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Author Topic: FarmBoy Fab: Mindy's Merkur, I title "Progression to RWD"  (Read 81308 times)
catapultkid
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« on: March 27, 2013, 09:58:57 AM »

Since I hope to have this thing out in a few events from now I figured I'd share the experiences we have had with this car.

Last October Mindy and I had the discussion about not using her car any longer for autox. About that time she was also interested in learning other aspects of motorsport so we started to hunt. She had 3 or 4 cars in mind, and when it came down too it this, being one of the rarer choices also became one of the cheaper. Not enough people know about these cars to appreciate them so we picked this guy up for "cents on a dollar".

It wasn't without faults but the PO was an original owner to the vehicle and after a short test drive we closed on it and drove it 150 miles home.





The car came with a basement full of spares and enough upgrades to make it an ok autox/track car.

The interior was also not in bad nick for a 27 year old car.



From here I have to mention that this thing is meant to be a budget car for us to share in the coming year or so and pull double duty between drift, autox and the occasional track day/time attack. At least until the other mk2 VW is finished.

The first autox I think I placed somewhere at the bottom. The tires are old hard snow tires, the suspension is way too soft even with the struts at full dampening, the power comes on way too slow with the stock 1985 turbo, there was some jumping around on left handed turns, the brakes to nothing what so ever and it feels like the car weighs 5000lbs. I know, racers excuses.

First up was the easy stuff. Steering rack had seen better days.



Made a 2 dollar catchcan for the rear diff so it would stop leaking oil all over everything.



Relocated the wideband gauge



Found out that the passenger side bushing was wore plum out



Made some with some stuff I had lying around





Then offset the LCAs up and out for a little added camber and better geometry.



The slow spool time was sorta due to this restrictive cat, so I cut all of it out and replaced it with a cut out.







All of this helped, which brings us up too the second autox and last event of 2012 at VMP. Mindy drove her VW and I drove the xr.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 04:21:07 PM by blue06civic » 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)
catapultkid
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 09:59:21 AM »

The first autox with these changes was.... exciting... I'll say. (images stolen from Gunny)











During the day the lifters started getting really loud, and I should have stopped. In the end I will have had the motor starved of oil, with a blown head gasket due to lean conditions and a tow 2.5 hours back home to the shop. Not what I would have called a success.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 06:00:37 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 #2 on: March 27, 2013, 09:59:59 AM »

And the damage that I caused. Found out later that the low oil pressure was due to the cracked pick-up tube on the oil pump. So it was sucking air and not oil.









Cylinders 1 and 2 melted the head gasket. This caused the head and block to get nicked. I believe the block will be ok with a resurface, the head is toast, as it is very deep.

So time to strip it apart. I had all winter to do so and one would think that is plenty of time to do this simple fix, but as always, I've been able to extend it with limited time on a car that is 2 hours from my apartment.



Good new was that the head seemed fine on the cam side. This was a modified head, with oversized valves, high lift cam, upgraded everything else. So I definitely "lost" out on this deal.







Once I got the head out I started stripping everything apart.





Valves where pretty nasty in the head we bought.



But cleaned up ok



Got in touch with David and we picked up a head from his buddy. Started cleaning that up.



On 2.3 ford heads there is some obvious porting. So I went ahead and did some cleaning.

Original Bowl



After porting



About 80% done



Lapped the old valves in. These are not the big valves that came out of the original head. They are OE from the head we bought obviously.







Then the head was put back together. We decided to go with the Ford Gray paint. I like the color.





Now ready for the rest of the motor


« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 05:39:40 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)
catapultkid
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 10:00:21 AM »

I got side tracked a little on this project. In the end it didn't work out but I figured I'd share.

Basically I wanted more flow, and these ford upper and lower intakes have super long runners but are restrictive. So I took one and started cutting. Along with that it would give me the ability to clock the intake and not run it over the valve cover of the motor. Meaning shorter boost pipes and much cleaner set up.











Back to the motor. David again came in super handy as we picked up a use block from his friend as well. It showed some wear, but was complete. Started stripping that apart and doing the necessary cleaning/painting. Ordered a full rebuild gasket kit and had it together pretty quick.











Ordered new water pump, timing parts, and other stuff.







Reused old stock turbo. Hopefully it will last awhile.




Then pulled the old motor, reused the old clutch and bolted everything back together and placed it in the car. At this point, wiring is a mess, boost pipes are leaky, exhaust is a mess, and the vacuum lines are all cracked from age.







« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 05:41:41 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 #4 on: March 27, 2013, 10:06:30 AM »

First I immediately tore into the old wiring. Removing what I could. Some back ground on the old motor. It had been converted to a MAF when originally a small VAM set up. So it had a piggy back which converts the signal to the appropriate one, then that ran into a old standalone that looks like the original game boy. Whole thing never really work well, it would stall on deceleration due to the air stopping or reversing around the MAF. They where nicknamed "mess air" for a reason. This car needs its reliability so I decided to scrap the old MAF and converter box and go with a large VAM setup similar to stock and hope for the best.





Getting a little better



Dropped lower dash out and wires just came from everywhere.



The standalone piggyback says "AudioBuster" on it? I assumed he was using the case





Another little story to this stanealone, it uses a standard MAP sensor. Well after pulling stuff out of the car I finally found that the vacuum line had come off of the MAP sensor. May be the reason I was running lean at the end. To fix this I'm replacing everything with silicon hoses and stainless clamps. Now it will take a lot of pressure to it to fail.





Coolant hoses are much the same way. Something that needs to be reliable so I went with silicon everywhere. High temperature ratings, don't get hard, and high burst pressures. They dont make kits for this car, like a lot of automobiles, so I had to use stock off the shelf stuff.



Ran the coolant lines (which I end up changing I think) and started mocking up and installing the new boost pipes.



Tacked together



Welded



Installed



« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 06:03:03 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 #5 on: March 29, 2013, 04:55:23 AM »

At this point I wasn't real real happy with anything but it was coming along pretty cheap. I wanted to do the exhaust on a budget. After looking around and knowing what I wanted and what was out there I settled on this. Not completely new system, but gets rid of the worst of it, and still has the 80s mustang look.

3" downpipe to help the long spool time



Then got some cheap stainless tubing in various sizes, along with some V-bands












Also got rid of the OE plastic vacuum stuff in exchange for a aluminum block with ports. And lots of silicon hose.



Installed the Big Vam





Made a quick ground block



And added a power steering cooler for those drift events



« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 08:31:58 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 #6 on: March 29, 2013, 05:29:04 AM »

Started getting the rest of it together. Lower radiator hose was next. Of course they dont make anything that works with the car any longer so I made my own from silicone and some aluminum pipe I had lying around. I was going to weld everything together but did this in the interest of time.





Then put new transmission fluid in it. Love this $7 tool from autozone.



Lots of small things that take some time. Block off plate



Mindy made a gauge panel for the kill switch and two important gauges.



The old school piggyback standalone



Got it running this weekend. Have had a few problems with an over boost and spark. Seems to have dropped a little weight. It was over 3k lbs it is now 2840 with 1/3 tank of fuel.



And 1480 up front which puts it very close to 50/50 without a driver.



1 more weekend..... then test and tune. Got it driving around. Seems to be boosting to about 18-20 psi which is a little high so I will be lowering it before autox.

Drivability is up with the VAM set up over the old MAF. No more senseless stalls coming to a stop light. It is running about 10.5:1 at WOT full load. I may take a little more fuel out of the tune.



Mindy also added her new seat in!


 
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 04:58:55 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 #7 on: March 29, 2013, 06:05:08 AM »

Last weekend for the first autox on the new motor. I was really busy so I didn't get to take pictures of everything I did but here goes.

Also would like to thank Pat for all the fender work and dad for assistance in the brakes and alignment.

Got some stuff in, Hoosier's in 225/50/16, springs and collars from Justin. Thanks again.



Started having to make them fit so the first thing was to remove the giant front perches and springs.



Apart





Cut down the size



Added a plate to the collar to sit flat on and tacked it on



350lbs springs on the front



Inner fenders crumbled away



Installed



Made new shields for the wiring under there





Started having to remove exterior trim



Here is why





Made some more room



We will see



Bled the brakes and this came out. I think I pulled about 16-20oz of this stuff out.



Added a copper heat shield/heat sink to the wideband along with the protectant to the wiring.



And after a alignment, 0 toe in rear, 1/8" out up front, I packed... "just the essentials" to get me home and run at the event next weekend.



Issues so far.

1. Believe the turbo is burning the oil, still not convinced but it may be the return line has more bends than it likes. Looking at rebuilding the turbo after I look at shaft play today.
2. The tune is still pretty bad at WOT and heavy load but good and drivable everywhere else if the motor is warmed up.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 09:46:58 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 #8 on: March 29, 2013, 02:04:21 PM »

The first autox with these changes was.... exciting... I'll say. (images stolen from David)

I remember taking those pictures!

I cant wait to see it go again! I'll take some more pictures.

Gunny
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 02:09:40 PM by gunny » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 03:27:50 PM »

It looks great ! All the work you put into it looks awesome. You put a cage in it too ?
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 05:56:29 PM »

Gunny, I'll have to change the credit. Thanks again, currently the only proof that I have it ever ran in the first place.

Chris. No cage in this one yet but will get a 4 point before too long I think. You can see my brother's 240 in the background of one photo next too the covered up mk2. As I was building this car we traded some work and I put the cage in his car. Hopefully he will make a FarmBoy Fab post someday about it as it is a lot nicer than this.

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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 #11 on: April 02, 2013, 01:26:17 PM »

Simply love it and I'm glad I could help in sourcing out some parts for you guys.
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 04:55:20 AM »

Yeah we owe you a beer David. Thanks again
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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 #13 on: April 17, 2013, 07:06:04 AM »

I always liked those Merkur's. Finding a good one now is rare. Body looks in really good condition.
Like the condition of the brake fluid.
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 10:20:18 AM »

Thanks. I hope this car last a little bit of time for us, at least until the VW is finished.

As to why it wasn't out at the last autox.... Here we go, but first I have to name a few that made this really happen, even though in the end it didn't happen... First Justin for driving out and picking the heap of junk up and letting me use the garage since ours is far away, second Dad for driving all night to deliver some parts and help work on this thing and David for sourcing stuff here local and offering up advice. Thanks guys!

In the beginning...

Started smoking a lot after a drive home from work (this was the daily for the week) and I noticed this when doing a compression test, to be sure it wasn't the same thing happening again (head gasket failure).



It turned out to compression test at 150 across all 4 so I made a check valve thinking it was the issue, burning crankcase oil.



Put it inline with PCV



Didn't help. Played with the oil return line thinking there was a low spot. Also didn't help. Now what?



See the oil built up around the hot side which happened almost instantly.



So Justin was kind enough to help me and delivered it to his house where we pulled the turbo and saw this instantly. This means it wasn't the turbo after all which meant more serious issues where at hand



Leak down tested it and once again it passed. Only one thing left, valve stem seals



Cylinder #1


Cylinder #2

Cylinder #3


Cylinder #4


After talking with Shannon at Stinger Performance in Kansas City he mentioned that High lift cams can damage the valve stem seals by running the keepers into them. So Dad drove several hours to bring me a old cam I found in a box that we had gotten from the PO.





That night (the night before the pratice autox at MEP) we pulled seals and replaced them with some Felpro ones I gathered from AutoZone. One was damaged.



But the others seemed ok. I replaced them all however.







In the end we got it all back together and started the car. It didn't smoke much at all but oil was spraying out everywhere under the car. We removed the oil filler cap and it reduced, but did not stop. Why? These lines can handle 100s of psi?

Now with oil everywhere under the car. I kind said screw it, there must be something blocking the crankcase vent. Here we go. First the PCV line went, that didn't help so intake mainifold went to check the mesh box. Maybe I left tape over something?



Nope it was clean and easy. So it must be the turbo right? So I took the turbo off again and realized what I had done. Aluminum fitting with steel fitting, who is going to win?



DAM IT! ok now there is no way to make the practice. It is way too late in the morning, maybe I can make the event on Sunday.... I should have stopped there but didn't, while I had the turbo off I decided to look into it a little further. Some shaft play, but nothing too crazy, so I got to talk to David about sourcing another 60/63, he said he had one and picked it up from him at the autox practice Saturday.



That night, after we set the course up for the next day, I went to Justins and tried swapping parts around to make it work. Which I hadn't noticed before but was not the same wheel sizes, even though they were both 60/63s.



I could have stuck everything back together at this point to make the event but wanted to see inside the seals of the turbo, still thinking they were bad... So I took it apart. It had been burning lots of oil, but the seals were in OK condition. DAM



So I finished the night off we a mockup of the new turbo and we are waiting on parts now to put the new turbo on, with new return line fittings and new valve stem seals and a nice big open crankcase catch can.



Wish us luck, hopefully it will be out by the next event. As long as the cylinder walls are not the "real" underlying issue.

Anyone have a small bore camera that I can see inside the bores with through the spark plug holes?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 07:13:51 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 #15 on: April 17, 2013, 04:55:57 PM »

Wish us luck, hopefully it will be out by the next event. As long as the cylinder walls are not the "real" underlying issue.

Anyone have a small bore camera that I can see inside the bores with through the spark plug holes?


I have one of these, is that what you're thinking of?
http://www.harborfreight.com/digital-inspection-camera-67979.html

(Impulse purchase - was deeply discounted in their Thanksgiving sale last year.)
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 05:05:06 AM »

Beth, that is exactly what I need. How big is the diameter of the camera? Will it fit through a spark plug hole?

Amazon has these USB camera but they are all too big
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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 #17 on: April 18, 2013, 10:01:33 AM »

Beth, that is exactly what I need. How big is the diameter of the camera? Will it fit through a spark plug hole?

Amazon has these USB camera but they are all too big

The manual says "16mm / 8.5mm" but I checked and in fact all it has is the 16mm head.
That might not fit through the hole, you'd just have to see what you could see from the opening.

BTW this looks like the 8.5mm head, available separately: 
http://www.amazon.com/Autel-MVIHC85-AxiVideo-Replacement-Imager/dp/B005R3SRBY/
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 10:07:49 AM by whiteryder » Logged

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catapultkid
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 01:34:57 PM »

Yeah too expensive. I'll see if the car runs as is, it isn't hard to remove a spark plug and find out later. I'll look on fleabay and see if there is anything worth while.
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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 #19 on: April 18, 2013, 05:28:58 PM »

I got a Ridgid boroscope, but it's also to large for the plug hole.

When I looked at the pictures when you took the engine apart, I commented that the inline 4 is simple, however, with all the stuff around, it becomes quite complecated. At least I have not to deal with turbos and anti freeze.

Hope this turns out OK.

 
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2013, 04:12:57 AM »

These are still about as simple of a motor as you can get IMO.
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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 #21 on: April 20, 2013, 06:12:26 PM »

This weekend made a catch can out of a old box I had made a few years ago for a friend. Hopefully this will keep the crankcase pressure at bay.

Started by drilling some holes in a plate to make a top, and one on the side of the box.



Tacked on the lid.



Welded everything up with some large NPT fittings over the holes.



Finished it by adding the barbs and a breather



Most likely will add some stainless wool inside to slow the vapors down some. Fun little project, we will see how it goes.
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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 #22 on: April 22, 2013, 11:19:57 AM »

I had to have one of those Flex sections added my exhaust on the Subaru.  8" long by 3 1/2 diameter.  The exhaust was cracked up near the turbo due to the motor mounts which I had to have replaced last week.  One was bent and all 3 were worn with the rubber cracking. 
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2013, 12:33:40 PM »

I had to have one of those Flex sections added my exhaust on the Subaru.  8" long by 3 1/2 diameter.  The exhaust was cracked up near the turbo due to the motor mounts which I had to have replaced last week.  One was bent and all 3 were worn with the rubber cracking. 

Yeah you have to have a flex coupling in there somewhere. The motor mounts were most likely not meant for the number of standing launches you do in a short 10 month period.
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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 #24 on: April 30, 2013, 09:42:20 AM »

Ok so it seems the roots cause of smoking was the combination of valve stem seals and high crankcase pressure. After adding the new seals, a smaller cam lift, and lastly the catch can it has seemed to clear up quite a bit.

Here was the improvised oil feed return.



Initial startup after the changes. Still burning oil off



New turbo sitting in engine bay plumbed together and catch can in far right.



Started clearing up some



The last two cold starts have been completely smoke free, which is a first for this new motor. Hopefully that means we can move on from this subject to the next.

More updates soon.
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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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