Latest News

23Mar

#3 days to go. I've removed the gas bottle and regulator as I'm not able to get the paddles setup for Sunday. This will save me some weight, and I'll have to use the stick shift as I did all last year, which hopefully wont be too much of a challenge while I'm wrestling with 313bhp :D
The car is now ready. I've drained the fuel tank following the rolling road session, and managed to drain 6.5 litres, which means it used 5.5litres for the two power runs and the launch control setup. It'll be interesting to see how much fuel she gets through at Rockingham with the extra power. I have notes from last year so I should be able to see by how much the consumption has gone up.

My wheels are ready for collection, and I'll be heading up North in the morning to collect them. They will be lighter than the cast alloys on the car now, and wider, 1" and 2" wider in fact, 1" at the front, and 2" at rear, which will give me 8.5" at the front and 10.5" at the rear. This should help the tyres work better as they were squirming around on the rims last year, as although I bought wide rubber, the stock rims weren't really wide enough to make them work properly.


You should be able to see the difference now in the front wing height. I've lowered it 12mm to the ground, so it might work a little better due to the improved ground effect.

At the rear of the car I have added Gurney flaps to both the elements in the wing assembly. Gurney flaps, which are nothing more than 90" strips of metal, help increase downforce by as much as 10% but their height is critical. Too tall and they just add considerable drag. Too short and they wont be effective. I'll see if they make any difference but to be honest, 10% increase is going to be difficult to feel.

20Mar

#6 days to go. I am car 118 at Rockingham this Sunday, Pete is 119 in the sister car, and the Lola F3000 V8 is doubled entered. All to play for then.

The airbottle, regulator and pipework are now all fitted, the paddles are wired in, the car just needs setting up by NMS for the paddles to work. I have tried pulling the switches but nothing happens, as NMS disabled the paddles before I left so I could continue to use the stick shift.

11Mar

Panic! Its only two weeks to go to the first event at Rockingham (26th March), and, well, theres not a great deal left to do. I changed both the trilobe joints this week, as a precaution, for replacement GKN items from Trident. This was a relatively easy job, taking around 15mins each side, and the driveshafts just pop out the gearbox to aid removal, without any of the gearbox oil leaking out. What a clever design.

I've fitted the Geartronics valve block to the car, ready for the transition to flappy paddles, and I've wired them in to the outputs on the X10, but of course, I cant test them until I get the car back to NMS for setup. I've also acquired a 7L dive tank, which will be used to refill the 0.8L paintball bottle on the car, so all I've left to do is to wire up the paddles and it should all just work. The paddles are also fitted to the steering wheel, and I've had to order a 20mm spacer to fit between the paddles back plate and the rear face of the steering wheel, which should be with me this week sometime.

As I've practically finished the paddle install, I've asked Northampton Motorsport again if they can squeeze me in before Rockingham on the 26th as I'd really like to start the season with everything working. My next event after Rockingham is the Croft sprint on Easter Monday, followed by the Snetterton 100 sprint in May, which I've entered. Croft will be the first round for me of the British Sprint Championship, and with the power I have now, I see no reason why I shouldnt be a Top 12 finisher.

08Mar

The ROPS certificates finally turned up yesterday. They're a 12 page document, printed on security paper, and they detail the roll over protection on the Mygale SJ01 2012 chassis. We have to show these certificates at scrutineering at every event we attend from 2017, and therefore they must be kept safe.

A very big thankyou to Mygale, Ford and the MSA for expediting them. Ford and Mygale waived all their costs, and Ford paid the £370 homologation fee to the MSA. The MSA then sent the certificates out free of charge, so we're really grateful to all involved.

04Mar

I'm trying to get a set of Force Racing wheels on the car in time for Rockingham, 10" rear and 8" front, so the sticky Avon tyres are able to work better, as the rears squirm around on the 8.5" rears at the moment. They're being made, but no ETA as yet as to when they'll be delivered.

27Feb

After just two runs on the dyno on Monday, we achieved 313BHP and 261ft/lb of torque, and decided that that was more than enough power for me to deal with for 2017. Everything worked 100%, no leaks, no issues at all with any of the electronics that I added. The rear wheel speed sensors recorded 159MPH on the rollers, which was exactly the same as the speed recorded by the Dyno computer. 159MPH? Yep, thats what she should reach in 6th gear now, with my backside 4cm above the ground, sitting on a sheet of aluminium.

The X10 module worked first time, and the calibration switches were used to give me four maps to select from. Map 4 is around 100BHP less than Map 1, and I can now detune the car by selecting Map 1-2-3-4 depending on the conditions.

Launch control is also setup, so the switch holds the engine rpm at 3000rpm for position 1, 3250 for 2, 3500 for 3 and position 12 turns off Launch control. Same goes for the Traction switch, if thats in position 12, it turns traction off altogether.

Paddles were also unlocked, and we have configured the IO so I can now add the paddles and valves and test everything in the garage.

I'm ecstatic that everything went so smoothly. Huge thanks to Northampton Motorsport for their expertise, and support with the Turbo Technics S242 turbo. Huge thanks also to Pro-Alloy for the intercooler and pipework. We only needed 1.2bar of boost to make 313BHP, and the intake temperatures never peaked above 25C, so the potential for more power is there, in fact the sky is the limit on a purpose built engine. But for my Mountune engine, I'm not going to keep winding the boost up, we'll see what its like with 313BHP first and then decide if more power is needed.

24Feb

After a big push today, the car is now reassembled, and ready for the rolling road session on Monday at NMS. We heard today that Jason English has left Life, and that that shouldnt affect the service that NMS provides. However, it is still a great loss as Jason was involved with the early development of the EcoBoost cars, and there wasnt much he didnt know. Hopefully, I can still get traction control unlocked on Monday, and we can squeeze as much power as we can out of the Mountune engine.

23Feb

The inlet pipe is fitted to the turbo. I bought a section of 70mm ID 2ply neoprene hose, and this attaches to the turbo inlet. I then used the adaptor that came with the TT turbo to attach that hose to the smaller 63mm ID hose that runs up to the airbox/K&N Filter, and the solution works well. I then fitted the Forge recirculation valve, to the turbo outlet. All I need to do now is refit the original floor, put the wheels on, and lower the car back to the ground. Almost ready for the rolling road session at NMS.

Ford has pulled out all the stops and produced the ROPS certificates for me and Pete, and these should be in the post in the next few days. I for one will be popping champagne cork when it finally turns up. Its taken 8 months of chasing people up, to arrive at this point, and its been a very stressful process.

19Feb

Ran the engine for the first time today, and there were no issues I could find. Got the water temp up to 60C and I'll repeat the test during the week raising the temps up to 95C when I'm sure all the coolant hoses etc are properly secured. The floor rumbles like an earthquake with the sound from the exhaust. I cant wait to get the car on to the Dyno now to see if we can break 300bhp. I've had to relocate the top radiator hose feed, so it sits outside of the engine subframe, to give me the space I needed for the turbo inlet. And I'll have to cover the silicon water hoses feeding the water to the turbo, to protect them from the heat.

14Feb

Following another email exchange, it looks like we are going to get the ROPS certificates after all. Mygale's chairman emailed me, to explain the situation, and there is just a fee left to pay to the MSA to finish the process. That was all we wanted, some information to explain the situation fully. We had to resort to social networking to make contact, but it worked, and we're now days away from getting the certificate. Just as well as I've entered the Rockingham Sprint on March 26th, and Pete should be there too. The regs only came out yesterday, and I filled in the paperwork and emailed it off straight away.

The remaining intercooler pipework has arrived, and I've finished wiring in the launch and traction control switches. I've a few more bits on order to complete the flappy paddle gearchange install, and these should be arriving in the next few days.

10Feb

Of course the intercooler fits, I've asked Pro-Alloy to supply a number of bends and a section of hard pipe to allow me to run the pipework from the turbo to the intercooler. I was hoping to get them in time for this weekend so I could run the engine again, but I missed the delivery on Friday, and DPD dont re-deliver at the weekends, so I'll have to wait until Monday for the bits.

The turbo is now connected to the water hoses via the banjo fittings, and I've replaced the heatshield and fitted the downpipe. As I cant run the engine yet, I might try and fit the carbon floor this weekend, and see how that looks instead.

Mygale Chassis

Worringly there is still no sign of the ROPS certificate for the Mygale cars. Mygale now has the paperwork, and the MSA are waiting for Mygale to send it to them. I've heard about a fee needing to be paid by Mygale, presumably for the generation of the certificate by Ford, but I dont know anything more than that at the moment. I just hope Mygale understand the importance and urgency. Castle Combe sprint in March is now full, so I've missed that as my first round. So I'm waiting for the BARC Eastern Rockingham event regs to be published, as thats now likely to be my first outing. But BARC hasnt published the regs yet, as there are delays at the MSA again with releasing Permits. Its not looking like its going to be a very smooth year this season. I'm now entered in the British Sprint Championship, for my 2nd year, and I wont be scoring any points without ROPS certificates, so we really are at the mercy of the organising body at the moment.

Please like and share my post so we can try and speed up the release of the ROPS certificates.

05Feb

Bodywork is back on, as is the front suspension. I hate the front suspension mounts. They are very dfficult to get to when the bodywork is on, and of course, the bodywork has to be on to fit them as they pass through it. I just couldnt get my hands to reach the lower mounts, fitting the nyloc nuts to the bolts was very tricky. Anyway, its all done now, albeit it took me 2.5hours to fit them. Whilst the bodywork is back on, I'm replacing rusty fasteners with zinc plated ones, to tidy things up, and giving the side pods a good clean.

My next job is to fit the intercooler and see if all the pipework reaches the turbo and throttle body. The freshly machined water fittings didnt quite work out how I wanted. They pushed the OEM water pipes out too far, preventing the engine subframe from fitting back over the turbo. So Plan B is I've ordered a pair of M12 10mm banjos and these will fit on the TT fittings, alowing me to point both banjo's upwards, keeping the supplied silicon water hoses to a minimum length, and allowing them to remain away from the heat of the turbo exhaust.

Pete didnt have as much luck at NMS today as he did with his previous engine. He only made 276BHP this time, and a little less torque. I'm sure he'll get more power, its just a matter of ironing out a few problems first.

02Feb

A little bit of progress to report regarding the ROPS certificate for the Mygale EcoBoost cars. Ford has sent the completed documentation to the MSA, who then sent it on to Mygale. And the situation now, is that although the certificate is complete, the MSA are waiting on an agreement with Mygale to release the certificate, so the MSA can print it on their security paper. So we have no indication as to how long it will take for Mygale to reach the agreement.

Also there is an installation page in the MSA document that will need to be signed. I'm assuming that this is the part of the paper work that confirms the identity of the car. Again I'm waiting for confirmation from the MSA. It could mean a visit from a vehicle eligibility scrutineer, or maybe I can get it signed off at the first event.

So after starting the hunt for the certification in July 2016, we're now hopefully, just days or weeks away from being issued with paperwork that will allow us to race. As I've entered the British again for a second year, I'm hoping it's days or weeks, rather than months.

The chassis wiring is now complete. Time to refit the bodywork and front suspension and get the car back on her wheels again.

31Jan

X10 wiring is now complete. I'm just waiting for a 6-way DTM connector for the ignition panel, and when thats fitted I'll try and refit the bodywork, if I can remember how it all goes back on. I've removed the intercooler and pipework, and I'm waiting for the water pipe fittings to come back before bolting everything on properly. Hopefully they'll be ready this Friday.

I've created a new page for the Life F88R and X10 module. See if you can find it under Resources, Life F88R from the menus.

24Jan

Last night I trial fitted the TT turbo, and ran in to a couple of relatively minor issues. The main one being the water fittings provided are M14x1.5 and the OEM banjo fittings are M12x1.5 which means I cant just connect the water pipes to the turbo. I'm going to have to look for a M-F adaptor to allow the M12 fittings to attach to the M14 threads, and we're looking in to a couple of possible solutions at the moment. The other issue was the recirculation valve, or rather the lack of it. The OEM turbo has the valve built in, its a simple diaphragm with a spring pressing down on it to keep the valve closed. TT has supplied a solenoid operated external valve, but I dont want to have an electrical connection and ECU control of the valve for now, I'd rather it were mechanically operated like the OEM valve. So we tried removing the electric solenoid from the top of the alloy valve housing, and removed the diaphragm and lid from the OEM turbo, hoping to fit that to the external valve housing. Unfortunately, we found that the holes in the two didnt line up, and it transpires that the OEM turbo is in fact a Focus unit, not a Fiesta turbo, and Ford, for whatever reason, hasnt used the same positions for the three mounting holes for the lid. I did try rotating the lid and valve body, to try all three fitting positions, but each time, the holes failed to line up. Fortunately, NMS has an OEM Fiesta turbo that they've removed the valve and lid from, and when it arrives I'll see if it does indeed fit the TT valve housing. If it does, result. If it doesn't, I'll have to look for another external recirclation valve that can be mounted on the silicon hoses provided.

23Jan

The standard Ford turbo has been removed, which took me around 45 mins to complete. My first ever turbo removal, every day is a school day with this car. As the turbo is water cooled, I drained and removed the radiator first, saving the new antifreeze for later. To gain access to the turbo, I had to remove the tubular steel engine subframe that covers it, which was quite straight forward, just four bolts to remove and it pulls out of the chassis. I found even more adhesive silver tape on the back of the subframe, and there was me thinking I'd peeled it all off in 2015. Next the heatshield was removed, and both the oil pipes, and after the removal of a few more parts, the turbo was unbolted from the exhaust manifold and removed to the bench.

I shall fit the OEM water pipes on to the TT turbo, which for some reason comes with straight water hose connectors. Maybe thats how they're connected on Fiestas? I also had a recirculation valve in the kit from Turbo Technics, and these Mygales dont use them, so I'll not be fitting that then. I've had to order a pair of 25mm pipe bungs from eBay to plug the recirculation valve holes in the supplied silicon hoses, delivery in a few days time. Next job is offer the new turbo up, and make sure that every thing connects properly.

Slight change of plans to the calibration switches. I need to ensure that the pull-up resistor is turned off for the three IO channels in the X10, and provide a sensor ground to the three switches to allow the potential divider network (aka resistor ladder) to provide voltages between 0v and 5v for each switch position. The pull up resistor would have been connected in parallel with R1, which would have returned very small voltage changes for each switch position, and the X10 may have been confused if there was any drift in the 5V rail supplied. Easy enough to do, I'll just run a new section of 8 core cable in, and use 5 cores for the switches and three for the paddles on the steering wheel.

20Jan

Finished wiring in the three calibration switches. I've also made a carbon fibre switch panel, which provides a location for the three switches, in place of the standard igntion switch panel. I then ran the engine to make sure that the additional pins I fitted to the F88 connector hadnt broken anything, and the engine started first time and ticked over as normal. Result. Now, I can aim to fit the new turbo, and refit the bodywork.

16Jan

Rear wheel speed sensors are now connected to the X10. Now to wire in the calibration switches, and look at fitting the turbo and intercooler. I went to the Autosport Show last week and spoke to Life about the security on the locked ECU's, and they agreed finally that we could have a 'custom access' level to allow access to the sections of the ECU that we need, without unlocking the Ford IP part (the fuel and timing maps). I will need to arrange with Northampton Motorsport for the levels of access that we need, to get to the point where I can alter parameters for launch, traction, etc, but not have access to the actual engine maps. Still no sign of the ROPS certificate for the Mygale cars. Pete Goulding and I are still waiting for these to appear. Ford are working with the MSA on the production of the certificates, and with the first event only two months away, I'm hoping both parties can get them out in time. I've registered in the Hill Climb and Sprint Association championship for 2017, and I'm sending off my form for the British Sprint Championship in the next few weeks. I will really need the extra horsepower this year. I'm hoping for Top 12 finishes at every round. We'll see at Castle Combe in March if the car has the straight line speed to compete with the quicker V8's.

Here is my wiring diagram for the Mygale FF200. Its still not finished, but its as accurate as I can make it at the moment. Mygale FF200 wiring diagram

10Jan

The Turbo Technics turbo and the Pro-Alloy intercooler both turned up on Monday. I'm very impressed with the quality of workmanship of the intercooler. Its beautifully made and is far bigger than the intercooler that it replaces. The turbo and I/C will not be fitted straight away. I'm still wiring in the X10 expander, and thats posing a few challenges of its own. I've had to order different female crimps for it as the ones provided werent the right length for the connector, and I've also had to order a fuse holder for the X10 +12V supply, and a few other bits and pieces. Slow and steady progress as usual.

06Jan

CAN02 is now added to the Life ECU connector. I bought the connector pins from RS.COM, stripped the heatshrink boot off the end of the backshell, and pulled the connector apart. Pins 79 and 80 now have a pair of twisted wires in a shielded cover, that run to the IO expander. I've also fitted the expander to the front of the ECU, so it shares the same aluminium mounting bracket. I've also fitted a microswitch to the clutch pedal, and that is now wired in to the redundant rain-light cable. This switch tells the ECU that the clutch is depressed, and that allows the selection of first or reverse gear from neutral. Without the switch, if the up or down paddle were pressed when in neutral, the ECU would just select the gear, and without the clutch depressed, this would most likely damage the gearbox.

I ordered the Turbo Technics S242 turbo from Northampton Motorsport, price is £1040 inc VAT for exchange of the spare turbo. The water supply needs to be altered to make it fit. The std turbo has a pair of steel pipes with banjo connectors, that provide coolant to the turbo. The TT turbo doesnt use the same pipes, so I'm going to have to find a way to make a neat installation using silicon hose. So long as the engine cradle doesnt get in the way.
Turbo Technics turbo from NMS

Dont forget, pictures from the work over the last few days are on the Facebook page

04Jan

I ran the engine today, to check the alternator works, and it does. I'm seeing 14.1V on the dashboard, and there were no squeaks or rattles, for the 10 minutes I ran the engine. I also finished wiring the radiator fan, and when the engine temp reached 95C it came on, and it went off again when the temp dropped to 92C. It blew a 10A fuse at first, which was due to the switch on current drawn by the fan. So I quickly pushed a 30A fuse in its place, and the fan started spinning. I'll drop the fuse to a 15A, and see if that survives the switch on current.

A huge push saw the continuity testing of the spare loom complete today. And the tables in the spreadsheet are now updated. This exercise has been most useful. We've determined that the ECU is definitely a F88R, which has had a GDI daughterboard added, as the pinouts for the INJ 8-way connector used four pins on the ECU that were labelled DO NOT CONNECT. I checked with Jason at Life, and he confirmed that these four pins had been reassigned for GDI operation, though there is no datasheet as such for the FF200 version of the F88R.

I also determined that the X10 IO expander 100% can be used for the Ti-VCT (VVT) control. I get 10 inputs and 10 outputs with the X10, and it will easily cope with the extras that we're looking for. And I asked if the GDI4 is pin-for-pin compatible with the FF200 F88R, and there are differences that need addressing, otherwise there may be damage to the GDI4.

The pins that would need changing are as follows:
IGNITION:
IGN1 pin27 to IGN5 pin5
IGN2 pin26 to IGN6 pin4
IGN3 pin25 to IGN7 pin3
IGN4 pin24 to IGN8 pin2

GDI:
GDI1+ pin31 to 27
GDI2+ pin30 to 26
GDI3+ pin20 to 25
GDI4+ pin47 to 24

Finally I asked what the COMP BYPASS connector was intended for, as it is cable tied out the way on both mine and Pete's engines. Jason said it was just a spare that never got used in the end for an electronic dump valve so you could wire that to the inlet VVT instead.