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Mistakes were made, my R34 Story

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So eventually I made it to the track day! Got my tyres rotated, my brakes on..

Went to setup the gopro and realised I forgot all of it, and spent 6 hours the night before attempting to remember which was fun

Decide don't really need it all to have fun at the track day, and get going.
I had recently supposedly fixed my PCV system, but I had the dipstick getting blown out now which was fun
I did a few sessions, but was 5s slower a lap than last time, which was fun
Then this happened!

Then the tow truck broke down on the 10 minute drive home which was fun.

After researching gearboxes between then and now, it finally came out yesterday. It appears the only way to pull this gearbox out is disconnect it from the bellhousing and take it out that way, with much swearing I am told.

However this is what was found.








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That does look fun

I've never actually seen that happen before

I'm sure you are going to have even more joy getting those puppies out

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ha, I've done something similar in an evo, sheared all the rivets off so the centre and the plate could turn independently.

Kind of hard to diagnose without taking it apart, but it is nice when the problem is cheaper and easier than it sounds :)

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On now that brings back memories cause I've actually done that !

Admittedly it was with an old school supercharged inline Holden red motor six.

Scared the poop out of me at the time when it went 

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This has been off the road since January, due to delays with replacing various items. In short, I decided that instead of replacing only the clutch, I'd replace the gearbox as well (previous gearbox was fine) because I didn't want to be in this position again any time soon.

Also the T56 Magnum is a massive step up over the regular T56 in every single way, especially for driving and shift quality which is actually a bit of a big deal for me...

On that subject though, the post mortem on the clutch came back when the new box was going in, because the slave cyl didn't have nearly enough room to do it's job due to the starter motor relocation kit/spacer that was in the bellhousing. In short, my old clutch was never fully disengaging - Which is the likely culprit of the early failure.


This was machined up to fix this problem, to give the moving bits enough room to move to do their moving bits job.

It took awhile, but I did receive a T56 Magnum from Mal Wood, with his short shifter, and a rear case (from what I assume is actually a FG Falcon) because it has a Falcon FG short shifter on it.

The idea behind this was to extend the rear case, so that I wouldn't have to use a dogleg shifter handle, and could use a handle that was straight up.


I also opted for his Model 3 inter clutch, which will do more than enough to hold the power given it'll actually disengage. The only criticism I read of this was "It drives too much like a stock car, I want a heavier clutch so I feel like I am driving an actual modified powerful car" (again on Ford forums).

So yeah hopefully this will suit!

I also bought a metric ton of heat shielding, namely this stuff.

Header Heat Shield - Lava Armor Exhaust Shield | Heatshield Products

And this stuff, for the rest of the exhaust

Heat Shield Material - Exhaust Heat Shield | Heatshield Products


And here photo sof it on the headers and pipes and such.

I really hate overheating, I was hoping new fans (from a later Mondeo) and absolutely lowering engine bay temperatures may help with giving the cooling system less to do. I also really want to limit heat getting into the car from the exhaust (can you tell?)

I have since learned since ordering this stuff that a better bet would be to remove my 25% underdrive pulley that came with the motor, given it is only running the water pump at 75% capacity. Given my issues only occur when I am at idle, on 35+ days, with the aircon on, for extended periods... having 25% more water pump seems like a more sensible idea.

Also noting that:
ATI make a 25% underdriven dampener, but don't recommend anyone use it
ATI make a stock size dampener, that actually provides dampening (my 25% UDP pulley has no such dampening)
GM use ATI dampeners on their own crate performance engines instead of a GM OEM item.
The gain in using a 25% underdriven balancer is about 5-10hp.

So yeah, it seems like a much more sensible idea to get the dampener that actually provides dampening on a notoriously non-balanced motor, then underdrive the alternator and look into a better power steering pump for track use, which are all widely available.

So that'll be next, once all the stuff in this post is up and driving again, pending a new driveshaft for the new gearbox, which literally was handed to the guy to make up on his last day before retirement.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

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I haven't - But my power steering I have noticed is not actually the LS1 model that everyone complains is shit/overheats/leaks from every orofice.

I dont know if I haven't had problems due to the fact it was previously underdriven 25%.... now that it is driven at normal rate it could be more of a problem, and it may be less heavy! I'll have to wait and see. They also sell a 150mm pulley, the stock/spare one I have is 137mm. I assume* the one on the car is also 137mm. OEM reservoirs have a filter in them and are pretty damn cheap to replace, if that starts leaking. Seems a better option than the alloy res everyone seems to upgrade to.

My pump is actually the VZ/VE pump, and I'm not often at full lock at full RPM. However that looks like a potential little side project down the way, other than letting go of the purity of hydraulic power steering of course!

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:52 AM, Kinkstaah said:

other than letting go of the purity of hydraulic power steering of course!

It's still hydraulic. The pump is electric. Just the mechanical power to run the pump goes via the alternator instead of the PS pump belt.

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On 7/23/2021 at 10:39 AM, GTSBoy said:

It's still hydraulic. The pump is electric. Just the mechanical power to run the pump goes via the alternator instead of the PS pump belt.

This is both news and makes sense to me. What I can't find is anyone saying anything about how the steering feels any different afterwards. I guess it would help with RPM based problems assuming the Astra pump is driven steadily and not RPM dependent.

I.e in the future I will almost certainly try this cause...reasons....

(the reason will be something broke)

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Only seems to be used by burnout and drag cars. Steering feel not on the radar, and unable to be thought about for burnout guys . They max out their brains quite quickly.

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On 7/22/2021 at 2:25 PM, Kinkstaah said:


Oooh it's happening!

Turns out this is not happening, because when going onto the car.. this is a LS1 Corvette balancer, not the Commodore one I called about to confirm it was 100% the right fitment before ordering.



Left = Old LS1 25% UDP balancer

Mid = 6.0 LS2 balancer

Right = My now on the way back to the supplier Corvette LS1 balancer.

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I still await Startrack for my Balancer.

In the meantime, my lovely girlfriend sold her Turbo MX5.
Her criteria was "Something Japanese, Fun, but a hatchback" (cause she doesnt like 100kmh highways in a MX5, and tends to go to bunnings a lot)

Basically my Megane, but Japanese. Because she is blessed, not cursed, this is now in the driveway, 1 day later.


Bonus Extras (that she and seller didn't notice, but I did)

Genuine P1 Buddy Clubs
Genuine Mugen Wang
Short shifter of some sort (shifts amazingly, def not stock - we test drove a few cars)
Aftermarket Helical LSD (Quaife?)

One of the other ones we tested had an Intake, for max VTEC sounds. So we're getting one of those.

As for how it drives, I have now experienced 3 different cars in this household I should primarily drive around instead of my R34. I googled bolt on supercharger kits for the K20, which was the inspiration for my mate's supercharged BMW, and found that when I overlaid a video of someone doing a 50-250kmh pull, and my own video at Sandown in the LS Skyline... they were identical in acceleration.

Every frame of the entire thing. It was eerie.

My lovely gf is extremely happy, and I am too. They really do drive excellently, and the fit and finish and interior is just awesome. I am more excited to drive this thing around than my own car, which I hope to high heaven is just because it's new to me and a great deal/hilariously good buy.

However this completes our household change from Turbo life to N/A Purity!

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