May 2012

Monday 28th May 2012
I dropped the car off the trailer on Saturday, emptied the radiator, removed the tensioner pulley, and then removed the water pump which I'm pleased to say is a simple enough task on the Duratec (took about 5 minutes to remove). The impellers on the pump are totaally covered in a heavy rust, which probably occured whilst the engine sat in the car before I even fitted the radiator and water. The casting on the pump is leaking where the core plug is pressed in to it, and the rusty impeller explains why the water always turns brown as soon as I run the engine. I'll get a replacement Ford pump ordered today.
Friday 25th May 2012
Just thought I'd put pen to paper to go through a few 'finding's or 'realisations' about the whole driving experience, following the work I've done over the past twelve months.

I've solved the vibration from the front wheels, by fitting hubcentric front spacers. I remember **** at **** telling me to get a set, and I'm glad I listened to him. No vibration whatsoever at Mallory Park.

Removing the leaking rear brake bias limiter valve from inside the car has made no difference to the brake balance but it has at least stopped any further damage to the paint work from brake fluid. And the car still pulls up in a straight line.

There are no overheating issues with the Duratec not running a thermostat. The water temperature sits around 80C during hard driving, and the radiator fans only come on when the car is stationary.

There are (so far) no oil surge problems using the Fiesta ST baffled sump. And the engine uses no oil, so the Duratec is proving a successful alternative to the Zetec.

The smell of petrol fumes inside the car has been completetly eliminated by changing to Goodridge hard lines. So if you are running flexible hoses like I was, and are fed up with the fumes, make the change over to aluminium lines instead. And the foam filled JAZ fuel cell worked perfectly too, with no fuel surge.

I still need to fit a quick rack, as the standard Fiesta rack is slowing my ability to go through tight corners quickly. Something else to move to the top of my To Do list.

The rear wing has transformed the grip at the rear of the car. Well worth all the hours researching what to do, and the 4mm steel rear wing brackets seem to be more than up to the job.

So overall I'm very happy with the Fiesta at the moment. I just need to crack on with fitting the new front spoiler when it arrives, have someone take care of the paintwork around the front, and order a set of slicks to replace the 8 year old (and tired) Michelin's.

This video clip was taken during the afternoon, session M. Fast forward to 11m25s and you'll see me overtaking the car thats doing the filming.

And finally my entry for the WSCC Blyton sprint weekend in July has been accepted, so I have a couple of months to get everything ready.
Wednesday 23rd May 2012
The water pump has definitely sprung a leak, so I'll replace it with a standard item from Halfords. Its leaking below the input shaft, looks like a faulty casting to me. I'll have a closer look once I've removed it from the engine block. I've ordered a new front spoiler, a Berg Cup Mk1 Golf item, that should lower the front end and form a basis for the front splitter to mount underneath. Looks better than the MCR front bib I've been running, though it may take a little bit of glassing to get it to fit. Its the same as the one on Andy's Mk1 RWD Cosworth that is nearing completion. Read his build diary here
Saturday 19th May 2012
Had a great day at Mallory Park at the PPC show. I ran in the first morning session, on a wet track, and the 10A fuel pump fuse blew after 7 laps. I dashed back to the tow car to get a 15A fuse, fitted it, and rejoined the session. Before the afternoon session I pumped the tyres up from 17psi to 23psi, and had a fantastic scrap with a BMW 3 Series, lapped almost everyone on the circuit, and had the most fun in 15 minutes than I'd had in the last 5 years. I could really get in to racing, if it weren't for the risks of getting involved in an accident.

The fuel tank worked very well, with no fuel surge issues. The new grill allowed more than enough air to the TB's and the radiator. The water temperature hovered around 80Degs on both sessions, and the oil pressure was also rock steady around 80psi. I have a small water leak from around the water pump, which I will need to investigate. Not that serious but there is a puddle under the car whilst its sat on the trailer the day after, so I will need to do something about it. The gearbox turnbuckle worked perfectly, and the grip from the rear wing is incredible. When I lift off on a corner the front now pushes (understeers) whereas before it would turn in more sharply, and even snap oversteer if not careful. The front air dam and rear diffuser should help balance the car. At least nothing fell off or broke, and the blown fuse only cost me a couple of pence to replace.


Zetecinside Motorsport track photos
My Picasa photos

If you were also at Mallory and took any photos or videos of the Fiesta in action, please get in touch as I'd like to see how the car looked on the track.
Thursday 17th May 2012
Just to confirm that I'll be at Mallory Park on Saturday, at the Practical Performance Car show, which I think my Fiesta just qualifies for :D

I'm just waiting on the return of the painted front grill, some 10mm P clips to clamp the fuel lines down inside the car, and some M6x20 button head screws for the rear wing brackets so I can fit the tailgate on properly.

PPC in the Park

I've just entered the WSCC Blyton Sprint Weekend, hopefully my entry will be accepted (and the event wont be undersubscribed and therefore cancelled). Its not unique in being a two day event, but WSCC only accept entries for the 'whole weekend'. I've spoken today to Graham Millar (MK2 Escort) and he is also entering in the same class (4B) for the event. My fingers are staying crossed. Its a few years since Graham and I have shared the same track. In fact I think it was in 2008 at Epynt that we last competed together. Graham's doing the Crystal Palace sprint in a few weeks time, which will also be his first outing this year. My first competitive outing should be at Llandow in July.
Wednesday 16nd May 2012
Batteries fully charged from 11 days in Spain (and a few lbs heavier due to the quantities of beer and food consumed) I'm raring to get the Fiesta out on some events. The new job in Derby is proving very interesting, and rewarding, so I can finally start to plan to take the car out on some championship events. The painted front grill is almost ready for collection, so I'm hoping to get it back on the car for the weekend.

Tragically, Sandra Harrison-Moore, was killed at the Goodwood sprint at the start of May, which is something you always dread to hear. So my thoughts are with her family and friends. Fair play to everyone who tried to drive the circuit as by all accounts, on one of the wettest weekends in the UK for a long time, the track wasn't at its best. It was raining so hard in Leicester on the Saturday morning that I actually tweeted "So glad I'm not competing this weekend. Diabolical weather in the UK. Having said that, Good Luck to those who are. Brollies at the ready". She paid the highest price anyone could pay for competing as an amateur, and hopefully lessons learnt from the accident will be applied to reduce the risk of it happening again. I've never driven the circuit, though I have viewed Youtube videos of caterhams in the dry, and the speeds reached are pretty hair raising. Heaven knows what it must have been like in the heavy rains during the weekend.

On a lighter note, the Mallory Park sprint at the end of July has been cancelled, so I'm trying my best to enter the Blyton sprint, also in July. Still no sign of the regs as yet. I'm going to be at Mallory Park on Saturday this weekend at the PPC In the Park event, track sessions E and M. I'll use the event as a shakedown for the modifications. And another event I'd like to do this year is the Llandow Sprint in July, but again, no sign of the regs to download yet (I've emailed the organisers to know when they're going to be published)
Wednesday 2nd May 2012
The Fiesta is now loaded safely on the trailer, and is awaiting the fabrication of the front spoiler. I'm still in two minds what to do to the front; I may remove the GRP front bib, and fabricate a complete new front end from aluminium, or I may just keep it and build a front spoiler to sit below it. The front spoiler as it stands is far too high from the ground, and doesn't do a great deal for the aerodynamics. It also has several large cracks in it, on the near side, where the high speed runs at Aintree have provided too much force for the repairs I made to it following the damage sustained many years ago when I clobbered the trailer with the car.

So I reckon its time to remove the bib spoiler, and start again. But the new job will keep me very busy, so I'll have to plan ahead before I make any changes. Speaking of which, the front grill is still away being painted, and wont be back for several weeks. So I'm looking to the summer before I venture out on any events. I was looking at competing at Prescott in June, but its a two day event, with two practice runs on Saturday, and two competitive runs on Sunday, with a sleep in the car on Saturday night, which to be honest I really dont fancy doing. So it looks like the sprint weekend at Blyton will be the first event in July.

The Subaru needed some attention at the weekend, having sprouted a not insignificant water leak around the rear hatch after some heavy rain. I traced it to the rubber pipe that connects the tailgate to the body, through which the wires travel for the rear wiper and lights etc. Water had been running off the roof of the car, landing on the base of the near side rubber pipe, entering the roof, running across the roof lining, and exiting directly on to the boot floor. I've reseated the pipe, and sprayed WD40 around the body, to prevent water from collecting next to it, and it seems to have worked. I've also realised that the aircon has packed up again (it was regassed in July 2010) so I've now got the car booked in with Mick Fellows to regas the system in a couple of weeks time.