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Plan B, C & D

Welcome to my video on turning a rusty old shed in to a thoroughbred Italian race car. In the last video we saw the big build, fitting of all the major components and getting the car ready for the mappers. In this episode we execute plan B as the Lancia sadly wasn’t finished in time.

After extending hours well in to the small hours we had the car ready on Wednesday at the tuners. Sadly, all of this was in vane due to a “miss understanding” between the exhaust fabricators and the turbo people. A new manifold wasn’t going to be ready in time so we switched to plan B.

Plan B involved using a track ready Mitsubishi Evo 4, throw the stuff on it needed to race and see how I get on. Little did I know the long nights wouldn’t be ending anytime soon! On Wednesday the following bits were added:

  • Rain light
  • Kill switch
  • Transponder
  • Tow Loops
  • Seat rail taken out and fixed in place with a seat fitting
  • Spare seat removed

All done for about 9pm which was nice.

Thursday we went to Mallory to make sure the car was all good and get some laps under the belt. The car ran faultlessly all day getting in to the 52’s and I was confident I could do reasonably well over the weekend…. I drove to the circuit that night and set up ready for testing on Friday and all was well.

Friday Session 1 – after 5 laps the exhaust manifold gasket which is mated to the turbo manifold failed, resulting in no boost. Removed 3 studs, rounding off one of them, used some high temp silicone sealant and replaced it.

Friday Session 2 – Missed it due to fixing the gasket.

Friday Session 3 – Blew the gasket again but also blew out a bung on the manifold which caused flames to come out of the bonnet. Phoned up for some help, sourced some new studs, gasket and bungs and got a knight in shining armour to come from West Midlands to help out.

Friday Session 4 – Missed it due to no parts.

Friday Night – Chicken out of taking off the exhaust manifold but instead replaced gasket, replaced studs, rounded off a exhaust stud in to the head, found a long bolt and got it back on with about 3 threads left. Bed @ 12am.

Saturday Morning – Finished off jobs from last night and prepped for Qualifying. My helper also brought along a pit to car radio so we stuck that in as well.

Saturday Qualifying – Managed 2 laps with glorious boost before losing it all again. Clocked a slow 2:18 but carried on doing 3 laps so I qualified for the race. It then transpired I had exceeded track limits so they shunted me back to 32nd or something stupid from 12th. Checked and re-checked everything. Did all bolts up super tight but couldn’t find the source of any boost leak.

Saturday Race – Out of the assembly area I could tell there was still no boost so preceded to race as a low compression 2l NA car. Made up about 8 places on the first few laps, had a good fight with a Elise and a Fiesta before getting stuck in second gear. DNF with a gear linkage failure.

Saturday Night – Drilled and bolted the gear linkage (it was the bushes which had failed). Took off the whole front of the car including the radiator, intercooler, all exhaust and turbo manifold. Tracked down the boost leak to a rubber hose which had failed right where we couldn’t feel for it when the car was assembled. Cut about 2 inches off the hose where the leak was and then preceded to re-locate *everything* in order to get everything connected back together. 2 more studs were rounded and the thread which had the failed bung come out earlier was also knackered. Phoned another knight who arrived at 11pm with some more tools to file, grind and bodge to get it all ready. My second knight did all this after spending all day Saturday running 2 clios at Oulton Park with 750 Clio 182 having one in the barrier and one in the gravel! What a legend. Bed at 1:30am.

Sunday Morning – Woke up at 7, managed to get the studs and bolts to go in after more filing, drilling and grinding. Connected everything up, filled it with water, got it up to temperature and went for a test drive. Lots of boost, no leaks of air or fluids and everything was finally looking good.

Sunday Qualifying – Out of the assembly area still had loads of boost! Warmed up the tyres ready for a “banker” lap only to notice st loads of smoke coming out of the back. Went in to the pits where I was parked in the fire area. Once the marshals were happy I wasn’t about to die in an oil based inferno, my (now large) pit crew opened up the bonnet and diagnosed the dipstick had been blown out and pissed oil everywhere. We then went back to the pits, tipped 5L of brake cleaner over the engine without setting it alight and cable tied the dipstick down. Got back out, warmed up the tyres again and started a flying lap. Half way down the Bentley straight something in the drive train let go with a clonk and then a wine was present. I finished that lap (so I qualified, in 12th again as it happens) and when crossing the line noticed the oil pressure light was on. I then parked it up and sat out the rest of the session with the men and women of orange.

Saturday Lunch – After getting a tow back to the pits, the team diagnosed a knock in the bottom end and we withdrew the car. At that point we gave up, put the car on the trailer and did the ”drive of shame” leaving just after lunch.

The next episode the mapping of the car is finished and we finally get out on track for some shakedown and testing. Don’t forget to subscribe and give the video a thumbs up.

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