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  #46  
Old 07-06-2016, 12:53 AM
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Before I start doing a bunch of cutting and welding on the car I figured it would be a good idea to get rid of the explosive in the trunk, the fuel tank.

I also need it out to install an in-tank fuel pump.

The more I take this car apart the more surprised I get. You would never guess this tanks was 47 years old.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg

The in-tank pump should be here in a few days.
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  #47  
Old 07-06-2016, 01:24 AM
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The more I dig into this car the more I'm excited about its potential.

Obviously in the 47 years since this car came down the assembly line technology has progressed.

So it seems one thing leads to another and I found myself going ahead and pulling out the lower center dash and related heat/AC system. As I may need to enlarge the transmision tunnel for the 4L80 trans I wanted to go ahead and clean everything out.

Since the heater core leaked and needed replaced and since the AC is somewhat marginal, I will be replacing the entire system with a new aftermarket universal system.

As it seems that the outside fresh air structure is starting to leak I'm going to blank it off and eliminate the system entirely.

No telling how much weight this will save, all this stuff has some weight.

I kind of like the look without the center dash.
'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg

Need to get some ideas on how to change the upper dash squarish air vents to round ones to match the ones at the far ends of the dash and incorporated new HVAC controls. If I go ahead and eliminate or at least minimize the center dash I need to design to fit the stereo. Maybe fabricate a floor mounted center console to hold the new gear selector, cup holder and the radio?

The steering column is going also. I wouldn't mind keeping it but it's kind of unusual how the steering shaft is run along side the hollow support shaft instead of inside it. By changing to a new steering shaft I gain the space I need for the electronic gas pedal and open up some space in the firewall to route the exhaust.

But all the visual changes need to keep the spirit of the original age of the car.
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  #48  
Old 07-06-2016, 04:53 PM
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The tank is going to need some sort of sump otherwise the fuel pump will pick up air and the engine stumble if the tank is low on fuel when going around a corner.

You might end up using a fuel debubbler from a late 80's Ford. This connected to the pressure and return lines ( after the pump ) and it allowed air to go back through the return line.
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  #49  
Old 07-07-2016, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
The tank is going to need some sort of sump otherwise the fuel pump will pick up air and the engine stumble if the tank is low on fuel when going around a corner.

You might end up using a fuel debubbler from a late 80's Ford. This connected to the pressure and return lines ( after the pump ) and it allowed air to go back through the return line.
Thanks for writing about the fuel pump.

You are right, if you don't have some kind of a sump the fuel, if the tank is low, can slosh past the intake and you can starve the engine. This could be bad for the engine.

Some systems use a cone of foam to help keep fuel around the pickup.

I chose the kit from Tanks. It has a small reservoir to hold fuel for the sock/pickup.
'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg

It also has a 225 ltr per hour, Walbro pump. Should be way plenty for this engine.

I will get to install this this week. Pics to follow.
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  #50  
Old 07-07-2016, 05:32 PM
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I might be so inclined to bow the bottom of the tank down so this sits a bit lower. And make sure there is a 1/8" or so hole in the side / bottom of the butter dish so fuel migrates to the dish but does not rapidly run out in a corner.
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  #51  
Old 07-10-2016, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
I might be so inclined to bow the bottom of the tank down so this sits a bit lower. And make sure there is a 1/8" or so hole in the side / bottom of the butter dish so fuel migrates to the dish but does not rapidly run out in a corner.
Your right on both points.

My stock tank has a low spot, a little over 1" deeper than the rest of the bottom, I picked the spot for the pump assembly to take advantage of this area. However, a little over 1/2" up from the low spot is the drain/filter housing and the fuel line, since I cannot remove them the bottom of my "butter dish" will only be about 1/2" lower than the typical bottom of the fuel tank.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg
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  #52  
Old 07-10-2016, 12:23 AM
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After I spent some time laying out where to cut, I had to think about how I would cut the hole in the tank since its been holding gasoline for 47 years.

I've read a few ways to make the tank safe for cutting, like filing with water or taking to a radiator shop to flush, etc. So I will tell you what I did, however I'm not endorsing it, but it worked for me.

I had drained all the fuel out last weekend. Since I knew I would need to flush out metal shaving with WD40 after the cutting I thought, why not just flush the tank before with WD, way less flammable and WD cuts gasoline.

So that's what I did. Gave it a couple good flushes, then cut the 4 1/2" opening with a jig saw. I kept the blade soaked and cool with WD while I was cutting for good measure.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg

After the cutting I wet shop grade paper towels with WD and cleaned the inside of the tank best I could, then poured in about 10 ounces of WD and swished it around and ran a magnet through the WD and collected more metal shavings. After draining out the WD and wiping it up good I decided to leave the magnet in the bottom of the tank.
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  #53  
Old 07-10-2016, 12:32 AM
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Then I assembled the pump assembly and using the backer plate drilled all the bolting holes. I used WD soaked paper towels laying in the bottom to catch the shavings.

Using body tools I flattened out the 3 ridges. Pain in the butt as you can imagine, by flattening out the ridges the top of the opening wants to bow up or bow down because there is no where for the extra metal to go.

And as you can see, the "butter dish" has a hole drilled in it close to the bottom to help hold fuel to the suction side of the pump but still be able to keep full if the fuel level is low.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg
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  #54  
Old 07-10-2016, 12:47 AM
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I picked up some silicone sealant that is meant for use with gasoline and coated all the surfaces, a little extra at the flattened out ridge areas. Then with a couple of small strips of masking tape to hold the bolting flange in place inside the tank I carefully worked the pump assembly into position and started in a long screw supplied in the kit into the bolting flange on opposite sides, then pulled out the masking tape. Next started all the rest of the screws and then started tightening them all. I have to say this was a good sized mess. Trying to get all the screws started through the cork gasket, through the tank, then into the mounting plate. A lot of planning ahead made this not a disaster.

I tightened all the screws until a could see a consistant bead of silicone being pushed out from under the gasket.

Then cleaned everything up with lacquer thinner, including the tank, and gave it a couple coats of spray can undercoater.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg

This process took me almost 8 hours to complete, and does not even count taking out or putting it back in the car! More work than I would have thought.
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  #55  
Old 07-10-2016, 01:16 AM
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This rack and pinion swap is more involved than I first thought.

The flaming River rack's body is the same width as the inner tie rod ends, but I didn't think about the fact that since the rack has 6" of travel then the actual joint would be a minimum of 3" past the body on both sides for a total of about 25 1/2", so that not going to work.

Flaming River has what they call a travel bar that seems customizable to pick the right location for the inner tie rod links. Still waiting on a reply.

Still another issue is travel. Most aftermarket R&P units only have 6 -6 3/8" of travel. Quick measurements show my existing steering has about 8 1/2" of travel.

I've read more than I care about concerning rack and pinion. I don't want to reinvent the wheel here, so my plan is to make sure that I keep the tie rod connection the same as stock so I don't have to get into "bump steer". Seems like that's all everyone wants to talk about.

Seems like some people have used rack out of W210's, Cavaliers, Caddilac's, etc. but it's seems everyone accepts a larger turning radius, in using them.

One solution is to move the outer tie rod end connection closer to the wheel center. So far this is the only solution I've found, but welding such a critical piece is a little scary.

I've got some more research to do, but if anyone has some rack ideas I'm all ears, that is if it doesn't involve "bump steer".

One of my other steering challenges was the steering column. With its weird two shaft penetration thought the firewall and over the gas pedal interfering with the new electronic gas pedal. I also wanted a smaller diameter steering wheel.

So my solution was to buy the whole assembly out of a 1974 450SL. Shouldn't take a lot of fab work to make it fit. Side benefits are keeping it MB, I like that steering wheel, and bonus is switching for a electric windshield washer pump.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg
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  #56  
Old 07-10-2016, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Coasttocoast View Post

This process took me almost 8 hours to complete, and does not even count taking out or putting it back in the car! More work than I would have thought.
Doesn't it always?

Having fun watching your progress.
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  #57  
Old 07-11-2016, 01:03 AM
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Doesn't it always?

Having fun watching your progress.
Thanks for posting and glad my project is of interest.

Today if I would have had a camera would have been really fun to watch, although not fun for yours truly!

Anyone that has taken on any sized project will admit some parts were fun, some parts not so much.

One thing I have been procrastinating on was cleaning the underside of the car. This falls under the "not so much" category. With me dropping the fuel tank, installing the battery in the trunk, running new fuel lines, new engine, new trans, change out driveshaft, etc, etc, cleaning the underside would make life easier for everything when I'm under there.

So today I soaked the whole underside, suspension, links, wheel wells, etc with engine degreaser. 6 cans in total. Waited about 15 mins and then crawled back under with a hose. You can only imagine how nasty, greasy, dirty I was from head to toe!!

I think I shaved another 5 lbs off of the car there was so much sand/dirt/etc.

The underside looks great, glad I did it, glad it's done.
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  #58  
Old 07-11-2016, 01:12 AM
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After cleaning up, watching a movie, and being lazy for bit, got bored and decided to have some fun. Feeling I deserved it from taking a dirt bath earlier.

So I laid out where I wanted to cut with a rollerball white out (works good to use as a pen on concrete and steel, BTW).

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg
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  #59  
Old 07-11-2016, 01:24 AM
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Layout done I brought out my angle grinder. I mentioned earlier that I will be installing a new HVAC system and eliminating the vent system.

I will be welding in patch panels for the vent entry on top that will still be covered with the screen and grill so from the outside it stil looks stock.

I am also cutting out a lot of the vent drain pan as I think this is partly responsible for he rust on the firewall. I will be adding back some more metal to maintain strength of the dash and windshield.

Here is a pic of the first round of cuts.

Going to enjoy designing and welding in a new firewall. I wish I had some cool sheet metal tools, but I don't, so I'll see what I can come up with to make it a little interesting.

Also started cutting out some of the old bracketry and cleaning up the top of the frame rails.

'69 230 build w/LQ4 swap-image.jpeg
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  #60  
Old 07-11-2016, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coasttocoast View Post
Still another issue is travel. Most aftermarket R&P units only have 6 -6 3/8" of travel. Quick measurements show my existing steering has about 8 1/2" of travel.
I have a center (inboard) mount R&P assembly from my parts car I can measure travel on. Just so you have the option & info, if that's the route you'd want to go. The unit itself is shot, but it'll move (with play) so I can measure its travel. I want to say it's probably more than just 6".
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