Sunday 29th February 2004
Found a good source of a timing disk for the engine. There's a picture of one in the 2004 Burton catalogue, so if I cut it out and laminate it, I should be able to save myself having to buy one.
Removed the fuel cell cover, and made a thorough inspection of the system. Nothing looks like it's worked loose, and the cell is still certified until April 2006 so I don't need to worry about replacing that for a couple more years.
Sprayed the off side rear wheel arch with sunburst red spray. She'll soon be looking A1 ready for the first event. Removed the radiator so I could fit the remaining cross member bolt. Sprayed some more patches underneath the car with black stone chip paint, to protect against corrosion. Turned both the adjustable strut top plates to give me maximum -ve camber.
Saturday 28th February 2004
Found TDC on the engine using a borrowed dial gauge, then realised I didn't have a way of measuring 110° ATDC, as I have no timing disk. At 110°, the inlet camshaft should be at full lift, as thats the spec of the BP270BH cams that I'm fitting. I'll order one next week. With my Zetec installation, it's impossible to get a socket on the crankshaft bolt, so I have to put the car in gear, and rotate a wheel to turn the engine over. At least thats the theory. I'm expecting to get the remainder of the suspension back next week. So I'll be able to get the car back on it's wheels, jack up the car so the driver side front wheel is off the ground, and complete the camshaft installation.
Removed the tail gate and gave it a wash. Fitted a pair of LED brake/rear lamp bulbs. Still painting the wheel arches with primer, prior to spraying with the gloss paint. Removed the oil catch tank and installed the 3rd bolt that fastens the new front cross member to the chassis. One more bolt to fit, and that requires the radiator to be removed. I'll do that tomorrow.
Flew to Edinburgh yesterday, collected a Windows NT server and then drove the 300 miles back in a hire car. The journey through Northumberland and the Kielder Forest was awesome, with snow covered mountains, drifting snow and later blizzards. Took me about 6 hours, including a 1 hour delay near Newcastle on the A1, just because of the sheer volume of traffic. 1 hour to cover 5 miles! I took the Magellan GPS with me on the plane, just to see if it would work, and it did. The plane was travelling at 443MPH and took only 40 minutes to cover the same distance.
Saturday 21st February 2004
I was interviewed live on BBC Radio Leicester yesterday afternoon. The Zetecinside.com website was selected as their Website of the Day, and I had to say a few words about the site, the car, and the fact that I'm after more sponsorship for the coming season. Went really well, and hopefully we can drum up some local support, which will help pay the running costs for this year. In return for sponsorship, I can prominently display logo's on the car and on the website, and we're currently attaining 200,000 hits a week, which equates to around 10,000 pages. Thats pretty good exposure.
Please visit my Sponsors page if you're interested in getting involved.
Collected the serviced fire extinguisher from Lifeline in Coventry yesterday afternoon. It has been refilled, pressurised, and is now certified until 2006, so there'll be no problems at scrutineering with an out of date extinguisher.
Fitted the 2nd camshaft vernier, and the timing belt is now in place. I need to get two dial gauges so I can get the cams dialled in correctly according to Piper Cam's instructions.
Started work on repairing the damage to the front spoiler, caused by me attacking the trailer at Loton Park last year, and the stone chips to both rear wheel arches, caused by all the high speed miles spent at Bruntingthorpe. Sanded the drivers side arch down, and sprayed with red primer. After a dozen or so coats, to build the surface back up, I'll spray it with red cellulose paint, and once cured, I'll apply several layers of 3M leading edge tape to protect against future stone chips.
Started work on installing the pen camera. I've used one of the original bumper mounting holes to accept the camera. It'll be held in place using a rubber grommet. I'll feed the wires carrying video and audio back in to the cockpit, and the camcorder will sit below the drivers seat, to capture all the action. A true Bumper Cam. Should provide an excellent point of view. And finally the fire extinguisher is now back in the car.
Wednesday 18th February 2004
MOT'd the Audi yesterday. She passed with flying colours.
Installed the Inlet camshaft, so I now have both cams installed. Just need to work out how to fit the vernier pulleys so I can time them in. Stripped the front of the car down and started cleaning her for the coming season. I need to retain the award for best prepared car in the championship, which will be no mean feat, considering the abuse that I've been giving her.
Received an acceptance letter for the first 2004 event at the 3 Sisters track in April. The new front suspension is away for a slight alteration at the moment. Just a tweak to clear my five speed gearbox, and to give the tie bars more travel. Should have the bits back soon, so I can start work on the rear of the car.
Took the AFFF fire extinguisher to Lifeline in Coventry, to get the canister serviced. They have an expiry date, and have to be refilled every couple of years. Cost is £27.64 + VAT, and it'll be ready on Friday for collection.
Saturday 7th February 2004
Removed the alternator whilst fitting the front suspension and the ally bracket that holds the Powermaster alternator in place, fell in two. Appears as though its sheared. I'll contact Brise Auto-Electrical to see if I can get a spare.
Friday 6th February 2004
New front suspension is now on the car. Just cutting the two towing eyes off from underneath the front cross member, to allow the final part of the suspension to go on. The bar that the tie bars are mounted to is quite long (to clear my alternator etc) and the towing eyes are in the way. I don't need them anyway, so removing them gives me the added bonus of saving weight.