Winton Winter Matsuri 2014 Prep

As I write this, it’s 1:32am and I’m meant to be loading my car onto the trailer in 7 hours. The past few weeks have been some of the worst this year, but I’ve finally finished prep for this weekend’s matsuri at Winton. So that’s a major positive.

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The rebuild of the turbo was painful to put it simply. Possibly the biggest stuff around I’ve had in a few years. Luckily it wasn’t delayed too much further otherwise I wouldn’t be driving this weekend.

I dropped off the turbo 3 weeks ago and was having it checked over for any internal damage and anything that could cause future problems. Luckily, there was no major issue with my turbo, apart from the front wheel needing a small bit of machining to clean it up.

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So I thought great, I’ll just get it machined and then I can throw it back in! Not quite.

The machinist was on holidays, so my options were:

– Miss matsuri, get turbo machined in a few weeks (cheapest option)

Or

– Buy a whole new core and bolt on my existing rear housing (slightly more expensive option)

So of course, I’m not missing matsuri. That meant I went with option 2.

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It is just a GTX3071r core with my old exhaust housing attached. Basically it’s the same turbo, but it’s new. It wasn’t super expensive, but then again it wasn’t that cheap. Figured I’d not bitch out and miss another event. I can always make up for the extra money I spent later on.

Anyway, I only got to picked up the turbo on wednesday after work, then rushed home and went over everything on the turbo side. Every nut and bolt, all the lines and making sure it all lined up. I had the builder rotate the housing to match my old one but the centre core wasn’t quite perfect, so had to realign that. Luckily only took 5 minutes.

I had also got a few things together for an intake pipe a few weeks earlier.

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Alloy pipe and a joiner, just had to cut it down a little so it would all fit in the engine bay.

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I threw on the turbo and fitted all the water and oil lines and attached the V-band.

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So good to see it with the fresh bits!

I measured up the intake pipe and started cutting it up to make it fit. Half my intake setup is a rocket sized pod filter.

Looked a little retarded before sticking out past the headlight, so I worked some magic and came up with this.

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Looks awesome and it fits perfectly! It has about 20mm of room from my power steering bottle and also clears the cooler piping below it. Pretty happy with how it came out, especially considering that little bit of alloy pipe was almost $100!

Final bit to do was add some oil. Easiest part of the night.

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I finished everything at 9:45pm wednesday night, 2 days before I was meant to be at the track unloading everything.

Then it was time to start it for the first time since April. Pretty nervous at this point.

Cranked and started first go, everything ran beautifully! But had a slight problem after about 30 seconds of running. Noticed my oil drain line from the turbo was leaking. I let it cool down and drain all the oil, then pulled it off and found that the tiny gasket between the turbo core and the drain line had been completely obliterated.

Seeing how I only had 1 day to get something, my only option was grab some gasket paper and make up a temporary gasket. So I grabbed a roll of it at a shop before work thursday morning and made one during lunch.

I wasn’t going to get home until late that night though, because I had to get some fresh rubber on these things.

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Organised to get some from a friend on the other side of Melbourne and he was going to fit a bunch for us as well. He is driving matsuri on the weekend and also runs a forged CA which is nuts! So keen to finally see it run and also get to drive with another solid CA.

I ended up getting 8 tyres again but not sure if I’ll go through them because the forecast says rain all weekend which means it’s going to be slippery as hell out on track.

I didn’t end up getting home until 11pm which was 3 hours ago for me as I’m writing this. After that I still had to go and check over the return line problem and see if my new paper gasket would fit.

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I trimmed it down a little so it was an exact match with the drain and the bolts. I wasn’t able to start the car because it was way too late, so I’ll start it when I wake up in the morning and see if the gasket holds up. Really hope it does so I can drive a matsuri with no problems at all!

Other than doing the turbo, I’ve had nothing else that was a major problem. There are still lots of things I need to do, but right now they aren’t going to stop me from driving. I did want to get a new exhaust but I’ve had my brain focused on one thing for the past couple months and that was getting this turbo sorted out and back on the car.

When I wake up, I just need to wash both the 180sx and the Stagea, pack both cars with tools and wheels, load the 180sx onto the trailer, get some food and start the trip up to Winton!

Really hope the car performs flawlessly over the weekend so I can relax and drive.

It’s now 3:04am, so I’m going to get 3 hours of sleep. Not winning!

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