Manchester XPAG Project Newsletter – May 2013

The team has purchased the items for the fuel recirculation system and heat shield, the two solutions they are investigating. They have also produced an internal report appraising the management of the project which contributes 5% to their final mark. Work on the technical report for the final product(s) has also begun. Additionally, Nigel Stevens has provided valuable advice on the test protocols and the team are seeking a more accurate way of relating optimum needle / jet position to the ideal air-to-fuel ratios for given RPMs.

Work on installing the engine into the test rig continues. Unfortunately, the dynamo was not in a serviceable state and an alternator has been fitted in its place to act as an idler for the fan belt. The carburettors have been fitted along with the fuel pump and fuel flow meter. A shield guarding operators from the rotating parts on the front of the engine has also been installed. Finally, the engine had been temporarily disconnected from the dynamometer in preparation to being started for the first time. In light of the delay in getting the engine installed on the test rig, the team has requested their project deadline be extended to 10th May 2013.

As the students’ project comes to an end, it would appear that the amount of work required to mount the engine on the test rig was underestimated. The Department has excellent engineering and manufacturing facilities, however, work needs to be planned and scheduled. Late requirements and unforeseen problems have resulted in delays. In addition, health and safety considerations have required additional work to install remote control systems, guards, etc.

This is a long way from my efforts when I first started my XPAG after its rebuild. I installed it in the chassis with a piece of old MDF for a bulkhead and various pieces of string and wire so I could pull the choke, throttle and starter at the same time while standing next to the “unprotected” engine.

This will be the last monthly newsletter for the current student team; the next item will be their final report. However, this is not the end of the line for the tests. Over May, I will be discussing with Dr Rob Prosser how this work can be continued on the basis of the first tranche of results.

The Ipswich to Felixstowe run with over 350 classic vehicles taking part was on Sunday 5th May. With the hot weather and delays in leaving the Park in Ipswich, the large number of “casualties” stopped at the road site reminded me of the importance of this work.

Paul Ireland

Ed’s note: My thanks to Paul, who has been the driving force behind this project and has produced seven newsletters, commencing with the November 2012 newsletter and finishing with this one.

Anyone who expected a magical solution to the problem will be disappointed but the team has identified two potential solutions which can now be taken forward (the fuel recirculation system sounds particularly interesting). Knowing Paul as I do, he will be keen to ensure that this work is continued.