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Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary

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Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary last won the day on March 12

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4,913 Kneel before Zod!


About Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary

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    AO - Cheshire / N. Staffs, Club Secretary
  • Birthday 25/09/1968

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    Mega S2000
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  1. Before I cut a factory style opening in the top of my nose cone, for the intercooler intake, I want to try doing it differently, as an experiment. I need a cheap, virtually scrap nose cone to try it on, one that I can safely cut holes in with out worrying! Colour is irrelevant, if it ever does go on the car, it would only be to check alignment and air flow. Condition wise, Ideally, the whole thing would be essentially structurally intact, chips, scratches, even cracks don’t matter, as long as the upper surface isn’t too bad, and is still the right shape! What have you got?
  2. To be honest, an FW400 would be there for its collectability, an ornament that saw an occasional run out. A testament to what small British companies are capable of when they have their own “Kennedy; we will reach for the moon” moment!
  3. Sat having a quick lunch break and a tea, pondering stuff on the Westfield, and I remembered I’ve still got a Hi Spec rear calliper that needs its hand brake adjuster screw drilling out and perhaps re-helicoiling. They are actually quite reasonable, hand brake grip wise, when all properly adjusted. But I am finding the adjustment has a habit of drifting. It’s made worse by the reduced leverage of the S2000 hand brake lever, compared to the Ford Ka. Starting to seriously wonder about changing the rear callipers; I keep eyeing up the Willwoods, but wonder if I could end up with more of the same sort of issues. Or do I just give up on the nice small, lightweight alloy callipers and get a set of Golf callipers on there, then I know I’ve got a good handbrake, and who knows, maybe better braking? Has anyone swapped back to Golf from Hi Spec? If so, was it worth it, what differences did you find? Also, not wanting to rule out wheel options in the future, are the Golf callipers OK with 13” wheels? I know I’d need to get new handbrake cables made up, any other “gotchas”? Front callipers are AP Racing, with the AP Racing master cylinder.
  4. Mind you, if I had £75k to spend on a Caterham, (which assumes I'd already got or satisfied other car owning urges), I'd be beating a path to the door of all FW400 owners I could find and be trying to get them to sell!!
  5. Exactly! You could do a fair bit of customisation to a 620R if you really wanted and still have cash in the bank. Plus when you came to sell, if you removed the custom bits, it would still be a 620R, with appropriate value.
  6. Tricky one. First off, it does have lots of expensive, well let’s be honest, eye wateringly expensive, parts on it; the engine and gearbox would have been decent five figure sums, individually. Then it’s been professionally built over the course of a year by, presumably, some specialist. So there will probably be a huge sum of labour in there, too. However, it will only be the “perfect car” to the guy that commissioned it and a very tiny number of others. Yet it’s at a “perfect car” premium. I suspect the Venn diagram of who it’s the ideal spec for and who has the spare cash lying around, is an even tinier cross-over! However, my biggest issues with it are twofold. First and perhaps most importantly, it breaks what seems to be the golden rule of good Caterham residuals, it’s heavily, heavily modified, with a very non-factory spec. That means it’s no longer a “known model” within the range. It’s become a bitsa kit car, and that generally hurts the values badly with Caterham. The second issue, is that while the bits on there that I can see, are generally the best, and regarded in Caterham circles as amongst the best of the best, it also doesn’t appear to be pushing the development of the car, either. Where is the special ness, the one off engineering solutions, the re-development that stands it apart from cars a third of the price, that could have the same bits chucked at them over time, if the owner wished. Then of course it’s dangerously floating in, (when they occasionally come up for sale) Levante territory! Which does push the boat out with unique development work and special gear, unique to the Levantes. (Although, they’re probably even uglier in most people’s eyes!)
  7. You’d be surprised at the original Lucas units, they’re only something like 1 to 1.5 Amps across the different models! Indeed, the one used in the original Mini was the 14 W model, I believe. The thing is, the power made was all in the gearing so to speak, but that does also mean that when the hearing is new and tight, (don’t forget we’re talking about Far Eastern reproductions here), the current draw may well spike considerably. Im not sure what Wattage the current repro’ wiper motors are. They may well be greater than the old originals.
  8. And so you can see it in use! Folded up, when not needed, it can stay on the car! The shelf then just flips down when you need the storage.., Allowing you to load up with vital essentials, the trusty beer fridge! (And Yes, I did run an electrical connection to the back of the car so I could plug it in! )
  9. Mines going behind a contoured dashboard, but until I receive the replacement - I've changed to the MXP version, unfortunately I can't even start mocking it up, and cutting out etc. Its the reason I also went for the remote buttons interface from the start; so I have no need to access the sides. I have a plan in my head how I want to do it, but in truth, until I start laying things out, I won't know for sure, whether it will work, how I want to do it.
  10. Incidentally, though I made a start today, that had to be abandoned, due to the weather, I’ve decided to cut the tub off; there’s enough wear and tear on it that it’s not really worth much in one piece, whereas if I cut the rear off, Speed Series style, at the top of the rear arches, at least I can gain access to work on the rear chassis clean up and rust proofing between rain storms!! So, it will be available soon, to anyone that makes a reasonable offer*, and more to the point, takes it away! *i don’t expect as much as a three figure sum, LOL, but would be nice to see more than a tenner for it,
  11. They go by various names, there are also specialised versions for joining two wires to one, and even fro joining a coax with stripped back braided end to a signal plus drain wire combination, (IYSWIM). These are the ones used for the smaller gauge wires to the side lights etc. https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/solder-sleeves/7812699/ I was introduced to them at work, by the old Northern sales director of one of our suppliers; he was an ex senior avionics engineeer in the RAF, they used to use a variety of them, especially the weird ones for finishing off and attaching drain wires to coax braid on sensor wires.
  12. While it was raining to much last weekend and bits of this one, to work outside, I made up the sun looms for the rear lights, and terminated the fittings themselves. I’ve stuck with SureSeals for compatibility with the cars main loom, ease of availability of spares, and because proper spares for them are readily available - including blanking grommets, which are critically important, where you have unused ways in a connector, yet not always easily obtainable, if at all. (You have to be careful sometimes, when substituting motorsport spec components in areas like this, as in a full spec motorsport loom, a properly potted and heat shrunk boot would be used to seal the back shell of the connector instead, so the lack of blanking grommets to seal openings doesn’t matter.) As these connectors are in a particularly harsh operating environment at the back of the car, apart from the sealed connectors themselves, I’ve also gone for a sealed heat shrink loom covering. The chassis loom has a six way Sure Seal N/S and another for O/S main connections, each containing a ground, side light, indicator and brake light connection, (Plus an unused ignition live, still never found out what those were for...) Unlike the old trailer light blocks on the ZK bodywork, the FW lights need wiring to a sepperate connector for each lamp, a two way for the indicator, with ground and live and, I’ve chosen to use a three way connector for the combined tail lamp/stop lamps. (They have a common ground.) So, I kicked off with the indicators. Fitting a length of plain heat shrink over the wires, before terminating them with a couple of male terminals. (For safety the side nearest the battery, when the connectors are disconnected should always be female, to reduce the risk of shorts when the plugs are separated, should one become live.) to provide some weather sealing to the cable run, the ends of the heat shrink have short pieces of adhesive lined heat shrink fitted - this gives a good seal when heated up, and stops moisture and grit getting back down inside the rest of the heat shrink. It’s stiffer than regular heat shrink too, so adds a bit of strain relief. (Doing the whole runs in the adhesive lined version would both make it too stiff and inflexible, - gluing the wires together like this also reduces flexibility, and be a nightmare should the cable ever need service in future). To get a good bond on the end of the plain heat shrink, it’s best to just sand it with a bit of 100 grit or there abouts abrasive paper. As shown above. And terminated. Note the adhesive lined H/S pinched together around the wire cores, just to improve the seal. Once the indicators were done, the stop/tail lamps were all done in the same way, but to three way Sure Seals. The sub-looms came next, these allow all the individual lamps to plug into the six way chassis connectors. To simplifynwiring, all the grounds from the individual lights are combined up to one ground at the chassis end. The lamp ends are wired straight to the two plugs, and then the cable bundled together, for neatness. (It’s secured here, with heat proof Kapton tape), the two black grounds from each individual plug are combined up mid run, with the aid of an adhesive lined self-tinning splice. (You basically assemble the wires, dry, into the heat shrink splice, apply heat and it melts the solder, jointing the wires at the same time as shrinking and bonding the outer jacket on.) Once this is done, the heat shrink can be applied over the whole cable bundle. And at the chassis connection end, the four wires are prepared, with a sealing grommet for the back of the connector threaded on to each one. (Because the ground is common, I’ve used a heavier gauge wire, hence the brown heavier gauge grommet.) you can see the unlined and adhesive lined heat shrink in place ready to go. The wires now just need stripping, and the terminals crimping on. As you can see, the terminals have two parts to the crimp; one, that acts as strain relief, which must also be crimped onto the sealing grommet, gripping both and sealing one to the other. The other part of the crimp, should fold tightly in on the copper wire, gripping tightly and making good electrical contact. You can see this better, below. Also note, here, these connectors use that void just in front of the copper wire, to help lock the terminal pin into the plastic shell, so it needs to be kept reasonably clear. The next step is to insert the terminals, as before, into the connector, making sure each one latches home, with a positive click. Note the two blanking grommets fitted in the two unused openings. These are really important. Only recently, I’ve seen on a friends car, the damag cause when one of these was left out and water made its way inside the connector, leading to corroded terminals and charring on the plastic insulators from overheating. Fortunately in that case, it was an engine connector, so it simply stopped starting when it got bad enough, rather than overheating, melting and potentially catching fire! And that’s it, one sub-loom done... Except that it wasn’t. As I sat back, testing it with a multi meter, it hit me that what I’d just made was the standard connection for standard FW rear lights, but that’s not how I have mine arranged!! Doh! So I set that one aside, and made the other one up... I’ve already stripped the heatshrink off the first loom here, but otherwise, spot the difference! Yes, I’d completely overlooked that I have two sets of stop/tail lights either side of the car! (The factory only has one either side, the inner pair are actually both reflectors.) So out came the de-pinning set I picked up at Autosport this year, It wasn’t particularly dear, but at times like this, worth it’s weight in gold. Being able to easily de-pin terminals makes ice so much easier, and is so much less wasteful than having to chop them off and throw them away. I soon had it sepperated, and could splice in, using the self tinned splices again, the feed for the second stop/tail lamp. Then, it just needed heat shrinking up again! Finally, one set of main rear lamps, terminated and connected in to their sub-looms. After that, wiring up the fog and reverse lamps was fairly quick and uneventful!
  13. It’s because DRL’s at full brightness can be intensely dazzling to on-coming motorists; they can have a very bright yet scattered illumination for maximum attention grabbing during the day, trouble is at night, this is exactly what causes issues for everyone else!
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