'87 Shelby CSX
#321 of 750
davidr at shelbycsx.com
Engine Buildup Progress
Well, it's done. I worked hard to get it ready for the Lone Star SDAC's poker run on September 29, 2001. The poker run was, as expected, a lot of fun. My older daughter, Leah, went with me as navigator. We only got lost twice, and, hey, we caught back up with everybody before the finish!
Below are some notes and pictures of the buildup process and all the details of my current configuration. My goal was a 250-270 h.p. 13-second car running at 17 p.s.i. on pump gas day-to-day and 20 p.s.i. for racing. I think I pretty much hit it. I haven't raced yet, but I look forward to giving it a try and seeing what kind of numbers it produces.
I owe many, many thanks to my dad, Dave Reynolds, Sr., for obtaining, disassembling, and transporting much of my Shadow ES parts car from Illinois to Texas. And for buying a V8 Dakota to do it. And for loaning me his engine hoist. And for pulling most of my old engine while he and my mom watched the kids when my wife and I went to Mexico. And for sending me lots of other little pieces I forgot the first time. And for generally being great, even though he's mainly a Ford guy. ;-)
UPDATE 11-27-01 -- Gradually bumped the boost up to 20 p.s.i. It still runs great, even on 93 octane, showing green on the A/F meter and EGTs steady at 1450 degrees. I lost a little water and had to top off the radiator. I think it may have just been some air in the system, because I've had the heater on for the first time lately. Have to keep an eye on it and make sure it's not the head gasket. There haven't been any other signs of head gasket failure so far. A few days ago the engine started making a nasty rattling noise at the #1 cylinder end. I hoped it wasn't a rod bearing. At first I thought it was the alternator bearings, so I put in another alternator I had and some new bushings. (Thanks, SuperDave!) Then I thought it must be the water pump. Turns out the water pump pulley bolts were just loose!
UPDATE 11-05-01 -- I've determined that the misfire is only at part-throttle, and who needs part-throttle? ;-) (I eventually solved the misfire problem by gapping the plugs at 0.028".) Other than that, it seems to be running pretty well. I added a couple of new pictures below.
UPDATE 10-29-01 -- Got the fuel pump installed, but the misfire is still there. I've gapped the plugs down to 0.030" to see what that does. I reinstalled the G-valve and BOV, as well as a "D-valve." This is an idea of Dan Culkin's in which a check valve is teed into the upper intercooler hose to allow air to be drawn in more easily when the system is in vacuum, bypassing the turbo and intercooler. This results in much quicker throttle response and spool-up. Once any boost is produced, the valve immediately closes.
UPDATE 10-12-01 -- Well,
the idle problem is pretty much solved: fuel pressure was too high.
UPDATE 9-18-01 -- Still have the idle problem, although it's a little better. I was wrong about the clutch; it's holding fine. The jerk I'm sometimes getting under boost is some kind of cut-out, probably an electrical problem that I haven't tracked down yet. I was having a problem with the radio resetting, but that turned out to be a bad ground. I installed my Dawes Devices A/F meter between the EGT gauge and boost gauge. I'm safely rich, running pretty much between the two green lights on the meter. There should be plenty of fuel for 20 p.s.i. if I want it.
UPDATE 9-14-01 -- The idle problem is still there, and I still don't have a clue. On the plus side, this thing pulls hard with a w-i-d-e power band. It starts low and doesn't quit. The T3 pressure plate and Valeo clutch are slipping a little sometimes. I think they'll be fine for me, since I drive this every day, but they wouldn't be suitable for race use. I added a picture of my Auto Meter EGT and boost gauges below....
UPDATE 9-12-01 -- The CSX is running pretty well. About the only outstanding problem I have is with idle; it's still too high and unstable. I haven't found any leaks yet, but I feel that there must be one or more. The solid polyurethane motor mount inserts didn't work out. There was way too much vibration for my taste, so I put in some stock ones last night, and it's much better. According to the Auto Meter gauges, I'm seeing about 17 p.s.i. and 1,400 degrees F at WOT.
UPDATE 9-10-01 -- On the road again! I fired it up on Saturday, 9-8-01, got it aligned and inspected this morning, and drove it on to work. Pictures below....
UPDATE 9-4-01 -- My thanks to Dave "SuperDave" Knochenmus for helping me set the engine in on Saturday, 9-1-01. A few more days, and it should be ready to roll.
(Click to enlarge--these are big pictures, about 300K-400K each.)