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Discussion Starter #501 (Edited)
True, this generation loves pics. The picture taking actually slowed my build down some. But.......it was a huge help going back to review what I did and even I could double check my work later to make sure things were assembled correctly. For the future the thought is to use my 8.0 MP Canon Powershot SD870 Camera & Tripod setup mounted next to the engine stand so I can fire off pics without having to readjust like I do with the phone, I'll have to compare picture resolution to see if it's worth the effort.

This entire thread was partly to document my thought processes during the build, even to use it as my own reference. In a way the random thread posts never are all that much satisfying as build threads tend to be, kinda like multi-story arcs for a TV series. Also, it's served it's purpose as a way to keep me motivated to keep going as these builds get intense in terms of time and money. I started this entire thing sometime around Sept. 2018 and I'd sure like to finish it by July 2021. Not too terrible for a full rebuild considering I had: New house, hip surgery, gall blader surgery, and Covid-19 thrown in for good measure. There were a few times there recently I wanted to scrap the project and part out the Juke.....not too long ago actually. Keep in mind the Juke is my daily driver and I actually rent cars for the winter to keep the EVO X off the salted roads, so it's getting kind of tiresome to spend all that money. Then I figured it's probably worth more built and completed and actually enjoyed. It'll be awesome to have it as my daily driver again while my EVO X sits out the winter waiting for those nice summer days and I can give that some attention. Currently sitting at about 340 w.h.p. on my ECUFlash tune w/typical bolt-ons. Once the Cosworth cams and Full Race Header are installed probably closer to about 385 w.h.p. on the stock turbo. Clutch needs some TLC so that'll be a next year upgrade when I'm rich again....lol.

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It's all definitely starting to come together though in terms of having all the parts available and the machine work done. Not having short cut or skipped the cams/headwork/springs/CVT upgrade is really going to payoff, I'm glad I actually went thru with it. I don't think there is one thing I would done have differently other than pay for a custom mechanical LSD for the CVT, that's really the only regret. I seriously considered it but the cost was going to be astronomical for a small production batch run with almost zero demand for it. The exhaust manifold header is probably the next project but I'll do it when the car is running, that can wait for now.

Anyhow, I'm just waiting on the parts to come into the Nissan dealership.

Lessoned learned here is: Build your motor/trans BEFORE you actually need it....lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #502 (Edited)
Just killing time waiting on parts. Nissan looks like they have some stuff on back order, so just waiting.

Got my eye on the 30L Ultrasonic cleaners. I'm gonna take the cylinder head and build a gantry/tripod support to levitate it in the Ultrasonic Sonic cleaner and give it a good cleaning. The cylinder head is a touch too big/heavy to quite fit, but tilting it into the bath on (2) passes would effectively give full coverage. Engine block probably is too big for that. The original thought was to use my vapor media blaster but the risk of foreign abrasive debri getting into the engine is way too high. The block and head are already plenty clean enough that the Ultrasonic cleaner will leave it looking extremely good. Decided I won't be pulling the engine/head freeze plugs, only some threaded plugs for the oil galleys to absolutely clear them of any debri that might be trapped.

I mentioned I bought a new factory Nissan engine oil cooler.......$385 but they typically go for $500. Interesting fact is that these are made by Mahle. Possibly in the future I could run an external oil/air cooler but given the time constraints I figured it was cheaper/easier to purchase the factory unit for now. During some research I found many engine rebuilds fail due to contamination of the oil coolers. The VVTi cam phasors are the other part of that equation as they cannot be effectively cleaned and disassembly and replacement is not recommended. All in it's nearly $1150 spent on just (3) components that potentially could take out a high dollar engine, that's with the Nissan discount. Hated spending the money, but the cost to teardown a "race" engine again is immense. I'm not short cutting on the oil or filtration systems though in the future the factory cooling can be improved.

The cylinder head rebuild will most likely be the first part of the rebuild. There are about 8-9 Ford valve spring upper retainers I still need to custom grind to lighten them a bit and that'll take about a week doing it manually which is extremely tedious work. Probably I could run the Ford retainers as is but the weight savings will help a bit with valve float rpms. Finally, I bought some high strength black oxide exhaust manifold studs from Mambatek to replace the prone-to-snap factory studs.
 

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Sorry not a knock on you but a knock on me for not following throughout and it being above my technical language but what are you doing exactly? Rebuilding the engine? cvt transmission? Why go through all that trouble for the juke? Was the intent just for fun and to learn? Maybe give us a more condensed version as an update as to the final goal and the status. If you want to....you don’t need to cater to me LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #504 (Edited)
Yep, it's a Juke engine rebuild thread. CVT rebuild is in another thread, but mentioned here on occasion as they are inter-related.

Goals:

1) High engine & CVT reliability.
2) Improved engine response
3) Restored fuel economy (27-31 mpg)
4) 350 h.p. & 257 lb-ft torque (measured at the crank or equivalent)
5) Curb weight of approximately 2950 lbs. (weight savings, light weight wheels, race seats, etc.)
6) Improved braking/handling etc.
7) Conversion to RS body style (i.e. front bumper clip, rear bumper diffuser, etc.)

Why go thru all the trouble? That's a fair question. For my build cost of what is now about roughly $16,000 U.S. as it stands going on about 2.5 years, what can I buy with that? I could have had a 3-year lease on a fairly high end car for this much, but then I couldn't touch it, so not an option. New purchases, practically nothing worth driving. Anything in the similar class is about $23-$32k with full tax/financing costs such as the Kona AWD or maybe the new Mazda Turbo AWD. However, to bring it up to a modded level we are now talking $30-$35k. I could have bought a very low mileage/almost new Juke RS 6spd for about $15-$17k and IMHO that would have probably been the better move in restrospect. But no AWD would be the downside and I've spent most of the money already. The WRX would have been a strong contender.......but no Hatchback is a massive deal breaker and Subaru reliability isn't the greatest either. I already own an EVO X 4-door sedan and a WRX STi 4-door sedan, no need for another sedan. Thus, the Juke serves it's purpose of being my daily & Winter beater car. Plus having AWD and a hatchback for moving stuff and easily carrying my mountain bike which is really important to me, while having some decent fuel economy. It's also mega-stealth while driving it. The extensive build was done because I needed this car to last me another 100-120k miles to get my money back out of it. So in that respect, I'm betting on at least breaking even.

The engine rebuild wasn't actually planned. I somewhat mapped it out years earlier but realized it wouldn't be worth it, at the time anyway. I never dreamed I'd go this deep into a build on any car. The CVT actually failed at 80K miles while I was on my way to work, though it was already giving me serious trouble at 70k miles. I made the attempt to drop the subframe to swap the CVT and said: "The heck with that I think I can pull the engine/trans together out the front a lot easier." The engine kind of had to come out too due to the difficulty in dropping the subframe. With the engine on the stand looking all dirty and nasty I then got the idea to build it. At that point I realized it kind of made no sense to have a bullet proof engine unless the CVT was also upgraded. Thus the journey began to build the engine which is fairly simple, but the CVT was the real challenge.

The engine build mainly is to support the CVT limitations, they are heavily inter-connected. The CVT is now heavily reinforced, but it has it's limits which is the Bosch belt of 350 N-m (257 lb-ft). I can't make huge torque like the 6spd owners.....but I don't really have to either. I've mentioned this before but Jatco put an rpm limit of about 7000 rpms on the CVT oil pump due to pump cavitation, so I'm limited on rpms too. For example, the 1998 Ferrari 355 with it's N/A V8 put down about 375 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque with an 8000 rpm rev limit and this is essentially how I'm building the engine & CVT. My engine will be good to about 8000 rpms with the valve springs limiting the motor, but obviously the CVT cannot spin that high. The build I have planned will then have to operate very closely to a specific torque limit and rpm limit and run narrowly in that operating band, perfect for a CVT as that is what it does best. The ECUTek software and HKS 6 boost controller with 3D-boost mapping is how I'm going to achieve that level of control, something the Juke ECM boost control as zero chance of doing. The boost (i.e. torque curve) will be purposely softened in the low/mid range then ramped up and held as the rpms build to reduce transmission breakages. This is how I run my EVO X with torque limiting using my ECUFlash tune to check the torque in the midrange to keep the stock rods happy, it likes to rev but it's not a huge mid-range type car. This is also partly due to the huge 12^cm turbine housing slowing things down a bit, but it's the preferred way to tune the X. Again, different ways of building a car but this saves the rods and transmission big time. Finally, in the CVT build I go into great detail about the custom CVT cooling system that I have planned that will allow me to deploy the power reliably without the power being cut back. Thus the engine and CVT builds are 2 sides of the same coin.

This build is fairly extensive. If you roll thru most of it will cover: ported cylinder heads, regrind camshafts, custom valve spring assembly, custom CVT build (other thread), custom Mamba turbo upgrade, etc. There are very few guys that would even attempt this without having another specialty shop do it for them. The idea here was that I would try something on my own, and if it worked out the way I like it with great reliability......maybe in the future it becomes available to Juke owners. The custom built CVT is probably the one that I'm seriously considering making it available but I'm just wanting my car running/testing for awhile before I make a commitment. I have a few more tricks for it but for now I want to get my car running and tested.

The status of the car is that it's sitting on a hydraulic lift waiting for the engine to be completed. The CVT is also sitting on the bench already rebuilt with almost every worn part replaced or heavily reinforced. Waiting on installing an upgraded CVT oil pump sitting in the box and some final custom internal reinforcements coming in from my machine shop in the next month or two. I'm waiting on OEM parts to come in for the engine, but the built parts and machined head/block are sitting here waiting.

That is basically the build in a nutshell.
 
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Discussion Starter #505
Ordered the 30L Ultrasonic Cleaner, total cost was about $240 shipped. Approximately 20" x 12" x 8" in size and runs a heater an adjustable heater @ 176*F max temp. Frequency is fixed at 40khz. I'm going to try simple green for now as a solvent. The the rinse bath will probably be a plastic tote and some hot water using. It'll be coming in on Friday.

 
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Discussion Starter #506 (Edited)
Got the Ultrasonic cleaner working.

Takes about 16L of water. Used 1 cup of white Vinegar, 14 oz. of CLR, 5 tablespoons of AJAX dishsoap. Probably won't use this mix again since it corroded the chromate plated steel (i.e. studs, check balls, etc.) but the aluminum came out looking great. Next I tried Simple Green Pro HD @ $16.95 per gallon. This stuff worked great on plated steel and didn't corrode it, while leaving the steel fuel rail bracket looking very clean. I'm using Distilled/Boiled water off the stove and poured that into the tank. The Simple Green is diluted 1:5 parts (1 gallon to 5 gallon distilled water). This stuff is used for parts washers and it mentions ultrasonic washers as well.

What you see here is the oil sump upper housing. It was fairly clean already but I had areas of corrosion I could simply not remove in the bolt holes so this should be a good test. I'm going to flip it and run it again to get full coverage. Everything on the motor fit's into the tank this way except the engine block which just is too big to manage in this tank.

Overall, massively impressive for $240. Wish I had this when I was rebuilding the CVT. Must have spent weeks cleaning the transmission cases with caustic fluids, what a huge waste of time. The labor savings alone will pay off big time as I don't have time to clean parts. This is a must buy for those guys wanting to build their engines, guarantees all the grit and grime gets removed. It won't polish the parts but it get's them 80-90% clean enough that the parts look very good. Better than this will require vapor blasting which for most won't be worth the effort and for my purposes won't be needed right now. Once I get the vapor blaster running then I might do that first, then the Ultrasonic cleaner.

189613
 

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Discussion Starter #507
Couple of pics of the cylinder head. Main goal with the Ultrasonic cleaner was to clean the porting grit which was embedded in all the nooks and crannies of the head, very dangerous for oil contamination. The Simple Green isn't near as strong as its a fairly PH balanced mix vs. the CLR & Vinegar which is highly acidic. I can't afford to damage the brass valve guides or valve seats with the acidic cleaners but the simple green does a great job basically cleaning stuff. The heat is also helping here to really loosen stuff up.

Head is now ready for assembly with the new valves, guide seals, springs, etc.

189614


189615
 

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Discussion Starter #508
Started looking at the oil pump case and timing cover and decided the Ultrasonic cleaner using Simple green isn't going to be enough to clean those perfectly. The cylinder head came out great mostly because I wire wheel polished the entire outside surface and the interior was protected in oil, so it looks amazing.

I have my vapor blast setup nearly complete at this point from last year. The cabinet is about 90% sealed for water blasting, the specialized vapor blasting gun tip, pneumatic peddle, etc. were ordered and sitting here for several months now. I modified the Harbor freight cabinet to custom mount the Tsurimi slurry pump and it fits pretty good. It just needs to be PVC plumbed and some airlines fitted to the gun to finish it, plus some other stuff like GFI power strips for the motor and such.

The nice thing about this method is the soda cannot damage the engine because it dissolves in water during final rinse. There also are no corrosive chemicals being used which is a massive plus. This is 100% completely safe for rebuilding engines. My cabinet is easily able to load the engine block as I already test fit it and it's tight going in but there is plenty of room for it.

OK, so the video below was a really nice find. What this gentleman here is doing is actually "wet" vapor blasting soda, something I didn't think would work. Basically, the water is fully saturated with soda........then more soda is added on top of that to create the floating "grit" that is used for blasting. Despite what all experts have stated, somehow he's been able to get the soda to remove most if not all of the aluminum corrosion, while producing a very nice satin finish. I thought this was only possible with glass bead vapor blast but it looks like he was able to make it work with soda which is awesome. First he uses the ultrasonic cleaner as a first step, then the vapor blaster, finally the ultrasonic cleaner as a final rinse of the soda, then of course a final hot water rinse to get the cleaning solution off.

When I get me setup running I'll post it up.

 
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That is amazing for the money. Plus you can use it for other things !!!!!!!


Couple of pics of the cylinder head. Main goal with the Ultrasonic cleaner was to clean the porting grit which was embedded in all the nooks and crannies of the head, very dangerous for oil contamination. The Simple Green isn't near as strong as its a fairly PH balanced mix vs. the CLR & Vinegar which is highly acidic. I can't afford to damage the brass valve guides or valve seats with the acidic cleaners but the simple green does a great job basically cleaning stuff. The heat is also helping here to really loosen stuff up.

Head is now ready for assembly with the new valves, guide seals, springs, etc.

View attachment 189614

View attachment 189615
 

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Discussion Starter #510
Yep, they are very handy. As long as you don't let the metal parts touch the floor and they rest in the basket, it works great. The Simple Green Pro HD is safe for aluminum, the solvent is different than Simple Green and designed for aluminum used on aircraft and not corrosive. That Simple Green Pro HD is identical in chemical compound to their Simple Green Extreme Aircraft version, plus you can pick it up at Home Depot. Sucks because it doesn't remove the corrosion nearly as well, but I plan on using the Vapor blaster anyway for the corrosion part. But for cleaning a cylinder head it's amazing, it's like a hot dishwasher. I'm playing around with the time but small parts is about 10 minutes and the big stuff I do 30 minutes in (2) dunks to get full coverage. The parts you could eat off. I just sit there and crack a beer while my parts are getting washed.

I'm looking for bigger units but so far in the Ebay/Amazon category this is the biggest I can find. There's a few tricks to submerge big parts like filling a bag of Simple green and just dunking it into the tank full of water, but I haven't tried that yet. So far I've been able to just flip parts over and get full coverage.
 
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