The 2007 Diary,

January 2007

Santa certainly did - an Xbox 360 how cool is that! Any-hoo, back to the car! New filler cap and neck have been fitted - perfect! No Leaks, although filling is still a bugger as it is with most RH's. Did some work on the handbrake, basically moved the compensator further towards the back of the car, added a steel bar to connect it to the bottom of the handbrake mechanism, and it seem to be pulling in a better line and with a little more effort. Tho' the drivers side still seems to be low.

Took the car to the local garage emissions are now spot on (I swapped the two white wires around and the switching voltage seemed to settle down to where it should be) BUT the handbrake is still not doing the job, its better but not enough!

I've re-worked the handbrake again! I've replaced the steel bar with a cable which runs to the lever via a pulley. This does two things; 1. forces a straight line pull down the car and 2. increases the travel of the cable, thereby putting more effort on. Had to order a replacement calliper for the drivers side and I'm fitting race pads to improve the grip.

February 2007

Have the date for the re-test, Tuesday 13th. Got a few last minutes checks to do and have just discovered the new calliper is faulty; it wont release the handbrake - ARGH!

Calliper has turned up today (Monday) so I'm fitting it tonight before tomorrows re-test, no time to do a proper bedding in so I'm expecting to fail tomorrow on handbrake effort again - but I think everything else will be ok.

Tuesday 13th - Just got back from the re-test and.. Oh My God I don't believe it: IT PASSED. Totally wasn't expecting that! Woke up to a fine start to the day, got the car ready and set off with son for company. Drive there was a breeze, very cold; thankfully we were both wearing crash helmets so it was far more comfortable than it would have been otherwise.

Had Paul as the examiner, seemed a very earnest chap, but not anal thank God! First few points checked off within moments, 7 down - 5 to go. Got to the emissions at this point Ian (my first tester) appeared, he remembered me and the car and wanted to see how things were going. Emissions were through the roof! “but that can't be right” I said showing them a print out from the garage. Then the machine crashed and started a 12 minute re-boot. So they decided to keep going and come back to it later.

Fuel line suitability next, they looked at the letter from RH asked if I'd used the line provided, “yes”; I said – “ok” they both said; 8 down 4 to go Car went up on the ramp and Paul had a look underneath and promptly announced “You have a leak”. The blanking plate from the gearbox had come off somewhere on route and gearbox oil had been leaking. Suspension safety bolt check - checked; 9 down 3 to go.

Onto the brake test; while setting the car up they told me that I should take the car to the local Ford, just down the road, and ask if they can help me out with the gearbox leak. “I take it that that is a fail point then?” I asked, “Oh no” Paul replied. Brake test was the complete set again and I noticed that the new calliper was under performing on all the tests, then came the handbrake: 121 on the passenger side and 85 on the drivers. I did the math; 206 in total and I needed 189 - could that be a pass too? What about the 29% variance? “to be honest” Paul said “there's an imbalance across the whole axle, may well be the new calliper, but for the handbrake its ok and the numbers look ok too, I think that'll be a pass” I was gob-smacked. 10 down, 2 to go.

Speedo check next and that was fine, so we were at 11 out of 12 and it was back to the now dreaded emissions test. The machine had re-set itself and sat quietly waiting for us, Paul hooked it up and put the nozzle into the top pipe (he'd used the bottom one before), and took it to 2600 RPM. He did it twice! Just to be sure – Lambda 1.007! 12 out of 12!

20 minutes later he handed me a MAC and grinned, “well done mate!” So I've owned the Kit for 30 months and I've had a few of those away from working on the car, so I reckon it took about 19 months in total and now its official I HAVE built a car [ photo ]! Registration is going to wait for 2 weeks so I get an 07 plate. But there are a few mod's I want to do post SVA anyway to keep me busy; its true you never stop building your car

I have to add a special thank you to the two guys at Royalty Motors in Beverley. I tried the ford dealership, they couldn't help and tried three other garages, the last one, Royalty said they should be able to help. It turned out that they'd built 2 Robin Hoods a few years back for clients. They spent half an hour fabricating a cover plate as a temp, just to get me home, topped up the oil and I was on my way, for the princely sum of £15. Top blokes!

So, what did the SVA mean? After 19 months of work, blood and tears; finally the euphoria of knowing I had done it! So did I sit back and savour the moment? Did get I her registered straight away and spend all me free time burning rubber? Did I spend more time with the family quietly watching TV? Did I bugger!

Registration can wait 'til the 1st march - I want a brand new number for my brand new car.

March 2007

1st March went to Leeds DVLA to get her registered, only to be told that they would post it out that night! It didn't arrive on the 2nd; it arrived on the 3rd. So straight down to the local supplier and got the new 07 plates made up. Fitted to the car along with the TAX disc and she is at last a fully road legal car [ photo].

Not all the mod's I wanted to do have been done, but I can take my time over them, from the list I had I have left to do: Sun Visors, Tonneau Cover and Column Switches.

The sun visors need some friction hinges that seem to be ridiculously expensive, so I'll wait 'til the next show to buy them. The column switches will need new circuit boards making so that'll be a while as I figure that out. BUT the tonneau cover is done [ photo ]

April 2007

Didn't do a lot of work on the car in April, spent most of the time finding any excuse to go for a drive. I did replace the mirrors tho' [ photo ]. The most important thing since the SVA has to be my first Kit Car show as a Kit Car driver. Stoneleigh 2007! It was great going there in the car, nearly 250 mile round trip and she handled brilliantly!; Now over the 1000 mile barrier. (Time for a service I think). But here she is as one of the many cars on the RHOCaR stand [ photo ]. Newark show next.

and the rest of 2007?

What happened to the rest of 2007? Well I did a lot of driving, but no more work on the car, in fact work was so hectic that I was doing 14 hrs a day for all of 2008 & 09, not good. But I started working on the car again in 2010, so there will be more to come soon ...

copyright Ian Grant © 2005-2010 all rights reserved


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