19 September 2016

stereo junky summer - v.ii

The summer I went a little crazy with stereo equipment.
It was a roller coaster ride,
that's returned almost full circle.
It started with these huge 300 watt amps,
mono-block Adcom gfa-565's.
They're were a steal,
but there was a catch.
This series was known to have a bad run of leaky capacitors,
and they needed attention.
What looks like a 4 step process online,
is much more daunting under the knife.
I ended up trading them for a working amp,
a 200 wpc Adcom gfa-555,
and a sweet Sansui CA-2000 preamp.
This setup delving into the budget high-end realm.
The Sansui preamp was trick 
in that it could control two separate amos,
basically a front and rear.
The sound was better than the theater we watched Star Wars 7 in!
After some studying,
I found Adcom started by making these little-huge amps,
GFA-1's that were actually 200 wpc.
The reviews online were sketchy,
which resulted in scoring these for $50/75!
I liked the sound better than the gfa-555,
and the full time fans didn't bother me.
Bye 555!
By luck a clean Sansui TU-719 tuner was found,
sadly short lived as it didn't match the pre.
Although it worked perfectly,
the vanity of not matching won out.
The TU-9900 is 5X the price and most likely the same.
I'd regret this decision.
Meanwhile these huge Klipsch Chorus speakers
were on ebay for a steal.
That's what happens with local pickup only.
The wood was a little rough,
and I'm not a fan of oak,
so we tried to darken them with stain.
Yeah I'm picky...
but what about the sound?
These babies are flat out awesome.
I really liked the forte series with 12" woofers.
Remember them on the van?
They thumped in the open air.
The choruses are louder,
deeper and almost cleaner with the same power.
I'm hooked.
Online their reviews are love/hate,
stemming from the use of ports 
vs a passive radiator in the second series,
and an overly simple crossover.
Some people like technology more than sound!
I knew they were keepers 
when Jaxon set up the stool time listening seat.
They're hooked up as garage speakers for now.
Even Jaxon got into it,
we found some RSL 3300's for their room.
A JBL 4311 knock off that sounds darned good.
Jaxon also practiced the de-oxit cleaning,
enough to do on his own.
Definitely a great help!
Ultimately we downsized to a Sansui AU-717,
supposedly an 85 wpc monster that sounds twice that,
even powering the front Klipsch cornwalls
and rear La Scalas.
See how I should have kept the matching tuner!
To keep the cream I offed a ton of good chit, 
basically breaking even while upgrading.
The altec 811b's and 416 project...
The sansui 9090 havin issues,
the qrx-8001 sitting too long,
the ca-2000 too scratchy even after 3 cleanings...
other unused receivers were ditched,
and it feels good.
Sounds even better!

16 September 2016

40 gets a stick - v.ii

After sitting for almost a half year,
the 40's AOD transmission was slipping
bad enough to be undriveable.
The tranny always had issues even in the Lincoln,
and driving with low fluid was the last straw.
No magic fix this round,
major surgery was needed.
I weighed rebuilding the AOD with a shift kit,
but for the cost a T5 could be found,
and my heart was set on a stick.
Now the kids could work for video game time!
All that brick work had found its real purpose...
We had that drivetrain out so fast!
It was like conducting an orchestra,
child labor at its finest.
Now what....?
No quick swap...
parts acquisition wouldn't be quick.
The 40 teased me whenever I'd walk by.
The firewall was always a cringing sight,
a ton of hack work during the 302 swap of 2013.
The plan had been to remove it for a final smoothing,
and that never happened.
No holds barred here.
Welding... hammering... filling... epoxy...
Coated with the finest white rattlecan.
Ooh la la...
This was the first month,
as money was saved and parts found.
Oh yeah,
this project started at the end of May!
Little by little the parts came together.
Bellhousing, flywheel, clutch...
and most important a t-5 transmission,
thanks to the Sharp family.   
Typical family affair throwing it together...
We did this twice as I forgot the aluminum spacer plate.
Interestingly enough,
this was a Ford "world class" T5,
but the insides were chevy.
I found a common hot rodding trick 
was to use Astro Van internals,
which meant different shaft splines.
The 5.0 10-spline mustang clutch
swapped for a 26-spline camaro.
As usual over the counter performance grade stuff!
Jake found a use for the house tractor
as we prepped the patient into the operating room.
There's always a space mystery swapping trannies,
however the aod vs t5 are at least in the same mustang family.
It fit perfectly.
Better have as I whittled the X-member for the huge AOD.
The driveshaft length was perfect,
but here we found out the rear input shaft was GM.
The 28-spline ford yoke swapped for a 27-spline chevy,
which would then need a conversion u-joint.
Always something!
Jaxon learned how to change u-joints,
and why not barber pole the driveshaft...
Then what luck a care package arrived,
straight from Iowa!
Jeff had designed and cast the most bitchin custom fuel block,
and this was the 3rd one.
Perfect timing as I had misplaced the fuel line!
Tricky to mount but it fits perfectly.
Only needed  a "Mayer Speed" logo...
Thanks a ton Jeff!
The new pups tried to help...
The crucial last part was the clutch linkage.
The original pedal had to contact the arm.
My first idea was a bellcrank system,
but it just seemed too bulky,
and also a lot of work.
I tried a bendy rod first,
which would need lengthened pedal arms.
This gave the longer throw needed.
This worked great...
See anything wrong with the pic?
The angled bar is the brake pedal.
It went into gear so smooth,
and a WTF when the brake pedal was locked up!
Holey Chit!
A little frustrated,
I found that original mustangs used a cable.
we had all kinds of old Morse cables!
A lock bracket was whittled out,
and a lock tube slid into a bellhousing hole.
A couple issues...
Kinda in the way of the exhaust,
and mainly there wasn't enough throw.
Holey Chit!
All this time I coulda gone with plan A.
The bracket took maybe 2 hrs to make.
Another hour for the drillium.
A couple quick linkages...
And man this was a sweet setup.
The clutch had enough purchase holes?
there was plenty of adjustment.
The first drive.
Always exciting.
I had the shifter on backwards,
so only had 2-4-R.
Easy fix although I was prepared to tear the tranny apart!
Sloppy had donated a Moon fuel gauge,
topping off the fuel line.
It's gonna be cooler with a tripower!
A long '39 style shifter finished the interior.
Lotsa gold and chrome wow!
One last change was the exhaust.
The Lincoln logs for some headers.
The first day's drove with no pipes,
wasn't really that bad!
Now there's some short pipes,
I ran out of bends.
It sounds like a hot rod!
I'll need to rebuild and rejet the carb,
and then it'll be a rough daily driver.
This June bug really liked the wires!
Anyway feels good to have it back.
Hard to not chirp the tires!