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Gold FFM
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Everything posted by Paul_D

  1. I've finally done a very common and very simple cosmetic mod; the gear knob numbers. I wasn't a huge fan of the bare engraved look, and always liked the photos I'd seen where people had painted the numbers. I wasn't sure what colour to go for, but as I had the blue touch up pen with a fine nib I thought I give it a go...
  2. I think you mean ‘money shift’. The ‘money shot’ is VERY different. 🤣
  3. What happened to that engine Dave?
  4. @Gold Yeah, the battery tracker is permanently connected. I'm lucky in that my car is parked quite close to my house, so at any point I can just check the exact status of the battery from the comfort of my sofa. They do a version for non-lithium batteries, but I guess people don't worry about them quite as much. A normal battery isn't too expensive to replace if you kill it, but the lithium is £1000+. For how cheap the tracker is though, I think I'd fit one onto any car which may be left a while and might fully drain the battery. Since I got the car it's been driven frequently enough to not be an issue, but that may change now winter is here. The other advantage of the battery monitor is that I can quite accurately gauge how long the car can safely be left without driving it or charging the battery. I'm afraid I don't really know much about the properties of lithium vs standard batteries. I know that the voltage of a lithium battery is much more stable in relation to charge. So whereas a normal battery will have noticeably lower voltage as the charge drops, the lithium remains very similar to maximum. The capacity of the lithium battery stays the same regardless of discharge rate so you can use a smaller capacity version. This seems to give a decent overview:
  5. That was my issue really. The accelerator being lower meant I was trying to twist my foot to an awkward angle, my knee was against the steering wheel and so on. I'm not sure on total width, but mounting it centrally like I have brings the edge of the pedal about 8mm closer to the brake than the original pedal. Combined with the accelerator height now being level with the brake, it means my foot doesn't have to twist much at all to give a decent blip. If you did decide you wanted to bring it even closer, you could mount it using the right hand set of holes in the pedal rather than the central holes. If you were doing that then I'd use a wider spacer to support the pedal a bit more to the left. Just following up on snowrx's comment above, the M5 fixing is not seeing much force. The M6 spacer nuts are free to move, and the pedal is clamped tight to them and the mounting pad. Therefore the force is still being transferred through the spacers to the moving arm. It's not bending the M5 screw. The accelerator pedal needs about 1 - 1.5kg of force to move. The fixing arrangement I've used would take many times that, and the lack of support on the left side of the pedal just means that the new pedal would physically distort before the fixing method failed. As you can imagine that needs far more force than you'd ever apply to the accelerator.
  6. Yep, you could do that if you wanted. I just prefer mods to be fully reversible where possible so didn’t want to drill the original pedal.
  7. I think it’s fine as it is. There’s virtually no resistance on the accelerator pedal so the bending forces are very very small. I was originally planning to fabricate a wider spacer but after the test fitting didn’t feel the need.
  8. After my post here and on Instagram, I've had a couple of people ask me if I'd mind providing a slightly more detailed write up of my accelerator pedal modification. I've struggled to get to grips with heel and toe in the Exige since buying it, more so than in cars I've had previously. After spending a bit of time experimenting I came to the conclusion that at least part of the problem was the position of the accelerator pedal relative to the brake. The distance away wasn't too bad (although it could be closer), but the fact that the accelerator pedal sat lower down even when hard on the brakes meant I had to twist my foot a bit more awkwardly than I'd like. (Especially as the Exige seems to need a decent 'stab' to get the revs up) So the objective was to have a pedal which I could adjust until I found the optimum position for me to use. Here's what I did. (Also, if you happen to be friends with a 3 foot tall contortionist, now would be a great time to tell them how much you love them and ask if they fancy popping round for a beer...) First stage was pedal selection. It needs to be at least as big as the original, and ideally also curved to match the pedal mount. After a bit of Googling I settled on "Grayston Competition Pedal Pads Plates Extensions - Silver Anodised Race & Rally" These are available from eBay and a few other places. I only want the accelerator, but at £16 I'm not too sad about wasting the other pedals. (And you could fit them too so they all match if you wanted) Next step is removing the original pedal. This is secured in two ways. Rivets and Glue. Here's a picture from behind and from the front: Using a suitable drill bit (3.2mm is perfect) drill out the rivets. Now the pedal is just held on by the glue. I'm sure it's possible to just pull the pedal really hard, but it's hard to support the mounting arm and I didn't want to risk breaking anything. I got a heat gun and blasted the pedal in the area between the two rivet holes for a while. This softens up the glue. I put a towel behind the pedal to protect the carpet from potentially getting burned. I then used a set of pipe pliers to peel the pedal off, which still took a decent amount of force. This is what you should be presented with: I used a plastic scraper to remove the glue residue, otherwise you'll see it through the new pedal. You now need to decide on where you want the new pedal in terms of left-right placement. If you want to end up with the pedal 8mm closer to the brake the drill your holes in the centre. If you'd rather keep the distance the same and only want to change the height then drill your holes 8mm to the right of centre. I chose to have the pedal closer to the brake. I confirmed this would be ok by temporarily sticking it in place with a double sided sticky pad and making sure I could still press the brake without accidentally clipping the accelerator. Next it's time to drill the new mounting holes. I put a piece of masking tape on the pedal so I could draw on it easily. There were two things to consider when finalising the position of the pedal in terms of mounting holes - 1) not too close to the edges, and 2) needing to avoid the arm that the mounting plate is welded to. This is where my holes ended up: You can see that the bottom hole ended up just overlapping the original rivet hole. This is actually a good reference for anybody else doing it. Drilling tips: Pack a load of wood behind the pedal to stop it moving. You'll want to use a drill bit in the 5.2 - 5.5mm range. I made a slight mistake and ended up marginally to the left of centre. This made doing the top nut / bolt up difficult as it was close to the arm. Try to stay centre or fractional to the right of centre if you can. The fixings I used are M5 Countersunk hex machine screws like this: I used M5 Nyloc nuts with them, and small M5 washers. Here's where the bolts should be coming through after your drilling: If you just wanted the wider pedal and were happy with the original pedal height, then you could put the washers and nuts on now, tighten it up and you're finished. If like me you want to raise the height, now is the time to fit your spacers between the pedal and the mounting plate. I found the easiest solution for me in terms of spacers was some M6 nuts I had handy. They slide nicely over the bolts without wobbling around. I used two of them to raise the pedal by about 11 or 12mm I think. Note that the amount of screw protruding at the back is not a problem. The pedal hits its stop before it gets the floor. Having the extra length allows you to fit additional spacers if you so require. Your pedal is now fully height adjustable (Well, in terms of making it higher than standard) The final stage is to find the number of a local chiropractor to sort your back and neck out after being contorted inside a stupid little car for an hour. (Or perhaps I'm just getting old...)
  9. Part Number: A138M0088F Description: SWITCH-EXHAUST BYPASS You don't need to worry about disconnecting the battery when you plug in the switch. You can just do it. 🙂
  10. Back to the functional modifications todays. One of the things I have found difficult in this car is heel and toeing on track. I have just found it quite awkward compared to some other cars I've owned. I've been having a look trying to determine the issue. Firstly, I think the car itself doesn't help. I find it needs quite a decent 'stab' of the accelerator to blip the engine. Secondly, because I'm 6ft it's harder to manoeuvre and twist my foot without hitting the steering wheel. Finally I don't think the pedal layout is quite as optimum as it could be for me. I can't do anything about the first two, but I can address the third one. Looking at the pedals, even with the brake pedal pushed down it's still a bit higher than the accelerator. This is quite hard to show in photographs, but... There is also a reasonable gap between the brake and accelerator pedal, so there is the potential to close that up a bit. I wanted to have a pedal that would close the gap slightly, but far more importantly give me the option to adjust the height. I ordered these just for the accelerator pedal. The original pedal cover is rivetted and glued on, so relatively easy to remove without damaging it. The new accelerator pedal would be bolted in place, so I had to drill some new holes in the pedal mounting. The new pedal ends up about 7 or 8mm closer to the brake pedal. As it is in the photo above, it would be the same as the standard pedal. The advantage I have now is that I can fit spacers between the mounting plate and the new pedal. For now I've fitted about a 12mm spacer and it seems pretty good based on a few practice goes. The accelerator is level with the brake when I push down on it really hard. From here I can practice with it and then tweak the height as required. Compared to some of the aftermarket pedals I've seen fitted, it doesn't look too bad. I don't think somebody looking in the car would immediately know that it's an aftermarket add on, and I can refit the original pedal back whenever I want. Hopefully now I'll be able to master heel and toe in this car and make my braking on track a lot smoother.
  11. I agree. Compared to all the other stuff that is customisable, having 2 or 3 rev ranges should have been quite easy. In that display, the main part of the layout is the rev counter. But because of the non linear scale around 1/3 of it simply isn’t used. And the 0 - 5000 rpm part used in daily driving is virtually unusable.
  12. That dash in the Komotec photo is not an MX2E, so the display is different. Unfortunately they never fixed the 9000rpm issue, which I still personally think is a major flaw. As far as I’m aware the kit is identical no matter where you buy it. I think the early kits bought directly from AIM had a lower quality binnacle, but then later they were all the same. (I’m only 99% sure on this though)
  13. It’s sprayed. Seemed the cheapest and easiest option I’ve never tried vinyl wrapping and I’d probably have made a complete mess of it, especially with all the curves etc.
  14. Not a mod this time, just a bit of fun. Decided that instead of my track day helmet being boring black it might be nice to have it done in a colour scheme which matches the car. I know it's a bit sad, but it'll only ever be seen on track days.
  15. Im afraid I’m not really interested in making several of these up at the moment. It does take a bit of time in total and I’m struggling to find free time to do the things I need to do myself at the moment! However if somebody else wanted to make these up for people and sell them at a profit then that’s fine by me and I’d happily give them any advice they needed.
  16. I've had a few people ask me for details of my home made track exhaust, so I thought I may as well do a detailed post about it for people to copy or use as a basis for their own designs. I knew when I bought the 410 that it would be too loud to take on track as standard. But once I had the car I really didn't want to change the standard exhaust. I love the Jekyll and Hyde nature of it between quiet and loud mode. I looked for add-on solutions but the only thing I could find was the Komotec dB eater. This was an option but I couldn't find any real feedback about it. It also was quite expensive and didn't look as if it would reduce the noise significantly. I decided to have a go a making my own add-on silencer. I only really had two design criteria when coming up with it. 1) It must not be restrictive or increase back pressure. 2) It must be quick and easy to fit / remove. On top of that, cheap would also be nice. Good looking? Well, no, that was never going to happen. If you care about how good you look on track, you should probably stop reading now! There are three main components used in the exhaust: A universal silencer. This is a straight through design and of the same bore as the main exhaust system, so no restriction at all. A 90 degree elbow. This is direct the exhaust gasses / noise towards the ground and help with the drive by readings. A reducer piece. This is to allow the add on to slide inside the existing exhaust pipe. The silencer is this one: Options as follows: Material: Aluminised Steel. Size: 3 inch. Case shape: Round. Case length: 250mm The 90 degree elbow is this one: Options as follows: Material: Mild Steel. Size: 3 inch. The reducer is this: Options as follows: NOT slitted. (both ends) Material: Aluminised Steel. Reducer length: 6 inches. I then cut down one end of the universal silencer ready for the 90 degree elbow to be welded on later. The next stage was (for me) the most annoying and time consuming. The larger end of the reducer piece will fit perfectly inside the new universal silencer. But the other end will not fit inside the Exige tailpipe. I bought that particular reducer because it was the closest I could find at the time. To get it to fit I gradually ground down material from the outside until it would slide in and out of the Exige tailpipe. You want it to be a reasonable fit, but not too tight. I measured the inside diameter of the Exige exhaust at 73.25mm. My ground down reducer end up with an outside diameter (OD) of between 72.5 and 73mm depending on where you measure. This is where somebody else doing it could save some effort. Either try and obtain a custom reducer with an OD of around 72.5mm, or just ask an engineering company to stick the reducer on a lathe and do it. It would take them only a couple of minutes. Once that is done, the reducer pushes fully into the universal silencer and is welded up. (note that in the photo below I've just temporarily rivetted it in place) That is the track silencer itself done. The final stage is how to safely mount it. One way would be to drill a hole in the bottom of the Exige exhaust and then bolt it in place. I wanted to avoid this if possible, so I came up with a fixing bracket using 1.5mm thick mild steel plate which I got from ebay. This but could be done more neatly now that the final dimensions are known, but I made a 'bridge' which I could bolt different bracket designs to: You can see at the end of the bracket there are two small holes. These are to attach exhaust springs to. Here's looking from the end: The springs used are 85mm exhaust springs like this: The bracket design itself is not too critical. You could do similar to me, or weld it, do whatever works for you. The important bit really is where those two holes end up in relation to the pipe which goes inside the Exige exhaust. To help with that I took a few photos with a ruler as a reference. As long as its within a couple of millimeters or so it should be fine. The springs allow a bit of variation. After all of that, this is the finished welded product. (With a bit of high temp black paint to make it look slightly less rubbish) To attach it to the car you simply slide it inside the existing tailpipe. You then hook one end of the spring behind the Exige tailpipe (the side towards the front of the car) and then pull the other end through the holes on the bracket. A spring puller tool like this makes that easy: This shows a close up of how it's installed: And that's it. Takes about 30 seconds to fit / remove and needs no tools other than the spring puller. And finally, here's how it looks on the car: Ok, so it's not pretty. But is it effective? On my first day at Snetterton I initially went out on track without it fitted. As soon as I started to push a little harder I got black flagged for noise. 94dB drive by with a 92dB limit. I fitted my track silencer and had no more issues for the rest of the day. So all I can with any certainty is that is reduces drive by levels by at least 2dB. At Donington Park I fitted it straight away as I've heard they can be quite strict. All I can say is that I had no issues all day, even when passing other cars on the straight where the microphone is. Cadwell Park, well they actually let me 'pass' the noise test with a warning to 'be careful about noise' without the add-on fitted. So you would definitely be safe there WITH it fitted. My final track day at Snetterton was the first time I'd actually had a proper static noise test all year. I told them the rev limit was the higher sport/race limit of 7000rpm as I wanted to get a 'worst case' reading for future reference. I think they told me told hold the revs at 5250rpm. My static result was 99.9dB, which I believe is quite a bit lower than a standard car would make. In summary - circuits with a 105dB static and 92dB drive by should be fine. Donington is fine. I reckon Brands Hatch would probably be ok. Bedford Autodrome MAY be possible, but I wouldn't count on it. Goodwood and Thruxton are probably still off limits. Overall I'm really happy with it. Yes it looks a bit funny, but it means I get to keep my standard exhaust (which I love) on the car the whole time. It also cost less than £100 in parts, which is a hell of a lot cheaper than a new exhaust.
  17. Mine works perfectly in all modes. 🙂
  18. Ah, sorry, I'm with you now. That should only really be of concern where there is lots of metal to metal constant rubbing or friction. Just sliding the add-on exhaust in and out now and then won't pose a problem.
  19. A small bolt is one simple thing to use, which is what I had previously. I've now got a slight variation on the above set-ups where I can now have the exhaust valve forced into quiet mode regardless of rpm, just in case I ever fail a static noise test even with my add on silencer. This would only be for a few seconds whilst the noise test is done. I wouldn't run the car on track with the valve closed, but at least I'd be able to get on track and see how I fare with the drive-by readings. Valve 1 is normally kept shut. Valve 2 is normally open. The car works exactly as per normal, and I use the dash switch to make the car loud if I want. However if I needed it to be forced closed, I can close Valve 2, open Valve 1 and vacuum is permanently applied. The car is forced into quiet mode.
  20. Yep, my number one criteria when I came up with the design was no / negligible increase in back pressure. I use a straight through silencer of the same diameter as the rest of the system. Different metals can corrode together when in contact, especially ones that are far apart on the galvanic scale. But galvanic corrosion takes time, and the track exhaust is only fitted for 7 or 8 hours at most. Plus Stainless Steel and Titanium are actually very close on the galvanic scale anyway. With regards to what I used, I think it might be worth me doing a post over the weekend with all of the details on how I made it. I've had a few people message me privately about it so I'll do a proper write up with part numbers and photographs. (It's a universal car silencer in answer to your question)
  21. That's interesting, thanks. I'd love to know exactly what their issues are as I'm really curious now. If my car had a Ti exhaust I'd have still made my 'add-on' silencer in the same way and have no qualms about using it.
  22. I've had a little think about this today and I still don't know why Komotec do not supply their dB Eater for the titanium exhaust. Possible reasons: 1) The internal diameters are slightly different between the steel and titanium exhausts, and there's not enough of a market to justify building a separate version for the Ti exhausts? 2) I believe you need to drill a hole in the standard exhaust to fit the dB Eater. Maybe they think people won't want to drill their titanium exhaust? In terms of engineering reasons why their (or my solution) wouldn't work I can't really think of any. Sliding a smaller steel tube inside the existing exhaust won't cause any significant damage. The metals won't react with each other in any significant way. Steel does have a higher thermal expansion coefficient, so its going to get very slightly 'tighter' when the exhaust is hot. But as it doesn't need to be a tight fit in the first place this shouldn't cause an issue. Maybe I'm missing something really obvious, so if anybody does know I'd be interested in the answer.
  23. There's been a few topics where people have talked about the exhausts on the car, and how to make it permanently loud via various methods. Although people may know to pull pipes and block things off, they may not always fully understand what they're achieving. I thought it might be worth a quick explanation for people to use as a reference in the future. The exhaust is made quiet or loud by closing or opening a butterfly valve in the exhaust. When the valve is open, it lets the exhaust gasses through a much bigger pipe. The valve is moved by an actuator, which uses a spring and diaphragm. The spring pushes the valve open, and a vacuum pressure is applied to pull it back the other way and close the exhaust valve. The vacuum is generated by the engine, and goes to a vacuum reservoir. The outlet of this goes to a solenoid valve. The solenoid valve switches so the outlet is either at vacuum or atmospheric pressure. The cars ECU controls the solenoid valve. All this is much easier to understand in pictures. (Don't laugh at my dodgy Microsoft Paint diagram please) In 'Loud' mode the solenoid valve has removed the vacuum pressure from the red hose going to the actuator AND vented it to atmosphere so the the pressure isn't trapped. In 'Quiet' Mode, the vacuum path goes all the way through to the actuator. Once you understand that, the mod to remove / bung the vacuum pipe becomes more clear. The outlet (red) pipe is removed (or cut as in the third diagram). This instantly puts the actuator at atmospheric pressure so the exhaust moves to the 'loud' position. It's worth putting a bung in the removed pipe to stop dust getting in. You also need to put a bung on the outlet of the solenoid valve, as otherwise you've got a vacuum leak and the system will be sucking in dirt and stuff. That's why cutting the pipe is potentially easier than removing it, as you can quickly bung both pipes in the same way. In the final diagram where the pipes are cut, this is where some people install a small aquarium valve instead. You then open or close that little valve to block the vacuum to the actuator or not. Hopefully this might be of some use to people in the future.
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