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Thread: Noble M12 GTO 3R, NUS0051

  1. #1
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    Default Noble M12 GTO 3R, NUS0051

    Greetings fellow Noble enthusiasts! Iíve been meaning to post more often about my experiences caring for a Noble and am just now finding the available time. As there are so few of these cars, each one has a very unique story to tell. This thread shall serve as an online documentation of all the issues and solutions Iíve come up with since taking ownership.

    Introduction
    I purchased the M12 GTO 3R from Brav in March of 2013 after selling my Lotus Exige S240. The Lotus was great but left me wanting more power and something rarer while still adhering to the ďperformance through light weightĒ philosophy. The car was a 2004 by build but 2005 by first registration in Florida.

    Bravís car was exactly what I was looking for, it was well maintained, it was metallic black, and it had some performance upgrades done already: methanol injection, M400 turbos, significant heat shielding and lighter wheels in addition to the stock ones. But once I got to driving it around I started noticing there were some things that needed done which Iíll detail in following posts. Feel free to offer comments or suggestions to anything I post, pics will come once I have more time! Enjoy and thanks for reading!

  2. #2

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    Looks like you're pretty close to me (I'm in Seattle), Don (Bellevue), and most recently Kaylan (Gig Harbor). We should all try and organize a meet up sometime for us North Westerners!

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    Issue 1 – Cold Starts (MAR2013)
    The car consistently did not like to idle on cold-starts. It would turn-over, hit about 1000 rpm for a second, then die. Rinse, repeat. I had to hold my foot on the throttle at around 1300 RPM until it warmed up enough to idle on its own before driving off, usually about a minute.

    Issue 2 – High RPM misfire/ inconsistent boost (MAR2013)
    A couple weeks after taking delivery I was cruising around with my buddy from work one day, we were scooting through the mountains and I felt like I was missing power. Upon reaching the bottom and a highway to access the next mountain road, I floored it and found I had no boost. It would rev all the way to 6500 without shoving me back into the seat like it should. I was sickened. Sometimes it would sound almost like a rev-limiter was being reached but way too early, around 4500 RPM. Not knowing what was going on I babied the car until I could get it to the shop the next day. I also suspected the ECU tune wasn’t any good (after running through Skyline Blvd. my AFRs dropped to around 10.5 from between 12 and 14 where they were before). I also felt as though the engine was straining at high RPM and had a sneaking suspicion there was valve float.

    Solution -
    I took the car to Portland Speed Industries for diagnosis and fixing. They are well known for their conservative approach to tuning and gave me a well thought out plan for fixing the car. The initial ECU we decided on to replace the MBE unit was an AEM but had to be shipped back and forth for months because it wasn’t interfacing correctly with my car. After several months on PSIs dime developing solutions to fix AEMs ECU, Jason at PSI scrapped the AEM and substituted a MOTEC M84, which had been working flawlessly when they were isolating issues, for no additional charge. It worked perfectly. They also found some sensors were giving electrical feedback during the tuning process and were incorrectly wired, they traced wires all over the car and fixed little things here and there like making sure grounds to the chassis didn’t have paint between them for an optimal connection.

    Once completed around late December 2013, the car started perfectly from idle and never had a boost issue again. My earlier suspicion of valve float was confirmed and I never ran the car over 6200 RPMs to avoid damage before I could get it back in the shop to be fixed.

    Issue 3 – Valve Float (MAR2013)
    In order to combat valve float and get the boost levels to where I envisioned them before, we’re replacing the springs with stronger beehive springs and titanium retainers (as of now, APR2014).

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    That would be great! I don't know if you attend the Redmond Town Center Cars & Coffee but I'm been meaning to head up there when the weather gets a bit better and look around, maybe we could meet there sometime?

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    Issue 4 – Injectors/Fuel pumps running at top end of duty cycle. (APR2014)
    As PSI was going through the tuning process, they discovered the injectors and pump were working at the top end of their duty-cycle. In order to give a safety buffer on the top end, I opted to change the injectors to 1000cc and the pump to a Walbro 400 to facilitate increased power. Especially necessary before the "Turbo Boost" button gets incorporated (this will be detailed in a later post).

    Issue 5 – Power steering fluid leak/ rubbing wheels on wheel well (APR2014)
    My power steering pump began groaning one day and I checked the reservoir to find the fluid level was very low, leading me to believe there was a leak somewhere. I also was noticing rub marks on the inside of the wheel well from where my larger 235-section front wheels were rubbing. This prompted me to do some research. Apparently after Noble changed its steering rack around chassis #42 they didn’t upgrade the steering-rack stops until around chassis #60. In order to prevent continued rubbing on the inside of the wheel well and hopefully address the theoretical leak, we’re upgrading the rack stops to larger ones by ľ inch on each side. There was a substantial power steering fluid mess PSI cleaned up from the front confirming my suspicion. I’m keeping a close eye on the fluid levels now to ensure the pump and seals aren’t shot.

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    Issue 6 – Windshield wipers don’t work properly (DEC2013)
    Only pushing the button on the stalk caused the wipers to function, none of the intermittent functions were operational. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but I live in Oregon where it rains six months out of the year. Apparently some wires were just unplugged and once back in the wipers work fine!

    Issue 7 – Broken engine mount (APR2014)
    While tracing the source of an oil leak, we discovered an engine mount was broken which we’re addressing now. When I had my Exige I changed the mounts to stiffer ones to prevent the engine from wallowing around, I don’t know if there’s a similar solution for the Noble platform. If anyone has any suggestions for stiffer replacements I’d greatly appreciate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darbid McYeezy View Post
    Looks like you're pretty close to me (I'm in Seattle), Don (Bellevue), and most recently Kaylan (Gig Harbor). We should all try and organize a meet up sometime for us North Westerners!
    That would be great! I don't know if you attend the Redmond Town Center Cars & Coffee but I'm been meaning to head up there when the weather gets a bit better and look around, maybe we could meet there sometime?

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    We should definitely plan to meet there sometime this summer! I know Don has gone a few times, and it's only about 20 minutes from my house.

  9. #9

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    It's not too far from me and I plan on attending some with Don. I need advanced notice so I can request a specific day off work

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerodynamic View Post
    It's not too far from me and I plan on attending some with Don. I need advanced notice so I can request a specific day off work
    Absolutely. I am up for any and all Noble/Rossion meetup and track events! I was at Redmond for RTC Exotics last weekend and but did not bring my Noble. The show was cancelled for this Saturday (rain in the forecast) so let's plan to meet there in a few weeks once David has his M400. I know Peter will likely join us at some events. Last fall Peter tracked his silver M12 with me at The Ridge. Peter, are you reading this? We also have Ivan in Vancouver, BC. I wonder if Ivan will come down and join us for an event? I met Ivan last fall at a show in Vancouver. He has the only Noble in Canada and it is in pristine condition. Ivan, are you out there?? I must say between living in Texas, traveling to NC for the Noble/Rossion track day, and then moving to The Northwest I have had the pleasure of meeting MANY Noble/Rossion owners! It is really exciting to have active new members on the forum.

    How about a Northwest Noble/Rossion track date?

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