Piston Pop

About bleedin’ time Benson…

Alright Alright, much nagging and moaning, mainly from Mr Longley :) Circumstances have changed and so have parts on the Capp once again! This is mainly due to a little bit of this and a little bit of that.. but I’ll fill you in on the story from the beginning

Pop goes the piston

The car was going exceedingly well, boost was still set to 1bar but she was a right little mover but one thing I had forgotten to do… and I really should have known better Petrol! Super unleaded is an absolute must if your running an increase in Compression Ratio, well a big turbo means more psi inside that little bit of metal we call a Cappuccino engine and thus it was that the following situation brought it all home.


..Is a funny old thing, happens in seconds and makes a pleasant night out a rather expensive night out.. I’d been for a night out in London, had some fun blasting through the traffic and having the odd Grand Prix traffic light starts with whoever wanted to play, and was on my way home when we got stuck in a traffic jam… at 1 o’clock in the morning From what I can figure out now, the intercooler probably got saturated with heat along with the block, this was itself ok until we started to get moving again, straight onto a motorway.I got the car up to around 80ish and sat there then accelerated again to overtake a car in the inside lane….The car picked up, then dropped off just like it was missing… Sure it was missing alright, later on showed a destroyed spark plug and damage down the exhaust side of piston number two.
Bang – one piston and one spark plug

Big Bore!

Okey dokey, get the car up to Levois, hope its a blown head gasket…. fingers crossed…. NOPE!  Shagged piston, shagged spark plug, shagged bore… time for some bigger pistons my son! Back to good old IRS Motorsport What kits can you supply? And do you do any different head gaskets? 688cc, 698cc or 708cc was the reply and a variety of different thickness of head gaskets.. A quick fax to IRS sorted it all out…. 698cc Kit please, 2.2mm head gasket and a set of No.9 spark plugs, thank you very much!


So what went wrong next?

Well in my pursuit of all things good and fast I decided that it was time for a professional engine job, stand up one Bob Farnham, well known for building bike engines in British Superbike championships. Mmmm… lets just say that some bits I was happy with and others NOT!  First I had problems with the oil pressure relief valve which had stuck open, meaning no oil pressure, and it had been noted that there was a little amount of swarfe(?) left by the boring process!?! Not very professional!!  The bits I was happy with, was a ported and flowed head and a fully balanced crank shaft. Bits I wasn’t very happy with was having to take the car back to Levois after only a week of gentle running in (which was pretty tough on me!!) I had noticed some oil coming into the water (going up to the Japanese Auto Extravaganza) and decided to have it checked out. It turned out that one piston had seized a small end and another was starting to pick up on the bore. Not happy times!<BR>In the end I said “Sod it!” I ordered new pistons from Japan (still 698cc – as we got away with a hone job on the ‘picked-up’ bore) New Conrods, racing shells from Japan and new crank shells (I ordered the race ones from Japan but they didn’t get here in time) These were all fitted by Paul at Levois, top bloke who knows whats he’s doing, well he should do, he’s had enough practise with mine!! I also had a nice little oil cooler fitted down near the front of the car plus some a new digital dial showing both oil pressure and temperature… mmm gadgets don’t ya just love ‘em!

Oh no! What Now??

Well some little scumbag decided that they liked the look of my wheels on the car, so they decided to steal them, while the car was at the dealers…They totalled the boot to get at the jack and damaged the seals, broke a side window and helped themselves to the stereo to boot. Things could only get better – couldn’t they!

No Benson, No!

To add insult to injury the car came back, ran for about 800miles and then the seals on my new big turbo let go.. oh my god, how did I keep sane! To add to my pain, the AA decided to take a staggering 6 hours to pick me up and when your paid by the hour that stings!! Again Levois had the pleasure of M70CAP in their garage, where Paul leapt into action checking compression on each cylinder and emission testing to see what was being burnt. It was the turbo alright and this was ‘ripped’ off and sent away to Turbo Technics for sorting.

Saturday 29th January, saw the home coming of my little Cappuccino – though I’m still waiting for my new wheels but…

…Finally she was back on the road again!!

Coming Soon – Aquamist water injection kit


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