MGA 1600 Race Engine - Part 2 - And other Misadventures - Page 8 - S2KI Honda S2000 Forums

Go Back  S2KI Honda S2000 Forums > North America East > New York - Upstate New York S2000 Owners
Reload this Page >

MGA 1600 Race Engine - Part 2 - And other Misadventures

Notices
New York - Upstate New York S2000 Owners All areas North of I-84 (Port Jervis to Putnam Lake) in New York State

MGA 1600 Race Engine - Part 2 - And other Misadventures

Old 05-05-2018, 02:49 PM
  #71  
A 2
Moderator
 
A 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Albany, UPSTATE NY
Posts: 43,548
Thanked 57 Times in 53 Posts
Default

Mr. Vintage Hero - hope your back home after a great first event. Once you've had a chance for a restorative, I hope you will be able to publish a report. I was headed to Central Mass this AM and was very tempted to make a detour to Lime Rock.
A 2 is offline  
Old 05-05-2018, 07:31 PM
  #72  
Thread Starter
 
blueosprey90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Milford, CT
Posts: 4,847
Thanked 32 Times in 29 Posts
Default

For me a race weekend is a never ending series of challenges.

Arrived at track a bit late, then late to the grid, but did manage to get in most of the practice run. Just breaking in the piston rings, and trying to keep the engine below 4,500 rpm. Uneventful, but the engine did appear to pull strong.


Second run was a race. I pulled up to the false grid late and the engine died. As the other cars pulled out, I jumped out of my harness and opened the hood. Checked the ignition wires at the coil and the distributor, all of which seemed good, but the car fired up when I tried it so I went out on track. Nothing exciting – the pack was long gone - I ran some laps, again keeping the rpms blow redline, and came in a little early.

At this point between races, I re-torqued the head and readjusted the valve lash, and figured that I was ready to do battle.

Third run was a race. I was sort of in last place, but had a very tight race first with the Chip Brown in a Morgan and then with Jim Juhas in the MGA #311. Chip Brown moves to the middle of the front straight as a blocking move, forcing anyone to pass on the tight inside and consequently leaving no room for that someone to brake and turn at Turn 1. I was drafting the Morgan to pass and suddenly sensed my speed was such that I would rear end him. I veered to the right and think I might easily have upset my car. I eventually passed the Morgan, then caught the MGA #311 as we finished the race in a dead heat.

Fourth run was a race. Although starting in last place, I had a very tight race first with the Jim Juhas in the MGA #311 and then with Paul Cendren in the Alfa Romeo #770. As I battled the Alfa, my water temperature was rising with each lap and was approaching 220° F. I’ll leave it to the video for a more complete description. But very good racing to say the least.

When I came in, I decided to do some cool down turns in B paddock, and once I turned toward A paddock the car died. I was a long way from my tools, I couldn’t hear the fuel pump and I thought the wire for the fuel pump had fallen off the ignition switch. But I didn’t find anything amiss, and eventually decided that the car had died just because of vapor lock. With the hood open and the engine cooling down, the car started right up once I was done fiddling with the ignition switch wiring.

I waited around to give worker rides. We did 5 or 6 easy laps, but as I pulled back into the paddock, I was hearing an unpleasant sound from the transmission, but I couldn’t pinpoint it, But when I opened the hood, it was obvious that it was an engine noise, not transmission. The locknut on the #2 rocker arm had come loose and I had maximum excessive valve lash – maybe half an inch! As day turned to dusk, I reset the valve lash and the engine and transmission sounded OK. Dodged a bullet I think.
blueosprey90 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to blueosprey90 For This Useful Post:
A 2 (05-06-2018)
Old 05-06-2018, 06:03 AM
  #73  
A 2
Moderator
 
A 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Albany, UPSTATE NY
Posts: 43,548
Thanked 57 Times in 53 Posts
Default

Thanks for sharing the post. Hope Saturday went well and you figured out what was causing the vapor lock.
A 2 is offline  
Old 05-06-2018, 09:29 AM
  #74  
Thread Starter
 
blueosprey90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Milford, CT
Posts: 4,847
Thanked 32 Times in 29 Posts
Default

Video from race on Friday. My best lap was a 1:13.5, top speed 99.5 mph

blueosprey90 is offline  
Old 05-06-2018, 07:12 PM
  #75  
Thread Starter
 
blueosprey90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Milford, CT
Posts: 4,847
Thanked 32 Times in 29 Posts
Default

On Saturday, I headed to the track with plans for some work on the engine and I would miss the first practice run. I replaced the oil filter. I also addressed a small oil weep at the rear oil fitting. I wasn’t sure if the weep was at the block or in the fitting to the oil pipe. A very light coating of gasket sealant seemed to do the trick. Finally, I pulled the thermostat and replaced with the blanking insert – a change that served to reduce my racing water temperature by about 20 degrees. During the course of the day, I did not seem to have the vapor lock issue, but I also did switch over to non-ethanol racing fuel.

On Friday, the audio on the video was terrible. I relocated the microphone, but no improvement. Very unsatisfactory!

The first race involved a ’59 Corvette. Good run, but although we pestered the ‘Vette like yellow jackets at an August picnic, we could not make the pass. Best lap 1:14.41. Top speed 101 mph. The following race was a bit of a bust. We had a very exciting first few laps, but then the pack got away from me. I was also hearing an odd sound – banking or slapping sound – coming from the rear half of the car on hard braking into Turn 1. One can hear this on the video. There was a Mini broken down at Turn 2 that I thought had caught on fire, so I came into the pits to report. Decided not to go back out. Best lap 1:13:93.

Final all-comer’s race with just 4 cars – a student in a Datsun Fairlady, a Lotus 11, Jim Juhas #311 MGA and me. I decided to run with the student at a 1:21 pace.

All things considered, the weekend was a success, and the new "big block" engine seems strong.
blueosprey90 is offline  
Old 05-07-2018, 05:24 AM
  #76  
A 2
Moderator
 
A 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Albany, UPSTATE NY
Posts: 43,548
Thanked 57 Times in 53 Posts
Default

That was very nice of you to slow down and let the student follow you. Is the Fairlady the first Japanese car to run with the VSCCA?
A 2 is offline  
Old 05-11-2018, 04:47 AM
  #77  
Thread Starter
 
blueosprey90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Milford, CT
Posts: 4,847
Thanked 32 Times in 29 Posts
Default

(Santo’s video of an Alfa Romeo Twin Can Engine running) (Santo’s video of an Alfa Romeo Twin Can Engine running)

Santo D. Spadaro: Keeping the minister who will be presiding at my wedding on track
Jeffrey Sienkiewicz: Are you getting married??? Have you appeared before the Board and received approval????
Santo D. Spadaro: I have a log book for the wedding already
Jeffrey Sienkiewicz: OK, I didn't see the bans of marriage posted on the website, but as long as those details have been approved by upper management, I guess I'll have to be satisfied.
Santo D. Spadaro: We have to keep the displacement of the wine carafes to 1.5 liters
Craig Bolton III: - so you got through Tech OK?
Santo D. Spadaro: Yeah but I missed the groomsman meeting and had to sit out the ceremony
Craig Bolton III: - no helmet sticker, huh?
Jeffrey Sienkiewicz: 1.5 liter wine carafes - I'm assuming those are each individual's carafe, not the table's.
Santo D. Spadaro: 1.5 per participant
blueosprey90 is offline  
Old 06-07-2018, 05:33 AM
  #78  
Thread Starter
 
blueosprey90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Milford, CT
Posts: 4,847
Thanked 32 Times in 29 Posts
Default

Well, maybe things are going to start happening.

Report from the machine shop is that the new Venolia pistons have arrived. Venolia made 5, so now I have two sets. I also ordered two sets of "gapless" rings from Total Seal. As a rank amateur, it seemed that Venolia was more comfortable building the pistons around the rings I was planning to use rather than the piston sample that we sent. But even ordering the rings was intimidating. The fellow who built my blown engine walked me through it.

And word came that the special ghost main crankshaft from Marine Crankshaft is ready for shipping, so I hope to receive that next week. I'm nervous about it fitting this crank into the 1600 block for two reasons: first, with the ghost mains, will it clear the oil pump and pedestal? second, because I asked the Marine Crankshaft to build a Frankenstein MGA crank with an MGB flywheel flange. So the thing was built from two samples - my broken crank and an MGB crank that a fellow named Dave Headly sent out for design purposes as a favor to me. I will need an MGB style flywheel and a new rear plate if the crankshaft actually fits into the block.

In the meanwhile, a used MGA 1622 race engine (short block) and close ratio transmission appeared on E-Bay. This presented me with a pig-in-a poke dilemma, but I threw discretion into the trash and ended up being the successful bidder on both for pretty big money. The short block may or may not be a good buy. Supposedly it has pretty good internals and I'm very curious to see if anything special was done to the crankshaft. It has a very aggressive high lift camshaft that I might not be able to use. I believe the camshaft will require a specially designed head with piston shims and maybe a roller rockers. I have the impression that the original head did not have shimmed rocker pedestals or the roller rockers. So that makes me question the build - but the E-Bay photos suggested that the crosshatching in the pistons is still present so maybe the engine is still relatively fresh.

As for the close ration transmission, the case appears to be from a 1600 Mk-with the high starter mount. My entire setup is based on a low starter mount transmission. Also the transmission has the late flanged tail connection for the driveshaft. As bidding was drawing down to the last minutes, I was digging a driveshaft out from my parts collection and measuring it to see if it might fit. I acquired the driveshaft somewhere along the way. Whether it needs new U-Joints still need to be determined. It certainly needs to be cleaned up! But I think it will fit.

The other little problem is that the transmission will require a 24 splined clutch vs. the 10 splined clutch I now use. Not the end of the world, but an added expense.

As far as I can determine, the gear set for the close ratio transmission is unobtanium. The last I saw several years ago as the supply was dwindling down was that the gear set cost about $2,500. Add shipping and then the cost of a rebuild, and a transmission would probably cost at least $3,500 if the gears could be found. I supposed that I've watched too many episodes of American Pickers, but I figured I should follow Frank's advice to buy the transmission while it was available.

After all of this, I think that I finally have enough spares!
blueosprey90 is offline  
Old 06-07-2018, 07:02 AM
  #79  
A 2
Moderator
 
A 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Albany, UPSTATE NY
Posts: 43,548
Thanked 57 Times in 53 Posts
Default

Plenty of exciting moments for you El Jefe.

Thanks for the update. I’m sure you’ll get it built
A 2 is offline  
Old 06-13-2018, 06:24 AM
  #80  
Thread Starter
 
blueosprey90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Milford, CT
Posts: 4,847
Thanked 32 Times in 29 Posts
Default

After spending a lot of money, I had a chance to look more carefully at the transmission.

Based on a number stamped into the laygear, it does appear to be an actual close ratio transmission.

The transmission also has the MGB front plate conversion, so I can run my MGB pressure plate.

The inside of the transmission looks beautiful. Gears and syncros all look brand new. Although I will need to modify a few things in my setup to use it, I'm pretty happy about the purchase! The close ratio gear sets are unobtanium! When the gears were last available for sale in England, they were priced at about what I paid for the transmission. Then when you consider the cost of shipping and the cost of building the transmission, I got a pretty good deal.
blueosprey90 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Mr-T
UK & Ireland S2000 Community
90
06-26-2014 10:01 AM
JoshSimmons
S2000 Under The Hood
8
05-14-2012 12:16 PM
rj.baker
S2000 Under The Hood
10
02-28-2012 11:07 PM
tugsta
S2000 Under The Hood
7
01-07-2012 08:24 AM
bobatimez
S2000 Talk
11
06-29-2004 07:04 AM


Quick Reply: MGA 1600 Race Engine - Part 2 - And other Misadventures


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands