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Project Zoom Zoom Boom: a long term project

Old 12-30-13, 10:22 AM
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ON Project Zoom Zoom Boom: a long term project

I figured I’d document the ongoing changes to my ’93 Rx7. I’ve never done anything like this before, so having a record of everything will hopefully help me figure out where i’ve made mistakes, and maybe will be of use to others doing similar projects of their own. Hopefully i either get it right, or my mistakes are useful. Feedback is appreciated. I'm an enthusiast, not an automotive professional. In fact, I teach High School Music, so this undoubtedly about as far from my professional life as I could get.

I'll post progress in segments. There's a bunch already done, but i'll start at the beginning

I believe it was summer of 2007 that the car arrived from the U.S. with a blown engine. I had purchased it as a running car and even had a forum member go test drive it for me just outside of Arlington TX, so this was a bit of a shock to me. Brent Clement of BSC motorsports rebuilt the motor, put in a PowerFC, and tuned it. Money was definitely an object, so it was done as a stock rebuild, with no porting, and we kept the stock turbos and all the emissions stuff. It had some power adders and we ran the turbos to the ragged edge. It was never dyno’d but given a fresh engine, it was fun. It got lots of autoslalom time, and lapping days at Mosport's DDT.

Stock twins are damn fun, and on a more compact course like the DDT, the response was appreciated. Nothing is more fun than showing up to your first track day, and seeing the look on the marshal's face when he's putting a noob sticker on your rear window as you bolt up a set of R-comps... and then proceed to chase down pretty much anything else on track.

Also, the DDT is a nice low-consequence track, so there's plenty of runoff, and unless you go into the tires, the most that goes wrong is a slide off into the rhubarb.


Events - 0809


Events - 0646


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Old 12-30-13, 10:25 AM
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ON Suspension arrives, pre engine pull

Currently looks like this:


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I sold the intercooler & intake, and the mishimoto rad, my suprisingly effective and cheap suspension setup, and anything else i could strip off the car.

First thing to arrive:


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They went in pretty easy. My alignment and ride height are pretty screwed up, but itís not like itís going anywhere for a while. Iíll add in some installed pics later. Once the engine is in, iíll be taking apart all the suspension bits, replacing bushings, and checking pillowballs for wear. I guess theyíve been in there for 4 years of abuse. They might need to be changed out again...
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Old 12-30-13, 10:30 AM
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ON Winter 2012 - it's too cold to work outside sooo..

I got bored last winter. Nothing to do outside without heat in the garage, sooo....

Interior Work! I figured Iíd try my hand at some leather work. I bought the recovering kit, matching shifter and e-brake boot from redlinegoods.com. Some Permatex contact cement and a bazillion little clamps later, i think it came out alright.

Their kits are complete, high quality, and i think it worked out well for a rookie job. Thereís one spot that i didnít get quite right, but itíll be hidden under the passenger seat.

All the before pics i snapped on my lunch in my music/rehearsal room. Note the 36" bass drum... and the set of timpani being used as a table.
Before:

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Gotta love 90ís plastic interiors

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Leather laid out on top - Checking fitment and alignment.

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Leather pattern has all the darts and cuts needed to glue down easily through all the corners and curves

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Hereís the finished product. Thereís a matching e-brake boot to go with the shift boot. Looks slightly crooked, but itís not. The centre console is just really bendy.


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Old 12-30-13, 10:35 AM
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ON And the project sat for 6 months. Fast forward to summer 2013

Big plans for this weekend! I know it doesn’t look like much, but I got a fair bit of preparation done today for the engine pull.

Still have to get the exhaust unhooked, fuel lines disconnected, and unplug the ECU and pass the harness through. Then the engine will be done. It’ll just be a matter of unhooking the trans, and grabbing the cherry picker. I hope....


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Thought i’d get out the intercooler and take a look see at how much real-estate it’s going to eat up....


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It’s got a knock in the bottom where it must have taken a bang in shipping. The guy i bought it off of didn’t seem to care much about packing it well. It was also caked with oil, bugs, and crud. i don’t know how it was actually functioning, but whatever. It’s been pressure tested to make sure there’s no leaks. The only one is up in the top left where you can see the rad shop marked it with a sharpie (grrr). Oh well, i’m going to polish that bad boy up a bit anyway.

I believe it's the OLD Rx7store.net v-mount kit. Correct me if i'm wrong. It uses a Greddy front mount that has had the inlet and outlet cut and re-welded for use as a v-mount. It should do the trick, but it might be too big - pressure drop across the IC may be substantial. Hopefully it won’t affect response too badly.
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Old 12-30-13, 10:43 AM
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ON August 4 2013 - great way to spend a long weekend!

Sunday August 4 2013


Today was the big day to get the engine and trans out. Thereís always a few hiccups when you havenít done it before (last time i helped Brent, but i was more or less following directions.)

Iím glad I bought the balancing bar to lift it out with, because there were lots of moments when just tweaking how things were tipped allowed us to clear stuff easily. Hereís some pics of the dayís work:

Engine bolted up and ready to be hooked up to the crane.


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John trying to figure the best way to get the somewhat crispy 20 year-old engine harness out of the car.


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****, I think we forgot to unhook that ground wire... yep, totally forgot. Last minute save!


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Almost out... snagged on something. Iím sure itís important and/or expensive.


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.... Aaaand the gaping hole where the carís soul used to be.

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I think my power steering pump had a significant leak. On another note, my driveway has seen better days....


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Iíll have some more pics of progress up later. We got the trans and engine separated, which I found somewhat challenging. I'd never had to separate the 2 before, so mucking about with the clutch release took me a bit.

We also yanked off the stock twins, and did a quick test-fit of the manifold and turbo. The air pump is going to have to go. Emissions are going to be an issue, and iíll have to buy an idler pulley. I donít like the minimal wrap the water pump gets without the air pump in place.

Tomorrow, weíll tackle the upper intake manifold, and rip out the ratsí nest of solenoids and vacuum lines! Then itís just a matter of waiting for the block-off plates and picking up the assorted fittings and fasteners I need. Itís going well so far!
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Old 12-30-13, 10:50 AM
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ON August 6 2013

August 6, 2013

Well, the rest of the weekend the pace slowed down a little bit. We did make some significant progress however:

We pulled the clutch and flywheel off of the engine. I guess itís off to Princess Auto to raid their shelves. Found the right imperial equivalent socket, and then a good find - 8 piece set of impact adapters. They were on sale for $8. That was a nice surprise.

My sh*tty impact gun was actually able to knock the flywheel nut off, which was surprising.

Looking at the flywheel and pressure plate, i think there might have been a little bit of heat in there...


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We got the new clutch and flywheel installed.


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Rammed the nut onto the end of the e-shaft with a whole lot of impact gun and a generous dollop of threadlocker. I donít think itís going to come off. Itís pretty tough to torque it down properly with the engine out of the car though. Safety first, and last thing i want is the flywheel to come off. Worst case scenario is the pressure plate comes off, the nut gets backed off, and I try again.

We removed the stock twin turbo setup, and started to test-fit the new manifold and turbo. Unfortunately one of the main studs came out of the rotor housing when we were undoing the stock manifold.


Zee pile of old single turbo bits


I even called ARP and as soon as I mentioned ĎRx7í, they said ďwe donít make stuff for those, because the application is just too extreme. Hereís the number of our custom department, maybe they can make something for you out of inconel or L19 or something.Ē

Um, no.

Time to call Mazda and order some OEM studs. If theyíre good enough for the OEM application, they should certainly be sufficient for my needs. While i was at it, i ordered some M10 and M8 copper locking nuts. That should keep things from backing off.

We did, however, waste a ton of time going from brafasco to fastenal, etc, trying to find them. Ended up having to order online instead, because no one stocks that stuff apparently. Kind of a wasted afternoon, but whatever. Canít win em all.

Overall it was a good day. Time spent with a good friend, and at least SOME progress.
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Old 12-30-13, 10:54 AM
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ON August 7, 2013

Todayís progress was a little stalled. I drove my friend John to Union Station in Toronto so he could catch the GO train home, and then stopped off at Tiger Japanese while i was Ďin the areaí.

Hereís the find:


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$250 gets you an FD transmission. Itís a bit of a crap shoot as you canít really tell if theyíre total crap or not, but for that kind of money, you can roll the dice a number of times before you get to the cost of a rebuild.

Also poking out from under the tarp - a second steel motor mount.

(You'd be surprised how effective a Toyota Yaris is at hauling parts. My wife however is not impressed by the status of her car right now. At least I thought to bring the tarp)


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Old 12-30-13, 11:02 AM
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ON

Well, i thought about it. I'm not really comfortable with leaving the flywheel on there without knowing that the one nut that holds it all together is torqued properly. It's a little ghetto, but we've ratchet-strapped the engine to the garage wall, and we're going to make a couple of stop-bars to bolt up to keep the engine from rotating, and then a friend of mine is bringing his torque wrench from work. We'll aim for 320 lb/ft which is right in the middle of the range of torque specs.

I just had a bad vision of the flywheel nut backing off at 8000rpm. I think with that much energy in it, it'd tear through the bell-housing pretty easily and hurt someone. I'd rather keep my legs, so we're going to take it off and do it again.

I'm waiting on new turbo manifold studs from Mazda, and then the turbo goes on. Idler pulley is in the mail, and so is the other half of the fuel system, so I suppose the next part is the vacuum line removal.

Well, a friend came over to re-install the flywheel nut. He's a heavy duty mechanic at a local bus company, so he grabbed this out of his toolbox...


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4 ft long, 3/4Ē drive, goes up to 700 lb/ft. That should do it.

We ratchet strapped the engine to the garage foundation wall, broke the nut free, cleaned up the threads, put fresh Loctite on it, and torqued it down again. I was pretty surprised how easy it was, but i suppose when you have a lever that big to work with....

As they say, right tool for the right job.

Time to take off the motor mounts next, clean them up and get the new poly pucks on, and then tackle that vacuum line ratsí nest.
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Old 12-30-13, 11:15 AM
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ON August 15, 2013

August 15, 2013

Well, summer is winding down, and Iím a little under the gun to get the engine done and put back together. Iíd like to have it back in the car by the labour day weekend, so that I can put the whole thing in the garage and work in there when the weather turns a little cool. I donít want to be trying to do a reinstall in the cold. yuck....

Hereís the updated progress....

Pulled off the engine mounts and stripped the stock rubber pucks, and put on the new polyurethane pucks. I took a picture with my leftover stock aluminum mount. That can go in the Ďto be soldí pile i suppose.


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Untitled by [email protected], on Flickr


As you can see in this shot, Iíve already yanked the double-throttle control out of the UIM. Block off plate to follow.



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Next step, block off plates everywhere, and vacuum line delete/simplification!
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Old 12-30-13, 11:22 AM
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ON

I did run into a bit of a snag. During disassembly, 3 of the 4 exhaust studs backed out. 2 holes were fine, but the 3rd took half the threads out of the aluminum. I was going to just drill it and put in a helicoil, but iím scared to do it. You only get one chance at it, really, and itís right into the rotor housing. Thereís no replacing it without a rebuild if I screw it up. Brentís got a better solution anyway, so Iím going to wait on him first.


On a more positive note, more stuff arrived!


Copper-clad locking exhaust nuts! They should take the heat and not back off!

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Also the rest of the fuel system arrived:

Aeromotive 340lph fuel pump
Injector Dynamics ID2000ís (2200 cc/min @ 43psi)



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I now have just about everything I need to finish. Only thing iím waiting on is an oil pan brace from Banzai Racing - Hopefully i wontí have any more oil leaks. Wonít be quite like an Rx7 though without them....
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Old 12-30-13, 11:35 AM
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ON

Well, iím solidly into the ratsí nest removal. Itís amazing how much stuff is stuck onto the top of the engine. I imagine itís largely a packaging / manufacturing issue. I donít think thereís any other way to mass produce it in this way, but man, cooking up all those solenoids on top of the engine...



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Hereís the after pic.


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Hereís a cleaned up pic of the Lower Intake Manifold.


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I know a lot of you guys cut the connectors off of the engine harness, but i donít like anything that canít be reversed in a pinch, so iím going to wrap everything up well in the harness and leave them attached just in case, although i donít think thereís any going back now.

After this, itís time to remove the secondary fuel rail, and start running some -AN lines, installing the new injectors, and then place an order for fittings, proper vacuum lines for the FPR, wastegate, BOV, and the evap. emissions line. Then itís just a few miscellaneous gaskets, a couple of new sensors, and I can start reassembly!
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Old 12-30-13, 11:55 AM
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ON Oil Pan brace & turbo mock up

There's a big gap of time between this update and the last, but iíve been a little busy. Some of you guys might know what i mean, when I say that 2 kids under 2 years old really makes for a busy house.

Anyway, hereís the latest...



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The kit is fantastic, comes with comprehensive instructions, longer motor mount bolts, and a full stud kit. Hopefully it does the trick!


I decided since I needed to measure to have an oil line made up, i should probably hang the manifold and turbo to check. A mock-up.


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And a side view:


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Old 12-30-13, 12:00 PM
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ON Fuel system revision.

I spent some time with the fuel kit, and decided i didnít really like the way it was routed. Maybe it doesnít matter as much as I think, but i decided to hook the fuel rails up in parallel rather than in series like the stock arrangement. Next stop, putting together fuel lines!

On a side note, Performance had glycerine filled fuel pressure gauges on sale for half price. $20 for an 1/8Ē NPT gauge that mounts right to the regulator!
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Old 12-30-13, 02:40 PM
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ON Nov-Dec 2013

I havenít made a lot of progress since the fall. About all I managed to do was a little bit of painting, got the sensors from my trans that I know to be good and put them into the new-to-me transmission. I painted everything up, hit the UIM and LIM with some paint, and put those back on. Now itís a matter of getting a warm day to start back to work out there.

Between work, 2 kids, and everything else in life that competes for time, I find it harder and harder to get the perfect storm of Ďfree time + kids napping + wife approved.

Hereís the old Trans:


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ďNewĒ Transmission painted w old sensors still in there:


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Pineapple Racing idler pulley installed:


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I decided to order up a Sakebomb Garage ignition kit. I was going to use an HKS Twin Power and stock coils, but decided that this would be an option that would allow me to change away from waste spark with an ECU upgrade in the future, and support everything I can throw at it.

That was the Rx7's Christmas present this year.
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Old 10-31-16, 09:28 AM
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Bringing this build back from the dead!

I clearly haven't updated in a while. Life got the better of me for a while, but the car's mostly finished now! Here's the results. I'll post a bit at a time...

FUEL PUMP!


Here it is on my jam-packed and disorganized workbench. Clearly i havenít been out here working lately. Iíve just grabbed tools for whatever odd job iíve had to do, and then dashed out to the garage to chuck them on the bench when finished. I need to clean!



Stock fuel pump assembly


Step 1: The stock arrangement has the pump wired into a couple of terminals on the top of the pump. Disconnect those, remove the bottom of the bracket, and then pull, and the pump should come out nicely.




Step 2: Grab the cutoff tool and cut the end off of the hard feed line. Thereís not enough space to get a flaring tool on there, so I just pushed a length of fuel hose as far down the hardline as possible and clamped it securely. Then the bottom bracket piece goes back on and holds the pump in place. Itís not perfect, but itís still secure. I donít think itís going anywhere.




Step 3: solder the connectors. Iím not going to lie, this pissed me off a little. I didnít want to use a butt connector, since the insulator probably wouldnít hold up to gasoline. That left me with soldering. No problem, right?

I practiced on copper wire, and my splices were clean and strong with no pitting, but when it came time to do the job, it went horrible. I asked the electronics teacher at work and he had a pretty good answerÖ. nickel-plated copper wire doesnít solder well without some pretty awesome flux. Rosin core solder alone isnít enough. I pulled apart my soldered connections, and let a more experienced hand do it.

Hereís the finished product:


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I covered the whole thing with fuel-safe heat shrink. Itís expensive, but itís worth it in the long run. I use the regular stuff all the time, but not this. The difference is this is tolerates abrasion and high heat, and has an inner and outer layer. When you heat it up, the inner layer melts and forms an air & watertight seal resistant to most chemicals including petroleum based fuels and solvents.

The only other tip i can give is when youíre making these connections, make the power wire connection as close to the connector as you can so that if there is an abrasion, it canít short out against a fuel line or the pump hanger.

Stagger your connections so that there is no way the ground can contact your power wire in the event of the coating abrading or heaven forbid, disintegrating from long-term fuel exposure. Especially if youíre force-induced, losing fuel pressure under boost could result in an expensive outcome.
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Old 10-31-16, 10:20 AM
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Battery Relocation

Battery relocation started.

The stock battery attaches to a fuse panel by the left front fender. Thatís the starting point. Iíve taken off the wiring harness connection. The wire loom on the right is for the stereo amp, which doesnít exist anymore, so itís gone.



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I trimmed off the top of the battery connector. Iíve drilled an M4 sized hole and the new battery connection will be made just to the left of the stock harness connector. I had to leave for Hamilton before i could finish the job.

I ran 1 GA copper wire into the fender well, and through a rubber plug into the driverís footwell. Itíll go behind the dash, along the tunnel, and then into the storage bin behind the passenger seat.




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While I was at it, I ran the harness for the PLX wideband through the same location.
Unfortunately i couldnít get any good pictures, because i had to yoga myself in there with a half-removed fender liner bent out of the way.

Battery Relocation part 2


Hereís where itís going to. The bin behind the passenger seat. I went with a Odyssey PC680 AGM. It should be sufficient for what I need it for.




In the interests of not having it become a 20lb projectile in a crash, I have come up with a battery mount that fits and can be bolted to the chassis through the bottom of the bin.


mockup for welding:



With Battery:



I made a tray out of steel based on my mock up with hold downs that bolts through the bottom of the bin to the body.

Right beside the battery goes the new fuse panel. It gives 7 additional ignition-switched fuses, so there wonít be any more hacking into the wiring harness or fuse panel to install new gauges and accessories.


I'll take a finished picture of the bin. It is a little hard to see everything in there, and there are additional wires going to the battery as I've wired the fuel pump directly to the battery with a relay.

Untitled by [email protected], on Flickr

Last edited by squealy; 10-31-16 at 10:58 AM. Reason: added pic of the finished bin
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Old 10-31-16, 10:22 AM
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Brentís loaned me his hoist, and the engineís off the stand:


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Transmission ready to go:
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Everythingís all mated up:


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Old 10-31-16, 10:23 AM
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June 21, 2014

I had everything in there, drivetrain hooked up, and I thought to myselfÖ hey, i have these replacement bushings for the diffÖ how tough could it be to change them out?

Famous last wordsÖ

Getting them out without popping the axles out of the diff is actually surprisingly difficult, and it probably would have been easier in the long run to drain it and drop it properly, but what can I say. Iím nothing if not persistent.

I pulled the diff carrier off, but didnít have the right sized sleeves for my press to press them out. My friend pressed them out at his shop for $20 and a McFlurry. They werenít in bad shape, just a little cracking, but being liquid filled, they had way to much compliance. Hopefully this solves some of the hopping in the rear.

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The replacement superpro bushings went in with a bench vise. When the bushing is bigger than 2.5Ē, and it has a lip on both sides, itís gonna put up a fight. I ended up having to put a steel bar underneath the carrier in the vise to keep it from popping down out of position and shooting the bush across the garage. At that point, itís a matter of just applying pressure until it pops into place.


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Untitled by [email protected], on Flickr
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Old 10-31-16, 10:24 AM
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Update: No pics for this one, itís pretty mundane stuff.

Diff is back in place. I needed a couple of extra hands to get it back into place. Definitely a job to be done on a hoist with a proper trans lift instead of on my back under the car. Next time i drop the diff, iíll do it right. (drain it, pop the axles out, disconnect everything so that i can put it back without crap binding and getting in the way.)
Diff and Transmission are full
Clutch slave cylinder is back in
Starter is in
RE-Amemiya short shifter installed.
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Old 10-31-16, 10:33 AM
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Friday July 25th 2014

Iíve been making some solid progress on the car. The individual coil setup from Sakebomb Garage is installed. Itís quite a nice piece, and itís well thought out. Since the stock igniter is getting chucked, it bolts up to those mounting points with a custom bracket, and just requires a little rerouting of the MAP sensor harness. Easy. Itís out of the main heat, not strapped to the keg.

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The toughest thing was de-pinning the old sumitomo connector. Man, I didnít think that would be a problem, but i guess 22 years of heat-cycling the plastic made everything brittle. Unfortunately i ended up having to hack up the connector to get the pins out in one piece, after i broke one pin and bent another. Iím pretty careful with stuff, so i was surprised how difficult this was to take apart successfully. The new connector was pinned without too much drama, extra wires taped out of the way, and everything assembled.

I made sure to run a tap through my ground connections, and put a little dielectric grease in there too. Hopefully i have strong grounds and a good spark. The nice thing is that down the road if/when i upgrade the ECU to an ADAPTRONIC, i can upgrade to direct-fire instead of the stock waste-spark setup. I just have to run 1 extra wire, and cut a jumped connector.



Back to the battery relocation project. I got a little tired of things taking forever so i just bolted down the fuse block and the breakers and iíll move them later. As it sits, the battery box is bolted through to the chassis so it wonít be a projectile in a crash, and the system is wired with 1ga cable. Iíll put hard sheathing on it where there are rubbing concerns. Thereís a 200A breaker in the box as well, so that should give plenty of headroom for the starter, while still giving protection against a short, and providing a battery cutoff to boot.

Untitled by [email protected], on Flickr

Fuel lines have been started. A friend of mine had a great idea for cleaning up the look of things down by the firewall, and i have to say, i like it. When youíre cutting braided line, it helps to tape where youíre going to cut so the braid doesnít fray everywhere. Down at the firewall weíve cut the line, peeled the braid back a bit and cut it further up so that weíre clamping on the rubber part where it attaches to the flared hard lines from the tank. He wrapped the whole thing with some tape so that the braid doesnít fray and peel back, and the clamp will hold the tape in place for a cleaner installation. Plus i wonít be poking myself with stainless wire every time i have to do something down at the firewall.
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Old 10-31-16, 11:37 AM
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Alright, Engine is in, and there's lots of space in front for the V-Mount!

Untitled

I was looking at maybe replacing and upgrading my oil coolers, but since i have an R1, I already had 2 stock ones to work with. My budget decided I would have to make do with the stock ones. So, break out the slot screwdriver and a pick and it's time to get to work!

Before:



After:



Installed:
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Old 10-31-16, 12:43 PM
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Great work on the Oil Coolers. What paint did you use on them?
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Old 11-01-16, 08:15 AM
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just a little bit of black engine paint. I don't recall what brand, but likely something i picked up at Canadian Tire. This is a budget build after all... sort of
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Old 11-01-16, 09:05 AM
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I decided that if I was going to do a V-Mount intercooler, i'd better have a way to get the air out, so i started looking into carbon hoods. I decided on the Mazdaspeed style vented hood, which Roninspeedworks.com was selling. They were hesitant to sell it - they said they were having some problems with quality control and were switching composite houses but i gave them the go ahead anyway. It was sold as an 'unfinished' hood which meant it needed polishing and clearing, but i figured that would be it.

It's my fault really, because i had them go ahead with it despite the reservations they had about the part, but there were a few things that really irked me. Here's some pics:



Lots of boogers on the edges that need cleaning up. That's not such a big deal i suppose, but i was led to believe it would need some polishing and a hit of clear coat, and that would be it.



Panel gaps aren't bad for a carbon hood. I've seen worse.


Had to hog out my hinges in order for it to fit.


Also someone got a little excited with the cutoff wheel when they were taking it out of the mold. the driver's side contour matches up with the fender / A-Pillar line, but the passenger side doesn't come close. It rounds off the wrong way.



Once i installed the hood and got it to latch, it still didn't sit right, and I was a little nervous running a composite hood with just the centre latch, so it's time for Aerocatch!

I installed the pins in place of the rubber bumpers just above the headlights. Used them to mark the spot to drill through for the pin holes, and place the templates. Measure a bunch because once you cut, you can't go back!

Marked them out, masked off the edges and went to town with the rotary tool.


The biggest pain was cutting out the bracing under the hood enough for the latch system to clear. Here it is finished on the car, but not cleaned up:

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Old 11-01-16, 09:26 AM
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Fuel System

Here's how things looked for the fuel system after i finished:

IMG_0579 by [email protected], on Flickr

I ran my rails in parallel instead of series like the stock arrangement. all lines are -6 braided stainless, feeding into a modified stock primary rail with stock 550cc primaries, and an FFE secondary rail with ID2000's. Running an Aeromotive FPR which attaches to the front of the UIM. Cheap gauge in the front to set and check static pressure.

Aeromotive stealth 340lph pump. Wired in with a relay and direct feed from the battery.
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