Sunday 20 March 2016

2016 Blat 2

Another early jaunt along the M25 for the start of this, my second blatt of the year and it was cold. The temperature was well above freezing (about +6), but somehow seemed to suck any warmth out. Anyway on arrival, I saw one of our number pulling out of a petrol station as I was pulling in, so I knew I wasn't the first to arrive, but then managed to ignore him & drive straight past the meet point. A once-round-the-roundabout & back followed & this time GB was stood in the road waving - more difficult to miss - I parked up at the end of a row of five cars & the last of our number arrived shortly afterwards making seven - six se7ens & a Fury.

Greetings were exchanged along with stories of winter upgrades & comments about how cold it felt (have I mentioned how cold it felt?) & after a few minutes we set off, all chatting happily on out radios (most of what I could hear was "chweeeeeeeechchwii FU chewwrrfffffffhhchchwee CUN shwfffff")

It did look as if one of our happy band had hit some wildlife on the way - presumably that's what knocked off the front No. plate.

As is often the case I was soon left by the front runners, & pootled along at the head of the second group, then after an overtake or two, lost contact with them as well, no matter we'd re-group at the inevitable "Tony stop" (one of the group has what I shall call "a limited range" for the sake of decency), however I must have passed them without noticing (again) as I arrived at the breakfast stop first, shortly followed by someone who had been absent from the blatt, but had appeared for the breakfast. The two of us elected to sit inside as it was SO cold, but there was only a table for four available, so when the others rolled up we de-camped outside & thus caused our perfectly normal level of confusion with the waiting staff.

There was a certain amount of banter inspired by the teapot, pink milk jug & cup given to my fellow early-bird, the others mostly got their drinks in insulated mugs which was a nice touch.

And so it was that after a chat & a good feed we said our farewells & departed, I fell in with a group of four heading north through the lanes until level with Dorking where I dropped out of formation & headed west. All in all a pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning - though it was cold.

Saturday 19 March 2016


Well the Fiesta MkV speedo sender worked with the speedo on the bench, it then worked in the car, it even worked on the road, so I took a reading from the satnav & the speedo, did the sum, put the resultant ratio into the SpeedoDRD calibrator & I now have a reliable & accurate speedo for the first time in a year! Hoorah!

I also have a handbrake light that works & a radio set up which works & I'm a happy bunny again. In fact for about the first time since the SVA test (I may be exaggerating here) , EVERYTHING on the dash works as it should.

I may treat myself to a small drinky this evening - just a small one though, I'm booked on a blatt tomorrow.

Friday 18 March 2016

Neatly Trimmed Bush

Well, having decided that the sender was the problem with the speedo, I bought a sender from a Fiesta Mk V or VI, I used one on the Rickman to get a speed signal to the ECU, so I knew how to mount it. On that occasion I bought a bolt to fit the thread (M18 x 1.5) & turned it down to make a bush, this time I bought a Lambda sensor port plug which had the right thread, the right size & all it needed was the head trimmed down  (hence the tile) by 2mm & the allen socket opened into a 10mm hole.
With that done by the machine shop at work, it fitted a treat with the stock circlip. The speed sensor turned up the following day & I set up the sender, the speedo & an old battery on the bench (OK on the breakfast bar - my wife's away this weekend) & a test proved it worked, so I extended the wires & ran them through the car, at which point it all still worked. I screwed it onto the adaptor & thought the end was a bit close to a bolt tail holding the gearbox cross member, that turned out to be not tight enough, so it was unscrewed & replaced the other way up, the sensor was fitted & all the wires soldered on to their correct places. Then I went in for tea. Will it work? I'll find out tomorrow.

I took no photos of the adaptor before I fitted it, but here's a couple of the sensor screwed to it. It all works rather well - as long as it works
I have some more jobs to do tomorrow (assuming I'm not getting cross with the speedo). I need to make up a bracket for the two way radio's "Press To Transmit" button. I've drawn one up today, so if all's well with the dash, I should have time to indulge in a little bracketteering.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Still Dead Speedo

I finally bit the bullet & stripped out the transmission tunnel top & side panels (many many M4 bolts) & took off the speedo sensor. This allowed me to run the entire speedo system on the bench by twiddling the square shaft on the sensor (rather than having to drive the car). Guess what? Nothing. Speedo didn’t move. So was the problem the sender all along? I started the engine & swapped the speedo onto the tacho plug & it worked, so it could ONLY be the sender (fingers crossed).


So I have now purchased a Fiesta MkV speedo sensor & a Lambda port plug to modify to fit the fiesta sensor to the gearbox – I did this once before on the Rickman to get a speed signal into the Ford ECU. PLEASE may it work this time.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Radio Head

A while ago I was writing about the radio mount I was designing & printing, well there’s been some developments.

Firstly, there’s been some testing, a blatt a couple of weeks ago showed that the radio worked just fine, but hearing what was being said was a bit hit & miss, also finding the “press-to-transmit” button was not always easy to find dangling on its wire.

So there’s been some changes. For a “simple two-way radio” it’s now quite complex, it this picture you can see (starting at the right):-

The radio

The “battery eliminator” (power supply)

The 3D printed radio mount

Two jack plug extension leads with a bracket

An aerial quick release plug & socket

A new headset with remote PTT button

There’s also an antenna & a co-ax extension lead still on the car

My plan is to fit the radio to the rear bulkhead behind the passenger seat, it’ll be plugged into the 12v socket on the roll bar & connected to the high mounted antenna, which will have the QR connectors on. The jack plug extensions will be plugged into the radio with the socket bracket mounted somewhere accessible to plug the headset in & the PTT button will be attached to the gearstick where I can find it.