Backyard Build FJ-S13

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by Doritofu, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Yeah, cause you went to Dynopower to get yours done eh? Sounds like that was a bit of a mission too with your whole VCT thing.

    I emailed the guys at Haltech and they were able to supply me with a basemap for the FJ, so after that it's mostly just sensor calibration and then adjusting the fuel table, which should be similar for most ECUs I reckon.

    The guys at A1 Turbos never got back to my email, so I might just have to drive up and ask them in person next time I'm up. They are in a pretty rural area so can't expect them to be fully onto the online side of things, but yeah, a local tuner is pretty ideal so I think it's worth a shot.
     
  2. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Yup Dynopower. And my issues were nothing to do with the changes i made, just an old harness.

    Nothing beats talking to them in person, and you get to suss their setup. Tuners get a load of online enquiries and sifting the real ones from the dreamers is a big job a lot don't bother with. Anyone serious will come see them, and the good ones tend to be so busy they don't have a lot of time to check emails anyway.
     
  3. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    This:




    Yup.

    First time driving in nearly 3 years.

    Very difficult to find the right words. I'm sure some of you will know how this feels.

    The Haltech worked perfectly first try. All we had to do was:
    - clean the carbon build-up off the spark-plugs
    - re-wire the fuel pump relay to go back to negative trigger
    - calibrate the wideband
    - change some settings in the Haltech ESP software (literally just checking boxes and changing injector size from 370cc to 600cc)


    So yeah.

    I'll have a nicer video filmed with some go-pros and actual HD footage in a few weeks, till then I will work on making a new exhaust since it was scraping on the road, and I'll head to a tuner and get it dialed in.

    7BOhoFJ.

    3fp0aos.

    oZVqQhY.
     
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  4. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Congrats dude, you must be buzzing
     
  5. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Yeah bro, it's a pretty awesome feeling. Still got a lot to do, but at least making it this far feels like a bit of a load off.

    Also, turns out that driving with no power steering, no assisted brakes and a twin plate race clutch is quite noticeable.
     
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  6. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Leave it like that and cancel your gym membership
     
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  7. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Alright so, what's been happening over the past few months?

    After getting the car to start for the first time, we spent a little while trying to get the engine to run smoother and less rich, after about a month of occasional tweaks we weren't getting anywhere so we headed down the street to the guys at A1 Turbos and it turns out that they can do Haltech and they even have a dyno. Overall the owner was a really awesome dude so we agreed to get the car finished up soon and bring it over to him.

    This meant that we had to finish up a few little things on the Silvia before we could hand it over, namely the exhaust system.

    So step one, car up on the hoist.
    fbJnczT.

    The front bumper did not survive the occasional test drives on the gravel roads up here, so I will have to get around to fixing that.

    So the problem with the exhaust was that although the flange on the down pipe and the rest of the system miraculously bolted up, the whole thing was hanging far too low, about a couple of inches below the chassis rail as you can see from this old photo from way back,
    gFMnoFE.

    The first thing to do was to trim about an inch out of the down pipe. So we bolted it to the turbo, made the cuts, tweaked the angles a little bit and then held it in place for some tacks.
    XCPQR6F.

    AtToD51.

    lDXeYfI.

    With it tacked in place at the right position, we then unbolted it and welded the whole thing up.
    xtOqPbO.

    The final height was good and the bottom surface was roughly in line with the chassis rail. We ended up lifting it up about 50mm which was about as high as it could go without getting too close to the passenger footwell. Since it was pretty close, (about 20-30mm) we wrapped it in some sick black heat wrap for extra style points. :smokin:

    With the downpipe finished we then had to get the rest of the exhaust to fit up. When we first offered up the exhaust the flange was about 35mm too far to the right so we knew we had to cut some wedges out of it and make some bends.

    To make things easier, since we thought the flanges lined up, rather than cutting through the whole pipe, we just cut small triangle out to give the angles we needed. We knew we would lose a bit of length in the system but luckily the old shotgun tips stuck out pretty far from the back anyway so we could afford to pull the whole thing forward. :smash:
    P7wxkUh.

    YLIiNuz.

    We needed to cut before and after the resonator as it had to clear the transmission tunnel.
    GO16dxA.

    With both of those bent and tacked, we bolted it up to the car to check fitment, position was all good but the flange needed to rotate a little, so we cut all the way through, bolted the loose flange to the downpipe and then made tweaks under the car until they lined up and we had it fully tacked in place. :thumbs:

    Now since we were already working with the exhaust, I thought this would be a great opportunity to lift up the hangers on the rear to pull the rear muffler a little higher into the body. I found that by removing one of the rear hangers and relocating it to under the rear subframe I could lift the exhaust much higher than before.
    8FQ68OH.

    I then tacked that in place on the subframe and tacked a matching 10mm rod to the bottom of the exhaust, then took it all down to fully weld up. When it was done it was lifted back on the car for the last time, a fresh gasket was used and then the whole thing was bolted up. We also threw some split pins in the hangers just to make sure it doesn't shake it way off any of them when driving around.
    23I7hGu.

    aG90AeD.

    lXy0rgd.

    oXYv1e0.

    Here you can see that new hanger welded to the subframe,
    Mbpe2S0.

    IEbzedN.

    Then every bolt was tightened on the turbo, all the bolts on the subframe and rear suspension arms were also checked and the whole car was dropped back on the ground to check the final clearance.
    8qAHCrU.

    yhBGGWH.

    Overall finishing up that exhaust took a couple of days, mostly just thinking about what to do before making the first cut. In the end I'm stoked with how it all fits up, I even managed to weld up a hole left by the guys that first made this exhaust (it was too difficult for them to weld the whole way around so they just left the top unwelded... :no:)

    With the exhaust done we're pretty much ready to take it for a tune, then once that comes back hopefully it'll be a finished car that I can go take for a warrant of fitness and then finally take it back to the track. :D

    Hopefully some more interesting updates to follow soon, thanks for reading and for all the support. :wave:
     
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  8. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    It's fiddly but there's something so satisfying about a big exhaust that doesn't scrape or knock
     
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  9. s13silvia

    s13silvia doughnut muncher

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    Dear christ mate that's impressive. I mean the first question that will spring to most people's mind is why not just go SR20; as there is a field of advantages by doing so - but hey, hats off to you for pulling off the swap you've done; FJ20 was a great engine in it's own right. Massive, massive amounts of effort has gone into that and the results will speak for themselves. Congrats buddy, I mean swap aside, your sil looks awesome.
     
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  10. lowanslow

    lowanslow Member

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    this is a sick thread dude. fab work is amazing. really interesting engine choice as well man.
     
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  11. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    It really is eh, although I haven't been able to drive it yet, not looking forward to figuring out that it bangs on the diff or whatever and then having to re-do the thing in a weeks time, haha.

    Cheers mate, yeah it is a bit of a strange swap and it's definitely given me a lot of headaches but in a few weeks I'll be driving around in one of the 3 FJ20 powered s13s in the world, and it's really that as well as the FJ being a ridiculously strong motor that made me do it. (Probably gonna be the only road legal one of the 3 though :cool:)

    Hahaha, a lot of the fab work is much less impressive in person, but after the past few years I reckon I'm getting a bit better eh. :thumbs:

    Nothing else to add except we did all our final checks and loaded up the Silvia for its trip down to A1 Turbos. Dropped it off this morning so now we wait to find whats the next problem we need to solve.

    So good seeing a Silvia back in its natural habitat, on top of a trailer :wack:

    8mzO83L.

    UG31BUJ.
     
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  12. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    BEHOLD! The FJ is BACK!

    ePqwBGF.

    But considering it's not in the engine bay where it belongs, I think you all can guess where this is going...

    So the car had been sitting at the dyno for a few weeks, told him not to worry about it and get to it whenever. Eventually I get a call from him saying he got it working and up for some break in runs on the dyno and that was about as far is it got before we got the call to come back and pick it up.

    s4uQsfe.

    Turns out the car was running like shit because there was some pretty serious damage to the pistons. Our ECU tuner mentioned that he stuck a scope in the cylinder to see if he could spot anything and apparently part of piston 1 was just straight up missing.

    So that pretty much stopped our plans right there, what was supposed to be the final step turned into a full engine teardown. Fucking terrific.

    We got the car back and had it sitting for a bit while we got some other projects out of the way. But last week my dad and I finally had time to get the engine back out and I could start stripping it down to get at the pistons.

    What I found:

    YdSiiHZ.

    So pistons 1 and 4 have had the tops blown out of them. I'm unfamiliar with this sort of stuff but our tuner says that it looked like the damage was there well before we bought it, which means our "Turn Key Engine Swap Package " had:
    - A broken clutch
    - A broken/missing ECU
    - Blown pistons

    I think that pretty much covers every fucking part of the engine and drivetrain, not exactly what I would call "Good working condition" but hey, I'm known for having famously high standards so...

    UMOYzYl.

    Luckily, the rest of the engine looked completely fine. Thank god FJ's are tough little boat anchors.

    iYukX6f.

    dlXltuA.

    Yeah, these pistons are proper fucked.

    For the first time though, my dad has stopped laughing at all the catastrophic failures this engine swap is giving me and he's agreed to split the bill on an engine rebuild, to sort of motivate me to do it properly.

    So the plan was to get some cheap second hand piston heads from Japan and have the cylinders honed and the engine reassembled, but upon looking on Yahoo Japan, my favourite place on the internet, I found some pretty snazzy oversized pistons.

    oZjOwgP.

    They are sold as Tomoe FJ22 Racing Pistons. They're listed as 92.5 mm (std pistons are 89 mm) which would increase displacement from 1,990 cc to 2150 cc even without a stroker crankshaft. We agreed that this was gonna be the right choice, no point risking it again with second hand pistons, might as well do it properly and do everything I might ever want to the internals while I can.

    I had a quick chat with the local engine rebuilders and it sounds like a 3 mm oversized bore should be no problem. They also brought up a few things for me to look into such as getting an oversized headgasket to accommodate the 3.5 mm increase in bore size. But it looks like we're doing it properly, getting all the surfaces machined, honed, lapping the valves, new bushings and bearings obviously, even taking a look at the crank.

    So that brings us to the plan from here. I'll be sourcing the parts over the next few weeks and also doing some small things on the car like removing a lot of now unnecessary parts thanks to the Haltech and revisiting the oil filter relocation kit. I'm also going to take the time the engine is out of the car to take care of some rust in the bay and tidy up and repaint everything.

    Also want to make a new pair of engine mount brackets but might get an actual fabricator to do that.

    So yeah, sorry for no update in a while, got some good plans from here so should be pretty interesting.

    Hopefully I'll update again soon only on a slightly better note. :thumbs:
     
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  13. Sammyboi

    Sammyboi New Member

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    Such a letdown to get a call when you are supposed to be on the home straight.

    Well done sticking it out and good luck with the rebuild !

    This means it will come back stronger and better than ever :thumbs:
     
  14. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Yeah Cheers man, even though I'm really just doing something I should have done from the beginning.

    I guess this is how we all learn. TBH I'm pretty glad the engine is out again because I had a lot of unfinished business in the bay that I can start taking care of.
     
  15. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    And another quick update.

    I went ahead and bought the set of 92.5 mm oversized racing pistons from Tomoe and they are getting loaded onto a container now from Japan and should arrive in about a month.

    I also found the headgasket I needed, an MLS one that is still being produced new for the FJ and comes in bores up to 93 mm, and thicknesses from 1.0 mm to 3.0 mm. I was going to try and buy one at the same time and get it shipped with the pistons, but I'll admit that I'm not an expert here, so I'll drop the engine and pistons off with the engine rebuilders and then let them decide what final bore and thickness to go for.

    In the mean time I've been working on the mx-5 trying to get the wheels finished up in time to get the tyres fitted on Wednesday, but In my spare time I've been able to sort a few small things on the Silvia, most importantly finally getting to the Omori oil filter relocation kit.

    i5CYWD1.

    So for those that don't remember, this Omori adapter was for an SR20, which threads on to the FJ, but the o-ring is too small, so I had to MacGyver the shit out of it resulting in one of the most ghetto parts of this whole build.

    hAMvsqr.

    Went ahead and mounted in the lathe using the 4 jaw chuck and sorted the runout, then went ahead faced it off to get rid of the original o-ring slot.

    LwFwCD7.

    With the face turned down and smooth I marked out where the new slot would go, there was not much space left to actually fit the o-ring but the wall thicknesses should be strong enough.

    Nz1wdQB.

    XeAdzsZ.

    The cut off bit I used to machine the slot was a bit blunt and so left some chatter on the surface.

    Then finally I was able to re-fit the original o-ring I purchased for it, stretching it a bit to fit in the larger hole but the end result was a perfect fit.

    HQwEdWF.

    The moment of truth, putting ink on the block and checking that the o-ring would seal properly.

    h1LDqZj.

    Luckily the o-ring had a seal the whole way around, coming very close up the top but still full contact. Kinda strange that the screw isn't centered with the hole in the block however.

    Overall I'm happy with how it TURNED out ;). And it's one more thing ticked off the list. Up next I think I will go about blanking off all the unnecessary ports on the block and if I can get time, strip the sealer off the engine bay and stitch weld all the seams before repainting it all.

    Hopefully there will be many more updates to come as I slowly tidy this all up.
     
  16. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Well look who the cat dragged in, it's me again.

    My shit from Japan finally got here!

    j79trci.

    I am pretty damn stoked about these finally arriving, the quality on these pistons is really impressive.

    4blDrbX.

    I even love the box they came in. I can just imagine this sitting in some old Japanese grandpas shed for over 20 years, and now it's all the way on the other side of the world finally being put to good use.

    krr9URw.

    Everything on the inside is mint and untouched, the gudgeon pins still covered in wax paper and the piston rings still sealed in their little plastic bags.

    tlDtycf.

    It's finally time to pull this car back out of storage and get some work done.

    I've just packed the engine all up and loaded it into the back of the truck to get it all dropped off at the engine re-builders first thing next week. While it's getting bored out and worked on over there I'll try and sort out a majority of the rust in the engine bay and fix up some of the dodgy wiring.

    Bit of a tiny update, but I am really looking forward to getting back to work on this car. It's going to be a fun summer. :cool:
     
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  17. JonaDTD

    JonaDTD New Member

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    Really cool man - hope it goes in smoothly and can get some driving in !
     
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  18. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    When anybody decides to take on any form of ambitious project car, it will always have it's ups and downs. I have experienced my fair share of bad luck with this project so far and at times I begin to understand why you see so many uncompleted projects. So it's really starting to hit pretty hard when my own lack of foresight causes me even more issues that I have to deal with on top of my already full plate.

    Starting off with storing the car, when you have a lot of projects you start to run out of space to put them, and unfortunately the only space we had for this car was out in the rain. I did my best to protect everything as best I could but it's really just a downhill battle. After removing the engine, the throw out bearing and input shaft for the gearbox became exposed. I tried to protect them but unfortunately there is a good coating of rust on them now that I have to fix.

    After pushing the car back into the garage to start tearing everything down I find myself hit by thing after thing that has just gone poorly. With rust forming on nearly every panel and brand new parts that were installed less than a year ago beginning to perish.

    VgYzk32.

    ZYRJYIz.

    qV5rkaZ.

    Although rust is everyone's common enemy and it sucks ass, it's not the end of the world. My whole plan at this stage was to strip the bay, take everything off, remove all the sealer and stitch weld the whole bay, then patch all the rust and fully refresh it with a new paint job. I really wanted to take this opportunity to get the bay as nice as I could for the engine and hopefully never have to come back to it.

    The real issue set in when I started going through the parts I stored in the boot. Namely the OS Giken clutch which has already caused me some grief. I found it sitting with a pool of rust in it, I was too preoccupied to think of taking a photo at the time but even after sanding the heavier pitting will not go away.

    oR8a21i.

    And even after all this rust, my bad luck still doesn't end. I go ahead and start taking apart the clutch so I can at least make sure the plates are alright, (thank god they were) but after looking at the front of the clutch I noticed all the bolts on my pressure plate had worked their way loose.

    2OTInnz.

    5nlxV6t.

    As you can see, from doing only test drives for less than a month, the screws had worked their way out by over 2mm. I can't even begin to think of what would happen if I never spotted this and drove the car only to have one day my pressure plate detach itself inside the bell housing and write off another twin-plate.

    Admittedly I didn't use any loctite or spring washers, I just used the hardware provided. Why would anybody think to add spring washers when the entire plate itself is under spring tension. I'm at a loss. I have no idea what caused this and what the expected solution is. I'm thinking of contacting OS Giken and asking if they have any ideas but for now motivation has dropped to zero.

    If anybody here has any experience with clutches and knows what I must have done catastrophically wrong for this to happen then I'm definitely happy for you to let me know. Until then I'm just going to keep tackling this thing one battle at a time until it's over.

    This was a really negative post. Sorry, I'll try keeping things more upbeat in future.
     
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  19. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Been slowly chipping away at this, trying to make as much progress as I can with this engine bay before it's time to put the engine back.

    Started out by giving it a bit of a clean and just seeing what needed work, where the rust was at, that sort of thing.

    DyvOk8t.

    After unbolting everything that I needed I went and drilled out all the spot welds holding in the rusty old battery tray. My new battery is much smaller than factory and I'm going to find a cleaner way of running it and the fuse box, so out it comes.

    p4BvyBL.

    Next things to go were both the rust holes behind the strut towers. These were pretty much the main reason I decided to do all this work to the bay while I could.

    3n0tUHF.

    BKmPRw6.

    kFvYmFA.

    There were other various rust holes along the top of the firewall that I cut out and made patches for at the same time, as well as a replacement for part of a a brace that had rusted away.

    X2TAo0o.

    Fb7FNvl.

    5EUgwR4.

    Unfortunately there are still a number of holes at the base of the windshield that the glass will need to come out to repair, but that will come at a later stage, I'm just focusing on the engine bay for now.

    With all the patches made I went ahead and cleaned all areas ready for weld. I also stripped out all off the sealer along the factory seams and cleaned them all with a wire wheel as well, then started marking out my tacks.

    W8hDqoZ.

    Shortly after that the whole bay was stitch welded. I opted for single tacks 25mm apart along all major seams, alternating sides to keep any warping due to heat to a minimum.

    XDOnPR8.

    LvePliy.

    0KAlhCH.

    LWqhZNH.

    And finally I tacked in some plates to cover the holes behind the strut towers. I will be coming back over these with sealer on both sides to ensure that no water gets behind them in future.

    6wK7QJ7.

    1PgxgbB.

    I just had 2 litres of the original engine bay colour mixed up in 2K and I will be putting it down over good few coats of etch primer and rust converter.

    It's such a huge relief to finally get all the rust out of the bay. Even the stitch welding was something that I have been wanting to do since I saw a picture of it in a NZPC magazine 5 years ago.

    I've still got a bit of welding to do, unfortunately I ran out of gas right near the end of the job, but once I get that finished then I will be filling in the holes from drilling out the spot welds and also making some removable covers for the AC holes on the firewall.

    I plan on having the engine bay finished and painted within the next week or so, then I will work on modifying my subframe again and also tidying up all the braces and arms under the bay that are starting to get a little rusty.
     
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  20. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Great work dude

    If i can add something though: find a way to seal up those triangle holes on the rear of the inner wheel arch. Soooooo many rocks get thrown up through there
     

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