March 7th

Yet again, I've been too busy for detailed explanations. However, here are a bunch of photos so you can see where I'm up too.

The important point is that I think I'm in with a shouting chance of making the race at Snetterton. So much so that I've today booked for the allcomers race that's also on that weekend. That'll have to be my testing...

Oh, and while I'm here. many thanks to all the people who've written to encourage me. I just haven't had time to reply to you all!

I finally got around to making a roof for the pedal box, as seen here. Before doing this I spent ages adjusting the pedals. The problem with the floor-mounted throttle pedal is that it's much more difficult to adjust. I hope it's going to be OK...

I've fitted the airbox. However, due to the pedal box modifications the airbox in its virgin state bashed into the larger pedal box. So, I cut a big hole in it.

With I then glass fibred up; on top of a mould made out of newspaper, masking tape (which you can see) and polythene...

This is what it looks like. I didn't have any black pigment so I stuck with transparent gel coat...

Finally I fitted it to the engine. I spent ages and ages getting this on because, as it turned out, one of the carb mounting rubbers was very slightly bashed up. Luckily I had another set but I probably ought to buy some new ones anyway...

Of course, then the bonnet didn't fit so I had to cut a big hole in it. I haven't quite decided how to block this up. I don't have time to make a proper mould so I'll probably cut and shut some bits of aluminium...

At the back of the car I mounted some supports for the rear of the tub. There's also a wall across separating me from the tank and the tank breather is mounted on that. I had to buy a new breather valve because I can't find the old one. Doubtless it's in the garage somewhere and will turn up any day now...

I remade the wheelarches out of aluminium, as I did last time. I hadn't been looking forward to this as it was indeed rather fiddly...

I mounted the cable releases for the extinguisher and the electrical system on the front of the scuttle. I didn't used to have the latter as the isolater was near the outside of the car. However, now it's in the middle I need a cable release.

Finally, I sparyed the roll cage! This makes me feel much better about the whole thing, to be honest, as it makes it seem as though the car's nearly finished.

One thing you can just about see here is that I cut down the supports around the seat and the new seating position means that I can get much lower in the car. The downside to this is that my head is now below the head restraint. So, I welded a new bit of CDS into the cage and made a larger head restraint plate. I'll probably pad it a bit next week.

Of course, a better solution would be to make the cage lower. However, I just don't have time to do that.

March 10th

Again, there's very little time, so here's a quick few photos.

Essentially, I've been painting. However, in order to get at things I took the car off the stands and rolled it out onto the front drive which looks rather like a race paddock as the bus is there as well as the trailer. Hmm, I hope the trailer's OK after the winter...

Then I squirted red paint everywhere, and hence the house is full of red dust. As you can see, I didn't have time for fancy dual colour schemes so it's back to the very original colours.

Later on i put the race numbers on, which make me feel as though there's a real chance I'm going to make it. Problem is, the job list is expanding; every time I cross off one job I add another three, admittedly smaller, ones.

I need to bung up the big hole I had to cut to fit the airbox. This is the start of it. I now need to work out how to bung up the ends of this. I have a suspicion it's either going to involve Sikaflex or tape...

March 11th

I've made a new seat, and followed the monochromatic theme as you can see. I think this one might actually be slightly too thick at the bottom but I don't think I've got time to fix it before the weekend. I suppose I could just slice a bit off the bottom but that'd probably go horribly wrong.

What did go horribly wrong was that at end of the day, I tried starting the engine while sitting in this new seat. There followed a long nightmare of a hydraulically locked engine and carbs with leaking needle valves. I think I've sorted it now though...

I patched up one end of the bonnet bump with a little bit of ally, held in place by a combination of rivets and Sikaflex. This seems to work pretty well and I'lll probably do the same at the rear. I wonder if I should spray it red too? (Or, perhaps yellow?)

March 17th

Finally, after months in the garage, here's the car rolled out last Friday before the trip to Snetterton. As you can see it's all a bit red really.

I was doing two races at Snetterton, the allcomers on the Saturday and the RGB race on the Sunday. The allcomers race went OK-ish, although I was slowed because the bloke driving the car seemed to have forgotten how to do it. I really have to do some testing before the next race.

On the Sunday, though, it was a different story. The weather conditions were so appalling that come noon the meeting was abandoned due to the amount of standing water down the Revett straight. Oh well. I could have waited a few weeks for the next race, but I suppose it was good to have had a target to aim for. It's not as if I'm short of things to do to the car, still. However, before the next race, which is at Brands, I'll definitely do some testing.

March 27th

So, it's now back to the usual pattern of things. At least I hope so. I left the car on the trailer for a week after I got back from Snetterton and had a rest. It's just occurred to me, in fact, that as it turned out I needn't have cancelled my skiing trip which is a bit of a bummer. However, if I had had that week doubtless getting the car together for the next race would have been just as last-minute an affair as it was for this race.

However, I've now got a few problems to fix before the next race at Brands. I've booked a day testing before the race and I might find some time to go to Mallory, or somewhere, for a bit more track time as well. Bet I don't find the time though.

First problem was the handbrake. This actually gave up the ghost totally at Snetterton. I took it apart when I got back (note the removeable tunnel side in use!) and discovered that the problem was that a soldered cable nipple had come adrift. So, I've replaced that with a couple (belt and braces, you see...) of solderless nipples done up f**king tight. Lets see if that comes adrift. The tunnel's now all back together in fact.

I did have one significant problem at Snetterton, which was an extension of something that happened in the garage. Essentially, the fuel pump was running too much, overfilling the float chambers on the carbs and flooding the engine. In the garage it flooded the engine to the extent that it was hydraulically locked. Luckily i don't think I did any damage.

I thought that I'd fixed it by stripping the carbs and firtling about with the needle valves and floats bit it re-occurred in the Snetterton paddock.

With much help from Andy Bates and Tim and Roger Gray we looked at a collection of things and re-firtled the needle valves. We also replaced the pump I'd been using (an R1 pump) with a kosher Honda fireblade one; as seen here. At the time that seemed to solve the problem but it re-occurred in the garage this week.

I'm at a bit of a loss to know what's happening. The only thoughts I've managed are that either:

  1. the new tank is emitting swarf which is getting into the works or
  2. there's still some extinguisher foam around that's getting into the needle valves.

The first thing shouldn't really be happening as there's a new filter in the way. However, I ran a load of fuel through into a see-through container and it looks fine. To address the other possibility I've stripped the carbs, again, and cleaned and blown through things as meticulously as I can manage. Certainly the needle valves seem to work when blowing down the inlet; you'd expect they'd work with fuel there just as well.

So, for So, for the last week I've been trying to provoke things. Having reassembled everything I've been periodiocally re-pressurising the carbs and checking that fuel pump stops clicking. Of course, at the moment everything working fine. I have been seriously thinking, though, that I ought to just buy a new set of carbs which haven't had extinguisher foam squirted all over them.

So, watch this space...

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