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My SS pump was dead at 54k or so, lovely groaning sounds. Has been the same in Falcons I've had too, but just leaks on those before 60ks, less groaning.

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45 minutes ago, Count Grantleyish said:

Dang, excellent work Greg. 

The real question, does the power steering pump leak? Because GM p/s pump is known for leaking. 

... not that I'm aware of! Though I appreciate the heads up, as you can imagine I became very hyper aware of any leaks given a lot of things were very new and/or 'recently installed'.. I did in fact get bitten 'later' in regards to OEM GM Ancillaries.

"ehhh lets see how they go..."

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So at this point it was really starting to get close, but as the engine bay started to fill up there were other considerations to be made, and things like the lower radiator hose were in awkward positions (relative to where they needed to go in the LS).

55517442_337948366833432_1748747856426041344_n.thumb.jpg.d3d079d5b50ca982bdfac99aa51c9d88.jpg55457288_381926092391643_8622172814092271616_n.thumb.jpg.0b76c5a7b59f6a5f6283d14eab77d115.jpg56174952_334401617215891_1648856907215011840_n.thumb.jpg.b3320893f67dc42d036968ae95669c44.jpg55931110_297967357565798_5061729905931190272_n.thumb.jpg.5efbcef04f56b2217d6f1334365c9e5b.jpg

This now bolts to the car, effectively making sure the coolant hose can't move/rub/touch on anything and wear through and really, really, really ruin future-me's day.

53761980_2497720280302361_606812581809618944_n.thumb.jpg.67df7bfa2c8cdeb7c98fb7c9d2ab17e1.jpg

As far as we could tell.. there was no reason there was a huge cutout on that side of the gearbox. Now there's no hole there and that is about as pretty as it needed to be. Finally an actual use for that putty weld stuff.

Needed a throttle cable obviously as the OEM one does not fit as the throttle has moved a sizable distance from factory.

A universal one from EFISolutions did the trick, with a nifty little bracket.

55778190_313634419322802_6964683490763735040_n.thumb.jpg.119bc10e54e34ff15f53137e73b317a0.jpg

image.png.6293c85187760478add9652a811bdb82.png

The Universal Cable has the right fitting to the back of the R34 Skyline pedal. Win Win.

56236077_604450710022823_7773285773717012480_n.thumb.jpg.6e5f11eebdeebf6dfc01f8308d46779a.jpg

Simple pod filter setup is simple.

55782403_2013361162110089_3176386919667859456_n.thumb.jpg.e5f2d2dc7a538fb70c6be738dbbb7ade.jpg

Simple intake pipe (4in) is now black because ewww that rust was not great.

56218206_335348820449931_2284014722695036928_n.png.e7c87253fac02161a642308a60ba5a1d.png

 

Dangerous, dangerous facebook post that appeared right about the time we were fitting the aforementioned intake. Would it ... fit? How good is SAU's view of spatial awareness here. I have this feeling commodore bays are larger there but the space was unused.....

No, I didn't buy it....but you know how these things rattle around in the brain!

55448589_3350102748363148_2849225087339462656_n.thumb.jpg.67e49994835ff3dac097acd64cff3343.jpg

This little guy to sit in my radiator hose to give me my water temp sensors back.

 

55637028_1834782163292703_3163446634176577536_n.thumb.jpg.1e141343b0103cce31ac6da98479261d.jpg

Lovely.

Now for the oil temp sender, we'll just put that one in the oil block I referred to ages ago, which has fittings for a sensor, as well as the hoses for the oil cooler.

56226160_368014724045721_6949669942954295296_n.thumb.jpg.6d48096a592bb23705ea71fd9568367c.jpg

Well f**k!

Luckily a shorter one exists, was ordered, showed up about a week later after thinking of any other way to mount it. The only other logical place was where oil pressure was going to go... but I wanted the OEM pressure to work... so... f**k.

At this point I was getting keen, as it was about time to put oil, fluids in the car now that they would... stay in. I even had the joy of going to Autobarn and simply buying a belt off a shelf because LS1. I also bought new water temp sensors, and various other LS1 sensors "while I'm there" because LS1. Was I needlessly excited about being able to just randomly buy stuff that fits from a random autobarn? Yes. I grumbled though about the price (it was about $120) and i thought "Man, I would have been happier if this belt was like $90 or something..."

Lets just put that belt o-

56304255_414631745967324_8569135164897099776_n.thumb.jpg.5772ce9f178829342da9a467e50e70d3.jpg

F**k!
Someone stupid (me) may have forgotten that I had a 25% underdrive balancer. I also found out that this means I need a shorter than standard belt. Luckily Autobarn actually were happy to return the belt, and order in a belt size that I needed.

The best part about that was, the replacement belt was about $30 cheaper.

Something that DID fit (and also done in a day, for $300) was the modifications to the tailshaft.

52420894_2270434176556133_5942005731241754624_n.thumb.jpg.cf87cf6a9d599ee9ae00a44bd9c976d2.jpgreceived_2181460458563397.thumb.jpeg.dfb57347e15118a63e1a6e162584262e.jpegreceived_304021453593896.thumb.jpeg.42d8513a37d2f9d94b111158ce093d3a.jpeg

 

And just to finish off, time to plumb the catch can in.

56466284_284126379166883_3312604985736298496_n.thumb.jpg.96dd3f452da821c82bf6d345880d9c6e.jpg

image.png.a0fb29e19fd7f7f2f87fe680757e9b57.png

Close up of un-necessarily silly fittings. What kind of idiot spends $120 on one fitting for a catch can.....and something like $300 in total for just plumbing in the can....
😐

At this point we were basically done! Coming to a very very crunch time, as I had booked in the tow truck and the next stage of operations (exhaust, and 'wiring') were ready to take the car tomorrow night. Doing my best to not be a shit bloke, I had wanted the car to be ready for them to ONLY do "wiring" (which seemed like a near impossible, up in the air, magical task) and making the exhaust, to which we were still super skeptical of "how the fk can this actually fit".

I even had pre-bought the HPTuners MPVI2 (am now a huge fan of this and its software, relative to Haltech but it could be because it's interfacing with an OEM ecu so it supports... everything...) and credits to unlock the ecu, tune the car, get it running out of the shop once magicians did magician things.....if it actually.... worked.. when the key was attempted to be turned..

But certainly didn't want to add to their confusion and work. So in doing so we were going through a lot of things, "have we done this up, we've plumbed that in, etc" and quite a few of these:

55882229_634511693663807_864455407765028864_n.thumb.jpg.8786fcff0428374c889dabd28337e494.jpg

BTW the official drink of LS conversions into R34's is officially one shot of coffee patron and one shot of tequila. It's a really good mix.

Anyway, during this triple check of things we found out that we had no fuel pressure regulator.
At all. The Commo has a regulator in the tank as it's not a return system. The skyline has one on the engine. All our nice braided and measured lines and we had no FPR , at all, at 9pm thursday night when the car is being picked up Friday arvo.

F***

One sick day later, and said day spent frantically checking if anyone in Melbourne had a FPR in stock, that we could have, in our hand, right now later, we had a FPR bought, installed, and ready to go!!

56382716_1070173339846750_1407965626240073728_n.jpg.43a2ea4de0f254d74ec22b401ef6f83c.jpg

IMG_20190408_074120.thumb.jpg.00a6d04b91ef9af6357e8812e2a34e19.jpg

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It was a little sentimental when it left Mikey's place - This may have all come in a flurry of posts and pictures, but the truth of it is this took 10 months and 6 days between first starting to pull the RB out and the car being towed to its next home, the amount of work and time and especially thinking time was immense.

As I alluded to before, simply dropping the box and engine in was the easy part. The thinking about what option for XYZ thing and "Where do you want to route this" or "Time to do some research on XYZ" was by far the biggest timesink/drain in doing something like this.

.......and there was still much to be done from this point on!

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Are you writing a book here or something.

how many pages to go?

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3 minutes ago, Ben C34 said:

Are you writing a book here or something.

how many pages to go?

Get out. 

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Sorry Ben

At this point I had to settle down for what I assumed it was gonna be a fkin long wait, because while "Wiring" and 'An Exhaust' are two small categories it wasn't exactly two simple small jobs. However the people doing it had done it before, and it was interesting to see how certain things were approached differently/similarily.

Luckily thank f**k the general response was "Oh so we actually only need to do wiring and an exhaust... you know how people are..."

This got me a considerable discount, so there you go people... be nice!

It was 2 months between me towing the car there, and the first start which in the grand scheme of things, actually pretty excellent.

image.png.8a72bb4cdd9028065ee13b7247792d1f.png

61572517_552965288561410_8378136667868889088_n.thumb.jpg.9a25aecc12e9ba3c0ce04debb85c0b3b.jpg

62035368_378400052773031_8340151526131499008_n.jpg.7cec09ff997512f96a76374b03a545c7.jpg

Driver side and Passenger side headers.

image.png.890ebd7f6a6a646c862be33683d1df01.png

Rest of the exhaust connecting to my original mid muffler.

We later added 2 more cats to this, so as it currently sits on my car.. it has 4 cat converters. Two are 100 cell, two are 400 cell. Back to back tests show... 0 kw difference. They also show 0 AFR difference, because they were/are all removable by vbands with some straight pipe.

The system is twin 3inch exhausts that merge just before the diff into the 3.5. I can only assume thats why putting cats before this merge has no real restriction that I would care about...

P1380258.thumb.JPG.5accd239bce9eeb36e6908857b79e763.JPG

 Passenger side ---^

P1380257.thumb.JPG.f2ce074bf7cc933e1c93a615cc30f7e5.JPG

^--- Driver side. There's a slight notch (not visible here) to give clearance to the steering rack. There was plenty of clearance everywhere and I don't know why I was even worried to begin with.

I don't know what (if any) difference having asymmetrical headers even does, but it was a too f**king bad this is the only way it's going to work kind of situation!

The wiring side I have no photos of, because it was a case of buying a new (i.e not 20 years old) aftermarket standalone loom and having the guys there wire this in/run this in, which wasn't apparently too difficult at all - all of the Skyline gauges are still in place because they did the very smart thing of simply putting the sensors (dash temp gauge, oil pressure etc) into the LS directly.

The only things to get wired in was the Speedo using the Jaycar converter box. Post: Conversion note, this is shit. I later changed this to a Dakota Digital converter box (https://www.dakotadigital.com/) which works WAY, WAY, WAY better, as the Jaycar one is laggy, and it works, but only over 40kmh, requires dip switches to configure, vs Bluetooth on a phone.... This is a bit of a problem when you're talking to a VASS Engineer.

We also had fun stuff with my Racelogic traction control system, which was wired into the 8 injectors, only for me to eventually figure out I had bought the 6cyl version.. (why would I have ever needed the 8cyl version, said past Gerg), so any time I was turning this system on the thing would just permamently ground 2 injectors causing some MEGA, MEGA rich misfiring and general drive like shit-ness.

Later doing some digging we bypassed 2 of the cylinders entirely, (i.e wire it into only 6) and the system now works great.. so.. SO much better than it did with the RB and Turbo. even if it can only cut fuel to 6, it .. never really needs that kind of intervention and driving around on 2cyl is impossible anyway... so 6/8 is great!

Once this was all wired in, I attended with what was (hopefully?) a reasonable base tune with the HPTuners  MVPI, a working wideband to remove VATS from the ECU and many, many, many, many f**kin hopes and prayers..

... and the whole thing started up on the 2nd crank with a battery that was 12 months old.
... exactly one year to the day the engine got pulled
... nothing leaked, nothing smelled, everything behaved

car was f**king LOUD though, comically loud. Like "lol you cant drive this 5 meters down the street" LOUD. So some laps of the industrial park had to do. Turns out a turbo is a really, really, really effective muffler.

Next step: Varex!

61602731_388991548490846_500366563317121024_n.jpg

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So the most impatient wait for any car part went on here, for a Varex muffler that came from Sparesbox honestly pretty cheap and pretty fast.

I previously had 2x Magnaflow 3.5in mufflers, one as a mid and one as a rear. This was quiet enough for a Turbo setup but clearly not anymore. Because I am a 5 year old, I asked that we made the rear muffler detachable so I could swap the Varex out with the Magnaflow one for the track because.... 5 year old....

Resized_20190617_141855.thumb.jpg.9070fff5d959bd4bb0c9eca278b43b06.jpg

Resized_20190617_141847.thumb.jpg.3ea4a50bae19683b6ae95082e0b0e350.jpg

Also, the tip isn't stock. The guys there made a new one and welded it onto the varex to make it neat and sit flush with the rear bumper. I never asked them to do this, they just..... did it out of the kindness of their hearts.

You may remember from page 1 (probably) that once upon a time my wiring looked like this:

IMG_20150627_190256.thumb.jpg.b11552bf5aeb66bec18dc1aa7338e5a7.jpg

IMG_20150627_190321.thumb.jpg.9444ddde91587774d07c3e8c22411541.jpg

….when setting up my Auto transmission ECU to work correctly, and use the wheel and shifters to manually change gears.

The good news is I learned that the switches on both sides of the wheel are shared (one up, one down) and that they are momentary switches. These buttons remained unused for years, things like antilag etc could have been done other ways. Boost up/down I never used, cause I did boost by gear and had racelogic for traction control.

I considered replacing the steering wheel for a manual one for awhile, but NO, finally there was a use again, and this occurred!



Jesus christ what a shit quality video, but it was revolutionary at the time!

At this point in the story I had something resembling an actual car that I could drive, and was monumentally happy, and 90% worried something would break, even though it was left idling for quite some time, AFR's seemed fine, ECU was talking to Laptop and ODB2, nothing was leaking, but always concerned as to how good a quality map was actually loaded in there to begin with.

So lets just say the drive home was part really awesome and part extremely stressful, paying wild attention to every gauge, as well as any light whatsoever as I was pretty confident I was driving the most illegal car in Victoria home... but combined with the unknown tune (seemed pretty decent actually) and stock suspension in the car it wasn't really able to be pushed, but I was glad to get it home in the end.

Next step, run in the engine, tune it properly/learn how the fkin ECU works and start plans to get the suspension back in/swapped and start the path of talking to Engineers and hopefully finding out that all that work done wasn't just a complete waste of time and money... 

 

And because the above video is so shit, I recorded another one today because Coronavirus. One thing I have learned about the V8 is how loud the engine is, as opposed to the exhaust, but it still makes a pretty decent difference, and can see/feel the restriction it has as the AFR's go from 12.8 to about 10.8 under full load.

The biggest difference was going to the Varex muffler itself, as far as Mufflers go, even when fully open it does a decent job of muffling compared to the Magnaflow one.

 

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So at this point I had a super illegal car sitting at home, with a few things still needed to be sorted out

Namely:

1) Android head unit, I wanted something I could operate without touching my phone, and a head unit is less than a fine.
2) Air conditioning still needed to be plumbed in, I had the compressor bolted to the block, and the rest of the skyline system, but no lines attached, so started asking around for that.
3) I needed a tune. 

I was pretty confident road tuning the car as the car actually is pretty fkin basic compared to previous tunes with the turbo. The HPTuners software is great, VCM logger is awesome, and effectively having a 2D load map is really simple. I really got to know how different it is using an OEM ecu as a base vs something like a Haltech.. the OEM base has tables for EVERYTHING and is much more complex with tables referencing other tables referencing other tables referencing other tables vs the Haltech. But it was fun to learn.

I had set conservative timing, pretty rich on the fuel side of things as V8's can run leaner and more or less just drove it around and had lots of fun loading it up in hills to uh, run that new engine in, and hey the stock suspension didn't even feel that bad!.... though the 2 way was still a bit of a clunky mess.

Was I paranoid about every single car being a police vehicle oh you bet I was. 

But in the end, I was satisfied enough that I went to effectively run it up on the dyno to confirm my tuning efforts weren't entirely wrong and the engine wasn't pinging itself to death and of course, to see how much power it made and whether more could be eked out of it.

Here's the dyno sheet.

338459076_DynoLS1Power29-06-19.thumb.JPG.2656f5af5d86e3cce643af1a0a09f03a.JPG

The grey line was the first run and the orange line was after the tune, which really was just leaning it out a little (from 12.0 to 12.8) Adding timing did nothing, removing timing also did nothing, no knock detected, no nothing, actually. It was all pretty much... pretty much the same. The issue really is that there is a restriction with the intake and heads, you can see the manifold pressure dropping after about 5000RPM.

This cam is supposed to be power between "3000-6600rpm+" according to the spec sheet. You can see that power is certainly not peaking at 6600rpm. @mlr be aware!

In my case I was losing about 7kpa which is basically 7% power. 

A FAST 102MM intake and TB cost around $2000 to maybe address this. A set of heads costs $5000ish. Would I spend $7000 for .. ~30? rwkw? I mean I have in the past but I'm not going to........ yet....

But yes a little short of the fabled 300kw/400whp, which Americans seem to get no problem whatsoever with a cam this size in a cam-only build. The thing gets up and boogies fine from low RPM at least compared to a turbo car, and traction is limited down low anyway so it didn't really seem like an issue - the 4.11 rear gears help a lot.

However to make myself sad, I have roughly interposed the LS graph over my old Borg Warner graph. (the red line was 9psi)

738106794_DynoEFR767028-3-2018PowervsLS1.thumb.jpg.d76ff21c650f38bb93a2abe6ebc43a45.jpg

So no it's not as fast, but there's something about it that is immensely... satisfying about it. 

image.png.df7c6f3391abaf575d84f52c6a92d9a3.png

In short, ----^

Next steps

Suspension
Head unit
Aircon
Engineering

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That image is perfect. 

Different driving experience,. I like them all for different reasons. This is why big sheds were invented... 

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3 hours ago, Kinkstaah said:

So at this point I had a super illegal car sitting at home, with a few things still needed to be sorted out

Namely:

1) Android head unit, I wanted something I could operate without touching my phone, and a head unit is less than a fine.
2) Air conditioning still needed to be plumbed in, I had the compressor bolted to the block, and the rest of the skyline system, but no lines attached, so started asking around for that.
3) I needed a tune. 

I was pretty confident road tuning the car as the car actually is pretty fkin basic compared to previous tunes with the turbo. The HPTuners software is great, VCM logger is awesome, and effectively having a 2D load map is really simple. I really got to know how different it is using an OEM ecu as a base vs something like a Haltech.. the OEM base has tables for EVERYTHING and is much more complex with tables referencing other tables referencing other tables referencing other tables vs the Haltech. But it was fun to learn.

I had set conservative timing, pretty rich on the fuel side of things as V8's can run leaner and more or less just drove it around and had lots of fun loading it up in hills to uh, run that new engine in, and hey the stock suspension didn't even feel that bad!.... though the 2 way was still a bit of a clunky mess.

Was I paranoid about every single car being a police vehicle oh you bet I was. 

But in the end, I was satisfied enough that I went to effectively run it up on the dyno to confirm my tuning efforts weren't entirely wrong and the engine wasn't pinging itself to death and of course, to see how much power it made and whether more could be eked out of it.

Here's the dyno sheet.

338459076_DynoLS1Power29-06-19.thumb.JPG.2656f5af5d86e3cce643af1a0a09f03a.JPG

The grey line was the first run and the orange line was after the tune, which really was just leaning it out a little (from 12.0 to 12.8) Adding timing did nothing, removing timing also did nothing, no knock detected, no nothing, actually. It was all pretty much... pretty much the same. The issue really is that there is a restriction with the intake and heads, you can see the manifold pressure dropping after about 5000RPM.

This cam is supposed to be power between "3000-6600rpm+" according to the spec sheet. You can see that power is certainly not peaking at 6600rpm. @mlr be aware!

In my case I was losing about 7kpa which is basically 7% power. 

A FAST 102MM intake and TB cost around $2000 to maybe address this. A set of heads costs $5000ish. Would I spend $7000 for .. ~30? rwkw? I mean I have in the past but I'm not going to........ yet....

But yes a little short of the fabled 300kw/400whp, which Americans seem to get no problem whatsoever with a cam this size in a cam-only build. The thing gets up and boogies fine from low RPM at least compared to a turbo car, and traction is limited down low anyway so it didn't really seem like an issue - the 4.11 rear gears help a lot.

However to make myself sad, I have roughly interposed the LS graph over my old Borg Warner graph. (the red line was 9psi)

738106794_DynoEFR767028-3-2018PowervsLS1.thumb.jpg.d76ff21c650f38bb93a2abe6ebc43a45.jpg

So no it's not as fast, but there's something about it that is immensely... satisfying about it. 

image.png.df7c6f3391abaf575d84f52c6a92d9a3.png

In short, ----^

Next steps

Suspension
Head unit
Aircon
Engineering

http://www.lewisengines.com.au/ls1-cnc-ported-head-packages-com

I'm looking for my 2020 Xmas present.

Cam for my birthday, heads for Xmas maybe

 

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The CNC head ported options are a send your heads in, and receive ported heads back. Fully aftermarket bolt on heads are a setup and more expensive, and probably make... ~10kw more power. Though it looks like Lewisengines do offer a pre-built version even if you dont send them a set of heads to use.

I used this option for my RB sump... they sent a baffled one, so then I sent my OEM sump to them $200 credit.... and never received it.

so....

But yes, the fact you can go and buy prebuilt heads off the shelf, or a 6.3L bottom end with cam, ready to go at like 10 different places on the net is pretty gnarly. All for less than it costs to rebuild a RB tbh.
EG:
https://www.lsxperformanceparts.com.au/ls-383ci-ls1-stroker-engine-short-engine-n-a-11-5-1/
https://www.pavtek.com.au/index.php/vm-front-page/in-stock-long-engines/in-stock-ls-engines/l383l402hr-detail

Quote

image.png.69d538780b3f18874a7502d65c14dc21.png

 

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On 5/7/2020 at 11:20 AM, Kinkstaah said:

 

The thing gets up and boogies fine from low RPM at least compared to a turbo car, and traction is limited down low anyway so it didn't really seem like an issue - the 4.11 rear gears help a lot.

However to make myself sad, I have roughly interposed the LS graph over my old Borg Warner graph. (the red line was 9psi)

738106794_DynoEFR767028-3-2018PowervsLS1.thumb.jpg.d76ff21c650f38bb93a2abe6ebc43a45.jpg

 

No thoughts of going to a 3.69 diff to capitalise on "streetable" torque?

There's a lot to like going on here.

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2 hours ago, Dale FZ1 said:

No thoughts of going to a 3.69 diff to capitalise on "streetable" torque?

There's a lot to like going on here.

Luckily the T56 has near identical ratios to a R33 GTST Gearbox that it replaced. As far as speed per gear goes it is

1: 73.5
2: 110.0
3: 150.6
4: 195.8
5: 264.6
6: 391.1 (lol)

Cruising at 100kmh is about ~1600rpm.

So 1st gear is a bit longer than previously, which does help a bit with grip. I get TC interference really only on a launch, 0-20kmh ish.

However if I turn it off  and stand on the throttle at all, it will spin tyres up from a standstill (I,e not hook) even if I just go WOT from idle. The Racelogic manages however much slip I dial into it, 20% is a decent amount for having that lovely sorta wheel spin takeoff you see all the journos do when testing cars lol.

However once the car is moving, no amount of aggressive throttle causes wheelspin, it is really tame compared to the turbo setup, it does the exact opposite of wanting to kill you, and this behaviour is actually the most surprising/welcoming thing about the whole conversion. You apply the torque directly with your foot and it never overpowers the tyres or does anything unexpected, just feels strong, and linear and repeatable.

I have done a cheeky skid just to see what it is like and it is very obvious immediately even to a complete drift n00b why V8's end up in drift cars for the above reason. (and 2 way diffs).

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So, all freshly tuned the next cab off the rank was a decent head unit.

During this build I noticed a lot of these f**kers start appearing:

 image.png.3715874e4377a3b32f3a488c3a2baa71.png


And while texting while driving is yeah pretty f**ked up, I really don't care if people text while at a red light because who gives a shit, give them a beep and move on. Doing it while moving though is legit shit. Do I get annoyed at all these cameras appearing where cars are usually stopped anyway instead of on parts of roads where people are moving... yes.

Anyway.

This is pretty shit for a guy who doesn't text while driving, but uses music while driving and changes songs by reaching over and shaking a phone or holding volume up on said phone, not while looking at phone. And because 99% of the time in a track ready modded car is basically sitting staring at tail lights listening to music, I figured this problem was on the list of things that were mildly annoying and should be destroyed.

This is my boot, with subwoofer and amp.

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The amp actually came with the car when I bought it, but no sub because it had been stolen out of the boot, but the amp hadn't because Westside Melbourne. Since then I have some nifty straps and plugs to remove it in about 15 seconds for track days.

I also have Audison Prima APK 165 speakers and tweeters

https://www.audison.eu/products/apk-165/
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I do not know what any of this shit means, because i got the speakers when I went to a trusted audio place and said "Bang for buck but actually kinda good thanks" the result is nice and crisp and clear and honestly pretty great.

The current fine in Victoria for touching your phone while doing anything is $455 and 4 demerit points.

The following head unit is cheaper than $455 so I ended up purchasing it.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HIZPO-7-Android-8-0-2Din-Car-Stereo-8Core-RAM-4GB-Radio-GPS-DAB-Wifi-DVR-4G-Cam/231960266999

If you click the link you will see this thing comes with many options. It is basically a full android tablet that fits in a double DIN. I ended up getting the DAB box for digital radio (cause why not) the dashcam (cause why not), the reverse cam (cause why not), the USB/3G Modem (cause why not), the external mic for phone calls (cause why not), but not the TPMS module because I don't have those in a skyline and neither do you.

All in all it cost me less than a $455 fine.

Armed with one of these:

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And a lot of time reserved for dodgy wiring, it was time to get to work.

Obligatory shot of where things plugged in at the back:

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And that was it. It all worked perfectly with no issues whatsoever, and every little addon worked entirely fine with literally no problems at all. 

The only thing to wire in was the reverse light. Seriously. It took like 20 minutes total and me and friends had a good 10 free hours spare right after that, all confused.

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We had to make a tiny cut in the surround, where it sits behind the AC controls (its not visible)

I used FCC launcher to make the 'desktop'. With ODB2 from the LS, Torque pro is great, I can get any dash that the ECU even has on there at the track, or the keen eyes see I can do TrackAddict for laptimes and Telemetry right from the head unit. And of course, I can do all of this without copping a $455 fine.

Pro tip for anyone in the future, get Neutralizer, which is an android app. In a car with a loud rumbly exhaust it is a lifesaver, think of it as an equalizer that removes unwanted background sound by tuning around it. It is remarkably effective and when I drove up to Sydney at 110kmh, turning up the music entirely cancels out the sound of the exhaust, and not in a "lol it is too loud to hear anything else" kind of thing.

Now that the car is rolling around, it was time to touch base with Bilstein Australia who had previously agreed to revalve my shocks. But before I did that, I had to weigh this thing....

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So now I had cool audio, an engine that ran, and a car that could drive around.

However I was still rolling around on stock suspension.
Prior to the build I was using a set of Sydneykid Bilsteins with Eibach ERS springs (ooh fancy), after a lot of consultation and SK's patience back many years prior.
I was always super happy with them and they always rode and performed (to me) better than Shockworks, BC's, and Tien, pretty much any 34 I had ever been in.

However after looking at the springs, I realised they had a 5kg front and 4kg rear. I later replaced them with an 8kg front and 6kg rear, which means I now have a lot of spring options.

However that meant from my reading that I needed to get these shocks revalved to suit the new springs.
I also was mindful that I have changed the weight of the car by putting a v8 into the fking thing. If GTR's have different rates and dampers to a GTT, then surely a V8 GTT would need some kind of different suspension to a regular GTT. That was my logic anyway.

Also, one of them was doing this:

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However back then, was the only shocks I had. Mildly annoying and must be destroyed.

So I could either buy new coilovers, or I guess reach out to Bilstein to revalve these to suit? If they even offered that, which I assumed would be $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

I reached out to a couple of very highly regarded suspension places and outlined what I wanted/what they would suggest re: Damper rates, spring rates, given what i had done with the car and what I wanted to do with it, and what handling characteristics I wanted.

I got a mixture of "I dunno lol" and "Please buy our top of the range item with no regard to any of the customization you requested"

So I asked Bilstein Australia on FB of all places and they were massively f**king helpful to my suprise. Like REALLY helpful. The information I found on the net (which Bilstein agreed with) was that moving engine weight around wouldn't actually have much to do with regard to valving the shocks, but it couldn't hurt.

Though they agreed that GTR and GTT would have different valving, so perhaps it is better to weigh them... etc. Perhaps noone really knows.

So in any case I found an VASS engineer consultant who had vehicle weights and I drove the thing onto them to see just how much the car weighed. I also asked at that time as to the legality of coilovers. I already knew they were okay, but you never know. In any case, he definitely gave the OK for them as long as not too low, retains x% of original shock travel (30% from oem etc)

This was full weight, full tank of fuel, with spare, with all the audio in it, with my heavy as f**k BMW E30 M3 wheels and CST Cast 18x9 rims with 265 tyres, and big brakes, with me not in the car.

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To get the car revalved super accurately I sent bilstein a version of these photos with me in the car (I weigh 86kg so you can do the maths, the cross weight was 49.75% with me in the car which to me seems pretty fkin great though!)

Carfolio.com says the weight of a r34 GTT sedan is 1430kg. I really don't know how accurate that is.
Either that, or the LS is heavier than people claim it to be, or the RB is lighter than people claim it to be, etc. Yes I should have gone on a weighbridge BEFORE, I know. I went to a weighbridge recently to confirm the numbers above and I got the same result.

That said, there were some results in his book of R34 GTR's and r33 GTR's etc weighing up to 1690KG (!) in true road form, with some stripped out track boys being 1300ish too.

In any case, data in hand I sent my shocks to Bilstein. They said it'd take 2 weeks but it took about 10 days. I got a call from Peter at Sydney Shocks to have a chat about what I wanted and how etc. My car was always nervous under heavy braking on the track, (Part of the reason i changed the spring rates), and I really, really wanted it to be as solid as possible and more or less get the valving right for the true weight of the car, and where the weight is. I want to be able to really nail the brake pedal and start turning in to a corner and just know what the car is going to actually fkin do. I also mentioned I had to use OEM front and rear sway/antiroll bars.

They hmmmm'ed and took that on board, and a couple days later they said they had revalved them - and did I want helper springs on the front as well as the rear? I was like "Yep sure, you're the expert if you say so!"

They sent me this shock dyno result when they sent the shocks back to me.

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I also can't really read a shock dyno. Peter said he added a LOT of rebound especially to the rear and the graph has lines that seem to insinuate that, but he also seemed really happy and enthusiastic so that was great too. Very different to other suspension companies who were less enthused.

Obviously I had great fun throwing the shocks back in to the car and setting heights, (making VERY sure the lowest point of the exhaust was 101mm from the ground) and getting an alignment.

Took it for a drive and it was apparent from leaving the driveway how much better the thing was, partly of course because it was no longer on Koni/OEM suspension, but the level of composure is crazy good.

The helper springs on the front and the rear take a little getting used to, because on any kind of aggressive turn you get an initial amount of body roll, which feels like 'squat' but it's.. sideways squat. I understand the theory behind it but it is disconcerting when you're used to not having that. But once you trust it and know that it's really just loading up the outside tyres it definitely works.

It then dawned on me.... it handles like a MX5! They have very similar characteristics as to how the weight of the body moves around, how you play with the movement and let it get settled, etc. It drives like a MX5 with much more everything, more weight, more power, more grip, more heavy duty...."ness". Obviously it's not as nimble as a MX5, I mean only the driving style is eerily similar.

But ultimately, it was massively more predictable than it was before and a definite benefit to the V8 is how 'well packaged' the whole thing feels. There's absolutely no way some off the shelf solution would have been as well done.

And it cost way less than a new set of shocks. So sometimes asking around is a bit more beneficial than going on FB and asking "hey m8 what shocks does everyone run on their [car]"

Summer moving up fast, time to get AC sorted, and better to do that before the thing gets engineered, incase I have to change... something, and would not want to change things after they're legal..

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So the next step was aircon. I was tempted to go get the car engineered before I got aircon, but I assumed that once I had it, could drive it around legally, I wouldn't want to take it off the road to go and get aircon done.

So the time was now.

When holding a flaming turd in your hand, knowing you're about to unleash it on some poor business, its time to hit up google and find the person least likely to throw it back in your face and tell you to f**k off.

So I ended up calling these folks here:
https://www.melwideautoradiators.com.au/
 

Mainly to put this to the test:

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Their gallery shows a lot of cars that did not come from the factory with AC, and left there with AC.
All I had to do was really use a different compressor than what the car came with, and some lines.

Easy, right?

I made my appointment, and drove the car there with a few photos and some discussion.
In the past I always got some sneering shade when going places with a custom car, very much a 2nd class citizen treatment vs going in there with a coupe, or a GTR.

However in v8 land, the tables are turned and people think it's cool for absolutely no reason. Which I'm all for.

I got told it could be made to work easily, but it'd be an absolute pain in the ass and that he would definitely hate me by the time it was done.
Good enough!

I left the car there a couple weeks and the first part was super smooth. Lines and a new/moved condensor/combined receiver-drier got installed for space reasons, also my old stuff pretty garbage being old. John really knows his shit and made things as far away from others as possible.

It got complicated later when trying to actually activate the system. I always thought aircons would 'stay' on so activating the system with a switch was fine, which i was OK with. this isn't so, and if the compressor is constantly on, the whole thing freezes solid in a matter of minutes. There's computers and thermostats and sensors involved toggling that compressor being on or not.

Stock, the aircon logic is handled by the Nissan Engine ECU and not a body control module.
That f**king Nissan ECU I finally got rid of out of my car for the last 10 years of it generally existing and being annoying.

So I dug up my old ECU for their Auto elec guy to wire back in, complete with the Nissan pinout diagram and manual for the Aircon section so they could re-add it into the mix.

But for AC it would be worth it.

Wait a bit longer and to my suprise, providing all of the information, they found they could emulate the logic by using 'a series of relays' and the ECU wasn't required anymore at all. This was massively good.

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Can you see the aircon compressor in the last photo?

I'm sure using a 15 year old gm AC Compressor is fine. Why replace it when it's accessible, naaah. Lets just see how it goes.

Tested, working, excellent cold air - Time to start legal proceedings.

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Warning: Much Text

So at this stage my engine bay looked like this!
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Stock as, officer!

Way back when I started this adventure, I looked into all the VSI 14 documentation as well as what was advised on the Vicroads's website in regards to engine changes. 

I attached the PDF from the website on the 25th of July 2019,

 EngineChange 25-07-2019.pdf but the relevant snip is below.

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A signed declaration from the registered operator you say... OR a VASS instead, and VASS Certified vehicles need no inspection...

I actually called Vicroads to confirm this prior to starting, and took the name of the person (and their supervisor) that this was indeed the state of things.

So I went to vicroads with my signed declaration, a printout of the website, the records of the calls I made (prior to starting, like a good citizen) as well as VSI information to prove that my modifications were less than the requirements of that document (i.e less severe) and should therefore be a good candidate for 'equivalent in power, mass and emissions standard' and can be installed without any structural modifications. I also had the emissions standards printed out, and lo and behold the LS1 is more EPA friendly than the RB, RB engines were never sold in Australia, so paying $4000 for a standard RB25Neo for a very cheap sedan is not practical when there's commodores everywhere, right?

It should be noted that these terms used in the document on the vicroads website were not defined anywhere, at all, in any form.

I went to Vicroads with this information and oh boy did I ruin someone's day showing up with this, because they were utterly caught out by this loophole and had no ground to stand on to reject it. In the end after talking to maybe 3-4 supervisors I had them all agree that while I met all the requirements for having the engine change pass, according to their website, they just flat out refused to do it "just because".

I got all of their names down and for the sake of "All Vicroads should be the same" I went to another Vicroads, with the same information.

However my experience at the 2nd Vicroads was very different, whereas they actually took the information they provided and effectively passed the car. Their attitude was "Well this doesn't seem like its normal, but all the numbers and documentation match up, make sense, and have been provided, so OK"

Except when he went to hit "save" on the record, he found that the car's information had been locked by the first Vicroads Supervisor on Supervisor on Supervisor on Supervisor.

I got names and details of everyone involved a second time, and decided to 'enquire' as to this discrepancy and all the time and effort I went through following their rules, attempting to do the right thing, given I also had records of calling before I started anything, and asked for a definition, again.

The long and short of it from there, was again through many emails, the tone changed from "You're right, but no" to start talking about different rules all of a sudden and it would need a VASS.

I went to take another screenshot of the Vicroads website, which had been updated as a direct result of my attempt to get this change through and the car registered.

EngineChange 26-07-2019.pdf

Again, snip below:
image.png.3f8668e587d1dea8d1897031556fd167.png
 

TLDR: They changed the rules from 3 ways to swap an engine, to 2. Consolidating what used to be Option 1 and 2, and making a new "Change of engine scenario two" which basically says if its not OEM it needs VASS.

I noticed this when they started referring to "Option 3" initially then started exclusively referring to "Option 2" in the same chain of emails.

I thought about taking it to the Ombudsman because it was so very clear they changed the rules specifically due to me, who was following their rules prior to it and just didn't want to pass it to close a loophole they clearly didn't like because... performance car? Who knows...

But then thought technically this would just be for the engine details anyway. There's kinda other things that would be covered by VASS codes I wanted to pass (Suspension, Gearbox, Brakes, etc)

Luckily, before I turned a tool I also looked into what the VASS Engineers have to sign against, in my case NCOP3, 4, 5 attached as below (Engine, Transmission, Brakes)

NCOP3_Section_LA_Engine_01jan2011_v3.pdf

NCOP4_Section_LB_Tranmission_V2.0_01Jan_2011.pdf

NCOP5_Section_LG_Brakes_V2_01Jan2011.pdf

I was curious about suspension but it never applied. My Suspension passed a general RWC and the requirements for it which always boggled me when people never got RWC's for coilovers. The rules are obvious and easy to verify/test against. All of the NCOP for suspension is way beyond the scope of a set of coils.

However given my car was now literally flagged by Vicroads I didn't want to take the risk of driving it anywhere.

I consulted my new friend who did the weighing of the car for me as he is also a VASS engineering consultant. Effectively you bring the car to him, and he will Liase with the VASS people for you, or make changes to your car to make it pass. Luckily for me as I knew what the requirements were, the only thing he actually had to change was the mounting of 1 coilpack by bending a bracket 3mm.

The dodgy speedo WOULD pass (it read from 40kmh.. and the test was at 40kmh but he knew the VASS certifier would definitely 'not like it') so this is where I got the Dakota box instead of the Jaycar literal piece of shit.

There was however, one problem. Emissions. In code LA1 you have to prove that the emissions of the car have to be the same as the car the engine originally came out of. ECU's are outright banned. Not a problem, factory ECU. All emissions equipment (evap canisters etc must work) No problem, factory ECU/Factory devices. Fuel injectors must be OEM. No problem, factory injectors.

Extractors/Manifolds are considered an emissions device. My stock airbox is stock for a RB25, not a LS1.
f**k.

Victoria (and NSW) mandate an IM240 emissions test in a scenario like this where things can still pass (i.e ECU no, Injectors also no, etc). Other, sensible states use an equivalency law (i.e a VASS engineer saying 'yeah she'll be right) OR the five gas test/idle test which is MUCH more relaxed.

VIC and NSW require an IM240 which is what OEM Manufacturers must pass to sell cars in Australia.
To boot, there were no IM240 testers in victoria since McLeod closed.

A company called ABMARC have a contract with Deakin University to rent out their Vehicle test lab to do an IM240 test.
This costs ~$2000. There are no refunds if you fail. You have to book 3 months in advance.

Which is why no-one in VIC is getting full EPA's - The government cannot reasonably supply a test to confirm it.

NSW however, do have a testing lab. I called them, and their IM240 testing facility meets the requirements for VASS - which are outlined. The test in NSW also costs $0. They needed to know a day in advance. I called and booked 2 appointments back to back, incase I got very close and could maybe change something? They were more than happy and awesome on the phone to deal with.

So... off I went to satisfy the requirements for Vic law, I ended up doing to do a test.... outside of Victoria... to the "NSWroads" facility in Botany, Sydney.

Armed with 4 cat converters and a laptop you best believe I f**king did a lot of road tuning up there for stop start conditions! Also, my car managed to get pretty reasonable fuel economy (better than a VY SS claimed figure..)

This was also when I found out that my Aircon compressor absolutely shit itself so I had a nice 20 hour drive ahead of me with no Aircon. This later cost me about ~1500 to fix with a new compressor, new gas, and all that labor to get to the fking thing.

But car drives great, I arrive in Syd with no other issues whatsoever. A few Sydney people notice the idle in traffic and point fingers and thumbs up - something I hadn't experienced in Vic.

So the IM240 test itself is done on a low speed dyno, to some VERY stringent testing which lasts 240 seconds, hence the name.

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This is the trace they have to follow, and there are markers on the test which show shift to X gear here, etc.

Because they were super nice, they let me inside .. with a laptop! to have a look and watch the test but asked I not take video or photos (other than the photos outside).

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I read from most that they usually shut the doors and you have to wait outside, but they invited me in and I got to see the whole thing.

Here are the emissions standards that need to be satisfied:

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The eagle eyes would note that for NON R34's (i.e R33 and R32) the standards are actually a lot easier than a R34 is, at least Pre-97. So almost 4-7x less in terms of "easier!" depending on what is being measured.

So the car goes on, and I have a heartbeat of approximately 300BPM for 240 seconds straight.

And the car... fails. Specifically it fails the HC3 part which is for effectively raw/unburned fuel. The others are more than fine. What could possibly be causing that, unburned fuel?

Oh I dunno, how about that aftermarket choppy cam when a lot of the test is spent idling or driving super slow?

It should be noted that if it was a R33, it would have passed. The guys there graciously gave me a chance to hook up a laptop and tweak the tune to see if I could fix it on the fly, which took about 45 minutes of my 30 minute bookings (its 15 min per booking slot), and the result is as below:

image.png.0417f867d6b2a42e14e0648957232cbc.png

When he turned around and gave me the thumbs up following the above test I legit teared up a bit. Right on the limit is OK. Every year after my specific limits have a 'less than' element added to it, so that's how close it was!

Pro tip for those at home: A cat converter can only convert gas... not unburnt fuel. As you can see from my results the actual GAS part was well under.

The drive home was a lot of relief. Even if I didn't have aircon working.
I took this to my VASS consultant friend and the whole thing got signed off on by the director of Abmarc, who didn't seem upset that I chose not to do the emissions testing through them after all..

Note to self, coilovers ARE legal in Victoria. Also note: So are Varex as they pass under the 90db limit. They can't be controllable by the driver, but they can be controlled by an ECU. Did I mention Varex have an ODB2 controller as well so you can program that?

They just have to open in the last 33% of the rev range as the test is done at 2/3rd of maximum RPM. And this is how all those luxury bimodal exhausts pass the test, you can officially be at 200DB if you want, 1rpm higher than the specified test RPM for that engine. The more you know.. 

The actual testers (especially in NSW!) are pretty keen to get things passed. They know the laws right and know when they see things that pass them.

Then, armed with my VASS Cert and Plate I went back to the original Vicroads and was oh so very, very satisfied to have the same inspectors have to re-inspect the car with 0 visible changes since the first time and pass it.

 

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The unburnt fuel issue, did you adjust injection timing to sort it?

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