27 Jun 2010

The new Injector Dynamics injectors are alleged to have better atomization, run at lower duty cycle, run much higher fuel pressure, and even though they’re higher capacity, they still idle well, plus they’re really small.

The throttle cable is more or less done, just not sure how to fasten the bracket since it’s meant to rivet to paneling that’s not there yet. Probably just Cleco something in for now.>

The intercooler’s plumbed in, which took some effort to modify the inlet and outlet so it wouldn’t stick way up above the engine cover. It’s the first time I’ve welded to what looks like cast aluminum. Let’s just say it’s good it’ll be hidden… Still need to weld in the fittings for the blow-off valve and intake air temperature sensor. The engine compartment is starting to get busy…

It appears no one really knows which way coolant flows in a K-series Honda engine. Some say the thermostat gates hot coolant out to the radiator while others say it gates cool coolant returning from the radiator – two top engine builders said opposite things. I’ll probably get some clear hose and temporarily plumb in it just to find out. It needs to be determined so coolant header tank can supply coolant to the low-pressure side of the system, instead of the other way round which will cause problems.

26 Jun 2010

Several weeks ago the build table was dragged out into the front yard and listed on Craig’s List – not one call. Okay, put a “Free” sign on it two week ago… nope, zero interest. Fine, out came the chainsaw today (table is way too heavy to lift.) Only hit one stainless screw on the last inch of the last cut – good thing too because it instantly kills the blade.

21 Jun 2010

Race Part Solutions is off the hook, sort of. Having heard nothing after a week I called, and they explained that their system always sends a message saying they’ll call. Guess that means it’s, what, okay? Anyhow, they said they’d be shipping today, and when I got home, there were the boxes… okay. Whatever, at least the stuff’s here. The injectors should be here tomorrow.

Asked Competition Clutch if their twin disc is supposed to feel the way ii does (one long firm push), yup, it’s normal.

20 Jun 2010

The throttle cable’s mostly done, but I got distracted, wanting to see what the clutch felt like. So that was plumbed, the forward side of the cowl temporarily installed so the remote master cylinder could be mounted to it, then the system was filled. Cool, no leaks, I thought. Then I used the power-bleeder that’s been sitting around since Kimini, went back to the slave cylinder, and was venting the air out of the line when I heard, “Pop!” Crap… only I didn’t say crap, knowing what had just happened. The 10 psi I pumped it up to had lifted the reservoir right off its mount, spraying brake fluid all round the garage. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to clean that stuff up, and it’s freaking messy. Between that, taking time off for Father’s Day, and being tired in the first place, not a whole lot got accomplished.

19 Jun 2010

So I order a bunch of stuff from Race Part Solutions, everything’s “in-stock” and nothing’s back-ordered – great. Three days later I get an e-mail: “We will be in touch as soon as possible about your order…” Huh? Why? Hearing nothing after a few days I send an e-mail asking when they plan to contact me, and (not very hopeful) asked if it has shipped yet – no response. Not cool.

Enough silicon hose showed up from a different vendor that between that and doing the clutch and throttle cable, there’s plenty to do this weekend, never mind the remaining fab work needed for the rear uprights.

In other news, the Kumho V710 tires are still out of stock from the local rep. I wanted to support my local business, but when time’s up, times up, and they may have to come from the Tire Rack – if they have them in stock. My brother asked why I’m going with V710s, why not go with something more mild and long-lasting, especially during shakedown testing. I explained that if there wasn’t a book, I’d agree with him, but between the choices of: consume a year on harder compound tires, publish performance specs based upon so-so tires, and holding up the book’s release until sticky tires are used, I want to go straight to really sticky tires so those performance comments are in the book. Once the car’s up and running, it’ll go to one or two trackday events, the handling  documented, and assuming there’s nothing dire, note it in the book and get it published.

And finally, I have mixed feelings about going with larger injectors – not for the engine, but for the guess-the-hp contest. I set the contest rules, listing what parts the engine uses, then changed injectors after everyone made their guess. Obviously I’m going to let the shop tune the car to whatever power they get with the 1000 cc injectors. However, for the contest to stay fair, I may ask the shop what hp the 750s would have produced and use that figure for the contest. That seems most fair, so no one feels cheated.

14 Jun 2010

Ordered all the goodies for the intake side of the turbo: tubing, couplers, hose, fittings. Hopefully some or all of it will arrive before the weekend.

After thinking about it for several months, the 750 cc injectors are being replaced with 1000 cc units. Not sure how those of you who entered the book contest feel, but it buys me some overhead for the expected power for the dyno test. You can do the math and figure out where this is headed, but the goal is >400 whp – there, the number’s out of the bag. 🙂 Doesn’t mean I’ll achieve it, but all the numbers look promising.

As I type this, there’s 10-12 sparrows outside my window, running around in the dusk looking for seeds. In the loose dirt areas, they’re taking dust baths. Nature’s an awesome and fascinating thing.

And another earthquake…

13 Jun 2010

My buddy Lee let me use his mill to resurface the header cylinder head flange. Facing the face with a fly-cutter was straightforward if slow. Of course, setting it all up took three hours due to the header being a shape that doesn’t lend itself well to being clamped down. Four hours thirty minutes for that. The edges of each port still have to be cleaned up.

Though seemingly much easier, the much smaller turbocharger flange was too difficult to fixture so it was faced with a belt sander.

Intake plumbing will be ordered this week: turbo to intercooler, intercooler to throttle body, plus various vacuum fittings and hose. Still have to pick up the rest of the coolant lines, plus coolant feed and return fittings for the turbo. Getting there.

12 Jun 2010

More things crossed off the list. Calibrated the oil pressure and oil temperature sensors. That’s needed since the curves need to be plugged into the flat-dash so the readings make sense. Still have to convert the low-resistance sensors into something the dash can use without loading down the reference voltage.

Since the oil sensor port on the block is already being used for the turbo feed, the remote oil filter housing was drilled and taped for both the above sensors. Putting them there lessens the risk of engine vibration fatigue-cracking the sensor threads.

Annealled the turbo header flange to help stress-relieve it before milling it tomorrow.

Plugged the last of the vacuum ports on the intake manifold. With that cleaned up, next is making a vacuum block; simply an aluminum block with fittings to distribute vacuum to the fuel pressure regulator, blowoff valve, and wastegates. Need to find some 1/8″ right-angle pipe fittings. Home Depot doesn’t carry them, and the anodized racer ones are crazy expensive.

Still haven’t figured out exactly where to place the coolant overflow tank. Have to figure out the air filter arrangement. The thinking is to bring in outside air up and over the top of the intercooler, instead of feeding the engine hot engine compartment air.

Ooo, another earthquake. Been having a lot of them east of us…

11 Jun 2010

While there’s nothing “major” left to fabricate, of course there’s still lots of brackets and such. Made good progress though, modifying the throttlebody, swapping in a smaller throttle cable bracket so there’s lots of clearance now. Made the new turbo support, which is about 10 times cleaner than the first one.

The coolant header tank is now mounted; the radiator cap just sticks out the top of the engine cover, making sure it’s the highest point in the cooling system to not feed bubbles to the engine. Once the overflow tank is mounted (sitting loose at lower right in the last photo) the coolant lines have to be extended from above the fuel tank to the engine. Once that’s done, the entire system can be pressure tested.

10 Jun 2010

Been busy with the new job – think “CSI for aircraft”, pretty cool – but car progress continues on the weekends.

The last major piece of the puzzle for getting the engine running “for real” arrived today, the throttle cable. Nothing major is left to order or fabricate; it’s now a matter of finishing mounts for the coolant tanks, cables, hoses, plus the throttle and clutch. (Although there is the turbo intake plumbing I keep forgetting about…) This weekend the exhaust and turbo flanges will be milled flat, which bent due to welding heat distortion.

Even before the body panels are made, it’s obvious which ones should be removable. I don’t want to repeat the Rubik’s Cube I created with Kimini where it was really tough to get into the engine bay. This time there’ll be access panels on all sides of the engine compartment.

Been (re)reading the excellent book, “Competition Car Downforce” by Simon McBeath, in anticipation of adding wing mounts 😉

6 Jun 2010

Couldn’t sell the wood table, zero interest on Craig’s List at $100 and not even an offer. With a “Free” sign on it we’ll see how long it sits in the yard…

As said before, it’s a drag to get something completely done, then realize it can be done much better; case in point is the turbocharger support bracket. For as far off the engine it’s suspended, it’s too much weight out there flexing the manifold, which can crack it. Anyhow, I had a solution that came off the compressor housing but it was deemed too weak. The new solution directly supports the header at the collector flange, right next to the turbo.

Welded various vacuum ports closed on the intake manifold. One fitting will come off the manifold and lead to a vacuum block – much neater than a bunch of different-sized tubes running around. Installed a custom throttle bracket which misses the fuel line, so measurements were taken so the throttle cable can be ordered. Installed the clutch fluid line, but realized without the front cowl panel in place, there’s no place for the remote master cylinders to mount. Not a big deal, just another thing on the list.