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Old 08-19-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default Hello from Bel Air MD

Hi all, going to do the new guy thing and introduce myself. I have been a long time lurker, doing a lot of research (and you will probably find that I have a penchance for technical discussions, and research more than is strictly necessary.) And based on those criteria I have high hopes that I am going to fit right in here.

In a nutshell, I am 28, trained as a mechanical engineer, and then a reliability engineer. For some reason I have a long time fascination with cars, which was pretty firmly cemented in brining the UMCP formula SAE team back from the dead in 2004, I helped design the car that lovingly became known as the short bus (the name stuck once we painted the frame yellow, all the better to show any cracks.) The 2004 FSAE team was primarily memorable for being the first team to roll their car in competition in over a decade. I designed, performed more FEAs than I prefer to think about, and did almost all of the welding on the frame (Did I mention this is when I picked up TIG welding, ask me about repairing an old union carbide unit some time). The frame held during the rollover, no one was hurt, and we repaired the binding suspension that caused the problem in the first place, and got the car back in to compete. The car finally died with 2 laps left in the endurance portion of the event when our clutch turned into toast (not unusual, the attrition rate that year was almost 75%). In the process I learned an awful lot, and if nothing else built the foundation for a winning team in later years.

Beyond that, I have an old and battered 1999 E36 M3, which is a lot of fun to drive when it is running, and just purchased a 94 M edition miata with 120k miles as a second car for when the first is not running. I have intentions of turbocharging the miata over the winter. I do nearly all my own work, might rate myself as a shadetree mechanic by now, I am pretty cheap (and maybe one day I will learn when to just spend the money on new parts). Fortunately I enjoy fabrication.

Why a turbo project? Well, did I mention I like to tinker? I've always kind of wanted to dive into the FI pool (diy turbo, not oem turbo), and figured this was about the perfect platform to do so.

My goals, off the cuff 250 rwhp, but realistically what I want out of the car.
1. Learn a lot about FI, and be able to say
2. I built it myself, and not for an outrageous amount of money (outrageous to be determined solely by myself)
3. Have a fun semi-daily driver that I can
4. Burn the tires in first gear and maybe second whenever I please
5. Occasionally take to auto-x
6. Which means I would probably be happy with 200ish rwhp (honestly it is a fun car already, but leaving it as is doesn't jive with my tinkering gene.)

There will be a build thread when the time comes, for now, still more reasearch, but I am leaning toward:
* Tdo4-13t off the WRX, PnP it myself, sticking with the IWG for simplicity sake, even though it won't be as efficient. I am still very torn on this turbo choice. It is efficient as all get out, perfectly suited for the 1.6L, but possibly a little small for my 1.8. Theoretically the compressor is still doing fine towards redline, but practical experience from the Subie crowd suggests the exhaust turbine will be giving up. Probably good for 230ish rwhp, which is a little shy of the stated 250 goal, but then again that number is the softest of them all. Pros for this turbo, quick spool up, cheap to get/replace, really nice efficiency at least to 6k rpm.
* Make my own exhaust manifold, equal length tubular, somewhere between absurdflow and the Begi S4, probably mild steel and ceramic coated.
* SS downpipe (still need to decide if I am going to make a bellmouth or a DWG, leaning a little towards bellmouth again for simplicity)
* SS exhaust (a lot yet to be determined on that front, haven't even decided between a 2.5 or 3" system, or 2.5 for the downpipe going to a 3" system)
* MS standalone for engine management (planning to build that one myself, probably on the version 3 board) I am a little concerned with the standalone for idle control and retaining AC.
* EBC (I might regret that one having read some peoples difficulties, but I really want to try it. Maybe i will implement one of the MBC/EBC hybrids.)
* Replace the MAF with MAP and IAT
* knock sense (with all the associated headaches.)
* ebay intercooler (possibly the probe kit), obviously DIY routing
* rx-7 550cc fuel injectors
* toyota COPs
* LC-1 wideband O2
* coolant rerout (will probably just buy this one instead of trying to make it myself.)

I also have a spare head that I am going to try to PnP, lap the valves on, clean up, cc, and then try to implement singh grooves (SOMENDER-SINGH.com - Home). I would be more than happy to have a discussion on this one if anyone shows interest. Potentially it is better suited to a NA engine, but in theory should show gains for a FI engine as well.

If I am intelligent about this I will do the coolant rerout, and build the MS and get some practice tuning an NA engine prior to putting a turbo system in. And do the appropriate frame stiffening

Non turbo stuff:
* I know everyone says it is cheaper to just buy one, and if I find a good deal on a used one I will, but I need to make a roll bar, I have some vaguely novel ideas for a 6 point still bolt in utilizing the 4 points from the HardDog, and an additional two from the inside seat rails.
* Frame rail braces, and a self made "butterfly" brace, though I will probably do a one off in tubular stainless steel instead of the actually stamped sheet metal version.
* Frog Arms
* And undecided work on the suspension, again requiring more research.

Well that is probably more than enough for now. A bunch of compromises, and many more to come, and if you read through all of that, kudos. I apologize, it got much longer than intended.

Comments more than welcome
*puts on his nomex noob suit*
elsdragon314 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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sounds like you've got it covered welcome!!!
p51hellfire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2009, 12:32 PM   #3
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yah, welcome. Sounds like me a few years ago. Bestest of luck, it does sound like you'll fit in here fine.
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