Tag Archives: bowtie6

SuperTrapp Performance Tunable Exhaust


Going through some bins in the garage this weekend, I found several spare discs for the Supertrapp performance tunable exhaust as mounted on bowtie6.  You can see the two discs in the picture above, towards the left.

I’ve written about the exhaust in a prior post (Click HERE) so I won’t repeat myself.  However, the idea behind the SuperTrapp tips is to control backpressure and noise.  This is accomplished by adding or removing those discs to the end tip of the exhaust.  The more discs, the less backpressure and the higher the decibels; consequently the less discs, the quieter it gets but the more backpressure accumulates.

So back to the two discs.  I got the notion to move things around as well as adding the two spare discs.  Here is what the two exhaust pipes really look like:


So I decided to remove a disc from the right side pipe and add the others to the left side pipe.  As you can see, the left side comes out at a 90 degree angle from the main 3″ pipe.  So, I figured what the hell!  The worse thing that could happen is that it sounds like crap.

Well, much to my surprise the experiment has worked quite well.  Backpressure has been reduced, noise went up (but only during WOT) and overall acceleration feels better.  I know, this is all measured by what is transmitted via the seat to my arse.  Good enough for me.  I like it!


2012 Euro Auto Festival – bowtie6 will be there!!!

Howdy folks!

Good news tonight…  Finally!!!

  • Performance issues are now a thing of the past.  I’ve had this blog moved to a load balanced hosting plan and we should be noticing some much improved load times.
  • If you have any issues please let me know:  info@bowtie6.com – and I’ll see what I can do to fix it.

The next thing I wanted to let you all know is that bowtie6 will be at the prestigious 2012 Euro Auto Festival at BMW’s Greer, South Carolina assembly plant this weekend.  You can read more about the festival by clicking here. The last time I registered to show my car was there was in 2009.  Incidentally, bowtie6 won First Prize in the TR6 class that year.  🙂

If you have never attended the Euro Auto Festival, you need to make a point to be there.  There are many, many cool cars in attendance and the venue is amazing.  The BMW Zentrum is there and you will see a huge collection of amazing cars.  Among them, my friend Michael’s highly tricked out Volvo.

Michael has turned his Volvo into a real powerhouse and basically created a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  It has a highly tweaked Ford Mustang engine in it (oh dear, I said the “F” word!!) and many, many cool enhancements.  I promise I’ll have a full article (or two) here soon with more details about Michael’s ride.

This year’s “marque” is MercedesBenz.  According to the AccuWeather this weekend should be sunny and very nice.  So I plan to have the digital Canon with me and I’ll try to take as many pictures as I can. Stay tuned and I’ll try to put together a nice gallery of shots.

If you happen to be there please come by the Triumph section and say hello.   bowtie6 is downstairs in the garage right now, all gussied up and ready to go.  I have actually taken the hard top off and installed my soft top back on.  This top was custom made in the UK for me several years ago and it is a little “different” from the standard soft tops:  it lacks the side windows.  Click on the “About” menu option to see what it looks like.  At any rate, I hope to see you there!

Fuel Regulator Fittings

The Ecotec engine uses a similar fuel delivery system as fitted in the LSx engines in that the fuel rail is “returnless”.  This means there is only one line feeding the fuel rail on the engine.  In order to make this work, a special fuel regulator with built in filter has to be plumbed not far from the fuel pump.  There are several fuel regulator fittings available and in today’s installment I’ll document my experiences.

In an earlier post, I wrote about bowtie6‘s Ecotec fuel system (click here) where I described the separate staging tank holding the fuel pump.  About two weeks ago, I noticed the insulation post around the fuel pump’s B+ terminal my cousin Jim had fabricated had deteriorated due to coming in contact with fuel from the tank.  In order to solve this problem, I had to take the small tank out which required disconnecting the fuel regulator fittings.  After putting all the bits back together I found the fuel regulator fittings were not exactly “clicking” correctly.  They held in place but I was not pleased with the fitment so I safety wired them in place as shown in the following picture:

We can all agree this is not exactly the most elegant way to do things.  So why the safety wire?  Well, turns out on the little plastic tabs that “click” the blue fitting in place are not exactly the best design in the world.  Sure, car manufacturers use them all the time and they work flawlessly.  However these are aftermarket units made by Russell (a division of Edelbrock) and they are not exactly OEM quality.  I found out this by experience and by reading the latest issue of Car & Craft’s engine swaps magazine.  So where is the problem?

The following photo shows one of the two pump-side lines going into the regulator.  I’ve removed the fitting so you can see the small ring around the metal tube (more on that later)…

The next photo shows the fitting and the small plastic clip that holds all this together:

The small white plastic clip is very cleverly made.  There are two sets of barbs on it.  The inner pair locks in place around the ring on the metal tube from the picture above this one.  That keeps the plastic piece from sliding out.  Then the barbs also lock in place on a shoulder inside the fitting.  However in order to make this work, the plastic spring loaded affair must be crisp and not in the least deformed.  Taking this apart deforms the plastic clip and this prevents a positive lock.

The last two pictures show the white plastic affair locked in place.  As mentioned previously, this assembly is then pushed on the tube in the regulator and if all goes well the two barbs on the plastic clip snap on the ring molded on the tube.  All this looks good on paper, but I noticed the plastic “clip” had lost some of its “spring” and this all did not really lock in place so well.  The kicker is that these fuel lines are holding 50+ psi pump pressure and if they decide to part ways, well… you end up having a real bad day.

Remember that magazine I mentioned above?  There was a very good article in that issue about fuel systems and they cautioned on using these fittings.  And, they also suggested an alternative.  Unfortunately, the alternative is also made by Russell.

I did call the Russell tech line and talked to a rather abrasive dude on the phone about my experiences.  Right of the bat, he was not very interested in my findings nor on making things right.  Basically he told me to buy the new fittings and took no ownership to the fact this was a bit on the “unsafe” side.  I even told him about the article in the magazine, but he dismissed that too.  At any rate why argue with someone unwilling to stand by their product so I ordered new fittings.  While not exactly “cheap” (they are about $16 each) quite frankly I rather spend the money and have the peace of mind this is not going to come apart and sling fuel all over the place.

The solution is to use these fittings:

These fittings have a much safer design.  Instead of the spring-loaded plastic affair, they have a threaded cap that holds the fitting in place.  The threaded cap has a “U” shape that slides over the tube on the regulator and when tightened grips the ring (look at the very first picture on this post) keeping everything securely in place.  With this together, there is no slippage and no danger of this ever coming apart.

This is what it looks like all completed:

As you can see, these fuel regulator fittings are much nicer and better designed.  If you are considering this for an engine swap, don’t waste your money on the fittings with the plastic spring-loaded clip.  Get the ones with the threaded cap.  You will be much happier and most important of all, safer.


How Much Does a TR6 Weigh?

I’ll ask again, how much does a TR6 weigh?

This has been a question in my mind ever since we fitted the new frame and engine to bowtie6.  Well today I finally was able to find out.  The result was a great surprise.

Along with a full tank of fuel and the hard top in place we took our first set of numbers.  The following pictures show front and rear total weights.

Here is the total:

Not too bad – 2,222 lbs and a 48.2% front / 51.7% rear bias.

We were curious about the weight of the factory hard top.  Well I can conclusively state the Triumph factory hard top weighs in at about 65 lbs.  Granted mine has had a few changes done.  I have added a layer of Dynamat Extreme inside however, I removed all the chrome trim.  So at the end of the day, I guess this would be about equal.

Here is the total without the hard top in place:

With the hard top removed, total weight is 2,158 lbs and a 49.3% front / 50.6% rear.

Next thing I need to do is put bowtie6 on a dyno and measure just how much horsepower we are putting down on the pavement.  In stock form, the 2.4 Ecotec in a Solstice/Sky produces 177 hp.  That is using the restrictive factory exhaust and the factory tune which is optimized for economy.  In bowtie6‘s case, we have tuned the PCM to produce power at the expense of economy (duh!), so we are far above from the stock value.  How much?  That we need to find out.

Regardless, this is all quite impressive.  It would have been nice to be closer to 2000lbs but  2,158 is not shabby at all.  I guess I should not have used all that Dynamat!  🙂

Oh and I found a prior post I had made regarding how much my cousin Jim’s TR4 weighs – to read that post CLICK HERE.

TR6 Trunk Liner Kit

The “original” TR6 trunk liner calls for this ugly cardboard material used to dress up the sides of the trunk.  There is also a piece that hides the tank.  In my case I wanted to try something a little different.  Something more modern and durable.

There is a local automotive interior supply warehouse close to where I live.  This is where I bought the sound deadening carpet backing material, the carpet and the black plastic material I used for the trunk liner.  This material is easily cut with scissors, although I used a shear (normally used to cut sheets of metal) to get crisper edges.  In order to form this material one can use a break and this plastic has enough “give” to make some very sharp edges.  The result looks very neat and is a zip to make.  Take a look at the driver’s side trunk panel:

I made the edges just a tad longer and this fits quite tight.  On the top side (near the trunk gasket) it fits quite tight and once you lower the gasket over the edge it actually helps support the plastic liner in place.  The greatest advantage is that on the back of the trunk it helps hide all the wires going to the tail lights.  You can see that more so in the next picture:

The pièce de résistance in the cargo net.  I know, not “original” but it is not only very attractive but also extremely useful.  Since I don’t have to carry a spare TR6 worth of parts and a full compliment of wrenches, I have a bit more room than the average British car owner ever dreams of having.  For example, when I make a quick run down to the grocery store I can put bags in there and the contents won’t go all over the place.  Similarly when going to a car show, I’ll put odds and ends in there.  A quick search on eBay will yield you a plethora of suitable options; that is where I found this one.  There is an elastic strand at the very top that holds the thing in place and on either side are two special hooks that catch the ends.  You can see that in the first picture above.

Here is the battery box.  This is all aluminium and there is a Red Top Optima dry cell battery inside.  These batteries are not cheap, but offer many advantages over all the others.  I’ve had this one for several years now and it is as strong as the day I bough it.  You can see in the background the same plastic material I used for the rest of the liner.

On closer inspection you can see two more details…

  1. To the right of the box is a thick cable.  This is the same kind of cable used for leads on a Miller TIG welding machine.  In this case, this is the heavy ground cable clamped to the negative side of the battery.  This cable goes through a rubber insulated opening in the floor of the trunk and the end is securely bolted to the frame.  This gives the body a hard ground.  Up front, in the engine compartment there are two more similar cables.  One is tied directly to the engine (grounding the Ecotec) and the other is tied directly to the body (making the body ground too).  Without solid grounds your electrical system will fail.
  2. On the left of the box you can see a silver plate.  Bolted to it are two circuit breakers an three relays.  The circuit breakers feed the relays which in turn supply the a) fuel pump, b) stop lamps and c) reverse lights with power.  I’ll have more about bowtie6‘s electrical system in a later issue.

And there you have it.  One thing about doing work like this is to think outside the box.  With so many modern materials available it is a shame not to use them.