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Sea Squirrel

Project Fuck-Up

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Right, now some palms have been crossed with silver and the ritual sacrifice of my other half's dignity has been made in the intro section; on to the bullshit of me ruining a perfectly good car. This first post is a "here's where we're at right now" kind of deal, there aren't any real progress pics for now or much information. That'll all be happening over the next few weeks.

 

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Some of you have already recognised this car as Stavros owned it many, many moons ago. When he had it imported to the UK from Japan there was an RB26 under the bonnet and it spent a lot of time being smashed into shit (kerbs and whatnot). It then got stripped of the engine as he was going to throw a V8 in but the project never even got properly started and he picked up the SexyKnights FC3S instead. It went to the Netherlands where it finally got a proper engine, got used twice and then Mark decided he'd rather risk an e36 shell than something so difficult to replace and stuck it up for sale. I bought it on the basis that I needed a competition ready car for this year (as I'm going to be competing in King of Europe) and my dirty Nissan was going to cost too much to do all the safety work to and get up to spec, power-wise.

 

First things first, spec as it sits now:

JZX81 Mark II with Chaser front end

Big Win Sideskirts

(I think) BN Sports rear bumper

unknown front (BN Sports Spare)

Vented, wide front wings

 

Bilstein Coilovers with custom valves

Cusco Camber Plates

Modified knuckles

Driving Sports Tension Rods

Driving Sports Tie Rods

Driving Sports adjustable rear arms

R33 GTR brakes

 

S14 dashboard (x81 dash went missing at some point in it's life)
Driving Sports oil temp gauge

Driving Sports oil pressure gauge

Driving Sports water temp gauge

Driving Sports boost gauge

Driving Sports volt meter

Driving Sports Rev counter

MASSIVE rear fog light in dash as oil pressure warning light

Sparco Sprint bucket seat on custom rails

TRS sexy purple harnesses

Custom Robinson Motorsport FIA 6-point cage

 

Toyota Soarer 1jz on stock turbos

GTR intercooler

MASSIVE Pipercross air filter

Mocal oil cooler

Oil filter relocation kit

 

R154 box

Driftworks lightweight flywheel

Exedy 6-puck paddle clutch

Cusco 2-way

 

A fair few of those bits I did as soon as I got my hands on it for reliability (oil cooler, gauges, air filter etc) so don't have any before/after pics there and this post is really to establish where we're starting from with making it work properly.

 

We took it out for testing last Friday after doing the basics and got a short list of things that desperately need doing before going any further just to get it working right:
1. It's going over-centre so hard at the moment I'd have to be the fucking Hulk to pull it back at speed

2. The rad isn't up to the task

3. Needs some weight moving around as the stripping out it's had at the moment makes it handle like arse

4. Needs some 18's with decent offset as the Beams on it at the moment are too small, too narrow, and too low offset so no grip and keep on catching on the arms

5. The gay-as-fuck dump-valve needs to get ripped out as a matter of urgency

 

I've got a demo day coming up on the 6th of April so we're going to deal with the absolute essentials first; 1, 4, and 5. That'll be this coming week so pics of that as we do it. Over centre issue will be by putting some lock stops on as a temporary measure to get Monday's demo out of the way. Once we've got time we'll be stripping it back to move the rack forward, re-cutting the knuckles and welding them to get rid of the ackerman and possibly going s14 rack. The wheels I'll solve by, obviously, getting rid of the shit 17's and replacing them with shit 18's until funds allow for something pimp. The dump valve we'll solve by throwing the HKS crap-heap that's on there in the bin. I might have time to put a decent spoiler on it but it's unlikely, same if I can find a set of wind deflectors anywhere they'll be going on too.

 

Once we've done the demo the real work will start on sorting the handling before we get to power. First plan there is tilting and raising the rear subframe, get some more grip out of it. We're going to have a look at whether we can fabricate some drop knuckles for the back as no one's doing them for this chassis at the moment from what we can find and Bonbon reckons it'd give it a lot more bite mid corner so we're going to attempt it. Then the weight work will start and a decent alignment (open to suggestions here if anyone's got a particularly trick alignment that improves traction). Until we've got it handling well enough that I'm struggling to spin up the rears in 2nd with the power we've got now we're not going any where NEAR the engine bay except for things that might improve reliability.

 

Like I said, more will be getting done this week but not much, the real interesting bits start after the 6th.

 

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Pics of dash? Sounds...interesting. Not that I would do it, but my dashpad has more cracks in it than the Bonneville salt flats.

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When everything else is finished I'll be ripping the dash out to put a custom one back in or see if I can pick up an x8 dash somewhere. It was a cheap, simple fix and we've got to have a dash to run in series over here annoyingly so it was whatever was to hand. S-chassis dash > z32 dash was the final call.

Only picture I've got at the moment but you can see how it fits.

 

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Yeah, it's a project so the interior doesn't look great at the moment. It's on the list to have appearing significantly less shit before the start of season.

As per title; already fucked it up a bit. This weekend I had it out at Teesside autodrome for a proper test on a highspeed track and some passenger laps/teaching. We welded up some box section to make some lockstops as a temporary fix on the over-centre issue. Lost a bit of lock (obviously) which is annoying so we're going to use some of the ideas in the 'I wanna go backwards' thread to really up the game there as I wanted to run a bit more angle on the way into the horseshoe. Apart from that and fitting a passenger seat and harness we've not done anything so no photos there. However, smashed up the rear lights as I'm a twat and forgot how long it was on one of my early runs and then, at the end of the day, it started running a bit lumpy - almost like fuel starvation. Got it back to the pits and it died. Wouldn't idle after being cranked unless the throttle was blipped and, when kept alive, sounded rough as a badger's arsehole. We're trouble shooting it at the moment but I'm thinking it's probably the ECU as everything else we've looked at seems good. I'd welcome ideas though.

Was running nicely up until then, even looked like I could place the car without being a total dick.

https://youtu.be/-ztJrGfpAbc

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As per title; already fucked it up a bit.

Was running nicely up until then,

 

I thought all those types of comments were just for 7M owners !

Maybe the 7Ms are not the problem, maybe it's the owners.........

Na, can't be........

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Are the sway bar links attached to the strut or the LCA? That was a problem for me early on with regard to binding. Or is it simply a case of some fucked up knuckles you're running?

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It was just going over-centre and jamming there with the weight and the fact I was being a pussy. We stuck some lockstops on there temporarily until we move the rack (happening this week) and that solved it. Had a healthy enough 45deg considering how little work we've actually done setting up the front end.

The running issue turned out to be a simple case of knackered plugs but we didn't have spares track-side to solve it and go back out. Whilst checking stuff to make sure it was only that we found a number of other issues which go to show that we shouldn't have trusted previous owners (look at that Gordo...) about it being totally track ready:

Gaskets were pretty tired, started to blow around the turbo manifold.

 

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Intercooler had a bit of a rupture which we've cut out and welded

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Exhaust had a slight crack, again a quick bit of welding solved it.

Hopefully this will improve the running issues enough while we're waiting for the turbo setup to turn up. Gives us time to do rear subframe raising and tilting spacers. No point in us bringing them in from the states, may as well machine them ourselves. We're also working on quite a nifty little knuckle setup that should nicely do roll-centre correction and have easy to replace balljoints but that's taking more development time; we're working on what level of ackerman reduction suits the car. Any feedback/ideas guys?

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I believe there's a thread on it around here if you look

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Yeah, it's good thinking. Wouldn't have had the money to build something of similar spec if I'd done it from the ground up though so I'm happy sorting the issues myself to save the overall cash.

Regarding knuckles; I had a look through all the threads I could find and most of the ackerman/no ackerman questions were based on whether or not the car was going on the road or not, didn't have much relating to handling. On a smaller drift car I like to run it with slightly reduced, rather than no, ackerman as I like the front to break away quickly when you get to the limit. With the size and weight of the 81 I'm not sure whether it wouldn't be perhaps better to keep the front grip slightly higher for more of the turn to counteract it's big fat ass. There was a little bit in the 'want to go backwards' thread but it seemed more concern with overall maximum lock than handling characteristics up to the limit.

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I have zero akerman knuckles on my x8 and I have no regrets. The only time it has any negative effects is when you are making a tight slow turn, it tends to get kind of jerky between the knuckles and welded diff.. No other complaints for normal driving. Definitely worth it if you are drifting it.

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Cool, we might just fab up two different styles and then do some back to back testing. It'll never go on the road and it's got a decent 2-way in there so I reckon it'll benefit from very little/none but as I like my shit s14's with some still in I'm going to have a play around.

In other entertaining news: Stock bonnet 24kg with struts, stock bonnet after everything's been attacked with the angle grinder and stripped back to the skin; under 9kg, so we've removed a comfortable 16kg (36lbs)!. I reckon we can get at least another 100+kg out of the car without having to resort to any kind of replacement parts, 150 if we get REALLY creative maybe.

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Right, the deadline for having all the chassis work done on this is now mid-next week as it's got to go for alignment and testing before we compete at Drift Outlaws the weekend of the 5th and 6th. With that in mind the massive chassis chopping to get the weight down continues. All the glass is out as got some perspex sorted, stripped the doors back to just a bare outer skin and they now weigh the square root of fuck all. We're not going to have a chance to rear mount the rad so left the boot skin and rear glass in for now to not upset the balance. Once we've got time to rear mount the rad that'll get cut out again. Got a guy machining up some subframe spacers for the rear subframe to get a decent amount of tilt on there and some custom rear arms to get a bit more negative camber dialled out at the back.

While we're waiting for that to come back from the dude who's got an actual cnc machine we've started sorting the front end. Along with doing the knuckle the idea is to move the rack forward 20mm and up 10mm, extend the arms 20mm and machine up a 30mm RCA spacer.

We made up a jig

 

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And did a bit of cutting and tacking to test it

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And stuck it back on the car to see how it went.

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That's obviously with some shit, low-offset fronts on there for now and we've got an idea where on the LCA it's hitting so we can now cut that and notch it. It's not going to be MENTAL lock but it should be enough and should solve a few of the handling issues at the extreme without putting the stress on the rack that spacers do. If the rack does go we'll do an s-body rack conversion as JZX shit is like gold dust over here

With the track widened and the lower offset wheels on the front we're expecting a little more like this as a final aim:


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And hopefully that'll be enough. If we can get that with no bind I reckon it'll start to perform pretty well but we're trying to solve the castor arm issue now too as we reckon that's going to be the big thing that's in the way next.

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Nice !

Now that you have a jig, are you going to offer a service ?

That way people won't have to buy aftermarket ones, cut out of soft steel, yellow zink plated, that bend.......

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If they work and we haven't created something totally shite that wrecks the car, then yeah. The similarity on most of the Toyota stuff means that if we get it right it should all work fairly well across the X chassis and the GXE's without too much adjustment (which is the other team car) so we'll be able to give it a few tests and offer a service. Don't forget that we're in the UK though so it wouldn't be exactly cheap! Might be able to work an exchange basis out though to make it worth shipping over to the US and Canada. It's taken Callum all of about an hour to do the actual cut and weld/test fit to see where the problems are so once it's sorted it's not exactly going to take him a long time and his personal costs aren't going to be huge. I think his aim is to put a budget kit together that just works, ie knuckles, extended lca's, extended tie rods and RCAs that are able to be just sent out and work but aren't mega money, especially as the GXE seems to be becoming the new favourite missile in the UK

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Oh, and in other news:

The original turbo plan was a Compressor Racing modified HY341, single scroll, with a 9cm housing but we reckon that was only good for about 450whp at the limit so I started looking around for an alternative. We're going to have to get a twin scroll manifold for this so that'll be some cheap crap like XS Power which we modify and brace to keep costs down but it should perform well.

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Brand new HX35 with 12CM housing (looks a little tatty as it's sat unused in a garage for a while) but should be good for the 500whp we're targeting and there's one over here that's running that with full boost at 3200rpm with a few choice bits done so that's the aim. Hopefully will work nicely. Instead of going super cheap choices for ECU been really lucky as Callum's started selling these stand alone units through Tsujigiri Motorsport (as used in Pawel Trela's 900bhp 2jz S13.5 to good effect): http://www.ecumaster.co.uk/products/engine-management-unit

So that's the engine management sorted for the massive sum of £300...


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Last I looked they were a long ways out from getting it right, ecumasters

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Is anyone on here running them that isn't a sponsor or getting them cheap?

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Gibbs is. hit him up and ask him about some people he knows with them.

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Oh really? That'd be a shame as they're so cheap. Would really solve a problem. Balls. What issues are people having with them?

 

Took the subframe off to have a look at moving the rack forward and to widen the track. Hadn't really accounted for how much curve there is in the lower arms so getting the cut in the right place is going to be tricky to make sure they extend without buggering the geometry too much. Should be alright though.

 

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Going to need to get that right and hope that 20mm is enough as I'm not sure we'll have time to take it back off and do it again.

We were going to move the rack forward straight away but then we put the knuckles on and had a proper look at it. With the amount we've cut them and the fact the ackerman's taken out they're not actually going over centre even with the knuckle resting in on the edge of the lower arm.

subframe%20steering%20angle_zpsmgwy4a5v.

 

So we'll have another look at that once all of the other parts of the steering are modified and see where that leaves us.

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Lower arms extended:

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Subframe all sorted to make sure we can get everything on without going over-centre (which we can)

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Nice little demonstration of the maximum lock the knuckle can do without going over centre. Standard tie rod, is200 tie rod end (30mm extension on stock)

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We're obviously not going to be able to use all of that once it's got wheels on and is on the ground as we can't get a low enough offset wheel with any ease to make it clear the castor arm (unless we go SILLY wide on the lower arm and SILLY spacing on the wheels, at which point we hit the rear of the arch) but for reference that's currently moving to 76.3* without going over centre and without catching. Now just to get the car all bolted back together and see if it binds when actually moving.

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Right, quick update on our winter build as fuck all has happened whilst I've been out of the country in the latter part of last year butt-fuck it, we're getting on with it now.

 

The R154 is being sold​, we're not sure what's going in there to replace it but I don't trust it enough to run the power we're aiming for. Too many people over here have been detonating R154's throughout last season with a lot less power than I'm going to run and they cost the best part of £1000 ($1500US) per box now so that can. I MIIIIIIIIIIIGHT have managed to sort a V161 for silly cheap but waiting to hear back from the guy in question. Failing that I've been offered a Z32 box conversion setup for very little and that's looking pretty appealing. Ratios would be basically the same but they don't detonate quite so easily and they can be replaced for £200 max.

 

Power wise I've been offered a Schwitzer 055H with a BEP housing but I've literally no clue whether it's a suitable turbo or not. It looks big enough to house a small family of refugees but that might be deceptive, going to have a look and see. At the price it's almost worth running and seeing how it goes.

 

Also, having spent all that time developing the lock setup (which works beautifully, by the way) I've now been offered sponsorship by IRP UK who are just about to roll out their brand new S-Body kit and, considering what is included, it would basically all line up with the car so it's looking pretty tempting. If that happens the current setup will be for sale.

 

​If anyone can shed some light on the turbo that'd be awesome, if not I'll be finally doing a proper update soon; new kit and the shite paintjob needs sorting before a camera goes anywhere near the car.

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