Robietherobot.com
Home Home
Geo Storm Performance Products Storm/Impulse Performance Parts
My Geo Storm My Geo Storm
My Geo Metro My Geo Metro
My Ford Cobra My Ford Cobra
Projects Web Projects
Solar and Alternate EnergySolar and Alternate Energy
Links Links
Online Resume Online Resume
Contact Information Contact Info

Geo Storm Isuzu Impulse Stylus Performance Parts shopping cart
My shopping cart

Storm Home - Products - Mods - Specs - Research - Blog - History - Links - RTR Policies

Share |

Geo Storm/Isuzu Impulse RS BLOG

9-28-2011 - A couple videos of my Storm in action...

VS Sportbike


vs Toyota MR2 Turbo:

9-28-2011 - Adam Grumbo Films- Watch an interview I did about my car with Adam Grumbo. I may or may not have been drinking heavily the night before ;-)

Then watch the awesome spoof someone made:

6-6-2009 - I had some time this weekend so I thought I would pull the tranny and do the swap. As I am removing the shifter cables, one of them makes a Ka-Whack sound as I pull it off the quadrant box.
WTF was that?
I grab the cable and pull on it and it is completely siezed.
So, I grab the shift arms and they shift into all of the gears with no problems!
Holy crap, it was a siezed cable under tension, causing the gears to be stuck.....I pulled the cables out.
Here is the cable and you can see why it was siezed (I cut it open to see what the problem was)
Bent to show the solid core broken.
Went to the junkyard and pulled another set from a 93 Storm, swapped them into mine and averything runs great again!
4-30-2009 - Went to the junkyard and grabbed another Base Storm tranny for parts...
4-15-2009 - Well, looks like this tranny lasted a month...
I shifted into second, gunned it, then bang, no gears at all...So, I coasted to a stop on the side of the road, popped the hood to make sure the shift box/cables were ok, and all looked good.

I got back in the car and was messing around with the shifter, then shifted into what I thought was 1st, it made a grinding noise, then popped into 1st.

I drove ~2 miles back home in first. Luckily, it was late, so not a lot of cars were out.
As a guess, it feels like the shifter fork broke or something is jamming it from moving.

Time to find another tranny. I was talking to a friend that used to build up Berettas and he was telling me those 5 speed trannys are rock solid, so I am gonna look into one of those too.
I am also looking for a GSi auto tranny, we'll see what comes up first and I'll go in that direction
2-26-2009 - Had some time this weekend to get the engine back in...Pict. Also added a 255lph fuel pump. Took about 30 minutes to install when you cut a hole in the back seat.
12-11-2008 - Had knee surgery, most pain I have ever had to go through...Pict
11-2-2008 - Had some time, so I pulled the engine. I crashed on a motorcycle a couple weeks before, so haven't been able to move around as much.
I did disassemble and pull the bad rod and replace it, then reassembled the engine. Between Snow falling and upcoming knee surgery, it is going to be a wuile before I get anything done. If you were wondering: severed ACL, 2 miniscus tears, fractured tibia head, bruised Fibia...and that was all in one leg...
9-21-2008 - I reassembled the tranny and decided to pull the oilpan on the engine. I found some small metal chunks in the oil pickup and in the bottom of the pan. "Oh crap" comes to mind...
So, looking around, I see that the bottom of piston #2 has a slight scrape on it. WTF? How does the bottom of a piston get a scrape in it? Then I saw the rod...it had a pretty good bend in it. I figured that the day I went to the carshow and it was raining hard, water was slowly accumulating in the intercooler. then when I went around a corner, the inertia caused a wave of water to rush up into the engine, hydrolocking and bending a rod.
Time to pull the engine! :-)
8-30-2008 - I pulled the tranny fully expecting the clutch to fall out in pieces....nothing. In fact, it looks pretty good considering the launches it has been through.
I started up the engine and ran it with just the flywheel and it looks good too:

(You'll hear a slight thumping sound. that might be a hint down below)
so I was then thinking that it is the tranny, so I disassembled it.
8-16-2008 - Went to a car show up in Longmont, CO. It was pouring rain like mad the whole way there. Once the show was over, I was pulling out of the parking lot and BANG! The engine stops and I coast to the side of the road. I thought I threw a rod or something wierd, so I got out of the car and looked under the engine. I didn't see any fluids, so I checked the oil and the coolant--both were ok. So I start the car up and the clutch pedal is vibrating like crazy. WTF? The only thing I could think of was that the clutch/flywheel/pressure plate assembly broke. I was able to drive all the way home (105 miles) ok, but there was something seriously wrong... My car at the show
8-15-2008 - I finally decided that I needed to remove the old spoiler brackets off the rear hatch. So I did some bodywork and added the 1990-91 GSi spoiler on in it's place.
7-1-2008 - I was running a 50/50 split of E85 and 91 Octane and tuned the Haltech as such. Well, On the last fillup, I got a really bad batch of 91 Octane gas. The engine would boost ok until I got to ~14psi. As soon as I hit that level, there was major detonation/hesitation. To try to resolve this, I ran the gas down to about 1/4 tank, then filled up again with E85. That made things better, but there was still intermittant hesitation/detonation, so I ran the tank down again to almost empty (I barely made it to the gas station), then filled up the tank with 100% E85. The car runs smoothly now all the way up to ~18psi without issue, the down side is that I have to re-tune everything again as it now shows that I am running very lean under no load. This has caused some starting issues in the morning because of the cold and lean issues on the highway just cruising with no load. I just need to spend more time tuning.
5-7-2008 - Installed a Coolant catch can. Bottom photo.
4-30-2008 - Well I re-attached the PCV to the intake plenum and attached a right angle pipe to the turbo oil drain to make the drain better without pooling oil.
Problem solved...no more smoke.
4-26-2008 - Installed an Oil catch can. It is in the same location of the old charcoal canister. I decided to go around the block since I haven't driven her in a week. I stopped at the stop sign, then this massive smoke cloud engulfed the car from the rear. I got home and there is oil almost pouring out of the turbine housing and smoking. Here is a video.
4-20-2008 - I got the tranny installed. Everything is working great, smooth shifts, engine purrs...YAY!.
4-12-2008 - I pulled the tranny from my car and disassembled it to remove the Quaife LSD. I found out why 3rd gear would grind and wouldn't go into 4th gear. The Blocker ring was jammed a bit crooked. I was able to fix it easily with a screwdriver, but it looks like there is a lot of wear on it now.
I also disassembled my original SOHC tranny to see what was wrong with it and why it wouldn'y go into 3rd gear and sometimes not go into 4th gear. I found that the brass blocker ring had snapped in 3 places. I also found that the shift fork was missing the plastic guides and that one side had broken off.
4-5-2008 - Went to the Junkyard and pulled the Isuzu Stylus Tranny. It has a much taller final drive than the GSi tranny has, so top speed should be nice again. The GSi Tranny was nice, but I sure did have a lot of traction issues.
4-3-2008 - I figured out why it felt like I was running on 3 cylinders and having a hard time getting a good, consistant tune: The injector plug retainer pin was missing and the plug popped up just enough to make intermittant contact. I ended up zip-tying the plugs to the injectors to make sure that doesn't happen again.
The bad news.....yea, you knew it was coming.
I took off from a dead stop, went into second and was holding on for dear life, popped it into third started taking off and BANG.....
The tranny spit the shifter out of third and started grinding, so I go to pop it back into 3rd, and it pops right back out and starts to grind. I go into 4th and nothing, it won't even go in. 5th gear works fine though!
So, now I have 1st, 2nd, 5th, and reverse.... I am going to go to the junkyard this weekend and hopefully the Stylus S is still there so I can grab the tranny.
3-20-2008 - Turned the boost down to ~12psi. The engine is running a little better, but detonation is an issue. I have been tuning the Haltech map daily, smoothing out many of the rough spots. I am going to go fill up with half a tank of E85 and see how it goes.
3-15-2008 - Turned up the boost! Messing around with the boost controller, the first run had me running ~22-25psi. Holy cow, that was fast. I turned it down to ~18psi so I could continue to tune it with the Haltech. The engine is still running extremely rough.
3-8-2008 - Because of time constraints, I decided to put the 'Stormylus' bumper project on hold, and hacked up my old Base Storm bumper in the mean time. It came out pretty good, but I think I need a lower lip to finish it off. Pict 1 Pict 2 Pict 3
2-23-2008 - Haltech installed, Wideband installed, Map loaded----WOW....she is a monster. I am only running 7psi and pig rich at the moment, but this is the feeling I felt at 14psi with the TBird turbo. I sure missed driving her, but now I am motivated to finish everything up, starting with the bumper.
9-9-2007 - Installed the Haltech E6GMx-still need to load a map file. Also got the AEM Wideband gauge installed in the Gauge cluster. Still need to weld on the sensor bung.
9-3-2007 - Modified the Civic radiator so that the lower return pipe is now on the side. Got it all installed and plumbed up. Note the tiny civic radiator hoses compared to the Storm hoses. The Civic's are small enough to fit inside of the Storm hoses.
5-17-2007 - Finished plumbing up the intercooler pipes.. I also added a custom Cold Air Intake to the turbo. Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3. In Picture 3, you can see I am still using the 1st Gen DSM BOV--Why change it if it works great?
5-01-2007 - Welded up an Stainless Steel downpipe..
12-01-2006 - Converted my Gauge cluster to JDM, y0!.
6-01-2006 - Mounted the FMIC .
5-20-2006 - Hacked up the bumper to mold in the Stylus bumper. Worked on the custom turbo manifold and polished it up.
4-20-2006 - Pulled the old turbo and front bumper off of the car.
10-4-2005 - Got a Garrett T3/T4 turbo and had it rebuilt
8-4-2005 - Bought a Bar and Plate design FMIC. I put a CD on the front for comparison.
6-11/12-2005 - Competed in the Mopar Mountain Madness NHRA Sport Compact Nationals in Morrison, CO this weekend. I had major problems with the Compressor side oil seal blowing out on the turbo. My best run was a 15.822 @ 98.11 MPH. I did get a free dyno pull out of the whole thing though. 193.4hp @10psi boost.
5-5-2005 - YES! I finally got some tires for my 17" Eagle alloys. 215/40ZR17 - They are really wide, but since my wheels had an offset of 38mm, there is about 3/4" clearance between the rubber and the strut. - Pict 2
4-20-2005 - Broke another axle - Pict 2
3-12-2005 - Drove up to Castle Rock to meet another Turbo Storm owner, on the way up, I started getting random check engine lights, and my air/fuel gauge was showing 2 bars lower towards the lean side. I was pretty much driving in limp mode too as if I tried to boost a little, the engine would sputter. Once in Castle Rock, Robbie and I pulled the codes: 13, 31, and 34. Looks like there is a loose wire somewhere. I was gonna trace it out when I got home, but the snow was falling like mad.
2-6-2005 - Driving home on Friday, about 100ft away from the driveway, the engine starts to make all sorts of noise and dies! WTF?!?!
I woke up the next morning and discovered that the timing belt tensioner bolt had come lose so the belt was flapping in the wind. Took about 2 hours to disassemble that side of the engine to get it all tightenned up again. I am glad that the timing didn't jump a tooth or two!
2-19/20/21-2005 - Pulled the engine/tranny and installed the GSi Tranny with the Quaife LSD inside. I also installed the I-Mark RS cams and Hydro lifters. I took my time on this install as I didn't want to rush anything and have to do it all over again. Good thing I had 3 days to do it in. Everything went pretty much as planned. I did have a problem with the Shifter assembly and getting it adjusted properly. I ended up pulling out my short shifter andreinstalling a stock shifter until I figure out what is going on.
Took it out for a test drive and everything feels good, but I am not so sure about the GSi gearing yet. It doesn't have that kick in the pants feeling like the base tranny did. Oh well, I'll run with it this year and see how it does.
Driving around with the LSD feels great! I am no longer fighting to stay in a high speed turn. The car is no very aggressive and tears into the turns with no problems at all. I can also do some pretty hard launches now, and one wheel burnouts are a thing of the past!
Oh yea, I also had a chance to install my cross drilled/slotted rotors and EBC Green Stuff brake pads up front. Those pads are mean!
1-15-2005 - Took my GSi Tranny and Quaife LSD up to Brandon's house. Got everything installed and everything looks good!
12-26-2004 - well, I jacked up the car to see what the problem was. Discovered a hole the size of Kansas in the lower radiator hose...Looks like the hose fractured and blew apart.
I replaced it with a flex pipe this time--the one with the steel spring inside of it. Much better now as I made it bend away from the exhaust downpipe.
The thing that kinda sucks--my pretty engine bay now looks like a dirty hooker the day after the Superbowl...
Oh well, I guess it could of been a lot worse.
12-23-2004 - Well, I am driving home, my engine bay temp says 2 degrees F, I have no heat in the car at all...but the engine temp is where it is supposed to be.
Half way home on the highway, my engine bay temp shoots up to the red mark, then I look in my rear view mirror......I am venting coolant, causing a 'James Bond smokescreen' behind me. The engine temp falls back down to the normal area in 10 seconds. Oh crap comes to mind.... After about 5 minutes of venting a huge steam plume, the are no cars behind me. I think I caused a huge traffic jam, and I mean huge as I didn't have one car on my tail the rest of the way home (17 miles). The thing that is spooking me is that just before I got home, the temp gauge shot back up to the red mark and the engine would barely idle, and my engine bay temp was only at 20F. I sure hope I didn't warp the head. I still had full power the whole time too, so I don't think it was a head gasket--I hope. It was too cold to check it out, so I'll see what happened in the morning.
What I think happened was that my coolant froze and stopped up everything, prolly bust a pipe or hose clamp....Damn it is cold!
12-9-2004 - Got my car back from Abra Autobody and Glass, they did a real good job of fixing the bumper. The bumper looks brand new now!
Since my muffler was smashed, I took the opportunity to upgrade the exhaust cat-back with aluminized 2.5" pipe. I had been meaning to replace the 1 7/8" cat-back earlier, but never got around to it. The turbo spools up so much faster now. The muffler is a 'Magnaflow XL Performance' series. Looks cool, and is very silent compared to my old muffler. The guys over at Muffler Masters here in Colorado Springs did this nice work--all mandril bends and anti-corrosion sealer. Magnaflow and 2.5" cat-back
11-17-2004 - I am driving home from work around 5:15pm on the highway. Driving on the highway sucks because every slow moron thinks that they have to get into the Left lane(fast lane) to make sure that everybody else is as slow as they are. If someone pulls off the road or if a Police Officer pulls someone over, the whole world comes to a stop while the freakin' rubber-neckers with no life have to stare.
Well, back to what I am talking about--Traffic slows down, then stops. I come to a stop, the Ford Aerostar befind me stops too. The Ford Explorer behind him doesn't and hits the van full force, slamming the van into me. Not one second later, a Honda Prelude slams into the Explorer, slamming into the van, then again into me. I was like "MAN, that was a hard hit, I better go check to make sure everybody is ok." I pull off the highway and everybody follows.
I get out and look at the back of the Storm: Scratched up paint with white paint from the van is on the bumper, the licence plate and frame are all bent under, my exhaust muffler tip is no longer round but oval, and it looks like my GTS tail light cover is cracked. It sure felt and sounded worse. I walk back to see if everybody else is ok, then I see the back end of the van totally smashed in, the front of the Explorer is ok, the honda Prelude is completely totalled in the front. Their engine is sparking, antifreeze is spraying out all over the place.
Police, Fire, Ambulances, Oh MY! all over the place. To top it off, traffic is now completely stopped--both sides of the highway (Freakin' look-e-loooose! DIE!). Within 30 minutes, my cellphone is ringing off the hook, everybody asking if I am ok. "How did you find out so quickly?" I guess everybody I know drove by that night and called someone or called me directly. It is nice to have a car everybody recognizes. Mental Note: Don't use Storm as a Getaway car....J/K!
10-10-2004 - My transmission is toast...well, close to it. 1st and 2nd gear work great. 3rd gear is nothing but grinding metal that scares my kids, 4th grinds when it goes in, but at least I can still use it-for now as those are the same symptoms that 3rd showed before it took a dump. 5th is fine, but reverse is a crap-shoot as to wheather it will grind, pop out, or not engage at all. If I pop the shifter and clutch a couple times, then it works fine. I contacted the Lotus Elan guy out in the UK who put together the Quaife LSD group buy to see what the status was... Apparently he was waiting on 1-2 people to get their act together and follow some simple directions on getting payment sent. He said that they would be shipped out very soon. Hopefully, it will arrive before my tranny is completely worthless. I picked up a 1991 GSi Tranny from the Pick-n-Pull up in Denver. It has a higher gear ratio (better for racin'). The Base Storm tranny looks good on paper for the 1/4 mile times, so I'll be really interested on how the GSi tranny does with the Quaife LSD installed, which should be a fun project.
9-21-2004 - On the way to work, I was in a hurry to get to work, and a 80s style 5.0 Mustang is reving at me at the light. I give a little rev back and it is on. The light turns green and we both screech tires on the concrete. He is about 3-4ft in front, then I shift into second, start to pass him then KA-POW... I still had engine power, but none of it was being transfered to the wheels. At that point, I knew I had snapped an axle - Pict2
7-16/17-2004 - VEGAS! Drove to Vegas for the NHRA Sport Compact Nationals. The drive down was fun, but the drag racing sucked big time. On Friday, I only got 2 runs in, and both times, I hit fuel cut. I kept turning down the boost but still no luck. Hitting 15+psi was really easy to do at the lower altitude. On Saturday, the scheduling at the track was the worse I have ever seen. Just to get tuned, I decided to take the car out for a little run on the strip outside the park. I turned down the boost to 8-10psi and hit the nitrous--everything ran fine--no fuel cut. The next thing I know, my 4th gear is gone, I just could not shift into 4th for anything. So, on the way to the staging lanes, I slam it into 4th, hear a massive grinding sound and poof, I have 4th gear again--wierd.
The track had a bunch of Domestic top fuel drag racing going on, which pushed us 'little' ET bracket racers back 3 hours off schedule before our first run to figure out our dial in. OK, no offense to the domestic crowd, but this is "SPORT COMPACT NATIONALS". On the only run I get, I grind 3rd gear bad, so I figure that I'll prolly do that again on my other run. So, I dial in at 16.62... Then, the track made us wait another hour+ before we started the actual competition. Everything changes in that amount of time--needles to say, I broke out on my first run...I didn't grind any gears(wierd) and realized that I was going way too fast, so when I shift into 4th, I just coast...then slam on the breaks at the end. 16.1 @ 92mph. . .DAMN! Next time, If I am gonna break out, I am gonna just go for it. . .Summit Sport Compact Nationals in Vegas gets the big Thumbs down! Why? I drive 1000 miles for 4 runs in 2 days. . .Good thing the company I met up with was worth it. Camp Isuzu
7-14-2004 - Reinstalled all of the nitrous for the Vegas trip. I just have the 40 shot running--feels good!
6-6-2004 - Fixed the Tach issue, I just unplugged/plugged the engine harness connectors and that fixed it! haha. Made a manual boost controller, the ball/spring type. Got it installed and turned up the boost to 10psi. Feels real good. I am still having a problem with the secondaries not opening ~3500-4000rpm. The turbo spools up real quick, but after 4000rpm, the power starts to flatline. If I disconnect the vacuum hose from the secondaries and leave them wide open, I have no low end power, but at ~4500rpm, the engine comes alive and you get pressed into the seat hard. Real good feeling :-)
5-22-2004 - Got the oil lines replaced, no leaks! NOW, my Tach gauge is all over the place. At Idle, the RPMs are at zero. When I am accelerating, the tach needle is bouncing 2-3K. So time to check out the wiring. . .
5-14-2004 - Well, after driving to work on Friday, I noticed that my lifters were chattering a little louder than usual. When I got back home, my oil pressure started to drop quick. When I pulled into the driveway, it was down to ~20psi. I get out, pop the hood and look under the car. . . .Oil is just pouring out of the flex lines that feed the oil filter.
So, I pulled the one off that was leaking like mad and cut the flex hose off, flared the ends of the fittings and put on a piece of high pressure hose. . .
That lasted a whole 30 seconds...
I called Merlin @ St. Charles Isuzu and got a set of replacements. $110 shipped for both hoses...Ouch. Should be here by Thursday/Friday.
I am glad it happenned now instead of on the way down to Vegas. . .
4-28-2004 - Got the engine running smoothly. . .the CAS was loose, causing the timing to jump around. At one point, the timing was at 20 degrees BTDC. Went drag racing up at Bandimere for the first time. Loads of fun and lots of cool people to chat with.

Here are my stats:
1st Run
Temp: 76F
R/T: .718 (What does a green light mean?)
60': 2.659
330: 7.195 (should I shift?)
1/8: 11.133 (grind, grind, grind)
MPH: 58.89
1000: 14.918
1/4: 18.416
MPH: 59.67

Jammed Gear--would not go into 3rd half way down the track, so I just coasted.

2nd Run
Temp: 73F
R/T: .343
60': 2.301
330: 6.495
1/8: 9.986
MPH: 71.58
1000: 12.941
1/4: 15.491
MPH: 88.16

Was a good run, no grinding, don't remember much about the start.

3rd Run
Temp: 73F
R/T: .240
60': 2.588
330: 7.100
1/8: 11.036
MPH: 61.14
1000: 14.334
1/4: 16.973
MPH: 84.90

Grinding into 3rd gear again

4th Run
Temp: 69F
R/T: .215
60': 2.620
330: 7.059
1/8: 10.509
MPH: 73.31
1000: 13.403
1/4: 15.882
MPH: 91.84

This was a good run, except I was squeeling the tires in 1st bad.

5th Run
Temp: 65F
R/T: .155 (I was ready that time!)
60': 2.436
330: 6.787
1/8: 10.482
MPH: 68.06
1000: 13.499
1/4: 16.054
MPH: 88.02

Grind 3rd gear. . .again

Car Weight W/ Driver: 2562 lbs (I was 182 lbs)
Running with Stock boost: ~7psi

Things I gotta figure out: 3 gear. . .sometimes it goes in smoothly, others I have to try 1-2 times. I think it is something with the shifter linkages that need to be adjusted. 3rd and 5th have this issue.

Traction....Street tires suck...There is a bunch of melted rubber balls all over my wheel wells. I was launching at 3-4000RPM. Tires would squeel most of the way through 1st

Rev Limiter: I hit the rev limit in 1st and second on a couple of the runs. The Tach seems to be off by 200-500 RPMs. I am thinking a shift light would be a good investment as the stock gauge fluctuates quite a bit.

With good drag tires, I could easily be in the 14's with this current setup.

Gotta thank Robbie for helping me out in the Pits--checked my plugs and regapped as needed, etc. . .


3-24-2004 - Finished up all of the small projects and started up the engine for the first time!---barely. the engine barely idled, would not rev past 2200rpm and was running pig rich. So I swapped out the 460cc injectors and went back to the 322cc stock injectors. The engine came to life. . .a little rough around the idle point, but above that, she purrs like a kitten.
I took it out for a couple 2nd gear pulls to seat the rings, the turbo spools up fast and the BOV is extremely loud!
New issues: the BOV smacked the radiator overflow nipple and snapped it right off, causing antifreeze to leak all over the place. Idle is still a little rough. Rotors need to be turned as they are grinding real bad.
3-20, 21-2004 - Spent all weekend rewiring the engine bay and inside gauge cluster, ECM. Got the Intercooler/BOV/Silicone Hoses installed.
3-13-2004 - Spent all day preping the new engine for installation. About 8 hours later, after cleaning up the transmission, installing new clutch & Flywheel, etc, got it Installed.
3-12-2004 - Got off work, Pressure washed the engine. ~4 hours later, a friend(Doug!) and I had the engine removed.
3-3-2004 - Had some fun making marketing merchandise for the site. Everything is at cost! Check it out: RTR Performance Gear!
2-28-2004 - Blew another rear Hub going around a corner this week. "POP--Sqeeeeech" and the rear end felt like it was mushy, all this at 65mph. So today I went to the junkyard and got another set of hubs and some other goodies. Got home and swapped out the base rear crossmember and my blown struts with the KYB GR2 struts
I also had one of my rear hatch struts blow out-got hydraulic fluid everywhere. While at the junkyard, I was was pillaging a 92 GSi when I noticed that the rear hatch struts were thicker. So I removed them and compared them to a base storm's struts. They were a lot thicker. I guess they have them bigger on the GSi for the rear hatch wiper assembly/spoiler. I got them installed on my hatch and WOW, so much better now. They hold the hatch up with no worries of it slamming down giving me even more brain damage.
2-11-2004 - Was bored, so I added my car to www.CarDomain.com. Check it out: Robie's 'Colorado Storm'
2-7-2004 - Almost done assembling the engine. need to do the Vacuum hoses and go get some accessory belts.
1-17-2004 - Finished ceramic coating the exhaust manifold and turbo downpipe. Took forever the sandblast the parts, and then grind off the sharp points. (I like smooth parts)
1-4-2004 - Finished rebuilding the Tbird Turbo. I replaced all of the internals--total cost was ~$60. I also ceramic coated the turbine housing, turbine shield, turbine blades, and the Center cartridge while I had it all apart.
12-29-2003 - Started reassembling the RS engine
12-13-2003 - Finished making the phenolic intake manifold and ThrottleBody spacer gaskets. A total pain in the ass--melted 2 scroll saw blades and glass-epoxy dust everywhere from sanding. I got the idea from an AutoSpeed article a while back, and thought I would give it a go. I plan on lightly roughing up the surfaces and coating them with a ceramic compound for added thermal insulation.
11-03-2003 - Started porting the head on the Intake side, port-matching based on the Intake gasket. It takes about 30-45 minuted to port each hole. Again, I opened up each of the holes about 2mm x 2mm wider than stock. On the secondary intake runners, they were really constricted, I ended up opening them up ~5mm to match the port on the head.
10-31-2003 - Started porting the head on the exhaust side, port-matching based on the exhaust gasket. It is amazing how much material you can remove once you get going. I opened up each of the holes about 2mm x 2mm wider than stock.
10-25-2003 - Picked up the engine from NAPA, total cost for everything was $636. . .Ouch. $525 was labor alone, the rest were part costs. I noticed that they forgot to get a waterpump. . .gotta order one now. I also painted the engine block YELLOW with ceramic paint. . .looks like it is made out of plastic now. . .
10-15-2003 - Yet another call from NAPA, the main bearings and rod bearings that came in from Topline were not the right ones. They were missing the oil squirter hole. So, I called St. Charles Isuzu--they were all out. Called just about every Lotus service center out there and they were all out too. "Oh Crap" comes to mind. Found an online parts place claiming they had the right ones. I ordered them. . .5 days later they come in. These are the wrong ones-of course! Wrong size, no oil squirter hole, hell, the PN on the side of the box is even wrong. "MORONS!" came to mind. . .So, I go over to NAPA and pickup the TopLine main bearings and proceed to void the warranty on them ::Evil Grin::. I took them to my drill press and drilled the holes for the oil squirters, radiused the holes, deburred and polished them up. . .
9-10-2003 - Got my Clutch Specialties Stage3 Clutch and 3 Pod Full pillar Gaugepod in from StormStylz.
9-5-2003 - NAPA Machine shop called, they can't find the right Pin Bushings. . .So, I ordered 4 from St. Charles Isuzu-$21.95
8-27-2003 - Got my forged pistons back from Ross Racing Pistons! they are pretty. . .Took them down to NAPA Machine shop and was told that it would take 2 weeks as they have gotten backlogged BIG TIME! On the flip side, the guy did show me a project he was working on, a 454 bored out to 492, with Forged pistons. Was for a twin turbo project. . .SPOOKY!
8-17-2003 - Changed the oil/Filter. Installed a Spike© 'Circle Earth' Grounding kit. The wires are 4 gauge, and terminate to the negative terminal on the battery. Unfortunately, the battery terminator is held together with an aluminum screw-which I quickly snaped off tightening it. So, I took my drill and made a hole all the way through and replaced it with a nice steel bolt.
8-14-2003 - Signed up at Storm.Addicts and got my member page up. Nice Design!
8-9-2003. Went to the Denver/Littleton Storm/Isuzu Meet. Was a lot of fun, and finally got to put faces to screen names.
    People in attendance:
  • Robie - '91 Storm Base - Colorado Springs, CO
  • Brandon - '92 Storm RS AWD - Littleton, CO
  • Robbie - '90 Storm GSi - Longmont, CO
  • Carlos & Brandon - '91 Isuzu Stylus - Widefield, CO
  • Justin - '91 Storm GSi - Ft. Collins, CO
  • Matt - '92 Storm Base - Colorado Springs, CO
  • Justin - Storm Base - Colorado Springs, CO

8-5-2003. George@Ross called with the quote. $596.28+shipping. What did I get?
  • 9.35:1CR flat top with valve reliefs
  • .030" Overbore
  • Ross Racing Molly rings
  • 4340 Chrome Moly Tapered Pins
  • Reinforced pin bridge($27 extra)
  • Turnaround time in 2 weeks.

7-21-2003. Sent a piston off to ROSS Racing pistons. Requesting a .030" overbore and a 9.0-9.1:1 Compression Ratio--Whichever one gives the piston a flat top.
7-2003. Took head and block to the NAPA Machine shop here in town. Got a call-After honing the cylinder walls, they need to be bored out .020 - .030 as there is some serious rust etching on 2 of the walls. Crap! This means that I need overbore pistons.
Called St. Charles Isuzu-None in Stock. Called around to get prices on Custom forged Pistons: I am thinking that I will be going with ROSS Pistons--the guy was quick to answer my questions and didn't need every measurement that is out there.
6-2003. Installed Short-Shifter. Took about 3 days to get used to, but it is so much better now. There is no slop in the shifter-very solid feel to it now. The throw is reduced about 25-30% and makes for quick shifting.
6-2003. Pulled RS engine and completely disassembled at Rich's house. He has all of the cool air tools. I met Matt that day too, he helps tear engine apart.
Head looks like it has never had the valves adjusted. Completely full of rust/silt/carbon buildup. The engine block apears to be in real good shape.
5-2003. Installed Power Windows into the Storm, and installed the StormStylz door inserts. Very pretty! Installed prototype Cold Air Intake- I didn't notice a difference from the Short-Ram intake at first, but now when the car gets warm, the performance now stays the same as whereas before, the performance would drop off as the engine got warmer.
3-2003. Went up to Colorado Auto & Parts in Denver. got a set of rear disk brakes off of an Impulse XS. Spent the weekend cleaning them up and got them installed--Very cool!
2-2003. Re-installed fuel injectors. RS comes back to life! Checked cylinder pressure-~71psi each. Manual says that is should be around 173psi. Yucko!
10-2002. RS fuel pump dead, dropped the gas tank-holy cow. The tank is full of dirt/silt. The fuel pump is caked and frozen solid. replaced the pump, fuel filter-still no go. Pulled out the fuel injectors and soaked them in injector cleaning.
5-2002. Found a guy selling an Impulse RS out in Illinois. $500 + $263 for a UHaul trailer. ouch. Got it home and started reassembling it and making a list of what I needed to get it running again. Turbo for sure as it is in pieces. . .
4-2002. Discovered Isuzone.net Lots of people doing the turbo thing--Yowza!
3-2002. Discovered Stormowners.com Lots of people doing the same thing I am --WhooHoo!
2-2002 - Installed Short-Ram style intake.
8-2001. got the windows tinted to the maximum allowed by law. . .I like it, wish it was a little darker, but that's ok.
2-2001. I was talked into buying a Nitrous Oxide kit for my car-don't ask. . . So, I started piecing parts together and taa-daa. . .a 55hp boost. This is the funnest thing anybody can do to their car. It feels like someone rearends you when you hit the button.
12-2000. I went to Autozone to pick up some new brake pads/shoes and started talking to a guy there that told me that I could swap on a GSi throttlebody and that would help increase the performance a little. So I started searching around and found a guy that had one down in Florida. $50 shipped and 10-20 minutes of porting and it was installed. The same guy told me about the Isuzu Impulse RS turbo engine that "bolts right in", so I started to look for one at the junk yards. Almost nobody had even heard of it. The search goes on...
7-30-2000. Entered a SOLO II race with the SCCA. It was located down at the World Arena parking lot. The car is still bone stock. About the only thing I did was make sure I had less than 1/8th of a tank of gas and the tires were inflated to 45psi. I was entered into the HSR class with #21. I asked the guy at the signup booth what the Base Storm should be running on this track. He replied; "mid 80s". So, I made it my goal to at least get into the 70s. Runs are as follows:
  • 91.400dnf - First run, I was the 2nd car of the day to run on the track. I was completely nervous and missed many shifts. The last turn, I spin out and stall the car. (flags go up) DOH! I start thinking to myself "how in the world am I supposed to get to the mid 80s when I can't even keep the car running?"
  • 84.37 - Second run was much better as I was starting to anticipate the apex. I am starting to have fun, but I am shifting way too early and dropping my RPMs down too low. But hey! I am in the mid 80's!!!
  • 81.867 - Third run is way cool now, and I am making the old tires screech around every turn. I hit the apex fairly well and started to focus on keeping the RPMs up. The guy that was parked next to me in the lineup was convinced that I had a GSi, so I poped the hood and showed him the dirtiest SOHC we had both ever seen.(Mental note-must clean with pressure washer)
  • 79.643 - Fourth run is the best as I was putting it all together now. High RPMs, Apex, and the track is finally familar.
After the day was over, I went and asked what my