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Updates and Blogs


Updates and Blogs (what's a Blog??)

For starters, a "Blog" is an internet term for a "Brief log", and has become a virtual diary.  I'm hoping that here we can keep updated on anything new in the SS1 world; be it my ramblings or from any of you.  As I update the website, bit by bit, I'll add a link to the relevant sections in here as well as the link from the main page.

This page might start to grow rather quickly - if it does, it'll get organised (unlike me..)

12th May 2007

It's been far too long since any update - all my fault!

After numerous trial fits of the Zetec engine and associated bits, the proper build is going well.  The exhaust manifold has been modified a number of times (partially as I wanted to swap the turbo back to front for routing reasons), and the inlet manifold has been modified yet again.  The 8-injector setup will still fit in there (just!).

The ARP cod rod bolts are now fitted and now covered up with the redrilled sump (I initially put the turbo drain in the way of the starter motor..).  The Ford engine mounts have been replaced with heavier duty LandRover items which are smaller and allow the oil filter takeoff to fit without having to swap oil pumps.

The cylinder head is now all built up and bolted on.  Current progress (slow..too slow) is on the exhaust - trying to snake a big enough pipe from the turbo through the hole in the chassis without shorting out on the starter motor is a bit of a challenge.  Hopefully the inlet piping will be a bit easier as its now at the front of the engine and the compressor outlet no longer rests on the chassis.  I'd also forgotten about silly things like the dipstick (no jokes, please..) which needed to go straight through the turbo inlet!

3rd July 2006

I've been a naughty boy and not added anything new for a few months now...working away didn't help, and also having to reformat my hard drive thanks to a virus, then couldn't find my disc with FrontPage.  AAARGH!

Back to business..

The Zetec turbo conversion is still on-coming, although a lot slower than i'd like (for the above mentioned reasons..), but I now have:


Garret T25 turbo mounted to a tubular Ford Focus manifold


The decompression plate has arrived, and very nice it looks too!


A fully reworked Rover Turbo inlet manifold (currently on v3.45677222) - hopefully i will be able to close the bonnet when it finally gets back on the body!

The parts needed now are time (now we're wishing), plus other off-the-shelf odds and sods like cambelts, water pumps and gaskets.  The only bit which will probably need modifying now will be the engine mounts...I hope!

Hopefully I can get some serious updates going over the next week or so, as Pete Silcock's twin cam beast is now on the road (and the track!) and I have a few photos from other owners to include.


17th April 2006

I finally got to the bottom of the 3-cylinder operation of "No.2"..after its suspected head gasket failure.  A compression test showed that No.2 cylinder was down by about 20%; maybe not a blown gasket, but more like a burnt valve, so off came the head.  It would have only taken a couple of hours had it been a stock 1600, but the turbo does get in the way on the exhaust side.  Undoing the studs and nuts 1/12th of a turn takes a long time.

As soon as the head was lifted free (I just took the manifolds off and left them still attached), I was amazed at the condition of everything in there; no bore wear and the exhaust valves quite free of deposits.  Nothing looked particular sinister.  It was only turning the cam over by hand which showed that No.2 exhaust valve wasn't opening as far as it should.  It turns out that the hydraulic tappet on that valve had gone soft and could be compressed by hand about 2mm (around 20% of the lift, funnily enough). All that work and the expense of a head set and bolts for a tappet which could have been done with removal of nothing more than the cam cover...

The inside of the head was spotless (a sign of very regular oil changes) and it looks like its the first time the head has been off since the conversion.  Tappet replaced, and all back on again.  A few water hoses failed on removal, so they were replaced as a matter of course, but bar a new set of leads, plugs, cap and rotor arm it was just bolted back together again.  I did take the opportunity to fit a Sierra 1.8 cam cover as it has the front mounted filler cap for the oil (no more funnels and distributor lubrication...see here).  After a false start with the plug lead order she fired up fine and on all 4!  Quick blast up the road and all seems good again, but now the tax is due it might have a month off whilst i'm working in France...

I've also added a bit more information to the Zetec fitment page..

27th March 2006

Finally managed to get a quick look at the Volvo 740 calipers..and the mounting centres for the slider bolts are WAY too big to fit either the SS1 or Chevette uprights..unless there is some sort of carrier piece involved.  Back to the drawing board, perhaps.

The "hoped for" Limited Slip Diff is just a normal rear-disc Sierra one, but at least it'll give the car some longer legs in 5th gear - and also allow me to hit the magic 60mph in 2nd gear instead of 3rd.

I've been contacted by a television production company who are after an SS1 for a second hand car buying show on Men and Motors this summer (bit like Deals on Wheels, I gather).  Be prepared that your car will be driven by someone else.  Location isn't apparently important as they'll be travelling the country.  A reasonably standard car is needed, though.  Contact me for details..

22nd March 2006

Sorry for the delay in an update of any shape or form...

Due to an ebay cockup, my Volvo 740 calipers finally arrived (seller sent them to another ebayer..), but the bad weather and work commitments have prevented any trials to match them to the Chevette uprights slowly rusting in the back garden (!).  Having been recently persuaded by Pete Silcock and others, i've now decided to go the full monty with B23KAB and convert it to 2.0 16V Zetec power..with a turbo, naturally!  The Zetec turbo project is collecting bits aplomb; current stock list runs at:


2mm Decompression plate (being laser cut as we speak)


Heavily modified Rover 820 turbo inlet manifold has had its ends swapped (so the inlet isn't somewhere in the dashboard) and a trial fit 8 injector bottom half has been created


Ford Focus tubular manifold has been acquired ready to receive a Saab 9000 Garrett T3 turbo, after a new flange has been welded on


3.62:1 Limited Slip Diff

There are still a few bits to be purchased, namely a set of ARP con rod bolts and possibly some vernier cam pulleys, but the kit of parts is nearly there.  Looks like I will be spending most of April (and May, possibly) working in France, so progress may be even slower!

This means the 1800 CVH "hybrid" will be for sale.  I've tried (without success) to get the alternator to fit in the usual position so it would have to be moved to the inlet side (as Paul Hunt did with his Zetec build); this would then leave room for a Fiesta RS Turbo manifold.  It's Garrett T2 3 bolt flange should take a Rover 220/420/620/820 Turbo T25 unit, being the same 3 bolt fixing.  If you're interested in making a Ford-engined 1800TI, drop me a line...

Also...Pete Silcock has finally had his first drive in his 1800 twin cam Sabre!  In his words...

"Drove up our narrow, bumpy lane - as the pedal is pressed and boost comes in - car pours smoke off tyres and squats enough to file the bottom off the exhaust - I crap myself and grin like a moron."

Sounds like a result!

Many thanks to Yvonne Unwin (and the rest of family Unwin!) for providing a stunning car for the requested photoshoot.  Due in the July or August issue of Practical Classics!  Words in conjunction with www.ss1turbo.com of course!

7th February 2006

This Blog malarkey is easy to add to..

I think i've managed to sort out a few possible contenders for the new brake discs!  Still awaiting the "new" callipers to try a dummy build, however, and see what happens.  Likely candidates are BMW MINI, MG ZS 180 and Renault Laguna V6...all around the 280mm mark.  Might need longer wheel studs, but thats a different story.  Watch this space.

As (probably) mentioned elsewhere, there are a limited number of both @ss1turbo.com and @ss1turbo.co.uk email addresses available, should anyone want one...Contact me for details from the Feedback page

5th February 2006

Blog started...

Waiting for a possible new source for brake callipers for the vented disc conversion from a slightly newer Volvo (740), courtesy of eBay for a tenner.  It's not that 240 callipers aren't available any more, but these ones are twin pot, twin circuit, sliding callipers and should reduce the unsprung weight a little.  As the 740 uses larger discs than the 240 (287mm vs 263mm), this should allow for even bigger discs - assuming I can find some to fit the Chevette hubs.  Something around 260-270mm given what i've learnt from the current conversion..15" wheels will be a must!

Looks like 1600turbo no.2 has blown its headgasket - whilst running it on the Rolling Road at RSSOC Curborough 2005, it dumped its water whilst producing max power (127bhp) at 6000rpm.  Somehow I didn't expect to get off scot-free..

This has led to the start of a "Quick Tips" page - contributions welcome!


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