88LS will ride again



The end began with the Maryland emissions testů. A brutal test where the car is run on a dynometer with a state official driving your car over a 0-55 MPH speed profile. If it fails, you have to get it fixed, or pay over $400 to try to fix it. This process repeats every 2 years.

September/2003 - Failed Maryland Emissions.. Took to two shops, both could not figure out how to repair. I ordered new precatalytics (the main catalytic had just been replaced 10k miles ago, and they normally remove the precats as the aftermarket main catalytic is supposed to do the precatalytics job as well)


September/2003 - Exhaust shop had tremendous trouble putting original stock Y-pipe with precats on the car, I left the shop with massive vibration with the exhaust pipe vibrating against the frame on the passenger side. Exhaust shop felt the motor mounts were bad.


October/2003 - Car could not be emissions tested, as the vibration is interpreted as an exhaust problem. Took to another garage to have new motor mounts put in. Car still vibrated as bad as before! I crawled under car and discovered the front passenger frame, near the A frame had shifted, you can see the original bolt marks had moved.

A long time ago, a slide on the ice sailed the car into the curb, front passenger tire rim had cracked. It obviously caused more damage than was ever discovered (front end alignment was always within adjustable range). I cut the frame area that was binding, this minimized the vibration to only a slight amount on hard acceleration.


November/2003 - Passed Maryland emissions!


December/2003 - Temperature Gauge began reading erratically. Seemed to be losing coolant with no obvious leaks. Shop diagnosed bad head gasket.


November-December - Messed around, reading compression, differential cylinder leak pressure, which both really did not reveal too much. Put in a new water pump for the heck of it & flushed system

April/2004 - Restarted engine, still had same issues.. Real loud clicking after engine off & cooling, hear lot of fluid bubling in engine block. Began removing parts from engine to prepare for the engine removal.


May/2004 - All disconnected. Engine/Transmission Removed

May/2004 - All disconnected. Engine/Transmission Removed


July/2004 - Underbody & Engine Bay painted with Eastwood Rust Inhibitor. Also painted various other parts that were removed, sway bar, etc.

Aug/2004 - Bought new "Sport" model steering rack (the one XR7's use), and am redoing the rear brakeline & painted the other lines with silver rust inhibitor. Did yank some 5.0L engine parts (computer, exhaust manifolds, wiring harness, fuel rail, upper & lower air intake) Maybe the 3.8L won't go back in and I'll take on a bigger challenge & put in a V8.


To next section: V8 Install




Back to the Main Page