When Engine Cranes Attack

So, this went wrong – terribly, awfully wrong. There’s a video to show you just how wrong it went.

I was lifting my shiny new engine and shiny new gearbox into the chassis to start work on the engine mounts and I had a catastrophe. Normally when I lift it in, I take it in from the side and pivot it. This time, in order to make my life easier (ha!) I had it on an engine crane pivot mount because there was only me. The pivot mount has a cranking handle that lets one change the angle of the engine. However, what it doesn’t do is give one the same pivoting as a nylon strap.

Long story short, I toppled the crane over, into my tool chests, and smashed 5 drawers over two tool chests, and covered the floor in nuts and bolts.


Auspicious Day – Caloo-Calay

So, the engine has gone off to Damien at Day tuner to have the cam timing set up. I tried to do it, and I had sane instructions, but I failed more than Trump in Mexico. Every time I tried to get the valve just so, the springs would shove and the cam would spring round, taunting me. I followed Homer Simpson’s rule: “If at first you don’t succeed, give up”. I rang Damien to get it done (which is what most Duratec owners do around here) and he laughed … “With your setup, those springs will close a barn door in a force 10 gale – come on over”. This is definitely a job for the expert.

Once done, I can seal up the engine (as in seal down the top, front and sump), and put the injector blanking plugs in, then it’s finished.

In the picture below, you can see some of the blanking plates I printed up – this is exhaust side. Pretty groovy I think. I also got more familiar with Onshape and the more I use it, the more impressed I am. If you’re a hobbyist like me, it’s free as long as you store your parts in their cloud and make them visible to all. For $100 per month, you can keep more than your allocated 10 private parts in the cloud. That sounds draughty to me. Onshape really is VERY GOOD. I use it on my iPad Pro and it’s a perfect fit with the pencil. It’s interesting to watch your drawings on the IPad being updated realtime if you’re also accessing them from a Mac or PC.

The engine spec should get me 230 BHP, 100 up from the stock spec, and it’s strong enough to take a super-charger, which will give me 100BHP more, should I decide that’s the route to go. I’ll done that once I’ve got to know the car all over again.

Right – some tidying up do do.

Do I need blanking plates?

This is a bit of a rhetorical question, but this is now it looks with the dry sump in place. One of the gaps is about the sump, and the other is because the bell-housing is generic for both hydraulic and lever clutches.


IMG_3083 IMG_3084This is the dry-sump gap. Other solutions people have had success with is a thin aluminium plate. In a following post I will disclose my genius idea, but it basically is about putting in a full under-skin to the car so crap won’t come dashing in quite as easily.



This is the clutch hatch. Sorting this is easy – I will come in from the back and make a blanking plug, and then take a mould off it. this should more or less give me an air-tight fit. Once I have the part, I will drill through and tap an m4 thread. then the part can just be bolted through with a bit of thread-lock


Shiny new vs skanky old

So, I finally started on the new race engine build. Rather than putting the old bolts back in, I’ve put in some new ones: this is partially because I didn’t want to put the old bolts in, and partially because I didn’t really take care of all the bolts I took out of the engine and I lost some.


Here you can see the difference between the old zinc plated steel bolts and the new zinc plated steel bolts. I think I did the right thing.  The old bolt had actually been cleaned in acetone. IT still didn’t look very nice.

angled sump design – needs new flap gates

So, following is the photo-record so far for the 10 degree angled duratec sump I’m making for someone out of stainless.

What you can see is the longer side (40mm longer) which has been tacked every inch at 70A. Deep penetration isn’t actually needed here (and you tried you would run the risk of of blowing through the thinner wall or warping the base plate). Stainless is really tricky for warping. I guess there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Here is the front, and again, one inch tacks. It also shows the internal sorted flap gates. These aren’t fully tacked in place yet, just in for positioning.



Here you can see the problem that comes out when adapting the design and not redesigning the flap-slats. Bear in mind this sump is upside down and the flange is sat on the welding plate on the side that goes on to the block. The central flap-slat matrix is designed to mate with the flange and sit snug against the sump bottom (or lid in this orientation).

I don’t think this is going to work because there is a lot of room for oil to flow under the flap gates, and if I cut angled plates to make up the gap then the flap gates will be too high, restricting oil flow and defeating the design of the sump.

Here it is the right way up, and the orange hammer handle shows the gap between the flap-slat plates and what would be the bottom of the sump.



So, next steps are:

  1. remove the flap-slats, which are tacked in, so a little time consuming to get out
  2. get the cad out and recalculate the profile of the gates
  3. whilst 2 is being cut, I can still complete the seam welds and test it for oil-tightness.

This is a little frustrating because it’s the neatest sump i’ve made yet.