March 1st

It's over a month since the last time I updated this page, which really is dire. However, the weather's getting better and we're approaching the kit car show season.

The rear view mirror that I've complained about has fallen off! I'm currently trying a smaller suction one that I bought from Halfords, which has the benefit of being out of my line of forward vision.

One thing that needs looking at is the rusting that's taking place on the various front suspension parts. These things, ball-joints and the like, normally sit in the open air, as on the Westfield, but are not visible. I'm going to try cleaning them up and painting them this weekend to try and make them look a bit better.

I continue to be surprised at the number of people that stop by this webpage, and leave nice comments in the guestbook. Thanks to one and all.

I've had several emails from people who've carried out the same engine cooling modifications as I have. So far, no-one has reported any problems but we'll need to wait for the weather to get a bit hotter before being totally confident with it.

I still haven't had a reply from Jim Dudley about the 3D conversion. Perhaps I'll prod him a bit, or go direct to WebCon.

March 12th

Last week, having despaired of hearing from Jim Dudley I contacted Webcon direct about the 3D conversion for the ECU. "No problem", they said, which was a surprise as I had been told that they didn't deal directly with members of the great unwashed such. They said the 3D bits would cost £36 and that there was a built-in basic 3D map in the ECU that would work until things could be properly mapped. So, I gave them my credit card number and they promised it would arrive in a couple of days.

Over a week later, it's still not here, sigh. I'll phone them and shout this week.

I spent a while tightening up--or at least checking for tightness--of the various suspension bolts. In the process, I noticed that the front suspension seemed to be toeing out, which seemed odd as I paid to have it properly set up a while ago. I checked with some bits of string and it was indeed toeing out alarmingly, so much that it seems surprising that I wouldn't have noticed. All the same I adjusted it, along with the rear which was also toeing out.

Today was bright and sunny and a small collection of se7eners from the cam7 list decided to go on a lunchtime jaunt. We ended up with two Caterhams, a Dax, our Westfield and a Honda Integra-R. (Not sure how that got in there!) We met up at the "World Famous Comfort Café" which is just outside Cambridge and has become a traditional starting place for this sort of trip. The photo above is the aforesaid Café with the se7ens parked up. Ambrose is gazing at Duncan's Dax admiringly, Duncan is practising his silly walk which Jim seems to be regarding with some astonishment.

After that we drove to Baldock by a spectacularly indirect route. Part of the route was a road used by bikers for Sunday runs , some of whom were going very quickly. We, of course, were adhering rigidly to the speed limits.

Here we are again, at the garage that was the mid-point stop, with Duncan artfully obscuring the Westfield.

The best thing about the day was that driving the car was warm. The sun was shining, sunglasses being necessary, you could hear the birds singing and the engine noise at the same time. Wonderful!

March 19th

Time for some fiddling... The 3D upgrade did arrive, the day after I wrote that it hadn't above. It was just a little box with a bracket and a few bolts in it and page of instructions. So, I set about fitting it, which didn't look very difficult.

The upgrade is essentially just a potentiometer that measures the throttle position. It's installed on the right (front) end of the two carbs and just bolts straight into the mounting that are already on the carbs. The first photo here shows the relevant position before fitting. The nut at the bottom of the photo is at the end of the shaft that has the two throttle butterflies mounted on it. The mounting points for the bracketry can be seen just to the left.

The next photo (sorry for the naff quality) shows the pot mounted on the carb. The connector on the top plugs directly into an unused connector on the ECU wiring. It was simple to reroute this wire from where it was neatly coiled up in front of the scuttle to connect to this connector.

After that it was a simple check to make sure that the voltage range produced by the pot was correct.

Driving the car was interesting. I would guess that the maximum power is exactly as it was, which is what I would expect. However, there are obvious differences on part throttle. It seems to pick up more easily but the most obvious difference is that a lot of the popping and banging that I used to get on the overrun has disappeared. In fact, it is also the case that the amount of engine braking has reduced--I found I was using the brakes more than usual. All this would seem to be consistent with fuel being burnt more efficiently at throttle settings other than fully open.

As for the fuel consumption, which is reputed to improve significantly, it's too soon to say. In order to check I filled up and calculated the current consumption at 23.5 mpg, at least for the half-tank full I needed. I'll also have to keep an eye on the soot build-up inside the air filter, as mentioned before, to see if this upgrade makes any difference.

Following today's driving around, I'm beginning to think that the car really needs some anti-roll bars. I think I'll look into the costs soon.

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