Sunday 30 October 2016

What's Black Then Red?

No, not an Undertaker's price list & not a Panther in a blender either.

This weekend the chassis cleaning ended, the paint came out, the chassis changed colour, first to black when the anti-rust POR-15 went on in two coats, then red when the hammerite went on in another two coats.

Here it is mostly black, as are my hands still. POR-15 is funny stuff, as it's moisture activated so I came in from the garage with very sticky black hands, & the paint actually dried on my hands while I was washing them - odd.

So, here's an entirely accidental "before & after" pair of photos, first black .........

Then red. It's not as smooth as it looks, but I'm not a "polisher" I want it rust-free & all the same colour. Some of it is still black because I ran out of paint, so I'll be under it again tomorrow.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Out, Black Spot

Welllll, the chassis' all cleaned & the first coat of POR15 is on the front, so my hands look like I have a rare skin disease - black spots of various sizes.

Another coat of POR15 tomorrow, then the red hammerite, then CBS Wunderseal on the vulnerable bits & then some waxoyl & I can make the engine undertray, then the engine can go back in - if I can get the flywheel back from SRS Engineering (Sutton Rebore as was) - apparently the man that does re-drilling is off sick / suffered a bereavement & it'll be re-drilled for the Pinto clutch when he returns this week - we'll see.

But on the upside, the chassis will soon be rust free & red again.

This is a good thing.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Happy Landing

Today’s jobette was to do a little more booting. I shaped some alloy extrusion to fit round the body contours to act as a door landing & stiffen the area behind the seats. See how the previously straight angle sweeps to follow the curves of the car - no it is not the lens distorting it, I curved it, because I'm clever.

It was a bit of a git to get it right & I’m not convinced the fwd corners of the boot lid will sit down properly, but time will tell.

 At the front an aluminium bulkhead will run betwixt the vertical flange of the angle & the boot floor & at the back a carpet panel will hide the wiring to the rear fog, reversing & No. plate lights.

When the bootlid is sorted, I need to cut out another panel in the boot floor for access to the top of the fuel tank, as dropping it out of the car is a pain.


Sunday 23 October 2016

Putting The Boot In

Well, this is either going to prove to be a stroke of genius, or a moment of pure stupidity, but the Fury has a boot lid. At the moment there's no way of attaching it to the car, but I'm working on that.

I cut it out mostly with a jigsaw (very fine metal blade) but had to finish it off with a dremel as the sunken area for the No. plate stopped the jigsaw blade.

I've had a few "WHAT HAVE I DONE" moments over this, but I think it'll all work out fine in the end.

Fine-ish maybe.

Moderately OK perhaps.


Friday 21 October 2016

Clutch Easing

This PM I did more damn chassis cleaning, but as I’d been virtuous I  allowed myself some metallic therapy & modified the clutch pedal to reduce effort.

The pivot consisted of a thick tube passing through a tube welded to the pedal, The thick inner tube was clamped by a bolt & the pedal tube rotated around it.

It kind of worked, but it's crude, it's heavy & when I took it apart the pivot wouldn't come out. After tapping it through, the mating surfaces were pretty scored, so that's some of the heavy clutch accounted for.

 Some research found the RC car wheel bearings were almost the right size being 8 x 16 x 5 wide, the pedal tube was 15 id, so a dab with a 16mm drill had the bearing sliding in nicely – job done.


Wednesday 19 October 2016


The Fury has no boot lid - this is well known. It has a space under the rear deck, it's about 6" deep, so a useable space, but access to it is between the seats, meaning the practical maximum size of anything you can get in the boot is about 5" sq. When I was building the car, I built a lidded box under the boot floor which serves as a small lockable storage area, but with Mrs Blatter spending more time in the car, better storage is required. I've been pondering this for some time, but I think I've now solved all the problems as well as giving myself some more problems & then solving them.

The first problem was the fuel filler cap which comes up through the rear deck, for that I'm hoping to mount the filler to the boot side wall, then cut a hole in the boot lid to fit over the filler cap.

Next, how to make it stiff enough when it's GRP, I have plans to make an aluminium frame to bond to the inside without using up all the volume.

Also, how to open the boot when the rack is on the car (which it will be if Mrs Blatter is coming along). Here I'll mount it with pins at one edge & latches opposite so it comes right off the car rather than hingeing open.

Lastly, how to stiffen the body when a large square is cut out. Cutting it as close to existing structure as I can will work for three of the sides, but the forth side is the important one as the soft top attaches to it, so I'm thinking of adding a wall at the front edge to tie down the soft top mountings.

Why do I do this to myself?

Saturday 15 October 2016

I HATE Powder coating

Today’s task was to look in the sump for any reason the car might be losing oil pressure under acceleration, with the sump & baffle plate off there was nothing obvious, except for some lumps of silicone sealant around the pick-up pipe. Would they account for it? They’re gone now so we’ll see.
From there I moved on to the accessory drive belt, I realised a while ago I don’t need one of the pulleys – it so happens the pulley I don’t need has loose bearings & whines, so I cut an old belt to the length I need & I’ll order a new shorter one.

Stupid site still shows portrait pictures in landscape,
 so you'll have to turn the screen round .........
.......... and yet this one gets turned when I didn't ask for it. Sheesh!
Then I started on the chassis – as expected, the powder coat comes off in sheets, except where it’s stuck like sh to a blanket (sigh). It does seem to be in worse condition on the passenger side, which is good because all the systems run down the driver’s side & would be a real pain to dismantle. If I had my time again, I wouldn't have the chassis powder coated. It's great if the surface preparation is done properly, but it's rubbish if it isn't. The presence of the "black oxide" on the steel under the powder coat says it wasn't sand blasted, so it was never going to stick well - or at all.


Friday 14 October 2016

A Little Progress

This afternoon I hoisted the engine out of its cradle & fitted the bell housing again. That allowed me to fit the new geared starter & "re-profile" the sump so the starter now fits properly, thankfully I didn't grind through to the oily side. I did wonder if the old ones were mis-aligned due to hitting the sump & was that the cause of all the "CLUNK" trouble, but no, they bolt up square.

Then I made a proper lifting sling for the engine - I say "proper" - it's an old lap-strap from an unloved seat belt I found in a drawer. I also drained the sump - which with a little luck will get removed tomorrow to see if I can improve the baffling. At North Weald the oil light was coming on under hard acceleration, the oil pick up is right at the front, so under acceleration the oil runs to the back. Its not as serious as might be though, the oil light is triggered by a 25lb/in switch, not the usual 5lb/in one.

No photos as it was all pretty dull.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Alloy Bellhousing, Geared Starter

With the engine out of the car I got a few minutes to trial fit the new aluminium bellhousing - it fits beautifully - which is a relief. The starter fits better than it did, but it still needs some sump-grinding to make it fit properly.

In further good news, my new place of employment has some alloy sheet which will be scrap in a few weeks, so that will be the engine bay floor & I think I've worked out how to do the boot lid I've been thinking of for some time.

Happy days!


Saturday 8 October 2016

Winter Upgrades

The car's now on a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) for some maintenance & upgrade action. There's a list of things to be done, the main task is de-rusting the chassis areas where the powder coat has peeled off, so the bonnet & side pods have to come off & the engine out.

While the engine's out I'll replace the iron Sierra bellhousing with an aluminium one:- It looks good, appears to be flat & the two mounting faces parallel. It has a pivot pin for the clutch fork, but no protection for the bearing face, so I replaced the pin with a 5mm bolt & added a washer for the fork arm to bear against. I have weighed it & from memory it's 5 1/2 kg. Also from memory the iron one is currently on the car is 11 1/2kg.

After all the starter problems, I also bought a geared starter from here:- as usual with me there's a saga. I contacted them asking which model I needed to replace an LRS707 (Sierra 1800 CVH), they said "have you got a Raceline or Westfield sump". "Westfield" said I "right you need our new model 501" & they posted me one. It was perfect except the spigot dia was 89mm (pinto / Crossflow) not 76mm dia (CVH). I e-mailed them & they sent a new one & took the 501 back - which is great service - but now he'd concentrated on the spigot dia & forgotten about the Westfield sump compatibility, so I have a little sump grinding to do before it fits properly, but even now it starts the engine, so I'm not concerned. Also the drain holes are at the bottom which they weren't on the 501.
Also on the "possible" list are improving the heat insulation round the exhaust, the Fury's had a lot more passengers lately so I aught to sort out their comfort. I'd like to "flat floor" the engine bay too, it'll keep dirt out & protect the engine bay, as well as improving the aerodynamics. Down sides are that it may make the engine bay hotter, but I have a plan for that.

More news as it breaks ..........

Monday 3 October 2016

North Weald - Again

My second time at the SKCC "Car Limits" day at North Weald & this time I took Daughter-the-younger (who'd passed her driving test two weeks before) & her boyfriend (who had just taken his theory test).

"But how?" I hear you cry "there are only two seats".

Well Daughter-the-younger drove them both to Crunchie's house in Bracknell (no mean feat in itself) & Crunchie & I each took one of them to North Weald.

 The day then followed the established routine with a driver's briefing, followed by the "High Speed Corner" exercise - as the name suggests go barrelling along a straight & hoik the car into a left hand bend at 60 - 80MPH depending on how brave you're feeling (not very - I was at the 60 end of the range).

Daughter-the-younger thoroughly enjoyed this, as did the boyfriend & the SKCC once again proved it's mettle by generously offering passenger rides aplenty to the daughter & boyfriend, most of which were taken up (sorry about the screaming guys).

Next up, the group was split in twain & one half did a course on the large tarmac area, the other did a very different course on the smaller one.

This took us up to lunch time & as the Fury was running low on fuel, I followed the SatNav to the nearest petrol station where a little old lady re-fuelled my car for me & only charged 10p / litre over the normal asking price! "shall I fill it up?" she asked, "NO" I replied rather too quickly & probably an octave or two higher than was strictly necessary "ahem - just 15 litres please" I added in a rather more butch tone.

On arrival back at the airfield, I put the passenger seat cushion over the driver's seat & let the youngsters have a go. In spite of not really being able to push the clutch pedal down, daughter-the-younger made a decent job of trundling round the car park. Boyfriend was less successful, but he's a lot less experienced at driving, so being faced with non powered steering, brakes & a clutch you need the leg of a ox to push right down, he struggled a bit. But he managed.

Next year he'll do much better.

Next, the two groups swapped tracks, before the whole circuit was re-configured into a "sprint course" which was more fun, but less frequent as there were twenty cars queuing up to use it. It was enjoyable, but as with all racing, kind of pointless. It was good to take the car almost flat-out, but for actual enjoyment, give me an N.S.L. B-road any day - preferably the Ullapool to Durness road.

For me the value was in proving that the adjustments I made to the rear camber after last year (when it was prone to over-steer) have worked & the wayward tail has been eradicated. I can take it on blatts with more confidence - which is, after all, the point of a "car limits" day

When it was time to leave, I set the SatNav for home via Crunchie's & was somewhat surprised to see it expected the journey to take 2 1/2 hours.

We set off down the M11 & turned onto the M25 - straight into 20MPH traffic. Fortunately (for us) the hold up was a crash on the other carriageway so we weren't held up for long, but there was a good 5 mile tailback on the other side. Just as we got back to Bracknell the rain came & got pretty heavy. I'd put the roof up, but I was glad to have daughter-the-younger's tail lights to follow, as by then I'd driven five hours getting to the airfield & back, plus the high intensity driving while I was there.

But - all in all a very good day. The Fury worked faultlessly, having the kids there made it even better.

Here's a short vid of my favourite - not my best - run. see if you can spot the mistake I made.