After following a few Z1 swap threads and talking with Jason at Hawk Engineering I decided to go for it.
For me this was not a complete DIY project. I paid guy to do the work and it turned out to be considerably more work than we understood it to be when it started. Consequently, it took 6 month to get it to the maiden voyage. Much appreciation to milosusa, BryanD, and of course HawkEng for the patience and willingness to help me through several questions and issues. The Z1 first fired exactly one year ago and she is just now done for the most part… .
My motor was built for big boost with pistons, rods, headstuds, and the transmission was just rebuilt with Japanese bearings. I also upgraded the turbo to MS Turbo Stage 3 Titanium
For months I chased over heating issues and tested and tried almost everything imaginable but nothing seemed to work. The culprit ended up being a blown head gasket. Not once but twice. Originally it blew right from the start with the mapping that came preprogrammed on the Vipec. I then had it tuned in order for me to get on the road last fall for Camp RZR in Glamis. Car ran great for a few minutes then overheat all of the sudden. Come to find out he didn’t map anything for elevation so mapping it at 4200’ then heading to Glamis didn’t work out so well. In then end chasing the coolant bug has led me to a few steps that while probably not all necessary, none will hurt. I have done the following:
• Installed Pace Offroad billet water housing with a one way check valve (designed by HawkEng)
• Ran separate coolant line straight from the turbo all the way to the radiator
• Installed a secondary water pump which is run by a manual switch
• Installed manual fan override switch
With all of these steps in place I took the car to K&T Performance where Cody Phillips of Cody Phillips Racing tuned the car on 88 non ethanol fuel; runs at 15psi. After all the problems we decided to keep it tame so I could put a few miles on it to make sure it was staying cool. This was the end of March of this year. On April 1st we headed down to Moab where for the first time the car ran great! On the way back to the trailhead on Cliffhanger I rolled the car. It was a slow-motion front rollover. Unbelievable right??!! Bent the cage, broke a lot of plastic, and a bunch of scratches. Subsequently from the rollover the airbox above the header caught on fire. I was done!! So much so that I went and bought me a new XP Turbo. Haha…. I wasn’t about to miss any more trips!!
I took the car to Vent Racing (cage builder) and they rebuilt the car with new plastics, new cage, and they rewired everything under the hood. Now everything is fused separately. A major upgrade compared to the spider web it was before. They really went above and beyond what I was expecting; great business and guys to deal with. I really like what they came up with for how the oil cooler mounts.
The last step was the wrap which I think turned out great and was done by Kumbustion Motorsports
Now it’s time to turn up the boost and enjoy the Z1 for what it was meant for.