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K-member swap and upgrades

This is a discussion on K-member swap and upgrades within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Another late start in the garage tonight - but still made progress. Cotter keys were installed in the upper and ...

  1. #81
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    Another late start in the garage tonight - but still made progress. Cotter keys were installed in the upper and lower ball joints and tie rod ends. The lower shock mounting bolts were torqued to 45 ft.lbs. With the suspension complete, I sprayed the new rotors down with brake cleaner and blew them dry before slipping them over the wheel studs. I cleaned up both front calipers and touched up the paint before installing the new Hawk HPS pads.








    I also checked to make sure that the caliper pins moved freely and then using blue Loc-Tite on the mounting bolts, attached the caliper brackets to the spindles. The bolts were then torqued to 74 ft.lbs. I still need to secure the brake lines and clean up the mounting brackets for the brake hoses. Once this is done, I'll then swap out the stock front hoses for the Russell braided lines and bleed the entire brake system. I'll also have to hook up and secure portions of the wire harness for the engine and re-install the harnesses for the front ABS/TCS sensors. If all goes well, it shouldn't be a problem getting everything buttoned up this weekend and making the alignment appointment on Tuesday.









  2. #82
    Junior Member EPIDEMIC's Avatar
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    arrest me red
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    o.O can't stop reading. Gah, I wish this guy was my neighbor. Lol (not in a creepy way)

    Excellent work, and it looks clean.

  3. #83
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPIDEMIC View Post
    o.O can't stop reading. Gah, I wish this guy was my neighbor. Lol (not in a creepy way)

    Excellent work, and it looks clean.


  4. #84
    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    Looks great Jeff, nice work!!

  5. #85
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    Thanks, guys. Just about finished everything up tonight. I wire brushed and painted the brake hose brackets and bolted them to the tabs on the K-member. The brackets are threaded and originally the small tab opposite the bolt hole dropped into a slot in the stock K-member. Since there is no slot on the UMI K-member, I added a lock washer and nut to each bolt to clamp the brackets tightly in place. I then installed the front brake lines, but had to take another look at them as they have to be run a bit different from the stock hose routing. Whereas the stock hoses point to the front of the car at the banjo bolt, the Russell braided lines point up.





    I then spent over an hour working through the wire harnesses for the front O2 senders, starter, front ABS/TCS sensors, and oil level sensor. Each one was carefully routed and zip tied to the K-member in order to maintain as much clearance from the headers as possible. I also replaced the loom on the wire runs to the ABS/TCS sensors before running them along the back of the lower control arm. I'm not a huge fan of zip tying things together like this, but there is really no other way of doing it.











    After everything was secured, I installed the sway bar and bracket that sandwiches the driver side mount. The end links were only loosely installed and will be tightened once I have the weight of the car on the suspension. I did find one mystery bolt that had me looking around for a few minutes -- it ended up being the mounting bolt for the rear of the alternator.
    All that is left is to to bleed the brakes, secure the front right brake line to the steering rack (after making some cushions with short sections of vacuum hose), button everything back up under the hood, and tighten the sway bar end links to complete the installation. Once I have the car on its wheels, I'll see what I can do about getting the tires to point somewhat in the same direction. I may also trim my cutout pipe back a bit and might do the bump stop mod on the throttle body if I have time.



  6. #86
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Looks great, Jeff!

  7. #87
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    Thanks, Walt!

    The installation was completed today and I went for a quick shakedown cruise about an hour ago. Looks like I will be all set for the alignment appointment on Tuesday... and hopefully, opening day at the track on Saturday! Here is a better pic of the front brake line bracket with the added lock washer and nut. Again, since the new K-member does not have a slot for the small tab to slip into, I wanted to make sure that the bracket does not work itself loose over time and start turning with the wheel.





    I started by tying off the front brake crossover line to the power steering rack using an added section of vacuum line for a cushion. I then carefully tweaked the bends around the K-member to ensure adequate clearance and zip tied the small tabs to the top of the K-member. These tabs were originally bolted to the stock K-member, so when the installtion is complete, you should have exactly two (2) small sheet metal bolts left over.











    The final piece of the install was the rubber splash shield for the alternator. This slips over two studs on the driver side framerail and is held in place by a set of speed nuts and one plastic tab on the steering rack. While the car was still in the air, I also swapped out the fuel filter. The one I replaced may only have around 5,000 miles on it, but it is cheap insurance when it comes to maintaining proper fuel pressure. I wrote the date (month/year) on the filter for future reference and will also log it in my service records.








    After tracking down 2 bottles of Synthetic Dot 3/Dot 4 brake fluid at the fourth parts store I stopped at on Saturday, I was finally able to start the bleeding process this morning. I began by doing a quick gravity bleed at all four corners to draw fluid from the master cylinder reservoir into the ABS block. I could hear air burping and was able to get fluid at 2 of the calipers. I then switched over to the Mity-Vac and pumped several cups at each wheel until I had fresh brake fluid. I had fully bled the system around 2 years ago, so the fluid I removed was in pretty good shape.








    Final step was to grease all the new suspension components and then install the wheels. I did have to wait to grease the rear fitting on the upper control arm until after the wheels and the car had some weight on the suspension. The angle of the fitting simply did not allow me to access it with the suspension hanging. The Moser wheel studs just poke through the stock lug nuts and I should be able to install the lug nut caps as they appear the match the rear studs perfectly.








    The original shakedown cruise lasted exactly to the end of my driveway and back. The car ran fine in open loop, but when the coolant temp came up things started getting weird fast. The engine was surging, my air-fuel gauge was pegged lean and something was clearly amiss. I fired up my Hypertech (that I only use to monitor sensor data) and found that my fuel trims were way out of whack. Bank 1 was trying to subtract fuel and Bank 2 was trying to add fuel. I shot Chris a quick phone call for diagnostic assistance as there were no DTC's popping up. Before he could reply, I realized that I had crossed up my O2 sensor harnesses under the car and that is why they were fighting each other. His answer followed about a minute later and asked if I had crossed them up. I previously installed Bosch 13111 senders that have a nice long harness and they both run up the passenger side of the oil pan before splitting left and right. During the K-member swap, I had cut the zip ties and both harnesses were then tucked up out of the way -- must be I sent them in opposite directions and never noticed when I plugged them back in.

    With the sensors re-routed, I fired up HP Tuners and cleared my fuel trims in order to get everything back to normal. Upon starting the engine, everything was immediately happy and the trims were again hovering close to zero once they began reading. Although the steering wheel ended up a bit to the right going down the road, the front end felt fine and I went for about a 5 mile ride. There was less vibration from the poly motor mounts than I thought there would be and the new brakes felt good. I made a couple of stops from around 30 mph to bed the new pads and rotors and am anxious to see how they perform at the track.

  8. #88
    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    I'm glad it was a simple fix Jeff, and again very nice work!!!

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpop98ws6 View Post
    I'm glad it was a simple fix Jeff, and again very nice work!!!

    Me too... I scared myself kind of good with that one.

  10. #90
    Member robs98mysticZ's Avatar
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    awesome job jeff i will definitely add this to my favorites for MY future reference

  11. #91
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    STICKY, STICKY, STICKY!!!!!!!!


    Too much great information to be lost in archives.....

  12. #92
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    Without a doubt this sould be a sticky.

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Me too... I scared myself kind of good with that one.
    Hi Jeff, that's an outstanding job you've done there, it must be very satisfying to be able to do that yourself.


    Mike.

  14. #94
    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    I can't believe how nice those shocks turned out, they look brand new.

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    The car was in great shape when we purchased it back in 2009 with around 71,500 miles on the clock. It's all just elbow grease and attention to detail... well, that and a little Type "A" personality topped off with a helping of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Thanks for the compliments!

    I drove the car to work this morning and then dropped it off at the local Ford dealership for an alignment. I have 3 friends who work there and they always keep an eye on my cars for me. The alignment cost $52.95 (amazed at how cheap it was) and the car drives and feels great. I blasted back to the office on the freeway and opened her up a bit. It'll go back up in the air tonight or tomorrow for a once over. I'll re-torque all the suspension bolts and check all the brake fittings for any leaks.

  16. #96
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    So I guess that means it's off to the races this weekend, weather pending..

  17. #97
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    We'll be going no matter what the weather. If it doesn't look good, we'll just plan on running the Monte at the track and may hold off on the Trans Am until we have a definite group going.

  18. #98
    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    Looks like rain for Sunday so far. If the weather report clears up I will be there.

  19. #99
    Member TA98's Avatar
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    Im curious what you will run now jeff since you and i have almost identical cars now.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by T/A98 View Post
    Im curious what you will run now jeff since you and i have almost identical cars now.

    I haven't really done anything with this round of mods that will make the car faster. She'll weigh a few pounds less and I may be able to wind it up a little harder at the line without pushing through the brakes, so I'm not expecting a whole lot of difference from last year's best of 12.43.

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