My Build Thread: Project "Rain Cloud"

Documenting your big project with photos/videos? Have photos/videos to share of anything Merkur related? Place your links to photos and videos here. Please - Merkurs and Merkur-related pictures only. Cosworths welcome!!
Carlisle and event related pictures are to be placed in the relevant section under 'Events'.
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hEaT
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My Build Thread: Project "Rain Cloud"

Post by hEaT » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:45 pm

I always forget that I never put a build thread on the MCAF, so I figured before this year's autox season it would be a good idea to start one. I've had the car ever since 7/7/07 and I believe I'm the third owner.

It goes in chronological order and it's funny to see the plans I had back when I first got it and what is had turned into now.
I've been wanting one of these for a while and finally picked one up this past weekend. Car is an 85 with a bit over 66k miles on her and she just passed emissions today so I can finally get some real plates on her. I'm not sure what to call her yet. My friend has dubbed her "Rain Cloud" since it's dark grey and it just made her day when she found out it was Nimbus Grey. I might call her "Lucky" since I picked her up on 7/7/07 :roll:

Anyways, here are the pictures. I haven't even touched the car with any sort of cleaning products so bear with me. I'll have some "after" pics up when it isn't 95* and 60% humidity.

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Grill is a bit beat, but nothing a little Cossie present wouldn't fix ;)

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Plans for the XR include water temp, oil pressure, and boost gauge, turbo timer, MBC, FMIC, BOV, exhaust, suspension work (bushings, shocks/struts, springs), etc. It's going to be a long project so I'm not in a hurry to do most of these except the water temp and oil pressure.

Emissions was fun today. Never seen 5 people crowd around a car, open the doors and just stare at it. Guys climbing in and out of it. 5 minutes later a guy comes in and asks where the hood release is. In CT you can watch the emissions test on a TV and the girl next to me asked if my hatch was open. I said "No, it's just has two wings on the back" :P

Haven't dynoed yet, but according to the DMV emissions test on the roller it made 12.6hp when tested at 2522 rpm :lol:

HC(ppm) 68 (limit 217)
CO(%) .31 (limit .70)
NOx(ppm) 463 (limit 1522)
Washed. Clay bared. Waxed. 3 times. Meg's cleaner wax and two coats of NXT. She shines up nice for being 22 years old. An orbital buffer would have been nice, but I don't have one nor know how to use one.

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Got her fully registered today too. Yeah "Early American" plates!
Got some stuff done today. Disconnected the wires to the antenna motor since that is shot. Now I can use the radio without lighting the motor on fire. Busted out some cassettes...The Cars. Greatest Hits. 1985.

Disconnected the electronics to the hatch lock to prevent further damage to the locking mechanism. Also, got the passenger seatbelt installed. Hatch is a bit more naked now as well. I need to get some rust stop stuff or whatever it's called.

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Yes, the hatch struts are blown. 99% of the rust seems to be from the spare, but I'm going to get rid of the rest of the sound deadening and then coat it.

Tinted tails, going to do front turns today and then sand the headlights clear. Also threw a new bead of silicone around the tails to stop them (hopefully) from leaking.

Still need to get pictures up, but I've been real busy lately. Car is gutted to the point where I would like it. No rear seats, sound deadening, carpets or trim panels from the rear of the front seats back. New vacuum lines run for the BCS since the previous ones were cracked and didn't have much life left in them.

Brake and clutch pedal assembly is out as well so I can fix the broken clutch adjustment.
This is STILL holding :)
Here are the newest updates:

It's ugly, but I'll see if it works.

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The tip of the screw went in a bit far, but just hit it real quick with a file so it won't interfere with the rod that slides though.

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Materials:
Scrap Screw - $0
Drill bits - Umm who doesn't have drill bits?
Dad to help A LOT - Priceless

-And-

The "fixed" clutch adjuster:

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Ran new vacuum lines for the BCS and had Ray (Demonfire) run an aux line from the alt to starter solenoid since the stock one was pretty beat. He also redid the neg battery terminal since the crimp connection was too big for the gauge wire used. It's disconnected now since I'm working on a new signal switch. Also repainted the airbox cover since it was pretty rusted.

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The hatch is where I want it to be. I may do the DIY shock tower brace this weekend from Merkur Encyclopedia.

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"Carnage"

Here is Rain Cloud on a rainy day:

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Almost ricer. This needs to go.


http://www.wickedfunctionracing.com/Joe ... xhaust.mp3
This was a fun day. Fixed now thanks to Ray (demonfire) and Sam (Smoke3006).
Had to get the car towed home today. The oil pan rusted through and started leaking a lot of oil and I didn't want to risk it getting any worse on the drive back. Spending $0 on a tow to me was worth more than chancing it home and risk loosing the motor or turbo.
Bam Updates:

Koni Yellows:

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MC2 Coils With 350lb/in Springs

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Cone Filter

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Gauge Pod. Narrowband (until I get a wideband) and Boost

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I have an E6 that I need to port and will go on when I start exhaust work.
Here is how she sits now (near side)

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I also have a big VAM and LA3 awaiting install.
Got the pipes installed and the FMIC mocked up. It's the factory unit from an Evo VIII/IX. It's held in with zip ties for now just so I could get the pipes laid. I'll be working on a more permanent solution before the car is put back on the road.

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Lovely working conditions, but it made it into the 50's today so no complaints.
I got some new wheels and tires finally. Wheels are BSA 333's, 17x7 +40mm and tires are Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs in 215/45/17. No more one tire fires with these...I'm unable to spin them :lol:


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Here's the update I posted as another thread:

I finally got this project to a drivable state. I need to sort the wastegate actuator still (too weak currently), but here are some pics from a long the way with what I had to do to get this working on a Merkur with a stock (E6) header.

Here's the turbo freshly removed from the old E3:

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And the wonderful old T3 hot side. Notice I broke ALL of the bolts :applause

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Comparison between the new and old:

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MINT E3 with no cracks! Flows....kinda?

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Freshly ported and painted E6:

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The old WGA was on its last legs:

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Old hot side off. All the hammering in the world would not get this thing off. I let is soak for a week in PB Blaster and tried using the center section bolts to help push the housing off. No luck. 5 minutes or so with a propane torch and it moved pretty easily with a dead blow. I slowly backed the bolts out so the housing just didn't fall off and damage the blades. Also, replace the six bolts. I snapped one off when installing the new housing.

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The biggest hurdle in the whole project is making a bracket to hold a new wastegate actuator. I chose to not use the Merkur one for three reasons. One, it's riveted to the bracket. Two, mine was so rusted, it crumbled. Three, it's non-adjustable.

I chose a Saab 9000 actuator. This actuator does work, but the spring is only rated for 5.5psi. Even with a generous amount of pre-load (just enough so it doesn't creep), I can only achieve 12-13psi with the Gillis valve maxed out. I need to find one that is adjustable with a 10psi spring like the factory actuator.

Here's my first failed attempt at a bracket. It worked well, but put the WGA right into the motor mount. A few pictures of what NOT to do:

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Instead of the main mounting point being off the backside of the compressor housing, I chose to start using the inlet bolts. I then used part of the failed bracket to reinforce. This required a coupling and some threaded rod to make the arm long enough.

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Clears the old coolant line which is now one of Ed's stainless lines:

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Some more work on it to tie in the backside of the compressor housing:

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I don't have any shots directly of it, but here is the wastegate in it's final location. You can see the back part of the bracket on the right side.

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Another hurdle is the downpipe. You can see from the comparison pictures above, the Cossie housing puts the downpipe closer to the firewall. With a center-mount, this wouldn't be an issue. With a stock location header, it's pretty tight and there is a brake line in front of the firewall to worry about.

To start, you need a 3" piece flared to around 3.25". Mine was flared to 3.5", but I needed to remove material from the end so it didn't bottom out.

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Because of the limited space, I had to cut the end of the flare at a 22.5* angle and then attach a 3" 4-inch radius 90*.

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Here's what the flange looks like with the 45* chamfer. The one on there wasn't perfect so it went to the lathe. You can see the low spots where the paint still is.

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Here's a picture of the elbow with the v-band attached. I cut through 95% of the pipe and then bent is towards straight three times to get the end of the 90* plumb.

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Here's the clearance between the elbow and the brake line:

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Here's the whole thing. Lots of fun kinks :D
The V-Band is clutch for easy install. I didn't have to remove the swaybar once this entire project.

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When putting the turbo onto the manifold using the factory brace, you cannot use locking flanged nuts on all four of them and one stud must be cut a bit. I had to use a regular nut on one side. There isn't even room for a lock washer unless you want to start grinding away on the housing.

Here's a shot of the turbo back in the car with the new manifold, freshened coolant lines, no more HCV or EGR, Ranger manifold gasket and all fresh turbo gaskets with nuts from mc2! Notice, the studs are now all the same length. The long stud that comes on the .48 housings just doesn't play nicely with the space available. Be warned, the studs are hardened and it takes A LOT of muscle to add threads.

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With everything put back in, here's the downpipe all tightened up. Forgive my less than perfect welds blended a bit with a flap wheel. It was my first time welding pipe alone and it was all done with stainless wire and C25. Not the ideal gas, but it worked well enough and should keep the welds from really rusting.

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Here it is from under the car:

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Clearance over the sway:

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Under the car. Yes, the T9 leaks a bit :(

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Only running 12-13psi now, but still, this is a completely new car. I went from a stock downpipe and elbow with an E3 to this. It's nearly impossible to not be into boost when driving now. I'm very impressed, but this was definitely A LOT more work than installing one of Mike's downpipes or making your own with the stock housing.

A center mount would make this easier, but you still need to get the wastegate actuator figured out. The Saab 9000 one works, but not well enough for me. Maybe with a fancy electronic boost controller it would, but it's much cheaper just to pick up a Garrett unit with a stiffer spring.

Here's what I used for the downpipe:

3" V-Band Flange
o2 Bung
Transition Cone
90* Bend
180* Bend

I bought a bunch of straight tubing, but I didn't need any of it. The legs on the bends were enough to get it where I needed.

If you want a housing:

http://merkursport.com/index.php?showtopic=17210
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:twisted:

Wideband is in, 5v signal wire down in passenger footwell. Need to buy vacuum line and a T tomorrow as well as wire in the signal wire for the IAT. Ground is already hooked up and verified at .2 ohms. The lug I used before I un-{%@$# it was reading .5 ohms.

The Innovate kit is kick-ass btw. Can datalog right from the LC-1 with their LogWorks software. Can also change the analog output voltage curves. The gauge is also programmable (colors and other display features) and can record peaks.

To wire everything the way I wanted (I'm OCD with wiring), I had to extend the o2 harness 5 feet.

Heatshielding removed:

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In-Progress:

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Done:

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I'm pissed I didn't have any split loom or PET sleeving. This will do for now. When I end up replacing the sensor at some point and re-doing this, it will be done nicer. This isn't a show car.

In car:

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This is a problem. I need a girlfriend again.
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Mike Oyler's aluminum radiator:
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Chuck Warren's poly motor mounts:
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Stinger braided stainless turbo oil feed:
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mc2racing nylon steering rack bushings:
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Poly rear springs seats:
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New timing belt, tensioner and Racer Walsh cam gear:
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Spec 'stage 3' clutch. Rated for ~425ft lbs of torque at the crank:
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Put my intake back the way it was before sans VAM.

Temporary:

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New one without the heatshield:

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Done:

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From this weekend:

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Made a bracket for the MS today. Simple and overkill.


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Some pics from an impromptu cruise. Three boosted cars and a silly V8 haha:

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More pics from this weekend. 65lb injectors are here as well as a junk headlight to make a scoop for autox.

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New injectors are in. Quick job, but glad I checked the part numbers first. Stock are 35lb (367.5cc). He told me these were 65lb (682.5cc). Turns out they are 75lb (787.5cc). No kill like overkill right? Looks like I have no excuse to go with a Holset or 35r or something stupid big. Add the Walbro 255 and I'm good to go! :lol:


Anyway, pics:

Upper intake unbolted and turned out of the way:

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Old injectors still in:

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Fuel feed disconnected and rail pulled from the lower intake:

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Rail ready for new injectors:

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Gross!

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Ready for these brand new ones. Little bit of oil on the o-ring and they slid right in ;)

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Done!

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Car runs great. Need to tune some fueling around idle and light cruise, but no leaks and it holds idle a lot smoother. I didn't expect anything to be smoother going from pintle to disc injectors, but I guess my stock ones were pretty dirty.
I copied a Ray's scoop.

The headlight I picked up from Jeff:

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Lens taken off.

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Done:

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:headbang

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That's where she sits as of today. Car is running awesome on Dave's MegaSquirt and the tune is pretty dialed in. I'm always changing small things, but I really enjoy messing with the software. I'm excited to see how it does around the cones compared to last year.
Last edited by hEaT on Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:44 am, edited 5 times in total.
Joe
1985 Nimbus Grey XR
2017 Ford Focus RS

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Post by Ray » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:47 pm

Needs more differential!

See you saturday!

(about time you got yourself a build thread)

FYI - he has all the parts for the t5 swap except the bell and speedo cable. Oh, and my 83lb/hr injectors came in.

I like your scoop. How long does it take you for the swap?
-Ray
1985 Ford F150 - Tow Missile
1985 Merkur XR4Ti -#141 CP "Miss Daisy"
2005 Subaru LGT
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Post by hEaT » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:06 pm

Yay injectors :twisted:

The scoop takes maybe 10minutes. Have to remove the heatshield, intake, grill, disconnect light, remove the three nuts, remove headlight and bracket, swap scoop onto bracket, reverse.

There's a swap meet in Stafford this weekend so I'm going to see if I can grab some T5 parts there.
Joe
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2017 Ford Focus RS

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Post by hEaT » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:26 pm

Subaru owners are a**holes... :lol:

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Yes, it fit and yes, it's off the car :P

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Clutch switch installed. Launch control set at 3k and works wonderfully. Flat shift works as well, though is pretty useless with these tires and transmission.

Ground is local behind the kick panel. Leads soldered and heatshrunk to the posts on the switch and then quick disconnects so the switch assembly can be removed without touching the MS harness or kick panel. Signal wire is also setup with a quick disconnect off the harness so if I remove the MS harness I don't have to pull the wire out from the dash. Piece of scrap vacuum line cut and attached to the clutch pedal so the arm doesn't wear into the switch. Perfectionist :(
Last edited by hEaT on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joe
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2017 Ford Focus RS

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Post by Camaro5690 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:22 pm

Whered ya get the intercooler piping? Looks like a great fit.

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Post by hEaT » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:26 pm

Camaro5690 wrote:Whered ya get the intercooler piping? Looks like a great fit.
Thanks. It was just some universal exhaust piping that I cut and welded.
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Post by Ray » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:18 am

throw a cable tie thru the hole in the pedal around the vacuum line so it doesn't fall off.

nice simple solution.
-Ray
1985 Ford F150 - Tow Missile
1985 Merkur XR4Ti -#141 CP "Miss Daisy"
2005 Subaru LGT
http://www.cartct.com

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Post by hEaT » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:09 pm

demonfire wrote:throw a cable tie thru the hole in the pedal around the vacuum line so it doesn't fall off.

nice simple solution.
Right now it's hot glued, but I'll keep an eye on it to see if it moves. I guess a cable tie would be cheap, quick insurance though.
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Post by hEaT » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:41 pm

Cruising this weekend with some friends:

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Joe
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Post by hEaT » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:23 pm

The 6th and final pull of the day:

243whp/305tq.

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Here is a comparison between the 1st and last...

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Leaned the car out more today and added 6* more timing in and out of boost. This car LOVES spark and still no audible pinging. I really want to throw this thing on the rollers again with some det cans and see what I can wring out of it. Still need to adjust cam timing.
Last edited by hEaT on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by RatFink » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:17 pm

Nice curves. Bet it feels pretty healthy right now. Gotta love how early that thing builds some serious torque.
Daniel Llewellyn

"You can never turn a pig into a race horse, but with enough development you can have a pretty damn fast pig".
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I just love this guy:
hEaT wrote:Bit more work, but saved me $100 and I got to learn things, cut things, burn things and hammer things. All in all, a solid move.

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Post by hEaT » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:42 pm

RatFink wrote:Nice curves. Bet it feels pretty healthy right now. Gotta love how early that thing builds some serious torque.
Thanks. Car definitely feels very very fun. For a street car...this is blast. Shows how much a Cossie housing really helps out. Making that much torque (full spool to 20psi) with a stage 3 wheel and a TO4E 50 trim compressor that early in the rev range.
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Post by hEaT » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:38 pm

New radiator in and plumbed. New fan in and wired using the stock connector. New t-stat and some hoses also changed. Plan is to swap to a Porsche 944 FMIC above the radiator and cut down on a lot of piping. Also, to a 90 or 120*, probably 90*, rotated upper intake.

Trying to fix my wideband currently. Stupid LC-1 just stopped working and has probably ruined the sensor since the heater circuit also stopped working...while the car was running for a while. Lovely.

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No more floppy POS wheel anymore either :thumb

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It runs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGHF-5IgpII
Last edited by hEaT on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by hEaT » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:26 pm

Got the dash finished up today. Ray came over to help with the installation of the upper and painting of the lower yesterday.

Went from this:

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To:

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To:

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Last edited by hEaT on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Joe
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2017 Ford Focus RS

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Post by hEaT » Sun May 01, 2011 9:52 pm

More updates:


Old things out:

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Brought flywheel about 10minutes up the road and had it back in a few hours

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PILOT BEARING. Newspaper/grease method did not work. Spent 30minutes tring that, gave up, and went and got a blind hole bearing puller. Took about a minute of hammering with a slide hammer to get the bearing out.

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Trans is in, crossmember bolt holes are off by about a 1/2" so I couldn't bolt the trans to the chassis. Flywheel, clutch, bell and trans are bolted together though. Also need to open the hole up on the crossmember to fit the speedo cable through. Nowhere near big enough right now.

'Progress' pic from earlier in the day:

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___________________________________________________

Crossmember didn't line up with the bolts in the car. Had to slot holes. Got crossmember up, crossmember is too thick (3/8 plate) to have much, if any threads to run nuts onto. Remove studs from the car, press out from plate, weld on longer studs (1.5" vs .75"), re-attach.

Trans is now not resting on wood. Got driveshaft in, had to grind away some of the e-brake bracket to clear the weights on the shaft. Left rear tire is locked up, hopefully it's just the drums. I can't turn it by hand. Shifter hole is cut in the floor, shifter bolted on for fun. Clevis is made and clutch pedal adjusted. Got speedo cable in...after realizing the cable end was out of round and also too large to fit the hole in the transmission. Had to file and polish the end down to fit as it had high spots that were .010" out.

About 30 hours into the swap so far. Beyond aggravated and tired.

_____________________________________________________________

Today I got the starter in, fixed the turbo oil drain bolts (dyno day, one of the few oil leaks), trimmed up and painted the clevis, mounted sway bar and body brace, realized speedo cable also doesn't plug into the cluster so that will be cable tied in...lovely, wired up the reverse switch and bypassed the neutral safety, finished shimming the crossmember, ground away the e-brake brackets to fit the larger drive shaft, filled up trans with fluid, re-installed center console with Sierra T5 shifter surround. Ray and Chris Anglin stopped by for a few and threw on an Esslinger underdrive crank and water pump set which required new belts and some creative cutting of the hose on the water neck to clear the belts. Took a few pics after the day was done:

Trans in. Leak down the side is from filling.

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Shifter with the old boot. Still need a knob. Momo currently doesn't fit, but I can drill it out. I may just grab a stock Focus knob as they bolt on.

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Pulleys in:

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For comparison (pics are Ray's):

Essy's are in the center:

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Crank:

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Water pump:

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Frees up a few ponies, nothing noticeable, but they look baller :lol:

Car does drive. Took it up to 70 on stands with no vibes. Drove it through 1st and 2nd on the ground. Feels good. Clutch engages about 1" off the floor and is fully engaged an inch later. Taking off I looked like I have never driven stick before, but that may have been due to the MS being in limp mode with no IAT connected, turbo disconnected and no wideband. I was impressed and giggled. Pedal effort is lighter than stock as well.

Up next is mounting the NPR cooler and then all new bushings.

All four on the ground for the first time since November.

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Last edited by hEaT on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Joe
1985 Nimbus Grey XR
2017 Ford Focus RS

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