10 Aug 2016

Forgot to mention that when the wastegates were added, small “scoops” were created, extending part way into the main tubes to redirect a portion of the gas flow toward the wastegates. While the scoops may impede flow slightly during cruise, that’s also when boost and flow are minimal so it shouldn’t be an issue. Under full throttle though, the wastegates need as much flow as possible, so the scoops benefit that condition. Time will tell if this is a brilliant idea or whether the scoops will be abraded by the heat and gas flow, with little bits of stainless getting blown into the turbine…

The new C-clip pliers are far more robust than the now-broken tool. They did sort of over-engineer them though, canting the tips inward in apparent anticipation of large C-clips exerting enough force to bend the tips straight. The problem is that because the tips are canted, they don’t fit into the C-clip with it laying flat without modifying the holes slightly – okay, done – but for some reason the C-clip still wasn’t snapping into its groove. It “seemed” to be seated but I suspected it might just be holding the compressor section in by friction alone. That could catastrophic if the turbo heats up and the car hits a bump, the compressor section could shift allow compressor-to-housing contact. The worst thing is that would allow ground-up metal bits to get sucked into the engine, destroying it. After some messing about I finally noticed that the C-clip has a slight taper on one side – and of course I’d be trying to install it upside down. Flipped it over and presto, in it went with a satisfying click. Glad I didn’t leave it as “probably fine.”

31 Jul 2016

Here’s “boost creep”: an uncontrolled increase in manifold pressure, seen here as the light blue “MAP” trace at the center of the figure. This is with a 4-lb spring which in a perfect world limits boost to 4 psi, but the manufacturer notes that actual boost will vary engine to engine. In mine it’s about 7 psi (150kpa), which is fine if it stays there. It holds pretty well until about 5000 rpm, but then the exhaust gas volume becomes too much for it to vent off and the turbine speeds up and increases boost. I let off the gas when it hit 13 psi at 6100 rpm because it was trending upward pretty fast (and because I was already going 84 mph). The right way is to do all this on a dyno – maybe after boost is under control.

Parts were (again) ordered to change to a dual 38mm wastegate setup. I figure that worst case, the two don’t do the job and the header has to be redesigned, and both will still be needed in that case so they aren’t a waste. Somewhat related, I found this funny quote which is a pretty good description of what it’s like to live with a turbo engine, where:

… it’s like having a cokehead pornstar girlfriend. There’s going to be unparalleled excitement and thrills, but a lot of unexplainable downtime and a likely violent ending that leaves you broke and insane…

30 July 2016

Back-filled 2011 ; all early posts are under the “Archive” link above.

Disconnected the upper wastegate hose to ensure there’s nothing keeping it from working properly but boost creep persists. I had a talk with a buddy who really knows turbo:

“You increased compression 8:1 to 9:1 (~12% more flow), right?” Yes

“You added cams that flow more air.” Yes

“You switched from a 0.82 AR turbine housing to a 1.06.” Yes

“You’re running E85, which produces a lot more exhaust gas than gasoline.” Yes

“You built an exhaust header with poor flow to the wastegate.” Um, yes

He went on to explain that the 1.06 AR turbine housing is far less restrictive to exhaust flow. That’s a very good thing but means that given the choice, exhaust gas would much rather go through a low-restriction turbine housing instead of making a hard turn into a smallish wastegate. He recommended one or more of the following:

Change the geometry of the header to provide a more direct shot at the wastegate: This is the right way but there’s no room

Add a second 38mm wastegate: There’s room, just

Replace the single 38mm wastegate with a 60mm unit: The “nuclear option.” Builders use these to regulate 1200-hp engines, but much more often, as a Band-Aid to limit boost creep caused by poor wastegate routing. Not an option because chassis tubing blocks the area.

Of the above, adding a second 38mm unit works the best short of starting over. For what it’s worth, two 38mm wastegates have the equivalent valve surface area of a 54mm unit, so it’s not vastly different than going with the 60mm unit.

 

28 Jul 2016

Well that didn’t last long. Woke up this morning realizing I didn’t need some of the parts ordered last night for the exhaust modification, while a couple other parts had been forgotten. Canceled those parts, then found the wastegates are backordered with an unknown delivery date (at least from this vendor) so everything was canceled. It’s not entirely bad as it gives time to do a few more tests, like disconnecting the upper hose from the wastegate (which can keep the wastegate valve shut if pressurized, increasing boost). It “should be” zero but if it isn’t that would do it, but if it’s zero, that leaves wastegate routing and/or the engine changes (compression, cams, and larger turbine) as causing the wastegate to be unable to regulate a setpoint.

It’s too warm and humid to be doing much in the garage so the time was spent back-filling the 2012 blog.

5 July 2016

I’ve always wondered why I had such a hard time clocking the turbocharger sections. The center section is free to rotate with respect to both the compressor and turbine housing but not just any way I want because – at least with Garrett units – the 1.06 A/R turbine housing interferes with the oil and coolant hoses. Worse, once it’s clocked it can be difficult or even impossible to tighten the turbine housing bolts, and that was when I noticed the big-ass snap-ring on the compressor section. With the suitable snap-ring pliers, the compressor side can be removed entirely which makes it much easier to tighten the turbine housing bolts and the coolant and oil fittings.

4 July 2016

Happy Fourth everyone.

A lot has been happening and it’s become apparent just how much I changed and how much has to be redone. Moving the turbo had all kinds of unintended (read: not thought through) consequences; every hose and tube connected to it changed. A fair amount of today was spent fabricating the seemingly simple intake elbow, but which had to be made just so in order to fit. Because I switched to a different type intake air temperature sensor, it needed a custom mount (thankfully I already measured its resistance curve). The new air sensor has a much faster response time, important in a boosted setup and is a Bosch 0 280 130 085 if you’re interested.

As you can see from the pictures the intake tract is very compact and the only real concern is how much the engine moves around due to torque. Don’t want engine movement to be able to pull a hose off, which means the fore and aft engine mounts need to be fairly stiff. I have a block of Delrin to fabricate a stiffer rear mount if necessary.

Moral of the story is that I need to quit fussing with the car and just drive it. Unfortunately there’s still the big project of fabricate the ductwork to get air to the intercooler. It’s either going to make the car even look more comical – or more bad-ass, not sure which.

While there’s still stuff to do before first start the list is getting shorter. There’s fabricating the wastegate tubing down to the exhaust, lengthening the wires for both the boost controller and the O2 sensor, finishing up the coolant bleed lines, and not much else, so it’s safe to say after checking everything for tightness, it should be running pretty soon.

Oh, almost forgot, that last picture of the wiring, notice how the green wire has backed out of the relay connector. I wonder how long it’s been that way. You find a lot of stuff isn’t as it should be when you take apart a car.

Lastly, if you want to comment on anything posted after today, click on the post’s title, which will almost always be the date, then scroll down to the bottom for the comment field.