Back to work

OK, I know I’ve been tardy about posting lately, but not very much has been going on. However, I’ve been re-invigorated by a trip up to the Autosport International show this week, along with Adrian. I didn’t actually buy anything but it was great looking at all the bits and we bumped into loads of fellow RGBers.

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Temporary suspension of disbelief

With the engine in bits I could suspend my disappointment and get on with other things. First up is to sort the wishbones that I’ve been meaning to remake. This is to get rid of the Delrin bearings, which haven’t really worked, and hopefully to get a bit of weight out. So, making my usual MDF and bracket jigs I remade the rear upper wishbones, as seen here. You’re right, they’re awfully short (although you have to add a lot of length in the rod-ends to this photo) and this is what completely re-designing the rear of the car would have sorted. However, I just don’t have the time, especially as I’ve just got a new job. (As well as still teaching, this time to “Engineering Doctorate” students, up at York and my PhD viva being next week. Eeeek.)

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Carnage exposed

Finally, I was getting to the root of the problem. And, indeed, demonstrating that it really was a problem. First thing, though, was to close up the top of the engine. So,  I took off all the cams and drive gubbins, put the followers somewhere neat and tidy and put the cam cover back on. All this so I I could up-end the engine without the followers falling out. What’s more, with the cams out I can twizzle the crank around as I want without worrying about the pistons bashing into any valves.

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A damp squib

…whatever one of those is. (Actually, it turns out that it’s a small explosive device.) It’s what the Birkett turned out to be.

I’d got myself all ready well in advance, here’s the car sitting on the trailer and, after a morning lecturing to students. I jumped on the train, zoomed down to Cambridge and drove to Silverstone. There, miracles of miracles (they must have got some new security guards) we got in easily and parked up for the night.

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A watery end

And so, after a season of frenetic car building, engine swaps and sundry other excitements the RGB year ground to a halt at Cadwell at the weekend. It was, yet again, a wet weekend although a very enjoyable one. That the club managed to get 26 races on track over the 2 days, along with all the qualifying sessions, is a testament to how well organised it is. For something that only has two paid staff (and lots and lots of volunteers) this is pretty miraculous.

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Liftoff approaches

Well, at least I hope it does.

Since I was last here I’ve been pressing onwards, and missed the RGB meeting at Donington last weekend. Anthea and I went up to watch and got burnt in the sunshine while watching the RGBers swooping down the Craner Curves. What’s to bet that when we go back there later in the year it’ll be raining, like it’s doing at the moment? More importantly, it’s now not long until the meeting at Snetterton which I’m aiming at for the newly engined car.

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