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Track Cars for Dummies

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Created by Owain on 27 Aug 2014 17:42

Owain on 21 May 2010 18:54

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Owain

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Owain on 21 May 2010 18:55
Right, I'd been banging on about getting a track car for quite some time now so thought it was time to just man the hell up and get on with it. I'd just traded in the two cars I had previously (Hyundai Coupe and 306 diesel) for an Astra diesel which left me with an irritating space in my garage.

Granted, I was planning on *starting* to look for cars. Then I got a PM from a man named Dangerous Dave. For those of you who haven't ever had the pleasure I can confirm he is indeed particularly dangerous. Anyway, had a chat with him about the car, got carried away and convinced a mate to drive me to his to take a look at it.

Next weekend possible? No, can't do then - I'm down as second driver on an MX5 at Woodbridge. So (bearing in mind this is Wednesday night 7pm) we decided to head up to Bedford and take a look at the car the following morning before Dave left for work at 8am.

Now, we live in Essex. Which for those of you not from round 'ere, is about 2 hours drive away. 4am start it is. Add into the mix overrunning roadworks on the M25 and stoopid frickin average speed cameras the entire way round the M25 and up the M1 and you've got a really very mundane and dull drive.

Anyway we've come this far, car seems fine so I agree to take it. That's the hard bit out the way:



If anyone recognises this car as being previously owned by yourself then you might well have some crimes to answer for, but we'll come to that later.

Get it to work, see what needs doing. Having been thoroughly violated by the iron bar protruding from the drivers seat it's pretty clear some new seats will be needed sooner or later, so might as well spank a couple of those on a credit card. Thankyou Demon Tweeks, who have also assured me the subframes they've provided will fit first time.

I have never known subframes fit first time.

So that's them on order. Finish work, back home, hide the car in the garage so the girlfriend can't see it.

Next day, let's see how easy it's going to be to strip. Don't really have time to do this now, so just do the easy bits and try not to get too carried away.

Boot carpets out no problem. Plastic trim bits: again not too bad. Luckily french cars are held together with about seven bolts so not really an issue. With the help of saw and a socket set, I'd gotten carried away and removed the rear seats.



The rear cards are easy enough, but there's a hidden screw behind the storage bit:



By this point I was pretty late for work, but a car with no rear seats has no need for rear seatbelts. Goodbye.



Carpets are for houses, not track cars; best remove the fronts whilst we're here. They were a bit more of a ballache, but still only common sense and a T40 star bit. The hardest bit was the bit that went behind the centre console as it was clearly put in before the dash, but with the help of my trusty carpet removal tool it wasn't hard to conquer:



If anyone ever tries to tell you that track cars are a waste of money and non-profitable, just show them the �1.51 I found under the passenger seat. Car sold as seen sir? That'll be mine then.

Right, seriously - who on here put in this secret switch to activate the flashing "I've got an alarm" LED on the dash?



FAIL. Try connecting it to a wire that's live when the ignition off as well as on.

Pikey polystyrene footrests are for primary schools, so that can go. Leather is for the bedroom, so laters:



And there you have it - piece of pie. One stripped car ready for Woodbridge tomorrow:



As I write this, Parcel Force have just dropped off my seats, so they're getting done later.

So next time anyone whinges they don't have the time or technical know-how to sort themselves a track car, dry your eyes and get the hell on with it. If a podgy computer programmer with no idea what he's doing can do it, then so can you Wink

Next job will probably be new uprated front discs and pads, then probably get some KW suspension on there as the current stuff is knackered. Then roll cage, harnesses and oil cooler. Probably not much more than that any time soon and might be a bit keen to try getting it caged up before tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a day of testing the car out to see what needs doing. Expect an "engine rebuild" post tomorrow.

O.

Owain

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Owain on 21 May 2010 23:23
Cheers for the interest people, seats were Cobra Monaco's from DT for �175, pretty much the cheapest they do.

Binkagti - The black panel I took off but it had a couple of electrical looking things attached to it so put it back on for now. Does anyone know what they are?

This afternoon we fitted the new seats which impressively went in straight away, all except for the missing four bolts - lucky we had spares. Roof lining is also now out.

I've put the door cards back in for now as I know some trackdays are funny about sharp edges so just being cautious for now.

Bring on the track, don't suppose anyone here happens to be at Woodbridge tomorrow?

O.

Owain

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Owain on 21 May 2010 23:25
pugheaven - that answers my question! Cheers.

Owain

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Owain on 22 May 2010 02:15
Ah, cheers Farmer - I found that but left it well alone. Now I know what it is I might give it a destroying.

I'll have a bash at re-seating those electrical bits shortly as well.

Owain

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Owain on 22 May 2010 22:50
Well, the car came back all in one piece and my word, what a car.

Definitely needs suspension sorting but brakes were fine and engine was just awesome.

Plus, we only got black flagged three times between four of us, which is pretty good going I thought.

Owain

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Owain on 23 May 2010 20:16
Dave - the "Sold as seen" is purely a one-way thing in my advantage, sorry. However if it dows blow up I will accept a straight exchange for the engine in yours as warranty Wink

If it wasn't so damned hot outside I might see about doing some more work to the car, I just plain can't be arsed.

Owain

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Owain on 23 May 2010 23:24
If it's not on track within 48 hours of selling it I'd ask for it back.

Owain

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Owain on 27 May 2010 04:34
Okay, the missus is out tonight so nothing better to do that pull some more bits of car off. That heavy soundproofing in the front footwells looks a prime candidate, let's have that off.

After a quick look it becomes clear this is a dashboard-out jobby. Bit of Googling, people tend to reckon a day or two for a dash-out, dash-in. But we're keener than that, so let's see what we can achieve this evening. It's important that you've indulged in a Burger King for lunch as you won't have time to stop for dinner if you want this done tonight.

Let's start with the easy bits - centre console. I've had this out before on a previous 306 so have a rough idea where the annoying screws are.



Next let's tackle the steering wheel and accompanying guff. Everything's held on with either torx screws or a 10 or 13mm nut, so nothing takes too long. Did find this button though, anyone know what it does (did) and whether it is (was) important?!



We won't worry about that for now. Best just try starting the car to make sure nothing's broken yet - it's all good. Continue.

This is essential to the operation of the airbag:



But over-keen steering wheel removal hinders it somewhat:



Clumsy. Can someone who has one still whole just confirm for me, with the ring flat with the attached wire pointing away from you and the terminals to the airbag towards you and at the top, which wire goes to which terminal? One terminal is marked green, but the wires are white and blue. I'm assuming the terminal on the left marked with the colour is the one with the coloured wire attached? I'll solder that back up once someone's let me know.

Unplug anything that'll unplug, try and remember where it went. The dash is then attached by a few cheeky nuts from the other side of the bulkhead, which means removing the windscreen wipers. Never done this before, but I bet they're held on with a 10mm or 13mm nut. Oh look, they are. Laters.

Take out all this plastic crap:



Then remove the entire wiper motor and arms and stuff:



Around this time you'll be starting to wonder what the hell you've done, and you'll know deep down that your car won't work ever again. Let me save you the worrytime and set your mind as rest - you're absolutely spot on. It'll probably be nadgered, stuff won't work any more. But it's nothing you won't be able to fix, man up and get on with it.

The top glovebox comes out with the obvious screws (which incidentally dematerialised between me removing them and coming to put them back later, be careful yours don't do the same). The bottom one has hinge pins which are removed with snipe-nosed pliers, the door with then come away.

Remember you haven't disconnected the battery yet, and that this might be a good idea.

It was around this time that I decided the heater matrix pipes were what was stopping the dash from coming out.

BAD MOVE IDIOT.

Imagine how annoying it'd be to snap off both the coolant pipes going to the matrix.



Bugger bugger bollox and bugger. Oh well no time for tears - for now we'll just lop the end off one of the pipes and double it back on itself; this shouldn't affect the engine cooling but I'll have no heater in the car. Heaters are for girls anyway. I'll see about getting the piping replaced tomorrow as it's all a bit tight and kinked as it is, so I'll look forward to the conversation with Peugeot tomorrow

"Hi there, I've completely screwed a coolant pipe and I'd like you to do the same to my credit card!"
"Certainly sir, that's a 50p component so that'll be �72"

Still, at least I haven't just dropped a screwdriver down the back of the exhaust manifold. The increasingly downtrodden optimist in me takes a peek to see if it fell through to the floor, but we know deep down that we heard no thud as it did. So now my car's p*ssing coolant everywhere and has a screwdriver inserted about its person. This is what I'd describe as "not an ideal situation". Out comes the jack and axel stand. Queue one magnetic pickup tool and we're golden. Back to the job in hand.

The dash will pull out far enough to get to most of the sound deadening anyway. There are a few cables holding it back but most of them will break if you pull hard enough anyway, so I wouldn't vex yourself too much disconnecting every last one.

You won't be able to get out all the deadening as much of it requires complete removal of metalwork and the heater matrix, but the vast majority will go, saving you a good few kilos. Once you've gotten out as much as you can, put everything back where you found it, constantly reassuring yourself that all the parts and screws you have left are from parts you've removed.



And there you more or less have it. Top up the coolant to replace the litre or so that's hanging out on your driveway and pray to whichever God you least disbelieve that the car starts and that everything's fine and turn that key.

Ignition on, and oh my word - a nasty, nasty noise coming from the back of the car. I know full well the only thing back there is the fuel pump, and that's not the kinda thing you want making noises like that. Noise stops. Noise comes back. Realise noise is the rear wiper on dry glass, which you've knocked on accidentally.

Change pants, continue.

Well bugger me if the car didn't start first time. Genuinely, I was not expecting that. Quick check reveals the blower doesn't work, which is no surprise. I remember disconnecting a wire thinking "hmm, mustn't forget this one" then not being able to find it later and giving up. We'll worry about that some other time.

Oh arse buggery, no indicators or hazards; that's annoying to say the least. I tell you what else is annoying, and that's not being able to find the fusebox cover that lists what the fuses are and having to pull out and check every single fuse just to find they're fine.

Start pulling out the centre console again to find the plugs for the hazard switch and rear heater and exactly the same, and that they're on the wrong way round. Flip reverse it, and we've got our flashers back.

Take car for a little spin up the A12 to make sure nothing overheats and everything works and we're all gravy. Hopefully getting a sunstrip put on tomorrow so I can get rid of the visors then replacing suspension and installing strut brace. Brakes sound like something an amateur should be fiddling with, so I'll get those ordered up too.

All in all, what a pain in the ass job that was. Still, four and a bit hours work for a few kilos off, I consider that a job well done. Only a minimal amount of blood spilled, only one part to replace and one to fix. Sorted.

O.

Owain

Forum Nob (2862)

Chelmsford

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Owain on 27 May 2010 04:56
I find the ice cold beer waiting for you at the end tastes so much sweeter when you know you've earned it.

Cheers for the interest Wink

O.

Owain

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Chelmsford

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Owain on 27 May 2010 21:07
Loving that, that's quite clearly being saved to My Pictures.

Luckily for you I moved your stereo safely out of the way before going nuclear on the rest of the car so yup, should be about on Monday.

O.

Owain

Forum Nob (2862)

Chelmsford

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Owain on 27 May 2010 21:34
A lot more noise from the back end, hearing every last stone hitting the underneath of your car is a little alarming at first but it actually ends up being reassuring - the car sounds so much like a bucket of nails anyway that you end up not worrying about every last noise it may start to make.

Plus the child in me keeps telling me it's RACING CAR NOW Wink

Owain

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Chelmsford

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Owain on 28 May 2010 13:05
Ah, glad to hear my bleeding and swearing are at the very least providing entertainment Wink

Hopefully I'll be able to get some work done to the car over the bank holiday, so I'll keep you posted...

O.

Owain

Forum Nob (2862)

Chelmsford

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Owain on 28 May 2010 13:31
Just for the purposes of posterity, the button on the steering column is apparently something to do with the ultrasonics, so I'd leave it in if you're planning on keeping the alarm.



In saying that, I'm not even sure this car *has* an alarm. Oh well. Nothing to nick out of it anyway except from a dirty pair of latex gloves.

Owain

Forum Nob (2862)

Chelmsford

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Owain on 28 May 2010 14:10
How very considerate of Peugeot to know they were installing a crap alarm and providing a button to stop it going off!

I might take inspiration from this and put a button on the outside which bypasses the locks in case you don't have your keys, and maybe a big red immobiliser bypass button on the dash.

Owain

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Chelmsford

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