October 2013

31Oct

With just a few days before the ING New York City Marathon, Paul Waters has raised almost £500. Lets see if we can get him over the line with a bit more money in his back pocket, all for a worthy cause. Please click here to make a donation.


30Oct

The article in the November issue of Retro Ford, Breaking the law, came out better than I had hoped for, and there's even several pictures of me working on the Fiesta. The next issue, out any day now, is called Testing times

The rear brakes on the Meriva have developed the same faults as described on many other websites, whereby the brakes squeal, constantly. I've bought some new pads for the rear, and will change these as soon as I get the opportunity. The noise goes when the handbrake lever is pulled, or if you steer left or right. In a straight line however, they make an incredible racket over 40mph, and despite a strip down the other night, I cant find any witness marks on the disks or pads to indicate what's catching. The concensus is to change the pads. Which is what I'll do.

27Oct

I replaced the rear brake pads on the Subaru yesterday, which was surprisingly easy to do. No special tools required. Just a 75mm G-Clamp to push the caliper piston back in to the body, a 14mm spanner to remove the bolts that held the caliper to the carrier, and a wheel jack and brace to get the car off the ground and the wheel off the car. Took me 12 minutes to change each side, which I video'd and the footage (sped up, in 50 seconds) is below. I also replaced the front pads on the Meriva, as one of the pads had delaminated and was causing the front brakes to squeal. Again, just as easy to do, took around 15 mins each side. Seems to have done the trick too.

There's a photo of my Fiesta in this months Performance Ford Magazine, from the Forge show at Castle Combe in September. The picture is on my Facebook page.


25Oct

I spotted an RAF AWACS circling over EMA last night, so it would have been rude not to have filmed it as it was performing circuits.



I filmed it on my GoPro Hero2, which I always keep on me following the attack on my car in August. Its quite a handy bit of kit to keep on you. Very versatile and switches on in seconds. Great for capturing threats and harassment.

Ooh sorry, thats right, I'm not allowed to use the word st@lk3rs. Better strike that out. Dont want any more visits from the Police. Yes, seriously, I had a visit from the Police because someone assumed that I meant them when I wrote that word, so they called the Police, and complained. Anyway, moving swiftly along....

I so want to build an adult version of the Razor Crazy Kart. The limitation of the kids version is the 140lb weight limit, which is not a weight I'm ever going to get down to.


21Oct

XR2 racer Paul Waters is running the New York Marathon this year to raise money for the Air Ambulance fund. He's looking for sponsorship, so if you want to donate a fiver or more, please follow this link.


I MOT'd both cars on Saturday, both passed with flying colours. Still not sure what to do with the Subaru. I've had it from new, it's now done 76,500 miles in five years, and continues to prove economical and tremendous fun to drive. I'm probably going to wait until we've moved before changing it. I'd love a new Jaguar XF estate on the drive. Thats a very smart looking car. And it's RWD which would make for a lot of fun in the wet.

I've seen the future, and its definitely 3D printing. One of the printer's I've seen on my travels recently, uses metal sintering to build a 3D object. And with a viewing window in the front of the printer, you can stand and watch the laser beam as it passes over the surface of the object being created, layer by layer.

The software used to drive the machines, is very sophisticated too. It takes a 3D CAD model, and splits it in to thousands of layers, and each layer is then printed, one on top of the other. Each pass of the laser beam, is in a different direction to the last. Which helps increase the rigidity of the sintered model being created. Some of the internal structures built would be impossible to cast or machine from a solid block of metal. So top of my Christmas list for my new garage, is a 3D printer. Trouble is we'd need to sell the house again to buy one. Check out these Youtube videos on 3D printing. EOS 270 3D Printer

17Oct

I'm still going through the 6 hours of footage recorded at the weekend, taken from the Supercheap Bathurst 1000 shown LIVE on MotorsTV. Its a fantastic venue, one of the remaining tracks on my bucket list, and the one reason I'd visit Australia. Its great news that Sony are releasing the new version of Gran Turismo 6 soon, as it finally includes the Bathurst Track. I'm going to have to invest in a proper steering wheel for the PlayStation for Christmas, as I'm just going to be lapping the track over and over again and the standard controllers just dont cut it when it comes to driving sims.

14Oct

If there is one thing I've learnt more than any, over the past fifteen years, is not to post information on the website that publicises the wrong doings of my unwelcomed visitors. Anything I write may reinforce their thirst for recognition. It just feeds their lust for retaliation and revenge. Nor do I publicise events I may be taking part in, to give them prior notice of my movements. I learnt that lesson years ago.

Basically, just dont feed the trolls.


12Oct

Writing for Retro Ford Magazine has certainly increased the number of visitors to my web site. Did you know for instance in the past 6 months, we have had almost 16,000 unique visitors to the site. Thats an Army of followers, researching information on Fiestas, Ford's Zetec and Duratec engines, engine management, fuel injection etc. I'd like to thank each and every one of you who takes the time to read the latest news, and comment on whats going on, in and out of the garage. As you will have realised, we're going through some very stressful times at the moment, but a house move and a fresh start are on the cards. The offers of advice and support are very welcome, and I will keep them all for the new year. Roll on 2014. Its going to be a new chapter in our lives, and with luck, we'll be out racing in the Fiesta again across the UK.


10Oct

Because I now have categorical proof that my website is being viewed by persons who I do not wish to be associated with, I've decided to create a PREMIUM section, which only SUBSCRIBERS will have access to. I'm just putting the html together that will make this possible. In the mean time, I shall continue to write about my cars and stuff on here, and anything else will be saved for SUBSCRIBERS only. (Subscription will be free, you will just need to register with a valid email address to be given access) I am banning various IP addresses from viewing the site, in an attempt to prevent those users from seeing the contents. This is just a short term measure, and the PREMIUM content will allow me to restrict access with more confidence. I'll be able to write what I like then.

9Oct

I'm toying with the idea of converting the water pump to an electric drive, using a kit from the states. This will remove the parasitic losses caused by the belt driven pump, and allow the spare capacity from the battery to power an electric motor that would turn the pump. Just an idea, but its been proven to work on other cars, and I dont have room for an EWP at the front of the Duratec engine. Kits from Jegs.com are available for less than a hundred notes, so what do I have to lose?


8Oct

I've finished my next article for Retro Ford magazine, its a writeup from the Castle Combe Forge Action day in September where I took part in a couple of track sessions. Theres a picture of the Fiesta in this months Performance VW magazine in their writeup for the same event, albeit I'm behind Tony Barber's Tatty Golf, I dont mind, its still a new magazine appearance.


1Oct

The Fiesta is now mothballed for the year. Next year's project will be setting up the garage when we've moved. I'm torn between digging a pit or fitting a scissor lift to allow me to work on the underside of the car. Depends how much income is left once all the moving costs are out of the way.