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98 TSi awd - Autocross Build

Year
1998
Model/Trim
Eagle Talon TSi AWD

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through this thread, and it's really made me appreciate the fun that can be had in a low power, mostly stock car with drivetrain and suspension upgrades. Thanks for revamping my modifications plan.

Hopefully you've sorted out what's going on with the engine?

Glad you enjoyed it. Its certainly been an exercise in both joy and sorrow. ROFL The engine is not sorted out, but I am currently working on its replacement.


Pulled the motor out as trying to diagnose the issue while still in the engine bay is difficult. However, I have scraped the idea of repairing my block. I sent an oil sample to Blackstone labs and they confirmed there is bearing material in the oil. The sample I sent in had roughly 100 miles on it plus 4 autocross runs so it whatever issue there was/is is still going on.

I sourced a 97 long block from DSMPartout.com and will utilize the shortblock along with all my relatively new parts. (and a few other new items)

Empty Engine Bay.jpg


Hard to imagine that the block on the right is the bad one.

Dual Stand.jpg


This motor came out of a 97 FWD automatic that was running a 14b turbo on stock fuel. Needless to say, the motor was not stressed. A cold compression test conducted by Norbert at DSMpartout showed 155psi across the board. I could live with that considering the circumstances. Allegedly, this thing has 84k miles on it, but that is pretty hard to believe. It was leaking oil at the valve cover, oil pump gear, castle plug, OFH, and oil pan and generally looked filthy. A proper cleanup was necessary before moving on.

Scrubbed down with WD40 Degreaser and oven cleaner. :D

Scrubbed shortblock.jpg


I did start to strip it down and the first order of business included measuring end play. Happy to report that we do NOT have crankwalk. :hellyeah:

No crankwalk.jpg
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Meanwhile, I've been wanting to rebuild my T25. I'm not so sure if the turbo is bad or not, but there was ALWAYS oil in the compressor inlet and my intercooler pipes. Quite a bit more than I would have liked. In my search, I came across a BRAND NEW mitsubishi T25 turbo on ebay. I lowballed the crap out of the seller (don't we all?) and believe it or not, he accepted. Proud to say that I have a brand new T25 on my hands.

New T25.jpg




Currently waiting on a ton of new parts, bolts, gaskets, etc. from extremepsi and rockauto with a few delivery confirmations for today. With the MLK 3 day weekend fast approaching, I'd hate to sit idle with nothing to do. :idontknow: :thumb:
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Looking good. When is your first event this season?

I’ll start with the season opener, but probably co-driving another car. With the epic meltdown of my old motor, i’ve had to replace EVERYTHING. Pump and case, ofh, lifters, head washed, contaminated accusump, etc, etc. :cry: I’m ru$hing as fast I can, but its looking like the car won’t run until May.
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Winter has nearly come and gone and the Talon is approaching completion.

Newish motor all assembled and ready to go. A lot of what I had replaced last summer had to be redone. Freshly redone head with new GSC valve seals. New Lifters. New Turbo. New ACL oil pump because why not. The water pump and timing belt kit had roughly 200 miles on it so those were reused. Also picked up some used, but in better condition, timing covers. Had the black VC laying around and decided to use it. My prior cover had an extra port for the catchcan and unfortunately, modifications to VC's are not allowed in the SCCA SP rulebook. I supplemented that with a vented oil cap. Oddly enough, modifications to the oil cap are open. Not pictured is the Evo 9 OFH I used to replace the stocker. 1st, I'll be adding on an oil cooler soon. 2nd, I love how it moves the oil filter away from the downpipe. My RNR racing 3 inch o2 eliminator is so big that I could not use stock sized oil filters. I actually ran Mazda RX8 or 3000gt filters as they are much shorter than ours.

engine stand.jpg


Opened up the trans and got the Quaife center diff in. I think I'm most excited about this. Changing each diff on the car had a dramatic affect on the car's driving characteristics so really looking forward to this. I'll save my 4-spider diff as a spare.

open trans.jpg


As it sits now....

Engine in car.jpg
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Next on the long list was my leaky driveshaft yoke. Every few hundred miles, I'd had to clean off the gear oil spray from underneath the car. Not very safe, especially since I plan on continuing autocross, but also include some track day lapping.

Yoke.jpg


Had these Torque Solutions driveshaft bushings laying around a few years. Might as well get them on now. LOL

DS bushings.jpg



Luckily, the rest of the driveshaft carriers are still in good shape.


And this is where I'm at at this point. Still have a lot to do, but the difficult work is now complete.
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
I have OCD for trying to be neat and organized even though it is quite the task when building a car in your home garage. While cleaning up, I decided to peak into my old 98' block to see if it is salvageable or if I should toss it. Here is what I found...

bearing.jpg


Ouch! Still have no clue what caused this as I've only driven the car on street tires. With that being said, the 200TW street tires are so sticky these days, I'm not so surprised. Whats even more shocking is that this engine still ran before I took it apart. If you weren't mechanically inclined, you would have thought there was nothing wrong with it.

Luckily and surprisingly... The crank isn't completely trashed so i'll save this block for a future build.

Crank.jpg
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Motor is in and running along with FIC 950cc injectors and a walbro 255 pump. This should be plenty of fuel to run e85 on the t25 turbo. No AFPR as of yet so hopefully drilling the siphon out to 1/8th inch and NOT rewiring my pump can save face with the stock regulator. Idling the car for about an hour or so and CombinedFT is hovering between 0 and -2% with FIC's voltage settings a -53.5 scaling. Will make sure to give it a proper tune on the MAF once the car is driveable and then switch to speed density.

Also got the oil cooler on. Banjo fittings off the OFH to 10an fittings and lines. Don't mind the missmatched colors. I ordered an 8an 90 on mistake and had to borrow one from my accusump setup. Mounting brackets were made from some aluminum flat bar and a hammer. Rotella oil used for now due its high detergent and cleaning agents. The Fram oil filters are temporary as I'm constantly changing the oil to make sure all oil passages are clean and debris free. It was a used shortblock after all.

oilcooler1.jpg
oil lines.jpg
 
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Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
And a non performance mod... replaced the headliner. Chose black fabric as it shouldn't show dirt as much. ROFL

Scraped off all remaining OEM glue with a stiff brush, followed by blowing out at 80psi, and lastly a wipe down with Zep40 and a microfiber cloth.

headliner1.jpg


Using 3M Advanced headliner and fabric adhesive. Spray on both the backing and fabric, wait a few minutes to tack up, and then carefully attach. I started in the center and worked my way out with even pressure. Finish one half and then start the other. Its not as easy as it looks as you have to form fit the fabric and you really only have one shot at it. I didn't do a perfect job, but it came out better than I expected.

headliner2.jpg

I didn't rush to install yet as I wanted the headliner to sit right side up for a few days. The garage was still chilly as it hasn't really warmed up in NJ yet so in the house it went. Luckily, I have a great wife and she didn't mind the headliner hanging out with us.

And installed...

headliner3.jpg



A few minor things left to handle and the car should hit the road soon. :hellyeah:
 
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Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
So I've always wanted a bit more rear camber. My car is not that much lower than stock which netted just under -2 degrees with no camber correction. I'd like to shoot for around -2.5. Rear camber kits are hard to come by as the tried and true method is washers and longer bolts, not especially kits that net you more negative camber. I found this no name kit on ebay last year and decided to give it a try. Included were a tone of big washers, new mounts, and eccentric hardware. I was tempted to skip the eccentrics and just go full max negative, but decided against that for now.

rear camber kit.jpg


as you can see, there is quite a bit more room to pull the upper control arm back inward.

r upper arm.jpg


I've set them at max negative camber. IIRC, the kit indicated that you can add about -0.75 degrees. I don't need that much, but I also raised the rear ride height by about a half inch. I'll see what this nets me and adjust from there. I usually end up getting multiple alignments per year anyway.

I would have loved to use Bobby's rear upper control arms, but unfortunately, they are not legal for the class I run in. I'll be sure to pick up a set next go around and keep them for future use. As long as the eccentrics don't slip, this should suffice for now.
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
As I've mentioned before, I had to replace a few items with my accusump setup. Especially the original -10an line I ran underneath the car. It would be near impossible to clean out. I picked up another 90 degree fitting and ran a new line the same way as the old. For the accusump itself, I did two things. First, I pressurized the air side and let it sit for a few days. After checking the gauge, no pressure loss. This is good as it tells me the seals inside are still good. 2nd, I rinsed the oil side with mineral spirits. But, before that , I had to make sure that the internal piston was all the way over to the air side. Released all air pressure and pushed the piston down with a few extensions connected to each other and a 12 mm socket. LOL Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat until clean fluid came out.

sump cleaning.jpg


Now, if you remember, I was having issues with the sump last summer. (after the first car repair go around) The accusump would release its oil contents back to the motor and never recharge. I checked the electrical connections, verified the old motor was making oil pressure, and even replaced the electric valve control unit. None of that worked

The only remaining item it could be is the pressure switch sensor itself. Originally, I had the 20-25psi oil pressure switch. When the valve "sensed" anything below 20-25psi of oil pressure, it would empty the oil contents of the tank into the engine. Once oil pressure stabilizes, the tank refills itself with oil pressure from the motor. Pretty simple concept really. But, instead of replacing with the same switch, I moved up one step to the 35-40psi switch. Here is why. If this sump is band-aiding loss of oil pressure, why let it wait until the pressure drops to 20-25psi for it to work? What if the loss of pressure occurs at high RPM? I know the motor only needs a few psi to float the main bearings, but what about the rod bearings, turbo, etc?

new pressure sensor.jpg


New sensor on the left. This should make the accusump respond earlier and not wait for the loss of pressure to drop so low. It will surely bleed off its oil contents into the motor during idle and very low RPM use, but neither of those scenarios occur while racing the car. The power to the kit is switched anyway, of which I keep off when not on an autocross course. Clearly I had a bearing failure despite having this system. (It could have happened before though) Hopefully this makes everything work better. I've since driven the car around a bit and everything seems to be working perfectly. Flip the power on, and the sump pumps its oil into the motor. Start the engine, and the oil pressure refills the sump.
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
As I just mentioned, i've put about 5 miles on the car. Can't drive too much more as the tags are expired and the NJ DMV is still shut down. One thing that still kept me awake at night (not really LOL) was the quality of the used motor I bought. I know I replaced damn near everything on it, but obviously not the pistons, rings, and cylinder walls. Prior owner claimed it had 90k miles, but who really knows if that is true or not. Out came the compression tester.

comp test.jpg


That was cylinder 1 with the highest result. 4 had 173 and 2/3 both had around 175psi. Phew dodged a bullet there. Leakdown test results to come soon... Before I get that done, I'm going to have to investigate a slight oil leak. I think its the oil pan. :ohdamn: :cry:
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
One new addition are another set of wheels. Enkie PF01. A friend decided to part with these and gave me a great price for 3. (the fourth has a crack on one of the spokes) I used to have a set which I sold because they were too narrow. These are 18x10.5 and will do great as my racing slicks wheels. I'll keep my NT03's for the rain, weekend drive tires.

new wheels.jpg
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
And the Talon is officially back on the road! Exciting times. Leak was in fact my oil pan, but also the driver side axle seal. Oil pan seal is repaired. Have to take it back apart to replace the axle seal as that was not as noticeable at first.

One thing I couldn't wait for is a proper wash. Seeing it sit in the garage and collect dust was breaking my heart. Then my wife decided to write "wash me" with her finger on the spoiler and that really sent me over. LOL I will admit, keeping the car clean is almost as enjoyable as driving it.
IMG_7196.jpg


I took it for a proper alignment shortly after as I did not want to put any extra wear on my Bridgestone RE71r tires. They have only a few events of life left, but I don't have any interest in buying new tires this year. Have a set of Hoosiers as well, but will need these street tires to get the car around. Ended up with -3.5 degrees camber up front and -2.9 and -2.7 in the rear. Will shoot for -4 up front and -2.5 in the rear next time around.

With the COVID-19 regulations getting more and more relaxed, motorsport events started to be scheduled in the northeast. First up was a track sprint at Pocono with NEPA SCCA. Wasn't thrilled with testing the car at a track sprint, but my longing to be out there and driving won that battle.

IMG_7232.jpg


There were some pluses and minuses to the event, of which i'll cover in detail in another post. The main thought on my mind was getting the car back home without any issue and for the most part, that was a success.

I borrowed a friend's trailer and towed the car with my Grand Cherokee. The last event I ran was in PA and that resulted in a $550 tow home. Did not want to go through that again. Towing was a blast and very convenient. I'll be looking into getting my own trailer for next season.

IMG_7236.jpg


Double header autocross weekend coming up on the 27th and 28th. Getting the axle seal replaced is priority number one and then we should be able to make it to both events. Fingers crossed.
 
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turbosax2

Moderator
4,392
363
Nov 19, 2006
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Video from a lap at Pocono east course. My gopro didn't like the position I put it in and the white balance of the sunshine glared pretty badly. Sorry about that. Best I could do for now as I had no idea the camera would do this.

There should be a feature called "spot meter" you can turn on to avoid the glare.
 

Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Write up of the Track Sprint at Pocono, 6/13/2020:

The nerves were on full blast as this event was approaching. It would be the first outing for the car since its rebuild and first event for me in months due to the COVID crisis. After co-driving a BS BMW M4 in 2019 and my own STU Evo X in 2018, I really had no idea what to expect. Outside of the failed rebuild attempt last summer, the car has sat, broken, since the end of 2017. It didn't help that I had to drop and reseal the oil pan just a few days prior, only to put it back together and find out my driverside axle seal is leaking. I know RNR racing has been gone a long while, and I still do LOVE my 3 inch o2 eliminator downpipe, but its a f***ing PITA to remove and install. There is no border between the o2 housing and downpipe so I get to play with turbine housing nuts/bolts every time I need the downpipe out of the way. Adding a vband somewhere up near the turbo is now certainly on the long list of modifications I want to do to the car.

Recap:

-I either got a batch of bad gas or the new hahn sidemount hates 93 octane. Eric Loose browsed over my logs and he too did not understand why I was knocking so much.
-The car was slow. Had no timing and boost was set lower than I normally run.
-I spent most of my 1st and part of my 2nd session reviewing logs and keeping my eyes on the flashing (knock) CEL.
-The car is not really setup for track driving. Pushy to snap loose on lift throttle. Not too concerned about this since it is more of a dedicated autocross car, but I'll certainly make changes before committing to the next track day.
-My 2 year old tires were certainly not capable of performing at their best.
-Wilwood BP-10 brakes pads work great for autocross and they survived the track sprint, but I would not use them for back to back lapping. Something that tolerates more heat is required.


The good stuff:

-I had a damn blast. Felt nice to flog the car around.
-The car did not break. That's a win!:hellyeah:
-Coolant temps were 190 on the line and 199 passing the finish lights. New radiator and no FMIC are certainly helping. Last time the car ran, coolant temps would approach 215 degrees on a single autocross run.
-New vented oil cap and rerouting of my catch can lines are working out great! Minimal oil is collecting in the can and ZERO smoke out of the tailpipe. Again, last time the car ran, it would fill the catch can after 6 autocross runs. Barely a few drops of oil after 20+ laps today.
-Outside of the tune, the car passed the stress test and is ready for some autocross action.
 
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Black95TSIawd

Proven Member
2,615
400
Jan 28, 2003
Dirty, New_Jersey
Now was a better time than ever to switch to e85. I know the T25 won't make much power, but the inconsistency of 93 octane is getting on my nerves. The pluses of using ethanol far outweighs any minuses. The power and cooling alone is worth it to me.

E85 is difficult to find in NJ. Luckily for me, a Valero station just over the NY state border has it at the pump. About 40 minutes or so from my house. Took a ride out and picked up 26 gallons. More than enough for me to tune and run the car at the upcoming double event weekend.

IMG_7255.jpg


So my Cusco front diff has always been a little noisy. Clutch type diffs will chatter quite a bit in low speed situations. However, it seemed to be quite a bit noisier than ever, to the point that it was getting a bit violent with the clanking and banging. Even my wife asked if something is wrong with the car. Rule of thumb is to add a little friction modifier. However, this is a no no since the front diff is inside the transmission case. Friction modifier and synchronized transmissions do not work well together. I emailed Cusco USA and they suggested two options: Get their oil (if I could find it in the USA) or try some non synthetic gear oil, Motul specifically. Well, I couldn't find their oil anywhere in stock in the States and I didn't have time for it to be shipped from overseas. (its also $40 a quart. :boring:) I did try a little experiment with Lucas High Performance non synthetic gear oil. Its cheap and readily available. And guess what? It works great. The diff is near silent and the transmission still shifts very smoothly. I'll keep this stuff in the transmission for now, but will get the Motul equivalent for the next go around.
 
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