Posts Tagged ‘Supercharged’

I know I usually give these messages retroactively, but I thought I might change things up a bit and let you know that I will be taking a small break from the FrankenJeep build… before too much time goes by and I realize I forgot to write anything here. Okay, I understand that you may have already clued in on the fact that it has already been some time since I was actually working on this project… alright, it has been four months since I have been in the garage. It is not for lack of want but, contrarily, I have failed to get into the garage and work on the little truck due to having… now this is embarrassing, too many projects.

WHAAAAT?!? Too many projects? You?!?

Ha. Ha. Yuck it up. I know. I am still working on this truck; I am just trying to get these other things in order first. The old job situation threw a wrench in all of this, and then I was gaining so much ground in the J20 build, then the new job situation… Anyhow, both the FrankenJeep and the J20 will be on a slight hiatus while I get the shop worked out, we are moving shops and are in the process of reallocating the importance of all builds in progress.

Whether it makes any sense to you or not, I will be working on my 2006 Grand Prix next.

WAIT… WHAT??? When did you get a Pontiac?

I told you about it earlier; I did! During the Quarter Panel Quandary, I specifically mentioned my “inability to focus on a single project … the Grand Prix … etc…” Does any of that ring a bell?

Okay. Okay. In the beginning of spring I was trying to fix the Camry and juggle cars between the drivers of the house. I figured there had to be a better way, and I went looking for a vehicle on the cheap. The wife had her Jetta, the teenager’s Camry was obviously out of commission as it needed head work, and although the Regal worked, it was showing signs of wear. The three of us needed a full time vehicle, but there were only two available. I picked up a sweet Crown Victoria ex-cop car [if only there was a facetious font]… that is, it was a sweet ride until I actually needed to depend on it. I drove it over the long weekend and decided it was going to be my daily driver. I paid for it and the next day it threw a check engine light; I found out that cylinders 2, 4, & 6 had low compression. It turned out they had put in some oil additive to temporarily fix the problem… just long enough for some sucker to come along and buy it.

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Alright, perhaps I deserve that one. Anyhow, I spoke with them and told them the situation – basically, I needed a car that worked and was reliable. Having half an engine was not “reliable” enough for me. I have played that game too many times. We came to an agreement and the Crown Vic went back to them, and instead, I got a Ford Explorer for the teenager to drive. So far, he is stoked with his new truck. Awesome.

That still did not account for my Regal that was tired of driving. Cylinder #4 has low compression on the Buick, and I do not want to open up the engine to find out it is a problem I need to rebuild; then I am out of a car. Right now the vehicle drives and gets me from point A to B. Sometimes it even gets me back. There are a whole mess of little tiny problems with the Regal that do not affect the drivability of the car but are very annoying, nonetheless.

  • Rear windows do not roll down
  • Front windows roll down, but the passenger’s side does not always roll up
  • The VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft Security) system is on the fritz and it will keep the car from starting for three minutes at a time… whenever it feels like it
  • The car alarm has taken to going off whenever it wants (even though I never lock the car)
  • The A/C will not turn off… unless I have a passenger, then they have to kick the dashboard bottom to get it to turn on
  • The Daylight Running Lights do what they want… sometimes they will both come on, other times only one will
  • The CD player and tape deck are broken, I only have AM/FM radio… this is not a problem until I am driving anywhere east of Globe, AZ
  • I cannot get into the trunk… the fob is broken and the key will not work
  • The windshield washer fluid reservoir will not hold washer fluid

I am sure you get the point. None of these make the car inoperable, and it would probably only take me about $150 or so and a solid weekend to fix all of it… but at the end of the day, I am still in a 1997 Regal.

If you hate the car so much, why did you buy it in the first place?

Well, I did not exactly buy a 1997 Buick Regal. I would not have any interest in that. However, the supercharged 3.8L V6 inside of that car, I do have interest in. So, I bought a supercharged engine and got a running car with it.

What did you do next?

I saved my dollars and bought a Suburban.

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…you can see why I had no interest in fixing anything on the Regal other than what was required to keep it running for the last year or so.

Why did you buy a Suburban?

Good question! If you read the J20 Build, you will know that a Suburban and my Jeep truck share the same wheelbase… and if you know your Suburbans, you know that I bought the wrong one.

Well, that is not entirely accurate. This is a ¾ ton 4×4 Suburban with a 454ci engine. All of that is perfect for a diesel conversion. What is not perfect, for my application, is Independent Front Suspension. IFS is worthless to me and I need a solid front axle. No worries though, I happen to know a guy that could make very good use out of this truck, and he has just the parts I need. So we trade, but all of that is in the J20 stories. You are wondering when I will circle back to the Grand Prix.

Just a recap – the Camry was down and to replace it, I bought a Crown Vic and then traded it for an Explorer. To get my J20 running, I bought a Suburban and traded it for an older Suburban; and I bought a Grand Prix to replace the Regal.

Yeah, yeah. Whatever! Let’s see this new car!!

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This is my 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. I bought it from a guy off the Craigslist and it turned out to be exactly what he said it was. He had a clean, well maintained 3.8L V6… with a broken transmission.

I KNEW IT!!! YOU CANNOT HELP YOURSELF, CAN YOU?!?

Perhaps you are right, but this has so far turned out to be an excellent deal…

Wait a minute! You said Grand Prix “PROJECT”… you are not planning on…

Supercharging the Grand Prix? That is already in the works. I will give this build its own mini write-up and you can see how that progress goes over there.

. . .

Do not worry, I will not allow this FrankenJeep build to be abandoned; there is far too much insanity to leave blank pages. My boss, Jack, provided the engine and drivetrain for the little hot rod; he is itching to hear it roar again. He is helping me with the logistics and the fabrication involved in creating such a unique beast, but he also has his own projects, and everything will get done in due time. Once we are settled in our new shop and we have gotten the chance to catch up with our work load, we will be working on these things like mad men.

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I am sure those of you that have been perusing these pages maybe have wondered who, or what a Mad Mac is. Or maybe you have not even noticed. Then again, it could also be that you just do not care. Regardless, I can assure you that it is not a diseased pair of all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

It is, however, another crazy build conglomeration that was suggested by my youngest son, Jaiden. Actually, it would be the crazy build that started it all. Maybe to say he literally “suggested” that I build a 2004 Chevrolet Impala 9C1 (General Motor’s designation for the police package) into something that would find itself comfortable as a car seen in the 1979 Australian dystopian action movie, Mad Max… well, that may be stretching the facts.

— Hang on! We are going to jump into our Delorean, and see if we can get this baby to 88 mph! —

Mad Max has been one of Jaiden’s favorite movies for quite some time now, (second to the sequel, The Road Warrior). It was 2011, and Jaiden was just four years old when he first saw these movies. Immediately, he fell in love with Max Rockatansky’s highly modified 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe, an Australian made car also known, in the Mad Max Universe, as the V8 Interceptor.

V8 Interceptor

 

(read all about it here – http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max-interceptor/index.html)

 

It was during our first father/son viewing of Mad Max when a four year old Jaiden excitedly called out, “Cool cop car, Dad! Like yours!”, and that was the beginning of Mad Mac’s. I suppose it was not necessarily what Jaiden said, as much as what I interpreted his words to be, that caused the beginning of the end…

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Meet Mac. I confess, he does not have the flair of Max’s V8 Interceptor, but he does have… character.

As I mentioned before, I was planning on this car to look as if it were to play a part in catching the bad guys after World War III happened. So, I started in the front, with the lights and the bumper. I took headlights from three different vehicles, and spent 18 hours fabricating those bug eyes.

And, what Pursuit Special would be complete without a supercharger?

1_Unknown[1]Check!

I took an Eaton M90 Series III supercharger and top end off another vehicle, and put it somewhere more deserving… a retired police car.

The conversion was not as difficult as I thought it might have been, basically a direct replacement, plug-and-play. However, it was shortly after this same time that the AZ summer was coming up, and 114°F was going to be commonplace during the day.

I started having engine issues – the motor would sputter quickly and die. Minutes later, it would let me start up again, and it would drive normally, until it would sputter a few times and die. After all the checking, rechecking, and replacing of parts, I found it was the stock coil pack computer that was bad. It was “cold soldered”, and when the heat would get to it, the electronics would separate from the board, causing an incomplete circuit.

Unfortunately, Mac was to meet an early demise, and I never got to finish this project. But his name lives on infamously, this build started a whole new thought process on the way I do vehicle builds. From this one on, all vehicles built under the Mad Mac namesake, was going to be very comfortable in a post-apocalyptic setting.