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Burning Looms

It's been an interesting year between last year's Spa Eurotrip and this one. It all started at Silverstone in August when the rear cap of the exhaust popped off with some force while going up the main straight. It turned out it took out the rear lighting loom when it did so. We wrote it off at the time as a bad earth, until we did some investigation back at base and found the loom to be getting incredibly hot around the plug to the rear lighting loom.

I opened it up and found the wires to be mush in the plugs. This didn't bode well. So I cut into the lighting loom and found it fused solid. If that wasn't bad enough, it was fused solid about 2ft into the main loom also. Both irreparable.

So we had to bite the bullet and order two new looms. To say that smarted would be an understatement. To this point the Juno has been surprisingly cheap to run as a track day toy. It takes a bit of maintenance, but not much we couldn't do. This however made a large dent in our very limited budget (neither of us have proper jobs). But you've got to accept that we've bought a pukka race car, and bits for them aren't cheap when they die. It's just one of those things.

We got the new looms and installed them. A little tweaking was needed here and there, but it wasn't an issue to get it in there. Got to give Juno their due, these things are designed to be easy to work on quickly. The flasher unit was also found to be toast. Quite literally, it had melted inside. So a new one of those was needed. But we seemed to have a car that worked again. Off we go to Anglesey for a test a little later than anticipated as the first Anglesey date we had booked looked like this (the Juno lives in that garage).

So we finally get there, fire it up, have a sesh and get back in the pits, all looking good. Decide to have another go and nothing. Power it off and on again, nothing. Again and again, eventually it starts and runs just fine again. Back in and power it off and on again, nothing. Back at base we went over everything. Eventually we had to bite the bullet and get the car back where it was born. This is now two weeks before Spa and we're starting to get a little anxious...

Ewan and the guys went all over it. Ruling out one thing after another. In the end it came down to either the ECU or the engine loom, the problem turning out to be the ECU only powering up intermittently. If it was the loom we were buggered, it took the people who make the looms three months (and constant badgering) to make the last one. Either way, without the facilities at Juno to do any more investigation (they've moved on to an EFI system now), the engine loom and ECU went to Mountune to diagnose.

Thankfully they gave the loom a clean bill of health and were able to replicate the problem exactly on the ECU. Which went back to Pectel, who could find nothing wrong with it... Then again they defaulted it before testing. Back to Mountune and they confirm it's now working perfectly also. Our map was re-loaded onto it and the problem was put down to corrupted ECU data, likely at the time of the loom meltdown. We got the ECU at 10am the day before we sailed for Spa and got it in and tested as much as we could. But it seemed to have done the trick.

Gotta give huge thanks to Ewan and all the guys at Juno, and Rob at Mountune for getting it all sorted so quickly. Still, the proof of the pudding would be in Belgium.

Well it works! The reason this is the only footage is another story. We orignally bought an AIM Smarty Cam as it plumbs directly into the onboard logger allowing all sorts of fun stuff. Which was something else we found that didn't work at Anglesey. It looks like the image stabilisation was shot on it. It was unwatchable. It's apparently in Italy, which is not very helpful and we still have no idea when it might turn back up.

As it was we (literally) threw one of Colin's Vboxes in for one session each before it was hired by a punter. Still it managed to catch a 2:42.83 lap for me. Which I'm positive wasn't my quickest of the day as the tyres were going off by this point so I'm slowing down in a couple of places. Still, I'm happy with this confirmed lap as it's 3 secs faster than last year with easily more to come.

UPDATE:Colin went through the on-board logger and spliced it into laps. Our best laps were almost identical on the fresher tyres, both of us pulling a 2:40. Very pleased with that.

It mostly comes down to tyres. The tyres we get (cheers Simon!) have all done a race. It looks like they last us a day before the rears start to fall off. So we're going to be less stingy with them and run a set of tyres a day from now on. Also the car had a set up, which we ballsed up a little by forgetting to corner weight and flat floor it first. It's close though, well apart from the wheel being a little to the left, and definitely an improvement. It's on the list.

As are many other bits and pieces, as you always get with these things. Thankfully it's all bitty stuff now. Fundamentally the car is running like a good 'un and we couldn't be happier.

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