January 2000

Sunday 30th January 2000
More filling, rubbing down, spraypainting etc etc
Saturday 29th January 2000
Check out www.rockingham.co.uk. The Oval is coming along really well. Cant wait to visit when its open.
Again, been cleaning and painting the inside of the car during the week. Painted the gear change mechanism, as although I cleaned it last year, the dreaded rust had started again. This time I've used Zinc primer, and I'll finish it with black Plastikote spray. I've started assembling a pile of metal bits that I'm going to have Zinc plated. These include engine cradle, servo mounting brackets and the gearbox mounting bracket. Theres a place locally that'll sandblast them for me, and another company that can Zinc plate almost anything. Zinc plate will stop them from rusting, ever. Into the UK phenomenon of cruising? Check out www.cruiseboard.co.uk. A fun site. Also, have you seen www.rust.co.uk. A company that makes all sorts of claims about their range of rust prevention cures. I downloaded a copy of Macromedia Fireworks 3. Looks really nice, quite an improvement over V2. If you're in to web page design, check it out.

Hmm, theres a question on my guestbook as to who's car is quickest. An old 8V 1800 CVH or my 2.0 16V 200BHP Zetec. I dont know what my car can achieve, until its setup and running. It's geared for acceleration, not top speed. But it'll certainly be hard to beat over the quarter mile...
Saturday 22nd January 2000
Painted the inside of the car some more. Removed a few more cable brackets, and other redundant parts. Plastikoted the front engine mounting bracket. These pictures show some of the prep work that I've done prior to the respray
She's looking more and more naked... Engine bay is now finished. A shot of the inside, showing the condition of the floor and general interior (excellent considering the age of the car (b.1983) The firewall. I've welded steel tubing, running vertically, down from the airbox. The tubing is cut so it blends in to the angled firewall. Its also been reinforced with 1.5mm steel plate, because of a bit of rust. Another shot of the inside of the car, showing the cage door bars and prepared floor.

Friday 21st January 2000
Bought four cans of Zinc primer spray (300ml) and four cans of plastic primer (300ml) for the floor and the glass fibre wheel arches, from Halfords. The Zinc primer prevents metal from rusting, and gives a better finish than brushed on zinc paint. Sprayed the near side footwell of the inside of the car, as well as the floorpan. During the week I've been removing old paint and preparing the surfaces for spraying. Discovered a 250 BHP 2.0 Zetec engine on the Raceline web site, for £ 9750 + VAT. That is a truly staggering amount of money. Including VAT, (Value Added Tax, @17.5%, payable on nearly all items if you're a UK resident) is £11,456. Wow! Visit their site for more details, www.raceline.co.uk

Later on this year, on this site, I'm going to show how to build a reliable, powerful Zetec engine, which will cost nothing like as much as that to develop. Race cams, a ported head, high compression pistons, race rod bolts, and common sense should see 200 BHP, for about £1500

We've just taken delivery of a fleet of dual-fuel Focuses (Focii) at work. They can run on either gasoline (petrol) or Liquified Petroleum Gas, which is stored in a tank where the spare wheel normally sits. I'll give you the low-down on their driveability soon.
Saturday 15th January 2000
I'm not going to the Autosports show this year. Last year cost me £28 for two adults, and it is just a trade fair afterall, so theres nothing much to see of interest. Changed the thermostat. The temperature guage now shows a normal temperaure, ie the needle points to the 'O' in NORMAL when driving round. Finished welding the bracing to the bulkhead. Cleaned up and sprayed with Zinc primer. Now I can start on the floor, which needs tidying in several places.
Friday 14th January 2000
Started reinforcing the front bulkhead(firewall) with box-section steel tubing, running vertically from the air box to the floor. This is required to stop the bulkhead moving when the brakes are applied (the servo is mounted directly to the bulkhead), and also the engine stabilising bar is also mounted to the bulkhead, so I dont want that puncturing its way through. I'm refitting the seat tomorrow, so I can raise/lower the steering wheel to my taste. Then I'll triangulate the steering wheel mounting brackets, as the wheel tends to wobble around if you grab it and move it side to side and up and down.

The Mondeo's started playing up again. Sticky valves. She tries stalling when you dip the clutch. You ought to hear the noise the valves make when she's started from cold. Not nice. I've bought a new thermostat (88-102 Degrees) as she's not running at the right temperature (the temperature needle moves out of the white area, just in to the zone marked 'Normal', but when driving around town she never gets in to the middle of the dial unless left ticking over for a good 15 minutes). I'm just wondering if the oils not getting up to temp, so its not cleaning itself.

Still no mention in CCC magazine, about my site or my offer of help to the readers that wrote in a few months back. I suppose my cars not an Elise, a Caterham, or a single seater, so they're not that interested. Mind you, they've featured two Capri's in the past two issues so there is always a remote chance...
Sunday 9th January 2000
Filled the gearbox, it takes 3.1 litres. Treated the rust around the sunroof.
Saturday 8th January 2000
Bought the Silkolene oil, 4 litres at £8.99 per litre!! Its fully synthetic.
Friday 7th January 2000
Removed the sunroof, and the rubber seal that the sunroof seats on. It then took me 1.5 hours to remove the sticky glue from the roof, that is used to hold the rubber seal in place. I tried cellulose thinners, turps, white spirit and brush cleanser, but nothing would remove the stuff. Hard work and sore fingers, and its now clean, and ready for some more surface rust treatment. My local bike shop does stock the silkolene oil, at £8.95 per litre. I'll look in the Haynes manual for the quantity I require.
Wednesday 5th January 2000
Removed some more surface rust, from around the windscreen and engine compartment, and treated it with Trustan. Spoke to Quaife about the oil I need for the 'box. It should be 75W90 grade, and they recommend Silkolene oil. I'll check my local motorbike shop to see if they can get me some for the weekend.
Tuesday 4th January 2000
Bought some Trustan rust-paint at linchtime. It goes black when it dries, and coats rust with a paintable surface. I've used it before, its good stuff. This evening I painted it on to the areas around the windscreen where I'd removed the rust. Received a great magazine from Mark Porter in the states. Its called Grass Roots Motorsport, and features real project cars, that have taken several years to build. Check out their website at www.grmotorsports.com. There are some great tuning parts available stateside. Alloy crank pulleys, bolt on turbos, they're really spoilt for choice, and the prices are so much more reasonable than UK prices.
Sunday 2nd January 2000
Cleaned the rust from around the edges of the windscreen. It centers on the bottom of the pillars, where they're brazed to the body shell. Not a big problem. I need to get some of that paint that changes color when its applied to rust/bare metal, the old paint I'd got has gone off, then I can spray Zinc primer over the top.