More progress

Almost at the point where I can test the oil system.


Front covers  on.

Internal lines finished.

And the externals are done as well.


Getting closer!

Hopefully Monday will be the pan and oil pump on and the first pressure test.

Cams are in!

So I’m actually on the way back up at this point. Got the head on and torqued down.


Bundled up to transport to the head.


This is one of the most tedious parts of the assembly. as you are tightening you are compressing springs and aligning dowels.

Next up chains and final cam timing

Exterior hard lines finished

Got everything fabed up. Very happy with the results.

I added a sandwich adapter in order to be able to get more oil for the VCT. The oil pressure port was fine for the cam oil feeds but I felt it would not keep up with the VCT. I moved everything over to the sandwich plate. The oil pressure switches are still on the oil pressure port.

Rear oil feed.


Hard lines are a ton of effort but for me well worth it.

VCT Plumbing

Got the hardlines mostly done for the intake phaser control. Went well just tedious and time consuming.

The bottom two lines are advance and retard and the top two lines are returns. The center is the feed. They are 5/16 OD which gives me an ID that closely matches the Honda circuit.

It started off easy and then I remembered that an alternator needed to sit in there. That made things a little more interesting.

The bulkhead fittings worked out great.

I chose to use soft aluminum tubing for the interior lines. I knew routing them was going to be a bitch and I wasn’t wrong. Looks a little rough but it will work. Non of the fittings are compressed yet. I’ll lock everything down during the final assembly and then tweak everything so they have clearance.

Feeding through the caps turned out to be a better way to go than through the tower bases.

I had to redesign the EDIS coil bracket since the valve was now in the way. It’s not as hidden as it used to be but when the throttle bodies and stacks are on it should be buried pretty well.

I’m super glad I went this route with the VCT valve. The look of it is exactly what I wanted and he hard lines fit the whole theme of the build.

Lots happening over the next few weeks as I try and finish it up and get it back in the car.

Bits and Pieces

Trying to get all all the incidental parts done so that when I get my head back from Xtreme I can concentrate on the final push. I’m locating the VCT valve in a different position than I had originally planed. I was unable to plumb it the way I wanted and that forced me to look at other options. I always hated the idea of hanging the valve off of the front of the timing cover. The control circuit is a little longer but I’m willing to take a chance for the sake of better looks.

Original 3D design:




Finished Product:


It will hang below intake #1 and will be mostly out of sight.




Made the CPS mount for the back of the valve cover. This required a pretty major rework of the fuel distribution block and a new mounting bracket. I got really lucky with the block in that I didn’t need to start from scratch.


Tight fit:)



It only took two versions of the CPS plate and fuel block brackets and one version of the VCT valve bracket. I must be getting the hang of this:)

Tall deck timing chain.

I’m convinced when they design a motor the first thing they do is the timing chain. Talk about restrictive.

SN005 is building a tall deck motor so I needed to work out what we were doing on the timing chain. I was hoping that my normal KA setup would work with a redesigned pivot for the tensioner arm.

Using my normal method of mocking up substituting plastic for metal. 

Actually worked out better than the normal setup. It looks like the extra height on the head will allow the arm to clear the timing cover without modifying the cover.

It uses all the stuff from a KA24 timing chain kit except the bottom chain needs to be a 94 link instead of the 92.

I was trying to get the arm closer to the tensioner but this is the best I’m going to get. Each full link you add or subtract shortens or lengthens the chain by 5/8” so the adjustment is pretty coarse.  The guides are stock out of the box Nissan KA24. The jumper brackets on the tension side are temporary. I’ll design something a little better.

I’m happy with the angle on the top tensioner. The upper brackets should start to become a standard item at this point. I changed the way the cam cores are being produced. I’m bringing the cams to length after heat treating and then shipping them to Schnieder for OD turning. This is giving me a lot more control.

This is what I settled on. A sub plate for the idler and a sub plate for the pivot guide and tensioner.

Then a spacer plate to bring the tensioner into the correct position.

I drilled the top gears so that they have 2.5 degrees adjustment and the cams are doweled to break that into 1.25 degree increments.


Bottom gear is new. It is a triplex 06P sprocket from Martin Sprocket with the teeth case hardened. I then bored, reamed and honed it out to 35mm.

Before and after.

The idea is that the inner and outer sprockets will provide strength to the middle driving set. This is way better than what I was running on the prototype. There is 3.5mm of adjustment front to rear via shim packs. This will make setting up the chains a lot easier.



Came together just fine.


Hopefully I’ll be able to get this kind of fit on the regular height blocks.

VCT Progress!

So slowly but surely I have been chipping away at making the VCT fit in the available space. What a freaking PIA. The problem with timing chains is you are constrained distance wise by the pitch of the chain and the adjustment can be a bit coarse.  Multiply that by two and you can see how it can get tricky. I model things the best I can in 3D but when it comes to something like this I find a hands on approach leads to a more satisfactory result.


Machined of the small gear from the KA24 idler.

I’m using a 5C expanding mandrel that I machined to fit.


Test fitting the Honda exhaust cam gear that I machined previously.

Happy with the fit for sure.



Quick test fit with the first idler sub plate. Looks good but I know from experience that there is a really long road from this point to the final fitting.

Here are the finalish mockup sub plates for the idler gear and the tensioner arm pivot. I may move the idler up another .010″ but I haven’t decided.

I do the majority of my prototyping in plastic. Easier to work with than aluminum and a lot cheaper. The idler plate will be steel and the pivot plate will be aluminum.


Upper tensioner mount.

The semi finished layout.

Upper tensioner is from a Mazda 626. Hybridz member Tioga turned me on to this one . I reshaped the contact shoe a bit and slapped it on there. It is a ratcheting style. They can be problematic if the lobe design on the cams are crappy. The constant pumping on the chain can break the pawls. I’m making the assumption at this point the Schneiders lobe design is a lot better than Cranes and won’t be a problem. I had to reshape the contact shoe and will probably work it some more if I stick with it.

Tight fit but the bottom line is….It fits. Which is a good thing since I committed to the cams before I knew for sure.  Unfortunately I can’t access the VCT oil ports on the head because the idler gear is covering them but I already designed a manifold as a work around.


So if the pictures make it look like this was a walk in the park here is a shot of the different versions of the sub plates I made to get the relationship between all those moving components the way I wanted them as well as fitting in the space I had to work with.



Starting on the VCT chain setup

Got the VTC cams back from Schneider so I was able to mess around a bit wit the upper chain.

Machining the center out of a stock Honda exhaust gear. Holy bajezas was that thing hard. I had to anneal the center to make any headway through it. Came out great though.

Action shot


Looks promising but there is a lot left to do.


Best part is my stuff is always S/N001 :)



Valve cover powder coated.

I had do the powder coating on my new valve cover. Same color as V1. Excellent quality as usual.

I’m a bit away from needing a finished valve cover but never underestimate the value in having it for motivation:)

So this is the big change I made to mine. This is to hold a mounting plate for the VCT sensor. Since it requires a special setup on the millI I only plan on making this mod on VCT specific builds or on special requests.


Surfacing finished.

Took the heads to a local shop that I trust to surface the tops.

 The bottoms are left as machined since the end user/builder determines how much they want to remove.


Did final pressure test today and no issues. A little hand work and the majority of my part of the headwork is done.