Yeah, crap title I know. Anyway, delivery of the Power FC (Full Computer) was on time and on Tuesday we dropped it into the kick panel, changed a few parameters around for the injectors and AFM and voila...sutartu! It's an S15 version as I originally planned on running a modded stock S15 ECU. We'll do a little bit of tuning to make sure the fuel is ok for light driving around, then have a proper tune coming up early next week. After that I can start running the engine in before leaning on it.
- Main ECU Unit (for direct replacement of the stock ECU)
- Power FC Commander (Hand Controller)
- Main plug interface
- Label on the side with serial number
- Accessories interface for Commander and Boost Control Unit
Speaking of boost control, I'll either be using the Power FC Boost Control kit, or a C-Red is now an official Trust/Greddy supplier, a GReddy Profec-B Boost Controller.
Now for the good bits. Yep the car is registered, and the plates are now on. Ride height has been adjust so that it has plenty of clearance on the coilovers, but may need to look at a different exhaust down the track a little to get even more clearance...this is a daily remember. The car is getting it's air con regassed today, (this morning) and I'll take it down to Exley's Tyre Service (where I got my tyres from) to get a base alignment done. There's way too much camber front and rear on the passenger (left) side of the car and too much toe at the front. Now I apologise for not giving it a wash before taking the pics, but time was short when they were taken yesterday.
- Front quarter view
- Front wheel showing the Brembos
- Side view showing new ride height
- Rear quarter showing plenty of tyre clearance
- Rear quarter view 2
- Left profile - OMG it's phat, too much camber
- Right profile view
The rear height might be dropped by another 10mm or so, but we'll see how it goes for now...that'll be all part of the fun of getting it closer to perfection. Still to come now is fitting of some additional chassis bracing I've yet had time to put on (URAS Chassis Rail Extention and Tunnel Brace), then I need to work out how to add the Defi gauges which are waiting in the wings.
Shakedown will follow while we work out the inevitable bugs. Stay tuned.
Yeah, well you knew that from the last post, but I tell you, this engine is silent. The re-shim job on the head has resulted in one of the quietest SR's I've heard to date. After a bit of fiddling around with a couple of sensors not working, the engine was idling ok. The boys also spent a bit of time on the computer trying to get a base tune in to it for driving it around, but were have some major communication problems. I decided at that point to order in an Apexi Power FC and Commander, then have it tuned using the Datalogit module. This is a tried and test ECU, so with that landing on Monday, we hope to have a tune put down later in the week, early the week after. In the meantime, we also replaced the RG brake lines with ADR approved items from Maltech...custom ordered in a decent length as the RG lines were a little tight for my setup.
Once C-Red had it in a running condition, it was taken down to the pits and passed compliancing and was promptly registered - they were rather impressed with the quality of the build. This was a big weight off of our collective shoulders. I had the car registered in the set of plates I ordered last year - SILLBEER (der!), which have been waiting down at the Welshpool licensing centre since then.
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning were then spent fitting exhaust, suspension and brakes back onto the car. The exhaust was a pain, because getting clearance between the subframe and differential was such a hassle. In the end, I changed the rubbers used on the rear hangers, and that seemed to work out much better...still it took a good 2hrs. Friday afternoon I also managed to get rear left suspension arms changed back to the Kazama catalogue and RG coilovers, making sure to adjust the length of the arms to that of the stock ones to reduce likely of a huge geometry changes when fitted. Nice.
Saturday morning, I finished off the rear, refitted the front Kazama caster rods and tie rod ends, along with the RG coilovers. While in there, we re-fitted Brembos onto the front and bled the brakes. My right leg is very sore now from pumping so hard (thanks Greg). I finally fitted the Nardi steering wheel back on and Marc said I should take it around the block. I didn't need to be prompted twice.
Getting used to a twin-plate again wasn't too bad, but having work boots on certainly didn't help. I had to come back in briefly to refit the steering wheel because it was out about 30 degrees, but then it was out onto the road. After a quick check to see that I could stop, I drove around the block. OH MY GOD! Even though it still needs a decent tune and an alignment, the car felt brilliant. So alive, the cabin was a nice environment...it was just purely joy for me. Three years in the making, for myself then and there it was a gratifying occasion. The grin on my face was testament to that.
So from here what's left to do? Well this is shakedown time. We won't be taking it out to any 'public' events just yet, not until we've managed to clear away the decks of any possible gremlins that comes from rebuilding a car from scratch. I also need to fit the Defi gauges so we can keep an eye on all the vitals - I'll be heading to Trimcare for some help in that department. Sorry for no pics this time, but once I have some time with the car myself, I'll arrange for a few nice ones.
One of my pet hates when it comes to driving is a dirty windscreen, and of course to be registered, the car needs windscreen washers (squirters) working, so I needed to get them into working condition. Now, in an effort to clean the engine bay up a bit, the fuse box was moved to a position right next to the guard. This position however covered up the hole where the original washer bottles filling pipe comes up...so another solution was required. As the battery is now in the boot, it left a bit of space where it was, next to the intercooler pipe.
A quick trip down to Supercheap Auto found a universal washer bottle at a perfect size. We looked at a bunch of different locations, including down underneath the guard, but all solutions still has the problem of being able to fill the small capacity bottle, thus the location in the engine bay itself. After making up a bracket from stainless flat strap and giving it a coat of paint it all bolted in pretty effortlessly. I pulled the original washer plug and hose through, filled the bottle and connected the hose and electrics. To my surprise, the electrical plugs were a match and after dropping the battery onto charge, the squirters were all working mint. Photos off the stuff below:
- 'L' Bracket 1
- 'L' Bracket 2
- Bracket installed with additional bottle attachment
- Bottle installed and filled
Now that that was done, it was time to start thinking about putting the suspension back to stock for registration. The adjustable arms may or may not be re-installed. I'll take some pics of the position of the rear wheels for reference, but with the stock rear lower control arms, the rear wheels sit almost perfectly...and I'm rethinking my decision on whether I really 'need' the fully adjustable Ikeya Formula lower control arms. We'll get to that decision later once it's back on the road.
Here's a few photos I took while waiting for the truck to come and take sillbeer off to Autosalon last Friday night. They're a bit rough, but it shows the potential for some nice pics in the future.
If anyone is wanting a larger, desktop/wallpaper sized photo for their machine, let me know and I'll post a small selection up in a few different sizes.
Phew, I'm glad that's over. Yep...referring to the hectic lead up to Perth Autosalon 2007 that I had last week. The target was to get the car pretty much 100% completed, but we had to settle for about 85%. Visually it was complete, but due to the short amount of time left over we didn't manage to turn the engine over and troubleshoot in time so we left it at that.
The week started out with a list, and by Friday afternoon I think I'd managed to cross off about 50% of the items...some big, some small. I was just happy enough to get it looking like it should, even if only the rear exhaust section was just hanging on the rubbers. But during this week, I did have the help of some top technicians in the form of C-Red's Marc, Josh and resident welding gnome. Even though they were busy with the three other C-Red cars, they managed to find time to point me in the right direction when needed...I can only say thank you all so much.
Once we had the cars into the convention centre, it was time for me to pay attention to the bodywork on SILLBEER. I had cleaned up everything else before going on the truck, but left the paint until I was in situ. Thanks again go to 200SXY from Silvia...you're tops. Not having had to really worry about show quality paint before, she kindly lent me her Meguires products and microfibre clothes to initially clean the paint work (which was filthy from sitting in a workshop for 2yrs) and then on Saturday morning, the wax to finish the job. I was completely surprised by how much of a difference these two products made. There's still a few blemishes on the paintwork, but with a proper buff and detail I reckon we can turn it up a few notches more.
The weekend was great in all and I came away with an award for 'Best Overall Engineering' which I was surprised at considering the car wasn't even running. But I suppose they saw the quality of parts and work that was put in by all and sundry.
Am I happy with the result so far? You betcha. The comfiness of the interior is what has most surprised me. The use of the R34 GT-R seats was spot on, and the softer materials used in the trimming and carpets has transformed an interior that I remember as being quite dated, cold and hard to something that you don't mind spending time in. Of course the quality sounds coming from the thumping stereo help.
So to end this post, I'd like to thank a few people. First and foremost would be my wife and three kids for supporting my efforts thus far with the car...you patience has been worthy of your own trophy. I've already thanked the boys at C-Red, but additional thanks go to Jeff Ash, the MD for C-Red...cheers buddy.To Roy Robinson - now heading up Kensei for his work and support in the earlier stages of the project (larv ewe). To Greg Dally for sitting in during the early parts of this year and knocking a lot of work off the list. To Pete and Chris at Trimcare for doing an awesome job on the interior trim work and carpets. Daniel Jurkovic from Audio Addict for his immaculate work with the stereo install. Phil Foster from A.F.M. Enterprises for helping out with some final painting bits (he also painted the C RED S14 with 1JZ). SilviaWA members for continuous support and kind words. And last but not least...myself, cause it was hard work.
Where to from here you might ask? Engine will be first off the rank followed by a run-in tune. Then we'll be getting the help of an engineer to see what we need to get done to have it all registered. Then some kms to run everything in and shakedown support systems. And somewhere in there a decent alignment and tweaks to the suspension to get a baseline to work from with regard to tuning the chassis.
...the journey continues...
A quick one.
Well this last week has been nuts trying to get ready for Autosalon this weekend. The kit and stereo are in, but there's been many many small things to do. Made a list at the beginning of the week, and I'm only half way through it so a few things will need to be missed unfortunately just to get it to the show in a worthy state.
So the next time I see you I hope to have heaps of photos to show you from the show.
I went in on Saturday with a view to get the electroplating kit setup but after reading through the manual, I still need a few bits and pieces, so it'll have to wait a bit. In the meantime, I had some bits that I needed to paint anyway. These being the Cusco OST brace (to match the rest) and the Sard 'Fuel Collector' (fuel surge tank). So after a little pit of prep work, the bars were painted in VHT Black Wrinkle paint and the bracket in Semi-gloss black.
- One brace sanded ready for paint
- Dummy Placement of the OST brace under the rear brace
- Close up of bottom plate (originally cusco blue)
It was then time to paint the surge tank in Black Wrinkle too. With the main hole masked up so the o-ring can still make a good seal and the input/output points stuffed with material, it was given its coating. It's not perfect, but with the 'Sard' engraved lid on, it looks tops. This will have some tabs welded on (which I really should have done before I painted it) and then bolted to the floor of the boot.
And finally I bought myself a present on Sunday. Using a gift voucher I got for my birthday back in March, I went down to Bunnings and grabbed a set of spanners, namely Kincrome 7pce (Metric) Gear Spanners (8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 15mm, 17mm, 19mm). These should replace my cheapo ones quite nicely and reduce time in doing things up considerably.
I know I mentioned that I was going to be bolting some stuff together on Saturday, but it just wasn't meant to be. Roy called on Friday and said that I'd have to look at getting the GT-R hubs out from the back corner, as the Just Jap 5-stud ones won't work with the GT-R half-shafts (or something to that affect). So first up I go the hub carriers and hubs etc off of the subframe that I'd been using, then it was a matter of taking it all apart. Thankfully it all came off fairly easily, with Roy using the hub carriers for another C-Red project that's being bolted together for the Perth Autosalon at the end of this month.
While I was at it I had to disassemble the handbrake assemblies, picture above. These basically are a small drum brake system (mechanical rather than hydraulic though) that pushes the drums against the inside of the brake disc/rotor. The hubs themselves were a little rusty in parts, so after a little bit of a scrub with a drill and nylon abrasion wheel/brush, it was masked and hit with a light coating of black paint. Also part of this lot were the rear brake rotor guards, which after a little bit of bending back into shape, a good clean with the prepsol, were also treated to a quick coat of satin black too.
I mentioned also in my last post about getting a box of bolts etc re-coated in zinc (gold). Here they are, by no means are they the last of them, but it's a good start. Of course as soon as I looked under the car again, I spotted more that I should have done. Oh well, I know I'll have to do another batch anyway.
Thanks for listening.
Well, first up, many thanks to the domain owner Ryan for letting me use his domain name for my project - sillbeer.com, thanks mate.
So this is a move that should make it much easier to remember where to see the progress of the car.
Well not quite, but great nonetheless. Got home this afternoon and in the mail had come the notification that my number plates are ready for pickup. They are 'SILLBEER'. Some of you may have wondered where I came about this name. Well if you've ever been to the Japanese Yahoo Auctions before (a boon for used cars and parts from Japan), and subsequently used say the Google Translator service, when Silvia is listed, it is translated to 'Sill beer' or 'Sillbeer'. Here's a link to the Nissan section of Yahoo Japan Auctions:
Japanese Yahoo Auctions - Nissan
Down the left you'll see the names of the cars, some familiar, some not so, and you'll notice 'Sill beer', sitting there above Skyline. Some other interesting translations are Grolier for Gloria, Fair ready for Fairlady and Seaming Machine for Cima. Oh, and if you ever read 'minute mountains' in the text, I think it's short for millimetre.