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John B

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  • Location
    NJ
  • Se7en
    Caterham SV, Cosworth Duratec (sort of)

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  1. John B

    AFR gauge

    Croc, Engine #1 was as installed in the car when I bought it and we never messed with it. It was a 220 hp 2.3L Duratec. The prior owner set it up himself on a dyno and only drove it on the street. It holed a piston at NJMP. We never dyno tuned it, but I suspect it was lean. After that failure we sent the engine to our race engine builder, Paul Hasselgren with instructions to build a kick ass motor out of it, "And by the way it doesn't have to stay 2.3L". Paul builds lots of 2.3L Duratec race engines for Swift 016 Formula Atlantic race cars, but they all have to remain 2.3L. I wasn't really clear with him at the time, but I was thinking increased bore, not stroke. He put in a 2.5L Stroker crank from a Ford Ranger which are cast, not forged. I wasn't too pleased either the stroker or cast idea. It made 270 hp. We broke the crank and holed the block at NJMP. Not much was useable from that engine except the barrel throttle. That failure was not due to a lean condition though. On engine #3 I was very specific on what I wanted this time, preferring a bigger bore, shorter stroke, higher revving configuration. It's a 2.5L MZR block and head with bigger valves and a shorter stroke billet crank from a 2.3L. It displaces 2.4L. It's also modified with a belt drive for the cams instead of the chain drive. it made a rather surprising 327 hp on a fairly conservative tune. The reason for the AFR gauge now is purely for driver peace of mind, it's not for a closed loop ecu system. My car doesn't have a cat and didn't even have a lambda sensor previously. The engine is tuned to run on 93 octane, but we've always used the 100 octane unleaded available when at the track and use 93 on the street. Last time at NJMP we broke a chunk out of the bell housing and also had a coil wire break. The coil wire has been re-pinned and a new bellhousing from Bruce at Beachman Racing is being installed at the moment. I'm crossing my fingers and looking forward to the USA7's event in September.
  2. John B

    AFR gauge

    After holing a piston in our first engine, and breaking a crank in our second, I want to take really good care of engine #3. To that end, I've opted for an AFR gauge to monitor the Air/Fuel ratio. I figure a quick peek at the end of the straight while still WOT will help me keep an eye on things and give me an extra layer of comfort. I went with an analog gauge rather than LED's as it fits in better with the old school nature of the panel, and also LED's can be hard to distinguish in bright sunlight. It's an Innovate MXT - AL. I swapped in where the Fuel Gauge was and moved the fuel gage further off to the right. Temp, Pressure, AFR... https://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products/MTXA.php#3855
  3. Shane, Best wishes on your recovery. A mechanical failure is one of the scariest things to me. I had a similar failure while racing when a front A-arm broke under braking in a sports prototype at Mid Ohio. I could no longer steer or brake and was merely along for the ride at that point. It was surprising how little the car slowed down. Fortunately for me there was a well prepared gravel trap to catch me that time. I'm willing to accept the consequences of my own mistakes while driving, but the lingering potential of a mechanical failure can be really creepy.
  4. Good advice. Thanks guys!
  5. I'm planning on installing an Air/Fuel Ratio gauge in my Caterham to keep an eye on AFR while on track. This requires welding a bung into my header after all four collectors merge into one, in other words on the side of the car. How does the wire from the O2 sensor get routed on Caterhams with catalytic converters? Underneath the car??
  6. Update: As Croc and Tom know, I left early Monday as my engine was running rough and I was down about 20mph on the front straight. I left hoping for a bad coil or crank trigger, but feared a ventilated piston. I did a compression test today and got (1-4) 170, 210, 210, 210. That ruled out a holed piston, but left a lingering low compression issue that pointed to valves. I checked the valve lash and all were in spec (0.10"), which ruled out a bent or dropped valve. #1 cylinder was cold, not firing as indicated by a pyrometer on the header. I then checked spark and found no spark in #1, but 2,3 & 4 were good. Swapping coils around revealed it wasn't a bad coil as the #1 coil sparked on the #2 lead & the #2 coil was dead on the #1 lead. Closer inspection revealed a broken wire at the connector to the coil. That was a very good sign! I was still concerned about the low compression and my engine builder Paul Hasselgren suggested that driving with no spark in #1 washed the cylinder dry with unignited fuel and that I should put a little oil in #1 and re-run the compression test. Voila!! It shot well over 210 so I'm a happy camper and am now enjoying a celebratory beer!!
  7. I have basically one like this. Just two posts. I hooked it up in-line in the positive cable from the battery. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-830057?seid=srese1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-JyUBhCuARIsANUqQ_KF7PVW8rXCQbRCdpxsbqCreBF8S7YIKw0i57d8rBpln5j5OWeXwWAaAqbfEALw_wcB
  8. Update: Pegasus Racing is sending a set for Saturday delivery. I'm back in!
  9. Crapola!! I just picked my Caterham up out of storage and the safety harnesses are expired. I don't think NJMP gives any slack on harnesses as the State Police come and do occasional inspections. I'll order up a new set, but I'm out for Sunday
  10. I'm thinking about bringing my Caterham to NJMP for a member day either Sunday 5/22 or Monday 5/23 to shake off the cobwebs. Anyone else interested? Simon, Croc, Tom?
  11. I put a master kill in mine for that exact reason. It's been fine ever since. it's under the dash so it's also a pretty good theft deterrent.
  12. I'm in, my car's all set, and I'm really looking forward to it. I count 9 already. That's a great start!
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