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Autumn Blog Update

Since our final race of 2013 at Donington at the end of August, there’s been quite a lot happening for us all. Ryan went off to America with work, Rob bought a BMW 2002 shell for another project and I’m in the process of buying my first house! Despite all this, we’ve kept ourselves busy with various things.

The first thing we wanted to do was to get the workshop up to scratch. So, out everything came… cars and all. That’s Rob’s BMW under the sheet, and yes, it’s green! That wasn’t deliberate though.

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Time to slap on the floor paint and you can really see the difference!

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After we’d done all that, it was time for a far more important task. Over the past few months we had been chipping in together to pay for the next big modification, a limited slip differential. We decided to go with a Gripper plated diff and had lined up Dave Mac Propshafts in Coventry to fit it. We had a couple of spare standard gearboxes knocking about the garage which were a little worse for wear and the one in the car has only recently been rebuilt.  In the interest of making sure we at least had a spare standard gearbox, we decided to leave the one that was in the car well alone.

Rob took the 2 spare gearboxes to Dave Mac from which they built a single good one using the better parts. We decided to keep the standard final drive which meant they had to press the crown wheel off of the open diff and weld on a plate to bolt to the LSD.

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A week later and we had a fully rebuilt box with LSD. Next up, it was time to get it in the car!  We’ve done this swap a few times now and with the deleted power steering, it’s even easier.

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Once the car was all back together, we booked a track day at Donington. The plan was to get to grips with the diff and see how it affected the handling of the car. We were approaching the end of October and autumn was very much in the air, so the temperature had dropped a fair amount since our last visit for the Tin Tops race in August.

We each went out in the car in the morning to get a good feel for the difference. It was quite noticeable how much more traction there was mid corner, not once did any of us feel that inside wheel spinning. Clearly, we weren’t going fast enough! Here’s a clip of Rob taking the car for a spin:

After this little slide, we brought the car back in to check it over. There was no mechanical damage, but unfortunately we managed to get some serious flat spots on the front tyres. They were no good any more, definitely not safe to take round a track. We also only had 1 spare tyre with us, so the only thing we could do was go searching for some more tyres. Otherwise, we would lose the afternoon.

We managed to get hold of some road tyres from a place down the road, which we then stuck on the rear. We sent Ryan out for a run and immediately we had quite a bit of oversteer (unsurprisingly). He came back in when he got given the driving standards flag….he was sliding through almost every corner and having quite a lot of fun of course.

After this, we decided to pull the rear anti-roll bar off and soften up the dampers to try and dial out some of the oversteer. This helped quite a bit and we spent the rest of the afternoon having a bit of fun lapping the track. Overall, it wasn’t the most successful day, but we did still manage to enjoy ourselves and learnt how good the diff really is.

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