Sunday, 25 March 2012

Forgotten jubilee

Completely forgot an important milestone in the life of ‘t Kreng. Last year in early November, when on our way to do the final reconnaissance for the Nachtrit, the odometer passed 74030 kilometres for the second time in her life. Nothing special you’d say. But it meant that the car covered exactly 100.000 kilometres since her restoration was finished in 1997. And looking at a lot of those kilometres I have to admit that she’s behaved very well indeed over those past 15 years. OK there were some downs ...

With a jammed fuel pump in Milton Keynes (22-9-1998)

Losing a brake calliper in Lochearnhead (4-6-2006)

But luckily the ups were a vast majority ...

Abandoned Stelvio (3-7-2002)

Col de L'Iseran (9-9-2005)

Langstrothdale Chase (1-6-2007)

At the start for the Nacht van het Oosten (15-3-2008)

And while driving last weekend’s Nacht van het Oosten, I was again reminded of the fact how well she still drives. It’s almost a shame that I’ll have to dismantle her within the next year or so for a full rebuild. But that’s going to be the last stage in a 15 year long development of the car. So a good time to look back at a few of the better improvements over the years ...

Sparco bucket seats and a decent trip meter, making life much easier during various events.

Adding rear discs greatly improved the balance and feel under heavy braking.

And big front discs and callipers added lots of stopping power, without ruining the brake balance.

These are actually the third set up that has been used on the car. The other being Princess callipers with solid discs (prone to warping) and Ford based callipers with vented discs that are now used on the DHC.
Other improvements were fitting very sticky Yokohama tyres, which together with an uprated front anti roll bar and an alloy front strut brace greatly improved the cars handling. But the best upgrade so far is the set of front and rear coil-overs I ordered from a local suspension specialist a few years ago.

The only item that hardly has been touched all those kilometres is the engine, which is still going strong. See what the next 100.000 kilometres will bring for her! At least the preparations for a new engine are now under way, as two Sprint heads are away for testing. The best of these two will be ported and flowed to form a good base for a powerful and tractable engine.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Repainting the DHC, a continuing story

Some progress on the new paint job for the DHC. Tonight all the areas where the paint was damaged one way or another got a new coat of primer. But before the primer was put on, a lot of masking tape and plastic sheets were needed . . .

After that a lot of sanding down will be needed, before the top coats can be applied. But hopefully she’ll be ready for the new coating in a week or two.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Adding lightness to ‘t Kreng

With the DHC away to get it’s paint sorted at last, I have been able to pick up the thread, for ‘t Kreng, were I left it more than a year ago. As you have probably understood by now ‘t Kreng will be turned into a rally replica. Well sort of! The main jobs that need to be done for that are;
  • Adding lightness wherever possible;
  • Change rear wheel geometry to get the roll centre down;
  • Stiffen the body with a welded in roll cage and ditch the sunroof;
  • Try to make the engine a little bit more powerful (max. 200 BHP), tractable and civilized by using a modern injection and ignition system;
  • Some more tricks with the engine in order to keep it from self-destructing within 5 miles;
  • And a new paint scheme of course.
Over the past year or so I have started collecting some stuff to add lightness, like plastic side and rear windows ...

A larger capacity baffled alloy fuel tank, ready for injection ...

And to add some more bling, a nice shining alloy fuel filler cap that fits neatly in the original fuel filler recess of a later TR7 ...

At the moment I am working on the setup for the rear suspension. Plan is to ditch the current 4 link setup for a parallel four link setup with a Watts linkage. For the parallel links I will be using slightly adapted rear upper links ...

Also still toying with the location of the rear ARB bar. Will remove the current one soon to see how she behaves without and work from there. Probably a standard motorsport item which will be fitted to the rear bulk head and tied to the rear axle with drop links. Clearance between exhaust and upper links might prove an issue here.
But the biggest challenge will be the location of the watts linkage. I am looking at two possibilities;
  • Central pivot point on the rear of the axle (using an alloy Rover SD1 cover);
  • Or the central pivot point on the car’s body.
Probably enough to keep me of the road for the next year or so. But first I’ll turn my attention to ‘t Kreng as she stands now and prepare her for next week’s start of the driving season, “De Nacht van het Oosten”. After that it’s about time to finish the gearbox for the DHC . . .