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Author Topic: FarmBoy Fab: Mindy's Merkur, I title "Progression to RWD"  (Read 83972 times)
rinkdink72
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« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2013, 11:37:06 AM »

Thanks for paying rent!!!
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catapultkid
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« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2013, 07:13:59 AM »

Yep, no prob.

Going to the next stage of the car. Megasquirt (standalone) which started by doing a few little changes to the wiring and using the stock system wiring.

First was removing the old standalone system stuff.



Then I had to setup the configurations in the PNP standalone. Megasquirt based.



From there a few wiring changes



Double checked the wiring with some 80s documentation



Then I had to add a intake temperature sensor



Welded the bung into the boost pipe, post intercooler and before the TB



Installed new boost pipes





Then went to the computer to start initial start up. More to come soon.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 07:17:10 AM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2013, 03:56:15 PM »

Well once we got the hardware settled on the car there where a few days of playing with the software to make it run. The unit was suppose to come "pre setup" however that wasn't really the case at all. Once everything was figured out and driving ok Justin, Mindy and I went to VMP for the drag strip.



I learned a lot and not only about tuning.

Much of the night was spent on the laptop.





I started upping the boost to about 14psi with a dremel I had, slowly adding the psi This is a waste-gate bleed off I made. This is still less than even a stock car has so it is pretty slow no less.



I even thought I had made it without any trouble until the drive home. Which the car started getting pretty loud on the inside. I figured it was the downpipe coming loose and that is all I could think about on the way home.

However when I landed back at the apartment it was something a little worse.



The hydraulic motor mount had popped with all the launches at the strip. No good.



This meant the oil pan was sitting flat on the steering rack and causing all kinds of engine vibrations.

So, once again, Justin was nice enough to take it back to his place where we made something that couldn't break...

Old mount



New mounts, steel tubing with plates top and bottom. This is where I sub in "Because racecar..."








Up next the first autox
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2013, 04:20:05 PM »

First autox with the new setup complete. This time it made it back in one piece.

First the few pictures I have below. Lots of time worrying about the tune, no effort spent on tire pressures, alignment, the "line", or struts? It was about getting it there and back in one piece.





This setup came in super handy for keeping the laptop supplied with power.



Every run a little fuel was added or subtracted here and there in the table. Then played with some of the other features of MegaSquirt.







Things we liked:
1. Car stayed together
2. Initial turn in was tight and very predicable
3. Seating position and wheel where a nice addition.
4. Awesome exhaust/BOV note of a turbo 4 cylinder... when your outside of the car.


Things we didn't like
1. Car pushed too much, partially due to the lifting of the inside front wheel in mid corner and also because of the lack of camber/caster.
2. The brakes where horrible, but that was completely expected and known upgrade we need to make.
3. Lack of power, not so much overall but having to wait until 4k-4.5k to get it was really annoying. This wasn't the case with the old turbo and tune so we are looking into this pretty hard.
4. Didn't build boost on launch without 2 step. This needs to be added soon. Yay more noises.


Lastly it was really nice to see another xr4ti running at the club, Greg Larson drove 3 hours to show up am I'm glad he did. A lot of fun watching him drive in another xr and getting to meet him. Hopefully it won't be the last time. Here is a shot of him driving.

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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2013, 04:58:41 AM »

David/Gunny/Donna thank you for getting this shot. I needed to be able to see this front tire lift.



Other shots



















The other xr





« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 02:56:35 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2013, 04:37:38 AM »

Maybe take some grip out of that drivers side front or put a bigger sway or stiffer springs in the rear..... Good to see it complete the Autox faultless.


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If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. Mark Donohue
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« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2013, 07:36:02 PM »

Yeah, I think you are right, stiffer rear springs are in order to put the front back on the ground some. Also the rear struts are single adjustable (rebound only) and where set to max stiff, so during a corner the rear loads/compresses and until a straight or a switch in direction the rear strut holds the trailing arm in position. Therefore never letting the front come back down. So first step is adjust the struts to full soft and go from there.

So since brakes where an issue last time I've been on the hunt for a bigger set. I scored these used mustang calipers w/slider fully dressed for 90 shipped and seem to be in good condition. I already had a conversion bracket here from the previous owner so it was a easy choice as far as an upgrade is concerned. Went to autozone and found some $25 white box rotors that are 11" in diameter vs the old 9.5" or whatever it was. They are also a little thicker. I think the master cylinder will have to get bigger before it is all said and done to get the prefect feel but this should be a quick fix until then.

Mocked up on one of the spare spindles







Caliper size comparison, much bigger than what is on there now.



Also spend some time adding a electronic boost controller to the mix. Can't use it yet but it is wired in at least. Getting in a 15 psi wastegate in as well soon. We noticed that the 7psi wastegate we have is cracking under moderate to light load and leaking a bunch of the exhaust pasted the turbo meaning more LAG. I did the quick fix of adding a wire to keep the wastegate closed and boost came on about 400-500 rpm sooner with a bunch more torque down low.

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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2013, 07:20:07 PM »

Well I had set Saturday aside to get something done before sunday's event. However nothing worked out.

I had scorpio LCAs and inner tie rods ready to go on but the ball joints/outer tie rod end had completely different threading, so that was a bust.

I had all the mustang brake swap parts here but the banjo I got wasn't the correct size and the line wasn't as long as I had hoped.

However I did get the 15psi wastegate in, which is boosting it to 20psi from some reason. And I got launch control wired in and working for the hell of it. Then just before leaving (10pm saturday night) to make the 100 mile drive home I noticed the clutch pedal wasn't feeling right... Took the pedal cluster out and wow I was lucky to catch that before all hell broke loose.





Spent a few minutes getting it back together.



Then took a look at the gas pedal and noticed it wasn't even opening the throttle all the way... The cable spring mechanism had broke so I patched it real quick. Once in Tunerstudio my throttle sent from 0-70% open to 0-145% open! What a difference that made the car feel in response...



Added a heat sink and the copper plate back to a new sensor. I know this isn't a great fix but it helped calm the AFRs down a bunch. I want to read the temp on the sensor at some point. Needs to be below 900 degrees on the outside.



I hid the activate switch in the seat heater however I never got the limits set right (lack of time saturday night/sunday morning) to get it for autox.. It was set around 3500 rpm launch and needs to be 4000 or 4500. The next event has a test and tune so I hope to take advantage of it then.



Sunday the autox went well. I didn't have my ducks in a row to datalog and whatnot this time. However I took some advice and set the tires to 40psi all around. That helped, a long with the boost coming on around the 3500-3800 mark with the new wastegate was a help. Then set the rear shocks to full soft which didn't really help the tire lift, new springs it will be.

We ran 3 drivers and 2 in a single heat. The car, with two drivers, got a little too hot. Sitting around 210-215. I was a little uncomfortable with that and will be adding a oil cooler very soon to help combat the heat. We tried taking the hood off, but it really didn't help I don't believe.

The car did better than I though it would, even with those small changes. It was a tight course and I even used 1st in one hair pin before the finish, which have never had to do before. Here are some photos.














Pete driving, Mindy showing him the ropes!



I like these two as well



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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2013, 05:42:15 AM »


 I have a couple left over parts from my old 07 mazdaspeed3. A voltage clamp and a manual boost controller I fugured I could donate to you guys for the merkur or maybe you can sell them off to a mazdaspeed guy who doesn't hink his engine will blow up for the lemons car budget.
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« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2013, 06:53:08 AM »

Sure man, I'm not sure if I'll be able to use everything or not, but I'll happily take a to Justin's help.

Here are so quick images of the PBR brake swap. I ended up using the ebay brakes as cores while I kept the sliders and what not. I found one brake had two cracked pistons and AutoZone didn't have rebuild kits. So it was a easy decision.

Painted the DG brackets



Added the flex line and slider, also bought some $28 pads.



Comparison of rotors and calipers





Just does clear the wheel weights on 15s.



Bled them and took it out, long long pedal stroke but it will lock them up pretty easily once you get down there vs before where I couldn't ever get it to lock up. Upgrading to the later year master cylinder soon I hope. It's autoxable but I'd like it to feel a little better. Also better pads would help. Semi metallics are not the best.

Shot of what was accomplished on the VW for those who know about the project. Excited to see this come to life in 6-8 short months... Thanks Justin for the help. He made the dash w/defrost vents and all the panels as well as pedal stuff. Nice fit up too.



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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2013, 10:28:38 AM »

So, another weekend and more surprises. This weekends intent was to head home and finish up some welding for my father. However that soon went by the wayside as I discovered some stuff not quite right in the rear.

It started with me taking a rear wheel off to see what it would take to install some stiffer springs. I happen to glance over the CV on the passenger side and noticed this.



And after poking around a bit I found a few other issues. All but 2 on the passenger side CV where hand tight, and all on the driver needed a little more snugging up, oh well easy fix and tightened them up. Then I took a look at the Diff and it was missing 90% of its hardware! I can't believe I hadn't noticed it. The car hadn't made any more noise than when I first got it, so my guess it had been missing for some time. All was holding the front of the diff up was a single, hand tight, 1/2" bolt with a broken nut.

I made a bunch of new bushings and heavy washers in the lathe. Then got new grade 8 bolts and lots of locktite to finish putting everything back together and torqued the crap out of it. I felt very luck to have caught this before something serious had happened. Especially considering the number of autox's this thing is going to see over the next few months.

Here is the heavy washer painted with locktite and ready to go on.



Bushings I had made.



While I was there I put in the new 650lb springs.



Then cleaned everything up on the underside. The driverside rear pumpkin seal is leaking some, so that is something higher up on the list.



I did decide to so some lightening of the car.. Got roughly 95 lbs out with the following. 15-20 more to go with the tar. It sadden me a little but I'm keeping everything nice so it can go back in late next year when we "retire" the car... we will see.







Here is current race weight. I think we can get into the 2600's with a few more "easy" things. More on this later. For comparison my mk5 GTi weighs in at 3200lbs and Mindy's rabbit is 2900lbs. 



Then swapped out the pads and bled the brakes again in the front. The new master cylinder is here from merkurdepot and I am looking forward too the upgrade. The pedal is still too long for my tastes but these new pads are so much better. AutoZone let me take the old ones back and pay the difference to these ceramic pads. I'd daily/autox these, as they bite harder once a little warm and have a decent cold bite.





Till next weekend.
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2013, 05:49:15 PM »

I think we can get into the 2600's with a few more "easy" things.

Remove the rest of the bolts on the car?  Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2013, 11:21:24 AM »

Yeah no kidding. The car tried undressing itself.

OK so this weekends work...

I finished swapping out the LCAs with the longer scorpio units. Along with new ball joints and also new bushings.

Started making new bushings as I didn't realize the bushings where bigger in the scorpio units vs the old xr ones. Luckily I found a block of nylon I had lying around that was thick enough.



The block it came from



While I was making stuff I also made some caster bushings. Everything helps.





New inner tie rods where needed. Here are the comparisons. I'm not sure where Mike at merkurdepot got the middle one but it was perfect. The longer of the 3 was a tad too long and I had to move the steering wheel a hair to the right and realign.



Everything buttoned up.



Better view of the caster adders



Took some "persuasion" to get the sway bar back in place with all the changes (longer arms/caster adders)



Finial camber, can't find our camber gauge so I'm not sure where it is lying right now. But it is better than before and the front track is noticeably wider. I feel I will have to clearance our wheels now again.



On the way home there is definitely a change in feel. My rear toe is off right now and the front alignment was done by myself and is around 0-1/8"  out? Next weekend I'll have extra hands and I can do a proper alignment all the way around in preparation for the upcoming events.

Issues to attend too next weekend.

1. Rear main seal is leaking and I can't find a level plug on the diff. Which is really confusing as I looked all over the place for it. Does anyone know something I don't about this and these covers?

Right side



Left side



Cover pic. See the fill? That can't be level right?



2. Hits boost cut (20psi) at 4k-4.5k (wastegate isn't opening all the way/too much preload or there is some other issue at hand)

3. Removing the rear tar should drop a little more weight out, plus clean it up back there some.

4. Oil cooler, car is still getting hot in traffic.

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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2013, 06:17:39 PM »

Fill level is usually about axle height.  I believe the aftermarket covers put them up so high so that you just add a specific amount of fluid, not filling it until it comes out the hole.  Maybe take an axle out and fill it until it comes out the axle hole.
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« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2013, 11:36:25 AM »

I was worried about that. So the amount of fluid needed: Thunderbird spec'd + the amount that the LPW cover gains you... = ?

I think you are right though. Clips hold each half shaft in the axle, let fluid start to drain out the side. Stop adding fluid and pop axles back in.
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2013, 08:21:33 AM »

Another weekend and more work done. I didn't document everything as I usually do but I will hit the highlights.

Things fixed:

1. Rear toe by adding back the rubber spacers above the rear springs. Toe at 0 maybe a 1/32 in.
2. Aligned the front, was at 1/4" in (super spongy) now at 1/16" out. Nice and tight feeling.
3. Fixed the over boost issue with less preload on the wastegate. Now boosts to 15psi and no further, time to get the EBC working
4. Rear driver side seal in the differential and new fluid.





Started making a aluminum water tank.



This little guy ran into the arc when I was welding. Never had that happen before.



Just need to finish up a few little things.



Autox next weekend and I'm excited to see how the car fairs now.
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2013, 01:43:54 PM »

Ok another weekend and another event in the XR. This thing is starting to come together now.

This weekend was a autox on day 1 and a test and tune day 2. First day was a tight course, two places I used 1st gear. Second day was more open, stayed in 2nd. Justin and Jeff both confirmed this by taking some driving excursions Sunday in it. Needs more low down, some how we have got to get it. Smaller turbo, more timing downlow, V8.... something...

With the scorpio arms our setup up front. Looks to have increased the camber and track width quite a bit.



Before grid



Issues we had to deal with.

Over heating as always. Here is the XR with it favor flavor of cooling. It was mid 90s outside.



Fender clearance was also a issue. Hammer won't fix this so we will have to raise the front of the car a bit.



At the end of the second day the steering rack went to shit. 3/16" toe in and out and a bad wobble on the passenger side. It was a new autozone rack. I'll have updates on this hopefully soon. Next weekend is also a two day event so I got to get it fixed before then.

Other additions before Saturday.

There is a new firmware for Megasquirt I'm going to try in order to stop this start kick back issue we have.
Pressure test the MAP sensor line. Getting boost shutter around 16psi
Raise car in the front
Re-align after rack replacement
Fan relay sticks on so we will need to get a new relay
Make some clearance for the brake pads in the sliders as they are sticking and getting the pads hot = not the best hot braking.

Going to be a busy week...
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 01:50:18 PM by catapultkid » Logged

-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2013, 09:07:44 AM »

The inner tie rod loosened up and gave me a ton of wobble. This was a scorpio inner and I didn't have a replacement so I had to make one. First thing I did was beat the hell out of the joint to tighten the socket around the ball up some. That helped but I was a little sketched out as I will be putting the sticky tires back on it again this weekend for another event.



Then I drove to the shop yesterday and made this replacement by adding .875" to the overall length of a new xr4ti unit. All I had to do was machine a little bushing and weld it in place.





Everything is nice and tight now. Happy with the results so far.

I also got the brakes working a TON better by removing some small rivets on the top of the pads that were causing the caliper to twist and keep some pressure on the rotors. It releases well now and I can actually spin the wheel freely. Braking improved a bunch as did pedal feel. I'm still on the stock early MC so I think once I have the bigger MC on it will be perfect.

Lastly I jacked the front of the car up around 3/4" to see if that will keep the tire rubbing at bay. Will lower it as necessary.

-Paul
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2013, 03:30:29 PM »

Ok update. Here we go, one step forward, two steps back.

Packed the car up to go to the Virginia Commonwealth games autox. Wheels and tires fit nicely with no back seat.



Got there, unpacked, walked the course and noticed the differences in make up of concrete and asphalt. I decided to get Mindy to run in the second heat due to the fact that the heats were small and having a car that overheats doesn't make it friendly with two drivers. I would run the third heat.






On her 2nd run she was saying how hard it was to control the rear end as this course had bumps and kinda like a washboard effect in areas. I adjusted the rebound and she went out for her 3rd run, she came back saying it got better but still a little too loose, we decided to leave the settings alone. On her 4th run she hit that washboard area which was also a fast 3 cone slalom. From there it got loose and it bit back taking her straight off into a ditch/hill combo. That was the end of our weekend.











Damage is as follows.

Radiator fans
Kinked both frame rails
Moved both quarter panels in
Exhaust is bent up
Fuel tank bent up
subframe bent up
LCA on passenger side may have issues
Intercooler
Bumper and supports
core support
piping for intercooler and radiator
1 hooser has a cut, other flat spotted
Possibly the sway bar
Possibly the steering rack

So, now comes a few more things to do. A NPR intercooler popped up on ebay saturday night and I snagged that for 150 bucks. Radiator will be replaced with a dual core unit that will fit and perform much better than what I had. I already had a larger fan and oil cooler at the shop, so those didn't get damaged and will be added. Going with a volkswagen jetta bumper most likely. Next weekend I hope to cut out everything that got bent up and start fresh with tubing and new straight material vs trying to straighten this crap.

So glad she is ok. She wants to get back in the seat again at the next event which is in the middle of august. Hopefully I can have it at least driving by then even if not street legal with lights and what not.
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2013, 05:07:47 PM »

Bummer, I look forward to seeing your fabrication work. I know how hard fabrication can be. It takes me 4 hours to make a block of aluminum into a smaller block of aluminum with a hole in it.
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« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2013, 06:43:54 PM »




Wow, this looks like Verona, just recognize that trailer in the background, it's where you go to that turn-around. Than place is very bumpy and full of gravel, it always feels like the car is getting sand, or gravel blasted. I actually go up there on August 4th for the PCA AX.

I may missed something, but what was the reason ? Suspension something ? I hate to see this, and I hope you get that car back soon.
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« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2013, 04:45:53 AM »

It was Verona like you mentioned. The car was way over damped and even the spring rates where a little too high for that environment. Most people were on a stock or close to stock spring rate, it was a noticeable difference between watching them and watching Mindy. Not only that but she was on cold tires which made grip even harder to come by. We learned a lesson or two from the weekend, hopefully it will be the last time for this car.
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2013, 05:00:40 PM »

it's tough seeing that happen after all that work we've seen you put into it before! i hope it gets back up and going without too much fuss.
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« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2013, 04:06:20 PM »

I've see them do magic on the car in 30 minutes!
It went from a smoking mosquito killer to a drivable car in just a hour or so!
I'm sure the car will be better than ever when Dr.Frankenstein and his accomplice get there hands on it.

Smiley

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« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2013, 07:37:06 PM »

Thanks Gunny, I'm not sure if this is considered better than ever but its something. Here is this weekends work.

I got some alone time in the shop this weekend. After many people offered up straight shells and things like that I decided to go against the gain a bit and just hack out everything and make it my own construction. You be the judge. Upgrades include a bigger aluminum radiator, big fan and much much larger NPR intercooler.

Roughly cutting it out





The material



Added some tubes back in its place. Mocked in radiator and intercooler. I had to lean everything a lot of get it to clear everything. I really like it so far as it leaves tons for room for the fan assembly.



Upper support that I will be changing and adding the OE latch back I hope. You can see everything there. It all fits pretty tightly.



Added some splash shields and called it a day.



Tubes will be blue, everything else will be a semi matching silver we found. Mindy did the painting and specifying of the colors.









Long weekend of shop work but so far so good. I'll have part of a day next weekend to make a coolant take and possibly start figuring out the new intake structure and direction. Got a couple ideas there as well. We will see.
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-Paul
1990 k20 swapped Gti (3rd motor)
1985 merkur xr4ti (4th motor)
1989 6.0 lsx swapped k2500 (2nd motor)
2000 honda insight (1st motor... yay)
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