I did my first track outing with the VX220 the other week. It was at Donnington and it was the first time I’d driven my own car on a track. The car handled very well and I was soon gaining confidence in the grip. After about 15 minutes on track though the brakes started to get very hot and the ABS kept jumping in. This knocked my confidence when braking for the chicane after Dunlop and I did have one very exciting moment here when I remember looking at the fence to the rear of the pit area wondering if that was where I’d end up.
Having got back to the pit garage after my 2nd session I noticed the front tyres were melting too, especially the near side front.
To address the brakes I’m going to try a set of Mintex 1144 pads on the front. There are a lot people raving about these on various forums so I’ve put a set in today. The disks look like they could do with changing soon too but I am kind of thinking that I need more power and a turbo VX may be the cheapest option all round. As for the tyre, there seem to be no options other than Bridgestones or change the wheels. So Bridgestones it is; should get some of these sorted next week and then I need to book another track day.
Incidentally I put some EBC Red Stuff pads on the front of the Skooby today and despite thinking that they may be a little too race for the road I was pleasantly surprised with the feel and bite they have when I tried the car out earlier in the wet. They haven’t even had chance to bed in yet and they feel far better than the last set of pads I put in.
What an absolutely fantastic evening for a drive in the VX. I left the house at about 8:00 with only Pink Floyd “Echoes” for company. Drove through Warwick, out to Banbury and back in a loop via Stratford to Warwick just as the sun was setting. Simple undemanding A roads with long sweeping bends and Dave Gilmour turning a beautiful evening into a surreal trip.
I bought two engine mounts for the VX, one for the passenger side and one for the driver’s side. I replaced the passenger side one a few weeks back and it was relatively painless and really needed doing.I’d put off the other side because it was slightly more involved. But last night I thought I’d have a go and an hour into the job I wished I hadn’t.Every thing started OK, I got the car up in the air and the wheel and arch shield off and out of the way. I could see the mount and the top nut came off no problems. So I dug the engine lift out and strapped it to the engine to take the weight and free up the mount.This is where the nightmare starts!The nut on the bottom of the mount had been put on by a seriously strong Oompa-Loompa and the nut was rounded off. This nut is located some 30cm up inside a chassis upright and to access it you have to thread a long extension bar through various holes to get it on the nut. So basically there is no way you are getting at the nut to try and undo it if your socket approach fails.So I took a step back and came to the conclusion that this engine mount is only coming out with a little persuasion with a hack saw.I set about sawing through the base of the mount as close to the chassis as I dare. It must have been 25 deg C + in the garage and the 1KW flood light next to me was ****ing hot! After a good 10 min of sawing I’d got almost half way through and had lost a pint of sweat. So I took a break and tried releasing the 3 bolts that hold the mounting bracket to the engine.These bolts had been put on by the other Ooopa-Loompa’s body building partner with a very long tool! I had to put a ring spanner on these nuts and give them several sharp thwacks with a mallet to get them to budge.Eventually I got the bracket out and continued to saw through the mount and finally the mount came free. To my great surprise I’d not marked the chassis at all. The remains of the bolt fell out, and is still somewhere in the chassis, I gave up looking for.Putting it all back was nice an simple after I’d found a replacement nut, all together it took a couple of hours. An hour of that was sawing, swearing, hitting spanners and knuckles. After all this the mount wasn’t even bust.
I did some damage to my Knob with a pair of plumbers grips in the garage the other night!
I was trying to get it off but the rag I had wrapped around the end to protect it slipped and did some damage. To cut a long story short, I bought a new knob from eBay and spend an hour modifying it to fit and now it looks well bling.
By popular request, Sponge Bob is back.
Also treated the soft top to a coat of RENOVO. Bit like getting it’s roots dun.
Lets have no comments about hair dressers cars please.
Quick blast this morning confirmed that the mount was causing the rattle and it’s now gone.
New number plates turned up in the post too. I only ordered these the afternoon before and they arrived next day. Got the plates from http://www.no1showplates.co.uk and they came to just under £20 with a fixing kit. They are now on the car.
Though I would have a go at one of the engine mounts last night. I didn’t really expect to get it done in a night but at least if I made a start now it would be less to do at the weekend and more time driving the car hopefully.
One hour later it was done! I was gob smacked.
Simply jacked the car up, put a stand under the rear suspension arm. Then removed the wheel and the rear arch shield. Undid the two bolts top and bottom of the mount. Undid the 3 bolts holding the mount bracket to the gearbox and out it came.
New one back in, reverse of above and job done.
The near side mount is well knackered and needed changing. I haven’t tested the car yet to see if the rattle has gone but either way I’m glad that mount is replaced.
The new mounts turned up next day from Autovaux, really good service and a good product, so they are highly recommended.