2.3 slant 4 engine.

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2.3 slant 4 engine.

Postby chevette adam » 11 Dec 2006, 22:32

Hello all, I have aquired a 2.3 engine (bedford Cf origin) and also a big valve head with twin 48's from a works Firenza. Apparently it produces 180 bhp when conbined with a performance cam 8) What I want to know is if there are any cams still available? maybe tim knows? Are there any exhaust manifolds off of other cars that will fit? Any other advice on fitment/tuning is welcomed. I have decided to use it for my saloon hillclimbing project as I have virtually all the bits already and fancied something a bit different/fun.

P.S Coupled to a type 9 box and manta A axle.
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Postby flexbuttcheck1 » 11 Dec 2006, 23:49

the cf bottom end is low compression so youll need to sort that out first, you will need a modified sump and a water pump off one of the early type ohc vivas not the later ones with viscous fan, the cf one has a long nose and you want a short one for clearance, kent or piper will both reprofile cams to your spec for the 180bhp you would need the same spec as the gt5x cam as the gt4x cam would be giving you nearer 160bhp, also is the head from a hp firenza as these were different to normal 2.3s so the normal 2.3 cam and box dont fit on without modification your best bet is to get hold of the sportpart manual for info, this conversion was not as simple as some people would lead you to belive back in the day and is even harder now with the lack of parts available but if your pretty good at fabricating little bits and bobs you should be ok! good luck!
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Postby Harry Flatters » 11 Dec 2006, 23:51

If the mods will excuse the commercial, I'd suggest a DSG membership if you're going the slant four route, for parts and advice.

Not sure I'd agree with the comment about the 4X cam, but yes, look for the Sportpart manual, much is in there.
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Postby flexbuttcheck1 » 12 Dec 2006, 00:19

sorry the 160bhp on the gt4x was meant to be 170bhp :oops:
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Postby chevette adam » 13 Dec 2006, 00:59

Don't know if it was from a HP firenza. Is there any differences to tell them apart? I have scanned the DSG forum, am concidering membership in the new year. All the bits I need were posted on there long ago :cry:
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 13 Dec 2006, 10:02

i take it the engine came less the cam carrier, cam and rocker cover?

first the bad news - the exhaust manifold will cost you a fortune - well over £150 if you can find one. they are 3 piece and have huge primary pipes that curl round everything. i have an old one that could be used as a patern; if you find someone who can make it. i have a feeling when Janspeed still made them they were £300 to £400 new.

a big wing sump would be a good idea.

mine has the radiator moved forword presumably to avoid the pump issue - the housing has been cut away. with an electric fan in front of the rad (hs front spoiler)

you will also need some engine mounts - apparently they were known as clubman mounts but not having seen mine for some 3 years my memory is a bit vague.

i have an hpf cam in the garage going spare, i think i have a 4x in there now. i wouldn't worry about hte low compression bottom end unless you have pistons available. the size of the engine gives a huge amount of torque (yes mine is low compression for now, i have a spare sprint engine which should be high compression). i do have a cam carrier that needs some work but no rocker cover. someone was trying to get some alloy ones cast as they should cure the oil leak problem, but he's gone into radio silence.

consider going for a proper 5 link rear end, especially if your using a type 9 box. i found mine got a bit twichy as the rear end squatted and the torque came in - it's a product of the torque tube linkage.

understeer was a bit of an issue - but i was using 185 tyres. still i will be experimenting with a rear a/r bar and wider tyres.

you will need big front brakes, the standard ones cannot cope with stopping the mass of the engine - i still use drums on the rear but will be changing to disks sometime.

to be honest the car is unlikely to be totally competitive (heavy with low power in comparison to other engines) but i can assure you it will be fun, i am so looking forword to getting mine out on stages again - even if it will be for sale immediatly after (though i might change my ming again).

probably the best thing would be a decent set of ratios in the box, mine is a getrag jobbie but a decent close ratio kit with a decent final drive will be worth more than trying to get a lot of power.
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Postby chevette adam » 14 Dec 2006, 02:47

The engine is complete and has had a recent rebuild, it runs sweet as a nut. I managed to find a quick release adapter to take the type 9 box so was intending to use it. If not would a 4 speed or 5 speed vx490 box work? So yours has the radiator moved forwards to compensate for the water pump that is interesting :idea: I have a Manta A axle with lsd already and plan to run 8 inch wheels at the back. So hopefully control over the car should be better. May have to 5 link as you said. I also have volvo 240 calipers lined up for front and rear (rear yet to be converted). I found an interesting picture of a Mini distributer used on a 2.3 on the photo section.
http://www.chevettes.com/imagebrowse.ph ... evnum=1749

Good idea?
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 14 Dec 2006, 12:13

the dizzy adaptors are pretty rare and need some majour surgery to the drive for the oil pump and pinion - yup got one of those made by bosch with electronic ignition, just don't know how to wire it up and to what. it was supposed to eliminate the bearing wera due to the weights being at the top of the cap it also allowed a greater degree of dizzy tuning as lucas units have a lot more combinations of springs and weights available.

it's nice ot see the old 2.3's still being used, i keep mine more out of nostalger than anything as it isn't classic rally legal yet.
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Postby chevette adam » 30 Dec 2006, 20:42

Heres wot I've got at the moment. Really I need some different pistons (hs standard, HC pistons etc) Wonder if anyone has a set doing nothing :lol:

Image

Image

The big Valve head and the standard one. Despite the differences in the picture between waterways, it is a near perfect match to the headgasket!

Image

Valve close up

Image

Image


Image

The Cam test fitted to the BV head

It appears that the previous owner did rebuild the engine 8)

Spoke to a chap who has a Magnum today he got his exhaust manifold reproduced for about £300, not even like the Janspeed one :shock: . Probably different due to fitment I'm guessing
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Postby Gordo » 05 Jan 2007, 12:01

Not sure how relevant this is to UK guys but ...

I've had to rebuild a LOT of CF engines back in the day and some modified ones, so things to watch for or suggestions.

As has been mentioned, distributors were sh1t - most common problem was bent shafts and if you haven't already got it sorted, use a Luminition kit or late model electronic dizzy.
Check both head surfaces, I had one head that was flat on the block side but had a bend you could see on the cam' side - had to be replaced as it was too bad to skim.
Check cam' carrier carefully as they warp easily.
IIRC, the later cam' followers were longer and had a better service life.
If you can, deburr the follower adjustment screws as they can chew the hell out of things when adjusting.
Check clearances regularly as the adjusters do wear down which can make the step adjustment a bit tricky - the valves may also deform slightly - or so I've been told :wink:
A common practice down here was using 307 small block Chevvy pistons which were cheap, strong and gave a good overbore - 3 7/8" IIRC, the conrods needed to be bushed down and they, or the block, may require facing for correct quench and/or clearance.
Valves were normally modified small block Chevvy items - if you need replacements, bear that in mind.
Cam belts often broke within service periods on stock engines, so be sure to get the best you can find.
The quality of the cast iron seemd to be extremely variable - I've had engines on their third rebore in under 80K kms - plus a couple of re-rings - they just wore the bores that quickly. On the other hand, I've had engines with the same mileage (kilometerage :) ) with less than a thou' of wear. By this stage it should be evident which catagory yours falls into.
I believe some were experimenting with small block Chevvy con rods but don't know much more - standard SBC rod is 5.7" C to C with the 400 rod being a little shorter, 2" big ends for the early engines and 2.1" for later ones.
Oil pumps are marginal, IMO, try to keep well within bearing clearances.
Play around a little with cam timing as it can make a BIG difference on engine characteristics.

That'll do for now :lol:
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Postby chevette adam » 24 Jan 2007, 14:33

Very insightful Gordo, many thanks. Does anyone know if the 2.3 16v pistons will fit the 8v? As I maybe able to get hold of some! As for the ignition system. I saw on a bedford CF site somewhere that they do a system for a mere £120! Any good to you Peter? Or indeed me? Got to find the dam thing again tho. :lol:

Also I have spoken to a chap that has a BVH and his measurements are Inlet 40mm Outlet 45mm (converted to run unleaded)

Compared to my Inlet 36mm Outlet 43mm

both heads are identical (visually) and mine appears to still have larger valves than standard.

What gives?
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 24 Jan 2007, 16:07

the cf had electronic ignition as standard on the later ones, i have a dizzy and am bidding on the harness for it on ebay, i have bought a control unit off ebay which i hope will fit. not sure if i will fit it before the first event or not. luminition is the usual after market system fitted.

i'd have to measure the heads i have, i don't know off the top of my head what size valves are fitted. i do know many cf's had big valve heads retro fitted as my neibour used to do this. so a standard head could be big valve anyway.
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Postby Harry Flatters » 24 Jan 2007, 19:30

I'm unconvinced about that head; I may be wrong but the combustion chamber shapes aren't right for a Sportpart type head and the valves are too small. My guess would be without double checking that it's a 1.6 or 1.8 head, possibly modified.

I'll probably get shot down in flames here, but IME the problem with the dizzys was not bent shafts but that the placing of the centrifugal advance assembly caused the shaft bearings to wear excessively, causing uneven lobe wear, hence variable dwell and timing.
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Postby chevette adam » 24 Jan 2007, 21:21

Some measurements would be great Peter. I can see where you are going Harry the one in the Sportspart manual looks more ovalised.

Has anyone got any ideas about the 16v pistons fitting? According to the manual they are 'similar' except having solid rings and different piston top.
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Postby Harry Flatters » 24 Jan 2007, 22:12

Adam, you're not far off Sportpart valve sizes with the ones you quoted from the chap you spoke to.

Why do you want to fit 16V pistons? Only to fit a 16V head, and that'll put the budget up a lot. They'll fit though.
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Postby Herbie_Flowers » 25 Jan 2007, 00:23

chevette adam wrote:Also I have spoken to a chap that has a BVH and his measurements are Inlet 40mm Outlet 45mm (converted to run unleaded)

Compared to my Inlet 36mm Outlet 43mm

exhaust valves are always smaller than inlet valves :wink:
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Postby Gordo » 25 Jan 2007, 08:01

mention of valves reminds me, it was also relatively common to use modified small block Chevy valves. They were both 3/8" diameter and the Chev' valves could be cut down to length, head diameter and have new grooves machined for the collets. The most common Chev' inlet sizes are 2.02" and 1.94", the exhausts 1.5" and 1.6" and they're available in steel, stainless steel and Titanium (for big budgets). If you're able to match up the springs*, you can also use their springs, machined collets and spring retainers (also steel, aluminium and titanium).

* I believe there isn't much meat below the valve pockets in the head - better option may be to use the longer valve option.


May be fun, when I win the Lotto, to build one of these up with throttle bodies, full engine management and a steel bottom end with a dry sump!
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 25 Jan 2007, 09:27

Harry Flatters wrote:I'll probably get shot down in flames here, but IME the problem with the dizzys was not bent shafts but that the placing of the centrifugal advance assembly caused the shaft bearings to wear excessively, causing uneven lobe wear, hence variable dwell and timing.


no no flames from me, i said the same a while back. what i don't know is what the lotus engine uses for spark distribution and advance control? if you know a machine shop how expensive would it be to get valves made to order i wonder?

i have been thinking about adding ignition management, i have a mate whose playing with a mega jolt on a pinto, i'll see how he does but i might have a go at this.
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Postby chevette adam » 25 Jan 2007, 11:44

Harry - I wanted to know if they would fit as I only have low compression pistons at the moment. Was told that the power output would be useless (wasn't you Peter :lol: ) I know for a 16v engine complete minus the head, so I wanted to know if I could fit the pistons - have contacted about 8 companies and they either can't get them or your talking telephone numbers!

Gordo - My valves with my supposid BVH are longer than normal my dad noticed so maybe your length concern has been addressed?

Herbie - LOL. Looking at the paper now I notice in my haste I got them the wrong way round :lol:


I still can't believe no one has any 2.3 pistons knocking around that they want rid of :cry:
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Postby Herbie_Flowers » 25 Jan 2007, 12:36

shoveitpusher wrote:if you know a machine shop how expensive would it be to get valves made to order i wonder?

are you nuts :?: :) valves are made with specialist equipment not by some bloke with a bl00dy lathe, centreless grinder and cylindrical grinder. granted, he may be able to make the inlets but decent exhaust valves are sodium filled.
chevette adam wrote:I still can't believe no one has any 2.3 pistons knocking around that they want rid of :cry:

it's an old old engine that wasn't the best to begin with hence a lack of spares. try this fella to see if he can locate any. if not i'll have a word with a bloke who may be able to help.
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 25 Jan 2007, 14:47

you left out the 2 parts are friction welded together. traditionally the stem was a different grade to the head. nb i am stuck in the past no idea how modern engines are structured.

i seem to recall the chap who runs emerald tuning used to turn his own valves for pintos or it could have been Vizzard and minis. huge amount of waste material but with supply getting short it may be the only way to get abnormal valves.

decesent has a variety of definitions depending on what your doing.
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Postby Harry Flatters » 25 Jan 2007, 20:31

Herbie, that may be true for modern valves but older stuff is pretty unsophisticated I've got valves at the workshop that a good man with a lathe and the right bit of metal could quite happily turn.

It's also not necessarily true that inlets are larger than exhausts, though granted Adam reversed it in this case (and I didn't correct him!)

I think the Lotus engines use Lucas.

Adam you have PM
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Postby chevette adam » 27 Jan 2007, 22:22

So what do you recon then?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... &rd=1&rd=1

This is the BVH I was speaking of.

What might I be better off with If I can't get a Janspeed exhaust manifold out of these two?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VAUXHALL-VX-2300- ... dZViewItem


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... &rd=1&rd=1

Opinions. Cheers

(p.s sorry for the long links but hey they work)
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Postby Gordo » 27 Jan 2007, 23:12

Not too sure about the head, they did have a slight tendancy to crack between the valves, IIRC, and the inserts'll only make that worse, But more to the point, the condition of the head isn't exactly confidence inspiring - IMO, if you buy it, be preparted to have to scrap it or use it as a patern for modifying a standard head.
The first exhaust isn't really worth considering, I very much doubt it would fit and it's what we call a free flow, rather than a performance one - the lengths are all unequal so it'd work better than the stock one but be well down on a proper manifold.
The second looks like the real deal but there seems to be just the primaries, without the secondaries/collector - may be still worth while though as the hardest work is done. One proviso though, I seem to recall there was a difference between the single and dual cam manifolds - perhaps someone can enlighten us both.
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Postby Shoveitpusher » 28 Jan 2007, 09:02

the first manifold would be of no use, the priamries are about half the diameter of a 2.3 janspeed chevette manifold.

the second looks like the primaries of the correct manifold for the single cam, i too think the 16v version has different openings on the head - oval not round. the 2 into i bit is quite simple so the second one would be worth getting and it shouldn't be too hard to make the next part.
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