The Engine Cometh…

19 07 2012

With the decision made to do Miglias the biggest problem was always going to be the engine. Migs are serious racing cars and a ‘bitza’ homebuilt engine just wouldn’t cut it at all. I had plenty of parts to build a very good 1380 Hillclimber but the spec of a Miglia is very different and I knew I really needed to start from scratch.

I’d noticed a complete engine and gearbox on ebay a while back and didn’t have the funds to buy it at the time. It was being sold by current front runner Rupert Deeth and was an ex Mike Jackson engine complete with dog box, diff and everything needed ready to drop in. I thought it was long gone so was pleased to see it pop up on ebay again about a month later. I sent Rupert a note asking if he would sell it outside of ebay and if so how much, he said a price, I said another, we met in the middle and the deal was done.

The new addition…

A few days later I found myself driving to Cambridge to pick up the engine. Rupert seems like a nice chap with loads of enthusiasm for his racing. Like me he was away from the sport for a long time and has had to start from scratch again. He has been leading races this year and I’m sure it won’t be long before he wins his first race.

A quick check over of the engine and the engine was in the back of the car along with a few slick tyres and a Weber Alpha ECU, and I was on the long journey back to Bristol.

So there we have it, an engine ready to drop in. It makes total sense really; I can’t afford to go to Swiftune, SH or Vickers to get an engine, and with the best will in the world there are plenty of secrets that would take me several seasons to learn. This way I have a unit ready to go with the right gearing and to current Miglia spec.

But, the main headache is going to be what engine management to use. It came with an ex Mike Jackson Weber Alpha PI038 ECU (apparently all ready and set up for my engine) and some amplifiers, but the loom had been cut up and so was unusable. A decent loom will cost me a few hundred quid and I don’t know for sure that the ECU is working yet… Add to that the Weber Alpha software is only available through their approved rolling roads and you can see my quandry.

Weber Alpha ECU and amplifiers. Not really sure what the thing on the bottom left is, maybe a regulator for an alternator? Not great with electrics me…

I think as funds are low my best bet is to send the ECU to Weber to check, and if all is ok I will need to get a loom made and then go to one of their approved rolling roads – probably Aldon Automotive, unless I think of a better idea. I have done more u-turns than a Tory government so far so you never know… 🙂

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