Friday, July 10, 2009

Few thousand miles....



Having got over the mammoth task of doing the engine swap, refinements, majority of engine tuning might be time explain my thoughts towards this monster I have created?!

It's been a good few weeks with the car. Why? Really I haven't "needed" to once open the bonnet to fix anything bar that clutch problem since mile one, which is good. However bar making very small adjustments to the carbs pump system I haven't felt the need to change anything for a few weeks. It's all held together, all worked as intended.

I've fiddled with tyre pressure, dampers, ride height but nothing fundemental.

Was a long slog to get the carbs where I wanted them, which wore me out a bit, hense I have been quiet on this blog building up some motive. I think it was hard mainly due to this funny short primary exhaust manifold.

I think its a bit crap low down and wakes up at 3800rpm or so. I have the ignition/fuel setup on the nose low down and it's flat on every

Ended up making some custom idle jet holders and custom emulsion tubes which I am currently happy with. This was to get the cross-over from circuit to circuit good. I mean good, I mean faultless. So good that I barely need the pump jets in the carbs.

Ecomony is good now, made some minor adjustments to the ignition map and I'd say the low-end is done. I'd like to get it on the rolling road now the fuelling is perfect all over to setup the ignition mapping from 3500rpm-redline.

I say the exhaust is bit mute/crap low down however with the weight of the car it's still got plenty of torque you can drive in 5th gear everywhere and it'll still be perform like the old engine through the gears?! Remembering that is just 1800cc! It's fine, it goes really nicely the top-end is excellent, and there is very much two sides to the car.

I just mean I could see some 20ft lb additions to the low-end. It's a bit flat but it drives faultlessly. I am actually pretty happy with the whole setup atm. Top-end power is good. I don't expect a change to 4-2-1 exhaust manifold would improve the top-end at all.

I really haven't felt the need to adjust the cam-timing or carbs jetting at all, I only modded the ignition map the other day as on 95RON fuel I heard some pinking labouring up a hill in 3rd.

I mentioned two sides to the car. I've got it so good low down, it's just like driving my BMW when pottering about, faultless silky smooth feel to the throttle, no rough areas, flat spots, jerking, hunting, pulsing, you'd need a ride in it to feel how nice it is. It's really nice to just go out and potter about in, happy in town, can drive it at 1200rpm in 5th gear and it picks up clean, drives itself along really nicely on closed throttle considering the fact the flywheel is so light.

The other side to the car is somewhere you don't stay in for long, as you pass legal speeds in a second or two or come on the next corner. It's a total animal when you keep it in the wide-open throttle location between 5000-7300rpm.

So I've got two worlds. I had this with the tuned 1300 but it was flat as a fart at the bottom.

I think now the engines pretty well setup that the whole effort was worth it, the car is really ballistic performance wise, not stupidly fast but there are loads of upgrades for finding another 30-60HP, but able to manage the power ok and and doesn't resemble a Triumph at all in performance, handling, poise and ride anymore.

I've been out everyday in it for about a week "blatting" for an hour or so just enjoying what I have created without any need to stop and measuring something or adjust something, thats really nice. "Blat" is a caterham term for a drive :) Blatting means you can overtake any car you come across and spin your wheels alot and be bad.

The handling is just miles better, you turn in harder, later and sharper and there is none of that understeer and front-end wash, it's just on rails, really noticable in slow corners.

I think the effort put into the front suspension was very much worth it, it's a big step forward. Another level.

I drove a "tuned" spitfire the other day, with all the normal additions, being frank it was a terrible, vaige, wandering, rackish, yuck!

One thing that's really noticeable with my car is the fact everything is SO SO tight, you have no vaigeness anywhere, no wandering, it's just all put together well and working nicely. You'd need to drive it to understand.

The effort put into my car has really just moved it into another level. Have to get passenger seat in the car sometime so people could understand what I mean :)

I've given the car some pretty hard use I go out driving ~ I go out "driving"...Nothing appears to want to break atm.

Engine has used a little oil in 3000miles, about 1/4 of the measurement marker on the dipstick, barely anything. I don't really care about the engine, only the cylinder head, the engines are two to a penny.

Traction is quite poor now with the superlowered suspension setup I re-instated, back to 2006 level. Camber is massive on the back, gone is that unstable handling I mentioned and it's back on rails, but it's just a joke it spins wheels the now in 3rd if you hit a bump and can spin in the dry all the way through 2nd...

Its pretty easy to handle and control when it goes sideways, hard to compare it to before "balance" wise bar what I said about turning harder, sharper and faster and being less fissy...cause it was difficult to establish what the balance was bar on the track when you can go in superdeep and drive through the corner on the power, I admit I've not gone total nuts in the car cause your doing 120mph in the blink of an eye! I do know it's MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to drift cause of the pure power increase, you can spin the inside wheel at 100mph in a corner and go sideways, before on the 1300 that was all over by about 50mph.

I did get epic'ally sideways in 2nd the other night, kind of missed the fact it was a bit damp and mashed the pedal I ended up looking through the passenger window to look down the road with near full lock on :) Good to see my cat like reactions automatically scooped it up I drove the next 1/2 mile literally laughing my head off at how insanely out of control that was :) I am sure it was good show for the punters drinking in the Malvern Hills Hotel beer garden. Would be bad to have ended up inside the pub.

There are somethings the car needs;

It's crying out for a different gearbox, the stock type9 ratios are appauling when you start pushing serious power. 2nd gear is good for 62mph @ 7300rpm I think but it's just a joke, you can be at 20mph in 2nd and floor the throttle and your on the limiter in about 2seconds :) You might think 60mph is ok in 2nd, but it's not, you can't use 2nd around a hairpin really cause as soon as press the pedal on the exit your thrown up the tarmac so fast you need to shift gears. Would be really more useable with a TranX or Quaife box.

I've been using the rev limiter ALOT, it's not my style but the engine spins up so fast it's hard to understand whats going on :) Also it breaks traction alot and you can find yourself on the limiter.

I cycled past a wheelspin i did the otherday on the backlane, it was about 80metres along :)

1st gear is useless I've taken to pulling off in 2nd now.

Basically it needs a 1st good for 45-50mph and 2nd good for 75mph and 3rd good for 100mph or something.

The rearsuspension is actually ok, but it's not great as transmitting power over uneven surfaces and it tramps and dives alot. So it needs the roto-CV, coil over job doing, don't think it needs anything that fancy just needs setting up correctly, right dampers, springs and geo.

Passenger seat and a hood.

Very much in my good books atm. Turn-key use.

Hoping it gets me through the summer, I'll pull it apart over the winter and do all the above. It's quite brash I might add a few kilos of carpet / make my carpet set / trim it, make it a bit more refined. Got a few harmonics in the tub as the engine is near hard mounted and the seat belt bar has harmonic and rings at a certain rpm related to the exhaust, so could fill that with foam or something. Still got a fuel smell in the boot, can't trace it, no leaks, no damp spots, odd.

It's not a car you can exploit on the road, you'll get into serious trouble!