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Preparing for the Ubercharger - Equiraptor's Journal
Preparing for the Ubercharger
I went by J Long Autoworks / Japanese Motor Specialists today for the first time. Dan is selling his engine and it looks like I'm going to buy it, or at least parts of it. I'll get the block/built bottom end, but his header won't quite fit my car, so my head will most likely be rebuilt as a frankenstein of his parts, my parts, and new parts. Once this is done, my car will be ready for an Ubercharger. If only my pocketbook were.

One of the advantages of going to the shop to discuss the engine swap is actually being around the vehicles... John suggested I should get to drive the Ubercharger car to "see what I'm getting." I think it was a plan to get me to purchase an Uber sooner. It was great fun to drive, and it was really confidence inspiring. Even with Dan's different ECU, the car was easy to drive. We made our way through a bit of traffic before finding an empty road, and dealing with the slow traffic was a breeze (well, except for my lack of patience, but that's a personal problem). Then, on the empty segment of road, it took me a couple of passes before I was willing to really punch the gas. That car had more go than... than... I dunno. It was just fast. Driving back to the shop, among stopsigns and lights, was easy as could be (except for my slight shaking and complete loss of ability to judge speed). I'm looking forward to having a similar system in my car and getting to know the ins and outs. John and Dan also seem happy to answer my ignorant questions about engines - I only hope I can be so patient with non-computer people.

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Nugget playing Half Life

14 comments | Leave a comment
decibel45 From: decibel45 Date: December 7th, 2004 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Header or heads? There's not really any parts on an [exhaust] header.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 7th, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Between "head" and "head end" my fingers ended up typing header. That, only not that. This, minus the water and oil pumps, are what's going to be pretty much transfered from Dan's car to mine.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 7th, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and here's the actual block itself, pre-installation in Dan's car. Links are fun.
cowbert From: cowbert Date: December 7th, 2004 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
it's easier to refer to everything above the block as "top end"; this includes the head, intake manifold, etc.

the ubercharger looks cool. all the power and no lag. Good thing that miata motor has all that low end torque to compensate.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 7th, 2004 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I understand them correctly, the entire top end won't be changed at the present time - just the head and immediate surroundings (valve covers, lifters, etc.). John frequently said that with the built bottom end, I really should have some work done on the head.
cowbert From: cowbert Date: December 7th, 2004 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah. You do want to remachine the head to fit the bottom. Is there a reason why you need a new block though? Also, the lifters are in the head too, no? (overhead cam right?) Getting it ported and polished would be nice in any event.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 7th, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't currently have a reason to need a new block, other than my current one has 104,000+ miles on it, 89,000 of which were with unknown maintenance, and I'm going to be putting a great deal of forced induction into it. I'd rather have a known situation, especially with 102,000 fewer miles, than a mostly-unknown block. Also, the parts I'd need to add, new, cost about the same amount as the bottom end I'm buying from Dan. The lifters are in the head (DOHC), and are currently hydraulic lifters. They'll be replaced with mechanical ones (and I will never had the lifter noise again!).
cowbert From: cowbert Date: December 8th, 2004 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)
hmm. Well personally, I don't think the bottom end is as important as the top end when it comes to FI, since the bottom ends are usually overengineered and as long as they are well oiled shouldn't have any problems (then again I don't know much about Mazda bottom ends). Speaking of the head again, have fun adjusting your valve clearances every 150000 miles! :) (imho, going from hydraulic to mechanical lifters is like going backwards for me, but then again my only experience is with bmw motors).
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 8th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
What I've been told is that I shouldn't put more than about 12, 13psi on the stock bottom end. The block itself isn't the issue - it's the rods and pistons. The pistons recommended for forced induction have a lower compression ratio, and the stock rods just can't take much more power than that. The thing is, I'm going from ~99hp, 95 torque at the rear wheels to (probably) over 200 of each. It's a hell of a difference.

I know the hydraulic lifters in the Miata are less-than-perfect. Mine make a clacking noise that isn't supposed to be a problem, but it still drives me insane. And, from talking to John, they apparently can collapse at high rpms, reducing flow in and out of the engine. :/ If the adjustment is every 150,000 miles, well, I'm going ~15,000 a year right now, so that's in 10 years. ;)
(Deleted comment)
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 8th, 2004 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Dan has mentioned varying from the standard Ubercharger to me a couple of times, most recently mentioning a smaller pulley that, with the work planned, should give about 260hp. I know Sim has more than just the standard U3 Ubercharger under the hood.
(Deleted comment)
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 8th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
It will be a few months before I can get a supercharger anyway, though I should probably get my name on the list. It will also be interesting to see exactly arrangement of parts I need, given the 99 block with the frankenstein head. And Sim is just wonderful. :D
ionno From: ionno Date: December 8th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
that's freakin awsome. Flyin' Miata kits are absolutely killer, and that much power in a miata is insane. Looks like you got some real bright minds working on that motor, too. Congrats!
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: December 8th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
People at work keep asking me why I'm not doing this myself. Ummm... Person who knows next to nothing about the working of an engine vs. guys who build the things for fun... I'm gonna have them working on my car, thank you very much. :D
ionno From: ionno Date: December 8th, 2004 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've done a bunch of work on my car. I've done three suspension installs, total, I've done a lot of engine work back when I had the Corolla, I've worked on Transmissions of 300zx's.
But there's no way I'd do a transmission, engine, or differential solo. At the very least, I'd get a friend with the right tools and the right knowledge to help out. In all likelyhood, I'd just pay 'em. It's not worth the cost of having to pay someone to fix my mistakes.
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