YouTuber’s S2000 Engine Woes Build A Path to Madness

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Everything that could go wrong with YouTuber’s S2000 time attack car does, and all just before the big dance in Texas.

Racing is a hard business. Not just on the driver, but on the car, as well. Something breaks or becomes worn-out, it must be replaced. The engine isn’t running right, whip out the laptop to tune it back into shape. Add in time constraints and long distances between events, and it’s no wonder more competitors haven’t gone insane.

Alas, for Jackie Ding and his time attack S2000, the perfect storm of engine woes build a path to madness on the eve of Super Battle Week at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

“So, 200-something miles away, Mikey is currently using some alien software, controlling my computer,” said Ding. “The situation is the car kinda starts, but it doesn’t idle well. Maybe something with fuel?”

Ding had been working on his S2000 at TFWorks’ HQ since noon when the engine issues began, resulting in this, the first of many attempts to dispel those demons to come. Unfortunately, the supercharger then spits oil due to the lack of an oil return line, though that is later fixed. The remote tuning comes together, too, just in time for a four-hour drive to Chicago for a dyno run before a 17-hour drive down to Austin.

“After TF installed our new Reinharte 2 Ways and dialed in the set up, we hit the dyno,” Ding said. “We pulled it together by 3 a.m., I made it to Chicago by 10 [a.m.], and it’s after a snowstorm on winter tires.”

While the S2000 sounded good, the joy would be short-lived when five minutes into the dyno session, smoke appeared from the engine, which turned out to be coolant. To add insult to injury, the coolant leak was joined by a big fuel rail leak, rendering the S2000 inoperable and stuck on a flatbed back to TFWorks.

TFWorks S2000

“Reason for coolant leak: upper rad hose clamp was not secured properly,” said Ding. “Dan discovered multiple fuel leaks in the rail, a few loose fittings, and so on.”

The rail disassembled, TFWorks replaces a fuel line and a fitting, then puts it all back on. But Ding isn’t out of the woods yet.

TFWorks S2000

“[You’re about to] join me on what is about to be the dumbest idea ever,” said Ding, “but I don’t give a crap… [we’re] making Super Lap no matter what.”

Ding explains in the caption that the supercharger failure was due to rear-seal damage from pressure via engine oil. However, that’s nothing compared to having the S2000 on the ground while the trailer can’t be used because it’s locked, and its owner forgot to give Ding the key. All this is resolved with the help of an angle grinder, then a reverse drive up the icy trailer before going to work on the engine some more.

TFWorks S2000

“The situation is, whatever’s inside that supercharger is [trashed],” said Ding. “We gotta take [the air box] off, [the air filter pipe], change out the injectors in the fuel rail, put on the K&N filter, and then basically leave the supercharger [and] everything else on [the engine], and just race it like that… [and] also cut the supercharger drive belt. Wish me luck.”

Turns out Ding was able to remove the supercharger, allowing him to later use the OEM air intake. However, the injectors aren’t fitting into the fuel rail like they should, but Ding decides to just head south to Texas to deal with it there.

TFWorks S2000

“I think we figured out why the injector wouldn’t go in,” said Ding. “Here’s the OEM one. It has this cap-thingy you’re looking at here. This thing isn’t supposed to come off. The problem is, the aftermarket one didn’t come with one; at least, when it came off the car, it didn’t have one.”

With the help of his new friend in Houston, Ding was able to recover the O-ring and the cap from the aftermarket injector, allowing him to install the OEM unit in its place. With all of the madness handled, the S2000 comes to life at last, ready for the adventure to come in Austin.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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