Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/21/23 5:34 p.m.

Rummaging around in teh Batcave, I found something I'd bought six years ago.

5/8" bore master cylinder, perfect for a handbrake.  Somehow I had thought that the Girling style master I had was the .625 and this one was the .750.  Had it backwards.

Since it will be plumbed inline with the rear brakes, that reservoir needs to be removed and a pressure capable fitting installed.

That's.... hmm.  It is not a pipe thread, and the top is beveled for an O ring not flat for a banjo.  Wat do?

I guess I could look it up on Wilwood's site.  And found that it is a truly weird thread: 11/16-20.  Wonder if I can find something that will work.

It turns out that for $23, Wilwood has a 11/16-20 to 1/8NPT adaptor fitting, that even comes with an O ring.


While I was at Summit picking it up, I also acquired a couple chassis tabs for the brake lines and a 1/4 in 3/16 out brake line tee for the front brakes, that they did NOT list in universal brake hydraulics/tees but rather direct-fit junction blocks.  Oh well, I found it, so now I have a way to run the lines to the front calipers too.

I also scored an allegedly 340lph fuel pump for $60 in the scratch and dent bin. It did not appear to have ever been installed so let's try it, that is half the price of a Walbro 255lph.


Now I am just waiting on the Rock Auto order and I can finish assembling the engine, and start running the brake lines.  Running the brake lines will require mounting the hydraulic handbrake... which will require MAKING the hydraulic handbrake... and I should really have the steering column installed so I know where to put it, so I know how to make it.  Which means I should finish making the column.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/22/23 12:36 p.m.

340lph pump is a Holley Sniper drop in unit for some GM application.  Looks just like the Subaru pump.  Could not find any pressure vs current draw curves like Aeromotive lists for their Stealth 340, but I did find someone report that it draws 16.7a at 60psi, which actually sounds a lot like what I remember the Aeromotive pump doing.  Assuming 43psi base pressure, that is only 17psi boost, we will be running.... more.

Gonna have to bypass the sending unit connector and its needle thin pins, and run a passthrough with big fat wires.

I'm slightly annoyed that I did not think of this while I was at Summit, but it turns out that they do not have my favorite passthrough solution in stock at Tallmadge anyway, so I couldn't have picked it up anyway.


Fingers are less numb, coffee's on, time to finish the steering column

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/22/23 3:25 p.m.

Still workin'.


I got an IDEA


Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/22/23 4:40 p.m.

Coming together

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/22/23 5:17 p.m.

Make sense yet?

How about now?


The pins have to go in from the inside because they were staked in on rhe outside, and why ruin a good thing?  The 10x1.25 bolts serve to both hold them in place, and press them in for assembly.

The bolt holes lined up perfectly.  Not bad for juggling three different dimensions in 3D space.


Now to go to the Batcave and see how much it fouls on the firewall.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/22/23 6:12 p.m.


It clears almost everything and it does not bind with a steering wheel on it, even after playing around with the tilt function.


This was a huge stressor for me because splicing a quickener into a fixed column is difficult enough, the way this column has multiple inline bearings and a separate pivot that I needed to incorporate had ALL the potential for suckage.


Major win!

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
1/22/23 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Congrats.  Now onto the brakes next?

Shavarsh HalfDork
1/22/23 9:19 p.m.

Awesome! nicely done

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/23/23 7:38 p.m.
Indy - Guy said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Congrats.  Now onto the brakes next?

Yes.  And to do the brakes, first we must... trim down the R53 wiring harness.

This is not photogenic, so there have not been any pics of the progress.


But the ABS unit has to come out, and it has fat wiring running everywhere, and the airbag wiring has fat wiring running everywhere, and all that stuff needs to GO, and I would like to use the existing wiring grommets to run the brake and possibly fuel lines through, so guess what is next? Spaghetti.

Also, with the seat installed, the brake pedal seems really... high.  When I modified the pedal, I was very cautious with respect to keeping it the same height from the firewall, but it still seems off somehow.  Need to investigate that too, because the driving position will determine where the handbrake goes.  And the shifter.  Not that one, the other one.


The wiring is most of the reason Colin is visiting sunny warm Cleveland, because it is tedious, time consuming, and best done in small chunks instead of marathon sessions, so perfect for poking at for an hour or so after work.


Having the column in the car also permits me to do something that is honestly a little scary: Powering the car up and making sure the things like windows and power locks and such still work.  Have not done that yet.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/24/23 8:43 p.m.

The FUN part is, I didn't take it apart, so few of the connectors make sense.  And there is no general wiring connector location/ID like many other cars have.


But if you ever need twisted pair, find a Mini.

Most of this is RADIO. 


A thought on wiring thinning.  I never did it on any of my cars, because it seems like the more you cut out, the more of a mess the wiring becomes, because you have to deloom everything and it turns into undifferentiated spaghetti.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/27/23 10:58 a.m.

Brake lines from one warehouse.  Eight of 16 ordered 3/16 fittings from another warehouse.  Still waiting on other fittings, and gaskets, and hoses, from three other warehouses.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/27/23 1:23 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Why are you plumbing a master cylinder inline? Sorry, I didn't go back to previous page(s).

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/27/23 6:08 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

It isn't anywhere back there, it is just assumed that any car I am involved with building will get a hydraulic handbrake smiley

It isn't a main tool but it is good to have if you really have screwed up and need to make things worse before they can get better.

My black RX-7 has a .700 bore master cylinder and a maybe 12:1 lever ratio, it takes a good bit of effort to use but it does work great.  Shoulda used a .625 but the .7 was there, you know?  Fixing that is why I bought the .625 in the first place.

One downside is that it pumps fluid backwards to the main master cylinder before the bypass port closes, so the first application of the brake pedal after using the handbrake tends to be low, unless you are using it WHILE braking normally like an on-the-fly balance bar.  I have a possible fix, or maybe just band-aid, for that issue.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/27/23 9:50 p.m.

Found something under the ABS pump bracket.

I don't know what it was for, but someone had a bad day.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/28/23 8:55 a.m.

Post sleep clarity.  How many of those twisted pair are CAN lines, how many network buses are there, and how many still need to work?  All CAN wires are yellow on certain vehicles, this may be true here too.


High speed CAN can die screaming.  It is only needed for engine, trans, ABS, and I think airbag and instrument cluster.  All of those are going away.

Entertainment CAN, if it has one, can also die.  This would be for the radio/infotainment.  Probably has a couple wires going to the clockspring assembly because the steering wheel had buttons to control the radio and probably stuff in the instrument cluster.


Hmm.  Time to research.  Research will require McMuffins

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
1/28/23 9:29 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

(Hydraulic handbrake)

One downside is that it pumps fluid backwards to the main master cylinder before the bypass port closes, so the first application of the brake pedal after using the handbrake tends to be low, unless you are using it WHILE braking normally like an on-the-fly balance bar.  I have a possible fix, or maybe just band-aid, for that issue.

I have found that in practice I'm almost always braking right before yanking the lever to bring the back end around anyway, so this has been a non-issue in my rally cars.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/28/23 11:48 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

On course I tended to use it instead of the foot brake a lot because the front brakes on RX-7s lock easily.  Never noticed a low pedal on course because I don't heel-toe, no footwell room.  Not that I ever really needed to shift either, once in 2nd gear.


On the STREET, I used it a lot instead of the cable brake at traffic lights.. or to slow down when I need to use my right foot to keep the engine alive.. and I do heel-toe on the street, and the low pedal is really noticeable.  

probably a complete non issue when used in a competition only car that has an automatic transmission, in hindsight.  But! Turd polishing knows no bounds, and I have the attempted fix sitting here anyway, so let's try it.


on the wiring front.  The R53 CAN makes my head hurt.  There isn't one, at least none that I can see.  There is a high speed CAN for a bunch of stuff... and a low speed CAN for various things.  But the power locks and windows are hardwired to the GEM, which seems as quaint as points and SU carbs.  My main concern is the RKE module,which I know exists but my old notes from a year ago are nowhere to be found.  It looks like the instrument cluster may function as a master unit, need to do more digging.

Yes, having a key fob is important smiley

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/28/23 12:07 p.m.

RKE appears to go straight to GEM. Good.

Hazard switch is part of the instrument cluster, not a separate unit like I'd thought.  Less good.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/28/23 2:59 p.m.

Immobilizer unit is required for the RKE to work.  It ties in to the GEM with a data line, and to the datalink connector.


This will be important if new keys need to be programmed.


I sorely want to rip into the DME wiring before I am done with the airbag/ABS/radio because ADD.  Focus.


What I WOULD like to know is why there seem to be two big fat positive cables running through the car, which is WHY i want to tear into the DME wiring because it goes in through that passthrough.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/28/23 5:54 p.m.

Right side done, mostly.  I know I will find wires from the left that cross over to the right.  Fusebox is on left side, GEM is on right.  For whatever reason BMW did not opt to make the fusebox the module, like literally everyone else in the world.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/30/23 7:19 p.m.

And berk this connector in particular.

It was tied up right next to another connector which I had been assuming was for the power mirror switch, because it was down I think where the center console was and the other connector was the same type as the side mirrors.

After cutting the ABS harness off at the firewall and removing all of its wires from the harness behind the dash, all but its brown wire (DIN for ground) were disconnected.  Uh.  Yep, the wires were long enough to go all the way up there...  Hmm.

Research, research...  it was for a yaw sensor on vehicles equipped with chassis dynamics.  WELL.  Okay then.  So what is THIS connector?  It had a red blue wire that also apparently went up to ABS.  Red blue is the brake light circuit, which has a splice to three different things up in the harness by the right side dash bracket.

Hmm.  Handbrake switch?  Not finding a 3 wire connector anywhere in the ABS wiring diagram.


Very long story short, it is for the TPMS reset button.  TPMS was by wheel speed sensor and controlled by the ABS module.  Didn't know these cars even had TPMS...


EvanB MegaDork
1/31/23 7:51 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

  Didn't know these cars even had TPMS...


That makes two of us. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/2/23 7:03 p.m.

In reply to EvanB :

Some years back, Jonathan was asking me questions about R53s and was incredulous that I had never seen one in the shop before.

This car is the first and so far only R53 I have worked on, and will probably be the first time I drive one, although it will not be very representative of the breed at that point.  I did ride in John England's car once at the quarry by Nelson Ledges, it was very nice.

Very DEAriffic looking package arrived today

If you think you know what this is, you are wrong.  (Evan might know)

Need to order some Subaru gear.  Need the inner right side timing cover, which is too shredded to use, and the center and right outer timing cover.  Left inner is missing a small piece but serviceable, left outer is in good shape. 

Making my notes HERE because I will forget otherwise

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/3/23 7:01 p.m.

Apparently EJ205 cam seals are made of unicorn hide or something.  The head gasket set, which did come with non-AVCS valve cover gaskets, came with AVCS cam seals.  I keep getting either AVCS (ID too large) or SOHC (OD too small) cam seals.  Non AVCS DOHC cam seals are large OD and small ID.  The old seals are no longer sharp and are a rattle fit on the cams, otherwise I'd just say screwit and reuse them.

Just got out of a long ordeal at our distributor's warehouse, where I managed to acquire TWO cam seals.  I can put the left side together tonight at least.  The right side cannot go together until the new timing covers arrive (new is significantly cheaper than used eBay parts)

14 degrees.  This gonna suck

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/3/23 8:14 p.m.

I used Hondabond on a Subaru, don't tell anyone.

Magic cam seals are FelPro 46150.


Having ideas for the eventual air intake.  They may involve relocating the turbo coolant tank, or maybe the power steering pump.  Engine will have to be in the car to figure out space constraints, since we never actually had the engine in with the intake manifold on.  I think there is a lot more vertical room in the back than in a WRX, which is interesting.

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