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AU1 Rebuild 

 

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 Post subject: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

Hello all.

I've often spent time scouring this site for good intel on what I can and can't do to my Falcon so thought I'd finally get around to making an input.

I'm about to start a major re-build on a 1998 AU Series 1 that I bought as a commuter car 4 years ago. As reliable as she was, I got it into my head that it looked awful and would benefit from a bit of a pick-me-up in the power department.

Having a minimal level of mechanical expertise, I went to the wreckers and bought an engine from an 02 model and figured that if it never worked, $500 was a good investment to learn more about engines. With a Haynes Manual on the workbench I managed to dismantle the engine, got the block and crank machined smooth and put things back together. While doing this I stumbled across Jim Mock Motorsport and decided to replace the cam, cam gears and springs as well as a bit of head porting. With a 2.5 inch exhaust and some headers, the old girl was re-born.

Not long after, the need to stop was taken care of with a set of DBA slotted rotors and some Bendix Titanium pads. While things were off the car, we replaced the bearings and any worn bushes got replaced with Nolathane. I also had the suspension sorted with some adjustable Koni shocks and a new set of Pedders springs to lower the ride by 75mm - this also meant a camber kit to help things stay straight.

After the kids threw up in the car, I had the seats re-covered in leather and swapped out the original carpet for a darker grey that smelled a lot better.

I now had a pretty comfy and reliable car that looked good and jumped off the line smartly but realised that more could be done. A turbo kit was sourced from Snort Performance and the boys at Jason Clark Automotive set about installing everything. At the same time I organised a full body kit to keep things looking good. Once everything was complete I was getting 260 RWKW on about 10psi of boost. The engine would spool up sweetly and explode out of the blocks. A great big bag of fun. The only trouble was the gear box couldn't handle the power and quickly needed to be re-built with bits from an XR6 Turbo box and a new hi-stall converter.

Last year, I thought some attention was needed on the looks of the engine bay as the stock throttle body was a bit ugly and the pipe-work from the intercooler rubbed on the underside of the bonnet. Again, I turned to Snort Performance for a new Iceman intake plenum, thinking this would work with the exhaust side of things. Sadly, after 2 months of wrangling with ill-fitting manifolds, and leaky throttle bodies, we got things running only to discover that power was now down to 190 KW at the wheels and the engine surged in and out of boost.

I eventually went out and bought a new car that could reliably get me to work and have decided to rebuild the old girl for racing and good times. Maybe get my kids interested in cars a bit. Below, I have listed the current state of things with some pictures of the glory days:

GENERAL

MAKE: Falcon
MODEL: AU1
YEAR: 1998
COLOUR: Silver

MECHANICAL

ENGINE: Intech 4.0 turbo-charged
TRANSMISSION: Auto 4-speed
DIFFERENTIAL: 3.08
BRAKES: Slotted DBA Rotors
SUSPENSION: Koni adjustable springs with Pedders springs
EXHAUST: 3-inch with twin tips

STYLING

WHEELS/TYRES: Osaka Racing 18inch Phantoms / Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres
INTERIOR: Leather seats - rest of interior is standard grey plastic
EXTERIOR: Full body kit - can't remember the name of the style
IN CAR ENTERTAINMENT: Pioneer stereo with Alpine speakers

OTHER

FUTURE PLANS: Full rebuild of engine, change to manual transmission, LSD, re-spray, set-up for racing, re-finish interior.
MONEY SPENT SO FAR: Not game to do the sums
CREDITS/THANKS: Jason Clark Automotive and Pedders Ballarat

IMAGES

Attachment:
AU-front-shot.jpg


Attachment:
AU-side-shot.jpg


Attachment:
Au-engine-bay.jpg


To date I have started removing the ancillaries from the the engine and hope to have it out soon. Next I'll remove the gearbox and replace it with a T5 and generally re-build everything I can to good spec.

Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:03 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Age: 64

Posts: 3448

Joined: 11th Jan 2009

Ride: BA Falcon XT

Location: Smithfield
NSW, Australia

Very nice job you have done. :)
The only thing that I would do if I were you would be look at changing the lower front control arms and stub axles so you can add the BA Performance brakes and rotors. To get a good pedal with these and to make the brakes great all round, BA wagon/ute rear calipers and rotors plus change the booster for a AUII/III one plus new master cylinder.

I have an XR6 series one with BA brakes on the front so far. I have a new booster, master cylinder, AUII/III, rear calipers, discs and backing plates from a BA wagon to add.
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:11 am 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

Thanks for that. I have read a tech document about changing the front arms and stub axles so I could stick bigger discs on and that was also on my list of things to consider. I found that adding the turbo made the brakes a bit less confidence inspiring as I wasn't getting a great deal of vacuum pressure in the booster. Stuck an electric vac pump on the system and suddenly had brake pressure again. Will see what I can dredge up from the wreckers as far as premium brakes go. Someone must have totalled a suitable car for me to scavange from.
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:27 am 
Getting Side Ways
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Age: 34

Posts: 3406

Joined: 7th Feb 2005

Ride: AU2 Ute

Location: melbourne
VIC, Australia

Nice car.

What bits are you planning to stick in the new motor?

What have you done for engine management?
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:24 pm 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

So far I have been running things with a Stinger ECU piggy-backed to the stock ECU. When we mucked around with the new throttle body, I ended up having to use a Holden throttle body and the idle motor was too complicated for the Stinger to run properly. May still have to get a new ECU from Wolf depending on what throttle body I end up using.

I re-built the engine with stock parts but with the turbo pushing things in excess of 450HP, things may not be so happy inside. I'm trying to decide if I buy a race-prepped short engine from Atomic in Sydney or maybe source a BA XR6 turbo engine to rebuild. The advantage of the BA would be a twin-cam setup that was designed for turbo-charged engines. The down-side is that most of my ancillaries may not fit (such as turbo manifold and exhaust etc.). The Atomic would be the easy and expensive way to get forged pistons and rods with a blue-printed motor.

I'm still getting the engine out of the car at present so don't have to rush the decision yet.

Have seen some nice inlet manifolds for sale and like the look of the Nizpro which should bolt straight on. There's also a Rajab Racing plenum I've seen on this site which looked pretty sweet so may follow that up.

Time and money are the biggest issues as usual.

Cheers.
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:45 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Age: 34

Posts: 3406

Joined: 7th Feb 2005

Ride: AU2 Ute

Location: melbourne
VIC, Australia

Why did you need to change the throttle body?

Stick with a stock one and the stinger would be fine. I've got a nizpro plenum and stock throttle body on mine. I like it.
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:15 am 
Stock as a Rock
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Age: 24

Posts: 189

Joined: 12th Mar 2011

Gallery: 2 images

Ride: AUI XL Falcon

Location: sydney
NSW, Australia

awesome man! love to see an AU1 in great condition!

 

_________________

MA77US' AU Ute Build.
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:32 am 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

The throttle body issue came about with the Iceman plenum I got from Snort. The throttle cable pulled from the other direction and we tried a lot of different ways to get the stock body to mount but nothing seemed to work. We couldn't secure the throttle cable so that it pulled the right way. Snort them supplied me with a new throttle body but it leaked air in through the sides and the butterfly jammed in the opening when it was cold. The GM throttle body was designed to pull in the right direction but had to upgrade to an 100mm throttle so am sure this contributed to the power loss.

If you managed to get a stock throttle body on the Nizpro and rigged it to pull the right way I'd love to see a picture so I can set mine up properly.

I just looked at who posted the thread, Dansedgli, and I pm'd you earlier about buying your Nizpro but you were waiting on some other parts to sell before pulling it off. I'll buy it when you get things sorted if you're still selling.

Cheers
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:20 pm 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

Looks like time has gotten away from me and 8 months has passed.

Haven't been too idle with my time so thought an update was in order.

Spent some time stripping the interior so the roll cage could go in. Had to remove the dash to fit the hydraulic clutch pedal assembly which was not as easy as people make out. So many things went wrong I had to get a new dash fabricated. Cage was installed and painted in January.

Attachment:
Interior-out.jpg

Attachment:
Cage-in.jpg

Attachment:
Cage-painted.jpg


The engine got some special treatment with forged rods, a prepped crank, ceramic coated pistons, new valve springs and everything was balanced and blueprinted.

Dropped the engine in during Feb. then set about installing driveline bits. Managed to squeeze in a T56 gearbox, shortened the driveshaft and replaced internals of diff with a locking diff centre and 4.11 gears. Many hassles with the hydraulic clutch but eventually got it working.

Attachment:
Engine-in.jpg

Attachment:
Engine-finished.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:24 pm 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

Had a dash fabricated out of aluminium and installed some trick dials from the States including a GPS speedo so I don't have to worry about wheel sizes or diff gearing.

Attachment:
Dash-1.jpg

Attachment:
Das-2.jpg

Attachment:
Instrument-panel.jpg


Installed remainder of interior including 2 Sparco race seats and 6-point harnesses. Kept original retractor belts for legal reasons. Replaced door trims with aluminum sheet and covered hole where the back seats used to be with metal as well.

Finally replaced the front steering assembly to allow fitting of AP racing calipers and 330mm discs and thicker sway bar.

A few runs on the dyno put the figures at 220kw at the wheels but that is down from the 260kw it used to have. For now that's fine as the compression ratio has been lowered to 8.5:1 and only 10lb of boost. Much more driveable with a steady rise in power not the crazy surge of boost. Will get the feel of the car and then look at a boost controller to ramp things up to 20lb boost later.

Attachment:
Dyno-run.jpg


Now she's ready to race.

Attachment:
Race-ready.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:01 pm 
Parts Gopher
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Posts: 52

Joined: 7th Apr 2012

Ride: e series

Location: nsw
NSW, Australia

i love your dash work and roll cage looks like u did a bit of weight reduction with that custom dash

how did you get that roll cage in and out did it fit through the doors
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:46 am 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

A first the guy said he would cut holes in the floor to drop the cage down so he could weld the top sections but in the end he made the cage legs short, welded everything then built some little boxes for the cage to stand on. He built everything in the car and used a big piece of leather to protect the interior. The windscreen had to be removed so he could weld the front bars to the A-pillars which also made life easier for the dash fabrication and the wiring up of the instruments. I used a vinyl sticker from 3M that looks like carbon fibre and am pretty happy with the finish. I doubt the weight has changed a great deal with the addition of the cage and the loss of the seats but the guys at my local suspension place are installing some weighing equipment so I'll check the weight next time I'm there.

I asked a friend from the Highway Patrol if he thought I could still drive it on the road and he suggested I put really dark tint on the back windows so the cage wasn't too obvious and so long as I didn't drive fast and do burnouts then I'd probably be alright. Keep driving it until your caught then buy a trailer - great advice from Victoria Police.
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 Post subject: Re: AU1 Rebuild
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:47 am 
Fordmods Newbie
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Age: 49

Posts: 11

Joined: 28th Aug 2010

Ride: Falcon AU Series 1

Location: Ballarat
VIC, Australia

oops
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