Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category

Mapping Session Astra H VXR

Rolling Road mapping session to optimise software settings on this Astra H VXR, which has had some hardware alterations since it was first mapped. Before and after mapping saw gains of between 12-34bhp and 5-20 lb ft torque.

Astra H VXR on the Rolling Road

Astra H VXR on the Rolling Road

Astravan Z20LEH 2.0 Turbo Conversion

A 294bhp Z20LEH engined Astravan in for a service, MOT and some additional TLC. This van has a huge spec including Quaife LSD, Astra H VXR brake set up (front and rear) with uprated discs, CSR Intercooler, 76mm Full exhaust system, 80mm AFM and VXR injectors, uprated clutch and flywheel, a B8 damper and Eibach spring kit, rear ARB and Revolution Millennium Alloy Wheels. We carried out the coversion on thsi van several years ago now and it is still kept in immaculate condition.

Z20LEH Astra Van

Z20LEH Astra Van

Now Accepting AmEx and PayPal

Courtenay Sport are please to announce that we are now accepting American Express cards online and at our premises and PayPal for online purchases.

Now Accepting Online: Now Accepting On Our Premises:

American Express Logo

American Express

PayPal Logo

PayPal

American Express Logo

American Express

Revolution Millennium Alloy Wheels

Revolution Millennium Alloy Wheels 8Jx18; now also available in Anthracite (as well as White). Spec: 8Jx18, ET35mm, 5x110PCD, 65.1mmCB. Black finish due around August time.

 

Revolution Millennium Alloy Wheels

Revolution Millennium Alloy Wheels

Uprated Enlarged Performance Intercooler – Astra J VXR

Astra J VXR Uprated Performance Intercooler

Astra J VXR Uprated Performance Intercooler

Once again we have joined forces with industry leaders Pro Alloy to develop our new enlarged, uprated performance intercooler kit for the Astra J VXR.

Our new intercooler is both larger in width and height than the standard unit with the core being twice as deep as the factory cooler. This represents a huge increase in available cooling area and volume and maximises the cooling available through the front of the car whilst also future proofing the cooler for use with high power large turbo setups.

The factory cooling set up has the air conditioning radiator in front of the intercooler so our first job was to remove the intercooler and then reposition the A/C radiator back, on to the water radiator. This is done so that the new intercooler is receiving the coolest air available. To further improve the efficiency we have included in the kit a lower air blade to stop the air washing away from the bottom of the intercooler.

Furthermore to maximise flow to and from the intercooler the kit comes complete with all the pipework which is enlarged to 60mm, paying particular attention to the restrictive section straight out of the turbo seen at the top rear of the engine bay. The Intercooler kit also comes complete with all the required hoses and laser cut brackets and fittings.

Price: £899

Oil Restrictor Bolt – K04 VXR Turbo

We thought we would share some information regarding oil restrictor bolts to help clarify our views on them…

Restricting the oil supply to Turbos is not a new idea or fad; turbo conversion companies have been doing this as instructed by Garret since the early 1990s.

It is true that a number of Vauxhalls have suffered from this smoking due to oil washing past the turbo oil seals.

It is true that changing the oil to a heavier weight of oil helps with this by allowing the oil to drain quicker as it is more resistant to any frothing or foaming (call it what you will) in the turbo core.

It is true that journal bearing turbos do need a very good supply of oil.

It is also true that too much oil can and will swamp the seals and in this case… the use of careful oil restriction will help; Vauxhall has also done this in production of the later K04 units.

Now we believe the original Vauxhall KO4 oil restrictor bolt was developed by Ian Percival AKA Percy (vxronline) before GM Modified the core. Ian is very knowledgeable by all accounts. He carefully calculated then made a restrictor as part of the bolt so it can be retro fitted to cure this lack of oil restriction in very early units. Our reluctance to recommend oil restrictor bolts comes not from what Ian did but from the fact that many other individuals and “ebayers” alike have jumped on the oil restrictor bolt bandwagon and produced some very inferior imitations. To this end we have been handed a number to fit, made of some very dubious soft material and we have seen some with a pressed in restrictor plug complete with a loose and rattling swarf built in, which would have killed a new turbo almost immediately! Plus we have removed many others that have been over restricted.

We hope people can now see why a number of suppliers, turbo manufactures and re-manufacturers are reluctant to recommend them. To be clear it’s not the principle or the original execution that is the problem but the others that have come along after, which when fitted can damage what was a perfectly good turbo unit, leaving the supplier / manufacture liable.

The later VXR turbochargers already have the oil flow control built into the oil gallery in the turbo itself, as is evident from the picture below centre:

Z20LEH Turbo Oil Gallery

Z20LEH Turbo Oil Gallery

If a turbocharger is smoking due to worn turbo oil seals, then the turbo already has a problem. A restrictor bolt will not repair worn turbo oil seals.

How Waterless Coolant Works.

Water is an excellent fluid for cooling whilst in a liquid state, but when water turns to steam it has virtually no capacity for heat transfer. Evans is a superior fluid for transferring heat in engines because it remains in a liquid state until above 180°C. This article details the benefits of a significantly higher boiling point.

Within an engine cooling system the hottest surfaces are those adjacent to the combustion chamber, specifically the cylinder liners and cylinder head. In these hot spots water is likely to vaporise preventing efficient cooling and causing loss of performance and unnecessary engine damage. When the coolant fails in this way the engine becomes even hotter causing more hot spots and more steam.

Evans waterless coolants will not boil around these engine hotspots maintaining efficient cooling performance even when the engine is put under extreme conditions. When water turns to steam it pressurises the cooling system putting strain on hoses and other components. The significantly higher boiling point of Evans coolants means 75% less pressure than water resulting in a less stressed cooling system.

Water contains oxygen which causes corrosion and also allows electrolytic activity which further damages engine metals (chemical limitations of water). Evans waterless coolants eliminate corrosion and electrolytic activity significantly increasing the life of the engine.

Nucleate Boiling

Nucleate Boiling

Traditional water based coolants regularly cross the thermal boundary that separates efficient Nucleate Boiling (A) from inefficient Critical Heat Flux (CHF). CHF is synonymous with the condition ‘Departure from Nucleate Boiling’ (DNB). When DNB occurs, a layer of steam bubbles form adjacent to the engine hot spots (B).

Steam dissipates less than 1/30th of the heat that water does, rapidly over-heating local metal, causing premature detonation. The high boiling point of Evans Waterless Coolants, such as Power Cool 180, prevents DNB providing more efficient cooling in engine hot spots.

Convert your car to Waterless Engine Coolant:

Evans Waterless Engine Coolant

We are pleased to confirm that we are now testing Evans Waterless Coolant. Evan’s Power Cool 180 High Performance Waterless Coolant for performance & track cars is designed for high performance engines fabricated from a mixture of cast iron, copper, steel and aluminium components. It has a number of advantages over conventional coolant, which are listed below.

Power Cool

Power Cool

Conversion to Waterless Coolant is fairly straightforward, with using Evans Prep Fluid is formulated to hygroscopically absorb water whilst flushing loose dirt and scale from the cooling system prior to filling with Evans Waterless Coolant. The job can be completed in just a few hours by either a professional workshop or competent enthusiast.

Benefits of Waterless Over Water-Based Coolants:

Eliminates Overheating
Evans Waterless Coolants have a boiling point above 180°C and will not vapourise, thus eliminating overheating, boil-over and after-boil.

Reduces Pressure
Evans Waterless Coolants generate very low vapour pressures reducing strain on engine cooling system components.

Prevents Corrosion
Evans Waterless Coolants contain no oxygen effectively eliminating corrosion.

Increases BHP
Evans Waterless Coolants eliminate pre-ignition and detonation caused by overheating, thus improving combustion efficiency and delivering more power.

Stops Erosion
Evans Waterless Coolants prevent cavitation and eliminate liner and cooling pump erosion.

Freeze Protection
Evans Waterless Coolants freeze below -40ºC.

Non-Toxic
Evans Waterless Coolants are proven to be Non-Toxic. Standard anti-freeze is toxic and known to kill pets.

From what we have seen and heard about this product so far we are confident that it will outperform all expectations.

Prices for Power Cool range from £29.95 – £64.95 and £15.99 – £39.95 for Prep Fluid.

Available by Mail Order (Tel: 01692 404313) and online.

For further information on Evans waterless Engine Coolant visit: http://www.evanscoolants.co.uk/technical/questions-&-answers/38

Power Cool 180°Download Product Brochures 2 Page Data Sheet

4 Page Brochure

PowerAlign Camber Bolts

Camber Bolts

Camber Bolts

Powerflex have announce a new ranged of PowerAlign products under the Powerflex umbrella.

The range of products will grow over the coming months. They will be more hardware based and offer innovative solutions to improve chassis geometry.

The first two products include a new range of camber bolt kits and a simple camber setting tool. By simply substituting the original upper bolts on two bolt suspension struts for PowerAlign Camber Bolts, this allows up to +/-1.75degs of camber change.

This offers an easy fix for camber issues and a perfect add-on for any suspension bush change, or for changes to camber required for a more ‘track focused’ set up.

The bolts are made using a 12.9 tensile, zinc plated high strength steel. These parts are also covered under the terms of the Powerflex lifetime warranty.

They are available in 5 sizes, to replace bolt diameters M12, M14, M15, M16 and M17 covering a wide range of vehicle makes and models.

Courtenay Sport currently stock the M12 bolts, suitable for the majority of the Vauxhall/Opel range.

M12 Camber Bolts £18.89 per pair

Camber Gauge

Camber Gauge

Along with the camber bolts, the PowerAlign Magnetic Camber Gauge, PFG-1001 measures the Camber angle on the wheel hub or brake disc and allows on-car adjustment to ensure correct wheel alignment.

This is a useful tool for setting Camber angles after dismantling and re-assembling of the suspension and is an ideal track day companion.

This easy to use magnetic gauge attaches to the hub or brake disc and graduates +/- 6 degrees and comes supplied in a durable storage case.A perfect addition to the PowerAlign range and a straightforward product to supply to customers allowing them to correctly set camber angles without expensive geometry equipment.

Camber Gauge £35.94 – Available to Order

Splat!

Splat!

Splat!

Splat!!
Self Adhesive Courtenay Sport Splat!

Gel Dome Resin Raised Bubble Badge

In Black with the Courtenay Sport Logo in Silver

Measures approximately 85mm x 85mm overall

Courtenay Sport Splats are Now Available £1.80

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

We have been sent this lovely looking Turbosmart recirculation valve to try for the KKK K04/K06 turbocharger, which we rather like the look of. Once we’ve had a chance to evaluate it fully we’ll report back. In the meantime please enjoy this stylish piece of automotive add-on

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Turbosmart Recirculation Valve

Cleaning our Re-Useable Panel Filter.

How to clean a re-useable, washable Courtenay Sport High Foam Foam Panel Filter.

We suggest carrying out this routine maintenance annually, as it is a very simple process.

First remove the filter from the airbox.

Wet the filter with warm/hot water (but no so hot that you burn yourself!) running the water through the filter from the top side (logo side).

Using washing-up liquid wash the filter lathering up the underside (black side) and thoroughly clean it.

Once clean rinse the foam filter again in warm water running the water from the top (logo side) through the filter, to wash out any dirt.

If required, repeat the wash and rinse stage.

Shake out, then carefully squeeze out any excess water.

Allow the filter to dry out for as long as possible, overnight if you want, ideally in a warm place but not in or on a direct heat source. (If not completely dry, a damp filter can be refitted.)

Prior to refitting, lightly re-oil the underside (black side) of the foam filter with a couple of very light mist coats of air filter oil in opposite directions to cover the filter – do not saturate the filter!

Refit the air filter into your airbox.

Note: Do not use petrol, or other similar products to wash out your foam air filter. They just don’t like it!

Panel Filter washed in petrol...... Don't!!!

Panel Filter washed in petrol…… Don’t!!!

Air Filter Oil Spray

Poly Exhaust Mounts Now Available

Having now tested these exhaust mounts for fit, they have also undergone successful road and track testing and we are pleased to be able to offer them for sale.

Powerflex Exhaust Mount

Powerflex Exhaust Mount

These uprated exhaust mounts are manufactured in a high temperature polyurethane material with a Shore A hardness of 67, compared to the original rubber mounts which measured 55 Shore A.

They are much stronger, more durable, with much less flex due to the material type and a reduction in the size of the centre cut-out, offer far greater resistance to tearing and rot resulting in much less exhaust movement. OE Exhaust Rubbers are prone to cracking and failing, quite often causing an exhaust knock often most noticeable on start up.

An inexpensive and worthwhile upgrade. The number required per car will vary but this mount will suit Astra G, Astra H, Vectra B, Vectra C, Meriva A, Meriva B, Signum, Omega, Corsa C, Tigra B, Zafira A and Zafira B where 90466688 is specified.

Note: This mount cross references to OE Part Number 90466688

Priced at £6.60 each

Corsa VXR Injectors

There is a lot of information and mis-information on the internet regarding Corsa VXR injectors. We thought we would give an insight into the situation and some  facts. When mapping Corsa VXR, we can add injectors to Corsa VXR when mapping at any stage.

The Corsa VXR injector is a 12 point multi hole injector. If these injectors are in good flowing condition the engine is capable of running at Stage 3 which for us is power normally around the mid 230’s. Bosch’s flow rate for the injector also suggest this with its cc’s per minute rating. However there is a proviso……

As the cars/engines have got older this multi hole injector can start to block up, right down to the point where by when mapping at even Stage 1 we have seen injectors not capable of the supplying enough fuel, hence the injectors would read correctly as maxed out.

As most know we do not just flash maps on the car, we map all the cars on the dyno and optimise timing, fuelling & boost etc to the car. We use Can 2000 the GM data logger and programming tool. With this you see the injectors running not as a percentage but in real time terms i.e.  read in milliseconds.  Milliseconds are the time it takes for the injector to close, charge and open to fuel again. When the injector is maxed it runs out of time to carry out this operation so has to close before enough fuel is delivered. This is referred to as an injector running out of injection duty cycle or more commonly being “maxed out”. When the injector max’s the value locks as it has not got enough time to  deliver the fuel required before it needs to close to charge for the next opening. So if it was maxing at 5000 rpm it would show 24 milliseconds from 5000 rpm through to the limiter. If it was doing this at 5500 rpm it would show 21.81 milliseconds right through to the limiter and so on as a rev related sliding scale. If we see this on a car then the injectors are removed, cleaned or replaced with bigger injectors after all they are listed on the web site and we do sell them so why would we not use them?……

We have on a couple of occasions when customers’ funds would not allow, put the cars back to standard or reduced the rev limiter to a threshold that is within the duty cycle, until the customer can deal with the issue by means of an injector clean/change.

As regards to fuel pressure changes, the industry standard for injector measure is taken at 3 Bar. From this you can see what the injector will approximately flow for given power. So if you take an injector that is 395cc at 3 bar and fit it to a Corsa which runs a standard OE pressure of 3.3 bar this injector has a true flow rate in the Corsa of 415cc. In the ECU there is a factor that is changed to recalculate what injector size the car has got and also the static fuel pressure, this then re calculates the base fuelling curve value to the new injector size and pressure before you fine tune it in with fuel trims and target air fuel ratio etc.

Now if all the cars we mapped were race cars we would fit the biggest injectors we could as emissions are really never an issue with race cars even if they do run token cats, nor is part throttle fuelling, town driveability and fuel economy. These are however important for the bulk of our road driving customers.  Therefore if someone is close to the top end of an injector range let’s say an injector flowing at 415cc at 3.3  then we can change the fuel pressure to 4.5 bar, re correct the base map and now the injector will flow 485cc for more range and margin.  The alternative is an expensive injector change to the next size up which in the case of the Corsa would be 650cc at 3 bar or 682cc at the Corsa’s 3.3 bar. Nothing wrong in doing that, but it could be a bit over kill. I will explain; a smaller injector working at a high pressure verses a large injector working at low pressure will always yield better atomisation therefore better part throttle/transient fuelling which means in simple terms better economy. VW’s TFSi engine for example.

A perfect case of this was a 350 bhp Astra VXR running a correctly calculated 550cc injector returning on cruise 28mpg, however when fitted with a Astra VXR injector running at 4 bar corrected in the map the car’s economy went up to 34 mpg; in simple turns the bigger injector does not atomise the fuel as efficiently at slow duty cycle/engine speeds.

I hope this just gives in insight into our approach as we do data log,  but it’s not just a sweeping case of the injectors not  being capable at  any given stage.  We simply take each car as we find it given it’s condition and mileage etc and go from there.

Uprated Exhaust Mounts

We have noticed that the universal exhaust rubber/mount used on many many popular Vauxhall/Opel applications including Astra H VXR, is not very strong and over time has a tendency to perish, stretch and split, consequently requiring replacement. Often failure can occur quite quickly, especially on a modified car.

Added to this on performance models and modified vehicles with larger diameter exhaust systems, any exhaust movement in the rubber exhaust mounts can lead to knocking from time to time, especially when the mounts start to fail.

Have you ever noticed the occasional knock on start up, or from time to time when driving? This could be an indication of the first signs of weakening rubber exhaust mounts. So worth giving them a checkover at the first signs of a problem.

So we approached our friends at Powerflex to look at a solution for us. Because none of their universal exhaust mounts were close enough in size to the Vauxhall/Opel rubber mount, they set about making a polyurethane exhaust mount as a replacement.

Powerflex Exhaust Mount

Powerflex Exhaust Mount

They have looked at the OE item and manufactured a replacement, which is slightly larger overall but retaining the factory dimensions internally, in their high temperature polyurethane material with a Shore A hardness of 67, compared to the original rubber mounts which measured 55 Shore A.

The result is a much stronger, more durable mount with much less flex, offering far greater resistance to tearing and rot. Ideal for any standard or modified fast road vehicle; these exhaust mounts are equally at home on the track too.

An inexpensive and worthwhile upgrade. The number required per car will vary but this mount will suit Astra G, Astra H, Vectra B, Vectra C, Meriva A, Meriva B, Signum, Omega, Corsa C, Tigra B, Zafira A and Zafira B where 90466688 is specified.

Note: This mount cross references to OE Part Number 90466688

Time Attack Set Up Check

We recently had the Courtenay Sport backked DCE Motorsport run Time Attack Astra VXR back for set-up check, after a spot of bad luck at the previous round at Donington Park. Some gravel ingress into the cambelt area caused severe damage to the engine, resulting in a last minute engine swap for the car, to ensure it was up and running for the final round at Brands Hatch on Sunday 29th September.

So with a borrowed ‘spare’ engine, Will and his pit crew worked tirelessly over the weekend and once the engine swap had been completed and all the ancillaries, turbo, manifolds and such like had been refitted the car came to us for a mapping session just to check and alter the parameters, due to the fact this engine was running slightly different compression than previously.

After a few hours set up, all is now well again and we’re looking forward to Brands Hatch. Good Luck to Will and the whole team.

Time Attack Promo Video

Time Attack Promotional Video, filmed during the Oulton Park round and featuring the Courtenay Sport backed Astra VXR driven by Will Watson.

Big Brake Kits – Caliper Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance is always more cost effective in the long term as it prevents smaller issues from becoming more major problems. Take for example ‘Big Brake Kits’ which are now more commonly fitted on road cars and feature 4 pot, 6 pot and 8 pot calipers.

These calipers are aluminium for lightness and strength. Usually they are fitted to race cars which never see any road use and are therefore not subjected to the same harsh environment as cars that are used on the road. Salt and aluminium do not mix well, and will over time cause corrosion. Race cars never experience this phenomena.

Regular checking and maintenance of this type of brake caliper is essential. Race cars frequently have pads removed, inspected, replaced and calipers are cleaned regularly, but road cars do not have quite the same ‘affection’ lavished upon them.

Take for example the K Sport 8 pot calipers. We have seen a few instances with some of these calipers where salt from over-winter use has penetrated under the pad sliders causing them to lift and so in turn if left the pad can seize in the caliper – even calipers that are painted or anodised can suffer. With this in mind it is always a sensible precaution to inspect these brakes after winter to clear away traces of salt and corrosion, and also a pre-winter check will pay dividends too.

Remove the pads to check they are not seizing into the calipers. If there is corrosion evident then the upper and lower sliders will need to be removed. This is easier to do with the caliper on a workbench, so remove the brake hose from the caliper (take care with brake fluid leaking) and the caliper from the car. Remove the upper and lower sliders, clean around and underneath them to remove traces of any dirt and/or corrosion, clean the sliders using a wire wheel, coat both the sliders and their seats with some high temperature anti-seize aluminium spray, such as Wurth AL1100, as this will help to prevent further salt ingress and over winter corrosion. It will also help keep the pads moving freely in the calipers. Refit the calipers, brake lines and reassemble with the pads, assuming they are serviceable. Replace the pads if required, then bleed thoroughly.

When carrying out this work you will also need to have 8 x M6 x 1.0 x 12mm A2 button head stainless steel screws available, which retain the sliders. The ones fitted in the KS calipers from factory are prone to corroding and the heads rust. This can make them difficult to remove if the heads round off, meaning additional labour time, effort and frustration to get them out!!

Whilst this will take a few hours to do properly, it is more than worth it – leaving it until the pads seize will only mean a nightmare of a job later on down the line.

Time Attack Courtenay Sport Racing

Some pictures from UK Time Attack at Snetterton, Sunday 9th June, 2013.

K06 and Inlet Manifold Upgrade

The K06 Upgrade for Astra H VXR is an often overlooked conversion in favour of either a Garrett or Borg Warner EFR turbo, where the thinking is ‘the bigger the better’.

In a real world scenario, this is often not always the case, especially for fast road and trackday use where you want to retain driveability throughout the rev range, rather than wait for a huge hit  of power right at the top end.

Here is a graph showing the comparison between a Stage 2 Astra H VXR (ECU Remap and full exhaust system) compared to a K06 conversion:

Astra H VXR K06 Conversion

Astra H VXR K06 Conversion

In short the power gains of the K06 over the Stage 2 K04 are substantial, to say the least:

+20bhp @ 4,500 rpm
+30bhp @ 5,000 rpm
+50bhp @ 5,500 rpm
+70bhp @ 6,000 rpm
+90bhp @ 6,500 rpm

with much more mid range and top end torque as well, and still producing excellent power of 330bhp at 7,000 rpm and by 7,500 rpm still producing 320bhp, long after the Stage 2 car has faded by the wayside.

Notice also the power is still available from the mid range at 3,000 rpm, where a bigger ‘Garrett’ type turbo may not be fully on song until 4,000-4,500 rpm making the car less ‘on-road’ friendly for mid range road and trackday use.

So what exactly is involved?:

The full Stage 4 K06 conversion consists of a K06 turbocharger, a Courtenay Piper full stainless steel 76mm exhaust system, a Courtenay VXRacing full height front mounted intercooler, a Courtenay Klasen High Flow Inlet Manifold, steel rods, uprated arp rod bolts, new gaskets, exhaust valve spring shims, oil and filter, head bolts and a bespoke Courtenay ECU remap carried out and set up on the rolling road.

New pistons are not required due to the high quality nature of the factory fitted OE (Original Equipment) forged pistons, which are good for up to 500bhpm so they take this power easily in their stride.

The steel rods are fitted for strength, durability and safety. They also mean the engine can be revved much further, taking full advantage of the inlet manifold. Not fitting the rods simply means we have to turn the power down for safety!

The fully reworked K04 Turbocharger to K06 spec includes an uprated bearing pack and seals and billet K06 compressor wheel, meaning the turbo can produce and sustain more boost helped along with an uprated stronger actuator.

Our high flow Courtenay Klasen Inlet Manifold is designed to not only retain mid range power and torque (unlike some manifolds which sacrifice mid range power and torque for top end gains) but it also removes the restriction of the factory OE manifold at the top end. The improved flow means huge gains.

The full height intercooler keeps inlet air temperatures under control, and is available powder coated in stealth black, whilst the full 76mm exhaust system gives the required flow to obtain the maximum gains – a 70mm system will restrict power to 315-320bhp, due to its inability to flow at the top end as well as the 76mm system.

Finally the bespoke mapping and datalogging with map optimisation is carried out on the rolling road, making for a very useable, driveable fast road and trackday conversion not only retaining mid range power and torque but also increasing it.

The Courtenay Sport Blog

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