Monday, 28 April 2008

More blasphemy ...

As I have a week off from work, and it was raining cats ‘n’ dogs today, I thought it a good idea to do some more measurements on the Duratec engine. Main target was to find out where the problems will arise. First thing to check was if it was possible to mount the strut brace across with the engine on top of the steering rack. Not really although the left hand side of the cam cover has room to spare;

If I can find a cover that has the same height on the RH side as on the LH side it won’t be problem. A quick browse on the internet came up with this rather nice and low cover for the Duratec engine. Of course this kind of stuff has its price!

Another problem area is the steering rack. Especially were the steering column joins the rack. If the engine is placed in the middle of the car it will clash with the lower steering column U-joint. This can be solved by placing the engine higher in the car, but will give problems with bonnet and (maybe) gearbox. And moving the steering rack is of course not done as it will alter the steering geometry and thus resulting in problems like bump steer. So I think the solution will be a combination of three options;

Placing the engine behind the steering rack and slightly off centre to the right;

Removing some excessive metal from the sump and the block (might even search for another sump);

To get it back as far as possible I do need to cut a few bits from the car. Most important one is the bracket for the bonnet catch. As the bonnet catch can’t be used with this engine that won’t be much of a problem. It might also be necessary to make a (small) recess in the bulkhead to create clearance for the water rail. Here the heater that sits directly behind the bulkhead might give some problems.

But the biggest challenge will probably be created by the enormous amount of room on both sides of the engine. What will be the best way to fabricate some decent engine mounts? Still some way to go before they’re ready.

As in the current situation it is impossible to place the engine correctly in the engine bay I have decided to start on another project. As I need to get rid of one of my body shells I think it will be a good idea to first use it as a jig, to determine where and how the engine can be placed, before I cut it up! I can remove material from the bulk head where needed making fitting a lot easier. So next job will be to put a sub frame, steering rack and heater in this shell and work from there;

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