March 2012

Monday 26th March 2012
Fitted the gearbox torque limiter bracket tonight. Faircharm did a lovely job with the powder coating. The turnbuckle is protected with some self adhesive heatshrink (the same stuff I used to protect my driveshafts).

Gearbox torque limiter bracket Gearbox torque limiter bracket Gearbox torque limiter bracket

Saturday 24th March 2012
Another Saturday, and the steady progress continues. I bought myself a Clarke CDP350V pillar drill, and I put it to immediate use in drilling the 81 pilot holes for the holes I needed to punch out of the front grill. The Clarke drill features laser guides to align the tip of the drill bit with the centre punched mark, which made the process far easier and more accurate than trying to drill everything out by hand. First of all I used Powerpoint 2007 to make a template for the 1" holes, staggered at 60°, and once the print outs were positioned on the sheet metal and held in place with masking tape, I centre punched the centres of all the holes, and removed the templates. I then used a steel rule and biro to draw lines diagonally across the marks ready for drilling.

The first set of holes were 3mm pilots, followed by 9.5mm which was the diameter of the bolt that pulled the hole punch through the metal. After a few hours of drilling, and punching, it was all complete, and I'm more than happy with the outcome. I've punched out one extra row on the drivers side at the top of the grill, to feed the cold air directly in to the throttle bodies. All thats left is to make a few fasteners for the panel, and then I'll take it over to Faircharm for bead blasting and painting in satin black. The panel itself is very light compared to Fiesta Mk1 grill and headlamp surrounds that it replaces. (The collection of 81 punched 1" disks weighs in at 5oz :D )

Pillar drill Pillar drill Front panel Front panel Front panel Front panel Front panel Front panel Front panel Front panel Front panel

Saturday 17th March 2012
Another good week, as far as progress made goes. I finished the C-Bracket off, and took it over to Faircharm for powder coating. It should be ready early next week. Karl Hacken made a suggestion about boxing in the bracket, which I've done. I also wound the voltage up on the MiG from 4 to 5, and the welds went a lot better. I'll try setting it at 6 next time though as there's always room for improvement.

Altiss finished off the ali front panel at the start of the week (at a cost of £75). Once I collected it I started profiling the panel to fit the front of the car. Its almost ready for fitting, except I need to punch out the cooling holes in the front. I've various hole punch sizes to hand, but I've settled on the 1" punch. I've ordered a 1" flaring tool off ebay, so once I've punched the holes out, I can flare them, which will put some strength back in to the panel, and make the holes a little more aerodynamic, which should improve air flow through to the radiator. I'll be fixing some Pipercross filter foam behind the panel to ensure that only filtered fresh air is fed to the throttle bodies.

No sign of the Moroso fuel tank door yet from the States. When that arrives, I'll take the fuel cell cover over to Altiss for fabrication. Speaking of which, a friend on turned a steel tube for me, to act as the turnbuckle connector between the rear of the gearbox and the C-Bracket. Its 16mm OD, with an 8.5mm ID, and I've already tapped it with the LH and RH M10x1.5 threads, so that it is ready for fitting. I just need a LH nut, to lock the rod end.

I've also spoken to Neil at Geartronics this week, regarding setting the car up for flat shifts. He is supplying me with a dual channel hall effect gearbox position sensor, so I can continue to use the LED gear display, and feed the EasyShift ECU from the 2nd channel. Neil says that the potentiometer type sensors wear, and therefore the hall effect ones are more reliable longer term. The Geartronics EasyShift ECU is unique in that it uses whats known as closed loop, so that means that it senses a gearchange being made, sends the cut signal to the ECU, and will not release the cut signal until the gearbox has gone in to the next gear (which it uses the gearbox position sensor to detect). This is by far the most reliable technique for controlling the ECU, when performing flat-shifts. It makes it impossible for full power to be returned to the engine, until the gearbox is safely in the next gear. So it should be very straight forward to fit too. All I need to do is provide the ECU with +12V power (which I'll take from the AUX circuit), and feed it the 2nd channel signal from the rotary sensor on the gearbox. The output from the EasyShift ECU then goes to the Cut signal input on the DTA S80 ECU. Sure there's some setting up to do, but its going to make the Fiesta much much quicker through the gears, and should reduce the wear on the dogs.

And finally, another thing I have on my check list for this year is to lower the engine and gearbox in the engine bay. This will mean cutting out the inner wing on the drivers side, to allow the top engine mount to sit lower, but it'll be so worth it. Its not like the engine and box are sitting high, but given I have the ability to run them lower, I may as well drop them as much as I can to lower the overall CofG of the car.

Saturday 10th March 2012
This week I've asked Altiss to make me a front grill/headlamp surround, out of 16g aluminium. Just the basic shape, and I'll cut it out to fit the front of the Fiesta. This will replace the Fiesta slatted grill, and the two headlamps. Whilst doing this I've tried to make an airbox for the roller barrels, but there isn't enough clearance between the trumpets and the top of my custom radiator. So instead, I'm going to place an air filter panel on the front of the new aluminium surround, with a suitable apeture, so that the trumpets sitting behind the filter can draw on the cold air that passes through the filter when the car is moving forwards. Pipercross sells their foam filter at £15 per square foot, so this is a far cheaper solution to fitting a filter and back plate (Costing anywhere from £90 upwards). Troy at NHM suggested this solution when I had the car tuned last year.

I've repaired the floor under the passenger footwell. I had welded a bracket to the floor, which the torque limited from the gearbox was attached to. However, the bracket tore a hole in the floor, so I've had to grind the bracket off, and plate the floor over. This I've done, and covered it in Cool-it sheet to tidy it all up. So now I've made a C-bracket instead to mount the torque limiter to. This bolts over the box section beneath the steering rack. Because I dont run a Mk1 Fiesta engine cradle, I can utilise the box section and mounting holes for the C-bracket. I'll finish it off next week, then have it painted by Faircharm.

Saturday 3rd March 2012
I've mocked up a front air-dam (cardboard) with splitter (mdf) and its just resting on wooden blocks at the moment, a bit Heath Robinson, but it gives the idea for how the air-dam will look. I need to get the car over to Altiss for them to do the fabrication in aluminium. I've also mocked up the headlamp and grill fascia. This I can make myself, I just need a sheet of 16g ali and I can do the rest myself. It will need a bend in the centre to follow the shape of the front panel, but its easy enough to do that myself. The panel is only 190mm tall, and around 380mm long. I'll use a swage tool to cut out the 1" holes in the front for cooling.

The wing supports are back from Altiss. Nigel drilled them right through, and tapped them M6x1.0. I've fitted them and the wing is now far stiffer. I'll use my smart phone to measure the wing angle next. It needs to be 12° apparently.