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  • Mick uploaded a new video in Garage Talk
    Heat shrinking
    Heat shrinking using a blowlamp panel beating Tips and Tricks #4
    Please feel free to contact me email: auto-shaper@mail.com
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  • Mick uploaded 17 photos in the album Dubs by the Sea 2018
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  • Mick's 70 Lowlight uploaded 6 photos in the album Exhaust heat shield
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  • Mick's 70 Lowlight uploaded 9 photos in the album Devon Buddy Seat
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  • So the past month has been pretty eventful and I've spend a heap of time (and money lol) on the bus. I installed the new ECU and spent some time tuning. The bus was running really strong but I had a bit of a mishap when I pulled out from a turning and gunned it and ended up breaking a piston... So the past month has been pretty eventful and I've spend a heap of time (and money lol) on the bus. I installed the new ECU and spent some time tuning. The bus was running really strong but I had a bit of a mishap when I pulled out from a turning and gunned it and ended up breaking a piston ring land. The issue was basically a poor tune and too high CR. The bus did go like stink, so there's definitely some merit in a high CR boosted engine and something I will explore again in the future, but with our annual trip to Robe for Dubs by the Sea looming I decided that I needed a reliable engine and so made up another set of heads with a more respectable 8:1 Static CR. So the engine was out again and then back in again and the tuning recommenced.

    With the trip to Robe nearing there were a bunch of other jobs that I wanted to get finished in time for the trip, install the new front ball joints, install the drop spindles (with disk brake conversion), install a proper solar system to power our new fridge, make up a buddy seat, the list seemed to be endless.

    I finished the drop spindles off and went about swapping them over. Despite buying the proper ball joint press to do the ball joints on the car and making up a jig, the ball joints did not want to budge. Unfortunately my ball joints had been peened in place and the portable press just wasn't cutting it so I had to pull the torsion arms off and press the ball joints out in the shop press. (it took 15T of pressure to get them out.)

    With the new ball joints in I fitted up the new drop spindles with new lowered shocks (with clearanced brake callipers to clear the 14" wheels) and set the geometry as best as I could with the tools that I had. (tape measure and eyeballs).

    With the drop spindles installed I raised the ride height so that they net result was about the same, this meant that I had to re-profile the shift linkage to allow me to adjust the top beam adjusters into the position needed. I also took the opportunity to make up a narrowed ant roll bar. The handling was noticeably worse since removing it but with the availability of narrowed anti roll bars being zero unless you wanted to shell out $500 for a french slammer roll bar I had run without it. Having read online that someone had simply cut and shut the existing roll bar with no dramas I decided to do the same. I made up a sleeve and measured up the required width and then cut out the relevant amount from the centre. I then welded the roll bar back together and then welded the sleeve over the top to reinforce it. So far it's been fine.

    The drop spindles and roll bar have brought back some quality to the ride. It pretty much rides like stock again, albeit maybe a little stiffer. Handling is heaps better and I no longer have to avoid pot holes. It really is quite civilised.

    I also managed to get the solar and buddy seat done as well but I'll write about those that separately

    On the way back from Robe we managed to scrub a tyre, or at least that's what I thought had happened. The inner metal of the sidewall looked as though it had worn through. I suspected that the rear suspension geometry was not set correctly and the tyre had scrubbed through. So I took the bus down to Light Wheel Alignment in the CBD to get a 4 wheel alignment done. They found that the rear alignment was actually okay. So after getting a new tyre I realised that the exhaust silencer was VERY close to the tyre, and that what had probably happened was that the tyre had been cooked on the way back from Robe, the sidewall had softened and the reinforcing worked its way out.

    So I ordered some heat shielding and made up a heat shield for the silencer. The heat shield is very easy to bend, and it did not take too long to make up something suitable. I held it to the silencer using nut-serts. Now I can hold my hand on the outside of the heat shield, whereas I cannot touch the silencer. Great stuff. I'm planning on adding some more to the inside of the rear valence to help keep the exhaust temps out of the engine bay.

    So the bus is now very much back on the road. The EFI is still getting slight tweaks but is generally working great. Now it's just a case of working through a bunch of other projects to get it back into shape, but more on that later...


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  • So the engine is in and running but I'm not getting a stable tune. I've traced the problem to a bad voltage regulator on the board which is giving an unstable board voltage, which in turn is giving inaccurate injector timing and ignition events. Rather than fix it I'm replacing the board as the... So the engine is in and running but I'm not getting a stable tune. I've traced the problem to a bad voltage regulator on the board which is giving an unstable board voltage, which in turn is giving inaccurate injector timing and ignition events. Rather than fix it I'm replacing the board as the one that's in there is a very old Speeduino version. But the cool thing is that I've driven the bus for the first time in nearly two years and IT FELT GREAT. Didn't realise how much I missed driving my bus.

    Unfortunately the hiccup with the tuning meant that I did not want to risk the run to ReVolks so decided to give it a miss this year. Looks like none of the SA crew went apart from @Choco. It's a real shame as I really enjoy it, but didn't want to take the risk of such a long trip on a dodgy ECU.

    I did however manage to get the rear safari fitted to the bus. I needed to get a rear glass in the replacement tailgate for the ReVolks trip so decided to finish the tailgate to the point where I could at least fit it - this meant fitting glass and adding catches. It still doesn't have the stays fitted, and the frame needs some more fettling to get it to fit properly, but considering it's scratch made, it actually works, although I did smash one rear screen fitting it - oops.

    Fitting the glass was a complete PITA - even worse than doing safaris and I think that this is mostly as the frame is aluminium. It's simply too soft to hold its shape, so where the rubber seal and glass want to push it out of shape it has no resistance. The end result is that it does not follow the contour of the hatch. I'm going to leave it for the time being but I think I'll remake it with a steel frame. Having seen how the loose nuts guys do it I think I'll do it a little differently next time. The steel frame will also make it much easier to mount the catches and stays as well as they can simply be welded to the outside of the frame.

    I've also finally finished the front dropped spindle conversion. This uses adaptor plates to change the late bay bolt pattern to wide 5. I finished machining the plates and fitted everything up. I had a make a small spacer for the hub as the rear of the wheel studs just fouled the brake calliper, so rather than simply grinding the calliper to clearance it, I decided to space the entire hub out. I turned some washers in the lathe to get the correct dimensions and then used the Demco T&C grinder to surface grind them down to the correct thickness (0.8mm in case anyone wants to do the same).

    So basically the adaptor is a flat steel plate 10mm thick, the studs are pressed out of the original hub and refitted into the adaptor plate. The hub is then drilled and tapped for M14 bolts and the adaptor plate countersunk to accept the countersunk bolts. I used the 0.8mm spacer to allow the studs to clear the callipers but it could quite easily have been done by using a spacer between the disk and adaptor plate or by using a 12mm plate and machining a recess in the rear (probably a more elegant solution).

    So all that's left to do now is fit them.
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  • Mick uploaded 60 photos in the album Dubs by the river 2018
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  • Mick uploaded a new video
    Bug Jam 89
    Bug Jam 89.
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  •   Mick commented on this post about 4 months ago
    yesterday was a nice sunday for clean my vintage speed muffler, check this out! ‏ — at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico feeling happy
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  • So the engine is back together and installed in the bus. After some pondering I decided to blend in the second plug but it didn't really give me too much more in the way of chamber cc's so I decided to assemble the engine and see how it works with the higher CR. The theory is high CR low boost.

    ...
    So the engine is back together and installed in the bus. After some pondering I decided to blend in the second plug but it didn't really give me too much more in the way of chamber cc's so I decided to assemble the engine and see how it works with the higher CR. The theory is high CR low boost.

    So I reassembled the engine and hooked it up to one of my ignition systems as a test. The engine ran okay, if only for a short while as I did not have the oil cooler hooked up and there's no doghouse cooler installed.

    I did a compression check on the engine and registered about 180 on each cylinder. So with confirmation that the heads were no longer leaking and I was getting compression it was time to install the engine.

    So I spent some of Friday installing the engine ready for today. So after getting a bit sidetracked with my aquarium I managed to get the engine started this arvo. There's still a lot to sort out before I can start on the tune - The wideband is not working which made it run like a smoke machine as the fuelling correction was turned on (oops), the wideband connector had ended up full of water from the rain last night and blowing it out with an airline obviously didn't fix it, I'll try swapping it out for anther one. I also fried an ignition driver. Evidently pairing up the igniters for the twin spark is not such a good idea

    So this evening I soldered in new drivers, going to try and run two in parallel and see if that fixes it. If not I'll run some extra wires to the second coil pack and configure them wasted COP. Definitely some benefits to making your own ECUs 😎

    In the rush to get the bus running, I was a bit lazy and didn't make up a smaller blower pulley as I had planned (time poor), so the one that's on there was previously making 10 psi on the carbureted set up. I'm undecided if this will be a problem with the 9.8 CR. Will see how it goes. I don't really want to grenade the engine if I can help it, but I'm happy to push the limits a little in the name of research (or is it laziness lol)

    Although the idle is high its interesting to see that it's showing some boost at idle. The tell tale in tuner studio also shows 6psi when revving it. Will be interesting to see what it shows under load.

    It seems nice and responsive, even with basic desktop mapping and running form three cylinders. Can't wait to get it running properly and take it for a spin.


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