Wednesday, August 1, 2012

cars and coffee charlotte, july

After scratching enough off the to do list, it was time for a longer shake down test. Cars and Coffee Charlotte was the next day. It was a two hour drive, one way, in 1oo+ degree heat.

To cut to the chase the biggest issues were leaving the house and spilling a soda in the car while trying to fill the tires. Luckily it spilled on the driver side, avoiding all the wires, battery, relays, connections, and switches on the passenger side, but it still took time to clean dry. We then had to spend some time rummaging through Haydn's bolt box to get some appropriately sized seat belt mounting hardware before pushing off.

Haydn and I left together from greenville, meeting Brian (YES, another one, spelt differently but pronounced the same) and his mazda a few towns away.

Some nice rolling shots of the mazda hatchback.

Only one of Haydn and Jessica for some odd reason, but I have more parked below.

I like this one above.

As I said, even with the high outside temps, everyone made the two hour trek without incident.

Then we started wandering around. Another nice red one ...

Followed by some nice tail lights some of you may recognize.

And a clean evo.

I may or may not have stolen all the above pics from f*book. Thanks guys.

Below, my favorite car of the show, an sr2o swapped 510. Super clean.

THAT is exactly what I want for my wagon. I met the owner briefly when I pulled in but didn't get a chance to discuss his masterpiece. Hopefully he shows up at the next event and maybe we can arrive a bit earlier. SO CLEAN.

What is this one? It's like a two door wagon with a super long hood.

Massive contact patch.

There were a few hundred cars there, largest show I've been to in a while. It was fun to make the ride and meet some new friends.

This next evo isn't the one above, but look closely, some may recognize the welding and tubing style. Before leaving the event someone approached me who recognized my exhaust manifold, not from pictures, but because he made it!

I bought my manifold and downpipe used from more than several years ago. I lived in a different state then, and it came from that many more states away. The owner was moving on, and the builder was already once removed. A few moves and years later I end up in sc and bring the 24o to a monthly event in nc. The builder just happened to park one caddy corner parking spot away from me! Apparently he ended up in nc, at the same show, the same day I decided to take the 24o for a ride. Thanks James for the awesome manifold!

I still can't believe it.

We went to lunch in charlotte after the show. It was very hot during and en-route home, but good times had by all.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Within 5 posts of being caught up to current progress. Well, within a week ... plus five posts.

After a few test flights on the books, it was obvious there was a fueling/tuning issue to resolve. Under WOT at any boost level, the 24o was sputtering. Sputtering to the point that the car would pitch forward and lose all momentum. I obviously didn't spend much time in this condition, letting go of everything at the first sign of something scary.

A few years ago I had lots of trouble with spark plugs until I settled down with a set of Iridium ix 7e's. To remind everyone, this set was the same set that stayed in the engine while it was on the stand, sometimes rotated upside down. Although I drained the oil before removing the engine, that doesn't mean remnants didn't immediately leak into the head, soaking the plugs and valves.

I thought it was a good place to start so I pulled the cover, coil packs, and plugs to check them out. I saved them just in case I want to clean them for re-use, as they are a 5o$ set of spark plugs.

Old v New.

These are in order, 1-6. I even boxed them in the new plug's boxes, labeling the cylinder they were pulled from.

As shown above, I ended up going another range colder, to an 8e, of the same Iridium ix design. In theory, the 7e's were bad from the last year of inactivity and blowing out at WOT. This turned out not to be completely correct, but the new plugs are running well, and I think it was great to sharpen the tune.

Back on track, according to the source, NGK recommends one range colder for every 75-1oo hp added. My rb came with 6e's in it and ran 2oo hp at the wheels after initial install with bolt on's and stock boost and tune. Now there's some debate that the stock rb's may have a 5e from oem. Either way, at full boost I'm in the mid 4oo range now, another 25o from stock. However you count it, that's another 2-3 heat ranges colder, and since I haven't heard of 9e's being used, 8 it was.

I used a spare scrap vacuum hose to hold the end of the plug as I threaded it in as to not cross thread.

Installed all the new plugs, and tightened them down to spec.

Bolted down the coil packs, and again, watch out for over-torquing into an aluminum head. That will ruin your day quickly.

Routed the vacuum lines for the boost controller, wastegate, and blowoff valve, securing everything with the oem clips.

Installed the oem spark plug cover with four center allen head bolts. I left the front ones out so that the vacuum lines can exit above the valve cover near the timing belt cover from the spark plug area. It does a lot to organize and clean the engine bay. There are enough lines that can't be easily hidden. I left the rear bolts out as well, because simply put, they're hard to get to sitting under the hood latch with the engine so far aft. Normally I wouldn't condone such practice, but it is just a cover, and omitting some of the bolts has valid reasons, especially increasing ease of serviceability.

Late night...

...but got a few more things knocked off the list and placed the shifter boot and frame in place. I could not complete its install yet as the holes don't seem to line up. The frame may be from the 28o, my patience was running thin, and it was too late in the day to go digging for hardware. At least the frame and boot were in place to prevent most of the hot air from entering the cabin.

Installed the passenger seat above the braille battery which I drained by forgetting to turn off the fan. It was only a few minutes, but that's all it took to zap all the juice from the tiny power pack. I hooked up the trickle charger and let it sit over night. She was fine in the morning.