Archive for March, 2004

On track at last :-)

On Tuesday, I took the car to a rolling road to have the engine run-in (much
easier and less boring to do this on a rolling road than on a track!) and
tuned. This went relatively smoothly, except for the clutch cable seizing
just before the power runs. The rolling road operator ended up operating the
clutch using mole grips on the clutch actuator (with asbestos gloves on –
it’s right beside the exhaust!). The final tally was 136bhp at the rear
wheels (which equates to something like 155-160bhp at the flywheel).

The current engine is completely standard apart from a few tweaks necessary
to get it working correctly in a car (baffled sump, uprated clutch and
rejetted carbs). I’m currently having a second engine tuned up, with a view
to fitting it after the first couple of races. It’s going to be tuned to
“medium” race spec – not so highly tuned to be unreliable (I hope!) but
enough to make a considerable difference. It’s having a close-ratio gearbox,
race cams, a ported head and increased compression. If all goes well, we
should be getting something like 150bhp at the rear wheels (or ~170-175bhp
at the flywheel).

And so yesterday, we took the car to a test day at Mallory Park. The main
point of the day was to find all of the “niggling” problems which would
undoubtedly be present, without trying to do this during a race meeting! On
that front, it was a very successful test, in that we discovered a number of
loose bolts, the exhaust fell off and the gearlever and pedals needed
repositioning 🙂 The biggest problem was that the car was suffering from
terrible fuel surge at the exit of Gerards. This almost certainly wouldn’t
happen at any other circuit in the UK, as no other circuit has such a long,
fast corner, but it would still be nice to sort it out. We tried increasing
the fuel pressure to fix it, but this didn’t improve matters, so Jedi are
currently making me a small reserve fuel tank which can sit above the carbs
to address this.

So, with luck, the car is now ready for the season. The first Formula Jedi
race is at Croft on 17th/18th April, but I will be at the Monoposto race on
3rd April as a further shakedown before that. If anyone wants to come along
to either race, you would be more than welcome!

There are pictures of the completed car here:

[Image 1](
[Image 2](
[Image 3](
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