This rare and wonderful Lotus Esprit 2.2 Turbo came to us with running issues, we have just given the car back to the owner in the last few days.
This fourth generation (Peter Stevens redesign) Lotus Esprit from 1989 features a 2.2l 4 cylinder turbo-charged engine. We have worked on this car before, fitting upgraded suspension components and various other modifications.
The engine unfortunately had a number of oil leaks when it was brought into us. It was running really rough and she clearly wasn’t well.
We diagnosed the oil leaks, injectors and plugs as being the factors.
We stripped the engine to enable us to reseal parts such as the sump gasket, crank seals, rocker cover gasket and oil pump gasket.
Wheile we had the engine out we also installed a new clutch, new cambelt and new water pump.
Please check out the pictures below
It’s time this M3 had an engine to cope with the supercharger.
The stock engine unfortunately suffered a failure, has been recovered to us and now we will begin planning and building an engine to take the boost!
Keep checking back for the latest updates…
25/02/16 – Recovery of car – planning begins!
26/02/16 – Engine is out!
We didn’t waste any time; the M3 engine is out and ready to be stripped. We will inspect internal damage and prepare for the build. When the car is being built back up we will be tidying up the car in general including fixing other minor faults.
Now the car is in the hands of Perfect Touch it will be looked after, ready to win medals…
02/03/16 – Detonation!
We have had a look at the stripped down engine and can show you what has gone wrong. Essentially the water injection system that was fitted to the intake as part of the Supercharging has failed and the cylinder has become too hot causing the fuel to ignite before it is sparked by the spark-plug. You can see some of the damage this has caused to the top of the piston in the picture below.
We have an update on the progress of the BMW M3 E46 supercharged build. The engine components are starting to arrive, some of which you can see in the pictures below – rods, crankshaft, pistons, injectors and Schrick cams. We are also discussing other plans with the client including engine management and transmission changes. Watch this space…
We were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to handle the conversion of an SMG equipped BMW M6 to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Manual? You ask…Did BMW even make a manual M6? Apparantly it seems they did – 701 to be exact (323 Coupes + 378 Convertibles) – but for the USA only!
The one option missing from the UK models was a 6-speed manual instead of the SMG, after all we are probably the best market for it!
Our client asked us to research and look into the best ways to convert his car over to a manual transmission.
As soon as the car arrived we set about removing the existing SMG gearbox allowing us to see the access available for linkages, clutch lines etc.
Our client supplied the manual 6-speed ‘box which was imported from the USA for a US M6, complete with clutch and flywheel.
We sourced a pedal box from a 530d, and hooked up the clutch lines from the pedal box to the master and slave cylinders.
We removed the perforated holes provided by the factory (how nice of them) so we could run all the cables and lines under the car properly, just as the manual M6 would be.
We had to have a custom gearshift gaitor built as this doesn’t exist for RHD 6 series, as all 6 series cars in the UK were either auto or SMG.
The engine ECU has had to be programmed to know that it now has a manual gearbox attached, otherwise as far as it’s concerned there is no gearbox attached and will only run in ‘get-me-home’ mode.
That’s about it, if you would like to know more you can call us on 01992 443900 or email [email protected]
We are currently working on this beautiful Ferrari F355, this is the car that preceded the incredibly popular Ferrari 360. The F355 has a 3.5l v8 engine with 5 valves per cylinder, hence it’s name 355.
Our client brought this F355 in to us for a full check over as it wasn’t running correctly and there was a noticeable coolant leak.
We gave the car a full check over and found not only a coolant leak but a number of oil leaks, radiator leak, power steering leak and some minor faults including bushes that needed replacing.
We began to repair the oil leaks, we had to remove the cam covers and while we were there we decided to check the cam timing – this unfortunately ended up being out. We then informed our client of this, as we weren’t happy with the way the engine was running, the cam timing being out could be the news we didn’t want.
In order to inspect further and fix the cam timing we need to remove the engine from the car.
We ‘dropped’ the engine out of the car and re-aligned the camshafts to then be able to perform a leak-down test and check the compression.
We noticed various cylinders had high leak back through the exhaust valves, which means loss of compression in these cylinders and reduction in power and performance.
We have informed our client up to this point and next up is to remove the cylinder heads for further investigation.
Watch this space for more updates…
We have removed the cylinder heads and found the exhaust valves to be hitting the pistons, this wasn’t bad enough to bend the valves but bad enough to cause unwanted noise and reduced power and performance. This is the result of the valve timing being out which is what we will fix.
We noticed there was substantial play in both the inlet and exhaust valves, this is due to worn valve guides which will need replacing.
All the inlet and exhaust valves were re-cut and re-seated in the head with new guides.
The engine is now all back together, the cylinder head went back on complete with new gasket and new cambelt kit. We have now received the fuel injectors back from detailed testing and cleaning and have gone back in.
The engine has now been tested and been fitted back into the car. Running smoothly with no unwanted noise. Next we will test further on our dyno and map the engine if needed for optimum fueling and ignition timing.
We tested the F355 on our dyno and the engine successfully produced 360bhp with it pulling cleanly to the red line.
Watch the video below – and turn up your volume!
Car all cleaned and ready to go back to her owner
We keep you updated on the progress of our client’s BMW M6, his SAVAGE BMW M6!
Stoptech Big Brake Kit. These kits not only look amazing when installed but they really work, offering great pedal feel and huge stopping power with no fade!
3rd June 2016
Installation of a KW coilover suspension kit. The car rides at the perfect height to suit the bodywork mods and handling has been improved greatly
24th June 2016
We begin the install of the next stage of performance upgrades
It’s time for a supercharger!
6th July 2016
Supercharger install complete, then it’s on our dyno for mapping…
We have been asked to prepare a Renault Clio for the Clio Cup.
This is a great project for us, there is a lot to be done, plenty of diagnostics and modifications to carry out.
15/12/15 – So far we have looked into a 45% leak down on one cylinder and we removed the head to fix the fault.
8/01/16 – We have now removed the engine and gearbox, sent engine compenents away for lightening and balancing, port and polishing.
Next we will be installing polybushes in the chassic components and start assembling the suspension system ready for setting up for track use.
More updates to follow….
It’s been a while since we did a featured car. You might remember the Renault R26 of Nȕrburgring and SPA fame, then there was the Audi A4 3.0 V6 TDI S-Line. And don’t forget the Jaguar S Type Diesel – all done and dusted now.
So here it is, our BMW 335i M Sport Cabriolet, 2007 with 83k miles. The car came with full service history – the usual mix of main agent and specialists. The thing with this car is that it had not been serviced for 3 years – OUCH! The car had done 15k miles in 3 years and was very much in need of a good service!
First things, first – get the car on the ramp and take a good look.
This is what we found:
N/S/R bearing noisy
O/S/R ball joint minor movement
Different tyres all around and wrong size on rear (should be 255/19/30) plus run flat
Track rod ends and steering arms seized – this is a common issue
The Power Run
We then got the car on our Dyno and gave it a power run to see what power (BHP) and torque the car was showing prior to any work being done, plus how much of the original manufacturer’s numbers were still available.
The car tested at 272bhp @ 5,382rpm and 302.3lbs/ft @ 3,459rpm
The Test Drive
We drove the car for a while – to be honest it was horrible! We are not fans of run flat tyres and the fact that the rears were the wrong size and that all the tyres were different with a mix of budget and premium, we could not think of a better way to ruin a great car.
It did not handle well, it felt sluggish and lacklustre to say the least. Add to this the rumbling from the NSR wheel bearing, all made for a very underwhelming driving experience.
The good news is that the front brake pads and discs where new and also had new rear pads.
Even with all these things going against the car, when the roof was down with some nice tunes playing, it was still a head turner. We even liked the little rear lip spoiler – not sure if it does anything – but all the same it looked nice!
The car was averaging 19mpg.
The next step
We were itching to get our hands on the car, here is the list of what we did:
Forte – Advance Engine Motor Flush
Forte – Specialist Injector Cleaner
Engine Oil & Filter – Mobil Super 3000 5w/40
Gearbox Oil & Filter – Mobil ATF LT – 71141
Differential Oil – Mobil 1 SHC 75w/90
Plugs – NGK Laser Iridium (more on this later)
Air Filter – BMC Panel Filter
4 Wheel Alignment
4x Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres – Front 225/19/ 35 – Rear 255/19/30
Wheel Bearing N/S/R replaced
Ball Joint O/S/R replaced
Track Rod Ends and Steering Arms replaced
The Second Power Run (After the Magic)
We know that numbers are not the be all and end all, but they do say a lot. As the saying goes,
‘BHP sells cars but Torque wins races.’
292bhp – 319lbs-ft torque
WOW! – This is a different car!
It’s as if we brought a dead car back to life, the difference is immense; to say the car is responsive is a major understatement. It drives more smoothly, the steering feels…well, it feels like you can actually feel the road. The feedback on a well sorted 3 series is legendary, the Michelins are a massive upgrade from what we had, plus they are the daddy of all tyres! Run flats are like having heavy wheels at the corner of the car, a bit like driving a tractor. With the Michelin Pilot Super Sports the car now has the finesse of a ballerina – light, responsive and confident, basically a delight to drive.
The car is now planted and predictable, no more road weave and now the bearing noise has gone….to say it’s bliss in an understatement. No need to turn the stereo up to block out the noise!
Gear changes are smoother and they seem quicker, the car feels much, much more rapid, more responsive… in short – more car, more capable and much more fun!
All this benefit and we have not done anything to the car to enhance performance. No upgrades, no performance enhancements, no expensive tuning kits – just getting the basics right with quality oils and components.
28th July 2015 – ECU remap
The car has been used for a few weeks now and we felt this was the perfect time to remap the car. Why? Well, why not?
The promise of remapping is simple. More BHP, more torque, more MPG, but most importantly….more fun!
After mapping we got the car back on the Dyno, and it did not disappoint,
345bhp – 345lbs/ft torque.
So, from start to completion we took the car from 272bhp to 345bhp. That’s an extra 73bhp with a little TLC and some basic performance mapping and the car is now a hot car – 345bhp and 345lbs-ft of torque under your right foot – more than enough for anyone for day to day driving.
“Our plan is always to help enthusiastic car owners enjoy their cars and their driving – starting with the basics and building up from there is a great way to go.
If you are a first timer that wants to upgrade your car’s performance, then great basic maintenance with quality components and oils will affect your car in the most positive way possible. Then getting the ECU remapped will unleash your car’s true potential.”
I have friends who ask me,
‘Is it worth it?’ Well ‘IF’ driving is your passion, then most definitely YES!
If you are reading this article then perhaps you are a BMW owner?
VANOS is the name BMW give their variable value timing mechanism,
we wanted to simplify this subject and help you to better understand BMW VANOS.
So what are the symptoms of BMW VANOS failure or deterioration?
- Lower power levels
- Increased fuel consumption
- Engine surging
- Idle Hic-cups
- Engine hesitation
- Noisy engine – Normally shows up at about approx. 3,000 rpm
- Increased oil usage
There can come a point when the only way forward is to replace or refurbish the unit whether a single or double VANOS, this involves specialist tools and experience, a job not for the faint hearted.
By definition this job takes time, specialist tools and specific understanding of BMW VANOS in particular. Please take a look at our time lapse video showing Dan Brooks, Senior Technician at Perfect Touch, refurbishing a client’s VANOS on his M3 (E46). It also shows what it takes to get the job done from beginning to end in less than 3mins.
So what does all this do for the car?
A return of power and smoothness, which is what BMW enthusiasts really love about that legendary straight six engine, plus most importantly a returned enthusiasm for your car.
To find out more about BMW VANOS repair and refurbishment please call Gabs on 01992 443900, he would be delighted to talk you through the process or just help you work out what is next for your BMW.
Please Note – other manufacturers also use a form of Variable Valve Timing, for example Honda’s VVT and Porsche’s VarioRam/VarioCam.
Here we have a 2005 Subaru Legacy 3.0r Spec B, this car had a custom exhaust and intake fitted this year and our customer wanted to maximise his investment in these by remapping the ECU.
Normally, power gains on naturally aspirated cars from remaps alone is 10% but with the breathing mods in place the result was in fact closer to 20%.
Maximum power now 288bhp with torque sitting at a healthy 251 Ibft
Watch (and listen) to the following video of the final power run on our dyno
A lovely example of a 1998 registered WRX Type R STI. Our customer brought his car in for a service and cambelt change.
Get in touch today to book your car in for one of our services.
This Evo 10 is in the intial stages of a major engine rebuild…with some uprated components.
We are looking to get the power up to around 500bhp safely with new rods, pistons, turbo and other parts.
Check back for more updates
Here we feature a 59′ plate Audi A5 Coupe with just over 100,000 miles on the clock. The timing chain stretched and jumped 6 teeth! This unfortunately took out the valves and caused damage to the cylinder head.
We stripped the engine, revealing the damage, we replaced the valves and machined the head as new and replaced the timing chain with a new one.
In the pictures you can see us re-gassing the air conditioning as we had to strip the front of the car down (hence no front bumper) to gain access to the engine.
So here we have a rare little beast, a classic Mini with a not so classic Yamaha R1 motorbike engine fitted, imagine 13,000rpm!
We were asked to take a look at running problems and electrical issues. We found a number of major issues in the wiring and decided it would be better to start again rather than to patch something up for an issue to potentially arise later down the line.
Claudio has the wiring loom laid out….all over the workshop…its in order (in his mind at least) it looks very complicated!
Thanks to Hayward and Scott for installing these Raptor headers (raptorsc.com.au) and custom building the exhaust system which sounds beautiful!
3.5″ Burnt tip tailpipes installed at 90degrees to follow shape of bumper.
This car is back to Perfect Touch for a remap, results to follow… next week
We recently had to change the turbo’s on this diesel Range Rover, unfortunately the previous garage didn’t have the tools to carry out such a large and difficult task.
As you can see the ‘easiest’ way to get to the turbo’s is by lifting the entire body off!
Get in touch today if you think your turbo(s) are on their way out – 01992 443900
One of our customers came in with his Porsche 944 Turbo for us to diagnose water loss from the engine.
We soon found this was due to a blown head gasket……..which led onto this monster build!
What we did:
- You name it…its got it!!!
Take a look at the pictures below for works carried on this monster car…it achieved over 500bhp.
If you have a project you would like to discuss or own a Porsche and would like us to work on it, please give us a call on 01992 443900
This 965 Turbo was booked in for a major service with us and once we started working on the car we soon discovered that the engine was leaking compression on one of the cylinders, which we then diagnosed the problem to be a broken cylinder head stud. So to resolve this problem the engine would need to be removed.
From this point our customer was happy for us to go-ahead and fix his beloved Porsche!
See below for some pictures of the works carried out
One of our customer’s an ex touring car driver who has also competed in the Caterham cup, decided after years off from racing to enter his Porsche Boxster into the BRSCC for 2013.
We aked us if we would like to be one of the sponsers for the project. We agreed to take on the engine rebuild.
We removed the engine and fully overhalled, lightening and balanced all rotating parts to ensure reliabilty during the races ahead.
As part of the works carried out we were able to achieve an additional 15bhp.
Please see our gallery below of works carried out.
If you have a race car project or Porsche that needs working on, get in touch with us today on 01992 443900
One of our customer’s brought in his 997 Turbo for a Major service and spark plug change.
See the gallery below for a little insight into whats involved.
If you have a Porsche and need it serviced call us on 01992 443900
So here it is our latest track car project…
No prizes for guessing it’s a BMW M3 3.2 Evolution (E36)
This car in it’s day was special but check these numbers out;
0 – 62 mph 5.5 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (limited)
Engine power 321 bhp
Engine torque 258 lbs/ft
Engine size 3201 cc
Valves 24 v
Fuel consumption (extra urban) 37.7 mpg
Gross vehicle weight 1950 kg
is to first lighten the car as much as possible but still maintain as much comfort for the long drives to and from the track. Lightening the car is the best way to gain performance without extra expense and with 321 bhp on tap why mess if it aint broke?
We have also gone for the 4 door saloon model, why you may ask?
The thinking here is that the 4 door model is more ridged and this will help with the stiffness of the chassis. The car has covered only 135,000 miles which is approx 8,000 miles a year, this makes it a very low mileage track star!
The body work is sound, and as you can see from the photos the car has not had any preparation, we have not even washed it…!
The M3 Evo comes with more power than the standard previous model and also a rear limited slip differential which is great for powering out of bends. We also know its also a handful in the wet…
As you can imagine,
the suspension has seen better days, so we have opted for the classic Bilstien and Eibach shocks and springs. Along with the suspension upgrades we have also got heavy duty H&R anti roll bars for the front and rear.
Talking of comfort and safety..
We located a pair of used Sparco Corsa seats with SABELT 6 point harnesses, that should work out well. The right seats are really important as driving on the track will equal higher G forces, both from cornering and braking.
Next on the list will be new discs and pads with an addition of a free flow air filter, but before we do any work we will give the old stud a power run to see how many of those 321 horses are still ready to run…watch this space.
We have called this project “Living the Dream”
11th Septemer 2013 update;
The suspension kit and heavy duty H&R anti roll bars have been fitted and we have given the car a power run, the 17th year old classic proved its worth and it measured 304.6 BHP, we will remap the car and add a K&N air filter and see what we get.
We have also changed all the front and rear discs and fitted Performance Friction pads to the rear and Brembo pads to the front. (Braided brakes lines to follow) We have also located a Momo Corse suede steering wheel which as been installed with a Sparco quick release hub for security and easy access in and out.
Gabs also thought it best to change the clutch and fly wheel, on examination the fly wheel was fine, the new clutch has really improved the driving feel of the car.