Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:17 am

Time for an update:

Having got the current 2l lump running and finding the head gasket problem, I need to decide what to do engine wise in order to have something useable and bedded in for a club event in October. I have got the money at the moment do my intended GC spec rebuild on the 2.0, and don't want to spend time just fixing the head gasket on what is a pretty clapped out unit anyway. Its also a low compression US spec. So as a 'stop gap' I have decided to do a basic rebuild on an 1800 lump I have had in storage for a while, as it looks to have had a rebore and new pistons, before the owner started an X19 conversion. In theory it could be made into something useable after a strip, clean and rebuild with new rings and bearings, and fitted with a head I have half prepped for the 2l.

So last Sunday I dragged it out of storage and got it mounted on the stand ready to strip down and decide if it was the right way to go. This evening I started the strip down:
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1800 block
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Fabricated sump for an X19 conversion - builder must have worked in the ship yards!
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Sump removed. The oil pickup will need swapping to RWD sump configuration
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Crank removed
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All was looking good until I released No. 2 big end and found this mess...
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No.2 big end shells - ouch!
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OEM size
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Judging by the flattened 'ear', it looks like one of the shells was put in the wrong way round. Unfortunately, the shells dropped into the block when I released the cap so cannot be sure. Anyway, the crank journals all looks good and the rest of the shells look reasonable and are OEM sizes. I need to do some proper measuring though. I see if I can find time to continue tomorrow evening.
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:54 am

Spent another couple of hours this evening stripping the block. All fairly straightforward, although the auxiliary drive pulley nut put up a bit of a fight. The water jacket was pretty silted up too, but most that fell out as I was rotating the block and knocking the core plugs out. I'll think I'll get the jetwash on it next to clear the worst of the debris before I unplug the oil galleries.
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Water jacket silted up!
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Much of the silt removed
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Core plugs removed
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Block stripped
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Just the oil galleys to be unplugged now
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No visible wear on bores
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Pistons and crank look to be in reasonable condition
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:53 pm

Spent an hour this evening unplugging the crank...
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Better out than in!
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Plugs removed ready for cleaning
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:49 pm

Time to put some of Guy's teachings in to practice and start prepping the crank. After a few hours work I now have it all clean, deburred, polished and tapped ready for re-plugging. I'll give it a final solvent clean once I'm happy it all measures up. I did some preliminary measurements of the journals which if my metric/imperial conversions and Haynes manual were correct means its in spec. I was a bit worried about No.2 crank pin as that was the one that had the bearing problem, but it polished up and measured the same as the others. I left the notes in the garage so can't remember what they were, I'll do some proper measurements tomorrow and check the specs.

Pictures:
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Pugs removed and hole cleaned up for tapping
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As per Guy's published method I used all three taps in sequence. Two back-to-back 10mm sockets taped together with a nut between, to allow the 1/4" ratchet drive to be used on the tap - there's not room to fully rotate a tap wrench.
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Fully tapped.
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Cleaning out the swarf. I forced solvent through all the galleries with a thin tube and syringe to flush out the crud. The jet washed and blew though with an air line.
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More flushing
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All clean, and journals polished with ultrafine scotchbrite
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Attachments
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Checking journal dimensions
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:57 pm

Having measured the crank more closely and checked the bore clearance it appears a regrind to 1st undersize, and a rebore to 2nd or 3rd oversize (dependant and piston availability and inspection by machine shop) will be in order. In the meantime I got on with some other little jobs, like finishing the rad mounts and other bits and bobs.

I spent quite a bit of time messing with the lower rear quarter panels trying to get them to fit as well as I thought they had when I trimmed them up after moulding them. I managed to get them held roughly in place with self-tapers well enough to sort out some mounting bracket positions for mudflaps, and also decided to use the vacant bumper tube holes for a tow strap and fog light.
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Towing strap mounted to bumper mount in chassis tube. Section below body seem is still to be painted.
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I welded in some captive M5 nuts for the fog light mounts.
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Hella fog light mounted. Yellow on the right is the mudflap material.
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Start of a bracket......
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...for some air horns.
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Horns in place behind front grill.
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More fettling of the rad mount frame.
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Made up some flexible mounting bushes from tube and grommet.
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Rad in place with air horn compressor tucked away behind airbox.
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Mon May 06, 2013 11:31 pm

The long weekend gave me chance to make a decent amount of progress. I actually found a top end gasket set in amongst my 'stock' so decided to spend Saturday fixing the leaking head gasket on the existing engine and attempt to get the car mobile under its own steam. That all went surprisingly well and after buying a battery and some antifreeze on Sunday morning I had the thing running again, albeit with a temporary coolant hose and ignition wiring arrangement, I managed to drive it out into the sunshine!
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Engine running sweetly and leak free again with temporary hosing and HT wiring.
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Then today in yet more wonderful sunshine I prepped the roof moulding and applied a couple of layers of polyester, ready for priming.
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Roof almost ready for priming.
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I am now in a bit of a quandary over my intended Olio Fiat inspired colour scheme, which I thought would be great for a track car, but I've realised it is not really acceptable for most road rally events, so I might have to have a rethink.
Attachments
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Another trail fitting.
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miro-1980
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by miro-1980 » Tue May 07, 2013 2:20 am

Simon,

Watching your progress with grate interest. please keep it coming !

What seats are you planning to use ?

When you work on their installation I would appreciate some pictures.

I was dry fitting replica 131 abarth seats ( which I have also seen in 124 abarths. They fitted Ok, but I ma still thinking of hot to bolt them to the chassis.

Would like to see how you solve this problem.

Miro
www.131abarth.pl
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Guy Croft
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Guy Croft » Tue May 07, 2013 9:44 am

very nice to see my methods being used on the crank, well done!!

Superbly illustrated thread with great wording too.


G
Guy Croft, owner

Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Tue May 07, 2013 2:03 pm

Thanks Guy, I quite enjoyed getting to work on an engine again and finally having a go at some of the processes I have been looking at with great interest on here for so long. At least now that I have the original engine running again it takes the pressure of the 1800 build, which can now be done with a bit more thought and time. I will soon be ready to send you the head to get the GC guides pressed in.

This project seemed to turn a bit of a corner at the weekend and now feels more like just repairing a car than building one!

Regarding the seats Miro, I am initially using some old Magnum (they went out of business several years ago) lightweight fibreglass buckets salvaged from my Lada Niva. I was amazed to find that the runners off the factory seats lined up with the mounting rails on the Magnums and only required a new hole to be drilled to line up the mounting holes. So there wasn't really much problem solving to do. The conventional competition car method it to use two parallel tubes (25 dia?) that mount between the tunnel and sill with (front and rear of the seat). The tubes mount through drilled holes with reinforcement plates, which are all then welded up - you can buy a kit (the two tubes + 4 reinforcing plates) from most rally prep suppliers. I may go down this route eventually, but happy to use the factory mounts for the time being.

Here's a pic of the Magnum seat, I'll load up something more illustrative when I fit them in for the last time (they're constantly in and out at the moment whilst I am doing other jobs.)
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Magnum bucket seat
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Sun May 12, 2013 9:48 pm

This weekend saw some more progress. Despite intermittent rain showers causing numerous shuffling of parts and car in and out of the garage, I managed to get the bonnet, boot lid and roof in primer.
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Polyester coat on bootlid and bonnet flatted ready for primer.
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Two coats of primer applied and drying
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Guide coat applied before flatting polyester coat on roof. Two coats of primer followed.
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Primered bootlid trial fitted
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Primered roof and bonnet trial fitted
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Almost a complete car again!
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GaryR
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by GaryR » Sat May 25, 2013 8:59 pm

Hello Simon! We met this morning (your postie). The Spider looks fantastic! I've really enjoyed reading this thread and looking forward to seeing the finished article.

Kind regards.

Gary.
GaryR. Book #104/500

Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Tue May 28, 2013 12:27 am

Hi Gary, it was great to have a natter; its not everyday the postman hands you a letter then asks, 'Has it got a full Gut Croft under the bonnet?' :-) You need to post up some pictures of your 124 Coupe, it sounds like its a real stunner!

Well, I now have a new deadline of July 7th for our clubs stand at Go Motorsport Live at Silverstone, so fortunately I made quite a bit of progress over the long weekend, making use of the nice sunny weather to get on with some painting. Since doing the satin black paint job I realised it was not the most practical of finishes, and since I still needed to apply my chosen colour scheme to the arches and lower panels I decided to go for a gloss clearcoat over the hole lot. Unfortunately there is one hour time window for apply it, so it meant I have to reapply the black basecoat, then the colour scheme, the the clearcoat on top of that within the timeframe.

Before starting on the paint I still needed to make the holes for the front side repeaters....
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Position marked
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A bit brutal but an 18 mm hole was required.
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Fiat 500 side repeater trial fit
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Flatted down with 1200 grade and masked up for fresh black basecoat, the 1 hour window starts now!
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Whilst I had the black basecoat in the gun I gave the primered bonnet an bootlid a coat.
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A touch of colour!
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More masking then on with the colour.
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Masking removed and first coat of clear
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Waiting for clearcoat to harden.
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Two more coats of clear, with flatted between coats, then off with the masking for the last time!
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The bonnet and boot lid still need a final flatting and clearcoat, and the roof still needs a bit more fettling before it gets a top coat.
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Will01
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Will01 » Tue May 28, 2013 12:18 pm

That does look very nice, i like the colour scheme.
The white engine bay is a great idea to catch (highlight) any leaks quickly but it will be a nightmare to keep clean.
The wheels look great on the car very nicely suited, keep up the good work not too far away now. That is going to be great fun to drive
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Urbancamo
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Urbancamo » Tue May 28, 2013 10:10 pm

Classic "Olio Fiat"-color theme?

I like it. Especially the wheels are almost like designed to this car.

Tommi
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:40 pm

Thanks Will, the white engine bay is old school rally prep to help reflect light when spannering in dark, but it does help with spotting leaks - we'll see how long it stays clean! Yes, Tommi, it's definitely an Olio Fiat inspired theme. As for the wheels they were pretty much the only choice without spending a fortune on Cromadoras, but they seem to suit the car nicely and I went for wide 13" rather than 14" for a more period look. My brother commented that they looked like Scalextric wheels!

This weekend end was spent mostly painting again, but had a couple of set backs when I accidentally dragged a cloth against the drying roof and also marked the boot lid when moving it outside to harden off! I think I can live with the marks on the roof, but the boot lid will need rubbing down and refinishing again. A case of less haste more speed methinks - I was rushing to try and get it finished over the weekend. Anyway, things have still moved forward and everything except the lower rear quarter panels at least have paint on now. I'll let it all settle down for a week before wet sanding with 1500 and polishing. In the mean time I intend to start bolting things back together for the last time.
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Prepping the scuttle panel
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Spiderpoint plastic sill covers save weight and don't rust.
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Sum total of Saturday's yellow painting activities.
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New plastic headlamp bowls - i really didn't fancy cleaning up the old ones and freeing off the adjusters etc.
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Bonnet and roof roughly in place
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35 days and counting.....
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