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Graham's Sera(s) - SER15T, aka Serist


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#41 paulep82

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:12 AM

Hey guys, good to see u on here too Rebecca. Add couple more pounds of boost into it and it will really come alive. Facto pressure is 10 max and that's plenty safe. On an auto, it's slow at first but remember, it's always on boost between gears. Fun car with all the looks.
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The real question is, would you tell your friends you were beaten by a starlet?

#42 Mo3

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:49 AM

QUOTE (Graham @ 30 Jun 2012, 11:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Mo3, fingers crossed here too. So far it looks good. smile.gif

I got it all back together today and had a short test run.
It burned oil for a couple of minutes, but seemed to stop after a lap around the block. Hopefully all good now.
This was just a gentle shake down test after having a turbo replaced by a computer programmer smile.gif More testing tomorrow.

I also added a boost gauge. Max reading was just 5psi with full throttle in first gear up a hill to ~5,000rpm.
Hopefully I clamped all intake hoses properly and there's more boost in taller gears smile.gif

Assuming that it's going to be reliable, then I'm proud that I've done this myself. IMO it was a serious job.
I have even more respect for people that do this sort of thing every day.



lol ye awesome !

i heard this boost thing gets quite addicted...ye you did a good job wink.gif

#43 Graham

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:37 PM

Blimey there's a lot of EP71 threads happening at the moment - they add value though - thanks to the issues with hi-lo boost solenoids being discussed, I now understand more about the factory setup.
And that means tonight I got out there are released a blocked tube from a boost/vacuum outlet on the CT9.

Now the Sera has 10psi boost and is more fun to drive. Pshht and flutter increased dramatically also. That's not a good thing right now as I need to visit the engineer next week - Paul or anyone have a plumb back hose I can use?

It's still not a fast car, but it does have a bit of a kick to it now smile.gif

I took it for about a 5km lap around the block just now (10:30pm). Temperature rises very slowly - in fact when I fetched pizza last week, it actually dropped back to cold while I was moving. I suspect I have a thermostat stuck open. sad.gif

And tonight when I got home, I heard splashing. Looked under the car and there's a puddle - it's coming from the hot water hose on the back of the engine to the firewall. It's the one on the drivers side. Will have to try and replace this, although I don't think I'll tackle this myself - I also have to replace the steering boots, so I might book it in with the local mechanic early next week.

I just want it to run properly ;(

#44 Graham

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 12:23 AM

Guys, quick question - under heavy acceleration, my 4EFTE is blowing some dark grey, almost black smoke.
Is it normal for a 4EFTE to do this with just an exhaust and standard hiboost (10psi) ?

My mechanical repairs are done and now this engine is holding all water, oil & transmission fluids which is great! Took it for a spin tonight to the shops and aside from the bonnet rattling a little, I'm really happy.

The engineer yesterday was a bit of a dead end. He said he'd have to do a brake test, and the cost is $5,000.
At least they are good guys and had a quick look at my car, engine swap and told me all this before they wanted money - even suggested I might try to find another engineer who interprets the rules differently! smile.gif

I tried two more engineers today - one wanted $210 per hour just for me to ask questions. The next one answered my questions on the phone - he does the brake test on the road at 80kph and I'm booked in for Tuesday.
Hopefully will be sorting blue slip late next week, front mount next and then we can finally enjoy it a bit smile.gif

#45 Mo3

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 05:32 AM

wtf $5000.......

#46 Graham

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:04 AM

Yeah, not sure why Mobility Engineering decided they needed such a serious test. They said it's $5k because they have to hire a track and do repeated brake tests at 120 kph to ensure brakes are adequate & safe.
Another engineer in a more regional location was much more reasonable about it and just took it for a 5 minute drive with a brake meter like on safety inspections (aka pink slips). $850 and two minor modifications/rectifications later and I should have an engineers certificate.

He did ask me to weigh the car and it came in at 980kg even though rego papers say 1000kg - that worked in my advantage as the brakes have less weight to pull up smile.gif
He's included wheels and HID lights and Steering wheel on the certificate, not just engine. Only thing I had to do was confirm the steering wheel met ADRs and recirculate the BOV outlet.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any compliance details on my MOMO Apache wheel sad.gif If anyone knows of this wheel meeting ADR or international standards, please let me know, otherwise it's back to standard wheel for the moment. I did email the local distributer - Autotek - and they have no details for this one.

Here's pics of the latest work (BOV recirculation) & general interior shots because I don't think I've posted interior pics on-line before!




#47 Mo3

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:36 AM

QUOTE (Graham @ 29 Jul 2012, 12:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, not sure why Mobility Engineering decided they needed such a serious test. They said it's $5k because they have to hire a track and do repeated brake tests at 120 kph to ensure brakes are adequate & safe.
Another engineer in a more regional location was much more reasonable about it and just took it for a 5 minute drive with a brake meter like on safety inspections (aka pink slips). $850 and two minor modifications/rectifications later and I should have an engineers certificate.

He did ask me to weigh the car and it came in at 980kg even though rego papers say 1000kg - that worked in my advantage as the brakes have less weight to pull up smile.gif
He's included wheels and HID lights and Steering wheel on the certificate, not just engine. Only thing I had to do was confirm the steering wheel met ADRs and recirculate the BOV outlet.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any compliance details on my MOMO Apache wheel sad.gif If anyone knows of this wheel meeting ADR or international standards, please let me know, otherwise it's back to standard wheel for the moment. I did email the local distributer - Autotek - and they have no details for this one.

Here's pics of the latest work (BOV recirculation) & general interior shots because I don't think I've posted interior pics on-line before!


looks great! wer is it relocating to?

just switch steering wheel back to standard for now biggrin.gif

and ohmy.gif auto??

#48 Graham

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:05 AM

the BOV recirculates to the intake, just before the air/filter box. It's much quieter now, not sure how long it will last. Although the BOV noise is a show off thing and against EPA, I liked it!

Did I mention that my new engineer gave the car the once over and only needs a photo of the BOV plumb back and stock steering wheel?

Auto? Sorry, but it is a girls car! hehe - no really, it's my wife's and I was allowed to play with it on the conditions it stayed auto and with air con.
Still, it goes better now - it's actually enjoyable to drive and there's some scope for future mods smile.gif

#49 Mo3

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:51 AM

QUOTE (Graham @ 29 Jul 2012, 07:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
the BOV recirculates to the intake, just before the air/filter box. It's much quieter now, not sure how long it will last. Although the BOV noise is a show off thing and against EPA, I liked it!

Did I mention that my new engineer gave the car the once over and only needs a photo of the BOV plumb back and stock steering wheel?

Auto? Sorry, but it is a girls car! hehe - no really, it's my wife's and I was allowed to play with it on the conditions it stayed auto and with air con.
Still, it goes better now - it's actually enjoyable to drive and there's some scope for future mods smile.gif


lol mad, think i might need his number he sounds real reasonable biggrin.gif

so how much did all the engineering cost?

lol fair point then smile.gif is it a auto turbo gearbox?

you can always make it vent to air after wink.gif

Edited by Mo3, 29 July 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#50 Graham

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:36 AM

My engineer is Ian @ Kreative Enterprises in South Windsor - a bit of a hike for you, but if the locals don't work out...
http://www.mechanics...ve-enterprises/

Engineers cost was $850 - about the same as what Mobility quoted me and better than the open "$197 / hour plus gst, plus photos, plus something else" price I was given by a guy in Seven Hills!


Auto box is our original Sera item. The Starlet GT's auto is controlled by the ECU, whereas the Sera's is a mechanically controlled box and let me run a Starlet GT manual ECU. Plus the Sera doesn't have the extra wiring needed for the GT's auto.
So far no complaints.

#51 Mo3

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (Graham @ 29 Jul 2012, 10:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My engineer is Ian @ Kreative Enterprises in South Windsor - a bit of a hike for you, but if the locals don't work out...
http://www.mechanics...ve-enterprises/

Engineers cost was $850 - about the same as what Mobility quoted me and better than the open "$197 / hour plus gst, plus photos, plus something else" price I was given by a guy in Seven Hills!


Auto box is our original Sera item. The Starlet GT's auto is controlled by the ECU, whereas the Sera's is a mechanically controlled box and let me run a Starlet GT manual ECU. Plus the Sera doesn't have the extra wiring needed for the GT's auto.
So far no complaints.


that's awesome thanks for that bud smile.gif haha about a 2 hour drive

Edited by Mo3, 29 July 2012 - 12:39 PM.


#52 Scuzzy

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 06:50 PM

Yeah it is pretty handy about the Sera's autobox not needing fancy wiring, so you can spread the cost of your upgrade as to not needing to dive straight into manual conversion for now (or if at all)
Why hello there

#53 Graham

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:23 PM

This Sera is staying auto as it's the wife's car, but I'm happy that means less expense smile.gif

Either way, the little turbo engine behind the auto makes this a much more fun car to drive - having torque available is much more fun - you should have seen a u-turn I made on the way home from the engineers ! smile.gif


Good news tonight - engineer sent me a draft copy of the certification and it's being submitted tomorrow. Legal at last and now I can get working on the front mount. Hey Paul, are you busy ? biggrin.gif

#54 Graham

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:07 AM

D'oh, bad news this morning - replaced the thermostat at about 11pm - had a lazy weekend so made up for it tonight.
Took car for a midnight spin and it was doing fine until on the way home, the bloody engine light comes on !!!

I couldn't find anything wrong. Restarting engine cleared the light, so I drove home carefully. It came on a couple of times after medium acceleration, but not all the time (I reset it each time with stop/start engine).

I boosted up the hill to home, no problem. Did a cool down lap of the small block and got bloody fuel cut at 3,000rpm !! WTF? it only pulsed once, I made 2 left turns and then it fuel cut about 3 times at 2,500rpm and I rolled the rest of the way down the hill and into my garage.

I'm now lucky enough to have a code 31 - MAP sensor failure. Woohoo. Now I'm back into the garage at 1am to see if it's a vacuum hose or wiring.

Anyone have advice on this one???? smile.gif

#55 Mo3

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:23 AM

QUOTE (Graham @ 7 Aug 2012, 01:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone have advice on this one???? smile.gif


yes. go to sleep

#56 Graham

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:00 PM

haha, tried that sleep thing, but first I checked the vacuum lines & plugs. Found a loose plug and drove to work today - all good now, I hope - just have to rack up some Ks to be sure.

#57 Graham

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

Yep, the engine is running much smoother now and no problems.
It is a little smelly though. I'm thinking it could be burning or (dreading the thought) leaking a little bit of oil. I'm keeping an eye on it.

I'm still on the intercooler hunt and mocked up this photo of a (approx) 560 x 160 x 65mm cored IC.


It would actually sit inside the bar, almost filling the length and exceeding the height of the opening - meaning that the top and/or bottom of the opening in the bar would have to be cut to accomodate the IC.

I'll talk to our favourite guru and see if installation is possible. Hopefully he'll see this and have a heads up wink.gif

#58 Graham

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

Oops - thread is a bit behind the times.

Intercooler has been installed and actually looks a lot like my photoshop mock up :)

I've replaced the PCV and cut down the top mount bracket since there's no top mount any more.

Most recently I had engine mount dramas.
- finally fixed with some modified Powerflex rubber bushes and car is back on the road at last.

modified Turbo engines are great fun. I think I now have a boost leak - on boost, the car is whistling. With throttle manipulation, I can almost make it a wolf whistle :)

The battery has rubbed the outer silicone off a intercooler pipe join - would this let air leak or does the inside normally remain air tight?
Anyone have tips on how to locate a boost leak?

#59 Rav

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

Good to hear you are back on the road.
I get a whistle/whine from the turbo occasionally with no leak.
Usual canidates are:
Blow off valve stuck open or leaking under low pressure.
Whistle from cracked manifold when boosting.
Whistle from compressor side audible if hose has come off.

With silicone i guess you can touch it up with more silicone ? I have put a SS hose clamp over an area that rubs on my silicone that did the trick.

#60 Graham

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

Today was a productive car day for me.
Spent 2 hours and got a lot done.

1) checked plugs and compression - the plugs are dry and I think they were good. I think the gap on each was a bit big at 1.1 to 1.2mm. I dropped them to around 0.9 - 1.0 mm and I think the car revs better.
I do have oil leaking on top of 2 spark plugs - I'm pretty sure there are seals for the cam cover that must have perished or been dislodged when I removed the cam cover. This is on my to do list.

2) Boost leak fixed - I was able to track the noise to the throttle body / intake pipe connection. One of the hose clamps on the inlet couldn't tighten enough. I put some padding under the clamp and now it's good.

3) Installed my K-Mac 20mm rear sway bar (thanks Sid!) and I'm pretty happy with it.
It was relatively easy to install - I just put the car up on ramps, used axle stands to hold the bar up in position and then clamped it on.
The clamp arrangement on the control arms was a bit tricky - behind the brake line is very little room to access the nut & bolt. On the passenger side it's 10 times worse because the brake line has less flex and the fuel tank limits access.

Here's some pics for Scuzzy and others :) It is quite different to the Whiteline bar.

blank slate - Posted Image - bits laid out - Posted Image - hold it up - Posted Image

I think I got the bar around the right way - I had it flipped over the first time and the arms didn't look like they were going to fit.

Clamping it all on (don't forget grease inside the rubbers)
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Cheers!




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