Friday 28 December 2012


Over Christmas I ar bin mostly – ill.
However, feeling better today I took the alternator bracketry out to the garage & fitted it on the car. Firstly the beam hit the right hand idler pulley, so I established whether it was my measuring that was incorrect or not. It wasn’t, but I remembered the idler wheel is a fair bit wider than the belt, which accounted for the foul. So having trimmed that back & made a 2mm spacer to move the beam away from the timing case.  The next job was to temporarily attach the lugs, which I did by drilling a single hole through the centre, a matching one through the beam & holding them with a countersunk bolt. This allows me to fit the alternator & set everything up for welding, the bolt hole will be drilled out into a lightening hole as the material is 9 ½ mm thick at that point!

Just before retreating from the drizzle, I fired th engine up & ran it for a few minutes (no drive to the water pump obviously). Mmmmmm still sounds niiiice.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Ding Dong

So, how did I get on?

Well, once over the exfoliation shock, rather well.

For those that didn't read the previous post, last Sunday was the SKCC Christmas Breakfast. Not a true blat as most turned up in "tintops" - that had been my plan as the Fury is undergoing a few minor upgrades, but an e-mail from The Two Davids meant I could passenge in a seven type car for the first time.

It would be something of a baptism-of-ice, the Tiger Avon (readers of a "certain age" will see the link to the title) I would be travelling in not only has no heater, but no windscreen either & this was mid December. Having accepted the invite I remembered that the ski jacket I usually wear in the Fury had been sent to Devon with my father-in-law as "I wouldn't be needing it". Twit.

Having squeezed into a tee-shirt, thick sweatshirt, fleece & a raincoat, I drove to the meet point repeatedly checking the outside air temp - but no amount of hard staring would get it above 4dec C.

At the allotted time the two Davids rolled up, so after scrambling in through the full roll cage & strapping myself down, we set off towards Farnham. As we barrelled along the bypass I realised the full meaning of the term "wind-chill". Fortunately, as the sun rose the additional few degrees made a huge difference.

So what of the car? I was extremely impressed, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it was rattle free, pulled smoothly (in a way my Fury doesn't), the suspension was firm but supple, & it made a very nice noise, it also had a foot more leg room on the passenger side than my Fury. But if I'm honest, I won't be giving up my curved heated windscreen any time soon. The thing I found interesting was that after reading comments on Pistonheads about how "unsafe" seven type cars are, when I got back in the family bus to drive home I felt VERY uneasy. It was so slow to react & swayed alarmingly on corners & there was very little impression of speed (something I'd been painfully aware of in the Avon). So there you go - what is the safer car, the one that absorbs an impact, or the car agile enough to avoid the impact? Discuss.

Passenging was also surprisingly good fun as I had time to move the camera to different angles, which makes for perhaps a more interesting blatt vid.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Above Zero

After a week of -3deg, followed by lashing rain, I have at last got out to the garage & got on with the job in hand. With the distractions of the dash changes out of the way, I focused at last on the alternator bracket. The lumps of extrusion have been sat in their tube waiting patiently for some time.

I cut a lump off, drilled it to match the engine - almost (I had to slot the rear hole) & shaped the two flanges. When it's nearer completion I'll cut some lightening holes as it's the stiffness I need, so there's some weight I can remove.

I also started the engine (no alternator or water pump) just to give it a rotate, & a bit of a warm. It sounded goooood & the exhaust didn't rattle.

In other news, it's the SKCC Christmas breakfast breakfast tomorrow. I was planning on taking the increasingly pink Zafira, but fortunately I checked my work e-mail (in case there was some good news on the contract we're waiting on - there wasn't) & there was an e-mail from the two Davids asking if I'd like to tag along with them - which is nice. I've only ever been in one screenless car before, it was the Fury demo car, it had a BIG deflector & it was in the spring. How I get on with next-to-no deflector & no helmet in the middle of December, I'll report tomorrow.

Monday 10 December 2012

Where's It At?

What have I been doing for the past couple of weeks? Well I should have been sorting out the alternator mounting of course, in fact I'mm still messing with the gubbins behind the dash. Mostly this weekend - the stereo. Why? I have asked myself that very question while labouring in the bitter cold in a footwell, but ultimatly the only excuse I can cme up with is if it's on the car, it should work & the stereo didn't. So the speakers have been re-mounted properly & the socket the Ipod plugs into has been replaced with a better one.

I've also fixed the hazard lights - only the right indicators were flashing - turned out to be a problem with the switch, cured with a little WD40 (OK, quite a lot). I guess the switch just deosn't like living outdoors.

So now I'm almost ready to re-instate the dash & after that I'll start on the alternator mount - promise

Monday 3 December 2012

Pod Done, What's Next

Things have moved on, I’ve now finished the side pod. There were a couple of intervening days of effort on it, I fitted the heat shielding back on the inside, cleaned up the outside & gave it a polish.

I made up a new external heat shield (which hides the now enormous hole in the pod). I’m quite pleased with it, it has a lip curved round into the wheel arch, & a rolled edge round the hole the exhaust tip pokes out through, which is pretty central.

Here we see the plate in place - not the best photo, the reflections of the flash make it look crinklier than it is, but you get the picture.

In other Fury related news, I had been considering putting the car on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) for a while, the decided not to, so I was intending re-fitting the alternator & getting it going again. Could I find the bracket? I remembered taking it in the house to clean up, I remembered EXACTLY where I'd put it - but it wasn't there. I searched the garage, the rest of the house, nothing. In the end I thought I may as well SORN it as without the alternator I wasn't going to be using it until the new one went on after Christmas, so I reluctantly downloaded a form, filled it in & put it in the post box just outside my house on the evening of the 30th. You know what's coming next don't you. Early in the morning of the 1st, with the form STILL in the post box, I found the bracket.

So the car's officially off the road, time to get on with some maintenance / upgrading. The first thing on the hit list is the dash. Thee stereo hasn't worked properly for a while because the jack-plug from the iPod would wobble about. So I acquired a 1/4" jack socket & a new lead. The old socket was a pain as it had to be screwed to the dash after the dash was in, the new one should be much easier.

The next thing was the car's many & various 12v sockets, currently two behind the passenger seat, one the far side of the dash & one on the driver's side of the dash - all with transformers plugged in to run electronic stuff. With the ferry & navigator booked for the Rallye Des Jonquilles, I looked at the required equipment list for this mission:-
Sat-Nav programmed with trip computer.
Fwd camera.
Rear camera.
GPS data logger.

That's five then. Doing some Ebay engineering I found a 12v multi-socket & a couple of nice "adaptor socket" that converts a 12v socket into two USBs, so I'll fit the 12v socket in the passenger footwell, with a USB adaptor in each & that'll power all the toys, another adaptor will go in the back allowing me to simplify the wiring there.

I know this is all pretty dull, & I apologise, but it'll all go to make the car more reliable next year.