Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Donut Create More Work for Yourself

This is the intake manifold with what was the MAP sensor nipple drilled away to accept the fix.
A firewall type vacuum nipple from Summit Racing. (Thank the FSM I had this onhand)
On the bottom of the intake manifold is a very small and even more delicate nipple that is the take off for the MAP sensor. Just trying to remove the small vacuum line from it to get the manifold off the motor is enough to break off this nipple. How do I know this? If you have to ask…. The fix was thankfully simple. A Firewall type vacuum fitting an O ring and an 8MM drill and here you go. Better than new. With the turbo there could be easily 30psi of boost in the manifold so the repair had to be substantial and secure.
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Slave to Minutia

Filling the fluids. Crank the motor over at each step and see what leaks. And there are always leaks.
Don't reuse Banjo bolts. This was the cause of the major oil leak I had. The repair manuals on modern machines all stress the warning not to reuse bolts and seals, especially ones that see high stress or many heat cycles etc. Glad that failed here in the shop and not on the course. Next I filled the cooling system. By the oil filter assembly is an oil cooler that is a heat transfer that is cooled by engine coolant. The coolant line that comes from the block was leaking despite new seals. turned out that I had used bolts to secure it that were 15mm too long and they were bottoming out and not allowing enough force to be applied to them to seal properly. Proper length bolts, problem solved. The motor now holds water.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Happens When You Give a Monkey an Oscilloscope?

Going throught all the sensors one by one to make sure they are all working and the ECU is seeing the right signal. Looking at the VR sensor for the crank and the hall effect sensor for the cam position.

a vidieo of the signal from the VR crank sensor:

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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Moment You Realize the Water is Way Over Your Head!

Finishing up a couple of connections on the wiring harness now that the ecu is plugged in.
Testing continuity. Making sure that all the wires go where they are supposed to and that none are crossed.
My goal for the night was to get the wiring harness installed all the power and grounds hooked up properly (there are several of each), and get the ECU talking to the laptop so that I can look over the parameters. So far as all that’s concerned, and in the works of the great decider GWB “Mission accomplished”. And just as hollow as those words turned out to be so to was my goal or at least the feeling I know have in my stomach. I got the ECU connected and the software is talking and I was able to download the maps and all the base config settings. After looking over them for a few minutes the only words that come to my mouth are “HOLY SHIT!” It’s late and I’m tired so this is probably simpler than it looks but the number of variables is a bit staggering. I’m at the base of what at first glance appears to be the Mount Everest of learning curves. There are 8 sub menus for the maps for fuel delivery and timing, Fuel pressure control, fuel correction factor, boost control, sensor calibration (pretty straight forward) all the auxiliary functions. Under each of these are maybe 4 or 6 more sub menus such as the MAP target pressures VS Throttle position and target oil pressures VS RPM. As I write this my feeling of having been thrown off the deep end is turning into excitement. This is illuminating just how much I underestimated the complexity of getting a motor like this running and more importantly tuned for power beyond what the manufacturer ever intended the public to see. I know that as I get this project refined I will have a far greater knowledge of diesel tuning than I ever imagined and it’s really exciting. Now that I have the ECU on line it’s time to test all the sensors through the ECU, make sure the reference voltage from the ECU is getting to all the components that need it. From there I'll make sure the ECU is reading the TPS (Throttle position) and then see if we can get fuel pressure to the rail and from there see if the injectors are ready to do their job. I've tuned a number of aftermarket injection systems on various gasoline engines and I can tell you that they didn't really prepare me for just how complex this is. The level of precision that this system has is much greater that that of a gas system. On a gas engine the spark timing is the most precise function followed by fuel metering. It seams that the timing and duration of the fuel injections on a gas engine however isn't even close the the millisecond accuracy required to make a CDI diesel perform at peak efficiency. But I'm only starting to understand this. Fun stuff!
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Belts Outa da Way

Finally the belts for the Alternator and the water pump are in place, tensioned properly, and tracking right without hitting anything. On to the next thing I thought was already finished.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


I have to relocate the alternator. It was would have been great where it was, not adding to the frontal area of the engine, but it had 2 problems. One was that there was no belt tension adjustment built into the mounting. Two the alternator belt interfered with the water pump pulley mechanism. I think there is an easy fix by mounting the alternator off of one of the right side engine mounts. This of course will no doubt cause a problem when it comes time to design the engine to frame mounts, but at this moment I have no plans to use that mount anyway. For simplicity sake I decided to make this new mount out of steel. I yelled at the CNC mill “make a bracket” and what you see in the pictures is the beginning of the part. I have a much longer post that should have preceded this one about making the arm for the water pump belt tensioner, but I haven’t gotten around to that one yet as it should be much more involved. In I’ll explain the origin of yelling at CNC machines to make parts in that post.
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