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Discussion Starter #461
I've searched YouTube for "CNC fails". I hope you don't post a video of one soon, haha.
Lol......I don't fail, so it's not a problem.....J/K.

Most guys fail at the setup portion and also posting the G-code which is sometimes tricky. Plenty of guys attempt CNC retrofits and fail, but this was a new system designed for CNC that simply needed rebooting and some fine tuning/cleanup work. Even then, it wasn't turnkey. The goal was always to have a prototype option. The main problem I had was the CAM software that could do what I wanted without costing a fortune wasn't available. With Fusion360 the software is massively capable for $460/year.

The Rapid prototype thing, it was always a backup to my plan. Back in 2009 I bought the CNC with the intention of doing exactly what I'm intending now, but then I got in over my head with work and the software limitations. I highly recommend to anyone to PAY the money and buy a turnkey setup, delivered with basic tooling package and software ready to go. I made the mistake of piecing together a system that sort-of was complete but not ready to run. That's getting corrected now. If I can start running good parts in 6-9 months with my somewhat complex component designs, I'm fine with it.

Baby steps.
 

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Discussion Starter #462
Turbonoob,

That is awesome, this is what I'm talking about. That brace looks fairly strong, nice design.
A was looking at the VF series toolroom vert mills from HAAS, very nice.
 

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Yes the haas tm1 was in my sights but I settled for the tormach because of space limitations
 

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Discussion Starter #464
The TM1 is nice. That IMHO is a real VMC from my understanding. The Minimill has better marketing and loooks slicker and the high speed spindle plus it looks cooler. But the TM1 has a massively more rigid base/column. I don't remember the specs.
 

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Discussion Starter #465
Juke update:
Parts will be getting ordered in the next 2 weeks from Nissan. Been delaying a bit, parts I plan on ordering: bearings, engine overhaul kit, oil pump, water pumps, head bolts, intake/exhaust valves, etc. I also have to get a bunch of tools from Summit Racing such as: piston ring installer, gap ring grinder, rod vise, etc. etc. You guys get the idea by now, pretty straightforward process.

CNC Software update:
Purchased the Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD/CAM software for $492/year subscription. The 3D-CAD is a joke, no intention on using it. The CAM software is HSMWorks Ultimate......it's commercial level good. The tool paths available are capable of making 5-axis parts such as complex mold dies that require a lot of part rotations to keep the cutting tool following the surfaces correctly. It's the real deal. With the Fusion 360 subscription I get HSMworks Ultimate for free embedded in Fusion360 & the SW plug-in version as well. The SW plug-in version I'm having trouble with getting the license activated so I have to get with Autodesk to figure it out. They are almost identical functionally down to the same drop-down menus, not a huge deal but having it in Solidworks is better obviously as it parametrically updates with my design changes. Huge game changer though, software is awesome.

CNC Mill update:
I spent the weekend installing the new proximity sensors from Amazon which were about $8 ea. The machine needs them to stop the x,y,z, travels, using them as a "hard limit" stop. It then defaults to a software "soft limit" with acceleration/deceleration built-in. I spent most of the weekend tuning the "homing" sequences which isn't trivial. Got it down but it requires a homing sequence on every power up since I'm running steppers. No big deal, I'll write some g-code to auto-home the mill on boot-up to eliminate this tedious procedure. Overall, very nice to have the mill moving around and bumping the limit stops.

The Mach3 machine software is so flexible it has settings for everything. The problem is that if you mess up (1) setting....nothing works. The software settings are probably 95% of my problem, got the basics running though. I can save the settinsg in a .config file which helps. About 50% of what I needed wasn't specifically in the Mach3 owners manual but I found it on youtube. The 4th axis setup will be interesting, hopefully I can get it to work but for now I've got my hands full.

I ran a canned G-code program for drilling a bolt-hole pattern that came with the machine to test the setup. The nice thing about Mach3 machine software is you can edit the code on the machine. In this case it was doing something in the z-axis that my machine "soft limits" didn't allow. I simply went in to the g-code editor, tweaked the z-axis values to account for my machine preferring negative values, then it ran perfectly. This stuff usually is fixed in the post processor which sets all this stuff in advance. The CAM software typically does a virtual milling simulation like a cartoon on the CAD/CAM. Kind of handy to show if the toolholder is plowing thru the work piece or vice, had that happen a few times....ouch. Then that is posted out to the Mach3 machine software which does a compile & simulated run checking for crashes and such. Then, I run the actual sequence on the CNC in the air without material or vise/work holders as a final check. Eventually when the tooling/work holders/tool setters arrive I'll be able to cut some material. I'll probably start with machining wax to begin as it doesn't require coolant and is reasonably cheap. Think of it as a rapid prototype for validating CNC part programs. Once the flood cooling system is installed and I can build a reasonable enclosure I can let the chips fly on aluminum.

There is lots of setup to check for spindle runout, table accuracy (i.e. tramming), etc. That I still have to do. During the stepper motor tuning, I did check the positioning accuracy of the CNC steppers & mill using a dial indicator clamped to the table and measuring against the spindle for reference. This was for the "motor-tuning" to dial in the correct travels on the x,y, & z axis. They were bang-on from the factory but depend on the ball screw pitch and step values input into the software correctly. I did have about .001" backlash during motor reversals, but it's something I can program into the Mach3 software which will help compensate. I still have to adjust the motor "acceleration" but for now I'm running the factory presets as a start.

The CNC machine comes with a one-shot oil injection system for lubrication due to the high speeds involved, but Novakon didn't install it on the x-axis for some reason. The table was grumbling during rapids on the x-axis so I figured it was running dry, which it was. So I'm going to have to retrofit oil injectors for (4) locations to lubricate the x-axis ways. Little things like that, but with everything lubed up temporarily it was moving beautiful and sounded good. Maximum feed/rapid speed is 72 ipm, basically the CNC's topspeed. Haas Super-Mini-Mill 2 might run 400 ipm feedrates and near 1000 ipm travels (i.e. no cutting) so it gives some reference against a commercial setup. It's slow but for prototyping or small part runs it's not as bad as it sounds. Once I get the money I might get a power draw setup to release the toolholder automatically, which is one step away from a cheap "gang-tool" type auto loader. The TTS style tooling I'm buying is already setup for automated tool change. The reason for the aluminum tooling plate is to hold all the "gang-tools" on the table so the CNC can peck down and grab a tool when needed. Cheap solution to an expensive upgrade.

Couple final things I need to order on the CNC mill are: 5" CNC milling vise, 26.0"x12.0"x0.7" aluminum tooling plate, 4th-axis indexing head, 3-jaw chuck, 5C-collet vise, TTS quick change ER-20 collet holders, end-mills, drill set, tool-touch off tool, tramming indicator, coolant system, etc.

I'll load up some pictures or video if I can, then we can start concentrating on car stuff again.
 

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Good job going with Fusion 360. Man it is so much easier to use than the full blown Autocad software. We use Mastercam at work and I dont like it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #467
Yeah, Fusion 360......is awesome. I'm still learning the cutting paths and playing around with it, but it's very easy. Mastercam is a tough software to use, I couldn't wrap my head around how hard it was to change stuff, though it does a lot. Fusion 360 is going to allow part complexity and cutting speeds that normally wouldn't be possible on DYI milling software. Combined with some specialized tooling from KennaMetal, which is of course not going to be cheap, I should be able to get the feedrates up higher than 40 ipm. For the rapids I'm limited to about 135 ipm running v-ways and stepper motors, that's about as good as it gets. I might upgrade the steppers to 640 oz-in. and call it good.

I've got Saunders MachineWorks cutting a custom tooling plate just for little o'l me...lol. Not cheap, but it'll replace a vise and other heavy items.


Modular Vise System (1/2)


I think that looks better than a clunky vise, I may never machine anything but just sit there and look at it. There are lot's of modular fixturing "stuff" you can buy to clamp/fixture parts with that style table, thus it's a future upgrade possibility for basically everything. For mine, they are cutting a custom 7075 aluminum clear anodized (black not available anymore) 26"x10x0.9 thk" tooling plate with 1/2-13 threaded holes every 1.25" and 1/2" dowel locators on each threaded hole, similar to the picture. This'll allow me to run very large parts using a "remachine" command by stepping the vise over to the next row of dowel pin holes at 1.25" increments with .0005" accuracy. Eliminating the bulky vise also gained me +2.6" on the z-axis. So it's worth the upgrade cost of $699.
 

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Discussion Starter #468
I haven't been too active lately due to work and other things going on.

Going to be working from home for the next 30 days so I can now start ordering up parts without worrying about them being delivered when I'm not home. This'll give me a little more time to build stuff but I'll be putting in some long days anyways with work either way.

Project goals aren't changing much, but I really need this car back as a daily driver. I'm aiming for mid-February to have the engine/transmission built on the engine stand and ready to drop-in. I'll probably spend some time cleaning the block and prepping it for the pistons to drop-in. The block needs some notching to clearance the 2J forged rods, so that will be fairly quick mod with the die grinder. The deck flatness looks good enough with the block sanding the machine shop did and the multi-layer viton headgasket should provide a good seal. The main bearings are sized, I'm staying with the stock bearing size. The rod bearings I have to get a rod vise and torque the rod bolts on the 2J rods to spec and measure to see what I need to order from Nissan. As I mentioned, I'll be getting RS rod bearings as they are an upgrade from the factory. This is really the only hold-up, but I'll order those rod bearings after I order everything else so it won't holdup anything..

I was going to replace the entire engine harness but right now I'll need that cash for other things and probably put it into new engine sensors and such. The custom exhaust header will come next year when I have the EVO X as the summer daily driver. The CVT custom cooling system will come during next summer since I don't have time/money right now to purchase and test it, but it definitely is a mod I want done before the winter months hit next year. If I do an intake manifold upgrade, it'll go on the EVO X instead as that car can actually make use of it. Any other upgrades are going to be braking/suspension/handling related after this. I had a few more power mods in-mind but it doesn't make sense on a CVT vehicle and I realized it was a waste of time basically. I'm going to start focusing on my EVO X after this and just need the Juke as a daily grocery getter/beater.

I was thinking some Bilstein coilovers and maybe a Nissan brake upgrade or something but that'll probably be end of next year.
 
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Well the Lowering springs work well for the cost savings and the 370 brakes are a direct fit.
 

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Well the Lowering springs work well for the cost savings and the 370 brakes are a direct fit.
370 brakes are a direct fit? ...so what about the engine? lmao
 

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The engine only fits in the rear hatch with left handed motor mounts and gtr flywheel
 
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Maybe I missed it. What power output are you going for with the upgraded CVT box?
 

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I think it was 300whp.
If the CVT could handle that with rebuild/upgrade I would keep mine. Only reason to not invest in my RS AWD is the cvt, or my fear of it breaking.
 

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If the CVT could handle that with rebuild/upgrade I would keep mine. Only reason to not invest in my RS AWD is the cvt, or my fear of it breaking.
Yes agreed and reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #477 (Edited)
Maybe I missed it. What power output are you going for with the upgraded CVT box?
Power goal is 343 h.p./257 lb-ft @ 7000 rpms, measured at the crank. The trick is to run in "Normal" mode to get the CVT to spin as close to 7000 rpms as possible. I've gotten the CVT to run at about 6700-6900 depending on vehicle speed and efficiency, thanks to the ECUTek ROM flash. With a higher efficiency turbo and cams, it should max right at about 7000 rpms without a reflash but I'm willing to retune at some point.

The big mistake CVT owners are making is going for big-midrange torque, while the topend is dying off quickly. The trick is to improve engine efficiency at higher rpms. Clamping harder on the CVT belt is not the solution, in fact the OEM are doing the exact opposite. Thus, the CVT fluid coefficient of friction becomes much more critical to backing off the belt tension to get some high rpm power back. Most guys running the Level10 transmissions have a disproportionately large power drop-off at higher rpms, unusually high in fact. I'm attempting to avoid this with my build by running stock pulley pressures. Hopefully I can prove my theory and squeeze more power out without cranking up the engine torque.
 

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Discussion Starter #478
OK, gonna pull the trigger.

Got some stuff from Summit Racing I need to order up: Piston ring pliers, piston ring/bore insertion tool, rod vise clamp, ring gap grinder, couple other minor things.
I'm ordering up from Nissan: engine gasket kit, main bearings, RS rod bearings, intake/exhaust valves, timing chain kit, RS oil pump, water pump, mechanical fuel pump, head bolts, lower block
housing bolts, etc. etc.

I'll be sizing up the specific rod bearings I need for the 2J rods, this requires the rod vise and ARP rod bolts be cranked to torque spec first. Then the rod big end diameter gets measured. Then I size the RS rod bearings and we are good to order. The mains are the identical size I'm running from the factory, no changes.

To recap: I'm running 2J forged rods & ARP rod bolts, Carrillo forged pistons, 1.5mm cylinder overbore, polished factory crankshaft, Cometic head gasket, Crower regrind camshafts, Supertech valve springs w/Ford upper retainers & custom lower spring seats, Ported/Polished cylinder head. I'll be running the RS rod bearings & RS oil pump per 2J recommendation. The supporting mods are: ECUTek reflash, Mambatek Turbo upgrade, 2J FMIC kit, Injen 3" catback, 2J fuel pump, etc. The entire setup will support 350-380 h.p. easily. The MAF intake pipe is gettng swapped out later, probably what will limit the power initially. The engine tune will be redone by Drunkman at a later date.

I have to clearance the block at the bottom of the bore for the 2J rods to clear, there ain't much room to grind but some material needs to be removed. Then I dunk the entire block into a plastic bin and keep washing it, then wash it some more, then some more. I have a ton of nylon oil galley brushes I'll use. Then some compressed air. I will not be bead/vapor blasting the block exterior. Internal cleanliness is critical over exterior perfection, and the risk of media getting inside the oil galleys is too high. The block looks good anyway and I'll leave it bare. The cylinder head is nearly perfect anyway, but it also will get a very heavy washing as it has tons & tons of grinding dust. I have to lightly relap the new intake/exhaust valves to the re-cut valve seats, but otherwise the cylinder head should get rebuilt quickly. I'll need to size-up the lash adjuster caps and those will have to be ordered up as well, since the Crower regrind has affected lash cap clearances.But same deal, everything get's lubed up for final assembly.

I will be sending the block to yet another machine shop to have the deck resurfaced. The cylinder head deck resurface was excellent, so the block will match it. The Cometic head gasket is Viton coated so it should make a good seal. The factory head studs are mega strong and I will be purchasing a fresh set for the build. Then that's really about it. I'll be using some good engine assembly lube w/moly, plus some special piston ring assembly lube that will promote quick piston ring break-in.

For the engine break-in I'll be using some Valvoline break-in engine oil. The camshafts will also require a quick break-in, the intake/exhaust valve springs also require a very quick heat cycle break-in then engine shut-off. I'll be developing some check-lists for all this but I have the service manuals to make sure the correct steps are followed.
 

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I'm on the edge of my seat with this build!
 

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Discussion Starter #480
It's getting there. I've been a bit lazy about it. The ironic thing about it is that the actual build once the parts come's in is about (1-2) days. There's lots of little stuff that has to be done right.
The fuel injectors have to go out for sonic cleaning and the Mamba turbo needs balancing, etc. It's just a bunch of never ending little tasks, but all stuff that needs to get done to make it right.

I can't wait to get it on the dyno and get the custom tune going for it. There will be some things I try for the camshafts and the boost tuning to get the most out of the motor/transmission.
 
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