February 2007

1 February 2007
The bearing shells turned up from Impulse Developments in a massive box with two tiny boxes containing the shells. I also picked up some of the parts from Ford, I mean how hard is it to source 16 valve stem oil seals instead of supplying just eight and no clutch, come on. Now I have to go back again and again until I get all the stuff. I’d rather not have it than just pick it up in dribs and drabs.

With the bearing shells obtained after some discussions with various motor engineers it was determined that the main cap bolts could be reused. The bolts are stretch bolts and haven’t appeared to have “necked” where the bolt stretches and narrows, if they haven’t done that they could be re-used. The bolts needed to be torqued up to 17Nm intially and then a further 55 degrees, which isn’t that tight so there is no way the bolt will shear off. The bearing shells were fitted into the block and given a coat of clean oil.

The crankshaft was located into the shells then the webb, with the new shells was placed over the crank and bolted down. Ford use a technique where the outer bolts are tightened simultaneously and then the inner bolts are then tightened simultaneously obviously I cant do this so I tightened it down like you would tighten a cylinder head and it was successful and the crank rotates freely.

I also fitted the crank seal by the flywheel. I need to remove the engine from the stand to fit it so I decided to fit now before the block gets too heavy to lift.


3 February 2007
With Ford still pigging me off about not having any valve stem seals or head bolts in stock at all, anywhere. I’m trying to carry on with what I have got for the time being.

The conrod bolts did turn up though so I set about fitting the pistons. I had a piston ring compressor and had a hell of a job fitting the first one. One of the oil scraper rings would pop out and catch on the bore. After many attempts and plenty of oil in the bore and over the compressor and with a gentle tap the piston neatly popped into the bore. The other 3 pistons also went in with no problems. There is a dot on the piston crown which is pointed towards the timing belt end. The conrod bolts were tightened down and torqued to 21Nm and then a further 45 degrees. with pistons connected and crank still turns cleanly and and doesn’t snag.

the block has also received a coat of silver paint it’s taking a while to dry so the second coat will be applied tomorrow.

I decided to fit the inlet valves as I have the oil seals for them. I also refitted the oil strainer for the VVC valve it’s small and easily missed so I decided to fit it now before I forget.

Fitting the valves is relatively easy, just time consuming. With the valve seals in place and the correct valves selected for the cylinder and the valve position it was time to fit. The valve stem needs to be lightly oiled so that it will slide through the seal and not damage it. Then fit the spring base, spring and top and compress the whole lot and insert the split collets. Then when the compressor is released give the top of the valve a light tap with a soft faced mallet to make sure that everything is seated correctly. I didn’t fit the shims or buckets as they will be the last thing to go back on when the head is refitted to the block.

I’ll start badgering Ford on Monday for the rest of the parts, get onto the powder coater to check up on the status of the parts I’m having done and contact Sylva about the engine mount.

7 February 2007
Spoke to the powder coater and the parts will be ready on Saturday. I spoke to JP at Sylva and the new engine mount should be ready for later this week. Ford on the other hand have been a total pain. The oil seals finally arrived as did the remaining flywheel bolts. The cylinder head bolts on other hand seem to be totally non existent and I wasn’t too sure if they were ever going to arrive. I cancelled the order with Ford and bought some at a local motor factors and they turned up on the same day. Why I didn’t do that in the first place I don’t know. With the oil seals arriving on Tuesday I set about fitting the rest of the valves. With all the valves refitted into the head and the pistons in place all I needed was the head bolts.

With the head bolts purchased from the motor factors and the head assembled. I set about re-building the top end of the engine. Both of the faces were cleaned to remove any grease and oil then the gasket was fitted and the head fitted on over the top. The head bolts were fitted and then torqued down.

With the head in position I fitted the inlet cam. First the shims and buckets needed to be refitted over the valves. The shims and buckets were cleaned and then lubricated with clean oil and located into position. The cam and the advancing mechanism were reassembled then cam and faces on the buckets was liberally coated with clean oil. The cam was then relocated into the journals and the cam was clamped down making sure that non of the lobes were at full lift to prevent uneven loading on the cam and possibly breaking the cam shaft.

The exhaust cam was easier to fit as there was no cam advancing mechanism. Again the valve buckets were lubricated and the cam was also lubricated before being located and clamped into position again making sure that non of the lobes were at full lift to prevent damaging the cam. Finally all of the bolts were tightened down and torqued down to the correct settings.

The cam pulleys were fitted but not tightened, there is no key way on the camshaft so the pulleys are free to rotate. The same applies to the cambelt pulley on the crankshaft. There is an ability to lock the crankshaft and also the cams. The crankshaft is locked in place with a pin through the side of the block which holds the crankshaft at TDC on cylinder 1.

The cams are locked in place by means of a flat steel bar. The cam has a slot in it which is cut off centre so the cam can only be locked one way around. When both cams are oriented so that the locking bar can be slid in place and the crankshaft is also locked the belt can be fitted. The new cambelt also comes with a new tensioner, a new tensioner should be fitted every time the belt is changed. The belt was slid over the pulleys and the tensioner was fitted in place and then the pin was pulled out of the tensioner making the spring take up the load and correctly tension the belt.

The cam pulleys were then torqued up by holding the cams still by holding them in place with a spanner of the hex section on the camshaft itself.

The cambelt cover was fitted so that the crank pulley could be bolted back on. The crank pulley locks against cambelt pulley thus holding it in place. Ford use a tool that holds the crank pulley whilst the bolt is tightened which I don’t have so I will have to make up a tool that hold the pulley still whilst I tighten it. The cylinder head cover, which I had painted was refitted and the the rest of the cambelt cover was also fitted.

The engine is pretty much assembled on the top end. I’m planning to pick up the sump and induction castings from the powder coater on Saturday. I will also pick up the gearbox from my dads on Friday and when the sump is fitted the flywheel and clutch can be bolted on and then the gearbox can be re-mated to the engine. I hope to be in the position to refit the engine, hopefully by this time next week providing the engine mount is ready. Also I sent the injectors away to Emerald to be checked and cleaned and should be receiving them back in the next few days.

10 February 2007
I picked up the components that I had powder coated this morning. This was the sump and the induction manifold and plenum. Also the engine mount for the 1700 puma engine turned up from Sylva the other day, thanks JP and I have painted that black, I don’t have the time to put it in for powder coating.

I turned the engine over so that I could fit the sump components.

The mating faces were cleaned with solvent to remove any oil traces. The sump has a machined groove in it on it’s mating face. I bead of sealant was put into the groove and and the sump bolted down onto the block.

The lower sump pan was then bolted onto the main sump, again with a bead of sealant and then the bolts were tightened down in a cross pattern to make sure that it goes down flat. Then all of the bolts were torqued down to the correct setting.

With the sump in position the engine was turned the right way up and the induction manifold was fitted. The manifold is fitted to the head with a plastic sandwich plate which also has slots in it so that the engine breather can vent into the inlet manifold.

With the inlet manifold fitted, the inlet plenum was fitted to the manifold and fitted to the block. When the plenum was refitted the ancillaries were also fitted, the yellow module fitted on the plenum is the air bypass valve which allows the ECU to set the engine idle. The dipstick was also refitted on a bolt at the back of the plenum. When I got the engine the dipstick was loose and not fitted to anything and I think the dipsticks that removed the engine may have bent the tube so it wouldn’t go back to the point from which it was removed. I managed to get in place and stood it off the manifold with a bolt.

The alternator was fitted and then the drive belt was also fitted, which was a lot easier with the engine on the stand than it was trying to fit it in the car!

The plan now is to take the engine off the stand and refit the flywheel and clutch and then mate the engine to the gearbox, the plan for that will be either Monday or Tuesday. With the complete drive unit assembled the engine will be fitted on Wednesday. With a possible start up by this time next week.

12 February 2007
The engine was lifted off the stand and placed on a couple of wooden blocks on the floor. With the engine off the stand and the mounting plate removed I was able to access the crankshaft end where the flywheel was to be fitted. The flywheel was fitted back on the crank and bolted on with the new crank bolts, finger tight. There is a special tool to immobilise the crankshaft which bolts onto the holes where the starter motor goes and engages in one of the teeth on the flywheel pinion. I didn’t have that tool, so I made a tool up with some angle iron and welded a small piece on so that the flywheel wouldn’t move so the bolts could be tightened up to 85Nm.

With the flywheel on I gave the face where the clutch plate bears upon a clean with a solvent cleaner to remove any traces of grease. The clutch pressure plate was also cleaned with solvent to remove any preservation grease when the clutch was made. The clutch pressure plate and the clutch plate was held together with a clutch fitting tool so that the plate would be centralised whilst the pressure plate is bolted to the flywheel. The clutch plate is marked with the words “this side to flywheel” to that it goes on the right way around.

With the clutch on and also a new slave cylinder bolted into the gearbox housing. The gearbox was bolted to the engine block. It put up a good fight and refused to mate together properly but I persisted and I won. With the two mated together and a couple of bolts in I was able to get the rest of the bolts in and tightened up. The started motor was also refitted bolted in place. There are a couple of ancillaries that are secured using the bolts that hold the block and gearbox together, such as the linear bearing for the gear change mechanism. These will be fitted when the engine is finally bolted into the car and the weight of the engine is supported by the engine mounts.


12 February 2007
I spent some time today preparing the engine bay for the fitment of the engine tomorrow. I bolted in the new engine mount as it needs to be in before the engine goes in as it is impossible to fit with the engine fitted. When the old mount was fitted one of the bolts was a bit too long and was closer to the drive belt than I would like so I took the time to cut the bolt down and then fitted the mount with new nyloc nuts and torqued up.

I also wanted to flush out the antifreeze I had used out of the radiator and the cooling tubes. I’ve got some Ford approved coolant that is compatible with the alloy block and will last longer, so they claim anyway. I used a hose pipe up one of the tubes and washed the coolant out of the other tube with a bucket on the end. Then I blew down one tube to force out the remaining coolant which amounted to about 5 litres. With all the coolant out I re-fitted the rubber hoses. The last time I fitted them no matter what I did they always leaked. I used some self amalgamating rubber tape around the tubes and then pushed the rubber hose over. The amalgamating tape rolled up under the hose making like a O ring. When the hose clamps were tightened on the edge of the amalgamating tape under the hose this formed a tighter seal and hopefully will prevent anymore leaks.

It was also a lot easier to do this with the engine out, rather than lying underneath the car. I also tidied up the wiring as well and trimmed off the cable ties that hadn’t been done so already.

14 February 2007
Engine back in day! With some help from my Dad it was time to get the engine back in. The whole operation took about an hour from the moment the engine was lifted off the floor until it was bolted back into the chassis. There was a wee bit of a problem with the new engine mount which I want to speak to JP about before more details are posted on here. So for the time being I re-used the original engine mount.

With the engine in now came the task of re-connecting of it all. I started by threading the loom back into place and making sure that it was all connected in the right places and reconnecting the engine earth to the chassis and the supply feed to the battery and all the car electrical systems including the starter motor. Then the drive shafts were plugged back in and the hubs reassembled along with the brakes and then the wheels were bolted back on.

With drive shafts in, the gear box was refilled with oil and the engine was also filled with oil. With the starter motor connected I cranked the engine over. It took a good 30 to 40 seconds for the oil pressure to build as the pump primed. Once the pressure started to build it rose to a good 60 to 70 Psi which was encouraging it also didn’t sound laboured which suggested that the main bearings were ok. Also when the engine was turning I pleased to see vapour coming out of all of the exhaust ports which suggested that there was good compression on all of the bores.

As to the lack of compression before I rebuilt the engine I think I know what the problem was. Some months ago I removed the crank pulley and didn’t realise at the time that the crank timing pulley is not keyed to the crank shaft. When I removed the pulley the crank shaft may have turned so when the main pulley was replaced and the crank timing pulley was locked by the main pulley it could be that the timing was out by enough so that when pistons 2 and 3 were coming up to compression the valves were already starting to open so the compression would be lost. It couldn’t be out by much otherwise the opening valves would have mashed up against the pistons.

The coolant hoses were connected up and then I had a little problem.

The block overflow screwed in okay but when I tightened the hose onto it the damn thing sheared off. Fortunately I was able to borrow a stud extractor and luckily I was able to unscrew the sheared off fitting and remove if from the block. I’ve also obtained a piece of steel pipe which is threaded to 1/8″ BSP which will be screwed in and allow the overflow hose to be connected.

The rear number plate light was originally hardwired and the cable had to be cut to remove the exhaust silencer. The cable was terminated with a two pin plug to allow easy removal of the exhaust in future. The silencer was connected into place as well, I found out that you must never use exhaust fitting gum should not be used before the catalytic converter as the chemicals in the gum when hot will wreck the catalytic converter.

Tomorrow the gear linkage linear bearing is to be fitted and the coolant will be added. The ECU also needs a new platform to sit on and hopefully the engine may be fired up tomorrow and also hopefully it will fire on all cylinders.


16 February 2007
The gear linkage was fitted back on the block and the linkage was reconnected. The coolant system was also topped up. A small platform was also made to support the ECU and rivnuts are used to secure the screws that hold the ECU down.

With the engine checked and certain I was happy with the wiring and sensor readings I was ready to restart the engine. I had to re-align the throttle pot as it was removed from the throttle body and would require resetting before the engine was restarted. The key was turned and it again would not fire on cylinders 2 and 3 and sounded like a lumpy lawn mower. Damn.

I was determined to get the damn thing running today. After a few phone calls to various people including JP and Emerald a course of action was ascertained. After chasing my tail on the wiring again trying to find any obvious causes and eliminating any wiring problems. When you look into the bore though the spark plug hole there is a definite layer of fuel there so it wasn’t a fuelling issue. It had to be a spark. Dave at Emerald suggested that although they might be a spark it may be occurring at the wrong time. A timing strobe was connected to cylinder 1 and the engine was rotated the strobe produced a regular flash and the timing mark was clear on the crank pulley mark. Since the problem was with cylinder 2 and 3 an alternative timing mark was made on the pulley 180 degrees from the first with a different colour. The engine was rotated again and instead of a regular strobe light it would flash two or three times and then nothing for a few rotations and then another flash and so on, the same happened on cylinder 3.

I used a couple of LED’s on the coil input and rotated the engine and the LED’s flashed continuously, the problem had to be with the coil pack. Once Ford had relieved me of £65 for a new coil pack the engine fired on all 4 cylinders. A faulty coil pack was the problem, although I had checked the coil pack by making the plugs spark off the block wasn’t enough to see an irregular firing sequence.

No the engine was running it wouldn’t idle for toffee. The air bypass solenoid which electronically sets the idle with the throttle closed needed adjustment. First of all it made a loud buzzing noise which was silenced by turning the PWM frequency from 120Hz to 240Hz which transformed the buzz to a quiet whistle. The idle solenoid is set in to play by two factors. Engine revolutions and throttle position, I checked the throttle calibration and set the level to the point at which the rpm just started to increase above 1500rpm. With the two values set and the engine idled at a stable 900rpm.

The engine started to warm up so much that the radiator fan kicked in but the radiator was stone cold (the fan is driven from the ECU). The hoses to the tubes that run up the tunnel was cold. It could be that there is an airlock in the system or that the thermostat isn’t opening. I plan to take out the thermostat so the coolant flows all the time so it should help to bleed out any air bubbles as the engine warms up and once the air bubbles have bled out the thermostat will be replaced, providing that is working.

Major obstacle out of the way though, ENGINE IS RUNNING.


24 February 2007
Been on a course with work down in Essex all of last week so I was unable to do anything on the Riot.

I had made a mistake with the cooling system. I had T’d from the expansion bottle into the wrong side of the engine cooling system. The way I had it originally when the engine was running the coolant was flowing through the engine and then returning straight back to the bottle via the overflow and was not running down to the radiator which was still stone cold but the engine was hot and running the cooling fan trying to cool it down but to no avail.

I removed the T piece and linked it out with a straight section of pipe and re inserted into the pipe leading from the thermostat down to the radiator. Even with my best efforts to try and catch as much coolant as possible most of it was dumped over the floor. With the system re configured and refilled with coolant it was run again. It worked a bit better but with such long lengths to the radiator I found to my horror that the hoses leading to the temperature sensors were empty and the engine was really hot so it was shut down to let it cool.

With even more coolant dumped on the garage floor the thermostat housing was removed and the thermostat taken out. This time the coolant flowed around the system much better and a lot of the air bubbles in the system were bled out and the hoses into the engine were also filled with coolant so the temperature sensors would actually give a reading. Since I’m only really going to be running the car in good weather and would be letting the car warm up before it was driven I don’t really see the need for a thermostat so it will be left out or I will try to find one that opens at a much lower temperature. For now the coolant is flowing in the right direction and is cooling the engine.

25 February 2007
The coolant system now works and still there are a few drips of coolant on the floor so the offending jubilee clips were tightened. There was an alarmingly huge puddle of coolant towards the front of the car. I worked out that it was coolant that had collected in the floor of the tunnel when I pulled the hoses off and had drained out of the front as the back is higher than the front. I’ll have to dry it out as much as I can or let it drain away.

The rear glass fibre panels were finally refitted. The rear wings were screwed back on and the rear wheel arches were also bolted back on. All the bolts that had to be removed when the engine was removed were recovered with the nut covers, I also checked all the bolts were also done up to the correct torque in case I had missed any before.

The trim plates that cover the holes made by the roll bar were pretty much knackered when I removed them so will need to be remade. I have ordered some black plasticard which, being pre-coloured will be a lot more resilient to scratches. They will also be bolted on this time as repeatedly using rivets has destroyed the fixing holes and I’m not sure if the fibreglass will take anymore rivets before it splits.

The lambda sensor that I have, I suspect has failed from all the unburnt fuel flowing down the tail pipe when the engine wasn’t running on cylinders 2 and 3 as the engine management gives no reading from the sensor. I new sensor has been ordered on Ebay which should turn up soon. £17 was worth the risk bearing in mind they are £69+vat new!!

With just a few more small jobs to do the car is pretty much finished, I’ve got a few more work related courses to do over the next few weeks so I will be looking to do an SVA in the last week of March, hopefully it’ll pass and I’ll be able to get it registered before I go back to work, hopefully.


26 February 2007
Beautiful day today so I took the riot out on a “private” bit of road just to test it out. The engine started just as it should and I let it warm up before venturing out. I wasn’t too sure that the brakes were as good as they should so accelerated onto the drive and hit the brakes to make sure that it would stop, which it did, just. I then backed up and was alarmed to see a load of coolant on the drive. It turned out that it was the coolant that had collected in the tunnel and driving forward quickly and braking caused it to slosh out. No other leaks were found and the coolant system is working properly.

I carefully took it down the “private” road to the end and turned it around, the turning circle isn’t very good and a three point turn was required but it’s not built for city driving, it’s built for the open road. On the return journey I pushed the throttle a bit harder and pushed through the gears to third, shifting up at about 3000 rpm each time. The acceleration is ferocious and the engine revs so quickly and freely and the speed shot up to about 30mph, although it felt like 2000mph!! With the engine bolted rigidly into the chassis the whole car shakes as the engine revs and feels alive. After a few more runs the brakes were getting better but were still poor so I will be upgrading all the pads to EBC greenstuff pads which have better bite from cold and are give more efficient braking on lighter vehicles.

I have to say I was shaking when I got out of the car, it is a truly fearsome beast. The engine is really powerful with lightening acceleration and the short gear change slots in rapidly and easily. It also left the drive down the curb onto the road without the bodywork grinding on the road which was always a concern. I was also told that when I turned off the drive one of the front wheels momentarily left the road, I’m guessing that the suspension will settle down as the car is driven and I may have to decompress the springs slightly to give a more compliant ride. Hopefully with the brakes sorted out so it stops better then I am really, really looking forward to using the Riot on the road, not just a “private” road either.

28 February 2007
Not done a lot over the last few days as I’ve got to go on a course soon so no point starting anything. I’ve spent my time arranging a few things The SVA is now booked for the 30 March at 8am. I went over to the SVA centre this afternoon so I will know how to find it on the day it is at least an hours drive so I will have to be leaving at the back of 6am on the day to get there with plenty of time as a Scottish rush hour can throw all kinds of surprises at you! I’ve also booked an MOT for the 28 March. I have also booked a session at Dastek in Dalgety Bay which is about 5 minutes from my house to have the engine mapped on their rolling road and to also have suspension set up as well. I have also ordered from them a set of Black Diamond discs and Ferrodo pads to replace the standard items I fitted already.

The other items I have ordered have started turning up as well such as the in tank fuel hose to replace the normal hose that I used with the internal fuel pump. Apparently normal hose isn’t designed to have petrol on the outside and it soon decomposes the rubber so a special hose is required that is not affected by the petrol. I have also ordered a VDO dip type fuel level sender from ETB which should turn up in the next week or so from of all places Germany. This will at least give me a better representation of the tank level as I was getting only a partial reading with the conventional sender as I didn’t have enough room in the tank to allow the float full swing.

The replacement lambda sensor turned up from E-Bay it seems to be a genuine ford part and is brand new so now at least I will be able to monitor the AFR on the ECU screen. All I am still waiting on is the black plasticard to make the trim plates to hide the holes left by the roll bar, this should turn up soon.