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Dave W

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Everything posted by Dave W

  1. The MSA have shot themselves in the foot to a certain extent because they keep changing their story on exactly why licenses are now required and why the permit fees have more than doubled. They then said that it was to help sustain them, then that it was to promote the sport. Then it was due to insurance, then they announced that they had combined the permit and insurance fee as that was now "confidential" and the split in costs (insurance/permit) is no longer to be disclosed. The reality is that they want to harvest data for purposes they won't disclose, even in response to a GDPR request. The £5 extra per entry is actually to pay for the "free" licenses so the directors can increase profit whilst getting competitors to pay to harvest the data. The license application violates their own privacy policy as far as I can tell and they've refused to clarify what the data is to be used for or why they are gathering it. I don't yet have figures for 2019 but profits before tax for the MSA have been as follows: 2014: £285,000 (7.3 million turnover) 2015: £73,000 (7.75 million turnover) 2016: £439,000 (7.72 million turnover) 2017: £432,000 (8.23 million turnover) 2018: £454,000 (9.55 million turnover) Now, I'm no financial guru but it seems to me that if you're running a limited company and still declaring nearly half a million as taxable profit... you can live without taking £5 extra per month from trials competitors. They actually earn over £200,000 a year in interest, that must really give them sleepless nights. The directors of the MSA are paid £650,000 and the employees get £2,753,000 between 50 of them. One of the directors gets paid £275,000 per year. That'll be the same director that decided to add £5 per entry because otherwise the MSA would not be financially viable... They have £16,000,000 in assets of which just under £2,000,000 is "working capital" which is, presumably, where most of their interest income originates. Between 2017 and 2018 Turnover increased by over 16%, pre-tax profits increased by over 5%, working capital increased by nearly 49% and shareholder funds increased by nearly 4%. I've still not had a response to my GDPR clarification request from mid November...
  2. I'm still waiting for a response to my GDPR clarification (First sent to MSA in November) but in the meantime we've not found a viable alternative. At our AGM there was a lot of ill feeling towards the MSA but also an acceptance that we don't have any good alternatives at the moment. All we can hope is that increasing the costs and complexity of competing will not have a negative effect on numbers. We'll add something to our own privacy policy to warn members that we do not believe the MSA or their license application process is GDPR compliant until we get clarification or they change the process and/or privacy statement.
  3. You can't bleed the entire system on a TD5 due to the fuel system design. You can bleed most of it but not all of it. For that reason, if it's run out of fuel at the injectors, it can take a lot of cranking to clear it. I have dual tanks on mine and I find that if I switch over before it runs out of fuel I don't have an issue but if I let it run out before switching tanks it can take ages to purge it all again and get it to fire up. A few minutes cranking is not unusual then it'll start trying to run on a cylinder or two and eventually fire up. If you clear the faults do they appear again ?
  4. We'd already assumed there was no way back, I hadn't seen the ALRC had met with them, seems they came up against a brick wall too but there does seem to be some confirmation that the original "press release" was, as suspected, complete fabrication. It's interesting that the ALRC seem to have forgotten that they are one of the bodies in the UK that can issue exemption certificates though !
  5. I think that the massive increase in permit fees are a direct result of the policy that you mention. Basically they are trying to leverage competitor data by ensuring that anyone taking part in MSA events has to submit their personal data to them first. Currently some of this data is only held by clubs but the MSA now want sex/age/address/relation information to sell on to third parties. In order to get a license you now have to agree to that. In order to finance the new license scheme they have increased all entries across the board but grass roots events, as a percentage, are paying more than double. I have asked the MSA why they have done this without consultation and got no reply. I also asked their privacy contact why the license form appears to contradict their own privacy policy and got no reply.
  6. The problem we have at the moment is simply the cost of most of the alternatives. Our current entry fee is £15 for a trial entry. No license is required other than club membership which, for existing members, is £15 per year. Over the last few years entry numbers have dropped slightly but we've just about been breaking even over the year which is pretty much as we want it. We pay around £10 per entry to the land owner and just under £5 per entry to the MSA for the permit/insurance. With the MSA increasing their fee from just under £5 to £10 now is a good time to review our options. We've tried avoiding increasing entry fees in the past as we've found that the entry numbers drop off proportionally so adding £5 to the entry fee is likely to reduce entry numbers. When we've tried more expensive land and increased the cost of entry, numbers have always dropped off. We also have issues with new competitors being put off by too much paperwork so adding another layer with the addition of a mandatory license is unlikely to improve matters. What we would ideally like to find is a way to continue with our motor sport without increasing costs and paperwork... hence we're interested in hearing if any other clubs have found viable alternatives for grass roots competition. Most of the alternatives we've looked at seem to need a license for each competitor which is probably a bigger obstacle to new competitors than the MSA license given that the MSA one is free at the moment. Nora/MCF, for example would be way too expensive, as would the IOPD which would be the more obvious alternative.
  7. Like many MSA clubs we're looking at options for 2020 in light of the massive relative increase in permit fees for 2020. Is your club going to take the hit and increase entry fees for trials or have they looked at alternative options around event insurance ? Yorkshire Off Road Club have not renewed our MSA membership yet until a decision is taken at the upcoming AGM and I'm a bit surprised that the changes appear to have gone without comment on here. FWIW we have been investigating the practicality and cost of extending our current insurance to cover our events and running them outside of the MSA and will be presenting the results at our AGM for members to make a decision on. For anyone that's not aware, the MSA at the end of 2019 announced that permit fees would be more than doubled for our trials events and, in addition, all competitors and passengers would require an MSA license (free) in addition to club membership.
  8. It's a coil driver, allows you to fire an ignition coil from a 5v logic signal. It's been developed by Bosch and has all sorts of safeguards to try and prevent it getting damaged due to misuse/bad configuration with over temperature protection, current limiting and so on. You take the input 5v high for the dwell period and the coil fires when you drop the input to 0v. https://secu-3.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/pdf/bip373_datasheet.pdf If I had to hazard a guess I'd suspect that most of the current combined coil and driver offerings use this device, it's a lot more robust than the older VB921 we used to use as a coil driver. You connect the base (B) pin through a resistor to the MS ECU spark output, emitter (E) to vehicle earth and the collector (C) to the coil -ve. The other side of the coil is connected to ignition 12v. One thing you do have to watch though is that the collector is connected to the metal tab/heatsink so when you bolt it to a metal surface you need to make sure it's insulated, normally using a mica insulation kit. There are a number of places selling them in the UK and US or you can get a pack of 5 from aliexpress for under £10 if you're prepared to wait: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/BIP373-TO220-Series-250-V-16A-Bipolar-Triple-Stage-Automotive-Ignition-Driver-30115/1132722921.html
  9. MS3 is the same as MS1 in that it has a series of spark outputs that all OUTPUT 5v. EDIS is an automated coil driver controller, it has 4 built in coil drivers and a circuit that reads the crank signal to power the coil drivers at the correct time. You can use coils with built in drivers such as the VW ones or LSx ones or you can use external drivers with your existing coils to convert the 5v signal from the MS ECU into a spark, typically you use a BIP373 for each coil and use your existing coils. Your choice really, depends on your budget and requirements - you can get 4 x BIP373 for less than £20, mount them in there own box near the coils and it's no different to EDIS or new coils. I use an Aluminium box to house mine, the box acts as a heatsink and also screens any electrical interference. The wiring details are available in the MS documentation. The VW option is very good, just not the cheapest and means new ht leads etc... I use this setup with standard RV8 coil packs so I can use "off the shelf" HT leads.
  10. I have a Sankey camping trailer too. A Howling Moon trailer tent mounted on a custom framework, trailer with onboard water, fridge, lighting etc...
  11. EDIS will also happily run RV8 coils such as those from the later GEMS and Thor engines, P38 Range Rovers or Discovery 2 V8s if you come across any. Also worth looking on Aussie LR sites/forums for people breaking them.
  12. Check the fuel return pipe, the flexible parts have a habit of delaminating and blocking the return, results in excessive fuel pressure at the manifold (fuel rail) . Easy way to check is to disconnect the return pipe at the regulator and put a piece of pipe from that into a jerry can or similar, if it fixes the problem, you have a blockage in the return line.
  13. It depends how adventurous you are and how willing to dabble. MegaSquirt is a good option but has moved away from the original DIY EFi concept and is now dominated by commercial rather than the original open source ethic. As a result, prices have rocketed as a small number of commercial suppliers have dominated the market. Sadly it seems the only people not making a living out of it are the people that designed the hardware and wrote the firmware. If you're looking for an "off the shelf" solution then you can get close with MegaSquirt but be aware that prices are more comparable now with other bespoke solutions. That said Nige offers a good, basic product but you won't get much in the way of support for it in the main MegaSquirt community as MS1-Extra is not considered viable by many now. If you like a bit more of a challenge, Speeduino is pretty mature now and has the advantage, over MegaSquirt of being an open source solution with cheap, easily available hardware, hardware costs around £120 for the ECU and it uses TunerStudio to tune/adjust, just like MegaSquirt. The UK supplier for Speeduino used to be one of the main MegaSquirt suppliers but appears to have switched. Speeduino uses a VR sensor board which vastly improves VR sensor reliability and precision over the older MegaSquirt design. Later MegaSquirt hardware also uses this external VR conditioner. Even assembled ECUs are significantly cheaper than MegaSquirt with an assembled and tested ECU coming in at less that £180 from the UK supplier. There is work in progress to embed an auto transmission controller into Speeduino too which looks an interesting option.
  14. Do you have a lift kit fitted/taller than standard suspension ? Toe in at the front can cause the line to move away from the front of the rear tyre, turn the steering until you get the same gap at the front of both rear tyres, if you can. If you have toe out on the front then, with the steering straight, you'll see a gap appear at the rear of the front tyres.
  15. Jigsaw. Use masking tape to cover the line of the cut and then you can mark the line you need to follow clearly. It will also help prevent the paint lifting at the cut. Make sure the masking tape also covers the area the the jigsaw will be resting on as it will scratch the paint otherwise, especially on the corners as you turn the jigsaw to follow the curve, the back end of the jigsaw comes out a long way from the cut. Remember the strengthening pillars behind the panel though, you either need to cut them out first from the inside or you'll risk snagging or bending the jigsaw blade. For that I'd use an angle grinder - carefully.
  16. Water/coolant will only flow out of the overflow when the pressure exceeds the rating of the cap. So, there are two possible causes, the coolant is under too much pressure or the cap is faulty and letting coolant out at too low a pressure. If you have too much pressure then it's either a cooling issue and the coolant is getting too hot or something else is increasing the pressure - cylinder head leak, for example or air in the system. I'd start by checking the cap is in good condition and work from there.
  17. I converted mine, the gearbox pushed it further back than normal so the mechanical link would have been difficult to relocate, especially the diff lock. The diff lock is simple enough as it uses the same connection as the mechanical link and I don't remember having any issues with it. The hi/lo is a completely different lever at the transfer box end though and posed more of an issue. i can't remember the exact details as it's about 12 years since I did mine but ISTR that the lever is incompatible and the cable won't connect to it properly without some fettling. I was lucky as, having failed to remove the old lever to make a new one, I lucked across a broken cable selected transfer box and swapped the whole hi-lo lever assembly over.
  18. If you have a set of accurate scales, you could weigh 1 litre of each...
  19. There is no simple "quick fix", more likely a combination of things. Tyres certainly make a huge difference and winter tyres will grip better at lower temperatures, tyre pressures can also make a huge difference. The compound on winter tyres gives far more grip in colder temperatures and, on ice especially, lowering the pressures will give a bigger contact area. Driver style and experience can make just as big a difference, as in any low traction situation. Chains would help but then there's the problem of having to remove them and put them back on again as road conditions change can be a real pain.
  20. Strangely, shortly after this thread appeared, having bought one of the packs I linked to earlier, I needed to use it for the first time this week on my Range Rover (V8 diesel). On Monday morning the car was completely dead, wouldn't unlock with the remote and after unlocking with the key no lights at all on the dash. So, popped the bonnet and hooked the starter pack up to the battery, had to use the "manual" switch to engage the pack as it couldn't detect the battery. It almost started the car but unfortunately the lights were on auto so as soon as the ignition was powered up the headlights came on, did their merry dance and all the pack could manage was a couple of slow turns of the engine before calling it a day. I put it on charge but got an error on the charger. AA man put his big starter pack on it and it turned over but wouldn't start, alternator had shorted out and was draining his starter pack at around 25 Amps with the ignition turned off ! So, new alternator fitted and battery partially charged on Wednesday then driven around in the dark on a few short journeys. With a train to catch on Friday morning I went out and the car would open but wouldn't start. As soon as the key was in the crank position all the lights on the dash went out. Mad panic with only 15 minutes to get to the station and a 10 minute drive... connected the starter pack up again and, thankfully, this time it started the engine without too much fuss. A short trip to the station and back then left in the drive. Saturday morning I went out to it again and battery worse than Friday, no lights on the dash at all and wouldn't let me turn the ignition on although the central locking worked, slowly. Battery pack connected again but not enough power to start it. I hadn't got around to recharging it after Friday so that may be a bit of an unfair test. So, these packs can start a vehicle, even a big diesel with loads of electronics, providing that the battery has enough life for the lights on the dash to work ! I think that alternator short that tied the battery to earth for a day or so (it measured 2 volts when I disconnected the earth lead on Monday) has probably killed the 6 month old AGM battery but, ever the optimist, it's been hooked up to my CTek battery conditioner for 24 hours so far... the starter pack may end up paying for itself at this rate !
  21. It would be worth contacting any decent local independents, many of them have an arrangement with the local franchise dealer and can often offer things like that at a reduced cost without the same markup. I got a new key for my Range Rover this way and it was about half the price the main dealer quoted.
  22. Main dealers can supply them, had to get one for ours and we just had to take the V5 and proof of ID form what I remember. It came stamped with the VIN number. You should also have one on the top of the bulkhead, at the bottom of the windscreen.
  23. There's a lot of power in LiPo/LiOn batteries for such a small size and these jump packs do work although the lead acid versions are cheaper and work just as well... just take up more space. There are better and cheaper versions available than the one listed though, this one for example... https://amzn.to/2CxMxZM I've not used a modern one but the older lead acid versions I've used have always worked well, as long as you remember to keep them charged up !
  24. As i understand it, you left the handbrake on while driving ? That being the case, it's a diff or half shaft gone in your rear axle. If the rear axle was in one piece then you would not be able to drive with the "hand brake" on as it would effectively lock the rear axle unless you also removed the rear prop shaft. It's unlikely to be the viscous, if it was you'd have lost all drive, front and back, not just rear. If the centre diff (viscous) wasn't working at all you wouldn't have drive to the front but it sounds as if it's functioning as you'd expect with the transmission brake on - all drive going to the front. BUT it would only need to have the brake on if the centre diff was no longer locked and was slipping. The viscous diff on these is, effectively, locked all the time with the diff "slipping" when the front/rear torque is different. It sounds to me as if you've had an issue in the rear axle, the viscous diff has compensated for it and now the viscous diff has given up and is slipping. If you can easily turn the rear propshaft (with the handbrake off) and all wheels on the ground then you have both a rear axle problem and a viscous diff problem.
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