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

Developments

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.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

So did the changes work....

So firstly I've moved the water coolant pipe away from the downpipe which I'm sure is helping.


You'll also notice in the picture a turbo blanket under the heat shield, this has made loads of difference, a hell of a lot. maybe not to coolant temperature but definitely to under hood temperature and the intercooler hot pipe above that heat shield can now be touched. Don't get me wrong its still 'hot' but before you couldn't even leave your hand on it.

The final piece done is to go with the ducts for the front vents is a flat bottom piece that sits between them so air can not escape under the radiator it has to go through it or over I (there's a small gap at the top). This has dropped the temperatures down to 185F so a drastic drop, it looks like most of the air was just going straight under the radiator and not cooling very efficiently. Its only a temp piece of 2 pieces at the moment as I didn't have a piece big enough but now I know it works ill do something that's more permanent.

I'm up to 230miles in the car now since I started driving it, the issues I've had are;

* Coolant being eaten - poorly fitted headgasket
* Coolant running warm - more ducting
* Coilover centre nut coming lose - heard a bit more banging then expected and noted it had come a bit loose

That's it! So far its been about 60miles trouble free since the last issue. I'm sure little things will work loose so ill keep checking and I'm not convinced at the moment one of the rear callipers is working properly but could be as simple as bit of air in the systemas it worked for the test.

I'm still waiting on the rear side windows annoyingly, but hopefully they should be here mid this week.My new exhaust tip has been altered so I can fit that at some point as well.

Anyway off for that first daring drive more than a few miles from the house!

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.

video

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.

Before:

After:

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.

video


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.