In April 2017 I noticed some oil on the garage floor and it turned out to be the orange valve in the top of the breather plate which is bolted to the side of teh duratec engine just beneath the air intake.
Last week I saw another drop of oil and a quick check showed the leak appeared to be coming from the same place. However closer inspection showed the problem was that the right angle pipe had come away from the orange valve on the breather plate. As I re-attached the pipe to the orange valve I realised the pipe is 15mm too short and is essentially being pulled away from the orange valve. Given that the pipe carries oil vapour and a bit of oil to the air intake then it gets well lubricated and before you know (well in about a year) the pipe has come away from the orange valve.
I cut a new pipe today and the extra length means the pipe is essentially pushing itself onto the orange valve. Time will tell if this works.
This is the old pipe. The new one is just 15mm longer.
With the arrogance and bollocks that is the L7C decision to insist on half an FIA roll bar without actually caring about it's quality, age, installation or whether your head sits above it !!! I have been left trying to find a trackday supplier as L7C trackdays are not an option. With that in mind I started looking around and the most surprising thing was how much cheaper non L7C trackdays are, also there is a fantastic choice of tracks and days.
I decided on a midweek trip to Oulton Park in early March and it was first class. The organisation was spot on, not too many on track (16 tops at any one time), there were 7 No. 20m sessions for each group of cars and it was plenty of time in the car. £129 well spent. I will be doing some more with MSVT.
I ordered a new set of 14" Minilites but didn't like the push through centre caps that came with them. They push through by just over 40mm and didn't look right. So having wanted to try some 3D printing for a while I have built a crude (24 segment) centre cap in sketch up and sent it for printing as a trial. If it seems like it may be the answers I'll smooth it up in Blender and get it printed to a higher resolution.
So the 3D printed prototype arrived, see the pictures below. My first thoughts :
1. The printing is very accurate as the facets of the 3D model has shown up clearly. This will mean a new model using 100 or maybe more segments for the circles and curves.
2. The surface finish is quite smooth and so maybe a switch to the 100 micron material will give a smoother finish. This prototype was a 200 micron material.
3. The legs have been hollowed out. That is something the software does which is clever with regards saving material, but not so clever with regards removing the strength where it is needed. One leg broke just putting the unit in the wheel once.
4. The dimensions are spot on with the exception of 0.5mm needs to come off where the leg clip sits against the wheel. How repeatable this technology is I am about to find out.
5. The inside of the seven is very rough. I guess the software needs to add another face to where the seven has been removed. On the other hand my plans are to fill this void with an enamel which will hide the lines of the print.
By luck more than planning we found ourselves with a day free of any other activities and commitments and that happened to coincide with the Caterham race series attending Oulton Park.
The day started at 8.30am with the first qualifying sessions although we only got there at 9.10am. The day finished at 6.30pm ish and had passed in a flash. As always with Caterhams there were clusters of very close racing in every group. Sir Chris Hoy was there and did very well in his second race getting from 13th or 14th up to 6th.
I didn't make it to the 60th celebration of the 7 at Donington but decided to go to the Book a Track day at Donington the following Tuesday instead. I hadn't done a track day before in my own car and so I used blatchat for a list of things to take and relied on good luck for the rest.
Prior to the day I had ordered new R888R's and some new minilites, alas the minilites didn't turn up in time and so I swapped my Uniroyal Rainsport tyres for the R888R's. That would turn out to be a bad move with the track being so wet on the day.
I loaded the car up with oils, spanners, tyre pressure guage and other bits and set off the night before with the Donington Park Farmhouse hotel booked. I can't recommend that place enough.
On the day the weather was as promised very wet. I watched the die hards go out first and after 40 minutes a dry line appeared and so I tip toed out onto track. I found myself letting a lot of people passed for a few laps until I found out about the car and track and then started to push for 12 laps. On the 12th lap I had 3 near spins and so I decided to head in as I was clearly getting too confident.
I had a 30 minute break and then managed to get another 10 laps in and then just before lunch I managed to get 8 more in. Sadly that was that for the day. Although some ventured out in the afternoon I decided with the R888R's on the car and the need to drive it home, I opted to leave the track at 3pm and head home.
Book a Track organised the day on behalf of the Lotus 7 club and I hope they do that more often. BaT don't require the FIA roll bar which the L7C do. As I have no desire to have an FIA roll bar I cannot attend L7C days which does make me wonder if there is any point in being a member of L7C. BaT were excellent and the set up is fantastic. I will definitely do another day and hope for better weather.