Hal Mercier

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Hal Mercier last won the day on November 21 2019

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About Hal Mercier

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  • Toyota Model
    Aygo Yoshimura TT manual
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    Motorsport & Racing

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  1. If ever anything needed reversing sonar it's the 111S Elise. Apart from it's normally very marginal rear view, it has a rear wing which blocks what little vision there is, leaving a huge black-spot. I was turning in a hotel car park in Arcachon on new year's eve 2007 and did a surprising amount of damage to the rear bodywork on a 18" high rectangular concrete shrub containment, totally hidden below the visibility slot. Most embarrassing.... I fixed it all myself though, and not a hairline crack has reappeared since despite a bit of competition use. I don't enjoy GRP work but have done a fair bit, mould-making included. A local lass in traditional peasant costume acts as navigator. I do wonder where to place the sensors, the badges seem to be in the way...?
  2. Hi Nathan, Superb reportage on the lowering job. I'm surprised you didn't end up with nicotine poisoning....as I've bought the springs it's now my turn but I have a map of do's & don'ts, thanks for that! What replaced the Eibach springs by the way? Later icon pic of the car must be with the 60mm drop...do you have any pix of it as it is now? Also wanted to point out that you appear to have had a fair old coat of Vaseline on your lens...... I agree about Lotus BTW, they used Spax red on the OE Elise, with option of Lotus Sports Suspension which was a yellow Spax adjustable shock. They all used to wear and make a strange billiard-ball clack-clacking on rebound. On my current Elise 111S I fitted Nitron 46 track adjustables, very good on track but I think I specced harder springs and I find it too harsh on the road, so will try something more compliant. The later stock Bilsteins were lovely on the road, but one let go so I 'upgraded' to the rebuildable, adjustable Nitrons.
  3. I'd be happy to take them off your hands. I can arrange to have them picked up by a transporter who will call at your door, or collect them from wherever suits...I live in France. Payment by Paypal?
  4. Hal Mercier


    " the technician bottled out as it was clearly running well over 6000rpm, ...." That should have read 'weak' not 'well'. Maybe 'well weak?' 😉
  5. I'm sure you don't have to if you bother reading the instructions, I only did as it was the only way of modifying that metal reinforcement bar...I couldn't get the central sensors in otherwise!
  6. I didn't see your post, sadly. Just blundered in and made a few silly mistakes, but I learned what NOT to do in the process! Plus, I prefer the placement of the sensors, which I hit with grey primer and the correct white Aygo paint. I've only ever fitted these on a LWB Citroen Jumper van before....and am now fully convinced by them. My system has no dash indicator, it simply gives a warning beep when reverse is selected to tell you it's still working though, and cost under 5 euros on eBay. I dread to thing how much a pro would charge to fit it! I once smashed the rear clam on a Lotus Elise 111S which I still have, so that's the next in line for the treatment, and it'll be by far the easiest as the rear clam is still off the car since I had to remove it in 2018 as it proved quite impossible to re-set the vernier pulleys on the cams, after a mechanic here foolishly tried to change the cambelt without the sprocket locking tool. He knew this was essential, I thought I'd put it in the box with the belt, pump and tensioner....which I had, but for some unknown reason I'd later removed it....I realised this within the hour but when I brought it in, he'd already changed the belt using white marker. This is fatal on these engines, and this is/was a highly tuned one, over 200bhp. So after trailering it down to the ex president of the UK Lotus Seven Club, and expert engine builder, and spending 8 hours trying to set the verniers via the horrible body-on access, I removed the rear body....nice, now I can fit the bat sensor system easily! Silver lining! I haven't driven the car since 2014....high time I fired it up again. It also needs a respray after I hit my wife's car while reversing, graunching the rear right wheelarch. I also put a jack right through the right side sill at a race meet.....etc. It looks a little care-worn.
  7. Hal Mercier


    Shims eh? Mine's a bit noisy but I assumed the tappets were adjusted as on a Subaru....ie no mucking about removing cams and fiddling with shims. Noisy I can cope with.... I had to re-shim the head on my Caterham, as it's a PTP Evo 220 full endurance race engine which cost £12,500 way back in 2000. It had allegedly been 'topped and tailed' by John Wilcox race engineering, only when I stripped it, there wasn't one single clearance that wasn't wildly out, and all the shims were hammered to hell, I had to replace the lot. I clamped the head to the kitchen table to do it. I had to, as I'd just paid Rog at Sabre Heads in Wisbech to finesse it, put new longer Colsibro guides in, and new lead free valve seats. Rog had actually built the head back in 2000 for Janspeed, who were commissioned by Rover's race team PTP, so he de-did the breathing incorporating what he'd learned since.... . I'd found a mismatch in the induction tract, a 5mm step between the Titan Phantom injector bodies and the head, so after fixing that I dragged the car to the UK and we set up the Emerald ECU on Emerald's dyno. It only made 213 bhp, but would have gone over 220bhp only the technician bottled out as it was clearly running well over 6000rpm, so though it held together to 8500rpm, he was backing off. He said the fuel pump was inadequate for a 220+ engine and I realised I hadn't upgraded it from the original 120bhp rated pump! It now has the full R500 pump, good up to 250bhp. So any way I can avoid re-shimming I will take it!
  8. Control box & speaker right rear Finished job looks better than the official placement I reckon. A more normal height anyway.
  9. By the way, the official way to do this is to stat from inside, putting the speaker and control box near the right side shock tower mount. Then fit a grommet in the round hole again right side just below the bottom of the tailgate. Then, with the rear bumper off, feed the loom, by this time it's just the four sensor wires, out to where the bumper will be, via the right side airflow duct. Exactly as I failed to do in the 'Fitting sonar do's and don'ts.' In my case, I don't read the instructions and do make silly mistakes, in this case piercing the main loom to rear number plate rubber boot on the left side.....
  10. As France is on 24 hour semi lock-down at the moment I decided to finish fitting my reversing 'radar' system. It's not radar of course, all those giant metal things spinning around and dangerous EM waves frying anyone living nearby, it's the much nicer system used by bats, compact, light, and eco friendly....geddit? Echo friendly? I like bats, they often fly around in the Mill if I leave windows open. I also have owls in the attic, and just the other morning a cheeky red squirrel attempted to crash in through the glass of my South facing bedroom. It looked a little surprised when it bounced off....stunned, even. I seem to have drifted off topic a bit. So, I think I mentioned somewhere that I'd drilled the holes in the plastic 'bumper' a lot higher up than where Toyota recommend, causing it to be impossible to fit the two central sensors. So to make life a lot easier I removed the bumper today, and was amazed by the buildup of fine agricultural mud between the shell and the plastic. I'm absolutely not joking, there was stuff growing in it, in one area, little seedlings of unknown origin. So I blasted it all with a hosepipe and sent time cleaning everything....I reckon the car's lost at least a kilo.... It's not a difficult job, but if you try it yourself it's well worth buying a couple of things before you start, as they will almost certainly need replacing. 1/ The plastic tang bars which the front of the bumper fits into....mine had two tangs missing on one side and I think one or two on the other. I doubt they are expensive and the rear wing to bumper joint looks neater if all tangs are there. 2/ The useless 'seal" around the cabin air exits, which seal against water ingress into the boot and prevent the otherwise loose fitting ducts rattling. These are invisible under the plastic bumper. Mine were so FUBAR I threw them away and duct taped the ducts into place, making a good rattle proof and waterproof (!?) seal. This proves my superb reversing ability....nuff said... This is the bolt-on 'tang strip'..... several tangs were missing on my 2010 car. Worth replacing. and here are the completely knackered so called seals on the extractor ducts This is what duct tape was invented for.... The seals weren't exactly doing the job so I slung them and used duct-tape. Clean again.... duct and tape
  11. I pulled the plug to the right rear lights, stuck the neg side of a multimeter in the brown earth wire female pin socket, then tried the others, with the power on and in reverse, till I had 12v showing at which point it turned out to be the red.
  12. Hal Mercier

    Moving Off

    Revs & lack of torque.
  13. Hal Mercier

    Moving Off

    It's quite like the technique you need with a full race Imp engine. If you don't provide beans you stall on the grid and look like an idiot. Similarly tiny engine, I had a fully hogged out racer with a whole 1040cc engine, which would rev and hold together at around 10,000rpm though I didn't do that much. With the rarityand cost of Imp race parts now (forged pistons? Forget it!) it's best to set a sensible rev limit on the ignition and simply choose the correct ratios for the circuit so as not to hit the limiter..
  14. Flash 22....Thanks. I do wish I'd seen that BEFORE drilling into the plastic bumper as I've done it way too high, fine but for the two centre holes! I'm kicking myself but doubtless I'll manage with a bit of vandalism.