All posts by Plus Four Engineering Ltd

Plus4E venture into Porsche tooling!

Plus4E are pleased to be able to add Porsche tooling to our repertoire of products. First up are 24mm and 27mm spanners based on the original 9244 spanner. The design of the spanner allows accurate adjustment of the balance belt idler pulley and the tensioner pulley on all the 944/968 range of engines.

Currently listing on ebay, and will be in our own Plus4E store very soon.

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So, as hard as building a car is, applying to get it on the road is so much more so. The paperwork feels like a bit of a lottery, and you find yourself guessing at a lot of it! Still, the DVSA are at the forefront of the 21st century and you can upload the docs, which VOSAmeans I get to post this picture!

I decided to try to take the approach of being a likable idiot, and pestered them with emails along the lines of  “erm, hi, it’s me again. I know this is what was said at the last step, but could you advise me if there’s anything I should be doing, and how long it might take to get to the next stage…?”

All of which led to a flurry of emails the other day:

“Your application for IVA1C Basic Category A, S, C, W has successfully been

“Your application for IVA1C Basic Category A, S, C, W has been released for

“Your recent application has now been processed by DVSA Testing and Support Services (TaSS). If you have notified us of a preferred appointment time and date you will receive an appointment letter via email once the DVSA Testing Station has allocated your appointment…..”

Next step, get an “appointment”….

Plus Four Engineering Sponsorship Opportunities

The Series – Caterham Academy

1c982126c9e760110cff1d38bb263670-mediumJust before Christmas in 2014, I paid a visit to the Caterham showroom in Crawley, Sussex, to discuss my hopes of pushing Plus Four Engineering Ltd into competitive motorsport.

7f42e9e123cebeae0eeb7ef359be6039-mediumAlmost a year to the day later, and we have a built Caterham, ready to be put on the road, and a place in the 2016 Caterham Academy.  Caterham run a number of series, of which the Academy is just the first. With selected coverage on Motors TV, the Academy Series consists of 2 sprints and 5 race weekends and is only open to new race licence holders. With tightly regulated vehicles, and no drivers with previous competitive experience, the series is as level a playing field as possible.


The Driver – Nick Grahame

Nick in his 4.0 V8 MX5

I’m about as seasoned on track as can be for a new race licence holder, experienced withNick in his track prepped Nissan 200SX track / race spec’ed cars as both a driver and mechanic. Coming from a family of race andadmin-ajax championship winners (David Grahame – Lotus Seven, Chris Grahame – Porsche 924 Autosport mar 1998Renault 5 Turbo, Porsche 924), and being familiar with driving most of the major circuits in the UK I am well placed to be2015-12-27 20.23.17competitive. With an extensive test, tuition and practice schedule throughout the season I am confident in my chances of success for 2016.

The Opportunity – Sponsorship

Plus Four Engineering are now offering sponsorship opportunities for interested parties. Aside from the more obvious “stickers on car for cash”, we’re more interested in working creatively with partners to devise solutions which are still beneficial for both parties.

There are opportunities for those who are looking to simply get up close to motoracing. For others it might be a branding opportunity. Plus4E are working with competitors in other classes and disciplines to create a wider brand on which to “piggy back”.01175_Blatters Final Brand Identity Artwork-red-blackPlus Four Engineering have secured an agreement with (set up by the founder of Pistonheads) to promote their presence in the Caterham Academy, and to use their platform as a mechanism to publicise Plus4E’s involvement in the 2016 season. This opens up a secondary vehicle to those looking to use our racing as a channel to their customers.

Plus Four Engineering, aside from looking for assistance to fund the 2016 entry, are similarly looking for branding opportunities. Does your business have a platform from which to publicise Plus4E’s activities both on and off circuit?

What can Plus Four Engineering racing offer?

  • Branding on the car – one race or the whole season
  • Branding in the car – cameras are now mandatory, and Plus4E will be broadcasting in-car footage across all its channels
  • Branding on clothing – race suits, t-shirts
  • Time in the car – as a passenger or even driving!
  • Promotion of your brand through other sponsors
  • Promotion of your business through Plus4E channels
  • Display at events
  • Public speaking
  • Tickets to events

If any of these opportunities (or you can think of others that are not covered here), then please contact us using the form below.

1UZ / 3UZ Thermostat housings

Our thermostat housings are in development, and we expect to have completed items available by Christmas. wp-1449733426012.jpeg

One of the issues with a Lexus V8 conversion is that the outlet from the thermostat points in a specific direction – less than ideal if the hose on your radiator is on the other side!

wp-1449733543943.jpegInstead of complicated routing of hoses and couplers, use one of our thermostat housings, which presents a forward facing large bore swaged aluminium pipe, and use a silicone reducer elbow of your choice to route it in the direction that suits your installation best.

Check back for updates as these develop!

1UZ / 3UZ Oil Filter Adapter Relocation kits

Excited to be able to announce that we are very close to launching our oil filter adapter kits for Lexus V8s. Made from 5083 marine grade aluminium, these are designed by Plus Four Engineering and manufactured in the UK.wp-1449738010538.jpeg

You’ll get your choice of parts – just a plate? No problem. Need a filter relocation point? We have that covered. Hoses? Yes, we can include these.


As ever – looking to be flexible to your needs, and keeping engine conversions as simple as possible on a budget.

Built it!

Between the hours of around 11am on Friday the 13th and 2am on Monday the 16th of November, the Plus Four Engineering Caterham Seven was brought, kicking and screaming, into this world. The labour pains were pretty intense for all involved.


Having been warned that the build manual left a few points to the imagination, it was still a surprise just how many ambiguities the pages contained and the level of lateral thinking involved.


Even with a few capable and experienced hands on deck, it was still a major challenge.


That said, they probably wouldn’t be trying to do it all in one weekend. I suspect that the guys at Caterham (who have been excellent in terms of support and corrective action – including shipping the correct engine mount overnight and and making the missing radius arm available for collection) receive a significant number of calls as would be builders wade through the pages.


But – this was a weekend, so there was no such luxury as “phone a friend”. That said, having filmed each of the 32 hours from start to finish, including the joy of hearing the engine for the first time at 24 hours in, I think we definitely pulled one out of the bag by turning it around from Friday to Sunday.


There’s a week of evening snagging to close out a few items that had to be pushed to the backlog, but it should be IVA’d and on the road before Christmas.

Watch this space for the timelapse footage, including despair, joy, hissy fits, and collaboration at it’s best.


It arrives!

So, today is the day it arrives. Or at least the day the bits arrive. Think of it as the conception, rather than the birth. In much the same way, today is enjoyable in it’s own way, but I suspect the real fun starts after the gestation period when it comes out of the garage in one piece.


Caterham chappy was very friendly and helpful. When I asked him if he had one, the response was a good humoured “Sod that, I’m sick of the sight of them!”


The chassis is pretty much built when it arrives. No need to get the rivet gun out. All plumbed and loomed, ready to be plugged together.


Aside from the big bits (chassis, engine, wheels, seats, cage) everything else comes in boxes, and a surprisingly small number of them at that. How hard can it be….?!


Silverstone visit

Popped up to Silverstone to get one last look at the Academy racing before mine arrives. There were surprisingly few spectators, nevertheless the racing didn’t disappoint.

We saw several classes – The Academy, RoadSport, SuperSport and Superlights. Without exception the racing was incredibly close between the packs of cars on the circuit – regularly changing places lap after lap.

This weekend really whet my appetite, and for the first time I’m genuinely excited about it. Sounds like a weird thing to say, but since putting the deposit down nearly a year ago, it’s all seemed a long way off. With the car arriving in two weeks (so I’m told!) Silverstone was the perfect aperitif.