Author: sectoronedesign

V43 Auto-X 2017

After several months of designing, rebuilding, fabricating, and testing over the winter, the 2017 auto-x season had begun.  We needed class and number decals to compete and I had a vision for a long term graphics package for this car.  The current all Championship White color scheme and body shape always reminded me of the “Ambiguously Gay Duo” car so I want to add some graphics to break up the lines.  For now, we added some black vinyl wrap to the side pods and white vinyl numbers and class letters so I wouldn’t have to make new numbers in the future.  We also replaced the 9-year old Hoosiers with new Hoosiers.

NWR SCCA PRO-SOLO #1 Packwood WA – 2nd FTD out of 74 competitors

Great first event.  I was pretty rusty with the Pro-Solo starts but managed a 1.8 second 60′ time and took 2nd FTD (Fastest Time of the Day) behind Phil Leavens Honda Powered C-Mod Formula F.  Trever took 3rd FTD.  Kelsey and Ed drove V26.  Pretty cool seeing 4 drivers in FSAE cars at a local auto-x event.

NWR SCCA AUTO-X #2 Packwood WA – FTD out of 144 competitors

Second event was the day after the first event.  With more confidence in the car and driving more aggressively, I finished with FTD by almost 3 seconds over 2nd FTD Phil Leavens in the Honda powered C-Mod Formula F.  Trever finished 3rd FTD.  V43 was amazing.  Very twitchy and always wanting to rotate but also has a wonderful trail braking behavior.  Will take some time to adapt.

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NWR SCCA AUTO-X #3 Bremerton – FTD out of 159 competitors

Clutch line broke pulling up to the start lights so we scrambled as fast as we could to fix it.  I got one run in the morning session but missed a gate – basically forgot where the course went after the mad rush of fixing the car.  Ran in Time Only  in the afternoon and finished with FTD by 2 seconds followed by Trever with 2nd FTD and Phil Leavens C-Mod car with 3rd FTD.  Paul and Ed raced V26 with Paul earning 5th FTD.

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NWR SCCA PRO-SOLO #2 Packwood – 2nd FTD out of 50 competitors

V43 was still running well.  One issue we had been fighting is inside wheel spin.  This car uses a Torsen limited slip differential which works well until a wheel is unloaded.  When unloaded, the LSD behaves like an open differential and the unloaded wheel spins up while the other wheel does nothing.  This typically happens in tight corners during corner exit when on the power.  When it happens, the inside wheel lights up and the car doesn’t accelerate.  A bit frustrating to try and drive around it.  I was driving fairly well with some decent reaction times (.581, .557, .604, .611) and 1.8-1.9 second 60′ times and was running FTD for the first round.  I was up first for the second round and decided to disconnect the rear anti-roll bar to try and improve the inside wheel spin situation.  This was a very poor choice.  The car had massive understeer and front brake lock up.  In a Pro-Solo format, you don’t return to the pits until you complete all four runs so there was no time to change back.  I wasn’t able to improve my times from the morning session.  Once back in the pits for a driver change, we reconnected the Rear ARB and Trever was able to improve on both sides to take FTD and bump me to 2nd FTD by 0.077 seconds.  Ed in V26 finished with 3rd FTD.

Bit of a rookie move to make an unknown set-up change during a Pro-Solo event but on the other hand, we were trying to treat these local events as tests to improve driving and car set-up.  After this experience, we found some time to run some practice sessions and evaluate more significant set-up changes.

NWR SCCA PRO-SOLO #4 Packwood WA – FTD out of 118 competitors

At this point the car set-up is feeling quite good and I feel like my driving has improved.  Still getting inside wheel spin and the tires are at around 80 heat cycles and seem to be falling off a bit.  I set the FTD in the morning session and beat it by almost a second in the afternoon.  Trever had 2nd FTD in V43 and Ed 4th FTD in V26.

SCCA CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR Packwood – 1st Place FSAE

We were really hoping for other FSAE cars to show up for this event.  Where are OSU, UW, UBC, and WWU?  Last year’s National Championship winner in FSAE is a local.  This was the event I was looking forward to all year and Trever and I were the only entrants in FSAE.  Weather was looking perfect so we removed the rain tires from the spare wheels and mounted up a new set of Hoosiers but never ran them because we were only competing with each other.  In preparation for this event, we finished the black vinyl wrap on the tub and added a red pinstripe.  Car was looking sharp – less so after all the required decals for national events.

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Over the two day event, I ended up in 1st place by 2.4 seconds.  These national events are lots of fun.  It was a real treat talking to the A-Mod and C-Mod drivers – great learning experience.  This was a big event with 267 competitors from all over North America.  The course was high speed and flowing.  Aero would have been a major benefit.

SCCA ProSolo Packwood – DNS

The following weekend was the ProSolo.  In ProSolo, the classes are lumped together and results are based on index.  The previous weekend had over 15 entries in A-Mod, B-Mod, and C-Mod which would all be competing in Race Tire Index 1 class with us.  With a set of fresh Hoosiers at the ready, we decided to run the morning session on the old tires to see if we are competitive enough to justify using the new tires.  Turns out only 4 other cars are entered in Race Tire 1 and all of them C-Mod.  With the tighter course, I think we could have been competitive with the C-Mod cars even with the index discrepancy if we ran fresh tires.  Trever was up first and running well on his first three runs.  Trever’s second left side run was .599 RT and a 1.775 60′ time which is amazing for a 2WD car.  On Trever’s second right side run, the car launched and the right rear suspension broke.  Fortunately, Trever instantly recognized something was wrong and coasted to a stop.  The upper rear A-arm spherical joint had sheared.  Because the push-rod snakes through the upper A-arm, it buckled when the spherical let loose.  We considered trying to fix it but we didn’t have spares and were a long way from home/fabrication equipment.  We ultimately packed up and drove home early.  I never got a single run.  Very disappointed but another learning experience and the repairs are fairly minor.  Once home, we discovered that the rod end that failed appeared to have been compromised for a long time (see cross section below).  Also, when the rear wheel launched forward, the CV joint was damaged when the tripod exited the cup.  The bearings in the joint were also chipped.

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I replaced the CV joint internals and smoothed out the cup edges with a die grinder.  I replaced all the suspect rod ends and fabricated a replacement push-rod along with a spare for the rear and a spare for the front pull-rods.

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VCMC Cup 7 Pitt Meadows – 2nd FTD

After fixing the damage from the failed rod end and a few months off, we competed with VCMC.  This was the first time we’ve run with VCMC and were impressed by the organization and crew.  Doesn’t hurt that this site is much closer to home.  Even raced against some A-Mod and C-Mod cars and finished the day with 2nd FTD behind John Haftner in his A-Mod car.  Mark Uhlmann and Phil Leavens in the Honda powered Formula F finished in 4th and 5th FTD behind Trever.  It took most of the day to shake the cobwebs out from the 2 months between events.  I ran 4 runs in a row all within .4 seconds and all in the 47 second range.  By the end of the day, I finally remembered how aggressive I need to be to really drop some time and finished with a 45.8.  I really liked the way these events are run and will definitely be back in 2018.  Hope to see some UBC FSAE cars as well.

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Sector One Design: sectoronedesign.com

Instagram: instagram.com/sectoronedesign/

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WWU Viking 43 Resurrection

Last winter, my friend Trever and I acquired an incomplete WWU Viking 43 Formula SAE racecar with the intent to rebuild and race it at SCCA Auto-X events.  V43 was originally designed and built for FSAE competition in 2008.  Check out this promotional video for details:

V43 uses a carbon fiber monocoque tub and tubular steel rear frame, pushrod/pullrod inboard dampers, and a Honda CRB600 F4i engine.  This is a fundamentally good car with intelligent design and execution.  It performed well at FSAE competition and was optimized over an extensive testing period (extensive for a volunteer student designed/built/raced in one year effort).  As received, the car was missing the ECU, intake system (intake manifold, T-body, restrictor, etc), fuel system, steering wheel, battery, jack bar, and several other components and systems.

Photo of Viking 43 from 2008

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First step was to get the car operational.  We decided to get the car running with the factory Honda intake/injection/ECU system and once running, test and fix the other vehicle systems.  To compete in FSAE or SCCA FSAE competition, the intake charge must pass through a 20mm restrictor.  This limits power to roughly 80-90 hp.  With the stock engine and intake system, the engine produces over 100 hp.  With a total car weight of approximately 450 lbs, this makes for a very fast vehicle.  After modifying a factory wire harness to work in the car, rebuilding the differential, rebuilding the oil pan, and plumbing a new fuel filler tube, fuel pump, and fuel filter, the cars maiden voyage was in the snow.  We still had V26 at the shop so we jumped into both cars and ran some laps down the driveway – the Hoosier Wets worked much better in the snow than the slicks.

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A few additional modifications would be required before competing.  To build a seat, we used two-part expandable foam poured into a heavy garbage bag and let it form around the seated driver.  We ended up making a seat base and a left and right upper seat insert.  Despite a 5-6″ height difference in drivers, the seat and controls work for both.  The shifter is mounted to the left side of the driver for the most direct cable routing.  Feels a bit odd but pretty easy to use as it’s sequential.  I manually machined a spacer for the steering wheel as my hands would hit the shifter when turning.  This makes the cockpit very cramped for me as I’m 6’2″ with long arms but lock-to-lock is minimal so I can manage.  I also modified the clutch and accelerator pedal to optimize both cable travel and cable orientation.  A lift bar is required per rules and was missing so I tig welded one up and formed a stainless steel chain guard also required by the rules.

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We sourced new sprockets based on clearance and the gearing from V26 which worked well for auto-x speeds.  2nd gear is used the majority of the time with 1st and 3rd used in spurts depending on track layout.

Car was aligned and corner balanced.  At this point, we joined the WWU FSAE Team in a test session at a local airport.  Car ran great for the most part after bedding in some new brake pads.  The steering rack kept coming loose which required some fastener modifications while there for a temporary fix.

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To address the intake restrictor rules, I initially designed a new intake plenum for use with the factory injector bosses and an AT-Power throttle body with integrated 20 mm restrictor.

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My plan was to 3D print the intake plenum in two parts with a bolted flange interface.  After seeing the very expensive quotes for the printed part, I opted to fabricate something similar using part of the factory airbox modified with a carbon fiber transition.  I cut the airbox top and bottom in half and welded in some plastic walls.  I then turned some wood on the lathe to match the restrictor diffuser taper on the AT-Power T-body.  Clay was used to sculpt the transition.  Carbon/epoxy was hand laid and vacuum bagged.  Once the shape was cured, the wood/clay was removed and the carbon top was bonded to the plastic airbox top.  Not pretty but effective.  I also created an epoxy cradle for the steering rack to distribute the side loads into the chassis rather than bend/stretch the rack bolts.

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We planned to use the factory ECU along with a Power Commander for the first several events.  I designed a TPS sensor adaptor that allows the factory Honda TPS sensor to be used on the AT-Power T-Body.  We used a chassis dyno to run loaded pulls and fine tune the Air Fuel Ratio.

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At this point, we completed over 70 tasks.  Some were minor details and some required significant design and fabrication.  Next up, we go racing!

Sector One Design: https://sectoronedesign.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sectoronedesign/

Flying an Aero L-39 Albatros Jet

Please excuse a little departure from covering race events and racecar modifications.  I figure there is a lot of overlap between interest in racecars and jets.  I have no flying experience but did grow up in the age of Top Gun and went to several air shows as a kid.  Jets have always fascinated me.  Seems like the ultimate performance machine.  Thanks to my wife (coolest wife ever!), I was given a ride in an L-39 Albatros for a birthday present.

The L-39 is a Czech Air Force high-performance jet trainer aircraft produced between 1971 and 1996.  This particular plane was built in 1976.  The Albatros is the most widely used jet trainer in the world and has also flown combat missions in a light-attack role.  The plane weighs 7,600 lbs dry and has a max takeoff weight of 10,300 lbs.  Maximum speed is Mach 0.80 (609 mph).  The Albatros is a two-seat airplane with the seats in tandem orientation.  Both seats are equipped with full instruments and controls.

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MigFlug (Migflug) offers several flying experiences in many cities and countries.  I flew the L-39 Albatros in Chino, CA.  The pilot and plane owner, Istvan “Steve” Kalmar has a lifetime of experience and was fantastic.  The day started off learning about the plane, emergency procedures, and getting familiar with the cockpit and controls.  You are strapped into a parachute harness and seat harness.  Ejection seats are no longer functional but in the event of an emergency, such as fire, you manually pop open the canopy, unbuckle your seat harness and jump out with the parachute.  Steve moved the plane out of the hanger and fueled up the tanks with 2,000 lbs of jet fuel.  I then hopped in with Steve in the front seat, fired up the engine and taxied to the runway.  I’m not a highly emotive person but I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face as we rolled down the runway and lifted into the air.  Once airborne, we banked hard to the left and flew south to an open test area above some foothills.  Steve gave me the controls and instructed me to perform some turns and eventually some rolls.  The controls are very sensitive and require very little effort.  Plane seems extremely stable and easy to fly.

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With Steve back in control, we performed a number or aerobatic maneuvers including rolls, loops, cuban eights, etc.  Then we flew down into a canyon for some low altitude canyon carving.  This was really fun as you get a better appreciation for the speeds (roughly Mach 0.5 / 350 mph).  There was a pretty strong wind coming over the foothills which made the canyons a bit bumpy.  We exited the canyons and hugged a field just above the tree line (maybe 40-50 feet off the deck) and then went near vertical with some rolls thrown in.  Steve then picked a target on the ground and performed some bombing maneuvers which consisted of a steep descent directly on top of the target and pulling up at the last second, going vertical, and looping around to dive bomb the target again.  At that point, we gained some altitude and started heading back to the airport.  Steve was playing with the clouds, diving in and out and finding routes between them.  It was really fun and I loved that Steve has this playful nature after performing this same flight hundreds of times.  I always imagined flying a jet to be a very free experience similar to a bird and playing in the canyons and clouds brought that concept to life.

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After 45 minutes of flight time, we landed with minimal drama despite some high cross winds and burned a total of 170 gallons of fuel.  Overall, the experience was fantastic.  I learned so many new things and after some reflection realized 3 big takeaways that I hadn’t realized or expected:

  1. There are no lateral forces.  Seems fairly obvious but I’m so used to racing cars on race tires with downforce and expecting very high cornering forces.  In racing, you are never coasting.  You are either accelerating, braking, cornering, or ideally, a combination.  In racecars, transitions are fast and violent.  The jet was very smooth and most of the time was spent in a neutral state.  Even carving through canyons was primarily neutral with some hard cuts here and there.  When the plane is rolled so it’s wings are vertical, there are still no forces until you pull the stick back.  All the forces in a plane are vertical with respect to the pilot/passenger.
  2. Human limit vs machine limit.  In car racing, you often operate right on the edge of the car’s limits.  You exceed the limits and recover.  The limits are dictated by grip and are easily exceeded within the human operating window.  With the jet, the g-loading of the pilot determines the limit.  The plane can easily exceed the human limits especially with no g-suits used.  Steve explained the effects of g-loading which start with a “grey-out” where your vision turns grey.  This is followed by tunnel vision until you pass out completely.  Passing out while operating a jet is not advised.  The body’s reaction to g-loading depends on amplitude and time.  You can sustain a moderate g-load for a long time or a high g-load for a very short time but once you add duration to high g-loads, you lose blood flow/oxygen to the brain and pass out.  Steve started with low g maneuvers and added intensity while checking on my condition.  We ended up at about 4-g loops which was close to my threshold.  I did start to grey-out at one point but by the time I was ready to alert Steve, the maneuver was over and I was fine.  The effect disappears nearly instantly once the g-loading is reduced.  The L-39 is capable of 8-g’s.
  3. Controls are physically calm and delicate.  When operating a racecar at the limit, your inputs should be smooth but smooth doesn’t mean slow.  Especially with a twitchy short wheelbase car, you need to quickly counter steer to recover.  Driving full tilt is physically demanding.  This plane has such light and precise controls that there is a bit of a disconnect for me between the g-loads you feel vs the light touch used.  It’s a bit analogous to playing video games or driving a modern performance car with digital nannies keeping you on track.

I’d highly recommend this experience to anyone that doesn’t get car/sea sick.  It’s not cheap but well worth the entry cost to check this off the bucket list for me.  Steve is very personable and knowledgable and I never felt scared or unsafe.  The plane is obviously well taken care of and spotless.  Every part of the experience met or exceeded expectations.

Car Life: Beauty in Refinement – Honda S2000 – SingularEntity.com

I met individuals of the Singular Entity crew at various track events over the last few years.  Nice guys with a passion for cars and telling a story in a unique way.  I’ve been a fan of their photography and videos for a while.

Austin and I spoke often about supercharging and data logging because he built a track Miata with a Rotrex supercharger and there’s a pretty small group of us that are running these hard on the track.  Austin asked me if I’d be interested in being featured in one of their videos and my response was an enthusiastic “yes”.

It was fun to see the filming side of the process.  We spent probably 2 hours filming the interview portion in my shop and another few hours filming street driving shots near my house and on Chuckanut Drive.  It’s really interesting to see how they condensed all that into 6 minutes.  It was a chilly spring day in the Northwest with overcast skies.  Not ideal driving or filming conditions.  Chuckanut Drive is an amazing road that follows the coastline of Bellingham and has really fun corners and beautiful views.  The massive trees lining the road kept the asphalt shaded and wet.  Grip levels were low especially with cold temps and R888’s.  Fortunately, traffic was also low and all but one shot was done in one take.

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Here’s the description of the YouTube video:

Born a natural Honda nut, Jared brings new meaning to “DIY”. With a background in mechanical engineering, every part added to this car was designed and meticulously planned by himself. From working as a Honda technician to doing full blown CAD and custom fabrication work, Jared brings new meaning to a grassroots build. Everything with this car has a purpose from removing the A/C compressor and replacing it with a different compressor, to the V-mount intercooler and custom aero. Jared takes us through his Honda journey from his adolescent Civic days to the mature ownership of the S2000.

Power is one thing, but control is another. Having learned suspension setup from working directly with Ohlins engineers, Jared’s performed his own suspension construction magic of taking an ATV shock and applying them to an automotive chassis.

Addressing the torqueless Honda with a supercharger has allowed him to keep up with the high horsepower cars, with a measly 345hp to the rear wheels. Nowadays you’re more likely to see Jared blow away in the straights and in the corners if you ever see him coming up in your rearview mirror.

Special thanks to Jared for the additional footage

Cinematography & music produced by Singular Entity – Gary Chan, Austin Tsai, Ken Au-Yeung & Jonathan Lau

Thank you to the Singular Entity crew.  Check out their other videos and content:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/singularentity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SingularEntitycom/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIXaRuRWhQVwDsZAWoiPoZQ

FSAE Returns

I guess Formula SAE / Formula Student never left but it’s been many years since I’ve been involved.  That changed this summer when I brought Western Washington University’s Viking 26 FSAE racecar into my shop (Thanks Paul!) and, along with the help of several original teammates, rebuilt it to running condition.  In the fall, we raced it at a Pacific NW Porsche Club auto-x in pouring rain.  This car was originally designed and raced in 1995 and also competed in 1996 when I joined the team as a freshman.  It is a very unique car with lots of unconventional designs and construction.  It was also very light, powerful, and successful.  V26 placed 4th at FSAE Michigan in 1995 and 22nd in 1996 (thanks to a blown motor during the endurance event – would have placed top 5).  Some notable features of V26 are the 6″ filament wound carbon tube chassis, turbocharged fuel injected CBR600 engine, spool rear end (no differential), and suspension geometry designed to promote jacking to enable rotation with the spool.  The car also used 10″ wheels, inside-out front disk brakes, and dual floating inboard rear brake rotors.

Here’s V26 20 years after it last competed:

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Some welding work on the fuel tank:

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Here are some videos from this fall:

The car is a handful to drive with a hard hitting turbo and locked rear end (especially in wet conditions on 8 year old Hoosier Wets or 20 year old Hoosier Slicks).  It’s surprisingly easy to slide around but once you get too sideways it comes around fast.

Here are some pictures of Viking 26 (from 1996) and Viking 28 (1998) along with some of the original team members.

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More FSAE projects in the shop.  News to follow…

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J32 V6 Engine Swap

I’ve been considering an engine swap for a while.  The F20C/F22C is an absolutely amazing engine; engaging to drive and responds well to forced induction.  On top of all that, it’s pretty cheap to operate and can take track punishment for a long time and when it fails, rebuilding is easy and inexpensive.  All that being said, the original intent to supercharge my S2000 was to give it the power needed to run with the fastest cars on track.  With the stock engine I was stuck behind them in the corners and unable to pass on the straights.  The supercharger changed that.  Of course, now there are lots of 500-600 hp cars on the track that still walk away on the straights but I guess that’s the ever evolving progress of technology.  I am actually really happy with the current speed of the car and have no desire to have higher top speeds.  140 mph through turn 1 at Pacific Raceways is scary enough.

I really enjoy the instant response of a naturally aspirated car or supercharged car.  My daily drivers are a 2015 WRX and a 2001 Dodge RAM Turbo Diesel 24V.  I’m not against turbos at all but I really don’t like them for track use.  Turbo lag, throttle response, heat, etc all add up to frustration for me.  For the racing I’ve been doing lately, the classes are power-to-weight based and my small displacement high revving 4-cylinder makes a very peaky power curve.  Adding a Rotrex supercharger bumps the whole curve up but still only makes peak hp in a very limited rpm window which means 95% of the time, I’m not operating at peak power.  The top cars in these classes are detuning the engines to create a flat hp curve in the operating range using throttle by wire mapping, inlet restrictors, or programmed wastegates.  To get a flat hp curve, you really need a positive displacement supercharger, turbo, or bigger engine displacement.  For me, a larger naturally aspirated engine seems like the best choice for optimal throttle response, minimal complexity/maximal reliability, minimal heat, etc.

An LS swap makes a lot of sense.  It’s been done many times, the motors are powerful, light, and compact.  For the track, these motors have more power than I want/need.  This would require a new and heavy transmission and differential to handle the increased torque.  To get to my ideal hp/wt ratio, I’d need to detune the engine quite a bit so now I’m dragging around a bunch of heavy components to support a detuned engine.  Also, there are some clearance issues including firewall and steering rack.  I’d rather not relocate the steering rack and any modifications to the subframe results in penalties under the race class I run in (treated as a tube frame chassis).
The J-series V6 from Honda is the option I’m pursuing.  I’m starting with a J32A2 from a 2001-2003 TL Type-S and will likely swap in a crankshaft from the MDX 3.7 and 3.5 rods and pistons at some point to create a 3.6 liter high compression motor.  No replacement for displacement – as they say.  Some of the advantages include the ability to use the S2000 transmission (which is one of my favorites ever) and differential which has been reinforced to handle increased power.  I can also use my existing Exedy Hyper Single clutch.  This means stock axles and prop shaft can be used as well.  The engine is very compact and has no interference issues other than the oil filter which can be solved with a remote mounted oil filter.  Ultimately, I’m hoping for around 325 whp and lots more torque than I currently have with the supercharged F22C.  I think the weight will come within 20-30 lbs of the current engine/supercharger/intercooler.  The torque and lack of revs will change the character of the car for sure.  I’m keeping my SC’d F22C in case I don’t love the J-swap.

This will be a slow project as I’m currently rebuilding a Formula SAE car which I plan to race in 2017.  The FSAE car will be priority, however, I’m pretty excited for this swap project so I’ll be working on it fairly often.  There will be lots of learning, fabrication, and likely a few mistakes along the way.  This is still a fairly rare swap and not well documented so lots of this project will require custom solutions.  You can also follow the progress on Instagram: @sectoronedesign

Here are some progress pictures so far:

Lots of “Honda Power” in the shop at the moment

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Adapter Plate and engine mounts needed some modifications to fit:

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Picked up a magnesium intake manifold from a 2009 TL SH-AWD

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Much lighter than the J32A2 aluminum intake manifold and with larger T-body opening:

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Spokane County Raceway

My cousin recently purchased a Mustang GT and took it to his local track.  He sent me some pictures and an invitation to join him at the next track day.  Seemed like a great opportunity to learn a new track and visit with family.  The weather was beautiful and it was looking like a perfect day.  A few drivers warned me about some humps on the back straight so I asked a driver that I recognized from some NASA events if I could follow him for a few laps to see the line.  Spokane County Raceway is a fairly simple 2.25 mile track as it’s relatively flat and has only 10 turns.  There is a slightly blind crest on the back stretch but otherwise visibility is pretty good.  It has an interesting mix of very high speeds and some very low speed corners and I was using every gear but first.  I started off very conservatively as there was no rush in going full tilt and the runoff areas are not forgiving, plus I wanted to stay behind the M3 for a few laps until I felt confident in the line before giving it the full beans.  First lap was warming up the tires and seeing the track for the first time.  Second lap was a bit faster but still finding turn-in locations.  Started pushing a little harder on the third lap (still turning in much too early for T3) but felt a slight hesitation accelerating out of a corner.  I didn’t see any smoke and it seemed to run OK but I slowed down and noticed that the oil pressure seemed a bit low.  I coasted around the track for a lap and when I pulled off, the car died.  In the pits I pulled the plugs and #4 was black and wet.  The others looked perfect.  I figured the most likely cause was broken rings or ring lands.  In hindsight, I have been noticing a bit more blow by accumulation recently.  Not something I was going to fix at the track so I spent the rest of the day hanging out with family and did get a ride in my cousins Mustang which was super fun.  I then packed up and drove home.  It was a long 800 mile round trip for 2.5 laps!

There was an interesting mix of cars and a bunch of very friendly drivers.  I’m looking forward to making it back to Spokane.  I ran a high 1:39 on lap 2 (while coasting in several areas) and would really like to see what time I could run after learning the track and pushing it.

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I reviewed the data and found that the oil pressure started slowly dropping on lap three.  Blue trace is oil pressure from Lap 2 and Pink traces is oil pressure from Lap 3.  Knock voltage looked pretty normal until the middle of lap three where there was some very high readings.  Could be detonation due to the increased blow by gasses or it could be picking up the sound of the now-loose main bearings.  I didn’t see any significant knock prior to the failure.

spokane-oil-pressure-drop-1

 

spokane-knock-1

Once home, I pulled the oil pan and found a lot of bearing material.  I just had the pan off recently and there were no signs bearing material so it must have been a very fast catastrophic failure.  This explains the low oil pressure but didn’t explain the hesitation and fouled plug so I pulled the motor and removed the head.  Looks like broken rings and a very scored #4 cylinder.

engine-out-1-s2000

 

engine-out-2-s2000

 

oil-pan-s2000

 

broken-ring-s2000

 

scored-cylinder-s2000