After the fairly major issues of getting all the front end of the car back together and the bonnet reconstruction it was really disappointing to end the weekend with a couple of problems, one of which makes the car undrivable! I ended up with quite a few car related errands to try to get done on Monday amidst the hurly burly of a normal Monday in a busy general practice.
I called in to Swansea Fasteners and had mixed success. They had some nice long 6mm bolts that would be fine for the clutch slave cylinder but no joy on the diff bolts, they only keep standard metric thread bolts and I need M12 x 1.5 pitch. After some web searching I discovered that size is standard wheel bolt for Mark 2 Escort which probably explained why Dillwyn used it in the first place. I eventually found a place that sold them online and ordered 4 so I have spares.
I rang Andy Bates about my replacement wheel to find that it isn’t actually imminent and that it won’t be made until at least the beginning of May. So I need to decide what to do about wheels/tyres for the weekend. What I might do is test on the spare set with the ‘wets’ fitted (it seems they’re no better than the normal ones really and no slower in the dry either) and get the front tyres swapped over onto the good wheels for the qualy and race sessions. The other option is to just get the tyre swapped onto a good wheel and use my new set of tyres for the weekend – the forecast’s looking OK.
In the evening I wanted to get the clutch functioning. I cut the bolt down to length trying to make sure I had the maximum amount of thread engaged. I then hit another snag – the spacer I have is too short. I have no suitable aluminium tube to make another so I drilled a 6mm hole in a block of aluminium and cut it to rough shape then filed it roughly round so it’ll fit in OK. I then kept shortening it till it snugly filled the gap. This actually worked nicely and I got the bolt in with loads of studlock on it. Hopped into the car for the moment of truth – fired her up, clutch in, pull on gear shift paddle and … bingo, nicely functioning clutch
Tuesday evening I made a new aluminium clamp for the ARB – the original had split in 2 when I tightened it at the weekend – it must have been stressed quite heavily in the impact so I wasn’t exactly shocked. I had a good poke around the clutch pedal and slave cylinder making sure it was releasing properly – although I came to the conclusion the clutch almost certainly hadn’t really been slipping at Snetterton I thought it was worth reassuring myself. It was of course fine.
I checked out my video kit – although I’d retained the presence of mind to switch it off at Snett (rather than just allow the master switch to cut it off) it had still somehow only created a zero byte file. Presumably the impact had upset it in some way. I couldn’t get it to come on and it turned out to be because the remote wasn’t working properly. After a bit of fiddling with the battery it worked fine but I’ll get a new remote battery tomorrow.
Last job of the day was to connect the fly leads for my battery charger/conditioner to the battery terminals. I don’t have a bike to keep plugged in now so I thought I may as well use it on the Fury. The battery’s never terribly happy, the alternator’s working pretty hard to keep up with the water pump, especially if it’s kept sitting round for a while resulting in the rad fan also running, so in the garage I tend to leave it hooked up to the conditioner.
On Wednesday the bolts for the diff didn’t materialise so I rang the company I’d ordered from to be told they were on back order. Not amused that they hadn’t contacted me especially since they’re charging me more for delivery than the bolts cost! My next cunning plan was a visit to our local garage. I know the owner and his mechanic pretty well and as soon as I said I was looking for an M12 bolt the mechanic turned round and picked one up that he’d clearly put down recently! Sadly it was standard pitch thread so no use, but he pointed at a 25 gallon container full of bolts, nuts etc. After a short rummage round he turned it upside down and tipped them all on the floor! Within 2 minutes I had a pair of dirty, oily M12 x 1.5 pitch bolts
So, in the evening I slapped the bolts in with plenty of stud lock, swung on them as hard as I could then stuck paint marks on them. I swapped my wheels over to stick the ‘wets’ on. The only other job to do on the car was take the laptop out to clear the log files off the DigiDash and set it up for Brands by telling it how long a lap is and what minimum time to use as a lap blank (that’s in case there are more than one infra-red beacons out there to give it a fighting chance of getting sensible lap times). After that I got on with packing my tools, loading up the motorhome etc. I think I’m ready