Monday 9 April 2012

Fixes and Tweaks

So, the car has been home less than a week, and I have already started to do some fixes and some tweaks.  First thing to change was the front number plate for a smaller one.  The reason is simple.  Where I live, there is a small ramp leading up to the garage and the bigger plate catches it, this one won't.  I know I will have to swap it back for MOT in 3 years time, but never mind.  Hopefully it won't catch the attention of the boys in blue as, strictly speaking, it is  not legal!

Next job was the Sat Nav.  To be perfectly honest, I thought I was being clever, building the Sat Nav in to the centre consul and it looked pretty good.   However, there is no point having it there if it can't get a GPS signal!!  There are options.  You can purchase a re-radiating booster that acts as the GPS aerial and the Sat Nav then picks up the signal from that.  It means something else plugged in to the 12v system and I would have to find some way of hiding the cables so it could get the GPS signal but not look naff.  It is an option that I can re-visit at some point, but in the mean time, I have had to move it.  I have made up a simple blanking plate to cover the hole.

The Sat Nav is now attached to the windscreen, the same way most people do.  However, I don't like trailing wires, so I have run the power cable down behind the dashboard to keep it neat and tidy.  Whilst in there, I replaced an earth cable that had come off the rev counter, so the back light on that now works as it should. I wonder how that got through the IVA?

Next job was the speedo sensor.  I had used 2 magnets, as supplied by ETB, for the pick up sensor, but it turns out that ETB had sent me a Hall Effect sensor, and they don't like magnets.  They will work, but they prefer the bolt head method.  The effect I was seeing was that the speedo worked OK up to an indicated 70mph, but if I went above that, the speedo shot up to 130mph, which I clearly wasn't doing.

Anyway, the fix was to remove the 2 magnets and then move the sensor to act against the 4 bolt heads holding the prop shaft to the diff, thus creating the required pulses.  I had made up a bracket to hold the sensor over the magnets so had to do something with that.

This is the way it was.

This is what it looks like now.  It is not pretty but it was the best I could do in the tight confines of space!! I was able to get in to the mount and use a pair of mole grips to bend one of the sides down in to the right place.  Some careful adjustment of the height of the sensor is then required so that when the prop turns, the LED in the sensor lights up as it passes the bolt head.

Next job was to re-calibrate the speedo.  You can get full instructions from ETB on how to do this, but the number you need for the pulses is 013021.  I managed to get it to 013020 as for some reason it didn't allow me to change the last digit.  Next job will be to get the car out on the road and try and test it against the speed showing on the Sat Nav, which is another reason for mounting it where I have.

Whilst the car had been sat in the garage, the rear number plate decided to part company with the rear panel.  It was held on with double sided tape but the wet weather on the journey back had got in and it had come unstuck.  I was lucky it waited until it was home to fall off!!  I have now held it in place with a couple of self tappers, although I might go a step further and add rivnuts.

Working down my list of jobs, next was the ride height.  As mentioned above, there is a small ramp leading up to my garage area and the car bottomed out as I drove in.  Looking under the car, I can see that I have about 4/5mm of thread on the seat mounting bolts, so the first task is to save my self that by cutting them off.  The pictures are a bit blurred, but you can see the before and after.

With these duly cut (which was not easy with the car already being so low to the ground), I moved on to the actual ride height.  The car is set up at the factory as 120mm from the floor to the lower chassis rail at the front wishbone and 130mm to the same point just in front of where the rear wing meats the bottom of the car.  Checking this, it appears to be at 110mm and 120mm, so would appear to have settled a bit.

I found an old bike C spanner and was able to turn the the suspension adjustment ring.  I didn't take exact measurements, but it appears that 1 full revolution on the spring, raises the height by about 2mm.  I did 4 turns either side, so the back is now at about 128/130mm.  I still need to do the front but I need to wait for a proper C spanner as the bike one is not really suitable.  E-bay to the rescue, although I will have to wait.

Stone Guards

I am really upset that the nice new paint work has been pitted with little stone chips on the leading edges of the rear wings.  The number is quite amazing in such a small amount of time.  I need to consult with my paint expert to see it is is worth treating them first or just adding the stone guards I have had made.

I have also ordered some clear vinyl paint protection material, to try and help the paintwork last a bit longer.

More fixes will follow as I do them.

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