Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

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GaryR
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by GaryR » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:34 am

Congratulations Simon. A beautiful restoration. Much admiration!
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:03 pm

Thanks for the kind words Gary, there's a little way to go yet to get it back on the road, but it was great to actually get it to Silverstone resembling something like completion!

Last weekend was mostly spent on fitting the cooling fan and sorting the under bonnet wiring out. This entailed yet more bracketry fabrication - I am beginning to think I'm developing a hole drilling fetish! In it's previous incarnation I had fitted some relays on the inner wing to drive the headlights directly from the alternator to solve the common dim headlight syndrome. I decided to expand on this and fit an additional fuse box and relays for spotlights and cooling fan.
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Making up brackets to mount the fan
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Countersunk bolts to prevent damaging rad core/fins
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Fan in place
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Marking out relay bracket from card template
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Bracket competed with M4 tapped holes for relays and fuse box mounting.
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Relays and fuse box mounted
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Starting on the wiring, the aim was to make a self-contaned relay pack that can be easily removed if required.
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In place on the car. Bracket picks up on some existing captives and studs. Still plenty of wiring/plumbing to connect and tidy up.
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Guy Croft
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Guy Croft » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:23 am

Well-done indeed for making the club stand at the show!

Good cat for lending a hand!

I enjoyed the pictures very much, thanks!

G
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LanciaNut69
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by LanciaNut69 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:48 am

Fantastic fabrication work there - love seeing these little bits and pieces come together. One suggestion if I may - I would use non-insulated terminals and then put shrouds on them, and use a proper crimping tool. Those insulated terminals are poor and will be a potential for electrical gremlins in the future. One of the problems is that you can't see if you have made a good crimp. In addition, the insulation quickly goes brittle and looks a mess.

Just a suggestion!

All the best

Darren
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:59 pm

Thanks Darren. I take your point regarding the crimps but personally I have never had a problem with good quality insulated crimps, as long as the wire is prepped correctly and the proper ratchet crimping pliers are used so that the conductor and the insulation are crimped for strain relief. I've been using them for years at work and home and I really do treat them as 'fit and forget'. But I would be equally happy using the non-insulated crimps with boots like you say. That said I have been on the receiving end of many a dodgy crimp connection in my time! As an electronics engineer, I always prefer a proper soldered connection and heatshrink sleeving for any joints or repairs in cables and looms. It's always interesting to hear how peoples experience differs with things.

Time for a bit a progress report.....

Since the last post I've had a few delays and setbacks but one last thing to do for the MOT was to connect up the speedo and speed sensor for the tripmeter. I had already bought the proper M14 threaded sensor from Brantz expecting to just screw it on to the gearbox speedo drive, and then the speedo cable to the sensor. In reality the sensor fits the drive but ends up so close to the gearbox casing there's no room to screw on the cable! So I gave up on that and decided just to connect the speedo cable for the time being. Having done that the speed still didn't work, and I discovered that the actual speedo drive on the gear wasn't even rotating. After it became apparent that the speedo drive cannot be removed with the gearbox in situ (even after releasing the rear mount and trying to lower the 'box slightly), there was really no choice but to take the 'box out! After removing the 'box and taking off the remote shift I found that the speedo drive gear was spinning on the output shaft.

I had a spare gearbox of seemingly good but unconfirmed health, but with the MOT looming the following day (coincidentally my birthday!) so decided to fit it anyway. Whilst the 'new' 'box was on the bench I thought I'd have another go at fitting the Brantz sensor and concluded that I could grind a small section of the casting away to give enough clearance for the speedo cable nut to fit.
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Speedo cable and speed sensor finally in place ready for the 'box to go into the car.
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I decided a bit of grinding would give the necessary clearance....
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Brantz speed sensor fitted to gearbox but thread is too close to casing to be able to screw on the speedo cable!
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So by 11PM last Sunday the 'box was in, the speedo and trip meter was working and the car was back on its wheels, and I did another quick check of the lights and wipers etc, ready for the inaugural outing on the Monday morning. The MOT was booked for 11.00am so I decided to drive it the 12 miles to work to give everything chance to bed in (and some tinkering time if necessary!) before heading back into town to the test station an hour later. The drive was fine albeit with plenty of driveline noise thanks to the lack of sound deadening.

There was a bit of comedy moment at the MOT station after I handed over the keys to the tester and he promptly went around to the right hand side, opened the door and was half way in before he released it was left hand drive!

I had a few worries about the rear brake effectiveness as the pedal felt a bit light through the first part of it's travel but all was well when it went on the rollers. So an MOT certificate was duly issued! So it was then time for the drive back to work with a big grin on my face! So after arranging some car tax online the car is now fully legal for the next 12 months :-)

Part two coming up....
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:50 pm

As well as booking the MOT on the Monday I had also provisionally entered a 12 Car club rally on the Tuesday night as there was a navigator looking for a car and driver. So with car road legal and it seemingly fit enough to survive a thrash around the Leicestershire lanes and 'whites' and a everything was set. Typically it started to rain as soon as I headed of to meet Peter, a seasoned but self-confessed 'rusty' navigator, at the start venue at 7.00PM, giving us about an hour to get ourselves sorted before our allotted start time of 8.09PM. After apologising for the lack of preparation - no foot rest, maplight, map pockets or calibrated trip meter, Peter seemed happy enough strapped in and equipped with my head torch and his map board. Things then took a turn for the worse and the headlights and wipers stopped working whilst we were sat waiting for the off! With 20 minutes to go I traced the problem to a dodgy ignition switch (it wasn't dodgy crimps Darren!), but only after a quick bodge to wire the main beam relay permanently on, and useful comments from other competitors such as "I know what the problem is.....its Italian and its raining!" :-)

Anyway, we finally got going at out start time but had a 'bit of a mare' on the maps and I was struggling to see where we were going without any spotlights and the sealed beam headlights impersonating a couple of candles! At one point we came charging down an unsurfaced road accompanied by the sound of sum guard bashing the gravel to where we thought the time control was, only to be greeted by the marshal coming at us in the opposite direction in a 4x4 having just closed the control - so that would be us too late and in the wrong direction then! Towards the end I was starting to really enjoy the driving despite the lack of lighting and was amazed at the level of detail Peter was extracting from the map to call the corners.

Despite the inevitably poor result it was still a fantastically fun evening and nothing broke or fell off, and the ignition switch behaved itself too, despite all bashing about on the yumps. Next job it to sort some decent lighting and some kit for navigator.

It now needs a bit of a clean, but thought I'd grab a few shots this evening in it's freshly used state. Next outing (apart from daily driver duties) will be in October on an all day classic rally.
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Guy Croft
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Guy Croft » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:52 am

MODEL POST!


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Rallyroller
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Rallyroller » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:24 am

Hi Simon

Just Great- build it - use it- fantastic. Car also looks great.

Interested about your problems with the Brantz. I have a Brantz but have not got around to looking at the fitment. I have an ex USA speedo cable which had some form of electrical device part way along it. This has two screw connections, making it in theory, a 2 part speedo cable. I was going to try and fit the sensor in that if required. The other option is a front wheel sensor. However, that is not as easy as it appears so for now I will go for the cable mounted route.

Re gearbox removal - engine out or not? I was thinking of adding a couple of holes in the transmission tunnel to allow easy access to the bell housing bolts. I was also considering different bolting arrangement for the starter, as this is the difficult thing to remove.

Nigel.
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Will01
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Will01 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:35 am

Car looks awesome, really is a great colour scheme and really suits it.
Navigation rally sounds fun. The last road nav scat i did was in a Fiat Panda 1000! We ended up doing the whole thing in reverse (i mean going round the wrong way rather than driving backwards)and ended up in 4th place and we didn't even get excluded.
Great to see the car obviously being used for fun.
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:00 pm

Thanks for the encouraging comments Guy, Will and Nigel. It's been a fraught but fun few days and using the car daily I'm starting to get a feel for all those little jobs that will iron out the niggles.

Nigel,

I think the device in the speedo cable on the US versions is to trip the emissions/cat check light after a predetermined mileage; mine had something similar, but running time based. I thought about a front wheel sensor but there are potential reliability issues with subjecting the sensor to all the heat from the brakes, although I suspect it would be a more accurate method on a stage rally car subject to rear wheel spin. I think Brantz recommend fitting two and a change over switch in case of failure. I also found that the M14 Fiat sensor's drive pin that fits into the gearbox drive was too long. So had disassemble it, cut the drive rotor shorter and extend the square section further back (turned down in the pillar drill with a file, then filled the square section back on!) I then found I needed to inset a small metal dowel up the end of the sensor drive output to prevent the speedo cable pushing in too far causing the other end to come out of the speedo drive - it was definitely not the quick bolt-on I had expected. But it all works now and its a neat and tidy installation. In hindsight the 'universal' speed sensor that you splice into the speedo cable may have been a better option.

I've always removed gearboxes (on Nivas, Rivas and the Spider) with the engine in place, but you really need some long extension bars (300mm) with a uni-joint to access the top bellhousing and starter bolts. So Some strategically placed holes in the tunnel may be a good move. Luckily on my CAT equipped car the downpipe bends around the bellhousing so can be left in place. Removing the remote gearchange assembly (131 'box) makes the job a whole lot easier in terms of clearance too. I'm really looking forward to seeing your car on the stages!

Simon.
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:01 am

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. I was up in Mull with some mates from our club servicing and running chase car for friends MG ZR, which despite the fantastic weather, scenery and rally atmosphere, all ended in tears with a blown diff (last year it was the gearbox!) We returned on the Monday and I had the Tuesday off work to do a bit of fettling on the Spider before another 12 Car rally in that evening. I knew it would be a rough event as the guy that was organising it likes the 'whites', which around these parts are more akin to gravel rally stages at this time of year! So apart from a good spanner check alI round to check for anything loose, I really wanted to make make up a proper front mount for the sump guard that picks up on the towing eyes on the end of the chassis rails. Then there were a few other jobs like finishing off the mounting of the navigator foot rest, the map light, and if time permitted, bolting on some spot lights to help with visibility. In the end the sump guard mods took most of the day, but I also managed to get some cheap driving lamps from the local accessory shop and make up some brackets to mount them. I already had all the wiring in place so it was just a case of making the final connections. By this time it was less than an hour to the start of the event 20 miles away and my navigator was already there in the pub eating dinner! So I set off in a bit of a rush but things were generally a little more orgainsed than the last outing and I was a bit more confident with the car as I has been my daily driver for several weeks.

We had a good run and managed to make up a lot of the time that we had lost early on, and had time to double back and pick up a couple of code boards we missed. As expected the 'whites' were very rough and the sump guard took a constant pounding down them (and on some of the undulating tarmac roads too when we were pressing on) and there were some pretty deep water splashes that fully covered the bonnet and screen in muddy water. It was seriously good fun and no issues with the car this time, even the cheap spots (£18 Ring Roadrunners) were surprisingly good, apart from needing some steady bars to stop the vibration. In the end we finished 5th and unscathed apart from some more gouges on the sump guard and a coating of mud. Others were somewhat less fortunate with notable incidents including a cracked sump and a rear bumper that disappeared somewhere en route!

So last weekend was spent cleaning. I did notice that the front nearside shock absorber has started knocking now (I think they are the originals and I always planned on changing them once I had managed to locate suitable replacements) so I have ordered a set of AVO adjustables which have to be made to order but should be here in a couple of weeks, just in time for the next 12 car in November and I'll try and set the video camera up for that one.
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A good coating of wax and the torrential downpour helped wash off the worst of the mud before I started.
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The engine bay stayed surprisingly clean
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All clean again!
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:12 pm

Some pictures of the things mentioned in the earlier posts....

The accoutrements to make the navigator's side of the car a nicer place to be; foot rest, map light, map nets and a clock/stopwatch.
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Some goodies to keep the navigator happy!
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I mounted the map light to the roof securing bracket by tapping it for some M4 cap heads. A hole and grommet allow the wires to feed out and down the roll cage.
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When not in use it is stowed out of the way across the top of the windscreen frame secured by a 'terry' clip near the rear view mirror.
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Map light in place
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The cast OMP foot rest fitted nicely in the foot well and seemed like a better quality and sturdier option than the similarly priced (£20ish) sheet ali options and came complete with all the brackets and fasteners. I also fitted the door bars at this point.
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Foot rest in place
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The new rear adjustable dampers arrived yesterday, but the fronts won't be here for another week or so. I'll probably wait until I have the full set before fitting them.
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Avo Rears
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Will01
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Will01 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:56 pm

Looking good, those avo dampers are a nice addition. The map light is very neat.
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Simon
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Simon » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:20 pm

Thanks Will, it's been a while since the last update, so here's what I've been up to over the last few months.

Back in November I fitted the AVO dampers. It was a fairly straightforward job, the only issues being that the underside was still caked in mud from a previous event, and access to the front top mounts was a bit tight, but made easier with a 14mm ratchet ring spanner.
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Front lower bushes looked horrendous but there was still no play in them.
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I started with the dampers on their slowest rate setting
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Here's a short video of a nice test run the following day to shake them down and also test a new action cam (apologies for the wobbly camera mount)

http://vimeo.com/85096693

I was happy with the generally stiffened up feel with the AVO's and was eager to try them out on the next 12 car rally a few days later. The event started off well and we made the first four time controls on schedule and managing to keep up a good pace. But then Owen, my navigator, was starting to struggle to stay on the outside of his pre-rally pub dinner! So we took it easy to the next control with the intention of retiring, but when we arrived there we found we'd only dropped a minute so decided to press on! However, to avoid the inevitable reappearance of said meal we did eventually have to stop for a 'breather' and retire and return to the finish. There is still some debate as to whether the AVO's and consequent more rapid progress, or the Hungry Horse burger and pint of Coke were to blame.... Still, it was another fun event and I'm starting to get a bit more confident with the car now.

Owen was organising the December event, so we ended up running course car in the Jeep rather than competing.

Last Saturday was the first of our winter series of autosolos at Donington, so I put in an entry. The course was basically a nice open slalom with a few tight gates near the start and finish laid out in the paddock area. There was a entry of about 30 cars split into engine capacity classes which meant I was in the 1600cc -2000cc class, which was basically MX5s and a 205GTI. We all got six timed runs, three in each direction and were allowed to drop our two worst times, and penalise are given for hitting cones or taking the wrong route. I did get lost once (as usual), on the first run in the opposite direction, and made a mess of my third run when I got a bit over exuberant and overshot the gate at the start of the slalom. Anyway, I ended up 2nd in class and 15th overall and 1st in the class was the MX5 that won the event! So a great event and I'm looking forward to next months with the intention of thinking a bit more about the correct lines, rather than just remembering the course!

I only had my camera running for three runs, but here is one of the last (I promise to straighten the steering wheel up before the next one!)

http://vimeo.com/85083222
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Guy Croft
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Re: Preparing my Spider 2000 for the Track

Post by Guy Croft » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:43 pm

Is your speed sensor on the gearbox Simon? Is that for the navigator tripmeter?

If yes - how accurate do you find it? Last time I used one - a Halda - it was tripped off a front wheel to obviate misreading due to wheelspin..

G
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