Friday 30 December 2011

What's Better Than A Shiny Thing?

.... Why a shiny thing I've made myself of course. Yes the airbox is almost complete. Over the Christmas break I found that the airbox itself was too close to the underside of the bonnet, so had to cut 3/4in off of it, then I made a lid by bending a pice of aluminium sheet over a pipe, bent up the edges, fitted anchor nuts, & polished it a little, then cut down the new trumpets to fit & fitted them. To say I'm pleased with the end result would be a masterstroke in understatment. It's not perfect, there are a few small dents from th manufacturing, but they just serve to make it look more workshop-made. But enough of my boasting, see what you think ........

Friday 23 December 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like - An Induction System

A little more airboxing, this is not a more sporty version of air guitar playing, it's the construction of an airbox.

The mounting plate now fits nicely over the Throttle Body stubs (it's a firm push fit on all four) & I’ve made up a couple of brackets to hold it in place. I've fitted some aircraft anchor nuts to the plate to hold the airbox to it & in a couple of positions the anchor nut rivets pass through the mounting brackets to hold it all together, they'll have an additional countersunk pop rivet added when I buy some.

The next job is to cut the air-holes in the box itself & fit the air temperature sensor for the ECU, then the box  can be properly mounted - & I'll see if there's room for it all under the bonnet. What will I do if there's not? Well when I stop throwing things - which may be a week or two - I'll have to come up with another plan.

How techie does that look??

Sunday 18 December 2011

Airbox of Delights

With my wife & daughters off to the Horse of The Year show or somesuch, I made a start on fabricating the airbox.

The sheet metal arrived last week & I’d bought a loft drawing home, so no more excuses, crack on!
Cutting out the main body of the box was easy enough, it’s mostly straight lines so score deeply with a Stanley knife & bend until it breaks. Folding it was surprisingly easy too hoiking the workmate out of the garage, pausing only to knock off a football-sized wasp’s nest I erected the frame & folded the sheet to the right angles (mostly right-angles). Here you can see the folded sheet, with the drawing in the background.

The ends were more fiddly, but the larger end went surprisingly well too & is drilled & pinned ready for riveting, the smaller end needs a little tweaking & the drill has run out of battery (again). The next job is to rivet the whole assembly together, then cut the holes in the rear face for the mounting bolts & the air inlet & in the larger end for the pipe flange, lastly make up the "lid" which will bolt to the six tabs along the upper & lower edges.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Pants On Fire

OK I lied.
The exhaust wasn't finished ...... (Clarksonesque pause) ........ but it is now. I popped out to the garage & it just looked too far back, on top of which when it gets hot it moves back another 1/4", so it WOULD've tap tap taped on the pod in a most irritating way.

So I took off the pod (again) took off the tail pipe (again) & sawed off the welded sleeve, then took another inch off the pipe & welded it back together. The end result is now pleaseing to the eye as you can see. I'll need a heat shield / trim to hide the fluffy edges, but that shouldn't be much of a job. Shouldn't be, but so far I've been agonising over the design for a week!

Friday 9 December 2011

Completely Exhausted

Yea verily the exhaust be compleat. A fulsome girth of steely pipes march down twixt chassis & the yellowness of the pod, are mustered together as one afore entering – nae plunging into ……. the box of silence. Thereafter it worms this way & that, before thrusting into the light through a stone gargoyle shield against heat.
And I saw that this was good.

I’m pleased with it, the route is smoother than it was before, & it’s lighter as the pipes after the silencer are welded rather than being clamped. The tail pipe itself has a small rubber mount to stop it migrating & touching the body, & there’s a heat shield for the outside of the pod – more for the look of the thing than to provide any real protection.

The next thing to get my attention will be either the air box or the fuel piping. I can’t get on with the airbox until a back plate I’ve drawn up & had laser-cut arrives, this will fit over the mouths of the throttle bodies & give me something to bolt the airbox to (bolts will be wirelocked Mr E). The aluminium sheet for the airbox should be on it’s way so with a little luck I’ll get that done over the Christmas break.

Sunday 4 December 2011

More Exhausting

Another couple of productive hours in the garage.
The problem was that because the new header is much bigger than the old one, the exhaust system as a whole was now much much too long. When I set it up for the X-flow, it was as shourt as I could make it, so I thought I had a big problem - but NOW I can weld! (ish).
But I’ll sort out the side pod before final welding & cutting. Speaking of which, I took the small heat shield / trim off the upper face of the pod & opened the hole up to suit the new header. The new hole is MUCH bigger as it now goes round four pipes instead of one, as the adjacent photo of the old trim next to the new hole shows. But it looks as if it'll go back together OK, which is just as well as my wife want's the pods out of the conservatory.

Selfish I call it.

I cut down the outlet at the back of the silencer, then progressively cut down the two 30 deg bends, until they fitted nicely round the side impact protection, with the Zetec they pass on the outside, whereas with the X-flow, they passed through the frame. Cutting them so short means the swaged area where one tube fits into the next has been removed, so I’ve cut one of the swages into rings & will weld the pipe sections together instead of clamping them. It’s a lot lighter that way, as there's a lot less overlapping pipe & no clamps.Another by-product of routeing the exhaust this way is that the exhaust tip is now so far from the side of the car that I could take out whole bus queues with it, so I’ll have to cut it down to a more suitable size.

Saturday 3 December 2011


A little progress has been made. I've filled the cooling system - no leaks. Hurrah.

I've also been messing with the exhaust, welding the stepped adaptor on to the sawn off stub of the collector & fitting the silencer onto that. This initially gave me a small problemette in that the silencer was now too far aft & fouled the side impact protection frame.

To move it forward a bit I cut down the input tube which means there isn't enough to use as a clamp, so using my newly honed welding skills (ahem) I welded on a couple of small tabs & these now hold the silencer to the header. Holding up the back of the silencer was just a case of making up a stainless strip to bolt to the existing twisted wire mounting. So I now need to make the tail pipe meet the hole in the side pod, & fit out the fuel system & it's all done bar the electrics.

In other progress I've finalised the airbox design, & will be getting a Co. in Redruth to water-jet cut it out before starting on the main body in the garage. Quite exciting! OK, it's quite exciting if you're me, which plainly you arn't.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Why Am I Here?

A simple enough question, but one that has troubled mankind for some time. I'm sat here bored stiff trying to find something to interest me. My wife's asleep with a migraine, the brace of daughters are each occupying a room-with-a-telly-in watching either some dreadful drivel involving stupid people being unpleasant to each other, or cheap imported sit-coms where the only actual laughter comes from a can.

So that's the three most comfortable rooms in the house accounted for & strictly out of bounds to a mere male who would like to see something entertaining and / or improving. I could watch Pixie Lott on Buzzcocks on the I-player again, but I'll only get impure thoughts.

"Why arn't you out in the garage?" I hear you cry, well, I'm waiting on parts, niether the welding rods nor the hose have turned up yet. I could I suppose take the main bit of the exhaust off & see just how bad the situation with the side impact bars is likely to get, I could look at the throttle linkage, I could start making the airbox, as my design is more-or-less complete, but here I sit, in the smallest bedroom / office twiddling my thumbs.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Long Time - Little Progress

Where was I?
The Zetec conversion seems to have ground to a crawl of late, partly because I keep inventing interesting projects to add that were not in the original game plan, like building my own engine mounts & a cold air intake. But mostly because I've been taking it slow - no point rushing it when they're about to dump tons of corrosive salt on the roads.

This weeks progress revolved around pipes of a variety of kinds. After my big box of bits arrived from the nice men at Car Builder Solutions, I set about making the cooling system complete. This was "just" a case of joining the stubs on the thermostat housing to the bottom hose, but I managed to make a meal of it all the same, adding tee pieces into the bottom hose in such a way that they're hidden by the chassis. It's still not quite finished as I need another 19mm 180deg bend having used the first one next to the radiator instead of where I bought it for. Next was the expansion pot, mounted on a quick-release set up on the "shelf" behind the engine & thus right in the way of the cold air intake. To ease the intake fitting & make the pipe runs prettier, I removed the quick release frame & hard mounted the pot turned through 90deg, this took a while to achieve nicely as it had to be trimmed to get it as far outboard as possible.

Then to the exhaust. When I bought the second-hand Powerspeed header the chap pointed out that it needed a little welding - it had been sawn off! so in the CBS order was a stainless exhaust stepped reducer, & I'd bought some stainless welding rods some time before. I started by removing the collector & chopping the reducer to fit on the cut end, then tried to tack weld it - this resulted in it being welded all right, but also blew a large hole in the thin tube. Too much ampage I think. Then I couldn't get it to arc at all & cooked a couple of rods. By the time I'd got the amps right & welded up the holes I'd blown, I'd used all the welding rods & there were still a hole or two to be welded up as you can see from the picture, so there are some more rods on order & hopefully I'll be able to finish it - then comes the joy of moving the silencer back to mate with it while still getting a tail pipe round the side impact protection bars. Hmmmmm - looking forward to that.

Friday 11 November 2011

Plumbing The Depts

This week I’ve been drawing up a cold intake system fed from a NACA duct on the bonnet, there’s been a couple of iterations, mostly foiled by bits of the car getting in the way, but I think I now have a plan that will work. But I'm not going to show any pictures of it just yet.
Today’s efforts centred around finishing off the idler pulley bracket & fitting the top & bottom hose, the first of these jobs was just making up a small bracket to hold the lower foot in place, the second involved shortening some of the pipes & hoses & re-beading the pipes. When I first built the car I had some very thin wall aircraft pipe which I cut into appropriate corners but I needed them beaded - to stop the hoses blowing off. Beading them properly in the garage was a non-starter & getting them done professionally was fraught with risk as the aluminium is VERY thin & VERY heat treated, so would probably just crack. But I applied my brain & when I took it apart I was very pleased (not to mention relieved) to find my beads still in place & working perfectly.
So how did I do it? I bought some cotton string (cotton because it's absorbent), cleaned up the end of the pipe with coarse sand paper to "key" it, the superglued one end of the string to the pipe, wrapped it closely round twice & superglued the other end. Next I made up some araldite & built up a "hump" around the string, cured it in the cooker (shhhh) & sanded it smooth, then one more coat of araldide to get a good finish & waterproof the string, another light sand & it's done. Next job is to make up some brackets to hold it all in place. In this close up picture the lower bead is the old one that's done four years & 3000 miles, the upper one is a new one half finished. This bit of pipe was part of a larger one but I sawed it off to make a hose joiner.
Scoff if you must, but it's free & it works!

Sunday 6 November 2011

Pulley'd Up

With my wife & elder daughter out of the house looking for a horse & the younger daughter going through her 13year old recluse phase, I awarded myself an hour in the garage to sort out the pulleys for the auxiliary drive belt. The idler was rubbing against the cam wheel cover, so needed a washer under the bearing to space it out a little, the alternator pulley from Mango Dave had a 17mm bore but the alternator had a 15mm shaft – not good.

I found some steel tube about the right diameter & 1mm wall thickness & made up a sleeve, cut a keyway in the new pulley, & with a couple of spacers made from 3mm aluminium, it was fitted & running true.

A measure up with a straight edge showed all four pulleys were in line, so I finished off the alternator bracket by tightening the titanium Hi-Lok bolts that hold it together & trimming off some spare metal, bolted it on & all it needs now is a belt.

So time for that picture of the engine in the car.

With the engine on proper mounts & the idler & alternater fitted, that's all of the difficult mechanical bits sorted. Next job - plumbing.

Friday 4 November 2011

Weight Bearing Mounts!

Friday PM is Fury time, & today I lowered the engine onto it’s home made engine mounts for the first time with no issues at all, no groaning, no twanging of bad welds. The engine looks a little low perhaps with 3 ¾” clearance under the sump, but it’s MUCH easier to raise than it is to lower, so I’ll see how the bonnet fits over it before doing anything hasty.
I then set about making up the Idler Pulley mount to the drawing I’d done, this was all straight forward, with only the tube brace giving me any problems. It appears to line up with the other pulleys & it's as rigid as a stiff thing, so should be fine.
Also in this picture is the dipstick David Mango gave me off one of his old engines. Fits a treat.

Wednesday 2 November 2011


Not too much to report, I did pop round to Mango-towers yestereve & picked up a dipstick (no comments please) & an alternator to lever the pulley off of.
I've also finished the design for the idler pulley mount, which looks like this:-

With a little luck I should be able to make it up this weekend, but first i need to clean up the second engine mount, paint & waxoil it & get the engine fitted all proper-like. It's occured to me that I haven't added a photo of the engine in place yet, well you'll just have to wait, though I can tell you it looks SPLENDID.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Busy Week

I've been off work this week (hurrah!), but my wife (as they do) had plans for me, so the play room & utility have been decorated, the stairs & hall have been finished, & I've tiled behind the cooker. None of this is significant of course. What IS important is that I've also just about finished the engine mounts for the Zetec.

I made up the near-side one first as that was the most difficult, & my welding seemed to be even more lousy than usual - & I cut the main tube too short - BUT, I got there in the end, & a little body filler & some paint works wonders.
Then dear reader I moved on to the off-side mount, by this time I'd had some practise & my welding, having come on in leaps & bounds, had improved to the extent that without a word of exaggeration I'd describe it as "mediocre".
It needs a fair bit of trimming & reinforcing yet, but so far, so good.

Friday 21 October 2011

The Zetec's In

Mmmmm BIG NEWS – The Zetec is indeed in.

In the end it was remarkably easy, just drop it in with the hoist & mate it to the gearbox, the wooden cradle I'd made to support it until I make up the engine mounts worked a treat, placing the engine in just the right place & there were no clearance problems at all.

This left me with plenty of time for messing about, so I fitted the exhaust properly, which meant cutting away the aluminium side plate, then I looked at the top & bottom hose routing, the bottom hose looks easy enough, but the top hose is awkward, but should be OK, then I made up a ply bracket for the new idler wheel it needs to keep the water pump rotating the right way, you can see it in the last photo, obviously I’ll re-make it in alloy in due course. But first I need to turn my attentions to the engine mountings.

Ah! a satisfying afternoon's playing.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Well, the credit card's taken another bashing, Monday's damage was £140 for the particular clutch release bearing I need, a fuel pump & a starter motor. This morning I've ordered an idler pulley. Have I mentioned last weekend's activity? The crossflow was ousted from it's position of dominance at the front of the Fury & a very nice man called Mark collected it the very next day, leaving me with an empty engine bay & a pile of £20 notes - hence the spending spree.
I would've liked to try the Zetec in for size, but I need the release bearing first, & anyway, the sun shone so I went out for a stroll & a nice lunch with my wife. I did manage to fit in some cleaning & got most of the accumulated crud off the chassis tubes, pipes & wires it has worked it's way into over the last three years.
One pleasing thing I discovered was that the crossflow weighed in at 110Kg, making the Zetec only 4Kg heavier & with all the other weight saving (mostly brakes & wheels) the car could well be below 580Kg with all fluids - which is light for a car-engined car with doors & a full windscreen. It's over 1/4tonne lighter than the "featherweight" Lotus Elise.
Light is good.

Friday 14 October 2011

One Out - One Almost In

Big progress in the last couple of days, the front bodywork & pods are off the car, cleaned up & residing in the conservatory, the crossflow is out of the car & waiting for it's new owner to collect it & I've given the engine bay a good clean. I'm itching to test fit the Zetec, but it'll have to wait for me to buy a clutch release bearing & sort out a temporary way of supporting it in the engine bay while I make up the mountings.

Monday 10 October 2011

Alternator Mounted

One of the issues I was facing with the Zetec swap was how to drive the electrics. Just Ebaying a Focus alternator wouldn't do it because modern alternators are controlled by the car's central "brain" & won't work without it, but I'd only recently overhauled the old alternator in the Fury, & asking around I think I've sourced a multi-vee pulley (thanks Mango). So all I had to do was mount it. A little googling provided off the shelf answers ranging from £36, to over £100 (this is just for the brackets!), so I drew this up on the computer - and I saw that it was good.

I ordered some alloy angle, chopped it up & made this, seen below mounted to the engine with the alternator in place (not quite finished at this stage).

That got it fixed down, but I needed an adjuster to keep the belt tight. I'd drawn up a bracket that attached to two existing hole positions, but it was too far back & the adjuster wouldn't have been rigid.
On the engine already was a bolt holding the cam pulley cover on, but that was going into a plastic cover & a thin steel bracket, so had the same wobblyness issues. It looked like there was nothing I could mount to in the right area. Then I was struck by the "bleedin' obvious" & combined a rigid alloy bracket with the thin steel one to make something that was both in the right place AND strong enough.
I took the cover bolt out, replaced it with a length of studding supported by an alloy bracket as shown in these pics. I also made the slotted strap from an off-cut from the main bracket. Of course it may all prove to be a waste of time, but I think it should be OK, all the parts have clearance & there's plenty of adjustment. Naturally it's also a lot lighter than the steel one on the crossflow. Total cost for all this lightweight alloy wizardry? £11 + £3P&P.


Saturday 8 October 2011

Engine's Ready

Weeeell, a Friday afternoon & home early from work. Push out the car & get the Zetec ready!
I was obviously having another of my "bad engineering days" when everything I do goes wrong, but after a struggle I have the stronger ARP bolts on the engine's big ends, & the new sump in place, the clutch is torqued up, so it's ready to go in the car.

I've had a measure up & surprisingly it's actually smaller than the crossflow - in terms of envelope size - that is it's slightly shorter in hieght & length & not as wide, although is is much boxier, so it fills the space envelope more. I still think getting it all under the bonnet is going to be a chellenge.

Monday 3 October 2011

Under Way

The box of bit was at work this morning when I arrived, so this evening I've knocked in the spigot bearing & replaced the flywheel bolts with the very pretty ARP ones. Bit geeky I know, getting excited by some bolts, but they are "propper". The Ford one is on the left, (the ARP one has "ARP" engraved on it). They are all smooth & engineered - I may have to go & lie down.

As the second pic shows they are all installed & torqued up ready for the clutch plate to go on, hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday 2 October 2011

And So It Begins........

........ today I started stripping the crossflow out of the Fury - I didn't get far, just disconnected some wiring, took off the alternator & drained the water & removed the top & bottom hoses.

It's unseasonably warm here in Surrey at the moment, but as soon as it cools down as it inevitably will, I'll remove the bonnet & side pods, pull the engine & get started in earnest.

STILL waiting for my ARP bolts & other stuff from Burton's - it's not their fault, DHL can't find a building at that building's post code. Burton's have called them, I've called them & e-mailed. Hopefully it should appear tomorrow, then I can prep the engine with the new bolts, the new sump, & the spigot bearing.

Wish me luck ........ I'm going in.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Farewell Crossflow

The time has come, over the winter I'll be taking the trusty crossflow out of the Fury & replacing it with a much more modern engine. Silly as it sounds, this will be quite emotional, as that very engine has propelled a car of mine for the last 14 years, firstly my Rickman Ranger, then the Fury. In all that time it's let me down once, which isn't bad at all. I love the sound it makes & the way it pulls like a terrier - not pulling super hard, but you can just feel it's enthusiasm - or maybe I imagined that bit - I'm only replacing it because I got a redundancy cheque & if I don't uprate the car now, I never will. The engine's not retiring though, a guy called Mark is buying it from me to fit into a Mk1 Escort he has, so it's sort of full circle really, as that engine was probably in an Escort when it first left the factory.

However, onwards & upwards & I've been drawing up some engine mounts for the new Zetec. I could just call Fishers & buy some, but I think I can make them lighter & certainly cheaper. The offside one.s no problem as the mounting points on the engine are in a similar place to those on the Crossflow, but on the nearside it's not so easy. I sketched out a few ideas for things that would be a/ strong enough, b/ light & c/ I'm able to make them in my garage. The first idea looked like this:-

It'd do the job, but it's not pretty is it? So I thought again & came up with this:-

Much neater & should work a treat. Of course the design may well get "refined" as I start working, so we'll see what it ends up looking like.

I've also started working on the engine itself, it's had a coat of paint & the 2.0l flywheel has gone in favour of an 1.8l one, the 2.0 one is like a millstone in comparison, & after all, weight is the enemy. I now really must order the special bolts for the big ends & the flywheel, so I can change the sump & get the engine ready for fitting.

Hopefully it won't take too long before I'm back out on the roads.

Friday 23 September 2011

Wantage - Dead & Alive

Last weekend may have been my last blat of the year. The Fury has blown another exhaust centre gasket & I really can't be bothered with keep changing them. Anyway, last weekend - another early start & a noisy trip through the new tunnel with wingmen Mango & AKAKeith. We set off at a cracking pace, but as I'd been awake with a steaming headache since 02:00 & had partaken of some serious pain killers, I was struggling a little withe the pace. It was after a certain amount of confusion around the turning point at Wantage, that I found myself following Mango again, he pulled over to take a cracking picture, then once again we set off in hot persuit, however we got seperated after another sat-nav dilema & then the phone went.

Mr Mango was just off the A4 with a very dead car. This was a bit of a disaster for him as he was booked to go on a club run to France the following weekend. He has a spare engine, but in spite of heroic efforts it was not to be. I carried on to the breakfast stop & initially thought I'd got there just after the rest of the SKCC, but it was just theat the queue for placing orders was dreadfully slow.

Monday 12 September 2011

Been There, Done That, Got The Tee Shirt

It was dark when I set off, I mean DARK. 04:00 in mid September is generally dark. I’d been checking the car over only 12 hours before & found a water leak from the pump, what to do? Abort? No – fill the passenger footwell with water bottles & hope there was enough to get me between fuel stops, for this was the big one. The re-running of the rained off trip to Land’s End for breakfast. The forcast didn’t look too good for this attempt either, we WERE going to get wet at some point.
I aimed the car west heading for Popham services on the A303, the meeting point. I’d only been there a couple of minutes, when a Caterham pulled in, this was Callum – he wasn’t even going to Land’s End, but had come to see us off & accompany us on the first leg. After another ten minutes Greenwoo, Nash & 2kwik (&son) emerged from the gloom & we entertained the services other customers – “you’re going WHERE for breakfast??” while greenwoo puffed on another cig & we all had one last trip to the loo.
Then with a cheery cry of the club motto “WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG” we belted up & headed into the night. We soon found out, as within five miles the hazards came on on the Greenwoo-mobile & it pulled into a side turning running lumpily on three cylinders (running on three it still has 50BHP more than mine running on four, but that’s not the point). We poked & prodded, wiggled important looking things & even gave the engine a collective “hard stare”, but it wasn’t to be, & the RAC was called. All this time a pair of dogs in the house opposite where we had stopped were having a rare old time barking their heads off – I hope they woke their owners up, several times.
The decision was made & waving goodbye to our downed companion (badly injured pride) the remaining four set off again. The plan had been to stop for fuel after only thirty miles as that made the 100 miles between fuel stops work better at the far western end, but our new leader had refuelled at Popham & assumed that the route going via a side road with a petrol station in it was a mistake, so as I refuelled, I saw him come back down the side road, out onto the A303 & race off in the mistaken assumption that I’d gone straight on, his wingman saw me waving from the forecourt & raced off to retrieve him, but that just spurred him on to greater efforts in the persuit. I paid for my petrol & Callum & I headed after them. By the time we hit Exeter it was pretty clear we weren’t going to catch them & Callum turned for home having exhausted his time available for blatting.

I drove on. It started to rain. I drove on. It got foggy. This was the worst bit of the whole day, driving alone, with rain building up on the inside of the screen, dripping into my seat, covering the mirror. But as I dropped down off of Bodmin moor the fog lifted, the rain ceased, & the roads got twistier & more interesting. Then, not far before Land’s end I spied a metallic blue seven at the side of the road – I'd caught up with them – but it wasn’t 2Kwik & son, it wasn’t even a Tiger. So I drove on.
I reached Land’s End about 09:30, still feeling remarkably fresh, but in dire need of a coffee. I asked the guy on the gate if I could take the car down to the famous signpost, he asked me if I was doing the “end to end”, I replied “something like that” & he let me park for free. Shortly after that the blue seven I’d seen pitched up. This it turned out, was a member of the “Locost Builders Forum” (LCB) who’d heard of our expedition & had come to see if it was true. We chatted while we waited for news of the others – and we waited – and we waited.
Around 10:00 my phone rang, it was Greenwoo, calling from Land’s End Airfield, he’d made it! The RAC man had cured his car by doing nothing-at-all (he thought it was a heat related issue) & he’d managed to catch up. Within ten minutes the other to re-appeared & we were all back together. Hoorah!
We took all five cars (the SKCC expeditionary force & Mr LCB) down to the sign post where we, the official photographer & a couple of dozen trippers from a variety of countries snapped away, then we headed to the airfield cafĂ© for breakfast – the whole point of the trip after all.
Breakfast was served & devoured in proper SKCC style, generous potions washed down with hot drinks, & after a pleasant banter 2Kwik & son headed for home along the A30 / 303 & therefore missed out on the best part of the trip. The rest of us (now four) turned the other way & headed for the coast road, I’d driven this a couple of years before in the family personel carrier while on holiday & it was beautifully twisty & scenic. Mr LCB asked if we would be doing it as it was locally known as the Cornish Nordschief (Nurburgring). In the Fury it was 9 miles of utter bliss. By this time the sun had come out & we made the absolute most of it as the video hopefully shows, the road goes from just about nowhere to St.Ives so there was very little traffic & what there was either turned off pretty smartly, or pulled in to let us past – excellent.
I was enjoying myself so much I didn’t notice that only I & Mr LCB were there as we pulled into St. Ives, we chatted about the road, and we waited – and we waited (getting used to it now), then the phone rang. Yes it was greenwoo again, somehow further along the route again. He was already in Hayle, but Nash had suffered a breakdown & was awaiting the RAC. Mr LCB & I patrolled St. Ives in the hope of finding him, but we didn’t & met up with Greenwoo on the other side of town.
At this point we bid farewell to Mr LCB as he turned for home & the remaining two SKCCers headed east. We detoured along the coast again to the east of Newquay. I had intended to stop at Porth to rest up for the journey home, in the event neither of us felt we needed a rest, so we stopped briefly so I could check the water level – it hadn’t lost a teaspoonful – strange. While I was doing this a pair of hippy chicks engaged Greenwoo in conversation & took photos of the cars, then we were gone.
The rest of the journey home was uneventful except for the Greenwoo-mobiles bizarre ailment returning periodically. When this happened we pulled into a roadside hostelry & topped up our caffeine levels while it cooled. Never known a car fault cured by coffee before.
And then it was over. I got home about 19:30, just in time to miss tea.
The car averaged 30 MPG which considering how it was driven & the fact that it has a 35 year old engine fed by two huge Dellorto carbs, I was quite pleased with.
564 miles.

Get yourself a coffee before you hit the triangle, there's 15 min of it.

Saturday 27 August 2011

Fine & Dandy

Yep, that all worked, still VERY fiddly, but at least I found something good about having two front teeth missing - I needed two hands to get the cable aligned & fitted, I also needed to see into the dark recesses of the bellhousing & found that a mini Maglite (2 AA size) just fits comfortably in the gap. I'd like to be able to say that I lost them in a fracas with a jealous husband, but the mundane truth has more to do with tripping over in the playground when I was twelve.

The split nuts worked perfectly & are now wire-locked in just the right place & the tyrap kept the cable in position.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Oily Rag

For those of you without a technical bent – look away now, today’s update is grubby.
Below is the sad tail of how my last blat ended 40-odd miles short of a cooked breakfast. Well after a week in the sun (Mallorca) I removed the clutch cable to find as suspected, the nipple had come away from the clutch fork – so I hadn’t connected it properly.
In my defence, hooking the cable on is an EXTREMELY awkward job, best accomplished by one of those lemurs with the one long spindly finger. Pity there wasn’t one to hand really. So, how to make sure it didn’t happen again? The simplest solution is to fit a tyrap round the clutch arm once the nipple is in place, but that’s even more fiddly than fitting the cable because the plate that the cable butts against (actually a cut-down Harrier cold-air-unit mounting) prevents all but the nimblest of Lemurs from gaining access. I set about re-engineering it.
I enlarged the hole in the plate so the cable outer could fit through it – that means I can slide it right out of the way while struggling to hook up the cable (assuming I remain Lemur-free of course) but doing that also prevents all the locking & adjusting nuts from being fitted. I also realised that the alloy plate was wearing where the nuts rub it, & the alloy plate was wearing away the cable outer – it’s a strange fact that aluminium is one of the softer metals, so wears easily, but when it wears, the dust is aluminium oxide, one of the hardest & most abrasive materials on the planet.
Among the accumulated detritus in the garage, I found a steel bush, slit it & then slit the adjusting nuts, I also drilled them for wire locking. It should now be a simple matter to fit & tyrap the cable end, slide the aluminium plate into position, fit the adjusting nuts & bush over the cable inner, fit the cable at the pedal end & adjust, then wire lock the nuts together for security & Robert’s your Mother’s Brother – Hopefully.

Of course I shall look a pillock if it does it again at Lands end.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Marmite Toast Is No Substitute

Wa? ........ Wassat? ........ Wa - alarm, oh yes blatting. 05:20 is no time to wake up - unless there's something to wake up for. I had allowed myself 20 mins to get up, dressed & up the road. I was ready in 15.
Mr Mango had suggested he might join me for the run across to Sevenoaks, so I loitered in the garden feeling the early morning stillness, listening to the doves cooing & such, but at the allotted departure time I had not seen or heard from him, so set off solo.

I would've gone cross country, but a cycle race in practise for the Olympics meant the roads were closed, so I chugged along the M25, which was dull, but got me to the meet point just as a guy in a Cateringvan R300 arrived. Over the next few minutes reverberating roars & snorts heralded the arrival of SKCC members, among them Matt who I'd given a test ride to a couple of weeks back in his newly purchased Tiger. We numbered about nine or ten, with another two due to meet up on route.

This was the Fury's first blatting venture to the east, & the roads were top notch, twisty & undulating with little traffic. However dear reader, this story has a tragic ending (OK, maybe a bit sad rather than actually tragic). Before I reveal all, let me take you back to 2003(ish), the last time I did the London to Brighton cycle ride. It was at the top of Turner's Hill that my bike lost drive because one of the cranks came off, I pushed it to Ardingly service point, but the floppy-haired Halfords folk in attendance had no idea what a crank bolt was, let alone provide same.

This was all flooding back as we drove that particular road this morning, & shortly afterwards fate struck again. This time the nipple at the lower end of the clutch cable parted from the fork, leaving the pedal up against the bulkhead. There was nothing to be done. A couple of co-blatters (Mango & Bi22le) came back to see if they could help, but with a theatrical swoon I said "no - just leave me - I'll only slow you down" (actually, no I didn't). Fortunatly we were just off the A23, so once turned round & with a bit of a push I got the car started in 1st & changed up to 2nd clutchless, & so on. As long as I didn't have to stop I'd be fine. And so it was, again I chugged along the motorway, ending up back at home - & ravenous, I'd been looking forward to my full English - about the same time as the rest of the assembled crew were tucking into their "healthy option" breakfast.

Oh well. there's always next time.

Monday 8 August 2011

It's Big & It's Black & It's Shiny

After a false start I took delivery of the Fury's new engine today. This is an exciting thing.

I've never had a NEW engine before, but this was delivered on a pallet to my door.

After a frenzied tearing of plasic & cutting of sticky tape which would have put a three year-old on thier birthday to shame, my new 2 litre Zetec was revealed in all it's glory.

After removing three-score screws holding the crate to the pallet, I slid it onto a wheeled trolley (actually the remains of a kitchen cupboard scrapped at the weekend) & with trembling hand, fitted the Powerspeed exhaust manifold & motorcycle throttle bodies - just you understand to ensure they fitted.

Oh how they fitted, & they looked magnificent though I say it myself.


Now, when I've calmed down I'll need to write a list of the things I still need to buy to make it run.


Wednesday 27 July 2011


Ah the long awaited opening of the Hindhead tunnel posed a temptation too strong to resist & at the the suggestion of Mr Mangofury who was kindly dropping off some tools for me, we went to do some accoustic testing.
Here is a still from his blatcamera & shows my Fury about to plunge into the very earth . There are average speed cameras in the tunnel, but nowere does it say what gear you have to be in. Having travelled to quote theBBC "Britain's-longest-road-tunnel-that's-not-under-an-estuary" - so not Britain's longest tunnel then? We headed for home.
This left us with something of a problem, we needed to avoid the queue the tunnel was dug to cure (the nortbound side isn't open yet) so we left the A3 and patrolled some very country roads, before rejoining the A3 at Hindhead & coming home for a coffee. A pleasant evening indeed.
I continue to be astonished as just how well the Fury holds the road, from the A3 where buffeting was minimal even at "quite high" speeds, to the narrowest of undulating country roads, the Fury just sticks & inspires confidence. I'm sure it would continue to be tarmac-bound at considerably higher speeds, but on public roads, the fear of what might be round that next blind corner tempers the right foot somewhat.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

There were blats I could've gone on both yesterday and today, but yesterday's was out as I had to provide a tug service to move the caravan to Poole where Mrs Blatter, daughter-the-younger, the increasingly page3 girl shaped daughter-the-elder, & daughter-the-elder's taciturn boyfriend will be spending the week.

I arrived home yesterday evening & went to bed - this was a mistake as when I logged on to the SKCC's forum this morning another run had been hastily assembled & it was too late to go on it.

So what to do? Well the kitchen still needs work, so I plumbed in the radiator, then set about the garden - I am no gardener & tend to adopt a "slash-and-burn" approach where perhaps a little gentle pruning might be more appropriate. while looking around with a tree lopper in one hand & a "big" saw in the other my eyes fell upon the leylandii - or as there's just the one of it - leyland. Topiary sprang to mind, so I lay down the gardening-tools-of-mass-destruction & selected instead the garden shears, nipping here, trimming there, standing back to get the long view, before advancing to sculpt again, until .........what do you think?

I call it "beer can" Of course you may not be able to pick out the finer detail, the only photographic equipment available to me was my old ME Super - & two weeks waiting for the photo to come back would take the edge off the artistic impact - or the i-Pod & ironically it turns out that you can't put an i-Pod on a tri-Pod - who'd have thought?

Friday 15 July 2011


Well, the weather forecast hasn't changed & the trip's been cancelled - not really a surprise as this is the weather picture for our arrival time:-
Somewhere under all that blue is an outline of Cornwall. The trip will doubtless get re-sceduled for later in the year, but we'll have less daylight to play with, but will no doubt be safer - which is generally agreed to be a good thing.

So I guess i'll be getting on with the kitchen this weekend then <glum face>

Thursday 14 July 2011

Stormy Weather

Well, the big SKCC blat to Land's End is supposed to be this weekend, so the weather forecast for Friday (when we're not going) is glorious, while that for Saturday (when we are) is probably best described by the vernacular "pissing down". I'm hoping against hope that it'll fizzle out, or pass over quicker than forecast, but time's getting a little short now. Anyway, some of the other SKCCers seem keen to do it anyway, so we'll see how it goes.

Took the Fury in to work today, it seems all good - except the exhaust manifold gasket is blowing again.

Monday 11 July 2011

Getting in Some Miles

Took the Fury to work today to get some miles on it before this weekend's trip, all went well, though I chose a poor route to work, a much better one home. If the weather holds I may well take it again tomorrow, the new brakes seem much better than the old, though a wet road will provide the proof of the pudding.

Sunday 10 July 2011


So, dear reader, I guess you're thinking "he's been quiet since the car got back on the road, either he's busy driving it, or something's gone horribly wrong." Well, it's neither of those.

The simple fact of the matter is that the car has not left the garage, I was sent to Filton for a course & when I could've driven it it was raining. However, I did take it out for a blatette this afternoon after Mr Mango was kind enough to drop the soft top back to me. I merely patrolled some back-roads on the outskirts of Guildford to get some miles on the car before the epic trip to Land's End next weekend. but all seemed well, the new brakes pull the car up straight & without locking up & the gearbox is crisp & positive, so I'm a happy bunny.

Saturday 2 July 2011

On The Road Again!

Spent all day wrestling the gearbox into the car, I must have been having a bad day because everything that could go wrong, did, I spent a hour looking for the clutch fork including looking in the engine bay several times, then I found it lying on the exhaust manifold – in the engine bay. Any tool I put down vanished, only to re-appear ten minutes later on the other side of the car, any nut or bolt I dropped (& there were many) disappeared into the most inaccessable crevice if could find.

When it was finally in & ready though, it fired up first time. First impressions are good, the brakes seem more powerful & more progressive, & the gear change is neat & precise. There is a little vibration when turning left, so I think the bell housing is just touching the chassis, I’ll look into that today.

Thursday 30 June 2011

Geared Up

Hooray & Hoorah!
The gearbox has at long last arrived, I picked it up after work & as luck would have it I have tomorrow off, so I can get it straight in the car. The weather forecast say "current bun" all day tomorrow, so it should be happy days.

Equally good is the arrival of a set of motorcycle throttle bodies on a Zetec manifold with air filters., so my stock of parts for the engine swap is burgeoning.

Soon I'm hoping to ba able to post a few more blat reports, but there's a few hours to be spent in the garage first.

Monday 27 June 2011

Promises Promises

Still the Fury lies forlorn in the garage. I was called today with a "firm" promise of Thursday for the gearbox, so we'll see, if it's after that I'll be working in a different town making the pick-up much more dificult & I'll almost certainly miss the Land's End run that I organised. Should that come to pass I will NOT be a happy bunny.

Monday 20 June 2011

Father's Day Spent Laying Down............

............ laminate flooring, building kitchen units, & re-routing some plumbing that will go to the taps - which had the "hilarious" side effect of impressing my wife when she went to wash her car (can you tell it's her new one) & found copious amounts of lovely hot water coming from the hose. Made washing the car easier, but it did mean I had a little re-work to do.
So, what news of the car? Dear reader, you will no doubt recall I was promised my new gearbox for the 1st week in June? It's the 20th & there's no sign of it yet. It is allegedly complete - but in Kent.

Monday 13 June 2011

Air Today - Gone Tomorrow

Firstly, allow me to apologise for the tag line above - there can be no excuse.

BUT, some progress has been made, the unexpected arrival of the Eldest's boyfriend & the fact that he had 15 mins to spare while she prepared his tea (it won't last), gave me the opportunity to escort him to the garage & install him in the driver's seat where he trod manfully on the pedal while I leapt from nipple to nipple releasing bubbles of unwanted air (imagine the frog from the ballet of "the tales of Beatrix Potter" - well I was nothing like that). The brakes now feel like they will work if I ever get the car self propelled. Yes, my legion of readers, the lack of gearbox is beginning to grate, (see what I did there?).

Nothing Doing

So, it's been a while since I last blogged - "what's the exiting news then" I hear you cry dear reader. Well, nothing's happened.
When I say nothing's happened - of course some things have happened, I fitted some more kitchen, & my Eldest had a 16th birthday party, but nothing's happened on the car.
This is a disappointing thing. I had the Eldest's boyfriend (just to confirm ............. the Eldest is a girl) lined up to assist with the bleeding of brakes on Sunday, but constant rain prevented it. I could ask the members of my own family, but as they are all somewhat restricted in tallness, they can't reach the pedals. So the Fury has lain once more, bonnet askew, waiting for some attention.
Back on the subject of the birthday party, it went off rather well, I had approached the concept of a garden full of mid-teens with some trepidation, but in the event, my fears were unjustified, they did take some persuading to pipe down after midnight, but the stereo was turned down & the "singing" had subsided by 12:30 (or is it 00:30?). There were no gate-crashers, no fights, no spilt bodily fluids of any kind, no girls crying in a corner, so all was well.

Still no sign of the gearbox that was promised for the 1st week in June.

Friday 3 June 2011

Still Grounded

I'm still waiting for the new gearbox for the Fury, not being able to drive it is frustrating given the lovely weather, but I was promised the first week in June, so it's not late yet. But while the car's laid up, I've been upgrading. I'm afraid the redundancy pot is lighter to the tune of a set of alloy 4-pot brakes, with new pads & discs.

The object is to reduce the "unsprung weight" ie that bit of the car not on the driver's side of the suspension. The discs themselves are 1/2 kilo lighter, while the brake calipers themselves are 4 kilos lighter each side. They also look much nicer - which is important with brakes - ahem.

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Shiny Things

There's nothing like a bit of jewellery to mend a broken heart - or so I'm told, & certainly the arrival today of the Fury's new Wilwood 4 pot brakes went a long way to helping me get over the loss of the Fridge - OK I'm being ludicrously over dramatic - but the brakes are nice, just need the gearbox now.

A bit of anodised aircraft aluminium also helps with the anguish that is - having the car in several chunks waiting on a new gearbox. Having taken out the standard Sierra gearbox to donate to the Ranger, the Fury sits forlornly awaiting a new one from BGH via Raceline. Promised for the first week in June, but we'll see.