Celebrating 21 years

Latest News

14thJan

Chassis setup booked

I'm booked in at Triple M later in January for the chassis alignment, and a set of Pirelli tyres. I've downloaded the data from the ECU following the engine run yesterday, and there are dozens more channels available now to diagnose things like engine knock, speed sensor faults, paddle up/down, etc etc. Lots more opportunities to diagnose any issues on events now. Very happy.
New channels
cyl01KnockIgnRtd (25Hz) Unit(Angle, Degrees)
cyl02KnockIgnRtd (25Hz) Unit(Angle, Degrees)
cyl03KnockIgnRtd (25Hz) Unit(Angle, Degrees)
cyl04KnockIgnRtd (25Hz) Unit(Angle, Degrees)
drivenSpeed (25Hz) Unit(MPH)
flSpeedSpikeCount (2Hz)
flSpeedV (10Hz) Unit(Volts)
frSpeedSpikeCount (2Hz)
frSpeedV (10Hz) Unit(Volts)
gearCutDogKickCount (No samples)
gearCutFailCount (No samples)
gearDownShiftOutput (On or Off)
gearUpShiftOutput (On or Off)
gearShiftDecision (Status)
gearShiftDirection (Up or Down)
gearShiftState (Status)
gearShiftOutput (On or Off)
knockControlActive (Idle or Active)
knockShutdownCylinder (Cylinder number 0..12)
launchRPM (10Hz) Unit(rpm)
launchSwitch (On or Off)
paddleSwitch (None, Down, Up or Both)
paddleSwitchV (1Hz) Unit(Volts)
preIgnShutdownCylinder (Cylinder 0..12)
radarSpeed (10Hz) Unit(mph)
radarSpeedSpikeCount (2Hz)
rlSpeedSpikeCount (2Hz)
rlSpeedV (10Hz) Unit(Volts)
rrSpeedSpikeCount (2Hz)
rrSpeedV (10Hz) Unit(Volts)
preIgnShutdownCylinder
radarSpeed (10Hz)
tcSpinErr (50Hz) Unit(%)
tcSpinTarg (50Hz) Unit(%)
tcTrq (50Hz) Unit(%)
wg3MapErrPct (25Hz) Unit (%)
wgBaseDuty1 (25Hz) Unit(%)
wgFinalDuty1 (25Hz) Unit(%)
wgIgnRtd1 (25Hz) Unit(Angle,Degrees)
wgIgnDuty1 (25Hz) Unit(%)
wgMapErr[0]) (25Hz) Unit(Pressure,Millibar)
wgMapTarg1 (25Hz) Unit(Pressure,Millibar)

13thJan

Engine Runs

After purging the dry sump tank of oil, and filling the gearbox sump tank with 4l of new 10W60, the engine starts and runs with no issues. The tickover when cold is quite lumpy due to the lighter flywheel but that can be sorted easily.

12thJan

Brakes bled

The brakes all bled ok, with no leaks, and the clutch is also bled. I've added a spacer to the clutch pedal stop to prevent the clutch slave from extending too far in to the clutch, and it all seems to be working OK

8thJan

ECU refitted

The ECU is fitted back in the car, and the dashboard is showing the usual readings from sensors on the engine, so it all looks good so far. I started on bleeding the brakes, front and rear, and this will need a willing assistant to push the pedal, so I'll wait until the weekend when my volunteer is available. I've filled the new engine oil filter with oil, and I'll start filling the engine sump ready for running the engine again. The clutch still needs testing, but I'm confident it'll all be OK.

No Autosport show for me this year, I'm giving it a break as work is ramping up and I need to be on-site rather than drooling over race cars. To be honest, there's been a decline in the number of exhibitors over the past few years, and last years show was disappointing, especially when you consider the cost of getting in, and parking.

5thJan

Fire (almost)

I bought a 5V USB power supply from eBay before Christmas, in fact I bought two, as they were about £3.50 each, and I needed a power supply for the T5.1 to charge a GPS tracking device off the van's battery. So I rigged one up on the garage bench, to check the current consumption, and make sure it didnt drain the battery when loaded by the GPS tracker. Afer a few days of checking the battery voltage, I went out to disconnect the USB charger from the car battery, and noticed that the wires feeding in to the base of the USB charger had burnt through! It was clear that the device had malfunctioned internally, as the potting compound had also melted. That was a lucky escape, as I hadnt fused the charger, it was just connected directly across the batteries terminals.




As these chargers are basic in their construction, rather than chance buying another one that might also fail, I've got hold of some 7805 regulators, and heatsinks, from RS, and made my own, reusing the USB outlets from the burnt out USB charger. The 5V regulator and heatsink cost around £1.00, and after 15 mins of soldering and heatsinking, I can happily say that I now trust my USB charger far more than the cheap one I bought off eBay, and the spare charger (I bought 2) will definitely be going in the bin.

I know these are popular devices. I've seen people use them on competition cars to provide 5V USB power for GoPro's and other USB powered devices. But all I can say is, please add an inline fuse to the device, or make sure you run it off another fused supply. The current draw is minimal, so just a 1A fuse would provide more than adequate protection incase of another short-circuit failure inside the modules themselves. I was lucky!

4thJan

Anti-squat

The rear suspension has been altered now for medium anti-squat as per the Mygale User manual. It was set to maximum, which suits lower powered cars, so we're going to try the medium settings to see if the car is any different when accelerating out of slow corners.

Anti-squat changed

31stDec

Suspension on #2

The off side rear suspension is now refitted. Again the last remaining NAS bolts are on the car, and I've put the dampers and the pushrods back on, so its ready to sit on all four wheels again. Or at least I thought it was until I looked in the Mygale User manual and spotted that the pickup points I've used will give the incorrect rear squat. So I'll move the pickup points tomorrow.

Suspension on Suspension on

30thDec

Suspension on

I've refitted the near side rear suspension, replacing four of the remaining socket head bolts in the process. I've just two NAS bolts left to fit, to the off side rear, and then the whole car will be running on NAS spec fasteners, which should make the suspension much tighter. When I lift the near side rear hub, there is no play in the joints anymore, which will make for a more stable car. I removed the oil filter, and cut it open to inspect it, and there was no specs of metal inside, it was very clean indeed. I'll replace it with another of the same type. The oil lines that I wanted to replace, I'm having second thoughts, as the dry sump takeoff joints under the engine are very difficult to get to, and it looks like the floor might need removing to access them.

Suspension on

29thDec

Box update

The gearbox is back refitted, and bolted on securely. I gave it another clean with the degreaser, and the next job is to check that the clutch works, and I also need to replace both the dry sump oil lines as the braided hoses are showing their age.

Gearbox fitted

28thDec

Clutch update

With the thinner 6mm spacer and slave fitted, I plumbed the hydraulics back in to the slave, and fitted the bellhousing back, and then bled the slave. After removing the bellhousing again, I found a leak on the slave, the return banjo fitting needed nipping up, and after a few more tests, was happy it had stopped leaking. So I bolted the housing back on, and then tried to re-fit the gearbox, but it didnt quite mate, so I left it to try again over the weekend.

Bellhousing back on
Here are 96 launches from 2018, there are a few starts missing where I didnt switch the GoPro on. I've compiled the clips to see if the car really had a tendency to turn left. But it looks like the accident at Anglesey was caused by the surface change coming out the pits more than anything else.

25thDec

It's Christmas

A very Happy Christmas to everyone, and a Happy New Year from Graham, Dawn and family.

24thDec

ECU powered up

I made a power connector for the ECU, and I can now communicate using the laptop with the ECU away from the car. I've started to look at the config to see whats new, and there are several extra explorer folders available for launch, traction and VVT. There are also some warning and information flags alongside these folders and items, so I need to understand what they mean before I can go any further. According to Chris at NMS they are just aide-memoires, so I can clear them if I wish. If I right click any of the CAL folders, I can clear or set any of the flags. Clever.




23rdDec

ECU returns

I've collected the ECU from Northampton Motorsport, and its been both repaired and unlocked. I'll have to plug it in and see what new features I've got access to. I might rig up the spare Bosch connector to provide power and ethernet, so I can learn the ECU's features from the comfort of my home, rather than sitting in the cold garage. Speaking of which, the clutch spacer has been machined, and is ready to go back on the bellhousing. If I get time over the weekend, I'll reassemble the clutch slave and check the clearance to the clutch fingers.

Machined slave spacer, now 6mm thick

17thDec

Clutch slave fitted

I swapped the release bearing and piston over tonight, so the SBD release bearing is now sat on the slave, and with the bellhousing fitted, there is about 2mm space between the bearing and the clutch fingers. So I need to seat the bearing further away from the clutch plates, which means the 11mm Mygale spacer that sits below the slave, will need 5mm machining off of it, so I'll drop it in to Altiss to see if Nigel can turn it around before the weekend. The ECU is finished, and will be back with NMS tomorrow. I'll see if I can collect it before the weekend to check config what is now available.

Clutch release bearing changed

17thDec

Flywheel fitted

The SBD flywheel is fitted to the engine, and this allows me to trial fit the clutch components. I've removed the release bearing from the clutch slave. The replacement just pushes straight in, and of course disturbing the release bearing means the clutch needs bleeding again.

The ECU is repaired, and is now waiting for Sam to unlock it, but as he's out the office again this week, that may mean I dont get it back until after Christmas :(

Clutch and flywheel fitted

14thDec

Clutch and flywheel

The parts have arrived from SBD, I'm just waiting until I've cured myself of #manflu before I can go in to the garage and trial fit everything.
Clutch and slave release bearing

13thDec

100 Days remain

100 days until the first round in 2019 at Castle Combe

12thDec

More updates!

Yep, more bolts arrived from race.parts, this time the outstanding NAS bolts for the rear suspension, which are now all fitted, and I've replaced the 3/8 UNF bolt that secures the bottom front wish bone to the front hub, as it turns out it was not straight after the accident, so its now replaced, and that means all the fasterners on that front corner are new! I bought some 3/8 bolts from ebay, but the shank lengths were incorrect, so I made a trip over to Charnwood Fasteners, and they had exactly what I needed. I've renewed my competition license, with another Speed National A for 2019, and Motorsport UK no longer supply the Blue Book. However, if you send them a polite email, they will pop one in the post free of charge, so I did that, and I now have a BB for sharing at events next year. Lets hope there's no reason to look at it. I might be looking for work in 2019, the contract with my current client comes to an end in December, and there appears to be scant opportunity to continue with them due to massive job cuts and cost savings across the company. So January will be interesting, as I scour the internet for suitable work. I guess I'll have plenty of time on my hands to get the car prepared for Castle Combe in March.

My Life ECU is repaired and is just waiting to be unlocked. Hopefully it'll be done this week, so I can get it fitted back in the car and run the engine again over Christmas once the flywheel/clutch modifications are complete.

7thDec

Clutch update

I've supplied all manner of measurements to SBD, and they have confirmed that the flywheel and clutch will fit in the short Mygale bellhousing, so I'm now waiting for parts to arrive. Meanwhile I've removed the brake lines from inside the rear wishbones, and they're in a sorry looking state. The heat from the Turbo exhaust, blowing over the bottom wishbone, and water inside the wishbone, which looks to have caused some corrosion, means the brake lines 100% needed replacing.

There is still no news on my Life ECU. I tried calling Life twice this week, but they were unable to give me any updates. They've had it for two months, and I was told it could take a while to repair and unlock. 2 Months though!

29thNov

Clutch off

I've removed the bellhousing, which allows me to get to the clutch cover and clutch. These are Helix items, with a paddle type clutch installed, which has 7mm pad material remaining. I've ordered the SBD EcoBoost Flywheel (3.9Kg) and twin plate clutch, which SBD use on their 350bhp EcoBoost Westfield, and I'm waiting to hear what the options are regarding the release bearing as it needs to be replaced with a cone type so it sits properly with the competition clutch. This change should save quite a bit of weight. I just hope we dont run in to clearance issues as there's a spacer fitted to the back of the clutch slave to move it forwards, so I hope that with the deeper twin clutch plate we can just remove the spacer and it all squeezes inside the bellhousing.

28thNov

Gearbox service

The FTR box was serviced by Mark Bailey, and he found two or potentially three issues. The 3rd gear dog rings were chipped, so the ring was replaced. The diff had almost quadrupled the preload, it took around 80ft.lb to move it, and the preload was meant to be around 20ft.lb. On inspection Mark spotted that two of the friction plate surfaces were badly scored, which suggests some debris had got between the plates, increasing the friction. Mark replaced the damaged plate, and reordered the plates to avoid using the output cup surface which saves it from any further damage. He cleaned the magnets off of all swarf, and rebuilt the diff and the box, in around 2 hours. One other potential issue, was the layshaft was showing witness marks where the gears were wearing through the case hardening on the splined section. He says it should be ok for one more season, so I'll make a note to get the box serviced again this time next year, and prepare myself for the cost of replacing the layshaft. Thats the only problem with putting 320+bhp through a gearbox designed for 220, you have to check the internals for wear more often.

26thNov

BSC Calendar

This is how the BSC calendar looks for 2019. We've lost Cadwell in June, which I thought might be the case.



Below is a picture of the British Sprint and British Hillclimb drivers present at the HSA awards held on Sunday at Prescott. David Richards MBE (Motorsport UK Chairman) was also present as guest speaker.
Left to Right: Chris Bennett, Graham Blackwell, Pete Goulding, Graham Porrett, David Richards MBE, John Loudon, Alex Summers, Nick Algar, Chris Jones, Debbie Dunbar, Simon Bainbridge, Terry Holmes, Trevor Willis]

21stNov

BSC Awards

On Saturday I collected my 9th place award, and the Britannia Trophy, for the highest overall points scorer in the British Sprint Championship at all UK events. Pete collected the 11th place award, the Saxon Trophy, for the highest points scored on rounds held in England, and the 1600 Forced Induction class award. He also collected the St John trophy, which is awarded to the person who scored the highest points on their debut in the BSC. So our EcoBoost cars secured the Britannia, Saxon, and the St John awards, and 9th and 11th places. If we have both gone to Ireland, we'd have also won the Celtic award, which is for the Scotland, Wales and Ireland events. Thats a great achievement, and accidents aside, its been an amazing year. We're both determined to come out fighting again in March 2019 at Castle Combe, to see if we can be even more competitive from the word go. And we might be joined by the ex-Laurence/O'Malley/Ash Sutton EgoBoost car, which recently changed hands. Three EcoBoosts's in the BSC!!

18thNov

Snetterton lost to sprints from 2019

The knock on effect of losing Rockingham at Corby in 2019, is that all the events that ran there, are looking to move to other venues, and Snetterton has apparently decided that there will be no sprints on the 100 circuit in 2019. This is another serious blow to the Championship. It is looking like we have another 2 month gap from April to June where we wont be competing, as Snetterton has been removed from the calendar. Not good news at all. There is a prospect of making a weekend of Cadwell in June, but we already know how fragile that arrangement can be as we lost Cadwell previously to a bike meeting, in 2017 I think.

16thNov

Back on four wheels again

I've finished as much as I can of the front end, while I wait for the parts from Mygale, so I put both the wheels on and lowered the car back to the ground, so I can roll it forwards in the garage and remove the diffuser and gearbox. The gearbox needs a full service, following two years of running in the championship, and to see if we can find any reason that the gearbox may have been causing the car to turn left on the launches.

Its the BSC Awards tomorrow evening, and I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone. I'll post pictures on Sunday. Back on four wheels

13thNov

ECU unlock

Pete Goulding collected his unlocked ECU from Life today, and the impression so far is that we do finally have access to all the features that Ford agreed to. Which means we can now get on with documenting the current settings, and understanding the implications of making changes to settings to improve launch and traction control. I'm just waiting for my ECU to have the battery charging circuitry modified and when its returned I'll start on the documentation.

I've replaced both the bottom wishbone rod ends on the undamaged front drivers side, as they were quite worn after 6 years of competition, and it was easy to do seeing as I was fitting the NAS bolts anyway. I also fitted the new nylon 10mm spacers to the bottom wishbones, and its all now ready to be tightened back up again. Mygale are today posting out the steering rod end and the two upper wishbone mounting brackets, so I may have them for the weekend.

12thNov

Little bit of progress

I made my first ever flexible brake hose, using the AN3 hose, and the mandrel to seperate the braid, which really made it a very simple job. Both brake lines are now back on the front and the brakes are therefore ready to be bled. The M8 x 10mm spacers arrived, so the front lower arms are now built up and everything is done up tight. I'm just waiting for the parts from Mygale and the front can be re-aligned by Triple M. The ECU is still away at Life being repaired. I believe they're finding it harder than they expected changing the security to allow Pete and myself access to our paid-for features. Pete's ECU was meant to be returned at the start of last week, but a week later there is still no news.

6thNov

Brakes and suspension

I've cut the first replacement brake line to length, with a fine tooth hacksaw, but I'm waiting for a mandel to arrive that makes it easier to spread the stainless braid on the end of the line, allowing the olive to be slid over the end. I detest poking bits of stainless in my fingers, so I'm going to wait another couple of days for the tool to arrive. I went to fit the lower rod ends to the bottom pickup points, but then realised I dont have any 10mm spacers which need to go either side of the rod end in the brackets. So I've found some M8 x 10mm nylon spacers on eBay, and these'll be with me in a few days, and then I can finally bolt everything in place and sit the car back on four wheels.

4thNov

zetecinside goes HTTPS/SSL

I've converted the site to use HTTPS/SSL, so the address to reach the site is now https://www.zetecinside.com

The server will automatically redirect you to the secure site address, but I'd recommend you update your bookmarks all the same.