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Thread: Starting a Duratec build

  1. #1
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    Default Starting a Duratec build

    Finally sold the BMW today. The buyer is embarking on an enviable trip to Portland, OR. Now that the garage is clear, I can finally get to work on the Birkin project. I have a line on a disassembler in Glendale that specializes in Duratecs. Now I need to tap the collective brain trust (such as it is). Recommendations for a competent machine shop on the West side or the valley? I am only looking to get to 200hp or so on a 2.3l. Cam manufacturer? Pistons? Anyone have a Jenvey TB/intake, ECU for sale? I'll probably put together an order for one of the online houses in GB for a Raceline wetsump and whatever else I need. The dollar is finally gaining some strength against the pound. For once in my life, I am on the right side of the exchange rate! I'll most likely use an electric water pump (Ford Motorsport has one for the Mustang for around $140).

    How about a local source for a Subaru diff? I have looked into various transmissions and will probably bite the bullet and get a rebuilt T-9 from the fellows in Connecticut. Any suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated, both in the details and in the larger sense of things. I'm really looking forward to this project and intend on keeping up a build thread as things move along. I'll be talking to Tom Carlin in the next day or so and envision bringing the kit back from Colorado in mid-February.

  2. #2
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    I've done the electric water pump thing so feel free to ask questions or come by for a look to see the plumbing.

    YHM
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  3. #3
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    Be sure to get the transmission with a 'long first'. The stock T9 has you at 25 mph at 6000 RPM. A long first should get you to at least 50 MPH.

    It will be something like 2.63 to 2.93 or so for the 1st gear ratio.

    Also look at the final OD gearing of the T9. My semi helical close ratio from SPC has .87 final vs the stock .82 OD. If the diff ratio is 3.92 or so the .82 OD is better. If 3.62 the .87 might be OK. At 70 MPH on 14" wheels it's 4000 RPM and a bit buzzy on freeway trips.

    I believe close to 200 HP out of the Duratec can be had by decent cams, throttle bodies and programming. You should not need to spend the bucks on a full rebuild with new pistons to get there. Just find a low mileage one. If you want to get to 250+ HP talk to moosetestperson and Magnus.

    See if you can find some DynoDay results from the past. There is at least one stock 2.3L of ScottE for some idea of what it can do.
    Last edited by Doug Liedblad; January 6th, 2015 at 07:24 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papak View Post
    I have a line on a disassembler in Glendale that specializes in Duratecs.
    I think we've discussed this before but it bears repeating: be sure to get an engine from 2008 or later. My recollection is that there is a change to the head that means more HP is possible.
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosetestbestanden View Post
    I think we've discussed this before but it bears repeating: be sure to get an engine from 2008 or later. My recollection is that there is a change to the head that means more HP is possible.
    I didn't know that! (said the guy with a 2006 Duratec). I understand that for a 2.3 engine, the Ranger block is preferred because it lacks the (heavy) counterbalance shaft, combined with the Focus head for its better breathing. Or so I have been told.


    edit -- I have a spare ECU that I don't need, made by MBE. It is unlocked, although it is an older one (2006) which does not support live mapping.
    Last edited by Sean; January 6th, 2015 at 11:09 AM.
    | | Sean

  6. #6
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    I believe someone makes a counterbalance shaft delete kit. I think Cosworth but I am not sure.

    Worth doing as it reduces rotating mass and who needs less vibration in a Seven anyhow.

  7. #7
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    In case you haven't seen it, http://californiacaterhamclub.com/ch...uild-initiated may assist you with the basics.

    /Magnus F.

  8. #8
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    I guess that this is the start of the build as I have started to spend! On Saturday, I picked up a couple of boxes of parts from Chris that he had left over from his old Duratec. The injectors were dropped off at RC Engineering in Torrance this morning. A couple of them were a bit "drippy" but responded well to an ultrasonic cleaning. They come back tomorrow, along with the wetsump and other assorted previously dirty parts from the cleaning tank Vellios Machine in Hawthorne. I had a lengthly call to Tom Cahill, the Birkin distributor in Colorado regarding the details of the kit. I'm still looking for a Subaru R180 diff (with the Salisbury type LSD). I've located a correctly geared T-9 in England for about $2000. So far, that's the best I have found. Cahill charges about $3000 for the same box. I'm still working through junkyards (excuse me, "disassemblers") to find a decent engine. I should have that worked out by next week.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papak View Post
    I guess that this is the start of the build as I have started to spend! On Saturday, I picked up a couple of boxes of parts from Chris that he had left over from his old Duratec. The injectors were dropped off at RC Engineering in Torrance this morning. A couple of them were a bit "drippy" but responded well to an ultrasonic cleaning. They come back tomorrow, along with the wetsump and other assorted previously dirty parts from the cleaning tank Vellios Machine in Hawthorne. I had a lengthly call to Tom Cahill, the Birkin distributor in Colorado regarding the details of the kit. I'm still looking for a Subaru R180 diff (with the Salisbury type LSD). I've located a correctly geared T-9 in England for about $2000. So far, that's the best I have found. Cahill charges about $3000 for the same box. I'm still working through junkyards (excuse me, "disassemblers") to find a decent engine. I should have that worked out by next week.
    When you have acquired the gearbox drill a a decent sized hole & then braze a bung (M10 or above) into the top cover. It makes filling sooo much easier. Gert may have more Birkin-specific info as to just where. Mine is by the front-left corner. Doug made a dipstick for his as well. Hopefully he'll be along to describe.

    Edit: 2 well known UK T9 suppliers / rebuilders are SPC & BGH. I believe both are well-thought of Over There. Mine (and Doug's I think) is from SPC. Also, Raceline shows an alloy main case on their website if weight savings is important.
    Last edited by moosetestbestanden; January 13th, 2015 at 07:24 AM.
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  10. #10
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    Also,

    Feel free to swing by me in Torrance in case you want to look my car over. I work from home and are available most days.

    /Magnus F.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosetestbestanden View Post
    When you have acquired the gearbox drill a a decent sized hole & then braze a bung (M10 or above) into the top cover. It makes filling sooo much easier. Gert may have more Birkin-specific info as to just where. Mine is by the front-left corner. Doug made a dipstick for his as well. Hopefully he'll be along to describe.

    Edit: 2 well known UK T9 suppliers / rebuilders are SPC & BGH. I believe both are well-thought of Over There. Mine (and Doug's I think) is from SPC. Also, Raceline shows an alloy main case on their website if weight savings is important.
    SPC web pages: spcomponents.co.uk

    BGH web pages: bghgeartech.co.uk

    I understand both are old-school "man in a shed" operations, and respond well to a telephone call, but not at all well to e-mail and the like. I got my gearbox from BGH, and it seems to have worked well so far. He had me sending him faxes.

    Agree about the filler-in-the-lid mod. I got a stepped O2 bung w/plug off of Amazon for less than twenty bucks and had a guy at a local muffler shop weld it in the gearbox lid for something like 10 bucks (which worked out to at least a hundred bucks an hour for that guy).
    | | Sean

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosetestbestanden View Post
    ........ Gert may have more Birkin-specific info as to just where. Mine is by the front-left corner. .....
    I have the bung also on the front left top of the sheet metal cover plate. I did not have a special bung handy and silver-brazed a simple 5/8" UNF nut on, with a 5/8" bolt as plug.
    Works fine, only one time I forgot the bung has a hex and slipped the socket over the bung trying to remove the plug. No wonder I did not get it off, even with the impact wrench.

    That is for an older live axle Birkin. I would assume this area of the chassis is similar for the newer IRS model.

  13. #13
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    For the fill plug I recommend a bung and plug for an O2 or Lambda sensor into the left front corner of the gearbox cover. Get the one with that already has a step cut into it as it make it easier to line up in the cover.

    When you fill the gearbox the first time be sure to use the correct amount of oil. Then make a dipstick to check the level.

    Unless you have a leak you don't need to check it often. It does make it easier to remove the oil when you pull the transmission out. I use a vacuum pump to remove / change the oil.

    SPC told me to use Redline lightweight shockproof gear oil but I don't think you need anything special.

    I believe the post '87 T9 with the side plug in the lower location takes 1.25L. If an SPC box that is all they use.

    Doug

  14. #14
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    T9 capacities

    We use the N type.

    The early has the side filler on the upper part of case, the late has it lower on the case. See the photo.

    There were other internal changes for the later T9 as well. Get that one if you can. I think SPC only uses the late, I believe they update the internals to the later version if they don't have the case.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Doug Liedblad; January 15th, 2015 at 12:55 PM.

  15. #15
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    Thanks to all. Still awaiting a quote from Quantum to include the BGH "Rocket" gears. Limited time this week. Mainly cleaning up the stuff I got from Chris. What is the consensus on master cylinder sizes? What o2 sensor is preferred for tuning? Question of the day: What are the sizes of the supply and bleed ports on the clutch slave cylinder (Ford part)?

  16. #16
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    Papak,

    Are you looking for 4 or 5 speed?


    I have a rocket box, 4 speed, if you are interested. Brought the gearset back from the UK and had them installed; only removed for SPC 5 speed.

    Rocket ratios are 2.54, 1.666. 1.25. 1.0
    Also have rare bullit, 3 rail, 2.30, 1.70, 1.28, 1.0

    Wayne in San Diego
    super7guy7@yahoo.com

  17. #17
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    I think I'm going to hang in for a 5 speed. Thanks

  18. #18
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    Over on the locost forum, there's a duratec/t9 bellhousing and t9 for sale.
    http://www.locostusa.com/forums/view...p?f=40&t=17022

  19. #19
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    Default T-9 & bellhousing for sale

    I saw that and replied. I haven't heard back yet. I picked up a 2.3 Duratec motor and Subaru diff today. The diff is a 3.55 LSD, Very nice. It's from an Impreza WRX. According to the Suby guys, the way the drivetrain works, it is rare that the power actually gets transferred to the rear diff (only if the front is slipping) so the LSD plates are usually in near-new condition. The motor has 78k on it but the coolant passages are perfect. The head and pan come off tomorrow before it heads to the machine shop for cleaning and evaluation. The current Birkin kit is set up for the Subaru diff. The distributor provides modified half shafts that mate up between the diff and the rear hubs. Same with the driveshaft. I am getting the wide body kit (about 100mm wider). Everything should fit a bit easier under the hood. More when I get the block and head back.

    Question! Is there a difference in external dimensions between the standard oil pump and the high output one? Does it generate more flow, higher pressure or both? Different pressure relief setting?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papak View Post
    I picked up a 2.3 Duratec motor
    Focus or Ranger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Papak View Post
    Question! Is there a difference in external dimensions between the standard oil pump and the high output one? Does it generate more flow, higher pressure or both? Different pressure relief setting?
    Burton in the UK show 2 here which I presume you've seen. One the stock and the 2nd the Cosworth. They sure look the same, if the pictures displayed there are the actual things. I know that Magnus used one and I think Sean did too. My understanding is that the Cozzy one fits in the stock oil pump location. Both of them use dry sumps. Burton's pdf file shows the Cosworth as "high flow" but doesn't offer up any specs. Hopefully one or the other (or both) will be along to tell what they know.

    Ah! On page 2 of Magnus' engine build thread cited earlier are very clear pics of the oil pump install.
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

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