Hill Country Heat

Untitled

Wanting to go exploring with some friends, I went to Hidden Falls in the Texas hill country. My friends camped overnight but I couldn’t do it since I work the day left. I was able to meet up for day 2.

Untitled

I grew up in Austin, Texas and I couldn’t remember if it was this hot before in June. At 9am I was already sweating from airing down my tires. Its dry heat that felt like I was in a oven.

Untitled

The trails we hit were fairly easy for high clearance 4x4s. Tom told me they went to some level 4 and 5 trails yesterday and wanted to relax today. I couldn’t blame him, no one wants trail damage or white knuckle driving haha.

Untitled

The Texas heat was pretty bad, by the afternoon my Land Cruiser AC condenser got heat soak and AC was blew luke warm air. I think I’ll need a pusher fan for the summer. The AC cools once we start moving but idling, AC is non existent.

Untitled

We hit some trails where we did some trail maintenance. More fun with you have a group of people with you.

Untitled

Sal took some pretty dope pictures. Most of the trails was dry, but we manage to find some mud.

Untitled

Testing out the new roof rack. I can tell the body doesnt creak when flexing, and Im sure the roof rack stiffen the body. Feels solid.

Untitled

Tom take a pic for the gram.

Untitled

Had a great time with the homies and the views of the hill country never disappoint. The Land Cruiser is such a capable rig off road and looking forward to more adventures.

 

Project AE86: MRP goodness

Untitled

My eBay baffle pan was leaking and unfortunately JB weld didn’t help fix the leak, it was time to buy the legit one. Lesson learned is always stick to quality parts because in the long run you’ll end up paying more to fix the shoddy quality.

Untitled

I also bought a belt tensioner for my future 4age high reving build too. Might as well save on the shipping.

Untitled

MRP came with nice instructions on how to install the pan. I took mine to Backyard Auto because Im not skilled enough to remove my pan from the car. Since this part is important to avoid leaks, I figured to take it to the pros.

Untitled

Fernando did his magic and I got the car back in two days. The intial drive showed no leaks!!! Such a nice quality product and kinda said how it mostly hidden.

Untitled

Sure looks good though! I haven’t done a track day with the my new oil pan but I will do one once this COVID stuff subsides. Planning on a drifting the 86 in June! Stay tuned for that!

I also did small video of the MRP oil pan. Figured people would rather watch something then read about a product. More off visual learners.

Toyota 4×4 Friends

After exploring and getting stuck alone, I figured next time to bring my off road friends. Just incase if something happens we all have help. I’m getting more comfortable with recoveries and a better understanding of recovery. During the exploration, only 3 out the 7 rigs got stuck. We all had a great time out and looking forward to more adventures.

City Escape

Untitled

My wife and I took a day trip, escaping the city life. We just wanted to explore, and look for new spots to chill in the future.

Untitled

Houston isn’t an area known for outdoor parks but we do have a couple. We went to Sam Houston National Forest, and about 1hr drive from Houston. Close enough to the bayou but you are surrounded by dense trees.

Untitled

We had a little picnic by Lake Conroe and wasn’t too humid, in May. Besides us, I only saw a couple people exploring, probably because the corona virus is still going on. Traveling is limited. But with that in mind, getting help might get difficult.

Untitled

Which happened to us exploring a forest loop road. It rained the night before, and some trails was boggier then others. I was stuck for good. Thankfully, I had my winch and able to self recover out.

Untitled

It was a good test, but next time, I think it would be a better idea to have another buddy. I do see the importance of a winch and should be one of the first mods when getting into wheeling or exploring off road trails.

Untitled

If we didn’t have that which, we might be stuck in the trail a lot longer till someone arrived. Once we winched ourselves out, we called it a day and heading back into the city. That was enough exploring of one day.

Project AE86: Proper Preload

Untitled

Driving my 86 since the beginning of this year, I have noticed my ride has been very bouncy. During my track session I noticed it, and also happens during corner acceleration. I didn’t enjoy the bouncing, and initially thought it was because of my aggressive spring rates.

Untitled

Houston streets are not smooth compared to tracks. Street driving, the bouncing gets severe to the point the car would hop and start skipping over the bumps.  There were some moments the car handling would get very unbalanced from the bumps. Street driving was not enjoyable.

Untitled

I thought it was the spring rates being too aggressive for the streets but someone on facebook commented it could by preload was set incorrectly and set me this link:

This video helped me a lot and figured what I did wrong when I installed my rear suspension. I figured I’ll make another video and talk more detail about preload.

Initial impressions, and it’s a massive improvement. I drove around the city, and no bounciness. The car didn’t feel over springy. I didn’t have the bouncing on hard acceleration. The car still felt stiff over the bumps but it didn’t hop over them. The dampening seemed more smooth absorbing the bumps.

Untitled

As tracks are starting to open up, I’m looking forward to another shakedown test. Stay tuned.

Catalina Wednesday

Untitled

Met this owner of this sick white 80 series. On a 4″ OME lift, with 35″ tires. This rig is also triple locked, which is very rare. We share the same ARB bumper, and is an iconic classic like Volk or BBS wheels.

Untitled

 

Project AE86: Better Venting

Last track event, I was having serious blow by issues. People were telling me the piston rings might not have been seated in correctly or my head wasn’t sealed correctly. The motor felt strong and fine, but after 3 laps my oil catch can would fill up to the top. No smoke from the exhaust either. I would only get this issue at the track. Street driving, I had no oil in the catch can.

Untitled

I did a compression test just to make sure it wasn’t something too serious. I got 190 psi on all 4 cylinders! That means my motor is healthy. My motor is creating a lot of crankcase pressure and oil surges. The cause is ventilation issue with the constant high RPM and high g forces at the track.

Untitled

The 4age came stock with two valve covers. One valve cover wasn’t vented. The other valve cover came with a small 1/4″ fitting that I connected to the catch can, then vented to the atmosphere. This setup wasn’t doing enough to relieve pressure at the track. I had to make the crankcase breathe better and decrease pressure. I did this by adding a 1/2″ barb fitting on each valve cover.

Untitled

I had my friend Danh come by to weld my barb fittings. The problem was welding aluminum. Apparently, its more difficult to weld aluminum and the welder we had wasn’t equipped for such a task. It wasn’t getting hot enough to melt the aluminum to form a bond.

Untitled

Danh pointed me to a shop called Prospeed Autosport. They welded my barb fittings, and did a good job too. Kinda expensive, but I can see why. With aluminum you need argon gas and a aluminum welder, which isn’t cheap. Welding aluminum is a lot more trickier then steel.

Untitled

I went up a significant size from stock. I figured a bigger diameter will help the crankcase breathing and pressure. Its kinda like breathing from a straw. Larger the straw, the easier to breathe and less pressure.

Untitled

The previous oil catch can was too small. I upgraded to a Cusco oil catch can. The Cusco version has increased capacity, and a visible dipstick. I also routed bigger hoses to the catch can.

Untitled

Another thing that can be causing increased crankcase pressure at the track are the stock windage tray and eBay baffle pan. The eBay trap doors and stock windage tray isn’t doing a good job with oil surges. I recently bought the MRP racing baffle pan. The part is well baffled with, and has a built in windage tray that is better then he stock unit. https://www.mrpltd.co.nz/product/4age7age-baffled-sump/. eBay parts not cutting and I talked about it in my previous post.

Untitled

If I didn’t track the car I wouldn’t have to address the issues. Street driving isn’t as stressful on the motor, like it is at the track. Hopefully next track day I’ll have better results and really push the car without filling up the catch can and improve crankcase ventilation.

Project AE86: eBay….

For the most part of the build I have been using name brand or OEM parts. But I had some few items I figured I could save money on. Unfortunately some of those eBay items are fail.

Untitled

I bought this eBay universal oil cooler kit, and for the first 3 weeks it was good. Till the sandwich plate decided to pop off and spay oil all over the header. Which cause a massive smoke and my oil pressure warning light to go off. Lucky I set my low warning to go off at 15 psi and immediately turned off the car.

Untitled

This happened one block from my work, and thankfully it wasn’t at the track. I first thought if the tread on the block was stripped, and cause the sandwich plate to pop off. Thankfully the tread was good, and was sandwich plate issue. The diameter on the sandwich plate was slightly bigger and didn’t make a very good seal.

Untitled

While I was waiting to the tow truck, I ordered the MRP sandwich plate. Its a lot more expensive then eBay, but MRP is proven brand and they also build race 4age motors. I had have to wait for shipping since they are located in New Zealand. In the mean time I put new oil filter to the engine block. This bypassed the oil cooler, so I can still drive the car if I needed to.

Untitled

The next day, I had the car on because I was buying off the oil. But then it caught on fire!!!!! Bad move on my part for trying to burn off the oil. Thankfully I had fire extinguisher in the car, and put out the flame quickly. I had an “oh shit moment”. No serious damage. Some paint came off, and part of my gold tape got burnt. If I didn’t have that extinguisher, this would have been a total loss. After that mishap, I removed the header and the oil burnt wrap. I cleaned the engine bay from the exhigurisher residue. I found some spare exhaust wrap and was just enough to re wrap the exhaust. Sooo no oil reside issue anymore.

Untitled

But their was another issue. The eBay baffle pan. I had a another leak on the oil pan weld. I tried to JB weld it ,but unfortunately it didn’t work and kept leaking oil. Soo I ended up ordering a baffle pan from MRP. Its a legit baffle oil pan, with a built in windage tray and trap doors to avoid oil surges common at the track. Hopefully it arrive before they open the track again.

Untitled

Lesson learned. You can’t cheap out on products, and get what you pay for. If you pay for the knock offs hoping to save some money, in the long run, you’ll run into issues. Then end up paying more to fix or replace the items.

Link to the MRP website: https://www.mrpltd.co.nz

Project AE86: Video Update

Figured I should do a little video doing this quarantine time. On the bright side, I am getting more time work on the 86 and finish up the kinks. The 86 drives good but I want to fix the small issues, before next track day. Thanks for watching!