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  #921  
Old 03-21-2018, 10:06 PM
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Cool. You can also rotate the motor to the head by 90 degrees to make the on/off switch easier to use. I still have my broken one if you want the motor or anything for parts just let me know and pay the ship.

Dan
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  #922  
Old 03-23-2018, 12:13 PM
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Step 3: Compound ~ SKIP ~

On the advice of a professional detailer, I decided to skip compounding (for now) and start by seeing what I could accomplish with polish alone. Something I have heard from him and others over-and-over is to:
"Use the least aggressive method that gets the job done!"
Before I started this project, I felt like I had nothing to lose. I wasn't so concerned about being overly aggressive and possibly damaging some areas of the paint,
because I assumed the car would need to be repainted at some point anyway. But now that I've seen the diamond in the rough, I realize I had no idea what was under there. Now I am going to be more conservative with my approach. So let's skip to the next step...

Step 4: Polish

I decided to start on one of the worst areas on the car - the quarter panel. Rain gutters and trim direct runoff from rain or washing right over the middle of the quarter panel, so this area had a considerable amount of chalky oxidation and/or sediment buildup. Some of it came off during the clay bar and conditioning steps, but it was still pretty bad. I started by taping out a test area with blue painters tape to protect the trim.

Finally I could try out my new toy - the Harbor Freight 69924 6" dual action polisher. I have used electric angle grinders, die grinders, saws, and other motorized rotary equipment in the past. This unit is very similar in size, design, power, and noise to a typical 4" angle grinder - it just uses a different head and has speed control. The "dual action" of this unit refers to the combination of a rotating motion (simple spinning, i.e. the pad rotates around it's center) and an orbiting motion (the i.e. center of the pad is moving in an orbit). This combination is what makes DA polishers safer to use than rotary polishers and a good choice for a beginner like me.

I attached a Lake Country 5" backing plate and then a Lake Country 6" x 7/8" white foam polishing pad. The backing plate simply screws on. The pad attaches very securely with a hook & loop system. Next I shook up my bottle of Maguiars M205 polish and put 5 dime size dollops on the pad. Then, with the polisher OFF, I "patted out" the polish to distribute it around my test area. Next I turned the polisher on at a very slow speed to spread the polish across the whole test area. Finally I cranked up the speed and started polishing. I ran horizontal passes, overlapping by about 50%, then vertical passes again overlapping by 50%, and repeated until I had a total of 5 passes (3 horizontal, 2 vertical). I applied only a little pressure to the head of the polisher. Once done, I wiped the polish from the surface with a microfiber towel using linear movements. This worked very well on the non-oxidized areas of the paint, but still left some faint foggy trails from the water runoff. So I went back over it a second time using 6 more passes (3 horizontal, 3 vertical) and the same light pressure.

Here is a video showing the polishing process and the resulting before & after finish after a total of 11 passes with polish.



Here are some before and after "50/50" photos after just the first 5 passes. The right side was washed, clayed, and hand conditioned with Maguiars no 7. The left side was the same plus DA polished 5 light pressure passes with M205. You can see there are still some rain trails / oxidation here after 5 passes. The video above shows the before & after for 11 passes and it's a lot better than the photos below.









I extended the work area to the rest of the top quarter panel, working in roughly 1x3 ft sections, and here's what I ended up with. I haven't yet polished the top few inches of the quarter panel immediately under the vinyl top/trunk/windows. My plan is to use the smaller 3" Griots polisher to do those areas (it's still in transit).



Even after 11 passes, I could still detect some oxidation trails (although faint) near the bottom of this area that don't show so well in the photos or video. So I went back another 4 passes in the affected areas only and this seemed to do the trick - but it was dark and the lighting wasn't great, so I may have to revisit this area when I get back to work. All in all the non oxidized areas looked good after around 5 or 6 passes and the heaviest oxidation required at least 15 passes with light pressure and M205 to clean up. Would it have been better to compound those areas first? I imagine it would have at least been faster, but I don't mind taking more time. I think I will continue to just polish the car and skip the compound step altogether unless I find defect areas that the polish wont fix.

I am very happy with the results. My only misgiving is that the area immediately next to the side trim did not polish quite as well as the rest of the panel. If you have any tips on how best to run the polisher against edges, that would be much appreciated. I tried sneaking up lightly on the edge as well is pressing into the edge, but neither seemed to get the last 1/4" completely fog-free. If all else fails I may remove the side trim in the future and give these areas a thorough polishing.

Between each application of polish, I cleaned my pad "on the fly" by running the DA with the pad in a terry cloth. By gripping the pad within the terry cloth, I was able to transfer spent product and paint into the terry cloth, readying the pad for further polishing. This seemed to work well and allowed me to continue work without washing the pad - we'll see if it's adequate when I do more sections of the car. I learned this method watching the following video.



That's all I had time for last night, so I peeled the pad off my polisher and took it to the kitchen to wash. Look at all that heavily paint-tinted spent polish! I am really curious how much of that is removed paint vs. spent polish. My understanding is it's mostly spent polish, but the very small amount of removed paint gives it a strong tint.



Hot water, a little unscented dawn soap, and working the pad with my thumbs took care of that.







Once clean, I squeezed water out of the pad and left it out to finish drying. I only bought one of these pads, so I hope it lasts for the whole car.
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  #923  
Old 03-23-2018, 12:29 PM
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That really looks good compared to what you started with! Thanks for the tech...I haven't ever really thought about doing something like this, but I bet I could make my old truck look 100% better going this route.
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  #924  
Old 03-26-2018, 01:48 PM
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I've been looking closely at my test panel and I think this needs to be gone over with something a little more aggressive. I can still see water trails on the quarter panel. I also found I just can't get up to the edge of the side molding with the DA, so I think I am going to take the time to remove it before going any further. I've decided to take a pause on the paint restoration project while I sort out a few other things on the car and put a few miles on it.

Friday after work I decided I needed a drive, so I hopped in the Nova and went for a cruise around town. I stopped outside a local restaurant bearing my (screen) name to snap a few photos, including a before & after.





I also snapped photos a few other places - nowhere particular.



It is really a kick to drive the car now for a two main reasons. First, TRACTION. I have been driving on old hard rubber for a very long time. The new tires are narrower, but they stick a lot better. Now when I hit the throttle I'm forced well back into my seat the way it should be. Second, TIGHTNESS. Except for the steering box (which still has a dead spot and excess assist), the car feels like it's "on rails". It's hard to describe that sensation without using a cliche, but basically the car does not sway much as it turns so it really feels stuck to the ground. There are certainly other new things about how it drives. The brakes feel better, but not dramatically so. I still need to adjust the proportioning valve to maximize use of the rear. The car is lower in the back (around 3inches) and it looks a lot lower standing next to the car, but inside it doesn't feel much lower. It does not seem to ride noticeably more harsh, but it also isn't bouncing around like it used to going over dips in the road. I am pretty happy with it so far. It just feels more solid overall and I like it!

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  #925  
Old 03-27-2018, 11:51 AM
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My son outgrew the car seat I was using in the Nova last year. It was attached via the OE lap belts and put him in a 5 point harness, but now he's in a booster and has to use whatever belt is in the car. The safety of my kids is very important to me, so I ordered a set of 3 point retractable belts for the back of the car from Morris Classics. These are not cheap, but I thought having a ready-made solution would speed things along. My son's been begging for a drive and I can't wait to get out with him again.

The trick to this belt install is having a suitably reinforced mounting point for the retractor. There was a rarely-ordered 3 point belt option for the Nova that mounted to the package tray, but the area is probably 18 gauge or thinner sheet metal. Morris came up with a simple angle bracket that ties from the package tray down to the wheel tub and trunk support brackets. Installation requires drilling three holes in a very confined space. Here is the mounting bracket in position:



It's not a good sign when the supplied 5/16" fasteners do not fit through the holes in the supplied bracket. I called Morris and apparently I was the first to tell them the holes were undersized. They confirmed there was an error at the laser cutter. This is incoming inspection 101 - they should have identified this way before it got to me, but no matter I simply drilled the holes to the correct size.





The photos don't do it justice, but this bracket is located in a very tight space inside the trunk. I did a lot of cussing while tightening up the little 5/16" all-metal lock nuts (aka crimp nuts) because they were too close to the edge to get a socket on and I had to use an open ended wrench about 1/8 turn at a time to snug them down. This took quite a while, especially while contorted awkwardly in the trunk. Fortunately I didn't drop any hardware or tools down into the quarter panel.

In the next photo you can see the bracket shifted a little after attaching the lower bolts at the wheeltub. I ignored my original marking and used a spring-loaded center punch to locate the new center of the hole for drilling. A spring-loaded center punch is a tool everyone should have; it makes punching a locating dimple very easy even in confined spaces.



My next problem was drilling the 1/2" hole up through the package tray. From experience I know only a step bit aka unibit would make a satisfactory hole in this sheet metal. What I wasn't counting on was the lack of space between the package tray and the wheel tub. There is only about 5-1/2 inches to work with in there and it's not nearly enough space for a standard drill. Even a right angle drill would probably not fit due to the length of the chuck and drive system. The solution I came up with was to use a Milwaukee offset hex driver P/N 48-32-2100 and a Harbor Freight hex drive step bit. This offset driver is not exactly 90 degrees (although they do make that as well P/N 49-82-8510), but it was on the shelf at my local big box hardware store. Here's a comparison of my cordless drill and the offset driver with step bits.



That goofy setup did the trick. I was able to make the hole up through the package tray. It even carved through the tray itself without any drama.





Next I sat the retractors and pushed the 1/2" bolts down from the inside of the car. Below are both brackets installed with the retractor attachment nuts loosely attached - I didn't have a helper in the garage last night so I will need to go back in and put washers on before tightening these down.





The next photos show where the retractors sit in the car. They are tucked back very close to the sail panels. I am really happy with the location. They are about as out of the way as I could hope.







That was all I had time for last night. Today I plan to finish the install and put the back seat in, then I need to do some serious housekeeping inside the car. The interior is still covered in dust from before the LS swap! I want it looking good by Wednesday because the insurance company is coming to inspect the car. I am trying to setup an agreed value policy.
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  #926  
Old 03-27-2018, 12:26 PM
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Good work. Ive used the unibit in the right angle head like that more times than I can remember when I worked at my buddies stereo shop. Damn 6x9 installs.

I like to use a ~10:1 APC (Meg's D101) and water mixture for interior cleaning. For all fabrics nothing beats Folex (found at Lowes or HD).

Then protect with 303 Aerospace (if anything).

Dan

Last edited by juicedz4; 03-27-2018 at 12:28 PM.
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  #927  
Old 03-27-2018, 01:25 PM
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SNIP< the insurance company is coming to inspect the car. I am trying to setup an agreed value policy.
Curious about this I should do something like it for the 57...
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  #928  
Old 03-27-2018, 01:56 PM
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e I have been looking into this quite a bit, but still feel very in the dark. Basically from what I can tell there are 3 different types of collision policies out there: actual cash value, stated value, and agreed value.

The most common is "actual cash value" insurance where they use blue book as a starting point to negotiate a claim, essentially deciding AFTER a collision what the current value of the car was and settling based on that estimate. Actual cash value is not the same as a replacement value because it takes into account depreciation, i.e. fi I had a new car that I drove for a year I would get a depreciated, blue book value for the car and not the amount needed to go buy a new one. That works OK for common cars where the values are easy to look up. For a car like this, it could end up being a huge fight establishing what the actual cash value should be. I would have to supply lots of documentation and likely end up in a fight, getting something less than what I think the car is worth and likely not getting enough to replace the car even with a similarly used/ depreciated car. It would also take a long time to work through the claim and I could end up in court.

Stated value insurance is, from what I can tell, very similar to actual cash value, except you establish a "stated value" up front. The stated value is not necessarily what you will get if the car is totalled, in fact it is actually the maximum of what you can get. The policy is effectively the same as an actual cash value policy except you have had the insurer write a stated value into the policy up front that could actually limit what you will get from the total, especially if the car appreciates in the meantime. Basically the insurer will pay you the actual cash value OR the stated value, whichever is LESS. Insurers often sell these policies for more even though you are getting less coverage! From what I can tell you should absolutely avoid a stated value policy!

The last category is "agreed value". With agreed value, you and the insurer decide on a value up front. That value will set the actual amount you would get if the car is totalled, as well as the maximum costs of repair before totalling. You negotiate this up front and if you want any additional coverage down the road you have to renegotiate it. The amount directly affects your premium and agreed value policies may come with restrictions, for example on mileage or where you store the car. With an agreed value policy, if my car was in a serious, unrepairable accident, the insurer would pay me the agreed value without any negotiation up or down. It would not matter if I had made improvements to the car or if it had depreciated since the policy was written - the agreed value is fixed. If the car is repairable and the repairs are less than the agreed value, the insurer will pay to repair the car. If the car can't be repaired for that amount, they will pay out the agreed amount.

The big advantage with an agreed value policy is you do not haggle with the insurer over the claim and you know exactly what you are insured for. In all cases it's important to look at any exclusions in the policy and make sure you really are getting an agreed value policy and not a stated value policy.

I am still researching this subject. I'll let you know what else I find out.
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  #929  
Old 03-27-2018, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicedz4 View Post
Good work. Ive used the unibit in the right angle head like that more times than I can remember when I worked at my buddies stereo shop. Damn 6x9 installs.
Thanks Dan. Here I thought I was doing something new HA! Clearly not! I remember having a bear of a time locating holes for my 6x9s because I could not drill down from the top, only up from the trunk. I wonder now if this setup would have fit in back there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juicedz4 View Post
I like to use a ~10:1 APC (Meg's D101) and water mixture for interior cleaning. For all fabrics nothing beats Folex (found at Lowes or HD).

Then protect with 303 Aerospace (if anything).
There is a fair amount of vinyl in my interior. Is an APC appropriate for that or should I use a vinyl-specific cleaner/protectant? I probably will not get too crazy on cleaning out the inside right now. Mainly I want to tie up a few loose wires and vacuum/dust.
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  #930  
Old 03-27-2018, 02:59 PM
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You could use the Folex on the vinyl if you're leery of the diluted APC, which should be fine. Folex contains no cleaning agents, its mostly just water with a additive that lifts the stains. Its literally like snake oil that works. Im totally amazed every time I use it.

303 Aerospace can be used on the dash etc, but I might not put it on the seats as it may make them a little slippery. But its not like armor all which you should never use.


Folex before and after (with some scrubbing in case of the salt)







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  #931  
Old 03-27-2018, 03:14 PM
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Well right now I'd be happy to just wipe it down with a damp microfiber, but I will do some homework on those products. Thank you for the suggestions! Looks like you get great results!
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  #932  
Old 03-27-2018, 03:37 PM
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The Folex looks real interesting. Those before and after pictures are super impressive.

We use 303 on everything, dirt bikes, ATV's, RV graphics/plastics, and general protection of non painted surfaces. I bought a gallon 4 years ago and I still bet I have a half gallon or better left.
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  #933  
Old 03-27-2018, 04:03 PM
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Yea. I forget who told me about the Folex but its seriously a miracle in a bottle. A 32oz bottle is $6 and the gallon is only $15.

I use it on the house carpets. Even used it to get stains out of a shirt. I bet it would have even worked on a certain blue dress.

Dan
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  #934  
Old 03-28-2018, 07:12 AM
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Hay Clint How’s it going!? Glad to see this still in progress. Haven’t checked in in some time. Dealing with new cancer. Long story, but still surviving some freakin how. Currently in the Hospital, I had a brain bleed/stroke/seizure. Still functioning at 99% somehow. It’s a miracle after 5 brain surgeries and losing half a lung. Currently a tumor on my right kidney. Anyway keep Rockin with this brother My machine shop is coming together very very well. Almost fully powered up! I Refuse to let this shat kill me!!!
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  #935  
Old 03-28-2018, 01:15 PM
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Hey Rob. Long time no see! I'm so sorry to hear this thing keeps coming after you. You and your son have been through a ton. Kidney now? Damn! Good luck in the fight. I know you are the kind of person who will do serious battle. Keep trucking hard. How is your son holding up?
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  #936  
Old 03-28-2018, 03:28 PM
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Hey Rob. Long time no see! I'm so sorry to hear this thing keeps coming after you. You and your son have been through a ton. Kidney now? Damn! Good luck in the fight. I know you are the kind of person who will do serious battle. Keep trucking hard. How is your son holding up?

Hate to be the barrer of bad news but unfortunately we are currently estranged right now. His mother and I’s break up was unbelievably Ugly and I filed a restraining order against her rightfully so. But his mom and he have had things become physically violent between them unfortunately. He lives with her but Doesn’t like her what so ever. I have basic dad rules like you or I would expect. He Does Not want to abide by them. His mom lets him run the streets and smoke pot at 14, he’s 16 now. It’s a shame BIG TIME! I trying to get Back with him but teenagers are dumbasses. He is a smart kid in Sooo many ways, but equally a dumbass too. As much as I want/need to get back with him, I Need to survive this to get back to him First. So I Cannot stress and worry over him. I may have a blood infection which is a Major concern for the brain. Amazingly I function still at 98/99%!!! God is Good!!!
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:52 AM
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Tuesday night I hustled to finish the Morris Classic 3pt belt install in the back. I thought I'd be able to do it with just the bottom of the seat removed, but I had a hard time getting to the lower anchor bolts so I removed the back of the seat too. This had the added benefit of being able to reach through the rear panel to tighten the nut for the retractor while holding the bolt from the top - definitely better than having two people. The Morris instructions did not say which way to orient the belts, so I installed them the way the factory belts were routed (outside pointing up, inside pointing down). I kept the original center lap belt installed just in case.







Once that was back together, I spent some time cleaning out the inside of the car, vacuuming, and wiping everything down. I zip tied a few loose wires under the dash and made the interior presentable for the insurance inspector. Wednesday morning he showed up to take photos of the car and make sure it was in fact garage kept (a requirement for an agreed value policy).

When he arrived he wanted to just take photos of the car in the driveway. The lighting there was poor and the garage was casting shadows over the car, so I insisted we back the car into the street to get better photos. Considering these photos may some day establish a value for the car, I want it looking it's best. I positioned the car in the street with the wheels turned slightly over and got this 3/4 view shot.



Of course he had to get photos all around and inside the car, so when he asked me to pop the hood, I gladly showed off the LS.











Fresh off the victory of installing the rear belts, we decided to take the kids out for ice cream. They were both stoked to take a ride in the Nova! I put my 7yo son's booster seat in and installed my 4yo daughters car seat using a seat belt locking clip. Having the shoulder harness for my son (and eventually my daughter) is the reason I bought these belts.



They all had a great time and when we started to leave from the ice cream place, my daughter was so excited to get back in the Nova she started bouncing around yelling "Nova! Nova! Nova! We get to ride in the Nova!" A dad's hear can only swell so big before it explodes!
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:04 PM
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The last couple weeks have been great for seat time in the Nova. Being behind the wheel of this car has been putting a smile on my face for almost twenty years now. Somehow it just never gets old! And with the kids in the back seat... even better! I've been taking my 7yo son to baseball practice and my 4yo to the park. Here's a look-back shot of the car at the park the other day.



I even let my wife take our family out to ice cream the other day. Here's a rare view forme from the passenger seat!



I discovered that with the wife and kids in the car the exhaust V-band a at the header scrapes my driveway. I was afraid this might be hanging down too low. I'm not sure if I'll do anything about it. It doesn't seem to drag if it's just me and one of the kids in the car so I may just have to back out of the driveway before loading it with 4 passengers.



Last Friday we packed the Nova for an overnight trip to Santa Paula. They were having their first monthly cruise night for the year and I decided to combine it with an overnight stay at my folks house with the kids. I love how much room there is in the trunk! Plenty of space for overnight bags, swimwear, a dog bed, a pair of scooters, and food. We put the dog in the backseat between the kids and set out on the highway.



It was the first highway trip in the car since all the rearend work and new wheels and tires. The overall gearing difference is noticeable with the smaller diameter rears and I responded by driving a little slower on the freeway. I also noticed a whine that I'm worried could be the rear gears. It seemed to make the whine during cruise or under power, with no change in volume, in the indicated range of 70-75mph (which is probably closer to 60mph now); the noise disappears outside of that speed range and also disappears if I let off the accelerator / decelerate. I heard it more on the way out than I did on the trip back, so perhaps it's something that will go away as the gears break back in. Or maybe it has nothing to do with the gears at all - I'm not sure.

Anyway we made it to the cruise night and it was AWESOME!







There were all kinds of cars lining main street. I only saw one other with an LS swap. I didn't hang around my own car, but the times I passed by there were usually a couple people looking under the hood. I talked to a few of them and met some cool people. The coils on the firewall continue to draw attention. We had to cut out a bit early and drive through the crowds - it was definitely hoppin'.



Another Nova owner I met on Instagram was there and snapped a couple of cool photos of me leaving the show.





So now that I've got the new wheels and tires, rear suspension, and some seat time, I am starting to think about what's next. First, I have a few safety items I'd like to add, namely I want to add a passenger side mirror and a backup camera. I have very bad visibility behind the car and I am really worried about backing over a kid - there are just too many of them playing on my street (including my own) and I'm not sure I'd even hear them yelling over the exhaust. Second, I need to figure out why my engine always has a long crank start. I'll share more details on that later, but basically the engine never starts on the first crank. Third, I am signing up for an autocross event in June and there are a few things I'd like to do to make the car more better before then. That all said - I am just enjoying the hell out of the car!
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  #939  
Old 04-12-2018, 11:58 PM
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Check your fuel pressure for the no start. You shouldn't lose any pressure in the system for months at a time. Perhaps you have an internal leak somewhere.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
Check your fuel pressure for the no start. You shouldn't lose any pressure in the system for months at a time. Perhaps you have an internal leak somewhere.
We have the same problem with my dads 5.3. It seems like it's every other start, or maybe just cycling the key when warm has something to do with it but it's not exact how to reproduce the no start.

The tuner said we would need a check valve in the line to the fuel rail/regulator but I didn't really see why?
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