April 2012

Saturday 28th April 2012
This brilliant video cleverly captures the atmosphere of last years Retro Rides Gathering, at Prescott Hillclimb. I'm back again this year, hoping to have a few more goes up the hill in the Fiesta.

You can see me in action at 1m52s, but the whole film is well worth watching.

Retro Rides Gathering 2011 from Corwin Bainbridge on Vimeo.

Tuesday 24th April 2012
Those very clever people at DTA have finally released v63 of the firmware for the S-Series ECU, and this means that I now finally have means to perform flat shifts using the ECU alone. All I need to do is replace the existing single channel gearbox potentiometer with a dual channel hall effect item, so I retain the Geartronics gear indicator on the 1st channel, and wire the 2nd channel from the sensor in to the ECU, do a little bit of programming, and see if it works. DTA says that its a closed loop system too, with a deadband algorithm in the firmware to detect when the gear cluster has settled. Thus full power isn't applied until the ECU is measuring from the potentiometer that the box is in the next gear. In principle this sounds the same as the Geartronics Easyshift ECU, but it means I no longer need to invest in their slave ECU, as my S80 will now do all the work for me. First thing I need to do is flash the firmware in the ECU, which only takes a few minutes to do. Once thats done I'll work out what changes I need to make to my wiring loom to connect to the output from the gearbox sensor.


Friday 20th April 2012
I've weighed the aluminium front grill, prior to painting and its a very lean 909grammes. I've also weighed the front XR2 headlamp surrounds and plastic grill, and they came in at 2.1Kg, so I've saved around 1.2Kg in total. The grill is away for painting and I should get it back by the end of next week.

Cato, my recalcitrant Subaru has developed a very rough tickover from cold, and the concensus seems to be to try injector cleaner. So I've shelled out for some Red-X and the first half measure is now in the tank. I'll see whether it improves or not over the next few mornings. The symptons include the rev counter jumping around between 850 and 1000rpm, a loud clattery noise when under load, and a puff of smoke on startup. After a few minutes the engine is fine, so hopefully its just an injector problem.

Friday 13th April 2012
Collected the fuel cell cover today from Altiss. Nigel has done the usual 1st class job from my drawing. He's even fitted a cover for me, meaning the one I bought from the USA is now surplus :D All thats left for me to do is to drill a hole for the fuel tank breather pipe to run up through the cover, and get it painted. I'll drop it off at Faircharm next week for some satin black paint.

Fuel cell cover Fuel cell cover Fuel cell cover Fuel cell cover

The front grill is also complete, and fixed to the car, using M3 fasteners (so I can remove it easily). I've had to order a tapered pipe reamer (10-34mm) from RS so I can ream out the 81 holes in the panel. The hole punch left a rather sharp edge on all of the holes, and I dont want to leave it like that.

Front grill finished Front grill finished Front grill finished Front grill finished

Wednesday 11th April 2012

I ran the engine at lunch time today, to check the fuel system works, and it appears to be working fine, with no leaks. I'm just waiting now to finish off the front grill fixings, and for the fuel tank cover to be finished by Altiss. I've bled the rear brakes, and the car is pretty much ready to drive. Just a few checks with the spanners and she's good to go.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012
The front grill mounting brackets are almost complete. I've fixed around a dozen right angled aluminium tabs to the front of the car, to which the grill is attached using M3 fasteners. I'm simply taking my time over the job so I get it right first time. Altiss still hasn't finished the fuel cell cover off yet, but when they do I'll be getting both the firewall covers painted. Its one minor thing thats preventing me from competing at the moment, as the Fiesta must have a firewall covering the fuel cell before it would pass scrutineering. The main reason I have yet to even enter any events, is cash flow, and I'm sure I'm not alone in struggling to pay spiralling energy bills. Diesel for example, is around £1.49p per litre (thats around $11 per imperial gallon), which really hurts when I fill the tank. I cant even justify to myself the cost of travelling to any shows, so I've ruled out FITP, FordFair, Classic Ford, simply on cost alone. Its not good. All this development work on the car, and I cant afford to take it out for any testing.
Grill brackets