|Before I could check the fit in the cockpit I bolted on the runners, as the bottom of the seat is below the backframe floor mounting points by about 10mm. With with the runners on, the seat bottom clears the floor by about 4-5mm. Placing this where the old seat used to be allows the runners to sit on the floor but, it is a bit of a squeeze.|
|The top, front edges of the seat have a rubber moulding which just touches on the side panels. There is a fair degree of flex in the seat sides though. As the seat moves forwards, the side panels get closer together and thus it gets harder to move the seat forward. This interference will introduce annoying squeaks into the car too. I'm tempted to remove the rubber moulding and then trim these side walls down at the very front where they actually splay outwards. I'd only need to remove about 25-30mm at the most. I can then refit the rubber moulding and this would allow the seat to move forward a lot further without touching the side panels. The thing that will stop the seat moving much further forward though, is the chassis rail across the floor and in front of the seat. As it is the grab handle just touches this rail. It's simply a painted bit of tubing though and changing the shape of it or making something smaller would be an easy job.|
As it is, there is about 5cm of fore/aft movement. This isn't much but, then I don't really need much movement. The runners are there to allow the seat to mount to the floor and any planned movement is to make it easier for others to drive the car and can be considered a bonus. The runners cost a little bit more than the basic mounting brackets but, they appear to enable the seat to be mounted closer to the floor.
|The first thing stopping the seat moving further back are the lower harness rings. I don't really need the seat to move much further back but, I could swap these rings for normal high-tensile bolts, as the harness clips are designed for either. This would provide enough clearance to allow the seat backframe to fit between them up and slide back until the seat hits the next obstacle. I've not bothered though.|
Under my armpits, the leading edge of the seat back has a rolled edge, which adds about 10-15mm to the outside width. The cockpit is narrowing at this point and as you move it backwards, the rolled edge starts to foul the sloping part of the center tunnel and the roll-hoop support bar. I could also trim this rolled edge, to ensure the seat doesn't touch but, I don't need to do this and I would also need to check with Tillett that doing this won't weaken the seat.
If all of the above steps were taken, I reckon I could get between 10-15cm of fore/aft movement, with the centre point being almost exactly in the right seating position for me. I don't need to do any of these modifications though, to get the seat in the right position for me.
One other rather nice feature about this seat is that I now sit about 5cm lower than in/on my homemade one. This means the shift lights are now in full view and I have a larger gap between the top of my head and the top of the roll-hoops. I really don't think you could fit a larger seat than this in a Fury. Despite these few adjustments, I'm very sure that won't find anything better suited to my needs. And it only weighs 3.3Kg
|Working out where to drill the holes for the runners is going to be an interesting challenge but, I've got some 8mm dowel markers which I can tape into the runner bolt holes. These should leave a nice mark on the aluminium floor, when the seat is correctly located and a bit of weight is placed in it. There are four 8mm bolts per seat and I plan to use spreader plates under the floor. I'd also like to end up with minimal bolt projection under the floor, to lower the chance of them catching on something.|
Spent a fair while this evening making sure the harnesses route nicely under/around the seat and are all the right lengths. Just need to mark the holes, drill them and bolt it down now.
|Well, the idea with the dowel markers worked really well but, having drilled the holes and bolted it to the floor, the problems started. In order to get a Allen key into the bolt heads, you have to expose the bolts by moving the seat on it's runners. Moving it backwards was fairly easy enough as I could just reach in and undo the harness rings, allowing the seat space to slide backwards. The front lips of the seat meant I simply didn't have enough forward movement to allow me to do up the rear bolts though. I ended up taking the seat out and trimming the top of the front edges in a nice curve. This made the seat narrower at the front and it could then slide forward, exposing the bolt heads at the rear of the runners.|
Went out for an evening run to check the new seat out. The first thing I noticed was that I'm obviously lower to the ground. The view is more through the aeroscreen now. The seat is comfortable and there is so much more support for my upper body. It was darker than usual but the shift lights are very noticable now.
I had to give Stoneleigh a miss this year as my wife was ill. It gave me a bit of free time to do some odd jobs though.
After 14 months and 1575 miles, it was time to change the oil. I've been using Redline 10W40 which is quite expensive when you replace the 3.8l in the R1 engine but it is highly regarded. To replace it, I've bought some Maxima Maxum4 'Syn Blend' 10W40 from Andy Bates. He uses it in his race cars, so it should be up to the job.
Changing the oil was going to be the easy job. Whilst I was at it though, I also wanted to change the oil filter. The problem with this is that the oil filter can't be unscrewed as it fouls the chassis rail. In order to replace it, I have to move the engine up about 6-8mm. I knew this when I located the engine and in retrospect, I should have gone for a full remote oil filter arrangement.
I undid the engine mounts on this side of the car, jacked the car up and then chocked under the engine. By lowering the car down slightly, the engine was lifted the required height to allow me to replace the filter. A bit of a pain but not too time consuming.
I put in the full 3.8l container + half of the ½l oil container but I think this is a bit too much and I might have to syphon a little of it out. I'm thinking this because the engine doesn't seem to rev as freely as it did. This might just be me though.
I had a bit of time to clean the car, whilst supervising the children and then popped out for a drive as the weather was fabulous. It was a day for classic cars, motorbikes and the odd bit of exotica. Some people had obviously been a bit over-enthusiastic though. I passed a VX220 with a rear wheel tucked up underneath the chassis and an understanding policeman in attendance. Looked like a classic case of lift-off oversteer and into the kerb
With the warmer weather the tyres are really gripping well. I must get the AP22 out and see what sort of forces I'm experiencing. I noticed that with a nearly empty fuel tank the engine stuttered on exiting a large sweeping corner. What little fuel was in the tank must have been up on the side wall . The Tillett seat really is fabulously supportive though. I really need to get on a track day now to test out the car more fully.
I made it to the garage with the Digidash2 stuck on 'FLA' (Fuel Level Alarm), which is set at 5%. I've averaged around 25mpg again, which is pretty amazing given the typical usage the car gets. Without fail, everytime I've been into the local Tesco garage to fill up my car, someone has come over and asked me what it is or made a complimentary comment. It's down to a combination of retro looks, the stripes and the engine noise in my view. I guess there are not many people driving around in cars with bike helmets on though.
The whole family is ill now, myself included. Perhaps an hour in the car was not such a good move with a headache but, I needed a lift and adrenaline works better than the other drugs. Another fantastic day in Suffolk with a top temperature of 24°C today. The roads are busy though, so I took to the back roads and went on a bit of a tour. The Fury doesn't do slow country lanes too well though. There is a lot of drive line shunt compared to a normal car and the engine will kangaroo if the revs drop too low. I'm also worried I'm going to meet a car down a narrow road and regret not having a reverse gear. It's not been a problem yet though.
On part of my journey I roared up behind an interesting looking car, which turned out to be an Audi R8, the first one I've seen in the flesh. It looked fantastically wide and low (compared to a normal car) but towered over me. The roads weren't suitable and I guess he was running it in, so I didn't get to see what it was capable of. The engine could have sounded fantastic for all I know but, there would be no way of hearing it over the Fury. I guess all he could hear was me too
Syphoning oil out of the R1 engine is not an option. There is not enough room around the clutch for a tube. I drained off 500ml via the sump plug. I started the engine and immediately it sounded quieter. This is the view in the window with the engine idling which is what you would expect to see.
I then thought I must have put more than half of the smaller bottle in but, checking it showed I wasn't far off. So I then poured what I'd drained back into the 1 litre bottle but it wouldn't fit! I had 200ml left over. This implies to me that either there was quite a lot of old oil left in the engine or the 3.8l container is bigger than it says it is.
There is definately something amiss with the car though. The problem is, I'm struggling to identify what it is and I'm pretty sure there is more than one issue:
So, where to start?
The fuel pump is a worry. It doesn't sound as quiet as it was and my cornering antics and low fuel level last weekend may have resulted in it pushing some air for a while, which has been known to damage them apparently . A plus point is that it primes the fuel injection rail as quickly as it did, so it is still working. One simple solution is to simply replace it with a new one, just in case. They are not too expensive.
Took some time out this evening to get under the car and start to check out the problems and noises.
First thing was to test the fuel pump and investigate the primary fuel filter. Bizarrely, the air pocket had left the filter (it's transparent) and the pump now sounds perfectly normal. I started the engine and got underneath the car to listen to it and it sounds fine.
Whilst underneath, I spotted a handbrake cable which had moved slightly and was banging on the boot floor. The other side has also moved slightly and was touching on a chassis rail.
I started banging around, to see what else would make a noise and interestingly the drivers side rear cockpit panel vibrates on a chassis rail slightly. The old seat used to rest on it, which I guess stopped any vibrations. The new one is floor mounted and thus it is now free to vibrate. I used panel adhesive as well as rivets but, I will add a bit more sealant where a chassis rail crosses the panel.
With the centre tunnel top panels removed, I could see another problem. The handbrake tensioner had worked loose and the loose cable was bouncing around. Apart from the SVA test, I'm not sure I've ever used the handbrake. I tend not to when I park in the garage or at work because both are level.
Next job was to really rev the engine, to see where else noises were come from. This immediately hilighted the major culprit and explains the odd noises behind me, which I had put down to the differential. The new routing of the seat harnesses results in the clips vibrating on the harness rings and side panels. As a temporary measure I stuffed some old socks around them and things were much quieter. I will add some foam later and some nylon spiral wrap around the rings.
This also highlighted another thing, which I kind of already knew. My exhaust is bloody loud! Especially, when you back off quickly from 10-11,000 rpm and the car backfires. Loud enough to have half the neighbours out to see if I had died in a large fire ball in fact!
Next job was a brief test drive. This is slightly disconcerting when you can see the propshaft spinning down by your elbow. It appears to spin less quickly than I expected and there are no noises or vibrations audible or visible. The differential is almost silent, something I wasn't expecting at all. With the tunnel top off, I could more easily hear the effect the road surface was having on the tyres and the variations in noise.
One other thing was very apparent. The bodywork on the left side of the car is vibrating and it is the exhaust which is causing it. I can feel a pulsing through the GRP. Once up to temperature I used the full rev range and the exhaust is causing the metallic sound and vibrations through the car. Tomorrow, I'm going to have to take off the side pod and investigate. I think I will swap back to my old R1 end can to see if this makes a difference and will run the car less the passenger side side-pod.
I'm happier than I was two days ago. Now that it is exposed, I also noticed that I can reverse the car (on the level) by rotating the propshaft with my hand. Not very quickly though.
I've just bought another toy, which should allow me take some very interesting in-car video clips.
Daz has lent me his spare exhaust can with catalyst, so I can swap mine out and try and resolve my noise issue. I've held on to my original R1 can as well but it doesn't have a suitable tail pipe.
Found a bit of time to look at the car tonight. With the sidepod off, the exhaust sounds fine. There was a tiny air leak where the end can joins the manifold but there always has been and will be because of the way they connect together. I took the exhaust off anyway and checked it over. It's so flipping basic that despite its light weight, there is nothing wrong with it that I can see. Put it all back together and will do another test drive tomorrow, assuming the rain holds off. Our mini summer has come to an end
My new toy arrived today. I actually bought this to take pictures and video on my kites and radio controlled plane but, I've spotted an opportunity to get some wacky footage by attaching it to various bits of the car. It's a very compact digital video recorder which generates .avi files at 25fps and at 640 x 480 pixels. I bought mine from Heliguy for about £44 delivered. For the money it is dead impressive. 2Gb SD card allows about an hour of video recording. It can do stills at 1280 x 960, stills sequence (one every 4 seconds) and it's got a PIR to act as security video recorder too!
A sample video clip taken by sticking it to the headrest of my Rover. Not the best example but I'll update in a day or so.
I was hoping my passenger seat was going to arrive today too
With no passenger seat yet and some noises to resolve, I had to miss out on the 'classic car' run today. Took the opportunity to do a bit of testing. I'm still convinced the problem is with the exhaust so I'm going to change it for another one to see what difference that makes. Took a couple of pictures:
|Viewed from my front door.|
|Viewed from my son's bedroom window.|
Having just about recovered from jet-lag, I went out for my first drive in what seems a long time. The weather was cool but sunny, the drive was totally awesome. Went up to Orford via my favourite route and met my next-door neighbour on the Quay, whilst taking an adrenaline break. Lots of classics and Ferrari cars out for the day, all going in the opposite direction to me.