Interesting K series at Emerald yesterday

Cross posted from Seloc

For all K’sters

Thought I would mention details of a K series engine that was at Emeralds RR yesterday, although this was an 1800 K series, it is a slightly unusual one. The engine belongs to David Ward and I have recently rebuilt it using a new ported big valve VHPD head with 1444 cams, Jenvey TBs an Emerald and 4-1 manifold. Much the same spec as Uldis’s engine.

You may be wondering what is unusual about this engine… well it started life as a hybrid 1700cc unit, one of three 1700K series built to exploit the class capacity limit, the crank is a Doug Kiddie steel crank in EN40B with a stroke halfway between the 1600�s 79mm stroke and the 1800s 89mm stroke to give 1699cc, bang on the class limit, special Arrow rods were commissioned that were halfway between the 1600 and 1800 rod lengths. The original idea was put together by Mike Bees with Mark Bishop and David following suit. Mike and Marks engines went on to make good outputs, both over 225BHP (from only 1700cc). I was a little involved with Mikes engine having produced the head and I also produced the head for Marks and gave it the most recent rebuild .

Dave�s engine originally had a few trials and tribulations and for various reasons proved not to be as reliable as hoped for , in addition the expected power did not materialise with the engine never giving over 200BHP. After enduring a few seasons of bad luck Dave was about to give up on the engine but decided to give it one more go.

Since this years rebuld would require new pistons and liners David opted for an EVO2 Scholar block and I persuaded him to use 82mm pistons as in the 1900 engines. This combination of 82mm bore and 84.5mm stroke would yield 1785cc and give in effect a short stroke 1800K with a more favourable rod angle and larger bore. I had hoped that this combination would produce good power since I believe the larger bore helps to unshroud the combustion chamber and valves.

I think David is quite pleased with the outcome since the engine broke the record for an 1800K series on Emeralds new RR, equalling the BHP of Steve Butts and Dave Jacksons 1900Ks with 245BHP at 8300. The torque was good at 158lb/ft but I believe there will be more to come if the exhaust manifold is changed for a good 4-2-1.

I am of course keeping my fingers crossed that the engine delivers the goods for Dave when he starts to use his Caterham in anger, there will probably be a change of exhaust soon followed by another RR session, hopefully this will see the mid range torque improved a tad.


Just noticed this (new to this forum). Makes interesting reading.

What exactly is a Scholar EVO2 block? Are these modified Rover items? Or is it a complete new cast/design to accept larger/different liners?



It a regular Rover block machined to accept thicker liners, the liners are siamesed in order to accomadate the same bore centres and are an interference fit in the block. They are bored and honed with a torque plate fitted that simulates the cruash that the head will place on the block assembly, that way the bores will be undistorted when the head is bolted on. The block assembly is available in both 80 and 82mm bore or 82.5mm to order. An 1800 goes to 1900 or damned near with an 82mm bore a 1600 goes to near 1700 and a 1700 hybrid goes to 1800. The Scholar conversion completely eliminates head gasket problems that were associated with liner movement/height. It similar to the conversion done 6 years ago on Mike Bees and Mark Bishops engines using Citroen diesel liners.


6 years ago!!! I hope it worked okay.

Thanks for the info re the block. I’ll have to hound Scholar for some pictures of the block assembly and liners… Unless anyone here can help?


I’ve got two of them in stock here, if you want a picture then I can probably arrange to mail you one.

FWIW Mike Bees’ engine has gone 6 years completely trouble free using the Citroen diesel liners, not a hint of HG problems, nor any failure of any kind. Whereas you can never guarantee total reliability, nor absolutely guarantee against a HGF, a 6 year record is about as good as it gets. Especially on an engine with such a high spoecific output (>135BHP per litre).


I think its an excellent record, I’ll have to look up the rest of the engine specification - I presume its posted here somewhere.

My email address is ben at if you do manage some photos.



It is basically the same spec. as the engine mentioned in this thread but with 80mm pistons. It has a VVC head with REC valves rather than a VHPD and a 290 degree inlet cam (870 profile) and 1227 exhaust profile. DKE crank, Arrow rods and Omega pistons.

I have sent some pictures of the block assembly and pistons (82mm).


“6 year record is about as good as it gets. Especially on an engine with such a high spoecific output (>135BHP per litre).”

lets not forget that Mike has only done like 20 miles in the past 4 years

Good motor tho

Ah… but the 20 miles have not been cruising at 3500 RPM.

Seriously though he has had several years of competition from the engine without a rebuild where the other two 1700s (and many others) have for various reasons (cheese heads, bad mapping, bad assembly) endured several rebuilds with sometimes lacklustre results.


I used to compete against Mike Bees with that engine when it was first installed. It was an eye opener, and as you say, was just under the 1700c limit. I ran an SBD 1600 16v Vauxhall engine in 225bhp spec at the same time, and the results were very similar in most respects. My car was sent to Norway at easter, is Mike still competing in his I wonder?

Am I right in thinking that the 1600cc 16v Tigra/Nova GTE engines were designed by Lotus for General motors, but GM had problems getting them through emissions in the States. Maybe I dreamt it???!??!!!?

Bloody good engines all the same.

Bloody good engines all the same.

Oh no, don’t you friggin well start too

Vauxhall engines are great, especially the 1.6 16v, cracking little engine, honest Tiny Steel block, rev at 10,000+rpm if you want…and you have a [censored] load of cash obv.