10 Feb 2002: Here are some photos of the kit that I have just completed. This kitset is produced by Jaycar, part number KC5202.
5 Jul 2002: Today I took some photos of the ignition and surrounding area. First we have some photos of the area surrounding the new ignition panel. Gear stick is from the later 5 speed gearbox, but has been chromed in place of the original black. Solid black ball gear knob is from the original 4 speed gearbox. Row of three VDO gauges provide information on N2O fuel pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature. Digital display above gauges shows cabin temperature and carb intake temperature.
The panel opens to reveal the keypad used to program the unit, as well as the arming switch for the nitrous oxide boost system. A white LED operating off a 9V battery and triggered by a mercury tilt switch is mounted in the lid. When the lid opens, the LED comes on. Great for programming the system at night.
The new high energy ignition system (Jaycar kit KC5247) is mounted just behind the left headlight. The loose wires have not yet been secured down nicely. Red MSD Blaster II coil is visible in front of ignition. I took a couple more shots of the engine in general, since I had the camera out. Last photo shows fuel line for nitrous oxide system. Stop valve allows the system to be disabled. Beneath metal cover is the Holly fuel pump. Regulator for the pump is visible towards the left. Handy location of regulator makes adjusting fuel pressure a breeze.
After installing the programmable ignition I started out with the advance curve for a fairly typical Fiat 2L (2ACT motor). I performed some dyno runs using the StreetDyno software. Below are the results. Note that while the absolute values reported by such software may not be accurate, the measurements are very repeatable. This makes the a tool very useful for measuring the effects (positive or negative) of changes made to the car. Note the shape of the curves. The torque curve is very broad indeed and is centred around 3500rpm or so. This gives the car good pickup when used in traffic. This can be accounted for due to the short duration high lift cams used as well as the relatively small 32mm chokes in the carbs. Torque drops off after 5000rpm, but I can live with that.
By varying the advance curve I managed to gain a few more HP at the top end. One has to exercise caution with the advance settings. Too much advance will cause detonation and may result in pre-ignition, after which your engine will only be useful as a paperweight. Note that both of these curves are for the engine running in normally asperated mode. As yet I haven't performed a dyno run with the nitrous kit operational.
With the programmable high energy ignition system installed the car drives much better than before. It is particularly noticable when the car is cold. It doesn't stumble, cough and splutter as it used to. The car feels much better throughout the rev range too. I can now drive around town at 2000rpm if I so desire. This would have been quite difficult with the old ignition system! In addition, the hesitation that I experienced previously when driving at 80-100kph has almost entirely disappeared. There is a slight flat spot that can still be felt, but it's almost not worth chasing, though I probably will.
8 Jul 2002: Took my N2O cylinder to BOC gasses today to have it re-certified. They are sending it off to Auckland. In order to re-certify it they need to test such things as the safety valve. If it doesn't pass, they can repair/replace the valve etc. The legislation has recently changed and before it can be re-certified however they must first assign it a LAB number. The thing is, they also test it before assigning a LAB number, and if it fails that test they cannot give it a LAB number. Well I just hope it doesn't get stuck in an infinite loop of not being able to be fixed because it's not certified, etc. etc!
12 Jul 2002: I picked up my custom built vacuum actuated switch today. This will connect to the ignition system and provide further advance when the engine is operating under light load. The unit was built by Barry Emms of Quality Rebuilds. Barry engineered the unit to make it possible to adjust the activation point by simply rotating a nylon knob.
25 Jul 2002: I just heard back from BOC gasses regarding my nitrous oxide cylinder. It turns out they no longer re-certify the automotive variety. They tried to locate companies that do, but couldn't find anyone! Help! Does anyone know of a place that re-certifies automotive nitrous oxide cylinders in New Zealand?
Stay tuned for the latest news on the Fiat from hell.