The extinguisher is now mechanically plumbed in, with the first nozzle mounted in the cockpit secured to the chassis. I've also re-mounted the Life GPS module, that sat above the steering column. It is now fixed properly to the chassis, using the mounts on the sides of the module. The wires for the GPS module, the dashboard and the pit lane speed limiter switch on the steering wheel, have also been tidied up. The tank cover and the plate that the seatbelts pass through, are both now attached using the correct number of M4 fasteners and split washers.
I bought a 20° HANS yesterday, and a pair of posts to fix to the crash helmet. Delivery should be sometime today. I've also peeled off some of the old sponsors stickers from the sides of the car, and removed the clear helicopter tape that protected the orange and white wrap on the sides of the bodywork. The translucent tape had gone yellow, so I'll apply a new layer before I drive the car, to protect the wrap beneath. There was a handle in the car, that when the foot brake was applied, allowed the driver to hold the brakes on by pulling the handle, which was situated above the drivers left knee, next to the fire extinguisher pull. I've removed it, as it wasn't installed very neatly, and was surplus to requirements anyway. I've also removed what looks like an infra red beacon, from behind the main roll over hoop. It plugged in to the main loom. Again, not required, so its been put in a box with all the other parts I've removed. The weight of parts in the box is quickly adding up.
I borrowed a 20deg HANS today so see how difficult it would be to sit in the car, and do my belts up etc. And it was quite a struggle. This is hardly surprising. First of all, even doing up the belts was a struggle. Getting my wrists angled to push clips in to the centre buckle was very difficult. So I'm going to get some Sabelt 6pt harnesses, 2" wide for the HANS, with adjusters, so I can slacken/tighten the belts when sat in the car. The Mygale belts are fixed with a bolt in to the chassis, so fitting seatbelt eyes should be quite easy.
The fitting of the HANS itself was quite straight forward. The 2" wide shoulder belts are then placed over the HANS, and done up loosely. Next the crash helmet is worn, and the HANS tethers attached to the sides of the helmet. I then attempted to place the U shaped head restraint on, it covers my shoulders, and at that point I struggled. With the HANS on, the head restraint on, and sitting on the extraction shell, my helmet was pressed against the head restraint, which was pretty uncomfortable.
With the head restraint removed, I had the freedom to move. We then removed the extraction seat, and I tried sitting in the car again. This time I was much more comfortable, I had room to lean right back, and the 20deg HANS didn't get in the way at all.
The conclusion: I shall run without the extraction seat, so I can lean further back in the seat. I shall also omit the head restraint, as that prevented me from leaning back in the car and forced my crash helmet / head forwards.
Drawing of the head restraint is shown below. These are £945 new from Skyford!
The battery is now reconnected, after I turned it over and around, and added some heat shrink to the cables to prevent them from chafing through. It looks far neater now, and the terminals are upper most, rather than down against the aluminium floor. I also removed and refitted the aluminium plate that sits behind the seat. It was held on by just one fastener. Its now held on by 9 fasteners, all with shake proof washers. I've also placed a couple of strips of foam against the chassis where the plate pressed against it. This car must have had so many rattles. So distracting for the driver. One thing is for sure, I wont need anything distracting me when I drive it for the first time.
With the panel and extraction seat refitted, I'm now able to sit in the car and adjust the seatbelts to suit my height and shoulder width. Unlike the 6-points in the Fiesta, these are not adjustable in situ without tools, and some assistance. I need to make a foam seat, or at least some form of padding, as the extraction seat is not meant for sitting on directly. Its just a carbon shell with a load of straps on it, to aid the extraction of the driver in the event of a crash.
I've also peeled of yet more aluminium tape, this time from the panel where the seat belts pass through. Someone at Radical clearly liked aluminium tape.
I've finally decided to paint the garage floor. From recommendations, I've gone for Jotafloor two pack sealant, and Jotafloor topcoat in light grey. So it'll still look like concrete when its done, I see little point in painting a floor a dark colour, as it just makes it harder to find bits that land on the floor. I'll clear the garage at the weekend, and make a start.
The extinguisher bracket is now secured to the chassis. I've made a couple of brackets from aluminium that hold the bracket above the chassis tube, which is where the original bracket was mounted. But the difference now is that the bracket is also bolted to the floor at the front, whereas the one supplied was only bolted to the chassis. This should prevent any fatigue to the mounting bracket through vibration. Next I need to wire the bottle in with two buttons, one in the cockpit, and one on the near the roll hoop. And using the new 6mm tubing, place the nozzles at appropriate places, one in the engine bay, and one pointing at the driver.
This week I collected four of the wheels with wet tyres, and four of the new slick tyres. They're now wrapped individually in black polythene bag and are stored away from sunlight to keep the rubber from going off. I also fitted a hitch cover to the trailer to keep the winch and hitch from getting wet. And I bought a new 7-13 pin trailer connector adaptor. The Beemer has a 7 pin connector, and the trailer came with a 13 pin connector. The adaptor that was supplied with the trailer didn't make a good enough connection, and when the connector was wiggled the trailer's lights flickered on and off. I'm hoping the new adaptor solves that problem.
The metal plate on the Mygale that sits behind the drivers head, providing a bulkhead / firewall between the driver and the fuel tank, had a broken mount, so it was loose and rattled when the engine ran. I made a replacement, from advertising board (aluminium/foam/aluminium sandwich) that is wider than the original, so it improves the firewall effect. I do like working with advertising board. You can cut it very easily, by scoring it with a Stanley knife, and snapping the pieces apart. Its also very light, and more rigid than aluminium. But most importantly, this week I used my new bench, and its superb.
I went to Blyton on Sunday to watch the British Sprint Championship teams competing at the sprint track. It was a very interesting day. I learnt a lot about preparation of tyres, the gadgets I need to take with me to maintain my car, and most of all, how laid back everyone seemed to be. There's no changing gear ratios, or adjustments being made to suspension. Its mostly cleaning tyres, and a few safety checks between runs. I took 800+ photographs, on Steven Miles' Nikon D7100, and some of the pictures should be in Autosport, and Speedscene. There was no official photographer there, so with Steve's camera, I did the best job I could.
I've made an aluminium bracket to secure the extinguisher bottle to the Mygale chassis, and during the process of cutting and drilling, I realised that although before when I had the Fiesta, I didnt have the space in the new garage for a bench, I certainly did now. So a quick trip to costco and I purchased a steel mobile workbench with cabinets, which took some lifting. It weighed 112Kgs! It just fitted in the back of the car. Like a glove I think is the expression. Took about 2 hours to build, as its so heavy and difficult to manoeuvre until the castors are fitted. Its the only piece of furniture I've had to use a trolley jack to lift: 8) The plan is to push it to the back of the garage, and get rid of one of the storage racks. I just need to reorganise a few bits and pieces.
I sold the Woodford Lightweight trailer on Saturday, it went to a chap who lives near Loton Park, so its gone to a good home.
The trailer was delivered on Monday, from Glasgow. Its a Brian James Race Shuttle 2, three years old, with hardly a mark on it. I've ordered a tyre rack from BJ, and thats going to be ready for collection in 17 days time. I've put the trailer in to storage for the time being, at 19 feet long, it took up the majority of my driveway.
I've completely removed the Lifeline fire extinguisher from the car, and I've had to buy a new bottle mounting bracket. The one on the car was only held on by two chassis mounted fasteners, and the aluminium bracket had almost entirely sheared along its length, so the bottle wasn't held on by very much. The bottle is the mechanical pull type, so I'm swapping the polished extinguisher from the Fiesta, which is electrically operated, and therefore lighter. All I need to do is a small bit of wiring to get it all connected up properly. The two bolts that held the bracket to the chassis had also seized, so I've had to drill them out to remove the bracket. I'm now left with two studs sticking out the holes in the chassis, which I'm stuggling to remove.
My Fiesta is now with its new owner. We delivered her today. I took my Dad with me, it seemed appropriate. He helped me collect her from Tamworth 23 years ago. So the new chapter begins. The new owner promises to look after her, and wants to install a 2.0 Zetec, and use it for track days. To be honest, a Duratec would be more fun, and the car is wired for the Duratec on injection. Anyway, she's gone, I need to move on, and focusing on the single seater will help take my mind off the sale.
I've made a short video showing the Dash4Pro screen in the Mygale.
Replaced a missing fastener on the Mygale, which required the radiator to be removed first. The fastener secures the bodywork on the off side of the car, direct to the chassis, and without it fitted, the bodywork was quite loose. With the rad removed, I cleaned out all the grass from the air intake. I'm still peeling aluminium tape from the engine subframe. It is proving very difficult to remove, but now I've started, I'm not stopping until its all finished.
The Fiesta is sold, and is being collected in the next few days. I've found a replacement trailer, and its being delivered on Monday. I've gone for a Brian James Race Shuttle 2, which is wide enough for the Mygale, same as the type we borrowed from Radical to collect the car in.
Looks like the Life ECU is the limiting factor with these cars. They have Ford's map in them, which remains their IP, and therefore unlocking them is a one way trip, as Life will unlock, but they wipe the ECU, so it is returned blank and unusable in the current car.
Meanwhile, we believe that there are two maps, 2013 200BHP and 2014 170BHP, and Life wont load the 2013 map on the ECU either, because of their 'company policy'. We're exploring other avenues at the moment. I'm also talking to Radical to see if they can help restore the 2013 map.
However, all is not lost. SBD are developing an MBE replacement, with a new more powerful turbo, which should see 300BHP. I'm already saving.