THIS SECTION READS DOWN TO THE MOST RECENT POST
12th December 2011
At last i have some news, all be it small news , the 2011 new race car has now come into the workshops from the chap who was laying up the new light weight body.Colin has been chopping it about a bit to get it lined up right on the chassis and early next week Phil is hoping to get the roll cage tacked in and then we can send the body to the paint shop to get some paint put on.Whilst the body is away getting some TLC, we can get on with building up and preparing the shocks,brakes,hubs etc.I am busy getting parts together and ordering the amazing amount of bits that are needed to screw a race car together.Talk in the tea room of late has been all about the clutch plate.Some think it will be OK and some think we should revisit the issue.I had bought an American clutch and plate which as sod’s law would have it does not mate up with the Quaife gear box input shaft.The one i have purchased does not look man enough for the job to me although I’m just the” Driver” as I’m frequently reminded and what do i know about it.All good light hearted banter, that i choose to ignore.
Well a good week so far in the workshop.We have nearly got the roll cage fabricated and in the body work,certainly we will have it in by mid Thursday this week.I’m also picking up the radiator frame that i have had fabricated, that holds the radiator,oil coolers,fan’s,bonnet mountings etc tonight.Things are hectic at the moment to say the least,i have always got a busy time just as the car build gains momentum,once we get firmly into assembling the car from the bit’s i have got sourced i tend to get a bit more time to spend on the finer points of building a new race car from scratch.
We have now got the body on and fitted, which was no mean feat,it took a little longer than we thought with quite a bit of fiddling.I still have a lot of fibre glassing to do yet,ie making the light wells and exhaust chamber,rear diffuser,front splitter and some dash mouldings but the major part is done.The roll cage has been installed also the Sagris diff.We shall be lifting body off this week and putting on the suspension,brakes and lines,shocks and then having a rolling chassis will make life a little easier.While the team start sorting out the engine,gearbox & prop-shaft position i shall be doing the rest of the jobs mentioned to the shell.I need to get this done so the shell can go to the paint shop.
An excellent week in the garage this week,we have now got the front end all assembled with shocks,steering,brakes etc.we have started building up the rear end now and should be trial fitting the engine and gearbox next week,we have to sort out the dry sump system we are going to use and get that on order from America.
This last few days has been pretty slow on the car mechanically,the workshops are very busy at the moment so we have just today lowered the engine,gearbox assembly in position so quite a bit of measuring and planning can go on,things like exhaust route, dry sump pipe work.Bearing in mind we are fitting a Chevrolet into a chassis that wasn’t designed for it from the factory,again things like engine and gearbox mountings.i have been on body duty’s and lots of progress has been made.It’s amazing even in a race car how much extra fiber glassing is needed to a new bare shell.we have all so been putting in some extra venting & ducting that we think will aid aerodynamics’s and down force.I’m nearly halfway in adapting & altering the rear diffuser that again, i think will help keep the beast in a straight line,especially as we are going to Spa in October and attacking the fearsome speed of the Famous ” Eau rouge, up Radillon leading onto Kemmle Straight into Les Combes ”.Now that’s what i call Furious-TVR- Momentum.We will be flat out in 6th gear for well over a minute.That’s rather like three Bungee Jumps rolled into one.
Almost ready for paint
Well it’s been a bit of a slog with sorting the new body i had made but we are just 4 hours away now from unbolting the roll cage and body complete.once it is off the chassis i have got a mate just a quarter of a mile down the road who is going to prepare and paint the body and roll cage.I have just got to fit the front air dam and splitter which i am going to make removable for two reasons.one it will be easier to set the car up without the Aero package i have planned ,then when we fit the aero we will be able to see better when we are heading in the right direction.Secondly the car is quite close to the ground and by making the front dam detachable it will aid loading and unloading the car from the lorry
1st march update
yeeee haaaa the body is now at the paint shop including the reconditioned bonnet that has persisted to buck efforts over the last few weeks to have it’s problems sorted out.we are on the way now to have the body back by end of march so we can start the assembly proper,fingers crossed as the saying goes.
Making good progress now as tim gets up to a full head of steam and primer going on at beginning of next week.here we are nearly prepped….
we are now getting well on with the painting and here we have the main tub in it’s etch primer
Oh we are very excited the new tub is nearly out of paint and should be back in workshop by tuesday
Yes it’s very exciting,the new bodywork was picked up this morning from the spray shop and it’s back in the workshop.Now all we have to do is build it into one seriously fast car.Actually the hard part has almost been done now,that been getting everything in one place to bolt it on.Recently i have sent the front hubs away to be crack tested and certificated and trying to locate the right wheel bearings.Apart from an arms length of stuff more to sort out we are nearly there now.Mike and Phillip are really keen to get cracking on and have mooted a two month frenzy of bolting parts on,i have to say i’m a little more worldly wise and it would be great to have car ready for testing in say three.So we shall see as they say.I’ll keep you posted
We have now had time to get the body and roll cage fully bolted into place and how good does it look.We are due to be working three nights a week on the car so you will see some rapid progress over the next two weeks.
we are really getting on with it now engine and drive train are in and Graham has tack welded the manifolds and has taken them away to do final weld up.Front uprights are now built up with the crack tested hubs in and Colin has finished installing the steering rods etc.At this stage things fly on but the process will slow in momentum as wiring and safety systems are installed.pic below shows the manifolds been assembled
The Manifolds are now finished and the rest of the exhaust system can be made once we have a few more bits bolted in around the engine.
Knit one pearl one…
Getting on with it as they say.we i mean Colin has rebuilt the rear hubs drive shafts and fitted the rear calipers all is as it should be.Mike has been his usual industrious self and mounted the radiator,rebuilt the front hub assembly’s and generally messed about at the pointy end.Phillip has nearly finished his rendition of a floor mounted pedel box and trick it is complete with fly by wire throttle
and i have cooked some pizza’s and made tea,not much granted but heh i’m very good at it.
Slow slow slow or is that just me getting impatient.It’s so frustrating at this stage of a new race car build because most of the major decisions have now been made and now it’s down to the details of how to fit things in and around other bits.Hel Performance are sponsoring the brake,water,oil and fuel systems and we are waiting for the brake lines to arrive in the post.once here they will push the build on a bit and we can put some pressure on to get the rest of the lines made up.Cooling fans are in,Fire system is in,rear wiring loom is in,we have nearly completed the rear wing fixing scaffold in the boot and Richard and col are doing more to the front and engine wiring this weekend.
Still not much progress to report I’m afraid.The seasons issues with red 77 and of course the current racing program which has been plenty furious as you can tell by the race reports have made the build grind to a halt over the last month or so.Graham the exhaust fabricator has now finished the final left hand bank of headers and starts the right bank this afternoon so i may have some pictures to post of the manifolds by the weekend.The front wiring has been pencilled in to have more work done to it on Wednesday night.mainly we want to get the engine management wiring loom extended from the left hand side of the car into the drivers foot well.It doesn’t sound a lot but splicing into the factory supplied harness will take some time.This loom controls the fly by wire throttle,injection and ignition parts mainly together with engine management systems.
Here is a picture of the finished manifold , a work of art i think you will aggree lets just keep our fingers crossed that we have the power and torque figures we are looking for….
Graham the best exhaust fabricator this side of Exeter has come up with these beauty’s as the final fitment for my bespoke exhaust system.Eye watering don’t you think.Click on image to enlarge.
21st October 2011
Just a bit more progress as time has been taken up with lots of racing towards the end of the season as you know.Colin has been sorting out the wiring and a lot of small jobs have now been finished of namely we have fitted the induction pipe work,the plug leads have been rerouted,the air filter and scoop have gone on,the final version of the manifolds are on,front anti roll bar on,rad etc all piped up and finished,console and toneau cover final fitting ready to go on,so a lot of time consuming bits are out of the way see pictures below.Next we are trying to resolve the fitting and position of the oil coolers,not easy as it is a tight squeeze under the front of the bonnet and then the fluid lines and hoses are going to be made up and installed hopefully in the next two weeks.
11th November 2011
So progress has been a little slow as you know due to a very hectic race schedule this year.Thats not an excuse but as they say there are so many hours in a day.Also you will be aware that the team has secured full sponsorship for 2012 under the banner of ” CROWTHORNE ” as part of this support i am changing the colour scheme of the car to fit into the sponsors requirements.So it is back to the spray workshop to get the new paint colour applied before we finish off the build.Here we have the car after the first day of the frozen ice white colour change….
15th November 2011
out of the paint shop now and into one of my sponsors workshops D &H Plant Hire to have all the oil lines and fuel lines put on the car on monday hopefully.
21st November 2011
The car is now at the firm who sponsors me with help on the Fuel side of things.D & H Plant are supplying the Braided hoses for all the oil and fuel lines.So today we have started making the lines up and sorting out the fittings required to install the various pumps etc that make up a race cars wet systems.I expect this will take most of this week as we are sure to be held up a little with getting all the fittings,there are many to get as well.This side of things can cost a conciderable amount of money so it has to be done once and right,if the budget is to be stuck to.I,ll have some pictures of our work towards the end of the week to show you.
Only a short hold up on the fuel lines to report,a couple of fittings onto the swirl pot had to be re-ordered and modified which all takes time but Colin is on his knee.s as i type this putting the last few lines on and this afternoon he will be attempting the very tricky oil lines to the engine.These have been a real test as of course the American engine fittings are not the same internal bore size as the UK fittings.Colin will have to do a fair amount of drilling out to get the size we are happy with.Still it is all looking very racy it’s just a shame it will all be covered up,one thing i do like though is the team know what has gone into it even if the race goer’s don’t get to.I,ll be adding a picture of progress this afternoon.
9th December 2011
She has fired up on the button and we are all very pleased to have made this leap forward.She didn’t protest much after been on a crate for so long since it was built at the factory.We just had to adjust the fueling pressure after we found a faulty pressue regulator was not working as it should, once that was sorted she fired into life on the button and is sounding crisp,smooth and to be honest awesome.Colin the lead mechanic and Richard the owner of Dulford Automotive have done an excellant job with this stage of the build and my thanks go to them.Colin has done a first class job of fitting the fuel system and the wiring loom over the last few weeks,his attention to all the routing and positions of various bits of kit is excellant.We are now going to move onto the last few jobs to finish the loom and fitting the dash.once that has been completed we can start fitting the remainder of the fibre glass panels and cowls and onto the final fitting of seat and pedal box which we hope to have in by the middle of next week.
17th December 2011
Well this week has supprised me in as such that i forget some times building a race car takes plenty of decidion making.We have been finishing the 100′s of small tasks that make up the hole.Colin has been a star this week as he has been leading to the right solutions all week.We are putting in a screen blower which makes a lot of sence because i havn’t let it slip yet that the car will probably have a roof.The thinking behind that is the aero package will perform best with an enclosed cockpit.The fact i have one cluttering up the store room has nothink to do with it.I keep hearing myself saying” you can so why not”.Upto now i have resisted the roof idea mainly because of my age and the added fire risk.To be honest mainly it’s a lot easier to climb over the cage into the seat rather than crawling through the door at my age.I,m slowly coming round to the idea of the car not been compromised because of my lazyness.I hope this doesn’t mean i have to go to Yoga twice a week to get more supple.I have posted some more pic’s as i,m really excited about how things are progressing.
10th February 2012
Well the seasonal flu bug has decimated progress to say the very least.we have finished the car all bar fitting the new light weight bonnet,clutch pipe and reservoirs.That leaves me with still quite a list of 10 minute jobs to do to tidy everything up and then we can go testing.I am however going to have the Emerald engine management system put on over the next few weeks which will allow us to program a pit lane speed limit into the ecu direct,as this has been difficult to achieve with the engine having 8 coils.
27th February 2012
Well there you go then,one day we were storming along the home straight just about to finish off the final list of work prior to our first track test session.The next day all is” anchors full on” and Dulford Auto have fallen to the recession.As a result i am now over two weeks behind and likely another week till colin can get back on with finishing off the car again.Still things could be worse and i did get the tantalising sign of nearing the end, as i took the car over to lee to have the race logo,s put on .Blooming hech !!!! she looks absolutly stunning.I can see the cars looks been worth half a second a lap she is that racey.”little things please little minds” they say and i can hear you thinking but they are only stickers.well as a comidian once said “they may only be stickers to you but to me it,s been my life blood.Who said building a race car is easy………………………………I can hear you say this post needs pictures and you are of course right but i,m affraid i’m not posting pictures in the hope that in a few days the car will be complete and ready for testing,then i think will be the time to show you all, the finished article so as not to spoil her thunder.
saturday 24th March
Here’s the thunder enough said…….