Much like the spring mountain event... the chuckwalla event was a turning point for this project. I gave the tired 99 motor it's last 2 ever money shifts on track by my hand. On the way home the car reached it's peak oil consumption but still no knock and no smoke from the tail pipe. I got home and gave the motor a compression test. It showed 120 psi across all 4 cylinders.
Not quite sure how long the motor has been like that but it's time for a change. I managed to find a very low mileage 02 motor in arizona for 700 dollars. I lucked out because my parents lived there. So I borrowed a truck and headed towards Tuscon. 700 dollars later I was the owner of a 45k mile (verified on carfax) vvt motor. I loaded up the motor and headed back towards socal and got ready for the tear down and resulting build up.
02 vvt motor on the stand being torn down.
I also sourced a square top intake manifold that Moti @ BFW had sitting around. I got the motor refreshed with all new seals, a new timing belt, water pump, all new hoses etc. I tore everything down on the car and got everything ready for the swap. Once I got the new motor in I hooked it up to the oem 99 ecu and took the car for a drive around the block.
The car started up on the first turn of the key like a champ. TBH this motor without vvt running felt stronger than my old 99 motor. I was so happy that this thing started up right I cannot even describe it. That gave me the confidence I needed to move onto installing the megasquirt.
02 vvt motor installed... blurry picture because cellphone
I pushed forward with installing the ms labs ms3 basic into the car. I removed the dash so that I could route the vac lines and other wires to the spot under the pedals where the ms3 would live. On Reverent's advice I purchased an AEM Uego, so I also routed the wires for that. Reverent's instructions were very easy to follow and I got all the dots connected.
While I had the dash out I took the opportunity to install a longacre water temp and oil pressure gauge. I installed the two longacre gauges into the center eyeball vent holes. I then had to figure out a place to add the WB gauge and some switches I had in mind for the ms3 control. I had a mental picture of a radio delete gauge panel and I went to work putting my idea into reality.
I wanted to have 2 5v powerd usb ports so i could charge my phone and gopro remote without having stuff hanging off the cig lighter. I also wanted a spot for a data log start and stop button. Another thing I wanted to avoid was just having a female usb cable sitting in the glove box. So I ordered up a USB female socket from amazon. Late in the game I decided it was a good idea to have a voltage gauge installed as well and I sourced a cheap digital voltage gauge from amazon as well.
Longacre Gauges and Custom Gauge Panel
View from the driver seat. This is a bit lower than I end up sitting. I swapped the motorola atrix for a retired Samsung Galaxy S3 for trackmaster duties.
Here is that gopro mount I talked about earlier. This is really a much better solution than the roll bar mount that gopro sells. All you have to do is loosen the ball mount adjuster and the gopro goes limp and you can remove the SD card and remove the camera from the housing. Quite pleased with this.
A while back I made a fire extinguisher bracket that bolts into the oem front passenger seat rail mounting holes. This is just a simple ABC 2.5LB unit.
I got the car running on the basic base map that rev provided and through many emails got the car idling. I was on a pretty tight schedule so I enlisted the help of Chris Safranski on these boards to help me get the car running on a safe tune so that I could get the car to Church's to get tuned. Chris got me running on an overly rich tune so that the car would be safe. We spent about 3 hours and he worked absolute magic for me and did in 3 hours what would take me a month.
So this brings us to current. I've got an appointment tomorrow to get the car tuned by church's automotive tuning in Wilmington. I'm hopeful that the car will show some decent numbers. Either way I'm super happy with the way the car performs. I'm exstatic with the ECU I got from Rev. It honestly already runs so much better than the oem ecu even with just 2 basic hours of auto tuning. Good times!
P.S. Yes I know the pictures are huge... I want to show off my DIY work, I'm quite proud of it.