Lancia Beta Forum

General Category => Members Cars => Topic started by: betabuoy on January 12, 2019, 07:57:09 PM



Title: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on January 12, 2019, 07:57:09 PM
With my Coupe now out of storage, Iíve decided that itís time to sort out the engine and to up its spec.  Iíve admired the work of Guy Croft for years and, in my view, there is no better place for an engine rebuild than his worksÖ GCRE in Lincoln.  

A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon with Guy himself: We talked for hours about pressure waves, cam overlap, primary/secondary exhaust sections etc and when it was time to go, I left with a copy of his new book which, if you donít yet have a copy, I thoroughly recommend.  

Later, having removed the engine, I stripped it to basic components and - along with another block and three other heads - I took all the big bits to Guy for him to select the best items.  Guy chose a very original 105 TC head (with 43.5mm inlet valves); my coupeís original block; the oil pump and sump; and finally, the aux driveshaft, crank and lightened flywheel that heíd modified for me back in 2006.

On my next visit, we discussed the spec for my engine.  My stated requirements were: Occasional daily commuter (thatís North Yorkshire roads Ė not city centres!); hoofing along country lanes; long-distance fast touring; and of course... the occasional track-day!

Work started in November and Guy has been sending regular updates: The head is nearing completion with ops including enlarged ports, improved gasflow, triple valve springs and race guides; and it will probably carry Guyís IIIA cams for the best overall lift profile.  The block has been re-bored to 85mm and has had a light re-face; this will be powered by Guyís own-design forged pistons (CR 10.2:1) and Cunningham Ďrods and for lubrication itíll have a baffled sump with an added cooling matrix.

More pictures to follow as it comes together.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: HFStuart on January 13, 2019, 08:51:15 PM
Are you back in the UK full time now then?

There's no finer place for T/C work but Guy's standards are so exacting ( ie his way or not at all  - fair enough with the knowledge he's got) that that must be setting you back a pretty penny.

I'll look forward to the results - I presume you'll be setting it up on the rolling road. What carbs will you run ?


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on January 14, 2019, 09:25:20 PM
Hi Stuart

Yes thanks, and its nice to be back. 

Carbs will be twin 45 DCOEs...that was an early decision for me.  And, as I understand it, the porting of the head has been all based around optimising that feed.  For set up, Guy usually uses and recommends the team from Northampton Motorsport and I see no reason to deviate.

Chris


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on February 08, 2019, 07:53:42 PM
Spent a very enjoyable few hours with Guy on Wednesday.  The head prep is complete and I must say the detail and quality of work is staggering.

(http://)


The block has been thoroughly cleaned, refaced and bored to 85mm.  Guy has just microhoned the bores with FlexHone at 240 grade ready for GC race pistons and rings.

(http://)

Having confirmed the deck height, next event is to order the GC JE A8M pistons... and of course do a bit of painting!

Chris


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on April 24, 2019, 09:35:07 AM
Another nice nice day down at GCRE last week and a pleasure to chat and watch Guy at work.  Whilst certainly not the most rapid engine build, this is more down to my project growth rather than Guy's slow progress.  My engine has been the one he agreed to fit in but its all coming along nicely now.

Photos below show the current state of play:

1. IIIA Cams in Boxes
2. Inlet porting, race guides and triple valve springs.

Engine block should be on the stand soon and ready for dressing.  New completion date set for early June... I'll post more pics as it comes together.

Chris


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on April 28, 2019, 09:53:33 AM
As a 21 yr old hooligan, it always annoyed me when the oil pressure dropped when cornering hard in my Beta.  Still an occasional hooligan - but a bit older(!) - I have great expectations for the new GCRE Beta baffled pan design... 

Tig welded sections give a bulkhead across the middle with a trapdoor that opens to allow oil over the pick-up.  This should minimise the aeration and oil starvation issues. 


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: HFStuart on April 28, 2019, 01:48:04 PM
I've got one of them. I can testify I didn't get any oil surge with it fitted - unlike the previous trap door design.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: mangocrazy on April 29, 2019, 05:31:45 PM
I've got one of them. I can testify I didn't get any oil surge with it fitted - unlike the previous trap door design.
Was the previous design also one of Guy's (and the one that BetaBoyz sell) ? I've just fitted that one to my engine so will be a bit miffed if the new design is substantailly better. Mine will only get road use, though.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: rossocorsa on April 29, 2019, 07:28:31 PM
I've got one of them. I can testify I didn't get any oil surge with it fitted - unlike the previous trap door design.
Was the previous design also one of Guy's (and the one that BetaBoyz sell) ? I've just fitted that one to my engine so will be a bit miffed if the new design is substantailly better. Mine will only get road use, though.

I think I recall that GC once commented to be that the BB one is a copy of his older design. I recall he did say it was ok as a design but he'd done an improved one since. I have the BB kit fitted to my sump but haven't tested it out yet as the car is still in bits. I did find that it didn't fit very well and needed quite a lot of adjustment.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: HFStuart on April 29, 2019, 10:00:36 PM
Alan is spot on. Possibly I mucked up the installation but I didn't find it worked that well - although better than the OEM one.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 02, 2019, 12:51:56 PM
The simple picture below hides amounts of blood, sweat and tears shed at GCRE.  The spec to use race gauges meant dealing with a mixture of BSP and Metric threads with the inevitable machining required to get the oil pressure gauge sender, oil temp sender and 20 psi low pressure warning switch ALL onto the Beta oil filter housing.  It took Guy a bit of careful planning; he called it - "putting new things into old things never designed for the purpose...."

All that said, he's done a nice job!



Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: WestonE on May 03, 2019, 08:31:36 AM
Prepared to be shocked by the difference in readings and speed of response on these accurate gauges to the originals. I assume they take the place of the stereo and you use a Bluetooth amplifier for music from a phone?

Enjoy

Eric


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 03, 2019, 08:50:38 AM
Yes... Iíve discounted the idea of plastic pods some use for these gauges in favour of a suitably placed aluminium panel.  Havenít completely committed to layout, but that area where the radio was is nicely in the field of view and is certainly favourite.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 04, 2019, 10:16:49 AM
Oil filter housing now fitted.  The build up begins!


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on May 04, 2019, 10:22:25 AM
The 'GC' blanking plate is a nice touch.....


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 04, 2019, 10:57:17 AM
The crank is in too.  

Its had the full GC prep: Unplug, remove old end bearing, decarbonise, Jizer and hot wash.  After inspection, all edges are demurred, thread out the oil galleries and slightly modify the oilways.  Guy's SOP - the cranks from 2 litre models MUST NOT be reground; if they're damaged, they're scrap! Instead, he simply prepares them by a light rub/polish with Scotchbrite before further Jizer and hotwash then re-plug of the oilways.  


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 04, 2019, 11:00:36 AM
The 'GC' blanking plate is a nice touch.....

Agreed.  And I think Guy has a stock of these so its a tidy solution for anyone considering going down the electric fuel pump route.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: Orbital on May 05, 2019, 09:28:38 AM
Hi guys,

Great work Chris looking forward to some more updates!

One thing I want to ask... I haven't ever heard of oil starvation before at least not on the coupes.
I am about to start my engine rebuild and would love to make a similar modification to my pan to hopefully rectify that issue for the future.
Stuart or Chris, can you talk me through what I need to do?
Any documentation would be awesome also.

I would really appreciate it!
Cheers George


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: rossocorsa on May 05, 2019, 09:44:29 AM
Hi guys,

Great work Chris looking forward to some more updates!

One thing I want to ask... I haven't ever heard of oil starvation before at least not on the coupes.
I am about to start my engine rebuild and would love to make a similar modification to my pan to hopefully rectify that issue for the future.
Stuart or Chris, can you talk me through what I need to do?
Any documentation would be awesome also.

I would really appreciate it!
Cheers George


It depends how fast you drive but the standard sump is rather compromised. This is due to the transverse layout it makes a good internal layout awkward for mass production. Essentially the cure is to cut out the original baffle and fit a more sophisticated option. GC will of course do a perfect job but not everyone can afford his prices, there is the BB kit or if you can find the pattern and are good at metal work you could probably make one yourself


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: HFStuart on May 05, 2019, 10:34:29 AM
  Guy's SPO - the cranks from 2 litre models MUST NOT be reground; if they're damaged, they're scrap!

That's a bit black and white. I think Guy acknowledges that the cranks can sometimes be saved but that it's not always worth it and for his engines he doesn't do it. The difficulty is the surface hardening on the OE crank and the possibility of micro cracking during re-hardening. To rescue mine (after I'd spend several hundred with guy doing all the ops you outline) I had it partially ground, re-hardened, crack tested and then re-ground to 2nd undersize. The depth of hardening is more than is removed in the final grind so you are left with a hard journal surface. The only problem I had was forgetting to take the woodruff key out of the crank  - it ended up with a ceramic like hardness and took ages to remove.

I ran that crank in my 150bhp engine for 4000 miles with no problems. Note I'm not saying that this process will work for anyone else. The crank may well fail crack testing. I thought it was worth a punt and got away with it.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: rossocorsa on May 05, 2019, 10:57:34 AM
  Guy's SPO - the cranks from 2 litre models MUST NOT be reground; if they're damaged, they're scrap!

That's a bit black and white. I think Guy acknowledges that the cranks can sometimes be saved but that it's not always worth it and for his engines he doesn't do it. The difficulty is the surface hardening on the OE crank and the possibility of micro cracking during re-hardening. To rescue mine (after I'd spend several hundred with guy doing all the ops you outline) I had it partially ground, re-hardened, crack tested and then re-ground to 2nd undersize. The depth of hardening is more than is removed in the final grind so you are left with a hard journal surface. The only problem I had was forgetting to take the woodruff key out of the crank  - it ended up with a ceramic like hardness and took ages to remove.

I ran that crank in my 150bhp engine for 4000 miles with no problems. Note I'm not saying that this process will work for anyone else. The crank may well fail crack testing. I thought it was worth a punt and got away with it.

GC works on the basis of ultimate safety and minimum risk so will always go for the very best option, something that might work which is a calculated risk isn't really in his vocabulary as he has to stand by his work. It does mean he is only really an option for those with relatively bottomless pockets though. As regards cranks good 2 litre ones can still be found but are getting rarer so don't ever throw out a 2 litre beta bottom end!


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on May 05, 2019, 11:12:44 AM
Hi guys,

Great work Chris looking forward to some more updates!

One thing I want to ask... I haven't ever heard of oil starvation before at least not on the coupes.
I am about to start my engine rebuild and would love to make a similar modification to my pan to hopefully rectify that issue for the future.
Stuart or Chris, can you talk me through what I need to do?
Any documentation would be awesome also.

I would really appreciate it!
Cheers George


It depends how fast you drive but the standard sump is rather compromised. This is due to the transverse layout it makes a good internal layout awkward for mass production. Essentially the cure is to cut out the original baffle and fit a more sophisticated option. GC will of course do a perfect job but not everyone can afford his prices, there is the BB kit or if you can find the pattern and are good at metal work you could probably make one yourself

Both of my 1300 Coupes have been fast enough to induce surge. Keeping the oil fully topped up does help though.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 05, 2019, 06:37:15 PM
Hi guys,

Great work Chris looking forward to some more updates!

One thing I want to ask... I haven't ever heard of oil starvation before at least not on the coupes.
I am about to start my engine rebuild and would love to make a similar modification to my pan to hopefully rectify that issue for the future.
Stuart or Chris, can you talk me through what I need to do?
Any documentation would be awesome also.

I would really appreciate it!
Cheers George

Hi George

Iíve thrashed Betas for years and love them to bits but the engineís Achilles heal has always been the oil system.  Itís a good tip from Neil to keep them topped up but if you plan drive yours hard, you would benefit from improving the sump as a minimum - and thatís easy if the engineís out.  My engine is already quite expensive so Iíll not compromise on lubrication; for me, a baffled sump is part of a system that will include a cooler and accumulator.  I donít want a dry bearing on a fast corner at a track day!

Plenty more pictures to come over the next few weeks.

Chris


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on May 10, 2019, 09:47:12 AM
Carbs have arrived! 

Seen here being fitted to the GC Beta manifold.  This is specifically cast offset and at angle; designed to clear the block mounted distributor and account for the Beta engine mounting angle.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 01, 2019, 02:07:55 PM
Engine build continues... into the last few days now.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 01, 2019, 02:17:19 PM
GC designed 10.2:1 pistons have arrived; seen here with new Cunningham Race 'rods.  Not only are these 'rods significantly lighter, but the combination will allow me to happily exceed 7200rpm without fear of stress failure.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: WestonE on June 02, 2019, 07:45:52 AM
Great to see an engine built from the right parts!


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: mangocrazy on June 02, 2019, 02:52:58 PM
So that's what Cunningham rods look like... mine were handed over to Stanwood engineering, still in their box from GC, when they built the bottom end for me. From the photo it's nearly impossible to see where the split between the two halves are, they match up so well.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 04, 2019, 07:33:46 PM
Today, everything scrupulously cleaned and lubricated...


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 04, 2019, 07:34:48 PM
... and GC.JE. A8M pistons on the way in.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 04, 2019, 07:37:09 PM
...and now secure.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: mangocrazy on June 04, 2019, 10:35:33 PM
Fantastic stuff - looking really good. Love the surgical cleanliness.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: HFStuart on June 05, 2019, 12:37:46 PM
Can't beat a bit of engine porn. The pistons look pretty amazing but I can't help seeing the £££ signs when I look at them.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 06, 2019, 09:19:15 PM
GCRE successful dry-build with Plasticine for an absolute check of valve to piston clearances:


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 06, 2019, 09:28:05 PM
Guy's last job of the day today...  He wrote:

"Oil pump checked (well-within limits) and nasty stress-raiser on the shaft radiused and polished and the pump rebuilt, coded and carefully fitted with O ring in place (some forget it!) It is vital to do this with the cambelt off so as to assure free-rotation of the pump."


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 07, 2019, 09:03:57 PM
In-head 74 deg C stat mod fitted today. Picture shows location in top water rail.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 07, 2019, 09:06:40 PM
And head now secured/timed with belt on.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 10, 2019, 08:29:34 PM
Some time ago, Guy and I agreed a completion date of 10 June...  and to his word, after a valiant effort including some weekend work for the final push, it was finished today!


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 10, 2019, 08:32:35 PM
Transport home was in the back of my hatchback.  So you can get a twin-cam in a Golf!  Tomorrow, I aim to get the engine bolted to the gearbox and on the subframe ready to go back into its rightful place.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: mangocrazy on June 10, 2019, 09:29:31 PM
That looks fantastic. Full marks to GC and to you. You can't beat photos of an immaculate engine that's just finished its build.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on June 11, 2019, 08:58:23 PM
Looks superb. What next after it's fitted?


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 11, 2019, 09:27:28 PM
Well, I got it fitted today.
Lining up the gearbox is always a faff but once together the rest went pretty well.  In the past, I've always extracted the Beta engine from the top; but having removed the subframe for powder coating, it was relatively simple to assemble on the trolly then wheel in from beneath.


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 11, 2019, 09:39:22 PM
Hi Neil

Its going away to have an exhaust system made later this month then it'll be back to my local performance specialist for finishing (oil cooler, radiator etc).  Once that's done, I'll take it back to GCRE for first start procedures then dyno set-up and test at Northampton Motorsport.  Plenty still to do!  Hope to see you at the Betameet?

Chris


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: squiglyzigly on June 12, 2019, 06:14:57 PM
Front gearbox mount looks interesting. Whatís the application from?


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on June 12, 2019, 09:09:09 PM
Front gearbox mount looks interesting. Whatís the application from?
Not sure, been using it for years though!


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on June 13, 2019, 07:10:15 AM
Hi Neil

Its going away to have an exhaust system made later this month then it'll be back to my local performance specialist for finishing (oil cooler, radiator etc).  Once that's done, I'll take it back to GCRE for first start procedures then dyno set-up and test at Northampton Motorsport.  Plenty still to do!  Hope to see you at the Betameet?

Chris

Yes Chris, I'll be there in the ie. Long time no see!


Title: Re: Beta Coupe GCRE upgrade
Post by: betabuoy on September 13, 2019, 09:49:27 AM
Well itís been a while so I thought it was time for an update:

The exhaust was completed recently by Kevin Hoare and his team at Zero Exhaust in Ashford.  They did a very nice job building a bespoke 4-2-1 system with primary and secondary specs to GCRE recommendations; this should be below the 96dB limit for later track use too.

Since then, Iíve been waiting for a space with a preparer for finishing ; I recently delivered a box of bits from GCRE ranging from engine info gauges through to a complete oil system (remote filter, cooler and acusump) and they are assessing the situation.

Theyíve considered my proposed Ford Focus ST170 radiator but donít like the fit so are looking at an alternative which weíll discuss next week.  The oil system should be straight forward but finding a place for the acusump is tricky; most likely, it will reside along the front subframe cross-member.  Then thereís the headache of the electricsÖ. Ouch!  What started as an idea to move the battery into the boot (engine bay space) and replace the old fuse box with a modern version located somewhere cooler is likely to turn into quite a bit of re-wiring.  A combination of age, heat and poor-quality connectors is not a recipe for future reliability.

In other news, I was very pleased to see that my mighty Panda 'featured' in the latest Viva Lancia!  Good to meet/see many of you again at Betameeta 19 and I sincerely hope to be in something Ascot Green next year [driving that is... not wearing]. 

Chris