It'll fit, right? New Head, Manifold and Turbo - Mazda MX-6 Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-8-08, 17:55 Thread Starter
 
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It'll fit, right? New Head, Manifold and Turbo

Since it's come a long way to get here, I'll just put a quick summary:
-Family bought 1990 MX-6 GT in 2003ish
-Decided I liked it and claimed it
-Original engine and turbo die honorably
-2nd, used engine installed, added a used 16G turbo and immediately cracked a piston or two. Oil dipstick blew off with anything above 7-8 psi
-2005, bought an F2T block someone else was building with larger, forged pistons and forged rods, polished smooth crank and balanced with fidanza flywheel.
-2006 new engine all installed, 196 hp/208 ftlbs on dyno...


...then the head gasket failed
-2007 new head installed, ported, shaved, almost every hole heli-coiled including spark plug threads, all new guides, springs and valves, fastest 1/4 mile was 14.49 at ~98, more than 1/2 second faster than the last head at the same PSI.
New Head Gallery

That brings us to 2008. In late January/early February I noticed a sudden appearance of black/blue smoke from my exhaust. It first started when I pulled away from a stoplight, and right away I knew something was wrong, as the engine had never burned oil or had anything but a clean exhaust since the new head was installed. I thought the turbo had gone bad, as they tend to have few warning signs before they start leaking. The engine sounded the same, had the same power as far as I could tell, but the smoke was definitely burning oil.

Then just a day or two later on my way home from work, I found there was no boost response at all. The boost gauge wouldn't go into positive pressure, and I had to floor it just to get the car to highway speed. I knew the turbo had seized, and was certain now the 16G had gone bad. A few minutes from home it did start working again, but there was an obvious lack of power now, as if something had broken.

I decided to stop driving my car until it could be replaced, and started looking at my options. My brother Ryan has a VF30 on his Probe, and a VF series was tempting. However looking at prices, it just wasn't reasonable for me. I was going to just get another 16G, when I discovered a better option; an EVO III 16G. It has the same external dimensions, so I knew it would fit, but it is lighter and has a larger compressor wheel, as well as other tweaks that make it flow almost as much as an 18G.

I started to get excited at the prospects, and decided to go for it. I bought an EVO III 16G from Slowboyracing.com with a larger wastegate flapper, and started planning how to install it.


On my last setup, the 16G was welded directly to the manifold.


It never cracked or leaked, but this time I wanted to be able to separate the two if needed. I considered building a manifold, or modifying a stock Evo one, but I wasn't willing to eliminate my EGR valve since I needed to be able to pass emissions.

So I modified a stock manifold by designing a flange for the turbo that had a shallow tilt to it, and had the manifold cut to bring it up higher:



The manifold was heated with a torch, and welded together inside and out:



It doesn't stop there of course. As is, 16Gs have threads in the exhaust housing, because the Evo manifolds have bolt holes that go from the top down through to screw into the exhaust housing. Since that's not an option for me, the threads had to be drilled out, and the housing itself cut/shaved to make flat spots for nuts:


This was tricky of course, since the EVO III 16gs have thinner exhaust housings, and if the cuts are too deep then suddenly you have a useless exhaust housing. It turned out quite well though, and bolts securely to the manifold perfectly lined up.


Now comes the next hurdle; I decided to clock the center and compressor housing on the turbo to better position it inside my car. If you look at my old setup, and this:


You can see that the compressor outlet is VERY close to the manifold, and required a pipe with a sharp bend in it to lead to the intercooler. This was the biggest annoyance, as it made installing or removing the turbo/manifold really difficult, not to mention it was just plain ugly and made everything hard to get to. So I bought a stock 14B/16G outlet pipe:


Surely this would work, right? The other part to this, was I wanted to keep using the internal wastegate, but now it wouldn't bolt up correctly since the compressor housing was clocked. Enter the ugly but functional adjustment bracket:



Right, that'll do. Moving on... Another issue with my old setup, was even though I had upgraded the manifold bolts to thicker studs, the top ones broke 3 times, forcing me to replace them. This is part of the reason I wanted the EVO III 16G, since it's overall lighter than the regular 16G. I was also determined to make a brace to hopefully eliminate broken studs, so one was made:


Again, it's ugly but it works. There are two bolt holes on the back/underside of the exhaust housing, and this attaches to both. It's built on the stock turbo brace and bolts to the same spot on the block. This will prevent the turbo/manifold assembly from flexing at the exhaust side of the head. The weird shape is mostly due to the spare metal I used to mock it up, and also to ensure the wastegate actuator isn't hindered at all.

So with all this, I was ready to install when June came around. The manifold, the turbo, the brace, it all fit together perfectly. I also had a 2.5" O2 housing to build a downpipe on, and all the fittings and hoses from the old 16G would transfer over without worries... mostly. So I drove it one more time to Ryan's shop, set everything out, and got ready to install.

Then it became clear WHY the 16G had failed, and forced a whole new aspect to this project.

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
EVO III 16G 2.5" Electric Cutout, RFL BOV
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-8-08, 17:57 Thread Starter
 
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Worse news than hearing your wife is sleeping with your dog

After getting the old 16G/manifold assembly out, Ryan peered into the exhaust ports, just to see how things looked. When he said the valve guide closest to the distributor was loose, I didn't believe him. Looking onto the port, I could see that not only was it loose, but it was cracked. It had broken into loose chunks that slid up and down along the valve stem easily. Later we'd find the seal that had been on top of the guide had disintegrated. It wasn't hard to figure out that a piece of the valve guide had come loose and jammed itself into the blades of the exhaust wheel, causing this:

YouTube - Chewed Up Turbo

I was devastated to say the least. Not only that, but the guide closest to the timing belt had started leaking oil, and it's seal had been smashed as if it had started slipping as well. The head was barely 9 months old and it's brand new guides were falling apart.

The only thing we could do at that point, was pull the head off again and take it back to the shop where it was worked on before. It's still hard to say why the guides were failing; excessive heat, badly made parts, who knows. I have no reason to believe the shop was at fault, since the intake guides were perfectly fine still. However, the shop owner made an interesting suggestion. There is a Ford 16 valve I4 that had the same valve stem diameter, but the guides were overall thicker, a little shorter and made from silica brass, which is a lot tougher than the stock guides. Why not have the guides machined to fit into my head?



So that's what was done. The stock guides have a small, metal clip around the upper part that's supposed to prevent them from going too far into the head. These have a solid metal ledge that extends above the spring seats just far enough to let the matching valve seals be applied. The result is the exhaust guides are .05 mm thicker, and the intake guides are .02 mm thicker. All put together, it's hard to see any difference though:


Unfortunately this took more than a month to accomplish, partially because I took a long-planned two week vacation during July, and partly because the shop was short-handed. It turned out to be a good thing though, as there were some small details about the install that needed further modification.

For example, the adapter that had been screwed into my old 16G for the oil inlet was the wrong size. Whoever did it, used plumber's silicon tape and wrapped it around the threads, then just forced it in and ruined the threads. Sure, it didn't leak, but wouldn't work at all with my new turbo. I went and bought a new identical adapter, but when I tried to screw it into the new turbo it wouldn't go in.

Turns out the CHRA on 16G's have 12 mm x 1.25 threads, and not 10 mm x 1.5 as almost any website will say. It also turns out that no one carries oil fittings with 1.25 threads on them. I drove to several hydraulic and plumbing supply stores with no luck, and turned to the internet. There was 1 site that had an adapter I could use, and even then I had to buy another adapter so it would work with my braided oil line, but I finally had the correct sizes.

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
EVO III 16G 2.5" Electric Cutout, RFL BOV
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-8-08, 17:58 Thread Starter
 
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Installing (finally)



I had everything ready, so now it was time to install at last, 8 months later. My lovely Alita had been parked outside at a nearby friends house the whole time, and had accumulated a lot of spider webs and dust. However, upon plugging the battery in the windows rolled down with no complaints, and the brakes responded as well as possible with no power. We towed it to Ryan's work and laid parts out to begin.

The pistons are a little dirty, but the block had been securely covered with strips of duct tape to keep any bad stuff out, and a quick cleaning left the head surface clean and shiny again.


We attached the intake manifold to the head first, since it would be a pain to tighten properly once the head was in the car:


You can't see it, but the exhaust valves say 'E1'. That's right, official Mazda F2T turbo valves. Originally I'd used aftermarket valves that were cheaper and said "MADE IN JAPEN" with "EX" in the center. They worked fine, but Ryan and I felt it was better not to take chances this time. I had considered stainless steel ones, but they were more expensive than I could justify.

The exhaust side has all studs, but the two lower ones on the left side hadn't fared well. Whoever had the head before me, had put a sleeve into the bolt hole on the outside, lower left hole. When the head was removed the sleeve pulled out. It couldn't be heli-coiled, but this is the next best thing. A machine shop next door to the head shop made an aluminum sleeve for both holes, which screws deep into the head. It's not something we could heli-coil, but as long as we're careful and keep the studs in, the threads won't get stripped out.


Some gentle maneuvering and coordination, not to mention some frustrated grunts and cramped hands later:


I bought a set of new TopLine headbolts as well. Each one had a nice little sleeve to protect the threads even. I know some have reused head bolts with no worries, but it's another risk I wasn't willing to take. I bought some AWR mounts from Keeloh here on the forums, and as others have done we drilled some holes in the bushings before installing:



I bought a new timing belt, and new tension pulleys. It didn't have very many miles on it, but Ryan did find a small slash on the old belt after he took it off, so it's a good thing he replaced it.


I fully assembled the turbo:


Then the interesting part starts. As you can see, the compressor outlet is as far from the manifold as if can be. However my oil line was long enough to go around the pipe on the old setup, and wih the new one it would rest on the outlet pipe. For now, it has a loop:


Underneath, you can see that the wastegate actuator is really close to the transmission. In fact, it just barely misses it . And while it's hard to tell from this angle, the oil drain from the turbo is above the return port on the block, and the hose has a similar downward angle to what the stock turbo would have. The coolant line is looped to make it meet the fitting on the turbo better. You can also see the brace, and the lower bolt on the exhaust housing; we had to open up the bolt holes on the brace a little to make it line up, but the good news was it sat flush against the block.


The other coolant hose wasn't so easy. It's squeezed between the fan housing and the compressor outlet pipe, and the tips of the fan have already wore a groove into the hose:


It works for now though. We also had to customize a set of pipes/hoses to connect the intercooler. We just tried out different combinations until we found one that works pretty well, though we had to trim some of the fan housing on the driver's side so the hose wasn't rubbing against it. It fits tightly though and doesn't look too bad:

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
EVO III 16G 2.5" Electric Cutout, RFL BOV

Last edited by Ragnarock01; 9-8-08 at 18:02.
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Last Bit, Promise



The last vital part was the downpipe. It had to be custom made just like the last one, and this time it would be with aluminized steel to prevent corrosion. Fitting it up was interesting:




But before long and with much less angst than last time, it was laid out and ready to be welded:



Once fully welded, it was sprayed with what's basically zinc spray paint to further protect it, then covered in thermal wrap, then sprayed with something that smells like every chemical byproduct made from refining rubber dog crap to help protect the wrap and make it last longer.




The O2 housing was also wrapped to help protect the power steering lines. I hope to replace them with shorter, more direct lines someday:


And finally, installed in the car. The rusted bit is a cheap y-pipe for my electric cutout, and it will be replaced before long as well:



While Ryan was doing some of the above, I busied myself with other odds & ends. One of the brake lines near the rear was looking a little corroded, so I used an air tool with a wire brush to clean them all off as well as possible, then sprayed more zinc on to hopefully slow or prevent more corrosion.


The leading corner of the oil pan had also been scraped and scratched, exposing bare metal to let it rust. I used the air brush to remove as much rust as possible, before applying a few coats of zinc followed by more coats of blue. I didn't clean the whole pan and I don't expect this to be a permanent solution, but it should help it last longer until I can get a new pan.



I also pulled the driver's seat out, and Ryan welded a broken bracket on the underside that let the seat wobble and flex:


After it was all put back together, filled with coolant and the timing set, we let it idle for a bit to make sure the radiator fan would come on, then drove it around a few blocks before going back.


Ryan dumped a can of sea foam in to help clean out any remaining gunk, including the lubricant the head shop used to put it together, then swapped filters and put in a new batch of non-synthetic 10w-40. The reason for this is it's recommended to run non-synth for a few hundred miles to properly break the turbo in, but after that it'll be back to Mobil 1 synthetic.

And that is the end... for now. In the short term I need to get a shorter oil hose, and a longer coolant hose. Plans for the future are to turn the boost up again of course, but also get a wideband and FMU installed for even more boost. New struts are in the works, and I hope to get the roof repainted before winter since there's a family of rust spots forming.

I'm sure many of you can relate to how thrilled I am to have my car back, and I owe it all to Ryan, since I couldn't have done this without him. I hope you're all jealous that I have such an awesome brother, and thanks for reading. If you have any questions please ask, and comment away. To see all the pictures, just follow this link: ragnarock01's gallery

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
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Sweet...now get it megasquirted

2008 Legacy GT Spec.B - Quartz Silver Metallic | Not Stock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Sweet...now get it megasquirted

Agreed. Its the only way to go.

GT3782VA VGT, FMIC, custom 2.5" hardpipes, ching chong BOV and 38mm wastegate, 2.5" exhaust...MS2Extra, Boost, oil pressure and EGT autometer guages. LC1 Wideband

https://www.mx6.com/forums/1g-mx6-for...ml#post2168882
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(insert my opinion on ms here)
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-8-08, 22:47 Thread Starter
 
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I might do megasquirt eventually, but for now I plan to tune my current setup as well as possible and work on the handling more. Since this is my daily driver I just want to make power reliably and easily for now, not to mention enjoying my car again

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
EVO III 16G 2.5" Electric Cutout, RFL BOV
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-9-08, 1:33
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Wow, Jeremy that is quite possibly the best writeup I've ever seen!! Brings a tear to my eye

It is VERY nice to have it done, even though I don't get to drive it very often, it's a blast getting to do all these fun things to an F2, all the things I've wanted to do for years, but have been too busy autocrossing Carmen

Great great pics too!!!

For now we're running just 7-8psi and it feels surprisingly good for such low boost, but holy crap I can't wait to turn it back up to 12!! And after the wideband is in, we can add more fuel and start going for 15 psi and then some The goal is to be running deep in the 13's and with suspention (TEIN's in the future ) have an awesome handling fast daily driver.

Something else interesting, comparing this head to a stock one it's painfully obvious how much it's been decked. You can see it in this pic, see how close the surface of the head is to that hole...yeah, there's a good 2-3mm of material that's been shaved


Unfortunately, I'm betting this is now an interference motor, fortunately, with the .030 overbore, and the 3mm less head, the compression is now MUCH higher then 7.8:1 Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to measure the volume of the combustion chamber, but where I to guess...We're somewhere just south of 9:1 compression

Ryan

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A RaceCar Named Carmen
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I have a huge grin on my face right now. First of all, it's been more than 200 miles, so tonight I changed the oil to 10w-30 synthetic, and me and Ryan re-routed that upper coolant hose. I bought a shorter oil line as well, but it seems the connection on the stock hard oil line that goes from the block to under the distributor isn't AN3 as I had thought. Reluctantly I put the old one back on

The oil return hose had split at the block, mostly from age I think, but thankfully I had enough new hose left over to replace it.

We also put the boost controller back on, and used the emissions dyno to zone in on 11-12 lbs (for now). It took awhile, and the front brakes caught fire for a moment since neither of us realized that standing still, there was no air moving over the brakes to cool them It's a good thing they're practically new.

Despite that, we got it set and took it driving to make sure it was good to go, and ended up fiddling with it more until it was twitching right over 12 lbs and called it good.

HOLY CRAP, it's insane again. On 7-8 psi it pushes you back in the seat, on 11-12 it almost punches you in the chest. So there goes my good gas mileage

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
EVO III 16G 2.5" Electric Cutout, RFL BOV
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-12-08, 2:51
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You wouldn't loose it if you kept your foot of the floor!

But that's no fun

It should be explained why the brakes got so hot. On the emissions dyno it of course provides no resistance in the way a performance dyno does, so to control the speed of the engine and monitor boost levels at a static RPM, it is necessary to hold the engine at say 4k rpm using the vehicle's brakes. Thus, they get hot after repeated runs.

And it is VERY nice to feel that car under proper boost again!! The stupid thing out-revvs the speedo, tagging the fuel cut before the tach hits it. Quite surprising in a truck motor

Ryan

Form Follows Function. If it doesn't work, get it the f--- out.
A RaceCar Named Carmen
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-12-08, 19:14
 
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nice work on the project, looks good. the exterior looks sharp too

1991 gt - still busted
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-12-08, 19:38 Thread Starter
 
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The nice thing about white paint is it hides most flaws from a distance But eventually I'm going to get the whole thing repainted. I've wanted to for a long time but other expenses keep butting in.

1990 MX-6 GT'ALITA' 2nd Gen Struts & Springs Dutch FSTB, Manual Belts & Windows
BUILT ENGINE now running stock engine w/LSD
EVO III 16G 2.5" Electric Cutout, RFL BOV
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-12-08, 20:46
 
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Looks pretty sexy, I wanted to do the same thing to my old PGT before I had to get rid of it, stupid thing had timing issues anyways
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 9-14-08, 23:49
 
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Crazy!! Looks really good man, I can't wait to get a ride in it =D Reading things like this make me want to spend a lot of money that I don't have...lol.
Also, that first picture of your block before it went in your car, mine and Leslie's feet are in it! haha
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