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Check yer sump bolts

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  • Check yer sump bolts

    A week ago Saturday AM, session one, NASA @ Buttonwillow, lap 4, found me spinning out of the bus stop at about a hunnert. I was a little mystified as I had gone through there at the same speed twice already & usually slicks get hotter & stickier during a session, not cooler and slipperyer.

    NASA requires the driver of any car that goes off-track to proceed to the black flag guy so they can give the car a looking over prior to releasing that car to return to the track. Just as I was heading away to the pits (as the session was just about over anyway) a puff of blue appeared and the engine sputtered to a halt.

    When I lifted the car up to have a look I was greeted by the sight of a nice little puddle of oil under the car. Closer inspection revealed why; see the attached image. That bolt backed out and the loss of oil caused both the spin and the death of the engine. Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance, as they say.

    So if you have a Raceline wet sump, check that bolt, if you've got one. I never thought to (hell, I didn't even remember it being there) and I paid. Thankfully nobody else had any issues on-track, partly because when I went back around to the pits I was well off of the racing line, by habit.

    My little junkyard doggie was running so well, too. I'll miss it, at least until I get the new motor in.

    That project is already underway.

    Hey Doug, is the hoist busy next weekend?

    ps: in advance... no, it is *not* the drain plug bolt
    Attached Files
    Last edited by moosetestbestanden; October 17, 2011, 07:41 AM.
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  • #2

    Sorry to hear about your engine. What will the new one be?



    • #3

      In hindsight, is there anyplace convenient to tie to? Given the catastrophic results, this looks like a future application for safety wire, a Stage 8 locking fastener or similar…….
      Last edited by escondidoron; October 17, 2011, 08:46 PM.

      '62 Lotus Seven
      '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
      '14 Evora
      '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

      "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588


      • #4

        I'm sorry to hear about the plug coming out on the track. The hoist is available.

        Please see the attached photo. EVERYONE should have these plugs safety wired. I have two spares that I will drill and exhange for anyone that wants them. Contact me before your next oil change, I send you the drilled plugs you send me back the undrilled ones. I'll even include a length of safety wire if you don't have any.

        The plugs I have fit the Raceline Zetec sump, they may or may not fit the Duratec. They are a standard fitting, BSP I think. If you want to buy some and send them to me I'll put the holes in. You can do it yourself without much trouble. I start the hole perpendicular to the surface then use the divot to hold the drill in place while drilling at an angle. 1/16" drill bit or so.

        Raceline sumps generally have two plugs, One is the drain plug, one is because they need to drill a hole to machine where the oil pickup in the sump connects to the block. See 2nd photo. Arrow on the right is the drain hole, arrow on the left is because you can't get a drill in from the right.

        We should all be safety wiring our oil filters too.

        safety wire.jpg

        raceline sump.jpg

        PS: the Duratec Raceline sump shown is an early version, newer ones should have lateral baffles, if you have the early version you should put them in. ScottE is the expert on this. Cost him an engine too.

        Duratec late:

        Duratec late.jpg
        Last edited by Doug Liedblad; October 17, 2011, 09:58 PM.


        • #5
          Doug - "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator."
          edit -- Scratch that; working now.

          edit 2 -- Chris - Sorry to hear it, but it's high goldang time you got that <cough>new<cough> mill installed anyway. ;)
          Last edited by Sean; October 17, 2011, 09:26 PM.
          | | Sean


          • #6
            I was in the middle of editing it.


            • #7
              Hey Chris, sorry to hear about the engine. I know you promote Duratecs among other things because they are cheap to replace but you did not have to prove that practically :(

              The good news is that it did not happen to your fancy Ammo engine (I hope...)

              So if that is not the drain plug, what is it for?

              As for the safety wire, it would have to be pretty tight. Otherwise if it gets loose the oil loss may not be rapid but even a dribble will empty the sump eventually.

              Actually I replaced the sump plug after I finally rounded it off completely. I use an Aeroquip quick disconnect drain plug now but had to re-tap that ancient British thread with a 7/8" to do that.


              • #8
                Originally posted by slomove View Post
                So if that is not the drain plug, what is it for?
                I don't know. I guess that's one of the reasons why I never even looked at it, even when I'd spent an hour or more under the car, supposedly making sure everything was track-ready. Duh.

                Justin: It's a 2.1L Duratec (1mm overbored) that Ammo (RacecoUK) built forever ago; long story no punchline. Short story is that I went for shorter stroke / higher RPM instead of 2.3L long-rod torque. It's all cammed up and all steel and should be able to wind up to about 9 grand or so, depending on how well it will breathe up there. Should sound a treat (as the English say) too once it's properly mapped and everything else is right. I'm hoping for somewhere around 230 at the wheels or so. Wheee-ll-see. :D

                I'd prowl around / ask Raceline but it's mostly moot now. I'll hang onto the sump and the other Raceline bit (oil filter adapter) that I won't have need for, at least for now. The sump system itself never exhibited any oil pressure problems in all the years I used it on-track or elsewhere. I have a Pace dry sump for the new motor.

                I have to admit that one of the reasons why I'd been procrastinating on the new engine is because I had a hard time bringing myself to dismantle a (wonderfully) working engine. If it ain't broke etc. Now that that isn't the case I'm TOTALLY motivated to get popping. The engine's stripped already and ready to pull.

                Sean & Magnus: I'll be bugging you about some stuff. I've gotta completely revamp the cooling plumbing for one thing so I'll be asking for pics. And I've got to mess around w/ the dry sump plumbing. And I want to rework the wiring harness. When the car was imported all Caterham made for the US was Zetec wired cars but I have and MBE w/ the SBD ECU loom so I want to hack out as much of the redundant wiring as possible. I'm shooting for a super-clean install. I'll start a thread for documentation purposes.

                As I said, the new engine is built for high HP / high revs so I probably will have to replace my injectors and fuel pump. And there's a zillion other things I'd like to do or will do (like *finally* installing the Ammo-Can!) if I can so I'm likely to be off of the road over the winter.

                Doug, I'll buzz ya - I intend to pull it this Saturday / Sunday.
                Last edited by moosetestbestanden; October 18, 2011, 08:02 AM.
                A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                • #9
                  Originally posted by slomove View Post
                  So if that is not the drain plug, what is it for?

                  As for the safety wire, it would have to be pretty tight.
                  The hole is there for manufacturing purposes. The sump needs a precision hole on the inside of the sump and you can't do it form the inside out, only the outside in. At least it's a lot easier to bore it from the outside and put in a threaded plug.

                  My safety wire is tighter than it looks in the photo but it would not pass aircraft standards. On the other hand a drip is better than a flood and I do check my oil and look for drips.

                  Chris, I should be home most of Saturday.


                  • #10

                    Your over-bored engine sounds like it might be the best of both worlds - more torque than the 2.0 L but able to spin without blowing up! Hope it goes together quickly.


                    • #11

                      Fire away with the questions. I'd be happy to map your engine as well, although MBE is pretty high up on my list of ECUs I promised never to work with again. But since I'm so eager to see your engine in action, I'll make an exception.

                      If you want to, I can see if I can dig out an old T2 for you.

                      /Magnus F.


                      • #12

                        Same here - I'll be happy to answer any questions I can. I didn't reply earlier because I assumed you already knew that.
                        | | Sean


                        • #13
                          Thanks fellas.

                          Everything's out, all the good bits (most to be saved or maybe sold) stripped from the old engine. I have some things to do to the car while it's naked so a re-install will be some weeks away.

                          I have to figure out how to mount the (really really poorly made) Brise oil tank. Then there's the dry sump, which I'll have to test fit because it may interfere w/ my driver's side engine mount. And its plumbing, if it fits. And that is if the new new sump doesn't leak like the one that the engine was shipped with does. So first order of business this weekend is to remove the old new sump and install the new new sump and dump some oil in and check for leakage. If it leaks I'm going to have to consider other options and find some money.

                          If you're maybe getting the impression that I'm not entirely pleased w/ all of the parts of the dry sump system that I've sourced from UK suppliers you would be right. The quality of the work on the Brise tank is completely and utterly abysmal & I would not recommend them to anyone on the basis of what I've received. Looking at it leaves me wondering if won't leak as it looks like some fittings aren't completely welded. So obviously I'm not even sure it will pressure test. Then there's the sump saga, which will resolve one way or the other this weekend.

                          I'm so dissatisfied and disgusted by all of this that I'm considering using the wet sump again. I *never* had any pressure problems w/ it over the years and I could thus avoid all of the complexity and weight of the dry sump. I'll safety wire the bolt this time :-O

                          After that, I want to make progress w/ the coolant system. I have to (want to) relocate the overflow onto the bulkhead and source silicone hoses and clean up the horrid plumbing that I've lived with since building the car. So some photos or sources for parts lists from you fellas would help. Does anybody sell a full kit?
                          A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                          • #14
                            I understand the new CSR/R500 has a remote tank on the scuttle, but that's just one of the parts. I've also seen some nice ones by Canton
                            Tom "ELV15" Jones


                            • #15

                              Don't throw it out, I'll give you $0.10 on the dollar for the bits in case I ever go that way.

                              Or I probably know places that can fix it.