Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Alive!!!

So, today was a -massive- day for the project.

We started at about 1.30pm and got stuck right in where we left off yesterday. Jacked up the EB and removed the fuel tank and installed in the E21.

One of the two bolts that hold the fuel straps on rounded and had to get the chop.

Above: The tank installed.

I climbed under the car to do a pre-flight check and realised the coil power wire and tacho signal, as well as sensor ground were not connected. We quickly resolved those issues and then installed the battery and double checked all the grounds and power feeds.

Then we installed the EL ECU and test fired the car. No dice.

Dismayed at first, and thinking "what wire have I missed?" I started poring over the EA wiring schematics.

No spark.

Ok, maybe a sus coil (this motor was having intermittent ignition problems prior to being removed from the old motor however we believed the Hall Effect Sensor in the Distributor would have been the most likely cause and therefore replaced it as part of the motor transfer process).

Tried a new coil. Still no spark. Checked for spark straight off the coil in case due to a bad distributor cap/rotor button etc. Still no spark.

Tested fuel injectors with a test light. No pulse.

No tacho signal. Odd.

Ok, maybe the ECU is dead. Removed the EL ECU and installed an EA Multipoint EFI Manual ECU (pre-smartlock).

The car still won't start.

Checked spark - present (ok, now we're getting somewhere)

Checked fuel injector pulse - present (ok, this is looking better and better)

The fuel pump is making a strange groaning noise. Maybe towards the end of last night we got the hardlines mixed up when installing the fuel hoses?

Checked the fuel coming out of the sender line on the pump - present but no pressure on the line when released. Hmm.

Checked the return line at the motor - fuel pumps from the return. Damn, backwards.

Removed the lines in the engine bay and swapped over.

Primed the pump multiple times.

Cranked, then.... LIFE!

Click below to watch the video of the first start:

Took a moment to reflect on the progress over the last week and the THREE YEARS it has taken the build to get back to the point of having a running motor in the car. Good food for enthusiasm! You'll notice in the video I'm having the rev the car with a bit of plastic. This is because it would not idle with the EA MPFI ECU which is tuned for a completely standard Falcon and can't quite comprehend what's going on with the cam in use on this motor.

Above: Accelerator pedal bracket welded in place/

Hamo decided he was going to make an exhaust as it was getting late and we can't be socially responsible while moving the car without at least attempting to make it quiet. The falcon muffler is a bit worse for wear but will have to do the job. The only place it fits the E21 is at the rear bumper.

Above: Exhaust almost finished

Above: Hamo seems to forget I have -two- welding gloves and a face shield.

Above: the exhaust is done.

While Hamo was getting the exhaust made, I did the following other tasks:

  • Drilled hole for and fitted clutch cable and adjusted. Also fitted a larger piece of steel as a washer/load spreader to prevent firewall flex/cracking.
  • Fed through and connected throttle cable and checked for full throttle
  • Wired in gearbox loom/gearbox plug for speedo and reverse switch.
Next, Hamo bolted up the exhaust and re-fitted the battery terminals while I tightened the tailshaft bolts.

Earlier, we tried another EL ECU and had the same problem. I only vaguely -thought- I'd programmed the smartlock disable to the J3 chip (from - it turns out either I hadn't, or it had failed. We re-loaded the J3, installed in the ECU and it fired up.

Below is a combination of two videos:

The first section shows startup and idle with the EL ECU and J3 tuned for the cam (notice it idles by itself)
The second shows the car start with the exhaust fitted (note there are plenty of exhaust leaks with this system as all the auto masks we had here were not working so we were hot-spot welding the exhaust system with an arc welding mask). It also shows the car DRIVING UNDER IT'S OWN POWER!

So there we have it, two major milestones for this project - to have a running motor in the car, and for the car to move under it's own power!

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