Thursday 31 December 2015

Dash Refreshed

Well, I re-assembled the dash & fitted the new oil pressure gauge - of course it's not quite the same as the other gauges, but hey ho.

I fitted the new oil pressure sender & connected it up, started the engine & ........ odd, the oil light stayed on, but the gauge went off the upper end of the scale. Hmm, check earth, OK, take the dash back out of the car, check all the wiring, all OK, check the earths again, still OK. What was odd was that the oil warning light was on (no oil pressure) but the gauge was reading off the scale (lots of oil pressure).

Then (after a day or two) I realised I'd connected the light to the pressure sender & the sender wire to the low pressure switch. swap them over & it all works.

So now the dash looks like this:-
Out of sight on the right is a black anodised panel with the rear fog & screen heater switches, so it's all pretty neat (well, I think so).

Sunday 27 December 2015

Christmas Break

So what Have I been doing over the Christmas break then? Well I've hat the dash out & painted the rims of all the gauges & warning lights in aluminium, I've also made a new switch panel for the rear fog & screen heater switches & warning lights, as a bit of a dash refresh.

While the dash was out I replaced the bulbs in the gauges with LEDs & painted the bulb in the main beam with silver paint as it was too bright - the only thing I could see on main beam was the dazzle from the main beam warning light.

I also fitted the new oil pressure sender & wired up the gauge (Christmas presie) & started the engine. I’d always been worried about the oil pressure, the old gauge showed 1 – 3 bar & often flickered towards nothing-at-all, but the new gauge is showing a healthy 6 bar (90psi) at idle so all seems well.

So with that all installed I can re-fit the side pod & the dash itself - hoorah!

Sunday 13 December 2015

Cap Complete

With a couple of minutes to spare this morning, I finished off the 3d printed dummy oil filler cap with some silver paint & some lacquer
 <¬ Here we are, for something knocked up for free, I don't think it looks half bad, certainly more '50s than the one it covers up. I still need to glue it on.

This picture shows it with the ally cam cover & the retro stickerage.


Monday 7 December 2015

The Cap Fits

Did I mention the plan for a 3d printed oil filler cap cover? Did I? Did I?

It came out of the printer today, here it is, seen from the bottom, with the real cap for comparison.

And here's how they fit together.

I've started the paint to make it look more proper, first is filling the "engraved" text with red, then the circle will be painted black, then that'll be masked & the rest of it will be sprayed silver & lacquered

So at the moment it looks like this.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Instrument Of Doom

Some time ago the oil pressure gauge stopped working, I took the side pod off (the oil pressure sender is in the side pod) & found the spade terminal had come off, this wasn't good. I took the sender off the car & managed to solder a wire onto what was left, but it still didn't work.

I wasn't that bothered as the oil warning light triggers at 20psi & it was steadfastly off, but having a dead gauge is rather irritating. Now a year or two after I bought the gauge set for the Fury, the gauge maker changed a few things - including the oil pressure gauge. My sender was £15, the new one is £50, & doesn't work with the old gauges. What to do?

I looked at getting the mechanical Racetech gauge, but the face is completely different, but then I had a little luck & on the third page of a Google search was a Co. called "RallyNuts" who I think I've used before, they were offering the new Racetech gauge & sender £20 less than anyone else 7 since Christmas is coming, so is a new gauge & sender.

But to take a step back, while taking off the side pod, one of the bolts went Crunch - Splinter, never a good sound, the anchor nut had sheared it's rivets & was going round with the bolt - BUT fortunately I could reach the anchor nut through the battery bay door & managed (after some thinking & some swearing) to stop it turning with a bike spanner. I've just riveted it back on, but I need to put some copperslip in the anchor nuts to (hopefully) stop it happening again.

Tuesday 1 December 2015


One of the things happening to the car at the moment is "retroization" (yes, I did just invent that word). The red scallops, the alloy cam cover, the "Fury" script on the bonnet. But an idea occurred to me to further the cause. The alloy cam cover effect is slightly spoiled by the plastic filler cap. However I have now designed THIS!:-
The idea is that it will be printed (so will strictly speaking will still be plastic) & will clip over the existing cap after being painted silver red & black. It should look much more BDA than Zetec. There are precious few parts on the car that are purely cosmetic, but this will be one. I thing it'll look quite good.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Hooter Re-mounted

When the Fury was built I got a "low tone" hooter for it, disappointingly it produced more of a squeak, what I wanted was more of a bellow. On the last trip out I realised the hooter was no longer squeaking, so I scoured Ebay & found a pair of Lucas horns, one "low tone" & one "high tone". A brief test suggested "OI - GET OUT OF THE WAY" whereas the old hooter suggested "excuse me - I'm over here" But mounting them proved to be troublesome. Obviously I wanted them together for the artistic effect, but everywhere I tried to fit them was just a little too small, one would fit, but not both. Until that is, my eyes fell on an offcut from the clutch beam. I cut a shape to fit to the central tube upright on the chassis & to go around the upper cross tube, the hooters would fit on the flanges - like this:-

The flange you can see bottom left will bolt to the car through the two 5mm holes. I've fitted rivnuts to the chassis so I just need to do some wiring & bolt them on

The hooters are now fitted with a couple of 5mm titanium bolts & all wired up. Parp parp they go instead of eee eee. This is a good thing.


Sunday 8 November 2015

Smoking Banned

With the car SORN’d it was time to tackle the smoky idle. The Fury doesn't smoke - it's a new engine for goodness sake, so I was surprised & perturbed when the MoT man approached me during the last MoT & said "your car's a bit smoky", I wandered through to the test are to find the whole place FILLED with blue smoke!
It passed MoT, & the smoke cleared after a brief post MoT blatt, but it's continued to smoke whenever it's been left to idle for more than a couple of minutes. So, with the car on SORN it was time to do something about it. I'd thought long & hard about possible causes & had come to the conclusion that all the years the engine had spent in it's crate with the top of the engine never seeing oil had dried the valve stem oil seals & in the absence of any better ideas I was just about to order the seals, new head bolts & a new head gasket – literally just about to press the “order now” when I thought I’d ask the SKCC forum again & this time Dick came up trumps, “perhaps” he said “one of the butterflies is fully closing & the vacuum is drawing air up from the sump? Suddenly it all made perfect sense.

So when I got into the garage I took time to understand how all the linkages worked (each throttle body drives the next in one direction to open & from the other direction to close. I carefully adjusted all the many many linkages, then re-balanced the airflow in each & suddenly there was no smoke, sometimes it was difficult to tell because of the steam (it is November & very damp), but the smoky smell has gone, so I think that’s it cured. Hoorah! This morning I started it up from cold & it started on the button & ran very sweetly indeed from cold & again, no smoky smell..


Saturday 10 October 2015

Hose Changed

After last Fridays exciting event (the brakes failed) I called Fury Sports Cars & Steve sent me a new hose. Like a lot of things since he took over, this seems to be better quality - it's all stainless, but the design has changed, it now has a 90deg fitting at the wheel end which made it more difficult to route. I fitted it into the lower port on the slave cylinder & swapped the bleed nipple to the upper one to make it easier to bleed - that wasn't possible with the old hose.

This End's Up
While I had the wheel out I added one turn of camber to both rear wheels, this was suggested at the limits day last week after the Fury showed a tendency to oversteer into corners. I also turned up the front shocks by a couple of clicks.

Then it was just a case of bleeding the rear brakes through & I took it round to Sainsburys to check the tyre pressures (15psi all round, should be 17) & I have to say it did feel more planted, not much to go on admittedly, I might get a chance for a fuller appraisal tomorrow. I think it may need one more turn to give it a little more camber, but pleased with the results so far

Monday 5 October 2015

Car Limits - Now with Added Videoness

A sleepless night suffering from man-flu provided the opportunity for a little video editing


Sunday 4 October 2015

Car Limits Found

Each year the best car club on the planet - the Southern Kit Car Club has a "Car Limits Day" at North Weald aerodrome, this year I went for the first time. So yesterday I was up before the sun & on my way to Egham to meet with David T in his tiger Avon & Crunchie in his brand spanking new Zenos E10S.

I was late - I missed the meet point, got into all sorts of a tangle with the one way system & various dual carriage ways & eventually re-found them 20min late. Fortunately due to a clear M25 we were early to the venue so no harm done.

The day began with a briefing & the signing of waiver forms before we headed out for a "high speed curve" test, we went barrelling along a straight & had to turn at the end, the idea here was to get the highest reading on a speed gun without spinning off the curve. I found this incredibly difficult to judge as there were very few points of reference, but at the end I was about the middle of the group, so quite satisfied.

Then we were split into two groups & each group had a small circuit to drive against the clock. This was much easier to get a grip on. Accelerate into a wide area, round two cones, accelerate along a straight, turn round a cone at the other end, accelerate back, round the cones & brake to a halt. This was great fun though from the footage I seem to have forgotten the camera mounted on the side when passing cones at 50+ mph

After this we swapped circuits with the other group. The second circuit involved accelerating to a cone, round it & back to a twisting section of tarmac, down to the cone again & back to stop between two cones. Again huge fun, with the twisting tarmac's curve tightening markedly before changing direction to unsettle the cars. On each run I seemed to get better & smoother, but the times stayed pretty much the same.

After lunch - when I nipped out for fuel & got lost again, the two groups were combined & a much larger circuit combining the three previous exercises was set up. So from the start line round a cone, hard right - left - right -left onto the long straight from the first exercise, round two cones from the second, back along the long straight, hard left, round the tarmac wiggle, accelerate down to another cone & hard right before accelerating back & stopping at the finish. Fantastic. The car was oversteering a little, but easy to control & my times were in the top half which I was pleased with as the Fury was giving away 90bhp to the front runners & 240bhp to the most powerful.

Then on the last stop of the last run, I pushed the brake just a little harder, there was a pop & the pedal went down to the bulkhead. On the way bach to the "pits" I found I had a little braking right at the end of the pedal travel. At first I thought the pivot bolt had broken or come undone, but no. Surely the master cylinder hadn't pushed off the bulk head? No - a pool of oil under one of the rear tyres told it's own story.

I assumed the rear brake shoes must've allowed the seals in the slave cylinder to come out some how, chatting this through with some of the guys we decided the front brakes would still be working so I drove under escort (thanks again Crunchie & David T) to a local McDonalds for a coffee & a think. I decided to drive the car home as I still had brakes, it was mostly on motorway & so I could control the amount of gap ahead of me.

So I got home without further incident & the following day I stripped the brake down - it was dry, all the seals were still in place. BUT, there was a small drip of oil on the brake hose union & following that I found this:-

It seems a P-clip used to hold the hose in place has succumbed to metal fatigue allowing the hose to rub on the outboard CV joint housing & has worn right through the braiding & into the hose itself. Stamp hard on the brakes & there's nothing resisting the pressure & POP.

I'm just glad it happened in a safe environment, not out on the road.

So I have a little mending to do, but I think the car might be off the road now until the spring while I do some other jobs, so no real harm done.


Wednesday 2 September 2015

Dunsfold Wings & Wheels 2015

It's always nice going back to Dunsfold, the happiest days of my working life were spent there, & while the rumours about it being turned into a new village go on year after year, the Wings & Wheels event seems to keep on going. This year it took place just a week after the tragic Shoreham crash, so the marshals & organisers were rather jumpy - understandably

This year was particularly special for me as the SKCC had booked a stand which meant an easy arrival, an easy departure, the car left where I could get at it all day & of course a 1/2 price ticket. The only fly in the ointment was that I'd requested a runway run but was refused on the grounds that my car wasn't interesting enough - OK, so why was there a bog-stock Boxter out there? Grrrrr, mumble mutter

The day started oddly when I arrived & saw a blue Caterham on the club pitch, there were no other cars so I pulled in beside it. The guy came & introduced himself, explaining that this was the first time he'd taken part in a club event & that he'd come in place of someone who couldn't make it - this all tied in vaguely with something I half remembered from the club forum. Then as we chatted he noticed the exhaust mount had broken (common fault on CateringVans) so I lent him some tools & a tyrap to do a temporary repair. Just as he was finishing this off he noticed another Caterham parked a little way away & realised he was on the wrong club stand! He quickly decamped to where he was supposed to be & we never saw him again. Little by little the SKCC rolled in & parked up, one of the marshals complained that we weren't parked very prettily & we wouldn't win the prize - we pointed out that we didn't give a monkey's & he went away.

After a while the motoring part of the show started with some "interesting" cars (I'm almost over it) on the runway, the '30s aero-engine cars are always good, then the planes with some WWII types, then more car (or the same cars again) & more aircraft, with one of the last displays by the mighty Vulcan & the Red Arrows, during which it started to rain so we went home. THE END

Sunday 30 August 2015

Clutch Action

On the fury, the clutch cable comes out of the footwell, turns through 180deg & goes into the bell housing about 5in from the footwell exit. This, I think is not a good thing, the clutch has always been stiff, with a certain amount of "stiction" & now the clutch pedal clicks when it's travelling. It started with one click each way & is now up to four, so I'm thinking the cable is fraying.

I'm guessing a lot of the problem is because the cable has to turn 180 deg in such a short length. I used to have the longest possible Ford cable running in a wide(ish) arc round the engine bay, but it wasn't much better.

So what to do?
My plan is to cut the outer cable outer off & run the cable inner forward from the pedal, round a pulley in the engine bay & back to the bell housing. It'll reduce the friction to almost zero, but will it work?

One problem I identified was adjustment (currently the adjustment is on the cable outer - which won't be there) so I've come up with a natty way of using a kart track rod to adjust the pulley position. The next problem could be vibration up through the pedal (the cable will be trying to pull the engine forward on its mounts), but mostly the vibration is side to side, so that should be cancelled out.

To begin I bought some alloy angle & a track rod for a Kart (to give the adjustment). I also rummaged through an old spares box & found a flying control pulley & a high quality bolt to attach it with.

Next job was to cut the cable outer from an old clutch cable I'd found in the garage roof.

Not a quick or pleasant job by any means, but by the by it was reduced to a tangle of twisted metal.

Then in to the making side of things, I drilled & cut the box section so the pulley fits into it & one of the track rod ends attaches to one end. It needs prettying up a bit, but I'm just testing the principle at the moment.

So at the moment the linkage looks like this.


Clutch Works

Well, I thought it would be ok, but wasn't entirely convinced. However, today I mocked up the new clutch linkage & can report that it does indeed work as planned. As you can almost see from the pics, various lumps of metal are g-clamped tot he chassis, but, I started the engine & drove it in & out of the garage & it felt just like a clutch, though the cable is rubbing a little & that need sorting out but it's no big deal. I can now move on to the next stage.

Friday 7 August 2015

Starter Button

Ever since I started building the Fury it was my intention that there shouls be a little bit od Hot Rod & a little but of aeroplane in it. Regular readers will know that there are several bits of aeroplane used in the car - not there to be flash or ornamental, just when I had something that was of genuine use. One thing it hadn't had was a thing I'd noticed on Ebay from time to time but never had spare money for.

Well, I decided I'd waited long enough & bought one. It's a starter button to a standard Air Ministry pattern as used in Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancasters & probably every other plane of that vintage.

It's a shrouded button with a sprung - lift up flap, so you don't hit the starter by accident (I had hit the old starter button unintentionally once or twice, it certainly makes you jump!).

Today I had a day off work as I'd built up too many hours & one of my jobs was to get this fitted.

The starter panel came out of the car easier than I was expecting & the fuel pump stitch & alarm light came off easy enough as did the old start stitch - I say "old" but it's probably at least 50 years younger than the "new" one - then it was just a case of opening out the hole, drilling four small bolt holes & re-assembling - simple.
Now doesn't that look good?

And in answer to the inevitable question - no I'm NOT going to fit an altimeter - that would just be silly.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Small Improvements

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on here, so here’s what’s been going on.

The car’s been on a couple of longish runs, the first to the castle coombe racing circuit. Yes I should’ve paid the extra & taken the car on the track, but I didn’t. This was the first time we’d seen Crunchie’s new toy, a 640-odd BHP Ultima. He said “I’m not taking it on the tack – I’ve only had it three days” ten minutes later I saw him returning with paperwork & a rented helmet. It certainly looked & sounded impressive out there, especially the flames when lifting off to change gear.

The journey there was a bit of a trudge as we were following a herd of tin-tops stuck behind a potato truck all across Salisbury Plain, on the way home the sky got darker & darker, eventually It started raining big lumps of rain like it does in summer, I stopped & put the roof up – which was pretty much exactly when the rain stopped.

A couple of weeks later we found ourselves driving the same roads as we headed to within five miles of Castle Coombe, to visit Nick Mason’s house. He was having an “open garden” day for charity & had parked a few million’s worth of cars on his lawn, A Ferrari 250, F40, Daytona & a new one that looked like it had been half crushed, a McLaren F1 & an Alfa. Various other interesting cars were parked up in nooks & crannies about the place & as is often the case at these things, the car park was almost as interesting as the event. As we arrived it had just started raining, so I put up the soft top & as ever – the rain stopped almost instantly. I should hire the car out for open air events.

On the engineering side, the car is still smoking if it sits idling for any time. I’m pretty sure this is because the valve stem oil seals dried out while the engine was sat in it’s crate. So it looks like I’ll be stripping the engine over the winter. On a more mundane note, I’ve changed the way the soft top attaches – again. It has been held to the screen arch by a couple of bike quick release fasteners, but they were fiddly & time consuming to do up & I was usually wet by the time I could get in the dry. So the QRs have gone, to be replaced by Dzus slide fasteners, in theory the front bar of the roof passes over two small bobbins & the slides hold it in place. Today I took it up to the National Speed Limit - & good news, I still own a soft-top, so it must be strong enough. I also fitted press studs to the top of the deflectors to help hold the roof in the right shape, only small improvements but now, that's all the car needs.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Rogue Runners Day 7, Bridlington to Home

Insect collection
Another fair morning with no rain in the forecast. I popped out to minister to the car & noticed a small pool under Steve’s car parked behind mine, I mentioned it to him over breakfast & a little rummaging around found a loose jubilee clip. The bonnet & nose cone came off & some tightening was done, levels topped up & a test run to warm the engine showed no further dripping, so we headed for the sea front for a group photo, for this was the day when all the merrie blatters would go their separate ways.

The plan was to photograph the cars on the prom, then after a “leMans style" start, convoy out of town. We often have this kind of plan – it never goes well. We all strapped in, started the engines & signalled we were ready – no-one moved. After a brief wait the Road Runner moved, pulling out & reversing to film the proceedings, so another couple of cars pulled out, then a couple of tin-tops drove round the camera car, then the rest of us went in fits & starts. I reached a tee junction with a couple of cars behind me, the sat-nav said turn right, just as I was pulling out I looked left & saw a seven heading into town – so we were properly split up now.
We wound our way south through the eastern flatlands, on any normal trip these would’ve been good roads, but traffic, unnecessarily low speed limits & the absence of scenery made it blur into one. It may have been while passing through Goole that I started singing “Dirty Old Town” to myself – it was to haunt me for the rest of the trip. Then in a small village a flash of yellow momentarily caught my attention, someone had opened a garage door to get their Westfield out & was staring open-mouthed as a handful of kit cars burbled past.

About ten miles before we reached the lunch stop, we found ourselves behind a bunch of bikers on Harleys & the like – doing 35 in a 50 limit, spread all over the road & with just not enough room to get past any of them. We followed them waiting for them to turn off, we followed them praying they’d turn off, in the end we turned off onto an entertaining country lane, only to fall in behind them a mile further on. The pulled into the lunch stop before us, so there was no chance of getting served.
It was here that I found out that the car with the water leak had obviously been determined to have a ride on a lorry, because the electrics had given out, leaving our man with little choice but to call for assistance.

We re-fuelled & said out good-byes, for the easterners were going east, while us southerners went south. There was a route to follow, but time was not on our side & we made the decision to take the motorway home & so it was that as we got to M25 Junction 10 I waved a last farewell to GB, & was home 15 minutes later.

2,300 miles

Seven days

Four coasts

One speeding ticket (ahem)

The highlights were the camaraderie, the scenery, the car not breaking (except for the fuse incident & an aerocatch - replaced with a bungee), even the people we met, the lows were two of our fellow blatters not making it & the drudgery of the southern end of getting home. Same again next year? Oh YES.