More Ordering

The bodywork has been taking its time, actually, that’s not quite correct, the body work was ready about 3 weeks after I ordered it, however as a prerequisite for fitting the bodywork, i need to fit both the fuel tank, and the drive shafts.

The drive shafts are needed so that the wheels will stay attached to the hubs, which I feel is important so that I can sit the car on the ground at the correct ride height and make sure everything lines up as I want it.

The fuel tank needs to go on before the bodywork, as its a complete pig to get in and out with the body work on.

Chris got started on the fuel tank this week, and the drive shafts have been cut and shut, but not welded yet, so it looks like its going to be mid next week before they arrive. The result is that I’ve not had much to do on the car for a while other than little jobs. As it looks like its almost ready now, I’ve ordered some more bits that I’ll need.

I ordered the prop shafts, I had a chat with Dunning and Fairbank, they were very helpful and returned my call very quickly which made me feel loved. I put an order in for two shafts, the front one between the Sprocket Adaptor and the Quaife Reversing box is 383mm. The one between the Quaife Reversing box and the Freelander Diff is 755mm long. The Quaife box and the Sprocket Adaptor use the Ford “English” diff flange dimensions, the freelander is a different but well used size and the flanges are available off the shelf. The rear prop shaft has a TRT Tube in it which absorbs some of the spikes in torque when changing gear and results in less wear when changing gear.

Both props have about 51mm of movement, so if I decided I need to lower or move the engine for the bodywork it will still fit.

I also ordered the bends from the cooling system from SFS Performance, their prices are reasonable and do all their manufacturing on site. Their turnaround time for Orange hoses is around a week.

I needed an additional T piece to plumb in the input for the oil cooler, some hose, adaptors, and a fuel pressure regulator, so I ordered them from Demon Tweeks.

Reverse Box

Not much progress on the Fury due to both the weather keeping me out in the Seven, and the lack of drive shafts which I want before I put the body work on so I can avoid damaging the orange bodywork removing suspension components. I’m assured, any day now.

In the mean time I made a lever for the reverse box, its in a nice position, not in the way of the handbrake and as far forward as possible. I’ve been learning solid works so I designed a handle which I will make up on a lathe if I can get one. I also designed a handbrake lever cover which will also be made in the lathe.

Reverse box in, with breather hose going to a bottle on the bulkhead

In order to fit the clutch cable I need some sort of spacer to go in between the hole in the bulkhead, the pedal and the cable sleeve, so I designed this, its long so it can be easily shimmed to the right length to provide adjustment if required, it has radius’s on all edges to avoid damaging the cable, and a slot to allow the cable to be fitted with a knuckle on the end if required.

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I installed the transmission tunnel panel work, using m5 rivnuts, I’ll cover this in material and use dome headed nuts on the final assembly.

I’ve now started on the wiring, i want to use as little of the R1 loom as possible, I removed the lighting and instrumentation, but left the connector for the gauges so that I can see any error codes.

The initial loom from the R1

I will then shorten and extend the R1 loom as required, so that it is one small unit with one spur going to the engine and one spur coming to the main fusebox/ignition switch.

I will keep the ignition key, mounted somewhere in the cockpit, as this has the immobilizer transponder in it, but will switch the main power (which in turn switches the ECU on.) not just the bike looms power. I’m slightly nervous about all this as its a big bit of spaghetti to begin with, i just hope when I’ve tidied it all up, it still works.

Design Flaw

I had moment in the seven today, driving home from work in the dark, I failed to see (nor expect) an unmarked speed-bump in the middle of the country on a two way highway outside of a village. The result was me being launched into the air at 80, a hard landing, and a very wobbly seven, the result was a snapped shock absorber, it had sheered at the knuckle.

Broken Suspension

On closer examination i think i may have introduced a design flaw by purchasing rose jointed shock absorbers, in order to shim the mountings so that the shocks sit right, I used big washers, these in turn restrict the movement of the knuckle, in full droop or squat at both sides this isn’t an issue, as the shock is vertical, however in roll, i think i may have introduced a twisting force into the knuckle causing it to fracture. As a result i remade the shims to be smaller so that they do not foul the casing. I welded the the knuckle back on, if it fails again I shall replace the whole unit.

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When i put it all back together something still wasn’t right, it took me quite some time to realize that spring mount had come off one of the front shocks, thankfully it had dropped into the undertray. To stop this ever happening again, either due to me getting too much ‘air’ or some other failure, i drilled a small hole in them, and cable tied the spring to it. Once adjusted, everything was back to nor

Nice Weather, Nice Driving

The weather has been fantastic recently and with the contract issues i’ve had stopping me from going to the office (What a shame..) i’ve been out and about. I took a trip down the canal then the Waal to Nijmegen, then worked my way down the german border then up to Trier, then along the Moselle to Cochem, then Adenau (sadly the ring was closed.) and that’s when it all got a bit silly.

Posing

Now bear in mind the seven has a 21 liter tank capacity, my warning is when the needle o the gauge stops flapping around, that means there is not enough fuel in the tank to raise the arm on the sender significantly, or roughly about 3 liters left. I was running low on petrol, so i had a peep on the GPS for the nearest petrol station, the gauge was still wobbling at this point, so not really worried, off I go… I got there and it was closed, now the Eiffel region is very pretty, but its not that densely populated, and the nearest big town is Koblenz, about 45km away. I had a look on the GPS for the next nearest one, still heading towards the autobahn to head north a bit before cutting west cross country. I got to that one, and it was closed too, never mind I thought, (needle not moving now.) i’ll just add the reserve tank i cleverly keep in the back for such occasions.

What I didn’t know until that point, was that when I cleared out he boot after le mans, I’d left the spare petrol tank sitting in the garage next to the other fuel tanks and explosive things out of the way, and forgot to put it back in. Oh dear (Or words to that extend.) I thought, and looked at the options for petrol stations, Mayen was the nearest town that I could remember seeing on a real map, but it was quite some way away, so i found one en-route that might do. It of course was closed, and on the hill into the next town, I started to get fuel starvation, it was all over just in time for me to get to the top of the hill and roll down into the village and pull up somewhere a bit better lit and off the main road.

It took quite some explaining to the ANWB control, as they had no idea what type of car I was driving, nor where I was, despite giving them the coordinates, town name, rough location, they just couldn’t find it on their map, eventually with some googling, gesturing and bad spelling we found it, and an hour later the ADAC turned up with a spare can. I talked broken dutch, even more broken german, and nervous english, explaining that you have no fuel is quite simple, the procedure for getting new fuel seems harder, first you have to understand you need to pay for it, it will be eight euros, you must pay now. Then there is the paperwork, correcting spellings, and more signatures than a boy-band autograph session.

The guy was really friendly though, and he understood mostly what I was saying in dutch, not so much in English and he drove with me to the nearest petrol station as we determined it was actually about 25km away and that’s pushing 5 liters of fuel allowing for getting lost and the hills etc. In the end it didn’t seem that far and by 11 I was ready to set off.

I decided just to take the fast route home via Koln and Duisburg along the autobahn, rather than going cross country, it was a nice opportunity to test the top speed out. Acceleration is quite impressive until about 175kmh at which point its a second or so before each increment. Top speed is still undetermined, at around 197kmh i hit fuel starvation, i had this issue before and had to turn up the pressure in the regulator, but I expect its still a weak spot. That is still pretty fast though but the car is remarkably stable at this speed, i expected it to be a bit twitchy, but despite the air force hitting my head it was quite pleasant.

I got back to Utrecht by 3am, but couldn’t get into the garage due to a power failure and the emergency unlock thing not unlocking properly so the car stayed outside my house which wasn’t ideal, the rain stayed off though thankfully.

Le Mans Trip

In preparation for the le mans trip, I ordered a couple of intercom parts, most importantly the new headsets, i was convinced it was a fault with the one I had, so I ordered a new in-helmet set, and two ‘training’ headsets which are basically a set of ear defenders with a microphone and speaker attached

The star com is a great intercom capable of two way driver/passenger communication, combined with car to car radio communication, hookup for an audio device (in my case an ipod) and a phone kit (amongst a bunch of other features.)

Based on the background noise, the star com will increase or reduce the volume of the comms system to compensate, then when one person speaks it will mute the radio. There is an additional Push-To-Talk switch mounted on the gearstick to activate the radio.

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The problem is, whilst VOX works fine for the passenger, they talk music cuts out, it doesn’t work for the driver, it seems that either the mic setting on the passenger side is too high, or the driver too low, the result is that VOX goes a bit crazy. On the trip this wasn’t a problem, we simply talked over the music when required, but its a little frustrating at times.

The sound quality however is fantastic, driving with no windscreen, and just the open headsets at 85mph was crystal clear, we could talk normally with each other, although as you can’t hear yourself the result was we were needlessly raising our voices.

I’ll have a chat with star-com about the problem with VOX as I expect to use the same system in the fury.

I had a cracking few days driving as part of the trip to Le Mans, I left the Thursday morning in very wet weather, scared the life out myself when I aquaplaned whilst overtaking a truck on the motor-way, and had a very very slow, and very very miserable trip down to Bauvais, fortunately it really brightened up, and the rest of the drive down was great fun. Paul did try to kill us by pulling out in front of a truck when we did our first driver change, but other than that things went pretty well.

The starter motor stuck at a petrol station en-route, it has done it once more since then in Germany, and it seems to be only when the engine is hot, and has been stood for a few minutes. The only other issue was the front left hub nut coming a little loose this was evident when braking as after a tight right bend, the brake pedal would have a bit more travel, this was easily nipped up with some added thread-lock for good measure.

The car was driving remarkably well, and most of the teething trouble seems to be gone now, I’m a lot more confident in the car. On the way back we stopped off in a very wet Versailles, there were roadworks and I wasn’t quite sure were to go, and essentially drove up the main driveway, realizing my mistake (after pausing for a quick photo opportunity) i squeezed through a gap in the pavement into the real car park. It wasnt until we were done when we noticed that we had ended up in a car park you can only exit if you have a ticket, so we sneaked out the way we came in and despite a few confused workmen, nobody seemed to notice.

Not the best seven driving weather

I left Paul with Kyle and Charlotte and hot footed it home, thankfully it brightened up in Belgium and I was able to make some progress, it had been painfully slow moving on the way so far.

The car got a lot of attention both on the route, and at le mans itself, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming but for the most part its great fun and very good natured. I think we will make the return trip next year, or perhaps to the classic event instead.