We have Cameron's P1800S on the ramps this week, delivery due for Friday...

  • Currently his 0-100kmh is 12.5s, we can shave 10% of this with our 300deg camshaft
  • So, the high lift cam is in place, the head is back on, we just have to plug in the Lambda then set up the fuelling on the open road
  • Also I need to do the front geometry: caster is the critical item, but the camber and toe in need to be done also.
  • Replace the rear torque arm bushes

However, it has been an unexpectedly busy week, since the P2P rally entered Mongolia.

Followers of this event know that Mongolia is not the sting in the tail, but the viper's fangs - the start of the event is the toughest section, once in Russia everything becomes comparatively tame.

  • Saturday call, requested
    • Pair of 140 lower wishbones, plus an extra set of LWB bushes - so in addition to fitting new bushes and balljoint, I had to weld in the laminate plate to strengthen the shock absorber bottom mount (the 140's known weakness)
    • LHF lighting set for an Amazon: headlight, bowl, bulb; indicator & bulbs.
  • Monday
    • 140... two LHF lower wishbones, once again I needed to replace bushes, balljoint and weld the plate. However an added complication is we have no more LH wishbones, so I had to prep up a pair of RH but with the bushes inserted the "wrong" way to make them LH units - along with the instruction to delete/remove the antiroll bar on the car. This latter action improves the car's handling immeasurably on all surfaces except dry&smooth tarmac, so they should see a big benefit.
    • 140... upper wishbone, once again new bushes (which are irritatingly difficult to remove & fit), and supplied both upper balljoints: the early and the late (since I don't know the car they're destined for).
  • Tuesday
    • 140: pair of LWB bolts, complete with washers and nyloc
    • Amazon: pair of LWB bolts, complete with washers and nyloc
  • Wednesday: Sophie sets off in her Midget to deliver the last package to RPS for their courier into Russia - the trip was awful in the teeming rain, but hopefully the journey will now be smooth till the owners receive their Red Cross Parcels in Russia - one can imagine how releaved they'll be to get the components, having nursed their cars for almost a week...
  • Thursday telephone call: "I've lost reverse in my 140", aha! Do you have overdrive? "Yes".
    There is just a remote chance that this could simply be the OD being slow to engage the reverse (inner) clutch lining; sadly it's more likely that they will lose all forward drive within 100miles.
    This is why we refuse to run overdrives on competition cars: when it fails, you are out of the rally; in addition it's a crazy weight penality without giving any competitive advantage - in honesty it is, as our American friends might claim, a no-brainer.
    We also had difficulty persauding them to use 20/50 engine oil in the overdrive - they desperately wanted to run horribly thin ATF...

It does sound like Mongolia is worse than most years - this is always our busiest week.
None of the cars were prep'd by us, and I can't help wondering if some of the Volvo owners failed to notice my much publicised knowledge gleaned from 2 decades of actively competing each month, and indeed bringing our own 144 home 3rd on the London2CapeTown. Particularly the 140 failures sound like they may have been preventable...

  • 140 lower wishbones have to have a laminate plate welded to the bottom of the spring cup: we stock this laser cut plate. The shock absorber bottom mounts fatigue very quickly without this
  • Always use quality poly bushes, the std metallastics just don't survive. Beware of a couple of suppliers' polys, there is a reason why they're half the price of our preferred supplier, it's because they're rubbish.
  • Spring rates - we got these about right on our cars, assuming the driver has the same approach to weight as we do: we ran the car at handbook quoted weight when we left London for CapeTown - religious fervour in weight reduction pays...
    • The P1800 is running our springs, interesting to see how he gets on.
    • Also George's 144, however his preparer chose standard metallastic bushes... and they've failed.

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