The Simpliest of Things

Managed to get a good 8 hours on the car this weekend trying to improve the performance of the car. New VVC Mech’s and inlet cams installed and the timing reset up. Took a while as I initially decided to use the cam ladder the replacement mechs etc was on, then after fitting and tightening the engine would not turn by hand. The ladder pinched against the head so I had to take the lot apart and use the original cam ladder, which is not surprising as they run the cam path through on the head at the factory.

On the test run the car felt good and less rattily but I cant go far as its not road legal and the farm I use is not massive. Back in the workshop I rev out the car and it will not go above 5.5k RPM which is like its been all season 6k at a push then 5.5k and I am a little annoyed that there is still an issue. I have changed the VVC mech’s and control rod so I swap the oil sensor of the control unit and the cam sensor off the T Car, but no change.WP_20140725_002 WP_20140725_001

 In touch with Dave Andrews of DVA power as I am running out of options and need a Guru’s perspective, he agrees with the symptoms being similar to VVC issue but says there should be codes stored in the ECU is restricting the revs. There are no codes stored, I then swap the VVC control unit and still no change, then my mechanic friend turns up to say hello. He then recommends swapping the throttle body, then while looking at the throttle bode sees the cable is not fitted properly. We refit the cable properly, an area of the car I have never touched so its probably been like that  since I bought it and it revs as it should right through 7k -Happy Days. New cable required due to fraying etc where is been fitted incorrectly but the relief at actually finding the fault is great!

Reassembly is reversal of Removal!

The Petrol Tank is now back in the car with the new pump now running well, despite testing the sender before reassembly its not working but I shall worry about that in the closed season – its not urgent.

The T car is on the road and its done its first job, Upon reassembly of the race car we noticed a lot of play in the front VVC Mech – putting the T  car together there is no play what so ever so UI have picked up a lower mileage set of mechs and hopefully tonight they will swapped in to try and improve performance.

Too Many Cars….

This week I have managed to get the tank off the race car and the pump/sender unit out ready for the new fuel pump that I have mail ordered. This I may add; is much easier on a two poster ramp (where I have done it before on a Rover 200) than on your back using axle stands as even with the pump dropped to the floor after wrestling with rusty jubilee clips and you need some height to get the sender/pump unit out in one go.


I have also pressure tested my cooling system now I have fitted the new expansion tank just to be sure and it held its pressure and no visible leaks.#


I have also got the head back and fitted to the T car and hopefully will finish fitting it back up this weekend, but I am on strict orders to get the VANOS seals done on Mrs M’s BMW 330 Cabrio along with rocker cover gasket, O rings in headlight washers, new exterior temp sensor and at some point visit the scrap yard for a rear trailing arm for the TF I have for sale – Too many cars…..

Donor / T-Car

After Silverstone , I needed a different approach to developing the car. My budget does not allow for me to just buy new parts in the hope it will improve the situation, then if not just replace with something else. I need to be able to swap bits an pieces out to find out which components are not operating at their intended level. I know the fuel pump is a little flakey so thats getting a new one and I have replaced the coolant expansion tank with a new one from Brown and Gammons. I am still not confident about the injectors, lambda, exhaust, catalytic converter and coil packs and to replace all of these would cost approx £500 and still the car may be sluggish.

So I have a new plan, I have purchased courtesy of eBay a 2002 MG ZR 160 with 59000 miles on the clock for the sum of £300 with a the rare K Series condiition of HGF (Head Gasket Failure) – initially the plan was to use this as a pure donor car but it is very straight with 11 months MOT so for those that remember Formula 1 20 years ago its to be a Test Car or ‘T car’.

I am going to use it to solve problems and improve the race car by using bits I know are good from a car setup correctly to get the race car back to its best as testing the race car is limited given its not road legal. Those that know me know that my Father and I own a rare MG ZR Express 160 but he’d kill me if I started robbing bits of that which is a little frustrating as it goes like a train!

So next is to get the T car back to its best, and as you can see from the photo below of my apprenticies William and Eddie in the workshop its run out of room until the TF is sold (yes that is a Maestro Turbo [no 219] and Metro Turbo under the dust) so curbside auto’s it is and making the most of the summer evenings to get it on the road ASAP.


Saturday afternoon the heads off ready, the heads been off before and there is an immaculate MLS gasket in place. Given two VVC mech bolts have sheared off in my hand the head itself has not been apart before and the head certainly has not been skimmed. The radiator is knackered so there is lies the cause of the coolant problems I guess, its a familiar story, the head gasket has gone and then someone has repolaced it without actually replacing the component that has caused the head gasket to go in the first place, so its just not been done properly.

So its off to ELB’s in Sudbury for a skim and two sheared bolts to be removed, I change the water pump as a matter of course and hit the web to find another rad.