Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Back from holiday hiatus

After a break for other hobby projects related to the holiday season, I'm back on the car. I finished  stripping down the wiring harness for the intake manifold, and then started organizing it again into a coherent harness, ready to plug into things.

This pile of loose junk...

... got turned into a more attractive and tidier bundle, tied up with wire loom and zip ties.

Most of the wiring was actually useful, and while I did strip out a few connectors and a few yards of wire, the big benefit is really that I moved one big connector from the right side to the left, so it will all go into the cabin through one hole in the firewall.

After the wire diet for the intake harness was complete, I started on mocking up the exhaust system. This is a look at the passenger side cylinder head. You can see the exhaust header at lower right, bolted up to the actual exhaust ports, then the up-pipe wrapping behind the head, leading to the turbo at upper left. None of that is locked down yet - I have header wrap on order, so I will need to take it all apart to apply it to all the pieces.

And I am very tempted to upgrade the turbo and intercooler while I am at this stage, too. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Wire diet continues!

In order to pull wires out of the engine harness, first, I had to strip away most of the unneeded loom and tape. I thought that this was going to be enough, but I actually did end up pulling off a bit more in later steps, as I identified wires and ran them back.
Here's an example of a connector I am removing. This is one of two connectors for the driver's side Tumble Generator Valve (TGV). I'm just not going to run TGVs, and I don't want these just hanging off the harness, so I traced all the conductors through the harness and removed them, end to end. That's four TGV connectors and a few others. 
Here's everything I have removed so far. All told, I think I pulled half a dozen connectors and their related wiring out. I also moved one sub-harness from the right side to the left, so I can get it all through one passthrough.
Here's what's left. I think there are still one or two I need to pull out. For example, there's one labeled just "P/S," which I am pretty sure means that I pulled it off the power steering pump. Since I am not running power steering, that's unneeded.

Once I get everything researched and the last extraneous wiring out, I can start relooming it all by plugging it all in and routing it around components and through the wiring channels.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

A new diet!


A wire diet, specifically.

The wiring harness just for the top of the engine is insane. I think it weighs about five pounds. And there's some stuff on it I am just not going to use anymore. Certainly the plugs related to the TGV (tumble generator valve) actuators and angle sensors, and possibly other things as well.

But to know what to take off and what to keep, I have to know what everything is, so I spent some quality time on it on the workbench.

First, I just unplugged everything I could, adding labels as I went. Ignition coils, fuel injectors, crank and cam position sensors, etc., etc.

But there were three plugs that had gotten unplugged earlier and not labeled. And with the engine accessories not installed at present, it's pretty hard to figure out what plug goes to what device.

The only way I know of to figure all this out is to go to the wiring diagrams, which is a nightmare in itself. 

I started by pulling back the loom around the wiring a little bit and looking at the colors of the insulation.

Here's an example. Now, these wires have been in a hot, dirty, oily engine bay for fifteen years, so they are not in the best of condition, but one of the wires is pretty clearly red, and the other is green with a stripe. At first, I thought this was a dirty green/white wire (GW in wiring diagram parlance), so I scoured the wiring diagram for any connector with two conductors, R and GW. No luck.

So I looked again and decided maybe it was a yellow stripe - GY. But I still could not find the right connector on the diagram. I then remembered that there's another color - light green, or Lg. So, a third pass, looking for Lg and R.

And this time I found it! It connects to the purge control solenoid. Now I can research that solenoid and figure out if I need to keep that, or if I can take those wires out.

Fortunately, the other two unidentified connectors were slightly easier (knock sensor and PCV diagnostic, respectively), but just searching those three out took a few hours, and completing the labeling took all day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Harness! Engine! Shift linkage!

Got some good stuff done this past weekend. First of all, I spent some quality time with an angle grinder and a drill, making this bracket. It bolts to the frame of the car on the floor, under the seat, to act as a mounting point for the anti-submarine belt.
So what is an anti-submarine belt? It's the fifth belt in this harness - there ae two shoulder belts, two hip belts, and the anti-submarine belt. They all connect to the latch in the middle to secure the driver pretty securely to the seat and to the car. The anti-submarine belt in particular prevents "submarining" in event of a frontal collision - the driver can't slide out under the hip belts, feet first.
On to the engine! 

I picked this off its temporary resting place (a folding table) with the engine crane and dropped it into the engine bay again. It looks pretty good in there. It's not bolted down, just resting in place, but it feels good to have it in its home.

I wanted the engine in its bay so that I could start installing this slick bellcrank assembly to the back of the transmission. The two cables in black jackets at left will go to the shift lever (well, not those ones specifically - they are just placeholders for the shorter ones I will actually use), and this linkage translated the left/right and fore/aft movements of the shifter into actual gear changes.

But to get those cables routed so I can measure them for ordering the ones I really need, I have to route them up and over the engine and through the firewall, into the tunnel between the seats. And in order to get a good routing that clears everything else on the tunnel, I have to start dressing the engine.

There's a lot of stuff that goes on top to route around. Here, I have the starter and the clutch slave cylinder bolted up. After I took this pic, I also got the alternator about half faked up into place, but not quite done yet. I have some pieces on order to make that come together.

Then it's induction, I think. Oh, and a water pipe that connects the two halves of the block. And probably a bunch of other stuff, too.

Feels like good progress. Plenty more good stuff to come.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Lagniappe and recovering from a goof

I ordered a trick shift linkage for the transmission - and the vendor also chucked in this cool aluminum shifter plate. You can see the steel one I was going to use in the picture as well, but I moved the lever and bellcrank to the new plate.

It's not a big change, and it's probably going to be completely hidden once the build is done, but it's a cool little extra bit that I like.

I will have pics of the trick shift linkage later on, I am sure.

Here's what I fabbed up to act as an anchor point for the hip belt of the harness. Rather than remake the existing seat mount bracket, I will add this to the back. And I'll have to make a matching one for the other side, of course. I also still need to fab an anti-submarine mount.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Fiddling with seat positioning and mountings - and the shifter, too

One of the things about the seats I am using - Kirkey racing buckets - is that they should be secured to the frame of the car at the back of the seat as well as at the base. In order to get this done, I needed to make a secure place to bolt up the correct mount. 

This is a piece of angle iron, Clecoed to the frame. After I got this far, I reinstalled the aft firewall and transferred all the 1/8" holes to that, then enlarged all the holes in stages to 5/16" to take AN5 hardware.

This is that angle iron all bolted up, and showing how the back support bracket will bolt to it. Those downturned tabs will likewise get bolted to the back of the seat.
It will look something like this, but with actual bolts instead of clamps. The positioning is ending up very good. I'm quite pleased. But since the seat is fixed in place, no one will be able to drive it easily unless they are close to my height.
I also welded some flat bar onto the shifter and started positioning it. It's too early to call this final (for one thing, I goofed, and it's back to front in this picture), but that's close to where it will go.

I've also just realized that I goofed on the seat mount floor rails - I need to redo them to include an extension for the harness hip belts. And not a goof, I just haven't done it yet, but I need to fab up a mounting tab for the anti-submarine belt as well.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

A few smaller updates

A collection of fairly small updates today:

With the welding completed on the transmission subframe, I painted all the raw metal in there to protect against corrosion. Not that the car is going to see water, but it's a good idea anyway.

I cut the seat mount plates to length and painted them, and got them bolted to the frame - and I also got the seat mount uprights bolted to these plates. 
And I have been fiddling around getting the driver's position nailed down some. 

I changed the angle on the steering column to improve the position of the wheel. 

I have the seat temporarily installed (it definitely has to come out again, because there is lots to do in the fuel tank and firewall areas). It looks like I have room to move it back about an inch without conflicting with anything. I've also started planning for bracketry to brace the back of the seat. I could probably get away without this on the street, but it's recommended by the seat manufacturer and required by a number of racing classes, so I may as well go ahead and do it now.

And I started fiddling with the position of the shifter on the console. I need to weld some steel to the edges of the shifter's baseplate, so I will have something to drill holes in for bolting to the frame of the tunnel.