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Pontiac LeMans Project

Transmissions, Clutches, torque converters, Gear ratios, Brakes, Pads, etc.

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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby gse_turbo » Sat May 19, 2012 3:08 pm

What do you think about cutting the Saab springs down in the front? If you do it with a cut off wheel it won't affect the spring rate. I think that might be even better than using the lemans springs.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby CarSick » Sat May 26, 2012 7:08 am

Cutting the front springs sounds like a good option. Any idea on how much to take off the first swipe? The LeMans springs appeared to be progressive springs, but if these SAAB springs are progressive, it isn't as obvious.

I finally drove it last week. It still has one weeping fitting at one of the two Ts that I'll get to tomorrow. It might actually be the T since my hydraulic line tool usually makes perfect double flares.

The brakes work very well compared to the original junk. I expected brake balance issues, but I don't see any yet. I still need to bed the pads and figure something out for the e-brake. The SAAB e-brake cables are a foot too long.

I also still need a 5 spd Lanos shift rod. I don't currently get reverse of 5th gear because the shifter hits the left and right plastic container for the shifter.

I really need to rev it up in 1st as 2nd gear feels quite tall. I thought this 2000 Lanos S would have the close ratio gearbox. Maybe it does and I just need to rev it more. The 1.6L is resistant to revving.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby benzino » Sat May 26, 2012 10:04 am

i've never heard the lanos as having a tall 2nd gear... mine redlines at 80kmh

what rpm does it start to struggle? you might be getting choked up by the intake and/or exhaust or it might even be a tooth out with the timing
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby gse_turbo » Sat May 26, 2012 2:34 pm

I have a set of saab springs here and they don't appear to be progressive.

Here easiest/quickest way to set ride height... With the car sitting at ride heigh, measure tire to fender and decide how much lowered you want it. Take off the fender. With the car still at ride height, measure from the spring perch up and mark what you want to take off. If you have the right type of spring compressor you might be able to compress the spring and make the cut without taking anything apart.

With the shift rod, the only difference between the 4 and 5 speed is a little plastic tap that sits on the passanger side of the reverse lock-out. You'll see a the tan/white block that moves up and down. Just cut it flush on the passanger side and your set.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby CarSick » Sun May 27, 2012 4:12 am

WooHoo! I now have 5 speeds and reverse. I hacked off the little button and got 5th gear, but still had no reverse. Then I went through the shifter adjustment procedure, but had to put a 1/8" spacer between the white lockout piece with the arrow and the plastic container. This may simply be because the plastic lockout piece was worn down by the previous owner.

Those brakes work very well, but I am getting rear wheel lockup. It's not so much that the car wants to swap ends, but I should probably figure out how to dial it out. Currently the brakes are cross-connected. It would be easier to install a knee valve if they were F-F and R-R.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby CarSick » Sun May 27, 2012 4:18 am

benzino wrote:i've never heard the lanos as having a tall 2nd gear... mine redlines at 80kmh

what rpm does it start to struggle? you might be getting choked up by the intake and/or exhaust or it might even be a tooth out with the timing


A couple of my cars have aluminum flywheels, so I might just be feeling the weight of the flywheel. It revs just fine to 2k, but getting to 4 and 5k doesn't feel quick, although the engine seems smooth.

The speedo is off right now, so I haven't yet figured out what to do there. It has a white gear that was in the 3 spd auto trans.

If I rev the engine to 4500 rpm, 2nd gear is ok, but too much throttle and it bogs.

I should check the timing too. I'm using the factory set-point.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby CarSick » Tue May 29, 2012 5:59 am

I used a die grinder and a spring compressor to take a coil and a half off today. That dropped the ride height from 5.5 inches to 4.75" inches. 3.5" inches would look better, but I'm concerned with taking out too much strut travel.

The brake lights are always on. The auto parts store said that there are two different part numbers, one for manual trans and one for auto. I suspect that when I jumpered the purple wire that goes through the transaxle switch to the starter, I may have jumpered the brake lights somehow??

The wiring diagram looks so simple. On the manual trans car, the red/wht comes in and the blu/wht goes to the lamps. On the AT car, the red/wht goes to both a purple (TCC) and the tail lamps. So I cut the purple, but no joy. As soon as the key is in the start position, the brake lamps come on. I guess the switch could be bad. I pulled the switch off and it's interesting. It has four pins - two of the opposing pins are connected when the brake is not pressed and then the other two opposing pins become connected when the brake is pressed and the original two become disconnected. Bizarre. I'm guessing that the manual trans version is a simple open-close switch with the normal position being open.

Ah. I figured it out. The switch is preset at it's longest extension when it is installed at the factory. Then when the brake pedal comes up, the center button (shaft) auto-adjusts for the pedal height using a one-way sort of mechanism (plastic teeth through sheet copper). So when I changed out the booster/master cylinder, the pedal height must have changed ever so slightly. What I did was to force the shaft back out and then reinsert the switch and the the shaft self-adjusted against the pedal to the new height. They appear to work now, but I don't know for how long since it's possible the shaft was worn by extracting it.

I also fixed a coolant leak at the back of the intake to heater core.

I suspect the electric fan is not coming on, but I probably won't need it going to work.

I still need to replumb the brakes F-F and R-R and add a proportioning valve.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby gse_turbo » Wed May 30, 2012 6:46 am

Sounds like a good amount of progress.

I'll be interested in seeing how you aproach the brake lines.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby CarSick » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:08 pm

A few little things worked out. The Speedometer was way off. All I did to fix it was to disconnect the cable at the trans and then reconnect it, so I'm buying a new cable. The shifter was difficult to get into 2nd gear, so after rerunning the adjustment procedure about 5 times and carving some more plastic out of the right side to regain 5th each time, all of the gears now work. A flooring blank turned out to be the right spacer size to put next to the stick in neutral during the adjustment. I still had a problem in second with it popping out of gear, but that turned out to be a heater core coolant line physically interfering with the shift linkage, but only in the first minute of driving. Once the coolant became warm it moved out of the way.

Still haven't bought a prop valve, but the brakes are really good and I like them a lot.
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby Efrain A. » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:02 am

we want pictures :D
'88 Pontiac Lemans GTE - 2.0 16v XE - fully programable ECU, Custom made intake manifold and other bits.
146.6WHP/135lb.ft - 14.81@94mph
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Re: Pontiac LeMans Project

Postby benzino » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:29 am

agreed
~2.0L Lanos~EHPAS~H&R Springs~KYB/GTS Shocks~
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