About

My first car was a mini, it had a weird 1100 cc A+ engine that was never actually produced, and it did not run very well nor very long. At this point is was aware of the basic theory of the IC engine but did not know the first thing about the practical problems involved. The 1100 died , and I bravely proceeded in changing the engine for a ” very well running” MG metro 1275  which of course did not run well, but did a very nice impression of a tractor puller with great jets of blue smoke pouring out of the carter ventilation. Autopsy revealed a few very interesting things that piston rings can do when they fail.  This engine was then replaced with a bone stock 998 that ran very well for long time before the car failed MOT due to the progressive mass reduction system ( aka rust.. and yes I know a rusty car first gets heavier… but after that, it becomes lighter ..and quite airy as well).

Then I got into modifying the engine for my own car, a process that has been so slow due to extent of the rust damage , lack of funds and later lack of time and space  that I started to do some port work for others as I had bought tools to do a proper job on my own head anyway. Mostly because I had a head returned with seats that where not as specified and more importantly poorly, done. I now know that it is very possible to have good equipment and still do a bodge job. The way I cut seats is very time-consuming and I’m shure a Newen Contour would be able to better it but I like the Zen aspect of it. Mind you, if it was a business I’d 5 axis CAM everything I could.

I read the Vizard ”yellow bible” cover to cover several times and tried to learn as much as I could about engines in general. Turns out that the next step up is Blairs Bible, which is a whole different level altogether  (full contact maths..differential equations and other scary bits.Well it has taken 30 years but I think I now have a reason to want to be able to do them properly) It is not the usual hot-rodder ”how to” book.  In the meantime I ported quite a few heads, still without a flow-bench, but with did give pretty good results on the chassis dyno.

I now have a simple but effective computerized flow bench and a whole lot of basic questions most of which have so far have never been addressed anywhere , at least not publicly available.  Just trying to write something in a halfway understandable manner usually makes me understand it better..

Furthermore I have EngMod4T a 1D wave dynamics simulation program which gives all kinds on new insights, Pipemax which is brilliant for normal engines but not really for  aseries engines, and am very slowly getting into CFD.

I’m not an engineer btw, although it was plan B. My day job concerns keeping people alive that are being cut open, drilled and glued and screwed.

I might be swayed to port a head if you really want me to and are in the neighbourhood. I don’t make a living porting heads and as such I have no IPR lawyers in case I make a ”breakthrough” . If you found anything useful here, do mention the source, it is polite.

If you want to just buy a decent head go to www.calverst.com , he builds a mean engine too. I have seen 126 bhp on a local dyno for a street engine I have not cracked 100 bhp there yet.

Others that have consistently good feedback include Swiftune Racing and MED.

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Matthias Lindner says:

    Hello,
    just discovered your blog – highly interesting. Intrigued by your research on many topics I also played with over the last 15 years. I found your notes when googleing “siamesed ports”. No, I don´t deal with A series engines. My present project is a 1940 Alvis 12/70, to be converted to a special – 1900cc / 4cyl / bore 74mm / stroke 110mm / ohv. This engine has the same port arrangement as the A series – just in case anyone thought this arrangement was a strange BMC/Austin invention – it wasn´t. Listed output was 65bhp with a small single SU and CR of 7:1.
    The head is interesting: parallel valves of identical dia (38.2mm). The ex. size of the post-war engines was reduced to 35.4. These sizes can only be accomodated in a chamber that overhangs the block face on the exhaust side by 17mm. The cam timing is conservative: 15-50/50-15.
    I have a long list of planned mods which I would like to toss your way if you are willing to comment. I have some experience with flowbench development of my Stag and Dolomite Sprint (actually, my son´s) which was done some 15 years ago. The Stag runs faultlessly with my own Megasquirt EFI and many other mods, the Dolly is to be converted some time this winter.
    Look forward to your comments and will continue digesting all the info you give in your blog. Keep up the good work –
    Matthias

  2. Richard Paterson says:

    Hi,
    I am a fellow A Series and Mini nutter and have read your posts with great interest, – nice work!
    I am in the middle of an engine project that could mesh well with your endeavours and would love to swap notes with you and possibly collaborate. If you care to, please pm me.
    Cheers
    Spridget

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