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[car_overhaul] Roadspeed Revival


206 replies to this topic

#1
Anthony

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I've had my 1989 Peugeot 205 GTi for a number of years now, having bought it back in 2005 from RobSBC (a name some of our longer term members will no doubt remember). It was a largely standard 1.6 GTi when I bought it, the only modifications being a set of 1.9 GTi wheels, a Magnex backbox, a grey half-leather interior, and a pair of Phase 2 clear front indicators. Otherwise it was a standard 1.6 GTi with a clean, straight shell with no rust or previous accident damage. Had around 110k miles on at the time from what I recall, and cost me the grand sum of 300 with a few months T&T.

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My '89 205 1.6 GTi shortly after purchase in 2005. My old 205 Mi16 can just be seen in the background

I had only intended the car to be a runaround for a few months, but as it happened I've had it over 5 years now and I've no plans to get rid of it in the near future. I've grown fond of the old girl over the years, covering tens of thousands of miles as a daily-driver, punching beyond its weight on trackdays, proving faultlessly reliable, and argueably most importantly of all, never failing to make me smile when I drive it.

The spec has constantly evolved over the years, the engine from a standard 1.6 GTi to an XU10 headed 1.9 8v, the suspension and brakes from 1.6 to 309 GTi, and a few nice uprated parts including Tran-X LSD, Bilstein Challenge dampers, and uprated ARB. The car is somewhat like Tiggers broom these days, with about all that's original to it being the shell, dashboard and some of the wiring - some jobsworth at the DVLA would have a field day with it I'm sure, even though I'm sure there's plenty of 205's and other classic cars that are no better in the originality stakes.

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My '89 205 1.9 GTi in its current form

The Skip Brown connection comes from a '91 Sorrento 205 1.9 GTi-S that I bought from Feb (another long term member on here) earlier this year, initially with an eye to replace my long term '89 GTi. The car had a lot of work done by Skip Brown over the years, including the full Roadspeed 'S' engine conversion (as featured in an article on the main 205GTiDrivers website), Phase 1 and Phase 2 suspension packs, and a Quaife ATB differential.

The car drove fantastically and was probably one of the best roadgoing 205's that I've driven. It was so well balanced, so poised, and the handling so rewarding, it was a suspension package that seemed to work better than the sum of its parts. The engine, whilst certainly not the quickest to ever grace a 205, was responsive and loved to rev, pulling vigourously round to the limiter in a manner more akin to an Mi16 than an 1.9 8v.

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Feb's old Sorrento Green '91 205 1.9 GTi-S - tatty in places, but mechanically excellent

Every car has a downside though, and this one was no exception sadly. The shell was straight and solid, with barely a spec of rust anywhere on it thanks to spending a portion of its life in the warm, dry climates of Greece and the South of France, but cosmetically it was quite poor, with the lacquer burnt off the roof, the tops of the front wings and rear quarters not much better, and the 10 year old respray starting to look a bit tatty in places.

I couldn't justify keeping two 205's long-term given that I don't use mine as a daily driver anymore, and it proved a tough decision - the Sorrento really needed a full respray which would have made it a beautiful example, but deep down I knew that I wasn't going to be happy with a resprayed car unless it was done well, and the price for a decent respray was more than I could realistically justify - particularly when Sorrento Green isn't my prefered colour when it comes to 205's, and given a choice I'd rather have one without a sunroof as well.

In the end I decided that I'd have the best of both worlds - I'd remove all the Skip Brown parts from the Sorrento and put it back to standard to sell, and then bring my white GTi upto scratch and build it up with the Skip Brown parts, effectively reshelling them into a new body, making improvements wherever possible along the way.

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The Sorrento back to standard and ready for sale

The Sorrento was returned to standard during late summer and was sold in September to Andy_C on this forum, despite him being argueably the last person I would have expected to buy a car that was lacking cosmetically given that his last 205 spent more time getting polished than it did driven. Nevertheless, buy it he did and he's been over the moon with it since - and with the Sorrento sold, there was changing my mind, no turning back.

#2
Anthony

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What does the Skip Brown Roadspeed GTi-S package consist of?

Exact specs and details seem to be quite thin on the ground, but very basically, this is what you get for your money with the GTi-S packages. Details gathered from the Roadspeed Brouchure, the various receipts that I've got, and from details I've gathered over the years from current and previous owners.

Roadspeed 1.9 'S' Engine:
(Skip Brown part number RS 2015B)

Fully rebuilt, blueprinted and balanced 1.9 8v bottom end
Gas-flowed cylinder head with stainless steel exhaust valves
High-lift camshaft (no specs listed, but subjectively I'd guess around 280 degrees)
Distributer with modified advance curves to suit (so I'm told, although this isn't mentioned explicitly)
Mocal 13-row oil cooler
Skip Brown claim 132hp @ wheels (more on this later)

Phase 1 Suspension Pack:
(Skip Brown part number RS 2010 and RS 2011)

(SB 28001) Machined OE front damper bodies and custom-valved Bilstein gas inserts
(SB 28002) Roadspeed dual rate front springs (-25mm)
(SB 28004) Bilstein rear gas dampers

Phase 2 Suspension Pack:
(Skip Brown part number RS 2012)

(SB 28005) Negative camber trailing arm kit
(SB 28006) Uprated rear anti-roll bar (23mm)
(SB 28007) Uprated rear torsion bars (20mm / 21mm**)

** - my beam has 20mm bars on it, but I have heard of other GTi-S's that have had 21mm bars.

At some point when I get a bit of time, I'll scan in the original brouchure and roadtests for those that are interested.

#3
Anthony

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Power figures:

Whilst Skip Brown may claim 132hp @ wheels as the expected result for the Roadspeed 1.9 'S' engine conversion, I've long argued that the figures from their rolling road are somewhat on the optimistic side and hence quoted figures should be taken with a pinch of salt.

To give a more realistic idea of the realistic output from a Roadspeed 1.9 'S' engine, here's the results of several rolling road runs that Feb had done when he owned the car, together with the two results from Skip Brown's rollers:

Skip Brown (Cheshire) Rolling Road:
April 2002 = 141hp @ wheels
July 2005 = 144hp @ wheels

PTS (Luton) Rolling Road in Feb 2005:
Power @ flywheel = 147hp @ 6484rpm
Power @ wheels = 108hp
Torque = 122lbft @ 5452rpm
Maximum engine speed = 7162rpm

Emerald (Norfolk) Rolling Road in January 2006:
Power @ flywheel = 145hp @ 7182rpm**
Torque = 115lbft @ 6313rpm

Dimsport (Nice, France) Rolling Road in September 2006:
Power @ flywheel = 135hp @ 6622rpm
Power @ wheels = 117hp
Torque = 149Nm (~110lbft) @ 5612rpm
Maximum engine speed = 7069rpm

** - the graph has the usual Emerald "spike" hence the abnormally high peak rpm, whereas if you ignore that, it's actually more like 143-144hp from around 6700-7000rpm

Fairly good results for a road going 1.9 8v that's still on a standard plenum and Jetronic management, and roughly in keeping with how the car felt to drive and the rate at which it picked up speed - namely somewhere between a good 1.9 8v and a standard 1.9 Mi16.

#4
Daxed

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Very interesting stuff there Anthony and a good insight into the somewhat murky world of SB.

How do you feel about your decisions on which car to keep as a daily drive in hindsight?

#5
Baz

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It was definitely the right decision, but i'm accepting no blame for the resulting work it caused... :)

Having driven both cars, i whole-heartedly agree with what Anthony's decided to do, the white car has always been a well-setup car with great characteristics anyway, but perhaps a little too dedicated for what is ultimately a road car. The Sorrento was so good to drive, whilst obviously uprated over standard and a margin firmer, it was still just so factory-feeling and more importantly handling, as said; poised and perfectly balanced, so the outcome clearly makes alot of sense!

About time WVN's history was documented through it's constant changes, this is certainly a good read and as said; informative! Interesting regarding the size of the TB's, i wonder why they differed!

#6
swordfish210

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Nice write up, i didnt know the white one was so different from standard.

#7
Super Josh

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Just for reference, my beam has the 20mm TBs fitted too :)



Josh

#8
feb

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Nice write up Anthony although reading this is not going to do me any good as I already want a SBC 205 and hope to have one in the future when circumstances permit.

Just for information, the Emerald and SBC July 2005 RR were done with a GrpN exhaust, the Dimsport with a standard exhaust (not Peugeot OE one but some equivalent); I can't remember what exhaust I had during the PTS RR, if you check the sheet I might have written it down.

Not that it makes much difference as I wouldn't expect to see more than a couple of bhp gains with a GrpN exhaust.

#9
Baz

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Not that it makes much difference as I wouldn't expect to see more than a couple of bhp gains with a GrpN exhaust.


Given they're smaller than standard i wouldn't expect any gain!

#10
pug_ham

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Sounds interesting Anthony, will be nice to see how it changes the overall package of your car.

I've yet to find an SBC phase 2 with 21mm TB's, although it was claimed they all had this size, I've yet to come across one that has.

I'd like to check them on Jamie_k's (white pugs) hillclimb 1.9 which has both the phase 1 & 2 sbc suspension packages but haven't seen him for a while & don't know if he'd let me near enough to the rear beam to measure them. :)

Competitors secrets etc.;)

I've got an old SBC brochure somewhere, I'll try to dig it out & see if it mentions anything more on the conversion packages.

Graham.

#11
welshpug

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I drove the Sorrento Briefly too after fitting a clutch to it a few years ago :) Baz got it spot on, it didn't feel drastically different to a standard road car, but if you pushes it ever so slightly you noticed it was different.


Odd that all the torque figures recorded are lower than what I've seen from my standard engine, though it is on MP3.1 so far better spark control, is that a direction you are going to take with it?

#12
davey sprocket

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I know this thread is about the Skip Brown car and I shall follow with interest but can I ask why you ended up with an XU10 head on the 1.9??
Are there advantages to the later head or was it just available at the time?

I do miss my white 1.6. White just seems to suit the 205gti for some reason in my eyes.

#13
feb

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Sorry for the slight off topic Anthony but I cannot resist it as the memories are coming back.
Here's a video of the sorrento on track 3-wheeling and some photos:
http://forum.205gtid...s...&hl=circuit
http://flowebsite.fr...r/luc/20aout06/
I cannot find the video that Ben had hosted for me back then, I need to dig out my archive.

Edited by feb, 02 November 2010 - 07:43 PM.


#14
Anthony

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Lots of points to address before I start catching up on the progress so far ;)

How do you feel about your decisions on which car to keep as a daily drive in hindsight?

The white GTi was my daily driver for quite a while and racked up lots of trouble-free miles in that time - just checked the old MOT's, between March 2006 and April 2008 the old girl did over 35k miles! Obviously a little extra preventative maintenance is needed when doing that sort of mileage in an old car, but never once did it let me down and I had a lot of fun.

Sadly, the combination of a 75 mile round trip for work everyday, escalating fuel prices and less in the way of disposable income thanks to buying a house meant that I needed to get something more economical for a daily hack. A few different cars passed through my hands filling that role, including a ZX Volcane TD running on veg oil, an LPG converted Mondeo, and currently, a 306 HDi that coincidentally is also running Skip Brown suspension.

Would I use the 205 again for a daily drive? Yes, quite happily, and I probably will do (atleast for a time) if and when the 306 eventually dies :)

Nice write up, i didnt know the white one was so different from standard.

It's evolved slowly over the years, but I've always tried to keep it looking standard to the untrained eye - partly because I think they look best like that, and partly because I don't want it drawing too much unwanted attention.

I've yet to find an SBC phase 2 with 21mm TB's, although it was claimed they all had this size, I've yet to come across one that has.

I've got an old SBC brochure somewhere, I'll try to dig it out & see if it mentions anything more on the conversion packages.

The two SBC brochures that I've got here don't give much in the way of detail at all, but it would be interesting to hear whether yours has anything more in it

I'm wondering if they've changed the conversion slightly over the years, and perhaps that where the 20 vs 21mm rear bars confusion comes from. Certainly reading through some old reviews/articles from when the GTi-S was released (usually compared to the 205 GTi Cheetah, the other 205 1.9 GTi made before Peugeot released it officially) there are definite differences in spec - early cars apparently used Koni rear dampers for example.

Odd that all the torque figures recorded are lower than what I've seen from my standard engine, though it is on MP3.1 so far better spark control, is that a direction you are going to take with it?

The clutch you fitted when Gerlewislewis owned it was still going strong, and indeed is still fitted to the engine currently.

The torque figures do look a little on the low side, but whether that is accurate or another rolling road issue I wouldn't like to say - I'm not entirely convinced that the advance curve is right on it despite it theoretically having a recurved dizzy, and it did subjectively feel stronger in parts of the rev range when the dizzy was advanced slightly (but started pinking elsewhere)

Initially I'm going to run the engine using the standard Jetronic and clockwork dizzy setup to get it on the road and see whether I'm happy with it. All being well, I plan to move the car over to mappable fuel and ignition to get the most out of it along with some better manners hopefully, as the poor AFM is flapping around like a barn door in a gale at idle thanks to the cam and the resulting tickover is as lumpy as school custard.

While I do have a complete ZX Volcane MP3.1 setup in the garage, my suspicions are that it will be ill-matched without a remap, and if going to that extent, I'd rather pay the extra and get a "proper" mappable ECU. I did have a DTA E48EXP that would have been ideal, but I'd already agreed to sell it when I decided what I was going to do - I'll probably pick up an Emerald or something instead.

I know this thread is about the Skip Brown car and I shall follow with interest but can I ask why you ended up with an XU10 head on the 1.9??
Are there advantages to the later head or was it just available at the time?

If you do a search you'll no doubt find plenty of info on it, but basically it's a budget big-valve head. There's a few issues that need to be overcome, such as compression and port-shape, but with that sorted, 3-angle valve seats and the ports/throats tidied, it works well and seems noticeably stronger than a standard 1.9 8v as people who've seen or driven it will confirm. I've never had it on the rolling road to get any actual figures though.

#15
2052006

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Interesting read Anthony, it'll also be interesting to see how it compares to my version of the "phase two" rear suspension. I'm guessing similar, though mine does have some extra weight in the front I suppose. I take it it's a standard 205 width beam and wishbones?

#16
Anthony

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Rear beam rebuild:

Time to catch up on what parts of the build and restoration I've already started working on and completed prior to starting this project thread. First major part was, unsurprisingly for me, stripping and overhauling the rear beam.The beam was built just under 6 years ago and had covered 49k miles in that time, so I had high hopes that it would all come apart easily and would just need the bearings and seals replaced. Those hopes were dashed when I tried to strip the beam and had a hell of a job trying to get it apart, having to resort to a blow torch and sledgehammer before it eventually came apart - the reason for its stuborn reluctance thanks to the fact that it appears to have been built with no copper grease (or any grease for that matter) used on the torsion bar splines whatsoever. A few years use in all weathers, and the net result was all four splines nicely siezed in place.

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The bad news didn't end there either, as both of the trailing arm shafts were just starting to pit on the upper side of the outer bearing where the loadings are highest. Disappointing for a beam that had covered such little mileage since being rebuilt, but unfortuntately uprated torsion and anti-roll bars do put extra loads on the bearing and shafts and hence they will show wear, and eventually fail completely, sooner than a standard beam.

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What should have been a quick and easy bearing and seal replacement had now turned into a full rebuild, and thus I decided that I might as well go the whole hog and paint it all up so that it looks as-new. I'm still not entirely sure what possessed me to do so, given that it is hidden underneath the car and the only times you're going to see it is when the car is up on the ramps, or when you've suitably overcooked it and parked shiny-side down in a field...

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Beam tube sanded to remove rust and prep ready for paint

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Beam tube in primer

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Painted yellow and lacquered

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Tube and arms masked up ready for paint.

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Trailing arms painted and ready to fit

#17
Anthony

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Having got the painting out of my system, I started on the rather more important job of putting the new beam together using the pile of new bearings, seals, fixings and shafts that I had for the beam. All straightforward stuff when you've done a few beam refurbs over the years, and before long the beam tube was built up with new bearings/seals and ready to fit the trailing arms with new shafts pressed in

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Pictured are the 20mm torsion bars and 23mm anti-roll bar, together with the negative camber trailing arms that form the basis for the Phase 2 suspension package. The negative camber conversion is done quite differently to the later PSA models such ZX, Xsara and 306's, in that it uses a different stub axle (405 based I believe) and wedge plate for the caliper mount which also adds a few extra millimeters to the rear track.

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Total negative camber I believe is around the 1 degree mark, compared to 0.5 degrees as standard.

Trailing arm shafts were then liberally greased up (there is no such thing as too much as far as I'm concerned when putting beams together) and inserted into the tube and a dummy shock was used to set the distance between shock centers which in turn sets the ride height when the car is back on its wheels.

I'd measured the distance on the beam before I stripped it as around 300-301mm between centers having taken up the droop, and when putting the refurbished beam together I increased this distince just a smidgen to 302mm to compensate for the front ride height likely to increase slightly when I build the front struts up with uprated Group N rubbers.

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On the subject of mounts, the only major change that I've made to the rear beam over how it was originally is to replace the Group N mounts that it had previously with a set of Group A solid mounts from Stew Baker at BakerBM - in this case the later improved design with the offset rear mounts that line up perfectly. Argueably they're not really needed and the Group N setup perfectly sufficient, but I've had Group A mounts fitted to the 309 beam currently on my car for a while now and like the predictable handling nature that a solid-mounted beam gives.

Fitted the beam off by installing the rear anti-roll bar, which was a little loose fitting into the ARB endplates for my liking (no play as such, but you can pull them on and off by hand) so I decided to replace the usual plastic end caps with a pair of M8 bolts to hold the endplates onto the ends of the ARB. There's not really enough clearance to do this on a standard beam as the tyre runs very close, but the few extra mm that the negative camber kit spacers adds gives sufficient room. Finished off with a pair of high-tensile bolts to hold the ARB endplates onto the trailing arms, as I've seen the standard bolts snap before when using uprated anti-roll bars.

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Et volia, one refurbished beam ready to be fitted ;)

#18
Anthony

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Even before deciding to undertake the project, I had set myself the challenge of managing to clear my garage sufficiently that I could park the 205 in there over the winter period, safely tucked up away from the elements that had started to take their toll when the car had sat outside during previous winters.

Now, whilst for any normal person it wouldn't be too difficult to create space for a car in the garage, as anyone that had seen my garage will testify, it was a massive job. Just being able to walk in there was hopelessly optimistic half of the time, and the idea of even having space to park a bicycle would have been enough to provoke fits of laughter from my friends. I'd not been able to park a car in there since the day I moved in almost four years ago to the day, and I suspect most people would have said there was more chance of them winning the lottery than there was of that changing anytime soon.

Well, you'd better go and purchase that lottery ticket...

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It took a few weekends of hard work sorting, clearing and tidying the whole garage, and I've sold many surplus parts both on the forum and on eBay, liberating space and generating funds for the project. There's no room to work on the car in the garage and indeed its such a tight squeeze that I have to get in and out Dukes of Hazzard style through the window, but the fact that it's in there at all is a significant achievement.

Now all I need is a garish orange paintjob, confederate flag on the roof, and Daisy Duke wouldn't go amiss either...

#19
Toddy

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I have SBC phase 2 fitted, it's a quick package which inspires confidence on bumpy/rippled/ undulating surfaces especially.

The spaces fitted to the trailing arms are 8.5mm each side iirc.

309PUG borrowed mine to see if he could get some machined, he said that where the bearing/hub locates against the modified stub pin this has a 1 degree taper to it.

Could you check that under the dust cap the cutout on the end of the stub pin is facing vertically downwards? as it is on mine.

The rear toe on mine was roughly 2mm toe in per side.

HTH

#20
bensonmi

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this is a brilliant read, keep it coming!



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