Saturday, January 31, 2009

A very satisfying day!

Spent the day completing a service on BRP now the log book is sorted out.

A nice steady pace worked well and I even avoided getting wound up when anouther plug lead came apart! This time it left the connector on the end of the plug which of course stopped a plug socket getting onto the plug!

Solution was a bit of wire stuffed down the plug tube with a hook on it before I could fix it all.

Anyway, oil and filter change, EBC Greenstuff pads fitted, rear brakes adjusted and the car seems very good on the test run.

I even had time to fit a new roll cage mount for the all important camcorder!

Tomorrow I pick up some "bells" so that I can assemble the "Group 4" discs - more progress.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's next is decided!

My last post was all about what to do next.

Well there's no time for fannying about so we are now entered in our first rally - the Roskirk Stages on March 8th - you can see the entries on this site

I have also now commissioned a reconditioned cylinder head and, as I thought, gone for a standard head but with a helicoil in every possible place. It won't be ready for the Roskirk though so we'll see how the car is on that and then see when I can swap it all over.

In addition a new set of Greenstuff pads have arrived for the front calipers - I am still using the standard ones from when I carried out the conversion to Volvo 4 pot calipers so they'll go in the spares collection.

And Saturday will bring the start of a service for the car.

Meanwhile, Sarah's continuing her education from her naviagtor mentor.

It's all go!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

So what next?

That's the question and I am giving it much thought.

I think there's the short and the long term to think about.

In the short term it's about getting an event done as soon as is sensible. One in February can't work really as I am on holiday and March is rather hectic in both the Randle & Johnson household so the earliest is end of March and probably more likely April.

That gives Sarah time to gain knowledge which she is doing at a rapid rate.

It has also turned my thoughts to organisation - what spares do I have for example. So this afternoon I have started sorting through bits and bobs which lead me to another conclusion - using cheap plastic containers seemed a good idea but I don't think they'll stand up to being thrown in and out of a service van.

So I am going to revert to an idea I last used on the 2003 10CR which nearly got me into trouble in another border incident - ex British army ammunition boxes! Very solid obviously and can stand man handling but when they have "HE MortarBombs" stencilled on them can also raise an eyebrow or two!

Anyway, the one I have is now filled with some "touring spares" - alternator, hoses, plugs etc etc but I will be buying a few more yet.

Talking of service vans we'll need one and a crew too - more to think about.

That leads me on to another thing but bear with me.

Medium to long term I want to build up a complete new/reconditioned engine ideally with the aim of putting my mind at ease with regard to reliability. I know the car is fine now with regard to the safety side of things and am confident about the suspension/transmission (as well as I can be anyway) so the engine is moving to the top of my list.

In the boot of my Audi, therefore, are two Sprint heads which I will be taking over to S&S Preps where I'll either exchange one or use one for them to build up a reconditioned head for me. I'll have some further discussion about the spec but to be honest I reckon a well set up standard head will probably be just fine.

Not to forget the brakes - what I have are fine but don't meet the Historic spec so I'll have to sort that out too for 2010.

In the meantime though, I reckon the engine I have will be OK to be going on with so I'll use that and then swap the reconditioned head over along with new timing chain and tensioner etc.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


BRP has a competition car logbook - OH YES!!!

Permission granted to be a tad excited.

Years of work and planning paid off with the MSA scrutineer passing the car no problem.

Most satisfying was his use of the words "excellent and very good" at nearly everything he checked.

And earlier in the day the championship stickers arrived for the car so now I am a registered contender in a proper rally champiosnhip.

The cars good, our kit is good and both crew members have competition licences - now what will be the first event?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Appointment made

Yesterday I was hoping to have everything sorted and, to be fair, did get plenty done but then there often seems to be a "downer" at the end.

This time it was that after re-assembling everything I decided to test the extinguisher system, expecting that this will be something the MSA scrutineer will want to test (as well as the fact that I would actually prefer it works when needed!).

It's tested by selecting a particular switch position and then pushing one of the extinguisher buttons so that the test light comes on. Unfortunately, the light did not come on so I selected the battery test position and it seemed a bit dodgy so maybe that was the problem.

Well, we hadn't actually been able to work out how to get at the battery before so that took some doing today but eventually by using another battery I found the first was OK anyway. Not great really as that meant the wiring must be faulty!

So, out came the central dashboard again and sure enough the wires were off the back of the switch. This no doubt happened when the cut off switch was wired up but it took ages to get the connections back on - not at all easy to see, reach etc etc.

So back goes the central dash again but onto the next problem.

The extinguisher control unit was held on by an adhesive strip which, of course, was no longer adhesive! The solution was to remove another section of trim above the glove box, drill four holes in it and attach the unit by those good old cable ties again!

At last I was then able to vacuum the car out before going out to lunch. I was intending to wash and clean the car more but felt I had done enough for one weekend so phoned the MSA scrutineer who is coming over on Thursday night to see if BRP is worth of a rally car logbook.

I'll try and do a bit of cleaning on the car before then as I feel a neat clean car is the right way to be - not to "Chatterton Levels" tho!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Almost there now

Just another 5 hours today then!

First off I finished plumbing in the extinguisher system under the bonnet - the two blue nozzles are now all connceted.

Then everything has been secured with good old cable ties again.

After that it's been a succession of refitting the dashboard and securing all the wiring, pipework etc.

It sounds easy enough but anyone who has done the old head under the dashboard, letgs outside the car routine will know it's not quite that straightforward.

The doorbars have gone back in as well and I have fitted a map reading light on the co-driver's door. Sarah had suggest one and the light that was there was useless anyway so here it is - combined with pencil holder.

The "office" is looking good.

I didn't stop there though as I also cable tied the intercom to the roll cage so that's ready too.

It can be seen in the 3rd pic between the two seats - we'll have to see if
that's the best place for it in due course.

Not forgetting getting the pull cable for the electric cut off switch fitted too - it was very satsifying when that worked too.

The last picture is a quick one of the dashboard - it's just possible to see one of the extinguisher nozzles on the driver's side of the transmission tunnel (look through the spokes of the steering wheel).

The cut off switch and extinguisher button are also visible on the centre console.

So what next?

Well I was going to wash the car and clean it inside and out but I think enough's enough.

I also have a horrible feeling there's yet another hoop to jump through too - it looks like I need a fuel sampling valve fitted.

Quite what that is and how it is fitted is something I'll find out about tomorrow.

Tea break

Tea break - that's what I am on just now.

Been working on BRP for a couple of hours - the extinguisher piping is now done and tidied up under the bonnet.

Then I have been replacing the dashboard and generally strapping up all the wiring etc on the driver's side. I have just had a struggle with the steering column trim though and lost one of the bolts !

So, time for a tea break and then get back to it when everything will go just fine.

Hopefully I will have it all back together, the pull cable for the cut off switch ftted and working and then I'll wash and clean the car.

Phone call to the MSA scrutineer to follow.

Will I manage all that today? Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just had to say!

I just had to say - I have filled in and posted off the championship registration form for the EMAMC Multi-use stage rally championship 2009!

It all feels very real now.

Best finish the car prep off this weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mad keen

So am I mad, keen or mad keen?

I pondered over this question as I worked on BRP for an hour tonight under my carport.

Just an hour focussed on the navigator's side of the cockpit. Amazing how an hour can be taken up by basically just tidying up - fixing a bracing bar for the dashboard, using good old cable ties to restrain all the new wiring and taking off the navigator's footbrace to re-position it slightly nearer to the seat.

Then there was closing off the grommet where the wiring for the cut out switch had passed through the bulkhead with some "dum dum" putty - all important for the scrutineer.

At the end of it all much tidier and very satisfying really. Next I'll move to the driver's side for some similar work and then finish off the extinguisher pipework as some extra pipe has arrived from Demon Tweeks. Once that's all done and the pipework, wiring all tidied I'll clean the car inside and out (!) before ringing the MSA scrutineer to book it in for it's rally car log book - wish me luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Good to have BRP back

Just picked BRP up from the auto-electricans where the cut out switch has been wired up.

Certainly strange to have the car running, turn the cut off switch and everything stops with no lights or electrical power at all - it reminds me of a certain incident in Austria in 2003 but that's another story.

Also ordered some more extinguisher piping so I am now in what I hope to be the final stage - tidying everything up and then ringing the MSA ascrutineer.

But - one more thing, it was so great to just drive the car the short distance home.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What's in the box?

Or then again, what's in the boxes and the bag?

The result of the next steps!

Racesuits, helmets,intercom, 2 AP Racing "Forest" brake discs, a pull cable, 2 door squares and a rally map reading light.

I should get BRP back tomorrow or Saturday and then it can all go back together with the aim of getting the logbook sorted by the end of Jan.