I haven't posted an update in a long time, so lets go over a few things that have happened since the last blog update. First is the MegaSquirt III upgrade, that was on my to-do list last summer. Next up is I've got some better firmware on the trans controller. All of the upshifts have been sorted out and it upshifts very well now. Downshifts, not so much, but there are a dozen firmware updates/bug fixes pending, so maybe with the next version. The speedometer works now, I was waiting for the firmware to add support for that. It's more accurate than the factory feed was, now.
I took the car to the dragstrip once. Unfortunately, the track was seriously broken that day, and it was super packed. I got one "good" run in, at very low boost with the controller set to shift at a fairly low RPM, just to confirm it would actually upshift properly at WOT. The second run was a wheel spinning upshifting and downshifting nightmare, with the guy in the lane next to me doing strange things.. heh.. That's all I got that day. I've since turned up the boost from the 3psi I was running to 10psi, it's a whole different beast at this level, I can't wait to get back and try again. I'll probably get a set of slicks this year.
Now on to the topic of today's entry. COP Units.. Coil On Plug coilpacks.. Last year I spent a couple hours trying to make a nice template out of hardboard (wood), for a metal plate I wanted to have made to mount the COP's on. The template I made didn't turn out to my liking, and I tried to use it to hold the COP's on. Turns out it was too flexible, and generally fell apart when I tried to do that. heh..
It gets real ugly with the coilpacks back out of the holes, the spark energy seems to backfeed into the MS and pretty much crashes the MS, forcing me to turn off the ignition and restart the motor. Much like I experienced with the screwball sparkplug wires I tried to use on my van a couple years back.
So here's how it looked before:
I thought it'd work better than it did. I pretty much had to push the coils back down into their holes every time I'd go to drive the car. It was annoying, especially if I forget. So I HAD to come up with a better solution.
This is just a shot to show what the valve cover looks like with no coilpacks or anything on it. Note that I removed two of the valve cover bolts that are right next to sparkplug holes. We'll get to that soon.
If you've followed my blogs in the past, you know I love this stuff. It's also sold under the brand name "QuikSteel", I think they're about the same. It's a two part puddy that you kneed together and it cures as hard as a rock. It also adheres to the surface it's stuck to very very well. It's a lot like JBWeld, only not even slightly runny.
So here's the idea I came up with. Using the QuikSteel pictured above, I'm going to glue the "acorn" nuts to the valve cover, so that I can bolt the coils down.
I was pretty sure the QuikSteel wouldn't stick to that shiny metal, so I grabbed my grinder and put some grooves in it to give the puddy something to bite into.
This is what I ended up with after gluing the nuts down. As you can see, I plan to use the valve cover bolts on two of the coilpacks, pretty much because I had no other choice. I would have liked to have found bolts that were long enough to go from the coils all the way down to the threads in the head. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that, I needed a 4" long bolt, and I just don't have any that long. Luckily.. I own a welder, so I improvised.
I took the original valve cover bolts, and drilled into the head of them a little ways, maybe a tenth of an inch or so. Then I cut some bolts that I had to be the exact right length from the head of those to the top of the coil.
Nice action shots I took there. I find that now that I have a decent welder, not having the right bolt isn't such a big deal anymore. hehe.. I simply made the valve cover bolt reach the coil pack. Sadly, I had to install the bolt before welding, so if I ever change those two coil packs, I'll have to redo my welding trick. I suppose I could have welded the bolt on upside down, cut off the head end to get the length right, then it would have been like a stud, threads on top for a nut. Ahh well, hindsight..
And that's how it turned out in the end. Coil pack 3 is slightly crooked, the valve cover bolt hole isn't perfectly lined up with the coilpack. Oh well, these puppies are VERY secure now. There aren't going anywhere. Another hindsight observation.. I probably would have been just fine drilling and tapping the valve cover itself, then just use slightly longer bolts on the coil packs. The threads would need sealant at that point, to prevent the oil getting out.
That's it for today. I'll try to get updates up more regularly in the future.