V6 Transplant Diary - March 2006

Friday - 3rd March

Well, it certainly has been a long time between updates. I moved into a new house at the end of 2004, and then finishing it took up most of my time for the year after that. Near the end (middle to end) of 2005 I finally had finished decking out my new triple garage with workbenches and all my tools, so it was time to start playing with the car again. Work has been very busy, so I haven't had a chance to update my site. 

So how's the V6? Fantastic. It has been trouble free. Well almost. Having the hottest December on record here in Brisbane (Dec 05 that is) had highlighted the weakness of my radiator set-up (a rear radiator is fine, but you need some air scoops). One particularly hilly road with a very long steep 80kph cause the temp gauge to start rising, and anywhere doing 100kph or above would cause it to climb all the way to HOT.

So I decided I had to pull my finger out and develop the scoop idea. I decided to just test an idea first, and added 1 simple scoop to only 1 side. It is only 130mm wide. I just welded a bit of angle to the front of the shock canister on the trailing arm, and then bolted a bit of checker plate to it.

looking toward the rear of the car, blue item is rear suspension arm.
looking to the front of the car, showing scoop, rear drive axle, and radiator above

I attached it to the arm because then the scoop is always a fixed height off the ground. If I had mounted it on the floor pan, then the scoop would have gotten very close to the ground when I went over big bumps offroad.

So I took it for a test drive (it was 34, but probably only 30 by the time I hit the road). First test was the long 80kph hill. I went up it at a little over 80kph in 3rd, no probs. I had noticed the gauge was now usually sitting slightly below half way rather than slightly above half way.

Then I found a fast open stretch of road. I tried 100kph, no problems. I tried 110kph, no problems. I tried 120kph, the gauge started going up but only got to the old slightly above half way position, and then went back to the new slightly below half way position. It keeps doing this, slightly above and slightly below half way. At first I thought it was the thermo turning on and off (indicating I needed more/bigger scoops). But later on I drove the car in very heavy rain (so heavy cars were pulling off the road, my radiator would have been getting drenched in rain water) with temperatures in the mid 20's and the gauge still did the hovering thing. So now I don't know if it's the thermostat opening and closing?

So before it was struggling to not overheat with the thermos on high the whole time. Now it stays cool even during extended high speed driving. This is with only a single 130mm wide simple scoop. So next I just need to work out how to make the lower part of the scoop less prone to damage offroad. I am thinking I will probably just crawl under and unbolt the scoop for serious offroading. When I went up the beach the scoop threw sand onto the radiator and partly blocked it, so removing it for offroading is probably the best idea.
Next side-tracked project was a third brake light. I have had friends complain they can't see my brake lights many times, so I figured a third brake light was a good idea. My friend Raj bought me a suitable LED light on his trip home to Singapore / Malaysia (thanks Raj). I decided to put it in the rear spoiler above the engine. I couldn't screw it there, double sided tape didn't work, so I fiberglassed it in place.


So how's the climate control? Well I'm not going to rewrite my climate control install here, because it's pretty clearly logged on one of my favourite forums. Click the link below to read the whole story (you will need to register to see all the pictures);


But basically I have remade the dash to properly house the instrument cluster, and now also contain the MX6 digital climate control. I have also used Mazda MX5 (Miata in the US) round air vents and courtesy lights. Below is the finished product!

It did however take a lot of work, which can be seen by some of the pics below;

Oh yeah, and I finally got around to putting the Thing (VW type 181) raised front end in my car :)

Back to my V6 transplant diary