Tag: Zetec

Engine Rattle, Seat Height, Floor Mats…

Engine Rattle

There was an intermittent rattle from the front of the engine which I thought was cured by replacing the water pump – no such luck.

After reading a few forums etc, it was suggested that it could be a failing cam belt tensioner or idler.

I already had a spare cam belt, tensioner and idler in stock so I went for it.

Getting to the belt was straight forward and there are many  youtube videos outlining how to do it.

Then came a stumbling block, I couldn’t undo the front crankshaft pulley retaining nut – it was very very tight.

Still i did notice that the cam belt was in good condition and not too old, so finding that the tensioner was very loose in operation I replaced that and the idler.

I used the crank locking tool and camshaft tool to ensure that nothing moved while these parts were slipped in.

Everything was then re-assembeld and I happy to say the noise has gone.

Cam belt replacement is now on the ‘winter upgrade’ list.

Seat Height

I have (since the second day of ownership) more-or-less fitted in the car. I only realised how much I still donot fit by going to the Caterham South Grand Opening and trying on a Caterham SV.

The difference was staggering – it fitted like a glove – some of this was because of the lovely modern composite seats, but it was mainly because I was low down behind the screen giving better visibility and more knee room

So, I was on a mission to get the seat, and therefore myself lower in the car.

I contemplated throwing a lot of money at Tillet Racing Seats, but after a lot forum surfing found that the 1st option is to remove the drivers seat, take the runners off, take the carpet out… And bolt the thing right to the floor.

I got myself some new mounting bolts with gigantic washers and went at it – it was a simple job and the I now fit a lot better. The view feels almost as low as in the Caterham though the seat is not as comfortable as theirs. I love it though.

Floor Mats

When I removed the carpets to lower the seat I thew them away.

I though that it would be fine (and a bit racy) to have bare aluminium which I might paint black. This was not the case, the main issue being that bare aluminium is a bit slippy and this can cause a fool-slippage issue at inopportune times.

So while at Stoneleigh, I picked up some rubber floor covering.

Today I went about fitting this stuff;

Firstly paper templates were made with the help of some (lots of) masking tape.

These were then laid over the rubber covering and cut around with a sharp knife.

Then after a test fit, giving the alloy floor a good clean, and a coat of aerosol carpet adhesive then carefully fitting the rubber, this is the result.
It looks great.

Cooling System…

Even though I’ve not posted here so much, I have been busy with the car;

The complex cooling system – the myriad of pipes and hoses was never a pleasing sight under the bonnet.

My answer to this was to get hold of a RetroFord water rail and simplify the system.

The job was simple really, the old parts came off easily, including the thermostat housing, then the new parts built up and fitted with ease.

The only slightly tricky area is where an outlet from the new housing passes through the coil pack mounting – to be sure of no contact, the coil mount was loosened and lifted about 1-2mm then re-tightened. This gave JUST enough space to pass a hose for the header tank.

The sensors supplied with the rail fitted perfectly and allowed me to switch back to an automatic cooling fan – which when tested worked so well.

While apart I took the opportunity to fit a new water pump, this was a breeze, but I did find that the threads in the water pump housing are not very good so was careful in tightening.

I have one of these housings, but its a pretty ‘deep’ part on the front of the engine and best suited to ‘winter upgrade’ or leave it alone its not leaking’.

Update: I have since drilled 3 little holes in the thermostat – it prevents air-locking and allows a little bypass.

Ignition – Done!

So, we are there, Nodiz is now controlling the ignition system on my car.

And here’s how;

Installing the Advance Table

I decided that before any major stuff begins, I should connect to the Nodiz module via Bluetooth and set it up.

Using my Apple MacBook – running Windows 10 in a VM (VMWare Fusion)  it was initially a bit of a struggle getting the onboard Bluetooth radio to work through Win10. I ended up disabling Bluetooth, and using the plug-in USB dongle that is kindly provided with the Nodiz passing it straight through to Windows via VMWare.

After connecting the unit to the battery, I was able to communicate using the software from Motorsport Electronics. I loaded the advance table from their forums, then told the ECU that engine load information will be provided by a Cosworth 3-bar MAP sensor rather than Throttle Position Sensor. It all seemed happy the Advance Table was written to the onboard memory.

Matt from Nodiz explains this HERE.

With this job done, the time had come to get on with the real work.

Removing Megajolt/EDIS

This part was simple, 4 self-tapping screws had been used held these units to the scuttle panel (2 in each) and the wiring harness only linked into the car in 3 places (ignition live feed, ground (earth), and tacho) then 2 terminated plugs went to the coil pack and crank position sensor.

Engine bay with Megajolt

Units removed from scuttle
New Nodiz with MAP sensor (left) and Old MegaJolt with EDIS (right)
Installing Nodiz
I offered up the new wiring harness and decided where to place the new components, the Nodiz is secured with Velcro tape so can go anywhere, but the MAP sensor is a bolt on part, I used the self-tapping bolts that used to retain the Megajolt/EDIS to mount the sensor on the scuttle panel. The new cabling was then connected to the car harness in the same points as the Megajolt (live, ground, tacho).
I turned the key and the car started 1st time – wonderful.
,
A much more elegant solution
Although the car ran very well, the tacho (rev counter) wasn’t working. After a lot of looking around forums etc. about this issue, I boiled it down to 3 options; 
  1. Fit a ‘pull-up’ resistor to the connections at the back of the gauge
  2. Fit a diode coil driver pack to the ignition coils and use that to drive the tacho
  3. Do both 1 and 2

I ordered both parts online and got around to making the tacho work this weekend – removing the VDO tacho I soldered a 1 ohm resistor between the 12v feed and the RPM signal wires (pins 2 and 4).

Resistor in place
I started the car, and, to my surprise it worked perfectly. In summary; The engine now runs very cleanly and pulls very hard – with a working rev-counter.
I’m Delighted..,

At Last my car runs properly…

Since getting this car, it has given me an annoyance…

This annoyance has either been a constant misfire when on the original engine.
Or, on the new engine, a reluctance to pull at full throttle.
To be honest it drove OK on light to mid throttle albeit with a bit of spluttering.
After the carb rebuild I decided to check through the ignition system – even going to the point of ordering a new (simplified) system from Motorsport Electronics called Nodiz.
Today I decided to check through the old ignition system (Megajolt) and fit the first batch of parts supplied as part of the kit from Motorsport Electronics.
I worked through all of the wiring to and from the Ford EDIS unit – and although not particularly pretty – it was all good. Note: Nodiz does away with the EDIS and reduces wiring and complexity – but removes the (handy, but who cares) limp-home capability of EDIS.
I then fitted the very nice thick new Plug leads – hand made by a nice fella from eBay, and the nice beefy coil pack from Motorsport Electronics. The old coil pack had cracked around 2 of the mounting holes.
After fitting and some plug fettling and terminal tightening – I took the car for a spin… WOW!!! it’s so awesome. 
I can honestly say – it has not been right since the day I collected it – but it flaming well is now. Not a hint of a splutter, misfire, or hesitation at any throttle angle at any speed in the rev range. And it pulls like a steam train.
It has made me so so excited for the summer and a trip to Le Mans.
Next jobs;
Water Pump (Noisy since new Alternator).
Thermostat Housing (leaking – Standard).
Gear Selector Saddle (Tighten Gear Change).
Reverse Switch (Not working).
Remove all Carpet and make something new.
Brake Fluid Change.

Carburettor Rebuild…

So,

I decided that it might improve the WOT(Wide Open Throttle) running by giving the ZX9R B carbs a rebuild.

As a bit of a grounding I watched this fellas videos on  You Tube.

Here’s what I found during the rebuild process.

The inlet manifold take-off pipes for the Megajolt MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) sensor were a bit loose – one was off completely – I pushed them all on tightly.

The float heights in the carbs were not even – they should all be 14mm, only 1 was – I reset them by bending the little tags on the float.

I increased the jet size to 1.6mm as per many recommendations. To richen the mid throttle range I raised the needles by adding a washer below each needle stop.

a few little back bits were found knocking about near the jets and needle valves – maybe plastic or hard rubber, i cleared these out.

After a clean up and rebuild – refit – I put them on the car and started it, but fuel came out of every orifice (even the venturi).

Stripping them once more drove me to replace the float needles and seats – reading through some forums I heard that the varnish in worn carbs keeps these things sealing, and that after cleaning this off – if they are worn troubles can arise.

I also replaced the float bowl rubber gaskets to ensure good sealing.

They looked glorious;

2nd Try – the carbs went back in quickly and the car started 1st time, alas though they still leaked fuel – from the overflow pipes – I remedied this by dropping the fuel pressure through the Filter King to around 2psi – at 3 psi the fuel must have been pushing the float valves open.

I found at part to  mid throttle the car is feels like it has more torque and the exhaust note is wetter – this I think is due to raising the needles.

It was still unhappy at WOT though – so maybe going for different main jets once more is the key.

I’m looking forward to balancing them and giving the car a good test in some dry weather to get an opinion.

Speedo (Again) …

So,

I now have a fully functioning speedometer.

I ordered the new sensor from ETB.

Here’s a photo comparing the old with the new.

The new item comes with about 2m or cable, which is pretty much perfect for running it to the VDO speedometer from the Right-Front wheel.
It comes with 3 connectors, which are marked from ETB, as to where they go on the back of the gauge.
    • BROWN  – Pin 4
    • BLACK  – Pin 8
    • BLUE   – Pin 3

It was very simple, you can basically squish the pin that comes on the wire directly into the standard Westfield spade terminal. Ensuring that the old sensor was now gone and that the terminals to it were securely hidden in the transmission tunnel allowed the wiring for the sensor to be used to hold the new in place.
I then drilled out an 8mm hole in the front hub to secure the sensor.
Rare earth magnets were attached to 2 of the wheel studs with Araldite to close the gap to, and trigger the sensor. The great thing about using such strong magnets is that they hold themselves in place while the epoxy cures.
To allow for the new sensor location the speedometer had to be recoded – It was a simple task to set the device to read that 1820 pulses = 1 mile. It works perfectly. To be honest I’m so pleased.
Coming soon…
Water Pump and Header Tank
Additional fuse box and wiring

Front Dampers…

Finally it’s time to have a go at the front dampers.

This surely would be simpler that the rear ones, because they are right there visible and the bolts are well within the hittable with a hammer range if seized.

It all went pretty well, I found the same spring compression problem as I had with at the rear – this took less time however, because I have gained the knack to doing it now.  When fitting the dampers into the brackets on the chassis it was quite a struggle to line up both ends and get a bolt in – I did it using a tapered punch pushed into the bolt hole from either side and a bit of patience.

That said, its all done, and the car feels so much better to drive.

Its apparent that with the new properly working suspension, the car can be run a lot lower.
The Westfield build manual states 170-175mm Rear and 160mm Front.
I know from looking around on Forums etc though that the more sporty fellas set theirs much lower, often 160mm Rear and 146mm Front.
That puts your bum 6 inches from the ground.
I’m going to set the ride height soon and let you know how it goes.

Speedo Sensor…

On my Westfield the type of speedo fitted is a VDO electronic, the sensor for which is located under the centre of the car aimed at the spinning universal joint when driving.

With the sensor in this position, spirited driving along bumpy roads can cause the universal joint to strike the sensor. This has happened 3 times since getting the car in April, somewhat aided by the super floppy rear suspension.
Looking at the chewed up state of the sensor (below) coupled with the fact that is has now given up. I am going to replace it with a smaller one from ETB that picks up on the front wheel hub. I’ll let you know how this goes.

Alternator Revisted…

So, recently the Alternator warning light had been flickering a bit.

This weekend, it just stayed on… Bugger.

Bearing in mind the alternator was pretty new, I started my diagnosis elsewhere.

I followed the wiring around a bit, and deduced that it ran through one of the 2 fuse boxes, noticing that looking straight down onto the fuses that some of the contacts onto the fuses were sitting lower in the plastic housing that others.

Upon removing the 3 fuses to which this had happened, I found that the captive contacts (or terminals) had slid down. By poking from below, they were soon back in place, and the fuses re-fitted.

This fixed the problem a treat.

While the nosecone was off for another job, I grabbed a photo of the Alternator installation.

Rear Dampers…

I have now fitted the new rear dampers.

Initially I thought that this would be such a simple task…
Wrong…
Upon inspection the top mounting bolt for the NSR damper was seized into the bush.
Also access to this bolt, to hit it with a hammer; is very restricted.
I noticed that a previous owner has had a go at removing it, as one of the chassis gusset plates was bent – as if it had been used to lever a pry-bar against.
So here’s what I did;
I used a Dremel to cut through the damper case where the bush is held, then I prised off the old damper from the bush (came off quite simply actually).
This revealed the bush and bold and the chassis bracket.
To handle this either side of the bush was cut through with a very thin cutting wheel on my angle grinder (got these cutting discs from Wickes).
I then painted the area in Hammerite (where the powder coating had flaked off).
Here’s the one photo that took at the time – new vs old. When I operated the old ones with my hands what was left of the oil squirted out past the seals – nice.
Getting the springs onto the new dampers was a bit of a pain, even the smallest car spring compressors that i could find and still only half fitted. So it took a few goes. I have since learnt that the trick is to get hold of some motorcycle spring compressors.
So onto the front ones next time – fingers crossed for a simple process.