Monday 29 October 2018

Flipin' Cap

Have I told you about the flip cap? Have I? Have I?

When I built the car I wanted a lot of aeroplane influence, so it got an aero flush filler cap. Things move on & the car now has much more of a '50s vibe & what with the boot lid being cut & submerging the filler, it was now looking a little - odd.

So the new plan was a flip cap. I'd had one on the first car I built, so it sort of harks back to that.

Mounting plate rough cut
I bought the cap a month or so ago, but at 3/4 kg, it was obviously FAR too heavy, so the lock ring was ditched entirely & the neck was turned down to the max (or indeed min) & this resulted in a mass reduction of 1/4kg or 33%. So it's still a heavy item then.

I then needed a new way to mount it as I'd deleted the lock ring, so drew up a plate which would bolt to the underside, & would be bolted down through the new cake tin (more to come on that one) to the existing alloy fame structure in the boot, but the top of the cap should be about flush(ish) with the surface.
Mounting plate finish cut

That was the plan anyway.

So the mounting plate got bandsawed out of a 5mm plate I had in the garage, hand filed to smooth the periphery, drilled & countersunk for the cap mounting bolts & then drilled again for lightness, then polished. Not shiny polished, scotchbright polished to match the cap.

Polished - ish

Bolting it down needed bolts, so I popped round to my local nut & bolt emporium Margnor in Jacobswell & purchased 5 off M5 x 20 csk bolts for the princely sum of 30p (two of which are spares) & attached the plate to the underside of the cap.

Then realised I'd polished the wrong side.

Twenty minutes later & with both sides now polished, I bolted the mounting plate onto the cap & I saw that it was good.

The next job will be to cut the new cake tin to fit the filler cap, then remove the aero cap & drill the support structure to accept the new cap / mounting plate / cake tin assembly & enlarge the hole in the boot lid a little to allow the flip cap to - flip.

After that I may need to modify the boot rack a little if there's a clash, but I'll deal with that as & when .....


Friday 26 October 2018


I seem to have caused some confusion with my last post. The radio is for talking car to car, useful if someone is lost or has a car problem.

Today I finished off (ish) the system. Up until now the radio was powered by a 12v socket on the roll bar, next to that was a twin USB socket driving two cameras. It worked fine, but the addition of the iPod transmitter & on-going problems with the GoPro wifi widgets meant I needed had an excuse for more sockets. Even more sockets)

All this stuff can be run off batteries, but that means charging seven items to have it all working & on the road trip, having seven things plugged in overnight just doesn't work.

So, to work. I removed the 12v & USB sockets from the roll bar & replaced them with the shiny new matching ones, These will drive two GoPros & two wifi widgets. I cut a piece of aluminium to fit between the seat & the trans tunnel, attached by the existing tunnel top bolts, into this fit the old 12v & USB sockets, the 12v powers the radio, one of the USBs powers the iPod / mobile phone lead, the other powers the FM transmitter so I can hear the iPod over the radio.

How many power sockets has the Fury got now? Well there's three 12v, two on the dash, one on the tunnel & there's (ahem) nine USB ports. three on the dash, four on the roll bar & two on the tunnel.

At the moment the tunnel sockets draw power from the back of the roll bar sockets (the dangly red wire in the picture), but when the car is in dry dock for winter mods I'll take a line from the wiring loom inside the tunnel, so that red wire won't be on show.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Head Set

An overhead conversation on the Cotswolds run got me thinking, the result is seldom simple once I start thinking. On club runs in the Fury I've used the headset that came with the two way radio & I bought a "better" one with a "head clamp" a boom mic & separate transmit switch - which worked OK, but the sound quality was pants & I struggled to understand what was being said.

Back to that conversation & one of the mechanical wizards was setting up the radio for an IT professional (yes, I thought that was odd too) & he happened to mention that the radio could be set on FM & would switch to transmit / receive if there was something happening. This meant if you had an iPod transmitter (Ebay £3 gadget to play the iPod over the car radio if your car's as old as my tintop is - it has a cassette player - remember them?) then the radio would send iPod to the headset & interrupt when there was chatter going on.

Wiring for M/C helmet headset
( I MUST apologise for the table cloth - my wife's choice, I HATE it):-
So I set this up with bits & pieces I already had for the run last weekend & it worked - even though the sound quality was pants.

I've now taken delivery of a pair of folding Peltor ear defenders (yellow naturally), a motorcycle head-set kit for a crash hat & shortly there will be more goodies through the letter box.

I stuck it into the ear defenders & tyrapped the wiring to them. the kit has connectors for the helmet part & the talk-switch, so I ran that bit of the wiring round the car
Defenders Folded

Defenders Deployed
The sound quality is much much better as is the available volume. there was a minor hitch, the plug that goes into the radio was a little too wide :roll: but my good friend "Stanley Knife" helped out there.

The bits in the post are a new iPod transmitter which plugs into the headphone jack rather than the iPod dock like the one I have, so I can have the iPod plugged in & charging while it's transmitting & another FOUR usb sockets to power all the stuff that now needs amps (I may need a larger alternator).

I'm now wondering if I can break into the TomTom & fit a headphone jack to that & so have radio, music & TomTom all straight into the defenders.

Friday 12 October 2018

Winter Drawers On

So far October’s been quite a busy month for the Fury, first of all there was the annual Car Limits Day at North Weald. A couple of days later I took it to the Cotswolds with the Rogue Runners – well, most of them, Brian wasn't feeling sufficiently chipper.Then I went to Hickstead to do a course on driving MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Working Platforms apparently), but through all this motoring a few things have been apparent, firstly the rear wheels move further up into the arches with the new shorter shocks , this allows the tyre to rub on the exhaust at full bump with two people in the car, the next is the bizarre "Mexican moustache" it keeps growing around the rear number plate & the other is an occasional smell of petrol.
Mexican moustache
When I got home from work today, I looked at raising the exhaust, but that’s a winter upgrade job & the car's not off the road yet, so I turned my attention to the fuel system. I turned it on & after a few minutes there was no smell & no drippage. So the pipes & hoses weren't leaking.
When I put the fuel tank access door in the boot floor I ran a vent hose to a position behind the rear fog lights, I wondered if the smell of fuel was coming from there, certainly there was a waft on opening the boot as the negative pressure pulled fumes through this vent pipe.
I replaced the hose I’d used with a small bore fuel hose, fitted a non-return valve allowing air into the tank but not out & cunningly (I thought) moved the hose exit (actually the intake) such that it sits in the hidden area beside the off side rear fog light inside the recess for the number plate & is therefore OUTSIDE the car. Hopefully this will fix the smell.
The moustache is more confusing, whatever it is appears to come from the top of the rear fogs & run down the rear panel. It appears to be granular, so I'm wondering if it's tyre smoke from the exhaust rub, but why just stick around the number plate? There's obviously something running down the outside of the car, could the petrol fumes get from the inside of the boot into the number plate recess in sufficient quantity to stick tiny bits of rubber to the car? I will find out.

Saturday 6 October 2018

North Weald Again

 It's raining today - in marked contrast to yesterday where after a foggy start it became almost uncomfortably warm by mid afternoon.

I know this because I was out in it all day. It was the annual SKCC visit to North Weald to meet up with the chaps at "Car Limits" & thrash our cars around some disused RAF concrete.

This year I would be taking my son Callum, so I needed to go the south way round the M25 where there was fog in abundance, so the first of many firsts today for the Fury - the first time the rear fogs & the screen heater had been on together. I arrived at Callum's to be handed a coffee & a bacon roll by his lovely wife (anyone who hands me a coffee & a bacon roll qualifies for the title "lovely"), after which we set off into the murk. Under the Thames & into Essex the fog was if anything, worse. The nearside rear tyre still touches the exhaust when two-up & turning right - I know this because I looked in the mirror on the fast right hander at the M25 - M11 junction & saw the trail of tyre smoke we were leaving. But it wasn't too long before we rolled onto the airfield, past the Hurricane-on-a-stick & lined the Fury up with the other cars before signing on & having the Driver's briefing.

I was a little nervous about the noise test, as the Fury can be quite loud & at Castle Coombe it just squeaked past the 99db limit, today the limit was 105db, but there were no problems & we followed the instructor to the far end of the Car Limits area & along the long straight, then left along the line of an imaginary wall (to be avoided when doing this exercise for real). I did the first run to give Callum an idea of how fast the fury would corner, then pulled over & we swapped seats. Callum has only ever driven modern front-wheel-drive cars, so the Fury with un-assisted steering & brakes came as a bit of a shock, but we rolled round to the start line & waited our turn.

I was expecting to have to goad Callum into going faster - not a bit of it - we set off towards the corner as if the hounds of hell were on our tail, to the extent that as the corner raced towards us, I was thinking "we're not getting round this" - and we didn't. The back of the car caught up & overtook the front in a long sliding pirouette, the tyres scrubbed off about 75mph & we came to rest in a cloud of our own smoke laughing hysterically.

This was excellent, I'd been concerned that he wouldn't want to push too hard in my car, but I could see that wasn't going to be a problem. So onto the next run, a little lest speed & we were round successfully. I drove the next & was clocked at about 60ish mph at the corner, then Callum did another couple. The first one went well, high 50s at the bend, the back of the car started to drift, he steered in & caught it. It wasn't necessarily pretty, but it was a success. The run after than raised the speed a little more, again the car stated to drift, again he caught it, but wasn't expecting the snap back the other way & again we pirouetted to a smoky stop.

The next few runs saw us both raise our speeds until we were both in the mid 60s, which to be fair is as fast as the Fury has ever done it. After lunch a track was set up to replicate that used by the MSA for actual time-trial events & if Callum thought he had the measure of the car now, he was about to be proved wrong. The track started with a chicane, then a long straight, brake hard for a circle, then back along the straight & the same left we'd been practicing all morning, through a tarmac tightening right - left - right, off down the concrete, round a single cone & back to stop  between two cones.

Again I did the first run as I knew the layout. Off the line, into second, through the chicane, up to 5-6k RPM, into third, into forth doing maybe 80, hard on the brakes, drop straight into second, round (countering understeer & then oversteer) then back. Great fun. Calum's turn - off the line, into second, into third, round the chicane & accelerate ish as we were in too high a gear, at the end of the straight brake too soft & too late, brake harder & understeer across the circle, then try to get the car going again in forth, change to third, change to second...... OK, I should've explained what I was doing as we went round the first time - my mistake.

I tried to explain in a ham-fisted way about synchromesh & at the end of the straight, as we're slowing down put the gearstick towards second & wait for the gear to drop in, take the corner & accelerate round the circle in the right gear for the job - which he would've - but concentrated on the gearstick & forgot to brake, so we slid across the circle again, but picked up much quicker.

On the Third attempt & it all came together, we were in the right place, in the right gear, at the right speed, more or less all the way round the bit that had been troublesome, then going round the single cone at the end caught him out & resulted in the longest slide I've ever known ☺.

Me being instructed at
At this stage Callum decided to take some pictures of me driving round. I was waiting at the start line when one of the instructors just jumped in & said "off you go then". So whether I liked it or not I was given instruction on how it should be done. Jees, that car can fly! "faster", "faster", "brake now - harder - HARDER", "second gear - accelerate - HARDER" Hard on the brakes .... NOW!", "part throttle .... part throttle .... FLOOR IT!" It's amazing what abuse the Fury will take & keep going in the right direction.

Tyre smoke from the left rear tyre touching the exhaust
So what did I learn? I'm not sure, it was all a bit of a blur! I learnt I can rely on the Fury more than I though I could, that it will change direction like lightning if you drive it right & that the brakes are much better than I thought possible. The instructor guy seemed impressed too, he'd said right from the start that he'd always liked the Fury, when he got out he was talking about getting on to Fury Sports Cars & building one!

Callum drives, I grin

But back to Callum, the last run of the day & Callum was determined to get a "clear round". I got him to keep the car in gear for longer so we were faster & the trip round the circle worked well again, we accelerated hard up the straight - & span on the left-hander at the end. He was gutted - but for someone with little driving experience & certainly no experience at all of driving like this, he gained a good mastery of all the track's elements - just not all at the same time. I was impressed, a couple of goes with the instructor would've seen him getting really good times - better than mine & I couldn't have that, unfortunately the day was just a little too short - next year maybe.