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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  20:59:41 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
If I had more time to spend on it, it certainly would look a bit different after 11 years in my ownership. ;) Very happy with it as is though.

Glad a few of you like my ramblings, thanks for the feedback!

www.saabv4.com
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James Ranaldi
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1350 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2017 :  22:27:51 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Great stuff Melle.

Enough there to keep me going for a while !

Cheers

1968 V4, LHD
1984 99 GL
1992 C900i Convertible
1993 C900 LPT Convertible
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RhysN
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
107 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  07:58:04 Show Profile Send RhysN an AOL message Reply with Quote
With those wheel options Melle I can see why you don't like alloy wheels!
In regards exhausts, I have spreadsheets to work diameters, lengths etc for 4 cylinder engines. Just plug in a few parameters and it calculates. There is a huge "however" with the V4, and that is the existing casting for exhausts on the heads. It simply defies the science. It always throws smaller diameters than most people expect, and always dyno figures go up, flexibility increases, and jetting changes are needed, but I can't make the numbers work on a Ford V4!.

Edited by - RhysN on 13 Sep 2017 08:02:58
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1778 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  10:25:44 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I'm not going to answer your comments in detail, they are all well considered and based on research and experience. My car had 155's on 4.5" wheels and still smudged the inner wings. I didn't have MOT man problems, many have. Some thin spacers or a bit of discrete hammer work might fix the problem. Mine did touch both sides but one a little more than the other. Adjustment would likely have just equalled out the smudge. From memory my steering wheel was accurately centred. I'm sure that this varies from body to body as tolerances had quite a bit of plus/minus. You've only got to look at the panel gaps to realise that from the beginning it wasn't a big priority for Saab. With the 96's poor lock I used to be there every time I put the car in and out of the garage so that showed up to me very easily. On the road this would happen only rarely.
To my knowledge the specified width of a wheel is across the outer edges of the tyre bead seat, so across the inside the wheel. This would be universal and not affected by rim edge shape or design, steel or alloy.
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  12:30:58 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Derek
I'm sure that this varies from body to body as tolerances had quite a bit of plus/minus. You've only got to look at the panel gaps to realise that from the beginning it wasn't a big priority for Saab.
This is a quality you can use to your advantage if you're not a very capable panel beater (yet)! it must be horrible to do bodywork on modern cars where every minor fault shows immediately.


Rhys, the V4 engine is a funny one indeed. I'm an absolute amateur engineer and I like learning and experimenting, so over the years I've read a few books on engine tuning to get a better understanding of the subject. Unfortunately most of them cater for in-line or V6+ engines, so there is a lot I have to figure out myself or learn from knowledgeable people. Reading forums doesn't always help, there is a lot of talk from people without actual experience and folks who just spend money without fully understanding what they are doing. Good for them, but I don't care much for their projects if they can't explain the reasoning behind modifications. Same for experts with "trade secrets", I believe everyone benefits if we share and challenge our knowledge. That said, knowing is one thing, doing still is another...

I'm not after the most powerful engine on earth, if I were I would turn my back on Ford V4s. For me the fun is in finding out how things work and trying to bend them to my will. I've long believed bigger is better for exhausts. This may be true for a certain type of "souped up" engine, but not for my purposes I'm afraid. I rarely exceed 4000rpm and I want an engine that pulls well at low rpm. At (my) max revs, on the motorway, it doesn't need much to keep moving anyway. This lead me to the conclusion that spending money on "fast" cams, big valves, lightened components etc. would be futile for what I want from an engine. I rather spend the same money on a few failed experiments that I learn something from, so I'm happy to build another exhaust.

I *think* for my purposes the engine would benefit from a smaller diameter exhaust and less aggressively ported exhaust manifolds, but I may well be wrong because I don't think I fully understand the principles yet. Any help greatly appreciated!

www.saabv4.com
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RhysN
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
107 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  17:03:09 Show Profile Send RhysN an AOL message Reply with Quote
All I know and am prepared to pass on is what I have actually had my hands on. Way back when I was rallying one of the rear engine Skodas (very amateurishly), the factory had thrown on rather large carbs, they were difficult to drive, thirsty and an overall PITA. On a long rally (5 or 6 days) the team was persuaded partway through , to put on a standard factory carb and manifold. It was much better in all respects. Since then I have always been a fan of getting the gas velocity as high as can be. The whole system from the tip of the inlet to the tip of the exhaust has to work together.
My Renault Alpine A110 was the same, new smaller diameter exhaust, better everywhere. More low down, better spread and the dyno showed higher hp at the top as well. As did the A110 I co-drove in NZ Targa when it got a new system to the same formula. I didn't "invent" it, just fortunate enough to be donated the spreadsheet.
Other son makes exhausts for rotaries and sells them worldwide from his reputation. His ones are smaller than most too. I don't understand rotaries, but he has done the numbers, and says they can be too big too.
I reckon if you want low down, and it sounds as though you drive much as I do (5500 rpm is a big number for me usually) then it's a no brainer. Just an opinion gained after over 40 years of messing about.

Along the way I have made plenty of mistakes, if you don't learn from them you have gained nothing.
I have no idea what a good exhaust would be for the V4, I have thought about it, and just can't make any worthwhile mental progress towards when I would try to make one.
Edit! Thinking more, it's more like that I have never tried to do anything like what the V4 throws so my knowledge doesn't fit, and I don't know the way forward. Does not compute :(

Edited by - RhysN on 13 Sep 2017 18:13:58
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  19:55:09 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
I think next time I'll try a diameter in between that of the standard exhaust and the Jetex. Will copy the Y-type front section as that seems to work well and use the longest silencer I can find.

www.saabv4.com
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Dirtbiker
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
568 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  20:25:28 Show Profile Visit Dirtbiker's Homepage Reply with Quote
Hi Melle,
Great story on the trip and interesting ramblings as always!
Especially interested in the wheels as I have been wanting to try something similar. I was thinking I would like to create the offset of the RAC rims by simply flipping the barrels on some oval hole 4.5J wheels. There was a good thread a while back on RR with a Metro that had the wheels done in the same manner as yours.
There is some good info on ET here: https://www.brickwerks.co.uk/wheel-fitting/
As I understand it as Derek states the rim width measurement is between the beads.
I have had problems in the past with wheel arch rubbing with standard wheels. When I "inherited" my green SAAB it was running all original suspension components, nothing had ever been dismantled at the front and it rubbed and I remember it being much worse on one side. IIRC it was particularly bad on full suspension extension (MOT ramp!) and full lock.
Not a problem nowadays with the RAC rims.
Looking forward to seeing some 95 progress!
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2017 :  21:01:09 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dirtbiker
Looking forward to seeing some 95 progress!
Me too!

I'd already found through Google wheel width is measured between the rims (not the safety beads as I understand it?). Not that it matters, because to calculate the offset you need the actual width (measured on the outside) in mm anyway. As far as I know the oval hole wheels only exist in 4J and 5.5J (probably rarer than RAC wheels!). I missed the Metro thread on RR, I'll see if I can find it.

Out of interest: have the people who have/had wheel rubbing issues ever had the wheels aligned? Too much toe-in perhaps? My 96 springs are so worn the camber can no longer be adjusted (all shims have been removed already) and all bushings etc. are 1970 original as far as I know, but I've never had any rubbing issues. I have my cars aligned and the wheels balanced every 5 years or so (also depending on mileage), well worth it.

Gareth, if you mention those bloody RAC wheels again you'll be banned from commenting in this thread!

www.saabv4.com
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Woody
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2373 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2017 :  19:39:41 Show Profile Reply with Quote
What do you mean by RAC wheels?
Those with offset rims and 4.5 inch width and round holes?

The oval hole wheels with raised wheel bolt holes were supplied with two strokes and early V4s and were 4 inch wide. Some early ones had a hole between the bolt holes so it could be placed over the brake shoe inspection hole on the brake drums (rears on V4).
The Steel oval hole wheels supplied with the Sonett were similar to above but 4.5 inches wide and were utilised by the Competitions dept on the V4s upto 1971, when the team started using the alloy soccerballs supplied on Sonett III exported to USA. Initial wheels were unmodified and unpainted. Later when the soccerballs were painted the wheels were machined to improve flexure and avoid cracking. I have the Sonett 4.5 steels on the Troll, having ordered them in 1972. The practicality of these was that one placed on the hub, you had to rotate the wheel to align the bolt holes.

The only time I have seen round hole wheels used on the rally cars was for the 1968 Rally of 1000 Lakes in Finland, fitted to Simo Laminen's V4. I have not seen photographic evidence of their use on any of the RAC Rallies.

I welcome evidence to the contrary.

Edited by - Woody on 14 Sep 2017 19:48:56
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2017 :  21:29:27 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
Woody, we discussed the round hole RAC wheels earlier: http://www.saab-v4.co.uk/speedball/topic.asp?topic_id=2683&whichpage=7 I still have no idea why they're called RAC wheels, don't know much about rallying to be honest.

Completely forgot there were 4.5J oval hole wheels as well. I have at least six different types of steel wheels (without tyres) in my workshop; I would need to check if I have any oval hole 4.5Js, probably not. I also have a few sets with tyres that I haven't yet properly inspected to see if there are more different ones. I want to photograph all the different wheels and make an overview with specifications when I have the time. I may call on you for details on the 4.5J ovals when I get to it.

www.saabv4.com
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Dirtbiker
V4 Mad

United Kingdom
568 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2017 :  11:46:57 Show Profile Visit Dirtbiker's Homepage Reply with Quote
Here is a link to that Metro:
http://forum.retro-rides.org/thread/164931/flipped-rimed-1990-metro

I had the tracking adjusted at the time in a quest to cure the wheel rubbing. I think in the end it was just a case of finding understanding MOT testers - how often are you on full lock and full extension, maybe jumping a bridge on a sharp corner!

Having just reassembled the front suspension on my 95 I can't help thinking the camber adjustment spacers on the upper arms must play a big part in this.
All of the spacers on the 95 were at the rear of each upper arm. I can only imagine that if they weren't there then the wheels would be more likely to rub at the rear...?

Woody - no idea why they are referred to as RAC wheels but would love to know if anyone can shed light on this.

Also, wheel related, Jack Ashcraft used to run wheels with a greater offset on the front (giving a wider track) of some of his cars - he used US Ford rims welded to SAAB centres.

Cheers
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2252 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2017 :  15:47:21 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
Thanks for the link Gareth, looked for the car on RR but couldn't find it.

www.saabv4.com
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