Track Day - Blyton

Blyton Track Day - 29th June 2013

When I received the email from GD at the start if the year suggesting a GD Track Day at the end of June I jumped at the chance. After all it was months away and my car would have been on the road for a while by the time it came around... How wrong could I have been??

Despite committing several man hours to the project, including a few days off work to spend the whole day working on the car, I was still miles form being ready at the start of June.

The most difficult task to complete was probably the engine wiring and trying to figure out the engine loom connections. I called in a local garage we use at work and asked for their help (the owner has previously built a Dax Rush so has some relevant experience) but his comments were "I'd love to help, but I couldn't begin to estimate how long it would take and if you think you are getting that on the track by the end of the month you are having a laugh!!!"

Whilst this was extremely frustrating, I was determined nt to be beaten and Ali and I got our heads together and put a project plan together, detailed the must do's to get the car mobile for Blyton.

At 530pm on Friday 28th June 2013, my car, the car I have built (with Ali) in my garage finally moved for the first time under it's own power. I hope to upload the video of this here soon :)

Unfortunately the joy was short-lived. The throttle was sticking as we hadn't got a proper return spring set-up and it had started raining heavily making the trailer really slippy. The next problem was trying to drive up the wet ramps and finding out that the exhausts were going to smash into the floor as there was insufficient clearance.

Some hours later, after adjusting the suspension as high as we could without having a proper adjuster spanner, putting some timber under the trailer ramps and after several failed attempts to get the car on the trailer (including a near miss with it falling off when the ramps collapsed) we finally got it loaded and covered with a tarp and set off at abnout 815pm for a 3 hour drive to Blyton.

15 minutes up the road the tarp started ripping and it was clear that it would have to come off, so a roadside stop saw to that and fortunately no more rain came down on the way up north.

We finally arrived at about 1130 and set about putting up the tent. Again not a straight forward task for a non-camper in the dark.

The car was off loaded and put in the hanger overnight and we had a chat with Andy from GD and a couple of the other owners about some of the problems we still had with running the car and got some good advice.

The next morning we were up early and had the car up on stands by 800am and set to work on final jobs before taking the car on the track. At 1130 we ran the car to the site entrance and back made. Andy made some tweaks to the carb and we got our first laps in just before lunch and WOW what an experience. Even keeping RPM below 4000 and not flooring it the car was awesome.

A few technical glitches were uncovered during the shakedown:-
  • Fan - set up as pushers not pullers and blades need to have orientation switched
  • Water and Oil Temp - gauges reading really high. Need to check if accurate and check voltage stabiliser
  • Throttle return spring - need a proper set up
  • Carb set up - need to talk to Ken at EDA about idle issues
  • Clutch - started slipping so need to look at adjusting
  • Road wheels - rubbing on inner arches need to be adjusted
  • Brakes - need bedding in
  • Mirrors - driving without them was a nightmare
All in all a great weekend, glad we made the effort and glad we got the car on the track and got in some useful driving time.

Was also really nice to meet Ryan Flook who's blog has been invaluable to me in my build, Tim who has bought Simon's red Cobra and has promised to share some useful info re iron block build accessory suppliers.

Pedal Box 2

Only 2 Days to Track Day

With the track day looming large I needed to get the accelerator pedal and throttle cable sorted asap.

The recommended method for fitting the throttle cable into the pedal is to cut a slot vertically down the top of the throttle pedal then drill through a small hole just bigger than the inner cable, then drill a larger hole half way through to accommodate the head of the throttle cable nipple.

The slot has been opened up to allow the cable t pass through but will be squeezed tight later

Note the bent cable - this will be straightened before final fit to avoid it sticking

The cable then passes through the bulkhead (you need to get the hole to be at the same height and position as where it sits in the pedal to avoiding it kinking when you press and release the pedal) and then through the inner wing via the access compartment where the brake and clutch master cylinders are mounted. It then passes to the other side of the engine and is fixed to a bracket attached to the rear left stud of the carb. There is then a ball and clip to fix it to the throttle linkage on the carb. A return spring is then fitted to ensure the throttle returns to idle and doesn't stick.

Sadly, my kit didnt come with the kit to fix the cable to the carb or the return spring linkage so some last minute eBaying was done and we came up with a fix that we hoped would work ok for the track day which was taking place in 2 days time!!!

Bit concerned that the throttle return spring wont be up to the job

Carpets 3

Some more photos of the carpets going in...

I still had the drivers side of the transmission tunnel carpet to fix in place. The chalk line shows where the carpet needed to be cut to allow it to fit into the extended footwell. This then needs some final trimming using offcuts - I will get on to that at a later date,

After fitting the transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead I moved on to the side panels. These are a little tricky to get right and you ned to make sure that you have trimmed the door edge down to 12mm. You also need to trim the leather edging as there is too much surplus and then where the bends are you need to cut nicks to avoid it puckering. A little ticky but all that was needed was a little trial and error.

The pieces that fit in the footwells against the front bulk were next. As the piece on the drivers side has to accomodate the pedal box, there were two options. One, I could cut around the pedal box or two, I could just cut the holes and then bolt through. I decided on the latter method. and got the positions by drawing around the holes on the bulkhead (after taking the pedal box back out) with chalk and then positioning the carpet panel in place and pushing against the holes. The chalk then transfers on to the back of the carper where I was then able to use a punch to make holes in just the right places.

Glue the carpet down and refit the pedal box hopefully for the last time, although you will notice the brake light switch is attached to the pedal box but I haven't as yet fitted the switch to the cluthc pedal that needs wiring into the loom to prevent starting without having the clutch depressed. I'm hoping I can retro fit this if I decide to go down this route without removing the pedal box.

When I first fitted the pedal box what seems like many months ago now, I was concerned that the pedals sat too high off the floor of the car. I bought some 20mm expanded foam off eBay and cut this to size to put under the carpet. At the moment I haven't glued this down as the footwell carpet is also padded so it might not be necessary after all.

Once the rear carpet was in the passenger side, I couldn't resist putting the seat and harness in pace and resting the leather panels I have to cover the transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead to give me a proper feel for what the interior was going to look like when finished.

First Sit in Car

With the seat and harness in place, I took the seat for the very first time. Odd that I fitted the passenger seat first...

Dash 4

Finally got the dash fitted for the first time and its a bit of a squeeze and will need some fettling to get it to be just right but its a good start.

It will also need to come back out in order to finish the wiring for the courtesy lights which I have fitted into the dash undertrays, to fit the heater ducting and to stick on the piping which finishes it off really well.

Its only going in now so that I can get the car running for the track day at Blyton.

With the dash fitted, I then did a temporary first fit of the column shroud. There is a plastic surround that comes with the steering column that fixes in place with two cap head. The stainless shroud facia is then fitted to it. To do this I drilled through the plastic and fitted a pair of Rivnuts to allow the shroud to be held in place with stainless cap heads.

The aluminium frame will need some trimming to fit properly around the column rake adjuster and ignition barrel and the edges will then need rubbing down before I can glue on the leather cover but it will do for now.

And this is what it looks like fitted...

Dash 3

The dash wiring is now finally sorted and the wires that come off the dash loom to the steering column electrics and the front section of the body loom have all been identified.

Once I am happy with the fitment of the dash I will cable tie them together to neaten them up as it looks like a whole lot of spaghetti at the moment. Who said old Hi-Fis were messy???

Dash 2

Been having a look at the dash undertrays and seeing how they fit in place and I'm not overly happy with the idea that they rest in place and the back and then simply are held there with the lip of the dash.

Reading some of the other blogs I see that several builders have had a tab welded in place that they can attach them to but having no welding gear and no access to anyone that has locally I needed to come up with a different approach.

In the end, i decided to drill small holes in the underside of the dash and screen support bars and fit rivnuts. I then drilled through the undertrays and fixed them in place with button heads.

This gives a firm enough mount that wont rattle and will support the weight of the MSD box located on the passenger side. Glad I didn't decide to cut a space for a glove box now!!!

Carpets 2

Made a start in fitting the interior carpets today - this needs to be done before the seats, harnesses and handbrake can be fitted.

The main sections are fairly easy to identify and I test fitted them without using adhesive to start with just to make sure they would fit ok.

Test fitted

I had already made the decision to fit sound proofing materials to the transmission tunnel and front and rear bulkheads so i was a little concerned how the adhesive would take but it turned out to be fine. Once again I followed advice in other blogs and glued a section at a time (see below) starting with the rear of the transmission tunnel.

Being glued in separate sections
I then did the front of the tunnel.

Once the transmission tunnel was sorted I moved on to fitting the rear bulkhead carpet. Before this can be fitted you need to cut away a couple of pieces of bodywork to allow the carpet to wrap round into palace. The sections marked on the photos below show this.

Overall I was pretty pleased with the result but there is some work to be done to get the side walls of the transmission tunnel perfectly flat, the section around the extended footwell also needs sorting and the end pieces of the rear bulkhead may have to be held in place with screws inside dished washers.