January 2012

Tuesday 31st January 2012
Fitted the fuel tank to the car. I've used some more of the sticky backed foam I scrounged from work, to cover the two straps that the tank sits on, which will help isolate the tank from any heat that comes up through the floor from the exhaust.

I've also fitted the new fuel pump. I cut out some spare Cool-It thermal mat, and have lined the floor to again insulate the pump from the heat from the exhaust underneath. I used a hole punch to cut out the two holes out where the exhaust bracket is bolted to the floor. (The exhaust is held on underneath the car using rubber insulators which also reduces the heat transfer). One problem is that the Ebay shop I bought the pump from, Torques.co.uk, has supplied the incorrect fitting for the pump. I asked for -6 outlet, which is what was in the box, however, the adaptor wont screw in to the pump as its the wrong thread for it. Torques also failed to ship the black pump bracket in the picture, which I also had to chase. I'm hoping that they'll sort this next problem out for me without too much grief.

Monday 30th January 2012
This evening I've fitted the fuel tank guard to the car, and pop-riveted it / sealed it in place using Sikaflex. I then turned my attention to the first of the two running boards. Carefully, using a Dremel with a flexible shaft, I've removed the lower edges of the drivers side front and rear wheel arches, sufficient enough to allow the running board to be offered up in to place. Before I cut the GRP I searched Google for any advice I could find, and the most common theme was to avoid breathing in the dust. So I made sure I wore a dust mask. The Dremel works really well when cutting GRP, however, the cutting disk is lethal, and wouldn't think twice about removing a finger, so utmost care was taken during this job.

The next task is to drill a series of 3mm holes along the length of the sill, to allow me to fit the sliding latches in place. The latch mechanisms will be fitted to the boards, and the spigots will protrude from the sills, so I'll use repair washers on the rear of the spigots to prevent them from distorting the sill. I think it looks good so far. Early days though, and it'll need some tidying before I'm happy with it, but the overall effect works.

I'm thinking of wrapping the boards rather than spraying them, what do you think? Red or Carbon effect?

Sunday 29th January 2012
I've made a metal box to sit below the fuel tank, in the hole I had to cut in to the boot floor. This is made from 0.6mm steel, and will protect the underneath of the tank. The box is painted with red primer, and the seams are sealed with Sikaflex. It'll be riveted in place to the floor, and will be sealed again using Sikaflex.

Wednesday 25th January 2012
My fuel tank brackets are finished. I bought 3 lengths of 900mm x 25mm x 3mm aluminium flat bar off Ebay. Quite straight forward to bend to the right shape. The original steel brackets are in the left of the picture, and weigh in at 1.48Kg. The aluminium brackets weigh 464grammes, so thats a 1Kg saving. ;)

The running boards have come back from Altiss and I'm very pleased with them. Fortunately the care I took measuring up has paid off, and they look like they'll fit. I just need to trim the lower edges of the front and rear GRP arches to allow them to slot underneath.

Monday 23rd January 2012
I won the Midland Speed Championship "Best Prepared Car" award on Saturday evening, for the 2nd time. I first won the award in 2003, so it was a very proud achievement for me to have won it for a second time.

Best Prepared Car award

Finally, I am selling my 11 year old ATL fuel cell on ebay. No reserve, no buy it now price. Click here to visit the Ebay listing

Friday 20th January 2012
Quite busy over the last few weeks. I've sprayed the louvres on to both rear wheel arches, ready to cut them out using the Dremel drill.

I've just bought a new fuel cell from Rally Design. Its the 5 gallon plastic JAZ fuel cell, foam filled, with -8 outlets, which cost approx £112. Its taller than the tank it replaces, and it also has a sump underneath the tank, so I'm having to cut a rectangle out of the boot floor to accommodate its unusual shape. The floor is now prepared, and I've bought some 25mm x 3mm aluminium flat bar from Ebay to make the brackets to hold the tank in place. It came with steel brackets, which are far too heavy for the job that they provide, so I'll save a bit more weight by making them myself from aluminium.

The Jaz cell is a fair bit lighter than the ATL cell. It weighs in at around 2.8Kg (dry) whereas the ATL cell is around 8.5 Kg. I've ordered a Bosch 044 fuel pump, 30 micron filter and some -8 to -6 adaptors for the fuel tank, and I'll plumb everything in, including the fuel cooler, just as soon as I've figured out what other swivel seal connectors I need. I'll be using the Earls Pro-Lite 350 Nylon fuel hose, as its so much easier to work with than the stainless overbraided hose..

The firewall, or tank cover, will also need modifying, because this new tank is as I mentioned taller than the old one.

JAZ fuel cell

The following pictures show how I made the templates for the louvres, cut them out and sprayed over them, and the end result.
Mocking up the template

Spraying the louvres on the rear arch.
Ready for spraying

The finished result, waiting to be cut out with the Dremel.

Sunday 8th January 2012
I'm trying to locate some Fiesta external pull-up door handle assemblies at the moment, for the XR2. I'm after anything from late face-lift Mk1's, 1981-1983. Please get in touch if you have anything.

No news on the running boards from Altiss yet. Hopefully ready somepoint this week. I've made some templates to cut slots in the rear of the fibreglass rear wheel arches. These will reduce drag by allowing air trapped in the arches to escape. No going back once I've cut them out, so I'll take my time and do a tidy job.

In the list of things to do this year, one is to wire in the ECU to allow flat-shifts. I've spoken to DTA and they are working on a firmware update for the S80 ECU that takes the input from the gear position sensor, and allows full power gear shifts. So rather than having to buy a 3rd party ECU to handle the event (such as the Geartronics black box) I can hopefully just update the S80 firmware when available, and add some extra wires to the ECU connector to read the position sensor voltage on the gearbox. Full throttle gearshifts will make the biggest difference to my times this year, so its very high up on my priorities. Together with wider wheels, tyres and the aero package of course. Big Grin

I've entered the Midland Speed Championship in the all new Saloon Libre class. This is a special class for Saloons like mine that have engine swaps. We'll still be running amongst the Sports Libre cars on events, but the MidSpeed are allowing us to compete in a seperate class, based on the points scored determined by our finishing positions. I was going to try to run in Mod Prod in 2012, but given that Midland Speed comittee has made this additional class to encourage more people out with their engine swapped cars, I'm going to give it a go.

The calendar for 2012 looks to be very busy. I'll try to do the weekend 'Blyton' event in July, and the sprints at Mallory, and Silverstone, as well as returning to Loton Park. I'm also hoping to get another invite to the Retro Rides gathering again in August (held at the superb Prescott Hillclimb venue) and maybe get some track time at Santa Pod to see how quick the XR2 can drive down the strip. It all depends on my budgets, so we'll see as the year pans out, which events I can afford to do.