Megabusa Build Diary http://www.megabusa.co.uk/ Megabusa Build Diary. en-us Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:39:10 GMT Tue, 20 Aug 2019 10:39:10 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/rss.aspx Carl carlmeek@gmail.com carlmeek@gmail.com Early Development Photos http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=59 Here's a selection of photos from delivery to SVA. Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=59 Setup http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=81 Camber Front Left : -2.0 Camber Front Right : -2.0 Camber Back Left : -1.5 Camber Back Right : -1.5 Front Toe : 20 mins out Rear Toe : 35 mins in Rideheight Front : 110mm (measured on 185/60 tyres) Rideheight Rear : 135mm (measured on 205/60 tyres) Tyre Pressures : 21-23psi HOT Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=81 Wiring http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=100 This section is mostly for my reference! Seeing as I created the wiring loom by hand, I guess i'd better document it properly! <B>CAR-ECU Marked with Silver Tape</B> Connects to 4 pin plug under the fuel regulator <font face=courier color=gray><B><font color=darkred> CAR LOOM - ECU LOOM - PURPOSE</font></B> White Red Switched 12v Orange Blue Warning Light Red/White Green Ignition/Start Switch Black/White Black Tacho Feed </font> <B>ENGINE-ECU Marked with Yellow Tape</B> Connects to the rear of the engine <font face=courier color=gray><B><font color=darkred> ECU LOOM - PURPOSE</font></B> Orange Intake Air Pressure - Ground White Intake Air Pressure - Signal Purple Intake Air Pressure - +5v DC Gray Water Temp - Signal Gray/Yellow Water Temp - Ground Blue Oil Pressure Blue Gear Position - Neutal Yellow Gear Position - Signal Black Gear Position - Ground </font> <B>ENGINE-ECU Marked with Blue Tape</B> Connects to the injector loom <font face=courier color=gray><B><font color=darkred> ECU LOOM - PURPOSE</font></B> Gray/Yellow Throttle Pos Blue Throttle Pos Black Throttle Pos Green Intake Air Temperature Black Intake Air Temperature Gray Injector 1 - Switched Black Injector 1 - +12v Orange Injector 2 - Switched Black Injector 2 - +12v Purple Injector 3 - Switched Black Injector 3 - +12v White Injector 4 - Switched Black Injector 4 - +12v </font> <B>CAR-ECU Marked with Red Tape</B> Connects to the engine head <font face=courier color=gray><B><font color=darkred> ECU LOOM - PURPOSE</font></B> Gray Cam Position Sensor Black Cam Position Sensor Orange Ignition 1 - Trigger Black Ignition 1 - +12v Yellow Ignition 2 - Trigger Black Ignition 2 - +12v White Ignition 3 - Trigger Black Ignition 3 - +12v Purple Ignition 4 - Trigger Black Ignition 4 - +12v </font> <B>CAR-ECU Marked with Brown Tape</B> Connects to the alternator/crank case <font face=courier color=gray><B><font color=darkred> ECU LOOM - PURPOSE</font></B> Red Alternator + Black Alternator - Blue Crank Position Sensor Green Crank Position Sensor </font> <B>Race Technology Connections</B> What the analog terminals are used for <font face=courier color=gray><B><font color=darkred> DEVICE - PIN - PURPOSE</font></B> Dashboard Analogue 1 Gear Position Dashboard Analogue 2 Fuel Level Dashboard Analogue 3 Water Temperature Dashboard Analogue 4 Oil Temperature Data Logger Analogue 1 Gear Position Data Logger Analogue 2 Water Temperature Data Logger Analogue 3 Oil Temperature Data Logger Analogue 4 Fuel Level </font> Voltages: Fuel level 0.229 - 3.60 Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=100 Dashboard Screens http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=102 The user-configurable screens on the DASH2 Dashboard <font face=courier> Screen 1 Water Temp Oil Temp Fuel Level Screen 2 GPS Speed GPS Heading GPS Altitude Screen 3 Screen 4 Throttle Pos Screen 5 "G" Lng "G" Lat "G" Total </font> Voltage Curve: FUEL <font face=courier> -%- -V- 0 0.229 20 1.000 40 1.800 60 2.500 80 3.200 100 3.600 </font> Voltage Curve: WATER TEMP <font face=courier> -DEG- -V- 13 2.290 30 1.500 70 0.440 120 0.110 </font> Voltage Curve: OIL TEMP <font face=courier> -DEG- -V- 13 4.130 </font> Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=102 The Car http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=68 Westfield SEiW Megabusa Front Wide Track & Second Generation Anti-Roll Bar Rear Anti-Roll bar CAGED Race Roll Cage Nitron Alloy Gas Shocks Compomotive CXR 13" Wheels, 7" front, 9" rear 1:3.6 Limited Slip Differential Toyo R888 Road-Legal 185/60 & 205/60 Track Tyres 499kgs split 46% front 54% rear Corner weight & Geo suspension setup by racecardoctor.com Alloy Uprights and AP Racing Front Calipers Aeroscreen 4 point race harnesses Carbon Fibre Dashboard & Tunnel Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=68 The Engine http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=69 Suzuki Hayabusa 1548cc in standard 1300cc casings billet stroker crankshaft (balanced with genny at last rebuild) Built by Karl of Extreme Engines Bored & Stroked to increase capacity from standard 1300 steel con rods 83mm high compression pistons cylinder rebore and plated (done in usa) race cams adjustable sprockets gasflowed cylinder head (and skimmed to give higher compression at last rebuild) 6 Speed Sequential Gearbox with Paddle-Shift SBD Throttle bodies with 480cc Peco injectors all arp bolts etc. Nova Billet Dry Sump Custom oversize exhaust system loads of other mods done too. MBE 992 ECU Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=69 Electronics http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=70 MBE 992c Engine Management System Custom Wiring Loom Race Technology Dash2 Race Technology DL-1 DataLogger with CAN interface Custom 'Carputer' with: * Intel Core-2 Duo * 7" Touchscreen Transflective LCD * Satellite Navigation * T-Mobile Internet * Race Analysis Software * Engine Management & Mapping * Onboard Video Recording Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=70 Performance http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=71 Power: approx 250bhp at the crank Weight: 499kg BHP/Tonne: 501 Volume: 101.9 decibels at 7,000rpm 0-60mph: 2.8 seconds Top Speed: 128mph @ 10,800rpm in 6th Quarter Mile: 10.5 seconds Top Gear Test Track: 1:20 (estimate...to be proven shortly) Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=71 Recent Pictures http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=131 Recent photos in race clothing Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=131 Rollcage & Slicks http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=139 Mon, 01 Jan 1900 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=139 Videos http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=97 Quick shot of flames: <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WOiz1zTeymM&hl=en"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WOiz1zTeymM&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Race: <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dHww27syiXA&hl=en"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dHww27syiXA&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Tue, 01 Jan 1901 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=97 Initial Concept http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=15 I've come up with the idea of building a kit car. I can't remember why, perhaps I dreamt it. We love bikes, so the concept is a bike engined car - very lightweight, very stripped out, extreme performance. Having chatted to our friends at the motorcycle centre We've decided that nothing less than a Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa Engine will do. As standard it has 175bhp and plenty of torque. Its legendary on the drag strips with a vast array of tuning potential including Turbos and Superchargers up to 700bhp+. Tue, 01 May 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=15 Turbos & Superchargers http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=1 Slowly our ideas of Turbocharging and Supercharging have been smashed. Its easy to imagine that you can do it cheaply, but... no. Engine strenthening for a hayabusa is essential, needing at very least new pistons and con-rods. That's £3000 before you've even done any tuning! Turbos and Superchargers are then around £3500 to £4500 for a basic kit with the more powerful ones going to £15,000 plus. Absolutely crazy. So, we've decided to go with a standard car. Looking in Evo magazine, the fastest car around their track is a Radical SR3 which uses a normal Hayabusa. Its faster than a Ferarri Enzo, so i think it might be fast enough for us! Obviously the Radical will be faster because of its aerodynamics, but engine wise its the same. Tue, 15 May 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=1 Total Kit Car Live! Brands Hatch http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=2 We rode along to Brands Hatch to get some information and have some rides. I managed to go around in 2 cars: <b>Dax Rush MC Turbo</b>. Oh my god this is fast, running around 300bhp, it took off leaving the pit lane, went sideways on every corner, and bottomed out on the long straight! The speedo didn't work, so I have no idea how fast we went, but i was shaking. All other cars literally disappeared so fast it was funny. <b>MK Sports Cars Indy</b>. This was a fireblade engine producing around 100bhp. Once on the track it was fun, albeit a little slow. Pulling away it was gutless and really strained. I think we need more engine than this. Great value for a build of £7500 though! Sat, 02 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=2 Final Decision of Car http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=3 Lots of research and phone calls over the last few weeks and i've finally made up my mind. Summary of the contenders: <b>DAX</b> These are great cars, but very expensive. As one guy told us "They're Westfield money". A major downside here is the suspension - They don't offer proper wishbone independent rear suspension, only a De-Dion unit. Front suspension is either standard or "camber compensated" (i.e. anti-roll). I talked to one owner with standard front suspension who was about to get a new car with camber comp, and then i talked to a driver with camber comp who said its a bit weird and almost unbalances the rear... so nobody's happy. One other owner complained about parts supply... so i'm not feeling too happy here, especially for the money. <b>MK</b> These are low-cost cars, in other words you have to do more yourself, with a less comprehensive kit. Whilst the basic kit is around £3000, by the time we've added all the stuff we need, we're up into fairly significant money. Instructions total 12 pages, and are very poor! Our aspirations are to have a car that is awesome, right up there on the track leader board - so i just don't think MK are up to the job. <b>Tiger</b> They really don't seem committed to Bike Engine cars - which is odd because they have the Guiness record for 2 bike engines doing 0-60. He advised me to go for the standard car. I'm a bit disappointed by standard spec, including drum brakes, and struggle to get the right answers from them. <b>Westfield</b> I wrote to them with 10 questions, including 'why westfield' and he answered everything perfectly, including "because you want the best" (Comically arrogant!). This is an awesome car and i believe offers the best build quality, most polished finish, most comprehensive kit, and best spec for handling and suspension. Very professional documentation, build manual, factory, parts availability. Its all there, so choice pretty much made. Just to sleep on it for a few days and decide which extras to buy! <a href='westfield.pdf' target=_NEW>Click here to see their catalog</a> Sun, 10 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=3 This is what it should look like - Minus the windscreen! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=4 Sun, 10 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=4 Where to Build It? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=7 We decided that a very large garage is essential, a normal one just doesn't give enough space around the car to work. We reckon we'll have it built well within 6 months. After much negotiation we've secured the Garage of James' dad in Cuckfield, Sussex. Wed, 20 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=7 Placing The Order http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=8 After much sweating I placed the order with Westfield Sports Cars. The specification is as follows: <li>Westfield MegaBusa Comprehensive Kit - in Black </li> <li>Wider Front Track & Anti-Roll Bar </li> <li>Rear Anti-Roll Bar </li> <li>Limited Slip Differential </li> <li>RAC Specification Braced Roll-Bar </li> <li>Upgraded Upholstered Seat </li> <li>3" Four-Point Race Harness Upgrade </li> <li>Factory Fitting & Sealing Panels</li> Its due to be delivered on the 30th July. Best get buying engine and wheels then! Wed, 20 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=8 Engine Hunting http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=9 After much discussion about whether to break a running bike or buy an engine, we have decided to buy an engine. Whilst this represents some risk that we'll plumb it in and it just won't start, it is much more cost effective, less hassle, and allows us to buy a 2005/2006 engine with low mileage. Yorkshire Engines have one coming in next week - a 2006 with 4000 miles for £2650. This comes with all sensors, loom, etc. The very helpful Malcolm Curnin has been advising me - contact him at malcurnin@tiscali.co.uk. Sun, 24 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=9 Which Wheels? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=12 Wheels are important - we don't fancy the dated looking 'minilite' style, and can't afford split rims... so we've decided on Compomotive CXR wheels. They're specifically designed for motorsport (rather than boy racers!) and are very light weight. These are 13" x 7" wide which is tiny by modern standards - but on a car like this will be perfect and less unsprung weight means better cornering. These will be wearing Toyo R888 Road-Legal Track Tyres in 205mm wide by 60% profile. All ordered from performancealloys.co.uk. Tue, 26 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=12 Other Bits & Pieces http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=13 I've ordered a few more bits from Ebay... Not much else to do for the next month! <li>Gear Indicator and ATRE (Removes Hayabusa speed restrictions) </li> <li>Battery Cut off Switch </li> <li>Hayabusa Haynes Manual </li> <li>"A Car Is Born" DVD </li> <li>Dremel Tool </li> <li>Axel Stands - 2 Pairs </li> <li>Rivet Gun </li> <li>Torque Wrench </li> Wed, 27 Jun 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=13 Progress Update http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=14 <li>The engine has been dispatched and should be delivered tomorrow, its a 2007 with 900 miles and a pre-fitted dry sump kit and oil cooler. I'm buying it from JeffC on the WSCC forum. </li> <li>Because the engine doesn't come with a loom, i've decided to bite the bullet and fit an EMERALD M3D ECU. This is a fantastic unit, highly programmable. It should help get us through the SVA Emissions and also negates the need for a powercommander. It also makes the ATRE that i bought a total waste of time, but at least the gear position indicator should still work (Fingers Crossed). </li> <li>The Emerald comes with a flying loom, but i still need all the connectors. I'm currently discussing this with dataspares.com who *might* be able to supply them... i'll send them some photos of the connectors tomorrow. </li> <li>For the paddle-shift gear change, i've been trying to get hold of AB Performance and Stuart Taylor Motorsport, but neither of them answer the phone! </li> Wed, 11 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=14 The Engine Has Arrived! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=16 It turned up today. First task now is to try and identify all connectors for all sensors and buy the corresponding plugs. The Emerald ECU comes with a "flying loom" which is basically a loom with no connectors. Most people pinch the connectors off the donor loom, but we don't have one so its a little more complex! I'm now going through the hayabusa Haynes manual trying to work out the difference between an Atmospheric Pressure sensor, an Intake Pressure Sensor and an Intake temperature sensor (amongst others!) I've fixed the T piece, good old halfords :) Thu, 12 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=16 Loom & Electrical Connectors http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=17 The mission now is to try and acquire all the electrical connectors in order to make a loom. Here are the detailed pictures of all the bits & pieces. Hover the mouse over to see the descriptions of the photos. Sat, 14 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=17 The Chassis is Done! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=18 Just received an email from Westfield with pictures of our Chassis... its finished, just awaiting assembly of the rest of the kit. Still 2 weeks to wait... Mon, 16 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=18 Stuff is taking over the office http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=19 The corner of the office is slowly filling up. Allsorts of tools, wheels, tyres, electrical bits, jack stands, etc... Good news is that the connectors i bought from dataspares.com all fit except the Starter Relay and the Atmospheric Air Pressure Sensor. God knows where to get them from! Fri, 20 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=19 Suzuki Service Manual http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=20 The suzuki service manual has arrived, <a href='HayabusaServiceManual-1999-2000.pdf' target=_NEW>Click here to download PDF</a> Sat, 21 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=20 How fast will it go? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=21 People keep asking how fast it will go, and it seems the answer is 134.47 as it hits the rev limiter in 6th. <a href='bike_ratios.xls' target=_NEW>This spreadsheet</a> works it all out. I'm sure that's plenty for the track, but if we should feel we need more speed, longer 5th and 6th gears can be fitted to the engine. Sat, 21 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=21 The Garage is Ready http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=22 The garage is all ready for the kit to be picked up tomorrow. All the tools laid out, wheels and engine in one place. Note our interesting axel stands - we decided that they weren't high enough on their own, so we're using a couple of breeze blocks. Not ideal, but some heavy duty straps make them secure. Sun, 29 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=22 Picking up the Kit http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=23 We hit the road at 6am, aiming to be at the factory by 9am. We arrived at 9:15 having suffered very few traffic problems. As you can see by the photos, we had a good look around the factory, including having a good nosey inside a Megabusa! Our car was waiting on a stand to be loaded into the van. The guys were great, they went through everything in detail and loaded the van up for us. Unfortunately a few items were missing from the kit, and they'll be forwarded on in due course - nothing that will hold us up in the early stages. Initially we're really impressed with the quality of the kit, far better than all the other kits we'd seen during the research. The powder-coated chasssis is immaculate with really nice welding, and the piano-black body looks fantastic. We set off back, and got to work unpacking... Mon, 30 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=23 First Days Work http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=24 We decided to get to work straight away! First job was the fuel lines, this went pretty smoothly. The pipe bending tool was fantastic here, and we soon got the pipes ready to be fixed. Then it was a simple case of drilling some holes through the chassis and rivetting 'P' clips to hold the pipes in place. It seems a little strange that the pipes end up UNDER the floor panels at the back, i hope this won't cause any clearance issues! I soon started to appreciate the fact the aluminium panels had been fitted by Westfield, my hands were hurting from just a handful of rivets! During a spare second we decided to turn the engine over, so a quick connection to the starter motor saw it spin up and sound great. Thats a relief! We then set to work on the brakes, so got the master cylinder installed. The pre-fitted studs didn't exist, so we substituted a few random bolts (i hope we won't miss those later!). Once bolted into place, we started to run the brake lines. This was fairly straight forward, but there were several points we couldn't get the drill and riveter anywhere near, so couldn't properly fix them. We used a few cable ties instead, not sure if we'll have to do something better later. Bending this pipe is much easier than fuel line, and some careful bending by hand seems to work here. Some of the pipe routes are a bit crazy, but it all makes sense in the end. We decided to fit all the pedals and the clutch master cylinder next... James got on with that while I started to fit the main wiring loom. Unfortunately James quickly hit a problem - my pipework for the brakes master cylinder sticks out WAY too far and gets in the way. Ooops, should have anticipated that really. We're getting pretty knackered now... we were up at 6am and have driven 400 miles... so we're going to give up and fix that tomorrow evening after work. Conclusion for the day - we need some tupperware for the screw packs, and we need to go screw, bolt and nut shopping for a few bits we can't find for the brake cylinder and fuse mountings. Overall, an amazingly successful day, off to bed, chuffed to bits. Todays Build: 2 people, 5 hours. Total build time so far: 5 hours, 10 man-hours. Mon, 30 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=24 Engine In! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=25 We managed to get to the garage by 5pm and three of us set to work. Andy installed the wiring loom, whilst James and I installed the fusebox, finished brake pipes and installed the clutch master cylinder. We attempted to fit the differential, but realised that the manual shows a completely different diff with completely different brackets. We figured most of it out, but as the picture shows, there's a gap to the left of the top mounting for something! We then decided to prep the engine, so we strapped it to its three brackets and installed the clutch slave cylinder. We spent ages constructing an over-elaborate engine scaffold to lift the engine into the car. Whilst debating this, Andy suggested that we just picked it up and whacked it in... so three of us lifted it and dropped it straight in. We then stood there a little awestruck about how easy that was! Finally I fitted the mechanical oil pressure cable to make sure it fitted. So the engine's in place, probably a bit ahead of schedule due to the diff and reversing box not being fitted, but we haven't bolted it down yet so its not a major issue. I'm going to email Westfield about the diff... Meanwhile, back home, i'm discovering why mechanics have black hands all the time, I've changed my regular radox shower gel for fairy liquid! Todays Build: 3 people, 4 hours. Total build time so far: 9 hours, 22 man-hours. Tue, 31 Jul 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=25 More bits & Pieces... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=26 On my own this evening, so decided to finish a few bits & pieces. I started with the differential, which was a tight fit. Got the bits & pieces bolted in with the aid of a large rubber hammer! Next was the rear drive shaft that connects the differential to the reverse gearbox. This weighs a ton and access is tight - from above only. Getting the bolts to the correct torque was very difficult, i needed to jam a screwdriver through the shaft to stop it turning. I marked each nut with a large marker once correctly tightened. Then onto the reverse gearbox, this was a nightmare. I bolted it to the four black metal brackets and didn't tighten it up. I then fitted it to the chassis, and found it was a very tight fit, with the holes apparently not lining up. I got the two lower ones in, and then twenty minutes later managed to get the top ones in. Lots of hammering, levering, swearing... and bingo, in they went. I tightened everything up, and connected the other end of the driveshaft. I then put the front driveshaft in its place, and hand tightened the nuts. I'm bored with doing up driveshaft bolts, so i'll save that job for tomorrow! Next was the inertia fuel cut-off switch in the rear. I drilled a couple of holes and fitted it.... on the wrong side. Soon found that out when the fuel tank wouldn't fit. Flipped it over, then onto the fuel tank.... Fuel tank is pretty simple, it sits on foam strips and has two large straps around it. A couple of holes drilled in the correct place on the straps, then four bolts, and its fitted. Final job is the fuel pump. I lined the bracket with foam tape, and drilled two holes through the chassis and the bracket. Made a beautiful job, and then realised it just wasn't going to fit and line up with the main fuel lines through the car. Had to re-drill the chassis and move it back about four inches. Not such a neat job second time, very hard to line up. Then i whacked all the pipes and jubilee clips on and tightened it all up. Rear plumbing complete! Finally i connected the wires for the fuel pump and the fuel tank level sender. Phew! Not bad for an evening on my own... and damn, i forgot to eat anything, oops! Todays Build: 1 person, 4 hours. Total build time so far: 13 hours, 26 man-hours. Wed, 01 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=26 More Stuff... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=27 First job was to unbolt the rear diff mounts and replace them with the correct bolts, i'd accidentally used the propshaft bolts here. This was a pain to swap and I had to remove the fuel tank first. To add to the unproductive start I then had to replace the nuts used on the brake master cylinder, as we'd accidentally used the BINX (metal locking) nuts which were needed for the propshaft. Whilst doing this I noticed that the bolts holding the clutch master cyllinder weren't fully going through the nylon of the nylock, so i replaced these with longer bolts. Having got all that crap out of the way I decided to do something productive! I lifted the engine an inch and slipped in the lower engine mount. I then proceeded to drill 9 holes through the chassis to mount the engine. This took AGES and destroyed two drill bits... but eventually got this done and fitted all the bolts. The engine is in properly now! Next I fitted the banjo bolt from the clutch line onto the slave cylinder, and fitted the clutch reservoir and pipe. That's all ready to fill and bleed now. i then fitted the 5/16" UNF bolt that i bought today into the clutch pedal, and the clutch mecahanism is fully working... except for the fact it flops forward. No idea why, but that can't be right! I then ran the wiring loom front section across the engine mount and down to the front. Using my handly labeller i identified each plug on the loom and labelled them clearly. Next job was to bolt the front propshaft to the engine output flange and torque them to the correct setting. Transmission now connected right through from the engine to the diff, ready to roll. I got the radiator, cooling fan, oil cooler, and oil reservoir out and tried to work out where they... can't really work any of it out. I Think I'll ask westfield about that! I reckon that's about all for today, not as productive but got some stuff done. Finally, i decided i was fed up of not being able to find anything, so time to tidy up and re-organise tools! Todays Build: 1 person, 4 hours. Total build time so far: 17 hours, 30 man-hours. Thu, 02 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=27 After the instruction manual... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=28 Andy and I working this evening - got to the garage just before 5pm. The instructions on the megabusa manual really have run out now... so i'm stuck between using the manual for the regular westfield SEi, and making it up as I go along. First job was to fit the radiator. This required some shorter bolts than we had, so the vice and dremel came out to carve a longer one down. We decided to put the main front suspension together so we could visualise the car and ensure the plumbing didn't get in the way. This was pretty straight forward, but we can't fit the shocks yet as they still haven't arrived. Next came plumbing in the water system, and the top pipe went in with no problem, connecting the top of the radiator to the top of the engine. The lower pipe was not going to fit - it has to route around the modified oil sump pump, so we've abandoned that for tonight until I can visit Halfords! I then connected the water temp sensor into the wiring loom - see photo. I remembered that we still hadn't filled the reverse box, or differential, so in went some EP80 Hypoid Gear Oil to both - filled until it oozed out, then the cap screwed on. Next I fitted the oil reservoir tank and connected the lower pipe to the sump connection of the engine. The upper pipe then goes around to the oil cooler which sits in front of the radiator. We then moved to the fuelling system, connecting the feed and return from the tank/pump to the fuel rail and pressure regulator. We found a nice place to put this, but the pipes don't reach - another halfords item. I fitted a 'stop' to the clutch to stop it flopping forward - see the photo. The oil cooler doesn't fit - the brackets are a good 10mm out, so i'm going to need to make some 'shim' washers to plug the gap - B&Q tomorrow then! Its all coming together - as you can see from the photos, various zip ties are holding things in their locations until we've got it right and can finalise things. Also we seem to have copper grease all over everything!! Todays Build: 2 people, 4 hours. Total build time so far: 21 hours, 34 man-hours. Fri, 03 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=28 Bits & Bobs.. http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=29 I spent an hour shopping this morning trying to find more jubilee clips and some coolant hose. I eventually got these and headed to the garage for 10am. First job was to make the radiator to engine connection fit ... i had to saw the westfield pipe up and connect using my hose. I then neatened all the other pipes, clipped everything into place, and we fitted the header tank - with the aid of an aluminium bracket which we quickly made. This was then filled with water... a leak fixed... and left overnight to see if it leaks. Last night i realised i'd completely forgotten the fuel filter, so i fitted that next and re-routed pipes accordingly. I fabricated some aluminium spacers for the oil radiator and got this fitted, i then connected the pipes up. I then filled the engine and oil reservoir with oil - i plan to leave this overnight to see if any leaks out. Initially all looks good. I turned the engine over a few times by connecting the starter motor to the battery to get things moving. I properly fitted the steering rack, and the upper and lower steering columns. This all works very nicely! We fitted the front upright assemblies and found we have a missing nut on the top - i'll have to call westfield about that on monday. I trial-fitted the exhaust manifolds to check they fit... no problems here. I replaced the missing stud on the engine. We then started to assemble the rear suspension and drive shafts - these were a bitch to get on - it took a good half an hour of swearing to get the rubber bushes over the shafts. Unfortunately this meant removing the fuel tank AGAIN! I still haven't tightened those propshaft nuts! Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 5 hours. Total build time so far: 26 hours, 42 man-hours. Sat, 04 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=29 End of the First Week http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=30 I was concerned about the weight now on the axel stands and wood, so I wanted to sort this before doing any more work. We jacked the front of the car up, and lowered the stands by one brick, moving them closer into the chassis at the same time. The car's now much more stable and will be easier to get down when the wheels are on. We finished assembling the rear driveshafts and put them into place. Unfortunately after assembling one side, the other side was too long and didn't fit - the drive shafts were the wrong way around, one is shorter than the other. Once corrected, everything slipped into place nicely. Everything is very pissed, toe-in, toe-out, camber, all messed up. We haven't tightened anything up until this can be sorted out! Its time to start giving the paddle-shift gear change some thought, as this isn't part of the westfield kit and needs to be invented from the bits & pieces available. First thing to do is to assemble the reverse lever linkage to ensure i can't accidentally use bits from that on the gearshift! This all went together pretty easily. It really is very stiff, i can imagine getting the car into reverse will be a bit of a tricky process. I joined a couple of rods together to meet the westfield supplied quadrant that changes the forward/back movement of the shift into an up/down movement. This only needed moving 3 inches to the right and everything connects up nicely. I might replace my two joined rods with a single one to make it look nicer - i'll wait to see how the bodywork covers it up. I put the steering wheel into place, and manufactured some brackets to hold everything together and mount the paddles. The shift is working really nicely, its got a very solid feel. Its not exactly light - the bike gearbox is designed to be given a good whack with a boot, so having it on your fingertips is a little harder to actuate. I can't wait to drive it and see how it works! I decided to put the dashboard together and connect the mechanical oil gauge to stop it leaking oil everywhere! All the switches and dials slotted into place nicely, its really starting to feel like a car! Unfortunately I can't wire anything up as we haven't got the dash loom yet. Finally a good tidy up and a good clean to get rid of the oil and brake fluid that seems to be everywhere. Everything is now organised and ready for tomorrow evening! That's the end of the first weeks work, i'm amazed at how much has been done. There are loads of bits & pieces that are unfinished and need torquing up or adjusting - pedals, suspension, driveshafts. It will be nice to get some of these things put to bed, but i'm waiting on several Westfield parts! Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 8 hours. Total build time so far: 34 hours, 54 man-hours. Sun, 05 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=30 The 8th day... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=31 I filled in my SVA form today, but got stuck on the engine manufacture date. With thanks to Jeff I managed to find where this is stamped - see photo showing 2006. Mark at Westfield sent me a couple of pictures of how the fan mounts, so that was the first job. This took AGES, i just couldn't get the bolts back in after slipping the fan behind the radiator. After much cursing I eventually got it sorted. I did a few of the exhaust manifold bolts up and fitted the silencer. It looks amazing, I wonder what it sounds like...! I fitted the anti-roll bar which took quite a bit of figuring out. Its not really quite what i expected, but it makes a lot of sense - as one side's suspension is compressed, so is the other. It seems a bit flimsy though, i wonder if it will last. There's a video of it in action <a href="photos/gallery/2007%2008%2006/CIMG3324.AVI">here</a> I then moved onto the handbrake. A couple of holes through the chassis, and then to find a path to run the cables. I might need some foam or plastic pipe to protect these from rubbing on the suspension. I don't feel i've achieved much this evening, but I guess you just get days like this where you just finish off crappy little jobs. Hopefully some of the missing parts will turn up tomorrow! Todays Build: 1 person, 3.5 hours. Total build time so far: 37.5 hours, 57.5 man-hours. Mon, 06 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=31 Last day for a while http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=32 Some of the missing parts turned up, so there are a few new jobs for this evening! On my own tonight, arrived at the garage about 5pm. A few drips of oil under the sump and on the garage floor tell me we've got an oil leak somewhere around the dry sump. Absolute bugger...i'll spend some more time on that when i get the chance. I hope I don't have to drain all the oil again, thats a right pain. I spent absolutely ages with the newly arrived dashboard wiring loom trying to work it out - literally an hour with the manual and i've identified 90%... still a few connectors I can't figure! I need to make a decision of where to mount my 'engine start' button and my new self-cancelling indicator switch from Westfield.... I feel its a big decision drilling holes in the dash, so I don't want to rush that one. I still don't have the dashboard's relationship with the paddle-shift fully figured, so i'll wait a while before cutting anything up! With my new instructions for fitting the wide-track front anti-roll bar, I set to work. Immediately I came across the biggest problem in the project yet - the bar is supposed to go straight through where the dry-sump oil tank is! I checked to see if there is anywhere obvious to move it to, but there really isn't - it can't move nearer to the engine, and it can't move to the right because of the steering column. Now I'm totally stuck! Email to Westfield I think.... no doubt he's getting sick of me! I decided to move on and fit is the battery & tray. Mark at Westfield sent me a picture of it, but I didn't fancy his proposed location at the front of the car - its getting manic down there already, so I chose to fit it to the side of the engine instead, and then mount the oil breather above it. I bolted it down, covered it in foam tape, then clamped the battery on top. Very solid, and looks good. Next I decided to fit the oil breather catch tank that turned up today. Its a very nice polished alloy one with three connector nipples. The top two connect beautifully onto the top of the gearbox and the top of the sump tank. The third is situated at the bottom and is presumably designed to drain the tank if it fills - I stuck a hose on this and gave blew into it as hard as I could. Air then rushed back at me, proving that (to some extent) its sealed. This is a problem because it is supposed to be a breather tank! To solve this I drilled a small hole in the top of the tank. Hopefully that's correct....! Finally, i left a couple of inches of hose on the lower tank, shoved a bolt up the end and jubilee clipped it closed. I then ran an earth strap from the battery up to one of the bolts on the breather tank and down to the -ve terminal of the battery. I also connected in the negative of the main loom. All the positives are left disconnected until we're ready to fire it up a little later. Seeing as the shocks have turned up I thought I'd fit the rears - so i fitted the springs to the shocks and mounted them to the chassis and the wishbones. These are so stiff that if I attempt to compress by hand, i end up picking up the whole car! The rear-end is looking really good now, ready for the wheel to be put on and the geometry set up, but i think i'll get the front up to speed first. Oh... and not forgetting the rear calipers which still aren't here!! Well, that's all for a while, I'm off to Madrid until monday. Hopefully by then the ECU and flying loom for the engine will have turned up... i'm itching to get the engine running! Todays Build: 1 person, 3.5 hours. Total build time so far: 41 hours, 61 man-hours. Tue, 07 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=32 Biggest Problem Yet http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=33 I've just had an email from Mark at Westfield. He says: Hi Carl If you did not buy the complete dry sump kit from us then you will find you have the early tank made before the introduction of the widetrack and inboard roll bar will not fit. You will need the latest tank which has the cut out centre section for the bar. Oh dear... so i either need to modify the tank, or get a new one :( Wed, 08 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=33 Quick Couple of Hours... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=34 I wasn't really supposed to be at the garage today, but couldn't resist the urge, so ended up getting there for 7pm and working until 9:30 with James. James' friend Marcus has offered to weld a slot into our dry sump tank, so first task is to get the tank out of the car! Unfortunately this means draining the oil, but at least that will give us a chance to replace all the pipes on the dry sump and try to diagnose the leak down there. Having got the tank out, we measured up where the ARB crosses the tank and marked it with a big black marker. Over to Marcus to see what magic he can work with his TIG welder! Having got the tank out of the way, we proceeded to fit the front anti-roll bar. It was a ridiculous puzzle threading it into the car which is now a mass of wires, pipes and stuff... but we got it in eventually. The brake pipes needed serious bending to get them out of the way. Plenty of copper grease in here to make sure it moves freely. Unfortunately its now gone dark, so we'll fit the drop links and things later. I've now realised that we've fitted the shocks upside down. Doh. I'll flip these around next week! Seem to be in a situation where there are loads of unfinished things - front suspension, rear suspension, drive shaft torques, front ARB, coolant plumbing (which is now loose again) ... i guess next week needs to see some of these things finished. Anyway, I really am off to Madrid until Monday night, so next update could well be tuesday... perhaps with an ECU? Todays Build: 2 people, 2 hours. Total build time so far: 43 hours, 65 man-hours. Wed, 08 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=34 Raining Hard... again! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=35 Didn't get to the garage until 6pm. Slamming it down with rain, got absolutely soaked. And I forgot my camera... First job is to move the clutch reservoir - the pipe is currently snagging on the bolt for the steering shaft. I made a small aluminium bracket to extend the existing one, this worked a treat. Next, decided to do some work with the electrics, so i finished identifying all the dash connectors and connected the battery (carefully...) Went through and tested everything, and after a few corrections, and bulb installations, everything is working - i connected the external lights and indicators and tested everything carefully. I then installed the new self-cancelling indicator switch and control box. Had to crimp and connect five connectors to get everything sorted. It feels very car-like to have working lights, dash, indicators! I got out the dremel and started hacking holes in the dashboard for the gearshift mechanism - first is the steering rack hole which needed enlarging, closely followed by a new hole for the rod itself. Unfortunately it got to 9pm, and i need to stop making noise and go home, finish this job off at the weekend. I then unbolted the sump and to my surprise found the oil-pickup pipe had fallen off inside. That can't be good... I'll call Westfield tomorrow and get hold of sump gaskets so I can re-fit it, hopefully without any leaks! No more work on the car until the weekend, busy with work until then. Todays Build: 1 person, 3 hours. Total build time so far: 46 hours, 68 man-hours. Tue, 14 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=35 Engine Problems! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=36 Engine Issues! In order to sort the sump, Westfield are sending me replacement gaskets for the sump and the pipes coming off it. I've also bought some new jubilee clips and silicone hose. But... more seriously, Emerald say that the ECU will be delayed by *at least* 2 more weeks. Basically they have completely failed to map a hayabusa that they have in the workshop currently. Its all because of the 8 tooth crank pickup sensor. This sensor is responsible for sending the ECU signals to say where the engine is in its cycle, and allow it to choose how to fuel the engine and fire the spark plugs. Newer hayabusa engines usually have 24 tooth wheels fitted, but mine had an 8 tooth put on instead to allow it to work with an older ECU & Loom. Sounds like i need to get hold of a 24 tooth wheel ASAP! I won't be working on the car until Saturday, but sounds like there's not much rush - with the engine delayed by 2+ weeks, i'm going to fast run out of jobs! Wed, 15 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=36 New ECU Decision http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=37 After much discussion today, i decided to cancel the order for the Emerald ECU. Amazingly they actually sounded relieved! WSCC's forums helped me choose which one to go for instead... steve_m posted this: Motec is good, nobody would disagree with that but at what cost ? Do you need all those features and options and everything is an extra, it gets very expensive to map it too as they seen you coming. I have an MBE 992 ECU from SBD, very good, also got the loom with it, excellent quality. It will support flat shift, auto blip on down shift and even auto upshift at set rpm, traction control, launch control, will control fuel and water pumps, wastegate if you have one etc, nothing the Motec can't do but with MBE it's all in the price, all you pay for is the additional hardware you need. The 992 was designed specifically for the busa, ask Steve about it if you're interested. The 992 still needs the 24 tooth trigger wheel, you can either modify your 8 tooth wheel or get a 24 wheel as suggested. Motec will work worth the 8 tooth wheel but I have read that 8 teeth really is too coarse for a modern ECU to work well with - don't know how true this is but nobody else seems happy with that few teeth. An hour's chat with Steve at SBD and i placed the order. He's supplying a new 24 tooth sensor on an exchange basis. Thu, 16 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=37 Moving Backwards http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=38 Unfortunately we're in a bit of a pickle, and need to do a lot of going backwards before we can go forwards again. I decided to bite the bullet, and unbolt the engine in order to get the camshaft sensor replaced (when it turns up next week!). So I unbolted the 10-ish bolts holding the engine in, disconnected all the hoses (forgot that it was full of water and got wet socks!), disconnected wires, etc.... and then i managed to twist the engine enough to get to the alternator cover. I then unbolted the cover and heaved it off - incredible magnetic forces hold it on. Once looked inside - looks like i need a 32mm spanner which I don't have, so i'll have to go shopping tomorrow! Also I need some sort of extractor to thread in and pop the wheel off, i don't have one of those either which could be a bit challenging! A bit stuck, i decided to finish the front anti-roll bar setup. Its a bit difficult to make it out on the photos, as there's a lot going on around the suspension now! The front ARB is particularly complex - a central bar goes across the car, and through a short linkage connects to a rocker thats mounted on the suspension arm. From here, a longer bar goes down to the lower shock mounting. Its a bugger the ECU and new crank sensor haven't turned up, leaves a weekend without a great deal of direction! I guess we'll focus on torquing bolts, setting up suspension (ish) and a few other finishing off bits. Might even spray the inside of the car black. Todays Build: 1 person, 4 hours. Total build time so far: 50 hours, 72 man-hours. Fri, 17 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=38 Odds & Sods http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=39 After a quick shopping trip, i arrived at the garage. Armed with the correct spanner, i tried to get the alternator bell off. The bolt came out, but i don't have the tool for extracting the wheel- i'll try and get that on monday. Probably an M20 bolt would work. I don't feel like I can do too many major things until ECU and gaskets turn up, so i decided to do some work on the paddle shift instead. I made up a rod, and fitted everything together. Unfortunately the boss of the steering wheel was binding very badly, and the paddle shift obscures the speedo & revs. Bugger... this means i'm going to switch to using the other paddle shift that I bought from Ebay. This is miles from fitting, so i ended up making a big shim to bolt the two together. A couple of hours and messing about and i'm pleased with the result. Obviously not connected to the engine, but it's fixed to the quadrant in the engine bay. Next job is to finish the rear of the car. I trial fitted a wheel, partly to give me something to grab onto whilst torquing the drive bolts. I tightened all of these. I then disassembled the rear suspension as there were a couple of fixing nuts missing from the rose joints. I tried to get the toe & camber roughly looking OK, and i dialled a bit of preload into the spring so it doesn't all collapse when we lower the car. Fuel tank back in, and the rear of the car is truly finished-ish. Still missing calipers unfortunately, come on westfield! Gave the electrics another test, everything working as expected including the fuel gauge reading a nice '0%' The SVA appointment has turned up, 19th september, almost exactly a month.... YIKES! Better get on a mission next week I think. Todays Build: 1 person, 6 hours. Total build time so far: 56 hours, 78 man-hours. Sat, 18 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=39 Rant!! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=40 I Just posted this on WSCC forum...... Here's a picture of my (almost) standard megabusa dash <a target=_blank href='http://www.megabusa.co.uk/photos/gallery/2007%2008%2018/thumbs/CIMG3369.JPG'>Clicky</a> I'm gonna get it through its SVA and then start again! The switches are a crappy mismatch.... the speedo & revs are mismatched.... the indicator switch looks arse (and that was expensive!) The cheap & cheerful horn & dip switch get in the way of my paddle shift... and they look arse anyway. The rest of the westy is excellent, here they clearly saved money. Shame :( I know the dash is an area lots of guys change - carbon, new dials, digidash... think i'll have to do the same. Sat, 18 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=40 Scratching for things to do ... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=41 First job was to sort out tracking, camber and caster on the front suspension. I have no proper equipment, so it was a spirit level / guessing effort. Once roughly correct, i tightened everything up and double checked all the other bits. James whacked a guestimate of preload onto the springs, and that's front pretty much finished now. I found a brace bar which isn't in the instructions, and figured it went across the tops of the top wishbones to help brace the ARB, we whacked it on. Slightly concerned about the coolant hose and its proximity to the ARB, I clipped it to the frame. Ready to go on its wheels and have the ride height set correctly. I masked up enormous areas of the car, the engine, the dash, the frame, etc... and set to work spraying the insides black. Not really a priority job, but the silver has been bugging me. I'm pleased with the results! I fitted the alloy tray for the ECU, Relays etc. It is fixed with self-tapping screws so it can be removed from under the passenger footwell for access. I plan to mount the laptop access cable below so you don't need to drop it, but you just never know. James fitted the VIN plate... starting to feel like a real car! I guess it needs to, exactly one month to the SVA. We tried to figure out how the seats fit, but can't work it out. In the most obvious position, the frame covers the harness holes - surely thats not right. An email to Westfield should sort this out! Really scratching around for things to do, i thought i'd stick some SVA bolt covers on the front suspension! I've just ordered some carpet, and a new switch for the horn and main beams. Hopefully tomorrow the ECU and replacement rotor will turn up... then it gets exciting! If everything goes to plan we'll have a running engine next week, but who am I kidding, when does anything ever go to plan? Todays Build: 2 people, 7 & 3 hours. Total build time so far: 63 hours, 88 man-hours. Sun, 19 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=41 Major Progress http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=42 Armed with the correct tool, i extracted the alternator & crankshaft position wheel. It was so tight, i snapped a screwdriver trying to lever it. Eventually it popped off! The new wheel went on with ease and I did the cover back up. With that done, we lifted the engine back into place and James bolted it in. We re-ran the coolant pipes, fuel pipes, vacuum pipes. One of the coolant pipes snagged so we had to chop a couple of inches off it and re-route it. We then sorted out the gear linkage, but unfortunately its not working as well as before, i think the quadrant is upside down, we'll sort that tomorrow. I then fixed the ECU in place on the tray and set about making the wiring loom. I slowly worked from one end - i chose the throttle position & injectors... and slowly bundled more cables together until i had enough to put in some tubing and clip to the mounting. Ask James why there's a picture of a slug... On reflection, the wire routing in the engine bay is a mess, i think i'll re-do it tomorrow to make it neater. Questions for westfield - what do the three spare connectors on the dash loom do? How do I wire in the alternator & tacho? Todays Build: 2 people, 5 & 4 hours. Total build time so far: 68 hours, 97 man-hours. Mon, 20 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=42 Wire Hell (or heaven?) http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=43 I think I just worked out why nobody in their right mind makes their own wiring loom... if you don't like electrics, look away now! First we found a home for the regulator and bolted it to the bulkhead. I decided to split the loom into 6 sub-looms to keep things easier to identify. These are the Head (Spark Plugs & Cam Position), the Throttle Bodies (Injectors, Throttle Position, Air Temperature), Various (Gear Position, Oil Pressure, Intake Air Pressure, Water Temperature), Car Loom (Ignition, Switched +ve, Tacho) and finally regulator & cam position. These looms have all been run through to the ECU tray and clearly identified with coloured tape. I wired in the battery to the MSA cut off switch, then back to the starter relay, then to the starter. The starter relay also serves as a master fuse, so i wired all other feeds from that. I wired in the USB laptop interface, connected the power, and fired it up. It worked instantly, detecting the ECU and giving me a screen full of dials reading their defaults. I powered it down and wired in the throttle position, air temperature and injectors. Throttle position works beautifully, showing you the position on screen with an amazingly non-existant lag. Air temperature works equally well, and a quick burst with the heat gun proved it! I spent over an hour messing about with the gear position display, trying to get it to work with the ECU ... can't make it work. Not sure why, i don't really understand what's going on inside it. I'll fire off an email to SBD, see if they can point me in the right direction! Its amazing how long each connector & crimp takes, and how long it takes just laying out the cables and fixing them down. The engine bay is looking great (forgot to take a photo) and the ECU tray coming together. Another evenings work and i should have almost everything wired in. While i was doing all that, James finished tightening all the propshaft bolts, probably the worst job thats been lingering around. Engine is very close to running now: We need the oil tank back from the welder, sump gaskets from westfield, re-fill with oil, test fuel system, finish electrics... and bingo. I really hope the engine works.... fingers crossed. Todays Build: 2 people, 5 & 2 hours. Total build time so far: 73 hours, 102 man-hours. Tue, 21 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=43 Final Engine Prep http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=44 First job is to Fit Dry Sump Oil Tank - just came back from the welder looking gorgeous. Unfortunately we had to disconnect the entire steering rack to get it in. Next I decided to sort out the sump. I removed all three pipes from the cast base and cleaned them up. I then applied plenty of instant gasket and re-tightened everything up. I then put on the gaskets and the plate and bolted it to the bottom of the engine, and torqued the bolts. This took bloody ages! I connected up all oil hoses ready for filling. I then set about getting the wiring somewhere nearer to being finished. After an hour or so, i've now got pretty much everything connected into the ECU, but no real idea if it works. I think i'll try to start the engine tomorrow and then investigate the problems if there's no life! Its still a complete spaghetti of a mess, but i don't want to neaten it up until it works. Its an exciting moment... tomorrow it will be ready to fire. I give it about a 20% probability of working, there are just too many electrical guesses that i've had to make for it to work! To do tomorrow.... Buy Oil Install Oil Pressure Sender Fit new air filter Fill Oil Fill Fuel Test Fuel Lines for Leaks Test Injectors Fix Baro Sensor Fit Exhausts Put car in neutral TEST STARTER If it runs, check oil pressure, kill after 20 seconds If not... errr.... Todays Build: 2 people, 1 & 4 hours. Total build time so far: 77 hours, 107 man-hours. Wed, 22 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=44 The Engine Runs! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=45 On a total mission today - get everything done to start the engine. First i rewired the ignition coils and injectors and tested - this time they worked. A quick trip to purchase some oil at lunch meant we had something to fill it with - so around 7 litres went in. We then turned the engine over to try and get some oil pressure. Obviously the pipe to the gauge is too long, so we got nothing. Slightly riskily we decided to proceed anyway. We filled the fuel tank, put the fuse back in, and pressurised the system. A careful check for leaks over a few minutes confirmed its fine. We then tested the injectors, and all four produced a nice fine atomised mist of fuel in the throttle bodies. I replaced the old spark plugs with new ones. Time to run .... The engine turned for a good 20 seconds before we saw anything. Then a few coughs... and splutters... and it kinda fired. A bit. Then died. I decided to adjust the tickover screw to increase the speed a little. On the next fire it sprang to life, but very lumpily. We let it run for 20 seconds, and the manifolds started to smoke as the oil burned off them.... but only 2 of them! Two were stone cold. I spent ages thinking this through, retested the injectors, retested the ignition - all fine. Eventually i had a vague memory of seeing that hayabusas firing order is 1-2-4-3, so based on this hunch, i unpicked the loom and swapped the connectors. Bingo - fired into life straight away on all four cylinders. <a href="http://www.megabusa.co.uk/photos/gallery/2007%2008%2023/CIMG3418.AVI">Video Here</a> There's still some tuning to do - tickover is still a bit lumpy and the barometric sensor doesn't work - but it runs, and is probably driveable. Feeling rather happy, we tidied up, fiddled with the gear change a little more, and did a bit more tidying on the loom. A well deserved night off and a load of beer tomorrow, then to tackle the bodywork! Just 24 days into the build and it looks and feels like a real car. Todays Build: 2 people, 5 & 4 hours. Total build time so far: 82 hours, 116 man-hours. Thu, 23 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=45 Interior & Stuff http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=46 Today was never going to be the world's most productive day.... terrible hangover and 33 degree temperatures in the garage (according to the engine management system). Arrived at the garage feeling awful about 1pm and got to work. First we needed to sort out why the engine was ticking over so badly, so using an air balance gauge, we made a few adjustments. This is now running much better. The tacho was reading nonsense figures, approx double the true figure. I went into the ECU software and found a pulse setting, halved it from 4 to 2, and that was sorted. Amazing to make software changes like that with the engine running! I wired in the shift light system to the back of the tacho, and this works great. Just need to find somewhere to mount it - i'm thinking under the aeroscreen. Next is the speedo - with the car in gear and the rear hubs spinning, we get nothing. I bent the pickup down a bit, and we started to get a reading. A bit of calculation based on wheel diameter, and we have a reading that seems pretty realistic. For some reason we're getting no reading on the water temp gauge, i looked into it and found its mounted to a pipe connected by rubber at each end - so no earth. A jubilee clip and earth wire and that's working great. We then ran the engine for a few minutes until the temperature was in the 90s... the fan kicked in, so thats working well too. I connected the oil pressure switch to the light on the dashboard, and this is on initially and goes off when the engine is running, so i guess its working. I found the wire from the gearbox for the neutral light, but i can't find the green bulb anywhere - hopefully this will turn up and i can have a neutral light! I can't get the gear indicator to work at all. We then fitted the wheels and reduced all the pressures to 20psi. The jacks came out and we slowly lowered the car, step by step, onto its wheels. This was a bit hairy and i hope we don't need the car that high again! It's a proper car now... amazing! We set about increasing the preload on the shocks to adjust the ride height - its sitting 15mm too low currently, and thats without the weight of the body & driver. Oddly we're almost running out of thread ... so i'm not sure we can get it high enough. Its incredibly low at 15cm... not good for speed bumps! Andy had some fun with the tap & die set and modified the gear nob to be our reverse nob - would be a shame for it to go to waste, its nice! We covered the central tunnel panels in vinyl (pleather!) and screwed them into place. The handbrake gaiter is a bit too big, so might need to take it back off and adjust it. We fitted the start button and wired it into the ignition barrel. Bit of a problem though.... it works with the key out, so you can turn the engine over without ignition! I decided to use a relay to fix this, wiring a switched 12v through the switch and relay - this works like a dream, so job done. Trying to run the engine again, it was going haywire, probably caused by a loose wire vibrating and shorting. Then it wouldn't run at all... we'd run out of fuel! We fixed a piece of carpet into the drivers side seat area and fitted the seat runners to the bottom of the car. We trial fitted the seat, and I had a sit - feels great. Compared to other cars i've owned you seem so far back from the front! I guess we actually got quite a bit done today... tomorrow we'll finish the interior and maybe make a start on the bodywork. Todays Build: 3 (hungover) people, 8,7 and 3 hours. Do hungover hours count for the same? Total build time so far: 90 hours, 134 man-hours. Sat, 25 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=46 First bits http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=47 The goal of today is to do some bodywork, but that's more than a one man job. I decided to start on the seats and take the 'drilling' plunge. The bolts go right through the seat! I got these sorted, and the seats were ready to fit. I laid down the carpet and fitted the seats. Harnesses are then fairly straight forward - hooks above and bolts below, all fixings welded in place. The pedal box has needed sorting for ages, and now that i can sit in the car i can confidently do it. I had to chop 15mm off the brake master cylinder pushrod - scary! Once done, things are looking much better. I also adjusted the clutch to be lined up. Pedals now feel great, shame there's no fluid in the brake! With about 5 people around, time to do the body! Today we get help from Marcus, the genius who welded the ally sump tank. Like a duck to water, he got cutting fibreglass and started fitting body sections. Meanwhile, my scary job was to cut the exhaust hole. We made up cardboard templates, and marked the position using insulating tape on the chassis. We then masked the body, drew the hole, and started cutting. I cut it a little undersize and then trial fitted the exhausts - once happy smoothed it off. Its not perfect, but im pretty pleased. Its been a long day, 30 degree temperatures and we're all knackered! Time to put everything away and get cracking again tomorrow. Todays Build: 3 people, 9, 8, 3. Total build time so far: 99 hours, 154 man-hours. Sun, 26 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=47 Body on! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=48 Its been such a long day, i cant even remember what we've done! James went to see Marcus and came back with a stunning machined stainless tapped rod for the gearshift. We bent this (took huge effort!) and it works a treat - we've tested the clutch and had it in 1st and 2nd gears no problem. I then rivetted the front top of the bodywork into place and started to trial-fit all the other body panels. We fitted the scuttle - quite challenging as we needed to mark the holes for the chassis rivnuts. Once this was in place - which took a few attempts, including slotting the holes, we fitted the bonnet. This then gave us a good fitment for the front nosecone. The nosecone was a similar effort- working out where the rivnuts were and fixing it. The bottom one was particularly tricky. We then realised we'd forgotten the front grill... so off it came again. We couldn't see any obvious way of mounting the grill so came up with using some pipe. We were a little embarassed and almost didn't photograph it! The cable ties will come off tomorrow when the glue has set. I think we need some matching mesh for the lower hole and the three bonnet holes. I made up two aluminium brackets and plates for the rear body mounting and bolted these to the chassis and body - much more stable now. These take all the weight of the boot so are quite important. I connected up the headlights and tested - James assembled the indicator pod... the other one is a bit lost at the moment. We taped the side and marked it up. it seems very far forward, i'll verify that position later. Next was the wheel arches - i drilled through from the outside and fitted 5 bolts to each. We then put the wheels back on and lowered the car off the axel stands. Finally we wheeled the car out. Quite a moment, its a real car! Still lots to do, but its there. Lots of photos needed! And we ran the engine too. The throttle cable had popped off which messed things up a bit, i'll need to keep an eye on that. The exhaust is seriously dangerous, its so hot. With the car out, we tidied the garage and found all the missing parts! Todays Build: 2 people, 9 and 8 hours. Total build time so far: 108 hours, 173 man-hours. Mon, 27 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=48 Odds & Sods http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=49 Only a few Odds and sods today, just keep the body moving along. First I decided to tinker with the engine to work out why its a bit lumpy. I believe it is running a bit lean which is why i'm seeing flames and coughing from the intakes. Throttle body adjustment needed i think. The other problem is my nonsense MAP reading. I pulled out the wires from the map and tried every combination until one made sense - it reads 0.007 which is close enough to zero to have some logic. I was expecting around 1.000 bar, but perhaps its relative? Either way, when i blow or suck it changes so its doing something. I reconnected the wires and tried another run.... seems the same really. I'll do some throttle body calibration tomorrow. Next we decided to fit the front indicators. Lots of deliberating and measuring, off with the nose, out with the drill. I made some rubber gaskets to sandwich as i didn't fancy the plastic-on-gelcoat. Once fitted the wires were very tight, but we got it seated. Next we fitted the rollbar, which involved hacking large squares off the bootbox. Once the rollbar was bolted tightly we started to try and work out how the RAC crossbraces will fit. These involve hacking enormous holes in the sides of the bootbox. I set up a piece of string from the two mounts, and marked a line with a pen.... then started hacking. I'm deliberately going oversize, and i'll try and work out a way of sealing the holes later. Perhaps rubber, silicone... or maybe fibreglass. Im feeling a bit stressed, so we'll finish that job tomorrow ... half of one hole cut. Rear lights next - we templated and marked out the holes for the two light pods, drilled and fitted. For some reason they seem a bit wonky, so we might have to take one off and trim it. Lights work anyway... except the left is too bright, probably misconnected the brake light with the normal light, but they came ready wired so i'm surprised. Finally we refitted the scuttle and the bonnet - including sticking some foam for the bonnet to sit on to stop it rattling. Quick headlamp test & adjustment while its dark too. Every day a little more like a car... but progress is definitely feeling a bit slower than usual. My hands hurt, itchy bits of glass in between all the fingers. Ouch! Todays Build: 2 people, 5 and 4 hours. Total build time so far: 113 hours, 182 man-hours. Tue, 28 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=49 A few fiddles http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=50 On my own this evening, dreading more fibreglass cutting! First thing to finish is the bootbox holes for the RAC rollbar supports and rollbar itself. I set to work cutting, using a dremel cutting disk and sanding drum. Eventually got it to fit nicely. Can't fit it finally yet, as i need to fit the brake light and harness mount points. I started next on the High level brake light. I drilled a hole in the bottom mount of the rollbar and the chassis that it fits to, i fitted a small tube into this hole. I then drilled three holes for the light itself - two to fix it with self tapping screws and a third for the wire. I then threaded the wire through the tube... this took a bit of fishing... and fixed it all in place. Lots of sealant applied to keep the water out. Finally threaded it all together, fitted the rollbar, and wired it into the left hand brake light. Quick test... it looks great! I decided to fit the fuel filler cap next... using a rather unconventional method. I drilled a 10mm hole from the inside of the bootbox area, then started gnawing away the fibreglass with a grinding bit. Slowly enlarging, aiming for the perfect location. Finally a dremel sanding disk and its a perfect hole, that lines up perfectly. In goes the tube. Can't finish this as I have no countersunk M5 bolts. I set to work making a hole for the first of the harness mounts in the bootbox, and got this fitted with a rubber grommet. Three more to do, and its getting a little late for this sort of noise... so i'll finish this tomorrow. Checking the to-do-list, i finished screwing on the footwell panel on the driver side, and chilled out for 5 minutes painting the tyre with my white tyre pen... you might laugh, but look at my face, bothered? Next i decided to fit the bonnet catches. Masked the area, rivetted the hook on, pulled it tight, marked the catch, rivetted that too. A bit of sticky foam tape here and there and it fits like a glove. Todays Build: 1 person, 3 hours.. Total build time so far: 116 hours, 185 man-hours. Wed, 29 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=50 News of the day... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=51 I'm not going to the garage today, we're out on an office BBQ & Get Drunk. News of the day is that Westfield phoned me - the brake caliper company will be delivering them directly to me, so i will have them monday at the latest. Thank god for that. I also went shopping and bought various nuts & bolts & screws , a neutral indicator lamp, and a nipple & hose for the oil breather tank. Oh, and the wheel middles turned up too. Meanwhile the exhaust mount has been posted to us, so that should arrive tomorrow morning. Thu, 30 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=51 Hungover! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=52 Hungover badly... so not going to attempt anything too challenging! The new exhaust bracket has turned up from westfield, so I need to figure that out. There's no obvious way to fit it, so after some messing about, i decided to drill all the way through the body and the chassis, sandwich an alloy block in the middle, and tighten it all up. Seems to work... so i bolted on the can using a rubber block. Finally, fitted the heatshield. Next, i refitted the left rear arch, this time using the recommended 10 bolts. Feels much better. Refitted lights, tied up the wires, refitted wheels, and its back together. I decided to make a throttle body adjustment to make the engine a little richer at tickover to stop the ignition in the intakes. I adjusted the star screw on the throttle pot, and wound down the idle screw. Its running beautifully now, and much quieter! Next, I fitted the green bulb for the neutral light and tested it - that will be essential for the sequential box. Final quick job to screw down the pedal inspection cover. The drill slipped and i took a huge gouge out of the black - bugger. At least its only in the engine bay. I unwrapped and trial fitted the front cycle wings. They strike me as too small, might have to modify those to stop them rubbing on the tyres. Todays Build: 1 person, 3 hours.. Total build time so far: 119 hours, 188 man-hours. Fri, 31 Aug 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=52 Front finished http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=53 I'm off out to get drunk again, so this is gonna be quick.... Just a few bits and bobs today... Fitted the front cycle wings Put a big clip around the exhaust heat shield Fitted the aeroscreen Screwed on the dash Fixed the front ARB - it was hitting the headlamps! That's the front finished now... back tomorrow, then brakes monday, and we're off for a drive!! Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 6 hours.. Total build time so far: 125 hours, 196 man-hours. Sat, 01 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=53 All Finished! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=54 ... well, almost, still no rear brakes but i'm assured i'll get those tomorrow! Started the day at lunchtime (hangover again!) and decided to get the rear and the bootbox fitted. I cut out the four holes for the harnesses large enough to take a rubber grommet, through which the spacer threads. With these in place, i fitted the bootbox down with five stainless socket screws, which look quite nice. Finally, wheels off so i can fit the RAC rollbar supports. I cleared the garage, and set the chocks up a couple of metres apart. Then i drove the car slowly back and forth checking everything is OK. The reverse box is a bit of a dog to get in and out of gear, maybe there's a knack! The clutch isn't working too well, so we got adjusting it. A fiddle here and there and its great, i'm amazed at how short the travel is though! Next is the indicator side repeaters. I drilled a large round hole, and dremelled it to the right shape. The guide in the book is totally wrong, thank god i ignored it... i just did it by eye instead. Next comes the fog-light... this didn't fit too well so needed some small modifications, but went into place without too much drama. Total nightmare getting the nuts on the back! Next the numberplate light.. its a horrid big think that will get scrapped after the SVA, so instead of bolting it on, i stuck it - leaving only a small hole for the electrics. I couldn't resist sticking the megabusa lettering on the back, just to finish it off. I love the way it looks :) Then 1300 goes on the side of the bonnet. Mirrors next, the central one stuck on (looks stupid) and the drivers side. Unfortunately i chose to mount them on an angle which doesn't work for the passenger side. We clamped it in a vice and tried to bend it... SNAP! Bugger, stupid monkey metal. Ended up sawing it down at an angle, drilling holes, tapping the hole and putting a bolt through. Finally to stop it looking like the botch of the century it got covered in tape. Now it only looks like the botch of the month. Think i need a new mirror, but after the SVA. James turned up, and we got to start rivetting the tub to the chassis. This involved jacking the car to a ridiculous sideways angle so we could get the drill under! Both sides, and a few trapped thumbs in the rivet gun, and its all in place. Interior panels next, i had to get inside the car upside down for this one... and got stuck. ha ha... thanks for standing there laughing James! While the car was up on stands, i chopped off a couple of bolts that were sticking out too far, trimmed down the engine breather. Also, i fitted the flexihose for the rear brake caliper tomorrow. Now... to get rid of the dust and tidy up. Car out into the road and hosed down. Shame we had to push it there really, i'm gagging to drive It! Had to drill a couple of quick holes to let the water out of the boot! After cleaning out the insides, we had a quick poke about the SVA box, lots of rubber bits we don't understand! Hopefully WSCC forum will help with that. Not sure why all my photos are blurred today, stupid camera! Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 9 hours.. Total build time so far: 134 hours, 208 man-hours. Sun, 02 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=54 SVA Stuff http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=56 Tigger from the WSCC forum sent me these pictures to help with SVA stupidities Sun, 02 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=56 Brakes & First Drive. http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=55 I rushed back from work to fit the new rear calipers. Should take an hour max, then off for a drive. Pah! First mission is getting the handbrake cable onto the caliper mount, Its on a huge spring, and creating enough loose cable to slot it on is a nightmare. Eventually got it on, and then found i'd threaded the handbrake cable incorrectly! Off it came again, then back on... lots of swearing. Then fitted the flexihose for the hydraulics. Bolted it onto the upright.... sorted. Now to the other side, and it all starts going wrong. Firstly, the handbrake cable is ten times harder to fit because its under tension from the other side, so the central console in the car had to come off to adjust it. Then, when trying to fit it the spring pinged off onto the floor - that took 20 minutes to get back on. Then, with the handbrake in place, i went to fit the caliper and found the handbrake wouldn't fit in between the pads. Spent an hour trying to compress it... that wasn't going to happen. After a while figured that i needed to twist the piston to adjust it.... and then it fitted. Unfortunately i've now been fitting brakes for over 3 hours! At least there's just the bleeding left, that shouldn't be too painful... (pah again!) Bleeding the brakes is to be done using the Gunson easybleed kit. Its a great idea, whack a nozzle onto a car tyre - this provides pressured air to force the fluid through the system. I set this up and fluid instantly started pouring on the floor from the rear. Ooops.... i'd completely forgotten to tighten one of the connectors. With that done, we went to bleed again and a pipe popped off the easybleed kit sending a whole pot of fluid all over the floor, car, me, etc.... i even got some in my eye! (ouch... lots of water to flush that out!) We bled all four brakes twice, then with another easybleed explosion, gave up and went back to the pumping pedal option for the final bleed. Eventually, seems ok. Managed to get brake fluid EVERYWHERE! The brakes appear working fine, I can't push them to the bulkhead. Obviously, new pads all around they're not actually stopping me too quickly yet! The problem is the amount of dead travel before they even start biting, the pedal is flopping toward the driver a long way. In order to match the other 2 pedals it would make more sense to have the pedal adjusted back so it starts nearer the bulkhead.... but if i adjust it back too much further it will run the risk of hitting the stops (which i believe is an SVA fail as well as being unsafe!) So really, like the clutch, i feel i need a stop bar that prevents the pedal flopping toward the driver too far. But there isn't such a thing. I'll post on the forum for ideas i think! With the bleeding complete we refitted and torqued the wheels for our first test drive. Unfortunately its going to be short as its 9:30 and the neighbours probably don't like to hear lairy hayabusas at this time. We drove it around on some private land for about 5 minutes, and nothing fell off, so thats a good start! Managed some forwards, reverses, even second gear for 3 seconds. Its an odd drive sitting so far back and seeing the wheels steer ahead of you... can't wait to get some speed up! Oh, and a bird decided to relieve itself on the bonnet. What aim! A few tweaks, some more driving, and some better photos tomorrow! Including the new sexy polished exhaust headers. Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 5 hours.. Total build time so far: 139 hours, 216 man-hours. Mon, 03 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=55 Second Drive! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=57 My sister Lisa was involved in a car accident this morning. I spent most of the day keeping her company in hospital. She's fine, a bump on her head, bruised back and some aches and pains. Car's a writeoff. On my own today, i planned to just do a few tweaks. First to get the car in the sun and give it a quick polish! Then some nice photos :) First tweak... the front is a bit out of adjustment - camber seems OK but tracking is definitely out. I strapped a laser sprit level to the front wheels one at a time and worked out the tracking angle against the rears. Not exactly precision, but better than nothing. I disconnected the steering rods and wound them in one wind each - that looks much better. I'll check it out of the test drive in a minute! The new gear position indicator turned up from Hungary today. No instructions... so its a guessing game. Took off the dash and the scuttle and hacked open the wiring. Red to switched positive, black to earth... then to guess on the other two. Turns out green does nothing and white works perfectly - result! A nice blue display. For the test drive, i went up and down the private strip 3 times trying to brake as much as possible. Getting slightly cockier on my third run, gave it 50% throttle and pulled a huge wheelspin. Wow, this things fast. Managed to get into third gear too, and the gear indicator worked a treat. Brakes are feeling better, but I think there may still be a little air in the system. We'll try another bleed tomorrow perhaps. Its difficult to tell with the pads and discs all being new - hard to tell apart spongey not-bed-in-yet from air in the system. Finally, 2 hours spent tidying the garage! Now looking much more organised. Todays Build: 1 person, 3 hours.. Total build time so far: 142 hours, 219 man-hours. Tue, 04 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=57 Third Drive! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=58 No photos today i'm afraid, don't think i did anything worthy of photographing. The only thing on my mind is the rubbish spongey brakes, so i'm going to attack them. After some close inspection, turns out the AP front calipers have 2 bleed nipples - so basically thats what i did wrong. Re-bled from all four front nipples and the pedal is hard as a rock, problem solved! A few more blats up and down and its stopping like a dream! And f**k me its fast! The air flow meter carb/throttle body balancer turned up today, so i gave it a quick go - one cylinder is out from the other three and overall not enough air, so its running a little rich. I dont have the laptop so cant really fix it now, i'll do it tomorrow. Another guy who lives 200 yards away owns a megabusa too... he came over to say hello. I had a good look at his car and immediately spotted the problem with my wingmirrors, i mounted them 90 degrees off. What an idiot. I refitted the drivers one and i'll buy a new passenger one from westfield. Todays Build: 1 person, 2 hours.. Total build time so far: 144 hours, 221 man-hours. Wed, 05 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=58 Grills & throttle bodies http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=60 I went to Halfords and bought some black grille. Chopped it up, bent it into shape, and fitted it to the inside of the 3 bonnet holes. This should stop me catching birds! Next i used my new carb balancer gauge to sort out the throttle bodies. Looks like its running a little rich, with one cylinder shifting a bit less air than the others. I started at the throttle cable end, balanced them all to produce 7.5kg of air, then finally adjusted the throttle pot to give the correct voltage on the laptop screen. Sounds perfect, and hopefully the emissions will be in check too. That's all for today! Tomorrow i'll sort out the suspension before watching the Brighton Speed Trials on saturday! Todays Build: 1 person, 1 hour.. Total build time so far: 145 hours, 222 man-hours. Thu, 06 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=60 SVA Bits http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=61 Allsorts of miscellaneous SVA stuff! Pictures tell it all.... The busa is now finished apart from a dead handbrake switch which needs replacing. Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=61 More SVA http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=62 A few more SVA tweaks... changed my mind about using insulating tape! Thu, 13 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=62 Garage... and SVA Tomorrow http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=63 Went to look at a garage today, and i've made the owner an offer. Its 20 feet square so will make excellent storage for the megabusa (and Phil's!) Also will offer storage and a great space to work on the car. Rather dull photos of the outside attached... On more important issues, i'm off to bed... up at 5:45 to head out to the SVA test in Croydon. Doubt we'll pass, but i truly believe i've done everything i possibly could. Fingers crossed! Tue, 18 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=63 SVA TEST! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=64 Up at 5:45 after a bad nights sleep, and straight over to James' before heading up the road to cuckfield. We then set off for the SVA centre at 6:30, leaving 1:30 to get there. We blat up the A23, then get stuck in traffic. Its a nightmare clutch in traffic, but i just about survive! I can slowly feel my driving improving as i get used to the co-ordination of paddle shift and get to understand the drive train / clutch / etc. its pretty brutal, up and downshifts are hard to get right and its not at all forgiving. That just makes it more satisfying when you get it right! On the way there we get a wave, a thumbs up, and LOTS of looks! Shame it spat with rain all the way. On the last couple of miles the clutch starts slipping when i boot it in a high gear. Feels to me like the clutch needs adjusting - there's no dead point in the pedal, its clearly applying pressure without your foot doing anything. We fill up with petrol, whip off the bonnet and pedal cover, and adjust it. Thats much better :) Once we arrive, we drive around to the inspection bay and the inspector comes over. He's a temporary inspector usually based in newcastle, seems a nice guy, fairly young. He does lots of paperwork and then gets stuck into the bonnet - poking around and pulling at things. No point in guessing whether he's impressed or not, we'll find that out later! After an hour he guesses our anxiety and tells us that we've got nothing to worry about, hasn't found anything serious yet, and he prefers to go through detail at the end so he doesn't lose his flow. He goes through lights, protrusions in & out, and lots of other things. I have to take the tunnel cover off so he can check handbrake balance bar. We move onto the emissions test and i completely fail to hold the car at 2500 revs. We give up and go for 5000 instead, still pretty hard! The exhaust headers are actually glowing red as it runs at 5000 stationary ... poor engine. Machine whirrs away and has lots of 'FAIL' messages everywhere, so that looks a bit worrying! Turns out our CO2 and Hydrocarbons are fine, but Lambda fails. I told him that we can adjust it there and then, but he won't let me, so we move on. We're beginning to suspect its a fail and he's found something.... then he tells us. Its the seats & harness mountings. The harness mounts through an eye on the back rail of the chassis, then goes up about 1" before going downward. Apparently this is above the level of the mounting so therefore the seat is officially the seatbelt mounting. Therefore he needs evidence it is strong enough. His advice is to fit smaller seats "and you can do what you want after the test". How odd, these are standard Westfield items!! Now we know its a fail. bugger. Next we go for speed test, so on the rollers and he attempts to drive it. Clearly never ridden a bike or used a sequential box, he's clueless! A bit of tuition and we get the car into third and blatting along. Speed at 50mph seems good and that's good enough for him even though he's supposed to do 70. Next we drive forward to the ramp and the car goes in the air with me inside. He gets me to do brakes, steering, etc whilst he does his usual banging, poking, pulling about for ages. He lowers the car and gets me to cable tie a couple of headlamp wires up. Then we do the headlamp tests and again he allows me to adjust the light with the machine sitting in front of it. The next test is the brakes test and I tell him about having a Limited Slip Diff, and how i've heard it can damage it. He declares a 15 minute break, we have a mars bar, and he investigates! I use this as an opportunity to call Westfield about the seats... I discuss it with them, but they need to speak to Mark who they can't get hold of. On his return, he doesn't really know the answer on LSDs so he doesn't chance it. Instead he decides to drive the car. He goes left to right and checks the steering self-centres. Then he locks th Wed, 19 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=64 SVA Update http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=65 Mark at Westfield has filed a complaint with SVA technical services department about their testing inconsistency. The seat has passed hundreds of times, and now mine has failed along with one other person also known to have failed. Hopefully he'll win his battle and overturn the failure, but i'm working on a secondary strategy too.... "R7 WSC" (Mark) from the westfield forum is kindly posting me his old seats which don't have headrests or harness holes. These should sail through SVA despite clearly being less safe, how ridiculous. Then straight after, the old seats go back in. All other minor issues on the SVA have been completely resolved, and in order to help with the emissions tests, 've invented a new 'fast idle' setting on the throttle bodies - not complicated, but it uses a stop screw which allows me to perfectly hold it at 2500 rpm - something that's virtually impossible without it! I'm off up to the garage again today to fit an intercom system i've ordered. James and I realised that we couldn't talk to each other with helmets on, so this will help somewhat! I've got to make sure its only installed with velcro so its not subject to SVA problems. Meanwhile, i've ordered the new dash setup to be fitted immediately following SVA pass. Its a carbon fibre blank dashboard, a Race Technology Dash2 and DL1 datalogger. They're also giving me a free CAN engine interface box which is 'beta' testing and i will help with that. All this will allow full datalogging of GPS position, 'G' acceleration, all engine parameters, etc. Sun, 23 Sep 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=65 One week to SVA Retest http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=66 I haven't made an update for a while... mostly because i haven't done anything for a while! SVA Retest is exactly a week away, and a few bits turned up, so I thought i'd do some bits. Sorry about the rubbish quality pictures, forgot my camera so had to resort to camera phone. I fitted the grotty old seats, but unfortunately i can't reach the pedals! So I stuck a petrol can behind the seat... not sure what SVA man will think of that....!! Finally, I fitted the carbon-fibre wheel arch protectors, made a carbon central disk for the steering wheel. Clear front indicators and orange bulbs went on too. Mon, 01 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=66 SVA Inspection Manual http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=67 Here is the official SVA VOSA inspection manual: <a href='SVAMarch2004.pdf' target="_blank">Clicky</a> Tue, 02 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=67 Brands Visit http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=72 Visited Brands Hatch to watch a few race series. We saw the Radical SR3 cup, the Junior Ginettas , the Mini Cooper Challenge and Westfield BARC championship. Radicals are powered by a 1500cc version of the Hayabusa, and they are flame spitting monsters, absolutely amazing machines. Fastest lap was 44 seconds, and I want one!! Minis were a little dull, they lapped at 55 seconds. Too quiet and not much action. The Westy race was brilliant - they're only a low spec 1800cc Zetec, but they raced agressively. Three accidents, got a bit messy around Druids. The megabusa needs to get on track soon... lets hope it passes SVA on monday! Sat, 06 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=72 SVA Retest http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=73 We turned up at the centre 3 hours early. Apparently the booking was at a completely different time! Bad start :( We were SO bored we even discussed different ways of getting in and out of the car in a high speed fashion. 3 hours is a very long time... enough time to read 'Car' magazine cover to cover and still find time to be bored. Eventually the tester came over, not a minute early (despite seeing him pass the previous guy a good 20 minutes prior) and we got straight into emissions. Since the last time, i have richened the engine a little due to the lean lambda last time. Bad move it seems.... failed on high hydrocarbons, CO2 and lambda, basically i'd gone too far the other way. A tweak of the throttle pot position relative to the butterflies, and another attempt... Also failed, i'd gone too far the other way. Settled for a middle position and it passed on the 2500 rpm but failed idle for too much CO2. At this point i'm sweating - standing over the exhausts is tough, and they're glowing red! Another small twiddle, and failed again. Starting to get desparate... he says its been too long and i have one more attempt. I increased idle speed, made a small lean adjustment and it passes idle... and with another tweak passes 2500 rpm.... and fails idle. He re-calibrates and we go again... and as a total piece of luck pass. More luck than judgement, especially as the laptop ran out of battery before the end and i was guessing the pot voltage and RPM! With that out of the way, and the time almost 5pm, he clearly wanted to go home, so we rushed through the rest, and he passed us! (It really was that quick... he didn't even look at the seats!) WOO HOO! So... a good blat home to blow the cobwebs away, rip off all the rubbery bits, and registration tomorrow. Still got to swap seats, fit dash, fit aeroscreen, but we'll see what the registration process looks like first. For reference, these were the emissions readouts: FAST IDLE TEST CO 0.19 (Max 0.20) PASS HC 69 (Max 200) PASS LAM 0.997 (0.97-1.03) PASS NATURAL IDLE TEST CO 0.01 (Max 0.30) PASS Mon, 08 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=73 DVLA Registration http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=74 I drove up to the garage in the pouring rain and got the engine number and Westfield receipts. I put together a pack for the registration that included the following: 1. Receipts for Westfield Kit and Engine 2. Insurance Certificate 3. Declaration of Newness from Westfield 4. The years tax - only £115 per year for tax which is nice! 5. £50 registration fee 6. Driving License 7. SVA MAC Certificate 8. Form V55/4 registration form 9. Vehicle Build-Up Form detailing parts used Once the forms were filled in, which took an hour, i drove the whole lot to the regional office in Brighton and submitted it. The guy told me that the paperwork for kit cars is done on Thursdays, and i won't need an inspection. Due to the postal strike he's going to give me a call on my mobile, so hopefully we're road legal on Thursday afternoon! ( Fingers crossed everything is in order, and i filled everything in correctly! ) Tue, 09 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=74 Registered! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=75 The car is road legal! Paperwork came through today and it has been given the plate GX07 OLV. Not a 57 plate probably because of a date i wrote on the form for when i ordered the kit i should think. Took the car on its maiden legal voyage down to Brighton, scared a few people by taking them for a ride, and put 50 miles or so on the clock. Its running like a dream, and it is SO fast. Rich said "you can't really describe how fast it is, you have to experience it". Saturday is the suspension setup, so the car is going to stay in Brighton until then. I've ordered some numberplates, a self-adhesive one for the front and a bike one for the back, just need to get a nice light for the back one. Meanwhile i'm hunting around for the first track day.... watch this space... Thu, 11 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=75 Suspension Setup http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=76 We arrived at the race car doctor's barn at 9am and got cracking. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but i felt something would probably be grossly wrong! Firstly we corner weighted it, see the photo - turns out the car weighs 512 kilos, a bit more than we expected, and then we added ballast to represent the driver. Dave made loads of adjustments to even the weights up. We then got around to doing the camber/caster and after much looking & thinking Dave noticed that our front top wishbones were on the wrong way, which was playing havoc with handling and causing a lack of self-centering on the steering whilst cornering. Correcting this took about 4 hours as we had to mess about with the front Anti-Roll bar loads. Eventually done, 7 hours work and i have a fully corner weighted setup. His recommendations are that i swap the front tyres from 205/60 to 185/60 which will give the car less of a tendency to oversteer and give it a gentle understeer. I'm going to do this monday. With a track day at Snetterton booked for 2 weeks time, he recommended that i drive the car and see how it goes, but he feels the rear springs are too soft and may cause the damper to 'bottom out' and hit the stops which could cause a spin. If this happens, or i detect the bottoming out, i should fit stiffer springs, perhaps 300 rate springs. In summary, i'd recommend any Westfield owner gets it done, after spending so much on a car its an irrelevant cost and can pick up on anything you've done wrong! Sat, 13 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=76 Engine Problems http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=77 I've got a starter problem for some reason. Basically, i hit the starter button and the relay clicks, but the motor doesn't turn. At the same time, the neutral and oil pressure warning lights go out, but the brake warning doesn't. Weird? I've put a multimeter on the motor itself, and when starter button pressed, i get voltage (11 volts if i remember). Totally stuck in a petrol station, we push started it, and that was fine - battery doesn't appear to be flat - headlights don't even dip when i hit the starter button. This has happened 6 times, and getting worse, GRR! The fourth time, i stopped, and tried the starter, it worked perfectly 3 times in a row! Then an hour later, it didn't at all. I then got a very charged very large battery and jumped onto the starter motor directly - and it wouldn't turn either! It maybe did a wheezy half turn. So.... voltages as of tonight: Battery: 11.79 With ignition on: 11.49 With starter applied: 4.2 With my charger on there: 12.0 My big battery voltage: 12.66 My last drive was 60 minutes, so it should have charged higher than 11.79? Directly after stopping, the starter had nothing. Sorry, can't tell you the voltage with engine running, couldn't make it run! I've left it on trickle charge overnight. * puzzled * My conclusions (ish)..... 1. That the battery just can't deliver the required load - this is proved by the fact my big battery achieves a half turn where my battery achieves none 2. That the starter is seized, or there's a hydraulic lock or something. Clearly i don't know what i'm talking about here! It was so reliable, started on the button right up until yesterday! Help please :) With my problems on starting i thought i'd fit the carputer... see pictures! Its a temporary fit because i'm waiting for the new dash parts to all arrive so i can fit that. Sun, 14 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=77 Solution... and....Suspension Settings http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=78 I've been discussing the problems with starting on the forum, and they're pretty convinced its an earthing problem. I don't actually have an earth strap from block to chassis, so this could be the problem. Mike R7 WSC said: Remember even with a bike engine you are looking for >100A which needs probably at least 25mm2 cable - all your cradle bolts with powder coated brakets etc may appear to give no real resistance to earth with a multimeter, but could still be significant - a starter motor drawing 100A at 12V has windings of 0.1 Ohm, so if you have even 0.1 Ohm through your earthing, the motor will only see 6V. (very approx, but you get the idea) ---------- Also, Just received an email from Dave at the Race Car Doctor showing all settings. He said in his email: ---------- For Jeff, and anyone else who asked, here are all the settings..... Firstly his email said>>> Reminder re a few things: Bolt check at Snetterton, especially wishbones, engine mounts, diff mounts (if you can get access) 185 tyres on the front See how you feel the car handles, happy for you to phone me and I can talk you though things. 21-23 PSI hot a good starting point Once you are confident in the car and an get consistent lap times (this might take some time), you can refine the set up using tyre temperatures - you will need a temp gun to do this. -------- Camber -2.0 -2.0 -1.5 -1.5 Front toe 20mins out Rear toe 35 min in Rideheight front 110mm (measured on 185/60 tyres) Rideheight rear 135mm Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=78 Earth problem solved http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=79 Earth problem solved! I need to do a more permenant solution, as i've butchered together a couple of grotty old bits of wire - but it fixed it immediately. Despite the engine block being hard bolted directly to the chassis, the resistance between block and chassis was 0.9ohms which was enough to prevent the starter motor working at 100 amps. Bizarre! Tue, 16 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=79 Dash Wiring http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=80 I started work on the dash wiring. So far i've done: Primary connectors to car loom Temporary power to the Race Technology Dash Sidelights Switch Headlights Switch Ignition Switch Four dash control switches Illumination on switches LOTS more to do, didn't get home until 11pm! Tue, 16 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=80 Dash Cutting http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=82 Managed to get most of the dash fitted. The carbon fibre had to be cut on almost every edge, a tough job working out where things went. First I cut the steering wheel and gear shift holes, then trimmed some off the bottom, then finally fitted it, drew around the scuttle and cut it with the jigsaw. Then i drew all the items onto the dash and cut the holes once i'd chosen where they go. As we stand, various things aren't working yet, but tomorrow should sort that! Sat, 20 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=82 More Dash http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=83 Spent the day trying to wire everything up, total nightmare! Got the car just about driveable in the end, but don't have a speed reading, and have had to put in the old fuel gauge temporarily. This is the email i sent to race technology ..... I have the DASH2, DL1 and CAN interface which i'm trying to make work with the MBE 992 / CAN. I need a bit of help please! I'm at Snetterton on Saturday, so i'm desparate to get as much fixed as possible, my priority being Speed Display! These are my issues.... 1. Don't know how to use the 'daisy chain' RS232 cable between DASH2 and DL1. I can get the PC to talk to both individually, and can get the DASH2 to talk to the DL1, but not the PC at the same time. Could you give me a wiring diagram? I'm beginning to think perhaps the cable is faulty, or i'm just misundetsanding what should be acheivable. 2. Fuel level - i have no idea how to get this working! It is a VDO sensor variable resistor to ground. Apparently i need a pull up resistor or something... but this is a bit beyond my knowledge, could you advise? I don't mind a trip to maplin if i know what to buy and how to wire it, but i'm drawing a blank currently! 3. Speed. I have 2 wires going to my VDO 'hall effect' gizmo. I've tried putting 5v down one and the other into the wheel speed, no luck. How should i wire this up? 3. CAN Interface. I've tried to configure just the first message ID 0 to grab the coolant temp from the MBE ECU. No luck at all. I can't tell if its even receiving anything - some sort of output showing serial communication would be handy. 4. Version of firmware on Dash2. I've tried flashing it, but it now doesn't work well - it crashes when it receives serial communication from CAN/DL1, and requires ignition off/on to come back. Where is the flash HEX v7 file for the Dash2? I think i need to try again. Thanks in advance, -Carl. Sun, 21 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=83 Does the Hayabusa engine need any upgrading? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=84 The hayabusa engine is a solid little engine, and if treated right will give good service in totally standard form. Mine is totally standard apart from the dry sump system. Pistons and con-rods only need to be addressed if you start to upgrade the engine above 200bhp, especially 'violently' with turbo. At the start of the project i thought i may go down this route, but plenty of horror stories later, and potential need to comply with racing formulae, and turbos are not a good option. I was lucky to get an engine from a 900 mile 2006 bike, and i'd recommend similar - brand new is typically very expensive, I've heard £6000, so second hand is a good option - i paid £3200 including dry sump. Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=84 How driveable is the car in traffic & every day? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=85 I've now done almost 400 miles in the car and i feel i can give a good report on its driveability. I have now mastered clutch control, i very much lever my feed off the floor using a good racing boot - this way i get the precision control needed. A driver jumping out of a road car will stall the busa a lot - but i now don't. Yesterday i drove about 10 miles, in traffic, stops and starts, U-turns, etc... and didn't stall once. Is it infuriating? No, but it does require a fair amount of concentration for hill starts. Traffic crawling is OK, and can be done gently on tickover. Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=85 Do you use the clutch when changing gear? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=86 For Downshifting: I use the clutch always, aided with heel & toe throttle blips IF the RPM is high (6000 plus), and just plain downshifts at lower RPM. For Upshifting: I use the clutch most of the time, only switching to clutchless on full throttle gearshifts where i just lift the throttle slightly - this is awesome and i've got the technique perfect - you just literally lift the throttle 50% and bang the gear, sounds like an F1\Rally car shift. Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=86 What's the reverse gearbox like? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=87 Reverse is crap, its just a design nightmare - it gets easier, and i now 'understand' the box - its easy to get into reverse, but difficult to get back into forward without it knocking as the dogs refuse to engage. Its not really too bad, survivable, but apparently needs regular rebuilds and leaks oil. Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=87 How did you do the paddle shift? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=88 It is a rod-linked gearshift mechanism, using many parts from the standard Westfield 'stick shift' system and some other bits from Ebay! It required a fair amount of custom fabrication, don't look too closely at the rough edges! Please see attached photos. Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=88 Even more dash... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=89 Turns out the dash is faulty! No wonder i can't make it work. I plumbed in the oil & water temp sensors and was getting nothing at all.... so i had the bright idea of whacking them into the data logger directly instead, and Bingo! Worked straight away. So, we're almost ready for the track day on Saturday, the following items not working: * Wheel speed (but GPS speed works...no odometer though) * Fuel Level (but i've got the temporary old gauge) * Gear Position (i'll go blind on this one, expect a few additional upshifts into 7th...8th...) * Video Recording (the PC keeps crashing, i'll resolve this soon) * Accurate temperatures. Whilst i have temps, they're totally uncalibrated! So, despite it being a long list, its not unworkable, track day should be fine. For some reason my battery keeps going flat too, probably the ridiculous amount of crap i've got plugged into the poor thing! Wed, 24 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=89 First Track Day... DISASTER! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=90 Diasaster! 7pm, On the way to Snetterton, with James following on the bike, clouds of smoke started pouring out of the car and James got covered in liquid. Luckily a service station was right there, so i pulled in and we ripped the bonnet off. Lots of smoke from the exhausts, and a puddle under the car... which turned out to be oil. Very kindly a guy who works for Turbo Technics just happened to be in the same service centre, and he gave us his jack so we could the car in the air. After much fiddling about we eventually found the leak - right out of the spindle of the dry sump pump. Oh dear, a fatal problem. I called the AA and arranged a tow home. 2 and a half hours from home, the tow truck didn't arrive until 1am, and i didn't get home until 4am. What a nightmare! Off to the garage now to take the pump off and diagnose the problem. Fri, 26 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=90 Pump Disassembled http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=91 Pump disassembled and ready for new bits... see photos Sat, 27 Oct 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=91 Dry Sump Replumbing http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=92 I spent the whole day trying to raise the dry sump pump and connect it all in, I forgot my camera unfortunately so i'll take some photos tomorrow! These pictures are the connectors i need to buy. Sat, 03 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=92 Car working again http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=93 I decided to abandon replacing half the pipes as i have the wrong adapters. Car's all working again ready for a drive tomorrow. These connectors are serious bling! Sun, 04 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=93 It Drives again! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=94 Unfortunately raining and in the wet, but the car drives! No dash, so no idea how fast i'm going, or what temperature the oil or water are at, or even how much fuel i have. The camera was working though! Recorded all 3 minutes of the drive, which took 2gb... so i now need to figure out an efficient way of getting the file back home! Drove beautifully, so i'll take her for a longer drive tomorrow. Mon, 05 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=94 Trackday Prep http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=95 Tomorrow evening i set off on the 2 1/2 hour journey to Silverstone. Hopefully everything will be ready! I'm off up to the garage now to try and make sure. Here's what needs doing: * Install Dashboard - this turned up from repairs today. * Waterproof the underside of the scuttle * Calibrate temperature & fuel level...physically by pumping it out again, litre by litre. * Road speed sensor : using 5v reference feed * Install the CAN interface to read engine parameters onto data logger * Silicone blobs on PC connectors where necessary to stop connectors coming out * RPM feed to DL1 * Format the CF card using race tech software * Check the DL1 firmware by analysing a log file. Should be 9-4 or newer. * Download & install DHCP Turbo and test crossover cable & pc-pc network to get video files onto my PC * Charging Socket * FINALLY - replace scuttle Not much then!! Thu, 08 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=95 Trackday Disaster Number Two http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=96 Total Disaster We made the drive to silverstone with no drama, almost 4 hours driving and not a blip, the car ran brilliantly. We went out for the sighting session to learn the track and immediately saw the megabusa's handling potential. Even at relatively slow speeds, the cars in front were rolling about and we felt like we were chilling out. Once the sessions started, we were straight out, and giving it some welly. Around 12 laps of flat-out driving completed, and it just started to rain. It seemed like a god time to come in, so i headed for the pits. Only one small incident in that session- a bit of an overcook into a corner caused by overtaking other traffic- i was on the outside of a bend and ended up running out of track.... and going onto the run-off. We went out again, and on the slippery semi-wet conditions managed to spin the car off. Unfortunately it stalled, and the battery didn't have enough power for a restart. Red flags came out and the tow truck came out to tow me in. Once back in the pits, turns out there's oil everywhere and its filled the catch-tank and overflowed everywhere else. Very weird. Past experience says that if you over-fill the dry-sump system, once the oil gets very hot it will naturally level itself by chucking out the overfill. Level seems ok, if a little lower than before, so i clean it all up and go out for a couple of test laps. In from 2 laps and everything is fine, car ran great, temps are ok, pressure ok, so i go out again. 2 laps in, 105mph changing down from 6th to 4th, a little heel-and-toe, and BANG BANG BANG, sounds like a bunch of spanners dropped into my engine.... not good! Pull into the pit-lane and turn the engine off. Once back in the paddock, i spend ages trying to work out whats wrong. The engine fires on all 4, pistons are ok, values ok, clutch ok, gearbox ok... all ok apart from the noise- and its LOUD. Very Loud. Chatted to a few people, starting to think its the "big end" or crank bearings, starved of oil. I trace all the oil and it turns out its been overflowing from the top of the sump tank - so the sump pump must have been pumping all the oil out of the engine! All a bit beyond me, i'll work it all out tomorrow.... Luckily the AA towed me home :) Sat, 10 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=96 Quick Update http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=98 A new engine - 2007 with 1099 miles, and a new dry sump system are on their way and should arrive by friday. I'll then spend the weekend getting started on plumbing it in. The new dry sump system will run -12 size pipes from the pump-cooler-tank-sump and this will help to solve the problem. It is a new billet sump plate with scavenges on opposing corners, ensuring the scavenge can always work. In addition a new pump will replace the water pump instead of the old belt-driven one. I'll then install an electric water pump. Lots to do! Hopefully this will all be sorted within the next 2 weeks. I'll take some photos as the install progresses. Wed, 14 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=98 Tank Design http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=99 Hopefully the new engine & sump system will be delivered tomorrow. I still have various plumbing parts to buy, and the biggest of those is the tank. Having extensively searched for a stock tank, i can't find one that achieves all my requirements. I need: I've just spent an hour designing a new tank for my dry sump system. I'm planning on getting Pace to design it, and it will be up to them to design interior pipe terminations & baffling. Objectives: * To Fit in the car... very tight space between engine and my wide-track inboard ARB - this space is just over 4" * To provide just over 5 litres capacity * To provide better breathing with gearbox vented into tank (just in case) * To provide optimum de-airation & surge resistance * To be as tall as possible to help with surge resistance and de-airation. As such, a normal cylinder just won't work, so i need something custom. Pace engineering are *THE* people to use, total experts in tank design. So i've drawn what i need and they're going to make it for me. Here's the PDF of the design: <a href='http://www.megabusa.co.uk/tank%20design/drawing6.pdf' target=_new>Click here</a> I've been asked whats the deal with the old engine? ... well the plan is to repair it as soon as I can next year, and sell it to recoup spent funds on the new engine. Same goes with the dry sump system. Thu, 15 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=99 Engine Out http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=103 An early start this morning, I plan to remove the old engine. Firstly we had to remove the clutch line, wiring harness, main battery cable, oil pressure capillary, prop shaft bolts, water lines, oil lines. Once all that was free, we then unbolted the engine. Chris and I set up a hoist from the roof beams of the garage and gently raised the engine up about 12". We then lowered the car on its Jack and the engine gracefully lifted free. The two of us then lifted it and lowered it to the floor - whilst heavy, 2 people can manage it without too much trouble. Having removed the engine, i set about preparing the new one doing the following: * Fitting the clutch slave cylinder * Removing the PAIR valve and blanking the holes * Blocking the old oil cooler attachment * Remove the sump ready for the new one * Remove the water pump ready for the oil pump to go in its place * Fit the exhaust studs * Remove the sproket and replace with drive flange That's all the construction for today, can't do any more until the dry sump parts arrive. Before heading off, I decided to remove the sump of the old engine and have a peek inside. The sump pan had huge quantities of swarf and metal bits floating around, the filters were clogged with it too - looks like the remains of bearings and shells. We then had a poke about with a screwdriver and found conrod #3 had about 10mm of play on the crank! The banging noise must have been the crank and conrod banging against each other. The crank shows some sign of blueing from the heat, hopefully both it and the conrod are OK. I'm not going to rebuild for a while, perhaps next january/febuary. Sun, 18 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=103 Trial Fit Sump http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=104 Last night, i trial fitted the new sump and pump. Don't have the right bolts, so i need to go shopping. Biggest issue is that the clutch slave cylinder doesn't fit !! Typical... (oh, and the Simpsons game on the xbox rocks!) Mon, 19 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=104 Engine Almost Ready http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=105 Today i ordered a new billet CNC clutch slave cylinder which will fit, hopefully! I finished prepping the engine, and aside from the clutch its ready to drop in. Just need to figure out how to do the new electric water plumbing! Wed, 21 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=105 Quick Update http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=106 I fitted the clutch slave cylinder, and we dropped the engine into the car. I've now completed final measurements for the tank, and this has been sent away to be fabricated by Pace Products. Here's my final design: <a href='http://www.megabusa.co.uk/tank%20design/carlmeek-version4.pdf' target=_new>Click for PDF</a> The engine isn't bolted in, or electrically connected yet because i potentially might need to lift it in & out in order to get the plumbing perfect. The To-Do list now is... * Wire up electronics for water pump * Plumb water systems * Plumb oil systems * Refit original electrics * Re-earth * Connect prop shaft, clutch, etc. * Bolt down engine Sat, 24 Nov 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=106 Photos tell the story... http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=107 Mon, 03 Dec 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=107 Almost back together http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=108 I spent the day doing more plumbing and wiring. Water system is complete, constructed mostly of Samco silicon hoses. I gave it a test fill and ran the electric pump. This seems fine although the pump is a bit 'rattly'. Next i ran the -12 pipe from sump-oil cooler, which is quite a long run, starting at the back of the engine and going to the very front of the car. The trouble with -12 size hose is that its quite inflexible, and a pain to run. I then replaced all the vacuum hoses with blue silicon. This, i admit, is *utterly* pointless, but hey! I then replaced half the fuel hoses with braided ones, i didn't order enough ends, so i'll get some more ordered. I got to test out my new Rivnut gun when fitting the fuel regulator. Its so much better than bolting through the chassis, i wish i'd bought one before. Its looking very bling, lots of blue & silver. Pointless, but great. No pictures today, i'll try and get some tomorrow! I'm ordering the new Simpson exhaust can now too - a 7" one, quieter, but with no cat. Dimensions as follows: A = 27" (length of main can) B = 2.5" (inner pipe size to manifold) C = 2" (length of pipe welded to can that connects to manifold) D = 2.5" (outer pipe size of manifold - not sure why this would difer) E = 1.5" (length from bracket bolt to rear of can) F = 4" (actual tailpipe length) Still got lots to do, from the electrical to the oil system. Oil tank's been ordered and should be delivered this week hopefully, once i've ordered a few -12 connectors i should be able to fill with oil and water, and run the engine. Still to do: * Bolt down the engine, including the bottom 'bar' * Bleed clutch * Finish wiring * Wire in the ignition amplifier & configure ECU - for the water pump * Take a feed from block temperature into Dash2/Datalogger. Air temp too, just for fun. * Figure out why CAN interface doesn't work (still...) * Run fat earth cable to connect all earth points * Wire in a big charging socket * Connect alternator through FIA cutoff switch * Refit exhaust manifold * Probably something else that's really important :) Sat, 08 Dec 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=108 See you next year! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=109 I'm off on holiday for a month, so i'll be back in January. I had hoped to achieve more before going, but it wasn't to be. Unfortunately despite 'finishing' the water system, the pump was too high and didn't prime, so i had to pull it all apart and order some more pipes. ** Update ... new tank has arrived ** I'm supposed to be doing last minute packing, but i couldn't resist whizzing up to the garage to try out the oil tank, and spec up the connectors i need. As you can see, it fits like a dream. The bottom and top chassis connectors are perfect, won't even need a spacer washer. I'm very chuffed!! Mon, 10 Dec 2007 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=109 Tow Car Acquired http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=110 OK, its a lot more than a tow car, its a 4.2l V8 Audi... but it will tow the megabusa nicely! Sat, 12 Jan 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=110 First Day's Work 2008 http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=111 Some good progress on my first day back. Firstly, finished the cooling system, filled and tested it... quickly correcting a leak caused by not tightening a jubilee clip! The electric pump is now low enough to prime itself and it works great. The pump has a band around it, and is then cable tied to an oil pipe, just giving it enough rigidity to stop it banging around. I then finished the fuel pipes, using the new braided pipe and anodised blue pipe ends. Mostly cosmetic, but provides some protection for the fuel pipe. I still need to clip various bits of the pipe down a bit better, but i'll do that later when i tackle the electrics. I then trial fitted the oil tank. I drilled four holes in the tank, marked through to the chassis rails, and drilled those too. I then fitted M6 rivnuts, and fitted vibration mounts onto those. Its now sat on four blocks of rubber and has a nice amount of vibration movement. All the connectors for the tank are on order, so i can't connect it up just yet. I then refitted the battery tray and battery, and fitted rivnuts for the new oil catch tank. This is then fitted in place. It all still looks a mess because most things aren't clipped in place. I still need to sort the electrical earths out, and need to carry the pump's power lines into the scuttle- once these are done i can clip everything back together. Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=111 Towhook & Trailer http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=112 This update's a bit late, but here goes anyway.... Spent the whole of saturday fitting the tow hook, i was really surprised how difficult it was and how useless the instructions are. We ended up removing the entire insides of the boot area, wall panels and all... the outside bumber, the inner metal bumper, and then fitting the new hook. I then had to dremel a huge slot in the bodywork. End result, totally hidden removable bar. Great! On the megabusa, sunday was spent installing some oil plumbing, i'll get some photos in the next few days. Unfortunately the -12 JIC connectors are so large, they actually don't fit in the space between the sump and the tank! I've ordered some push fit ones which hopefully will :) Today the trailer got delivered, and we immediately went down to Kent to pick up James' new scirocco. Towing the empty trailer was barely noticeable, even at high speeds, but once the 1000kg car was loaded on, it was much worse, i barely went above 60mph. At one point, we had a bit of a weave which was very nerve racking! Tue, 22 Jan 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=112 Almost there! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=113 I reckon i'd have got the engine started today... if it wasn't for the cold! So still a little to do. Plumbing finished, oil filled, engine bolted in. Just a few bits of wiring to do, and its ready to start. Next weekend it is then! Sun, 03 Feb 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=113 Engine started! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=114 Great progress today, got the engine started. Problems remaining: * Wires from regulator/alternator getting hot, too thin cables i think! Will fix this. * Fuel hose not secure enough, need some better clamp connectors * Split in the radiator pipe, am ordering some custom silicone pipes * Computer keeps crashing!! * Still need to hook up my new earth between dash and battery Sat, 09 Feb 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=114 Engine runs again http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=116 Made some pretty good progress, got the engine running again. I'm off to Malaysia for a week and a half, i'll get it on the road when i return :) Still to do: * Some electrics * Install new Firmware & Maps for the ECU to run the water pump * Install charging socket * Finish clipping wires * Clutch - bleed (& fix leak!) err... i think thats about it Mon, 25 Feb 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=116 Ready to Drive (hopefully!) http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=117 Did the following things: * Installed the latest firmware for my MBE992 ECU, and installed a custom-pin map to control the water pump. * Clipped all the engine-bay wires into place * Installed a fork-lift truck charging socket, so i dont have to take the bonnet off to charge it * Replaced the sealing washers, and bled the clutch - hopefully this will hold its pressure * Replaced bodywork Then trailered it up and took it for a car-wash! I'll go and take it for a drive as soon as i get the chance. Sun, 16 Mar 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=117 ARDS Race License http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=119 The ARDS test (Association of Racing Driver Schools) is the test required in order to get the National 'B' racing license from the MSA (Motor Sport Association). Once passed, you can enter race events and attend Test Days at race tracks. Test days differ from Track Days in that there are no novices - every person there has a race license, and the strict track day rules are removed. For example, overtaking is unrestricted. I arrived at Brands Hatch for sign-on at 5:45. An evening track day was going on, with some pretty fast cars blatting around. Just myself and one other guy were doing the license, and the instructor talked us through the process. We were to do the practical test first in order to make best use of the daylight. He said that the aim of the driving test is to show competency and not speed. They are looking for a good understanding of racing lines, turn-in points, apex. Also looking for mechanical sympathy, heel & toe technique, good mirror work, etc. The car in use is a Williams Megane, nothing special but quick enough. We were told not to take the car about 4500rpm, and just to use third & fourth gears. I was really nervous, feeling that i was driving within unusual parameters rather than just driving the way I drive and relaxing. Once out on the track, the instructor talked me around the track for a few laps before going quiet and doing the assessment. I think it was about 5 laps of assessment. My driving was awful, i missed turn-ins and apexes like there was no tomorrow, got the breaking wrong, used the wrong gears, and just generally drove like a fool. Thankfully, he gave me 85% which is an easy pass. We then did the written test, which was childsplay, and i got 100% in that. Just a case of sending off the paperwork and i'm done! Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=119 Shopping http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=120 The car needs to be race-prepared, so i have a big shopping list. Here's what i've ordered from the good old internet: * Fire extinguisher. Dual plumbed in nozzle with electric release * Throttle return springs. 2 of these required to stop the throttle sticking open. * MSA Sticker Pack. All the regulatory stickers * Graphics & Bling. Well it can't be a plain black race car, can it ?!! * Rookie Sticker. The yellow background and black cross. Needed until i've done 10 races. * Transponder. So they can record lap times automatically * Video recorder. Solid state DVR so I can record images and sounds of the racing * New fluids. I'm replacing all hydraulics with some high-temp stuff. The current fluid has been left in the open and expands when hot. Sat, 12 Apr 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=120 First day of prep http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=121 I spent the day mostly messing about and putting stickers on. I also managed to get the throttle return spring fitted to the pedal, and fit the speed sensor. This is a bit less than reliable unfortunately, so i'll work on that tomorrow. I also got the new DVR video recorder fitted, but for some reason the sound was out of sync. No idea why that is, weird. I'll check the settings and try again tomorrow. The Audi photos were from a few days earlier... arsing about in the snow in a Quattro :) Sat, 12 Apr 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=121 Second day of prep http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=122 Had a really good day today, i'm really getting through the car's to-do list and covering off some of the niggles that have been bothering me for ages. After much fettling, we got the speed sensor sorted. Getting the gap correct on the bolts was very difficult, and tuning the correct pulses per minute for the speed took ages too. Next, i wired in the immobiliser key-lock. This just cuts off the fuel pump, and its really as useful for me as it is as an anti-theft thing. Means i can cut off the fuel and leave the electronics running without killing the battery too quickly. At the same time, I also installed an on/off switch for the computer on the dash. We then replaced the clutch fluid with some 'racing' stuff from halfords. God knows whether its any good or not, but hopefully it will help with the clutch slipping problem when it gets hot. Presumably caused by the old fluid expanding. I then installed the transponder in the front of the car - that's going to be used to record laptimes when racing. I managed to feed this off the 'washer bottle' feed and connect that behind the dash. Finally, we took off the camera mount and Chris is going to have a go at sorting that out over the week. It unfortunately developed a case of the sags! I've now ordered some quick release fittings for the scuttle and dash so i can whip it on and off a bit quicker! Sun, 13 Apr 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=122 New Camera Mount http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=123 Chris made a funky new camera mount :) Thu, 17 Apr 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=123 Ready to Race? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=124 I reckon the car is ready to race. Still having fuelling issues, but they're fairly minor. Today, i installed quick releases on the scuttle for fast removal. Here are the first photos in its new colours! Sat, 10 May 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=124 Track Day at Brands http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=126 The day before the track day decided to try and solve the fuelling issues by destroying the cat. See pictures! SBD recommended that we did this, he said the problems sounded like an exhaust restriction. Anyway, track day went on. Car handled like a dream, controlled drift out of corners was delightful, even without the front ARB connected. Did i mention that it snapped AGAIN? However the car was running terribly, down on power, and midrange fuelling terrible. A marshall came over to me to say that in his experience it was a blocked exhaust and it sounded like it was wheezing! So I've come to the conclusion that my exhaust is partially blocked, not allowing sufficient flow. Steve at SBD first diagnosed this, then a marshall at Brands today. It breezed through its noise test (7db too quiet apparently!) and then just sounded like its being suffocated all the time. This probably explains a lot of things! Being out-dragged by a 125bhp car was not amusing :( So... i'm getting ZERO exhausts to make me a new one at the weekend. Lets hope that fixes it!! Tue, 13 May 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=126 New Exhaust http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=127 Absolutely Awesome, I'm blown away! Its like a new car! Mid range and top end power are much improved, i accidentally kept hitting the rev limiter, it got there that much quicker without groaning from being suffocated. Kevin from Zero exhausts was great, really recommend him. He created me a new stainless straight through can, plus modification to the manifold for £150+vat. Looks lovely- see pics. Wilsonch- Kevin tells me your XTR is due a visit soon :) In terms of noise, its louder and deeper at tickover (Nice!) and seems quieter at the top end. I'm very happy, sounds perfect. Happy Happy Happy :) Bring on Lydden on Sat. Tue, 20 May 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=127 Lydden Practice... and a triumph!!! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=128 After 10 months of hard work on the car, we have finally achieved it. What a great day! The objective at the start was to have a car that was incredible, with no production vehicles able to touch it, and finally i feel its been pretty much gained. AMAZING the difference an exhaust can make! From last week's track day really struggling to overtake much, the car was destroying pretty much everything on track. The only faster cars were a Caterham CSL 260, Another Megabusa, and a Radical. As i'm sure many westerfield owners have found in the past, it really is comical when owners of really expensive cars come over and wonder what the hell you're driving. I particularly enjoyed lapping the Ultima GTR (twice on one session). They almost started me in the novice group because I hadn't driven the track, but i persuaded them to put me in intermediate. By session number two, I was the fastest car on track so I upgraded to the Experienced group. This was great as I got to follow Steve in his red megabusa, and learn how he did it. I was able to keep up with him, but it required an incredible degree of concentration - one small mistake like locking up a wheel, or a botched off-line overtake, and a significant gap opened up between us. From finding racing a little intimidating, i now can't wait - they're a really friendly bunch, i LOVE the circuit, and i don't think i'm that far from the pace. Bruce in the faster Caterham CSL was lapping almost 3 seconds quicker than me (on slicks), and i'm lucky to have a copy of his datalogger files - i'll analyse those as soon as i'm in front of a PC and see what i can learn. I had a session out with the instructor who helped to tidy me up. My driving is not consistent enough at the moment, i need to really work on that. I had four little incidents: I spun on cold tyres once, on hot tyres once, went over the gravel once and kept on, and hit a tyre wall.... now that was scary - going straight on through the gravel thinking "no no no no no" and eventually just kissed it - just enough to break the cycle wing but cause no further damage. The race is on Saturday, my objective is to get signatures on my license (i.e. Finish the race!), so i will not be pushing at all..... that's the plan anyway, but can i be disciplined enough? I do have this worrying habit of spinning! <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TwPwx9WLiOY&hl=en"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TwPwx9WLiOY&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/mPL3ronyGaM&hl=en"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/mPL3ronyGaM&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Sat, 24 May 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=128 First Race http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=129 This is a bit of a late update on my first race at Lydden Hill. I have entered two separate race events, one of which is a double header. This gives a format of 2 qualifying sessions of 20 minutes each, and three 15 minute races. That's a lot for a first race day! The cars i'm racing against are a very mixed bag... there's one other megabusa, mostly caterhams, and three radicals. There are car and bike engined vehicles with wildly ranging power - for example, there are several caterham superlights, CSR 260s, and a westfield with 250+ bhp. Not much chance of getting too high on the grid then, as i'm vastly outpowered. On my first qualifying session i achieved 18/20 with a 47.6 seconds time and managed to blow off a silicone water connector, luckily i stopped the engine quickly. The repair took exactly 60 seconds less time than the gap between qualifying, so i was pushed to get back out to qualify for the second race. Despite this, I managed 16/20 and improved lap time by a few tenths to 47.3 seconds. On the first race, it really was sensory overload. I had a bad start and everybody overtook me. I then followed the last place person, with the occasional failed overtake attempt and finished last.... but i finished, and that's what is important for my license upgrade. Second race was pretty much the same deal, but i was starting to drive more aggressively and closer to the car i was following. On reviewing this, i decided this was the way forward and i need to take control!! Third race, i managed to get past the two cars at the back, both in the same place - i dived up the inside on the hairpin and out-dragged them on the following straight. Then I saw the 'LAST LAP' board just as I came up to the car third from last, a bike engined yamaha caterham. Without thinking, i dived down the inside of the hairpin, lost a lot of pace, went neck and neck around the last corner with him having the faster line, and we crossed the finish line one hundredth of a second apart... with me in the lead :) Result!! After the race, i inspected the car and found i had a totally destroyed rear tyre. The car was oversteering out of every single bend, caused by my anti-roll bar being snapped at the front, but still present at the back. This is number one thing to fix. I now have a to-do list: * Buy a roll-cage for safety * Stiffer springs * New wider slick tyres * Need more power!! <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dHww27syiXA&hl=en"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dHww27syiXA&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VQhq24DrGoE&hl=en"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VQhq24DrGoE&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Fri, 30 May 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=129 Why did you upgrade your engine when you haven't mastered it as standard yet? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=132 Simply because i'm insane. Sun, 22 Jun 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=132 New Engine http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=130 Jeff Cooper contacted me because he had decided to sell his 1548cc Hayabusa. This engine has had pretty much every component replaced, spec looks like this: * Built by Karl of Extreme Engines * Bored to 83mm * Stroked, Billet Crank * Uprated cams * Steel Conrods * Billet clutch basket It cost over £11,000 to build this engine, and i got a bargain price of nowhere near that - we agreed a part exchange swap for my old engine. I turned up at Jeff's and 2 other westfield owner's were on hand to help with the swap. Before doing anything we went out for a test drive, and i came back shaking - it is a totally different beast, scary power.... i can't wait. With 2 Cars side by side, 4 guys working on them, it only took 3 hours to take 2 engines out and put my engine back in. Yesterday Chris and I spent the day finishing it, installing the new uprated manifold, cutting huge louvre grills in the body and getting plumbing and electrics finished. See pictures! Its now running, but i'm not driving it until it is mapped properly. It is fuelling for a 1300, so will be very lean. See my belated previous post for details on the racing....and why this all happened :) Mon, 23 Jun 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=130 Throttle Bodies http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=135 Pictures of the bodies being fitted: Tue, 01 Jul 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=135 Update & Race http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=133 I've been rubbish updating the site, here's a list of what's happened: * New springs * New carbon tunnel cover * New rollcage * New carbon boot cover * New camera mount * Flappy paddle extensions for more leverage And look what happened to my Audi tyre! ----- Race day at Lydden A crazy day, more accidents than i have ever seen. In first qualifying i beat my best lap time ever with a 43.9 which put me in 8th. I then finished the first race in 5th... probably mostly due to people crashing. Second race saw me spin off and finish 10th. Third race qualified 12th and finished 8th... but that one included radicals. Overall pretty successful - i was definitely the fastest car on road tyres. Video of the first race: <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/K_FGv8gW7gU&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/K_FGv8gW7gU&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Sat, 12 Jul 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=133 Brands Track Day & A few Mods http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=134 The car was stunning at Brands, overtook absolutely everything! A few mods: * Spring changes (again!) to 350 front 275 rear * New carbon fibre temperature sensor mount * New carbon front cycle wings <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/bwrx0H4bus8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/bwrx0H4bus8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Fri, 18 Jul 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=134 The slicks are on! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=136 The slicks are on the car, lets see how it goes on saturday! Wed, 23 Jul 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=136 Blown engine...again http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=137 Engine Blown up (again) Unfortunately a combination of oil starvation and overheating caused my engine to go pop at Rockingham. it's being rebuilt in the states at the moment, and re-bored out to 1598cc from 1548cc. That should give an extra 12bhp or so. Meanwhile i'm working on the car to try and stop it happening again. My list of actiivties is roughly: 1. A lambda gauge, so i can check we're not ever running lean 2. Analogue temp gauges for water and oil 3. New high efficiency radiator 4. 40% bigger oil cooler 5. Ducting in and out of the radiator 6. New much bigger water pump, designed for V8 cars 7. Electronic water pump controller, runs the water for 2 mins after shutdown 8. New alloy header tank, accessible without removing nose cone See the pics for progress so far on mounting the radiator and oil cooler, took pretty much all day! Tomorrow will be plumbing and making thermoplastic ducts. Sat, 16 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=137 Pictures from Rockingham http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=138 Just before the engine blew up! Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=138 New Garage! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=140 The move to the new garage has been completed, the new luxury carpeted workshop awaits! I reckon i should have a chance to do the small fiddly jobs that got neglected before. I have completed the inner ducting, cut a new hole in the top of the nosecone, half fitted the gauges. Need the engine now! Mon, 25 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=140 Fireplace Ornament? http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=141 What better use of a knackered £2000 billet crank, arrow conrod and alloy piston? Thu, 28 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=141 Engine in! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=142 The new engine is in, and i've been for the first of 8 run-ins. The engine is running with 'running in oil' which is crappy stuff specifically designed to cut the piston rings and bed the cams in. The new engine is certainly powerful and torquey - i wheelspan in 6th gear! New temerature gauges were great, i really feel i can trust them. A 10 minute drive and temps didn't go above 75, but it is pretty cold and i was keeping rpm below 6000. Sun, 31 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=142 For Sale! http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=143 The megabusa is for sale, i'm accepting serious offers. In the region of £16,000 gets the car with the standard engine, or around £20,000 with the 1595cc. Wed, 10 Sep 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=143 New Engine on the Way http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=144 I'm not selling the car any more, i'm rebuilding it, and abandoning Hayabusa power. New car specs: * New westfield sports 2000 race chassis, with extra strength, 15% lighter * New duratec engine, 280bhp * Elite sequential gearbox It's going to be race only, so every part is being reviewed for weight! Hopefully it won't end up too lardy :P i guess i need to shut this site down and rename the car... but it's difficult to get similar image and branding for a dull old ford engine!! Tue, 16 Sep 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=144 The last post http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=145 This is the last post on this website before www.durabang.com takes over. Thanks to everyone for watching progress and keeping an eye! Google tells me that the visitors have been: 9,928 Visits 5,610 Absolute Unique Visitors 39,367 Pageviews Not bad, eh? Lets see how the new site does: <a href='http://www.durabang.com'>http://www.durabang.com</a> Fri, 03 Oct 2008 12:00:00 GMT http://www.megabusa.co.uk/blog.aspx?id=145