Friday, 27 January 2012



Pre IVA Apr 2013

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DateTitleKey words
27/01/12Introduction Sylva J15, Sigma Engine, Sitech Racing
28/01/12 Revisit the engine tuners Engine strip, Ford TIS, Tuning
04/02/12 Wiring the ECU Separating out engine wiring harness, ECU pin-out, Circuit diagram, PATS
10/03/12 Collecting the kit Tank Design, Bryn Jones, MK Engineering GRP Seat try out, Steering column position
15/03/12 The view from the cockpit Instrument positions, speedo, rev counter
18/03/12 Summary to date Fuel tank, chassis changes, GRP seats, steering column, engine
22/03/13 The rack and pinion steering Steering position, Rack and pinion, Spline manufacture
10/04/12 Trial engine fit, header tank Modification offside engine mount, belt pulleys, initial exhaust fit
19/04/12 Header tank Ford Focus ST header tank mounting
19/04/12 Revisit the steering coupling Coupling too high fouls suspension
01/05/12 Gear stick, ancillary harness, serial plate Puma gear stick mods, wiring construction, welded serial plate
05/05/12 Chassis welded and ready for painting Chassis mod summary,fuel tank, wiring production
11/06/12 Suspension bushes and brakes Identify rear brakes , press in suspension bushes
28/07/12 Solving the fuel gauge Use of a single chip computer to linearise the fuel gauge
15/08/12 Front brakes Converting the front brakes to Willwood vented
26/08/12 Chassis progress Making a build jig
29/09/12 The wiring and dashboard design Install wiring loom , cut out dashboard for gauges and switches
02/10/12 Dashboard final fit Brackets and glue, Playskool dash
10/10/12 Handbrake Design thru the floor parts
14/10/12 The tunnel Fitting pipes/wiring down the tunnel
16/11/10 The internal panels and floor Carbon effect vinyl
22/11/12 Front suspension and brake assembly Willwood calipers, brake pipes, Euroquip flexible hoses, custom pipe attachments
28/11/12 Rear suspension and brakes Caliper, brake pipe routing issue.
12/12/12 Engine fit and cooling system Running engine, cooling pipes
23/12/12 The gear change linkage Adding UJ coupling to gear linkage
01/01/13 The drive shafts and rolling chassis test Modifying the drive shafts, testing the rolling chassis
02/01/13 Front wheel hub spigot rings Front brakes concentric spigot rings
06/01/13 Handbrake cable routing Problems with adequate cable routing
10/0113Fuel filler cap Fuel filler lead free valve
08/01/13 Heater Essential Scottish owners heater
26/01/13 Foot brake final assembly Balance bar, warning label etc
24/02/13 GRP body panel fitting Corner closure plates, Alignment pins, lights, wheels, removable access panels
06/03/13 Catches and trim panels Aero catches, access panels
16/03/13 Mirrors, exhaust and wheels Motorbike mirrors, heat shield, Verona wheels
19/03/13 Bonnet stays, fog and reverse lights CBS bonet stay and horse box brake away cables
31/03/13TrimGrill, seats, wheel centres, central tub trim
09/05/13Revisit rear brake banjo clearanceRear brakes, flexible hoses, banjo bolts
11/06/13MoT before IVAMoT failures fixes etc
14/06/13The dreaded IVALambda ratio, IVA
03/07/13Chasing Lambda FailureLeaks, tools, gaskets, testing
12/07/13Road trialsIdle Control Valve, Vibration, Road Holding
25/07/13Running LightsLED Running Lights
16/08/13ECU RemappingECU Remapping
15/12/13Towing PointsMSA Towing points, TRS, brackets
16/12/13Fuel System ModificationsRevist fuel system, Mocal valve, overflow, Aero filler
19/12/13Tonneau designTonneau cover weather proofing
31/12/13Custom Steering BossCustom Steering Boss
06/01/14Headlight CoversPlexiglas headlight covers, fixings
17/04/14Re-visit dynamometerRe-visit Sitech Dynamometer and find lost horses
28/04/14Helmet-loopAdding more protection with a helmet loop
17/06/14Bike RackBike rack for the summer
02/10/14Throttle responseImproving the throttle response
09/10/14Engine Mount re-designRedesign of near engine mount
19/10/14Brake BiteImprovements to the foot brake effectiveness
22/10/14Fuel Overflow Management.htmlImprovements to the overflow problem
22/11/14Anti Roll Bars - ARBImprovements to the handling
11/12/14Year two summaryYear two summary
27/02/15Yet another steering wheelYet another steering wheel
02/03/15More running lightsMore daylight running lights
17/04/15Damaged rear tubSlight accident with VW Kombi Van, grp/gel coat repairs
11/05/15Corner weightsCorner weight setting
21/05/15O-60 time and bhp calculation Measuring bhp without rolling road
08/09/15Oil coolerAdding an oil cooler to the rear mounted engine
06/10/15Uprated wishbonesUprating the wishbones for sprints
The purpose of the blog is to inform and entertain like minded individual car builders who are tempted to build one of these. It is a kit with a Riot/J15 construction guide but no specific build manual with diagrams etc but there is a good set of images linked to the text. Infrequent emails to the designer may be required. As I have a lot of experience around cars and an extensive workshop experience then I guess I should have lots of fun.

The Sylva J15 (*1) is a kit car designed by Jeremy Philips (*4).  It is a mid engined retro classic design and is the fifteenth in a series of successful kits. I have chosen to use a Ford Sigma 1.7L engine (*3) as it was designed by Yahama for Ford as a light weight economical unit for small engined cars. The actual engine is donored from a 1997 Ford Puma (*2).

 The kit is due for delivery early March 2012. The first job was to evaluate the donor engine and choose a reliable performance path. The donor car was bought for £500, is the basic 16V SE model  and has 72,000 miles on the clock and originally delivered 126bhp. The car drove very well on the test drive and the Ford Puma handling was exceptional. If my kit drives as well I will be well pleased. Obviously taking a Sigma engine and dropping it in a package weighing 500kg in total will reap certain performance advantages.

 I decided I wanted to upgrade the 1.7L engine to Racing Puma spec: 155 PS (114 kW; 153 hp)@7000, 162 N·m (119 lb·ft)@4500. This requires:

1) A sound engine (head and block)
2) High lift cam option for the head
3) Porting to improve gas flow
4) ECU upgrade
5) Inlet manifold upgrade
6) Exhaust manifold upgrade
7) Lightened flywheel and cluch

I decided  to have it evaluated by engine tuner Simon Smail of Sitech Racing (*5). Simon told me the basic engine was sound but the oil pump and big end shells were woren otherwise was in reasonably sound condition. The engine is now with Sitech for the full list of upgrades. I could have built the car without touching the engine but the performance and reliability may have been impacted. I want the car to be reliable enough for long journeys around Scotland and occasional trips around Knockhill racing circuit in spirited format.


(*1)Sylva J15:
(*2) Ford Puma:
(*3) Ford Sigma:
(*4) Jeremy Philips designed cars:
(*5) Sitec Racing:

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