January 2011

Monday 24th January 2011
Well the Autosport show came and went, and I bought a Bell Sport 5 crash helmet, full face, with Snell SA2010 sticker, so I can forget about replacing it for at least the next 9 years. I tried on numerous helmets on Nick Algar's Plays Kool stand, but couldn't find one that felt comfortable. Which was a shame as they were all very good value. I tried the Bell on at the Demon Tweeks stand, and it fitted perfectly, first time out the box. And they gave me a £60 discount off the RRP, so the deal was done.

I also bought a couple of tools for the workshop. And spent some time talking to some of my suppliers (Fibre-Lyte, Radtec etc). I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and Thursdays seem to have quietened down a bit now, which makes it far more relaxing to spend time wandering around looking at the cars on display.

On the Quaife front, I've decided what ratios to go for, for fast circuit use I'm going to stick with the same 3.857:1 final drive, as I felt that really suited the car when it was Zetec powered.

1st 2.583
2nd 1.867
3rd 1.421
4th 1.130
5th 1.042

With my 190/570R15 profile tyres, I get the following with 3.857:1 final drive

Speed @ Limit 1st 50.23 Mph
Speed @ Limit 2nd 69.49 Mph
Speed @ Limit 3rd 91.3 Mph
Speed @ Limit 4th 114.81 Mph
Speed @ Limit 5th 124.51 Mph

The gearbox is being supplied with the gear selector mechanism, the digital display, and an LSD, which means that my spare LSD could be up for grabs.
Wednesday 12th January 2011
I ran the engine last night, and what do you know? Its working perfectly. Engine gets up to temperature, cooling fan switches on to cool the radiator, and the temperature drops. So the culprit is the water bypass hose on the front of the block. This was the path of least resistence for the water, so blocking this off has forced the water to go around the radiator. Removing the thermostat has also helped with the flow, and the engine seems very content ticking over without the thermostat. We'll have to see what its like when I drive it in anger.

I stuck several temperature sensitive labels on the radiator and header tank, and these confirmed that the radiator is getting up to temperature, and that the cooling fans were doing their job correctly.

Right, so its all systems go now to get her booked back in the ****. I just need the fit the shorter driveshaft, and she's good to go.

I've restared the dialogue with Quaife regarding their sequential box, and they're going to make it available to me so I can help with its development. Brilliant. Just need to confirm gear ratios, and she'll be ready for shipping. Cant wait. Its always been an ambition to go sequential, and this is going to make for quite a ride once its all put together.

Video of the dashboard showing the cooling fans coming on and the temperature dropping.

Video of the engine warming up.
Tuesday 11th January 2011
Last night, I stripped the cooling system down, and built it all back up in less than an hour. Just goes to show how practiced I am at it now. I removed the standard thermostat, and refitted the housing. I removed the bypass hose from the front of the block, and used the spare SFS hose ends on both pipes, clamped securely with jubilee clips to prevent leakage. I removed the fan belt, and checked that the water pump impeller was fastened securely to the shaft, and sure enough, it is. So, I quickly replaced everything, filled it up with more of Severn trents finest tap water, with a splash of anti-freeze, and she's ready to be run up to temperature this evening to see if the overheating issue has gone. With no stat, and no bypass hose, the water has to travel through the radiator. If the swirl pot return is still allowing too much water to bypass the rad, I'll clamp it once the trapped air has been released.

I've written to Radtec (manufacturers of the radiator) to see if they're aware of any issues with my design, as I'm reliably informed that my 'U' design presents 8x the resistence of a conventional cross-flow rad. I'd like to hear Radtec's view, as they built it for me, so they should be able to dispell or confirm that particular theory.

The switch has arrived from RS, for the fuel pump override. I'll try to wire that in tonight. The sense of urgency with all of this, is that my first event is in March, and I need to get the car back on the rollers, so I need to cure this overheating problem before I can do that. And time stands still for no man (and I learned long ago that the garage pixies dont really exist, so I've got to get on with things myself if I want to compete this year).
Monday 10th January 2011
Its quite staggering how many different opinions there are to the cause of the overheating problem with my Duratec. All I know is thats it my highest priority to fix the car before I can book it back in at **** to continue with the engine mapping.
So tonight's plan of attack is as follows:
Remove the radiator. Remove the thermostat. Remove and blank off the bypass hose that runs across the front of the block. And check the impeller on the water pump is attached securely to the shaft. I'll then refit the radiator, fill it with more wet stuff, and try and see if this improves things. One last go if you like. I'll not rest until its cured, and this should pinpoint if the water pump is faulty, or there's too much restriction in the U design of the radiator. So many different theories as to whats causing it, but the two most common are water pump, and radiator. Wish me luck.

This is how Ford intended the Fiesta Duratec to be plumbed in.

And this is my interpretation (without the swirl pot and the alternative location of the top hose), and tonight I'll remove the bypass hose and stat to see if it cures it.

Sunday 9th January 2011
Speaking with Graham Bahr on the Turbosport.co.uk forum, it sounds (from Grahams extensive experience) like the root cause of the Duratec overheating is due to the height of the radiator in front of the engine. Because I'm running throttle bodies on the front, I have no option but to run a low profile radiator, and Graham is sure that this is the cause of the problem. Basically, I need to either raise the radiator up, or lower the height of the water pump, neither of which I can do. So I've decided to go down the electric water pump route. I'll see if I can get a Davies Craig EWP from the Autosport show on Thursday, and I'll get it plumbed in over the coming weeks. The impeller on the mechanical pump needs removing, and I need to retain the pump pulley otherwise my triangulated drive will no longer work. So I'll remove the radiator, thermostat, and water pump, and start the modifications. If this doesn't cure it, nothing will. One benefit of the electric water pump is a slight increase in horsepower, especially at the upper rev range. The EWP draws around 7.5A so my only concern is if the 49A alternator has enough capacity to power it. It should do, but only time will tell.
Saturday 8th January 2011
I've ordered another push button switch (like the ones I've used on the dashboard) http://uk.rs-online.com/web/1036280.html to use as the fuel pump override switch on the control box. This will allow me to push the button when the circuit breaker is on, to prime the fuel system, and also provide the fuel sample if required during the season. I'm also using a rubber cover on the switch to keep the dirt out. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/1036303.html

I ran the engine today, and, same problem as before. The engine temperature rises quite quickly, the header tank fills with hot water, as does the top hose, and the water temperature rises above 90°C and continues to rise until I rev the engine.

So whats next? Maybe I'll remove the bypass hose that runs across the front of the block to the sensor housing, and put caps on the two connectors. This must be the path of least resistence, and the water would rather run round and round the head than flow in to the radiator. Another problem could be the water pump. If the impeller is loose on the shaft, that could explain the lack of water flowing around the block. Two jobs for the week ahead. I dont suspect the water pump, as theres a lot of water being circulated around the block already, its just not making it round the radiator. The Cosworth Caterham build manual does show the bypass hose connected, so maybe thats not the problem. I'll pursue the water pump route first to see whats going on with the impeller.
Thursday 6th January 2011
The radiator is now ready for testing. I finished adjusting the hoses, and filled the engine with water/antifreeze mix. Luckily Halfords had some 8mm hose in stock, so i bought a meter to replace the swirl pot bleed hose that I'd discovered had a large chunk missing from the side of it. I'll run it up to temp on Friday afternoon hopefully.

I'm also in the process of replacing the two headlamps on the Audi A6. The lenses are very opaque, and I've tried polishing them, but its made very little difference to the abysmal amount of light that they emit on dipped beam. So I bought two replacement headlamps off eBay. One is a brand new old stock Hella lamp, and the other was one advertised as 97-01, but its from the facelift 99 model of the A6, and is in too poor a condition to fit. So I'm trying to remove the lense, as that is perfect, and once removed, I'll swap it for the lense on the original unit. Once the lamp units are changed, I'll fit the HID kit I bought from Demon Tweeks in December, which should give a far better spread of light when combined with the new lamp and lense.
Wednesday 5th January 2011
Collected the modified Radtec radiator from Altiss and Nigels work is of the usual very highest standard. I've drilled the mounting holes in the sides of the radiator flanges, and fitted it all back on to the car in the same position as it was in before. About half an hour later, I'd trimmed all the 32mm SFS hoses to the right lengths, and its now all plumbed in ready for testing. I just need to get some more 8mm hose from Halfords today, as the swirl pot hose had rubbed on the water pump drive belt when I drive the car at high speed at Bruntingthorpe, and I was lucky it hadn't burst with the pressure.

So the hot water from the sensor housing now runs across the width of the radiator, and feeds in to the top of the rad, on the drivers side. The water flows out from the bottom of the radiator, out of the relocated bottom port, now also on the drivers side, and is fed upwards, in to the Duratec thermostat housing. I'm just hoping now that there is enough of a syphon effect to push the water up to the thermostat housing when the engine is up to temperature. I'll run it up to temperature at the weekend.
And just for my own sanity, I've sketched out the drive belt assembly now and before I modified the engine, just to make sure that the water pump is still being turned in the right direction, and it is.

Tuesday 4th January 2011
Removed the radiator yesterday, and disassembled the two Spal cooling fans. This morning I dropped it off with Nigel at Altiss.com, and he's going to blank off the bottom outlet of the radiator, and move the outlet on to the side of the end cap. Should be done in a couple of days. The idea behind this modification, is that it allows me to turn the radiator around, so that the two ports are on the drivers side of the car, which means that the relocated bottom outlet will then be below the height of the thermostat. This 'should' allow cool water in to the thermostat when the stat opens.

We had an unexpected light sprinkling of snow this morning in Leicester, and as I headed over to Loughborough for a couple of hours, I had the pleasure of driving the Subaru on unsalted, snow covered roads. After two very sideways moments, and the loss of at least one of my nine lives, I decided that ESP was a good thing on a car after all. The Legacy Estate is so tail happy with 4WD, and the summer tyres don't exactly inspire confidence in the slippery conditions. What I don't understand is all the marketing crap from Subaru, about how great the cars are in the ice. Mine just slips and slides all over the place, and if anything, 4WD makes you believe you have more grip than you do. At least the front appears to have more grip than the rear when turning off the power, which makes for a very tail happy car. Anyway, no harm done, the car still has four 'straight' wheels, so I'll continue to look out for a skid pan/empty car park so I can hone my 'skills'.
Sunday 2nd January 2011
I think its time to go back to the drawing board with my radiator design. I don't believe now that the water pump is capable of pulling water out from the radiator. When I came up with the original design, I asked Radtec to put a horizontal split across the width of the radiator, so that hot water entering the top, was forced to travel across the width of the rad, and then downwards and in to the lower half, as I'd placed the inlet and outlet on the same ends of the radiator. This creates the problem. The water pump is trying to draw water out of the radiator on the opposite end of the radiator, and the water has to travel upwards, across the rad, and down to the thermostat housing. What I've learnt is that water is actually gravity fed in to the thermostat housing, as the water pump doesn't actually pump the water around the radiator. The pump is concerned with pushing water around the block, and when the thermostat opens, it allows a slug of cool water in to the block, which is then circulated by the water pump.

So I've got several options. i) scrap this radiator (sell it on eBay) and have a new one made with an outlet on the same end as the thermostat housing (which I've since learnt, I have the room for, as the alternator packaging is quite small). ii) install an electric water pump, and have that running all the time to force water around the radiator. I'm not keen on this. a) I'd have to wire it up, and its going to draw more current from the battery, which is more strain on the alternator, b) I'd still be left with the horizontal alloy pipe that runs beneath the throttle bodies, which is increasing the heat in the induction system and sapping power.

There is another option however. And that is to turn the radiator over, so both the inlet and outlets are on the thermostat end of the engine. If I then had the bottom outlet removed and blanked off (as it would hit the alternator) and have it TiG welded on to the end of the radiator at 90°, I could at least see if this cures the problem. Sure I'd still have to feed the hot water from the sensor housing using the alloy pipe running across the width of the radiator, but this is the cheapest option I can think of.

So I'll remove the radiator, and see if Altiss can modify it for me. If this doesn't work, I'll commission a new rad.