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September 2003

Of course, the story isn't over now that the car is built. I'll track further developments to the car, and my experiences setting up the engine (carbs, ignition, timing) and suspension (damping, geometry), and living with the car.

One immediate work item is the engine which was completely underpowered for the journey home - primarily due to the timing being too retarded  - and popped on the overrun - idle mixture too lean.

I've also bought a Mallory Hyfire VI CDi ignition box (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) which I plan to install. As well as basic CDi, this also includes:

  • Timing retard control for easier engine starting (automatically active below 500 rpm)
  • Dash switchable additional high speed retard (good for experimenting with maximum advance)
  • Rev Limiter

October 2003

133 miles driven. Changed the oil, checked the valve clearances (all still within tolerance), added a shim to the alternator belt pulley, and checked the spark plugs. Plugs told an interesting tale; Left hand bank colour was ok, but right hand bank plugs were quite black. Clearly the carbs are not balanced, which also explained some popping from the left carb.

I fitted new spark plugs and increased the gap to 40 thou to suit the new CDi that I fitted at the same time. This was easy to fit and has made a real difference to how well the engine fires. Starting is also easier thanks to a 10 degree timing retard (programmable 0-15 degrees) below 500rpm.

I setup the carbs again from scratch, using the new airflow meter that I bought for the task. With the balance hose clamped it was clear that the engine was running mainly from the right bank  - much more airflow. I corrected this, richened the idle, and the engine now ticks over needing far less throttle stop. A long test run confirmed that popping on the overrun was also banished. Result!

November 2003

Winter came, and the car is tucked up in the garage waiting for warmer days. Taking the car out for a quick blast is now made more difficult by it being tightly squeezed into the garage to make room for my wife's car during the winter months.

I've decided that the visibility given by the GT wing mirror is cr*p and i'm going to revert to two standard chrome mirrors - this will leave three bolt holes in the wing to fill and paint so is a job for over the winter.