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OVALTEENY !!!
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Watched it for a few years now on sky. I'm sure this would be right up your street.

Looks good. They also ran a series Dakar or Bust on a similar theme running from London on £100 bangers that were donated on arrival at Dakar
 

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I too have been following this, am 'planning' to enter for 2012 with my son taking a car rather than bike (blxxdy long way on a saddle!). When you thinking of entering?
 

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Ride any Road. Ask me...
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Discussion Starter #4
I'm hoping (better than planning!) to go in 2011. Things are turning, and I may well be taking 4 wheels not 2, the basis for the build of 2 was stolen!

I need to check a heap of stuff, but really fancy preping and taking my "normal" car. The "race" route is 2 wheel drive passable for most of it's stages, and I'm sure with a couple of tweaks my Megane will be fine.

Current research is the avaliability and price of diesel in Africa, and whether I can get uprated springs that will not lower the car, and preferably raise it by 10cm or so. Then I'll need to make friends with a welder or two for plating and weld in "roll"cage!! I'd aim to go towards MSA Rally Car spec in terms of safety, fireproofing etc. (I can do fibreglass.) The performance, whist paltry, will be OK, maybe a K+N for the serviceability of it, the rest is overfull service, timing belt, fluids, bearings, discs, pads, shoes, re-routed lines etc. Will probably also go external GPS aireal and a bank of 12v plugs. Top that with 7 Colway M+S tyres, and the usual raft of sand ramps etc and some very big headlamp bulbs!! Oh, and fix the hole in the floor I made yesterday!!
 

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Kymmy accepts no responsibility for this blondes c
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dont know SFA about how its moved on over the last few years, but i did run some of the UK PR for it in the early days.

From what i can see its changed a lot from the early days (less of a fun rally in those days), we had a lot of complaints about the start being so far away and they did have a London start but it looks like that's gone to!

Prep wise its all road based so your only real concern is safety.

Diesel in Africa is way cheaper than Europe but the quality can vary immensely so you must run a dual stage filter... older diesels will also cope with the variance but modern ones are not so happy.

As for roll cage, this a non FIA sanctioned event... so in real terms the safety level is what you want, msa/fia regs require a very high spec of design and materials used which would kill most peoples budget. If you drop to club mans level and look at alternatives you could get a lot more for buck... for example FIA/msa cages are built with a CDS 50mm (40mm on non structural) tube, this depending on spec can cost up too £30 a meter.... switch to a clubman/diy tube (gas barrel (blue band) or even scaffolding tube -cheap but welds bad) which is not licensed but acceptable for a fun rally, these would cost you £3 a meter!....

Dont skip on fire safety, go to Lifeline and use a plumbed fire marshal system the expense may save your vehicle and will save your life!

Tweaking diesels is a game, dont know the megan but i assume its a turbo diesel (rotary pump engine) like most modern 'car' diesels... changing the air filter will make little difference, what you need to do is raise the turbo pressure by holding the waistgate open longer then increase the fuel (small screw somewhere on the governor) these will give it way more go but dont expect fantastic fuel mpg or to pass an mot!!! another plus is to intercool or charge cool this with the fuel mods/waistgate will make a big difference.

I still have contact details for Andrew at B2B if its any help.

I should still have somewhere the tech spec I set out for the vehicles doing a different cross-africa charity event... these were 4x4's but the gear they carried and the mods would probably be of help.
 

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Kymmy accepts no responsibility for this blondes c
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...and whether I can get uprated springs that will not lower the car, and preferably raise it by 10cm or so...
if you can give me the spec of your springs (internaldia/ external/ poundage and free/compressed length) then i can get the guy that does my springs to give you a quote...

I can also put you in tough with a guy that will hand build you a longer damper if thats required.
 

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Ride any Road. Ask me...
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Jenna, you are an absolute hero! (Well, heroine, but hey...) I'd love whatever specs/kit lists you can sort.

I can sort of do bikes, but cars are a new ball game to me.

Right, specific general questions, if I may:

I think from some research that diesel is widely avaliable in Africa. Is this true?

I'm not really interested in more power, part of the attraction of this car, apart from the fact I have it already, is the fuel range/mpg. The pipercross filter is really just to allow cleaning/re-use. The "new" bit for me is the diesel filter, would that work like a bike filter, in-line, and can it just be 'bolted' in?

I'll need to get a Haynes or similar to get the suspension info, but a longer spring/damper set up would give much more piece of mind. Can you forsee any issues this would cause to the car?

The car has a large plastic plate/sumpguard bolted underneath, how hard do you think it would be to have metal one cut/bent/drilled to replace it?

Re. seats/seatbelts, do you think it would be worth looking at improving these?

What sort of milage do rally tyres give? I'd like a slightly better tread depth/space than 'normal' tyres.

Rollcage of some sort will almost definately need to be a bought in job, to design and weld in. Not to any full spec, just a lump more than it is now!

I'm still researching the fire stuff, but that should be cool, thanks for the company name.


As you can probably tell, I'm a total novice in the 4 wheeled sports world, so any advice, tips etc would be loved.

Do the MSA or anybody else run "treasure hunt" style rallies round here-ish? I think we need some practice!!

Thanks again Jenna.
 

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Kymmy accepts no responsibility for this blondes c
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2,075 Posts
north north Africa has euro fuel these days... its shipped in and is the same as you buy in France or Spain (but cheaper!), the problems with fuel get worse the further south you go. main issue is water in diesel, this can be got round with a pre-filter as used with boats. big name in the industry is Racor and they do both 'plumbed in' and funnel filters.

for fine sand you need a dual stage filter, the core can be a k&N type thing but you also need a sock to over it.... two schools of thought one is pro oiled other is anti, i prefer a dry inner and an oiled out (its more efficient and easier to clean!)... if do go k&N you may be better with two and swap/wash regularly alternatively find a foam filter ( I recommend ITG or pipercross... PX are just up the road).

if your just raising the car a cm or two then there will be no adverse effects go more and you need to look at cv angles and steering geometry (dont go down this route!)...

remaking a plastic bashguard in ally is not a problem.

seats are personal choice, climbing in and out of a bucket seat can get to be a pain but then a good quality one will be more comfortable, if changing seats then changing belts is an option but you cant fit 4 or 5 points with a 'conventional' car seat that reclines. Racing belts are surprisingly dear, you are lucky though that this is not an FIA event so you can use belts that are out of life (in motorsport anything around safety has a 'life' ...belts, seats, clothing etc has to be renewed in some cases every 3 years regardless of its it not used or been hammered to [email protected]) out of life belts sell real cheap on ebay. Out of life buckets harder being the preserve of the boy racers but also do come up at a reasonable cost every now and then.

Rally tyres are silly money, study the routes and check that there is enough off tarmac to justify anything more than a M&S, if worse comes to worse you only need a beefy tyre on driven wheels and a spare. Best manufacture by far is BFG in this field of use, their website will give you sizes available.

roll cages are as long as a bit of string, all i can say for a non sanctioned event there is no 'minimum' standard.. sit in the car and work out how much intrusion you happy with, the minimum is a hoop and diagonal with two rearward braces (work on 50mm dia) from that basic you can do as much or little as you like but remember roll cages are heavy so dont go mad. Another thing to consider is mounting it, dont know the floorpan on that car so no point in me leading you up the garden path. If its moncoque then you need more bracing (40mm) and larger spreader plates (or youill get 'mashed' between roll cage and floor as the two compress.) I can give you the msa/fia cage layouts which you adapt to fit this car easy enough. From there make a cardboard mock up that fits as close as possible to the interior (trim all removed) and from that you roll the hoop.

a 4 door range-rover classic msa cage we designed.
www.raidxtreme.eu/webpics/Image9.jpg
www.raidxtreme.eu/webpics/cadrr2.jpg

Car prep is easy and there is looooads of info out there, biggest problem is knowing when to stop spending.

MSA had a kick up its arse a few years ago and is slowly getting its act together, they only really operate on a national level so you need to have a hunt round the MSA CC's (car clubs), link should be on the msa web.... in our area think the Bedford CC and the MK and District CC are the biggest. Not sure as to what they run as i dont get tooo involved with the CC's.
 

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Hi Mudwiz

Are you off in this years rally....? (if so you start tomorrow!).
Be really interested to know how you get on. I've signed for 2012 and am really looking forward to it, although if I'm honest I'm not sure yet what its all about. Keep us posted if you're in.
 

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Well we're signed in getting prep'd to go. Disco has been purchased, 2.5TDi, 17yr old, 143k miles and rust to prove it, however, appears to run a treat. Need to get planning for the conversion, need to turn it in to a luxury sleeping vehicle thats capable of covering 10000+ km's in 3 weeks............!

Mudwiz - did you go? - any comments?
 
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