August 14, 2005

Engine disaster!

I changed the oil on my 1.6K Super Graduate race car yesterday and cut a hole in the undertray for the transponder (to try and rid myself of these timing mismatch problems) and Apollo tank.

As I was driving it back to the garage, I pulled out of a road and started to accelerate but then there was a complete loss of power. I can't remember for sure but I think the engine was still running - I quickly turned it off wondering what was wrong.

I thought something mecahnical like the clutch or a driveshaft had gone but all looked fine and on trying to re-start, the engine seemed to be turning over faster than normal and wouldn't start.

To cut a long story short, I found that a loose wire from the engine loom (black) had got caught up in the alternator belt and damaged it but, worse, had got caught up in the crankshaft timing gear. I couldn't see it very well as our engines are sealed and I could only undo a couple of screws on the cambelt cover.

So, at a minimum the car needs to go to McMillan Motorsport to have the timing cover removed, the wire cleaned out and the engine resealed. More likely is that the timing belt has also moved a bit, throwing the timing out and potentially meaning some bent valves/damaged pistons. A single loose wire (yes, I had meant to tie it back but had never got round to it) could have caused GBP1,000 of damage.

I'll be on to MMS first thing Monday to get the car up there and fixed in time for Rockingham. Farewell to my 'untouched' engine which has lasted me for one and a half seasons without problem.

Posted by charles at 3:59 PM

August 16, 2005


The car is now at MMM after a four hour round trip last night. They are going to remove the timing cover, clear out the crap, retime it (if necessary) and then start it to see if there is any more damage. Fingers crossed!

Posted by charles at 10:13 AM

August 17, 2005

Engine update

Andy Mc called to let me know that the valves are definitely bent on the inlet side so they need to take the head off. They won't know the full extent of the problem until they've done that, which should be this afternoon.

Posted by charles at 12:51 PM

August 19, 2005

Engine Diagnosis

Well, Andy took the head off and was very impressed - I'd manage to bend all 16 valves :-(. Normally the belt snaps but in my case it had been tougher than that and continued to pile the valves into the pistons.

The pistons were marked, but serviceable so there is no bottom end work needed.

Very, very kindly, Dave Andrews offered to supply me with a fresh set of valves so these have been sent to MMM. In the meantime the head is going for a bit of fettling before it all gets put back together in time for Rockingham.

Posted by charles at 3:22 PM

August 24, 2005

Engine re-assembly

My head is back after a bit of a delay - some valve guides had cracked and had to be replaced before the head could be rebuilt. The engine is being put back together today so everything should be fine for the weekend (except my wallet).

Posted by charles at 11:20 AM | Comments (1)

David said:

Great site - your videos where enough to make me sign for the acadamy 2007. Can't wait to get the kit