Spares for a mid-1990s Peugeot F1 engine are easier to find than you might imagine –and Warren Stean’s V10 is edging ever close to a dyno
The engine is the final part of my Jordan puzzle and has been with Engine Developments — better known by its Judd brand name — for a little while. It is a Peugeot A10, a 72-degree, three-litre V10 with four valves per cylinder, which weighs in at 133kg and gives a power output of about 730bhp with a 15,500rpm rev limit.
Peugeot entered F1 with McLaren in 1994, supplying a 3.5-litre V10 before the following year’s regulation change, and then partnered Jordan for three years. Its engines were subsequently used by Prost and, with Asiatech badges, by Arrows and Minardi. The design originated in Peugeot’s 905 Group C car, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1992-1993 before the French manufacturer pulled out of sports car racing. Quite a few are still being used, so parts are available.
The engine had been run before I purchased the car, but it does look like it had done minimal work – most likely dyno time only. The first thing Judd did was bore scope and pressure test the engine. It passed all health checks, apart from the coolant system’s ability to hold pressure. The air-valve system tested well, with minimum leakdown when fed with 16bar delivery pressure.
The coolant system failed to hold pressure due to corrosion of the pump casting/housing and a transfer pipe. These will be repaired using modern techniques to allow the castings to be reused. The engine is currently stripped down for a full inspection, which will allow us to validate that all components are serviceable, as well as enabling us to crack-test critical parts such as the crankshaft, rods and pistons.
This engine uses pneumatic valve actuation, but the original air-valve system (AVS) was missing from the car. Thankfully, many of the components are available from the original suppliers. The AVS is relatively simple but has to be 100 per cent reliable because a failure means one thing –a blown engine.
A one-litre bottle is used to hold compressed air at 220bar, a first-stage regulator reduces this pressure to 80bar and feeds a second-stage regulator that further reduces the pressure to the required 16-20 bar range.
Once the engine is complete and back with the car at Tour-de-Force Power Engineering, we will be able to undertake final assembly. The fuel cell and pumps have now been manufactured and fitted. We are replicating the original Jordan cell design, with a fuel lift pump in each rear corner of the cell feeding into a vertical cylindrical collector that will run slightly pressurised. This collector will feed the high-pressure fuel pump, which then delivers fuel through a bulkhead fitting to the fuel rail. The return from the rail is then fed back into the collector, meaning the lift pumps only ever have to replenish the fuel the engine uses rather than the total amount fed through the high-pressure pump.
I am still crossing everything that the engine passes all further tests without major drama. Time will tell, but I am hoping to have a freshly checked and rebuilt engine on the dyno within a couple of weeks.
Next month: Almost a quarter-century after it first raced in F1, the engine is back on the dyno
Thanks to: Tour-de-Force Power Engineering, Bedford; Engine Developments, Rugby