RB26 S13 – What Now?

You might be wondering why I haven’t posted much on this car lately, here’s your answer.

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After having some wiring problems at the end of January, I basically let myself forget about it. On the drive home from Halfway Hangs I hated everything that had happened and was over it. I felt like I wanted to put my focus into something else for a while. 2015 had been a stressful year building the car and then to have all those hours go to waste because of another persons mistake with wiring was shattering.

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While I couldn’t stop thinking about what it needed, I did let the car sit in the shed untouched for weeks. I tried not to let myself get sad about it but to just see it sitting there broken and not being able to do anything was really hard. By the end of March I had made a plan and budgeted down to the last dollar to figure out how I could afford to fix everything and what the ETA would be. Obviously the monstrosity of wiring would need to get ripped out and a proper harness would need to be made, but that wasn’t the only thing. When the wiring had caught fire, it had taken my alternator and brand new ECU with it. I got the ECU repaired but it was no use, the car eventually had more issues firing. On top of all of this, it needed a new gearbox.

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After I added a proper ECU setup into the budget, a rewire and two different gearbox options, it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to fix it overnight. But, I didn’t want to let the financial side hold me back from buying the best bits on the market. You might have remembered reading this post last year when I said I had other ECU options apart from the Power FC. I never wanted the Power FC, it was always a last resort option which unfortunately I had to go with to make the event in time. When I was originally deciding on a computer, the one at the top of that list was a MoTeC. Yes they are expensive and yes they are overkill for what this car was built for, but the car is overkill already isn’t it? I had put a lot of time, effort and money into it just to make things the best they could be. So I wanted an ECU that would keep up with the high standard of quality.

So what did I get?

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The best power management system I could afford.

First up, a Motec M84.

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Along with a Motec PDM 15.

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Another PDM made by CarTek.

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And one of the new Motec 15 spot CAN keypads.

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The CAN keypad comes with 30+ stickers and it can be wired to operate anything I want. There are quite a few of these that I’ll have on mine. No, the winch button is not one of them.

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This is what 3 months of working 7 days and strict financial discipline has bought me. A bunch of little car bits in a tiny box weighing less than 2kg. I would have been here a bit faster if I didn’t have to pay house bills and a mortgage, but that’s part of adult life! To give you an idea, everything you see here cost almost double what it costs to buy a brand new set of VSXX.

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Now that I have it all here means that stage 1 is completed. Next on the list to organise is the rewire. Before that happened though, I needed to rip out every single wire in the car so it can be redone properly. It might seem like I’m overdoing the hate on the wiring, but you can decide for yourself when you see it. I’m not going to name and shame and I wasn’t going to post any shots of how bad it was, but I feel like it adds to the story, so here it is. Prepare yourself.

Apparently, this is a …’professional rewire’.

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500 cable ties holding everything together.

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To add to the headaches, nothing was soldered, no heat shrink was used, no proper connectors were in the loom and a bunch of things were earthed that shouldn’t have been. The entire thing was done with crimped connectors and hundreds of metres of electrical tape. Some connections were just a pair of wires twisted together.

This is not how you rewire anything. I don’t know why I let this pass my standards and I can’t believe I paid for any of this garbage.

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Above is everything that came out of the car..

This was meant to be a proper race car rewire. What I’m looking at is more along the lines of something a 3 year old comes up with in their first encounter with spaghetti. This is atrocious and none of this will ever find it’s way back into the car. Period.

If you can’t tell, I am seriously pissed about this, but what could I do? Complaining on the internet doesn’t solve things. Even though I don’t want to take this option, it’s just something I have to deal with and learn from for next time. I know why I didn’t get it done to the spec I wanted but I’m angry at myself for resorting to the option that has ruined things in the long run. Word of advice if you are doing this or doing a big job on a serious car, always choose the correct people for the job.

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Anyways, I have thought out a bit whilst saving for things. I have found a proper GT race car harness builder who has years of experience doing proper wiring. Things haven’t been set in concrete yet but looking at the quality of work, I think this place is going to do it right.

Both Motec pieces are going to be wired with some mill connectors and the entire loom is going to be as small as possible. Tefzel, Deutsch connectors and Raychem will be the main source for the loom which is exactly what I need. I want to keep the engine harness with the engine if I ever have to take it out and I’d like the body loom to be tucked away and simplified inside.

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So getting away from the wiring and problems it has, here’s what I’ve done lately. Last week I tried to motivate myself and start making things happen on the car.

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I decided to try redesigning my cooler setup because I’m not overly happy with how it turned out. Since I finished the car last year, my headlights have had a bit of a slant when they are mounted and I’ve tried to modify things to make it work but nothing seemed to come out simple and how I wanted. So I started measuring and pulling the front end apart.

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The original setup was mounted rearward but I figured if I had it 100% vertical I wouldn’t lose any space to the balancer and instead I would gain a heap of room in front.

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The downside to this is that I need to redo some cooler piping, remake my cooler mounts and reroute some plumbing.

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The upside to this? Well it means I can finally mount my headlights properly and tidy up my radiator piping a bit.

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While things were out I noted down some other bits I needed to finish. New alternator had to go in and I thought of relocating my power steering pump so I could get it away from the manifolds.

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On saturday morning I picked up something I had been hunting down for ages. About 2 weeks back I bidded on something with the good guy from Japan, Jesse Streeter. It was one of the final pieces of the puzzle to the cosmetic side of my engine.

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Got the hint yet?

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Yep, finally got it.

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Finally after months of tracking one down for a decent price, I picked up an original valley cover. All I need to do now is get the thing powder coated to match the covers and I will be happy!

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So now that the motivation has started to come back, albeit very slowly, I can get things happening again. Once I’m on track to get this rewire sorted, I’m going to need a retune and a testing session. I’d like to get some cams, redo some fabrication bits and also need to get the fogger system for my nitrous plumbed in beforehand.

I’m still disappointed with what’s happened with the car and how it has taken away a lot of the love I had for it, but I’m confident I can bring it back a lot better than it was when it was built. I will keep working hard towards the end goal and if it all goes well, I will have a tuned car with a solid gearbox ready to drive sometime in September.

Pretty keen to see what the next few weeks holds for this car.

Plenty of updates on the way I hope.

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