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Archive for January, 2010

According to the buzz on Apexspeed.com, Ford Motorsports showed a mock-up of a replacement block for Kent engines at the Performance Racing Industry show last month.  The first time I heard that Ford might be making replacement blocks was earlier last year, when the SCCA was condsidering the Honda Fit engine proposal.  It’s good to see that Ford is continuing with the idea even though the Fit proposal was approved and the class is now officially known as Formula F.

I haven’t been able to find any details about the block on the Ford Motorsports website, but it’s supposedly going to be available this summer.  If so, that might change my engine plans significantly.  My engine’s block and crankshaft have a lot of time on them, and I’m concerned that the block may be cracked.  Yes, a hairline crack can be repaired, but if new blocks were available, I’d start fresh with a new block and crankshaft, and re-use most of the rest of the parts that are in my current engine.

At the moment, in order to cut the cost of rebuilding my Swift, I’m thinking about rebuilding the engine myself–it’s not a completely crazy idea, I’ve rebuilt engines before and spent some time working for a professional racing engine builder.  But I haven’t opened up an engine in over a decade and I’d have to buy a lot of the gauges and other specialized tools that are necessary for the job.  For the moment, I’m not making any decisions, but I’ll be watching the news from Ford Motorsport over the next few months as the time to start the rebuild gets closer.

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During the last month, and during the month to come, I’ll have shipped so many parts from my DB-1 off to various places to be rebuilt, it feels like I barely have a car anymore!  In addition to the brake calipers (which I just got back), the shocks are going to Stimola, I’m boxing up all of the suspension parts to be re-plated, and the shift linkage is at Stonebridge Sports & Classics.  The bellhousing/oil tank needs to be shipped out for repair, and of course the engine is going to be taking a cross-country trip to be freshened.  The rear uprights are on their way to Fast Forward, and I’m still deciding what to do about the front ones.  All in all, I’m spending way more on UPS charges than I ever thought I would in such a short time.

Meanwhile, I just finished a crude dimensional drawing of the belly pan for the car so that I can get quotes on a replacement from local metal supply companies.  In case it’s helpful, a copy of the file is available here.  I took these measurements from the frame with a tape measure, so don’t expect engineering-perfect tolerances.  I’ll post more details once the finished part arrives.

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I just got the LD-19 calipers back from Porter Racing, they did a great job.  The calipers were disassembled, cleaned, re-plated, and then reassembled with new seals.  A couple of the pistons had to be replaced too.  Here is the “after” picture of three of them:

Since I’m usually working on the car by myself both at home and at the track, I’m going to replace the standard bleeder screws with speed bleeders.  Other than new brake line fittings, these are ready to go, one more item crossed off the list!

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