Archive for November, 2008

Retrospective: Part 4 – A Record and a Retirement

Posted in Sprints with tags , on November 17, 2008 by Stephen Hynds

The season was now drawing to a close and there was only three possible events left. The development of the blade had been taken about as far as was possible at this point. Work had been going on in the background to secure something that could fight at the sharp end every week.

So with the events left there was nothing to lose. The first event was north to Golspie. A long trek, but would it be worth it?

Golspie – 13th – 14th September 2008

On paper Golspie looked like it would be a great track, but with a number of straights the lack of power might be a hinderance. With it being Paul’s first visit there was no times to aim for either. The Saturday layout saw a fair bit of difficulty with a long hold up due to spilt oil. With only one practice and one timed run a finish of 4th out of 11, a head of a number of bigger power cars, which was very respectable indeed. The time of 119.52 was 3 seconds off the class winner. Sunday’s shorter layout once again saw a placing of 4th with a time of 76.92, 2 seconds off the pace.

Boyndie – 20th – 21st September 2008

Another trip north, this time for a repeat visit to Boyndie. The event was schedule to be at Alford, but was moved due to the paddock being in a building site! The return visit was welcome though as the last visit had seen a class victory, and a time near the class record. So it was not a huge surprise that on the Saturday Paul lowered the class record to 66.14, an improvement of 0.44 seconds. This was good enough for the class win, although Andrew Thoirs tried his hardest and got within 0.02 of the time.

Sunday was run on the same layout but Paul couldn’t beat his record from the day before. Whether this was due to sporting a bit of a sore head from an enjoyable evening is debatable! A class win was however secured, making it the second double of the season after Fintray.

The end part

With the car staying up north with its new owner it didn’t make sense to bring it home for one last hurrah at Doune. There was a new car to be collected too. The red car with Paul at the wheel had delivered 5 class wins and a class record. Third place in both the hills and sprints championships too, not bad considering there was a few events missed.

Looking back at those chats on the train a year ago and what was thought possible shows that this year has delivered much more.

Next year promises to be even better.

The blade is gone, long live the bogey!

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Quiet week, but upgrades on the way :)

Posted in problem, upgrades with tags , on November 14, 2008 by Paul Lawrence

Drew has kindly agree to check the balance on my front wheels, early next week…  hopefully it is that and not a prop shaft imbalance.

Ordered my trickshifter pro as part of the power buy, looking forward to that coming.

Arranged to buy my carbonmods scoop, thanks to Mark Statham from Carbonmods… nice people to deal with and their products look top quality.. will place an order early December once funds are available. Strangly Ron Dennis has been slow with his cheque this month…

Friday’s work

Posted in maintenance with tags , , on November 8, 2008 by Stephen Hynds

Friday afternoon and an early finish saw the opportunity to do some work on the car.

As Paul said in his last post – bleeding the brakes was a two man job. He was at the sharp end at the calipers doing the bleeding, and it was my job to hang in the car pumping the pedal up and keeping pressure on it.

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There was a small issue with the front passenger side caliper – Paul had put one of the pads in back to front the last time he was doing work. Not so bright! So that was fixed and the copper slip that had now got on the disc was cleaned up. It hadn’t been driven with it on, so not really a problem.

After the front calipers were bled it was on to the steering rack problems.

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There wasn’t much that could be done. The rather large nut you can see didn’t need any tightening but there is still some play in the rack. Paul will get the wheels balanced soon and more testing can be done to see if it is the rack that is the problem or if it was the wheels.

If it is the rack – it looks like it’ll be damn awkward to work on.

Retrospective: Part 3 – A winner is born

Posted in Hillclimbs, Sprints with tags , , , , on November 3, 2008 by Stephen Hynds

So June had come and gone with a lot of events and the promise of more to come. Plans were set in place to have the differential taken out and new Quaife LSD internals to be fitted. The differential had been serviced before and it was somewhat of a pig to get back in place. So getting it out and back in again was not a job that I was really looking forward to helping in.

Before that happened there was the small matter of an event to do.

Boyndie – 5th – 6th July 2008

Boyndie was somewhat of an unknown quantity. A venue that seemed to be universally loved by the competitors – but whether that was for the social aspect or the racing was hard to work out. It’s also a hell of a distance from the central belt, but it was to be a Journey well worth making for Paul.

Saturday’s action saw fellow Bladeiator Ross Napier (aka Bananaman) take an unlikely class victory with a 78.30. Paul was in close attendance in second place with a 78.89, leading home a number of quick Busas. The track record of 77.56 was not far away at all.

Sunday saw the first two places being reversed with Paul taking his first victory. A time of 66.92 was only a fraction away from the 66.58 class record. The Bananaman put in 67.25, leading home more Busas on the Sunday.

To have taken a victory in only the 8th event was an incredible result. Even when the plans were cooked up during the depths of winter there was never any thought to a class win in the first year. Especially not at a circuit Paul had only just seen.

Kames – 2nd – 3rd August 2008

The next event of the season was an agonisingly long month away. As mentioned previously – the differential was removed from the car after the Boyndie event. It’s a reasonably straight forward task that involves a lot of gentle persuasion, and some not so gentle. The differential then had its internals replaced by the new Quaife ones. Very shiny they were too. Once the differential was ready it was back to base to get it installed. This is not nearly as easy as the extraction process. There’s more of the not so gentle persuasion mixed with a reasonable amount of swearing. It went in though in about an hour. Kwik fit have nothing on us. Paul got the car back on the road and did some gentle running in on the diff. It was soon time for the event.

When I arrived at Kames on the Saturday morning the first of the cars were already out on track. To describe it as wet would be a great understatement! Luckily the weather soon cleared and by the time the second practice run was undertaken it was a fine day. The Saturday event saw the cars running anti-clockwise which is the shorter of the two configurations. It saw a somewhat disappointing showing of 5th out of 7, a place behind Ross, but ahead of 2 busa powered cars. However a time of 79.64 was a full FIVE seconds quicker than the visit in May. A definite improvement, and much closer to the competition on a circuit that benefits the big power cars.

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Sunday’s event again saw a damp track in the morning which soon dried. Another finish of 5th out of 7 hid the improvement of 3 seconds over the May outing. Definite improvements in time, if not position. A quarter of a second more would have seen a 3rd place finish.

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Fintray – 9th – 10th August 2008

Any dissapointment from the weekend at Kames was soon to be forgotten with the trip north to Fintray. Saturday’s action saw a lot of rain and a wet track. It saw Paul “winning handsomely” (according to the Speedsport Scotland magazine). The gap back to 2nd place was nearly a full second on a run of less than 35 seconds. A great victory by any measure.

Sunday saw a dry track, which should have given the big power cars an advantage, but sadly for them it wasn’t to be with a second victory over a strong field. The time of 31.31 was only 0.7 off the Hill Record. Surely a record there for the taking next year?

Photos courtesy of John Stewart – http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnsidc/

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Forrestburn – 24th August 2008

As seems to be traditional with my recaps – I’ll end with a Forrestburn. It was a glorious August day and the conditions were set for a good battle with hill record holder John Hamilton who would surely be out to avenge the Fintray defeat. Paul challenged well but couldn’t quite topple John. A time of 49.03 was good enough for second place in a strong field. It was a time that was a full second and a half quicker than the previous event at Forrestburn, and we think the quickest time in a fireblade powered car.

Paul even managed to get his video camera setup for this event. You can see just how hard he’s trying. He also lost the top of his accelerator pedal on his quick run, which made it even more impressive.

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So there we have it – 11 events in and 3 class wins. Not to be sniffed at. Will the final part of the retrospective deliver any more? I think it might 😉

Sunday

Posted in maintenance, problem with tags , , on November 3, 2008 by Paul Lawrence

Ok… failed on Saturday, too lazy… went shopping instead… eek!

Sunday – 🙂

Torqued up the clutch cover, but will probably order a new gasket.. it isn’t pouring out but there is a build up around the level window, should these engines be bone dry?…. will monitor for the time being..

worked around the suspension – lock nuts on the rod ends are still working their way loose, so I have tightened them all up.. new car owners beware – Marc did point this out to me… take heed!

Have the wheels off, but failed to call in the favour from Drew, will call tonight…

Brakes – fully stripped down the brakes.. not a hint of grease anywhere and everything red with rust after the car has sat around for a year.

  • resurfaced the pads, looking much fresher now – greased the back of the pads on the way back in..
  • greased the pin/nut that holds the pads – strange size?- ended up using a torque head screwdriver bit and the drill – around 4.5mm to get it out.. must get the proper sized allen key for this
  • worked the pistons in and out on both sides, hopefully work a bit better now
  • took “jock-brite” to the disks and rubbed off the light coating of rust – painted the hub areas and rusty bits on the arms and steering rack
  • need to get Stephen round to depress the brake pedal but still up on the jacks ready for a bleed…
  • hopefully the brakes will be 100% now..

Failed on the rack side of things. Grand Prix was approaching rapidly and it was proving difficult to get access with the radiator and oil cooler in place. So I decided to leave it in one piece for the time being..

Saved the oil change for the time being to give me something to do over the Christmas period…  probably speaking too soon here… 🙂