After a few days away in London it was nice to be back in my garage! Brian had sent me some photos of how he’s bracketed the end of the flexible hoses on their car so I set about getting the brake lines done. First of all I needed to make a little stand-off bush to mount the front 4-way adapter as it needs to clear the pedal box bolts. This allowed me to make some more practical use of the lathe and once that was on I made the pipe to connect the front brake master cylinder to it.
The next pipe was the one across to the left front brake but I had to make a bracket to mount the flexible hose first. With that done I could set about bending the rigid pipe to fit then flaring the ends. I’m not sure if Brian has clipped theirs, probably not from what I can see in the photos I’ve got but then he doesn’t have IVA to contend with. So I turned and tapped another couple of bushes to fit p-clips to. Here’s the finished result, nice and neat and well secured.
On to the trickier bit next with the rear brake line. As with the front bulkhead the rear has a tapped M5 hole to fix the T piece to but at the rear it’s very close to the undertray requiring a much tighter bend than can be achieved with the pipe bending tool. I ended up scrapping my first attempt having started at the back and worked forwards as I was unhappy with the bends around the master cylinders, it’s a busy area and I decided to tackle that end first with my next attempt. At the back I also realised I wasn’t being helped by using quite a long brass nut into the 3 way T so I stuck it in the lathe and turned it down. This then all worked much better. When I got to the rear end I needed to make sure I got the length absolutely correct so I made a sort of template using a pipe of known length so I’d know exactly where to cut and flare the pipe. I now needed to try to find a length of cunifer pipe locally for the clutch pipe. I’d been hoping to manage all the pipes with one 25 foot length but even without the waste I wouldn’t have had enough for the length across the chassis at the back anyway, so nothing really lost.
I called in to the local Unipart branch on Monday and they gave me a roll of pipe in exchange for £10.59 + VAT which putting the cost of delivery aside is cheaper than the mail order companies. I also did a bit of ringing around chasing up parts – Quaife have now got the parts for the diff and hope to get that out this week, the chap at Quantum reckoned he’d get my dampers out to me next Tuesday.
Monday evening I managed to get the clutch line made up and fitted and another bracket made, this time for the bulkhead fitting on the flexible hose to the left rear wheel, again there’s a tapped M6 hole in the bulkhead to bolt it to. Here’s a pic of the paired brake and clutch pipes running along the chassis.
And here’s a shot of the pipes leaving the master cylinders.
On Tuesday I popped to M&P – they’re one of the fairly big national mail order companies supplying motorcycling bits but happen to be less than 2 miles from my house. They also happen to be Kawasaki dealers, so I got myself a set of plugs and a new oil filter for the ZX10 motor. I also got some of the Silkolene Pro4 15/50 I use, 12 litres of it so I’ve got enough for an oil change in the Fury as well as enough for the ZX10. I know one guy there quite well and today’s assistant (who used to be the ARDS instructor at Pembrey) was also helpful giving me a bit of discount given all the dosh I was spending. While I was there got myself a chain rivet tool, Brian recommended a DID one but at £150 a go I decided against and got M&P’s £50 one which is rated for up to 630 chains so should be OK.
Tuesday evening I got the final rigid pipe made up across from the T piece to the left rear brake. Again getting the lengths absolutely spot on is difficult. I scrapped the first one as it was about 3mm too long and wouldn’t fit without distorting a bit. I then made another up which was a superb fit. Then I realised I’d left the nut off. Doh! Number 3 was great though A couple of P clips and pop rivets later and it was fitted. I could then fit the rear flexible pipes and the brake system was pretty much complete apart from the reservoir.
The next stage will be making a start on the engine. Andy Bates is hoping to bring the sump up to Oulton Park at the weekend so I can then get the engine prepped. I really would like to get the car down onto its wheels before fitting the engine but I can’t do that until I have the dampers, unless I make up some temporary struts. I also need some bolts to fit through the hubs until I’ve got the drive shafts in. Anyway, with Oulton approaching this weekend I need to get the Fury sorted – it needs a new exhaust hangar bracket, an oil change and a look at the reverse.
It feels like ages since I last race and in fact it is 6 weeks since Pembrey. Snett’s 290 miles away which seems an awful long way to go for a single 20 minute race. We got offered a bargain deal on entering the Bikesports race as well so 2 qualy sessions on Sunday morning and 2 races Sunday afternoon.
I had a fairly leisurely Saturday morning getting the motorhome ready, packing the tools etc. I decided to have a look at the Fury wiring too. I’d read a post on Locostbuilders that said you shouldn’t just short the clutch wires on a Hayabusa as it results in the ECU thinking the clutch is in all the time and running the engine on a neutral map. The main stated outcome of this was a 500rpm reduction in the rev limiter. I also remember Nick at PDQ mentioning that he was vaguely aware of some issue with shorting the clutch and saying that what some people did was set up a relay connected to the starter button so it shorted the clutch wires just while the starter was active. The subject had come up because he said he was having difficulty mapping in some areas, and wondered if something wasn’t set up quite right. So after a bit of grubbing around I identified the black/yellow cable going into the ECU and cut/insulated it and taped it all up again. This meant that the wire to the starter relay was earthed but the ECU would think the clutch was out. I confirmed that the engine was happy to start which it was.
Apart from being parked up on the M42 for a while due to a lorry fire the journey to deepest darkest Norfolk was pretty uneventful. With the car off the trailer and under the gazebo I could catch up with all my RGB mates and had a couple of beers with Austen and his Dad. They were decked out in their new Q20 sponsors t-shirts and Austen’s main goal for the weekend was keeping the car looking presentable as it was going on the sponsors’ stand at a show on Tuesday. My main goal was to try to go faster than last time I was here and to get myself a better view of the front rows of the grid. The weather forecast wasn’t good, rain in the morning clearing later.
Sunday morning was grey but dry. We discovered that the club had had a late surge of Bikesports entries and they could no longer race us with them. So rather than kicking us out altogether Robin had scheduled an additional non-championship RGB race with 14 of us in it. Scrutineering was early and our first qualy was at 9.20. Despite the forecast it stayed dry although it was a bit crowded with 14 RGBers and about a dozen Bikesports out there. The Baldwins’ BDN S3 was there in its Bikesports trim with monster front splitter, biplane rear wing and slicks and Tim Gray at the helm. My previous fastest lap here was 1:19.92 and although I was soon down to very short 1:20′s I kept making lots of mistakes at the Esses and was too slow round the Bomb Hole and Coram. The problem with the Esses was that I was trying to follow the late turn in deep entry line and just couldn’t make it work. In the end I went back to my usual line – trail braking in to the first apex then sorting myself out for the second. I finished the session with a 1:20.17 from the timers which was a bit disappointing although my transponder apparently wasn’t working. This put me 6th on the grid alongside James Fowley in his Busa engined Fury and ahead of Austen and James Walker.
We’ve been giving James Walker a bit of stick about his engine (following it making unpleasant noises at Pembrey Andy Bates had had a look and had declared it a decidedly non-standard engine!). Although James is sticking to his line of pleading ignorance and reckoning he can’t notice any difference with the now (allegedly) standard engine in the car I breezed straight by him down the Revett Bad news James, the stick will continue
We’d brimmed the fuel tanks as we only had 20 minutes before the main RGB qualifying, fortunately the car needed nothing doing apart from letting a bit of air out of the tyres. Still dry and I went slightly better this time getting down to 1:19.3 which I was much more pleased with. The only issue I needed to sort was the transponder. My camera also wasn’t working and the first thing I checked was the fuse which was blown. It turned out this was because the reverse mechanism was shorting so I disconnected the wire and taped it up and all was hunky dory.
We were the first race after lunch and it was still dry fortunately. My clutch first thing had been very grabby and I’d attributed it to my new more rigid bracketry for the slave although it seemed to have got a bit better. So, I wasn’t 100% confident in the clutch and as a result had a relatively poor start. Not Tim Hoverd dicing-with-the-broom-wagon-into-first-corner poor but not my best. James Fowley got a better start than me but as we hit 3rd and 4th gears I outdragged him and decided to be brave into Riches and held my line. James tucked in behind me and the first 2 corners were uneventful. I had a reasonable exit from Riches but then James just went steaming past me down the straight without even needing to slipstream me – he’s had a ‘new’ 2007 motor in since his blow up at Brands and it’s clearly working well. He was also going well in the corners and frankly I made no ground on him at all. Dan Bromilow reeled me in, he has very good straight line speed in his R1 engined Fury and was clearly going quite a bit quicker than in practice. I annoyed myself by making a few mistakes and allowing him to catch me up and then a mistake overbraking myself and going too deep into the Esses let him past into the Bomb Hole.
A couple of laps later and I got into Dan’s slipstream and pulled to his left just coming into the braking area for the Esses. While following him earlier I’d seen that his favoured line in there was to take a late turn leaving room for me on the apex. Fortunately I judged it just right and held a nice tight line and got past cleanly, indeed I think Dan had feared the worst and backed out a bit so there was quite a big gap. A couple of laps later and Dan decided to slipstream me down the Revett Straight and return the favour into the Esses. I stayed to the right making him go on the tight line to the left if he wanted to have a go. He then duly pulled alongside on the left, I wasn’t particularly perturbed and thought I’d hold my ground and see if I couldn’t get a better exit from the right handed second apex seeing as the complex was going to be compromised for him by his very tight entry line into the first apex. As it was he binned it on the apex and spun – I just caught sight of him in the corner of my eye and decided the grass looked like an excellent place to be. I cut across the corner and rejoined after the right hander without losing a place, or any bits of car fortunately. After that I was in the clear to the end of the race – James Walker was initially close behind but I got away from him. So, started 6th, finished 6th. My fastest lap though was 1:19.16 which was a distinct improvement.
Here’s the video – no idea what’s happened to the sound, it’s perfect on the one I uploaded. Seems there’s some YouTube bug, I’ll try some other way of posting it and redo later.
One slight problem was that not having raced for seven weeks my neck was like a piece of overcooked spaghetti during the race! I was really having trouble towards the end of the straights and ended up letting my head lean back against the headrest. How the hell the F1 drivers cope with 5g and races almost 2 hours long is just beyond me. Must get back into some sort of fitness regime …
The car was still behaving herself and all she really needed was more fuel for the RGB race. For this one I was 9th on the grid of 22 which is my best starting position by far, I had Gary Goodyear in the ZX12 Fulcrum ahead of me and to his left was Al Boulton who I’d had the dice with at Pembrey, alongside me to my left was Austen with Colin Chapman and Phil Alcock on the row behind. I got a much better start and made up ground on both Gary and Tony Gaunt but then had nowhere to go. As we went round Riches Al and Colin got around the outside with Austen alongside me and Phil Alcock behind. I was a bit cautious on my cold tyres and Al and Colin eked out a bit of a gap over the first lap or so. After the first race I was a bit worried that I’d end up with Dan, James Fowley, James Walker or Neil Constable-Berry hassling me from behind but it never happened.
I slowly gained on Colin and eventually got close enough to pass him down the Revett Straight and after a lap or two with him in my mirrors I gradually got away from him and started reeling in Al. Of course I have more power so I really ought to have been gaining on him down the straights (which I was) but in the last couple of races he hasn’t been very much quicker than me round the corners – it’s not that long since I was usually lapped by him and Colin. We had a great race for the last few laps, me with more power, Al with the lighter, better handling car and it has to be said significantly more skill! I initially got past down the Revett but my entry to the Esses was compromised and he got me on the exit towards the Bomb Hole. I got past him again on the Revett but then made a mistake and ran wide at the Bomb Hole and he went through again. After this I managed to stay closer and got him a bit earlier on the Revett and managed to make it stick and finished just ahead of him.
And here’s the RGB main race. Again YouTube has completely mangled the sound
My fastest lap this time was a 1:18.73 so I was well pleased. The log image below compares my fastest lap this time with my fastest last time to see where I improved. Interestingly peak speed down Revett is down, probably because the engine’s not producing quite so much power. Apex speed round Riches and Sear is pretty similar but I’m quicker round the Esses but much quicker round the Bombhole and Coram – about 6mph at the apex of the Bombhole and 9mph at the slowest point round Coram. Thinking about the lap I think the places I can make ore time re still the Bombhole and Coram!
I actually finished 7th too albeit partly because Tim Hoverd and Andy Grant didn’t finish due to mechanical gremlins. Al had clearly enjoyed our little battle too and I’m pleased that he had the confidence in me to race so close. The car was fine too – I’d been put off a bit during the race by my oil temperature alarm. It’s set for 120 and once it reaches that it just displays the alarm message instead of gear indication which is a nuisance – I think this is what put me off and led to the error at the Bombhole where I let Al get past. Speaking to Andy Bates he reckoned it’s probably because I spent quite a bit of time close behind another car reducing the air flow over the rad and oil cooler which makes sense. I think the solution is going to be to raise the alarm level on the DigiDash!
Brian and Ian Baldwin were there with their BDN S3, Tim Gray was driving it. Although it’s now in Bikesports spec with slicks, splitter, wing and 40-odd mm ride height it’s still only running a standard ZX12 engine so really shouldn’t have had much of a chance in the Bikesports race against the rather expensive Radicals etc. with their Powertec 1400cc Hayabusas etc. Brian also reckons the slicks he’s got are a bit too hard. So I was a little shocked to see Tim had put the car on pole for their second race and was starting 2nd for the first! Certainly he blew by me down Revett as if I was going backwards during the qualy session.
They were racing immediately after us in the afternoon so I watched from the little hillock overlooking the drop down from Coram into the Russell Chicane. Tim led the race until with a few laps to go he was passed by one of the Radicals and ended up second. Brian and Ian were still pretty pleased. Not quite so pleased as when I saw them as I was leaving after the second race which Tim won! Adrian Reynard was there in his new Inverter but with a fastest lap of 1:12.19 was almost 3 seconds a lap slower than the BDN’s best of 1:09.53.
Brian surprised me a bit by producing a box of bits for me from his car boot – he’d managed to get the engine mounts finished. Unlike the usual collections of welded tubes my mounts are mainly made of aluminium plate and the whole lot fits inside an alarmingly small looking box! The reverse motor’s there too so I now have all the bespoke mechanical bits for the car. I’d taken my shiny new wheels with me and brought them home with nice new tyres on them ready to fit to the car. I collected the oil take off adapter for the ZX10 along with some uprated clutch springs from Andy Bates, he reckons the sump should be ready within the next week or so. Sadly I won’t get much done on the BDN this week as I’m off to London for 3 days.
I need to make a decision about which datalogger and dash to use. I’ve been a bit frustrated with my DigiDash – it’s neat, does most things very well and is pretty user friendly but the main drawbacks are that it isn’t compatible with adding GPS and there are no spare channels for logging anything other than the main sensors etc. I’d pretty much decided to use a Race Technology DL1 with a Dash2 for the BDN on the grounds that it offers more flexibility and is more configurable. Then I was talking to Andy Bates who is much happier with DigiDash – the newer one of course is GPS enabled and can therefore offer accurate lap times and sector splits etc. and as he pointed out it’s pretty much plug and play without needing much configuring – unlike the DL1 which needs quite a bit of configuring/calibrating to set it up. As Andy pointed out, the thing you probably use most out on track is actually the gear indicator and so long as the speed sensor on mine is working OK the gear indication is highly accurate and very easily readable.
The DigiDash complete with GPS and the engine sensors comes in at £878 whereas the DL1 + Dash2 is £940 before you’ve bought any sensors which would add another £190 or so using Race Technology’s sensors. I decided to seek advice from Derek who has used both. He started off by asking me what I wanted the dash to do for me which actually helped me a lot since it made me realise that the DigiDash would actually do everything I needed. In the end Derek’s advice was that he put the DL1 and Dash2 slightly ahead, mostly on the grounds that it provided him with more/slightly better data for analysis.
I’m still not sure but think I’m leaning slightly towards the DigiDash on grounds of simplicity of installation, simplicity of use and familiarity. I’ll have quite a bit on my plate getting to grips with the BDN and going with the DigiDash would give me one less thing to learn.
The fuel tank has a flange for an ATL fuel level sender and the only supplier I could find was Demon Tweeks at a rather eye watering £145 + VAT. On Brian’s advice I rang ATL themselves who in addition to explaining that they do 2 types offered to sell me one for £99 + VAT! One of them outputs 0-5 volts and is the one they recommend for dataloggers (rather than connecting directly to a gauge), the other outputs between 33 and 240 ohms. I rang ETB to check that the ATL fuel level probe compatible with the DigiDash which it is but only the variable resistance one will work on the dedicated fuel channel. So I ordered that one from ATL since it can also be made to work on a DL1.
Friday was a day off and although I need to get packed ready to head off to Snetterton on Saturday the Fury’s pretty much ready. The steering wheel arrived from Demon Tweeks on Thursday so I thought I’d fit that first. Bit fiddly drilling the 3 holes to mount it to the Racetech boss but I stuck some masking tape on the boss, marked it then transferred it to the steering wheel. The wheel is identical in size to the one I’m using on the Fury although the new one is flat bottomed.
Going off for golf used up a bit portion of the day but when I got back the fuel probe had arrived from ATL along with the brake lines from BGC. The ATL probe works by having an aluminium rod inside a steel tube, the electronics then work out where the fuel level is based presumably on the change in resistance. It’s supplied 540mm long which meant I needed to cut it down – the instructions say it’s not recommended cutting it to less than 200mm but the BDN tank is only 150mm deep. Brian reckons theirs works very well and is pretty accurate, so I took a deep breath and got the tube cutter going. Brian had also warned me that the supplied screws would be too long (the holes in the flange are blind) and indeed they were so I had to cut them all down by 5mm. Here we are with the probe fitted. It has 5 wires going to it, they’ve changed these a few times, first they had 2 screw adjusters for calibration then they used magnets which apparently was a PITA, now they use one of the wires to do it.
The fuel tank was now ready to be fitted. It’s held in place by an aluminium angle which sits along the upper rear edge with a threaded stud fixing at each end and there’s a steel band around the middle which needed a couple of rivnuts fitting to the chassis. I stuck some short lengths of 3mm thick foam tape along the chassis rails to protect it from chafing and got it in place. It’s a tight squeeze but as with everything else on the car it’s a perfect fit. The first pic on the left shows one of the end fixings, the one on the right shows the centre band. The tank also has a recess underneath for the handbrake cable – I put this in in case it was tricky to fit after the tank was in but I don’t think it would be a problem. I can’t remember the fuel tank capacity but have a feeling it’s either 28 or 30 litres, it’s enough for the 30 minute Bikesports races anyway.
I was pretty much out of time then. I just had time to fit the engine bay undertray on the Fury and nip to Tesco for provisions for the trip to Snetterton on Saturday.
Work on the BDN has progressed pretty slowly this week, I haven’t had much time unfortunately. One minor problem I’d had was that the holes for the master cylinder in the water jet cut pedal base were too small to get the master cylinders in. Brian has now replaced this so here’s a pic of the completed pedal assembly with the master cylinders fitted. I got the disks bolted onto the brake bells but then couldn’t fit those to the car till I’ve got the wheel studs which I ordered from Rally Design on Tuesday.
I also got the paddle shift assembly and upper steering column fitted. This was quite fiddly and took a bit longer than expected as the paddle assembly is adjustable for tilt, this then requires an adjustment in the length of the column achieved by slackening the collets on the upper column which are secured by grub screws. It also needs setting up carefully so the upper UJ doesn’t foul the bracket for the gearshift cable. I eventually got it all into position and tightened up and could then fix the rivnuts for the supporting bracket. I need a steering wheel now …
On Wednesday morning I decided to make a start on the radiators. These are beautifully made by Bob at Concept Racing – with this batch of parts I’ve also got the fuel tank and the coolant swirl pot. The mounting brackets on the radiators needed marking and drilling, then the chassis was drilled and rivnuts fitted. The rads are mounted onto the chassis via some custom made 6mm studs with a nut bonded or welded on, a plastic bobbin and some rubber washers. This all went swimmingly well and once fitted the rads are really solid. They will of course offer quite good crash protection but I’m hoping not to test that out cos they cost significantly more than the £25 Polo rads I use on the Fury!
I also did a bit more ordering – Demon Tweeks for a steering wheel and BGC Motorsport for all my brake line components. The steering wheel’s available in 270 and 290mm, I’ve gone for the latter although Brian has a 270mm one fitted to their car. I’m just a bit worried about having enough leverage and it’s a very quick rack – less than a full turn lock to lock. I can’t really go much bigger or it would be bigger than the paddle shift although if need be Brian can supply a wider bracket for the paddles. BGC come recommended by Brian on both grounds of quality/speed of service and price. I’ve ordered braided hoses for each corner in addition to all the cunifer pipe and fittings, clips etc. that I need to complete the braking system and clutch pipe. This came in at just over £150 delivered which seems very reasonable.
I got a couple of hours in early on Thursday morning before work. The wheel studs had arrived from Rally Design so I got those tightened up with some stud lock and I could then final fit the brake bells and calipers. I also popped the pads in, these are neatly secured with very simple spring clips so getting them in and out takes only seconds. Here’s a pic of the front left corner assembled. The brake system is now ready to be plumbed in when the lines arrive from BGC.
And here we go with the fuel tank. Custom designed and built to fit across the chassis in front of the engine, the tank itself only weighs just over 3kg, foam filled with flanges to fit the fuel pump plate and the fuel level probe. The pump is a Bosch item and Brian had showed me how it all went together on Sunday. Basically the pump outlet pipe needs clamping onto the spigot on the mounting flange and it slides onto 2 aluminium tubes with springs to keep the white plastic housing at the bottom of the small sump in the bottom of the tank. The clever bit is that the white body of the pump that you can see here actually functions as a sump and is constantly filled by the return back to the tank from the fuel pressure regulator. I haven’t got the fuel level probe yet as there are a couple of different versions and I’m still in a bit of a quandary about which dash/logger to go with – more of that in the next post.
Here’s the whole lot assembled ready to drop into the tank …
… and the assembly bolted onto the tank. There’s a threaded outlet spigot, a push on spigot for the return from the regulator, the filler inlet and the pair of connections for the pump. Hidden behind the filler inlet is the tip over valve. The next job is to get this fitted into the chassis.
Brian’s had his work cut out recently, in addition to getting all my parts sorted he’s been getting their own car sorted in Bikesports spec. He and Ian were at Donington on Friday with Tim Gray driving the car and Brian seemed quietly pleased with their day. They’ve entered it into the Bikesports race at Snetterton next weekend so I’ll see it in action up close!
Brian’s dependent on a few suppliers and had been waiting for a couple of parts, the last stumbling block being the water jet cut parts for my engine mounts. Lots of other bits were ready though so I decided to head up there on Sunday to collect them.
The biggest and heaviest is the engine and I’m sure Brian will be pleased to reclaim the garage space it’s been taking up. It really does look very shiny and of course is quite small compared to the Hayabusa. I don’t have the billet sump for it yet but Andy Bates is hoping he’ll have it in before Snetterton. The engine’s sporting a new sprocket – the original 520 17 tooth sprocket has been replaced with a beefier 530 sprocket from Talon Engineering. Brian’s drilled and tapped this so the BDN reverse gear can be bolted onto it. Other parts in the batch include the upper steering column, the fuel tank and pump, the gear shift paddle, the brake bells, coolant header tank and the radiators and their ducts. The back of the Audi was pleasantly full for the quick blast back home on Sunday evening.
While I was up in Hereford I also took the opportunity to have a look at a few bits on their car to get it clear in my head where things go, the main bits being the brake lines. I took a few photos while I was there that should provide enough guidance to get them all sorted.
So, I now have enough bits to keep me going for a little while, the only other mechanical bits to come from Brian are the engine mounts but I can’t get the engine in yet anyway till I have the sump. I’m also waiting for the diff from Quaife which is expected within the next couple of weeks as are the dampers. I’ve ended up ordering these from Quantum – we did investigate getting the BAD dampers via Al Boulton but there were a few fitment issues that would have required modifying both the dampers and some of the BDN parts and in the end I decided it was cleaner (although a little more expensive) to stick with the Quantums. I’ve ordered some tyres from Polley so I can take my nice shiny new wheels to Snetterton next weekend and get the tyres fitted.
After what was a fairly frantic week for various reasons I got home from London at about 8pm on Friday and headed straight out to the garage to try to get some of the hardware refitted to the bonnet. By 9pm I was pleased to have not only refitted the lights, bonnet catches/hinges and the aluminium airbox cover/hump but to have also got the bonnet refitted onto the car. I was also pleased that the car was looking decidedly better – I’d used a fairly thick layer of filler primer and although it’s far from defect free it’s actually looking quite a bit better than before it got broken at Pembrey. Certainly it’s at an acceptable standard for a race car.
I was up early on Saturday to get the car loaded up to head off for the event at Castle Combe. This is one of their activity days and I’d volunteered to stick the Fury on the 750 Motor Club display to try to encourage a few more to take the step from trackdays up to racing. I stuck a few tools etc. in the car and braved the fairly steady rain while getting the Fury onto the trailer. This was the first time I’d towed the car with the Audi having fitted the towbar to it a few weeks ago. As expected (it’s a 2.0TDI A6 Avant) it towed very nicely although it took some time getting used to seeing the Fury in the mirrors, the trailer isn’t visible at all while towing with the motorhome. It was quite happy cruising on the motorway and unlike the motorhome was able to maintain a good pace even on the hills using the cruise control although it’s usual fuel consumption of about 40mpg on the motorway was reduced to about 27mpg.
I arrived at Castle Combe about 9am and met up with John Moore from the club and got the car parked up with his Phoenix and a couple of very tidy looking Locosts. The rain had stopped and it was quite a pleasant morning. We were joined later by Clive Hudson with the very impressive looking Eclipse that he’s designed and built from scratch himself. To be honest being there wasn’t terribly productive, there were lots of cars and people there but they were almost exclusively saloons and hatches and we had very little interest throughout the day. I took the opportunity to get a few more finishing touches done to the Fury, cutting back and polishing some of the new paintwork and getting it stickered back up. I nipped into Merlin Motorsport, I’ve used them a few times for mail order and they’ve been very efficient and seem to carry a good range of stock. I thought seeing as I was there in person I’d ask if they’d match what Demon Tweeks do, i.e. offering race licence holders a small discount. The answer was a fairly dismissive ‘No, if we did that we might as well give it to everyone’. Hey ho, I guess I’ll carry on using Demon Tweeks then! It has to be said that despite a lot of moans about Demon Tweeks my experience has been very positive, whenever I’ve ordered stuff they’ve given helpful advice and everything’s always arrived next day. Their prices aren’t terribly cheap but the 10% discount does definitely help. So having been considering getting a steering wheel for the BDN at Merlin I ended up investing just over a fiver in a pair of white number backgrounds!
It ended up quite a pleasant and relaxing day after a hectic week and I passed my time getting the Fury’s paintwork all cleaned up and all the rubber marks off it etc. By the time I’d finished she was looking quite smart and I concluded that committing myself to sticking her on the display had ensured that I had actually got my act into gear and sorted the bonnet out. It was also nice to get to meet a few of the other racers and having a chin wag. All I need to do before Snetterton next weekend is refit the engine bay undertray and she’s ready to race again.
Well, with my pile of bits used up that was it on the BDN front for a couple of weeks. The next batch of parts was scheduled from Brian at the end of August but with me going off for a week in Florida with the family scheduled in he gained a bit of breathing space
Prior to going on hols I had another out of hours shift and it was very quiet so I got some more work done on the loom. I’ve got most of the extraneous stuff out of it now but still have the plug that connects to the bike dash on there. I was hoping to be able to remove it but still retain access to the on board diagnostics but since the ZX10 uses an LCD display to show the fault codes I may have to keep the plug and get myself a set of clocks Here’s the loom part way through surgery
I ordered the wheels from Team Dynamics about 5 weeks ago and they said they should be ready around the end of August. I thought I may as well give them a ring to see how they’re getting on and they reported that they were done and were about to come off the painting line. They arrived on the Thursday before my hols – Rimstock/Team Dynamics have been good to deal with and the price is certainly pretty good, £326 including VAT and delivery for four wheels is less than I was expecting to pay. True to their word they only debited my card when the wheels were despatched. They look very pretty and came with the wheel nuts too. I can see me ordering a spare set of wheels from them at some stage. Having checked them on my not desperately accurate scales the fronts come in at about 8kg each, the rears 7.5kg – the difference is due to the additional aluminium on the fronts as they’re ET15 v the rears’ ET25
Having returned at the weekend from Florida although there are a couple of other things I could get on with I now have my work cut out to finish sorting out the Fury ready for the AJEC Racing Summer Performance Car Action Day at Castle Combe on Saturday 11th September. The Fury’s going on the 750 Motor Club stand along with Andy Bates and the Sabre. It’ll be quite a contrast, the battle scarred Fury next to the pristine and very pretty looking Sabre.
Having thought the Fury was oil tight I was disappointed to find a few drips underneath. Where the rigid pipes join the sump pan to the scavenge pump the flanges have grooves and o-rings. I’ve generally used some silicon sealant on these previously but I decided that since I had the engine out and could see what I was doing properly they should be OK. I was clearly wrong so I had to drain off the oil again, remove them and refit with some sealant. After running up to temp they stayed dry this time.
I then had to start on the bonnet. Although it didn’t fall to pieces in Pembrey’s crash it was fairly badly damaged. Austen and I patched it up with some rivets and gaffer tape at the time but I decided it ought to be fixed a bit more tidily before the weekend. So after removing the lights and indicators I cleaned up the multiple cracks in it and bonded them together as best I could with some polyester resin and fixed them with rivets or aluminium strips and rivets on Monday evening. On Tuesday morning before work I slapped some chopped strand and resin along the inside of all the cracks. With a lot of filling and sanding to be done I headed off to Machine Mart on Tuesday lunchtime to get myself a belt sander and a random orbital sander to make the job a bit easier.
After a late finish at work I only got home at 10.45 on Tuesday so nothing happened then. I got up early Wednesday and made some more progress with reinforcing the damaged bits and sanding the defects back. Several hours on Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning saw it getting more or less back into shape and probably actually slightly better than prior to the Pembrey injury thanks to the new orbital sander which I now realise I should have got sooner! A fairly frantic effort on Thursday evening saw it primered then painted blue with little time to spare. I’m at a meeting in London on Friday so will have to slap the lights etc. on it and refit it when I get home late Friday evening ready for an early start on Saturday to get to Castle Combe.