July 2014


I'm trying some Forté fuel treatments at the moment, on the Subaru, to see if I can stop the clouds of smoke and lumpy tick over when she's starting from cold. Although the replacement EGR valve cured the poor running when hot, the start still produces too much smoke for my liking. The two additives I've tried are Diesel Turbo Cleaner, which is supposed to clean the turbo vane, though I'm not sure it'll do very much its worth a try. The other additive is Advanced Formula Diesel Treatment, another 400ml can, which cleans the injection system out.

I added both cans (0.8l) when I filled the tank last night with Sainsbury's pump diesel, and I have noticed a difference in performance already, the engine seems more eager to pull. But one product often found in these additives is simply an octane booster, which itself would improve performance. However, there was no smoke this morning when I started the engine from cold, and the tick over was very smooth, which means that the additives may be having an effect already. When the tank is next refilled, I'll see if the problem is cured for good.


Unloaded the car from the trailer last night so I can tackle the jobs I need to do. I've also almost finished optimising the website for improved download speeds and operability across mobile devices. Gone are the fiddly menus, and in come Previous and Next buttons on the bottom of most of the sections that spread across multiple pages. I've also enabled caching, so if you find a page that doesn't load properly, press Ctrl-F5 and it should refresh.



Back from a week's holiday in Tenerife, ready and raring to get working on the Fiesta again. New project for this month is the donation of a petrol lawn mower, which works fine, it just needs a new grass collector bag. Its fitted with a Briggs & Stratton engine, and is self propelled, which should make short work of the rear garden. Soon be tuning it to make the process even easier.

Biggest disappointment from the holiday was the extortionate charges from NCP for the use of their Long Stay car park. Bearing in mind that you have to book in advance to receive a discount, they insist that you specify the exact time that you will arrive and leave the car park. The seven day stay cost me £43.99, which isn't really that cheap. When we arrived at the exit gate, I was charged an extra £10.50 for overstaying by five hours. NCP gives you approx 3hrs grace period, incase of a delayed flight. I'd mistakenly entered 13:00hrs as the time we would leave, and because we were 2 hours later than the grace period, they charged me 25% of the total cost of staying there for 7 days!?!

How does that work? Where are the costs shown for 'overstaying'? I cant find them anywhere. According to NCP the tariffs are displayed 'at the car park'. But how do you read that when booking on line? Its like they can just print money with this clause in their T&C's. Not very good NCP. Either ask for the flight details when people book, to cross check the entry and exit times, or publish the charges up front, so people know how much it is going to cost them.


I've made some changes to the website to make it easier to navigate when viewing from a mobile device. I've added a meta tag to the head section, and a couple of bits to the style sheet, and modified the menus at the top of the screen. Nothing too major, but it should now render properly on smaller devices, and allow you to visit the pages and sections that make up the site.


The more I drive the Subaru since the fix, the more I'm convinced that the fault existed since I had the car new (six years ago), as it has totally different characteristics now. No smoke this morning either when I started the engine. I'm so enjoying the driving experience now.

Speaking of which I need to do some more work to the Fiesta ready for the next outing at MIRA. The rear wheel studs need changing for longer ones, to allow me to run spacers with the OZ Superleggera rims. I already have a set of bolts, I just need to fit them to the Focus hubs. And I need to get the flatshift working, and Troy at NHM says he has a couple of maps he can share with me to make the task easier.


I tried removing the EGR valve, but had little luck in even getting the electrical connector off the back of the valve, so admitted defeat, replaced the intercooler, and suffered another week of lumpy tickovers and no cruise control. On Friday, the car went in to the dealers and the valve was replaced, and it has transformed the engine. It is no longer lumpy, it no longer cycles the fuel rail pressure at tickover, but it does still put out a cloud of bluey smoke at startup, only when cold mind, and at 89,000 miles thats probably nothing unusual. The new valve cost £444 + Labour, and I should probably have changed it a couple of years ago.

The Retro Ford show at Mallory Park in August has been cancelled, due to organisational issues, which is so disappointing. But I've been invited to the Forge track day in September again, so I'll be going there instead. I've also had another invite to the annual Asda On Your Marks day at Bruntingthorpe. I think I'll go for a passenger ride in a Nissan GTR this time.