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It was so fast right before it blew up. Pt. 4

By
booneylander
840

So while we're waiting for the end of the turbo story to brew, let's have a look at some of the other tasteful mods I did to this speed demon.

You'll notice in the first pic a few cool things. You'll see I've added some sweet momo pedals for more feel and control when heel-and toe-ing. Notice the sweet seat covers for more seat control. Stereo. I re-located the windshield washer fluid bottle to the car's interior. The pump on the stock unit failed and this one was out of the summit that I stole those injectors from. It fit there like a glove, and with improved washer squirter pressure and flow, visibility was vastly improved. On the heater control filler panel you'll notice an indoor/outdoor thermometer and compass, with clock (this is what we had before GPS, kids!). Voltmeter in the glove box door, as well as my potentiometer for fuel control, notice the notes CCW+ meaning turn counter clockwise to richen the mixture. I've also ditched the right front interior panel and horn pad on the steering wheel (weight savings?). I seem to have also dyed the back-half only of the headliner black (?).

You'll also notice in the next pic I've added a "start button" to my heater control panel too. I think they ignition cylinder may have failed forcing me to come up with another solution. I also painted my subwoofer rack and made some brackets to locate it. Painted the rear panels, added some carpet from the summit to keep things from sliding around back there when I had cargo. Oh and I rolled over 80k km. Pretty much getting up there for a Niva.

The last couple pics are of a headlight mod I had to do. The little black nub was a headlight height adjuster. Normally there's a plastic "receiver" on the headlight ring that it sits in, and via a knob on the dash you could turn, the headlight could be aimed up/down. The plastic received tended to break and fall out causing headlights to droop. So I just put in a sheet metal screw with a rounded-off tip to adjust it once and forget it.

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I up voted before even reading, saving this for the flight to Hawaii. - ripcurl April 8th 2016

So, where were we? Oh yeah, turbo time! I had popped the rubber volvo boot and lost my boosty boost. I needed to make a stronger intake adapter to contain the 16psi that made the Niva such a rocket ship.

It was actually a pretty simple solution. I just cut and welded up some exhaust piping I had kicking around, clearanced it for the TBI and welded it to the retaining ring that originally would have been holding down the airbox. Oh yeah the little tube off the side, that was for my BOV. I had scored one on eBay, I think it was from a 1g DSM.

I'm fairly certain I did actually clean up that weld splatter with a dremel before running it.

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Here you can see the finished product. Once I got everything welded up nice I fiberglassed the unit to make sure and seal up any openings so I wouldn't be chasing pinholes forever. I took some pics of the intake air temp sensor and fuel injectors in the intake runner.

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So how did it go once it was together you ask? Well, like a bat outta hell is the answer! The thing was so fast. How could it not be with 16psi of boost! But, unfortunately, and in hindsight, predictably, it didn't last very long.

I basically took it for a couple rips around the block and all seemed well, so I returned home and did a bunch of tidying up of the engine bay. Made some brackets, basically set it up to drive long-term, and started to come up with some long-term fueling solutions.

Somewhere in that process Sophie stopped by so I wanted to take her for a rip and show her how good it was. So we headed out and went around the corner onto the "highway" where I proceeded to pull through 4 gears under boost. When I got off the highway though, I turned on a side road and gave it a boosty and suddenly I noticed a rapidly increasing stream of oil-laden fumes coming out the crankcase vent, which at the time was just vented to atmosphere with a filter. Then a rather ominous slick of oil started creeping up the windsheild from parts unknown in the engine bay, and I suspected that in fact something had gone terribly for the little engine. On the cruise home, off-boost, I hoped it was "just a loose clamp" but knew that I wasn't going to get so lucky.

Sure enough idling in the driveway, there was oily smoke just billowing out the crank vent and just about everywhere along the valve cover seal. It was game over.

It is surprising how long it actually did hold up. When you think, stock engine which is not exactly built for power in the first place, 80ish k km, 9.5:1 compression, and then you throw 16psi at the thing with terrible fueling, it's bound to be a problem.

Basically what had happened was the fuel was being delivered to the cylinders in a poor fashion. The intake manifold is like a bowl that takes off on 4 unequal length runners. What appears to have happened is that most of the fuel ended up in cyl 1, running the others especially lean, most pronounced in cyl 3. Thsi led to detonation and just melting everything away in that cylinder, eventually blowing a hole in the rings.

You can see from the pics how the piston is all melted on one side, and the dome of the combustion chamber was even melted away, and I think it even burnt/warped the exhaust valve and kept it from closing completely, as you can see gas flow patterns around it. Notice cyl 1 totally black from running super rich.

So that was the end of that motor!

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Are you sure you want to mark this record for deletion?It was so fast right before it blew up. Pt. 4