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The adventures of my 1970 lowlight

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  • Trial fitted my new overriders today, well I just kinda hung them on the bumper to see what they looked like.

    Need to move Mr Bibendum over a bit to make room for them but they will have to wait until I take the bumper off. There's a few other jobs ahead on the list (like fitting the engine...
    Trial fitted my new overriders today, well I just kinda hung them on the bumper to see what they looked like.

    Need to move Mr Bibendum over a bit to make room for them but they will have to wait until I take the bumper off. There's a few other jobs ahead on the list (like fitting the engine and gearbox).
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  •   TrevortonBuggy liked this post about 2 days ago
    Got a nice treat in the post today, a pair of overriders for the front of my bus. Got a super good deal on these as Jez from #TheEarlyBay arranged a group buy from Just Kampers. Top Bloke, cheers mate. ?
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  • More electrickery. Received the connectors for my wideband sensor the other day. I ordered some extra (male and female) connectors so that I can also make up an extension cable for my Innovate LM2 wideband unit. The stock length LM2 cable is not quite long enough for a bus which means that road... More electrickery. Received the connectors for my wideband sensor the other day. I ordered some extra (male and female) connectors so that I can also make up an extension cable for my Innovate LM2 wideband unit. The stock length LM2 cable is not quite long enough for a bus which means that road pulls need to be done looking at the LM2 in the rear mirror which is not exactly the ideal setup. More
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  • One more small step towards the goal; received some coil pack connectors for the twin coil packs.

    I'm kinda not looking forwards to making up the loom, which is kind ironic considering that my background is electrical engineering and I'm a qualified A-class sparky. Go figure. Guess it's too...
    One more small step towards the goal; received some coil pack connectors for the twin coil packs.

    I'm kinda not looking forwards to making up the loom, which is kind ironic considering that my background is electrical engineering and I'm a qualified A-class sparky. Go figure. Guess it's too much like a busmans holiday. Still need to source cabling and overbraid and am waiting on the plugs for the O2 sensor.

    Still haven't done any work on the bus as I've been tied up making blower kits. Hoping that I'm going to get the bus running in time for #dubsbytheriver
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  • No work on the bus this weekend as I've been busy making supercharger kits. Did receive my new lowered shocks tho. Decided to go for gas-adjust on the rear and regular oil on the front as running gas on the front tends to make it a bit bouncy.
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  • Picked up some fittings to run my replacement oil lines with. I'm going for hard lines this time as my previous flexible line got pinched when I bottomed out on a pot hole. Basically hard lines from the engine along the moustache bar, then flexible hose across to the chassis and hard lines from... Picked up some fittings to run my replacement oil lines with. I'm going for hard lines this time as my previous flexible line got pinched when I bottomed out on a pot hole. Basically hard lines from the engine along the moustache bar, then flexible hose across to the chassis and hard lines from there through the filter and cooler. Should be a lot more durable and means that there will only bet two small flexi-hoses in the entire system which will be very easy to swap out, which I generally do every few years.

    It's worth noting that normally oil hose only has a working temperature of up to 200 degrees (F) which is pretty close to the normal operating temps that air cooled run at. This means that it degrades a lot faster than it would on a water cooled car. The hose gets hard and can fatigue and crack. It's worthwhile checking and changing your oil hoses every few years
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  • Been busy building superchargers this weekend so not much progress on the bus. Did manage to get the drive shaft rebuilt tho. Small victories. Just need to fit it now (along with the gearbox).
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  • Finished off the fan shroud yesterday. Welded in the patch to get rid of the air filter pressing and welded on the 'venturi' to the rear. I also had to change the fan from a doghouse fan to a non-doghouse type of fan. I was hoping to run the doghouse fan for the improved air flow but is was just... Finished off the fan shroud yesterday. Welded in the patch to get rid of the air filter pressing and welded on the 'venturi' to the rear. I also had to change the fan from a doghouse fan to a non-doghouse type of fan. I was hoping to run the doghouse fan for the improved air flow but is was just a couple of mm too wide to fit the fan housing. I also took the time to close up the gap between the fan and the rear inlet as this will allow air pressure to bleed out of the fan housing back into the air inlet path ruining the flow of air into the fan, effectively making the addition of the 'venturi' worthless.

    I mounted the coil packs up and fitted the fan shroud to the engine to check the plug lead fit. I'm pretty happy with the way the plug leads sit and will not need to trim the lengths down to suit. The lower plug leads fit nicely under the clips for the rocker covers and once dressed in with the top leads will sit well enough away from the exhaust.

    There's still a few bits to sort out with the lower tin before it's ready to prep and paint.

    Then there's only 100 other jobs to do before it can go in.
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  • Decided on a location for the coil packs today - on the rear of the fan shroud. Had to flatten part of the pressing on the rear to allow the left coil pack to sit flush. I've drilled out the mounting holes and will use some riv-nuts once the shroud is painted. With the coil pack location sorted... Decided on a location for the coil packs today - on the rear of the fan shroud. Had to flatten part of the pressing on the rear to allow the left coil pack to sit flush. I've drilled out the mounting holes and will use some riv-nuts once the shroud is painted. With the coil pack location sorted I was also able to buy the plug leads - all 8 of them!!! Still need to source some heat proof braid for the bottom plug leads.

    I also made up some tie down brackets for the fuel injectors / fuel rail. Originally I wanted to make a bracket that fitted to the underneath but after taking a look at the injector spacing I could not get two fixings side by side to keep the fuel rail square, so I decided to change the design to a more traditional type bracket.

    With the fan shroud out I decided to finish off getting it ready for paint. There's a couple of mods to do to it before it is ready such as welding up the holes for the plug lead clips, welding the rear 'venturi' onto the inlet and getting rid of the air cleaner recess.I also need to sort out fitting the 50 horse fan into the 40 horse shroud as there are a few air gaps that I'm not happy about.
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  • Mick's 70 Lowlight uploaded a new video
    The finished result...
    Sig Erson 1.4 Rocker Setup
    •   General
    •   Monday, 26 June 2017
    Dialling in my rockers setting up the geometry
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  • Got the valve train geometry sorted out today. Had to make up a custom adjustable pushrod for the Sig Erson ratio rockers as they have a cup style end instead of the normal ball end, this unfortunately meant sacrificing a pushrod. The Sig Erson pushrods were too short to use so I decided to cut... Got the valve train geometry sorted out today. Had to make up a custom adjustable pushrod for the Sig Erson ratio rockers as they have a cup style end instead of the normal ball end, this unfortunately meant sacrificing a pushrod. The Sig Erson pushrods were too short to use so I decided to cut one of those up, I had a set of aluminium cut to length pushrods for another engine build so used those instead.

    Setting the pushrod and rocker geometry is a job that requires a little patience to get the best results, and after making up a number of different thickness shims I found the perfect setup. Overall lift is 9.9mm which is 0.389" a definite improvement over stock but not as good as I had hoped given that I'm using a 1.4:1 ratio rocker. Ahh well. Will just have to see how it performs. Really need to get that dyno built so that I can start to verify some of these mods.
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  • Another small but vital part of the puzzle, my Sig Erson pushrods arrived today. This means I can set up my valve geometry this weekend, Yay.
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  • Another small step towards the end goal. I made up a small calliper to measure the thickness of the cylinder head at the second plug location so that I could select the correct length spark plugs. The second plug is a smaller 10mm plug. Next task on the agenda is to make up a spark plug indexing... Another small step towards the end goal. I made up a small calliper to measure the thickness of the cylinder head at the second plug location so that I could select the correct length spark plugs. The second plug is a smaller 10mm plug. Next task on the agenda is to make up a spark plug indexing tool. The idea behind spark plug indexing is to face the electrode bridge away from the chamber to aid in flame travel. Ideally electrode gap wants to point towards the densest part of the charge. The location of the charge is determined by reading the spark ignition point on the plugs (small clean area on the electrode). Alternatively facing the gap towards the exhaust valve is stated to help improve the burn.

    This may be taking things to extremes but as I am running twin plugs I want to make sure that the flame fronts from each plug travel in the same direction and at the same rate. If one is obscured by the electrode bridge it could result in an uneven burn.

    I also want to get into the habit of indexing the plugs as the next incarnation of development is to run a squish piston design which will totally enclose the plug except for a very small burn chamber. In this case indexing the plugs will be very important.
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  • Another piece of the puzzle...
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  • Carried out repairs to the rear moustache bar mounts today. Unfortunately the threads had stripped out, probably when the bus grounded out in the same pot hole that tore through my oil line. Repairing them involved drilling the holes out larger and tapping them to accept helicoils. With the rear... Carried out repairs to the rear moustache bar mounts today. Unfortunately the threads had stripped out, probably when the bus grounded out in the same pot hole that tore through my oil line. Repairing them involved drilling the holes out larger and tapping them to accept helicoils. With the rear bar fitted I made a start on modifying the exhaust to fit properly. Fortunately I've got some stainless pipe of the correct size so it's a simple case of cutting and extending the J Tubes, I can rotate the flanges to line up with the header at the same time. I'm tempted to cut and shut the header so that it sits a bit better too. Will see how I get on tomorrow. More
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  • Had plans on getting a bit more done on the bus today but got a bit sidetracked by the Speedster. Did manage to get the exhaust offered up to see how it fits. I opted for an el-cheapo sidewinder in stainless to replace the vintage speed that I had been running previously. Mostly as it's better... Had plans on getting a bit more done on the bus today but got a bit sidetracked by the Speedster. Did manage to get the exhaust offered up to see how it fits. I opted for an el-cheapo sidewinder in stainless to replace the vintage speed that I had been running previously. Mostly as it's better flowing than the VS unit but also as the tail pipe on the VS unit scrapes on my driveway (you can just see it in the banner photo above).

    Another thing I wanted to check out was the fit of the exhaust with the rear moustache bar and also whether the J-pipes that I have would work with the new exhaust. After getting the exhaust loosely fitted it was clear that the angle of the flanges on the J tubes would need to be reorientated as the holes did not line up. The flanges would also need a little persuading to align properly. The moustache bar pretty much fits with no dramas, it slightly fouls the silencer, but nothing that a little clearancing cannot solve.

    One thing that was clear, which is quite unfortunate, is that the system sits quite low. In fact it is level with the moustache bar, which I was actually hoping to replace with a custom made one to give me some more ground clearance (previously the moustache bar was the lowest point). This means that I don't gain any ground clearance by fitting this style of system.

    That said, it looks like the tail pipe sits a lot further forwards so my issue with the tail pipe scraping the driveway should hopefully be resolved.

    I also trial fitted the rear valence to see how the system fitted up behind it. To be honest there is a heap of room behind the valence that that system could tuck up into if it was modified. At this stage I don't think I will do this. I rarely had ground clearance issues as the moustache bar sits 100mm from the ground. It might be something that I look into if I decide to go lower.

    There's a couple of things to sort out - namely the flanges on the J tubes and I also need to make up a bracket to support the rear of the silencer. I also need to weld in a bung for the O2 sensor. As there is a heap of room behind the valence I am tempted to mount it on the top as this is nicely tucked out of the way but I'm not 100% sure if this will clash with the rear valence mountings. I guess I will leave this until after the engine is installed just to be sure.
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  • Spent some time having a trial go at putting the engine together. Discovered a few bugs with the new setup that required some fettling to make fit. Made up the inlet manifold for the throttle body, modified the alternator stand for the new larger manifold to fit and made a new bracket to hold... Spent some time having a trial go at putting the engine together. Discovered a few bugs with the new setup that required some fettling to make fit. Made up the inlet manifold for the throttle body, modified the alternator stand for the new larger manifold to fit and made a new bracket to hold the crank sensor. Also removed the distributor drive and made up a plug for the hole. Goodbye distributor and hello coil packs.

    Being twin spark, trying to find a location for two coil packs is a bit of a challenge. Ideally I would like to have one each side behind the fan shourd, but it looks like there may not be enough room on the 1/2 side of the engine. The cool thing about going twin spark is that I can run one pack for each side which enables shorter plug leads.

    Still have a bunch of stuff to do before taking it all apart again for painting including making up the fuel rail tie downs, modifying the fan shroud, making up some coil pack brackets, making up a spacer for the alternator backing plate, trial fitting the exhaust, welding in a bung for the O2 sensor helicoiling the rear engine bar mounting holes and a bunch of other stuff. The list seems to be never ending.
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  •   Mick's 70 Lowlight commented on this post about 2 months ago
    Made some more progress on getting the engine back together. Finished off the heads which involved blending the new seats in, fitting the valves with the new heavy duty engle springs and tapping the second spark plug hole. Also found some detonation damage to two of the pistons where the ring... Made some more progress on getting the engine back together. Finished off the heads which involved blending the new seats in, fitting the valves with the new heavy duty engle springs and tapping the second spark plug hole. Also found some detonation damage to two of the pistons where the ring land had become bent pinching the rings. As a result of this I decided to use a set of P&C's from an old doner Type 3 engine I bought for the razor. I took the glaze off with a hone and cleaned the pistons up and fitted a new set of rings. The barrels are a little worn and could ideally do with replacing but I decided to go ahead and fit them as I'm keen to get the bus running again.

    I CC'd the heads at 44cc's and measured the deck at 50 thou, this gives me a CR of 8.7:1 which should do quite nicely. I was ideally aiming for 8.6:1 but rather than stuff about trying to remove 1cc's worth of material from each chamber I decided that near-enough is good-enough.

    I reassembled the engine and took a bit of a stray from my normal assembly procedure as I decided to use some red hylomar to seal the barrels and pushrods. I normally don't seal the pushrod seals and use blue sealer on the barrels but as the engine was a bit leaky from #1 barrel I decided to put a stop to it. Also decided to take a look at the sump strainer to see if there were any metal particles. (none - it was clean as a whistle)

    Next up is to set the valve geometry. I'm fitting a set of Sig Erson 1.5:1 ratio rockers (as they were cheap). This is about as much as I can do with the stock cam and will be a good test of what you can do on a basically stock 1600. (Previously I was running 1.25:1 CB Performance rockers). With the stock cam I will end up with about 0.500" lift which is a massive increase over stock. I'm interested to see how it performs.

    So the engine specs as it currently stands:

    Stock 1600, case, crank, rods, cam, P&C's
    Reworked stock 1600 twin port heads (dual spark)
    1.5:1 ratio rockers
    Sidewinder exhaust
    Joe Blow AMR500 supercharger kit.

    I'm waiting on a set of pushrods and lash caps before I can set the rocker geometry, hopefully they will be here next week. In the mean time I should start looking at getting the tin wear painted up and fitted.
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  • Mail call. Another piece of the puzzle arrived today. Wideband O2 sensor.
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  • Got another delivery today, a pair of Sig Erson 1.5:1 ratio rockers. I need to swap out the ball style adjusters for cup style so that I can use a standard push rod. I'll probably stick these on the 1600 when I've got the heads back on. With the port work and a bit more lift it should really... Got another delivery today, a pair of Sig Erson 1.5:1 ratio rockers. I need to swap out the ball style adjusters for cup style so that I can use a standard push rod. I'll probably stick these on the 1600 when I've got the heads back on. With the port work and a bit more lift it should really help liven things up a bit.

    Also fitted the new valve seats to the other head. Cooked up the head on the BBQ and froze the seats in the freezer overnight. A little drifting and the seats were in. I cut the new seats and re-cut the inlet seats to suit the new stainless valves. I also gave the heads a 3 angle valve job. After lapping in the valves I also added a 30 degree cut to the valves up to the lap mark.

    Apart from some final finishing the heads are pretty much done. I still need to cc them so may have some fettling to do to get the CR right. Hopefully I'm not too far away from where I need to be.
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