RacerX

'93 626 Lemon Racer

1,616 posts in this topic

Update as we got the motor mostly together today.    New rod bearing and bolts.  Old bearings didn't look to bad but we did this for peace of mind. 

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Then we put the pump and oil pan on.    The pump we disassembled and ran through the parts washer and then rebuilt.   We decided to use the AWR oil pan as we figured out why it was leaking when we disassembled the old engine, it's powdercoated.  RTV won't seal well to powder.   So we threw it in the parts washer as well and then scuffed the mating surface.   

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Done with the bottom we flipped the shortblock over and started on the topside.   New headgasket after cleaning all the surfaces.   Note the pistons ;)   The head is also marked 10.1 ;)  

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We pulled the dowls out of the head and put them into the block before lining the head up.  They can be smashed all the way into the head and you don't even know they are there.   This prevents correct alignment if the dowls don't get aligned correctly.   After torquing the head down in 3 different steps it was on to the cams and cam gears.   We decided to use the OEM gears as the aftermarket ones were a little to worn and gouged for us to be comfy with them in an endurance car.   They would probably be fine but we aren't looking to advanced timing with them anyways as this motor has more HP then a DE and aren't playing catch up.     One interesting thing on this JDM motor was that BOTH cams are FSH9 intake cams just orientated differently.   We did a double take on this when we first took it apart.   

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Crank timing pulley, water pulley, tensioners installed.  Set up the timing which was a little confusing at first with the different markings on the gears but once we figured it out we got it set first try. Then plastics.  Then accessories.   We also got the water lines runs and the tstat housing.   We didn't have the rear coolant passage gasket so we decided to stop there till the next day.  Won't take much more and we'll be ready to drop in the car. 

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Good catch on the dowels. This happened to me once and the head gasket slipped ever so slightly when the head was tightened down. The number 3 piston was making very slight contact with the head gasket.  After about an hour and half of track time, the rocking it induced in the piston eventually led to it seizing. It cost us almost a complete weekend.

You may end up having to swap the valve cover for the one on the old motor. That FS-ZE cover looks like it's setup for the coil on plug ignition found in the later Proteges. The plug wires with the current ignition the MicroSquirt is configured for may not fit. The MicroSquirt is setup to use the crank sensor mounted on the oil pump.  You may have to pull this off the old motor too. It is not setup for the cam sensor. So ditching the cam sensor is not a problem.

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I see you went with the under-drive crank pulley.  I've been on the fence regarding running those on an endurance racer.  I had one on a previous FS-DE based motor I had assembled.  It ran fine for 2-3 races. But in the end, I decided to go back to a factory harmonic balancer.  The pulley/balancer on the motor that was in the car has very little time on it.  You might want to keep it in case you decide to go back to something that will dampen some of the crank vibration.

Another thing you will want to keep out of that old motor are the cams. It has a FSH9 intake cam and matched Corksport exhaust cam.  It's likely very similar to the cams you have in your current FS-ZE motor.  But, they could be helpful for another motor build.

The biggest problem with the AWR oil pan is the mating surface of the pan and lower engine cradle in the back of the motor (intake side) near the transmission is offset a little and provides a very small surface to mate.  If you pull the pan and look at your rtv, you will see exactly what I am talking about. This is where it often developed leaks. I found using a cork gasket with a thin layer of rtv on both sides helped.

BTW, I have always been suspect of the FS-ZE numbers published.  They claimed something like 170hp at 7,000-7,200 rpm.  First off, it's a bad plan to spin that long stroke motor at 7K rpm all weekend.  Second off, I've run FS-ZE cams and even that full FS-ZE motor (minus the intake setup and ECU) for 4-5 laps before it seized.  The head + cams were run out of air by about 6,500 rpm. The small valves in the head are never gonna make big power at 7K rpm.

The good news is the reality that I found was much better for endurance racing. The FSH9 cam combo does breath better, but it still makes plenty of torque and doesn't want to rev to the moon. I never put any of my motor combos on a dyno. But, I assume that my original '93 motor setup was making about 115-120 hp at the crank. The FS-DE setup with Microsquirt, solid lifters and FSH9 exhaust cam probably made about 130-140 hp. And, the FS-ZE based motor with full FS-ZE cams, 626 intake, and microsquirt was probably destined to make maybe 140-150 hp.  All of those combos were very torquey and we usually shifted around 5500 to 6000 rpm.

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4 hours ago, RacerX said:

Good catch on the dowels. This happened to me once and the head gasket slipped ever so slightly when the head was tightened down. The number 3 piston was making very slight contact with the head gasket.  After about an hour and half of track time, the rocking it induced in the piston eventually led to it seizing. It cost us almost a complete weekend.

You may end up having to swap the valve cover for the one on the old motor. That FS-ZE cover looks like it's setup for the coil on plug ignition found in the later Proteges. The plug wires with the current ignition the MicroSquirt is configured for may not fit. The MicroSquirt is setup to use the crank sensor mounted on the oil pump.  You may have to pull this off the old motor too. It is not setup for the cam sensor. So ditching the cam sensor is not a problem.

The cam sensor connection is broken, we just left the sensor in for sealing purposes as we know it won't be used.   Everything else looked like it would fit without issue.  We will see.   

We have taken the crank sensor off the old motor, we completely stripped it of anything possibly useful and it's in the scrap pile now.   

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3 hours ago, RacerX said:

I see you went with the under-drive crank pulley.  I've been on the fence regarding running those on an endurance racer.  I had one on a previous FS-DE based motor I had assembled.  It ran fine for 2-3 races. But in the end, I decided to go back to a factory harmonic balancer.  The pulley/balancer on the motor that was in the car has very little time on it.  You might want to keep it in case you decide to go back to something that will dampen some of the crank vibration.

Another thing you will want to keep out of that old motor are the cams. It has a FSH9 intake cam and matched Corksport exhaust cam.  It's likely very similar to the cams you have in your current FS-ZE motor.  But, they could be helpful for another motor build.

The biggest problem with the AWR oil pan is the mating surface of the pan and lower engine cradle in the back of the motor (intake side) near the transmission is offset a little and provides a very small surface to mate.  If you pull the pan and look at your rtv, you will see exactly what I am talking about. This is where it often developed leaks. I found using a cork gasket with a thin layer of rtv on both sides helped.

BTW, I have always been suspect of the FS-ZE numbers published.  They claimed something like 170hp at 7,000-7,200 rpm.  First off, it's a bad plan to spin that long stroke motor at 7K rpm all weekend.  Second off, I've run FS-ZE cams and even that full FS-ZE motor (minus the intake setup and ECU) for 4-5 laps before it seized.  The head + cams were run out of air by about 6,500 rpm. The small valves in the head are never gonna make big power at 7K rpm.

The good news is the reality that I found was much better for endurance racing. The FSH9 cam combo does breath better, but it still makes plenty of torque and doesn't want to rev to the moon. I never put any of my motor combos on a dyno. But, I assume that my original '93 motor setup was making about 115-120 hp at the crank. The FS-DE setup with Microsquirt, solid lifters and FSH9 exhaust cam probably made about 130-140 hp. And, the FS-ZE based motor with full FS-ZE cams, 626 intake, and microsquirt was probably destined to make maybe 140-150 hp.  All of those combos were very torquey and we usually shifted around 5500 to 6000 rpm.

The underdrive pulley is about 5lbs lighter than the OEM.   That was the main reason for the switch.  Taking weight off the rotating assembly will help the motor spin up a little faster.  Same reason for doing a flywheel.    It should also help prevent cavitation in the cooling system as the engine and water pump will always be at a higher rpm.   We will see durning testing.   If it slows the pump down too much and we see temps increase we will swap back to the OEM and see if that helps. 

We def. kept the cams out of the old engine.   They are wrapped up nicely in a towel for safe keeping for now.   We sold the Crowers.  

We don't plan on letting anyone spin the engine during races to 7k, more like 6k.   We will take it all the way up during tuning on the dyno though.   We wanna see what this little thing can do.  

 

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Having run both the under-drive and factory crank pulley, I can say they both work just fine with the water pump at track speeds/revs.  If you have a temp problem, it's something else. With a clean factory type radiator, the cooling system has no problem managing engine temps all weekend.

I've run both the 170° and 180° thermostats and both did fine.  I was running a 170° the last several races.  That's a fresh one in the old motor.

As far as spinning up the motor faster with the under-drive pulley, it's noticeable in the pit, but not noticeable on the track. If you want the car to accelerate faster out of the turns, I'd suggest getting a set of 15" wheels and go back to 98'+ 626 calipers and rotors on the front of the car. But, you will go through pads and tires faster.

I'm looking forward to reading about the dyno runs and your impression of the car on the track.

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19 hours ago, RacerX said:

Having run both the under-drive and factory crank pulley, I can say they both work just fine with the water pump at track speeds/revs.  If you have a temp problem, it's something else. With a clean factory type radiator, the cooling system has no problem managing engine temps all weekend.

I've run both the 170° and 180° thermostats and both did fine.  I was running a 170° the last several races.  That's a fresh one in the old motor.

As far as spinning up the motor faster with the under-drive pulley, it's noticeable in the pit, but not noticeable on the track. If you want the car to accelerate faster out of the turns, I'd suggest getting a set of 15" wheels and go back to 98'+ 626 calipers and rotors on the front of the car. But, you will go through pads and tires faster.

I'm looking forward to reading about the dyno runs and your impression of the car on the track.

Great to know, thanks!!   We saw that the tstat was new but didn't know what temp it was.  We'll throw it back in.

We will probably play with brake compounds if we need to after we test.   There's tons of pads here so we might go through them if it isn't terrible before we make a switch.   We just changed compounds on our 300zx and it made a huge difference in how we could drive the car. 

 

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The front pads on the car are Hawk DTC-60's, the rears are Hawk HP+'s. Both sets are relatively new with approximately one race on them.  I don't recall exactly. They should have at least a full race remaining in them. Those pads with the current brake setup were lasting 3-4 races on average.

The DTC-60's have good friction and durability, they are easy on the rotors, and they have excellent modulation. The HP+'s in back have very high friction, good durability, and good modulation. The extra friction in the back help balance the braking on the car in the absence of a proportioning valve.

These are the only pads I have tried with the MazdaSpeed 6 brakes up front and the '98+ 626 brakes in the rear. I was very happy with them. They far outperformed the Carbotech and Hawk Blue 9012's I tried with previous brake combos. The huge rotors upfront combined with the power brake booster and no ABS system are a bit grabby on initial bite. If you are used to stabbing the brakes on your current track or race car, these will surprise you. They require just regular daily driver on the street type pressure at the pedal, no more. If you stab them quickly with lots of pressure, you are sure to lock up the fronts.  All my drivers had lots of track time in modern ABS equipped Mini Cooper or BWM track cars. Each were a little surprised by the initial bite their first couple laps in the car. Everyone got used to it after that.

I had no plans to change the wheel and brake combo. This setup lasts much longer than a set of 98+ 626 hardware all around would last with similar pads. Also, the 17" tires last about twice as long as the 14" tires we originally ran (Dunlop Direzza Z2's). The bigger wheels are a little sluggish out of a turn compared to the 14" tires we originally ran. But, mid-corner to exit speeds are higher on the 17" wheels and terminal velocity at the end of the straights is about the same. So, lap times are comparable. In fact, lap times on the 17" wheels were faster, but I made other changes too. So, it's hard to compare straight up.

 

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Should paint the valve cover. It would look sweet.

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5 hours ago, Tiberianx said:

Should paint the valve cover. It would look sweet.

It's a chumpcar.   We don't want it looking TOO good and people start asking questions.  Part of the reason we didn't put the polished one on there either.   We will probably end up cleaning it up and selling it.      It's all legal as it's OEM and we are claiming the parts we are adding to it. (ignition, pulleys, header, etc..)   

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Engine is is the car!!  Everything went smoothly.   Fired up first time we gave it spark.    We are gonna do a couple things to the car before we load it up and take it to drop at the tuners.    

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