Ah Mike, that's a PITA to say the least. Hopefully they take the nudge and step it up a notch for you.
@Ads, cracking post on WSCC earlier. Hope things are good with you at the mo, had meant to ping you an email after a recent update but must have got sidetracked.
I've not really updated much here for my own car lately. Bit of copypasta from another forum so excuse the fact this clearly won't flow but long story short, daily duties, MOT, blah blah blah, stripped old engine, building up a stroker to replace, fitted a standalone ECU last week (I am the weak link in this package).
In fact, feck it, here's a largely photographic catchup instead.
The old inlet mani gasket was still in place on the head. Can see here how the casting is slightly wonky relative to the machining. This could potentially be sorted with some grinding to gasket-match things.
Here’s the worst one. Significantly better at the other end.
Oh, and since I had them both to hand, here’s a quick look at the significant difference between small and large port heads.
Going for a bit of a roadtrip this the weekend.
Productive weekend on the most part. Didn't start so well, getting home to find Boost with is ear in bits. He'd been attacked by an bum hole Bengal cat over the road and wasn't in a great way, with his ear only held together by fur and his ear canal full of blood. Emergency surgery later and my wallet was well and truly hurting before we'd even set off. Not so much as his pride having to wear a Cone of Shame mind...
Zipped up the M5, dropped off the old LCR Brembos mentioned before to the home of a certain Badger. Picked up a few goodies and left.
Firstly these are what I'd swapped the brakes for. CatCams (3668s IIRC) and it's pretty apparent that there's significantly more lift and longer duration, plus these are designed to be VVT safe which will be very handy. Here they are next to a set from an AMK lump, though most are similar/the same. Not sure I'll be needing these for a considerable amount of time, if ever, but at only 400 miles old these seemed a decent upgrade to have handy rather than some scabby old brakes I'll never need.
To go with those, one of these.
And lastly, a new toy to play about with.
Very impressed by the new housings - machined from billet, these look baller (not that you'll see it often) but mainly act as a heatsink for the black magic that lies within. Happy days! Very much looking forward to playing with this and learning more along the way.
Both cars were due MOTs last week. New ticket sorted on each of them with no fuss. Did have to knock up a cat section by welding the two stock twin LCR cats in series to get it through, but emissions read super low so clearly did the trick. It’s also cost me at least 5bhp by sticking a massive restriction in the exhaust if logs are anything to go by, so whether or not it'll stay is anyone's guess... :lol:
Sold my old rods. I say old, they’d been used for under 150 miles in the old engine before the head slightly intoxicated me off enough to rip it all out. Sold for more than I paid, so can’t complain really.
Went up to London as Soph’s cousin was running the marathon. Mostly boring, but detoured to Bath on the way home and picked up the stuff I’d dropped off a fortnight prior. Here’s one of those bits receiving a little paint. Block has been acid and caustic dipped to clean off old paint, gunk, grease and rust. Has then been rebored to 82.5mm, honed, and decked to ensure a perfect face for sealing up.
Popped off the intake mani to rework stuff. I’ve simplified the PCV setup a little as there’s no real need for the full extent of split-happy pipework the factory fitted IMO. Now just a single line from the T-piece up to the nipple on top of the TB (used for EVAP as stock, IIRC). With this moved, there’s an 8mm nipple on the base of the mani which I can use for the MAP sensor, which needs to be fitted to the manifold rather than in the pipework before the TB as I’ll be ditching the MAF and running a Speed Density tuning method in the future.
Made a new friend while I was working. Someone in our road appears to have a new, extremely cute, kitten. Lovely little thing, until it started chewing on my DV line…
After 4 days of our entire family being horrifically ill, I needed some fresh air. Wasn’t really up to driving or going anywhere, so the drive was the perfect location for a couple of hours in the sun playing with the standalone setup.
Plugged in the new ECU to both the car and laptop, turned the key to give power and instantaneously received notice that all drivers had been installed. Always a good start.
I configured the throttle pedal minimum and maximum positions, then performed basic settings on the throttle itself. Being a DBW car (Ignitron is an ME7.5 replacement) this is essential, though a number of people seem have missed these steps and had issues down the line. No wonder, really. Followed this up with a general fault code scan and nothing to report at this stage. Bonus. Checked the gauges and all appeared sensible, so time to turn the key.
The car fired up and other than running rich everything seemed to be pretty reasonable. Impressive stuff from the base file wizard built into the software really, as I certainly don’t know enough at this stage to have made it this far alone
At this point, unwell child woke up so car was shut off, stock ECU quickly connected back up, and the car abandoned for a while. As I’d need it in the morning and didn’t have time to play with getting things running right, it seemed sensible to have another proper go next weekend when time allowed.
With wife and child both still feeling rough and going to bed about 8ish, I pinched another hour and went back outside to refit the scuttle and wipers so I could actually use the car properly for the week. Moments later, my willpower cracked and I ended up removing the stock ECU permanently in lieu of the new unit instead
I ran a serial-USB line through the same bulkhead panel and the main wiring harness, so it drops down behind the dash with the main fuse panel and pops out of the cubby hole by the driver’s right knee. Waiting on some rubber grommets to tidy up the holes a little, as I had to chain drill and file due to losing my chuck key and being too impatient…
Anyway, with the car back together I went inside to watch the latest episode of Project Binky before bed. Made a few tweaks to my map whilst watching - mainly VE table, warmup lambda table and a couple of minor adaption elements. Flashed this onto the car before work this morning and seems to be helping, but will check logs tonight/tomorrow and see where we are.
Steep learning curve begins here!
Had a little time this afternoon so dug out piston rings and got them gapped. I’ll give them another check prior to fitting but very happy with how consistent these are. Tops were extremely hard which is reassuring, but meant they were an absolute pig to file down and took considerable time, but worth doing right of course. Second rings were noticeably softer, wearing down much faster.
Took it super slow with lots of checking and they are all pretty much bang on where I want them at 0.5mm top, 0.525 second rings.
All now look something like this. As is standard practice, you should only ever file one side of the gap, giving a reference side to work from ensuring the two ends are as close to parallel as possible.
Had time before heading out to check out the new oil squirters I picked up - these are TFSI units and the body is a slightly different profile to 1.8t variants. Shouldn’t really have an issue with either, but I liked the idea of the additional clearance, particularly since I’m running a stroker crank.
Pistons are profiled to suit, as seen here
Gave the crank a quick glance this weekend too. I've still got to change the trigger wheel over for a new one, as both bolts and the wheel itself are single use which not many people seem to be aware of. Given I don't know the full history of this crank out seems foolish not to, and the parts were dirt cheap from the dealer anyway so it's a no brained. For now, however, just swapped over the oil pump drive gear. Again, cheap from the dealer and you can see the difference below.
These are an interference fit, so with a bit of heat the old gear popped off no problem. In order to get the new one on, it went into the oven to warm up for a bit then pressed on.
Handy tip for any trials riders out there - Pro II freehub seal tool is the perfect size for this. For anyone else, a bit of 40mm pipe will do just fine.
Regarding the ECU/tuning, I’m slowly getting to grips with it all. I feel like I’ve learnt a huge amount in the past week alone, though still a million miles to go yet. Only real niggle so far was having a bit of a moment in the week - there was an audible pop followed by a drop in power and reluctance to idle below 1000rpm. Serves me right for forgetting to put a clip on the MAP hose really, and the 8mpg I got for the rest of that drive home were entirely deserved as a result haha.
I’ve got the VE table to a place I’m pretty happy with, though I’m well aware this is unlikely to ever be “done” as such so will continue to let it learn through use. I’ve turned down the ratios a little, so that if I do choose to apply the generated adaption tables then they have a lesser impact moving forward now that the bulk crude chunk has been done.
I’ve also rerouted my ECU connection slightly, which has tidied it away inside the scuttle so it’s a little further from the wiper linkage. Wasn’t strictly necessary, but for peace of mind nice to have done. It did, however, mean that I barely had enough cable left to reach the laptop inside the car. Easy solution.