Supercharged Camira..

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

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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