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Kitty Wrangler Denali Owner
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I've already gotten some standard rectangular pieces from Heat Shield Products. I made some aluminum angles to fasten to the upper row of flange bolts. The shields will screw to them and be formed similar to the following pics.
Takes me back to my raw steel headers and melted plenum experience. Ceramic coating and no shields here, no melted plenums.

Yours looks/sounds AWESOME!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Mine are coated with an aerospace grade mix. I don't care what is on them - when I'm hammering 20-40 minute lapping sessions they will be too hot for wire looms, clutch/brake lines or plastic parts anywhere near them. I also kept the OEM plug boot shields because they work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Heat shield progress photos. I'm using easily formable aluminum sheet before cutting on the good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
First oil change at 800 miles. Builder is happy, so that makes me happy! WIX filter is built like a ballistic missile cruiser and is what most NASCAR teams are running these days. I think NAPA Gold is rebadged WIX. Dyno day soon...
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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Update on my car's status:

The car has been back on the road intermittently since late October. For as long as the car sat, (4+ years) there were a number of small quirky things (rattles, pops, squeaks, etc.) going on with the car that only regular driving can illuminate and I'm still sorting through them.

I've also had some random misfires that have been frustrating to figure out. I thought at first it was injectors, so I had them cleaned and flowed. No real improvement. I pulled the plugs and #5 looked kind of odd, so a new set went in and it ran great for about 2 weeks of sporadic winter drives, then started missing again. I dyno'd it and it made 449 hp, but the operator said he couldn't get a reliable spark signal to generate the rpm/torque axis. All it would print was MPH, which required back calculation through tire radius, rear gear and trans gear to determine RPM. I was pretty disappointed with a 39HP gain over my previous all-time best dyno of 421, but running on nine cylinders, I guess it's not too bad. I have high flow cats and stock resonators out to an x-pipe.
DW cats.jpg

Dan Lesser helped coach me through some of the diagnostic menus on my DRB and we checked off a string of boxes that were not problems. He suggested that I run the engine after dark and spray a mist of water on the wires to check for bad insulation and crossfire. Boom! There was a nice little spark show going on my 20+ year old Magnecor wires. While checking the wires, I also noted that the header pipes were glowing pretty significantly at only 2k rpm. I still haven't gotten my heat shields completed, so I've been pretty mindful of not running the motor too hard for very long. I don't believe the exhaust heat has affected the wires as much as age has.
P-side hot headers.jpg

So, I bought a set of AB Quality Wires to install. Beautiful product, prompt shipping and my missing problems seem to have gone away. The only downside is that the plug boots and wires are shorter than my Magnecors. This leads to a probable incompatibility with my heat shields, as well as some difficulty keeping them in the OE wire separators and the boots clocked away from the exhaust pipes. I will probably not keep the ABs and am now researching Scott wires vs a new set of Magnecors.
Magnecor plug wires.jpg AB DS wires.jpg Magnecor boot.jpg

My heat shields are awaiting some laser-cut stainless trim rings to finish out the spark plug holes where the ceramic batt is open to the elements and the foil is ragged. I'm going to dimple the rings (sample below) and rivet them on through the shields. It looks like 2-3 weeks until the laser shop can get them done for me.
header shield mockup.jpg DW shields - interim.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I haven't done that since the 80's on my big block Challenger. The only thing I worry about is damaging the wires by pulling the boots on over the connector terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
Well it's been several weeks since the last update. The exhaust shields are proving to be a major pain in the butt. I'm still determined as ever to get it right, but the little details are taking a lot of time.

ring forming.jpg 20210323_220847_resized.jpg shield fit.jpg Shield CAD.JPG

The not-quite-right engine operation is taking time to track down. It appears that after having had the fuel module out for a level sensor change, I should have put a new pump and regulator in the basket too. The pressure is just on the low side of acceptable, but it loses prime and is prone to some vapor lock issues.

I'm on my second set of plugs and getting ready to be my 3rd set of new wires. AB wires are just too short for me. New Magnecors don't have the same boots that I designed around, so another set is due today. I'll have these very low mile takeoffs available at a discount for anyone who needs some.
AB DS wires.jpg 20210327_135905_resized.jpg 20210327_135300_resized.jpg +

Idle is rough and Dan Lesser and I determined we probably used the wrong exhaust gaskets for my round tube headers and am likely leaking in a few spots. My stock resonators appear to have imbalanced back pressure and that causes adaptive fueling issues too.
3-30-21 Left.jpg Exh Temp profiles.JPG heat imbalance.jpg

All this takes driving, critical thinking, diagnosing and effecting proper repairs. And time and more money.
 
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Dean, I am thoroughly impressed by your resourcefulness in working through this process mostly on your own rather than handing it over to a shop. Of course I love the year and color and I am really enjoying reading about your journey through this rebuild. Next trip down to Austin next month maybe I was swing by and check out your efforts?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Sure! Just give me a heads-up.

I'm a builder of (large) tangible things, a resourceful fabricator and process control troubleshooter. It's what I do.
 

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For the leak try a stethoscope or use a hose or tube.

You can try the water/soap trick like for air leaks but use a high boiling point solvent then water. Never tried this just thinking out loud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I sent you a PM/conversation.

Dan recommends using a fat, smoky cigar around the exhaust ports. I tried using a long fireworks punk stick, but it didn't put out enough smoke. Those headers are f'n hot!
 

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yes, you need more smoke. I have access to dry ice and it is denser than air and produces a heavy fog but didn't suggest that since 99% do not have access to it.

Was just thinking off the top of my head, make a CO sniffer. get a CO monitor, glue a tube over the sensor create an orifice near the sensor so you can put a vacuum on orifice. create a probe with an orifice and use the vacuum to draw in the gas sample over the sensor.
Problem is I haven't calculated nor real world tested the tube size nor the orifice size so as to calculate the velocity of the sample gas flowing over the sensor. Only thing is you are fixed for the limits and level of detection.
In theory it should work, well at least in my head.
 

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Are you going to run tubes drop the holes attached to the shields or just have the dimples?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
No, just the reinforced dimple sandwich and the OE spark plug sheilds. Except for the rings, everything I've done so far is purely by eyeball, grease pencil and measuring tape. I'm iteratively playing with spark plug compound angle intersection geometry in 3D. Nobody can tell me what the angles are and I missed my opportunity to measure it myself while the heads were off for years. Figures....:mad:

Anybody have a junk gen 2 head for cheap? By the time I get this right, I will probably be ready to make laser/water jet cut precision kits for sale.

I would give my left nut to have access to this sort of technology!
 

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Really enjoy reading & digesting all you & many others do on here. Lots of talented, ambitious car guys that have skills. Me? Oil changes, brakes, & detailing is my strong suit. Yea, I know, pathetic...

Awemen
 
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Almost ready to get some files out to the CNC cutting tables. This all required making a plastic template, scrapping a spark plug and inserting a welding electrode in the insulator hole to find the port flange intersection point of the spark plug center line. Then, Scot at Prefix was finally able to find an old Gen 2 head to provide me the vertical inclination and rearward sweep angles of the plug. With those, I could back-figure the plug seat location, and the vector to cut the holes in the shields and scallops in the attaching angle. Once I have the master templates finished, these should be easy to replicate. But WHAT A FUCKING ORDEAL!!!!

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