I'm now a contributor to Retro Ford magazine, having just penned my first introductory piece, which went to press last Friday. This is a great opportunity for me, to continue to develop the car and get some national recognition for the Mk1 Fiesta, which is indeed a true Retro Ford. I'll keep you posted when the mag hits the shelves. I'll be producing monthly articles, following my exploits and adventures with the Fiesta, which will be featured under the Staff Cars section. :D
Going through the datalogger data, I couldnt find the 2nd timed session data, and low and behold, the DL1 had done its usual trick of stuffing it in to a folder named RT040101 which is the default folder when the unit is unable to determine the date from GPS. Anyway, both session files are with all the rest of my DL1 data, in the download\datalogger folder, so if you want to have a look please feel free to explore and distribute the data.
The attached picture shows the Race Technology analysis software, with the data captured from the DL1 at Lydden. My fastest lap was on Lap 8 of the second session, a 49.62s lap. And it also shows that the best theoretical lap (if I could stick all my quickest sectors together), would have been a 48.57s lap. But there was so much traffic it was sometimes difficult to get a good clean lap. One thing 10 years of sprinting and hillclimbing has taught me, is how to drive a new circuit quickly. I cant take all the credit though. The car does play a significant part too of course :D
I've found some great pictures on Facebook, of the Fiesta, taken at Lydden. The two ontrack pictures were taken in the afternoons 2nd Demo Cars session (I had the sunroof on the 2nd session to try to get some ventilation in the car).
More pictures can be found in my Picasa album
I've checked the rating of the Spal radiator fans, and the current draw is listed as 6.7Amps (VA07-AP12/c-58A). Since I've used 16Amp rated wiring, I'm confident that replacing the 10A fuse with a 15A fuse isn't going to lead to any further problems. So I'll do that. The switch-on current must be whats blowing the 10A fuse, and the last thing I need is an overheating engine whilst I'm sitting in the paddock.
Here is a 6 minute youtube video clip of my Fiesta at Lydden, at the 2nd Demo Car session.
Pleased to report that the trip to Lydden went without a hitch on Sunday. I never even had to take a spanner or screwdriver to the car. She performed flawlessly. Oil pressure and water temperatures were normal. The new clutch has transformed the driving experience, I wish I'd never fitted that paddle clutch now. I had two 15 minute 'Demo' runs on the circuit, and after a couple of slowish laps on the first session, I opened her up and was soon overtaking the other cars. I drove the wheels off the car, and put in a good show of just how quick she is. The journey there and back also went very smoothly. It took around 3.5 hours each way, with a total round trip of 360 miles. I had to fill the Subaru back up to get home, as it was only averaging 30mpg but it also purred all the way there and back, happily dragging the trailer behind her. The new quick rack was also a revelation. Having two turns lock to lock made it far easier to negotiate the corners. I reckon she's pretty much sorted now. Just the paintwork on the front spoiler, and the the rear wing to sort out and I can start to enjoy showing and driving the old girl in her 30th year! I want to build a rear-diffuser next, to help the aero, and I'll start work on the design soon.
There was one fly in the ointment on Sunday. It was the GoPro Hero2 that let me down. Despite charging the battery on Saturday, using a mobile phone USB charger, she was as flat as a pancake on Sunday, and therefore I have no onboard footage (again!). If you were at the Apex Festival and filmed me, please put the footage up on Youtube and send me the link as I'd love to see any pictures of footage from my two runs on Sunday.
I blew another 10A fuse on Sunday, the one that protect the twin Spal cooling fans on the radiator. Rather than replace it with a higher capacity fuse I opted to put another 10A fuse in, which held for the 2nd session, and investigate the cause during the week.
Bled the clutch again last night, set the throttle stops in the ECU, and recalibrated the gear position indicator, so the only thing remaining now is to check that there's some petrol in the tank and see if she'll start. Then I can check the new clutch for any signs of the dredded judder. I've also lowered the Fan On temperature from 90°C to 75° to let the engine run at a more optimal temperature when the car is stationery. It tends to run at around 70° when being driven, so it makes no sense to let it get up to 90° when sat in the paddock.
The Fiesta is almost ready to be driven. I've now done most of the remaining mechanical work that was required, aligning the steering etc, and I've just the clutch to bleed again (manually) and the ECU to re-calibrate for throttle stops, etc, and she should be good to go. I've spun the engine over on the starter, and there's around 50psi oil pressure, which is a good sign. I've checked the oil level in the engine, and its not moved in the two years since I filled her last. Testimony to the build quality of the Ford Duratec engine. The battery conditioner is connected and the battery is now trickle charging. I just need to check if there's any fuel left in the tank. I've aligned the steering using two 1M lengths of U section aluminum. I'm just aligning the front suspension by eye, to make the front wheels parallel to the rears. By cable tieing the bars horizontally to the rims, I can look down the length of the channel towards the rear wheels, and if I can see the edge of the rear tyres, I know the front wheel is perpendicular to the rear wheels. If I cant see the rear wheels, I know I must have toe in. If I can see a lot of rear wheel, then I know I have toe out. So I've gone for a little toe out to help with the turn in, and this also makes the car a little more skittish at high speed, but with the high ratio rack I'm hoping I wont be struggling to keep her in a straight line all the time. I am also running more negative camber than before. I noticed when I took the struts off the car that the concentric mount at the top wasnt really in the ideal position to give me a lot of -ve camber. The camber I now have should combat the toe out when going in a straight line, which should make her stable at high speed. Shrugs shoulders. Well thats the theory anyway.
One thing I have noticed is that there's a clonk sound from the off side front shock absorber when I try to bounce the front of the car by pressing down on that corner. If I reduce the stiffness of the shock absorber by turning the top adjuster fully anticlockwise, I can easily move the car up and down. As soon as I increase the resistence by turning the adjuster, I can feel some play somewhere in the strut, and I've checked both the top and bottom ball joints, and I dont seem to have anything loose or worn, so I'm guessing its going to be something inside the shock absorber itself. I may just remove it to give it a quick inspection prior to driving the car. Better safe than sorry.
So here's a few pictures of me aligning the front wheels. Basically strap the U section to each wheel, I used cable ties to hold them securely, and look down the length of the channel towards the rear of the car. The longer the U section, the more it exagerates the toe out/in. Of course once the suspension has settled and the car has been driven, the alignment process should be repeated to ensure accuracy. I usually run a little toe out and -1.5°s camber at the front, +3.5°s caster, with same again at the rear (remember I'm running Ford Focus stub axles which bolt on to the rear axle and are shimmed to produce the -ve camber)
I've been working over in Germany again for RR, at their Dahlewitz factory, and I returned back on Saturday morning, flying from Berlin to Frankfurt, then on to Birmingham. My first visit to Frankfurt airport was also my first opportunity to see a pair of Airbus A380's, which were parked alongside five Boeing 747's. The A380 is an enormous aircraft, and makes the 747's alongside look small in comparison ;)
I've got a McGill motorsports rear brake limiting valve to plumb in to the rear brake lines. And a list of about 30 tasks to perform on the car before she is ready for the Apex Festival next Sunday.
A lot more progress has been made over the weekend. I've connected the earth strap, and refitted the radiator and refilled that with 2 litres of anti-freeze plus 4 litres of tap water. Thats 6 Kg of weight I'm carrying around just from the quantity of coolant! I've also changed the 3.5mm rubber hose that ran across the front of the engine, from the swirl pot across to the header tank. I bought another 2M length of hose from Halfords, and I've now run the hose below the airhorns, to keep the heat from the pipe away from the fuel rail, thus the fuel rail should run a little cooler without the heat transfer from the water pipe sat next to it. The new section of hose is held in place by several recycled Earls P clips that I'd previously used to the hold fuel lines with.
I've also refitted the rear wing, back up above the roof line, which is where its going to stay until I've fabricated new brackets to hold it lower down the rear hatch. The gear position indicator thinks I have 6 forward gears, so I'll recalibrate the indicator for use with the new potentiometer. I still have a long list of jobs to do, and I'll keep working through them. My next outing is the Apex Festival on Sunday 19th May at Lydden, where I'll get a chance to drive the car to see if there's any issues. One thing I'd like to do is fit the fuel cooler, but that will mean relocating the oil catch tank, and the fuel pressure regulator. I've a few ideas on what to do, but I'm limited by lack of free time at the moment.
Refilled the gearbox with 2 bottles of Castrol Synthentic oil, with no leaks so far. I didn't drain the box totally when I took it off the other week, and luckily I had another 0,5 litre spare on the shelf, so the 2,5 litres I've added brings the oil up to the 3,1 litres required to fill a box. I've also fitted a new throttle cable. I had to buy another stainless steel inner from Halfords, and set about filing the size of the lead ferrule on the end down from 7mm to 6mm od, so that it fits in the linkage on the TB's. Its all connected up now, and the next job was to align the barrels on the left hand TB because at full throttle they weren't opening as much as the right hand barrel. The two sets of throttle bodies are connected together in the center, so as the right hand barrels open, they push the left hand ones up at the same time with a simple linkage. So theres an adjusting screw and locknut that needed to be loosened and adjusted to bring the two pairs of barrels in to alignment. Anyway, thats now done, so there could be a little bit more BHP at full throttle than before. Just the radiator and earth strap to fit and she's good to go.
Wiring loom is back in the engine bay and everything is reconnected. I struggled for an hour to try a different way to secure the throttle cable to the Titans but have given up and will revert to the trusty method of fitting the ferrule at the throttle pedal, and using a modified bicycle brake cable to attach the other end to the linkage.
I've now sold the original Fiesta ST gearbox, clutch cover and plate, to a buyer from Tyneside, which will go in to another Fiesta ST. And I've an almost new Race Technology Dash3 Lite which I want £150 for, plus a Quaife digital gear indicator (new) and a Penny and Giles potentiometer (new), which I want £150 for the pair. Email me if you're interested. Contact details are on the Contact link in the navigation bar (above)