Saturday, 4 January 2014

8V POWER: The Worlds most powerful Lancia Dedra

I enjoy my job, sometimes I get to go to work and say 'I've had an idea, let's have a go and see if it works'. Sometimes I get messages from people who think the same way, sometimes they're serious.

Last Spring I had an email from a chap called Glenn in Norway who wanted 450+bhp.

From an 8v.

Which he's going to put in a Dedra.

See the problem is not only is he getting overtaken, his mates are taking time to give him the finger as they're passing by....

Something had to be done and this wasn't going to be cracking nuts with a nutcracker, we wanted to Sledgehammer the opposition.

I like a challenge and we've already created the UKs first 2.2 integrale and the most powerful 16vt Coupe so I thought why not?

After doing a lot of development work on the flowbench I know we do more to an 8v head than anyone else to make it work, but still it just doesn't have the flow potential that its younger 16v brother does. The port is very short and the short side radius not a great shape, it isn't a good combination. It will however create truck loads of torque and torque is important, it's less glamorous than a big BHP figure, but it's more relevant in everyday driving conditions.
Anyhow Glenn says he's serious about this project so I say ok, let's see what we can do, put some money up and lets get busy.

The head and cams were going to be most the important part of this project, pretty much make or break - go too big on the ports and it will ruin low speed performance, go too small and it will strangle the top end.
So I do the usual Stage 3 stuff to the head and design the cams for his application using some pretty useful software we've got and I reckon if everythings perfect he'll see around 430bhp at the fly on pump fuel.
That's UK pump fuel.
Hang on a minute, don't they have E85 at the pump in Norway? A quick email confirms they do so I advise him to buy some fecking big injectors (technical term), I supply him a fuel pump and tell him about some mods which will provide the injectors with enough fuel.

Off across to Norway go forged pistons, rods, new crank, bearings, gaskets, billet steel flywheel etc and the head comes to me. 'Has seen better days' doesn't really sum it up! This has been one well and hard used head that's for sure, the squish pads are eroded by detonation, the valve guides have 9mm holes in them (valves are 8mm!) and because of this the seats have been pounded into some strange shapes.

The valves are big old things so to help the engine rev a bit more freely without them bouncing uncontrollably I fit lightened ones along with lash caps and shimless buckets, pretty soon it's looking as it should do again:

Cams were custom made to our spec in the U.S. for this application, in fact we gave up using off-the-shelf designs many years ago, every engine is a different spec and so the cams should be too - cams are very much one of the most misunderstood yet most important parts of a successful engine, i've seen a bespoke exhaust cam alone make 40bhp more than an off-the-shelf one before now.

Glenn did a sterling job of putting it all together and also gets an intake and exhaust manifold made to compliment the rest of the components.
Once it was built he took it down to Frederiks engine dyno, Frederik is no stranger to FLA engines, he's mapped plenty and owned a few himself including a Q4 at the moment.

Some fun and games with it blowing the intercooler pipes off:

As you can see, the results were 485bhp and (more importantly) 455 ft/lbs of neck snapping torque. Glenn reports that it's a great car to drive with the boost gauge reading 1 bar by 4000rpm then hitting full boost by 4600, it's a pretty handy car to overtake with.

Frederik contacted me afterwards to say whilst it was impressive, they could have got more power with even bigger injectors and the turbo would have stood a bigger exhaust housing without compromising spool, as the engine was making so much heat energy that it was going into surge at lower engine speeds. 500+ would then have been easily available

I wonder when we'll see the first 2.2 8v engine? Now that would be something else....

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Trip to The Netherlands - again and the Delta HPE

I fancied a new daily driver, something reasonably sensible (well, as sensible as I'm ever going to get), rare, quick: A Lancia.
A little bit of a Summer break too, so off to Holland we went.

Although we flew there quite quickly It is also just an overnight ferry crossing from the UK and on the edge of mainland Europe.
The Netherlands roughly translates to 'Low lands' because 20% of the land is below sea level with some 50% being less than 1m above it. They are hemmed in by other countries so when they needed more land they had to re-claim it from the sea and marshlands. It is a very flat country which grows a lot of produce.
Because much of The Netherlands or Holland is below sea level they have to constantly pump water out otherwise it would quickly flood, sounds crazy, but they have made it work for a long time now.

The sea is held back by banks called Dikes, but it obviously seeps through, mainly underground.
It's currently pumped out by electric, but for many years it was done by windmills. Basically they split all the land up (this includes the fields, towns, small villages even housing estates) by small water courses. Even though they have a normal sized road system, in many areas you can also come out of your house, jump into a small boat and whizz off to see your friend a couple of blocks away.

Here is a model someone did of how the basics work:


There are (just) three windmills there, the one on the right pulls the water up from the lowest level, it goes around the water course until the one in the centre pulls it up onto the next level, then onto the the one at the left and so on until it's high enough to be pumped back to the sea.

You can see they are using water wheels, here's a working drawing:



This was eventually superseded by the Archimedes screw type:



They are now made from steel of course, but were first made from wood, one of the originals still exists - just about!


A current one:


Windmills were originally made from wood and this one is mainly apart from the brick outer and steel mainshaft, here is a shot looking up into the roof where you can see how horizontal motion is converted to vertical:


The wind comes from different directions and different speeds, to allow for these changes the keeper has to get out on the balcony to spin the whole top piece around to face the wind and put sheets behind the sails to catch it, the sails are just lats of wood, you can put a twist on them by tightening a rope.


Brief footage of it in action:

And the car? Delta HPE 16vt:


It has the same engine/turbo as the integrale Evo2 and shares its chassis/suspension with the Fiat Coupe (and other family members). As you can see it takes some styling cues (the wheels and arches) from its predecessor and is a pretty rare beast here in the UK with an estimated 7 others in the country.

The gearboxes final drive is lower than a Coupe and It's got a pair of C&B cams fitted along with a specially written chip running 1.3 bar boost, so quick enough on the road with the small turbo spooling up really early and the cams providing plenty of mid-range punch.
Sitting on fully adjustable coilovers it's also much lighter at the front than a Coupe giving it a very pointy and lively feel.

A car I really enjoyed owning and driving for a year, sadly now sold.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Heads & Rust

......... Is what has been taking up the vast majority of our time just lately.

One 8v and three 16v integrale heads, one Peugeot/Citroen 8v 1.6, one Toyota 1.8 16v and a Toyota 2ltr 16v turbo have either gone or are in the process of being improved.

The Toyota 2ltr head is going on a very high powered (circa 900bhp) engine powering a road legal drag racing MR2. I've had this head in the shop before when it was used on a lower spec engine, it got high lift cams, under-bucket shims and only very light porting work. The head needs relieving around where the cam lobes spin as there isn't enough clearance for 11+mm lift and the OE top mounted shims are known for jumping out to say hello at high RPMs with equally high lift cams.
The head flows well (read: They are totally OTT and fecking huge*) from a max CFM perspective straight out of the box, hence it only needing light shaping of the ports. Infact you could (as I proved) fill back up a large amount of these inlets and re-do them picking up both velocity and CFM on the way, but as usual it's down to (lack of) budget to go down this route.
Last time out the engine saw a rather frightening (in a mid engined RWD car) 740bhp before the block cracked as they are well known for doing so at this power level.
*The reason for this is the factory fitted, but now redundant 'T-VIS' system which blocks off one of the 8 separate inlet manifold tracts.

Now you would of thought the owner Dougy would have been quite relieved for this monster to die (I think his wife was), but no, he's back for more with a stronger 2.2 block and crank! We've also found out that there are 2 different generations of this head and the port shape and angle changed quite a bit, some careful scrutinising and measuring has been going on to decide which way to go, early head has bigger taller ports, but more downdraft, later has smaller fatter D shaped ports, but less down draft.....
The suitable head will then receive larger valves with seat and throat work to suit.
When it's done I won't be going out for a drive in it.

One 16v Fiat/Lancia head went to Bastiaan in the Netherlands for his Punto 2ltr conversion, another is going to the U.S. for Jorge on the top of a 2.2ltr engine we are building for him and the final staying in the UK to replace one in an integrale badly damaged by cambelt failure/slippage. Remember to keep your eye on your belts fellas, genuine Sodium filled exhaust valves are now around £80 each. Times that by 8 and you've got what is only the start of some hefty repair bill.


Apart from the integrale heads my favourite from the above is the Saxo 8v VTR head, it responds so well when you re-shape it in all the right places that it is a joy to work on, check out the graph below, this little engine is going to fly, good in valve flow all the way up the scale from low lifts to high:

Saxo headflow graph

In these pics one port and one combustion chamber have been given the treatment in comparison to the one next to it, initially and visually the difference is minimal, as you can see no cowboy 'Opening out' 'hogging out' or stupid polishing of the ports has been going on, the outward differences are very subtle, but the figures aren't.

Saxo 1.6 8v

Saxo 1.6 8v

Up on the lift earlier in the year were too pretty rusty 16vs, obviously no rare sight, but both owners and us happy to see them given some more life. We don't plate over rust like many do:

It's cut out to as far back as discussed with the customer and replaced with new metal, fully welded, painted and wax injected from behind.

I've also been working with a local CNC router genius on the Stage 2 gearbox strengthening so we can offer that as a service too. What we are finding on strip down of the gearbox is that the holes which hold the bearings for the two shafts of gears have gone oval, not just a bit, but quite a lot. Under power these are pushed further apart until the mesh on the gears is reduced and teeth begin to ping off:

You can see below how both the gearbox and the spectacle plate we are making are mounted side by side so the machine cuts one after the other for a perfect fit.

1st example of a new design of ex-manifold:

Despite instructions that it be made from smooth flowing mandrel bends it came like that so I put some EGT sensors in it, had it ceramic coated and mounted it on Project Sausage, at least we can use it as a test piece as PS had practically blown my old Evocars manifold to bits.

And finally.......

To finish off this chapter is a nice way someone has found to get a car to pass an MOT test when it fails on lack of rear braking effort. Strip down the bias valve, linkage, free it off and re-assemble? Nah, just throw money at it.

And hope it sticks in the right place!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Paying by Paypal for free

At Deltaparts we don't mind taking Paypal payments as long as you can send them for free or you pay the fee, here is a guide on how to do it:

When you are in your account click on 'Send Money' at the top of the page, this opens another page.

Fill in our email address (the usual one)

Fill in the amount (if you want to give us a bit extra its ok)

This is the important bit:

Click on the box which reads 'Personal', then click 'Gift'.
After that click send and it is done.

Sometimes it asks if you want to pay the fee, please click this.


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Seasonal Greetings and Happy New Year to all our friends, suppliers and customers.

It's been another busy year here and I really do sincerely wish a huge thanks and all the best to everyone who has supported us, shown patience where needed, shared chat, ideas and pictures etc. Without you the integrale community wouldn't be what it is and we wouldn't be here helping it continue either.

Anyhow, that's enough End Of Year/Seasonal schmuck, let's get down to biz:

About a month ago now we took Project Sausage by the scruff of the neck and bolted on some hardcore goodies, as you may have read earlier the engine was built strongly, but whilst quick hasn't been taxed much really.

Until now....

Into the mix went a pair of full race cams, a GT3076R, 76mm downpipe to match up to the existing system, a new intake manifold/plenum, bigger injectors and an uprated clutch to hold the power. That makes it sound simple, but many long hours were worked to make everything fit; Gone is the ABS, the brake and power steering reservoirs have moved, pipes re-routed, new throttle and cable fitted, more bits of bodywork hacked off here and there. Off it went to Darren for mapping and it came back like a snarling beast. It was a fast road car, now it's come of age and is a track/race car, gone are any road manners, given over in exchange for outright power and it's very loud even with two silencers.
The front suspension arms had the old worn mushy rubber bushes burned out and I turned up some self-lubricating nylon ones with bronze bushes and pressed them in, zero movement now! I knocked up a simple brace and bolted it across the lower subframe to help with the extreme pressure it was about to be under, these are ok for the track, but no good for the road as they are too low and easily hit.

So it was off to a trackday at Donington with a few other Coupes, the morning was pretty dire as the track surface was very slippery due to it being cold, damp and fuel drop out from the very close landing aircraft and I had my Nangkang Ditchfinders fitted, but once a bit of breeze picked up, clouds cleared and the sun came out the track soon dried and we were going ok and soon putting in steady 1.58 lap times.
We were black flagged by Donington staff and congratulated by fellow Coupe owners several times for excessive noise (it does sound bloody good at full chat!), I think the limit was 97 and we were at 105Db, after Roger put in a few slow laps in order for it to pass I figured that something had to be done so Josh and Rogers lads got busy with an old paint can, tin snips and a large hose clip. They cut out a section of the tin, wrapped it around the tail pipe and held it on with the clip. It directed most* of the noise downwards and did the trick, we passed every sound detector at full throttle and were soon matching a Corvette which had a 430bhp V8 in it.

*Most, um well some escaped upwards and melted a hole in the bumper, but never mind eh.

I wasn't very happy with the power output, it was lacking a bit, especially at the bottom end and very peaky so when we got back I altered the cam timing, it's much better and we still need to get the map tweaked, then get a power figure. With the current damp and slippery Winter road conditions it spins the wheels when it hits peak torque in every gear apart from 5th so it's pretty useless. If anyone wants to buy it they are welcome to it, otherwise it will probably be put into the integrale track car where the 4wd will do it more justice.
I'm currently building something a bit different for it with some more ground breaking trick head mods, this time we'll concentrate on large amounts of torque and a very road driveable engine.

As the car is running a re-ground crank I thought it interesting to take an oil sample for testing by our suppliers Millers. They scientifically test the oil and check the metal content, here are the results below;

Everything looks ok so far (very low metal content) as the oil had done 4000 road miles and one trackday, plenty at 8500rpm and with lots of power, time will tell more, but it's also a testament to their oil as this was pronounced as fine and could have stayed in the engine even longer - a big thanks to them too for showing me around their lab.

These quite sad pics could be the start of a rather ambitious project for Irishman Andrew, it was caught up in a house fire. Rather you than me and the best of luck with that one Andrew!

Nowt as queer as folk

Is a Yorkshire term and there are certainly plenty of odd people around in salubrious downtown Batley who will brighten up your day with their antics. One particular local lowlife parked his car outside whilst visiting my neighbour before annoying me.
He then realised said neighbour had locked up and gone home with his car keys in his workshop. "Why don't we ring him and he will come back and get your keys for you?" Says I.
"No, i'll just hotwire it" he says...

So he borrows some tools and sets about his ignition barrel and steering column for half an hour before firing it up and realising that he can only go forwards and backwards due to the steering lock. As he can't break it on his own he asks me to come and help him, so he gets behind the wheel and I get hold of it from the passenger seat. We get hold and start to turn, as neither of us are lightweights it starts to revolve surprisingly easily.

Until it snaps clean off in his hands.
The shocked look on his face was somehow made even better by the fact that the airbag light on the now completely disconnected wheel is still flashing as if to say "Help me!".
Laugh? Well this guy's a hot headed Eastern European criminal, so I tried not to for three seconds, but still my bottom lip began to tremble and I just couldn't stop, before long I was rolling on the floor laughing with aching sides and tears rolling down my cheeks, I don't think I've laughed so much in ages.
I was still chuckling as he borrowed even more tools, sharpened the steering column like a pencil and bashed the wheel on tight with a lump hammer before attempting to weld it on and driving off.
If there is a lesson to be learned here it's that old Renault 19s aren't very easy to steal...

Friday, 25 November 2011


The UK integrale community has taken a big hit in recent years due to the recession, sadly a lot of cars (mainly the Evo model) have gone back to Europe. Over 75% of our sales have been abroad and it's always great to chat with people around the globe. According to the statistics 116 different countries have visited the site and we have sent parts to many far away places such as Tahiti, Reunion Island, Cuba, Hong kong, Japan, Istanbul and even Wigan - amazing where integrales turn up!

Put yourself on the map here:
Thanks to Turbodelta (Sandro) for setting this up.

Vote here:

A few dramatic pics here sent by F16 pilot Niko, his family is originally from Greece, he lived in America, but is now residing with his highly modified 16v in Japan (which is more top secret and Highly Classified than these aircraft).

In an earlier chapter of the Blog I mentioned Eriks racing Evo after we sent him one of our uprated rear ARBs, he emailed recently to say the handling & grip was much improved, so much so he won all 4 of his recent races - well done to him! It's good to see an integrale still winning, other competitors included an Alfa GTV, BMW M3, 4 Ferrari 348 Challenge cars amongst many others, although the closest car to him was another Lampredi powered Lancia - a naturally aspirated Thema.

Photobucket Photobucket

We recently had another Evo in for chassis strengthening, it had no less than 5 stress cracks within a 1m square area which was around the usual O/S door frame. You might want to know how we strengthen them without putting a cage in (you might not, but I'm gonna tell you anyway) - for ultimate strength you can't beat a cage, but in a road going car most people want something a bit more subtle so we weld in hidden strengthening plates. I worked out some while back how to test which one did which and by how much it affected the car. I loosened the door striker plate and shut the door, this allowed the door the freedom to move up and down as it wanted. I then put a strip of masking tape on either side of the front and rear door gap and drew a straight line across the two. Jacking the car up in certain places causes the door to move and this can now be measured, the worst cars can have 6mm of movement here.

Then the plates are welded in, every time a new one is fitted the same test is done and the result recorded, bit by bit the movement gets less and less - as you can see in the pic it goes from 5.5 to 4, then to 2. Small numbers, but consider that alone is nearly a 60% improvement from three plates and a bar. Some plates do more than others and in different areas, but combined they all make a big difference. This is only a very simple static test and the car is treated quite gently, can you imagine the amount of movement which goes on when you chuck the car into a corner or over some bumps? Quite frightening.

New in recently (and on a similar note) are these front strengthening bars:

The idea originates from Japan, but I wasn't happy with the design as owners of these had reported problems with them hitting 3" exhausts, also wherever there is a bend you are going to have flex, so I redesigned them to avoid both of these issues. These are a one-size-fits-all to send out, we have on occasion made and fitted bespoke ones to cars with modified suspension here in the workshop, you can them make the clearances much tighter especially the one between them and the road! I tested them similarly to the procedure mentioned earlier and they do help the door aperture movement, but moreover they stop the chassis rail flex which leads to this crack here:


How do they work? The engine which is quite far out front bounces up and down on the chassis, this is allowed to move because of the rubber bushes in the suspension, these compress and expand, the chassis rail flexes on its weakest point and eventually cracks. The extra width, weight and grip of an Evo just makes things worse.
If you wanted to add something to your car purely for comedy value then you could get one of these:


To hang your washing from whilst driving to work, or to keep that loose headlining from dropping on your head? Who knows, but what a quality item. Well that's all from me folks till Christmas I reckon, unless I get immobilised by something I don't think I'll find time to publish much till then, but the next issue will have pics of a new ready to fit chassis strengthening plate kit, more readers pics, restoration work and the latest on Project Sausage,

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About Me

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Welcome to the Deltaparts Blog, here you will find, well, anything which is on my mind I guess, but mainly things to do with the Lancia Delta integrale and in particular anything to do with my business, Deltaparts. It will be a bit irregular as it's not every day (or even week) that something worth mentioning happens. I would like to try and make it interesting - at least to some people anyhow, but also hopefully accessible and readable for the average 'man on the street' so I won't bore you with loads of large words, bombastic overblown sentences or technical jargon. I will describe on here how lots of the parts that we sell came about as there isn't room on the website ( ) to explain. I hope you enjoy reading it as I do writing it, when something becomes a chore you know it's time to stop doing it....