Tuesday, 27 July 2010 | | Categories: Shows
I received a phone call from Jeff Ash at C-Red about a week and half ago asking whether or not I had anything last weekend...being the weekend of Perth Autosalon. I said no not really, and he asked if I was interested in entering SILLBEER into Perth Autosalon. I said sure, how much? The reply was nothing, Just Car Insurance was looking for a decent vehicle to be placed on their stand and the organisers went to Jeff to see if he had anything, he said I'm sure I can find something...thus the call to me. So free entry into the show on the Just Cars Insurance stand sounded pretty good to me, so it was all set.
The lead up to the event wasn't so great though. The weekend prior, I was somewhat inattentive on the way somewhere and I gently rubbed up against a median strip putting about 3/4 circumference of gutter rash on both driver's side rims. Read about that here. Luckily Alliance Rim Repairs were kind enough to do a repair to them both within the week and I picked up the rims at 4.30pm on the Friday afternoon before the show.
I cleaned the car while it was on stands in the afternoon, and after refitting the rims I polished it in the dark until it was ready to be placed into the show about 7.30pm.
The show itself was pretty good, Perth Autosalon returning after skipping a year, there was a lot less cars, but feel the quality of those in attendance was up from previous years so that made up for it. There was certainly a lot less LCD TV's stuck in boots (trunks) and bonnets (hoods) this year, but there were still a couple of the 'sexy spec' cars there. Not quite my cup of tea, but the work they put into the cars cannot be sniffed at.
Simon (and the rest of the crew) from Just Car Insurance were all over from the east for the show and really pretty excited about have my car on the stand. Apparently at some of the other shows, the car they were provided were a little under what they were expecting in regards to style and build quality. They all loved it as they new it was a daily driven car and represented what their target market was with regards to insurance people's cars. We were lucky enough to have some promo girls on the stand as part of a promotion they were running and were happy to use the car as a prop.
Of course Simon and I couldn't let them have all the fun. I think we got a call from Cleo magazine later in the day
In the end the show was a great success and I really enjoyed myself. The car got a great deal of traffic going around it and everyone was really complimentary about it - some asking if I wanted to sell it (answer: are you on crack?). Here's a few more shows from the weekend.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 | | Categories: General, Shows, Track
Last weekend was the running of the inaugural World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek Raceway (Friday 21 May - Saturday 22 May 2010), just west of Sydney, Australia. It was put on by the same crew that has done Super Lap Time Attack series over the last couple of years, but this time inviting competitors from around the world to come and pit themselves against the best from Australia and each other - all up over 90 entrants. The lead up to the event had a number of big hitters set to come down here, but unfortunately there was some attrition that took place. Given the logistics of bringing a car, supporting equipment and crew overseas and on the somewhat limited budgets of the teams, it was not unexpected, as least from my point of view. Having said that, those internationl players that did turn up, pushed hard and came away winners.
In those travelling from overseas were four cars from Japan, and 1 car from the United States. Japan being where many see as roots of Time Attack (placed fair and square at Tsukuba) we had the Cyber Evo Mitsubishi Evolution IV (driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada), the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX STI (again driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada), the Pan Speed Racing Mazda RX-7 FD3S (driven by Kouta Sasaki) and the Pro Staff R-Magic Mazda RX-7 FD3S (driven by Kinoshita Mitsuhiro). The lone gun from the United States was none other than the Sierra Sierra Enterprises Cosworth Mitsubishi Evolution VIII (driven by David Empringham), having recently beaten the long standing HKS CT230R Evo's record time at Buttonwillow Raceway with a 1:43.43, just nine-tenths quicker than the CT230R.
Being in Perth, the journey to WTAC 2010 started early on Thursday morning with a 4 hr flight to Sydney, jumping into a hire car and tackling for the first time the freeways and toll booths out to our hotel in Blacktown, about 5 minutes drive from the track. Friday had us out at the track nice and early (if not a little seedy from the shenanigans the night before). My overall impression of the event is one that was very well run, with the best trade section I've seen at such and event and a good selection of cars out in the show and shine section too. Being able to get up and close to the back of the pit garages was great, probably something the Japanese can't do at say their Time Attack events which are generally closed to the public. Know this was the first day, I wasn't expecting a great deal in regards to times, as there was still all of Saturday to bang some fast laps in, but gave us all a good chance to take a peek at the teams doing their hard work and see what was available in the trade stalls.
Here's the 1st days pics, note that I'm putting these up in fairly high resolution (1280x960) so you can get a better glimpse at the goings on.
The Advan/Hi Octane Nissan R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R was hyped considerably before the event with plenty of news and the occasional video released showing it go through its shadedown paces. Unfortunately the weekend would see it plagued with problems that would keep it from running to its full potential. Hopefully next year, with much more track testing under its belt, we'll see this monster pushing it to the limit.
The Pan Speed Mazda RX-7 was a consistent performer throughout the weekend, not to mention an absolutely stunning piece of automotive engineering who's presentation was a standout on the weekend second only to the R Magic Mazda RX-7.
The Advan/Hi Octane GT-R coming back into the pits after 1 lap out, this would be a common site for this car which the team did the hard yards troubleshooting the running problems.
This strange looking snake piece is the roof trim from the Cyber Evo, ripped off at high speed down the long Eastern Creek pit lane straight. It just goes to show what sort of speed Tarzan was doing.
The Option film crew was on hand to document the efforts of the Japanese drivers (as well as the others), here seen doing a quick interview with Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada in the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX STI in what I recall was the first session out.
David Empringham in the Sierra Sierra Enterprise is seen here being pushed back into the pit garage after a quick practice session, and I assume still in shakedown/tuning/setup mode.
There were some really nice Mazda FD RX7's out there, one being this black example from Rama Racing driven by Brad Trenwith, and wearing a beautiful widebody kit from Bodyform. The sister car from Rama Racing was a Silver example, both the cars wrapped in vinyl by D&S Auto.
The immaculately turned out Pro Staff R-Magic Mazda RX-7 FD3S driven by Kinoshita Mitsuhiro trundling down pit lane after a couple of practice laps. This and the Pan Speed car were two of the best detailed race cars I've seen, certainly not '12-foot' cars by any stretch (a '12-foot' car is one that looks great from distances 12 feet or more away, any closer and you start to see blemishes).
This is the Prep'd Motorsport Lotus Exige GT3 driven by Warren Luff (a YouTube video of a full attack on Eastern Creek). There was a little bit of controversy about the fact this was a GT3 prepped racecar and it being allowed to race against what are essentially modified street cars, but considering the essentially 'no rules' type of modifications that have been done to the other cars, I thought there was a bit of a overhype on the issue. The more the merrier I reckon.
Tarzan brings the Tomei/Cusco WRX back in after a couple of laps. Again, as with the other Japanese cars, this was an immaculately turned out vehicle. It even turned up on the Autosalon circuit throughout Australia after WTAC.
A rear view of the Rama Racing Mazda RX7. The Bodyform widebody kit really is a nicely put together and design kit with the front guards and side skirts really lending their design from the FD race cars to an extent. And although that rear wing puts a Hills Hoist to shame, it doesn't look out of place given the tool that this car is.
This is a mix of the Motor Magazine Open Class and Yokohama Advan Clubsprint Class entrants lining up for practice. Considering there was over 90 entrants, the variety of different makes and models made for some great spectating and trainspotting.
Being an S13 chassis owner, I was really pleased to see Wayne Sutton in his Nissan S13 180SX Type-X. For what is essentially a late 80's designed chassis (first S13 appeared in 1988), it did extremely well in its class (Motor Magazine Open Class) even beating some of the times set in the Wynn's Pro Class. Not to mention it was immaculate too, with a widebody bodykit and all the essential time attack appendages. Just wish I'd managed to get some better photos (more photos I found on NissanSilvia.com).
As well as the on-track action, there was plenty in the pit paddock to keep any automotive enthusiast happy, from club displays to drift cars, aftermarket parts stalls and shop displays. One car that did catch my eye was this white Nissan S15 200SX/Silvia. The engine bay was immaculate and very well thought out. One item that did peak my interest especially was the placement and piping configuration for the GReddy Type-R Blow-off Valve, an item that I run on SILLBEER, and the cold air box that's been setup to keep initial intake temperatures down.
A close up shows the intricate piping configuration. Present in this pic are the GReddy Type-R Blow-off valve, which has a short return/plumb back into the intake pipe (seen with the K&N Air Filter). Interestingly it's still running the original plastic power steering reservoir. I'm not entirely sure what the tank is behind the power steering reservoir, but the black teflon braided line comes from the cam cover (see above overall photo) and is going to a custom breather can, which itself also vents back into the intake rather than venting to atmosphere keeping this package very much within the Australian ADR engineering guidelines and apart from the aftermarket parts, essentially a factory configuration. Bloody beautiful work whoever you are.
Another item that caught my attention, being another SR20 engine, was this one with an SR20VE/T head conversion. The heads come from either the SR20VE in the Nissan Primera or the SR20VET in the JDM Nissan X-Trail GT and house Nissan's Neo VVL (Variable Valve LIft) - see more on the SR16VE/SR20VE/SR20VET. The conversion allows for greater revs and superior response given a larger than stock turbo.
Well that brings me to the end of the Day one wrap-up. It was a top day, and on the Friday night we headed out and interacted with the locals, with some interesting social interaction witnessed at a local super pub (super because of the 3000 people capacity). There's plenty more to come.
Saturday, 1 May 2010 | | Categories: Engine
Jeez, what a hectic couple of months, and it's just getting stupider (is that a word?).
Anyway the car is back on the road again, and is currently being run on. Almost got 500kms racked up, which has been a little difficult as I work from home now so my daily commute is walking 3 steps from the bedroom to the office.
The guys at C-Red have done a great job. The head work done previously from the person I bought it from and the work done by Josh and Boney have produced an engine that doesn't have the usual truck rattles you hear from an SR20.
Additions on this full engine rebuild included new forged 9.0:1 compression CP Pistons (to replace the Z32 slugs in there before), ACL Race bearings (the original Nissan ones were living a hard life), Tomei N2 Oil Block (to replace the GReddy sandwich block), new Nissan S13 SR20 Oil Pump (to replace the GTi-R pump as it wasn't mating to the engine properly - causing oil leaks) and the Ross Performance harmonic balancer (to replace the lightened GFB crank pulley).
Cosmetically I also changed over the old rubber radiator and intercooler (yes there was still some) hoses with Samco Black silicon items. The oil breather hose that was originally rubber with an orange heat shield sheathing has been replaced with a stainless item.
It's a great feeling to get back in the seat. The Sigma is getting a little old and grumpy now so almost time to put that to pasture.
Will probably be a delay on the next post as Blogger is pulling the plug on FTP publishing to domains other than their own, so I'm having to move the site content to another system.
Monday, 4 January 2010 | | Categories: Magazines/Blogs
Been meaning to do this for some time, and finally got a few days off over the Xmas break to scan and process these magazine articles.
Fast Fours - June 2008
The first coverage was in the Australian Fast Fours magazine back in June 2008. I was stoked that it actually made it onto the cover too which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Then they went on to do a very comprehensive 8 page article with plenty of pics taken by Dean Summers.
Here's the cover (they were kind enough to send me a PDF version of the cover):
The rest has been scanned and resized for the web.
Table of contents:
Banzai UK - January 2009
The second coverage was in the UK Banzai magazine a year ago in January 2009. The photos and story were by local photo-journalist Rick McDowell. The photos used in the article were posted a while back.
Here's what the cover looks like (unfortunately I believe they only have UK cars on the covers) where I get a mention on the footer:
And the article itself (apologies for crap over saturation of colour):
Hope you like the articles and sorry for the overly long period between posts. I have a lot to post up while I'm on holidays including the subject of the engine rebuild...more to come.
Thursday, 24 December 2009 | | Categories: Engine
Dropped into C-Red this afternoon to say Merry Xmas et al. Marc started out with the bad news when I arrived...the block has been machined too much from past rebuilds and can't be used. Then he delivered the good news in that they'd already sent another block off to them. Apparently the workshop floor looked no dissimilar to how a South African lions meal looks like after tearing it apart with oil, coolant and SR20 gizzards all over the place to not stop the rebuild train.
Many thanks to Boney for getting this done quicksmart.
See you on the other side of New Years.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 | | Categories: Engine
Just got word that the short block and related parts have been sent off to Heinz for it's rebuild where it will be fully balanced and blueprinted (a lot of the parts are already done, but assume it will be done again).
It doesn't mean it'll be started immediately as I believe there's a few engines already in the queue before me. But I'm excited anyway.
Saturday, 12 December 2009 | | Categories: Engine, Driveline
A few pieces that I got from eBay have arrived. After an initial problem with the first order being made and the seller not actually having stock, it was cancelled and re-ordered with another ebayer after confirming they did actually have the stock ready to deliver.
The first and more blingy item is the Tomei N2 Oil Block to replace the standard Nissan Oil block made for an oil filter, not oil cooler lines.
Here's what the Tomei website say about it:
The SR20 engine's oil block tends to fail due to the weak oil filter sensor screw which oftens breaks. We at TOMEI had found the problem while we were competing in professional N2 race series over 10 years ago. So we designed this upgraded product which solved the problem. THis was later discountined but due to it's extremely popular demand we decided to re-release this product with a new design. Now lighter than ever before and has the ports for the original OEM sensors for direct fitting as well. The failure of your oil block can lead to disasterous results with terminal engine failure. With all the time and money spent on your race engine this is an absolute must have upgrade to protect your investment. Especially with engines running a sandwhich plate or similar oil cooler this is an essential safety precaution.
The other item is to replace the little thing that broke and started all these shenanigans. Back in June, the standard Nissan clutch fork release pivot failed after being hammered most of the day at Barbagallo Raceway. It was more than likely the same was originally fitted to the S14 5-speed box from factory and wasn't really something made for punishing use with a twin plate clutch. Again, in hindsight I should probably have replaced this item when the clutch plates were replaced in March this year. Again...meh.
So this is the Nismo Reinforced Release Pivot that will now be taking a pounding under the clutch release fork.
That's pretty much all the crucial bits I need at this stage, one final item I will need to get will be the replacement silicon hose that I went and replaced while at the track - it was bright blue, and I'll be replacing with a nice black Samco item to match the rest of them.
Have a Merry Xmas and drive safe.
Tuesday, 1 December 2009 | | Categories: Engine
A couple of other items have arrived in the last few days being the pistons and oil pump. Firstly the beautiful CP Forged Pistons setup for 9.0:1 compression ratio and 3.425inch (86.995mm) bore diameter. These will replace the standard Nissan Z32 pistons from a VG30DETT which were in the engine when it was removed from the shelf in its original rebuild. In hindsight, a set of these should have gone in originally thus why we're doing it now.
- CP Pistons box
- Label on side of the box (Shelf Part SC7326 / Serial 114465)
- Four set of rings
- Close up of rings label - CPN-3425
- Gudgeon pin circlips I think
- Piston specification sheet
- Underside of CP Piston
- Another side closeup of piston
Of course the other main item that's been shipped over from Japan thanks to Nissan is a brand new Oil Pump for S13 SR20. This will replace the problematic GTi-R Oil Pump that was fitted the first time. It was a constant problem leaking oil mist down the front of the engine and making a right mess. The new pump will be mated with the Ross Tuffbond Metal Jack Harmonic Balancer that I've already received.
- Oil Pump box
- Closeup of front cover serial I think
- Embossed Nissan logo on cover
- Oil pumps main seal
- Oil pump gears/rear of cover
The oil pump gears have been sent off along with the rockers to be cryogenically treated by Lou from Cryogenics West given both items of better chance of survival under the beating up they will get with "increased wear resistance, enhanced durability".
I have the Nismo Reinforced Release Pivot and Tomei N2 Oil Block on order and just waiting for them to get delivered.
Friday, 20 November 2009 | | Categories: Engine
Well the parts have started to arrive through to C-Red. The first worth of posting (among assorted replacement gaskets etc) is this beautiful piece of automotive art from Ross Tuffbond. It's their Metal Jacket Harmonic Balancer for Nissan SR20. They usually come in a nice shade of deep anodized blue, but this was a part that would be seen and as I'd chosen red for my highlight colour I made a custom order in Red. It's so nice I almost used it as a Xmas bauble for the tree this year.
- The box it comes in
- Close up of label - Ross Part Number 304200 (for SR20 RWD only)
Of course once the box is opened this is what you get:
- Close up of the timing marks
- Another profile shot
- Close up of inner bolts
- Reverse side of the crank pulley
Information from the Ross website:
Introducing a revolutionary development in torsional dampening technology. Utilising the ROSS Tuffbond original elastrometric bonding process to produce the ROSS Metaljacket® series harmonic balancers / crank pulley dampers.
360 timing marks at 1deg intervals
Adjustable timing disc, for TDC accuracy
Precision CNC machined 40 Tonne tensile alloy steel hub and vibration dampening ring
Dampening ring and hub permanently bonded together on TWO axis by our exclusive Tuffbond elastrometric bonding process, ensuring maximum harmful vibrations are absorbed.
balancer is anodized for durability and appearance
Absorbs more damaging torsional harmonic vibrations
Quicker engine acceleration
Increases engine life
Lifetime warranty, even for racing use - a world first!
Never requires maintenance or rebuilding - ever!
Rated to 1500 HP
Encapsulated MetaL Jacket® design exceeds AN DRA and SF1 i8.1(USA) requirements
Fits standard or modified engines
Now this is a pretty trick bit of kit and have only heard good things about them...admittedly mainly used on high output RB26 engines. It will also bolt up directly to the S13 SR20 Oil Pump which is having to come over from Japan.
More to come as more arrives.
Sunday, 18 October 2009 | | Categories: Engine
Yesterday I completed the tear down on the SR so it could be sent off to Heinz for the bottom end rebuild once the replacement parts arrive. The task though was to remove the crank, rods and pistons so all I was left with was a block.
- SR20 Crank girdle and oil baffles
- SR20 GTi-R Oil Pump removed
Once the oil pump was gone, the girdle could be removed and then the main caps for a good view of the journals and bearings. These are Eagle Forged Conrods with ARP rod bolts. The journals seem to be on OK condition and should just require a polish.
- Piston 3 Conrod caps
- Piston 2 Conrod caps
- Piston 1 Conrod caps
- Main bearings - show some heavy usage
- Close up of the bore
- Close up of the crank journals
- Rod and pistons now removed
- Eagle Rod with Z32 piston
After this was all done, it was time to put the shopping list together. I made the decision to no longer use the GTi-R oil pump as after a bit of research it was hit and miss on the whether or not the oil leakages can be stopped. It will be replaced with a standard S13 pump and we'll get the gears cryo treated for some extra insurance. With the reversion back to the standard pump, the GFB light weight pulley will no longer fit properly. This means with another GFB pulley, a standard SR20 dampened pulley or another aftermarket one. I'd heard nothing by good things about the Ross Harmonic Balancers, and although a 4-cylinder doesn't really need it, it's just good to use them anyway. So that will be on the shopping list.
Of course the Tomei metal head gasket can't be reused without a few hours work so a new one will be ordered. Now the big question comes around pistons...what to get. The original intention with the engine was response over all out power, and after good results from other engines C-Red had built with higher compression pistons, the decision to order a set of CP Forged Pistons with a 9.0:1 compression ratio has been made.
If you remember back to the track day, I was a little surprised to see oil up on the intake side of the engine and my thoughts are that the sandwich plate for the GReddy Oil Cooler kit is a potential fail point in the system. It uses only a single screw in the centre to latch onto the original mounting for an oil filter. I'd been eyeing off an item from Tomei call the N2 Oil Block which basically replaces the standard factory oil block with one that takes -10 AN lines instead of a filter...tick! The last obvious item is a replace releave pivot in the form of a Nismo Reinforced Release Pivot.
So now it's a matter of waiting for the parts to come in and then send off for bottom end rebuild. I thinking that will put us fair and square in the Xmas shutdown period so I am expecting some delays. Not to mention I know I have too much work on too.