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captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
1/13/22 3:18 p.m.

I've been a tinkering just a little teeny bit. Side markers came in so I got those installed.

Then on to other lighting. Before I sold off my old FRS I had pulled the fog lights and HID kit. Originally it was to reduce weight for TT classing but now I could use a couple pounds to meet XS-A class minimum. After digging through the harness stuff I found the HIDs and ballasts. There was a set of three relays for some reason on my old car. From what I can tell I only need one relay for the fog lights and I'm still not sure why he wired them up for the HIDs? I hated all the wires that were ran in the engine bay so it was nice to see most of what I have wasn't necessary.

HIDs are installed. The kit was plug and play, just needed some new double sided 3m tape to stick the ballasts to the crash beam area. The light color is a better match to the DRLs of the Winjets and visibility seems improved.

I did a little reading on the fog light wiring today and I think I've got everything I need to set it up quickly. I plan to tap into the side marker circuit to trigger the fog relay. I don't want a separate switch, just for them to be on when the stock light switch is turned over. More tinkering with that this evening.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
1/17/22 10:55 a.m.

Cold weekend. Didn't really want to do much but moved forward on a couple things. The metal beauty plate on top of the valve cover I bought was buzzing like crazy, so I decided to grab a factory plastic one from a Honda. It looks better I think and best of all doesn't make noise.

Then messed with the fogs a bit more. The lenses were pretty bad, so I spent some time sanding and polishing. Much better.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
2/19/22 6:06 p.m.

Update time.

So I'm a hair over 3k miles on the swap. The vibrations finally got me annoyed enough to start figuring out solutions. First thing I did was remove the Whiteline trans poly insert. Huge reduction in cabin vibes but still enough through certain RPM ranges I attributed to the driveshaft. So I took my two piece stock driveshaft to a local shop and had it shortened 5.5" to match the Kpower length. I wanted to drop the carrier bearing lower to match driveline angle so needed something to space them out. The tallest spacers I could find in my stash were ~5/8" which worked out since I had some longer bolts that gave me the stock length thread engagement with washers. The angles actually looked great from what I could tell once installed.

And............

it's now a completely different car now! YEEEEEHAWWWWW!

The rearview mirror is no longer a blur. The cabin feels so much better at all rev ranges especially 3500-4500 range and above. I still have a vibration at idle but it's only a pain because there are some places under the dash that need dampened or felt placed at connection points. Some have mentioned a Fluidampr pulley can help dampen some vibes so I'm likely going to give that a go even though I don't expect it to do much with idle. I know they are more for upper RPM harmonics but folks have mentioned a reduced vibration at idle. Anyway, I can hear music so much better at highway and interstate cruising. Around town cruising. All cruising. I like it. A lot. It's just so much better.

I also started shortening the stock shifter assembly. I figure there were quite a bit of vibes transferred to the trans tunnel since it's hard mounted. After I removed the Whiteline bushing I noticed the trans will barely touch the tunnel area that was hammered under a hard left corner since it's got so much give. So I ordered up an STI trans mount that is all rubber, more stiff than stock, but shouldn't transfer near as much NVH into the cabin. If it happens to add more vibes back I'll continue shortening the stock shifter assembly and have it welded up to mitigate that.

So all in all I spent $325 after tax to swap out the driveshaft and it was money well spent.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/19/22 6:20 p.m.

Cool! So, you went back from 1 pc to 2 pc driveshaft, right?

K-swaps are good swaps.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
2/19/22 6:22 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) :

Correct and agreed.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
2/19/22 7:54 p.m.

Here's the work in progress on the shifter console. I hose clamped them together so I can test fit and if needed can move stuff around to align properly. With the Kpower kit the trans is lowered 1.25" over stock from my measurements, so I cut then stacked the console which just so happens to be about an 1". I "think" this should be ready to weld but better to test fit first before committing. 5.5" roughly shorter than stock. If the Kpower shift linkage doesn't fit I'll shorten the stock chunky one as needed.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
2/22/22 10:35 a.m.

Ever since I bolted on the 17' and up muffler to the 13-16' mid pipe I've had a considerable leak. The gasket just didn't cover enough area and I've let it go as it didn't bother me much. Noise wise I didn't think it was that terrible but now that I've reduced cabin noise with the vibrations it's been more noticeable. I found a couple muffler/midpipe combos for sale that have matching flange types, but the nearby ones were more than I thought they were worth and the cheaper ones were too far away. So I finally decided to stop being lazy and order up a flange to weld on to fix what I have. $15 for a nice stainless flange with gasket from Amazon was all it took. The flange itself actually had a nice machined groove to locate and center it with the stock holes. I bolted the everything all together nice and snug then tacked in place. No pics of the fully welded product but my flux core welder did the trick and now I have a whisper quiet exhaust. Almost too quiet....

STI trans mount should arrive today. I'll test fit my shortened stock shifter assembly when I install it this evening.

I also ordered up a Fluidampr crank pulley. At this point it's one less thing to worry about and considering the original is from a 260k mile engine can't hurt to make that crank pulley great again.

Ignore the crack in my tack. It's been sealed now.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/23/22 8:53 a.m.

Looks good!

 

I did a manual swap on my e46 about a year ago and did a chassis mount shifter, with that I did poly engine and trans bushings and the vibrations are quite annoying. For mine there is an intermediate option out now, supposedly 30% stiffer than factory rubber, and stiff enough for the chassis mount shifter, but should be quieter. I need to order a set, but I haven't so far. I think your results of a quieter cabin are starting to convince me to bite the bullet, it sounds much more enjoyable. 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
2/24/22 2:31 p.m.

Your progress makes the K swap quite a bit more enticing.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/7/22 10:36 a.m.

How's the ground clearance to the oil pan?  Does it sit higher or lower than the subframe?

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/7/22 11:15 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I'll have to check for sure but I think it's a 1/2" or more above the subframe lowest point? I think there's at least an inch between the aluminum undertray and the pan.

Here's a couple pics that sorta show it:

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/7/22 12:19 p.m.

Thanks!  I wonder if they'd cut me a steel one if I wanted to do this to the rally car.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/7/22 3:21 p.m.

So I've been tinkering but slammed at work so failed to update this.

I ordered up a Fluidamper pulley and a fuel damper from Deatschwerks. I feel quite a bit of difference through the rev range in vibration reduction with the pulley and a slight amount less at idle. If the fuel damper made any difference it's just in a consistent flow and no signs of difference in vibes. I kind of expected that but after seeing the fluctuation in pressure without one I felt it can't hurt to regulate as much as possible. No pics of the new pulley cause I failed to take one.

I also stumbled on to some newer fender garnishes paint matched for my color at a silly cheap price. My plan was to plastidip them black and see if I liked them. If not I could just remove the dip and figure out something else. So far I like them black, and while I was at it I did the trunk trim. These pics are after it's first bath in months. I managed to get it cleaned up right before the rain rolled in.

I also have been waiting on an OEM Audio Plus Reference 500 sytem used. It was stuck with USPS for well over a month and of course came in damaged. Luckily it was just cosmetic but still, it sucks. Sound wise I am SUPER pleased. I got it used for less than half of standard price, but I think the cost is well justified. It tunes the whole "stage" so much better than stock. Totally worth every penny. I did have to space the enclosure out from where it normally mounts for coilover adjustment knob space. Just a few nylon spacers and longer bolts did the trick.

I've also been chasing a slight oil weep. A couple of them. First they were tiny and there was a period of time I didn't pop the hood. What I saw the next time for checking fluids I was a bit shocked. From what I could tell the worst offender was the VTC filter on the driver side/intake of the engine. It was one of the few seals that somehow never got a refresh when I went through everything else. The other was an O-ring on the spool valve sensor that's no longer being used. Again that didn't get replaced during the refresh so nothing too shocking. Both were rock hard which confirms my suspicions. I cleaned up as much as possible during install but I think there's a future power wash to be had.

I've rolled into 4k virtually trouble free miles. The little stuff I've been tinkering with haven't kept me from the road and some would be considered normal wear and tear due to the miles of the donor. The list is getting shorter on things to tackle.

Next is rear coolant neck gasket. I re-used the one that came with the donor like an idiot and I think it's the source of very small coolant leak. While that is out I plan to add some holes in the thermostat for bleeding, possibly a swirl pot solution if possible.

Brake pads and rotors are here, just need to install.

Remote tune to get it all tightened up that little bit more. Doubtful there's a ton of power lying around to grab but it'll be good to see what all tweaks the tuner will make.

Maybe install larger injectors and do e85 tune adjustment after that?

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/8/22 10:34 a.m.

So I think there's still something funky about the thermostat situation with this swap. I'll type out my thoughts and see what you guys think.

If I start the car, let it idle until warm, the thermostat will open and all is functioning properly.

If I start the car, go for a drive, the car gets warm enough for the rear temp sensor to kick the fan on. Unfortunately the coolant down by the thermostat is getting cooled too quickly to pop the thermostat open. The car now is stuck with the fan on. It can't cool that loop enough to cycle off, but it keeps it cool enough that it will never trigger the thermostat to open. The good news is I am not overheating, but the system is only functioning through the water pump bypass with a fan stuck on. Less than ideal for sure.

So. What are some good options here to alleviate the problem?

Some folks that have swapped into a different chassis will just remove the thermostat but I don't think that's what I want to do. At least not yet.

Option 1: I can get a lower temp thermostat and see if that helps. Mishimoto sells a 140f unit that may just work as the stock one is set to 172f. I still don't like this idea but there's no real way to get the temp at the thermostat to rise enough to open without delaying fan engagement. If I delay fans I'm running the risk of serious crap to spiral fast.

Option 2: Use a Kpower Miata neck for the Miata swap or modify the one for the 86. If I add a port at the neck for the heater core intake line, then send the line that's at the intake manifold to go to the thermostat housing it will get warmer quicker? TracTuff has a barbed fitting that can replace the delete we are provided with the kit so there will be two heated lines going into the factory thermostat housing like it was from the factory. This is probably the correct solution but a lower temp thermostat could be enough and way cheaper.

Any other suggestions to try out?

I thought I had it all figured out a couple months ago, but now that we have been getting some warmer days I noticed the lower coolant hose staying cool while the rest of the system tries it's best to work overtime.

 

I kinda photoshopped what I was thinking. Kpower sells a neck that already is tapped used for a Miata swap, but I would need to tap or weld my existing.

Also there's a pic of the barbed fitting I can replace the deleted port at the thermostat housing with that can connect to the intake manifold coolant from the head.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/8/22 10:36 a.m.

Can you change the temperature threshold for the fans kicking on?  I bet there's a sweet spot that keeps everything a little bit happier.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/8/22 10:45 a.m.

I just spent the best part of two hours going through this thread. Awesome job!

Like others, I now want one of these but I can't find any BRZ or FR-S for under $13k though.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/8/22 10:45 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I tried that to an extent. Unfortunately if I delay the temp they kick on it's getting too high for comfort. The biggest issue ends up being when in motion the radiator and fan are keeping it in an ideal temp but unable to fully function as a system. The passenger side hose will be solid as a rock and hot while the thermostat housing is just sorta warm. The heater core lines by the firewall are toasty but by the time it connects to the thermostat housing just not warm enough.

If I understand the thermostat function correctly it's a two stage. I'm still wrapping head around how the system is designed but it had two lines getting warm coolant AT the thermostat housing. One was a little larger than the other and it was the one we block off with the kit. My theory is the amount of warm coolant isn't enough to trigger the thermostat but if we double or better the flow of warm fluid it will function as intended. A lower temp thermostat would simply be a band-aid.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/8/22 10:47 a.m.

Can you drill a hole, or if there is one already a bigger one, on top of the thermostat so that it bypasses more hot water? I would test that as its probably the easiest/cheapest.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/8/22 10:47 a.m.
Slippery said:

I just spent the best part of two hours going through this thread. Awesome job!

Like others, I now want one of these but I can't find any BRZ or FR-S for under $13k though.

Prices are kinda silly right now for sure. I see some okay deals pop up every now and again but still not low enough to warrant the cost of a swap. If you have cash and are okay with a salvage title that may get you closer to an acceptable budget.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/8/22 10:49 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

I've considered that as well. I don't know how large you would need to get enough through but the lower hose on the other side of the the thermostat is cold to the touch. I think it would need quite a bit of an opening to really make a change. Of course this is just conjecture but worth looking into.

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/8/22 10:53 a.m.

Agreed. I wouldn't want the fans on at that low of a temperature. 
 

Is the flow in this setup reversed from stock? In my reptilian brain the thermostat should be sensing the block temperature and controlling flow TO the radiator not FROM it. If I understand this correctly with the way it's set up now In a perfect storm the radiator could be frozen solid and the block could be overheating. 

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/8/22 10:59 a.m.

In reply to CAinCA :

Flow direction hasn't really changed, just the amount to the thermostat housing from all the diagrams I see.

Right now the coolant is still cycling through the engine with the bypass into the water pump. I believe that opening gets shut off or reduced dramatically once the thermostat opens. Then it will funnel through the rad core for proper cooling.

I'll see if I can drum up some diagrams and show the major parts changes and the deleting of one full circuit with this kit.

captainawesome
captainawesome Dork
3/8/22 11:04 a.m.

Here's stock flow charts for a similar engine. Still need to find one for the k24a2 but it's very similar in design:

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
3/8/22 11:07 a.m.

Firstly, is the system bled as well as can be done?  It seems counterintuitive if you've got heat but the K-series is sensitive to air entrapment.  
Here are a couple coolant flow diagrams to help with a sanity check.  *edit, posted those above literally a minute too late.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/8/22 11:07 a.m.

Given that diagram, I change my vote to a lower temp thermostat.  This is a weird one since the thermostat is controlling the water temp into the block, rather than out of it.

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