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A nice steady start to the new year

Well, it really has been quite a while since we last did an update, so here it comes.

Over Christmas, we had a bit of time to assess all the things we’ve done so far and where we are heading. After many discussions about money, we realised we need to take better control of our spending, focus on getting the car running reliably and develop the car as we go, rather than in one big step. With that in mind, we didn’t want to turn the clock back on the things we’d achieved and were keen to finish off the little chassis modifications we had made from the last update.

So, first on the agenda, was to sort out the driveshafts…. We found a company that does friction welding and after disassembling the driveshaft assemblies, sent off the 2 shafts to get them lengthened.

We recognised that if we were to get a failure of any sort that we wanted to make sure we had some kind of replacement part on hand if necessary. So, we made sure we kept all of the original CV joints and it would only be the main central shafts that would be longer. If the unthinkable happens and we snap the newly made shafts, we will be able to get a full refund on them too. We got hold of another standard driveshaft assembly, some boots, clips and grease to add to our spares bin. The custom shafts came back and they really look the part, they even gave them a lick of paint to complete the look. Here’s the driver’s side one all assembled:

Now that we have the longer driveshafts, we are pretty confident everything will go back together nicely and we should have no further problems! Let’s hope I don’t have to eat those words. With all the chassis components off the car, we thought it would be a good idea to get them cleaned up and painted.

A nice pot of POR15 paint went a long way and we’ve done all the chassis bits with still a third of a tin! As you can, there’s another engine in the workshop… For all you Honda geeks it’s an F20, but don’t worry it’s not going in the Clio. Rob has decided he wants another project alongside the Clio!!

After all of this was back together, we had another issue we needed to address. During the removal of the previous gearbox (oh yeh…we’ve got another one in there now!), we found that the upper aluminium gearbox mount had cracked. So, instead of bodging it back together, we decided to make our own!

As you can see, we’ve taken 3 sections of tube and joined it together with a piece of box section. We found another bit of tube and Rob turned up 2 pieces of nylon and hey presto, one gearbox mount!

We then fixed it all in place and found that the engine now barely moves at all. This solution literally cost us a couple of quid for a block of nylon, but we are now a little worried we may have made it too stiff. The upper engine mount might need upgrading too in order restrict movement further or we may change the nylon for a slightly less stiff material… Time will tell anyway, we’ll run the car a little and keep a very close eye on it.

The car is nearly ready to roll out, just the brakes to sort and we’re done. The next date on the calendar is less than 2 weeks away, when we head down to Brands to give the car a good run out. The plan now is to get a couple of tests done and then be fully prepared for the Brands race in early May. Onwards and upwards!

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