Discussion in 'Photo & Video Gallery' started by joebush44, Oct 17, 2016.
Looking good Joe despite the hang ups!
Obligatory Monday update...
Since winter seems to be never-ending, I got tired of waiting for decent weather to roll the car outside to finish blasting the windshield pinch weld. I figured I'd make a big ass mess even bigger and just finish it in the garage. Nothing like having ~20lbs of silica sand scattered all over the garage! lol I got the job done nonetheless.
I pulled the sunroof panel, which was surprisingly much easier than I anticipated. Just have to pull the inside headliner panel off of it and there's just 6 nuts holding it on. I repaired one smallish dent and about half a dozen rock chips on the panel. Some of the chips had begun to rust so I took a drill bit to the chips to chew all the rust out of it and then skim coated over the dimples with filler.
Roof is blocked out, had just one dent/wave to repair - done
Passenger door is finally done. Now I just have to match the contour if the rear quarter where the large dent was to the repaired door, which I'm close to finishing.
I had to reweld the two bolt holes for the antenna on the driver side A pillar. When I initially welded them up, I essentially just filled the captive nut with metal, but (apparently) never actually fused that to the pillar metal. When I ground it smooth, there was nothing holding it to the A pillar anymore. I noticed last night that it looked funny (you could see the outline of the captive nut) so I gave it a light tap with the hammer and sure enough, it popped right through. I threaded an M8 bolt into both antenna mount holes (which threaded nice and tight) and then welded that on and cut it off, ground it down smooth. I then covered the welded areas with fiberglass filler, then regular filler on top of that to smooth it all out.
I also covered my welded molding holes on the driver side with fiberglass filler and now just need to hit those with regular filler. There is a bit of warpage on that side from welding (not nearly as bad as the passenger side), but shouldn't be too bad to level out.
After that, I think I'm ready to start spraying...after cleaning up the garage, final prep, and masking. I'm actually shipping my new/unopened gray epoxy primer back to SPI to exchange it for their black epoxy primer. Mainly, because I'm fairly certain I'll keep the car in primer for a little while yet (depends on timing of tuning availability) and the black epoxy shouldn't look too terrible.
That's all for now...
Sounds like good progress!
Mud, sand, beer, repeat...
Tuning date is set for May 24th, which is much later in the month than I expected it would be. It should work out perfectly, hopefully allowing me to have the car painted and back together entirely by then. My black epoxy primer should be here next week and the weather is finally warming up so I should be able to throw some paint maybe by next weekend.
Also got these brand new genuine OEM fog light covers delivered last week to replace my pretty-ok-fitting replica covers. It's a shame I'll have to sand these down and repaint them. They fit awesome though, and with no 3m tape necessary to hold them in place.
Back when I had an RS coupe I was always torn between those sweet covers or the massive fog lights. Never decided which I liked more.
Me too! The covers look great. But the fogs look great as well and are one of those “defining features” of the car. #torn, lol
The massive fog lights are a huge factor in why I love the bugeye so much. Honestly that's part of the reason my interest in the 04-07's has declined.
FMIC piping in the way made that decision easy lol
It might still be snowing until then anyway...
Over the past couple weeks I've gotten the entire car scuffed down, finished mudding and (somewhat) prepped for primer. I pushed the car out of the garage to clean up. This is how it sits currently:
First panels are in epoxy!
There's definitely a learning curve when spray painting with an actual gun. I used the rough OEM passenger fender as a test panel to fine tune my gun and my application before spraying good panels. I'm getting better...I think.
Everything I primer will need to be sanded before a final coat of epoxy as a sealer so I'm not too worried about orange peel, trash, blemishes right now. Any imperfections I find after spraying epoxy can be mudded without the need for sanding for up to 7 days, otherwise I can scuff and mud if needed. My hope is that I can block out the epoxy well enough that I don't need to use any more filler, but I'm sure there will be spots that I missed (the passenger rear quarter will still need some love). The nice part about this primer is that it's quite glossy so blemishes are easy to find.
Need to figure out what I want to do for BC/CC. I'm thinking just straight gloss black for color. That will allow me to continue painting the car in pieces (my compressor won't be up for the task of painting the entire car at one time). If I went with a color that has flake/metallic in it like I'd originally planned, ideally you have to paint the whole car at one time so the metallics lay even...which I don't think is an option for me.
Sorry for the ramblings. Sometimes helps me visualize the process/next steps by typing it out
Excited to see the rest sprayed!
More rambling more better. It's nice to read the thoughts of the mad scientist here.
Much respect for taking on this project. I'm scared of this sort of thing, as I'm sure most of us would be. Though I imagine that I will consider it once my project gets this far along now that I see how far down the rabbit hole you've gone.
Glad spring happened so you could get it outside. Keep up the good work!
I don't mean this as a dig or negative in the slightest, but it's interesting to me to see what certain people will and won't touch as far as projects go.
I look at your stuff and my mind is frickin blown watching you piece by piece put practically the whole drivetrain together in your garage and just scratch my head the whole time. Basically building your entire car from scratch and making your own fuel controller and stuff (or at least I think so...). Haha.
But then I'd personally be way more comfortable stripping mine down and doing some body work and repainting it.
On one side, body repair (generally) doesn't affect the performance or safety for those conscious of that.
But on the flip side, bolts go into holes and it's all just a puzzle designed by someone else. If it needs to be a way and it didn't before you just make something to do that.
It might be the emotional impact of screwing up and dying vs screwing up and looking bad.
I think patience plays a big part in it too, where more patient non adhd people can sit and sand over and over and know they are working toward greatness, vs people who can put it together and see progress as they do so.
One of the biggest hurdles was just making that first grinding mark. Once you've opened that can of worms, there's no going back. I'm not sure what convinced me fully to make take that step, but I did, and here we are lol. Honestly I have been regretting it since getting into it. It's just a huge commitment, lots of time, labor and money - more than I had initially anticipated. Knowing I've rid the car of the inevitably increasing cancer before it had gotten too bad will make it worth it in the end. I can almost see the light at the end.
I've come to the realization that the car is going to remain in epoxy primer for the season. Maybe next winter I can blow it all apart and finish painting or even later this summer, but it's not gunna happen before I need to have the car road worthy later this month. The nice thing about this epoxy primer is it's very durable and waterproof. It's only downfall is lack of UV protection so over time the sun will make the paint "chalk up". Not a huge deal because it will need to be blocked down with 320 before base regardless. I kinda like the sheen of the epoxy, personally.
More progress this past weekend. I ran out of paint though . I thought 1 sprayable gallon would be enough, but not really even close. I ended up wasting quite a bit on test panels and sprayouts though, as well as messing up and having to sand and repaint some pieces. Another sprayable gallon of epoxy should be here Wednesday.
Pics of a few of the finished parts.
I pulled the doors off to clean out the 10lbs of sand and sanding dust inside of them. To minimize the area I'm spraying at one time, I wanted to doors off to paint them anyway. With the doors off, I found a couple areas that need a little filler yet, then ready to paint. After that, I need to scuff down a few more spots on the car (hood is ready to shoot) before shooting the rest of it. I'll probably leave the front and rear bumpers alone for now, depending how far along I get.
Looking to get the doors painted this week. Then I'll have this weekend to get going on the hood/rest of the car. The following week/weekend I'll be able to assemble everything that's necessary for road worthiness.
Maybe I should just skip the PG1 event, move my tune date to late June, and take the time to actually finish it. I dunno, at this point I just want a running and driving car again lol
Your dedication to this build is admirable. And you'd fit right in with all the doorless jeeps I saw this weekend.
I feel this for sure. Looks like we'll have a week of not to great weather to calm the nerves and make more progress.
Thanks! And yeah, if it had a driver's seat in it i'd be tempted to drive it as is...LOL
Weight Reduction: Level Expert
"Don't let your dreams be dreams" - George Washington
I got 3 coats on the doors tonight. Other than some bits of trash they turned out pretty nice. I’ll block them out nice and flat tomorrow with hopefully no burn throughs then I’ll spray another coat or two and they’ll be ready to go.
I’m hoping to have the first few coats on the rest of the car this weekend. Then I just have small stuff like side mirrors and door handles to finish. Skirts and bumpers will be painted later this year when I’m not in such a rush to finish up.
Got the first few coats on the car this weekend. Ran out of paint...again. More on the way now so that I should have enough to spray a few more coats on the car body and then small stuff like mirrors, fog covers, bumpers, door handles, etc. I'm going to spend the next two nights blocking out the hood and rest of the car. Hopefully I'll have paint delivered on Wednesday the paint the rest of the car Wednesday night along with the smalls. I figure by Saturday or Sunday everything will be dry enough to reassemble.
I never imagined I'd need 3 gallons of sprayable material to paint this car. Although, I am block sanding in between applications so a lot of it ends up on the floor. Lots of loss of material due to overspray too. Anywho...should still be on track to get everything buttoned up just in time. I still haven't even loaded my new map onto my AP and I haven't done anything but let the car idle for a few minutes since installing the new parts. I'm hoping there's no surprises once it's back together.
A few quick photos...
Former giant dent (still needs some block sanding for sure):
You're spraying epoxy primer, right? And blocking that off? What kind are you using?
Yes sir, Southern Polyurethanes' epoxy primer. This is a pretty decent building, well-sanding epoxy primer, which isn't usually an attribute of epoxy primers. My "grand plan" was to get the body work as near perfect as I could before primer to avoid having to buy a primer surfacer/2k primer to save money by only using the epoxy as my leveler...well that was back when I thought a gallon of sprayable would do the whole job. In hindsight, a good couple coats of epoxy on everything, then some high build primer, block that flat, then a seal coat of reduced epoxy would have likely been cheaper. Right now, you can see the bodywork through the primer so it needs to be blocked out, then recoated to cover it up. First time ever doing this so live and learn
Totally understand where you're coming from.
I was wondering how you were able to sand the epoxy. I've only seen it used as a sealer right before the paint goes down. Otherwise as a sealer on raw metal if you're gonna store it or plan to work on it in/for a while, mainly just to prevent rusting.
2k is great for priming over your mud work. Has a a lot more build to help fill any sanding scratches you might've missed or just didn't get smooth enough. Crappy part is everything shrinks over time so you almost always end up seeing sanding scratches down the road unless you really take your time and let everything cure in stages. That or you're just that meticulous the first time around. Guy I learned from was restoring a 68 Cuda for his boy. Got the mud work done and shot the primer one day. Said after it dried for a few days he was gonna basically bag the thing in plastic and let it sit for a few months to fully cure and shrink. If only we all had that much time.
Anywho, you're doing ridiculously good for somebody just going in blind. Unfortunately you're also finding out first hand how stupidly expensive it is to do proper body work even when you're buying the materials and doing the work yourself. It's kind of a bummer and can really discourage a guy pretty quick (I'm one of them). I'd love to do some side work at home even just to get better at it, but it's so cost prohibitive to mess around with just to practice.
Anywho, rock on! Stoked to see this thing in flat/satin black as a whole.
I guess the “new school” way of doing things is to get the car all the way to bare metal, epoxy primer, then do your filler work on top of that. This epoxy has a 7 day window where it doesn’t need to be sanded to apply filler or another coat. That route just didn’t work for me. That’s a bit further than I wanted to take it considering the oem paint was in great condition aside from a couple rust spots on the A pillars, dents, dings, rock chips. If it was leaking/bubbling etc then down to bare metal would have made more sense.
2k would have been a lot smarter. I didn’t realize that my filler work would show through the epoxy as much as it did. But in most spots I’m getting away with blocking it out without burning through. The doors were the hardest because I warped them a bit from welding lol. Right now I’m blocking the primer with 220 on the flat panels with a DA and hand blocking with 320 on the curvy parts. The sanding scratches should theoretically be non existent after another coupe coats of primer. The downside to that is I get a little orange peel with the primer. Not sure if it’s my application, gun, or just how the product lays. Down the road I’ll just block the whole car out with 320 or 400, seal, paint, CC. I won’t have to blow it all apart to paint it since I’ll just leave all the jams in epoxy. Looks decent and won’t fade because it doesn’t see any UV.
I honestly underestimated the time and money investment in the beginning. In all honestly I took it much further than I had originally intended lol. And thanks man, I think it’ll look half decent in the satin finish once it’s all together.
Back to sanding....
Started some reassembly last night. Goal for tonight is to scuff and paint the small stuff since I haven't gotten around to doing that yet. Probably front bumper too. I need to get my painting done with so that things have time to cure. Not planning on painting the rear bumper since I'll be getting a different one eventually. I'm giving the car a couple more days to cure before putting more of the trim pieces back on. Windshield should be going in this weekend as well.
I still don't have any front seats. New seats have been on order for 7+ weeks, but they are MIA at the moment. I'm guessing they won't be here before tune day...I'll have to pull the crusty seats out of my daily wagon the night before the tune and throw them in the RS so I don't have to sit on a milk crate on the way down to Des Moines lol
Nice, she's looking good.
Also FWIW I vote milk crate.
Well she's back in one piece (mostly). I still have interior panels to put back in yet, but I got the front bumper, mirrors and door handles painted and installed now. Windshield is in. Seats are still MIA...Got a buddy in town here with a broken bugeye WRX who's going to let me borrow his seats until mine show up. That will save me from having to swap seats in and out of the daily.
I've been helping out another buddy the past couple of weekends work on his WRX to get it ready for the same tune date (FP Blue, ID1050x, IAG fuel rails, line kit, AOS, speed density, clutch install, timing kit) so I haven't gotten as far on mine as I had anticipated by now, but I should still be in good shape. We spent about 4 hours troubleshooting on Sunday and another 2 last night on (what we presumed to be) a fueling issue on his car, but it turned out the base map wasn't setup for the Cobb 4 bar MAP sensor we had installed. It would start, but run like dog sh*t. Swapped back to the stock MAP sensor and it popped right off. Now that he's all set I can get mine buttoned up the rest of the way.
Hoping for good results on Thursday, but mainly the car staying in one piece. My biggest worry is the clutch not holding the power. We'll see!
Dyno tune was a success! No (major) issues and the car is a whole new animal. Clutch seems to be holding up just fine (tq is still fairly low at under 500wtq). My goal was to be in the 600whp range on e85 and we ended up making 597whp/481wtq on ~e62 @ ~28psi. On e70+ I'd likely pickup another 30 or so whp, but we didn't have any better fuel to spike the blend. I'm very happy there, especially considering the semi closed deck block and ARP2000 head studs. Junior is comfortable tuning up to 650whp on similar setups so I think I'm in the happy range where it's at.
On the last pull on the dyno, the motor kicked the alt belt off and sailed into the corner of the dyno room lol. That was a first sight for many...very odd. When trying to put the belt back on, it was as if it had shrunk. I had the alternator adjusted all the way down as far as I could and still had to stretch the belt to get it back on. Tightened it back up and didn't think anything more of it. That is until on the way home I noticed the car losing voltage. It eventually died about 30 mins from Des Moines on the side of I35. I fully expected the belt to be gone, but it was still on. The pullies were still spinning just fine. Luckily my buddy brought a battery jump pack along so we were able to get the car fired up again. A couple mins later, voltage was dropping again..tried giving it a quick rev and it spiked the voltage back to normal. Then realized that as long as I keep RPM's high enough, the alternator had enough juice to keep the battery charged. Had to keep a close monitor on that the whole way home. Wasn't even able to do any shenanigans on the trip back because I didn't want the belt to go sailing off again.
My theory: I think the alternator cooked on the dyno after several 7600 RPM pulls. It got so hot that it literally warped/shrunk the belt and at that high RPM it just couldn't hang on and that's when it went flying off on that last dyno pull. Odd thing is, the alt isn't making any noise at all. It's a 2yr old reman unit so, I guess I'm not real surprised it didn't last long. Just glad it hung on until after tuning was completed.
Still have some things to paint and put back on the car, but I'm done working on it for now (other than the alt swap). Need me a break for a bit. Hoping to have it ready for PG1 in a couple of weeks at BIR to see what she can do - and/or break next
Congrats on a successful tune @joebush44 . Crazy alternator, but at least it will be a simple fix. Seems like the type of thing that would happen to me after a full re-build of my car.
And what, no video of the alt belt sailing across the room?
I paid for LaX the first day you posted it lol
No! I didn’t record the very last pull hahaha
I know, but you were “up in the air” about it i thought? Mainly because you didn’t know if the car would be done or not me tinks
Ah yes, I think you’re right. I think I said “as long as it’s still in one piece” it’ll be there. We’ll see how it holds up at Proving Grounds if I can get it there.
You're doing Powercruise, too, right? I'll pay for a ride...
Yep, planning on it
This weekend a threw a new belt on just to see how it would behave and to my surprise the battery voltage jump about 1.0V just from the belt change. The shrunken belt was at least 1" shorter then the new one...still can't quite figure out how a belt shrinks. I took the car out for a drive and it wasn't long before the belt had started "walking" off the front of the crank pulley. It was half shredded by the time I got it home. I realized I had two stripped bolt holes for the PS pump...
I tapped the two stripped holes in the block from 8mm x1.25 to 10mm 1.25, threw in some larger bolts, and replaced the belt again. With the belt alignment issue seemingly fixed, I'm still seeing some voltage issues...at least that's what I think it might be. The car won't rev past ~6500 rpm - it's like it hits rev limiter even though the limiter is set to 7600rpm. It also began leaking oil from behind the timing cover. My guess is the oil pump crank seal is leaking, but I haven't torn it down that far yet. The top two driver side timing cover bolts are just spinning so I can't get that cover off. I called it quits as it wasn't much fun wrenching in a 90* garage anyway. I'll have to cut the heads of them off. Hopefully I can get the remaining part of the bolt out without having to remove the rear timing cover.
So I either have an alternator issue, battery issue, coil pack issue or combination thereof as well as an oil leak that I need to address. I'm probably going to pass on PG1 event so I have time to get everything taken care of without being in a big rush.
I also finally got my new seats on Saturday! Corbeau RRS. The leather on the tops of the headrests are bit damaged from shipping, but I'm hoping they will come back to their normal shape after a bit of time. Might have to hit them with a steamer or something.
I put the passenger seat in first and it was quite low. I used some 1" spacers on the driver's side and it's much better, but I could stand for them to be another 1/2" to 1" taller. Aside from being a little tight on the ole' love handles, they are pretty comfy...
Man they look good in there!
I'm happy with them so far. They do have kind of a 90's retro look to them that I think matches the GC interior well.
Hell yes. That's the best part. Like Testarossa or something. So awesome.
Those seats are hot!
I wish this was a throwback photo, but unfortunately this is the current state of the RS
Last week I tore down the motor and shipped the shortblock back to IAG for them to inspect it. I'll give more info once they've had a chance to inspect it and let me know what my options are (or lack of options). Unfortunately IAG is in the middle of moving into their new facility right now so they're thinking it could be a few weeks before they'll get to it. In all honesty, I was hoping the incident would be made a priority considering it is an engine failure with their name on it, but I can understand they are extremely busy with the move right now. Until then, I'll be anxiously awaiting a resolution.
The failure has nothing to do with the tune, the power level, nor the build quality of the engine. It was a freak part failure that has everything to do with my terrible luck lol.
I mentioned previously I began having misfire symptoms at around 6500 RPM as I was troubleshooting the seemingly alternator/voltage related issues. My next step was to swap out the battery and/or the alternator with known good units. After my last test drive I noticed an oil leak that had developed from what looked like somewhere behind the timing cover in the center of the engine. It was significant enough of a leak to investigate further. I pulled the timing covers, and could see through the crank sprocket that the oil pump/crank seal was wet. I pulled the timing belt and as I was pulling the crank timing sprocket off I noticed excessive play in the crank. I could wiggle it up and down and side to side, not so much front to back though.
So there's the source of my oil leak as well as likely the cause of the serp belt walking off the pulleys and also likely the cause of the car breaking up at 6500 rpm. I imagine at the higher RPM the crank was moving enough to put the timing sprocket out of phase or out of view of the sensor entirely. The crank/sprocket were moving enough that the sensor pickup teeth on the sprocket were making contact with the body of the oil pump.
I caught it early for sure. Mind you, there were no weird bottom end noises, knocks, other horrific noises that would have been an indication that there was a major problem. Just the oil leak that motivated me to tear into it further. I'm certain if I had continued driving it for much longer than I did it would have been a yard sale of parts on the road behind me.
Given the crank play, my initial thought was that it could be a thrust bearing issue, which I believe to be extremely rare in EJs with the thrust bearing in the #5 position. It definitely wasn't a thrust bearing issue...
I contacted IAG and they asked to have it sent in for inspection. After tearing it down, this is what I found.
Sprocket teeth ground down from making contact with the oil pump (I broke a tooth off removing the sprocket...it was garbage at this point anyway)
Not the best pic but the oil pump grinding from the teeth on the crank sprocket
Full disclosure: there was a small ding in the snout of the crank when I took delivery of the engine. It almost looked like a balancing notch (similar to what you might see on CHRAs on turbos). It wasn't significant enough for me to worry about so I shrugged it off...until it came time to put the crank sprocket on. I realized that around the ding, it had actually "mushroomed" out some material that was keeping the sprocket from going on. At this point the entire long block was already assembled and I was eager to get the car back together. I should have stopped and addressed it with them at that point, but I continued on. I had to grind that material down ever so slightly so the sprocket could slide onto the crank snout. I'm not sure if that ding has anything to do with what happened to the crank, but it's possible, maybe even likely.
Everything above as been provided to IAG. I have faith that they will help me out as best they can. They warranty "worksmanship" issues for all of their engines for 12k or 12mos which my engine falls within the timeframe, but I'm not certain this can be considered a "worksmanship" related issue. They have been extremely responsive and professional in regards to the issue thus far - it's just bad timing with them in the middle of the move.
I'm not looking to start an engine builder/tuner war. I'm not throwing anybody under the bus or pointing any fingers. I'm not looking to start a pity party or looking for hand outs. That's not what this is about...I'm just sharing my story.
This car may very well be cursed. Er maybe it's me. I dunno.
The saga continues...