Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas card?

Christmas cards perhaps?

Actually the latest addition - I have no money or time for this car so it won't appear very often but if I can get it on the road next summer for very little money or effort it would be great fun.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Extinguisher system

One hour this week - and that was just enough to site and mount the plumbed in extinguisher. I have bolted it in the boot where the battery is usually re-located in V8 cars.

Here's where the external button will go - probably next week although I am planning to collect another TR7 so we'll have to see.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Not too much to report but it's important to keep moving forward even if it's only a small amount.

So, I have put the spark plug back in, tidied up the car and even washed it. All the fluid levels were fine - no water used, no oil used and the brake & clutch fluid levels good.

I had the old tyres stripped off the black "minilites" and replaced with Avon Historic rally tyres so now I have two full sets built up on wheels - my dry tyres (the Avons) and my "wets", the Michelin road tyres.

Looking back on last week's autotest I am rather pleased actually - the car made a full weekend's activity and our performance as a crew was an improvement too over first time out. On the Little Devils we were 5th CT crew out of 6 and this time we were 5th out of 7, that kind of improvement will do for me.

This is especially so when I consider the fact that we were up against Doug and Katie Foreman who are out competing every other week, Mike Banks who has done 3 Autotests/Autosolos this year and Mike Bishop who is leading the CT Driver Challenge!

Monday, November 10, 2008

BCC Autotest Nov 9th

The BCC Autotest on Nov 9th.

Not much like a rally? No but it proved a few things.

1. The car completed 450 miles in the weekend which is encouraging :) Granted there's a few things to be sorted - like the fuel gauge that read half full when it ran out (thanks Andy J for bringing me some petrol), the heater that doesn't work and the spark plug that was blown out 40 miles form home(what).

2. The Randle/Johnson partnership is working well. We didn't get a single test wrong which is far better than the Little Devils. It's also encouraging for when we are talking about far higher speeds on stages.

3. Sarah is really getting into it - making extra notes on the test diagrams for example and giving more guidance like "keep wide left, tight - 90 right etc".

4. Sarah likes the tests better when I really "have a go" - a liking for speed is a good thing :) Giving me a hard time for incurring a penalty by hitting a cone is also a good thing - the competitive edge is there.

5. I am getting more confident and the car is going to be really good.

6. The roll cage, seats and harnesses are all fine and no problem for us.

We only came 5th out of 7 CT entrants but that's not the issue really - we'll have to get used to finishing quite low down the leader table as we won't be doing many events and we'll always tend to be novices against more experienced competition.

All in all - very satisfied with progress 8)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Where's the logic?

After the roll cage the next bit will be the plumbed in fire extinguisher.

I had already bought one to meet the MSA rally specs, electric activation and plumbed in etc etc with all the kit to be fitted so as it "fires" into the engine bay and cockpit.

On reading the instructions it says that the nozzles for the interior should be aimed at the crew's feet - OK, fair enough but -

There's only two nozzles provided, one for the engine bay and one for the cockpit.

Well, if it's ever going to be needed then who do I choose to protect then? That can't be right can it? It's certainly not acceptable to me as I have a strong sense of self preservation but I am certainly not going to leave Sarah at more risk than me.

Having checked this out I found that the spec was right but the FIA system is double the size with four nozzles, not two. So, I contacted Lifeline the manufacturer and Demon Tweeks the retailer and between them they agreed to take my system back and exchange it for a new FIA system.

All credit to them, I had had my system for 5 months and they are time sensitive but they were OK about all this and I got the better system for an extra £120.

At the end of it I have an over spec system as far as national MSA regs are concerned but much better protection should it ever be needed (god knows I hope it never is) and am lighter to the tune of £120, money which could be spent on more performance but that's not my priority.

Fitting it will be interesting but that will have to wait just a little while as the project Manx team are autotesting this weekend.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mission roll cage accomplished!

Floor painted with white smoothrite - it certainly made a difference and makes the car look so much better. Having taken out all the carpets and trim, along with lots of sound deadening three were lots of different colours on the floor pan - much better now it's all one!

Getting the dashboard in wasn't too bad actually as it's much easier when there's less of it and aesthetics don't matter so much.

Getting the wiring sorted took much longer than expected though and over an hour was wasted trying to work out why the driving lamps now wouldn't work. The reason for this was a dodgy connection which, I am pleased to say, was a BL connection and not a Randle one!

More rally gear being located here - the footrest which has gone back where it was for now but will have to be moved to suit Sarah when time allows.

Then there's the hand-held fire extinguisher which is now actually located further forward than shown as it would otherwise have been tucked under the navigator's seat!

Finally - mission accomplished with the roll cage fully in place although there's a fair bit of tidying and fettling to be done yet.