Supercharged Camira..

Craig and Adam\’s attempt at adding an SC12 to a JE Camira wagon

Archive for August, 2008

Molested mounts..

Posted by superchargedcamira on August 31, 2008

When we first got the old girl we replaced the front two engine mounts. Many people had told us of the regular problems these cars suffer with engine mounts but when we examined ours, they were completely snapped. To me it didnt look like normal wear and tear, it looked as though the previous owner had been doing jumps in the bloody thing or something. This weekend was no exception with the rear drivers mount being replaced with a mint second hand one. Much to our surprise (not) this mount had been clean snapped as well and was rubbing metal on metal.

The mount itself took around 45 mins to remove however getting the new mount in place of the old one took around another 3 hours. Being the bush mechanics we are (and not having the right tools), we ended up grinding some of the bracket the mount was attatched to, so we could wedge the mount in. It wasnt detrimental to the bracket but it just allowed us that tiny bit more room we needed to get the c*** in. Seriously after changing the mount we were both exhausted haha..

The car after the mount change did drive considerably better, with less moans and groans coming from the engine area. There are still some weird noises we are hearing but atleast we know the engine now is safely held in the engine bay for the time being and ready to take a belting from the supercharger.

We gave the car a bollocking and to our delight it didnt disappoint. Hopefully soon we will have some footage of the old girl in action letting some smoke out of the tires haha..

Here is a photo of the broken mount.. enjoy.


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Holy smokes!

Posted by superchargedcamira on August 17, 2008

Well today was quite productive today and left a massive grin from ear to ear on both of our faces.

Our first issue today was the VSS (vehicle speed sensor). It hadnt been giving us a reading in the ALDL diagnostics for quite some time so we decided to test our old dash to see if that still worked (seeing as we now had a new speedo cable). Long story short we ended up finding the connecting cable to the VSS was bung on the new tacho dash so we did a frankenstein and made a “good” dash from both clusters – keeping the tacho ofcourse.

The next problem was fine tuning our rom from last week. We decided to revise the workings of the Delco and do plenty of reading. Craig researched the spark advance and how we should tackle the boost section of the map. We basically copied the progression of the standard graph shape of other spark advance tables we looked at from off the internet – noteably from a V8 2 bar rom we had obtained in the past. The car seemed to be fine and wasnt noticably knocking. We revised the A/F ratio open loop table and richened up the boost section of the map to a healthy 12.8:1 or thereabouts as it was the open loop section (basically when you are giving it heaps haha) that we really wanted to make sure the car was having enough fuel and wasnt going to lean out. Our o2 sensor gave us the good news indicating a nice middle to rich reading under WOT. After giving the car heaps and it not blowing up on us, we were giggling like school girls! haha..

The car is noticably quick with the supercharger on. To give the readers some idea – as we havent been able to road dyno the car yet – we timed a rolling start in 2nd from around 1500rpm to 6000rpm and with the supercharger off obtained a time of 9.69 seconds. With the supercharger on doing the same test on the same strip we recorded 6.3 seconds.

Next problem we desperately need to fix is the rear engine mount. It still makes the car feel like its going to fall apart and really makes some interesting noises especially under acceleration with the supercharger on. We will need to attend to this problem and will obviously update the site on our attempt at doing so.. so until then… oh by the way, here is a photo of our home made oil catch can with breather. Hope i havent missed anything, im sure Craig will update with any more info if I have.

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Zoom Zoom Zoom..

Posted by superchargedcamira on August 10, 2008

Just a quick update on this weekends progress. More good things im happy to report.

On saturday i managed to finish off the work on the custom oil catch can. I picked up a small air filter and connector with a thread, then cut a thread into the top of the catch can to fit. The fitting could then be screwed straight in and the air filter (breather) attached easily to the top. While getting the air filter, i also picked up some more vaccum hose to replace the old split hose that went to the fuel pressure regulator. Apart from that also just cleaned up the outside of the catch can with the grinder and migwelder to make it look somewhat nice. Adam is going to give it a coat of POR15 to finish it off though.

Today we made an attempt at getting the speedo cable through the firewall and into the correct location. It was much easier with two of us. It also helped that we had better light and could see the hole it was supposed to be fed through. So now the speedo is working great, however the ECU is still not getting any speed sensor data, so we still need to figure out why. Whats also annoying is that the fuel gauge has also stopped working.

We went and bought some extra hosing for the oil catch can and connected it all up. Once that was done, we started it up and alas our oil problem was solved. Time to go for a drive we thought. We went out to our usual deserted location and proceeded to check everything was as expected before putting the foot down and seeing what it could do. We did a fair bit of running on boost and everything worked well. There was no oil leaks and the engine and intake temps were all normal. We found that at around the 40-50% throttle mark it pulled quite hard, however after that point the power delivery was not too smooth. It felt like the engine was leaning out. Considering we hadnt really mapped out our top end fuel delivery very well, we should have expected this would happen. So now we need to sit down and work out the proper air/fuel ratios for the above 1 bar part of the map. So the great news is, the car is working perfectly with the supercharger and all the latest mods, we just need to tune it better.

When we got back, we also played around with hooking up our little LED O2 and Map meters so we could have a visual display of both those sensors. Originally when we hooked it up we found it seemed to interfere with the ECU sometimes. This time we used a better earth directly on the chassis (rather than through the radio/casette jack) and just took power from the accessories pin of the jack. This seemed to work better and didnt appear to interfere with the MAP.

So basically, we just need to tune the ECU rom better for when were are over around 1bar of map. Then once we think we have that somewhat right, dyno time! I will post some pics later of the custom oil catch can once its been painted with the POR15.

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Its august already!

Posted by superchargedcamira on August 3, 2008

Hi all,

Its been a fairly busy in supercharged camira land this week. On wednesday night we took the camira to mikey, who is adams mechanic mate to have a look over for us. We left the supercharger off on the drive there and just took it easy so as to try and keep any potential oil leakage to a minimum. Mikey had a good look over the car and everything we had done, the general consensus was that it was all pretty much correct.

We went over the oil leak problem, and it turns out that the leak was actually coming from under the oil cap, not from the gasket. The crank case was becoming pressurised and the oil cap happened to be the easiest way out for the excess pressure, along with some oil for good measure. At first we thought that the one-way valve we had installed from the intake to the crank case ventilation was not working, or in the wrong way, but after a quick inspection we determined it was working perfectly. The excess pressure was coming from gases escaping past the piston rings and building up in the crank case until it had enough pressure to vent through the oil cap. The oil cap was a bit of a weak point, as the rubber seal had gone rock hard, and the POR15 that we had painted the rocker cover with had also been applied where the oil cap seals against the cover, giving it a smooth surface that the hard rubber couldnt seal properly againt. So the solution to this problem is to install an oil catch can with a breather so that any excess pressure can be vented, and any oil can be caught in the catch can… oh and a new oil cap 🙂

Another suggestion he made was to remove the T piece from the map sensor vaccum hose, the one that we installed the other week for the air bypass valve. Basically he felt that it may cause some interference with the map sensor, so thought we were better off moving it to T off the fuel pressure regulator instead. While we were there, we got him to remove the speedo cable from the gearbox case, something we had failed miserably to be able to do when we had tried previously on a number of occasions. It helps when you have the right tools 🙂 The cable had snapped at the end where the pin goes into the gearbox. Now we could get around to putting our new speedo cable in.

We mentioned the strange vibrations and shuddering that the car would sometimes do, and said we suspected a rear engine mount. He put the car up on the hoist and we were able to get a better look. Sure enough, the right rear (closest to the driver) engine mount was completely broken. The engine bracket which bolts onto the engine mount and also acts as a mount for the alternator was effectively grinding on another metal part of the chassis because there was no support from that engine mount at all. So we now know we need to change that mount, and it wont be easy as its quite difficult to get to. Another problem we have had is sourcing the right rear engine mounts.. in fact we have not found anyone yet who does stock them. Every car parts place seems to only have front left and right mounts, they dont even have listing for the rear ones. Apparently they dont normally break very easily. I contacted Anthony, who lives on the east coast and has supplied us numerous bits and pieces for our camira via ebay to find out if he had a mount. He said he did, but that we should just buy new ones. He said he was able to source them when he needed to a while ago and had provided a few options to chase up.

While the car was up on the hoist, we got him to also check the suspension, we he said seemed ok. This means that a new set of tyres and a wheel alignment should sort out our horrible steering angle. He gave the engine a good hard workout with the supercharger on. We noticed it would cut in and out a bit, but that was down to the fact that we hadnt wired up the clutch properly yet. We just had it hooked up with aligator clips shoved into the clutches electrical plug, and one end clipped onto a bolt on the thermostat housing. It did the trick for our simple test, however needs to be done properly asap.

We had a look for catch cans on the net, and they seemed to range from about $80+ for one with a breather. Even though that really isnt much, part of this project was to do things cheap cheap. So i decided to try and make one. On saturday i went to auto one and picked up the connectors we would need to be able to connect it into the crank case ventilation hose. I then headed to my folks place to hunt around for something suitable to use as the catch can. This also is where all the welding equipment is. I had recently gone halves with my dad in a plasma cutter, tig welder and arc welder combo, and he also had a mig welder, so we had everything we should need. After hunting around a bit, we found an old car jack that no longer worked, however the piston casing looked like a good size for our catch can. So we dismantled the jack and removed the casing.. perfect. We used the plasma cutter to cut out a top and bottom for the casing from the side wall of the jack. We drilled the holes for the inlet and outlets, and also for a oil level gauage. We welded it all up and hey presto, a cheap cheap catch can. We still need to find a filter to attach to the top as a breather, give the can a coat of paint we’re done.

Today i started fixing some of the issue we had found earlier in the week at mikeys. I moved the bypass vaccum hose from the MAP sensor hose to the fuel pressure regulator hose.. however the hose turned out to have a smaller internal diameter that expected, even though from the outside it looked like it would be exactly the same. Nothing a drill cant fix.. i drilled out a small section of rubber so that it could slide over the larger diameter T piece from the bypass, however the rubber hose must have been quite old as it starting to crack. We will have to get a replacement hose next time.

I also wired up the supercharger magnetic clutch properly. The original plug was no good to us, as we didnt have the other end that goes into it, so i cut the old plug off and soldered in a new plug. Using an old washer, i ground all the surface rust off it with the dremel so it was all shiny metal again, then drilled a small hole to thread part of the earth wire through. I then soldered the earth wire to the washer and looped it back to itself, then removed one of the bolts on the thermostat housing, put the washing it and tightened it back up. We now have a good solid earth connection, and a nice new plug for the supercharger.

The first thing i actually started with today was the new speedo cable. I greased up the pin and screwed it into the gearbox where the old one used to be. That part was easy. I fed the other end through the firewall and over to the dash. It was a pretty hit and miss process and just poking it through a hole until i found a bit it would go through, then trying to find the head on the other side. I managed to feed it through to behind the dash, however its just a tiny bit too short. I havent been able to get it to feed through correctly so that it will reach all the way to the dash. There must be a specific path through all the crap under the dash to come out in the right spot, but i havent been able to find it yet. Unfortuantely its not easy to get near where it roughly feeds in, as the steering column and pedals are in the way. I got fed up with it after a while and decided to leave it for another time. I should have paid more attention when i removed the old one to where it fed through.

Anyhow thats the progress from the last week, having the supercharger running has really motivated us to work one it more. The next thing to do will be to finish the custom catch can and breather assembly, mount it to the car.. somewhere and connect it up. We will make another attempt at the annoying speedo cable, and replace that vaccum hose on the fuel pressure regulator that is splitting. If we can get a hold of an engine mount by next time, we will also attempt to change it over.

Will post some more pics later once the catch can is finished.


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