Sunday, 19 March 2017

Rear shock tweaks & disc vanity

Tweaked the rear coil overs. Half a turn up on the adjuster rings to stiffen / raise the rear end a touch. 

While I had the wheels off a little black paint on the rusty parts of the discs. In the end no need for masking up - the machining on the disc provides contours to paint up to.

Taking care to cleanup the mating surface before re-fitting the wheels. No - that top left bit which looks like it will run, did not!

This part on the rears is visible through the wheels, more so on than on the fronts and used to niggle every time I saw it rusty.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Ireland - Countdown

Getting close now, shake down run around Kent yesterday evening revealed one problem.

The fuel gauge is showing permanently full - so I need to do a little troubleshooting. Made slightly harder since I had to fill the tank - so it actually is full now. I generally fill based on milage anyway - ~120 miles casually look for a garage ~150 miles on vapour - so not a showstopper.

Update - found the problem, the gauge connector/plug needed a wriggle, sender is good, loom is good, backlighting was good. Turns out Smiths gauges show full if they get no signal.
If it does it again I'll replace the connector.

All set!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

16v Zetec badge 3d printing

Not sure this is finalised yet.. more a work in progress.

I like the cam cover logo & have never found a Zetec badge in the same style,

Worked out how to convert the photo into a 3d model for a proof of concept: raise contrast, magic select multiple times, cage transform to straighten, blur filter to remove jaggies then sharpen filter to clean up. Into 123D Design to add joiners for the Z to the etec and then Repetier host to print.

A thinner 3mm version,

A little sanding, matt paint and lacquer produces a reasonable finish.

...and then a flatter 1.2mm version which is on the car for now.

The badge position, shape and size are fine, I'm going to live with it a little and think about it...

Saturday, 11 March 2017

5v USB Power x4

USB Power requirements

I usually have my camera and Satnav running when driving.
If I also run the bluetooth headset, or need to top up my phone I run short on USB power outlets.

Generally need 2x permanent and 1x temporary.

12v to 5v USB adaptors

Until this point I have a twin USB adaptor that plugs into the normal lighter socket.

Replaced the lighter socket, plug in, USB adaptor with a custom unit (left), unfortunately it supplied too high a voltage ~5.2v and on power down caused my SatNav to hard reboot. The unit on the right was obtained from Ebay with the original build - supplies more stable voltage but takes a little more work to install.

Power calc

4x 5v @ ~1A, worst case, should draw 20 watts.
20 watts from the 12v feed is around 0.6 amps.
To be fed from the same fused circuit as the lighter socket.


I wanted flexibility on location, or removal if it causes issues, hence the need for connector and flying lead. The enclosure is a modified off the shelf project box.

For the connector I decided on a GX12 aviation style plug/socket. Very nice connector which is cheap, keyed, has a locking ring, cable clamp, supports a couple of amps and can be obtained with anywhere from 2 to 8 pins.

Wired the GX12 socket into a new bracket on the aux panel for the same 12v feed that goes to the lighter socket, but in an extendible way.

Now the tricky part - space is limited under the dash - I'll probably mount the box as pictured, potentially on velcro so I can add/remove it depending on the trip requirements, needs a little drive testing to find the optimal spot.

Thats the last mod before Ireland, just a little fluids checks and shake down runs and touch wood I'm all-set.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Windscreen de-mister vents - finished


32mm flexible hose and some fittings, normally used on fishtanks/ponds, arrived in the post. A little on the heavy side perhaps but its only a short run.  The fittings were adjusted and tails shortened - I only need moderate air tight, not hermetically sealed water tight.

Heater Box

Stitch drilled then hand filed a new hole in the front of the heater box to take a grommet and, after this picture, right angled fitting.

Not obvious from the shot - I restricted flow to the existing 4x outlets with some drilled out end caps - the idea being to balance the outputs and not exceed the available push from the heater fan. ~20% smaller on the bottom and ~50% on the top outlets.

Vent plumbing

The vent plenums attached in a T formation with flex hose all firm push fit...

 ..and installed under the dash, not that much room in here - the back of the clocks share this space.

The visible part finished with button head bolts, and a brief test shows some air comes through - the fan pushing and the low pressure area behind the screen should help pull warm air onto the inside. Will have to wait for a damp day or early morning to test it properly.

Happy with that.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Windscreen de-mister vents

Wetter drives recently, and with the windscreen just out of arms reach I'm decided to fit some de-mister vents in an attempt to move warm air over the inside of the screen.

Same 10mm holes, and tools, used on the bonnet vents
The choice was a plastic moulding - which looked too mass produced, a slot or a row of holes. The latter decided on since I know I can make it look tidy and it leaves plenty of scuttle behind to hold its strength.

The tape applied and marked up before moving the windscreen, these holes will sit tight against it's lower edge. Procedure is: pilot 3.2mm hole, widen to 6mm, punch to 10mm.

The crosshead bolts are just placeholders - they will be button head when I am finished.

The plenums had a number of options: I had purchased some along with the heater are too large, smaller 3d printed versions which were promising, but in the end  decided to try something even simpler.

32mm PVC pipe cut diagonally lets me adjust the intake width to as wide as I like and avoids any need to join or make complex shapes, the flex hose should attach to the inboard end which will sit slightly proud of the surface. The air pressure will not be constant over the length - but this is a de-mister, not an engine intake.

Sits under the scuttle mounted with two bolts. The PVC piping bends and gives to the structure so no need for precise fitting of the curved shape. Biggest concern is ensuring any water ingress will avoid any electrics inside, so may add some foam packing around the opening and/or make sure the water drip route is harmlessly down the footwell sides.

It would have been easier to fit when the scuttle was off the car - potentially glueing a single half-sliced pipe across the whole width. The plan now is to use some flex hosing to plumb into the existing heater box.

Just waiting on some parts from ebay...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Wild Atlantic Way

I took a little liberty with the Wild Atlantic Way logo to create a trip sticker

A few things on the to-do list including: re-assemble my camera, currently dismantled, to be modded with an external microphone and re-work the new USB power outlet which seems to disagree with my Satnav.

Every time I turn the ignition off the Satnav does a hard reboot rather than sleeping. I suspect some nasty voltage is being passed down the USB lines...

Monday, 13 February 2017

The Route

The route now identified - subject to change and play by ear when on the road - but broadly as follows. Going to try a blast from the past and camping - but again - depending on how the weather treats me may succumb to some B&B along the way.

This page contains embedded google maps so may load slowly.

To/From Ireland

~411 miles Out: via a stop in South Wales then the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry,
~680 miles Back: via in-laws in Portadown, Dublin to Holyhead and then through North Wales.

The Coast Road

~888 mile four day run.
Taking in the south and west of the Wild Atlantic Way, pausing for a family holiday near Westport for a week before heading home.

Waypoints mostly along the coast, a few meanders to see some interesting inshore scenery and to include Cahir Castle where some scenes from John Boorman's Excalibur were filmed, a long time favourite movie, so going to try and see that.

If I manage that it averages around 250 miles per day, if I dont, then I have flexibility with the camping gear and can always cut some corners.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Ireland - Wild Atlantic Way - planning

The west coast of Ireland is marketing itself as The Wild Atlantic Way, it is unlikely to be hot, or even dry, but - given some half decent weather is a fantastic part of the world. The plan I'm playing with is to borrow some of the coastal routes, add in a few mountain passes and coordinate a road trip with a family holiday near in-laws in Northern Ireland.

Probably south to north route - taking in the Southern Peninsulas, Cliff Coast, Bay Coast - but then depending on progress cut straight to a week of normal tourism before heading home.

Usual 3-4 days at ~250 miles per day, late March/early April.

Route map purchased and some key waypoints already picked out...

First order of business after deciding the general destination is a trip badge. Borrowed logo adjusted and mocked up as a transparent sticker.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

ECU - AFR Targets and Cold Start

Finally the weather warming up to around 8ºC.
~10ºC is my rule of thumb for when driving the Zero becomes fun rather than asking for frozen hands/ears, in the garage I no longer get instant frozen fingers from picking up any metal tools.

A little tinkering with ECU settings.

An employee of Emerald who is active on the GBS Zero Facebook pages has been incredibly helpful with advice and some new settings to try. I also ran another round of cold-start adjustment. 

The current settings are listed in full on the ECU page, broadly the following has changed:
  • Some Emerald expert magic in the ignition and injection tables
  • Semi sequential injection enabled - so fuelling timed closer to when inlets are actually open
  • 850rpm idle column added in all tables - to help stabilise idle
  • AFR Target table adjusted for leaner run in the idle/cruising area
  • Lambda settings modified
  • Cold start settings modified (again)

My primary map has the new flat/economy AFR targets on less than 30% throttle, secondary map remains on the power-map targets,  both still in adaptive for now to let it learn appropriate fuelling.

Target this year is to take the car through MOT early March, so I sync the annual test around summer driving months rather than having to cross that bridge mid season each year.

Starting to think about road trips... couple of ideas on the cards.