New Engine - I'm sticking with a 'K'

OK, this should be interesting and I am open to everybodys constructive comments.

As some of you will know I have been talking of doing an engine upgrade for a while, and my favoured route was originally a 2.3 / 2.5 litre NA Duratec.

The checkboxes that must be ticked are:

Quaife sequential has to fit.

This rules out the honda as it spins the wrong way

Light weight as I don’t want to upset the handling or make it heavier

This rules out the audi turbo in my opinion. The Duratec is also heavier I have found out after doing a bit more research.

The other issue with the Duratec is that the conversion is pretty new and I had enough of being a guinea pig with my Escort Cosworth

So my current thinking is to go for a Scholer 2.0 ltr conversion. 250BHP, lots more torque than standard and one of these won the mid engined at the weekend didn’t it??

Plus it just slots straight back in the car, I can still use all of the go faster stuff that I already have and with cuurent work loads Scholer will upgrade my engine in three weeks.

I am interested in everyones opinions. I have heard some of the storeys of unreliability with some of the early Scholer engines, but am interested in hearing any good and bad storeys that people have.


Also look at the 1.9 version, you’ll keep the revs as there’s no extra Stroke… That said I’d imagine that 250bhp from the 2.0 is less strain than 190 from 1.8…

If you can speak to Steve B, he’s just got ~250bhp / 167ft lbs from the 1.9 but done stuff like had heavy metals inserted into the crank to balance it properly (it’s too small to balance the 1.8 apparently).

I can see where you are coming from in wanting the sequential box whilst keeping the weight down. My only reservation would be reliability. Barrie/Gav ran the 2.0ltr scholar and it was a long way from being reliable. That said the one in Mackintosh’ car lasted the two hour race so maybe they have improved things and maybe (more likely) things get better if you don’t wring its neck. Power wise the Plans car had nothing over me down the straight and we are running a very very near standard Honda.

The guys who run the Charlton car have been working on fitting a sequential Hewland to their Honda but Im not sure what atage they are at.

So with all these mods on the go… when are we going to see you entering a race?

Good choice, I would do the same
But you need to target reliability.
The main thing (and I don’t know here) is if the 2L or the 1.9L as done by Scholar have a heavy metalled crank.
That is VERY important.
The next thing is to get the EVO 2 (is it?) block, but not the EVO 4. Not sure about the versions but the one that is not welded on top.

Other than that, get the headwork done by DVA or a good porter, because Scholar AFAIK don’t do such good heads.

Other than that, go for it!

PS - I personally would go for the 1.9, just because of the rod angle on a longer stroke.

Good plan, the sequential is a keeper. I was considering all my options before the rebuild currently in progress and after many hours of research i came to the following conclusions, these are my conclusions, they might not be correct but this is what i based my decisions on:

The 2L is a no go for me, they need a refresh every perhaps 5000 miles, if you are lucky. My car spends a minimum of 4 full days on the track a month, excluding race weekends and fun trackdays. So that would not last long. I really don’t want race car where i have to start contemplating family track days as it might impact the rest of the season.

The 1.9L is IMO far preferable to the 2L, however from what i have learnt needs to be done to a top spec, parts wise and put together with alot of car. It is not worthwhile to take any shortcuts if you are after reliability.

I was all ready to go for the 1.9L and the origonal intention of my dearests trip was to collect the crank etc, for the engine. However my rebuild thus far has cost me 2000 pounds, including duties for parts i needed and that was just gearbox and clutch, still gottoa get to the head. This put me off because as a once off cost i was willing to pay the premium, but the next rebuild is gonna be super expensive. However the 1.9 is the way to go, and scholar told me a while ago that they have had a few engines last a full season.

So i have ended up going for a full carbon body to increase the power to weight without increasing the power. It should according to my calculations give me the equivalent of 20HP at least, no i am not gonna get into a debate as to whether i am right or not, lets just assume we have worked it out properly. The advantage of this is it benfits accelaration, braking, and turning. Also i have already made the decision so if you can all just agree with me that would be nice

Sean try chatting to a few Caterham R500 owners and see how long their engines have held together, should give you more of a database to work off.

I have a 1.9 scholar evo 4 that I am running in the mid engined series this year. I did around 1000 track miles in it before it needed a 4k Rebuild just prior to the start of this seasons racing.Having said that I think we ran it with a duff radiator for quite a while and we may have contributed somewhat to the engine damage!Since the rebuild the car has been spot on.

Scholar dyno’d the car at 230HP. I can give you my observations as to performance as follows:-

there were 2 honda powered elises /exiges in our race both picked up a little quicker out of the slower corners but once my car wa s ‘on cam’ I found I could very slowly reel them in, especially over the back straight (revette).
Overall there was not a lot in it to be honest.

However George Mack’s 2.0L k series was considerably faster all round! just blew me away down the back straight.If I genuinely have 230hp then he’s got at least another 30!

So my question is what realible HP can I expect to get from this 1.9l block? who do I get to do the modification work and what will it cost me?

No way the Mackintosh’ car has 260 bhp. Simon’s engine made ~240 on the dyno and in the car its not running right at the moment and has barely, if any, more power than a standard UK Honda and I was dead even with Mackintosh down the straights.

Remember that the Exige/Motorsport Elise has really poor aerodynamics compared to an Elise and that make a big difference down long straights. Mackintosh’ car did get out of the corners very well but thats down to good setup, not power.

Well, those were my honest observations, take 'em or leave 'em mate.

I’m not disregarding your observation but it’s very difficult to quantify power on track performance. 9 times out of 10 people put poor corner exit speed down to lack of power and it’s also very easy to overlook aerodynamics at a track like Snett. To put this into perspective my Nissan has a lower top speed than my old Spice even though it has 250bhp more.

lower top speed than my old Spice

Old Spice Chris?? Always put you down as more of a Davidoff Man

Seriously though, from a spectator point of view the Honda Elise and George’s S2 seemed pretty evenly matched.

Yep, I know there are lots of factors to consider but the thing thatsurprised me was that he was over 6 seconds a lap faster this year than last year in the same car & pretty similar coniditions! His car was already to motorsport spec.last year so thats some improvement.

Anyhow I have another question. As you run slicks in Britcar how much difference do they make to lap time s compared to the AO48’s?

The slicks make 1 to 2 secs difference so far. We don’t have the optimum construction/compound tyre from Dunlop yet and we aren’t getting the most out of them so I’m expecting for the gap to increase as the yar goes on.

Benja - I always thought my hairy chest wig suited the old Spice .

I know we are getting a little off topic here but from your experience with the Honda engine do you still think its the best option for entering Britcar or midengined series for that matter? How do you find it affects the balance of the car compared with the K series because I believe its a bit heavier is’nt it?

I am looking at next season really and trying to decide the best way forward. I take it the S2000 engine won’t fit an Elise mk1?

Try a search, I’m sure somebodies asked this before.


Well I thought this would get a bit of banter going. LOL.

Chris, I have had several conversations with numerous people about the reliability of the engine and I can’t say it isn’t an issue. I don’t want to make a horribe unreliable monster. But I don’t want to loose the balance of the car. How does your car handle with the extra weight out back, and be honest mate, I would appreciate you unbiased view.

The Hewland box is the thick end of about �14k once it’s in the car and I don’t want to spend that kind of dosh on a gearbox.

I would like the 2.5 Duratec as they are supposed to make 300BHP with very good torque and be mega relaible, but again after a bit more research I have found out that they are heavy and it can upset the balance and I don’t want to be a guniea pig again (had enough of that in my Escort Cosworth days). I do mean to get in touch with Guy in the near future to chat about his car, does anyone have contact details for him?

Yes all these mods are with a view to me going racing. I should have the big wing and big front splitter on and painted by the end of the week and the car has now been lowered and setup with total track bias. I also have an FIA cage that I will be putting in while the car is off the road having the engine done. Plus I have a re-wire planned and the usual extiguisher and battery cut off stuff to do, plus anything else that I need to do to make it legal to race.

I have never been racing before, so don’t really know where to start, but my plan is to try and do the last race of the season at Oulton Park in October simply to get a feel for how a race weekend runs from the inside (if you know what I mean) and then hopefully give it a proper go in 2006.

Kinetic, What was damaged / replaced in your 4K rebuild. Plus hw many miles has it done since the rebuild?

Decisions, Decisions!!!


The Honda engine doesn’t effect the balance of the car enough to even notice TBO and I would far sooner have a small amount of extra weight and much more reliability. If I were to build a car from scratch I would use an N/A Honda engine with throttle bodies etc that way it would be eligible for Britcar, Mid Engined and also the endurance races AMOC seem to be starting.

The Duratec seems to be an excellent engine too and I suggest you have a chat with Guy at Nitron 01993 849449. He seems to have had excellent reliability and he is running 280BHP which is plenty. The only downside I can see with the Duratec engine is the gearbox but Im guessing your sequential would go in instead?

On the K-series front, I know for a fact that Barrie’ was considering an engine swap in his car before they sold it which is very telling.

Oh and on the racing front… I think the Mid-Engine is as good a start point as any and if AMOC continue to do the endurance races it makes sense to do both and get some decent track time. Britcar is great and growing very fast but the budget required is MUCH bigger, you don’t want to know how much Ive spent on tyres this year !!

The Duratec seems to be an excellent engine too and I suggest you have a chat with Guy at Nitron 01993 849449. He seems to have had excellent reliability and he is running 280BHP which is plenty. The only downside I can see with the Duratec engine is the gearbox but Im guessing your sequential would go in instead?

Like Randy says, you need to speak to Guy. The extra few KG hasn’t made the slightest difference to the balance of the car. There’s probably not more that say 10kg in it.

With your gearbox and an engine the spec of Guys it’d be a weapon. Give him a buzz on Monday and ask him about his engine…you never know, he might even be able to sell you one (I think he has 2)


Cheers guys I appreciate all your help.

I will give Guy a call on Monday and see what he has to say. I am 99% sure that Quaife do a bellhousing for the Duratec and even if they don’t I will make it fit if that is the way I decide to go.

I will give the Midengined a go I think and see how I get on.


Rebuild work - Pistons, Conrods, Camshafts etc.
To be honest the primary damage was to one cam shaft which was very badly worn. There was some play in the Pistons and where the conrod connects to the piston. It was strange that the other cam shaft seemed absolutely fine!

I would say the engine had done about 1000 track miles