Yoeddynz's 1968 Vivalution IV with Mazda V6. Oh hang on..you're meant to regulary replace fuel filters?

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Got a nice Viva SL grill from Andre who owns the red GT. He had it as a spare. I put it on yesterday and it looks so much better then the standard budget grill. I'm well happy. :D


Also got 2 new tyres and got the best one of the old fitted to a spare rim so now I have a matching spare. sweet.

Cause I'm always such a tight barsteward this is the first that I have bought new tyres in about 20 years. On way back from tyre place on bypass the rear end with the new tyres felt loose- like it had flats. I've since been told its the new tyre syndrome. The car will be riding on all the little moulding hairs and wax/silicone needs to get scrubbed off? Feels bloody odd!

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We decided to take the Viva for a spin over to Kaiteriteri to se the olds who are on holiday there. I wondered if I could squeeze the bikes in. Didnt think I would but I tried. The boot fits one easily. In fact it can almost swallow two bikes. Put one on the back seat and one plus all 4 wheels in the boot. Bloody chuffed I can take the bikes in the car but I will still look for or build a tow bar in the near future.

I new it was gonna be scorching there so in order to protect my split free dash I thought I'd better make a sunvisor. Popped to the back of work where we have loads of bike boxes and found a nice Raleigh one for the period touch. Hey presto cheap classy sunvisor....



Today I spent time drinking coffee and fitting new carpet. I started with some really nice insulation left over from my brothers house- sort of bubble wrap in alloy foil. I taped it in neatly so to create a smoother surface for the carpet to lay over. Got some new carpet at a nice price locally. It pretty much finished but I need to get the two footwell mats edged and get a heel mat sewn in. If I can get some cheap edging I might use mums solid old Pfaaf sewing machine but I'll inquire how much they would want to charge first. Its so bloody nice to have proper carpet in now and along with the insulation its much quieter!!!! :) I'll have to start washing my feet now... :rolleyes:




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Going to install a new, hopefully far better dfi ignition setup soon. Started on it yesterday but lots of little sandflies were hanging about for a meal and it was about to start raining. Looked at all my careful wiring, going over it in my head, thinking 'fuck it, I'm gonna have to undo the lot and re-tape it'.

But actually I think I might get away leaving the loom in the bay apart from the coil end. Thats where I'll have to try doing a neater job for the new ignitors and coils. I'm thinking about a little open ended alloy box to hide them from view and promote airflow.

For now while it rains this morning I shall sit with coffee and check out other build threads :)

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Oh and if my car were a morris minor then I found its doppleganger.


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Its still LEAKING! I checked it tonight after a good solid days rain and the drivers side floor mat was soaked. Fuck it.

I will run the hose over it on sat morning with heater vent covered and sealed to take it out of the equation and see if its getting through the windscreen seal but I fear its still sneaking in around the heater box somewhere and somehow.

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Pretend skids are the way to go. Cheaper and easier on the car if not quite so cool...


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Took car to mates place where I wouldn't get bitten by bloody sandflies yesterday and I wired up my new modules and coils. Was awesome to have the use of a workshop as it rained later.

The new system is wasted spark on the leading coils- and direct fire from the coils to the plugs avoiding the dizzy. Plus the new coils and modules are a newer high output system with possibly smarter ignitors.

I used the Tridon 015 modules. One for a new twin post leading coil and one for a single post coil. I used nice beefy wire, plus decent sized seperate heatsinks for each module. I kept the original wiring I had in place for the original j109 and diamond coils just in case something went wrong now or in the future.

I simply ran new wires from the dizzy reluctors, having found some small spade connectors that fitted the terminals.

The already warmish engine started up but was running badly- missing and hesitant. After much thought and looking at this thread again I realised I had the wire polarity on the dizzy terminals wrong. I had wired them according to a diagram on ausrotary. That diagram must be for series 1 dizzys with the different reluctor phasing. The diagram I found later shows the polarity the way I should have done it :rolleyes:

I swapped the connectors the next morning and much better! Cold engine started straight away on choke. I also added some extra wires in whilst at it as by this time I was already planning to get some better Bosch coils- running 3 modules and 3 coils.

So I had it running fine and was checking the timing with my strobe light which was when I discovered the trailing circuit died! I finally traced it to a failed brand new Tridon module! I dont know what killed it? Could having the polarity wrong off the reluctors kill a module?

Luckily I had kept the old wiring in place so I re-instated the old ignitors and coils its all working again.

I don't know what killed the module but I am guessing that as I have used non-Bosch coils (new, chinese items from Repco but were apparently equivalent... )

I never took the car for a run at all. Only had idling for a half minute at a time.

I will now get hold of two or three HEC715 coils and do it properly. Plus maybe get some bosch BIM024 modules if I can afford them.

I also borrowed a Dolomite Sprint front bib spoiler from a sprint being restored at work. Its the right width but the profile is wrong with my Viva having a more upright valance. Bugger. If coloured in body colour it would have been a nice subtle mod to help stop front end lift the car suffers from.


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Decided to make the most of a decent concrete floor at work and went in today to do some jobs on the Viva. My boss was there rebuilding his long term E type resto while his mate was in cleaning his e type on the hoist. So I worked on my V type amongst them...

Firstly I finished off some wiring in the boot for some speakers and a small amp for the road trip.

Also put some insulation under rear seat to dampen road noise.

Second job was to remove the 40 year old squishy rear bushes. A friend down from Chch sold me some new Viva bushes that are a much harder rating (65 rating).

 The old bushes came out quite easily and new ones went in even easier. Hannah was along to help so I introduced her to the lathe and we made some bits and pieces to help press the bushes in and out.  Some of the old ones were only 40 or 45- quite soft and very broken down. Hopefully this will help the rear axle from taking its own direction.

After this I foolishly thought to tackle the rusty rear valence and bent bumper area. I should have left it for another day as we wanted to go for a bike ride in the sunshine but no- I was on a roll and thought nah.. it'll only take an hour or two.....

The bumper had been hit hard and the mounting areas were bent in so we used the porta power and straightened things out. The sticker I put on ages ago to hide some rust I knew was there...



I ended up taking almost the whole bottom panel off..


Then we discovered this...


Luckily it was only the panel that was rusty. I don't know how but the bottom lip where all the flakey rust and potential moisture was sitting was solid as.

So while I cut and curved a new panel Hannah cleaned, wire brushed and neutralised it.  By this time we were hungry, it was late and we were both grumpy. My tummy hurt. I needed food. So I tacked the panel in place and will seam weld it then finish it off later.


Driving home It seemed quieter except for the speaker boxes I have made squeaking against the vinyl seat top. The car seems to handle better but I'll know more when I take it on the open road.

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Well I'm all in a rush to get little jobs finished before the BIG TRIP. Today at lunch time I filled over the new rear valence panel I had welded in. Tonight at work I put the tools down early and I sat in the evening sun and sanded away. Tomorrow it will recieve paint.

The other day I had fitted a 'new' secondhand front wheel bearing to replace the knackered one. I got the bearing complete with spare hubs and discs from a mate in Chch who had stock piled old HB parts. Luckily the disc was much thicker, almost new and so it replaced the thin one on the car. But it had terrible pock marks from rust. Rather than skim it in the lathe I had the fella in Nelson come round with his disc skiming machine. This way I know they are skimmed true.

Wow- what a difference to the braking. No more pulsing. No caliper throw out.

Best $40 I have spent in ages!

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I have finally, almost, finished the new ignition setup. I had bought 3 Bosch Hec 715 coils to replace the non-branded coils I was trying last time round.

Now with 3 coils lined up together there was not room for the new ignitor housing cooler box I had in mind. This little box would house a little computer fan to keep the ignitors cool as last time round I noted how hot they get. Heat is usually the killer of them.

So first I thought I would build the box first and then see where it might fit. I took the car to work yesterday so I had use of the lathe, metal folder, plasma cutter etc. Made it much easier and neater than I have been used to over the last few years of dealing with what little I have in my shed thats for sure! Just things like boring a hole in 5mm plate with the lathe rather than drilling many holes in a circle and cutting between them! :wink:



I had to nick the fan from the housetruck where I had fitted it to cool the solar charger.  When I looked at the local tip there were no old computers to raid one from. Next time maybe.

I have kept all the wiring intact for the old ignition system so with a bit of allen key spinning and terminal pushing it can be re-installed if this new setup plays up...

After having tried fitting the box in several different places in the engine bay I decided it was just too ugly and bulky so I fitted it under the dash on the parcel shelf. This will also keep it away from the engine bay heat. I painted it black so it sort of hides away.

The wiring inside box to the ignitors...


After all this I was ready to plug the spark plug leads in place and I discovered that they aint long enough to reach- short by about 50mm. Typical :rolleyes: Oh well- I was gonna replace them as they are really old but now the start up will have to wait till monday when the shops open again.
 I might just make a quick bracket to move the coils closer for now as I'm itching to see if it all works OK.

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It works! And well at that too.

Its always a happy moment when a car starts after some engine/ignition wiring has been done. This stuff I've just done is a piece of piss compared to fellas making and wiring in ecus and shit like that. But I'm still happy.

Anyway. I turned the coils upside down and the wires still lined up fine. So I mounted it that way and the leads now reach. Cool.

Then I removed the old ignitors from the side of the dizzy and stashed them away in the boot with the old coils- emergency use...

I connected the 4 wires into the now exposed dizzy ignitor sockets, the wires I had put in place a few weeks ago in my first attempt at the setup.

Turned the key with a touch of choke and it fired up pronto. Took it for a drive. Sweeeeeet. Much much smoother all through the rev range- this on top of what was a pretty smooth engine. Where its most noticeable is cruising in a high gear just on the throttle. In say 4th or 5th at 50kph there used to be a bit of stumble, mild popping or snatch but thats all gone. Its smooth right down to say 1500 rpm where I can then pull away with no stumbles. There used to be a rumble/resonance from what I thought was the prop shaft when in a high gear going up a gentle gradient. But thats gone. I think the fuel at low down revs is being burnt that much better. The idle note is a touch louder and definitely smoother until the fuel starts pooling....

The car still idles way too rich and starts to splutter if I try to gently raise the revs after even 20 secs of idling. I cant set the carb jet any higher so I will just have to make a new needle. I can buy a new needle from Swift with almost the right profile that I think I want- but at $45 per needle I d would rather have ago at making my own.

This idling over richness and the bloody noisy, rattling front disc pads are now the most annoying items on the to do list.

Oh and the rev counter now flutters away and reads 500 to high at idle. But as soon as I even breathe on the throttle pedal its goes still, drops back to 1000 ish and when driving its fine as. Odd!? I really don't know what is causing this? Its just a cheap Trisco item. That I paid $7 for... But it works fine with the stock setup.

I shall attempt to quieten the loose pads tomorrow. I cant get the proper shims/springs from anywhere local so I'll make something instead.

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Continued fettling/tinkering away with car today. Decided I must remove the rattle from the front brakes. But how? The sprung shims can no longer be bought for my calipers it seems. But I have a good collection of various little springs and I managed to find a couple that slid nicely onto the retaining pins and kept the rattles away.

I have given my invention the catchy name of 'Rattle be gone'

Tomorrow at work I'll finish the back panel painting (well actually Shane the painter will) and after work I'll give the car a oil change and grease the ball joints etc in preparation of the big trip north.

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As some of you already know, because you saw the car at the OS nats, we just did a nice road trip in the north island. I thought I would write a little spiel about the trip...

The trip up to Rotorua was uneventful. The car went perfectly apart from the continuing overrich mixture at idle. All those who got stuck behind us in the traffic through Wellington will attest to the clouds of un-burnt petrol coming from the tailpipe. At any intersection or set of lights where I was to stop for more than 10 seconds I just turned the car off. Easy. Just like a posh bimmer with the fuel saving green mode....

On sunday afternoon the nats we drove up towards Opotiki and then through the (Waioeka?) gorge to Gisborne.

Waihotahi beach just past the lagoon near Opotiki was bloody beautiful and the weather was fantastic. Plunger coffee and sandwiches went down well here!


The drive through the gorge was awesome except getting stuck behind a slow driver who would not let me past for ages. Some people just seem to not like the thought of an old car passing them I think?!!

We arrived in Gisborne at nightfall and continued through north till we found a nice place to pitch the tent. Next morning dawned lovely- again.


We got up early to avoid getting caught by the anti 'enjoy your own country and camp in nice places' brigade. Because we were up early we went for a swim/surf at an awesome beach just north of Gisborne. The sun was coming up over the sea and the water was really warm! Lovely start to the day...


Then we had strong coffee in town and headed south to Napier. The day was fantastic for driving and car was just cruising along. Any twisty or hilly sections were taken at speed until I reached the (meagre) limits of the Vivas handling. We arrived at Lees house in time for more coffee and chilled out. Then into town and onto some suitably shitty old bikes for a ride about town with Lee and his brother. Fucking coool as town. Had a tasty burger at the Masonic. Was wowed at the niceness of it all.

Later we chilled out at Shiteau Napier and then fell asleep with the cat.

Next day was another day of great beaches, very warm sea and hot sun. This time Ocean beach south of Napier. The Viva was dwarfed by other cars in the park...


Oh and prior to that we visited the British car museum. Awesome place to visit with so many beautiful cars. I like it that it starts off with the Vauxhall section.


Ahhhhh- a load of Vivas stacked up. Only two HBs though. And no wagons. I was really hoping there might be a wagon there. Anyway- musn't grumble.



Back to Napier and pitch tent in local campsite. Then cruise to town, walk about and take many many photos...


Freaky thing was walking into the Masonic again and there sitting down for dinner was my sister- up from Wellington for a break! Small world.

Next day we had more coffee, took more photos. Then we cruised south again via SHY 50 and headed towards Masterton. We found a wicked Doc campground at the end of a long gravel road near Mount Bruce, about a half hour north of Masterton. It was most excellent bush and so peaceful nestled in the Tararua's. Very chilly night but so cosy reading Evo and practical classics magazines inside the Viva, nestled very comfortably in the leather Momo seats with a hot cup of tea till the evening grew dark. Then sleep time.

Next moring we did one of the bush walks- an old tramline from the old days of milling for hardwood timber.


Then we cruised on to Wellington, stopping in Greytown mid morning for a good coffee in a nice wee cafe. The fella there running it warned us about the 'big hill' coming up- the Rimutakas. Would our old car make it over he said? Bugger that- I was looking forwards to caning the Viva over them and so I did passing many a modern car. He he- such fun.

Finally back in Wellington with time to spare so we did a little ticky tour around the coast road via Miramar peninsular to Island bay and back over via happy valley. Wellington is far nicer than I thought and along with Napier we both decided we could live there.

Onto the ferry and now we are relaxing at my olds in Blenheim before we head home to Nelson.

The car ran so well over the whole trip. We covered 1116 miles (1785km) and it averaged 25.2 MPG or 11.2 L / 100km. Bloody happy with that given the twisty hilly nature and some fast driving. Good for a turbo charged rotor sucking through a carb...

It used about 1 litre of oil but most of that I think is from various small leaks here and there like the sump and the turbo drain pipe. Front tyres are now a bit sad but they lasted enough.

I counted 32 minor birds on walking on the road. The radiator took out 8 wasps. The lights took out countless flies. The car got a much needed clean today.

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Today I thought Id better start on building my little catch can and sump venting setup. It was gonna rain later anyway so I took off to work. I love having the use of the workshop :) Even just having the car on the hoist so I can lift it up high enough that my back doesn't get all knackered leaning over the wings is great.

I measured up the one place I only wanted an extra item like this- on the bulkhead. Not loads of room but out of the way and I dont think i'll need a huge can anyway.

My design has two angled flaps of steel pointing down, one over the other. the bottom one has a section cut out of it and above that between the two I placed stainless scouring pad.



This and the flaps will hopefully pull away any oil in the mist getting sucked into the can. The sucking will come from just in front of the carb. Most suck after the carb but I dont want any upsetting of my mixtures and my carb always has good suck in front. The inlet into my sump is halfway up the filler tube and will be filtered- so constantly purging the sump with clean air.

I wish we had a tig welder at work- even though my tig welding is pretty crap it would still be easier and neater than mig welding thin sheet into a box. But hey- thats what grinders are for eh? :D



I added a drain plug at the bottom. If my is spewing out more oil than I thought then maybe I can screw in a drain back to my sump. I'll see how quick it fills up.

To hold some clear tube for a oil level sight I was going to make little elbows from copper pipe but brazing is too hot for them and I couldn't find any easyflow. So i did this instead- drilled some little holders up from 10mm square and brazed them in place then soldered the copper pipe in place.



I ran out of time so will finish the plumbing hopefully tomorrow. Will give tank the usual blast of my favourite stain black paint. Hopefully it'll blend in and wont stick out. I hate filling engine bays with stuff- i look at simple engines running a single carb with envy. Alas this is the world of hairdryers :|

I also found a little air valve which i might play with- thinking of making a lean off circuit for when at the lights to help combat the stumble associated with fuel pooling. Just more tinkering... :rolleyes::D

Car still leaked the other night in heavy rain- carpets got damp :( Still not sure exactly where its coming in :?:

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left work at lunch time as I have a nasty sore back. On way home I pop into a shop and when I came out I discovered what my workmates had been up to this morning :rolleyes::) ....


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I have been meaning to make a tow bar/bike rack for ages. when we have travelled out somewhere in the Viva for mountain bike rides the bikes have gone inside, one in the boot with all the wheels and one on back seat. This is annoying and had to be stopped.

I didn't want a big tow bar and ball sitting out back when its really just there for bikes so i built a rack that slides into a bit of box section hanging below a nice neat bar hung between the rails.

The rack is simple and works well. its the same one I had built for the rx3, then bolted to front of truck.

Its gonna be so good being able to put the bikes on quick and easy for bike trips out of town. :) Plus I made sure it suits our older commuting bikes. Sadly no photos.

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Mini update. well not a mini. viva update...

After having parked the Viva up for 2 months while away in the UK and India I thought it might not start- usual doubts about batterys, stale fuel, gremlins in the ignition eating wires etc etc. Went to start the car and it was all a big non event- it started straight away first turn of key. :D OK so this isn't a biggie for people out there with moderns but it always makes me happy when an old faithful car continues to be faithful.

Thought 'hmmm...I'm sure there was more fuel in the tank?..in fact I know I filled it up before parking!' turns out that the tiny drip from the tank outlet lost me about 5 litres over 2 months of dripping. damn.

Then I thought..better take car for a quick spin to remix 2 stroke oil in tank. good excuse. IT was so nice to drive the Viva again after having spent much time in the last two months being drivin or driving inferior cars..well except for the trip in Bastardchild's lush 7 series bmw to shelsley hillclimb from RR gathering- that was nice. 8)

Viva smells soooo good. leather, vinyl, petrol... all the smells that a car should have. We packed it up and fitted the new bike rack in order to take home the old classic Bontrager mountain bikes we had bought in blighty for the India trip. They looked great on the back. So handy it is to finally have a rack on the back too. A fantastically chilled smooth trip home and as its that bit warmer now the car ran perfectly smooth. Sadly over the Whangamoa hills between Blenheim and Nelson when performing a very fast pass to show the rude modern that not all old cars are slow it pinked again with me having to back off slightly. Its only under heavy load at high revs so I must continue on my search for a 12A turbo dizzy with its ignition retard vac pots or make some of my own to suit. The fueling is pretty good- its just too much advance while boosting. I keep expecting the poor old engine to blow, so loud is the pinking- detonation being the main killer of rotaries under boost. But still it soldiers on. Such a bloody loose old engine - im amazed how well it goes and if it dies at some point i wont be sad or surprised. So long as I dont break a tip from detonation and destroy a housing.

I think the turbo seals need attention soon. Its been slowly using more oil. It doesn't smoke much at all but I think when I shut the throttle, say like on a downhill and the turbo is still spinning it is starting to suck oil through past the old seals. This is always more pronounced on draw through turbo setups hence you always need a turbo with full 360 degree seal(usually carbon?) which this has but I think getting tired now.

I was planning on getting some nice photos of it in the hills now we have a proper camera (not just the phone) but I forgot to as the driving and music was so good. But I took these before and after.

unpacking and assembling the bikes in hot Blenheim sun...


Bontragers- sweet classy early 90's steel bikes. Now added to our huge fleet.


Home sweet home. Grass looking good and plenty of little daisys about..


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Following on from the discussion thread that I started where I had decided to change the engine out for something that is a touch friendlier on my wallet at the pump and wanted some ideas on possible swaps.....


I have decided to have a good crack at fitting a lovely quad cam 24valve all alloy Mazda K series V6. I know it wont be as cheap to run as some other suggestions but it'll be cool. It will definitely be cheaper to run overall then the rotary. And I'm expecting it'll sound wicked. Certainly a bit more involved than the other option I had in second place which was a turbo'd Mx5 1.8. But I'm really looking forwards to some of the mini challenges that will pop up.

Ideally it'll be the K8 ZE 1.8 (144bhp) or a KF ZE 2L (160bhp).

I think the KL DE or ZE 2.5 ones might be too thirsty. But can always be fitted later- all the engines are the same external size - which is nice.

So I left work early on friday and went to wreckers to measure up V6...


... showing the horrible ugly inlet manifold. I would not be using this- I have some good ideas floating about in my head on how to make a neat plenum setup.

For other people who might be interested in these engines- here are the measurements I took. Its very compact for a V6.


I did some measuring in my Viva engine bay today. It looks good. I have 140mm in front of the crank pulley which is more than enough for a radiator and fans.

The NS cam bank will either just nudge the brake servo or it'll clear. I can 'manipulate' the servo brackets and shift it sideways another 30mm anyhow.

The top of the v6 manifold should be no higher than the current alternator position so I have plenty of room there.

The cam housings/ heads sit away from the bulk head by 100mm so enough room to use stock dizzy out back. Plus heads clear the clutch master.

The stock V6 is a front sump as is the rotary. How handy. The V6 sump is deeper above the crossmember but I would reshape it and have a bigger winged pan for extra oil.

I measured a friends rotary flywheel up. The rotary flywheel sits just 5 mm further away from the block- easy to sort when I make a flywheel spacer to suit whichever thickness engine to bell housing adaptor ring I make. Only problem is the rotary flywheel is 20mm larger in dia than the 1.8 V6 item. I know that others have used rx7 bell housings on V6 conversions so perhaps the larger 2.0 or 2.5 engines have a bigger flywheel diameter?

So it's looking good. I almost bought a complete mazda mx5 today- cheap but reg on hold and no wof. I decided not to risk it and instead continued looking for a cheap engine by itself.

Half an hour later, after I had gotten off the phone to tell the fella in chch I wasn't going to buy his mx6, I found this bargain on trademe ending 2 hours later....


Which I have just bought. Its a K8 1.8 but I think being a Jap import it'll be the 144bhp ZE model plus it has all the parts I need to start with. At $200 its worth the punt. I'll just tow it to my parents and start striping it down next weekend. Then I can weigh the engine as finding a reliable weight for these engines on nerdnet has been tricky. Very chuffed. Looking at a cheap KF 2.0L elsewhere too- again a JDM model with 160bhp. Hopefully I'll score that too.

So for now this looks like the way I'll go. I am in no rush to pull the rotary out- instead I'll borrow a friends rx7 box and start making an adaptor plate to suit and any other bits that need sorting out.

What I really do want to do is post up as much info on these engines and the modifications needed so people reading this thread can try them in other cars too. They seem pretty cheap to buy and so far seem like a really nice alternative to the norm out there.


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Food for thought...


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