May 1999

Removed the XR2 decals from the drivers side rear panel. Cleaned the roof and gave it a polish, with Autoglym. Great stuff, the roof came up really good, considering she's not been washed for over three years! Pushed the car out of the garage and had a clean up session. Loads of accumulated dust, grit, metal etc etc.
Fitted the handbrake and cables, and the rear drums still work! Thats after three years of sitting idle. I've put it back on so the cars a bit more stable on the trailer. When the exhaust is made, they can remove the handbrake if its in the way, as I'm going to use a hydraulic handbrake. The space underneath the rear seats is empty, and I'm expecting the silencers to be fitted in this area. I'll be going for the DTM upswept tail pipe, which will help when unloading the car from the trailer. I could go for the 4" rolled tail pipe. NOT! That'd look ridiculous.
Prepared and sprayed the near side sill with grey primer. Booked the trailer for the 7th.
Slight change of plans. Custom Chrome cant fit the car in until the 28th of June. So I've booked her in at Ashley's on June the 7th, for a week.
The gear linkage is now connected. And I can select all five gears (+ reverse). I've put the front suspension and driveshafts back in, and the car is now back on its wheels. She's now ready for the exhaust system to be fabricated. So I'll arrange to hire a trailer to get the car over to the exhaust people. I've been quoted a better price and a 2 year warranty by Custom Chrome, so I may be taking the car to them.
Engine and box went back in on Friday evening. Fits perfectly. Engine now leans back nicely, by about 5-10 degrees.
The RallySprint at Silverstone was amazing. There were Escort WRC's, a Lancer Evo 3, the Walkers Delta Integrale, Subaru Imprezza and Legacys, Escort Mk1 and Mk2's, and about 8 MG Metro 6R4's. A fantastic days motorsport. Dont miss the next one. Visit Silverstone for more details. Hint: book in advance and the tickets are only £6 each. Compare that with the next MaxPower event, which is a staggering £15 each. And all you get to see is a load of trade stands. What a rip off!
Engines going back in tonight. Off to Silverstone tomorrow to see the Rally Sprint, featuring Metro 6R4's. Last time I saw one of these competing was probably whilst watching a sprint at Harewood, and previous to that was whilst marshalling at Epynt in Wales and Clipstone Forest in Nottinghamshire. If you've never seen or heard a 6R4 at full tilt, then you're missing out. Its £10 on the gate tomorrow.
Oh yes, and if you're with Virgin.Net, and you opted for the Pay-as-you-go subscription, I suggest you check your bank statement. I checked mine last night, and they'd taken £5.99 out, as if I'd gone for the £5.99 a month offer. A quick phone call, and they sorted it out. Worth checking though.
Oil pressure gauge capillary tube and fixings arrived from Europa. Took a month, as they've been unable to source the bits. I've already got the pressure gauge, but the plastic pipe that connects the gauge to the engine, comes with two very small brass olives. When you disconnect the pipes, you have to use new olives, or the pipe wont get a good seal, and you'll piss oil out everywhere. Lucas no longer sell the olives, but Europa at Burton on Trent, do a new fixing kit, for a £5. Their catalogue has loads of stuff in it for people restoring old cars. Lots of chrome bumpers, mirrors, badges, lights, wiring, rubber door seals etc. Well worth a call just for the free catalogue. Email me for the phone number.
Finished reinforcing the chassis where the rear engine cradle mounts to it, and I then spent some time cleaning and spraying the engine compartment. Fitted the cradle back on the engine, so I'm ready to lift it back in tomorrow night.
Seamwelded the inside of the engine bay, following the guidelines in the Rally Sport preparation manual. Welded the steel plate for the new rear engine mounting. Drilled some more holes and cut two pieces of tubing out to reinforce the chassis rail where the new engine mounting is bolting through. I just need to cut out and weld in one more piece of 2mm steel, and I can get the engine/gearbox back in again. Its very time consuming, all this cutting, drilling and welding. Good fun though (better than decorating)
Wow. That was a busy week. Went to Edinburgh for two days on business, been decorating at home, bought a new cooker and hob cos the old one blew up. OK, excuses! I know. Very poor.
Yesterday (08.05.99) I removed the steering rack and drilled the holes for the new engine cradle mounting, at the rear of the engine bay (next to the bulkhead). Today I spent about 40 minutes, measuring up and cutting out a piece of 2mm steel for the reinforcement for the engine mount. And then it was, oh joy, more decorating...
Removed engine, gearbox and front suspension. Drilled two holes in the front cross member where the engine cradle is being moved across to. Made a brace for the new holes using 2mm steel plate, which I folded a right angle into. I then sacrificed the old gear change mech and cut out two lengths of steel tube. (using the old gear selector shaft). Welded these to the brace, and then lowered the whole thing in to the cross member, and welded in to place. The two tubes are required so the front cross member doesn't crush when the engine cradle bolts are tightened. I need to do the same for the rear of the engine compartment, where the other end of the engine cradle mounts to the floor.