Cars I’ve built, tuned or otherwise messed up.

Case Studies – Installing a B&M Command Flo FPR in a Supercharged B series

Anthony’s Jackson Racing Supercharged EG last put down 219 hp at the wheels with a completely stock Jackson Racing setup. Since then he’s added a walbro 255HP fuel pump, which has significantly increased the fuel pressure under load.

Unfortunately, it’s also wreaked havoc on his idle fuel pressure, causing an overly rich condition at idle and fouling his plugs / making his girlfriend super pissed.

So it’s onto installing a new B&M Command Flo Fuel Pressure Modifier, which will allow us to adjust his pressure within a certain range. B&M lists the range at 25-60 psi of adjustment, which is completely false.

Things you will need for this install :

  • B&M Part number 46057
  • 10mm socket
  • Bench saw / rotating table saw / Dremel
  • metric socket set
  • flat head screw driver
  • ear plugs in case your friend’s annoying girlfriend wants to commentate during installation.

First the basics, undo the battery

Next undo the gas cap to relieve any pressure that exists in the line currently.

With the gas cap removed, now undo the stock fuel pressure regulator by removing the 2 10mm bolts holding the assembly into the fuel rail.

Your stock rail will have the 10mm bolts, as Anthony is rocking an aftermarket riser which uses the hex bolts shown.

Next use your flathead and undo the return line going back to the firewall

Make sure to undo the vacuum line going to the stock FPR as well.

Now undo the stock FPR carefully.

Use caution when taking this unit off, as to not lose the pressure o-ring located under the unit.

Don't lose meeeee!!!

Now you can elect to either cut the top half of the FPR off using a Dremel ( recommended) or a table saw as I used ( not recommended )

A picture of what your stock unit should look like after cutting the top half of the FPR off.

Now refer to your B&M instructions as they show you exactly how to install the Command Flo on your B series motor.

Secure the new top half of the unit and make sure it is centered before putting the horseshoe brace on the bottom half of your FPR unit. Clamp the two together using the bolts supplied and you should have something like this :

Put everything back together and your FPR is now ready for adjustment!

Happy Boosting!

Up Next : LHT Performance’s Water-to-Air Intercooler setup, a 10psi crank pulley and we go to the dyno with Anthony looking for the high 200s at the wheel.

Project 383 – Installing a new fuel pump and Edelbrock 8134

After our last setback in our Project 383 where a fuel line ruptured causing a small engine fire, Butch and the gang at Treds decide to step it up a notch by installing a new fuel pump with Edelbrock’s 8134 Single Feed Fuel Line Kit.

Onto the install on our carbureted Project 383, and the parts you’ll need for the job.

Parts needed

First, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery before starting the job at hand. Next remove the fuel inlet fitting from your carburetor.

Attach the Edelbrock 8134 to the fuel inlet using the supplied washers and banjo bolts shown here :

Do not tighten at this time, as you may need to adjust before starting your vehicle again. Install your fuel filter ( Edelbrock 8128 / 8131 / 8133 or in this case 8134 ) by using the supplied fittings or a barb fitting.

Next connect the line to your fuel pump and adjust the lines so that they are safely tucked away.

Next we undo our stock fuel pump and install a new Edelbrock XXX, make sure to use the fittings specified above.

With the old pump out, now install your new pump and make sure to tighten all fittings at each juncture.

Out with the old…….

Now, put the key to the on position or prime your fuel pump ( if electric ) and check for leaks. If leaks exist make sure to shut off the engine immediately before retightening.

New pump installed!

Time to test her out!

Up next : Turbocharge or Supercharge Project 383…. that is the question.

Piggyback Heaven – Installing a VAFC in a Acura RSX

Today we’ll be installing a VTEC Air Fuel Controller part number 401-A015, otherwise known as the VAFC for this supercharged Acura RSX. Running a CT Engineering supercharger kit, but opting to leave out the programmed ECU, we’ll be installing a VAFC to round out the RSX’s fuel trims before going full blown AEM EMS standalone.

Why install the VAFC? This controller will allow us to fool the PCM into adjusting the fuel trims and move the VTEC engagement point wherever you wish. While this isn’t a long term viable solution, it’s more than enough to get us on the road until the standalone is installed.

Tools required for this job

Electrical Tape
Pliers
Wire strippers
Wire clips or Solder iron

Before starting on this job, you must first read and review your VAFC installation booklet and familiarize yourself with the wires and the sequence in which they are installed. Now make sure to print out the ECU pinouts, shown here :

The wires you will be referencing for this job are :

VAFC II RSX

  • Red Power
  • Yellow / BlackBrown ( Secondary Ground )
  • Black ( Primary Ground )
  • Gray ( Throttle Signal )
  • Red / blackOrange ( TDC Signal )
  • Blue / WhiteLight Blue ( VTC Cam Signal )
  • GreenYellow ( ECU Side of pressure signal output )
  • Green / RedWhite ( Harness Side of pressure signal output )
  • Greed / RedPurple ( ECU Side of VTEC Solenoid signal output )
  • Green / YellowPink ( Harness side of VTEC Solenoid Signal output )
  • Green / YellowGreen ( RPM )

First pull up on the passenger side seat lever and slide the seat as far back as it allows you to go. Next look towards the passenger side floorpan and pull back on the carpet until it gives you access to the ECU cover and panel.

You will see 2 pin buttons, pull those push pins out and pull off the cover to expose the ecu.

Now you unplug your ECU harness

Now, source the green / red wire on the 31p plug of your ECU wiring harness and cut the wire. Make sure to leave plenty of slack on either end of this wire. Now, solder the yellow VAFC wire to the ECU side of the pressure signal pin, and then connect the white wire to the harness side of the pressure signal pin.

You can elect to use the Apexi supplied bullet connectors as I did here, as this VAFC install is not permanent. If you intend to rock the VAFC for any extended period of time, I would recommend soldering the pressure wires to maximum reliability.

Next it’s time to tee into the power by locating the power wire located on same 31p harness. Source your two VAFCII red power wires to the yellow/black ecu power pin on the 31p plug.

Now locate your black and brown wires ( ground and secondary ground ) on the VAFCII harness and splice them into your ECU ground pin, found again on the 31p plug. Be sure to take care when soldering these two wires in, as they must be an inch apart and the BROWN wire must be soldered closest to the ECU side of the harness.

Now connect the gray VAFC throttle wire to the red/black TPS pin located on plug 31p.


Then connect the orange VAFCII wire (VTEC CAM SIGNAL) to the green wire located on plug 31p

Now connect the blue VAFCII wire ( TDC ) to the blue / white TDC wire on the ecu plug on the ever popular 31p plug. The green VAFC II wire tees into the one lonely RPM signal on the 31p plug on the opposite end of the harness.

Set your sensor number setting and number-of-cylinders setting through the ETC section of the Menu, along with VTEC type setting, throttle sensor voltage checking, throttle sensor type setting in TH-POINT.

If this is a fresh install, make sure to closely follow the throttle opening learning found in your VAFC manual under “Initial Setup”

Dont forget to set the reference cam angle for vehicles with an i-VTEC.

Congratulations! You’ve now installed a VAFCII into your I-VTEC equipped K20 motor! Happy Boosting!

Piggyback Heaven – Installing a SAFC in a MKIV Supra TT

I’ve died and gone to piggyback heaven in the early stages of 2012, as a good friend recently picked up a MINT 1997 Anniversary Edition Toyota Supra Turbo. I have always loved these cars and the insane amount of over-engineering that went into the legendary 2JZGTE.

Since this car is probably one of the ONLY stock Supras left on the face of planet Earth, my friend decides to go slow and just start at BPU for now. Basic Performance Upgrades for the Supra can routinely and reliably push the car into the mid 400 wheel horsepower range.

Here we install an older Apexi Super AFC piggyback fuel controller onto the Supra, just one part of the BPU process.

Things you will need
– S-AFC or AFC NEO – Depending on your preference. My buddy happens to be an ex-employee of Apexi, and he prefers the older AFCII. That’s what we’ll be installing in this writeup.
– 10mm socket
– Wire strippers
– soldering iron and solder
– flux if applicable

First disconnect the negative battery terminal, and open the passenger door to reveal the kickfloor and ECU panel.

Undo the three 10mm nuts and pull back on the ECU cover to reveal the ECU.

Next, take a look at the Supra ECU diagram, you will be splicing into most of the wires, and cutting just one.

Next locate the 40 pin plug, located closest to you if you are looking towards the front of the car. You are splicing the RED wire into pin 31 for switched power to the AFC unit, if you own the AFC NEO it will be the RED wire with WHITE stripe.

Next we locate the primary ECU plug that is part of the plastic shroud, again you want the plug closest to you or E10 for those who have a service manual. You will be splicing the green wire into the RPM signal pin 58

Here is a shot of the green wire spliced into pin 58.

Next we will ground the SAFC, make sure to locate your brown and black wires and FOLLOW the detailed instructions in your AFC manual. You must splice the black and brown wires apart on the ground pin, located on E11 pin 69.

Pin 69 must be spliced and soldered by placing the brown wire (ground 1) closest to the ECU, and the black wire (ground 2 ) an inch downstream of the ECU harness. Here is what you power and ground wires should look like installed.

Next keep the E11 plug in your hand and locate pin 43, which is the throttle position pin. Splice the gray wire into pin 43 for the throttle input to your AFC. Now, locate pin 66 and cut it leaving yourself plenty of room on either end of the wire.

Now take the yellow AFC wire and solder it into the wire you just cut, TOWARDS the ECU. After that take the white AFC wire and solder it into the wire, AWAY from the ECU

I used the Apexi supplied quick connectors on this Supra, as the plans are to move to a VPC or standalone later down the road. Soldering here is optional and not recommended should u have more plans for your 2JZ down the road.

Lastly, you can elect to wire the blue AFC wire to pin 48 on the E11 connector for narrowband 02 readings on the fly.

Now snap the ECU connectors back into the ECU and double check your wires for positive connection. Reconnect your battery cable and turn the ignition to the “on” position.

Once your AFC boots up, you can now make the proper adjustments before starting your Supra.

Select from the MAIN menu, go to SETTING, then to TH-POINT and set your LO value to 94, and then your HI value to 95% throttle.

Select from the MAIN menu, go to SENSOR TYPE and select HOT-WIRE with input values of 1 in and 1 out.

Select from the MAIN menu, go to CAR SELECT and select cylinder 6 with the throttle position in the upward position.

Now, use the NE-POINT menu in ETC to set your NE = 7000 RPM.

Since we are not installing injectors this time around, we will not be modifying the Supra’s low throttle fuel trims at this time.

Next up, installing the downpipe, exhaust and boost controller in the dash to 400 whp.

Case Studies : Preparing the Talon for Dyno Day

Jesse’s Talon has come quite a ways after being cleaned up and gone through. Now all that remains is re-torquing the head studs and heading back to the dyno in our quest for 500whp.

Make sure to look up your head tightening sequence to ensure you follow manufacturer guidelines. The studs we are tightening are part number ARP-207-4201.

Now take your torque wrench and follow the guidelines given to you by ARP, if this is a fresh install make sure to follow the 2 step tightening method outlined on your white card inside your box.

Torquing head

Next, we install a set of Pro Street Cam Gears for the 4g63 to move our overlap to a more desirable range for our 62-1 turbocharger.

Pro Street Motorsports

Next up : Installing our cam gears, adjusting the overlap, and heading to the dyno!!!!

 

Case Studies – My R33 Skyline

I had my Skyline imported back in 2008 as a parts car with the original intention of following Motorex’s guidelines in federalizing the vehicle. After just 3 hours the motor and transmission was installed and within 5 the car roared to life.

With a bevy of HKS parts, my Skyline belted out 365 at the rear wheels at 19psi on my DynoJet.

Unfortunately, plans and funds derailed my legalization process, and after careful inspection of the NHTSA guidelines, I took the car off the streets and now it’s a track-only race car.

  • Short Mods list :
  • RB25DET Series 1
  • OS Giken Triple Plate Clutch
  • HKS 3037S Turbo upgrade
  • HKS Intercooler Kit
  • HKS HyperMax Coilovers
  • Apexi Power FC
  • Fujistubo 3.5 inch catback

On to the eye candy :

My R33 fresh off the boat

Front shot with no motor or trans

Stock interior, with the Japanese Navigation that I could never understand

Driveshaft Tunnel

Motor and trans put together

Motor and transmission installed

JDM doo!

 

My 60mm DEFI Gauges

Yes, the radio and navigation were completely Japanese, no clue how to operate them lol

365 whp on 91 pisswater octane

Thanks for lookin!

Case Studies – Converting the Ignitor setup on a 90 DSM Turbo to a 91.

A friend of mine recently picked up a 90 Eclipse Turbo for 400 dollars in non running condition. After a few minutes, we determine that the engine lacks spark and after a few tests, we find that the ignitor is completely dead.

As the 90 is the “black sheep” of the DSM family, I elect to rewire his 90 to a 91 ignitor setup to get him back on the road.

the dead unit is on the left, we are converting to the 1991 ignitor on the right

Parts you will need to perform this swap :

x1 1991 Eclipse / Talon / Laser Ignitor plus harness / wiring loom

x1 1991 Eclipse / Talon  / Laser instrument cluster.

Tools : Soldering Iron, Notepad, Solder, Flux.

A look at the new ignitor and flying loom

This conversion is fairly straightforward procedure, and can be installed by any average mechanic.

First, undo your positive terminal on your battery to prevent any accidental electrical problems.

Unplug the 1990 ignitor and coil assembly completely.

Rip out that old piece of crap

Next, strip the loom from your stock ignitor and coil plugs wide open.

Open 'er up

Now we take a look at the small markings on your stock J122 ignitor and compare them to the markings on the pinouts of the J722T Ignitor.

Now we cut and solder the wires in corresponding order :
OC1—>OC1

IB1—>IB1G

IB2—->IB2G

OC2—>OC2

After cutting and resoldering the wires, we have VB, TACH wires left over.

Now, take the white wire from the coil plug on the ECU side, and solder it to the tach wire on the J722T Ignitor Plug. Then, we slice VB ( the black / white wire ) of the J722T Ignitor plug to the Black / White wire on the coil plug ( ECU Side )

Shown is the 1990 Tacho Interface, which isn’t needed now since we have eliminated and rewired it. Since the new ignitor now sends the tachometer signal to the new cluster, we no longer need the white wire, simply tape it up.

With the old ignitor and the tacho interface removed, the 90 fires right up and drives fine. However the tachometer doesn’t work as he needs a 91 instrument cluster to make it all work as it should.

Note : If you cannot source a 91 instrument cluster, you can simply swap the ECU pins 6 and 14 to complete the job.

Why I hate my Acadia…..

Early in 2009, I purchased a slightly used 2008 GMC Acadia for a family vehicle and to accommodate my growing family and the needs that come along with all the kids.

With a sharp looking exterior and a roomy interior and optional captain seats, I thought this car would be a decent buy.

After all…. Domestic quality has gone up after the buyout…. right?

Wrong, wrong and dead wrong would be the answer to that. This SUV has been in to the dealer 5 times for transmission related issues. It still refuses to downshift on the freeway without more than 65% throttle and that includes going uphill. It appears as though GMC cared more for the EPA rating than functionality, because the Acadia is sluggish to non-driveable in certain scenarios when it refuses to downshift.

The latest in the comedy of errors for this Acadia? well my passenger side headlight went out right before Christmas much to my chagrin.

Before heading out to a family dinner, I figured hell might as well toss in my replacement because that wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes tops.. right John???

Turns out not only did GMC completely fail to do the prudent thing when programming the transmission ECU, or fail to catch one of the two big recalls on the transmission itself, but they also decided that the only way you will ever change a headlight bulb is through the dealer.

To make a long story short, it took me 2 hours to install a headlight bulb. Yes.. two hours. Plain and simple, this job shouldn’t be attempted by the average shadetree mechanic.

How to Replace your Headlight Bulb in your GMC Acadia

What you will need :

Phillips, 10mm socket, flathead or other plastic popper tool, lots of patience.

We start by removing the passenger side fenderwell bolts.

acadia3

Next undo the three pull tabs located directly above your wheel, you may also opt to remove the wheel itself, I did not do this but instead turned my wheel to give me the clearance I needed.

acadia4

With the fender liner removed, you can now access the Acadia’s ridiculously long and over-engineered mounting tabs.

acadia5

The key tab being the bottom mount which is bolted onto a chassis brace by a 10mm bolt.

acadia2

Now with that bolt removed, you can now open the hood and remove the hood bonnet, the front latch and the six push pins that hold the cover to the hood latch onto the vehicle.

With the cover removed, you can now access the deep 10mm bolt that is furthest away from the front of the car, and with the hood cover latch removed you can now access the interior 10mm bolt.

You MUST undo the clips that hold the main engine fusebox in place, make sure to disconnect your battery when doing this. With the main fusebox moved over a few inches, you can now access the last bolt that holds the front grille in place.

Yes…. remove the wheel and bumper…. for a headlight bulb….. Thanks GM.

With all three locations unbolted, you can now wiggle the headlight out. GMC directs their mechanics to REMOVE the front bumper fascia for proper clearance.

acadia1

After taking a look at the 20 plus bolts on the bottom of the lower splash guard and the multiple bolts that hold the front bumper to the 5mph crash support I decided there is no way I will be removing the front bumper for this job.

Doing so might have caused my head to spontaneously combust from stupidity. Make no mistake, this is a pain in the fucking ass job.

acadia1

Not only does the ridiculously long brackets make the headlight extremely cumbersome but the back bracket threatens to put a crease in your fender if you do not remove the headlight properly.

Instead I pulled back on the front fascia of the car, almost to the point where the front grill felt like it would shatter into a million pieces.

394214_10150465518874296_362854334_n

Needless to say, I am less than enthused with the level of engineering behind this car. With the headlight now removed, I can now twist out the old bulb and install the new one.

Two hours later, my Acadia now has 2 headlights and I have a massive headache. I wasn’t pleased with the car to begin with, and this fiasco just may have pushed me over the edge with this thing.

acadia

Many thanks GM, may a thousand rabid vikings fist your faces off in middle of the night.

bigthree

Case Studies – How to wrap your headers

Header wrap kicks ass….. when it’s already installed. Yep, nothing worse than wrapping headers or exhaust manifolds, especially when you are wrapping an elaborate one as we will be doing today.

One look at the Talon’s exhaust manifold and it’s quite clear to see that this task isn’t going to be an easy one. Wrapping headers isn’t exactly rocket science, but doing it right is important for aesthetic purposes.

What you will need for this job.

x1 Header wrap – we chose part number DEI-010101 – as this is for a 4 cylinder application. We also elected to use the 1 inch thick version as this wrap is easier for a manifold of this type and usually more pleasing to the eye.

x1 Safety Wire – You can purchase a Moroso can for around 20 dollars.

optional – Safety Wire wrench – you can also use a monkey wrench in a bind, but you wire twists will not look as nice.

Start by cutting off a section that you intend to wrap with, take care when handling the wrap as the fiberglass can come off easily and is a skin and eye irritant.

Dunk your wrap in a container filled with water, this will make the wrapping easier, as well as minimize the dust and fiberglass particles.

When taking your pre-cut strips out of the water, make sure to squeeze any excess water from the bundle. When applying the strips, make sure to pull the wrap taut and wick away any excess moisture when pulling the wrap around the piping.

2 Hours into the job.

Take care when securing the wrap with your safety wire, you want to make sure to get the wire as tight as possible for maximum viewing pleasure.

Almost there......

When wrapping a turbo manifold like this, it’s easier to plot out the path in which you will wrap the header. In this case, I had to wrap runner 4 and leave it hanging to allow for enough tuck room on runner 3.

All done

With the exhaust manifold wrapped, we re-install onto the Talon with a complete set of new washers, gaskets, and seals all the way around.

The Talon had a slight leak from runner #2, and we elected for a Remflex gasket to address our leaking issue.

We are using Remflex part number PN-54-001, and this gasket is every bit as badass as Remflex says it is.

After re-installing the entire turbo setup, the Talon is now ready to hit the dyno after a few gauges are installed.

Next up : Installing a full gauge set, pouring in some 116 and heading to dyno day!

 

A Blast from the Past – One of the original Pro Street DSM’s

When Jesse spoke to me about purchasing my Talon, one sentence made me pause and think about exactly what this car was. The conversation went something kinda like this :

Jesse : “What’s up with your Talon, I want to buy it.”

Me : “Oh yeah? lets work it out”

Jesse : “I want the car you built a decade ago”

Me : “………you’re an asshole”

After the purchase, it struck me how old the Talon really was. Here is a complete mod list.

  • Fully Built Stage III Pro Street Shortblock
  • Eagle H beam Rods
  • ACL Bearings
  • Extreme Motorsports Stage 2 head
  • Ferrera 1m oversize valves
  • Ferrera dual springs and titanium retainers
  • Web Cams 562/565 intake and exhaust cams
  • Wiseco 8.8:1 compression pistons
  • Mitsubishi Ralliart 4 layer MLS HG
  • ARP head studs
  • ORIGINAL 1g Pro Street Street Intercooler kit
  • ORIGINAL Pro Street Race Intake Manifold
  • Pro Street 8 point  Race Cage
  • 62-1 stage III T3/T4 turbo
  • 720cc injectors
  • Aeromotive AE1000 Fuel pump
  • Fidanza flywheel
  • ACT 2600 clutch
  • Aeromotive Drag FPR
  • JLB Fuel rail
  • Haltech E6X Standalone engine management
  • 3 inch downpipe
  • Apexi N1 exhaust system
  • 12 gallon JAZ fuel cell

I’m sure I’m missing quite a few other mods, but at this stage I think you get the hint.

With a bevy of old school original Pro Street parts, it’s safe to say that waves of nostalgia and memories wash over me as we begin to clean the car up.

On to the eye candy :

Before :

Surface rust abound

After a few hours of the wire wheel and 2 cans of appliance paint in flat gray, we had a much cleaner interior.

Ahhh.. so much nicer

We also took the liberty of addressing the rear sump and mount for the fuel cell.

A shot before of the tank and the AE1000 before taking everything out and flushing, cleaning and polishing.

This pump is a tad...... um.... noisy.

After the interior was addressed, we moved on to the engine bay and turbo. A shot of the beast before :

yes, I didn't take care of it... sue me

After taking the turbo, manifold, valve cover and downpipe off, Jesse cleans up and polishes the intake manifold and valve cover along with the original Pro Street 1g Street Intercooler kit.  

A shot of the original Pro Street Intercooler kit for the 1g DSM, circa 2001.

And of course, the after shot of Jesse’s polishing and detail work.

so fresh and so clean clean

Next up for the Talon, cleaning up the Haltech wiring, wrapping the headers and taking it to the dyno and chasing 500 whp.