Saturday 29th July 2006
I've removed enough to the ally casing from the Scirocco wiper motor to allow it to fit. All I need now is to find a wiper arm that is long enough, and I need to wire the motor in. The wiring is quite simple. It needs an earth (brown) and then a permanent live (black/white), and another wire (green) which you apply +12V to, to start the motor. The permanent live ensures that the wiper motor self parks the wiper arm/blade.
Friday 28th July 2006
I've removed the wiper motor and linkage and tried fitting the Scirocco wiper motor. It will fit, but it needs some slight modifications to the alloy casing. I should have it fitted over the weekend, and the photographs I'll publish will show whats involved. The Ford wiper motor and linkages weigh in at around 1800g, which is almost twice the weight of the Scirocco motor.
Sunday 23rd July 2006
I've managed to get a VW Scirocco rear wiper motor. The plan is to replace the heavy front wiper motor and linkages with the small rear wiper motor. It weighs 950grammes, and sweeps an arc of approx 110°. If I can find a wiper arm and blade to fit, I'll place it in the position where the centre wiper arm is normally mounted, and it'll be used to sweep the whole windscreen.
I fitted a Parrot CK3100 bluetooth handsfree kit to the Mondeo yesterday. They cost around £80.00, and you need a cable adapter which is another £21.00, and the whole lot fits to the existing stereo loom with no modifications at all. I fitted the system in about 45 minutes. The screen looks great (and is backlit too), and it means I can dispense with my headset. And better still, the Parrot mutes the stereo in the car, pauses the CD you were listening to, and you can hear the caller through the front speakers. The Parrot has caller ID, synchronises itself with your phones address book, shows the signal strength and battery level of the phone and the call duration. Highly recommended.
Monday 17th July 2006
No new PB on Sunday at Curborough but I did get within a tenth of a second of it, and my two timed runs were only a quarter of a second off and I was at least consistent (65.06s and 65.08s). I didn't manage to finish first front wheel drive as I was just pipped by Lee Griffith's Peugeot 205. Had I known he'd beaten me I'd have tried just that little bit harder as I was running further down the field and I was lacking motivation to try harder. The hot weather was partly to blame too. The temperatures were around 32°C in the afternoon, a bit too warm for my liking. I still managed 1st in class, and had a thoroughly enjoyable day, albeit a hot and sticky one.
Friday 14th July 2006
I'm competing at Curborough this weekend, on Sunday. This afternoon I checked the exhaust system on the car, as at Shelsley the noise meter said I was running 113db at 4000rpm, which is 7db higher than I usually run. I dont see how it could have changed so much, theres only the one Walker Dynomax silencer on the car, and its not suffered any physical damage. I retightened all the clamps, and it all looks OK. I'll see on Sunday if it passes again.
I've made some changes to the air and water temperature compensation maps, to give the engine some advance whilst its warming up. Seems to start and idle a bit better. I'll make some more adjustments on Saturday when she's cold.
My confirmation has come through for Barkston Heath sprint in August. Excellent.
Friday 7th July 2006
I'm in US Grassroots Motorsports magazine! The August edition has a feature on the Fiesta, and some excellent pictures. Its a great article. Hello if you're visiting after reading the article. A very warm welcome to my site.
I've wired in the Anderson connector to the battery on the Fiesta, to allow me to jump start her if the battery gets too low. I had this problem last Friday before the Shelsley event on the Saturday. I cranked the engine over to get oil pressure before starting her, and there wasn't enough juice left to start when the ignition was switched on. At Shelsley, I had an engineer who works for Bentley, have a quick look over the startup settings in my ECU. I've been struggling for days trying to save changes using the latest Windows version of the DTA-ECU software, and using the old DOS version of the mapping tool, we managed to adjust the settings and save them back to disk in a matter of seconds. So I'm using the DOS version from now on. Good old reliable DOS.
We adjusted the fuel enrichment at startup, so the mixture is richer for the first hundred turns of the crank at startup. And Ash also gave me some advice on adding the ignition advance for when the engine is cold. This has the same effect as swinging the distributor on an engine fitted with one, it makes the engine idle faster. Which is just what you need when warming up a cold engine. I'll take some screen shots in a day or two's time. And I'll fully document all the changes to the ECU MAP so you can follow the progress.
I was 3rd in class last weekend at Shelsley. Ken Sims was first in the ex-Will Gollop Rallycross Twin-Turbo Metro 6R4 with a 32.09s. Then the Balfry Mk1 came 2nd with a 35.68s, and I was 3rd with 36.29s. The second driver in the Balfry Mk1 came 4th with a 36.85s. Ken has previously run a 29 second ascent at Shelsley, but he's now running a new clutch and this was his first outing of the year, so expect more speed later in the season.
I've replayed the video from the second practice run a few times now, and as I go round Crossing which is a fast 3rd gear left-hander, you can hear the revs suddenly rise and the car starts veering to the right (straight towards the grass bank). You can hear me lift, and then get back on the gas. During practice I thought perhaps I'd taken a wrong line and I'd just run out of road, but the video shows that I must have hit some oil or water, as the rev's shouldn't suddenly climb like that. I must have lost traction. It was quite a wake up call though. Shelsley is very much a do or die hill, with very little reward if you get it wrong.
A pair of new tyres were fitted on the Mondeo this week, at 17949 miles. I'm now on Michelin 205/50R17s at the front, and Pirellis at the rear. Be interesting to see if the Michelins produce as much grip as the Pirelli's in the wet.
The Barkston Heath regs came out this week, so I made sure I printed them off and posted a cheque as soon as I could. The event is on the 13th August at a disused Military Airbase, Barkston Heath, near Grantham in Lincolshire. Its one of the events I was planning to do, so I'm really looking forwards to it.
I removed the Varley race battery from the battery box this week, whilst fitting the Anderson connector and cabling. So I've taken some pictures to show how I've fastened the battery in place. Basically, it is retained using expanding foam. The battery box needs lining with clingfilm, and the battery also needs covering, as the foam has a tendency to bond permanently to any surface. Once the clingfilm is in place, lower the battery caerfully in to the battery box, and then squirt expanding foam in to the cavity surrounding the battery. Leave for 24 hours to cure, and you have a very firmly fixed battery. You can trim any excess foam using a sharp knife. Take care not to get the foam on to upholstery or cloathing though. It contains many harmful substances, many of which attack plastics.
Sunday 2nd July 2006
Another new PB at Shelsley yesterday. I've now managed to wrestle the Fiesta up the 1100 meter climb in 36.29s. On my second timed run I went slower than my first, but the split time on the approach to the esses was 5 seconds quicker than I'd ever been up the hill, so the timing gear appeared to throw a wobbly. Never mind, there'll be another chance to go quicker still next year, when the new engine is fitted. Ken Simm's Metro 6R4 was incredible off the line. He was recording 64ft times of around 1.8 seconds, which is more than 1G off the line. I came 3rd in class and scored around 17 points.