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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: June 19, 2018, 10:22 pm 
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Joined: March 14, 2012, 1:03 am
Posts: 160
Location: Boulder, CO
Photo Dump! I'll summarize after the photos:
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Starting out with a glamour shot of the new wheels and tires, and then a measurement of how much they stick out from the body. Need around two extra inches of fender flare. And speaking of flares, next is a few pictures of marking, and cutting for said flares. Next time I work on the car I'll have to get a picture of it actually sitting at ride height. The cuts definitely need finishing, but I'm not going to weld, seal, or actually attach the flares until I drive the car, and know if I need to adjust for the movement of the suspension. I'm optimistic about how these are looking, though I know the flares are actually going to bolt on higher up than this. The flares were sourced from a company called "Clinched" via ECS Tuning. In the mean time, I picked up this neat billet aluminum adapter, to attach an E36 Throttle Position Sensor onto an E30 Throttle Body. I was planning on making one myself, but I couldn't justify the effort when I could get this neat little piece for $22 shipped. Also started wiring. I'm still kind of terrified of burning up the ECU, but now that I have written stuff down, and actually started connecting wires, it is much less daunting than before.

Lastly, I've been trying to design a really nice bracket to hold the coil packs, and bolt them to the valve cover. Had to bring all this stuff up to my room, to measure while using CAD. The girlfriend was amused (fortunately) rather than annoyed, I think she's a keeper. Anywho, I do want to make a nice billet piece for the coil packs, but I don't want to hold up the project. Might just cobble something together to get the car driving, and make a nice one later. More immediately, I need to finish wiring everything else, make an intake, and get power to the ECU. I'm not fully clear on why the factory ECU doesn't just get switched power, but I have to use a diode and a transistor to get the Megasquirt ECU to trigger off of the main relay. Hoping to pick up the stuff I need for that this week.

The race shop that has been helping me with a lot of advice has an unfortunately long wait time for getting an alignment, so that will definitely be a delay on this project once it is running. I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something really important in the suspension... hopefully I remember before it bites me. Or it's nothing, time will tell.

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

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PostPosted: September 8, 2018, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: March 14, 2012, 1:03 am
Posts: 160
Location: Boulder, CO
After an unintentional few month hiatus, I'm back at the E30. Went at the wiring pretty hard over the last week, finished up basically everything on the MegaSquirt wiring, except for the new cam sensor and the ignition system. Evan was a huge help, in tig welding some mounts I made for the LS2 coil packs onto a spare valve cover. That is now installed, as well as 19lb fuel injectors, sequential fuel injection wiring that I did, a distributor delete, and some Chevy truck spark plug wires that happened to be almost the perfect length for the application. Also picked up a small piece of mild steel exhaust, and an Edelbrock air filter for my intake. Threaded the IAT sensor into the factory rubber intake boot, which should work just fine until I add boost. Would love to post pictures but it's a busy day today. The goal right now is to finish ignition wiring tomorrow morning, hopefully get the cam sensor wired (though it's not necessary for starting it), and get power and ground to the ECU. If all goes well, we start it tomorrow evening!

I was doing some thinking on time, and if the car runs tomorrow, it will definitely make it to the last autocross of the season. If it doesn't run tomorrow, it probably won't be ready in time. The main thing driving this is there is a several week lead time at my local race shop for alignment and corner balance.

Except a photo dump in the next few days, and it's good to finally be back wrenching!

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

Grey 2004 BMW 330ci (DD)
Red 1989 BMW 325is
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PostPosted: September 11, 2018, 8:27 pm 
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Joined: March 14, 2012, 1:03 am
Posts: 160
Location: Boulder, CO
It started! It ran poorly, but it ran!

https://youtu.be/LaM4ixCbp88

After clearing a bunch of (but not all) the junk off the E30, it was time to finish sorting out all of the ECU wiring, as well as finding a way to mount the coil packs. A while back, I took some measurements and modeled the LS2 coil packs in Fusion 360. Realized I was over engineering, and just went and turned out six bosses with tapped holes in them on the manual lathe at work. Bought some stainless steel 1/4-20 bolts for bling factor, and then brought them, and my spare valve cover over to Evan, who was a humongous help with tig welding everything together!

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There was a small amount of warping in the valve cover, but I don't think it was enough to cause an issue. The engine has only been running for a couple minutes, but it hasn't leaked yet. Will find out when the thing actually gets up to temperature. The next two pictures are a summary of pretty much all that has changed on either side of the engine bay over the last week or two.

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We experienced a pretty bad lean condition on startup, which ended up being ENTIRELY my fault, as I had left a small plate on the back of the intake manifold finger tight, so it was pulling air like crazy. The car is still idling at almost 2000 RPM, which may be caused by the Idle Control Valve being stuck open. I believe it is normally in an open condition until power is applied. For the moment, we are going to plug it, and just adjust the idle screw on the throttle body. The other two issues are timing, and the cam sensor. At the moment, I can't get the cam sensor working, but I believe it is parameters, not actual wiring. As for timing, it is WAY too advanced. As the car warms up it backfires constantly. I need to get a timing light on the car to verify that Tuner Studio is correct, but it is saying about 28 degrees advance at idle, and from the research I have done, it should really be down at about 10 degrees advance. Going to try and get out Thursday evening and iron some stuff out.

Stay tuned!

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

Grey 2004 BMW 330ci (DD)
Red 1989 BMW 325is
In progress 4G63 Haynes Roadster


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PostPosted: September 23, 2018, 7:12 pm 
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Location: Boulder, CO
Evan came by last weekend, helped out again on trying to tune the E30. We fixed up some wiring issues with the idle, and got it down to a more reasonable 1000 RPM. We're still experiencing really strange random changes in AFR, from high 13s, to all the way over 20. And that is just at idle. On top of that, we discovered that the Megasquirt is having a sync issue with the crank position sensor. Every half to one second, it loses sync, and then regains it, which is what happens every time it backfires. I don't believe the CKPS has a grounding issue, as it worked fine before the Megasquirt install. We tested the wiring from the CKPS Plug back to the ECU, and it appears to be good. Soon after, we discovered that the alternator isn't charging. The Megasquirt is only seeing about 12V while it's running, and I'm under the impression it really should have 13-14 while the alternator is charging. Starting to believe (and hope) that the CKPS problems are just caused by a low-voltage scenario. What are all your thoughts on that? The alternator is a very easy fix, so I am hoping that is the case. If not, then I have to dig deeper into the front of the engine.

Thoughts? Hopefully more to come soon.

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

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Red 1989 BMW 325is
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PostPosted: September 24, 2018, 1:41 am 
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I believe 12V should be sufficient to run the vehicle computer.
When I "live" load test a charging system, I turn on every ancillary piece of electrical that will draw on the battery (all lights, heater, w wipers, defogger, AC on defrost, rad fan). A proper working charge system (13.8V-14.2V) should maintain =or> than 12V under load at idle or near idle.

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PostPosted: September 24, 2018, 3:45 am 
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Is your dash alternator/charging/battery light working, ie. will it light when ignition is turned on? BMW's need that to activate alternator and faulty bulb will cause charging issues.
ThunderHeide wrote:
Starting to believe (and hope) that the CKPS problems are just caused by a low-voltage scenario. What are all your thoughts on that? The alternator is a very easy fix, so I am hoping that is the case. If not, then I have to dig deeper into the front of the engine.

Thoughts? Hopefully more to come soon.


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PostPosted: September 25, 2018, 9:24 am 
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horchoha-

Good to know, I'll have to test that out next time I get a chance to work on it. The only things I had running at the time were the ECU and engine systems, and the electric fan for air conditioning (no A/C compressor). And with a battery charger hooked up I was still only seeing about 12V.

petteriu-

I believe the battery light does work, didn't think to check it specifically, but I'm 90% it does work. Will have to figure out a way to check all the wiring between the cluster and the alternator, going to also pull the alternator and get it tested for free at the local auto parts store.

Would a dead-flat battery cause problems, do you think? The battery in the car is quite old, and has been run flat many times...

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"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the psychic predecessor of all real understanding." --Robert Pirsig

Grey 2004 BMW 330ci (DD)
Red 1989 BMW 325is
In progress 4G63 Haynes Roadster


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