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Three years in the wilderness 

 

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 Post subject: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:46 pm 
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After 3 years+ of putting up with a poorly designed & very inefficient supercharger setup on the old BA, the very low k motor (65000 km) finally shat itself from heat stress & I finally got the time to take it off and re-do the whole setup,, well kind of anyway.

Without going into the details of the Shat fight I had just trying to get the dam thing, the kit originally came with many claims & promises which all turned out to be crap. First it was supposed to be liquid to air cooled (which didn't happen) then it was supposed to run at 10 psi boost non-intercooled which turned out to be a fantasy as well. In all honesty it won't even run cool at 5 psi, but you could cook sausages on it after a drive into the country, & yes we did do that about a year ago. Also it didn't fit & we spent many extra thousands of dollars in machining costs just to get to the stage where we were actually able to bolt it on.

But the problem was that the set-up could not be intercooled unless laminova cores were to be used in a specially designed plenum which never eventuated either.

So we were stuck with a side mounted Sprintex S5-335 supercharger that looked good but didn't do much except run stinkin hot & detonate all over the place constantly. Plus no one could tune it & we tried just about every Tuner in QLD. The simple fact was that it was just a pig.

Everyone said throw it away & start again, you are never going to get it to run cool & efficent and there is nothing you can do to fix it..
But that would have been too easy so I put the old brain into overdrive & using most of the parts that came in the kit I redesigned it to run intercooled.

For those of you who think that you can't weld cast alloy, well you can. I did & I class myself as the worst welder on the planet, I just needed to use plenty of gas. The hardest part was stopping the alloy from warping.

The original plenum looked like this, air into throttle body then into blower & then straight from blower into plenum & then into motor. Heaps of heat & throttle Lag..Plus the bolts kept coming loose & falling inside the plenum, So very lucky none went into the motor. Crazy Stupid design...
Image

This is the only photo I have that shows the guts of the new setup where fresh air now goes straight to blower then into the newly made lower section of plenum chamber & then straight out to the intercooler. The cooled air then comes back through the throttle body & into the top plenum chamber & finally into motor. Throttle Lag is gone & air intake is 20-30 degrees cooler depending on ambient temps. It was still a little rough around the edges when this was taken, but it ended up looking nice & smooth.In my case, a welder is only as good as his die grinder.
Image
Will post some more pics when I get everything under the hood all neat & tidy.
EDIT. Good thing I originally put a lumpy xr8 bonnet on the old girl or I might have had some trouble closing the lid.
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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:06 am 
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Heat the whole plenum before welding .. I find a few minutes on BBQ's does the job..
Prevents warping and easier to weld..
Keep the pics coming .. Interesting ...

 

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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:36 am 
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Nice work Bongo.

That outlet from the plenum looks a little small, but from what you're saying about performance it doesn't seem to be hurting anything. Maybe just the picture is deceptive.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:11 pm 
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The sprintex Pie Cooker returns. Did anything ever eventuate with the supplier or was it better mentally to just pack up and move on?

 

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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 12:02 pm 
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Thought I had better update this post
Anyway I finally got this job finished about 6 weeks ago. Took longer than I expected but most of the extra time was spent just waiting for machining or for bits to arrive from somewhere by courier.

At first I tried the throttle body on the intake & after the blower, I just had to use two bypass valves for that setup to work , I fitted a bypass valve just after the blower & also installed a Blow-off valve just before the throttle body & it worked like a dream. No massive pressure build up & It went like a bullet.... But the blower noise was unbearable, it screamed like a banshee. I love supercharger whine as much as the next bloke but this was Willowbank loud. It even screamed at idle, no kidding,, if I revved it in the garage the dogs in the street would start howling & that's no exaggeration. So I moved it back to before the blower & problem solved. Not quite as responsive as before but that is the only difference & at least I can hear the stereo now.

How it was setup before was a total disaster,& trying to run it at 10 psi was just a wild dream. For every one PSI of boost generated by the blower you can add at least 10 degrees of heat to the ambient temperature, so on a 38 degree day in QLD the temps generated go almost to melting point. Even 5 psi was too much on a non intercooled pie cooking Barra motor & it had to be retarded so much to stop detonation that the blower was pretty much useless & just added weight. Then the ECU would pump in more fuel to try to cool it down & fuel consumption was on par with a V8. A total disaster.

The crazily designed bypass valve setup was useless before too, it did nothing but create a huge vacuum leak in non boost situations & at 5 psi it would just open at WOT because the manifold pressure was blowing open the butterfly. We tried different actuators & springs but we couldn't stop it happening. Now that I have changed its location it works like it is supposed to.

How the PCV valve was setup before was just an afterthought I am sure. A 1 meter hose use to have to run from the PCV Valve to the bottom of the plenum which sits about 3 quarters of a meter lower down than the PCV valve. The rectangle shaped plenum just became a giant oil collector & because it sat so low & the hose was so long that it actually used to have a siphon effect & draw oil into the plenum. Even with a catch can it used to siphon oil because the vacuum intake was so low down. Then it would continually gum up the MAP sensor which then played havoc with the ECU readings. It was major job just to get to MAP sensor because it was buried behind the plenum, almost impossible to get to.

We have changed it so the vacuum intake for the PCV valve is a lot higher & sits on top of the plenum & any oil in the hose now runs back into the catch can. And the MAP sensor now sits on top of the plenum & no longer gets contaminated & it's now easy to get at too.. Bonus
But the best thing is the intercooler, & the difference it has made to the performance in every aspect of this vehicle is incredible. Down low, mid range & WOT is amazing.

So the moral of this story is don't let anyone tell you that it can't be done, because 90% of the time it can be. People laughed at me when I described what I wanted to do. I was told by some of the experts that it couldn't be done. Anyway I went ahead & designed it & even had to learn how to weld Aluminium because I couldn't get anyone to do it for me. But I can honestly say that it was a 100% success & well worth the effort.
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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:29 pm 
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BongoKongo wrote:
For those of you who think that you can't weld cast alloy, well you can. I did & I class myself as the worst welder on the planet, I just needed to use plenty of gas. The hardest part was stopping the alloy from warping.
BongoKongo wrote:
even had to learn how to weld Aluminium because I couldn't get anyone to do it for me.

Did you use a gas Mig to do it?
I've had a look through various forums, and a lot say you can, and a lot say you can't.
I think I've seen 0.9mm alloy wire, but it doesn't seem as common as std steel.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 6:43 pm 
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snap0964 wrote:
BongoKongo wrote:
For those of you who think that you can't weld cast alloy, well you can. I did & I class myself as the worst welder on the planet, I just needed to use plenty of gas. The hardest part was stopping the alloy from warping.
BongoKongo wrote:
even had to learn how to weld Aluminium because I couldn't get anyone to do it for me.

Did you use a gas Mig to do it?
I've had a look through various forums, and a lot say you can, and a lot say you can't.
I think I've seen 0.9mm alloy wire, but it doesn't seem as common as std steel.


Tig welder, its a bit like brazing if you ask me. But you have got to take precautions to try to stop as much warping as possible.
I was able to bolt my parts to a solid steel bench & even then the alloy warped a little, but not too much & I was able to get it true again with some light machining.

The secrete is to take your time & don't work in one spot for too long, try to spread or even out the heat. I would do one side, stop & then start from the other side & meet the welds in the middle. If I did it again I would start from the middle & work outwards. But all is good.
Need plenty to do plenty of practice on scraps first though to work out your preferred setup.
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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Fri May 15, 2015 11:09 am 
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Yeah thanks, a few people on those forums suggested Tig.
I made a mailbox years ago with gal sheet and tig, and yes you need to be careful, very easy to blow holes through the sheet.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 12:17 am 
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MAD wrote:
Nice work Bongo.

That outlet from the plenum looks a little small, but from what you're saying about performance it doesn't seem to be hurting anything. Maybe just the picture is deceptive.

Yep it is deceptive because that outlet is a 4" aluminum pipe shaped to fit the plenum inside depth & the actual inside opening has been shaped a little larger than 4". If you looked at it from behind you would see that there is close to two inches of the tube that protrudes out further than the plenum base thickness.
Then the 4" tube reverts back to a round 3" outlet on the outside of the plenum.
Although the outlet has been shaped to a rounded rectangular shape it still carries the same air volume as a round 4" tube & the shape doesn't seem to degrade the flow in any way. I didn't have any other options but to do it that way.
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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 1:57 pm 
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Johnson stroker wrote:
The sprintex Pie Cooker returns. Did anything ever eventuate with the supplier or was it better mentally to just pack up and move on?

Sorry for the late reply but I missed this post
Nar, I just moved on, but that decision was not only because I was fed up with their verbal diarrhea & lack of support and knowledge on the kit, the decision was mainly based on the the total lack quality in the product.
These guys must have just woke up one morning & thought,,OK lets make a new type of supercharger kit,, we can do this easily,, I'll get the hammer out & get started on it right away.

Anyway,, they must have just guessed their way along because they either never researched it or they didn't really know what they where doing in the first place. The end result speaks for itself because what they ended up sending me was a non-fitting totally butchered backyard attempt of a kit that was a disgrace.
When I look back on it now & after dealing first hand with these people it is obvious to me that they didn't have the intelligence to attempt a project like this. It was just way out of their league.

In my opinion they are pretty good at copping other peoples inventions like turbo system & manifolds etc but they had to invent this setup themselves pretty much from scratch, & they just couldn't do it. Everything about it other than the Sprintex Blower was totally wrong.
But just to be nice,,,I will give them 7 out of 10 for the runners, their flow is a bit uneven but not too bad..
I don't see the kit for sale on their web page any more either.

I had already fitted & tried the first prototype they sent me & you didn't have to be a genius to work out that the kit was a lame attempt in every way & just a total waste.

But to cut a long story short,,After I got my solicitor & consumer affairs involved the supplier did send me a box of replacement bits that still didn't fit & they where not much better than the first load of rubbish I received.
On top of receiving two lots of non fitting parts,, the Map sensor was a cheap Ebay counterfeit, the fuel pressure regulator was secondhand & faulty, the bow off valve in the kit was a dodgy secondhand Greedy valve copy & the springs where totally rusty inside.
Who fits a blow-off valve to a Supercharger anyway?
They are for Turbos.
Superchargers need a proper bypass valve.
A Turbo blow-off valve is designed to be usually closed & only open for a couple of seconds under high boost.
Whereas a bypass valve is usually open & only closes under boost, they are as different as chalk & cheese.
You can get a blow-off valve to work on a supercharger but they have to work in the opposite way to how they where designed to work. And from my experience they leak & are not very efficient on a supercharger.
They also sent another aftermarket fuel pressure regulator that was broken (it must have happened in transit they said, so no replacement).
They also sent an extra (smaller) unmachined plenum which had 4 hairline fractures all the way through the alloy (cooled too quickly after molding), so it was useless as well.
So we just put it down to experience (bad experience) & moved on.

Last edited by BongoKongo on Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Here it is totally finished with my new invention (a home made Rev limiter) to stop the intermittent limp mode error at initial start up which was caused by the rush of air into the plenum that is stored in the intercooler & plumbing which is located after the throttle body.
The limiter just stays shut for 5 seconds at start up and then it opens slowly & stays open until I shut her down & then it resets itself. It does nothing more.
Totally fixed the problem & cost about $150.00 bucks to make including the cheap Chinese throttle body which I cut in half.Image
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 Post subject: Re: Three years in the wilderness
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:19 pm 
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Update:
The rev limiter that I made has been on the car now for six months or more & I have not had the vehicle electrics put the beast into limp mode once since the installation,,, hot or cold start.

I just used the original manifold charge control actuator & the original solenoid valve to automatically open & close the Rev limiter.
But before it gets there the vacuum runs through a tight $20.00 ball valve which can be adjusted open or closed to restrict vacuum flow which in turn adjusts the opening speed of the rev limiter. You need it to open slowly, mine takes 5 seconds to open fully. But once it is adjusted correctly it has been set & forget,, so far anyway.
The only thing I had to change in the wiring was at the solenoid valve. It usually runs with a power wire & an ecu signal wire which is constantly adjusting the manifold butterflies on the original setup.

So to get around the ECU input I just used the power wire & attached an earth wire instead & disregarded the ECU signal wire altogether.
All it has to do now is close the actuator with ignition on (to retain constant vacuum) & open the actuator with ignition off (which releases the vacuum & resets the device).
The only other thing it needed to work properly was a separate vacuum tank which I made from double layer PVC pipe with screw ends & a couple of tube fittings. The hardest part of the whole setup was thinking of it first, then designing it & getting the large vacuum tank to fit behind the guard.

When I was asking for advice about doing this I was told by at least 10 workshops & experts that it either couldn't be done or it would cost in the vicinity of $1000 bucks just to buy a special solenoid setup and a special linear actuator before I could get it to work properly,, bla bla bla.
But in reality it cost me $10 bucks for the PVC pipe, $10 bucks for the nylon tube, $10 bucks for the tube fittings & $20 bucks for the tight ball valve. The original Ford solenoid valve was already there & does the job nicely & I already had a few old actuators lying around.
So $60.00 bucks was my spend (all up including the throttle body it cost about $150).
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