What a beautiful day!

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Hal
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Post by Hal » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:08 pm

That's it, job done, new R500 fuel pump is now fitted so I shouldn't risk burning a piston by running weak at high revs.

This of course means I can now use high revs.

Probably none too wise unless on a track or autobahn though. But it's nice to know the grunt is there in emergencies...

What a nice thing to work on, nothing superfluous there, it's all very simple, though I'd have done it in half the time on a proper ramp. Normally I'd drop the tank from under the car, but the floor jacking position makes that impossible. I dropped it into a diagonal position to access the pump in the right end, and the bloody thing fell onto the floor on its left end....

No harm.. it's aluminium and tough as nails.

I'm off for a test run, fire extinguisher at the ready and boot floor removed just in case of a leak.

I'll be selling the OE Caterham pump, it's only done 27k miles since 2002.



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Post by Hal » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:59 pm

I have a very interesting problem with The Beast.

It runs far too cool!

I fitted new oil pressure and temperature gauges as part of the build, and I've noticed recently that the oil temperature rarely gets up to 80°C.

Oil pressure is very good even hot, nearly 5 bar, and I can adjust it at the pump.

I have noticed that while the water temp stays at 75 to 80°C even pushing it, on a hot day, the oil temp is never more than 80C on the road.

Probably on track it'd be higher.

This is a serious problem because the engine produces a lot of water as a by product of combustion, and if any of this gets into the oil, it can combine with sulphur gases from the combustion and form sulphuric acid.

This will eat crank bearings, and my engine has particularly acid sensitive bearings.

The optimum is for the oil to get up to around 100°C at least once per outing.....otherwise there's a risk of damage.

As I don't have an oil cooler fitted, I seem to have 2 options.

1/ Fit a thick insulating jacket round the oil tank. I've just ordered a 5.5mm thick aluminised bubble coat material, 2 layers should do the job.

2/ Fit Wolverine heater pads....these plug into the mains supply and will heat the oil up to 50°C before the engine is started. They can be fitted to the tank and the sump. The tank would still need insulating otherwise en route, the temperature will drop back down.

I was gobsmacked....I tested it this evening, ok it's cooler than it was this afternoon, but I hurled it up the local hillclimb course and at the top, removed the bonnet and checked the tank with an infra red gun.

Hottest point was the top surface of the oil (through the tank) which was 75°C.

At the bottom 1/4 of the tank, it was down to 40 something!

Dry-sumps do cool the oil a lot, normally Caterhams have a great deal less oil in the system than mine does, at 12 litres, and a smaller dry-sump tank, normally either as part of the bell housing, where it gets plenty of heat soak from the engine, or just in front of the passenger footwell, near the exhaust.

It hadn't occurred to me that a large tank in front of the engine would cause such a huge temperature drop!

Meanwhile I'm 'improving' the aerodynamics by fitting home made carbon 'canards' to the nose sides....combined with the 'chin' below the nose these reduce the lift at speed...and the rest of the package is a large hole in the upper deck of the nose, and special front wings.

I may just fit the wings later....I'm not convinced I like the look of them though.

These canards are just mockups made of cereal packet cardboard. The CF ones take a few days to make and cure properly as you have to use epoxy resin.
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Post by Hal » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:47 am

My 'test' canard in CF has amazingly turned out to be perfectly usable, though I only have the upper surface in smooth, glossy CF...the under-side is rough as a badgers wossname. I used 2 pack epoxy casting resin.....possibly not quite the right stuff, but it works. So I now have a right side canard in CF! icon_dance

I think I know how to sort it, but am trying to contact a friend here, ex Pres of the UK Lotus Seven Club, and founder/director of the Astrali company, who made woodrim steering wheels.

He races a Seven here and I recall him saying he's done a lot of CF work.

I now realise my acid in oil scenario is less of a problem as I had the sense to fit an 'oil conditioner' system, which apart from removing micro particles down to under 1 micron, also removes water from the system, so stopping the possible build up of acids.

I don't know how much water, but then I don't know how much water is generally circulating in the oil....and it's evaporating even at 80°C.
Lagging the tank will certainly help matters...

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Post by Hal » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:24 am

Tank now lagged using some camping-mat I had. At least I now have a reasonable pattern for when the real stuff gets here.

I'm off soon to see the guy I mentioned and find out whet his temperatures are on the road. He races but also uses the race car on the road, and though it's a Vauxhall motor, it is dry-sumped, so roughly comparable.

Seems he has also made some blanks in steel for the special brackets I need on Monday as I've been having big PITA setting up the timing on my trusty blue S1 Elise. The only thing left to do is use the 'lift at TDC' method, which uses three dial gauges, one analogue and two digital, and is the simplest way to ensure exact cam timing on a competition motor.
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Post by Hal » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:41 pm

Well, I took the A20 South, then cross country to my buddy's house in the Caterham, and even at 130 ish <cough-cough>> on the autoroute the temperature, with the insulated tank, didn't go much above 80°C!

I was, at this point, pretty sure I'd put around 12 litres of oil in it whenever it was, probably 2014.

Got to my destination and saw my friend's newly revamped race Caterham, which he built 28 years ago. He has a Vauxhall motor tuned by himself to 260bhp, and only about 6 litres of oil in a Titan pumped DS system.

He was telling me he'd had a strange incident at Spa in about 2007 when the engine blew up, and he reckoned a piston actually came out through the block and straight through the side skin, narrowly missing a marshalling post which he was very close to.

After stripping the engine it became clear that the oil pump had quit, this had caused a big end to weld itself to the crank journal, and I think what must have happened was the piston and a bit of steel conrod then dropped into the barrel part of the crankcase and was hit by the welded on part of the conrod which with the engine turning at 8000rpm before it blew, batted the piston clean out through the side of the cast iron case.

He warned me to periodically check the lobe to chamber clearances in my pump to avoid this sort of thing.

I removed 2.5 litres of oil from the system on return and tested it again, it certainly got the temp up quicker than before, but still not over 82°C.

Then, this morning, I sucked the rest out of the tank to check volume....and found there was no more than 5.5 litres in the system, including the sump, before I'd removed the 2.5 litres!

So why on earth isn't it getting hotter?

I think Guuzigui may be right, it's just "not breaking a sweat"....212bhp and only 500kg, it's just not working hard enough to get the oil really hot.

I'm still waiting for the proper insulation, but as I now know it has a sensible volume of oil, I'm less worried.

In any case, by changing my bypass deep filter I can stop water build-up.

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Post by Hal » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:28 am

I have now replaced the oil so I should have about 6.5 to 7.5 litres in the whole system. This is as it should be.

I was wildly wrong thinking I had 12 litres in there.

I heard back from one of the UK K engine tuners and he says the reading of the temp gradient on the DS tank have got to be wrong, and that it simply cannot be losing more than 10°C through cooling while in the tank, with no oil cooler in the system, so I'm not so worried about it now.

I will change the oil conditioner core, and check the final tank gradient readings with some Thermo-tape stick-ons.

Phew!

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Post by richard36 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:54 am

Never a dull moment with old cars and houses I believe...

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Post by Hal » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:43 pm

Ay, it's all good fun! :mrgreen:

At least I seem to be getting somewhere with the thing, and the guy lent me some special tools so I can sort out my other problem car, on which I have to re-time the cams, which should be done every time the belt is changed on a highly tuned twincam engine....not a lotta people know that!

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Post by Hal » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:25 pm

Eureka! icon_Fete2

The Caterham is now sporting its lovely new French plates! Well, the rear one anyway.

Amazing what a few well-targeted handshakes and the merest soupçon of bribery can accomplish, isn't it? :lol:

I jest, of course..<<cough-cough>>...in reality, the only way to get this done these days is RTI, which takes a while and costs a bit....fortunately had a full RTI dossier for a similar car to work from. This cut out 50% of the waiting time.
I'd been pointed to a French owner who got a very similar SV Caterham through RTI a few years ago and very kindly sent me copies of the entire dossier.

Amusing in retrospect, my encounter with the Limoges DREAL rep......what was it he announced grandly, in the atrium, for the sole benefit of the two young female receptionists?

"Et ma reponse est...NON !

Arrogant pillock....

I asked my contact if he could get them to select The Beast's proper number.....they can't do anything about the letters, but look at the result! :twisted: The letters are highly significant as well....in Latin. 'Ergo....Quad Erat Demonstrandum'....for non Latin speakers, "So....there's the proof!"
In answer to DREAL's categorical statement that "a barchette is not allowed on French roads.."...

Not that a Caterham is, of course, a barchette, which is a mid-engined sports-racer, has no windscreen or doors, normally, has full enclosure open body etc etc.
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Not fitted the front one yet...
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The Beast waits for its new concrete floor to set....
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Last edited by Hal on Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Hal » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:06 pm

A few weeks ago when it was very hot I took a female friend to a petrolhead meet one weekend.

She was surprised by the amount of interest in the car, and was trying to exit elegantly in a short summer dress, but forgot about the hot tailpipe....and collected a second degree burn!

I've added warning notices in French and English since.....
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