Monday, February 28, 2005

More doors stuff

Almost done! Both sides are together and seal perfectly well. Got a pop out window which gives great extraction from the cockpit, like a vacuum cleaner (now has seal)! The doors have a non standard way of fixing the inner weather strip, an inverted flap. After the pics I found some hardtop front seam finishing seal, like doorseal without the seal, just the fixing part that slots over panel seams, this seals thousand times better used a a window weather strip, also holds the window in shape along the base as the 4mm polycarbonate sheet is flexy.

The entire passenger door complete weights 5.9kilos now. Drivers is 250grams heavier. These are light doors, remembering the fact they seal perfectly and are ok road use and daily driving this has to be the best system surely? I could find another 50grams I think but thats it.

I am relieved its worked - as usual with my creations I never plan anything on paper before I do it, I just think then act. When I have pumped in over £550 in raw materials and fixings + up to 100hrs on these doors they simply had to work 100%. Also I now uninterested in backtracking on anything in this project, it has be the end solution and work right first time. Its so easy to throw masses of cash at these things and not do quite what you wanted etc.

Also the doors now fit really really well, the gaps put the fit of the old panels to shame from every angle. I have a few mm's to find in one door at the front bottom corner but its there to sort out. I like things to be right!

The doors are rather flexible without the inner skin, but this caused no issues and the doors close and hold station fine once shut.

Just need to bond the braces in now and paint them. Then I can move onto this bonnet. I will be glad I have put alot of time into these doors and my motivation for them is limited and almost out. I have had the buzz from the extra performance/handling saving over 30kilos gives now I need more.

I think I will firewall the boot soon and stick the battery in there, thats a good shift in weight dist and gives me some bulkhead space.

It pained me to add the door bar as this weighed a bit (3kilos) and hadn't been fitted before, but thats life...I couldn't see 2kilos anywhere to compensate, its bare.

Been so cold the refitted DCOM's seem to want 140mains and 180 correctors, I think its a bit rich at the top though, smells a bit, honks on though its not lean here. Added some octane booster to a tank full of 95 pap the other day saw 6900 in top today, thats calculated @ 111mph...The rev limiter came on.

Since taking so much weight off the rear and so little from the front its really in need of the whole suspension setting up again, its great it handles ok - just crap over rough ground due to the awful suspension - i can't wait for suspension adjustable at all points, rack height change and setup as little bump steer as possible - on the nose. The bonnet is needed to return a balance weight wise, with an 180HP 83 kilo (17lighter than the 1300four pot) K-Series mounted as far back as possible 7" or so (maybe a CDS cage around the flywheel? I want to be walking in old age not hobbing) - the balance will be really sweet, it will be insanely fast. Its pretty quick atm, with much more torque and another 70HP it will be very effective.

Interesting to go back the DCOM after the DCOE, DCOE use shit loads of fuel twice as much, never really that good in traffic. The DCOM has less punch in early acceleration/mid range but the outright WOT power seems the same. The DCOM drives so sweetly in town and on progression, much less work and far more refined. It is however evident that at cruise it runs much leaner on DCOM and has occasions of very minor surging that I cannot seem to cure. This doesn't bother me much, its more the exhaust note goes lumpy with a quiet one you'd barely feel it.

Overall the DCOM is vastly superior in my eyes for road use.

Few pics of the doors. Enough waffling for now!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Today - Success

Well Well, as usual it worked out well 8-)

Fixed up the window system on the pass side. Yet to be glued in but its solid. I did 100mph today and the window didn't so much as move. Moved my hand around the window and felt no draft, bar the one from the range of holes in the seals...

I now need about 6metres of doorseal to redo the entire lot. As it the seals are setup for softtop and have gaps and joins, needs to be a complete seal all around the door, hardtop and window. This will stop the annoying leak when you do 80mph in the rain, the water pools on the window held by the wind, runs backwards and down and pisses in by the B-Post cap. Also need new hardtop to windscreen seal, and the inner one on the hardtop. Need Need Need.

Heres a piccy.

Yet to make the pop out windows, few things to change this was first fitment.

I note the door closes with firm clunk, feels like it weights nothing, pops open nicely. There is a lack of rattling etc over bumps, feels solid - cause it is!

Refitted DCOM carbs, I love the 5 holes, just couldn't help myself...fitted 32 chokes and reverse firing jets to them. Noticed also I have been without full throttle for a week 8-) can't say I'd noticed actually.

Just better remember to balance them as it was about 11.30 when I finished and my neighbour might get pissed off, must change my exhaust, its a micron motorbike race can, stamped "NOT FOR ROAD USE" its bloody loud, low and boomy...Was ok buts oiled up now and got superloud.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Well Well

Been a break in Blogging.

I buy and sell Dellorto carburetors, brought many last week, spent all day everyday sorting them all out, stashing them for future? Still not done as I need some parts!

I said to myself I was gonna have a few days on the car this week. Today I did a few things. Although it took me rather longer than expected to extract a tiny stuck screw on a set of carbs. was delicate work as one slip and the carb would be, at least in my eyes, toast!

Anyway cut out my polycarbonate or was it acrylic? windows...weighed the old window and runner at new windows bare are 1050grams, plus 250grams in fittings for the pop out windows, 1300grams, the window fixing brace system weights - I can't remember! said before...about 900grams so the entire window system weights 2100grams per side...the old fixed system was 500-600grams for each vertical channel + 4.1kilos for the system is a much lighter....

So another 6.4kilos saved! Also about 600grams? for the door panel I will cut 7.6kilos....another 2.4kilos needed for an effective HP. Good thing is thats 6.4kilos of virtually pure - top mass.

Just need to order some special flexy adhesive to bond in these braces and get it all jigged up.

All thats left to do is clean up the bottom braces and prime and paint the upper part. Trial fit and build, bond in the bottom braces, set the angle and fit of the window on the upper swivelling brace...then drill the angle fixing holes on the braces, bolt it up, check the door closed ok etc.... Then a couple of holes to drill for the tiny brackets that will fix the window to the upper braces at the top....thats the thing assembled...

Then it needs to be taken apart, grind out the remains of the door panel on the inside, paint the inside of the door white to match the car, paint the bonded in braces etc...

Then once the top braces and window are together I can make the pop out windows using the braces as bolt points etc...

Hopefuly fingers crossed this will be the dogs nads. If they bow out at speed to any degree I may not be held responsible for my actions.

I think the cockpit is pressuring at speed also, which isn't helping, the ammout of air that comes through the empty heater box hole is like a turbo fan at 80mph! Was gonna make a funnel affair that bolts to this empty hole and has two pipes and two old round mini bubble air vents in the end, you can then have a spitty with cold air vents, theres loads of air coming through there at speed!

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Actually considering a superlight flywheel and building my selection of gear box parts back into O/D form...power sap was annoying large last time, but the overall ease of high speed was great.

You see my main problem with the car is when its gonna blow up when you give it 6700rpm in top gear, its pretty cool, but its very intense...I want to take the car to Nurburgring, which has tight sections, but also many section where I would be at 7000rpm in top if setup for it, and over 6000 in alot of places...Having to drive the car there and back etc I don't want it to bust a gut there.

So, I think a trade off has to be made....I could use O/D then I could hit 120mph @ 6000 if possible, this is far better, the car may see this figure in one section downhill where most cars reach their terminal velocity. Remember it will be light, it will have air dam, fared headlights, no wing mirrors it should cut the air far better than standard...

I found another 3-4mph top end when I added a solid grille plate, with only a 9" by 3" slot to let air to the radiator, much less drag as the engine bay pressurises. I used to have catches that came open when you cornered really hard, the bonnet side that was open would then rise up on a wave of air, you'd be doing 80 go over a rise and the bonnet would lift 6inches off the bulkhead...thats some air pressure!

With this plate you can have both catches open and it doesn't move not even at motorway speed.

Wing Mirrors of the size on a modern car are meant to sap 1 mph per each...The headlight angles on a standard spit will probably reduce the top end by a noticable degree, the flared bonnet is much better idea.

Trade off's, Trade off's....hopefully lightening the flywheel more would counter some of the O/D load. Last time the car was good, but just lost about 10hp and went off the boil...hopefully after doing all this having a full rolling road jobbie will find the performance back, I know I have something saved there.

Perspex *Rigid* Windows!

Ok so who is pissed off with side windows that bow out?? I bolted mine solid, fixed with bolts and no up and down mech - yet they still do it! Get to 80mph the windows bend and you get bad drafts...

I intend to go 130mph with new 1800 or 2000cc engine and don't want any drafts - maybe more? 140...175HP-200HP 600kilos? So I want a solution that rids the car of this annoying happening.

Using lightweight doors inspired me to use lightweight windows etc. Anyway a piece of perspex is gonna bow like anything without support unless its set at a lower angle than needed so it bends out when you close the doors so to create a pre-bending and loading that may stop the window bending out, as its already bent somewhat. Downside to that is you get doors that don't like to close without slamming and it strains everything and probably wont work anyway!

I made the things shown that go inside the doors to house vertical braces that go inside the window (as shown) the window screws to these braces, so to hold it 100% can set the angle at each end of the window by swivelling the top of the window in and out as its made to be able to pivot 10degrees either side of what should be fine. So you set the angle of thw window so it seals all round front and back as good as possible by adjusting the angle of the window on the braces, these offer some twist in the window, to get one or other corner in more than the other etc.

You can see I have only drilled the 1 hole which will be the hole that the brace rotates around when setting the angle of the window, I will wait and drill the hole once I have it all together before final assembly. I am working with a drill, jigsaw and file. Each piece is made by hand and needs final giggling I am sure to get it 100%...

I intend to set the windows up statically with someone on the outside just pushing hard enough to compress the seal at all points, I will then mark the last hole that fixes the angle of the brace, take it all apart drill it...then use Adheseal - I think its called that, its a stickaflex type glue, that sticks and grabs really hard, yet remains flexible, used in boat building.

I will bond the main braces to the inside of the doorshell and skin using this...the advantage of the twinskin door skins is that they can take over 60kilos before they flex to anygreat degree, so I can simply bond these on, do that to a normal plastic one I bet it will go out of shape over time, as the suction on the windows I recon equates to about a 4kilo tug at the top @ 90mph so will load the doorshell via the bracing.

I hope the windows will have the stiffness of the a normal road car window, as the braces will be rock solid and the door will not bend to any great the final solution? Its the best I can do at home with limited tools..

All the braces together weight 1200grams I can drill the final big holes now and get another 125grams back. Each of the window runners from original doors are 480grams, I saved weight there, I saved the weight of the glass window, the weight of the window mech, door catch mech, bump stop, glass holder....

Only things to add in weight wise to braces and door shell are a window catch, the perspex window, about 16 M4 nuts and bolts, two tiny hinges, few tuny angled brackets...

Note the alloy pole in the pictures? Thats a door handle, something to pull on to close the doors, my only comfort item...Also you can hang you sweaty socks on there between laps?

I will make an all alloy flick catch to operate the door mech without having to reach into the empty doorshell and find it...but thats not important atm!

I will be cutting the inner doorskin out of the doors completely, the roll cage has door bars these require me to cut the shell skin anyway as they go all the way out to the skin, once the skin is cut it goes all floppy and needs cutting out completely anyway, so thats a bit of weight saves...I am not concerned about the door going out of shape it just aint gonna happen, these are super doors! It'll look interesting I think and be the lightest and best solution I can make, hopefully it'll work I am already at a good 25Hrs of work into this....

Its a pain as the car is used daily, trying to get everything together, also having to do it at my folks place which is 40miles away is also a bind as theres no kit here yet.

I am also making pop out windows, within the main perspex side windows, these will use MGB GT Quarterlight catches, pop out 15cm, it will be reasonably sized, I think, the hinges will be bolted through the perspex at the front, on a plate that raises the hinge to the level of the pop-out window and seal when closed...,as required to get a seal and for it to work!

Hopefully 200mmx200mm will do and give decent venting without weakening the structure much, may play start small and see if the window goes floppy at all, shouldn't do as it'll bolted to the braces! I can always cut the hole bigger can't I? I have coolio ideas for how to make a huge pop out but retain strength, think a big line of vertical holes on inner window the hinge end...

You should be able to physically remove the whole window in a few minutes if needed.

Today - Webers, gears, hmmm

Tried the car with the 32 chokes, yes it revs more freely as expected, like before. Cruises sweety on a small throttle at 5000rpm, sounds a touch less strained, rev's nicely to 6700 before becoming a bit noisey and strained, think I need some small air correctors as its not quite as quick as I think it should be, and it has than touch lean feel, overly smooth think they are 160 atm...155 as Josh uses maybe better or maybe even 150 using a 125main, don't think it needs a bigger main it feels bang on from 2750-4500. On the DCOM it would spin to 6900 ok - jetted right. It has lost some of the ride on power in 4th it had, as the torque and power peak a bit later now, need to work it, jetting isn't 100%, saying that I did pull out to overtake 1 car on two occasions today, used 3rd and took it a good 6750 and ended up taking 4 I guess its ok 8-)

Car really needs overdrive or a longer diff, its a bind on open road, its awesome on a twisty backroad, but I am at 5000rpm in 4th doing 80mph...and 96mph @ 6000. I think after saving more weight I maybe able to pull a 3.63 if I reuse 30 chokes in the carbs and gear the thing up for torque. I can then do 109mph @ 6000rpm in top. At the moment the car is good but you can rip to 6000 in top and then you have rev the bollucks off it to go 100, its at its peak but inorder for the engine to make the car go faster you really have to beat it up...I think as the car has great power at 5250-6250, that you will be able to use the car better using a longer diff and see 110 more often.

I once got the car with a D-Type overdrive to 5750 in O/D top, using 155/80 /13 tyres this calculates to 118mph, it was fast, downhill, hood down chasing some guy in a porsche late at night on some motorway! I even had increased the tyre pressure 5psi for the motorway journe so speed records were in ideal conditions! I doubt I have got the car past 110 more than a few times since I ditched the O/D, when I have got it round to 6700 in straight top with no O/D. I am not after the best 0-60 I want the most useable flexible solution A-B. the car rips off 2nd and 3rd gear like there is no tommorow as it loose a bit of that to gain more outright speed. 2nd gear will be epic on a 3.63, if 3rd went another 1000rpm atm it would be all good also.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Today - Carbs

I removed my 42.5mm trumpets and swapped em with Josh Bowler for some wider radius 35mm ones...Changed the DCOE chokes to 32mm as its lacking some go over 6100. The shorter trumpets should have a tiny effect on top end pickup, lacking it more punchy...tiny amount though 8-)

Just need to fit some 120 or 125mains to suit...

Heres a piccie of my Triple 3 hole DHLA 40's, rare item, they are very old, little used and just waiting for a linkage and rebuild kits. They are basic with no airbleeders. They have 33 chokes in. They are full cream Dellortos!

I intend to take the car to Peter Baldwin at Wimpole for tuning as he is the man and I want to be able to thrash it senseless for long periods at WOT knowing its not gonna bust a gut...

I have been just driving the thing recently, it hasn't had new plugs in 7months looked at them the other day and the tips are well rounded from mileage, the dissy cap is ages old, so is the rotor arm, but it runs sweetly still, it gets regular oil and fluids....Car does about 200 miles per week I guess, its well used and *touch wood* never lets me down really, or never leaves me at the road side.


Heres my new found love.

Spitty will go here when its done.

Here is me in a rental Smart Roadster....48hr trip, did 25laps, thats 12.5laps per afternoon, thats 13miles per lap! Each lap driven properly...Car had great handling, crap gearbox, good brakes, has a tendancy to try and throw you off the road when it downchanges on its own. I had the thing on a full turn of opposite lock one time coming over the rise into Eschbach, we were on it and it was fine, but when it changed down to 2nd, I was right on the limit, the rear wheels locked breifly before it changed back up 8-) I turned had PMS and TC - ABS etc off 8-) it was a strange car. This was its first incident and showed the gearbox system was far from infalable...never quite felt 100% harmony with it as I couldn't modulate the power delivery as it was semi-auto...this made the car feel like the engine was attached to the wheels via a rubber band....not my thing, but good fun, lacked ultimate feel, compared to the spit it was like a jelly....

That said it was the best fun rental yet. I clocked a BTG of 10mins. Which for a 68HP? car is damn fast so I am told! Although I know I am vasty superior compared to the average mortal in terms of talent and testicular diamension.

So far I rented a Megane DCI 120 in Sept 03 which had crap brakes, massive tyres, grip, very stable with 6 gears, this had potential to be the fastest and would do a 9:30 imo. It was DCI but with 6 gears, no lag - it flew for 120HP 4 seats, I had a registered 210kph to Schwedenkrauz not too bad for a brick, did 8laps - my first trip, 1 afternoon.

Had done around 2000+laps simulated in Grand Prix Legends when I was the UK fastest driver for 3 years in online racing leagues, track knowledge was perfect but it still took about 1lap before I felt at home there 8-)

Rented an Opel Astra Estate in April 04 and did 40laps *840kms - 500road miles - or £380UK pounds, worth every penny!!! in 3 days with this, it was crap, slow, understeered, rattled, had awful brakes I beat it senseless and returned it to Hetrz with pride, as I had specified a Focus DCI. I had a ball in it, even though it was terrible car, this is Nurburgring, you can have fun in anything!

Why do club racing, I can rent a rental go to the ring for 3 days and do 10seasons worth of mileage in 2days without lifting a spanner, while driving the greatest track of all at unlimited speed.

More rear suspension

Heres a few more pics from some time back....

I made the lower wishbones from 1" CDS. Welded in 1/2" thread top hats to use 1/2 rod ends on each point. I guess the ride will be firm, but its a light car, so theres no reason for too much roughness, even the shocks will have spherical bearings not rubber bushes...

The rod-ended front antiroll bar links I added are a lower grade of rod-end and show no wear after a half winter, salt, and atleast 5000miles...just spray WD40 on them twice a week.

I want complete control over every millimetre of suspension movement, bet 5mm or the most used part or the suspension - 5mm of the what, the 1.5-2 inchs usual movement on a modified car is bush slop, some of the time your riding the bushes, I want control over this slop.

The wishbones at the upright end are slighlty over widely spaced so to leave room for side spacers and washers between the rod end centre and the alloy link. Oversized so you can add in different thicknesses of washers between the upright and the side spacers that bolt the rod ends to the main bolt/upright...this way you can get 10 different thickness'es of washers and make sure the preload on the rod-ends is 100% ok.

So when the bottom main bolt and nut are done up - pinching it all together, the rod-ends are running 100% smooth and free. This actually requires some playing around with the washers as with fixed A arm the wishbone is solid, the two outer links for the upright need just the right packing so they don't bind when you pinch the whole bottom link together, hard to work to exact tolerances on piece work in the garage with a hammer and saw 8-) ....this is fiddly - worthwhile running the rod-ends without pretension as they will last better....leaving an excess for washers makes life easier....also the late and early Rotoflex uprights are different has a wider base, so my wishbones cater for the wide one or the narrower they are sized for the wide one...also the alloy links are the same size as the narrower link....

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Cylinder Head

I am just gonna add info here willy nilly...its better than a website...

Here my head and block, ages ago on steel guides, a few blow ups ago 8-)

The engine in car shot was taken about 12months ago, its evolved alot since then, and so has my knowledge and skill.

The Office

Empty, noisey, cold, drafty, all issues to think about...

Interior will remain stripped but will gain some comfort, I have interesting perspex windows in the pipeline that will not bow out at speed causing drafts and noise....these attach to the doors via alloy braces that glue to the doorskin. These enables me to fix the windows and cut out the inner skin from the doors...leaving a clean macau spitty look...details to follow!

I will fit 2 (booo), maybe two, FIA seats and 4 points. The Corbeau Sprint Pro is about the most narrow seat about and saves a few kilos over the standard one, so this will do. Modern but I want to be welded to the car when we start trackdaying and Nurburgring'ing with proper protection.

The car has a FIA cage, 6 point with bendy door bars...this added huge stiffness (ohh'er) - to the car, and really sharpened it up...Just need to fit the pass side door bar and cut the door...the bars go right out to the outer skins, hense the idea to chop out the inner skin.

Will need to use wide seals now or add furry seal strip to the 1cm remains of the inner skin as the standard door seal needs the 3mm of trim panel to seal against the door properly...its windy atm this is a road car also, my daily driver 8-)

Epoxy panels

I run very interesting doors...they are not fibreglass or metal, they are maybe from epoxy composite. They are very light 3.8kilos each, very strong double skinned, fit very well etc...

I can get these for you.

Heres a piccy.

Also the wings can be obtained, they are 70mm wider in the arch, ideal for race cars and can be used with an 8J wheel.

Lightweight Bonnet

Weighed the old bonnet @ 38.5 kilos.

The new one weights in @ 13.5kilos bare...

I expect 0.8kilos per bonnet tube, 1.5kilo in fittings, rod ends for front pivot, grilles, catches, screws, plastic light bowls will be under 750grams for 2, lights 1 kilo each?.....dunno maybe I can get the whole bonnet under 20kilos...

18-19kilos saved could be worse, most saving is right on the nose also, which is a good, think I can save a bit more on the front pivots, alloy brackets etc.

Saved 1kilo changing my radiator...I was after a saving of 25kilos in this go, I need to find another 3kilos?

Few pics of the T6 bonnet, fits well I think, not that I am too worried, its good enough by the look of it...

Made the bonnet vents from an old front grille Spit Mk3.


Heres my 205GTi rad, works well, and runs fine with Davies Craig Electric Pump

Fixing involved making two tiny brackets and drilling two worked with my previous setup which was a BX Citreon TD rad.

Rear Suspension

I intend to throw either a Duratec or Rover K-series at the Spitfire at some point. I have several issues about the rear suspension. Mainly the camber change, the rear end grip is way to changeable due to fluctuating contact patch as the axle swings. The solution to this is usually to just bump the car on its arse and stiffen the dampers, so limiting the effects, through limited movement.

Also its fragile, the UJ's are part of the suspension so are always wearing out.

Anyway not liking the GT6 rotoflex either I took to copying it but making is completely tuneable. Rod-end links on all points, swinging A arm and jointed radius arms. I will run this with the spring as normal, see how much better it is, if I feel its moving about I'll add an upper radius arm, dump the spring in favour of a trackrod and run coil overs, the classic lotus 25 style.

It should be a rock solid triangular structure only movement will be the same as normal in the spring, twist, not that cross axis flexing on springs accounts for much movement. I feel the system will be a marked improvement as it offers 0 degree camber change through the suspension from static ride camber to full realistic bump. So set it with 2degrees of static negative camber it will hold that camber all the way up. You need some camber growth to match body roll inorder to maximise the contact patch at all yaw angles, so you would need to dial in some camber growth which is done by adjusting the height of the lower wishbone inner link up and down in the 4 holes....With these holes I can gain no camber, or masses of camber, or anywhere inbetween. I just need some CV driveshafts that cope with the plunge and also the angles of working, I feel UJ style twin yoke sliding shafts would moan more about being run at excessive angles.

Anyway I have done half the job, and will see whether it needs to be taken all the way with coil overs etc.

Also in need of a LSD, quaiffe or plates this is the question...

Currently the rear end runs standard Mk3 suspension which copes well with the engine but its ultimately pretty crap even in its best form. The uprights have the top hole where the spring bolts through redrilled 3/4" inch lower down as to lower the car and also gain bit more negative camber.. worthwhile mod, gives loads more rear end bite, adds stability and dependability. Does make the car lurch over bumps a touch (this is on the limit driving), only on swing spring as it makes the car skip a bit when the bump makes the swing spring, swing, and puts pressure on the wheel that didnt hit the bump...causing a slight lurch to one side, or buck a bit, the swing spring is prone to bucking on uneven surfaces but its worse with these lower holes. All in all a worthy mod though.

Spec for fitment.

Rod ended joints all round, multihole pickups
Canley Alloy uprights (ok bar the top holes are too big and need sleeves or something)
Cv driveshafts (maybe this century)
Fixed type Mk3 spring maybe swinger, is a big roll centre good?