Looking forwards to a busy 2006, with plans to attend Stoneleigh Kit Car show, the Classic and Sports Car Action Day at Castle Combe, Lemans Classic, and many other shows.
Kicked off 2006 by attending Volksworld with DDK. My car was part of their display on the Sunday in the club area.
Quite a list of things to do on the car prior to the trek to Lemans in July. Key task is to establish whether the engine is running too rich at present and which involves swapping the current narrowband A/F gauge/sensor for a wideband one and adding EGT sensors to the two currently unmonitored exhaust ports. I also need to get my kafer brace refitted once i've redesigned its brackets, improve the weather tightness of the car, give it a service (oil change, grease beam, check valve clearances), touch up stone chips, attach my new luggage rack, and tidy the holes in the inner engine lid skin required to make the DTM fit.
Managed to get a fair bit done over the Easter weekend. Fitted the wideband O2 sender (LC-1) and gauge (XD-1) from Innovate Motorsports. The in-cable computer went in the engine compartment and the gauge replaced the old analogue one in the dash. I also fitted the billet alternator pulley once i'd got hold of the correct nut to allow me to actually bolt it up to the alternator shaft.
I also fitted EGT thermocouples to the two manifolds that weren't monitored and a switch to select between the front pair and rear pair on the existing dual EGT gauge. I plan to add a TC-4 (quad thermocouple amplifier) and DL-32 (datalogger with internal MAP, RPM, CHT, and accelerometer sensors) to allow me to datalog the key engine parameters for tuning purposes.
I also raised the front suspension as i'd discovered that the front wheels could rub on the wheel arch at full lock - the car was simply sitting too low - and greased the front beam whilst I was under the car.
Finally on the journey back from Volksworld (or at Volksworld itself) the weld holding the tailpipe onto the manifold had broken so I took the car back to the garage who'd made the system for them to repair - which took about 5 minutes!
You'll notice that the kafer brace isn't currently fitted to the gearbox cradle. Unfortunately it fouls the driveshafts on full bump so i've had to remove it until I can reposition it - my plan is to raise one end via a modified bracket as shown above.
29th April 2006
Using the wideband AFT i've driven about 70 miles tweaking the idle screws and have also tried stepping one size down on the main jets and increasing the timing to 32 degrees max advance.
Made the 200 mile round trip to Stoneleigh over the bank holiday weekend to meet up with a large gathering of the speedsters club at the annual kitcar show at the NAC. There were 29 or so cars present on the Sunday of the show; less on Monday which started very wet.
I was very honoured for my car be the recipient of the best of show award for 2006 on the Saturday afternoon.
The car leaked somewhat during the Sunday night rains so on the Monday I bought new self adhesive seals for the doors (worst leak from rain) and higher profile seals for the bonnet (always leaked when the car was washed). Closer inspection revealed the original door seals (though located using Chesil's instructions) weren't actually making a seal between door and body. Hence the leak..
The kafer brackets I designed arrived from eMachineshop so I have refitted the brace (You can see where they rubbed when initially fitted and had to be removed). I also checked the transmission oil level whilst the rear wheels were off the car.
Fitted the new door (see photo above) and bonnet seals - and the car is now much more water tight. A good result! Note the new position of the door seal itself.
Next major jobs ahead of Classic Lemans are to fibreglass the engine lid inner skin to take luggage rack brackets (currently there is a big hole where the boot mounted stainless steel rack would normally mount to make room for the DTM engine shroud) and to make a protective cover for the brake servo and brake lines so that I can cram the front full of luggage without worrying about damage to those brake lines.
I've now fibre glassed the inner engine lid skin and this enabled me to fit the brackets for the luggage rack.
I've also started making, from GRP, the cover for the servo and brake lines. I used an old box as the former, shaped it to fit, taped it in place, and covered it and the bonnet interior in GRP-proof tape. A coat of gel-cost followed by two layers of resin and CSM, resulting in a slightly flexible panel. After a couple of days hardening and a ten minute struggle this was removed from the car, box and tape removed from the inside, and given two more layers of CSM and resin. The result after trimming is shown bottom right. I now need to decide how to finish it - filler and paint, or black flowcoat.
Missed the Stoner Park show due to a misfired caused by a blocked idle jet and the mallory distributor's advance limit moving from 18 degrees to 28 degrees. Could have been nasty had I not quickly spotted it.
Decided to flowcoat the GRP to finish it - I'll perhaps get the engine lid resprayed (other than the outer panel) over the winter.
Two final pieces of GRP to make were protective covers for the fuel line where it is prone inside the passenger compartment. The first to protect it from baggage; the second from my passengers feet (whilst braking on my behalf at Le mans!).
I simply used GRP-proof tape to make the shape and then layered three sheets of CSM on top.
Had a great time at Castle Combe on the 17th June attending the Classic and Sports Car Action Day with Chesil Motor Company and the Speedsters Club - Just posted some more pictures from the day in the Gallery section.
Just about ready for Le Mans now - final change to increase luggage space was to carpet under where the rear seat base normally is so that the seat base can be removed for Le Mans to gain a square foot or so of luggage space. I was able to glue the edge binding on the existing carpet set to the new piece, making it look almost like it was meant to be there.
Only 5 days until Le Mans.....
Safely made the journey to and from the Le Mans Classic and had an absolutely fantastic time. I'll definitely be going back in 2008 and would recommend it to anyone who didn't go this year - its not to be missed.
Only had one issue with the car and this was when driving and cornering very hard I could get the oil pressure light to come on - I'm planning to resolve this with a deep sump or accusump arrangement.
Had a great drive out to the Goodwood Breakfast Club for their German sports car meet. Took a cross country route and was rewarded by great country roads.
Grown quite fond of the race numbers that went on temporarily for the Le Mans Classic....
Since upgrading to my 2270cc engine i've always felt that the stock starter motor has struggled. I bought a high-torque starter motor from the USA on ebay and have just fitted it. Certainly seems to turn the engine over more strongly.