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Member Since 12 Oct 2018
Offline Last Active Today, 12:24 PM

#111786 In the market, truck for towing / daily driver

Posted by dunhamr1 on Yesterday, 10:20 AM

The only thing I'd say about the Tundra is check which years the frame rot applies and whether the frame replacement has been completed. All are good options, all are expensive.

#111683 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 08 January 2019 - 03:52 PM

Intercooler mods complete!


After a slight detour fixing the distributor gear (and changing the auxiliary shaft), setting the timing on the car (an adventure when the timing marks are on crumbling 30 y/o plastic...), everything is on! Originally I had a VW recirculation valve plumbed to atmosphere, but it was leaking like crazy (large enough that I couldn't get the car to idle). I replaced it with a billet dual-piston BOV and the problems went away. 


The BOV made an extraordinary difference on the response of the car when shifting on full power! Before, there was a lot of lag (and some Choo-choo compressor surge), and now it gets right back to boost almost immediately. Good addition, makes me feel like I would have been at least half a second faster at the last autocross!


Here's a video of a quick shift, and then a coast:



Future plans listed above will go on hold while I do some regular maintenance on the daily driver and have other scheduled events, but hopefully I'll have some time and I can get back on track soon!

#111682 Goals for 2019

Posted by dunhamr1 on 08 January 2019 - 03:38 PM

Goals for 2019:


Learning. (Seat time, seat time, seat time), the plan is to start with a TDE track day early in the year with some good instruction, and enter autocrosses and track days for seat time. Use data and video, review things that worked, and what I'm doing wrong.

Stretch goal: Look for AER/ WRL drives to get W2W experience.


Car Setup

Get the car setup well enough to drive and not complain (too much) and STOP modifying. Only things left should be fixing some leaks, some radiator baffling, and some wheels and tires. Reliability is the goal.

Stretch goal: bucket seat (my head doesn't fit with a helmet in the stock seat)



Trophy in class (Not sure where the car falls yet, likely XP)

Co-drive Neighbor's Camaro (he's offered)


Stretch Goals:

Depending on funds and availability (I'm all over the place, literally) I may be interested in the NASA TT 200tw class, but would need to get a TT license and know what I'm doing first. Don't want to be an obstacle, possibly leave that for later in the year.


Overarching theme: Learning


I'm just getting started, trying to be a sponge and soak up as much as possible. I have no specific lap time goals, or a desire for lots of power mods (though I may eek the boost up slightly).


#111552 HPDE organizers

Posted by dunhamr1 on 03 January 2019 - 09:18 AM

Thanks all for the responses!

I'll keep an eye out for dates of these schools and for the Autox schools as well and see if I can get in there.

Dangerously (for my wallet), I'm testing a Kart at North Texas Karters next week, as well as possibly forming a Lemons/Chump car team (I refuse to call it Champ car).

I'll likely look to do TDE to start, I like the two day format, and am a firm believer that sleeping on something reinforces what you've learned.

#111344 My BRZ: White Lighten-ing, and a formal Introduction

Posted by dunhamr1 on 24 December 2018 - 02:53 PM

Looking good! Any plans to seal the splitter to the bumper?

#110683 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 26 November 2018 - 08:15 PM

I get the same nonsense when I load pics from my phone onto TJs. They get flipped 90 degrees. Intermittently?

Yeah, it only happens occasionally, photos uploaded previously were from my phone as well.

The autocross went well, and as expected I got my butt whuppped in my own car with my friend co-driving!
Results: http://www.ntaxs.com..._nov_18_fin.htm
We finished 8th and 10th respectively in class 2, (which is based on displacement, multiplied by a factor for turbocharging) with my friend .8 of a second up on me when you compare the two fastest runs. This can be seen in this comparison video:

Some notes, right off: I was up on him on the first part of the course, and then a series of corners that I overslowed (and understeered) into brought him back up to neck and neck where we ran until I braked too late for the final corner and ran waayy wide, dialed in wayy to much steering, and was on the power wayyy late, and he jumped way ahead all the way through the finish. I'll probably review the data a bit more and post something in the discussion side about driving habits.

As for the car, it felt MUCH better. 350#/in springs on the Koni Yellow coilovers in front (which were set 1/4 turn from soft) kept the front end much more planted. In the rear, the stock springs remained, but the big rear bar kept the back end pretty balanced once the tires were warm. On cold tires the car felt like it had a bit of push. Even on the 350#/in springs, it doesn't feel harsh on the street, I'm absolutely going to swap the 450#/in springs while the car is up in the air next. The tires gripped well but we ran the pressures a bit low for the setup. I measured the width of the tires at 7.5" and they're on 5.5" wheels!! They need a bit of pressure to keep the tire from moving around too much, and I think we were just below that threshold, having a lot of rollover, and then low pressures in the rear for the afternoon runs.

Underway at the moment is the addition of an intercooler and associated piping. So far I have removed the old upper intake and the alternator, added the alternator back on a passenger side bracket, and mocked up the piping on the throttle body side. Currently using worm clamps (which are meant for the intake), but with plans to upgrade those to constant-torque clamps at some point. I've also added a rotated upper intake, and I'm about to rotate the compressor housing on the turbo to help with clearance on the turbo-side piping and replace it with a hose-style clamp (currently it has a 2 bolt outlet).

The wires to the throttle body sensors, as well as to the alternator will either need to be extended or replaced, and the larger elbows on the cold-side will need some trimming to fit without pre-stressing them, but we're well on our way!

I have acquired some 700#/in rear springs (remember, 0.60 motion ratio means this is ~250#/in at the wheel), but they may be a bit tall to reach my goal of lowering the rear a bit. More to come later.

Future plans (and parts already acquired):
-Solid rear beam mounts
-Nylon FWD STA bushings
-700#/in rear springs
-Baffling for radiator
-Cosworth Front grill (needs painted) [airflow to IC]
-Instrument cluster surround (you can see the old one flopping around in the video)

Future plans (and parts which need to be purchased):
-16mm rear anti-roll bar
-Taller front springs (no clanking) in 450-500#/in
-Wire ACT sensor for intake
-Boost controller (bleed valve)
-Larger diameter/wider wheels (looking at at least 17x7)

-Solid Diff Mount


But all in all, I really need to drive it as is, and get some seat time and improve my driving. I'm not in a rush to complete all of these upgrades over the winter.

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#110484 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 19 November 2018 - 11:56 AM

Friend driving the car on course, brake fluid on top of reservoir, lower brake fluid level, and in grid.

Attached Thumbnails

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#110453 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 18 November 2018 - 06:24 PM

Autocross went well today! I had a friend who's a bit more experienced at autocrossing co-drive the car with me, and he had a good time as well! New springs, anti-roll bar, brake setup and coilovers felt great. I was afraid of the thick anti-roll bar (almost double the stock size, 19mm, from 10mm) making the car a bit unbalanced, but it felt good - perhaps a bit of push at times. My buddy kicked my butt in my own car having never driven it before! To be expected, he's more than a few seasons more experienced than I, this being my 4th autocross in a span of 4 years, in 3 different cars. I hope to be a bit more active next season, and improve my driving.


I think my brake fluid reservoir cap may be leaking.. the fluid level is a bit lower than the start of the day, and the top of the reservoir is wet with fluid. Perhaps I worked some more air out of the system as well, but the pedal didn't feel too spongy. I'll be bleeding the calipers again to see if I worked up any more bubbles. Too short of runs <1min), and too cold (43 deg F ambient) to be anywhere near boiling the Motul RBF600 fluid (but perhaps I could be wrong?). I'll look into it more once I get it back in the air.


Yesterday a box arrived with a bracket for the passenger side alternator mount, bringing me one step closer to plumbing the intercooler. Once the car goes up in the air again, I'll start pulling the old alternator out and adding the piping components, just waiting on a couple of silicone couplers that are in the mail. (pictures to be posted soon). Then it'll be measuring the pulley setup for new belts and off we go!

#110382 Setup Sheets

Posted by dunhamr1 on 15 November 2018 - 02:48 PM

Feel free to copy, give feedback:


Quite extensive! Maybe one day I'll need/want something on that level. I may use aspects of it.

Separately I've started a 'journal' which may include a lot of the same things, as well as track notes, how each setup worked, observations about my driving etc. Maybe it's double work, but at least it will reinforce things.

#110304 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 12 November 2018 - 08:58 PM

I love this build. Are you going to find the older double-decker spoiler? (please say yes)

Thanks for the link on the build!! I *could*... Are you referring to the early XR wing or the cossie big Wang? Working on chassis upgrades at this point, I think I've vacuumed the interior.. once? I cleaned the headlights yesterday but that's been about it cosmetically. Once day.

#110217 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 08 November 2018 - 11:18 AM

I'd send it. Not that that means anything, Just saying - I mean, it's the rears  ;)


Hah! Perhaps it is the rear, but I've found the importance of the rear brakes on other cars when they weren't working correctly and the car was downright scary to drive.. Fixed the rear only and was back to normal. Absolutely going to send it though!


Who needs rear brakes anyway?




Haha depends on the corner! Also, good find on a targa car. Targa Tasmania is crazy.

#110204 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 07 November 2018 - 10:32 PM

Final product. More than anticipated, but not enough that I feel like I'm going to worry about it. If this was a rally car... That'd be a different story.

Got everything back together, torqued the spindle nuts (250 ft-lb!!), added the new parking brake cable and tightened it up, bled the brakes (pressure bleed), refilled the master cylinder, put the front end on the ground, tightened the top nuts on the struts, and went to start it. Turned over but no fire... Damn.

After a few minutes of poking around, verified electricity to the pump, put the leads back on and fires first crank. Must have jostled the wires or something? Glad it works though. Not wanting to rush things, I put tools down for the night. I'll do a bolt check before I head out the first time.

Attached Thumbnails

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#110184 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 07 November 2018 - 01:09 PM

Decided that a bit more grinding on the caliper should be ok (couple of mm's); there's no fluid in that area as it's a single piston caliper. We'll see how it goes, hoping to wrap up tonight.

#110158 And now for something completely different: Merkur XR4Ti "Shea"

Posted by dunhamr1 on 05 November 2018 - 08:46 AM

Getting to the close of the brake job, and went to test the wheel... clearance issues abound.


It's the top of the caliper to the inside of the barrel of the wheel. I haven't yet measured how far away it is from the height change in the wheel, and I believe that a spacer is not going to help this issue (unless it was large). I hit the top with a grinder to knock the height down *a bit* but I'm not comfortable grinding too much (even though its on the fins).


I also installed a larger rear anti-roll bar (19mm, up from 10mm) and the coilovers up front. I realized after I installed them that I forgot to add the bump stops. Thank goodness for coilovers, and adjustable spring seats, I was able to undo the top mount and pull the strut shaft down to put the bump stop in.


Photos were huge before, figured I'd save everyone and just send a link to an album:


#110091 New TA2 Camaro Build!

Posted by dunhamr1 on 01 November 2018 - 09:51 AM

Looks good!! I was hoping to help on the tech inspection side of this for TransAm this weekend but life had other plans. Good Luck!!!