Rock & Roll - 1984 Oldsmobile Ciera Convertible - Engine Build and Car Restoration!

34blazer

Member
At first I noticed the converter wasn't locking up last weekend while running an errand into town. Then last Friday heard some buzzing in park during first start up. Then on the way home the buzzing became louder. Started it up Sunday to pull the truck into the garage, buzzing was now a loud grinding, no gears. Took the trans out and found a bunch of what looks like clutch disk material in the pump, from the converter. Pulled the pump to pull it apart, looks like the pump caught most of the debris but still going to pull the trans apart. Just rebuilt the trans with a bunch of goodies, now need to disassemble again to clean it out and check for any collateral damage. Going to buy a 12" from Precision of new Hampton, HD model, should be good to go.
 
At first I noticed the converter wasn't locking up last weekend while running an errand into town. Then last Friday heard some buzzing in park during first start up. Then on the way home the buzzing became louder. Started it up Sunday to pull the truck into the garage, buzzing was now a loud grinding, no gears. Took the trans out and found a bunch of what looks like clutch disk material in the pump, from the converter. Pulled the pump to pull it apart, looks like the pump caught most of the debris but still going to pull the trans apart. Just rebuilt the trans with a bunch of goodies, now need to disassemble again to clean it out and check for any collateral damage. Going to buy a 12" from Precision of new Hampton, HD model, should be good to go.

Awe yeah - that buzzing noise is the pump pulling against the vacuum of a clogged filter. :(

You'll be happy with Precision of New Hampton. I have one of their 3-disc lockup converters in my 4T65EHD. It has been holding a 450HP turbo 3.8, locking up at WOT without complaining, and I have run the setup more than 100,000 miles with no signs of deterioration. I pull a trailer with it, too. :)

I hope your transmission hasn't taken any internal damage from the contamination.
 
Any updates? Still buried in work?
Hi! Thanks for the post! I have indeed been covered up with work for weeks now. Actually down in Trinidad at the moment. Due to the slowdown of oil and gas work, I have been catching up on training seminars. The work has been hitting between classes leaving me no home time. But unlike some friends - I am fortunate to still have a job.
 
Well, finally after a long time absent from the forum (and the USA) I have returned!

Rock & Roll finally moved under its own power today!

Still got a lot more work to do - but the engine runs and sounds good.

 
Welcome back! How's the TBI/C59 combo working for you? Sounds like the base tune is fairly close, Im just wondering about the injector DC when you start building some boost.

On a side note, Ive created a page for the LZ9 build...

https://www.facebook.com/LZ9GN/

Thanks for the reply! Got called back to work soon after posting that.

I've driven the car just a little (around our country block) but have not been brave with boost yet. The tires are horribly rotten. I have to take the wheels off and take them up to the tire shop for some new rubber.

The engine is running fine. The car starts, runs and drives just like any normal car. Probably put 40 or 50 miles on it. I plan to do a video about the oilpump modification (used the Melling HV gearset and housing extension) which seems to work excellent. Has about 80 PSI cold start; falling to 60 when hot (above idle). At hot idle I see nothing less than 35 - 40. This seems to be about where the LG3 engine with gerotor oilpump runs. Very pleased with it. I was concerned because some folks here seemed to have had problems with these kits.

The reason I haven't driven it more is because the interior of the convertible is a shambles. I'm slowly repairing things such as the window sweep / dew wipers, wiring, instrument cluster, etc. There is also rust in the floorboards (afterall it's a convertible). I'm going to have to remove the seats and carpet to assess this damage and make repairs.

Thanks for the link to your LZ9 GN page. Will go through that soon! I can recognize that the LZ9 is a 60°V6 engine, but not too familiar with the newer stuff. Was that a "3500" engine?

Sincerely,
David
 

34blazer

Member
Thanks for the reply! Got called back to work soon after posting that.

I've driven the car just a little (around our country block) but have not been brave with boost yet. The tires are horribly rotten. I have to take the wheels off and take them up to the tire shop for some new rubber.

The engine is running fine. The car starts, runs and drives just like any normal car. Probably put 40 or 50 miles on it. I plan to do a video about the oilpump modification (used the Melling HV gearset and housing extension) which seems to work excellent. Has about 80 PSI cold start; falling to 60 when hot (above idle). At hot idle I see nothing less than 35 - 40. This seems to be about where the LG3 engine with gerotor oilpump runs. Very pleased with it. I was concerned because some folks here seemed to have had problems with these kits.

The reason I haven't driven it more is because the interior of the convertible is a shambles. I'm slowly repairing things such as the window sweep / dew wipers, wiring, instrument cluster, etc. There is also rust in the floorboards (afterall it's a convertible). I'm going to have to remove the seats and carpet to assess this damage and make repairs.

Thanks for the link to your LZ9 GN page. Will go through that soon! I can recognize that the LZ9 is a 60°V6 engine, but not too familiar with the newer stuff. Was that a "3500" engine?

Sincerely,
David
Nice! Cant wait for more updates!

The LZ9 is a 3.9 and the 3.5 variant is an LZ4. Both use the same size bore (3.898") and the main differences are the crank arm, 3.31" and 3.00". The Gen 4 60* use VVTI and have larger cam journals, they also have larger rod journals(2.25"). Same size main journals at most other 660s. The crank is forged, rods are PM and pistons are cast. Heads have improved as well, 240 CFM on the intake and 180 CFM on the exhaust, some porting will gain 20 CFM easily, gotta love canted valves. The other main difference between these and earlier generations is the bore centerlines were moved outward slightly to make room for the larger bore to maintain the same deck height(8.818"), so its been measured to be a 61* V6. I may have the crank offset ground to compensate for the increased angle size I already have to have it ground for some LS rods.
 
Nice! Cant wait for more updates!

The LZ9 is a 3.9 and the 3.5 variant is an LZ4. Both use the same size bore (3.898") and the main differences are the crank arm, 3.31" and 3.00". The Gen 4 60* use VVTI and have larger cam journals, they also have larger rod journals(2.25"). Same size main journals at most other 660s. The crank is forged, rods are PM and pistons are cast. Heads have improved as well, 240 CFM on the intake and 180 CFM on the exhaust, some porting will gain 20 CFM easily, gotta love canted valves. The other main difference between these and earlier generations is the bore centerlines were moved outward slightly to make room for the larger bore to maintain the same deck height(8.818"), so its been measured to be a 61* V6. I may have the crank offset ground to compensate for the increased angle size I already have to have it ground for some LS rods.

Very interesting about the LZ9. That has to be a beast with boost on it!!!

Project update!

Got an update on the car's functionality! As some of you may realize, the engine in Rock & Roll is built up of a 1986 roller cam block / crank; 1979 intake and turbo; 1990 TBI injector; 1992 ECM; and aftermarket camshaft. There was a concern that this may not run exactly right without some adjustments.

I've been making those adjustments and it has been easier than I expected! The engine has run very drama free.

Another concern was that the modified oilpump might have problems. (remember I used the Melling high-volume kit. This involved adding a pump housing extension and longer gears) This was a concern on the this forum forum where I believe I remember reading that several people have installed this and ended up with a ruined timing housing. Thankfully, after carefully following the instructions (including taking the timing cover off the engine to do the modification on the bench), the oilpump seems to perform about the same as the LG3 / 3800 crank-driven gerotor pump.

So - here's a video![video=youtube_share;PM6M597_Q6k]

Also - I have built up and installed a factory EQ radio. New capacitors on the amp section, aux input, and then a set of new speakers. For the rear, I used Rockford Fosgate R169X2 6 by 9's. The fronts are Kicker 40CS354 which were hard to get due to the low demand for the 3.5 inch size. Seems the 1984 Olds Ciera isn't high on the list of cars that people put new speakers in LOL! It was worth the wait and the money because the radio sounds amazing! I was concerned about the rear speakers mounting. It seemed they might be muffled by the convertible top storage area - but they seem to do just fine. One very important point about the speakers. These radios are designed for 4Ω speakers. The amplifier will produce 80 watts (100 for some of the Cadillac radios). This depends on the speakers being 4Ω impedance. If you use "universal" speakers (which are actually 6 or 8Ω) or 8Ω speakers, the amplifier's power will be dramatically reduced.

In other news, I have had to replace TWO evaporator cores this week. This car never held Freon and the problem was a corroded core. I missed that while I had the core out for cleaning. There had been rodent nest in the evaporator housing, and apparently there had been rodent urine corrosion on the core. The wall is very thin and that caused localized pitting that leaked. I had a spare core out of my parts car and installed that.

Then, another project car (Diesel Danielle) popped an evaporator core. It's another 84 Ciera, with the 4.3L OldsDiesel V6 engine. The diesel car's evaporator core is a horrible PITA job to change. They put all the extra insulation around it and that makes for a mess. You can't get to the fasteners without taking half the car apart (it seems) and the diesel engine is massive and there is no room behind it. That was a whole day job. The old core was a little corroded, and the leak was out in the center of the core, in the fins. I have a feeling that salt and dust from northern winters got to this one. Thankfully, our local Liberty salvage yard had a car with one. It was almost correct, and I had to change the inlet tube to the one from the diesel.

Later!
David
 
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