Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oil Change Progress Part 7

Bro Mugil, Peter and Nick all choosed to drop by GT Auto on the same day and gave me a good update on the progress of the work. Needless to say my WhatsApp and email were very much alive that day. Thanks Bros!

My AIM MXL Strada dash has been installed. Workmanship is top notch as per Toby and GT Auto's usual excellent standards. I can spend a long long time looking and admiring pictures of my dash. I know, I know, I have a problem :) Sexy knee in the top pix belongs to Bro Nick methinks.

Closer up.

In use. Cluster lid and other dash trim has not been installed back at this point.

Because Toby is having a problem configuring the gear indicator. The MXL is able to display gear in use/selected gear and has a simple procedure for it to learn the gears using rpm and speed channels. Procedure is as follows:
  1. Once gear calculation has been activated a track lap has to be run. During the lap follow carefully these instructions
  2. Engage all gears
  3. Keep each gear engaged for at least 5 seconds
  4. Drive smoothly, avoiding sudden accelerations, tyre slip or wheel blocks when braking; let PM grow gradually and keep braking as long as possible according to track and traffic conditions; if using a non driving wheel speed as reference pay particular attention to your driving style. Reduce as much as you can sliding between driving and driven wheels.
  5. Go to pit lane (or your workshop/house) at the end of the lap and power engine off. Absolutely avoid revs while the vehicle is moving. Avoid running pit lane with the clutch pedal engaged. You can press the accelerator pedal before switching engine offif needed but with the vehicle completely stopped.
Sounds easy and simple right? Unfortunately the calibration is not working as mentioned and there is no ability to input gear ratio, etc into the MXL. Sigh! Anybody with experience on the AIM MXL Strada/Pista can help here? Neel (my dash supplier) is doing his best to help but issue is further complicated by the different time zones involved. Sigh.. The "RUNNING GEAR CAL" on the dash display is giving me nightmares.

My Mishimoto radiator was also getting installed.

As expected the Samco radiator hose meant for the QG18 does not fit the radiator. I have already explained why in my previous post. More mod and fabrication work here. Reservoir hose also needs to be upraded to a Samco silicone or equivalent.

My poor stock radiator looking all forlorn being abandoned after 6+ years of faithful service. It (the radiator) is still working well despite more than 1 bar of boost but I really need the additional safety margin of a radiator with increased cooling capacity.

The Mishi radiator cap will be ditched as the quality is suspect from what I read on the forums and the net. Bro Peter helped bring back for me a Cosworth radiator cap. I bought the 1.3 bar unit. Thanks Bro! Not that anything is wrong with my Nismo radiator cap but I fancy a change after a couple years. Pictures of my Cosworth radiator cap. Wish Cosworth made more parts for my engine :(

Bro Peter also got me the AEM water/methanol injection filter. The kit AEM sells does not come with this filter. This is additional insurance as the filter helps in the long run allowing a cleaner flow of water/methanol into the engine protecting the water/methanol injection filter pump as well as the engine internals. AEM claims the filter is able to filter particulates as small as 40 microns.

I have no idea why parts of the instruction manual are wet. Peter, what have you been doing?

I also ordered a pair of Recaro SR4s complete with rails from H Performance. The seats are ready but will only be fitted at the very last. More to follow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Got a Bigger Lighter?

Boost was increased to 1.3 bar yesterday and the water/methanol injection activated. Resultant dyno with and without meth injection.

Why only a 7hp increase at the wheels with methanol injection and the squiggly lines at the top? Well the top end is breaking up due to my stock ignition and Hitachi coil-on plugs (COP) reaching its limit and struggling to keep up. At only 1.3 bar :( I need a better CDI and COPs. For CDI am thinking of the Autronic unit but cost is quite prohibitive. The COP is also going to be a problem. Okada Projects is not interested. AEM Pencil Coils are unreliable from what I read on the Net. And either option is not cheap. Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone have experience the AEM Pencil Coils or with T.M. Works?

Alternative of course is to temporarily stop the development work at this point. 301 hp at the wheels already translates to 331 hp at the engine assuming a 10% transmission loss. Torque is an equally monstrous 40 kg/m or 392.266 Nm at the wheels. This is much more than sufficient for daily driving with the Shark already feeling very fast at 30hp less. Going more than this is going to result in a bigger hole in an already near empty wallet. Decisions, decisions....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hello World

Toby sent me these cheeky pictures.

And a video. Pardon the small size. The original video sent to me was rotated 90 degrees meaning one had to turn one's head likewise to correct the orientation when looking at the video. I corrected the orientation but unfortunately size became smaller.
More to follow..

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Oil Change Progress Part 6 - Reincarnation

Its been more than a month since I've had time to visit GT Auto to catch up on the progress of the build. In summary the work is near the finishing line. First thing I saw when I arrived was the Slowtra parked outside GT Auto.

Here's pictures of the engine bay. Water on my battery's top surface came from my bonnet as Slowtra just had a good wash.

The oil catch can is connected and Toby is using a ZeroOne unit. Would have preferred the original Cusco I used on the SP rather than a copy but I'll settle with this for the time being as the oct has been modified to accept AN fittings. Need to ditch the ricey ZeroOne logo though. Picture below of the Full Race EFR BOV cover installed on my snail.

Here's a picture from under the car. Which one is the Bosch LSU 4.2 5 wire wideband O2/lambda sensor?

I also spied my Mishimoto radiator awaiting to be installed. The radiator is actually for a USDM B15 Sentra Spec-V with QR25DE engine but the only different is the diameter of the intet/outlet. QG18DE inlet/outlet is 1 1/8" or 29mm whereas QR25DE is 1 3/8" is 35mm. This means the Mishi rad will need some modding to fit the QG18DE radiator hoses. It's either that or I mod the water/coolant inlet/outlet on the engine side.

The Mishi rad is dual row and core thickness is 1.42" or 36mm. Them Americans like everything in imperial inches and I have to make my own conversion. Quality is pretty decent cept the radiator cap. Will be ditching that but still deciding if I want to use my Nismo radiator cap or get a Cosworth equivalent. Clearance to the snail will be a major issue so I also bought the Mishimoto dual slimline fan aluminium shroud kit. Unfortunately the fans looks pretty marginal in build, performance and quality. According to Toby I currently don't have any high temperature/overheating issue with my stock radiator and fans but will have one if I install these. Below are pixs of the fan.

Here's how the 12" (305mm) Mishi fans compare to stock. Look at the difference in size. If I go for slimline fans guess it'll have to be better sized, build and performance SPAL fans.

I also saw work being done on my dash. There was a delay as it took quite some time to source for a used meter panel which will be used to fit my AIM dash.

The plate of pre-preg carbon being cut up to accomodate the AIM MXL Strada dash is from Bro Mugil. Thanks Bro! Did I tell you before it is a real PITA to cut real pre-preg carbon? The only thing worse is carbon kevlar which will wear out your cutting blade in no time.

My water/methanol injection kit has also been installed. I am using an AEM system. You can read up on the merits of water/methanol injection in MotoIQ's excellent article. AEM uses a machined billet aluminium injector which comes with 3 interchangeable nozzles to cover a wide range of potential horsepower levels. The injector features an integral check valve that prevents terminal engine failure caused by unintended fluid flow. Below is a picture of the AEM's injector installed just before the throttle body.

I am using the AEM's own boost referenced progressive controller rather than have it just triggered on/off by my Autronic SM4 ECU. This is because basing an injection progressively on manifold pressure allows for correct amount of water/methanol to be injected at all points along the engine's power curve. At lower boost levels where only a small amount of water/methanol is needed, the controller drives the pump at low speed delivering the necessary flow rate. As boost increases, along with intake air temps increasing as well, the controller increases the pump speed allowing for more water/methanol to be injected into the engine,helping to cool and control combustion where it is needed most. The controller has a warning light that will activate if it detects a fault i.e. broken wire/bad connection, controller malfunctions or system runs out of water/methanol. Sorry forgot to take a picture of the warning LED light mounted on my dash and the progressive controller. Will take those is due time.

Picture below of the AEM's pump and 1 gallon water/methanol tank installed in the Slowtra's boot. An optional (read buy separately) 5 gallon tank is also available.

AEM's latest heavy duty recirculation pump is rated to 200psi. The earlier pump is rated to only 150psi. The new pump is also much quieter in operation compared to older switched-style pumps. AEM has designed the pump with Santoprene diaphragm and EPDM seals to withstand methanol (alcohol's) harhness and corrosion characteristics. The one gallon fluid tank comes fitted with a pre-installed low level switch to notify you when you are running out of water/methanol. 1 US gallon is equivalent to 3.78541178 liters btw. The kit does not come with a filter which I'm debating whether to get. AEM sells an in-line filter that uses a micronic mesh screen to filter particulates as small as 40 microns. This allows a cleaner flow of water/methanol into the engine, not only protecting the internals of the engine itself but also the working parts of the AEM water/methanol injection pump. All the install, set up and tuning is and will be done by Toby and GT Auto.

Me buddies have decided to call the Slowtra "Shark" after this post and the nick kinda stuck from then on. Guess I'll be calling me car the Shark or Sharkie moving forward :) Toby casually threw me the Shark's key after it had a good bath and I got into it along with Toby and another buddy Peter in the back seat to find out if the driving experience lives up to the new nick.

Happily potted around Sunway and the engine felt very tractable and smooth. Think I can drive all day like this and it feels like a 2 litre+ NA compact car with manual gearbox. Did not feel any lag or flat spots during my short drive. Had a couple opportunities to floor the throttle in 2nd and 3rd gear and boy what a power rush!!! Yeeha!!! Damn bloody shiok this EFR 6258 snail! The Shark felt very together and the Nismo LSD did it's best though wheelspins were unavoidable although you don't get that uncontrollable turbo rush and chassis tying itself into knots. The Nismo also felt quieter and less harsh in operation compared to the Kaaz LSD I used previously on the SP. However like any typical 1.5 way LSD go into turns/corners too slow and steady and the LSD will still cause understeer and steering pushback. Nothing too bad though and manageable on daily driving basis. The Clutchmasters FX-400 6 puck clutch with lightweight flywheel proved to be even more surprising with very minimal to no judder and a possibly lighter clutch pedal feel than the Exedy I was using previously. I say possibly as I haven't driven with a car with the Exedy in more than 6 years.

The Shark is close to its homecoming. Still need to sort out a few stuff including proper front seats that will provide proper hold and support during hard cornering.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Garage Sale Stop Press!

My QG16DE engine is No longer for sale at this point as it doesn't have any cams. The cams have been removed and sent for development work. Cylinder head will be next. My apologies to those interested. More details on the development work to follow.

I have decided to put my stock radiator plus dual fan assembly up for sale.

And not forgetting, my front 2 seats are also for sale. These are upholstered with imported full DK leather. Pictures in my original DK post. I am asking a very low price (to me at least) so come get it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Big Toothy Grin

Kinda reminds me of a pet alligator or shark. The Slowtra with front bumper back on and awaiting more work. Thanks Bro Nick for the picture.