Sunday, 21 April 2013

Give me a break brakes!

Having thought that the long brake line was sorted I found a kink near the bulkhead so have to start again; more cupro-nickel pipe now on order.  Grrr.

A change of tack then got the last of the aluminium floor panels fitted.  I suspect I've been sent the wrong grade of ali in this case - it's quite soft.  Since time is racing by, I went with it anyway - I'm sure that it'll be fine.
The main and front roll hoops have also tuned-up.  As the car is made specifically for me and, like Fat Joe I lean back, it means that the cage can be low-pro'.
It's amazing how different the car starts to look when it's got some monkey bars.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Thanks Rich.

I collected the motor from Rich at this evening.  He's done a top job.  Not only has he done everything possible to give my engine a chance of performing as required despite the damage from being dropped by its last owner, he's been absolutely meticulous in the way that he's done everything required.

I'm sure that I'm not alone in having had great difficulty finding people who you trust with your 'stuff' - traders who will treat your equipment as well as you would, if not better. Rich is clearly one of these people - methodical, thorough, logical, full of good ideas and eager to do a first-class job.  If you have a bike or a bike motor, do not hesitate to use him.

My 4C8 R1 motor now benefits from:

  • A sump baffle - which needed plenty of fettling to fit well.
  • A new OE clutch with Barnett springs
  • Replaced covers (where the originals were damaged)
  • The required breather mods to stop the motor from throwing-out all its oil and going bang
  • New iridium plugs
  • Timing checked and chain tension adjusted
We've just got to hope that no further damage has been done that we can't see without a full strip-down and also that the bits that we know are less than 100% hang together.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Useful Fillip

I stole a couple of hours this evening.  It was quite nice to do a couple of quick jobs where nothing went wrong.  I managed to bolt the brake line running to the rear of  the car to the footlwell.  The route was so obvious that it was a 'no-brainer' to drill out a few rivets and make more use of the same holes.
It's very difficult to get these pipes absolutely perfect but I think that is tidy enough.  I also bolted the master cylinders in-place.  I had to cut-down an allen key to be able to tighten the top-bolts.  I hadn't thought through the possible problems with cap-head bolts.  The pistons also needed to be cut to length.  Oh well, they look the part now.
 Finally. I trial fitted the powdercoated engine mounts.
You can also see the brake line heading down the tunnel.  It was nice to walk away from the car with nothing having been a problem.  I'd like more 'garage-time' like this.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

From "F### it!" to frivolity.

I often explain to those who care to listen that the workshop is a place of sanctuary - one of the few places (alongside the likes of forest walks with Mrs C.) that I can go and forget about all of the troubles that life tends to throw at you.  Well, that went totally out of the window last weekend.

Things started okay.  A package had arrived during the week that contained, amongst other 'goodies', my kunifer brake pipe.  I spent the morning re-acquainting myself with methods of bending and forming the brake lines, with mixed success (and a metre or so of wasted pipe.)  This was anticipated and I was relatively happy; beavering away, concentrating on something other than work.  Then the phone rang.  It was Rich from  The news was sub-optimal; less than ideal; an unmitigated shitting disaster.  In the process of renewing covers and giving the engine a full inspection he'd uncovered a horrible bodge and a cracked crankcase.  I did my best to sound like a grounded, well-balanced individual on the phone but I may have sworn a bit.  Or a lot.  Rich, quite understandably, wanted me to go and have a look so we could decide what to do with the thing.  At this stage I started to feel that it was karma - I'd sounded a bit myopic, smug even when I'd bought the engine so I was now lying in the bed that I'd apparently made.  Oh well.  Nothing ventured etc.

So, I tried to shake-off the news and carry on with some other work.  Earlier in the week I'd popped across to see the reigning Class F RGB Champion Al Boulton and exchanged a small amount of money for a very nice Gemini-sized car cover.  I'd had a good look at Al's lovely Spire GT3 too and he'd kindly lent me some AVO shocks to have a look at. I'd found that the clevis-bracket for the dampers was too tight to the axle tube to allow the Protech's that I'd previously bought to fit without modifications.  Hence, I wanted to have a look to see if another brand of dampers would solve the issue.  So, having dragged the already powdercoated axle out of hibernation and tried the AVO dampers for size I quickly reached the conclusion that the brackets needed to be cut-off and new ones added.  My fabulous day had just got even more fabulous.  Thirty minutes later and the offending brackets were cut off and smoothed back with a flap wheel.  Two, apparently pointless brackets also got the same treatment.  After a good tidy-up and another look at the brake pipes I called it a (sodding miserable) day.

I managed to make a couple of all-too-fleeting visits to the workshop during the week.  I managed to finish the first of the three hard brake pipes and make some decent progress on the second.
I also bolted-in the radiator for (hopefully) the last time.
Finally, feeling the need to feel a bit better about the project, I decided to trial-fit my race-timing device.  Obviously this is total nonsense, decadent even but as the car is meant to be a 'study' of old meets new I just couldn't resist.  It's not terribly valuable and has a crack in it but I think it's great and will sit quite nicely alongside the Digidash2.

Finally, I did get across to see Rich and the engine.  We've decided to chance our arm.  It might last forever or it might fall apart and lock-up the crank on the dyno.

There's only one way to find out.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Wheely Nice

There's no going back on the colour scheme now.  Steve has sent me a picture of a coated wheel.
I'm not much looking forward to putting them back together but I'm sure that it'll be relatively painless.