Someone watching over us……

Range Rover P38 rear tyre failure - Pescara ItalyJan and I took a run up to Mosciano Sant’Angelo in the Range Rover today and everything was peachy until the run back down the Autostrada. There’s a long, tight, right hand bend as you pass the Città Sant’Angelo junction and we’re sailing a touch north of the 130Km/hr limit, but no sweat, I’ve run this bend hundreds of times at this speed and the Rangey handles it just fine.

Until a near-side tyre catastrophically fails mid corner that is.Range Rover P38 rear tyre failure - Pescara Italy

Range Rovers are tall old beasts and have to be eased into any manoeuvre, you can’t just throw them around will-nilly or the whole thing starts to sway and roll like a drunk elephant. A flat tyre on a sharp bend certainly qualifies as a destabilising influence! How we didn’t roll I don’t know. But it was close and I mean pit-of-the-stomach close.

Making connections

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid ASL 606-05PC-HE connectorHooking up the netbook to the ECU when datalogging has always been a pain. Seats off, fumble around for the Molex connector, run the cable under the seats, refit the seats …… and away we go. So when I saw a neat little MIL style connector that Andy has fitted to his Capo, I couldn’t help asking about it.

Turns out it’s made by Deutsch Autosport and they make a whole range of high quality connectors specifically for the motorsport industry. Here’s a link to the catalogue. Anyway, all-round nice guy that he is, Andy made me a chassis socket and plug assembly with 300mm of loom at each end. Not only that, he popped them in the post to Italy … and they arrived a couple of days ago. And I must say ….. WOW! ….. beautifully machined and fully waterproof with a nice machined cap to keep the greeblies out.

So now I’ve reworked my old TuneBoy cable and installed the connector on the dash. I’ve used shielded cable back to the original molex plug to reduce interference on the data lines and it all works fine.

So it only remains to say a big thank you to Andy for doing this for me. I owe you one! Now if you’re thinking of hot-footing it over to the AF1 forum to send Andy a PM – don’t. This was a one-off kindness and he won’t be making any more, so please don’t ask.

A trundle up to Silverstone

Force_IndiaWhile over in the UK I popped over to Sahara Force India Formula 1 team at Silverstone to meet up with Andy (Beasthonda) from the AF1 forum. We’ve been exchanging emails on and off for months now and this was a great chance to put a face to the name.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid ECU Oscilloscope TuneECUI took along my netbook and OBD cable and remapped his Capo while Andy hooked a patch-box and oscilloscope into the instrument panel wiring loom so we could accurately measure a particular signal from the ECU. It was certainly a whirlwind exercise – all done with one eye on the storm clouds brewing overhead! Everything went smoothly and afterwards Andy gave me a guided tour of the team headquarters, it was fantastic. So I’d like to thank Andy once again for his kindness, hopefully we’ll meet again when I’m next over on the Capo. Cheers!

UPDATE: See the foot (bottom right) of the picture above? A fine example of a foot I think you’ll agree …. but it’s not mine and it’s not Andy’s. It belongs to Rob Ashworth who tried desperately to get out of the shot but didn’t quite make it. Rob in fact supplied the oscilloscope and twiddled the knobs in a flurry of practised professionalism. As they say, better late than never ……. Rob, thank you for your assistance and it was a pleasure chatting to you.


UV damaged plastics

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid rear mudguard AP8126706I first noticed it about a year ago – the ease with which the rear mudguard scratched. Then the flaking started, it was as though the plastic was turning to powder, all very unsightly! So I ordered a new one last May (2012) – AP8126706. It finally arrived in the UK about a month ago!

A quick internet search on UV damage to plastics proved quite interesting. It seems that they add the plastics equivalent to sun-cream or sun-block to the mixture before it’s injection moulded and this converts UV to heat rather than causing the plastic to decompose. Maybe Aprilia skimped on the Factor 50 when they moulded mine! 😀

Scottoiler – 12 years on

scottoilerYes it was 12 years ago I bought the Scottoiler ‘Touring’ package and a twin-feeder as an upgrade. It was all fitted to my lovely Kawasaki ZRX1200, then a year later swapped to a Triumph Trophy 1200 where it did several years sterling service. Later it spent a couple of years on the shelf before being dusted off and fitted to a Blackbird. Then in 2008 it went onto the Caponord where it worked faultlessly until earlier this year.

I noticed a steady decline in the amount of oil being fed to the chain and adjusting the RMV (Reservoir Metering Valve) made no difference. The fault turned out to be a clogged  twin-feed. I tried blowing it out and using vacuum to suck out the blockage, but nothing worked. In the end I bought a new one and cut the old one open to try and find the culprit. It turns out that inside lives a piece of foam that acts like a reservoir and this had broken down into mush and was blocking every passageway.

The new one only took a few minutes to replace and oil flow was restored. I’ve worked out that this kit has well over 220,000 miles under its belt and that equates to a purchase/running cost of about £1.65 per 1,000 miles. In truth though it is starting to show its age, the flow rate seems to be less adjustable that it once was which I’m putting down to the rubber diaphragm hardening with time. Before winter I’ll replace the RMV completely (about £42) and hope this one lasts another 12 years!