Friday 28th April 2006
I had an eventful afternoon at Bruntingthorpe. Managed a single lap of the 4 mile circuit before I noticed a rattle, which turned out to be another alternator bolt sheared. It was one of the 12.9 grade ones too. Fortunately I had a spare in the toolbox, so 20 mins later it was repaired and I was back out again. I'd rather it break on a test session than at Shelsley Walsh.
The brakes are truly amazing though. The XR2 has real stopping power now. But I'll have to fit an adjustable pressure regulator for the rears though, as even with the bias wound all the way to the front, the rears were leaving lovely black marks on the runway when I stabbed the brakes. The clutch pedal worked great too, as did the accelerator. It really feels right, having an Escort pedal box in the car. Escort parts tend to have a proper competition pedigree, rather than some of the parts that are available for the Fiesta. I'd highly recommend fitting one in place of the standard brakes. About 50 hours effort in total, but it certainly feels worthwhile.
Thursday 27th April 2006
My entry has been accepted for Shelsley Walsh on Sunday May the 14th. I'm up against a Metro 6R4, two Radicals, Bernard's Protosport Evo, a pair of GT40's, and in all there's 10 of us in Sports Libre.
Wednesday 26th April 2006
Tidied the wiring on the car, finished fixing the brake pipes in place with P clips. Brought the trailer home from work, and I'll load the car up tomorrow evening. Ran Bruntingthorpe, and they have a slot free on Friday afternoon, so I'm off to have a play.
I bought a pair of Anderson connectors today, rated at 175A. These will allow me to connect a jump start battery to the Fiesta, for when I start her from cold. I'm going to replace the heavy duty battery with a small lightweight competition version, which will need a boost to start the engine from cold.
Tuesday 25th April 2006
Bled the brakes tongiht. I used the vacuum pump to draw the fluid through the system first, then a few pumps of the pedal and its all done. The pedal feels totally amazing. Very solid, and the pedal box doesn't move at all. Not something I've been used to. There's no leaks either, so the effort put in to making the pipes and flared ends has paid off. She's now back on her wheels and I just need to get the trailer home from work, so I can load her up. Then she's ready for a shakedown. I've had a play with the cold start map on the ECU, so it'll hopefully be less reluctant to start from cold. I'll upload the map and have a play.
Monday 24th April 2006
All the pipes are now installed. I just need to fill the reservoirs and bleed the system. Be sure glad when its all tested and working. Will take the car to Bruntingthorpe on Friday for a shakedown, prior to my first event, which is Shelsley Walsh on May 14th.
Bought myself one of those clever Karcher pressure washers. Great for cleaning the cars. The technique I've now realised, is to pressure wash the car, then cover the car in soap, then sponge it down, then pressure wash it again to rinse. Gives a great finish too.
Friday 21st April 2006
I've finished plumbing in the brakes. The last two pipes, which connect the rear calipers to the rear master cylinder are now installed. Next job is to relocate the two fluid reservoirs in the engine bay, and route the 1/4" pipe work to the two master cylinders.
Thursday 20th April 2006
Fitted the bias adjuster cable, and Loctited it to the end of the mechanism on the pedal box (to the end of the threaded shaft). Removed the pipe that runs from the front to the back of the car, and I'll make two new sections tomorrow night. I cant fit just one fluid reservoir, as you cant buy T-Pieces that have the right 7/16th thread to allow 1/4" pipe to be joined together. Not to worry.
Wednesday 19th April 2006
Finished the front brake pipes. Tonight I made a pipe which connects the T-Piece to the 0.625" front master cylinder. I've also ordered a bias adjuster cable from Rally Design. The one I already had on the car doesn't fit on the end of the adjuster on the new pedal box. Its a different thread. And you cant just buy the threaded end to fit the existing cable.
Tuesday 18th April 2006
Made the pipe to connect both the front pipes to the T-Piece. This pipe runs across the width of the car, and sits below the steering rack in the engine bay.
Monday 17th April 2006
Removed all of the original brake lines from the front of the car (located in the engine bay), and started making new 3/16" pipes. I've done this to reroute the pipes, as the master cylinders are now on the left of the car, no longer on the right. I've had to drill a hole in the bulkhead and use a nutsert to mount the T-Piece below the pedal box. I've made the both the drivers and passenger side front pipes which go in to the wheel wells, and I've five more sections to go. I need to order some more cupro/nickel 3/16" pipe from Rally Design in the morning as the 25 foot I bought 5 years ago has nearly ran out. I'm still planning on using just the one fluid reservoir to feed both master cylinders, to save weight. Finally, the brakes are starting to take shape.
Sunday 16th April 2006
I've shortened both the pushrods on the new master cylinders. This means now that when the brake pedal is at rest, leaning against the brake light switch, there is no residual pressure against either of the pushrods. If you dont do this, when you release the brake pedal, the hydraulic pressure cant be released from the brake calipers, and the brakes wont release. I learnt this valuable lesson the first time I fitted a pedal box.
Saturday 15th April 2006
OK, made some better progress today. The pedal box is now in (permanently I hope) and I've drilled a new hole for the throttle cable where it comes through the bulkhead, and the cable is now fitted and connected to the pedal. I can get full throttle too.
The clutch cable problem is also now fixed. Because the new pedal assembly is sitting slightly lower than the original, the cable inner wasn't meeting the crown of the clutch pedal and was rubbing on the metal tube that feeds it through the bulkhead. I discovered that the metal tube in the bulkhead, is only welded in two places, on either side of the tube. Whhich means that you can reposition the tube by bending it in to place. I just used a length of steel bar, passed through the tube, and leaned on it. Simple. Problem solved.
So, the clutch and throttle are now sorted. Next job is to fit the hydraulics. This new pedal box is proving to be a lot of work. I hope its worth it in the end...
Saturday 8th April 2006
The pedal assembly is now fitted to the car. I've a small problem with the routing of the clutch cable from the feel of things. The pedal feels like something is restricting its movement, and it feels like the cable is catching on something. Will check this out in the next few days. Very pleased with the end results though. Well worth the effort so far. Looks awesome now its been powder coated too.
Friday 7th April 2006
I've had the pedal box and pedals powder coated. Collected them this afternoon. They look fantastic. I weighed all the new components and the total pedal assembly weight is 3.9Kg. I'll weigh all the components that I've removed from the car over the weekend. I'm expecting the new pedal assembly to save a few Kg's over the old one.
Saturday 1st April 2006
Pedal box is now finished. I'm just in the process of spraying it prior to fitting. Rxd my entry for the Curborough double lapper in July.