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Thread: Finally going to bring her back to life...advice needed.

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    The black dude... Not Verified Feedback Score 0 ahkenaden's Avatar
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    Finally going to bring her back to life...advice needed.

    This'll be my first real tech/question thread here since abandoning the "other place"...yay for re-motivating!!!

    Short backstory:

    I've owned my 91 Stealth TT since 99. In 2002, joined the spun bearing club. Over the next year, I rebuilt the bottom end. Didn't touch the heads. Did upgrade with brand spanking new 13G's + supporting mods. Drove it for a while and it was fairly good until the trans took a fair crap a year later. So since 2004 onward, it's been sitting in various stages of meh. Tried to get it all fixed up in '06 in time for my wedding, but the trans was a no go (weird drivetrain stuttering, maybe severe slippage due to the Spec III PP and OEM disc that was swapped in at the time. Stuttering didn't happen until after that swap. Swap was done because wife couldn't deal with 6-puck). Trans has traditional 1/2 grind, 4th/5th is popping out, can't get it into reverse.

    Fast forward to 2011. Car has pretty much sat, keeping my garage from floating away since '07 due to reliability and cost of fuel. Only started up less than 10 times in that time period. Lots of blueish white smoke on rev. Now that I'm more financially stable in life, have a decent income, and am sick of seeing Mustangs/Camaro's thinking they're the shit, I figure I will pull the engine after a compression test and refresh.

    My questions:
    - Car has obviously sat forever. I've never owned a car that sat that long, any "gotchas" I need to worry about?
    - Any tips on what I need to look for as I disassemble the trans to investigate the stuttering? Car's a 91 with ~130k, original trans. I'm guessing every single synchro has given up. I have the translated rebuild manual (somewhere), but figure I'd ask first. This will basically be a very long term and slow rebuild of the transaxle as I plan on taking my sweet time and getting it right the first time.
    - Pumpkin prolly needs servicing as well...

    This is going to be a very extensive resto-mod type deal as it's MY classic car. Essentially, I'm going to take it back to 98% stock (minus the turbo's) and start rebuilding from there.

    Any advice is appreciated!
    All the parts, none of the time

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    VR-3747 :D Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) futurevr4man's Avatar
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    bushing, ball joint boots and the ball joints themselves, carrier bearings for your DS, and lots of seals will be your concern with it sitting for so long. anything that can dryrot will.

    my advice would be to send the trans off to ray or the likes and have them do it. its a big task to pull the trans and put it back in just to have it not work correctly.
    rise and rise again until lambs become lions

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    1st ever COTM and COTY verified Feedback Score 9 (100%) green-lantern's Avatar
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    Oh cool! I’m glad to see you get back into it. Sounds like life it treating you pretty well.

    I’m not so sure I’d pull the engine but if you need to pull the trans I guess you might as well. I’d check the bearings, replace VSS, 60K, Oil Pump (if it has a good bit of mileage) and clean/inspect everything. I’m sure I’m forgetting things.

    I’d probably get Ray or Jackhammer to rebuild the trans if I couldn’t find one.

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    RTBOOST verified Feedback Score 11 (100%) Street_Chally73's Avatar
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    If you weren't planning on opening up the bottom-end again, then I would essentially do what the '60-'70 muscle car guys do with theirs after having it sit over the course of the winter or several seasons. This would involve the following checks/steps:
    *pour an oil cap worth of oil down each spark plug opening (harder to do with the rear bank)
    *Prime the oil pump prior to attempting to start the engine, if possible
    *give it a fresh oil change+filter, purge the fuel lines of any old gas/varnish that may have incurred over that time period & replace the fuel filter
    *pour a bottle of fuel injector/carburetor cleaner into the fresh tank of fuel
    *Inspect all the rubber hoses & vacuum lines to ensure none of them have dry-rotted during long-term storage/immobility or show signs of excessive damage from rodents
    *Ensure that the engine wiring harness hasn't been damaged from any sort of rodent

    Engine-wise, I would say that is a good list of things to complete before you attempt to fire it. Obviously if you didn't have transmission problems & were planning on being able to use the car again, you would want to drain the remaining fluids throughout the vehicle & give each component a fresh fill-up before taking it on any spirited or longer drives (strictly precautionary measures).

    Good luck with the rebuild & ultimately, succeeding to get the car back on the road again! I'm currently dealing with a transmission that's in need of a bunch of repairs, so I feel for you (mine's been down for about a year now).
    '90 Toyota Celica GT Liftback..........................(X) (daily driver)
    '73 Dodge Challenger 340...............................(X)
    '91 Firestorm Red Stealth R/T TT.....................(X)

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    I fired up a 3000GT last year that had been sitting since 1996. Do yourself a favor and pull the fuel pump assembly to see the condition of your fuel pump. It's most likely corroded. Change the oil and filters and crank the engine with the CAS disconnected. That will prime the engine. With fresh gas and oil, fire that hooker up. My 3kgt that had been sitting for 14 years doesn't even smoke!!! If you see smoke after an hour of it running... then I would dive into the heads. I bet the bottom end is just fine.

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    The black dude... Not Verified Feedback Score 0 ahkenaden's Avatar
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    Good tips so far. I have zero plans to send the trans off to anyone for repair because I want to take this opportunity to learn for myself. I hadn't so much as done my own oil changes before I rebuilt the bottom end. It's amazing what reading and being careful can do for you

    @chally, the engine's coming out so I can clean up/respray the engine bay. When I say this car is going resto-mod, I fully mean it's getting stripped down to the frame and rebuilt. This'll be the 2nd car I've done this on, so I know what I'm getting myself into. It's just been some serious years since I've turned a wrench on a 3/s.

    Hans, fuel tank is getting dropped so I can replace the sending unit and severely rusted lines. (couldn't even remove the feed/return 7 years ago due to the rust...) I have a walbro 255 that's been sitting in a ziplock bag, in a box, in a dark place since 2001... I have a feeling I'll be contacting you guys for a decent sending unit. I'm fairly sure the heads are eff'd as they've never seen a rebuild.

    Anybody got any good tips on testing a trans BEFORE putting it back in the car?

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    The tranny work isn't exactly hard. I was basically in the same boat and just dove into it. Granted, I did it on a spare used tranny I bought to learn on. Reverse sounds like it could be a loose bolt on the shifter mechanism that bolts to the tranny(easy to check with tranny in the car), grinding will be synchros and depending how long it has been there your gears and sliders are worn as well. Popping out of gear can be something in the linkage(like the lower coolant hose hitting it) or some of the balls/springs are broken so it doesn't lock in. I'm not an expert of course and you most likely won't know until you dive in. You will need a press to do the work.

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    I don't think you can really test a tranny without putting some load on it. When I put mine back together I fashioned a handle on an old clutch and had someone spin the input shaft while I ran through all the gears. Simple test and it would have only caught something major.

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    1st ever COTM and COTY verified Feedback Score 9 (100%) green-lantern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahkenaden View Post
    Good tips so far. I have zero plans to send the trans off to anyone for repair because I want to take this opportunity to learn for myself. I hadn't so much as done my own oil changes before I rebuilt the bottom end. It's amazing what reading and being careful can do for you
    I can understand that. One reason I rebuilt mine.

    I learned a good bit watching Wayne work on transmissions at my house and another friend of mine helped me when I did it so it went pretty smooth. You will need a press, I recommend a 20-ton. You can get a pretty nice one from Northern Tool.

    I assume since it’s a 91 that you have a 5 speed. Those are a bit easier to do because it doesn’t have the ball of death in it.

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