Sunday 31 March 2013

Imposing Pouch

Not that imposing - barely noticeable in fact, but I'll get to that later.

It's been a funny old week in BlatterLand. Last week Mrs Blatter was to be interviewed for a new job (Mon 09:00), on the Friday at about 10:00 she received an e-mail saying she needed to bring a presentation with her - bearing in mind she doesn't work Fridays it was just as well she had her work mobile on. So together we spent all weekend, her coming up with ideas, me creating a powerpoint par excellence, teaching her how to drive it etc.

Come the Monday the interview panel announce that this will be a "competency based interview" (say the right word, get a point type) then with hardly a "how do you do" demand to see the presentation, THEN 1/2 way through they say "only 2 minutes left so finish off please". To be honest we might as well've put the Lord's Prayer on the presentation, all they wanted to know was that you would do something in your own time & what happened if they rushed you. Which would be fine & appropriate if she was going for a job as a chief constable, but perhaps less so as she had applied for the role of senior teacher. Anyway, she was well & truly rattled by this stage & it all went horribly wrong. Then I had a few gloomy days - which certainly didn't help - lots of rows with the offspring & sitting in darkened rooms - not good Added to which the washing machine went bang on Good Friday, the replacement cost meaning I would most definatly NOT be blatting in Kend on Easter Sunday.

But by the Easter Saturday the storm was lifting & I took the Fury to Epsom Downs to see the guy who will be navigating on the Rallye Des Jonquilles in a couple of weeks. I've known him since school & he is good at keeping in touch with folk. So more strangeness ensued as I was regaled with a time lapse picture of what had happened to my school chums since last I saw them. Relationships breaking down, house fires, prosecutions, all human life was there.

But you haven't come here to read about my woes, you want to know about the car. Well On Friday I bonded the old cold air intake onto the new bonnet & rough-cut the hole in the bonnet. This whole process turned a little farcical when the GRP resin refused to go off. Waving a hot-air paint stripper at it helped, but in the end I added more catalyst to the left over resin, painted that over the top & then heated that up. In the end it all went rather well, I added pigment to the left-over resin then gooped it in the gaps twixt bonnet & intake, squirted it with heat & it solidified straight away. I was going great guns - until the brush went stiff.

Saturday I took the car to see the Navigator as noted above, then opened out the intake hole & smoothed the sides off & polished them. It's got a way to go yet, but it doesn't look 1/2 bad. Then today I made the pouch I may have mentioned at the top.

 The reason? The car has two sets of side screens. A pair of full size windows that mate (OK approximate) to the soft top, & a pair of interchangeable deflectors which are on the doors 9/10 on the time. Up to now the full size screens either live in the garage, or poked down either side of the passenger seat - fine as long as there's no passenger. As luck would have it I found a large piece of leather-cloth in the loft, bought for re-trimming the Ranger, never used. So I cut out the shapes - in proper Blue-Peter style glued the edges, fitted press studs to both hold the two pockets together & also act as "chicken rivets" (long story) & a couple of "Lift-The-Dot" fasteners along the open edge.
This confection in grey vinyl sits in the "boot" with the angled section fitting nicely around the fuel filler. The posts for the "Lift-The-Dots" are bolted to the boot floor, so they both keep the pouch closed & stop it sliding about. Am I good at this stuff or what?

Monday 25 March 2013

Still In The Garage

Well the Fury may have been out a couple of times last week, but it's been very much garage-bound since. There's a couple of reasons for this. First it's still bloody freezing - I mean, come on, late March & still few days get above zero? There's 20ft snow drifts oop narth & no end in prospect.

The second reason was Mrs Blatter's job application. She's chasing a promotion & had an interview booked for today (Monday) at 09:00. Last Friday at 09:00 she got an e-mail saying they wanted a presentation on the future of her dept as part of the interview. My wife doesn't work Fridays & was lucky she checked her e-mail. Upshot - we spent the whole weekend preparing said presentation, Mrs Blatter doing the words, myself driving powerpoint (my wife is not an IT guru).

However, there is a little news from Furyworld, on Friday I made up a throttle open-stop as I'd managed to pull the cables though the adjusters during a WOT (Wide Open Throttle) overtake manoeuvre. This consisted of a bent up bracket with a bolt & a couple of nuts. I also fitted the socket for the new battery charger. I want this in the car eventually so I don't have to raise the bonnet to connect it, but that'll have to wait until next time the dash is out, so for now it's on a bracket sikaflexed to the side of the pedal box.

Then I fitted the old NACA duct to the new bonnet. There's a load of verbage about the original in this very organ about a year ago, but having glued it to the car I realised I ran out of resin when I last did some GRP work, so can't finish the bonding on until later in the week. Still, it should be sorted for the Rallye - which has a certain symmetry as that's what it got sorted for last year.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Goggled Up

One of the problems I have when driving the Fury - the other being an innate lack of skill - is "stuff" getting in my eyes.

I wasn't expecting this.

I thought that I'd be pretty immune from "stuff" as my eyes are behind not only the windscreen, but my glasses as well.

I was wrong. On almost every drive, "stuff" gets in one eye or the other, last week I was doing 70 on the motorway when "stuff" got one eye & both eyes involuntarily shut for what seemed like a week, but was maybe two seconds. I decided it was only a matter of time before "stuff" got in both eyes at once & I crashed.

So what to do? A helmet on the road, in a car with a windscreen makes you look like - a helmet & as I'd want a open face one, wouldn't necessarily solve the problem. You can buy goggles that fit over glasses - but it seems, not my glasses. The solution was goggles with lenses built in. The SKCC has a discount code for who do just the thing. Just a light plastic pair of goggles with interchangeable screens (tinted, clear & yellow) & a small metal frame inside to mount prescription lenses. I placed an order & they appeared within one working day - so far so good. To get the lenses fitted you contact, who send you a box. In the box you place the glasses, & the prescription, post it off to them & they come back sorted. Hurrah - no more "stuff".

Having got the goggles, tried them on & succeded in looking like a know on the office, I needed to order the lenses. But like a twit I put the wrong e-mail on the order. The first half of the work address, the second half of the home address. Twit. This was about 17:30 yesterday, so I hit the "contact us" link, told them what a silly boy I'd been & in the time it took to walk upstairs & print the receipt, I'd had a reply saying they'd corrected the order & it was all sorted.

I like service like that.

So in about a week's time (once they've been off on their travels & returned) my driving should be "stuff" free.

I will however bear more than a passing resemblance to a teenage-mutant-ninja-turtle.

Friday 15 March 2013


So, up with the - erm - what gets up late? Up with the teenager sounds a bit - Savillesque. Anyway, up later-than-usual-but-still-quite-early, I'd intended taking the Fury out to swill the coolant round the pipes a bit & persuade any trapped air to vacate the premises. Then Mrs Blatter pointed out that she was dining in with friends in the evening & as she would be working all day, could I tidy the house? My heart sank.

My household consists of myself & three females (two of which are daughters I should point out), so every flat surface is festooned with bits of paper with four seemingly random words written on, handbags - how can there be more than three at any time? Or discarded food wrappers. Abandoned pop-socks are another favourite - a nasty bu99er is Johnny Popsock, I've come to the conclusion that in the wild their  natural habitat is a draughty tunnel, because they lie in wait under a sofa, only to make a dash & leap into the mouth of the hoover nozzle as it passes.

My shoes are in the wardrobe or on my feet. Going by the sheer number of other shoes about the place, there are at least fourteen women living here. Presumably they bed down among the piles of coats strewn about the place. Medicines are another bugbear. When the kiddies were small, any medicines were located well out of reach. Now you can't move in the utility room for small cardboard packets lying on the worktop, the floor, by the microwave, anywhere in fact you can put down a glass of water long enough to open the box, then retrieving the water, wander off.


Anyway, I diligently set to, hoovering & tidying up as best I could considering that none of the stuff that needed putting away was mine & therefore I'd not learnt the owner, the "right place" or in extreme cases, the name of the offending feminine accoutrement. That finished to my own satisfaction (i.e. not actually finished) I headed out to the garage & pushed the Fury out, intending to make my way to the office via the Pirbright ring. I had not gone more than a mile when the rain started. Great lumps of cold water were making their way for me with singularly vindictive precision, so I gave that up as a bad job & made my way home.


I put the car back in the garage, checked & topped up the water (no leaks - Hurrah!), then looked at the main fuel line. When the high pressure pump moved to the back of the car, I'd attempted to make the end of the fuel hard line into a nice sweeping curve, but it buckled. Obviously the fuel flow was sufficient, but it looked a mess, so I cut it off short, flared the end & fitted a nice hose section taking a more direct route. That meant the return line was no-longer supported, so I added a p-clip or two, then as a finale, removed the filter on the cam cover & replaced that with some hose into the catch tank. So a decent bit of tidying & some minor improvements. But not the day I'd had in mind.


Thursday 14 March 2013


Not sure why it took a WEEK for the hose I ordered to arrive, but I suspect that as I needed a 45 degree reducing hose, 38>35mm it maybe had to be made specially? Well it's here now, fitted & the Fury's been run. I took it round the bloke on a data-logging run after the nice man at OMEX sent me a new map. It felt smoother, too soon to be sure yet, I'll need to take it out for a proper run. The newly modded & lightweight cooling system worked though, but there's probably some air needs to come out. Anyway, chuffed as ninepence as my Mum used to say - I think it was a positive thing when she said it.

So that's another two irritations sorted (hopefully) if the ground stays dry for a while, there's some things to do underneath & I've just ordered a Suzuki brake light switch & spent the day (the week if truth-be-told) drawing up a mod to the pedal arrangements which should improve the brake feel, stop the MoT man complaining about the bulkhead moving under pedal pressure next year & be the proper final solution for the brake lights (sigh). Also on the agenda for when it's dry AND above freezing, is a little GRP work on the bonnet. The new one is a little flared along the bottom edge & needs the NACA intake from the old one fitting.

I'm wittering now, so I shall stop.

Saturday 9 March 2013

If It Ain't Broke ...........

........... I mess with it until it is.

When I put the Zetec in the Fury I looked at the cooling system on the internet & there seemed to be some confusion. A lot of folks were having trouble & it seemed to be down to a Westfield diagram in their build manual. The water comes out of the engine at the back (in a Rear Wheel Drive car) into a large plastic brick which has tubes sprouting from all directions, it houses the thermostat, the top hose outlet, the heater hose outlet & the 'stat bypass outlet as well as an air outlet.
Unlike older engines, when the thermostat is closed, it's completely closed, so the bypass hose allows a small water flow direct to the bottom hose (by-passing the radiator) so with a cold engine, heated water is passed back into the engine, warming it up quicker. When the engine's hot, the bypass is closed off so the engine can only draw in cooled water from the radiator.

The heater hose flows all the time, but the water is in theory, cooled by the heater matrix, which outputs to the bottom hose also.

The air hose goes to the top of the expansion tank.

Simple enough so far, but I have no heater so the hose goes direct to the bottom hose. SO, it's supplying hot water to the water pump & engine - exactly what the bypass hose is shut off so it doesn't do. In my defence, several places in the internet said to do it that way. Anyway I have now blanked off the heater outlet & removed the hose. Moved the bypass hose connection from the radiator outlet back to the connection vacated by the heater hose & moved the top hose from close to the chassis floor up to near the top rail.

This completely unnecessary faffing has several effects:-
A warm engine will ONLY take in cooled water.
The bottom hose is tucked in towards the chassis more as it passes the front wheel.
There are a couple less joints to potentially leak.
Access to the starter motor is greatly improved.
The weight of the cooling system is reduced by several Jubilee clips, two 19mm x 180degree silicone hoses, a yard & a half of straight rubber hose & all the water they would contain. Almost a kilo, which is a worthwhile saving.

Chief among these of course is the vastly improved access to the starter - which is still shrieking like a banshee, though "simplicate & add lightness" is a mantra I'm well accustomed to chanting.

But there is a downside. I need a new silicone hose. 38 - 35 reducer, 45deg angle. I've ordered it, but the car's U/S until it arrives.

Thursday 7 March 2013

A Solution Presents Itself

I made the bracket as reported, I reduced the idle speed down to 950rpm & I took the car round the block. I can report dear reader, that the burbling idle problem & the hesitancy on acceleration have just about gone! I took the Fury to work the following day & even through the Farnborough traffic it behaved itself.

So an HUGE thank you to Andy at OMEX. The problem never was with the OMEX ECU, but it was his analysis of the datalogs that identified the problem with the throttle cables. I have now set the ECU to run "closed loop" (the lambda sensor in the exhaust is sending signals & the ECU is adjusting the fuelling based on that) & little by little the car is getting more - car like. There are less & less things that need my attention.

The starter's still making a dreadful racket though.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

A Little Progress

I took the Fury into work yesterday. The journey there was fairly typical - only colder, the throttle response around idle being best described as "not good" (I'm writing this before the watershed). During lunch time I faffed with the cables a little more trying to make absolutely sure the throttles were closing - they appeared to be, but because the pedal is now so much lighter I shortened the return spring I'd added to the linkage, thus stiffening it by about 50%.

At first the journey home felt much better, the pedal weight was about right, it was idling properly - then it got up to running temperature & it messed about again. When I got home I gave it a really hard stare, then adjusted the throttle stop down to 900 RPM. This made a world of difference on a short test drive. So I'm thinking maybe it's mostly mended. I haven't tried it from cold yet to see if it'll idle nicely, or just cough & die. That'll be this afternoon's effort, along with another cable guide bracket.

Yes - another one. The one I have attached to the airbox isn't good, it moves with the engine, so I need to make up one that's fixed to the chassis.

Friday 1 March 2013

A REAL Sharp Intake

So much better than the virtual intake reported in the previous post.

I had the day reserved for the Fury as it's MoT was at 8:30 & you never know what they'll find.

That bracket is not as close to the alternator cable in real life!
 After the MoT I set to. I'd bought new throttle cables (OK, bike rear brake cables) as OMEX had suggested there may be a problem with the throttles shutting completely, so that was job 1. when I originally fitted the throttle bodies I'd used bike brake cables & cable outers, using a trick I'd used on the Rickman Zetec, i.e. use rear brake "noodles" to turn the cable through 90deg. now I thought I'd try without, so made up a new cable stop more in line with the pulley, arranged a nice natural run & made up a bracket to mount the cable guide near the throttle pedal end, so the guide was more in line with the stops at that end.

With that sorted I made up the alloy bracket to support the intake duct, fitting it to the duct with riv-nuts & bolts - so even if the bolts come adrift altogether, there'll be nothing loose in the duct to get drawn into the engine. After that it was a simple matter of cutting the hose to length & fitting it all together.
I'm quite pleased with the overall effect, much better than the aluminiumised paper trunking that was there before, but is is heavier, which is unfortunate. but on the up-side it doesn't have holes & dents in it.

In the last pic, you can see the bracket holding the duct to a redundant part of the throttle stop & the new cable guide bracket.

It may have been simpler to cut the top off the cable stop bracket & leave the aluminium duct supported by the hoses at each end, but the triangular black shaft directly under it is the steering column, so I wanted it to be self-supporting. I then took the car out. The throttle was a revelation! When the man-from-OMEX suggested there might be a problem I took off one of the cables, now with the twin system back in place, but with super-slippery PTFE lined cable outer & Teflon (OK, I know that's just PTFE as well) coated cables, the difference in the throttle was astonishing, SO much lighter.
Meanwhile, back at the MoT, as usual the MoT man had failed to get the Fury to engage a gear. Can't explain this but it's the same every year. So he stopped the engine to see if that helped. Then it refused to start again. Battery flat! I have my suspicions about the battery charger, the new alternator seems to be providing 14v. Anyway we started it on a jump pack so that was fine & it passed with flying colours.