V6 Transplant Diary - June 2003

Sunday - 1 June

I thought I'd kick off the June page of the transplant diary, with news that the conversion has been blue plated. I now have about 5 vehicle mod codes to my collection :)

So testing of the engine and set-up continues. Before I start making changes I thought I would bench mark the acceleration to see what affect the changes have. I quickly had a chance to do a rough G-tech test (on private land of course) where the car managed 0-100kph in 6.7sec and 1/4 mile in 14.9 @ 150kph. So that tells me a couple of things, the engine isn't making the 200HP like it should be, and the car is probably a lot heavier than I thought it would be. So I plan to weigh the car, and also dyno test it once I think most things are sorted out.

I have two reasons for why the engine isn't making 200HP, one is my hot air intake, and the other was the restrictive road bike muffler. The road bike muffler was way too quiet, and with a 35mm outlet it was way too restrictive.

So I pulled the road bike muffler off, and put my old 2inch turbo muffler on to see what affect it had.

turbo_muffler.jpg (58187 bytes)

Although it still isn't the best exhaust set-up, it is a step in the right direction (and it was a quick easy test). I took it for a spin and the engine seems less restricted at the higher rpm range. It feels like it has improved the 0-100kph time, but I haven't had a chance to test it yet. It does sound better though.

The next change on the list will be the intake. I plan on moving the air filter to a position where it will get cool air.

newandold_filters.jpg (71173 bytes) K&N cylinder.jpg (56598 bytes)

On the left I sat the new K&N in it's general position so you can see how much room there is. The picture on the right is a close up. You can see the current pod filter which is just sitting on the radiator thermo fan. So it cops some seriously hot air. After driving the pod filter is too hot to touch. Not so good for power. My plan is to mount the new K&N cylinder filter where I am holding it. The reason why I haven't done it already is I can't figure out the best way to route the air intake to it. And flexible 3" hose that's suitable is difficult to find. Where I am holding the filter is out of the hot air flow, and some shielding can be easily made to ensure it doesn't see any hot air.

under_window_vents.jpg (65199 bytes)

This photo shows where the K&N will draw it's cold air from.

mazda_dash.jpg (53896 bytes)

Here's a better photo of dash with new speedo number stickers. You can see without the camera flash reflection the new numbers blend in very well.

rear_cargo.jpg (53677 bytes)

And here's the rear parcel shelf area where I will mount my Sony Sub and 6x9 speakers when I get a chance to make a new shelf and box for them.

Monday - 9 June

It was a slow weekend for Baja related work, as I had some other things on. But I did get a chance to swap my beetle rear torsion bars for type 3 squareback torsion bars. The type 3 ones are 23.5mm vs the 22mm beetle torsion bars. So they are stiffer and have helped reduce the body roll in the car. Unfortunately I didn't know how much to preload them do to their different spring rate, and as such the back suspension is still sitting a little lower than I'd like. I will have to reset them again.

I also pulled the residual pressure valve out of the master cylinder. I had forgotten it was there when we put the rear disc brakes on, and it was causing the rear brakes to drag. So I quickly removed it, re-bled the brakes, and now the dragging is gone.

I have bought some 3inch exhaust pipe, and a 3 inch exhaust donut that I will use to make myself a nice cold air intake. I will be interested to see the effect on the engine performance.

Sunday - 15 June

I got to finally test the Baja on a decent stretch of Highway. At first I thought I might have went a bit overboard with my 0.70:1 ratio 4th gear, but once I got it on the highway I realised it was a really good choice. Seems to be low enough to pull up gentle highway hills, with a drop down to 3rd only required on relatively steep climbs.

Cooling seems to be fine, but it is winter, so most drives have been in 20 deg C weather.

Other than that, not much to report this week. Still trying to find silicone hoses for the intake.

Sunday - 22 June

I went for a drive on Saturday morning to a hose supplies shop in an attempt to buy the silicone hoses for the intake, but when I got there they had a "closed for stocktake" sign out the front. How rude. Oh well, better luck next week.

The V6 got a good offroad testing on Sunday. I had some Manx Club friends come around for a play. More pics and stuff here (link updated). 

As you can see, the V6 didn't mind a dose of water and mud.

meanddaz.jpg (106614 bytes)

The V6 is fantastic offroad. The rear gets heaps more traction from the added weight, and following uneven ground extremely well. The torque and smooth running EFI helps further by allowing the engine to lug down to very low rpm, yet keep running happily. This means on rough sections I can keep 1st engaged and crawl through, I don't need to use the clutch. On the short rough circuit shown above, I think the V6 allowed me to do everything with a lot more ease than the other cars.

Next weekend is the Manx Club night navigation run. My car will be there for sure, and then after that I will pull it apart again. I am happy with how testing of the engine and cooling system went, and now need to finish it off, and make it look pretty of course. I want it looking good for a big car show at the start of August.

PS - I found a thing front end, and if it turns up from the US in time, it will be going in too.