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GTM Coupé Page 61

June 2014 - June 2017

Five years have passed, with quite a bit happening with the car. Back in August 2012 we moved home, and time was taken up with getting the house, and garage into shape. The old boiler in the garage needed changed, rooms needed work and re-decorating, all taking up time.

In June 2013 our daughter, Tabitha was born and quite a while was spent out of the garage.

By 2014 I was able to fit a few trips into the garage in the evenings, this allowed me to think of the future. Eventually I decide the need to go to a more modern engine was needed. Nothing was wrong with the engine I had, but if I wanted more power the reliability was going to drop.

In Mid 2014 the opportunity to buy a non-road legal race coupé came along. This car was fitted with a Honda D16A9, 1590cc, non vtec, twin cam engine. As it was a race car, I decided to ,originally, transfer the engine to my car along with the rollcage. As things progressed I decide to transfer the Kirkey seat over, along with another I got on ebay for 99p! This was due to the fact that the padded seats made my head a little too close to the cage.
I also transfered over the side mirrors on the door, purely for looks.

d16a9 engine
D16A9 engine

As the D16 engine is a fuel injected engine, it would have been necessary to fit a fuel return to the existing tank, but as the tank is a bit trick to fill, I got a new tank made,to a modified design I came up. This had a fuel feed from the bottom, as hi-pressure fuel injection pumps need to be gravity fed, along with a return at the top, and a breather connection. New fuel pipes were ran down the tunnel to allow this to happen, before the engine was fitted. A new Walbro GSL393 high pressure pump was fitted to the front bulkhead, just under the level of the tank.

Engine in
Engine going in
New fuel tank
New Fuel Tank
New fuel tank
New Fuel Tank
New fuel pump
New Fuel Pump
Engine in place

With the engine now in place, next to be tackled was the engine/E.C.U. wiring.
The existing loom was kept to power the lights, but several more fuses and relays were added to help protect the switch gear etc, and a separate new short loom was made that connected the e.c.u. to the engine. Very few connections bridged the two looms, mainly power and gauge senders.
This took quite a while to do, while I gathered as much information as I could. The coupé came with a JDM Honda PW0 E.C.U., which required a few wiring changes to be made from the European set-up. I also wanted to reduce the size of the loom by removing unwanted connections and commoning up feeds/grounds. I finally got it planned and then made. I also decided to redo the gauge panel and add a new switch panel. These were all made modular so they could be fitted when needed.

Thinning out loom
Wiring loom
Wiring loom common wires
Wiring loom
Wiring loom notes
Wiring loom
loom started
Wiring loom
Ecu wires
Wiring loom
ECU Pin outs
Wiring loom
Engine loom
Wiring loom
Wrapped loom
Dial panel
Switch panel
Switch Panel
Switch/Gauge Panel

Remodeling the dash and switch panel, meant I had to loose the Mini heater, so I fitted a small PC water cooling radiator, along with a server fan to the front bulkhead, I also introduced a small relay valve to the feed pipe, allowing the hot water to be switched off when needed, as I found that the interior can get very hot, and cool air is more whats needed. I had fitted an eyeball vent to the switch panel to aid in cooling. The plan is to find a suitable pipe to link the two.

pc fan
PC radiator and fan

The rear engine cover had always been held down with dzus fasteners, however I found that these corroded quick quickly and the slot wore out, despite having the correct tool. I made my mind up to fit some Aerocatches, a location was marked out, taking into account the existing dzus hole, this was roughly cut, then sanded with a Dremel. The Aerocatch was then bonded onto the rear of the cover with PU glue, then reinforced with two layers of fiberglass mat. This gave a flush appearance I wanted, with no screws in sight.
At the same time, I repaired the cover as it had started to split on the join I had made back in May 2008! I also removed the extension and mesh on the bulge and resealed the opening, before painting it.

Hole marked
Carefully sanded to size
Bonded in place
Flush fitting
Bulge Opening closed

Due to the lack of space I had to find a location that would allow me to fit an alternator to the engine, the previous one turned out to be too big, so a quick look around the local scrap yard, yielded one off a Suzuki swift, this is the same as the Nippon Denso unit offered for racecars. It has a 55Amp output, and is only 100mm in diameter. Several places were tried, before I settled on a small hole being formed on the bulkhead, to allow the alternator to sit where the power steering pump went. This was then covered by a aluminum cover. This also required a mounting bracket to be fabricated and quite a short drive belt from a Peugeot 205 GTi 1.9 used to connect to the crank pulley.

Samll Alternator
Suzuki Swift alternator
Trial Fit
Trial fit
Bulkhead Cover
Peugeot belt

The final modification was to fit a better handbrake set-up. The coupé had larger rear cylinders fitted to improve the feel, but the handbrake was just able to pass the MOT. But the new engine came with standard Mini brakes, with no handbrake fitted. I had read on various Mini based buggy pages, of people using VW Golf rear calipers with built in handbrake, this was normally done by machining a little off the hub. I felt this was something I wasn't willing to try, so wondered if using Metro Turbo flanges would move the disk over enough to allow the caliper carrier in. So I picked a set up, removed the four lugs use to locate the wheels on the Metro and fitted these. This left a gap for the carrier which I made a spacer for. A small pipe was mode to convert between the metric fittings on the Golf caliper and the imperial of the Mini.

Golf calipers
golf calipers
Metro Flange
Metro Turbo Flange
Lugs off
Lugs removed
Mini Calipers
Mini Calipers
Space for Carrier
Golf Calipers on

Final task was to take it for its MOT, this went well with only a few faults. Mainly the front numberplate wasn't secured enough, the headlights were out of alignment and the passengers door wouldn't open for outside.
A quick couple of fixes saw it back on the Monday where it passed once more and was back on the road.

2017 MOT
MOT passed

All this work had resulted in very little external changes being seen, the Coupé looking also exactly as it had done before.

2017 MOT
Little has changed