Saturday, 6 August 2011

Rootes original factory camshaft timing

Its nice to work with the factorys original papers (thanks Bob) its a while since I last did the job,being back in 1972,well the system works and we have compression!

The required setting is some 113 thousands of an inch opening on the number one inlet valve,how do we do that?

The dial gauge is not in postition in this picture.

Back to my roots,or is that Rootes?

Here we are forty years on,the parts are new,amazing!


Quotes from Prince Philp

Said to be  The many many gaffes of Prince Phillip,found by my good friend John Holmes and forwarded by Captain Notty,thanks mates.

It seems to me that Prince Philip was close to the mark on many things.


‘People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.’ In 2000.

‘If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort, provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.’ To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002.

‘All money nowadays seems to be produced with a natural homing instinct for the Treasury.’ Lamenting the rate of British tax in 1963.

‘We go into the red next year. I shall probably have to give up polo.’ On the Royal Family’s finances in 1969.

‘Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.’ Said at the height of the recession in 1981.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Steel fabricated security fencing in Hout Bay and local areas

One engineer who has been doing tooling for other fencing companies has just started manufacture himself,you may want to contact me for a quote,quality is tops!

A picture will be added later.


The water systems thermostdat

This is the forgotton hero in any engines water system,I almost wrote 'Cooling System' but its almost the complete reverse,here is why.

This applies to both petrol and diesel engines and given you probably drive one or the other check your road car for UNDER HEATING next time you drive,the same with the marine diesel engine of course.

Two stainless thermostadts,the real Perkins Power Part is in the 4108 Perkins engine they fit,these are just spares.One is an 87c and the other 88c temperature setting,I fitted an 82c in the engine when I last had reason to check the cooling system.

The temp setting will be stamped on the unit,often on the lower end,just have a look.

We learn as we go along I like to think and some time after launching,I mentioned to a fellow yachtsman,Peter on the Morgan 31 named Pato, that my engine seemed to run fine at a steady 45c or so. Peter commented right away that a marine diesel should run at around 85c to 90c,thats some fifty percent higher than my engine was running at!

I checked the manual,he was correct,I removed the fresh water heat exchanger and found a very old bellows type thermostadt,which was stuck wide open and doing nothing much.

How many time in the past have I seen a really keen sailor call for the engine to be switched off as soon as we were heading down the Duncan Dock after exiting the Small Craft Basin at the RCYC,Cape Town.
Tradition said that sailing was the thing to do and having an engine on was just not proper.In reality they were just killing their (or the owners) very expensive marine diesel engine.

The cause comes from an engine that may have sat some while,the oil may have absorbed moisture,which then has a tendency to form acids,which in turn attacks the bearings.liners and piston rings,running the engine over a decent period,say at least an hour should burn that acid off,switching off the engine when its still cold just starts the road to its ruin.

Running in new and old rebuilt engines?

This can be highlighted in the Perkins 4108 service manual,you can find it in the Cooling pages,they advise that so called Running In of their engines is not required and in fact damage can be done to the rings and cylinders by under using the engine,using too little load.They say further that as soon as water temprature reaches 60c,the engine can be used under full load.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Henry has a bath

Our pet pigeon,Henry is a big lad now,he likes to sunbathe and a bath is just perfect on warmer days.

All oil filters are the same?

I would like to think so but I am sure if we asked around we might find some highs and lows in standards?
some marine diesel engine manufacturers even supply/sell their own brand of oil filters,I can think of Volvo and Perkins as two for now but I would guess they have them made in the same factory as some other brand?

Same size box,same size filter,different branding but both known brands world wide.They are not quite the same shape though.

Still the same? if you left click the picture you will see one main difference,no big deal as its the way the ring of holes are finished but can you spot the other difference?

to be continued,its tea time.

Do you know that one Five Roses tea bag easily makes two mugs of top quality tea!

The filter bases in the picture are not quite the same,whats the issue,they both fit the same engine and will work just as well I have to assume.There is an instruction on box supplied with both brands but its the Purolator brand that asks that we check that the old filter we have removed has not left its oil seal ring gasket on the engine block.Having done this myself many times and on one instance found the old ring and the new filter and new ring was now on the engine. The oil pressure with two rings would probably break the seal and if the engine was not shut down in seconds,ruin the engine bearings.

Purolator have thought this one through,check how the black rubber seal is part trapped in its case groove,this will go some way to ensure the old seal comes off with the old filter but do check each time anyway.

The oil seal on this brand of filter is easy to remove,this is not an issue but its best we check to make sure the old one is not left on the block.

Both manufacturers ask that we smear a coating of oil on the new gasket and hand turn the filter 3/4 to 1 turn to the mounting base,check the dip stick,add oil then run the engine and ensure there is no oil leak.

So self service of our own engines is possible,get stuck in and you will find you will enjoy it!


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Additives in oils?

Given the machinery we have may be quite old, we need to try and use an oil that mimicks what was available when that engine was new, just sticking some new synthetic oil in may not be the right thing to do at all?  Its all to do with more modern engines running at closer tolerances than say two decades ago, machines have become better and the oils have too.

I had an on going discussion with a friend who had his BMW/Hatz 50 diesel rebuilt by the importers and agents, it developed an oil pressure fault on the way to Brasil, he still had the engine running when he arrived in Trinidad but later changed it for a brand new Vetus diesel engine.

There was one issue we never cleared up,he used a product called Slick 50 in the engine.

His woes saw me pick up the phone and ask Shell Oils technical department what adding off the shelf additive  brands to their oils may do?

My call was diverted from Cape Town to Namibia and when the link was lost, I was phoned back, a most impressive service I may say.

The basics were explained, an older engine that had new bearings, sleeves, pistons, the whole show and at some cost, what does adding other than a straight oil such as Shell Rotella do to their oil?  The answer basically said that often while such additives may cure the complaint, they may cause another, so we left it there.

Read this as below,  which my source Dudley Dix sent me  Dudley has a common interest in classic cars, he has a Lotus Europa Mk2 and found this on the Europa web pages.

Disclaimer: This is posted with no warranty of any sort, read it yourself to basically understand how oils have seen manufacturers add to their own oils, then take the additives away.

You need in otherwords to make you own mind up on what oil to use?

The Imp original 875cc engine still runs on the same crank bearings and pistons that Rootes Car Co, Scotland fitted back in 1967, only the pistons rings have been changed.

My 1967 Hillman Imp Californian is using Shells 25W 60  oil for engines with higher mileage and seems to be working really well, good oil pressure and no oil used worth mentioning.

R McBride.

Some clue to the timing of GM's testing might be indicated by the revised

ZDDP levels between SE, SF and SG

1942 -- ZDDP introduced at 300ppm.
1955 -- API MS ZDDP at 800ppm.

In the 1970's there were problems with oxidation causing oil to thicken.
ZDDP is also an anti-oxidant, so ZDDP was increased to...

1971 API SD except GM, ZDDP at 1000ppm.
1971-80 -- API SE,  ZDDP unchanged at 1000ppm
Used by GM 1971-on, but cam/ tappet wear protection
proved inadequate and there was a rash of warranty claims.
1980-88 API SF,  ZDDP increased to 1500ppm

(compensating for an issue ?)

1989-93 API SG & 1993-96 API SH ZDDP 1200ppm.

(issue better ?)

Despite the ZDDP limits noted above, some oils of the day were available
with higher ZDDP levels, like Mobil 1 20W-50, which was 1600ppm ZDDP
(1600phos / 1700zinc). I can't explain the loopholes.
1997-01 API SJ & 2001-04 API SL ZDDP reduced 1000ppm

(back to 1971 level)

2004-now API SM

1) ZDDP 600ppm minimum level set
2) ZDDP reduced to 600-850ppm maximum for FIVE
select SAE 30 weight and lighter oils:.... (0W-20, 5W-20, 0W030, 5W-30 & 10W-30).
3) ZDDP 1200ppm maximum for all other non-selected
 grades. Manufacturers are "allowed" (not mandated)
to use 1200 ZDDP (1200 ppm phos. / 1300 ppm zinc).

The problem with SM is that increasing the ZDDP levels for the non-selected
grades is at the oil company's discretion. Some do, some don't, some go a
little, some go a lot. Many that do offer a higher ZDDP option select a
token viscosity grade instead of doing so across the range. For those SM
oils, the label tells you nothing about how much ZDDP is in the oil. It
can vary from 600ppm to 1200ppm and still be an SM oil. The inconsistency
creates a mine field for owners of vintage and motorsports flat tappet

When API SM was introduced, just about all mainline US oil company brands
and grades dropped to 800 ppm without an announcement. It wasn't until the
public outcry from vintage and motorsports groups that some oil companies
began to bump up ZDDP levels in select viscosity grades. The API SM spec
didn't change, it's still SM. But the way the oil companies chose to work
within the SM rating evolved.


Tim Engel


Back in 1972 when I was racing a Hillman Imp here at Cape Towns Killarney Race Track WPMC.
The engine was a 998cc block with a Rootes Competitions R20 camshaft,it would rev to 8000 rpm easy enough.

We had an issue with oil foaming in the crank case, at the time we put it down to excessive piston blow by, it was going to put us out of the race the next day?

1972 at the Killarney Circuit near Cape Town.

Photo by Eric Wells.

That night I thought my way through the engine, I realised that the engine was in a reasonably sound condition and I then suspected it was a change of oil brand that was the cause.

A more recent 998cc Imp engine that I built.

The next day we drained the sump and re filled with the oil brand we had always used (Duckhams Q 20w50) , the foaming stopped and we did the full race.

Proof even back then that all oils are not the same!


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Oils for diesel engines

This is a subject I find full of interest and one thats a changing subject matter as the years go by,it is of course closely connected to the oil filters and good engine managment and maintainace but all stuff we can handle ourselves with nothing more than dirty hands,plus some oil in the bilges if we forget to use a drop tray.

All top brand oils are acceptable in principal but they are not all the same and should not be mixed if you have the choice,buying to price is not the way to choose but Castrol Oils discount offer on a free 500mm was acceptable to me when I bought this diesel grade oil.

Diesel grade,whats all this about,did you know there was a choice,whats the difference?

The first time I ever noticed was on a new engines oil grade instructions and the fact that normal oils must be changed with the oil filter every 50 hours or once a year but and its a big but,if we use diesel grade oils we can go to 100 hours each year,thats an extra 100% in engine hours!

This subject is complex and I am not going to say much more right now but use diesel oils,and ensure its the right grade for your engine,this Castrol oil is suitable for older engines,it will have more additives in it but some more modern engines will need a less added to oil as they run to closer tollerances,thats my understanding.

This is part two of a paper yacht designer Dudley Dix sent me recently,its about oils and the additives that became common in them over time,after WW2 they added more and more,so the engines were designed around the oils of that time.

Now we see a need for super clean burn engines,so the oils have less and less aditives,should we use so called modern oils we may not be using the correct grades at all.It seems that older engines say mid sixties to eighties may have had oils with ZDDP additives as high a 1500 parts per million,thats high by todays standards?

Note,this is from a USA based Lotus Europa forum,if I can find the first one I will post it soon.

I'd like to re-itterate my concern over 10W30. It's one of the five

mandated low ZDDP oil grades under API SL, SM and SN. If you use an old
API grade like SH or SJ, or if you buy a specific high performance brand
like Redline, or certain street-capable Racing Oils, then 10W30 may have
adequate ZDDP. But if you're just walking up to the oil shelf at the
parts store and grabbing a quart of 10W30, the chances are high that it
will contain only 600-850ppm if it's SM, and less if it's SN (700ppm ?).
Don't put that panty-waist oil in your Europa.

More on this and running tempratures in the next related engine blog to follow.


Ians birthday present

Was as things turned out a Cape Cutter 19 that he had bought from us as a CNC kit,we shipped it down to Picton on New Zealands South Island and Ian assembled it himself to a very high standard.

The investment in funds and time certainally pay back dividends when scenes like these are captured on camera,plus of course the boats value will always increase as time goes by.

Ian and Paula enjoying their day in the bay in Picton.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Self Service Department,changing oil filters

This is a small item that protects your engine,the low cost of such an item against the high cost of what it protects should always be remembered,in service the filter and the oils we use are a main part to the long life of the boats engine.

A Purolator ML 14670 filter suitable for the Perkins 4108 marine diesel engine.

A new filter,this one fits the Perkins 4108 range of diesel engines,the lable says Marine,what this means I am not sure,a filter is a filter,it may be a better grade of paint? Purolator filters are high grade and were the original equipment item on the BMW/Hatz marine diesel when they came out.

If I ever designed an engines layout I would invert this filter position,is this done to ensure the oil does not escape from the oil gallery? If yours is like this,take note,the filter should have a none return valve inside the filter,this is to mkae certain the oil is there on start up.

The BMW/Hatz has the filter in the same position,it also has a filter with the none return valve,the Alfa Sud and VW Golf diesel engine filter will fit,in the case of the VW,after production and the release of the engine in use of commercial vans,it was noted some were knocking out crank bearings,they tracked this down to a constant Stop Start driving routine,then found the filter specified did not have a none return valve,changing the filter to one with a none return valve fixed the problem.

Note: The BMW/Hatz diesel has a filter with a 14mm thread,there were  none to be found in Brasil when we went there twenty years back,so take some spares if you decide to cruise there.

Left click the picture,you should see a black rubber in the eight smaller holes,this is the none return flap,some filters use an internal spring instead.


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sort of Classic

This is not one of our designs as kits but I can advise we do have a 26ft to 28ft classic design being worked on right now,it may end up as a gaff rigged boat but this will be flexible.

The design brief is simple,take a stock plan,then turn it around to suit the classic yacht regattas,in this case the Antigua Annual Classic Regatta,is that name correct?


Self Service Department

At any time saving money makes sense but by doing your own engine services your also becoming to know the engine and its parts a lot better.Acess and a clean engine is vital,not always the case on some boats,the older ones seem to be a case in point,with the engine stuck in an impossible out of the way space.
Remember oils and filters are really cheap,engines are not!

A Perkins 4106 46 hp diesel,its quite old and has over 1800 hours on the clock but runs well and is kept clean by a regular degrease and wash once a year.Thats a good place to start,you need a water soluable cleaner,apply with a brush,removing all dirt and surface oils.Do not apply to the alternator!

Gearbox filters require changing less frequently than engine filters,check the owners manual for details.

This filter serves the gearbox,which on this engine is a Henry Meadows made box,Kevin still refurbs them and can supply new ones,he is at Waybridge,Surrey in England,he trades as TMP,check his web site out for some very specific information on these gearboxes.

The Henry Meadows gear box,Kevin can make a bellhousing to suit many engines.The output shaft is from the lower reduction box.

Note if you have a Henry Meadows gear box and it has a lower reduction gear attatched,please note that the main gear box,which has a dip stick has an oil gallery seperate to the lower reduction box,checking the main box does not check the reduction box,there is a filler opening lower down and a side plug thats removed when filling up,as oil comes out of the side plug,the level is correct.Replace the plug etc.

Oil,the Henry Meadows box and its lower reduction box run on 20 grade oils,probably one your not going to find,TMPs web pages say that a standard 20W50 grade is acceptable in this case.

Every owner should keep a log book specific to each engine,a list of spare parts too,I assume you carry spares,at least a fan belt,raw water impellor,diesel fuel and oil filters,etc.
As an addition to the log book and by way of not kidding ourselves a service is due,write the date when you last fitted a filter and put the engine hours on it too.If your engine has no hour meter buy one!

The same engine showing the oil filter that cleans the engines diesel grade oil,note the inverted position,if your engine has a filter in this position,there are things you need to know about filters. (check the next blog)


Mike Monks Impudence,part two.

We had a team,Ian Shaw,Dave Hassell  and myself as the owner driver,Ian was the technical guy,he was in electronics,the company he worked for were in Somerset Road,I remember they had a star welder,it was he who made the water systems Swirl Pot,it was also he who welded with a gas torch the tear in the cars body were the rear suspension fitted.Talk about being good,he could weld like some can sew with a needle and cotton.

Dave was I suppose the Spanner Man but in reality we all mucked in and helped each other,shortage of the folding stuff was a norm and help from various other teams was handy,thats were we got the Dunlop Race tyres,which I have to say made the car very handy,both in handling but also made the gear ratios more acceptable.

Help came from other soutces too,it was Jeff Parsons who worked for the Willie Meisener race team who got me an official works purchase order for a pair of Weber dcoe 40 carburetors,we were talking about a 25% discount I think,the agents were Speedy Spares,Bree Street,it was Ken who supplied me,
Central Boating now occupy the same premises.

The main parts came from the Rootes Competitions Department back in the UK,it may have been Marcus Chambers who was in charge back then,or had Des O Dell then taken over? Buying from the UK was really easy,the mail service with the Union Castle Steam Ship Line was regular,payment was a snip,just go to your local South African Post Office and buy Postal Orders in Pounds Sterling! With the exchange rate back then at an easy two Rands to one Pound we were rich back then,what happened?

I brought in the R20 race camshaft,a Lucas race distributor,a set of three special alloy fan belt pulleys,competition drive shafts and rubber couplers,plus the 998cc pistons and liners,they supplied the Janspeed full race inlet and exhaust manifolds too.All off the shelf from the Rootes Comps Dept,they had very little support from the factory it seems and orders like my own went to make profit to support the main factory team,how times have changed.

Mike Monk,what happened to him? well I saw him a few times after his story was published and he did get a permanent job as a writer at Technicar Magazine,then when Car magazine bought Technicar out,Mike joined the staff of Car magazine and last I heard he was still there!