Starter motor was indeed the culprit, it was cooked at the end. It has been replaced with a reconditioned Bosch unit. The heat shield has also been improved with some fibreglass high temperature insulation tape to try and prolong the life of the replacement starter motor.
It’s also been up on the ramps and given a once over and all looks good. The misting of oil I’m getting seems to be from the gearbox breather under high stress. I guess the diff works hard, everything gets hot and expands and has to go somewhere. The gearbox oil fill plug was removed and it began to dribble out so there’s definitely loads in there.
Should pick it up tomorrow and then it’s just a case of making sure I have everything for Germany. Thoughts turn to weather forecasts and tyre selection…
Last trackday of 2022. Car hasn't moved since I shoved it in the garage after the starter motor repair, it's just been on trickle charge. Another good day run by @NickD at Donington, I effectively gatecrashed an MX5 only day. Weather was grim, so was just about having fun rather than learning anything new or testing new mods.
Always a good sign when you wake up to this on your tyre rack:
It snowed on the way down there, this was taken around Sheffield on the M1:
It was snowing on and off at Donington, I had the sense to book a garage in advance
This was when it was relatively clean, it got worse throughout the day. I'd brought MRF, Cup 2 and PS4 tyres thinking that I'd use the PS4 given the weather. I chatted to Paul Roddison (Nick's partner in crime at MoT and MX5 specialist/racer) who said actually that MRF's would probably be fine if I could get enough heat into them. Donington has recently been resurfaced and is actually a bit gripper than I expected. Challenge accepted. I stayed on MRF all day, having to put air into them at one point as they'd dropped to 25psi due to the temperature!
I didn't even bother touching the suspension, it was whatever it was at Croft, which I think was 20 clicks front, 18 clicks rear. Pushed into understeer first then oversteer if you were a bit daft. Felt safer this way instead over having oversteer everywhere.
It was just a day of blasting around overtaking all the MX5s. I don't think I was caught by anyone really, it was very grimy and greasy through the morning:
Without wanting to be disrespectful, it was just a day of overtaking MX5s. It felt like a multi-class endurance race on Gran Turismo, even the boosted ones didn't put up much of a challenge. So much so, that I made this little clip from one of my sessions:
154 likes, 5 comments - r20btg on December 12, 2022: "When you gatecrash an MX5 only day #renault #renaultsport #renaultsportclio #clio200cup #cl..."
Driving standards were ok 99% of the time, people moved right quickly. There was only one car that didn't seem to know how to use mirrors or listen in the briefing, but that happens all the time.
Looking at the data, lap times were 1.38 to 1.41 range in the morning. In the afternoon when a bit of a dry line appeared they were in the 1.31 to 1.33 range. Best of the day was a 1.30.5 - but it was mainly just about having a laugh.
I seem to have an exhaust leak that appeared when loading onto the trailer, I think I clobbered the middle silencer when driving onto the trailer so that needs looking at. Just needs a bloody good clean outside and underside before applying some ACF50 and tucking away for January/February.
Car did 175 miles on track, not far off 90 laps. Decent day out!
I’ve acquired all the bits of the Pure Motorsport exhaust system, I got the manifold, y-piece, resonated mid section and 200 rear section.
I went ahead and heat wrapped the manifold which is a bloody awful job, my hands and arms were itching for days. I’ve since swapped out the metal cable ties for jubilee clips which fit much better.
While I was under the car replacing the TDC sensor I had a good poke around with a torch and spotted a few things I wasn’t happy with.
First up was the AN10 oil cooler line that has been rubbing on the edge of the alternator housing. It’s only the external braiding for now and the pipe is still in tact but I’m replacing this length of hose as I can’t risk this letting go on track for obvious reasons.
I also saw that the auxiliary belt was looking dried and cracked and actually has a small hole in it where a stone looks to have punctured it:
Then there’s the failed flexi joint from where I clobbered the exhaust on the trailer:
The radiator fins were starting to crumble and look a bit second hand. It’s the original and hasn’t been changed so I’ve got a new Nissens radiator to go on.
In for a penny in for a pound I’ve also decided to replace all the original rubber cooling hoses with red silicone ones and new stainless clamps. Total overkill I’m sure, but it will give me some engine bay bling and peace of mind that the whole cooling system is new.
Today I dropped the car at my mechanic with the big box of bits.
The job list is:
- Drop subframe and remove eBay manifold and exhaust system (probably Toyosport) with blowing flexi.
- Weld in new flexi (this system will be up for sale soon)
- Fit PMS manifold and full exhaust system, with new OEM Renault exhaust manifold gasket.
- Cambelt, aux belt and tensioner replacement.
- Replace radiator and all cooling hoses, new coolant.
- Replaced frayed oil cooler line with new AN10 hose, re-route away from alternator housing.
- Re-tap Coil Pack #4 bolt thread as it is loose.
- Spanner check ready for track.
I’ve also been thinking that the metal heat shield that sits between the diffuser and the rear silencer is a bit overkill and has started to rattle, so that’s going in the bin, will be replaced by fibreglass heat shield on the back of the diffuser and diffuser bolts will be replaced with stainless.
I’m looking forward to it being in rude health again ready for the 2023 season.
No idea mate, she's been up and down on the ramps for the last 5 weeks. I made the mistake of saying 'I'm in no rush' as I hadn't any track days booked and now I just think she's getting little bits of attention between other jobs
But, truth be told. I'm not in a huge rush, got a family holiday at Easter then off to New York in May, so might not have many days out before Germany in June.