My Euroswift FB4 first drive postmortum

My euroswift FB4 is an absolute blast to drive.  I have never driven anything that comes close to the sensations that you get with driving a real open wheel race car.  I guess the closest you could get to this car would be a go-kart, but even that is a different type of drive compared to the race car.  I can’t wait to get the car setup for autocross.  This car is not without it its issues, several of which have to be addressed before I can drive the car again.  I have to remember that I bought an english race car that is living up to that english sports car reputation.  Given time, I know that I could fix everything that broke here, but since I am new to this car, there are some issues that I need to have a specialist to fix.  Fortunately I have a formula ford specialist about 3 hours from my home.

I took my car over to Porter racing out in Merced CA, and I know my car is in good hands.  Porter racing has been in business for over 15 years and from the comments and the posts that I read from ApexSpeed.com, he comes highly recommended.  I am lucky to have a service like his available this close to home.  I am going to have them fix the major issues plus dyno my tired old shocks and give the car a good corner weight and alignment so I can establish a baseline alignment and setup before I start to develop the car further.

the issues:

At some point in this cars past, there was an accident and it looks like the left rear corner took a hit.  In some respects you have to expect this on a 20+ year old race car.  In my case it looks like some one tried to either take some short cuts, or made a quick patch and then ignored the issue.

  • The first issue I need to get fixed is a cracked gear case cover.

 
 

The side plate as its called also serves as a mounting point for the transmission to the bell housing/frame and for suspension pickup points.  The gearbox is made by Hewland out of england and it is a very common transmission found in all sorts of race cars so parts are available.  the only question is finding the pieces in stock or having to wait for the part to be shipped from england.

Hewland gear case exploded view

My side plate cracked where you mount the transmission to the bell housing.  Porter racing is going to try and weld the cracked part.  After looking at another transmission that was already disassembled, it looks like the piece could warp from the heat fairly easily if proper precautions are not taken.  The fit is so tight on this part that any warpage would cause some leakage to occur, or the part could fail again.  Worst case scenario I can order a new side plate.  The more I think about it the more that sounds like a good idea.  I have been shopping around for another side plate and there are several sources available.  Hopefully these people will have the part in stock so I won’t have a long wait.

  • The second issue that I need to look at is the clutch slave cylinder.

It’s leaking.  I lost about half the fluid in the clutch reservoir .  On my car, the clutch slave is machined into the bell housing which is also the dry sump reservoir.  what can happen is the seals can wear out, or dry out and fail over time.  It is recommended that any time you pull the engine, replace the clutch seals.  It is like a $15 kit and it is very easy to do once you remove the engine.  If the cylinder walls are scored, I am not sure what my options are.  I think there is a kit available to put a Tilton clutch slave in, but again, I need more research and only if there is a problem.  I think the seals were old and failed since the car has been in storage since 2009.

Here you can see the Clutch slave cylinder machined into the clutch bell housing. The bell housing also contains the oil sump tank

  • The third issue is the CV boots.

The axles in general could use some service.  This was something I was planning to do, but with the transmission problems, I might as well have Porter racing take care of this while they are in there.  the problem might be finding the correct CV boot to use.  Typically the formula fords use a VW CV boot.  The inner boots are off a VW Golf, but the outer boots are a bit of a mystery at this point.

As you can see, the outer CV boots are all dry rotted and the grease is still there, but it really needs to be changed.  I have been searching the internet attempting to identify what kind of CV boot it is.  I know that the inner CV is a Lobro CV joint, so the outer should be the same.  It is just a matter of tracking down which part number I need.  It could be a VW, Porsche, or some british car.

  • other items for Porter Racing

These issues I am having Porter racing looking at as well as adding a new super trap muffler.  I need something so I can pass sound check.  Then I want him to do a full corner weight and alignment after putting my shocks on a dyno to see if there is any life left in these shocks (they are the original set that came with the car).  I hope at that point I will be at a good setup so that I can begin the tuning of the car.

  • transmission gear swap

Once the car is fixed, I need to swap out the gears so I can get the gear ratios that I want for autocrossing.  I have everything I need except the knowledge on how to swap the gears. I hope I can get Porter racing to show me how it’s done when I pick up the car.  Otherwise, I need to call out to some others who might be available locally.  I kind of feel like an idiot, I had forgotten to bring the gears with me when I dropped the car off.  I hope I can work something out.  I think I can do it myself, but I would not mind an education on how do swap the gears.  From what Neil Porter has already demonstrated, the gear swap can be a little tricky on my particular model, the LD200.

I hope that I can get all this work done and more on the trailer before the next autocross at the end of the month.  The American autocross series is holding their annual Larry park memorial event on the last weekend of september.  It is a two day event, and I would love to have the car ready for that event.

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2 thoughts on “My Euroswift FB4 first drive postmortum

  1. Hi Chris,

    The inner CV joints are either a tripode or lobro easymotion GKN joint, most likely the latter. The inner boot is a GKN “fast boot”. The outer CV joints are of VW origin, as are the outer boots, which are from a VW Jetta I think.

    The clutch slave cylinder is made of an inner cylinder moving within an outer sleeve, both made from aluminium and seperate from the cast aluminium bellhousing/oil tank.

    Regards
    Jason

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