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  #346  
Old 08-03-2018, 03:17 AM
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The vinyl arrived and the install went pretty good. The problem with wrapping with vinyl is that it cannot stretch and shrink to the console in one piece. I used a professional on the dash for this reason, they have the ability to cut and sew to make it work. And I think on the dash the way we choose the stitching and seam locations add to the look of the dash.

For the console I thought adding the stitching would compete with the dash, plus I had an idea and wanted to try myself.

My idea was to cut a slit in the console at the required locations where the vinyl would not be able to stretch or shrink.

On this console the locations are small. One on each side of the console in line with where the upper meets the lower, and on each side of the bend just at the bottom of the radio. After a practice run on scrap I could see it would work, where each side of the cut of vinyl would tuck into the slit in the body.

After finish sanding the Bondo I painted black to seal it. If you look close you can see the little slits below where the radio goes.



Then I made a template from paper that laid flat with the surface and traced out. The vinyl has a little bit of flex, but starting requiring none makes it much easier. This template is for the lower rear portion.



Here is a pic of after the first section is wrapped



Then wrapped the front half



Before installing the console Dynomat and 1/4” Dynoliner was installed



The wood needs to be finished, cup holder installed, and I’m using a factory shift boot. I think overall it looks pretty stock and good. The seams on the sides look good and not out of place. I’m not as happy with the look of the seams by the radio. But the only other choices would be to have a professional either vacuum install the vinyl or add stitching. Both have their downsides too.



It took less than 2 yards of vinyl at a cost of about $100. So pretty happy with the result. Going to take a whole day to finish the wood on the insert yet.




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  #347  
Old 08-04-2018, 10:42 AM
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Nice!

That is a great looking console. Following your project is way easier and more fun than tackling mine!
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  #348  
Old 08-05-2018, 07:23 AM
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Great job. That looks amazing!
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  #349  
Old 08-06-2018, 06:12 PM
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Looking great! I love the way it's retro and modern at the same time. Classy!
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  #350  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:39 AM
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Really fantastic work. I ended up reading the whole thing just to find out about the steering. I've have some Motorsports experience from being young and building some karts. I've been doing a lot of research the last couple years on suspension and steering geometry for my drift car and planned engine swapps. It was interesting to see you went exactly with the cavalier rack idea I had and dismissed after tire clearance looked sketchy. As you were doing the arm trim originally,I was reading like"noooo, that's gonna make ackerman completely zeroed out. I am reducing my ackerman and increasing angle (good for drifting) by shortening the arms similar to your original effort but not as extreme. I love the final steering setup execution. Which rack did you end up with finally?
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  #351  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:50 AM
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300decel, 3doghouse, Tomguy thanks for the positive comments and posting, somehow I missed the notifications.

rwd4ever, I am using the Flaming River rear steer power rack.

I have been driving the car now as a daily driver. Donít drive far to work, only about 10 miles each way. But now have about 1100 miles.

Been making a list of things to change.

Steering geometry feels good, turning radius is good. Issue 1 is too much power from the pump. I am using the gm stock pump, with shims to lower pressure/flow. Still too much, going to switch to the Flaming River pump. Issue 2. Iím also getting too much input into the steering from the road. Stock this car had a steering stabilizer, I have yet to figure out a way to add one, just no room.

Even though the total weight of the car only increased a little over 100lbs with the the swap, the front end still feels too heavy. Iím not happy with how the transmission shifts from 1st to 2nd, and with the gearing in the rear end the engine is spinning about 2500rpms at highway speeds.

The car looks great, I get asked about it almost every day, but driving it doesnít match the looks, at least in comfort. Power is crazy, going to kill me! On the highway the engine just begs for more right foot! Iím sure Iíve surprised a few fellow motorists with the acceleration.

So in the planning stages now for changes.

First up is a diet. Going to build another engine starting with an LS2 aluminum block. Most everything will swap over but the pistons. That will save about 100lbs. I will loose a little power, but have way too much anyway.

Second will be to switch to a 4L65e or 4L70e transmission. This will save another 100lbs or so. This will also make the car feel a little lighter as it will have a better 1st to 2nd shift and a little better gearing for highway speeds.

While I have the engine/trans out I will also be stiffening up the rack and pinion mount and frame connection, maybe rebuild the engine crossmember to make some room for the steering stabilizer. Hopefully this will firm up the overall steering feel and minimize road input.

Iím also getting a little too much vibration from the engine to the car, so going to swap to different mounts.

This will be about a $4k endeavor Iím estimating. These changes should get me under stock weight too!

On the interior the dash, gauges, stereo, AC, push button start, automatic headlights, backup camera, console, trans shifter and location, intermittent wipers, etc are all winners. The factory seating vinyl is in almost perfect shape, but the padding needs to be updated to get some of the height back from sagging.
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  #352  
Old 12-31-2018, 01:24 PM
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This may be a better answer to your pressure issue and being adjustable is always nice.

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Heidts-PS-101-Adjustable-Power-Steering-Valve,14895.html
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  #353  
Old 12-31-2018, 01:38 PM
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You could try adding some castor to the front end to reduce twitchyness also. That could add to your heavy feel too though. Is it possible you have too way much castor in the front end to compensate the twitchyness and it's still way over powered causing a heavy feel and twitchyness?
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  #354  
Old 05-08-2019, 04:13 PM
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Amazing !!

Wow. Epic thread !
I am still digesting.

I am over in Kona. Next time I am on Oahu, I'd love to see this if possible.
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  #355  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renntag View Post
Wow. Epic thread !

I am still digesting.



I am over in Kona. Next time I am on Oahu, I'd love to see this if possible.


Thanks for your interest and comments!

I have been doing a lot more work, changes and improvements since my last posting, I guess if there is interest I can elaborate.

Love to show it off when your here, I work in the Ward area and live in Kahala.

FYI, I ended up swapping out the LQ4/4L80 for a L76/6L80 from a 2008 Pontiac G8. Drove it to work for the first time again today actually.




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  #356  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:12 AM
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How is the steering feel doing? Have you had it aligned? It could be toe in causing twitchiness also.
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  #357  
Old 05-10-2019, 06:08 AM
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Wow. Yes. Very interested to see more. Thanks for sharing.
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  #358  
Old 05-11-2019, 01:21 PM
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Thanks guys for the comments. Iíll post some pics later, but here is some of the latest changes

In the rebuild/swap I didnít make any changes that would modify the suspension geometry. All the factory alignment points are in original condition and any shop can align to factory specs. Goodyear is the closest shop to me and thatís who I have used so far. They have a 4 wheel computerized setup that Iím sure is pretty accurate.

Issues that I was having was related, my best guess, was too much flow/pressure coming from the GM pump to the Flaming River rack. Through some creative investigation, I could see I was getting some flex in the rack support and frame rails at the connection point. The car originally had a steering stabilizer, in itís last iteration I couldnít find a way to install one.

The car also felt heavy, even though it only weighed a little over 100 lbs more than original. Took bumps, potholes, road crown badly.

After this last round of changes I am about 95% there. I have started driving daily again this week.

Changes to steering this time round.

Raised engine at mount by 1Ē, raised transmission at its mount at rear by 2Ē, new engine/trans combo weighs about 150 lbs less that LQ4/4L80, car should be close to or under original weight.

By raising engine/trans I had the space to install the OEM steering stabilizer.

Fabricated a new steel plate, out of a higher grade of steel, that the Flaming River rack is bolted to for less flexing.

Added support and through frame sleeves for bolting the rack support to the frame.

Added a Heidts adjustable power steering valve to adjust flow/pressure to rack

These are major changes to say the least 3 months of work.

Everything is better now, last issue, and Iím going to visit a local suspension ďspecialistĒ is to see how to deal with the cars original suspension. The issue is, as everyone who have jacked up the front of this MB would see, is that as the front end rises the wheels toe in. If I give the car anything over moderated pedal the front end comes up and the front tires squeal from the excessive toe-in. Kind of takes the fun out of the power!
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  #359  
Old 05-11-2019, 03:47 PM
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I don't think you are correct about the toe in when rasing the front in stock form. I have more experience with the 107 suspension but it's identical subframe and arms. My car is drastically lowered and it's been up in the air a million times and I've never noticed any drastic(to tire squealing levels) toe change. It was never realigned when I lowered it untill I modified the steering arms for more angle(awesome!). What your having is bump steer, which can be caused by multiple different bits of geometry. One possibility could be the position if the rack. If it's higher, lower or forward/backward of where it needs to be then it will have a bad effect. If I remember correctly you kept your tie rods at the original length right? The suspension is best when a line can be drawn through the outer upper, lower and tie rod and the inner upper, lower and tie rod joint. The tied rod can be offset from this line but the measurements should be the same. The complexity of the suspension design with anti squat makes this a difficult line to determine because of the angle of the control arm pivots on different axis and unequal lengths. Your suspension guy should hopefully be able to determine this stuff. Having the springs out and being able to run it through it's motions will be very helpful in this. If I was to guess as I sit and think about this I would say that it's possible that the rack is too far forward, causing the tie rods to be angled rearward from the center of the car to the spindle. so when the axle drops and moves forward because of Castor and antidive geometry the overall tie rod length increases as they straighten out in relation to the rack.
I hope this makes sense. I'm not an expert but I have read SOOOOO much and learned tons of suspension geometry things that I never would have thought of before building my drift car and looking into doing a rack conversion. Every little thing changes something else. Even the fact that the original pitman and idler arm travel in an arc opposing the steering arm on the spindle is changed by the rack only moving in and out, that could be an issue.
If your planting your foot hard enough to lift the front end that much are you not squealing the rear tires?


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WARNING!!! VINTAGE MERCEDES MAY MULTIPLY UNCONTROLABLY!!! I have tons of Sl/Slc parts w108 w111 w126 and more. E-mail me with needs
BirchsgarageMB@gmail.com

Last edited by rwd4evr; 05-11-2019 at 05:06 PM.
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  #360  
Old 05-11-2019, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwd4evr View Post
I don't think you are correct about the toe in when rasing the front in stock form. I have more experience with the 107 suspension but it's identical subframe and arms. My car is drastically lowered and it's been up in the air a million times and I've never noticed any drastic(to tire squealing levels) toe change. It was never realigned when I lowered it untill I modified the steering arms for more angle(awesome!). What your having is bump steer, which can be caused by multiple different bits of geometry. One possibility could be the position if the rack. If it's higher, lower or forward/backward of where it needs to be then it will have a bad effect. If I remember correctly you kept your tie rods at the original length right? The suspension is best when a line can be drawn through the outer upper, lower and tie rod and the inner upper, lower and tie rod joint. The tied rod can be offset from this line but the measurements should be the same. The complexity of the suspension design with anti squat makes this a difficult line to determine because of the angle of the control arm pivots on different axis and unequal lengths. Your suspension guy should hopefully be able to determine this stuff. Having the springs out and being able to run it through it's motions will be very helpful in this. If I was to guess as I sit and think about this I would say that it's possible that the rack is too far forward, causing the tie rods to be angled rearward from the center of the car to the spindle. so when the axle drops and moves forward because of Castor and antidive geometry the overall tie rod length increases as they straighten out in relation to the rack.
I hope this makes sense. I'm not an expert but I have read SOOOOO much and learned tons of suspension geometry things that I never would have thought of before building my drift car and looking into doing a rack conversion. Every little thing changes something else. Even the fact that the original pitman and idler arm travel in an arc opposing the steering arm on the spindle is changed by the rack only moving in and out, that could be an issue.
If your planting your foot hard enough to lift the front end that much are you not squealing the rear tires?


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Thanks for the reply!

I need to get back under it and look at it again. With the wheels straight and the tires on the ground the rack is positioned so that the tie rods at straight and level to the steering arms. I did increase the length of the tie rod arms, donít have exact measurement in my head.

Driving sanely on both side streets and highway everything is good. When getting on the throttle (with over 450hp) the front suspension almost fully extends, front end gets very light and the tires screech. I have 225/50/16 tires all around. So pretty good traction.

This drive train came out of a 2008 Pontiac G8. To get this car setup to run similar to the G8, rear gear/tire size wise, and need to change to a lower rear gear. 2.65 is closest, but probably better would be 3.07. Iím looking now to find one.

Anyone with experience and swapping? How difficult? Time required?
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