Saturday, September 30, 2006

Update on my mashed up Biker mate from Germany

Brendan has been moved from intensive care to a ward now.

He is a good spirits despite a busted wrist and torn and collapsed lung. He's annoyed they keep waking him every two hours day and night to make sure he isn't dead :) Bren has been in Germany for 10years but still can't speak a word of German!!!

He crashed at 140mph and hit the armco pretty hard. He has done maybe 8000laps of the Ring with only two bad laps...

Here is Bren going well under the offical bike record on his R1! Fairplay! this lap is great! 7:35 is bloody fast and requires very large balls, not many people have the bottle for this!

Friday, September 29, 2006

More Inusrance fun, official complaints, wrangling.

Been onto the Chief Fire Officer, Chief Transport manager today. Later I will call the Fire Service complaints department.

I have the transport manager back onto his insurance and await his reply. I think he appeared keen to avoid a Complaint from my grasp of the situation. So maybe he will fill them in with a different story now to attempt to quash this problem? Complaints aren't good for them. If he doesn't give me the outcome I want I will be straight into making a formal complaint to the fire service.

I will be making a formal a complaint anyway I think. As he had the accident report infront of him and read some words from it, which tie in with the false representation of the events that was given to the insurance company. So Mr Evans has been telling porkies, this is NOT the behaviour I expect from a public organisation, I am DISGUSTED with them.

I shall be retaining my car as evidence of single heavy impact damage from another car. Evans claimed he was stationary and I drove round his front corner...If that were the case my car would have a mild scrape along the whole side? Not a single 4inch deep panel deflection on a VERY strong part of the car! Should be plainly obvious to any investigating engineer that the accident was caused by a ram from another car.

I have wasted nearly 2 full days these week photographing the scene, car, phoning etc. When they do admit liability.

*immediate update*

Transport manager calls again : Looking good. He's definately on my side now he has all the information, Mr Evans will be brought for an interview shortly. Manager is VERY keen avoid a complaint and make me happy, I can tell. Hopefully he will just send a different series of events to the insurance!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Insurance Pain! New car found? BMW 525i SE

He guy who ploughed into me is a lying worm! I shall be making formal complaint again him with the Chief Fire Officer etc at the station. He wrote a pack of lies on his report of the accident, been to the scene today taking photo's and making a case to send my insurance. What hassle. This guy needs a good working over. I am axed with this grief. Its sapping my energy! Still looking at the damage left on both cars there CANNOT be ANY dispute over what happened, so hopefully his insurance will roll over and be tickled shortly.

Fat Pimp Wagon.
Comfort? Oh yes.

Proper engine!

Might have found a new motor, will be checking it out tomorrow with a view to purchase. Its a 1990 BMW 525i SE, 4 speed auto (never mind!), all the toys, black unmarked leather interior, air con, electric everything, 90,000miles, full BMW history, 192BHP 24V 6 cylinder late model engine with gobs of torque. Its near concours condition. Sounds like a steal at £1000, or hopefully less :) Best one I seen yet, low miles, they often run for 250000miles if well serviced.

If I manage to secure the car tomorrow it'll be good! Have to do a DIY gas conversion, but it'll still do 32mpg on the motorway and 25 general, 10mpg at full chat!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Breakthrough on Insurance - Mate, Bikers badly injured at the Ring :(

The guy in the bike videos I posted on the forum fell off on oil yesterday at HoheAct and suffered a suspected broken back and wrist...Good news is his backs fine and he will be fixed soon!


Well finally after 4hrs of intensive rangling I may have sorted out this useless set of companies.

Appears they have been hassling the wrong company, or insurance!

Maybe some prat at the my insurance company entered the wrong numberplate into the system and brought up the wrong details, they have sent 16letters to some company called Summit Insurance, this company has denied all knowledge of the incident or claim, or car I am claiming against.

Would it have not been adviseable to possibly chase the details I gave them on my claims form? An address, Tel number and name of the driver and company he works for? No that would be too much hassle!

Just keep sending letters to a company denying knowledge of the incident and car thats a good idea!

So after supplying them with the details again they have called the Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade and hopefully tomorrow should have the real insurance details regarding the claim I am making!

Hopefully then we can finally draw this matter to a conclusion, accident was 06 July 2006! I have been swung like a long dick from company to company and it was only when I started to get a bit aggitated and on the verge of abusive did the nice lady pass me over to a higher power in the call centre, someone who actually had my file, suddenly within 5minutes I have made more progress than in 8weeks...

I will call the Fire Service tomorrow and express of my gratitude if they send their insurance details to my insurance company with my claim numbers.

Had I not done something this would have lagged on for another 2months till my insurance is allowed to stop sending pestering letters and take legal action, even then legal action would be a pointless as they are chasing the wrong bloody company!!!!!!!!!

My god what a pain the ass!

I hate call centres! Full of prats!

Bloody Insurance Companies, what a cock up!

Why it everytime I deal with a company thesedays there is a complete f*** up. Phone, cars, internet you name it.

I finally got my Alfa inspected and they sent me a cheque this morning, but only for £350! Not £800 as expected. So I call them, turns out they haven't got the other company to admit liability or infact got them to do anything! Almost 3months!!!!! So it seems they just stuck the accident down as my fault, deducted my huge £450 excess and sent me a cheque.

So had I not obviously rung up and asked why this accident would have gone down as my fault! They can't do piss all atm- GroupAMA are the lamest bunch of suckers known to man.

So I call the broker, Auto Direct. Now they are slightly less useless, however it turns out after 2 days from me reporting my claim they somehow screwed up and put it down as my fault cause of "no contact".

What the f*** am I meant to do in 2days!! Turns out they have NO contact from GroupAMA and have not the faintest idea what the hell is going on, so both companies have no bloody idea what is going and they are trying to sort it atm! While I sit car-less, cause my Alfa shat all its water out last night and has a dodgy water pump or something!! Good riddens to it!!!

Turns out AutoDirect have now re-opened my file and are resolving the small? issue of it being deemed as my fault...Thats atleast one thing positive from this afternoon.

What really pisses me off it the fact I have had ZERO calls, help, anything from either company, I have to arrange inspections myself, call and hassle every step taken and now I have wasted an entire afternoon on the phone at my expense wiping the arse of useless companies.

Still no resolution. GroupAMA say they can't do anything till the other side admits liability or infact sends them any details of the other sides case.

The company of the ramming driver Summut Insurance haven't done a bloody thing in 6weeks so the chances of me seeing any cash from them in the next millenium are rather slim.

Then I am told GroupAMA can't sort my excess I need to go through the Broker...Oddly I was told opposite by the previous operator on my 3rd call...Its so confusing, I am not insurance expert...

My only hope of getting some cash pronto is from the broker AutoDirect by getting them to fork out my excess after re-envaluting my case and letting them fight Summit Insurance for the excess. They are sending me a pack or something to fill out...Pack of lies probably!

I then called to see about a getting them to arrange me a Hirecar! (might have to find a trackday), but thats probably not an option as its 3months after the claim.

So I gave them some crap about being abroad, just home, need a car, not my fault, been highly annoyed by poor service, delays etc etc, should have been sorted months ago, just make me happy kind of thing...I await a call, just like the other 3 awaited calls today, they are 45minutes late calling back, the other two "we will call you back".... after 5 and 4 hrs they haven't! "30minutes" they said...More wasted calls . I hate tossers who don't call back.

I am royally pissed off, its times like these where my faith in companies as a whole is knocked to an all time low. I had this shit with just about every company I deal with. Its a LAUGHABLE joke.

Can noone get anything right.

Mr Watlins, (ironically) Road Safety Campaigning fleet driving tosser from the local Fire Service gets to ram my car, get off without ANY hassle, I left getting a damned ulcur sorting out this abortion of a f*** up!!!!!!!!!!!


Stressful, your meant to take out insurance etc to make life easier right? hahaha...I feel like a Ant under the foot of a giant...I hate being a powerless passenger in someone elses mess up.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Few more Castle Combe pictures.

Few more pics from Combe.

TR6 I flew by on the straight :)

Stiffer Springs or damper settings? Swing spring swings too much too....

Cheers to Andrew Dawson!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Beast update

Ok, plan of action is:

Build a new 1300 engine with the best possible components.

Can't see it returning into action till atleast next March. I will put aside a small % of my fun money when this reaches a sum sufficient to build new motor I'll start. In the mean time I can send a crank away for crack testing and turtriding, polishing and sort some rods etc. Mainly a new head will be the killer. I may get Guy Croft to flow me a new one, as he is rather good and has the right kit.

I guess it lay in rest for a good few months yet. It achieved its goals for this year. I'll work on lightening and cost free jobs when I can bothered to drag the dust sheet off it. Till then it will hibernate!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

War of the Wasps

House invasion! Nest the size of two shoe boxes!!! Little critters are making another nest. Spent all afternoon injecting their nest with various chemicals, the war is near over. Outside on the path is a cemetry. The roof is full of dead. Sounds like a river running over stones when you get your head by the main nest its HUGE!! I had to wear a face mask, goggles, a hat, two thick jumpers, a dust mask to get near it...I got stung a load of times yesterday spraying nippon dust onto the entrances on the roof, they swarm there's that many!

So I prepared a little better today. Instant wasp killer is contact cleaner in a spray can, works really well when they get frisky, works especially well injected into the nest via a 3 foot piece of brake pipe!

Don't like killing things but they are everywhere and they ain't welcome.

I counted over 200 I killed, must be more than a 1000 in total? Odd for wasps! Saw a Hornet Queen today too...VERY rare. I let that one go!

Friday, September 08, 2006

DIY CV conversion Part 2...How to get CV joints on your car!

Finally my man Rob sorted the spacers. First sets prepared today, they were machined as blanks I did the hole drilling and thread tapping myself.

I have made these a favour to the guys needing them, no money in this type of thing, just hassle.

There are 4 spare pairs of spacers that can be setup for either small flange diff's or later large flange ones, to recoup some costs incurred the last sets are £89 a pair for large flange items and £96.50 for small flange ones.

First come first serve

I doubt I will be getting any more made, so if your interested in this conversion you will save a packet as I produced these as a bulk lot. Piece work costs once you factor measuring, time and 1 off lathe production.

Image shows now the adaptor plate mates the diff output flange to the Lobro Volvo 340 joint. It bolts on to the diff flange with 4x 3/8th bolts. You will need to possibly shorten any bolts so they don't protrude into the cone area on the rear of the adaptor, as seen below, the area recessed for the CV balls to run up to..Simply test bolt the spacer to the diff flange and if the bolts protrudes into the cone, shorten it as necessary.

Early car flywheel bolts 3/8" are VERY strong and ideal for this application, Fit with spring washers and loctite, recheck bolt tension after say 50miles.

Side view of the Lobro 340 Volvo joint attached to diff flange and adaptor plate. The Volvo has 2 of these joints on each driveshaft, so 1 shaft will complete the conversion. The Volvo joint comes with the M8 - 1.25 thread bolts needed to fit the Lobro casing to the adaptor plate. Any old M8-1.25cut bolt will do provided its the correct length.

The parts required for this end of the conversion.

Adaptor plates all lonely with no home!


Beast update. I have this feeling I am swinging towards building up another 1300, using yet more lessons learned from the last pile of engines to build a better one.

Been speaking to a few headflowers and flow bench guru's about a new head.

I guess a nitrided crank and some steel rods and forged pistons + 1 piece valves should give me some good security if I limit the rev's to 7250rpm. Bar the valve thing I reckon it would have run on for a good time.

I am just not sure I can be bothered with an engine swap, diff swap and rear suspension swap required etc...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

CV Driveshaft Conversion DIY

As people may know Josh Bowler successfully converted his car to Rotoflex suspension using CV jointed drivehafts.

Anyone interested in this conversion can contact me @

Currently I am awaiting enough rotoflex hubs to do a run of bearing conversions in the next months, another 3-4 pairs of uprights would be useful. If you interested in the conversion you can send me a set of a stripped rotoflex uprights and some MGF bearings and I will machine the uprights and fit the bearings for £80 an upright.

I can offer the spacer adaptors for the diff flanges in large or small flange drilling.

The rest of the parts can easily be sourced from a scrapyard or a motor factor.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Diagnosis Murder, total right off - engine is a RIP

Final diagnosis is the entire head fell of the exhaust valve stem on number 4, the piston didn't fail on its own it was mutilated by the valve head, as the cylinder head shows.

Shame but this spells the end of my car using a Triumph engine. I will pickup a Zetec or Duratec in the next months and fit this over the winter.

I can't justify spending £1000+ building another engine thats gonna be strong enough to take the abuse and do road mileage etc...

Without very costly and time consuming repairs my heart of the engine, the cylinder head is a right off, can be repaired welding up the chamber and reshaping but my motivation for these things is running low.

I need the car be fast but also 100% durable, I can't see this ever being the case using a 1300 4 banger, its all on the margin unless you use top spec everything.

So thats the deal!

Nice Trackday Piccie!

Last sighting of the Beast in 2006?

Apex there somewhere. Car looks ok, buts understeering, makes hunting down apex's hard. Sorting that out is all fun for another day, boohoo!

Funny you just think your cars good and strong, it goes to Germany and back and gets ragged senseless all day, then it bites you :-)

Track Day Castle Combe, pleasure then pain!

Guess a brief outline of the day is needed, it developed into a rather long one as I will explain.

Arrived about 8.25am at the track, listened the normal safety waffle. I then went for noise testing..Car was 105db with my current setup! Doh! I had been chatting to the great man Andy Vowell when I arrived. Top bloke.

Lucky Andy V brought his race trailor with enough tools and stuff to make about 3 cars :) Andy very kindly offered a funny addon silencer he had, which I butchered for him, cheers mate!

Fitted that loosely and was tested again at 103DB...Doh! I then went to Merlin Motorsport left my card and borrowed an addon silencer to test...Fitted that retest No3, 102db...Useless! this silencer didn't enable any fitment of extra pieces etc, so back to Merlin to get my card back and return it. At this point about 1hr after the first test I was getting pissed off.

I refitted Andy V's silencer addon then rammed the little pipe I made in the end of that. By this time I had a 3 foot long triple silencing system growing out the back of my car!

Pics to follow from Mr Dawson I am told! It was WELL funny! Went for a retest again and it was 100.7DB with this construction attached, the tester gave me 11/10 for effort and said he'd wave the .7DB, and told me to enjoy myself.

He wouldnt give me a sticker till I added some screws and covered the heads with clips. So back to the main man Andy to blag a drill and bit. Now nearing 11am and 2hrs after my first test it was time to go out! I really like the track, its alot of fun with some good quickish corners.

The car is pretty quick round the track but needs some mods to handling, I was only overtaken 3 times I think all day by a Caterham and two V8 MGB's.

Midgets and MGF's, MX5 and well, just about everything on track was cannonfodder for the Beast.

I had a very entertaining few laps with Jason Chinn as ballast, certainly ground down my exhaust and made my tyres rub on the TOP of the arch!

Funny he was told to get out my car at the gate as he didnt have his arms covered, I quickly grabbed a very small jacket I had and told him to put it on.

Jason is quite a bit bigger than me and it covered him down to half way between his wrists and elbow :)...Very fetching like something from little britain or hand me downs from your grandma:) ok they said so off we went.

We spent this entire session chasing a midget with toyota twin cam engine fitted, wasn't really any quicker than me despite my 14stone ballast and the fact the Midget had race tyres fitted! The bloke driving it wasnt the best but was going ok.

We just hustled him for 4laps or so :) Quite quick laps but nothing special. The Midget guy came over and complemented my car and driving, as he couldnt believe a Spitfire with a 1300 and 14stone passenger was on his tail constantly. Most enteraining, I guess we were holding up the Triumph honour!

The whole of the triumph guys gave a good show I think today. Andy and I (albeit slower) certainly made mince meat of everything on track bar the 2 V8's and showed that Triumph Spitfire's are great!

I took Dawson for a set of 6laps? which I think he enjoyed alot.

Car was in good fettle all day at the track anyway! Too much understeer in turn in and exit, the rear is making awesome grip levels. Front end setup needs some work.

Fred must have won the 2nd place award for the most entertaining noise reduction addon after some inspired shopping at Merlins, some bendy pipes and skyward bound silencer!

But then the guy in the TR6 added a full sized silencer onto the end of his exhaust pointing skyward! Most entertaining, Triumphs must be noisey by nature!

I did a set of 10laps or so on my final session and rang the cars neck and upped my speed a bit, but still leaving a good margin under braking.

Maybe this caining seeded my homeward bound piston destruction. I saw the guy in the Toyota powered Midget again in this session and without my Chinn Ballast he was also cannonfodder, he had to let me by and he couldn't hold on after I dropped him. I was complemented by Tim B after the session on how nice my car looked on track, I really enjoyed these last laps!

I think my car is sticking out some pretty good power, too much for stock pistons I think?

As we left the track I noticed a very small ticking noise that was not normal but it quickly cleared, maybe this last session just finished off this piston and this tick was related to it...I intended to potter home but....thats not me!

Went for some food and a drink with the guys in Chippenham and headed home.

I was racing an Audi RS something off the lights from the Cross Hands Pub at Old Sodbury and in 3rd gear at 7200rpm something let go...I pulled to the roadside off with the rocker cover, broken rocker and a valve was not fully home, bent...

There was LOADS of white smoke pouring out the block, obviously full of fuel mixture...Quick removal of the spark plug showed there was no end on it only a mashed stub, with a torch looking through the spark plug hole I can see the little end of the conrod, which is marked, there is no middle left on the Piston! just the skirt attached to the rod...

I cannot tell at this stage if thats all the damage unlikely block is scrap I guess and valves and head will need a clean up.. the rod is not bust I don;t think. I guess the piece of pistons blew down up and got mashed between the head and valves into more pieces which got mashed too and will be in the sump now!

I guess my engine is in need of Forged items, I cannot see it being detonation or such like as the engine was performing perfectly all day with regular plug checks and strong constant power on track, the other pistons look fine it was driving perfectly on the way home, it was sudden and catastropic failure of a part caused by overloading I guess or long term weakening.

When stripped and decoked after my valve issue the piston crowns all looks perfect after equal caining at the Ring, no marking or det damage...So I guess a crack/weakness has formed and its caved in under todays abuse. Time will tell.

I think this is a good opportunity to prepare it for next years fun. I am not 100% sure of whether to build another 4 banger or do something drastic in the engine department in the name of "dura"bility (clue) and attaining the 150mph Spitfire.

Was certainly an impressive noise when it let go...That noise that signals its 100% quaranteed recovery are taking you home! :-)

Bitter/Sweet day. Alot of fun none the less. I do like the car alot it works well and its quick, just these engines are getting fragile when you want to use 7K+ and wide open power for long periods.

Got home at 11pm after a 6.35 start today. I am wacked! Could say more!

Thanks for organising it guys!

A note from Jason Chinn "You're too kind Dave - I'm built for comfort not for speed at over 15 stone The synthetic fabric of the top you lent me would have shrunk wrapped my arms in the event of a fire but it was fortunate it was there and satisfied the marshals. I could have looked like the only gay in the village if I'd have zipped it up over my gut! Thanks for an entertaining and exhilarating trip out - the car was very quick and tight. Serious shame about being "piston broke" on the way home. All part of the developement process! "

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fun with a Zetec powered Sylvia Striker!

Had a great day today. Did a house call, fitting some DHLA45 P, powerjet carbs to a Zetec powered Sylvia Striker.

Car was on DHLA40's with 30mm chokes and obviously ran like a sack of ****.

Off with the carbs and on with some Davesideways reconditioned specials.

Straight forward fitment, bar adjustment of throttle linkage and levers.

Bolted on, fired first turn of the key and idle'd well! Then balanced and idle's tuned.

3hrs after starting we went for a test run. Amazingly the carbs required no further adjustment and gave near seamless delivery and the power increase was VERY apparent!

I must say the Striker is a superb car with awesome grip levels and corners on rails, very very good, stops on a 50p and kicks you in the back in a way you rarely feel on 4 wheels, atleast after I had tuned it anyway! Really quick, just grab gears and the scenery arrives very quickly.

I guess is had 300-325HP per tonne. Guy just needs to fit some 275 rally cams to finish off the deal.

DHLA45P's what a great carb!

I'd buy a striker.

Time to wash the Beast and sort out my tools and get an early night.

Looks like Monday is lining up for a fun day

Looking forward to some quote : "face to face", with KD Triumph front man Karl.

I have been challenged to a "face to face" via the private messages of the Club Forum. I take this as a threat, maybe I should bring some heavies with me? :-)

Expect a full report on ALL the days activities- in due course! I was only going for a few laps, looks like its developing into a real fun day out!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Opps lost me exhaust!

Went for a test run today, forgot to remove my auxillary silencer, its somewhere between Ledbury and Gloucester! Hadn't made the bracket it was just wedged in to keep the neighbours happy...

Anyway in Blue Peter stylee, here's another one I made earlier...

It consists of...

The remains of the centre holey tube from my micron. I then cut up a spray can and made it a VERY tight fit on the one end of the tube and open on the other..I then packed it using wire wool, very tightly packed...It friction fits into the end of the main exhaust can and is held in place with two screws...

Works very well! Car is much quieter and less boomy...Maybe leaving the sound behind more...Noticeably quieter in the garage...Hopefully it'll be ok! Can fit a DB killer inside if needed. Also it'll keep the rear valance clean.

I like it so much its gonna be a feature of the car now. Just waiting for the wirewool to flame out at some point when an ember hits it, I noticed when anglegrinding next to a roll of wool on the bench it caught fire but doesnt seem to effect its structure...Maybe its coated with something, burn it, keep repacking it!

I left the holey end poking out thinking it might disperse the noise a bit...

Cost £4.25 for wire wool.

Car running well, head re-torqued, tappets set, carbs balanced, idle mixtures reset, ready to go!


All looking good at this stage.

Think I found some more inlet valves at the engineering shop today, a whole box I think! About 100...I need a mini lathe I can re-work this stuff at my leisure then...

Also found some mint Vandervell VP2 mains in +0.040"...Another set for my stash! +10-20-30-40 in mains and big ends !

Friday, September 01, 2006

Valve mash

One mashed valve. Collets look new bar the base rings cracked off, bloody hard material them collects!

All ready to go back together, sadly my old valve has a bit of a pit in 1 area, not suprising I learnt my carb trade on those valves! too much to recut. I'll have to sort my last spare out tomorrow. Thats the vital bit, hope the shops open or i'll have to go blagging.

Guess I'll spend all morning running about finding parts.

Engine looks good inside bar a slight bit of funnyness in No3 bore in a thin area top to bottom, rings still intact not sure whats caused it, not that arsed either I will be making another bottom-end soon...Don't think its causing any problems as its running well I think with no blow by etc. Thrash it till it gives in!

Will change to 6 plugs for general driving and 7 on the trackdays etc. Little bit too much "crusty" carbon in a few places, have to run a bit rich cause of the cam etc so maybe thats just life eh? I'll run 6's and check the difference next time the heads off.

De-carboned the pistons and cylinder head, my favoured tools on the head are redex, left to soak for 30mins then wire wool, carbon gone in moments, pistons cleaned very carefully with a razor blade at steep angle inwards to keep carbon out the rings...Clean head gasket surface with a razor blade then Ethanol as its mildy abrasive.

Bit of a pain in the arse! 3am! doh.