Friday, 8 March 2019

Another Trip to Northampton Motorsports

Having fitted the Newman camshafts it was recommended that to finalise the timing the car should be run on a rolling road and the camshafts advanced/retarded using the Vernier pulleys until the best fit performance achieved followed by a remap of the ignition timing and fuelling.

Adge as if he could come along for the ride so arrived just before 6am and we headed off arriving just before 9am.  Troy strapped down the car and we removed the bonnet to give easy access to the Verniers.  After the first run there was clearly something wrong, the engine wasn't pulling well over 4,500 rpm and by 6,300 rpm it seemed like it was only running on 3 cylinders.  We then spent 3 hours checking the camshaft installation, adjusting the camshaft timing, checking the cylinders compression, pistons for valve contact, etc.  By backing off the fuel map over 5,000 rpm it stopped the misfire but whilst there was a power and torque improvement below 4,500 rpm this was dwarfed by the reduction above.  We even removed the exhaust to see if it was restricting the flow with no improvement.  Eventually we found the best compromise that would allow the car to be driven and stopped having run out of time on the rolling road, any further investigation requiring measurement of the camshafts and more strip-down of the engine.

I contacted David and Richard Newman and they were very helpful, firstly they'd supplied hundreds of sets of the cams so were confident in the design, and secondly they'd happily take the cams back for examination and measurement and would report back; luckily I still had a record of all the shimming changes and all the parts to go back to the original cams.  Whilst driving home from work I had the thought that perhaps the over fuelling might be the opposite, ie a lack of air, Troy had checked the throttle bodies to confirm that the butterflies were fully open at max throttle pedal so it was clutching at straws (I really didn't want to swap the cams over again, and potentially again).

I fully opened the butterflies and did a thorough examination of each of the TBs, Cylinder 3 looked okay, Cylinder 2 again looked okay but there seemed to be a small amount of gasket melted and slightly flowed into the port, Cylinders 1 & 4 appeared to have significant amounts of gasket partially blocking the ports.  I removed the TBs and confirmed this, the middle 2 cylinders appeared to have got hotter than the outer and the material was missing where as the outers being cooler the gasket had melted and flowed into the port.

I'd fitted the gasket principally to stop heat transfer to the Inlet Air Temperature but it obviously wasn't up to the job, the consensus was to use the original Ford gasket so I ordered one from Burtons.

I also took the opportunity to fit the Raceline sump, do an oil change and put the mapping back to the original NMS map.  Once this was completed the car appeared to be running well, I also took the opportunity to re-setup the DigiDash and Freewheel finding that the oil pressure sensor had failed so I fitted a remote sensor.

A few weeks later I headed back to NMS, this time the cam timing and mapping was straight forward and there was a good increase in power (20 bhp) and torque (15 lb ft) from 2600 rpm from both the cams and exhaust changes since the original mapping.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Car & Restoration Show - Shepton Mallet

An excellent weekend at the last show of the year.  Friday afternoon Colin & I setup the WSCC Dorset Area stand while the Eleven was being photographed by Ian Stent for a Complete Kit Car end of 'running report' article.

Saturday and Sunday there were plenty of visitors and I bought some Lucas L448 rear lights and bonnet webbing tape, both to be more 'original' than those sold in the kit.

The Eleven is now going to be SORN'd and over the winter I'm planning to remove the differential to have it overhauled, fit the new bits, investigate the gear selection issue and a few other bits and pieces.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Newman Cams

After fitting the R1Rs I decided the Zetec could do with a little more zip and after discussing my options with other WSCC members I decided on fitting a set of Newman Stage 2 cams along with a set of Vernier pulleys.  Hopefully it will be straight forward, the Stage 2 cams don't need and additional changes like pocketed pistons but the Blacktop has solid tappets with shims so the clearances need to be checked and the shims possibly replaced.

After fitting the new cams I measured all the tappet clearances and 4 of the inlet valves were outside of tolerance.  Next step was to remove the inlet cam, remove and measure the suspect shims.  Once I had the current clearance and shim sizes I consulted the Ford parts catalogue and selected the closet shims to get the clearances in spec.  Luckily I was able to move 2 of the shims between tappet buckets so only 2 to buy.  Ford were able to get the shims to Yeovil the same day and once they'd arrived I fitted them, fitted the cam, checked the clearances and all was good.

Whilst refitting the alternator belt I found the main mounting bolt loose so tightened it up and it sheared off - b@@@@r.  Lucky I found it when I did because I didn't have anymore M10 x 120 bolts, I now have a couple of spares in my touring kit.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Le Mans Classic 2018

The decision to attend the Le Mans Classic in 2018 was taken last year and getting the Eleven ready to go within the two year window of the 1957 class win has been a big motivation.  We travelled over on the Poole - Cherbourg ferry then took the back roads (even with their new 50mph limit) down to the campsite at the le Mans/Arnage Airport.

After setting up camp and supper we headed off to Arnage to watch the drive byes.

This year We'd managed to get tickets for parade laps so I headed to the track early on the Friday and Saturday - nothing like the 40 mph Silverstone Classic laps this was 'stay behind the pace car' - I never saw the pace car on either day until the drive off at the end of each 3 lap session - had a few hairy moments but was well worth the £199 for the experience.

Video of Friday and Saturday final laps of YouTube:

As ever a big part of the show is the Clubs and Robin (who'd helped me sort out the carburettor on the Eleven was there with 'Beano' and the Historic Lotus Register.

There was also an Eleven on the stand:
High spec'd Eleven with a Coventry Climax engine and De'dion back axle.

Saturday night was in Arnage again - Gendarmerie everywhere after a serious incident in a previous year - but still an enjoyable evening.

The Classic appears to have got bigger each year with the paddock now spread over a larger area and more add events like the Jaguars and Type Cs - as ever I focused on the Elevens

H602 repaired from 2014

The last night we stayed on the campsite as they had cheap beer/wine, a good band and it was also an opportunity to say thank you to Val and Alan who were eventually selling the business after 25+ years.

The drive home was enjoyable but uneventful with me arriving home at 11:30pm on the Monday evening.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Shelsey Walsh

The WSCC Speed Series is 21 Years old and to celebrate the occasion they booked the Shelsey Walsh Hill Climb for a fun 'non-timed' day with camping over the weekend.  Tricia and I travelled up alone as I had to work until Friday lunchtime and the rest of the Dorset WSCCers were heading off at 10:30.  We avoided the M5 and had a very pleasant 3:30 hrs journey on the A37, A38 and then from Gloucester some B roads through the Malvern Hills to Shelsey. After a BBQ and few beers we walked the hill, 300 metres rises in 912 metres oxygen was required on the way up.

The main day was the Saturday and Tricia and I managed to complete around a dozen runs before deciding that the Le Mans Classic was too close and we were starting to speed up.  The day closed with an enjoyable 3 course meal, chatting over a few ciders before heading off to bed.

Sunday morning started with hot tea and a bacon roll before heading off back to Yeovil to meet up with  family who were over from South Africa.

Video of a run up the hill on YouTube:

Run Up the Hill

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Cooling Improvements

After my cooling and oil temp/pressure concerns on the way home from Stoneleigh I took advice from other Eleven owners and fitted ducting and an oil cooler. 

Fan is still a pusher mounted to the Westfield bracket as I couldn’t see how I could fit a puller fan in the limited space behind the radiator. I’ll give this configuration a go and if I need to look at the puller fan at a later date. 

oil cooler is a Mocal kit for an MG Midget so the hoses aren’t a perfect fit but should be good enough to prove whether there’s a benefit in having one fitted.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Stoneleigh 2018

First weekend away with the Eleven with over 300 miles in hot weather over the two days.

Particularly hot on the way home and whilst nothing was terminal the temperatures were not stable at cruising speeds and the oil was getting too hot and impacting oil pressures at idle when stuck in traffic so I've decided to add some ducting to the radiator and an oil cooler.

I'm still trying to work out the best way to fit the oil cooler.

I took advantage of the good weather and fibre glassed/gel coated the bonnet where the holes were drilled for the headlight pods.