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Brunton M-spec #007

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I've been getting a bit done. I'll try to catch the thread up some.


On the oil pressure adaptor I decided to spend the money for the nice engineering and machining of the Katech piece. The part that was on there site actually would not clear an LS3 intake. However, after emailing them I found out they had just produced a new part to clear the LS3 intake w no grinding needed. It was a more costly, but the machining was clearly more intensive. I just really want to keep the build as simple, OEM, and uncluttered as possible. So an OEM sending unit hidden under the intake worked for me. I intend to use a "Can-bus" gauges. These use signals from the factory sending units via the OBDII diagnostic port (more on that later).


The Katech piece is machined beautifully and is sealed via O-ring!






Sorry, the cell phone pics really do not do it justice.

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I also got the steering shaft installed which gave me the opportunity to sit in the car, turn the wheel and make engine noises! It is starting to become a car.



I took the engine off the stand and installed the LS7 flywheel with OEM bolts that came w the kit.



Put on Brunton's engine stands:


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I also bolted up the LS1 F-body bell housing and CTS-V trans. I forgot to get action shots of it in the air, but I was able to swing the whole unit into place with the chassis still up on the stands!




Next I installed the new CTS rear center section (3.23 gears and G30 limited slip):



And measured for the drive shaft:


Edited by subtlez28
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I'm working through details, but I am told I should remove the flange from the trans, and go to a slip yoke. More on that to come.



BTW, I am currently searching for a stock first gen CTS-V shifter assembly and trans mount to try. I'm coming up empty and would appreciate any help in tracking them down for a reasonable price!

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I'm working to get all the major components on hand. I am pre-assembling pretty much everything. With the engine in I could get a feel for how much wiring harness I would need.




I called up Speartech and spoke w John. After a lot of research I feel comfortable he will provide a harness what will be cleanly built to fit my simplistic (subtle) style, and have the know how to help me through any potential bump in the process. I am especially fond of his testing every harness on a real engine set up prior to ship out!


Now the hard part, waiting for him to them to get through there back log of orders so they can build mine! I probably couldn't have picked a worse time of year to order, but I really wanted the engine/trans in before pulling the trigger.


Gratuitous engine pics (that I don't think are in the thread yet):



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  • 2 weeks later...

After banging my head against the wall trying to locate the stock CTS-V shifter parts, I started actively shopping for a GTO or F-body style T-56. While speaking with a trans shop who specializes in Tremecs, I was discussing converting my CTS-V trans to a GTO tailhousing, and main shaft. Bad news is the GTO main shaft is nationally back-ordered... As a stroke of luck though, the guy had a stock CTS-V shifter set up!! I may still convert to the GTO tail housing down the road if I don't love the remote shifter, but at least this will get me going!


I also located a company making a stronger CTS-V trans mount. Apparently the stocker is weak, and failure prone. They also make some shifter bushings I hope will firm up the Caddy shifter.


Beyond finding parts I also got some garage time in. A friend who has been a huge help and motivator committed some hours over the weekend. We got the floor mounted Wilwood brake and clutch pedal mounted. We initially tried to mount them a little further toward the back of the car thinking it would provide more foot room, as the footwell narrows. But when I began to modify the firewall and hang the brake booster and master it was clear I had to move the pedals forward. It was basically a lot of time put in for minimal visible result, but, I'm glad to have progress toward a driving car!




The clutch pedal has a master mounted to it. Brunton makes a bracket for the Miata power booster mounting it backward and above the fire wall as the engine takes up the room where a brake MC and booster would typically go. They also provide a lever system that converts your forward brake pedal motion to backward. Space is at a premium in such a small chassis! Part of me would really like to try manual brakes, but the advise of experienced Stalker owners is to keep power brakes.


I also installed a front rotor and caliper. I took out my Percy's Wheelrite tool to make some measurements at full travel. Another area of my research lately is into track wheel/tire set up. A lot of Lotus 7 replica's run 13" race wheels. With the Wilwoods, that is a tight fit, requiring pricey custom wheels. After a discussion w a race tire distributer I was shied away from 14", 16", and 17". He explained (used) race tires are much easier to come by in 13, 15, and 18" sizes. I don't mean to come across as too cheap, but my budget is running thin, and I want to be able to afford to finish and race this beast, this year! Anyway, I am looking at probably going with a 15x10 custom steel wheel from a manufacturer who just so happens to be right here in WI! Think oval track wheels. Obviously a 15x10 steel wheel is not the lightest option, but w sticky tires, I don't think it will hold me back as much as my weigh OCD would have me think... Plus, I could always pony up for some lightweight custom alloy wheels in a year or two if I still want to.




And, yes, I know I should remove the plastic from the rotor and paper tag from the caliper prior to high speed use. LOL

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  • 2 months later...

Over the summer months I have made some progress. Pace has slowed to a crawl due to the increased activities of summer and my kids being home during the day, but that is far from a complaint.


When I have worked on the car it has been in short bursts, and it I have neglected to take pics, which I know takes some of the fun out of the thread. We fit the seats, harnesses, pedals, and all the aluminum. We mounted the engine and took measurements needed for harness and driveshaft.


My use of the CTS-V style trans required some creativity for shifter mounting. Unlike F-body (Camaro/Firebird) style T-56s that mount the shifter right on the tail-housing of the trans, the CTS-V shifter is remote mounted, but with solid linkage.



The bad news, is with linkage at stock length, the shifter position is right were a chassis tube was (already removed in the pic). In a car Brunton built, they cut down the linkage to fit more like an F-body trans. We decided to move the chassis tube and create a mounting point to support the shifter.


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The goal from the start was to trial fit most of the components, then take it apart to have the chassis powder coated. We got to that point, and I found a reasonable local powder coater. I'm proud to say I tore the car down to bare chassis in a mater of less than two hours! I was pretty excited to reach this milestone!



One week later:



We already have the front suspension back in place, and bent up some brake lines. Soon we will plumb the fuel system. I put in a nearly $1k order to Summit for car electric harness and fuel system parts, fittings etc. I think I can see light at the end of this tunnel!

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I saw a while back (April 2013) your question on how deep should the harmonic balancer go onto the crankshaft. Not sure if this is too late but I pulled it out of my Corvette service manual on the 6.0L and is as shown below;




I hope this shows. I scanned the page and converted the pdf file into a jpg file.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the feedback and info guys!


We have made a small amount of progress since the last update. We installed the front suspension (again) and plumbed the brake lines:




It feels good to be permanently installing panels as apposed to the mock up stage.


I hope to make some more strides int he next couple days.

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Looking great. Power brakes might be the ticket...


Though, even with power brakes, I think a lighter brake light sensor or mechanical switch needed. If only there were an inertia switch as when you lift off in gear, it slows big time and women in SUVs not used to reacting to anything other than a third brake light instructing them to slow. Don't ask..


I took a couple of farm road runs with some local speed freaks and they asked if my brake lights worked, they did. Joys of driving a 1600lb car!

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  • 1 month later...

We've made some more headway, I will try to catch up.


We connected the aftermarket braided clutch lines to a factory style hydraulic throw out bearing (like an 02 Z28). Because I am using a CTS-V T-56, that came this a thicker, dual-mass flywheel, I had to space the through out bearing away from the trans. I used a piece from Katech (they are getting a lot of my $ on this build... ha). Hopefully everything works out, but I wont know for sure until I add fluid to the clutch hydraulics. I am avoiding adding any fluids now, in case things need to come apart again.



I also learned that the CTS-V T56 bell housing is longer than the F-body bell housing. We had to make room for the new hydraulic lines by nothing the CTS-V bell. This was pretty straight forward with the aluminum.



In other trans news, Brunton suggested removing the three bolt flange from the CTS-V T56 so a traditional slip yoke could be used. They also suggested I cut off the alignment dowel. I, wrongly assumed (possibly because I was told...) the output shaft would have the same spline count as an F-body unit, and the F-body rear seal would work if using a slip yoke. Wrong on both counts... The guys at Brunton are working on a custom drive shaft and seal.




I have also since learned the new Camaros also use this three bolt flange. Unfortunately, custom driveshafts are still kind of pricey for the flanges or require adaptors to use more traditional units. So, by converting to slip yoke, hopefully I am saving some money. More on this topic later.

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We dropped the engine and trans back in. I finally opened the box for the custom rear CV axles from the Driveshaft shop.



I opted to have some new bearings pressed into the donor Miata rear spindles. I guess that was a good choice as the shop had difficulty getting them together. My rear suspension can now go on.



I noticed the other day that the hubs really fight being turned despite the fact there is no driveshaft connected. I'm guessing that may be the new bearings... Is that normal? I can turn them, but it requires some effort! The diff itself is new, but I couldn't really turn it until the axles were installed. I may have to pull some stuff apart and investigate...


With the engine in, we bolted up a header, and made up the steering linkage. This was big for me. I can now sit in the car, shift the trans, work the pedals (except accelerator, which isn't in yet) and turn the wheels!!:driving:


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I picked up a pair of front tires and had them mounted up. It is great to see a wheel and tire on the car!



I intend to run a separate wheel/tire combo on the road course (15s and race tires). So, I have been contemplating running 17" drag radials on the back for the street...


I remember reading a few years back how guys were auto-crossing f-bodies on 315 drag radials front and rear (due to lack of availability of good 315s I think). I know the idea of the softer side wall would work against handling but I have a few thoughts on that.

1- This is a very light car so a softer sidewall wont be as big of a deal as a heavier muscle car.

2- I'll be finding 9 and 10/10ths cornering on track, but will likely keep it more civil on the street. And acceleration runs may be the more fun, and safe thing for street driving (and scaring passengers).

3- I will then have my drag combo to drive down to the 1/4 track for kicks.


I would like any feedback on that idea. Especially from guys running DRs on the street, and even more so if in a similarly light car.


I have not yet committed to the idea, but my thought is 275/40/17 drag radials since I already have 17x9" wheels.

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Dang, Z, looks like Christmas has come early around your house! :cheers: The car is looking great! :hurray: I hope you will load your photos on Gallery for other Stalker owners to see as I think there are several owners/builders out there who don't frequent this forum (I could be wrong).


I don't have any input on your tire choice other than I too run 17's on the street and 15's on the track. My initial thought is to try the combo and report back with your results. In the mean time, I'm enjoying the show. :lurk:



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