Monday, 25 May 2015

Recent work and finally driving it

First of all I completed the doors. This involved a few things, first was to fit the new blanking plates for the car and removing exterior door handles. This gave the car more security. the remote central locking is working well.

After this I fitted some open pocket foam inside the door, its light and will stop excessive noise as well. With the interior parts of the door completed it was at this stage I fitted some door cards just to tidy the doors up. the final finished article will be higher quality and match the dash etc... when done.

Next was the exhaust piece being completed, well there's few things I've got majorily wrong on this project, but this was one! It looked horrible, the design just did not suit the car. Im only sharing the picture for others so they don't go this route!!

So at the moment I have the original tip on for driving however a new tip has arrived already and I'm very happy with its look, I've just got to do some minor adjustments to it and it will be on and looking much better!

I've now set the front ride height at 85mm on both sides give or take a mm or two. This works well for me with the front arches looking full enough but allowing me to get on and off the drive without planks etc... At the end of the day I want to be able to use the car relatively easily. the rear will need to be lowered further in the future.

Next I had the side windows refitted, the current fitting was done in the bodyshop and there was too much dust in them when fitting with some areas lifting. As well as this I had a nice rubber edging added to give it a cleaner look.

The final side window bits are being fitted this week to finish the look off but I think it gives it a much nicer edge.

So then it came to driving it at the weekend. This was the first time since the engine had been put together and various other work. so I took it out, with the softer springs I fitted a while back the ride is better but still a bit softer at the front would be nicer. It has too much of that coilover 'bang' for my liking. The engine was now performing correctly and not eating water, so it does look like a poor fitting of the headgasket was the cause (should of done it myself in the beginning!).

Now whilst driving the car is not overheating, but it is running hot, ideally it should run up to about 195f and mine is running around 210f-215f. Now when on the drive it gets warm and the fans kick in but never gets higher then the 190f i'd expect. However once driving it raises slightly and sticks at that higher temps, so not overheating but just running hot. So I've had to look into why and what can I do to improve it.

I noticed the coolant pipe return from the radiator is very close to the downpipe, so the coolant is cooled at the radiator and then reheated just before re-entering into the engine. Meaning the water flowing into the engine is hotter then it should be, raising the operating temperature slightly. this doesn't happen on the drive at idle because the down pipe hasn't raised up to the hotter temperatures, as well as this the hot and cool pipes to the radiator run close to each other under the car, again not helping. The 2 pics below show where the pipe is now and the new path I'm going to do this week with a new pipe. Also a diagram of what it was like on the MR2 and you'll see its far away from the exhaust and the radiator pipes are separated.

As well as this other work I'm going to do to help temperatures;

1. The engine compartment temps feel high, when lifting the rear clam shell I can feel its warm, so id like to lower these, so I've ordered a turbo blanket to help.

2. Exhaust wrap for the downpipe. Now exhaust wrap is a debatable subject to many, however in this case keeping the temp inside the exhaust has a big benefit to not radiating onto other components and will also lower engine compartment temps with the the turbo blanket as well.

2. Ill also try and wrap / insulate the hot water feed to the radiator under the car so it does not radiate heat on to the returning pipe.

I think with the above I will drop 10f minimum, I actually think the biggest cause of heat into the system is the fact the coolant pipe is 1cm away from an unshielded downpipe!

So back to the drive, I managed to complete 90 miles without any actual overheating, eating of water etc... the car had no faults and ran as expected. If I can just lower the temperatures now a little bit for safety I can then work on lowering further intake temperatures, which will already benefit from the above as well.

The performance, well the turbo is still at 7psi (actuator pressure) and I wont turn the boost up until temps are under control. seeing as I haven't had the geometry done yet the car handles pretty well with minimal pull to one side.

Here's a quick video, sorry there isn't a good one yet. I've got to get them all on a video training course as I received a lot of videos of the floor.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Headlights, Doors, Undersealing and more

I've been trying to source some black bolts, harder then you'd think for the lengths I want. So in the meantime I painted carefully the top of the silver ones black to blend in more and get a feel for how it looks. It definitely makes the headlight covers look like they belong there a lot more but is obviously a subtle touch.

As well as this I Meshed the front reservoirs, Unfortunately it had to be a metal mesh which I always thinks looks very 'kitcar' however it has come out very well with a good fit and the black paint still covering it.

Next was to underseal the car and arches. So I took the wheels off and got on with the task, this is only coat one, which will do the job, however I expect ill put a 2nd coat on. Now I didn't use a car underseal for a couple of reasons, one they are very waxy and messy and too they are the same as another product which is priced cheaper. So I used a liquid rubber product normally used for putting on flat roofs, does the same job of stopping water from coming through and is flexible when dried.



Now the top of the arches need to be done, but I also want to protect the fibreglass from stone chips, so I've ordered more closed cell foam, I can then paint this with the rubber before fitting and simply stick it in the arches, giving the additional rubber protection to the foam which should stop stones creating Star shapes in the fibreglass.

I have also fitted the door solenoids, so there are no door handles accessible from the outside giving more security. when I press the button I have 3 seconds to open the door before it relocks. This is all wired into the fusebox I fitted to the car at the beginning and uses relays. I will need to tidy the additional wiring once I get the dash off for the refit of that. In the video below you can hear the click of it relocking once open.


The rear camber bolts were next, which has definitely brought the rear wheels more vertical and hence look like they fill the arch that little bit more and will give some Geo adjustments when that is done.

I have also started on the interior door cars just to tidy up the giant hole so the doors dont look so bad when being opened! But more on that next time. In the meantime the two main items till I can drive the car are the side windows and the exhaust piece. I should have the exhaust finished this week and side windows in the next two weeks! (fingers crossed)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Engine Work

Following the work taking place on the engine to strip the head, it was sent off to a specialist who pressure tested it and also refaced it. I ordered a new cometic headgasket and fitted the engine back together. I had problems fitting the tight belt but got there eventually.

Before filling it with coolant I decided to try and fire it up, if id done something wrong I didn't want to have to drain it again! It wouldn't fire...

A quick google and a check and I hadn't connected the connector that connects on to the dizzy cap. Connected that and it fired straight into life. As well as this I took the opportunity to repaint the rocker cover black and also the heat shield (although keeping underneath silver). This just tidied up the engine a bit more as the rocker cover had peeled a lot.

Next is to finish the fitting of the exhaust (1st back box) and jack the rear of the car up whilst filling with coolant. Ill then run it at the same time to remove air from the system.... Hopefully!

Following that, it will need an oil filter and oil change to clear the system of any contaminations from during the work.

I can then move on to the other jobs;

* Fit rear camber bolts
* Arrange Geo Setup
* Get Rear side windows fitted
* Fit door solenoids
* Wire up rear view camera
* Complete exhaust tip and surrounding mesh
* Mesh over brake reservoirs

Then hopefully the exterior will be close to completion.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The good the bad and the ugly..

A fitting title to this update. so lets look at the good first.

I managed to get 120 miles under the belt and the car felt fast even though its only running 7psi and will be up'd to 15psi. That's about where the good ends in this update.

The bad was the car was overheating. Id try various things, fixing some minor leaks and then also adding some bumper vents to feed the radiator.

These kept temperatures stable and low but as soon as I went on boost that's when it overheated, also the car seemed to be drinking water and then the final part was the exhaust fumes smelled I knew what the issue was. Either a cracked head or headgasket, my gut instinct was headgasket.

So the ugly...Apart came the engine, the good news is the block itself looks in good condition and I got on to cleaning the pistons and the block face, although the pistons were not that dirty and came clean easily which is good. Also with the large engine bay it was easy to do this work.

So the head is currently off being pressure tested and either refaced or skimmed this week. I've ordered some new hoses which ill replace that sit under the turbo as I may as well do it whilst the turbo is off saving another job in the future.

Although its annoying to have to do this, the job isn't actually that bad but purely because I have plenty of room to work in so hopefully have it back together by the end of the weekend and running again.

And finally here's a walkaround video...make sure you watch till the end for a clip of it on the road.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Meshing, lights and other parts...

So I'm back from my holiday to Oz, unfortunately I became quite ill on the way back so couldn't get back on with the car for a few days.

It was my first chance to check over the paint since it was sprayed....overall I'm very happy, there are some bits that have not come out perfect but all in areas you don't see so not an issue and I'm very happy with the body work they did, especially in getting the doors to line up better.

So I cracked on with a couple of easy jobs first, changing the orange indicators to be clear just to help modernise the rear a bit more. It will require still more work in this area to bring the rear up to the same level of style as the front. I also fitted the rear view camera



Next I worked on fitting softer springs to the front. I currently had 5kg springs (280lbs/in) and I've gone down to 4kg springs (225lbs/in) so we will see if that makes a difference. I haven't changed the back currently. As i'm looking to change coilover there, ill explain that closer to the time!

As well as this I took this time to fit the HID lights, the standard bulbs looked very yellow and didn't go with the cars look. I'm very wary of blinding other drivers although that chance will be slim as the lights would have to point up a mile from this ride height! So I got only 35w ballasts to use with 43000k bulbs. If they are not bright enough then I can upgrade the ballasts but ill need to ensure my wiring can take that. The 35w I knew wouldn't be an issue.

The final job I was able to fit in was to go round and fit the meshing (harder than it sounds), I've left the front bumper currently with the finer metal meshing I originally fitted, partly because I don't want larger stones hitting my radiator, so ill see how I get on with it like this for now, but all other holes have been done with Audi style plastic meshing. It was high quality 4mm thick meshing, in the end to fit I heated it to bend it around edges and pin itself and then followed this up with some tape and pinning it and then applied sikaflex. doesn't look overly pretty from behind but looks great from the outside.

Also in the meantime the exhaust end piece has gone so that I can have a piece made in the style I want. I also need to fit a polybush engine mount, with the engine fully mounted to the engine, when the torque makes the engine roll the exhaust moves with it, so i need to minimise this roll effect so the exhaust doesn't move as much.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Pick up...

Not got a lot of time so its a quick update with the pictures doing the talking.

Picked the car up but still need to fit a few bits to it (rear camera fitting, mirror, exhaust changing!)...but here's some pics...or a lot

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Bodyshop work

So the car has been at the bodyshop a while now and work has been going well. so the first time I went door they had lined up the doors and filled and smoothed relevant parts and put a layer of high build primer on.

I was impressed at this stage the work looked great, the only area which did not look really good to me was the lower door edge it stuck out too far, so it was agreed that would be built up to be matched. You'll notice the spoiler isn't done at this point.

Also the rear vents were not done and I couldn't decide on what to do I said to the bodyshop most importantly it cannot effect the strength of the piece and left it with them. They did a great job and did the below, really happy with them and it suits the lines of the car.

The car was almost ready for spraying and was in the final stages of being prep'd

So next I took the headlight covers and splitter away to be hydrodipped to match the wheels.

When I was bringing these back I got a surprise the car had been baked and sprayed! I'll let the pictures do the talking but its an understatement to say I was pleased with the results.

As you can see the 3 stage paint, varys well from sunlight to dull light which was exactly what I was after so it looked good on a cloudy day! the paint hasn't been flattened yet and I've been impressed with the reflection lines at this stage so I'm sure it will look amazing once detailed in the summer. wont be long till its put back together and I get it back.