Tuesday, 29 September 2015

And so it all begins again....

So the driving season is over, the car is declared Sorn (off the road) for the next 6 months. So how did it go; well in the end very well, I covered 1600miles and have not had a serious issue for over 1300miles.By the end of the driving a few squeaks had crept in but nothing major. The most disappointing aspect is the car is still running a bit rich and the exhaust tip is not quite straight. Overall happy with the first year.

The next stages are now;

* Interior refit - comprising of new carpet, new seats, dashboard design, rear camera screen, relocation of some dials, lowering heater / climate box, tidy up of new cables

* Rear end - this will start as some simple new lights but plug and play into current holes, however if I have some time this winter I will build a whole new light design and following on from that a new diffuser. Also I'll probably fit a wing, but I need to decide on the right one.

* Suspension - Remove, check and regrease joints. As well as this i will fit the harder springs to the front, the current ones at bottoming out just a bit too much so rather have a rougher ride without the bottoming out on the damper.

* Mirrors - They wobble ever so slightly so want to remove them and fit a small rubber base to them so when bolted to the car it should should squeeze where needed but have support across it all to stop it wobbling

On saturday I will remove the seats, centre console over the gears and the carpet. The hard work starts again, but finally the interior will match the exterior.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Video Review

I've completed a video review of the car now. I've been still using it without any issues. I'm waiting for a few LED parts to arrive before work can start of the rear lights! From the end of September the car will be taken off the road and work will start on the interior.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

what's been happening since

Well I got the car home and solved the lack of boost problem. This was the offending piece which must of fallen off so a spare sourced.

Such a small piece such a lack of power!

Since then I've been using the car a fair amount and one thing I wanted done was for the car to be badged which I forgot to mention in the last update. So I had laser cut some badges which I made in CAD. I really like the design I then sprayed them black and fitted them. Just to the front at the moment.

So with the continued driving I've hit 1200miles done. The first 150miles were with the headgasket issue and testing so its now been a 1000miles engine trouble free and niggles. Im running higher boost and the car is performing well.

Ive had a loose connection on the lights and a couple of other bits but nothing major so I've been able to run my focus back on to the fun stuff...how the car looks! the rear for me has never been that good ive not been happy since day 1 when I finished it but was small on the scale of work I had to do.

However my exterior rear plans are;

* change rear lights to LED design
* Rear wing - interchangeable - maybe even actuator controlled as not difficult to do
* Rear look...full stop

So I've started working on various light designs which there will be many more updates on as i try different LED's and styles, however one thing for me was to make the middle part between the two matt black light cubby holes also matt black. But how. so I choose plasti dip, its basically a sprayable black rubber paint. People spray whole cars in it, which is fine if you want a matt finish, gloss I don't think looks good. So I gave it a go.

It came out really well, it can be hard to pull the masking tape off without pulling more of the black off than you want but I can improve my technique. the bets bit is it will just peel off when I don't want it anyone. I would actually recommend using the stuff to people it works well. I warmed the can up first in water which stops large blobs flying out, a good tip for normal spray paint as well.

I'm still not sure whether to keep the exhaust where it is or more it back down to the bottom like a normal car but its going to be a fun winter sorting out the exterior....and of course redoing the whole interior!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Clutch change, missfires and more

So my last statement was a jinx ' if everything was ok I may move on to the interior'.

First was my new set of coilovers had arrived and so I wanted to fit them ASAP!

Got them fitted and the awful banging I had has reduced a lot I've still had it a few times on large bumps but there isn't alot of travel available and a thin tyre wall but overall the Meister R coilovers have massively improved the ride.

Overall a success, as well as this the rear of car was able to go about another 10mm lower. Without the larger 20" wheels I dont think the arches will ever be as full as they look on the other DDR's but now it looks reasonable.

....So I had started to run with more power, slowly creeping up to the 1bar area of boost and then I felt some slip, I ignored it first time thinking one off, but decided to go out and do a 3rd gear pull from low revs and again I had a slight slip.

I knew I couldn't ignore it and didn't want to run low power! So I ordered a new clutch (toyota OEM) and prepared to fit it. The fitting then came...OH MY GOD!!! Advice, if you think your clutch is ok when the engine is out....it doesnt matter just change it! The job took a total of 10hrs and wasnt easy on a drive.

Engine mounts were removed, jacks used to hold engine in position straps to take the gearbox weight and then wiggling the gearbox off. To be fair that all wasn't too hard but just time consuming. Changing the actual clutch again was easy enough, although lining it up when it was at an angle was not.

However getting the gearbox back on was a nightmare it took best part of an hr and half to get the gearbox back on to the engine and I ended up using longer bolts to pull the gearbox back into position and on to the location pegs. Once done I started bolting everything back together.

Once done it was time for a quick test drive and it juddered a bit at first but even within 20miles that had almost gone so I was happy it was successful!

I was then due to go on holiday but wanted to stop a missfire at high boost! so got some contact cleaner, it was then I found the king lead from coilover to distributor was missing an end and was having to arc! So i got a replacement one and tested it and all worked as expected.

I then went on holiday for a week and this weekend had a 200mile+ round trip to do for an event, the longest single days journey without tinkering the car will of done to date. I was nervous but prep'd as much as I could.The Journey up went well and we arrived at the meeting point.

the above image shows the rear a bit lower now.

Next was a convoy to Mercedes Benz World where we'd park up fro the Brooklands supercar day, made it there fine and left the car parked up.

So then came the drive home, 100+miles of some motorways. about 10miles in I realised I couldn't make any boost, so I had barely any power. luckily 70mph was doable and that's what I cruised back at, any slight hill though had me worried!

When I got back and took a look at it the actuator rod had come off the wastegate. The wastegate stays shut and opens when boost hits the level set so you don't send too much boost into the engine and blow it up. I had the opposite the wastegate was just swinging about all by itself, mostly open. hence no boost. It looks like either the retaining clip had fallen off or was missing either way an easy fix which I've already done.

However it was a very annoying 70mile drive home with no power!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

I'm still learning...

So since the last update I've had a nice drive in the countryside and a couple more test runs as I raise the power.

The power is rising nicely but tends to drop off before the redline with this engine, although holds the boost. I'm still not up to 1bar and at about 0.7bar currently so slowly getting there, but I keep getting boost spikes to 0.95bar, which is fine but not once I raise the boost as the spike will rise as well, so I need to sort that first by adjusting the boost controller settings.

The coilovers are still leaking and actually the top mount centre bolt on one came loose due to all the banging going on. I'm still sourcing new ones which I hope to fit soon as that should improve the ride, i see ever hole and wait for the Bang!

As well as that just before the Wilton show mentioned previously I was rushing to fit the exhaust and didn't do a good job...it fell off... then was ran over. So I've just finished replacing it.

I then went to a local meet and a new issue showed up the clips that hold the headlight unit on one unit wasn't strong enough and kept popping off. Called Carbuildersolutions and explained and as I bought from them they sent me the little clip free! Great! I've fixed the issue already and seems good now, below is the car taken at dusk when back, a little run with an Ultima on the way back, unfortunately no photos.

If everything is stable and ok for a few weeks, I may move on to working on the interior whilst still using the car. I could still fit new lightweight carpet, the current stuff is too heavy and thick which keeps more heat in!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


For once the good news is...everything has been smooth. The cars been running fine which is good. I took it for a midweek run as well after the previous weekend and everything was fine.

Following that I fitted the exhaust tip I wanted to use going forward and think it looked much better than the previous one.

I then spent the Saturday getting the car really clean, wash, polish, wax... there goes 3 - 4hrs of my life!

Then last weekend was Wilton House Supercar show and it was parked in the car park. Its first public outing and still not finished, the feedback from people was good and they liked the car, almost all questions were what is it. The only issue I have come across is from people thinking its a poor replica of a Mclaren F1. Its not although inspired. However a lot felt it had a Zonda front to it but I want to stop that so I definitely need to get some badges made up to solve that! Also I didn't do up the new twin exhaust I got... so fell off on the Saturday and was run over DOH! So i've re-dordered it again to refit.

As for the cleaning....shouldn't have bothered the path was like a dust bowl, better than mud but the car ended up like this down the side of the car.

The car drove great on the day and in some good heat and stayed really nice and cool running about 185 - 190f when driving, so perfect.

So whats next, well im now going to work a little on other touches like sealing up all the little gaps between the cockpit and engine bay and also the front arches just to help keep out a bit more noise.

Only bad thing to come out of this was the BC racing coilovers have previously leaked and all the oil has gone or too much air, do not get bc racing coilovers they are rubbish, barely done any miles and just sat on the car for ages. Instead I will enjoy a couple weekend of hard metal on metal banging when its a big bump!

I've also been looking into the rear wing again, now ive chopped off the ends, so just getting an idea on what to do.

I guess it would be rude now not to look and getting that 100bhp back I've lost, so time to up the power this weekend I think.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

The first trip out

I did about a 45mile single trip, nice figure of 8 on some nice roads in the area, bit of driving of all sorts, dual carriageway, A roads and some B roads. The Car handled it all fine. The suspension (coilovers) can be a little hard for the poorer B roads and a couple of loud bangs...always make me wince! but nothing too bad.

The car continued to run at a nice 180f (82c) - 185 (85c) raising to 190f (87c) - 195f (90c). Only rising after some spirited accelerating. The car seems quick because of how low you are but I cant tell its not. You just know. Its probably at around 200bhp at the moment. with the boost set at just 7psi. I will eventually have it set at 15/ 16psi giving me 290 -300bhp.

I am going to add water wetter to the system as this does aid heat transfer and with higher boost will come more temps so i'd rather the cooling system was ready.

The day was warm at around 18c so was a good chance to test out the rally vent for cockpit cooling and it worked very well to the point when at faster speeds it was closed slightly and at one point fully. However sat in traffic saw temps rise a bit so without aircon this summer may be interesting at some points.

This is a small pull I did, I didn't floor the throttle as these are early days and its testing the systems but we are beginning to look good!

The noise isn't all road noise, as good as the vent is as you can imagine turning air 90 degrees created a fair bit of noise although the video has made it sound worse then it is.

The next question is when do I start raising the boost so its performance is so much better. i'll give a few more weekends of driving first so I know everything has settled.