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SPArKy_Dave last won the day on May 20

SPArKy_Dave had the most liked content!

About SPArKy_Dave

  • Rank
    ...what would Dave do?
  • Birthday 03/09/1902

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    melbz eastside
  • Interests
    I like wagons :)..... and this new forum.

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  1. SPArKy_Dave

    Long Term Engine Storage

    Buy some Soft-Seal from your local industrial suppliers, or even Repco/Bursons may stock it? The stuff I bought, is made by CRC. It's basically a non-drying wax/grease substance, in a spray can - designed specifically for rust protection, of metal machinery parts in storage.
  2. SPArKy_Dave

    Micrometer Tech

    By Lyle Haley on Mar 1, 2019 Tenths Are Not For Camping I was told a few times that “tenths are for camping” when I was “chasing tenths” in my early machining career. We had micrometers with “tenths” reading on their spindles but the tolerances we had for our “vintage” engines allowed us to be fairly sloppy and still produce what was considered a quality product. Keep in mind though; this was the era when we all walked the 5 miles to school uphill both ways. There is a big difference in newer engines – today, we can expect engine life of 300,000 miles or more. Early failures in most modern engines can probably be avoided with good maintenance practices. But working on a precisely built modern engine requires measuring in “tenths” as mandatory. Since measuring in tenths is now a way of life, let’s take a look at your measuring equipment. You must consider that even with the best of care, micrometers, dial indicators, etc. can wear and become inaccurate. Just occasionally checking your outside micrometers with the reference standard that comes with them is not nearly enough to ensure the accuracy you need. Whether you are using a micrometer for setting dial bore gauges, inside micrometers or snap gauges, you are relying on the micrometer’s accuracy for the size. For example, when you use an outside micrometer to set a dial bore gauge, the bore gauge is used as a “comparator” to establish a tolerance. The exception to this is when some type of calibrated setting fixture is used instead of a micrometer to set a bore gauge. Since outside micrometers are usually what most shops rely on for an accurate dimension, let’s focus on their use and care. Regardless of the brand or type of micrometers you have, how often do you check them for accuracy with the reference standards that are usually supplied with them? Keep in mind that using your supplied standards is not considered “calibrating” your micrometer. You are just confirming that, by using the standard made for it, the micrometer is accurate at that size. How accurate it is for the rest of the one-inch travel of the barrel should be confirmed by using gauge blocks. There are lots of published technical papers out there telling you how critical your calibration procedures are. One of my favorites is a paper titled “Calibration Guidelines for Micrometers Using a Five-Point Calibration Method.” Under these guidelines a micrometer that is sent to a qualified calibration lab is first checked for obvious damage and that the barrel runs the full length freely. The condition of the spindle and anvil faces are checked, and any wear of the threads in the barrel is recorded. To check for thread and barrel wear, traceable gauge blocks are used to measure five different sizes. An example of the micrometer being checked with gauge blocks would be a -0.997˝, +0.611˝, 0.502˝, 0.246˝ and 0.128˝. The different sizes mean that the barrel of the micrometer will be stopped in a different position for each measurement. Any error more than +/- 0.00005˝ would show there is wear on the internal threads of the micrometer. These are not the only dimensions used for calibrating micrometers – most any combination will work as long as you are certain they are accurate and consistent. Gauge blocks must have a certificate of traceability from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This means that they can be used to meet the 4:1 rule of calibration, the common rule of thumb first published in 1960. Gauge blocks are considered the highest in the hierarchy of precision – the accuracy of a gauge block is typically +/- 0.000002˝ and the accuracy of a micrometer is typically +/-0.0003˝. This difference exceeds the 4:1 ratio. The other area to be checked is the flatness and parallelism of the face of micrometers. You’ll never even notice it by looking but wear on the face of a micrometer from normal use can cause the face not to be flat. Physical damage, like dropping a micrometer, can cause the faces not to be parallel. Accurately checking the flatness and parallelism is done using an optical flat or optical parallel and a monochromatic light. The optical flat is a specially ground piece of glass that shows errors by using light bars reflecting off the faces of the micrometer. This picture shows a micrometer face being measured with an optical flat using a monochromatic light source. The space between the light bars is approximately 12 millionths of an inch. The straightness of the lines indicates that the surface is virtually flat. A simpler way for checking flatness is to use a ball or the sphere from a CNC probe. Accuracy matters – the heat from your hands can cause the metal sphere to grow enough that it will give erroneous readings. I have had success determining if a micrometer face is flat by using a tenth reading dial bore gauge. Carefully moving the contact point around the micrometer faces can show if it is dished out from normal wear. Even companies that have a dedicated gauge department will usually have an outside lab periodically certify their instruments. The cost of traceable gauge blocks, optical flats, the monochromatic lighting and a temperature-controlled room can be significant. But when you add the training and competence of people doing the checking you can see that it takes a very large company to justify a complete in-house lab. How a shop keeps track of the condition of their measuring equipment depends on many factors, and paying attention to the accuracy of your equipment is paramount to producing a quality product. However, when you add in the human element to doing precision measuring, you should realize you have another variable to work with. An outside micrometer can be used very accurately to get a dimension, but it can also be used as a crutch to confirm a dimension the machinist wants to see. Not only do you need to check the accuracy of the micrometer but that of the user as well. One method of checking the accuracy of employees using micrometers is to put a piece of tape over the dimension of a gauge block, then have everyone who uses micrometers measure the gauge block and record what they see for size. Once again, care must be used when doing this as just the heat from handling a gauge block can change its dimension. To be more practical, in an average shop you could use a freshly ground and polished crankshaft for checking. When outside micrometers are calibrated by labs they use the spring-loaded ratchet on the micrometer to get equal pressure on the part. Whether I am right or wrong I have a problem measuring a round surface like a crank journal using a ratchet on the micrometer. Establishing the “feel” of the micrometer passing over a journal is critical to getting a consistent, accurate measurement. However you do it, getting all micrometer operators to not only understand the importance of consistency but also the importance of understanding the consistency of size can be an obvious benefit for producing a consistent product.
  3. SPArKy_Dave

    Crankshaft Inspection and Machining 101

    Inspecting crankshafts October 17, 2012 • by Mike Mavrigian After the used crankshaft has been cleaned, the very first check should be for cracks. Here a crank is passed through a magnetic field on a particle inspection station. Regardless of which crank you choose to use during a customer’s engine rebuild or fresh build (used OE or new aftermarket), take the time to inspect the crankshaft. In the case of a new crankshaft, check for dimensions and runout. With a previously used crankshaft, you’ll also need to check for flaws (cracks). Inspecting the crankshaft before installation verifies its condition and allows you to avoid problems and/or comebacks. First and foremost, especially when dealing with a used crankshaft, clean the crank thoroughly, preferably in a jet wash or hot tank. Once clean, always inspect the crankshaft for flaws/cracks. This is best done on a magnetic particle inspection station (commonly known as a magnaflux machine (even though “Magnaflux” is actually a brand name, other equipment makers, such as DCM, for example, make magnetic particle inspection equipment). The crank is mounted horizontally on the inspection bench and passes through a large diameter circular magnet and inspected with an ultraviolet (“black”) light. Any cracks are easily found, visible as whitish lines. If a crank is cracked, don’t even debate the issue — sell it as scrap metal and buy a new one. By crack-checking first, you’ll avoid wasting time by performing further dimensional inspection. Next, check crankshaft runout. With the crankshaft mounted level on a pair of level V-blocks (resting on the front and rear main journals), set up a dial indicator at the center main journal, placing the indicator probe slightly offset to avoid hitting the journal’s oil feed hole. Preload the indicator by about 0.050-inch and then zero the dial. Once a magnetic field has been obtained, an ultraviolet light is used to inspect for cracks. Slowly rotate the crankshaft while observing the gauge. Record your reading. For example, the maximum OE-spec for allowable runout may be listed as 0.000118-inch. If the indicator gauge doesn’t read in the hundredths of a thousandth of an inch, you’ll be hard-pressed to actually determine that tiny number. Generally speaking, if the crank shows less than 0.001-inch runout, it’s probably fine. If the crank shows more than 0.001-inch runout, it needs to be either straightened or replaced. Crank straightening is a precision task that should only be handled by a skilled specialist. Not all cranks can be successfully straightened, by the way. Using a micrometer, measure the main journal diameter (at the center of the journal) of each of the main journals. Record your measurement and compare this to the specifications for that particular engine. Published specs will include a tolerance range (max/min), usually of about 0.001-inch (for example, 2.558- to 2.559-inch). Bear in mind that, if using a reconditioned crankshaft, the main journals may have been re-ground to a smaller diameter in order to maintain serviceability (for example, the mains may have been ground –0.010-inch undersized). [PAGEBREAK] Also measure each main journal for taper (measure the journal area at two locations, toward the front of the journal and toward the rear of the journal). Maximum allowable journal taper is generally about 0.0004-inch. Also, be sure to measure each main journal at several radial locations to check for journal out-of-round. Maximum allowable out-of-round is usually around 0.000118-inch or so (check the make/model engine specs). If the crank passes the crack-check, next inspect for runout. Here a crank rests on a stand that allows rotation. A dial indicator is set up at the center main journal and the crank is slowly rotated to inspect for runout. Next, measure each rod journal diameter at several radial locations on each rod journal. The tolerance range (min/max) will generally be around 0.0008-inch or so (for example, rod journal diameter might be listed at 2.0991 – 2.0999-inch). Measure each rod journal for taper (at each end of the journal surface). Maximum allowable rod journal taper is generally around 0.0002-inch. Also measure rod journal width (base of fillet to base of fillet — in other words, the front of the journal and the rear of the journal relative to crank length), and compare this to the listed spec. If journal width is too tight, you’ll have insufficient connecting rod sideplay. If any beyond-tolerance areas are found in terms of journal diameter, taper, width or out of round, this can be corrected by re-grinding on a dedicated crankshaft grinding machine. In order to correct journals, you’ll end up moving to an undersize (smaller diameter than original), in which case you can easily purchase a set of undersized-I.D. main and/or rod bearings (bearing pairs with a smaller I.D. and thicker walls). Whether the crank is new OE, reconditioned, used, or new aftermarket, measure each main and rod journal diameter with a micrometer and compare your readings with specifications. In order to check crank endplay, you’ll need to temporarily install the crank to the block. Install upper main bearings dry (block saddle and the rear of the bearing must be dry). Once the bearing has been installed, then apply a lubricant to the exposed bearing surface using oil or assembly lube. Just remember that bearing size needs to be uniform — if one main journal must be re-ground to then accept an undersize main bearing, then all of the main journals should be ground to that same size. The same holds true for rod bearings. If even only one rod journal needs to be undersized, then all rod journals need to be ground to the same diameter. Always check with your bearing supplier to first find out what undersize bearings are available (-0.0005-inch, –0.005-inch, –0.010-inch, –0.020-inch, etc.). This will determine the diameter of the re-grind. [PAGEBREAK] In order to check crank endplay, you’ll need to temporarily install the crank to the block. Install upper main bearings dry (block saddle and the rear of the bearing must be dry). Once the bearing has been installed, then apply a lubricant to the exposed bearing surface using oil or assembly lube. If a used crank checks out OK and you intend to re-use it (with no need to re-grind), each journal can be polished on a crankshaft belt polisher, using 400 grit, stepped up to 600 grit. Small surface scratches can also usually be eliminated by polishing. NOTE: Different equipment makers may specify different grit-grade abrasives for polishing. The journals should not be “mirror” polished, since microscopic scratches are needed to provide oil cling. Buying a replacement crankshaft Your customers have several choices when purchasing a crankshaft, including a new OE crank, a reconditioned OE crank or an aftermarket crank. OE crankshafts are available in the original stroke dimension, while aftermarket performance cranks are offered in a range of strokes from the OE spec through increments of longer strokes. Quality aftermarket crankshaft makers include Scat, eagle, Lunati, Crower, Ohio Crankshaft and others. Depending on the application/design, some journal oil holes may feature an extended chamfer to promote oil transfer. General tips 1. If the journal surfaces are damaged (scratched, scored, gouged, burnt), further inspection is required. If the scratches are light enough, the journals may be saved simply by re-polishing with 400 grit, followed by 600 grit abrasive paper. This should be done on a dedicated crankshaft polishing stand, where the crank rotates at a slow speed while an arm-mounted abrasive belt is lowered onto the journal. If the surface damage cannot be eliminated by polishing, the journals mayneed to be re-ground with an abrasive stone wheel on a crankshaft grinder. The installed bearings do not actually provide a uniform round inner diameter surface. The bearing shells feature a slight taper (thinner near the parting line and thicker at top and bottom). This promotes a “squeeze” ramp for the engine oil, allowing the oil to provide the needed support film to support the journal. 2. If a crankshaft’s mains, rods or both are re-ground to an undersize, the crankshaft MUST be labeled to easily identify any undersizing by stamping or etching the undersize on the forward face of the front counterweight. For example, if the main journals are fine but the rod journals are re-ground to, say, 0.010-inch undersize, the stamping or etching should say “ROD 010,” OR “R –10”, etc., to clearly identify the rod journals as having been undersized by 0.010-inch. A negative symbol (-) preceding the number makes it clear that the re-grind factor of 0.010-inch has been removed. Main (and rod) bearings feature a slight bit of extension when installed (where the bearings ends protrude slightly beyond the parting line). This provides the proper bearing “crush” to achieve bearing retention and the proper inside diameter profile for correct oil clearance and lubrication delivery. 3. Also make sure to inspect all fillets (the shoulder area where the journal surface blends into the counterweight or throw area). A journal should never be ground to create a sharp corner, since this can lead to an eventual stress riser, which can result in crank failure. [PAGEBREAK] 4. Inspect all threaded holes (the center hole in the front snout and the flywheel holes in the rear flange). Make sure that the threads are clean and are not damaged. A chaser tap (as opposed to a cutting tap) can clean these threads without cutting and removing too much thread material. 5. Inspect all main and rod journal oil feed holes to make sure that they’re drilled through, and that they’re not plugged up with debris. As a journal rotates, an oil film “wedge” is created, which centers the journal within the bearing I.D. during engine operation. This oil film provides the support for the crankshaft, so that the journals do not actually contact the bearing surfaces as the crankshaft rotates. 6. As far as crank oil holes are concerned, simply deburr the holes to break off any sharp edges. It was commonplace for years for builders to radius-sweep the holes, but you get too much bleed-off doing that, so it’s better to simply deburr the holes, removing as little material as possible. A note about undersize grinding If a crankshaft (rod and/or main journals) is to be re-ground to an undersize, this is done on a dedicated crankshaft grinder, using specific-width abrasive stone wheels. When main journals are ground, the crankshaft is mounted and rotated “straight” with zero runout. When rod journals are ground, since they are offset from the crank centerline, the crank is adjusted on the machine to run at an offset, with the rod journals positioned at zero. Cooling fluid is applied during grinding to cool and clean the journal surfaces. As far as crank service life is concerned, if a crank’s rod or main journals need to be re-ground, say – 0.020-inch, you’ll lose the initial surface hardness. While some builders (or customers) may assume that the crank is no longer usable simply because the surface hardness has been lost, in reality this isn’t a problem. Simply send the crank out for nitriding after the corrective grinding has been accomplished. General clearance recommendations Start with 0.0010-inch of clearance per inch of journal diameter. For example: 2.100-inch journal diameter X 0.0010 = 0.0021-inch clearance. For high performance applications, add 0.0005-inch. If, for example, initial clearance is determined to be 0.0021-inch, add 0.0005-inch for a final clearance of 0.0026-inch. From this point, tighten clearance as your experience dictates in specific applications. NOTE: Use of a dial bore gauge is always the recommended method of measuring oil clearance. Instead of measuring journal diameter and then measuring installed bearing diameter, zero the bore gauge at the actual journal diameter. When you measure bearing diameter, you’ll obtain a direct clearance reading without the need to perform math procedures, avoiding potential math mistakes. If clearance modification is needed, do not increase or decrease clearance by modifying housing size outside of tolerance limits. An undersize housing will over-crush the bearing; and an oversize housing will reduce crush and bearing retention. Once the main caps have been installed, follow the specs for torque value (or torque-plus-angle for OE fasteners). Tighten all primary (vertical) main cap fasteners first, in stages and in proper sequence, then tighten main cap side bolts if applicable. Today’s leading bearing manufacturers utilize finite element analysis computer modeling to examine the elastic deflections of all bearing-related areas. EHL, or Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication, allows engineers to more accurately determine the effects of dynamic forces in relation to forces and oil clearances. This understanding of loads, metal deflection and effects on clearance has allowed a more precise view of what the bearings are subjected to, and furthers engineers’ ability to develop bearings that will function properly in high-stress dynamic racing applications. [PAGEBREAK] If you really want to get nit-picky with regard to bearings, pay attention to not only suggested clearance, but also take into account the bearing surface are from an anticipated load standpoint, as well as bearing speed, based on journal circumference. Once the main cap fasteners have been tightened to specification, the crank may be rotated. Check for free rotation. If a bind exists, re-check bearings clearances, main bore alignment and/or crank runout. If the crank rotates freely, then set up a dial indicator to check for crank endplay. Using a flat-blade screwdriver (prying between a counterweight and main cap), carefully move the crankshaft fully rearward. Adjust the dial indicator with about 0.050-in. of preload, then zero the indicator gauge. Using the screwdriver, pry the crankshaft fully forward and note the amount of movement on the indicator. Perform this step several times to verify your results. Compare the measured endplay/thrust movement with the OE specifications. In higher end engines, where you plan to run smaller journals sizes, you really need to pay attention to the load carrying capabilities. In order to provide adequate oil delivery, some high-end race engine builders sometimes drill extra oil holes in the bearings and partial-radius grooves in the housing or saddlearea of the mains to create multiple oil supply points. This is especially important in engines that use smaller bearings and will experience higher loads (don’t try this at home). As far as bearing clearances are concerned, for street engines that see higher loads, some builders tend to run somewhere around 0.003-inch for mains and around 0.0025-inch for rods. For engines that will see lots of heat for extended periods, such as endurance engines or marine engines, tighter bearing clearances are the norm, to compensate for the fact that clearances will loosen under hot conditions. If the crankshaft features a reluctor wheel (also called a tone wheel) for crankshaft timing position, it is possible that you’ll need to either replace a damaged wheel or install a wheel to a new crankshaft. This must be done with a dedicated locating tool in order to achieve the correct clock position of the tone wheel. Shown here is Goodson’s reluctor wheel positioning and installing tool. In a high-speed, high-load engine application, experienced builders tend to run a fairly high crush (where bearing shells mate together), while maintaining this within an acceptable range. Considering bearing load and journal and housing deflection, you want to make sure that the bearing is securely held in place. Where you have oil films that are in the tenths of thousands clearance, the bearing gets very hot. If you don’t have adequate crush, you won’t get enough heat transfer. Avoid taking housings to their maximum size, to avoid inadequate heat transfer. Crankshaft main and rod journals are machined to size (diameter and width) on a dedicated crankshaft grinding machine. Abrasive stone wheels rotate against the rotating crank while lubricated by the machine’s coolant supply. The main journals are ground with the crank set-up to rotate at its main centerline. Connecting rod journals are ground with the crankshaft offset-positioned to rotate on the rod journal centerline. When a builder opts for smaller journal diameter crankshafts (to reduce mass) they sometimes modify the crankshaft journal oil holes in order to drive more oil to the rods. As you shrink the rod journal diameter, the load goes up. In order to get extra oil to the rod bearings, they create a slight teardrop groove to the crank main oil holes. The leading edge (attack side) of the oil hole is slightly grooved. As the crankshaft rotates, this slight teardrop-shaped cavity fills with oil and is then force-pumped into the oil hole, increasing boost pressure. This can cure problems with rod bearings that were otherwise seeing too much load. This can be done with a grinder, but is best performed on a CNC machine. However, you need to pay strict attention to the dimensions of the teardrop groove, in terms of width, length and depth. Generally speaking, this teardrop groove is usually around 0.300-inch to 0.400-inch in length. If the groove is too aggressive, you could start starving the mains for oil. The specific profile of this groove controls the amount of oil pressurizing into the rod. Again, this is nothing for the weekend builder to mess with, and is certainly not necessary for street applications. ●
  4. Minimizing spark scatter in the Vintage race engine by admin | Jul 29, 2015 | News, Top Stories | 0 comments By Sam Logan Photography by Moore Good Ink & V&B Engines Often Vintage racing engines exhibit excessive spark scatter caused by torsional vibration in the distributor drive system. To correct it Virkler & Bartlett adds a miniature flywheel to the system. They mold a series of rubber couplers with a range of Shore A hardness, which allows them to tune the system. Note rubber coupler glued within steel ring. How to get the best from a Vintage engine ignition system Aided by the latest King 16-T distributor machine Virkler & Bartlett check the distributor’s performance, its parts, including bearings and point’s cam, as well as coil, condenser and plug wires. Particularly useful for complex Vintage engines with two distributors and four sets of points, its advanced technology not only allows them to analyze and tune the ignition system but also to break-in all the ignition components on the machine rather than on the engine. Chatham, Virginia: Vintage racers are often forced to live with points-and-coil ignition. But the most successful know the shortcomings of the ignition system and have it corrected. For the past forty years or so electronic ignition has been the standard, but most Historic race cars produced before the 1970s are equipped with something other. Unfailingly, coil-and-points ignition systems work best when optimized mechanically and electrically. But how is it achieved? Vintage racers seem to run a little faster each year, and as compression ratios and engine speeds creep up, deficiencies in points-and-coil ignition systems can precipitate the perfect storm of performance problems. Bob Bartlett verifies spark advance for each cylinder and adjusts advance curves. Today’s Vintage engines are often run at higher RPM and power levels, putting additional demands on the points-and-coil ignition systems. Background Just over one hundred years ago, the brilliant engineer Charles Kettering invented the ubiquitous battery-powered “points-and-coil” ignition system that first appeared on the 1910 Cadillac. Remarkably, it was used in most cars until the mid-1970s. An engine-driven mechanical cam operated a set of breaker points, switching electrical current to the coil which converted it to high voltage required to fire spark plugs. A rotor within the distributor routed high-voltage impulses to the correct spark plug. The condenser had the dual function of extending the life of the points by quenching the arc across the points and forming a resonant circuit with the coil that boosts peak voltage. Old timers remember tune-up kits consisting of spark plugs, points, rotor, and condenser, which were duly installed at 12,000-mile intervals. Invariably, engine performance deteriorated as tune-up time approached. The eight major elements in the points-and-coil ignition system: Common problems and some of the solutions Race engine builders Virkler & Bartlett have become an authority on point-and-coil ignition. They use a King distributor test machine that allows them to examine and make adjustments to the entire ignition system. Their engine dynamometer includes a video system with timing light, allowing them to observe ignition timing across the range of engine speeds. • Spark Scatter – refers to any random and unwanted variation in ignition timing at a constant engine speed. Mechanical components are examined first. The entire drive system from the crankshaft to the distributor must be sound and the distributor bearings free of play and points unworn. The distributor shaft must be straight and the advance mechanism clean and lubricated. • Advance Curve – Mostly older race engines use a mechanical advance system, which consists of centrifugal weights and springs. V&B check the advance curve with their King distributor machine and adjust if necessary. • Dwell – the number of degrees the points remain closed is critical to ignition system performance. It is a function of the point’s gap and point’s cam design. Sometimes V&B observes misfire or phantom, unwanted ignition events occurring with misadjusted dwell. • Points – The rubbing block of the point’s assembly wears-in after installation and consequently effects dwell. It’s important to examine dwell and re-lubricate the point’s cam after wear-in. V&B executes this on the distributor machine. Further, they discovered it’s best to use Mallory Cam Lube Grease. It’s made for the purpose. • Wires – Even vintage racers use radios, data acquisition systems and other electronic gear. Solid conductor wires are not compatible with electronics, but some of the better RFI suppressed wire will still deliver a hot spark. Keep ignition wires clean; lacquer thinners works well for the purpose. • Condensers – As reliable as bricks in the old days, regrettably, today’s off-the-shelf condensers are prone to failure. As a result V&B supply specialty high-reliability condensers. The symptoms of a bad condenser are reduced life expectancy of contact points, high-speed misfiring, low-speed back firing and missing, increased spark scatter or some combination of the four. Some condenser problems are thermally linked. Sometimes V&B use a heat gun and freezing spray for diagnostic purposes. • Coils – As a general rule, 3-ohm coils work well at lower engine speeds and with fewer cylinders. Low impedance coils of 1.5 ohm or less, shorten point life and require more current, but work better at higher engine speeds, increased compression ratio and more cylinders. Always use a coil designed for points and use a ballast resistor if required. Like the condenser, some coil problems are thermally linked. • Spark Plugs – Avoid exotic metal plugs such as platinum. The humbler metals in standard plugs have lower ionization voltage—meaning it’s easier to set up an arc with them. Don’t use giant spark plug gaps prevalent on today’s new cars; consider 0.025” as a good starting point. Old-time racers would often start and warm-up their cars with a hotter set of plugs to reduce fouling then replace them with a colder set for the race. Finally, electrical arcs like to propagate from sharp corners. So don’t race with an old set of spark plugs with rounded center electrode. Call (434) 432-4409 to speak to V&B’s Bob Bartlett personally
  5. SPArKy_Dave

    NC Fairlane with watery fuel?

    If the Coil is visually cracked, it will likely be no good. If the hall-effect sensor has failed in the closed/power-on position, it can overheat the coil. You can easily test the primary/secondary winding resistance on any coil, using a multi-meter.
  6. SPArKy_Dave

    NC Fairlane with watery fuel?

    Ignition issues are quite often caused by a dodgy hall effect sensor. It can also cause the coil to fail, yeah. You need an oscilloscope to confirm what's actually happening though.
  7. SPArKy_Dave

    Cleveland HEADERS - anyone used these?

    I got factory ceramic coated Pacemaker headers, for my XG some yrs ago. They're pretty fancy looking.
  8. TBH, it should just work, with a key off/on reset, and maybe a battery reset. Also - check your wiring loom where it runs over the Aircon pipe, near the ECU in the engine bay. B-series are known for wearing right through the conduit covering, and damaging the wires. Especially ones with lots of km's/run-time, etc. It happens on the underside where you don't see - friction against the metal pipe.
  9. Going by the fault-codes, it's most likely a wiring issue. Have a close look at the transmission wiring loom, from the engine bay, back to where it plugs into the transmission. It's only a short wiring loom, so will be easy to check. I'd say either the wiring has been damaged, a transmission loom plug is not seated correctly, or one of the plugs has a pin fitment issue.
  10. SPArKy_Dave


    You need 1,2,3,4 connected Pin no.5 is not needed. 1 and 2 is the relay coil - energised by the ignition circuit. 3 and 4, is the power from battery, and out to the fuel pump. If you haven't chopped any wiring yet, you can de-pin the plugs without cutting any wires - using a tiny screwdriver or connector de-pin tool. Then push the existing connector pins into the new plastic plug shell.
  11. Some technical info, on sizing turbo's correctly. (credit goes to Garrett Turbochargers) Turbocharger TECH - wheel trim and housing Area/Ratio.
  12. SPArKy_Dave


    There may be some pin-out differences, between the EL and ED(XG) ECU. Have you tried re-fitting the original ECU? I would also double check you have the relay plug wired correctly. Sounds like you do, as the fuel pump primes. Start by determining what you're missing - ie, spark, or injector pulse. If the distributor is not sending a pulse to the ECU, it won't energise the injectors.
  13. SPArKy_Dave

    3.9l xg problems

    Check obvious things, like firing order maybe?
  14. SPArKy_Dave

    3.9l xg problems

    The map sensor has an electrical plug, and a vacuum line. I've found the vacuum line/s can sometimes come adrift from the manifold TEE, down low on the end of the log manifold. Did you check there too?
  15. That's why Ford called them CenterFold bench seats! They have extremely comfy fold-down arm/elbow rests. The cushion/arm rest is also a nice handy grip, for when doing your typical x-series one handed steering - whilst going around corners at a brisk pace. I have x5 x-series with bench seat column auto. XF's have the comfiest bench seats, XG's are a bit firm, and XH's are an in-between.