Smaug: Return of The Green Monster

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Smaug: Return of The Green Monster

Postby tigerdog » Mon 16.07.2007, 15:29

That's not the title of the latest anime-ripoff of The Hobbit, and I'll apologize up front because I know there must be at least one member who'll gladly remind me Tolkien's Smaug was a red dragon. Now that we have the dislaimers out of the way...

I'm now a month into Elan ownership, so I suppose it's time I open a "Projects" thread to document the continuing evolution of the BRG Elan built to such a wonderful standard by Russ "Houdini" Schulz. To those not familiar with the project, I'll direct you to the car's well-documented history here and here.

Smaug is no average monster. A quick recap of the modifications he had when I purchased the car includes:
    Garrett Turbo (GT2560R)
    Garrett Intercooler
    RC injectors 550cc
    3 bar MAP sensor
    TopEnd Performance Intake pipes and TurboXS BOV
    TurboXS Manual Boost Controller
    Kingbourn wires
    Accel coils (already replaced - see below)
    Aluminum Flywheel
    HD Clutch
    Quaife LSD
    AB shift cables with solid shifter mounts
    Dave's short shift kit
    Dave M's rear strut bar
    Auto Europe Roll Bar
    Autometer gauges
The car was very pretty when I took delivery, but that didn't stop me from giving it a thorough clean/polish/wax and feeding of leather. There's no better way to know the shape of a car than to wash and wax it.

In the first month, Smaug has pulled a couple of tricks on me, documented elsewhere in the Forums. The windows refused to go up (traced to faulty relay contacts, fixed by cleaning) and a nasty two-cylinder miss under all conditions, caused by a faulty plug wire (burned right through the insulator!) and a bad coil. No way to tell which caused the other to fail, but web research uncovered a number of posts outlining problems with the Accel twin-tower coil. I have replaced both coils with MSD units and Kingsborne were kind enough to replace the wires at no charge.

While I had the overflow tank removed, I decided to see what I could do about the shiter. Fore/aft feel and travel was very good, but the right/left motion was very stiff and full of friction. The lever was also canted very far to the right. I was able to improve the action quite a bit by placing the selector in 3rd, moving the AB Cable adjustors to the opposite ends of the threaded travel, then briskly moving the housing and the lever back and forth until it settled into a less restrictive position. I then positioned the lever just slightly to the left of vertical and cinched down the adjustors. Shifting is much improved, though still stickier than some I've driven.

My first true "modification" was to replace the Sony "Xplode" head unit with a mid-90's Blaupunkt unit. It's not the one I ultimate want, but it removes the visually jarring silver Sony and replaces it one that looks like it belongs in the dash and with ergonomics that won't cause an accident while trying to change radio stations.

The jury is still out as to whether I'll fit the adjustable dampers and I'm still undecided on the Auto Europe roll bar. Whereas Houdini was taking the car ever closer to a track-day special, I intend to use the car as my "sunny day driver, so these items may not fit with Smaug's new duties. My first major project will be to fit the Wilwood brake kit that came with the car. I'm also very curious as to how the car can run so well with the stock ECU being fed by a 3-bar MAP sensor and driving 550cc injectors. The car was intended to have a Haltech but that was unfortunately lost to thieves prior to my purchasing the car. I'll make some ElanScan runs and ask for insights from ESM in the near future.

For now, the weather is perfect, the car is VERY strong (running about 1.1 bar, 16PSI of boost) and driving is way too much fun.
Last edited by tigerdog on Fri 30.03.2012, 05:37, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dico » Mon 16.07.2007, 17:07

Good man. Go and enjoy it :P

Will be interesting to see how you get on if you decide to go the Haltech route.
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Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 16.07.2007, 17:20

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Calypso Red S2 #417

USB ElanScan interfaces - Sorry, currently unavailable.
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Postby tigerdog » Mon 16.07.2007, 19:33

OK OK OK! I hate worthlessness. Here's a pic to keep Geoff happy. More to come in the days/weeks/months ahead.
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Smaug as he came to me.
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Postby Ekapol » Mon 16.07.2007, 21:05

Ooooh... I love the green top :smt007
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Postby Doug » Mon 16.07.2007, 21:11

you just need to find it parked with the windows down like that -- then it's just a matter of a few bolts in each car, and you drive away leaving the black one on his . . . :-D
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Postby tigerdog » Mon 16.07.2007, 23:06

Doug wrote:you just need to find it parked with the windows down like that -- then it's just a matter of a few bolts in each car, and you drive away leaving the black one on his . . . :-D


As ol' JRR himself once observed, dragons "...can keep half an eye open watching while they sleep." :-D
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Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 16.07.2007, 23:10

Is that a reflection of Gollum with a camera?
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Postby tigerdog » Mon 16.07.2007, 23:15

geoffsmith wrote:Is that a reflection of Gollum with a camera?

careful! Houdini took this photo just before I bought the car from him. It's not wise to insult a mage!
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Postby Doug » Tue 17.07.2007, 02:24

I was going to ask, but then looked up "Smaug", and was not surprised to see that I was almost dead on for a guess.
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Postby johnny » Wed 18.07.2007, 19:41

Ekapol wrote:Ooooh... I love the green top :smt007


So do i.

Makes the car look very nice. :wink:
Hey- Geoff Smith.. U crack me up. Poor old Dad..
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A quick update and NEW HEADLAMPS

Postby tigerdog » Mon 27.08.2007, 00:42

I've done a little bit of fiddling with Smaug over the last few weeks, so it's about time to bring this thread up to date. Biggest change is the replacement of the very fine but visually incongruous Sony stereo with a period Blaupunkt unit.

I'm also replacing the headlamps (horrid fed-spec sealed beams) with Cibie CSRs. You'll find this process outlined in this step-by-step thread. Photos are included in the headlamp posting.
Last edited by tigerdog on Fri 07.03.2008, 23:53, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Doc Fizzix » Wed 29.08.2007, 00:31

What is your gas milage? I have the same aluminum flywheel and I think I am down to 20 mil/gal but that is not official, I just know I got through the gas a lot faster.
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Boost ponderings

Postby tigerdog » Sat 15.09.2007, 21:53

Smaug is happily boosting to 16PSI with his combination of 550cc injectors, 3 Bar MAP sensor and manual boost controller, but I'm increasingly paranoid of the MBC. I've been doing some simple math and an pondering hooking the ECM/boost control valve back into the circuit instead of the MBC.

I'm starting with the assumption that the 3 Bar sensor is fooling the ECU into thinking boost is 1/3 lower than it really is. If that's the case, then the boost profile with the standard chip will be 50% higher than standard. This places max boost at .975 BAR, or 14.137 PSI (sea level.) By looking at the uprated boost gauge, it should allow me to compare whether the assumption matches reality.

If this is borne out, the next step might be to burn a custom chip which limits max boost to .74 in the ECU (1.12 Bar in reality), sets the low-temp/safety threshold to .34 Bar (.5 in reality, matching stock) and sets the Fuel cutoff at .76 Bar (just above the max allowable boost).
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In Hospital

Postby tigerdog » Sat 29.09.2007, 19:05

Smaug is currently visiting Harry at Viking Motorspots for a new timing belt, tensioner, idler, water pump and thermostat. A bit of a cop-out :oops:. I'm embarrassed I'm not doing this myself but I'm impatient and really want to move onto producing some meaningful ElanScan data. He comes home next Friday, just in time for the annual San Diego British Car Day and the Coronado Historic Car Races next weekend. I can't wait!
Last edited by tigerdog on Fri 30.03.2012, 05:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby tigerdog » Thu 25.10.2007, 20:36

Doc Fizzix wrote:What is your gas mileage?.

Doc, just filled the tank for the first time after replacing timing belt and thermostat. Pulled 24.5 MPG in a combination of freeway driving, city streets and over an hour's worth of stop-and-go with the AC running.
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Postby clemo » Mon 12.11.2007, 13:20

looking good...
where did you get the roof from?
Jim Clark S2 on the way . The one with the Yellow spoke wheels .
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Postby tigerdog » Mon 12.11.2007, 16:05

clemo wrote:where did you get the roof from?

Came with the car as purchased from Houdini. I'll see if I can dig up more info on it, but it looks a treat and is quite snug, though I almost never drive with it up - and never in the rain.
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Keeping a Stiff Lower Lip

Postby tigerdog » Mon 17.03.2008, 17:37

I've taken care of two cosmetic issues which have bothered me since I took delivery. Smaug now wears a new rubber chin spoiler - he was naked before. I've also replaced an ugly torn boost pipe/inner fender grommet. I used the SJ Sportscars replacement parts for rubber bits. I sourced the spoiler plastic retaining bits (sides) directly from Lotus afterspares. The center piece came from Dave Bean. Stainless steel hardware came from a local industrial hardware stockist. They have an incredible selection of stainless fasteners and sell per-piece so I don't have to buy 100 washers to get 17.

I've also replaced an ugly torn boost pipe/inner fender grommet. The SJ part is
not a direct replacement for the Lotus unit. Sticklers for detail will want to track down the original. The SJ part assumes the pipe is perpendicular to the fender - it's not. On Smaug, the pipe exits at about a 45 degree angle. Judicious relieving with a razor knife allows the grommet to sit flat on the fender while allowing the pipe to exit at its usual angle.

Photos will phollow.
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Postby Doug » Tue 18.03.2008, 08:27

there is no more OE grommet for that part per my recollection

what you have done is the best you can be expected to do

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