Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Took the car out for a shakedown

So at the weekend I took the car out for a shakedown! the first shakedown on the saturday had a lot of smoke billowing out off parts near the exhaust, I expected this to some degree from wd40 and oil burning off. However it took a long time! Mainly because when the oil filter came off, oil went everywhere...it was slightly embarrassing!

However on the Sunday it was all burnt off and the car was run normally with no major issues.



I have a small oil leak which looked to be from the headgasket...however after stripping the engine back a bit last night it was the camshaft seals which appear to be leaking. So ill be picking up some gaskets for that and refitting and doing the timing again. Should have the engine back together tonight and oil leak fixed.

the seal had seen better days! And teaches me a lesson...replace all seals!!!




Seeing as the geometry isn't set the car did well, grips well with the wide tyres and once moving the steering feels nice and solid and not too heavy. I will want to replace the springs for softer springs as the ride is a bit too harsh for UK roads in my view. I will also probably at some point in the future replace the rear coilovers for ones where the dampening is on the top as that's restricting my lowering height at the rear.

The car boosted to 7psi without any issues and now I know the oil leak isn't head gasket the 16psi shouldn't be a problem going forward. I'll complete the boost controller solenoid fitting after the bodywork is done and once I've run at 7psi for a little amount of time..

Next stage is to replace the mirrors, the may look small and good, but were useless! So I have found some ones which are bigger but don't look too bad.

As well as this I will create some arch liners to try and keep the mess off the rest of the car! I can only clean it so many times before I get bored. After these two pieces are done it will be time for the bodyshop.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Got my reg plate and first drive

So my reg documents arrived, on the day it arrived it was my sisters wedding, so I'd been drinking...so had to wait a day!

Put on the reg plate and headed somewhere local... My mums! The turbo / exhaust manifold was smoking a lot when I arrived but it hadn't had a proper run since fitting with oily hands and WD40 everywhere.

By the journey back, smoke wasn't as bad but it is only 6miles so don't know how long that takes to burn off so I'll keep an eye on it.

Being so low the car feels fast and very rock solid, the car was boosting fine, although being late and wet I only boosted to 4.5psi...so plenty to go! 10psi with current setup, once boost controller connected will be 14psi.

It then rained and showed up I will want some rubber to go on the top door hinge fitting to keep water out, so that will be easy enough.

Overall a good test run and I'll use this weekend to get some more test miles under the belt and ensure no niggles exist before going into the bodyshop!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

steering wheel, screen, indicators & further prep

So im still waiting on the DVLA for the reg number. Over 3 weeks now, bit of a joke really!! For an organisation which looks after all UK vehicle matters id expect a better turn around.

So I fitted the new oil cooler, drained all the new oil :( and got it running and the car is running very smooth so that is some good news...although of course there has been no engine load on it yet.

So first of all  i ditched the Toyota wheel as its 380mm diameter which is just massive. Now as I have no power steering I don't want to do to small, so went down to just 350mm for now and its made a big difference when sat in front of it already, I may be able to go down to 320mm but definitely not 280mm unless I work on my arms at the gym all the time! as well as this I fitted the rear view camera and also the screen. All worked fine. Obviously at the moment the interior is just to be practical with ideas for later on and this has opened up my eyes to needing a larger and better screen when doing the interior.


and rear camera position....


Some will of spotted the boost controller, that has been wired in and plumbed in as well, although I haven't done the solenoid at this point as I just want to make sure the car is working as expected before trying to raise the performance.

Next was the indicators as i wanted to get rid of the bobbles on the front so I got some LED waterproof strip. (600 leds a reel) and cut them to about 10cm in length and fitted them to the headlight covers. Much nicer and cleaner and can be seen clearly. these are actually brighter and better then the first set I had on for IVA which I failed with.


Following this I lowered the front end of the car to roughly the ride height I wanted. It has a ground clearance of about 3 1/2 inches. I suspect this is too low so I may need to raise it half an inch or so but ill work that out.

I also fitted some much smaller and nicer wing mirrors, now these I believe are too small, but being from a motorbike which generally have a universal fitting (not all) means I can find some bigger ones that will suit.


Im still to decide on what wing for the rear, it needs a wing to break it up but I don't want OTT. Hopefully the reg number will come this week, as im running out of time for test drives with roads being half dry at least! Today would of been perfect....typical!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Turbo bracket, Rear view camera and broken Oil cooler

So I got the oil cooler off...well it had had destroyed itself! Luckily I found all the chunks of the metal and fitted them together so I know no large pices of metal are in the engine so thats good.

Either way I will still be changing out the brand new oil for some more brand new oil after its warmed a bit so i know it removes as much as possible.


Following this I modified the turbo stay for the CT20b from a Celica. this now has a slit to it rather than a hole so it can be mounted on properly with the support.


Next I tested the rear view camera on a spare battery I had. Its a wireless from front to rear so i dont need to run any cables down the car. I bought the parts seperately as I wasnt sure how well it would work etc... and the cost came out at less then £30. Now its not amazing but will definitly provide a big improvement on rear visibility. Going forward long term I will get a larger screen for when I do the interior properly as currently its a 4.3" and i think a 5" would be better.

the two shots below are a daytime colour, which is a bit washed out as its from in the garage and night vision one.


Now I just need to decide on where to mount it at the rear.

As well as this the boost controller I have, I will start plumbing in the pipework along the car, although not connecting it as I want to test run the car with the boost just off the actuator at first to make sure everything is ok. That will only give me about 0.5bar of boost I believe but thats fine for test runs to ensure everything is ok.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Next work parts and problems

So following the IVA pass it was on to the DVLA paperwork first of all. Well that was confusing, thank god a guy at work had recently done it! Made life a million times easier (I hope) So i sent off all that was required;

V55/5 - car registration form
V627/1 - build form
2 forms of ID
Donor car V5C
Photos of build
1st Registration cheque
1st yrs tax cheque

I'm hoping to get an age related plate because of the parts used from the Donor car.

Following this, this weekend I decided to work on fitting the larger turbo. The mr2 engine (3s-gte) had many revisions over the years. Mine was a rev2 , one of the things that wasnt quite as good with this revision as later ones is the turbo. It would not hold the boost till redline and would start to tail off at about 5500rpm. Upgrading to what is known as a ct20b which came on later revisions of the engine resolves this problem holding boost till the redline.



a long time ago, I fitted a metal head gasket and that was exactly for this reason, it will allow me to raise the boost up to 15 / 16psi long term. this will levae me with

new fuel pump
aftermarket side mount intercooler
one set colder plugs
ct20b turbo
boost controller
Metal headgasket
raised boost to about 15/16psi

This will give me about 290/300bhp.

Following a small run of the engine with the new turbo in (to help get rid of any contaments that may of got in there. It was time for an oil and filter change.

The oil came out and wasnt super clean seeing as id only done 15miles, but the engine had probably been run for about 7hours if not more in total so fair amount of actual running not under load but on an engine that hadnt run for over a year previously.

So I fill up the oil and new filter and start it up, all running fine. I give it a small rev to confirm no leaks and the oil filter shoots off at me! Oil everywhere, luckily being on the drive the engine is off within 3 seconds. I thought that was weird as I knew id put it on ok, when I looked the actual oil cooler mounting bracket which the relief valve tightens into had broken. It must of been over torqued in the past. The photo shows the broken metal it should be just a smooth thread all the way round, the thread you can see is a loose chunk.


I've now removed the oil cooler and bracket (luckily its a simple job on the kit car with no rear firewall.) Took me 10mins max and at least I know the two hoses (known as hose from hell and the hose from hell on earth) are both simple for me to change.

When piecing the puzzle bits back together it went together and a small chunk of metal was missing from the top. I can only presume this fired outwards based on the spraying of oil when it did go. There would be no way it was ingested into the engine.

So I now have a very oily drive and a dirty engine again which will need cleaning a lot. but when I get the replacement part it should at least be a small job. I can fit it run the brand new oil that's in it an idle to warm it up....then empty it again and put a fresh batch in.

The reason for warming is it will be thinner and I should be able to get more of it out and any small metal bits will flow with it (if there are any).

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

IVA Passed

I passed the required IVA test yesterday, so Im now completing the paperwork for the DVLA to be issues with a registration number.

I'll be doing more work on the car this weekend.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Correcting IVA fail points

The way the test works is they will just test the parts that have failed...or if can make a difference to other areas those as well.

For instance if you had a rear light fail and you moved its position they would check its still within the allowed area.

So how did the test go...well and I came away happy, the tester (Andy) was helpful and thorough, but I did not feel he was there to make me fail. He was there to make sure it was safe and met the requirements. If it didn't he told me what I could do to meet the requirements, or if I wanted to do it another way id ask was it ok. Cant ask for more really!

So on to the fail points, I'm going to list all of them and what I did;

Brake reservoirs lower then highest master cylinder height
So to solve this one was simple in terms of what had to be done, the master cylinders couldnt be moved down as the pedal assembly is welded in position and also the holes for master cylinders drilled. so the reservoirs had to go up. So bracket extensions were made and the reservoirs were raised. they now stick out the bonnet from where I had to cut it. I actually quite like it! Looks a little different and not too over the top! (bodyshop would mesh it properly etc...) Reason this was a failure was because the reservoirs aren't pressurised so really on gravity to feed them when there's a leak



The reservoirs were then meshed for the test as there would be a radius check performed as well.

Steering system has tight spot during lock to lock operaton

This problem needed investigation first and then a fix after. What had happened is one of the unions had too tight of an angle around the 41 -42 degree mark. This was my fault for doing it too tight. So I had to extend one column length and shorten the other to change the angle, the angle is now about 29-30 degrees which is within its operating angle and is smooth to turn.

Fuel pipes in engine bay and breather pipe to be secured, breather pipe also to be fuel grade pipe
I placed rubber round the fuel pipes and cable tied them together so they were secure (the rubber is to protect the pipe from chaffing) and replaced the breather pipe with fuel pipe (marked) and added an additional strap to secure it

Nearside mirror does not meet the field of view requirement
- Also radius incorrect
This was because id left the stalk legs too long so when you looked from the drivers seat you couldnt see the top of the mirror, I removed 50mm off the bottom of the leg and tested it by sitting in the car..hands on steering wheel and looking into the mirror, Also part of the mirror stalk didn't have a 2.5mm radius...a quick mill of it to that radius and that was fixed.



Radius failures on, lower tunnel trim, both door inside rear edges by glass & gear lever surround
Again this was easy to solve, rubber trim was put on to all 3 pieces that failed to give the required radius. the dash lower edge I reheated and turned upwards as well and also placed rubber over it and covered it again.Not pretty but should do the job.



Radius failure on the front bumper
Out came the sandpaper and was sanded to a raduis of 1.5mm. I'm sure ive done enough but if not can be sanded more on the day

Radius failure on top edge of the doors
Because the doors weren't flush with the glass, they needed to have a radius of 2.5mm...out with the sandpaper again.

Wire to prevent rear clam being tilted fully back
Part of the requirements is that when all doors, boots, tailgates etc... are open all lights and reflectors can be seen. It can just be reflectors if there is a warning. So I installed a wire stay to stop the rear clam shell being tilted to far back.

Front indicators not bright enough
Registration lamp not working properly

The front indicators were replace (will have to get some clear lenses I think for them!)



the registration plate lamp played up night before with 2 LED's failing!!! So its been replaced and a spare bought to take with me just in case

Horn symbol on steering wheel when pad does not operate horn

Sanded off and tape placed over it

Vehicle weight exceeded submitted weights

In the UK you submit design weights so they know the vehicle is safe and to work out required braking force, I went over the design weights by around 150kg, they add 75kg per person (so x2) and also includes full tank of fuel. I just need to get an email confirming the chassis / suspension will take this higher weight without any issues

Failed emissions

This was my biggest worry in the first place, first I checked the lamba sensor and couldn't really get it to feed back like required in the test (electronic test) so replaced it, re-performed test and it passed so the lamba may of been playing up.

The car had been idling at 1200rpm which was a bit high anyway.After much diagnosing I decided the ICV (idle Control Valve) was not doing anything at all....off with all the inlet again and testing it. it passed all tests and I could see it working. I then checking loom continuity so all was ok. so the ECU was not controlling it correctly. I decided this was a known issue on the car when I bought it. The give away was the idle screw was screwed in all the way, so I couldn't lower the rpm at idle any more.

To get around the above I set a 12v feed into the ICV and set the ground for it to be always closed, its there to help cold starts anyway (which I wont need), I now turned the idle screw out and got it to idle perfectly at 800RPM. Nice and steady! following this I set up the TPS (throttle position sensor) as it needs to be redone afterwards.

The most exciting bit of this is I have an emissions test on Saturday which I get to drive the car on the road for the first time as well.


That was all of the failures so not too bad really, I'm now waiting of the retest towards the end of the month, so there wont be an update next week and I'm now trying to work out what to do with my time!