Monday, May 30, 2011

Moar Turbo Junks

These are added to the pile of turbo related junks back home..

Mitsubishi's TD04H. Chose to go with this for these reasons:
- T25 flange, guaranteeing more options when i later choose to upgrade.
- No water cooling, saves from having to tee-off my cooling line.
- Bush bearing, cheap and easy rebuild.
- Internally wastegated, simpler manifold design.
- Quick spooling.
- Dirt cheap.

Matching downpipe. This was originally for 1NZ-FE so it'll have to be rotated somehow later to face the right direction.

2.5" to 2" reducer. I have decided to go with 2.5" for my charge pipe so this is required to match the compressor output to the plumbing.

Now this is the problem i'm dealing now. Here's a used 1NZ-FE turbo exhaust manifold with T25 flange.

It would make a great match for the turbo. However, i'm not sure how easy (or if it is even possible) to match this to my 4A-GE. The seller was very helpful and measured out some numbers for me to compare it with my 4A-GE exhaust manifold (it's an online classified). Here's what i gathered so far.

Now, i won't be too worried about the stud hole spacing as i can easily redrill them.. What's crucial is that the ports MUST line up. 1NZ-FE port diameter being bigger than the 4A-GE is an advantage, giving more room to play, however, notice the difference on the distance between P1 and P4. Not sure if 15mm of difference is big enough to offset the ports from the block. Gotta draw them to scale to actually see the differences i guess. So far, i haven't bought the manifold yet.

Why bother and not make a custom one? Because it's being offered for only 50 bucks! That's cheap for a cast iron turbo manifold. Cast irons don't crack as easily as their stainless pipe counterpart and you need that on boosted applications as exhaust gas temps will increase significantly. Help me decide if it's worth buying, anyone?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dream vs Reality: Compromising Your Build

During the course of this build, i often stop and think for a moment about the what-ifs and how they would change the way this project goes. I'm talking about how i would do it if budget and time didn't get in the way. I'm talking about the parts and tuning actions i would take if conditions were different. This post is about my dream and the reality i have to deal with.

Let's start with the engine. Sure 4A-GE is nice and has a lot of potentials. I even consider myself lucky to be able to get smallport in considering how rare they are here. However, given unlimited budget, here's what i would choose..
250hp from just under 2 liters in sweet responsive naturally aspirated form. That's more than 100hp/liters! Talk about efficiency! It's easy to see why F20C is many AE86 people's dream engine. It placed itself four consecutive times in Ward's annual 10 Best Engines (yes, i took that off Wikipedia), the size and weight are just perfect to maintain balance, VTEC kick comes with the package, a 6-speed gearbox and with conversion kits widely available, swapping it in would be easy. Here's how i would mate this engine to my Charmant.
JSP Fab's F20C to AE86 mounting kit would make this dream engine sit in my Charmant with minimum effort. Not sure how the fact that my Charmant is a RHD would affect the flow of the conversion work but with unlimited budget, anything is possible.

In reality, i have to make do with a Megasquirted smallport 4A-GE with its T50 gearbox. I'm slowly gathering turbo parts for the engine and might one day go with a W55 box if the T50 decided to take a rest. Once the parts are complete, the pistons will be swapped to 4A-GZEs and internal rebalancing is on the to-do list. A T25 turbo mated with custom manifold will flow what's left from the mix of RX7 injectors' high velocity vomit and FMIC'd air. A full front to rear 2.5 inch under-diff exhaust pipe will close the deal.

What about suspensions? I can happily say that i'm living most of my dream in this department. Yes, short stroke converted struts are actually my ultimate goal and i have done exactly that.. and no, i'm not drooling over that 2000 bucks Greddy Type-S AE86 suspension package. Cut that Greddy price in half and i would still go with what i opted. Why? Three letters: DIY. Stupid decision? Maybe so but learning something in the process is the main reason i'm doing this project. Anything i can do myself (or with a little help from a machine shop) and yields results close, if not similar, to the more expensive pre-made bling-blings, will be the ultimate direction this project is going. Besides, DIY parts can look pretty also, right?
Just another proof of how much i love DIY is the fact that i'm replacing my new Prothane bushings with DIY rear 4-links and lateral rod with spherical rod-ends.
I haven't stopped there either.. It's just a matter of time until the front end gets the same treatment. I'm going to convert my front control arms and strut rods with the same rod-ends feature. That means more Prothane bushings are rendered useless.

Two realities i have to face suspension-wise: First is that i can't afford the Tokico HTS102 dampers.
This to me are the ultimate dampers for AE86 short-stroke conversions. 45-way adjustment accomodating just about any sensible spring rate you can think of. At 800-900 bucks shipped to Indonesia, clearly they don't go along well with my bank account. Compromises have to be taken and i end up with a set of Kayaba Excel-Gs up front and Gas-a-Justs on the rears. So far i'm happy with this setup.

Second, i can only envy guys running SS Works Watts Link and Ueo Style Traction Kit Pro.
Watts link prevents your axle from swerving left and right under suspension play, i.e it ensures the axle follows a straight vertical line. Watch this video, fast forward to the end and you'll see what i mean. How i really wish i am good with welding.. that Watts link looks easy to make.

Ueo Style Traction Kit Pro does a similar job of maintaining suspension geometry, only now it's on a different viewing angle.
This is a complete kit which allows you to get an equal-length 4-links. This prevents what i would call a "differential-nod". My current rear 4-link setup has the upper links shorter than the lower. This means the pivot points on the axle move on different arches and forces the diff to create a "nod" movement along with the suspension play, changing its angle relative to the gearbox output. It's difficult to explain but if you've good imagination, i'm sure you get what i mean.

Shifting the focus to brakes, on the front, i wouldn't go any other direction than to my current setup. A pair of RX7 FD calipers with Civic rotors combined with Land Cruiser master cylinder. The cherry on top would be an uprated brake booster and steel-braided lines but i'm already happy with my ice cream now. Looks like same fate that happen to Greddy Type-S fell to T3 Wilwood Brake Kit as well: I'm choosing DIY over blings.
The rear brakes, however, are still far from my dream. Give me this and i'm all set..
Fortunately, hydraulic hand brakes can also be done DIY way. A clutch master cylinder and a trip to a machine shop is all it takes. Mate it with a rear brake bias adjuster and its a done deal.

Moving to the chassis reinforcement department, i can only dream of having a full Ultra Racing AE86 bracing setup. I'm talking about the whole shebang: front strut tower, front fender bar, front sway bar, rear strut tower bar, crossmember brace, rear sway bar, etc. As with many aftermarket performance parts, Ultra Racing braces aren't cheap and getting the whole setup would be money ridiculously spent. Not to mention not all of them are applicable to my Charmant.
My reality would be just to buy only the too-difficult-for-DIY bracings and custom made the otherwise. I have to succumb to UR's expertise on making front fender braces but i refuse to do the same for the front and rear strut tower bars, side bars and the rear sway bars. They will be custom-made at cheaper cost compared to UR's.

There's a lot more dream parts that i can think off but writing all of them in this post would just sprain my fingers. Share in the comments if you would, what are you dream parts and how did you compromise with the reality?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Steps Closer

... to turbocharging the Charmant. Just bought these off Ebay a couple of minutes ago.
These feed & drain lines were said to fit T3, T4, T04 and T61 turbos. Considering my plan of using T25 or T28, i hope they'll fit. If not, i'm sure only minor mods are needed. (update 1-Jun-2011, see below)

Now, these are different case. They have to work or i'll be left with very expensive paper weights.
RX7 460cc/min injectors with PN195500-1350. It's not about their dimension as i'm pretty sure they will sit on the stock injectors' location neatly, it's about their impedance. My stock injectors are high-impedance, or saturated. I prefer my replacement ones also saturated. Not only because i'd save cost by not having to buy a resistor pack, i read that due to the lower drive current, they should last longer than the peak-n-hold type. Besides, my Megasquirt ECU is not ready for peak-n-holds as there's no flyback driver circuit in it.

The problem is PN195500-1350 doesn't mean they're saturated. Curiously, you can find both type under the same part number. Here you go:
The only way to be sure is by measuring the resistance myself and that's of course impossible to do before they reach Indonesia. Other than that, they don't come with the connectors so hopefully the stock ones fit. Hence, here i am crossing my fingers hoping that everything went well.

Why 460cc/min when 7MGE injectors are high impedance, flows 315 cc/min, much cheaper and no-brainers for my injector upgrade? Simply because i'm preparing for at least 10-14 psi of boost and i'm not sure 315cc will be sufficient. I did a number of research on the internet as usual before and somewhere along read that a 4AGZE injectors at 365 cc/min would be at 80% duty cycle at 8 psi! Thus, i'm playing safe here. I prefer to pay extra to be sure that they're up to the job.

*** Update 1-Jun-2011 ***
Unfortunately looks like i bought the wrong kit. Since i'm going with TD04H turbo, this link from tells me that the drain and feed line won't fit. It's about the threads on the oil inlet and the drain flange bolt hole spacing. Copied from the link:

T3 kit uses a 1/8 thread size for the oil inlet. The drain flange from center to center mounting bolts measures 50.8 mm.
14B (tdo4h) uses a M8x1.25 thread size for the oil inlet. The drain flange from center to center mounting bolts measures 38mm. This kit does not come with the mounting bolts to bolt the drain flange onto the turbo. There are many different sizes used on different variations of the 14B. That is why I don't provide them, but can easily be found at any hardware store.

I can't really confirm this until i got the turbo delivered. Oh well, another trip to the machine shop is scheduled then.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Keeping The Spirit Up

One of the things that kept me going on this project is knowing that there's always something to do about the car. No matter how close i am to reaching the final stage of the build, i'll always manage to find something else to tweak, tune, modify, tamper, break, etc from the car. Of course it still applies, to me at least, that the closer you are to the end, the more redundant the stuff you add to the car.

One good example would be this kit waiting for me at home.

That's my SLC DIY Wideband Lambda controller finally reaching my door step. Do i really need a Wideband 02? No. However, you can't deny that it adds a good touch for the car. Coupled with my Megasquirt, the kit will help ensure that i'm running the optimum fuel map. This kit comes with this Wideband BOSCH O2 sensor. Wonder if i can get my hands on this sensor in our local market.
There you go.. I can't wait to get back home to Jakarta, heat up my soldering iron and work on this kit!