Sigmax engine rebuild service

Premier Power have been nominated as one of the engine builders for the Caterham Graduates race series.  We have been given permission by the club to offer our services on rebuilding both the Sigma fixed cam engines as used in the 140 Caterham Supersport cars as well as the newer 310R Ti-VCT Sigma powered cars.

Caterham Graduates Race Series

Our work on these engines can vary.  Our first recommendation is, if the engine is a “runner” and you are concerned about performance, take it to our chosen rolling road and get a power and torque curve for it.  We have a baseline set of figures at the rolling road so you will be able to compare against that, if this is your first time.  We do recommend a visit here at least once a year to ensure your engine is giving what you hope it is giving.  You will then have you own set of figures to compare against moving forward, but always happy to compare against the baseline, if this helps.

We can carry out a health check should you wish.  This would take the form of a cylinder leakage check, borescope, valve clearance check and if required, cam timing check.

If your engine has done several seasons work we would recommend a rebuild.  Items like valve springs have been known to fail and these can cause expensive damage.  If a rebuild is carried out, we have two choices; 1.We strip and access your engine and produce an estimate to repair this. 2.Second option if time is of a premium, we aim to have part built engines available for customers that require a quick turnaround.  We have put two good engines that have been re-freshed “in the pot” to help with this.  We take your engine in and produce the estimate.  We then remove your cams, your sump and inlet manifold with fuel rail and put these on one of our engines.  This means we then rebuild your original engine and this goes back in the pot.  You are therefore not waiting too long for your engine to be rebuilt.  The engine, however, will still require running in on the rolling road and performance testing.

Running these engines in;

We have noticed that these engines suffer from bore glazing.  This can effect piston ring sealing which as a result can generate crankcase pressure.  A result of this can be blowing oil out into the catch tank.  Because we suspect these cars maybe supplied from the factory with synthetic oil in, the rings will never bed in.  Synthetic oil is designed not to allow engines to wear, where at the early stages of an engines life, this is exactly what you need to do.  Also the fact the cars are light, you can’t load the engine sufficiently to bed in piston rings properly.  We build the engines with running in oil and then run the engine in on this, on the rolling road.  We have a proven process that loads the engine, more than you ever will on a race track.  Running the engine for an hour like this and then draining the oil and replacing it with synthetic oil will mean your engine is then ready to go, next time you’re on track.

After one season’s Caterham racing we engaged the services of Premier Power to prepare our ‘Sigmax’ fixed cam Ford engine for the 2018 season, and again into our Championship winning year in 2019.

Premier Power offer a variety of services from a very well equipped workshop and engine building facility. Diagnostic equipment provides engine data through the ‘health check’ process which we had done to as a starter. Cam timing is critical and ours required re-setting, once done we headed for the rolling road. Through this process we were able to establish the condition and performance of our engine. Following Stuart’s analysis of the data we entered into our race calendar knowing we had a healthy engine, it proved to be totally reliable all season and didn’t miss a beat, money well spent. With engine base data on record we returned to the rolling road during the mid-season break, comparison with our pre-season data assured us all was well. 

Another Premier Power service we used was the preparation of a new engine supplied by Caterham cars for the 2019 season. Stuart checked the cam timing, he also identified that the injectors were incorrect. With the engine then installed and filled with ‘running in’ oil we then followed a very exact running in program on the rolling road. A full ‘power run’ followed a change to race oil, this gave us a race ready properly run in engine that ran faultlessly all season, and which went on to win 10 races and the Sigmax championship. 

The service, support and advice from Premier Power enabled us to maintain our engines and spend only when and where necessary, invaluable when racing to a budget. Our success on the race track is undoubtedly in part due to the service and help received from Stuart. He has an accomplished racing background, this together with his engineering and technical qualifications and skills allows him to provide his customers with the highly professional, pragmatic personal services that he does. We have no hesitation in recommending Stuart and Premier Power, and the coffee is not bad either!. 

Samuel Wilson – 2019 Caterham ‘Sigmax’ Champion.

Simon Wilson   – (Dad and mechanic).