For most cars, ancillaries are a ho-hum sort of business. But on this car, some very special engineering is going into the design of these components. The original lightweight used a one-off aluminum water pump which is not produced today. It also used a custom designed Lucas generator, which can be imitated but not duplicated today: the usual compromise is to install a modern alternator, which I think spoils the look.
In the picture above, please ignore the engine block...it's just a junker we're using for engineering. The point of interest is the water pump, and the big thing that looks like a pulley. The water pump is built on an all-new aluminum casting. It uses an oversize impeller, which can move three times more water than the original. The bearing is huge, designed for longevity. But the item on the front of the pump is even more interesting. It's a Racemate alternator, engineered specifically for this car by John Barrett. The pulley houses a large permanent magnet, which functions like an alternator rotor, while the stator resides in a special housing on the nose of the water pump. Both ancillaries are driven by one serpentine belt. The total drag is a small fraction of what a normal water pump and alternator would place on the engine, yet the output of both units is more than adequate for the requirement. I'm planning to make a limited run of these for general sale.
Engineering is well along on the starter, which combines a pre-oiler
with a reduction gear starter on a common shaft. The solenoid can be electrically
defeated, allowing the starter motor to power the pre-oiler before cranking
the engine. If it works, I'll make a run of these as well.
Text and Photos Copyright©2000 Michael Frank, all rights reserved.
May not be reproduced without permission.
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