May 31, 2012

Coolant Junction Pipe

An elaborate solution for a simple problem, all because I didn’t want a coolant bypass hose touching the intake.

When I first mocked up the turbocharger, with my new manifold, it was clear that its position was going to interfere with the original route of the passenger side hoses. The lower radiator hose was modified first, being shortened somewhat, while the thermostat housing was cut up and welded back together. The hose right below it (the one that connects the block to the hardline on the passenger frame rail) was initially shortened so that it ran a little closer to the motor, meeting my original need of clearing the turbo (it can be seen in a picture in this post). Later on while fabricating my intake, it became an issue again, rubbing against the tubing. Being that it wasn’t the best solution in the first place (the molded hose ended up a bit kinked) I started playing with alternatives. Because the hose was trying to make a 45 degree turn off of a straight fitting (on the block) I first tried replacing the stock fitting an Earl’s 45 degree swivel fitting (this required an XRP metric to AN adapter).

May 19, 2012

Front Brake Refresh

This update probably isn't quite as exciting in the grand scheme of things, but it needed to be done. The car had been sitting without front brakes since last summer.

Long story short - I was doing a routine rotor/pad job on the daily and twisting apart sliding pins. Since the SL2 had so few miles and no inclement weather on its brakes, I knew that these parts were definitely good. So, being that I was in a pinch, I ended up "borrowing" the pad cradles and pins, hanging the front calipers in the wheel wells, and that is how she had sat since. Recently I collected new replacement pins, boots, and pad shims to put everything back together. Since everything was coming apart I took the chance to repaint the calipers and FINALLY install my front Goodridge lines. My first task was to get the pad cradles into shape. These, being leftovers from a year round car, were pretty nasty and very crusty. I took them down to good metal with a combination of wire wheels and wire brushes. After a thorough followup cleaning I coated them in Eastwood products - two coats of rust encapsulator and two coats of chassis black. The calipers had been previously painted with Rustoleum satin black, however when I first installed them I did a poor job containing the brake fluid and it wreaked havoc on the finish. After disconnecting the calipers and thoroughly flushing them out I attacked them the same way as the cradles. While these items were curing I set about getting ready to install my Goodridge lines. For weeks I had been applying PB Blaster to the flare nut that connects the hardline to the soft to try making the disconnect as painless as possible. The passenger side came apart with little persuasion, but the drivers side became a headache. I was able to get the stock rubber line unthreaded with some additional heat but the flare nut remained frozen the hardline. Ultimately this made reassembly kind of tricky and the final orientation of the drivers side brake hose isn't perfect. I had a little additional downtime refinishing the L-brackets that keep the brake lines in place, as I couldn't get myself to install fresh Goodridge lines into rusty brackets, but got everything back together today.

May 02, 2012

Oil Filter Relocation

This is another project fresh off the back burner... if you can believe that. Why did I go through the trouble? I won't deny that I totally did it for cleanliness reasons.

In an earlier post I described the finish work and alterations I made to the adapters from a Trans-Dapt oil filter relocation kit. I fully expect some criticism for the final orientation of the oil filter, being that the open end is pointed down. Since this project had always been off to the side I'd never committed to any one spot for the filter to reside. I was a little troubled by the lack of space and the hose provided with the kit wasn't exactly the most flexible in the world. One area that had caught my eye was the real estate left behind by the power steering pump and reservoir. Given the nature of the oil feed and return lines, I began looking at the possibility of mounting the filter upside down, essentially making the hose run vertically. Before I embarked I had to lay my skepticism of a turned over oil filter and spent quite a bit of time wading through other setups. It turns out that the SR 240SX guys have been doing it for years.