Archive for the ‘Track day toys’ Category

Four wheel alignment

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

We’ve been working with Practical performance car magazine for some time now helping with their race efforts and carrying out a feature called ‘Car Clinic’. Here we take in cars either from road or track and improve their handling with some geometry set up. This involves measuring the various positions and angle of the wheels and suspension and adjusting them as required, it’s just a short leap on from tracking which a lot of people have done on their road cars. The latest car to pass through our hands is PPC’s Westfield XI.  Measurements were taken for tracking, camber, castor, heights, wheelbase, track and axle offset . A few tweeks later and the car’s ready just in time for the last race of the 2010 season.

Radical Improvements

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Here’s a car that divides opinions, normally depending on whether you’re male or female. Most men seem to reckon it’s a thing of beauty, most women seem to disagree. One thing you couldn’t argue is it’s speed, these things are rapid. The formula is simple, take one super lightweight chassis, stick a motorbike engine in it and add a load of aerodynamics for grip. Radical really got it right with these cars and there success has been tremendous, including lap records and the Nurburgring  circuit in Germany. This particular car has been having some difficulties with it’s exhaust. The header pipes on the exhaust manifold kick back around the engine and locate into collectors. The pipes keep coming loose and have cracked in several places so new sleeves have been added and the joints repaired. Less than a days work and the car is back on track frightening the locals, and probably the driver too.

track day civic

Monday, September 13th, 2010

This civic came in needing an MoT and setting up for the race track. The two things don’t normally go hand in hand but this little terrier has to do daily driving duties and will see some serious track day action too. There a was a big list of work including welding and various suspension upgrades, wheel bearings, brakes etc. Once it was all assembled the geometry equipment came out to make sure everything was pointing in the right direction and away it went for it’s MoT. With a green ticket first time through the owner went away with a big smile and no doubt headed for the nearest race track.

Westfield barn find

Monday, September 13th, 2010

In truth it’s less of a barn find and more of barn remembrance. The car is owned by Kev Leaper of PPC Magazine who we do various work for. This is a westfield XI, a copy of the Lotus XI. This car has been graced with bigger arches and a bonnet bulge to accomodate it’s vauxhall XE ‘redtop’ engine. It’s a fair deviation from how Lotus intended it to look but I thiink it looks like a rolling work of art, assuming that is you can see past the dust, rust and cobwebs.

The plan id to get it race ready, no mean feat but one we’re all set for. So far we’ve got it running and resolved a few cooling problems. The next obstacle was freeing off the brakes which wasn’t too hard, but then found that they wouldn’t bleed back up again. The master cylinder had seized so once that was replaced and several tight bleed nipples freed off it had brakes once again. Now we’re down to the nitty gritty of getting it set up and all those little details that take so much time but I can’t wait to see the car back on the race track

Mallory Park PPC Show

Friday, June 18th, 2010

AA Silencers was out in force at this years PPC show. We ran several cars there and drove the Practical Performance Car magazines Porsche on their behalf as the other magazine staff members were rather busy organising the event. Several staff members and customers drove on track in array of cars and the AA Silencers Capri was busy all day long giving passenger rides. The trade stand was busy with enquiries ranging from geomtry set up information to aerodynamic devices and engine conversions.


Full of hot air

Friday, June 11th, 2010

We do lots of development work on this customers track day car. Work is always done on sensible budgets so it’s enjoyable engineering solutions to a cost and often using parts which aren’t quite meant to fit. It seems more fun trying to engineer a way to fit a round peg in a square hole rather than spend 2 thousand pounds on a brand new billet aluminium square peg or a carbon fibre round hole.

This time we had to make a few adaptions up to mount a larger turbo. All of the flanges and pipes need making for air, oil and water. Next on the list was to pipe in the largest radiator we could squeeze between the chassis rails and not infringe on the intercooler. Once this was done we decided residual underbonnet temperatures would be no good for the air intake so it had to be moved. Fortuantely this car hasn’t been seen by an MoT tester for some time so lights are an unecessary luxury, and a perfect place to scoop up some cold air.


How to get rid of rust and make your car faster

Friday, June 11th, 2010

As AA Silencers is busy with Practical Performance Car Magazines racing efforts this year our Capri is not needed on track.  We decided this would be a good time to give it a bit of a freshen up and try to squeeze out a bit more speed. As always the main item on the agenda was weight saving but also to improve the aerodynamics and get rid of the rust that can creep in to any older car.

The solution was simple, identify any bits of the car you don’t need and cut them off, especially if there’s any rust in them. The shell has been multipointed and the cag extended and a complete new aero underfloor has been designed. There’s a huge amount of work to do but it shoudl be worth it when the car gets back on track. Here’s some pictures for the mean time




Porsche suffers attack of Ebay

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

We’ve done a few of these Porsche back box mods now. I’m told the top performance cars use the same boxes but have a bypass pipe which drop the back boxes internal pressure into the tail pipe, so increasing flow whilst still keeping some level of sound control.

The first one we did we modified the customers existing boxes based on some pictures he had and it all looked like a perfectly plausable modification. The next one was a chap who’d purchased what he believed to be the same thing from Ebay in Germany. When we opened the boxes we found the exhaust had been modifiied in a very differnt way. It looked as though someone had welded a piece of old stool leg straight between the inlet and outlet of the exhaust totally bypassing the box. The quality of both the metal and the welding was pretty dubious.

We informed the customer but he wanted them fitting anyway which we duly did. To be honest the exhaust still sounded good when the car was running and the customer was happy which was the main thing. I think it’s lucky he couldn’t see what his exhausts looked like though and he wasn’t concerned with the performance implications. It just goes to show you need to be careful what you buy off ebay and what lurks beneath your car as a good exhaust is more than just the noise it makes.



Practical Performance car

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

DSCF1653I have long been a reader of Practical Performance Car magazine and it was my pleasure to be invited to drive along side one of the editors Kev Leaper as he tested the often dangerous waters of motorsport.  Motorsport isn’t dangerous becuase of the accident’s but because it is seriously addictive and may harm your bank account. There’s so much more to going racing than driving a car and the preparation and comittment in cost and time often dampens peoples enthusiasm very quickly.

Kev’s Porsche had seen some track day action but needed a lot to get it up to race spec. Racing is the ultimate test of any machinery and the Porsche showed it’s frailties. Fortunately both it and it’s owner showed their potential too, and Kev has bags of enthusiasm for motorsport.

There’s a long road ahead but it’s a joy to be part of it. Buy your copy of PPC Magazine and follow the tales.


Hot Oil Headache part 2

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

No sooner had we completed the ZR than a ZS needed a rather large oil cooler fitting in to help deal with the extra power his new turbo was producing. Unfortunately on this one the front was already full of radiators and intercoolers. The solution? Put the oil cooler at the back.

A tunnel was cut to allow the air up to the cooler and vents were cut to duct to the rear. Pipework was easy this time thanks to a standard sandwich plate and plenty of room to run the hoses through the car. It still needs finishing off and painting but we need to give it a run and check to see how it controls the temperatures first. If oil runs too cold it’s worse than having it too hot.