Sunday 31st October 1999
Fitted the drivers side front wing, and tried fitting the rally arch to it. The wing doesn't look like its a very good pressing, as it doesn't fit on the car too well, and the arch doesn't fit to it as well as the other side. Its made by Haydrian. I may see during the week if I can get another one, one thats a better fit. Rubbed down the filler on the nearside rear arch. Also rubbed down the filler on the tailgate.
Thursday 28th October 1999
Did some more filling of holes in the glass fibre arches. Fitted the near side front wing, and attached the rally arch to the wing. The front spoiler looks tricky to fit. I've got to get the drivers side front wing fitted before I can see how the spoiler fits on the front of the car. Yep, you guessed it, no instructions with the spoiler. That has to be my biggest bugbear for the parts I've bought. They never come with instructions. Definitely a gap in the market for someone..
Wednesday 27th October 1999
Filled the holes in the offrside rear rally arch with P.38
Sanded down the rear tailgate. Its a glass fibre door, from MC Rallying. Its been on the car for about four years, but I've never gotten round to painting it. The finish isn't very good, so it'll take some prep work before its ready for spraying.
Saturday 23rd October 1999
Sprayed the offside front wing with zinc primer. Filled the holes in the nearside rear rally arch with P.38
I'm not sure if I'll go to the trouble of blending the arches in to the bodywork. Sounds like a lot of effort.
Monday 18th October 1999
Over the weekend I've finished the drivers side rear wheel arch off. Also painted the inside of the nearside front wings with zinc primer spray, from Halfords, ready for fitting.
Found the Spirit of America web site. Craig Breedlove reckons he can break 800 MPH with his rocket powered car. Visit his website and see what you think. He may go faster than ThrustSSC, but a British team broke the sound barrier first. (15/10/97)
Friday 15th October 1999
Last night I finished welding the wheel arch. I then cleaned and painted the bare metal with zinc primer. Over the weekend I'll fit the rally arch, and apply some glassfibre goo (Isopon P40) to try to blend the arches in with the bodywork. The indentations in the arches also need filling (Isopon P38) which I'll do before applying the P40.
Richard Noble announced his new project, two years to the day since breaking the sound barrier with ThurstSSC
Monday 11th October 1999
Spoke to Dave Wooton at BMTR. He says that theres not a very good selection of tyres for 16" rims. I'd be better going for some 15's. He can do me some 7.5" wide slicks, for 15" rims, with a smaller rolling radius than the original 185/60R13's. They're going to see how much some 7.5"x15" OZ rims are going to cost me too
Spoke to Mike Quaife about the gearbox and slipper. Sounds like I'll be buying these sooner rather than later, as the sponsorship offer is only limited, and runs out at the end of this year.
Fabricated and welded a metal plate to the rear inner wing where it joins the sill. Like the nearside, the inner wing was a bit rotten where the sun-roof drain pipe runs in to it. A silly design, and a good place to check if your XR2 is going rotten.
Sunday 10th October 1999
I've finished modifying the drivers side rear wheel arch. I marked where to cut the bodywork by cutting out a semicircle 700mm in diamater from a coardboard sheet. This is the template. Hold the cardboard against the bodywork, and mark out the radius by running a permanent marker pen around edge of the cardboard (hardly rocket science). Then carefully cut the steel out with some snips, hack saw etc. What you're aiming for is to bend the inner wheel arch out, over the outer bodywork. This has to be done in small strips, so that the bodywork isn't distorted. "Why not bend them inside the wheelarch?" Because they'd be bloody difficult to weld, if they all ended up inside the wheel arch. Have you tried welding whilst lying underneath what it is that you're welding? Its not a nice experience being burnt by flying bits of molten metal.
Saturday 9th October 1999
Bought a really good book today, Thrust. It's Richard Nobles story of how he achieved the World Land Speed Record on October 15th 1997 on Black Rock desert, with Thrust SSC. I highly recommend the book. Its very inspirational, and probably something that we would all as petrol/techno heads, like to achieve. Like he says, "You're only here once, so make the most of it."
Friday 8th October 1999
Been a bit quiet this week. Suffering from tooth ache, which still isn't sorted. Spoke to Chris at Elite Design today. The OZ SuperTurismo is available in silver. The SuperTurismo Corsa I'd seen is a special edition thats only available in white. The price for 7x16's is £120 +VAT (@17.5%), and 7x17's are £155 +VAT. Wifey had a Mondeo hire car on Wednesday. New 'V' reg 1800, and it was shod with 205/50R16's on some really tastey 5 spoke 16" alloys. They looked massive, but when I worked out the diameter, it turns out they're almost exactly the same height as what I'm aiming to use. ie 611mm. I think that 16" rims will be plenty big enough for Beccy, just to get her rolling. I'll save some money on the 16" wheels too (£35 per wheel compared with the price of a 17" wheel). Its the weekend tomorrow, time to complete the wheel arches (tooth ache permitting)
Sunday 3rd October 1999
Found some great web sites relating to wheels and tyres. BMTR and OZ Wheels. Tyre (sorry, tire to our American readers) sizes for racing tyres are not measured the same way as road tyres. Normally, the XR2 runs on 185/60R13 profile tyres. This means the tyre is 185mm wide, the sidewall height is 60% of the width (111 mm) and the wheel is 13" tall. Add these up and you get a tyre with a diameter of (111*2 + (13*25.4)) = 552 mm.
Manufacturers of race tyres specify the width and diameter of the tyre when ordering. I calculate that I can just squeeze in some 600mm diameter tyres, through the modifications to the rear wheel arches. The width is going to be about 35mm wider too, so I'm looking for tyres that are 220/600R17. I'll get in touch with BMTR next week, and see what sizes are available in that region.
I'm trying to see if OZ can supply me with Superturismo Corsa's in silver, as these are identical to the ones used on the Mondeo touring car, and some of the Focus publicity shots, and will look superb.
Finally for today, check out the pictures on the Stop Press page for some shots of Stephan Muellers awesome looking 1800 Zetec Mk1. A beautiful looking conversion.
Saturday 2nd October 1999
I'm working on the drivers side rear wheel arch now. Aligned, drilled and fitted the rally arch. Cut out all the steel from the body, ready to weld before I permanently fix the rally arch in place. Fixed the passenger side rally arch on with M4 stainless nuts and bolts, and sealed it in place with black silicon rubber.