What I really love about your car is that it is constantly changing and evolving. I hope you keep it and enjoy it for a long while now that it's "done." Also curious: how do you like the bigger motor?
I am certainly proud to say very, very few portions of the car remained untouched… everything from the shortened struts and boxed rear beam, the engine build and rewired fuel management; to the custom bent rockers, cowl hood, shaved items, and paint.. even into the retrofitted seats, tweed door cards, and custom gauge faces, its all just how I wanted it to turn out, and I did it myself.
Excited to start this next project.
Thanks. The new motor (aba block, gasket matched intake / exhaust, 268 (symmetrical) cam, running 1deg advance on an adjustable cam gear )is a big difference over the original one. It makes good power all the way past 5k, and the difference in torque is very noticeable. I can easily start out in 2nd in most instances, and even have healthy acceleration in 5th gear. Motor never lugs, more than enough power to negotiate traffic and on ramps, and you don’t have to wind it out ether. Makes the car much more enjoyable to drive. I think (aside from headlights) most of the changes to come with this car are going to be mechanical. I still want to step into the forced induction ring with this motor.
Began experimenting with water/methanol injection; all the details here:
Recent cellphone pictures:
If anyone reading this has Instagram (Iphone, or android) and you would like to follow me there, my name is: “vweuroracer”
Back to the top with an update:
This is on its way to me: weber 32/36 I know this is a huge step back into automotive history for most, but to be frank this is a good solution to my issue... Digi... Fox digi. Not enough fuel, and pre ignition even at modist timing values, in addition to other issues ( other threads out there about that)
Stay posted for install and impressions.
Future plans for forced induction (down the road a ways): rather than a turbo charger on the current motor, a 1.8t will be installed. Roughly the same ammount of $ for a factory reliable setup. Easyer to tune, more potential.
Been busy with the fox in the past months, mainly just running the car and enjoying it. I ended up building a small trailer for it to tow my canoe to the boat launch, its working out well. Hit the limitations of digi, so most of my parts are in (msd 6tm ignition, soft rev control, blaster coil, aircraft fuel pump, regulator, 32/36 weber progressive carb, manifold) still waiting on an rpm module for the rev limiter, throttle linkage and a few odds and ends. But the plan is to cut out the passenger side of the dash, box it all in steel to mount the ignition equipment (and give the passenger more leg room). Completely gut the current wiring harness and start from scratch. Run 2 fuel pumps, one as a main, and one as a backup (switch selectable), and get everything tuned up properly and running. I have a 800 mile trip planned for this car in Sept.
Fox is up and running on the Weber 32/36 and 6tn setup!! Swap was straight forward, 9hrs in swap, only 2 issues I ran into: 1 I could not fit a vac advance distributer in the 2.0 block because the vac actuator hits the 1.8t oil flange turbo oil feed line block off plug. Even if I clock the distributer 90 deg. And set the intermediate shaft accordingly, I do not have enough room to play with the timing. So for now I am running fixed timing, no advance and its still running better than it did on digi… instant throttle response, very smooth, no hiccups. Plan is to remove the vac advance, pin the distributer then play around with springs to recurve it and get a decent advance profile. 2 the throttle pull is in the direction of the passenger side fender on the carb, way off from where it needs to be, but that was solved with some steel cable, a pulley from a deck sliding door, some copper icemaker line out of a fridge, and a few bits of scrap steel thrown in for good measure. Works like a charm, and it even looks the part. 300 miles so far, and even on fixed timing its awesome to drive.
Been busy as all get out, work and many many projects going on around in the shop… better pics and details will come at some point, but I got this for now:
also got a set of wheels on the way... et18 going to see if i can make this work
Is there a position that allows the vac advance canister to clear the flange and have some degree of movement? If you're still open to using the vac canister, you could just throw your im shaft "off" time. the notch in the distributor won't line up, but you'd then be able to set the distributor at almost any position.
I really suck at smog.
Got the wheels on, and snapped a quick pic of the carb. Wheels are BMW turbines et18 5.5 13”, I did the math and decided on 165/70/13 sumitomo tires (from Tire Rack), these are slightly more narrow than the 175/70/13 that I was previously running on the et 38 5.5” 13” wheels… The extra 20mm of poke on the wheels with the narrower tires, put the tops of the side walls in just about the same place in relationship to the tops of the wheel arches as the last setup. No more rub than I had previously, and the wheels sit almost flush with the wheel openings.
I still need to thoroughly detail the engine, tuck some wires, fit the new distributer, new carpet in the interior, finish up the dash, do some bumper mods, and install a radio… Fox will be ready for Dubs on the Boards.
Thanks for the words and support!
So you always hear about having to run premium with the aba/1.8 swaps and what not, but damn the pre detonation issue is a little touchier than I was lead on to believe that is for sure…
I ended up fitting the distributer with the vacuum advance attached it took a few shots trying different orientations but I have it in a place I am able to move far enough 10 degrees in either direction.
Unfortunately I am unable to use the vac advance: (The mechanical advance is still in use though, so I have timing advance) In order to run the vac advance on 93 octane with stock plugs and 0 cam timing (its 95 degrees here right now) I had to have the distributer behind TDC In order not to have pre ignition!!, so that’s no good. So I went down the standard path to solve that issue, retard the cam, check (back 4 degrees) colder plugs, check bp8es… yes 4 full steps colder I tried 7, and 6 as well too before going with the 8’s, 93 fuel check, run a tad rich check, still pings like an air popcorn machine at 6dbtdc. When running straight mechanical advance, I am able to keep the pre detonation away if you drive carefully, but it will still ping if you get throttle happy in low rpm high load situations. Not a huge fan about this, but I think I am just going to have to accept it and move on… aside from lowering the compression (anyone know of any gaskets out there that can do the job?? Not going to stack them) there isn’t a thing I can do that I haven’t tried (including water and meth injection.)
Any of you guys having a aba/1.8 pre detonation issue? Any other suggestions? I am just trying to figure out if this is normal for this engine and no one really talks about it, or the motor I picked up had the head shaved or something or some other compression adder I don’t know about. All I know about the motor is it was for use in an auto cross car… set up for fast acceleration on a tight course I assume. The guy I got it from never ran it.
What's the deal with that MSD setup you got? Any way to hook up a knock sensor to it or otherwise program the timing curve yourself?
I've got an ABA block with Digifant Fox head and don't seem to have detonation issues. Can't remember what I have my ignition timing set to. I believe it's at 6*BTDC.
I'm running 87 octane fine, although last time I really drove it, it was winter. 268 cam
How is your mixture? Do you have a wideband? Maybe fattening it up a little more would help? Did you say that water/meth didn't help?? Or that you weren't interested?
I really suck at smog.
Last edited by oRANGEJULIUS; 08-09-2012 at 12:55 PM.
Good news! Stepped up from a .50 to a .65 on the main jet this got my idle air screw in a good range, and from a .65 to a .75 on the secondary and noticed an improvement in the detonation, so i I decided to go to .90, and finally to a 1 and the detonation only occurs when you lug the engine now, and that’s fine by me. Also noticing cooler engine temps, and smoother acceleration when the secondary opens.
New exhaust went on today; down pipe, to large stainless resonator from a Lexus to a tight 100 deg., into a mini turbo muffler (all ceramic coated) then out the rocker. I must be getting older… car is super quiet (just a slight authoritative tone, and some light pops and gurgles on deceleration) and I’m digging it. I have a steel exhaust flange coming as we speak; I am going to design and build a header to top this system off. It’s a nice challenge.
I also started making templates for shields I am going to make that will direct more air into the radiator.
And its getting time to replace the fame rails… lots of abuse from sliding over speed bumps, slamming into road debris, crushing pot holes, sliding over undulations, etc… When the times comes I will be making some sort of slider system out of thick plate steel that will make the transitions smoother and hold up to more action.
That’s it for now
Rich, but the car is running better and my issues lessened so go figure. The sensor is a new sensor, and readings are only after its warmed up but I still don’t have much faith in it, especially after this. I think when I build the header I am going to go wideband.
That’s a good question… Multiple cylinders being fed by a single carb (or even throttle body injection) is nothing new though, widely used for eons so I don’t think its terribly inaccurate just based upon that. Personally judging by the spark plugs I would say rather well… every plug has a similar coloration. This is just an averages look at things over time though; I’m sure real time monitoring of individual cylinders things would vary slightly and constantly. Its certainty nowhere near the realm of accuracy and efficiency individual injectors offer. But I do have to say going back to the future on this motor has lessened my headaches, adjusting afr is simple (screw or jets) and I now have the ability to properly tune (un like digi).
New air filter installed, welded up the front motor mount so its solid; tired of the motor slapping the hood when you romp on it, and got my head flange for the header in the mail. Currently doing research on scavenging effects, harmonics, flow, etc in preparation for the header build.
Going to attempt recurving my distributer tomorrow; since i know no source of replacement springs for 8v distributors, I am going to try welding 2 coils together on one spring in hopes that the advance starts at like 3k instead of the current curve:
1050-1400 Advance begins
With the 268 cam retarded 4 degrees, power really kicks in at about 2600rpm and pulls hard past 5500rpm ( I have a 6,600 limit set on the ignition system... no valve float and i still have stock 1.8 like torque prior to 2500rpm) If i can get the advance to hold off until this point i can eliminate the detonation. I like the way this is set up, makes the car very fun to drive… so we will see how this goes.
The very top of the valve cover (g60) hit the hood. I need to upload the photos, but I took apart the distributor to find there were 2 springs of different diameter (stiffness). Judging by rotation direction, the first, lighter spring allowed the advance to start, while the stiffer spring held the final advance. Both springs are shaped differently and are not interchangeable. I disassembled another distributor I had, removed the stiffer spring and modified it to fit the lighter springs place on the original distributor. Now I am running 2 thicker springs. Advance comes in around 3k, and ends at about 6k, with about 20 deg. Overall. Even with this setup, I am still having pre ignition issues. There is more going on with this motor than I know about, I feel that the head was shaved at some point, or some other compression adding changes / machining performed. Not completely happy with this setup, decided to cancel the big trip I had planned with the car for obvious reasons.
In other news, all new carpet was installed, and the majority of the interior buttoned up. I do have a feeling this car is going to end up on the back burner for a couple years yet again, this time due to me relocating (what a process I tell you!) We will see what happens, one thing is for sure, the car is not leaving my possession, and I am going to try to make it out to the Oktoberfest fall european car show…
Car show details:
Not much progress to speak of. Had the car sitting for about a month, figured I would drive it a little before winter hits (and I prep it for winter storage). Same issues with the detonation… I am just going to swap motors when I find the time. Beautiful thing with these 8v, a nice motor can be had for just about nothing. 2.0 / 3a block, would like to go with a solid lifter head and a huge cam (would make good use of the carb setup) this time around. Still minor details to finish here and there, and not totally sold on the bumper / headlights I have installed… may change that up as well. We will see what happens when I pull it out of the garage in the spring.
Taking advantage of this nice weather: