Plumbing, Wiring, and starting.
 
I’ve done a lot in the time since the last post. I’ve hit a couple roadblocks. Pretty much one each evening, that kept me from being in a mood to post. It seems that each morning I wake with new resolve and promptly go out and solve each new problem. Let’s start at the beginning. I got the bobble strut bracket I needed from PolyBushings in the mail on Monday. It’s seriously heavy duty. Made of like 1/4” steel. Needless to say, it’s REALLY HARD to weld 1/4” thick steel to normal thin sheet metal. Let’s just say I won’t be surprised if that just snaps right off the first time I romp on the gas. But after about 2 hours of welding, lots of cussing at the welder, burning my fingers, and going through like 12 rods, I managed to get it attached solidly.
Plumbing, Wiring, and starting.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
These two pictures show the contraption I came up with for the returnless fuel rail. The Neon this intake came from had a fuel pressure regulator in the tank, rather than on the rail like this Omni was setup to have. So what I have here is the 5/16” line comes out of the hardline from the tank, goes through a T fitting, and then on to the fuel rail. Out the side of that T is 3/8” to a fuel pressure regulator from a log intake Turbo Dodge (‘84-’87 Turbo I). It comes out that regulator at 1/4” and goes to the return line on the strut tower. Tested it with my fuel pressure gauge, holds rock solid. No leaks. Now a little explanation on the
double hose clamps at the rail. This rail was setup to use a quick disconnect fuel line. My car wasn’t equipped with those kind of fuel lines (and frankly, I don’t trust them), so this is what I came up with. Force the hose up over the lip that the quick disconnect latches onto, put a clamp on each side of the lip. Seems to hold pressure.
Yup, I made one hell of a rats nest! I still have a dozen or more wires yet to be run that will need to be run before I’m done here. I just have the necessities wired up so that I could crank the engine over and see if it worked. Once I have all the wires run, I can start bundling everything up. It’s all going to come together nicely, you’ll see.
Now let’s start discussing the problems I encountered. First, I changed out the resistors for the coolant and air temp sensors, so that I could use stock chrysler units. Well I went to radio shack for the resistors, I managed to grab the wrong ones. I soldered them in and my temp sensors didn’t work at all. Drove me nuts, chasing my tail trying to figure out why.
Needless to say, I finally discovered my mistake and corrected it. Temp sensors work now. Next problem was a much bigger problem. I was getting no RPM reading when cranking the engine over. This was a big surprise to me, I followed the instructions and pictures as closely as possible. It didn’t make any sense why I’d have NOTHING... Well... In those instructions they say to replace R12 with a 1.3k-2k ohm resistor instead of the 380ohm it ships with. Well I bought a 1.5k ohm resistor at Radio Shack while I was getting the other resistors. And I got the right ones for this one.. But.. I forgot to install it! hahaha.. I spent probably 2 hours trying different things with that crank sensor and Megasquirt settings. Finally took the MS back apart and was comparing component by component on my board to the pictures on the web. That’s when the missing R12 finally jumped out at me. Put that in and bam, instantly had RPM readings when cranking (my engine turns 165rpm while cranking..). Next came the coil pack wiring. I have coil A and coil B.. I figured 50/50 chance of getting it right.. So I just hooked one wire to one, and one wire to the other. Nope.. Uncrimp, swap. Crank some more. Hmm, still not right.. Well, 4 swaps later I’d given up crimping each time, I was wasting butt connectors. But I finally had it right. Well, I guess just as it was about to start, when the engine was jumping all over, one of the wires to the coil came undone. So the engine fired up, and ran REALLY rough. So again, I was fed up and slept on the problem for another night. Had several ideas on things I could check. Well today I managed to notice that wire had come undone. I hooked it back up and crimped them one last time. Cranked it over a bit more (it’s a real PITA to start when you don’t have everything tuned just right) and it fired up and ran on all 4. Success!
I told a friend today that I had it running.. His reply.. “How fast is it?”.. Umm.. LONG WAY from that point still.. Barely have a rear motor mount. REALLY need  a front one. The radiator needs to be re-engineered to work with the new motor. The Exhaust system is not connected yet. It barely starts still, let alone staying running most of the time. Gotta put axles in the tranny, finish the clutch pedal/shifter install. Etc etc.. Maybe a month left.. If everything falls into place for me. :)
I made a video of it running today. You get to see how hard it is to start at the moment. I have the camera trained on the LCD screen most of the time while it’s running. Also, I don’t even have the exhaust manifold bolted to the head yet, I need to get the exhaust system figured out before I do that. (Borrowing a sawzall again real soon, should be able to weld something up..) So it sounds really odd, to say the least. Kind of has a strange bubbling sound as it starts to fire up that sounds like a cross between a Harley and a flubber powered Model T....  The Video..
This is a close up shot of the injector plugs I’m using. These things are the greatest things ever. I’m using standard Bosch style injectors. Same exact 4 injectors I used in my last 2 Megasquirted projects. Which I’ve recently discovered flow more like 23lbs at 55psi.. As they were originally meant for 38psi.  Anyways, these injector plugs are from an ’87 Caravan with a 3.0 V6. Instead of the nasty metal retainer clip that most Bosch injector plugs have, these have two plastic clips, squeeze gently and they release allowing you to easily slide off the injector. VERY NICE!