Sunday, 8 November 2015

Rear Lights & interior progression

So i continued work on the lights and got all 4 units made, I wanted them to be smoked but not take away too much light. the camera gives a relatively good idea of how they look at this stage

I then tested all the wiring works as expected.

with that complete I set about putting them on the car. Im not the biggest fan of the look with the lgihts off but still is an improvement and with a wing etc... completed at some point in the future it will look much better again. however as ill be running with the lights on anyway I think it looks much better.

So I started on the interior, first of all making a Tunnel cover out of MDF, its 9mm thick and with the correct spacing etc... is very sturdy. It is braced throughout and a lid out of MDF put on to a part of it, I will continue the wood down the edge to give a large border.

As well as this I started to mould the area where I will fit speakers to out of foam

I'm happy with the design, however when I covered the foam with felt and soaked it in resin, it just came away from the foam as I was unable to staple to it, So although its given me the rough shape it would be alot of work to sort out.

So what I will do is make the 2 side panels out of MDF and brace it across the middle with wood a few times to give a sturdy piece. I till need staple foam across the curves edges and soak in resin to make it hard this should then give me the finish I want with less work to be done to the piece.

I will use a router on the MDF parts to curve the edges neatly. Hopefully by the end of next weekend I can have the back piece that will hold the speakers finished in terms of shape.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

rear lights Evolution v1

So whilst I continue to design and decide what to do with the interior I've been working on the rear lights. I wanted to replace them with a more modern look but still plug and play type of drop in to the current fitting.

The lights are currently a round cylinder and when you take the front cover off it has a normal bulb. So first was to go for a more modern look with two rings either side of the car and keep it within the same housing. The design involved making a metal holder for LED COB rings (80mm and 90mm) and a 5 watt LED in the centre for the indicator on the two outside ones and fog and reverse on the two inside ones.

So first of all the metal holder was made and test fitted with the LED rings and 5w LED and that it sat flush in the holder.

After this the ring itself was Anodised black, the side walls of ring area would then be polished back to reflect light.

Following that the 1st set of frosted light covers were made. These light covers were to ensure they gave the light look I wanted.

so it was time to test them, at this point they are just frosted covers with horrible screws and no profile. So how was the look...

Overall I was really happy with the brightness and the look with them on. They are bit brighter than normal lights but once they are smoked that will dull slightly. If you want to see a video of them I have one on my instagram account @iwanabeaferret.

Now the current stage is making the lens covers to a high standard and similar in profile to the original set so first a test lens has been machined and you can see the profile change and finish better. The next stage is to do this in a 15mmm perspex block and then spray them smoked. I will then decide either to leave them matt or go gloss depending on the look when they are finished.

i'll cover the electrics next time as some regulators and other parts had to be used.

Monday, 19 October 2015

work has started (interior)

So first of all I got one last local meet in before the end of September and the weather changed. the cool evening air gave a nice crispness and punch to the engine as well.

So within a few days I was on to the job at hand...the interior. I'm in no rush to do this and will do it right rather then fast. So previously I had ordered my new seats. The criteria was I wanted small ones in terms of height and width and also reclining. Reclining was simply because there was a small amount of space behind the seats but with a fixed seat you simply cant get in there. With a reclining a hand luggage suitcase would fit or other bags you may want to put in out the way.

Luckily these were also one of the cheapest seats as well, which is rare to happen. The comfort of them compared with my current ones is like night and day so I'm very happy. They raise the seating position a little but I can counteract this by removing the carpet and sound deadening from underneath the mounting points so there will be little difference but more comfort, the seats also feel like they hold well for their shape.

so I test fitted one of the chairs, you can see even though they are the smallest reclining seat I could find there is little difference in size but they are slightly smaller, in theory they will probably be easier to get into as well.

So on to the interior and it came out easily enough, as I took it all out the dust from the bodywork was everywhere so ive done a fair bit of cleaning already and then moved on to tidying the new wires I had added once on the road. (tv screen, electric door opening).

Since then I've been measuring areas of the interior to start designing the new centre console between the chairs.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

And so it all begins again....

So the driving season is over, the car is declared Sorn (off the road) for the next 6 months. So how did it go; well in the end very well, I covered 1600miles and have not had a serious issue for over 1300miles.By the end of the driving a few squeaks had crept in but nothing major. The most disappointing aspect is the car is still running a bit rich and the exhaust tip is not quite straight. Overall happy with the first year.

The next stages are now;

* Interior refit - comprising of new carpet, new seats, dashboard design, rear camera screen, relocation of some dials, lowering heater / climate box, tidy up of new cables

* Rear end - this will start as some simple new lights but plug and play into current holes, however if I have some time this winter I will build a whole new light design and following on from that a new diffuser. Also I'll probably fit a wing, but I need to decide on the right one.

* Suspension - Remove, check and regrease joints. As well as this i will fit the harder springs to the front, the current ones at bottoming out just a bit too much so rather have a rougher ride without the bottoming out on the damper.

* Mirrors - They wobble ever so slightly so want to remove them and fit a small rubber base to them so when bolted to the car it should should squeeze where needed but have support across it all to stop it wobbling

On saturday I will remove the seats, centre console over the gears and the carpet. The hard work starts again, but finally the interior will match the exterior.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Video Review

I've completed a video review of the car now. I've been still using it without any issues. I'm waiting for a few LED parts to arrive before work can start of the rear lights! From the end of September the car will be taken off the road and work will start on the interior.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

what's been happening since

Well I got the car home and solved the lack of boost problem. This was the offending piece which must of fallen off so a spare sourced.

Such a small piece such a lack of power!

Since then I've been using the car a fair amount and one thing I wanted done was for the car to be badged which I forgot to mention in the last update. So I had laser cut some badges which I made in CAD. I really like the design I then sprayed them black and fitted them. Just to the front at the moment.

So with the continued driving I've hit 1200miles done. The first 150miles were with the headgasket issue and testing so its now been a 1000miles engine trouble free and niggles. Im running higher boost and the car is performing well.

Ive had a loose connection on the lights and a couple of other bits but nothing major so I've been able to run my focus back on to the fun the car looks! the rear for me has never been that good ive not been happy since day 1 when I finished it but was small on the scale of work I had to do.

However my exterior rear plans are;

* change rear lights to LED design
* Rear wing - interchangeable - maybe even actuator controlled as not difficult to do
* Rear look...full stop

So I've started working on various light designs which there will be many more updates on as i try different LED's and styles, however one thing for me was to make the middle part between the two matt black light cubby holes also matt black. But how. so I choose plasti dip, its basically a sprayable black rubber paint. People spray whole cars in it, which is fine if you want a matt finish, gloss I don't think looks good. So I gave it a go.

It came out really well, it can be hard to pull the masking tape off without pulling more of the black off than you want but I can improve my technique. the bets bit is it will just peel off when I don't want it anyone. I would actually recommend using the stuff to people it works well. I warmed the can up first in water which stops large blobs flying out, a good tip for normal spray paint as well.

I'm still not sure whether to keep the exhaust where it is or more it back down to the bottom like a normal car but its going to be a fun winter sorting out the exterior....and of course redoing the whole interior!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Clutch change, missfires and more

So my last statement was a jinx ' if everything was ok I may move on to the interior'.

First was my new set of coilovers had arrived and so I wanted to fit them ASAP!

Got them fitted and the awful banging I had has reduced a lot I've still had it a few times on large bumps but there isn't alot of travel available and a thin tyre wall but overall the Meister R coilovers have massively improved the ride.

Overall a success, as well as this the rear of car was able to go about another 10mm lower. Without the larger 20" wheels I dont think the arches will ever be as full as they look on the other DDR's but now it looks reasonable.

....So I had started to run with more power, slowly creeping up to the 1bar area of boost and then I felt some slip, I ignored it first time thinking one off, but decided to go out and do a 3rd gear pull from low revs and again I had a slight slip.

I knew I couldn't ignore it and didn't want to run low power! So I ordered a new clutch (toyota OEM) and prepared to fit it. The fitting then came...OH MY GOD!!! Advice, if you think your clutch is ok when the engine is doesnt matter just change it! The job took a total of 10hrs and wasnt easy on a drive.

Engine mounts were removed, jacks used to hold engine in position straps to take the gearbox weight and then wiggling the gearbox off. To be fair that all wasn't too hard but just time consuming. Changing the actual clutch again was easy enough, although lining it up when it was at an angle was not.

However getting the gearbox back on was a nightmare it took best part of an hr and half to get the gearbox back on to the engine and I ended up using longer bolts to pull the gearbox back into position and on to the location pegs. Once done I started bolting everything back together.

Once done it was time for a quick test drive and it juddered a bit at first but even within 20miles that had almost gone so I was happy it was successful!

I was then due to go on holiday but wanted to stop a missfire at high boost! so got some contact cleaner, it was then I found the king lead from coilover to distributor was missing an end and was having to arc! So i got a replacement one and tested it and all worked as expected.

I then went on holiday for a week and this weekend had a 200mile+ round trip to do for an event, the longest single days journey without tinkering the car will of done to date. I was nervous but prep'd as much as I could.The Journey up went well and we arrived at the meeting point.

the above image shows the rear a bit lower now.

Next was a convoy to Mercedes Benz World where we'd park up fro the Brooklands supercar day, made it there fine and left the car parked up.

So then came the drive home, 100+miles of some motorways. about 10miles in I realised I couldn't make any boost, so I had barely any power. luckily 70mph was doable and that's what I cruised back at, any slight hill though had me worried!

When I got back and took a look at it the actuator rod had come off the wastegate. The wastegate stays shut and opens when boost hits the level set so you don't send too much boost into the engine and blow it up. I had the opposite the wastegate was just swinging about all by itself, mostly open. hence no boost. It looks like either the retaining clip had fallen off or was missing either way an easy fix which I've already done.

However it was a very annoying 70mile drive home with no power!