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  1. #46
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    Busy week.

    I ran in the second local Gymkhana for the year on Saturday (they're a bit different to the Ken Block stuff, more a low-speed tarmac rally sprint) and I appear to have improved greatly in the last 6 months. Seat time, a little confidence and finally working out some of these ongoing issues with the car has helped a lot I think. Out of 36 entrants I managed 9th overall, a huge improvement from 35th out of 38 I got back in March.



    Passed my first kidney stone on Monday night too.

    The Bride seat rails I ordered from Japan (second hand) arrived yesterday and so I took my downtime as a chance to install the fixed back seats I've had sitting in the shed for nearly a year.




    The seats are nothing flash, just a generic steel fixed back. They're a little lighter than stock seats too, with rails fitted they're around 12kg each where the stock seats are around 17-18kg each so I've just managed another 10kg+ without trying too hard. Since the rails are about 5kg of that I'm not going to save much more weight by moving to a fibreglass seat, maybe 1-2kg but this would be offset by the additional brackets I'd need in order to mount one.

    I'm really after a harness bar now though. I like the look of the one that they got made over in the UK a few years back. It goes between the rear upper control arm mounts so it adds some decent chassis rigidity where it is actually needed as well. I think I'll have to get one made locally though.
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

  2. #47
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    Hey Tas,

    Great work on your racing prowess!

    Being a total novice in this area - the seats look awesome - but seriously; does a blokes bum actually fit in there??

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  3. #48
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    A Blokes bum? Probably not. Mine does but I'm tiny. The idea is for them to be a bit snug so I had trouble finding a small enough (non junior) seat to suit my frame. I've sat in a Sparco Evo and an older Velo GPT-1 which were both a little bit bigger but still held me well enough, either would be a good option if I need an upgrade.
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

  4. #49
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by tassie_bb1 View Post
    A Blokes bum? Probably not. Mine does but I'm tiny.
    I can guarantee from what I'm seeing - that I'd be sitting on top of the hollow!

    Cheers

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  5. #50
    Regular Member steve-gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tassie_bb1 View Post
    Update time...

    After months of being messed around by the one and only welder I found that'd agree to fab up the new sway bar mount I finally got sick of it and went back to my old man and managed to convince him to do it.... but only if I dropped out the fuel tank, run the lines dry and sealed them all up before he'll go anywhere near it. Still, not a big deal and much better than waiting. We fabbed up a couple of 200mm long patches made of 50x50x3mm angle mild steel to go over each chassis rail to reinforce it, then bolted the old bracket in place through the patch (just to make sure it's in the right place) then weld the bracket directly to the patch. I was contemplating welding some gussets in to make the whole mount stronger while we were at it but dad thought that without a bit of flex it'll just rip out again and next time we won't be able to repair it. I personally thought the fix would be plenty strong enough and less compliance would be better, possibly akin to having a slightly heavier rear sway bar. I'd much rather not have it break again though so I deferred to his judgement.

    I also pulled out the old Enkei's to see what I would have to do to restore them, they're in much worse condition than I remember. I really should get them blasted and re-painted but really who cares because racecar? When I bought them the previous owner decided it'd be a good idea to rip all the bolts out (they're three piece BTW) of one wheel before realising that the centre is mounted BETWEEN the two outers so the wheel still won't come apart without breaking the seam. Luckily he never bothered to go that far so it's just a matter of putting the bolts back in. I tried re-using the old bolts that came with the wheels and only broke a couple but I was never convinced they'd hold. I tried to re-torque them all again and broke a half dozen more so I thought F*#^ it i'm not risking my life on these things and pulled them all out again. Now I can't find anyone to sell me some proper three-piece "wheel" bolts except getting them from Japan for many hundreds of $$ so I figure any good quality M6x1.0 25mm long bolt would do the job and I found some nice 316 Stainless allen head bolts... That'll be the next job.

    I've decided I want to go in the Motorkhana at the end of Feb so I don't want to get the car too far from road-ready again. From what I've seen there is a little less involved with re-doing the front bushings compared to the rear but we'll see. I definitely need to re-build at least my rear brakes too, one of the outer pads isn't seating properly and isn't scrubbing the rotor clean towards the outside. I've priced up the stainless brake lines, APP out of Japan which look like they'll be pretty good. I'm having trouble finding a full length clutch line for a RHD though, most of the ones on the market only delete the small section of rubber hose but I want to run direct from the MC to the SC. I think I'll see if I can get APP to make me a custom one.

    Anyway, we dropped out the fuel tank. The hardest part was trying to work out how to get all the fuel out first. I couldn't get my 20L jerry can under the drain bolt even up on jack stands. If I had planned it better it would have just had less fuel in it, but the missus was like "hey let's drop the tank today" and I didn't much feel like driving around all day. We managed to get nearly all the fuel out using the drain bolt into a smaller bucket but before the tank was empty and because the car was nose-down the fuel started flowing along the outside of the tank due to the surface tension of the fuel. We then tried to prime what was left in the system out with the fuel pump by taking the banjo bolt off the fuel rail, but found that the fuel pump doesn't just run until it achieves pressure in the system, it runs for like half a second each time the car is switched to "ON". This got old fast so we just dropped it with like 5L of fuel left in it. Oh, and thanks Honda for hiding one of the tank strap bolts above the exhaust heat shield. The rear two strap bolts were easy enough to get to, they go into the chassis just in front of the rear subframe, but I didn't realise the tank straps are just flimsy plastic. The tank was supported by a jack with a big board over it which also held the straps in place, so it wasn't until I dropped the tank down it became obvious the straps would just bend away. It feels like the service manual could say more than "Remove bolts, remove lines, enjoy".

    Back to present day, the chassis rail is repaired!!!!! It's kind of a long story though, many pics below to explain. We had the brackets ready to weld in some weeks ago. My dad's trade before retiring was a boiler maker, a pretty good one at that. You can see from the pics the welds he did attaching the stock sway bracket to the new chassis rail patch are pretty good, but this was all done on the bench. When it came to welding on the car, the less-than-ideal circumstances proved too difficult for his failing eyesight to manage. The top side was ok, he said himself that it wasn't his best work but it'd hold, but on the bottom side he blew a few holes in the chassis rail before calling it quits. On the plus side it was the wake-up call he needed to finally get himself to the optometrist.

    I went back to the fabricator I was originally going to use and he was happy to continue where dad left off and in a timely fashion, but since we used a stick welder and he wanted to use a MIG, he preferred that we dig out the old weld as best we could. A few more weeks passed but we eventually got him around to fix it up. The driver's side which we originally started on proved to be a bit of a nightmare, it seems that the chassis rail is a couple of sections of thin steel folded together to get strength, but for whatever reason these folds don't quite meet each other meaning the heat was not dissipating properly and making it very difficult to weld. He ended up going over the whole thing 3-4 times to get some decent penetration on the weld, doesn't look pretty but it'll hold. The passenger side (with the broken rail) was much more straightforward. He did that one in about 5 minutes with a single continuous weld.

    The broken rail before starting, I really shouldn't have put the sway bar back in to move the car as I ended up doing a lot more damage.



    The tank desperately needed a clean, it was covered in some thick dirty greasy deposits that were an SOB to clean off. I found a bit of petrol would shift it a little easier but still is took some time. The whole under-side of the car is covered in this crap too. I have no idea what it is, maybe some sort of sealant to prevent rust but it doesn't seem OEM. I'm wondering if it's just road grime or if there is a tiny fluid leak somewhere. Anyway, I scrubbed through the paint in a couple of places on the underside of the tank so it got a prime and a few coats of chassis black. Some idiot has obviously stuck a jack under the tank at some point which has dented the bottom in and damaged the paint quite badly, it was probably Honda when they dropped the tank out last time. I'm didn't even try and take the dents out though, just clean the rust off and paint. It holds fuel so who cares?




    The new patches just bolted in place for the test fitting.



    The hole from the first welding attempt.


    The new welding job on each side, RHS then LHS, then painted and reassembled.








    Finally the fuel tank back in position.


    I also rotated the tires as I suspect the fronts hardened from being overheated on my last track day. Then went for a test drive.....

    OOOHHHH BOYYYYYY!!!!! That was fun. She's back. This is the first time I've driven it without the 4WS and with a functioning rear sway bar and what a difference it has made. The problems I was having with understeer are all but gone. I actually managed to scare myself a couple of times, threw her into a corner expecting to lose the front end and it just gripped. It's still twitchy as hell and many times harder than acceptable on the street, but I'm getting used to it again.

    Next stop Motorkhana on the 20th of Feb, look out. I'll drive it a couple more times then begin the teardown to do the front end bushings.

    I'll get back to you on the weight savings from the 4WS delete too 5h4d0w, in my haste I didn't weigh the old stuff taking it out but I want to sell it all off anyway so I'll grab it back out of the shed. The increase in stability was the big draw for me to do the delete though, the weight reduction was just a bonus. From what I've seen from others doing it, there is about a 11kg difference between the 2WS subframe w/ toe arms and the 4WS assembly, but then taking into account the lighter Hard-Race toe arms and the weight of the computer and wiring I'd say I saved close to 15kg all up.
    Hi Tassie

    I noticed that the cracking in the chassis rail is LH-sided. Just wondering if the noise that I get over bumps on the left rear could be that - hidden away underneath there? I mean - we haven't taken the car apart looking for this thing??

    Steve
    Eternity - the wrong thing to be wrong about.

  6. #51
    Regular Member tassie_bb1's Avatar
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    Damn, it's been a while since I've posted. Time for a catch-up.

    Finally got around to installing some gauges.

    Sorry for the glare. On the left is the water temp gauge I had before, middle is oil pressure and right is oil temp. Had a little troubleshooting to do after installing them, turns out if the ground wire slips off the back of the gauge it won't work properly.



    I went with the sandwich plate idea, I never liked the thought of the t-piece off the stock sender, too much weight hanging off too small a thread. Since there is a rubber gasket between the sandwich plate and the block, I had to run an extra ground wire too.



    I found it interesting to see what the oil pressure gauge does while the car is warming up (idling in the driveway at least). I run 15W-50 full synthetic oil which I didn't think was THAT thick, but the gauge peaked to about 75psi at idle on startup. Within a minute or so it dropped to 25psi at idle but hovered there until I shut the car off 10 minutes later. With a little bit of a rev (no more than 2500rpm) it'd pop back up to 80psi. Even when the water temp was at around 80C (~180F) meaning the thermostat was open, the oil temp gauge still hadn't moved. It only budged off minimum right before I shut the car off. Since the oil doesn't reach its designated viscosity until 100C (I hope I used the right term there) it still had a bit of thinning out to go. It goes to show how little of the picture a water temp gauge alone is giving, and how long it takes for engine oil to even start doing its job properly. I feel bad for mainly driving for short stints in the daily for so many years.

    So I did a few wiring jobs that have been on my list. I've added a diagnostic switch, since I'm still using the stock ECU but wanted to remove some of the more annoying emissions gear, I've put a switch in that can put the ECU in diagnostics mode and disconnect the check engine light. This way I don't have an annoying CEL going off constantly but I can easily check for codes if I think something is up.

    This led to actually removing said emissions junk, so I tried making up a couple of block-off plates for the EACV and FIV. I'm going to buy an EGR block off plate though as this actually has to deal with hot exhaust, I don't think 3mm aluminium will cut it. Turns out there is a genuine Honda plate that was made for some markets (part number 18711-PM1-J00) which is only about $10 and does the job nicely.

    FIV plate


    TB back in place


    EGR valve still has to go in this pic, I didn't like that part of the rocker breather hose is joined to part of the FITV coolant hard line, so I've cut it off now.


    EACV block off


    All the junk I managed to remove


    The intake is starting to look a little tidier


    And just because I haven't posted a full bay shot for a while


    With the EACV deleted the ECU has no means of controlling the idle, this only really does anything when the accessories are taking lots of load. Since I've only got the PS left I haven't noticed any problems. The ECU itself gets snarky if the EACV is unplugged though and makes the idle go silly so I've had to temporarily plug the gutted unit back in still with no coolant lines attached and that fixed that.

    I'd like to get rid of the EVAP system too, for no other reason than it is ugly. The problem is that it actually serves a pretty important purpose by allowing the fuel tank to breathe and by not letting fuel vapour discharge to atmosphere. All of the racecar solutions to this I've seen to this don't really solve the problem as well, they only mitigate the risk.

    On to this past weekend.

    Saturday was the last MSCT Motorkhana for the year. We only had a small field of 22 due to another event locally so we managed to smash through 8 different tests (of two runs per test). After a long day and a lot of seat time I managed 10th overall.



    Yes, that is a Dodge Phoenix parked next to me... it entered too. I'll link some more pics when I get access to them.

    I bought a set of cheap OEM style pads for the back in the hopes I could get some decent low-temp response from the back end again. They did not help one bit. The cable handbrake just sucks big time. We bought ANOTHER car a couple of weeks ago, a '91 Subary Liberty for doing khanacross in, we're going to see how it handles a motorkhana too. Failing that I don't think I have any options left but to go with Conor's hydro setup.

    Late last week it was announced that there would be one last private practice session at the track on Sunday. I had finally picked up the fixed up Enkei's from the wheel guy only on Tuesday so haphazardly had to find someone to mount the semi's last minute.



    I had a couple of old centre caps off my 1st gen still which fit quite nicely.

    My friend with their MR2 wanted to come out and play around with their tune and I had convinced one of the guys at work to come out (in their only freshly rebuilt Supra) and have a play too.



    More on that RX7 later.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghu6iCl9G8E

    An earlier session for the day. Sorry about the shaky cam, my mount sucks. My best lap for the session (and the day as it would turn out) was lap 4.

    After a few sessions in the morning to get a feel for the car again (which is running SOOOOO nicely now), I started hitting my PB again. It was time to change to the semi's. It had all come down to this, all the prep, all the time, all the money. Everything was crossed off my list. There was nothing left to do. No pressure.



    I did a quick 5-6 laps to get a feel for things and get some temperature in to the rubber, then pulled in to check the pressures. There was about 10psi between the cold temps and the hot ones, so let a little air out and off I went again. At around 80% speed I was still lapping as quick as I was on the street tyres. A few more quick laps and back in to check the pressures again. The hot pressures were set to 28psi front and 26psi rear, the tyres were scrubbing nicely and weren't rubbing on anything. I headed back out for some full pace work.



    This session is where things started going poorly. First of all, my phone (which was filming and doing the GPS tracking/timing) overheated from being in the sun and shut off. I ran a quick warm-up lap, then another 80% lap, then I was hard at it. First corner is a medium right hander (preceeded by "the hump" followed by a tight left. As I passed the S/F line I drifted over to the left to set myself up for turn 1. Normally I start braking before the hump as the car was too unsettled to brake after, but on the semi's a quick jab was all that was needed, around to the right then hard on the brakes for the left hander.

    BANG!!!

    There is the RX7 filling my rear view.

    BANG!!!

    How the hell did he hit me again?? I'm getting off the track.

    So the story goes (according to him) that I cut him off coming past the S/F line and pushed him out into the grass on the left, without actually making contact. As we came over the hump he pulled in behind me and then when I broke for turn 2 he went straight into the back of me. I maintain that I did not deviate from my line (as I have been instructed) and that he should not have been trying to pass mid-corner in a practice session, he could have waited another 5 seconds and passed on the approach to the hairpin where it was safe to do so. As there are no flag marshals at practice there was no way for me to be signaled of their intent to pass, and the last time I spotted them was coming out of turn 7 where they were still quite a ways back. I had three CAMS officials back me up too.

    At the end of the day the damage wasn't too bad. My rear bumper is pretty messed up, as are most of the brackets holding it on. There is a little steelwork deformation in the wheel well and the exhaust rearward of the rear wheels is pretty much scrap. The damage to his car was mostly superficial too.





    It just didn't seem fun after that.

    So fun times. Bring on 2017....
    Symmons Plains - 1:12.280

  7. #52
    Junior Member sanchez's Avatar
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    Great build man, its coming along so nicely great to see you taking it to the track

    Shame about the rear ending, shouldn't of happened since you weren't actually racing. That track looks like good fun especially the last couple of high-speed corners, intense..

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