Roman's beams 3SGE Toyota Carina

Recommended Posts

I ended up getting an aliexpress fuel pump. Time will tell whether this is a bad idea haha.


But the factory in tank pump was just a motor with a plastic impeller on it? Hardly seems worth the $250-$300 that people were asking locally for a non genuine replacement.


Anyway, one VERY surprising thing about replacing the pump. I'd have thought a dodgy pump just affects when you're going full rpm full throttle and it isnt able to deliver enough fuel.


But for whatever reason, now the cars idle, low end, mid range etc is all way better too!

Perhaps a fuel pump is under more load when the fuel isnt going anywhere but through the FPR and back into the tank? Or when it starts failing it just means it cant hold pressure anymore.

But the car can now idle stable as low as 650rpm. Where as previously it wouldnt hold anything below ~1000rpm.

Doesnt make sense to me how this is fixed by a fuel pump, but whatever!


I thought getting some GPS data might help see if it's better or worse...


Over a particular speed range compared to some data from last trackday, it's 6% quicker since exhaust and fuel pump.


So that means previously I must have been losing ~10hp at the wheels across the powerband to either my crappy exhaust, or running slightly lean, or both.

  • Like 6

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooooohhhh aahhhhhhh


I just found a new function in my OBD2 program, that can datalog some of the sensors and export to a .CSV file.


The air filter box on my engine is a bit crummy at the moment, it's a Celica panel filter box flipped upside down with part of it chopped off to clear the bonnet. More or less like so:




So it gets a bit hot - I've noticed intake temps seem to be 10-20 degrees above ambient. Which makes sense since the radiator fan is blowing hot air pretty much straight into it haha.


So my next mission is to try and improve the air intake a bit, in a few different ways:


-Reduce the % above ambient temps of the intake air under all conditions

-Place the air feed in a high pressure area (in front of the radiator panel basically!)

-All going well should result in a higher peak airflow meter reading (more power?)


Currently I'm not really sure which variables affect intake temperature so time to datalog and get a baseline result.

I'm suspecting that possible contributing factors could be:

-throttle position

-Airflow meter reading

-vehicle speed

-engine rpm.


So datalogged these and then came up with some graphs:




They all show a similarish trend, because when you put your foot down the speed & RPM increase as well as the MAF signal. Heh.


However, looking more closely at some of the areas where speed is high, engine rpm is high but the MAF signal varies it shows that the temp drops when the airflow ramps up, and but then temperature increses up again shortly after the MAF signal drops off. Even when RPM and speed are high.


Currently the intake temp ranges from 25 degrees to 34, on a cold night at 11pm when it's 14-15 degrees ambient.

The highest MAF reading was 151.59 grams per second at 7100rpm, the spread of readings looked like this:


The 45 degree trend line that you can see is how much air the motor is able to pull in at full throttle.
So its a good thing that this keeps climbing and has a peak at 7100rpm - if it wasnt making power anymore this would start tapering off.


Factory peak HP and torque looks like this, max hp 7000rpm max torque 6000rpm:



so it's possible that the porting to the head and the exhaust design are helping it make a little extra puff higher up still. Or maybe the Altezza manifolds being a little more efficient than the FWD ones.
The OBD unit only samples at 1hz so I didnt get any readings over 7100rpm but it's possibly higher again nearer 7400.


To get an idea of how well the cylinders are filling with air for each combustion at a given RPM (I think this matches up to max torque?) You can just divide the MAF signal by the RPM at the time and graph it:



Since my current intake effectively gets colder air when it's huffing more in, it's perhaps possible that if there was a supply of colder higher pressure air all of the time then the cylinder filling on either side of the peak might improve.


It will be interesting to see how these things compare when I've remade an airbox lid... And how it compares to a dyno run when I put it on there some day.

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooo today when it was nice and hot, I measured some air intake temps while driving 50ish kph with some stop/start:


That escalated quickly! :lol:

So I followed the age old engineering advice, of "Measure once, cut twice, swear thrice" :lol:


Rotated the airbox so its pointing downwards, and then riveted together some alloy sheet to make a scoop type thing that gets fresh air from the front of the car.
Like so:


Soooo how did this change air inlet temperatures when left stationary to heat soak?


Pretty awesomely! Takes almost 20 minutes of sitting stationary to reach 30 degrees now, and it drops right back down as soon as you're moving.

When driving with ambient temperature of an estimated 16-20 degrees, the air inlet temperatures are now between 20-24 degrees where it was previously between 30 and 41.

If they say every 10 degrees of intake temp is worth 4% power... Then this could potentially equate to another 5ish hp at the wheels for 'free'.

I'll datalog some MAF readings later and see how it compares. But pretty chuffed to be able to see a measured improvement already, I would imaginethere will easily be sub 20 degree intake temps when driving at night time now.

  • Like 6

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, so ahhh.... The airbox rubbed on my wheel at full lock to the left. :oops:


It looked like it had heeeaaapppsss of room so I didnt even bother checking... But forgot that wheel offset + castor means it swings around quite a way.


So I spent the whole day today remaking version 2.0 which has zillions more clearance away from the wheel.


Tested at full lock and it's miles away from touching now. Cool.


I would take some photos, but now that it's fitted it's pretty stealthy, you cant actually see it either from the front or side of the car.

I'll take it back out to paint it black though if this one doesnt have any problems haha.


So anyway, how does this one compare...



Pretty awesomely apparently!


Notice the flat spot at the 4-5000rpm mark... This is where the length of the intake runners is helping to push air back out, rather than into the cylinder.
All beams motors withs standard intakes do this.
When you put quad throttles on with short runners, you dont have this happen... You lose the 'dip' but you lose the 'gain' too.

The standard runner length works out to give a (helmholtz resonance) boost at approx 7000rpm, if you fitted shorter runners than factory than this rpm goes up.

So most quad throttle setups dont reach their tuned length peak because it would be at like 15,000rpm and its hard to fit runners that are long enough, the factory ones need a bit of a bend to fit.


But anyway, based on the results above it's easy to think "Cool I've gained 10hp!" Realistically it's probably because my shitty setup was LOSING me that much all fo this time...I'm probably back to the power that a standard motor should have started with.

Alright I'm done with nerding about graphs and stuff for the moment, next update will be something interesting haha.

  • Like 6

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Drag day is coming up so I've been trying to get some sort of baseline idea of how this thing might go.


Using some GPS data from trackday (with the previous exhaust setup though), I've got a good idea of how fast it accellerates in a straight line in the 100-180kph range.

So with some dubious maths, combining this with some 0-100kph testing looks as though this should currently do about a mid 15 at 140kph.


 Hopefully some traction brackets and low psi in the tires will be enough to get it to hook up nicely off the line. Will hopefully get enough runs in without issue to test out my theory.


Just had drag day this saturday gone!

Had an awesome time, managed to get 15 runs down the strip.

With a tire pressure drop to 25psi, fastest run of the day was 14.36 @ 96.1mph (154kph)

so pretty stoked that it went way better than estimated.


As the day went on I was getting worse and worse axle tramp, suspect that I may have flogged out some of the suspension bushes.

Damn useless 30 year old parts not being able to take severe abuse! Haha.

Some traction brackets are definitely on the cards and maybe new bushes.

I also datalogged a stack of engine data and GPS data on the day, which I've yet to sift through. These might give some interesting clues as to what's time/money best spent on improving the car from here.


No pictures of this car from the day yet but I'll update when some come through.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pic from the drags:




Okay so now that's out of the way, back to being a nerd.


Soooo it seemed to show some improvements since I had a play around with the airbox, but it's still using the same airbox if you know what I mean. This is what it ended up looking like:



I've been kinda wondering though how much of a loss I'm getting simply from the airbox and filter itself.

So I thought I'd experiment with using just an airflow meter housing (at exactly correct diameter to the other one) and a length of PVC pipe on the front of it with a fairly crude bellmouth made by heating and bending the end.


No air filter or anything, which is not something I am keen on but for the sake of my very dubious science I thought I'd drive around enough with it to get some comparable data to the airbox.


First impression, is that sweet effing jesus the induction noise is loud! I think it's louder than the exhaust which is fairly obnoxious already.


Intake temps were up, the motor was pinking at low load, (From the temperature increase?) and at full throttle.... Hmmm hard to tell either way, which is why datalogging is good. 8)

It also wasnt much fun to drive as I was paranoid about getting rocks in my motor.


But anyway, when looking at the graph and comparing to the airbox, the (surprising) results speak for themselves!



Essentially the engine now makes the power at redline that it previously used to below 6000rpm.

So for whatever reason, a straight piece of pipe with no air filter, flows less air than an air filter box which has to pull through a filter and around a few turns.

To be honest I'm really surprised to see such a difference (especially a difference in the opposite direction to expected)

Wizard magic!


Time to put the airbox back on hahaha.

  • Like 7

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Took the extractors off, to get a suspected exhaust leak fixed (Cheers Sentra Dave!)


I was just about to put it all back together, when I noticed...




The head has been ported on this motor, but the exhaust manifold doesnt match. Woops.


so that 'step' has been impeding flow straight off the bat.


So I spent a shit tonne of time today grinding the ports out larger to suit, god stainless filings are awful! I dont want to do that again.



All finished now, havent had a chance to drive it since then but I suspect this could be worth a horsepower or two!


This change might be worth a little bit of time on the drag strip, cant wait for a rerun once traction brackets are sussed!
If I get really desperate I could pull out all of the interior too, hahaha. Something in the 14.0 - 14.2 kinda region would float my boat for sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Took it for a drive... I'm not good at distinguishing fact from placebo when I cant datalog things.
But it actually feels smoother and a bit revvier. Might be the imagination at work though.

Next drag or trackday though and I'll get some more GPS data to compare.


Some other Davescience that I've been fluffing around with - The intake manifold has a rubber spacer at its base, to stop the head from heat soaking the intake manifold.


Which works pretty well, but the manifold still gets quite hot from radiant heat in the engine bay.
Which ends up doubly bad because I've made the return line for coolant from the back of the head come under the intake manifold.


So for testing purposes I thought I'd wrap the shizzle out of it with foam/foil insulation and a judicious amount of duct tape and see if it keeps it any cooler.ohhbxlap.he1.jpg

I've only driven it at night time so far, but after over an hour of driving the manifold and throttle body stay as cool as when you first start the car - used to feel hot to the touch after maybe quarter of an hour or so.

The intake temps still creep up by 3-4 degrees by the time the radiator gets hot though so it's still heat soaking a little bit. Might wrap the rest of it and see if that makes a change. Otherwise it might be hot air spilling out the front of the radiator and into the air intake causing it.


Not sure if this makes any useful difference but it's not doing any harm apart from making my engine bay look ugly so it can stay for the moment. If it ends up working well I can pretty it up later somehow.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The car still gets fumy which is annoying and makes me feel sick after an hour or so of driving.

when I removed all of the sound deadening from the car initially it actually exposes some holes in the body which are normally covered by the sound deadener only.
So I pulled all of the interior back out today to try patch up these holes, turns out there are two gaping big ones where you can see the road and 4 or 5 smaller holes that need covering up. Will just use some plastic card and some silicone I think, doenst need to be pretty just needs to stop me from choking to death haha.





Another problem that I've got is that my tacho is too slow to respond in 1st or 2nd gear and it's too hard trying to look down at the tacho anyway because it zings through those gears kinda quick because of the gearing etc. Since my powerband is smallish and peaks at redline its important to shift accurately and it's something I was struggling with at the drags.


Traditionally a shift light comes on at a particular rpm. So for example if you wanted to shift by 7400rpm you would set it to 7200rpm so by the time you react it's at 7400. The problem with this though is that the speed that the engine increases rpm changes with each gear but your reaction speed stays the same.


Testing my shoddy old man spec reaction times:

Under ideal situation it takes me about 1/3rd of a second to react to a flashing light or whatever.

So 1/3rd of a second in each gear means you need the light to flash at a different rpm before redline each time:



It might seem like splitting hairs but if I shift at 6900rpm instead of 7400rpm each time then it costs about 1/3rd of a second on the quarter mile and god knows what at Taupo or Hampton.

So the solution: I am going to buy 4 shiftlights haha.


If you've got a link or a megasquirt or whatever it's easy to setup the same thing using a single light but this is a solution which will help my shifting which costs under $50 so will see how it goes.

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've still got all of the interior out so took the car. So for curiosity's sake I took it to the weighbridge with a near empty tank of gas.


970kg with all seat belts and a few other things still in.

Pretty chuffed to get it under a tonne, didnt think it would be that light as it is. The new exhaust is a bit lighter than before.


Still has heavy wheels, full glass, heavy drivers seat and a few other things so you could likely get a beams Carina down to low 900s or high 800s if it was a race car.


But taking all the interior junk out looks to be the way to go for next time at the drags, could help a bit.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaahhhhh good news and bad news:


Good news:

Got a wideband Boss welded into exhaust (Cheers Sentra Dave!)

Got exhaust manifold thread fixed (Cheers Peter!)

Got everything else wired up, and running nicely at about 2000rpm with nice fuel.


Bad news:

Welded the wideband boss in a place where there isnt much room under the car, had to aahhh 'massage' part of the gearbox crossmember to make it fit.


The engine is fine at 2000rpm... fine at 1900... 1800... 1700... then cuts out. Try it again, same thing. And again and again.

And when cranking, it would sometimes backfire out the intake. Weird.


So I did some datalogging :wink:


Just below 1700rpm cuts out because the rev limit cuts in... Because it thinks the motor is going 32,000rpm. Lol!


Checked trigger error logs... lots of crank angle sensor errors. and all at that same rpm.


Ran the onboard trigger scope, showed this: (look at the wonky/shorter wave near middle of the page on top graph)





A long time ago I broke a tooth off the Crank pulley (Doh!) and couldnt find a replacement so had another one welded on and filed to shape. Well it looks like this might have been causing problems ever since, you can see that the wave on the graph gets a bit unsteady at a certain point. It happens at the same place each rotation.

EDIT: Looks as though there's a software fix for this in the ECU, I'll try tomorrow! (Reducing arming voltage for the trigger at 0rpm and 1000rpm)

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy crap I'm tired today.


Last night got all timing gear off, then had the crank angle trigger setup centrally in the lathe so we could check the teeth with a dial gauge.


3 of the teeth were actually too long by .2mm - It must have been the heat from welding the middle tooth caused problems for the other two.


So now all of the teeth are exactly the same. If there are still problems, it can only be because the tooth now made from welding rod doesnt have the same metal properties etc compared to the others for the Reluctor.


Since I was doing this I also yanked the exhaust manifold back off, all intake stuff off too.


I Heat wrapped a coolant line under the intake manifold that's been heat soaking the inlet manifold.

Used this stuff from Aliexpress, which seems to be way better than the fibreglass wrap:


I'll give it a few weeks on the waterline and see how it holds up, if it hasnt bukak'd itself all over my engine bay I might wrap the extractors to keep engine bay/alternator temps down.


I got everything all back together last night, cambelt back on, radiator refilled etc etc - But it was 11pm by this stage and too late to wake the neighbours.


So today after work, I should be able to know whether fettling the teeth has worked or not. Fingers crossed!


I'm itching for 8000rpm already haha.

  • Like 6

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my crank angle sensor working! Awesome. Revs past 8000rpm no sweat :D


So I've been trying to brainstorm ways to tune the VVTI as MAP sensor doesnt tell you much.


Then I had an amazing idea... Use the MAF sensor which was still sitting in my intake pipe haha. So wired that in too.


I set the cam at minimum advance (12 degrees) then 20 degrees, 30 degrees, 40 degrees with a run through powerband in each.


Basically if one setting gives a higher MAF voltage than the others at a given RPM, then it means the motor makes the most power with that setting (hopefully!)


Yo dawg, I heard you like Graphs!


So I used the best settings from the graph above, havent driven it since then though so I might need to tweak the fuel to suit.


If anyone else is running a VVTI on a beams motor I'd be interested to see your settings and where the peaks/troughs are.


I also wired the knock sensor into the ECU, it was showing mild knock when I increased timing by 5% so just knocked 5% back off and it's sweet. So the basemap ignition settings look to be pretty good from what I can tell.


Trackday at Hampton in the morning!

Fingers crossed I dont blow my motor up with my noob tuning haha!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had fun meeting up with some friends at the Hampton trackday today!


Some OSer's plus workmates made the journey down/up which was cool.


Unfortunately my day was cut rather short by an alternator fault.


Last night while doing some testing the Alternator main charge wire yanked a crimped connection apart, because I think there wasnt enough movement to the side of the body. So fixed that last night... But then it broke the alternator charge wire while out on the track, possibly for similar reasons.


We got that somewhat fixed with limited tools, but it looks like the combination of abuse has toasted my alternator some how. Bummer!


The good news though is that the car was running GREAT and pulled awesomely through the rev range.


My favourite part of trackdays though when something's gone wrong is that I can just chuck the car in the garage and forget about it until I feel like working on it again.


Rather than doing trackdays with a daily driver where you need it to get groceries or get to work the next day.

Aahhh win some lose some... Better luck next time!



  • Like 9

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pulled my alternator apart to see what's wrong. Found chunks of the epoxy or internal insulation or whatever floating around inside, and big score marks on the internal bits... So I dont think the regulator was at fault haha.


Looks like a combination of the wiring issues + trackday heat just nuked it.


However! Since it pretty much costs the same to replace with an alternator the same, or get one a little different.


The Caldina GTT engines have an alternator with the plugs further away from the heat source, and they have ducting running to the back of the alternator to cool it down. The duct faces 'forward' when in a north south setup so pretty much perfect.


This wouldnt be a problem with the Altezza engine with the low mount alternator on the other side of the block, but such is life.


Picking one up tomorrow, I'm of the understanding that it's a direct swap, hurrah! Apart from finding a place to duct cool air from which is no drama.




  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the new alternator fitted, so far so good.


I got called out in the fab disasters thread for some terrible wiring for the fan relay. So now have the ECU triggering a different relay and the ugly one gone. Woot!


The speedo signal now works but need to setup gear detection so I can have a gear dependent rpm for the shift light.


Bought some more bits to setup datalogging with:


3 fast response IAT sensors (One for intake, one for engine bay temp, third for... dunno yet)
A 3 axis accellerometer that outputs x y Z axes as 0-5v each (Measure cornering speed / accelleration for tuning)

A wideband knock sensor and an amplifier for tuning ignition safely with headphones.

Some bits for a revised intake.


Currently the intake pipe from the air filter is 2.75" but the throttle body entrance is 3". So I'm going to upsize this and see if that removes the pressure drop at 6k rpm onwards.


Also with some awesome help from Dave Sentra we've started on a spare manifold for some outboard midboard injectors

Still needs a bit of work and some $$$ for hoses and things, so probably wont be done before Nats trackday.

But should be fun to see if it helps make any more power phasing them in at high rpm. (Helps mix the air and fuel better, apparently!)
The main concern though is that it might hit the bonnet when the engine moves.



So plenty of things to keep me entertained for the next while when all of this stuff turns up.

The car's running really well with the new ECU, but I still need to calibrate the MAP sensor and temp sensors properly so that temperature compensation etc works properly.

Everything's open loop at the moment but once I've got the map looking good I'll set it to closed loop below 4000rpm  at low/mid load so it can adjust fuel as need be for good cruising economy.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I got all that finished, wired it all up and took it for a spin.




After an extended amount of fluffing around it just doesnt quite seem to run right.

When I reverted to the previous fuel map using just the main injectors, it ran a hell of a lot better instantly.


It's possible that it's flowing unevenly between cylinders, or that I need to spend more time tweaking the injector ratios / timing to get it working as best as it can.

Or I just need to figure out a tune using 100% outboard ones for starters and then work on blending them together.

But I dont think I can really get this right without a dyno, and having a way to check individual cylinders for running rich/lean.

Not too keen to blow up a cylinder just before Nats / trackday so I'm going to go back to the standard setup for the moment.


A bit dissapointing, but I'll give it another try in another month or two when I've sorted out a few other niggles.

Also, since I no longer need the MAF, and the MAP sensor was showing a 2KPA pressure drop from 6000rpm onwards, indicating a restriction.

I experimented with fitting a velocity stack straight on the plenum, with and without a pod filter on top of it.

Doing this reduced the pressure drop to 1KPA, which initially seemed like a good thing.

But I had to pull fuel out right across the board, because even though there's less of a pressure drop it's consuming hot air which is less dense, and less air in total. Haha lame!

Just goes to show how much of a difference cold air actually seems to make, even when you've removed the entirety of pre throttle body restriction.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Been tinkering with a few new fun things.


Firstly I got the accellerometer wired in. This is super senstive, and I think will be pretty handy for helping tune ignition or quantifying suspension changes etc on the track:



So as an example of how this could be useful.

Go on the sweeper at Hampton downs, get some average results for that corner.
Fit a rear swaybar and do another 5 laps.

Has the average cornering force increased or decreased?

I'm not too good at judging these kinds of things by seat of the pants, so making iterative improvements in this manner works well for me.

Also got a wideband knock sensor hooked up, not controlled by the ECU but just plugs into my laptop using the Mic jack, then turn on 'listen to device' and then can hear it using headphones.

Works really well, can hear all sorts of weird and wonderful noises going on.

This is what it sounds like when you're listening through the laptop:


Annnnnddddd I've also been working on sifting through all of the junk in the datalogs to get some useful info.

Since I'll be doing a shiieeettt load of driving for Nats weekend coming up I wanted to get an idea of fuel economy.
So bodged some numbers together.



But the useful part from here, is that I can change things around to see what improves/detracts from the economy and I've got an easy way to see the results. I just copy the formulas into the datalog sheet and it's good to go. Not quite as good as having real time results from OBD2 I guess, but at the same time what I'm looking for here are improvements to the average. So datalogging an hour or two first gives a good sample set.

Next tasks coming up are making a proper alternator tensioner (Current one didnt work with Caldina alternator properly)

Adding 5 or so switches to the centre console, running to ECU.
(Can use these for wanky things like a pit lane speed limiter, turn fuel pump on/off, switch fuel maps, launch control, or whatever else)

And wiring up a clutch switch.. It Looks as though there are the exact provisions to fit a standard Brake Light pedal switch to the clutch too.

When the clutch switch is in, I can setup launch control and flat shifting. It would be cool to have flat shifting sorted before the OS Nats trackday! And have some fun with launch control next time the drags roll around :)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


I actually did something cool with my car apart from making it draw stupid graphs!

This week's weekend started on Thursday, at Hampton. Like so:












I managed a new best laptime of 1.24.0 which is a 2.7 second increase over last time. Mainly thanks to bravery on the brakes and learning the lines a bit better.

It's still having trigger related problems which gives it an early rev cut which is a pain in the ass (Randomly cuts at 6000-8000rpm depending on when it decides to play up) However I've now got a proper trigger wheel to swap over to now.

I also had the wideband cut out a bit, which I suspect is because it gets very hot. Possibly because of the exhaust wrap?
But it seems to be a common-ish problem, and making a brass heat sink usually fixes it apparently.

Kyteler was spectating and noticed that when I hit the brakes, the rear of the car lifts UP.

After thinking about this, it's the same 4 link angle problem that gives me shitty traction off the line, and is fixable with revised 4 link geometry.
So I need to stop procrastinating on that one, as I've known about the problem (and the fix) for a few years haha.

After trackday, I drove it about 650kms around the Coromandel for Nats, and didnt have any issues either. So super happy with that!


Car's now safely back at home, awaiting the next round of pulling it to bits and wondering why I pulled it to bits.


  • Like 7

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now