Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Atom Power Upgrade

We have slowly been upgrading components on the Atom to get it to match the Secant Type I powertrain. 280hp/241 ft-lb power output is the target. I secured a new intake and additional radiator for the intercooler system from Tom@Unique to help us get there.

We installed these bits along with a new Laminova endplate that reroutes the coolant through the intercooler in a manner that achieves improved cooling efficiency. Removing the Laminova tubes takes patience and a gentle touch - neither of which I have much of. This picture shows the stock end plate with 2 hose connections. The new endplate has 3 connections to help flow coolant quicker.

We have a larger water pump that we looked at switching but choose to stick with the stock pump for now. The additional plumbing and wiring required for the new pump dissuaded me from tackling that task at this time. Tom & Ryan from Secant assured me that the stock pump should work well.

The new ic radiator from Tom is plumbed in-line with the stock radiator. The coolant now runs in this manner: pump ->1st rad -> 2nd rad -> IC -> pump. I will need to modify the plastic cowl a bit to clear the front frame that supports the rad. The polished frame reveals Tom's hotrodder roots. The welds on this unit are excellent. Nice work Tom!

I'm anticipating much improved cooling and reduced heat soak issues. The new radiator gets high pressure air as it is positioned in the stock location for the intake. We got creative with the hose plumbing and connections and have sorted a neat configuration. The downside is losing the original intake snorkel - but form must follow function!

The stock intake was discarded in favor of Tom's intake. It delivers air in a nice straight shot - unlike the convoluted stock intake. The MAF should also be much happier. We installed this without difficulty. The filter resides just below the remote oil cooler and appears to block some airflow to this rad. Since oil temps have never been an issue for me, this seems like a fair trade off. Nothing comes free.

We swapped out the in-line fuel filter which of course required a special tool. The # of trips I've made to the store is maddening with this upgrade. 8^) I bought a smaller belt as well since the new pulley is smaller. Though the tensioner appeared to take up much of the slack, it was not enough for the stock belt. NAPA is close so I simply bought a smaller one as replacement.

Steve from Secant arrives on Friday to begin the tuning...

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