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fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
4/13/16 4:13 p.m.

made some headway on the MS and learned some stuff but everything had to come out because...

its going to take the plunge into stage rally!!!

here is another teaser pic:

stay tuned :)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
5/25/16 6:50 a.m.

Bump. Any more cage progress? I may be looking to cage another FC shell in the near future for when I inevitably wreck my current one, very interested in how it's going for you.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
6/27/16 3:30 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: Bump. Any more cage progress? I may be looking to cage another FC shell in the near future for when I inevitably wreck my current one, very interested in how it's going for you.

Actually I have a lot of updates I have just been lazy on updating this. Also been playing too much Dirt Rally so it has been hard to put down the controller and pick up the wrench…

But anyways, the cage is done! I went and picked it up from TRF (Thompson racing fabrication)

Frankenburban doing its civic duty once more, also a very scenic shot of Lake Michigan:

As soon as we brought it back I purchased a whiteboard and I highly recommend it! Here is where we started: http://picoolio.net/images/2016/06/27/20160507_21313514eb1.jpg

A LOT to do before summer sno*drift rally (August 6th) which will be our target inaugural rally….

If not this then LSPR but I really want to do an easier rally before that one and shake things down because sno*drift (summer and winter) is only 2.5 hours from my house. LSPR is 10, maybe 11 or 12 at towing speeds.

I do not have many pictures of the cage unpainted because I did not want rust so I instantly got to work brushing it on with some tractor paint, I used about a quart and I had to touch up a lot of areas. Let it dry – repeat and then I could begin working on the remainder.

When I dropped off the car for the cage I also had a few other things in mind…

Since I added a lot of weight with the cage, I needed to remove it in other areas  Enter the lexan rear window!

It came out really good and looked simple to make.

But I ended up adding weight for protection purposes because I have a proper front skid plate:

If you noticed in the earlier cage picture there was a little hint of something neat... I wanted to run to the brake lines in the car (being that rally is abrasive) and now it is easy to service fittings with bulkheads to each wheel well with stainless flex lines going to each caliper. IMAGE MISSING

Because of the cage the 1 piece dashboard is a hassle so now I have split it in 60/40 and grown to accommodate more mounting for switches or fuse boxes/etc. The 40% side handles the megasquirt, the 60% side handles the chassis and cluster. Now both are more serviceable and modular. Here is also a better picture of the hydraulic e-brake with bias valve setup. This was done with the new brake line setup. I hate flaring and bending tubing so I left this with Ryan, it was worth every penny in hours and swearing I don’t have to do.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
6/27/16 3:30 p.m.

I have been constantly been patching a hacked together harness that has been constantly modified over the years and I have finally given up so I started the wiring over, went to a dry cell battery and routed everything in a nice way. New connectors and properly soldered or crimped. Everything is very serviceable. I have re-wired the entire chassis and integrated the good harness portions into the main harness. Used some weatherproof connectors under the hood for the fuse box. Also I have wrapped everything is anti abrasion wrap instead of cheap plastic autozone special nonsense. I’m sure its expensive but I found it at work so ta da! I started working from the outsides of the car inwards. And since this is going to be a rally car instead of a rallycross car - trees are more of a thing so I am running all of the fuel/electrical/brake lines down the center because should I hit something I don’t want a wire pinched ending my rally or knocking me out of contention.

For this to be a rally car I have to have it road legal, best way to prep the rally car is to follow the tech inspection form and make sure those things work so this includes things like reverse lights, 3rd brake light, horn and a windshield washer system. I had to add these circuits so it was better to start over than to do more patch work.

So with that said, its on the basics – the battery! My welding skills are getting a bit better too, I also have a Mig now (the arc welder is a lot of fun still) I cut up 2 giant U bolts and welded them together. Battery is super secure now.

Also if you notice the strut tower tops have been reinforced. I can weld but when it comes to critical structure. I will pass…

It is a little further back than I wanted but I like having the bucket area open for storage of things for the driver and co-driver and it has a PERFECTLY sized cubby hole for this battery and there is no muffler on this side so no heat risk, help balance the weight since the exhaust runs along the P side. Easy access to electrical connectors and fuse panel should something go wrong. The objective is to make everything easy to service.

Here is the current progress:

A lot done but much more to do. The wiring takes a long time. I probably spent 3 days of wiring on just lamp wiring. I did some cleanup work under the hood too:

BEFORE:

http://picoolio.net/images/2015/01/05/20141231_1744542e8c5.jpg

AFTER:

Much nicer!

and here is some of the cleaned up wiring and added circuits:

Now everything is coming together nicely and I have started working on the dashboard and cleaning that mess up. More modular more easy to service etc.

Still a bit more needs to be done on that but I have finally routed the wires from the front of the car and the back of the car to the dashboard where everything will be controlled. Because of this I have 1 main electrical connection now for under the hood/front of the car, the back has 1 6 pin connector so aside from disconnecting the battery wires its relatively quick disconnect:

This is a weatherpack 22 pin bulkhead connector and its about 25 bucks from amazon and came with some terminals too so it was win-win because I was getting low on weatherpack supplies. I did not count how many circuits I had and I only have 1 pin left unused! :O

And this is my pinout diagram. Right now I have tons of small sheets or cardboard pieces and I slowly transfer them to a larger plywood board where I will ultimately make a spreadsheet wiring diagram so I can reference anything or anyone else (volunteer crew) should something fail electrically during a rally.

There has also been some floor repair and minor rust repair but that’s boring so I didn’t take pictures and the latest body repair addition didn’t draw a lot of attention so oh well.

5 weeks left to go!

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
6/27/16 6:25 p.m.

YES. Whiteboards are awesome and anti-abrasion wrap is the shiznit. Pain in the ass sometimes but soooo worth it.

Dunno if you heard from Dan but my car got fixed super stupid simple, one of the fuel lines just sort of came off. We all gave it the finger, it was glorious. Thanks much big heaps for the help.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
6/27/16 6:53 p.m.

Just FYI, on my rally FC the rear shock towers are cracking despite being 1/8" plate, and the cowl/area ahead of the doors is tearing as well. Also had a front strut tower start tearing because of lousy seam welding- I'd reinforce that stuff or resist the urge to fly the car until you do.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
6/27/16 7:35 p.m.
Knurled wrote: YES. Whiteboards are awesome and anti-abrasion wrap is the shiznit. Pain in the ass sometimes but soooo worth it. Dunno if you heard from Dan but my car got fixed super stupid simple, one of the fuel lines just sort of came off. We all gave it the finger, it was glorious. Thanks much big heaps for the help.

At first I thought I would hate the wrap around instead of slip through, then I realized how often I change my mind about routing/wiring my circuits and fell in love with it. Much easier to add wiring and such.

I'm glad that worked out!! I really wasn't looking forward to picking you up so I had to think my way out of that situation :) Look how much I got done because of it haha. He sent me a message saying you fueled up and were on your way shortly after.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
6/27/16 7:57 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101:

The really funny thing was, we were talking for like an hour during the Saturday night fire session and I felt bad for not getting/remembering his name... then when he showed up with the truck I was like, oh, dude, it's YOU

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
6/30/16 11:26 a.m.

I will get to the stich/seam welding when I get better at welding, right now I don't trust myself. The strut tower caps have been reinforced quite heavily though. I will need to take a closer picture of the front ones, you can see the white painted plate on the rear pretty well and it is tied into the cage.

Here is a picture of the rear brake lines, this is at max droop so it should fine if I need to take it over any sweet jumps.

This is my male connector wiring diagram. Pretty rad, right?

The dashboard heart/brain is coming together. It looks a little messy still but I have 1 last circuit to install. The windshield washer/wiper system.

The goal is to use a DPDT toggle switch. I want 1 switch to do wiper and washer system. In the middle the switch is in the off position, flip it up and its just wipers, flip it down and its wipers and washers. I haven’t totally figured out how I am going to wire it up exactly but I think I realistically just need to feed key on 12V to the center pins of the switch and then jumper the 2 poles for only the wiper. Either way the goal is not to fiddle with toggle switches and have my hands focused on the wheel and etc. I do want to try and hit 2 switches at once sorta thing.

Time to check one more thing off the list, a very important thing…

One less hurdle and one important step forward, plus I figure with the EPA bullE36 M3 looming of not being able to turn cars into race cars (likely wont pass) I figure if something already is a race car, especially a log booked one, it will be grandfathered in.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
6/30/16 12:21 p.m.
fidelity101 wrote: I will get to the stich/seam welding when I get better at welding, right now I don't trust myself. The strut tower caps have been reinforced quite heavily though. I will need to take a closer picture of the front ones, you can see the white painted plate on the rear pretty well and it is tied into the cage.

My front tower caps are reinforced and holding up great- the tearing on the those happened where the tower meets the wheel well and unibody. The plate on your rear ones will likely be good enough until you abrade away that surface via gravel spray, provided you avoid bottoming it a ton (see "flying the car").

For what it's worth, this stuff probably won't become an issue for a few events at least; my car seems to have had a pretty long life with mostly stock stuff before I started destroying it. It'll be easier to address now though, and might turn a little off course excursion or overcooked yump into a few bent suspension bits instead of a chassis repair.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
6/30/16 1:33 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote:
fidelity101 wrote: I will get to the stich/seam welding when I get better at welding, right now I don't trust myself. The strut tower caps have been reinforced quite heavily though. I will need to take a closer picture of the front ones, you can see the white painted plate on the rear pretty well and it is tied into the cage.

My front tower caps are reinforced and holding up great- the tearing on the those happened where the tower meets the wheel well and unibody. The plate on your rear ones will likely be good enough until you abrade away that surface via gravel spray, provided you avoid bottoming it a ton (see "flying the car").

For what it's worth, this stuff probably won't become an issue for a few events at least; my car seems to have had a pretty long life with mostly stock stuff before I started destroying it. It'll be easier to address now though, and might turn a little off course excursion or overcooked yump into a few bent suspension bits instead of a chassis repair.

I saw those pictures in your thread, that looks like a great area where I don't have to worry about cosmetic welds. I'd like to do that.

after this wiring is complete I am working on underbody protection, we have some aluminum and plastic to play with that will also work as new fenderliners (currently work in progress but no pics) If you saw the TRF BRZ it is a similar setup. Except orange instead of blue.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
7/6/16 9:28 a.m.

aaaaaaaaaand its done!

everything works too! except I can't find my wideband cable (the shop is a mess) I haven't started the engine yet because of it and especially since I finished late last night.

I have a little more cleaning up to do (and find that cable) then it should be onto tuning

the 500Amp breaker works great but I can only crank it for maybe 10 seconds without it popping the breaker and I can't seem to find a larger one. What do people use for a fuse/breaker when you relocate the battery? I thought 500A would be enough since its a 400CCA battery but I guess not...

Next up is underbody, tuning and then fuel lines (run in the cabin) so I picked up this amazing piece of equipment for helping attach the fenders and fender liners. I don't know why I didn't buy one of these before they are amazing!

Also we have created a facebook group so we can post silly rx7 or rally things and hopefully share pictures in action and etc.

@Braprally74

or search for Minimal Effort Motorsports (the runner up name was Underfunded Over Budget Racing)

:D

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
7/19/16 3:25 p.m.

Well it doesn't look like we are going to make summer sno*drift. I think it will be good enough for an August rallyX. I have the engine running in open loop right now but it needs some adjustment and I am fine tuning the serviceability of my dashboard so coincidentally (or by my fault) my wideband took a dump so this week we will focus on seat mountings and belt stuff so that we can test the engine/tune until this arrives:

I can now calculate the ratio of a ratio of a ratio if I need be but in reality I want to be able to narrow down any fault as quickly as possible. IE if one rotor is dead I know where to start diag-ing or know which fuel injector or plug to check. If something fails on the road or in transit I can minimize diag time by literally 50% and in a rally time penalties can really hurt.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
7/19/16 4:37 p.m.

What to use for a breaker: Nothing. Direct cable to battery.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
7/20/16 8:30 a.m.

I found that the breaker works fine as long as I am not just cranking it for the hell of cranking it to see my oil pressure gauge move.

also I discovered I need to re-locate my water temp sending unit

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
7/26/16 10:46 p.m.

Well it looks like the hosting site i used is fubard...

Suggestions?

Gaunt596
Gaunt596 New Reader
7/27/16 1:49 a.m.

Imgur does a good job, and its free

http://imgur.com/

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Reader
7/27/16 9:19 a.m.

Can't see pics and maye too late but I would put wiper stuff where your co driver can reach primarily and where you can reach if you need to.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
7/29/16 5:36 p.m.
jfryjfry wrote: Can't see pics and maye too late but I would put wiper stuff where your co driver can reach primarily and where you can reach if you need to.

Yeah I am going to have to update that... but the wiper and master kill switch is within reach of both of hands.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
9/7/16 4:49 p.m.

looks like the site is fixed! which is good news because now I have updates to share and I am glad I didn't have to re-host 2.5 years of pics which now reminds me I should back up my stuff...

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
11/11/16 5:18 p.m.

I should have listened to my self because my back ups was lost during a hard drive failure... oh well. I did not make it to the August rallycross but here we are in November and I have 12 hours to have this car's tune drive-able for a rallycross in the morning, its a 2 day event with 1 heat ran during the night time. The car is practically together and I've been very offline but I have some pictures and some actual updates to share but right now I gotta focus on making tomorrow's event :)

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
11/14/16 11:37 a.m.

So to run two 02 sensors I had to weld in new bungs, the existing ones had damaged threads and were at the threshold for the distance limit from exhaust outlet so I just went just behind the flange.

So then with that “settled” and calibrating the 02 sensors to the controllers it was time to set the engine timing and then begin the megasquirt diagnostics…

Then it stopped running (lost fuel) and I enlisted additional help

So I brought out some additional help with fancy tools and had diagnosed a hardware issue. It turned out that trace in the MS2 board that turns on the MOSFET injector drivers was burned so we jumped it with a wire. But because of this I left my ECU with a friend to diag and repair beyond what I was capable of doing so with this few week lead time I began to work on other tasks like underbody but before going on to that I must say that megasquirt has been the worst experience of my (automotive) life, not once but twice, remember this thread years ago? When I failed at it the 1st time then slapped the carb on it and it was “good enough” and was able to still be pretty competitive and this time I had better results but it was still from flawless execution, lots of modifying and checking and diagnostics and failure and repair and repeat. All in all this ECU is all way to configurable for me and is best left to experts I would not recommend this ECU to anyone. I wished I had spent the money (saved the time) and bought a proper haltech unit for this. This ECU is way outside of my comfort zone and if anything starts acting up I’m going to have a difficult time diagnosing it. End rant.

So without an ECU I still had plenty of things I needed to do before stage rally… Time to add grip tape (skateboard tape) to the pedals to keep my feet from slipping, now I just got to add that stuff where my heel wears away the paint on the floor.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
11/14/16 11:38 a.m.

Then beginning the underbody, I used 3/16ths HDPE (High density poly ethylene) which is super strong and fairly stiff and should protect my ass because my seats are literally sitting on the floor. Step 1 – add reinforcement plates to future mounting areas, step 2 – add weld nuts, step 3 weld on appropriate sized bolt then grind to a point.

I took basic measurements and basically installed the underbody hole by hole. You thread in the bolt with the pointed tip in the affixed weld nut, add paint or marker to the tip, press up on the HDPE sheet then remove the sheet, you then have an indent with a colored point so it is easy to drill a hole. Do this one by one and attach it as you get further back then slowly you start have to a well fitted piece.

Not only underbody but above body needed work too, we did not need a sunroof for stage rally so I added a thin sheet of aluminum was RTV’d (for water protection) and then riveted to the roof just like before, but this time I used a thicker sheet so it was a bit harder to form, so I received help from my old engines to keep it in place as I drilled and riveted it down.

It looked really bad so I did what “anyone” would do and that’s wrap it with carbon fiber sticker!

I don’t want to actually show you what it looked like underneath but lets just say even the average sticker job that I performed is better looking than what’s underneath. Also the added sticker should act like “ belts and suspenders” for water protection. However with the body lines this doesn’t exactly look like a carbon fiber roof but from a distance it could…. A few tweaks to the wiring and gauges, I went with the AEM water temp gauge because I loved the oil pressure gauge so much, the MS now controls the E fan and fuel pump so I am compliant with the rules.

In addition to the underbody I had more flexible sheets of plastic for fender liners and to help close off the skid plate to engine bay. I started making mockups with cardboard but just gave up because they were easy to form and I followed the same process as the HDPE but I was utilizing stainless steel rivet nuts and that the fender liners overlap with the HDPE in the front it should work out great. So in the end here is the completed underbody!

Before we get to the rally weekend story there is some side story from about a year ago that comes into play now…

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
11/15/16 11:08 a.m.

Or you can view the progress in this video :)

Fast motion video

This is stop motion of installing the rocker guards, weld nuts, underbody, roof, fuel lines, fine tune seat install.

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
11/15/16 9:26 p.m.

Remember this from about a year ago? Well I didn't realize at the time but look at the second place name...

fidelity101 wrote: …the car behaved very well actually with just those changes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRxDXvKb8IA Look at 2:57-3:20, 3:36-3:45, and 9:23ish for yourself. :)

Ryan Symancek...

aka /drive aka the show My Life as a Rallyist, I never heard of the show or seen the show until about 2 weeks ago and its quite good! You could say we had a similar story - finding rally through video games until college where you would just get by enough to go racing and then pursue that passion...

However that day he was filming, but everyone has cameras at a race event so it would was hard to notice. so it turns out I am "That Guy" and I appear as the antagonist in an episode:

My Life as a Rallyist - DETROIT Porsche 911 vs Rx-7 Rallycross

It’s a pretty cool video and the series is very good and you should all check it out if you are interested in rally at any level.

Now that being said, it is almost 1 year later I am racing the same car again although completely different car once more and I managed to make it to a special weekend of rallycross with the Detroit region. Saturday afternoon was fun runs because this was our regions annual day/night rallycross - one heat in the day time and 1 heat at night so you can utilize your sweet rally lights so technically you can get 3 heats of racing in if you give 100% participation, and that’s not all - we had an event rained out and re-scheduled for the next day! so a maximum possibility of 5 heats of racing... but this time with a full roll cage, full re-wire, full EFI swap, full underbody protection, rust repair, seat mounts (sounds easy but you try being 6'4" in a sardine can like this) and all the other DOT legal stuff my car was lacking...

The clock starts ticking; I had worked from home that day to continuously finish my preparations for the tow rig and car itself. Its now 8PM Friday night before the race, 12pm the next day is the start of fun runs and registration closes at 1pm.

We began to work on tuning immediately afterwards, but before tuning is possible – running and idling was to be addressed first. Around 9:15pm that night we had sorted out my failed 02 sensor issue and re-cal'd the DLG-1 NOTE

I have eaten a few 02 sensors in this whole recent process of getting megasquirt functioning properly, every time you go from OFF to ON it runs the heaters (gauge displays HTR for each sensor) to the 02 sensors. I managed to kill an 02 sensor without ever having ran a vehicle for more than 20 combined minutes. Other issues popped up and were delt with accordingly, nothing out of the ordinary for just having a rough base tune for an entirely different setup.

Last time we had successfully verified that the engine was timed 100% correctly and ignition was working properly. It was right after that moment we lost fuel. No pulse of the injectors. This time we had more luck but we didn't finish the tuning until about 2:00am. A few pulls and driving on the highway, getting fuel from a slow pump, various changes, talking with a police officer (hazards on at the side of the road, safety check kind of thing) but that didn’t stop us – we had finished and we had various 9000 RPMs of brrrrrraaaaaaaaappppppppppp and nothing exploded. It was just after this when I am getting ready to load the car on the trailer and call it a night – I lose 12v power to the passenger side dashboard which provides key on powers to my e-fan, lights, megasquirt and 02 sensor controllers/gauge etc. I had a failed relay and had to dig into the dash to replace and ultimately got the car on the trailer at 3am then proceeded to fall asleep after a hot shower.

With little sleep I wake up – finish packing and then head down about 2 hours south to the dreaded state of Ohio however with construction I missed my exit and have to drive about 5 miles out of the way (no big deal) HOWEVER around this time I notice that my volt gauge on the frankenburban is reading below 12v - my alternator was failing and I was still about 20 minutes away from the race site so kiss the fun runs goodbye . Great thing about an old chevy truck is that there are parts everywhere, so with an added 30 minute delay I changed the alternator in the parking lot and I was on my way again, it almost didn't start because of the lack of battery power but I did have jumper cables and a spare battery just in case... Nice thing about a truck that big is that you can literally carry everything you need and everything you don’t need. However this marks the 6th or 7th time I have driven a vehicle to Ohio and it breaks down…

Without entirely testing the car other than a few wot pulls in all gears my stage rally co-driver and I decided to get behind the wheel and give it 10/10ths. 7000 RPM launches and power for days! It was nice being able to spin the engine to 9000 RPM with the carb setup I had reached my limit on that carb through pressure and orifice adjustments so I could not fuel the engine fast enough so it would be too lean above 6500 RPM. Even with a full gravel spare in the trunk and an added roll cage, it feels faster than before. The goal was to beat the snot out of the car and we did for 2 days straight and nothing broke! As a driver I did pretty bad time wise but still put competitive clean timed runs down although I blew both the chances for trophies for both days due to a MAX run each day but the day as a whole was a success. I received a lot of compliments on the noises it made, and on that note… action shots.

I didn’t have enough time to clean it the dirt on the hood is from the year of sitting…

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