The brake discs must have been slightly damp when I last pushed the car into the garage as I could feel them grinding. The car was also a little bit reluctant to start. There was some pulsing through the steering wheel on the first few braking attempts but, it quickly disappeared. Having been out of the car for a longer period than usual, I was struck by how solid it feels on the road. No creaks and no rattles. With the ambient air this cold around us, the engine oil and water temperature rarely topped 77°C. A bit of acceleration and the rush of cold air though an open visor soon cleared the sinuses.
The Fury was slightly reluctant to start again this morning, drove well though. Filled up with fuel on my way back home and fuel consumption is slightly improved over the last 111 miles. The tank was about 20-30% full so I reckon I'll get a maximum of 150 miles per tank with my usual driving style and maybe 200 miles if I was simply going from A to B.
Do we still get seasons in the UK? It seems like spring has arrrived (I saw my first butterfly today). Beautiful day for driving and reasonably warm too. I could finally get some heat into the tyres and driving it is so much more fun, when you have some decent grip. I'm still wary of the odd damp patch down the smaller B-roads though. Best drive of the year so far . And the Fury started easily this time.
In the next few months the car is going to get a good going over and new fluids all round. It's time I replaced the fuel filter between the tank and the pump too as it has collected a lot of plastic bits from the inside of the tank. I desperately need to sort out the seats first though.
Spend some time this afternoon, extending the accessory wiring to better support the in-car video recording and my in-car comms system.
|Missed some beautiful weather yesterday but, on the promise of more later today I took the Fury into work, instead of scraping the ice off the vi. It's less than 2°C and very foggy. This was the best visibility I got on my 'extended' journey into work. Half-way through my journey everything bar my visor misted up but, the sun is starting to break through the mist.|
Beautiful weather at lunch time for my drive up to Snape, Aldeburgh and Thorpness. The smaller B-roads were still damp though, so I drove cautiously. At one point the A-road turned to dual-carriage way and at about 65mph I dropped it down to fourth and floored it to pass a line of cars but, there wasn't enough grip and the backend squirmed all over the place. Changed up to fifth and the rears still struggled for grip for a fraction of a second. Who says bike engines have no torque?
|Been talking to Steve Tillet about the Tillett seats that might fit in my Fury. I particulary like the look of this W1 with back frame, which should fit and would support my 6-point harnesses. I'm going to have to take my car down to Kent to try them for size.|
Did a few other safety checks on the car this afternoon. I've taken the passenger seat and harnesses out of the car, as they are not being used. Found an amazing collection of debris under the seat. One thing I noticed today is that the front panel in the passenger footwell (next to the exhaust manifold) gets rather hot. It being powder coated in black doesn't help. I only lined the fibreglass bits with heat reflective/insulating mat but I might try and cover this panel too. It doesn't seem a problem with the rear panel but I guess the exhaust is cooler the further back you go and the clearance is also greater.
Details of the new RAW Fulcrum are now out. This is the track focussed evolution of the Striker and is essentially more arodynamic and also features a chassis re-engineered for a much lower ride height. I'm sure the race results will speak for themselves.
No opportunity to drive today, as I've been doing a few jobs:
I discovered one more job to add to the list. My ultra light-weight exhaust mount was a bit too light and appears to have some cracks in it. When the side pod comes off to add the heat reflective material to the passenger front panel, I'm going to have to fabricate and fix a new one. The penalty for taking the Colin Chapman approach I guess.
Finished the extension of my accessory wiring to support my in-car video and in-car communications systems. I'm using 2-pin DIN audio sockets as the plugs are locking, small, cheap, light-weight and the large pins will easily support 5A or more current.
|When I first wired the car, I put two power sockets on the very top of the centre tunnel. These are not switched and have their own fuse to the battery. This is a very convenient place to plug in my Optimate III charger (as you can see in the picture) and I also use one to power the bullet camera mounted on the roll bar.|
|I've now added another two switched power sockets onto the bulkhead and up inside the drivers sidepod to power my in-car video system and other things I may want to site here. The small alumium case is a 5V regulator which supplies power to my Neuros II solid state video recorder.|
|The above switch also switches power to another power socket to power my in-car communications system which sits on a mounting plate just behind the handbrake.|
With that lot done, I went out for a drive to further test the video recording quality and to empty the tank a bit so I could fix the leak near the filler cap. I had an awesome drive up through Rendlesham and Tunstall forests. On the way there I saw 3 police cars, on the way back another 4!
Nothing interesting captured on video that I can post on this web site but, I've uploaded a short clip to show that things have moved on.
I tend to review the in-car video I take whilst out on the road, in part to make sure I didn't do anything which looks a bit stupid with the benefit of some hindsight. With the microphone inside my helmet it's also quite easy to pick up the increase in my breathing rate (and presumably my heart rate), which starts as soon as I enter the car. Nearly twelve months on and this car still noticably scares me with its performance. Each time I step into the car, my body reacts like I've just stepped into the ring with Mike Tyson. It's one hell of an adrenaline rush and exactly why I built it but, (practicalities aside) it is why this never be a car you can just jump into and go to the shops. Who wants to go through that every time they run out of milk?
Having thought about it, this is why the Lotus Elise S1, so perfectly filled its intended gap in the market and my own needs many years ago. It walked the fine line between what I've described above AND you just had to take it to the shops on a Sunday morning, making a 30 mile detour along the way. Less of an instant hit, but a car that lured you in and took you to a similar place, only via a more subtle route. I think I've just justified to myself why I need one on my drive, alongside the Fury R1 .
I noticed an oddity, whilst reviewing the in-car footage. I thought it was rather convenient that I could only see the last of the large LED digits on the Digidash2, the others being obscured by the steering wheel rim. Looking at later parts of the video, I could see no digits at all though. Having checked the video I can see the red digits clearly fade in and out at irregular intervals, being absent most of the time. If this sounds like I'm not being very observant about my speed, then my excuse is that I tend to use the smaller LCD display for checking my speed as it is more stable. The larger LED readout on the Digidash2 is best described as 'indicative' and is more usefully configured to display the current gear.
Having solicited opinion from the Sylva Chat List , the concensus is that I'm seeing aliasing effects on the digital recording. I'd expect them to appear more regular but, it's a good excuse to do some more testing/driving .
Given that the Fury is a third car and I had zero NCD, the £243 fully comprehensive policy I had last year was pretty good value I thought (limited to 3000 miles though). I got my insurance renewal through today though . Having acrued my first year's NCD, my renewal has gone up over to £298! How does that work? I need to phone around a few more places.