Learning How To Do Rust Repair!

Many old cars suffer from rust, or cancer of the metal as I like to call it. Not only does it look horrible but the metal it is on weakens as it corrodes which can cause holes in places to don’t want holes!¬†Chrysler era Mercedes of the early 1990’s to early 2000’s are particularly prone to rust as, basically, Mercedes accountants were penny pinching with the materials they were using. My W202 C-Class is sadly no exception to this rule.


I had been offered to get the car painted at a good price but sadly it didn’t come to be. I could get the rust repaired elsewhere but it costs a fair bit and I would rather save that money to get the full car done to a show standard at a later date.

Bodywork isn’t a job that you can go into lightly. It’s best to do your research and get as many materials as you can. If you don’t take the appropriate preparation you can make your car look even first.

The first thing you will want to do is take the rust back to bare metal. It bubbles up and gives an uneven surface so you will want to sand it back as best as you can. For this I will use sanding discs for a drill to take off the majority of the rust and sanding blocks to just to pick off any remains.

Be sure to sand back the paint around the afflicted area too. Just to make sure that you have got all he rust out. It wouldn’t be fun to treat an arch then have to go back and do it again a couple of months later because you missed a spot that is now growing.


Please note these pics were taken in the middle of sanding. I know there are still some high bits and they were taken out by hand! ūüôā

You would have also noticed that I’ve taken the wheel off too! This is partly to prevent any sort of accident involving my drill going through my tyre and partly to allow me access to the wheel arch to spray on some Waxoyl. Wonderful stuff which makes your wheel wells look tidy and black and protects against corrosion.

The next step for me was to apply some Hammerite Kurust. Kurust converts rusty metal into a stable sandable surface. I’m using it more to protect against future corrosion and will be using a filler over the top of it to get the shape of the arch back.


It comes out of the bottle as a white liquid which you brush on quite liberally…


…Which then dries a dark purple in colour. It’s best to leave it a couple of hours to fully dry before doing anything else to it.


The next bit is the hardest. Filler.

Filler is basically a paste that you use to rebuild the shape of the panel that you are repairing. It comes as two parts; the filler itself and a hardening compound. The ratio of this should be about 50:1, so if you are using a golf ball sized about of filler you should be using a pea sized amount of hardener.


Your best bet is to only do a little at a time and keep sanding. The more you put on the more sanding you will have to do as the filler will be thicker than the paint line. Remember you are trying to get it to the same level. I don’t know how many times I put it on, sanded it back, put it on, sanded back until I was happy with it. I found this bit difficult and it took ages!


Now to put the primer on! Now I’ll admit a mistake here so you don’t have to make it. I did my primer twice as the way I had it masked above, with the masking tape flat against the surface, left a visible step which looked awful. So I had to sand it back and do it again! The way to do it is to fold the masking tape at the edges under it self so it leaves a bit of a gap between the panel and the tape. This will protect it from most of the paint but will allow a dusting to get underneath it so you don’t get that harsh step.


As with any painting it is best to spray primer from a distance and do a couple of light coats rather than one thick coat. Hold the can level and at a consistent distance from what you are spraying.

Now for the top coat!! Again, nice and light and even spraying will get you the best results.

Once your top coat is on and dry pull back the mask. Sometimes you will get a slight step in the paint but this can often be taken down with a strong rubbing compound or, if you are braving, wet sanding with 1500 grit. I prefer the rubbing compound haha!


You may still see a very slight colour variation in these pics. I have since given the car a good bath, to get rid of the sanding dust (it gets everywhere!) and a polish and it is looking smart again!

Obviously it isn’t perfect. I have done this just to smarten the car up for the time being until it can be done properly. Bodywork is something I want to learn though and it is pointless saying you are going to get good at something if you never practise. If you have the money I would always recommend getting it done professionally but as I said I am saving up to get the whole body done to show standard. (hopefully I will be able to take you for that journey too when it happens)

Thanks for reading! If you would like to help me make even better quality content on a more regular basis please join my Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/motorsportformentalhealth

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Quick Restorations: Scalextric Metros and Datsun

A few months ago I brought two non running Scalextric Metro 6R4s from eBay with the intent of cutting them up for a future project on this blog. Upon arrival, however, I found that they were in too good of a condition to pull apart. So I put them aside to restore them.

Another car I’ve had sitting for about a year awaiting restoration is the Datsun 260Z Craig Hamnett sent me with K.I.T.T. Again this car was going to become a donor car for my other Datsun which has a crack in the chassis but as it was exclusive to the Knight Rider set I thought it best to save it.


All three had the same problems to fix before they would run again. Deteriorated rear tyres (which is common on cars this age) and a worn pinion gear which was stopping the motor from turning the rear wheels. Thankfully Scalextric Restorations reproduce all these parts!


First let’s tackle the Metros. A lot of these 1970s and 1980s cars don’t have screws to hold the bodies together and both the Metro and Datsun are no exception. With these the chassis slots into the body at either end. Push the front axle towards the back of the body so the chassis itself bends very slightly and the front pops out.


With the body off it will be easier to change the rear tyres and change the gear. The tyres imply slip on and off the wheel. You can see here the white gear is too far back and is not making contact with the rear axle.


Normally you would need this Ninco gear puller or a similar tool to remove these gears but the ones on all three cars were so worn they just pulled right off! The new ones took a little more force but pushed on by hand too. If you use brass gears they will most definitely need the tool to get on.


Now all that is left is to put it back together! It all comes apart and goes back together super simply.

The Datsun is also simple to take apart. You see the black plastic square where the registration plate would be on the full size car? That is what is holding the rear of the chassis to the body. Push that in and the chassis will fold down and come out. You may need a tool to push it in as they can be stiff. a T25 sized Torx head driver does the job nicely. Don’t use anything sharp as it will indent the panel.


The Datsun also had a missing guide and braids. The guide “steers” the car through the slots in the track and the braids create the electrical circuit between the track and the motor. Without them the car won’t be going far!


The car was also missing the little pins that connect the wire to the braids inside the guide.


The exposed wire goes down the hole in the ¬†centre of the pin. I then fold it back around the outside of the pin to make sure it is super strong and then doesn’t come out!

You then poke the pin and wire down into the top of the guide so the pin is pressed against the copper braid. This will make your electrical connection.


The guide goes into the chassis like an expanding trim clip in a full size car. Just push it up into the hole for it in the chassis and the sides will spring out to hold it in place.


All back together again!


I also added some detail to the body. It’s actually a nicely detailed shell but Scalextric didn’t colour it in. I’ve added brake lights, reverse lights, rear and side indicators and the chrome trim around the window and door handles.


All three are now done in the space of an afternoon! The beauty of restoring slot cars is that they are very quick and easy to do! This era car makes for some fun and challenging racing too!


Thanks for reading! If you would like to help me make even better quality content on a more regular basis please join my Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/motorsportformentalhealth

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Brooklands Double-Twelve Motorsport Festival 2017

Although I’ve covered Brooklands before here on this blog I feel I need to reiterate just how special this place is! It opened in 1907 as the World’s first purpose built racing track. Land speed records were broken here as were distance records, the site was also host to Sunday afternoon racing and 24 hour events. Brooklands is also one of Britain’s first aerodromes and in later life became an aircraft manufacturing and test centre in WW1 which became the sites primary use leading into World War 2 and beyond with the track closing in 1939.

Today, the site is a museum dedicated to both the motoring and aeronautical history of the site. It is really worth checking out as they are host to a fantastic display of cars, bikes, aircraft and more that you would not get the opportunity to see elsewhere. I have covered the museum itself in a separate blog post which you can find here:     https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2016/09/16/brooklands/

What I didn’t do on that day however was get to walk on the remains of the track. Sadly with the tracks closure a lot of land was sold off and developed. The long banked corner “Members Banking” remains as well as the finishing straight which has just finished being refurbished and we were able to walk along it.


You’ll probably think I’m mad for saying this but you know how some places have an energy to them? That you can almost feel the emotions felt by those who came before? This section of race track had that. Standing there you could almost hear and see the cars flying around the circuit and the gentleman in smart suits and the ladies with big hats watching them whilst sitting atop straw bales and wooden grand stands. To feel that energy is only an experience I have had a couple of times: Here, at the battlegrounds at Ypres and aboard the medical bay at HMS Belfast. That energy truly defines a special place to me.

Anyway, enough about the place lets talk about the event! Double Twelve consisted of a driving test and Concours d’Elegance that featured a wide range of road and race cars ranging from the very early 1900s to the late 1980s. I always enjoy events that feature such a wide variety of cars as you always see something you didn’t expect and there is something there to suit everyone’s tastes.

As you enter Brooklands there is a Grand Prix museum to your left and some 1920’s looking garages to the right. This marked the start of the car show. Along this promenade were numerous prewar racing cars…


Along with a couple of more ‘modern’ race cars including this lightly modified Renault 5 Turbo.


There were a couple of road cars on this section too. A highlight for me was this 1937 BMW. This particular example was right hand drive which I would imagine is pretty rare considering the global politics of the time and Germany’s relationship with us and the commonwealth countries that drive right hand drive.


Around the corner from that was the main show and shine area which honestly took up most of the museum’s open ground. Most of the cars in this section were Pre World War 2 British sports cars, many of which would also be competing later.


Along with large Grand Touring cars such as the 4.5 litre Bentleys. These things are huge! Ettore Bugatti referred to them as “the world’s fastest lorries”


There were plenty of early race cars on display too including the mighty Napier Railton and Bluebird.


Along with Grand Prix cars such as this Bugatti…


…As well as this rather unusual MG. The car had twin tyres over one large rear wheel and was super charged. If anyone has any information in this machine please get in touch!


There were quite a few pre World War 1 also on display. I don’t care what anyone says, these Edwardian horseless carriages are the epitome of class!


The racing itself was a time trail. The were various stages which tested different aspects of the cars performance. At the end of the run the times taken on each stage are added up and the car that completed the course in the least time takes the victory.

The first stage was a hill climb. The cars would start at the bottom of the hill and power there way up to the top. It sounds easy but it’s a really steep hill! Hopefully you will be able to see that in the pictures.


The next stage was on the members banking. This was a mixed test of handling, braking and speed. This was basically the first of several courses that ran around bales of hay. The distance between the points was quite long so the fast cars would have an advantage here but if you could turn the car pretty much on the spot you made up a lot of time which levelled it out as the sports cars can turn better than the bigger GT cars.


The final tests consisted of three shorter handling stages. These were really tight courses around hay bale obstacles. The sports cars really came into their element here!


At the end of the day the finishing straight was officially re-opened and the Napier Railton and Bluebird gave a demonstration! Fantastic machinery!


All in all it was a superb day. The track was a good over all test of the cars competing and the concours brought together some really rare and unusual machinery.

Thanks for reading! If you would like to help me make even better quality content on a more regular basis please join my Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/motorsportformentalhealth

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As we come across people with depression or other psychological ailments, over the course of our lives, our first instinct seems to be to attribute that ailment to a reason. For instance “This person has anxiety because they lost their job” or something along those lines. It’s the natural thing to do and of course there are many many people out there who do have a mental health issue that was triggered by a specific event or series of events.

There are many people out there though who don’t have that triggering event though, they just suffer because their brain doesn’t produce the right amount of a certain hormone or isn’t wired up properly. They have had a good childhood, have a good relationship and a good job and yet they still suffer. I think that this can sometimes be frustrating for those sufferers as they are looking for reasons too and are beating themselves up for feeling this way.

This is especially true in celebrity culture. You hear of many athletes and musicians who have a mental disorder in one form or another yet they appear to live a perfect life. How can one not be happy when one has a 17 bedroom mansion, millions in the bank, a fleet of super cars and a wife that looks like Ariana Grande? Heck, I’d be happy just being married to Ariana! (Miss Grande, if you are reading this, call me!) Whilst these things may bring us temporary happiness if the brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin or another underlying issue.

I think the point that I’m trying to get at is that there doesn’t need to be a reason for someone to be mentally ill. Can you imagine if we tried to find a reason with many physical illnesses? “Well why do you have cancer of the stomach?” “Why do you have gallstones?” “Why do you have the flu?”. Of course there are physical illnesses and mental illnesses that are caused by a specific triggering event or issue but not all of them! So don’t beat yourself up if you need help but can’t find the specific cause of the problem!

Thanks for reading! Sorry this was a bit of a ramble! I’m just going to take this opportunity to let you know that I now have a Patreon page set up! If you are feeling generous or just want to be nosey then you can find it here. I’ll be doing more with it in the future! ¬†www.patreon.com/motorsportformentalhealth

If you would like to stay up to date with all my blog posts please subscribe to the blog via email or follow me on the following social media platforms:

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Hi guys!

Just a very quick post today to let you know that I have a Patreon page. I haven’t got very much set up on there but if you can spare the money please pop over there and pledge! You’ll be helping me make cooler content more frequently!



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King of the Ring: Round 4 2017

The 4th round of King of the Ring fell on June 3rd, a day which will be remembered as the day 3 men killed 7 people and injured 48 more. The third terrorist attack on the UK in three months. I’m not going to dwell too much upon this subject as that is not the purpose of this post but the hatred of other cultures and people comes (in part) from the misunderstanding of them. Having hobbies, be that motorsport or show cars, horse riding or football or going to music concerts, will introduce you to people of different cultures, faiths and ways of life. You learn to appreciate and understand the people who are different from you. If those “radicalised” into these cults and terror groups were to meet and befriend people who were like their potential victims maybe we wouldn’t get such a vast number of these attacks.

Of course I’m no politician or military expert. Cultists aren’t really a section of society that have peaked my interests in my psychological studies so really I know absolutely nothing. I can say that going to motorsport events including King of the Ring has brought me into contact with tonnes of different people over the years. I’ve been privileged to chat about cars to people ranging from multi millionaires to those in poverty, Eastern Europeans, Americans, Japanese people and people of Middle Eastern decent and we have all got along. Having things that unify us in this way is awesome!

Enough of that nonsense. On to King of the Ring!

I was at work for most of the day and got to Arena at about 6:30. The track staff and drivers had been there since about 9 in the morning drifting which makes it a long day at the best of times but June 3rd was a hot one! I think a special shout out should go to Ron, Dal, Jodie and Simon from Essex Transit Specialists and all the other King of the Ring staff for having to stand out in the sweltering heat all day making sure everything went smoothly and the staff of our host track Arena Essex who must have got through literal tonnes of water trying to keep that track slick throughout the course of the day!

Despite being such a lovely day only 31 drivers made it out. This was good in a way as every driver got to qualify and experience battle with the top driver getting a by run into the top 16. On a busy night some of the newer drivers don’t get through qualification which means they don’t get to push themselves and experience the pressure of battles.

Richard Legg was one such driver, it was only his 5th time out drifting and the first time he was able to qualify. The car is only a little 316i but seems to go really well! He does have a drive line upgrade planned in the near future so I’m looking forward to seeing him out there a lot more! Another really nice, friendly driver to add to the mix!


I was pleased to see Michael Herrington making his return to King of the Ring. He was the first driver I met at drifting at Arena many many years ago. A driver who deserves more coverage on this blog but has not been able to drive at the past few rounds. It was great to see him back out and skidding!


I met this little homie near Michael’s van. See what I mean about diversity? Me and this rabbit are quite different, we had a good chat about drifting and cars though. He thinks James Deane is going to take the championship at Formula Drift this year. To think in some parts of the country posh people in tweed would blow holes in him with shotguns!


All the regulars were there in attendance. MAPT Motorsport were back out doing there thing. It’s always nice to catch up with them!


I wandered over to their pit as they were cleaning the cars ready for top 32. Inadvertently I managed to get these shots of Mark and Paul showing off their physique! Firstly, Facebook suggests Mark is single so if there are any ladies out there looking for love and you like what you see let me know and I will put you in touch! Secondly, any modelling agencies, get in touch with MAPT. I’m sure they will make you a lot of money and a MAPT calander will surely go down well next year haha!


Team Twisted were back too! Tom Yates’ 3.2 M3 powered 323i is of particular note today. He has made some big changes to car including running a super wide and sticky pair of Westlake Tyres on the back of the car.


Those of you who follow Formula Drift or BDC might recognise the way the front wheels poke out of the car like this…


… That is because Mr Yates is now running Wisefab on the front of the car!


Plenty of guys are running modified knuckle and arm set ups at King of the Ring for more lock. The most extreme I’ve seen thus far has been the Team HD lock kit on Alex Mackenzie-Vaile’s E46 touring. Wisefab kits are big money though even second hand. The money going into some these builds now really shows the commitment that these drivers are putting into the event now and shows that King of the Ring is becoming more and more professional!

The car that always gets my up most support is Richie Gilbey’s W202 C230K. I’m a big Mercedes geek as many of you know and I do like the W202 platform. This car also sounds amazing with the super charger whine and it’s nice to see something a little different going around Arena Essex.


For a drift event Japanese cars are fairly few and far between at King of the Ring. It’s more than likely because parts for them are so expensive in comparison to their German counterparts. It takes a rich or brave man to run a Jap car at King of the Ring. Nerijus, however, is one of those chaps. His R33 Skyline (the black and yellow one not that mint white one) is a regular out here! He always does well and (touch wood) has managed to keep that car off of the walls!


Arena does unfortunately live up to it’s reputation from time to time though. Here we have an E36 looking very sorry for itself.


As you can see from the above pic Jamie and Martin Cheeseman from Garage Pandas were in attendance.


As was Darrel Smith of Team Overdrawn who’s car was also looking very clean!


Of course people wouldn’t be cleaning their cars for the top 32 if they hadn’t already qualified. Rather than write out how the qualification line works at this event I’ll talk you through it on a video whilst Mr Smith qualifies.


I always find it clever how the KOTR team manage to find so many clipping point potentials and track ideas from a simple oval. They always manage to keep it fresh for the fans and challenging for the drivers.

Normally I would now start a run down of the top 32 battles but King of the Ring already have that covered with their live footage of the event. Follow their Facebook page which can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/kingoftheringuk/ and have a watch from the commentary tower!

There is of course always more going on at King of the Ring than just the drifting. The show and shine area this evening was absolutely rammed with metal which was really nice to see! Mr Mark Clarence was present with his lovely S14a. Always nice to catch up to Mark he is one of the nicest people in drifting. Heart of gold.


Parked next to him was a lovely young lady who wanted a photo taken of her Honda Civic, who am I to say no?!


You can’t really see in this picture but she had cool purple dice valve caps too haha!

Up to by the Drift Her stand was Mark’s son Aidan’s Nissan S13 rocking a cool new livery! I really like this look!


On the far side of Aiden was this R33 Skyline.


Then a Golf on air ride.


Then what could possibly be the cleanest S14 engine bay I’ve ever seen. I’m a sucker for chrome lol, maybe this is why I love old Mercedes and American cars so much, anyway this looked amazing!


The show and shine area also continued around the back of the club house. The first car on display was this cool FC RX7. I have so much love for FCs, I would love to own one some day!


This wan’t the only rotary on display. Luke Paul’s RX8 was also here looking good!


Although not normally the sort of thing I would cover I really really liked this Mazda 3. The colour is absolutely stunning and it wears its modifications well.


Tucked right away on the corner was this stock 300ZX. I know as soon as most people buy cars like this they modify them but I think they still have a lot of appeal as a standard car. This has a lot of appeal to me as a daily classic.


If we head away from the show and shine area to the upper pit area we find the Proper Droppers sound off area. The first car I am confronted by is this:


I wasn’t really expecting to see this style of vehicle at King of the Ring never mind on Propper Droppers haha! I was pretty speechless! With that big square back though I reckon you could get quite the sound system in there!

It was also nice to see an E46 BMW not as a drift car. This one has had a lot of time spent on it! The stereo install is really clean!


The regulars were also there. Antonio with his Vauxhall Vectra.


As well as this mad little Fiat. This car is so loud!!


I think that’s just about it for the evening’s antics! I know I say this at the end of every KOTR post but it’s a really good night’s entertainment. Get yourself down to Arena on the 5th of August to see what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for reading if you would like to see more of these posts make sure to follow this blog or follow me on the following social media platforms

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Brands Hatch Masters 2017.

This year would be my third year attending the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch and this year was by far my favourite! As per usual the quality of cars in the show area, in the pits and on the track was outstanding! This year I explored the track a little more and found some fantastic places to get shots of the cars and experience the sights and sounds of the racing right up close! Cosworth DFVs are simply incredible from about 8 feet away! So loud!

As you walk in through the gates you first arrive at the show and shine area so this is where we will be starting this epic photo dump haha! The first car to really catch my eye coming in from the side entrance was this pre war non super charged Bentley. It looks a lot smaller than the 4.5s I have seen before so I’m not going to say it is. Pre-war cars often had many different body types on the same chassis with the same running gear though so it may be a 4.5.


Parked next to that was this really nice Jaguar. The Minilite style wheels really suit it!


A couple of cars down was a Triumph TR7. I used to hate these but they have really grown on me in the past few months.


Continuing along this row of cars we can find an Austin 1300GT with a grill badge stating the car came from Romford, just up the road from where I live, along with a Triumph Herald.


Airfix make a 1:32 body of the Triumph Herald, might be a future slot car project. Airfix also do a 1:32 body of Jaguar’s E-Type of which there were plenty on show. These were my favourites. The white and silver GT cars both had red leather interiors which suit the cars so well!


Above where the Jaguars, Bentley and other assortment of cars were the Porsche owners club. There was plenty to see ranging from modern Boxsters, Carreras and 911s to plenty of classic air cooled 911s.


The “I left my indicators at home” club were also present. Joking aside I love the old 8 Series. Most certainly a car on my wish list!


Behind the BMs were a group on Lancias.


The obvious car is the Delta Integrale, the road going version of the famous rally car.

This late 80s four door Delta was also super cool! A lovely daily classic!


The Ferrari stand also rather packed. Highlight for me was this Testarossa.


I actually really like the F355. I’d love one but I would imagine you get asked if it’s an MR2 underneath quite a lot.


A lot of both modern and classic cars were on display. A nice stand for the Ferrari enthusiast.

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An oddity for me were these Renault Alpines. I know of the earlier rally car but not these mid engined 80s cars!


This Avantime was also cool. I’ve heard of this strange MPV before but have never actually seen one.


Kit cars also had a good turnout. The Shelby Daytona was a beast:


The Ford GTs are also nice to see!

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There was a little gathering of Caterham and Lotus 7 type kit cars next to the pits too!


These two were parked next to them. The Datsun and Sunbeam are obvious classics but it’s nice to see these 90s cars being celebrated too!


Before we wander into the pits though lets have a quick look at the Cosworth DFV display.

Here we have a Shadow DN1:


This Rothmans liveried March, driven by Jochen Mass, was the car involved in Gilles Villeneuve’s fatal accident in 1982.



In the pits the first thing we see are the Formula Fords. These are great fun to watch and are awesome little cars but I’m afraid I didn’t get too many pictures of them as I was somewhat distracted by the touring cars that will follow

Pits Formula Ford

There were two classes of touring cars racing this weekend. One was pre 1966 and the other ranged from about 1970 to 1990. The Pre ’66s were my favourite! They were a really mixed class racing everything from huge Ford Galaxies and Falcons to tiny Mini Coopers.

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The 1970-90 class was just as diverse. Mostly E30 BMWs and Rover SD1s but two MG Metros, a Renault 5 GT and a Mustang broke it up.

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The main pit buildings by the edge of the track were taken up by more Formula 1 cars and Can-Am cars. Most of the F1 cars were of the ground effects period. It’s an amazing experience to be able to get this close to them and see them in so much detail.

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Anyway, on to the track action!

In previous years I have always sat on the pit straight but I explored a little more this year and discovered that you can stand on the inside of Druid’s hairpin. To be able to get so close to some of the cars was ¬†just mind blowing! These are some of the shots I got of the Pre ’66s:


The later touring cars:


Of course the highlight was the Formula 1 cars. Being able to get so close to these special machines on track was truly an honour.


If you would like to see the cars in action then please click the video here to be transferred to my YouTube video if the day!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. I certainly enjoyed my day out! If you would like to see more of these posts make sure to follow this blog or follow me on the following social media platforms

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How to Change the Serpentine Belt on a Mercedes M112 V6 engine

A part of your cars major service package is the replacement of the serpentine/auxiliary/drive belt. It looks like a fairly daunting task but is actually pretty simple. This blog post will (hopefully) explain how to change the belt on any Mercedes with a M112 V6. This particular car is a W202 C240 Sport.

Over time these belts can crack and fail and since they power your alternator, aircon, water pump and power steering it is best to replace them every so often. My car has done over 130,000 miles and the belt is looking a little bit sorry for itself. It’s had a bit of oil leak on the belt too which has softened it so I think it would be a good idea for us to change it!

pre fix

First thing to do is to draw the route of the belt. Some people might have awesome memories and the fact that the belt has a smooth side and a grooved side which collates to the smooth and grooved pulleys makes the route fairly self explanatory, but I wasn’t going to take any risks!


The belt is held in place by this automatic tensioner. There are three variations of tensioner for this engine. I believe that this is the first design. You will need a breaker bar or a long ratchet with a 8mm torx socket to move it.


Once your torx socket is on there turn the ratchet counter clockwise and you will feel the tensioner move up. Once it is up you will be able to work the belt off of it. Online a lot of people have said that you can put a nail or drift through a little hole on the back of the tensioner. I couldn’t find it though so I had to struggle without! If you can let me know where that is I would be most appreciative! This is probably super easy on the W210 as you have more room between the engine block and fan shroud.

Now the belt is off you can see the wear a little bit better.

old belt

Whilst the belt is off it’s also worth checking that the bearings inside all the pulleys spin freely but don’t move from side to side. The common ones to be a problem on this engine is the tensioner itself and the little idler pulley which is the highest of the pulleys. If they move about at all swap them out!


Also could be a good idea to make sure both belts are the same length. To do that simply stretch them out. There are a couple of variations of belt for the engine as some cars don’t have air conditioning which is driven by the belt.


The new belt simply goes on the way the old one came off! As I said earlier I couldn’t find a hole to put something in to hold the tensioner up but I managed to bring my breaker bar around a hook at the front of the block (which I assume holds the plastic engine cover on) It is tight so patience is required putting the new belt on haha!

new belt

Now all that is left to do is turn it on and make sure there are no squeaks or whines! Congratulations! You have changed your serpentine belt!

Thanks for reading if you would like to see more of these posts make sure to follow this blog or follow me on the following social media platforms

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RFrancisGarageR/
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I Don’t Know What I’m Doing!

May 2017 is actually set to be the best month, in terms of traffic, for this blog so far yet for the past two weeks I can’t really say I’ve been inspired to write about anything on here or, honestly, really done anything that has really been worth writing about. So I’m sitting here, at my desk at 8:30 in the morning in my PJs, scrolling through Google looking at articles titled “1397 Blog Post Ideas” etc finding myself being drawn deeper and deeper into this creative block until I decided enough was enough and I was just going to write about whatever sprang to mind.

So, welcome! I’m glad you have decided to join me on this unplanned journey. Tell me about yourself in the comments, what are your hobbies? What are your goals in life and your biggest fears? Let’s not beat around the bush!

My hobbies as you well know are cars. Road cars, racing cars and model cars. I have articles in the works for all three. I need to replace the serpentine belt on my Mercedes which I will do a how to guide on. I have Masters at Brands Hatch which is always fun and I might pop up to Arena Essex on Monday to watch the PRI bangers and stock cars, so lots of racing content coming up! Model cars, I’m working on a 1/24 model of a pre-war Mercedes 500K, that’s just going to be a stand alone blog though, and I have been ‘evolving’ my little lean bodied Porsche slot car. Modifications have been made but it’s no where near ready for another blog post yet haha!

In terms of the mental health aspect of this blog I haven’t really been doing very well. I had a bit of a slip nearly two weeks ago and just haven’t really been myself since. At the moment I have the attention span of a goldfish and the motivation of a sloth. It’s actually taken me an hour to write this much of this blog post as I keep getting distracted by just about everything. I know I often get times where I easily lose concentration and so I’m not going to worry. When more stuff happens that I can write about upon this blog then I’m sure I will write about it!

I suppose the good thing is I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot everyday. I’m always turning over ideas in my head about how I can improve this website and the brand. I’m starting to get some decent money together now so hopefully some of these ideas will come into life soon!

Many thanks for reading. I’m sorry this post is a bit short and abstract but I felt so guilty about not putting anything out for over a week now. I hope you are all well!

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Way Back Wednesday: D1RC Winter Series

I was sorting through my ‘liked’ pages on Facebook and came across Radical Muppets Photography owned by Bradley Giles and Zoe Ramsey (facebook link here:¬†www.facebook.com/RadicalMuppetsPhotography ). They’ve been inactive for quite some time but used to shoot the RC drifting championship D1RC. I thought I would show you some of their work.

D1RC was about for a number of years but sadly collapsed due to internal politics. I was lucky enough to be able to be a part of that scene for the past two years at their indoor winter series.

The events were held at the community hall in South Woodham Ferrers. The track covered most of the available space. There was a small pitting area at the far end of the hall from where this photo was taken and the photo was taken from atop the stage from which the drivers would do their thing.


The track itself is Prima GT carpet which is used by a lot of touring car guys. The red and white barriers were hand formed and painted by members of the committee that owned D1RC and were tapered at the sides so if the cars hit them they would ride up onto them rather than just sitting them which could damage the cars.

These photos were all from 2013 which was the second and final year of the winter series. At the time my little company Garage-R also sold shells and RC accessories. Loads of guys from D1RC were kind enough to support my business.

Dan R30Rob Pannell GT86

A lot of the shells in use also came from Garage-R. I used to distribute D-Like and ABC Hobbies shells amongst others. RC drifters tend to change shells up quite a bit, some stayed about for a good long time though! ¬†Matt Fellow’s Red Bull liveried D-Like S14 springs to mind. 4 years later and many many drift days later the poor old thing was finally scrapped. I think there was more shoo goo and hot glue in that shell than polycarbonate.

MAtthew Fellows S14a

Garage-R’s logo at the time was the rasta red, gold and green. In retrospect that probably made me look like a massive druggy, especially being a skinny white guy, I never have smoked or will ever smoke weed but I liked the colours and the music!

My shell for the season was this D-Like S13. It did well and even got featured in a RC magazine with it’s Christmas decorations!

Rich 200sx 3Rich 200sxrich 200sx christmas

Dale Andrews also took a bit of inspiration from the Rasta colours with his KGC10 Skyline.

Dale Andrews Hako 2Dale Andrews Hako

Plenty of bigger businesses had interest in D1RC too. David Shaw-Matthews from Radshape RC used to make the long trip down from Birmingham with lovely BRZ. A Tamiya TA05-VDF sat beneath it. A wicked bit of kit that sadly was not in production for very long.

Peter Gray and David MAtthews

The car sitting net to David’s is Peter Gray’s S14. Peter is (still I believe) a Yokomo sponsored driver. Pete and his team would fly out to Japan each year to compete at the world championships.

From even further north was Simon Landgrebe with his HPI sponsored PS13 bodied TCFD. Simon works for Wheelspin Models and made their presence known at D1RC.

Simon PS13

Simon and David weren’t the only ones to venture from far away though. We had several competitors to come from afar including Daniel Robinson who’s R30 Skyline is pictured above and Andy Baynes/Slideshow Bob.

Slideshow Bob

Of course all the shops and competitors would not be there without the series’ organisers. The face of D1RC was a chap called John Turner. I won’t say too much about him or I will get moaned at on Facebook. He always drove pink and blue cars.

John Turner AlfaJohn Turner S15

To my knowledge the biggest contributor to D1RC in terms of advertisement was Andy Brunton. Andy is still an ambassador to the sport to this day. There isn’t really a scene local to Essex any more but he is still travelling to compete and practise.

Andy Drifter JZX100

Steve Gravett was always the shell man. He’s a fantastic modeller and has created some stunning shells including this Hakosuka Skyline and S14.

Steve Gravett Hakosuka 2Steve Gravett HakosukaSteve Gravett S14 2Steve Gravett S14

Last but not least of the event committee was Mr Radical Muppet himself Bradley Giles.

Bradley Giles S13

It’s a shame that D1RC went under. There were a good bunch of people there and some good times were had. Unfortunately the hobby was progressing and and the way in which that event was run was not which caused rifts. It’s a shame that D1RC as an organisation no longer exists but it made way for other venues and ideas that have really helped push the boundaries of the hobby and brought many new people into the scene.

In my opinion the biggest development inside the hobby since the collapse of D1RC has been rear wheel drive. D1 saw the rise CS but rear wheel drive was only in it’s experimental stages here. Since then (in the UK) it was developed at Soul RC and brought to Rayleigh RC and has been perfected since at tracks such as Slide Dynamics. It was never really something that I got the opportunity to really play around with. One day I would like to give the rear wheel drive thing a go but I think developing my full size drifting ability first is more important haha!

Thanks for reading if you would like to see more of these posts make sure to follow this blog or follow me on the following social media platforms

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RFrancisGarageR/
Twitter: @Garage_RFrancis
Instagram: @motorsport4mentalhealth
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNBY-2P5EuEFotY4RVjpvnw

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