Thursday, 5 July 2007

No Paddles

I suppose its about time I mentioned more about the accidental 924S.

After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing, the boys at EMC Motorsport in Birmingham collected the car from its far-flung corner of the British Isles and checked it over. Their prognosis was that it had a few more miles yet, so bullets were bitten and they got the go-ahead to fit their Gaz race suspension, and fettle the brakes. 'Fettling' turned out to be 4 new discs, two 'new' callipers, race-spec pads, steel flexible hoses and good old ATE Blue race brake fluid. At the same time we were shamelessly tempted by the offer of some 16"x7" D90 wheels and faintly pornographic Michelin Pilot Sport cup track-day tyres. Funnily enough they fit inside a 924 perfectly.......

During this time, my mate Mikey somehow convinced me to let him make a financial contribution to the project, in return for seat time. Which was an excellent idea all-around as it meant we could share all the costs and general hassle. I'm also able to deny ownership should it become strategically necessary.... The other potential candidate for our co-operative had to decline, as in his dotage he's realised he's now unable to drive anything without gear paddles and a queerbox.

In addition, the thing appears to have now been Christened 'KNoB' for very good reasons I can't recall at the moment. [edit: Apparently this is to save us typing Knackered Old Banger everytime we want to curse it in writing]

The EMC boys did a good job; in addition to the coil-overs, they set the suspension geometry and re-indexed the rear torsion bars. As a consequence the ride height went from "You could limbo under the b*rstard" to "Its running lower than a snake's belly'. Mikey bravely collected the car and brought it down the M40 to the Great Wen. This highlighted another practical issue that you don't consider when buying a car after 1/2 a bottle of red; where to keep an old Porsche that wives don't exactly know about. However, it appears that we're not the only ones to face that problem; in the large underground car-park of Mikey's employer lurk a number of dusty old motors, so it made sense to quietly add to the collection until we sort out something more permanent.

His initial driving impressions were encouragingly positive, but did report 'bouncy' suspension on the fat 15" wheels and balloon tyres. This has since been resolved by changing the suspension setting to about halfway stiff. I did make a brief acquaintance with KNoB on a short ride around local roads and first impressions were that it went quite nicely for a tired old nail.

We had discussions over a beer later, and plotted our campaign for the season; an airfield day shake-down, then Bedford, then possibly some 'real' circuits if we still feel good about the car, with the ‘Ring for pudding in the Autumn if there was any car left to take.

It was very tempting to also think about ways of making it faster/lighter/better/safer, but as all these would have the effect of making us poorer we'd put ambition on the back burner for now. Carbon seats, cages & harnesses will have to wait: the CG Lock is a decent 1/2 way house & we do need to get some miles on it; right now total costs/mile are (purchase price x 3)/zero.

One feature we did feel needed addressing urgently was the driving position. The 924S retains the original '76 interior of the 2litre 924, and with that comes a steering wheel positioned low down between the knees of a normal shaped human being. In an effort to improve this by lifting the wheel up and towards the driver, I've acquired a tasty Momo steering wheel with a 90mm dish, plus a suitable hub.

Other than that it was simply a matter of collecting together the usual bits & pieces you needed (you know the type of thing: new lightweight trolley jack, spare oil, water, wheel brace, various tools, tank tape, more tools, something water proof etc) and we're ready for the first track-day.

Which is tomorrow.

No comments: