My Rallying Adventures #5
Time for an update on all things relating to my rally car projects.
I haven't been posting to Maximum Attack too much lately, mainly because I've been busy. But, in order to kick things back into life, I thought I would give you all a bit of an update on my pair of Ford Escort rally cars, which have been progressing rather nicely of late.
The yellow Escort is finally nearing completion, with a pretty major milestone achieved this last weekend - it starts! Following the installation of the wiring harness (expertly made by MDA Motorsport in Cheshire), the car would crank, but not fire. I couldn't understand why, as it appeared to have a spark and was getting fuel. I was getting grumpy by this point, so Mat from MDA popped down to cast his eye over it.
We replaced the starter motor that had taken exception to my endless attempts to start the car and then Mat set to work, checking over everything to ensure it was all right. After much head scratching, he eventually worked out that the two feed wires going into the coil pack were the wrong way round. An easy mistake to make when making a loom from scratch and, when they were swapped round, the car fired instantly. In fact, I will now prove it, with this rather poorly filmed video...
Rather good news I think you'll agree and a big step towards the car getting used. Sadly, while we got the car running, Mat noticed a drop of fluid lingering on the bottom of the bell housing. It was coming from between the engine and 'box and, when wiped away, was soon replaced by a fresh drop. It's clutch fluid by the looks of it, which could mean a faulty slave cylinder. Pretty irritating given that I fitted a brand new one when I put the gearbox in. Further investigation is required but I suspect a rather uncomfortable session spent removing the gearbox is coming my way...
I'm not going to let that get me down for now though. The car starts and, with the clutch fixed, brakes bled, mud flaps, seats and harnesses fitted, it will be ready for an MOT and some road testing. Exciting times indeed. Here are a few pictures by means of a celebration:
Paint, Paint and More Paint
Away from ol' yellow, there has been some work going on with the Escort Kit Car. Thankfully, Mat from MDA Motorsport is taking care of this one in it's entirity. If I was doing it, it would have taken much longer and wouldn't look nearly as good. I won't bore you with too many words here but just let you enjoy the pictures instead.
Body work has been the order of the day, with Mat applying paint to both the inside of the car and the engine bay. I won't waffle too much about this but it's gone from red to Ford Diamond White, which is the colour they were painted for Gordon Spooner Engineering in the '90s. Compared to the pure white that is currently in fashion, Diamond White is a bit on the cream side, as illustrated by some of the pictures below, but I can assure you that it does actually look more white in real life.
It's not just the inside that's seen paint though. Mat has also run the spray gun over the outside, so that is now also resplendent in matching cream, sorry, white. The only exception to this whitewash approach is the insides of the A-pillars, which have been given a dose of satin black. This is another period detail in order to prevent glare but I also think it looks rather smart too.
With much of the paint done, he has even started to bolt a few bits on. Just minor details for now but it does start to bring the car to life a little bit...
The body work jobs are ongoing, with Mat having fitted the bonnet vent (after spending time studying pictures of original cars to make sure it was right) and starting work on the front wings, or fenders if you're from that side of the pond. Unfortunately he has come across a bit of a problem here. These cars used modified Escort RS Cosworth front wings, which were cut and widened to suit the Kit Cars wide track. However, thanks to my cars "active" past, these have obviously been damaged. For some reason this means I've ended up with one widened wing and one standard-width Escort Cosworth wing. This simply won't do, so Mat and I are currently discussing what to do. Do we modify the Cossie wing to match the Kit Car wing or do we modify both wings so they are wider still, as per the '97 tarmac spec Kit Cars, as seen in the picture below:
Escort Kit Car was modified a bit further in mid-1997 to give an even wider track (courtesy of Baz Cannon/Rally World).
More to follow in the next installment, where we'll hopefully be talking about suspension. A big thanks to Mat from MDA Motorsport, both for his work on the Kit Car and also for driving for over four hours to get the yellow beast running. Top lad.