Tuesday, 30 July 2013

In Brugge...sans Mud Flaps!

A last minute change to the children's plans meant that they needed dropping off on Saturday morning not Friday and hence our planned cross country A Road drive turned into a motorway trash to get to the Chunnel.  Everything went well until the M25 which was closed between Junctions 10 & 8 to allow an incident to be cleared.  Whilst waiting to get off the motorway at J10 a passing motorcyclist alerted me to the fact that my n/s mud flap had started to depart company with the cycle wing.  I quick check confirmed that the bonding on one of the big heads had given way so, as a precautionary measure, I took my Gerber to the rest and removed both mud flaps, ~110 mile so not a good start.

Then things got better, the Highways Agency decided not to close the M25, only the inner two lanes, by this time we'd just made it to J10 so had a near clear motorway all the way to the Chunnel Terminal.  Once we'd arrived we parked the car to await our boarding call and went for a comfort break and bite to eat.

Loading on to the train was straight forward with the Westfield being directed to the lower deck and no clearance issues getting on or driving through the train.

After a 35 min crossing we were in France filling up at the petrol station just by the exit to the Chunnel before heading across the top of France/Belgium to Brugge.  The drive through Brugge over cobbled streets avoiding pedestrians and cyclists was interesting and even with a Sat Nav it took us two goes to find the Hotel Jan Brito through the web of one way streets (that cyclists can go both ways!)

Two very enjoyable days drinking beer, eating fish, mussels, frites etc, a small music festival and walking all in glorious sunshine.

The journey home started with the recovery of the Westfield from the underground car park and trying to repack everything plus the beer, wine and biscuits we'd bought followed by a return trip to the Chunnel.  After a couple of brief intervals of very light rain we took the opportunity of a refuel stop to fit the 1/2 hood which proved to have been a good call as we went through a shower in the last couple of miles before reaching the terminal. 

The weather in the UK looked okay so off with the 1/2 hood and, with plenty of time, we turned off the M20 as quickly as we could and head cross country through Kent (A28), Sussex (A265) and Hampshire (A272) before  skirting around Winchester and joining the A303 for the final run to Yeovil.  The IVA trim from the n/s cycle wing started to detach itself just as we approached Stonehenge, a quick repair with duct tape kept us on the road. As we approach Chicklade the sky became very black and we could see the rain so we looked for somewhere to pullover and fit the 1/2 hood - predictably this was about 1 mile too far and we ended up getting soaked fitting it, the car was reasonable dry as the majority of the time was fitting and tightening the straps and pop studs with only Tricia & I exposed to the elements.  The rain was so heavy that our feet go soaked with water coming through under the scuttle so at the next opportunity I'll remove it and work out a better way of sealing it!

All in all a very enjoyable 3 days with the Westfield driving over 600 miles in the process, the car now having covered 2875 miles, roll on Classic Le Mans next Jul.  I also need to sort out a storage area on the Roll Bar that allows access to the fuel filler cap.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mudflaps Finally Fitted!

Rain is forecast for the weekend so, as we're heading off to Belgium, I decided that is was time to fit the mud flaps to the cycle wing.  I'd been putting it off because the weather had been perfect for blatting and, having gone to all the trouble to attach the cycle wings with hidden bolts, I wanted to use hidden mounts for the mud flaps.

After removing the wheels for access I cleaned and keyed the lower inner lip of the cycle wings using alcohol wipes to remove any final road residues.  I then bonded 2 x stainless steel big head captured M6 nuts to each cycle wing with plastic epoxy and left them overnight.

First thing this morning I cut the 4mm mud flap material to size and marked up and cut out holes for the M6 nuts. Finally the mud flaps were fitted using stainless 6mm repair washers and M6 bolts that I'd trimmed to length.

While the car was on axle stands I trimmed ~6mm off the seat bolt to hopefully stop the occasional bottoming out.

After a quick blat to make sure that the mud flaps weren't rubbing I filled the car on the way home and then started to pack ready for the trip to Belgium tomorrow.

Hi Vis jackets x 2, Alcohol Breath Testers x 2, Fire Extinguisher, Warning Triangle, tool kit and basic spares pack etc.  I also did a trial fit of Tricia's overnight bag and, after some adjustment, the boot lid fitted!

Zetec, Zetec, XE, Zetec

On Monday the Dorset WSCCer's went for a track day at Keevil, 7 Westfields plus a couple of non-Westfield attended.  Weather was perfect, slightly cooler than recently but stayed dry all day.


Plus the ST220 "Beast" and another beautifully painted in Gulf colours.

I left at ~15:30 so missed out on the beers on the way home......

Also found a video of the Dorset WSCCers leaving Stoneleigh on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-6NfvvkQwI

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Front In-Board ARB Pt2

One step forward - two steps back............. My decision to not bleed the brakes turned out to be a good one.  As I progressed the ARB installation it be came clear that the re-routing of the rigid brake lines wasn't enough so both sides had to be disconnected and re-routed, at least with the ARB in place I could see exactly where they needed to be.

When fitting the down link it was very close to the upper wishbone and looking at the build manual the design had the headlight mounting bracket which would get greater clearance.  I stripped down the bell cranks and the front upper wishbone mounts and packed them out with two extra washers and this gave additional clearance.  Next was a re-bleed of the brakes with James' help.

With the wheels refitted and the car ballasted with 85 kgs in the drivers seat I adjusted the downlinks to a neutral position with the bell cranks horizontal.  Then a run around all the nuts and bolts torqueing them up and tie-wrapping everything back in place followed by finally refilling the cooling system.

I couldn't resist a final gratuitous photo of the calliper and disc.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Front In-board ARB, Discs & Pads Upgrades

There's a possibility that I'll be doing anther track day at Keevil in the near future so after the success of the ARP Con Rod bolts I decided to fit the front ARB, drilled/slotted front discs and Mintex M1144 pads.
Front in-board ARB
First thing was to loosen the front wheel bolts, jack up an axle stand the front on the car and remove the front wheels.  Next disconnect the battery, front lights and remove the bonnet for better access.

Step one, disconnect the rigid brake lines and re-route them, including bending the chassis mounts, to avoid the ARB mounts.

Step two, drain the cooling system and disconnect the by-pass hose.  Bend the rigid cooling pipe, again to avoid the ARB mount.
Then loosen all the silicone hoses and adjust to line everything up again.


Step three, remove both the front shock absorbers/springs and refit then upside down and
including the lower ARB connection to the lower mount.

Step four, fit the ARB - lots of scratching of head and trial fits to work out how to get it in position but eventually found away.

Step five, phone up Westfield and order another set of 7/16 x 3.75" UNF bolts for the front upper wishbone mount.......hopefully they'll be in the post this afternoon and arrive by tomorrow.

Front Discs and Pads

By this time James had joined me so we decided that he would change the n/s disc/pads as I changed the o/s.  A straight forward job, remove the calliper, remove the hub grease cap, remove the split pin, remove

the hub (carefully putting the taper bearings to one side). bend back the disc bolt head locking tabs, remove the bolts and disc.  Re-assembly the reverse but torqueing disc bolts before setting the locking tabs and adjusting the hub crown bolt so that the hub turned easily but without any play, fit a new split pin.

With the callipers unbolted we remove the old pads, reset the pistons, fitted the anti-squeal pads/springs/copper slip then fitted the new pads.  Cleaned ad copper slipped the dowel pins then re-installed the callipers and torqued the bolts
Thought about bleeding the brakes but decided to wait until completing the  ARB just in case the rigid brake lines required further adjustment.

Friday, 12 July 2013

To Blat or To Upgrade?

Yesterday's evening blat got the car to 2,000 miles so time for a service but I also have a number of upgrades that could be fitted:

Drilled/slotted front discs
Mintex M1144 brake pads
Quick shift gear knob
Front mud flaps
ARP con rod bolts
Front inboard ARB

plus the need to fix the fuel gauge and cut down the seat bolts

So what to do?

Brakes and ARB are for track days - none booked at present so no real rush.

To fit the fuel gauge I'll have to remove seats, rear bodywork and fuel tank so seems like a winter upgrade that can include the quick shift and fuel gauge fix.

This only leaves the mud flaps, oil change and ARP con rod bolts so these are what I'll do......

With the sump removed I thought I'd check out the baffling.  Given that the oil fill line must be about the same depth as the baffle top plate.  Once installed there's a small gap at the bottom.

Before I could remove the sump I drained the oil, disconnected the battery and unbolted the starter motor from it's mounts (access for the back most 2 sump bolts).

With the sump removed all the bearing caps were easily accessed.


The ARP Bolts fitted to the bearing caps without any need for fettling - I'd been told to do a trial fit as I might need to drill them through with an 8.5mm bit and also use a countersink to create a chamfer. As per the instructions each bolt thread and cap was cover in the lubricant supplied and torqued to 25 lb ft

ARP Con Rod Bolts fitted!

Then refitted the sump, with a new £25 gasket as the original was in very poor condition, refitted starter motor and then oil/filter.

Total time to fit the ARP bolts was 2 hours including the oil/filter change.