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Author Topic: Bagheera Roll Cage wanted  (Read 67435 times)
andyowl
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« Reply #45 on: May 26, 2009, 08:57:31 am »

Prescott on Sunday was great fun! My son Philip (Bagheera S owner for over 10 years) also entered driving Baggy Joe with my wife "Charlie" in full support. A real family affair with the UK Matra club having a stand in the "French Quarter" and great support from them too.

The scrutineer was quite thorough but he only required us to tighten the battery securing strap and we were ready to go!

How did we do? On the first practice run up the hill we both "visited the gravel traps", mine being very close to the barrier, but we had similar times (slow!).

When we came to get Joe ready for the second practice run he wouldn't start. I think some of the many  visitors who had been sitting in Joe may have unconciously pumped the accellerator pedal as he seemed to be flooded. (This is not a criticisim of the visitors as I think we might all do this instinctively) We tried a rolling start down the hill and Joe was trying to fire but he just would not continue to run. We had not had time to find the fault with the non-charging alternator and so we had brought a spare battery. We tried that but in my haste I did not notice that we had not connected the second (ignition) wire to the positive termial so he would not start then either! We pushed him downhill, across the public road into the camping field where our motorhome was parked with his 6.7litre, V8 diesel charging system. It was lunchtime anyway and we ate while the batteries charged. After lunch he started first push and we drove back to the paddock in time for the first competitive runs.

Two more runs each but with slower times (my memory of the gravel trap and the Armco barrier was still very fresh!) saw the end of the day, and time to pack up. We have since found out that our accellerator cable had lost its adjustment and the throttles were only opening to 50% or less. It certainly did not feel as powerful as the initial practice run. My excuse anyway!

The weather had been beautiful and the help and support from competitors, family and the Matristi  was wonderful. I must particularly mention friend and Alpine Renault enthusiast Tony Gomis whose assistance, advice and encouragement has been pivotal in getting us to Prescott and beyond. Given Joe's unfinished state and our amateur performance I was surprised how many people said that it was great to have Matra represented in the La Vie En Bleu competition. Not just one Matra but two with Graham Prime's beautiful 2.2 Murena showing us how it should be done.

What now??? The "immediate" list is quite long and includes making Joe a reliable everyday car with a working alternator and reliable starting. Painting must be high on the list too for although I painted the headlamp covers in MINI Liquid Yellow the light grey primer needs a lot of rubbing down before we can paint the whole car.

Would we do it again?? You bet! Etretat (Le Havre) in August is likely although I am required to fit an FIA approved driver's seat. Perhaps one or two UK events per month in the season while we sort out the reliability and paint issues and with the plan for 2010 including a 1.6 Murena engine with some extra power. I was speaking to an owner of a beautiful open CG with the 1.6 Simca engine who also has one with a supercharger... So it can be done! The newly joined UK Simca club are also being very supportive with experienced competitors and tuners in their membership and I plan to pick their brains too.

Andy Owler

PS I find the fact that this thread has been visited nearly 2,000 times is quite amazing! Thank you all for your interest. It is very motivating to think that you out there are spurring me on. I am a notorious non-finisher of projects. You keep pushing me onwards. Thanks for that too!
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2009, 09:25:47 am »

Photos of Baggy Joe at Prescott, May 24th.

There are two photographers who have pictures of Baggy Joe at Prescott.

www.pr-photo.co.uk
 
www.sgc.myzen.co.uk/msport/p240509/index008.htm

Look for car number 136 or 936 (myself and Philip respectivley although you cannot see the faces!)

I have ordered copies and requested permission to use them in the MECUK magazine.

Andy Owler

PS I have other pictures (interior, seats, roll cage etc) but the file sizes are too large for this forum. Can anyone tell me how to reduce the file size after they have been down-loaded from the camera? I use Windows XP Pro and have the HP imaging software supplied with their scanner. I suppose I could print the images and then scan them at a lower resolution. Anyone kow a better and/or quicker way?
AMO
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2009, 07:32:09 pm »

Anyone kow a better and/or quicker way?

Hi Andy

On XP, I use a little tool, which can be downloaded from Microsoft. They call it a Power Toy, but it's neither a toy, nor very powerful. But it does the job og easily resizing images stored in a folder on your harddisk.

Go to this URL and download and install 'Image Resizer' (see rightmost column for links to the downloads):
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/Downloads/powertoys/Xppowertoys.mspx

When you have it installed, it will show up as a popup menu when you right-click one ore multiple images in a folder. It will display a right-click menu with an option 'Resize pictures'. Select that. A dialogue will then pop up, asking you for the size of the resulting image. It will per default create a new file of the requested size.

I think it does the job quite nicely!

/Anders
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2009, 10:18:11 am »

I downloaded the "Image Resizer" this morning and it works very well (and easily!).

What size should I use for images on this site? The originals are 1MB with a choice of smaller versions at 16kB, 40kB, 60kB  and 85kB.

Thanks very much.

Andy
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« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2009, 04:40:38 pm »

What size should I use for images on this site? The originals are 1MB with a choice of smaller versions at 16kB, 40kB, 60kB  and 85kB.

800 x 600 "Medium" is a good size for screen viewing, Andy.
Glad it works for you!

/Anders
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'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2009, 05:09:18 pm »

OK, here goes with some long promised pics.. Try one first perhaps! (This one is approx 60kB)
This is the Prescott set-up.
- Primer paint as we did not have enough time to paint him first.
- The headlight covers are the correct (future) colour.
- The towing ring is on a 5mm x 30mm aluminium bar fixed to the front cross member with a 10mm bolt.
- I have not fitted the clear covers in front of the lower lights. They are so hard to find that I would prefer not to damage them if I hit something.
- The front undertray has not yet been fitted (lack of time) I was still making the towing ring 2 hours before we left for the meeting!

Andy
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2009, 05:30:07 pm »

Try a "large" image this time..
This shot of the interior is a bit dark but you can see that the top of the Sparco seat is hard up against the roll cage. It can recline a small amount but the base is fixed to the floor without the Matra (or any other) adjustable frame. This seat is now being replaced by an FIA approved OMP seat for the sake of the French Etretat scrutineers. It is much lighter, smaller and tighter on my "derriere". The Sparco seat is very comfortable but the OMP seat has not yet been used for driving. We have now fitted the other Sparco seat on the navigator's side ready for Rally use.

The fire extinguisher is fixed to the floor and operated either by the driver or by a "Tee" handle on the outside through a flexible cable. It is piped into the engine compartment where the fluid will spray on the fuel system (pump, filter and carbs) and into the cabin above the driver's feet where electrical fires are possible.

The yellow foam around the roll cage is to protect the driver's helmet and the driver too! It lowers the top of the windscreen quite a lot and it seems like you are looking through a "post box" opening. It was OK in competition and that is what matters!

Andy
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Spyros
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« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2009, 06:33:19 pm »

Please,
More, more !  Wink
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2009, 07:36:19 pm »

Please,
More, more !  Wink

Yes, more, more! Cheesy
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'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
andyowl
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Posts: 456


New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2009, 11:29:13 pm »

Try a few more this time...
- The extinguisher is a requirement and it must be capable of being operated by the driver while seated normally as well as being operated by a marshall in an emergency. The position of the external control should be near the base of the windscreen on the driver's side. I assume the idea is that the driver pulls the handle as he gets out, in a real hurry (maybe with his derriere on fire?) and does not have to stay in the car while the extinguisher sprays fluid everywhere.

- At this moment we are relocating the extinguisher to hang underneath the "Petit Bar" where it does not get in the way of fitting the navigator's seat (see a later picture - to follow). This shot shows the lower foot of the petit bar bolted to the triangular section of the "footboard". We fitted threaded inserts here so we do not need access to the inside of the section. We strengthened this area to take the downward loads imposed by a crash when the harness bar and main hoop are supporting the weight of the driver/navigator and the loads are transferred to the floor by the Petit Bar. You can also see the extinguisher discharge pipe entering the console where an electrical fire is most likely. This car has had 10 previous owners and there is some very strange wiring. All I have done so far is to insulate the bare wires hanging down in the hope of minimising the risks of short circuits.

- This is the foot of the "A" Bar on the right hand side. Similarly strengthened to take downward forces as well as upward forces if the side of the car has an impact. Each flange has four M10 High Tensile bolts with captive nuts welded to a 100 x 70, 3mm thick steel plate below.

- The FIA approved, "four point" safety harness adds a nice splash of colour. There are two shoulder straps each wrapped around the "Harness Bar" behind the seat. They should be as near horizontal as possible and absolutley no more than 10 deg below horizontal.  The secretary of the motorsport club I have joined had a serious accident when he crashed his Porsche 928 into a tree during a "Sprint". He suffered crushed vertebrae because his shoulder straps went  to the floor behind the seat and forced his shoulders downwards when he hit. He was paralysed for two weeks until the swelling subsided and he regained the use of his arms and hands. Scary! The lap straps go to the original Matra points although with threaded "eyebolts" to allow the easy installation and removal of the belts. All four straps plug into a single buckle with a lever you push to one side to release them.

- Finally the "Driver's eye view". You see what I mean about looking through a "post box"? The "A" bar of the roll cage fits neatly around the outside of the console. It was a little difficult fitting the new door seal but it went in with the aid of a soft faced hammer. The ignition switch has the required label to tell the marshall how to switch off the engine if the driver has left it running (or is unconscious - Gulp!)

That's all for now. More pics to take tomorrow when the FIA seat has been installed, the Battery Isolator switch is wired up and the extinguisher is relocated.

Andy
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Spyros
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« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2009, 10:36:17 pm »

Was it to clear out the roll cage that you bent the gear lever ?

Very interesting pics  Grin
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2009, 07:54:50 am »

Yes, we did bend the gear lever! I am surprised you spotted that! Well done!

At first we could not get the car into reverse gear as the knob of the gear stick was hitting the Petit Bar. It was not enough to remove the knob so we examined the gear linkage at the gearbox end. We found quite a lot of wear and replaced the "L" shaped lever (the one that is mounted on a threaded stud) and that improved matters a bit. It was only when I took the car for its first visit to the testing station that I found it very difficult to get it into 1st and 2nd gear as well! More work on the linkage adjusting the "Rose Joints" and bending the gear stick about 30mm to the left (using heat and a lot of effort) and we could then get all the gears.

Learning curves take a lot of time.

Andy
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andyowl
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New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2009, 08:54:31 pm »

The electrical work is now complete with the battery isolator switch, coil supply switch and alternator shunt all operating as intended. There is a separate "start" panel with a shrouded, toggle,  "ignition switch" and chunky "start" push button where the radio used to be.
 
The steering lock still works and it has to be in the "ignition on" position before power is applied to the new ignition toggle switch. This acts as an interlock to prevent the car being started if the steering lock is still on. The shroud prevents the ignition being turned on until the shroud is open and merely hitting the shroud will turn off the ignition, very much faster than groping in an emergency for the ignition key which is quite a stretch when strapped in and out of sight anyway. We know how vulnerable it is to breaking as well!
 
There is now an ammeter, calibrated voltmeter and supercharger gauge in a separate pod to the right of the instrument binacle although the supercharger gauge is labelled "turbo" and is not actually connected up yet!
 
Finally I have fitted a large red "Low oil pressure" warning light where the cigar lighter used to be.
 
Yesterday I was lining the garage walls with painter's dust sheets to save having to take everything out of the garage before painting which started today. We now have two yellow sills plus front and rear undertrays. I'm getting better at spraying paint but I suppose we should call it "Lemon Peel finish" rather than Orange Peel?? How about "textured"?? Sounds like we intended it that way!

Andy

Some more pics...
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« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2009, 10:09:21 pm »

Thanks for the update, Anders. It's really becoming a real race car now. Nice seat. Why did you replace the other one? I'm glad to see how much you are thinking about safety. Did you get your HANS device by the way?

/Anders
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andyowl
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Posts: 456


New exhaust "straight through" - good sound!


« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2009, 07:14:41 am »

We are required to do most of the safety related things by FIA and/or UK's MSA (Motor Sports Association) to compete in National events. This includes the battery cut-off switch and the fire extinguisher both with their remote operating systems.  The roll cage is required because we have "sticky" tyres.

The original black Sparco seat is now in the navigator's position (as of last night) as we hope also to do some rallying later this year. We orgainised the Matra Club December "Tour" for a number of years and we've done three "Classic Rallys" two in Baggy Grey and one in the Urraco.

I replaced the Sparco seat with the red OMP seat (which is FIA approved) at the demand of the French organisers of the Etretat, Le Havre, hill climb in August. It was a condition of entry that everything must be FIA. I understand that they had a serious accident a little while ago when two competitors were injured or killed and they have tightened up on safety and conformity to the regulations.

I just don't see how the OMP seat is "better" than the Sparco. On Sunday, tomorrow, I will maybe find out as Baggy Joe is entered in an AutoSolo and again next Sunday in the Sprint at Longcross, near Chertsey Surrey. The latter is an old Ministry of Defence vehicle test track and supposed to be good and challenging.

By the way  - - - We have a yellow car! see pic below!

He is now reassembled and ready to go and do battle! Oh.. I forgot that I have not fitted any of the undertrays yet. They will have to wait until next week.

Today we are off to the Ardingley County Show in Sussex to exhibit Charlie's Renault 4 "Malibu". First time he's been in a show although I converted him from a regular R4L in 1993 when there was more rust than steel.  Now he has no roof, no doors, fat Gordini wheels and tyres with heavy Bull Bars front and rear and a roll cage. He is also 300mm shorter! Think Renault 4 "Jeep" and you will get the idea.

I need a holiday!

Andy Owler
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