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What the hell happened to project silvia?

What the Hell Happened to Project Silvia?

by Dave Coleman 

Project Silvia was a Krylon superstar. Back in the heady days of Sport Compact Car and paper magazines, it was our most popular project, and when we launched MotoIQ, dusting off the Silvia was one of our first stories. The rebirth of this project series was looking so promising, and then...

The problems all started in turn 3 at Streets of Willow, where the Disco Potato-boosted S13 junkyard engine didn't spool quite early enough to lug out of the corner in 3rd gear, but was too responsive to control if you dropped into 2nd. The same thing happened again in turns 4 and 5, and again on the skidpad. It made for a frustrating lap, and a lot of scolding from the drift-hating corner workers.

So I decided to fix the problem the only way I knew how. With junk I had laying around. I had a non-turbo S14 cylinder head just sitting there that hadn't cost me a dime. S14 heads share the low intake port position with the later U.S. SR20DE that most of us consider inferior, but the ports are actually larger than the front-drive heads, and total intake flow is actually about the same as the high port heads. Most importantly, for my purpose, the S14 head has variable intake cam timing. Advancing the intake cam boosts low-rpm torque. This better breathing creates more exhaust energy, which spools the turbo sooner too. Adding additional low-rpm cam advance on EVO IXs really wakes up their boost response, and I was hoping to achieve the same thing with the S14 head.

 


S13 cylinder head

My S13 had been hauling ass for years on a junkyard engine that had never been opened up. This was the first time I'd even had the valve cover off. The nasty blackness was a shock!

 

The S14 variable cam timing isn't nearly as sophisticated as the EVO's of course. EVO cam timing, like that on all modern engines, is continuously variable over a range of something like 30 degrees. Modern cam timing control is also closed loop, with a pulse width modulated oil control valve sending pressure the to advance mechanism, and a cam angle sensor feeding back the resulting cam timing in real time. The ancient system on the SR20, on the other hand, is just an on/off switch. Open the oil control valve, and the cam advances 20 crank degrees. Turn it off, and it retards the same amount. That's all she wrote. Still, the improvement in boost response is potentially huge.

 

Being a nerd, I really wanted to document exactly how the S14 head performed compared to the S13 head, with all else being equal, so I decided to do the head swap with no changes to the bottom end (and without even removing it from the car), and to resist the temptation to do any port work or other modifications to the head while I had it on the bench. I did want to continue the relentless flogging my Silvia gets, though, and that meant one modification would have to be done.

SR20DET heads are nearly identical to their non-turbo counterparts except for one thing. The turbo heads have sodium filled exhaust valves. Sodium filled valves have a hollow head and stem filled about 60% with Sodium. Sodium has an extremely low melting point (about 100 degrees C) and boiling point (880 C). In a hard-running engine, the valves are hot enough that the sodium in the head of the valve vaporizes and travels up to the cooler stem where it condenses back to a liquid again. The phase transition from liquid to gas absorbs a lot of heat, and the condensation dumps the heat in stem where the lage metal-to-metal contact between the valve stem and guide transfers that heat to the cooling system. Without this heat pipe effect, vastly more heat would have to be transferred through the valve seat. Too much heat through the valve seat, and you get a burned valve.

Sodium filled valves, then, are a really good idea on engines like mine that run 900C exhaust temps for half an hour at a time.

s14 sodium filled exhuast valve sr20det

The sodium-filled DET valves have a fatter, hollow stem, but they narrow down at the end so they can use the same retainers.

So, all I needed to do was swap the sodium filled exhaust valves from my old engine into my new engine. Of course, the sodium filled valves have 7mm valve stems, while the solid valves have 6mm stems. That means I'd have to swap in SR20DET valve guides as well. No problem, I bought some of those, along with a full DET gasket set from Nissan Motorsports.

 

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Comments
MxExUx
MxExUxlink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:58 PM
Yes!! Project Silvia has resurrected!!! This car and your articles had a big influence on me; so much inspiration. Thanks Dave!
Toyama Racing Spirit
Toyama Racing Spiritlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 12:12 AM
Dave, that's some rotten luck! Apart from the run around with the head, the state of that block...

I was worried I'd be greeted the same way when I tore down my own personal project vehicle recently after about a year 1/2 worth of standing. Thankfully far from the sea and humidity is almost non-existant where I'm based.

All the best - looking forward to see the results albeit in a completely new direction.
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 12:43 AM
Looking forward for the new stroker kit. This time set deadlines :)
8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 6:32 AM
Wow, that's a lot longer than the downtime with my 240. It's been down for a year now waiting on the hardware and the time to do a proper tune on the motor. Dumb question, how do you get pass the emissions regs in Cali? I've been having a bitch of a time figuring out how to do it in Delaware (hence the reason the car has been down for a year).
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:12 AM
Just the other day I saw an S13 and wondered what happened to this car! I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for it.
Pwalke
Pwalkelink
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:33 AM
Thanks for the update. It was a good read... Can we also get an update on Project MiataBusa?
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:59 AM
We've had some scheduling challenges on the Miatabusa, but things are starting to roll again. I'm expecting to be able to update in 2 or 3 weeks.
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:02 AM
Going to do anything with cylinder head coolant flow to help keep the chambers cooler?

Also, you know a VVL cylinder head is pretty knock-resistant. You know, while you're in there... ;-p
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:36 AM
I wondered WTF happened. I never heard from after the Santa Ana guy.

When trying to maximize power and torque on 91 octane there's no replacement for displacement. Does K1 make a Chinese stroker crank?
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:37 AM
I've got some tricks to improve general cooling, mostly centered around water pump mods. I'm also toying with ceramic coatings for the chamber, but its not clear yet if that will raise or lower gas temps during the critical period when knock might occur. Clearly temps will be lower than normal during compression stroke, and higher than normal during exhaust stroke, but right at initial combustion it isn't clear...
jeffball610
jeffball610link
Friday, August 19, 2011 9:41 AM
I know you're set on 91 octane, but have you thought to use E85? Hugely knock resistant, available at the pump, and compatible with most of your stock parts. Just a thought.
Are you planning to clean up those ports you mentioned while all of this "high-end" build stuff is going on? Any "junk" parts going back on this thing?
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Friday, August 19, 2011 9:48 AM
So nice to finally catch up on the s13 project. I remember following it in the SCC days! I'm looking forward to the full report on engine temps. A tip for anyone in the future who might not be storing open cylinders indoors. You can buy crystals that remove the moisture from the air (ace hardware has them) and put them in a little dixie cup before you seal over the cylinders. Nothing beats just leaving them clean and open inside a secure garage or shop, IMO.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 10:24 AM
jeffball,

I know E85 pumps theoretically exist in California, but I've never actually seen one. Most importantly, I've never seen one near any of the tracks I frequent. If I lived in a corn state, maybe, but then I'd shoot myself anyway...
SkullWorks
SkullWorkslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:16 AM
there's one at normandie and sepulveda that is close enough to you, how much gas (x1.3 for E85) does 350whp go through in a weekend?

I have a turbo and some partial dyno pulls I'd like you to look at before you commit to twin scroll,

and a tricky trick the @jz guys are using on undivided t4 manifolds bolted to twin scroll housings...if you are stuck in 500hp turbo that I'll only let make 300 land

Kojima knows how to get ahold of me...If you are interested

speedball3
speedball3link
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:32 AM
Thanks for the update and breakdown of what happened. Looking forward to what's in store!! I am also curious how one does so many mods and still pass smog. Maybe it's registered as a dealer/commercial vehicle and is exempt?
SkullWorks
SkullWorkslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:35 AM
maybe the question was left alone for a bevy of reasons including alot that are very obvious.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:39 AM
On the track, at 275 hp, I got about 7 mpg. Building an E85 street/track car in LA makes about as much sense as building an electric street/track car.
SkullWorks
SkullWorkslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:43 AM
it has it's merits and draw backs but it's not quite that stupid, it's 105 octane race fuel that is only ~30% more per effective gallon than 91. I understand your bias but lets atleast look at the situation squarely.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:48 AM
How do I drive an E85 car back and forth between Long Beach to Irvine when the only gas station is in Torrance (is is that Gardena?) How do I drive to Seattle if I want to, or on back roads to get to Laguna Seca? How do I drive even to the closest race track (willow springs) and do a weekend of lapping and then get home all one one tank? Range anxiety is range anxiety whether its electricity or corn.
SkullWorks
SkullWorkslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:59 AM
Ahhh...seee I always trailer track cars, I have several friends with DD's on E85 but I can see finding fuel "on the road" could be fun esp with 30% less fuel capacity


MS guys are working on a 0-5V ...trim pot for lack of better term to allow flexfuel type trimming of fuel and ign maps on standalone ecu's

Neil Switzer
Neil Switzerlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 12:18 PM
Dave, long time reader, first time poster... ;)

I 2nd what SkullWorks is mentioning -run flex-fuel on that thing, 91 or e98, and everything in-between!
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 12:22 PM
Not sure how the RWD heads are, but the FWD heads recirc more hot coolant than I'm comfortable with. I've had pretty good luck on non-street cars eliminating the coolant recirc coming out of the crank pulley side of the head (the small pipe). Only bummer is warm-up times on the street can be excessive (since you're eliminating the thermostat) and the heater won't work very well.
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:28 PM
What happened to the Silvia is the magazine that was building it forgot that project cars are an idealized symbol built to impress readers not to mimic them. Honestly if I wanted to see a primered Nissan that was built from whatever is lying around and treated like a red headed step child whose nickname was shit bucket I could drive 10 minutes south to the poorer areas of Chino.

I used to love SCC but when you devoted articles to doing ricer burnouts I started reading less informative but more aesthetically pleasing magazines that don't attempt to dumb themselves down for dollars.

Even today at any Nissan showoff the trackiest of track beaters still are presented with a level of professionalism. and that's what people wanted projects cars that were disarable not notable.

I'd love to see the silvia get a proper coat of paint and some real effort into making it something you could be proud of not just brag about.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:31 PM
Skull and Neil,

There must be some reasonably reliable way to sense what's in the rail and trim accordingly. If we can figure that out, a flex solution might work great. Building the engine itself will be fundamentally the same (optimize for 91) but E85 would let us take full advantage of the turbo's headroom. Only pre-planning we'd have to do it corrosion issues and injector sizing. The injector issue is the only one that really worries me, as you have to run so much bigger to run E85.

Anybody have insight on these sensors?
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:34 PM
Next time don't use wd40 it displaces and traps moisture causing rust. Several layers of glad wrap will seal just fine and provide a visible window to monitor corrosion.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:37 PM
Rockwood,

I'm also uncomfortable with the size of the recirc on the SR20. It's like a 1/2" hose! I'm trying to figure out an elegant way to make it variable, so I can run standard bypass for warmup and when cruising around on the street and pinch it down for track use. The only challenge is that the bypass hose is under the intake manifold, so I need some remote control, like a heater control valve.
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:39 PM
e85 is highly caustic and at the expensive of rebuilding the entire fuel system and additional tuning required for a secondary map you'd be better off swapping in a v8 or a k20/24. However for a dual use vehicle 400hp should be easily achievable without pushing up against 91's limits.
rawkus
rawkuslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:42 PM
The lovely folks at Zeitronix might have what you're looking for.
http://www.zeitronix.com/Products/ECA/ECA.shtml
SkullWorks
SkullWorkslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:44 PM
so use a lever actuated ball valve, mount it where the hard pipe goes under the manifold and put a hole in the lever to attach a push/pull knob with cable in cabin to manipulate manually,

If I get more info on the flex fuel sender mega squirt effort I'll try to remember to keep you posted,

I have a set of rc 1000's and they are a tad hard to idle since i am running with a resistor pack instead of a proper low impedance driver, the opening times are lazy,

but there's always the new EV14 bosch style that are super nice......
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:48 PM
circuitsports,

I think you misunderstand the realities of the old SCC business model just a bit. The magazine was making shit tons of money, I'm sure, but NONE of it was coming back to the guys making it. The obvious advertorial that showed up from time to time was clearly driven from the well-paid side of the building. The real stuff, like the project cars and burnouts, came from the tragically underpaid editorial staff. Scott Oldham grew up in New Jersey, so he liked burnouts, simple as that. I preferred powerslides.

Project Silvia is flat black (not primer) because 1: the 300,000 mile body is so full of bondo that shiny paint would look terrible on it. 2: shiny paint costs money, and SCC wouldn't pay for it, or pay me enough to pay for it myself, and 3: making a car fast makes me happy, making it pretty does not. Simple as that.

I actually bought an arrow-straight 1-owner 240 at one point so I could do a body swap and make this car pretty, but I couldn't get motivated to do it, so I sold the car. I also built a very straight, very shiny, very pretty Sil80 for my girlfriend. Even she now admits that it would be more fun if it was a beater. Taking care of pretty cars takes away from the fun of driving the shit out of them.

If you don't get this, don't worry, it just means you're normal. Go ahead and read EVERY OTHER project car instead...
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:59 PM
I can totally understand the concept of a missle car but since it was actually painted and not with a spray can it goes against money for speed over looks arguments. I have spent butt loads of money making my s2000 faster while not dealing with 92,350 miles of road use on the paint but if I was going to do it I would wait until I could afford maaco if that was my budget or in your shoes as an automotive journalist scam some paint for advertising write offs from a decent shop.

And since it was supposed to be a SCC project car the realities that it put in some readers eyes like mine are that it was meant to be trendy, which was followed on by your flat black Subaru project which had shiny paint to begin with and I think you guys did some other flat black cars too.

I'm sure Kojima could help you improve the appearance without braking the bank his Nissan always appeared to be well kept when I saw it.

Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:10 PM
Dave: An idea for shutting down the recirc hose would be a heater control valve from an F250 (google "Ford F250 heater control valve") for $18. It's vacuum actuated, and I'm pretty sure it's 1/2" in/out. To run it, you could run a check valved circuit to it, and either bleed the circuit when you were ready to go racing, or just know that it'll close under boost, and since you're primarily on boost at the track, that it'll be closed most of the time anyway. Just stay away from boost when the engine's cold to prevent cavitation.

That, or you could just get an electric steam valve (rated to 300* and huge pressure, IIRC) and run it off a switch, but those are spendy ($150+).

Last solution would be a ball valve from Home Depot (I know how much you love that place for "car parts") connected to a choke cable. $10 and you're done.
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:16 PM
@ Circuit: Did I miss something? I seem to remember Dave giving Project Sylvia "the Krylon touch", no?

BTW, we used to make fun of Mike in the SE-R Cup days for getting bodywork done every time someone rubbed him a little. Mike's cars probably have a larger paint budget than Dave's whole motor does. ;-p
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:27 PM
Circuit,

It was painted from a can (just not a PRIMER can). Dammmit, man, why haven't you memorized every word of every Project Silvia story ever?

Here's more info on the horrible paint than you ever wanted to read:
http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticles/tabid/59/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/892/Project-Silvia-Once-We-Went-Black-There-Was-No-Going-Back.aspx

As far as being trendy, no, that wasn't it. Jump in your time machine and you'll realize the annoying flat black douchebag trend came AFTER i applied the Krylon. Before that it was all candy colors and vinyl.

The rattlecan WRX thing WAS a calculated move to get attention and stand out from the candy crowd. For the record, I was against it, but I wasn't in charge. Where the Silvia was painted flat black for purely functional reasons, I thought ruining the WRX's blue paint seemed contrived and desperate. See, we agree on something!

I considered the Maaco thing, but again, the condition of the underlying body is so bad it would be a lot more work than just a spray. Besides, a bad paint job trying to look good (Maaco) looks a lot worse than a bad paint job that's clearly just trying to slow down rust. At least in my twisted view.

As for Kojima, that candy-ass just hard parks in his garage and wipes his cars with a diaper. I have nothing to learn from him.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:30 PM
Rockwood,

That F250 valve sounds like a great idea. Pure vacuum switching might be a very elegant solution, actually, since it corresponds perfectly with when the cooling is needed. I like it!
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:36 PM
lol I guess your right about the paint job still alot of time in prep and I can't imagine a cars worth or spray cans is that cheap.

Maybe you can chalk up his SE-R's meticulous bodywork to Asian pride but I always try to keep things clean and either spend the money once or wait until I can within reason I guess because it's like rust, once you start getting sloppy on something like the bodywork of the car it starts to eat into the maintenance ethic of other areas and it's self fulfilling. Soon you no longer joke it's a shit bucket the car really is.

I know another guy with a primer car that I sold my old time attack motor too. He didn't take the extra effort to find a replacement set of NGK plugs after rebuilding it for larger displacement. Instead using some autolites wtf ? - the spark plug tip broke off and killed a 5,000 dollar motor that had run 55,000 fairly stressful miles without a hiccup.
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:38 PM
He might be a candy ass but damn if he's not a track time whoring candy ass - I think I have seen that car more times at the track than there have been cars at the track. Like he shows up when it's closed to other competitors or something
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 3:05 PM
Circuit,

A car's worth of Krylon is about $50.

And I was gonna try to deny your theory about the contagion of sloppiness, but then I realized you've already seen pictures of my engine block...
Michael Sheppard
Michael Sheppardlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 3:09 PM
So stoked on project Silvia! I feel like I'm in high school again. Now the only things left to unearth are project RX-7 and project Time Attack Miata!!!
rjnovak05
rjnovak05link
Friday, August 19, 2011 3:11 PM
Nothing to add to the current conversation except I am extra-super-glad that one of my fav cars of all time is back from the dead! The car (and nutjob that created it) that got me out of drifting, into S13s and brain washed me into dumping thousands into 2 successive 240SXs just to make them handle on rails but be about as fast as a stock new era MX-5 (hey, CA18DETs are hard to build in the US!) in a straight is a sight for sore eyes. Thanks for keeping her alive, and carry on Dave. ;)
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, August 19, 2011 4:05 PM
At least I race real cars on a real track and don't hate beccause some of my cars look nice :)
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 4:16 PM
One hour, thirty eight minutes. Took longer than I expected for you to see that...

8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 5:15 PM
I forget who said it, but I've been looking at E85. It's not as caustic as people think, it's a cleaner, so it knocks all the crud loose from your fuel tank and then sends it through the system. That's where the horror stories come from as far as ruined engines and clogged systems on E85 switchover.

This is such a contentious issue that I'm really hoping I can study it for college credit. If I get the green light to actually study the damage E85 does or does not cause, I'd love to condense the results here. It would be nice to get it cleared up once and for all.
circuitsports
circuitsportslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 5:56 PM
Since I don't want to get into a debate here since I hate scam 85 with a passion I will just remind you that the car in question is 20 years old and you should understand at least enough about ethanol to know that will be an issue.
8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Friday, August 19, 2011 6:42 PM
Well duh, but my issue is that there's no science, just "he said, she said" crap. I'd like to see some actual science on the problem, not just hear the same lame stuff over and over again. Wouldn't that solve the debate once and for all?
Mazda Phil
Mazda Phillink
Friday, August 19, 2011 6:55 PM
I was always more of a Mazda guy personally, but I really missed Project Silvia. Glad to see she's on the way back.
viper_gts6
viper_gts6link
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:02 PM
Loved reading about this project in SCC and glad to hear it's still going!
viper_gts6
viper_gts6link
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:10 PM
Oh, and about EGT's and the affect of better exhaust flow--is this a proven phenomena? I would think that more exhaust gas re-circulation (reduced flow) would reduce the amount of fresh air that can fill the cylinder...less fresh air = less oxygen to burn fuel = less chemical energy released as heat = reduced exhaust gas temperatures. Maybe this effect is different between NA and turbo applications?
viper_gts6
viper_gts6link
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:16 PM
...and about E85 sensors, early GM E85 vehicles came with an ethanol sensor. The sensor can be plumbed into the fuel line at the fire wall or where ever and outputs a voltage relating to ethanol concentration. It also has a built-in temperature sensor.
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:46 PM
Quick word on E85. One of my new co-workers spent five years doing valvetrain at Ford, and then another five years working at TRW doing only valves. He cautioned that E85 creates greatly accelerated wear on valves and valves seats not compatible with it. Like over 100k miles of normal wear in 20k of E85 use.
viper_gts6
viper_gts6link
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:46 PM
Ah, never mind, I see--combustion (charge) temperatures--not EGT's--will be reduced with better exhaust flow which gives better knock performance. I misunderstood.
dualblade
dualbladelink
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:02 PM
for a combo fuel build, what about plumbing a second set of injectors that are the right size so that they can open for the same duration as the stock ones to supply proper fuel and simplify programming. if that's too complex or you're not doing standalone, what about running the second set of injectors on a fuel pump that only gets switched on when running e85, or a valve in the fuel line that can be opened for e85 (like with one of those sensors an above poster suggested). it doesn't seem like t'ing off the fuel line for a 2nd fuel rail and having an electronic valve would be super complex
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, August 19, 2011 10:35 PM
What is an E85 compatible valve and valve seat? Modern cars have hardened valve seats and valves. Is their something even more hard or is the problem some sort of chemical compatibility issue?
Neil Switzer
Neil Switzerlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:53 PM
E85 is not like methanol in regards to being caustic, just be cautious of fuel pumps chosen for their compatibilities, and do not trust the word of the manufacturer.

Dave, we are finishing up a flex fuel 1000awhp R35 right now, should give us about 3-500rpm spool improvement as well as being cheap!
Def
Deflink
Saturday, August 20, 2011 9:39 AM
E85 is fine to run on the stock S13 fuel system. I ran it for about 9 months on a Walbro 255 (still going, 8 yrs total usage), and 740cc Nismo injectors (they will go static a little over 350 rwhp). You're going to want some 1000 cc injectors, and just replace all the fuel lines since they're over 20 years old now.


E85 gives a very real improvement in spool, figure about 5-10% lower RPM due to the increased mass flow. The power improvement is huge, but even here in TX it's way too much of a PITA to get ahold of. I had a station 5 miles from my house, but that quickly became a huge hassle just to fill up my project car for a quick romp. An S13 tank of E85 with moderately hard driving will only last about 150-180 miles, so you're going to be filling it up very often.

There's no way it's going to happen on track unless you have a couple of 55 gallon drums of the liquid corn. I go through right around 40 gallons of E10 in a weekend at the track at just 14 psi on my SR. I bet you couldn't even get 2 sessions in without risking fuel starvation running E85 (cue more PITA of filling your tank after every track session).

So from someone who's been there, and done that, I'd forget the E85 thing. Unless it's VERY available in your area it's not worth the hassle. Easier to just add some tetraethyl lead through whatever means you find easiest... but that goes against your cat requirement, so you might just have to grit your teeth and enjoy the smell of cheap vodka if you want to really zing that EFR on the street.



BTW - what compression ratio are you looking at for your pistons? I'm really torn between 8.5:1 and 9.0:1 on a spare engine I'm building. This longer rod solution sounds pretty neat if it doesn't compromise the oil control ring.
karay240
karay240link
Sunday, August 21, 2011 12:56 AM
OMG! I thought I was the only one weird enough to try to make sodium valves fit in an engine that Nissan didn't intend!

I'm in the process of building a VG w/ Supertech +1mm intake valves intended for the SR20DE and OEM exhaust from the SR20DET. I, like you, thought that it wouldn't be that big of an issue, but a couple months and quite a few Dollhairs later, I now know better.

What I ended up doing was to have custom guides made (stock 10mm O/D & 7mm I/D) and use BMW M3/M5/M6 valve seals that worked out nicely w/ a little bit of work. Wow, that sounded WAY easier than it actually was...

I was originally going to use SR IN and RB26 EX valves (better set height for my application) so I had them cut for my heads before I realized I could only have 6.5mm of valve lift before the valve stem step down from 7mm to the 6mm tip would pass through the valve seals. Yay! FML

All is sorted, and things seem to be coming together smoother now. fingers crossed...
Wrecked
Wreckedlink
Sunday, August 21, 2011 8:47 AM
In the Evo world, thanks to Tephra, you can get dual maps/injecor calibrations etc. on 1 ECU. Switched at the flick of a switch.

Off the top of my head a 1000cc injector should be good enough for your goals on E85. It's not that hard to dial them in for good driveability. Many persons are running ID 2200cc injectors with great driveability.
jeffball610
jeffball610link
Sunday, August 21, 2011 12:56 PM
I guess I opened a big PITA for everyone with the E85 suggestion. Logistically I guess it doesn't work for Dave. I also don't know what kind of ECU options are available for the Nissan guys, as I'm in the Mitsu camp. ECMLink and readily available E85 stations in my area make this an easy option for the 4G63 crowd. It was just a thought.
Or Dave could just use his trailer hitch mod and tow around a trailer of E85 to the track ;)
Def
Deflink
Sunday, August 21, 2011 1:15 PM
You can have daughterboards that have 4 switchable maps, so that's not a huge issue if you can fill up from all the way empty with a given fuel. But even a quarter tank of E10 or E85 is going to mess up your tune when switching ethanol contents.
Rittmeister
Rittmeisterlink
Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:49 PM
When I saw this first I was worried you'd be going to an LSx or VQ engine Dave. Glad it'll still be SR'd for the time being. I'm also really, really excited to see this thing back on track!
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Sunday, August 21, 2011 8:54 PM
Def,

After a bit of contemplation, I stuck with the 8.5:1 original compression. It just seem to make any sense to raise compression on an engine that was already going to be knock limited.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Sunday, August 21, 2011 8:55 PM
karay240,

Thanks for the story, I'm also glad to hear I wasn't alone in my struggle to do something "simple". Hopefully our efforts will pay off for both of us.
bill@dentsport
bill@dentsportlink
Monday, August 22, 2011 9:33 AM
I used to wait every month to see what would be done next to the Project Silvia. The water spray was a nice touch:)

I'm glad to see it back up and running and look forward to the engine build!
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Monday, August 22, 2011 10:05 AM
Dentsport? Aren't you the guys who did the 4G63 E36?
jeffball610
jeffball610link
Monday, August 22, 2011 12:45 PM
I don't see the 4G63 E36 on the Dentsport site, but a 4G63 E30 from Maryland is here:

http://www.projectzerog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1359

Think there's another 4G63 3 series somewhere as well. But this is off topic. Unless you're going with a RWD 4G63 in Project Silvia. Might be cheaper as well ;)
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Monday, August 22, 2011 1:19 PM
Wow did this ever turn into an E85 thread. I'm a big fan of it in algae form, emissions reasons, power reasons, etc...BUT this isn't an E85 debate when Dave says he can't get it and it won't work for his needs.

Have you looked at water/meth/alky injection? distilled water is available pretty much every where and I don't you'd have an issue bringing a few gallons to the track.

Yes, I know the faults and problems that can come from it but the failsafes have made leaps and bounds in recent years.

SCC, the magazine that lead me to where I am today lol.
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Monday, August 22, 2011 1:34 PM
For the valves and E85, my buddy said nitrided works well. Both the valve and valve seat need similar treatment. Also, DLC might work well too, but OEMs don't use it due to costs. He also said many aftermarket valves are made from crap grades of stainless steel, so they don't take to nitriding well. Regardless, it's a fine balance in properties between the valves and valve seats. If one is significanty 'harder' than the other then it'll just accelerate wear of the softer one.
bill@dentsport
bill@dentsportlink
Monday, August 22, 2011 7:05 PM
Dave,
Alex built a 4G powered E30 (bimmubishi) in 2002-3 and then later morphed into an SR powered E30 race car. I have an S13 racecar. We actually met at the X-Games in 06 when we were running an Escort WRC.
rawkus
rawkuslink
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 7:01 AM
Bill,
Wasn't your S13 a cover car for SCC during Mr. Coleman's tenure?
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 8:56 AM
Bill's 240sx was in SCC back then. I keep on nagging Bill to do a writeup for MotoIQ ;)
bill@dentsport
bill@dentsportlink
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 1:15 PM
Rawkus, it was but James Tate wrote the article. I think Dave was in the process of moving on at that point.

I'm working on it:) Once the season is over I can do an in depth article with lots of detailed photos. The majority of the car has changed since that article. It was a lot lighter then at sub 2000 lbs:)
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 2:33 PM
Yea, I would have been fully moved on at that point. Tate and I never overlapped. I left, then Scott left, then Josh hired Tate and Jay, then Josh left, then Tate left...
I actually left about 6 months before most readers noticed. I just freelanced my ass off for a couple of months and had damn near as much stuff in the magazine as I had when I was there.

An update on that car for MotoIQ would be really cool.
Djdare
Djdarelink
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 3:20 PM
Also just want to say I'm stoked to see this car being resurrected, I was a big fan of SCC back in the day, and followed this project through my college years. I have nothing of value to add to this conversation, although if you have a fund for displaced former SCC writers, I would contribute, man I miss that mag.
Robbie
Robbielink
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 7:50 PM
Dave, what engine management are you planning to use? Continuing to use a reflashed Nissan ECU or are you going aftermarket? I was hoping to see you at the BFE GP again this year and run against the Ghettocharged Miata this year!
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:11 PM
Robbie,

I plan to at least start out with Clark at JWT reflashing the stock ECU. Once that baseline is established, I am kind of curious to see how much time/money it takes to wire up a standalone and match his results, then see what improvements I could make. I suspect its quite a bit of time and money.

We decided not to do any of the big travel races this year for LeMons. Kinda exhausted ourselves doing them last year. Which car were you in at BFE?
Robbie
Robbielink
Thursday, August 25, 2011 7:24 AM
I wasn't competing at last year's BFE GP. My team couldn't get a car together in time. I was working corners that weekend. I did come up and introduce myself after the awards ceremony last year, if you remember.
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