Author Topic: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion  (Read 181 times)

Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« on: December 31, 2016, 11:42:03 AM »

Hunter

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This is my 2004 BA fairmont sedan.  Nothing to special.  Just a neat and tidy car that needed a bit of modification to keep me happy... ;)
 

 
So with a bit of help from fellow club memebr Charlie I bought a repairable right off BA that had been mocked up as an XR8 for some reason.  The car was originally silver but had been painted orange and had a GT body kit fitted as well as XR seats.  Factory fitted 5.4 3V V8 with a 5 speed manual and LSD.  Heres a few pics in all its glory...
 





 
So the plan was to take all the running gear out of it and slap it into the fairmont with minimal fuss and expense.  Yeah right...
 
So remove this

 
to fit this

 
Seems fairly straight forward.
 
First things first was to remove the engine and box from the donor car


 
Not to bad of a job to do When taking it out realized a few things that were stuffed already.  It had a broken engine mount on the passengers side and the centre bearing for the tailshaft was shot to absolute shit.

 
Ah well bound to find a few things that needed replacing right?  So then I thought I better have a look at the clutch and all its components and lo and behold it all needed replacing too.  So I thought I might as well go better than original and put a heavy duty clutch in it and not have to worry about it again any time soon.
 







Re: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 11:46:21 AM »

Hunter

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Next I decided to have a look in the sump and give it a clean out while I have the motor out of the car.  Inside I found lots of broken little bits of plastic floating around in son filthy black oil.  Yay!!!  More fun to be had!!  
 
So I did a bit of research and found out it was most likely from something to do with the timing chains.  So that meant pulling the timing cover off for an inspection.  What I found in there was not pretty at all...
 


 
Whats wrong with this pic????


 


 



 
So as you can see the timing chain guides were broken and the tensioners for them were shot too.  Also that chain on one side was slapping that much it was starting to wear through the case on the oil pump. and on the inside of the timing cover. So I thought I better learn how to replace the timing chains on these things or it could get even more expensive than it was looking.
 
So long story short I had to replace the timing chains, the guides and the tensioners in order to stop it from being a hand grenade.  So I put it all back together and started work on pulling the fairmont to pieces and fitting a few of the necessary bits and pieces to change it from an auto to a manual.
 
First thing was to swap over the pedal assemblies.

 
There was a couple of different things going on with this.  The actual assembly fitting in easy but the two brake boosters in the car had different size holes in the shafts for the brake pedal to attach to.  No biggy to I swapped that out and grew a third pedal in the car.


 
Also had to clean and fit the remote reservoir for the master cylinder.  It was pretty nice to start with.
 

Delicious!!
 
All cleaned up and fitted.  I was loving how all the factory holes and everything in the car were the same.  Making it pretty easy to sway stuff over.

Re: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 11:48:28 AM »

Hunter

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Next on the agenda was to pull the motor out.  Never having done this before I didn't know you had to pull the box off the engine which is not my preferred way of removing these things.  But needs must.  Also found out that the center bearing in the 6 tail shaft was shot too.  And that the two tail shafts are different lengths.




 
Next on the too do list was to clean the engine bay and swap over all the little things that were different between the two.
 
The main things that were different were the power steering, air conditioning hoses and the fuel hoses.  However being that hoses is what I do for work minimal problems were had here.  I remade that power steering hose as it was leaking anyways.  The air con was as simple as switching it out at the factory joins.  The fuel was probably the hardest in that I had to swap the hard line from the other car onto this one and on the other car it had one less line running to the rear as the ABS ran only off one line for the rear whereas on the Fairmont it runs for every wheel separately.
 



 
Pretty straight forward stuff.
 
Then it was just a matter of dropping the donk in the hole and fitting the accessories up.


 
Everything went in there relatively easy.  Removing the center console to remove the auto shifter and fit the manual stuff was a bit of a pain in the arse.  Seat removal is recommended here.   

Re: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 11:50:02 AM »

Hunter

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Now that the engine and box was in the hole time to fit up the exhauset.  It came with a 2 1/2" xforce twin system.  Not to bad.  No extractors though.  The rear section over the diff cradle had copped a wack and had squashed up a bit so I went to my local exhaust joint and that had a 2 1/2" rear section for a BA there that had been kicking around for ages so I got that for a good price.  I wanted to keep the exhaust nice and hidden away and as BA's don't have a cut out in the rear bumper for them this was going to work out fine.  I just welded some dumps on the rear section to point them at the ground at the right distance and it worked out sweet.
 




Re: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 11:58:05 AM »

Hunter

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Alright so after I fitted the exhaust up I fitted up the tailshaft with a new centre bearing and was going to do the uni joint but it didn't arrive.  I'll get to it sooner or later though.
 
Next was fitting up the clutch line and bleeding it.  And I've gotta say that concentric slave cylinders whilst that seem to work great are the biggest pain in the arse to bleed all the air out of.  If I'd done my research on this type before I fitted it I would have bled it on the bench but once it was all in the car that was the end of it.  It ended up taking a vacuum bleeder and one that pressurizes to get all the air out.  And about 4 hours of stuffing around.  But now the clutch feels good.  Nice and heavy but not too heavy.  I like a bit of weight behind the clutch pedal.  The Hiace van I drive for work has a really light clutch and when I go from the car to the van I nearly push the pedal through the floor.
 
Other thing I've done to this car while the centre console was out was to fit the XR8 seats into it out of th donor car.  Not too sure I like how they look and will probably go back to the fairmont ones but they need a good clean after doing 6 years of family duties.  I'll take some picks and put them up.
 
Now that I had every thing in its place including swapping the ECU out of the other car I was getting excited about trying to fire it up.  Way I figured was if I put the ECU and the BCM out of the donor car in they should talk to each other and I should be able to start the car up and be happy.  WRONG!!!
 
I ended up with error code showing up on the ICU and then I realized that I need some outside help with this.  I looked into getting the gear to sort it, seen the price and said stuff that.  So I put a post up on one of the BA falcon pages on Facebook and was recommended to a guy called Josh White on there.  He came all the way up to Creswick from Melbourne and sorted it out for me.  This was a great solution to my problem cos I didn't want to be trailering the car around and I don't have time for that kind of shit as I work during the day anyways.  So he came up here at 9:30 on a Wednesday night, hooked his laptop and other jigger up to the car and made all the stuff talk to each other that need to.  Easy as pie for him, only to about an hour all told and only cost me $200.  I was happy as a pig in shit at this price and would highly recommend him to anyone wanting to do do any of these sort of mods to BA or later falcons.
 
So this is what it was like when it fired up.
 
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/hJ_8dDM0UbU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/hJ_8dDM0UbU</a>
 
So I was happy as that it was running but a bit curious as to what that loud arse whining sound was.  I did a bit of hunting around and it turns out it was the alternator.  I wasn't charging and was a noisy as fcuk.  After a bit of further looking around under the bonnet realized that the power steering pump was leaking too.  So the next day made a quick trip inot one of the local wreckers and got an alternator and power steering pump seeing as the price of new ones from Bursons was absolutely out of my budget by now.  Grabbed the parts and went home and fitted them up.  Interesting that both parts are shared by the double overhead cam motor as well as the single.  
 
Once I'd fitted them up the engine was quiet as (as far as whining sounds anyway) but sounded really ballsy with the 2 1/2" exhaust.  I must admit I'm a bit of a sucker for the sound of this V8.  Sounds nicer than my clevo does that's for sure.
 
After I got the car on the ground and took it for a test drive I realized that the speedo wasn't working so I had a bit of a look under the bonnet and car to see if I'd missed anything but couldn't find anything.  So I got back on the horn to Josh to ask him.  He said it possibly could be to do with the ABS unit and the traction control.  So I jumped in the car and drove it 150kms down to his place in Melbourne and he had it sorted in 10 mins.  That drive was a good reliability test for the car seeing as how I hadn't driven it any more than around 10kms.  Tell you what it took a lot of getting used to.  Stalled it many a time at sets of lights.  But all in all the car ran like a dream.  Not a nightmare... lol
 
So thats about where the car sits at the minute.  I put the factory wheels back on the car to keep a bit of a sleeper type look.  I'll eventually get the XR8 bonnet painted and fit it up and put a differnet set of wheels on it but for the minute I like it the way it is.  It turns heads all the time and I love the understated look.
 

 
So heres a list of things I replaced in total
 
both engine mounts
full clutch assembly
full timing chain assembly and gaskets
tailshaft centre bearing
tailshaft uni joint
New oil and filters
New coil packs
second hand alternator
second hand power steering pump
new power steering hose and pressure switch
 
 
All told it was bit more expensive to do than I first thought but at least now I know that everything will be a hell of a lot more likely to stay in one piece and I feel better for having replaced all I have.
 
Its my new "Daily" as much as I need one and I love it.  Hangs a good skid too... ;)

Re: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2016, 05:07:07 PM »

Hunter

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Today I fitted up the new air box after a bit of fabrication time.
 
Heres a few pics ;)
 
Started as this:

 
Then I made this bracket



I made the ones to bolt the air box on with fixed nuts to make it easier to remove. The nuts on the back of the bottom are just for spacing as the bracket wasn't quite deep enough.

Drilled some holes for a couple of bolts


Fitted the bracket up


Good old K&N filter element FTW


Then fitted the box in and managed to squeeze some of the factory pipework on with a joiner



Looks reasonable till I sort out that pipework better. It hits on the insulation under the bonnet when you close it.

Its seems to have give the car a bit more low down pull which is nice. I definitely feels like its breathing better and given that I've more than doubled the size of the inlet holes to the filter I'm not surprised.

All in all for $50 and a bit of time I'm happy as a pig in shit with it.

Re: Petes BA Fairmont V8 conversion
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 01:28:11 AM »

Hunter

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Blowing a bit of smoke on heavy acceleration.  Time to look into valve stem seals methinks.