Archive for the '240SX' Category

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First Drive of the Corvette Powered 240SX

So I got my PCM back from Pinocio Joe on Tuesday Night. (I can’t say enough good things about this guy for PCM re-flashing).  Last night I went down to Fujii SPL with the new PCM in tow with plans to start the car up for the first time… and hopefully have it run more than 5 seconds.

We pushed the car out of the garage,  bolted up the PCM, turn the key and it fired right up and ran… and didn’t shut off. Success!

Have no brake fluid in the car since it’s got a brake leak, but the clutch master was full so I decided to drive it a little bit… taking it slow since I only had the e-brake to stop me.  At first I thought maybe the clutch was slipping, then I realized for whatever reason it wouldn’t rev past 1000RPM, the car just limped around and after doing a lap around the building I parked it back where I started.

I popped the hood and we poked around, there was a small leak on one of the heater hoses where the clamp wasn’t tight enough but everything else seemed in order. We unplugged the MAF and it made no difference, plugged it back in and unplugged the MAP and the idle got rought but it stayed running, then we unplugged MAF again (so both the MAP and MAF were unplugged) and the engine died… which is good because it meant both sensors were running.

Plugging them back in and trying to start it just cranked without firing… James decided to disconnect and reconnect the battery to reset the PCM, doing this  worked and the car started again, but still wasn’t revving.

While running we pulled off the intake (and disconnected the MAF and IAT) and discovered that the throttle wasn’t opening when we pushed on the gas (it’s an electronic throttle not cable). Pushing the throttle open by hand the engine revved up no problem… we did this a couple of times but it still wouldn’t work with the pedal.

With the intake still off we shut the car off, disconnected and reconnected the battery  and started it again, it was idling MUCH better this time. So Joe got in and stepped on the pedal and the engine roared to life…  The thing ran flawlessly after that. We put the intake back on, hooked up the MAF shut it off and restarted a few more times without any issue.

After all that I drove it back into the garage under it’s own power.

I was a little worried when it wasn’t revving but I’m guessing it was just a stuck throttle or the PCM needed to relearn some of the sensors, or both.

Tony shot a video of the whole thing but it doesn’t seem to be up on youtube yet. I’ll post a link once it’s up.

After 2 years I heard it run…

After 2 years  of dropping money on parts that don’t fit right, waiting for the right parts to come in, agonizing over wiring diagrams to make absolutely sure I’m doing things the right way and generally having a love/hate relationship with the project. Everything has come together to the point where I was able to turn the key and hear the engine roar for the first time ever.

The most recent few setbacks dealt with the radiator, I ordered over 5 sets of clamps before I received the right size (for the wise: upper clamps are for 1.5″ ID, lower clamps are for 1.75″ ID). after that I had to fabricate some custom brackets to mount the cooling fans to the radiator. You can see detailed pictures of that in my last post.

So Sunday I finished the brackets, mounted up the radiator and got everything hooked up. Joe stopped by with the gas pedal that had been modified from Fujii the only thing left was we had to go to the store and get some coolant. it drank 3 gallons of DexCool without spilling a drop…. we bolted up the pedal, turn the key and .. Crank Crank Crank… no starting, not even any sputtering.

We looked everything over, and nothing was leaking (thats good), we did have a slight gas smell, I remembered the gas cap was still off the car. I screwed that one and we tried again… still nothing. At this point we start pulling off connectors and checking for 12V, coils are getting good power, injectors are getting good power, TPS is getting good power PCM is getting good power, no blown fuses, all the relays are clicking on with the ignition, we can hear the fuel pump prime with the key turned “ON”, the butterfly on the throttle is opening and closing like it should.

I pulled out my laptop and my computer based OBDII scan tool, it states that it can find the bus network but it cannot connect because the PCM isn’t responding. I’m using the original Nissan OBDII connector and while I know I hooked up the PCM to the correct pin in the harness I never checked the that the Nissan OBDII pins matched up for GM vehicles. I pull the connector and find that while the power and ground pins are correct Nissan uses pin 7 as their data pin and GM uses Pin 2, so I swap the data pins and try to connect again… no communication still I test all 4 pins, power and ground are getting power and ground, and the serial pin has good continuity to the PCM.

We brought the laptop and OBDII cable over to Joe’s WRX to see if it worked and it read his car without any problems… now I’m concerned that I have a bad PCM, but it has to be working to some capacity because it’s turning on the fuel pump and giving me a CEL on the dash. I post up on SilviaV8 and LS1Tech asking for advice and call it a night a bit defeated.

The next day 90% of the responses I got from my posts were convinced that my OBDII port was wired wrong, despite the fact that I noted I double checked all the wiring.  One person noted that I might have the fuel lines backward (ls1gip) another person (kirk) agreed and noted that gas smell I was getting was likely due to the FPR creating pressure  in the tank and forcing vapors out of the EVAP vent (since it’s not hooked up to a charcoal canister) they recommended that I rent a fuel pressure tester from Autozone to confirm

That night I called up Joe and asked him to stop by and bring his OBDII scanner and a spark tester so we could test the car. He didn’t have his spark tester but he has a much more professional OBDII scanner than mine. We hook up the scanner and it read the car without any problem… a little celebration, at least we know OBDII is wired right and the PCM is good, apparently my OBDII reader just doesn’t like GM motors.

There is an EVAP code that appears twice, and a couple of codes related to the TPS and throttle body, we did disconnect the TPS while the PCM was on the night before so we just clear the codes and try again… still nothing.

I decide that we should take a trip to Autozone and get a fuel line tester and see if we’re getting fuel to the rail. We go rent the equipment, return back to the garage, hook it up and turn it over… a big fat 0psi… well we know the fuel pump is working because we can hear it the only other possible problem is the FPR… we pull apart the fuel setup and swap the send and return fittings on the FPR, and hook everything back up. after letting the fuel pump run a bit to fill the rail and prime the injectors we turn the key and the engine roars to life… like literally roars.

There’s no exhaust on it right now and when the thing starts it sounds like a Funny Car, it’s deafening and awesome and the air has this awesome smell of warm dry unfiltered exhaust.

Sadly it only runs for about 3-5 seconds before the PCM cuts off the injectors as part of VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System). Normally this is disabled by the security module in the Corvette but I don’t have a corvette security module so after a few seconds without getting the “OK” from the security system it turns off the car. Most people get this tuned out of their PCM but I built my own module that emulates the function of the GM security module. If it works I’m going to leave VATS in place and tie it into the Nissan security system, if it doesn’t work I’m just going to do a mail order tune and have it removed.

There is a very short list of things left to do to get this car on the road… I would love to have this car make an appearance at a few club meets before the snow hits but I’m just happy to be wrapping up such a long and expensive project so I can enjoy the car and start working on something else.

Custom Fan Brackets

Now that I’ve got my hose clamps I needed to properly secure my cooling fans to the radiator. I made these custom brackets.

Hose Clamps That Fit..

Hey look at that!

How Many Hose Clamps does it take…

I ordered hose clamps on eBay. They were listed as being specifically as “NISSAN S13 S14 S15 2.5″ RADIATOR HOSE” clamps I figured since these were going on an S14 radiator I’d be in good shape. The listing stated that the clamps were 2″ when fully tight and 2.5″ when fully lose.

Here is a measurement of the actual upper radiator hose from my S14:

a little smaller than the advertised size but I figure if it’s advertised for my specific radiator it should be good… right? the radiator inlet expands the hose a bit anyway.

I had previously ordered clamps that were 1.75-2.0″ and they were too small. They actually ended up being 1.75″ fully open, and closer to 1.5 fully tight.  They would fit on the hose when it was off the radiator but then you couldn’t install it. I ordered them ages ago so it was past the point of return and just cut my losses.

Reordering these clamps on eBay I figured I couldn’t go wrong getting a pair advertised specifically for an S14… I needed 6 clamps, here are the measurements of the clamps in the first box I received:

Fully open:

Fully Tight:

As you can see at fully tight they’re nearly 1″ too large in diameter to work, the “packing slip” seen below in the pictures actually states 2.5″ and also lists the features of the auction title of “Nissan S13/S14/S15 Radiator hose clamps”.

I contact the seller, he apologized and said I could keep these clamps and he would be sending out more.

About a week later I received another box, with the exact same sized clamps as shown above. I contacted him again, he once again apologized and said he would send out the proper clamps.

Today I received a box, it sounded like the clamps were rattling around a bit more freely so it was clear that they were smaller than the clamps I had received before. Here are the measurements of the clamps I received today..

Fully Open:

Fully Tight:

The packing slip this time just said 2.25″ hose clamp, they are smaller but they’re not even 2.25″ clamps, nor are they small enough to work with a Nissan radiator.

I wonder how many other people have bought clamps from this guy only to receive the wrong size an just cut their losses instead of trying to get the right ones… He’s already paid more in shipping than I paid for these clamps… I’m pissed but at the same time I kind of feel bad for the guy.

I see that you are gangster…

I’m pretty gangster myself.

Dear Diary…

Today I did stuff with things!

S14 LS1 Work Photodump

Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending time here and there just tying up lose ends on the S14… basically just going over every litt inch of the engine bay with a fine tooth comb making sure everything is put together correctly and tucked out of the way.

I started on the drivers side and I’m working my way across the engine bay. the passer’s side still has a few days worth of work left in it before I’ll be happy with it.

Stuck Injector

Last weekend I finally got around to fixing the convertible. I got a spare fuel rail from the Fujii boys and replaced the #1 injector.

That’s what I found when I pulled the cap off.  The little metal washer had rusted right to the pin on top of the injector. While I was in there I changed the fuel filter and the spark plugs too. The car is now running better than it has since I bought the thing.

Speakers and Door Cards

Since I’ve been driving the 240 convertible every day I decided to order some speakers to replace the stock ones. I ordered some 4×6 Alpines for the front and some6.5″ Kenwoods for the rear.

Today I decided to tackle the front speakers, it was way more work taking off the door panels than I had anticipated (mostly due to the convertible seatbelt assembly)

While I had the door panels off I decided to fix the door inserts. a common problem on the convertibles is that this fall off, they’re stapled from the factory, and since you basically pull on these whenever you close the door they don’t hold up. I pulled all the staples and used some really short screws, it held on nice and snug now and I’d suspect it will last quite a bit longer than the staples did.