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Aaron's 1997 GSX - Street/AutoX/Track Build

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 6/27/16

Had ALL day Saturday to wrench! Got the motor freshened up! New gaskets, new water pump, new timing belt, alternator, power steeing, all assemebled.

Flywheel and clutch on, and I mounted up the tranny! Decided to drop her in too!

Very excited!

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And the money shot!!!

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GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 7/5/2016

Spent most of the weekend in the garage bolting more and more onto the car.

Saturday I started running all the electrical and plugging in connectors I also got most of the interior in after I vacuumed and cleaned it all out. As you can see, I still have a lot to do. But she is coming together!

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Monday I spent most of the day cleaning up and re-organizing my garage. It had become pretty cramped and packed between ALL the prats and tools I had been using.

But I did manage to start bolting some bigger body panels on the car, thus creating more space in my garage.

[URL=http://s285.photobucket.com/user/awolo/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_20160704_181627945_HDR_zpszzvnlsuv.jpg.html]IMG_20160704_181627945_HDR_zpszzvnlsuv.jpg [/URL
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There’s still A LOT to get done!
Here’s the short list off the top of my head.

- Install front brakes and Axles
- Install rear brakes
- Bleed brakes
- Install T-Case and hook up Drive Shaft
- Install front sub-frame brace
- Install Front and rear motor mounts
- Install Slave Cylinder
- Bleed Clutch Line
- Install Throttle Cable
- Fill tranny with fluid
- Fill motor with fluid
- Install 255 Pump
- Install Turbo
- Install Exhaust
- Finish hooking up all of the electrical
- Install Boost & Oil Pressure Gauges
- Buy and install WideBand
- Install Battery and check all of the wiring
- Install ECU
- …..and w/e else I’m forgetting

DSM ShootOut or BUST!!! 43 days! WISH ME LUCK!!!
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GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 7/7/2016

More and more has been getting done. My wife will be out of town Saturday/Sunday so I’m making a big push then to get as much done as possible. Possibly have a buddy coming over to give me a hand as well.

I ordered the last few things I needed, fluids, rotors, pads, etc

By my calculations, I have around 21 hours left of work to get done. I’m assuming it will be a little more as things don’t always go smoothly with DSMs.

Got the rear 2gb stuff on as well!

IMG_20160705_214805544_zpsc1jggery.jpg
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 7/11/2016

Had another complete weekend to work on the car. Here’s the good and the bad.

Saturday, I installed the front axles, caliper, rotors and pads. I’m running the Outlander brackets for the cheap bigger brake upgrade. I’m still waiting on my rear caliper to get here, then ill button up the brake situation and get them all bled. Fun fact, 16inch 2g 5-Spoke wheels BARELY clear this setup. Something I was not expecting.

IMG_20160709_170808837_zpstu6s3h99.jpg

Also got the slave cylinder in, with the stainless clutch line and it’s been bled and adjusted.

Throttle cable is in.

Billet 20g was mounted up and connected. Unfortunately, I sold my external wastegate Setup, so I’ll be running with no wastegate for the first start and test driving, unless I find one in the meantime to purchase and get on the car.

IMG_20160710_122634363_zpsuwb0zzof.jpg

Now for the not so good/fun. I double checked all of the battery wiring and worked up the courage to connect my battery, just to see what would happen. So I connected the negative up and then connected the positive and hoped for the best.

Soooo….there was no fire, smoke, etc. However some apparent problems could be seen.

1. Whenever the drivers door is open, the door chime plays, regardless of the key being in the column.
2. No dash lights when turning the lights on.
3. Radio wont power on
4. Turning the head lights on, both high beams are dim, the passenger low beam is dim, but the drive low beam is normal
5. Also, only the passenger tail light seems to have power.

Sooo….i’ve got some issues to work out apparently. My initial thoughts on the headlights in a bad ground or relay, those car be checked out. As for the dash lights, I have a lot of plugs yet to be plugged in for the dash harness, so I’m hoping the issue lies there. But we will see.

The windows work, power mirrors work, sunroof works, etc.

I knew this was going to be tough, lets hope this doesn’t sideline the whole project.

At least it looks good in the bay!

IMG_20160710_175627_zpsiegoqpq9.jpg
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 7/26/2016

Here we go! So, I got to the point where I wanted to turn the key to see what happened. So I hooked everything up and…..nothing….just a click from the starter relay behind the dash. Also no fuel pump prime.

Fuel Pump – Turns out the wiring the PO did was good, I just don’t have it hooked up correctly, so the switch I installed didn’t work. But when I bypass the relay and touch wires, the pump fires up! So the pump works and the wiring works, I just need to figure out my switch wiring. Shouldn’t be that bad honestly and I actually think I have it figured out.

As for the starter, I figured out the signal wire wasn’t hooked up. Silly me. So I hooked that back up.

Got back in the car, double checked everything, turned the key….and…..the starter hit and just spun. It was only catching the flywheel upon first hit. I did some searching and figured out that I installed the starter that came with the motor I picked up, which was for an Auto. The only differences between 2g turbo starters are that one is for Auto and one for 5 speed. Oh well, small and easy problem to fix. So I have a used starter on the way from MIP.

Also figured out my dash lighting and door chime issues. Turns out I forgot to plug in one of the dash harness connectors. Did that and everything works as normal!

DSMLink hooks up and connects fine!

She has power!!!

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HUGE fuel lines finally hooked up as well.

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NEXT STEP: Get the correct starter installed. Make sure the car is turning over, sounds good and healthy, etc. Put some E85 in her and see if she fires up!!

Things I still have to do:
- Install rear brakes
- Bleed all the brake lines
- Fill power steering fluid
- Coolant, fans, overflow
- Run power lines for the gauges
- Buy/install Innovative WideBand
- Install 255 pump
- Install complete exhaust
- Build battery box
- Hook up seat harness’s
- Fabricate a spare tire cover
- Alignment
- Lots of little things!


DSM SHOOTOUT IS 22 DAYS AWAY!!!!!
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 8/2/2016

The car turns over! Correct starter has been installed, so I plugged all the sensors in and turned the key. She turns over very well and sounds great!

I also figured out the Fuel Pump wiring and everything is in working order.

Im going to pick up some E85 after work today and put some fuel in her, button up a few things and see if she will fire up!

Still have A LOT to do! List above is longer than I thought.

DSM SHOOTOUT IS 15 DAYS AWAY!!!!!
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 8/9/2016

Well, A LOT has happened. I finally got around to trying for a first start after putting the correct starter on the car. I grabbed 5 gallons of fresh E85, poured it into the tank, hit the pump switch, turned the key…and she fired right up!!!!!

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I was super excited! Finally the car had some life. So I put her back in the garage and got ready for the next weekend of installs.

Saturday the 6th I had all day to work on her. I got the full exhaust installed, drained the rear diff and filled it, drained the tcase and filled it, installed the stainless brake lines on the front, installed the brake lines, calipers and rotors in the rear, bled the whole brake system, filled her up with coolant, installed the intake pipe.

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Jumped in to take her for a drive and nothing….car just turns over and over and over until the battery dies. So I was like okay…

Here’s what I have ruled out.

The fuel pump is working, I can hear flow at the rail, so I’m thinking a sensor failed and it won’t fire. I hook up link, no codes being thrown and the coolant temp sensor is working fine. I tested the CAS and got a good signal. I tested the harness side of the CPS and got a good signal (haven’t tested the wiring while cranking, need an extra hand for that). I pulled one plug and it has spark.

So here’s what I’m going to test next:
1. Verify I have spark at all 4 cylinders
2. Verify the CPS is working correctly
3. Pull the return line, activate pump, see what happens.

I’m leaning towards a fuel issue. Here’s why. This car hadn’t been run since 2010, I think when I poured in the fresh E85, she fired up because everything was good. I then let the car sit for a week before starting her again. I think the E85 may have broken up all the crap that had been sitting in the tank for years and thus, clogged the filter, clogged my injectors, etc. If that’s the case, ill pull the filter, clean it out, drain the tank, and put more fresh E85 in her. If she still doesn’t start, im going to pull the rail and see if the injectors are firing, then go from there.

DSM SHOOTOUT IS 9 DAYS AWAY!
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 8/10/2016

Worked on the car yesterday. Pulled the return line from the tank, activated the fuel pump and fuel is flowing fine.

I turned my attention to the ignition. pulled all the plugs, gapped, put them back. Double checked my spark plug setup, all good.

Heres what I dont understand. Now the car barely turns over. i had both my Tacoma AND a battery charger on the battery and it still barely turned over.

BUT it did start turning really slow and fired up! But its misfiring REALLY bad. Alsmot sounds like it only running on 1 or 2 cylinders.

A storm rolled in and I had to pack her up.

Kind of at a loss.

The car was ruinning GREAT for the first start up.

My only thoughts:
- Ignition problem?
- Bad Gas???
- Timing is off?
But none of the above explain why the car just wont turn over?
 

Boostaru

Probationary Member
8
0
Aug 10, 2016
Ottawa, ON_Canada
How long did you let the car run on your first start with E85? Also, did you make sure your fuelling tables are adjusted for the fuel change (assuming this is your first time trying E85)

Best of luck.
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
I might be able to swing by either Friday or Saturday if you're available Aaron

Let me know Mike. Msg me on FB wheneve you want, ill send ya my cell #.

How long did you let the car run on your first start with E85? Also, did you make sure your fuelling tables are adjusted for the fuel change (assuming this is your first time trying E85)

Best of luck.

This isnt my first time using E85. Im using the same exact setup my old car was on. ECU, Injectors, Tune, Turbo, intake, FMIC, everything is the same. The only difference is the fuel pump in the tank is a 190 not a 255. But at idle, that really shouldnt matter.

This is quite the build/process! Come a long way. Best of luck.

Thanks!
 

Boostaru

Probationary Member
8
0
Aug 10, 2016
Ottawa, ON_Canada
Definitely shouldn't matter at idle or start up - base fuel pressure is still the same.

Does the engine assembly rotate if you spin it with a ratchet? The starter solenoid could be having a bad time or the terminal connections aren't clean but had the necessary contact on the first start up, wiggled a bit or something where now the connection isn't great. (though from your pictures everything looked clean)

All of that aside, if you're misfiring that bad double check your timing and that your spark plugs are all igniting without an issue. Double check cam sensors, crank sensor... hoping it's something really silly for your sake.
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 8/16/2016

Well, for no gall dang reason, the car started, runs and drives. Idk why, idk what, idk when things changed.

But the last minute ShootOut prep will begin first thing Wednesday when I get home from work.

Have a lot to do yet. She is leaking coolant, oil and brake fluid among other things.

I still need to do the ARPs, new O2 housing and wastegate, 255 pump, build a spare tire cover, wire in some gauges, etc, etc.

Thursday is going to be a hell of a day!!

Also, for anyone going to the ShootOut, please say hi if you see me/the car. Would be nice to put a name to the face.
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 8/22/2016 - Post ShootOut! (this is going to be long, so my bad)

Dont scroll to far down if you dont want to spoil the ending! ha


Well, here we go! I took off work on Thursday and Friday of last week. Wanted to give myself as much time as possible to get the car ready for the drive out and the competition.

Two of my buddies, Justin Gibala and Justin Stull came in Thursday with their AWD DSMs. We spent the entire day, sun up to sun down working on them all.

I got everything I could done on Thursday. I wired in my wideband and installed it. I cut a trunk floor out of a spare piece of plywood I had, mounted the battery box. Wired in the lights for my boost and oil pressure gauges. Gibala pulled the 190 pump and installed the 255. Stull installed the driver seat harness. I put my race hood on the car and installed hood pins since the shell didn’t have any hood latch hardware. We fixed my coolant leak, and rebled the brakes, fixing the brake fluid leak. I also wired in my CAS securely. Oh and I ran to the BMV to get my temp tags so the car could actually be driven legally on the road.

As for the turbo, the O2 housing I had for my external wastegate was warped pretty bad and wouldn’t seal to the hot side. I didn’t even try to mount it up as the flange was way off. Luckily, Gibala brought a bunch of his old 20g parts, so we threw together a turbo to run. I ended up with a internally gated, 20g with an 11-blade billet inducer and a 9-blade exhaust wheel in a 7cm housing mated to a stock O2 housing.

Gibala also brought his old set of AX wheels/tires for me to run. Wheels were Evo 8 BBSs with a very used set of 245/40 Dunlop Star Spec Z2s. While we were putting the tires on, I noticed the passenger front wheel had TONS of play in the assembly. Which was all coming from the steering rack. Probably ¼ inch of solid movement. L

I really wanted to take her for a drive. So we fired her up and I left for a quick run down the road. It was dark, I had one headlight, no turn signals and a REALLY bad alignment. I pulled out of my driveway, shifted into second, third, 4th. YES! Car was driving “okay”. Then my CEL came on and the coolant temp gauge was spiked! I turned around ASAP and got her home. I had driven maybe ¼ mile between leaving and returning.

Pulled back into the driveway, popped the hood. Nothing was leaking. The lower rad hose was ice cold and so was the radiator! Thermostat must have been stuck or bad. Left her to cool for the night.

Woke up Friday morning. Here’s how she sat.

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Firsat order of business was to pull the thermostat, so I did. Pulled it out, left it out, put the lower hose and everything back on. I wanted to compete, so no thermostat would be run this weekend.

I still wanted to take her for a real drive as going all the way to Wakeman on her first real trip wasn’t a good idea. So we got her started and I set off for a little cruise. I think I drove for about 30-40 minutes. She never over heated, never lost oil pressure, brakes were working, car was driving!!! Im also pretty sure I have a welded diff.

I got into a little boost as well. Wanted to to see how she spooled, how she acted. So I did a little pull here and there, never going WOT. She spooled made about 5-6lbs and sounded great and LOUD! Got home and parked her so we could pack up.

At this point were running behind, but oh well. Finally got the cars ready and and left for the car wash! Yes, I wanted to wash my multicolored car. It just needed to happen.

IMG_20160819_112605941_HDR_zpsautfti3m.jpg

Finished the wash and she wouldn’t start. Battery didn’t have the juice to fire her up. So we push started her and we all left.

Made it to Wakeman!!

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Found a good parking spot and took a minute to let it sink in. Car made the trip, sure the alingment was bad, and she was tracking all over, but she is here.

Friday night we left for the strip, yes, had to push start her out of Wakeman. Haha

We pulled into the racers entrance and the car stalled and died. Great. Pulled her over and my buddies jumped out to push her again. I owe these guys. Finally got her into the paddock area of Summit Motorsports Park. I was done with diagnosing her, so I pulled the battery and we went up to watch time trials and what not.

Friday night, my buddy Stull had to go back to Erie, PA. So Gibala and I hitched a ride back to my house in Medina, OH. Game plan was to get my Tacoma, grab the trailer and come back early Saturday before the AutoCross event starts. I brought my battery home as well. When we got home, I put both batteries I had on chargers for the night.

We woke up Saturday, grabbed some extra parts/tools/etc, loaded up my truck, grabbed the trailer from my father in law and headed back to Norwalk. Upon arrival I installed my charged battery, she started…barely. I took my multimeter and started testing voltages. The battery was only getting 12.2v and the alt was putting out around 12.3. So yeah, my alt wasn’t up to snuff and the cheap Wal-Mart battery I had was tanking during cranking. Like it would drop to 3 volts. Oh well, didn’t have another alt to install, nor the time to do it. So I got push started again and drove my car over to the AX area. Gibala and I did a quick course walk and then attended the drivers meeting. They choose to run all the cars as a single run group, which I thought was dumb. They could have easily split the group up 20 and 20. Everyone was lining up and it was a cluster of cars everywhere. Oh well I had bigger issues. For the first 2 runs, I had the car push started. Then, during Gibala’s first run, his OFH came loose and he dumped oil all over the track. So we had a long clean up time. I walked back over to the paddock and grabbed my truck. I then installed my other battery, an Optima Red Top that came with the shell, which was from 2009. It was holding 12.4 volts. So I hooked that one up, parked my truck next to the car and jumped it every time I was going to run. Hey, w/e works right?

IMG_20160820_121510454_zpsn6xpf0wk.jpg

IMG_20160820_121515809_zps9f0aalgv.jpg

So the rest of the afternoon AX runs went on. I hooked my go pro up and recorded my last 3 runs. I also did some quick tuning. The car was running 10lbs after my first run and the AFR was like 9.9…on E85! Woah. I pulled a little fuel out and turned the boost up. J

I also pulled a ton of timing just to be safe. Got to glance at my boost gauge during a run and saw a solid 20psi! She was pulling great! All the way to 7k as well! Very happy!

During my second to last run, the car was over heating with revs. If I got on the throttle, the coolant CEL would pop on and the coolant needle would rise. Once off throttle, it would drop. I realised this mid run and said screw it, time to go all out.

So for my last run, I turned the car off, hooked it up to my truck and activated the fan on full blast. I kept link logging and watched as the coolant temps slowely got down into the 160s. I only had one run left and wanted my “hail marry run”. I was going to push it hard and if she blew, then so be it. Id rather she blow up trying than not at all. Pulled up the start, got the go ahead and took off.

My last run was once again faster than previous! Finished my run, saw my time and drove the car back to the pits.







RESULT!!!!!!

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2nd Place!!! I cannot believe it! Emotions set in when talking with my wife on the phone walking back to the car, trophy in hand. Surreal.

IMG_20160820_180219_zpsqnvhjs6c.jpg

This car has stock struts with cheap lowering springs, old used race tires, zero alignment, was over heating, had a questionable charging system, had almost zero true tune time on it and still was able to wrestle her into 2nd place.

IMG_20160820_164839601_HDR_zpshbkklxv4.jpg

Im currently putting together a video of my AX runs. Ill be sure to get that up here ASAP.
 

SOADweskey

Proven Member
1,224
95
Dec 11, 2006
Jacksonville, Florida
Awesome man, you made me feel like a sissy for leaving my car at home due to a lack of tuning time. I'm glad to see you get it together and pulled off a second place finish!

I'm the guy who stopped by briefly before your third run and tried to give some advice on keeping her cool. Upon reading all of this I would say you should see improvements just from putting in a good alternator that actually provides enough power for the fan.
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
Awesome man, you made me feel like a sissy for leaving my car at home due to a lack of tuning time. I'm glad to see you get it together and pulled off a second place finish!

I'm the guy who stopped by briefly before your third run and tried to give some advice on keeping her cool. Upon reading all of this I would say you should see improvements just from putting in a good alternator that actually provides enough power for the fan.

It was a pleasure meeting you! Glad you stopped over.
 

GofaST4life

Proven Member
2,898
132
Oct 21, 2007
Medina 44256, Ohio
UPDATE: 9/19/2016

A lot has gone on over the last few weeks.

I attended an AutoCross in my old region in Erie, PA. It was a blast! I had a great time with my old crew.

However, one thing was apparent. This new racecar was not the same Wendy I was used too. Between the borrowed worn out race tires and the non-race suspension, the car just wouldn't handle. One thing she does do well, is make power. I honestly feel like this car is fast in a straight line than Wendy was. Boost hits hard! And she pulls all the way.

So here's where i'm at. To make this car what Wendy was handling wise, i'd have to spend:
- $600 on Race Tires
- $400+ on wheels
- $800-$1100 on a proper set of coilovers

Easily $2,000 on just bolt on parts/wheels/tires. To be honest, that's money I just don't want to spend. ON TOP OF THAT the car would still be mis-colored and "ugly". Sure I could dip it for $200-400, but still.

If i'm following both my head, its just not practical to have a race only car. Sure I race a lot, but not nearly enough to warrant a full time racer. And this car needs some TLC to become a real street car. It needs properly finished.

Someone local found me and wants to finish the car properly. After much conversation and a test drive, we struck a deal. So the car will be going to a new home in a few weeks and will be staying local. Ill be taking some parts off it as the new owner is going to bring her back to a more stock setting and finishing her up before he goes for more power. Being local, Ill be able to help him out and build it again as he takes the vehicle down a new path, which is exciting.

Before you ask, no i'm not leaving the DSM game. But I think a nice break is needed at this time. And besides, you never know what will come next.

As you've read, it was a whirl wind of a few months and that SO weekend was intense. Building a car in 60 days was a blast, and the end result was more than I could have asked for at the ShootOut.
 
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