This is the second startup, couldn't run it for too long since it had no coolant (leaky water pump).



The first video is after we put the water pump in and filled it with coolant, were letting it get warm and flow some oil through it.

The ECU was out for repairs because we were going to eliminate the MSD ignition from the system to clean up the wiring mess under the hood. We tried hooking the 'points output' from the ECU directly to the coil... big mistake. We blew the points driver. FAST repaired it for $75 including shipping in a matter of days, I was very impressed with the turnaround time! The ECU is from Speed Pro, before they were part of comp cams, the ECU and fuel injection setup on the motor is about 14 years old now and still works very well.

I just need the damn snow to stop for a little while so I can drive it again!

Will follow up with some pictures later.
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stan
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deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyFri Feb 06, 2015 10:40 pm

I love this.....
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turtleman
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turtleman


Name : Codith
Age : 34
Location : Villa Park, IL
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deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptySat Feb 07, 2015 2:05 pm

Sweet. So you just converted that to PFI or is that old news that I missed?
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deekster_caddy
Master



Name : Derek
Age : 49
Location : Reading, MA
Joined : 2007-01-31
Post Count : 7717
Merit : 109

deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyMon Feb 09, 2015 10:29 am

turtleman wrote:
Sweet. So you just converted that to PFI or is that old news that I missed?

No, my brother built that EFI system about 15 years ago. His car pretty much rotted out from under the drivetrain and he had no place to store it, so we parted it out this fall. We swapped engines over christmas break but had trouble with the ECU, accidentally shorted out the coil output so we've been waiting for it to come back. Have a lot of wiring cleanup to do still, but I just wanted to get it running so I could bring it over to our local auto body class.

It's a pretty sick engine build, lots of custom made parts... I keep saying I just want this car to be a 'fast cruiser' and stay N/A but my brother is slowly convincing me we are going to supercharge or hook the nitrous back up. The engine was built for nitrous so it can certainly handle supercharging (same principle).

The motor has so much torque it was always a little scary in his car, the 'small car' (Buick Special/Skylark) was pretty squirrely when you used all of the power. The LeSabre is sized better to handle the power comfortably. I can't wait to drive it!!! But another damn foot of snow this weekend... frown
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deekster_caddy
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Name : Derek
Age : 49
Location : Reading, MA
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deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyMon Feb 09, 2015 10:42 am

This pic shows the intake manifold where the injector bungs were welded in. The manifold was a 'normal' T/A performance SP1 intake which we sent to Force EFI for the conversion. Force installed the injector bungs and rails, and supplied us with the dry throttle body that works with the Speed Pro/FAST engine computer.



The rest is essentially the much older version of this system:
http://www.fuelairspark.com/fas/xfi-2-0tm-ecu-internal-data-logginghtml/
from back when it was a division of Speed Pro. A lot of the ideas my brother sent to the developers are incorporated in the new units. I think they should have given us a new computer for free! wink
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turtleman
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turtleman


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PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyMon Feb 09, 2015 2:56 pm

that's awesome! I love the laptop connected to a '73 buick lol. I came this close to converting my ninja250 to an aftermarket programmable EFI system - I'm very glad I didnt 'cause I crashed the bike and I'm planning to get a different one next spring-ish. So is that XFI thing on there self-tuning with widebands and stuff or what?
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deekster_caddy
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Name : Derek
Age : 49
Location : Reading, MA
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deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyMon Feb 09, 2015 3:24 pm

turtleman wrote:
that's awesome! I love the laptop connected to a '73 buick lol. I came this close to converting my ninja250 to an aftermarket programmable EFI system - I'm very glad I didnt 'cause I crashed the bike and I'm planning to get a different one next spring-ish. So is that XFI thing on there self-tuning with widebands and stuff or what?

No self-tuning system, ours is way before the self-tuner came out. Anyway that's a really basic starter-kit based on wideband, but doesn't account for so many factors. We used a wideband to build the fueling and timing tables over many years, and the big bore Buick engine has different fueling and timing needs than a small block chevy etc. The only thing we are adding now is a knock sensor - when we designed and tuned the system we only had audible knock to go by. Now we are going to add the knock sensor, but even that we will have to tune/filter initially by finding audible knock. There was never a knock sensor designed/tuned for a 455... not to mention this motor has hypereutectic pistons which are a little noisy for the first few minutes of operation, so we'll have to have a delay built into the knock sensing etc.

The original wideband that came with the system got dirty and stopped working a few years ago. The tune never changes, so we've been running without an O2 sensor for many years. This system has a special wiring harness for the wideband O2 sensor, each harness has a specific resistor used to tune it's specific wideband sensor. So if we get a new wideband O2 sensor, we need to buy it from FAST, and we need to buy a new harness to go with it. I'm not exactly sure how that works, but for now we are going with no O2 sensor and it's still running great. We may bring it to a dyno after it's up and running to make sure our VE table and A/F targets are still working properly.

This system is where I learned to tune. It's VE-tuning only, there is no MAF for a setup like this. That's good in that it allows basically limitless engine tuning, up to a 5-bar MAP sensor's capacity. If we do supercharge, it would only be like 5-6 PSI. Getting that much pressure with this much displacement will be a lot of air!!! But if we do supercharge, we'd also have to completely re-tune the system because everything would be different.
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deekster_caddy
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Name : Derek
Age : 49
Location : Reading, MA
Joined : 2007-01-31
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Merit : 109

deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyFri Mar 27, 2015 9:04 am

Update - took it out for a drive this weekend, finally!
After a short warmup drive I took my mother for a ride down our street... and scared the crap out of her!


I was NOT expecting it to break loose when we were already going 20. Didn't even get the pedal all the way down!

Then we went around the 'long block' (includes a bit of highway). Short vid, out of focus, my brother driving - the video sucks but listen to the engine roar behind the wind noise... (and yes I know, it needs new weatherstripping on the doors)


The first pull is just first gear, then I convince him to get on it in 2nd, but there is too much traffic to play. It goes through 1st and 2nd very quickly, and we will get some more driving vids soon!

After test drives found a small coolant leak at the firewall (loose heater hose clamp), and last night I changed the oil, fixed the coolant leak, tightened up the header bolts (will be putting my stage 8 locks on after a few more heat cycles) and got it ready to drive again... and it's raining all day, supposed to snow again tomorrow and be generally sucky weather for the next week. Boooo. I am waiting for some dry salt-free roads to play on! I can't wait to drive this again, it's so fun!
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deekster_caddy
Master



Name : Derek
Age : 49
Location : Reading, MA
Joined : 2007-01-31
Post Count : 7717
Merit : 109

deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyFri Mar 27, 2015 9:17 am

Going to make this a bit pic heavy...
A few pics of the bodywork I've done over the last few years while resurrecting this beast from it's slumber. Starting place is the rear lower quarter panels. Nobody makes this sheetmetal so I went to auto body school and started making my own. Also learned how to weld...

The rust:


The first hand-made repair panel:


Out with the old:


Aaaaand we found more rust inside...


Poor lighting but you can see the repair work inside:


Had to pretty much rebuild it all. This is the lower corner of the back of the wheel well:


Then going up over the wheel arch...






Some of the repair work:


Patching up the replacement panel in the back:


And the "finished" product:


Keep in mind that this was going to class 3 hours a night, one night a week for a couple of sessions. I had to bend each piece by hand and basically fab it all. I learned a lot.
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Hometown Hero
Junkie
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Name : Klix
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deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre Empty
PostSubject: Re: deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre   deekster_caddy's 1973 LeSabre EmptyFri Mar 27, 2015 10:24 am

Nice job Deeks! She'll be ship shape in no time. I love working on the classics, everything is so "fixable" without having to take apart half the vehicle to change or do anything. Keep up the good work.
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