Monday, March 24, 2008

Intake Manifold

This is something I always wanted to see more of when I was doing research for my intake manifold, so I figured I'd share as many photographs as possible for anyone that might be undergoing a similar modification.

Tom over at sent me one of his new throttle position sensor plates. To really get a good idea of how nice these parts are, I'll show it to you positioned next to my rather humble piece of handiwork.

And mounted on the throttle body. Too bad nobody will ever see it down there...

The plugs I posted before look like this close up:

The green and gray rubber gaskets keep dirt and moisture out of the plugs, so I've decided to use them for all the underhood connections. There is a special GM crimper tool you can get for these, but I decided to solder the ends on, because I'm paranoid.

This is a shot of the back underside of the intake manifold on the engine, right before the firewall. There are 2 4-pin plugs and 2 3-pin plugs with male and female connectors reversed so there's no way to screw it up and plug the wrong harness up. I need to make it idiot proof if its ever gonna work for me.

The following are a few shots of the plumbing for my IAC valve. My throttle body came from a 325i, but seems to be reversed from the ones I've seen on other installs. On Finkbuilt's Blog, for example, there is an air line on the side of the throttle body that faces inwards toward the intake manifold, but that line is on the opposite side on my TB. That made routing the lines for the IAC a little tricky, as well as where to mount the valve in the first place.

The valve is held on to this aluminum bracket with a hose clamp and a rubber fitting that came around it when I pulled it from an audi in the junkyard.

The air lines route to the outside of the throttle body and into the air line (before the throttle butterfly) I mentioned earlier. There's a 90 degree elbow I got at an auto parts store off of one of the racks with all those "Help" parts on it.

The plumbing routes into the manifold through the factory air inlet. I've blocked the injector hole with some JB weld and a bolt with a few washers.

This whole set-up is really rigid, and all of the lines and wired are well hidden under the manifold. One caution - if you do rotate the air inlet line on the top of the manifold like I've done above, it will block off one of the 1/8" air lines that the MAP sensor and FPR get vacuum from. I just ran a T off the non-blocked line and capped off the blocked one.

Lastly, I used the stock air bung on the intake elbow to mount the IAT sensor, since its orientation didn't really help in plumbing the IAC valve.

Oh, and I mounted the washer bottle and siren too. yippee.

Next up, shots of the new door panel fabrication / center console recovering.... Oh, and 5-speed install.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Daur Lohks

How to install door lock actuators in your 2002 -or- How never to worry about breaking your key off in the door ever again!

(1) Select your door locks. You can get these at the car stereo install dept at BestBuy (thats where I got mine) for about $20 a piece or so. I think I paid like $2, but I bought them way long ago when I worked for BestBuy, installing stereos. These are "Harada" brand actuators, which I've installed a ton of in my day.

(2) This is where I'll deviate from most installs. Normally, there's a little aluminum channel with a few tapped screw-holes in it. The idea is to slide the door lock bar through one of these, then fit it over the existing lock bar in the vehicle and tighten the screws down. The famous "Stella" uses this very same method:

(With credit to Keith, if you want me to remove this, just let me know.)

You can see this little piece of channel at the top, near #9 (it has three gold screws in it.) In the 4 years I did stereo install, I noticed that repeated use of the doorlocks would eventually cause these screws to back out and the lock motors to fail. You can achieve some success around this if you flatten one edge of the bar going into it, but I still don't like this method. Instead, this is what I would typically do in my installs - Find the lock arm that engages/disengages the lock, and drill a new hole for your motors:

Done in this manner, the lock arm will never work itself free. I'll elaborate in the remaining steps.

(3) Bend your bars to fit the motor and new hole. In the method I am showing here, the bars has to be installed on the motor first, then the two are installed in the door as one unit. Typically, the bar goes in first and motor fits onto it. Again, the failure rate with my method here is nearly non-existent.

The bars should look like this initially. Remember to mirror them left to right to fit the opposite doors.

(4) Then install them on your actuators. They come with a pre-bent "U" shape that fits the nylon end. I like to pinch this shut slightly after the bar is installed so that it fights tighter. Less play in the system will save excess wear over time.

(5) Place both pieces in the door as one unit, and fit the "L" into the hole you drilled earlier. Let the lock actuator hang for now. The bar should look like this:

(6) With the actuator hanging, measure out where the holes will be drilled in the door to hold the motor in place. I suggest this channel in the door so that the screw heads will not interfere with the doorpanel. Mine are drilled already in the shot below, and filled in with some POR-15. Make sure to test the lock actuation up and down, and mount the motor accordingly. Don't worry if the lock throw is shorter than the actuator throw, this is typical and not a problem at all with universal actuators.

(7) After the actuator is mounted to the door, bend the outer arm of the "L" at the lock arm down to create a "U" shape, similar to the other bar in the same place:

(8) Run some wires, and you're set! With this method, you don't have to worry about any small parts sliding off or those threads on that aluminum piece stripping out during installation (its happened to me a few times) Hopefully this helps out a few people. Its a great mod with any alarm system and really doesn't take much time at all to perform.

Moar Wires...

Warning: LONG POST. You may want to go grab a drink or lunch if you're actually planning on reading all my rambling nonsense.

Wiring Wiring Wiring.... Now I remember why I put this off for so long. Soldering upside-down sucks.

The relay / new fusepanel / power distribution block area in the glovebox is getting a mite bit crowded, but I think I've wrapped up everything that needs to go there. I've added 14 additional circuits and 5 switched relays to the car (not counting the MS Relay Board, which would make it 7) with 1 left over spare switched output and 3 left over constant power outputs, in case I think of something additional to add in the future. So far I've managed to add everything in without having to tap into the factory harness at all, making this a stand-alone mod. Diagnosing any issues in the future will be easier, since I won't have to go digging around in the original loom.

I've added circuits for the following:
- Driving Lights
- Thermostatic-controlled radiator fan
- Stereo
- Aux gauge pod
- Radar detector
- Megasquirt
- Ford EDIS-4
- Alarm system
- Power door locks
- Power trunk release
- Fuel pump
- Low-fuel warning light

Enough chatter, onto the pictures.

This is my "Relayboard_V1" which was meant to go next to the relayboard:

Pretty, right? I really should have checked to see if it fit before i drilled and tapped all those holes, and also wired the damn things up. It looked great in there, but it blocked the big data plug on the MS relay board, so out it went.

V2 looked like this:

Which is almost better, in a way, because it let me add an additional relay just in case I think of something else to add in the future. This mounts to one of the bolts on the MS relay board, and to the support tab for the defroster vent on the other side (hence the cutout for the hose-clamp) The three relays control the switched power fuseblock, the trunk lock actuator, and the radiator fan. The foglight relay is located elsewhere.

Looking at stuff like this reminds me of why I buy a lot of aluminum parts from people that know what they hell they're doing. My fabrication skills are somewhat lacking (this bar doesn't sit straight and it drives me nuts) so I'm glad I'm the only one who will see this thing on a consistent basis.

Here is what it looks like in place:

12v+ constant block on the right, 12v+ switched on the left. I mounted my innovate wideband o2 inside the car because things are getting too crowded in the engine bay, and I didn't really have any good place to mount it. This also lets me unplug it rather easily if I ever need to. You can see my relay plate hanging there, I think this is when I was wiring the o2 sensor.

Here's everything bundled up:

The split-loom harness at the bottom is the Megasquirt cable from the relay board to the ECU. I ran the o2 lines next to this and they will both be accessible from the center console. The red button and LED on the relay strip are for programming the innovate o2. Also, while it may look like the innovate brain is held in by duct tape, I assure you its actually heat-formed ABS plastic. That actually turned out really well, but my camera sucks and its hard to take shots in there.

A shot of where I mounted my EDIS-4 module. I used the original mount, which lined up with the factory holes here fairly well.

And a shot of the EDIS coil packs. Again, this is the Ford Escort mounting bracket, which just happened to fit really well.

Another project of mine is to try to make the harness easy to work on if need be. I decided the intake manifold would be best made as modular as possible, so all the connections will terminate in 3 plugs so the manifold can be removed with all the sensors intact.

4 Injectors, IAT sensor, IAC valve, 2 coolant sensors (one for the VDO aux gauge,) and TPS sensor. I ordered some GM Weatherpak connectors from Summit, so hopefully I can wrap this up next weekend.

Random shot of my coolant neck, crammed with sensors. They take standard bosch pigtails, which made wiring much cleaner. My IAC valve takes the same connector (I took it from an early 90's Audi)

While I'm talking about the IAC, this is something I either didn't notice or couldn't find when I was building my system. The Bosch IAC valves are PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) valves and will therefore need an additional circuit added to the MS board. They also need a resistor wired into the circuit, as shown here:

Go here for more info:

Needless to say, its much easier to do this when you first build your board instead of going back and adding it in later. This was my mistake from not doing enough research, but hopefully I can prevent someone else from making the same error. In my case, i was still able to modify the board and everything is functioning like it should, but it was frustrating to do things the way I did.