Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It runs!

On Saturday afternoon I connected the battery from my Focus to the Riot's using jump leads. After a quick systems check I tried to start it. It did manage to start eventually but only on 2 and 3. I quick check using an old spark plug confirmed there was no spark on 1 and 4. I traced the problem back to the ECU connector where pin 25 had come adrift. I refitted and connector and tried again. This time 4 cylinders! There were 2 problems, no lambda output and no ICAV so I had to keep the engine running by opening the throttle. I called it a day as I had to get back to the house in order to prepare for a manic choir weekend!

Bank holiday Monday saw me back in the workshop for a couple of hours. I started the engine again and got it up to temperature. I wondered why the fan did not cut in? I does help if it is connected! This time with the fan connected, I let the engine get up to temp and to my relief, the fan did its job. While I was at the front of the car I finished the headlight wiring.

Back to the ICAV problem. I went to the idle control screen and confirmed that 2 wire PWM was configured. On saving the config the valve sprang into life making a huge racket! The default frequency was set to 40Hz. I upped this to 240Hz and it quietened down and the engine idled with no intervention from me.

I buzzed through all the connections for the lambda sensor. Everything was ok. Must be a duff sensor. I'm not too upset as this seems to be the only problem with the engine. I plan to replace it with a wideband sensor from Innovate . This will allow me to do adaptive mapping.

With the car running, I had to take it out for a spin! For the first time it moved under its own steam.

I am well pleased (116).

Next jobs, fit the cycle wings and finish wiring the lights.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just returned from a fantastic weekend in Lincolnshire. We stayed with Jeremy and his family. The weather was extremely variable but we managed to find a dry spell to take the Riot out for a spin. It was the first time Sarah had experienced such a car. I drove first. I could tell she was a bit nervous. However things changed when we swapped seats. By the end of her drive, she was obviously enjoying the performance and grip of this fantastic little car.

Yesterday we went to the Sylva factory. I was very interested to see the new rear uprights Jeremy has had made for the Riot. They are fabricated in steel and use the Mk4 Fiesta bearing pack. Jeremy has moved the lower pickup points to allow the fitment of 13" wheels. The geometry has been changed to reduce scrub radius. In conjunction with new rear uprights, the front uprights are being changed to Triumph. This may seem a strange decision but they are proven, light and have good geometry; a much better proposition than the heavy, geometrically challenged Sierra alternative. Upper rocker arms will be retained. The lower wishbone will use a spherical rod end bearing instead of the traditional trunion.

These changes will allow Sylva to build a car with completely new components; no more dependency on ancient Capri / Escort / Mk2 Fiesta components. Also the use of Mk4 Fiesta driveshafts, bearings, hubs wheels and tyres means that a single donor kit is closer to reality.

Componenets that could be used from a single Fiesta 4 /5 Zetec donor:

Engine incl injection and all ancills, exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, wiring loom, ECU
Gearbox, driveshafts(modified?) and rear hubs
Fuel pump
Throttle, brake and clutch pedals
Clutch master cylinder
Wheels and tyres
Steering column (under investigation currently Sierra)

An excellent weekend. Many thanks to Jeremy, Stella and the rest of the family for being so hospitable.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Saturday was exciting! My Focus needed new tyres. Off I went to Micheldever Tyres and had 4 Toyos fitted in place of my trusty Michelin Pilots . I can no longer justify buying premium tyres as I don't do the mileage anymore. Whilst the wheels were off, it was obvious that I had no rear pads and the rear discs were very thin. This is strange as in the cars 83,000 miles, it has gone through 2 sets of rear pads and discs and one set of fronts. On Monday I had the car MOTd and new brakes fitted. A very expensive weekend!

I did manage some time in the workshop. The plan was to finish the ECU wiring, remove the plugs and spin the engine over to get some oil pressure. The wiring went ok. I had to make a judgement regarding the coil. The Haynes manual states that black / green = 1 & 4 and black / orange = 2 & 3. However on the coil connector, the black / green wire enters the coil pack next to the posts for 2 & 3 and black / orange 1 & 4. I went with my instinct assuming the Haynes manual incorrect.

Next job was the oil pressure sensor. This is located in a very awkward place just below the inlet manifold. As luck would have it, the original sensor was not screwed in very tightly and I removed it with mole grips. I have a combined VDO oil pressure sensor and warning light switch. It is impossible to get a spanner on the sensor to tighten it. So I coated the thread with Loctite lock 'n' seal and used the same mole grips to tighten.

With the ECU wiring complete and the dash connected, I verified that the guages and warning lights all worked. They did. I then pulled off the HT leads from the spark plugs in order to remove them. This is when my day did not go to plan! The chamber in the head where the plugs are located was full of rusty water! I spent the next couple of hours removing the O/S engine cover and cam cover and carefully removing the water and cleaning the head. I then removed the plugs. Luckily they came out easily even though they had been submerged for over a year! A final clean and I poured fresh oil on the cams and replaced the cam cover. I checked the oil level and with great trepidation I turned on the ignition, the oil pressure and alternator warning lights came on. Good start. I then pressed the starter button. After about 5 seconds of cranking, the oil light went out and pressure registered on the gauge. Result

Next I connected the ECU. I wanted to attach a laptop to it so I could calibrate the TPS and CLT sensors. The Emerald software is for Windows however my laptops are both Macs. To make matters worse, the ECU requires an RS232 serial port, my Macs only have USB. One of my laptops has VMware Fusion installed. I was sure this was not going to work but it did! I installed a serial to USB converter and the Emerald software and connected to the ECU. The first thing I did was backup the installed map. I then calibrated the CLT sensor as I'm using the OEM Ford one. To my relief, both air and coolant temp sensors read 15 degrees. I then calibrated the TPS. I was glad I had connected it the right way round! I then turned the engine over. RPM was being registered so I've got the CPS right too.

I installed a new set of plugs and called it a day.

Next time I'll finish the cooling plumbing and put some fuel in the tank and go for a start!