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So this was my ‘home’ race really. I live about 5 miles from Castle Combe and I really wanted to race here as it’s the only race in the calendar that all my friends and family can conveniently attend. I was racing with the CSCC Magnificent 7’s.
It was all a bit of a rush to get the car ready as I managed to leave one wheel hanging off the car during my last race (see previous Blog). All was fixed (except a dodgy looking rear arch) but I had my concerns about the brakes. When I collected the car from my ‘motorsport mechanic’, there was not enough pressure in the peddle. I booked the car into my local garage and they bleed the brakes but I was not happy with the pedal position - Oh well, at least it stops and I can go racing….
The day before I dropped the car off at the circuit and set up the Gazebo to house it overnight. All good except the ‘squiffy’ Wife and quite frankly ruinously drunk two friends who had been on the Prosecco all day. They were a nightmare. They were as loud as three drunk ‘ladies’ can be and one of the ‘Processo Pit Crew’ was actually sick in the bushes. I was most unimpressed and I think some of the other racers/campers were feeling the same.
Still, being just down the road at least I could get a good night’s sleep in my own bed.
The next day was bright sunshine and the forecast was good. I met my twin brother who was helping me for the day and we headed to the circuit. Scrutineering and sign-on was uneventful and I want out to qualify. I was pleased with my lap time of 1.17.8, which was 1.6 second quicker than last year on a similar spec. I did have a spin though as I missed my braking pint at the chicane on a ‘fast one’ (tighten the belts….take you brain out of its box and really go for it when the fuel load is low). I put this down to 12-months racing experience and using the kerbs a little more. 12 No. other racers were using a little too much kerb (see attachment)
This is the first time I have seen anything like this before. The effected drivers were un-amused and vented during the driver briefing.
Annoyingly my transponder was not working again (I’m car No. 14) and I found out from the Timekeepers that this is likely to be the subscription on my transponder. I renewed it recently and it has not worked since. I have emailed TSL and no doubt I’ll get it fixed soon.
The only annoyance was the brake pedal position. It was far too low so I could not heel and toe. It was also really difficult to smoothly come of the brakes and onto the loud pedal. This took a bit of getting used to and was an annoying distraction.
After quali I spoke to Andrew, a WSCC member who was there supporting Ross, a Caterham racer in the Mag 7’s who he was spanning for the weekend. Scott had had a huge crash in the Open race the day before when he was hit by an M3. The car was in a terrible state and Scott had spent the night in Hospital. Not good news at all and I hope him all the best.
There was a long wait until the race and even longer a wait in the assembly area as the tyre wall was damaged in the previous race. I hate trying to get in the right frame of mind for a race only to then be ‘stood down’ on more than one occasion. I went out on the grid far too relaxed in hindsight. I went round for the warm-up lap and then lined up on the grid with things up-to temp.
When the lights went out I had too much wheelspin. I thought 4k rpm was better than the 3.5k I used at Silverstone and it just wheel span. I shifted into second and all was ok ish I guess but I lost momentum. I managed to get round the first corner without incident and headed up to the chicane. I tried to go round the outside of one car, carried too much speed and understeered into the corner. Trying to avoid losing control I cut the corner a little and came out of the throttle. I lost a place which effectively ended the start phase of the race as the field spread out. I managed a good few laps and held station, even if I lost two places in one go around quarry as the car randomly lost power for a few seconds (it was like fuel surge and I still don’t know what happened?). I then caught two cars that were having a battle and joined in the fun. We traded places for 4/5 laps and I was really getting into the fun of the race. So much so, I nearly missed the pit window! I completely missed the time zip by and three pit boards saying ‘IN’. Oops.
I pitted just before the pit window ended and annoyingly having lost the back end, again, in the exact spot where I span in quali. I had just overtaken a car outbreaking him into Quarry and was defending the next corner. I carried too much speed into the corner onto the brakes and lost the rear end (this had happened before and I so very nearly held it…) Even more annoyingly, I just touched the tyre barrier with my nose cone (what’s the point of the tyre barriers if they are so hot on the track limits?) see photo.
The car stalled when I came to a stop but then it would not start. I lost 30 seconds but it felt like a lifetime. This lost me 3 places, possibly 4. That’s racing I suppose and another nose cone for me….
I went out for the final stint and put my spin to the back of my mind. I thought I may be able to catch the pack but it was not to happen. I finished 14 seconds behind the car in front who I was previously battling with. The lack of the lower class cars at this meeting meant there was little to race with in the latter stage of the race after the pit stop. Shame really.
To cap off what was a rather bad day in the office overall, a fly managed to squash itself right in the middle of my GoPro lens, blocking most of the shot, so not much race footage (any my internet not’s working at home either!)
Still there’s always Donny in three weeks-time. Surely my luck must change at some point 3 of 3 eh?)?
One thing I'd never really liked on my car was the original aeroscreen, did not look integrated at all so decided to order and fit a Carbon NV aeroscreen.
Liaised with Mark and agreed on a V pattern with the weave, arrived on Tuesday and the quality is superb.
Bonded the four fixing bolts supplied by Mark with Vudu-Glu (highly recommended) to utilise the same holes as on the old screen.
Very happy with the new look and hopefully the expense has now stopped - £1500 on upgrades since buying the car in Feb but now got it pretty much exactly how I want it
Other than that just enjoying using the car - getting out to 3-4 meets / shows per month and car is running faultlessly
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July 1st, 2017
Paul popped round with his extensive tool kit and we removed the head and inspected it for damages, marks and other clues. At first the head gasket seemed ok, and so did the pistons and valves except for a clean(ish) section on cylinder 1.
Cylinder 1 also appeared to sit a little lower than it's counterpart 4.
After rotating the crank by hand and pushing/wiggling cylinder 1, it eventually levelled up again. This seems to indicate a spun big end bearing.
July 2nd, 2017
Cleaned up garage so I have a working space for the engine and then tried to remove sump with the engine still in place. Sump would only drop about 3cm before appearing to be stuck on something on the bellhousing. Really need a crane again to lift the engine out.
July 4th, 2017
After collecting an engine crane and stand from @dombanks last night, I lifted the engine block out and after a lot of puzzling got it mounted to the stand. With the sump removed you still can't see much, so now need to turn it upside down and then remove windage plate.
July 9th, 2017
A quick 10 minutes in the garage before other chores present themselves. Rotated the engine on the stand and removed the windage plate. Nothing visible with that off, but as soon as I removed the bottom half of the conrod...
Yes, that's a spun bearing all right
July 19th, 2017
Neil, a local member, kindly offered me an old spare Silvertop he had been storing inside his garage for the past couple of years. Plan is to use the crank from that engine, rather than trying to see if mine is still usable.
Last month: £ 6164.80
This month: £ 0.00
Total: £ 6164.80
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Blyton July weekend 2017
Well as I look back at the Friday trackday (on two track layouts) plus Saturday and Sunday sprints, it seems that absolutely everyone had a fantastic weekend of motorsport, sun, bbq, gluten free meal deal, beer, buying and selling T Shirts for charity as well as support from families and club members. There was so much happening that I apologise in advance for missing or not mentioning stuff, events, praise, insults, leg pulling, car repairs, car damage and the sprint achievements as I could only be in one place at once. It was good to see so many friends and competitors all gathered together at our own weekend organised by John Williams (and Louise) and much better due to my paddock planning with Nigel Curry (who acted all weekend as paddock marshal) enabling us all to be in the same area. I am already looking forward to the same event next year. I arrived at around 1030hrs on the Friday and things were in full swing with mainly Westfields filling the trackday which was also car testing for a few drivers. Paul Aspden was out in his nice orange car which he has up for sale and Stephen Herbert’s recently finished Westfield 1X was on display for all to drool over. Dave Cleaver was ominously running in some new slick tyres, I was bedding my new front mintex 1144 pads in by running up and down the paddock as I could not pay for the trackday (typical Yorkshireman!). John Phelps was helping daughter Charlotte diagnose their Busa’s battery charging issue which seemed to be the alternator rectifier/regulator but it seemed to sort itself out in the end. During the weekend I did have to keep asking Charlotte what else she had broken , much to her indignation. It was nice to see newcomer Simon Waterfall out in his red Westfield which he had being desperately getting ready in the last few weeks in order to take part in his first Sprint competion. He appeared to be having misfiring and starting issues in the afternoon and for some of us this turned out to be a long project of trying to trace the problem. I reckon that around twelve of us were actively swarming round the car looking at the fuel and electric system on his old crossflow engine which unusually was not covered in or leaking oil. We appeared to have fuel but the plugs were not wet. We did suspect the coil and or the main coil to distributer lead but it also had a Lumenition module fitted so there was lots that could be wrong. At around 2100hrs we had to pack in as we had to use torches to see what we were doing and as the engine started once we got a telling off as there is a noise recorder on site which is monitored. In the morning Ian Morrison (aka Gadget) rang his wife Rosie at 0800hrs Saturday and asked her to come to site and take Simon into Gainsborough to buy a new Coil and leads (it required 2 visits). Then Paul Morcom amazingly produced a matching side entry distributor cap, which are as rare as rocking horse poo, and this was fitted due to the existing one being defective. We put the newly purchased bits in during early Saturday practice but it still would not start. When we were almost at the stage of giving up, Graham Millar (aka Windy) noticed a thin black earth wire on the bulkhead held in place by a chrome self tapping screw so he prodded it and guess what …..it moved. We therefore took it off, cleaned the terminal/wire and fixed it to a bolted earth stud. We turned the key and it fired up first time. Simon’s face lit up as we got his car scrutineered and out for practice just in time. On the Friday Howard Gaskin lost his alternator belt and had to go buy another one to keep going but on the Friday night track walk eagle-eyed Steve Everall spotted an undamaged belt at the side of the track so Howard ended up with a spare. Actually the track walk was just an excuse to enjoy the evening sun and down a few beers whilst discussing approach speeds, apexes, braking points and generally talking about theoretical issues when in the end how quick you go is often down to how brave you can be and also what grip is under the car. Signing on and scrutineering was possible for many on Friday night and this was easy and appreciated by all who did that. The paddock layout meant the Westfields were all together and people seemed to like this but some single seaters had to use tarmac a bit further from the start than they would have liked.
The bright sunshine and warm weather meant that it was time to slap on the sun cream and delay getting into our fireproof babygrows! A fantastic turnout of 39 drivers in the Speed Series were entered and chasing points driving the normal circuit and on Sunday the Eastern circuit. It was interesting to note that the noise meter calibration had malfunctioned and readings were ridiculously high and even the noise scrutineer agreed something was wrong so he adjusted the readings. Dave Birch appeared to be having some problems getting his engine started but succeeded in the end. The first practice showed that the track was a bit green and lacking grip despite the previous day’s track action. Simon Waterfall was up and running in his first ever sprint and he was not put off even though he spun on his first run. Graham Frankland tried a bit too hard and put all four wheels off at Bishops and Maurici Revilla spun off after the finish line and he entertained us for most of the weekend with similar driving. He admitted later that he was trying out a new rallycross circuit using plenty of gravel and off track routes in his long suffering Westfield. Dave Cleaver emphasised how quick he was by breaking the record/target time on his first run and it was clear that close competition also existed through all the classes and in my own class G that was certainly in evidence. Timed run 1 went smoothly for most but our Spanish “rally driver” came in with no offside rear wing and wires dangling behind the car due to hitting a cone (same one I hit last year). He stopped to park up but then reversed over all the lights and puled the wires off. His wing came back in 4 parts and Adam Read helped to fix it back together with tie wraps and duct tape. John Hoyle had engine problems and he stopped on track but managed to start again and drove back to the paddock forgetting to put his helmet back on so he got a yellow card from the clerk of the course (bad lad!) He traced the problem to a loose lead on the battery and was back in action again. Mark Anson was taking part in his first competition with his latest single seater Jedi which developed a slipping clutch in his early runs. It turned out to be an easy fix when diagnosed as a rubber seal in the clutch master cylinder was inserted the wrong way round. Nick Algar in the DJ Firehawk had gearbox failure again and despite Luke bringing spare parts it could not be fixed. He gladly accepted a double drive in Pete Goldings Ecoboost.
T2 took place after lunch and saw John Loudon with 4 wheels off, I got a rerun by catching a car with a loose bonnet but I had to queue for the rerun so in my opinion my tyres were cold. However, it was my fastest run! Mike West appeared to have a broken engine mount but found a welder and fixed it on site. Matt Turner was having gear change issues and Del and Gary had a misfire that was a suspect TPS or the traction control setting/sensors.
T3 saw Jason Brown going well but he had a gear shift problem that he was trying to cure, Paul Dew (aka Tigger) had a hairy moment at The Wriggler chicane and went straight on rather than revisit the field he ploughed last year. Interestingly Matt Hillam made the top 12 British Sprint run off even though he was double driving Keith Adam’s car. So, in summary, Dave Cleaver wiped the floor with everyone and set a new class record with 62.21 secs with other class winners as follows:
A1 Adam Read 69.23
B2 Maurici Revilla 68.68
C Craig Spooner 71.20
D Martin Harvey 68.57
F John Hoyle 65.08
G Terry Everall 64.89
H Dave Cleaver 62.21
A1 Dave Richings 73.94
B1 Steve Carpenter 70.04
C Jason Brown 71.55
F David Birch 71.51
Most drivers seemed to have recovered from the previous night’s BBQ, beer and wine ( the Marlbec and Merlot red wine provided by Paul Morcom and Martin Harvey at Del’s camper was delightful and not much was left at the end of the night) Today’s track was going to be a different challenge with only a few drivers ever having driven it and the trackwalk had highlighted some tricky areas, particularly for braking as well as the very twisty first sections. It was hoped that today the people having issues with loose alternators would have trouble free runs.
P1 saw Matt Turner going very quickly as he had driven this layout before but once again Dave Cleaver banged in a time of 66.58 secs that was not much slower than the Gould single seater car. Keith Adams also had a DNF along with Adam Read.
P2 Maurici threw it into the gravel again and DNF but maybe he was trying out a new line? John Loudon spun after the finish, Mick Skidmore had all 4 wheels off at Bishops and. Andy Hargreaves who has ventured into class G was going great on 3 year old slick and was well as being on the pace in his Yamaha R1 car. John Loudon and Matt Turner were both having gearshift problems to deal with. Due to the 120 cars it was taking quite a time to complete runs and this was not helped by the number of offs which deposited gravel on the track, so it was looking like we would only get 2 runs and therefore they had to count.
T1 John Hoyle posted a good time but his offside rear wing took a battering but luckily he had not repaired it since his last altercation with a track cone. John Loudon was trying too hard at Bishops and had a spin whilst Paul Dew seemed to be having a problem with braking. It turned out that “somebody” must have forgotten to insert the little R clip retainers for the 2 pins that hold the pads in place. Luckily he still had 2 so just use one on each wheel which seemed to work fine. Steve Carpenter was judged to have had wheels off the track and got a DNF which was made much worse as the same happened on his last run.
T2 Dave Cleaver found an oil leak on his dry sump tank so decided not to take his last run. Maurici also decide that his car and tyres could not take any more abuse so he also DNS. Matt Turner spun at the chicane suffering from “tryingtooharditis”and this contagious illness had spread to his mate Andy Hargreaves as he threw it off at the finish and also had a DNF. Despite his gearbox Jason Brown was flying and recorded a great time which would have won our class C outright.
A2 Adam Read 75.37
B2 Maurici Revilla 89.55
C Simon Broadbridge 77.74
D Martin Harvey 73.11
F John Hoyle 69.43
G Matt Turner 69.61
H Dave Cleaver 66.02
B1 Roz Kennett 84.39
C Jason Brown 76.44
F David Birch 78.66
My highlights were Dave Cleaver’s awesome times on both days, my battle with the guys in class G who are all quick, Jason Brown’s Sunday result, Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett’s £175 engine that goes great and has now done several events, Simon Waterfall’s efforts/enthusiasm and members support to get him running on Saturday, warm dry weather, the Westfield crowd craic and the BBQ
Thanks to all for the organisation and friendly atmosphere and I am looking forward to next year already.
Class G Competitor
The Sport E rebuild has continued but not quite as I intended. The Sport Turbo body that I wanted to use didn't work with the 17" rear wheels also the bonnet, once fitted, didn't quite reach the scuttle.
It also needed new rear lighting so in the end I opted to repair the old classic tub and replaced the smashed rear arches, nose and bonnet with less smashed parts which I then repaired and painted.
What a difference a huge amount of effort and expense makes to the look of a car! That's supposed to be irony - basically I'm glad to see the back of fiberglass and paint! It's Kawasaki green BTW. In this pic.the wheels are odd.The rears are 15" with T1Rs and the front 17" R1Rs. Initially I'll use the 15" T1Rs all round to calm the car down and make it more predictable first time out. With the 15" rears and no gearbox, the top speed should be limited by motor rpm to around 100mph - enough for now.
So anyway I'm on the home straight now. I'll cover the electrical side of the rebuild in another blog. A couple of interesting points though. First I did keep the Sport Turbo scuttle and dash. This was mainly because being so tall (6'2"), I kept hitting my knees on the underside of the old dash panel. The new dash is quite a bit roomier as can be seen in the picture. I only had the main dash moulding - the instrument cluster and hood were missing but this didn't prove to be an issue. I needed to mount the Race Tech dash etc so I built a new dash face panel from ally and covered it with fake carbon. It turned out better than I had expected. For racing there will be an emergency kill switch in the bottom circular hole.
I've replaced the 12V battery with a smaller one, take a look at the following photo. This shows the battery progression from the original lead acid to the latest lithium battery. According to the specs the small battery is good for a starting current of 150A - only 2.5Ahr though. This was £125 on eBay. It weighs 500g. Ideal for the electric car since it only needs to power the 12V system at 2.5 amps for 5-10 seconds while the main high voltage battery switches itself on. However it should power the car for about an hour without the main battery. I'll also fit an Anderson connector for a 12V charger so it doesn't go flat while I'm messing around with the main battery off and the computer plugged in.
I'm now well into the wiring. This is more familiar territory for me so the end is in sight......hopefully.
Well just to give you a bit of understanding on how I got to this
I consider myself a bit of a petrol head, I studied mechanical engineering but have a reasonable understanding of most things I have completed 3 kits to date, first been a Robin Hood with Redtop engine using a manta gearbox on twin 45's, then had a bit of a break from Kits as I tried motorbikes for a bit but found out even though I have a love for bikes they were not for me, (I was too scared worrying all the time about would I get home in one piece)
Then I returned buying my first Westfield which had a RS1.8 silvertop this soon was modified but the urge for more power saw that get removed and in went a ST170 with stage 3 head and a megasquirt ( I hear a few growns) ecu with a set of Hayabusa throttle bodies, the gearbox was changed to a straight cut and had a twin plate clutch (nightmare on road) this did not las long.
After a good few years with this I was looking again for another project when I came across my current Westfield which had a poorly running engine due to the carb setup, this was ideal for me as I wanted to put an Ecoboost engine in, Ive always been of the opinion a Westfield should be a small engine and these modern engines are truly amazing. So lots of planning research saw me talking with a few members who were on similar paths, so a steep learning curve as there was almost no information out there on the net to help. so some of the decisions were trial and error, I had hoped to get it completed so I could take to Stoneleigh but that was not going to happen due to contracting a really bad cold (worst I have ever had) anyway this project was completed and I took it to the classic at Silverstone. I am still impressed with this car drives great so I intend to keep this.
Where we live there are some great classic events so my thoughts went should I buy a classic I looked around and could not find anything which really took me there were some close calls E type, TR5 and 6 but then I saw a C type and fell in love with it everybody I talked too agreed on its beauty, so I was sold, next job was to get my wife to sign up to the project. Oh I could not afford a genuine so Kit manufactures were googled, then the decision should I have a GRP or aluminium body, well this became a no brainer I was not going to pay at least another 30k for an alloy body as lets face it this will always be looked at as a kit, plus the GRPbody is more durable to stone chips etc.
So the decision was made Realm Engineering 3 visits to the factory oh this is a real culture shock if you are from the current day thinking of what factories are like, but as I've been around a bit longer it was like going back to my apprentice days.
So before I commit to buying I need to find a series3 Jaguar but these are starting to get collector status so finding one a a good price is not easy, so bit of scouring all the usual places I found one that met my criteria (cheap) as it had been partially stripped, so prior to Christmas the deal was done and I would collect in the New Year.
My next attention was to look for a gearbox for the kit, I need a W58 supra box I finally found on in Czech Republic a deal was done and it arrived safely in the new year, these are like Hens teeth so bit annoying that I just found another one 10miles from where I live at less money, oh well never mind.
So last few weeks I have been slowly stripping the car Daimler XJ6 4.2 for the bits I need.
So here is the doner, it looks much better than it is and a image of the future
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This is my first kit car build so I'm going to need to guys to keep an eye on me and help me out from time to time.
I was originally planning to build a Westfield Mega S2000 car but in the end settled on the new Sport 250 kit using the Ford 2.0L Ecoboost engine and Mazda MX5 gearbox all supplied by Westfield. After the long wait for collection day I mad the obligatory trip down to Dudley a couple of weeks ago to collect my car. Thanks to Ian for showing my son and I around and for helping to load the van.
Day 1 of the build and got the floor panels and battery tray panel fitted. I seem to have a right hand and a left hand drive foot well bulkhead plate. I checked Steve's blogg and his pics show a blank plate. I will speak to Mark or Ian at Westfield on Monday!
Fixing the car has proven to be quite a task - big surprise! The chassis needed repair and modification to remount the diff, motor and new prop shaft and to add fixings for the new rollover cage.
This involves welding - and a lot of it. So far I've used the services of an expert welder but this is expensive. This time I elected to do it myself - how hard can it be?
I bought myself a Clark 151TE welder, some CO2 and Argon mix gas bottles and various wire sizes. After two months practice and a load of scrap metal, I can just about weld - as long as I have the grinder handy to smarten it up. I then set about making the brackets (and some more scrap in the process).
First, strip the car down to the chassis.
The electric motor needed new mounting brackets to remount it at the front and I had to make the Freelander diff mounting brackets from scratch since Westfield had no stock. I had these parts designed by a colleague at work using CAD. The brackets were designed as assemblies and were cut from 2mm and 6mm steel sheet by a local water jet cutting firm.
I initially tacked together the brackets and checked them for dimensions and fit. Once satisfied I fully welded the assemblies. The motor brackets were linished to remove excess weld and create a good finish.
Then it was just a case of painting the finished brackets. I had about a dozen or so brackets and frames to paint so these were sent away to be powder coated.
A new two section prop shaft was made to order and a centre bearing bracket welded in place.
Over the summer I was unable to do much work on the car due to other commitments but with the new brackets finished and the chassis repaired and rebuilt, new propshaft in and a roll over cage fitted, I've able to reassembled the chassis. With the addition of the cooling system I now have a complete rolling chassis.
The cooling system has been upgraded with a much bigger radiator - high power electric motors need to be cooled! The power controller is mounted low down in the engine bay with the charger and power switching box above.
The original bodywork was badly damaged. Luckily Potenza had lightly damaged and hacked red and black FW body kit from one of the early prototype cars gathering leaves and slugs behind the factory. Potenza Technology (not Westfield) are unofficially sponsoring this rebuild so this was donated to the cause (along with the roll cage, wheels and suspension parts). When the car is finished it will look quite different with it's new red bodywork.
Then next stage is to either fit the body work or I start the body electrical and power train wiring (at last). Another 6 months of effort probably.
Progress often seems to be one step forward, fifteen back.
My own total lack of knowledge of vehicle wiring doesn't help here so I've appealed to an old friend to come and rescue me. He's a time served auto electrician (handy) and can probably help me finish the wiring with no more than a custard cream and a cup of tea.
Mind you, the wipers are now working. Previously only one speed was connected. Following the installation of a new 2 speed switch and a little help from the Car Builder Solutions catalogue which carries a wiring diagram for the Lucas wiper motor, I made it function as intended. At the insistence of Graham (as above) I stripped and re-greased the spindle boxes then turned them over for a better fit on the scuttle. This helped with the angle that the spindles have with the screen too so better operation is in order!
Having accidentally blown a fuse today (dropped the indicator/high beam lever on the stainless side panels) and not having any old style glass fuses, I was prompted to put the new blade style fuse box in. This of course involved more work than intended and ultimately meant the battery had to be turned through 180 degrees to aid cable reach. It's an improvement all round though.
On the basis of making one thing at a time work, this is progress for me. Graham has promised to visit and help sort out the issues and even said the scary words 'let's make a new loom' so hold tight, more coming.
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Had a few things that needed doing over the Winter, but a few electrical gremlins and time flying have seen the list cut back.
However the main thing, to get the Westy ready for track days this year, is almost complete.
Have a few fixings to sort and fettling to do but finally, it looks how I visualised when I started to make the changes.
Not had much chance to get stuck in recently due to work being busy, but can't complain. Have had a lot of time to think about stuff though and work things through in my head, which helped when I did get a few hours at the weekend.
Things will quieten down at work now after Xmas so hoping to make better progress... although I have just taken on two engine builds and (pretty much) a full MX-5 race car rebuild to be completed before early March so we shall see :lol:
Anyway - bits I have done:
Ended up with 3 steering racks. A de-powered MX-5 one, a 2.4 ratio Escort Mk2 one and another from a Mk1 Golf. There were a few considerations for each of these - mainly distance between tie rod ball joints (bump steer), weight / simplicity and amount of rack movement per 360 degree turn of the pinion.
The standard Mazda rack gives 44mm per turn which is a 22.5 deg turn of the front wheels when the length of the steering arms on the uprights is worked through. I want something a little faster than this ideally, and it was too far between ball joints (about 640mm, I'm after 580-585mm) - could be chopped down to suit though.
The Escort rack offers 52mm per turn (26 deg at the front wheels) which is pretty quick... maybe a touch too much when combined with a fairly small (300mm ish) steering wheel, but it is very light / simple and has a good ball joint distance of 583mm. I need to investigate these further but it looks like I may be able to slightly tweak bump steer by adjusting the position of the inner tie rods on the rack. They are locked off with collars at the moment but have a pin smashed in there to prevent loosening.
I ended up with the Golf rack as a bit of a punt from eBay at £25 delivered. I'd read that the ball joint distance was about 550mm (chassis could be tweaked to compensate for that), but it turned out to be somewhere around 570-590mm due to the tie rods being adjustable and locked off with a lockring, result.
The downside is that it only offers 36mm per turn... but I could chop the steering arms down to 80mm from 106mm to give 24deg of front wheel movement per turn. It was also designed to run with the rack behind the front hubs (Escort and MX-5 are in front), meaning I could flip the rack over and have the column to the left (rather than to the right like Mazda and Escort), which would give better clearance to the pedals.
I decided on the Golf rack, so chopped / modified the tie rods ready to take some aluminium track rods with rod ends:
Then found out that the input spline was a stupid size (40T spline) and all the UJs were megabucks So I've now gone back to plan B and the Escort rack... no big deal, it will still work fine!
Thought I'd found the perfect wheels too - OZ Racing ones from a Formula student car, 13x7", 3.4kg each, forged, 4 with slicks, 4 with wets, advertised as the correct 4x100 fitment for Mazda - couldn't have envisaged a better setup all for £350!
A***. Turns out they are actually something like 97-98 PCD. I've got a way around it though after some deliberation... just awaiting a 60 degree inverted dovetail cutter to arrive through the post then I can confirm it's good to go. An additional ballache I didn't really want, but worth going through for these wheels I think.
Then I also found a bargain dry sump system (£400 for the lot) and couldn't resist... so much for a budget build, lol.
But this does have a few benefits. 1) It will definitely not oil starve now, 2) the manifold clears the sump without modification (by less than 2mm), wooo:
The oil pump goes in place of the standard water pump, meaning I need a separate electric pump now... Luckily the cooling requirements of the engine aren't huge, so only needs a tiny pump - in fact the one SBD recommend for their up-to-300bhp-turbo-nutter-Busa engine is a Bosch PAD one (15L/min), which turns out to be exactly the same pump Mercedes use to cool the gearbox on an E320... You can guess which option was cheaper I can also mount the pump almost anywhere, also really low down, so gives more options regarding radiator position.
Need to sort out a way of controlling it now (sod paying £150 for a Craaaiiigg Daaaavid one) - have got thoughts about a heater fan resistor / switch from an MX-5 (just stick the pump on low for warm-up to keep things circulating and avoid hotspots - also as a manual controller for when back in the paddock to keep things moving around) plus a low temp (75-80 deg, ish) fan switch that kicks the pump in and out, running it at full beans when needed. Just need to get it all straight in my head...
Anyway, had a gander inside while the sump was being swapped and it is absolutely spanking in there, can definitely believe this was a ~750 mile engine:
Manifold hangs down from the sump by 75mm, so set up a 78mm tall platform and sat the engine on this in the rear part of the chassis - before I got stuck in with the welder I wanted to make sure the diff / half shafts would work and the engine cleared the chassis...
Engine is about 8-10mm away from the chassis there, and lining the sprockets up puts the diff about 11-12mm from the centreline of the chassis - result. The 1.8 half shaft was 20mm shorter than the 1.6 one, so that almost perfectly puts everything back into line again.
(Diff isn't going there, it was just to check the left-right spacing)
It was then time to grow some balls and actually do some welding. Just tacked the rear part into place for now, in case of any severe oversights. My tacking is usually ****e, about 30% on one tube and 70% on the other or something, haha, so actually concentrated this time and it came out ok.
Then re-situated the rear part to give space for the front part to get built up. Also chucked the seat in to give an idea of perspective. Yes, that is a high roll hoop, yes I did typo the dimension when I sent the drawing off, lol.
Never mind, there's a couple of benefits from it being taller than planned, and at least it means even giants will be able to drive it, haha.
Next up - more chassis work, then once the main outline for that is done I can move onto making wishbone jigs.
I have 1995 Westfield with the traditional halogen headlights and I would like to upgrade to something brighter/whiter, ideally both. Does anyone have any suggestions for brands, suppliers. Prefer the smaller headlights mine are approx. 140mm diameter (guessing from memory).
Curborough July 5th 2015 Stephen’s story
Arrived at the track at 7.20am to find most of the Westfields already there and ready for signing on and scrutineering.
Unfortunately the driver’s briefing wasn’t until 8.50 but we managed to fill the time! The briefing was exceedingly brief for the 99% who had driven the track before and rather more detailed for the few who hadn’t.
P1 arrived to find that Graham Frankland had forgotten to put his timing strut on! Howard Gaskin went fastest on 60.50 with me chasing at a rather slower 62.11
P2. This got going but the 11th car to start, John Roberts in the electric Westfield, had a major ‘off’ rolling over two or three times with severe damage to the car. John was left suspended from the up turned car – a lesson to keep your seat belt tightly fastened – and the marshalls and organisers acted extremely promptly in extracting him. The paramedics eventually gave him, the all clear and he emerged with a plaster on his elbow! By all accounts his helmet was a complete write off and the car didn’t look much better.
Eventually P2 resumed with Howard and I swapping places at 60.15 and 59.84 respectively.
Lunch was next and after I had enjoyed my burger lunch, Sally and my sister arrived with a lovely slimming smoked salmon sandwich for me. It made a tasty pudding.
T1 got underway and Howard was fastest in our class at 59.54 secs. But my 60.93 was (although second fastest in class) frustratingly over one second slower than P2.
T2 stopped soon after it began when the cloud burst descended and gazebo’s tried to be kites, chairs had to be folded, everything had to be shoved in the car including us! It poured and poured for about 20 mins and then the sun gradually came out. Racing didn’t resume for a little while to let the track drain and dry out a bit. Fortunately it is a fast drying track and we got going. None of the times were anywhere near T1 but the weather got better and better so when the opportunity for T3 was given, the Westfields all went for it. A good third of the other cars had left but the reduced field enjoyed their run.
In Class 2A the Westfields were 2nd Rich Abraham, 4th Jason Brown and 6th Colin Way.
In Class B Howard was 1st with 59.19, I was 2nd with 60.54 PB, 3rd Graham Frankland 63.96, 5th David Richings and 6th Dave Reed.
Howard was 6th fastest overall for the day and I was 7th.
A good day for most of us thankfully not resulting in a tragedy and as far as the weather is concerned it was exactly the same as last year!
Slow going today, realised that I have set off on the wrong foot with my build (following a printed manual i got when i collected my kit from Ian which I assume is now out of date) suggests to fit all the panels first. Here is the culprit .........
I only realised this today at work when i stumbled across a downloaded .pdf of the S2000 specific manual which I forgot I had acquired from someone's dropbox well before i ordered my kit . I don't think it's a major problem (fingers crossed), just might be awkward running brake and fuel lines down the tunnel etc.
Hopefully tomorrow evening will be more fruitful
(time spent - 2 hours)
So after months of anticipation Wednesday 27th May had finally arrived and time for us ( Michelle & I ) to set off on our trip to the St Goueno Hill Climb. We set off for our ferry from Portsmouth to St Marlo at 2.00pm, after an easy run down the A34 we’d soon joined the queue at the ferry terminal and could see ahead another member of Team WSCC Graham ( Windy ) Millar. Once checked in the three of us headed for the terminal bar to get in the spirit of the weekend while we waited to be loaded. The crossing was an overnight run so following an evening meal and a few drinks in the bar chatting to fellow competitors we retired to our cabin for a few hours sleep.
In the morning we joined Graham in his commodore cabin for a complimentary continental breakfast before setting off on the short drive from St Marlo to St Goueno. Just over an hour later around 10.00am we’d arrived at the empty paddock hoping to drop our trailers off but not only were we turned away until 3pm we also noticed that one of Grahams trailer tyres had delaminated and lost a large chunk of tread, so out came the jacks and in true motorsport style the wheel was changed in no time.
Many competitors camp in the paddock however following Grahams visit last year we opted to share a small gite in a village a few miles away and used our time to pop to the gite, unpack and have a cuppa. Time rolled by and no sooner had we sat down than it was time to head back to the paddock and set camp ready for the rest of Team WSCC. We quickly had our paddock area set up banners flying and cars ready, just in time actually as the remainder of the team had arrived, Tim Nunn & Karen, Richard Kerr & Lisa and Paul Morcom and then with a mass joint effort we organised the motorhomes and trailers ready for the weekend.
Now the time had come for us to drive the hill for the first time, all be it still an open road but we couldn’t wait to set sight on the hill and see how it compared with the video’s I’d watch a thousand times before. With Graham taking Tim, Richard & Paul for passenger rides in his gorgeous orange MK2 Escort Michelle & I jumped in the Westy to get a proper view of the road.
Wow this was going to be the most challenging hill climb I’ve driven so far, 2 miles of fast tight & twisty narrow road, steep banks to one side and armco to the other it became very clear there would be no room for mistakes here.
So with the recky runs done and much debate about how to tackle this for practice on Saturday it was soon time to get ready for our first evenings entertainment in the Sal d fete in St Goueno. The hospitality here was exceptional with the organisers laying on evening meals and entertainment all weekend for drivers and their crew, they even provide a free Navette ( minibus ) to run everyone the couple of miles from the paddock to the village centre & back and also to and from our gite so we could all kick back enjoy a few beers blonde, cidre and vin rouge, bring it on.
Friday was a nice relaxing day, as other than signing on and scrutineering in the afternoon we had no other motor sport duties so took full advantage and enjoyed a bit of a lay in ( we needed it after the night before trying to keep up with Tim & Rich in the bar ) followed by a walk to the village patisserie for croissants and pan aux chocolait . When we finally made it back to the paddock not much was going on so we took the short walk across to the Cheval hair pin to watch some of the local historic regularity cars running up the hill, a very enjoyable couple of hours drifted by and it was time to return for signing on. Friday nights entertainment was bigger and better than the night before with a live band playing and plenty good food and drink, again the Plays-kool boys were a bad influence forcing me to have one or two beers too many ;-) When we got home to our gite we had been joined by David Birch & his brother Alan, Ade ACW and a friend of Windy’s Paul who were all sharing the gite next door and spectating for the weekend.
Saturday morning was beautiful bright and sunny, full of nervous anticipation ( well certainly on my part ) as our practice runs started at 9.30am. Unlike our British hill climbs the paddock was not laid out in competitor order, so to get everyone back in order before a run you first get called out to the pre grille. We had been divided into three groups of around thirty who get called out together, on leaving the paddock your given a pre grille number which you go find painted on the road and park behind it. Just as soon as the pre grille has all assembled your taken off in a convoy on the 2.2 mile drive down to the start line.
Finally my group were called and off I set for my first proper run up the hill all be it un-timed, I quite liked that idea as it was a chance to sight the hill without the pressure of posting a reasonable time. It wasn’t far into my first run that the scale of this hill hit home, despite watching last years video’s a thousand times and driving the hill the previous day it only took a couple of corners before I was completely flummoxed as to what was coming next, that would be the challenge to driving this hill fast, memorising the course well enough to attach the corners. Well my first run was fairly cautious but completed without any dramas so I was happy with that. Back in the paddock we all chatted about our first runs, exchanged ideas on how to memorise the course and couldn’t wait to have another go and post a time.
After lunch we were called again, wished each other luck and set off for the start line. Things all started to go a little wayward from here with delay after delay ( breakdowns and accidents that took an age to clear ) then at last it was my turn. My start was ok and the first half of the run went pretty much to plan ( I almost felt like I knew where I was going ) until I was Red Flagged just after the crossing ( a cross roads about half way up ), I pulled over to a marshall’s post only to be told the red flag was a mistake and I should turn around go back down to the start for a re-run. This was the last thing I’d expected and after a stressful 5 point turn I trundled back down to the start line, with one thought in my mind, I now had warm tyres and should take full advantage.
This second start was much better and I set off at a faster pace, to my surprise the next few corners were all in the order I’d imagined, the run was going well I soon recognised the next section which is much faster and even managed to keep my foot half in through the crossing, the next two right handers went well ( including the nasty tightening one which was catching out a lot of drivers ) and I was heading down to the Cheval Hair Pin then just the last two corners and I was done, first timed run over and I thought went pretty well, just needed to see my time which was displayed on the return road, blimey 1min 46s I was very pleased with that. When I returned to our paddock all was very quiet, the girls had all gone to spectate as had Windy so I had a few quiet moments to re -run the hill in my head before I expected Tim & Richard to return as they were a couple of cars behind me at the start.
It soon became clear more problems followed my run as no sign of Tim let alone anyone else, what I didn’t realise was it was Team WSCC causing some of the hold ups. Unfortunately Tim suffered a mechanical problem and had to quit his run half way up, then Richie rather enthusiastically clipped the armoc on the nasty right hander which he seamed to get away with only then to suffer steering failure on the very last corner and collided heavily head on into the water filled barriers, finally Paul returned in his beautiful Merlin having completed a successful run and we waited to hear of of Tim & Richie.
Thankfully the Plays-kool boys escapades were not too serious, Tim’s air box had worked loose and was soon fixed and Richards off ( which looked spectacular on the big screen ) had left his supercharged Duratec unrepairable for the rest of the weekend but more importantly, other than a sore wrist ( no jokes about using the other hand please ) he was fine. A perfect example of why we should ALL be wearing HANS devices if ever one was needed. Due to all the hold up’s P2 was cancelled so that was practice over. Saturday evening was again full of good food, drink and great friends as we all reflected on the days events. ( I seam to remember even finding a bar selling hot dogs and chips somewhere, or did I just dream that ) ??
5am Sunday morning I woke to the sound of rain lashing down on our gite roof, not good but what can you do, the bad weather looked set for the day. We arrived at the paddock with everything cold wet and soggy, while Michelle sat in the camper with heating on I set about drying out the Silver Bullet which although covered had not faired well overnight. Thankfully I’d done most of the prep for Sunday already so just a check of tyre pressures, get togged up and I was ready, leaving my time free to dry the car out and wonder what this hill was going to drive like in the wet. Soon enough we were called out to the pre grille, time for our first run. Well the conditions certainly slowed everybody, we all returned from our first runs having wheel spun, slipped and slided up the hill safely but non of us made it in under 2 minuets, this was now a very tricky and treacherous hill to drive. Before our next run we had lunch laid on, cold meats, bread & cheese and strangely cidre & vin rouge, shame we had to drive later! With lunch done time to return to the serious part driving the hill, unfortunately the weather had got a little worse over lunch and any chance of having a dry run looked off. Somehow we all improved for T2 ( maybe the wine at lunch ) and now Tim was leading our class, Windy second in his and Paul battling well with the other formula ford in his. We now waited in the drizzle to be called for T3, Windy, Tim & Paul were all eager for their final run but I was unsure, I had a few moments thinking I’d enjoyed my weekend, the car was still in one piece, the weather didn’t look like improving and maybe I should call it a day, thankfully I was talked out of that thought as T3 although still treacherous turned out to be all of our fastest run of the day and we all got round safely.
The final results for Team WSCC were:
Tim Nunn 1m 52.489s 1st in class & 9th overall out of 84 entries
Graham Millar 1m 55.369s 2nd in class & 13th overall
Paul Morcom 2m 01.828s 2nd in class & 24th overall
Martin Harvey 2m 08.904s 7th in class & 36th overall
Richard Kerr NTR
With the cars and kit all loaded we headed up for the presentations and made sure Tim got the reception he deserved as he received his trophy, well done Tim.
That just left the final nights meal which was a quieter affair, still loads of good food, great company with friends old & new and yep you guessed it all the vin rouge you could drink, in fact I think I had a few too many as I don't remember the journey back our gite, lol
So how would I sum up the weekend for any of you thinking of giving it a go next year, hmm, well if you put our Blyton weekend and all your other favourites together your getting close to St Goueno experience, see you there next year!!!!
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Last year after seeing a photo of a Caterham stuffed under some Armco on the internet and being horrified by just 4 x 8mm bolts through fiberglass holding my windscreen away from my face I started making some phone call about buying a cage
For one reason or another I could not buy one off the shelf, have a delivery date or I would have to trail the car halfway across the country then do the same trip a few weeks later to pick up the car again
With this in mind I started looking at retaining my RAC bar for its integrity and adding a forward loop of my own construction
Don't do this if you don't know how to weld or doubt your ability. Treat it as information I no nothing about the subject and do your own research or just buy the off the shelf item and have it fitted
So I leant a pipe bender from a mate bought some seamless pipe and made a start reading the blue book for info and ideas
I first started by bending the pipes to shape
I made saddle type claps to fit over the box section with spacers to stop the saddle hitting the bodywork or the
box section collapsing
I trimmed the end of the tubing using rolled up toilet paper centres to sit on the saddle stubs
I cut trimmed and tacked the roof bars to the rear loop, the put a bit of wood across the tub to support the side impact bars at the right height to tack them on
I tacked in a diagonal to give strength and shield the mirror mounting plate from passengers
Cleaned old powder coating off with abrasive disc
Fresh back from powder coating
Fitted to car
£160 for steel tubing
£40 for powder coating
£20 for cutting and grinding discs, mig wire and bolts
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Spent 8 months looking for a decent XTR, Anyone out there help me?
I had a 2 year association with a 2 in 2006/8 and want to reaqaint myself with this quirky mini Le Mans racer.
I would appreciate any help in finding the right car!!
Do you know anyone who is hiding one??
Well after a couple of years warming the passenger seat in Mark Redpath's SEW i started to look for one of my own. Following a car accident when i was younger (which we don't talk about. do we Mark?) its time to give up motorcycling. The pain in my wrist and hand is just to much. I needed something to replace the feeling i get from biking but without the pain. After failing to put a deal together for a mates car it was off to the interweb where i came across this.
A 1993 SeIw with 5k miles from new. As my Westi adviser told me. " find one as close as you can get to what you want and then change those things you don't like"
Good advice. This seemed to be everything i was looking for. Not too low or track based, full wet weather gear, Body without a scratch or crack anywhere. Good solid 2ltr Pinto ( EFI version. not seen that before). And came with some assorted spares plus a cover. I emailed the owner pete and went to see it the next day. Off to Stoke saw it and bought it on the spot.
Picked it up on sunday and drove it over to my mums in north wales ( empty double garage ) and it didn't skip a beat. Its going to be good enough to just drive as is until winter then theres a job list thats starting to take shape already.
It would seem i have been a little remiss in keeping this blog up to date - but all things come to an end. So ends this blog
Long story short I passed IVA on Friday 20th June
Admittedly it was 2nd attempt, but not dissapointed - I trailered the car for the first appointment on Tuesday and as it passed all the safety bits i.e brakes, steering, build quality etc the opportunity to drive it up on Friday was too good to miss.
Took the car up to Carlisle VOSA and was met by a very friendly team - would recommend if you are remotely close. Andrew was happy to answer any questions and demonstrate and explain the measurements, tests as he undertook his task.
Minor fails on unidentified horn, padding in upper seatbelt harness covers too thin, front steering arm covers (although I did use those supplied from westfield it was considered inadequate), RAC rollbar upper mounts ( I had covered the bolt heads, but the 100mm hemisphere touched the bracket. Note - if the RAC bar is used and there is no evidence of a hood it is considered as exterior. A couple of press studs on the back of the car would have placed the bar as interior and therefore exempt....)
Hand brake travel was excessive - as the brakes had not been bedded in this adjustment went off as the brake test continued.
But the killer was a small fuel leak from the fuel return union that had returned to haunt me - just wet to the touch, but no point pleading for time at this point to remedy the minor faults as this was going to get messy, so took my fail sheet and went home.
All the minors were simple fixes and hand brake adjusted up nicely to 3 clicks.
Fuel leak required draining a full tank of fuel (topped tank needed for IVA) remaking the seal and refilling.
Got some insurance on Chassis number via Adrian Flux, re booked test and drove her back up on Friday.
Passed cleanly - Result.
And the 200 mile round trip? Wow - fully justified the long hours, bad back, scuffed knuckles, and drained bank account.
Weather perfect, all vital signs good, and with a soudtrack to die for.
Can't wait to get her registered - forms in the post.
Next trip to Blink for suspension setup and some headwork.
Need a new project.
Apologies for the delay in preparing this blog but I have been on a Site Supervisors Health and Safety Course all week.... enough to drive any one insane!
Prescott Hill is owned by the Bugatti Owners Club and as such is one of the old classics in the Hillclimb world. Situated in gorgeous woodland on the edge of the Winchcombe hills it really is typically Cotswold's (£4.50 a pint and £12 quid for a burger but more of that later). The weather was set fair for the weekend and the entries for this 2 day event were pretty good with the slick organisation of the Longton and District Motor Club there were over 15 for class 2B and over 9 for class 2A. Paul Morcom was there in his magnificent Merlyn historic Formula Ford with a mighty cross flow in the back end.
David Birch (XTR2 turbo) was on a maiden run in his new Busa which was finished with great attention to detail at the 11th hour. Indeed, David had a 14 hour day running in the engine and setting it up on the dyno just a few hours before the start of practice on Saturday.
"Rain God" Martin Harvey (Marto) arrived in his sliver bullet SEiw with well sorted Zetec towed behind the lovely VW camper (Silver again) and parked in the shadow of Phil Nichol's magnificently original chip fat burning Landrover LWB. The camp site was filling up quick with Stu Hill joining the parking zone next to me.
Dinner was a few ciders and a chat round the barbeque on Friday night before I called it a day to sleep on my "air free" air bed.
Conditions were near perfect on Saturday for racing and practice saw some early runs with slow times as we all had a look at the hill. For many of us it was our first time at Prescott and I can only say it is a technical hill that really requires some good car control. Bacon sandwiches were consumed
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So, I've not had a great deal of time to work on the car, but some stuff has happened.
I finally found an exhaust manifold that will do what I want.
It's a universal type thing but it's pretty much designed for a Duratec, once I have my flange for it I'll get it modified to fit. For anyone that might be thinking of doing this type of conversion it's this one: http://www.kitspares.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=43_24&product_id=736&car=43
Engine mounts are also nearly done, the driver side mount is fitted and passenger side one just needs a plate welding on to the frame:
Next up is the fuel system. I was going to just run an external pump to keep things simple, but when I came to fit it and measure up a swirl pot I realised there was no space for it all. I was going to put it behind the diff, but the pipes would encroach into the suspension area.
So I've decided to run an in-tank pump, so I started modifying the tank for one:
I'll be running a Walbro 255, which is total overkill, but, I have one lying around so why not. I'll need to sort fuel pressure once it's setup but it will future proof things.
The last notable thing is I decided to spruce up the dash, so I ditched the stock one for this:
It's from Aerodynamix and looks awesome! It needs final trimming and holes cutting for dials. I still need to deiced what I'm doing with dials though...
I'm still hoping to have it done this year, but work is sapping a lot of my time just now so we'll see.
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