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General Category => Members Cars => Topic started by: mangocrazy on December 28, 2016, 12:39:28 AM



Title: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on December 28, 2016, 12:39:28 AM
It's been over a year since my Spider 2000's engine expired, while in the hands of a French garagiste, and I've only recently been able to get the engine repatriated and bolted to an engine stand. I'm unable to strip the engine at our place in Sheffield, as my workshop is in the cellar and the prospect of getting a fully built engine down (or up) the cellar steps fills me with dread and a sense of my own mortality...

So the engine is on a stand in the utility room in Stafford, where it will be dismantled, and then the individual components will be ferried back to Sheffield for further work. While cooking the Christmas dinner I managed (much to the dismay of my wife) to remove the cylinder head and take photos of same and on Boxing day the sump pan, oil pump and oil scavenge pipe were removed.

I'm still awaiting final proof of what it was that caused the engine to stop in a partially seized condition.The engine could be rotated back and forth a few degrees, but any more than that and the engine would lock up solid. My current thinking, based on what I've observed of the cylinder head, is that the exhaust valve on cylinder #1 dropped in (for reasons as yet unknown), bending the valve sufficiently to only allow a few degrees of engine rotation.

Equally disturbing are the witness marks on both valves and pistons on all cylinders that would seem to indicate running with incorrect valve timing. A couple of years ago I'd given the car to a (different) French garagiste to replace the cam belt and do an oil/filter change. I'm unsure whether the marks date from that time, or from the few minutes of running the car managed after having its water pump and cam belt replaced (the latter not on my instructions) by the garagiste in our village before it cried enough.

Any comments gratefully welcomed. Here come the photos, in the following order:

Cylinder head, with very obvious witness marks on valves.

Another view of the valves. Exhaust valve on far right looks suspiciously off axis compared to others.

Close up of valves on cylinders #1 and #2

Birds-eye view of the block/pistons. Again - notice witness marks.

View of block from an angle. State of bores looks pretty encouraging. No gouging or wear marks that I can see. Motor only has an indicated 60k miles on clock.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: HFStuart on December 28, 2016, 01:15:57 PM
Kudos for getting the head off during Christmas dinner prep!

Those witness marks are bad, particularly on the valve cut - outs. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find four or more bent valves and possibly cracked piston skirts too.

I wonder if the belt was incorrectly tensioned and jumped a tooth or three and you're now stuck with the auxiliary shaft lobe fouling No.2 rod. Witness marks on the rod next to the top of the bolt ( or on the bolt head ) would be evident.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: peteracs on December 28, 2016, 01:28:41 PM
Not sure I would get away with using the Utility room, no, definitely would never get that past the management, though if the only place.....

I think you are in for complete strip down and check each part and suspect as Stuart says, all the valves which have had contact will have some deformity and I guess the guides will need to be replaced as well, the bottom end should also be checked to see if that has sustained any damage as well as possible issues with the pistons.

Peter


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on December 28, 2016, 02:42:07 PM
Yes, the more I look at those photos the worse it appears. I can't believe for a minute that the car could have run for hundreds of miles like that (i.e. since the cam belt was replaced by the 1st garagiste). It has to have happened during the brief period the engine was run after having the water pump and cam belt replaced back in November 2015.

I'm not as concerned as I would otherwise be about the valve/piston contact due to the fact that I'm intending to fit Eric Weston's old Evo head, and brand new pistons and rods. As long as the crank is undamaged I should still be OK (he said, optimistically). Having said that it's a real shame that what had been a very sweet-running engine up until that point could be so easily wrecked by careless work.

The engine itself will be stripped down to its last nut and bolt and then refurbished from the ground up. I'm planning to give the crank to GC to check out, drill and plug etc., as well as balance it to work with a VX flywheel and clutch I'm acquiring. If there's anything remotely amiss with the crank I know GC will find it...


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on December 29, 2016, 08:18:14 AM
Graham

Definitely miss timing so expect 8 bent valves and maybe cracked valve guides. The pistons would probably be OK, but you would throw them away for the re bore this engine would be given for a re-build. It makes no sense to re-use the pistons at that age and mileage. So you have a sound crankcase and hopefully a sound crank for re-use. The head would be a reasonable base for a re-build with new guides and new valves.

At least you caught it before the rods broke or the pistons seized.

Eric     


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on December 29, 2016, 09:15:10 AM
Graham

Definitely miss timing so expect 8 bent valves and maybe cracked valve guides. The pistons would probably be OK, but you would throw them away for the re bore this engine would be given for a re-build. It makes no sense to re-use the pistons at that age and mileage. So you have a sound crankcase and hopefully a sound crank for re-use. The head would be a reasonable base for a re-build with new guides and new valves.

At least you caught it before the rods broke or the pistons seized.

Eric     

Eric,

Yes, that's about what I'm expecting to find. The pistons will not be re-used, neither will the rods (I have some new GC Cunningham rods ready to use), so as long as the crank and block are OK it's not the end of the world. Very annoying, but not fatal.

How long would the engine be able to run in a condition like that? From the degree of mis-timing that's apparent from the photos I'm tending more and more to the view that it's the fault of the last garagiste I took it to (the one that replaced the water pump and cam belt). This would be consistent with his story that he left the car idling after completing his (botched) work and 'it just stopped and locked up'.

Graham


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on December 30, 2016, 09:51:25 PM
Graham

The last garage for sure. If this had been given load and revs it would be in many broken pieces.

Eric


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on December 31, 2016, 10:22:21 AM
What I don't understand is that he should have heard a 'tinging' noise as soon as he started it up and/or the belt slipped. Every apprentice mechanic must learn that you have to be dead careful on first start up after a belt change? Especially a relatively complex one like the Beta's. Then again, I guess people are just careless.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on December 31, 2016, 01:52:15 PM
Yes, the more I look at it the more I regard it as a complete clusterf***. Greed compounded by stupidity and arrogance. The second garagiste was more interested in pointing out faults the previous guy had made (he'd omitted to secure the water pipe to the back of the bracket that has the pointers for the cam wheels) and was urging me to go and get my money back. If he'd paid more attention himself he wouldn't find himself in receipt of a large bill when I return to the village in April...

What really winds me up is that I did not ask him to replace the cam belt; he simply did that so he could bump the bill up. The cam belt had been changed only a thousand miles or so previously and the mileage it had been changed at was clearly written on the cam cover. I only wanted a new water pump fitting. As a result of this he's caused me a countless amount of inconvenience and a great deal of expense. I think I may be asking a French friend of mine to compose a letter to a solicitor.

I haven't stripped the head yet (been more concerned with getting the sump off and cleaned up), but when I do (probably first week of Jan) I'll post pictures up. If I've learned anything from this little episode it's to only allow people I know and trust near my Beta. Either that or do the job myself.

Thanks for everyone's help and comments.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on January 19, 2017, 10:30:09 PM
Since I last posted I've managed to make some more progress stripping the engine down in fact the block, shorn of all its studs and ancillaries, is sitting in my van waiting to go to the local engine overhaulers to go in their hot wash. The crank has been removed and appears in generally good health, although I will only be sure of that once Guy Croft has pronounced on its status. When I measured the end float in situ it was 0.18mm (0.007") which is apparently right in the middle of acceptable tolerance (0.002" to 0.012"). This encouraged me...

I've sourced a 228mm VX flywheel from Millieman (thanks!) and that, along with the sump (sans OE baffle plates), clutch gearbox-mounted bracket, flywheel plates and other bits and bobs have been sent for blasting.

I stil haven't got round to stripping the cylinder head, and I may not do so for a while yet, as I'm very tempted to take the head 'as is' to the French garagiste that caused this whole sorry mess and confront him with it.

Now that all the bits are back in Sheffield I'll try and take some pics to illustrate progress.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on January 21, 2017, 03:45:04 PM
Just a quick pic of the crank and the main bearing shells, bolts and caps bagged up. I was thinking of photographing all the bearing shells individually, but as none of them will be re-used I didn't really see the point. I can't feel any ridges or wear marks in the crank journals, so hopefully it's fit for re-use. There are signs of discolouration, but I'm hoping they will polish out.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on January 21, 2017, 04:23:52 PM
Graham

Good Luck with the crank. It looks OK, but you will only know once GC has measured it.

Eric


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on January 21, 2017, 06:56:23 PM
Yes, planning to visit GC this coming Thursday with the crank. I'v just got all the parts back from the blasters and all looks good so I think we're ready. Presumably GC will need the crank, flywheel and clutch outer for balancing purposes? Guy did say he'd be able to check the important dimensions while I waited so I should know on the day whether it's viable or not.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on January 26, 2017, 10:31:33 PM
I travelled over to Lincoln today and spent a very enjoyable and instructive morning with GC. The good news is that my crankshaft passed all of Guy's measuring routines with flying colours, has been given the GC seal of approval and is fit for purpose. That was a real relief, I must say. It was instructive to watch Guy testing the crank for runout with it mounted on a pair of V blocks and a dial gauge on the centre journal. As far as I could see there was zero runout, and the only time the dial fluctuated was when Guy had to apply pressure to turn the crank. What surprised me was the degree of deflection when Guy pressed with only mild force on the centre of the crank - it registered 10 thou deflection. So the crank is with Guy now to work his magic.

I mentioned to Guy that I was taking the block to an engine reconditioner in Sheffield to have it hot washed, and he suggested taking it to a place that he uses exclusively for such work (and a lot of other machining operations). As I was only using the Sheffield firm because they were local, and the firm Guy recommended (Stanwood Engineering) were on the way back to Sheffield (they're based in Bawtry, about 20 miles from Sheffield), I was happy to take him up on that. I was so glad I did - they have a tremendous operation, with some hugely impressive computer-controlled machinery and they also do a lot of motorbike stuff, so I can see a variety of ways in which I can use their services.

They will definitely be boring the block to suit my new Vick Auto-sourced 10:1 pistons; what was particularly impressive was the way that Phil was able to assure me that there would be sufficient meat for my 84.4mm pistons in the standard bores when overbored just by running his fingers around the bore tops. Apparently bore # 4 is the worst, but they should be able to accomodate any slight discrepancy. The're having an open day on August Bank Holiday Monday, and are expecting a lot of classic cars and bikes, so that sounds like a must-see.

Stanwood will be knocking out the core plugs, hot washing the block in a solution that is completely friendly to the auxiliary shaft bearings, then ultrasonically cleaning the block, and finally facing off the top deck to ensure it's completely flat. With that done, it should be ready for boring to suit my pistons.

So - it finally feels like real progress is being made, after all the false starts.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on January 27, 2017, 09:04:46 PM
Heartened by the progress made yesterday, when I got home from work I decided to start the necessary modification of the auxiliary shaft, by cutting off and plugging the lobe used to drive the mechanical fuel pump. Photos shown below:

The unmolested shaft sitting on my vice:

The shaft wedged between two blocks of wood, ready to have its nose cut off:

Now in his books, Guy always uses a hacksaw to do the cutting. Personally, ever since I've discovered the delights of an angle grinder, I've always found it equally accurate, a lot quicker and a lot less hassle to use a cutting wheel in the grinder. Here's a pic of a cutting wheel for steel that I can heartily recommend; it's quite simply the best I've ever used. It's only 0.8mm in cross-section so cuts very quickly and cleanly and generates far less heat than thicker discs. And below is the end result. Actual cutting time was no more than than a minute or two, followed up with the results of a quick clean up with a flap disc:

With the lobe cut off, I measured the internal diameter of the oilway with a digital vernier. It came out at pretty much exactly 6.8mm. I was fairly sure that 6.8mm was the recommended tapping clearance for an M8 x 1.25 tap, but needed to check in my trusty Zeus handbook (shown).

Looking in the ISO metric coarse threads, I found the answer. I realise the flash has burned out the heading line, but if you follow the line for O.Dia. of 8.0, under the tapping drill column you will see 6.8mm, for a thread pitch of 1.25 (standard M8 coarse thread pitch). So the oilway hole is the perfect size for tapping for an M8 grub screw. I measured how much depth of oilway there was before encountering the cross drilling, and it worked out at at least half an inch (12.5mm), so tapping to a depth of 8 or 9mm and using an M8 x 10mm grub screw would be about right, leaving a millimetre or two of the grub screw sitting proud of the surface.

I checked on eBay and a pack of 5 M8 x 10mm high tensile (14.9) grub screws costs a miserly 1.10 including postage. That will do me fine. I just need to check that I have an M8 x 1.25 plug tap and then I'll be good to go.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 02, 2017, 03:24:46 PM
Paid Stanwood Engineering in Bawtry another visit today, taking them a selection of camshafts, camboxes, cambox covers, cam buckets, and various seal housings and sundry items. I also took them my Vick Auto 10:1 84.4mm pistons as reference for when boring the block. If bore no 4 is outside limits they can resleeve that particular bore quite easily. The block itself has been through their hot wash and is virtually unrecognisable from the manky old thing it was previously. Even the core plugs have come up as new, and very much look as if they're stainless items. If so I probably won't bother replacing them.

Next step is the ultrasonic bath, which apparently removes the requirement to re-tap stud holes. The threads to clamp the head down will definitely have a tap run down them, but Jonathan reckoned for everything else it probably wouldn't be necessary. All the other bits will be getting the hot wash and ultrasonic treatment.

They've also said they are happy to do a 'short' engine build if required. If I go doen that route I'll do all the block preparation, dressing and deburring, following GC's detailed instructions in his books and will then hand the parts over for them to assemble crankshaft, rods, pistons, aux shaft etc. If nothing else, it saves me buying piston ring compressors. It all depends on price, of course.

Getting quite excited now...  ;D


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on February 02, 2017, 05:11:15 PM
Hi Graham

Great progress. I suggest you check every thread is clean and complete with a tap and be aware core plugs normally rust from the inside out and I have never seen a stainless set. I hope a flex hone will be used and you are right the head bolt threads MUST be cleaned out with a tap. I recommend the full bolt pack from GC for a neat job including the studs and nuts for the sump in place of bolts.

I have found sandblasting and silver spray painting the seals covers give a nice finish as long as you do not blast or paint the machined seal contact faces.

Eric 


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 02, 2017, 10:36:27 PM
Hi Eric,

Yes for the amount of time it takes, it seems silly not to run a tap down all the threads. The ultrasonic will have cleaned most of the crud out so it should be very simple to do. I think I'll get a fibre optic probe to have a look at the back of the core plugs. I have a complete set ready to go on, so it's no sweat to replace them. I'll check on the flex hone, but I doubt GC would trust his reboring to anyone that didn't do that finishing op. I've got to ring them tomorrow so will check.

I was thinking about painting the aluminium seal covers in the same shade I use for the block. Once they've come out of the ultrasonic bath they should be in a perfect state for paint. Bare aluminium always goes 'furry' over time if left untreated anyway. I'm currently thinking of painting the block silver, but that may change. I prefer a lighter shade, if only to quickly show up any possible oil leaks.

So you'd recommend using studs and nuts rather than bolts on the sump? I was planning on using A4 stainless bolts for the sump, but am open to suggestions.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on February 03, 2017, 07:53:03 AM
Graham

I like the studs option on the sump because the nyloc nuts mean the sump stays fully attached in a way bolts never manage and it is easier to fit.

Eric


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 03, 2017, 07:48:46 PM
Eric,

Yes understand your point. I hadn't thought of using studs and Nylocs, and M6 nylocs in A4 stainless are readily available. I'll do same with mine. For added security you could Loctite the studs in place, as well. Nothing would work loose then.

Graham


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 17, 2017, 07:43:40 PM
Yesterday I got the call from Stanwood Engineering that my block and sundry engine parts had been through the hot wash and ultrasonic cleaning, and the block had been bored to suit my 84.4mm pistons, without the need of any special chicanery; there was enough meat on the standard bores to do a straight, clean rebore and flex-hone.

So in order, we have:

Various bits and pieces in boxes and trays as picked up from Stanwood:

A couple of views of the block; firstly from above, showing off the deck facing I'd asked them to do, and then from the side, with the flex-honing marks clearly visible. Given the state of the block when they received it, it's scrubbed up particularly well:

When I first arrived, Jonathan told me he had some good news (the block rebored without any issues) and some bad news. The bad news was that both sets of camshafts I'd taken in to them had reacted adversely, and in a way that they'd never seen before, to the ultrasonic cleaning process. The standard cams had shown the worst reaction;below is a photo of the base circle on one of the OE cams. The other OE cam was only marginally better.

It also emerged that the 'Kent cams' that I'd bought secondhand and thought were billets were in fact re-grinds. These weren't quite as badly as affected as the OE ones, but still showed a fair amount of marking. Had I inspected them closer I should have noticed 'FIAT' stamped into the shafts, but it's far easier to see now than when they were dark brown and with a film of oil on them. The surface markings aren't as bad as on the OE cams, but still don't augur well:

Jonathan was very apologetic about it and without any prompting offered me 50 +VAT off the overall price, which was welcome. I can't see how ultrasonic cleaning could have caused such a reaction unless there was some underlying prior issue with the cams. It's a process that is ubiquitous in the automotive industry.

After thinking about it a while, I gave Kent cams a ring and told them my story. They said that it may well be possible to do a very light grind on the lobe faces, taking off around 10 thou to clean up the faces. I'm going to send both sets down to them for their inspection and will probably be guided by their recommendations, unless anyone here has an opinion to the contrary.

Every other component, including the auxiliary shaft, came out just fine. It was just the camshafts that had the adverse reaction. Very odd. I'm not sure whether I should start looking for another set of cams or whether to wait until Kent have given their opinion.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on February 18, 2017, 09:47:26 AM
Did the cams need the full clean? Even if not I, like you, wouldn't have expected such a severe reaction.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 18, 2017, 01:40:36 PM
Probably not, but it seemed like a sensible move at the time to add them to the other parts that really did need the clean/ultrasonic bath. I was wondering what people's view of cam regrinds were. Are they as awful as GC makes out, or is he simply following his normal doctrine of perfection? I've no desire to build this engine with a substandard or flawed part, but if it's just a question of using thicker shims to compensate for the reduced base circle, I'm not sure what the problem is.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on February 19, 2017, 10:35:08 AM
Hi Graham

Sadly I think your cams are scrap and a light skim would not give a good hardened surface. I would not want to risk it. For information (far too late) with cams scotch bright and brake cleaner is normally enough with sometimes 400 the 800 grade dressing where there is oil seal rub.

I have some Bayless cams that might do the job for you, but this might be the point to source another Beta 2000 standard exhaust cam and a GC 3A inlet cam along with GC Vernier cam wheels. If in doubt send GC your cam boxes with the exhaust cam and have him dial in the cam timing for you, unless you really understand this and have the dial gauge protractors and set up plates. Precision timing really can make your engine fly and the CG 3A standard exhaust is a good mix for around 170BHP with 150 FtLbs and revs low enough not to need forged pistons.
PS make sure TDC is perfect when you build the engine and very clearly and precisely marked i.e. not using the cam belt cover.

Good luck

Eric 


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 19, 2017, 10:50:20 AM
Yes Eric, I think they are probably scrap as well. Isn't the GC3A cam getting slightly overkill for my engine? I really want a good torquey, tractable motor that doesn't need to be red-lined to get maximum effect. It will be spending most of its life in the 2000-6000 rpm range with an occasional foray past 6k. I'm aiming for around 155-160 bhp with a broad spread of usable power. And what kind of spec are your Bayless cams? I'll be using the Vernier cam wheels I bought from you many moons ago - they're currently away having the purple anodising replaced with something less lurid.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: rossocorsa on February 19, 2017, 01:00:11 PM
I might have a strada 130 exhaust cam and also a standard IE inlet/exhaust, finding time to dig them out might be another question though 😂 let me know if you are
interested and I'll see what I can do



Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 19, 2017, 11:48:42 PM
Hi rossocorsa, I'd definitely be interested in a pair of IE cams, as it was always my intention to use the standard cams as a fallback position if the Kent cams weren't up to snuff. Is the Strada 130 exhaust cam regarded as a performance booster? If so, I may well be up for that as well. I'm not in a tearing hurry as the bottom end probably won't be rebuilt until May/June at the earliest, but I would like to secure the parts I will need in the future.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: rossocorsa on February 19, 2017, 11:55:21 PM
I'm using the 130 inlet on my VX not using the exhaust cam as that would be a bit OTT with a blower. It is higher lift and slightly wilder than a standard cam. I'll try to have a look for them but in don't have much time at the moment so remind me if I don't get back to you within a couple of weeks.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 19, 2017, 11:59:43 PM
OK, no problems. I'm in no rush, just trying to make sense of this setback, really. Thanks for the offer - much appreciated.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on February 20, 2017, 01:25:55 PM
Hi Graham

The 3A inlet standard 2000 exhaust cam combination is a nice one for a broad spread of torque and keeping the revs well within the cast piston 7200 RPM rev limit. Not a peaky narrow power band and a common conversion for Monte engine re-builds on road cars using 10:1 or higher compression ratio and a gas flowed head.

If you fit a pair of 3As then you will potentially see more power i.e. up to 200BHP but that peak power will be somewhere like 7700 rpm with a rev limit at 8500. That would break cast pistons!

A Strada 130TC cam has 0.5mm more lift but less duration so not much different than a standard Beta or Monte 2000 exhaust cam for your needs.

Eric     


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on February 20, 2017, 03:05:30 PM
Hi Eric,

Thanks for that; I don't think I'll be going down the inlet/exhaust GC 3A route...! But a 3A inlet/2000 exhaust does sound interesting. Whatever happens I will want a pair of standard 2000 cams as a base setting, I think.

I meant to ask you further about comments you made in an earlier post:

If in doubt send GC your cam boxes with the exhaust cam and have him dial in the cam timing for you, unless you really understand this and have the dial gauge protractors and set up plates. Precision timing really can make your engine fly


So GC will only need my cam box(es) to set up the cam timing? I'd like to give GC the top end and get him to build it up complete, but I don't know if I can afford the bill. I think I need to read and re-read the sections in Guy's books regarding rebuilding the top end.

PS make sure TDC is perfect when you build the engine and very clearly and precisely marked i.e. not using the cam belt cover.


I've got a dial gauge with spark plug inserts to ascertain TDC. Will that be sufficient?


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on March 21, 2017, 01:34:52 PM
I had a chat with GC a few days ago and he mentioned that the limiting factor on whether I could run the 3A inlet/OE exhaust cam setup will be the depth of the valve reliefs on my Vick Auto 10:1 (allegedly) pistons, as the 3A cams have considerably more lift than OE. I foresee a lot of dry-building going on before even the bottom end is finally rebuilt. GC said that you need a minimum of 2mm piston crown to valve clearance and preferably more, so this is something I will need to be certain and get right.

In other news, I've received my sump pan back from blasting and had the BetaBoyz sump baffle kit welded in. After these photos were taken I decided to get another couple of tacks welded in, one in the middle of the 'short' near side and another on the long rear side of the sump. Everything looks and feels good and solid now.

The only thing that concerns me a little is the degree of corrosion and pitting on the front face (presumably where it's been peppered by stone chips). Does this look like the thickness of the steel has been adversely affected?

I'm toying with the idea of treating the spots of flash rust that have developed since blasting (in spite of being kept in a warm, dry environment) and then skimming the front face of the pan with some JB Weld or similar epoxy resin before priming and painting. Does this sound a good idea or am I over-thinking it all?


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: rossocorsa on March 21, 2017, 02:04:05 PM
I presume you've done a trial fit on the sump? I found out a pain in the proverbial to fit in the vx a lot of fiddly adjustments to get it near right. I can't see a problem with filling the sump exterior is the only way to get a really nice finish.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on March 21, 2017, 02:56:20 PM
No, the trial fit will come when I get the block back on my engine stand. I'm not expecting it to exactly fly back on... Before I do that I'll be looking for some stainless M6 studs to Loctite to the block, rather than using bolts. Then I can use nyloc nuts to fasten the sump to the block and be as sure as I can be that nothing will vibrate loose.

But I'm sure the bead blasting and welding will have distorted the sump to a degree that it will be a pain to fit.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: rossocorsa on March 21, 2017, 03:07:28 PM
Studs are definitely the way to go but of course they make fitting the sump in situ more awkward, easy whilst on a stand. The baffle kit might interfere with the oil pump and/or the return pipe, I'd recommend trial fitting before you go much further.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on March 21, 2017, 03:18:14 PM
GC is currently refurbishing the oil pump and doing his thing with my crankshaft, so when all that comes back I'll give it a trial fit. I'm in no rush and want to make sure everything is correct. Probably best to do the trial fit before I start any cosmetic filling, as if the sump needs some (ahem) encouragement that could cause any filler to drop off.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: WestonE on March 22, 2017, 09:10:53 AM
Hi Graham

I agree on the trial fit before finishing paintwork filling the outer sump surface and painting is cosmetic, just be VERY careful to clean the sump internally before fitting finally. I found the sump easier to fit with studs.

Every Beta should have a sump like this the original is hopeless even for enjoying corners on the road.

Eric   


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on May 12, 2019, 07:58:38 PM
I've a number of threads referring to the (extremely slow) progress on my Beta Spider, but this has the most information so I'll carry on with this one.

The engine block has been painted and the bare bottom end (crank, rods, pistons) has been assembled by Stanwood Engineering and the short engine has been sat on an engine stand for best part of 6 months. My initial plan was to hand the short block, plus the modified head I bought from Eric ages ago, along with all the other bits and pieces (cams, camwheels etc, etc.) to Guy Croft for him to complete that part of the build.

When I rang Guy he politely but firmly informed me that he would not be pepared to assemble and dial in a cylinder head that had been fettled by another tuner (in this case the late Barry Waterhouse of Evo Engineering). This left me in something of a quandary, and the only way out seemed to be to repatriate the original cylinder head from the engine that suffered a major mishap in France and get Guy to use that, as I know that head is bog standard and as it left the factory.

I brought the head back with me from France last weekend and duly set about cleaning it up and removing the valves. Below are photos top and bottom of the manky thing as it arrived back from France. And once I'd removed the valves, the true extent of the damage wreaked by the French garagiste became painfully clear. Only one valve, possibly two, survived unscathed:

I then set about the head with a can of Jizer and a brush, followed up by lots of hot, soapy water. After that I removed as much of the remains of the old head gasket as I could. It certainly looks a lot less manky now, even if it's a long way from Guy's expected standards of cleanliness:

The next step is to take the head and the pieces of valve train that will be re-used (collets, top and bottom valve caps) to a local firm that specialises in vapour blasting. After that I'll run a tap through all the threads and de-burr where appropriate, by which time it should be in a fit state for Guy to work his magic.


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: betabuoy on May 13, 2019, 08:39:43 PM
Hi Graham,
Given that you appear to need new valves anyway, are you going to ask Guy to put in larger seats for the inlets?
Chris


Title: Re: Beta Spider 2000 engine rebuild/refurb
Post by: mangocrazy on May 14, 2019, 10:06:58 AM
Hi Chris,

I did think about that, but have decided to go with standard valve sizes, inlet and exhaust. Cost is definitely a consideration here. Last night I ordered a set of Vick Auto inlet & exhaust valves, along with valve guides and had them sent to a friend who lives in Idaho. He'll ship them to me as a 'gift', hopefully avoiding the steep import duty most items from the US attracts. The whole lot came to 92 dollars (plus 15 dollars shipping within US) and are available off the shelf, so quite a saving.

I'm not aiming for such a lofty target bhp-wise as you. I'll be very happy with 150-155 bhp as long I have good drivability and torque. I'll be using standard cams, Vick Auto 10:1 (allegedly) pistons and DCOE 45 Webers with 36mm chokes and GC offset manifold. I'll get Guy to gas-flow and do his stuff on the head to suit the pistons and also do the top end build and cam timing. The car has a 4-2-1 exhaust fitted already, but the other improvements should help realise its potential (hopefully). I've also acquired an MSD ignition box with matching coil, which I'm hoping will further improve drivability, starting and low speed running.

Just don't ask me when it will all be finished!  ;D