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 August 14, 2005 3:59 PM