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Discussion Starter #321
Very nice, minimal overshoot and it looked like it ramped up pretty quick. The Greddy use a PWM solenoid like the MAC valves but you have it setup nicely. Well done. I know they are cheaper like $330-$350 as well. I'm partial to the HKS stuff but they are mega expensive, but I feel the stepper motor is superior under highly dynamic conditions. It's that roll-into boost at higher rpms where the boost spike can get intense or after a gear shift that the head unit and motor speed counts, but Greddy make some good product.



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Its roll into boost and it was the low boost setting. Als have a high boost set to 20psi and scrabble boost set to 24psi but thats more like boost creep.
 

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Gene - where are our updates!? Its been 20 days, I am sure you got something done by now...
 

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Discussion Starter #324
Storm Tropper,

Projects at work are getting intense, keeping me busy designing and working with the tooling engineers to release a bunch of injection mold tooling, fun stuff...pays the bills. Been also busy fixing my lawn and planning a garage remodel on the new home. I'm becoming quite the lawn expert, with advice from my neighbor....lol. I'm planning my electrical outlets and lighting, where I'm gonna put all of them plus adding 220V for the TIG welder I got here collecting dust. Did my current garage, not looking forward to it again. Got the 4-post Bendpack 7P lift all priced out to store my 2005 WRX STi above the EVO X. The Juke is currently rocking out at my old house on the Bendpack QuickJack and that was a huge time saver getting the car up in the air safely. I'll use that on top of the 4-post to elevate the car off the platform for chassis/engine work, so it's not going to waste.

Then looking at grinding/polishing the concrete garage floor to get that granite/marble look, been doing some research on that. Trying to do all of it DYI to save money. Probably splurge on some Tenseco storage shelves (heavy duty industrial style) and a nice wide rolling cabinet toolbox (Milwaukee, etc.) so I can get all my darned tools into a single toolbox. For now, no fancy garage base/wall cabinets as the budget and wall space is limited for that, but I'll leave space for it in the future. I have a massive 3-car garage with 11 ft ceilings, but my girlfriend took over the 2-car spots she wants to keep for throwing parties. So now I only have the single 1-car garage side but (3) actual cars I need to store.....there is some irony in that. I've taken some inspiration from the Japanese tuner shops that have limited garage space, so I'm designing my garage Japanese style. Thankfully, I have 11 ft ceilings so the cars and shelving are going vertical to make space while still keeping the floor area around the cars and lift open for maintenance.

Honestly, I'm getting tired of the Juke build but I'll finish it since I have so much money into it and it's way cheaper to finish it then buy another daily driver right now. Probably I tried to do everything perfectly and in reality I should have just went for an economical build, lesson learned. What should have taken 6-9 months is stretching out to 2 years, most of that sitting around waiting on parts or planning. Motivation not so much there anymore to keep wrenching and spending money on parts. I had my hip injury and all the medical stuff sucking up cash, so I had to spread the build out anyway. It's been a massive huge learning experience and I probably won't ever do it again at this extreme level unless it was some project car that isn't a daily driver. I want to start getting back into mountain biking, some golfing, and actually driving cars or doing/thinking about other things non-car related. The Juke is a great little car and I still like it for hauling my mountain bike, commuting, and hauling groceries, so I still need a hatchback/sport-ute.

Game plan:
This weekend the plan is to box up the cylinder head, it's all waiting to go into a box for Apex Machining to deck the surface. I'm buying those 30-40 gallon plastic totes to protect the head & block with some wood + cardboard inserts and such, never can take a chance. The block I just have to pull the (4) oil squirters and (2) sensors off the block + box it up and include the main caps/bolts, I'm assuming for line honing or something like that. Then I notch the block sleeve(s) slightly with a die grinder to clear the 2J aftermarket connecting rods when it comes back. It's literally 1 hour of work.......I could have finished months ago. I'm shooting for Tuesday next week to drop it all off.
 

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Discussion Starter #325 (Edited)
Anyway, here is the engine block all nice and clean as best I could, stripped of sensors, etc. The upper oil sump aluminum casting is not included. It seriously beefs up the structural rigidity of the block when assembled. Machine shop doesn't need that piece, just the main journal girdle since it's a spacer for the main caps & bolts, I had to include it with the main caps. Machine shop asked for all that stuff, pistons too.

What you see is an HDX 17 gal storage tote from home depot, cost was $9.89. I'll line it with some cardboard and a couple of wood planks underneath in case there is a break thru. Pistons are shown as well, machine shop needs them for test fitment and dimensional checks. The Carillo spec sheet has the exact piston dia. of 3.1655" and piston/bore clearances of .0037" total for the machine shop to do their thang. I'll verify with the Mitutoyo dial bore indicator when it comes back. The main bearings will be the same clearances, not changing that. I think I mentioned already but I re-polished the crank main and rod journals and the crank runout was within factory spec, so it's getting reused. If it were a race motor, I'd loosen up the oil bearing clearances, but not for the street. Same goes for the rod bearings, staying within factory. I'll go into the details during the actual build. I need to get a rod vise, torque the ARP rod bolts to spec on the 2J rods, then I can measure the rod bearing requirements since the rods are new and may come in smaller/bigger than the factory bearings, if that makes sense.

Block machine work that'll be ordered:
Engine block washing, deck resurface, & cylinder overbore/hone, maybe threaded hole chasing. No deck plate for cylinder boring is being used. I don't have one, too lazy to make one for the machine shop and don't really care at this point. For street car, it'll be totally fine. I'll then take the oil galley hex plug out of the block and rifle brush clean the oil ports until they are spotless when it comes back. The block will get cleaned by me maybe (10) times before I trust putting it back together, same goes for the head. The oil squirters will get cleaned, oil cooler get's thrown out and new one purchased. The bottom of the piston bores which can be seen in the pic below need a "slight" notch to clear the rods. If I said how little room there is in the casting to do this, it's a fractional amount before cutting thru the casting wall. The block weighs 53 lbs with what you see, easy to lift it once it's stripped.

Cylinder head they are just going to:
Wash, resurface head gasket surface, & maybe water pressure test as well. The head port work and valve seat cutting was done already by me. They won't be touching that. When the head comes back I'll also meticulously clean it, very lightly re-lapp the new Nissan intake/exhaust valves into the valves seats using some 800 grit, then install the Supertech springs, Ford retainers, Supertech retainer locks/keepers, and new valve guide seals. The head is simple to rebuild, maybe a couple of hours taking it slow.

When time comes I will be going thru a lengthy valvetrain check to make sure the piston to deck clearance is correct and all that good stuff. I won't be rushing anything since I have higher lift cams that have changed the valve geometry, new aftermarket pistons, the valve cutting has sunk some of the valves deeper in the head, and so on. I won't know what I have until I clay the piston tops and check the piston/valve clearances. Well worth the time. I'll also be attempting to degree the cams using a timing wheel and indicator. The cams will require lash caps that will need lash adjustments set. Without an adjustable cam gear, I may have to degree the cams with cam phase adjustment in the ECUTek software.

Apex Machine will get the block and head this Monday/Tuesday on my lunch break at work, then I let them go to town and do what they do. I'm thinking 4-6 weeks based on the (2) conversations I had already with them. I'll push them for 4 weeks. Cost I won't know, but when I get the quote I'll post it up but when I talked with them last it was very reasonable, but we'll see.

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I'll take that as an update Haha! Garage comes first! Wish I had tall ceilings. I cant even put in a typical lift. Next house, which will be coming soon.
 

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As always. Stupendous report out. Crazy amount of work and just typing takes time.

We cannot wait for the result. Hopefully its worth the time and money you have spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #328
Thanks Storm Trooper & Mac,

Everything is boxed up now. I used a ratchet strap and some cardboard on the inside floor of the plastic tote to strap it all together and protect the deck surface. These plastic bins can be sketchy, so to avoid the block from punching straight thru the floor, the ratchet strap is securing the lid and floor together tightly. The head gasket alignment dowels were also putting pressure on the floor of the tote, so a few strips of cardboard were used to elevate the block off the floor. It's only going from my front door, to the trunk, to the machine shop front desk, but with a $1200 block I'm not taking chances. If I were shipping it across the country, I'd throw a bag over the engine block, then a bigger cardboard box with nylon straps and it'd be very well protected for cheap.

Was playing around with the EVO X last night due to shear boredom, trying to figure out the lack of midrange torque. It's putting down about 342 whp (EVOscan "simulated dyno"), which is fine for a daily but on the edge of not really being enough with so much weight to haul around. I had pulled the AEM airbox lid off for more topend power in the winter last year, but forgot to put it back on now that the weather is warming up. Boy, having an open engine air filter in the spring/summer was killing power, just killing it. I put the AEM airbox lid back on drawing thru a modified front bumper intake feed. The mid-range torque improvement is now just nasty, for a stock X turbo anyway. You'd think the intercooler would help, but it doesn't...not at all. When the Cosworth MX1 cams, Full Race Fab tubular exhaust manifold, injectors + pump get installed it should put down about 380-390 whp on some high octane with 25-26 psi. If I can get the X head ported it'll help keep the boost levels lower and help with pump gas power.
 

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Discussion Starter #329
Block and head at Apex Machining. Quoted $40-50 to resurface the head, $150 to bore/hone the block .020" over (0.5mm). Nothing else needed. It won't even need a cleaning as it was clean enough for them to machine it as is, I'll do that later. Owner (Bill?) was super nice, remembered me from 6 months back asking about Juke's. We talked about EVO X engine blocks and STi's, you can see the EJ25 boxer engine blocks in the background. He was that close to declining any more business due to work load, but he snuck me in since the machining was gonna be straight forward. Should be about 3 weeks lead time.

I'm gonna spend some time cleaning the upper oil sump aluminum housing, water/coolant outlet housing, and a few other parts. They should look like new once I'm finished. The timing cover front case I attempted to silver paint it and although the aluminum casting paint doesn't look half bad, I decided to strip it and make it look factory new aluminum casting finish. I'm going to be ordering up all brand new bolts, nuts, studs. I'm a stickler about not reusing any bolts on a build.

Probably take a couple days to chill, then order up the Nissan engine parts and some engine tools from Summit Racing. I still have some custom machined parts I need for the transmission so that'll be 3D Mfg in Frankfurt who will do my custom machine work. I need to get off my butt and finish up the 2D drawing and send it over to them for RFQ. Finally, gotta send out the turbo for VSR high speed balancing. Then that should be about it really, the rest will be assembly work.

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The only thing I would worry about is the valves not sealing 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter #331 (Edited)
Mac,

Valid concern. Not too worried about them leaking now, they are water tight & light tight. Usually when the Prussian blue transfer ink marking is perfect, the head guys don't even bother vacuum testing them. Like I mentioned before, these were cut with a carbide valve cutter, then lapped, then final carbide cut again to wipe the seats perfectly flat, so the seats are full contact and generally consistent width 360* around. The main concern is getting the valve seat widths correct, as this determines the amount of heat transfer and spring pressure required. I'm within the OEM tolerance ranges so I don't think I'll have problems, especially with uprated springs. Anyway, I'm excited to see how this head flows on the Juke.
 

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Yeah I was just concerned because you were having trouble since it was all hand work and you seemed stressed. I just want the best outcome from this. Its exciting.
 

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Discussion Starter #333
Yeah, no worries. Once I perfected the technique it was simple to get a good seat contact.

Just got done cleaning up the upper oil sump case, had a decent amount of salt corrosion. Used a scotch bright pad and some Chrome mag wheel cleaner (Phosphoric acid) to scrub it clean. The aluminum casting flash rusted white a bit when it started drying so I hit it with some WD40 to stop the chemical reaction. I might use the Dremel rotary cup brush to brighten it up and then finish off with some BrakeClean. That's my technique for cleaning/brightening aluminum, not easy but it works.

Here's a pretty good youtube video on rebuilding an Alfa Romeo engine:

 

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Discussion Starter #334
Couple of pics of the oil sump case and timing cover cleanup. The timing cover was painted by me, then I decided I didn't want it decided to strip it. I used "Klean-Strip" Aircraft Paint remover (non-methylene chloride). Sprays on like a foam, 45 minutes later you just wipe the paint off or power wash it off. The best stuff I've ever used, zero effort. I don't like chemicals, but you do what you gotta do.

I then used a combination of scotch bright scouring pad & Meguire's Chrome wheel cleaner in a plastic tub. They say not to use an abrasive pad on aluminum, but without it you will never clean it. It does scratch so light pressure is recommended. The Mag wheel cleaner is hydrochloric or phosphoric acid, depends on which you buy. It'll foam up a bit and then with scrubbing it'll cleanup the corrosion. Unfortunately, it'll also flash rust the aluminum since it's essentially etching and stripping the oxide layer off. The acid also tends to "darken" the aluminum leaving it a dark grey, even on previous clean surfaces like the interior, which looks terrible. What I do is after semi-drying I hit it with WD40 and rub it in good to stop the chemical reaction. If I were painting, I wouldn't do it as this soaks into the pores and would affect paint adhesion.

I've read some articles on "DYI hot tank cleaning" using a garbage can, simple green diluted, and a camping stove to heat it. Never tried it, but it might work great as well.

An alternate option which I just tried that works well is White Vinegar. This works almost as well as the Mag wheel cleaner but doesn't darken the aluminum, it also breaks down any road salt or corrosion build up. Then I rinse it with water. This doesn't produce the white rust and leaves a clean shiny dry finish without the need to hit it with WD40. I might use some lemon juice and mix that up as well in the future as it also helps the cleaning action. The Mag wheel cleaner is really nasty stuff and I feel the Vinegar plus Lemon juice would do the same job without the corrosion problems, plus it's way less toxic.

Finally, what you get is "clean" surface but maybe not as bright as a new casting. The bottom timing cover looked like it was pulled from the bottom of the ocean, so you can still see some dark corrosion staining, but it's a huge improvement. For rebuilding purposes, this level of clean works great because you don't want loose debri falling into the engine during the build, but cosmetically it's like "meh", definitely not show finish. For a completely clean/stripped surface, I load up a wire wheel cup brush on a drill or dremel. I did this on the cylinder head and it looks factory brand new, almost show quality. It's about the same work as bead blasting without the risks, plus the dremel cup brush can get into almost every nook and crack. This process does throw a LOT of wire and the lowest speeds are recommended. I recommend doing it in a bucket to capture the debri. I probably went thru 3-4 cup brushes doing the cylinder head @ $3.50 each. Afterwards, I typically re-clean the aluminum with soap/water to flush any loose debri. Then a final hit of Brake Clean to strip the wire wheel polish finish and give it that factory matte bright aluminum cast look.

The parts below were just cleaned up but not wire wheel cleaned. I'll probably buy 6-8 cup brushes, tape off the oil galley ports and then start the final surface cleaning with the cup brushes. It should look factory new after that or good enough unless you are doing car shows or something. When the block comes back I'll also clean it up with the cup brush so everything has a single consistent surface finish. You will notice I'm not doing any surface treatment afterwards, which means corrosion in the winter. I'm thinking in the future on future projects a nice grey engineering hard coat anodize would be the best solution, but it does mess with the clearances a bit. Paint is nice, but the surface has to be clean and etched to do it properly. The aluminum casting paint I used looked pretty good and so it's an option as well, but to make it look good the salt corrosion should be completely stripped off.

I'd say the cleaning is probably 80% of the engine/transmission build, the remaining 10% machining, then 10% final assembly. So what ends up happening is you become an expert in cleaning stuff.....lol. So the idea is to have a good process down so you can get thru it quickly. The main point is you can't allow ANY debri to get into the engine during the build, so it can't be clean enough.

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I knew guys that would polish aluminum heads to an almost chrome finish. Pretty sure they used a dremel + pad of some sort. Of course it's raw aluminum at that point so some sort of sealant would be ideal.

Wish i knew more about the process, but I just wanted to comment that it is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #336 (Edited)
Bargeld,

Yeah, dremel and an attachment works pretty good. It's mostly cosmetic, but it looks good too.

Here is the timing cover after Dremel w/wire cup brush, 800 grit lapping compound polish & Maguire's Mag Wheel cleaner. I'll probably use aluminum polish instead since it's way cheaper than the lapping compound. This was done quickly by hand to see what it could turn out like. Not shown, but the wire wheel polished the aluminum and stripped corrosion off the surface, but left a rotary grinding finish. This technique works better when it's already clean, since the corrosion is hard as a rock for the wire wheel to cut thru. The trick here is to get that "bright" aluminum finish, you have to use the wire wheel or polishing paste to knock the corrosion off the surface. The Mag wheel cleaner then just "frosts" that polish finish to give the bright/matte OEM aluminum finish, finished with water rinsing and dried. Also, that cleaner is meant to "strip" or etch the surface to give it a chance to build up the hard aluminum oxide layer to limit further corrosion. Lot's of steps to get back to OEM finish.

The pictures don't show it but the surface is surgical clean at this point aside from the crevices I need to get into when I remove the cam phase cover off to finish it up. This casting is fairly smooth like a die cast so it's taking this process well. I used the dremel on the "extension" adapter and it slowed it down enough that the cup brush wasn't flinging wire everywhere, so that worked really well with just (1) dremel steel cup brush. The dremel is doing all the work, so there isn't any real manual effort, just making passes over the corners and such and being detailed about it.

So you can see there is really no good way to restore aluminum but this seems to produce the surface finish I'm looking for. Glass bead blast or walnut blast is an option but has some risks and I don't have a blasting cabinet. The cylinder block and oil pump upper case will also be done with this method. The cylinder head I did already and it came out looking show quality, though it had little corrosion to start with. When all the engine castings are assembled it should look brand new or new enough. I'll probably just polish the valve cover plastic to remove some oxidation and wax it or something. I think it'll really pop with the red wrinkle coat I.C. and intake pipes.

Anyway, for those that want to do some nice aluminum restoration but don't want to mess with a blasting cabinet, this is another option if you put a little effort into it.

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Discussion Starter #337
I’m looking at a media blaster. Gonna try crushed Walnut on the timing cover. It’ll be a pressurized feed system without the blasting cabinet. It’s a pretty clean and green method and it doesn’t alter the surface finish and any residual media will not damage engine components. I’ll probably then figure out a final cleaning option to flush any debri out. I’ve seen some DYI immersion cleaning systems that might work out well.

I saw some ultrasonic immersion cleaning and it’s pretty much the way to go for a professional build.
 

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Discussion Starter #338
OK, I pulled the trigger on an Ultrasonic 30L (8gal) (Tank capacity is 20" x 12" x 8") heated cleaner system:


I had the idea of buying one, but then I thought they were way too expensive. But if I added up ALL the hours I spent cleaning the engine block and transmission cases, I think it's over 100-150 hours of work with some of the nastiest chemicals I have ever come across. The engine rebuild process mainly was the cleaning portion, so removing that mindlessly laborious process allows me to focus on an better things. I'm done with that. For all that work, it had better look brand spanking new and I realized I'm gonna need help. Plus, after the block/head machining I wanted all of the oil galley's spotlessly cleaned and it's not possible without a cleaning system like this.

Anyway, it sounds insane but this thing will fit the entire Juke 1.6L engine inside of it.......in pieces. This bad boy will fit an entire cylinder head, cam cap/girdle, upper oil sump case & the entire cylinder block if I do them in (2) steps by flipping them over and making multiple passes. For the engine block I'm going to design a small floating gantry to levitate the block in the bath to support the weight so the ultrasonics aren't affected by the weight compressing the stainless tub. This thing comes with a basket for smaller parts, but bigger parts need some customization.

The media blasting wasn't going to cut it for my purposes. The walnut blast wouldn't cut thru corrosion, neither can soda blast, and glass bead blast is too risky for the engine. I still would have needed to send it out for professional hot tank cleaning anyway, so this knocks out 2 birds with 1 stone. What I saved on engine machine work, I'll put back into equipment.

I did improve my aluminum cleaning technique and found the perfect cheap solution: CLR at 50% strength. There was a LOT of mis-information on the internet about CLR and aluminum and how it dissolves it or ruins it. I can tell you guys first hand Mag wheel cleaner is 1000 times more corrosive on aluminum than CLR. I'll use CLR in very very low strength on the Ultrasonic cleaner to be safe, then bump up the concentration based on the results. It dissolves the salt corrosion completely with heavy hand scrubbing, leaves a very clean and super bright factory finish, and produces zero flash corrosion. I did a full water rinse afterwards and just a microfiber drying. I may switch to a brass brush for more aggressive dirt/corrosion material removal but I wouldn't recommend a steel brush. It leaves scratches and swirl marks (rotatary brush) which I had to buff out with a scotchbright pad. The scotchbright pad worked pretty good too if it's kept wet and light pressure, it also helps cut thru the corrosion layer quickly with the CLR.

So, CLR, a stiff nylon/brass brush, a plastic 17gal plastic tote is all you really need to clean up the aluminum if you have the time and patience. OR, and Ultrasonic cleaner.

I should be getting the engine block and cylinder head back in 2 weeks and then the engine rebuild starts picking up pace.
 

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I got a big ol one at work its a blue wave brand one
 

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I'm not sure how big gallon wise but you can fit 3, 6 cavity molds inside
 

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