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Chris's Mkiv Basket Case restored to glory


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Back together tonight and fired up first pull. Sounds happy enough. Ran it until the fan cut in.  Probably re-torque the head at the weekend when it’s done a few heat cycles..... Fuel pressure re

Nope..... something rather less sporty.     As a 1300 (which is what we have here) it makes 84 bhp, though I reckon it wouldn’t take much to pick up a few more (exhaust manifold is plain nasty

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Yeah..... Was that a 1300 one of 1600? We would really have liked to get hold of an early Swift GTI G13B twincam, which would bolt right up to the SJ 5 speed and is rather more compact around the bell housing.  They never were that common..... now..... well, been looking for months and don't really want to be putting something that rare in!

There are plenty of G series around but nothing very sporty and the-bigger-than-1300 ones don't directly fit the SJ box anyway (though there are adapter plates).  Hence choosing the relatively plentiful M series - which means you need a Jimny non-VVt gearbox.  The Jimny box has the disadvantages of needing the shift mechanism moving (looks fairly straightforward) and having a short 0.87 5th.  However, it looks like parts may swap between it and the SJ box.  Certainly the SJ rear housing will fit on with only fairly minor butchery and I'm pretty sure I can swap 5th gear too.  I'm also hopeful that it might be possible to swap the whole SJ gear train into the Jimny front case.  These are nice gearboxes but their construction really doesn't lend itself to adaptation to fit other (ie Triumph) engines.

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Hi Nick it was a mk1 1300 - 101bhp if memory serves -was quite docile round town but went like a stabbed rat once it passed 4500rpm, got in bother every time it went for service - red line was 6500 but rev limiter was 7200 and it got there VERY quick in 1st 2nd and third:devil: would seriously upset the mk2 golf gti brigade to 100 mph, a friend had a mk2 swift at the same time - revved higher but didn't feel like it much liked it and didn't feel as fast and in practice on the road wouldn't touch mk1 we had the feeling it may have been considerably heavier???

Dave

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Sounds as I remember.  A neighbour had one and it could give my Sprint a run for it's money.  Then he had a Charade GTTi for a bit which was another little rocket ship and then a Honda Civic CRX.  That left the Sprint for dead......  All very light cars.

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Looks like the mk2 ones were 90kg heavier than the first, which when you're in the 700-800kg ballpark is a lot of difference!

Tiny frontal area as well, so despite the not-so-great drag coefficient it's still quite slippery. For instance, they're the same CdA (which is the one that counts) as a 2nd gen Saab 9-3 despite the Saab having a drag coefficient of 0.28 and the Suzuki 0.35. Just because the Saab's so much bigger!

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  • 4 weeks later...

So Spitty has been working for its living, but not really relishing it.

Problems with progressive power loss. I suggested checking the valve clearances and..... the exhaust ones had gone..... Again. Just a few hundred miles (albeit mainly fast, open road miles) since last set. Chris opened them up again though, without access to a feeler gauge results were a bit variable. Did prove the point though. Valve seat recession is active. We knew this was a risk. Had hoped for more than 8k but the seats had been in poor shape to begin with, so had to be regroups, significantly reducing lead memory.So today a winter hack has been purchased and Spitty came home with me. Having just reset the valve clearances (with feeler gauges!) it was restored to health, running very well and this was my first real drive of it since the engine management went on. It does go well, with impressive low down grunt for a mere 1300.

Question now..... do we convert the head..... or press on with an engine swap......?

Wonder if the initial recession on #4 caused a hotspot on the valve, triggering detonation that popped the head gasket.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Probably a bit late on this but did you thoroughly root out your noise issues Nick?

Been great reading this thread, I didn't realise your son had converted the car to EFI, last time I was active on forums I think you were in the middle of restoring it.

I had terrible noise issues with MS3X at first. So bad that I couldn't get the car to start reliably as it was throwing off the sensor signal. I remember looking at capacitors to avoid noise (sadly can't remember if I actually fitted one) but I remember the thing that sorted it for good was a total rewire of the grounding to a really clean chunk of metal - a bolt on the blanked off mechanical fuel pump plate.

I should have known how important grounding would be as one of my other hobbies is guitar electronics, building valve amplifiers and such. The amount of effort I've had to put in on updated ground wiring for things in the past is considerable. Star grounding is always good, and as fat a wire and clean a connection / biggest surface area as possible.

The other reason why I first struggled to start the car was that the VR sensor was wired in reverse. It's surprising how it kind of works wired like that but swapping the wires over soon sorted it out.

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Yes, the noise issues are mostly solved. Was a royal battle though.  Earthing certainly is key. And surprising how connections you think are sound..... are not good enough. We went round measuring earth offsets and that was quite an eye opener.

The final wrinkle on the starting problem was that the ECU software was filtering out part of the tach signal while cranking.  Turning that down was an instant cure.

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  • 4 months later...

As young Sir would quite like to drive Spitty this summer and living-away/lockdown has prevented conversion progress, we are looking fo an unleaded head for a 1300. I could yank the existing big-valve head off the car and have it done, but as the car is being kept elsewhere that does present some logistical challenges.

Pointers/ suggestions welcomed :smile:

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I freely offer you one that is 3/4's in good condition having covered only 1800 miles on new valve guides and unleaded seats. Combustion chamber no.4 needs a bit of tidying up though...

:whistling:

 

IMG_8352.jpg

Edited by PeteStupps
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:blink: Hmmm..... that might actually work but it sure looks scary and I'd be anxious about the seat staying in after that battering!

ISTR that the piston looked even sadder!

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I mean surely its work hardened after its ordeal :)

I think in general unknown unleaded heads scare me after all the stories.

That said, I did get a US factory Spit. 1500 unleaded head on eBay, and it made it all the way to Mongolia and back without dropping any seats or without the clearances opening up. Despite a well-known tuning person telling me they're garbage.

Shouldn't be too hard to find a donor Herald 13/60 head, I have an untouched one you could have but its in Lancashire.

Edited by JumpingFrog
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Hello Nick

                 I have a spare head under the bench I will check it out tomorrow(bought as a spare?)

I think it is the bigger valve one! will check

Roger

ps I may have a set of valves as well maybe even guides!

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18 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

1500 or 1300 Roger?

Hello Nick

                 I am not sure but I think it is a 1300 because I thought by the time I have reworked the chambers it would still be about 9.5 to 1 

But then I swopped a USA TR6 diff for a 1500 unleaded NOS factory head but smaller valves and reworked that and is on Spitty now!

Plus the head on my original engine has unleaded sets so no longer required

Will have a sort out in the morning

Roger

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13 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

How shot is the actual valve seat?

I'll have a proper look tomorrow but suspect it'll want re-cutting. Will see how it responds to some lapping. Never know eh!

I just baulked at the idea of cleaning up all the rough edges, didn't get as far as thinking about the valve seat cos there was a spare 1300 head waiting in the wings anyway.

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Hello Nick

                 The head is a 1300 (218141) but not unleaded seats but do not look to bad

I have  set of valves  145328  1 7/16" inlet (leyland boxed)   449655 EC  exhaust

I also have a set of cast iron valve guides I removed from the NOS head as I fitted bronze ones

I have bullet nosed 4 of them and turned the top down on one to take a seal on exhaust

I have a set of seals for the exhaust valves as well

You are welcome to them all for what ever you think is reasonable

I need to start down sizing and Spitty has only done 7500 miles on all new stuff and hard seats!

Roger

ps I started to port it so 1 inlet is a bit opened up as in Burgess book 

I have the gauge I was using as well so they would all be the same

I have checked that the valve seat cutter set I bought would work on this head as well and you have a milling machine so you could recut them under controlled conditions and cut 3 angle seas (with care)

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6 hours ago, rogerguzzi said:

Hello Nick

                 The head is a 1300 (218141) but not unleaded seats but do not look to bad

I have  set of valves  145328  1 7/16" inlet (leyland boxed)   449655 EC  exhaust

I also have a set of cast iron valve guides I removed from the NOS head as I fitted bronze ones

I have bullet nosed 4 of them and turned the top down on one to take a seal on exhaust

I have a set of seals for the exhaust valves as well

You are welcome to them all for what ever you think is reasonable

I need to start down sizing and Spitty has only done 7500 miles on all new stuff and hard seats!

Roger

ps I started to port it so 1 inlet is a bit opened up as in Burgess book 

I have the gauge I was using as well so they would all be the same

I have checked that the valve seat cutter set I bought would work on this head as well and you have a milling machine so you could recut them under controlled conditions and cut 3 angle seas (with care)

Hello Nick

                    Not sure if this was sent?

Roger

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Mine looks pretty ugly on closer inspection. Exhaust seat appears to have been knocked further into head on one side, plus there's damage to inlet seat which would certainly need re-cutting.

 

DSC_7366.JPG

DSC_7369.JPG

DSC_7368.JPG

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Yeah...... that looks quite badly hurt. The apparent “tip” on the insert is probably the biggest issue. That must have made a baaaad noise......

 

11 hours ago, rogerguzzi said:

   The head is a 1300 (218141) but not unleaded seats but do not look to bad

Thanks Roger. Initially we are going to investigate getting the existing head done. It’s one of the less common big-valve ones and has had a little port work. It will cost, but also have resale value.......

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Hello Nick

                 The one have is the big valve type!

What about a set of valves and guides unless you are going for bronze ones?

They are all surplus to requiremets now!

Roger

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