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.

fenders and stray fuel lines

There's more than several things wrong in this photo, from the fuel line that rubbed on the rim during the first adventure from the garage, to the ziptie now holding it in place and the tape around the fray's, but I'm going to focus on another issue.

The fenders. The tires are obviously a little too close for comfort, shown here by the massive rub on the inner uni-body. To be honest though, it could have been worse. I plan to simply adjust the control arms out a bit, widening the rear track, allowing for some breathing room between the 24o and its rubber.

Here's the passenger rear fender after we tried rolling it with an eastwood roller. It worked pretty well but took a very long time and was not completely effective. The angles were correct, but the lip needed to be completely flush, not only slightly pushed up.

It's difficult to tell in the pictures, but there's a significant amount of body work (bondo/fiberglass/filler) on the outside of the rear fender lines. The underside of the wheel wells, along with the rest of the car, look great. The undercoating in this area could use some sprucing up, but overall I am still impressed. Even where the undercoating chipped off, the body is nice and solid. I'm curious as to why there is body work, and the apparent quantity, on the outside though. Due to the lack of rust anywhere else on the body, there's nothing to tell me that it was to cover a gaping hole, so maybe it was just to make strong lines before paint?

I'm going to stay optimistic until proven otherwise. 

Since it was still rubbing after half a day of rolling, I pulled the rear wheels off the next available day and started tapping with a mallet. Since it was started with a true fender roller, and almost completed, the bend was already there. I didn't have to worry about getting an angle of roll incorrect, or trying to find a starting point, which was hard enough with the roller. The mallet merely finished the job, making the lip flush with the inner wheel well to get the most out of the space.

The body work cracked and flaked off in many areas, but I was not too concerned, as again, it needed to be sorted out during paint and body work anyways.

As previously stated, during the last ride the fuel line actually rubbed a bit against the id of the rim. It frayed little spots on the upper and lower loop, but did not harm the inner hose. To keep her on the road I taped the affected areas and loosely tied the line, pulling it more forward, away from the wheel.

Yes, I am going to replace this line, probably cutting it 2x as long so that it can loop inboard to avoid the wheel, and also as important, not have to be tied to something that moves independently of the pump it's attached to, namely the damper.

Trying to stay on track and focus on the completed fender rollings and its cracking body work, here's more photo's.

More of the same on the driver side rear.

Undercoating was in the same shape as the passenger side, no rust, but a re-coat is on the to-do list. I still have a lot left over from when we coated the transmission tunnel.