Saturday, June 30, 2007

Delays! Bondage.

Pissing down can't get the Jag back today...More lost time!
Beast put to one side.
Made some droop limiters...More to keep the very short springs from flopping about when its jacked up or airbourne...Before the wheels would need 5inches of jacking up to get them off the floor on full droop as the polybushes just flop down to maximum shock length...Now it only needs 2.5inches of jacking to get the wheels off the floor...Just a test pieces...Made from a thick old leather belt.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Na not a crackpipe, a water one.

Job done. The standard grooves for the o-rings were 33.33mm I made them 33.66 so its a tad tighter fit.

Old and new.
Pipes at same level. Have two 90 bends of hose to add with a fan controller in the middle.

Made a couple of stilts for radiator, some alloy tube, crimped one end, m8 stud in other, bolts to the chassis on the stud.
Made a stiffer throttle cable bracket from some stainless steel.

Jag was meant to back two weeks ago, then last sunday, then, wednesday, then friday, now Saturday...pigs might fly...
Personally I wanted to get the entire thing perfect, run it about, tune it up properly - once its run in, get every system working properly, trial it out - I cannot except responsiblity for it after it leaves here, as I wasn't given the time to do anything more than built it and drive it for an MOT.
You cannot totally recommission a car and not have to go back and do small adjustments etc as stuff beds in etc. All this cause the bloke who is meant to be driving it down, made plans to drive it down ages ago, before multiple delays...and doesn't want to except they are not realistic "now"...personally I'd be worried about a 2000mile drive in a newly built car 1 day after its "possibly" completed...But its out my hands hope he has breakdown cover.....Don't get me wrong, its all done well, but its not my bag to just bolt and go, I prefer to get things right, you cannot get things right in 7days when 6 of those days will be assembly and the test drive will be a few miles...Balls to it...You need atleast some decent time from the first drive to giving it to a customer, a shakedown, cause its inevitable something will leak etc, thats even if the first drive doesn't show up any minor issues...phhttt.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Almost there - Stress looms

After flirting with numerous ideas for a water system to replace the thermostat thing, I finally came to a solution I was happy with...Decided to not weld anything into the block but make a removable item, that can be reused.
The normal thermostat slides into a mating surface in the block and sealed by a compressed o-ring. I roughly knocked up a replacement item today, need to make some minor adjustments tomorrow and finish the surfaces off cleaner.
Normal push-fitting uses a single o-ring as seen on the black item...I made a replica of the black item from some steel, it now has two o-rings for double security. I need to cut the grooves slightly deeper/wider as its a a bit tight, but its all good. I wanted to get it as tight as possible to compress the o-ring more than normal but it needs 0.35mm more taking from the grooves.
Pushes into the block like so. It'll be a stiff push fit.
A small bracket will support it, or stop it blowing out, rather like the normal housing.
Thats about it, needs brazing up tomorrow, another item done.

I think bar the water-rail for the other side and exhaust section (need to be dollied to Worcester for a custom fitment as last job) thats all the engineer or brain ache...just need to get some powder coating down and box it all up. Everything has been fitted, trail fitted, refitted, finally shaped and is now a kit ready for probably an 8hrs installation. Welder is still banged up. Basically its just the bulkhead, gearbox tunnel and painting it stand between me and completion...

Still 70days to go, but that aint long, as it needs to prove itself, be tuned and any unlikely issues remedied...Probably get a new 110Litre per minute EWP pump and keep the old one as a spare. Its 4 years old now.

Jag will be absorbing all my time for the next 10days, cause the bloke delivering it, made prior plans reliant on it being done, and obviously there is delays, its a restoration, which has made the job a load of stress for him, and as a consequence, me. I'll do my best to get it finished, but its a bit of unrealistic target, you do such a nice job then rush it at the end, silly.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another job bites the dust.

Sorted my throttle linkage...Which actually turned into a nightmare!

I had never bothered to look at it, bar fitting the levers to the carbs..

Anyway the spacing of the manifold is for throttle bodies really, with underslung linkage or single cable, so you cannot use a Magard or top linkage kit...Good job cause I sold mine :) Anyway thats £50-60 saved.

As such I came to a better solution, both more simple and lighter!

Carbs are at the "perfect" 5degrees of inclination as recommended by the factory.
I happened to have some DHLA40 N Alfa Romeo cable carrier lever arms...

This enables a cable to be run directly from the spindle via a V groove on the main lever. You can see the spacing is VERY tight, as such, a rod-end linkage arm will foul the balance screw on the left carb in any location at full throttle, bar if the linkage is underneath. After noting this gave up on the standard twin cable top linkage idea and started rooting through piles of carb bits for other parts...Lucky have tonnes of levers and linkage stuff.
Levers need a couple of small shaves when the carbs are removed.

I made a tiny cut washer which slips over the cable to sit between the lever and the lead ball on the end of the cable as the able is not Alfa Romeo so the ball isn't a perfect fit on the lever hole -to spread the load on the lead a bit better. (not shown)

Had to cut the middle brace from the manifold, but I cannot see it doing too much, the manifold walls are a bit thin, but should hold, the manifold is useless really...but its perfect in port and shape after MASSIVE porting and modification.

I also found yet another problem with the manifold...Its JUNK really...I have invested so much time in it! The flange pattern holes for the carbs are not correctly placed or drilled, the one carb is angled up left to right and the one is correct/flat. The maker couldn't even drill the stud holes in the right place! I noticed the central alignment axis of the spindles was not flat, the nuts on the end of the shafts in the centre were not level..The rear carb was up a little, compared to the front one- which is correct...This is VITAL that they are level...

When you link two carbs on a lever system like the images with a tab and pinch screw, the spindle shafts must be PERFECTLY aligned in the centre, or better still level through both carbs and aligned in the middle...With one "off angle" the levers swipe slightly when the throttle is opened, to exactly the ratio of difference in spindle axis's...As bolted on there was a 1.5mm mismatch between the axis of the spindles..This means a 1.5mm swipe.

The balance screw on the front carb swipes across the tab it sits on -on the rear carbs lever. This means every time you press the throttle the end of the balance screw rubs across the tab 1.5mm, so it wears, so the carbs go out balance ALL the time...No good for me!

I was pissed off to see this and after checking the stud pattern with a straight edge and measuring the distances I was seeing it was a physical pattern difference or mismatch - which was probably impossible to sort, bar welding up the manifold and redrilling the stud pattern...

Anyway, lucky I am using wide carb mount plates (o-rings) from a Lotus Esprit, this means I could tweak all the manifold studs up on the one side and down on the other, after about 1hr pissing around with about 10 fitments and removals I managed to get the spindle axis perfect with no swipe...

I see loads of twin carb manifold fitments that are not aligned, but usually when there are two manifolds and people are just too silly to align them correctly, missing the small details that make and break the carbs, they then moan about balance problems, uneven idle as the levers are rubbing and locking/sticking etc.

I have never seen a manifold with such badly drilled holes! Anyway it was lucky the spacers are wide, cause I could tweak the studs and repair the problem as the carbs are not sat right on the manifold face where you could tweak the studs and it would make no difference, the further from the manifold the greater the effect of tweaking studs. Just had enough gap to get enough tweak and get it aligned.

It now runs a single cable, which could break, hense I like twin cables best, but can carry a space -the throttle pedal is perfectly weighted, not light or heavy, super smooth, travel is the same as the Magard linkage, feel is the same and its more simple.

I need to adjust the top bracket, I happened to find this in a heap of junk, its from a linkage for Dellortos on a BMW 2002, it just happened to fit :) I will remake it as it flexes a bit but its a good template!

Could it be anymore simple? :) NO! Nothing sat on top of the carbs, minimal, effective. Happy, yes.
Trick to using a single cable no extra return springs is to use special return springs on the carbs, these are from Harley Davidson conversion kits?! I happened to have a pair, they are stiffer than normal, fatter coils and shorter with more initial pull, the return is every bit as good as the Magard linkage...It feels no different...It did take me all afternoon to do it though!

Carbs are actually Turbo models, hense the epoxy you can see glued over the lead plugs to stop them blowing out at 25psi of boost? :)

Tarting, cutting, building!

Front of the chassis was looking a bit crappy. The powder coating used was a bit crap, thin, and it was surface rusting in a few places...So I hacked off a few minor and important areas...Such as the end pieces that hold a valance on, the plastic valance is about 1.5kilos so no need for massive bracing...Also hacked a bit out the middle...Was tempted to really get serious, but that involves more work, and maybe next time.

Repainted it with Jenolite Repaint, thinned with white spirit and sprayed on...Its a good enough, better than chipper-rite.

Dried quickly cause it was thinned and I added some activator? Finished off my shroad come lower rad mount.
I may make an airbox in the future, alloy job, then reduce the length of my trumpets by 3/4"...So I will factor in the design of a filter and feed system to the side shroad of the radiator or something.

Did some other small jobs, cut a hole for the oil filter in the plate, drilled new holes to move the rack mount across as far as possible to clear the oil hoses.. blah blah.

Saved 1.2kilos with the cut out bits, off sets my alloy sheets.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hey Rumpith

Like my new remote filter bracket? :)
Have to take it all off again, finally tweak a few bits, hack off the rad lug brackets that are redundant.

Quick measure, attack some alloy sheet with a jigsaw and file, you get a nice bracket, fits first time!
Could add an oil temp sensor in the filter head..There is a place to drill and tap a hole for one..But then my apollo tank has a take off too.
Marked up the apollo tank ready for welding, as bottom take off need changing in location. Will make some mounts for it later, won't go on initially but will as soon major trashing and trackwork are on the cards.
If I need an oil cooler I will use a Laminova heat exchanger, not a radiator, so I need to account for the pipework design...Be using decent synthetic oil anyway so 100degrees is working temp really.

Crap catcher

Well my welder got wacked with a 2 tonne piece of steel today, so he is out of action till Saturday! Hopefully we can get everything welded Saturday bar the gearbox tunnel, cause I haven't finished thinking about that yet!! Also need more materials...and the bulkhead to be fixed in place properly.

As such, I was never 100% happy with my radiator mounting system...

So I remade it, or some of it, the plate shown above needs final cutting and shaping, but its 2.5mm alloy, this doubles as a base shroud for the rad, but also has a section lip- bend up at the back which has 6 holes drilled through it. These holes relate to holes in the radiator base plate, so the rad is mounted to this plate on 6x M4 bolts, its rock solid. Also remade the stilts that hold the radiator up, image shows a new one from alloy tube with an M8 stud screwed into the bottom, which bolts through the chassis...The system before relied on the kenlowe fan poles serving two jobs, 1 holding the kenlowe and 2 holding the rad. No kenlowe this time, so new system needed...I can reuse the old top shroud. I need to fasteners to finish the job.

I also made a crap catcher or deflection plate, basically sheeted the front section of the chassis, to keep rocks, stones and crap out of my timing belts and engine bay.....Also this will force air under the car, gently, rather than it hitting the front cross member and it acting like an airbrake, forcing air up and down in the engine bay...
Needs a few final bends and fastening properly..

I did have this bizarre idea of making the whole bottom of the car flat, like a Lotus Elise. Copying the Elise front spoiler...Flat paneling the entire bottom of the car from one sheet of alloy with just recesses for the wheels, so the undertray and diffuser can be dropped off in one unit in a few minutes.. (no exhaust no problem - chassis and sill edges are same level, making an undertray would be easy) , then buildling an exact replica of the Elise diffuser under the boot, so generating downforce...If the chassis angle can be replicated, no reason it won't work if I make an exact replica...Just needs about £80's worth of alloy sheet...Increase top-end speed'll have enough! Bit of weight increase but... Thats not on my list of prep before the 10CR though :) Maybe next winter when I fit a Subaru Diff and new suspension.

Engine in and out again tonite!

Actually being held up by the welding now! Which is good. Shows I am getting close cause I ran out jobs hense the radiator work, which wasn't essential.

Oh and best not forget to cut a closely fitting hole that the oil filter will poke through :) I did check first I can get a filter remover tool on it :)

Also the engine is VERY solid on the engine mounts, Caterham use these also E-type Jag, they are nearly rock solid, you can't move the engine at all really without waggling the car, so they might even stiffen up the shock towers a tiny little bit? Not as much as the strut brace I will be making though ;)

Oh and I can now mount the remote filter off the plate I added behind the radiator, cause thats 2.5mm alloy also, for this very reason! I love a good plan! I can then hack off those stock radiator mount lugs from the chassis, cause they weight as much as one of my plate sections. Plus mounting the filter off those lugs was a bit messy and I needed to make a bracket anyway, due to the angles involved with mounting the remote filter head on that bracket for the stock rad the bracket would need to be overly complex.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brakes, pipes, making stuff

Another evening constructing stuff.

Fitted half my new manifold studs, threads are bead blasted on the old ones? and they are a bit short for the lotus spacer rings I want to use to mount the carbs.

Made a bleed line for the clutch system, its goodridge rear brake pipe for a 1500 spit I had left over, brand new :) It fits on the side of the block in a Rosejoint :) you just use a pair of spanners to undo the bleed nip and bleed away! no gearbox tunnel removal or backache...I was going to add a remote bleed to the Spitfire box, but never got round to it. You can do the job on your own too if you reach round the bukhead :)
Finshed off my pedal mounting bracket. I made a new bracket rather than welding the cut up one. I always use adjustable clevis pins on the pedals, it allows customised position of the pedals for better heel and toe, something I never quite for the position right for before...
Funny brake master cylinder has a remote reserviour, which is placed in a slightly bizarre location, but kind of forced into running one, as there is not room for two reserviour incorperated master cylinders next to eachother, atleast not if you want to undo the caps and not have them rubbing together, this is all caused by my huge trumpets :)
The bracket has no mount lip on the passenger side, so the bracket bolts through the new bulkhead in 3 places, its solid as a rock, will add captive or welded on nuts in all these hard to reach places...the pedal unit/bracket and master cylinders is easily removed as one unit, you just remove the pipes, which will be braided with swivel joint and lift the master cylinders out as a unit..All good.
I added a brace across the top like normal bracket to stop the middle bending under load...Its all good. Should be mostly welded up Thursday evening...
Here is the bizarre fluid reserviour location! on the rollcage corner of the dash, doesn't effect vision and is ok! Its a stripped down fast car not a concours leather interior machine...Nowhere else to put it, as it needs some gravity to feed down...Suppose if you spring a brake leak or loose fluid you get a warning at 140mph at Nurburgring :) Like a motorbike, you can see yout fluids! I am happy, it won't leak cause its all Willwood stuff, not Triumph!
Still tonnes of small jobs, but I am getting there, its not that relaxing atm, its bit of a rush! however there will be no consessions in quality control, if the car is ready for the 10CR great, if not we use Steves? If thats not ready, I'll rent a Triumph from my mate in Worcester? :)
78days to the 10CR! Jag back next week too...ouch but not much to do on it...I think I will be suffering from some burn out soon. Its been every evening and wot not for 2weeks till 3-4am!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Another late one...

Wiring is all done! Hooray. My welder bloke is useless, he's fired, will call another guy, who did some good work years ago.

Had to spend some pennies today ordered everything to finish off the car from raly design, not much only £62!...Ordered some random fixings for braided lines, a wilwood master cylinder with remote reserviour for my brakes, few studs, connectors etc...

I think PROPER VVC followers, not BMW ones! are £15 a pop...For that price I am gonna buy another engine! Strip the inlet, VVC system, pullies and everything of it leaving the head and block, sell that stripped off stuff for about £300 like last time, have a spare engine for free and some followers I can reface! Seems stupid to do it any other way!

You know my VVC engne cost me £450, that came with the special bellhousing, special clutch, mod flywheel, spigot bearing for use in kitcar, wiring, dash, about a grands worth of stuff...Flogged everything I didn't need for about £300! I got such a steal £150 for basically everything, the bellhousing alone is £300, £150 for the clutch, about £100's worth of work on the flywheel, £30 for the caterham spigot!

Barely any costs left bar a custom exhaust section and welding and some paint...I have to get this welding done this week...I can paint it then and its really just fitting the thing finally, which is a doddle cause its all been fitted finally anyway. I think the home stretch is very close.

I really need to get a pukka welder and learn to weld, its well over time I need to be totally self sufficient!

Should have pullled my finger out earlier.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


All systems alive and wired, just need a new pacet fan and its done, the bloody kenlowe melts fuses and heats up the wires? Heap of junk! Had to hack open the entire loom and go spaghetti style. Couldn't hide the loom where I wanted as the wires were too short..Oh well neat enough, doesn't look quite as pukka in the photos..Have to deswarf the chassis, might give a coat of black..Used some Alfa Romeo quick release connectors on a few joints for ease of assembly and engine removing etc.. No bullet connectors, all soldered joints on important stuff.

Its all fitted inside corrigated tubing through the entire car...
One less job, damn 12hr session...Its all gotta come out again, but it'll nice and easy finally assembly, kind of like building a Caterham kit!

Birdies are a tweeting..Sleep time. I think I have done 80hrs on it this week in the evenings and night-time!

Never ending!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

All systems are go.

Very productive afternoon and evening.

Got a 960mm 5 groove belt and a 975mm one from Halfrauds and some STP oil treatment for cam bedding...Went to some other places first no joy, Halfrauds had a really crap selection, ie not many, but just what I needed!

Checking which belt worked best, 960 ok or 975, so used 960.
6mm gap to the tower from my oil block, also the pipes clear the belt by a 3/4"...All good.
About the neatest I could come up with...
Small issue in the new location the alternator is too close to the engine mount for a bolt to be fitted, no biggy, just have to hack 1/2" off the top of the engine mount and weld it again...No bother. Had to stick the engine back in to check before hunting for a belt and proceeding.
You can just make the lower tension adjustment and mount...Its solid as a rock, 5mm steel braces with oval holes for adjustment of the tension on the belt..The braces are held on an M10 bolt which goes right through the mount, there is a steel sleeve taking up the area between the rear brace and the rear mount eye, so the bolt/alternator can load through the entire lower bracket not just one lug...Strenghr and fatigue reduction of course. All good, happy with that.
Simply enough system...
Only real task left is the water rail that will run over the manifold, over the top alternator mount and to the rad...
Fitted the starter and tested it, tad tight on the ring gear, but it'll bed in. Spins over like a gooden.

Made an earth strap. Things are really coming together. Hopefully by the weekends end I will have strung up and adjusted the wiring for the front, will be run along the chassis rail where it can't be seen on P clips. That leaves errrrrr...Not much, pull it all out, finally assembly everything, do bulkhead and tunnel and then its final build.

Got some followers from ebay, decent quality shame the tit sent BMW M42 engine ones...Funny they do fit, they are the same size, but they are heavy, they aren't Rover ones, what the hell do I want BMW items for, I want Rover items? Some prat selling BMW items for Rover just cause they fit? selling them as Rover items...They may fit but they are not Rover ones...I am disputing the sale atm as the seller is a prat and owes me £80.

I remember someone saying "engine swap, cop out innit" after my blow up..

Cop out, yes right? I could have 1000 triumph engines by now..Engine swap to this standard ain't a cop it, its plain madness! :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Engine build near complete

Head is on, not using the new MultiLaterSteel LandRover Head Gasket.

Instead an uprated Lotus gasket of the original type. Saves the 0.010" shim on the MLS. Keeps my compression up a bit more.

Below is a head bolt, this holds the entire engine together, 10 of them clamp the head/block/ladder/oil rail together...

Funny engine! You do them up to 20nm, then 180deg and another 180 deg in sequence. Seems pretty hardcore by the effort required...Hopefully ok, what can you do, follow the book! I am a K-series virgin. Nasty hearing some creaks and clicks as you do them up! a lump of cast iron it is not!

Alternator kind of fell into place after I found a rare alternator mount for high location, usually its low mounted and right in the way of the shock turret...I managed to get the pulley off my micro alternator, it was stuck on, impact wrench wouldn't shift it without spinning the pulley, had to use some alternative techniques :)

I robbed a 5 groove pullley from a Rover 820 Diesel it fits perfectly enough, but I will lathe some material from it where the nut sits, as the thread on the alternator shaft is designed for a thinner pulley face so there isn't many threads left sticking out as the nut is faced.

It needs a 930mm belt 5 groove, hopefully that won't cause me too much hassle.

It'll pivot from the top point the adjustment is on the bottom link.
All lines up, also its a decent distance from the exhaust mounted this way, which was a problem when mounted low down.

The adjustment for tension is prolific as the alternator lugs are vertical, so the bottom link swings it out loads, can probably run a 950mm belt if needed...The bottom link will be stronger than the top mount, as the top mount is a bit feeble, the adjustment bracket I will make after finding a belt tomorrow will be taking the majority of the vibration and load as well as being the adjustment point, probably some stripped of 4mm steel like a normal bracket but a pair of them gripping the bottom lug either side and fixed with M10 hex bolts. Also pleases me that the bracket system is out of sight under the alternator, leaving only a pivot and bracket at the top.

Neat enough and also just enough room for my water rail to go over the top.
The only remains of the old water thermostat housing is the plastic bit between the block and dipstick tube :) Hacked off the housing!

Coming on, but detailing stuff to look and work good is time consuming...

When its all together I'd hope for the neatest looking and most simple conversion possible, total neatness.

Thought it best to actually check the uprated pipercams cambelt is the right one, as it was an ebay special.
All seems to fit...Hopefully I can wrap up the alternator tomorrow, I think thats the last of the actual engine related mods.