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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car's just come out of Mike's workshop (a few interesting little modifications done ...), but he informed me that the radiator was shot (you should've seen the state of it - 3 1/2 years old and disintegrating ...). Replaced with a bigger one, and this has resulted in a water temperature drop of just over one notch on the gauge. Excellent. The oil takes a little longer to warm up though! (but he's working on something to regulate the oil temperature a little better too ...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Andy, did you ever get a set of Mike's adjustable rear tie-bars? I did ... lay on that camber!! (Finally) got it dropped and the shockers put on it too. B1oody marvellous! Nailed to the road.
 

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I'm sure that Mike knows what he is doing with this larger radiator, but I am a little concerned, as it doesn't make too much sense to me.

Here's why: HGF.

The most plausible theory regarding gasket failures is thermal shocks and thermal cycling - basically as the thermostat opens as the engine coolant circulation heats up, a slug of cold water from the rad is dumped into the small-volume engine circuit, dramatically dropping coolant temperature. As the head has more water ways than the block, the head cools faster, resulting in movement of the head versus block, damaging the frail rubber beading on the gasket, and possibly also causing stress on the fire seals.

A larger radiator will further increase the volume of the rad circuit relative to the engine circuit.

I doubt that the %age increase of the rad circuit will seriously jepordise your head gasket, but then it isn't going to help either. Given that the engine in our climate really doesn't have a problem with cooling, why has Mike gone to the trouble of making a new, larger radiator? Is he aware of a problem that we aren't?

Regarding the oil cooling - I wonder if Mike is investing the oil-water cooling route? This is something that Simon Scutham has pioneered to good effect on his racing Elise. I had a picture of it somewhere and can't find it - but this seems to be a much more superior solution to the MGR oil-air cooler arrangement used on the MGF Cup cars.

So Andy, you are going to go for the VVC engine that Mike's been working on? Excellent! :) I look forward to hearing your impressions mate! :D This system could be a big seller - especially to Elise 111S owners.
 
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OT - Scuffham is pretty fast in his Elise. Just found his homepage , but looks as though he hasn't updated it for a while.

Frequented the Elise Newsgroup (when I had an Elise), before the likes of Jonny5 setup Bookatrak and Marcus - Easytrack. He used to sound off quite a bit. Can handle his Elise when it works though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I hear what you're saying Rob, but given that the overall engine temperature is cooler to start with, the larger volume of cool(er) water from the bigger rad should be offset reasonably well. Time will tell I suppose. But then again, if it does go, it's a perfect opportunity to get the head done isn't it?! :D

If yourself and Andy haven't checked your radiator out, I would, given that your cars are older than mine. Your radiator could well well be in a state. Mike had done 4 that week when mine went in. I though mine was shot to hell when I saw it, but then I saw the others ...

You're also spot-on with the oil-water cooling. Seems pretty logical to me - a simple way of bringing the oil up to temperature faster, whilst regulating its temperature better as well. The other benefit is of course that there are no 6ft oil pipes going to a cooler up-front. I've seen the prototype and it looks pretty good. There will be one on my shopping list when there are some proper units (no timescales unfortunately).

I'll be first on the list for the VVC head-job when the high-lift cams are available (no point in doing things in half measures ...). Expect about 180bhp. If you really want to know (from Mike's price list, Jan2002, E&OE) ...

VVC Stage 1
Involves reworking ports and throat and standard valves (31.5mm inlet, 27.5mm exhaust) to gain substantial extra airflow through the head. All valves & seats are re-cut and new stem selas and cam seals are fitted. Fitted £850.00 + VAT

VVC Stage 2
As stage 1 but with larger diameter forged stainless one-piece valves (32.5mm inlet, 28.3mm exhaust) with additional reworking of the combustion chamber and valve throats. Fitted £1160.00 + VAT

VVC Stage 3
As stage 2 but with a higher lift exhaust cam (10.2mm lift), comp valve springs, solid lifters and port matching of inlet manifold and exhaust manifold. Looking somewhere in the region of £2K + VAT


He's also been talking about super-high lift cams with some ludicrously high lift (~11mm) - not sure if it'll fit though.

I know he's done a VVC to Stage 1. Didn't see it though - it was a customer car so I wouldn't have been able to drive it anyway, but I did drive the MPi anthracite demonstrator (the one with the F-One kit - isn't on the car anymore though). It was really fast, and he'd only put about 4 hours work into the head (usually it's about 8-9 hours to finish it to usual standards).
 

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Jerry, I've not seen Simon race, but have no doubt that he's good. Last time I spoke to him he was still looking for sponsors... I agree, his homepage is antiquated, but there are other pages that aren't linked to the old homepage - but I'm not sure of their URLs. :(

The oil-water coolers seem to work very well - with excellent temperature control from Simon's experiments - but the prerequisite of cooling your oil in this way is an adequate water cooling system (in this context, the larger water rad starts to make more sense! ;) ). By adequate I mean, in addition to cooling, a stable coolant temperature, otherwise the temperature oscillations in the head/block may be exacerbated...

If this is a route that you are intent in following (and a very sensible one IMO) then get Mike to modify the cooling circuit as Carl has outlined on Dieter's web page http://www.mgfcar.de/thermostat/Water_System_Mods.htm

Thanks for the heads up on the radiator Andy - but mine has already failed and been replaced !

Interesting details with the new VVC cams. So the new grind is just on lift and not timing? I'd have thought that there was an opportunity to make a real 'VTEC-alike' with the secondary cams... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting stuff ... I'm sure Mike hasn't seen that so I've forwarded the URL to him for comment, but that looks like a really sensible way to get the temperatures stable. Do you know if MGR have implemented anything like this on the TF?

I really must take the time to go through Dieter's site more thoroughly (could take a while though ...).

I hoped you'd already had a replacement rad - if not, I think it would probably have fallen apart by now!!
 

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>>Do you know if MGR have implemented anything like this on the TF? <<

No, sadly not Andy. MGR have relied entirely on the modified gasket and head-block locator dowels.

It'll be interesting to hear what Mike's thoughts are on Simon's/Carl's cooling mods. Certainly, experience has shown them to the highly sucessful on Simon's race-prepared car. Carl is planning some thermal-monitoring experiments on his mod over the summer.

If I get time, I intend to replicate this mod too, and perhaps test it out at Bruntingthorpe. :)

You can't get too much confirmatory data!

BTW, reading the specs again Andy, I see that the modification is restricted only to the exhaust cam. Interesting.

I'm no VVC expert, so I wonder whether altering inlet timing/lift is feasible? I guess that's a naive question: if it were that easy, someone would have done it already!!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's the current spec with (I believe) a piper cam. I know he's working on some bespoke VVC cam designs as well though.

It's possible to do the VVC - apparently when MGR was controlled from Munich, the official like was "Can't do it on a VVC". Now the line is somewhat different. There's also the old perception of "Very Very Complicated".

Next time I see him I'll try and get all the gory details.
 

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Very interesting story this Andy :)

I've just been chatting to Dave Andrews on the Elise Technical BBS about this very subject.

It seems that Piper had been investigating new inlet cam durations and timings some while back (I seem to have a vague recollection of rumours about this some four years ago?). Apparantly they chatted to some Rover Powertrain technical chaps, 'off the record'. The Powertrain men made it clear that they felt that altering the cam lift velocities could put the whole mechanism beyond the operating envelope - leading to an unacceptably high probability of premature breakage of the mechanism, and annihilation of the engine. :(

Apparently, Dave has seen wholesale VVC mechanism failure, independent of cam bolt failure that we are more familiar with, so he is convinced that what the Rover lads have said is accurate, and unbiased by any B-M-W influence.

Maybe in the future, MGR will improve the spec of the VVC mechanism so that it'll make more power (a future X-Power project perhaps?) - but the upgrade of the existing inlet mechanism isn't necessarily going to be straightforward.

I'm sure that Mike is more than aware of all these limitations - and hence the concentration (at present) upon the rather mild VVC exhaust cam.
 

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Very interesting stuff all that.

It certainly makes sense to me and would explain the high rate of HGF's.

Anyone know if using the performance head gasket cures it???

Also, I am looking for a 1.6 K series lump. Anyone got any ideas where I might find one at a reasonable price??

Thanks,

Matt.
 

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Hi Matt,

no, the performance head gasket doesn't cure the problem - to achieve this, you need to cure the thermal gradients between the head and the block - and specifically, the temperature oscillations in the head associated with the opening and closing of the thermostat. This would require a modified cooling system.

However, a performance head gasket, along the lines that Mike sells, is a good idea (they are also sold with metal locator dowels instead of the OEM plastic items), as this dramatically reduces the incidence of head gasket failure (MGR's own version of this has practically erradicated the problem for cars built after 1999 :) ). So in this respect, they are worthwhile :)
 

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Back to the header...

Does someone know whether the Elise radiator and the MGF radiator is the same ?

Not sure whether the fixture and size is the same, from what I've seen at different advert sites. Fixture looks different, though.
(Most interesting due to contend and costs is IMO currently http://www.eliseparts.com)

Andy, is Mikes radiator the same material as the original ?
Or is it from 'nice' Aluminum ?

I'm currently in contact with speciallists from the german Elly community sharing know how about equal parts. They need the experiance of MGF Rover parts and we could participate from their silly engine tuning experiance :D
Great guys and also tuning professionals there in the german language forum @ http://www.elise-forum.de .
If I only had more time to investigate :(
 

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Rob Bell said:
Okay, the considered opinion on the Elise BBS is that the Lotus radiator is a unique part :(

Now whether you could get it to fit into an MGF is an all together different question! ;)

Over to you DK!
Err, you know, the old engineer almost only believes what he has seen himself :p
Though, not worth to investigate further, cause costs would be not reasonable to rework a new expensive ally radiator. Just getting the right will be better.

Thank you for asking the Elise guys.

Anyway, I've got knowledge due to a much better 'equal' part.
New thread then later.
 

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The Scarlet one returns...
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BREAKING NEWS...

We are recieving reports from our Scarlet correspondant of some serious engine modifications... Reports are sketchy at the moment but by all accounts a gas flowed head, performance head gasket, replacement underbody cooling pipes, replacement hose clips and Mike's new radiator are involved...

More news as it happens....... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How far are you taking the head?

If his anthracite demonstrator is still around when you get up here see if he'll let you take it out. You won't be dissapointed!

When are you coming up? I'll see if I can make some time to pop over and say "Hi!".
 
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