Friday, 16 February 2018

More Eleven build plus the 1st Engine start

Well the DSVA have got back, extracted £450 from my bank account and I now have an IVA date 14 March at Exeter - no pressure then.

First task was to get the engine running, after priming the oil pump and cranking over the engine without spark plugs to ensure I had oil pressure, making all the various cable and pipe connections to the carb, checking the EDIS4 wiring, setting the timing trigger wheel to TDC, adding fuel and getting a fire extinguisher to hand I went it and..... start. Checked that there was a good spark, trigger wheel was correct, crank sensor gap etc, the spark plugs had some fuel on them so dried them out.....still not start not even an attempt.  After advice I rechecked the trigger wheel and then added another 5 deg of advance... still no start.  Time to call in the cavalry, the next evening Malcolm and Dale came over and checked everything over, all seemed good but still no start, various attempts with differing advances and resetting the crank sensor we eventually ended up trying the trigger wheel 180 deg from where it should be set and....the engine briefly spluttered into life and then died. By this time it was getting late and the battery was dead so we drew stumps and called it a night.  The next morning I followed Malcolm's advice and swapped over the coil pack A&B channel wires, reset the trigger wheel to the original settings and with the battery recharged overnight cranked it over and started and carried on running until I blanked off one of the vacuums that I'd forgotten to reconnect at which point it wouldn't restart.

Having confirmed that the ignition looked ok I then reflected on the apparent over fuelling and that having the vacuum disconnect would have significantly weakened the mixture so I raised the mixture a whole turn and tried again and.... still no start and once again the plugs were wet with fuel.  After swapping emails with the carburettor supplier he suggested that I return it and he'd look into why there appeared to be too much fuel....end of engine starting and back to the rest of the car.

Having decided to replace the speedo with a modern Smiths programmable one I needed to fit a sensor, after making a bracket for the front upright to replicate the SEIW it dawned on me that the Midget discs bolt to the front of the hub and therefore couldn't be accessed, no problem I'll bond magnets to the disc I thought.  Unfortunately this was flawed, firstly there was too little clearance between the disc and the upright and, once I'd bought thinner magnets and set everything up I realised that after heavy braking the magnet were likely to debond - back to the drawing board.  The next obvious option was to used the prop shaft but I had to find a mount that would maintain a constant gap to the sensor as the back axle moved after discounting to front of the prop shaft I noticed that the differential housing has flat fins that a bracket could be bolted to and then allow the sensor to point and the 4 x bolts at the prop shaft/differential coupling.  After some measuring, finding a suitable piece of metal, hacksawing, drilling, filing the bracket was fitted and the sensor gap set using a battery.  I then ran the sensor cable back through the tunnel, up through the bulkhead and to the speedo.
Next I moved on to the interior fitting the carpets and the Sports Turbo seats from the SEIW as these are certified and fully comply with the IVA requirements.  Unfortunately this also meant removing sections of the rubber trim from various parts of the rear bodywork clam and fettling it to clear the seats and inner wings.  To cover the handbrake I fitted press studs to the tunnel carp and a trimmed square of carpet that was in the kit.

Once the interior was fitted I tested all the electrics and everything worked apart from the rear number plate light.  This is paralleled off the rear lights so had to be something with the rear loom, after focussing on the changes I'd made to the loom in order to fit the reversing light I eventually traced the problem to the number plate light earth wire not being connected and nothing to do with my alterations.  I refitted everything and retested - everything is now working.

Moving on to the engine bay I drilled and filed slots into the expansion tank bracket as it looks like the cap was very close to the bonnet a without the carburettor access was good.  I then tidied up the dash wiring, added a reset button and headlight high beam warning light that I'd found were both missing when I tested the electrics, trimmed up the scuttle to clear the bracket and fitted it.  With the scuttle on I measured up and fitted the rear mirror brackets and the centre rear view mirror.
I got a call from Robin (an Historic Lotus Seven Owner) who'd heard about my engine problems and offered to come over with a spare HIF44 carburettor and give me a hand.  He turned up a couple of hours later and after fitting the carb, immediately better that with my carb but still wouldn't sustain running.  After rechecking everything on the ignition side etc we got the engine to start with the mixture setting much leaner than the standard setting.  As the engine is new build one of the first things needed was to run in the camshaft at 2,000 rpm for 20 minutes, unfortunately, once the engine started to warm up it spurted coolant all over the garage floor so we had to switch off the engine and sort it out.  We refilled the coolant from the highest point and then when around all of the hoses releasing trapped air and confirming coolant, once we were happy we restarted the engine and finished the camshaft bedding in.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Eleven Update

After a long break I've finally managed to get back to the blog. In the last post James and I were installing the engine into the Eleven and after than work on the car has been limited due to a combination of factors, however, with the New Year has come new enthusiasm and the car has also been accepted to complete a couple of parade laps at this year's Le Mans Classic in July so it's now all hands to the pump.  I've submitted my IVA application as I did a little plan and realised how little time I've got once you take into account all the potential delays with DVSA and DVLA getting the car tested and registered.

The most obvious progress is that I've now largely finished the bodywork.  Once I had the engine fitted I installed the front inner wings and trimmed them with a compressible trim to ensure as little road debris and water thrown off the wheels gets into the pontoons and engine bay.  Oh and clearly I now have the tyres fitted so have a rolling chassis.

And then the same at the rear of the car, both sets are fibre glass and needed a small amount of trimming before they fitted and allowed the bonnet and rear body clam to fit.

I installed the headlight and indicator pods to the bonnet, again they needed some fettling to fit nicely, and I've also fitted the front wiring loom.

In the engine bay I've installed the HIF44 carburettor and after trying numerous off the shelf manifolds that wouldn't allow the carb to clear the bonnet had one made by Maniflow in Salisbury, it's a slight adaptation of their Midget/Sprite with the interfaces parallel rather than the carb interface being angled up.

Once I'd sorted out the inlet manifold I installed the Westfield Long Centre Branch (LCB) exhaust manifold and the exhaust, this included a cone that needs fitting to the input pipe of the box taper bit into the box and full bore perforated sheet to the front.
I'm currently wiring up the instruments (inc blinkStop) and the Megajolt ECU, EDIS4 Module and Coil pack.
Oh and I've also manufactured an aluminium bracket to mount the rear number plate and fog/reversing lights - hopefully I've managed to get the measurements right so the lights and vertical and above the minimum high required for the IVA.
I've now completed a 'To Do' list and estimated I have about 50 hours work left to finish the car, luckily I have a week off work in mid February so once the DVSA get back to me I'll get an IVA date shortly before Easter to allow registration by May and time to do some shakedown drives before Le Mans Classic.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

First Engine Installation

After a two week wait the replacement bell housing arrived back from Westfield, the original was machined with a ~2mm error between the engine and gearbox interfaces that prevented the engine mounting bolts fitting when the input shaft was fitted into the spigot bearing.

After fettling the bell housing for the 1275 oil pump and clutch slave cylinder I fitted gearbox, clutch release arm, bearing and slave cylinder.

And with fingers crossed installed on the engine - fitted no problem.

Also fitted the WOSP hi-torque starter motor.

James came out to help and we got the engine onto the hoist and positioned the engine for installation.

After a bit of a faff with front engine mounts we eventually got the engine installed and marked up the gearbox mounting holes on the chassis, removed the engine, drilled and painted the chassis and then refitted everything.

Once fitted I found a number of potential fouls that need to be resolved, handbrake mounting bolt/prop shaft, reverse light switch/chassis and bell housing starter blister/chassis, however, the engine is staying put for now so I can sort out the megajolt wiring and all the engine plumbing.

And the sump is the lowest point - not as bad as I thought and once the suspension is adjusted it will raise it further.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Eleven Continues

Just before I left for Silverstone I got a call from Paul Hurley to say that the engine was ready for collection so this made my decision to travel home on Sunday ready to pick it up on Monday,
When I picked it up it was heat wrapped so I didn't get my first look until I got home.

Having found that the bell housing bolts were too short because of the additional thickness of the alloy casting I spent today:

fettling the bell housing to clear the increased oil pump size

fitting the clutch

The crank sensor bracket and trigger wheel

and the Denso 40A alternator

A Busy July

July started with the Crash Box Classic Car Show at Powderham Castle in Devon.  I met Chris, Malcolm, Dale and Glenn at Honiton and we made our way down to Powderham.  Once we got to the show we found our pitch (Colin's car was already there) setup the gazebo, flags and Euro Tour banners and then made our way over to the campsite to put up the tents.

Over the weekend we met lots of people interested in the cars and the team joined us for the Sunday.  On Saturday night we watched the band playing 70s/80s glam rock music and drank too much beer while surrounded by steam traction engines - an excellent night.

Colin joined us at various times but had to fulfil his duties as a member of the Crash Box Car Club - he and Pat lead out the member's parade lap around the show ring in "Dotty":

At the end of the month we went to the Silverstone Classic, Colin and I met up at Sparkford and then headed to Amesbury where we joined Chris, Malcolm and Dale and headed off to Silverstone.  We got split up on the A34  because the information signs warned of a 1 hour delay and Chris, Malcolm and Dale were able to avoid it unlike Colin and I - however, multiple trips to Oxford and Milton Keynes over the last couple of years gave me in-sider knowledge and after the initial incident cleared Colin and I made good time and ended waiting for the others for an hour at the services just after Brackley......

On arrival at Silverstone we went straight to the Woodlands campsite pitched the tents, setup the Westfield Bar and then headed to the circuit.

At the circuit we parked the cars on the WSCC site and the headed off to watch the racing and look at the cars in the paddocks.

I spent a lot of time looking at Lotus Elevens and Fifteens:

and then got distracted by the wider attractions at the show
 Westfield owners know better that to miss out on a filling station!
After a weekend of excellent racing and changeable weather we headed home on Sunday evening after having a final pizza with Chris and Colin who were staying a further night.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Eleven Build continues

At the Dorset monthly meeting yesterday I picked up the gearbox after an overhaul and long 1st gear fit - many thanks Malcolm/Wessex.  A shiny set of Minilites arrived today by courier

and I stopped in at Hurley Engine Services to handover a few bits and pieces and the head was being machined after having the new unleaded seats fitted.

The inlet valves are being replaced with the bigger A+ Series ones from an MG Metro and the head will be given a light port/polish.  The engine block was also in machining being re-bored for the new PowerMax pistons which are 73.5mm so taking the engine out to 1380cc and also reaming the crankshaft bearing mountings. The SEIW is now semi packed ready for an early start tomorrow down to Powderham Castle for the weekend.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Eleven Build Catch Up

The build has been moving on but has been a bit stop/start as I've had other things to be getting on with outside of the garage.

The master brakes are now installed all bled and the handbrake fitted although it still needs a warning switch fitted.

The fuel sender has been extended and the fuel tank installed.

I've also installed the side repeaters - into the alloy pontoon in order to allow for easy scuttle removal at a later date.

The dashboard has been installed and most of the gauges that have also been refurbished with new glass and bezels.  The speedo will need calibrating once the gearbox and wheels have been fitted.

I've installed the main wiring loom although the gauges still need some connecting up.

I've installed the radiator - new rather than from the donor.

And also found some nice period switch labels rather than dyno tape hopefully they'll be okay for the IVA.