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About oliverjamesthomas

  • Rank
    IB Glitterati

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Interests
    Learning to drive even more quickly around a track.
    All things engineering from a time when engineers were engineers, not just computer operators!

Previous Fields

  • Current 911
    996 GT3 MkII
  • Daily Driver
    VW Van
  • Lottery Car
    997 Cup Car
  • Most-played albums in your iPod/CD Changer
    AC-DC, Motley Crue, Coldplay, Queen and a couple of compilations
  • Day Job?
    Private Healthcare Management
  • Favourite Food
    Steak pie, chips and gravy
  • Drink?
    Stella, Jack Daniels
  • Drive of your life
    The next one...........

Recent Profile Visitors

693 profile views
  1. 1. RB’s intake conversion was extremely well thought out, both in terms of planning and execution. I can pretty much guarantee that everything was new and totally in order because I was involved with the machining of the translation blocks that made it happen. My old 3.2 used to combust brake cleaner, which is what they used in their little test, if you sprayed it at the base of the intakes. Most of the cars on this very forum would respond in similar, because brake cleaner is extremely searching. 2. Show me a driveshaft that doesn’t have some play with use. I would hope they did hold the driveshaft tight at the transmission side for that particular experiment. If you remove the lateral play, you really will have issues and you will wind a driveshaft up extremely quickly, if not both. 3. Really? Why would anyone wish to reinstate a wear sensor that comes on at the slightest sign of pad wear? Moreover, when did anyone ever see a wear indicator on a race car, track car, or any other sport purpose car for that matter? Even my wife’s Touareg has the sensors eliminated because i’d be changing pads at 40% life otherwise. A rant. Please don’t take this personally, because it really isn’t directed at you in particular..... Sorry to be blunt, but I read it in your post. Derek Bell, Richard Atwood, etc, rarely drove a Hot Rod 3.2 such as yours. If we’re looking to those lengths, I presume we will also advocate flat patching and stringing the thing after every run? If you would like to venture North, I will gladly introduce you to the bloke that ran both Toivonen brothers in WRC, built the first ever RS500 in existence, ran 6R4’s for the non-factory team that regularly beat Austin Rover at their own game and stopped Marc Duez from falling off the edge of a bridge on Corsica when he got it just a little bit wrong in a Prodrive M3. Equally, I can show you five current Touring Car Engineers, three leading lights in British GT and a bloke who has bought, restored, maintains and races his own F5000 car, which sits alongside a Chevron. He really is nuts! Every single one of the aforementioned would find fault with your car, without doubt. Every single one will equally and honestly say, ‘so what’. Your car is not a perfect factory built car with bumper to bumper warranty. I drove the genesis of your car over ten years ago. Let me rephrase that; I was privileged to drive the genesis of your car over ten years ago. At that time it was in narrow body guise and on a pretty epic IB trip to and from CLM, (who remembers those days, chaps and chapesses 👍👍👍), RB kindly threw me the keys. Hamish and Ryan were behind in my own 3.2 that I had resurrected from the dead, with adventurous plans to develop it. Mine was a good car. Perky’s was a thirsty one, Twinny’s was a sadist with a penchant for roundabouts or any given corner and Gary’s was just glad to be returning in one piece; (you would have needed to be there. Gary’s overtakes are a thing of legend). RB’s car, now yours, was exceptional. I remember the drive well. RB was explaining the finer points of the banking meltdown to me and I was thinking ‘stuff this drives great. How can I make mine this good?’ Then he sent it North to the Mudd Brothers and it was converted to wide body. That wing is a quality item; he bought it from me and collected it on a Sunday morning in Birmingham, after a messy IB Christmas do, (who remembers those days, chaps and chapesses 🤣). He latterly said it was transformed in wide-body guise, which means it must be pretty exceptional now. You might say I have a bit of a soft spot for your car. The first ever time I sat in it was at Snetterton on an IB trackday. It made quite an impression and this is the point. What you have is a brilliant car that has been developed with care and attention, not to mention significant outlay. If you were to try and have someone emulate it, you would pay far in excess of the purchase price to achieve it and bear in mind that I don’t know what you paid for it. You will always find someone that will find fault and incur you in needless cost, which ultimately will tarnish your enjoyment and cost you money. Drive it, paste it and enjoy it. If and when it lets you down, fix it. Don’t chase perfection, because you’ll only find that at an OPC 😉
  2. There’s a foam pad at the base of the C-Pillar, effectively sandwiched between the inner and outer panels, just below the quarter light. I don’t know why it is there and I removed it because of the obvious problems it causes.
  3. I can highly recommend AET in Wakefield. Aside from the Motorsport stuff, they do an awful lot of refurbishment work on everything from turbochargers for a car to big industrial plant. Very knowledgeable and great service. No affiliation by the way, other than being a very satisfied customer.
  4. Being a tight, but sensible Northern lad, I just don't see where these prices are coming from. Any respectable hydraulic hose Company will make you properly crimped pipes up without an issue or alternatively, order fittings from the likes of Torques or Think Automotive and make them up yourself. It really isn't rocket science and is something absolutely within the abilities of many DIY'ers around these parts. I sit at the side of lines I have made up in the race car and that is with 3.5 Bar on the return line, after the rails. I'll be doing the same with the 911 as well, so I'm speaking with a degree of experience here. No affiliation, but I've always found Torques fittings to be excellent quality and they have a huge range of Metric and AN sizes available.
  5. I trained you well, young Padawan. Now come up with something original for 1st April 🤣
  6. As RB says, as near to Stavelot is the name of the game. There’s a fantastic Italian there but the Chinese is, well, interesting to say the least. It is a bit like Russian Roulette and even pointing at the menu results in a lucky dip scenario. I was part of the engineering team running a car in the Creventic 12H. Ten of us stayed here and I can recommend it highly: https://www.domainelongpre.be/nl/ Lovely spot not too far from Stavelot town and the circuit entrance. Clean and tidy, secure and very comfortable. There were four of us in our chalet and we weren’t on top of each other. Might see some of you out there. If i’m not working it, I might head out anyway. I fancy another Spa road trip and the Classic is epic 👍
  7. Try the Swan at Little Budworth or the Alvanley Arms just outside Tarporley, Jevvy. Long shot perhaps, but you might get fixed up 👍
  8. I can recommend the Dewalt 1/2” impact gun Northy. I bought one to replace my ageing Sealey, which itself was a good unit and not at all expensive. A few of the race teams are using the Mac / Dewalt, which is roughly the same unit. Three torque settings so plenty of control and it is yet to be defeated 👍
  9. I ran a Link G4 prior to switching to Syvecs. Very good value I thought, but the Syvecs is a whole different level. You made the right move and the chaps behind Syvecs are very knowledgeable and helpful. Thankfully I have a cracking guy to map it, so I don’t need to understand it too much. Give me carburettors any day 😂
  10. Nice to see Syvecs being used. I have one in a non-Porsche application and it truly is a fantastic piece of kit. Interesting project!
  11. That is just 'right'. Do not change a thing! Very nice indeed.
  12. With the car on level ground, can you easily remove the droplinks you have? If the answer is no, I would suggest you have preload on the ARB, which isn’t really part of the script. Going to adjustable droplinks will allow you to eliminate any possible preload, by sizing them to a length that will allow them to easily slide in and out of the mounting positions. If the answer is yes and we can presume no preload, adjustable droplinks won’t necessarily be needed if the ARB will rotate to a position without binding on anything that enables you to use the other holes. I’m presuming from your post that this might not be the case, but just wanted to highlight it. As for droplinks themselves, you really don’t need anything with a fancy name on them. The prices, as with so many things, can be a complete joke. Your local engineering factor could possibly supply you with rod ends and turnbuckles or at the very simplest, male and female threaded rod ends that will necessitate you undoing one half to adjust the length. Otherwise try McGill Motorsport who do a good range, or the likes of Aurora who have virtually everything known to man. I would advocate dust boots for the ends though. The amount of protection from the elements they provide is worthwhile, IMHO. Sorry if any of the above is stating the obvious, but I have been under two cars in the pits this year where supposed knowledgeable people have made a complete hash of the suspension.
  13. I do indeed have a 996.2 GT3, as well as a longer term build of an air-cooled car that is gaining traction at last 😂 The GT3 is essentially standard, although there have been sensible changes made when necessary; Powerflex bushes to replace the standard ones that were shot at 43k, CL pads, and a radio that looks the part but isn’t a relic of the 1990’s. I’m currently using Cup2’s and the alignment has a nod to track settings, but both of these are due to change. You might say it is a very nice example of the model. The video posted earlier is a good watch and that is certainly a very nicely set up GT3. It is also piloted by an extremely capable driver on a very nice stretch of tarmac and I know for a fact that most of these videos aren’t created in one take 🤣 Here lies the issue. My earlier contention that a well setup Cayman would lose and find a GT3 is based on the fact that a GT3 simply is not an easy car to live with or drive. They are extremely sensitive to ride height and alignment, the latter of which will move for fun. For every ten owners who claim to have had theirs ‘on the limit’, seventy percent probably don’t even know what ‘the limit’ looks like because they’ve never been anywhere near. Hanging the rear out with consistent results as in the video would be fantasy land to most drivers. To drive a GT3 well takes commitment; to drive one at the limit takes something more. The limits really are that high when they are working right, but are actually quite difficult to attain. I’m not coming at this as some type of driving legend, because i’m not. I race with moderate success and I instruct, both of which afford me the opportunity to be around some truly exceptional drivers who I would be very happy to emulate. I know my limitations, but also that I have enough experience to allow constructive criticism; or destructive, as the case may be 😉 I drive the car very little, partly because i’m In the fortunate position of having a race car for track kicks but mainly because at the minute, it is bloody horrible on the road. This can be attributed to the geometry in part, but the Cup 2’s are lethal in the wet. Even with decent tread they simply do not displace a modicum of standing water. I have experienced several instances of being caught out in a downpour and the car sitting up at fifty on the M62 and slewing. I tend not to react and it settles back down, but there is always a ‘what if’ at the back of my mind. The wrong input would end up very messy. It is also uncomfortable over distance and on anything less than smooth roads, will shake your teeth out. In the Eifel it works, but the Germans seem to spend money on Tarmac. What is the answer? In my case, the geometry will be put much nearer to standard and the tyres will be replaced with something more practical. Tyres are difficult though because there are not that many available in the GT3 size; another quirk of ownership! That will make it more mannerly on the road, but less capable on the track, which is the trade-off and is also the reason I consider there to be better options for a ‘fun’ car; one where you don’t need to be a driving deity to do it justice and you can have the grin factor. Here’s something to think about; if you take the typically sorted IB and drive it like you stole it, you will arguably be travelling at a fraction of the speed you would in a GT3 at the same level of commitment. There’s a risk and reward factor right there and there’s been no shortage of very bent GT3’s that have met their demise at Warp five. I spend a lot of time on circuit in the BMW M4, which is a heavy car but extremely capable. The fact that you have the ability on circuit but could also blast through Europe in comfort or do the twists on a Pass should be admired. Similarly, a Cayman or Boxster would work. I’ve played in a Cayman and really liked it and the fact RB has gone the Boxster route speaks volumes. He can pedal and knows what makes a good car. In 911 world, I have a close friend with a PDK GTS. Brilliant in every respect, because it will cover the GT role and also hold its own on circuit. I’ve spent many a mile travelling in Europe alongside that car and must admit to being rather envious of the comfort aspect. I suppose at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference, but i’d hate to see someone buy the ‘wrong’ thing because of rose tinted spectacles. That’s the main thought behind my ramblings, because we’ve all been there and lived to regret it. You could always consider a Caterham though 👀😂
  14. Having spent time instructing in one, I’m of the firm opinion that they are a big numb lump. I couldn’t imaging hustling one over a mountain pass and they aren’t that funky on track either. You made the right decision. Spain sounds like a nice idea though 👍
  15. I’m there again and a good mate is bringing a pretty epic 928 race car with phenomenal provenance. I think a few people will wet themselves when they see it 👍
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