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TEL's TALES 06/17 3 Sisters 21st May 2017
As most of you know the future management/liquidity of the Three Sisters venue (or parts of it) are under review and it is to the credit of Longton DMC that they managed to keep this event on. The entry was not massive so everyone was looking forward to good weather and lots of runs in the normal LDMC tradition. The weather did stay dry all day which was a bonus as some weather forecasts had predicted a bit of the wet stuff which we would not have been amused about particularly those of us on slicks. There were 11 Westfield club members, many of who are also LDMC members, so some good completion was on the cards. P1 was completed in about 40 mins without any problems at all and Dave Cleaver’s pace showed he was out for maximum points as was John Hoyle. Del and Gary had managed to put their spare 2litre honda engine in the car whist the bigger engine is repaired and with the supercharger they were going to be fast. With motorsport you always get an unforeseen problem and this time it started in P2 and continued into T1 with major anomalies in the recorded times and delays due to reruns. The LDMC officials were on the case and did their best to sort the problems out for the afternoon runs which , in general, went well and meant we had 6 timed runs which is good value for money. During the day John Hoyle was suffering from an electrical fault on his gearchange system and his rival Dave Cleaver got stuck in with the laptop and his IT knowledge to help sort it out. The efforts even included calls to Kevin Jones at home in Harrogate to see if he could come up with any ideas. In the end John just ran with all the high tech disconnected so he could get a decent time. Mick Dent was enjoying his first visit to the track but was a little off the pace in his slick shod Busa so myself and Adam read came to his assistance to adjust the suspension and also get the wishbone bolts loosened as they were stopping movement of the shocks.He also had a sticking throttle which caused a nice spin but no damage. Matt Turner and I were ready for the battle in class G and it was Matt’s first time out this year to defend his track record. I had an interesting day softening off my suspension to suit the radial slicks I am using this year which is work in progress as I still do not have as much rear end grip as I would like. Steve was alone in class D and posted some consistent times throughout the day. Adam Read was in class A2 and had his personal ding dong with Maurici Revilla in class B2 who managed to keep it on the black stuff this year and avoid the tyre wall. It was good to see Steve Wilson out in his black Lotus Elise and he won his class to score well in class J3. The highlights of the day were Matt Turner beating me by 0.05secs on the last run (I am usually the master of this technique) which made his day, Del just pipped Gary in class H whilst Dave Cleaver took a well deserved FTD and only bothered with 2 timed runs as he had maxed out on his score. Five Westfield took the top five spots with very close times and they were Dave Cleaver, Derek Hodder, Matt Turner, Terry Everall and Gary Bunn so it was a Notts and Derby plus Yorhshire clean sweep. Mick Dent and John Hoyle were also in the top 10 so a great Westfield performance particularly as there were a few Cateringvans competing.
A great day for all and no serious damage to a car with the promise of a return visit in July (which I can’t do as my family have booked me on a holiday!). I may see some of you at Pembrey in two weeks time.
Best Times were
Class A2 Adam Reid 48.12sec
Class B2 Maurici Revilla 49.64secs
Class D Steve Everall 49.23secs
Class F John Hoyle 46.35secs
Class G Matt Turner 44.91secs
Terry Everall 44.96secs !!!!!!!!!!
Class H Dave Cleaver 43.73secs FTD
Derek Hodder 44.82secs
Gary Bunn 45.11secs
Mick Dent 47.49secs
Class J2 Steve Wilson 54.20secs
Class G competitor
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April 1st, 2017
Paul (@black st) offered to come round to see if the car was running on all cylinders and if it did, use his synchrometer to balance the throttle bodies. After unplugging lead no 2, it was quite clear that the problem lied there. A quick trip to Halfords to pick up a set of spark plugs was made, but they made no difference. New coil pack ordered, but it may well be the leads. Also had a listen at a rattle when the engine was running and this was attributed to the starter pinion gear not disengaging.
April 2nd, 2017
Coil pack arrived from Amazon, so quickly swapped the old one out, but it made no difference. New (old stock) Motorcraft leads ordered. Tidied up the electrics and cleaned the cabin so I can put the seats back in.
April 5th, 2017
Had a spare few minutes before dinner and installed the shift lights into a permanent position
April 6th, 2017
Seats back into the car and torqued up the rear wheels. Just need to fit the rear tonneau cover again and then the rear is completed. If only I could say the same of the front
April 8th, 2017
A beautiful sunny day and here I am again, on the drive, dismantling the car
The HT leads arrived last night, but the seller had send the wrong type. No point in post-poning the inevitable so drained the car of coolant (and managed to catch most of it as well!) and petrol and got the engine out in a fairly straightforward matter. Getting the old flywheel off was a different kettle of fish. What a pain. But eventually managed it and installed the new Retro-Ford flywheel.
Now just waiting for the clutch to arrive and then we can put it all back together again!
April 14th, 2017
The new leads and clutch arrived earlier this week, and with it being Good Friday, Paul and I picked today to get cracking and get that darn engine back in. And back in we got it. It is so much easier having someone around who's a crack at mechanics. After everything was connected back up, we refilled it with coolant and switched the ignition on. Pressed the starter and ...
After lunch spend the afternoon getting scuttle and nose cone on. Need to cut filter hole in the bonnet and then get it a MOT!
April 15th, 2017
Tightened up the headlights, fitted the tonneau and did a quick run down the road. Oh boy, does she fly! Googled for a local MOT place open today and ended up at Nene Auto Repairs who was able to fit me in on such short notice. After a nerve wrecking 40 minutes the tester handed me the piece of paper signing it off for another year...
April 17th, 2017
Dash off again to rotate the shift light as it was showing from right to left, instead of the more natural left to right. Also programmed it to the new max revs (7500). Then had a look at the speedometer and added a bridge between terminal 8 and 6. A test drive later shows it is still not working. Will need more tinkering.
Finally I made a template for cutting a hole in the bonnet where the filter can protrude. Lots of yellow dust later I got it nice enough for now. Need new edging as the one I have is for thinner panels.
April 19th, 2017
More fettling to the speed sensor and all of a sudden it works! Finally able to see what speed it's going at. Now just left with the fuel sender not doing much and the "misfire/hesitation when lifting off" issue. The latter may not be so easily resolved
April 22nd, 2017
New edges arrived and I widened up the hole a little more so the filter fits better through it
Spend the afternoon at @black st who was fitting his new diffuser. Pwooah, nice!
April 23rd, 2017
Butchered my old fuel level sender and put it in the place of the (incorrect) level sender on my new pump. Now I can at least see when the tank is empty!
April 29th, 2017
The day before the big day! Cleaned the car (first time since it was parked up last year) and tidied up the interior by re-fitting the tunnel top and carpet. Also tested a little bit more with the idle screw using @Trevturtle's magic box plugged into the MBE 956E ECU. Seems to be mainly to hesitate around the 2800-2900 RPM range, but not if you sort of accelerate past that. But cruise into that range and you will suffer. Fingers crossed we can get rid of this at Stoneleigh tomorrow...
April 30th, 2017
Sun, lobster, knackered. Just some of the words I would associate with this years Stoneleigh. Not seen it so busy as this year. Bring on the next!
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So this was the first outing of the year for me in the Westie. It had been a long wait as I didn’t do too much to do to the car over the winter (or have the budget) and so it just sat in the garage gathering dust. What little work that was done to the car was a tad stressful. I dropped the car at my local motorsport garage a few weeks back, but only got it back on the Thursday night. The mechanic had a two-day race meeting over the intervening weekend and his wallet, cash and some tools were robbed from the cab of the lorry (which was parked in the paddock at Snett). This meant he was understandably delayed in finishing the works on the car as he had to cancel his cards etc. When I got it back, I worked on the car until 10pm on the Thursday, again on the Friday night and on the Saturday morning. Tiring, but finally I was ready to go.
The journey to West Wales to race with the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship was broken up with lunch in the sun. My wife and I, along with 4 other friends stayed at a hotel near to the circuit. The place was a little tired to say the least with some quite frankly, hilariously Trip Advisor reviews. Maybe I should have read the reviews before checking-in….. Nonetheless, I got a reasonable night’s sleep. A rarity for me before a race (see my previous Blogs). I got up at 5.50am, had a quick breakfast and my mate and I set off to the circuit, arriving at 6.50am. It was a bright morning and I was looking forward to racing at Pembrey in the dry for the first time.
After sign-on and an uneventful scrutineering, I set up camp in Pembrey’s inner paddock. Qualifying was at 9.00am and I had to be in the assembly area 20-minutes before. Not a huge amount of time to get ready so it was all go.
Sitting in the assembly area I was a little apprehensive as I have not driven the car at all since the previous September, except only for giving it a run down the road to bed in the new rear pads. As expected, I was properly rusty. Qualifying was over in a blur and my driving was annoyingly inconsistent. Still, that was to be expected without testing/practice so I dwelled on the positives (what few there were!). I posted a 1.08, which was a second quicker than my dry qualifying time of the previous August. I was happy with that, 11th out of 20.
The first race was after lunch so it was a bit of a wait. We had to wait longer than expected as the trucks were racing and doing a great job of smashing each other to bits and generally making a lot of noise / vibrating the ground under your feet. I was on the inside line for the first hairpin and I intended to stay there. Indeed I did and I managed to get an ok start, hampered by the car in front obscuring the lights at the precise moment they went out. Lesson learnt. Despite this, I managed to get the jump on one car, although I was a little worried at one point as I momentarily had two wheels on the grass. Still, plenty of grip!
I followed the pack round the hairpin and then lined a car up a car for a pass on the rear straight. I was drafting him as we went through the fast kink, mid-‘straight’, only for him to get a massive tank slapper, presumably on cold rears. He span in front of me and by backing out of the throttle a little – I didn’t know which way he was going to go I managed to avoid him, much to the relief of my Wife who was watching. Thankfully he also missed the tyre wall/bank and was able to carry on. Just as I was getting the bit between my teeth, the race was red flagged as a car had broken a wishbone at the hairpin and had to be recovered. Damn. I now had to do it all again. The restart meant a 10 minute race +1 lap, instead of the usual 15 +1 lap. I had a good re-start and managed to gain a place, only to be out-braked coming in to the hairpin, spending the rest of the race on my own from thereafter. I used the time to perfect (well I tried anyway) my lap and posted a 1.07.6, finishing in 9th.
The second race was over in such a blur I can only remember overtaking two cars, both by out-breaking them into Honda. I bettered my lap time with a 1.07.3 and finished 7th overall. I was pleased with that and more importantly I was now lapping much more consistently. Cobweb’s well and truly blown away!
A good time was had by all and most importantly the car and I were in one piece. Next I’m off to Silverstone with the CSCC on the 28th of May. I can’t wait to get out there again.
Race 1 Re-start:
On the grass:
Insurance sorted, car paid for, train tickets bought, helmet bought, waterproofs bought - collection day was set as Saturday 25th Feb.
I spend most of the week in Germany but all week long my weather forecast was prominent on my desktop in Russelsheim, not showing local German weather but the forecast for the big day in Shropshire and Leicestershire - it started off not looking good and as the week progressed the outlook became bleaker.
I had promised my petrolhead 9 year old that if it looked as if it was going to be dry then he could come with me - needless to say that did not register, all he heard was "you can come with me" - he was not happy to be left at home and his mum had a slightly difficult morning to deal with :-)
Morning of the 25th dawned and it was very grey and it was obvious the rain was not far away. Leaving Telford at 9am I got the train to Birmingham - no rain, got the train to Melton Mowbray - still no rain, got the taxi to Ians home and literally as we pulled up to the end of his drive it started to rain.
Paperwork down, spares already pre-installed in the passenger it was time for the off. Only 9 litres showed in the fuel tank, about 30 miles in an SEiGHT, totally unfamiliar with the area I decided to go back to Melton where the taxi had passed a fuel station, even if it was out of my way I felt it was the sensible thing to do.
All fuelled up and now I had no idea how to get back to Loughborough from where I knew my way home) - no problem, simply call up Google maps on my phone - rural Leicestershire clearly has not reached this century as mobile reception was non-existent. After driving about 25 miles through identikit villages with signs pointing to only other tiny villages I stumbled across a road with a sign to Loughborough, now I could make my way home as opposed to driving round in circles.
Rain, aeroscreens, 205 section tyres, 5.1 litre V8. mud on the roads does not make for a relaxing drive but I got home in 1 piece, Ian was certainly right, 1st gear simply provides wheelspin and no forward motion, he forgot to mention that 2nd, 3rd and 4th also provide wheelspin.
Having to park the car up under its cover without washing it first was an alien concept to me - anyone who knows me would say I'm slightly OCD about the cleanliness of my cars but sometimes there is no choice.
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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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The last even at North Weald I left feeling a bit frustrated by the huge margin by which the others had beaten my by plus my struggle to actually put a clean lap in!
I was hoping for more sun shine but the weather forecast was for rain all day, never having driven the Busa in the wet i knew this would be an interesting day should it rain. The morning was actually nice and dry for the cruise over to the event how ever as is typical 2mins before the 1st practice run the rain started... for some reason the marshals wouldn't let me drive round holding the brolly!
Watching the other competitors slip and slide round the airfield it was with some trepidation that I lined up to the start line, especially with my braking troubles in the dry at the previous events. The track was incredibly slippery even in 5th gear i was unable to use full throttle as the rears would just spin up, but I made it round both practice laps without incident and only 1 second off the other guys in my class so was quite happy with that.
Green Belt managed to fit in 1 timed run before lunch in order to try and get a lap in before the weather worsened, i took this as an opportunity to bank a clean lap in knocking 5 seconds off my best practice run however so did the other guys leaving me trailing by 1.2 seconds.Still I was happy with that performance in the challenging conditions so treated my self to a Greasy Cheese Burger from the catering van :-)
After lunch the conditions hadn't really changed so some more slippery fun was in order, putting in my best lap of the day giving my 2nd in class 0.9 seconds ahead of 3rd place and 9th overall. The class winner was another westfield who was a whole 4 seconds faster... though my racing driver excuse is that he did have traction control which would have been handy in those conditions!!!
Looking forwards to the next event Hethel 4th May