Gearbox Rescue, NEW Haltech Display, Megasquirt Example and more! | Today at HPA [UPDATE 227]

Gearbox Rescue, NEW Haltech Display, Megasquirt Example and more! | Today at HPA [UPDATE 227]

– Hey guys, Andre from High Performance
Academy, welcome along to another one of our webinars/pre shows. Now today in our webinar we’re going to be
discussing some of the subtle changes that you can make when you’re building a
performance engine that are going to help get a nice solid supply of oil to all of
the parts where you need that oil, none of the parts that you don’t want the
oil. Before we get into that though, just a few
things that have been going on over the last week. And we had a pretty busy schedule of racing
planned for this weekend, we had rounds three and four of the Highlands Sprint Series
which is our local sprint race series. This is run on a shortened version of our
local track Highlands Motorsport Park. And as its name implies there’s a series
of relatively short six lap sprint races. So we had the opportunity for I think the
first time ever that we had two cars going. We had our black 86 with the V8 in it
going and we also had our RaceCraft car with the turbo FA20 going. So we were pretty excited about racing
both cars. Unfortunately that also wasn’t to be. On Friday before the racing I headed to the
track with our black car to go and get some brakes and at this point if you have been
following us you’ll know that we’ve been having a few axle dramas. We have a set of Driveshaft Shop 1000
horsepower axles for the rear of it. Should be more than ample given that we’re
only making about 450 horse. For whatever reason, we are still digging
into this, Driveshaft Shop supplied us axles that were about 25mm too short. Hence through our race vlog series,
which we’ll talk about in a minute, we kind of had continual problems with the
axles popping out of the LSD centre. And when that happens it ends up leaking oil
out past the seals, basically not a real good look. So at our last round at Highlands, no sorry
our last round at Ruapuna in Christchurch we swapped back to the stock axles, after
a day of testing our Driveshaft Shop axles popped out, we didn’t really want to risk
that for the race so we ran back to our stock axles and as you’ll know if you were
watching, we ended up breaking one with about six minutes to run. So really frustrating. We’ve been working with Driveshaft Shop
now for about three weeks to try and get them to send us axles that are the right
length and it looked like we weren’t going to have those until probably today or
tomorrow so we rebuilt a couple of spare stock axles, put them in the car, headed to
Highlands, thinking that that would be OK. After all, they had done around about 70
or 80 laps in testing previously, we’d done a whole race as well previously at Teretonga on
stock axles so we thought they should be OK. However after bedding the brakes in on
my second, semi hard lap, ended up breaking an axle so pretty frustrating. Fortunately, at exactly the same time I was
breaking the axle, Driveshaft Shop came through and sent us the right axles or the
right bars to rebuild. So Brandon got pretty busy with that in the
afternoon, had the car all ready to go so Ben headed to the track Saturday morning,
went out and did a practice session and about five laps in I got a message,
if we jump over to my laptop screen, this is what I was faced with,
which doesn’t look particularly promising. Things got a little bit worse as well. Obviously car is no longer looking quite as
pristine as it was. So what actually happened was that on one
of Ben’s laps, coming around a right hand corner, basically touched the brakes to turn
into the corner and the right front lower control arm failed. We’re still getting to the bottom of what
actually caused that. So in hindsight, could have been much much
worse, it was a right hand corner and it was the right hand lower control arm that
actually failed so if it had been the left hand side, probably would have been
straight into the wall at pretty high speed. Ben managed to get the car off to the
infield with essentially very little damage as you can see in this photo. The front right fender is no longer looking
quite so pristine. We’ve rinsed a near new Michelin slick which
we’re not too stoked about. Front bumper didn’t come off the showroom
floor looking like that and Brandon’s hard work with the splitter at the front is also
damaged so we’ve got a little bit of work ahead of us. Now what that sort of looks like once we
got underneath, this is the rod end for the caster arm which runs forward in this car
obviously you can see that’s sheared off. We’ve also got the adjuster, this actually
goes to the inside of the car, a couple of bits I actually show you are
probably better than photos in a second. So that’s broken the rod end off and
the rest as they say is history. So I’ll just grab a couple of these components
out and we’ll see what we’ve got to deal with. So this is our lower control arm, we’ll head up
to our overhead shot. And we sort of see how this sits in the car,
so this is the outer, basically spigot that goes through the hub, lower ball joint and this is
where the rod end should be that goes to the inner chassis pickup. I’ve got this actually around the wrong way,
it sort of sits more like that and we’ve got a caster arm that runs forward to the front
chassis mount, so I guess that kind of goes like that. So we’ve kind of been working through this. This is an SPL Parts suspension arm that
we’ve got and I need to sort of say straight up here, we don’t actually know what the
cause of failure has been right now. We are working through this with SPL and
they’ve been great to deal with which is always good. Because obviously this is a pretty serious
failure and it could have easily ended up much more serious than it was. The issues that we’ve got there is that we’ve
got these arms in both cars. Now the reason that we put the SPL Parts
arms into our RaceCraft car was when we bought the black V8 car these arms were
already fitted to the car. We really liked the design, we really liked
the quality of the parts and the easy adjustability was probably one of the biggest
sales points for us so we decided it would make better sense to have the same
parts in both cars, kind of got a bit of redundancy if something goes wrong. So yeah those arms also I should mention
have done upwards of 500 laps since we’ve owned the car so they’ve had a pretty hard
life but still, not something we’d expect to fail. Moving forward, so obviously that was Ben’s
day done and dusted. On Sunday I headed down to the track with
our RaceCraft car and again we’ll head across to my laptop screen. Dawn fine and clear looking forward to
a good day of racing. The way the classes are run, there’s four
classes run in two groups so we’ve got basically two classes for each group that
actually are on track at the same time. So I’d sort of purposefully positioned
myself so that I was at the faster end of the second fastest group and basically
they run with a class cut off. So what this meant for my purposes was
1:20.0, if I ran any faster than that I moved into the fastest group. If in racing conditions you ended up going
faster than your break out, you ended up with a 50 point penalty so I was trying to
walk a tightrope there because the car probably is marginally faster than 1:20 on
a flying lap or a qualifier. However in race conditions, I thought I’d be
there or thereabouts. So after qualifying I was pretty stoked that
I was exactly where I needed to be, as you can see there on the laptop screen,
qualified number one in class two with a 1:20.20 so right on the absolute cusp and
a nice little margin back to our second place in that class. However, again things weren’t quite to be. On the qualifying session I didn’t feel that
the car was quite right. It started feeling a little bit funny, wasn’t
quite turning into corners properly so of course given that we’ve got the same
suspension arms in the underside of that car, took a look at those and wasn’t too
stoked with what I saw. And this is what we’ve got here. So you can see that the inner ball joint there
or inner rod end I should say, again severely bent, basically we are looking at the same
kind of failure mode as what we saw in the black car. Just fortunately in this instance, I got onto it
a little bit earlier and managed to pick it up before it actually failed. Obviously Ben had no idea that this was
even a problem so a little bit of forewarning there, I knew what I was looking for. So I kind of, without trying to get too
engineering on this, just what we sort of deduced was happening there, and this is
not a really great photo to show what’s happening but let’s try and extend things
a little bit. So this caster arm comes out here to another
rod end. Obviously we’ve got the wheel out here. And what we’re seeing is that under heavy
braking, we’re putting a huge amount of braking force that sort of essentially goes
this way and what we believe is happening, it sort of makes pretty simple, logical sense
here, is that we’re essentially pivoting around this point here. I’ll mention that point that I’ve just labelled,
that actually isn’t a rod end, there is no bearing there, it’s a fixed join so that is
important to mention, otherwise we’d definitely be pivoting around there. And of course the result is that we’ve got
a bending force going through this rod end on the inside here. So if anyone who does know a little bit
about rod ends, incredibly strong in tension and compression which is how
they’re designed to be used. Not really designed to have any bending load
applied to them so this is worrying. As I say, we’re working through this with
SPL at the moment to get to the bottom of it. I should probably mention here that the arms
have been in our RaceCraft car for a very short amount of time, we’ve probably done
no more than about 30 laps since those arms have been fitted, about probably 15 of
those were on Sunday when they did fail. And the V8 powered car as I mentioned
though, probably done upwards of 500 laps. So really quite unusual, for those who are
wondering as well, no we didn’t hit anything other than running the usual ripple strips,
which let’s be honest you’re going to do in a racecar. So not ideal, pretty unhappy end to the
weekend although I guess it could be worse, at least I picked up on those bent rod ends
before I actually ended up having one fail. My luck’s not usually as good as Ben’s so
rather than ending up on the grass on the infield I would have probably ended up
speared into the wall at high speed which no one really wants. So the car lived to fight another day but
obviously we need to get some solutions to what is going on there. Now I’ll just mention as well again for those
who have been following us, you’ll know that our RaceCraft car with the turbocharged
FA20 engine in it, we are a little bit light on gearbox strength, once we started pushing
the engine a little bit more in terms of raising the boost after we fitted our steel conrods,
we ended up pretty quickly having fourth gear fail and then with a replacement gearbox,
thinking that it may have just been the age of the box, we had a fourth gear fail
very quickly again after that. So we’re obviously right on the cusp of
what that gearbox is capable of. I’ll mention that that car was turbocharged
probably within about the first 12 months of us owning it. So it has had a fair beating. The car isn’t a daily driver, it’s basically
only ever driven on the racetrack or thrashed on the dyno so it has had
a fairly hard life. And it’s probably a wonder that it’s stood
up to the abuse it’s had. However we obviously knew we were at
that point after we raised the boost and started having these gearbox failures
happen quite quickly and it’s always been fourth gear. PPG over in Australia have just recently
released a replacement gear set, I haven’t really looked into that in too much
detail but of interest, they noted that the factory design had a weakness incorporating
fourth gear so that’s the current problem we’re having. So unfortunately with the Toyota 86,
there’s not actually a lot of options in terms of cost effective gearbox upgrades. We don’t really want to go to a sequential
in that car if we can avoid it. We’d like to fit something like a Toyota R154,
we’ve got one of those sitting on the workshop floor with no home that would
probably be pretty well perfect, or something like a T56. Maybe the Nissan 350z gearbox. So while we’re sort of looking at options
basically coming up blank there. We decided well we want to go racing
anyway and I wanted to protect fourth gear so this is one of the areas where we
can use a little bit of intelligent ECU mapping to help us try and make the most
of a bad situation. So if we jump across to my laptop screen
for a moment, this is just some i2 data from Sunday’s racing. And the important ones are down the
bottom here. In green we’ve got our boost aim, so this
is gauge pressure in kPa so 80 kPa, around about 12 psi is my maximum boost
target. The purple is our actual boost pressure. Actually what I probably should do here is
just add a little bit of context to this so let’s just add our gear into that so you
actually know what’s going on. That’ll make a little bit more sense. So now we’ve got gear down here as well. So what I did, in this case we are currently
in third gear within about 2 kPa of our boost target, 78 kPa. Then what I’ve done here, as I change into
fourth gear, I basically trim 50% out of our boost target. So our boost target goes down to 45 kPa
there. You can actually see the boost does
overboost slightly. The reason for this is that we’re on the
wastegate spring pressure at that point so I can’t actually drop the boost any
lower than we’ve got. Then I change up into fifth gear and again
we’re back up to our boost target at 80 kPa. So it’s a pretty unusual feeling from the
driver’s seat. The car goes really well obviously in first,
second and third gear, you pull fourth gear and it feels like you hit a brick wall. Pulled through to the shift point in fourth
gear, once you get back into fifth, it’s a rocket ship again. We’ll be happy to deal with that until the
point where we can get a stronger gearbox into it and something that’s going to be
a bit reliable. So again just one of the uses of modern
ECUs to get the most out of your components that you’ve got. So the other thing I wanted to show you
is our Haltech IC7 dash. So we’ll just jump to our overhead shot here. And this is a dash, so if you’ve been following
Haltech recently they have just released it. I’m not actually sure if it’s shipping yet,
we were lucky enough to get given a pre release unit to deal with or to have
a look at, to put through its paces. So I’ve just got this hooked up to our
Subaru STi which in lieu of a simulator is currently actually idling out in the workshop
just so we can show you some actual data. So seven inch full colour display. Interestingly this has also got some buttons
on it, so it’s, you’ve got the ability to actually select the pages that you want to view. You’ve got the ability to basically set this
up with a range of different data, a range of different displays, very
configurable by the end user. Now the reason as well that Haltech have
gone with the buttons on the side, we’ve been questioned about this, versus
being touch screen is they had a lot of feedback during their initial consultation
with customers and dealers that people with touch screens kind of don’t like the
fact that the touch screen ends up with fingerprints all over it which is a valid point,
I’ve seen that myself. So something that you don’t really want
to be having problems with. Interestingly we’ve just had a coolant
temperature high warning come up. So kind of does just about everything you
would expect from a modern dash display. I will just mention that this is kind of like
a street dash display unit. So it isn’t a logging unit. Doesn’t have the ability to do anything like
GPS lap timing and Haltech have done this purposefully to try and get the cost
point down. I should have had this information but off
the top of my head I think these come in at around about $850-880 USD, around
about $1450 NZD as well. So fairly cost effective, fairly well priced. Very easy to connect as well, literally this
is plug and play with the Elite range of ECUs. All I’ve done, if we just swap this over to
the back, it’s got an AMP Superseal connector, pretty common connector,
same as what Haltech use with their ECUs. This is terminated in a four pin DTM
connector and it comes with an adaptor that allows you, I think it’s two metres long,
allows you to plug it straight into the Haltech CAN bus. It’s got power, earth, CAN high and CAN low,
basically plug it in and you’re up and running so really really easy to use. There is also a full colour LED shift light
array across the top, again exactly what you’d expect. All user configurable so we’ll be making a
little video about that hopefully in the next week or so in a little bit more detail but
just thought I would share that and give you a bit of a snippet as to what that’s
going to be like if you haven’t seen it. Now for those who have been asking as well,
I’ve been busy today up until this point with our webinar starting the filming of our
Megasquirt MS3 Pro worked example. So again we’ll jump across to my laptop
screen. This is Taz’s MX5, Taz if you do not know
him is our customer services guru so a lot of you probably will have dealt with him
via email. So this is Taz’s own project car, it’s had the
MS3 Pro in it for a fair while now but we’ve just been struggling to make time to actually
film this worked example. So really excited to get that out there. Even if the current power level out of that car,
as you can see, a whopping 101 horsepower at the wheels, even if that power level isn’t
really stretching our Mainline Pro Hub dyno to its limit, given that in two wheel drive
form our Pro Hub dyno should be able to support somewhere around about 2500
horsepower. But the little MX5 should be an absolute
ball of fun to drive as well. So again hoping that worked example should
be filmed, edited and added into our courses, maybe a little bit optimistic, but
before the end of the year. So stay tuned for that. Now our latest video release, I’m actually
going to really briefly cover two of these today so again we’ll head across to my
laptop screen. This is one that we’re really excited about,
even if it’s a bit of a departure from our usual. We have been doing a vlog series on our
endurance racing series and this is a bit more informal, a bit more light hearted,
there’s a little bit more banter involved, you get to meet the rest of the team in
these videos as well. So we’d love it if you could check that
video out. Give us some feedback on it, let us know
in the comments what you like, what you don’t like, do you want to see
more of these. Not quite so smooth, produced and technical
in its nature but it does really show you what a typical race weekend is like. And if you’re spectating at a race meeting,
just about regardless of what level of motorsport you’re watching, you might think
that everything’s going absolutely smoothly and it’s plain sailing for all of the competitors,
you’re probably going to find that up and down the pit garages, everyone’s struggling
with their own set of issues so this gives you some actual insight into what
goes on behind the scenes. So you’ll find that on our YouTube channel
of course. And our current Tuesday release, it’s
Tuesday here in New Zealand, while we were at World Time Attack this
year, this is a car that actually jumped out at us last year as well, didn’t get a chance
to talk to the owner but it is an R32 Nissan Skyline. It’s a GTS-T not a GT-R, don’t let the GT-R
guards fool you. But it’s had probably what I’d consider one
of the more unique engine swaps I’ve seen in an R32 chassis which is the Ford Barra
engine. This is making 975 horsepower currently. No slouch at all. And we talked to Dennis from Grim
Performance about the impetus behind such an engine swap, why they went to
the trouble of doing so and talk about the ins and outs of the Barra engine. So if you are interested in Skylines,
Barra engines or weird engine swaps, go and check that out. Alright and lastly before we get into our
webinar just another reminder that our VIP package deal is still running. We’ve only got about 12 days left for this
to run. For those who aren’t aware of what a VIP
package deal is, we have done this a couple of times in the past. Basically this is a one time fee that you’ll
pay to get full access to every single course that High Performance Academy currently
offers, you’ll never pay for another course in your life. You’re going to get free priority access to
every course that we bring out in the future. You’re also going to get lifetime access to
our member’s only forum. You’ll get lifetime access to our member’s
webinars and our archive of existing webinar content. So that package deal, it is $1597 USD and
we do know that that is a chunk of cash to come up with one hit. You can however break that down using
our payment plan. You can see you’ve got two options there,
you can pay for it outright or split your payments up. We’ve given the option there to split
that down into as many as 16 weekly payments. If you do that obviously, simple maths, brings
it down to just a touch under $100 USD a week. So we think that for the value this represents,
it’s really amazing value. And also, if you use our payment plan,
you get instant access to all of the courses, you don’t need to wait before you start
learning. Just quickly, I’ll get the team to put a link
in the chat you can follow if you want to learn more, you’re going to get access to
all of our courses. At the moment as I mentioned there’s about
$2400 USD worth of existing course material. We’ve got around about the same amount,
about $2400 USD worth of upcoming courses that we’ve already got planned. So you’re going to get those without
paying another cent. You’re also going to get VIP membership
to our new RaceCraft sister company. So we conservatively estimate that right
now, $1295 USD. RaceCraft has only just launched, we’ve got
one course right now, we’ve got some full time staff coming on board next year
to really pump out some course content and we’re really excited about the content
that we’ve got coming up. That entire package deal, oh and I should
mention you’re going to get a t-shirt and sticker package so that you can show
your affiliation and support to the HPA/RaceCraft brand. So total value there, depending on how
much you use of our gold membership, conservatively over $7000 USD worth
of value for just $1597 USD. Now this has been going really really fast
so we’re down to just 37 of those packages left so if you are on the fence,
you are interested, jump in quickly, we would not want you to miss out. Alright that brings us to the end of our
pre show there, so just give me a few moments and we’ll get started with our
webinar. If you liked that video
make sure you give it a thumbs up and if you’re not already a subscriber,
make sure you’re subscribed. We release a new video every week. And if you like free stuff, 
we’ve got a great deal for you. Click the link in the description to claim
your free spot to our next live lesson.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. great content but man !! your accent its very strong, it actually tire me out hearing it, im sorry.. thank god for subtitles but keep up the good work, cheers

  2. Best Christmas ever!!! Well… if we are able to make the MS3 worked example by the new year. Haha!!
    I know you guys are super busy, but I, for one, am extremely grateful that you’re making this particular example a priority now. Thank you guys for all you do!! And thank you Taz, for ponying up the test vehicle!

  3. Jono here pulled a late-night after this [UPDATE] was filmed and the MegaSquirt Worked Example is live as of now in the Practical Standalone ECU Tuning course. Details here: – Taz 👨🏻

  4. It is unlikely you're loading the components up enough to do that damage to them, unless they are REALLY poor quality parts – Chinesium? The force, allowing for warm slicks, geometry, weight distribution, etc. could be around 15kN/3500lbs, which seems a lot but the distance it is operating over is only 50mm/2", or so, between the adaptor sleeve and the centre of the eye. That shank should be able to take a LOT more than that before failing! Something else that suggests a lower quality material is the amount of deformation it shows – not conclusive as some high strength alloys, like 4340, display considerable elongation before failure. As a general rule, it is bad practice to load them in bending, but ANY srew type adjustment will have the same problem and the closer to the pivot the better – on that, the further the caster control rod is moved towards the outside joint, the less bending load on the inner.
    If I were you, I'd be looking at going through the cars' whole suspension and replacing them with high quality items from a reputable supplier – not cheap, but neither is a new racecar and expenses for a wasted weekend, and if there was to be a hospital visit… very cheap insurance!

    A QUICK check suggests this car uses a variant of the Aisin AZ6 gearbox, that is supposedly is also used on cars like the Honda S2000 , Miata, Silvia S15, RX8, for example, that have been used with well over 600hp – seems some folks are looking at parts interchangability to get around that weak geartrain (some versions supposedly used in the S2000, Miata, Silvia S15, RX8, for example) – might be something worth checking up on in some of the relevant forums? Some differences may be separate/integral bellhousings, gearbox mounts, clutch setup, gear lever position, speedo' drive if used, etc. With a light, lower torque car like yours it is certainly possible the gear train is designed for low parasitic drag compared to the same basic 'box used in a heavier, higher torque cars and a swap out may be relatively easy. It 'may' also open up some gearing options for better use of the power for the track? My thinking is that if you can sort out something that fits the OEM housing, or is close, it makes it MUCH easier than fitting a larger gearbox that may need tunnel relieving, gear lever relocation, release bearing and bellhousing re-working, input and/or output shafts changed, etc.
    But it might not… Good luck!

  5. Looking forward to how you guys solve your gearbox issues..
    I can't wait until I get a little bit more money together so I can start putting the new things I've learned from these courses to the test! (Gotta fix that torque curve a little bit on my own 86)

  6. Maybe someday the cost of tuning parts screens ecu's sensors will come down. Damn $800 and they tried to drive down the cost. I almost have that much money tied up in my whole cars ECU and Standalone setup. . Granted it is megasquirt 1 converted to megasquirt 2 with junkyard parts to finish the build. Lol

  7. I have an interesting issue with a 230hp frs every gear i can shift as fast as i can but when i go from 3rd to 4th quickly it grinds a bit while still slotting in.

  8. I’m really looking forward to adding my haltec dash to my elite 2500 in my r32. I ordered mine the moment it was released. Very excited about it. I’m also currently watching the ms3pro worked example training. You guys are a wealth of knowledge. Where were you 10 years ago when I was setting up megasquirt 3 in my 280z? Haha what I have learned from you guys would have saved a ton of time. Thanks guys keep up the great work!

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