29th - Engine Grinding
With a slight
break for Xmas, we got back on with the job when Brent
was called upon to perform some surgery on the new
engine block. Brent kindly came over with his angle
grinder and removed the material necessary to allow
the starter motor to fit. He even worked in the snow
fall we had!
At the same time, I took the opportunity to get under
the car and to fit the new propshaft to the diff flange
with some new blue bolts and to torque them up with
Jason's new torque wrench.
After Brent left we moved the old engines to the front
of the spare garage and retreated into a closed garage
for warmth. Their wasn't any though. For the second
time, I fitted the spigot bearing
sleeve and the bearing in the end of the crank. Next
we fitted the new lightweight flywheel and hit the
The old clutch cover bolts are M7, the new flywheel
and clutch are designed for M8's. Now, when Jason
ordered a new flywheel and complete new clutch assembly
in one order, you'd have thought they'd ask if you
needed the different bolts, wouldn't you... but no,
they didn't. A few checks around and no one seems
to stock what we need, so we are currently waiting
to see if AHC in Camberly can get them in before the
new year so we can get on with things. If they can't
then we will have to wait until after the 5th January
and for Caterham to open. This is a shame as their
isn't a lot holding us back from dropping the new
engine in now.
21st - Engine Building @ The Vatican
from the problem of having a 1.6 engine instead of
the 1.8, Dave
came up trumps with a 1.8VVC bottom end and an Elise
135 head. This would in theory give a bit more performance
from Jason's K04 kit. To collect the engine, first
we had to get in the way of Dave whilst he built it,
so it was off to Milton Keynes again.
We arrived at around 11am and generally got in the
way whilst Dave fitted the various parts that we had
brought with us (Sump, Cams, Seals, Shiny
Cam Cover, etc). We finished around 5pm and had
a complete engine ready to go, the cams are timed
correctly, and all that is left is to grind the block
for the starter motor and fit the remaining bits.
14th - Propshaft Swap
A last minute
posting got a loan of the big 41mm socket needed to
undo the half shafts on a De-Dion. Thanks very much
Mark (aka F355GTS on Blatchat).
As it turned out we didn't actually use it as when
I arrived Jason had found a procedure that seemed
to do away with the need to remove the half shafts
to drop the diff. After some umming and arrring I
decided that it seemed possible so we'd give that
a go and hopefully save ourselves some work.
First of all though we checked the new engines stroke
with a 5mm rod I had dropped down No.1 cylinder. Alas
it confirmed that, with ~79mm, it was indeed a 1.6
- it was official. Doh.
So, before depression set in, we got stuck into the
propshaft. A rough guide to what we did is as follows
(with some allowances added in for starting half way
and out prop was already unbolted remember):-
||- Loosen wheel nuts
- Jack rear and secure with axle stands ensuring
a working clearance around the diff and DD tube.
- Unbolt the A-frame at the front where it fixed
- Unbolt damper to DD tube bolts
- Lift DD tube up and 'hook' it over the chassis
rail running in front of the fual tank
- Unbolt the lower diff bolts and catch the shims
that fall out - make a note of the number/type
- Unbolt the upper 11" diff bolt and position
a jack under the diff before withdrawing.
- Lower diff down until it comes to rest on the
- Snip cable ties and lower DD tube back down.
- Feed the propshaft out over the top of the diff
and work it out around the handbrake cable
- Refitting is the opposite of above. The
diff shims are a right pain in the.....
|This did take us a while. Partly I think
it was because it was mostly all new to me, partly it
was pretty cramped under the car, but mostly because
the diff is oh soo heavy that moving it around to line
up bolts is near impossible for a lightweight racing
snake like myself (must look at increasing my personal
power to weight).
It was a good job to get done, and another one where
no real problems slowed us down, just the fiddly stuff.
13th - Tarts Cam Cover
As an EU2 engine
is required to mate to the loom and ECU, etc, in Jason's
1996 car the current cam cover was going to be retained
as it is one of the differences from the newer EU3.
As such I saw an opportunity to make it look a bit
more non-standard (read boring) by removing the paint
from the top of the cast ali fins and polishing the
I started off cleaning both the cover and the plug
insert in a bowl of warm water (see pic
1 for result) and set to work on the plug cover
first. I used a couple of files before settling on
a round course file to remove material quickly. The
Caterham Supersport logo and the end fins were actually
recessed below the outer two fins which meant a lot
of filing before all the paint was removed. Then a
less aggressive file was used to remove the deep scratches,
followed by a fine needle file. Lastly I worked from
240 grit, through 400 to 1500 grit wet & dry,
used wet, which I wrapped around a scrap bit of wood
to give a flat sanding block. I then wrapped some
cloth around the wood and used some metal polish to
give it a nice shine.
The cam cover came next and it was at this point that
it dawned on me that I could use my orbital sander
to get rid of the paint layer. This was much easier,
although thankfully, all the detailing was at the
same level this time. The orbital removed all the
paint and left a much better surface so I could go
straight to the wet & dry stage as before.
I'm pretty pleased with the end result, although it
is perhaps a bit too polished (yes folks - I said
that!). Possibly better would be to dull down the
polishing on the cover so that it has a brushed look.
On the other hand - it is Jason's car, so let's face
it, it won't take long to dull down! (I'll have to
buy him some polish for Xmas).
11th - New Engine Dressing
Jason was off
looking after a sick family so I took the opportunity
of going over earlier than usual and getting more
done. As a result I was able to start at 6pm, hoping
it wouldn't be another 1pm finish. Jason would join
me when he could.
The first job I tackled was one
I had not been looking forward to. Fitting the spigot
bearing sleeve into the end of the crank, followed
by the bearing itself. I'd posted for some advice
and decided after a few minutes of inspection that
the crank definitely needed easing out slightly, so
out came the Demel-a-like and a small tube sanding
disc removed some material. I then used a flat steel
bar I have and used this to deliver a square blow
with the hammer (sandwich the plate between hammer
and sleeve). Once the sleeve was level with the end
of the crank I used a suitable socket to tap it in
the last few millimeters. I had put a light coating
of threat-lock on the sleeve beforehand, so it won't
be moving anytime soon. The bearing was then a straightforward
matter of again taping it into place, but with a much
larger surface area to hit, this is much easier.
Next was to remove the lower inlet studs as these
would be replaced with some cap head bolts due to
clearance on the TB's. These were thread-locked in
place, but with the aid of two M8 nuts locked together
they would undo.
I then lifted the cam cover off his old engine as
I had offered to clean this up and make it look all
'tarty' worthy of his new whizzy engine.
Jason joined me and we decided to tackle the sumps.
We lifted the old engine up onto the workmate and
then tried to catch all the spilling oil. The Caterham
sump came off easily as did the foam baffle and plate
and the pick-up pipe. We lifted the de-sumped engine
onto a clearer space and moved the new engine in it's
place. The standard sump and pick-up pipe were removed
and fitted to the old engine so that it could stand
and be moved easily. The Caterham sump was then cleaned
out and fitted. It was slightly worrying that we found
some small stones, bigger than sand, in the bottom
of the sump when we removed it - we couldn't think
how it got there!
That was the end of the evening really, apart from
that whilst the engine was up on the workmate, Jason
spotted the engine number and commentated on noting
it down before we ground it off to enable the starter
motor to fit. He commentated on the fact that it started
16K4... and we wondered if that meant it was actually
a 1.6 and not a 1.8. Unfortunately Jason's investigations
later that night revealed that it was indeed a 1.6.
7th - Throttle Body modifications
Whilst at Dave's
he pointed out that the bodies needed a bit of fettling
to provide clearance for the throttle cable and also
the 'spout' fitting (which connects to the heater
tank). As I have more spare time than Jason, I suggested
taking these parts home and doing these when I had
chance, so they'd be ready to be fitted rather than
being another job using up the valuable 'Jason's Garage
Time' that we got.
First was to fit the throttle cable bolt. This required
the hole in the linkage enlarging to 6mm. The bolt
then had to be drilled to take the cable, such that
it would be clamped between two washers & nuts.
This was straightforward, but I have decided that
all my drills are way past their best - a useful Christmas
present idea though.
I then filed away part of the web next to the head
of the above bolt to give a bit more clearance and
then again filed away quite a lot of material where
the spout will be fitted. I have decided to get a
bit more information on fitting the spout as I have
read it needs to be taped and also that it can be
self-taped in place. Seeing as it isn't my expensive
throttle body, I'll wait until I am sure before going
any further with that one!
I trial fitted the backplate of the airbox, and the
trumpets, etc. I have thread locked the trumpet studs
into one of the TB's, I'm leaving the others until
the spout is fitted as they'll get in the way.
I had read a post
about a bolt falling out of the backplate, resulting
in the captive nut working loose and then falling
into the engine, destroying a piston and damaging
the DVA head. I didn't want this to happen, so although
I'll be thread-locking the airbox bolts in place,
I have added a few large dollops on silicone to hold
the captive bolts in place. I could see that this
had already been done, but I have tripled the amount,
so no way will they fall off.
Note: See here
for an update regarding the airbox.
Saturday 6th - Collecting
Shiny Parts - Jason's
I accompanied Jason on a large round trip which started
off with collecting the gearbox from Brain Hill at
It was great to see his workshop, and a real set back
in time to old school engineering. How he manages
to find anything is a mystery to me as every available
wall surface has a rack against it and every spare
square inch of floor accommodates a box of gears,
a casing, tail section, or some other bit I didn't
In timed honored tradition, we were running late and
we didn't leave BGH until around 25mins to 11. We
both thought that Caterham
Parts closed at 11am so although we'd try to make
it (I was to meet a buyer for my JPE screen) we didn't
think we'd make it before they closed. We arrived
at the motorway at 10 to 11 and I called them to see
if their was any chance of them staying open until
we arrived - Jason was spending a load of wonga with
them afterall. From this call I learnt that they were
open until half past, so we just made it. I sold my
JPE screen and Jason got the propshaft, clutch, lightweight
flywheel, cam belt, various fixings, bearings, etc.
North to Milton Keynes and we collected another box
of goodies from Dave
Andrews. This comprised of the throttle bodies,
airbox, cams, verniers, Emerald ECU and fixing kits.
Dave talked us through a few things and bent the throttle
linkage for us before we set off home. The challenge
of finding the lowest mpg figure on the trip computer
whilst negotiating a roundabout was postponed while
the gearbox and two heavy boxes were in the car. I
then took the TB's and the airbox home with me to
do a few little jobs on them as I'd have the time.
A phone call from Mandy as I was about to leave to
say our heating had packed up dampened my spirits
somewhat, but I soon found that this was due to the
her pushing a box against the power switch at the
back of the cupboard - I shall get to play with TB's
tomorrow after all.
Thursday 4th - Propshaft
Agro - Jason's
Jason had the good news that his gearbox was ready
and he could collect it on Saturday. He also had some
bad news that his propshaft was causing damage to
the metal bearing inside the gearbox tail. Getting
the information 2nd hand and not really knowing the
internals of a type 9 gearbox meant that I didn't
really know what damage to look for on the prop. I
couldn't see anything obvious, but we thought it would
be a good idea if we removed the propshaft and took
it along when we collect the new box for inspection.
We jacked the rear up, I wriggled underneath armed
with a wrench and socket and with Jason applying and
releasing the handbrake, removed the 4 bolts that
hold the propshaft to the diff. It was, however, this
point that I realised that the propshaft won't actually
come out with the diff in place. I rather stupidly
didn't check this out before starting the job. On
my car, a live axle, it is easy to undo the bolts,
slide the prop forward, drop the rear and slide it
out the lower tunnel chassis rails.
We gave up and went inside to search the web for hope
that it could indeed be done. We didn't find any,
so as I type this I'm really looking forward to dropping
the diff to remove the prop. We did take a picture
and Jason did a good large print which we showed to
Brian at BGH.
His opinion was that there looked like a bit of pick-up
from the bearing and that it wasn't worth taking the
risk with that prop again. We got a new one when we
were at Caterham
after seeing him.
Wednesday 3th - Old Engine
Strip - Jason's
Today we had the intention of removing the Caterham
sump, ready to be fitted to the new 1.8 engine. Unfortunately
(or should that now be of course?) things didn't go
to plan and we didn't quite get that far. The first
job we decided to tackle was to remove the new engines
MGF flywheel which Jason is going to replace with
a new lightweight Caterham version. This was straightforward,
but the amount of threadlock used meant the bolts
were flipping tight all the way. I stuck a socket
on the pulley bolt to hold the engine still and Jason
did all the hard work of removing the six retaining
Once this was done we moved over to the old engine
and looked at which parts needed to be retained. Before
we got on with the important items, out of interest
we decide to have a look at the state of the clutch.
I think this has been on Jason's car for some 40k
miles now and it looked like it. These was very little
material left. Once the clutch cover was removed it
was possible to inspect the spigot bearing, and compare
to the new engine. One of us spotted that they looked
different diameters, so we used a digi-vernier to
find out that they were. Oh no, I thought, I'm sure
Caterham only have one bearing for all the cars...
what has Jason bought here! Fortunately a posting
on Blatchat revealed that this is known and in fact
Caterham supply a small, 0.75mm thick, sleeve which
allows the standard bearing to be fitted to a 1.8
crank. It was good that we checked this as we were
able to then add this to the list of parts needed.
A later post
gave some idea of how to fit said sleeve, but that's
a way off in the future yet.
We moved on to the alternator bracket, which would
be needed on the new engine. All of the bolts came
out with no problem... all except one, of course.
This decided to round off and no spanners or sockets
would stay fitted. I used a hacksaw to make a slot
and tried a screwdriver with spanner on the shank...
no way! I know, what about an impact driver... Jason
had one, like all his tools, perfectly preserved in
it's box, looking unused! We tried a few hits, but
the engine was sliding along the floor.. It needed
to be laid down so the hit was down onto it. This
then meant that we had to remove the inlet paraphernalia
and other bits on the inlet side to avoid damaging
them. This was done and with a nice fresh supply of
engine oil leaking out to slow us down, we eventually
got the engine laid over on its side. A few more harder
wallops and still the bolt wouldn't budge. We started
to contemplate just leaving it and buying a new bracket,
but I was aware that even without the alternator bracket
problem, Jason's Caterham bill was escalating skywards.
We next tried to drill down the head of the bolt,
such that it would come off and we'd be able to just
leave a stud in the useless block. Again we were defeated
as the bolt was too hard. In a fit of anger I tried
the impact driver again, and Jason surprising said
that it had moved. Indeed it had and one more hit
had it unscrewing by hand. Job done and only the bolt
to add to the list.
This meant we were running too late to go any further
and we decided to clear up the oil, now also mixed
with coolant, and call it night. "You're a night"
we said. At around 11.30pm and I made my way home
ready for bed.