Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tricia's Birthday and our Anniversary plus Electric Mirrors

Tricia's birthday and our 21st Anniversary so we booked into the Woodbury Park Hotel for the night and Tricia also got a pamper session. We left home early giving us 2 hrs to cover <50 miles so lots of  A&B roads and big smiles driving in the Westfield. Slight problem with the handbrake warning light but handbrake well and truly off so kept going.
We arrived at the hotel at 12:30 and Tricia headed off to the body zone while I booked into the hotel. I then spent a hour in the gym and met up with Tricia at 15:30 which must be Pimms o'clock and obviously no more driving.

Next morning we enjoyed the hotels facilities and finished off with a buffet breakfast before more A&B roads (not entirely the same ones) home.

Early in the afternoon a courier delivered the final part in my new upgrade project - the controller for electric windows. I'd seen a few people do the same fit one the WSCC forum and had been collecting the parts over the last couple of weeks after a couple of drives in Europe with side screens fitted I'd got fed up with getting strapped in only to discover that the mirrors had been knocked - Caterham's have their mirrors mounted on the side screens maybe this is a better solution.

Anyway costs so far:

Rover 200 near and offside mirrors £34 for new pattern parts inc p&p
Controller £7 - 2nd hand inc the connector and wires
Wire £12.50
Loom wrap £3
Plus heat shrink, solder, pins and connectors that I already had.

I made the loom off the car and also kept the heater element and wired in parallel with the windscreen heater, I also followed some advice from a Metro forum as the Rover 200 mirrors didn't have the same wiring as those on the WSCC forum.

I did dismantle the whole mirror and modify the mirror mount as feedback on the WSCC forum suggested that the mirrors would be pointing too high once fitted to the Westfield windscreen mounts.

Modified alignment bush plastic metalled in place.

Re-assembling, next step was to screw the motor sub-assembly onto the 3 points on the ally bracket.

And complete.

10mm hole drilled through each of the windscreen mounts to pass the wiring through.

Mirror wired through the windscreen mount and scuttle.
Switch in place in the dash - should have been about 10mm lower to miss the chassis loop bar but I just about got away with it.

I tested them and have plenty of vertical adjustment on both sides but both mirrors are fairly close to being fully adjusted to the o/s which is a shame because other than cutting an offset into the windscreen mounts or prehaps manufacturing shims there's nothing I ca do to adjust further.  I'll live with them for a while and see if it's an issue in use.  The heater elements also work well off the screen timer relay,

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Track Day

I saw on the MSE website that the MOD were resurfacing the runway at Keevil over the summer and that their last day would be the 21 July.  The last local MOD runway that was resurfaced was Colerne and MSE haven't had a day there since, coupled with the return of the Army from Germany will no doubt influence the MOD's willingness to loan airfields out to MSE and the likes. Anyway, James has finished college for the summer so I decided to book just before we left for the Le Mans Classic.

We left home at 08:00 and arrived at Keevil at 09:15 having refuelled and filled up 2 x 5 ltr jerry cans at the last petrol station after Westbury.  We booked in and sorted out a helmet for James, attended the briefing and got out for the sighting lap in group 1.  Once the sighting laps were over all stopped, the paramedic that had been booked had had to stop at an incident and a replacement was 30 mins away. MSE quickly extended the day and ran through lunch to make sure that everyone had the opportunity for a full day and also gave all principal bookers a £20 voucher off another day so good PR for them.

Once the sessions started the queue to get on circuit was long so we had a burger and chips earlier and waited for things to calm down. Sure enough after 40 or so mins the queue was down to a couple of cars so we headed out on to track. About 10 laps slowly building up speed through the corners and reducing the braking points then a final cool down lap before coming in.  First thing was how good the new radiator is, yes the temperatures did rise over the standard ~90 deg C but no where near as high as the last couple of track days and the ambient temperature was ~23 deg C.

There were 3 other Westfields at the day, one of which, a XE engine car, had failed the noise test with 104 dB but after striping down the exhaust and applying sections of beer can plus adjusting the wading they managed to get just below the 100 dB threshold (my new carbon fibre exhaust was 92 dB so 5 dB lower than the original Westfield one).

One of the other cars had been at my first track day last year and was a red FW bodied car with a Duratec engine with an interesting front spoiler. I noticed that it had some ducting around the radiator so went over to have a look.


Upgraditis had been well and truly at play as this was now a 340 bhp supercharged monster with the ducting to allow a clean flow of air to a very large intercooler.  Neil, the owner, is a regular on the track day circuit with his brother and they'd decided that 220 bhp wasn't enough and they needed more power.  James went as a passenger with Neil and was well and truly impressed, even offered to spend his first salary on upgrading ours (about 5 years plus away as he's only just sat his ASs)

We managed to get out for about 6 sessions during the day each of 8 to 10 laps with gradual improvements as we went along.  I used the GoPro to record one or the sessions and also used a CMS Pro app on my phone to record my times and allow me to carry out so post day analysis.  Our top speed was 96 mph and best lap time 1.23 mins and the best of my sectors would have been 1.21 mins so plenty to work on but sadly not likely to be a Keevil anytime soon.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Le Mans Classic


Thursday - Early start James and I leaving Yeovil at 06:00 to travel to Lychett Minster for the meet up prior to heading for the ferry, short stop after 2 miles to disconnect the hose that I'd used to bypass the oil catch tank that I'd removed because the mounting bracket had a crack and I did want it failing whilst away - unfortunately pressure was building up and the car was burning oil during deceleration.
In the queue for the ferry

Malcolm and Dale were already there when .arrived and Chris, Andy and Brian arrived shortly after so we headed off for fuel and then the ferry.  We met up with Colin in the queue for the ferry and then Paul and Joe arrived from Castle Cary shortly after.

On the ferry

After a comfortable crossing with a Full English Breakfast #1 we assembled up inside the ferry port and headed off as a convoy of 7, 6 Westfields and an Aston Martin BD9 convertible, unfortunately road works, traffic and traffic lights conspired against us and we got split up almost immediately into 3 and 4 cars only to meet up again after an hour or so.

Petrol stop

One fuel stop on the way and then tractors combined with extended no overtaking mean we arrived at the campsite in three groups.

Up with the WSCC Pendant and the camp chairs.......

After setting up camp we had dinner and then headed into Arnage for a few beers.

Michelin Chicane

Indianapolis Curve

Friday - after FEB #2 we headed out for a drive and found our way to the public sections of the track - Mulsanne Straight,

Indianapolis and Arnage before heading off to the Pistonheads lunch South of Mulsanne.

Pistonheads swag

After lunch and grabbing some swag from the Pistonhead team we headed back to the campsite via a super market then into Arnage for beers and car watching.

Perfect colours for the post children at Uni man cave
Lotus XI - Before
And After
Saturday - FEB #3 then headed over to the circuit to get our bearings, walked around all  the displays, had a few Guinness then watched the first few races from the mount over looking the Dunlop Curve and Chicane.

  A quick run back to the campsite for dinner was followed by a return to the circuit to watch the racing this time initial from by the Ford Chicane then after a trip to the Paddock from the Grandstand just across from the Start/Finish Line after a very long day we eventually got to bed in the early hour of the morning.


Little Big Mans 7
Little Big Mans 7

Sunday - FEB #4 then immediately over to the circuit and more racing  - heavens opened mid morning and washed us off the Dunlop mound.  Once the rain subsided we resumed watching the racing, had lunch including Guinness went to the paddock and then watch some more races. 

Late at night
little & large
By 14:30 the combined effect of weather, fatigue and the Britsh GP drove us back to the camp site to watch and drink in the club house.  Lots of interaction between the various groups on the site and plenty of beers and wine before heading off for bed.

Monday - FEB #5 then pack everything ready for the drive home.  The convoy kept together until shortly after a coffee break we got split again until meeting at Arromarches before heading up to Cherbourg with the car hitting 7,000 miles on the way.  By the time we disembarked in Poole it was dark so James and I headed straight back to Yeovil.