With the engine mapped the car’s now pretty much sorted mechanically. After the disappointment of lunching the original engine it seems the less pristine looking spare I got from Tim Cheney is in fact a good ‘un and after 3 race weekends, the Donington trackday and the rolling road session it’s time to have confidence in it and stop worrying about it.
After a disruptive few weeks of travelling all over the place I now have a quiet spell so I can progress with the minor developments I wanted to make. The first of these was a modification to the throttle pedal to allow me to start to try to heel and toe. My problem is that because legroom is so tight I physically can’t rotate my right leg to do a literal heel and toe and the pedals are too far apart to allow me to keep my right foot vertical and blip the throttle using the outside border of my foot. So the plan was to extend the pedal both along its left border and downwards. When I started to look at it I realised the throttle pedal is also too high to allow me to do this so I came up with a solution using a length of aluminium angle which then gives me a flange set about 15mm behind the pedal. I think it should work OK but will only really know when I get the car out on track and try it.
Next on the list was to glue some insulation matting on the corner of the airbox nearest the exhaust, I’m guessing it’s fine while circulating round the track but once you stop the engine bay temperature soars and the bottom corner was getting a bit warm and soft. I also ordered some new mirrors from Car Builder Solutions, these are the same as the mirrors on the racing Spires and Paul Rogers’ Contour, apart from the race visibility being poor in the Racetechs there’s no way they’ll meet the IVA requirements. I reckon a lot of the problem is the distance from the cockpit, the further away they are the narrower the field of view. I fitted the new ones (in the holes the Racetech ones were in) and although it was an improvement I was still pretty sure they wouldn’t cut the mustard for IVA and decided they needed moving.
With just over a week to go until Donington Brian contacted me to say the modified engine mounts were ready – these are some rather more triangulated parts to reduce the flex that is causing the nose of the reverse starter to impinge on the reverse gear. We had discussed me calling there on the Friday on my way up to Donington to fit them but Brian was concerned that apart from the job inevitably taking more time to complete than expected it was introducing an element of risk doing it the day before a race. So I’ll be picking the parts up from him at Donington and bringing them back with me.
With a day off on Friday I got on with the mirrors. I decided to fit them in the outermost corner of the upper front cover. This brings them much closer to me and gives them plenty of height. Once they were fitted I wheeled her out into the sunshine and measured up and strategically placed various jacks, petrol cans etc. to mark the IVA rear view requirements. I got into the cockpit and adjusted both mirrors and was pleased to find they gave a much more than adequate view. IVA requirements aside they’ll give me a much better view for racing too. I now need to find some 8mm grommets to fill the previous holes in, I’m not too worried about that and actually think the new mirrors look rather nice.
I got all four wheels off and gave the brakes an inspection and a clean. Nothing untoward going on so after giving them a clean the wheels went back on.
Another job that’s been lurking on the todo list was to fit the indicator side repeaters. They’ve been patiently sitting in a box waiting and I finally managed to get them fitted to the sidepods and wired in. Sadly because of the rear LEDs there isn’t enough current being drawn for the indicator relay so they’re still flashing too fast. I’ll have to either find an electronic relay that isn’t as fussy or get some resistors to wire inline.
I still have a few things to sort out before the final IVA prep including emissions and the handbrake. I’ve spoken to the guy in our local garage who’s happy for me to take the car round to use his exhaust gas analyser and I can try to get it mapped to pass emissions. I’m hoping I won’t need to reinstate the original PAIR system as that would be a real pain. The guy at the garage was telling me he’d had a Honda Civic Type R in with a decat pipe which had just managed to scrape through the test without the cat being refitted! The handbrake needs some form of compensator mechanism incorporating into the mechanism. All of this can wait until after Donington next weekend – the finals came out today and given there’s a good gap between the races I’ve entered the Allcomers race as well.