Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Myles was going on tour with the Ivel Barbarians RFC U15s, staying just outside Cork and about 20 miles away from Tricia's home town the week before Easter.  Tricia and I decided that we'd travel out in parallel with the tour so we could watch the games but visit family and friends. The final weather forecast for the weekend was cloudy but dry so the car decision (Westfield v Tin Top) was made and the Westfield packed.

Checking the final travel details I realised that we we're travelling from Fishguard, not Pembroke as I'd though, and we'd be on the same ferry as the tour.  Myles was dropped at the club at 08:30 and I was back home by 09:00 with Tricia and I departing half an hour later and having 4 hrs to get to Fishguard ~200 miles away. 

We caught up with the coach at the Severn Crossing, then met them again at the services near Cardiff as we stopped for coffee and a refuel.  After a final refuel just outside Fishguard and we boarded the ferry on schedule.

Boarding the ferry - no problems with grounding as I took the ramps slowly.

Getting out of docks at Rosslare was interesting due to the over application of oversize speed bumps but once on the roads they were reasonably clear for a Friday night.

The final 30 miles or so were on the N72 from Dungarvan to Fermoy - very enjoyable with lots of linked curves and even a hairpin bend. It was just getting dark as we arrived at Fermoy and with the roof off it was getting a tad chilly.  The car was unpacked and the cover put on for the night.

Parked up at Garryvoe just before a cream tea in the hotel - half hood on because it had just rained.  Note to self - keep to the main-ish roads as some of the tarmac on the back roads is a little uneven/pot holed.......

As for the rugby - the U15s won both tournaments - Myles with the trophies, the medal from day two and his godfather Ronan.

The return to the UK was a reverse of the outbound journey with the adult tourists not being quite so enthusiastic at the bar.  We eventually got home having covered over 750 miles with 5 fuel stops and averaging ~150 mpt (miles per tank).



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Headlight Reburbishment and Rear Brakes

I have the week off before the long weekend in Ireland and top of the to-do list was to service the Westfield and refurbish the headlights.

The car service was minus an oil change as it was done when we fitted the flywheel and was going fairly straight forward until I go to the rear brakes.  From the outside of the car they looked slightly under used with a poorly defined rust band rather than a clear line where the pads bite into the disc.

On the inside the discs were almost completely rusty.  I removed the callipers and discs to give them a better inspection. The slide pins and pads were very difficult to remove and might be part of the problem. Once the pads were removed I pressed on the pedal and the pistons both moved out so no obvious problem with them although the inside piston did move slightly less than the outside. So unless it was the pads sticking on the sliders it must be down to the fact that the rear brakes as used so little or that the brakes need to be more biased to the rear.  I ordered some Mintex 1144 pads (from Hi-Spec as they are non-standard and have to be modified from MGB535M1144, although I now believe that standard MGB533M1144 pads will fit) and new discs for both sides - Escort mk4 solid fronts.


With the car now on axle stands at the rear I decided it was time to look at the Headlights.  I still think the Venoms are a good looking set of light and particularly like the DRLs and integrated indicators but the lacquer and chrome were now flaking off very badly.  I removed the bezel, slowly scrapped off all of the chrome and then sanded it lightly.

The bezel was made of fairly flexible plastic so off I went to Halfords to find some suitable paint.  Eventually I selected black plastic bumper paint and also bought the preparation cleaner. The plastic lens both pushed out of the bezels, I masked off the LED ring to protect the chrome, applied the preparation fluid and then sprayed them.   Not quite as black as I wanted but substantially better than before.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sports Turbo Rear Anti Roll Bar

Having fitted the front ARB before going for the full geometric setup, whilst at NMS Chris advised that I should fit a rear ARB to keep the car balanced.  I'd planned to fit the LSD and Rear ARB over the winter but in the end focused on the light weight flywheel and associated clutch and release bearing changes.

Looking at the WSCC forums I saw a very neat rear ARB fitted to a Mega S2000 on a blog (Andy Bray's in the Middle East) that looked as if it could be fitted without removing the fuel tank and rear bodywork.  After a conversation with the Russ in Westfield Parts I discovered that it was the ARB that had been developed for the Sports Turbo and, most importantly, my chassis and lower rear wishbones already had the brackets ready for it to be fitted.  The slight disadvantage is that due to the requirements of Type Approval, the ST ARB has minimal  adjustment but then Westfield had spent a lot of development £s on the ST and Mega S2000 to make sure that it was as good as possible straight out of the box.  Mark Walker confirmed that fitment on an FW only required removal of the boot box so I ordered one.  A couple of days later a package arrived from WF and I set about fitting it.

Step 1 - Remove the powder coat from the thickened section of the ARB where it fits to the aluminium mounting brackets - used a Stanley knife blade and emery cloth and it took quite a while.

Step 2 - Remove the FW boot lid and liner

Step 3 - Trial fit of the ARB then grease it up with copper slip and install on the aluminium mounts.

Step 4 - Assemble the male/female rose joints to form the drop links and fit to the lower wishbone - needed the car to be lifted on to axle stands for access.

Step 5 - Drop car back on to a level surface and then ballast with James, adjust the drop links, fit the final bolts and spacers into the ARB with thread lock and then tighten up the drop link lock nuts.

Step 6 - Refit the boot liner and boot lid.

Job only took 2 hours of labour, 1 of which was cleaning off the powder coat, but the elapsed time was 5 days waiting for longer cap head bolts to arrive to allow the spacers to be fitted at step 5 above.

Noticed that the rear wishbones have been affected by road rock salt so will need to address this over next winter if not before.