March '02
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2nd/3rd March, Megasquirt & Imp Action

Megasquirt is a 'diy efi' controller from a couple of nice chaps in the USA and until recently it has been running on 3 or 4 cars over there. Recently through their yahoo group a 'group buy' was arranged to have a couple of hundred PCBs made, chips blown & bits sourced to make full 'kits'. These cost $100 each + shipping so I  thought 'rude not to' and signed up just in the nick of time. 

 The PCB is very well made and whole thing took about 3 hours to assemble & test with the PC, then about 2 hours to splice it into the Lucas EFI loom & fire it up.

Saturday morning was spent finishing the loom and running the 'Squirted engine up to annoy the neighbours :-) 

Click for pics & avi

Webcam seemed to work OK on Saturday, so I will bung it out again next Saturday while I am trying to tune up the Megasquirt.

While I was playing with the EFI bits, Damian was getting on well with dropping the Imps engine and gearbox out ready for it's sale to fund his V8 conversion.

When the purchaser turned up he eyed the Doris with some suspicion before suggesting  that he thought that the replacement Imp engine was a good upgrade for extra power :-)

Click for pics of Imp progress

9th/10th March, Action

Saturdays work began by running two new high pressure fuel lines the length of the car to provide a feed and return from the fuel rail. Then the big  Sierra XR4x4i pump was moved to the rear subframe under the tank. The return line from the fuel rail was then plumbed into the breather at the top of the tank and a quick bit of wiring soon bodged it into the loom. 

1/2 a gallon of unleaded was dumped into the tank, then the switch was flicked, the pump whirred, and the pipes twitched as they pressurised. A quick check of the joints showed no leaks, then a few seconds later the sound of excess fuel pouring back into the tank was heard :-)

Then the weather changed suddenly from warm and sunny to windy and overcast  but after a bit of an epic struggle with a big plastic tarpaulin and the wind, a temporary shelter  was erected. I hid under the tarp and  got back on with making up brake pipes around the engine bay while Lynne sat in the shed sanding the flip front down.

On Sunday the exhaust system was dropped off the car and all the temporary joins were seam welded then some mounting brackets were added and a couple of coats of high temperature black paint applied, making it almost look respectable.

Next job drive & driveshafts, both items in serious need of degreasing! So the driveshafts were put into a wire basket on the driveway and the whole lot got a bit of attention from some degreaser and the pressure washer. the big stains came off the drive, and the shafts came up nice and shiny(ish).

The circlips were removed from the mini shafts and the outer ends plugged into the CV joints, then the Princess shafts were plugged into the inner joints and the overlap measured with the suspension loaded, unloaded and the steering checked lock to lock. Discovered to my horror, that the diff has ended up off centre by 10mm!!! Luckily the inner pot joints have about 30mm of lateral movement in the ball race bits so the shafts can be made identical. Will post dimensions of shafts as soon as real design checked.  

Pics of weekends stuff

16th/17th March, Action(ish)

This weekend was a fairly lazy one, with no major breakthroughs in the grand V8 scheme. Having spent the last month 'playing' with EFI, it was time to get back to 'proper' work.

Pulled the V8 out then hid in the shed from the evil sideways rain and started to split things up again. Manifold and plenum came off complete with the EFI loom, then the transfer box, then the gearbox. With the main bits split up again I can make some final adapters and proper gaskets then go for the 'real' build :-)

With the nasty big engine thing out of the way and a bit of a break in the weather the engine bay was up for a bit of attention. The rough cut in the bulkhead was tidied up and expanded to provide a bit more access for the rear bank of spark plugs. The dash was then removed and the whole front loom extracted ready for a rewire.

Having removed the combustible stuff from the bulkhead and dash there was just time to weld the reinforcing plates into the fresh holes and weld in some box section for the start of the 'all new' dash, then it rained again.

Click for pics

23rd/24th March, Action

The plan for the weekend was supposed to involve welding up the dash area, re-plumbing the brakes & making a start on the loom, but the heady delights of a permanent marker & the angle grinder got the better of me !!!

I was outside a bit too early on Saturday morning to do anything noisy, so I spent an hour or so drawing 'cut here' marks around the inside of the cabin..

The drivers floor pan is to be cut & welded to widen the tunnel a little, this will (hopefully) allow the exhaust pipes to kink right a bit so the gear lever gubbins can sit under the floor as normal. Marked out but will get cut next weekend.

Rear seat/boot area got major pen & grinder action, with the seat back being mostly removed, a hole cut in the back of the seat base and the front 100mm being folded up to make a new vertical thingy. There is now plenty of room to fit a hooge (or 2 small) radiators parallel with the seat back, flat to the boot floor, or some angle in between.

The middle of the boot floor has also been removed most of the way back so that the air that comes into (somehow) will go through the radiator(s), then exit downwards through the boot floor. Hopefully with a bit of an air dam at the front of the car there will be a good low pressure area under the floor to help suck the hot air out.

To put a bit of strength back a 45mm steel tube was made to form a horizontal brace between the rear cage feet. Another 50mm tube was welded across the car following the front most edge of the parcel shelf supported brackets from 3mm sheet which also provide harness anchor points. Then the shelf was re skinned with another layer of steel sheet welded all round to the shell and the bar.

And that all took most of the weekend !

A few pics

30th March - 1st April, Action (lots)

The plan for the Easter weekend was to be some more radiator planning/fitting, but due to the wonder of a nameless parcel company, the extra radiator didn't arrive so the plan kind of changed.

After cutting a few rusty bits out of the front bulkhead behind the dash, Elaine gave the interior a coat of white Hammerite while I routed some brake pipe around the front subframe. The plan is to keep as much plumbing and wiring away from the top part of the bulkhead to tidy things up.

Then next job was to put the engine and box back together in a more permanent manner than the previous build, which was really just to see what fitted where. The prototype block/box adapter had been cut from two sheets of steel, 1mm & 1.5mm thick to give me the 2.5mm that I needed. These plates are now welded together to make the adapter more rigid, but in the final build the block will get a further 0.5mm removed from the sump flange and an adapter will be cut from 3mm plate - not a practical option at the moment as I would need to fully strip the engine! Oops, it seems that I have gained a fetching one legged 'welding tan' from welding in shorts again :-)

The speedo drive/end cover for the Princess gearbox only needed about 10-15mm to be removed from the top to allow it to fit under the sump extension, and about an egg cup full of aluminum epoxy to blank off a large oil way that was opened. No idea at this stage how many turns per mile the cable will operate at, but at least it's the same fitting as the Mini one. 

The oil pickup pipe was remade, with a proper brazed joint between the steel top of the old V8 pickup and the flexi 15mm? copper pipe, the solder join had held up ok for test running, but the thought of the pickup pipe falling into the box while driving was not too appealing. I also discovered that brazing on a concrete surface was a bit dangerous when a couple of small stones in the path exploded from the heat! 

With the engine and box together the last two bolt holes in the flywheel were 'altered' and the clutch (original - hmm) was fitted, then the transfer housing and the drop gears were bunged on. This time the input gear has been fitted so there will be drive through the gearbox - meaning that the engine & box will be ready to go - when the driveshafts arrive :-)

After lowering the engine into place, and marveling at the new found room behind the engine, I started to investigate the gear change. Despite looking like the same thing, the Mini one doesn't quite fit :-(

The Mini bottom rod is too long & top rod is too short so they need a cut'n'weld to get them the right length. Then I will find out if the Mini stick has enough lateral movement. More jobs for next week I s'pose!


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This page last modified 04/02/2008.