Bete Noir's Ibiza Mk2 GTI 1.8T Track Project

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
Another eBay bargain I picked-up was a Safety Devices roll cage. It was listed by Safety Devices as being a NOS item for a mk1 Ibiza, but the answers I got to a couple of questions suggested it was much more likely to be for a mk2. It came compete with a mounting kit, which was all in place after I paid for a day of a welder's time. At this stage I only left the main hoop bolted-in to the car to make access easier.


This was primed,


and painted Kiwi


More people seem to choose to paint roll cages in different colours compared to the car, but I love the way it looks with everything being Kiwi.
 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
Clearly as this is planned to be a track car, being clean and shiny is not top of the list of priorities, however I realised that Hammerite Zingy Lime looks, in the shop at least, quite similar to Kiwi. I bought a tin and tried it out on a rotten wing.


Side-by-side the difference is clear, but that is not to say that it is of no use.

I spent an unpleasant afternoon with my head inside each of the wheelarches in turn, giving them a good clean, followed by a couple of coats of paint. The outcome is very satisfying.
Before


After


At the front end I removed the freshly fitted uprights, and I took the wings off, so I could do a proper job.


 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
Lying under the car with the rear axle out of the way, it was obvious that one of the exhaust heatshields had seen better days.


I cleaned-off the surface corrosion, and riveted aluminium patches into place in the areas needing repair. A couple of coats of silver Smoothrite had it looking more like it should again, not that anyone but me will ever see it.


While the exhaust mounting brackets were off the car I replaced the mounting rubbers with Powerflex. Lacking a Powerflex of the right width for the rearmost mounting, I used two thinner parts instead.


 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
With the rear arches now looking clean but empty, I was motivated to get on with the rear suspension. Powerflex bushes were fitted to the rear beam.


The rear uprights were assembled with Powerflex top mounts, and bump stops from the same company. I had to cut the bump stops down, although whether that is because I bought the wrong parts I do not know.


I struggled for a while to get the rear axle back into place, before I sussed that it is easier if you attach it to the struts first, and then attach the front mountings, rather than the other way around.


 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
The engine mounts have been replaced with a set of Black Forest Industries items. When I opened the box it was not at all clear what went where, but a quick comparison against standard items soon had them sorted out.


All assembled and ready to fit.
 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
Anyone who has read this thread from the start will have seen that I sold the 16v ABF engine when I removed it. The reason for this is that I am going 1.8T. I realise that I am years behind the times, with most mk2 Ibizas with 1.8T transplants having long since been built, enjoyed, and broken. I took advantage of this trend by buying parts that were removed from these cars, which have been stashed waiting to make their way onto this or another of my projects.

The engine I am using in this is a low mileage AYP from a mk3 Ibiza Cupra, which will be coupled with an 02A gearbox fitted with a Peloquin LSD.

I have done very little to the engine, apart from giving it a lick of paint. The sump will be swapped for a baffled item for track use but is standard for now. While I had the engine on a stand I did the timing belt and water pump, and replaced the auxiliary belt pulleys with alloy parts which should give me slightly less power steering assistance.


The SEAT Sport manifold on the engine in this picture will be swapped for one with an offside throttle body before it runs.

When I sold the ABF engine I kept the solid flywheel, which I subsequently had machined to lose some weight off it. This was then fitted onto the AYP engine, along with a nice new VR6 clutch.

The engine and gearbox dropped into place in the Ibiza without too much trouble.
 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
With the 1.8T engine in the car, I started thinking about the wiring for it. The plan is to use the Emerald ECU which was previously fitted in my 'other' mk2 Ibiza 1.8T. The transplant into that car was done prior to my ownership, by Parsons Performance, so I started from zero in my knowledge.

The other Ibiza had not been boosting properly when it was last running, and it had been suggested that this might be down to a fault with the ECU. It had not been protected from water ingress and was looking a bit suspect. I sent it off to Emerald M3D for them to test it, and to upgrade it from M3DK to K3 specification if it got a clean bill of health. Happily for me, it came back duly upgraded.

My approach to working-out the required wiring started with buzzing-through the engine and ECU loom removed from the other Ibiza, and it was quickly apparent that it was this loom which was more likely to be the cause of the poor running. This picture was taken more recently, but it is illustrative of the quality of workmanship throughout the loom.


At this point the project stalled for a couple of years. The Ibiza was on the driveway (under a cover for the most part) with wires dangling everywhere under the bonnet like an automotive version of Mary Kelly. Part of the reason for the pause was that I was struggling to work out my best way forward, and part of it was that I was having my garage / workshop built and then fitting it out.

In January of this year, I finally got the Ibiza into the new garage. This was a very big day!


As can be seen (just about) in the above photo, the Mattig mirrors have gone, to be replaced by a pair of DTM style mirrors. I liked the look of the Mattigs, but the adjustment on them was insufficient for them to be of any practical use.

After much faffing about whilst the Ibiza was on the driveway, I finally settled on an approach for the engine and ECU loom. I decided to use the AYP engine loom, mostly because it connects to the vehicle loom via a 27-way and a 14-way connector, rather than being hard-wired. I had to modify the engine loom to use a cable throttle valve on the offside, amongst other things. From the two multi-way connectors, with known pin-outs, and the Emerald ECU, also with known pin-outs, I 'just' had to make-up a loom between one and the other, and which also connects to the vehicle loom where required. The theory is pretty straightforward, but I still spent a while with it looking like this.


I worked my way through one wire at a time, and after a long few days of soldering and crimping, and not a little head scratching, I had a loom between the engine and the Emerald ECU which had all of the connections I had identified as being required. It then took a little bit longer to sort the connections into the rest of the vehicle loom. This is mostly power supplies, but also includes the tacho output from the ECU to the rev counter amongst others.

I have decided to locate the ECU inside the passenger compartment, so all of the wires between the ECU and the engine have to go through the bulkhead. To achieve this I cut a new hole and fitted a grommet which was supposed to have a home on a mk2 Escort.

By now it looked like this under the bonnet. The 27-way (round) and 14-way (lozenge-shaped) connectors are at the front of the engine, and the new hole in the bulkhead is visible to the right of the bellows on the clutch cable.


Inside the car, the new ECU connector is hanging through where the glovebox would usually be.
 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
I had been putting-off getting underneath the car to fit the exhaust. There was a perfectly good Milltek system waiting to be fitted, but working in my garage rather than on my gravel driveway unexpectedly presented a new problem. Whenever I jacked a car up on the driveway, it was straightforward to put the jack on a board, chock the grounded wheels using a plastic chock or a piece of wood, and know it was not going to roll away before or after I got it onto axle stands. My garage floor has been done with two-pack resin, which is very hard, and very smooth (compared to gravel, anyway). The chocks I had been using before just slide across the floor, which resulted in the Ibiza falling-off the jack when I first tried to raise it. When that happened, it trapped my fingers between the tailgate and the garage door, which gave me enough of a scare that it took me a few days before I tried it again.

Using different chocks I got the back end up in the air, and put two pairs of axle stands under it, before I gritted my teeth and crawled underneath. The Milltek exhaust system is non-resonated, which means the section from the downpipe (also Milltek) to the bend before the fuel tank is just a straight section of pipe. When I trial-fitted this, it was clear that the bend was going to foul the fuel tank. I checked and re-checked that the pipe was fully located in the joint to the downpipe, then measured and re-measured how much I needed to cut off the centre section. I then cut-off about 10mm less than I had measured was needed, just in case I had got it wrong. Back underneath I trial-fitted it again, and confirmed that there was still more to come off, to the tune of about 20mm. Now finally convinced that I could cut that much off without finding I had an exhaust that no longer met in the middle, I cut the centre section again, and this time when I fitted it back in place the bend was exactly in the middle of the space designed to accommodate it. Getting the rear section to hang on its mountings was a little awkward, but only routine and nothing unexpected.
 

bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
In working-out the wiring for the engine and ECU, I learnt a lot (compared to the knowledge I started with, at least) about the standard wiring, and I realised that whilst I had much of the loom unwrapped this was a good time to get rid of some surplus cables.

The wiring from the doors had been removed years ago, and I now got rid of the remainder of the wiring for the electric windows and mirrors, along with the speaker cables, the central locking, and the airbag wiring. At some point an aftermarket alarm and immobiliser had been (badly) fitted, so I ripped that out and put it in the bin, as I have fitted my own security. This was the removed immobiliser wiring.

And this was the rest of the cable harvest
 
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bete noir

Green Meanie
Dec 11, 2008
325
8
Last Resort
Whilst making the engine & ECU looms was a challenge, it was at least within my theoretical area of expertise, as my degree is in electrical engineering. When it came to the engine pipework and hoses, I was starting from a position of knowing next to nothing. I could not have even for certain identified which hoses were coolant, which vacuum / boost, and which were breathers. Part of the fun of projects for me is learning, so I got stuck in.

First 'plumbing' job was the intercooler. My Ibiza from which I had stolen the Emerald ECU had a front mount intercooler which was attached at the top only, and I wanted to improve on that, although initially I planned to use the same FMIC. That plan was scuppered when I discovered that one of the top mounting bolts was seized into the intercooler. I may have been able to drill it out and tap for a larger bolt, but I decided instead to buy a replacement Toyo Sports intercooler similar to the one I had previously fitted on my Caddy. These are sufficiently cheap to make any effort to rescue another similar intercooler redundant. I experimented with a few different top mounting arrangements before settling on simple U-shaped flat steel brackets bolted to the bottom horizontal face of the front panel. Bottom brackets were fabricated from square section steel tube, the ends of which were flattened in a vice and drilled so they could be bolted between the intercooler and front sub-frame. Probably not the most elegant of solutions, but nice and solid and did not look too bad after a couple of coats of satin black paint. Sadly, the best photo I took was when the intercooler was trial fitted, before the brackets were painted.
 
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