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LewisH last won the day on June 21

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    Lewis Harman

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Wheely good builder!

Wheely good builder! (4/6)



  1. Block has been re-bored +1mm, new mahle pistons to suit, reused the con rods. Crank ground .5 mains & .25 big ends, put it all together yesterday but something isn't right. The pistons are still sitting 1.5mm below top of block when at top of stroke. I've tried contacting the company that did the work but discovered they have since closed the doors and gone under! Having spent nearly £2k on this so far, feeling a tad frustrated to say the least. My understanding is that the low compression engines had pistons sitting 1.5mm below block and standard were .5mm below. Can anyone confirm this? I was hoping to achieve 10.1 compression ratio, but with pistons sitting this low, I understand that this won't be possible. Question is, what should I do now? Skim the block face 1mm? Change rods to YB type? Buy another set of pistons? Not really sure which one is going to be the best option, considering cost and feasibility. Any advice much appreciated. Pics below of pistons at top and also side by side comparison of new vs old pistons.
  2. LewisH


    Yes 42mm. I have installed mine in the nose cone at an angle with the top of the rad tilted back towards the engine. I don't have a header tank, just a bottle connected to the rad top for expansion. If you are doing this you need to make sure that the top of the rad is higher than the bottom of the cylinder head. I have also fitted an electric fan on the rear of the rad, just enough room here. To mount the rad I used some hinges attached to the top of rad to the front of the chassis, this allowed me to set the angle that I wanted without having to make a bracket to suit the angle. For the bottom rad mounts I used some threaded rods on either side, again, this allowed me to adjust the angle to suit the space. Then I used some thin aluminium sheet to block around the sides and underneath the rad so that all if the air is pushed through the rad and over the top into the engine bay. I don't have any overheating issues. Just got back from a long drive in 20+deg heat, sat in traffic no problem. If you need more info or pictures let me know.
  3. OK so I've connected it up correctly now but when the sender float is at the bottom it is reading 1/4 tank, when it is at top it reads full, but anywhere in between it shows empty. Have I got a faulty sender unit or am I still doing something wrong?
  4. I have reused the bearing from the old RH setup for now, but I'm not convinced that this is the correct type of bearing to be used for this due to the type of load it is taking. Pic below of the bearing, is this a thrust bearing? It's just the spring seat that is adjustable.
  5. For any other Exmo owners that are interested, please see below the drawing for the struts. They were £300 for the pair of dampers, £50 for a pair of springs and £15 delivery + VAT £438. Forgot to mention above that they are also adjustable so we can play around with ride height and spring loads.
  6. Tried to get the car running today and found my old sender unit had failed and now has a hole in the pipe as a weld had broken. I have a replacement sender unit but the wiring connection is different. My old type had a three pin plug, but the new type only has earth & stud for level sensor (same type you can but from kit spares). One of the three pins on the old type was a positive feed, which I assume is no longer needed, the other two I assume are level sensor and low fuel warning light? I have tried connecting the sender new unit to earth and on the main sensor stud I have connected each of the two wires in turn from the old wiring but no joy. I have 12v feed to my gauge, and don't really want to run a new wire from this to the sender unit...can anyone advise what I need to do here?
  7. Good news! These arrived this afternoon from DamperTech. Have fitted one of them, looks good, fits but the spring is a tight fit under the buttress...as expected. I've also added a 10mm thick rubber ring that is fitting between the spring top mount and underside of the chassis. Wasn't happy with the ride on the previous spring/damper and seemed crazy to have a spring in direct contact with the chassis. Every mcpherson strut you look at has a rubber mount of some sort, haven't figured out a way of encasing the bearing in rubber yet, but this will hopefully be an improvement nonetheless. I'll fit the other one tomorrow and hopefully that'll be me back on the road again after a couple of months...fingers crossed!
  8. OK thanks. ARP bolts it is then
  9. Plugs, gaskets, seals and bearings all arrived today...dropping the block off re-bore tomorrow. The rods that came out of the block have F cast into them, not sure if that helps identify them?
  10. Great info, thanks. Funnily enough I stumbled across the penguin motors channel earlier this week, went down a bit of a rabbit hole for an evening, very interesting stuff. Sounds like my best bet is to go for minimal re-bore, up to 91mm perhaps? allowing me to upgrade to HC pistons, re-use the standard rods and then save the rest of the dosh for a vulcan head? No idea on what they cost though...I'll give them a shout. Had a quote earlier from my local engine rebuild specialist for re-bore and HC pistons 91mm @ £370. Sound reasonable?
  11. After closer inspection, I have found that the engine I have bought is most likely a low compression version as it has NAT inscribed on the bell housing casting. I believe this means that it is from a transit and therefore has a compression ratio of 8.2:1. My question is, what is required in order to raise compression up to the standard 9.2:1 or higher? It is a 205 block, unleaded head so is it just a case of fitting HC pistons and rods from the standard 2.0 pinto? Does the head also need bigger valves? I have a 2.8 cologne engine also sat in the garage, I heard that the pistons from these can be used if I re-bore to 2.1? Can I use these with the standard cologne rods and just bolt onto the pinto crank after re-bore? or do I need to just buy new pistons & rods? Thankfully the engine was cheap and came with ZX6R carbs.
  12. Thanks all. Yes cam was 180deg out, also set it on the exhaust stroke rather than compression which didn't help. Set it up correctly this afternoon and sounds great, tappets were also badly in need of adjustment which has also helped massively. Never realised how noisy it was before until now. Glad I experimented on the 185 first!
  13. Hi all, I currently have a 185 block pinto with a fast road cam (not sure on exact cam make or model), I am also reconditioning a 205 block pinto, which will also have an uprated cam. In order to perfect the cam timing, I thought I'd get a DTI guage and experiment on the 185 block. It's currently installed I'm the Exmo so access isn't great, but doable. So I started with reading up on the several threads on here and other forums, found that the overlap method of working out the correct inlet cam lift was best. I am now a bit confused, because in it's current setup at TDC, both inlet & exhaust valves are closed...is this right? The car starts and runs OK. If I set the inlet valve on no1 cylinder full lift @ 108 deg ATDC the engine won't start and spits the fuel out of the carb rather than drawing in. Obviously this is wrong, but not sure what I am doing wrong. I am measuring the valve lift from the spring retainer top, is this right? When setting the valve lift, do I measure this from valve fully open or fully closed? I've ordered the Des Hammil tuning guide but currently out of stock, any advice in the meantime would be much appreciated.
  14. LewisH


    I got one of these, very happy with it. https://www.coolexperts.co.uk/product/ford-cortina-ohc-lotus-7-aluminium-race-radiator-uk-made/
  15. Thanks for all the info, very helpful. The ports have a sharp edge so must be a standard head, so I'll look at getting some head work done to improve gas flow. I've seen this priced at around £400 by pinto 'specialists' online, does this sound about right? I don't have a bucket of money to spend, especially as we now have our first rugrat on the way, but I'd like to eek out as much as possible from this engine before it goes into the car. Is it worth going up to 2.1? I was thinking of doing a basic refresh (bearings and seals), porting the head and fitting an uprated camshaft. Engine came with ZX6R carbs and manifold but running on luminition. Hoping to keep the spend under 1k.
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