01 Mar 2008
Road loom labeling complete and wired to Race Technology loom

I spent a few hours finishing the loom labelling this morning. Once I had done this I adapted it to the Race Technology Dash2 loom. One of the wires pulled out of the loom so I had to make a slight modification, but it didn't cause any major set-backs.

The tachometer comes in the form of a block terminal, but the Dash2 loom uses spade connectors, so I made up a new block terminal to fit the existing tacho block, and then I ran cables out of it with spade terminals on each. These fit to the Dash2 loom, and I didn't have to cut any wires - neat!

The dash wiring was really easy to complete when I got out to the car with it. It just connects to the main loom using a couple of large block connectors. We put the dashboard in place by hanging it over the steering wheel, and then just connected each of the switches to the dash loom. The labelling made things very easy, and I would recommend doing it. It should also save a lot of hassle if I ever need to do anything under there again.

It's jumping a bit ahead, I couldn't resist testing the electronics out, so we connected just the loom to the battery and flipped a few switches. The horn was the first thing I tested and it was on slightly wrong, so I altered how the earth connected and it worked. It's the biggest "Noddy horn" you've ever heard, but I was so excited about it. It's the first breath of life from the car really.

The headlights work, and so do the hazards and indicators. I can get sidelights, and I can get main beam, but not dipped beam. Also the rear fog light wasn't working either.

We've come this far, so we might as well go one step further and plug in the Dash2 unit. It looks AWESOME!

Have to pack up early afternoon though as we're all down in Guildford tonight for a night out.

Laurence

Dash loom labelled up. Dash2 loom connected Tacho plug does not fit to the Dash2 loom.
Block terminal made up to made tacho connection fit.    

01 Mar 2008
Nosecone mesh

Kriss popped over this morning and had picked up some fibreglass resin from Halfords on his way to fix the mesh into the nosecone.

The kit is actually very easy to use - you just mix the resin with a bit of hardener and then smear it on. Kriss thought it best to fill the gap underneath the mesh first so the mesh had something to sit on, but in actual fact this is not needed at all.

The stuff is so viscous that you could just smear it over the top and it would hold just fine. It has added a couple of KG to the weight of the nosecone though, so I would do it much thinner next time. However, the mesh is rock-solid, and it's another job off the list.

Laurence

The mesh held into place by a new advanced type of clamp in the market :) Preparation in progress. Kriss roughing up the surface to ensure a good bond.
Mixing up in progress. Way too much fibreglass used, but it's not going anywhere!!!  

04 Mar 2008
Electrical problems

When I left the car on Saturday we had no dipped beam, and no rear fog-light. Also, the switches didn't illuminate when the headlights were on. Probably all related and something simple.

Over 2 hours later and I worked it out. I tried bypassing switches, I tried everything. There was no fog-light. I checked the signal into the switch which was +12v. I tried bypassing the switch to eliminate this from the problem, but still no fog light.

I was even getting power into the fuse box, but not out of it. The fuse was fine though. It turned out to be that one of the cables underneath the fuse box was not seated correctly, but I only noticed when I removed the fuse box (which is very fiddly at this stage). Fog light fixed - now for the dipped beam problem.

The dipped beam is a similar problem. The switch is getting a +12v signal, and again I try bypassing it but still no joy, so the switch is fine. Again, the switch is putting out +12v too, but the fuse is not getting any power.

I checked readings from all around the car. Eventually I decided to look at the giant block connector that interfaces the dash loom to the main loom. One of the pins that connect the block was bent and had been pushed right back and so did not seat into the other terminal. It could have been hours before I checked this as it was Westfield-made and so I didn't expect it to be a problem. I recovered the pin with pliers and once reconnected it worked fine.

Still no instrument illumination though, but that's because I forgot to connect the orange/red and black wires to each of the switches. Easy fix!

Although it was a silly problem and cost a lot of time, I really enjoyed the electrical investigation.

I started to look at the ECU tray. I fitted the hinges into place and drilled a couple of holes. It's getting late now though so I'll finish it another day.

Laurence

The dashboard loom - this will be fun... :( The dipped beam had a bent pin in this block connector. Easy fix (once I realised the problem). The fog light cable wasn't correctly seated in the fuse box, but you can see why it's hard to see that. I had to take it all out. Only 2 bolts, but very hard to access at this stage.
The Dash2 unit. The Dash2 unit in the dark. It's much brighter than this, but the camera doesn't show it. The ECU tray with hinges fitted - I'll need to straighten them up though.

06 Mar 2008
ECU plate, ECU mounting, and ECU wiring

Tonight I wanted to get the ECU plate mounted, and the ECU into place.

The ECU plate mounts on hinges and the idea is that it can swing down to gain access by simply removing a couple of screws. I fitted the bottom part first by drilling a couple of holes in the chassis rail and then securing the hinges using M5 self-tapping screws.

I then repeated the process for the upper rail. This was somewhat more difficult though since the rail is rounded. I found it best to use the hinge holes and a guide, which made the drilling much easier. Once drilled, I used M5 self tapping screws again.

The ECU fixes to the plate using a bracket very similar to the battery tray bracket. The ECU was about half the size of the bracket though, so I decided to stick some foam onto it. This will ensure a sung fit, and also dampen the vibrations. The ECU is a really snug fit.

Now I looked at connecting the ECU loom to the Westfield loom. Westfield had already modified our loom for us (it took them 3 months though!), so I thought it would be just a case of plugging in. This is not the case though. I can't work out what should connect where, so I plugged all of the engine sensors into the loom and the electrical ancillaries to see what was left over and see if this gave any clues.

There are a few stray wires, but I'm really stabbing in the dark without knowing what to connect where, so I'll have to speak to Mark about it.

At least all of the sensors are plugged into the engine though. Every sensor will only fit in one place so you can't get this wrong. The only two that are the same are the air temp sensor and the water temp sensor, so make sure there are the correct way around. I'm fairly sure the air temp sensor has a green wire, and the water temp is blue.

Laurence

Bottom section of ECU plate fitted. Top section of ECU plate fitted. ECU fitted with foam to space the gap between the plate and the bracket.
ECU fitted to the plate.    

07 Mar 2008
ECU wiring continued

Mark sent me through a document detailing the complete list of modifications that must be carried out to the ECU loom, as well as instructions on what to connect where once the modifications have been made. I wouldn't have been able to do it without this document.

The first thing to do was connect the power cables up to the engine. The chain is very simple.

  1. Take the longest power cable, and connect it from the positive battery terminal to the starter solenoid (it has a plastic cover over the terminals). Connect this to the left terminal. You will need to run the power cable up through the panel where the fuse box lives, as the starter solenoid should fit on the ECU tray.
  2. From the right side terminal on the starter solenoid, route this back down through the panel, into the engine bay, and connect it to the starter motor.
  3. Now connect the starter solenoid to the negative battery terminal.

With this all taken care of, I decided to try and engage the starter by turning the key, but nothing happens. I trace through the wiring and I find out that in order to start the car, the engine must be in neutral, but I'm not getting anything from the gear position sensor.

I was playing around for ages, and I eventually find that the signal into the starter solenoid from the ignition barrel was not connected, so I manually connected the white/red cable from the Westfield loom (starter signal) to the yellow/green on the hayabusa loom. This tells the starter solenoid that the key has been turned to start the engine.

Now when I turned the key I got a massive drain on the battery (I could see it on the multimeter), but still no action. I tested various circuits, but still couldn't find out why the signal is not reaching the ECU loom from the gear position sensor etc.

I checked that the starter motor was working by touching a live cable straight from the battery to the starter motor, and it immediately whirred, so I know it works.

Eventually I work out it's because I have not earthed the ECU loom which was really silly. I removed one of the screws that holds the ECU tray into place, and secured the black/white earth wire here which keeps things very near, and saves running a cable back into the engine bay.

Now a quick turn of the key and the starter clicked into life. Apparently it is safe to do this as long as it's only very quick. There was no oil in the car though, so I did it once and left it. Now we know the ignition circuit is working, so we won't have to play about with wiring next time, except for making a permanent connection between the white/red and yellow/green wires for the starter signal. I'll also have to connect up the RPM signal, gear signal, and fuel pump etc. but I'll do this properly next time.

Laurence


10 Mar 2008
Additional sensors for the DASH2 digital dash

I wanted to use an oil temperature display with the DASH2, and I thought it would be very easy to use the sensor that Westfield sell. Looking at the software, asks for the input voltage of the sensor at various intervals. The problem is that the Westfield VDO sender gives a varied level or resistance and not voltage.

There is a way around this though. In order to use a thermistor with the DASH2, you must create a potential divider. What this does is uses a known voltage output, then applies two levels of resistance to the circuit - one fixed, and the other variable (the output of the oil temperature sender). This in turn gives a variable voltage, and this voltage can be used in the DASH2. You are effectively converting resistance into voltage.

What you need to do is get the resistance levels for the various temperature points, convert them using the potential divider formula, and then use that voltage in the dash.

This link was very useful to me: http://electronics2000.co.uk/data/itemsmr/potdiv.php

The DASH2 unit has a 5v reference output, so you use this.

I used a 1k resistor for the oil temperature, so if for example my resistor gave out 300ohms when the oil temperature was 10C, you would do V2 = (R2 / (R1 + R2)) * V1

V1 would be 5v, R1 would be whatever resistor you fitted inline with the 5v feed (1k in my case), and R2 would be the resistance that the sensor gives at 10C.

This would give you 1.154V, so you would set your channel output in the DASH2 to read 10C at 1.154V, then do the same for 20, 30, and so on.

Look at the images below which should show you how to create the complete circuit.

Laurence

My diagram - use the 5v feed from the DASH2 to splice into to begin the circuit, then add a resistor (1k is ideal), then connect your sensor, then feed the circuit into the desired DASH2 channel. My 1k resistor soldered in line. Heat shrink used to protect it.

11 Mar 2008
Steering wheel

Tonight I fitted the steering wheel. There is a plastic collar, but it comes into contact with the dash so I have left it off.

It was just a case of spinning the wheel far left, far right, then going in-between the two. Any final adjustments can be made using the tracking rod.

The rubber cover comes off very easily - I'll probably have to use a light glue on it.

It's pub-o'clock...

Laurence

The steering wheel fitted into place.    

11 Mar 2008
Oil pressure sender

Although not really required, it's very sensible to fit an oil pressure sender to the engine so we can keep an eye on things. It makes even more sense since all of the wiring is already in place on the loom, and the DASH2 can have 4 inputs, so we might as well make use of them.

The idea is that we'll set an alarm if the pressure drops too low, and the DASH2 unit will tell us about it, so we won't even have to monitor it constantly ourselves.

I have heard that when warm, oil pressure drops as low as 1.0bar on the Hayabusa engine, so the alarm will have to be set pretty low to avoid it becoming a nuisance. Thinking about it, with 9,000rpm and a warning as low as 0.8bar, by the time we've responded to the warning it will probably be too late. Even so, might as well fit it.

The oil pressure sender that we purchased from Westfield fits in the same location that you connect an oil pressure gauge to when testing pressure during service. It's just in front of the oil pressure switch.

I removed the blanking plug, and then realised that the sensor thread was miles too small. Some kind of adaption is needed - it looks like an M16 thread. I'll call Westfield.

Laurence

Oil pressure sender goes here, but the thread is too small - adaption needed!    

12 Mar 2008
Engine starting

Tonight is a big night - we're going to try desperately to fire up the engine. I spoke to Dave @ Westfield today, and he confirmed that an adapter is needed to make the oil pressure sender fit, but they had forgotten to send it to us.

Mark said that it was not a good idea to start the engine without it which I was gutted about, but I had a plan. I looked at the wiring diagram for the Hayabusa engine and I could see that the oil pressure warning was very simple - the dash warning light is given a 12v feed, which then connects to the oil pressure switch, which then connects to earth, so when there is enough oil pressure the pressure switch breaks the path to earth, and therefore the circuit, which prevents the light coming on.

We decided we could use the oil pressure switch by giving it a 12v feed and placing a multimeter inline. With the engine off it reads 12v, so our theory is correct. We can happily use this as an indication of oil pressure. If it shows 0v then oil pressure is fine.

We had a lot of work to do though. We had our fuel rail at long last (3 months I think it took!!!) I connected the fuel rail segment to the throttle bodies. Also in the delivery was the M8 bolts and washers needed to bolt the engine down to the chassis. The holes were already drilled by me previously, but needed opening and adjusting slightly as they weren't quite perfect. Some of the bolts had to be fitted upside down as access was very tight, but we got around and tightened them all up.

Jonny was round to help us for the evening, so he and Matt finished the bolting down whilst I started connecting up the throttle bodies and the fuel pressure regulator to the fuel lines. I had trouble fitting the rubber lines to the solid lines that terminate by the passenger bulkhead as access was very tight, but Jonny was able to do it.

We fitted the water temperature sender and oil temp senders in their relevant locations, and then began to fill up the coolant. Matt put a cup of coolant in followed by a cup of water to get the mixture 50%. We were surprised at how quickly the expansion tank filled up. It seemed to fill up the expansion tank and then just stop without draining down into the pipes or the engine. You got the odd bubble now and then though, so we just squeezed all of the pipes. This moved a lot of air and the engine started to take the water from the tank. I was surprised at how little water the car took though.

Whilst Matt was finishing the coolant, I filled up the oil tank with Silkolene Pro 4 10W40 which is a fully synthetic motorcycle engine oil. It's blood red in colour which looks awesome! The engine with dry sump takes around 6 litres.

Kriss and Dan popped over, then got bored so they went to the pub, so it's just Matt, Jonny and I. Kriss and Dan came back later on, saw no action, poked some fun at us, and then left again.

We had just a few things to do, but it was getting late. We double-checked that all of the sensors were connected, and that everything was clear of the prop shaft. We had some wiring to do with the connecting of the ECU loom to the main loom. Things like the gear position sensor and the rev counter had to be connected into the main loom, so I made up a block connector for this. It took a little while as it was in quite a fiddly location. We also had to run the power cables through a grommet along with the ECU loom. The last thing we needed to do was connect the ECU loom into the fuel pump fuse.

We went over everything one last time and then turned the ignition on - we heard the fuel force its way into the fuel rail and then back. We left it for 15 minutes as the manual says and inspected for leaks - there didn't seem to be any leaks at all. Result.

So here we go, the car is in neutral, the fuel system seems to work just fine, oil is in the engine, so lets give it a go...

I turn the key and it cranks for a few seconds, then fires into life. Wow it seems really loud. I let it run for a few seconds and then cut the engine.

"Did it start?" Matt asked. He thought I was cranking the whole time, but it was the engine running on its own steam, but obviously very rough. I got scared though which is why I turned it off so fast. I don't know why - I guess it's just such an expensive thing to have malfunction.

We are all very proud of ourselves, so we started it again, but for longer this time. The car settled down to a steady idle very quickly, and the oil pressure light is off, so that's good. We gave the throttle a couple of blips and were amazed by the throttle response.

We cut the engine, talked for a bit, and then notice an oil leak. It was coming from the oil tank bottom outlet that feeds the sump. Tightening it is very difficult because there is a chassis rail in the way, but we manage it, or so we thought.

The leak is still there and we can't turn the boss any more because the chassis rail is obstructing it. It's getting late too. The only way we can do it is to remove the tank. I cleaned a bowl for the oil and we removed the hose that connects the tank to the sump and the oil slowly drained into it. Once empty, we removed the tank and tightened the boss as much as we could and clean up the oil on the chassis. We then refitted the tank, refilled it with oil, and then crossed our fingers that the leak had stopped.

We gave it another go, and left the engine running for a minute or two then stopped it. Wwwwooooooo! Lucky we did - massive oil leak! Worse still, the scavenge pump belt is on the floor. How the hell has that come off?

The oil leak was coming from the top of the scavenge pump that goes to the oil cooler. Jonny gets a spanner onto it and it turns out I've only tightened it finger tight. It takes ages to tighten due to such limited access, but Jonny did it eventually. Silly mistake, but this is why you start the engine and monitor it so closely before even thinking about hitting the road.

Looking at the dry sump instructions, I had forgotten to fit the front plate to the drive pulley, which is what retains the belt. The rear one was on, but the front one was missing. Sure enough, it was in the dry sump box along with the retaining bolts.

It's was way past our bed-time, and Matt had already had enough but Jonny and I just couldn't leave the car alone. I was hoping the engine didn't have to come out again to gain access to the pulley, but it was just a case of putting the engine into gear and then un-torquing the bolt that secures the drive pulley into place. Upon doing this, the pulley just pops out allowing us to fit the front plate to it, then we just popped it back into place.

We put the belt back on and then finished for the night. Jonny was a real asset tonight, and I doubt I would have got the engine started without his help. More importantly though, I went to bed on a high that the belt and pulley was sorted, instead of worrying that the engine might have to come out to gain access.

 

Laurence

The fuel rail segment back from Westfield - this end connects to the fuel pressure regulator, and then from the FPR back to the return fuel rail. Lots of preparation to do before starting. Engine bolted down into place using M8 cap-head bolts.
Engine bolted down - spade terminal connections to the right of the image connect the ECU loom to the Westfield loom. Engine bolted down to chassis. Expensive oil, and blood-red in colour, but you don't want to cut corners with oil.
Oil being filled. Oil and coolant filling complete. Fuel lines connected up to the engine.
Fuel filter connected - from send line, to fuel filter, to fuel rail, out of fuel rail, into FPR, out of FPR, and back to tank. Fuel connections complete. Engine ready to be fired.

13 Mar 2008
More engine testing

I'm still really happy about the engine being run yesterday - it felt like such an achievement, and in the back of my mind I was prepared for a total failure due to something not being connected the right way etc.

Tonight Matt and I decided to run the car again, and let it get right up to temperature and see what happens. We kept an eye out for leaks and other problems.

Matt started the car up and the car literally boomed into life and settled down to a stable idle very quickly. We gave it a few blips of the throttle because you just can't resist it. For some reason the DASH2 unit freezes after a few seconds though, so we couldn't keep an eye on the water temperature in realtime.

We left the car running for a few minutes and it was getting warm. We had to cut the engine and restart each time we wanted to get a temperature reading because of the DASH freezing problem. The temperature was climbing, but at 90c the cooling fan didn't come on, so we turned the engine off and checked the connection to the fan. Perhaps the DASH2 is not scaled quite right though, and it's slightly over-reading the water temperature.

The fan connection looks fine, but we've found 3 leaks. 2 are coming from the radiator, and the other is the oil leak from the bottom of the oil tank that Jonny and I had to look at yesterday.

Both radiator leaks are simple - the first was the tiny hose that comes from the T-piece and I had left the jubilee clip loose. The other was coming from the coolant switch which the cooling fan connects to. I thought I had done it tight enough as I never like over-tightening things, but it just needed nipping up a little more to seal properly.

The bad news is that the oil will all need draining AGAIN so the oil tank can come out. Although the leak is nowhere near as bad, it's still there. I got Matt to help me, and we were quickly able to remove the tank. I took off the boss at the bottom where the leak was coming from and it's exactly as per the instructions - filter mesh, o-ring, boss. The only thing I can think is that a thicker O-ring is required, so I replaced it and tightened it again.

Once we put the tank back in and filled it with oil, we ran the engine up again. The leaks from the radiator were gone, and there seems to be no oil leak either, but I'll check it again tomorrow once it's had the chance to leak again.

Laurence


13 Mar 2008
DASH2 freezing

I emailed Lorne at Race Technology about the DASH2 freezing. It only seems to happen when it's not connected to the laptop.

Lorne replied and said that Westfield should have sent me a terminator that should be connected to the dash serial port when not connected to a laptop, and he has popped one in the post for me. Until it turns up, I'll just make sure I connect the laptop to the DASH2 when the engine is next running.

Laurence


15 Mar 2008
Scavenge pump belt problem, and engine trouble - really worried!

When running the engine, we get a squeak coming from the scavenge pump. The belt rides WAY to close to the front of the pulley and I think that's what causes it.

I spoke to Mark at the factory on Friday and he suggested reversing the pulley because it's slightly offset. I tired spacing it first, but it prevents the bearing from spinning.

The problem is that there is a plate which screws into the front of the pulley, but the thread that the screws fit into are only on one side of the pulley. We decided to remove the pulley, drill the holes through, and then tap them through to the other side which would mean the pulley could be reverse and the plate could be fitted to the other side.

Also, Dan had spotted a petrol leak. It was coming from the tank outlet to the fuel pump, but it was leaking from a section that we had nothing to do with. There is a boss that connects into the bottom of the tank which is pre-installed at the factory, and it's leaking. I pinched it up with a spanner and I hope it stops the leak. We had to pop out to modify the pulley, so we'll check the leak later.

The pulley took ages took ages as I had to travel elsewhere to use a vice, then drill bits would break etc. Eventually we managed to do it though, and once we fitted it back onto the scavenge pump, the belt sat further back. It's still very close to the edge, but a post on the Westfield forum confirmed that they all seem to be very close to the edge.

http://boardroom.wscc.co.uk/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=3;t=60978

We fired up the engine and the squeak had gone which was good. The fuel leak is still there though, so I'll have to call Westfield and see what they think about it - it's very very minor though, so not unsafe in any way.

We decided to get some drive through the wheels and see if it works. We can also listen out for any rubbing or knocking etc.

I put the clutch down, and we hear a horrible grinding sound. I lift the clutch up and it does it again. That does not sound healthy. I tried it again and exactly the same thing happens. We cut the engine and then got a little worried. I can't think what's wrong!

I left the car for the evening, but I really couldn't relax. I had something to eat, and then still felt really unhappy about it, so I called my friend Ronnie who is a motorbike expert. He has rebuilt his R1 engine, and runs a T28 turbo on it. He has done the entire build himself, along with all the fabrication. He has done similar modifications for friends too.

He didn't like the sound of it at all. He said that everything on a bike is lightweight and aluminium, and so very soft. The moment you hear some grinding you're normally in for some bad news. He said he could come and take a look at it Sunday though, and in my mind there was no one better to have on the case, so I felt a lot better about it. I'm still nervous though.

Laurence


16 Mar 2008
Engine grinding investigation

I picked up Ronnie about mid-day and showed him the car. Within seconds he had spotted the problem - you could turn the wheels of the car even when the engine is in gear! The clutch push-rod was too far in and it has the same effect of permanently having the clutch down. The net result is no drive to the wheels. To prove it, he took off the clutch slave cylinder which left the rod under no pressure, and immediately the wheels could not be turned when the car was in gear. The noise we could hear was the clutch being pushed too far in, as the pedal was just pushing a rod that was already pushed if that makes sense. I'll need to talk to Westfield about this. Perhaps the bracked needs spacing, or the rod needs shortening.

Good old Ronnie!

Matt and I then went off to a friend's house for roast dinner (cheers Tony), and then I started on the car again about 8pm. The oil tank outlet that feeds the engine was still drippin g, so Matt and I removed it again, drained the oil, and then removed the connection completely. I found a thicker O-ring, so we used this instead, tightened it, and then put the tank back in. Upon re-filling it there were no signs of leaking, but I'll check it again tomorrow.

The bad news is that the fuel tank leak that Dan spotted yesterday was still leaking. I can't tighten it any more, and the tank was full of fuel. Matt and I had no choice but to drain it all out. It took a while as we had to find a suitable container. Once we drained it we realised that the only way to tighten the connection is to remove the entire tank and look at it. Perhaps Westfield have forgotten to fit an O-ring on it? I don't know. What I do know is that it's a major set-back. Anyhow, the tank is out now and I stink of fuel. I'll speak to the factory tomorrow and see what they think. I also need their thoughs on the clutch push-rod problem.

Laurence


17 Mar 2008
Grinding fixed

I spoke to Mark at the factory about the two major issues - number 1 being the clutch push-rod problem, and number two being the leak from the fuel tank which was now removed.

Mark said that he had not heard of a problem with the clutch pushrods before, but maybe spacing it would help. As for the fuel tank leak, he said to remove the boss and check that there was an O-ring in there after the filter mesh. I removed it, and sure enough, it was missing.

I had a spare one laying around so I decided to use it - I just hope it's thick enough. We re-fitted the tank and then filled it back up. So far so good with the leak - nothing at all.

I found the oil pressure sender adapter, so I fitted the sender to the adapter, and then the adapter to the engine, then connected it up to the loom.

I had already drilled the required holes in the air filter plate, but I had not fitted it because we needed access to the fuel rail. That's all fitted now though, so the filter plate could be secured down and the inlet air temperature sender was fixed into place and connected up to the loom.

The clutch problem actually turned out to be very simple. The clutch pedal should have had a stopper behind it to prevent it from pushing in too far. The grinding was just the clutch basket coming into contact with the crank case. Once this had happened, the clutch rod wouldn't return fully, so the clutch would stay disengaged, and that's why no drive was being transmitted to the wheels. All that was required was to fit a pedal stop behind the clutch pedal.

I got Matt to turn the rear wheels whilst I pushed the clutch half way down. The prop and gearbox would spin. Then if you pressed the clutch a little further you could hear (and feel) a mild clonking - this is the clutch in too far. What we did was came back an inch from this point and set it as our pedal stop position. That was, no matter how hard you mash the pedal, it can't happen again.

Mark from the factory confirmed that this noise will not have done any damage, and now the problem all seems fine, so I'm very relieved.

We were missing a grommet for the power cables and ECU loom to run through (by the fuse box), but Westfield have sent this now, so I put that into place. I also secured the ECU loom to Westfield loom connectors with loads of electrical tape so they can't come loose. We're right back on track with the car now after a a lot of worry over the weekend.

Laurence

Fuel leak was coming from the gap between the tank and the silver boss (just below the bronze outlet). Air filter plate connected to trumpets. Filter plate fitted to engine.

19 Mar 2008
Mirrors

The mirrors are horrible looking units, but we'll just get through the SVA with them and then upgrade to something else - probably carbon.

Anyway, we removed the scuttle and then bolted the mirrors into place.

Laurence

Mirrors bolted to scuttle. Mirrors. Reverse view.

19 Mar 2008
Oil temperature wiring and cable securing

I had already begun to create my potential divider circuit for the oil temperature sender, but I hadn't connected it up.

I spliced into the gray 5v reference wire on the DASH2 harness, then connected a cable with the resistor (made earlier) to the 5v cable. From this point I then ran a cable to the oil temperature sender, and the other to the aux channel I was using for oil temperature. So the aux cable joins between the two resistors (one being the oil temp sender).

Once done and working, I wrapped the whole lot with lots of heat shrink and electrical tape.

Now with all wiring complete I could begin to tidy the engine bay by securing the cables to the engine bay. I started from the very front of the car, and worked my way back. I have a bag of 100 cable ties, and I think I'll be using plenty of them.

It looks like this will be a pain, but starting from one end makes it much easier. I didn't do any of them tight so I could always pull cables through more if I needed to. To get things tidy is quite time-consuming, but I really don't mind because I want it to look tidy under there.

I did half of the engine bay, but I'm stopping here for tonight.

Laurence


21 Mar 2008
Cable tidying, reverse light, and wiring

First job today was fitting the reverse light. It's just a case of positioning the light, drilling 2 holes to poke the studs through, and then soldering the wires into place within the light.

Once this was done, I did some more of the cable securing in the engine bay to keep things nice and tidy.

I had read on a few other build diaries that the water temperature sensor needs earthing or it will not work, so I spaced the sensor up with a couple of washers, and fitted a ring terminal beneath it which connects down to an earth point (starter motor earth).

I finished up by fitting the air filter into place with the help of Matt as it's quite difficult to do with only one pair of hands.

Laurence

Reverse light drilled and secured - cover removed to show soldering. Air filter plate fitted, and engine bay looking tidy. More cable tidying.
Coolant temperature sensor earthing. More cable tidying. Air filter fitted.
Air filter fitted.    

24 Mar 2008
Lots of odds and ends

We have loads of loose ends to tie up today. They are mostly little jobs, but they will all save time later down the line. The idea today is to get the majority finished, and then see if the car moves on the ground.

I left the cable tidying half completed, so I carried on with that so that it's all well clear of the prop shaft, and other moving parts. I also did what I could with the dash loom too. It's such a big clump of wiring it's hard to do much with it though, so perhaps this will need to be improved later down the line.

Whilst I did this, Matt and Jonny drilled some holes through the dash board and into the scuttle, and then bolted it into place. Jonny also discovered that I had fitted the dash switches wrongly, and so re-fitted and tightened them so they would stay put.

They then went on to fit the top panels for the transmission tunnel. We found that the reverse box and gear shift holes needed cutting slightly larger as the levers came into contact with the panel, so a bit of work with the Dremmel quickly solved that. They then used self threading screws to fix the front and rear panels down and into place.

Westfield have finally sent the lower nose cone bracket too. I was really surprised that only 2 bolts were used to secure the nose cone, but the bracket forms the third bolt, and holds it into place perfectly. There are two Rivnuts at the very front of the chassis to secure the bracket, and then you just drill and bolt the nose cone into place. We lined up the nose cone to the bonnet, and then when we were happy, I drilled.

With these bits complete, we fitted the body panels, and lowered the car to the floor. Wow it's low - this ride height is going to have to be altered quite a lot. We pushed the car out of the garage, started it up, and then saw if it would drive. I popped it into first, gave it a few revs and then...STALL! This clutch is awful - it has about 3mm if travel between fully engaged, and fully disengaged!

On the second try I used no revs and I was able to creep it into the garage. Although I had only driven 2 metres, I was absolutely delighted with the effort. The guys shared my happiness as they watched. This is a very good place to finish for the day.

Laurence

Transmission tunnel top panels fitted Jonny altering the switch fittings Dash wiring secure(ish)!
Dashboard drilled and screwed to scuttle Dashboard drilled and screwed to scuttle Securing of engine wiring completed
All body panels being refitted All body panels being refitted Bottom nosecone bracket fitted (terrible picture - sorry)
Body panels fitted Lowering the car to the ground Car on the floor - rear view
Car on the floor - front view The picture really doesn't show just how low the car is! Car just been driven 2 metres - yay!

28 Mar 2008
Ride height setting

The car is so low to the floor that even the ultra low jack I have will not get under the front, so I had to jack the wishbones up and drop the car onto bricks, then get the jack under the front. After a lot of measuring and re-measuring, I set the front ride height to 110mm, and the rear to 130mm. The jack now fits under the front ok too :)

I am not to worried about it for now, as it will all be re-done when we have a proper cornerweighting session on the car. The car looks a lot more drive-able at it's current ride height than it did before.

Laurence

Rear suspension settings Tyres set to 18psi all round Jacking up the wishbones as the front is too low
This shows just how low the front is - my fist is not even close to fitting under the car! Car now on bricks Ride height altered a little

29 Mar 2008
Wishbone tightening

Now that the ride height was set, I decided that the wishbones could be tightened. Before this, I checked that both rear wheels were running about the right amount of camber and toe-in. I just made sure that the exposed threads on the rose-joints were the same on both sides.

It doesn't mean they will be ideal values, but it does mean they will be the same each side, so the car should be stable. There is no point wasting time on getting it right when the ride height is going to change, which means the other settings will too, and the geometry will have to be re-done anyway.

With this done, I torqued up the suspension and wishbone bolts at the rear, and then moved to the front.

The front camber and toe can be adjusted with the wishbones fully light, so I went ahead and torqued the front bolts too. Some of the bolts are difficult to get to, so I jacked the car up and they were easier to get to.

Once I had dropped the car back to the ground, the suspension was rock-solid. This is not right - I'll speak to Westfield on Monday...

Laurence


31 Mar 2008
Wishbone torquing and the first drive of the car

I spoke to Simon at the factory and he said that the wishbone bolts should ALWAYS be torqued with the car on the floor, so I went over each bolt, loosened it, jumped up and down on the car a few times to free the bushes, and then tightened them again. The car has a bounce now, so this had done the trick.

The only thing left to do is roughly set the camber of the front wheels, and then do the toe. I did this by eye, and played around with it until it looked right. I'll do it properly another time.

I did the final bits and pieces to prepare the car for its first outing. I was in a "do I, don't I" mood with it. I just needed to extend a cable for the oil pressure sensor, tighten the battery terminals, give the car a final once-over, and then that was it.

Matt had gone to the cinema, because I didn't think we would be driving the car that evening, so I gave my Dad a shout to come out with me.

We pushed it out of the garage and then back and forwards a few times to turn it around. I didn't fancy maneuvering it as the clutch is so sharp. My heart was pounding and I felt a bit sick. I wasn't really dreading it all, but it's just the when you've spent nearly 4 months of your life on something like this, it's more than just a drive.

I've never been nervous about driving a car. Not any of my old cars, not the Noble, not any friends cars, not on a trackday for the first time - never. This is different though. This is really different.

I jump in and so does my Dad. Harnesses on in case of any sudden jolts. I start the car - oil pressure is very stable at 4 bar, coolant is 16 degrees and rising, and the car seems a lot quieter outside. It was 9:45 so I didn't want it to be too loud.

My Mum was hanging out of the window watching. I ask my Dad if he's ready and he says yes, so "clonk", into first gear, a few revs, and...STALL!

This clutch is so tricky - try again. It's moving! I don't quite make the turn so I test out the reverse box. Back we go and it seems ok. Forward again, careful on the clutch and away we drive.

Up the hill and down the road. We don't have any front wheel arches (cycle wings) on, and stones are everywhere. It's like we're driving through gravel or something. I think that the tyres are so sticky that they just pick them up and throw them, whereas most cars would just run over them.

We drove about half a mile down my road and the next road. Although it's illegal, I didn't take the piss with it. We stayed to 25mph and the roads were all cul-de-sac roads so have extremely limited traffic. In addition, it was after 9pm so very few people about.

The engine warmed up very quickly and held at temperature. We turned round and drove home slowly. The brakes are virtually non-existent and will really need some bedding to work well.

We got back to the drive and cut the engine so we could push it back into the garage. Smoke was pouring out of the exhaust for ages after cutting, and smelt funny. I turned the engine back on, run it for a couple of seconds, and then turn off again. The smoke has stopped so it must have been the cat burning off oil and rubbish. Still worried me at the time though.

All in all very happy though - nothing fell off, so I'll go over everything with a spanner tonight and make sure nothing has worked loose.

It took me over an hour before I could eat as I was so excited still. It was such a wierd feeling.

Laurence



Warning: mysql_close(): 5 is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in /home/megabusa/public_html/includes/connect.php on line 77