July 2010

Saturday 31st July 2010
The three spare steering racks are all Mk1 racks, and I no longer have the saddle brackets to bolt them to the car. On ebay I spotted a genuine Ford Mk2 XR2 steering rack, which was brand new, so I bid on it, & won it as the only bidder. I'm now praying I can get it delivered to me by Wednesday so I can get the front suspension adjusted and the car back on her wheels for testing. Finger crossed.

BlueOvalSpares was the seller, and he has all sorts of genuine Ford spares, very useful for Mk1 and Mk2 owners.
Friday 30th July 2010
Bled the brakes one last time, with the assistance of Mrs B, and there were next to no bubbles coming out, so the vacuum pump method of bleeding the brakes has proven once again to be very effective (and easy when you're working on your own). The pedal feels very firm, and after some adjustment should be just as effective as they were with the original Raldes setup.

The Mk2 XR2 steering rack on the XR2 is toast. I remember shortening the threaded ends of the rack, and the issue now with the wider front track, is that the steering rack is too short to let me adjust the toe in to anything reasonable. So I removed the steering rack, and with the rack on the workbench, found that the rack gearbox is very badly worn. 7 years of competition seems to have taken its toll.

So I'll try fitting one of the three spare steering racks over the weekend as they are all unmodified and should fit. The aim is to test the clutch and brakes this weekend.
Thursday 29th July 2010
The rubber boots arrived from M-Sport (thanks Graeme) and tonight I assembled the near side drive shaft, and refitted the hub, having packed the inboard CV with good quality grease first. I then realised that I had a problem with the way that I'd fitted the Kustom suspension on the near side. Where the inboard heim (rod end) for the track control arm locates in the chassis leg, Karl had supplied a very neat brace assembly, that fits inside the original chassis leg box section, and runs forward to the tie bar mount. I'd not fitted the brace bar fully up inside the chassis, and there was a whitness mark on the alloy heim, which shows that when the car sits on the suspension, the heim had been resting on the uppermost section of the brace box. Still with me? My fault for not fitting it correctly. However, when I tried to push the box section further up inside the chassis leg, the brace that runs underneath the gearbox, hit the box, and the gear selector mechanism. Simples. I removed the brace and cut off the tube that runs forward. I've done exactly the same on the drivers side as my Duratec sump also hit the brace bar. So no great loss considering I'd not ran brace bars previously.

So with the Kustom box section now fully inside the chassis leg, I refitted the track control heim, and then re-assembled the front suspension. I then realised I hadn't yet torqued up the tie bar brackets, so I had to undo the fasteners for the radiator, so I could move it sideways to allow access to the top of the bolts that hold the tie bar brackets in place. Everything was then quickly torqued up, but I'd run out of time to give the brakes one last bleed, so I'll do that tomorrow evening, prior to trying out the clutch for the first time at the weekend.
Front suspension re-assembled
Wednesday 28th July 2010
Went to see if the boot kit had come in from Ford, but they told me that it would have to be back ordered with a 5-10 day lead time. So I rang Graeme Foster at M-Sport, and he found two inner CV boots, which should be with me tomorrow. Thumbs up to M-Sport again.

The clutch is now bled, and appears to operate when I press the clutch pedal. Not sure yet if its fully disengaging the clutch, so I'll only know over the weekend when I get to try out the brakes etc for the first time (on the driveway, a bit too ambitious to take it to a track just yet).

I've cleaned all four wheel arches and re-applied Stone Chip spray, to give them a bit of a sprucing up. No corrosion, but 7 years of competition was beginning to take its toll on the paint work.
Wheel arch repainted Wheel arch repainted Wheel arch repainted
Saturday 24th July 2010
Went to the Ford dealer in Leicester on Saturday morning, and ordered a CV boot kit for the Fiesta ST. Collection Wednesday.
Friday 23rd July 2010
Bled the front brakes, with just the clutch left to do. Re-routed the clutch hose inside the cockpit, away from the exhaust system and any heat sources. I've also made a blanking plate for one of the large original holes in the bulkhead. And I finished off the lower rear engine steady bar. When the car came back from Tony Law Exhaust, they had to relocate the steady bar to the outside of both brackets, so I've now made spacer tubes to prevent the brackets from squashing together when the bolts through the brackets are torqued up.
Lower rear engine steady bar Clutch hose re-routed
Wednesday 21st July 2010
Rear brakes are now full of brake fluid, and I bled them using the vacuum pump I've used before. I couldn't get any fluid out of the calipers at first, then realised that I'd pressed the pistons fully inside the calipers, and when I pressurised them, to push the pistons out, low and behold, I could get fluid out of them again. I'll bleed the fronts on Thursday night, and start work on the clutch and the additional rear gearbox mount to help arrest any engine movement. I want the car to be driveable at Ford Fair, though not necessarily tuned.
Bleeding the rear brakes
Friday 16th July 2010
I went to the Ford dealership in Leicester yesterday to see if they could supply me with a retaining clip for the clutch slave hose connector. After a few minutes rooting around the workshop they found me a spare one, and I fitted it to the Fiesta last night. This means that the hydraulic clutch may now be bled, and I can then test it out to see if its working properly with the Rally Design pedal box.

Last night I also finished off both of the HiSpec rear calipers. The four brake pad retaining pins supplied with the calipers, were too long for my calipers (off a different model from the looks of things) so I had to drill new 1.5mm holes in them for the R clips that prevent them from falling out. And I also had to shorten all four pins as they were about 1" longer than was necessary.
clutch clip
Thursday 15th July 2010
The incar video from the Tiff Needell driving experience last week, had an inaudible sound track recorded from inside the car, the AV engineer who looks after the recordings, has written to apologise, and Tiff has offered to take me and the wife around the Thruxton circuit again, for free. I cant complain about that. I need to book myself some 1-2-1 tuition at the track, for the BSC round next year, so I'll make sure that Tiff is there the same day, so we can get another go in the M3.

I'm aiming to have the car running properly (ie drivable) for Ford Fair on August 8th, so I've some hours to put in over the coming weeks. There's not much to do, but the biggest hurdle will be plumbing the clutch in and making sure that the master cylinder is producing enough (and not too much) pressure to operate the clutch in the ST gearbox. Speaking of gearboxes, still no news from Quaife regarding the sequential, so I'll plough the money in to rebuilding the engine instead, at a later date.
Sunday 11th July 2010
Fitted the rear brake pads in the hispec calipers. I had to grind two of the outer pads, to form a radius, so the pads clear the brake disk. These pads are from a Mitsubishi EVO, and Altiss have machined the thickness including the pad material, down to 10.5mm.

Had a great time with Tiff Needell at the Thruxton circuit on Thursday. I was driven around the track in a 2010 BMW M3, mostly sideways, and the car control that Tiff has, has to be experienced to be believed. A true legend. Thruxton is used in the British Sprint Championship, so at least I have a feel now for how quick the circuit is when I compete there next year.

Wednesday 7th July 2010
Racing Green Endurance, a team made up of students from Imperial College in London, start their journey along the Pan-American highway tomorrow, in a battery powered Radical SR0, designed and built by the students. Read about their exploits here
Monday 5th July 2010
The aircon in the Legacy is now working properly. The re-gas fixed the problem. Just need to keep an eye out for the luminous dye that was injected, to see if we can spot where the gas is leaking from.

I dropped the Ferodo pads off at Altiss, to have them machined down to 10.5mm thick. And I've made the blanking plate for where the clutch hose passes through the bulkhead. Just needs painting and fixing in place.
Thursday 1st July 2010
I've fitted the near side axle-bar, but its uncomfortably close to the end of the output cup on the gearbox, so much so that there is only a couple of mm gap, so although I've tried winding the track control arm out, to widen the front track, and I've rotated the top mount to remove some of the -ve camber, I dont really think I have enough clearance to avoid problems with mechanical interference. So I'll leave it for a while, and maybe get a shorter shaft made for the nearside, say 15mm shorter, which places the tri-lobe back in the centre of the output cup.

I've also found that whilst fitting the Mitsubish EVO Ferodo DS11 brake pads on the HiSpec rear calipers, the pads have far too much material on them to allow the brake disk to slide between them. So I'll drop all four pads off at Altiss on Friday morning, to have 5mm machined from each, so I've enough clearance for the disks.

I'm due to have a trip around Thruxton race track next week, with Tiff Needell in a BMW M3. Its not till next Thursday, so plenty of time to start getting excited. I cant wait.

And the aircon on my Legacy Diesel is being regassed on Friday evening, as it blows naff all cold air out of the vents, so there must be a leak. I'll claim for the work under the warranty, but the soonest Subaru could see me was two weeks from when I reported the problem, so I rang their 'specialist' direct, and he's coming round to my home to do the work a week sooner than he could do it through the dealership. I only hope it cures the problem, as driving in the summer heat, without aircon, aint pleasant.