Mallory Six Hour

Despite the seven going belly up en-route, we entered the Mazda, it was pretty good fun, we were doing 1:9s-1:11s with Edwinas, and my lap times were consistent throughout. Paul had a small off, failing to turn left into the Edwina chicane but didn’t clout anything which is the main thing.

The car held up ok, however post Cam belt change the (new) fan belt gave up after 2 hours and we had to repair that, and a split hose which cost us about an hour. In the afternoon the rear tyres were off, so we rotated the inside and outside rears which made the car much more drivable.

People were very friendly and we got a lot of encouragement throughout the day. We were pretty fast through Gerard’s, but just didn’t have the power to get the speed up the hill towards the hairpin, so we did find ourselves out-braking people into the hair pin, being overtaken down the hill, then overtaking them again round Gerard’s which made things pretty interesting.

Lotus had a clear win, with some good driving and team management. We were the only mx5 to finish (out of 3 starters) and came mid way up the finishers which was good enough for us. In all honesty i was just glad we didn’t bend it, or worse, vomit in our helmets like some copilots.

Little Jobs

Its been a whilst since I posted, lots of non-car related things going have kept me from posting progress. The car is nearing completion now, my current todo list is:

Seven:

  • Paint metalwork at front of car
  • Fix the oil leaks
  • Fit the additional return spring on the throttle
  • Check the exhaust fittings for leaks
  • Check the state of the exhaust wadding
  • Make a new boot
  • Make a floor for the boot of the car
  • Check if the fuel tank is actually leaking or if its just overspill from where i was careless.
  • Set the Timing
  • Adjust the tappets
  • Remove the foam from the underneath of the bonnet
  • Remove the old fuel filler, fill the hole and paint it
  • Rewire the tachometer to work with megasquirt
  • Paint the aerocatches black

Fury:

  • Fit the trim to the windscreen
  • Fit the flat shifter kit
  • Fit the battery holder
  • Make a bracket and fit the speed sensor
  • Fit the indicator side repeaters
  • Fit and wire in the IR beacon for the data-logger
  • Fit the warning LED for the immobilizer
  • Sort out the heater ducting
  • Adjust the headlamps and fit the cowling
  • Connect up the earth for headlamps

MX5:

  • Change the oil
  • Change the cambelt
  • Flush the cooling system

MX5 hits 200,000km


The MX5 rolled over 200,000km this week. I’ve done over 110,000KM since i bought the car, and looking back its done pretty well.

I bought the car with a missing big-end bearing, so replaced the engine at 90,000km. I replaced the engine, and had a couple of issues shortly afterwards with the water pump leaking which would have been easily replaced had it not failed at the side of the M1, Mike helped me out and a new cam belt, tensioner and pump where fitted in a couple of hours.

In 2007 Jerome managed to press hard enough on the passenger footwell that the footrest nipped the permanent live to the alarm causing a short and some smoke. In 2008 at 160,000 the differential pinion gear broke a tooth. Presumably due to the fitment of an aftermarket torsen LSD. In 2009 I had a moment after having found the OEM cigar lighter when cleaning the car out, I’d refitted it and a few days later whilst waiting on the boat at Dover the inside was filled with smoke as I must have knocked it on, and of course it didn’t turn itself off again. In 2010, at 199,460km, the fan belt snapped on the way back from Germany, of course I had a spare sitting in the garage in preparation for the next major service. Other than that I’ve had no other issues with the car which I think is pretty good considering it is 18 years old. It starts first time, every time.

There are a few minor annoyances with the car, the bushes are getting a bit soft, and the original bilstein front shocks are showing signs of wear. The clutch release bearing is also a bit noisy and will be replaced soon along with the clutch and spigot bearing. The car eats about 1liter of oil every 3000km. The drivers seat is also a bit worn out now too, but generally despite damage caused by me being careless and the odd hummer reversing into it, its still in pretty good condition.

Over the last year I’ve covered 30,731KM, averaging 9.24L/100km with low 8s in the summer and low 9s in the winter time due to the aerodynamic drag of the lights I presume. The highest L/100km was 19L/100 recorded at the Nurburgring in April. I travel an average of 84km/day. The cost per KM works out at 0.13Euro including service and tax, not including insurance. (As this is on another policy for all my cars.)

The car is serviced every 10,000KM with new oil, filters, and plugs using good quality semi synthetic oil. Tires last about 20000km on the rear, and about 12-15000km on the front due to both excessive camber and the number of track days.

Todo

Engine

  • Fit and reinforce engine mounts to ensure they wont fail in the same way again.
  • Fix or replace sump, either shorten the existing one or just stick a non-battered one on, whichever is easiest. Potentially make a sump guard.
  • Change crank shaft end seal for one that doesn’t let oil pour out – some people find a bit of oil acceptable but I find it embarrassing so it needs to be sorted out.
  • Since the engine will be out I want to change the cam, I’m relatively happy with the piper 285 cam, it has lots of torque from low RPM, and reasonable high end power so changing it is a bit of a gamble. I’ve decided on the kent 244 cam, its a high lift cam, and should give improved top end power, with a loss of low end torque. To compensate I’m going to be running fuel injection, which should enable better fueling at low RPM and pull the torque up a little.
  • Remove cylinder head, de-coke, and examine engine for wear- I’m interested to see the state of the valve seats after 7000 miles using additive, its also a good time to change the head gasket, its got pretty hot a couple of times, and I’d like to ensure there are no failures in the gasket.
Fueling
  • Fit the Mega squirt (Microsquirt) for full fuel injection.
  • Buy and Fit a larger fuel tank – 20 liters just isn’t going to cut it, I feel I’m constantly refueling.
  • Fit larger fuel lines with a return to the tank, for fuel injection I will need a fuel return, standard sizes seem to be based around 10mm for fuel feed, rather than 8.
  • Fit the in line fuel filter and buy and fit injection pump
  • Fit the throttle bodies from the GSXR 750
  • Permanently install the wide-band LC-1
Bodywork
  • Remove the scratches from the bonnet, remove the nuts and bond it into one single piece rather than the Sort out the bodywork, fill up the hole where the aerocatch doesn’t fit due to the intake system and make it orange again.
  • Make a new boot box, i’ll need this because the fuel tank will be a different shape, and wont fit within the current one, it is also starting to rot a little and needs to be made out of something non-wooden.
  • Fit a new drivers side mirror as the current one is beyond service.
  • Paint the interior where the paint has worn and touch up the rest of the car as appropriate.
  • Make and fit ally floor covers
Electrical
  • Accessory wiring needs to be rewired, with heavier wire, and a smaller, dedicated fuse.
  • Decide on a data logging solution that is compatible with the mega squirt
Other
  • APK is due in December.
Fury
  • Fit alcantara cloth I got for the interior
  • Finish dashboard buck and make dash
  • Wire engine completely
  • Fit passenger seat and seat belt
  • Paint and refit roll over bar
  • Make car bottom from ali and fit
  • Fit the prop shafts with grade 12 bolts
  • Fit steering wheel and boss
  • Figure out the dash layout, and the logic design for the indicators on the steering wheel.
  • Figure out the appropriate adaptors needed for the oil pressure/temp senders
  • Decide on the dat logger I want to use
  • Get the rear lights and wire the rest of the car
Garage
  • Fit car ramp, wire in new motor or inverter as required
  • Enlarge mezzanine as appropriate.
  • Do a full clear out post-sanding.

‘Ring Trip

Went to the Nurburgring yesterday, got up at 8 am, jumped into the car got about 1/2 a mile and realized the engine was up to temperature already, this is surprising because it was -5 outside and it normally takes quite a long time. Delighted at the prospect of getting some warm air into the cabin, I turned on the heater and was belted with ice cold air. Something strange was going on, at first I foolishly thought it was the heater that had a problem. When the steam started escaping I quickly realized the problem. Apparently my antifreeze had frozen, and the system was blocked, watching the temperature gauge go from normal to really really hot to almost freezing again confirmed my suspicion.
Ten minutes by the side of the A12 and everything looked under control, and I topped up the fluid and went on my way, eye glued to the water temperature for the rest of the journey. I arrived at the entrance to the nordschleife around 11 bought some tickets, and had a pee before setting off.

The track was cold, and there was frost in quite a few places outside the racing line. The good news though was that the track was almost empty meaning I had it pretty much to myself. This gave me time to work more on my line and concentrate on getting the gear changes correct, lining up for the bend and turning in at the right point.

The first few laps I was predominantly in 3rd gear dropping to second up the hill after the Breidscheid entrance, then as I got a little better and a little more confident predominantly 4th dropping into 3rd for the uphill, and towards the end I was hitting 5th and the speed restricter in the faster sections.

I found myself turning in way too early for adenauer forst, and nearly failed to turn left a couple of times, I still don’t really know the track at all in relative terms. I also struggled a bit with the right hander somewhere else, I’ve no idea what the bend name is.

I was amazed how much of my undercarriage the karussell removed from my car, there was an obscene amount of scraping and grinding before being spat out at the end, but one of my favorite bends of the circuit, I was entering round about 45, and exiting around 50, I got the impression the car could go a bit faster if I kept the speed up on entry. The MX5 doesn’t have the power to really increase speed that quickly.

Overall a great trip, the ice was a bit sketchy, but worth it to have the track to myself. The EBC greenstuff pads seem to do a pretty good job, but there is less feedback from the pedal than I would like, and not a lot of bite, so perhaps its time to change them.