Saturday, 5 August 2017

Rolling Road - Attempt 2

So here we go again, off to Steve Walford Motorsport to give the V6 another shot. With the Wales Trip next week, it was make or break. The plan was to get the car driveable. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the last post, this was off to a bad start....my car wasn't charging and the alternator was dead! As it turned out, the 100amp fuse protecting the system from the overload I'd experienced with touching the alternator live to the chassis had in fact done its job. With no alternatives, it was done without a fuse. I wouldn't recommend this however I was confident the reason was earthing the live side.

This time, you lot are in for a treat. my good friend Stu, theduck, has recently begun doing his own YouTube channel to document his own vehicular shenanigans. He came along to record, in his words, "the fireworks".....



So there we have it. Not the figures I was aiming for however there are a significant number of "get it running" components on the car. I can now use the car effectively and begin to rack up the miles before a 2nd summer is up!

For those who didn't watch, the Zero V6 managed 155bhp and 188lb-ft. I'll take that. There is definitely more to come! Time to get the car home and get ready for Wales next weekend! Nothing like a 600+ mile trip for its first proper outing!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Rolling Road Fix List

So here we go again, another issue to find and fix. This time however it was quite serious with no oil flowing! First thing first was to get the sump off. Best case, there was a chunk of this sealant gunk used blocking the pick up pipe. Nope, that was clear....there goes the easy fix!
Best strip this down further.






Oh wait a minute, would you look at that! Monumental cracking! This is the bit the pick up pipe connects to, going to the oil pump. No wonder it wasn't picking anything up!


Unfortunately It is quite a severe crack, going a good distance up the pipe. It is clear to see (with the actual part in hand) that the over-tightening of a bolt on the front of the engine has resulted in this crack. Quite possibly self inflicted. *Hangs head in shame.



However, this has been limited to just the oil pump, which as it turns out, is very easy to change in situ. Especially when I have a spare engine already out the car to practice on!

Pumps off, new spare pump on. All in under an hour! Brilliant!

A quick fire up to check the flow of oil is back and top job! All done and no leaks or horrible oil starvation related noises!

On to the next issue.....






One of the problems I also appeared to have was the alternator wasn't charging. Having purchased a nice and small 40amp alternator, I figured the 120amp standard on the MX6 may have meant the V6 pulled more amps than expected. -We will unsurprisingly revisit this in the future, so keep your eyes peeled!

A new fancy mounting bracket and an old MX5 alternator is fitted. These were rated at 70amps-90amps depending on the year, so with mine unknown, I knew it was at least more than my 40amp.

As it later transpired on the way to the rolling road session part 2 (to follow soon), I had actually blown the 100amp fuse when I had forgot to disconnect the battery and the live wire touched the chassis. I hadn't thought too much of it then as I was more relieved there had not been flames! Again, an easy fix in the end, despite the unnecessary work head scratching!

Finally, the one thing that really slowed down the whole process was my intake set up. I didn't have the facilities to manufacture my throttle body set up accurately enough (which apparently needs to be pretty bloody accurate!). Therefore, with the RHOCAR annual pilgrimage to Wales drawing closer, I decided it was necessary to utilise whatever I could get my hands on and and make something that worked. It was 2 weeks until Wales so I had 1 weekend to make it and another weekend to map it. No pressure, right? At least Stoneleigh was close enough to home break down with.....


A little bit of inspiration from a design I had seen online for a KL turbo build, I copied the idea with some 63mm OD tube I could get hold of quickly, due to time needing to be made and ready for the RHOCAR Wales Trip,  I wasn't missing another one!







With it tacked in place, it started to look the business. It wasn't pretty but it would be a hell of a lot easier to map than the previous 6 throttle bodies!








With a "design" using what was readily available, packaging and aesthetics were not high on the list, function was. Hilariously, this would now be poking out the bonnet which isn't ideal due to my seats being lower (thanks to the carbon fibre ones, but lends itself to a Mad Max kind of look! It's growing on me!






In an ideal world, these would go on to something shorter and still incorporating the injectors/fuel rail. Again, no time so out with the throttle butterflies from the triumph bodies, and silicone hose to clamp together. Luckily there is no very limited movement thanks to 6 of them and being able to virtually mount it metal to metal.



Lets get this on the truck and get it mapped!


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Rolling Road for the V6 - Attempt 1

So, here we are. New flywheel spacer in, initial V6 engine running on all 6 cylinders....mostly. Best get it off to that rolling road and get this thing tuned! My choice was Steve Walford Motorsport as recommended by a number of previous customers. Based in Northfield - Birmingham, it was an easy job of hiring a trailer and off we go.

In the build up waiting for this day I'd also refitted all the wet weather gear. This is England and the summer still has rain! Here it is, usable all year!



Thankfully though the weather on the day was good. That was about the best part of the day. We arrived and started to unload the car and I found this.....

 Yep, oil. A nice puddle of it. I got the car off the trailer and checked the dipstick. Still full? So we pressed on vowing to keep an eye on it.

I've since put this down to oil left over from when the filter came off and sprayed oil everywhere just running out the chassis.


 First job for Steve was to get the throttle bodies balanced. I had tried but obviously my close enough is in fact not close enough.

A couple hours later Steve admitted they were hard to do, I'll be open and say thats due to my extensions not being ideal and each throttle body is slightly not parallel to the next one, meaning they unbalance very quickly or stick open.




After a few hours of setting up, fiddling with the throttle bodies and general chit chat we were getting to the point of giving it a go.

Suddenly the engine just died. Stopped dead. Not run out of fuel or turned the key off and a few rotations later cut out, literally stopped like a switch. "Thunk". Weird as it was sat idling. Anyway, after a bit of head scratching and looking we started it back up to see what happened. Started no issue...then a short time later an almighty squealing broke out! 3 of us scrambling to turn the key off! Something was not right!

Upon investigation we found there was no oil flowing to the top of the engine. Had the clunking stop being something breaking?  It definitely used to pump oil as it sprayed out everywhere before! Well with no quick and easy fix, this picture to the right is the closest I got to getting on the rollers. No oil, no running. The squealing was probably something missing its lubrication and starting to get rather warm....


Push it back on to the trailer, defeated. Not the outcome I had expected from today. Although it was not wasted. Steve gave me a lot of things to consider, most specifically with the intake set up. Whilst the individual throttle bodies are great...they are a PITA to sort out. As I am running out of time for this summer, a different approach may be on the cards.......

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Put your engine in, take your engine out, in, out, in, out and shake it all about...

Time to see who amongst you has that keen eye for detail. With my last post title, you may have noticed I called it The "Good" Engine. If you missed it, the emphasis is on the: "Good".

As you know I have been very slack with keeping this blog up to date, so I have found problems and fixed them probably 3 months earlier. Well this is one. New engine in, final few bits before Coventry Motofest....and this happens:


I can confirm that is 100% oil as I have gone all of nowhere and the dipstick that once read 'max' now reads 'min'. Coolant is still brimmed to the top in the radiator so nothing going there.

Well damn. The curse of Project V6 strikes again! I was planning a rebuild at some point but really was not planning one right now! Looks like I'm putting the other engine back in again then! At least that was most likely just a firing order problem.

Still, I was desperate to go to Motofest. It is even more on my doorstep than Stoneleigh was, however if my garage was looking like this, I definitely would get a telling off from the Motofest officials!





So here we go again, a view coming all too common. I had given Steve (from RHOCAR) a call as he had offered to help out if I needed it. I still should not be doing any heavy lifting so it's always good to have some muscle on hand!

Engine out, again.









Being a typical British May, rain began to delay play. Seemed like a perfect opportunity to stop for dinner. What better way to keep your help happy than buying them dinner?






Unfortunately the rain persisted and after an unintentionally long break for dinner, we had another stab in the rain. As the curse continued, the engine was proving difficult to get back in with the gearbox in situ (removing the gearbox as well meant either throwing oil everywhere or disconnecting the prop from the diff - which meant seat out and side panel off - just effort isn't it?). In the end....at about midnight, we threw the towel in. Shoved the car into the garage and called it a night. I would have a look in the morning to see whats going on and maybe do all that effort and get the gearbox out after all.

As it happened, my parents were coming to visit and come to Motofest too. Stories of previous years and an ever growing event tempted them to come along. Luckily they arrived at a time I was trying to understand what was happening with the engine/gearbox and suddenly I had an extra pair of hands again! Behold, the rare picture of my Dad getting stuck in and getting his hands dirty! I did have to dig out my most stretchy joggers and tshirt as not to ruin his clothes...


I'll make an enthusiast out of him yet!


Anyway, once in roughly the right place I went to check that it was all lined up and that it would work....and I found this:



I apologise if the video is a bit rubbish, not a lot of space and not an ideal view. If you can't see, the flywheel is not spinning straight. It has a lovely wobble on it as if it is not sat flat. Time to get the engine back out...again!


This time the whole unit came out. I'm not going to faff around again. Already I can see an issue....my flat adapter is now a banana!


















 The next issue is all the crap on the flywheel mounting face! The adapter was properly wedged in too! Then I noticed this....

Having designed this myself, I knew that edge should be straight! It would appear to have been crushed when putting the flywheel on. Rookie mistake and soft aluminium.



 Thankfully during the week of figuring out and deciding what to do, I contacted Rich (RHOCAR Chairman and Red Seven Engineering) who made the original and asked if he could do me a new spacer but this time, out of steel.
This is where the club came into its our, 24 hours later, I collected this magnificent item.


 Having identified the root cause, I ensured it would not happen again. Deeper step!
 - I had designed the original spacer to the lightweight flywheel I had. Due to issues with the threads for the clutch plate, I'd swapped back to the original flywheel. This had a deeper crank mounting face which was subsequently filled when putting the flywheel on by crushing the spacer. Simple really.



With this in my hand, it was all go again. Next race to finish, RHOCAR's Annual Wales Trip!

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The "Good" Engine

We left the last post having just dropped my 2nd engine out of the MX6 having had trouble with the initial engine having a few low compression figures on the cylinders that weren't firing. I had tested the engine in the MX6 and had slightly lower figures but they were all consistent so it was a decent place to start from.

With the engine all painted up and attached with all the necessary ancillaries, it was ready to go back in. I've had the engine in and out so much I decided on this lovely sunny day that I would do it myself and hopefully be ready in time to enjoy the rest of summer. Only issue is I'm still "recovering" from my surgery so probably get a slap on the wrist by the doctors for this. I'll take it easy. Promise.







Nearly there on this photo. Nice and easy to get back in. See. About time something started going right...



Whoops. Spoke to soon. Struggling to get the gearbox and engine to mate up properly. This would be much easier with someone not under doctors orders to help wiggle the engine about. Too late to turn back now! Thankfully it didn't take much to get done properly.




Another standard "engine back in" photo opportunity. Sooooo much space in front of the engine. Nicely bringing the weight back

Thought it was also a good time to put my new aluminium radiator on to help deal with the extra heat this thing may produce. Not that I currently have a working temp sensor to use....eitherway, looks nice. Rad, fan and shroud from a '92-'00 Honda Civic, cost about £60 delivered. Bargain compared to the GBS one at over £300!! Only thing I need to do is some fixing brackets. Easy that. 4x 1.5mm mild steel flat bar, 8 holes, bolt up and job done!



So, with that back in, I guess I should fire it up and test Jez's theory on the new firing order.

[insert video of it backfiring through the throttle bodies and not starting - use your imagination on this one, camera wasn't running]

As you can hopefully see from your imagined video, it didn't work. It wouldn't even start. Maybe the infallible Jez has finally been beaten! Back to my original firing order from Stoneleigh.

[insert second imaginary video of backfiring and not starting]


Yep now I'm confused. I mean, it backfired less but still would not start. Double checked leads vs Stoneleigh. Nope, still the same. What is going on here?! One thing mentioned at Stoneleigh was timing. Was that correct. I'd double checked once home and both the mechanical timing and also the microsquirt timing was all spot on as it should. As this had given me consistent compression test results, I'd assumed this was also fine (having also ran no issues prior to being removed).



Anyway, sanity check as a starting point.......oh whats this? These two red circles should overlay. With the crank in the correct position, the cams are miles off!



As seen here as well. Both sides a fair distance out.


Don't ask me how. I do not know. Belt tension is fine, so is the tensioner. I've not even had the front cover off until now! Something jumped somewhere.....











Anyway, grabbed my Haynes manual and double checked I wasn't going mad, reset the timing and away we go. Luckily Mazda like their non-interference engines so cranking this one didn't do any damage to the valves.

Partly due to keeping a known firing order that had the engine running but mostly due to the fact the ignition leads hadn't been touched, I fired it up. On the button. Like it had never been sat at all. These Mazda engines are awesome. Well...they would be if they fired on all cylinders. Alas I was still on 3 cylinders.

Time to see if the timing had been ruining Jez's theory...new firing order in....fired into life! Lots of smoke and burning from the cylinders originally vacant of combustion! We have a winner! Jez saves the day.....again. All 6 cylinders now reporting for duty!

Well, it would be rude not to test it.....just ignore all the smoke. Its no Prius.



And, for the first time since the engine swap, making it home under its own power! You'll want your volume up for this! It would now rev so so much cleaner. What used to be thought as a bad tune, turned out to be half an engine being dragged along. I think its on par with the first ever drive in the Zero to be quite honest. Can't wait to have it tuned properly and running sweet.



Well then. With that sorted, looks like I'll be going on my way soon! Next show, Coventry Motofest, its on my doorstep so should have no problems at least rolling down the road!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Post Stoneleigh Fix Sheet

As we just saw, my Stoneleigh Show went swimmingly. I arrived with problems and left with less problems. However the problems are still pretty substantial.

So, here goes. First up, it was suggested I compression tested the engine. This would at least eliminate if I had any issues in that department in case everything else was actually ok.



From factory, these engines should have around 210 PSI on the compression test, a warm engine too. I was not too worried about needing to do the test warm, this was basically to ensure the levels were even across the 6 cylinders. If it didn't show anything then I can always retest later. As it happened, the values fluctuated from 110-125 up to 150-160 across all 6, 3 in the lower range, 3 in the upper. Unfortunately the lower 3 were the ones not firing and the upper 3 were. This maybe half suggested there was an issue with the compression. Further to this, I dropped a teaspoon of oil down the bores, this would help identify if the issue was piston rings or in the cylinder head.

All the figures rose, however the lower 3 remained lower and, as seen to the right, good cylinder 6 hit nearly 300 psi! So, all the rings are worn....some a lot more than others. At least that is easier than a head....right?







A quick check on the spare engine left me with much more consistent figures around 145psi over all 6 cylinders, this would at least mean there was not an major issue with unbalanced compression. Still recovering from my Op, I needed some help with the heavy lifting, the first engine was a pain to get out by myself, my body wouldn't cope with that right now. *RHOCAR spot light to the sky - Batman style!

 With the help of Stu and Gaz, we dropped the engine from the Zero, and began setting about getting the other engine from the leftover MX6 still sat in my garden. Good job I bought two!























The problem I had with the MX6 was the fact the car is still 20+ years old. This means rust has well and truly set in and with a transverse engine set up, the rear exhaust manifold is neigh on impossible to get off. Enter, the angle grinder!






 A good 6 hours spent dropping two engines out the cars left me with this. A nice looking engine that does not work properly, and an old crappy engine that I can neither confirm or deny the status of. Both cars ran smoothly prior to being dumped in my garden so clearly I have done something wrong....or left these engines sitting for too long...my money is on me though.




My garden now is looking like a bit of a scrap yard....again. It is probably worth noting that Jez, my electrical saviour, arrived after all the fun was over, bearing good news! He believes that it was in fact my firing order that was wrong! I shall do a detailed post on this later, simplified though, using a Ford EDIS 6 system and trying to match that up to the KL V6 firing order could potentially leave me with 3 cylinders firing at the wrong time. Well if the shoe fits......However, as you can see, the news was just a little too late to test the theory. I may as well carry on with this spare engine now, just in case....






Shouldn't this be stripped down by now? Oh wait, it is the spare engine all cleaned and dressed up again, this time with a matching colour scheme and not the Hemi Orange mixed in.








It is now looking very nice, better than the other engine if I dare say so myself!

Well, I suppose I better start getting this back in....

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Stoneleigh Kit Car Show 2017

Today's the day!

Having missed last year, I was determined to have the car there this year. A good ol' battle to get the car driving had paid off and with about 5 hours sleep having fixed a major oil leak, I was on my way to meet some of the West Mids Rhocar crew for breakfast.

For some reason any pictures or GoPro footage of this were forgotten, my main aim was to make it for breakfast in one piece. What I can tell you though is the car still drives like crap. It struggles to accelerate, needs to be throttled on gentle and can't seem to do more than 40/50mph....I couldn't tell to be honest, my digidash calculations were way off so my speedo was reading 150mph+ for most the journey. Anyway, despite being a steady drive up there, it was thrilling to be back behind the wheel of the Zero and even more so when I rocked up after 13 miles without issue!

A good hearty fry up and off we went to make our way to the show....but wait, the Zero wouldn't start. The battery was flat! Good job I had a booster pack. Jump start and off we went.....or so I thought.


Well....I'd got about a further 8 miles. Battery was dead again and my booster pack appears to be good for a single jump. Hmm not ideal.

Luckily a friendly Ferrari Replica owner pulled up and let me borrow his spare electric boot lid battery. This gave me enough charge with the booster pack to get the car going again.


The theory was, the alternator wasn't spinning fast enough at idle to keep the battery charging. So another 2.5 miles latter and we were stopped again. Revs dropped and died, no power to restart.



Big thanks to Richy and Jackie for sticking with me, calling Gaz for help as he luckily had a tow rope. Maybe I should figure out a proper towing point....

Eitherway, I was still getting the kit to the show!






In true Rhocar fashion, the moment my car hit the stand, it was set upon. Bonnet was off, alternator wasn't charging, identified the reason, and fixed. Turns out I'd wired two wires into the back of the alternator wrong and as such, the alternator wouldn't charge. Success. It was charging! And then the dreaded....."Is that running on all 6?"

Erm...well....new exhaust system, not properly tuned, never heard it running on all six vs not all six cylinders. I had just assumed this was how it sounded! 3 HT leads later and it becomes apparent we have some fan-dangle cylinder deactivation - for fuel saving of course - problem is, its permanent. Most the day was spent head scratching. New plugs, swapping HT leads. Even the coil pack. Still seemed to make no difference. On the positive, it makes sense why the car was such a bag of crap to drive! With that I left it for the day and enjoyed the 1st day of the show. At least the sun was shining!


We'd came down to 2 scenarios. 1, the firing order was not right, or 2, the throttle bodies are so out of balance the engine isn't firing. In the end, the 2nd day was written off as the car stopped being able to move under its own power, any touch of the throttle would kill the revs and stall. As such, it remained in the camping area......until the rescue team arrived.




After much deliberation, it was decided the best thing to do would be to utilise my AA membership to ensure I got home. The roads around Stoneleigh can be quite bendy with little to no space to get out the way, especially if those with working cars decided for a spirited drive home.....

So that was my Stoneleigh. Arrived with 2 problems, left with 1. Success if I don't say so myself!




Monday, 1 May 2017

The Race for Stoneleigh National Kit Car Show 2017

Yeah ok, so this is 4 months late. But I'm gonna date it for May so no one really knows.....you're just slacking on reading this post ;)

One of the main issues I've had with this rebuild is my deteriorating health. I was diagnosed in 2003/4ish with Ulcerative Colitis, a part of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). In simple terms, it is my immune system attacking my own body, seeing it as a foreign body that needs removing. Having been stable for a good 12+ years, it started going downhill as medication stopped working and more powerful stuff didn't touch it either. By Christmas 2016 it was apparent I would be looking at the final option of surgery to remove my colon. Pretty major. So that kind of put me out of action from late March with a week in hospital post-op and 8 weeks off work. Worst part was being told no heavy lifting and taking it steady! That's garage time ruled out then apparently!
If you're interested in learning more about IBD, then this website is perfect Crohns & Colitis UK

However, you're definitely here for the kit build....so back to that we go! At this point in writing, it has become apparent that I have missed some major events of my build.......


So we had the first start. Obviously this was some time ago and the car was built up a lot after this...I'll add another couple videos below, the high pitched squeak you can here was thought to be many different things from a stuck valve or bearings to unbalanced throttle bodies and air leaks. Luckily, it was only an air leak from the adapter plate and throttle body set up. A layer of RTV sealant (same stuff used for the sump) fixed that, the gasket paper just wasn't up to scratch.

So, the car is basically there and ready to go right?

Well....almost.

Knowing I would soon be out of action for a number of weeks I pushed to have the car ready so I could literally sit with a laptop and play with the tune to get it idling nicely and all "heavy lifting" was completed. Not quite what happened, although heavy lifting and contortionist positions were not necessary anymore. The only thing I had left was the wing to do which you saw in the previous post, so not vital but there is a show coming, gotta show off, right? This was done with my willing Brother (probably under the instruction of our Mum to prevent me from damaging myself) who decided he would play fireman instead....













Not entirely sure what he thought would happen but with the wing sorted, I focused on trying to balance the throttle bodies. This was proving difficult....

The theory behind balancing the throttle bodies is simple. You want each cylinder getting the same amount of air, opening and closing at the same time. Usually, the intake manifold covers all cylinders with a chamber and a single butterfly valve at the front meaning all the cylinders get fed from the same capacity of air. With throttle bodies, you have a valve per cylinder....balancing 3 was difficult, balancing that with the other 3 was damn near impossible! - Remember this little nugget. It will become apparent later on ;)

With what felt like an eternity rebuilding again and again the throttle bodies, tweaking bits to aid balancing, I finally got to the stage of having a high idle, plus careful use of the accelerator meant it was enough to drive and at least got me moving under my own power. Sadly no evidence of this other than various rev and idle videos but it was driving! Now to figure out the tuning side to make the fuel map safe.....

But wait!

 In true Project V6 fashion, all is not well!

What a lovely breadcrumb path it left to help me find my way home.

At this stage, I am fairly sure the car is very rich. There was the suggestion it was just unburnt fuel/vapours from the engine that were washing down the exhaust and leaking through pin holes and clamping points.

Unfortunately the patches look very much like fresh oil so will definitely need identifying properly. Unfortunately I cannot see where this is coming from....

Deadline to Stoneleigh - Approx 3 weeks.























To add more issues, the alternator I have doesn't seem to be too happy charging nor keeping its belt on. A mix of misalignment and a slack belt I used this ingenious method to put tension on the alternator to ensure the belt was not slack. It aint pretty but it sorted the tension.






Deadline to Stoneleigh - Approx 2 weeks

Well it was running, it was rough, but running. Therefore the truly get going I need to road test and tune the car with the help of tuning expert Dan from RHOCAR. We had planned to get the car going in the morning and tune as we drove to the MOT centre. Unfortunately I still had worsening oil leak issues as well as a real problem with throttle body balancing. Something just didn't seem to be happy. Dan, whilst knowing how to use an alternative ECU, was learning how the Microsquirt and Tunerstudio worked. Despite this, he was able to show I was a lot further back than I thought and whilst we spent the day sorting the idle and basic timing, we had missed the MOT slot.

Overall though by the end of the day the car was in a position drive. It idled happier, it would rev smoother, it would even make it round the block if caressed. The main thing to sort was the fuel VE tables. The problem was finding time and expertise to tune them without using the much discussed Autotune feature which would basically tune as I drove. This has great reviews from hobby tuners saying its improved their car, however rolling road experts highlight the dangers of using it. Great if its a well tuned map 99% complete....using to create a map, no so much. All I wanted was to drive to Stoneleigh and then to a rolling road....but I had bigger issues yet to find.......



Deadline to Stoneleigh.... 24 hours to go.


To help combat my oil loss issues, I rigged up this brilliant contraption. Whenever the engine began to seize, the car would lurch forward, carrying oil out of the bottle and straight into the engine, preventing it from seizing. Braking would also have the same effect and aid preventing getting to the aforementioned situation.




Disclaimer: I did not actually intend to do this...purely a comedic intent to aid laughter rather than crying. Do not try this at home.

Anyway, I battled on and made my way to the MOT centre. Everything I could cross, was crossed.

Problems:
Oil leak
Tracking on the front causing monumental tyre squeal
Poor state of tune meaning its a bag of nails to drive
New brakes are bedding in
Handbrake needs a lot of adjustment
Air leaks, throttle usage and tune combination causing mega lean spikes in AFR
Plus 1 more issue found later in time...probably accounting for 2 of these issues

However this little trooper made it and the test centre....then disaster! I'd misbooked my appointment for the Friday rather than the Saturday (muppet), already got 2 walk ins and low staff. Thankfully, having explained my situation - plus a bit of begging and pleading - they reckoned they could squeeze me in. It was make or break for the kit standing any chance of getting to Stoneleigh.

A quick top up of oil and we were off. I won't bore you with the details but the MOT Gods were kind. Despite the battery giving up - still no/not enough charge from the alternator (surprisingly, its not a fail!) - this happened:


Yes I framed the MOT pass certificate and hung it on the wall. And what?!
A few more advisories than some would like but its my car, it'll have many more before ever looking at being sold so I didn't care, the pass was enough!



It did however leave me with a number of things to sort out, most importantly, I had discovered the source of the oil leak.


The oil filter/cooler housing. Here you can see just next to the alternator.

Due to the new environment, I have had to fit a relocation kit. Annoyingly, this still fouls the engine mount and during use, the engine is knocking the housing which is pulling the lower edge away - hence a worsening leak...


Deadline to Stoneleigh - Saturday, 18 hours to go












I would not give up. I still had the afternoon to try sort this. My good friend Stu was following progress. His car was in a better state from last year and at least in a driving condition. With the amount of oil I was losing though, I definitely would not be making it. In a bid to help he popped over and offered an extra pair of hands to get the car going, maybe even have a play with the tune to make it less of a pig to drive.




First thing first, sort that leak. Being an aluminium block, threads are easily stripped. To prevent this (and also maaaaybe having already done one) I helicoiled the threads to help when pulling the cooler tight.















Unfortunately, with this going on and off numerous times, we quickly found oil going everywhere. It just would not seal. We tried to move the engine mount, we grinded some of the contacting edges, however the engine just kept knocking it loose and the gasket paper was not able to fill the gap effectively. We'd even run out of curing time for the RTV sealant so if Stoneleigh was to happen, we had to be sure it'd fix it and try speed up curing time overnight. Unfortunately we couldn't get close. It was getting worse and pouring out.

But then....brainwave. In a car that has more spacers and adaptors than...well any bodge job before, it hit us. What if we spaced it away from engine. Would this give the clearance to the mount? one way to find out!


Yes it is simple. Left over aluminium plate, 3 clearance holes and 2 holes for the oil. Yes it probably restricts flow, but its the best we could provide at midnight with limited fabrication skills/equipment.

Yes you heard, midnight. It was technically Sunday and the day of Stoneleigh. In 8 hours we would be meeting for breakfast before convoying to the show. It was last chance saloon....

There is no easy way to put this though so here it is..............






IT WORKED!


 We had managed to provide enough clearance to tighten the cooler on enough to compress both gaskets either side of the spacer plate! No more oil leak! Double check we actually had oil in...yep still no leak! Winner. Car was now back together and called it a night at 1am.

Deadline to Stoneleigh Departure - 6 hours



Right, clean up, pack tools, pack overnight bag for camping, sleep....