Friday, January 29, 2021

Nissan S15 200sx Silvia Blitz SE front mount intercooled installation

 So during Covid lockdown last Sept 2020, actually had some free time to install the Blitz SE intercooler kit for the S15.

Not a thorough step by step - but one thing I'll say is that Blitz kit is definitely worth the money. Came with every part, nut bolt washer required for the installation, even a new battery clamp!

To make installation easiest jack up the front or entire car. Remove front bumper. I removed headlights as I was going to polish them anyway.

The front mount does require a hole in the battery tray. If I had a totally unmolested S15, I'd probably get a different kit. However, this S15 has definitely had its share of mods in the past, and already had a pretty rough hole in the battery tray. I put a bit of split vacuum tubing in to reduce the risk of damage to the piping.

Test fitting the huge intercooler without the front bash bar. The bar also required some trimming to fit - again, luckily my one already had that done.

Return piping installed to throttle body. There's a connection to the return hose for the stock BOV.

Comparison to stock side mounted intercooler. only a little larger.

Went for a drive - all was great until I popped a hose. Yeah, you should probably recheck all the hose clamps before going off for a drive!

No noticeable increase in lag, and no overboosting - I'm using a Turbosmart boost T to control boost to about 14psi on stock turbo currently.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Restoring and polishing cloudy faded oxidised headlights, step by step DIY instructions

Happy COVID19 holidays everyone. Haven't worked in a while, so plenty of time to work on cars.
I'm stuck here in Victoria, where COVID19 has gone crazy thanks to our irresponsible state government screwing up hotel quarantine.

About 6 months ago I polished my headlights - got a fantastic result, until I applied some clearcoat! This cheap clearcoat in a can was recommended by other blogs, and it RUINED the headlight by crackling up.  DO NOT USE THIS RUSTOLEUM RUBBISH!!!!

Something reacted in the clearcoat with the polish or headlight, so I decided to strip everything back and start again - but NOT applying any clearcoat at the end.

Not much writing here - just going to show you the many many grits of sandpaper used, then into the machine assisted finishing stage. Took some very heavy grit to remove the clearcoat - actually started with 280 and 400 before moving to this 600.

600grit. Use plenty of soapy water to keep things lubricated.

Then 800 grit. Make sure that whenever you steup up a grade, you completely erase all the previous scratches left by the coarser grit. Use IPA to clean the lens and carefully check before moving to the next stage.

And so on, working your way up the grits.

After finishing with 3000g snadpaper, there's still a lot of hazing. For the next step, I used a cheap heavy and light compond, with a wool pad on a regular eletric drill. Used isopropyl alcohol to remove the compound in between changing over. This is where you really start to see the clearness in the lens coming through.

Then for good measure a bit of Meguiar's compound.

Finally, to really get the best finish possible, a random orbital buffer with some heavy and light compound.

Pretty happy with the result at this point.

Test fit of the headlight back on the car. After a good clean with more isopropyl alcohol, I used a Korean ceramic sealant wiped onto the lens for protection. 

Time taken? About 45 minutes for one headlight, really taking my time. Many people skip grits, I chose to do things the long way. not like I have anything else to do, with our government choosing to ruin Victoria by letting COVID cases out of quarantine, releasing COVID19 into the general community, killing many small businesses, ruining people's lives, and screwing up Melbourne and Victoria's economy for the next 5-10 years. Let's watch all the politicians and bureacrats try to pass the buck and dodge responsibility.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

DIY repairing porsche 911 (996) rear window regulator cable to fix broken window that doesn't raise up!

So when you buy old cars, you should expect them to have little issues now and then - especially with a 20 year old porsche. Anyway I noticed the other day when putting the roof up, the passenger side rear window didn't come up. This is a bit of a problem - especially if it's going to rain!

The window switch didn't raise the window, but a lot of noise and clicking could be heard behind the trim panel - this told me the motor was good, but probably the cable in the window regulator was faulty. Some googling revealed plenty of other 996 cabriolets had the same problem - and while some people opted to pay a dealer $$$ to fix it, I figured I can repair it myself.
Ordered a $60 996 rear window regulator cable replacement kit off eBay from the USA which arrived quickly, and got to work!

I don't have many pictures of removing the panels to get the glass and regulator out, but I used this guide on Rennlist - This was an excellent guide as it had step by step instructions as well as pictures referencing exactly which bolts/screws to remove and in which order. Print these out and keep them with you while you're working on the car - and don't lose any screws or bolts!

One of the difficult bolts to reach was in the convertible hood mechanism - there was no way I could remove it as the hydraulic arm was directly over it. Fortunately I was able to shift the mechanism out of the way just enough to wriggle out the window regulator.

So this is the faulty part once removed from the car - if you look closely the cable has come off the pulley on the right and there's lots of slack in the cable. Once I removed the window motor, I could see the cable had become very frayed and chewed up.

So removing the old damaged cable was easy - putting in the replacement kit was difficult! The replacement cable kit comes with everything you need, including the cables, new pulley and bearing etc - I ended up giving the kit to my local trusted mechanic to drill out the old pulley and install the new pulley and cables, and even he said it was pretty difficult!

This is the window regulator with new cables installed - very tight tension!

Hooked up the regulator to the control cable and tested it worked 100% before reinstalling everything - re-installation was fast and easy, about 30 minutes - and now I have a fully operational rear window again!
Cost: $60 for replacement cable kit, $40 to my mechanic for replacing pulleys and cables for me (it's possible to DIY as well if you have an angle grinder to remove old bearing and a vice press to install the new one) and about 2 hours to remove regulator, 30 minutes to replace everything. Doing it yourself and getting on the tools? Priceless!

Now... did I mentioned I bought another porsche, that also doesn't work? More updates next time!

Friday, March 2, 2018

time for a new weekend car

Unfortunately the S15 hasn't been getting much love lately, been so busy at work I've let my CAMS and Nissan Car Club memberships lapse.

Still collecting parts everytime I see them pop up on the internet, so now I think I have 3 pairs of door trims in my shed, waiting for a time I can give them a good clean and select the best ones to use in my car. Have missed out on a few good turbos, so when the right one pops up I'll grab it straight away.

Anyway, like most boys I spend every night watching all the usual suspects for cars on sale - gumtree, ebay, facebook, grays, pickles, manheim fowles etc.

Picked up this 911 cabriolet a few weeks ago - have always wanted one!

like most old cars, needs a bit of work but nothing major. Some of the problems so far...

  • The alternator charges at 14V for the first half hour of driving, then reduces down to 12.5V, so I plan to change the alternator regulator and ground cables to the alternator and starter (a common problem to 996 and 997 porsches). 
  • The passenger seat reclining electric mechanism doesn't work well - so will need to pull the seat out, get to the electrics and see if there's any corrosion or missing gear teeth, fix and replace.
  • Maintenance - need to locate and clean every drain in the car, otherwise clogged drains lead to flooded electrics which is a nightmare to replace - prevention is better than the cure!
  • A full detail and seal of the paint, wheels, interior etc
And in the short time I've had, I've fallen in love with it... so I'm looking for another P car as a daily driver now,. Think I've found one, but will update if I grab it for the right price!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Thinking of buying ebay parts for your car? Just.... don't!

So while driving around the other day, I got another low oil pressure warning light. Figured it might be the same problem I had last time (where the oil pickup was damaged, being at the bottom of the oil pan) so I bought a cheap "Greddy/Freddy" ada Fake Greddy oil sump from a seller on eBay.

I should've known when I received it that it wasn't a great part. Lots of rough casting and loose bits inside the sump.
Anyway I'd already removed the original sump and changed the oil pickup for a brand new one with a new gasket, then tried to fit this piece of crap on.

Not exactly flush. Hey, it's only engine oil, right? So if it all leaks out because of crappy fitment, that's fine. 

Decided to send this piece of shit back to the seller, who then tried to weasel out of refunding the amount paid for it. Had to get eBay to step in to get a refund. 

Here's a hint - if (for some reason) you want to waste your money on an imitation part, that doesn't fit your car, that will cause your engine to grenade once all the oil leaks out of it, by all means buy a Freddy oil pan from T A S Autosport.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

SAU (Skylines AUstralia) Motorkhana #1 Feb 21 2016. Nissan Silvia S15 200sx test

had a decent day out with the s15 today out at Foresite Driver Training grounds in Vic. A great event run by SAU in a fantastic venue, good BBQ and a bunch of varied cars (well... mostly Nissans) and good drivers willing to have a chat or host a passenger lap.

here's a short clip of one run in the S15.

pretty much stock S15, just with a bit more boost and a 3" catback exhaust... plus some drift tyres on the back (ie really old, crappy, worn, hardened tyres - the less grip the better :)


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Nissan S15 SR20DET low oil pressure at idle - fixed

so a week ago i noticed that the s15 had very low oil pressure at idle - usually was 15-20psi, was down to 0-5 with the oil pressure gauge warning light going off. after a bit of research, seems the most likely case was that the oil sump/pan copped a knock, damaging the oil pickup which sits right at the bottom of the sump. Other possible causes of low oil pressure can be a failing oil pump, or (worst case) worn bearings.

anyway with the amount of off-road motorkhana/khanacross I'd been doing in a lowered S15 over the last few months, damage to the pickup was the most likely suspect. let's get fixing it... a brief diy.

first, get your car up on ramps (or axle stands). as usual., never get under a car only supported by jacks!

check out your oil pan. mine actually didn't look too bad, a couple of minor dents on the corners. the oil pickup sits right where the larger rectangular flat area is in the middle of the sump.

take your 14mm socket, remove the oil plug and drain oil. then get your 10mm socket and loosen the ten 10mm bolts holding the oil pan in. it won't fall down as there's old sealant all around it - you can see the orange sealant oozing from the sides. idiots who last worked on this car broke one of the 10mm bolts and didn't fix it :(

to drop the oil sump, I used a flat blade to cut away as much of the old sealant as possible, then got a paint scraper and gently wedged it around the pan. don't use a screwdriver or chisel to wedge the pan off - you'll bend the pan, or damage the upper oil pan, and both will cause you no end of grief with oil leaks after that. when you drop the pan, there will be about 300ml of oil still in the bottom of the sump, so be warned.

and here's the problem.... have a look at the oil pickup and you can see a massive dent in it, half of the oil strainer is blocked by the pickup.

to get the pickup off, remove seven 10mm bolts from the windage pan, then a couple of big 12mm bolts holds the pickup tube and a 10mm socket to remove the support bracket bolt.

a better view of the damaged oil pickup - hugh dent in half of it, and a bit of stray old orange
gasket that came loose and stuck on the strainer.

so after degreasing everything, i bent out the dent and checked the strainer which was in good shape, and remove all loose bits of old gasket. If the oil pickup is damaged or strainer has holes, i'd recommend a brand new replacement. Bought a new gasket for the oil pickup too, it's only $5.

Refitted oil strainer and windage plate. Also removed all traces of old gasket from the upper oil pan (and the low sump as well)

Resealed the oil sump with new high temp gasket, attached back to the upper oil pan. I let it sit overnight for the gasket to cure, then changed the oil filter, and refilled with about 3.8L of penrite HPR5 5-40. Took it for a long drive to check all pressure, stopping regularly to check oil levels and for leaks from the pan - no problems now, holds a good steady 15psi oil pressure at hot neutral idle.

still got a lot of things on my to do list to fix - i have all the parts, just little time to do it. new brake pads, brake discs, coolant flush, transmission fluid flush, fuel filter...