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Simple engine mods...

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  • Simple engine mods...

    Evenin' all..

    Having consulted SBD and been offered several thousand pounds worth of kit to radically upgrade my 16v GTE race car, I'm after some more considered, (and less self-interested) input from you guys regarding engine mods for these cars if you'd be so kind.

    Mine currently has (as far as I can tell) a completely standard red top in it. The performance is pretty excellent frankly, but I know these engines can be upgraded relatively easily and I'd like to get a bit more out of it if possible. I don't mind spending some money on the right bits, but I'd like to do it knowing that I'm not going to be screwing up what has been a fantastically reliable race engine to date (20 races, 4 of which were 30 minutes of flat out racing at Silverstone GP and Spa Francorchamp, without missing a beat). I'm a big fan of leaving things OE wherever possible (there's always a good reason why the manufacturer did things the way they did) and to have a race car that behaves itself like a road car is a big plus believe me. My rivals are sometimes a few tenths quicker, but I regularly find myself passing their steaming wrecks later on in the race!

    So, what I'm after is 'fast road' mods that are proven to get a bit more out of it without introducing vastly more stress to the engine or ancillaries. A modest 10 bhp increase would be just fine.

    What's worth a try boys?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    Re: Simple engine mods...

    Gains can be had by using a exhaust manifold with larger primaries. I think the SBD A and C allow this.

    My current XE has piper cams 'fast road' I think, again with the standard lifters etc I believe. This recorded 138bhp at the hubs (where my previously owned GTE now using a SBD manifold and pretty much standard else where recorded less - low 130's IIRC).


    • #3
      Re: Simple engine mods...

      Having done some tuning myself (albeit on an 8v, but the principles are the same) I would go for standalone management and ditch the airflow meter as my first tuning step. This will net you at the very least 10BHP and gives you further scope should you start with mechanical mods. Also the manifold suggested by James is a good way to go.


      • #4
        Re: Simple engine mods...

        hmmm.. this is the kind of stuff I'm after. Thanks for the advice.

        Richie, the standalone management, forgive me but I guess this means that the ECU is replaced by something that doesn't require any sensors/inputs? i.e. it just delivers a map to the injectors and plugs according to its own programme 'blind'. Can you point me toward a suitable system currently available?

        Thanks for your help guys.


        • #5
          Re: Simple engine mods...

          Good advice so far. For your engine I would think a good list of bits for more power and reliability retention would be:
          • Aftermarket ECU and management(as richie said-get rid of the AFM system).
          • Exhaust Manifold
          • ARP Rod bolts and fresh bearings (then you can safely raise the rev limit)

          As it's a race engine I would upgrade the standard sintered oil pump inner gear too, it's a known failure. SBD sell these £90ish, and a GM new outer gear supplied through them is £25ish. Fast road cams are a waste of time/money until you get to 200-220bhp as the standard head will flow well enough until then.

          I can understand why you would want other opinions but all in all SBD offer a quality service and product's for XE tuning, even if it is expensive. I've ordered lots from them now and I've never had a single problem.


          • #6
            Re: Simple engine mods...

            Thanks Kev. Yes, I don't doubt SBD's knowledge and the quality of their stuff, I was just looking for an incremental approach rather than the radical rebuild they only seemed interested in selling me.

            That list sounds very sensible. Ta!


            • #7
              Re: Simple engine mods...

              Standalone management uses some existing sensors and maybe some new ones, aftermarket management may have been a better term to use.


              • #8
                Re: Simple engine mods...

                If they hadn't already been done then getting the injectors cleaned will potentially restore some missing factory horses.


                • #9
                  Re: Simple engine mods...

                  Originally posted by Gander View Post
                  If they hadn't already been done then getting the injectors cleaned will potentially restore some missing factory horses.
                  True to a degree, but I'd flow check them first. There's no point in paying to have them cleaned if they don't need it.


                  • #10
                    Re: Simple engine mods...

                    Still a good idea. I got some reconditioned (and flow tested) ones last year when I thought I had injector trouble... turned out to be the electrical connectors were missing their spring clips and the whole plastic conduit had lifted up and away from the injectors. Didn't notice it until I had the injector rail half off.. which was really the first time I'd had to remove anything from the engine since I'd bought and raced the car for the previous year or so. I'm loathed to do much to it at all to be honest, its just such a good unit as it is.


                    • #11
                      Re: Simple engine mods...

                      Tom - if you want to do some back to back RR testing then you're welcome to borrow my Walden (Clark Motorsport) manifold and exhaust, and another manifold I have (possibly Magnex), and the set of green injectors I have lying around, to see if there's any differences to be had.

                      Although you're a good way away from me, there's a good RR near here - Steve Greenald's place - and I'd be happy to give you a hand with swaps if the timing is right.

                      Agree with you about SBD - whenever I've spoken to them I've had the feeling that they're up for the hard sell, especially when I had a set of their old NSCC XE cams, and all they wanted to do was sell me random bits instead of tell me what upgrades an engine needd to run them effectively. Nice guys in person, though - met a couple of them with a demo Lo-Cater-Field at Steve's place.


                      • #12
                        Re: Simple engine mods...

                        Having blown up our QED built engine, I put (as a stop gap initially, but 2 years later it is still there delivering the goods) a standard XE engine in the car with the following:
                        ARP rod bolts
                        Uprated exhaust manifold - I think it is a Janspeed unit
                        Jenvey direct-to-head throttle bodies
                        DTA management
                        It was a second-hand engine from the UK - there was no porting, port matching,cams,pistons or anything else. In fact the only thing I did to it was change the rod bolt and timing belt (good thing because it was timed wrong).I was able to do times very close (within a second or two) of what I got out of the QED engine. Also I deliberately set the shift light to 7000rpm and tried to stick to it. Basically it was an engine that went like the clappers from idle to redline.


                        • #13
                          Re: Simple engine mods...

                          Tim - Cheers mate! that sounds like it could be a good afternoons fun... I'd like to know what its delivering as it is, so I might well take you up on that sometime in the summer. Will let you know. Thankyou again. Will also give you a bell sometime soon for a catch up etc.. in the meantime empty a can of WD40 over your racer and get your entry in for Cadwell. ;-)

                          Kickastra - Nice story. Certainly confirms the validity other advice given in this thread. I could go some way to a similar set up, but my series prohibits aftermarket throttle bodies.


                          • #14
                            Re: Simple engine mods...

                            Question is then, what are you allowed to change/modify??


                            • #15
                              Re: Simple engine mods...

                              These are the engine regs:

                              5.7 Engine:
                              5.7.1 The engine must be located in the original position.
                              5.7.2 The original standard production cylinder block may be used or an alternative
                              manufactured by the same manufacturer to the original production specification including
                              but not limited to material, bore, number of main bearings and number of main bearing
                              fasteners must be used and may be re-bored up to a maximum of plus 0.065".
                              5.7.3 The cylinder head(s) must be the standard production component or an alternative
                              manufactured by the same manufacturer as the original production component to original
                              production specification including but not limited to material, number of valves, ports and
                              plugs, same plug angle, valve angle/port configuration and operating type and fixed
                              directly onto the original standard production cylinder block without modification.
                              5.7.4 The crankshaft is free, but the original stroke and number of bearings must be retained.
                              5.7.5 Camshafts, camshaft bearings and drive systems are free, provided that they remain in
                              their original positions and remain the sole means of operating the valves.
                              5.7.6 Induction.
                              Fuel Injection is only permitted if fitted in production prior to 1st January 1994. If this
                              system is retained the method of triggering and operation should remain as fitted in
                              production or homologated for Appendix J Group N. The plenum chamber is free but the
                              number of throttles must not exceed the number fitted in production or homologated
                              before 1st January 1994. The fuel injectors must be in the original location and must not
                              exceed the original number fitted in production or homologated before 1st January 1994.
                              For clarity, this means that aftermarket throttle bodies are prohibited.
                              Air filter and air filter box may be removed and air ducting/trunking is free provided it does
                              not extend beyond the periphery of the bodywork. Anti surge pipes are permitted as also
                              are return pipes from the carburettor/injection system.
                              5.7.7 Radiators are free but must remain in their original location.
                              5.7.8 Oil coolers and additional water radiators are permitted provided they are located within
                              the periphery of the bodywork.
                              5.7.9 The exhaust system is free subject to MSA requirements.
                              5.7.10 Dry sump systems are prohibited. Wet sumps may be increased in volume, baffled and/or
                              gated to provide protection from oil starvation or surge.
                              5.7.11 The ignition system is free, however the firing order must not be changed.
                              5.7.12 Forced induction is not permitted unless fitted in production before 1st January 1994.
                              Boost pressure must not be adjustable from within the habitacle. When fitting of a
                              turbocharger is permitted by these Regulations it shall be the standard production or
                              homologated component and must not be modified save for the fitting of a 360 degree
                              thrust bearing to improve reliability. The boost pressure setting is free. Intercoolers may
                              only be fitted if used in production and must be the standard production unit or one which
                              exactly matches the volume of the Ford Sierra 4x4 intercooler (part number tba.)
                              The organisers reserve the right to introduce or modify the size of intake restrictors,
                              and/or intercooler requirements for forced induction engines.
                              5.7.13 Inlet and exhaust manifolds are free.
                              5.7.14 It is permissible to remove metal from original cylinder blocks and heads.