TeamCapri

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Summer will be upon us soon! Make sure you check the Meets subforum to see if there's a get-together near you!

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 18

Author Topic: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod  (Read 10151 times)

EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
'91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« on: February 01, 2021, 08:50:16 AM »


Here's the car as I found her, loaded up on my tow dolly ready to come home. I made a six hour round trip from New York to Connecticut to go pick her up, plus the few hours it took to winch the car out of the bush she had been living in up onto my tow dolly. I had never even heard of these cars before this one popped up on Craigslist, and for $600 I just couldn't say no.


My wonderful view on the drive home. All in all, it was about a 10 hour adventure, with my wife and 12 month old son, to go get this car. Easily the furthest out of my way I've ever gone to pick up a car.


It was dark out by the time we got back, but here she is at her new forever home.


8 Hours of work later, and the engine was about ready to come out.


The rear-most engine mount is pretty much the only part that put up a fight this whole time. Well, and the exhaust....but that was a mess anyways so I gave up fairly quickly and cut it off.


The engine and car have about 151,000 miles on them. This thing was absolutely disgusting for so few miles. I did what I could to clean it up, but it will have to go to the machine shop to get hot tanked.


This is one of the main reasons I pulled the engine out and apart. You can see here how bad the head gasket was. All 4 fire rings were egged out, and you can see coolant puddled up on the wrong side of the gasket around cylinder #4.


Here, I'm measuring the endplay in the crankshaft. It was actually pretty good, right at 0.00055 inches. I haven't checked any specs yet (I plan to take all of my measurements first), but I'm pretty sure that it's well within the limit. I'm planning on measuring EVERYTHING. Anything that's out of spec is going to have to get corrected. I do plan on throwing more boost at this engine, so I want to make sure it'll be able to handle it. At the bare minimum, the engine will be getting new rod bearings, main bearings, piston rings, and seals/gaskets. And hot tanked.


And this is where I left off last night. I got the rods and pistons out in order to start measuring oil clearances. The bearings are actually in decent shape, but they are pretty worn through. No deep scratches or hot spots or anything like that. This car may have been neglected, but it doesn't seem to have been abused.

So that's where I'm at after about a week of ownership. I plan on building the Capri into a sort of daily driver/track car hybrid. I'll be getting rid of the air conditioning, power steering, audio system, soft top, etc etc. to save as much weight as possible. At the same time, I plan on increasing the boost, and possibly the compression ratio as well. I'm still debating with myself if I would rather do the rocketchip or if I'm going to go with microsquirt. If I go standalone, I can replace the silly VAF setup with a normal intake and a MAP sensor. I can also get rid of the car's factory ignition system, which seems rather weak to me, and replace it with a slightly newer setup from a Miata. I might even be able to go to a coil-on-plug setup. The only real downside is that it's expensive. It'd cost me about $550 for the microsquirt, plus however much more to essentially rebuild the wiring harness, intake system, and ignition system. Tough decision. In addition to all of that, the only real modification I have planned is to replace a bunch of the bushings in the car with poly bushings. I was planning on making my own, since I can't seem to find much in the way of aftermarket. I'd like to add some chasis bracing too, but again that'll probably all have to be custom. I can't even find front and rear strut tower bars. That's okay though, I do enjoy fabrication work.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 07:16:59 PM by EShepherd »
Logged

greywolf27030

  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
    • 1991 XR2, 1992 XR2, 1993 XR2
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 09:03:09 AM »

Congratulations on what seems like a great score. Beautiful work you are doing to. We do suffer parts availability by being an orphan. When you're doing your searches, search for Mazda 323GT (not GTX) for suspension parts. You're more likely to find what you are looking for. Whiteline usually has those bushings you're looking for but you have to pay shipping from Australia. Of course MX5 is the place to look for engine mods. Sounds like you have a good plan, best of luck with it and keep us informed with your progress.
Logged
Jack Byrd

EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2021, 10:21:51 AM »

Here's a question for you guys. While I have the engine fully apart, I was wondering if there would be anything to gain by slightly increasing oil clearances by using oversized main and rod bearings. I figured if the factory set it up to run at factory boost levels (I think 8-10 psi?), and I am planning on running it around 17-20 psi, it may be beneficial to widen the clearances by a tiny amount. Before I start changing anything away from the factory specs, I figure I might as well consult with the experts.

While I've got the whole drivetrain ripped apart, is there anything you guys would recommend doing that may not be immediately obvious to someone unfamiliar with these cars specifically? Anything to beef up the transmission, or any other known weak areas? Like I said in the first post, I'm still debating swapping over to a Miata ignition system....but I don't really want to obliterate any chance of having Rocket's ECU work with my setup. Such difficult decisions. If I went with larger injectors, would that also cause conflicts with his chip, or would they work the same but at a lower duty cycle?

The entirety of my electrical system needs to be replaced. So, so many connectors just sort of imploded on themselves while I was disassembling. I'm going to need to re-wire essentially everything under the hood. I know off the top of my head that the connectors for the VAF, the injectors, and even the main harness (the big round one) all broke. I'm planning on tucking all the wiring, and switching all the connectors over to weatherpack stuff. I think I may even move the battery and fuse blocks into the trunk. Any advice or warnings before I commit to this plan and start ordering parts?
Logged

EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 06:05:56 PM »

Just wanted to add an update of what I've done the last few days. To start off with, the one piece of the engine that I'm really concerned with looking good is the valve cover. It's front and center, right at the top. The one piece you'll see the most when you pop the hood. So, my plan, instead of painting it, is to polish the hell out of it. Get it to look like a mirror. Here's how it looked when I took the engine out of the car, and then how it looks now. I'm nowhere near done, but it is a start...






In addition to that, I've been working on cleaning up the rotating assembly. Behold:





One down, only three more to go. Quite the time-consuming task, and they aren't even as clean as I'd like to get them.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 07:17:49 PM by EShepherd »
Logged

greywolf27030

  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
    • 1991 XR2, 1992 XR2, 1993 XR2
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2021, 10:16:12 AM »

Nice
Logged
Jack Byrd

EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 10:57:31 AM »

So, I finally finished up with my first cleaning of the connecting rods, caps, wrist pins, circlips, and pistons. They still aren't as clean as I'd like them to be, but it's certainly a good start.


I finally got the beating heart of the whole deal free from her home of the last 30-odd years. I didn't have the time yesterday to really sit down and inspect it, but from my cursory glance, everything checks out. I'd love to get the thing lightened up, maybe knife edge the counter weights....but I don't have the mountains of money I'd need to pay a machinist to do that. Ah well. My only real plan here is to try and polish up the main and rod journals, and give her a very deep cleaning - both inside and out.



After pulling the crankshaft out, this is the sight that I was met with. If you look towards the front of the engine from the #4 cylinder oil squirter, you'll see a pretty sizeable hole. The edges of it are pretty dang rough; I'm not sure if that's just shitty casting flash, or if that's from a piece of the block itself being broken off. Is that hole supposed to even be there? Is it a drain-back up to the cylinder head.....or do I have a massive hole in my block???!!! I'm hoping it's supposed to be there; I'd have to imagine that if there was that catastrophic of a failure, I'd be seeing way more damage. However, this is my first time opening up this engine specifically, so I honestly have no idea. Can someone PLEASE tell me if that hole is supposed to be there? I'm not ordering any parts until I know....and I'm at the stage of the build where my next step is ordering parts. Ughhhhh.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 07:18:06 PM by EShepherd »
Logged

Rocketman

  • Administrator
  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5392
    • 91 BPT AWD Capri & 1991 XR2
    • http://www.werbatfik.com
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2021, 03:19:26 AM »

Yes, I believe that's an oil drain from the head to the oilpan.
Logged
1.8L Turbo All Wheel Drive Capri... the "GTXR2"


EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2021, 10:54:45 AM »

Thanks for the reply Rocket, that is fantastic news. I was very worried there.

I've got another question for you guys. Are the head bolts, main bolts, and rod bolts all torque to yield? Or am I able to reuse them? The service manual doesn't make any mention of having to replace them (that I've seen, at least). I don't want to spend a bunch of money on fasteners if I can avoid it, no matter how much I love ARP head studs. It does mention to replace the copper washers that are below and above the oil squirters. Is there anything special about them, or can I just go grab a set of copper washers from the parts store for brake hoses and similar?
Logged

ZJCapri91

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • 91 Capri N/A 05 Excursion V10 06 F150 5.4 V8
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2021, 05:33:48 PM »

Thanks for the reply Rocket, that is fantastic news. I was very worried there.

I've got another question for you guys. Are the head bolts, main bolts, and rod bolts all torque to yield? Or am I able to reuse them? The service manual doesn't make any mention of having to replace them (that I've seen, at least). I don't want to spend a bunch of money on fasteners if I can avoid it, no matter how much I love ARP head studs. It does mention to replace the copper washers that are below and above the oil squirters. Is there anything special about them, or can I just go grab a set of copper washers from the parts store for brake hoses and similar?

I have done the head gasket for my car, and reused the head bolts with no issues. I would say that unless the head bolts look stretched, you can use them again. Not sure about the others though...
Logged

Rocketman

  • Administrator
  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5392
    • 91 BPT AWD Capri & 1991 XR2
    • http://www.werbatfik.com
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2021, 10:20:23 PM »

They are not torque-to-yield. That said I'm not sure how many cycles I would use them. I think on several of my engines I have re-used them once
Logged
1.8L Turbo All Wheel Drive Capri... the "GTXR2"


EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2021, 02:59:13 PM »

Thanks for the input guys. I'm definitely the first one to open this engine up, so I think they should be fine then if I reuse them. That being said, if I do end up doing the hybrid turbo setup with the Probe turbo, I'll likely end up pulling the head and throwing the ARP's in there.

Now I'm waiting on parts. Does anyone have a write-up for how to port the wastegate on our turbo's? I've read that they can give you problems with boost creep if you have an aftermarket exhaust, so that's something I'd like to jump ahead of. I've got the turbo manifold all apart now, so I figured that'd be an easy little project while I wait on my parts to arrive.

EDIT:
-------
I just put in my parts order. I've got the gasket set (last one by Apex on RockAuto, sorry fellas) coming on the 17th. The main and rod bearings, piston rings, and assembly lube are coming on the 19th. The thrust washers aren't coming until the 23rd. I also have some roloc discs and a new die grinder which should be arriving tomorrow. I'm going to be able to use those to clean off the head gasket mating surfaces. Once that is done, I'm going to prep and paint the engine before all my parts show up, so that she is ready for reassembly. I'm thinking I'll do the block and head in flat black, and the oil pan and valve cover in purple. I was going to polish the valve cover, but it was taking up way too much time. There may be a move in my near future, so I'm trying to get the car back to a state where it moves under its own power as soon as possible.

On an unrelated note, I was looking at other parts on RockAuto and came across https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6752684&cc=1196636 that clutch kit. It's a 6-puck clutch made by a company called M-Pack, for $86.00. Comes with the alignment tool, pressure plate, pilot bearing, and release bearing, as well as the clutch itself. That seems way too good to be true. Does anyone have any experience with this kit, or the company in general?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 12:34:04 PM by EShepherd »
Logged

EShepherd

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • 1991 Capri XR2, 1991 Capri XR2 Rusted out Shell
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2021, 02:36:18 PM »

So, question for anyone who happens upon this build thread. I need help cleaning the head gasket mating surfaces on my block and head. The old composite gasket seems to have fused itself to the deck surface. No matter what I try, I just can't get the thing to be just clean metal. Here is a picture of it after going at it with a razor blade, brake cleaner, and engine degreaser:


After spending hours doing that and making no progress, I went out and got a new air die grinder and some of those rubber roloc discs. I've used these before to clean gasket surfaces, and they've always worked well for me. Of course, they didn't do a perfect job here. This is what it looked like after several passes with the roloc disc:


It's definitely better, but it is by no means a perfectly clean deck surface. So, I've got two questions I suppose. First off, how in the world do I get the old gasket completely off the block? Do I need to just bite the bullet and take the thing to the machine shop to get professionally cleaned? Second question: Is this good enough? Do you think I can get a good seal with the new head gasket on this surface? The gasket I have waiting to go on is graphite, which I think is what the OEM one is also made from. So far. all my measurements have shown me that I can get away with just replacing the bearings and rings without needing to get any machining done. I'd hate to have to bring it to the machinist just to get cleaned. In fact, I'd probably get it at least honed on top of cleaned, if I need to bring it to them, just so I don't feel like I'm wasting their time. So what do you guys think I should do?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 07:18:25 PM by EShepherd »
Logged

greywolf27030

  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
    • 1991 XR2, 1992 XR2, 1993 XR2
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2021, 08:15:11 AM »

Rolox discs have always worked for me so I don't know what to tell you there, but by all means get the block honed and the crank polished before you reassemble it.
Logged
Jack Byrd

ZJCapri91

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • 91 Capri N/A 05 Excursion V10 06 F150 5.4 V8
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2021, 08:30:39 AM »

If your going to the trouble, do it right!

Hire a machine shop and have them make sure the block deck is flat, and have them hone the cylinders while they're in there.

It's better to spend the money than find out your head isn't making a good seal because of an uneven block.
Logged

Aus Capri

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • 1989 Capri Turbo
Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2021, 08:37:20 AM »

Check out my build! you may take some inspiration from it!  its the one called "pulled motor to do rings and got super carried away"
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 18