How do you spend the Extra Horsepower

Extra Horse power in land rover series…? you think I am crazy right..? I am sane and sober by all means, but yes, I am trying to squeeze few ponies power in dolly’s engine by adding SU carb instead of worn zenith and electronic ignition…

I hope I got few ponies already now, to squeze one more HP, I might as well decommission the current air filter and replace it with  high flowing air filter… with something like this…

KN filter for SU HS6 carburettor
Yes… that is KN filter, some says it built to last… let see how long it last in land rover series :)

I hope it will add half or one more ponies.. :), but the next question is, with the extra horses… how do you “spend” it…? there are few options I have in my mind…

  • Air condition,
  • On board air pump and
  • Power steering,

I finally decided to spend the horse power for Air conditioning as Jakarta is very hot and I frequently get stuck in Traffic jam… lot of choice on the air condition system and I just follow what ever the local garage suggestion on what brand to use…

Because I have plan to have double blower air condition and the Station wagon is big… we opt for bigger compressor as in below picture:

Sanden 505 VS 508
Both are Sanden Compressor, the above is the 505 type (smaller one) and the below is the bigger one 508 version…

And the local garage made all the necessary bracket and fitting and install it in Dolly engine..

Air condition Land Rover
Installing Air condition in series land rover

And this is when the new air compressor installed…

Sanden 508 compressor in Land rover
Sanden 508 compressor in Land rover series

And this is the Engine bay af ter everything installed…

Land rover engine bay
Here you can see the new air filter vs old air filter and new Aircon compressor

I still left the old non-functioning Air filter for two purposes:

  1. Just in case I will cross Sahara desert anytime soon.. I can connect it to the carburettor
  2. To hide the messy cable behind it (which it failed to hide it anyway :))

So that’s it for now… if you spend few extra horsepower with something interesting, please write it down below… Cheers

Electronic Ignition – A Little Incident

Electronic Ignition can be considered as upgrade from point contact ignition, but which one…? a lot of option out there, but for me I choose the cheap(ish) option ( but not the crap by all means)… Powerspark from SimonBBC… the consideration is: the technology is already mature, the improvement will not be much different with the point breaker anyway, and I might go for Megajolt route later so I do not want to spend big money here. I ordered this item, a Chinese copy of Lucas distributor 45D4… well Lucas is well known as prince of darkness anyway, what can be worst from that…

45DsimonCut the story short, I have received the item in a good condition and installed it about two  months a go… I feel bit of improvement compare to the old distributor (not sure if this is only psychological or actual), it works.. so no more maintenance… or so I thought…

One month later, when I happily driving around the town… I heard a noise from the engine bay and the engine stopped… just like that… ooh, Dolly is playing another “guess what when wrong this time” kind of quiz again…!

I opened the bonnet and checked few things, I saw the distributor cup is no longer properly clamped or loose, and the rotor arm is not in the place it should be… ah.. this is the problem… “Common Dolly, you insulting my intelligent… this is too easy….” I said to Dolly (if you see a landy owner talking to his /  her car, consider it as normal… we do that all the time :)). Easy fix, just put it back I will be going in no time… me think… but it seems I under estimate dolly in giving a hard quiz…  the engine is not starting… it crank OK but not starting…

Another look at the distributor, it is clamped alright now, slightly loose but clamped by both clip, tried again cranking again the engine.. same result…so  this is the time more thorough investigation is needed.  I checked the inside of the distributor…

The Cup… although cosmetically no problem I found something strange… here is the pict:

Yap the spring is broken…

So no wonder the electric current can not be transferred from coil to spark plug, because no connection to the rotor arm …  it should have something like this…

original 45D4 cup distributor

But what about the rotor arm..? it too seems badly “injured”… here is the pict..


What the hell has happened… I am checking the internet and seems no one is having the same issue, so I accept it that this might be my fault during installation, somehow it is probably not properly clamped, the cup is loose, and *Bang* the rotor may be hitting the one of the aluminum post  inside the cup, the rotor stop moving but the mighty force of the engine pushing it further and the plastic broken, and so on and so on…

I finally replaced the rotor arm and the cup from the original dizzy which I always bring for the spare… I fired up the engine no problem,  and I can go  home safely… seems that the main unit is OK…

I talk to Simonbbc and ask whether this type of “accident” is covered by his warranty… He kindly agree to send the replacement… great service… no wonder he has 100% satisfied customer in ebay. Now the original distributor cup is still being used waiting replacement from Simon…

Cheers for now…

Dissapointing dyno result – Solved..!

This few days, I can not sleep and eat.. I wish I did not do the Dyno.. :). But that is the beauty of having old car, this problem is actually a lot more interesting than problem in the office, you do not know what is wrong… it just does not work as expected but the good thing is almost everything under our control to solve it…

Dolly at Dyno machine

So what is wrong then… if you read my previous post, you know that Dolly power is low, and peaked at 3000RPM, which should be around 4500 RPM and  lot higher.  A lot of things can be the cause, I need to check it one by one…

  1. Engine Compression, may be the compression is low and resulting low HP… checked… and the result is 165 psi across all pots. so no problem here.
  2. Fuel supply problem… how can it be..? I just replace the seal… and seems works ok
  3. What about ignition timing..? I checked using strobe and the result is 5 deg, should be no problem…
  4. The suspect  now is the carburetor SU HS6 or electronic Ignition or problem with the timing chain

The fellow land rover forum said that the Electronic Ignition can be faulty, or since I do not know the advance curve of this distributor, it may be not suitable for landrover… to prove this point, I did an exercise… set the ignition timing too advance (deliberately) and drive it full power (stopped when it start knocking), and then retard it a bit and drive it full power again, and so on and so forth until the timing is too retarded  loss power at all RPM). In this exercise, I found that no matter what, I lost power after around 3000 RPM at all ignition timing set up. So the Electronic ignition is no longer suspect.

Now how about carburetor, again little exercise in the morning, I set the jetting from too rich to too lean, again the result is the same.. loss power at around 3000 RPM. and I gave up… I am not bother checking the timing chain, the symptom is not relevant for timing chain. I just use it at low rpm, but back in my mind I always have that question… “what the hell is wrong”  something is fundamentally wrong and we can not find out what it is..? even my fellow land rover forum who usually very knowledgeable on this matter can not solve this riddle.

Finally I went to local Land rover garage and discuss it with the garage owner, I show the dyno result… just with one glance he said… ” Fuel supply problem..!”. Can not be… I replaced the seal and clean it… “Fuel supply problem..!” he said again… How can it be..? I challenge him… “FUEL SUPPLY PROBLEM.. ! DAMNED..!” he almost throw the “land rover number one tool” at me.

Ok Ok.. I said… how to solve it…? He then installed an electronic fuel pump after the mechanical lift pump… “this will do” he said. “let me know how it goes…” Why not install it before the mechanical pump..? me questioning his installation… “you fool..! you want the fuel flood your engine and blow you up…?” and it shut me down… :) here is the installation..


Very true.. this solve the problem… I can feel Dolly is still pulling even after 3000 RPM, very happy, I say thank you to him (and pay of course) and drove home smiling… I do not bother to dyno it again… one because I have to pay, two I am afraid that I will find another problem that keep me awake during the night… may be later, but not now :)

So moral of the story is… don’t dyno even if it is free…. ah ha ha..

Dissapointing Dyno (rolling road) Result…

Last weekend I got a good offer from a garage owner friend who wants to dyno Dolly, I think he is a bit curious about dolly. Of course I agree,  it is always good to know the power curve of our car.

I am very confident that Dolly will get a good result as I already upgrade few things : Electronic ignition and Carburetor  and I have rebuild the engine.  so the expectation is : I will get higher power than stock, there is no way it will be lower. Finally the day came and we prepare Dolly on the rolling road, setting up big  fan in front of Dolly  to cool her engine.

Full of expectation, my eyes set on the computer while the operator revving the engine as high as he can…. A lot of gibberish number, I only want to see one thing… 70 or above… that is the HP (horse power) for stock engine… however that number never came… and when I see the operator is amused (not in a good way like scratching his head), my heart sunk… oh my God… whats wrong…?

And then he asked the owner to try to operate dolly.  He too also gives a “give-up” look and then he ask… what is the engine cc..? “2.250 cc” I said and hastily added “low RPM torque type of engine” to make sure he understand that peak torque is around  2200 RPM not like racing cars.

Do you know the peak BHP for this car… “at least 70..!”  Me answering his question…  “Yeah I thought so” he said… fiuh… I feel relieved…  so all the confused look is seems because they expect a gazillion torque or horse power  like many of their racing customer cars. ” So what’s the result look like…” I impatiently asked.

“Not even 50 BHP” … hearing him saying that, you will feel like you got stung by hornet in the forehead… he see me stunned he continue his sentence:  “yap… we have tried it three time and the result is the same… sorry…”  and then he gave me a print out showing the result.  To give you a perspective on the dyno result, here I charted dolly BHP and added “Standard” engine BHP from their brochure (I actually stole it from Darren one of the land rover forum friend).

BHP dolly
The standard engine BHP is measuring the engine on the flywheel (engine Power) while dolly is using on the wheel (wheel power), so the gap is acceptable, sometime the difference is as high as 30%

Comparing the above chart, you will see that Dolly’s peak power is at 2300 RPM at only 48 BHP, while standard engine peak power is at 3600 RPM at 74 BHP… now the question is why Dolly’s power seems to prematurely ended… certainly she is not a young girl anymore, but I am sure she should be able to out do anyone with stock engine.. :)

I hear you ask…: How come I do not know the problem in the first place… I should have known right..? I ride her every day how can I not notice it…  (I can see your smirk there Bas****d). The answer is because I never ride her hard… Dolly is at best when you ride her slowly, attentively, and she will reward you with satisfying side to side smooth and gentle rocking… (Are we still talking about car here…??? ).

I am glad now I found the problem that is half the answer… A lot of things can go wrong, The carburetor, the ignition, the engine, fuel pump, chain timing, vacuum leak etc… So I need to check it one by one… its time to play doctor with Dolly..  if you have any ideas what to check and have experience sorting out similar problem.. it will be great if you can share it down below


Carburetor SU HS6 Set up for Land rover series Part 2

Please read part I here…

This part two is about the selection of needle and spring. When you setting up SU carb for Land rover series, you will have thousand of options to decide which needle and which spring to use…

Why Needle and spring..? because the needle and spring will dictate the attitude of the car, The SU carb is very simple vacuum type carburettor, which can be considered as their strength, needle and spring selection to match with our engine is a very important step and it is very confusing…

Fortunately there are brave hearts that already convert their old Zenith carb, to the similarly old SU carburetor with varying degree of success… some  are using dyno / rolling road to measure the result, some will just use what ever they got on the carburettor and hope for the best. Alternatively you can buy software to select the needle but it beyond the scope of the article

From what I have read, and research… they are few needles candidate to be a good match for land rover series here they are:

BGB needle: this needle used by ACR for their (very expensive) conversion, the BGB needle paired with black spring.

Since they do it to make money for their conversion, I believe they do a lot of (proper) test to come up with this pair. So… it should be the best pair for our land rover series correct..? Yes and may be No. The ACR is offering this conversion together with the performance head, performance camshaft and performance exhaust, so I think that work best on using their set up.

Unfortunately no one (not that I am aware of) is actually using SU HS6 with Black spring and BGB needle on the stock engine. Theoretically BGB needle will be too rich for stock engine.

BDM Needle: this is much leaner needle than BGB, but one land rover forum friend using BDM and red spring set up wich he can describe as working good.

Another candidates are “BBW”, “BDB” few forum lister using it but I am not sure what spring they use but what I have read they have some success using them…

What about my Set up..? well, since I have no money to do a proper research.. so I have to make do with what ever comes with the Carburetor… which is “BAK” with a green spring.

Just to give you the idea the difference for each of the needle candidate, below is chart showing the diameter profile for each needle, before that this is how to read the needle profile:

Imageif we give them number from the top (as position number 1) and to the bottom ( position number 16), you will see the diameter for position number 1 and 2 is for idling, from 3-6 is cruising and from 6 above is revving…

Now lets see the needle profile of all our candidates, see below chart, (if it is too small just click it on the picture). Vertical axis is the diameter of the needle, the higher the smaller the diameter ( means richer fuel), the horisontal axis is the position on the needle


As above you can see, BGB that the ACR used, is the richest of all… BBW comes second so I think BBW can be used for slightly economical than BGB, and number three is my current set up “BAK” needle.

you will also see that the first in position 1-4 the diameter is almost the same for all needles, means that idling and some cruising is almost the same for all needle. the real difference will be after position 4 where some is significantly richer than the others.

Spring: other than needle there are few selection of springs but not as many as needle… Softer spring will easily lift the piston fast, providing more air flow, the stiffer spring will resist of the upward movement providing more fuel enrichment, the idea is to have top maximum carburetor piston lift when the engine is in the top /peak power :

Code Force in Oz. @ Height
Blue 2 1/2 2 5/8″
Red 4 1/2 2 5/8″
Yellow 8 2 3/4″
Green 12 3″
Red & Green 11 1/4 3 7/8″

As above mentioned, from the land rover forum I got confirmation that “BDM” (relatively leaner) needle with Red spring (relatively weak spring) is working sweet. using this as benchmark, my set up : “BAK” (richer than “BDM”) will work OK using green spring (stiffer than red).

I know I am over simplify things but my set up seems OK now… only rolling road will show whether this set up is optimal or not…  I will not give you any suggestion on what set up to use, but you can use the above set up as starting point… I am not the expert, I just taking what I learn and share it

That’s it for now, until then…  take care my aluminum junkies friends… :)

Her name is Dolly…

Finally I join the land rover owner stupid habit, naming their vehicle as it was a person… There is actually a name for this habit, its called

Pathetic fallacy : ascribes human, emotional qualities (feelings, thought, sensation) to inanimate objects, as if possessed of human awareness. In describing and ascribing sentience to things, in the term pathetic fallacy, the word pathetic communicates feelings of two types, pathos (emotion) and empathy (capability of emotion).

Although sound pathetic, looks pathetic, and probably indeed pathetic, I will do it anyway :).  After few months without name, I finally found a name for it… but before that I will tell you my other options. One thing that we need to remember when naming a landy (or any car) appropriately: the car gender is female… Not sure why but this is European way of thinking, (may be because we “ride” her),  since landy is England origin, I just follow the suit…

Option 1. Actually I am thinking of Indonesian Names : like Rina, Siska, Dewi, Santi but somehow it is all the name that the missus would not approve, and if I ever mumbling  any of those names during my sleep, I will be in deep deep trouble.. :)

Option 2. Still Indonesian name but animal: Bleduk (anak gajah), kuya, gudel (anak kerbau), genjik (anak celeng) etc… but it all seems bit off

Finally finally, I found a name which probably suitable for it… Dolly… after Dolly Parton, she was born in 1946 and her prime time was in 70s… She was a country singer and quite good at that… but sometime she just (playing in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as a) bitch… She never be a porn star though and most (if not all) of the nude picture of her are fake…

So.. country music, busty, sexy (by 1970 standard), sometime bitchy… just the way I like it… thats my landy and riding her will never be the same anymore… yiihaa…  :D

Her name is dolly
Her name is dolly

One of Dolly Parton Song below….