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2016 Update...the engine is mounted! Thanks to Nathan at Thomas Vintage Motors for his fantastic fabrication skills. I need to learn to weld. The mounts still need a little cleanup work (round the edges of the plates and paint), but they are functional. It turned out to be relatively easy. The plates are both flat and I just machined four 0.515" spacers (two for each plate). GM was kind enough to make the step between the lower mount surface and the upper mount surface consistent. The hole you see in the passenger side plate is for the turbocharger oil drain return line. The position of this was not so brilliant, but the oil line is a slip fit into the block so it should be manageable. I just need to figure out how to hold it in.


The sump ended up a little lower than I was hoping, but I was able to retain 3.5" of ground clearance. It's not great, but it should work. There were two limiting factors. The first is the individual coil packs which you can see in one of the pictures below. They are very close to the hood (or bonnet for you English chaps). I might have been able to go another 0.5" higher with the engine by cutting the plugs on these, but this is when limit number two is reached. The main engine oil feed starts interfering with the chassis. You can see this fitting on the picture showing the bottom of the car from the front. I'm going to have a lot of oil lines running under the car...yikes. I guess a skid plate of some sort will be in order. You may also notice that the thermostat housing is really really close to the passenger side pedal box. There is a little margin due to the insulation, but clearly the engine is about as far back as possible.


I also got the alternator mostly mounted. I still need to clearance the foam rubber injector cover and drill the hole in the lower mount, but I think it will fit...barely. The steering shaft didn't play fair. I originally had the alternator mounted lower, but you can see from the pictures that there is no room for lower. This extra loop is the result of having the car and the mock engine at different locations. Oh well, I enjoyed the hours of milling a useless bottom mount. Maybe someday I'll need to invest in a bridgeport. Overall I'm relatively happy with how the lower mount is looking. It may not be obvious from the pictures, but that somewhat complex shaped aluminum part was done by hand (no CNC). Both mounts need a little finish work, but it's close.


My next steps are:

- Install Quaife ATB LSD: I was originally going to start with the open diff to see how bad of one-tire-fires I could produce. The turning point was realizing the gears inside the differential may not survive and Quaife offers a lifetime warranty. I also basically convinced myself that a torque biasing differential was probably better than a plate type. I know this has been discussed endlessly so not everyone will agree, but hopefully I don't find myself with one rear wheel in the air too often anyway.

- Modify Intake Manifold: This will likely come by way of Bruce at Beachman Racing who has done a similar modification before which will allow me to install the stock manifold (after modification). This should be the lowest risk and cost to get going.

- Mount Scavenge Pump: I bought a Dailey Engineering 2-stage pump. Finding a place to mount it has been troublesome, but I have a plan. I believe I have room to run a secondary belt off the front of the crank and mount the pump under the water pump on the passenger side. I just don't know how much room I'll have over there with the turbo.

- Find a home for the Turbo: I decided on a GTX2860R. This should flow a little more than the stock Borg turbo and Tial makes really sweet investment cast turbine housings which will help keep the weight down. Why Garrett hasn't done that is beyond me.

- Decide on the intercooler: I bought an Air to Air, but the more I look at it the more I think it will be easier to use water to air. I think the IC can fit right in front of the engine which would make the piping really short. I know another turbo 7 had a similar setup with the IC behind the engine, but I don't think I'll be able to make that work because my throttle body points almost straight down. Time will tell.


I think that's it for now....so close, but yet so far.




Engine Installed D Jan'16.jpgEngine Installed C Jan'16.jpgEngine Installed B jan'16.jpgEngine Installed A Jan'16.jpgEngine Mount Passenger Side Jan'16.jpgEngine Installed E Jan'16.jpg


Alternator mount 1.jpgAlternator mount 2.jpgAlternator mount 3.jpgAlternator install Jan'16.jpg

Edited by TurboWood
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  • 4 months later...
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Ok, it's time for an update. First and foremost, I'm back in the U.S. baby!!! The other good news (which is undoubted going to challenge my free time available to finish this thing) is that my wife and I had our first child in February! I returned to to the US in April, but my family wasn't able to join me imidiately. They will join me in mid July assuming everything goes to plan.


This has left me as a short term bachelor which has granted me some time to adapt to a new position at work and spend some time on the car. Unfortunately work was the priority, but I did just manage a two week binge before stuffing the 7 in the back of a moving truck and bringing it out to my house in CA where I will finish it. It had been in CO.


So, on to the updates:

- Installed Quaife ATB differential: This ended up being more difficult than anticipated, but fortunately the bulk of the effort was on Nathan (Thomas Vintage Motors). One of the bearing holders was on so tight that he had to make a special tool and use a 3' extension to get it lose.

- installed all interior carpet: for this I went with Velcro to hold it in place. In the pictures below I have attempted to show you the evidence of the stitching that can be seen on the trunk and floor mats. Overall I'm quite happy with it and now I can remove anything I want without the headache of glue.

- Had the clutch disk modified: Over the last few months I realized that I didn't have an accurate measurement for the engagement of the trans input shaft spline and the clutch disk. I knew there was more than zero and probably close to 20mm, but I had forgotten to check this on first assembly. I was too pre-occupied with not bottoming the input shaft on the crankshaft that I just assumed the splines would be ok. So, I took it all apart and discovers I had about 17mm of the 23mm available. This was borderline and a quick call to clutcasters didn't give me confidence it would be ok. Fortunately they told me they could just reverse the hub! In the pictures below you can see the before and after. The side with the snout was swapped to the trans side which worked out perfectly to give me full engagement

- Sealed the shifter shaft that sticks out the front of the trans: This was another thing I overlooked the first time. Since I had everything apart I added some silicone to seal it.

- Compleyed the interior: The driveshaft, shifter, and tunnel cover are now done

- Finished the alternator mount: This was relatively simple. I just needed to drill and tap the final hole and clearance the foam that sits around the fuel injectors (for noise I think) in order to fit the alternator

- Made good progress on the scavenge pump mount: You can see a few pictures below near the now painted engine mounts. I still need to figure out to exactly to support it on the front side of the engine, but at least it is located now so I can work on plumbing and the belt/pulley

- Finished crank pulley and mandrel: The ATI crank pulley requires the ID to be honed for your specific crank. I also had to modify the mandrel that bolts to the front of it (for the scavenge pump pulley) to clearance the crank bolt. This was frankly a little annoying that ARE would sell me this part knowing the application, but offering no real advice on how to make it work. They are clearly used to working with race teams that fix everything themselves. So, that's what I did, buy no real thanks to them.



I'll try to make it a little more clear when I'm not typing this on my phone!





Picture 1: Baby Wood (Taylor)

Picture 2: Can loaded in moving truck right before being removed

Picture 3: Interior with baby seat....is this legal?

Picture 4: Interior

Picture 5: Left front area of the trunk showing the evidence of velcro which was sewn on (picture is rotated sideways)

Picture 6: Floor mat showing evidence of velcro which was sewn on (picture is rotated sideways)

Picture 7: Right side of engine showing painted engine mount and scavenge pump

Picture 8: Engine with oil tank sitting in place (probably)

Picture 9: Similar of picture 7, but better view of scavenge pump mount

Picture 10: Upside down view of a Colorado sunset last week











Edited by TurboWood
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Great photo of Taylor (welcome to 'daddy'hood)! But I have to ask, do your photo postings represent the way you plan on driving the car when finished...upside down and sideways? :jester:


And just so you know you are not alone, I'm putting my Stalker back together (unfinished) for the second time in preparation for a move.

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Thanks, I hope I can keep the silver side down on this one! I did manage to flip a rotax kart many years ago (turn 2 of the race....DOH!).


The photos are a better representation of my affinity for technology. Maybe that's why I'm building a car with almost none (I do like fuel injection).



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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I got the ball rolling on registration. I now have an SB100 number :hurray:. It took a few trips, a big check, and hours of patience, but it's done. Does anyone know if my car is far enough along to get an inspection from the CHP? My understanding is they are most interested in confirming the engine and trans aren't stolen which I believe they can verify as is. Clearly the BAR exam will take a little longer.



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  • 1 month later...


Here is a bit of teaser pic. I was able to bribe a few friends into helping me make some bigger steps forward. We (they) were able to knock out:


- Exhaust manifold (still need to punch a hole for the WG --> if you have an eagle eye you can catch the flange where the WG will attach on the down pipe. The WG will basically sit under the turbo (not ideal, but space is an issue)

- Intake manifold (this was actually Bruce Beachman's work).

- Intercooler and charge piping. I'm missing a v-band on the intake manifold side, but other than that it's good to go

- Modified water pipe and thermostat housing. It's difficult to tell in this pic unless you know what you are looking at, but there is a 1.5" water pipe that runs under the exhaust manifold. This used to be much more straight, but prevented the turbo from being mounted where it is

- Radiator hoses. You can see one of them attached near the intake manifold (radiator is not installed in this pic). the lower hose is blue and runs around the engine under the intake manifold (out of site)

- Clutch. Long story here, but I had to pull the engine and replace the throw out bearing due to poor installation on yours truly. The GM part is a bit unique and required some adjustment on how I supported it. I'll have to explain later, but it should be fixed now (haven't found the balls to test it again)

- Intercooler radiator. I bought a custom unit from Bell Intercoolers. It's going to fit (very snuggly) in front of the stock radiator. More pics in the future.

- Overflow bottle, catch can, windshield washer bottle, and oil filter. You can see some of these, but the oil filter and windshield washer bottle are under the intake manifold so you can't see them from here....more pics later. I also moved the brake/clutch reservoir to the driver's side to shorter the lines (and make room for the overflow and catch can)


The cooling system is now basically done other than running the lines from the oil cooler (not installed yet), heater, overflow, and turbo (like I said, almost done, haha). Fuel needs one more line from the chassis to the high pressure fuel pump.


The next big tasks are the oil tank (yeah, I need to fit a 6.5" oil tank in there!), oil cooler (will go above the transmission), air intake (uhhh, ????), and finish the WG. It's all down hill from there!




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  • 8 months later...

I finally have updates, and I'm happy to say the updates are significant. It's not running yet, but it's closer. I couldn't figure out how to order the photos in a useful way so I'll try to tell you which pic to look at.


- Pedal box & throttle pedal (2 first pics): I made a spacer and a new cover (blue protective film still on the cover) for the pedal box. This was necessary to fit the DBW throttle pedal. I made the box out of channel aluminum, but of course I could not find the exact dimensions I wanted so I had to machine the part I had. It was originally 2x1x1/8" channel which is now 1-7/8x5/8x1/16" (ish). That was sort of a pain because I was dealing with a 3ft section which meant I had to machine it in sections. This was limited by the travel of the bed on the mill and the part would vibrate violently if I went far beyond the vice holding it. The spacer is two pieces (one U-shaped and the other straight) riveted together to make the full perimeter. The pedal itself is mounted to the main bolt that the clutch and brake pedal pivot on. There were two 3/8" spacers that Caterham conveniently used which have been replaced by the square looking parts next to the pedal. I made a plate that bolted to those square parts and to the pedal. Then was the challenge of attaching the two pedals which were now working in different planes. The GM DBW pedal moves through approximately 20° and from what I can tell most cars have a 2" travel of the throttle pedal. I figured out that this was achievable by just linking the two parts together as is thanks to the motion ratio on the Caterham pedal. The second picture tries to show you the linkage, but it's not a great view. Basically the link is made by welding two 3/8" rod-ends together to make a sort of offset turnbuckle (that is not adjustable). To link these rod-ends to each pedal a stud (really a cut bolt) was welded to each.


- Wastegate & exhaust manifold (7th, 9th, and 10th pics): I ended up changing my mind on where to mount the WG. I had originally put the v-band under the turbo, but this created a bad angle between the main flow and the bypassed flow. It also created issues with other plumbing that needed the space which would have been consumed by the tube from the manifold to the WG. I moved the WG as it is shown here now. It's tucked right up next to the block as low as I could make it. This barely clears just about everything. The WG is difficult to package due to all the hoses that need to connect to it. There are four lines attached to it (other than the exhaust gas): boost, vacuum, water in, and water out. This makes the small size of the WG require a rather large packaging space. You can sort of see this in the dark picture. Once the WG was mounted to the down-pipe the rest was relatively easy. I had already cut some tubing that got me from the WG to the exhaust manifold. Unfortunately it was not possible to install the manifold with the long pipe welded to it (I tried it before welding). This meant I needed to add another v-band to the system which you can see nicely attached to the manifold. I still need to clean up some of the welds (internally) and add some heat shields, but it's largely done.


- Air intake (8th and 11th pics): This turned out to be relatively easy, but had me worried for a long time. In the picture showing the compressor inlet you can see why, there is a large -16AN hose end right in front of the compressor. After some thought and testing a bunch of different fittings I discovered that I could reroute this large hose (this hose is the return line on the dry sump: important!) around the turbo by using a 90° fitting. This cleared the way for what you see in the other picture which is a partially completed inlet tube (next to the compressor outlet pipe). This was made by welding three bends together. In a later picture you can see a big empty space behind the oil tank. This is where the air filter will eventually go. I'll talk more about how this space became so empty later.



- Turbo oil drain (6th, 12th, and 13th pics): I had not been looking forward to this for a long time. I knew it wasn't that difficult in principle, but figuring out the angles and making it work with the engine was just tricky. The stock system uses an o-ring joint with a hard tube that goes to the turbo. This is convenient for an OEM to assemble. The aftermarket has made adapters to AN fittings which is great if you have room for it. Unfortunately my engine mount goes right in front of this hole in the block. Fortunately the engine mount plate had a hole put in it for just this purpose, but it's not large enough to fit the 10AN fitting the aftermarket companies offer. My turbo is also very low so the tube needs to have tight bends at each end to maximize the angle of the straight-ish portion. On my millionth and one internet search I discovered that Cummins uses corrugated tubing with an o-ring joint on their turbo oil drains. They also have a variety of lengths for different applications! I bought one that I thought would be about the right length and a 6" piece of 3/4" tubing. I machined the tubing down until it barely slipped into the block. After machining in an o-ring grove two pieces were welded together at about 35-40°. The cummins part was not designed for a Garrett turbo so I had to open the holes a bit, but after that it was a matter of bending it and cutting to meet the steel tube. The end result is quite good. I can install the oil drain tube into the engine w/o removing the turbo or any other surrounding part. I very happy that I didn't have to remove the 1.5" water pipe that you can see in the pictures. It's possible, but a pain. Once the drain is in the block then the turbo side is just a challenge of getting your hand in the right place to tighten the bolt. The other happy byproduct of this is that when I disconnect the turbo from the exhaust manifold and this drain tube provides a slight support to hold the turbo. With the light addition of a bunjee cord around the center housing of the turbo it can hang from the chassis w/o issue. This is the only up side to the chassis tube that goes right over the turbo.


- Oil tank (5th pic): This is the big one (for me at least). I knew it was physically possible to fit the oil tank behind the turbo, but I also know it was very tight and that there were really know straight surfaces to attach it to. After spending hours trying different orientations of the tank I came to the conclusion that it must move rearward. If I moved the tank up to clear the exhaust with the tank vertical then it hit the hood. If I moved it down then I had to tilt the tank in multiple directions to get it to fit. To move it rearward I had to cut a hole in the passenger footwell and move the battery. Moving the battery has the added benefit of making more room for the air filter which was originally planned to squeeze between the coolant overflow tank and the battery. Now I have space to make a nice box and put a naca duct in the hood. Of course figuring out where to put the battery is another story...two steps forward, one step back. Cutting the footwell wasn't terribly difficult. That portion of the footwell is all one piece so I wasn't cutting through riveted/sealed joints. I drilled some holes in an arc to help remove a chunk of material, but ultimately went to town with a rasp. The upper tank mount is actually inside the footwell, bolted to the front surface. The tank is pulled as far back as possible before the clamp starts interfering with the mounting bolts. The lower mount is also attached to the footwell, but on the outside. This surface has a 30° angle so I made some wedged shims for the inside and outside. The final result is good. There still isn't a great amount of clearance with the exhaust (or WG), but it's secure and should be ok with some heat shields.


- Intercooler system (3rd and 4th pics): I bought a radiator from Bell Intercoolers and cut out the shroud to the radiator. It's a tight fit! The nose cone just barely touches the lower corners of the radiator now. I made sure to make the bottom of the radiator the cold side so hopefully my paint will survive. Then it was a matter of welding some 3/4" tubing to it and routing that around the engine radiator. Then it was just about connecting all the bits together. The pump is strapped to the vertical tube under the intercooler.


The other things that were completed are:

- Turbo oil feed (-4AN braided hose from block to turbo)

- Turbo water cooling hoses (some factory lines combined with random hoses from autozone). The trickiest part was combining the turbo and WG water feed/return. To do this I made double banjo bolts (yes, they can be purchased but I didn't want to wait and it ended up being better to have a socket head cap strew instead of the typical hex head).

- Fuel line from car to engine. This was harder than it should have been. It took way too long to figure out that the fitting on the engine was the same as what was on the car side (shocking really) which was an M14 inverted flair. Once I figured that out I bought a stock part for the car which on the CSR 260 is a crimped hose barb fitting with this inverted flair. Unfortunately the fitting that I got with this replacement part was slightly different from the one that came with my kit. The biggest issue is that it was smaller in diameter which would limit fuel flow. This is the last thing I need when trying to push >300hp. So, back to the internet where I found a Porsche shop that had a bunch of these fittings in different orientations. Apparently Porsche uses these a lot. So, I bought a 90° fitting and everything worked.


The major to-do's remaining are:

- Final install of turbo, oil tank, exhaust, etc.

- Build firewall for oil tank

- Build air box and finish intake tubing

- Route crankcase vent tubing

- Blow-off valve

- Mount battery somewhere (next to steering shaft possibly?)


Easy peasy
















Edited by TurboWood
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A few more I missed:


- Mounted the horns. If you have a keen eye you can see them in the 4th pic. I had to make some nuts to get these to attach to the mounts I bought (originally for other reasons). The mounts just look like a big p-clip basically, but are thicker (made of aluminum)

- Installed crank pulley and dry sump mandrel/belt. No big drama here. I was just waiting until I was mostly confident the engine wouldn't need to come out again.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm almost there!!!


I have only a handful of assembly steps left and most of the wiring is complete. The main engine harness is being made by a company in MI and should be at my house next week. It had to go through one loop of adjustments, but should be good to go now. The only remaining wiring is for the alternator, tach, and CEL. These all require the engine harness.


From the attached pic you can see how gigantic the engine computer is (sitting on the pedal box). I had not planned well for such a large brick. I think GM must have gone out of their way to make it big. The harness is also big which is going to be a challenge to package neatly. I'll do what I can and plan on some future cleanup after it's running.


I hooked the boost control solenoid up to the vacuum pump which is driven off the intake cam. This is a bit of an experiment to see if I can manage to pull the WG open at part load to help fuel economy (yeah, I know, wtf). It's super easy to undo if it doesn't prove fruitful and that would allow me to pull the pump. The pump came with the engine which was meant for the european market originally. I think the newer ecotecs in the US have this now too. I assume it's mostly to avoid a loss of brakes if the throttle sticks open.


I realized today that the turbine housing was not tightened to the center housing of the turbo...DOH! Thankfully I had not added fluids yet so it just required pulling a few easy to remove parts. It also forced me to try removing some of the parts (water and oil lines mainly) without pulling the exhaust. This turned out to be helpful and I found a way to remove one of the turbo water lines with the turbo in the car (a feat I had previously concluded was impossible).


As you can see the engine bay is full. I think I've managed to leave enough space between parts, but there is no excess space anywhere. When I started I knew this would become an issue, but I had a pleasant level of denial at the beginning. In the end I think I've successfully proven you can fit 10lbs of shit in a 5lb bag!


With any luck next weekend will be fluids and cranking for the first time!




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One more step closer!


FYI, in case anyone needs this info in the future, the CEL is activated by ground.


The only things that appear to be an issue are the horns which I believe are not grounded properly, and the fog light. I'm not sure if the fog light is wired on US cars, but the connector was there so I bought one and hooked it up, but no dice.





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It's difficult to see, but a keen eye may have noticed my oil pressure was 8bar in the picture! When I wired the ground I assumed the clutch switch wire would be grounded since I have no clutch switch. It turns out it was an open circuit. The good news is that Caterham ran the wires within an inch of where the clutch switch would go. All I had to do was pull back some electrical tape to expose the wires, connect them, and wrap it back up. Now my oil pressure and water temp sensors are properly grounded :).



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  • 7 months later...

It's hard to believe it has been 6mo since my last update. Progress has been slow, but I'm really close. The engine has started a handful of times, but none have been w/o issue. As you can see from the picture above the ECM is BIG. This forced me to move the surge tank and catch can. Fortunately there was enough room in front of the heater box (barely). I also had to remove the vacuum pump which was mounted to the back side of the head on the exhaust camshaft side. After finishing that I went forward with try to start it. In approximate sequence, here are the issues I've faced:


- Wiring harness has only one knock sensor, but engine has two: The ECM was based on a later model engine which only used one. I did not know this going in, but I'm assured the newer ECM is programmed to work with one

- Wiring harness has no CEL output: Sent harness back to supplier for them to add it. This is now solved

- ECM has wrong Operating System loaded: Sent ECM back to supplier for them to update it (not possible to do w/o special GM equipment). This is now solved

- Wiring harness connector for throttle body does not match the throttle body I have: Step 1) supplier sends me throttle body they think will work. It does have the correct connector, but not the right bolt pattern for my manifold (3 out of 4 bolts). I sent this back and they did not opt to send me the right one. Step 2) I buy the right throttle body, it bolts up and has the right connector, but the ECM throws trouble codes. Step3) Supplier sends me pigtail from ECM to adapt to my original throttle body. Everything works, but new throttle body is useless.

- Wiring harness has no tack output signal: It turns out this ECM has no standard tack output (GM went full LAN). Supplier sent me an autometer device that interrupts the power signal to the coils. This should work, but since it was not wired into the harness in the first place I would have to dig into the harness to get to the proper wires. The standard GM harness had dedicated power for the coils, but this aftermarket one does not. The power wires split in the middle of the harness. Soooo, I decided not to use this device and just bought a Dakota Digital device that connects to the OBD port. This means I can't log data and have a functional tach, but at least it should work. The other point I forgot to mention was the autometer device was non-tunable. This meant I had to interrupt the right number of power wires in order to match what the Caterham tach expected. As you can imagine documentation of this is poor, but Bruce did help me. I just decided the Dakota box was a better bet.

- Engine surges wildly during cold start (I mean really surges... 1500-3000rpm most of the time, but up to 6000rpm on occasion): I'm still trying to figure this out. At the moment I have two theories. 1) The engine is running very lean which is causing something in the calibration to freak out. There is evidence of this as the engine stabilizes when the ECM decides to add a lot more fuel. It adds this fuel because the O2 sensor is not working (explained below) and has defaulted to 0v - lean. 2) I'm missing sensors, specifically the barometric pressure pressure and a pre-throttle temp/press. These sensors are definitely missing, but I don't absolutely know the impact. The ECM is calculating -10C intake manifold temperature which I would think would cause a rich condition, but evidence doesn't point that way. I've also been told the pressure sensor is needed for the internal boost control in the ECM. Long story short the supplier has agreed to give me pigtails for these sensors. This is my pacing item at the moment.

- O2 sensor doesn't work: The harness supplier told me really any GM sensor would work so long as it attached to the harness. So, I did some looking and found one that appeared to work. I installed it and somewhat blindly attached it to the harness by reaching under the car. After a few starts and seeing no response from the sensor I asked the supplier about it. They alerted me that the sensor I had purchased was not right and as a result the wires were connected in reverse (heater circuit to sensor). They told me this usually kills the sensor because you are applying 12v to it. After modifying the harness to work with the sensor properly I reinstalled it and started receiving trouble codes about the sensor. I replaced the sensor and after starting a few times received the same codes. I then tested both sensors and found them to both be dead. Ugghhh. I still don't know what caused the second one to fail for sure. The best guess I have is that the ECM wasn't properly reset before installation which caused it to apply too much voltage to the O2 sensor too quickly on the heater which cracked the sensor. Unfortunately there is no resistance speck for the heater so I can't know for sure if the sensor is the right one for the ECM. I do have a friend in the O2 sensor supplier world looking into this to see if he can find out. At the moment I believe everything is ok and when I install a new sensor it should work [crosses fingers].


So, there ya go. The only real things I have left to sort out once the engine runs properly are a few cosmetic things, an alignment, and check for leaks (I know of at least two that will take a little attention, but I need the engine to idle before I can trouble shoot properly).


It's so close, but I've been fighting what I paid to be the easy part (ECM/harness). The supplier in question is Alfa Fab Industries which specializes in standalone ecotec applications, but I have the distinct impression they have not ever done this with the factory turbo engine. It appears to me that they usually use the NA 2.4L and then add a turbo. That said, they have still saved me a lot of time and effort. The issues I list here have been painful and unexpected, but it definitely suggests making my own harness would have been way harder. At least this way I have somebody to call that has some responsibility to help me. They have been largely supportive so I don't want to leave super negative review. It's just that most of the issues so far have been due to various oversights on their side.


I'll post a pic soon.



Edited by TurboWood
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  • 1 month later...

Short update:


1) The engine idles! I added the two missing sensors mentioned above and made a few small calibration changes.

2) Unfortunately the O2 sensor still isn't reading. I confirmed the sensor details, bought the right one, confirmed (with a blow torch) that it works, but the ECM still doesn't see it. Alfa Fab is sending another ECM for me to try

3) Since the engine idled somewhat properly I was able to find and fix (hopefully) the main leak. It was it a tough spot, but should be taken care of now

4) I didn't mention it before, but I thought I had a leak in my radiator piping that is welded to my radiator for the water to air intercooler. It turned out to be a lose plug...DOH!

5) I cleaned up some of the wiring near the intake manifold. If you look close at the last pick you can see the starter solenoid bolted to the intake manifold and a bunch of wires zip-tied to a chassis tube on the car front side of the intake manifold. I also discovered that my engine does have a mounting point for a central knock sensor so I moved one to that position and removed the other (remember from the post above that my more modern ECM uses 1, but my engine came with 2)

6) The Dakota Digital box works, but it only has options for 4, 6, or 8 pulses per rev. which does not work with my 1ppr Caterham gauge. Fortunately my Dad designed a simple flip-flop circtuit that should divide the signal by 4. Hopefully I can find enough parts at Fry's to make it :).

7) I changed some connectors on the harness work I had done. For some stupid reason (likely in a rush to get the car running) I used unsealed connectors in a few spots. This is now fixed

8) I added a throttle opening (yes, opening) spring. The drive by wire throttle has an internal spring that is quite stiff. It's hidden under the pedal box and to make it fit I had to significantly reduce the length of the arm. I attempted to compensate for this through a series of lever arms before attaching to the factory Caterham pedal, but the pedal remained a little more stiff than I liked. I discovered that I could loop that factory Caterham throttle return spring between the shortened DBW throttle and the edge of the pedal box. So, I just added a catch point to the edge of the pedal box which significantly reduced the pedal effort.


Once I get the ECM updated (and hopefully have a functioning O2) it should be go enough to drive around the block!



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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a pick of the pedal box. You can see how much extra wiring the gave me for the DBW pedal. One of these days I’ll shorten it.


I’m still waiting for the new ECM from Alfa. I talked to him Tuesday and they promised to ship immediately, but haven’t heard since.


I built the tach frequency circuit I mentioned it a previous post. A friend from work is going to test it. Hopefully he doesn’t let the smoke out.


The rest is basically done. If the ECM solves the problem my next picture will be from me driving around the block!




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  • 1 month later...

I drove it!!! There is still the issue with the o2 sensor, but the fans did turn on and it drove great! The clutch was easy despite the light flywheel and 3.38 rear end. Tomorrow I should finish the break and light inspection. The BAR exam is planned in mid August.



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Just reread your prior posts and you must have the patience of a saint. I hate electrical issues. Once that damn smoke gets out, the wires never seem the same. :rofl: Good luck with the completion of your build. Once it's running, wiping the big grin off your face will be your only problem. Hopefully its sooner than later. Tom

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