Tilton Pedal Box


So I purchased a Tilton pedal box and started installing it, this is the story so far...

Very impressed with the build quality, I just hate all the imperial sized hardware! The idea is that the pedal box relocates all the master cylinders under my feet and no brake booster. I have a lot more room for my intake now. Added benefit is also the improved braking feel, pedal effort will be increased too.

Initial plan was to mount the pedal box without any floor modifications, but after a bit of planning I realised there wasn't a whole lot of work involved so I CAD'd everything up for laser cutting. This little bit of extra work now places the pedal box further forward and improves the driving position a lot.

After removing the inner skin, there was a huge cavity that allows for a boxed up section to be made for the pedal box. Super handy! After it was welded in, I wire-brushed everything before putting a layer of primer and paint. Very happy with the outcome, and I also took the opportunity to clean up the under dash wiring

Quickly installed the dash and steering column to test the driving position!

I drew up some mounting plates for the brake/clutch fluid reservoir, this is welded into the dash bar. Allows quick removal to top up, braided lines to the master cylinders.

Also gave all the brake fittings a clean using an ultrasonic cleaner.

Started making up some of the lines from master cylinder output to the bulk-head connectors. You can also see the pressure switch used for activating the brake lights.

This heel plate protects all the parts and braided line, modelled in Fusion 360 and then laser cut.

New clutch line.

All my internal lines are stainless braided PTFE hose, and all external connections are made using hard-line. Picked up some quality flaring tools for 45deg double flare and 37deg AN flare as well as this awesome tube straightener.

My awesome SQIIRLMODS luggage rack, will be handing when I get a chance to do some more road trips down to Sydney.

I'm also in love with this IRP Germany short shifter!

That's all for now, and I don't think I'll be posting any further updates for awhile. A lot going on with work right now, so any spare time is scarce these days 🙁



More Printing Projects


So continuing on from my last post, I decided to make some slight changes to my ECU mount. Stronger and easier to print now.

(Printed in ABS plastic.)

A common cause for ignition timing related misfires when using an aftermarket ECU is the cam sensor connector, a simple solution is to pot the sensor. I printed out a little case to neaten up the potting. I initially used a damaged factory sensor, but ended up using an alternative sensor from a Hyundai and had to redesign the case.

(Printed in ABS plastic.)

Testing out a different velocity stack design. Larger diameter bell-mouth and they sort of overlap on each other. These were printed in eSun carbon-fibre reinforced nylon plastic. It is fuel/oil safe and heat resistant, properties are very similar to OEM engine bay plastics (glass fibre reinforced nylon).

My 3D printed radio delete with magnetic mounting and wireless charging for my Nexus 7 tablet! It will be running Shadow Dash for all my Megasquirt gauges and logging.

(Printed in ABS plastic.)

This next project was a huge success 🙂 I've always hated passing heavy gauge starter/alternator wiring through the firewall hole using a rubber grommet. So I modelled up the parts below to make a terminal bulkhead panel. Design goals were:

  • Easy to access
  • Removable cover for protection
  • Plenty of isolation to the body

(Printed in ABS plastic.)

Used my hydraulic lug crimper to make up the cables, the terminals in the cabin need some rubber boots too.

And for my next update...


Intake Progress & ECU Brackets


Quick update on my custom intake setup. Below was the first iteration of the setup, custom airbox with 105mm long velocity stacks. Since than, I've decided to change my brake booster to a remote booster setup 🙂 This basically means I'll be able to fit in 135mm long velocity stacks!

The compact Wilwood brake master cylinder, the kit contains the standard reservoir plus a remote reservoir. I quickly modelled up a adapter plate and printed it out for prototyping.

The redesigned velocity stack at 135mm length. A couple photos showing the printing process as well as comparisons to the 75mm and 105mm velocity stacks.

Mounted up for some length comparisons.

Going to 135mm length stacks meant that I needed more height on the airbox, my solution is to keep the spacer design but increase its thickness. It currently looks a little clumsy but I do have reasons for going this route. Below are photos of the first part of the spacer, roughly checked the clearance and then printed the rest of the assembly. I designed the parts wit dove-tail joints so that the parts slide together for easy assembly.

More photos of the spacer showing the size and the internal clearance.

And the reason for using this spacer design rather than designing a taller air box is so that I could easily swap from airbox to Pipercross filter. That might be a stupid idea though...

I've been meaning to do this part for awhile now, so here it is! It's my bracket design to mount the Megasquirt ECU 🙂

Used Fusion 360 to model these and below is the first version.

Fitment to the ECU was perfect first go, same thing when mounted to the car. I also experimented with these M4 brass threaded inserts, very happy with them so far.

Tested a few different changes to help with print-ability and install/removal of ECU. So so happy with the final design 🙂

And this is how it all looks mounted to the dash frame.

I also picked up a Nakamae side pocket and Beatrush dead pedal from Car Make Corns when I was in Japan!


My 3D Printer.


Quick post about my Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D Printer (Cocoon Create and Balco are the same printers). It's a good learner printer based on the opensource RepRap design by Prusa. The reason I chose this printer was because of it's all metal frame, large community base and its $400AUD delivered price tag!

In terms of modifications/upgrades to this printer, I think this is all I will do/spend on it. My plan from here is to print parts to build a new printer, probably something based on the Core XY design, like the Hyper Cube.

Forgot to take photos of when I first unpacked the printer, but first upgrades were this Micro Swiss hot-end and borosilicate glass to print on.


I then started printing out modifications for the printed with the included PLA filament. These are Z-axis braces and filament guide.


I blueprinted the X-axis linear motion and started installing the Z-axis brace.


At this stage I was still printing with the included PLA as I learned more about the machine.


Next step was to print with ABS, so I quickly made this "enclosure", the idea behind this is to keep the ambient temperature consistent and warm. It helps reduce ABS's tendency to warp and delaminate when you're printing tall or large parts.


Below is a storm water drain grate I printed for my sister in ABS, it took up the whole build area! Also did a prototype shifter extension for a friend. At this point I also started using Kapton tape on my glass bed.


Fan duct and belt tensioner printed in ABS, also printed some new bearing carriers because I wanted to install longer linear bearings.


The bearing holders had printed threads too!


Printed some parts to extend the Z-axis, in anticipation of printing my intake manifold parts.


This is Printoid connected with my Octoprint/Octopi setp running on a Raspberry Pi.


Make up organiser for my girlfriend printed in ABS.


And this was printed in black PETG, prototype piece for a friends 180SX front bar intake duct.


And finally a new fan duct for the controller box, increases cooling as well as reducing noise from the tiny stock fan. Printed in black PETG.



Velocity Stacks & Airbox Prototyping.


This is going to be a big photo dump of my latest adventures into 3D printing, both for prototyping and hopefully end usage. I purchased myself a 3D printer, Wanhao Duplicator i3, and I'll do a separate post for that soon. For now let's talk about my experiences with the intake parts I'm prototyping 🙂

I have no real knowledge in both 3D printing/modelling and engine intake theory, I'm just learning as I go, so there will be mistakes here and there. And therefore, not entirely sure if these parts/designs will make any measurable performance gains, but it's all fun anyway!

In my last post, I had just commissioned some prints of velocity stacks. Well I did some redesigns, and they can now be found on, again it's still all a work in progress and I'm not expert in the design theory.

The velocity stacks are 105mm tall and designed for Silvertop AE101 throttle bodies.


Next up was designing an airbox for the ITBs and 105mm tall stacks, I pretty much modelled it using the same external dimensions as my Pipercross filter. I did this because I know for sure that it would clear all the brake and clutch parts in the engine bay and I also wanted the ability to easily change from filter to airbox. I can and will make a better design once I have this design fitted and tested.

For the Pipercross filter and this airbox to clear the stacks, a new mounting plate needed to be made. So I chose to print out a spacer that would be sandwiched between two laser cut plates, you can see it in the previous screenshot.


Below is my ideal design, will work on that soon.


The printed spacer for the filter mounting plate, had to be printed in multiple pieces due to the limited build volume of my printer (200mm x 200mm x 180mm).


Before doing the actual prototype print I decided to use some rubbish filament for a test print without support material, just to see how far it could go. It failed pretty quick when it got to the dome part, it recovered slightly towards the end though.


Here you can see the rear section of the airbox being printed, tried to minimise the usage of plastic and support material. This was printed at mostly 200micron layer height and the curved sections were printed at 100micron layer height, varying the layer height like this helps reduce print time as well as reduce support material for the sections with overhang.


Mid section being printed, by far the easiest part. Only needed support material for the mount flanges, this was printed at 280micron layer height.


And this is the front section being printed, all printed at 280micron layer height. This part had some design modifications to improve print-ability, also to reduce plastic usage and support material.


Since this is a prototype for test fitting, sections are glued together using Cyanoacrylate. Final part will either be epoxied or plastic welded together, not sure yet. Or maybe just use the print as a mold for carbon fibre?


It's amazing seeing this all come together as one piece, nearly 500mm total length. So happy!


Photo trying to show the internal clearances with stacks installed, minimum distance to walls is 25mm.


Some lessons I learned during this entire print are that overhangs causes prints to look like crap. So I've made the following design changes to help reduce overhangs.

  1. I added a chamfer on the inside surface to reduce the overhang angles under the "dome", this allows me to print with minimal support material, and the chamfer being only 20% solid means I use less plastic overall.
  2. The highlighted flat sections at either ends of the flange remove the overhangs and allows my printer to simply bridge that section, which my printer does very well. This makes the print look cleaner and also reduce support material.
  3. I found that printing holes on a vertical plane produces nasty overhangs and causes imperfections in and around the hole, so I opted to print only dimples instead of a through-hole. This improves the finish and I can just simply drill the holes post print anyway.



I also modelled this catch can and printed it out for test fitting. Unfortunately, the filament ran out before it completed printing. Was still able to test fit though!



3D Modelling & Printing.



Lately I've been spending more time learning how to model parts in 3D, still new so bare with me. It's not a new concept to me, but I am using Fusion 360 mainly now and sometimes a bit of SolidWorks.

I've done some prints in the past, a good example would be the bulk head connector plate I drew up and printed. Had it installed in the car while I waited for the final piece to be laser cut from steel.


And now I'm starting to move onto slightly more detailed designs. Starting of with "remixing" a design from Thingiverse.

4AGE Black Top Velocity Stack -

And my "remixed" version, which is basically modified for Silver Top engines instead of Black Top and increasing overall length to 115mm.

4AGE Silver Top Velocity Stack -


I than scrapped that design altogether and did one from scratch, increased the radius lip profile and removed the side bracing. The print below was done in ABS and I'll be testing it for clearance and heat resistance. If all goes well, I'll most likely print my final design in ABS. If not, other materials like Nylon and Poly-carbonate are alternative options for heat resistance.




And this is another design I quickly modelled. Main differences being the bottom flange, length adjusted to 105mm and the dimpled internal surface. NO idea how that'll work for airflow, good or bad, but it's fun drawing these and 3D printing them! The idea is from dimpled surfaces on golf balls, and I've seen shops machine dimples onto the back of inlet valves and cylinder head ports.


And this is how the print came out.... About halfway up the velocity stack, the wall was a tiny bit too thin and the dimples were too deep! Not something I was expecting, but I'll learn from this one and make revisions. This print was also done at 300 micron layer height, I think it needs to be 100-200 micro next time.


And finally, this is an airbox/plenum that will mount to my current Pipercross filter plate. Still needs some work here and there, but I'm pretty set on the general shape of it and the inlet is 4.5" diameter. The final product could be moulded from the 3D print and made with carbon fibre, or possible printed entirely out of fibre infused nylon for strength and heat resistance.


More to come!


Toda High Compression Pistons!


Welllll than...... A couple new things in this update, and possibly a second post regarding some stuff I've been 3D modelling for the build.

First up, managed to install this 5V oil pressure sender and input it into the Megasquirt for full datalogging and dash display through Shadow Dash. The tablet mounted using two magnetic mounts clipped to the eye-ball vents. Works very well and has a very strong hold.

It was surprisingly easy to get working, the sender needs +5v, ground and signal return to the ECU. I happened to use the AD6 input on my Megasquirt, and TunerStudio has a built in wizard to configure your sender.


Developed a slight oil leak into cylinder no. 4 so took valve cover off to replace the gasket. Remember to go genuine valve cover gasket! I've had nothing but trouble with non-genuine valve cover gaskets.


Finally bought some new tyres and fresh alignment done! Hankook RS3 225/45 R15.


Received and installed my IL Motorsport bonnet lifts, not sure if I like them yet.


Next up, I had some spare parts accumulating and was able to put together this LED bar kit. It's operated via RF remote control that looks like a bomb detonator, the LED light bar and associated electronics (now enclosed in water-proof case) are mounted just behind the front bar.


Garage Star Coil-on-Plug adapter acquired!


Toda forged pistons!!! They are 11.0:1 compression ratio and +3mm overbore, made from a special alloy with very littler thermal expansion which allows it to run factory Mazda piston-to-bore clearances. Toda also designed the skirt to allow usage of factory oil squirters. I also ordered the matching overbore head gasket from Toda.


Some close ups of the pistons.




That’s not a mod.


New update time.

First off, I won the "People's Choice" Award at the 2016 All Japanese Day. So happy!


A few small updates to the interior.


Push button start installed in the factory cigarette port, Jass Performance shifter boot, and my new Hazard Switch Kit.


This was a custom turned part my friend made for me. It's pretty much a quick connect fitting into a barb adapter. And it's used for my temporary idling setup.


Had this piece laser cut out of aluminium to mount the modification and build plates.


I also managed to install the Pipercross C604D air filter. The adapter plate was a custom one and the filter is offset towards the front of the car by 10mm, this was done to clear the clutch master cylinder and reservoir.


And there's very little clearance, so I need to find a more compact clutch master and reservoir solution soon.


I've had side skirts on my car in the past, but I removed them because they always seems to go wavey after awhile. This was using the skirts made from ABS plastic, but I'm pretty sure the polyurethane ones will do the same. Fibreglass ones should never go wavey, but the fibreglass ones I bought ages ago were wavey out of the box. It seemed like they were moulded off a set of wavey ABS ones.

So these are some new ABS plastic ones, but modified. I had some aluminium sheet (1.5mm thick) laser cut, and folded one side to give it some rigidity. I then wire brushed both surfaces to roughen it up, and a polyurethane based adhesive was used to hold them together. Lots of clamping...

Hopefully they'll hold up, will update how it goes after summer!


Side skirts installed!




Hazard Switches Installation!


OK! I'm excited for my new Hazard Switches kit 🙂

Item can be purchased below, use the shopping cart if you're in Australia, or use the PayPal button below (and in the product description) if you're located outside of Australia. Prices are in Australian Dollars and shipping is built into the price.

Hazard Switches! (International Shipping Included!)


Now the first job before installing your new Hazard Switches is to remove the tombstone. I won't go into this step because there are dozens of tutorials that already exist online. The YouTube video below is pretty good.

This is how you'll receive the kit, comes with the "plug & play" harness, switches, panels and brand new sticker.


Take note of the labelled bags and the markings on the face plate and switches.


Install the switch marked "R" in the top position of the face plate, and switch marked "B" goes in the bottom position. Switch locations and orientation are marked on the back of the face plate.


Once the switches are in, you can go ahead and install the backing plate and carefully tighten the nuts until finger tight, making sure the switches and face plate are in position. Once the nuts are finger tight, grip the switch housing and rotate counter-clockwise to further tighten down the switches.


The connector labelled "R" plugs into the top position, and connector labelled "B" goes into the bottom switch.


And this connector plugs into the factory wiring.



Manifold Vacuum Rail


OK! So last post was positive, engine started up, ran well and idled nicely. But that didn't last long...

While getting the tune sorted, I noticed that the vacuum readings were a little off and it turned out to be a vacuum leak due to a hose not being connected properly. Fixed the vacuum leak and then the engine didn't want to idle anymore... So I fixed the idling issue but that resulted in my brake booster not getting enough vacuum to assist the brakes 🙁

So the real problem was the vacuum set up, I think. So I've come up with a set up that mimics a few other off-the-shelf ITB kits. Haven't had time to finish everything yet, but will post update when I get it running again and report back on the vacuum set up.


These are the push-to-connect fittings I'm using, swivel tee fittings.


Marked out the holes and drilled 11.1mm holes so that I could tap a 1/4" NPT thread.


The fittings tested fitted and measured so I could cut the hoses. The hoses need be installed in the fittings while they're out.


Vacuum rail installed and the old holes plugged up.


Also test fitted the filter backing plate, some clearance issues here...


Installed a Garage Star Wiper Cowl panel, and need to make a new fuel hose because I had to go from dual to single feed fuel setup.


And finally installed and gapped the headlight covers, hate doing them so much.