Alfa-Romeo powered 7

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Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:45 pm

Took the 7 out to the Gore Vintage Car Club's Josephville Hill Climb on Sunday. It was the first time I've been able to properly get a feel for how the car goes and also the first competitive event I've done in it. The hill is 0.9km long, a fairly long, gently curving approach to the first corner, a long sweeping right hander, followed by a shorter straight to a sharper left hand corner and a straight run to the finish. The day started a bit overcast and cool but the sun broke through at lunch-time and it got quite warm by the time we finished. The format was one practice run followed by four timed runs but, in the end, there was a fifth run for anyone who wanted another go. I toured up for my practice run, partly to see where the road went and partly to get a bit of a feel for the car. The 1st to 2nd change is a bit slow, so I started in 2nd and took off OK. I did the same for my first "proper" run, but pushed it a bit more through the corners and knocked 3 seconds off my practice time :) For the second timed run I tried starting in 1st and got away a bit quicker, pushed more through the corners and knocked another 3 seconds off my time :) The third timed run I used more revs at the start, got hooked up nicely and arrived at the first corner a lot faster, braked a bit too much and then ran out of revs in third just as I got to the finish, ending up a tenth slower :( I got another really good start on the fourth timed run, hit max revs just before both corners and knocked 6 tenths off. On the final run, I got into 4th briefly before both corners and knocked a further half a tenth off my time. I was very pleased with the way the car went, had an absolute ball - and was surprised and delighted to be awarded the trophy for "Best Performance on the Hill Climb". I was told I got the trophy as it was my first time on the hill and with the car and I'd shown a steady improvement through the day's runs :)

A few pictures

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Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Fri May 16, 2014 11:07 pm

Saturday 29th March: I was up early as I had to be at Teretonga for 8.30am - my first track day in the Seven, with Playday on Track :)

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It was part of a tour of South Island tracks and I was lucky to get a place for the one day. There was a wide variety of machinery there, from a 1957 Triumph TR3A to a Ferrari 458 Italia and a McLaren MP4-12C, some local clubmans racers (including a couple of Star cars), an Escort Twin Cam, a Lotus Elise and a Cobra replica, plus a Nissan 350Z, several Porsches and a raft of motorbikes.

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The bikes ran separately from the cars and both were split into groups according to "speed" (with an additional "prestige" group for the cars - the Ferrari, McLaren and a number of Porsches). Everyone was very well-behaved and there were only two "incidents". A bike went straight on at the end of the straight, without doing too much damage as far as I could see and the McLaren ended up in a gravel trap midway through the day and retired hurt. It didn't look too bad but took ages to be extricated and then was hidden away in the scrutineering shed until it disappeared under a cover on the back of a truck :(

During the course of the day I had six runs of about 12 minutes each and gradually got more confidence in the ability of the car to go round corners. Despite my misgivings over my lack of familiarity with the car, I was persuaded to go in the "fast" group and was glad I did. As you'd perhaps expect, the car was as fast or faster than the majority of the other cars in the group on initial acceleration out of the sharp left-hander onto the main straight but got caught along the straight when it started running into the aerodynamic headwind ;)

The speedometer packed up during the second run (unused to the high speeds perhaps!) and a couple of minor oil leaks showed up, probably as a result of the high speed cornering. I ended up with four well-scrubbed tyres after about 100kms of track use, during which the car drank 19 litres of fuel. I had a great time and was pleasantly surprised at how well the car went in comparison to some much more expensive (and, in some cases, newer!) cars.

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It was a great day, very well-organised, with a friendly bunch of participants - and good weather! I now need to sort out the speedometer, the leaks and a service before the next adventure :)

Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Thu May 22, 2014 9:19 am

Well, the car is at Leitch Motorsport & Restorations for them to do a few jobs after the Teretonga track day - the main ones being to fix the speedometer and to investigate some transmission noise :(
Barry thinks the noise may be from the diff and caused by it running dry round the sweeper (the long left hander at the end of the main straight) but time will tell.....
Other more straightforward jobs will include an oil and filter change as it's 18 months (but only just 3,000 miles) since the last one - oops! - and a set of new tyres to replace the (old) and worn out Yokohama A021s :)

Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Wed May 28, 2014 9:08 am

A pleasant surprise for a change - I've just re-licensed the Seven for another 12 months and found that NZTA have recognised that the car is now 40 years old. Registration for 12 months was only $108.58 :) The most interesting part was how little of that sum is for the licence fee ($19.50). The majority of the cost is the ACC Levy ($69.53), with the remainder consisting of Other Levies ($1.64), Administration ($3.74) and the dreaded GST ($14.17).

Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Sat May 31, 2014 10:11 am

Well, after the previous pleasant surprise, some unwelcome news :( The transmission noise turned out to be excessive backlash in the diff gears, which was bad enough, but the off-side (Escort) axle tube is also bent. At some point the tube has been cut and welded back up with a repair sleeve but not completely straight :? Yet another example of things not being done properly in the car's past! Oh well, the Leitch guys have sourced a replacement axle tube and think they've found a replacement diff with a better ratio which will bring the revs down for more "relaxed" cruising on the road ;) They are currently busy making the new tube look smart and welding on the various brackets and reinforcements ready to put it on the car. They've also had a go at a number of other niggles so the car should be even better when I eventually get it back :D

Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:10 pm

Update time ;) I got the car back a week ago after far too many hours of work for the Leitch guys. It now has a replacement rear axle with added stiffening and diff (a 3.9 instead of the previous 4.1) so it now not only revs lower (for more "relaxed" cruising!) but also has an accurate speedometer, which has also been fixed - the right angle rive from the gearbox had failed. The diff filler has been modified to increase the oil capacity (as the diff is tilted slightly, it was holding less than it should) which, together with the standard baffling in the axle tubes, should keep the diff lubricated during prolonged hard cornering :) The steering rack had a bit of play at one end (picked up at scrutineering for the hill climb) and a new bush has solved that. The windscreen wiper mechanism has now been properly fitted - it had some spacers missing before so the wipers weren't actually pressed onto the screen. It now has a perspex wind deflector fixed to the roll over bar, which has cut down the buffeting in the cockpit considerably. Finally, it has a new WoF and I'm now just waiting for the new tyres to arrive. I decided to stick with the Yokohama A021R as the 11 year old ones fitted to the car seemed to work pretty well and they seem to be the preferred all weather tyre for a mixture of road and track day use - plus they're available in the correct size (185/70/13)!

The wind deflector
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Super Seven
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super Seven » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:08 pm

I used to have the A021R tyres on my Caterham but switched over to Toyo R888 when I couldn't find a supplier in NZ for them. Although I'll probably stick with the Toyos I'd be interested to hear where the Yokos can be purchased.

Cheers Mike

Super7Alfa
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super7Alfa » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:54 am

Super Seven wrote:I used to have the A021R tyres on my Caterham but switched over to Toyo R888 when I couldn't find a supplier in NZ for them. Although I'll probably stick with the Toyos I'd be interested to hear where the Yokos can be purchased.

Cheers Mike
Hi Mike,
Barry Leitch is sourcing the tyres, I'll ask him where he's getting them from. Just out of curiosity, how do you find the Toyos compared to the Yokohamas?

Talkiet
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Talkiet » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:15 pm

Although it's not a Yokahama to Toyo comparison, I switched from Silverstone FTZ-RRs to R888s and the R888s are far better on the track on my car that the FTZ-RRs were. I'll have no hesitation ponying up for the R888s again when this set of rears expire.

Cheers - N

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Super Seven
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Re: Alfa-Romeo powered 7

Post by Super Seven » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:19 pm

I've found the Toyos to have much better grip in the dry and when there is no standing water. They also seem to last longer than the Yokos did. My one concern has always been their performance when it is very wet, after all they don't have as much tread as the Yokos do. When I was using the car in the UK the Yokos were better priced than the Toyos.

Mike

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