ECU unlockPete 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.
Little bit of progressI 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.
Brakes and suspensionI'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.
zetecinside goes HTTPS/SSLI'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.
Repairs/UpgradesI've had to order another couple of NAS bolts, I hadnt measured the lower front bracket properly, which is 5mm taller than the rear bracket, so I've ordered a pair of 1305 -31 bolts which will give the correct grip length. I collected the wing from DJ, and its safe at home waiting to be assembled. My next job is to replace the front and rear brake lines on the car, and I've disconnected the front hose, which runs from the master cylinder direct to both front wheels. Looks like a simple enough job to replace it.
Repairs/Upgrades - Front wing updateDJ has finished the replacement front wing, they emailed me on Friday to say that it was ready for collection. Thats an amazingly quick turnaround, I'm really pleased as I know how busy they are. I'm just waiting on Plays-kool making me a pair of new wing drop brackets which Luke says should also be ready this week.
Repairs/UpgradesGood old UPS, I get an email saying they've delivered the parcel from Raceparts, so I open the link in the email and it says its been delivered to my UPS Access Point, which is Leicester, GB. Er, thats not really specific enough, Leicester is a big city. So a call to Raceparts and they tell me its at a convenience store 8 minutes from my home address, so UPS didnt really bother to attempt to deliver it to my house. Why charge for home deliery if thats not what you get. Anyway, the NAS bolts are now with me and I can assemble the front suspension one more time, and make sure that the bolts have the correct shank/grip lengths.
I'm working with the HSA to further improve the British Sprint Championship for 2019, and I'm currently developing a new scoring spreadsheet to be used at BSC events. The spreadheet will make it easier to rapidly and accurately produce the scores at the end of an event, and will be simplified to allow anyone to fill it in. I've built the framework of worksheets, and my next task is to create the macros to add the automatic scoring to it. The trickiest bit is adding the logic for all the class track records, so the various bonus points and scores can be worked out for each round of the championship. This was all done by hand previously, but the replacement spreadsheet will work it all out automatically, eventually. Lots of time to get it working, the first event isnt until March 2019 when we return to Castle Combe.
Repairs/UpgradesThese are the fasteners that I've ordered for the front suspension. Delivery is meant to be in the next few days.
1300 Series NAS Bolts - 1305 - -28 NAS1305-28 £6.41ea 4off £25.63
1300 Series NAS Bolts - 1304 - -16 NAS1304-16 £1.27ea 4off £5.09
1300 Series NAS Bolts - 1305 - -10 NAS1305-10 £1.93ea 2off £3.86
1300 Series NAS Bolts - 1305 - -25 NAS1305-25 £4.16ea 2off £8.33
1300 Series NAS Bolts - 1304 - -23 NAS1304-23 £2.09ea 2off £4.18
Imperial Captive Washer K-Nuts - 1/4 KFN542-4 £2.22ea 6off £13.32
Imperial Captive Washer K-Nuts - 5/16 KFN542-5 £2.38ea 8off £19.01
The two front pushrods are back from Altiss Engineering, and although they're a tad shorter than the ones they replace, I've fitted one to the near side, so at least the car can go back on its wheels again soon.
Repairs/UpgradesI've replaced the damaged lower suspension pickup brackets, using the custom brackets that Radical machined for me in 2017. These are not standard Mygale parts, as Radical altered the car's roll-center to improve its handling. I'm replacing all the suspension pickups on the near side to avoid any future failures. The upper pickups are standard Mygale parts, and I've had to order a replacement pair from France, they should be with me in the next few weeks. The steering arm push rod is bent too, so thats also being supplied by Mygale.
I will need to source some NAS bolts from Raceparts. The NMB rod ends, are imperial, and I dont have the necessary fasteners to replace the ones that were bent in the crash. I've fitted metric bolts temporarily, but the NAS bolts are required to guarantee a secure fit. Apparently 5/16" - 8mm are one of the worst abused mis-matched sizes. 8mm is 0.315" and 5/16" is 0.3125", and NAS bolts are 0.0005" and 0.0025" under size which is why they're a better fit than the metric bolts.
I've dismantled the damaged Force rims, to allow the centres to be removed. The tyres look OK, so I can re-use these in 2019. The F88R Life ECU has been taken back to Northampton Motorsport and they are sending it back to Life so that the battery charging circuitry can be repaired, and the ECU should come back unlocked, allowing me access to the paid-for features.
The replacement DJ SM153 front wing has been ordered, and should be ready in the next 3-4 weeks. It'll be supplied minus the front wing flaps, as the flaps from the original wing aren't damaged, and at £600 for the pair, I'd rather re-use them. Plays-Kool are making new drop plates to attach the wing to the crash box, and Altiss are making another pair of push rods to allow me to replace the one I bent at Anglesey. Fortunately, the chassis seems to have escaped any damage, it was the pickups, the pushrod, and the suspension arms that took the brunt of the accident.
BSC results, 9th overall and Britannia Trophy winnerSo its now confirmed that I finished 9th in the British Sprint Championship, and that I won the Britannia Trophy. Sadly due to my non-start on Sunday, I missed the 1600 Forced Induction trophy by just two points, with Pete Goulding taking overall honours. Its been a busy and eventful year, and I hope I can resume at the first round in 2019 where I left off with my steadily improving performance during 2018.
This is the video of my first run off run, a 49.43s lap of the National.
Anglesey mishapSadly, my 2nd run off run at Anglesey ended with a visit to the barriers, after the car turned left off the start line, whilst accelerating and under launch control. Both the near side wheels were damaged, the front suspension was bent beyond recognition, and the front wing was snapped in two. The only silver lining was that I won the 1600T class in the Timed Runs, and then I set a time on my first run off that was good enough to place me 8th overall, having qualified 9th, scoring me 5 points, which brought my total for the year up to 63pts, and secured my 9th spot in the championship. I've a bit list of parts that I need to obtain, to start rebuilding the car. I've spare suspension arms, but I'll need some rod ends, and new pushrods, and a few other bits, but it shouldn't be too long before its all back together again for a chassis alignment and corner weighting.
This is my crash, not the best way to end the year.
My skid marks left from the rear wheels whilst the rear tyres lit up under launch.
What was left, once the car was returned to the garage.
Anglesey practiceI took part in a Javelin trackday at Anglesey yesterday, to learn the circuit for this weekend, and after two sessions on my own, where I struggled to get the BMW to go around the corners, I had ARDS race instructor Howard Hunt sit alongside me for 30 mins, and he taught me the correct way to drive Anglesey, and a few tips on braking that I shall also be trying out. I rapidly improved, and wasnt getting in everyones way quite as much, but I must say the driving standards were quite awful, and several Caterham drivers with significantly quicker cars on slicks, really disapproved of anyone getting in their way. One Caterham driver came right up behind me when I was braking for a corner, and took both hands off the steering wheel to waive his arms aloft, to show his anger at me getting in his way! After several buttock clenching moments, I decided enough was enough, and headed home.
The car is ready for the weekend. Wirelocking is complete. I've added some additional aero bits to the rear floor, a pair of Dallara front wing end plates stood vertically, to guide the airflow between the rear wheels and below the rear wing, that may help increase the rear downforce further. I'll run the rear facing camera at the weekend and see if there is any difference with the spray patterns, assuming it rains, which I expect it will.