Thursday, December 28, 2006

Arranging things.

Finally a warm day! 9C, like summer compared to the last week!

Found a dipstick and tube at the scrappies, was missing off the motor. Needed that to check location for the engine mounting.

Did start having a fiddle with oneside of the water system, the side that enters the motor.

I think I will stay with this layout, the only thing I will change is to make the main length of blue pipe over the suspension turret from alloy...

I can then get a bracket or two welded onto this alloy pipe piece. I can then bolt the pipe to the turret this saves making any form of mounting for the EWP (water pump), it can happily hang...Simple is best!

Cunningly, I should then not have to buy any more hose by making the main outlet side to the rad from alloy also, being as this will be right over the exhaust manifold rubber etc isn't really suited.

As usual I modified some pieces.

The water rail can be seen in earlier pictures, this runs round the back of the engine along the block under the carbs to the thermostat housing...I simply hacked this off main water pipe at the thermostat end leaving enough for a flare and to get a clip on...

The thermostat housing is plastic and kind of pushes into the block. A future mod could be to punch out the entire thermostat housing and weld in an alloy tube to get rid of the plastic and remaining thermostat housing.

I removed the thermostat mech from the thermostat itself, leaving a simple disc with a hole as with the EWP and controller, no need for a thermostat so now there is one K Series problem gone, the dodgy thermostat system.

The black thing is the thermostat...Freelanders now have a remote thermostat kit available and caterham have used one for a while? Not on my list anyway.

The remains of the thermostat thing its simply there to make life easier now! The other pipe hole will be bunged up.

Thats the basic idea, EWP sits in the lower half of the radiator, so easily primed for bleeding. All the hose is from the last engine, cost £0.

Water pump doesnt need a power sapping impeller blade lark, so I cut these off.

Wasn't sure whether to pull it all off by cutting the shrunk on flange and popping it off, maybe its the only thing holding the unit together? decided to just hack off the impellers instead, quick saw and wiggle snapped them off, quick file and jobs a gooden...Sadly you need the water pump drive cog for the timing belt eh, so can't just plate the whole thing and junk it.

Impellers be gone!

Spacer for the clutch 25mm.

The other side of the water system wont be so easy as the clearance is quite tight and I can't get to it yet, until I make some front engine mounts and hack the bulkhead down more, bulkhead is currently shaved and cut just enough to hold the engine at the right angle to make front mounts.

I also need an Elise or MGF alternator as the lugs dont line up on my micro Kubota Denso one and would need more time and hassle than its worth to fit it. Also I need the alternator before I make the passenger side engine mount as clearance looks tight, also belt to check a few other things. It'll all come together quick at some point!

Only real pain in the wallet is getting this VVC head cam'ed up properly...and the exhaust.

If things come together well I will get the thing off for an exhaust fitting ASAP.

Still want a side exit exhaust, means I lower it more (at the front):)

Oil system needs looking at, need a block of billet to make a remote take off and take into account future intension to fit both oil cooler and apollo tank...

I intend to make use of the old engine mount points to add a strut brace type thing this can double as mounting place for this apollo tank and the oil catch tank/crankcase breather? Not alot of room elsewhere!

Manifold fits! Carb clearance by the clutch master cylinder is a bit close but should be ok!

So the project now owes me?

£280 previous count - engine, bellhousing, flywheel mods, clutch...undeniable bargain!

£2.50 for a dipstick

£10 for some steel.

£78 for an inlet manifold

£160 clutch slave cylinder -spacer etc.

£5 on grinder discs and hacksaw blades.

Some costs I will soon encounter below:

Will need a starter motor, the Ford ones bake with manifold heat and heavy, no good, the original Caterham Magnetron ones are unreliable and don't like heat, click click click is a well known noise to a Caterham owner with a 4 branch manifold.. Bosch ones are really big and cost a fortune - but luckily Caterham sell a "Brize" starter motor for £126, which is actually a bargain as Brize want £189 for what seems the same thing. To fit most of the starters listed i'll need an adaptor plate anyway, for £35, bar the Brize which has one built on...So its cost is better and its best starter!

£126 starter motor

£30 Pair of Jaguar E-Type 4.2 6 cyl engine mounts ~(Caterham use these)...

£10 on some alloy tubes for watersystem.

£20 to make rear water manifold

£30 to make an oil take off ready for plumbing fittings.

£25 remote oil filter mount

£40 for some oil lines from take off to filter point.

£40 shorten and balance prop.

£20 ignition trigger wheel custom size.

So hopefully have a mounted, plumbed engine for £1000 ish

Leaving two painful expenses but not a fat lot of work left.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Clutch system

Picked up a concentric 1 piece clutch slave cylinder.

It needs a 1inch spacer to bring the unit out to meet the clutch. You can buy these. That leaves 3-4mm before its fully home, so leaving 18-19mm of clutch action to operate the clutch, the unit has 22mm of safe operation.

I will probably need to add a bumpstop on the clutch pedal, adjustable so it doesn't overwork the clutch pressure plate fingers.

I will add a blanking/inspection plate over the release arm hole in the bellhousing with just a hole for the hydraulic line. I will drill a hole through the bellhousing at the top. The line you can see attached to the unit is a 1500 spitfire rear brake line, I will modify this to become a remote bleed point, it will poke out the gearbox tunnel and allow easy bleeding. I can use the clutch line I already have to feed the unit and the original master cylinder...

Hopefully the unit gives a natural decent clutch action. I'll have test run next time the engines out.

No waggly rattly arms and wobbly bearings.....Not that cheap but its a nice neat solution.

Off to get some steel for the front engine mountings tomorrow, will get these made up and ready for welding over Christmas. I have designed them, just need to make them! They will use Jaguar E-type mounts.

Something is brewing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

About time....

Still not much to report :)No reason for that, just not in the mood for doing anything atm.

I intend to make some rapid progress in the new year.

Got a manifold for some carbs, hopefully it will fit, being a VVC an all.

Usually they are £150+VAT. Ebay turned up trumps for £72. Never one to pay full price for anything unless it cant be avoided!

Hopefully the inclination will be ok too...I assume the angle I have it at is stock fitment angle, otherwise I'll need to get it on a lathe mill and adjust the angle of the face that the carbs sit on...I would then need to tweak the studs, or bend them to suit the modified angle...

We'll see.

I best order a central actuated clutch thing soon and suppose i'll be needing a decent starter motor. Will flog the horrible ford thing that came with the engine.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

K-series musings, 10CR entered...

Still doing nothing on the looking at various products...

I'd imagine once I start the ball rolling things will happen extremely quickly! It'll be done in no time. Cash is my main constraint...I have spent too much time and dollar chasing performance and fun this year as it is..I am saving some pennies atm and intend to waste not 1p on the car, yet.

Once the engine and the gearbox are mounted. I shall just need to remake the bulkhead/paint, make a gearbox tunnel, shorten the prop...Thats the physical installation done. So I am not too worried atm...I guess there is a weeks work there.

Timing the camshafts is a bit of a pig as you need 3 dial gauges and some bolt down plates...DVApower does this for about £30 he's an hour away, so I will probably just stick the engine in the Alfa and take it there. Saves making and buying any gauges...Once you have timed the cams once you can add marks on them and refitting them to another engine or the same one is just a matter of finding TDC and aligning the marks on the pulleys.

Then its just a matter of adding a trigger wheel and a mount/sensor for the Megajolt ignition, wanging some carbs on it, plumbing it up waterwise...I can use my existing wiring loom/fuel system, ignition without a single mod!

First two purchases will be the centrally actuated hydraulic release bearing system seen below and a decent new style starter motor from a caterham.

This plate bolts on in place of the steel nose on the Type9 gearbox, it houses a seal.
You press a release bearing onto this hydraulic slave. You can pack the slave out with an alloy spacer if its too far from the clutch...

A neat solution, saves very tight clearance by the chassis rail with an external slave, or running a cable system...

I sold my excess parts on ebay : VVC mechs for £62, VVC actuator for £22, VVC airbox and manifold/injectors for £72 and the VVC cams for £24....and the MGF dash for £10 £190!

The engine/bellhousing were £450...

The engine now only owes me £260!!

I spent £20 on an exhaust manifold, so far the project owes me £280 for which I have virtually fitted engine and gearbox.


Oh and I sent off an entry for the 10CR (10 Countries Run) today. Will do the event with Spitbang, Steve.A.

Niether of us have working cars atm :) But I entered "The Beast Mk2" on the premise it will be in one piece then, if not we can do it in Steve's car.

I REALLY enjoyed the drive to the Ring and back in the spit, real comfy ride :) ... so should be fun! We can also do some Ring laps if the place is open! hooray!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Well never wanting to rush into anything, been pondering my engine mounting and way ahead...

I suppose some action will take place soon, I doubt it will take long to get this motor mounted.

Just sorting a welder out. Josh gave me one ages ago, yet to see if it works, just need to pickup a few bits and bobs and more importantly teach myself to weld!

Not sure at 105amps it'll be beefy enough for some jobs I'd like to do, so might try and pickup a decent 170amp one...Also these cheapo welders are a bit crap where I'd like something I can make pukka consistant welds with and on thick materail...

Need to pickup some steel too. I want to minimise my costs on this engine swap so part of that involves some patience!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Engine mounting decisions

Been doing some pondering about the neatest and best way to mount this motor.

I was thinking about from the side of the block...But the mounts would need to be at a very steep angle to meet the chassis rails, also the mounts would be quite low on the engine...

My initial thought about this is the footprint of the mounts would be quite thin in relation to the engine, also low, so it might be inclined to move excessively as the mounts would be so low on the block and not spread out wide?

I can only use the mount holes in the block, so I'm stuck with what I have to work with...The passenger side mount holes are very low...Also it would look a bit Heath Robinson?

As such I have pondered another method which utilise the stock front engine mount, stock engine mounts and locations...

This beings a couple of small issues, the alternator will need to run on the bigger pulley, the alternator will need to be switched for the Lotus/MGF item for it line up here. This may be good news cause to get a trigger wheel on the pulley for megajolt I cannot use the smaller of the two pulleys (the power steering one)...So that will leave the front most of the two pulleys redundent and I can add a trigger wheel over this to fire the Megajolt...The plate I am pondering as seen below would also allow me to mount the crank sensor on it, also the water pump and gives a wide footprint...

Perspex dummy shows my idea. It would be bolted to the engine mount via 4 high tensile bolts..Needs spacing out from the mount 1/2" by using some cut down steel bar pieces with holes drilled through welded onto the back of the plate, to space it out, the high tensile bolts pass through the plate, spacers into the alloy mount then into the block. Should be ok.

This is the neatest and easiest of my ideas, 1 piece and saves buying anything bar steel.

The plate would be one piece with the ends bent 90deg to attach the engine mounts, then I would weld horizontal sections to the top and bottom of the plate which run along its entire length to add strength against forward and rearward twisting...Basically check out the drivers side mount of the standard spitfire engine plate...It would replicate this exactly but the top and bottom horizontal brace sections would span the entire plate in one piece...

I think its best idea....I could make it from alloy too...I need to assess my crank trigger system and few other details before commiting to the idea.

This also leaves a nice space for the exhaust, oil filter, etc etc there is nowt at the side of the engine.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

K-Series engine is in place.

K-Series does indeed fit nicely. Minimal chopping of chassis needed. All cuts shown below. Was definately the way forward to wedge it back a few inches. Bonnet clearance good too about 1.5inches (due to my special bonnet!)

Few changes of initial planning regarding getting it running.

I want to be out to play in April really at Mallory trackday (with stock rear suspension?!) So, for the time being I will stick some 45 Dellortos on it, and weld a trigger wheel to the front pulley and use my megajolt system, mainly cause its all in place, just plug it in and there isn't a weeks work making a wiring loom etc also less cost.

I can switch to throttle bodies and such like in the future. I should be able to blag 2d advance map from Emerald basically just need the max figure used on a K. I spy a manifold for 45's on ebay atm...This should mean once the engine mounts are made it'll be straightforward.

Its in! Thats the angle they sit at.

Shall lower the bulkhead in this area to give me room for carbs/throttle bodies.
Alternator lines up on standard bracket and fits..Just needs a grooved pulley...Or more likely I will remove the crank pulley and machine a groove in it, for a standard belt...At the same time adding a trigger wheel to it...The K-Series flywheel ignition trigger system isn't good for megajolt cause its has 4 teeth missing its a 36-4 system not a 36-1 as per the ford kit....?

The gearstick location isn't that bad! Atleast for a midget like me! Maybe ok for leaving it there! Handbrake needs twisting towards the passenger side...

Plenty of options for engine mounts...I will probably make my own...Just have to remember a hole for the dipstick, thats covered by an alloy plate as seen at the base of the block.

To save removing too much material from the chassis rails I ground the box case a bit, both sides as there is a 1cm pointless protrusion here.

Chassis needs a nick removed here I can fettle a few mm from the bellhousing too, no problem...Atm the engine and box aren't quite level as its beached on this area, all the final areas needed adjustment as marked now...There's a good 7/8" lip on the chassis rail here which is more than enough once its ground down level with the main rail.

Chassis required the area where the old spitfire gearbox mount plate goes to be ground out, just as deep as a the bolt holes inorder for the box to clear and also enable easy removal of the box and engine as 1 item...You gotta plan these things!

Bulkhead will cut at the redline, this leaves the rearward plane left on the upright part by the wiring hole, leaving something to tack on a new panel too...I have already planned my bellhousing/gearbox cover system...

Plenty of room as my bonnet top is flat over this area. The crankshaft centreline will be about 2cm lower at the front that will the spitty engine, it will be laid totally flat when fitted. Bit lower C of G.

Carb will end up about here probably more towards the engine as this a conservative estimate of its location...Enough room for 25mm trumpets and an ITG panel filter.

Red area will be fettled too this is for the hydraulic clutch mech. Handbrake needs moving left.

Basically ya can't moan at that can you? I had the thing fitted in and basically its final location in less that 2hrs....ready for a rear box mount to be made and a set of front mounts...

Almost made to be! I didn't want any rail adjustment, rack moving and stupidity...Its a good idea to get the blueprints for engines before trying to fit them! I had the blueprints of the block for Zetec, K-series and Duratec and the K-Series. I worked out the others wouldn't fit with the box between the front and centre main crossmembers without sump changes and cross member adjustment, or locate in a rearward position, K-series goes in with 18mm to spare between the cross members with no real mods needed.

I am quite a happy bunny..I was feeling nervous as I hacked out sections of my car, but my diagrams where right and it all worked out good!

Next step is to pull the motor out again, make final adjustments to the rails then it will stay out and a rear box mount is be made, once thats made back in and ill rig up some front mounts...Then its onto bulkhead.

Ready for Chop Chop

So I just aimed the engine at the hole...Looks ok no obvious problems so far. I think chassis modification will be very minimal if any at all. The key to the so far hopefully simple installation (atleast) is the moving the entire engine back behind the chassis rail. This will make for more complex bulkhead reconstruction and gearbox tunnel, mainly due to the throttle bodies, I hope to use direct-to-head type that are not very long and make up the tract length with trumpets...I hope that the clutch pedal can stay in its current location with a shallow foam air filter, but thats along way off me thinks and I'll need to save some pennies!!

One K-Series dumped in rough location. It will sit inclined in the engine bay angled over the passenger side..Thats how ya do it ya see. Its currently perched on the chassis rail but after some chopping of bodywork it will drop behind the chassis rail and sit ALONG way back from the standard engine location, all things considered.

I have spent a couple of hours freezing my arse off (till 1am)measuring, checking and getting a mental picture of any potential problems before I get out the power tools and make a firm commitment to K-Series power.

I don't see any big issues so tomorrow it will be chop day and i'll lower it back and down and stick the bellhousing on it and make any chassis rail nips.

A QED Caterham bellhousing, the engine is only bolted to the bellhousing by 4 bolts, big suckers two below the centreline and two at the top...You can see the plate thats been added to take a Mini Hydraulic slave cylinder. I will retain this system I think...This will JUST miss the chassis I think of the plate will need to be shortened which is no bother the slave bolts on right at the front.

To get the engine where I want an initial cut will need to made here to get this mount through the bulkhead, as marked in blue. This is due to the bellhousing mount. This will stick out above the chassis, the bellhousing and lip on the chassis rail will or will not need a minor fettle to allow the bellhousing to sit down in the rail...I may be able to get the engine in and out with this piece still in place once the final bulkhead is made, so it will cut along two lines only and fold it back for now...I'll have repaint the entire bulkhead anwyays.

Again shows this mount at the rear...The rear of the engine will only be a few cm's lower than it current sits...I see no big problem having measured up carefully...As said I may or may not have to make a small adjustment to something as the engine is currently shown 4inches further forward than it will sit. Any small issues will be mainly as it will then be just into the area where the rails come together closer. I forsee the lip of the chassis rail needing trimming and possibly a small recess made in the bellhousing, but it may clear...From the eyelet the rope is going through the bellhousing angles quite sharply towards the block over 8cm, then makes another angle towards the block...The chassis rail will be around the area of the 2nd angle...I'll post of pics once the engine is moved back and the bell fitted.

This will be my next cut, at this stage its just about doing as little cutting as possible to purely get the engine and box to sit in their final location. The rear of the engine will be 15mm from the heater box.

Plenty of room for it, its less wide than the base of the spitfire block...Once the cuts mentioned have been made I will be able to drop the engine backwards and behind the rack, chassis rail (4inches) , it will fall 7cm at the front to be perfectly flat in the car and also to the crankshaft centreline matches the spitfire position, but it will loose the inclination the spitfire engine has.

You would have a great deal of hassle to fit where it is atm (the stock engine location) You'd need to get a small pulley (which I may do anyway!) or move the rack and chassis rail, mod the sump etc etc...

The oil filter/adaptor will need to be adjusted/binned...It may actually still fit but it'll reduce my potential exhaust area...I'd really like a nice 4-2-1 manifold eventually so will need to plan ahead! I will make an alloy plate thing enabling use a remote filter, oil cooler setup with an inline thermostat...Not sure of the plumbing atm but I sure I can rig something up for the time being a simple alloy plate with two take offs on would do! Frontline have this same issue on the MG conversion and they want £96 for an adaptor, screw that! not even oil cooler compatible.

Imagine this engine back 4 inches there's plenty of room for the pipes of a manifold, this was a concern on paper...Also rear bellhousing mount wont need any adjustment to bellhousing or chassis bar a couple 2mm shaved from the lip of the chassis rail...

You can see the engine block mod to fit a starter on this side..Thats another area of concern...Caterham sell a lovely one but its £134...

I got a big ugly ford one free, so will attempt to use that, but again the exhaust will need some consideration even if for the time being I use a standard manifold...It will be a tight fit probably end with a bespoke job with a bunch of snakes heading towards the wheelarch and back.

Again once 4inches back the filter would probably fit on, need to consider the primary length I want on any future exhaust, whether or not I want room for 4x 1.5" primary's to go down the side of the block and chassis rail or two 2nd'ary pipes...

Thats it for this evening.

Friday, November 03, 2006

K-series exhausts

I see a few variations in exhaust manifold type. The MGF VVC angles upwards towards the front of the car, not ideal, also its footprint where it meets the downpipe is bigger so it takes up more room. Did a quick bit of ebaying and found a cheapish Rover 200 1.8VVC BRM model manifold that angles back towards the bulkhead a bit...So it looks like it'll just miss the engine mounts that came with the motor...Either way it'll be alot better than the MGF model...I was told they are all the same, but they are not!

All these claggy manifolds are internally welded...So me thinks ring welding the outside then porting the inner pipes to match the gasket is the way forward.

I read that the exhaust system on the FWD cars like rovers is MILES better than the standard elise and MGF, cause the secondary (2-1 bit) can be MUCH longer in the FWD cars and this will be the same in mine, the MGF and Elise has basically a few inches of secondary pipe work where as the FWD cars have a couple of feet...The power gains from a special 4-2-1 are good on an elise or MGF but less improvement on a FWD which came with longer 2nd'ary pipes as standard...

I'll post some pics of things soon, but at this stage there is not alot to show!

Me reckons this manifold will fit...£30 with delivery...Not that cheap but by the time you go a load of breakers, petrol, time, etc its a good buy.

Hopefully it'll miss the starter motor...! Thats the next problem, setting starter motors on fire...? Have to make a heat shield.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fiddling with engines

The K-series is now ready to mate with the box and aim at the hole sometime soon.

I removed the pulley's, VVC mech, cams all that lark tonite. All good bar one dodgy lobe on an the exhaust cam, bit of pickup marking and lost about 0.5mm off the tip, few marks on the cam follower too...I'll need to replace the followers with new ones anyway as they aren't good enough to planish off and also both cams will be replaced with 285H versions.

I think the standard VVC exhaust manifold from just about any 1.8 VVC engine (MGF, Elise, BRM Rover) maybe useable and it'll just fit round the engine mount and allow a cheaper solution to the exhaust issue..It will miss the bulkhead and aims at exactly the space I have left for a pair of secondary tubes between engine and chassis rail...The manifold is a bit crap as the primaries are short but it will still give 180+HP and can be ported out. I can always get a real pukka one made at a later date if I like the conversion.

Also the frontline chaps who do the Midget conversion sell an exhaust manifold...that way fit as the midget 1500 system is basically the same as the spitfire? Will check out that option too.

I will not spend a penny on anything atm. If the engine fits where I want it / once its mounted I will firstly get it all plumbed up leaving my main expenses as : Throttle bodies, trumpets, filters, ECU, Cams, vernier pulleys, blanking kit for VVC mech and getting a 2-1 exhaust piece made up to join the manifold to the rear section, which will be 2.5inch or 2.25inch bore.

I am sure the wiring will be fun!

Few more items to remove from the engine bay, take the seats out and I will need to chop the bulkhead...and get the engine in the hole on bricks...

The water system is a bit pants the thermostat is on the inlet to the engine from the rad...? With a 2nd pipe recirculating water from the oulet to the inlet to open the thermostat...Thats about emissions and minimising warm up time...

I will ditch all that lark..The engine will have the EWP on the drivers side on the side of the block pushing water in right by the pump, no thermostat will be fitted, or actually it will but with the thermostat mech removed..The stock pump impeller will be removed/ground off and EWP will run the cooling. I can't remove the pump completely as its needed for the cam belt.

Haven't done much more...Bloody cold! Wind changes and suddenly we are worrying about global warming!

I got the chills and sliced my finger open undoing a 8mm bolt when a spanner snapped. Kept on working and there is blood everywhere!

Not sure how long this conversion will take, but it won't be that quick, but then you never know.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Insurance Fun!

So I finally got this tosspot from the fire stations road safety department to admit liability for my crash via threats of complaints and taking this story to the papers...Hardcore pressuring of the transport manager too.

I await my excess to be returned.

Then guess what...I have him bent over a desk with his pants down.

Being as there is an admission of complete liability its now in formal writting, statements and laid down in history at my insurance companies office that he bulls**ted me...

So I am gonna make a formal complaint to the fire service and take this story to the local papers...

Lying bastard will get what he deserved...

I may also attempt to extract alot of out of pocket expenses. I knew I have should claimed whiplash would have been better compensation than the crap I have had to WADE through.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

More K-Series stuff

So i stripped the engine of all the induction stuff and shelved it.

I am definately making my life hard wanting to move the thing back 5inches. But its the way forward I think..!

I made some more measurements and rough checks its gonna be tight but no major concerns yet, bar one......The slave cylinder will clear the chassis rails by about 1/2", which is lucky... The one side of the bellhousing, or the bellhousing support on the passenger side of the engine should clear the chassis by a few mm! Or need minor cutting of the seam on the inner of the chassis rails. Looks ok.

Main issue at this time and it made need a beer. The exhaust manifold.

Not to sure on this side exit thing, as it'll need a bespoke silencer about 3.75" dia and about 4feet long to allow it to be 98DB and let the door open and also by high enough to avoid killing it. Might pose some MOT issues?

I think the plan is to fit the engine and box. Make some diagrams and templates of the space left for an exhaust manifold and ground clearance needed. There is not much room between the chassis rails and block just about room for a pair of 1.75" secondary pipes, but I think the system will need to go under the car. So to get the desired near 30" primaries there might be some good snakes in the engine bay!

This gap for the pipes is small cause of the engine mount and the bellhousing are close together. I could adjust the engine mount, hack it off and change the angle to move it forward, but I'd rather not...As it is it leaves me a 5" by 2inch slot for secondaries to pass through...I will fit the engine work out where the space is for a manifold, make a load alloy templates I can bolt to the block to replicate the bulkhead, chassis rails and space left.

I will then take the engine/box and these templates to someone like (Exhausts By Design) tell them to make me a manifold to fit in the holes left on my templates! That should work, I can't take them the car without a load of hassle, basically it needs some snake primaries and then to hug the block and bottom of the box and exit centrally with the gearbox outlet flange.

I will then make my own rear 2.25" main pipe and rear box system. I guess a bespoke manifold won't be cheap but its the only way really.

Provided I am happy with the fit and such I may get this done asafa (as soon as funds allow!). Just need to strip all this stuff from the old motor and collect the cash for those who brought the stuff... Atleast its not actually expense at this stage, just an exchange of spitty stuff for K stuff.

Its worth doing a good exhaust and EBD are well rated in the K scene. Can be worth 20HP and loads of torque over the stock MGF one.

Thats my only headache atm....I can't build something as complicated as that. Thats hopefully the only real fabrication bar small bits and bobs.

Need to pickup a camlocking tool (£5)to get the pulleys off the cams. Just the rear ones at this stage, VVC has front and rear cam pullies with a drive belt on the rear ones also, as they won't be needed they will just be in the way when I ponder bulkhead chopping.

Friday, October 27, 2006

K-Series collected

I have a wonderful little engine!

We can soon call this blog the how to fit a K-Series blog. I will add some very detailed information once I get going. Should be making a start in about two weeks...

Clearly mileage correct on the engine, block is shiny alloy and no salt corrision on anything! basically all the work has been done by the guy I got it off!

Lovely bloke, Welding Fabricator and ex-racer, karting enthusiast. Just the kinda of chap to buy something from. Why there not more bids on it I do not know! Its saved me LOADS of cash and hassle its virtually a bolt in conversion!

I reckon it should be an easy conversion by the look of it...No nasty chassis hacking, rack moving, cross member relocations....

Just need some HEAVY mods to the bulkhead and to make a gearbox tunnel...and exhaust.

I have also a release arm, starter motor from a Ford which fits. MGF clocks and dashboard? Fusebox, ECU, wiring.

To fit a starter on the engine you need to grind off some mounts from the block, thats been done and strengthened. The engine mounts he made will definately be useable. I will make some mini towers off the chassis rails behind the suspension turrets and mount the engine on Jaguar E-Type engine mount rubbers...

The bellhousing is 6-1/4" long same as Spitty with the Type9 adaptor plate, so the engine can surely go back 5-6inches from the 1300 location.

Its an amazingly tiny bottomend, maybe even smaller lower half of the engine that the 1300 spit block! The flywheel is TINY!! Like a motorbike! Much smaller than the spitfire one. The guy has machined this for crank sensor for the ECU and spark firing...nice one.

So plan of action is to pickup a mini-slave cylinder, sierra release bearing, get the clutch and box on it and working...

Get it on the crane, aim it at the hole, break out the anglegrinder, mutilate the bulkhead and adjust the chassis rails...sort the rear gearbox mount plate needed...Sort the engine mount towers and get some Jag rubbers...That should get it in place...

Once in place and bolted down whip it out - stick it under a sheet and create a new gearbox tunnel, something simple from alloy sheet, probably not rounded, but angular. Pickup some cams and that stuff...Work out an exhaust, water system, plumbing...

I will need an Apollo Tank cause the K doesn't like to mounted inline and suffers real bad surge and also the oil can get airy due to excessive oil ending up in the top of the engine, the cams make it foam or soemthing?.....This tank thing is like a dry sump but cheap. It makes the K-series have an 7.5litre oil capacity.

Its an extra tank that sits in the engine bay. Basically its a seperate sump in addition to the engines sump...The oil pump throws the oil into this tank then into the engine galleries...or something tank...It throws oil in the top of the tank and blows it out the bottom into the engine? This means the oil gets shot of any air created and when you get surge you have 3.5Litres of oil in the tank at all times to feed the engine when the sump pickup is struggling...Not quite sure I have got the plumbing/system correctly described, but basically all caterhams have an apollo tank, unless they have a dry sump...

I don't want to go mad with mods and stuff at this stage, but thats the only thing I will do to the oil system bar adding a cooler...To me it looks like the Spitfire oil cooler take off will fit...Infact the engine Spitfire oil cooler system the filter looks the same so?

Quite excited...I always wanted a real rocket ship, at this stage it looks like a relatively painless option.

I think buying this engine and kit has saved atleast £750 once I sell the dashboard, VVC mech, cams, induction system and such like...I'd hope to have to spend as little as £100 to get it fitted and clutch working!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Got a K-Series engine and bellhousing!

Potentially an ebay steal.

£450 for a 35K mileage 1.8K VVC.

Comes with QED bellhousing for type9 box (£300!).

The guy has already fitted a suitable spigot bush (£10), clutch cover and plate (£80)...also its fitted with a lightened 1400 K flywheel and ring gear, this flywheel has some trigger system or notches making it good for use with 3D ignition/aftermarket ECU, so this has saved a lot of sourcing and hassle.

I can flog the VVC head if I wanted to save cash on converting it to solid large journal rally cams and buying a blanking kit...This head is worth £250-300 at my local engineering shop I am told. I can pickup a stock 1.8 head for peanuts...But I like the idea of larger valves and such so for now the main concentration of effort it getting it in the car and getting an exhaust on it...I may pull the head after thats done, stick a double shim gasket on it, reface it and port the valve seat area on the inlets...some way off yet!

Exhaust may need to be a side exit job :) 4-2-1 with the primary and secondary lengths designed from DVApower's findings...This may need to exit round the side of the sill and outrigger, running just behind the wheel where there is just about room...Saves taking out exhausts and trying to make some complex thing under the car...Can just buy a caterham side exit silencer and wedge it on the sill...

Just have to go 110miles to Fareham to collect on Friday?

He has modified the bellhousing to accept a Mini slave cylinder, so there is no annoying cable clutch system to rig up.

The only thing I need to do is find a sierra release arm and bearing and add/weld on a suitable rod to it for operation of the clutch via the Mini slave cylinder...

I had a look at the gearbox area tonite...I can easily get the box back 5.5inches from its current location with nothing more than slight removal of the seams on the chassis rails, no big surgery... Basically the rear type9 mount will them be right by the small cross member under the handbrake..I can weld a plate into this cross member which runs forward 3inches and is welded to the chassis rails, the rear box mount will sit on this and I just need to remove 1cm of the seam from the chassis rails, then run some weld along the seam...I will need to shorten the shifter mech on the box as per frontline kits...

If this is all possible I need to hack a large section of the bulkhead anyway and this will probably mean the entire engine is behind the suspension turrets, or behind the front cross member... :-) 4.5-5" back from where it is now! I think the bellhousing maybe a tiny bit longer on the K so I hope to move the engine back 4.5" to save having to move, adjust the oil filter location...This leaves me with 1" to play with if the bellhousing is longer than expected...All speculative at this stage.

The engine mounts included with the motor look like they can be used? I can build some small towers vertically from the main chassis rails and simply bolt these on using Pinto engine mounts.

One engine.

Can't run the VVC induction system I don't think, cause the bonnet isn't tall enough. Straight onto throttle bodies when funds allow.

Should be able to sell the VVC induction system for £50? The engine will sit slightly inclined as it does in the picture, the stock induction is very tall. The throttle bodies are much lower...

Not sure the exhaust is any good, its not included anyways, he wants £180 for it, gonna measure it and make a diagram and get back to him later. If the pipes were further forward it might be ideal!

So plan is strip it to bare of ancils and crap and get the block and box in, them remake/refit anything and get it running! I'd like to use my EWP, so will probably hack the impeller off the water pump, which is driven off the cambelts...I'll be needing to change cams and will give it a new belt anyways.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

K-Series measuring up...PARTS STILL FOR SALE!

So I stripped everything from the engine bay tonite bar the engine.

Made some initial measurments of the engines. I got some good diagrams of the K-Series from a PDF.

The K engine block is 40cm long, 24cm wide and sump to camcover is 61.5cm.The head protrudes 6cm further back from the rear block face.

The Spit engine is the same length and width, just the K is taller, Should be no problems with my bonnet, this was considered and half the reason I brought that humped bonnet you see!

From my initial measurements there are issues to overcome, the K has an oil filter mounting that will foul the suspension turret on the passenger side. I can probably make a remote take off and oil cooler system. However I believe it will JUST possible to move the engine backwards 11-12cm from the standard spitfire location, as they are the same size it makes measuring easier!

This means the oil filter and mount will be behind the suspension turret!

The front face of the engine will be roughly lined up with the rear of the front chassis cross member that runs under the engine atm. I have no idea at the moment where the start motor will sit, so this is all speculative.

Getting the engine this far back means the front pulley will be miles away from the steering rack, also I can run the stock sump without any mods.

It will mean butchering the bulkhead to get throttle bodies on the engine.

Also means removing the heater box thing from the bulkhead and the back of the cylinder head will sit about 2cm off the bulkhead! The throttle bodies might just fit in running right by the clutch master cylinder.

There is one other serious issue to consider thats the fact the TYPE9 box is quite wide in one area, so I may need to adjust the chassis rails to get the box in, as it will be 12cm further back than it is atm, I estimate 1inch per side needing to be found...Hopefully this will not need any major surgery. I will remove the gearbox tunnel tomorrow night and have a look.

Probably run into tons of problems but I want to get this engine back along way.

Hopefully I will have an engine later this week. I will assess how far I can get the gearbox back and go from here, if it will go back from than 12cm I will happily enjoy the company of the engine inside the cockpit.


Updated list below.

5speed kit in reserved at this time.

I may be willing to sell my MEGAJOLT ignition kit complete, crank pulley, brainbox, EDIS unit, wiring loom, sensors, magnecor leads, dissy pedestal -alloy breather the whole nine yards? Enquire.

Perfect VANDERVELL VP Lead Copper Bearings for 1300 small crank engines , don't fit junk to your engine -only fit THESE! SOME SOLD TBA whats left.
Big ends +0+10+20+30 -£40 a set.
Mains +10+40 -£40 a set

1x Unground STD size 1300 small bearing crankshaft - no scoring use as is -ideal for nitride and polish job - no problems in supply of VP2 STD bearings! £75

1x Good condition FD block on +20 rebore ideal for re-bore fast road engine. Main bearing houses complete and not oval or warped, cam bearings in place £60

NEW old stock VP small end bushes for con-rods set of 4 £15.

Lightened 4.6kilo 1300 flywheel drilled for 7/16th bolts, can be fitted to 1300 by tapping crank to take 7/16th bolts as used on 1500. Can be used to instantly release more spin up on the 1500, forget using a 1500 clutch I reckon, not needed in my opinion just stick this flywheel on with a 1300 clutch and a dolomite 1300 clutch plate, loads lighter!. Comes with low mileage Clutch cover.£80

Alloy 1300 small crank front pulley, comes with Sierra trigger wheel attached for use with 3D ignition system (megajolt and alike).. This pulley has a stainless STEEL sleeve on it, it won't wear out and leak in 5000miles like the junk (anodised crap) sold by tuning companies. If you buy for use with a megajolt system I will include a crank sensor and homemade adjustable crank sensor mount which bolts to the block and allows you time the engine to pefection, no messing! an extra £17 - Pulley £35 or £52 ready to go on Megajolt.

Alloy distributor pedestal, cut down and converted into a crankcase breather for use without a Distributor, ie with megajolt system £40.

Low mileage unmarked small journal (cam bearings) TH7 Race camshaft - not really a race cam, totally road tractable, good manners 40mpg at cruise on my engine and 130mph top end! (atleast with me tuning the car!) - cut from NEW blank, nice lobe shape -not a reground ramper £100 with followers (numbered)

Twin Weber DCOE/DHLA DELLORTO INLET MANIFOLDS...Currently Tapped for use with MAP sensor for 3D ignition...can be blanked off before sale or left as is, these take offs make it DEAD easy to use a manometer to balance DCOE without vacuum ports. £65.

Damaged full race cylinder head, 1 chamber fu-bared 1.5/1.25" valves, repairable by welding -Technilock then port reshape, offers?

Mint standard Herald camshaft £15 (cam bearings needed).

BRAND NEW (2000miles ago) perfect mint -Twin 40 Dellorto DHLA40C's jetted for full race engine £475. Most advanced carb made.

express interest ?

Keep checking if you want any parts, I will update this posting on a regular basis also I will add more parts as I discover them!

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Time to fit a K-Series.

Can't be bothered building 1300's anymore for own use. I want more power jimma!

I have lots of interesting parts for sale - first come first serve.

Most of these parts can be seen in my blog troll the archives!

SOME ITEMS NOW SOLD (provisionally)

Perfect VANDERVELL VP Lead Copper Bearings for 1300 small crank engines , don't fit junk to your engine -only fit THESE! SOME SOLD TBA whats left.
Big ends +0+10+20+30 -£40 a set.
Mains +10+40 -£40 a set

1x Unground STD size 1300 small bearing crankshaft - no scoring use as is -ideal for nitride and polish job - no problems in supply of VP2 STD bearings! £75

1x Good condition FD block on +20 rebore ideal for re-bore fast road engine. Main bearing houses complete and not oval or warped, cam bearings in place £60

NEW old stock VP small end bushes for con-rods set of 4 £15.

Lightened 4.6kilo 1300 flywheel drilled for 7/16th bolts, can be fitted to 1300 by tapping crank to take 7/16th bolts as used on 1500. Can be used to instantly release more spin up on the 1500, forget using a 1500 clutch I reckon, not needed in my opinion just stick this flywheel on with a 1300 clutch and a dolomite 1300 clutch plate, loads lighter!. Comes with low mileage Clutch cover.£80

XXX As new - Clutch slave cylinder - small bore- fast action comes with braided clutch line to master cylinder £20 SOLD

Alloy 1300 small crank front pulley, comes with Sierra trigger wheel attached for use with 3D ignition system (megajolt and alike).. This pulley has a stainless STEEL sleeve on it, it won't wear out and leak in 5000miles like the junk (anodised crap) sold by tuning companies. If you buy for use with a megajolt system I will include a crank sensor and homemade adjustable crank sensor mount which bolts to the block and allows you time the engine to pefection, no messing! an extra £17 - Pulley £35 or £52 ready to go on Megajolt.

Alloy distributor pedestal, cut down and converted into a crankcase breather for use without a Distributor, ie with megajolt system £40.

XXX Alloy Electric water pump manifold, bolts to cylinder head, lets water in and out. As seen in previous blog pages. £27.50 SOLD

XXX Alloy front engine plate 1300-1500 spitfire £50-comes with refaced timing chain cover - NO LEAKS!! SOLD

XXX Dual row DUPLEX ADJUSTABLE timing chain kit, comes with top and bottom wheels, good order no real wear, chain, dual row tensioner incl. £105. SOLD

Low mileage unmarked small journal (cam bearings) TH7 Race camshaft - not really a race cam, totally road tractable, good manners 40mpg at cruise on my engine and 130mph top end! (atleast with me tuning the car!) - cut from NEW blank, nice lobe shape -not a reground ramper £100 with followers (numbered)

XXX Baffled sump and modified 1500 oil pump, alloy bolt in baffle works a treat, pump pickup cut, bent, welded to pickup centrally in the pan NO surge- can use 1500 pump on ANY 4 cylinder £50. (you can reuse the pickup on a new pump if needed). SOLD

Your welcome to buy all the main engine parts (bottomend-cam-pulley-engine plates) complete including the block in one piece if your fast, discount available for that.


Rear engine plate 1300-1500 ALLOY £25.

XXX MANDREL BENT HIGH QUALITY stainless sports exhaust manifold 4-2-1. This is MILES better than the Pheonix junk sold now..Its a 1 piece manifold with a flange and seperate Y piece. The pipe merges are well formed and blended not just a V piece as sold thesedays. Ex Kipping? Complete with Y piece will accept ANY rear twin box setup...£110 SOLD

Twin Weber DCOE/DHLA DELLORTO INLET MANIFOLDS...Currently Tapped for use with MAP sensor for 3D ignition...can be blanked off before sale or left as is, these take offs make it DEAD easy to use a manometer to balance DCOE without vacuum ports. £65.

Damaged full race cylinder head, 1 chamber fu-bared 1.5/1.25" valves, repairable by welding -Technilock then port reshape, offers?

5 speed Ford box FRONTLINE CONVERSION kit - minus type9 box (£30 ebay!) - incl ...adaptor plate (box to bellhousing) / 1300 as new clutch plate for ford box -triumph cover/ special propshaft / rear gearbox mount plate / spigot bush - add a box and bolt it in! £325 - £390 with alloy bellhousing GREAT MOD!!!!! I was doing 125mph downhill at Nurburgring in 5th gear :)

ALLOY BELLHOUSING 1300-1500- for USE WITH 5 SPEED CONVERSION, modified as needed and ready to fit to your 5 speeder . £75...If you buy my 5 speed kit I HIGHLY recommend you also buy this bellhousing, I have done all required modification making the kit truely bolt on and it saves about 6kilos over a steel one!

XXX High Torque starter motor - with modified spacer plate. Bolt on 1300/1500cc engines - works perfect! £45 SOLD

Mint standard Herald camshaft £15 (cam bearings needed).

BRAND NEW (2000miles ago) perfect mint -Twin 40 Dellorto DHLA40C's jetted for full race engine £475. Most advanced carb made.

Must be more.

Any of this can be made available in the next couple of weeks. I will need to wait for some stuff to find new homes before embarking on a total strip down as time thin on the ground atm.

express interest ?

Keep checking if you want any parts, I will update this posting on a regular basis also I will add more parts as I discover them!

So my plan of action is to acquire a low mileage K-Series 1.8 + Flywheel, Clutch and Bellhousing and use my Type 9 box. I will probably use a VVC engine as the head as very big valves compared to the fixed cam K.

You do need to blank the VVC mech and buy some expensive camshafts from Piper for this VVC mod if using non standard induction and ECU, but its worth it for the bigger valve head. The porting is very good I read on the VVC and just needs some blending by the seats to flow well. You can pickup direct to head throttle bodies for fuel injection for about £500...Which by the time I fitted a set of my 45's I have lost £500 anyway + manifold. I will probably fuel inject the engine.

I may initially run a completely stock VVC with standard induction, plenum chamber and VVC mech in place and upgrade the engine at a later date, space? Unknown plan of action atm.

I'd think a few days work would have the block and box in place then its just a matter or wiring it up, plumbing it up and sorting an exhaust...Might make my own if I can come by a decent pipe bender.
Drop the engine in and move it as far back as possible, not sure how far yet but I'd like almost behind the suspension turrets :) The K-Series is a very compact engine with a narrow lower aspect. Duratec is a big engine and the parts for tuning are VERY expensive plus I don't think I need 220HP...

I am hoping for about 165HP initially using cam's and throttle bodies and a decent exhaust. That should make the spit go easy sub 5seconds to 60mph and pull a good 140+mph.

If I got 180HP eventually it should be similar to the Sylvia Striker I drove as it will be more powerful, that was MANIC!

Also the K series is only 87kilos in mass! Zetec is MUCH heavier....It'll be a good 25kilos lighter than the car is atm and also weight dist will be immeasureably improved.

I want a car to beat those V8 MGB's next year Combe Trackday!

I'd like to stick a 1300, but I abuse my engines alot, I have played with them for 10years now and I getting tired of messing with old engine parts, plus everyone must be better than the last, and it gets tiring, addictive and costly... I think in order to quarantee its durability and push the same power levels as this last engine - its just a waste of money...

If I was doing another 1300 I'd move back to a Fast Road 89 cam type or spec and limit overall HP and rev's and get back to safe limits of cheaper components -where I was before...40,000miles an engine with total reliability...Once you get the 120HP area and use em properly your gonna be knocking out your big end bearings, stressing standard parts to the edge and wearing the thing out pretty quick no matter what you do...I am bored of that!

I enjoy the development and playing, its just going back over old ground using another 1300, I want something new to get my teeth into, thats whats drives me, new experiences and alike. I get bored with the same old pretty quick in most things I do!

I have given myself 6 weeks to mull this over.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Engine - Best start doing something!

I have a few pennies to start on the bottom end.

I was pondering using decent rods, but I think I'll prepare another set of rubber ones. I will be using forged pistons, which are about 1/4 to a 1/3rd lighter than the stock ones, so the load on them should be a reduced.

They are from my FD engine I brought a while back.

They are light ones at between 553 and 561 grams in the "set"...Nicely balanced by Triumph! NOT! My first engine had 568gram rods AFTER lightenin, heavy to start!

My last engine had 530ish gram items after lightening, end to ending etc...I wan't these to be a touch lighter again I didn't go mad on the last ones. I could see from the VP2 shells that come from them (very low mileage if run at all! re-useable) that they are not oval and in good order. I will get them honed anyway before they are finally weighted and peened.

I might make a start on lightening them this weekend, can get the beams polished and little ends.

I don't trust the no4 rod from my old bottom end, its been hammered.

Also I never checked those old rods for straightness or examined the bores of the block they came from they were unknown. I noted there was a tiny bit of odd bore wear in No3 cylinder. Which could have been down to the rod being a touch off straight..So a new set is the way forward. I have seen the engine these came from and its all sound.

There they are.

I will treat them to some new YB Cosworth bolts £3 each. As my old ones have been used a good few times now. Bit too much clearance in the little ends if you ask me, but I have 4 vandervells to fit and hone. I will get them peened at the end.

I will try to find a crank main bolt stud kit this time, Arp.

I will be changing my machine shop for crank, honing and bore work now. The guy who does heads there is good and keeps his kit on fine fettle, heads there ok, but the old boy 75! Who does the cranks and rebores is not keeping his kit in good enough fettle for my engines now, as he's a bit quiet and his kit needs a good service. I wasn't happy with a couple of things he did in my last engine so thats it for cheap work.

Not sure who I will use. Maybe Rob Walker, used to work for Osellis.

My block will be given to someone soon for an acid dip, clean, rebore to + whatever needed for forged pistons. I will get my crank inspected to and if needed ground to +10 on the big ends and then nitrided and micro polished. I have cash for this work so best get things underway.

I will pull the old motor out and see whats what with it soon, before I start on the new one incase there's anything I want to change. I will re-use the cam for now, sump, timing gear etc etc. The block is toast and on +60.

I will enlarge the centre main bearing feed on the new block too.

If I can get a bottom-end together in the next two months that just leaves a head.

Kinda getting itchy feet. I want to lighten the chassis too.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Update on my mashed up Biker mate from Germany

Brendan has been moved from intensive care to a ward now.

He is a good spirits despite a busted wrist and torn and collapsed lung. He's annoyed they keep waking him every two hours day and night to make sure he isn't dead :) Bren has been in Germany for 10years but still can't speak a word of German!!!

He crashed at 140mph and hit the armco pretty hard. He has done maybe 8000laps of the Ring with only two bad laps...

Here is Bren going well under the offical bike record on his R1! Fairplay! this lap is great! 7:35 is bloody fast and requires very large balls, not many people have the bottle for this!

Friday, September 29, 2006

More Inusrance fun, official complaints, wrangling.

Been onto the Chief Fire Officer, Chief Transport manager today. Later I will call the Fire Service complaints department.

I have the transport manager back onto his insurance and await his reply. I think he appeared keen to avoid a Complaint from my grasp of the situation. So maybe he will fill them in with a different story now to attempt to quash this problem? Complaints aren't good for them. If he doesn't give me the outcome I want I will be straight into making a formal complaint to the fire service.

I will be making a formal a complaint anyway I think. As he had the accident report infront of him and read some words from it, which tie in with the false representation of the events that was given to the insurance company. So Mr Evans has been telling porkies, this is NOT the behaviour I expect from a public organisation, I am DISGUSTED with them.

I shall be retaining my car as evidence of single heavy impact damage from another car. Evans claimed he was stationary and I drove round his front corner...If that were the case my car would have a mild scrape along the whole side? Not a single 4inch deep panel deflection on a VERY strong part of the car! Should be plainly obvious to any investigating engineer that the accident was caused by a ram from another car.

I have wasted nearly 2 full days these week photographing the scene, car, phoning etc. When they do admit liability.

*immediate update*

Transport manager calls again : Looking good. He's definately on my side now he has all the information, Mr Evans will be brought for an interview shortly. Manager is VERY keen avoid a complaint and make me happy, I can tell. Hopefully he will just send a different series of events to the insurance!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Insurance Pain! New car found? BMW 525i SE

He guy who ploughed into me is a lying worm! I shall be making formal complaint again him with the Chief Fire Officer etc at the station. He wrote a pack of lies on his report of the accident, been to the scene today taking photo's and making a case to send my insurance. What hassle. This guy needs a good working over. I am axed with this grief. Its sapping my energy! Still looking at the damage left on both cars there CANNOT be ANY dispute over what happened, so hopefully his insurance will roll over and be tickled shortly.

Fat Pimp Wagon.
Comfort? Oh yes.

Proper engine!

Might have found a new motor, will be checking it out tomorrow with a view to purchase. Its a 1990 BMW 525i SE, 4 speed auto (never mind!), all the toys, black unmarked leather interior, air con, electric everything, 90,000miles, full BMW history, 192BHP 24V 6 cylinder late model engine with gobs of torque. Its near concours condition. Sounds like a steal at £1000, or hopefully less :) Best one I seen yet, low miles, they often run for 250000miles if well serviced.

If I manage to secure the car tomorrow it'll be good! Have to do a DIY gas conversion, but it'll still do 32mpg on the motorway and 25 general, 10mpg at full chat!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Breakthrough on Insurance - Mate, Bikers badly injured at the Ring :(

The guy in the bike videos I posted on the forum fell off on oil yesterday at HoheAct and suffered a suspected broken back and wrist...Good news is his backs fine and he will be fixed soon!


Well finally after 4hrs of intensive rangling I may have sorted out this useless set of companies.

Appears they have been hassling the wrong company, or insurance!

Maybe some prat at the my insurance company entered the wrong numberplate into the system and brought up the wrong details, they have sent 16letters to some company called Summit Insurance, this company has denied all knowledge of the incident or claim, or car I am claiming against.

Would it have not been adviseable to possibly chase the details I gave them on my claims form? An address, Tel number and name of the driver and company he works for? No that would be too much hassle!

Just keep sending letters to a company denying knowledge of the incident and car thats a good idea!

So after supplying them with the details again they have called the Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade and hopefully tomorrow should have the real insurance details regarding the claim I am making!

Hopefully then we can finally draw this matter to a conclusion, accident was 06 July 2006! I have been swung like a long dick from company to company and it was only when I started to get a bit aggitated and on the verge of abusive did the nice lady pass me over to a higher power in the call centre, someone who actually had my file, suddenly within 5minutes I have made more progress than in 8weeks...

I will call the Fire Service tomorrow and express of my gratitude if they send their insurance details to my insurance company with my claim numbers.

Had I not done something this would have lagged on for another 2months till my insurance is allowed to stop sending pestering letters and take legal action, even then legal action would be a pointless as they are chasing the wrong bloody company!!!!!!!!!

My god what a pain the ass!

I hate call centres! Full of prats!

Bloody Insurance Companies, what a cock up!

Why it everytime I deal with a company thesedays there is a complete f*** up. Phone, cars, internet you name it.

I finally got my Alfa inspected and they sent me a cheque this morning, but only for £350! Not £800 as expected. So I call them, turns out they haven't got the other company to admit liability or infact got them to do anything! Almost 3months!!!!! So it seems they just stuck the accident down as my fault, deducted my huge £450 excess and sent me a cheque.

So had I not obviously rung up and asked why this accident would have gone down as my fault! They can't do piss all atm- GroupAMA are the lamest bunch of suckers known to man.

So I call the broker, Auto Direct. Now they are slightly less useless, however it turns out after 2 days from me reporting my claim they somehow screwed up and put it down as my fault cause of "no contact".

What the f*** am I meant to do in 2days!! Turns out they have NO contact from GroupAMA and have not the faintest idea what the hell is going on, so both companies have no bloody idea what is going and they are trying to sort it atm! While I sit car-less, cause my Alfa shat all its water out last night and has a dodgy water pump or something!! Good riddens to it!!!

Turns out AutoDirect have now re-opened my file and are resolving the small? issue of it being deemed as my fault...Thats atleast one thing positive from this afternoon.

What really pisses me off it the fact I have had ZERO calls, help, anything from either company, I have to arrange inspections myself, call and hassle every step taken and now I have wasted an entire afternoon on the phone at my expense wiping the arse of useless companies.

Still no resolution. GroupAMA say they can't do anything till the other side admits liability or infact sends them any details of the other sides case.

The company of the ramming driver Summut Insurance haven't done a bloody thing in 6weeks so the chances of me seeing any cash from them in the next millenium are rather slim.

Then I am told GroupAMA can't sort my excess I need to go through the Broker...Oddly I was told opposite by the previous operator on my 3rd call...Its so confusing, I am not insurance expert...

My only hope of getting some cash pronto is from the broker AutoDirect by getting them to fork out my excess after re-envaluting my case and letting them fight Summit Insurance for the excess. They are sending me a pack or something to fill out...Pack of lies probably!

I then called to see about a getting them to arrange me a Hirecar! (might have to find a trackday), but thats probably not an option as its 3months after the claim.

So I gave them some crap about being abroad, just home, need a car, not my fault, been highly annoyed by poor service, delays etc etc, should have been sorted months ago, just make me happy kind of thing...I await a call, just like the other 3 awaited calls today, they are 45minutes late calling back, the other two "we will call you back".... after 5 and 4 hrs they haven't! "30minutes" they said...More wasted calls . I hate tossers who don't call back.

I am royally pissed off, its times like these where my faith in companies as a whole is knocked to an all time low. I had this shit with just about every company I deal with. Its a LAUGHABLE joke.

Can noone get anything right.

Mr Watlins, (ironically) Road Safety Campaigning fleet driving tosser from the local Fire Service gets to ram my car, get off without ANY hassle, I left getting a damned ulcur sorting out this abortion of a f*** up!!!!!!!!!!!


Stressful, your meant to take out insurance etc to make life easier right? hahaha...I feel like a Ant under the foot of a giant...I hate being a powerless passenger in someone elses mess up.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Few more Castle Combe pictures.

Few more pics from Combe.

TR6 I flew by on the straight :)

Stiffer Springs or damper settings? Swing spring swings too much too....

Cheers to Andrew Dawson!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Beast update

Ok, plan of action is:

Build a new 1300 engine with the best possible components.

Can't see it returning into action till atleast next March. I will put aside a small % of my fun money when this reaches a sum sufficient to build new motor I'll start. In the mean time I can send a crank away for crack testing and turtriding, polishing and sort some rods etc. Mainly a new head will be the killer. I may get Guy Croft to flow me a new one, as he is rather good and has the right kit.

I guess it lay in rest for a good few months yet. It achieved its goals for this year. I'll work on lightening and cost free jobs when I can bothered to drag the dust sheet off it. Till then it will hibernate!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

War of the Wasps

House invasion! Nest the size of two shoe boxes!!! Little critters are making another nest. Spent all afternoon injecting their nest with various chemicals, the war is near over. Outside on the path is a cemetry. The roof is full of dead. Sounds like a river running over stones when you get your head by the main nest its HUGE!! I had to wear a face mask, goggles, a hat, two thick jumpers, a dust mask to get near it...I got stung a load of times yesterday spraying nippon dust onto the entrances on the roof, they swarm there's that many!

So I prepared a little better today. Instant wasp killer is contact cleaner in a spray can, works really well when they get frisky, works especially well injected into the nest via a 3 foot piece of brake pipe!

Don't like killing things but they are everywhere and they ain't welcome.

I counted over 200 I killed, must be more than a 1000 in total? Odd for wasps! Saw a Hornet Queen today too...VERY rare. I let that one go!

Friday, September 08, 2006

DIY CV conversion Part 2...How to get CV joints on your car!

Finally my man Rob sorted the spacers. First sets prepared today, they were machined as blanks I did the hole drilling and thread tapping myself.

I have made these a favour to the guys needing them, no money in this type of thing, just hassle.

There are 4 spare pairs of spacers that can be setup for either small flange diff's or later large flange ones, to recoup some costs incurred the last sets are £89 a pair for large flange items and £96.50 for small flange ones.

First come first serve

I doubt I will be getting any more made, so if your interested in this conversion you will save a packet as I produced these as a bulk lot. Piece work costs once you factor measuring, time and 1 off lathe production.

Image shows now the adaptor plate mates the diff output flange to the Lobro Volvo 340 joint. It bolts on to the diff flange with 4x 3/8th bolts. You will need to possibly shorten any bolts so they don't protrude into the cone area on the rear of the adaptor, as seen below, the area recessed for the CV balls to run up to..Simply test bolt the spacer to the diff flange and if the bolts protrudes into the cone, shorten it as necessary.

Early car flywheel bolts 3/8" are VERY strong and ideal for this application, Fit with spring washers and loctite, recheck bolt tension after say 50miles.

Side view of the Lobro 340 Volvo joint attached to diff flange and adaptor plate. The Volvo has 2 of these joints on each driveshaft, so 1 shaft will complete the conversion. The Volvo joint comes with the M8 - 1.25 thread bolts needed to fit the Lobro casing to the adaptor plate. Any old M8-1.25cut bolt will do provided its the correct length.

The parts required for this end of the conversion.

Adaptor plates all lonely with no home!


Beast update. I have this feeling I am swinging towards building up another 1300, using yet more lessons learned from the last pile of engines to build a better one.

Been speaking to a few headflowers and flow bench guru's about a new head.

I guess a nitrided crank and some steel rods and forged pistons + 1 piece valves should give me some good security if I limit the rev's to 7250rpm. Bar the valve thing I reckon it would have run on for a good time.

I am just not sure I can be bothered with an engine swap, diff swap and rear suspension swap required etc...