April 3, 2012

Ti Gri's Engine Bay Overview - Part 1

Ti Gri in her full glory!
After a month and a half, I finally got Ti Gri back in my hands. I originally was going to hold off on this post for a bit so I could clean up various things on the car, but I decided to post the condition of the car the way I got it back from Speed 1. In their defense, I did go to pick it up early (which was after almost two months of waiting). The work that was done was great, however, there were a couple of important things that were overlooked in my opinion. Let's have a look...

Currently messy engine bay with wires
First and foremost, the oil catch can needs to be mounted. I'm using zip-ties as a temporary fix as I needed an oil catch can to get it back from the shop. I just purchased a broken OEM air pump and I plan on trying to convert it to an oil catch can. I think it will look nice when it is installed, with that sort of "stealth"/OEM look to it.
Water Temperature Sensor Adapter
Most RX-8 guys will recognize this as the Racing Beat Water Temperature Sensor Adapter. The water temperature sensor, just like the oil pressure and oil temperature sensors are all resistance based. They have two electrical connectors; One that goes to a grounding point, and the other goes to the gauge.

The water sender is right underneath the zip-tied catch can, and I plan on putting it right underneath the new oil catch can when it is mounted. This sensor itself is located on the water cooling line that I fed to the turbo. On the factory set-up, the line, and the flow of coolant, comes out of the top of the thermostat, goes through the throttle body and empties into the rear iron of the motor.

I re-routed it to go through my turbo instead of the throttle body. Currently, I have air in this line, so my water temperature sensor is worthless. Although this is an easy fix, I have not taken care of this problem because I am maxing out my coolant system as it is with the OEM radiator. Highway cruising temps over 190°F are worrisome. Therefore, although the lines are hooked up, my turbo is only oil cooled at the moment.
Oil Temperature Sensor
On the bright side, my oil temperature gauge does work. You can see it on the sandwich plate adaptor along with the turbo feed line and oil pressure sender. The major deciding factor in running only oil cooling at the moment was my GReddy Oil Pan. I am very happy with this product, as the fins work wonders with keeping the temps down. I have yet to see oil temperatures higher than 190°F. For those curious, I am running Castrol GTX 10w40 oil, nothing synthetic at the moment.
Modified AEM Intake with K&N dry filter
The above picture is my intake configuration exposed. Notice the top of the intercooler below it and how it is all a tight fit! This is my modified AEM intake for the GReddy Turbo. The modified AEM intake system is too large for both the bumper and the crash bar to fit properly, so a few things had to be done. Firstly, Speed 1 had to cut into the crash bar behind the bumper so that the intake piping could fit.

Then, to make the air filter fit under the bumper and inside the crash bar, I had to replace the AEM filter with a smaller cone filter from K&N. Their website has a very nice interface that allows you to find the right filter based on your dimensions. After installing this filter, I could properly bolt my crash bar to the car without it damaging the intake cone.

If you have the resources and fabrication skills, you could definitely make something like this for under $100. However, I was silly and bought an AEM intake and had my bumper support already cut. Nonetheless, I did learn a lot from the ordeal and hopefully you will learn from this too.
GReddy Turbo Position from the wheel well
Finally, I am sure that you want to see what the low mount turbo looks like mounted on the RX-8. You need to turn your wheel in order to see it. Below is a close-up with the compressor and charge pipes visible. You can also see both ends of the vacuum line that goes to the waste gate actuator, as well as the actuator itself. In the near future, I will be installing a boost controller that will sit in this line.
Compressor and charge pipes
The turbo kit completely changes the car. Flooring it in first gear causes me to spin my 265 sized tires. Spool is almost instant and I am seeing a 1 - 3 cruise mpg increase. The low end torque is also completely different; it actually has some! I can stay in the 2 - 4k RPM range if I want to and still have power, just like a piston powerhouse... However, I still have another 4k above that if I need it.

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