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Over the weekend I got to start some work on the next project I'm starting. This is the car one. The plan is to turbocharge my mate's 2001 Ford Falcon AU II 4.0L inline 6. The first step in this process is going to be replacing the stock ECU with a custom DIY one, most likely rusEfi. So we went out to my "donor" car that I rolled a few years ago.
It isn't in particularly good shape, but before water got in it too badly it would run. However now the excellent smartshield immobiliser system is working (BEM and ECU or Key Barrel aren't talking I think) and won't let us even turn it over. We headed out to this in an attempt to get the diff out so we can weld it up and make it "Locked" rather than an "Open" diff. That didn't work because we realised that to get the centre of the diff out we would need to remove the entire back axle assembly.

As you can see the outside of the diff was fairly dirty and the muck made it a little difficult to get the cover off. An interesting point to note is the cover had some rust in it, possibly from sitting for too long in a paddock?

Deciding that would be too much work we put the cover back onto the diff and went to work on removing other more interesting things. Julian began removing the remaining few intact windows. He had a process of putting a piece of small wire (from an old tire actually this time) in behind the glass from the outside and working it backwards and forwards until it heated up enough to cut through the caulking holding the glass in place. An easier way to do it is with jumper leads to a car battery so the wire is heated by electrical current rather than friction. However as we don't car about the condition of the body of the car and we didn't have any jumper leads with us we just used friction which also damaged a little of the paint.
Here Julian is trying to cut out a piece of the trim around the second window so we can get to the edge of it. In the background you can see the damage I managed to do getting the ECU out. That was the other thing that needed to get done while we were out there. So I can easily swap between the stock and custom ECU I am hoping to gut the original enclosure and use the original socket. To get the ECU out of these Falcons first you need to remove a rivet that holds the enclosure down. I didn't have a drill so I used the grinder I got for Christmas.
In my case there was also an earthing wire attached to the rivet that didn't really get much in the way of getting it out. Once the rivet is out then the enclosure will just lift off with a little jiggling and rotating.
With the enclosure out of the way the ECU just lifts out of the way allowing me to remove it from the car. Either through the week or possibly on the weekend I will start tearing down the ECU to see if I can re-use the enclosure and/or the plug and socket. For now here are some pictures showing more details of the ECU and it's plug/socket.

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At the end of my last post I mentioned that I had some new projects coming up, one of which involved a long roadtrip. The trip has now been completed and I can show what it was for.

I know it's not a very good photo of the dinghy itself but better photos are coming. The jeep made the ~2000km trip well, with the transmission getting a bit too hot up some of the hills but that's partly down to practice on my behalf.

The plan is to get it out and rigged this weekend if the weather holds. So once we do that I'll be putting up some more interesting photos. In the meantime here's a link for me to remember: This is a link to a page that has some very nice diagrams of the way these get rigged.
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So I haven't posted for a while, mostly because I have started to use a camera and have since lost all of the photos.

So the long and the short of it is, that I got the head back on, the engine running and everything good; even booked in for rego. Then the welch plug in the back of the head that I hadn't seen while it was off began to leak. Badly. Eventually I managed to not get it out with everything in place so I ended up taking everything off again including the head. With the head off it took all of around 10 minutes to remove and then install a new welch plug. With everything back on I got it started, no leaks. Phew.

From there I got it registered, drove it for a few weeks, took it to Sydney. Took the old oil that I'd put into it out and replaced it with fresh stuff. and gave it a good clean inside, still needs one outside though.

After Driving it for a while I noticed a strange noise from the front end while in 4wd mode. Solution 1, change the oil in the front diff and check what it loos like inside. No dice. Next, start researching online. One option seemed to be that it was "Angry Sparrows" or a squeak from something potentially worn in the front drive shaft. So off with that. It turned out to be a piece of cake, just 8 bolts to remove. Upon inspection I discovered the the apparent reason for the noise was a lack of grease in the ball in the middle of the double carden (CV) joint near the transfer case.

After pulling the double carden apart and damaging(?) one of the universal joints grease was worked into the ball because a replacement kit was around $100 which is somewhat more than I was willing to spend. Everything got re-assembled and then a short drive was taken. Silence, no more angry birds for me.

With that fixed I started to think about the trip I am leaving on tonight and the fact I will be towing a trailer ~1000km each way in an automatic of less than ideal status. I looked into a transmission oil cooler and discovered that there was already one installed. I also wanted to be able to measure the oil temperature so I installed a SAAS oil temp. gauge as a transmission temperature gauge. The install was very straight forward and didn't take too long except for the cutting of the hard line. That had to be done by hand with a hacksaw blade as we had nothing else that would fit in the small space.

So from here I have a 3 new projects all of which are exciting and I am looking forward to all of them. One involves a road trip this weekend, one involves rainwater and the last involves my wreck, EFI, turbos and someone else's car. All will be exciting and lots of learning will be done in all 3 new projects.

Until next time, Cheers.
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Last night I got the head removed from the XJ Jeep Cherokee I've been working on. This is what it looked like before I started:

I decided to leave both manifolds on and just deal with the extra weight. It was heavy but it was still easier to do that than remove the bolts that are hidden under the intake manifold.

It's not very obvious but on this bolt there is a very thick black gummy something all over the threads. Not sure what it is but hopefully I'll be able to clean it off before I put this all back together.

Here's a shot showing my highly sophisticated lifting mechanism with it halfway out:
One of the bolts on the top for the manifolds is pretty well in the middle weight wise front to back so with the chain over that. With the chain secured I put a foot above the firewall and another one above the radiator; and lifted. Thank goodness for joining a gym is all I can say. I was able to lift it and with my able helper guiding the head I could move it between 1' and 6" at a time. Everntually I got it off the car and a bit lower, this is what it looked like then:

From there it was fairly easy to get my hands under it and carry it over to the bench; where it got turned over for removal of the gasket and preliminary inspection:

The gasket is still on here, as you can see near cylinder 1 it seems to have blown out completely and around cylinder 6 it's deformed and blown into the cooling jacket. Not good, you'll see the results of that a little further on.

It looks like when I had gotten it running cylinders 1 & 6 weren't working at all and as such don't have any sooty buildup in them. The other 4 cylinders do which makes me think that it possibly wasn't running properly, but that may have just been because it was cold and only had 4 cylinders going.

One more interesting point here is the exhaust manifold. From the build quality I hope nobody was paid to do it. The welds are not very fine and there were long bits of welding wire were sticking out in a few spots.

This is what the block looked like once I got back to it:

Not a very pretty sight. Just to see what would happen I tried turning it over with a socket. This went well and pretty easily. This allowed me to get that water out of number 6 and get a good spray of WD-40 over everything to help reduce any corrosion that may yet happen.This is what it looked like then:

Most of the water in Number 6 ran out over the back of the block. So it will only need a little bit of mopping to get the rest out.

That's pretty much all there is, from not it will just be cleaning up parts, checking tolerances and buying replacements for a little while. So if I don't post for a little while don't worry, just getting everything prepared for the next stage. Write comment (0 Comments)