Summer 2016

Anglesey Track Day

Spring moves in to summer and I've had the Rush out pretty regularly - although bizarrely probably not as much as in the early spring when it was much colder. More going on I suppose. Anyway, it's all been fine bar a couple of minor niggles. Firstly I seem to have a slight oil leak, or seep really which I can't track down. The bottom of the sump (actually the entire bottom of the car!) is covered in oil and it drips slightly when stood after a run. It may be that I'm over-filling it a little and it's blowing out of the breather (which it does when worked hard). I calculated where the dipstick should be after having the sump modified, but it's always possible I got it wrong. The oil does seem to find a level which is just below the min mark, though I've not had any starvation issues even on track. I've been topping it up above that so it's quite possible that that is the reason; I might have to run with it (apparently) low for a bit and see if that helps.

More of an arse is that the speedo has stopped working. It wasn't the magnet this time (moving it to the wheel hub obviously helped there). I've checked all the wiring and sensor (in fact I redid some of the wiring as I thought it must be a bad connection), and the signal is clealy visible at the dashboard end, so I'm begining to think that it's the display unit itself. Currently in touch with Acewell to get some advice from them. So that's a bit of a pain.

In mid-june I had a trackday booked with Opentrack at Anglesey circuit. It's very popular and seems that you have to get it booked in a fair way in advance. Having now been, I can see why - it's an amazing circuit to drive, with great ups and downs and a whole load of technical corners. Very tight, very intense, very fun.

Unfortunately, we (for the missus bravely came with me) got absolutely soaked (again) heading down there. A rainstorm the likes of which even God has never seen, hit us as we passed Manchester (it was fresh from having caused flooding there). Visibility was virtually nill, deep standing water on the road, water coming up the inside of my helmet and coating the inside of my visor. It eventually cleared somewhat, though was still very wet, and I could speed up again, pulling out to overtake a truck as we got onto the M56. 4th gear, taking it really easy, or so I thought. The whole lot suddenly went sideways at about 60, in the middle lane, truck on the left, the usual stream of German saloons on the right. Fortunately, comming off the throttle and a quick steering correction brought it back with no difficulty, but it scared the crap out of me. I guess that's where track days really come in handy, muscle memory knew what to do before I did.

Feeling rather angry at myself for that, we cruised to a service station, whereupon a kind fellow came out with a big industrial sized roll of paper towel and said "here...looks like you need this!". And he was right. About a half inch of water in my footwell (I should probably drill a hole or two), both seats had about 2 pints get the picture.

Happily, the next day dawned rather better ready for some track action (though my makeshift tarpaulin to cover the cockpit hadn't quite worked so I had to bail the seat out again), and in fact turned into a lovely sunny day. It was an open pit-lane day and followed the usual format of briefing, sighting laps, then get out there. I'd been a bit nervous before the first two but was a lot more relaxed this time, being a bit more familiar with everything.

The car worked flawlessly, despite leaning on it harder than I've ever done before. I was certainly getting a lot more power oversteer than I have done previously, perhaps the surface was a bit shiny, or I may just be pushing it harder. Peel corner was particularly good for a "dab of oppo" as you can see in the video - and it wasn't just me either! I'm still a bit conservative on the brakes; I tend to leave a fair bit in reserve, still a bit cautious I guess which is probably no bad thing, especially when you do misjudge things, as it means running wide rather than going off the black bit.

The rear tyres are now shot, the fronts are faring better but are about out of tread. I was hoping to get another day in soon but may have to wait until later in the year, as it's proving quite an expensive business!

I'd replaced my camera with a Drift Stealth 2; I've been using this as a helmet cam and was planning on getting something with an external mic for the car, but I thought I'd try this once to see how it went. It does suffer rather badly from wind noise, but I'd seen a tip on youtube about wrapping a strip of fluffy sports sock around it, so that's what I did. And it actually worked really well, so I might stick with this and not bother buying another, for a while at least. I put it on to charge between each session (usually 15-20 minutes on track and the same cooling off time), and it lasted all day, which is very good.

As far as stills, the missus got a number, but a rather neat thing about Opentrack is that they not only take pictures, but make them available for free download, so I have a number from there as well. They also had some drone footage, and some stills from the drone. Not only that, they provide free tea and cakes throughout the day; absolutely brilliant.


My video of the day:

And finally, the drone footage, not much of me, unfortunately for my narcissistic side, but a cool overview of the circuit.

I've not driven it since, 2 weeks later, as I need to get the speedo sorted out. But hopefully I'll squeeze another track day in towards the end of the year. In the meantime I also need to update my MGB diary, work has been progressing, albeit slowly, but I've been really bad about posting updates.

Autumn 2016

Well sorry to say that the car hasn't been used a great deal over the back-end of summer. I spent a good few hours taking the dash off, tracing and replacing much of the speedometer wire (which runs through the tunnel and out to the sensor at the rear wheel hub), to no avail. After exchanging a few emails with Acewell, and doing more tests, we came to the conclusion that the speedo unit itself was broken. Simple tests such as watching the voltage (and testing for continuity) across the sensor while turning the wheels slowly showed that the sensor and cabling was all working and correct. The final giveaway was that touching the speedo wires from the speedo unit itself together a few times a second should cause it to read a speed; but nothing.

So the speedo was removed and sent off to Acewell, who sent it back to the factory for repair. Due to crossovers with holidays on their part and mine, this all took around 6 weeks, but they repaired it free of charge (which I didn't expect since it was out of guarantee) and sent it back all shiny and working. So I was annoyed that it had broken in the first place, but they dealt with it very well and were as helpful as could be.

So that was most of the rest of the good weather. I've also replaced the rear tyres, I've tried Khumo V70a this time, as they seem to be the current darling of the track day world, and were easier to get hold of than the R888s for some reason. Can't say I've noticed any difference on the road, they seem about as grippy and it's not developed any horrible tendencies.

The only other mod I've made is to half wrap the rear arches with 3m DiNoc vinyl. I've been meaning to put something on there all year to cover/protect against stonechips. Ally looked a bit hard (because it's quite a pronounced compound curve) so I went with the carbon-look vinyl. Not a bad job, only a couple of small wrinkles. It's a job which is definately easier with two, but as usual I choose to do it when there was no-one else around. Pics to follow...

<<Spring, Croft | Home |