August 2014


Yesterday I ran the engine for 20 minutes, and tested that the launch control rev limiter worked, and it held the rev limit at 4500 quite happily when I pressed the throttle pedal to the floor. I've refitted the front wheels, and loaded the car on to the trailer, and she is now ready for the Forge outing on September 13th. I've just sold the Subaru Legacy though, and the replacement car doesnt have a tow bar fitted at the moment, so the race is now on to get one fitted in time for the 13th. I'd had the Legacy for almost six years, from new, and she had covered 90,500 miles in that time. Genuinely sorry to see her go, but, at 6 years old, it was time to sell her off before anything major failed. I doubt the engine came from the same batch as all those that failed, but it was always at the back of my mind, would today be the day the engine breaks. With clutch judder, smoke on startup and a rough idle when cold, an impending MOT, road TAX, and four new tyres, it seemed logical to sell her on. In summary, a great car, let down by very poor experience at the dealership (Heritage, Leicester), and expensive repairs.


I decided to drill 8 indents on the rear face of the front disks, and reposition the wheel speed sensors to sit above these indentations. I think with 36 pulses per revolution, the sensors would soon have reached their maximum operating frequency, and the ECU wouldnt have been able to determine the speed of the front wheels. With 8 pulses per revolution, the sensors should stay well within their limits, leading to a more reliable operation of the traction control. I've updated the map accordingly.


I've made some radical changes to the ECU Map, to swap over to the new Spark and Fuel Cut Patterns feature. This allows five patterns, which may be invoked prior to the hard rev cut being reached, and each pattern is programmable to reduce the power by a set percentage, using random spark and injection cutting. When used with Traction and Launch control, it gives a less harsh cut, which upsets the car less. The patterns I've arrived at are as follows:

The traction control settings are setup as follows:

The launch control settings are as follows:


As soon as the parcel of electronics arrived yesterday, I finished off the passenger side connections for the GT1 speed sensor, and hooked up the laptop to the ECU to check that the sensors both worked. In the Traction Control Settings page, you enable traction control to make the sensors active. Then you enter the number of pulses per revolution. As my sensors are positioned above the cooling fins on the inside of the disk brakes, and there are 36 fins, I've set the number of pulses to 36. In the Traction Control Real Time Display screen, with my dashboard mounted traction control switch in the On position, as I rotate the disks by hand, the Left Driven Speed and Right Driven Speed values both change, to indicate that the sensors are being read by the ECU. So far so good. Now I need to experiment with the Traction Control settings. I have the facility for two different maps for traction control, one labelled Wet and the other Dry. I can save different settings for both maps, to try and establish settings that work for both scenarios. I have a switch on the dashboard, that allows me to switch between the two maps, and I also have a rotary switch that allows the aggression of the traction control to be altered from 0-100%.


On Friday I finally tackled a job I'd been putting off for some time, that of fitting the front wheel speed sensors. My ECU provides traction control, so long as it can read the speed of all four wheels. I've had the rear wheel sensors fitted on the car since I installed the ECU, as these are used for launch control. So I just had to fit the fronts. But working out where to safely attach them to the front axle, has taken a bit of headscratching. So I took the front wheels off, removed the brake calipers, and worked out that if I mounted the GT1 sensors against the rear of the brake disk, I should be able to measure rotation of the disk, so long as the sensor is secure and protected from the heat under braking.

I cut out a couple of pieces Aluminium U channel, and bolted them the to rear of the HiSpec caliper carrier brackets. With a hole drilled to support the GT1, I was then able to find a pair of stainless M6 socket head bolts, long enough to position the sensor head next to the rear of the disk, and with three nylock nuts on both bolts, the sensors were mounted securely, still leaving some space for adjustment of their position.

Next task was to fit the IP67 waterproof connectors, to the sensors and to the ends of the wiring loom, and plug them both in to the ECU and test that they can measure the rotation of the wheels. I ran out of male and female pins for the connectors, so I've ordered some more from RSWWW, and these should be with me on Monday to allow me to complete the job.

Fitting the GT1 Fitting the GT1


I cut the front splitter out today, using the Alumite board that I collected last week from the local sign company. Its so easy to cut to shape. Just score the top surface with a stanley knife, and snap in two. The radius of the corners, was scribed around a plate, and I then made a few more lines, from the radius to the edge of the board, and again, the waste sections can just be broken off.

Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter Making the splitter


Yesterday was the Asda On Your Marks day, held annually at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground. A tenner to enter, and then you paid a fiver for a ride in the car of your choice. Geoff Kershaw was there with his Turbotechnics Ford Sierra, but unfortunately all the rides had sold out when I got to the queue. The Rolls Royce spitfire was giving a display, and the P51 Mustang, and a group of Breitling biplanes. I went on the track in an Audi RS6, and my kids tried a Dodge Viper, a trike, a Caterham 7, and a Lotus Elise. They thoroughly enjoyed it. A rally stage was also running, with some mouth watering Ford Escorts, Talbot Sunbeams, and various other battle scarred rally cars. My favourite part of the day was the ride on the 4x4 stage in a Land Rover. I'm always amazed how versatile the old Discoverys are, and the depth of the water that they'll travel through.

Asda, August 2014


I've replaced the studs on the rear axle with longer 65mm studs, so I can run the new wheels and still have thread showing when the nuts are all torqued up. Previously, there wasnt any stud showing, and thats a scrutineering failure if they ever decided to check. To replace the studs, just tap them out from the front with a hammer, and they fall out the back of the Focus hub. Then the new studs are pulled through, using a socket and nut, until they no longer foul the wheel speed sensor on the rear of the hub. Once the wheels are back on, the nuts can be torqued up again, to make sure that they are pulled through all the way.
Changing the studs Changing the studs Changing the studs