Piazza_man project

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Piazza_man
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Re: Piazza_man project

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Car was developing leaky exhaust sounds from around the manifold area a few weeks ago. Concerned, I pulled off the heat shield and found one of the 4 bolts attached to the turbine housing completely missing and another had almost fallen off it it wasn’t for the oil return fitting in its way. Still scratching my head when and why this happened. Turbo guys put forward a theory an engine vibration possibly caused by worn engine mounts. My technician disagrees as there is no evidence of that.
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Technician removed the GT2860RS turbo (and exhaust manifold) and I hand delivered it to GCG Turbos in Sydney who were actually the ones who custom built it in the first place some 15 years ago. Brought it in thinking just to make sure the bolts stay tight and never happens again (eg Stage 8 locking bolts), and run a bench test to give it the all-clear. Turns out the core assembly was badly worn and required a rebuild. Possibly as a result of a little bit of flex or movement between the turbine housing and the core housing. It now needs a new turbine wheel, shaft, bearing assembly etc. The works. About AU$1600, plus over $400 in new inconel alloy studs, Stage 8 nuts, and gaskets for when the manifold and dump pipe gets reinstalled.

Should have the turbo back together early next week, but definitely wasn’t expecting this scenario to pop up.
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Re: Piazza_man project

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Turbo core rebuilt, fully carbonised cleaned, bench flow tested, and good to go. Like brand new. Throw in special Stage 8 bolts, now let’s see them loosen off this time you mother F🤬.
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Re: Piazza_man project

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Turbo back on and an oil and oil filter change later. I don’t travel many kms in a year but I hadn’t changed the oil and filter in a while. My oil of choice if anyone was interested
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To maintain an IC engine properly regular oil changes are recommended despite doing very low kms as engine oils still degrade over time. Something I’ll be doing more of now. When the oil and filter was changed last time I fitted a Filtermag super strong magnets to the outside of my oil filter. Google the name and noting there are other players out there, they all essentially claim to trap and hold any and all worn metallic particles (microscopic or otherwise) from circulating in the oil system which would otherwise cause premature wear on your engine.

Even though it was about 3 years since my last change I thought my oil was fine considering I hardly drove it. That was until I opened the oil filter up with my tin snips (never use a grinder or a hack saw). With the Filtermag still attached to the sidewall of the oil filter the pics below show how the microscopic metal particles have aligned themselves to the magnetic fields inside the oil filter.

Moral of the story? Regularly change your oil regardless, and I fully recommend you fit super strong magnets for that added magnetic fluid filtration protection. A lot of the metal particles are so microscopic they can pass through the oil filter cartridge.

FYI they’re not cheap but if you’re looking to get the Filtermag brand (made in USA) the product code you will need is 300. I went stainless steel so mine is designated SS300, and I recommend you get 2 of them - 1 for each side of the filter.
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Re: Piazza_man project

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Due for another update I guess. As per my Facebook posts a few months ago I created exact reproduction artwork for waterslide decals to replace the faded icons on the pod switches. In each set I have included extra (spare) symbols in case you ruin any when attempting to apply them. As the decals are so thin they can be challenging to apply.
Decals for AU-UK vehicles (RHD)
Decals for AU-UK vehicles (RHD)
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Decals for US vehicles (LHD)
Decals for US vehicles (LHD)
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If your pods are anything like mine then you know what I’m talking about.
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Took a while to find the right printing supplier but I’m finally happy with the supplier and the product.
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But firstly to help others who want to refresh their pods back to new-looking condition I’ll break it down as much as I can.

THINGS YOU NEED
Can of black gloss, satin or matt spray paint
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Can of clear satin acrylic spay paint
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Sheet of extra fine sand paper (optional)
Isopropyl alcohol (or methylated spirits, paint thinner)

1. Remove and disconnect the pod/s from the dash instrument cluster
2. Take as many pics of whatever symbols are left on your pods for placement reference later on. Plenty of reference material on Fb and Google if your existing symbols are too faded.

2. Thoroughly clean and if necessary lightly sand and smooth with very fine sandpaper as I have done (to create some etching for the paint to bite into) and thoroughly wipe down the pod switches with isopropyl alcohol to ensure oily/dirt deposits are removed when painting.

3. Mask out the rest of the pod/s to prevent overspray.
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3. Apply 1 or 2 light coats of black paint. Don’t be impatient by applying thick with the paint as you still have to lay down 1-2 coats of clear coat later on. Check for paint imperfections. If necessary lightly sand back any affected areas when fully dry, and reapply the affected area with another light coat of paint.
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4. Allow the paint to dry properly (refer to drying time on can). Once dry you are now ready to apply the decals.

THINGS YOU NEED
Replacement waterslide decals (please send me a PM for decal requests)
Fine tweezers
Small lukewarm bowl of water
1-2 sheets of paper towels
Small scissors
Several cotton buds
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Take the time to view this YouTube link which should get you more comfortable with applying waterslide decals.
https://youtu.be/QNYdd3Aley8

1. Using the scissors carefully cut the decal set into smaller individual pieces within the line of the boxes. Note: each symbol is enclosed by a faint white box which is a cutting edge guide. Cut inside those lines otherwise the faint lines will show up when you apply them on the black switch.
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2. Drop the decal piece into the bowl of water for about 5-6 seconds. Tip1: you don’t have to submerge the decal under the water - you can let it float on the water. Tip2: if you can’t make a clean grab of the decal in the water push it out to the edge of the bowl with your tweezers.
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3. Dab a drop of water on the area where the decal is going. Gently grab the edge of the decal with your tweezers and I with a wet cotton bud tip gently slide the decal off the backing paper into position. Note: be aware the decals will have a tendency to curl up, so you must act quickly to prevent them from closing in on itself. Gently weed/roll out the water from under the decal with the dry end of the cotton bud (refer to the YouTube clip for this tip). Before weeding all the water out check the symbol is in the exact and straight position.

4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 for each decal piece.
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5. Allow the switch to dry for a day or so (or use a hairdryer if you can’t wait). When the decal is dry you may find what appear to be air pockets underneath the decal. Do not be concerned. The clear coat will application will remedy this.

6. Apply 1-2 light coats of clear acrylic spay paint and allow to fully dry (refer to drying information on can). Once dry, the clear will protect the decal from being scratched and prevent wearing off over time like the original symbols did.
Attachments
Like brand new
Like brand new
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Last edited by Piazza_man on Sun May 07, 2023 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piazza_man project

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Recently upgraded/converted my instrument cluster and side pods illumination from incandescent to LED. There are a number of colour choices available these days and the idea is to reduce the overall battery voltage load with more efficient, brighter and less voltage load on the system. I find the problem with the original globes is that they tend to be not very bright or green, especially the side pods which don’t appear to be producing any green illumination anyway (appear white in colour). All factory globes are sleeved with green socks to give that desired colour but maybe it an age thing and they lost their colour mojo and pizzazz, especially against modern cars today.

Seeing as though I wanted to convert to LED I decided to go for a change in colour while I’m at it. In this case I wanted to know what blue felt like in a Piazza. The store I shopped from had other colours like red, amber, green, purple, white, and light blue.

The instrument cluster contains 4 x T5 globes, so it was easy swapping them over with the T5 LEDs whilst using the factory holders.
T5 LEDs inside existing holders for the instrument cluster.
T5 LEDs inside existing holders for the instrument cluster.
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Each side pod contains 5 globes, but I found interestingly annoying that they were not all the same in style or size:
Factory green-sock globes from each pod
Factory green-sock globes from each pod
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If you’re also interested in going down this route for the pods you will need the following LED-sized globes, no matter what colour you choose:
2 x T5 Neo wedge (stubby-looking LED with integrated holder)
6 x T4 Neo wedge (stubby-looking LED with integrated holder)
2 x T5 wedge
LED T5 wedge
LED T5 wedge
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The little tabs of T5 Neo wedges required a little fettling because of the slightly thicker Piazza PCB. A sharp blade was used to open the gap by about .2mm.
The little tabs of T5 Neo wedges required a little fettling because of the slightly thicker Piazza PCB. A sharp blade was used to open the gap by about .2mm.
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Top PCB boards may need to be unscrewed to enable them to be swung out of the way to access the globe below.
Top PCB boards may need to be unscrewed to enable them to be swung out of the way to access the globe below.
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Note: other manufacturers/suppliers might reference these globes slightly different. Also, I recommend quality globes, and not some cheap eBay knock-offs. They might be more expensive but at least you won’t be removing instrument clusters and pods every time to replace a faulty or blown globe that you bought from eBay.
End result.
End result.
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The new LED globes are so bright I have instrument cluster and pods down to their minimum illumination settings.
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Re: Piazza_man project

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Been meaning to add some more info and details on the custom airbox work that I designed and made nearly 3 years ago. Sharing in case someone else wants to do the same, or at the very least inspire to do something a little bit different.

My car was already equipped with an exposed conical high-flow airpod/filter when I bought it from the previous owner. While the idea of a high-flow air filter is an ideal way to unlock horsepower for modified engines, exhaust and ECUs etc, it can also work against you. An exposed air filter is very likely sucking up hot engine bay air which can potentially cancel out any gains, even potentially cause lesser power output than the original factory output.

To combat this, and for legality if pulled over by the boys in blue, I created a custom enclosure as there is nothing available off-the-shelf for these cars. But as you may know I don’t do anything by halves so I decided to design the
airbox as an integral engine bay cover to clean up the engine bay appearance. Hence its large footprint.

I began by using corflute to shape and refine the two-piece design and mounting points. Corflute is great because it allows easy cylindrical curves to be formed and also easy to cut out with a blade. The final version you see below is the result of 6 or 7 attempts before finally getting it right. Many corflute sheets were sacrificed in this process 😊 but worth it. For those interested in doing the same I still have the original template that I can trace onto cardboard and send. It would take out a lot of the guesswork when starting from scratch.
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I used 2mm aluminium sheet to trace the template onto and then used various clamps and makeshift jigs to create the curves and bends from steel round pipes and square tubes bought from a hardware store.
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After final fitment testing mounting holes drilled I had a small section welded up and smoothed before getting it professionally painted in gloss black for a hard-wearing finish. I don’t have a picture to show it but I also covered the underside in Dynamat sound deadening sheets to prevent heat soak radiating from the nearby exhaust/turbo area.
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Final touches were some custom matt black vinyl graphics and a stainless steel custom plaque which I riveted.
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Pizzatime
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Re: Piazza_man project

Post by Pizzatime »

Wow that really chamges how the bay looks!
Nice work
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Re: Piazza_man project

Post by Piazza_man »

Thanks, trying to de clutter a Piazza engine bay and give it some pop has been a real challenge.
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