Get to Work Ya Bum!

There has been a notable drop in the rate of new content being posted here at travelingwithtools. That’s because I’ve been back at work for a few weeks, and despite thinking I would be able to do two things at once, I have not.

I’ve landed at the same Northern California shop that I worked for last year around this time, and I’ve dug back into some of the same projects from that stint. The McLaren F2 car had developed a small fuel leak from somewhere inside the tub, the fuel cells enclosed in the monocoque on either side of the driver.

The oval bulkhead plates on either side of the driver’s hips are about to come out to access the fuel cell connections at the back of the chassis, where they pass through into the center box that carries the pump, filter, and make-up tank.

The Ralt RT1 needed new axles installed and the gearbox gone through. On the way back together, I found a substantial crack in a suspension upright. The magnesium casting went out to get welded and then re-chromated.

  • Ralt RT-1 Upright
  • Cracked Ralt Casting
  • New Bolts for the Ring Gear
  • A Pile of Hewland FT200 Parts
  • Ralt Rt-1 Gearbox Work

A Ford Cosworth BDG two liter engine was inspected and torn down… flaws in the block will require a fresh casting. This is the sort of thing that if it were a pre-war Alfa Romeo or a Bugatti, the engine number is valuable enough that the block would certainly be repaired. With the two liter Ford, the cost of re-plating the Nikasil liners and repairing the corroded water jacket would be substantial, a new block can be had for reasonable money, and there is no importance to the engine number with this type of vintage race car. So starting fresh with a new block is the way to go.

A pile of Cosworth parts.

The pair of BMW M12 Formula 2 motors that were waiting for parts last year are now close to being ready to go together. I got to learn about all of the possible main bearing options, and it is really remarkable how many different BMW motors use the same 55 mm crank journals and will take the same bearings… from this 1972 Motorsport-built engine based on the 2002 engine, up to M3s from the 1990s.

Someone at the BMW Motorsport workshop spent a lot of time with a grinder inside this M12 crankcase.

I prepared another set of brand new Weber 48 DCO carbs for a Cosworth BDA that is almost complete and next up on the dyno. The new carbs you get these days are not nearly as nice as the older ones, and there is quite a bit of handwork required to get them into racing condition. In addition to de-burring the casting flash inside the carb bodies and smoothing out sharp edges on some of the air-flowing bits, this pair got a set of extended fuel pickup tubes. They prevent fuel starvation in high G corners, sucking the fuel up from a deeper chamber.

  • Weber Carb Extended Fuel Pickup Tubes
  • Weber Carb Extended Fuel Bowl
  • Old and New Webers
  • Swarf Pile From New Weber

All in all, a bunch of fairly interesting projects. Later on, there is a Shadow Formula One car that’s a bare tub at the moment, which is going to need assembling. Two BMW M12’s to put together and a pair of BDGs. Who knows what else might come in the door in the coming weeks?

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