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S12 Media & Build Projects => Build Projects => Topic started by: CzechSilvia on 11:17:06 AM / 28-Aug-16

Title: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 11:17:06 AM / 28-Aug-16
Hi,

I already posted in a few threads but I think it's time to introduce myself and my car, it's a long story and not particularly interesting so don't expect anyone to read all of it, parts of this are already written in other threads here on forum.

I'm happily married guy with a job that's average paying at best but my expenses like rent and things like that are really low so I can afford to have a project car and still get by. I was born and raised in Prague and I always liked japanese 80s and 90s cars. Since I was 14 I have always wanted a small light-weight RWD car - something like an S13, AE86, MR2, MX5,... stuff like that. I had never even heard of an S12 until I have seen the ad for the Silvia I now own.

My first car was 80s Citroen AX with a 1.0liter engine which I got from my mother. Everything you touched in the car broke but the car still somehow managed to run for years. At the end of its life the little AX was all rusty, the driver's side and trunk lock rusted off, it had almost no brakes, terrible head gasket leak - the engine ate almost as much oil as petrol, almost nothing electrical worked and the only thing on the dash that still worked was the clock. But the car was such a blast to drive with its 760kg it handled like a go-kart. The engine eventually died for good and the car got scrapped. I was looking at ads for another car and saw an ad with another AX for sale but it was a super rare model that had 1.4 liter engine and it was 4x4! It was really cheap so I could probably afford it but the ad disappeared before I made my mind, that was in 2012. I have always regretted not buying that car.

In November 2015 my wife wanted to buy herself a car so I was checking some ads for her and out of boredom I started looking at cars I was interested in. And there she was, a white '85 Silvia hatchback with ca18et in it. Suddenly I remembered the rare Citroen AX, I wouldn't make make the same mistake again so I decided to buy it. I crashed my bike so I wanted some toy to replace it. I'm not a mechanic by any means - before I got the S12, the only job I did on a car was that I once changed a flat tire on the AX but cars always fascinated me so I was willing to start learning some of the car stuff. I thought that I'll do just the basic stuff like change some filters, change the oil and other basic stuff like that. My plan was that if something important breaks, I'll just bring it to a pro because I though that it's too dangerous to do stuff like brakes by your own if you're not a mechanic. It has turned out very differently than I had planned...

They say not to buy a car when it's raining and they're right. It was raining real hard the day I went to check the Silvia and it was already night time when I finally got there and it was friday the 13th, not kidding. The Silvia was originally owned by a guy from Switzerland and from there it was imported to Czech Republic in 1997. Some old man bought it here  and he was driving the car until 1999 and then, probably because of a broken turbo, put the car in a garage where it sat until 2015. That year the owner of the car died and the ownership went to his son who immediately sold the car to the guy I was dealing with. He told me that he replaced the turbo and the exhaust and that the only thing the car needs is a new battery and that there's a tiny little oil leak somewhere near the turbo, also the fuel pump didn't work and according to him that was the reason he was selling it. He told me he lost all motivation to mess with it and that he wants it away. I was like ALRIGHT! and bought it and had it towed to a tiny little garage I rented to fix the car. They also say not to buy a car that don't start, that's also a very good advice.

And there she is in my garage after I bought her
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ohicwju5f6c1xic/unnamed.jpg?dl=1)

I had very limited knowledge about engines and cars, I still do but the situation is getting better :). First I took a shot at the fuel system, for 2 days I was searching for a fuel pump relay because I just knew that that must be the cause of the problems. I thought it's weird that I can't find it because according to the manual it was supposed to be there. That's when I learned that Mk1 and Mk2 are a thing. Turned out there is no fuel pump relay in Mk1. I had a friend to help me with this problem, he doesn't know much about cars but he's very good with the electric stuff, what we did was this - I was turning the key in different positions and he was testing the fuel pump voltage with a multimeter at the back of the car. The readings he got didn't make any sense at first. During this my friend touched a wire he should have and got electric shock at that same second the engine fired up! A little bit of panic ensued :D. After a while my friend figured it out, by getting the electrical shock, he grounded the fuel pump which started working for a moment and that was enough for the motor to fire up, so it turned out the part of ECU that controls the fuel pump is fried so we bypassed the ECU and now the fuel pump is always on when I turn the key. It's a sketchy way of fixing it but it works...

So the car could finally be started! It idled quite well and when given less throttle the RPM went up as expected but with more throttle the RPM actually went down and if I had kept it at more than 1/2 throttle the engine would have stopped. In my case it was the MAF sensor, I carefully pulled it out of the aluminium housing and gave it a good clean with a spraycan of MAF sensor cleaner and that did the trick! Really cheap fix. I also did some other minor fixes.

After that, when I jacked up the car I found out that the brakes are busted, they were all rusty and seized. bleh
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kpvmbrlh67ilp1/1.jpg?dl=1)

And then I had them refurbished
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/imayoe64s1t4235/12800198_10205241397347102_1918872878523117536_n.jpg?dl=1)

Soon after that I found out the real reason the guy I bought the Silvia from wanted to get rid of the car. The oil and coolant were mixing and like A LOT. The usual cause of that is the failed headgasket, the guy who sold it to me must have known, all the signs were there and he fixes cars for a living. Well it turned out it wasn't the head gasket, the cylinderhead was cracked. After 2 months of searching, I sourced a different head, got it pressure tested and found out that it's cracked in the same spot as the original head. So I had to find yet another head, this one was finally alright. I put the engine back together. While doing that I accidentally stripped a exhaust mani bolt hole. I managed to fix that too with a helicoil set.

Finally, I managed to start her up with the new head. It was a very proud moment for me, I managed to do all of this by myself (almost) in that tiny little garage with limited tools and budget. I stood there proudly as the engine was spitting oil on the ground and on the exhaust where it was burning off and making clouds of smoke. This probably was the tiny oil leak the guy I bought the Silvia from warned me about. Also she had bad overheating issues at the time she still had the cracked head, turned out someone installed the thermostat the opposite way. During the cylinder head replacement I also fitted new the water and bought a new thermostat, I also did the timing belt with the tensioner, all new gaskets and other stuff while I was at it.

The oil leak turned out to be interesting problem. The oil feed hard line for turbo was cut in two parts and these were connected by a rubber hose and a pair of hose clamps, this rubber ruptured. I think someone was removing the turbo and cut the metal line in two because he couldn't get to the bolt at the end of it. Probably previous owner. I replaced the hard line with a braided line.

Ok so after 10 months the car is finally able to drive! I tested it out and found out that I have a boost leak, minor fix, I just tightened a clamp I forgot about.

Here she is!
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/hebc7axbpjj2h8p/14095955_1087854501301452_8734092789998032227_n.jpg?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/6dnd2hcko2v88xc/14063813_1087854637968105_5511864587065744861_n.jpg?dl=1)

During the second drive I found out that the clutch is slipping, oh boy, here we go again :rolleyes2:. I knew the clutch is near the end of its life but I hoped it will last some more. Unfortunately I don't have money to fix that right now, I have to wait until the payday :/

Right now, I am also in the process of flushing the cooling system to deal with the aftermath of the cracked cylinder head. So far I have flushed it twice with distilled water with a coolant flush additive and once with only distilled water. The water I get out of it still looks like instant coffee with milk :/ At least it looks like the oil is mostly out of the system. Well, I'll just continue until it's clean.

My Silvia is exactly what they call a lemon, there are a lot of issues with her I had no idea about. At least the shell is relatively rust-free so I got that goin for me...

BUT I still love my Silvia and I have a lot of plans with her!


THE LIST:

fix fuel system (turned out the part of ECU that controls the fuel pump is fried so I bypassed the ECU and now the fuel pump is always on when I turn the key)
fix alternator (got it refurbished) (the refurbished one didn't work so I got a new one)
fix brakes (refurbished calipers, new pads, new front rotors, braided brake lines)
get and install new cylinder head (that was huge pain in the ass)
fix the turbo oil leak (replaced damaged oil feed hardline with a braided line with banjo bolts on both ends)
new water pump (had to modify the lower timing belt cover because the new pump wasn't exactly the same shape as the old one)
new thermostat
new clutch XTD stage 1
new tyres, although the ones that are on the car aren't cracked and the tread depth is good, they are almost 20 years old Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE002 195/60 R15
new bonnet - this one is bent and it just looks ugly as it's not flush with the other panels
fix the front lip - I'll probably just use rivets. I think it will look cool and it's cheap
new tail lights
fix sagged doors
upgrade the suspension - in process - BC Racing BR series coilovers + other stuff
front mount intercooler
boost controller
aftermarket air filter
blow-off valve
boost gauge, air/fuel ratio gauge
electric fan conversion
new paint job
paint the stock wheels just refurbish the stock wheels, the original colour is starting to grow on me
also wash the car
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 11:31:18 AM / 28-Aug-16
Looking good. I admire your dedication to take on this project car without a deep skill set, like me. Although I don't envy you for finding parts in Prague.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:33:42 AM / 29-Aug-16
I guess it's pain in the ass to get the parts wherever you live. I have to order the parts from all over the world . Mainly US, Britain but also Australia, Germany, China and the cylinderhead bolts that are in the car I had to order from an e-shop in Saudi Arabia. I have never bought parts directly from Nissan, it's too expensive.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 04:23:54 AM / 02-Sep-16
a little update:

I riveted the old front lip back on the car. I might paint the rivets black eventually but I think I'll keep this look for now, it looks kinda neat.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/97bxsznr1qlpeq3/IMG_20160902_092059.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 10:29:11 AM / 05-Sep-16
Another update!

Just installed new tail lights, I went from this:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/fdjwat3iluq4yxw/IMG_20160905_154540.jpg?dl=1)

to this:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/lnd7w3whbpi7gcn/IMG_20160905_170301.jpg?dl=1)

aaah, much better

and I found a wasp nest in the vent hole, hehe

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/sc4xezp2yg9r54k/IMG_20160905_163733.jpg?dl=1)
Post Merge
Another quick update! I'll keep posting them even though nobody cares, hah!  :evillaugh:

Just installed this neat strut bar!

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/mn9412awefzf1ef/IMG_20160906_112748.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: iceageg on 07:27:00 AM / 06-Sep-16
Very nice.  Where did you find that strut bar?
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 08:45:59 AM / 06-Sep-16
Very nice.  Where did you find that strut bar?

I got it from the same guy who sold me the cylinder head when mine was cracked. He's a real S12 guru and really cool guy too, when I saw him he was putting some Lexus V8 in his S12, I wonder if he's finished... that car will be absolutely brutal.

Anyway, when I was at his place to pick up the cylinder head, I felt like Alice in the wonderland - he had so much cool spare parts for S12! He said he was done with SOHC CA engines so he just gave me like 2 intake manifolds, some MAFs, a spare starter and some other stuff. I asked him if he had a spare ca18et ECU because the one in my car has fried and the part of it that controls the fuel pump doesn't work. He was like "yeah, I have some. Here, have four." He gave me four ECUs just like that...  :wideeyed2:

He also gave me that old strut bar that someone welded ages ago. According to him it's already been on quite a few cars. The strut bar was this really ugly light red so I repainted it with a heat-resistant paint. It's still ugly :\  the colour combination seemed better in my head.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: Cajun1guy on 09:08:12 AM / 06-Sep-16
Man, what luck to find such a treasure chest! I know you will be putting these items to good use, great updates!
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 11:55:53 AM / 06-Sep-16
Keep posting. There are some of us who care.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 03:16:39 AM / 12-Oct-16
Alright, another update! Right now I'm in the middle of changing the clutch. I went for the stage 1 XTD clutch mainly for financial reasons it cost me about 4000 CZK (160 USD) to buy and get it all the way around the globe from Cali to Prague. The cheapest clutches I was able to find here were about 7000 CZK (280 USD) and that's without the postage, that might seem expensive but the quality is probably on a whole different level compared to the XTD. The XTD clutches are considered trash but they are meant for a CA18DET engine which in stock form produces 228 Nm of Torque and since my Silvia has a puny 31y.o. single cam engine, that brand new was rated with 183 Nm, I think that the XTD clutch should be good enough for the job. I guess only time will show if I made a mistake or not. The throwout bearing that came in the kit was different than the one in my gearbox so I had to order the correct one but that's no biggie. I can't finish the job without the second set of hands so I have to wait till Sunday when my friend will have time to stop by and help me to put it back together.

Also the cooling system is finally clean. It took exactly 45 litres of distilled water to flush it properly.

While I wait till Sunday I decided to fix an issue I had with timing marks on crank pulley not meeting the pointer thingy on the belt cover thus the timing being impossible to set correctly. Turned out it was just another fuckup of one of the previous owners who for some reason decided to disassemble the crank pulley and then put it back together incorrectly.

So now I can properly set my timing! I already ordered the timing pistol for that. Never done that before but as I understand it, retarded = safe but boring ; advanced = more power but danger of detonation. So guys what's the sweet spot for a stock CA18ET? Btw. I run 100 octane petrol because the lower octane types of fuel in Europe usually have biofuel mixed in them which supposedly damages older engines.

Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 04:25:09 PM / 16-Oct-16
Today I managed to put the whole car together. The new clutch is in which is a huge item to cross off the list. While I was at it I also changed the gearbox oil and the diff oil. I also did the timing which I set somewhere before the last timing mark so it should be around 17-18°btdc.

Then I went for a test drive. Everything seemed fine with exception of some weird noises which still need to be identified but I didn't have the time to worry about that too much because the engine stalled during the drive and then wouldn't start again. The battery is fairly new, about a year old, but there's nothing odd about it being almost flat since I abused it quite a lot without properly charging it during the repairs. But flat or not, once the car is started all the electricity should be provided by the alternator so it seems like busted alternator, right? But that's really weird because I had it refurbished 6 months ago.

Anyway, unless I'm missing something, I'm pretty sure it's the alternator so the plan is that tomorrow morning I'll get it out of the car and bring it back to the company that refurbished it for me.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 01:54:56 AM / 01-Nov-16
alright so a new alternator is in place and it provides sweet 14.something volts which is awesome! I did another test drive yesterday. I did about 30km in heavy traffic, more than half of it was a proper traffic jam and everything went really good, the new clutch seems to be breaking in pretty good and the water temperature was more than satisfactory so I am now really confident that the cooling system won't give me any headaches any time soon.

The only problem is that once I revved up the engine over 4k rpm I started to smell burned rubber and the alternator v-belt started to squeal. The v belt I have on is 9.5x875 mm and it's brand new, well was anyway... I had to tighten it again, it's a little bit thinner now because the slipping through the alternator pulley atomised some of the belt surface and now I have black rubber dust over my engine bay.

I really don't know what's the problem the pulleys seem to be ok, they are not misaligned and the belt is more or less the correct size. I did a research and if I'm not mistaken, the OEM belt should be 10x875 mm, they didn't have such belt in the shop I was in but they had the one I ended buying which is 0.5 mm thinner. The lady in the shop told me that there is no such thing as 9.5mm pulleys, that the 9.5 belt is meant for 10mm pulleys and it should be direct fit for my application.

Well if she was right, I really don't know what I'm doing wrong ...so if anyone has any idea, I'm all ears. For now, I'll get another belt and get the car to tech inspection.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: Nebuchernezzer on 02:41:40 AM / 01-Nov-16
I just changed my belts and from memory the alternator belt is 11mm wide  or 13mm wide (the car has two 13mm wide belts and one 11, i forget which is which though)
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 08:56:22 AM / 01-Nov-16
11? well, that's a surprise. I bought a 10mm one today from company Bando which I had thought is the true OEM one until I have read your post... I put the belt on at a car park right in front of the v-belt store and then drove the car to get it inspected. And I passed, I'm road legal now! The belt seems to be holding so far but I haven't taken the engine to the upper rev range yet.

It wouldn't be my post if there wasn't  a "but" coming so here it comes. The upper radiator hose gave way on my way back from the inspection. Man, I'm so glad that it didn't happen in front of the inspector. So much for my confidence in the cooling system... It was just a small puncture so mended it with duct tape which thankfully was enough to get me and the car safely home.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ipkynpfw5mpl9as/IMG_20161101_135601.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: kelso840 on 09:12:15 AM / 01-Nov-16
My radiator hose busted in that exact same spot. Got one of those universal flex tubes of roughly the same length and it worked like a charm.
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: rednucleus on 11:16:50 AM / 01-Nov-16
your belt pic looks like proper size
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 07:46:10 AM / 02-Nov-16
well, that was a quick fix for a change

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/a1yctqvv7l2culx/IMG_20161102_122336.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: S12_Lifer on 07:32:58 PM / 02-Nov-16
I'm luvin it, keep up the good work!
Title: Re: The story of me, my Silvia, and my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 04:51:16 AM / 03-Nov-16
Since my car is roadworthy now, I decided to turn my attention to the interior and make her more pleasant car to sit in. The most annoying thing about the car was an incredibly loud heat blower so the first thing on the list was to address this issue and it was a great success! I even made a how-to with pictures here (http://club-s12.org/retro4/index.php?topic=38313.0)

Next thing today is to get the interior properly cleaned, I'll have the whole interior steam cleaned and disinfected.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 09:47:32 AM / 09-Dec-16
I haven't done much to the car recently because it's freezing out there and I don't plan to drive the car until after the winter ends. The plan is to hoard parts and get busy when spring comes.

The most important thing on the "to do" list is to change the steering rack bushings. I ordered a set from experimental engineering but when they arrived I realised that the driver's side bushing is made for 25mm bracket but the bracket on my car is 21mm wide. Has anyone dealt with this issue before? Will getting the correct size bracket fix my issue or will there then be other fitment issues on the crossmember side or with the power steering rack itself?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 04:50:21 PM / 09-Dec-16
I put some of those Experimental Engineering bushings in my car last July when I replaced the steering rack. Everything fit perfectly. Are you speaking of the C-shaped bracket that goes over the top of the rack to bolt it down? If so, does the driver side bracket fit correctly?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 03:33:33 AM / 10-Dec-16
yes, that c-shaped bracket or strap that goes over the rack with bushing and bolts down to the crossmember. I haven't tried to fit the EE bushings yet but they are made for 25mm brackets and I know that the driver's side bracket on my car is only 21mm wide (I measured it a month ago to find out if z31 poly bushings would fit. Unfortunately the z31 driver's side bushing is not for 21mm wide bracket, the bracket on z31 is apparently either 15/16in or 3/4in wide, whatever that is in normal measurements.)

I think the problem is only on the driver's side ,the passenger side bracket is 25mm even on my car so I there shouldn't be any trouble fitting the EE bushing there.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 10:43:52 AM / 10-Dec-16
The bushings are the best you're going to get. I wouldn't want 4mm of possible slop in the rack although I suspect it won't move considering the passenger Side will secure it. With no other good bushing option you might be better off having a 25mm bracket shipped in.  Try Row52.com. You can locate parts cars and get someone to pull and ship for you. The bracket is small and light so shipping from North America shouldn't be too much.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 10:53:59 AM / 10-Dec-16
You pretty much said what I'm thinking. I totally want these awesome bushings on my car and I hope that getting the correct bracket will be enough to get them fit securely. I was just wondering if anybody has ever encountered this stupid issue before, someone must have, right?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 06:18:04 PM / 10-Dec-16
I've seen pictures of two different sized steering racks for the S12, maybe one was a manual rack, but it seems odd for the bracket to be a different width with no other modifications. Maybe yours is a Euro variation for some reason.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:55:51 AM / 11-Dec-16
well, we'll see how it tuns out.

Apart from these bushings that give me a headache I already have other pars that just wait here for me to fit them. I got the EE T/C kit, new gearbox mount and a new clutch slave cylinder. I also plan to get new rear rotors and pads, new sunroof weather stripping and the sunroof trim. The sunroof does not leak but makes all sorts of noises while I'm driving so I hope getting new weather stripping will help.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: ndd on 08:43:25 AM / 18-Dec-16
Love reading your journey with the s12  Yes keep updating us ! There are many of us who absolutely love are s12's!!  I have owned mine since1994 and until I found clubs12 I thought I was only one who truly enjoys these cars!  So continue being resourceful and keep this machine running!!! Greetings from Allegan Mi
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 10:37:58 AM / 18-Dec-16
thanks ndd! There's still so much stuff that needs fixing so there will definitely be more updates after the winter.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: turbo-s12 on 05:54:02 PM / 26-Dec-16
My car had the 21mm bracket as well and I wasn't able to find a 25mm. So I've just been rocking it with the 21mm and it hasn't moved yet.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 05:36:40 AM / 27-Dec-16
I have had the luck to meet some s12 guys who also own parts cars so with a little bit of luck I might be able to source the wider bracket. But it's good to know that it can also be done without it
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 10:23:18 AM / 14-Feb-17
The weather is very slowly getting into the spring mode and the temperatures are getting more in favour to some outside work. It was around 5°C during the day, that's 41°F for the people using the weird units, so I could finally proceed with the build a little bit!

I started with the rear brakes. Protip: to fit new pads, you can't just push the caliper piston in, you have to twist the piston clockwise to get it far enough inside the caliper. I bought that sci-fi looking cubic tool for that but none of the patterns on the cube sides fit my caliper piston so I ended up using a pair of circlip pliers and it went surprisingly easy.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/8m9zgq0zz8a9d9z/IMG_3911.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/mzjl9cdywisj7gd/IMG_3914.JPG?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 08:48:23 AM / 21-Feb-17
I had some free time today so I replaced the gearbox mount for a new one. The old one looked a little bit tired. (https://www.dropbox.com/s/4q9ugs7oy1xlvs0/IMG_3925.JPG?dl=1)

And by the way, the quality of the pictures I take is now much better because I started borrowing wife's Canon.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: iceageg on 07:04:18 AM / 22-Feb-17
+1 for borrowing the wife's camera.  I am beginning to understand where all that money went and why.  Did the new mount noticeably reduce vibration when driving?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 09:28:02 AM / 22-Feb-17
What did you end up doing about that steering rack bracket?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 03:42:04 PM / 22-Feb-17
+1 for borrowing the wife's camera.  I am beginning to understand where all that money went and why.  Did the new mount noticeably reduce vibration when driving?

yes, it did! With the shot gearbox mount the vibrations appeared when driving 80kmh or faster. Now, there aren't any vibrations until I reach 120kmh but that probably has a different cause, my guess is that's caused by an unbalanced wheel, hopefully that will fix itself when I fit new tires and get the wheels balanced.

What did you end up doing about that steering rack bracket?

Nothing yet, the solid mounts still wait for me to install them, I still run the OEM rubber bushings. BUT I may have finally sourced the wider bracket, I'll know know for sure in a week or two.

Also, I fitted the Experimental Engineering T/C kit today, snapped some rusty bolts in the process and found out something that doesn't make much sense to me. Someone fitted five washers behind the rear T/C bushing on both of the T/C rods. Also, those rear bushings were fitted backwards. I was afraid that throwing away the extra washers would mess up the geometry but the car seems to handle fine, I'm not sure that I can tell the difference between the EE bushings and the oem ones but the upgrade certainly didn't hurt anything. The only issue is, that now there's a sound coming from the front left corner while braking, it's probably from the new delrin bushing but it's not loud and doesn't sound life-threatening.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 06:00:10 AM / 08-Mar-17
I finally installed the EE solid steering rack mounts today. I followed the supplied instructions and it was pretty straight forward job. Now I'm waiting for the silicone sealant to cure before I can do a test drive.

Alright, what I did about the thin driver's side bracket:
As I mentioned earlier, I contacted the guy with a parts car and he said he has one. When I met up with him, it turned out that the bracket he had is also the thinner one but I ended up buying it of him anyway along with a pair of spare headlights and the front grille, not that I need them but why not... Well, having an extra bracket meant that I could experiment with that bracket without the danger of destroying the bracket I had on the car. Theories were many and varied but the solution I finally decided for was to lay weld beads on both sides of the bracket and file them to fit the bushing. To ensure that you'll end up with the same amount of material on both sides, it's better to first completely finish one side and then do the other one. I had my friend do it for me because I don't have a welding machine (...yet) and he did a really good job! Here's some pics of the modified bracket:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/3femezimum6gzbl/IMG_3931.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/niqp468p3vd8kcw/IMG_3929.JPG?dl=1)

And here's the already painted modified bracket next to the original one:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/hs81vnlyxoqhwo5/IMG_4009.JPG?dl=1)

After I had good look at how's the steering rack designed I must say I don't think it's the best idea to just run the solid mounts with the thinner driver's side bracket like some of you guys do because the passenger's side mount is not designed to limit the lateral movement, it does limit it to some degree by friction caused by the clamping pressure between the bracket and the crossmember but that's it. Unlike the driver's side, the passenger's side bushing doesn't have any groove in the steering rack to sit in, it can theoretically just slide left and right on the steering rack.

I don't think it's really dangerous to run the thinner bracket but it's possible that the steering rack will move left and right the 4mm that the thinner bracket is lacking in width.

Also, while I was under the car I found and removed the source of a exhaust rattle that had annoyed me for quite some time, it was the catalytic converter heat shield which was badly rusted. It was in such a bad shape I couldn't figure out how to save it so I just removed it completely.

Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 04:07:44 AM / 16-May-17
Another task is checked off the list, the electric fan conversion is done!

I used two of these, which is a fan from second gen Kia Shuma (or Sephia,or Spectra, or whatever...) :

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/5zivjgjxxvn35yj/Bez%20n%C3%A1zvu.png?dl=1)

These were literaly the cheapest electric fans they had on the scrapyard. When I cut some stuff off the top and bottom of the fan shrouds and turned them 90°C, they fit quite nicely next to each other over the S12 radiator core. It's not a perfect fit, they don't cover about 5mm of the top part of the radiator core and they go over the radiator sides about 5mm on each side. To prevent the fans from sucking air around the sides of the radiator, I glued stripes of plastic in the inside of the fan shroud to cover that 5mm gap. I used the plastic stripes I previously cut from the fan shrouds. For the temp switch I used a dual temp switch from Skoda Fabia (part nuber 1J0959481A)

Here's how it looks like:
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/b91c4o1hea86ffq/IMG_5150.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/62v2jh5mwq2hd0w/IMG_5154.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ocyy072agy37gx/IMG_5149.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/nd0o39csjgov3bm/IMG_5159.JPG?dl=1)

And here's where I accomodated the relays and the fuse box:
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/2nbbndi9loj4ew2/IMG_5153.JPG?dl=1)

The first fan kicks in at 97°C and stops at 87°C and the second fan kicks in at 102°C and stops at 97°C. I live in a mild climate so I bet only single one of these would be sufficient to cool the engine, they are pretty strong, I don't know exactly how much current they pull because my multimeter is only up to 10A and I didn't want to fry it but they used 30A fuse with this fan in the Kia. The second fan is there only if the first one failed or if the engine for some reason really was about to overheat, it also has a loud bearing so I'll definitely hear if the second one kicks in for some reason. So far I've only tested the setup on idle but it seems to be doing great, the first fan kicked in when it should and cooled the coolant to the bottom border 87°C in less than 30 seconds.

Not all the credit goes to me, I had a friend help me with the wiring and another friend who fabricated the piece for the temp switch to go in, he made it out of steel and I made the pipe lip with jb weld and then painted it:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/su3z1xd10hamr6d/IMG_5138.JPG?dl=1)


NEXT UP is a mod that I'll probably hate myself for but I want to try it out really bad because it's a new after-market part for the ca18et and that's pretty rare.

I have a feeling my engine mounts are going bad so I was searching what can be done about it and found, what I believe is, the only bolt-on replacment on the market:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/j631nl1o9yupqli/IMG_5183.JPG?dl=1)

These are polyurethane engine mounts for the ca18et produced in the neighbouring Poland by company Silver Project, I contacted them about the stiffness of the polyurethane because they don't advertise it anywhere and they told me they are 63 duro which, to me, seems pretty soft for poly mounts so since I couldn't find any reviews of these mounts, I decided to try them and find out if they are useable on the street. They are supposed to be bolt-on so I can always go back to stock mounts if the vibrations are bad.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 03:44:03 PM / 16-May-17
I've enjoyed following your work over the last 18 months or so. Always a solid job.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: Cajun1guy on 08:11:06 PM / 16-May-17
Yes, ALWAYS great to hear of other nut cases out there like me. I admire the determination of the few still enjoying keeping these cars on the road. I am getting more and more questions about my S-12's all the time.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 08:59:48 AM / 20-May-17
Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

I got the Silver Project engine mounts installed and tested. They are not exactly direct fit, I had to modify them just slightly to get them fit. There are two threaded holes in the engine-side of the mounts but only one of them should be threaded so I ran through one of those on each mount with a 10mm drill bit, other than that, they fit pretty well and the engine sits in the same height.

The engine mounts perform as advertised, the engine is not going anywhere and the shifting is super precise even in higher rev range. As for the vibrations, I don't mind the extra vibrations that go through the steering wheel, the seats or the pedals, it's actually nice to feel the engine like that, but oh god, the soundtrack! The spectrum of sounds that the interior learned to produce is surprisingly wast. The dash rattles, the sunroof rattles, the door rattles... and it changes depending on the revs, it's like avangard symphony, unbearable.

Upon closer inspection, the original engine mounts are in pretty good shape. I thought they were shot because of how soft they were but I guess that's just how they are. They'll definitely go back in soon.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: Cajun1guy on 09:40:38 PM / 21-May-17
Love that description! I can just imagine the vibrations and resonations going on.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 04:39:47 AM / 04-Jul-17
Alright, here's an update: I have done some long due servicing - I have replaced the spark plugs (my choice were the NGK BCPR5ES-11 and BCPR6ES-11), NGK sparkplug wires, NGK/NTK O2 sensor and a new distributor cap.

Right after I changed these I started to get engine hesitation at random RPMs, when it happens I get 0 power for a few seconds but at that time it happened only twice during 3 drives. I thought it's a bad electrical connection at the fuel pump because when I bypassed the ECU so that the pump is always running when the key is the "ON" position, I only twisted the wires and didn't bother to solder them.

Well, to get the connection soldered I had to get to a friend who actually has a soldering iron, the car almost died 6 times before I got there and that was only about 4km drive. I soledered the connection and the drive back was without a problem. I did one more test drive and found out, that the engine hesitates at 5k+ RPM, I thought that's a separate issue but looking back, it's probably still the same one. Anyway, I suspected the coils so I tried the dual coil mod but that didn't help at all and the hesitation at random RPM came back.

This really pisses me off, I wanted to go on a two-day trip in the s12 tomorrow

I really don't know what can be causing it, is it the new dizzy cap? bad ecu? bad fuel pump? or a dirty fuel filter? probably not the fuel filter, it seems more like a electrical problem... Am I missing something?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: JonB on 08:48:40 AM / 04-Jul-17
I'm usdm so.

No codes? Don't think the ecu says much about the ignition.

Check the values on the power transistors. These failed on me at about 5x the rate of coils, but my stuff was getting hit with an msd and an amp.

The way to go for plug heat range is read the plug. It's about the cylinder temp. If the air outside is cold, there's more oxygen in every cubic foot of air, so you'll make more power, if it were carbureted, it make make it lean when your in it, which means hotter chamber temps, which you deal with from there - read the plug, change the plug range if it's not correct. You have fuel injection - it should keep it pretty close to correct a/f even in cold, possibly, you'd just have to rev it a bit when it's freezing ass cold.

I upped my compression, ran a used intercooler, went from, t2 to t22, and ran a euro cam, here in pa, where we have 10F days, I never had to change the plug range on my car. It'd feel a little slower north of 5500rpm, but the head sucked, but it wasn't slower up there.

Anyway, I digress. It's not easy to find problems in these things sometimes. Good luck

Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: kelso840 on 09:21:24 AM / 04-Jul-17
This sounds like an issue I've had before. Did you by chance loosen your distributor when changing the cap? I'd double check your timing.

Also try cleaning the grounds on both coils at the terminal and where it contacts the body. Can't hurt.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 11:15:23 AM / 04-Jul-17
I think I'd focus on the wires and cap because these were changed just before the issue showed up. Put the old wire set back in and see if anything changes, then do the same with the cap. At the very least you can get back to square one and take your trip.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: rednucleus on 12:19:24 PM / 04-Jul-17
Please verify this condition did not exist prior to the work you did?
If so, replace only one component at a time with the old part to try and isolate the problem.  Good luck, anxious to hear you report back. I have other ideas if this doesn't give you the answer.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 12:26:18 PM / 04-Jul-17
This sounds like an issue I've had before. Did you by chance loosen your distributor when changing the cap? I'd double check your timing.

Also try cleaning the grounds on both coils at the terminal and where it contacts the body. Can't hurt.

no, I didn't losen the distributor so the timing should still be on the 18° I set it for about a year ago but I doubt it's timing problem because the car runs fine most of the time and then suddenly combustion just doesn't happen for a moment - usually about two seconds. If it was timing issue, I think the engine would run bad at all times. Cleaning the grounds sure wouldn't hurt anybody but the engine shouldn't act like that since I did the dual coil mod, unless the coils share the same ground of course...

No codes? Don't think the ecu says much about the ignition.

I completely forgot that the car is smart enough to talk to me.

Check the values on the power transistors. These failed on me at about 5x the rate of coils, but my stuff was getting hit with an msd and an amp.
If I'm not mistaken there are two independent transistors, one for each coil, so it probably should be the same as with the coil grounds, not really probable that both transistors would fail the same way in the same exact time. This is the same reason I think the sparkplug wires are not the cause. The distributor cap, I'm not so sure now... Although it's brand new, if it's fucked up in some weird way, it might be causing symptoms like these. I'l try changing it as Weitrhino suggested as soon as I get back home from night shift.

Please verify this condition did not exist prior to the work you did?

I don't think it did but I'm not 100% sure, I don't drive the car very often.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: rednucleus on 12:50:52 PM / 04-Jul-17
New rotor too?  Make sure rotor bolt is secure.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:10:10 PM / 04-Jul-17
New rotor too?  Make sure rotor bolt is secure.

I changed only the cap but I'll make sure to check that
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: rednucleus on 04:26:10 PM / 04-Jul-17
Always change rotor with cap change. I have had two S12 rotors that had an intermittent short down thru the distributor shaft.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 05:49:39 AM / 05-Jul-17
I took the distributor apart and all the parts seem to be in pretty good condition. Also, upon closer inspection of the distributor rotor and cap, I must rule out the ignition system as a suspect because the exhaust side and the intake side ignition systems are completely independent systems all the way from spark plugs to ignition coils. Now that I did the dual coil mod, I can't think of a way for both, the exhaust and the intake, sides to fail to deliver spark at the same time.

I also asked Silvia what's wrong and she said 23 and 31 so TPS and AirCon. I replaced the TPS with one that I dug out from my stash of old spare parts and tried to set it up but I still get the code 23. Well, the TPS throwing codes remains an issue but I doubt that the little piece of shit is so important that it would be capable of something major like stalling the engine when driving. As for the code 31, the instructions on the ECU say that it's ok to get the code for AirCon if the car doesn't have it (which it doesn't).

I took her out for a drive and now I'm pretty convinced that it's a fuel delivery issue. What I noticed is, that the fuel pump noise changes depending on what electrical stuff, like the fans etc., is turned on. (Mind that, there's more than enough juice at all times, I always measured more than 14V at the battery when the engine is running.) But the weirdest thing is, that the fuel pump noise gets weaker the more I press the throttle pedal while driving. Occasionally, when I go full throttle, the fuel pump stops completely, that kills the engine and the revs go down, sometimes, the engine comes back to life by itself and at other times, I have to lift the foot off the throttle for the fuel pump to start doing its thing again.

Is it a bad pump or can something else cut the fuel pump power supply like that? Also, how the hell can throttle position influence the behaviour of the fuel pump? And can the TPS issue be related to that? Well, the only thing certain is, that we're doing the today's trip by train...
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: iceageg on 11:00:44 AM / 05-Jul-17
I don't know how the TPS can impact the function of the fuel pump directly.  However, our pathfinder had/has a similar TPS related issue that took some time to diagnose.

After 25 years the plastic connectors for everything under the hood are brittle and require great care when being plugged/unplugged.  The harness side connector to the TPS is one that has had part of the retaining clip break off.  The other half of the clip holds it in place and since the male and female parts of the connector still fit snugly so it has never been an issue.  Until one cold day . . . My wife drove to work and the truck started cutting out fairly violently.  She coasted it down the hill and nursed it into a gas station.  At low speeds it was fine but at any significant throttle position it would randomly alternate between idle power and correct power.  Her description of the problem was terribly inaccurate which is important because by the time we had towed it the few blocks home the problem had self resolved.  I did not get to experience it myself.

Fast forward one problem free year and it happened again on cold winter day, but this time I was home to experience it for myself.  Turns out when it is very cold outside the plastic shrinks just enough for the TPS connectors to wiggle part way loose.  Not having an extra harness handy I simply secured the male and female connectors with a couple zip ties temporarily and the issue disappeared instantly.

I am not sure if this will help in your situation, but for me the TPS was telling the computer to cut fuel back to idle flow even though the throttle was half/wide/partial open, then suddenly getting the correct reading and adjusting the fuel back to correct, then back to idle, then back to correct, then back to idle.  All without ever moving the throttle.  Simple enough to test with some zip ties.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 01:48:40 PM / 05-Jul-17
The TPS connector on my s12 is secured by a metal clip which I have in place and the connector itself also seems to be in good health, plus I don't think it's possible for the TPS or the ECU to shut off the fuel pump. The ECU doesn't control the pump on my car anymore, I have it bypassed. The ecu could possibly cut the fuel delivery at the injectors but that wouldn't explain the trouble with the fuel pump.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 12:51:29 PM / 24-Jul-17
I finally had some time to spend in the garage and troubleshoot the fuel system today. I removed the fuel pump which had collected some surface rust over the time and didn't look very healthy overall, I found out that it's not the original pump but it's probably from a comletely different car. I replaced it with what seems to be a Ford Mondeo fuel pump, I had this pump lying around and it happened to have the same style of connector as the one I took out of the tank so the change was easy. The Ford fuel pump is noticeably quieter than the old one.

I did a short test drive and experienced only a short hesitation just before I pulled over to a petrol station but I really, really hope that was just the car running out of fuel. The rest of the drive went without any problems. It seems that the hesitation is gone but I don't want to jump to any conclusions, the problem was hard to replicate even before the fuel pump change and now, when the pump is quieter, I can't monitor the fuel pump noise while driving.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 03:15:02 PM / 25-Jul-17
I'm sure it will run perfectly until the first time you go out of town.  :evillaugh:
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 08:09:41 AM / 14-Dec-17
Haven't updated the thread in a while because, sadly, there wasn't anything worthwile to talk about. The problems with fuel delivery I was having seem to be fixed by that random Ford fuel pump and that's about it, nothing new happened...

However, I have not forgotten my s12, actually, I've been saving money for the s13 front conversion and BC coilovers. I already have most of the stuff I need for that home but I don't think I'll be putting it on the car before the spring comes. Anyway, while sourcing the s13 parts for the conversion, I also bought an old t25 turbo from ca18det so my long-term plans now also include getting the t25 rebuilt and slapping it on the car along with an intercooler and custom exhaust. But before that I'm also planning to address the shabby exterior of the car and to install a new fuel pump with an aftermarket fpr because I'm obviously not happy with the current setup.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 09:35:45 AM / 03-Mar-18
I finally have an update with some pictures for you guys. I have installed the BC racing BR series coilovers. As for the spring rates I got 6kg/mm front and 5kg/mm rear (335lbs/inch front and 280lbs/inch rear) which was the softest option, the other available spring rates were 8kg front, 6kg rear and 10kg front 8kg rear which seemed way too stiff for anything other than circuit racing.

I did the standard s13 front conversion with s13 knuckles, hubs and brakes, I used S12 LCA with Moog K9509 Ball Joint and S13 inner tie rod with Moog ES3048RL Tie Rod End. The S13 brakes I have now on the car are actually worse than the stock S12 ones I originally had on the car, the rotor is smaller and the piston is also slightly smaller (273mm vs 257mm rotors and 60mm vs 57mm calliper piston). I'll try these brakes and if I ever feel the need to get bigger brakes, I can always get something better now that I have the S13 knuckles and hubs. I also used Hel Performance S13 braided brake lines in the front, I already got them installed in the rear. I also had to bend that bracket on coilover for holding the brake line for it to be usable on the S12.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/l5a2x5p2uj3wwz3/IMG_7282.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/kn66o7sp4uzxtsf/IMG_7281.JPG?dl=1)

When I was uninstalling front swaybar the oem swaybar link snapped in two so I thought it's time for an upgrade. I wanted something with polyurethane bushings so I tried buying the Moog K700526 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit and it turns out that its a direct bolt on!

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/4iylruekyutb8jx/310JZbK768L.jpg?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/g073mcub5fks22j/IMG_7283.JPG?dl=1)

This is how the suspension looks in the rear now. Note that I took the pictures before I set up the ride height and spring preload.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/w5cq87db95x2m9o/IMG_7285.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ctmhlrlzw06gmo5/IMG_7284.JPG?dl=1)

The install of the new rear struts and springs was pretty straight forward. I went straight for removing the back interior, I didn't even bother trying to undo the top strut nuts through the speaker holes.

I decided to reuse the stock rubber insulator that sits on top of the spring between the coil and the chassis as it is softer than the supplied replacement but for that I had to modify it a little bit. The BC racing springs are flat on top and bottom but the stock springs are not, they are simple coils so I had to cut some bits off the insulators to fit the flat end of the springs.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ikftexn00udbi40/IMG_7289.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/54yr9b2omji3zo0/IMG_7286.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/07m7lkwip7u58wk/IMG_7298.JPG?dl=1)

This is how the adjustment knob of the rear strut looks on the inside of the car, it obviously won't be accesible when I put the interior pieces back. I'll probably address this shortcoming of the design in the future.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/raow909k3npvqg3/IMG_7296.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/r92trsy2zwgvav3/IMG_7295.JPG?dl=1)

Now I just have to set up the suspension and take the car for an alignment. While I was with the camera in the garage I took some pictures of the engine bay.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/4qbjl791fg2m09u/IMG_7299.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/096ml0qe4oq1qpn/IMG_7302.JPG?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: JonB on 01:23:17 PM / 03-Mar-18
Lookin good
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 07:21:47 AM / 05-Mar-18
I've been fiddling with the suspension setup some more and ended up using the supplied BC Racing insulators on top of the rear springs instead of the stock ones. The rear seems to sit too high with the stock ones.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: ndd on 02:40:24 PM / 08-Mar-18
Keep us updated you do have people reading your story!  Keep up the good work.  Long live the S12!!
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: kelso840 on 08:21:58 AM / 09-Mar-18
I'm definitely interested in your progress as well. You're one of the last active build threads we get to enjoy here!

Also, A+ for trying things like Moog K700526 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit and verifying compatibility. I'll add that to a list of potential upgrades.

Have you looked into remote adjustment cables like these so you don't have to tear the rear apart? Wish I had something like that for my Tokicos.
https://bcracingcoilovers.com/products/bc-racing-coilovers-rear-dampening-adjustment-extenders-br-type
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:37:25 PM / 09-Mar-18
thanks guys, yeah, I plan to try these extenders but I'll still have to drill a hole next to the speaker for that extender to go through.  Well, I better get used to butchering interior panels because I also plan to have an a-pillar gauge pod and I don't think I'll be able to have that without drilling in the a-pillar trim piece
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 08:17:45 AM / 09-Apr-18
Look what I just got, this will be a lot of fun! I even have a spare block, head and intake manifold.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/vavrhntyk416g0z/2018-04-09%2013.19.03.jpg?dl=1)

That's how I got it home. Wife's Mazda is surprisingly roomy.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/7qe5s53srl31agp/2018-04-09%2011.55.31.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: rednucleus on 11:00:36 AM / 09-Apr-18
lol your tiny garage is filling up fast!
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 11:35:18 AM / 13-May-18
Ever since I bought the car, I've been having problems with the fuel system so I've decided to replace/upgrade the major components, make it bulletproof and thus prepare it for the engine swap.

I have dropped the fuel tank and I'll have the inside derusted, coated with something to prevent future rust and when that's done I'll put a Deatschwerks fuel pump in there. The engine bay side of the fuel system is done, I have cut off the stock fpr, installed one from Nismo and a Tomei fuel pressure gauge.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/4jdbs9mis0s13w6/2018-05-13%2016.02.36.jpg?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ouxscw5t9vawsj/2018-05-13%2016.03.25.jpg?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: Redneck on 09:05:43 PM / 16-May-18
Wow great progress on your build so far. Keep it up! I'd like to upgrade to the BC coils as well down the road one day. Being the s12 is just my daily driver though I hate to give up the cushy stock suspension. Or maybe I'm just getting old and turning into a wimp lol.

Love the ca18det upgrade. Obviously its not nearly as common as the sr20 swap but is a timeless classic nonetheless. Really underrated power plant if your not looking for crazy horsepower numbers. Only major drawback it seems to have is aftermarket support being a lot more limited compared to the sr20 but that is to be expected and not a deal breaker by any means.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:58:53 PM / 18-May-18
Wow great progress on your build so far. Keep it up! I'd like to upgrade to the BC coils as well down the road one day. Being the s12 is just my daily driver though I hate to give up the cushy stock suspension. Or maybe I'm just getting old and turning into a wimp lol.

Love the ca18det upgrade. Obviously its not nearly as common as the sr20 swap but is a timeless classic nonetheless. Really underrated power plant if your not looking for crazy horsepower numbers. Only major drawback it seems to have is aftermarket support being a lot more limited compared to the sr20 but that is to be expected and not a deal breaker by any means.

Thanks, there's more to come! The stock soft and tired suspension was what was bothering me the most when I was driving it, now I'm finally happy with how the suspension feels. The swap is a longer-term project, rebuilding the CA18DET and the modifications I'm planning to do to it will be expensive and there's nothing wrong with the engine that's in the car now so I can drive the car as is until I save up the money I need.

I didn't even consider the SR although I know a guy who has one in his s12. In my opinion the 16valve CA is at home in the s12, it's the engine the car was supposed to have from the factory, that and the turbo FJ. Funny thing is I wasn't originally planning on swapping the engine because of how expensive it is and it's also generally very sketchy legally because they check the engine with what's in your papers at tech inspection but I saw the ca18det for sale for cheap and just couldn't resist. I think I'll be fine as far as law or tech inspection is concerned, my papers state that the car has an "CA18" engine which will still be technically true after the swap.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 03:29:03 PM / 14-Jun-18
I had a whole day free so I spent most of it in the garage and made some progress. This is what my fuel pump setup will be when I finally have the refurbished fuel tank back in the car. I have three or four old s12 sending units lying on a shelf but I bought a brand new sending unit assembly for 35 USD, that made more sense than trying to repair one of the old rusty ones. It's a bit different than the old units I have, the connectors were different so I switched them with one from the spare ones and the float was a bit higher so I bent the wire that holds it so it measures the same as the old unit. The pump is Deatschwerks DW100.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7pxnlhgw89ahsj/IMG_8972.JPG?dl=1)

Another thing I got done today was fitting the extenders for the coilover adjustment knobs. I had to butcher the rear speaker brackets for them to fit and obviously drill holes in the interior panels but it turned out ok, I'm very happy with the result.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ivj51osn3z7gbbd/IMG_8977.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/6asyidd7b4p7m1o/IMG_8979.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/f8qym14m8pl2o2s/IMG_8981.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/burmcs27trcq46f/IMG_8984.JPG?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: babybrother3294 on 06:20:36 PM / 29-Jun-18
I also want to put a ca18det in my car in the future. its the "pure" option imo. at least in the US where we didnt get the fj. i like what youre doing with the car. so satisfying to watch it progress and get cleaann.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 01:23:24 PM / 28-Jul-18
Got the fuel tank sandblasted inside out, painted and the inside coated with epoxy to prevent future rust.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/1h8by7qtd51wwxy/IMG_9588.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/j5aiw8jp2ryjj2c/IMG_9592.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/8thtn4l5bgfupjo/IMG_9593.JPG?dl=1)
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 07:03:26 AM / 16-Sep-18
The plan for today was to get the differential off the car, disassemble it and properly measure it to make sure that the Quaife ATB, I plan to buy, will fit because I'm not completely sure what differential I have. Well, that was the plan but after getting to the garage and jacking up the car, the hungover me couldn't muster any more strength to undo a single bolt. As I was laying under the car staring at the drivetrain I devised a different plan, I'll ask you guys, trust you and my luck, and then I'll buy the Quaife without comparing the old diff with the Quaife spec sheet. Well then guys, is that an R200 differential?

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/6wot2xwapfzppgf/IMG_0123.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/6wrgn9jcrw2tnh5/IMG_0124.JPG?dl=1)

Sadly, I didn't do much work on the car, apart from fitting this sick Gatorade sweatband on the brake fluid reservoir but I did do quite a lot of driving and I must say the car handles incredible, the suspension work I did on it really paid off and the engine runs sweet and strong as well!

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/ltb47sg99bok1t1/IMG_0126.JPG?dl=1)

However, I didn't just goof around, I've been negotiating deals on some really cool parts for the old s12, there's a lot more to come!
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 11:24:52 PM / 18-Sep-18
I asked around and now I'm pretty sure it's r200 which is good news
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: weitrhino on 06:39:12 PM / 19-Sep-18
I saw your Facebook posts and had always believed only the R200 had cooling fins.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 03:31:21 AM / 06-Oct-18
After saving up for a couple of months, I got the Quaife QDF7L and it fits the stock r200 carrier and stock s12 halshafts. Now the LSD is installed in its new home and is ready to go on the car but unfortunately it won't be until the end of the next week until I have time to actually fit on the car and try it out.
I also replaced all the seals in the diff but kept the old bearings, there was nothing wrong with them.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/dvmvuvj1qkofmly/IMG_0433.JPG?dl=1)

Taking off the diff carrier from the subframe was harder than I expected, but it always is... Someone on the forum mentioned that you have enough space to pop the halfshafts  from the diff without unbolting them from the hubs if you remove the rear springs and disconnect the shocks. That's impossible, you have to completely remove at least one halfshaft but that's ok, I needed to rebuild that halfshaft anyway as it has started to leak

The install of the LSD to the carrier is something I thought I could do by myself but I quickly gave up and had a friend with a proper workshop do it, because to fit the diff properly you have to adjust the diff position in the carrier using shims. New shims needed to be made on a lathe to fit the LSD properly. That's probably because the manufacturing tolerances of the oem diff were much bigger back in the 80s than they are now in Quaife. Also, the old bearings were impossible to take off the old diff with the tools I had and to get them on the new diff we needed to use a hydraulic press. Long story short - take the carrier off the car by yourself and have the lsd fitted by someone you trust and has the proper equipment.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: kelso840 on 06:15:30 AM / 06-Oct-18
So it sounds like the average garage mechanic should NOT buy this unit expecting it to be a direct replacement?
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 06:36:57 AM / 06-Oct-18
it is as direct replacement as it possibly can be, I'm sure that the shims would need adjusting even if I were to put in a factory open diff from another s12. Take a look in the fsm, the section about adjusting differential is pretty extensive.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:19:08 PM / 12-Oct-18
Today I put the car back together and took it for a short spin. The car behaves exactly the same when driving like a regular person but when you give it some gas in the corner it's a totally different car. It goes faster and it can slide properly as well, also there's this little metal step at the entrance of my garage and when I tried to go over it really slowly with the open diff the car would get stuck and spin one tyre on the edge of the metal step but now the car goes over the step smoothly no matter how slow I drive over it so that's pretty neat, I was wondering if the new diff would take care of this little annoyance and it really did.
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 02:55:43 PM / 18-Mar-19
First update of the 2019 season!

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/85vj6g5jpgua05x/IMG_20181101_145717.jpg?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/99qp7kw5n8dlkg0/IMG_2688.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/x2hgz7lsywz6ubv/IMG_2686.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/8nznsgbycd92ly1/IMG_2687.JPG?dl=1)

Sourced and fitted a fj20 bonnet, It was originally red and it was also crashed but it doesn't look too bad after a few smacks with hammer, some bondo, some sanding, some more bondo, some more sanding and so on... (sadly can't find the pictures of how it looked when I bought it) Well, instead of trying to match the white colour of the car I just plastidipped it black, it's temporary - the car will get a full proffessional respray eventually. I also had a reproduction of the bonnet decal printed and I think it looks great! getting the shape of the sticker right wasn't easy but my wife is a graphics designer so it turned out alright on the first try, sticking it on was also easier than I thought, I had an extra decal made if I messed up but in the end didn't need to use it. I'll upload all the different versions of the bonnet decal here on the forum soon so anyone can have them made - just as I did with the rear decals.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/v1zjwkplv7wvit6/IMG_2693.JPG?dl=1)

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ccqkw8y22bhgnp/IMG_2696.JPG?dl=1)

Also fitted a Depo Racing boost gauge, and deleted the factory pop-off valve because my plan is to up the boost a bit. Anyway, now I know for sure that my stock turbo settup is making 0.5 Bar. I also converted the engine to use the later style serpentine belts becuase something was wrong with the original pulleys and the alternator v-belt kept getting destroyed. What I used was s13 ca18det, water pump pulley, ca18det alternator (10 more amps yaaay!), s13 ca18det power steering pump (had to use the return line fitting from the s12 pump) and mk2 s12 ca18 crank pulley. I originally wanted to use the s13 pulleys on the s12 alternator and ps pump but the pulleys wouldn't  just bolt on, seems to work alright so far. I forgot to take a picture of that but it's not that interesting, it just looks like a mk2 setup now...
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: JonB on 08:47:14 PM / 18-Mar-19
Thats a fine example of an s12 you have there. It'll be nice to see the ca18de in there
Title: Re: The story of my Silvia in my tiny little garage
Post by: CzechSilvia on 05:33:39 AM / 19-Mar-19
Thats a fine example of an s12 you have there. It'll be nice to see the ca18de in there
Thank you, the ca18det swap is definitely going to happen!