Monday, April 28, 2008

Remote Thermostat Waffle

Been doing some hunting...

Item below looks like the ticket...I can buy two of those for abour £10!

Its even got 32mm tails. The smaller pipe is the bypass...So while warming up water is cycled through the smaller pipe back to the before the water pump...Then when warm enough the stat opens it flows through both that and the radiator...

Probably an 87C stat in there atm...What I could do is slice it in half...Make two flanges and weld them to either half...inbetween the two flanges can be a normal thermostat housed in the Rover rubber ring...Basically replicating the rover two piece housing...Just slap it on for now.Other options are the QED kit as below, but thats £150, even 2nd hand probably £75.
Found this neat Nascar housing on ebay.
Probably just slap the top one in for a few quid eh. Quite keen on the thermostat idea, I always wanted to be able to run my 1300 a bit warmer at cruise on motorway...Water system was too efficient. I want to run a bypass now, so will need a thermostat.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Heater Valve

Brought a new Ford VA/Transit one (£4 with my ebay £10 coupon!)....its electrical operated.

This is a neat item for me, cause by the looks of it, it serves two functions...When the valve is closed the water will still circulate down the centre pipe...So clearly it operated by the thermostat bypass line. This means the water will either go via the bypass when its closed or through the heater when open, or through both when semi open.

I think I will add a remote thermostat, so this can be plumbed in to the bypass line via the two connectors on the right, the left connectors go to the heater...

Again this system and the remote thermostat will work with either EWP or stock water pump.

Only thing I have to do, and have done is it move the swirl pot right up to the end of the new water rail....

The remote thermostat will go between the swirl pot and the radiator in the top hose...

Obviously the swirl pot has a return line to the header tank which blows into the air space at the top, as such the swirl pot must always be under PRESSURE with water flowing out the head, so water flows OUT the small pipe on the top into the header tank.... If I place the remote thermostat before the swirl pot, when the thermostat is closed the swirl pot will be under suction, not pressure! So it would suck the air from the top of the header tank and cause all sorts of problems, till the stat opens and it switches from suction to pressure flow! No issues with the swirl pot before the remote thermostat though...

Not quite sure where the heater hosing/valve will go or routed, another lengthy session of head scratching.

I'll probably chop this thing up a bit, just leaving the flange the foam seal is in, drill a few holes and add a mounting plate, cut off those plastic legs on the right...Not sure if this is on/off or scaled in action...Not really bothered either, I usually want heat or no heat. Next job is finding that out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Water Rail Part 2

Quick welding session at lunctime. Stage 1 is complete. Now just need another mount for the alternator area, to stop any vibration. Also need to add the heater take off tube I have already prepared...First I need to work out what heatervalve to use, so I can place the takeoff in the place for neatest plumbing and minimalist fitment.It has a JIC4 weld-on stuck at the highest paet, to aid initial bleeding. I will put a JIC4 blanking cap over this.

Just have recut the seat slightly to get a bigger flat washer on the head end.

It moved out a few mm from alignment with the head it was parallel, but its not a problem, thats all part of the fun of taking pieces somewhere to be welded. I can't really tweak it back in without pressuring the flange, so just account that with a slight offset on the front bracket.

All good.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Water Rail Part 1

First job make a flange. Restricted the outer hole to 3/4".
Ported the back to match the head for clean flow.
Dropped into Concept Racing and got a better responce in person.

Brought a tight 90 bend, 50cm of straight tube, got them to bend the end to 40deg and bead it for the hose... Not bad for £20...
I had this temp gauge pipe insert before...I stuck in a lathe and chopped the hose ends off it and cut a recess so the tubing friction fits inside either end, to aid to welding, jigging and aligning and it makes a stronger joint.

Basically that part is done, may get it TIG'ed tomorrow, over the weekend I can make a front mount to bolt the front end to the alternator bracket and another mount to bolt it to the head at the back, vibration damping. I can also add a bleeding screw at the highest point, the heater take off tube...

Pleased with progress on that, its exactly what I wanted! That just about nails all the under bonnet fabrication. I can have a test run of the water system then...

May get a bracket added to the swirl pot and apollo tank, to bolt them together, bonnet clearance to the fitting that will go on the swirl pot is minimal, so I can force it down a little with it bolted to the tank.

Anyway, been putting this job off and its worked out well economically...As tubing is hard to get locally...Till I found the concept place...This bespoke stuff can be a pain in the arse driving all over the place to get stuff and get work done, paying for stuff, fuel...time...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Exhaust rambling.

Time to give this some thought.

I'd like to "sort" it for good...

I am two minds atm. The Caterham manifold I have is a 4-1. Below shows a 4-2-1, yes the primaries are too short I know. So my plan maybe to buy some 1.5" tube and 1.75" and modify my manifold into a 4-2-1.

I can slice off the collector, handmake some new collectors to get the pipes into two, not 1 as no.

I can then get the secondaries over a long length around the end of the sill and have a collector here, then into the main pipe 2.5".

That should help torque and low speed running.

Also the place my cousin works at can mandrel bend pipe, so I can go there and blag the machine and make my own exhaust, my cousin can tig it up...

Its better for me having two smaller pipes of the collector and along the outrigger as the wheel will not rub on them at full lock.

That would give me a half decent exhaust...I could do it for the material costs and small time on the bending machine.

Or just go 4-1 and that just needs a section of 2.25" bending up.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Its finished!

All done for ready for test drive...
No, not really.
Stuffed the suspension on to for a quick trial fit and check out the camber and castor before I modify those horrible canley bearing carriers. My long-term intension is to make tubular wishbones for the bottom with a new bearing housing. So for now I will weld a pair of tangs on the canley things so they are pinched by the original bolt and also the shocker bolt. The shocker has sphericals in the bottom and so there is a load of spacer with side, so instead of fitted large sidespacers on the bolt I will add tangs to the canley thing and run two small side spacers. This will mean the bearing housing is unable to rotate and is not reliant on "friction" to stay inplace. Would I use those carriers relying on friction and a single bolt? Not unless you held a gun to my head. I will also get a skilled TIG welder to add 8 small tig lines to the inside of the oversized bearing housing in the canley carrier 0-45-90-135-180 deg etc...I will them use an adjustable milling tool to take the opening out to an exceptable PRESS fitting tolerance, smather the bearing on bearing loctite and run that till I sort the new wishbones.

Thats a quality bodge of a complete bodge, for now it will fine...

The caterham links and housing appear to have no noticable effect on castor compared to a "normal" upright. I spent all afternoon messing.
Thats my suspension! I need two new steering arms for the upright and some wilwood brakes.
Steering rack geometry was as optimised as the stock location allows, before this round of mods, so requires no adjustment.
The wheel studs stick out just enough to slice small animals to pieces.
Its black, blue, red and silver!
Soldered up some of last connections, just need toadd another hole in the bulkhead for the main starter cable...been trying to find some nice bulkhead split connection, but can't find anything like it...
Fan sensor its under here, need another 90 bend of 32mm I/D tubing.
Thats it folks. Jobs are evaporating now.

Fuel line and main rear brake line need adding, and front braided lines to calipers making. Thats

Water rail.

Gearbox tunnel mould and hump welding in.

Paint floorpans.

Finish apollo tank.

Modify rocker cover to take -12 hose and make a catch tank bottle.

Find radiator sensors from scrappy to fill holes in radiator.

Buy brake kit.

Exhaust section.

Fit windscreen.

When that list is done it could be "run" and MOT'ed.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Techo Techno

More plumbing and messing about.

I have this odd urge to refit the stock water pump...

This really changes nowt in packaging terms, cause its been considered anyway...All I have to do is ditch the EWP, add in a section of hose where it sits atm.

Reasons? Reliability, it also makes the heater easier and one problem with the EWP could roast my head.

Fitting that up is easy enough, leave everything as it is.

Being as the whole water pipe from the radiator to the engine under the carbs would be under suction its basically just a job of adding two take offs to the alloy pipe under the carbs, one will suck from the heater the other would be used as a bypass for a remote thermostat. Leave the takeoff in the small section of hose before the EWP as is.

I am tempted to make a remote thermostat housing anyway and run that with a bypass. Just need a block of billet and few hours on a lathe.

I may just leave the basic system as is for now without the heater, as planned, see whats cooking with it.

Swapping the water pumps is only a 20min job anyway, off with the cambelt, out with the pump, new pump on, easy enough. Gives me something to fiddle with anyways.

Bushed my wishbones and setup the anti-roll bar so its hanging evenly, ie, both wishbones dead level with the rose-joints adjusted.
Next task will the water rail from the end of the hose below to the area on the back of the head with masking tape on. This will need a boss for the water temp gauge sender and a take-off to feed the heater...First I need to find a neat heater valve...I think some cars have neat electric solenoid ones, compact and well, electric! So I will Ebay that later.
Comong along, slowly...Man this stuff takes time/thought! You wouldn't believe how much? Its quite taxing.
Numerous unknowns, but I am quite confident in the systems :)

It'll be like my life's work is complete when its finished :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Alloy Pleasures.

Hooray, a completed piece of automotive artwork.
All nicely TIG'ed for the bargain price of £30 by my cousin.
He's actually quite good.
All just about stayed in line, had to oval 1 hole about 1/2mm. Where the bolts pass through the box section there are 1inch diameter solid tubes to allow it to be tightly clamped.
Got my Ford pressure cap on...No overflow on this setup, you just fill it to a sensible level and note the maximum level just before boiling point.

Quite pleased with that.
Also knocked up some tube section for the water pipe on this side of the engine, bolts to the shocker mount.
Give me a something to be getting on with over weekend fixing up plumbing, also got my swirl pot modified.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Probably be using some different top wishbones, with a Caterham balljoint, these have adjustable balljoint location, so adjustable camber.

This is good cause I was on 10 spacers on one side :) To get 2.25deg of negative camber...This left about 1/2 a turn of nylock on the nut locking it on the thread.

So I knocked up 8 of these alloy spacers to replace the shims...They are 6mm thick, two under each bracket, with a thin hardened washer and K-Nut I can probably squeeze another two of the normal packers in as well...This increases the trackwidth about 28mm over a car with no packers...The wishbones should sort the rest. It also keeps the distance the same on each side...All brackets packed out the same.Note Goodridge hardline fitting awaiting 10mm polymide coated alloy tubing for fuel line.

These are AN (aircraft navy) K-nuts they are supersrong like 150,000psi and have a self locking action via deformed threads and can be reused many times. I will use these on the brackets to allow as much packing as possible.
Should be getting my alloy stuff welded Friday. By my cousin actually, he did all my stuff before....That Concept Racing place (Boss) told me 6 week wait, no flexiblity, not willing to squeeze in an hours work, or that arsed I mentioned more stuff in the future, so they are off my list.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


My header tank strut brace nearing completion. Don't want it to fracture from vibration so it has 6 braces in effect that will double welded. Also the tank will be welded at the base to the box section.May add a top brace also.
Have to go stand over the welder cause its aligned to fit exactly where it is! This stuff is a pain the arse...Wish I had a TIG but its not worth it for £2000!
Need to make some tubes to weld inside the box section / bolt points that join on the shock tower to stop the box section compressing. Some end plates and another brace.
Get this done then I can move onto the apollo tank...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


That's complete! Bar just bolting down the roll cage and bolting the flanges on the dash to it later.
Cool. Just have to get some edge strip to stick on the seam of the dash, some furry stuff. If I add a dash gauge for my innovate wideband lambda probe it can go under the fuel pressure gauge.
All setup to see all the important bits.
Noone has a dash like mine eh? You note no speedo. Thats cause the SPA Tacho has a digital one, it also has programmable shift lights and shiftlight output driver for external shift lights, 0-whatever and anything you want 50-80mph etc etc timer, rev recall, odometer, trip mileage...So its not only useful for revs but tuning with the speed timer etc...It also does other stuff...Josh B sold it to me, which was nice cause at the price they cost I'd not be using one brought new!
Annoying they never stick a grommet on the capillary line before assembly...Its gonna be like trying to give birth through a straw getting one to go over the main nut...Maybe easier to try and ram it through the gap between the line and nut! Or slice one and superglue back together...Details Details! I have a totally sealed bulkhead so far.

Now left with only a few expenses...Some alloy welding, vac forming my gearbox tunnel and a brake kit, probably midlite Wilwood as the Caterham AP kit has pistons that are a bit too big. I am not sure on the Alcon kit cause of the solid discs...

Fuel Tank Level Sender mod

Ok so the RaceTech gauge didn't like my Triumph Sender, well it worked but was stuck @ 1/8th in the tank at full droop and not making max full @ full extension...I did try messing with it, it then seemed to conk out...

Lucky for me I got a big box of old Rover Parts. In the box happened to be two sender units. Quick test showed both worked perfectly, holding empty and full at max and min movement.

The one on the left is suitable for the tank...I gently tweaked the rod to the float so it sat a little lower in the tank. So now it sits about 1/2inch off the bottom of the tank on empty and 1/2inch from the top on full. Perfect! Gives me a 3/4 of a gallon reserve on empty.

Same shape, diameter, thickness, did have to just nip off a little block of plastic from the back to clear the locating tabs on the tank.
Should seal perfectly well it all went together as normal.
Gauge off.
Gauge on @ empty.
These gauges are great, the triumph shite takes about 1minute to go from max to min etc. These are instant...Maybe even so good I'd not bother using a capillary on the water temp had I known how far electric gauges had moved on...

Looks like another improvement! Also the gauge and sender at not effected by external voltage changes to anything like the degree of the old ones...about 10th as much, check that too.

Sender is a Metro/Maestro or Montego...Not sure...either way it was a free mod and an improvement! I was never happy with my fuel gauge anyway, it seemed to fluctuate.