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Tales of eccentrism motoring 2012 onwards ,rag tag engineering

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11 hours ago, somewhatfoolish said:

What are the pistons and rods in the background from?

3 Rover v8s worth, another run of work waiting in the wings! 

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More action has been achieved although its alot slower in reality than the montage pace I had in mind as it's not possible to just rip the frame together like the random purpose ones I do at work. 

As there is the hope for a MSVA test I'm spending time to ensure its square and also each joint is 'welded' rather than blobbed together like I normally do in a hurry.


The welder is on its 3/4 setting but really needs to be on a 13/16 setting to accomplish the ideal, never the less it's still penetrating through so I'll live with it.


Perspective seems to shift around between how flippin massive is this bit of pipe work and err this seems diminutive! Not much more needed till it gets all the 20mm cross bracing and hopefully I can nail down the rear suspension design for the frame work needed at the rear, a De dion  axle would be the ideal but maybe abit of an ask engineering wise as it would mean small scale telescoping driveshafts, donut couplings and UV joints, the alternative would be a very light live axle arrangement but even a reliant robin axle is loads of unsprung weight at circa 37KG .


Undecided on a steering rack or one of those little industrial worm gearboxes, a rack would be suitable for double wishbone but not so much for a split beam axle.


These moped wheels look the part I think but want a larger sidewall like a 4.00-10 crossply maybe.

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So a few small jobs occurred, on thing I've overlooked is storage for things that are useful but rarely see the light of day, on such item being the engine crane, I love having it, but not so much constantly placing it out of the immediate way repetitively.


It's just a mess even when split into 3 so I decided to make up some gate bolted hinged flaps to allow easy storage overhead and they dont protrude down thankfully. I'll have to look at storage options for the base next.


Also this chassis is somewhat looking more of a reality although there is loads of diagonal bracing to go in yet!


And even the crappy welder is playing the ok game! 


Anyhow the honda GX390 is out for the count, a 400cc single just doesnt compute, so I've picked up a 480cc briggs V twin instead and now I feel it's closer to my minds eye now.



So for the transmission I'm sounding out ideas currently, one thought was a reliant robin flywheel and clutch driving pitbike gears inside a fabricated enclosure or driving a 110 quad gearbox with the 110 engine parts removed so I could use the manual clutch it comes with , but either way it will be a tight fit as there wont be space in the transmission tunnel for anything more than a propshaft really.

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So now the estelle is becoming a garden ornament I want to change that and get it at least mobile so that I can keep it half reasonably straight.

I sold the k series conversion and thought i may have another ready to go in but I've not bothered so went digging around in the scrap end of the old skoda marketplace for a stinker of a 1200 5 port iron head and came up partially trumps with a disgusting skoda s100 1000cc engine out of a 1976 car which had been discarded due to being seized.

That all sounds terrible but I love engines that have never been opened up and seized on low miles through inactivity, it means there is no horrible bodges inside factory aside.


I took the head off as trying the rock the crank got me nowhere,it had a  nice factory headgasket with no signs of a shitty head skim,,mullered head bolt threads or fucked about with liner heights,,lovely stuff!

I cleaned the carbon off the piston tops and carefully cleaned the bore with a green scouring pad, all looked well so I bolted the liners down, filled the pots with oil and heated them all till the oil was ultra thin and you could see air forcing it's way past the rings. Still rock solid!

Then after loads of that repeated over an over it started to move a tiny bit enough to show number 3 was the properly stuck one so all work concentrated on that one.


Up to the flash point of the oil there. But still tight as hell.20200531_215351.thumb.jpg.2834674cb280f561d3f165bb9c5278d0.jpg

Gently working this last night showed it would break something if I forced it so left the hot oil in over night with a ratchet strap gently applying pressure and found it this morning slacker than last night,,enough to rock the piston free,scour the bore and excercise it with plenty of oil.

Next plan is to clean out the sump, take out the liners to lightly hone the bores, clean the rings up and reassemble as it stands. 

Part flow oil filtration may warrant a conversion to full flow with a pressure relief valve added to where the practically useless old oil filter discharges into the sump.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bell said:

Fire. It never fails to deliver. 


2 hours ago, BorniteIdentity said:

This thread never fails to deliver. ? 

But also this.

You really are a masochist when it comes to these knackered old engines, hopefully this one doesn't have tin shims in with the bearings! ?

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Haha thanks for the kind words guys always good that it provides entertainment,, and yes masochist due to being a total tightwad!

More work happened on the Czech A series


Things deteriorated briefly when the absolutely filthy thing was taken to bits, big oil spill,and shit everywhere. But no matter a succesful cleanup ensued.


I scraped the block out,wire wheeled it, rinsed with petrol, applied oven cleaner and jewashed it just to get it to handle able condition.


2 of the pistons are stiff on the pins and all of them have stuck rings ,3 compression! 

And also note the split skirt like its 1949,,no hypereutectic metallurgy here with its western decadence.


Bearings will go again,,and tbh so will the rings once carefully removed,,I have tactics in store for that!


A rough overview of what wants cleaned, things over on the left and right have had a 'working' clean for now.


Here is where the liners sit, and its imperative that the seats are spotless, this is after digging out the silt but it's no where near what I want neither is the block face,,or threads!


These are what the liners sit on to seal and set the height, will double check all that when it's all cleaned up carefully.

Sumps,,these are hideous to clean, but it wont clean itself! 


Being steel marks it out as a pre 83, as the finned alloy sumps where only fitted to the 120 gls,lse and ls with an oil cooler untill 1983 when the bolt pattern changed and they all went alloy. (Steel sump = abject terror) 



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  • 3 weeks later...

So the charade is gone leaving 1 left due to the ignis foiling it's own sale via mechanical failure

I looked about for an m13a and seemingly could only find none VVT engines for reasonable money, all of the cheap trick valve engines were absolutely miles away collection only leaving just the local expensive as fuck stuff etc.

I kept on umming and arring over one in gateshead for 200 delivered whilst scanning ebay, but always lasciviously clicking back on that ad thinking it saves collection but its 200 quid, but then it's not that much really, but it is etc.

Ebay must have realised this as I was presented with a 'get 50quid off this item button' 


Abit of unpacking later


So by this stage my back is abit dodgy just because it exists so I wanted to make sure the engine crane did all the work.

I got it into the garden and it's a good job it got bin bagged it up as a preventative measure


So the next day between this sort of digital rain it got underway and almost straight away the workshop manual method was disregarded, drop engine underneath the car to remove, instant dismissal for that crap idea.


This is my favourite feature on these in how there is a jacking point on the front crossmember and solid as hell it is too!


What a faff these are, you cant move the box to one side to free the engine so the gearbox has to come off to save the driveshaft seals from being wrecked by the dangling shafts, also it's an equal length setup so has a shaft mount on the block,,coupled with no space to work etc.



Swapping over the bits took ages due to disturbed torn gaskets, snapped bolts,finding torque settings etc and to add to the jeopardy my back gave me a full on warning twinge after I had forgot about it and did a cavalier manouver with a drill.


The cat may be original, its marginal but I reckon air leaks haven't helped.


That will sort it for a while as the pipe is fine, just that joint was cracked.


The gasket face needed a flap wheel clean and wire brush to sit on the new engine and it's this stuff that absorbs time,,but then not doing it would just result in problems anon.

I did the reversal of sequence to get it in,,cleaning out threaded bosses as i went and upon first fire it was abit of an initial worry that it ran horribly! but no worries as it smoothed out to an extremely quiet and smooth engine! Just the gearbox to fill and I can use it again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I filled up the gearbox, bled the coolant on the suzuki last week and it's been great since, which means the gamble paid off there thankfully.

So as that was fairly successful I thought let's repeat the process again! With a better engine for the skoda.


I organised the shipping for this within about 3mins over the phone to speedshift, and this turned up the next day from penzance for 63quid, I couldn't manage to get it for that in fuel costs.


It's a late skoda 120 engine so has all the improvements that pre 83 engines dont have, stiffer block,full flow filtration,and upgraded ancilleries.

This one has done some mileage by the state of the clutch but hopefully the bottom end is ok.

I stored it out in the back with a hat on for the rain showers!


I made a start on it but couldn't crack on properly till I got a jet washer of gumtree.



A once over with the luminous green elbow grease spray,, jet wash, oven cleaner and a finishing rinse off.

Next up will be to take the head off, lap the valves and get it built back up to fit into the car! 

Also dad nipped round with a new waterpump for his 300e and we got on with swapping that over, we did this 10 years ago when we first got the car so it seems to be a per decade job, and a good job too as it's a needlessly shit job to do with how much that requires removing!



At 270k its valve guides have seen better days, but to me it's got the uncle Buck perennial charm as it smokes and occasionally splutters it's way around. 

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The head came off and I compared it to the s100 engines head to see how compatible they are and see that they are the same really except the combustion chamber on the 1.0 engine is 4cc smaller so would make a 1.2 with a 9.7:1 compression ratio and would also be pinking like mad probably so will avoid trying it out!



I cleaned the bottom end and thought I will avoid a rebuild as it seems fine really, rotates fine and the cylinders look well bedded in.


I took out the valves and noted the seats were great as presented and there is no valve stem slop but i still lapped them in till the seat were glazed!


All back together , I noted that after being sat overnight the head took another few rounds of torquing till the bolts all stopped moving.


I turned to the car and balls to going anywhere near that shite so I whipped out the titan jet washer and some cillit bang for a good old session with a nylon brush 


way better, so now only some random carb parts to come from Germany and I can get the engine in and running. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

I've got the 32 SEDR jikov carb rebuild bits, however now I'm waiting on a float as I discovered its half filled with fuel somehow! One possibility was to borrow one out of the pre 83 EDSR carb however it doesnt have a cutout to avoid the repositioned main jet so one is on route from Germany


This thing was in a state, seized, blocked jets,zinc alloy fur all over the shop and had the classic signs of over tightened fasteners with a warped mounting flange and also the top cover!


the beauty of zinc alloy is that with heat and pressure it's like a plasticine so I packed the cover off with m5 washers and gently straightened it.


Next up the waterpump had wrecked bearings however these are rebuildable with standard bearings and the mechanical seal is freely available


A bit of a battle cleaning it but these will go forever with the grease dosing pot refilled periodically.


Welding and heat got this cleared of wrecked studs and I drilled the outer holes to m8 clearance so i can replace the bolts easily .


Also on the agenda i was abouts to fit the rear crossmember and it was disgustingly filthy so a quick trip to the shot blaster seen it nice enough to wire wheel prime and paint.


same with the stinky air filter housing


No idea if its the right colour but it's near enough for me.


It's been a long time since I saw a 1200 engine fitted here, it looks very compact compared to a K series!

 Just the carb to finish, coil, oil filter, fuel pump filter bowl, coolant, air filter end cap to find and fit and no doubt loads of other things



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  • 2 weeks later...


So the coil on these is a 12v none ballast unit and I thought I didnt have one untill I realised I was looking at an engine in the garden with one stuck to the side! A quick clean up and sparks are available.


I swapped on a new clutch cylinder and remembered the lack of starter motor, so theres another thing to get.


The carb came back from the ultrasonic cleaning man, a fair ole expense given it wanted more work ontop to clean out salts and deposits etc but it assembled together without drama and hopefully will realise a crisp fueling curve now the jets are all decent.


just need a breather pipe,airfilter end cover,and starter motor then I can furnish it with fluids and get it going once more!


I got one of these push together chocolate block plugs to hardwire all the lights into the back panel so that I dont have to remove the wiring mess everytime the panel wants removing so that's a time saver and I came neaten up the wiring to boot.


these lenses seem to be a bugger for falling apart 


loctite sorted them out no bother which was a surprise to me.


This is coming along somewhat, its wanting a wishbone, pads,and the chassis rail patching! and if a free moment permits I'll give the bonnet a quick silver blow over!


I had a job lot of pitbike 90cc engines come in and I've managed to cobble one out of 3 and a decent 125 engine for my buggy with a few special tools needed on the way.


These are a dream to work on, everything fits beautifully and the parts and information are ridiculously easy to get!


My 1.0 skoda block came back from vapour blasting however you still have to get wash the block everywhere to get the media out of it, all of the threaded holes,galleries,crevices were full of chalky shite!


We're getting there though and when done I'll have no use for this at all! 


every so often I end up having to stop and tidy up and even then there is too much! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The neighbour brought over a dodgy mobility scooter a few weeks back and I thought rather than try fixing the intermittent controlled system I would get a PWM dc controller off ebay for a tenner and cobble that on no hassle at all, except it was abit!

So the unit came without any enclosure , and the ancilleries were just dangling on random length leads!

First task was to replace the combined 100k pot and activation switch to a separated key switch and a linear slide pot, easily done!

Then it needed a way to set a tiny cooling fan running, and also signal the motor brake to come off when the key was turned on.

The fan was only 9mA and the brake was 500mA so I used a 6A Darlington transitor with the 24v signal being intercepted at the key switch


This was testing to see if the transistor would work as hoped


The test leads get warm if you try running above a single amp so they are really easy to burn out! 


Once the function was ok, I had the fun of packing it into the enclosure! 


The throttle pot sticks out of the side for thumb activation.


This thing is billed as 60amps max, but I reckon cooling limits the duty cycle big style!


Hopefully the 15amp draw of the motor will be well within its capability , oddly the motor had a sticker stating 4amp max, yet it's a 350w motor! So I went and specced up a  4 core 1.5mm² cable which having realise the discrepancy means it wants a 2.5mm cable really, and additionally the motor brake was going to be switched by a master switch external to the controller before I added the transitor, so a 5 core would have been neater than a wire ran concurrent.


The wiring is crammed in but thankfully the air flow in and out isnt impeded!


Look how bloody wonky I fitted that!! 

Never the less,,its a runner and smooth at that, the only thing I would change cable aside, is the logarithmic pot for a linear one as it is a wierd feeling throttle response, never the less the nieghbour is loving it! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Lots of hopeless activity on the go!


I played car tetris to get the estelle out for a shake down run which involved moving the back of the proton on a trolley jack and the same again to move the dolomite into the hedge more.20200820_143506.thumb.jpg.3678d042fd887e6df529ae02cb20d781.jpg20200820_191440.thumb.jpg.a64d12e639c873c63fe28979d1fffba9.jpgit's still a tough shell but really wants mig action fairly soon as it wont be for long.


I taped up the sharp edges on the 120 and gave it a gentle bimble locally clocking up 150miles over the last week, seemingly everything was great untill it started pinking like mad,,,

20200905_141457.thumb.jpg.1cdad877c38bdcc962175484668cee22.jpgthat's probably the shitty iron head up to it's old crack producing tricks as they all eventually do, so I left it naturally cool and got it back no issue.


Not exhaust smoke!

So that's now a local only short journey car for the moment.

The other thing progessing is my buggy which has been a simmering project that evolved, I got sick of utility engines so i found a suzuki quad engine locally which seems ideal for this, 14bhp 5speed + reverse!


All the metal work for the tecumseh and its attendant transmission is gone leaving space for the new engine and a pair of Jack shafts.


a really heavy lump it has to be said at 35kg,,,and that's now cut back off as the Jack shaft assemblies put the chain way out of line with the diff sprocket so will have to remodel the crossmember and the chassis rails a tad.


So these are pitbike splined gearbox shafts which match the cheapola 428 chain sprockets, and are mounted in 17mm bore flange bearings, the spacer is a piece of 20mm conduit parted off on the lathe and fits snug over the shaft to space off the sprockets, these are needed  as the rear axle is articulating so needs the diff chain to go as close to the trailing arm pivot as possible to maintain relatively consistent tension and also the chain goes rearwards from the engine, and then doubles back past it.

It wants better wheels and brakes ultimately but they will do for now, may look at the MSVA requirements for this given places to legitimately go are rarified.


Remodelled this as it would put all the load on one bearing.


Rust is always a pleasure to look at.


Same with hanging off flaps,,in combination with rust.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More activity has occurred on the doom buggy and its getting a tad OTT in the sense that there is so much hardware getting thrown at it to barely move it on although it's no hardship really.


This crossmember with the cul de sac is to mount the front Jack shaft.


As it turns out more oft than not that simple quick ideas in the mind are very much a battle in practice.


Mocked it all in position and was reasonably happy with it although the chain is longer than I'd like.


I welded that in once the alignment was correct and then could turn attention to the engine Jack shaft.


Temporarily clamped it on and aligned it as best as a cheap meter stick could muster, as an aside I left it till after welding in the box section pieces as the 'chassis' was likely to distort so made sense to fix the position after doing all that.


The engine is bloody heavy, I can hold it with one hand but trying to line it up and insert the bolt doesnt half tire out my hand fairly quick,  que a bottle jack coming out.


it wants a front engine mount making up, and a 428 sprocket to match the Jack shaft as it's got a mullered 520 one fitted atm.


as noted here the engine wanted to occupy the chassis leg ,,quickly sorted!


also of mild note my full flow oil conversion was ready at the CNC workshop and I'm mega happy with it, so rather than filtering oil by attrition it will filter all of the oil pump output.


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Aye it harks back to me being a full on jikov fan back in the day, it's like they copied a weber and improved it mainly in terms of the spindle bores lasting forever and having a decent fuel enrichment circuit instead of a crappy choke flap etc 15years on it's less fundamental but they have their place still.

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