Bad News first. Almost three months ago I approached 'Hi-Spec Motorsport' in Dartford to supply the rear brake set-up to match the front brakes that we bought from them a decade ago. They said 'No problem', so I paid them two thousand pounds, up-front and delivered my assembled rear uprights to their facility. Long story, short - despite several promises of progress they failed to deliver and couldn't tell me when they'd be able to deliver. I asked for a refund and took another trip to Dartford to collect my uprights - which were still in the same box I left them in.
Appalling customer service, which I would have discovered earlier had I checked their online reviews. I'm still living and learning !!
Anyone want a set of Hi-Spec front brakes for Ford 5-stud fitment? No? Didn't think so.
The good news - Matt organised a full set of Wilwood brakes including electronic spot handbrake calipers from our friends at Rally Design and they arrived today. I haven't had chance to unpack it all yet but so far, it's all looking good.
The fronts, on the left are pretty-much good to go, straight out of the box. Just a little hole adjustment required.
But the rear bells and mounting plates have been supplied as basic components and need quite a bit of careful measuring and machining to mount the discs, the main calipers and the handbrake spot caliper. The bells will then have to be black anodised to match the front ones.
There are a few jobs to tidy-up before I dive into the brakes. I spent another day on the inlet plenum - rubbing down the cast finish with a combination of flap wheels, Scotchbrite discs and a few sheets of Wet and Dry, working down through the grit range with aching arms and worn-out finger prints. This time I concentrated on the hard-to -reach corners missed by the larger sanders I used earlier. One of my few remaining air tools - this die-grinder came in very handy, fitted with a felt-bob on a tapered spindle. A smaller felt bob in my Dremel managed to reach even tighter corners and radii.
There's a lot of residual polish, abrasive and aluminium dust on every surface of the casting so it's worth a litre of gun-wash thinners in a tray to give it all a through wash - and another clean litre to wash it all again followed by a blast with an air line. I'll run a tap down all of the threads to clean them out.
There were a couple of crappy, corroded, push-in, steel hosetail unions on the plenum. This one connects plenum vacuum to the fuel pressure regulator. The original casting holes that these unions were pressed into can be tapped 1/8" NPT but our stock hosetails aren't as long as the steel ones so I drilled a brass, 1/8" NPT plug, cut a 10mm hosetail from a 'T' piece, turned an extension spacer and silver soldered them together to match the length of the steel one.
It'll take me a while to get my head around the wiring. Most of it will be replaced with the new loom kit mentioned in the last post but I need to identify the existing cable routing and components so I spent a couple of hours unwrapping the ageing tape and removing the split sleeving.
The left hand picture shows the throttle cable mount and butterfly quadrant before the inlet plenum was modified. The layout is designed for a front-engined, left-hand-drive car - the throttle cable goes over the top of the engine to the pedal on the other side.
The right hand picture shows the same two components, now impossibly close together after the throttle body repositioning. The cable has to be repositioned to pull in exactly the opposite direction - now in a rear-engined, right-hand-drive car.
In the pictures above you can see the black bracket that mounts the outer throttle cable and return spring. It sits on a raised, threaded boss which is part of the inlet plenum. It's now in the way so has to be removed - mostly by milling, then powerfile then dressed and polished by hand to match the rest of the casting.
This is the route the throttle cable must now take. Down across the rocker cover, across the chassis frame, turn right along the sill to the pedal box at the front.
The newly repositioned throttle body now directs the rubber inlet tube tangentially across the rocker cover then forward to the Mass Airflow Sensor Tube. The current plan is to modify our Stainless Mesh Air Filter to fit on the front of the MAFS tube, positioning it directly behind the drivers door air duct.
Here are the mods I made to the cad-plated, butterfly actuator plate on the throttle body. The plate is staked onto the butterfly shaft and I felt it was important not to disturb the butterflys or the 'open' and 'closed' stops on the plate.
The left picture is the standard assembly and the right picture is after modification. The white arrow shows the direction of pull of the throttle cable and the black arrows show the the 'pull' direction of the return spring.
I removed and repositioned the black cable guide quadrant, rotating it 180 degrees arround the shaft and drilled and remounted it on the plate with two M3 bolts.
I cut off the angled, spring return section of the plate, made a replacement from 2mm stainless and bolted it on the plate 180 degrees from it's original position.