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Last page update was 25 Apr 2008

Fisher Fury R1 Ownership - July 2007

5th July

As anyone in the UK would know, it has been raining rather a lot recently. A brief respite allowed me to go out to the garage and fill up with petrol, followed by a short drive. Maybe there is a knack to it but, the nozzle trigger trips if I pull it too hard. It takes a long time to fill the tank up.

The exhaust is vibrating again. Time to bite the bullet and dump the R1 exhaust for good. I'm just fed up trying to make it fit and keep it quiet. Daz  put me in touch with Andy Bates, who supplied his exhaust for his Striker. Sometimes it is just easier to throw some money at these problems.

6th July

Popped up to see Andy Bates this lunchtime at AB Performance, to pick up my new exhaust. I got a good price on one that had a few small dents in it. On a Striker these would be visible. On a Fury they are not.

This new exhaust weighs 2445g. The R1 exhaust it replaces weighs 4525g. It also has a much better placed bracket to enable the bobbin to work as designed (no shear forces).

AB Performance: Pie Hatch Farm, Brettenham Rd, Buxhall, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 3DZ. Tel: 01449 736633

This is a very interesting outfit that race prepares all sorts of cars and is also a racing team. They have a range of seat options and many other parts. I will now be using them to do a full suspension set up on my Fury, later this summer. I had a good look around some of the cars being prepared and the quality of components was impressive. On the race cars they use substantial brackets and components compared to some of the ones I've fabricated for my car. It does lead me to think that some of my work might be a bit too border-line on the weight/reliability curve.

We discusssed my gear-shift problems and they only use cables because the pivot of a rod mechanism (mounted on the chassis) moves relative to the engine (mounted on bushes) when you ease off the throttle. I'm very tempted to try a cable based solution and will investigate the mounting options required on the engine side, in order to measure up a cable to fit.

I'm running 180lb springs on the front and 130lb on the rear as my car is largely for road use. These make the car way stiffer than my old Elise though. Some of the race cars are using 300+lb springs! We also talked about steering feedback and it looks like I would be better off changing the castor angle back using the adjustment washers on the front rocker arms, as this may provide more feel through the steering wheel.

Andy also showed me some designs and pictures of the new Striker under development. It has bodywork enclosing the wheels and looks like the Lotus 2-11 on steroids. A much more modern take on the Striker / Fury / Pheonix which looked good to me.

7th July

Took the sidepod off for what seems like the thousandth time, to reveal an R1 exhaust which is well and truly broken. The tail pipe had detached itself inside. Put the new one on and making sure that the new mount was worthy of the exhaust. The tailpipe exits at a more oblique angle so I had to enlarge the exit hole in the side pod to more of an oval.

Went out for a brief test drive. The new exhaust is louder and deeper than the R1 can. This is not a good thing, as was proved by me picking up a police escort within 200 yards of my door . Drove over 2 miles at 30mph before we both got bored. Took to the back roads for a more solitary driving experience. Lots of pops on the over-run! Spent a fair bit of time testing the brakes and brake feel. The new bias setting seems better and provides more feel and it is easier to judge when the wheels are about to lock.

On the way back I passed Daz  on his way back from a trackday at RAF Woodbridge. I turned round and found him parked up in the next layby. His car performed well at its first track day and their were no surprises. On leaving the layby, I found neutral from 1st again. I think I may have bent the selector or rounded a gear because getting from 1st to 2nd at decent revs is pretty much impossible. I will try a cable shift and see if that helps.

8th July

A bit more sunshine. Picked up another police escort . Turned off down some deserted back roads and really tested the brakes out from high speed. The brakes are pretty awesome when the tyres are up to temperature. I will bleed them again next month. 422 miles on the clock now. More dry weather is required.

Moved the washers on the front suspension rocker arms, back to their initial position. This increases the castor angle  and should provide more feedback through the steering wheel and a bit more straight line stability at speed. It also fixes another problem I've been pondering over. Prior to the SVA test I checked the front wheels cleared the bodywork on full lock. Reducing the castor angle after the SVA test had the effect of moving the front wheels forward enough to touch the bodywork on full lock.

9th July

Had go at cleaning up the rear disks and pads using some brake cleaning fluid. Some grease from the rear hubs seems to have made it on to the inner faces of the disks and the inner pads. This has resulted in an odd wear pattern on the inner faces of the disk. Once cleaned, I also took a little bit of the surface off with some wet and dry paper.

10th July

The change in feel on moving the front rocker washers is noticable. The car feels much more stable and planted and there is more feedback through the wheel. The steering is slightly heavier. I'm thinking a slightly larger steering wheel might actually improve things too.

The new Digidash2 settings worked better and when stuck in a small traffic jam the water temperature alarm was just triggered (set to 110°C). This is a useful reminder to manually switch on the fan because the ECU doesn't switch on the fan until something like 115°C. The oil temperature was 98-99°C, so I've lowered the oil temperature alarm to 100°C, to also act as a reminder to switch on the fan. Under normal driving conditions the temperatures are much lower than this. When the engine gets hot, the oil pressure is lower and I saw the oil pressure alarm come on once. It's set to come on below 20psi above 3000rpm, so I changed this to below 20psi above 4000rpm.

I've also added a warning for speeds over 100mph but, I should never see this on the road. It's there to nag me just in case. I've reduced the delta on the shift lights to 200rpm, so that they are more of an indication that it is time to shift gear and less of a warning that the red line is approaching. I may reduce this further.

Now I just need to wire up the spare dash switch to manually trigger the fan. I'll add a diode from the ECU to the relay and another diode from the dash switch to the relay. This stops me driving 12V back down the ECU fan control line.

14th July

Wiring the manual fan switch in is not as simple as I first thought but, it might turn out even simpler. The ECU control line to the fan relay switches on the relay by pulling the low side to ground.

21st July

Wired up the manual switch for the fan by taking the ECU control wire to ground through the switch. It works fine but, it required a long test drive just to make sure . The fuel level alarm comes on, when I drive hard. Unfortunately, that's a permanent state once warmed up, so I'm going to have to switch the alarm off all together. The change in castor angle has transformed the handling. As well as much more feedback through the wheel, it is a lot easier to feel what the back end is doing. It drifts out very controllably.

22st July

Awesome drive up to Orford, through Tunstall forest and around Snape. These are some of my favourite local roads and ones I used to frequent when I had my Lotus Elise. This the longest drive I've done in the car (1 hour and 10 minutes) and my bum was starting to ache. I can't remember if I've written this already but, I'll say it again anyway. You don't need a car any faster than this on UK roads. It's totally mental and I love it.

23rd July

It rained all day but, the smile on my face from yesterday saw me through the whole of Monday.

24th July

Had a go at trial fitting the aeroscreen.

It looks a bit odd at certain angles but largely due to the fact that it is new and I can't see through it with the protective film on.

A bit of a geeky landmark reached today. This web site now consists of 1001 files.

26th July

The JPSC  web site is launched.

28th July

I've only got five fixings holding the aeroscreen on so far. They hold it about 3-4mm off of the bodywork. I plan to add another two each side before I test it at speed.

It doesn't obscure forward vision and there are no awkward reflections from the drivers seat. A brief test drive without a helmet showed a significant reduction in the wind in the face. It's almost too civilised now


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