March 2000

Tuesday 28th March 2000
Went down to Crawley today, to get some VisualBasic software working on the secure network. Had a superb car. A Peugeot 306 1400cc. I have to travel down south to get to Crawley, and I'll do anything to get off the M1. So, my fave route from the M1 to the M40 is through Daventry, cross country to Banbury, along the A361. It must be the fact that Prodrive are based in Banbury that makes that road so good to thrash along. The little Peugeot wasn't that fast, and overtaking points are far and few between on the A361, solid white lines permitting, but my goodness you couldn't half throw that little car around. Great chassis, just a shame it wasn't the 2.0L 6 speed GTI!!!
Sunday 26th March 2000
The Mondeo engine is playing up again. She was serviced last week, and although I insisted that the garage use 5W30 oil, I've a suspicion that they've put some cheap crap in. The invoice showed that I only paid £13.55 for 4.25 litres, which doesn't sound right, when they advertise 5W30 at £4.95 per litre, from the service desk.
I spent a few hours on Sunday cleaning the shell. I've removed all the remnants of glue from inside the roof, where the roof lining was stuck on. I've also removed the sticky glue left behind by the black stripes that cover the paint where it goes from red to black, round the windows. I used white spirit to get shot of the glue.
Wednesday 22nd March 2000
Wow. I'm broke. Its 9 days to go till payday. The Mondeo service and timing belt change cost £260 yesterday. Plus the water pipe that runs underneath the engine, round the sump, was also replaced, because it was badly corroded. All in all, it cost me £317 for the service! And, this morning the council tax bill arrived. £640 !! The engine makes a different noise now. There's a 'whining' sound from the new cam belt. Yeuch. She sounds like a Vauxhall Nova! And the front pads and disks need changing. These'll have to wait until April. And Petrols's gone up another 2pence/litre, thanks to the budget. Its now nearly £50 to fill the tank with 60 litres. The equivalent cost in the States is £11.
Tuesday 21st March 2000
The Mondeo's in for its 60,000 mile service today. I'm getting the cambelt changed at the same time. Theres no way I'd attempt this myself. Have you seen the amount of pipes and plastic in the way? The belt should be changed every 80000 miles or five years, and as her fifth birthday was last year...
Thursday 16th March 2000
Sanded down, cleaned and sprayed the inside of the boot floor, with zinc primer.
Tuesday 14th March 2000
Cleaned the boot floor. I've removed all the paint I applied a few years ago, so it can be primed for spraying over. Also I've ground off all the remaining brackets and WHY. Spent about five minutes hoovering all the dust up. Grinding sure does create one hell of a lot of grit.
One clean boot floor, ready for spraying One of the chassis rails, under the rear seat. Needs a bit more cleaning before I can paint it.
Sunday 12th March 2000
I must say that I'm impressed with the Jenolite rust-convertor. I painted it on to the chassis rail, and after about an hour, gradually working the fluid in to the metal, most of the rust has dissolved, and I've nice shiny metal to work with.
Well done to Jenson. He was lying sixth in the Aussie GP before his engine let go. Nice to see him lasting the distance. Better luck for Brazil in a fortnight
Thursday 9th March 2000
Well, the Honda was alright. A bit bland inside, but the engine and chassis were sweet.
Wednesday 8th March 2000
Bought the Jenolite last night. Bought a litre, which should be enough. Off to Northampton in the morning, for a Microsoft Technet quarterly briefing. Its on deploying Outlook2000 and resolving problems with Exchange. Got a nice 2.0 Honda Accord for the day. Goes alright, very revvy, but no grunt. Learning Flash 4 at the moment, so I can jazz the site up a little. Very complicated, but not beyond me. If you've got a few mins free, check out Marks new Fiestaracing website.
Sunday 5th March 2000
Tried fitting the front wing. It still doesn't line up with the door. Looks like I've fitted the sill on the drivers side, a bit too high. I'll make some adjustments this week to get it all ligned up. Russ at Practical Classics magazine has replied to my Email. I asked about 'rust converters' and he's recommending a product called Jenolite. I'll try and get some this week, so I can paint the rear chassis rails. I'm going to use an old bicycle chain to clean them with. I can pass the chain over the rail, and then pull the chain from side to side, which will roll over the surface and remove all the rust. Space is a bit limited, so I cant really get a power tool in there.
Friday 3rd March 2000
Collected the front wing from Hex Holdings. It looks OK, I'll try fitting it during the weekend.