Changing times.

I had a call recently from a very good rolling road operator who asked me to stop recommending him to people with systems to map.  It was nothing personal; he reckons he has just had enough of it. Water leaks, oil leaks, pipes blowing off, constant complaining about the results, dodgy wiring and cheap Chinese components and the like have just worn him down.  He’s giving up the rolling road to do more regular servicing. It’s a lot less hassle and relatively easy money.

 I can’t say I blame him because over the years I have given away a fortune in lost time though no fault of my own.  If a car turns up and has a total failure I usually just say:”go away and fix it and we will sort the mapping next time”.  I have had that happen three times in a week and then you look at the books and realise that you still have to pay the rent, rates, and utility bills.  I can’t stay afloat by feeling sorry for people and my mate has come to the same conclusion.  He has given up; I am having a change of heart.  From now on if you can’t complete a mapping session because something has gone wrong with the car I am going to ask you to pay half the mapping costs.  We can share the pain but I can no longer bear all of it.  It’s either that or I take up car servicing!

2CV Champion x 2

Championship Queen - SamDyno specific exhaust!

I do a few 2CV set ups for a few people who helped me get into the 24 hr race back in ‘05 and we have pretty much stayed in touch.  So just a brief mention for young Sam (Samantha) who has just won the 2CV championship for the second time running.  Sam not only drives but builds a mean 2CV race engine too.  Congratulations on the back-to-back championships Sam, nice of all the blokes to do the gentlemanly thing and let you win!

Young Jono

Congrats also go to the sorcerer’s apprentice young Jono.  He did his first solo mapping job recently, a Caterham on throttle bodies.  John might look young but he has nearly five years under his belt now at Emerald and he is really starting to get the hang of it.

Fast 240Z

Datsun 240Z......with Emerald AIT's!Makes 100bhp/liter!

Steve Kiddell is no stranger to these pages and his 240 Z Datsun just goes from strength to strength.  Basically it is an all steel 3.0 litre with all the goodies.  Those goodies used to include some expensive carbon trumpets but after a bit of tinkering Steve decided to sell them on and try my new adjustable intake system.  I was not convinced that it would be any better but Steve had more faith.  We made some serious gains and now Steve’s engine is arguably the best 240 Z in the UK. It is certainly the fastest.  Almost, but not quite, 300 bhp.  Finding 100 bhp per litre from a two valve engine is not easy and it has taken a few years but Steve is finally there.  With pretty much nowhere else to go the sensible thing would be to stop there and enjoy the car.  Not Steve though, Nitrous Oxide is next on the shopping list!

Beetle Bother

Old looking VW Beetle......with big cc engine......and Merc Supercharger

Not really my cup of tea but I know that the VW Beetle has a massive following.  This example belongs to a Beetle Bodywork restorer and at the moment it is “as found”.  The engine isn’t though.  That’s a big bore job complete with a supercharger from a Merc.  When it came in it was firing on one cylinder and looking at the spark plug access I was already praying that the plugs did not need to come out.

They didn’t and after some tinkering with the configuration files it was running on four – but making a hell of a din.  Turns out that the supercharger was making boost on idle and the drive was complaining.  The system needs a recirculation valve or at least a blow off valve of some sort. I am sure it will be good when it’s sorted.

Big Nissan V6

Big Nissan ZX300......knocks out 500bhp!

V6 Engines are really nice to map because they are as smooth as a V8 but without making over-the-top power.  Well that is usually the case but this one was an exception.  Twin turbos and one bar of boost produced around the 500 bhp mark.   It was especially pleasing for me because this was the first V6 Nissan that was running the stock trigger disc.  This has 360 slots photo-etched into a sliver thin foil disc.

The disc runs at half engine speed and has six more slots on a smaller base circle.  If you want to know why the Japanese have gone this route, rather than a simple crank trigger – you will have to ask them as I have no idea!

Clio Racer

I don’t know how I get talked into these jobs but we recently took on a Clio racer.  Karl here had to write the software to read the silly Renault 60-1-1 trigger pattern and we had to get someone in to make up a loom.  It was all a mad rush job and I had agreed to fit a cable throttle body for the owner.  Four bolts, hardly much of a challenge.

When the bits arrived the stud pattern did not match the manifold.  I had to plug the original holes and then bore new tapped holes for the new body.  Then I had to make up a bracket to hold the cable outer.  The bracket consisted of a bit of angle iron that used to support a bench in the workshop.  I have lost count of how many times I have used a bit of our old bench, I am going to miss it when the supply finally runs out – might even have to buy some metal in.  Two late nights and we had the engine mapped in at 210 bhp.  Not really what was wanted but we made it in time for the first race.


VW Golf Mk1...Reminds Dave of keyboard issues!

If you read that number plate it says: “Vee Double U” get it?  I first mapped this car four years ago and I remember it because I had a bit of “finger trouble” with it.  I sent the car out with one digit missing from the map.  I blame the keyboard but the result was a flat spot just off idle.  I found it straight away but that taught me to check and double check before I let anything out of the rolling road cell.  Funny that you tend to remember your failures more than your success...