Supercharged Camira..

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

A rather busy saturday..

Posted by superchargedcamira on June 21, 2008

Hey all,

During the week, the other two injectors we sourced got taken in for cleaning and flow testing and we were glad to hear that they were both good. So now we had a set of 4 good working bosch 0 280 150 706 injectors at our disposal which flow approx 25% more than the original stock 0 280 150 725 injectors. We made a pretty early start this morning, just after 9am and didnt end up finishing until around 4:30pm.

Fitting the new injectors in the end turned out to be easier than expected, minus a few small hiccups along the way. The new O-rings made the injectors fit into the fuel rather extremely easy, while still having a nice tight seal. We lowered the fuel rail back into place and reconnected all the fuel hoses and fuel pressure regulator. We turned on the ignition and let the fuel pump pressurise the system and then checked for any leaks. Everything seemed fine except for a strange gurgling sound from the fuel pump and a bit of a hissing sound from the injectors. We figured this was just air in the system as once the engine had been started the problem went away.

Before starting the car, we made a few new roms to try out, as we knew we would have to adjust the injector flow rate constant in the ECM. The only problem we had, was that we couldnt remember if the constant specified the flow rate of the injector, or the flow the engine could handle from the injector. If it was the first one, then obviously we would need to increase the flow rate, if it was the second then we would need to decrease the flow rate. We ended up just burning two sets of roms, one with a 25% increase, the other with a 25% decrease. Turns out option 2 was the correct one, as we later verified when looking back over some old posts on the pulsar forum where we had had this discussion 2 years ealier with kman. After some more playing around, the best setting ended up being a decrease of about 20% from an injector flow rate of 0.11 to 0.9 (using tuner pro).

During all this, we discovered that the battery was just about flat, and was struggling to turn over the engine, so we ended up having to pull the battery from the MR2 and use that instead. We also had an issue getting WinALDL to work (due to stupidity in the end, but hey.. we learnt something). Basically we had everything setup exactly the same as we had used plenty of times before, just we werent getting any data coming down the com port into winaldl. We thougth that the laptop we were using had a busted com port, so we drove to work to test it out, but found it in perfect working order… strange we thought.. we were a bit stumped, thinking maybe the adapter into the ECM diag port had broken, or perhaps low battery voltage was causing it not to work properly, but in the end it was a much simpler problem. The problem was that since we got the new dash (with the tachco), not all the connectors in the dash had been plugged back in, and it turns out that one of these completes the circuit to the diag port.. most likely the engine warning lights section, as this can be used to flash error codes during servicing.  No harm done, just a bit of wasted time.

So back to the interesting stuff, we logged a run with the new .09 injector flow rom (using the original 1 bar map sensor btw, and a modified 1 bar rom), and the BLMs and INTs all looked good. The car was nice to drive, very responsive and smooth.

Next we attempted to get a 2 bar rom going with the new injectors. While we had the ROMS in the UV eraser we decided to fire up the supercharger and blow out the pipes, as it hadnt been run in a while, and hadnt been run since the bypass/blowoff valve and pod filter had been attached. To our suprise, the air filter had changed the sound of the supercharger a bit, it is a much deeper drone now than previous, sounded pretty good. We also noticed when putting our hand close to the open end of the pipe that exits the intercooler, you could feel the turbulance in the airflow likely caused by the sharp mitre join on the intercooler inlet. Will be interesting to see if a nice smooth silicone bend would reduce that turbulance significantly. There appears to be heaps of those turbo silicone hoses on ebay from singapore for bugger all (around 99c haha), only thing is the postage is around $25, so it would still add up in the end.

Anyway, back to the 2bar. Looking at all the 2 bar roms we had made in the past, turns out neither of us could remember which was our best one.. it was a year and a half ago that we last worked on the roms. We narrowed it down to a few possibilities based on time/date stamps on the files, and posts on this website of our progress in 2 bar development. From the injector flow changes we made to the 1 bar rom, we tried to extrapolate the required changes for the 2 bar rom. We found that a .15 2 bar rom seemed to drive the best, and idle fine, however our logged runs indicated that the BLMs were too low, down to the 102 range. We decided that ‘guessing’ on what to change to sort it out would be a bit of a waste of time, we both really need to sit down and read over the old posts here and on the pulsar forums to refresh our memorys on the ROM stuff.

So really now, our next task is to tune up our two bar rom so its behaving as expected with the standard air intake, bigger injectors and 2 bar map, then we can look at firing up the supercharger and force feeding her some boost!.

Before we go and do any sort of power/speed testing, there are a few things that definately need attention before that happens.
Firstly it seems that the cam shaft cover has a small oil leak, which seems to get worse as it is pushed harder. One of the bolts for the cover has pretty much always been threaded, so we will need to rethread the hole for a slightly bigger bolt so we can tension it properly.
Secondly, the tyres on the car are rather old, the rubber is getting quite hard causing the grip level to be much lower than desired. Luckily we should be getting a set of 15 inch rims and tyres donated from a friend in a few weeks. We will then also need to get a wheel alignment done, as currently the steering wheel is around 35-45 degrees when you want to drive straight!.. not good. Hopefully the new tyres and an alignment will make it much more pleasant to drive and a bit more stable on the road.

I know i said i was going to post some photos, but the new batterys i got dont seem to work with my camera, no idea why. They are exactly the same spec, just a slightly better MAh rating, but the camera wont even switch on with them. The other issue is that we had to put all the lights and bumpers back on before we went and did our logging runs, so the bypass/blowoff and finished piping arent really visible anymore. I will endevour to get some pics at some point and post them though.

Oh well, if your still reading my dribble this far down the page, thats a good effort, you must be really bored 😉

Craig and Adam

PS: Below are links to a couple of useful pdfs we found. The first is very handy, has all the bosch part numbers in vehicles by make and model. The second has some info on injector specs, flow rates etc. Is somewhat useful, although im sure we found a better one out there previously.


Posted in Camira | 2 Comments »

Whats been happening..

Posted by superchargedcamira on June 15, 2008

Hey all,

Its been a while since the last post, so just thought id update everyone on whats been going on. The pipework and bypass/blowoff was completed a few weeks ago, however my digital camera batteries had died so i had to order some new ones. I will post an article on that soon, as i have got the new batteries.

We took the fuel rail off the car so we could take the existing injectors and rail to EFI industries along with the bigger injectors we sourced from ebay earlier. Unfortunately two of the larger injectors are useless, they spent a few days in the cleaning tubs at EFI and just wouldnt come up. So basically we have had to try and source another two of that model which we managed to find at a local wreckers. Adam is taking them over to EFI for cleaning and flow testing tomorrow, so fingers crossed that these two come up good. If this is the case, then we should be able to get back to work next weekend and get her running with the bigger injectors. This will require a little bit of ROM tuning, but hopefully not too much.

Its been nice to see some constructive feedback from some of the guys reading this blog. Andrew (FIshsoup2003) mentioned about the mitre joins we have on the piping, especially the sharp 90 degree one going into the intercooler would create a fair bit of turbulance, especially as the boost pressure increases. We figured this would be the case, so we tried to open up that bend as much as possible, however nothing would beat a nice smooth silicone bend. At the moment we are not too worried, as first thing is to see if this project will actually work, and currently the pipework costs us nothing, whereas silicone costs money. I will keep an eye out from some cheap silicone bends on ebay to replace it with, or eventually as tom suggested we could look at getting an exhaust company to create the proper bends for us.

Anyhow, we hope to have some more updates and pictures quite soon, assuming the injectors come up good and we can get back to it.

Posted in Camira | Leave a Comment »

A quick update

Posted by superchargedcamira on April 13, 2008

Since the last post, we have been busy finding bits and pieces on ebay. We manged to pick up some very nice 2.5inch aluminium intercooler piping. The 45 degree bent piece was a perfect fit to complete the pipping from the throttle body to the 50mm alloy piping coming from the intercooler. The conversion from 50mm to 62.5mm (2.5 inch) was done with a silicone turbo hose straight reducer. With the main piping now completed, only the 30mm bypass piping remains.

A new dash was also on the list, we picked up a dash from an SLE camira which has a tacho. This was something we had wanted for a while, as the big clock in the middle of our dash was pretty well useless.

A new clutch cable was also found and installed to make the car a little more ‘drivable’. The old cable used to stick a bit. During the installation of the new cable today, i discovered that the clutch return spring has snapped in two.

Posted in Camira | 4 Comments »

Happy Easter

Posted by superchargedcamira on March 24, 2008

Its been a while since our last post, we havent had an aweful lot of time to work on the project since jan.

Since last time, we have managed to buy some more bits and pieces for the intercooler piping and do a bit of welding to make some supports for that piping. We also bought our air filter and some bigger injectors. The air filter came from a company called UniFilter ( Due to our space restrictions, we went with a custom induction pod. The injectors we picked up from ebay, they are from a TR magna and will fit directly into the camira. The injector is very similar to the current injectors just with a higher flow rate which will allow us to get to our estimated power output.

Below is a pic of the injectors, and a couple of pics of the intercooler piping and air filter. The piping coming out of the bottom left of the intercooler is just a representation of where the piping will be going when complete, it is not the actual piping. The piping from the bottom right to the supercharger outlet is complete. The air filter is the bright red thing you will notice coming out of the front of the supercharger in the two closeup pics.

Injectors Piping and air filter (close up) Piping and Air filter closeup 2 Piping from further back Piping from further back (front)

Posted in Camira | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Happy New Year

Posted by superchargedcamira on January 14, 2008

Happy new year to those people who have been following this website over the last couple years. We’re getting there slowly.

Not an aweful lot has happened on the project over the xmas/ny break, other than the addition of the final tensioner on the supercharger bracket and the new supercharger inlet flange. Unfortunately the inlet flange has warped slightly from the heat of welding during the modifications, so some further work may be necessary to repair it.

I have taken a series of new photos showing the updated supercharger bracket, the whole thing mounted on the camira including the new inlet flange. For the first time in this sites history we now also have a video to demonstrate the unique sound that the supercharger generates.

Bracket Photos

The SC bracket Another view of the SC bracket The new tensioner for the bracket Supercharger and Bracket combined

New Camshaft Cover Photos (Left: Engine with cover, Right: Old and new covers)

Engine with new cam cover fitted Comparison of original cam cover and POR’d cam cover

Supercharger Video: When the button is pressed for the first time and the engine is revved, the whine that can be heard is the supercharger. When the button is pressed a second time to disengage the SC, that is just the original engine sound.

Posted in Camira | 3 Comments »

Take #2

Posted by superchargedcamira on November 18, 2007

Ive decided to just do a cut down version of the original update that was lost due to a glitch in wordpress.

Firstly ill start with the tensioner. Basically its a designed based on how the chain tensioning system works on my old honda trailbike. It uses an adjustable bolt to push against the rear axle which can slid forward or backward a small amount. In the tensioners case, the bolt pushes against the base of a slidable rail which contains the pulley wheel and two lock nuts to hold it in place. There is about an inch worth of adjustment. Originally we had a 1010mm belt for the SC, however this had a bit too much slack in it, so we swapped it for a 990mm belt which is a perfect fit and is reasonably tight even with the tensioner at its lowest point.

Since we are now able to tension the belt, we got our electronics engineer mate greg to make us up a switch that we could use to engage and disengage the magnetic clutch on the supercharger. With the switch rigged up with some alligator clips, we fired up the engine and made sure the SC pulley was freewheeling properly and the belt alignment was good. Once this was confirmed, we engaged the switch and with a clunk the SC engaged. At this point, the SC was just sucking air in through its front intake, and blowing the compressed air out a piece of pipe connected to the exhaust port. The suprising thing was just how much air is pumped out even at idle. Its was also interesting to hear how the engine sounded with the expected supercharger whine.

So all good on that front, we looked at getting the intake flange finished and finish the rest of the required piping. We are modifying the original flanges that came with the SC to suit the new required orientation of the piping. We also need to make allowances for the 30mm bypass valve on the intake and exhaust piping that will be used when the supercharger is not engaged.

Well ill leave it there for now, hopefully we should have the new flanges back from adams mate warren during the week.

Posted in Camira | Leave a Comment »

I Can Feel the Tension!

Posted by superchargedcamira on October 28, 2007

On Saturday, Craig and his old man spent the better half of 12 hours creating the supercharger tensioner. It looks like an ingenious little design. As seen in the pictures below, it has a plate that slides up and down with two securing bolts and a perpendicular securing bolt. We have realised we need to get a tighter fitting belt though. Im sure Craig will add more information re the makings of the tensioner in due course..

Today (Sunday) we spent most of the day with the Camira over the pit. I hadnt really used the pit since id dug it out many months ago. We wanted to secure a few exhaust rubber mounts that were annoying to get to and also check for anything loose suspension and mounting wise. We did find a few things that were loose and driveability has somewhat improved but there are still some interesting knocking noises that can be heard sometimes under certain conditions – namely coming off acceleration, and some undulated corners. This doesnt affect driveability hugely however it would be nice if the car was a bit smoother on the road. Perhaps we will take it to Mikey (my local mechanic friend) and get him to point us in the right direction.

 Tensioner 1 Tensioner 2 The pit 1 The pit 2 Peek a boo!

Posted in Camira | Leave a Comment »

Just a quick update..

Posted by superchargedcamira on October 12, 2007

Despite the lack of updates to the blog over the last month and a half, things have actually been happening. The cars running fine since the rebuild, we spent a day going over everything, doing some runs and monitoring the ECU to make sure all was well.

The supercharger mount has now been welded to the bracket we attached to the chassis. We got the SC pulley aligned as close as we could to the crank pulley and proceeded to weld the base backet into place.

The car has been completely put back together now, front bumper and lights etc. We ended up having to cut a section out of the bottom of the front bumper as it was hitting the intercooler.

The most important thing we have done since the last post, is aquire the one way and PCV valves for the vacuum hoses. For those who dont know, these valves are used to stop positive pressure from passing through the vacuum hoses, for example a cars brake booster uses manifold vacuum, however its not designed to handle positive pressure such as is generated by a supercharger. For the brake booster we used a one-way valve from a GT4 Celica that was kindly donated to us by Tony Flood. We picked up another valve from a wreckers and a PCV valve (same sort of thing, but for crank case ventilation) from a local car parts store. The camiras crank case ventilation hoses are quite large (19mm diameter) so we had to get some converters to make it fit. The other one-way valve we got from the wreckers is for the hose between the throttle body and the charcoal canister. The charcoal canister is used by the car to absorb and store the gases that build up in the fuel tank. When the car is running, the vacuum generated in the manifold sucks the stored gases out of the charcoal canister and into the inlet manifold via the throttle body. The same thing happens with the crank case ventilation hoses, any gas build up in the crank case is sucked into the inlet manifold and combusted.

The next step is to build a bracket for the supercharger belt pulley tensioner to mount on and also finalise the intercooler piping now that the SC has a fixed mounting point. 

Thats it for now, until next time.

Posted in Camira | Leave a Comment »

Its alive!.. again

Posted by superchargedcamira on September 3, 2007

Well we got the head back, all pressure tested and faced. Well the head is in great condition, pressure test was fine and apparently its rare to see them in such good nick. So that left us still unsure of the coolant leakage problem, all we’ve been able to come up with is that there was something wrong with the old head gasket (although it looked in pretty good nick), or perhaps the head bolts werent tightened enough. There was some build up on the cylinder block face which could have possibly affected the seal.

Anyhow, that just left putting it all back together. In the previous post i mentioned how the service manual was missing some info, well i was wrong. It would help if i actually read things through properly. There was a seperate section for disassembling the head which covered removal of the inlet manifold, and removal of the tappets, rockers etc.

Rather than bore you with the details of putting it all back together, ill just skim through the process. Started by cleaning the rest of the left over gasket glue from the head, inlet and exhaust manifolds using a razor. Also gave the top of the pistons a bit of a clean. Reattached the inlet manifold to the head before putting it back on the engine, which made it much much easier to get at some of the nuts. Put the head gasket on and mounted the head back onto the cylinder block. Next came putting the rockers and tappets back into place. The tappets needed a nice coating of oil before being put back in their seats. The rockers required a grease (molybdenum disulphide? or something) on the rocker contact surfaces. (If we had of read the manual properly we would have known that we were supposed to keep the tappets and rockers in order, so they would be returned to their correct seats). Only reason we can think of is that they would have worn in, so best to keep them as they were. Well we screwed that up, because we had no idea of the order. Oh well.. im sure its not the end of the world.. Next came the camshaft housing which required a loctite 515 seal (doesnt seem to be gaskets for this), and the manual said to use loctite 515, so who am i to argue. So the camshaft housing was gently put into place, the cam lobes resting on the rockers, however with no pressure the housing could not be seated properly. This required the head bolts to be inserted and tightened. So the headbolts got coated in oil and put into place. They were then tightened in the specified sequence, first to 22Nm torque, then in 3 more stages of 60 degree turns. Once the engine has been heated up to operating temp, they need to be tightened another 30-50 degrees. That was pretty much the most time consuming part, then it was just a matter of bolting the thermostat housing back on, exhaust manifold, distributor, throttle body and timing belt. Once that was done, the radiator got its reverse flushing and was remounted and piped in. While the cooling system was empty, we took the time to remove and test the thermostat (by putting it in boiling water and watching it open), which appeared to be working fine.

Well all that was left was to put some oil and coolant back in and give it a try, and guess what.. it started like a charm! wohooooooo

Chances are ive missed some bits and pieces above, dont think anything too important, so i appologise if anything is unclear.

Below is a pic of the head after it we got it back, notice the face is all shiny now! 🙂

Cylinder Head, after its been faced

Posted in Camira | Leave a Comment »

Head Job… (cough)

Posted by superchargedcamira on August 26, 2007

Yes its another attempt to get more hits by using common search terms.. Well there is also a relevant meaning to the title to as you will soon find out.

As of our last post we had just got our newly machined crank pulley completed. We fitted the new pulley and bought new belts for the alternator and supercharger. We fitted the alternator belt and tensioned it, however the supercharger was not yet mounted, so we decided to come back to that. Fitting the pulley ended up being a little more time consuming than expected due to the crank being rotated an unknown amount while the timing belt was off. This meant we had to find TDC (top dead center) of cylinder 1 and align back to our timing marks. We had also marked the belt before we took it off, so once we realigned to our timing marks, our belt marks again matched perfectly and all was once again well in camira land.

We thought it would be a good idea to reconnect the cooling system, put the throttle body back on and get her running again before permanently mounting the supercharger. Since we hadnt started her in around 6 months, the battery had gone flat.. and yes we know we should have thought to disconnect it. So we set about getting everything back together which didnt take too long. Finding a radiator hose that would run from the thermostat to the top of the shorter radiator involved us looking through a room full of hoses to find one roughly in the shape we need. Radiator hoses are pre-shaped and generally cant be reshaped that easily without the tubing folding. Luckily we found one that we could cut to fit.

We had the engine back together to a runable state, so we connected our replacement battery and turned the key. As hoped, she started immediately. We checked over the engine while it was warming up but discovered there was no coolant in the radiator hoses and the engine was heating up rather quickly. We connected up the laptop and let the engine heat to 90 degrees (the point at which the thermostat opens and lets coolant circultate through the radiator). For those who arent aware, no coolant flows through the radiator until the engine gets up to temperature. This is because its better to get the coolant up to temperature as quickly as possible so the engine is operating at optimal temperature as soon as possible. This helps reduce wear and improve fuel economy. Anyhow once the thermostat was open, there was very little coolant in the upper radiator hose, and it was getting rather hot. This indicated that our new radiator probably had a blockage and would need to be reverse flushed to try and clear it. (and yes we should have checked it better before we put it back together, oh well, we know better for next time now haha). But that wasnt our only problem, she seemeds to be using more coolant than expected. We discovered that the continued coolant loss appeared to be due to coolant leaking into the cylinder(s), as there was a fair amount of coolant/water coming out of the exhaust. There was only one course of action, it was time for a head to come off, aka the aforementioned head job.

We made an early start this morning, just after 9 (hey its early for us, its sunday damnit!) We started by draining the cooling system again. There just doesnt seem to be an easy way to do this without making a mess. Unfortuantely it had to be done in the garage because the car is on stands and we were too lazy to put the wheels back on and move it. We got most of the coolant into a bucket, but still ended up having to hose down the concrete.

We grabbed our gregorys manual and proceeded to review the required steps to remove the head. First up required depressurisation of the fuel rail, which involved starting the engine with the fuel pump fuse removed. Hmm we probably should have looked at this before draining the coolant haha. Oh well, the engine wasnt going to run for long without fuel pressure, so no coolant wouldnt cause any problems (well none that we could think of anyway, horray for backyard mechanics!). So once the fuel system was depressurised, we disconnected all the required fuel hoses from the inlet manifold, and disconnected the battery. Next was the electronics, that was easy, just involved disconnecting a heap of sensors. We also seperated the throttle body from the intake manifold so we didnt have to bother disconnecting all the vaccum hoses from that. Draining the oil was next, a fairly simple process as most car enthusiasts would know, remove the sump plug and take the oil filler cap off and watch it flow. We then had to remove the exhaust manifold, most of the nuts looked pretty rusty, but they came off fairly easily. After the exhaust manifold was disconnected, we removed the distributor and coil. We then decided to tackle the removal of the timing belt again. Once again the water pump was loosened and used to take the tension off the belt. There was still coolant in the system that hadnt been released when the radiator was removed, so of course that came pouring out when the water pump was loosened. We were prepared for it though, so we managed to contain most of it.

Now we were up to the interesting part. First we took the rocker cover off and got our first look at the camiras valve springs and overhead cam. The manual then told us we had to remove the top camshaft gear by using an open ended spanner to hold the camshaft in place while the camgear bolt was removed. Our problem was that we didnt have an open ended spanner big enough to fit over the specified holding point. We tried an adjustable spanner and even multigrips, but none could grip it well enough to prevent it turning when the camgear bolt was turned. Well reading a bit further it turns out the only reason to remove the camgear is so the inner timing belt cover can be removed. Luckily for us, some thoughtful person had already broken it halfway down which meant we didnt need to remove it. So the camgear was staying exactly where it was.

Out came the 19mm socket to remove the head bolts, and damn they were tight. There were 10 in total which had to be unscrewed in small increments in a certain sequence. Bascially it involved taking loosening the each bolt by a 1/4 turn in the specified order, then proceeding to do a 1/2 turn to each bolt in the specified order until they were loose. Worked up a bit of a sweat getting that inital 1/4 turn on each bolt. Once the bolts were out, we lifted the camshaft housing out and placed it aside on some newpaper in a relatively clean area.

Now came the big moment, lifting the cyclinder head out. But wait i hear you screaming, how can we remove the head with the inlet manifold and fuel rail still attached. Thats a good point, we had assumed that we needed to remove it, but the manual said nothing about it. Well since the book was quite obviously wrong, we went about removing it. There were 9 nuts in total, 7 of them were relatively easy, the other two were stupidly difficult to get at, but we managed in the end. We also had to remove the channel that flows coolant between the head, waterpump and thermostat, another glaring ommision from the manual.

So now the big moment.. take two! We lifted the head out and onto more newspaper to absorb some of the oil that hadnt drained away. The head actually looked in very good condition, and the head gasket looked fairly new. Were we wrong about the coolant leak?.. there was coolant sitting on the cylinder heads when we took it off, however that could have just been from some residual coolant in the head which hadnt drained away. It was time for a expert opinion.

We jumped in the car and took the head down the road to our mate Brett Lupton from Fastlane racing. (A formula ford racing team). Brett builds race engines amoung other things so we figured he would definately know what he was talking about. He examined the head and was also suprised at how good condition it was in. That left only one thing to do, get the head pressure tested. We suspect the leak may actually be inside the head (possibly in the ports). So tomorrow we plan to take it to one of bretts mates who is just down the road from our work who does pressure testing of heads and find out for sure.

Well thats where we are now up to, and thats easily the longest post we have ever written, so if you’ve managed to read all the way down to this point, good effort! Below are some hastily taken pics (so excuse the poor quality).

From left to right,
Inlet manifold, camshaft housing and rocker cover, cylinder head and value springs, cylinder head and valves, engine bay and engine block.

Inlet Manifold and Fuel Rail Cam Housing and Rocker Cover Cylinder Head and Valve Springs Cylinder Head and Valves Engine Block with Cylinder head removed

Posted in Camira | 1 Comment »