- Holden Gemini heaven
Home What's New About Help Contact

The story thus far (part five)

Post new topic   Reply to topic Forum Index -> Gertrude
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: 04 Oct 2001
Posts: 682

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2001 6:01 pm    Post subject: The story thus far (part five) Reply with quote

So with the car handling far better but ultimately suffering understeer I was struck down by a plague of bankruptcy.

This didn't halt work on the car however. We had already fitted new blue carpet to replace the tired factory piece. So to keep this blue theme going we fitted a set of TG sl/x blue velour seats (although they are covered in blue seat covers all the time).

One of my sunvisors had a cracked bracket so I replaced this with another from the now defunct Dave's gemini spares, the new one includes a vanity mirror, not that I care.

I drove the car like this for quite a while and it served as reliable day to day transport, if somewhat slow due to the tired nature of the stocko 1600 powerplant.

One weekend in about september 2000 I had planned to go to northern NSW for a camping (and drinking) weekend with a few mates. So we loaded into gertrude and proceeded off down the freeway, stopping at the bottleshop at helensvale, as I walked from the carpark to the bottleshop, Hugh asks me "whats that leaking from the front of the car" just from where he was indicating I knew what it would be, "coolant" I said... then I turned around... the coolant was brown and frothy... yep, blown headgasket, not a good way to start a weekend getaway.

So we turned around, drove home, stopping repeatedly to top up the radiator. Upon getting home we ripped out the engine/gearbox and pulled off the head. Now at this point I could have just fitted a new headgasket and refitted the engine, but I more or less decided the engine had paids its dues (having been fitted to at least 4 different geminis over the years) and decided it was time to retire it.

So off came the head from gertys original motor, this was extensively ported and the combustion chambers smoothed and partially polished (would have been fully but I got sick of it). A G180 bottom end was bored to 2 litres, decked for a zero deck height and (very well) balanced. The head was rebuilt, shaved for 9.5-9.6:1 static compression, new valves were fitted, new stiffer valve springs, a reground 30/70 cam dropped in and then it was bolted to the bottom end.

A big delay came due to a long wait (apparently due to a busy period) on getting the flywheel lightened and balanced.

But eventually it was all back together again and ready to be dropped in. A new clutch was bolted to the flywheel and the gearbox bolted back on (filled with new gearbox oil) and the assembly dropped into the car. After reattaching and refilling everything, with very little work we got it all running and boy did that engine pull, even keeping to very sensible RPM she just pulled hard. We played with settings a little and adjusted things like tappet clearance and the engine just got better. The engine was built by Super Service Centre in redcliffe (Queensland) and although they have changed hands since I still recommend them highly to everyone.

For those who haven't seen her, gerty still runs a niki carb, bolted onto a TX inlet manifold (very extensively ported inside).

The exhaust was probably the next thing holding back the power output... I wanted to keep the factory look so I hunted down a TX coupe dual drop exhaust manifold and had that fitted to a two inch exhaust with just a single muffler.

Well, I say "had fitted" but, well... I tried welding it up myself, but whilst the weld was good, the exhaust was slightly misaligned so it wouldn't bolt up... which meant I had to drive the 5 kilometres to my local exhaust place running nothing but the cast iron exhaust manifold, F#@K was it loud, like a V8 sprintcar (the dirt track kind).

With that all fitted she went harder again.

She stayed like this for quite a while and I clocked up a couple of thousand kilometres, still doing small things... like replacing the broken spare tyre tie down strap with a new ratchet type tie down... but nothing major/mechanical.

Then I finally gave in and got a job, which financed the purchase of a whiteline adjustable rear swaybar, which made the car sit wonderfully flat and the understeer was banished, the car handled like no gemini ever should...

I have a little slalom track I use on sundays (when the shops are closed) through my local shopping centre carpark (hyperdome), when I first tried it, the best time I could muster was mid 32 seconds with the sticky yokohama a509 rubber, now with STOCKO piece of shit tyres, I can run flat 29s until the cows come home (or the tyres overheat). It might not sound like much but I reckon with the yokies, I could run a 28. Which represents a 15% performance increase just through fitting a rear swaybar.

At this point the engine began to develop some blowby, which may be do to the failure of the rings to bed, but I'll update this once the engine has been dismantled.

So after delaying for quite some time (like months) I pulled the engine out of the now oil soaked engine bay, stuck the head on a stock bottom end and put the engine back in... Wow, the difference was stunning, so very very slow... no kick in the back when I put my foot down.

At this point I also splurged on some polyurethane bits and pieces for the front suspension rack mounts, steering column flexible coupling and upper & lower suspension arm bushes. We started by fitting the easy bits, the flexible coupling and the rack mount... With these fitted I took the car for a fang through my favourite section of twisty road... then on the return run (again going fairly hard) the engine made a sound like driving over a section of gravel and the oil pressure light came on... So I killed the engine and rolled home...

I tried starting the engine again at home, and it started and ran normally but I killed it because it still wasn't making any oil pressure. So out came the engine/gearbox again.

Hugh and I then removed the front suspension, upon which it was obvious that the drivers said lower control out was mightily bent, having taken a very solid hit, so a replacement was sourced.

I sent of all the bits and pieces to have the new bushes pressed in, and then refitted them all, and also fitted the whiteline caster correction kit (KCA315).

This is where I am up to as of today, the engine needs to be dismantled and then rebuilt, I want to get the head shaved for 10:1 or maybe even 10.5:1 static compression, fit 44mm inlet and 36mm exhaust valves, get the ports and combustion chambers ceramic coated... but these are just possible plans, you'll have to wait and see.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Joined: 25 Feb 2002
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2002 2:16 pm    Post subject: my gem Reply with quote

I was reading about your intensions with what to do with your gem, and yes i would like to blow my own horn i own a tg gem with a 1.8ltr and the internals consist of: 35-70 crow cam with 288 deg duration with 466thou valve lift, ported head 44-36mm inlet and exhaust valves, double row timing chain, heavy duty valve spings, shaved and square decked block and head, balanced,grinded, linished and crosss drilled crank(more oil less wear) , balanced and shot peened rods, bored block 140 thou(witch is now 20thou over 2ltr), fly cut pistons so the valves dont smash the pistons, lightened and balanced flywheel, regaphed and rebuilt dizzy to suit the cam, and as yet only a single rejetted 32-36 webber but hopefully soon either twin webbers or a 350 holly, it has been dyno tuned and wait for it only managed to apparently pull 75 horses at the rear wheels but it will flog V6 boomodores keep up with V8s and flog anything with 4cyl on several occasions i have been told by other workshops it should have 150hp at the wheels but who cares it halls arse and thats the main thing.

ps. im have electronic ignition to fit as soon as i can so anybody on the gold coast with gem BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!
yours truly Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic Forum Index -> Gertrude All times are GMT + 10 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
© 2000-2007 | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Site Map