Sunday, 31 December 2017


Today I finally got some half decent garage time & made up the pulley / lever. Seems to work quite well with 2mm aluminium plates bolted on either side of the pulley with a rod end one side of the lever & a "nipple clamp" made from an M8 bolt the other ("nipple clamp" because it clamps the cable & acts as a cable nipple at the same time).

I am a little concerned about the bearing strength of the 2mm aluminium, but it's all bolted together, so easy enough to re-make the plates in steel if it deforms - we'll see. I'll be doing LOTS of testing as soon as the weather warms up.

Next job is to make up the chassis mount to attach this bit to the car & make it all work.

Don't know if you can use this pic & the ones in the last post to see how this works, but the turnbuckle (the stainless cylinder) is pulled by the pedal (vertically down in this picture, that pulls on the lever attached to the pulley which rotates about the centre bolt. so the cable clamp is moved round the radius pulling the cable round the pulley as it goes. The other end of the cable is attached to the clutch lever in the conventional way. So the only metal to metal movement in the whole system will take place at bearings designed for the job. Should be good - fingers crossed

Friday, 22 December 2017


For the first time in many many years I'm not suffering from a deep, dark depression in the run up to Christmas - Hurrah!

The clutch pedal has been made & fitted to the car - that sofa is BURGUNDY by the way - the pedal has been trimmed a little more since that photo, with some more metal removed & it now resides in the car where it moves just the right amount. The pull rod in the picture fits through the hole in the bulkhead at the moment, but when the next part of the system goes in I may need to enlarge the hole & I have a rubber boot ready if that's the case. at the bottom end of the pedal you can see three holes so the weight & throw of the clutch can be adjusted.

The other parts are drawn up & look like this, (the final shape of the pedals is in this picture) there's a turn-buckle between the pedal & the lever for adjustment & the lever is made from an ex-aircraft control cable pulley so the bearings are of very high quality. The lever then clamps the cable & runs through to the clutch. The bracket will be bolted through the pedal box side wall & to the chassis.

 It's pretty difficult to show this even with the CAD model, but in this picture the body & engine are hidden & the chassis shown transparent so it's as good as it's going to get. I know how it's supposed to work anyway & that's the main thing. This picture also shows the mods to the brake master cylinder that's the next thing on the list.


Friday, 1 December 2017

Clutching At Straws

Some time ago I decided that something needed doing to the clutch actuation. It was way too heavy to push & operated over far too small a travel, making it awkward to drive slowly in traffic. Two of last winter's mods were swapping the Zetec clutch for a pinto one & ball-racing the pedal. These actions certainly helped, but didn't cure the problem.

One of the problems was the clutch cable. It leaves the pedal, passes through the footwell front bulkhead, then loops through 180deg to the clutch fork about two inches from the bulkhead exit point. So there's a lot of drag on the cable outer. I hatched a plan to do away with the cable outer altogether. In plan one, the cable (without the outer) would run from the pedal, directly forward to an aircraft control pulley, then back to the clutch fork. There were risks, the cable would be pulling the engine forward on it's mounts, would that matter? The cable may transmit vibration to the chassis or pedal. Engine movement might make slipping the clutch impossible.

I made up a prototype system & tested it on the car - none of these things happened, so the design has been refined to have a pull-rod on the pedal, pulling a rocker, which pulls a cable, which pulls the clutch fork - that's the plan anyway.

I've also started re-making the clutch pedal with a little more leverage (pronounced leeeverage). It'll use the ball-raced centre section of the old pedal to support two new side plates. Looks good so far.

Friday, 24 November 2017

It Works!

IT WORKS it works, it works, it works, it works, it works....

.....And I'm quite pleased about it.

Having finished all the linkage and the throttle stop that I kept forgetting about - and the airbox mountings & the stowage for the air-bleed hoses, I took the car off the drive & drove it up the cul-de-sac & back a couple of times & the non-linear action of the linkage works a treat, much much easier to drive slowly as the first 1/2 of the pedal travel only opens the butterflies 1/4, so when you need good control over the butterfly angle you have it, when you want a bootfull of throttle, they open much quicker, but the rate constantly varies from 2:1 at idle to 1:2 at wide open throttle, so there should be no nasty surprises mid-corner.

It has exposed a bit of a flat-spot just as the throttles are opening, but that's always been there & should be an ECU fix. I'll need to drive it properly to fully gauge it, but so far, so good. The pedal is as light as a maiden's sigh, so I may need some heavier springs on the pedal, or I may just get used to it.

I've now taken the clutch pedal off the car as that's my next project.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Angry Unpleasant Deranged Idiotic

This morning I had to drive from my work in Guildford to our "satellite" plant (those who know me will see what I did there) down the A3 in Bordon. To get on the A3, there is a slip road from a small roundabout & on this slip road, two lanes merge into one.

As I approached the merge, following the car in front of me by a couple of car's lengths, I checked around me & there were no cars to my right so I began to move across when my attention was drawn to my rear view mirror - which was full of a German type of car whose drivers enjoy a certain reputation (there's a clue in the title). Note dear reader that my REAR view mirror was full of the car - so I continued to amble across into the one remaining lane at which point the driver behind me blasted on the hooter & drove about 6" off the back of my car with the lights full on.

I thought to myself "really? this is a 136,000 mile, 15 year old, faded Zafira with a robust tow ball at the back, how much do you think I care? At the top of the slip I checked the traffic on the A3 & seeing there was none in the first lane I moved smartly into it in case my new friend was harbouring ideas If getting there first & boxing me onto the slip road. Shortly afterwards he accelerated into the second lane, slowed down alongside me & spent some time gesticulating at me out of the side window before accelerating off - about 20 yards where he came up behind the next car in lane 2.

Anyway, the Fury is running nice & smoothly & the whole throttle linkage is installed & working a treat. The next job is the clutch pedal & cable.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Fuelling Sorted

........ Well almost

Hoorah! after a bit of a disaster yesterday (idling WAY too fast, backfiring, lumpy) I took the whole injection system off the engine, all the throttle bodies off the mountings & adjusted one at a time & closed the air bleeds so that I couldn't blow through the main venturi (I know it's not actually a venturi because they're not carbs - but you know what I mean), so I knew each butterfly was SHUT - properly SHUT. Then carefully carefully re-fitted them onto the mounting rail & again checked they were all SHUT at the same time.

Only when they were all mounted & adjusted okay did I hook up the systems, open up the air bleeds & go for a start. IT WORKED -almost nicely. The four way manometer carb balancer was already on, so it was just a case of adjusting the air bleeds until they were all in sync & it was idling nicely.

There are still a couple of jobs to do, I need to adjust the pedal for travel & so it returns all the way to idle on it's own, make a cable support for the pedal end & some more fettling, then I think I'm done - it's been a lot of effort, but soon I'll be moving on the to clutch pedal.

Looks nice though.


Monday, 6 November 2017

Close, But No Cigar

A busy weekend, apart from a minor service on No2 daughters car, hanging the exhaust back on the Zafira, mending my wife’s boots, cooking, cleaning etc,  I made new levers for three of the four throttle bodies, eased the sticking No 3 butterfly, hooked the other two TBs up to their levers & adjusted them so they all move the same amount & close when they should be closed (not as easy as it sounds).
I fitted them to the engine, hooked up the cables & found that with full movement of the pedal, I could only get ½ movement on the larger pulley, this didn’t come as much of a surprise, I thought I might be able to adjust the throttle stops, but it wasn’t going to be enough. Then I realised that ½ movement on the pulley is only ¼ movement on the butterflies because of the non-linear motion of the linkage. I checked the Throttle Position Sensor was still correctly calibrated – I’d turned it through 180deg so the wire was pointing down rather than up, where it had been getting in the way of the fuel hose. Also added to the to do list was four new jubilee clips for the hoses that mount the throttle bodies, to replace the four that stripped.
But I could still go for the start yes? No, the battery was flat & the TBs popped out of the hoses when it did turn over.
So I got on with extending the throttle pedal back to the length it was when the car had a X-flow (sigh), it was my usual standard of welding - 15 seconds with the stick welder followed by 15 minutes with the angle grinder to take the lumps off. Which is why I don't weld structure.
That done I retired to the house to let the battery charge.