Buying bits and getting things ready

The most important thing to get was, of course, the chassis. Given that the car's going to be a racer, it had to be a lightweight chassis. Since I've got a spare live axle, it had to be live axle. And because I'm going to retain the (broadly) black with extra black colour-scheme the original Furybird had, it's going to be powder-coated black.

Along with that I'll need a pedal box, and a set of front rocker arms, as both of these components from the Furybird are being used in the Furybird II build. I'd really wanted the old style of rocker arms made of sheet metal, but apparently Fisher don't make them any more. So I've got to use the new tubular ones, albeit designed to take the Chevette balljoint the earlier chassis used rather than the Metro balljoint the newer ones like
Tim's use. I also ordered the needle bearing kit for the top rocker arms as I've never been a bit fan of the nylon top-hats as bearings which the original set-up used.

A cage was obviously going to be a necessity if I was to go racing (especially after Mallory '03) and in the light of Tim's experiences with his racer, I decided to have the side-impact protection only on the driver's side, with the diagonal longitudinal stay going to the side-impact protection structure on the driver's side, and to the chassis on the passenger side. The cage will end up looking a bit lop-sided, but hey, it's a racer...

Apart from that the only bits I ordered with the kit was a set of ali panels for the chassis. I'll be making up quite a few extra ali panels for the car, as I'm going to be double-skinning it wherever possible. I did think about panelling selected parts of the chassis (the rear bulkhead and the end of the passenger footwell, for instance) in ali honeycomb, but I've decided that it's unnecessary and too much like hard work. The ali panels will be powder-coated black, though, to match the bodywork and chassis - this is intended to be my one concession towards pimpiness in the whole car. My excuse is that I'll have a fair pile of parts to get powder-coated, both from this car and the Furybird II, so I may as well get the panels coated at the same time.

I was tempted to order a few more parts. Martin Bell at Fisher mentioned on the BEC list that he'd just trial fitted his new 2004 R1 4-2-1 exhaust manifold and engine mounts. The engine mounts looked rather perplexing - there was one on the gearbox side of the engine using all four mounting points, with a single point on the chassis that this mounted to. There was a second mount which used the two mounts just underneath the cylinder head, and which again went to a single point on the chassis. And that appeared, as far as I could see, to be it. It ocurred to me that having the engine mounted onto only two points on the chassis wasn't really enough, as there would be nothing to stop the engine rocking around the axis running between the two mounts. It may well be that I've got this entirely wrong and the design of the engine mounts is far more cunning than I've realised. However, by this stage I've decided that I'll make my own as I would prefer to have a single 'cradle' type design rather than a multitude of different mounts all refusing to line up on a repeatable basis.

The exhaust Martin had for the 2004 R1 engine was also a bit odd. OK, it *was* a 4-2-1 set-up, but it had virtually no secondaries at all. The 2 collectors at the 4-2 stage fed directly into the 2-1 collector. Now, as far as I could see, this pretty much completely negated the benefit of having a 4-2-1 manifold in the first place, as the secondaries being as short as that would mean that there was no way you'd get a beneficial pressure-pulse at any useful frequency. Well, not unless you rev it to 50krpm+, and I'm hoping to avoid that.

Also, the manifold was designed so that the primary from cylinder no. 1 (nearest the back of the car) sweeps back quite a lot as soon as it leaves the head. This means you can't have the engine pushed right back against the firewall, as the no. 1 primary would interfere (or so it seemed to me) with the framework of the passenger footwell. Also, I'm fitting my engine at a slightly different angle to the standard Fisher installation (it's going to be more upright, like it is in the bike) so I'm not convinced that the manifold's generous primaries would fit underneath the bonnet in my installation. So it looks like a trip up to Norfolk to see Nick Pavaranni will be in order at some point.

Anyway, with the chassis ordered it was time to start looking for an engine. At the moment I'm erring towards buying a 2006 R1 lump from Malc at Yorkshire engines - it's not cheap at £2,000, but Malc seems to come highly recommended and it would save time running around trying to locate one. I'll probably end up ordering it on Monday...