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.

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