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Discussion Starter · #201 ·
Well, 2 months and zero miles resulted in a flat battery when it came time to MOT it (a month late). Thankfully a mate with a jump pack came to my rescue, and it started without hassle.

MOT time, and a trip to the usual place in North London to make sure I'm spending money with businesses that I want to survive. As last year, and as testament to the work of the guys who've been maintaining it (@CarsOrBikes and Autotech), it passed with no advisories. Job done.

The brakes squeaked like a nest of baby birds all the way up and back, and I'm on the verge of giving up and living with it. Wonder if anyone else has had the same issue with the XP8s?

Order has gone in for a set of ST225 injectors and adaptors from Orranje, and Scott at Autotech is going to work his magic on a map in the coming weeks. Will be interested to see what sort of numbers I can achieve (catback, intercooler, 17% pulley, PH1/2 cam), but the car is plenty quick enough and the main goal is to correct the lean top-end fuelling so that I can push harder on track without worrying.

As expected, the Feb trackday at Snetterton was cancelled. Instead I've booked two days with friends in April - Thruxton on the 6th and Castle Combe on the 27th. Thruxton is so convenient that I couldn't turn it down, and I've wanted to do Combe for a long time. Hopefully my Dad will be able to make it to co-pilot on both days.

My group are also rebooking our missed trip to Scotland from last May. Current plan is 5 days and the whole NC500 in the first week of October. Can't wait for that. Possibly in something more comfortable than the Mini if I can get a house purchase out of the way before then.

Wasn't expecting that much of an update!
 

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The brakes squeaked like a nest of baby birds all the way up and back, and I'm on the verge of giving up and living with it. Wonder if anyone else has had the same issue with the XP8s?
I have XP8s and mine also squeak a lot. I don't mind so much at the moment but I've not been driving much with them since putting them on, so that may change if/when I drive it more frequently (Schools going back, maybe even visiting work occasionally who knows!). They do seem to work really well even when cold though so at least I have no safety concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
I have XP8s and mine also squeak a lot. I don't mind so much at the moment but I've not been driving much with them since putting them on, so that may change if/when I drive it more frequently (Schools going back, maybe even visiting work occasionally who knows!). They do seem to work really well even when cold though so at least I have no safety concerns.
Well, that's helps at least. Luckily the only time mine gets driven, apart from the MOT, is to/from/on track - so perhaps it's liveable?
 

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All the carbotech range squeal I’m afraid. Ian usually advises this if you talk to him for product advise.

I couldn’t daily them, so removed them to track only pads. Using the Ferodo DS2500 for a daily as there is a mild compound additive to reduce squeal.

If you only drive to and from the track then try and live with them. My usual trick is a good set of over eat noise cancelling headphones. Cures most noisy things
 

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Ps. Enjoy Coombe, it’s a great track. Take it easy on Quarry corner, I’ve seen too many nice cars end up in the barrier as people get cocky over the crest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #207 ·
All the carbotech range squeal I’m afraid. Ian usually advises this if you talk to him for product advise.

I couldn’t daily them, so removed them to track only pads. Using the Ferodo DS2500 for a daily as there is a mild compound additive to reduce squeal.

If you only drive to and from the track then try and live with them. My usual trick is a good set of over eat noise cancelling headphones. Cures most noisy things
I have a set of mildly-used DS2500s in my toolkit that the XP8s replaced. Fabulous compromise pad for road and light track work, but I was smoking them in 4-5 laps at Bedford GT.

My car literally doesn't move unless it's going to the mechanic or the track (or a very rare spirited drive), so the squeal is probably tolerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #208 ·
Well, it's been a fortnight of ups and downs. My Thruxton day was cancelled because of the booking website not properly confirming availability with the TDO - very annoying. Various boring life things got in the way of dropping the car to Autotech, but with a few weeks' grace between Thruxton and Coombe, there's less rush.

On the plus side, the NC500 trip is booked for October. 4 nights, the whole NC500, and the same group I went to the Ring with. Think I might well chuck the DS2500s in for that one...

In addition, the Mini might have a new home. I've found a place in the country with a lovely garage, so that the Mini doesn't need to be dumped on the road in London any longer. It will mean it gets used even less than it currently does, as I'll need something to do the country-London drive, but it can live a relative life of luxury as a track-only car under a cover on a trickle charger. Any advice on either is appreciated.

If anyone is interested, the BMW hybrid went on its merry way and got replaced by an XC40 hybrid which is superior in almost every way. Lovely, sensible sort of car - your parents would like it.
 

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What a pain that must have been frustrating!

Place in the country sounds great, I’m not quite country but glad to have moved out of London, much nicer having space to be able to have a tinker.
One of my friends is trying to move out of London at the moment, made the best offer on a place but because they were coming from London the owners said no. Heard of that happening a few times amongst people I know.
I’ve recently got an AA battery charger via Amazon, was pretty cheap and supposedly can do trickle charging too. It’s charged some batteries up no bother but haven’t used it to trickle charge.

Good to see you’re getting on well with the Volvo, we’ve been looking into them recently although it won’t be a brand spanker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #210 ·
So, the Mini got dropped off to Scott at Autotech yesterday morning, with a brief of:
  1. Fitting the 550s and mapping for much better AFRs at high revs with 97RON (rather than for maximum power)
  2. Finally getting an adult to fit the Hobo diverter (or at least work out if it's even possible to fit it)
  3. Taking a look at the PAS leak, which had all but drained the tank(!)
Scott is also going to do before/after power runs, so it will be interesting to see what it's running right now (MTC cooler, cat-back, Newman PH1/2, 17% pulley, cold plugs). I'm candidly more worried about what the AFRs are going to show at high revs, to be honest. The goal of this mapping is not to maximise power, although some more would be nice, it's to make me less gunshy of revving the car out to the limiter on track because I know I'm pushing way past what the stock map is capable of compensating for. My hope is to unlock my ability to push harder on track with more confidence, rather than unlocking loads of extra performance. I'm due a breakdown on track, but I'd prefer it didn't come in the shape of a hole in a piston!
 

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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
What a pain that must have been frustrating!

Place in the country sounds great, I’m not quite country but glad to have moved out of London, much nicer having space to be able to have a tinker.
One of my friends is trying to move out of London at the moment, made the best offer on a place but because they were coming from London the owners said no. Heard of that happening a few times amongst people I know.
I’ve recently got an AA battery charger via Amazon, was pretty cheap and supposedly can do trickle charging too. It’s charged some batteries up no bother but haven’t used it to trickle charge.

Good to see you’re getting on well with the Volvo, we’ve been looking into them recently although it won’t be a brand spanker.
Sadly that house fell through, as the vendors got cold feet and pulled it off the market. However, I'm heading up to Norfolk next week to see another place up on the coast. Parking looks a bit tight for 3 cars, and a garage build would be very impractical (it's a beautiful, old cottage with a walled garden), so I may end up looking for some longer-term storage in the area. Finding a friendly farmer with a watertight/powered barn would be quite nice, but that's a bit of a pipe dream!

The Volvo is fab. Every single part of it is a step up from the BMW, except for the infotainment. I'm an iDrive devotee, so it's taken me longer than I might have liked to get used to this system.

I'm rebooked for the 25th of May at Thruxton, which will definitely be the last outing before the car heads off to storage. Suspect that the combination of Combe and Thruxton should see off what's left of my front tyres (or at least the front left), so I may look to experiment and switch up to a set of AR1s in the name of science. The beauty of running 15s and 205/50 rubber means that even really good track tyres are only a smidge over 100 quid.
Thruxton should be great fun - my Dad is joining me again, as are 4 of the usual group I track with. Looking forward to seeing what difference a bit of track knowledge and confidence in the car can make to my pace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #213 ·
So, the scores are on the doors.

225bhp @ 7krpm. Peak torque is still down at 4.5krpm, which should make it lovely and driveable.
(Full mod list: 17% pulley, MTC intercooler and Hobo diverter, Milltek cat-back, Newman PH1/2 cam, 550cc injectors, custom map)

AFRs and boost look lovely and smooth and steady, which was the main goal. Can't bloody wait to test it at Combe next week!

(On a personal note, offer accepted on the cottage - time to hunt out a friendly farmer!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #214 ·
Have decided to add a Scorpion decat to the exhaust, to help free up some flow (and flames) on the new map. Will probably pick it up in a week or so, and get it added before Thruxton in May.

Until then, ridiculously excited about my first visit to Combe on Tuesday. Will be there with a friend in his bonkers 300bhp+ turbo MX5 - he's quick as hell in a straight line, but still learning how it behaves under hard braking and cornering. Should hopefully be fun to do a few laps together.

103617
 

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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
Well, yesterday didn't quite go to plan.

The morning was fantastic, for the most part (I'll come to that shortly), and the car ran brilliantly. It pulls much cleaner and harder than before, and the chassis (with a bit of stiffening of rear shocks) feels just great. It was keeping pace really well with a caged E46 M3 and a Z4M, which is the level of performance I was looking for. The Hobo diverter seems to be doing a really good job of keeping IATs down, even though it's popping my scoop out ever so slightly.

103671


Combe is a brilliant circuit - fast, technical, with high commitment required. Like a thinking man's Thruxton. I'll definitely be going back. It helps that they keep numbers low, and limit to 10-12 cars on track at a time. I was only held up once by a wally in a Subaru who didn't know which side he was supposed to pull over to.

Sadly, right before lunch (12.27, to be exact), I exited the last chicane to come onto the pit straight and lost drive. The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree, and the car started to overheat. Thankfully, I killed the engine fairly promptly and limped over to the side at the pitlane exit. After a bit of steam histrionics when the expansion cap released the pressure all over the exhaust, I was towed back to the pits to lick my wounds.

It looks like the charger belt, which has only done about 3k miles since it and a new tensioner were fitted, had exploded as I got on the power. Crap.

103670


Scott from Autotech is being an absolute legend and picking it up for me today (all the way from Surrey!), and will get it fixed. Hopefully it's just a case of fitting a new belt and keeping on top of more frequent changes in future. All of this assumes that it didn't overheat too badly, even though water temps were still in the high 90s after I'd been towed back.
The guys at Merlin Motorsport also deserve a massive shout out for hanging onto my key so that Scott could collect.

I'm also going to get Scott to fit an oil cooler for me, as the ability to push the car harder was resulting in oil heating up to 130+ after 4 hard laps (it was only 14-15deg ambient) on such a fast track.

Frustrating, but not the end of the world. I managed a great morning, and still got home in time for a beer in what was left of the sun.
 

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glad you're enjoying the car, stuff like this is a let down but hopefully just a minor setback,

fwiw I'd fit a Mocal cooler kit on it, as it's pretty much track only I wouldn't bother with a thermostat, I'd just use the Mocal pre crimped braided stainless hose option and take advantage of fewer connections. I just run the hoses around the right shaft and along the subframe tied to it and through a small notch low down in the front rad panel to the right of the rad, and mount the cooler low to the underside of the crash beam in the centre, this means it can simply be lowered away from the front panel and hoses not interrupted at all when the motor comes out for access, I just guide the hoses around the shaft and tie the cooler up to the front of the engine.
WP_20181211_003.jpg WP_20181211_002.jpg

front panel view shows the tiny corner cut off just left of the hoses if you can see it, barely any destructive work involved ;O) Hoses slot right in. Pictured is a 16 row (no trimming) but you may be happy with 13 or something.

aware some mount them above the crash bar but I believe it's better to try and keep any risk of oil aeration to a minimum so I keep the cooler closer to sump level which is just Seany logic😂

hope the repair is straightforward (y)
 
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Discussion Starter · #217 ·
Thanks Sean. I'll relay the message to Scott @ Autotech. Suspect this isn't the first one he's fitted, but I'm sure the context will be helpful.

The day itself was great, but I just bloody wish I'd been able to do a few more laps as I was just getting into the groove of the track. The first complex of corners is absolutely brutal - a left kink with a big lump on the racing line, then a late apex right, all at the end of a straight where I was hitting 115mph+. Got that one wrong more often than right, but it was still really enjoyable.
 

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I'm sure he has fitted loads, people can and do fit this stuff though not really thinking so much about access later that's all,

sounds fun, so long since I've been on track now, 2 years! Not counting Curborough as that's nothing like a TD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #219 ·
I'm sure he has fitted loads, people can and do fit this stuff though not really thinking so much about access later that's all,

sounds fun, so long since I've been on track now, 2 years! Not counting Curborough as that's nothing like a TD.
Funnily enough, it's almost two years since we met at Trac Mon. Was that your last day out?
 

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Thanks Sean. I'll relay the message to Scott @ Autotech. Suspect this isn't the first one he's fitted, but I'm sure the context will be helpful.

The day itself was great, but I just bloody wish I'd been able to do a few more laps as I was just getting into the groove of the track. The first complex of corners is absolutely brutal - a left kink with a big lump on the racing line, then a late apex right, all at the end of a straight where I was hitting 115mph+. Got that one wrong more often than right, but it was still really enjoyable.
Ah Avon Rise and Quarry. Brilliant corners those.


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