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Author Subject: Jeffers "Budget" Track engine build!
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

Registered: 14 Dec 2003

Posts: 3,617

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Post #1
As some of yu know, i like plenty of other people run a dedicated Trackday car. It all started when i had the car as my daily driver some 9 years ago and i became a member of thisr fine forum. I did one Trackday at Donnington and was instantly hooked, unfortunately due to circumstance i only did about 3 trackdays in the first 3 years and then due to leaving my job in the navy, it stopped for some 2 years due to serious financial difficultys born out of taking a job with the promise of swiftly rising through the finacial ranks and it never materialised!Roll eyes So in the end i dug out my qualifications and threw my CV on the internet in the hope i could pick up a better paid job. It worked and i got a new job back in engineering with the option for overtime at my own discression etc etc. The job enabled me to dig out the pug and get it back on th road. Initially i was just going to get it road legal and sell it, at this point i realised it was going to cost more to get it saleworthy than it was worth. So my wife suggested i keep it as a dedicated Track car, and thre the transformation began.

Over the next few years to the present day the car has kind of evolved, bucket seats, Harnesses and an OMP cage were added. Aset of Avo adjustable dampers and a hybrid ARB to stiffen up the suspension. I then purchased a set of 21mm torsion bars off hovis, thats when the problems started. My beam being 100k miles old had seized torsion bars, so required stripping. I stripped it and puchased the overhaul parts off lukejenks. At this point i had a small windfall in the form of the winner in the grand National which i happened to have £25 on the nose so weighed in with a £550 win! Result! Big grin So a quick phonecall to Martin (CRF450) and my rear arms were sent for machining with 3 degrees negative camber. They returned a week or 2 later and my word what a piece of artwork the machining is, the beam was assembled and fittd to te car with a set of solid beam mounts, orignal items vey nicely welded up by pete_rallye! (Cheers mate top Job! Thumbs up ) i then set abouth the front suspension. A set of spax coilovers off Lotek and a set of spoox topmounts. The spax are soon to be replaced with a set of KW's when finances allow.

The car as it sits now pretty much.



The Handling now sorted i've started to hanker after more power, the problem is i dont have ooodles of excess cash to blow on a charger or anything like that so i decided to put my own skills to the test. Being as i work on engines all day for a living, small ones like this....



I am doing a build myself, the idea is somewhat of an experiment in that i dont really know if i will actually keep the project within budget and the final power figure is somewhat guesswork at the minute! Roll eyes The idea is to get the engine over 200 horses within the budget of 1k. I would like to stress that this is another engine not the one from my car as i wanted to keep the car useable!

The engine has been bought in parts, i got the bottom end from here, it is from a snapper but no damage to the pistons or bores bagged me a bottom end ripe for rebuild for £20!Shock The lad i got it from was going to give it for nothing but when i turned up to collect it was in that good a nick i gave him £20 as i felt guilty! And for that i got this little beauty....



Since buying the bottom end, i purchased a head for £30, this has i believe 2 bent valves in cyl 3 but all will be stripped and checked prior to rebuild. i've bought cam pullies,thermostat housing etc etc, i will compile a list when i get a moment. But up to now the build has cost roughly £400 give or take.

The engine at various stages of stripping,






The engine has been stripped for roughly 18 months whilst i collected all the parts for building it up. About a month ago i recieved the bottom end bearings and gaskets ready for me to start the build properly, so i rang Martin again and sent off my pistons for machining to take a higher lift cam, unfortunately a couple of days later Allen contacted me on here to say there was a problem with one as when they'd machined the cutouts it showed up a crack....



Cue pete_rallye who came to the rescue with a spare piston and rod, pete promptly sent the piston to Martin who machined it double quick and got the set out to me...





Apart from priming the block ready for paint thats about where i'm at, more pictures to follow, hopefully i'll not bore everyone to death but i felt with what i was trying to achieve it was worth writing down on here! Cool



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Posted 22nd Apr 2012 at 22:49
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

Registered: 14 Dec 2003

Posts: 3,617

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Post #2
Sooooo a long awaited update, due to being sent to Nigeria to work and various other problems at home it's only been recently I've got back to this. So firstly the block was cleaned all oil ways blown out with solvent then dried. And the block painted, not everyone's colour but I quite like it...




I then started to assemble the engine crank first, missed a picture here! Roll eyes Then pistons and rods all again cleaned up in solvent, dried then lubricated for fitting. The piston rings were goetz items actually listed for a C20let vauxhall engine iirc as they are a lot cheaper but exactly the same dimensions and after taking advice was told they have a better designed oil control ring.



Then installed the windage tray, remember to loctite these bolts! Smile

Then the all important overhauled oil pump complete with one piece drive for the crankshaft.


This is pretty much how the engine stands now although it has the sump installed and the top end is sealed up whilst I recondition the cylinder head. Hopefully another update soon! Smile

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Posted 24th Oct 2012 at 23:23
roland rat

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Post #3
Coming along nicely old bean Thumbs up

One good thing about having the block that colour is that all oil leaks will show up straight away LOL
Posted 24th Oct 2012 at 23:30
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

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Post #4
roland rat wrote:
Coming along nicely old bean Thumbs up

One good thing about having the block that colour is that all oil leaks will show up straight away LOL

This is true! I am however hoping it won't leak much oil...... Roll eyes I'm hoping to get this finished and ready to go in before Christmas but work may have a big say in this!! LOL

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Posted 24th Oct 2012 at 23:33
24seven

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Post #5
Looking good! I'm curious as to how the Vauxhall rings are "better" than the Peugeot ones though.

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Posted 25th Oct 2012 at 01:04
prism7guy

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Post #6
Looking good Lee. Thumbs up

Did you use fuel proof lacquer on the engine? I didnt think it through when i did mine so after a couple of fuel leaks it turned to a crappy pink colour. Doh Laugh

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Posted 25th Oct 2012 at 06:54
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

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Post #7
24seven wrote:
Looking good! I'm curious as to how the Vauxhall rings are "better" than the Peugeot ones though.
Hmmm I know what you mean, but I asked a few people before buying and they all pretty much said the same thing which was the oil control ring was a more sturdy design, having seen them both together I ser what they meant now, to me it's less likely to lose its tension if that makes sense. The main reason for the vauxhall rings really was cost and the fact the are readily available the only cost £40! I am trying to do the best build possible within a budget after all!

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Posted 25th Oct 2012 at 07:44
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

Registered: 14 Dec 2003

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Post #8
prism7guy wrote:
Looking good Lee. Thumbs up

Did you use fuel proof lacquer on the engine? I didnt think it through when i did mine so after a couple of fuel leaks it turned to a crappy pink colour. Doh Laugh

It is proper engine paint I'm told, but time will tell... It was given so who am I to question??! Il tell you where it came from when I see you at Oulton Steve lol!

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Posted 25th Oct 2012 at 07:47
rich306

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Location: Portsmouth

Registered: 09 Aug 2009

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Post #9
24seven wrote:
Looking good! I'm curious as to how the Vauxhall rings are "better" than the Peugeot ones though.


I am too!

I must say that this is brilliant, watching the block get stripped down; not seen it taken this far before!
Well done so far buddy! Thumbs up

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Electrical work carried out in Portsmouth

jamiek_uk2000 wrote:
You'll need to throw money at the car. Not on parts. Just stand near your car and throw loose change at it, I find this increases performance for a short period of time
- Top Tip!!!
Posted 25th Oct 2012 at 08:07
hovis16

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Post #10
Same thing paul and I are planning with the spare engine we have. Cheers for the vauxhall info :thumb will come in handy

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Posted 25th Oct 2012 at 20:53
russbez

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Post #11
very smart Yes

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Posted 29th Oct 2012 at 10:53
tvrfan007

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Post #12
That's looking nice chap, shall read on with interest. Smile

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Posted 29th Oct 2012 at 12:27
cjm_harris

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Post #13
Been waiting for this thread for a while. Was reading through some old PFC magazine and saw pictures of your car on a track day, and said "Lee will be looking for some engine upgrades, watch this space"

Keep up the good work Thumbs up

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Posted 29th Oct 2012 at 14:37
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

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Post #14
cjm_harris wrote:
Been waiting for this thread for a while. Was reading through some old PFC magazine and saw pictures of your car on a track day, and said "Lee will be looking for some engine upgrades, watch this space"

Keep up the good work Thumbs up

Bloody hell that article must be about 6 years old maybe?? Dunno but I suppose I'm getting there eventually!! LOL

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Posted 29th Oct 2012 at 18:39
eddy_gti6

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Post #15
Getting there lee. Good work Thumbs up

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Posted 29th Oct 2012 at 21:13
jeffers Forum Owner

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Post #16
Well another long awaited update, work as predicted has had a big say and it's only now I've got back to this.... Since the last instalment I've installed the sump.... I forgot to photograph this... And I started buying shiny things!

Unfitted and unused Rich_w flywheel! I picked this up for a bargain IMO Big grin
And these...

Complete with unlocked ecu mapped by Wayne Schofield and just in case the transponder that goes with the ecu! Big grin
Now we come round to the cylinder head, a job I'd not particularly looked forward to but all the same needs doing. The head I picked up a while ago for next to nothing, I knew at the time it had a couple of bent valves but as they looked intact I reckoned they were only slightly bent and once weeded out it should be a reasonably easy fix. I stripped the head and pressure washed out.

I then cleaned up the valves in a pillar drill using scotchbrite. (I forgot to photograph this) whilst doing this I found the offending bent valves,marked and discarded them then ordered new to replace.
Then this morning I set about facing off the head then lapping in the valves

After lapping in each valve I fitted a new stem seal and then reinstalled the valve.


Note the 10mm socket used to drift the new stem seals onto the valve guide.

Note the clean line around the valve sealing face from lapping in.


And that is how it now sits, I'm awaiting the arrival of my timing belt kit, water pump, head gasket etc so I can finally fit the head then commence fitting and timing up the PT81 cams! :-)

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Posted 12th Jun 2013 at 23:18
coskev

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Post #17
Excellent write up and picsThumbs up

What is that big green engine out of?Shock

Did you check the valve guides before fitting valves?As I picked up a second hand head for mine when re-building,and not knowing the mileageRoll eyes it needed 6 new exhaust valve guides through wear.None of the valves were bent eitherWink

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Posted 13th Jun 2013 at 11:37
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

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Post #18
The 'Big green engine' is a jenbacher 620 twin turbo gas engine. It runs on coal mine methane producing electricity backing up the national grid. It will run on towns gas too, just this one was bought to run on mines gas.
Valve guides, well I've had a good look and check over the guides and the guides on this head are certainly better than the ones on the head in the car at the minute. There really is very little wear at all so I'm happy it's good to go! Hopefully all the parts to complete assembly are at my house now, and I can finish that over the next few days before moving on to completing the throttle bodies! Smile

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My Budget track engine build thread!
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Posted 13th Jun 2013 at 11:55
gnrlee Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

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Post #19
Coming along nicely! Thumbs up

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Posted 13th Jun 2013 at 12:29
stan_306gti6 Forum Admin

Location: Kent

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Post #20
Looking good Lee. Cool

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Posted 13th Jun 2013 at 12:45
jeffers Forum Owner

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Post #21
Small update, I've come to a bit of a halt as it turns out there were more than two bent valves discovered this during the lapping in process (pictures to follow) they wouldn't lap in properly and there are 2 valve guides needing replacement which i've found when fitting new straight valves in these guides. So I've ordered two more valves and I'm hopefully tomorrow going to get the head in to the machine shop for valve guides. Bit of a pain but I want this engine right so although I'm on a budget I'm not cutting corners! Roll eyes

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My Budget track engine build thread!
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Posted 18th Jun 2013 at 02:01
jeffers Forum Owner

Location: Leeds

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Post #22
Right I think I'm due an update, after discovering some dodgy valve guides when refitting the valves I sent the head away to get 4 new exhaust valve guides fitted and ordered 2 more new valves. I've since been on holiday etc so not got back to this til now. The head returned and I continued to lap in the valves...

Once finished this is where I ended up,

The head has now been sat on top of the block on card board til I have time next week to fit the head gasket etc and torque down the head...

Next week il torque down the head and time up the cams, watch this space! Smile

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My Budget track engine build thread!
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Posted 23rd Aug 2013 at 22:32
blandy

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Post #23
Great thread and write up. Will keep a eye out for the valve timing as something I've never yet done but want to find out how so will be keeping a close eye on this one
Posted 23rd Aug 2013 at 22:40
jeffers Forum Owner

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Post #24
blandy wrote:
Great thread and write up. Will keep a eye out for the valve timing as something I've never yet done but want to find out how so will be keeping a close eye on this one

Thanks, unfortunately it's taking a lot longer than hoped due to work, family, money etc but I'm in no hurry I just want it right! The cam timing is new to me too so it'll be interesting lol! Roll eyes

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My Budget track engine build thread!
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Posted 23rd Aug 2013 at 23:02
tvrfan007

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Post #25
This looks an interesting project, you need to crack on with some uber updates Smile

I like the marine engine. I used to design steam turbines to be driven by waste heat recovery from Wartsila units in gas fired power stations, and made some for Maersk on the G and E class container vessels.

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Posted 26th Aug 2013 at 21:32

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