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Last Solo2 event of the year - and a fun one!

Posted: 02 Oct 2017 05:56
Quickly the 510 season is wrapping up.
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The car has seen lots of action, bike outings, various 'chores' throughout the city, and a few Solo2 outings.
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So far we've put a little over 5000km on her this year, hopefully another 1000km before she gets parked for the winter.

This past weekend we participated in the's Solo2 season finale ( ... -reminder/). This one had a twist in that we started late morning and drove through to 10PM! It was a nice challenge to throw the car around in the dark, on a lot that was cooler/more slippery.
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My oldest son has probably put more KMs on the car this season than I. He's taken it to a good 1/2 dozen car shows, quite a bit of cruising & commuting, and consistently nagging me to go autocross.
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This was his 6th or 7th event now, and by far his best. He's getting much smoother with inputs - although he did have a nice high speed slalom spin on his 2nd run. :lol:
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He's about 4 sec off my time which is a nice improvement, but still far enough away that the trash talk has yet to appear. :wink:
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I remain about ~3-4s off FTD (
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I've now had a few years with the 510 and various Solo2 outings to acclimate to it's traits. While there's still some minor adjustments that prove a bit of gain, I think it's now time to 'tweak' the 510 to close that 3s FTD gap and make future AutoX outings more competitive. Adding to the motivation of 510 role-change is my son getting good enough to handle a more serious setup (and being totally addicted to Solo2), and most importantly project 280z is anticipated to take over cruising/lite DD duties this coming spring.
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Thankfully, the changes don't have to be too extreme to claw back at least 2-3s. With Project 280z getting 15" down the road, I now have a spare set of Cheviot 14x7 ET0 rims that will nicely fit the 510 along with a set of 205/55R14 Hankook Ventus Z214 (vs the 195/60R14 Azenis I'm now sporting). A proper bucket seat, and custom harness bar and simply more consistent outings/seat time will also add to my pace. Switching to the 240sx OEM EFI will add a bit more useable low-end torque. Maybe a brake booster, stainless lines, and proportioning valve to help with braking performance.

... and that's about it for Phase 1. All of it is a reasonable investment for a relatively large 'bang-for-the-buck'. All the changes will be reverseable and not so extreme that the 510 will drive no different on the street. Suspension-wise there's lots of adjustment left on the current Tokicos Illuminas to handle the R compound extra grip. The existing R160 CLSD should be able to handle the 205cm R compounds and KA24e torque, and camber plates have lots of adjustment to help the front bite.
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Busy winter project coming up

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:33
So the 510 is finally on jacks, and there's a boat-load of stuff waiting for me to pickup just across the US border.

In an effort to make the car more driveable & competitive for Solo2 (an oxymoron, I know) I have a fairly extensive list. Added work responsibilities and an upcoming 9 month course that starts in February means I have a narrow window to get the heavy custom stuff done over the holidays.
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The list in order of priority is as follows:
1) EFI conversion
2) Harness bar
3) Improved braking
4) Rack & pinion conversion
5) Low pressure turbo

I'll likely get through the first 3 items this winter since I need to be convinced that the EFI setup is 100% before going to turbo, and the R&P conversion will require rerouting the exhaust into what is ironically a turbo-friendly layout.

EFI swap - looking for a setup that's a little more flexible with weather changes, and easier for quick & short trips. I love the R1 carb setup - once up to temperature the mileage and power is good. But the need to warm up the carbs and inevitable rich/lean operations in more extreme weather makes the car less enjoyable to drive in a manner that suits my needs.
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I have someone ready to purchase the whole setup: Carbs, EDIS, Megajolt, Fuel pump, laptop tuning computer, choke cable.
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While the engine bay has more room I'm going to take this opportunity to clean up the wiring. Plans are to run a 300A breaker off the battery's car-long hot feed, run a VW fused/distribution box, and group the accessory relays (Painless fan switch, Headlight upgrade, starter relay) into a single box along with required fuses.
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Mounting board is being mocked up and will tuck in under the dash on the passenger footwell. I plan to run power & ground distribution blocks off this board as well. (note: despite the picture, a proper & updated KA24e wiring diagram was used for mapping the wires)
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The S13 240sx (1989/90) ECU and harness are in place and wires tagged for interface with the ubiquitous CAN AM box.
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My nifty fuel line/feed upgrade from last summer has started to show some weakness with the tell-tale signs of gas smell. Turns out the overflow boss managed to get pulled clean off the tank?!?! I didn't realise the connecting hose had that kind of pull... I'll re-braze and gusset the boss, and add more slack to the hose. The tank will also receive a cool Tanks PA2 (190LPH) baffled/return in-tank setup along with a new & improved Speedhut fuel sender.
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Finally, I've got pretty much everything to try a harness bar setup. I'm using Dodge Viper slots, the 510's rear C-pillar unused shoulder mounts, and a sweet brand-new Momo harness I purchased off Kijiji. I'll use the one good backrest off my 280z project instead of experimenting with the current 260z seat that are in good condition and in the 510.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:43
by bertvorgon
I forgot you had a KA in there, was going to say I have a manifold. Never mind.

Rear sump R&P conversion

Posted: 05 Dec 2017 20:46
Should the EFI project proceed well then I'm also hoping to get the MR2 Rack & Pinion swap done this winter. There are (3) challenges to overcome here.
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The setup consists of an MK1 (85-89) Toyota MR2 manual rack, 80's Toyota Cressida inner tie rods, '72 510 outer tie rods, and James Boswell Coachwerks shortened steering knuckles. I purchased some new lower ball joints while I'm at it.
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Thankfully there appears to be enough room between my rear-sump pan and bell housing to fit the rack which means no need to flip the cross member or run a front-sump pan & sway bar. Still, it will be a challenge (1) to build a strong rack mount that fits into a fairly tight area. The plan is to run something similar to Duke where it'll fasten the rack mount to the existing steering location on the frame rails. I'll brace it from the cross member with 1" tubing that runs around the oil pan.
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So mounting the rack is just one issue, the next problem is that the rack points straight up into the current exhaust manifold. This has an impact on the next two challenges, steering linkage design (2), and exhaust routing (3).
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Here's how the steering linkage would ideally work w/o the manifold in the way. Currently the idea is to weld the MR2's steering column U Joint (FAR more range of motion than the stock 510) onto the stock steering column shaft. The intermediate shaft (dab of purple paint in the pic above) would have to be extended as well a couple of inches. For extra redundancy/safety when coupling the shafts/uJoints, I'm thinking of slotting each end and friction-fit a metal 'rudder' between them, then weld all three pieces together.
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For the exhaust I could weld-up a new NA manifold to run back then down (instead of the current diagonally down), or perhaps more clean setup would be to simply install a bottom mount turbo setup?
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It's almost like the motor/engine bay was meant for a KAE-T setup.

January update - lots of progress but still slow going.

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 19:04
Despite the intense cold I managed to get lots done on the car over the holidays. I had hoped to make more progress but a couple surprises chewed up my limited time.

Starting with the tank, I installed a baffed in-tank 190lph pump from Tanks Inc. I ditched the faulty OEM sender and replaced with a 9" deep Speedhut sender - for instant compatibility with my Speedhut gauge. The source of the late-season fuel leak (fueling venting/overflow nipple) was rewelded.
Tank Complete.jpg
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Once all was sealed up I moved on to the wiring. Everything was properly crimped/soldered/shrink wrapped.
Tank Parts.jpg
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Installation into the trunk was a bit of a bear but eventually settled in. With the trunk previously empty I took the opportunity to fabricate an enclosed recess into the wheel well so that I can pull my R160 diff w/o having to drop the rear subframe. The diff doesn't get pulled often but if required this extra space will be a massive time saver!

On top of the aforementioned recess I added a 300 Amp breaker as defense to a potential short with the battery hot cable running the full length of the cabin.
Trunk Complete.jpg
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I'm amazed at how few (affordable) options there are for aftermarket fuel line clips. Since I had to run a return fuel line for the EFI setup I wanted to do a decent job and use proper fuel line clips/holders. I eventually settled on clips from from a Volvo (S60 I believe). They were a little big for my 1/4" hard lines but some plastic wiring loom cover did a decent job taking up the slack.
Volvo Fuel Clips.jpg
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While drilling holes to mount the rear fuel clips I noticed the rear seating area revealed some damp/rusty conditions under the Dynamat. A quick peel showed some sneaky rust that was bubbling under the OEM paint.
Discovered Rust.jpg
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Two days later all of the Dynamat and OEM paint/soundproofing was removed. That was the ONLY advantage to having a garage hovering at -15, the stuff just chipped off in chunks. When running an electric heater in the cabin to add warmth everything quickly turned to goo. With the seating area clear, cleaned, and dried I POR'd the rear seat and trunk area.
Seat Trunk PORd.jpg
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Finally, the KA24e ECU and CanAm box was pretty much completed. The KA wiring hardness was also trimmed from non-essential parts. Overall this process wasn't too hard - just take the time to read & understand what everything does. Kudos to Icehouse for quick & friendly answers.
Wiring Diagrams.jpg
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I placed the electronics main board in the passenger footwell.
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I used a hinged mount on the firewall so it's easy to swing down and check fuses/relays/LEDs, and when swung up the board is discretely out of sight and contents protected.
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The next step is to enlarge the stock wiring pass-thru on the firewall to include the KA wiring. More pics to come once I dive into the engine bay.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 20:50
by Heinrich
cool idea with the hinges.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 21:44
by Byron510
I did a similar mounting of my SDS EFI back in 2007, only I mounted my bits on the bottom side, and hinged under the dash so it folded forward.

However yours definitely looks cleaner - good job! Maybe I'll have to keep this in mind if I ever "rework" my set up.


Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 12 Jan 2018 12:33
by andrew.lori
Did you figure out how the water was getting into the car?

Change of plans

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 06:14
andrew.lori wrote:Did you figure out how the water was getting into the car?
Not yet. Either the rubber plugs or condensation between the metal and OEM soundproofing. Will keep an eye on it going forward.

A change of plans came up since the last holiday posting. My family has rented a place in Kelowna for the month of August, so I'll be driving my 510 across the country with my son starting in mid-July (working en-route). It will be an awesome experience with my son & the car, and I'll finally have my 510 out west to rip on some of those amazing BC mountain roads. 8) Besides central BC, the plan is to hit the coast and Vancouver Island, and even visit the Japanese car show in Vancouver if it's still on the 2nd last wknd of August.

Naturally, Solo2 focus will be put on hold for this coming season, and reliability, comfort, and fuel efficiency will move to the front. Thankfully, the current EFI conversion project will still suit my plans (turbo will be put on hold). I also plan to refoam the 260z seats, upgrade the wiper motor, add a car charger/phone-GPS mount, mount the brake booster, improved waterproofing, and finally finish the horn/lighting etc...
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Not much to add progress-wise from my last posting. Weather has been consistently cold and work has been busy. I did finally get a chance to finish cleaning and painting the intake manifold. I also mapped all coolant and vacuum lines, and am now confident on what can be removed and what needs to be integrated into the 510. My Swirl Control Solenoid (actuates the butterfly valves) didn't work when tested so I'll need to pull a similar EGR solenoid from a Maxima/Altima.
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Weather is coming 'up' to around 0C for the next few days so I'm keen to get a few good days/wknd of work on the car. It's quite pathetic when 0C gets me excited... :cry:

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 07:22
by funwithmonkeys
We should try and plan a drive with the group while you are here. It would be great to have another one out for one of the adventures.

Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 17 Jan 2018 18:25
by Byron510
AJC happeneding August 26th


That would be awesome if you made this trip in a 510, that’s great distance - coming from a guy who drove a stock 510 wagon from Vancouver to St Johns, Nfld just to say I did (took 4 months to do it - what an adventure for a guy in his 20's!)

And I agree with Norm, maybe we can take a drive up your way earlier in your stay near Kelowna - you know - maybe a wine tour..... or not!


Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 06 Feb 2018 19:19
funwithmonkeys wrote:We should try and plan a drive with the group while you are here. It would be great to have another one out for one of the adventures.
I'd absolutely love to participate in a 510 tour with you guys.

I'll also plan my trip around being in Vancouver for the AJC.

Steady progress

Posted: 06 Feb 2018 19:46
As I take on more involved 510 projects I can't help but appreciate how much patience I've gained over the years. Rather than charging through the project as quickly as possible, I'm taking the time to address things as I work through each step.

Case in point is the wiring to the back seat. I've always hated how it looped around the rear seat cushion's lower brace. With everything pulled out I figured now was a good time to weld in a 'tunnel' through the brace so that the wiring can run to the back w/o concerns of pinching (yes, the wiring will be fastened).
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The wiring process is taking longer than planned, but again, I'm taking time to solder old crimped OEM joins and/or tracing & removing unnecessary wires rather than just crimping and stuffing.

Last week the two wiring looms (510 left and KA24e right) were ready to be merged. It's amazing how little there is to the 510 compared to the 240sx.
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With the 510's main wiring harness pulled and being sorted out, I decided to give the engine bay a quick scrub.
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I also started to mock-up the intake track. I'd really like to keep the run short and able to source 100% cold air. The pics below are my ideal setup. I'm being patient (that word again...) to consider all options/impacts before cutting the inner fender.
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My ideal spot for the filter to receive cold air and be tucked away to prevent physical contact with the front right tire. Yes, the filter could potentially suck up water, but that can be addressed with a baffled shield that would also serve to block spray/debris from the front right tire. Another option is draping the filter with Injen's 'Hyroshield'.
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One other potential concern is the MAF's potential sensitivity to throttle body proximity. I've read that if it's too close it can mess up the signal and ultimately the engine's operation. I'm sure there's a reason why OEM intake tracks typically have a long run along the top of the radiator to the front left of the engine bay - but then again, there's been successful releases of aftermarket 'short ram' intakes...

The intake manifold is now in place. It's nice to finally not have to keep moving it around, it's certain not light!
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With the dual looms now fed through an enlarged (2.5") OEM slot it's become quite a mess. I'll take this time to shorten wires where I can to further clean things up. Once the looms are done I'll start with the relay/fuse box which will also be mounted on the firewall.
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Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 06 Feb 2018 20:15
by Byron510
Many production cars take their intake air from the fender well area - ahead of the front wheels. And as you noted, they are baffled from getting sprayed with water - both from the front and from the tire - you could easily do the same. You'd have to submerge the car into 8-12" of water at speed before it became a problem, and most of us don't off road rally, so your limitation is known :-)


Re: Noobie's 510 project

Posted: 19 Feb 2018 21:28
by two_68_510s
240SX baffles fit very well on the 510 (and they have little Nissan labels on them!)