Monday, February 27, 2012

Race Retro 2012 Report

On Saturday 25th February, powered by the squidgy energy of choice Soreen, I travelled off to Stoneleigh Park for Race Retro. This is the first time I've attended this event and it's a whopper of a show. Four Halls filled with historic and classic race cars along with some motorbikes too. Along side the bustling exhibition halls there was also a classic rally stage that benefited from the great weekend weather. Here are my sketches and other highlights from the weekend.

1962 Cooper T59 Formula Junior
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Chassis number FJ 3962 was purchased from the Works by Bill McCowan who Raced throughout '62 until crashing at Monza. The car was sufficiently damaged to end McCowans' season. Repaired and raced during 1963 by Mike Budge who painted the car Blue with a bold orange stripe. There are records of the car being subsequently owned by Messrs Nicholson and Brockhurst but the car disappears from 1967 until it is discovered during 2002, dismantled and stored in the back of a derelict van, at a garage in Sussex a stone's throw from Goodwood. The bodywork was still in the Budge colour scheme. Restored by Grant Wilson the car has been raced regularly since 2006.

This Cooper was displayed on the Hall and Hall stand, for more information please visit their website:

Austin Healey 100s Endurance Car
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Officially the fastest naturally-aspirated Austin Healey 100 in the world
Built in 2008 to challenge the Enudurance Record of 132mph set by Donald Healey in 1954, this car not only broke Healeys Bonneville record but also smashed 17 others, including the UK's 100 mile standing start record. Built on what is believed to be the last known factory chassis this car is rivet for rivet identical to the original car SPL337B.

This car is currently for sale through The Old Racing Car Company:

TZ 350cc Cyclecar
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Currently campaigned by Trevor Duckworth, this beutifully insane headfirst cyclecar is the holder of the British National Records for the quarter mile, kilometre and mile. Both standing start and flyers it holds these records as a 250cc/350cc and some as a 500cc. Originally built by Des Heckle with a 250cc Starmaker engine ans scooter back wheel for Irene Scargill it held all the 250cc world and national records. Trevor bought it in the late 70's and modified it to take the tz engine and racing sidecar wheel.
This bike has probably held more world and national records than any other. Trevor will be running this bike at various Straightliners events as part of the championships this year and hopefully breaking more records with it. To find out more about the Straightliners championship head over to the wesite:

Ellis Ford #3 Replica
(digitally painted ink sketch)

The above Car is a replica of Ellis's 1965 World championship winning car. Mike Shirley also has the original engine from this car! It is built on an original LD chassis and is true to the era in which it raced. They tried to ban Ellis' cars several times - big motors, lightweight wheels, bare minimum bodies, Ellis was always tweaking the authorities. You could hear Ellis from miles away with those pom-pom exhausts - usually on booming 427 ford V8s. Mike told me that the Replica has the same V8 that they used in GT40's, I'm glad the engine is still in this fantastic stock car.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these BRISCA Heritage cars tucked away in the corner. For me these were the highlight of the show. I'm always impressed by the pure fun approach of stock car racing, of course yes it is a seriously competitive sport but there is something to the bravado and ingenuity of these cars that brings a smile to my face. More info on the history and fixtures please visit the BRISCA Heritage website:

Clive Beales 722
Based on a 1949 Ford Pop and runs a 100e engine with a down draft Webber carburettor.

Brian Owen 886 F2
The Pop body is believed to be from the 1965 world winning car. The car finished 2nd in the 2011 shale championship and 2nd in the points at Coventry and Bradford.

RPD 4 first appeared as a Cotton special owned by Rex Chappell who used it to win the BTRDA Gold Star in 1953. Impressed by the new cars being made by Mike Cannon, Rex ordered a new car to be built; he called it Cannotton and used it to win his second gold Star in 1955.

More information on the Cotton trials cars can be found on the Historic Sporting Trials Association website:

Silverstone Auctions had a huge array of cars up for grabs
here's a couple that caught my eye.
1958 Mercedes Benz 190SL

1964 Ford Falcon Sprint

The Classic Rally stage had a huge range of entries here are just a few of them.

Austin Metro

Yes an Austin Metro!


Citroen Visa

Lastly I'm always like a big truck. Based on a left hand drive export Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster LRT 3.1 Chassis with a 150bhp underfloor engine. This beautiful transporter was built in 1959 by Marshall Motor Bodies Ltd of Cambridge to the design of the engine development division of Rubery Owen & Co. Ltd the Builder of B.R.M. racing cars. With the capacity of 3 Racing Cars, the transporter was constructed of hardwood with exterior panels of hand beaten aluminium.

If you missed it this year I'd fully recommend attending next year as there was a lot to see and I've only covered a small section of what was on show. For more information please visit the Race Retro website:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Here is one 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 88,656 miles on it. The issue here is no passenger side door functions such as power windows or power door locks. The other issue is no RKE (Remote Keyless Entry) functions as well from the key fobs. The drivers side operations work correctly. The Grand Cherokee platform is definitely one of the more popular vehicles I encounter. They have various issues both common and uncommon.
The shop has done some checking before I got there. Various panels have been removed in an effort to narrow down the search. The first thing that catches my eye is the aftermarket alarm module dangling. I am always wary of aftermarket alarms and their installations. I have seen many issues caused by either bad alarms or the installation. Let's have a look at the wiring diagram.

The system utilizes door modules in each door that communicate through a data buss called PCI ( Programmable Controller Interface) buss. It is very much like GM's Class 2 data buss. It is a peer to peer network meaning that any module on the network has the ability to communicate on it's own. Both the DDM ( Drivers door Module) and PDM ( Passenger Door Module) share a common power and ground feed as well. Looking through the service information I also come across this- I underlined the important tidbit of information.

The DDM and PDM each utilize integrated circuitry and information carried on the Programmable Communications Interface (PCI) data bus network along with many hard wired inputs to monitor many sensor and switch inputs throughout the vehicle. The PDM also receives inputs through an integral Radio Frequency (RF) Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) receiver. The DDM and PDM control and integrate many functions and features of the vehicle through both hard wired outputs and messages over the PCI data bus. 

We also know that at least our source for power and source for ground is good since we have proper drivers side window and lock operation. So what is next?
This is what I do. I reach for my DRB3 and go into this menu. Factory tools do so many functions that the aftermarket tools may not have. I hit the enter button.

This is the next menu. What the DRB3 is going to do is look for any modules that are communicating on the PCI data buss and report. Such a great feature.
This is the first page. As you can see it is in acronym form so you have to know your Chrysler modules. Let's check out the next page.

Well we see a Driver Door Module but no Passenger Door Module. So, we know that the PDM is not reporting on the PCI buss. Let's get right to the PDM.

Pulling the passenger dise door panel gives me access to the PDM. I want to check power, ground, and whether it is receiving PCI buss messages. Lets first check for PCI data messages. I grab my scope and backprobe the PDM.
We have communication. Like I said just like Class 2 on a GM vehicle. We have a 7 volt square wave slightly off of ground to help with noise. So we know we dont have an issue with the PCI wiring to the PDM. Let's check power and ground.
This is the wire that is supposed to have battery voltage. We have a problem. Checking the ground wire at the PDM and that is good. So we have a power feed issue no doubt. But, is that all?
So, backprobed at the PDM I run a fused jumper from battery positive to the PDM. Lets rerun the PCI buss check.
Hello there PDM. I check passenger side window and lock operation and all is well. Now, it is time to find where the loss of voltage is. I know where I am going right away.

There it is a broken feed wire in the passenger side bellows between door and A pillar. Checking the other wires in the harness and they were all good. A quick repair of the wire and reassembly and all is well. The RKE worked like a charm as well. The shop owner was more than happy. This car was fixed with no parts and quickly. It is a bit unusual to see this sort of failure on the passenger side. I see it all the time on the drivers side however. Think about how many more times you open the drivers side versus the passenger side.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Ford Show & Great Western Autojumble 2012, Report

This Sunday I was off to Shepton Mallet again, not for another tractor show but for the
Ford Show and Great Western Autojumble.
The show was spread out over more halls this year allowing for a wider range of cars along with a bigger Autojumble. I spent most of my time in the main hall as it had the majority of the owners clubs and the most interesting cars.

1960 Thunderbird
(digitally painted ink sketch)

As you can see I really liked the back end of this Thunderbird, as with a lot of these American cars the design of the back is almost like a spaceship.

Plenty of leg room...Hang on is that a tractor in the background?

Darren Clarkes F2 Heritage Stock Car.
(digitally painted ink sketch)

This was at the Ford Show last year and I was hoping it would be back so I could sketch it.

There is a Heritage Stock Car scene in this country, see the BRISCA Website for more details.

Ford V8 "30" Touring Saloon
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Consul Capri
(digitally painted ink sketch)

As featured in the Joe Meek Bio Pic "Telstar". These cars have a definite American styling but seem to retain a British modesty.

Consul Classic

The Classic was designed in Dagenham from 1956 onward under Cheif Stylist Colin Neale.
It was produced from 1960 onwards.

Ford Anglia

1963 Cortina Mark 1

100e Popular

Gulf Mirage, GT40
This is a reconstructed vehicle, there is one of the three produced that still exists.
Deleloped by J.W. Automotive to contest the 1967 Le Mans.

A neat looking Transit, I wouldn't want to do a bank job with it though.

1955 Ford E83W Truck
Named "Rosie" & owned by Dave Locke.