Project STurdteen, Plumbing the Motor and Getting Her Ready to Run!

So we have rebuilt the engine and the transmission for Rathyna’s Turd.  Now came the job of putting the engine back in the car and undoing the clusterfuck of plumbing that had been patched together by god knows who.  The previous plumbing was cludged together from the lowest cost junk that whoever had been working on the car was able to get their hands on.  One thing we have noted over the years is that 90% of DNF’s in racing is due to faulty plumbing, wiring, and poor cooling.  This is why we have always advocated that these are areas where you don’t want to skimp out when it comes to car prep. Rathyna’s car didn’t have much in the way of cooling either, some sort of bootleg Chinese radiator and no oil cooler. So we decided to take pity on Rathyna, bite the bullet and fix all of the cars plumbing and cooling issues with some help from Canton Racing Products, Earl’s, Enjuku Racing, Koyorad, Spearco, and HPS.

Step one was to get the fresh engine and trans in the car.  We had pounded up the trans tunnel in a few places beforehand to make this much easier.  It was straightforward to get the engine in and it didn’t take long.

The mystery intercooler that was on the car was very poor quality.  It had a lot of pressure drop and it didn’t cool well.  We replaced the intercooler with this tube and fin unit from Spearco.  The Spearco Intercooler has a tube and fin core with their WAVE or Wide Area Vane Effectiveness internal fin design. These are internal heat conductors inside each passage of the intercooler that help conduct heat to the outside of the tube and out of the charge air stream.  A WAVE equipped intercooler will cool the charge air up to 30 degrees more than a conventional tube and fin core.  The intercooler also has what Spearco describes as bombproof construction with a strong core brick and tig welded end tanks.  This enables the intercooler to withstand up to 200 psi of boost pressure.

Rathyna’s car had poor crankcase venting, some idiot has plugged her crankcase vent and one of the valve cover vents. The only vent the engine had was a long soft 3/8″ tube going into an energy drink bottle! This would cause crankcase pressure to build up causing the oil to leak out of every part it could.  The crankcase pressure also probably did wonders for the ring seal and oil consumption.  To make matters worse the pressure would cause her dipstick to shoot out of its tube with more oil!  We properly vented the crank and diverted the crank gasses into this Canton Racing Products catch can, part# 23-030.

Rathyna’s radiator overflow dumped onto the ground! Not only would this not pass tech, but it would also cause coolant to be lost bit by bit with no way to return to the radiator once everything cooled down. We would divert the radiator coolant overflow to this Canton Racing Products overflow tank, part# 80-201C. Not only will this pass tech, but will also allow expelled coolant to return to the radiator when everything cools down. This way the radiator will always be full.


    1. Bring your ride to the MotoIQ Garage and we’ll gladly make one for you. But no, we won’t be making them in batches to sell.

  1. Slightly banal nitpicking, but with such nice hoses you should really use band clamps that do not dig into the hoses. They are standard on VWs, which is one of the few things on Vdubs that are intelligently designed.

  2. I’ve been meaning to improve the breather system on my SR20. My question is, can I remove the PCV valve and still have a suction hose on the the catch can? Meaning, Not vent the catch can atmospherically? I am currently running a MAF.

    1. Hi Jose, in the case of a MAF equipped engine you can vent the catch can behind the MAF and in front of the turbo compressor inlet as in the case of OEM application. Be sure to put the vent as far away from the MAF as possible so blowby gasses don’t contaminate the hot wire.

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