Nearly 2 months in and the clutch is properly broken in, as are the new engine mounts. The car performs so much better. Maybe its the fact that the feeling of a pre-detonate nature has been decreased dramatically.
After collecting my data and research for things needed, I was able to pick up some VDO gauges, NewSouth Performance PodMount, 42 Draft Design oil pressure relocation kit, and a few other goodies. Having little to no prior electrical work, I put a fair amount of time into making sure I had everything covered before I stated to ensure I wouldn’t burn my car to the ground at some point. I went with VDO as they are what NewSouth uses, and the difference being the dial faces. Being that I didnt need a perfect match (other than gauge LED color), I merely needed the gauges to serve their purpose, I proceeded.
The night I decided to start wiring the gauge harnesses, I realized what size bulbs the gauges were. I quickly found that I had some leftover white LED bulbs that would fit the bill until I purchased the indigo color match set. While rigging up the harness, I made sure to label each end of the wire with the connection point that it was to make it easier once I started running the wires throughout the car. From there, I left it till the weekend. At that point, I moved on and started to take the dash apart and route some of the sender wires through the firewall via a dust boot/grommet. While I had the sender wires through the firewall, I still needed to lengthen the OEM Oil Pressure sender from its location at the oil filter housing, to be placed below the coolant bubble. Working with 22 gauge wiring in extremely slim spaces is VERY tough and takes a lot of time. Thankfully, time was on my side. After lengthening two wires for the oil pressure sensor, I tucked them into black 3/8″ wire loom, so that it was protected from the elements, as well as look factory, to an extent.
In securing all of my connections, I first wrapped the butt-connector in electrical tape, then slide heat shrink tubing over it for added protection. Then thereafter, I tucked the wires into appropriate wire looming. For the factory oil pressure sensor, I clipped the wiring at the factory location on the wiring harness, lengthened, loomed and ran the loom along the right side of the block, parallel to the factory wiring harness. At that point, I continued on and zip tied locations every couple of inches to ensure safety and clearance. I pulled the factory air box off and ran the wire loom alongside the fuel rail and wiring harness for the injectors. From there, I left the wires to meet just below the windshield washer filler.
During my research of my gauge conundrum, I found that I can run the 42 Draft Design oil pressure relocation kit off a threaded port on the passenger side of the head. I fitted everything as needed, though I do recall having to unscrew the coolant bubble to gain better access. No problem. Once the factory sender unit was secured into the 42DD relocate tee, I was able to secure the sender under for the VDO oil pressure gauge. I connected all the lines and plugged them into their according locations. Its a bit more ‘cheap’ looking than I’d like, but I made sure to give enough slack for the wiring as well as cinch the slack with zip-ties to secure, non-conflicting points.
Being that the wiring left me in a bit of a compromising position at times, I gave myself a day or two to iron out. Which ended up working out just fine. Once the gauges were powered, it performed great. No longer did I get the oil pressure light on my dash and the annoying beeps to follow. However, the oil temperature had still left to be connected, as the sender was now the drain plug. Being that I was due for an oil change the following weekend, I simply held off on connecting the sender line.
I buttoned up the torn apart dash, the removed stereo unit and so on. By this point, I needed to find the lower dash piece I had removed when I first installed the Semting unit, in the previous year or so before. As luck would have it, I found it in a box a day or two later. I simply notched a “U” shape into the trim piece for the wires to rest comfortably and conflict free. Being that I didn’t want to further tear up my dash or its trim pieces, instead of bolting my gauge cluster pod to the dash, I merely used a strip of velcro. This would ensure proper positioning and suffice as a non-permanent solution for ease of access, should a lead come loose or a bulb go out. It gives just enough access, which is perfect.
The same night I found the dash piece, I decided that my wheels I had owned for nearly a year, were starting to grow thin on me, in regards to the machine lip finish. With that, I removed them, swapped on my spare steel wheels, masked up the faces of the wheels and went to town on them with cans of black Plasti-Dip. This would give me the ‘color’ I was prone to doing, while giving me a non-permanent solution before they go in for real painting (in the future). Essentially “cured the itch”. I buried the wheels (and tires, more on that later) in many coats and upon the next day, I removed the masked up portion and the purposely shot excess on the tires. The excess coats on the tires allowed for a thick, yet pliable and removable piece to be removed, as nobody wants to plasti-dip tires… Now that the wheels were done, I swapped them back onto the car. SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT. At least in my eyes. I’ve always been a fan of black wheels.
Moving on, I know I talked about how all 4 boots on my KSport front sway bar enlinks had all been torn. As luck would have it, ModdedEuros.com was somehow a featured add while sifting through my Faccebook one day. I popped on to find that there was a promo for Whiteline Suspensions Sway Bar Endlink setups; Buy One Set, Get Another Free! I quickly picked up a replacement set for my front suspension and should be receiving my adjustable rear setup (free) by the end of the week. Those should go on this weekend, pending I receive them. I also plan on FINALLY adjusting the height of my rear coilovers as they are about .5″ too low and have been since I installed them. Just never had the time or want to tear the whole thing apart simply to spend 15 seconds adjusting it. Ugh!
Whew… Still more info… The much anticipated, long-awaited and famed Integrated Engineering 2.5l Intake Manifold has FINALLY arrived! Along with some other goodies. Now to get my life together, get a core ECU tuned and sent out to me so I can install the unit and run through the RPMS to my hearts content. So happy its here. But now it stares at me daily, begging to be installed. Until then…
Lastly, I ‘found’ (read, sneakingly swapped from a car that happens to be an identical make/model and in my garage…) a Neuspeed 25mm rear sway bar and installed that just tonight. To be fair, I measured the bar its the center and it measured just over 26.5mm. Didn’t bother to check any other areas as to where it might be 25mm, but found that funny. Should make a nice bit of change in geometry and plant the rear a bit more. The sweet part about having a cut exhaust, is not having to lift the car up and/or remove a tire to get access tot eh swap bar. Unbolt it from all its fittings and it comes right out. I will also note, that while the stock bar is ‘only’ 18mm, it did feel a bit heavier than the Neuspeed bar.
Alright, so as of now I’ve logged nearly 1500+ miles and no such problems to report as of yet. A good friend of mine was able to recharge my A/C at his performance shop, so that is one more thing checked off the list. I just performed an oil change on the new motor and fit the oil temperature sender and line to the gauge on the inside. I can report that both gauges work well as they should. I just replaced the battery with a new factory battery and it seems to work fine. I get a better idle and I’m not sure if its in my head or not, but its a little bit more jumpy on the freeway. My first inclination would be that the throttle position sensor was reset when the new battery was installed. Otherwise, it feels like it pulls a bit harder. Which is always good. As of now, the course is still to start on the body work. So we will see how that goes and when that starts. Till next time…