Sunday, 25 January 2009

Build Day 23

After last weekends amazing progress its straight back to where we left off. Now we know the engine runs we want to check the power commander works(box of tricks that allow you to alter the engines performance with a laptop). Installation is pretty easy - disconnect the injector wiring and plug in the PC wires and attach the earth strap. I wired in the coolant temperature and oil pressure guages to check the engines status when running. For some reason our PC isnt working right and isnt allowing the engine to start. When disconnected, we are getting a healthy 5-6 bar oil pressure and water temp.

Rear Lights

While i have been busy with wiring Bassett Seniors been mucking around with the rear arches and lights and gone from nothing covering the rear wheels to this

I gave him an unhelpful hand by doing the wiring connectors and ending up getting the wires in the wrong way round and leaning with my hand on the solder iron - not pleasant. Once i sorted the wiring and connectors back out he could get the lights in. One thing remains though, the number plate either wasnt with our kit or we have misplaced it even though we have checked everywhere!

Suspension Setup

This is going to be a very rough set up as we dont have the correct equipment or time to do it 100% accurately. Were using wood and fishing line to surround the car in a box that lines up with the hub nuts. To start we set the ride height to meet SVA requirements for the minimium rear light height setting. For the front we went 25mm lower than the rear to MNR spec's. We then measured the difference of the front and back of each wheel to the fishing line. We then adjusted the front tracking rods and rear wishbone track rod ends to suit the guidlines Marc at MNR recommended of slight toe out.

Camber is tricky, both being negative we set the top wishbone track rod ends to the same amount and checked with a spirit level and left it at that. As for the damping were leaving all at 5 as it seems common with other MNR builders and we are unlikely to have time to test till before SVA.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Build Day 22 - Its Alive After Attempt One, Two ...

Starting the engine was our next big step after having the car on the wheels. If you just want to see the video go straight to the bottom. If you want to hear me waffle on how it went, read below.

The engine needed a bit of prepping before we could start it so this is the process we followed.

Fill the battery with its acid and charge
Fill the diff with oil - long process with the small breather tube
Fill the engine with oil - 3/4 full in oil window
Reattach the radiator, top and bottom hose, coolant tank and fill with water
Filled the tank with fuel
Connect all the wiring and battery
We've never been sure what gear we had been in and always found it difficult to change so left it so we jacked the rear up and left it in neutral.

So were ready to start with a fire extinguisher at hand, dad in the cock pit ready with the clutch and accelerator pedals and me ready to connect all the wires getting electricuted or bringing the beast to life. I turned the cut off switch and nothing - good, then I turned the key and we had dash lights - real good!. One thing left - I hold I manually connect the start wire to the negative battery terminal and the starter jumps to life but so does the prop and driveshafts and the wheels start spinning - oh dear! Certainly not in neutral. We try going for some other gears and nothing then we hear a pop from the clutch and are left with plenty of slack in the pedal.

We played with the clutch cable trying to adjust it but nothing happened. Our next thought is the clutch, so we removed the cover and are baffled with what were looking at as ive changed car clutches but this is different its a wet clutch with several clutch frition plates. After some help from members on locostbuilders we determine we have dislocated the clutch stem from the lever. Lots of fiddling and several attempts later we have the clutch re attached with minimal slack so we connected the cables and finally its working as it should again.

Second attempt
Before we start it we now want to ensure were in neutral so we get the car back on the floor and rock it forward and back to help us change gear as the engines been sitting for over a year so we assume the parts aren't oiled and are just very stiff. After some head scratching we find neutral and its where I thought 5th was going to be so we mounted the paddles up upside down - Doh! so we go to start again. Lights come on, pump primes and the starter operates and this time the prop doesnt turn so were happy were in neutral so we put the plugs back in but the engine still doesnt fire.

Now it must be down to the wiring. First problem is we have a fault code - number 30 displayed by our clocks mean the bikes been overturned so the tilt sensors at fault. We had sealed the sensor at an angle to keep the wiring as yamaha intended to reduce chances of bad connections but turns out our solution hadnt worked so we replaced it with a 1/4w 510ohm resitor. With this in place we checked the clock and the fault code had disapeared - great so we try again but still no spark or smell of fuel from the cylinder which points to the ecu not sending the signals to either the injectors or the spark plugs

Now its getting technical so we checked the continuity of wires. Theres a lot so this took a while. There were a few randoms not being connected to something they should be which is worrying as the loom looks original with all the original coverings with printed Yamaha serial numbers. Im at the point of giving up as its getting more technical than i know and i had spent evenings and some of the weekends on it already. Jim kindly came to the rescue and recognised the room instantly from one of his own past builds. He quite quickly came to the realisation we should have a cycle lock connection(Immobolisher wiring for european R1's). Searching around he found nothing and also though the loom looked original but decided best thing to do was to rip it all up and trace wires to their components to see where the trouble was. Having spent a while tidying the loom up and routing it neatly we were a bit resilient in the idea but it had to be done.

Sheath off and we can instantly see the problem its been butchered with important wires being earthed, not connected or not even present. Jim started us up with the starter relay circuit checking and tracing each individual wire for continuity and what it went to. Loads of repair work and soldering left us with the starter relay done and Jim left us the rest to finish today - sunday.

Being a bit hungover I almost wrote the morning off but instead I hit the wiring again. Going over the whole loom; ECU, sensors, relays, fuse box and clocks i tidied the whole loom up. Feeling a bit closer I thought what the hell, lets try and start it. We got in to the whole procedure that we tried for the first time so Dad flicked the switch for the starter and amazingly we had sparks. Got the plugs back in and it was turning but with only one injector pulsing. I didnt fancy removing the injector rail so removing the fuel line fed some injector cleaner straight in and sprayed throttle body cleaner into the inlet by the injector. Again we went to start and POP, POP, POP then a BANG and another untill the roar of the engine fire could be heard all around us. The rest of the family ran out to the drive and couldnt believe it, neither could we so we turned it off and gave our selfs a pat on the back.

Heres the video of the second start as we didnt expect it to go the first time.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Build Day 21

Being on its wheels the car is now moveable so we thought we would tackle a few tasks in the brisk outdoors even though its in the minus figures but its just so much easier to move around. First thing you might/might not notice is following some advice from a fellow MNR builder and Marc from MNR we have flipped over our wishbones so the circlip is on the bottom which leaves the pushrod long but is safer, and the pushrod we can sort out after SVA.

Previously we had just had the wheels on when we have had the car on the floor so were starting the day with the rear brakes as the fronts are very easy. First thing was to tighten the hub nut as this brings the hub to the point where the disc will sit so the caliper can be slid over. This needs a 41mm socket and a lot of force to tigthen to 250-290ish lb/ft. This went on simply by cleaning the disc and putting it over the studs. The pads push into the calipers and can be fitted. Ours required a bit of the powder coating from one on the sliding bracket to be removed and the piston to be wound back which is a bit tough as it needs clockwise rotation and to be pushed in at the same time. Once in the calipers and pads go over the disc and with a washer between the caliper and caliper carrier we bolted them in place with serrated washers.

Here are some snaps and one with the wheel on which looks pretty good.

Handbrake Cable

The handbrake cable has been finalised using two sierra handbrake cables(sierra 80-90with discs, First Line FKB 1151 for reference). Why have we used two? well one side is longer than the other and only one side has adjusters. The MNR setup is not exactly made for the way we have mounted our calipers - calipers at the rear of the upright. Firstly it needs to be long which only one side was and secondly theres no way to hold the cable in place so were using the adjusters(plastic but we hope they will hold) to secure the cable throught the chassis hole. The cables then go through the MNR supplied quadrant and secured with small U clips.

Rear Arches

Finally we had a go at the rear arches. One side has a higher gradient slope which is the front so we got them the right way round and covered facing areas with masking tape. We started with a very high ride height about 18-20cm's but to get the arch fitted as close as possible we lowered it to 14cm's. Marked the arch position then worked out where it could be attached as there are a few chassis rails behind the tub which wouldnt let us use our short M5 desired bolts. Then we transferred these notes to the arches and drilled holes where we could about every 3 inches apart.

This could then be transferred to the tub, we drilled three, put the bolts in then marked the rest and drilled them. We arent fixing the arches just yet but il get a picture up soon. This is because we often take the wheels off to make getting round the garage easier as the car just about fits let alone with us two trying to work on it.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Build Day 20 - Its on the floor!

We came to a point today where we realised we had nothing to do other than lower the car to the floor which felt great but also a bit daunting.

If youve been reading this is how the car has been for a while, launched in the air on 3-4ft tall tressles. We needed to get it down to our 4 1ft tall axle stands. To get stands on the front we had to trim the inner tub taking a substantial amount off. After some careful planning we hoped to raise the rear, remove the rear tressle then go for the front in the same manner. I had my doubts that being held at different angles the hole thing would slip over in a top gear style catastrophe. With the help of James, Pete and my mum we lifted it up into the air with beams of wood supporting the rear floor only and not the GRP bodywork. My mum swiftly pulled the tressle away and moved the axle stands into our chalk marked positions whilst us 4 lifting slowly felt the pinging of muscles in our backs. It all went smoothly and fell into the axle stands. Now its really at a steep angle - the front high on a tressle and low at the rear so James and Pete quickly lifted the front from the cross bar and me and dad rammed the stands into the planned position straight after my mum pulled the tressel away.

A timeline of todays pictures - up on tressles to finally holding itself up on wheels

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Build Day 19

Front Suspension

With the back end almost complete and only needing a 41mm socket to tighten the hub buts up we moved on to the front end. The body is tight now and we have had to trim some more off our original holes to get everything to fit in again so it has enough up and down clearance for when its on the road. It was a right pain to get everything back in but eventually it all came together.

Front Passenger Wishbones

Pushrod bar in place

Everything connected up again minus disc, caliper and hub so we can get around the garage as its all getting a bit tight.


We started this job by making the holes bigger for the steering arms as they are tiny. We dont know exactly where the rack will sit but other than undoing the tub we aren't going to get it into position. We've seen from pictures of finished cars that there racks lay almost horizontal so we mocked up a pipe to show us where the rack would lay then chain drilled out existing holes larger. Removing the rad and fan enabled us to feed the rack through the passengers side and then back through to the drivers when at full lock to the passenger wheel.

We then fitted the retaining brackets with some extra spacers to hold the rack tight and secured with M8 12.9 hex cap bolts.

The lower coloum can be fitted and we then checked that it worked and turned the rack from lock to lock with ease. Although we had resprayed it there is some that needs a lick of paint to keep it looking new like the rest.

To hold the lower coloumn in place we need to mount the steering column bushing. The bulk head panel really got in the way and has deformed the bush but the plastic bearing piece just about squeezed in with some grease. Then we could attach the upper column to the lower and it was now time to trim the scuttle to make it fit. Like the tub earlier in the build the scuttle came on and off many times and we made loads of measurements to get it right first time as it would affect the interior finish if done in the wrong position.
Heres how it finished up

Air Temp Sensor

The R1 apparently requires the airbox mounted air sensor. Were not sure why our engine didnt come with one but Malc from Yorkshire Engines sorted usa Suzuki unit out. Being a Yamaha and not a Suzuki id doesnt fit our original connection but is close. We thought about attaching it with bullet connectors but the Suzuki end is a bit mangled so I butchered it with a dremmel to fit the Yamaha end.

The green section was twice as long as it is now

Here it is fitting very snug and we really hope it works

Exhaust Headers

My dads mini bain of a project - the headers and collectors. He has spent hours of hard work on them which really deserves a pat on the back. If i havent mentioned it before none of the pipes went in more than a cm so he started sanding them one by one. One of the pipes went in half way and got stuck even after the sanding. It wouldnt budge for anything but a mate helped us out with an oxy accetaline welder massively heating it up then forcing it out from the collector end. It has left it a bit mangled but we can rotate this to the bottom. After lots more sanding were at today where he has had all his doubts put to rest when we finally bolted them into position with the gaskets Malc sent us. The headers were bolted to the collector first so we could pass it through as one unit into the engine bay. Its a very tight and a cramped area now so we bolted them in moving from chamber 4-1-2-3 as 4 at the very back is the most difficult to reach as the nut grinds on the header itself unless in at the right angle and even then my dad had cut a few threads of the stud off. We werent quite sure how tight to do this so with a 13mm spanner we did it as tight as possible leaving all 8 studs with the same amount of threads showing bar the one he had cut.