March 2007

11 March 2007
Apologies for the lack of activity lately as I had to go on another course. This time for 2 weeks so will be back on the Riot next weekend. Yesterday I went to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu and had a look at all the cars there. From modest little scooters to the stonking huge sunbeam 1000hp record breakers from the 1920’s. I got some pictures as well and will upload them when I get back home.

Normal progress should resume after next weekend, when it will be a manic rush to get everything ready for the SVA at the end of the month. Nothing like a little bit of fear to get you motivated!!


18 March 2007
As I said before I spent the last 2 weeks on a satellite communication systems course, you may have seen in the news the launching of the new SKYNET5A satellite well that is one of the satellite that the systems I was training on uses. Tracking a satellite which is 24000 miles up on a moving ship and achieving reliable digital communications, pretty amazing really.

Before I went away I ordered a VDO dip fuel level sender from ETB, which still hasn’t turned up almost 3 weeks after I ordered it. It’s not ETB’s fault the problem lies with VDO which apparently stands for Very Disorganised Organisation so might be seeing the sender some time this century. I had also ordered a set of Black Diamond brake discs and Ferrodo pads from Dastek. I was supposed to pick them up on Saturday morning but when I got there they were closed after I was assured that they would be open on Saturday when I phoned them on Thursday. I was also booked in with them for a rolling road session and a suspension setup on Thursday but now they are having some problems with their rolling road and it’ll just be a suspension set up instead.

I started working on the trim plates to cover the holes in the wings before I went on the course and just couldn’t get motivated to finish it so with the SVA a week on Friday I now have something to focus on and get the car finished. I made up the new trim plates out of black plasticard so I don’t need to paint it and there is nothing to flake off. Also where the roll bar strut passes through there used to be 2 separate plates which is now just one as I’ve combined the two. All the plates are fixed on using bolts so they car ne removed in the future without damaging the fibre glass too much. The edges of the plates were rounded off and the edges were smoothed off with the flame from a blowtorch. Where the plates didn’t fit flush on the body work the gap was filled in with black sealant.

I had ordered a replacement Lambda sensor from ebay for a bargain £15 to my surprise it was a genuine Ford part and it was brand new still in the box.

The sensor was fitted in the boss in the exhaust down pipe and the supplied connector was cut off and the connector that I’m using. Two of the wires are white which supplies the heater and the other two wires are for the sensing element. One is grey the other is black. Confusingly the grey wire is the ground wire and the black wire is the signal. The connectors were made up and the whole lot was tyrapped in place.

I had found out that using normal fuel hose in the fuel tank to connect the pump to the spigot was a no no. A special hose has to be used that is resistant to fuel on the inside and outside. I removed the tank from the car and drained it and withdrew the pump assembly. The new hose ordered from Demon Tweeks was cut and fitted. In the photo you can see the new hose fitted to the pump and the old hose has already started to balloon after only a few weeks in the tank. If it had been left it would eventually failed and split stopping the the car dead in it’s tracks.

I had bought a small Lloyds approved dry powder fire extinguisher when I was getting ready to start the engine in case of fires. It came with a bracket which I have fitted in the passenger side foot well between the seat squab and the chassis cross tube. You would never be able to knock it with your feet when getting in and out of the car as the space is “dead”. So I bolted the bracket in the space and fitted in the extinguisher. Race car look!

Hopefully on Monday I will pick up the brake discs and pads and fit those also on Monday. I’ll also replace the brake fluid with some DOT5 fluid instead of DOT4. I also found out that none of my mirrors are E marked so I have ordered some replacement mirrors that will be E marked. I’ll also be sorting out some insurance so the car can be driven to garages and to the SVA centre. The cooling system is still causing a few minor issues, I have an idea which I’m going to run past JP at Sylva on Monday to see if I’m braking up the wrong tree or not. The timetable is still as follows. Suspension set up on Thursday, MOT following Tuesday and then SVA on the Friday. One of my dads friends works as a motorsport scrutineer and is very familiar with the SVA and has agreed to give the car a once over for free to give my car a pre SVA check and highlight if there are any problems that could fail an SVA check. He is going to pop round one day this week.

Essentially the car is finished and fully built with just a few minor niggles and issues to sort out before the test.

 


19 March 2007
This morning I picked up the Black Diamond Discs and Ferodo Pads from Dastek. I also bought some DOT5.1 brake fluid and a few other bits and bobs. I picked up a small piezo sounder that I intend to connect to the indicator flasher unit on the tell tale output so I get an audio indication that the indicators are running so I won’t forget to cancel the indicators.

When I got home I removed the standard discs and pads and replaced them with the Black diamond discs. The rears are relatively easy to do but the front ones require the hub to be removed from the stub axle. I simply couldn’t get hold of the metal locking tabs that ford use on the the front hub/disc bolts so when they were fitted I used some high strength engineering studlock which should prevent them from working loose. With the discs fitted the pads were also replaced. The rear pads required some modification as the pad fouled on the centre hub of the Fiesta disc to the metal backing plate was filled down so it would clear the disc and allow the face of the pad to sit squarely on the disc. Also all of the pads were coated on the reverse with copper grease to prevent squeal. Also the caliper mounting bolts were given a coat of copper grease on the threads so I’ll be able to remove the calipers again in the future if I have to. The calipers will need another coat of paint as some of it has chipped off and is starting to come away where brake fluid has got onto them. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t painted them in the first place.

I got some DOT5.1 fluid to replace the the DOT4 that I was using before. I used the EazyBleed to push the old fluid out and bleed the new fluid to the calipers. The front circuit is fine with all the air bubbles gone but I’m getting an awful lot of air bubbles coming out of the rear circuit and I can’t seem to be able to bleed them clear. Jeremy Phillips has suggested removing one of the caliper bolts and turning the caliper so that the bleed screw is more upright encouraging the air to come to the top which is what I may have to do otherwise the brake pedal is very spongey.

I was having some cooling issues so I removed the thermostat so that coolant would flow all the time but this isn’t ideal as the engine won’t stay at the optimum temperature. However if I put the thermostat back in as it is I could cook the engine. However if I remove the blanking plugs on the heater circuit and link them together with a length of hose when the thermostat is closed it will encourage a flow of coolant around the engine whilst it is warming up and when the thermostat opens coolant will flow down to the radiator as well and cool the engine as well. I still need to see if I’m not barking up the wrong tree.

Hopefully either tomorrow or Wednesday the mirrors I ordered will arrive in the meantime I will continue sorting out the brakes and maybe the cooling system. When I come to fit the mirrors I’ll also fit the indicator warning sounder as well. The suspension set up at Dastek is still up in the air at the moment as they seem to have overbooked the workshop so I’ll find out later in the week if this is still going ahead, failing that I’ll have the wheels aligned when I go for the MOT next week.


19 March 2007
I started with bleeding the rear brakes through. I jacked up the rear of the car as high as my axle stands would allow and then also loosened off the calipers by the bottom bolts so I could turn them so the bleed screw was as close to the top of the calipers as possible. Using the eazybleed even more air bubbles came out. I ran the fluid through until no more air bubbles came out. I tried the brakes and even with the pedal right down the rear wheels would still turn, bugger. There must still be air in the system somewhere and I’ve no idea on how to get it out, what I really need is one of those vacuum bleeders that sucks the fluid through, which I don’t have and can’t afford. I’ll see how the brakes perform when I get the car back down on it’s wheels and maybe have a garage bleed the last of the air out.

I started on fitting the coolant bypass hose, this is just a linking hose on the heater connections which will allow coolant to flow around the engine until the thermostat opens and then goes to the radiator cooling the engine. Firstly I pulled the hose off the thermostat housing and dumped the coolant into a bucket and removed the thermostat housing and replaced the thermostat. The blanking pieces were removed and using Samco 22mm hose and a lot of 22mm copper water pipe fittings some elbow adaptors were made up and a double return fitting loop the water flow from the water inlet connection to the back of the engine. This fitting is not in the pictures as it has been painted and will be fitted in the morning when the paint has gone off. This is the only fitting to be painted as it is clearly visible whereas the others aren’t. When it is re-connected and the system filled it will hopefully give a flow of coolant around the engine until it warms up and then when the thermostat opens down to the radiator and will help prevent the engine from cooking like it almost did before I removed the thermostat.

The mirrors from CBS turned up or at least they would have if Parcel Farce had actually delivered them instead of just shoving the card through the door. I was in the house and heard the leterbox go thinking it was the post instead it was the “sorry, you weren’t in” card being posted and by the time I got my keys and opened the door saw a Parcel Farce van booting it up the road. Gits. I’ll have to drive to the post office tomorrow myself in the morning and pick them up and give the guy behind the counter a bit of verbal too. That is if he can be bothered to put his cup of tea down for 5 minutes.


23 March 2007
The copper fitting that I made up for the cooling system had been painted and fitted and then the coolant system was refilled. I still couldn’t get the coolant into the engine so I tried jacking the car up first at the rear to get coolant into the radiator and then jacking up the front so the radiator was higher that the engine and some gurgling noises confirmed that the coolant was indeed filling the engine. The engine was started and the car run for a bit and coolant was flowing around the bypass and when the thermostat opened it flowed down to the radiator. It worked.

I also picked the mirrors up from post office and my comments just brushed over him and all I got was a few grunts in response, oh well. I wasn’t too sure about the wing mirrors as I thought the looked too big but when fitted to the car they looked just right and in proportion to the rest of it. The dash top rear view mirror wasn’t what I expected, wasn’t E marked and is junk, however I do have an old suction mounted mirror which I might be able to adapt to the mirror, so not all is lost.

When the dash was removed to fit the mirror I also connected up a small piezo buzzer that I bought from Maplin to the flasher tale tell connection which isn’t being used. The other side of the buzzer was connected to the chassis. Now when the indicators are being used there is a loud beep beep noise that will remind me to cancel the indicators after I have used them. It is loud enough to be heard at speed as well so can’t be easily missed.

Yesterday I took the Riot to Dastek to have the suspension set up now I have some insurance. This was the first time the car was driven on the road. The experience was fantastic however I did keep the speed below 50 as the suspension was set very soft and the handling was a bit iffy. Also the brakes have been causing a slight cause for concern and although the front brakes work fine the rears don’t seem to be working too well. I got it Dastek safely and the car was getting a bit of attention, which was nice.

I left the car with them and got a phone call around mid afternoon saying they were having no joy with the rear calipers and having bled all the air out they were still not working. They reckoned that they might be able to get the calipers to work with a bit of fiddling, however I don’t really have the time to play with the car at the moment not with the SVA looming so I went out and bought a new pair of calipers instead which they said they will fit and will be picking the car up later today or early Saturday morning. I was also a bit annoyed to see that there was another coolant leak this time one of the hose clips down the side of the fuel tank was leaking so that will have to be replaced when I get it home. Fortunately this morning the fuel tank sender finally turned up from ETB postage was free of charge by was of an apology that VDO was so useless. The fuel tank will have to come out and be drained before the sender can be fitted so at the same time I will find the offending leaking hose clip and repair it.

Hopefully the new calipers will fix the braking problem otherwise some real panic will ensue to get it done before Tuesday for the MOT and Friday for the SVA.

Update: 23 March 2007 (PM)
Got the Riot back from Dastek this afternoon. The guy who was setting up the suspension tried something before he changed the calipers. The rear calipers don’t work too well as they are fitted in a different plane in the Sierra than they are in the R1ot so the bleed screw is in the wrong place. Since the bleed screw is just another opening in the hydraulic cylinder casing he decided to swap the hose and the bleed screw over as they are the same thread so the bleed screw is at the top. He bled the caliper through and low and behold got the rear brakes to work. The problem now is hose will foul on the wheel so it needs to be tied back although I think I might be able to bend the bracket back and rotate the hose to pull it out of the way. Another solution might be to use a banjo bolt and fitting so the hose leaves the caliper at a right angle, although I don’t think I would get any fittings at such a short notice. However this master stroke has corrected the problem with bleeding the caliper.

Below are two images showing the set up for the suspension the first image shows the initial settings as the car came in and the second image shows it as it was set up. Phin, the guy who did the work was able to set the toe correctly front and rear. However he wasn’t able to do anything about the camber as it is not adjustable. I was recommended to have slightly positive camber as this helps with the self centring action of the steering, he was also not able to give this so we settled on an even slightly negative camber instead. The coil overs were also set up to be slightly harder on the rear than the front which has made a world of difference to the way the car feels when driven and feels a lot less nervous and more confident at speeds.

Also, the cooling system has sprung a leak this time at the front. It is on one of the clips down the side of the tank. The tank has been removed anyway to allow the fitment of the dip tube sender. I think the reason it has failed is due to there being too many linking pieces of tube and hose so the intention is to dump the coolant (again) and to replace the aluminium tube linking pieces with a straight length of hose. This will reduces the number of points of failure and stop the leak. It will also allow for expansion when the system heats up also stopping leaks.

Whilst the tank was out I drained all the petrol out and removed the float type fuel sender. The dip type sender fitted nicely in the hole and only a few holes had to be re drilled to allow fitment. This type of sender has a vertical float inside a tube which in a tall thin tank where a conventional float sender can’t be easily used will give a true depiction of the fuel remaining in the tank.

The picture shows the dip tube in the tank with a gap of about 10mm at the bottom. I’ll set the fuel level alarm for about 15% in the tank which should equate to roughly a gallon of fuel, I don’t really want to run the tank with less than that as there is no swirl pot so fuel sloshing around could cause starvation and rough running. I also removed all of the studs for mounting the fuel pump locking ring as the threads were pretty mashed up so they were all replaced and locked in place with stud lock. I will need to buy some new nuts as the nylocs I have already used are shot.


24 March 2007
I bought some new nuts and washers for securing the fuel pump into the tank and fitted them. One of the reasons for removing the fuel tank was to gain access to the leaking hoses by the side of the fuel tank. I drained all of the coolant out and used lung power to blow all of the coolant out of the radiator tubes from the back of the car. With the cooling system completely empty I removed the sections of tube and hose that link the tubes to the hoses for the radiator. I also removed the fuel lines for access, I noticed that where the horns were mounted the securing nuts would chafe the hoses as well so the the horns where also removed.

 

With the area clear I mopped up the remaining coolant and replaced the sections of tube and hose with a long length of 32mm hose and a short piece on tubing to join the two hoses together I used new jubilee clips to join everything together. This was repeated for the second hose as well.

The fuel lines were reconnected and the tube positions were relocated so that the fuel lines and the coolant lines won’t rub against each other. The horn bracket was refitted so the horns now stand above the central chassis rail and the air lines were reconnected. Now there is no point at which the horns contact anything else in the vicinity.

With everything reconnected the fuel tank was lowered back into place and the securing strap was done up. and the fuel lines plugged back into the tank.

I needed a tank breather connected as well. You can buy a special valve that allows air into the tank but prevents air from coming out. I found out from Rennie (the gentleman who agreed to give the car a pre SVA once over) that one can be made from copper tube formed into a loop called a pigs tail. This will allow the tank to breathe and in the unfortunate event of the tank being inverted no fuel will escape. One was made up and attached to the side of the tank and linked to the breather nozzle with a length of hose.

I also worked on making all the sharp protrusions SVA safe. One of my friends recently failed the SVA on his Locost as even though he had track rod end covers the tester could feel the ridges of the nuts underneath and declared them too sharp so he failed on that among other things! I covered all the nuts and bolts that couldn’t be covered with self alagamating rubber tape which when wrapped self seals which also helps to keep any moisture out thus preserving the threads. This was wrapped around any exposed nuts and also over the track rod end fixing before the cover was slid over the top, this was also repeated at the rear as well.

The coolant system was then refilled with coolant. Which was as usual an utter pain to do. I tried my trick of jacking the front then the rear up to encourage the coolant to fill the engine but even with my best efforts I couldn’t get the engine block to fill. In the end the engine overflow was removed from the header tank and the block was filled with with coolant poured in via a funnel into the overflow. In all the car required about 7 litres of coolant to totally fill the system!

One of the things the car would certainly fail on was the centre rear view mirror. Although I like my racetech mirror it is not E marked and would class as a fail. I bought a comparable mirror from CBS but I didn’t like the build quality. I had a suction mirror already which was E marked but the ball socket wouldn’t fit the ball from the CBS mirror. As a solution I cut off the ball from the CBS mirror and cut off the ball from the suction mirror drilled a hole in it and tapped a hole in the stem from the CBS mirror and screwed with studlock the two parts together. The modified stem would now fit in the Racetech base. The stem will be covered in heatshrink so it is all one colour ie black and now I have a SVA comparable mirror. It’s only got to last one day as soon as I have a pass I’ll refit the Racetech mirror anyway.

 


25 March 2007
One of the problems of the R1ot over a Lotus 7 is the distinct lack of stowages. There is a space on the scuttle where stuff could be stowed but it could get wet. I used a large lunch box which instead of having a push fit lid has catches on all 4 sides and a rubber seal for the lid. I mounted on the scuttle with 4 rivets and the box holds 3.5L which is big enough for documents, sunglasses or my lunch!

It was noted that the O/S head lamp wasn’t quite upright so the bracket would need to come off for a bit more bashing. Also the bottom corner hung over the edge of the bonnet and could constitute a snagging hazard.

With the brackets removed the corner was filled down to form a curve and the edge was re-profiled with a round edge.

The O/S bracket was given a few belts in the vice with a large rubber mallet but when it was bolted back on it still appeared to be not enough and the headlight was still not upright, the housing was but not the lens. The lens assembly was removed and the clips were removed to allow the lens to be rotated in the housing before being secured back in place, now the lens is where is should be with the arrow (marked by a yellow circle) is vertical. The head lamps will still need to be aligned properly though.

The other cause for concern was at the rear where the exhaust linking tube was mounted. The heat from the tube had already started to melt the nut cover as it was so close and also the brake line was too close for comfort as well.

Jeremy recommended cutting about 20mm off the linking piece and the manifold end tube. I cut them all down by 20mm and had to also extend the slots so that the clamp would be able to secure onto the down pipe. Everything was re-assembled, a word of caution don’t use exhaust paste before the Catalytic Converter as the chemicals in the paste will wreck the matrix inside. Now the linking tube sits a good 25mm from the nut cover and more importantly the brake line.

I was told that whilst driving back from Dastek on Friday the brake lights and side lights were behaving strangely. It seems that the lamp holder itself, whilst made of plastic has deformed slightly causing a bad connection to the lamp, I’ll have to see if Landrover sells anything that is better than what I have already got.


26 March 2007
Went down to the Landrover dealership to see if they had any lamp holders, which they didn’t and couldn’t get any to me until the end of the week which is no good for me. Although the lad behind the counter was sporting a massive black eye, must have been a good night out then. I also had an idea of buying a high level brake light which is on the new Mazda MX-5. It would be perfect as I could mount it on the engine cover and it would be at the right angle for motorists to see. However the price wasn’t £250+Vat, for that amount of money I would like it to perform personal services too;) so I refused to entertain any notion of dipping into my wallet for that.

Back home I plugged the laptop back into the Digi-Dash to set it up for the new fuel sender and to check that the speed calibration was correct. With another can of petrol in the tank the gauge reads 35% of full. I’m going to tank the car on the way back from the MOT tomorrow so I’ll be able to see exactly how much the tank actually holds and see what the gauge reads as maximum.

When Rennie inspected my car he mentioned if I had a head rest (which I do) and he said it might be an idea to fit it. I used so of the Dural I had and cut a 50mm wide strip which only knackered one jigsaw blade. The Dural was then cleaned up with an orbital sander and mounted to the rear bulkhead and to one of the roll bar tubes.

The edges that are exposed when it is riveted to the bulkhead were chamfered to form a curve and the edges that run up the sides were covered in rubber edging strip. Then the head rest pad was screwed to the strip. More by accident than design the strip sits at angle leaning forward so when the pad is screwed on it supports my head in just the right place and is very comfortable.

I spent the rest of day looking around the car picking up on any areas that might cause a problem and applying edging as necessary. The wheel centres clip into the alloys (I’m missing one, I’ll have to get a new one) Originally had a Ford emblem which I removed which meant that the wheel centre was slightly deeper than the alloy and could cause a “edge” problem. I cut out some of the plasticard I had and stuck it onto the wheel centres and then spray painted them silver. The centres are now the same height as the wheel and look quite smart almost factory, I’ll now have to try and get another to replace the missing one hopefully by Friday!

The SVA centre rang to confirm I was still coming on Friday, the weather looks like it’ll be okay bit cloudy but hopefully no rain.


27 March 2007
Took the R1ot for an MoT this morning. It was nice driving to the garage until I saw the police car in the outside lane at the traffic lights. I drove past him waiting for the blue lights to come on, but they didn’t and I wasn’t pulled over, why shouldn’t he, I’m driving a bright yellow 2 seater car with no number plates!

I got to the garage and they did a full MoT test without any paperwork being issued. everything was checked over and the following fail points came up.

1. Exposed bolt under steering rack gaiter

2. Balance weights too close to the rear suspension components.

3. Emissions were way out.

4. Hand brake not working.

Also as an advisory they braking efficiency wasn’t as good as he expected.

The first fault was easy enough to sort out but fitting a nut cover and gluing it in place to prevent it from popping off also a few more nut covers were fitted and also glued in place. I took the rear wheels off and took them back to Farmer Autocare where I originally had the tyres fitted to the rims and they re-balanced them with the weights further in the rim so they wouldn’t foul the suspension components. I tried hooking the laptop up to the ECU and ran the engine and backed off the fueling a bit to make it run a bit more lean. It was impossible to do using the O2 sensor in the tailpipe as it isn’t quick enough to react so the car is going back to the garage to morrow with the laptop to see if I make it pass on emissions using their analyser. However my fiddling did make the car idle a bit better, I suspect the whole map is way too rich and really needs to be set up on a rolling road.

The handbrake did work although it wouldn’t show up on their test equipment however I did adjust it when I got back to make sure it was working better. I also removed the O/S caliper as the pad wasn’t sitting square on the disc due to a indent on the pad wasn’t sitting square on the piston and caused the pad to sit at an angle. This also made the alloy wheel hot when I was driving it as the pad was binding on. I also bled the brakes through to get the last of the air out. According to the brake tester the calipers were balanced ie they working together at the same rate, front and rear. But the brakes weren’t working as efficiently as he expected, this could be either they hadn’t bedded in properly yet or they weren’t hot enough. Either way on the 40 mile drive to the SVA centre they should be fairly well bedded in by then.

I also managed to get a spare wheel centre cap and that also had a later of plasticard glued to it and was also painted silver. Here is a picture of one fitted.

Getting the car MoT’d was a great help as I had fresh set of eyes look at it. Getting the headlights setup was great. Also knowing what the emissions were like before the SVA was a life saver as now I’ll be able to get them in check so I know they will be good on the day.

 


28 March 2007
Took the car back to the MoT station this morning and ran the engine with their exhaust gas analyser. The engine got really hot and the cooling fan kicked in a few times it was nice to see that the engine didn’t overheat nor did any of the cooling hoses leak, I think that just about proves the cooling system. After using the analyser it showed that even with my efforts yesterday I still needed to back off the fuelling a bit more. I managed to get the fuelling spot on at idle and at about 3000rpm. Between that it’s a bit hit and miss and over 3000 rpm it’s still a bit iffy but it’s the best I can get it. It’s very difficult to hold the engine at various rpm accurately and really need to be done on a rolling road. Hopefully the emissions are in enough to pass the SVA. On the way back I passed a WPC walking down the road and she didn’t even look at the car, it must be invisible!

I’ve still go a few more things to do for the SVA but they’ll be tackled tomorrow. This afternoon I went back over to the SVA centre so I have the route fixed in my mind and I roughly know how long it should take to get there. I’m borrowing my dad’s crash helmet and also a radio intercom system made by Autocom which when combined to a ICOM radio gives vox activated communications and has noise cancelling as well so can be used at speed with clarity. I’ll see how I got on with it and then I may think about getting one of my own and installing it in the car, post SVA. Would be good for communicating between cars or for a spot of track day action.

So just a few things to do tomorrow and then SVA on Friday, I’ll be glad when it’s over.


29 March 2007
I went over the car and sorted out the last few items that have been niggling me, to say I’ve been on edge would be an understatement I just want to get the SVA done.

There was something that Rennie picked up on down the sides of the cockpit where the bulkhead infill panels are riveted to the chassis there is an edge which could be considered sharp. It’s not noticeable when you are sitting in the car as they are beside my backside but I’m not leaving anything to chance. The rivets were drilled out and a length of wing piping was fitted and then riveted into place. It was repeated on both sides and the seat backs were replaced, after the car was given a final vacuum to remove all the swarf.

There was something else Rennie picked up on was the gear knob. The knob itself originally came of an old switch breaker that was being scrapped on board a ship. The knob has a groove machined in it to make it easier to throw the breaker when your hands are greasy. Unfortunately the groove called also be construed as a sharp edge so I was hoping I could get an O ring to fit in the groove. It was a bit last minute and I found that an elastic band was a perfect fit and neatly filled the groove, an added bonus was that it is yellow and matches the piping. I’ll take some spares in case it gets lost or broken.

The rear view mirror being a bit of a pick and mix of parts needed tidying up. I shrink some heat shrink over the stem so the mirror is all one colour, black. I also fitted a 19mm nut cover with a hole cut out so it would slide over the ball at the top and neatly covers the exposed adjustment nut.

Also when we ran the engine yesterday to set the emissions the catalytic converter got really hot and melted the edge trim around the number plate bracket surround. I had some silicone fuel tubing left over from an old RC car. Silicone tubing can handle quite a bit of heat before it melts so a length was split and secured to the panel with silicone sealant. This should be a bit more resistant to heat and will hopefully last the SVA so I can get something better sorted out.

I left the car with a full tank and the battery on charge and won’t touch it until tomorrow morning there is nothing else I can do or think of to do now. SVA day tomorrow….

 


30 March 2007
Early start this morning was on the road to the SVA centre at 6 am, in the dark. The drive over was fairly quiet and we got to a petrol station just outside the SVA centre by about 0710. I topped the tank up which needed about a gallon of petrol. Having covered about 35 miles that equates to a MPG of 35 to the gallon which is not bad. We rolled into the test station just after 0730 and were directed to the SVA test lane.

The tester Kevin first of all gave the car a once over and enquired about the purpose of the lunch box under the bonnet. I told him it was for storage, so he called the other testers over for a laugh about my “boot”. After that he checked the car over for anything obvious and stated he was satisfied with the build and reckoned that was a good start. First of all he checked the emissions and declared it a pass, within limits. Then he asked for me to remove the ignition key and prove the steering lock. I told him I didn’t have one nor did I have an electronic immobiliser. He wasn’t too sure that the isolator under the bonnet was a true anti theft device. He checked the manual and then went away to ring someone. When he came back he was happy that when the key was removed and the bonnet closed and locked that the car was effectively immobilised. Pass.

Then the car was taken into the testing shed where he tested the speedometer accuracy and confirmed that the speedo read slightly under which was also a pass. Then the car went up on the ramps to check the underside and that the suspension and steering was okay and there was no mechanical problems. He requested a few cable ties and did something underneath which I wasn’t too sure what he did but he seemed happy afterwards. The car came down off the ramps and the head lamp alignment was checked again and needed to be reset again until it complied with his meter.

Next came the brake test and all he needed from me was the axle weights with me in the car and then we were told we could go off and he could do the next bit by himself. When we came back about an hour later he reported that the hand brake wasn’t as good as he expected but couldn’t say for sure that it would fail until he had plugged the values into his excel spreadsheet that works out the braking efficiency. He also did a few tests with his sphere and didn’t say anything untoward was wrong. Next came the noise test which it scraped in at bang on 101dB and then he drove the car around the edge of the test centre to check the steering and self centering of the steering. This was something I was concerned over as it doesn’t really have any. He was happy though and said everything was okay. Next he went into the office and we were told to wait for his verdict.

He took about 15 minutes, during this time I was going up the wall waiting for his verdict. He came out to tell me that the brakes had passed and produced the all important MAC. I had passed. He then stated he didn’t really like kit cars and jokingly referred to the Riot as “The Deathtrap” and wished me luck and we went on our way.

I need now to get the car MoT’d which is booked in for next Thursday and also see about getting the registration forms which are being sent out to me by post.

IT’S FINISHED!! December 2005 to March 2007