So just ticking off the little jobs now before SLS in July, Pray for the gearbox as its not happy at all!
Tidied up the wiring loom (was a bit of a mess after installing the syvecs/dash/loom trim)
Still got to strip and coat/paint the inner front arches but again time is marching on and im still offshore!, hopefully get that done next week!
Got some new R888R's fitted to the rear tyres, so had a little sprinted drive out in it but im now not convinced about this new alignment set up might be ok on track but i can honestly see me playing about with it track side doh!
New brake disks from AP to swap out! they were over due, some 20 odd thousand miles on them so no complaints from me as they have seen there fair share of action!
Interestingly they have changed from the cap head bolts to the little E socket bolts, Was a bit concerned as they had suppled double the ammount of washers need as i couldnt use the washer bell side like iv seen before, quick phone call and that was put to rest that it would be fine!
So i can never make up my mind if the focus is fighting me or my luck isn’t just what it used to be! ?
While bedding in the brakes I noticed the pads were not facing up to the disks right, now I did give them a quick scuff with emery paper but nothing drastic and didn’t give them much attention as I was more concerned about the pins as they were looking a little interesting.
Anyway after a few more miles and using the brakes a bit more they still did not face up so it was pad out time to see what was going on.
Soon as I took the pad out it a bigger issue showed it’s face
The material had started to crack ☹ was only going to be a matter of time before that failed so with out any more messing about I was on the phone and got a new set of pads ordered up, along with some pins, and while I was at it I got the high temp brake seal kit for the ap’s (as technically these are a road caliper)
After everything going so well with the mapping and the last-minute brake expenditure, i thought i was done! Entry in to round 4&5 of SLS and it finally felt like a big weight had been lifted! Well.... That didn’t last long!
With the car sitting for the best part of 2 and a half years i thought it was worth doing a spanner check over the whole car just to make sure nothing was going to fall off! Did the whole front end, found a few bolts that needed a wee nip up but on the whole, for running near solid engine mounts the car was fairly solid!
One thing that i can’t seem to stop is the constant little sweat a few of the AN oil lines have, iv tried new fittings ect new seals where i can but no matter how much i dick about i can’t get the oil to stop having a little sweat, iv came to accept the car just self waxoils lol, but i thought id better give it a clean off anyway and while doing so i noticed a potential show stopper (yes that’s right , less than 12 hours after i put my entry in it was potentially going to have to get cancelled!)
While cleaning the oil lines and pump i noticed a bit of play in the pump, odd i thought, maybe another loose bolt? Wrong, its never that simple! Long story short, the oil pump mounting point on the upper sump had broken/failed/fell apart.
Panic set in, the External oil pump is a fairly important part of the engine!, Few words with Paul and he had sent me a fix for it, it works as he has used and tested it but i was hunting about for other places to potentially re locate the pump, and found since i don’t run the Air con pump i could use 2 of the bolt holes in the block fairly easy - So a bit of ball scratching as the bracket is billet alloy there was only 1 person that i knew could do exactly what i wanted ,and a few messages to Calum at Calum Hayes Fabrications he said bring it up and we could get our weld on! (well he could, il stick to steel lol)
Made a carboard template, Calum didn’t like that, so then remade one in sheet alloy, got a ruler out (first for everything on this car) and boom had a Template made up!
So a little road trip to Calums, job done (on a Saturday!), Ralph the dog cuddled and i was back at mine, trial fitted (no further mods needed) and a lick of paint later it was fitted! Feels solid and its just had 60 miles on tyre scrubbing and brake bedding in thrown at it!
All was going well, about 60 miles done and then the car started to ride on a little. Would lift off and the car would hang for a second before slowing, yup awesome, throttle cable issues.....
Long story short the throttle cable is toast. RS only part that ford stopped making/selling a few years ago now.. Im going drive by wire end of this year so it really was typical this happened now, again im glad it happend before the racing rather than at it, but its still ANOTHER expence i could of done with out!
So a bit of hunting about and there was one on ebay but it was £70 posted (they were £110 new when selling) and i was only needing it for a few months, some guys on the focus RS facebook page sugested a company called speedy cables, so its off for a refurb and hopefully that is the car ready for knockhill!
This is what iv been working up to over the last 3 years! Mad how quick time has past! Working away from home has its down sides! As im sure by the posts above youll of seen the issues running up to this weekend, Not ideal but i really was going over the car with a fine tooth pick just to make sure there was nothing going to bite me at the track!
So as you all know this first day was going to be a massive learning curve, due to work i had zero test time, seat time and track time, a new car with a new set up and a new track surface to deal with!
So everything packed and it was late morning i set off down to RA Motorsport Developments to get a power to weight cert so i could enter SLS. IMG_6132 by Jack Strathdee, on Flickr
Well the focus went and pulled some healthy numbers (near on exactly what i thought my bum dyno was telling me), I knew the car and me were both heavier, and not as much power as last time (at my request to keep reliability) so was hopping to enter class C as that was roughly what i could do time wise with the power i used most of the time back in 2013 SLS. Well the classes have changed, i think it happened in 2014? maybe 15', but yeh i was to far into class B now to make it work. IMG_6134 by Jack Strathdee, on Flickr
Got away from the dyno at 4pm ish so headed over to Knockhill as my pal was having a track night, i did plan to get out in a car or 2 just to get my head round KH again but it was a bit poor weather wise (rain) so i just consintrated on unloading the car and doing some final checks.
So Saturday came, off to the track i went.I knew i was just going to have to get the laps under my belt to try get back up to speed, I fell i got back into the swing of it fairly fast and was putting in some very respectable times considering, but i was finding it hard to be neat , keep the car balanced and get my breaking points right. Switching between high and low boost, changing tyres over from 4 year old R888's to brand new R888r's in a wider size prob wasnt helping things.
I was getting quicker with every lap, trying to make a mental note of where to brake. Good data was gained with every lap and i was starting to chip away at the time! I also had it in the back of mind to nurse the gearbox, We were racing in reverse and although i enjoy the track that way the lack of laps was ovbouse.
But i put what i had learnt into pratice, Qualifying had changed format, it used to be 2 flying laps and that was it but its now a 15 min open session, being so hot i struggled with cars temps (everything from tyres to oil to me!) but i got a suprisingly quick lap in (when you see how messy it is youll say the same) managed a 56.2 which if IIRC is about a second quicker than what i did back in 2013!
Final wasnt worth talking about, made an ass of it by hiting the limiter so hard and putting the car into limp mode and having to turn the car on and off to clear the error, still managed to bag a 3rd place tho! so zero complains for the first time out in the car!
So! Round 5 Super Lap Scotland,
This was the "balls to the walls" day
Back to the track, i had gave the sore gearbox a fresh oil change the night before so the prep work to be done that morning was minimal.
So back to clockwise direction and set out for 1st practice. I was excited as i had done way more laps this way and that boosted confidence that i was going to go quicker! Also had my dad down and a few friends had also made the trip down to show there support!
Hans device took a bit of getting used to. Not 100% on it but i guess it beats a sore neck!
Well the confidence only lasted 4 laps, when changing up on my first hot lap of the day to find the limits the throttle cable (yes the one that had been refurbed the week before) snapped ! , I honestly could off cried as soon as it happened i knew exactly what it was. I mean 4 laps in! Even the temperamental gearbox had taken more punishment!
So im at a loss, i know how hard these cables are to get and im stuck at a track in the middle of the Scottish countryside!
Just as i get towed into the pits i get my phone out and have a missed call from my pal Paul Daly and as fait would have it i gave him a ring back and he turned his car around, headed home and went and removed his throttle cable from HIS OWN focus RS and gave it to me to use for the rest of the day! Honestly couldn’t believe my luck!
So had counted out missing first practice and having to go balls to the wall in qualifying and then hoping i could hold it together for 1 final lap! But Paul got it to me in double time and i had it fitted just in time for practice! Just what i needed! Went out a bit flustered and again over drove the car! But what i did know that i was 100% understeering way to much.
I had to sort this, after practice was done i bumped into another focus RS owner and race mechanic master man
Andrew from Andrew Lamont Motorsport Ltd, told him how i have managed to make one of the most best handling cars of its time turn into a understeer machine and one simple tip was to raise the back end up to get it a bit more loose! So right over to the car i went and raised the rear up about 20mm to get some weight back onto the front.
Armed with the "fat tyres" and quick suspension change it was out for quailing, still on low boost to just try find my lines through the corners rather than over the curbs!
Set a 56.4 , another PB, the understeer had been reduced and the times dropped and confidence grew!
With just the final to go i put a bit more air in the rear tyres to see if i could get a little more turn in and just as id finished
doing that Duncan of Duncan Vincent Commentary came and stuck a microphone in my face and asked what the game plan was for the afternoon!, well peer pressure kicked in and i said "high boost and wing it" haha!
So final came , onto high boost for the Final, kept it smooth neat and tidy and blasted out a 55.6 lap! Over the moon! First time out in 3 years in the focus, smashed my PB of 57.01 and to be right in about with the rest of the bunch i was delighted! P2 was mine and that was the best weekend of my year so far!
Big thanks to everyone thats helped along the way!
The last min favours, the late nights and the constant support from everyone the likes a post or has a comment!
My main sponser Kev @ KW autos, who has yet again helped me build this car back up! And all the other names on the car! Thank you all!
Anyway, since the last time it was out the focus has gained some weight, about 30kg's not a massive amount but im putting it down to all the aero stuff! Going by current class B regs iv got nearly 100kg to play with if i stay at this power level! So i took one look at the car and decided there is weight inside it that can go!
List so far is:
Sound spray in the passanger side floor and foot well.
Both drivers and pas original seat mounts.
The standard full size dash
Interiors loom needs trimmed again and tidyed up
Dash support bar can be trimmed to loose some beef
So was on ebay and bought a 2nd dash. was quite surprised at the weight of it, so chopped it down to a half dash like so:
But that still weighed in at 5kg due to having the heater vents on the underside moulded into it, now i could of went and trimmed that all away but i decided to give carbon fiber moulding a go!
So a few calls and i was pointing in the right direction.
first block up what you dont need:
then fillet putty the gaps where resin will seep down into
cover in tooling gel coat
chopped strand fiberglass
let it cure and pull out the dash, one rough mold
clean and wax
lay up carbon trying to keep the weve nice! (this part was so hard!)
one carbon dash needing cleaned up
thick gel coat added to wet sand flat to remove the fake leather look that had transfered to the mold and then to the dash
and then a wet sand to make it flat & matt so hopefully it doesnt shine on the window!
No im no pro and this isnt perfect but im more than happy with how this turned out for just wet laying, no vaccum bagging or anything fancy, i think i will make one using a pals vaccum bag to see if i can improve it a bit but if not this one will do! currently needs a final trim but its coming in at 1.7kg but i think that will go down to 1.3kg once iv trimmed it!
hopefully compared to the full size dash that currently in there and the trimmed dash bar i think il loose about 8kg, which given how bare the car currently is thats not a bad weight saving imo!
My mates Stuart Robertson. I actually used to have a Mk2 Ph1 Clio before moving out here to California and thats how I met Stu :evilgrin:
Dont think hes racing at all this year, just seen him doing track days in his e46 M3 instead.
So a few weeks since i last updated this, to be honest not alot has been happning.
First things was the car developed a starting issue, was running fine and then i shut it off and it never started again!
Process of elemination checking my wiering and a quick chat to matty at MB garage it was clear i wasnt getting a spark, map checked out to be fine ( i had been playing about with some settings the previous day) so it was put down to not getting a signel from crank/cam - i had a new cam sensor so fired that in and no change. Went downstairs and found the issue, crank sensor was loose and in turn was damaged.
Soild engine mounts for you!
So with that sorted it was time to make the most of the last hot weather we are going to have for a while!
So front arch clean up was due!
I hate removing all the old crud thats built up.
Although being honest the fronts were not as bad as i was expecting!
So were buffed back and, zink primed and new seam sealler applyed
Then bilt hamber 2 pack applyed to the front
Gave the wing top area a spray of blue as its on show and i like the blue bay!
Next up was the shocks
socks had done there job nicely!
Very little needing to be cleaned so it was a wipe down , spray with moly and grease up
Installed back in and looking alot fresher under there now!
Next up is another little side project, i should prob finish the carbon dash first but i fanced trying to make a airbox for my filter to try keep the heat out off the intake!
So wanted it to fit the bay nicely so it was fill a bag up with expandy foam
And cutting to a rough shape is as far as iv got
Will hopefully get the body filler on it next time home and get a mold made!
So WRC spain last time home eat all my time and mainly energy to spend on the focus, but this time at home iv found a litte motivation to get some work done.
First things first a little pressy to myself!
Its clear after veiwing logs from the ECU, that data really does help you improve, now be that engine side of things or lap timing.
Im hoping with a bit of guidance from adam that i can quickly find missing time, or at least know where the car CAN go faster and aim to get that perfect lap strung together! The car 100% has a 54 second lap in it!
so this near new racelogic was picked up at a good price and came with the GPS aerial, might not need it but i do have a heated screen so it wont do it any harm!
So, back to the focus!
As previous the carbon dash was made, i mock fitted it and noticed right away the gloss finish was a nightmare, reflected right onto the window!
Coming from a full flocked dash that doesnt reflect a bit this wasnt going to work!
Tryed satin clear coat... wasnt much better, so have now went matt clear coat! much better, might still have to spray the first 4-5" matt black as its stil lgot a little reflection thats annoying me but im going to wait untill im in the car and see how it is!
So since the dash was coming out iv cut back the loom again!
honestly this is not fun one bit!
chop chop chop!
and once i tested the car stil started, loom wrapped it all up
Still have to wire in the DBW set up so hence the fuse box and pedals look ing a little messy, thats not finished yet!
Also iv moved my switchs down to beside the seat, since the mounting point for them is no longer there on the standard dash!
Needs a hover and a lick of paint i know!
Have spoke with Calum haynes fab and next time home he is going to make me up some dash supports and mod the intake manifold to fit the mk2 focus throttle body! Oh and on that note im now using a mk1 Audi TT 225 throttle pedal as the focus ones did some weird things with CANBUS that would just be a pain to get the syvecs to work with !
Got the H Bridge driver for the syvecs ordered to power the DBW TB
didnt come with any wiring diagrams so had to open it up and see what colour wires did what!
And last little update is the big wotsit airbox is starting to take shape , only 15kg of filler in it so far ! haha Will hopefully get that finished off next time at home as well and get a mold of it done!
Brakes, if you remeber back pre racing i noticed the dust seals on both calipers had seen better days, a few had split , a few wernt far away at all from splitting.
The caliper i have isnt a "racing" caliper, more a fast road caliper, but seeing as i do sprints and hillclimbs with the car its suited fine for my use and hasnt been a issue, so because of this they dont have "high temp" seals in the from factory, so decided to treat the calipers to some new high temp spec seals and dust covers, richard at north east brakes sorted me out with a next day turn around. They were a little faded colour wise as well so gave the yellow a mask up and gave them a quick blast with satan black to freshen them up, baked in the over for 15 mins! (the joys of living on your own! lol)
Next i got my front cross member back from customised coatings, was going to go black, but decided just to let my hair down and go floro yellow! This was much needed as the road salt had started to eat my poor previous rattle can job!
think it looks the part!
Next was to drop the template off to Calum Haynes fab to sort up the dash mounts, and also get him to make my mk2 RS throttle body fit my intake !
Fair size diffrence!
And in preperation for that i made up my "looms" for the DBW set up, will wait untill i have the pedal mounted before wrapping that loom and then finaly pinning it all into the ECU, realisticly not going to be untill jan now!
This is just a little update for side project "blob" , aka the carbon airbox, having got this far i know there is an easier way to do this, this has honestly swallowed up a scary amount of hours, im not sure if thats due to the way iv done it or the lack of skill i have haha!
anyway a little lapse of what iv done so far!
i wanted the airbox to make the most of the space, and it will be ducket from the headlight area, hopefully be made from carbon and stop the heat soak from the hot engine bay, i did want to try get a V1 WRC airbox that would use the hood vent on the pas side as its cool air intake but they are fairly rare it would seem! so making my own was the only way i could see forward.
So fill a bag of expandy foam to take a shape of the place it will sit, this was attempt 2 after finding out you cant just fill a bag up and expect it to set! i think it must use air to harden, so yeh the first attempt went in the bin and has probs still not set lol!
chop to a rough shape
slap a bit of filler on it
then it lituraly was hours of sanding to try get this as smooth as possible
and iv just gave it a lick of colour and have now started clear coating it!
il need to build up 4-6 heavy coats , flatten and polish , then it should hopefully be ready to make a mold of it! , but as im sure your all aware the temps have dropped now, and my garage heater went pop yesterday so i have no way to heat the garage up to 15oC to where the resins ect work at!
hopefully this works out as well as i think it should! lol if not il just delete this post haha!!
So got the front end suspention back on, New brake lines ect as well just to jazz it all up! will be intresting to see how this lasts compared to the waxoil stone chip stuff!
Also got the DBW throttle peddel mounted up, will now need to wire it in ! Fitted a stop to the peddel as well, dont want to snap this one!
And this next part shows what can go wrong when working with fiberglass/moulds ect
So was ready to apply the gel coat to the plug
That was done drama free -
Layer up the fiberglass
Wait for it to dry and repeat for the bottom half!
One complete split mould!
I go to seperate it and boom! its locked could i get it apart! could i F^$%!
Ended up chopping it in half so had two halfs like this!
After hours of chipping away!
A few holes due to me being a bit heavy with the chizzle !
So dug out all the cracked bits and applyed fiberglass to the back
So il now have to re apply the gel coat and wet sand down
Then it will be wet sand the whole thing, polish it back up and then wax wax and wax!
It was clearly a release issue with the plug, im not sure if the laqure failed or what but that has basicly chewed up 2 whole days just getting to that stage from the point it should of been ready to use as a mould and make the airbox!
Its going to take a good day or 2 to re prep the mould now so i think the airbox will half to wait untill im home before i can try make it now, that said temp needs to be about 15oC and the garage is currently 4oC ! so i might just wait untill spring lol!
Its all repaired now, its not going to be super pretty due to this now but its going to be a function over form part i think!
Will polish it up and get the wax built up on it next time home!
Throttle body next!
going from the standard 55mm body to a 68mm body should be a nice gain in its self!
Back to calum haynes and he chopped the old TB plate off and welded on a nice new one for me! ( i make it sound so much easier that it is haha!)
And on the back of that i got the Throttle pedal wired up and working fine! so just the throttle body to do now! Need to wire in the Syvecs H Bridge as well so will need to have a little look at how that plugs into the ECU and talks!
Well another 2 weeks at home has flown by! and tbh, i thought id have more to update!
I have mainly been spending time cleaning the bmw, getting it tidy'd up for selling so thats swallowed most of my time!
Have been doing bits and bobs on the focus, first was to get the injectors cleaned, no issues just i had them out and thought it was worth while doing! £90 later all cleaned and tip top!
Installed the intake manifold and new throttle body, also gave the intake a little polish up as it was looking kinda grim!
wired up the pedal and tb and gave caibrating it a shot in syvecs, iv got them talking to the ecu but i cant get it to work, its over my head so il be getting matty at MB to have a look for me!
Also Tidyed up the wiering in the engine bay, it looks slighty better but i really want to do the whole lot again !
But i cant do that as im currnetly waiting on my new rad coming, standard one wasnt any issues but it was 15 years old so prob only a matter of time before it went pop!
So with the lack off updates yesterday afternoon i decided to see if the mould was going to work or not for the airbox!
Iv came to the conclusion that iv made the mold in such a way that it locks, its a bit of a bummer but as i knew thats what was happning i went thin on the layers, 2 CF for the top half and 2 Fiberglass for the bottom half (really didnt think the bottom half was going to release so didnt see the point in wasting carbon here)
Didnt take any photos of it in the mould but it did lock in as i thought it would! royal pain to come out but i got both bits out and trimmed up
Im happy enought with the results, needs some final trimming and some fit and finish (some dry patches , think i really need a pump tbh) But its a airbox, should protect the filter from heat soak. I will probably give it a go end of summer again with lessons learnt and see if i can improve!
PS - thats my mock filter before anyone gets upset lol
So, as im sure everyone knows this car has been around a good while now, it actually just passed 10 years in my ownership back on the 13th of march there. Alot has changed since then haha!
but 1 thing that hadnt changed was the coolant rad, belive it or not it was still leak tight and doing its job! I think it and the starter motor are the only 2 things i havnt replaced in the engine bay haha!
So for the cars 10 year in my ownership birthday i treated it to a new custom made rad, specs are nearly physically the same size bar its a bit thicker, up from 25mm to 40mm, nothing huge but then i hadnt been suffering coolant issues as of yet so with space at a premium it made sence to keep it sensible. still = about 50% larger by volume, and a propper motorsport core so it should out perform the standard rad.
I have some ducting to do to both intercooler and rad to try help push the air though both the rad's.
I was chasing my tail for a few days, changing over from a blow to a suck Spal fan now, i must of shorted something out as i couldnt get the fan to work, good few hours later and working logically through it all and i had it up and running again but it was a bit of a head fry!
Hopefully get the DBW mapped in next time home and might mange to make cadwell park yet for time attack! although as per im fast running out of time!