16. Time to give the beast legs (and other stuff)

I’d like to thank KRoberts for inviting me over while I was recently in his area visiting family.  It turns out Ken’s only about 20 minutes away from my sister.  Who would have thought an SLC would end up in the middle of nowhere?  Ken was an awesome host and his car has a TON of touches I haven’t seen in any other build.  He’s really pushing the envelope for what it means to have an OEM type build!

Now that the motor is in it shouldn’t be too long before I can start her up – I mean all you need is fuel, air, and spark!  With fuel just about complete all I’d need to do is wire it up and slap an air filter on there right? mmmyeah … apparently not!  It’s been about a month since my last update and the areas I’ve spent the most time thinking and working on have been the engine fluid systems – oil and coolant.  I’ll summarize the updates to the oil system today and work on another post discussing engine coolant.

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m making tracks.  Due to the nature of this type of project you’re always working about 5 different areas at any one time – keep kicking the ball!  So I’ll break my progress down by area to make the reading a little more organized.

Engine/transaxle:

With the engine installed it was time to get it buttoned up.  Turns out it really doesn’t take much effort to adapt the LS motor for the SLC.  The following modifications have been made to date:

  • Intake manifold reversed
  • Fuel rail feed port flipped so it is pointing toward driver side of vehicle
  • Water pump outlet shortened
  • Headers installed
  • Flywheel/clutch assembly installed
  • Graziano transaxle installed
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Katech modified valley cover.  In hindsight it would have been more cost effective to have my factory piece taken down to a machine shop and modified.  All they do is basically machine the oil pressure sensor port down and flatten out the die cast surface for their new sensor port.
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Close-up showing valley cover modification.  Pfft…
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Katech oil pressure sensor adapter.  This piece is super trick, kellered from a single piece of aluminum and requires the use of a 5-axis CNC mill.  I can understand why this piece is so high dollar.  The included hardware is also of  high quality and this piece not only looks beautiful, but it’s well designed.  Just expensive!
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Lots of beautiful machining.
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Close-up of adapter installed.  The reason a counter-sunk fastener is used will become apparent in a few photos – there’s VERY little clearance to the intake manifold!
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Katech valley and adapter installed.
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Intake manifold turned around.  Note fuel rail inlet is pointing to passenger side.  This will need to be flipped for most SLCs as the typical fuel system is located on the driver side.  Flipping the rail minimizes the fuel feed hose and keeps the engine bay looking neater.  When flipping the fuel rail, if leaving the injectors in place, note how the injector clips are installed.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to properly reattach the fuel injectors as they do not sit all the way into the rail!
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Don’t forget this piece of hardware when flipping the fuel rail.  My guess is it’s a grounding strap for the fuel rail since the intake manifold is a non-conductive plastic.
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Manifold turned!
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This shot gives an appreciation for just how tight that sensor adapter sits to the manifold.
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Water pump outlet before modification.  There are 2 beads rolled onto the end – chop the first one off!
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Modified water pump outlet.  Yeah, not my prettiest work.
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A random 90-deg hose Bob had in his vast inventory of “stuff”.  Tight, but it’ll work!
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Side-view of engine clearance.  There’s not much room between the engine and rear bulkhead!  Note that the inlet for the water pump crosses the rear bulkhead plane.  If designing a fuel compartment closeout panel this will need to be considered.
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RCR engine/transaxle specific flywheel.
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Pilot bearing installed into flywheel.
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I reused the flywheel bolts from the crate engine (these are not torque to yield).  Installation torque was 74 ft-lb (in 3 steps) along with blue loctite (medium compound).  Pace Performance has a GREAT summary of LS3 engine torque specs here.
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Audi R8 OEM clutch, purchased as part of the transaxle completion kit offered by RCR.  A SPEC clutch (with replaceable friction material) is available for about the same price but I’ve heard that clutch can be grabby and may not be ideal for a street car.  I personally prefer to have a less grabby clutch.
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Installing the clutch using Bob’s old school alignment tool.  It worked perfectly!  Note the ring gear and clutch assembly are installed at the same time, fastened using the clutch assembly bolts (qty 9).  These bolts are also part of the transaxle completion kit.  I installed these working my way up to 120 in-lbs in a star pattern.  These also got the blue loctite treatment.
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Clutch installed!  Pic also shows the LS7 exhaust manifolds installed.  The LS3 exhaust manifolds are more restrictive than the LS7 – which can be had quite easily and for minimal cost.  I’ve heard somewhere along the lines of ~15-20hp due to this modification.  Not a bad way to spend $100-$200.  I picked these up locally from a Craigslist ad, they were new takeoffs from a corvette that only had 2 dyno runs before they were yanked.
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Kenny’s making sure I don’t screw this up!

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The 2 transaxle to adapter plate bolts shown here are a little different than the rest.  The upper one doesn’t have enough clearance to use a socket head type fastener (not enough room for the allen key/driver).  Additionally, I decided to use a shorter bolt at both these locations.

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The reason for using shorter bolts at the 2 above locations is so I would have enough thread material to drop 2 additional bolts in on the back side.  These next 2 bolts will secure a closeout plate I plan to make so this large gap into the transaxle is covered.
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At the very bottom of the transaxle is this super long bolt.  I used a M10x1.5 150mm bolt at this location.  I generally don’t like taking super long bolts up very high in torque so I made this “elbow tight”.
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Transaxle installed!  My order of bolt installation was the following: 1) Transaxle to adapter plate bolts with transaxle supported.  This ensures the transaxle is correctly and fully mated to the adapter plate.  Don’t forget to install the 2 locating dowels before mating transaxle!  2) Engine mount to front engine support bracket bolts (1 per side).  This aligns the transaxle/engine assembly to the front and rear engine supports.  Throughout, ensure any transaxle support links are either loose or not even installed though the assembly should be supported.  3) Transaxle support links.  Now that the engine and transaxle are correctly aligned with the chassis, the remaining transaxle support links can be sized and installed.
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To plumb the hydraulic clutch line I initially used an M12x1.5 to 1/8″ NPT adapter (Autometer PN 2277) along with a 1/8″ NPT to -3AN 90-deg fitting.  This was a no-go as the adapter interfered with a support rib cast into the transaxle housing.  My solution was to use a 1/8″ NPT to -3AN straight adapter, then a -3AN female to -3AN male fitting before finally installing my clutch line.
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Not the most elegant solution, but it gets the job done.  I used a 15″ hydraulic hose and a male/male -3AN/-3AN adapter to mate the flex hose to the RCR supplied hard line.
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I had initially planned to run a transaxle cooler; the Graziano has a built-in pump.  However, I recently decided I would forego the additional cooler and run a recirc loop instead.  If I really get into track days I’ve protected real estate so I can package the necessary cooler down the road – I don’t think this will be necessary for my mostly street car.  To plumb the recirc loop I used a 90-deg fitting at the upper (inlet) port and a 120-deg fitting at the lower (outlet).  This combination of fittings gets the line to hug the contour of the case better than if I’d used 90-deg fittings at both locations.  The ports are tapped with a M16x1.5 threadform.  Thanks to SHackett’s blog post for turning me onto the 120-deg fitting.
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My axles only came with enough bolts to secure either 1 half-shaft.  These bolts are M10x1.5 60mm; I just happened to have 55 and 65mm so I ran 4x 65mm and 2x 55mm on the upright side, using the supplied bolts on each transaxle side.  Due to the lack of real estate I also had to grind down my washers.  These were installed to 58 ft-lbs along with some blue loctite.
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Thread engagement using a 55mm bolt on the upright side.  Thread engagement loss seems minimal and acceptable, however I’ll be monitoring these for any signs of back-out.
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Visual difference between 55 and 65mm.
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I got some axles installed!  The passenger side axle is shorter than the driver side due to the centerline offset of the Graziano.
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Some OEM axle heat shields off eBay.  These are ubiquitous on most Audi/VW/Lamborghini vehicles.  Hint – don’t bother buying the R8/Lamborghini ones as folks are asking a premium for a used set.  These came off an Audi and cost me ~$20 apiece.  PN 8E0501721/8E051713 (same PN for left or right).
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A few minutes of sand blasting and they’re as good as new!
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Some extra thermal shield between the aluminum and CV joints.
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Before
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After
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Axle heat shields cover the upper half of the CV joint and boot area.  These may or may not be handy depending on your exhaust routing.
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Not much clearance to the axle!
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I had some bubble type reflective heat shielding available so I figured why not?  I didn’t think the SS Thermal Block would conform to the shape of the heat shields as well.  Time will tell if this stuff is any good.

Battery:

I literally spent about 4 days trying to position the battery.  It was complicated by the need to package an Accusump oil accumulator and transaxle cooler along with the battery.  Once I was finally able to come up with a configuration I was happy with it was a matter of making the necessary hardware to secure the battery box in place.  I picked up a machined battery box off eBay knowing I couldn’t make something as nice with just aluminum angle and sheets.

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I initially wanted to push the battery rearward of the Accusump to keep the area forward of the accumulator open for coolant and AC plumbing.
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But installing an oil cooler would suck for the battery as all that hot air would just exhaust right onto it.
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Pushing the battery in front of the Accusump makes for tight quarters but is much more ideal for the cooler.  It also tucks the battery in closer to the body so it’s not hanging out so far which wouldn’t be good for battery stability or vehicle balance in general.  Win-Win.  Getting here took a LOT of internal debate.  I struggled with not wanting to install the Accumulator horizontally or on the upper firewall; a solution which would have made packaging the battery and cooler infinitely easier.  I just didn’t want the weight of the accumulator hanging off the upper firewall nor did I want it mounted horizontally (more explanation in a later section).
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Final answer Howie!  Holes drilled, no going back now!
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Accumulator and battery installed.  The Infinity system recommends locating the battery behind the driver – right where I’ve got my fuel system.  It’s not critical for the battery to be placed on the driver side, it just means more wire will  need to be run if the pre-wired Infinity system isn’t long enough.

Fuel system:

Just a few last bits to the fuel system before it’s (finally) complete.

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Fuel compartment vacuumed and wiped down with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA).
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Installation of Second Skin Damplifier Pro.  I ended up purchasing a LOT of Damplifier for this project.  First I purchased a box of Damplifier Pro.  Fearing that I might not have enough for the project I decided to go hog wild and purchased a box of their B-Stock.  The B-stock is supposed to have a mix of Damplifier and Damplifier Pro.  My particular box included ONE sheet of the Pro with the remainder being their Damplifier product.  It’s definitely less expensive to get a box of B-stock (and most of the sheets are full size and in really good condition), but there’a also a definite difference between their Damplifier and Pro CLD sheets.  If you feel you need the best, skip the B-stock box and just get the Pro.  Pro tip: Second Skin runs an awesome Black Friday sale, wait to purchase if you can!
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Followed up by a sheet of Second Skin Luxury Liner Pro.  This stuff is HEAVY and will absorb what the Damplifier doesn’t kill.  Luxury liner pro is installed using an adhesive spray (I used the Second Skin product but I plan to switch to the 3M Super 77 spray adhesive available at the local Home Despot once this runs out).
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Gaps, seams, and edges were taped off using aluminum tape (McMaster PN 7631A21).  The smooth end of a sharpie pen works wonders for pressing out all the little folds in the aluminum tape.
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Luxury Liner Pro installation complete.

The firewall panel started out as a 1/16″ sheet of aluminum that didn’t weigh all that much.  After the sound deadening and heat shielding was installed it weighed significantly more!  This should help with decreasing noise and heat transmission.  I’ve seen many builders use Lava Mat which is a thin layer of crushed lava rock covered with a reflective layer that looks like gold carbon fiber.  I don’t have any first hand experience with the lava mat, nor do I (yet) have any experience with the Second Skin Thermal Block.  However, I’m a firm believer in the power of air gaps and its efficacy as an insulator.  In many typical insulation applications the goal is to use a material that’s made less dense by the introduction of air pockets.  It’s actually the presence of the air that disrupts the flow of heat energy from the exposed and protected surfaces.  The matrix “holding” the air pockets together is a greater conductor of heat than the air.  So in my estimation one of the key elements to a thermal barrier is introducing as much air pocketing as possible.  I won’t pretend to be very knowledgeable in the area of advanced insulating technologies – just using basic engineering stuff here.

So here’s why I opted to go with the SS Thermal Block over the cooler looking Lava Mat:

  • Lava mat measures 0.008″ thick (their basic product) or 0.025″ thick (their supreme product line).  That’s not very thick.  The Thermal Block product measures 0.25″ thick – that’s 10x thicker than the premium Lava Mat and over 30x thicker than the basic.
  • Since I believe in getting as many air pockets into the matrix as possible, a non-woven fiberglass structure will generate a higher percentage of airspace than the micropores found in lava rock.  True – the fiberglass structure will have larger pockets of air meaning more convective heat transfer will occur within the heat shield, so that’s not as good as the lava mat.  However, it’s tough to argue 0.25″ of barrier vs 0.008″ or 0.025″.
  • While the carbon fiber look is cool, a flat, shiny surface will do better for radiant heat deflection than an irregular surface.  Since I haven’t seen the Lava Mat personally I can’t attest to just how irregular or reflective the surface truly is.  Note that the SS website shows the Thermal Block to have a somewhat dimpled look – however you can see the stuff I received is flat.
  • Cost-wise, the Thermal Block is about on par with the basic Lava Mat and about 40% less than the premium version.  Purchased during their Black Friday sale, the Thermal Block is even less (about 10%).  I plan to use a lot of Thermal Block since high cabin temps seem to be a recurring theme on multiple build threads.
  • Thermal Block has been tested and passes the flammability test from FMVSS302.  FMVSS302 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #302) specifies the burn resistance requirements for materials used in the occupant compartments of motor vehicles.  I don’t see any specific testing performed by Lava Mat.
  • One point in Lava Mat’s favor – Thermal Block has a maximum recommended exposure temperature of 800F whereas Lava Mat claims 1200F continuous/2000 intermittent.  I’m not sure how Lava Mat determined those numbers.  However, if my firewall is even seeing 800F then I’ve got bigger problems than which material I decided to go with.  In either case I’m guessing the weak link is going to be the adhesive used to bind the materials together – and I’m also betting that stuff’s going to degrade well before even 800F.
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Firewall panel getting a layer of damplifier then topped with Second Skin Thermal Block facing the engine compartment.  Oddly shaped cutout is for the fuel tank fill line.
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Interior side of firewall panel gets a second layer of damplifier.
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Engine side of firewall shown up; the Thermal Block is comprised of a fairly thick layer of adhesive, a layer of non-woven fiberglass, then a thin sheet of aluminum (yes that reflective surface is aluminum!).
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Firewall panel installed.  This will be the primary source of noise and heat trying to make its way into the passenger compartment so I went a bit overboard with the sound deadening.  Not only does the damplifier work as a damper, but it’s also one additional layer that heat and noise have to get past in order to invade the passenger compartment.  Aluminum tape was used to seal along all edges.  All this extra stuff should help in the event of an engine compartment fire, shielding the tank from any open flames and hopefully giving me enough time to get out and put it out before it’s too late.  The cutout for the fuel fill pipe is shaped so I can install a hose clamp and a 1/4″ ratcheting wrench to secure that clamp once the fill pipe is installed.
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Fuel level sender flange was tapped with an 8-32 tap (per the build manual).  These holes appear to be water jet cut which usually leaves a very rough surface.  I was surprised after running the tap that it appeared the holes had JUST the right amount of material.  The tap threaded easily and the remaining material looked as if it was cut from a piece of billet.
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Some automotive grade sealant applied between the tank and cork gasket, then between the gasket and the fuel sender itself.  Pro Tip: make sure whatever sealant you use here is actually rated for use with fuel.
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A small bead of sealant along the very edge of the fuel level sender.  I also added a small dab of loctite on the bolt threads and some sealant near the underside of each washer.  Bolts are 8-32 1.5″ long and installed to 15 in-lb per the build manual.

[Update 11/19] It’s good to have someone who knows what they’re doing looking over your shoulder from time to time.  After Bob read my update he asked what kind of sealant I used.  I told him “the black stuff”.  Turns out I used 3M weatherstripping & gasket sealer and this stuff isn’t rated for fuel.  Sooo… yeah, I had to pull out the fuel level sender, clean it up, then use some actual fuel rated sealer.  Luckily Bob had a new gasket that just happened to fit while also having a good supply of Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket on hand.  Yep, we upgraded to AVIATION level stuff!

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Fuel tank installed into fuel compartment.  I used 1.5″ 1/8″ aluminum angle along with a 3/8″ thick medium/hard density rubber sheet to make my brackets.  There’s enough give to accommodate any thermal growth of the tank but doesn’t have enough clearance to allow shifting of the tank during driving.
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Fuel compartment lines run to the bulkhead adapters.  The upper 2 ports are for fuel return and venting of the tank and are 3/8″ NPT.  The line upper line with a loop is the fuel return and the straighter line is the vent (you want your vent line to always run upward to prevent blockage of the vent).  The bottom port is the fuel feed line and is 1/2″ NPT.
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Feed and return lines plumbed, top-down view of fuel system.
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Swirl pot got a treatment of Thermal Block.  Majority of fuel lines are -6AN with the following exceptions: fuel tank to low pressure filter is a -8 AN (I had intended to run -10 but for various reasons had to use -8), swirl pot to high pressure pump is a -10 AN.  This layout facilitates pump or filter replacement and fuel pressure regulator adjustment without much difficulty.  Firewall openings near the bulkhead fittings are to facilitate tool access for install/removal of hoses in case serving is required.

Remember how I said I’m always worried about making a decision that messes things up down the line, then having to reverse everything I’ve done to go back and fix it?  Yep … so the fuel system had to partially come back apart so I could reroute the water pump outlet hose.  I had originally run it above the rearward crossmember but in hindsight this would have created a high spot in the cooling system and just didn’t look good.  So I rerouted it to under the crossmember.  The issue is the heat shield I’d made earlier (one of my first fabricated pieces!) needed to be clearanced so the hose could pass through.  Uuungh …

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Radiator hose now passes between firewall and fuel system mounting plate/heat shield.  Rubber trim piece added to protect hose from abrasion damage.
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What’s with the wonky bend at the bottom near the HP fuel pump?
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It’s a tight squeeze between the swirl pot and firewall but the hose isn’t being pinched and flow won’t be affected by the new routing.
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NOW the fuel system is complete (except for that one line between the regulator and fuel rail)!  I had to put a somewhat wonky jog in the radiator feed hose because the fuel line feeding the HP fuel pump is right in the way of where I’d ideally like to run the radiator hose – however the HP feed line is curved about as much as I care to run it, any more and I’m worried it’ll kink.  Once I start mounting the radiator lines I may build a strut or two to secure the coolant and fuel lines so they’re not just dangling out in space.
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Russell push-on fuel rail fitting adapter; this adapter uses a threaded locking mechanism to ensure it can’t pop off the fuel rail.  Use this to convert from 3/8 EFI push-on to -6 AN, PN 644123.
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Before locking ring threaded.
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Locking ring seated.
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Last fuel line complete!

I didn’t stray very far from the Superlite recommended fuel system specs.  You can purchase all these components from RCR directly, however I wasn’t a fan of how the lines are routed in the photo shown online.  Knowing how OCD I was going to be I opted to purchase the parts individually and figure out what type of fittings I would need – the kit doesn’t use as many 90-deg fittings as I did.  The 90s will cause a higher pressure drop than if you ran the hose out and put a gentle turn in it, however, that means more unsightly hose hanging out in the wind.  My intended power level is well within what the system can deliver so the additional pressure losses due to all my 90s should be OK.

  • Fuel line: Aeroquip Startlite (Note Ken warned me this hose would permeate with fuel over time and the engine bay would eventually stink of fuel.  He recommended running a teflon lined hose.  If the fuel smell gets too bad I’ll investigate switching out but plan to run with the Startlite until then.)  The startlite lines are sheathed in a nomex/kevlar braid for abrasion resistance.  I dislike stainless sheathed hoses as they are less flexible – and given the location of where the fuel system is located, are unlikely to require very much abrasion protection.
  • Fittings: Aeroquip reusable hose ends
  • Low pressure pump: Walbro GSL392BX
  • High pressure pump: Bosch 044 / 61944
  • Low pressure fuel filter: 100 micron
  • High pressure fuel filter: 40 micron (Note the wiki recommends a 5-10 micron filter whereas RCR specs a 40 micron filter in their kit.  I believe the 5-10 micron filter is too fine.)
  • Fuel pressure regulator: Aeromotive 13109 (Note the 1/8″ hose nipple should remain uncovered unless your application is boosted.)
  • The wiki suggests placing the low pressure filter AFTER the low pressure pump, however I would recommend placing it BEFORE the pump.  You don’t want your low pressure pump standing at the front lines for your entire fuel system!  Should you pick up some nasty gas the filter can be removed and cleaned whereas replacing the fuel pump would be a more costly alternative.

Oil system:

I’ve already covered the oil pan modification necessary to fit the LS motor into the SLC chassis.  I upgraded the pan and internals to help avoid oil starvation during extended or high-G turns.  One other aspect of going to the more shallow oil pan is I’m simply not able to run as much oil as I otherwise could have.  If the oil pan modifications aren’t sufficient for protecting the engine from oil starvation, the implementation of an Accusump oil accumulator is the last ditch effort at saving the bearings.

Early on I’d been advised to purchase a 2qt Accusump.  Boy, I wish I remembered that when I ordered my 3qt unit!  As mentioned in an earlier section of this post, I hemmed and hawed and went back and forth on where to install the Accusump and battery – mostly because the 3qt unit is ginormous.  An added complication is the manufacturer recommends that the unit be installed with the valve end (oil end) upward to avoid trapping bubbles.  I’ve seen countless photos online of owners installing Accusumps in the horizontal location.  I think for most cars that get driven fairly regularly this won’t be a problem.  For a car that may sit for an extended period wear or failure to the interior seal may occur if a bubble is present and the accumulator is horizontal.

(I’m putting my OCD/paranoid hat on right now and it’s pretty big…)

Here’s my concern: A bubble in the oil side of the accumulator, if big enough, could cause a portion of the interior tube to “dry out” if the vehicle is stored for long enough.  Over time, the surface area where the bubble sits may have oil drain down the sides leaving it dry.  During the next start cycle the accusump piston will compress, pushing the oil out into the engine during the pre-lube cycle.  When it does this, the o-ring inside the accumulator will be running across this “dry” section of the tube.  With repeated movement this may lead to o-ring damage.

(sensible hat back on)

OK, it would take MANY (thousands?) of cycles of the above scenario to approach anything near damaging the o-ring, let alone failing it.  It’s really a silly thought and I shouldn’t be considering it at all.

(OCD hat back on…)

The reason the manufacturer recommends installing it with the oil side up is to minimize the ability for air to get trapped inside the cylinder during pressurization.  The piston doesn’t fully seat against the face of the end tube and therefore some amount of air bubble will remain once the system reaches pressure.  Tilting the oil end up will help push the bubble out.  With the tube horizontal, any bubble would get trapped along that horrible upper dried out section of tube I just mentioned.  So if I were to mount the Accusump perfectly horizontal I KNOW there’ll be a bubble (gah).  So why not just mount it to the upper firewall and tilt it?

BECAUSE IT’LL BE VISIBLE FROM OUTSIDE THE VEHICLE.

Again, my OCD balked at having something so beautiful and shiny (it’s really quite a piece of hardware) askew, especially in plain sight.  So I compromised by putting it at a significant angle – but in a location not easily visible with the rear engine cover in place.  In addition to the accumulator I sprang for the electric remote valve.  Having the electric remote valve allows me to operate the accusump without having to run any potentially very hot oil into the cabin and makes operating it much simpler.

To integrate the Accusump I needed to purchase an oil circuit adapter; I opted to go with the Improved Racing  EGM-106 unit.  This is a non-thermostatically controlled adapter (this is important if running an Accusump) and installed just after the oil filter.  Improved racing also offers a similar adapter that has the thermostat integrated in the adapter unit itself (EGM-112).  The idea behind using a thermostat on the oil circuit is to allow the oil to get up to temperature before circulating it into the cooler – oil that’s too cold isn’t so good for lubrication or power.  The issue with running a thermostatic adapter and an accusump is if the thermostat is closed (because the oil is too cold) and you lose oil pressure, the accumulator is going to try and push into an adapter that’s (mostly) closed off.  I say (mostly) because the thermostatically controlled IR unit appears (based on pictures) to allow some amount of flow from the cooler circuit even when the unit is fully closed.  However, this would cause a significant pressure loss to the accumulator oil pressure just before entering the engine oil circuit.

Plumbing the oil cooler took me a fair bit of time (again, my need to have the plumbing look neat weighed against the very little remaining room).

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Accumulator plumbed – yes, there’s a high spot in the feed line.  If I can minimize how much of a high spot there is, a very small bubble may form.  After a few cycles with the accumulator my hope is the bubble will be purged.  The line will be routed so it stays largely out of view when looking into the engine compartment via the rear glass.
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Accumulator electric control valve partially hidden by mounting plate (it’s upside down).  The valve discharges down toward the lower engine support rail where the system tees into the oil feed system and the Canton check valve is located.  The check valve directs oil toward the engine and away from the cooler if a low pressure event occurs.
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The leftmost line is fed by the accumulator.  It travels left at the tee and is fed into the engine, after the IR adapter.  The center line is fed from the IR adapter and goes to the IN port on the oil cooler thermostat.  The rightmost line carries post-cooled oil from the cooler and feeds into the engine via the brass check valve (partially obscured by the center hose).  Lines are pushed away from the exhaust so I can wrap the lines or fabricate a heat shield.
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Improved Racing oil cooler adapter.  Using this over the built-in thermostat unit provides greater accumulator injection pressure when the thermostat hasn’t opened yet and also during the engine pre-start lube cycle.
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Earl’s oil cooler thermostat mounted.
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Earl’s oil cooler mounted.  I’m considering adding another strut to help stabilize the top outer mounting ear.  The cooler is fairly stable right now but things change with high frequency vibration and the cooler will get heavier once filled with oil.
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Oil cooler plumbed.
  • Oil hose: Aeroquip AQP socketless hose & fittings, size -10
  • Oil adapter: Improved Racing EGM-106
  • Accumulator: Canton 24-006 (their 2qt unit is 4″ shorter, PN 24-026)
  • Remote electric accumulator valve: Canton 24-271X
  • Accusump check valve: Canton 24-280
  • Required tee: Canton 23-245TA
  • Accusump clamps: Canton 24-200
  • Remote oil thermostat: Earl’s 501ERL
  • Oil cooler: Earl’s 42500 ERL

Quickjack comments:

A number of folks have asked me about the Quickjack and whether I’m still liking it – the answer is yes!  The project remained stagnant for a good number of months while we were back into home renovations but the lift system fired right back up and worked flawlessly even after months of just holding the car up.  The quick disconnects are still clean and there are no indications of hydraulic fluid leakage anywhere.

I’ll have to admit – I was very nervous mating the transaxle to the engine.  There’s almost nothing at the front of the car yet since everything I’ve been working on has been at or behind the rear lift pads.  I figured this would really upset the balance of the chassis while on the lift and it would want to tip over backwards.  So far, so good!  I believe this is the most unbalanced the project will ever be and I still need to lean pretty heavily on the transaxle tail to get the car to move.  If I put all my weight on the very end of the transaxle I can get the front to lift up off the pads; don’t try this at home!  Note the rear lift pads are located under the firewall – so both the engine and trans are fully cantilevered out behind.

I have a block of wood behind for safety (I’m not a complete idiot!)

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