MatraSport Forum

Each model => Bagheera => Topic started by: andyowl on August 15, 2011, 08:03:20 pm

Title: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 15, 2011, 08:03:20 pm
After the crash at the Crystal Palace Sprint at the end of May I placed Baggy Joe on hold until we had worked out the best way to restore him to the race track.

My other project, "Chalky" a Fiat 126 from 1973 eligible for use in "Historic" AutoSolo events, was occupying the garage and since there was also a spare "Chalky 2" in the garage there was not much room for anything else. At one point neither car had any front wheels as we were putting 1987 parts onto the 1973 car (bigger wheels and brakes). When we found that they were not identical we decided also to change over the front of the cars as well. This involved cuttings off the front of the 1987 car in front of the front suspension and grafting it onto the body of the 1973 car. The measurements looked OK and we decided to "go for it". In my mind was the thought that was one option for Baggy Joe - remove the front from Baggy Jubillee and graft that onto Baggy Joe. Valuable experience would be gained before cutting off Baggy Joe's nose! Not wasted time then! These things are never as simple one might think and this was no exception. It all took much longer than expected and we did not start to put in serious time on Baggy Joe until the end of July.

Well the Fiat experience convinced me that it was better to try to straighten out Baggy Joe than replace the damaged parts with better (?) parts from Jubillee! The photographs below show the twisted metal on Baggy Joe that would have to be pulled straight. See part 2, to follow.


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 15, 2011, 08:26:03 pm
Part 2. The next pictures show the "straightening out process". Examination of the twisted and compressed panels suggested that they were all in front of the suspension and that the car still looked straight. Measurements from the front cross-member also looked good. The bent parts carried the radiator, fan, headlights and lifting system, the air duct, the bumper and the nose cone. None of these are structural and they should be possible to repair.

With the rear competition tow ring tied to my 2 tonne Jeep Wrangler as an anchor, and the damaged parts attached to the pulling winch I use to load Baggy Joe onto the trailer, we started to pull - VERY SLOWLY - all the while keeping out of the way of wires and rope in case something broke!

The right side was the worst and we decided to remove the vertical section on which the nose cone rests as this was already very rusty. Replacing that with the part from Baggy Jubillee seemed to be a good idea.

To my great surprise and pleasure at the first attempt the right hand side radiator bracket started to unfurl just like a sail. It pulled downwards and well as forwards because the winch was on the floor. When the metal was 95% straight we changed over to the left side which was not as badly damaged. That also came straight quite quickly  as we had realigned the winch to pull horizontally instead.  More pictures attached.

Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 15, 2011, 08:45:12 pm
Part 3 Reassembly - the fun bit!
I had ordered a new radiator as the original one was seen to be leaking as they pulled me out of the hedge! In fact the pipe taking the water from the heater into the radiator had broken off. That should be easily repairable for the future. In the mean time I wanted to improve the cooling, particularly when the car is sitting in the queue waiting for the start line. The engine has to be kept going as you move every 30 seconds but the heat build up in warm weather was quite a problem. Wearing full race overall flameproof racing suit ("Rompers" I call them!), fireproof helmet, FIA gloves and Nomex underwear plus the heater running full power and the windows and door open, I was close to expiring with the heat! More cooling was a VERY GOOD IDEA!. Guildford radiators made a new radiator within the limitations of the standard Bagheera end tanks. The core is now 42mm thick compared with 31mm on the standard product. There are also 25 rows instead of the 24 on the original. So we should have about 33% extra cooling capacity. In addition we realised that we could fit two Bagheera fans side by side with a little bit of modification! Photos below! You can also see that we have fitted the right side headlight from Baggy Jubilee.  

Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: uberprutser on August 15, 2011, 10:48:30 pm
I just love the way you straitened out that car. Brilliant  ;D
Instead of adding a second heavy cooler why not replace the rear window with a peace of perspex with some holes in it.  Add some lightness as a famous English person once sad.
Lowering the ambient engine temperature should lower the cooling needs.
This is something I'm planning to do to my trackday murena.
But keep up the good work, I'm sure you'll be back on the road in no time.

btw, what is that bottle in the second picture of part 1?


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: suffolkpete on August 16, 2011, 11:21:28 am
Well done!  Will you make Etretat this year?

Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: Matra_Hans on August 16, 2011, 12:36:49 pm
Additional engine cooling.
My Rancho had the problem when driving in city traffic that the engine temperature was raising (too much for my liking).
I had the standard core element in the radiator replaced with a “tropical core” which gives 30% better cooling. Add an additional high capacity fan, and the problem is solved.


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 17, 2011, 07:58:37 pm
what is that bottle in the second picture of part 1?

The brown plastic bottle is a Renault equivalent to the Matra/Simca/Renault 4 glass bottle. The cap is much easier to tighten and the relief valve seems to be more reliable. The downside is that the connection is on the bottom of the bottle and it has to be raised up by about 20mm on a block of wood. Recommended!


PS To Sukkolk Pete. Yes, I am entered at Etretat at the end of August and do hope to be there.


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 17, 2011, 08:02:53 pm
Baggy Joe's engine was run today for the first time since the accident. Apart from some minor leaks on hoses clamped with cheap non-"Jubillee" hose clips it looks good. I found some alternatives called "High Torque" which seem to be much stronger.

Now for the rewiring and the GRP repairs!


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: uberprutser on August 18, 2011, 10:39:34 am
So, it's a coolant bottle, why isn't it at the back where the engine is?

Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 18, 2011, 10:43:54 am
So, it's a coolant bottle, why isn't it at the back where the engine is?

It's at the front where the radiator is! There is also more space there!


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on August 18, 2011, 10:51:15 am
I didn't respond to the idea of replacing the rear glass with lightweight plastic and making some air vent holes in it!

Good idea! Graham Pryme has done the same thing on his Murena 2.2.

I have not done it so far because I also entered Baggy Joe in AutoSolo events and you are not permitted to change window material in that class. Now I am building a Fiat 126 for "Historic" AutoSolo events there are a number of things I can do to improve performance and/or reduce the weight that were not permitted in AutoSolo, e.g. convert to perspex windows all round (execpt for the windscreen) - save the weight of the glass and remove the electric window motors etc.

Thanks for the suggetsions!


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: andyowl on September 22, 2011, 12:01:14 pm
We made it to Etretat and completed the course!

Baggy Joe is not "finished" as you can see in the pictures but he was good enough to compete! At scrutineering in front of the Mairie we put photos of the Crystal Palace crash on the windscreen and stickers on the repairs saying "Travaux en progres" (with the accents!). It caused a great deal of interest and we gained credibility. If we had said nothing they might have assumed that I thought it WAS finished and we would have lost credibility!

As always everybody wins a prize at Etretat and the last picture shows me collecting mine!

We were not last in that we beat several Fraser-Nash cars although I will admit my main objective was to get home in one piece and start to rebuild my confidence!

Now, September 21st, I have three Sprints in the next five weeks and have a chance to win the Southern Area Sprint Championship in my Class. I already have won the Class Hillclimb Championship as nobody else can get enough points to beat me! There are not many in our class!

I have started a new topic about Clutch problems. Any advice will be most welcome.


Title: Re: Bagheera repaired
Post by: suffolkpete on September 22, 2011, 03:17:40 pm
I was in Etretat on the Sunday for reasons unconnected with the event, but it all seemed very low key.  Apart from a couple of Austin sevens  and Morgans and a road closure sign, there was no evidence of the "Cours de Cote".  Anyway, well done!