Monday 28 July 2014

turbo oil feed pipe & rev limiter

 Well I really didn't get much time spare this week in order to work on the car, only a couple of hours max if that. One thing ive been meaning to do for a while is to fit a braided oil feed pipe. Its the pipe on top of the turbo which feeds oil to the bearings. This comes from the front of the engine as you can see in the picture below.

The big spacer bit you can see on the bottom of the hose is actually a one-way valve. Apparently these can fail and cut off oil to the turbo which then causes the turbo to blow. What I did here was to remove this valve and drill the insides out, effectively removing the one way valve. I then re-assembled it, using my new braided hose. These connectors are 19mm and its much much easier to get to them after removing the radiator - so I had to remove the new alloy race radiator I fitted first in order to get to this. Still, its another job to tick off the box.

That out of the way I had about 45 minutes spare, so decided to fit the rev limiter. That was really easy as it uses the same connections as the shift light unit - i.e. connected to the positive and negative terminals on the coil & a decent earth. It mounts nicely next to the shift light unit. The launch control button I will need to mount on the steering wheel, ive left plenty of wire from the unit to the button so I can try and make sure it don't get tangled when driving etc. Will workout a mounting bracket once I get the steering wheel back on the car.

And that was it really for this week. Bit disappointing that I didnt get as much time, but I did manage to get out on my Ducati 996 for a short ride out over the weekend. Hadn't been out on it for a couple of months so I was missing the thrill of the open road.

Unfortunately the ride wasn't quite as enjoyable as I wanted, there were millions of lycra clad wannabe Bradley Wiggan`s all over the nice bendy local roads and if it wasn't them it was people towing caravans off on their holidays. I also had a bit of an unsettling moment when the back tyre slipped out on a LH bend under power. Not sure what's happening there as its the 2nd time that's happened and it doesn't inspire confidence. The suspension is all set up nicely so I suspect it might be just the tyres. Will have to swap them out for some decent ones. So what I was hoping to be a nice long ride out turned out to be a 25/30min quick warm up. Maybe next weekend!

Tuesday 22 July 2014

AEI unit, coil, rear brakes

 I had a couple of hours spare last night so thought id get some more work in on the car. The first task was to swap out the old AEI unit for a newer one. My car seems to be kind of what is known as a phase 1.5. Its 1987 so one of the early phase 2`s and apparently they used up a lot of phase 1 bits in the process. My AEI unit was mounted above the turbo inside the engine bay. Its a Bendix 209 unit which is what the phase 2`s used but its in the phase 1 position. My previous 2 GT Turbos were both 1988 and by then the unit was moved inside the bulk head next to the battery to avoid heating problems from the turbo. 

You can see in the pic here of the engine bay, just above the header tank the AEI coil unit inside the engine bay.

I bought a later phase 2 AEI, mines a 209 B this new ones a 209 C. Im not sure what the differences are, as the main difference is between phase 1 AEI 208 and Phase 2 AEI 209 which has a different ignition map and 500rpm higher rev limit.

I firstly opened the unit up and undid the 2 torx screws holding the coil in. Reason being is that my rev limiter & shift light units need to be wired directly to the coil. The coil once you pull it out you can see 2 terminals either side of the spade connector on the front. Handily they are labeled - and + so you straight away know which ones are plus and negative to wire the gadgets to.

I drilled a few mounting holes inside the bulk head and mounted the coil up. I then had to extend the TDC and knocking wires to reach, plus drill a hole for the main king coil lead to reach through. Luckily the lead set I bought was for the phase 2 so it was plenty long enough. I have to admit I do now feel a bit nervous as to whether the car will start now. Im always reluctant to change to many things at once incase of having to narrow down any problems!

Pictures here of the new shiny AEI unit and the old worn one.

I then couldnt resist fitting the back brakes, so I fitted new EBC disc, new calliper, new EBC green stuff pads and bearing.

 Looks pretty good! I then had to fit the brake line which goes from the flexihose on the beam (replaced by new braided HEL line) to the calliper. Luckily I had kept the old brake line so I roughly knew where the route was. I also hadnt broken any of the mounting clips in removing the old line so could re-use them. The new copper-nickel line was really easy to bend into shape and you can see in the pix, looks lovely.

 I also fitted new handbrake cable whilst I was at it. It looks like the pivot on the adjuster under the handbrake is seized so I need to free that off, but new cable fed through the rear swing arm and to the calliper a treat. I need to get the rest of the exhaust off first before I can get better access to the handbrake adjuster/pivot.

So thats about it for this update, more later!

Saturday 19 July 2014

Heater removal, gauges, OMEX shift light and brake compensator valve.

Well I've had a couple of busy days in the garage. I was very lucky on Friday that we had a big thunder/lightning storm which woke me up at 3am, and then just as I was about to drop back off to sleep the baby woke up and wanted his breakfast at 5am. Normally he doesn't wake up until 6.30 then goes back to sleep for a while, which means by the time ive fed him, its time to go to work so I don't get any time in the garage. However, 5am feed was perfect, he was back asleep by 5.30 which meant I could get a good couple of hours in the garage.

I figured Id start by finishing off the welding under the passenger side sill.

You can see the state of it in this picture here. Its not too bad really, just a few holes so I will weld in a new piece here.

With welder at the ready and baby monitor close to hand I can multi task!

Unfortunately at that point the end on my welder where the wire comes out decided to weld itself to the tip and in getting the old tip off it looks like the swan neck is cross threaded so I need to get a new one. With the welding off the cards for today I turned my attention to the rear brake compensator you can see on the left..

Its pretty rusty. Its held on by 2 13mm bolts which you can see from under the passengers side right wheel arch. As per usual the one which is easy to get to undid a treat but the top one was a nightmare. In the end I had to hammer on a 12mm spanner and use that to undo it.

Its times like this im pleased I have some ratchet spanners.

You can see the difference between the old one and new one here in the pic on the left. On the right ive got it fitted to the car. It was a nightmare to try and get the bolts through the bracket, through the metal shield and into the compensator. The new one is a slightly different shape and looks like the one on normal Renault 5`s. However Renault list this part number as the correct replacement now for the 5 GT Turbo`s one. I ordered this one from France via French Ebay for £35 which I thought was a bargain compared to the £95 some of the UK GT Turbo Specialists wanted. Once fitted I could start doing the new brake pipes. Im using polished copper nickel pipes here. They certainly bent a treat by hand and look ace. I've new braided HEL brake lines here too which go on the flexi-pipe bit between the car body & the rear axle.

That was it for Friday morning. Fortunately I managed to get Saturday working on the car also. 3rd Saturday in a row! Amazing! I decided to now rip out the heater. I figured I don't really need it, it will lighten the car and will free up some space on the dash for me to mount my gauges. Firstly I started removing the dash. This was fun... lots of bits to take off - steering wheel, centre console, ash tray... you name it. The dash is held in by one clip each side and 3 along the top. I didn't realise you have to reach under and release the side clips so a bit of force on my behalf meant I ended up breaking one. Once id done that, the other one i released properly. The top clips I read were notoriously hard to undo. However I found them really easy. The RH one you can see with the speedo out. 

A screwdriver to lever this out and the dash popped out easy. The middle one, I just reached under with my screw driver and levered roughly where it was and again it popped out. The LH one was buried behind the glove box etc. For that, I just pushed the dash up and smacked my palm hard on the front of the dash. Hey presto it popped out.

The next stage was under the bonnet. The picture above is where the coolant pipes attach to the heater. I cut the old pipes off and with a bit of violence and some mole grips the original clips came off.

The next step was to remove the heater fan. You can see this in the bulk head. The plastic mesh screen undoes easily with a couple of plastic wing nuts. Then the white fan which also contains the motor simply pulls off. The main heater unit is held to the car by 2 10mm bolts at the top which you unbolt from inside the car under the dash. Then the whole unit drops out - its pretty big as you can see below.

In fact didn't actually have to remove the dash in the end, simply pulling and lifting the LH side of the dash up, I had enough room to pull the heater unit down and into the passengers side footwell. Watchout as there is coolant in the heater matrix which may come out.

My plans for the holes the heater left in the dash were to fit some gauges in the top vents and where heater controls were I would mount a couple of new cool gadgets ive got. Namely a OMEX rev limiter with launch control & an OMEX sequential shift light indicator.

Looking around the garage I needed a bit of metal or plastic 23cm x 6cm and 24cm x 6cm. I happened to see an old number plate and hey presto it was perfect. It even had a black backing, so I wouldn't even have to paint it. I cut 3 52mm holes using my hole cutter attachment for my drill and offered it up. As you can see, it looks pretty good.

The shift light ECU fits perfect here. It has buttons on it so you can adjust when the 4 sequential led lights come on. The lights are in a separate small little pod which I can mount in front of the speedo. The rev limiter / launch control ECU should be the same size and can sit nicely next to it. Strictly speaking once you have set the rev ranges you never need to alter them, so in the long term I can move these somewhere behind the dash and use this space for something else.

Gauges mounted! Ive an AEM AFR gauge on the left, an AEM Boost gauge (goes upto 35psi) on the right to replace my old 20psi boost gauge and in the middle I have a mechanical mocal duel oil temperature / oil pressure gauge.

Both the AEM gauges come with their own loom which is really nice. All the gauges ive fed their wires/feeds through the big hole in the bulkhead where the heater fan was. I`ll weld in a panel in to cover this hole and feed the wires through using some grommets when im finished. Ive an AFR probe to fit into the downpipe, oil pressure and temp sensors to plumb in, and the OMEX ECU`s need wiring up to the coil. So ive quite a bit of work to do under the bonnet next. Ive wired them upto the old cigar socket which is a switched live, so they all light up and have power once I turn the ignition key. Ive some old wiring I need to remove from behind the dash and then I can refit the speedo/cluster.

So all in all a couple of productive days.

Final couple of pictures... on the right we have what was a £50 set of lockwood white dial kit which is now more of a gold/yellow kit as its faded over time. Ive a new set of dials to fit in here. Although I that the needles have also faded so not sure what to do about them, whether I can repaint them or not as they are see thru plastic. And below we have just a small piece of the sound deadening I took out. There was literally tons and tons of this heavy stuff so I expect ive lightened the car by about 50kg just by dumping this stuff!!!

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Rear passenger side welding.....

So, after getting thoroughly fedup after wirebrushing down the rusty rear sill near the jacking point and just seeing how rotten it was I managed to finally pluck up enough motivation on Sunday to make a start on the cutting out & welding in that area.

 This is how it looked after a bit of wire brushing... Renault seem to have put about 1cm of sealant and stuff inside the wheel arch and it looks like the sill and archwork metal must have rotted from the inside out as the black end bit you can see is pure sealant. It was like a bit of rubber just sitting there holding it all together.

I didn't take a photo, but I cut this whole area out with the angle grinder and got it back to good metal. Theres also a small patch on the inner sill which needs doing, but its only about 1 inch x 2 inch so not bad.
Here you can see my dodgy welding once finished. It didn't go to badly actually. I welded a new bit of metal on the inner sill behind it all, then had to re-fabricate the inner wing piece and match the curve of the outer sill as best as I could. Finally once that was all in and id sprayed lots of paint inside it, I cut out a piece about 12cm square, tack welded it along the top, then hammered it around to match the shape of the original sill.

Remember all this will be hidden under the original bodykit, so I didn't bother grinding the welds down or tidying it up. Had it been visible I would have made more of an effort.

I also sprayed the radius / swing arm and beam a bit to tidy that up. Looks miles better now.

I was quickly out of time so I had another think about gauges and where to put them. If I ditch the heater/fan then that will free up a couple of areas on the dash where I can easily mount 3 gauges side by side. One area being where the original clock & heater controls go, just to the left of the steering wheel. The other area being where the air vents are along the top of the dash. Im not sure which would be best yet to ensure I can quickly see them without diverting my eyes too far from the road. Ive started making up a mounting plate out of an old number plate which Ive cut 3 52mm holes in. I`ll take some photos of it tomorrow.

In the meantime, some more bits arrived - new rear number plate lights, a phase 2 AEI unit which I need to mount in the bulk head, an alloy extender pipe for the top hose, my mocal oil temp/pressure gauge & fittings, and a big bore downpipe.

Co-incidentally I will no longer need the big bore downpipe as ive just ordered an amazing 2.5" all in one downpipe which bolts straight onto the turbo and eliminates the cast iron turbo elbow. Ive wanted one of these for a long time and they are pretty rare. A couple of people have made them over the years, mainly BMS and big jim. 2nd hand they are like hens teeth and fetch good money.  However, a bunch of enthusiasts have just commissioned a limited batch of new ones and so as soon as I heard they were ready to buy I was like a greyhound out of the starting grid and bought one.  I`ll finish todays quick blog update with some pictures of it.... its a piece of art and will bolt nicely onto my new 2.5" side exit exhaust system.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Rear passenger side brakes, radiator, header tank and oil cooler.

I was fortune to have some spare time on Saturday so managed to get a good 5 hours in on the car. I started investigating the rear passengers side corner a bit more hoping to make a start on removing the rear brakes/pipes/hoses etc

I made some fairly good progress, got he rear brake disc, calliper, brake line, backing plate and all the bits off. I'm replacing everything so just cut the old hand brake cable off in the end. The new discs come with bearings as they are pressed into the actual brake disc rather than a hub.

I then dropped the spare wheel cage down from under the car and removed that, don't really need it for my use of the car. It came out easy enough and the old michelin mxv tyre which bald and probably one of the original tyres off the car looked quite worse for wear.

At least now I could see the brake bias compensator valve in more detail. It looks pretty rusty, but I've a new one to fit also.

Every came off easy enough except the rubber brake hose which connects the pipes from the bias valve to the beam. Its wedged solid into the mounting bracket. Ive soaked in in penetrating oil so will give it another go another day.

After looking at the rust on the rear passenger side arch I can see i will need to do some welding from under the car on that side and the out side. I started to feel abit fedup about rust so moved to the front of the car instead to tackle something else.

Ive a bigger alloy race radiator to fit, so I thought id make a start on that. It mounts in the same style as the original with 2 pegs at the bottom which slide into the cross member. Unfortunately whilst there are many holes in the cross member, only 1 seemed to be in the right position, so i had to drill a new 18mm hole for the RH mount. I also took the opportunity of moving the radiator over to the right by about 9cm which will give me enough clearance between the alternator on the left and the radiator to feed a 52mm pipe down to a new intercooler.

 Another problem with moving the radiator over is that the silicon blue top hose you can see in the picture below is now too short. Ive ordered a bit of alloy pipe which will let me extend this hose by about 9cm and should resolve the problem. Ive not looked at the bottom hose yet, but may have to do something similar there.

The original Renault 5 GT Turbo rad had an oil cooler / heater (some debate as to what it actually does) built in to the side of it. The new race radiator doesn't, so fitted a separate oil cooler. The pipes went nicely around the RH side of the radiator to the sandwich plate on the oil filer. Some people seem to route the pipes over the alternator and they can short out on that. This way also frees up the space i need near the alternator. It was at this point I wish id screwed these pipes into the sandwich plate before I fitted it to the car as accessibility isn't easy now. I managed to get one pipe done up but will have to wait until I remove the alternator and the water pump before I can get a spanner on the LH sandwich pipe! Still it all looks nice.

 Unfortunately I then realised mistake number 2 (and 3). Firstly I've a replacement braided oil feed pipe for the turbo and need to remove the 1 way valve on that pipe too. I cant really get to this well with the radiator in, so will have to remove it again in order to get to it. The last mistake was that the position of the oil cooler is too low to actually get any air through the stock front bumper. If you look at some of the pictures of the front of my car earlier in the blog, the oil cooler is sitting nicely behind where the front number plate is sitting. Ooops. Only alternative really is to either raise it up and try and mount it off the top cross member or just cut some big holes in the front bumper like the cup cars used to. I'm leaning towards this 2nd option at the moment. The 3rd option would be to mount it under the cross member, and mount the intercooler in front of the radiator.... i`ll have to give it some thought.

The original header take looks pretty rough, so I've a new replacement one of that, and whilst I'm at it i thought id relocate this from the passenger side front wing up to a new position up in the bulk head in front of the driver. This will free up some space in this side of the engine compartment for the air filter.

The header tank slots into a bracket on the passenger side of the engine bay and a rubber strap holds it onto the bracket. I simply got out the angle grinder, and cut a portion of this bracket off.

A bit of grinding to make it level and folding over the bottom part of the bit id cut off and it was perfect to just weld in the bulk head ready for the new header tank to sit.

I`ll take a picture of the finished item later.

Next I will have to drill a few holes into the firewall panel for the 2 or 3 pipes from the header take to go.

I was quickly running out of time but the last thing I wanted to check was just what was the spec of the carb. Id had it all flowed/gasflowed out at some point including having the choke flap removed. But I was worried it might have been turned into a "group A" spec which isn't ideal. I took off the lobster shaped carb top and took a photo (above). It looks here like its been flowed nicely, but is still running the standard 25mm. I will be taking the carb off at some point and overhauling it but want to see what AFR I'm running first in case I need to alter the jets etc.

Thursday 10 July 2014

A start on the rear passenger side....

I managed to get a spare hour tonight so started work on the rear passenger side.

The car sits pretty low so I couldnt see much until I jacked it up, got the wheel off and the bodykit off. I could then see that things were pretty rusty around there. My main concern was the bit you can see below...

Which is just where the rear beam bolts to the car. Luckily it looks like there is a re-enforced chassis member between the rusty sill and the beam. I checked from inside the car and thats all really solid around where the beam seems to bolt to the car, so it looks like its just the inner & outer sills here which are rotted away. I should be able to do the same as I did for the front jacking point and cut this out with an angle grinder and weld new metal in.

I got the old wire brush on it and started trying to clean it up a bit. You can see the dirt line where the bodykit sits and it looks like I am fortunate here in that any repairs will be nicely hidden once the bodykit goes back on. I wont know how bad / deep the rot goes until I cut the outer sill out. Unfortunately it was about 9pm and so a bit too late to fire up the old angle grinder for fear of upsetting the baby sleeping upstairs.

So instead I decided on a quieter task of scraping out some of the slabs of bitchumen which car makers seem to stick under the carpets in an effort to reduce road noise. There were 3 big slabs here, one in passengers foot well, one under where the seat mounts and one where the rear passengers feet goes. The quickest and easiest way of getting these out was to use a blow torch and a wall paper scraper. They came out nicely and I managed not to set fire to anything.  I didnt weigh the bits but they werent light, so im guessing ive lost a few kilo from the car just by removing them. Once the cars finished i`ll have to get it weighed to see how much of the original 850kg kerb weight ive lost.

Couple of other bits worth noting. Getting the rear arch off was easy as the 3 bolts holding it to the car were already ripped out it would seem by the guy who repaint the car previously, and he had just glued the arch onto the old bolts using some weak putty/glue/paste. After a bit of investigation I realised you have to undo and move the rear light assembly to one side which revealed a small screw holding the back of the arch to the car.

The 30mm hub nut loosened up easy as pie with my 4ft bit of scaffolding pole on a breaker bar, so thats a relief. However it looks like the brake calliper pipes and other bolts wont be as easy. Before I forgot I sprayed all the bolts I could see with penetrating oil and will do the same again a few more times in an attempt to make them a bit easier to undo. The ones around the rear brake compensator valve which is mounted on the rear beam look particularly bad. Luckily I have a new compensator valve, a new calliper, pads, new brake lines, hoses, brake disc and bearings to go on this corner, so most of the old stuff I can just cut off and ditch. You can see how rusty/bad it looks here:

I also notice I dont seem to have any anti rattle springs on those pads...

Finally, it looks like I will also have some welding to do around the rear bumper mounts... you can see in the photo below that it looks like that metal has turned into something which more resembles wet cardboard.... So the back bumper will be coming off next..

So all in all, not bad for an hours work. Will see what time I get tomorrow night....