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 :)
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...
so been doing a little maintenance work on the s15 last weekend and today.
last weekend, decided to fit the fujitsubo exhaust i picked up back in march. it was actually originally an R33 skyline exhaust, shortened to fit an S14, and i was fitting it to an s15.
jacked up the car and placed support stands. unbolted the stock catback. was going to do the full turbo back replacement, but had a look at the dump pipe - to my surprise, there was already an aftermarket split dump there. still looks like the factory front pipe though, so i may swap the front section out for a one-piece dump/front pipe I have lying around anyway.
the factory exhaust is a puny little thing, maybe 2" with press bends making big restrictions. good to get rid of it!
fujitsubo 3" bolted up no problem. new exhaust gaskets and everything lines up perfectly. kinda loud though, but at least it's matt black and (kinda) stealthy.
while the exhaust was off, was a good opportunity to replace the rear diff fluid. too. old oil black and muddy, brand new penrite stuff :)
wired up (another) boost gauge - old owner had three gauges on the passenger side of the dash, this one i've now mounted onto a jdm a-pillar. it's a "greddy d/a" gauge replica, but despite this it's a pretty good bit of gear - displays voltage, as well as boost analog and digital. let's see how long it lasts!
and this morning, knocked up a custom shift boot out of some black velvet to use with a carbon fibre shift surround i bought a while back. sweeet.... and it matches closely with the fabric trim on the driver's recaro seat.
haven't been to the track or motorkhana circuits for a while - need to get out there again!
so the nice thing about having a dashcam is that you can capture fuckwit drivers being dickheads, like this moronic cock hooning around bell st preston in his shitbox ute reg ZOY661.
racing up the side lane on the left, then virtually running into me - i brake hard to allow him in, and he reacts by giving me the finger. continues to drive like a tool crossing over lanes and using slip lanes to duck ahead of traffic.
keep driving like that mate, you'll do the world a favour by killing yourself.
so i needed to replace my driver's side wheel bearing as the wheel was a bit loose - after a bit of research I figured it'd be a lot easier just to swap in a whole bearing and hub, since I wouldn't have to go out to a mechanic to press the bearing in.
after shopping on facebook groups, I picked up a pair of R33 skyline GTS-T rear hub/bearings for $50 - good deal!
1) jack up car and make safe with car stands.
2) remove wheel using your impact gun (or plain old hand tools)
3) remove cotter pin from axle, and a 32mm impact socket to remove axle nut. Many other writeups have the S15 rear as having a 36mm axle nut, but mine just happened to be 32mm. It's a 2000 build ADM S15 in case that makes any difference.
4) Remove rear brake caliper - there's a couple of bolts on the back of the caliper, 19mm socket I think i was. This is a pic with the axle nut removed and caliper removed and set aside. Support the caliper so the brake lines aren't under tension. i used a brick.
5) Remove brake disc. Mine was rusted on pretty tight so I skipped to the next step...
6) Remove 4 x 17mm bolts holding in bearing assembly. It's a bitch to get back there and you need a small headed ratchet for your socket, plus you need to rotate the driveshaft to get access to all 4 bolts.
7) Everything was all rusted together, brake rotor/hub/bearing to driveshaft... so I grabbed my spare wheel, bolted it back onto the hub back-to-front (so the inner wheel rim wouldn't hit the removed caliper), gave it a few whacks from the inside with a mallet and that pulled off the hub/bearing and brake disc all together for me. It took me ages to figure this out, when it was pretty obvious from the beginning... anyway lesson learnt for next time!
8) Tap out brake rotor from old hub. Below is a pic of the original S15 hub/bearing on the left (with a bit of play in the bearing, hence the looseness), and the R33 skyline hub/bearing on the right. The extra projection with the hole is for the skyline rear handbrake line, however it's still a direct fit for the S15.
9) Reinstall in reverse order. I really should've ordered some replacement rear brake rotors as they're both a bit borderline, but a relatively easy job for next time.
10) Test drive and recheck fit of all parts. You don't want your hub falling off anytime!
So now I have one S15 hub/bearing that I can potentially refurbish with a new bearing, plus a spare R33 hub/bearing - two spares if/when the other bearing goes.
so finally managed to get the silvia out for a bit of fun the other weekend.
motorkhana = autocross = solo for those of you not in australia.
did a little prep beforehand - oil and filter change, installed a cusco front strut brace and nismo rear strut brace and a spare recaro seat.
beautiful day out at the toyota factory where the motorkhana was being held.
best thing about motorkhana is that horsepower often isn't the deciding factor - you dont need a supercar or even a fast car to have fun here. one of my favourite cars was an old honda civic ED hatch that was getting up on 3 wheels at every cone and pulling mad handbrake corners. other favourite cars was a purple onevia that was totally sideways every opportunity, as well as an old soarer that was fluttering and boosting every second. there was another S15 there which had plenty of power - my times were a second or two behind (and sometimes in front) so i'm reasonably happy with that.
had a gopro mounted for this event, will see if i can be bothered uploading a huge file to youtube. my main problem? too much grip on sticky bridgestone RE003s on the rear tyres, so I've grabbed some old S14 wheels with crappy tyres on them to make the next event a little more... fun... sideways.
unfortunately i need to replace a rear wheel hub/bearing for the next event as it's really starting to let go. i've already sourced a couple of R33 rear hub/bearing combos that i need to swap in, just need a big 36mm socket to get the axle nut off - this is next weekend's project.
wish i had a bigger garage... you can barely fit two silvias in it :(
left one is my pewter spec r, right one is my brother's blue spec s. his specs? 240kw at the wheels, big turbo, front mount intercooler, exhaust, powerfc, ebc, pump, injectors etc. can't wait for us both to get sideways on the track :)