My ex-D1SL FC RX7

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by Stavros, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

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    Never bothered doing a project thing on here with this as it isnt a project, but as ive done loadsa things now, and people keep asking me, I may as well chuck one up...

    Car was the Sexy Knights compeition car for 2006...
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    It won a D1SL East round, came 5th in another, and 5th in a proper D1SL round (inc qualifying 1st, got this on DVD too), as well as coming 2nd in an MSC team drift event, and winning and doing well in a few more events that I dont actually know who they were organised by (Rotary festival, Dunlop and Falken festivals, and Nikko Tsuindori, whatever any of they are).
    So yeah, was a good car, won a few things, was in a few mags and DVDs, but didnt exactly rule the world, just won a few events and looked mint while doing it.
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    Fast forward to early 2007 and Kazama Auto and then/therefore Powervehicles had it up for sale...
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    I fell in love with it straight away, infact I mightve been the first person to reply on the for sale thread, and it appeared on just about every drift related forum and blog on the internet due to this, and became more famous from when it was for sale than before that, mostly as it looked fucking mental.
    It was up for a lot of cash due to the big spec and usual 'D1' tax, and that combined with the fact it was so extreme meant nobody actually took the plunge and bought the thing.


    Fast forward to mid 08 and the exchange rate had gone to shit, making the car less affordable than ever, and though lots of people wanted it, me included, nobody had bought it. I had no thougthts of ever owning it purely due to price and was perfectly happy with my JZX81, but after some freakishly lucky car deals I suddenly had a wadge of money, enough to buy the RX7, so I bit the bullet and did it. Almost immediately it was off the car lot and on its way to the docks...
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    Due the the value of the car, and shit like the Defi gauges, I decided it was a better bet to have it delivered by container, then nobody can even see the thing, never mind touch it or drive it or rob the bits off it. And after a few weeks it arrived, with the final leg on a transporter that can actually drop it off where you are, courtesy of Rbo barnes at Kleerfreight :worthy:
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    I opened the container to find the car exactly as described, broken in two rear bumper and damaged rear quarter panel and all.
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    Straight away we rolled it into the workshop, I wound the coilovers back down (was raised for shipping), did a full fluid change, and stitched up the various bits of battle damaged bodywork...
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    You can see when you look at the car, like any drift car, it has had plenty o smashes over the years, under the rear over fenders you can see damage, as you can at the rear behind the rear lights, and at the front end by both headlamps too.
    BUT underneath, and where it matters, its all untouched and straight as an arrow, its just had plenty of cosmetic damage over the years, just like any racer would, and just like ive given it some more of since!

    It fired up first try no problems, and after rocking round on some moody Jap plates for a bit...
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    It was soon MOT'd and taxed and away to go, complete with suitable UK plates...
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    Cheap tax too being just a 1.3... ;)
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    First job was fitting some mega cold, grade 10, plugs, for added safety.
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    Also the turbo had no filter at all, but TBH there was no room for one!
    For now I got a 6in alloy trumpet I had kicking around and jubilee clipped some mesh over it to stop any badgers getting sucked in, even if itd to fuck all about dust and dirt...
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    A bit of fast road driving and it was clear the car shot some massive fucking flames, but the tailpipe didnt even come out as far as the bumper, so I made a small tailpipe extension out of some old lorry exhaust. No pics, but just a piece of pipe painted BBQ black.

    As I had the Cobra seats and harnesses from the Chaser still, I took out the (JDM-Tyte but IMO shite) Thrash Racing drivers seat and Bride recliner passenger one, I made some custom subframes, and swapped them for the Cobras...
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    Continued below...
     
    #1 Stavros, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  2. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

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    I wanted to fit water injection (extra safety), and fix the broken boost controller, but more than that, I wanted to go drifting with my mates, so fuck it all, its time to see what this thing can do, even at wastegate pressure alone, 0.85bar, and a small missfire at the top end which limited the power to about 7250-7500rpm.
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    Considering I'm not a good drifter, and had never driven the car or track before that day, the car did pretty well :thumbs:
    Didnt miss a beat all day, smoked up the Yokohama Advan A048 semi slicks all day long even at just 0.85 bar, and generally was mint. Did a bit of battle damage to the back bumper and stuff, but all was fine.
    First impressions of the car- VERY grippy- accelerates forward when drifting rather than just smoking em up and not moving, VERY twitchy- its not remotely forgiving, VERY awesome- So precise, sounds amazing, handles great, massive flames from exhaust, etc etc, I like it.
    It had an odd powerband, it produces positive boost from 2000rpm and full boost by under 3k, but the car wasnt actually fast till 4500 onwards...

    Literally a few days later, with the car totally unchanged, I did my 2nd drift day in it, a DWYB at Santapod. Again the car didnt miss a beat and worked nice even at 0.85bar, it was happy on the big track in 3rd. No pics from then though...

    A few days after it was time for the cars third drift day in 8 days, at Westonzoyland :thumbs:
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    The car again did well, even with a poo driver like me, and the track was REALLY hard for it due to its tiny powerband at the time (4500-7500), and low torque at the time, it needed 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the track, not to mention shift locks, handbrakes, and clutch kicks, but was great fun. Mashed up front and rear bumpers during the way, and the car was literally covered in tyre delamination marks, but was well worth it, and TBH a lot of cars came off not worse.

    Heres a vid from the day too...
    YouTube- Westonzoyland drift

    By the way, if you was wondering what the sunstrip says, well it DID say "Sexy Knights" on it, but its not a Sexy Knights car now, and ill leave pretending to be something your not to others, never mind the fact to most non drift bummers having Sexy Knights on a car in the UK would seem gay as fuck, so as a pisstake I changed it to something Japanese and more offensive...
    It basically now says C,UNT C,UNT

    With a bit of drifting out the way, it was time to sort the broken boost controller, the blowing exhaust manifold, and fit water injection...

    The broken HKS boost controller was thrown in the bin and changed for a Gizzmo boost controller, which was easy to fit, though didnt want to turn up the boost until I fitted the water injection.

    The blowing exhaust manifold meant I had to take off the turbo, manifold, wastegate, downpipe, etc etc to remove. Had never worked on an RX7 in my life barring this one, but did it ok over a weekend outside. Turned out the manifoild was fine, but the wastegate gasket was fucked and so was the wastegate, it literally fell apart in my hands!
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    Rather than get ripped off buying new bits, I did a bit more engineering and fixed it all with stuff I had, and they have been perfect ever since.

    While I had the turbo off, I decided to see if a T6 frame 6in inlet, GT45 turbo turbo would fit, and aside from needing to change the manifold flange, it wouldve too...
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    The water injection kit a mate had kicking around (using a 1986 Range Rover V8 washer bottle I found down the scrappy as the tank), a basic Aquamist setup activating at 10psi, injecting in the usual place between the intercooler and throttle (will add pics, currently on work comp).

    Before I even to try the Water injection I had a bit of a play with a mate in a Megane R26-R on R888s (ie the FWD Nurburgring record holder) and I was well chuffed to find out my car, thanks to its lightness (sub 1110kg), big tyres (235s and 265s) and serious suspension work (err, everytihng, even a seam welded chassis), I could keep up round the corners with the Megane, this thing fucking handles :thumbs:

    Unfortunately, as half expected, as soon as I tried I found the stock ignition did NOT like the water injection one bit, it just made it missfire worse than before, so before I could even switch it on properly, it was time to beef it up with a HKS Twin Power ignition setup...
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    Unlike on FDs, there is no plug and play loom on FCs, and seemingly nobody I could find had even fitted one to an FC, so it took a bit of thought.
    The wiring diagram made NO sense as my ignition wasnt stock, it seems by car was running twin trailing coils instead of the single double output leading coil...
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    After more head scratching and teaching myself electronics, I worked it out and had it fitted, mint :thumbs:

    Immediately the car was more punchy off boost, pulled cleaner through the revs all the way to 8000rpm, and the water injection didnt make it missfire anymore.
    To celebrate that it was time to increase the boost to 1bar, which I think is where it was in Japan.
    Before that though I accidently (dont ask, but it was an honest accident) ran 1.6bar for about 20mins, inc some full on 3rd and 4th gear pulls :wack:
    If you listen to UK rotary people, this, or anything over about 0.9bar, would end in a dead rotary in seconds, but it was fine, why im not sure, but im sure the water injection helped save it.
    Either way, it was fast as FUCK and soooo torquey, proving three things to me, the torqueless outputs RXs usually give are, as I expected, down to low boost only, and as expected, the "Rotarys dont need lots of boost, just porting and big turbos" thing was more utter bollocks, and finally that the UK owners dont have a clue what they banging on about on their forums, so it was best to see what they do in the USA and Oz as hopefully they actually understand RXs have the exact same engine fundamentals as a piston engine and are not the black magic the UK folk seem to think they are...

    Continued on next post...
     
  3. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

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    At 1bar with the twin power the car was LOADS better than before, not a patch on 1.5bar, but shitloads better, tons more off boost power, and on boost it had much more torque and pulled till 8k all day long.

    After reading about and talking to a guy who managed over 700bhp at the wheels and 35psi boost on PUMP fuel on his RX in Oz, I decided to change the water injection to pre-compressor, yet another thing totally frowned upon in the UK...
    The easiest place to fit it was in the end of the air filter, but for that I needed a fucking air filter, and one wouldnt fit.
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    One of my pet hates is people running tiny gay little restrictive filters, lowering their turbo efficency without them even realising, and I happened to have a GrpA Cossie K+N cone lying around, one I know is fine to over 700horsies, but just had to try and fit it.
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    I called my local alloy fab legends, Forge Motorsport, who I always have got to do my stuff for my cars, and explained what I wanted doing, which was basically a custom 6in alloy trumpet making, a pipe to replace the one which had the Blitz BOV fitted which was going in the bin as it was in the way and IMO pointless, and one one to replace the one I drilled and tapped to fit the water injection originally.
    This was all done quickly and I went to fit it, then realised I had forgot one thing, I had no pipe to connect the turbo to the filter!
    I had no idea exactly what shape the pipe needed to be, but a trip to the scrappy and I found the perfect thing, some flexible pipe the perfect diameter that was orignally the airbox pipe on a non-turbo early Volvo 740...
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    And with that, the car was all back together...
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    With the filter on and the water injection changed to pre-compressor, DAMN its way better, the whole reason for the pre-compressor was to make the turbo more efficient, in essense behave like a bigger turbo; more power and lower temps at the same boost. The main effect of this was tis much crisper on boost, even more than before, no hint of a missfire, and noticably more power at the same 1bar boost.

    The final, non-performance, change this work gave, was with no BOV and a massive trumpet to amplify the noise (like a trumpet, lo and behold), the chatter from the turbo when you get off the throttle is SO loud, I mean streets away loud, never heard a road car like it, I need to make a video of this to show you.

    I wasnt happy with the shit thin Greddy boost hoses and gypsy spec Volvo inlet pipe, so I measured it all up and ordered some purple Samco hoses to replace em, which are much thicker and nicer, and dont even cost much, so was a no brainer really.
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    The car was fast, but as this car is primarily my fast road car ive driven soo many ridiculously fast cars, it needed to be faster, so that called for more power and more lightness.
    Power is easiest done with more boost, I have an aim of 1.5bar, but first I wanted to sort out the cars biggest weak point IMO, the fact the engine isnt a crossflow design, the turbo and exhaust sits right underneath the inlet manifold, heating up the inlet to ridiculous levels, massively lowering the efficiency and raising charge temps- No wonder so many RXs shit theirselves under boost...

    To stop this problem I wanted to heat protect the lower inlet manifold, and heat wrap the exhaust manifold, turbine housing, downpipe, and exhaust system, and for that I used heat wrap from Driftworks (VERY cheap compared to other makes and especially compared to silly money ceramic coatings), a turbo blanket from AET Turbos, and some DEI thermo wrap sticky stuff from Nimbus Motorsport.
    Unfortunately, to do it all, the fucking turbo, manifold, and FULL exhaust had to come off, over the xmas and new yr break, in the cold, outside... :cry:
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    Removal wasnt too hard, id done it all before, but wrapping the full system, insulating the inlet manifold, then getting it all back together, was a RIGHT mission.

    But it turned out ok...
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    Once it was all done, it fired up first time, and after I let it idle for 20min while the usual exhaust wrap smoke burnt off, well, during that time too, the results became immediately apparent...
    First of all, the NOISE! The exhaust sounded a million times better, way way quieter, more so than adding a second box, which makes sense, as noise can easy travel thru thin sheet metal of a pipe, but not as easy thru insulating wrap too, making more of the noise come out the tailpipe, where it should. It wasnt only quieter, it was MUCH crisper and bassier, sounded like blipping a motorbike, mega responsive.
    On boost of course it is ear splitting loud still, thanks to the screamer, but tha all good.

    While blipping the car to 3k in neutral to listen to it, we noticed one more new thing, it always flamed like mad on the over run, but now the fucker now shoots flames even with a 1/4 throttle blip to 3k, fun times.

    Next up, time to drive- the car was way more responsive now, not surprising due to much lower inlet temps and less lag thanks to much more heat in the manifold and turbine, but also way punchier off boost, makes it lovely to drive round at low rpm, something it never was before.
    Full boost is now a bit lower still, just over 2.5k, and for the first time it pulls well from then, especially from 3.5k where it tears ass all way to 8k no bother.

    Next job now that weak point is out the way is to fit a bigger water injection jet, plug in my wideband, and see if we got the fuel for 1.5bar, but im yet to do that.

    Also, I started on the lightness, with a super light tailgate and rear screen coming from the USA...
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    And the last brand new set of East Bear flush FC headlamps in the world...
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    Combine these with some gutted doors and im assured to be under 1000kg, hell, some n/a racers in the USA with very very similar specs are under 900kg :eek:

    Continued on next post...
     
  4. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

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    With the car working ok and the light bits on the way, I decided to do some hard parking for 10mins to take a few snaps...
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    And that, for now, is it!
    Soon as this weather stops being so snowy ill stop fucking about on the hills in the snow and fix the bodywork, shouldnt take more than a couple of weekends, and then its time to get that boost up to, hopefully if it has the fuel for it, 1.5bar.

    Ive examined my turbo and it uses the same compressor wheel as a RS500 T4, which can do a genuine 520bhp, but with a much bigger and better flowing turbine wheel and housing. Looking at the comp map, 1.5bar on my engine should be doing nicely, I dont want to speculate on numbers, but my initial aim of 400bhp per ton should be long gone, hell, it may be past that already, feels like it, but the main thing im doing it for is torque, as its still hard work when drifitng, especially at lower speeds, needing the odd clutch kick, purely due to lack of midrange torque, something 1.5bar will cure easy.

    Watch this space, or dont if you dont care.
     
    #4 Stavros, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  5. Teddyy

    Teddyy Member

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    Dude.... Just simply wow.
     
  6. initial_j

    initial_j Made guy

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    thats a write up and a half, anyone would of thought you do it for a living.. ; )


    one of my favourite cars in the uk. spent nearly a year myself trying to raise the funds to buy it myself but never did. still plans to own it one day!

    good to hear was only aero damage. it happens.

    look forward to seeing how it progresses
     
  7. short shift

    short shift Member

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    legendary stuff man!
     
  8. Dan Goodyer

    Dan Goodyer JasonRobertson

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    Good read mate.

    Naughty, naughty on the streeto :wack:

    Relieved to read there's no real harm done. Sounds like everything you're doing to it is bang-on. I'm interested to see how the rotor tips get on with 1.5 bar. Is the engine ported at all?

    I've always wondered that. How many 13BTs blow simply because of that heat essentially warming up in the inlet tract post-intercooler. Especially because most RX-7 owners fit large turbos (0.84 and 1.15 a/r T4 turbines are popular for example). It would also explain why N/A 13B engines seem to last a lot longer than their turbo counterparts; because they lack the heat generated by big turbos.


    Can I just ask:
    Does it run on a MAP Sensor?
    What ECU?
    What Fuel Injectors are you using?

    Nicely. Keep us updated.

    PS - Are you running any methanol in the pre-compressor injection? I fancy trying it myself now ;)
     
  9. the stig

    the stig Active Member

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    that car has caracture,nice build thread mr stav:thumbs:
    and nice to see you doing so much yourself.
     
  10. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

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    Jack- When you get the cash, let me know, everything has a price, esp as im poor!!

    Stiggy- Cheers mate, tuning and turbos is about the only thing that my head can work out, lol, and I have to do it myself as I cant afford to pay anyone, even if I trusted anyone, lol. And I wanna do things MY way, thats the thing, I rarely agree with most peoples tuning methods, and if I do it its my ideas, my work, only myself to blame if it dont work well, lol.

    Bobby C, long reply time, lol...

    Far as I can see rotor tips shit thmselves due to either det or poor lube (i use premix to help that, the rest is in the lap of the gods), not actual boost pressure. Boost pressure is almost never the cause of something to blow, the pressure caused by boost, even if its like 60psi boost, is less than the pressure that happens in even a mild instance of detonation.
    If you can stop it detting, which is purely down to heat/fuel/ign, an engine almost never will pop regardless of boost, in the USA and Oz 1.5bar is normal, well over 2bar on pump fuel isnt uncommon.
    It may wear out in other ways, but det and the instant death most tuned engines suffer wont happen.

    Engine is ported, not bridge, but large ports, has a 4.5k+ main powerband, still pulling stong at the 8k rev limit, almost like it hasnt even peaked, and has a 1500rpm idle speed and dont cope that well at that, lol.

    Massive ports being so vital are another UK phenomenon, mostly due to the being warey of boost thing due to det and the good old myth that bigger ports help spool (maybe at higher revs, but dont help low down).
    In Oz they have seen over 700 at wheels at 35psi on pump fuel on similar size ports to mine (ie not bridge or PP), and in the USA there a good few examples of cars in the 9s and pushing out over 700bhp (on race fuel) on standard ports, so im more than happy with my 'street ported' engine.
    Though I do love the Bridge brap brap noise, lol.

    99% of 13BTs that lose their tips are due to heat IMO, as heat is what causes det, and det is what makes em shit tips.
    What I did to counter heat doesnt counter all heat, engines are hot (thankfully the thing already has a serious upgraded oil and water cooing setup), but it amazes me so many people dont have the simple grasp of physics or engine tuning to see where the obvious weak points are and try fix em.

    Its the old putting a bucket down to catch the water rather than fixing the leak in the first place scenario.

    The N/A thing will be partly that, partly less heat and stress in general due to less heat all round, and partly less head due to less/no backpreessure. Basically det is the main killer of rotaries, and everything that causes det is heat related, and all those things are increased by a turbo being involved.

    Thing is, the rotary design is the best thing for a turbo, and the turbo is the best invention ever for a rotary, so you just got to prevent it the best you can, cant have your cake and eat it!

    Yes, MAP senor mate.

    HKS F-Con Pro managment.

    1000cc injectors and higher base fuel pressure.

    No methanol, complicates things, costs money, and no need, water is free from the tap, and thats a winner for me. Like said, over 700ATW and 35psi has been done on Optimax using 100% water pre-compressor.
    Interestingly, that was injecting 1200-1500cc a minute of water pre-comp too, a fuckload of water!

    ALL IMO though so please dont take anything as gospel, I jus do things my way as I dont agree with most methods, whatever I decide is right, experience counts for little if you just consistantly being rubbish for years, lol.
     
    #10 Stavros, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  11. mcxxvi

    mcxxvi i take pictures

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    woah! i'm impressed! i love it how you make full use of a drift car - by drifting it. glad to hear that you only had cosmetic damages too!

    Q) are you planning to further modify the fc?
     
  12. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

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    Nah, not going to do much more, fix it back up, add the new lightweight parts, pray its got the fuel for 1.5bar boost, maybe weld myself up a turbo hanger, and thats all really mate.

    Thats kinda why I bought the car, it was very close to my perfect setup, and ive done most the things I wasnt happy with already, so yeah, nearly at the stage where its purely maintining/fixing it and carrying on driving it as I am (ie really wrecklessly with loads of crashes, lol).

    Even if it blows up id fix it to the same sorta spec, cheaper than big changes and perfectly fine as its how I want it. Handles mint, drifts better than I ever could, stops well, reliable, not complicated, sounds nuts, chucks flames, and at say 450bhp per ton (easy with the lightweight bits and 1.5bar), has the acceleration to wave goodbye to the majority of supercars when on the road.

    If I havent the fuel for 1.5bar then I'll have to spend a bit more time and money beefing that up, but considering it didnt blow up when I accidently ran 1.6bar, im fair confident itd be ok :)
     
    #12 Stavros, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  13. Dan Goodyer

    Dan Goodyer JasonRobertson

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    Cool.

    Yeah that all makes sense. I must admit I've always wanted to strip my engine and have a go at street (extend) porting. To me it makes more sense with turbocharging. i can see the benefits of bridge/peripheral porting, especially with N/A engines, but it's a bit like valve timing on a turbo car I guess. You don't want the same kind of overlap you do on N/A engines - you don't want compressed air entering the engine to just whizz straight down the exhaust. (An exaggeration but you get my point).

    With the design and relatively few moving parts of a rotary, I've always wondered if it would be possible to create something obscene using F1-level materials - like a 20k rpm rotary powered by a T6 or similar tubby on some fruity fuel/gas. (Well, I'd probably go for a tubby fed by each rotor but that's another thing. I appreciate stacking rotors in series is easier, but I've just realized I'm going waaaay off topic.. :o)


    I'm always watching vids or rotaries in the States, and more often Australia/New Zealand. Thing is I always assume those cars running 1.5/2 bar are built with heavy mods to the eccentric shaft (larger oil ways), trick tips (you can buy all sorts over there in metal and carbon). Are you saying that (with the obvious upgrades to fuel, ignition and cooling, etc.) a healthy and standard 13bt should be able to handle 1.5 bar?

    Jeez, I'm in the middle of stripping mine. It's a rough old dog but you're making me want to start bolting it back together now! :wack:

    PS - Do you think there's any scope for sequential water injection? I.e, pre-compressor + another spray between intercooler and inlet?
     
    #13 Dan Goodyer, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  14. foto_choppa

    foto_choppa Member

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    god damn i love that car
     
  15. rob&fc3s

    rob&fc3s New Member

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    MAN!!! + 1 IDK wat to tell you!!! you lucky guy i wish i wissshhhhh....... THAT IS EPIC MAN....... not a lot of ppl can say that they have a d1 car. i love fc's i got one myself but damn damn crazy AMERICA SUX lol..... congrads take care of her dont fuck around and total it ........ :thumbs:
     
  16. swiftmini

    swiftmini Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
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    Epic car :nod:

    Streeto bad :nod:
     
  17. Lex

    Lex www.dwyb.co.uk

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Posts:
    5,220
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    Location:
    Booostville
    Cool write up.

    Weak for no DWYB action shots - where are the infamous 4 foot flame pics :D
     
  18. Stavros

    Stavros Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Posts:
    26,134
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    Location:
    Isle of bollocks
    Has anyone got any mate? Nobody seemed to take any pics of my car the first time, well actually the marshall guy with the camera did, massive flames too as he shown me while I was queueing up to run, but he has never posted em up, and the 2nd time my car fucked up before id barely started :cry:
     
  19. 5hane

    5hane Member

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    Jul 21, 2008
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    Location:
    hornchurch essex
    Really cool :D

    good luck with making 1.5 bar :thumbs:
     
  20. SacrilegiousFD

    SacrilegiousFD New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
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    18
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    Location:
    Leicestersgire/Hampshire
    loving the pictures
     

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