Warren Stean’s restoration of his ex-Barrichello F1 is almost over – all it needs now is a way of transporting it to the track
The chassis work has all been done, at least as far as we can go without the engine being installed in the back of my Jordan 195. That means we’ve been hanging on the inspection of the Peugeot V10 and its rebuild. I was very happy this week to get the final inspection report. Barring one minor issue, everything looks perfect.
As well as making a full visual inspection, we decided to crack test all the major components to have a better idea of the life left in each item. With a maximum engine speed of 15,700rpm, this was felt to be the prudent approach. At those revolutions the stresses are enormous — any failure would likely lead to a total engine write off. This is quite high on my list of things to avoid.
The crank, rods, pistons, bearings, air valves and other components were all in visually good condition and could be reused without issue once crack-tested. This showed no issues with any of the components. One slight worry was a small amount of corrosion in the water jacket, which appears to have been caused by a little coolant having been left in the engine when it was crated for storage.
We had identified this issue before stripping the engine, but it was good to get a more thorough account of the problem and how to go about resolving it. The damage is confined to the outer water jacket and another small area on the water pump housings. Neither of these areas is irreparable and crucially the repair will not lead to any compromise in the strength and integrity of the engine.
It does mean, sadly, another delay in getting the engine onto the dyno. The final analysis is that the engine is in extremely good order for a 23-year old and it looks as if it had done only minimal dyno work before being stored. I am relieved to know that. Once the slight water jacket issue is sorted out, we can fire the engine up without too much nervousness and ultimately there will a full life cycle of running to be had from the internal components.
We haven’t been entirely idle while we wait for the engine, however. I recently purchased a 7.5-tonne race truck, which will be dedicated to the Jordan. As luck would have it, it too is a 1995 model! It is in the middle of getting a thorough make over, starting with obtaining the MOT, servicing the two-stage tail lift and generally tidying it up and making sure it will be reliable for long European runs. It will also be treated to a full external make-over so that it looks like a period Jordan F1 test team truck. It should look great!
The guys from Tour de Force Power Engineering have also been designing the starter motor for the car, which will be made in-house at their facility. They are also producing the engine preheater system, as well as the battery pack for the car. I’m making a concession to modern technology with the use of more advanced lithium-ion race car batteries.
Next up is the dyno run. I need to hear the sound of 10 cylinders firing up and down 26.1666 times per second each now…
Next month: Will there be any nasty surprises in the engine bay? And potential uses for a rebuilt mid-1990s F1 car
Thanks to: Tour-de-Force Power Engineering, Bedford; Engine Developments, Rugby, Elite Transmissions, Stoke