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MiniTorqueGoesFinland
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I'm not sure this is proper hobo: the true hobo buys a car he (or she) can't afford to run, then adds super cheap or crappy bits and neglects the maintenance. You're instead a sort of serial anti-hobo: you buy crap cars, then remove the good bits...

Well played though. A good read.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
I am a hobo by nature but the circumstances of this little project led me to veer off course.

My Skyline was built with old parts that other guys had removed from their cars when upgrading to newer stuff. $40 3.5 " exhaust, sure I'll take it. $200 intercooler, bring it on. $700 current model ecu, thank you. Worked well for me.

Until last year i blew the gearbox, 2nd hand gearboxes where going for 2k and brand new ones where still in production and where 3k. Decided for once to do something properly in my life and not be a tight arse. It was a no brainer (so i thought), bought the new box.

Installed it and drove for about a month and then decided to go to a track day. Was a crap day, the track was under fog till lunch. Didn't get on track till 1pm, only got a few sessions in, didn't improve my previous best time and to top it off, the gearbox was whining on the way home. Great.

Next day dumped the oil and the oil was full of gold brassy glitter. Something was busted in there. Took my car to the shop that supplied the gearbox, told him what happened and asked him for advice on where to take it to get fixed. He thought it was worth a shot trying to claim a warranty on it through Nissan. He did say it would take ages (3months) but it was worth a shot and if they accepted it, they would supply another gearbox. I went home, removed it and brought it back to him.

Meanwhile I found a used box for a bargain price of $900. I took a risk and had it shipped from interstate. Thankfully it ended up being a decent gearbox and has been in the car for the last 9 months and has done a few track days without issue.

As far as the warranty went, 3 months turned to 4, 5 and so on. I got a call just before Christmas, that was 5 months in and was told, they're looking at the box now. A further 3 months passed before i got another phone call from the shop with good news, a brand new gearbox had arrived for me. I was very pleased. As of a few weeks ago, I have a brand new spare box sitting in my shed. Apparently the price has gone up to 3.5k now and are only built to order with a 3 month lead time. Good if i ever decide to sell it.

Moral of the story, i tried to do something properly and it just didn't work out. Original gearbox lasted 23 years and took all sorts of abuse. Brand new box lasts 1500km and 1 track day. They either don't make them like they used to or i got a dud. Apparently it was the first rb25 gearbox they've ever had come back. Just my luck.

You win some, you lose some. I should have stuck to being a hobo. Lesson learnt.
 

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Moral of the story, i tried to do something properly and it just didn't work out. Original gearbox lasted 23 years and took all sorts of abuse. Brand new box lasts 1500km and 1 track day. They either don't make them like they used to or i got a dud. Apparently it was the first rb25 gearbox they've ever had come back. Just my luck.

You win some, you lose some. I should have stuck to being a hobo. Lesson learnt.
With all the CVTs Jatco had to recently do & replace, they could've forgotten how to build em right?
Great gen1 journey, enjoyed the read!

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Was driving around the other day and all of a sudden the stereo sounded funny. The lhs speakers stopped working. First thought was the commonly known failure point of the hk amp. I read somewhere about disconnecting the battery to drain the capacitors and reset the system. I gave that a go and surprisingly it was all good again. Unfortunately that was short lived and and the next morning i was down to 2 channels again.

Decided to pull the door trims and check the speakers for anything obvious and swap them over to rule out a speaker problem. Speakers checked out ok. Next up, amp was removed and taken apart, nothing obvious inside that i could see, no fried chips or capacitors, no dust or water damage. I proceeded to take apart the board on the side where the plug goes into and then put it back together and reseat all the pins.

At this point, i started looking for a replacement. I found 2 candidates locally. One was a factory replacement from an r52 for $240 and the other was an e46 hk amp which can be made to work with some soldering and repinning for $120. The hobo in me wanted to go for the e46 amp but the other part of me was thinking pay the extra and keep it simple. Decided to sleep on it.

While i was there and had the door trims off, i figured it was a good time to replace the lhs door lock as it wouldn't unlock unless you pulled the door handle from inside. I had a spare from the black car so i got it done. Wasn't too bad of a job, just a bit of a tight squeeze to get the lock in and out and had to deal with some seized screws on the black cars door. Finished it off and pressed the unlock button but nothing happened, i started cursing but then remembered you're meant to press the button twice and thankfully it was all good.

Next morning I still hadn't decided on which amp but was leaning towards the e46 one. Anyway decided to plug the amp back in for now and low and behold everything was fine and has been for the last 3 days. Probably won't last but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.


And some boring progress shots.

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Discussion Starter #45
Amplifier is still working like a charm, now that I've said that it will probably explode into flames.

During the week sold some parts laying about in my backyard and then managed to get a set of shocks with some 30mm lowered springs. Was effectively a swap in the end.

Managed to fit them during weekend lockdown.

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Definitely better, ideally front could be a bit lower but beggars can't be choosers. Drives ok at that height but seem to be rubbing the rear left wheel arch mould on speed humps and popping a couple of the clips. I'll either have to trim the lip of the arch a bit or install the silver project control arms i have in the shed and dial in a little more neg camber. Leaning towards just trimming the arch. I think I have a spare one anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Of course mentioning the amp was working great cursed it, 3 hours after that post it stopped working and became intermittent, nothing would bring it back.

After much thought against my better judgement, i took the cheap way out and bought the e46 bmw hk amp.

It ended up being a good decision, took around 10 mins to modify internally by making 4 solders to join 4 sets of pins together. I hate soldering but managed to get it done half decently.

IMG_20200430_160952.jpg


Other than that, the k bus pin 27 needs to be removed from the loom and everything was working as it should, except the right hand front woofer was playing treble only.

IMG_20200430_170745.jpg

The e46 amp has different channel assignments to the mini so the loom needs some rearranging of the pins to suit. I was running out of time, so i just done the front right speaker and everything is now working great.

The volumes are quite different to the mini amp, i would have to crank it to 40 to get the same volume at 20 from the original amp. Luckily my car is fitted with a fairly new pioneer head unit and it has enough adjustments to compensate and make everything sound the way it was before.

Just need to do some more repinning of the loom now so the speakers are assigned to the correct channels and i can regain fader/balance functions.

All in all quite happy with my decision.

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Discussion Starter #47
Not such a good week this week. The mini developed a knocking sound. I checked out the chain tensioner which was good and in the extended position. I pulled out my electronic stethoscope and a vacuum hose and fished around the engine bay. The sound was finally tracked to cylinder 2 top end.

Video


Next i did a compression check to rule out a valve issue. All comps where good and between 152 and 158psi. I came across a post on minitorque about a valve tapping noise that was solved by removing the valve train and cleaning and freeing up all the lifters. I decided to give this a shot.

While disassembling i found a little bit of silastic partially blocking one of the oil supply holes to the rockers. Not sure how that got there as i personally haven't used any silicone on this car. Anyway i pressed on with disassembling everything, which all looked in good order considering 243k km.
Everything was cleaned with brake cleaner, all the lifters had the oil pump out of them by squeezing in a vice and then dipped in fresh oil and pumped up by hand.

Everything was then reassembled and the moment of truth was upon me. It did the trick and the mini is running knock and tap free again.

I thought I took a pic if the silicone hanging on the oil cavity but turns out I didn't. It can be seen in this pic under one the bolt heads in the middle of the pic.

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Also replaced these while i was there. The pulley was damaged before i got the car when the harmonic balancer failed, i was waiting for parts in the mail and then got lazy once arrived. Finally did it. The old belt tensioner damper was totally shot too.


IMG_20200507_165714.jpg


I didn't get a chance for an after engine sound video as it got dark but I'll get one soon. Im very happy the car is fixed and it was nothing major.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Thanks Maccmike, i came across a couple of posts of yours and a video about lifters. They where of some help.

Anyway, hee is the before and after videos of the tapping noise.










Im very happy with the outcome. I think that piece of rtv silicone was responsible for the noise by not allowing enough oil to get to that lifter. One of the lifters on the noisy cylinder wasn't fully pumped up, you could compress it with your fingers. All the others could not be.
 
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