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97 GST Spyder (AWD Swapped)

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Here's a quick run down of everything since I bought my spyder. Bought it back in February with the plan to just keep it a DD and eventually get a GSX for track duty. However, I'm just gonna turn my spyder into a track car instead.

She had a bad water pump and nearly no material in the front and rear roll stops when I bought it. Thought this was a good deal since I knew how to fix those issues. My spyder was about 99% stock, the only non-stock parts being the retarded euro tail lights and welded on muffler. I've since been told that the turbo is most likely a Big T-28, so I guess that would be the only other non-stock part.

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I got to drive it for a couple weeks and then had over heating issues, according to the temp gauge that is. Nothing was out of the ordinary under the hood, but replaced the t-stat and temp sensor anyway, just for peace of mind. Niether part cured the problem so I limped my baby home without destroying anything. She sat in my garage for another month before I managed to get time to start pulling the engine apart to replace the water pump, and decided to replace the head gasket and timing belt as well, so I would have comfort in knowing the age of each.

So I got everything changed out and after 2 days of trying to figure out why I couldn't get it to start, I found that I forgot I pulled the ignition fuse before I pulled the engine. No starting problems after that. Not even a week later, I had her back in the garage, prepping to pull the engine out yet again.....

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I went to pick up a friend I hadn't seen in a long time who was in town, and my car broke down right as he got in and shut the door. I thought I had spun a bearing or something similar. After getting her home, I pulled the driver side front wheel and found that my oil pump sprocket had worn a hole through the timing cover and caused the timing belt to jump. Good thing I shut the engine off in only a couple seconds when it first happened. No bent valves, no spun bearings, probably don't have a bad oil pump either. The sprocket is pretty chewed up on the outer rim of the teeth though. However, even with all this, I've bought a new front case with oil pump, all new bearings, new oil and crank sprockets (I broke the crank sprocket during removal :ohdamn: ), and a new timing belt. The other one is now frayed on the in-board edge, and probably still usable, as a last resort only, but I won't be testing that theory.

Right now, the engine is completely stripped down and I'm taking the block and head to the machine shop tomorrow afternoon for hot tanking and decking. Next month, I'll be getting new pistons and rods, and taking the block back for a bore job.

I'm planning to convert my baby to AWD and eventually have a great car for autocross... More to come later.... :dsm:
 
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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
So I finally got my silver carbon fiber cloth today, dropped my cylinder head off at the machine shop, and cleaned and semi-organized my garage today. Feel like I actually accomplished something today. Getting the head hot tanked, decked, and they're gonna run a vacuum test to see if I bent the valves or not. Most likely, I'll replace them anyway, just to be on the safe side. Will be picking it up at the end of next week, they're swamped with work like always.

I'm taking a section of the carbon cloth to work tomorrow to tinker with on my breaks. Gonna start building the interchangable gauge panel idea I came up with during my OCD induced cleaning of my garage. There'll be more info on that idea at a later date, I'm still running through my design schematics to narrow down a final layout.

Decided to clean my garage since there isn't anything constructive for me to do to my engine, it's completely stripped bare. The garage looks good now, not great, but better than it was. I now got all my parts consolidated into two areas instead of scattered across the floor, my tool box, and my storage bins. I really need to get some benches to work at and build some shelving for my seperate build ups. Also came to realize just how much I've hoarded DSM parts over the years. Sure makes it easier when I need a spare part. Some tend to be useless, such as the mount that goes below the passenger airbag that the glove box latches to. Don't think I'll ever use that, but who knows.... have some pics.... (I attempted a panaramic pic with my phone, it's ok, but not perfect)
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Made a carbon panel yesterday for mock up of an idea I got for the race build. Also started doing a lay out if my quick release latches for my front bumper. Decided to take this down time to take some parts to work so I can shave all the casting marks off them and prep for paint.

I got a call from the machine shop yesterday too. They ran a vacuum test on the head, and for whatever reason, I managed not to bend my valves when the engine went down. However, the head is slightly warped. So the shop is gonna resurface the deck, hot tank, and do an angle job for me.

Got my mock up of my carbon panel placed in the car, and finally got my new crank and oil sprockets. Found my stash of hardware I've collected over the years and found this Wiggins Clamp I managed to aquire several years ago. It's a perfect fit for my radiator hoses and clamps them down really well. So now I need to find them online and buy a few more.
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
So quick update. Did most of this before the threat of the fires here in Colorado. Due to that, I'll be postponing some of the build to focus on other things. Built my brackets for my race electronics. They'll get mounted between these 2 brackets and the carbon panel will be just a cover. Also got my timing cover patched with carbon fiber. Eventually I'll be building an entire cover out of carbon.


Also picked up my cylinder head from the machine shop. Got it milled and hot tanked, as well as an angle job. Had my valve guides replaced with a set I bought last year and never used, gotta love those stored spares. Here's a few pics...
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Well got a couple updates this time. Got my airbag replacement structure rebuilt finally. I used 0.032 aluminum last time, and 0.100 this time. it's much stronger and should be better for my friend at work to weld the side plates on. Will have pics of it finished, hopefully next week. Also decided to build the inner piece for it out of carbon instead of aluminum like last time. Got that part partially done. Gonna add 2 or 3 more layers to it to make it more rigid.

I also finally decided to pull the motors out for my top so I could check the little split pins in the drive gears, sure enough, pins where broken on both motors. So I'm taking them to work Monday to enlarge the holes slightly and hammer in the new pins I've made. For some reason, I'm guessing torque from the motors themselves and weak material, 1 screw on the driver side motor, and 2 on the passenger side that hold the motors to the reduction gear assembly, where broken as well. So now I gotta pull those out and find a suitable replacement.

Since I got the rear section all torn out, I'm gonna make time to mod the wires so I can bypass having to stop to raise or lower my top. No worries, I'm smart enough not to do it on the highway or something ;)

Was surprised how dirty everything onder the rear seats and panels was. My last spyder was from the same model year and wasn't even half as bad. All the dirt and dust reminded me of the Humvee's I used to drive in the army...
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Ordered my new pistons, gaskets, & oil dipstick today. Also dropped my block off at the shop for machining. Let them have my intake manifold too. It's caked with carbon so I might be deleting my EGR valve to keep things cleaner, longer. Should have everything at the shop and back in my garage by next weekend so I can start rebuilding again. Here's a random pic of what I'm working on for a separate idea....


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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Went by the junk yard after work today. Got some seat belt holder brackets for my seats and some spare headlights so now I got a set to build the red ones in my last post.
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
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Well it's time for an update, I know it's been awhile.

Got the block back from the machine shop about two weeks ago, and broke a piston ring while putting them on the pistons. Been that long to get a replacement set of 0.040 over rings.

Got the pistons set in the block last night, and been building everything else up. Head is now on and torqued, along with the turbo and all the oil lines. Front case components are all on too and filled the engine with oil. Will be priming tomorrow after work. Letting it sit over night so if there's any slow leaks, I'll know. The back side of the block (intake side), looked like it was leaking from the head gasket. The block was kinda glossy like oil had spilled on it, but when I went to wipe it, there was nothing. Thought it to be weird since I don't remember it being that way prior. I'll know tomorrow.

Also took the time to wire up the 'top up/down any speed' mod to a switch so I can resort to stock if needed.

Should hopefully be dropping the engine back in tomorrow night sometime if all goes well :pray:
 
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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
So here's the update: I went for a test drive finally, that lasted more than a couple minutes, and returned early yet again. I only got 8 miles on the engine :( Was cruising along and I'm hearing a scrapping sound just like last time, but slightly louder. Also got fluctuating oil pressure levels that ultimately leveled out at 3/4 way up the gauge before I shut her down back in my garage. I'm thinking this may be the same issue I had which caused me to start the rebuild. Going to be looking into it more just to be safe. What made me return home though, was something came off and started flapping around under the hood. Turned out to be my A/C belt had come off the tensioner pulley. Guess I didn't tighten it enough. Easy fix there. Think it's time to stop with the late night maintenance. There's also some faint knocks coming from the cylinder 4 area inside the engine. That's what it sounds like to me anyway.
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Well after a very long couple months, I think I'm finally on the road to repairs being over. Got the spyder back on the road again today and got more miles on it. I'm still a little skeptical though, I'm hearing the same scraping noises I heard before the rebuild, and I even have the timing cover off. I've checked the oil sprocket many times and it's still tight, so I'm not sure what's going on. Sounds like the brake rotor scraping the caliper, but if it were that, it would go away when I hit the brakes, which it doesn't. Only other idea I have is the dust shield for the rotor, which did make a slight scrap when I rotated the wheel after putting it back in, so I bent the shield back some, and the noise went away. Still at a loss on this on going matter. Will be watching it closely to find the cause.
 
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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Decided to go for a long drive today after work, that was more than to and from work. She drives beautifully, except the scrapping noise that I'm still investigating. Even raced a mustang. I know I pissed the driver off, got him stuck behind traffic. Felt good to be out roaming around in a DSM again.
 
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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
I now have almost 700 miles on my engine. I've gone through a few headaches with this engine, but my love for these cars has kept me semi-motivated to stick it out and not give up. I've had oil issues, which I've resolved, although yesterday I noticed an actual leak that I'll be investigating this weekend. My car just died on the highway one day... turned out my ignition transistor harness connector popped off. Smoking issues that have been resolved almost as quick as they appeared. My fender was squeaking for some reason too.

However, the biggest ongoing issues have now come to light in good and bad ways. The scrapping noise that I've been hearing since putting the engine back in has finally been found, hopefully. The brake dust shield has been found to be rubbing the rotor. I know I looked at the shield and even bent it back at one point, but somehow its doing what its doing. That'll be touched on this weekend, and the following test drive will confirm or not if it was the problem. That's the good news.

On to the bad. This past week I removed the emissions and for whatever reason, my idle hung at 2k rpms and the engine started knocking loudly. So I ended up re-installing everything I removed and it returned to normal idle. But now I have rod knock. Got that confirmed at the local DSM shop today. So now I have to research all this. They also said the smoking I'm experiencing, based on frequency and occasions, is most likely bad valve seals... which I had replaced when the head got machined.

I swear this is going to be a never ending battle to get things running right, but I'm still going strong and won't let my car get the best of me.
 
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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Took a few pictures of my Spyder today, here's one.

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Yeah, they are Audi-ish. I've always loved the way their lights look. Still have to build my LED tail lights.
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
I have now started doing my mods to convert to the 2GB Talon body. None of this will be permanent until I get all the body parts and manage to get the tail lights to work properly along with all the Spyder's normal electronics. So far I've disected a Talon rear light harness and Spyder rear harness and spliced them together. Got running lights operating, and partial brake lights. Still trying to get turn lights to work though. There has to be a better, easier way to do this though.
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
And a couple more pics for the hell of it....
 

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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Just got done reinstalling my fog lights. Had to put them on opposite sides so they would fit the Talon bumper. However, when I put the Eclipse bumper back on, I'll have to switch them back. Also did the mod to operate my power windows without power turned on :D nice little mod, will probably come in handy one day.
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
[email protected]#king-standing. My car decided to crap out on me yet again this morning on my way to work. I'm quite certain its an electrical problem. No-crank, no-start... still getting electrical power though. Gonna rip out my ignition transistor and coils in the morning (after I play some Halo 4) and test them at school. Probably gonna take the starter too just to cover everything... damn DSMs.... how I hate and love them.
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,241
732
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
Well I never got to pulling any of the ignition parts out. Found out my crank wouldn't rotate so I pulled the oil pan. After loosening the main cradle and rods, I finally managed to get it to turn. Timing still lines up. Cyl 3 rod has no oil on it. Still gotta pull rod caps and check bearings. Guess I was way off by thinking it was electrical, but had nothing else to go off of at that time.
 

NathanCarlK

Proven Member
53
0
May 17, 2012
Ulysses, Pennsylvania
I have to put a non CC cable into my car, and get a few more things done before it will run and Instead I played some Halo 4 yesterday and the day before. Sometimes my priorities just get messed up. Good Job with the Spyder tho, really enjoying following you. Lights look great as well!
 
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