THI MOTORSPORT
THI MOTORSPORT

2012 Build

The car is now in the middle of undergoing a full strip down/refresh. With the exception of the main elements of the four corners which were all addressed in 2010 with brand new race parts, almost everything is being taken part, checked, refreshed and altered in some way. Lots of these modifications have been done before, by other people on various cars, so not everything is really new as such. However, this seemed a good way of cataloging exactly what I'm doing and how, for my own reference.

 

It's quite daunting, but I am doing the large majority of the work myself in my spare time, along with a couple of friends, so progress is slow. However, I am learning more about my car which is a great. My first event is on 5th May, so I'll have to get cracking, as there is a huge amount to do.

 

Cage Upgrade

The main thing I had to do at first, was to make changes to comply with regs. This involed me adding to my 4-point T45 Custom Cages cage, to make it into a 6-point version. Not an easy or nice task to do properly, as it involves taking the whole of the dash out, along with steering column and all of the wiring loom, in order to slide the steel load spreading boxes down the ally extrusions, for the front hoop to bolt to. What turned up from Custom Cages was a few lenghths of T45 tube and the load spreading boxes, non of which fitted. Oh joy!!!!

So, we stripped the dash out completely and cut the insides of the window framework to accept the tube, modified and painted the boxes so as not to create a reaction with the ally and slid them down into place. The holes through the ally extrusion were marked out, the front hoop measured and cut to size and the ends scalloped to be ready to fit and tacked. The hoop then has to be taken out again to be welded properly to the spreader plates and then ratchet strapped in order to get it back in for good. Then the rest of the hoop to hoop tubes were cut and scalloped and tacked. With the fit looking good, we then tig welded everything together. 2 coats of Por 15 later and it was finished.

Engine Out/Firewall Out/New firewall in

The next job was to remove the engine and gearbox, ready for the new Eliseparts sequential gearbox to be bolted on. I decided that this would be a good time to rip out the original firewall and to design and fit a new one in 1.6mm ally. This gives a fair bit more room behind the engine and supercharger for access and also saves a fair bit of weight.

 

All the ones I have seen before just follow the rollover hoop down and then curve back behind the seats finishing flush with the angled section which houses the fuel tank. However, I wanted somewhere to house my ECU, relays and loom etc and not just bolt them in on an angle behind the passenger seat. Therefore we designed a slightly more complicated piece which would incorporate an enclosure, accessable, but out of the way of the seats etc. The engine side will then be covered in gold heat reflective film.

Airbox

I have been using a large open K&N air filter until now, which was in the normal position on the nearside, fed by a side scoop. In this position, the filter doesn't get very good airflow and at the same time get very dirty, with lots of tyre rubber, grit etc being sucked through. Therefore I decided to use the roof scoop to feed an airbox, as it gets much cleaner air.

 

I have enlarged the front opening to around double its original size and have also cut out material from the back. We have designed a removable airbox to fit a huge RU-3040 open K&N filter which flows enough for about 1500hp. The filter sits inside the box and is mounted to a bellmouth reducing it's 6" outlet to the 3" induction tube size, which will follow on to the throttle body. The filter sits slightly off centre, creating a snail/venturi effect within the box. A removable inspection lid doubles up as the air feed from the roof scoop. Again, this will be covered in heat reflective film.

Wheel Arch Vents

In order to reduce high pressure build up in the front wheel arches, I have cut some vents into the clam. These have then been meshed over to avoid pebbles being flicked up towards the windscreen. I have also opened up the rearward facing front wheel arch vents, which are usually just for show. The arch liners have also been trimmed to make this functional. I'm hoping this will aid me trying to achieve more front end downforce to balance out my new rear wing,

Laminova clean-up

Amazingly simple, these little coolers. It hasn't ever been stripped it for a clean before, so was expecting it to be full of muck after more than 4 years of abuse. However, it was surprisingly clean. Very easy really. End caps unbolted, core pushed out, lots of brake cleaner/degreaser applied, thorough rinse and a quick blast with compressed air to force out any muck caught between the coils. Core back in, job done.

Chargecooler radiator modification

At the moment my front cooling setup consists of my main triple pass motorsport rad with my chargecooler rad bolted underneath with a 9", 1000 m3/hour blower fan mounted beneath that. Not a bad setup, but can easily be improved on quite alot.

 

All the fan mounts on the chargecooler rad have been removed, along with the fan itself. Rad is marked out as shown below and cooling fins are carefully removed to leave openings straight through to the main engine rad for better cooling effect. I will then mount a high performance 11" puller fan, 2330 m3/hour on top of the main rad, creating a much more efficient setup. All holes in the mouth of the crash structure have been filled in to give the rads the best airflow possible.

Steering wheel paddleshift kit fitted

The new sequential gearbox has been designed to work seamlessley with paddleshift systems. The Geartronics kit has been chosen for this gearbox, part of it being the steering wheel paddles and wiring loom. I have removed the old snap-off quick release steering wheel hub and replaced it with an FIA approved Lifeline version.

Lightweight Windows

Another thing on the list for this year was to swap the original glass windows for lightweight Lexan versions. Not only for the slight weight saving, but also to allow me to get rid of the horrible mechanisms that lurk inside the doors.

 

I have heard all the horror stories of lexan windows popping out, flexing lots at speed and deforming etc, etc and requiring lots of additional support brackets to keep them in place. I really wanted to see if it was possible to install something that wouldn't do this.

 

Therefore, instead of the normal 4mm lexan used, I opted for slightly heavier 5mm which would add extra stiffness. I also opted for a scratch proof coating, to stop all the horrible looking swirl marks etc that you often see on cheap plastic windows. Lastly, I had some proper, bearing mounted sliders cut in to give an air feed and also add stiffness.

 

After making up some brackets to bolt the windows in and playing around with the positioning, I achieved a really good fit. I'm quite happy with the amount/lack of flex and think I will be o.k without any additional support struts. However, I will have to keep an eye on this when I run the car again for the first time to see if they are adequately rigid at speed.

 

All in, I think I have saved about 6kg doing this and a further amount by cutting away lots of uneccessary fibreglass from the doors.

Throttle body/Supercharger Inlet

This is the part which sits in between the throttle body and supercharger. This is something a few people have been looking into recently, as in theory there should be some extra power to be had from making a more efficient part. The part that comes with the supercharger kit is designed to fit into a Honda Civic and abviously has to clear something in the engine bay. This means that this part/tube makes a very pronounced upwards sweep straight after the throttle body, causing the airflow to become very disturbed on its way into the supercharger.

 

Therefore we are making a completely straight replacement part, with slighly oversized openings to accomodate a larger throttle body if required. This will be handmade, by making lots of perfectly calculated bends, from 2mm ally sheet, with 10mm thick flanges at each end. A prototype has been made from 1.5mm to check for sizing and now the 2mm version is almost complete. Once finished it will be anodised. Because of its shape, this piece is extremely strong, so should easily cope with a combination of heat, vibration and stress. However, we will need to keep an eye on it to make sure and if ever required, we can easily produce it from 3mm.

 

 

Header Tank & Oil Engine/Gearbox Catch Tank

Although I don't completely dislike the standard plastic coolant bottles, as they are uncomplicated and fluid levels easy to monitor, I don't like the fact that they can potentially split due to fatigue and that the caps can blow.

 

Therefore, for peace of mind, we are making up a basic ally version to sit in a similar place on the firewall. We will be welding in a Pro Alloy site gauge to make monitoring coolant levels easy and also fitting a high pressure cap.

 

Regarding the catch tank, we will again be making it from ally. This tank will have two feeds, doubling up to take breathed vapours from both the engine and sequential gearbox. It will be a simple design with some internal baffles, drain plug and K&N breather filter and will be mounted at the back of the engine bay against the nearside longeron.

 

Both of these pieces will be anodised, along with the other parts which are gradually appearing.

Rear Subframe Strengthening

As most people with an S1 will know, the rear, steel subframe is designed to have the standard exhaust system running under it and is therfore constructed with this in mind, having a sort of cut-out. The wishbones then bolt onto eack side of the bottom of the subframe with this cut-out separating them. This obviously isn't ideal in terms of rigidity and can lead to the subframe twisting under load causing slight handling irregularities and in some cases has actually resulted in cracking. Seeing as my exhaust system runs over the top of this structure, there is nothing stopping me filling in the void to eradicate the twisting and improve handling.

 

This is something I partially addressed for the 2010 season with a rose-jointed brace arrangement across the void, however it was never going to totally cancel out the twisting. Therefore, we decided to remove this and do the job properly.

 

The whole subframe needed to come out and the rear longerons removed. The subframe was then sent off to the metal strippers to have its factory galvanising removed so that we could weld to it properly. A filler panel was made to fit and also folded so that it would go under the subframe. This will add strength in both planes. Holes were then punched out and swaged for strength. Whilst we were doing this we also welded on some additional repair washers around the wishbone mounting areas to give more support. And at the back, we removed some of the webbing which will make changing oil filters much easier. This will now be bright zinc passivated to give it a corrosion resistant finish. Finishing it in this way also saves a kilo of weight.

 

 

Rear end going back together

5/02/12

I managed to get to the workshop today afer a risky drive through all the snow and set about getting the rear of the car put back together. The rear subframe and damper mounts were all ready to go now and looking rather lovely after being stripped, modified and then bright zinc passivated. These all went back together without too much fuss, along with the laminova oil cooler. Then the wishbones, hubs and dampers were re-fitted, ready for the wheels to go back on. I had a little of the gold heat reflectice film left over that I used on the firewall, so decided to give the top of the subframe and the longerons a bit of protection from the heat of the exhaust system.  

 

Seeing as the engine bay is going to look like new again, I decided it would be a nice touch to vapour blast the exhaust system. As can be seen, it came out like new.

Dash Face

The original dash front consists of 3 separate panels which link together and are designed to house the heater controls, head unit etc, which I don't use anymore. And after taking this all out in order to fit the cage, we decided it was almost as much work to make filler panels to cover up the holes as it was to have a go at making a complete new front. This won't be as nice looking as the original, but it will be easy to get on and off and provide me with enough mounting surface for anything I may wish to add. It will be made from 1mm ally a weigh about half as much as the original dash front, which is a bonus. It will be bolted along the bottom and top edge and will incorporate a housing for the new dash display. It will be wrapped in black film to reduce any glare.

Aim MXL Pista Dash/Logger & Mounting Plate

My dash facia was starting to become quite cluttered with switches, gauges and control boxes etc and I am now going to need another gauge to monitor gearbox temperature. Therefore, I decided it would be a good time to get rid of almost everything and buy a new dash which would do the whole lot and log data at the same time. After a little research I decided the Aim Pista seemed to be the one for me. It does everything I need and is completely upgradeable in the future.

 

Instead of cutting up the original Stack display binnacle, I decided we should make a new, basic ally mounting plate with visor which bolts to the standard mounting points. Nothing fancy, but it is lightweight and will do the job. This will be anodised black like the rest of my parts.

Rear Wing Supports

With this rebuild, one of the main things I wanted to experiment with was the aerodynamics. One of the major parts of my new aero upgrades is the rear wing. Although very efficient in its design, my new twin element wing is capable of creating a rather healthy amount of downforce and the parts that transfer this load directly to the chassis need to be up to the job. In effect I'm using the same items as I have been up until now, however reproduced from stronger gauge materials.

 

I have always used 2 uprights which come up from either side of each of the rear chassis longerons to mount the main supports to. These items are now made from 5mm ally rather than the old 2mm pieces. Yes they weigh more, but I have experienced my old ones bending under the force of my old rear wing which is nowhere near as effective as the new one. Because of their strength, I might also use them to hold up the rear clam and remove the other supports completely. 

 

Again, the old adjustable wing supports have been removed. These were 5mm ally and fine for the old wing, however the new wing is going to be mounted both higher and much further back, in an attempt to get the cleanest air possible. There will therefore be quite a bit more leverage on the supports, which is why I have over-engineered them. I designed them to offer all the flexibility I need in terms of wing angles and height adjustability and had them cut out of 10mm ally on a waterjet. I have had the backs of the supports knife-edged for better aero. Also, where the wing mounts bolt onto the supports, I have had some material removed so that the two parts when together, only end up being the 10mm thickness of the rest of the support. I just hope these little touches add to the overall efficiency.

Front Splitter

I've now made a start on the front aero package for my car after drawing up all the designs. The first thing I needed to do, which was probably the most important, and time consuming, was to come up with a way of providing a very solid mounting surface for the splitter.

 

Up until now I have used a few of the standard fixing points, along with others and also some rivnut fittings into the fibreglass tray of the standard Exige splitter. This provided my ply splitter with lots of strength, however on some of the high speed circuits, even these fittings were taken to their limit with some of them ripping out. Well, at least I know how well my splitter was working!!

 

This time around, I'm making sure that this can't happen and am completely re-doing all the mounting points. The only way the splitter will come loose this time, is if the whole front crash box comes off with it!!

 

So, the idea is to use the front tow post as a fixing point, with a bracket coming off it. This then has two points of the crash stucture to spread the load over. I can stand on the front of my crash structure, so know how strong it is. This bracket is fixed to some ally box section which will have flush M8 rivnut fixings in its underside for the new splitter to bolt to. I have also cut a section out of the crash structure further back and slid another piece of box section through. This will have a bracket made up to fix it in position, which will incorporate a mounting point for a tie bar going out to the outer end of the box section. Again this will be fitted with rivnuts. Furthermore, I have made up another support bar which spans the whole underside of the crash structure and bolts up right through with M10 bolts and large washers. And just to make completely sure, we have triangulated all of the box section and added rose-jointed tie bars. It's amazing how strong the front crash structure is and I can now stand on one side of the splitter, a friend on the other side and a further person on the front, all at the same time. About 240kg's.

 

As the splitter will now not rely on any of the normal fixing points, it will be separate to the clam and standard lip spoiler and will remain in place, even when these are removed. Therefore I see no reason not to cut the fibreglass undertray section off the lip spoiler completely, as it is no longer structural. The front section of the lip will now simply fill in the gap between the splitter and the clam. This will save lots of weight, as it is a heavy piece.

 

Once this is completed, the splitter will be produced. It will only protrude buy 50mm at the very front, but will flare out towards the sides, basically straightening off the front of the car. This time we will be using 2mm aircraft grade 6082 ally which should hopefully prove strong enough if the mounts are located correctly. This means that I will gain 10mm of ground clearance compared with my old 12mm ply version, meaning I can run the car lower to optimise its effect. The design of the leading edge of the splitter is very important, as it determines to a large extent, how the air travels under the rest of the car. Mine will have a slight upwards bend formed so that the air isn't 'shocked' when hitting it, hopefully easing it under gently, keeping the air attached nicely to its underside and the rest of the flat floor.

 

To gain some further front downforce, we will be mounting side fences at each end of the splitter, which will extend up, following the contour of the wheelarches. We will make up a set of large fences and a set of small ones with the same fixing points, so we can swap them around and change the front end characteristics.

Rear Diffuser and Undertray

This is another part of the aero package that I have started work on recently and again, one of the most important aspects for me is to get the mounting points designed properly.

 

So, firstly the idea was to have some degree of adjustability with the diffuser, in order to change its ramp angle to get it working efficiently. My car runs a race exhaust system which requires a fixing bracket made from box section, running between the rear longerons. So rather than designing a separate mount for the diffuser, adding both weight and complication, the idea was just to re-make the existing bracket to act is fixing point for both.

 

I have increased the size of box section for added strength and made up new fixing brackets as the old ones encouraged it to twist slightly. This has now allowed me to mount some adjustable struts to the same bracket, which will fix to another piece of ally box section, running the full width of the diffuser. As with the front splitter box section, rivnuts will be used as a fixing method, but only M6 as there is no real load on the diffuser as such. This method of fixing is very neat, allows the diffuser to go up and down 25mm each way and is quick release on a form of snap pin.

 

And as with the front splitter, the rear diffuser will be separate from the clam now and therefore will remain fitted, even when the clam is taken off. So to save weight, I have competely cut away the underneath of the clam where the standard rear fixing points are, saving a huge amount of weight.

 

The new diffuser has been made 1170mm wide and stops just shy of the inner wheels each side, allowing for adjustments in camber. It is straight at the back, mimicking the straight edge of the rear wing and protrudes about 50mm from under the clam. It has a 90 degree flange at the back to help with stiffness and also turned edges at the sides for the same reason. Unlike other aftermarket diffusers, all the fins will be removable. In order to utilise the extra area, we are making a new undertray which it will link up to. This will almost eradicate the cut outs for the wishbones and not have any naca ducts fitted to interupt the airflow, maximising the underfloor area and linking up with the new running boards we will be making.

 

 

Tyre Arrival

Our regulataions have changed at the mast minute for this season, due to Pirelli not being able to guarantee supply to all competitors. Therefore, we are now permitted to use any list 1B tyre for dry conditions and any list 1A tyre for very wet conditions.

Therefore, after several weeks of thinking about what to run and speaking to lots of people, I made my decision.

 

List 1B. Kumho V700 V70.

205/45/16 fronts. Medium compound.

255/40/17 rears. Medium compound.

 

List 1A. Yokohama AD08.

205/45/16 fronts.

255/40/17 rears.

 

The Kumhos are apparently the best tyre to run on an Elise chassis, but I have no personal experience with them. They are supposed to hold their grip a lot longer than all the usual road legal track tyres which is very important to me. The Toyo 888's that I used to run only gave me a 2-3 lap window in which to set a fast lap, before going off. An added bonus is that the fronts are a very good size for me, allowing a lower than usual ride height and no scrubbing issues.

 

Hopefully I won't have to use the Yokos, but they are supposed to be very good in the wet and are a very soft compound, but with a full tread depth.

 

 

Bargeboards

Bargeboards were another aero addition that I've been keen to explore with this project. They serve to clean up the airflow down the side of the car and also stop the unwanted turbulent air getting in under the sides of the car and upsetting the flow along the flat floor. This should increase the efficiency of the flat floor and to some extent decrease the drag created by the shape of the side of the car and the air coming out from behind the front wheels. However, one thing I didn't want to do, was design/make/fit them if they weren't going to be 100% perfect. By perfect, I mean in terms of how they fit and join up with the rest of the flat floor, as I know they aren't the prettiest of things to look at anyway.

 

So, with a rough design drawn up and some 1.5mm ally cut into shape we offered the bargeboards up under the car to work out how to do the mounting part of this job properly. Not the easiest thing to do!! The standard Exige rear clam wraps under the car and bolts through the floor and the front oversills do the same. This means that anything bolted up under the car will not sit flat and will not join up with the rest of the underfloor. I have seen other cars with bargeboards fitted like this. Not what I want. Therefore, with the help of my laser level I projected a beam across the length of the car, at the same level as the underfloor. This meant I could see which parts of the bodywork protruded further under the car than the underfloor. I marked them at this level and then carefully started the daunting task of cutting this excess material off. In effect this will allow the bargeboards to sit completely flat, with the bodywork resting on top.

 

The next thing was to take some accurate measurements of where the chassis rails were in order the joggle the end of the bargeboards so that they would sit flat with the floor and then also bend up to rest against the fibreglass sills of under the car. After doing this, drilling holes for rivnuts in the chassis beam and fitting screw anchor points in the underside of the sills, they were ready to bolt on for a final check. Luckily they have worked out perfectly and sit completely flat under the whole length of the car with the rest of the underfloor. All they need now is some minor fettling and painting to finish them off.

Quick release Bonnet & Engine Cover

Well, the car is starting to look like a car again now, eventhough the bodywork is coming off and on again the whole time. With my gearbox ready to fit, I'm just waiting for some help with it which gives me just over a week to get the rest of the car finished.

 

So now it's just the small jobs which still need doing. One of them being to re-instate the rear engine cover earocatch mounts which used to be attached to part of the trim that has been removed. This just meant making up some new fittings which would bolt to the firewall as they wouldn't get in the way of anything here. A relatively easy bracket to make once we'd figured out the best way to do it, but something that takes alot of time to get in the correct position for the aerocatches to work nicely.

Then we were onto the front bonnet. The original bonnet has a hinge nearest the front of the car and then a locking latch nearest the windscreen which is operated from the cabin. The latch was always getting jammed and the hinge always coming loose and getting misaligned. With the bonnet open, it is also difficult to work in the battery compartment. I really wanted this to be quick release to remove it and get it out of the way. 

 

Therefore I have removed the hinge and all fittings from the bonnet and clam and on the bonnet, mounted a bendy ally tongue which slides under the clam, just above the radiator fan. This is kept from moving from side to side by to carefully positioned bolts which go through the clam and act as a guide.

 

At the windscreen end I still wanted to have something in place, so I could lock it. Therefore I located some more locking aerocatches with the same key as my engine cover fittings. I carefully cut away the carbon section at the back of the bonnet which used to house the female part of the latch and cut away enough material to push the flush aerocatch through and up into place. I had to reshape the fitting to get it to fit and have now bolted it in place. It only just fits, but it works really well and looks good, unlike the normal fittings you see which stick out on top of the bonnet with a sliding pin. Then I have used the existing latch mount which is already fixed in the car, in order to mount the aerocatch bolt. This just involved making a simple bracket so I could get the positioning spot on. Again the bonnet is now very easy to get on and off and I'm happy with the finished article.

Removeable Fuseboard Mount

Another small job that I completed was to make up a bracket to mount the front fuseboard to. Normally, and I have no idea why, the fuseboard mounts to the nearside wheelarch liner. Not the best place for it to be, but I suppose it was out of the way. I wanted to mount it in the battery compartment somewhere, but make it easily removeable to allow work to be done on other things.

 

Therefore I mad up a mount with a tapered tongue on it which would slide into a female guide. This was then bolted to a couple of the unused rivnuts which were already there to hold the washer bottle, which has been repositioned in the centre.

Sequential Gearbox Compressor & Air Storage Tank

These 2 parts are required for the new gearbox to work. The compact compressor runs on about 25% duty cycle and feeds the small storage tank with air, which then in turn provides the pneumatic gearbox actuator with enough pressure for around 15 gearshifts. The valve assembly which controls this process can provide up to 7 up/downshifts in under 1 second.

 

These two parts have been installed in the front battery area, so that they are out of the way, but still easy to get to. They are bolted through rivnuts, so are quick to get in and out without having to get under the car. This also means that the underside of the car remains very flat without boltheads sticking out. The compressor came with anti-vibration mounting points but the air tank didn't, so I made some up for it by using some cut-down, stiff rubber doorstops.

Just over a week to finish the car !!!!!!!!!

Well, there's not much to say right now really. I've been completing lots and lots of little jobs over the last couple of weeks which weren't really worth documenting on here. Some important to the car working properly, some safety related and some just cosmetic.

 

The van is now loaded up with everything which still has to be fitted back into the car and the car is loaded on my trailer, ready to set off to Eliseparts on Thursday morning to finish it off. I have booked a dyno slot at TDI south for Monday the 30th April and also a trackday at Brands Hatch the day after. Also a test day at Cadwell Park on the Friday, followed by my first event on the Saturday.

 

This means that the car has got to go from being what is basically just the tub without engine/gearbox, wiring and just the four corners bolted on roughly, to the finished article in just over a week!! It'll be a rather interesting deadline to meet, however it will be done and done properly and without cutting corners.................... I hope!! I won't go into detail on what needs doing, but it is alot. Then I still have the task of learning to drive again and getting used to a car that will feel somewhat different.

 

Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly and that in just over a weeks time I am able to add a big update to my site......if I have time.

The final push...........

With the car now being finished and my first event of the season over, I thought it about time to complete my build diary. This last section however, will  include a vast variety of mixed pictures as the last week or so was spent finishing off a huge amount of different jobs.

 

With the car dropped off at Eliseparts HQ we set about making preparations for the gearbox to be dropped in. This included making a large list of relatively small but important parts that we required. I worked on the car for two days and then left it in Simons capable hands to try and finish, the aim being to get the car running by the middle of the following week. Needless to say things went slightly slower than envisaged due to the amount of wiring required and the odd set-back.

 

I went up again to spend another couple of days on the car and to bring it back home with me, ready for taking to the dyno to be mapped. Well it was now a Thursday and the car was still in pieces, although the engine and box were in. By friday evening things were looking better and it was time to fire up the engine after it's long period of hibernation. After one little wiring glitch had been solved it roared into life once again which was a real incentive to keep on going. The car was still far from being finished though and nowhere near ready to take home. We still had a couple of parts on order for Saturday delivery, as some of ours were found to be faulty at the last minute. 

 

Therefore, I made the decision to carry on working through the night to try and get a few more jobs ticked off the long to-do list. I worked into the early hours and had a quick 45 minutes nap on the warehouse floor before carrying on the next morning. Surprisingly, I didn't feel that tired and along with Scuffers and his friend we managed to get the car pretty much finished by the afternoon, apart from a little bit of bodywork.

 

Before heading home, Scuffers took the opportunity to do a bit of testing on the empty industrial estate to check everything was working properly. The sound of the car going through the gears was awesome and I couldn't wait to get it out on track. With the car loaded up and the van packed I headed off home, ready for mapping on Monday.

 

Dyno Day

 

Monday morning and we were ready to go at TDI South in Thurrock. The car was bolted up to the hub dyno and after a couple of hours of mapping we were done. The engine made 340bhp at the hubs which was an amazing result really considering it's standard with regards to strengthening, with just some cams thrown in and a supercharger bolted on. So, potentially there is still room for improvement with a larger throttle body, smaller pulley or bigger chargecooler core etc. Before the car was loaded up, the gearbox running-in oil was dropped and replaced with some Neo, ready for some hard use.

 

Brands Hatch Shakedown

 

Tuesday the following morning and we were in the paddock at Brands bright and early, fitting some last little bits of aero kit to the car, along with all the wheelarch liners. Driver briefing out of the way, noise test done and we were ready to drive the car properly for the first time. Again, Scuffers went out first just to make sure everything was working properly and although wet, the car seemed to be behaving itself on its 2 year old, worn Toyo 888's. After a little while out on track we came in to do a quick inspection and noticed that the header tank was empty. Oh dear!!!!! A couple of minutes later and the fault was found. A leaking bleed valve on the front radiator hose. This is one of the only parts on my car I've never changed and is the original item. It had never leaked before. Well, at least it failed now rather than at the first event. Luckily Trackclub, a Lotus specialist who were also running a car on the day had an uprated replacement part. So during the lunch break, the front clam came off and the faulty part was replaced.

 

With the car back together it was my turn to see what it was like. I couldn't wait and with my new Kumho V70a's fitted I went out for a blast. I spent a good 20 minutes learning the car and enjoyed every minute of it. It ran perfectly. After letting the car rest for a minute, it was Scuffers turn to go out again in the dry. However, after only just over a lap, something was making a strange noise. He came in and the car was checked over. I faulty tripod joint was to blame. We managed to locate another joint from another local specialist and re-built the nearside driveshaft there and then, however by the time it was done the day was over. So all in all a good day spent ironing out a few problems, but without enough seat time in the car. At least the car was ready for the weekend though.

 

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