Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Project-Zero: Dealing with crappy spade terminals.

 In the process of fitting the chassis harness to the car, I've run into issues with of the crimped spade terminal slipping off the wires while handling them. The issue is entirely with the style of insulated crimp terminal that whomever built the harness used. In my experience this style of terminal is just unreliable: it's impossible to know if you've gotten a good, positive crimp on the conductor and sleeve. I've had more of these slip off of wires than I care to try to remember, including the two from last night. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Project-Zero: Spacers

 I've replaced the stacks of washers spacing out the differential with spacers sliced off a length of stock purchased from McMaster-Carr.  Would have been better on a lathe but the bandsaw wasn't a bad second choice. The stock came from McMaster-Carr, 1" OD aluminum tube. (1/4" wall).  Each spacer is ~14.5mm thick.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Project-Zero: 2.5L Duratec balance shaft delete

Why do this?

  1. The ATR low profile oil sump won't fit on the engine with balance shaft assembly in place.
  2. The balance shaft assembly weighs 20lbs, removing it saves on over all weight and removes rotating mass allowing the engine to rev higher, faster.
  3. You might get a few horsepower back without the parasitic drag induced by balance shaft assembly.

Will this hurt the engine or lead to premature wear?


What parts do you need?

You need a balance shaft delete kit.  In no particular order, pick your poison--they all work the same way.

How do you do it?

Removal is straight forward. Remove the oil pain to gain access to the balance shaft assembly. Four bolts hold the balance shaft to the bottom of the engine where it engages with the crankshaft via a large sprocket.  Wind out the four large bolts and the unit lifts out of place easily.

After removal, the oil galley that feeds high pressure oil to the balance shaft must be plugged using a delete kit.  Delete kits are inexpensive and available from a couple of different suppliers.

Kit installation is the same for all of them.
  • Lube the plug o-ring, then stick the plug in the oil galley.
  • Apply red loctite to the retaining bolt, install bolt and torque to spec. (18 lb/ft)

Reinstall the oil pan per factory service manual procedure.


  • I went with the Massive Speed Systems kit because I was also buying their lightweight under-drive water pump pulley anyway.
  • Don't be a dumbass like me, I didn't have the necessary oil pick-up tube handy to install the new ATR oil pan. Now I have to wait for parts for to be shipped back to me.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Project-Zero: Update on some small jobs

  • Parking Brake Cable RoutingHaving taken a look at some of the photos from Richard's build, I now have a better idea of how the parking brake cables are supposed to be fitted into the chassis bracket.  This will be a quick and easy job.
  • Paint the swirl pot hard line - Unnecessary but a small touch that’s easy do now before the car is wet with fluids. Painting it is really just a aesthetic thing since I’ve also painted the swirl pot gloss black.
    • Quick and dirty operation, scrubbed down with steel wool, sprayed with one coat each of primer (heavy), base gloss black (medium), and gloss clear coat. (Heavy). No need to do multiple coats of each on this part.  Once it’s had a day or two to cure I’ll jam it back into place and clamp it in.

  • Washer ReservoirHaving taken a look at some of the photos from Richard's build, I now have a better idea of where the washer bottle is supposed to be mounted.
    • Fixed with M8 rivnuts and cap-head screws. This is overkill but it is what it is. The car was drill with 7/16" holes for the bottle mount.
    • The washer harness will need to be extended, the harness is configured for right-hand-drive but this is a left hand drive car.

  • Los Honry BoyHaving taken a loot at some of the photos from Richard's build, I have new ideas about where I might be able to install the horn that's mostly out of the way.
    • There’s a lot of dead space between the radiator and the front of the engine, I decided to mount the horn off one of the steering rack brackets.

  • Give em' the clampsI need to acquire more worm clamps of the correct sizes to finish up the high pressure fuel pump hard line installation.
    • Notes: I picked up some slight too large camps from OSH, they will work alright.
  • Tighten up the transmission mount bushing - I really don't need to put more explanation into this.
    • Notes:
      • Tighten to M10 Class 8.8 w/ thread locker torque spec
  • Route the electrical loom at the back of the car - This should probably go from the right side of the car to the left.
  • Dig Out the Transmission and 2.5L engine - We're getting to that point. I should start working on these. First task, pull them out of the corner of the garage and clean them up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Project-Zero: Fuel Pump Specs

Noting down some information on the high pressure pump currently installed in my Zero.

Manufacture: Bosch
Manufacture Part Number: 0-580-464-015
Ford Part Number: EOVF-9350-AA (483180013)
Minimum Current: 12 Volts, Max Power 6.5 Amps
Operating Pressure: 43.5 PSI (3 Bar)
Minimum Flow @ Outlet: 34 GPH (130LPH)

These pumps were used in just about everything, most seem to have come with ring terminals instead of spades. This should be alright but if I need to bump up to a larger pump, going with surge tank with built-in pump is going to be the way to go.

Project-Zero: Swirlpot hardline

I ordered a tube bender from Amazon, within fifteen minutes of delivery this [finely crafted] bit of 1/2" copper tube was bent up and in place.

The bend radius is just about a perfect 180˚ shot from the swirl pot outlet to the pump with barely any deformation. I might throw an Adel clamp at it for safety but it doesn't rub or touch anything. It's a pretty tidy solution.

Copper tubing is easy to get in my area, sold in 10-20ft coils in every hardware store, some stores sell it by the foot. Work hardening and cracking from excessive flex or pressure cycles won't be an issue on the low pressure side of the system.

For reference, this is what it would look like on with rubber tubing. (And on a right hand drive car, mounted on the right side of the chassis.)

ProTip: Pipe is measured from the inside diameter, tube is measured from the outside diameter.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Project-Zero: High pressure pump installed.

Some video of the high pressure pump installation and cleanup of the low pressure feed and return lines. Nothing really to write home about except maybe for the 3D printed host management clamps and the hub centering rings. (Post about those earlier.)

With I had more time lapse to share. I recently picked up a new set of batteries for the Yi 4K camera I've switched to for time lapse work, those batteries have turned out to be garbage. This lead to the corruption/loss of the latest video file when the battery shit itself without warning. (The camera didn't have time safely close out the session before the battery said, "Not today, Satan!")

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Project-Zero: 3D printed hub centering rings

The Short Story

After figuring out the bore and hub diameters, I printed hub centering rings for my car. They should be adequately durable if printed in ABS, ASA, or PETG with 100% infill.

I printed mine with Shaxon ABS at .28mm layer hight. Pumpkin orange. Because October.

Link to the parametric Thingiverse model I'm using:

Link to the custom models I remixed from this:


NOTE: I've since ordered a set of injection molded ABS plastic centering rings.

The Long Story

Needing to keep the wheels concentric to the spindles, hub centering rings are a requirement and my kit didn't come with them.  Some simple searches revealed the ring sizes I'd need aren't unobtainium but since the the car has two different center bores and hub diameters, one full set in each size are required if purchasing commercial sets.

Since I own a 3D printer I spent 5 minutes in Fusion360 modeling up two test rings to make sure I had my measurements correct before slapping down fat stacks of cash on commercial sets.

The front ring was spot-on. (54.1 ID, 57.1 OD) The rear ring was too tight on the inside diameter by exactly one perimeter shell. (~.08mm) I adjusted the model to an ID of 64.1mm (the next standard hub diameter up, also ~0.8mm wider) for a second test, which also fit spot-on.

And then I thought, "Other people have to have printed their own centering rings."

A subsequent search of Thingiverse turned up a better parametric model than what I'd crapped out as a test. There were some pretty good reviews, including form somebody who'd done a track day with a set printed in PLA without any negative effect from heat on the rings. Thus, I'm not bothering to buy them, I'm just going to print them. Because I have the technology.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Project-Zero: Wheel & TireFitment

NOTICE: The information on this page is expressly for my particular GBS Zero Roadster build.  My car has a fairly wonky staggered setup with 15x7 (4x100 pattern) fronts and 15x8 (4x108 pattern) rears. 

Car Mechanicals 

  • Front: Mazda, Miata ( 1999 - 2004 )
    • Stud Pattern: 4x100mm
    • Center bore: 54.1mm
  • Rear: Ford, Sierra (1982 - 1993)
    • Stud Pattern: 4x108mm
    • Center bore: 64.1

Current Fitment: Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2

  • Front
    • Size: 15x7
    • Pattern 4x100
    • Center Bore: 57.1mm
    • Offset: ET -15
    • Tire: Toyo Proxes R1R
      • 195/50R15
  • Rear
    • Size: 15x8
    • Pattern: 4x108
    • Center Bore: 73.1mm
    • Offset: ET -27
    • Tires: Toyo Proxes R1R
      • 205/50R15
  • Required Center Rings
    • Front: 54.1(ID) to 57.1(OD)
    • Rear: 64.1 (ID) to 73.1(OD)


Good video explaining how to measure offset.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Project-Zero: Swirl pot mounting and mods.

I have two concerns informing my swirl pot mount:
  • Ensure clearance between the steering column and fuel return hose.
  • Ensure clearance on the bulkhead to mount high-pressure fuel pumps.
I knocked this together with a sheet of 4"x10" 14ga aluminum. Not necessarily ideal for every build but workable for mine. A minor, pretty straight forward modification of the swirl pot was base is necessary