Monday, June 27, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

What i don't know, can't hurt me. Or my wallet. Had i not known that trying to weld aluminum to steel is a PITA, i'd be happy with the crappy aluminum oil drain bung that came with the universal turbo oil line kit. I wouldn't bother getting the mild-steel one from a seller thousands of miles away just to make sure it matches my oil pan material.

Now i have to wait another 2-3 weeks just for this to arrive. Why not fabricate in a machine shop? I think no shop can beat the price: US$11.5, shipping included. I'll be taking a two-week leave to focus on The Dog soon so it better be delivered in time.

*** edit 7-Jun-2011 ***

Looks like i won't be getting this. The seller decided suddenly that he won't ship to Indonesia and didn't even bother to explain the reason. Thanks for the great service. Paid the item promptly after i confirm the purchase and all i got was this news days later.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stuff Are Pouring In

Took some of them just a week to be delivered while the others took more than three weeks.

Bought so many parts overseas and i still couldn't figure out how our customs calculate their duty and import tax. Government transparency, my ass.

Meanwhile, just bought these yesterday. RX7 Injector rebuild kit and a stainless steel braided clutch line since the one i'm currently running is aspiring to snap off from my slave cylinder.

So many stuff piling up back home, so little time to put them on The Dog. Don't start a project if you're hundreds of miles away from your car, believe me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paul Breheny's Sparkling Champagne

I've been enjoying this build regularly on Facebook and ae86irl forum and decided that now is the best time to share it on the blog. Meet Paul Breheny and his recently finished champagne gold Charmant. Paul contacted me about a year ago asking me to help him find some Charmant parts and we've been friends ever since.

Paul started the build around mid-July last year and targeted to finish by March 2011. As like most of us, he missed the target and it was just finished recently this month, or at least got it running on the roads again as a car build project is never truly finish, right Paul? Although he missed the deadline, as can be seen below, the result was all worth the extra time spent.

More details on his build can be found here so i'll just post some highlight pics below.

Here's the lads enjoying some champagne goodness.

Care to share any interesting story about the build, Paul?

DIY Megasquirt Junction Box Pt.1: The Idea

Found this little gem a few months ago and have been planning on having one for my Megasquirt setup ever since. This is a Relay Board kit. The idea behind it is to simplify wiring and ease troubleshooting on any Megasquirt kit. Here's a block diagram of the basic MS system and my current setup.

Above MS block diagram shows that you're wiring the stuff under the hood directly to MS. There's nothing wrong about this but take a look at our little Relay Board, or Junction Box as i'd like to call it, in action below.

As the name implies, a Junction Box serves as the junction point for all the wires from a MS system. Best advantage would be easy troubleshooting and neat wiring. There's only one cable harness from MS to the box and all the fuses and relays are centralized in one spot. Also if you're on the phase of installation, a Junction Box would also reduce the chance of miswiring.

My version of Junction Box will be a bit different from the kit on the link above. This is because the guy making my MS kit decided to use DB25 connector and a 4-pin round connector, instead of using DB37 like your usual MS kit.

The 4-pin connector handles large current applications like injectors and main power supply and the rest like sensor input is handled by DB25. Good idea actually.

I am currently gathering the parts i need to assemble this Junction Box and some of the stuff have just arrived this week.

I'll be housing the relays inside an aluminum case, unlike MS Relay Board which is exposed. The DB25 connector will be the interface to MS via a straight DB25 cable. As for wiring to the sensors and injectors, a screw-on terminal strip will be used. I bought extra DB25 connectors since i might also need it if i decided to connect the SLC WB Controller to the Junction Box also.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Pieces of The Puzzle

It surprises me that buying stuff from Ebay and importing them from other countries can sometimes be cheaper than local market. Maybe the guys here are just too greedy or i haven't found a good local seller, but from months even years of me browsing local forums, talking to fellow car enthusiasts and shop owners, Ebay often gives me the best price. Yes i've heard those bad reviews about some of the stuff. That's why i only buy non-essential parts there. Even those parts often come cheaper from Ebay.

With the same reason behind them, these last two Ebay purchases serve as the last pieces to complete my turbo kit.

Brand new universal intercooler and 2.5" piping kit with BOV flange and the matching Greddy Type-S used BOV. These both would cost a lot on import tax but should still be cheaper than buying locally. Let's hope they safely reach my doorsteps.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

SLC DIY Wideband Lambda Assembly

Got some spare time today and decided to assemble the SLC DIY Wideband Lambda Controller that was delivered two or three weeks ago. Excited to do it, to be honest, since soldering stuff and electronic kits are my hobbies since junior high. Now, i've got the chance to apply these hobbies for my other one: working on The Dog.

Since i'm assembling this away from Jakarta (and my car), i'll only focus on the electronic part first and skip the wiring and welding of the O2 sensor bung later. These are some photos of the build in process.

The kit supplied is pretty neat and easy for DIYers to work on. Every component is wrapped and labelled individually so you'll save a lot of time from having to identify them one by one.

With so many components and parts involved, i was worried that there might be some parts missing. However, as the build progressed, my worries too gradually dissipated. Truly everything you need is included in the kit. Here's the resistors and diodes soldered in place.

The kit didn't include any manuals or documentations. However, those can be downloaded on their website. You can find them here. The guide itself was very clear and helpful. It minimizes possible mistakes and gives you warnings before you do something you might regret. You can actually "feel" the guide was written from actually working on the kit. For example, it'll warn you to cut off leads of the 7-segments since it might cause short to the main board. You can't see this if you don't build the kit yourself.

I also bought the optional boost sensor with the kit but i decided to not install it yet. With no boost sensor soldered to the board, i also didn't install the switch which toggles the display between AFR, boost and EGT. For now, i'll only use the display for AFR reading. Installing the boost sensor can be done later.

I started building the kit at 11.00AM and finished by 18.00PM. Yeah, i took my time. Besides, i had to pause as The Incredibles was showing on Star Movies.. lol. Here's the kit all done, front and rear view.

As i said, everything you need to build what you see above, is included in the kit. Even the screws to hold the main board to the case (which i earlier thought they forgot). Final check as informed by the guide seems to show no problem. Let's hope it actually runs when i get to install it on The Dog later.

By the way, the kit i'm building is the SLC DIY 1 which is now no longer offered on the website. A bit shame actually as the successor, SLC DIY 2, is more expensive. Even the boost sensor is no longer available but this is more of a good news as now they supply the remote version, meaning you don't have to solder the sensor to the board (and drill a hole on the display case for the air pressure line). Instead, you can bolt the sensor to the firewall, close to the engine. Just like most MAP sensors.

If you're good with soldering, this the best bang-for-buck solution for Wideband Lambda Controllers. I highly recommend this. It's simple and everything just integrates nicely for that professionally built look. Your friends won't realize this is DIY!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nathael Jimenez's Drift Charmant

Most of you have seen this one. A dude named Wilkin sent me an email a few days ago informing that he has a Charmant project in his homeland Dominican Republic. One click on the link he gave me and i'm taken to a very familiar looking facebook page. Yes, this is that green Charmant on Facebook you've been "Like"-ing hundreds of times.

Based on what i gather from the Facebook page, Nathael Jimenez regularly drive this on Dominican Republic drift competitions, gymkhanas, auto-x and won some of them too. Seems like this monster's packing lots of fun.

As far as specs go, Wilkin didn't tell me much so i can only tell you as much as i can gather from his page. Under the bonnet of this Charmant is the super strong 4A-GZE. It seems that it was a good decision as the pics mostly showed Nathael working in his Charmant, not on it. A sign that this engine is able to take anything he throws at.

He's running the stock ECU paired with Apex'i SAFC for that much needed extra ooomph for drifting. The torque produced on the crank is then transferred to a short-shift T50 box by a three-puck TRD clutch set before finally reaching an AE86 GTS LSD rearend supported by a pair of short stroke TRD blues.

Here is Nathael's office cubicle.

By the looks of it, this is his daily driver too since he still has a working audio system. Nothing beats a simple yet efficient dashboard that doesn't get in the way when you're busy keeping that drift angle.

I'm a bit lost in translation though. If i'm not mistaken, Wilkin is a mechanic for the workshop working on Nathael's Charmant while Nathael is a member of CDCD which stands for Club Dominicano Corredores de Drift. The shop is called Frodo Garage and Wilkin also told me that this Charmant is now running a Red Top SR20DET. Did i get this right, Wilkin?

Aching to see Nathael and his Charmant in action? Other than this video of him i featured last December, here's another one i found on Youtube.

This car is still running strong and you can bet that we will see more of this beauty!

Monday, June 6, 2011

ARP Flywheel Bolts and Head Stud

Failing to find reasonably priced flywheel bolts locally, again Ebay comes to the rescue. Just bought brand new ARP flywheel bolts there. Gosh, i have so many parts coming in from overseas right now. I hope none of them got lost in the way.

Also, remember the 4A-GZE MAP sensor i won earlier? Well it turned out that the seller also had a set of used ARP head studs. Paid for it as well and hopefully they will be on their way to Indonesia by this week. ARP head studs aren't really necessary for the boost i'm targeting but since i don't know how many times mine have been torqued, decided to replace them anyway. It was a fair price.

Since i'm going to open up the bellhousing to replace the flywheel bolts, should i replace the clutch set with stronger one also? The one running currently is only used about 1000 kms.

Spent A LOT this month. I think my money hates me. They just keep running away from me.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

These Crack Me Up

More than they should, actually. Most of my friends don't even get it. Heck, i don't even know why i'm laughing at these.

Too much time spent on reddit, i guess.

Friday, June 3, 2011

4A-GZE MAP Sensor, Check

Just won this through Ebay.
4A-GZE MAP Sensor. This is 2-bar so it'll only allow me to boost up to 14 psi, which is the most i'm going to go anyway, hopefully. Better start browsing how to get Megasquirt to read this.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Minor Obstacle x 8

Solved a mystery that has been bugging me for a while. Since the swap work, i've always suspected that my flywheel bolts are too short. If they are, that's bad news for the coming turbo conversion. The extra torque might shear the threads of them and left me with bigger problem. Today, i went to check if my suspicion is correct.
Picture above was taken during the swap process. You can see there aren't many threads left from the bolts. I don't think stock bolts are only that long so i went browsing for a picture of a stock bolt and photoshopped it next to my current bolt pic which i conveniently took before it got installed. Here's the result.
Left is the shopped pic and on the center is mine. Definitely mine is too short! Probably my 4A-GE originally came from an auto trans. Flexplate bolts are shorter than flywheel's so that could be why my bolts are too short. The one to the right was a failed attempt at trying to replace the short bolt. The bolt head was too big and just bump to each other on the flywheel.

For the record, 4A-GE flywheel has 8 bolts and the bolt size is M10 x 1.25 thread pitch. Shank plus thread length should be around 26mm. Here's some measurement pic taken from Toymods.

A set of 8 new flywheels bolt would set me back around $40, excluding shipping and the labor cost to replace them. There goes my plan of cheap turbo conversion. I might as well go for a set of ARP head studs then.