Awesome man! Your build shows that you have MUCH more patience than i ever would haha
Lets get some more photos of her
And a video or two?
Im curious how it sounds!
Oh there will be LOTS more photos this summer. It hasn't been waxed in almost 2 years now soooo....it'll look better. I've got a friend that is gonna teach me how to do a REAL detail (polish etc) which I am excited for.
I'll shoot some video after I get it tuned. Right now I'm trying to hunt down an off-throttle rattle. I'm thinking exhaust, but when I kicked the exhaust last night it didn't make any noise
Maybe I'll post a video of that and some sleuths here can help figure it out.
The bad headwork would've made me absolutely crazy. There's no excuse for sloppy work like that. I don't know which is worse, the fact that they didn't set the valve height correctly or the junk under the ports. Both are pretty unforgivable.
Have you put a magnetic drain plug in it? They're great for engine break-in, as they hold the little bits of ring that tend to grind away when you're firing. For the same reason, always drain the oil hot!
As far as that elusive rattle, was the engine hot when you kicked the exhaust system around? That can make a huge difference.
Keep the faith, man.
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
I bent the brand-new mower blade on my riding mower the other day, right after I got it home from having a bracket welded back up at the shop, and I very, very nearly flipped it over, shot holes in it, and set it on fire I was so frustrated. Can’t comprehend all the (what, 20?) assemble/disassemble/reassemble troubleshooting steps you’ve done.
Car looks great. Best of luck with the rest of the shakedown/ironing-out process. In spite of all my better judgement, everything I have heard, and the things I have just seen you go through, I still want one.
50 miles into my drive I pulled up to a stoplight and it was misfiring at idle and at 18-19 AFR.
After I babied it home I found a vacuum cap had popped off. and At least it was nothing major. Put a new one on with RTV this time.
There were more than a few occasions when I didn't wanna deal with the car, which is partly why I put it back into storage in the fall instead of trying to finish it up. Especially when its just myself doing the work. But the turning point was my buddy Pat coming to help for a weekend. Just getting the motor to fire was BIG motivation; even if it required more 'redo' work afterwards.
AND...now that I've done it this many times...its not as much of a hassle. If it wasn't for all the coolant in the system and not wanting to make a mess, I could probably do a timing belt job in 3 hours now. Shutoff to restart.
If you're on the fence..go get one now. Before they're ALL molested. Its not that bad :-)
Originally posted 5-20-12
Been a while since I've posted.
I think I've gotten nearly everything sorted out with the car, except for the tune. The car runs good, but there is a funky lean spike right around 2k rpms that I think is killing my torque output.
Yesterday a couple friends and I drove down to Canton for a dyno day benefit. It was a chassis dyno (more info when I get the graphs).
Buddy with a SN95 cobra put down 250hp with just pullies.
284whp and 270 torque for my Z with stock wastegate pressure (12psi). Kinda disappointed. I think a lot of it comes down to the tune. (ashspec chip currently) I really wish I could have been ready for the Specialty Z tune day in Cincinnati. I should get the graphs tomorrow, but now I need to learn how to use my Nistune ECU and software.
To be fair, I found out on the ride home that I popped off two vacuum caps and a fuel line. I hope that was the reason for the crappy showing.
I thought I had a RMS leak, turns out I never retightened the oil pan bolts after installing it with RTV orange initially. To get to all of the bolts I had to remove the transmission brackets on the driver's side and loosen the bracket on the passenger's side. Since then I haven't seen a drop of oil from the back of the motor.
I installed a Greddy Profec B Spec 2 boost controller that I found on the forum last week now that my motor is broken in. It feels good to get up to 15 psi again!
I got an auto NA nistune ecu for a steal a while back, and 91ser came down from Chicagoland again to help adjust the tune. I've been running an Ash tune set up for my 755cc top feed injectors, but after installing the sport 500 turbos and AMS exhaust manifolds I've had a lean spot at part throttle that I wanted to get rid of. After doing a fair amount of reading we learned how to copy the maps from my TT ecu onto my netbook, and transfered them onto the nistune ECU. We went for a drive but were unable to see the effects of our changes. I think we were running into issues with the gear map, so the gear and knock maps were disabled and things really took off from there.
We pulled some fuel out at the top end (shot for 11.5-12.0) and added some down low (shooting for 14.7 low load) and the car runs SOOO much better. We filled up after about 1/2 tank of highway driving, 1/4 tank of accelleration runs, and 1/4 tank of cruising. 19.996 mpg!!!! Typically I've only seen 20 on 100% highway tanks. I can't wait to see what this current tank gets me. I'm going to need to modify some other rich spots down low, and I want to try and lean out very low load areas some more to improve fuel economy (after doing some more reading on how to tune). I just can't believe how much of an improvement we saw with only a few hours spent in the car.
Last weekend I gave the girlfriend a VERY brief overview of how to use nistune, but with her help dialed in the tune on the freeway in 5th from 55-75. AFR at part throttle is almost dead on 14.6-14.8. After filling up on that tank I got 21.9mpg. 75% freeway/country roads, 10% commuting 3.5 miles and back to work a few days, and 15% with the old tune. Looking better!
I'd like to know how some people are getting 25+ on the freeway. My goal is 22-23mpg on the highway so its not too painful on the wallet for long trips.
Check me out on fuelly.com for MPG updates.
Also took delivery of a second MAF, Selin Translator, and oil sandwich plate this weekend. The plan is to take a long weekend over 4th of July to see Cake at Summerfest, help my buddy finish up the V8 install in his slicktop, and install a DOOLZ (dual intake) on my Z. Should be good for quicker throttle response and about 20-30HP. Oil sandwich plate is for oil temp/pressure gages whenever I get a carPC installed. Hopefully this winters project.
Originally posted 7-12-12
First off, I know I need more photos. Just took a 1500 mile road trip and only got one crappy cell phone pic of the Z. Probably because it was dirty most of the time
Second. 22.9mpg for the road trip. Averaged 22.5, saw best tank of 22.9. I am quite pleased with this, I'm making more power and getting better fuel economy than the last trip I took 2 years ago. I'd still love to break the 23mpg mark. Those numbers are from sitting at 75-80 much of the time with a few spirited runs in between. Wisconsin has some great roads to drive.
Third! Picked up a Z1 Doolz from my friend in Chicago on my way back. Installed it yesterday in about 30 minutes. (I'll snag pics at lunch) The full setup is, Z1 doolz, silicone couplers, AIP maf (wanted OEM but the guy I bought it didn't state that it was aftermarket) and dual JWT popchargers (only one has a flower pot mod at the moment), and selin translator set to ADD. I've got a few observations.
1: Driveability is MUCH better. Previously in 5th gear below 1800rpms or so the car would bog down and shudder if i gave it throttle. I really had to be in 4th until 40+mph to drive the car smoothly. Not the case any more, 5th gear is usable down to almost 35mph. This should help fuel economy pretty significantly as most of the roads around here are 35 (boo).
2: This is completely subjective, but the car seems to drive much smoother. This is both good and bad.
3: At 15psi power doesn't seem to come on in as much of a RUSH as it did before. This makes the car feel slower. I've only driven with this setup for about an hour, so these observations may change. I did a log last night with nistune and saw TP load hit a new high of 73 (previous TPload max was about 63) so it seems to be making more power. It just doesn't feel that way. I REALLY need to completely redo my tune, but I'm not sure I have the skills for that. I've got a rescaled map created, but I'm afraid to use it. My current TP load scale maxes out at about 44. I'm monitoring everything very closely while driving, but something tells me its not a good idea to have the ECU interpolate that far beyond the chart.
4: Despite having my ballasts mounted at the outer edges of the engine bay and the selin right in the middle, I still get LOTS of interference. When I tried to pull away at the gas station I killed it because it was running so poorly. It didn't occur to me until the second try that the problem I was seeing was because of the HID's. When I turned the headlights off the car ran great. I need to read up on how people are correcting this.
Originally posted 7-16-12
We were 5 miles from home after 4 hours and 150 miles of driving all day Saturday when the car died at a fairly busy intersection. Barely managed to get it through the intersection and into a driveway.
Could not connect to the ECU with consult
Code 55 - All OK
Aux fan running with key in accessory position
Car would barely idle (VERY rich) and would die with any throttle.
CEL was on.
If I let the car sit for 3 minutes, the fan would not turn on at the turn of the key, but as soon as I gave it throttle it would start with the above symptoms again.
Called AAA and was home within 30 minutes. I had planned on swapping ECU's in the morning on Sunday because everything I read suggested a bad EPROM or bad ECU (Current ECU has a nistune board). Some others suggested bad MAF, which almost makes sense because I'm running a dual maf setup (1 oem 1 AIP) with a selin translator but that doesn't explain why I couldn't connect to the ECU.
Sunday I started up the car and drove around the development with no problems. ??? Now I have to drive around wondering when this will happen again.
I've got a spare ECU and spare single intake ready to swap over in the car in case this happens again. Has anyone else encountered this problem before? Is it possible to have this caused by a bad maf when running the selin? I would think that if one maf is bad (and set to ADD) it would be reading to LITTLE airflow and be running lean. Has anyone ever had a bad nistune board?
Originally posted 8-6-12
Well its happened twice more now. ECU dies after long drives. Swapping to my chipped TT ecu will allow the car to run fine indefinitely. If I drop the nistune ECU back in the next day it'll work fine again. A brief visual inspection of the ecu innards didn't reveal any problems.
Not really sure what route to take. I'm assuming/hoping its the ECU and not the nistune board that is bad. I guess my next option is to find a cheap working NA ecu and swap the nistune board over.
I got in on the initial offering of the Royalty Performance 13" rear brake group buy, and they were delivered about two weeks ago. However my golf was still up on jackstands with my troublesome steering rack replacement so I couldn't install them.
I finally was able to tackle this job on Friday with the help of my girlfriend before I took her out to dinner :-) In total, it probably took us an hour to install these, wheels off to wheels on (including the time it took to learn how to adjust the parking brake). Very VERY simple install. I did have some problems with the heat shield rubbing against the backside of the rotor which I had to spend 5 minutes adjusting on Saturday, but nothing major. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to really test them with any simulated panic stops yet.
I definitely like the look though. It makes the fronts look smaller, but I like having 13" all around. They look much better under my 18" wheels.
Crappy photo on the way into work:
Great updates (except the stalling)! With an intermittent problem like that, makes me think it might be a loose ground? Good luck
I've got a 2.5" intercooler piping kit waiting to install, still need to purchase larger intercoolers with 2.5" inlets. I'll have my OEM throttle bodies bored out and the plenum matched to account for the larger piping. Dyno tests have proven almost +100 low end tq with this upgrade alone. Combined with my slightly larger than stock turbos, lag should be almost nonexistent with a monster torque curve.
The seats (and probably interior) will get recovered in charcoal leather, along with a new shift boot and ebrake to go with the red stitched shift knob my girlfriend got me for Christmas last year.
I plan on moving away from my triple 52mm gauge setup and switching to a double din bezel with a car PC running datascan/nistune. This way I can still monitor oil pressure/temperature/everything else with the sandwich adapter I'll be installing and I won't have to clutter the interior with more gauges.
Finally, I'll be cleaning up the engine bay and powder coating the plenum and balance tube and valve covers to get rid of the cruddy old aluminum look I've got going on. I really should have done this last winter, but I was too focused on getting it to run after my first ever engine build.
That will pretty much cover me for performance upgrades. The suspension is still pretty firm, I don't plan on altering that until my bushings start to go. Its a toss-up between that and paint as my next major modification, probably 2+ years down the road. I'm hoping that this winters round of upgrades are all I will need and I can drive it for a few seasons without sinking any more money into it. I've been planning on all of these for the last year, and I don't have anything else I need to do, and I struggle to find upgrades I want to do.
I've been trying to find a local dyno day for a while now, with no luck. So I finally got around to calling Bigshot Dyno down in Stow. I live in a city of 51k people and 100k within 5 miles, and I have to drive almost an hour to the closest dyno. Boo.
Anywho, I did my first dyno this spring with a chip tune and 12psi and put down a measly 290ish hp. Since then I got Nistune and using ZERO tuning experience dialed in the chip tune on the street and turned up the boost to 15psi. I also installed a doolz intake and selin translator.
I've got a set of Ash Massives V3 and 2.5" intake piping on the way for install this winter and I wanted to get another baseline prior to that mod, and a comparison from where I was at this spring.
Runs on a DynoJet reporting STD Horsepower.
Run 1 broke up a little so we didn't log it.
Runs 2 and 3 were nearly identical, within 1hp and 1tq at 15psi.
Run 4 I turned the boost controller back down to 12psi to get a comparison to this spring (plus the dual intake and tune)
15psi- 351whp and 367tq!!!!!!
12psi-331whp and 339tq!!
VERY pleased with these results. My goal of 450whp should be attainable with 17psi and breather mods!
Take a look at the photo below (not my ecu, but the same model and you should get the idea).
The standard Z32 ECU has a main board, and a daughterboard that lies parallel about .75" away on the other side of the casing. The two are connected with a 1" wide ribbon cable. Nistune replaces the standard aftermarket EPROM chip with yet another daughterboard in between the two, right where the ribbon cable is.
I dissected the ECU looking for loose or bad solder joints, but everything looked good, the only thing that was suspicious was the ribbon cable squished between the 3 ECU boards, and the ribbon cable was up against the backside of the Nistune board, which had many exposed pointed leads. I put some insulating material in these locations and haven't had a hiccup since.
I'll shoot you a PM, I'd be happy to show it off. Don't expect too much though, engine bay cleanup starts this winter.
Ashspec Massives V3 intercoolers delivered. Over twice the size of my current intercoolers, and these have a 2.5" inlet/outlet to mate up with my waiting 2.5" intercooler piping.
Won't get to install them until late winter/early spring.
As usual life has gotten in the way of working on the Z, as it seems to do nearly every year.
Late fall I got a new job and moved back home to Wisconsin in December. I stayed with family until March, when my girlfriend moved up and we found a place to rent. Over the winter I joined forces with a group of friends to build a 24 Hour of Lemons team/car. Our first race was April, and that sucked up nearly all of my free time.
Formerly the Putt Pirates, now Priority Fail
While trying to get a street car fully prepped for the track in under 4 months, I was also 'training' for a half ironman I competed in @ the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Over the course of two months I somehow found time to pull the bumper and intercoolers off the Z, but thats about it. After our first lemons race and after completing the tri in early May I had a few hours a week to spend on the car.
I should probably cover this years planned modifications first. Over a year ago I got a set of 2.5" intercooler piping for a price I couldn't say no to. All of the mods to my Z so far have been focused on making it a fun street car. Sport 500's, exhaust manifolds, 13" brakes, etc. Nothing over the top cost-wise, and mods focused on getting on the power earlier. Last fall I got a set of 2.5" Ashspec V3 Massive intercoolers, and had hoped to install them in the fall with the piping which did not happen. I also picked up a 7" touchscreen to run a carpc with for nistune and gages and etc, but that will have to wait until next year. Ah, almost forgot, I also had RobZ CNC my OEM throttle bodies and I ported my plenum to match. This is gonna be a riot when it is done!
So...I removed the OEM intercooler piping over the course of two days. The girlfriend was at a bachelorette party or something like that so I had the night to myself. Without even realizing it I spent 7 hours in the garage on a friday night and got most of the car ripped apart and half the piping out. Total to remove the piping was probably about 3-4 hours. Not as bad as I expected, but it could have gone better. Recirc bolts were seized, and almost impossible to reach with the condensor fan still installed. I wish I would have taken pictures. The first thing to remember is to unbolt the dryer bracket from the car, and this will give you all the wiggle room you need for the passenger side. The drivers side was much easier.
After I got this done the car sat for quite a while before I was able to start installing everything once again. It took a while to figure out how the 2.5" piping would go back on. I installed the intercoolers first, as everyone said to do, which was a good idea. However it took a lot of trial and error to get the right pipes in the right place and in the right direction. I spent a lot of time in front of the computer looking at other installs, but I still had to figure most out myself. I'd say I probably spent 8-10 hours (over the course of multiple days) getting everything fit up right.
We had another Lemons race last weekend, and our next isn't until November so I can finally focus most of my time on just one car. I got to work on the Z Thursday AND Friday this week, which was enough time to finish the piping install and install the upper plenum.
This evening's plans are to do a boost leak test and if everything holds up....try and start the car!
The big challenge this summer will be tuning the car, as I will need completely new maps with all the power I'll be putting down. Technically I should have rescaled my map with the previous round of mods, but the car ran great and I knew another extreme round of mods was not far away. I plan on renting some dyno time and doing it myself but I haven't messed with timing maps before. I've done lots of reading regarding tuning so I think I'll be able to get the hang of it, but I also want to make sure I do it right.
This is the last set of power-adders I plan on going with so whatever I end up doing for a tune this time will last quite a while. I'll install a LWFW and 1pc driveshaft some day, but aside from that all future mods will revolve around looks and functionality.
I'll get some pics up later tonight. I'm bored in front of a computer so I figured it would be a good time to update this thread.
Originally posted 6-23-13
First off, I realize I'm doing a crappy job of getting pics up. The car isn't that nice looking, but I still haven't got a shot of it fully assembled.
During the week I performed a boost leak check and had to use....unconventional methods to stop the airflow. I couldn't find anything in my garage with a 3" OD. So mayo had to do the trick. The only boost leak I could find was around the VTC solenoids. I must not have sealed them up enough when I checked the head stud torque. This required me to pull the plenum after getting everything set up and plugged in. Luckily this didn't take too long. I know I've done this probably 50 times at least now, but I'm still amazed I got all the vacuum lines and electricals hooked up without any mistakes on the first try. And no boost leaks after removing ALL the intercooler piping.
I put another two hours yesterday and two hours today getting everything wrapped up. I attempted to put the bumper on yesterday but wasn't able to as the air filters got in the way. I had to adjust the positioning of the recirc valves and all was well. The bumper went on smoothly and I managed to not lose any additional screws! I didn't put TOO much time in yesterday as it was my moms birthday and for the first time I decided to check out the 24 hours of Le Mans. Never watched it before, and realized I'm missing out. Since I don't follow racing it was mostly a bunch of people I've never heard of driving around a track I've never seen, but it was a ton of fun to watch.
I got up early this morning to watch the end of the race, and went back in the garage to finish attaching the bumper and get the oil changed after a winter of sitting. Nothing unusual this and no problems. Yay! That doesn't happen often. I do have a power steering leak though. I took the time to clean up everything below the car to see what was leaking, and I think I need a new PS reservoir. Damn.
I got the car warm, checked for leaks, didn't see anything too drastic, I think much of the oil is from when I pulled the valve covers originally and made a mess. This morning I went for a drive, pulled over when the car got up to temp...and saw some smoke from right around the PS turbo. Uhoh, and I didn't have my extinguisher with me. I got home and popped the hood and got a flashlight, and it looks like it was some oil that collected on the top of the turbo and had been sitting there. Later in the day I went for a longer drive, and the smoking was gone (after wiping everything down with carb cleaner).
BUT, when I finally mustered up the courage to get on it a little bit....the car hit about 5k in first gear and lost power. It ran fine part throttle, but once I hit boost around 4k rpm it felt like I hit a wall. I thought it was a problem with the recircs, but when I got home I discovered some hose clamps had moved on me and it was likely just massive boost leaks. I moved some piping around (some hoses and clamps are not at ideal angles) and I think I've got it squared away. The car runs great, I still have that annoying rattle with the clutch in or with the car in gear....but the engine itself runs great. I can't wait to get this last bug sorted out and get it tuned. I know my current tune isn't really adequate anymore and I would really like to get everything dialed in asap since its so late in the year. Time to look into area dyno's!
It's been about a year since my last update, and life has only gotten busier.
I finished last years upgrades mid summer last year and got a little enjoyment out of it, sold the mini in October and rushed to find a car before the snow fell. Ended up picking up a 2002 Jetta TDI that just put down 53.5mpg last tank (if I say 'put down' it makes it sound like the car could be enjoyable).
I got the car on the road a little later than planned this year, I got the car out of storage in early April to replace my rear main seal due to some slow oil drips and the rear DS tie rod needed replacing (4 wheel steering!). I had some hiccups with the RMS (forgetting protector plate AGAIN, ugh) even with a helper. It's not just me! I didn't get to the tie rod, because while the trans was still on the ground I learned I had 9 days before Ztuner was coming to Chicago for a dyno day. But I DID swap to a 12lb flywheel. I put the car back together ASAP to start testing the car to make sure everything would go smooth for the tune I've been waiting years for.
The tuner requested I do a WOT pull ahead of time so he could have maps ready when we got the car on the dyno. I obliged and to make a long story short...found out my current clutch was incapable of holding my current power levels much less the gains I expected to see. I tried adjusting the clutch pedal and didn't see any improvement. Ugh. 2nd day aired a much improved clutch for alot more than I wanted to spend and did the entire swap in under 3 hours, with my girlfriend helping get the trans down and myself doing the rest. Not bad! The clutch was in on Wednesday, and the dyno day was saturday...cutting it close!
I took the long way down to chicago to break the clutch in, and drove it as much as possible during the week without getting on it to much. 300+ miles without a single issue was a good sign. I wasn't able to find new plugs at the suggested 7 heat range, so I stuck with the NGK Iridiums I've been using. When we got to the dyno saturday at 8am, we saw many familiar faces. My buddy Pat tagged along (who had a slicktop Z32 which inspired me to buy mine) and the guy who organized this turned out to be the guy Pat sold his Z to...and it was there with a 800hp ethanol burning VG30DETT. A guy I had met before had some spare plugs, and the tuner suggested I swap them over, which was done in short order. The first car up was running a setup similar to mine without the 2.5" intercooler piping and without the massive intercoolers and he put down 415whp...impressive!!!!!!
I went second, and immediately started misfiring. After an hour of troubleshooting we swapped plugs and found TWO of six brand new plugs to be cracked. Yikes. Everything went smooth again until I blew a vacuum hose off at 13PSI, the car has been run up to 18psi on the street before with no issues. I guess the dyno really IS quite a bit more stressful on the car. By the time I was done I finished with 427WHP 442TQ, a little disappointing as I was hoping for 450+. And I didnt't seem to get any gains at all from the 2.5" piping, I've overlaid my previous dyno plots and the powerband doesn't seem to have shifted to the left at all. However, I'm super pleased driving the car, the power comes on MUCH smoother now and it pulls much harder. I've gone from 12/15psi on the EBC to 14/18. 14 is plenty 99% of the time, as if the tires aren't warm and the street isn't warm, the tires won't hold above 4500RPM in 2nd.
We stuck around to help a few other cars get their issues sorted out, and the potential 800hp ethanol monster wouldn't start with its new wiring harness. We ended up leaving at 1:30AM the next day completely exhausted with Pat's old slicktop on the dyno, but still having issues even idling consistently. The day was an absolute blast and I'm so happy with how the Z has turned out. A little frustrated at the power level and lack of improvement, but at the same time....I don't have to worry about it any more...I'm done doing power mods, and almost done modding the car itself. I've been cleaning up and powdercoating tarnished items in the engine bay and I have new leather bits waiting for the interior. Eventually when the suspension starts to show its age I'll bite the bullet and replace it, but as of right now the only changes on the horizon are lightweight driveshaft for next year as my carrier bearing is showing a slight amount of play and HOPEFULLY new seats. I swapped to a spare DS seat I had that is still torn, but in much better shape than my old one. I'm really looking forward to just pulling the car out of storage the next few years and driving it...without having to change anything. And hopefully get decent gas mileage. The tank I got dyno tuned on was 20mpg, some highway, lots of WOT pulls on the dyno, and lots of WOT pulls on the street. Hopefully I can get in the area of 22-24 now that everything is leaned out a bit.
I'll get some pics up soon with the items I've been powdercoating and new dynoplots so everyone can see the changes.
Might take a little bit, work has been crazy and with all the rain I haven't driven the Z since it was tuned