340 build up

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by Jim Blackwood, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Photos finally!
    MVC-156F.JPG MVC-154F.JPG
    The serpentine drive is completed, aside from one stainless setscrew to replace the black one and a nylon plug to go behind it. That locks the adjusting screw.

    The difficult thing about this drive is the number of fabrication and machining steps required to make it. If a really sharp worker knew exactly what he needed to do he might be able to duplicate it working full time in a couple weeks if all went well. So at standard shop rates that'd be upwards of five grand. Sadly, very few people can afford those prices. So this is likely to be the only one like this that you'll ever see.

  2. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    WOW!!!! I am really happy to see your car almost done!!! I am so jealous... Hope to get mine done ASAP!
  3. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Anything new???
  4. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've been working on the hinges for the tilt front end and have them done except for the actuator. Worked out pretty sweet. I can stand in front of the car, grab the front of the opening and pull forward and the front of the hood comes up first and then the whole thing tilts forward. I'm thinking about using a hydraulic wing cylinder for a sprint car to operate it. Today I finished the driveshaft and just have to wait for the paint to dry to install the u-bolts. And I have the fittings for the fuel rails now and just have to machine them and make the hold downs. So yeah, good progress. Still have to make a shifter and probably paddle shifts for the steering wheel. Later this week I expect to order the MegaShift controller kit. Luckily for me there's another guy who will be building one for the AA80E at the same time and we are loosely working together. So it's starting to look like a springtime roll out is not unreasonable.


  5. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Amazing work!!!!!
  6. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Got the throttle linkage done and did some anodizing work on the injector rails and related parts. Since I want to be a good citizen and show concern for the ecology I have installed a green fueling system. Green fittings from Parker, green brackets, green FPR, green fuel lines... I even have a set of green injectors to install. Just trying to do my part for the planet.

    The throttle linkage arms are billet stainless. Check out the organic compound curves. Did the anodizing here in the shop. The hold down barrel nuts are hard anodized. Not bad for a first try. Now that I know how to do it I can do some of the larger pieces as time permits. But first I want to drive it.


  7. 87GN@Tahoe

    87GN@Tahoe Well-Known Member

    Looking awesome Jim... So, when does she hit the road? Or the dyno rollers?
  8. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    It'll be awhile yet, there is still a lot to do. Make up and connect fuel, coolant and A/C lines, build a surge tank, build a shifter, finish building the oil pump drive, flush and flow test the injectors which from preliminary tests are looking bad so finding money for a new set of those will probably slow me down too. Then there is wiring to hook back up and last but far from least I have to build, test, wire and install the shift controller (Megashift). I'm hoping for spring and I still think that is possible for a first run but I don't know any dyno guys around here and I'll want to work the bugs out anyway. So that is most likely a year or more away.

    But my goal is to drive it this spring. There should be enough time if I can just stay motivated over the winter to work on it enough to make it happen. It's been a long road and I'm right at the point where the 90% rule kicks in. If I can make it past that I should be OK. But right now with the cold weather and all it is a struggle.

  9. CanadianBird

    CanadianBird Silver Level contributor

    Work of art!
  10. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Here are a couple shots of the oil pump drive. MVC-182F.JPG MVC-185F.JPG

    You can't really tell from the photos but the blade on the end of the shaft is steel on one end and brass on the other. This keeps the balance right and also gives a balanced support where it contacts the brass washer below it. The steel blade is used to trigger the cam position sensor which doubles as a cap and the brass blade does not register since it is non-magnetic. The cap, I was lucky to find. It is used on many Ford engines between '96 and '08 and costs about $25. It tops off the oil pump drive just about perfectly I think.

  11. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Just an update. I've been working mostly on the controller for the transmission. I know this part is not Buick but it's needed before the car will run, and it ties into the controller for the engine, which Is Buick. So a little information about that part of the system.

    The engine controller is a MegaSquirt II unit with Phillip Ringwood's knock sensor circuit that lights an LED on the controller case (I've not tied it into the controller yet). It also takes an input from an Innovative Motorsports LC-1 wideband sensor, and I have an EGT gage plugged into the bung on the other header. It is set up to run batch fire and control a Ford EDIS crank trigger ignition and also has idle air control. All of which is a carry over from the blown/injected/intercooled 215 that was cranking out big power on 16 psi of boost from an Eaton M-90. That's the one you see in my avitar. Never dynoed it but I'd put the output at 300hp, which is good power in a 2400 lb car, and respectable out of a 215. Could have been a bit more than that but I prefer to be conservative. It did, on a couple of occasions break the 265/50-14 rear tires loose on the freeway at 70mph. In the dry, rolling on the throttle in overdrive.

    The transmission controller is the MegaShift based on the GPIO board (General Purpose Input/Output) and both it and the MS-II are CAN network enabled, meaning they can communicate with each other and with other devices over a single 2 wire network and exchange essentially anything that the programmer decides is needed. Things like engine speed, throttle opening and a bunch of others are already enabled and I'll be learning how this all works but the bottom line is that there will be no need for any kickdown, TV cable, vacuum line or anything else, and the MShift will know more about what the engine and driver are doing than any of the old school transmissions. As it should, since it is running a thoroughly modern transmission which has only been in production something like a half dozen years now.

    That transmission is a special version of the Aisin AA80E and is an 8 speed automatic with about a 4.59 1st gear and two overdrives. I know, sounds like too much, right? But it's fast, and I mean blazing. F1 transmissions are the gold standard in fast shifting transmissions right? I think they shift in something like 50 milliseconds now, fast as an eyeblink. This one is slow compared to those as the best it can do is 100 milliseconds. Things may have changed by now but when that spec was published that made it number two behind the F1. That's still only a tenth of a second and is almost faster than you can flex your fingers to flick the shift paddles. So getting through those 8 gears is going to be quick. They are well spaced too, with the ratio of shift-to-shift being right on the money in all but one transition and that one is reasonably close. Pretty darned good for a box with planetaries. Torque capacity is somewhere approaching a thousand foot pounds as I recall so it will hold up to some abuse. It is heavy, about 200 lbs with the converter. Not much fancy about that piece except that it can be locked up in any or all gears above 1st, so you have the torque multiplication for that 4.59 1st gear and then it feels like a standard with automatic shifting. Or you can leave it unlocked if you like. In operation it is more like a 9 speed.

    Fortunately the MShift controller is capable of taking over those shifting duties when you want to relax. I'll be learning a lot more about exactly how this all works after the car is running but basically I can use the TunerStudio graphic user interface to set it to shift the way I want it to, and control the lock-up the way I want. I can set shift points, hysteresis, and determine how the firmness is decided, based on speed, throttle opening, and even an accelerometer if I feel like tying in the G-tech I've got sitting in the window. That would probably be a good idea a little later on. These two control boxes also have the capability to remember things so it's possible to make them self tune to some extent. The MS-II will get an upgrade to MS-III at some point, though not right away, and that will let it individually control each spark plug, each injector, and take inputs from individual cylinder EGT probes which I have provided for by welding bungs into the headers and autotune to optimize each firing event. Right now they are plugged and the probes aren't cheap at a little over $50 each but within a couple years that will happen.

    So right now I'm building the MShift controller. The board comes with the processors already wave soldered in place but a number of other components have to be added as well as configuring it as a transmission controller. I'm done with the very first stage which is mainly adding connectors and jumper blocks to the board, and am ready for the first test which I hope to complete tomorrow. Then a bunch of bending leads, soldering, clipping and such until it is done. And then there is all of the usual hassles with the wiring, and tying it into the existing system. But I have high hopes that this will all work as intended. We are breaking new ground here, the MShift has never been used to control this many gears and we are pushing the limits of what it will do pretty hard. Luckily there is another guy building one at the same time so that does help.

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  12. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Finally, I'm within days of starting the engine. Lots of progress since I last posted, on lots of small details, many of which are not of any particular interest here. Mainly I just have a little wiring to tidy up and will be able to do the break-in run. I have quite a bit of other work to do before it will be driveable and I also have many other things taking up my time but I'm sure I can have it started before Christmas. In other good news I made a deal on a pretty decent camera which should be here tomorrow so I ought to be able to post a couple pictures within the next couple of days.

  13. exfarmer

    exfarmer Well-Known Member

    Nice to hear that progress is being made.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  14. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Way cool, Jim! Awesome pics!

    Though I must confess I haven't been keeping up with the progress of this build, but now that it's been brought to my attention it certainly has my interest piqued.

    I'm very excited for you. :TU:

  15. Nothingface5384

    Nothingface5384 Detail To Oil - Car Care

    Did you ever figure out the megaquirt? shifting thr AA80E lexus 8-spd auto?
  16. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Just started working on that again as a matter of fact. Timing seems to be just about right being in the deepfreeze and all. I hope to have the last of the circuits sorted out in 2-3 weeks. At the very least by the time it is warm I'll be starting the engine and seeing if the tranny will move the car in limp mode without any signals to the connector.

  17. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Here are some current photos. Kinda messy but getting there. Made some real progress on the controller today. One more good day like that and I'll have the design work nailed down tight and can get back on the build.


    Attached Files:

  18. CraigFaller

    CraigFaller Well-Known Member

    Such a cool project Jim, it looks amazing. I can only imagine the amount of time and effort that has gone into it! :TU:
  19. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member


    I can appreciate "one off" machined parts and all the planning that goes before hand. It looks great.
    I especially like the way the exhaust pipes exit straight out from the heads without the usual tight bend.

  20. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. Paul, I actually had to shorten the tubes about an inch between the ports and the first bend because these headers were originally made for the 215. Yes, the 340 is that much wider. At the same time I added EGT ports to each tube. The primaries are 34"+-1/8" x 1-5/8" and worked really well with the various 215s especially the 7000rpm motor and the +16psi blower motor. They were designed for a 300 so I'm pushing them a little with the blown 340 but I think they'll be fine. I've had the car about 35 years now and it's gone through a lot of changes.


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