Hi all, once again I find myself looking for excuses for not updating the blog recently. A. we spend a hell of a lot more time working on cars than the blog B. Gran Turismo 5 was released last month so our interactions with non car related technology has been mostly limited to the PS3 and C. my own immense laziness.

Okay enough of the excuses, back to the business at hand. First and foremost we can’t take much credit for this as the owner Billy has done a beautiful job of modifying this car for it’s intended track use, so credit where credit is due. It’s not very often that we are so impressed, the attention to detail even down to the minutia is rare and he is still refining it. I’m sure that he’ll have a build diary up somewhere (I’ll ask him next time I see him and update).

Corner view

Civic Coupe

So what did we actually do, well as seems par for the course for us at the time this job was to be done there was no direct fit cage for this year and body shape to be found from our usual suppliers (or our unusual suppliers as the case may be). Being that this car is intended to be used on the track Billy needed an FIA approved cage. We went through the motions and ordered a Sparco weld in cage for a hatchback of the same year since we thought the dimensions would be similar. Close but no cigar (yet).

The basic shape was mostly there and luckily it fit correctly at the high stress/priority points (at the pillars and around the drivers compartment) with a little modification. We spent a little extra time creating mounting boxes (or more accurately boxing in the mounts) as opposed to just mounting to plates or welding directly to the body this at a minimum doubles the weld contact area to the body increasing safety, rigidity and eliminates the chance that the cage can erupt from its mounting points at impact. We welded in extra bracing to the sides, between the suspension mounts and the rear of the cage incorporating harness mounting bars at the perfect height for the installed racing seats (so it’s more like an * brace than an x brace). To put the icing on the very green cake we tied the whole structure into the body at various points along the pillars, roof and body using plates to further increase rigidity. Then Billy the owner spent days masking off the interior of the car for paint (ha ha tediousness).


You may have noticed I have used the word “we” multiple times in this post, what I should have said was “our very talented welding midget, who is let out of his box on special occasions, a crack welding unit who was sent to prison by a welding court for a crime he didn’t commit. This man promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Lyrecrumpane underground. Today, still wanted by the welding government, he survives as a welder of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire…The Welding Midget” but it’d take an awful long time to write.

Hi all,
First off I must apologise for the lack of updates but I was a little bit poorly. A chronic attack of the deadly man-flu. Oh it was terrible I was up nights looking for people to show me some sympathy, but all I got was people giving out to me for moaning.

Anyhoo back to the Prelude. The owner asked us if we could do a few bits and pieces to the car mainly a turbo conversion and in our usual Bob the Builder fashion we said “Yes we can”. It been an interesting project that’s been with us for a while and has evolved along the way and has finally reached the mock up stage.

Okay so what do you need to do to make a normally aspirated engine into a turbo one? Slap on a turbo I hear some people say, well yes obviously but if you do just that things kinda go like a bowl of rice krispies (mmm) snap, crackle and pop. So first you’ll need lower compression pistons and depending on the strenght of the standard rods, new conrods as well. Here’s where this project evolves. We need new parts already and a certain amount of work has to be done like facing the cylinders so what happens if we go a little bit further. So after a bit of discussion it was decided to get a stroker crank, bore the cylinders and sleeve the block. So what do we end up with, now instead of a 2.2l NA engine we have a 2.5l with 8.5:1 compression using Darton sleeves, Brian Crower rods and CP pistons.

Now for the fun part this 4th gen Prelude is the BA8 with the F22B non V-tec engine which was only ever sold in Japan and as such there are no off the shelf aftermarket parts available for a turbo conversion. What do you do? In our case we have a special box kept secretly in the dark recesses of the workshop which holds (when exposed to moonlight) our welding midget. So if you catch him just right by the ankles he’ll make up a custom manifold for the HKS GT2835 turbo and a full WCP 3 inch stainless exhaust system (ooh shiney).

So now we have a turbo and larger displacement which equals more power, more torques (as Clarkson says), more air and the down side more heat. This is where the supporting mods come in. For the power and torque increase we’ve installed an OS Giken twin plate clutch and a Quaife ATB diff to transfer the power to the ground. To look after the air we’ve fitted a Forge Motorsport intercooler with more custom piping from the welding midget. For the heat we’ve got a 50mm alloy rad and a made to order Mocal oil cooler which is suitably sized to look after the extra heat from the added turbo oil feed which has been tapped in.

4th gen Honda Prelude

All in all a good fun project with a customer whose was willing and insistent on going just that little bit better than the norm. Looking forward to seeing this project completed and will fire up a quick update when it’s done.

Hi all,
we were chatting in the shop during the week over one of John’s fit inducing cups of coffee and we had an idea. Basically we’re going to attempt to bring you some of our interesting jobs to give you an idea of what we do every week (or until we get bored of updating the blog).

So here goes the first one and apologies in advance for the poor pictures, they were taken by my phone.

Anyhoo as we all know last winter was a killer. We were having temps of -13 C down here in Kerry, pipes were bursting, houses were flooding, plumbers were laughing, batteries were dying and for those who didn’t have the proper coolant, blocks were cracking. As you can see the rear endplate here is cracked from the pressure of the expanding ice the engine and it also lost a frost penny from the front endplate.

Cracked Rx7 endplate.

Luckily the owner had a back-up car until funds allowed for it to be fixed (insert recession rant here). Below you can seen the old endplate versus the new, notice how the intakes are different. For rotary engines aka wankel engines (heh heh he said wankel) a relatively small increase in intake size can make huge gains in power as you can see from the streetport below. This 1.3l engine was making 320hp at 0.8 bar.

Ported vs non ported

Obviously if a ported plate comes out, a ported plate must go back in. We were lucky to have a similar porting template on hand to match the profile of the port.

Pineapple racing porting template.

Just to show you that you don’t go chopping massive chunks out of the ports, this is considered a good medium sized port which would be 3mm oversized. Another few mm and you could be in danger of the corner seal dropping into or both the corner and side seals catching the port and then you’re in for a rebuild again. If you are looking for much more air flow than this you are looking at a bridge port or a peripheral port.

Port size

So after a bit of work with the sledge and chisel (only messing I’m not allowed near the sledge anymore) this is the result. I threw in a small bottle of cola to give you an idea of the size of the endplate.

Porting done

Porting done.

See this little ******* of a dowel. Getting this ****** out of the old plate was hardest part of the job (and I still wasn’t allowed to used the sledge). It’s used to align the stationary gear (so you can bolt it in straight) which in turn keeps the rotor aligned (think of a spirograph) so therefore is handy to have (damnit).

Stationary gear alignment dowel.


Stationary gear ready to go back in.

Here we have all the bits and bobs that have to be transfered from the old plate to the new, stationary gear, tins, sensor and oil system parts. As Mr Miyagi would say wax on, wax off, although in this case it’s screw off, screw on.

Endplate sundries.

Et voila! With a sprinkling of fairy dust and a liberal spreading of jam it’s all back together, just like that, it’s magic. All that’s left to do is put it back on the engine once the replacement seals come in (now where’d they hide that sledge).

Endplate ready to go back on.

Tune in again next week for more amazing adventures with the WCP crew, same bat time, same bat channel.

P.S. If you like what you see tell your friends and if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see on this blog please leave a comment (obviously it might take while depending on what jobs we have on and/or if we are too busy drinking coffee and taking the micky out of each other).

Japfest update

Posted: September 5, 2010 in History

Poor Dave ran a bearing in the Starlet so the debate over having a baffled sump is over. Not a serious problem as he wisely pitted as soon as he noticed a problem. We’ll just pop off the sump during the week and sort it out with new bearings and fab a baffle. The great thing about the track is that it will always show up the weak links, it’s R&D IN FAST FORWARD.

Hello from Japfest

Posted: September 5, 2010 in History

YYYYYAAAAAAAAWWWNNN
Morning all we’re shattered but we’re here. Have been up for about six hrs already and it’s still morning, we decided to get up a bit earlier than usual to make sure we avoided the traffic jams going into Mondello. Plenty to do so we’ll give an update later if we can.

WCP EP82 TA

WCP EP82 TA

Jap-fest

Posted: September 2, 2010 in History

Hello again,
We’re heading to Mondello again on Sunday for Dave’s time attack, should be good craic, although we’re not looking forward to the early rise. Have to get up @ 5:30, spray the deo under the armpits, put on a massive pot of coffee, make sure the van is pointed towards Kildare and probably put on some clothes (I think there are laws about that). If you see us in the pits pop in and say hello. We’ll try to be nice between the yawns

We’ve decided what we want for Xmas as well.

Dear Santa,
we’ve been good boys and girls all year, we’ve done loads of work for customers forsaking our own projects. Please Santa build us a track in Kerry so that when we have time to work on our own cars and they are ready, we can drive them all day long until we run out of petrol (and don’t have to get up in the wee hours of the morning anymore).
Thanks
WCP Crew

P.S. a years supply of fuel would be nice too….

www.westcoastperformance.ie

Posted: August 26, 2010 in History

Hi all,

Our website is up and running again, woohoo!  Still not 100% finished but we’ll be adding to it as we go.  Hopefully we’ll be able to dig out some pictures for our gallery and projects pages that haven’t been taken by a phone 😉 .  Here is a link to Dave’s build diary of his Time Attack GT Starlet Click here for Dave’s build diary on the WCP EP82TA

Thanks for reading,
WCP Crew

P.S. here’s some random pics from the old shop on a RX7 dyno day