emo Project Kujira: My Over-The-Top AZ-1 Build

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02 May 2017 16:45 #26637

Well, I had a nice long reply typed out days ago but I guess I forgot to save it. I found a radio install kit for 1995-2002 Suzuki vehicles (Metra 70-7992) that includes the 12-pin connector and the 1-pin ground. This is exactly what I would need if I'm going off of the Type-L radio diagram that was posted earlier. Assuming that the model either uses the same radio or the base radio uses the same connectors, that is what I should get.

I finished the mechanicals of the gauge cluster, so all that I have left to do at this point is open up the holes in the speedo to fit the larger Integra odometer digits, clean my fingerprints off of the gauge faces, and then attach the speedo needle which I think needs to be done with cluster power so that I can align it properly. I'd also guess that I need to install the stop post thing to keep the speedo from wandering while it's off, but I'm not sure how to handle that at this point. I should also order LEDs to replace the incandescent bulbs, since I know at least one that is burnt out.

No news from engine importers. I need to just call the rest of my list and get more companies on the job.

I'm looking into suspension setups through Gran Turismo 6. I don't know if I have mentioned it here or not, but it apparently has an incredibly accurate suspension model that takes motion ratios and roll centers of specific vehicles into account. I modeled Aragosta's 3k/3k spring setup and found it to be a significant improvement over stock and even over the game's included "Sport hard" suspension setup at softening the snap-oversteer tendencies and allowing for faster lap times, but the springs still felt too soft, so I moved on to Monster Sport's 3.5k front 3k rear setup and found further improvement, but body roll and weight transfer were still on the heavy side. Up next is Silk Road, whose OTS kit includes 6k/8k springs but can be asked to provide 4k/5k springs. Sam, the AZ-1 autocrosser/Youtube personality from New Zealand, has said custom kit and describes it as a bit firm for rough roads but perfect for smooth ones. So without knowing of any other coilover kits at this time, the Silk Road "street" setup seems to be what I am after. I need to get it modeled and also look into sway bars at the same time.

I bought a spare set of headlights to prepare for a projector HID retrofit, but the second one is still in Japan. I was holding off on shipping it because I had wanted to buy an HA21S RS/Z intake manifold, throttle, body, wiring harness, and fuel injector/rail setup that was available for $54, but I missed the end of the auction and lost it. Which is devastating for that price, but in the end it might not matter. I need the HA21S cable-driven throttle body, but all of the Alto Works manifolds are probably going to be too tall for the AZ-1 engine bay and I'll likely have to come up with a special solution for that. But anyway, once Golden Week is over I should have another package of Japanese things showing up at my door, which means that I get to start purchasing things for the AZ-1's new headlights!

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05 May 2017 07:11 #26641

www.autogiano.com/list/ma/list_mlca.html
there's these blank headlight panels available. But with the missing trim around the factory headlights it looks unfinished.

Eventually I'll be changing back to my aftermarket Harley Davidson headlights (used to pass inspection) and 3d print a headlight surround, I do like the black headlight better, makes it look more modern. I added plastic pieces on the bottom and sides to make it look more finished (required by inspection to hide the exposed wires).

missing trim





with trim

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Last Edit: 05 May 2017 07:13 by nicanor76.

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06 May 2017 00:01 #26642

I finally broke down and bought a new circuit board and camera module for my old Nexus 5, so I can take pictures again! I haven't made any progress on the gauge cluster (still needs faces cleaned, face attachment bolts, and the openings widened for the odometer), but I figured that it was worth a status update picture. The odd spacing of the digits behind the speedo face doesn't look anywhere near as bad in person, but I'd still like to open the holes a bit for better viewing when the cluster lights are off. Note the OEM trip counter reset rod!


nicanor76 wrote:
www.autogiano.com/list/ma/list_mlca.html
there's these blank headlight panels available. But with the missing trim around the factory headlights it looks unfinished.

That's an interesting idea. I'll have to take a minute to browse that website later. If you don't mind me asking, why aren't you using the factory trim with those? Does the odd contour from the factory housings look too weird against the round lenses that you are using? I'm going for the OEM look myself, though. I plan to make a set of plastic lenses to replace the factory glass ones so that I don't have to deal with the fluting on the OEM lenses, then mount a projector from an Acura TL (I don't think that it was ever sold in Europe) in the OE housings and put some nice HIDs in them. This is the same process that I did on my Miata except that I had to use FX-R 3.0s because TL projectors were too big.

And I didn't make any attempt to make it look pretty because those headlights won't be visible unless the lights are on, and when the lights are on you can't tell how bad they look.

So the TL projectors are generally regarded as the best bixenon projector on the market once you replace the factory fresnel lenses with some clear ones. They are REALLY large, though. Here's a comparison picture showing how deep they are.

It appears as though there is plenty of room behind the headlights in the AZ-1 for me to make them fit, so that is likely to be a project that I will finish this winter when it's too salty to drive it. In the meantime I can make the lenses (or at least practice, because it usually takes a few tries). But the 3" lens of the TL projectors should fill up the OE housings nicely. Way better than the 2.5" FX-Rs in the 7" round Miata headlights.

I hadn't put any thought into painting the inside of the housings black for a more modern look. I definitely want the lens to follow the OEM contour as I will be using the OEM black plastic trim, and I definitely want it to be clear with a projector inside because projector lenses don't seal dirt and moisture out, but I'll definitely think more about the black option. Thanks for the idea!

Last Edit: 06 May 2017 00:01 by randman2011.

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06 May 2017 02:27 #26643

I didn't use the factory lights trim because the Harley lights was too big to fit inside the trim. It stuck out too far out, I didn't want to spend too much time on the lights since it's for inspection only and swap back to factory afterwards. Once I have time I'll revisit putting on the Harley lights back on and make it look proper.

I just saw these EL (electro-luminated) gauge panels, pretty much the entire plastic sheet is backlit instead of using bulbs from behind
page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/d215355870

quick (bad) video to show what EL panels are:

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07 May 2017 20:09 #26646

I just replace my stereo yesterday and bought a standard Mazda 1990 and up wiring adapter and hooked right up. Match the wires color by color (stereo to the adapter) and plug it right into the car.

I used this adapter for reference; the red plug I don't know what it's for (not used), the 2 white plugs matches the AZ-1 wiring
www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mazda-e2-car-...90-0350111p.html#srp

Last Edit: 07 May 2017 20:12 by nicanor76.

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08 May 2017 18:18 #26648

nicanor76 wrote:

I used this adapter for reference; the red plug I don't know what it's for (not used), the 2 white plugs matches the AZ-1 wiring
www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mazda-e2-car-...90-0350111p.html#srp

So you didn't need the separate one-pin ground connector to swap the radio in? That would be super convenient because that harness kit minus that odd red connector is identical to NA Miata kits, so I can just bring the radio that I have in the Miata along with me and buy a new radio when I get back. I guess I'll put the radio hunt on hold, then.

Question for others. Does the AZ-1 have rear speakers? I only know of the two below the doors (5.25"?) and the green and purple wires on the second connector referenced above are for the rear channel and wouldn't be used at all in a vehicle with only two speakers.

I've used EL stuff in a few past non-automotive projects. It's cool stuff, but it wouldn't make sense to try to retrofit it yourself with the way that the internals of the cluster are designed. Buying gauge faces made of electroluminescent material would work just fine (assuming you're smart about how you power it) but I only found the referenced gauge faces and the same ones in white after a quick search. I don't like white, but I'm not jumping to any conclusions at this point. I do happen to have a link to a Flickr album from a guy in Canada that installed that exact EL gauge face in his AZ-1 three or four years ago. In pictures it looks very Fast And Furious, especially alongside his DVD player head unit and blue metallic marine vinyl seats. And besides, I really like the orange illumination that the factory faces use. Since I have lots of time to play around with it, I intend to order some orange LEDs and see if that makes the illumination any better on the cluster that I have. If that goes nowhere, then I'll have to look into aftermarket and/or custom gauge faces. Since I will have to modify the faces because of the Integra movement position, I would be concerned about using EL faces. When you cut an EL panel you have to seal the open end to keep bad things from happening.

On a side note, since I like complaining about things, I installed my new hardware into my backup phone (LG) and within 12 hours other things (cellular antenna) stopped working. So I'm now on my backup backup phone (LG). I really love LG right now. And in case you were curious, LG is the make of my original phone that died.

Also, nicanor76, how come we haven't seen a thread for your AZ-1 yet?

Last Edit: 08 May 2017 18:20 by randman2011.

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14 May 2017 19:31 #26653

The front speakers are actually 5". I bought 5.25" and made it work but not worth the effort; just buy 5" speakers online. Some AZ-1 has sub woofer at back, like mine. It has a dozen wires going into it for some reason, didn't take a close look why. When I mess with the fade control, the rear is my sub woofer only; so the rear speaker wires connects to the sub. So the wires are there, at least for ones with the factory sub. The wires for the fog lights are in all AZ-1s, even if there are no fog lights; assuming speakers are the same as well.

Also the radio wiring goes to my "STOP" fuse, not the "RADIO" fuse. I blew the radio by accident (user error) and after a few hours I found the burnt fuse was the culprit. So now I don't fully trust the fuse markings. With my radio upgrade, I just connected the black ground to a screw through a metal (plastic panel mount) that's part of the chassis.

I don't have a page yet since I originally saw this forum when searching for AZ-1 info, but am in Canada. There's a new-ish Facebook page that's fairly active, but not the best for build blogs. Maybe I'll start one here any ways.

Last Edit: 14 May 2017 19:39 by nicanor76.

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30 May 2017 14:11 #26663

Big news! I have sent payment for a complete HA22S RS/Z VVT K6A and HA21S RS/Z FWD manual transmission! They haven't shipped out yet, but I am told that it will be 4-6 weeks until they arrive in Baltimore. From there I am responsible for the package, so my plan is to take a New England vacation with my boyfriend and stop at the port in Baltimore on my way back. Shipping dimensions (from other sellers) for these parts together were 80cm x 70cm x 70cm, so it should fit nicely in the back of the Focus.

I made a quick spreadsheet to help me compare the effect of throttle body bore and engine speed on intake restriction and found that the stock 38mm throttle body on both the F6A and K6A is just barely at the limit of acceptable on the stock tune. Raising the redline or increasing the displacement means that you're asking too much of it, and I plan to do both. Ideally I would end up with a throttle body bore at ~41mm depending on the thickness of the butterfly valve, but I found a 45mm one with a stepper motor idle control valve for less than $200 new, so I'm going with 45mm. The bad news is that a large throttle body would make precise torque modulation on the low end difficult because of how much flow changes with small throttle inputs, but given the fact that this engine will have a very large turbo and likely won't see boost until 5,000RPM, that might not actually be a bad thing.


Just look how restrictive that stock throttle plate is! And by the way, my HA21S RS/Z intake manifold and throttle body arrived!


I don't really have anything else to report BUT I will be in the UK on business the week of June 6th and would love to see some kei cars in person. If you're remotely close to Birmingham and interested in meeting up, let me know!

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30 May 2017 19:30 #26664

Are you sure the "Works" gearbox can be modified to the cable operation used on the AZ-1? - I'm fairly sure the alto uses a bar/solid linkage from the gear lever to the box rather than the 2 cables that the AZ-1 uses.

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30 May 2017 20:16 #26665

I don't know? I have never heard of a mechanical shift linkage in a front wheel drive car, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

At this point I have confirmed that the HA23S and HA24S used a mechanical linkage with the manual transmissions, so you may be right. But given some simple bracketry fabrication, it's not hard to convert cable motion to the expected single bar linkage. I haven't found any decent pictures of the Alto/Wagon R shifter linkage attachment mechanism on the transmission to really get a good idea of what that entails. Fortunately I have a friend that designs brackets professionally.

If this is the biggest hurdle with using this transmission then I will be very happy. I also haven't put any thought into clutch actuation. I assume that these transmissions use a hydraulic clutch and the AZ-1 uses a cable clutch. I am also assuming that these transmissions have an electronic vehicle speed sensor, but given that the Cappuccino had that from the beginning I feel pretty safe in that assumption.

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