I seem to procrastinate on updating this page.
We raced AM74-5 most of the year at local races, Colorado and New Mexico. In August we took AM73-79 to High Plains Raceway in Colorado. When the Petronox unit failed in 74-5 we rolled out AM73-79 for its first away race. The car did reasonably well. The handling of 74-5 is more unforgiving. It seemed that the shocks maybe setup wrong or the bump steer is off. The car was skittish under bumps. Also corner exit understeer was more than I was expecting. This was the first real test of the car and over the winter will research shocks packages and recheck the bump steer.
Big news! The Hewland gearbox that was lost in late 2018 resurfaced in November 2019. It landed in Laredo Texas in a warehouse handling shipments into Mexico. It had been switched with another pallet and sat there unclaimed for 9 months. An employee in Mexico sent an e-mail to me and the warehouse stating the error and to arrange to contact me. Over a few weeks I verified the freight was correct and had negotiate a storage rate less than the $5/day for a total of nearly $1500. Eventually they agreed to a reduced rate and I shipped it back to me. So now I have the original gearbox for AM74-5 back in the shop. It still needs rebuild but that will wait.
Winter of 2019 we began the normal winter checks of the chassis, engines and gearboxes. AM74-5 was found to have a small crack in a rear bulkhead. I have raced this car for 6 years and even when I bought it I didn’t crack check it. So I have decide to go down to the frame and refresh completely.
Last summer I had the frame of AM73-74 sandblasted a and bonded a new floor. I am nearing completion of the restoration of this chassis. I moved the new engine from AM74-5 to -74 and installed a fresh rebuilt gearbox. AM73-74 was a MK10C originally and have decided to convert to a MK10B, front radiator with full engine covers and long tail. Goal is to finish this chassis by June 2020 for testing possible race near the end of the year.
Activities for 2020 include races in New Mexico, and Colorado. I have penciled in SVRA Indy and Mid-Ohio but need to ensure Am73-79 is handling better.
Well lets update the world. We received a new a new body from Len at Marchant and Cox in the UK:
The Elden was originally a MK10 C which had the radiators mounted on the side of the chassis behind the front wheels. So that is what we are restoring. Steve C was working in the shop and began moving all the “bits” from Elden 73-39, the bent chassis, and began installing into this chassis.
Engine is a 4 hour old, iron head engine built by Pete Christensen in Fort Collins, Colorado at Total Precision Engines. This engine had a brand new 711M block and Scat crank.
The gearbox on this Elden was rebuilt by Taylor Race Engineering many years ago and never even had fluid put into it.
So before Steve C could get to far along I decided we needed to mount the body as the side panels cannot be removed without removing the radiators and suspension. Many of the mounting tabs had been removed in a past life, so I manufactured new ones. The nose structure, holding the nose cone, had been removed and lost. So with the luck of having Elden #4, an very original MK10C, was able to use its chassis to mimic the nose cone box. One change will be the removal of the battery from the nose cone location to another place in the chassis.
Here is a picture of the nose cone structure from Elden MK10C 73-74:
New nose cone support structure on 73-79
Now a picture of the body mounted to the car.
Still need to design some Aluminum radiators that will fit the radiator shrouds and mount to the side panels. Also I am building a 20 gauge Aluminum panels to mount to the side of the chassis to separate the water transfer tubes from the driver compartment.
So anyway the work continues.
Well it has been a bit of time since I have updated this blog. Since Oct last years we did our normal traveling in the fall and then spent most of the winter working on Elden AM74-5 and 73-39 and Am73-79
Elden 74-5 was found to have mismatched front uprights. One was 1/2 ” taller offsetting the hub center line. Borrowed 2 different ones from our last acquisition and began a search for new replacements. Was introduced to 2 potential suppliers in the UK. One private individual and another a race shop:
I also spoke to Pat Prince at Pat Prince Engineering and he has the jigs for the suspension parts. So soon I will be sending the stuff I need to Pat for repair or fabrication.
We are now running the new Hoosier VFF treaded tires a bit difference that the slicks I have run for years. But we are nearing an optimum setup.
Elden #2 was nearing completion for this racing season. Note I am doing preservation not restorations so I don’t strip down the car. When I picked up the car there was an invoice to “straighten the frame”. Well it is still “bent”. I couldn’t align the car, ran strings down the chassis found the rear sub frame tweaked 1/2″ at least. So work has stopped.
Elden #3 AM-73-79 is getting a new body. The old body had been cutup and missing some parts so I ordered a new body from:
Hoping that body is here in June. So the plan right now is to strip the bent chassis down for repair and to move forward on Elden AM 73-79.
Racing highlights: We ran ran Elden 74-5 the MK10C rebodied Falconer and the video link is:
Well we will catch up again after the SVRA Open Wheel World Challenge at Indianapolis, in June.
I was looking back at some old files and found this article from “RACECAR” from May 1979″.
This link is to the whole article describing Formula Fords built from the mid-60’s to 1979.
Charting the Fords-FF general info
What is most interesting to me is the Elden Formula Ford part of the article. The following link is the only place I have seen the where the 4 models of the PH10 are described relative to the radiator placements:
1972-73 PH10 with single front radiator similar to the PH8
1973 PH10A is a PH10 with the “Falconer” body with twin front radiators.
1974 PH10B is a twin side radiator layout with the radiators directly behind the front suspension
1975 PH10C is a twin side radiator layout with the radiators moved alongside the roll hoop
Elden Registry info
In talking with Peter Hampsheir he indicated that many of the PH10B and C’s were converted to the front radiator design (PH8 and 10). But what I am listing here is just some info I don’t want to lose. If anyone has more info please share your info.
Last night we received the fourth Elden FF from Greg N in the Cleveland OH area. The car was run several years and put away in favor of a Hawke. The previous owner passed and Greg N ended up with the car.
Greg N and I are anxious to see this car back on the track in conjunction with my 1973 Elden gotten in Tulsa a few years ago. That car had a very nice chassis restoration but no body. I have a top body mold and some side fairings alnong with this new car to pull some molds, maybe can save both cars.
Anxious to evaluate the car and make list on lists of options for the two cars.
Picture to follow when we start the evaluation.
We have taken a bit of time to get busy with the MK8, The engine was built a year ago. Engine is not FF legal. Bore is +0.100 over bore with Omega pistons and a unknown cam. This engine is cool so saving it to play with.
So engine is in, transmission rebuilt, needing plumbing etc. Sent the front Armstrong shocks to Archie Hodges to be rebuilt. Using rebuilt non-adjustable Bilstein shocks on the rear.
Got the water plumbing and oil plumbing done. Electrical wiring complete. Oh sh… decide to put the body panels on and found the placement of the water swirl pots interfered. As this car was apart when we picked it up I didn’t know what was different from the MK10 Falconner. So backup and redo the swirl pot.
New battery installed checked out wiring. Today attempted to start the engine. Wow that is some real compression and need to have a healthy battery booster. Try again tomorrow.
Engine runs, sounds good. Beginning checkout of systems.
Well lets update the progress and or plans for the Elden MK10.
Engine was removed and sent to Farley Engines for rebuilding. The existing engine was what I call a “mule” motor. It was a rebuild of the “as-found” with no special effort spent to make horsepower but to allow the shakedown of the chassis. Now its time to have that special motor. New SCAT crank and Tilton clutch assembly are the two big ticket items.
While the engine is at Farley’s catching up on some maintenance chores. 1) Check all rear hub assemblies.
The Elden uses Hillman Imp stub axles which is a known weakness and I plan to replace eventually with a modern axles from Taylor Engineering. But for now bearings look good. HamFab Inc has completed some new locking washer/nuts for the stub axles. They, lock washers/nuts, were missing on the MK 10 Elden. Regular locking hex nuts and hardened washers were present when I got it and didn’t understand the importance of the locking requirement. Of the 3 Eldens in the shop, one had correct parts. Without the locking washer which is slid over the “D” shape of the stub axle, the large nut the left rear nut will loosen with every application of the brakes. Next a soft rear pedal and time to stop. Tried other mechanism’s to stop that before I went on a search to understand the problem. Now I know some will say the Lotus Elan used the same stub and this problem was addressed by many others, but I am bullheaded to ignore that fact. 🙂
Rear Hub Center Revolution Wheel
2) One of the concerns I have had with the wheel studs is that they are put in fully shear. This car had original short wheel studs front and rear, 3/8″-24. Many people had put 7/16″ dia wheel studs as the MK 8 has. I wanted to keep the 3/8″-24 as the 3 sets of Revolution wheels that came with the car are set up for the 3/8″ studs. So I went on a treasure hunt and found longer studs in the UK for the front, Triumph Spitfire and installed. The rears run a 1″ Al spacer with conversion from the Hillman bolt circle to the Spitfire bolt circle. The a long grade 8 bolt is used for the wheel stud. So when you put the wheels on the wheel nuts are the main centering device to the hub assembly leaving the wheel studs in shear. So the plan was to have made some hub centers for the various wheels I will use:
Existing Wheel Spacer
First is the Revolution wheel. The rear Al spacer has an ID of 2.75″ and the center of the Revolution wheel is 2.5″ ID. So I made on my shop lathe:
Now with this installed the wheel nuts mount very easy and this should provide significant support for the wheel studs. Wheel centers for the Revolution front and for the steel wheels front and rear are next.
Rear Hub Center Installed
So we now wait for the engine and the first April race in Albuquerque, NM.
The winter has been spent doing everything but working on the race cars. Now that that is done lets see what the list is for the cars:
Mk-10, sent the carburetor to Curtis Farley to have rebuilt, jetted and perform the magic that he does. He will run the rebuilt carb on the engine dyno to set jetting. Bilstein shocks are finally rebuilt and will be ready install. Need to order new tires, American Racers for the 2014 season. Time to nut and bolt everything, realign with the new shocks and set corner weights.
MK8, I am fabricating Al side panels to go along the chassis to ensure that debris, or hot coolant doesn’t find its way into my cockpit. This came to light from Bill D in Grand Junction, CO when he had an accident that damaged the coolant lines that run alongside the chassis mid height. He moved his to lower on the chassis and I decide to put a light Al panel to minimize the risk. Will add some pictures later. The engine for this car is done and awaits installation. Need to get new bearings for the MK9 transaxle. Several of those bearings are old needle bearings and newer ones are ball. Taylor Engineering to help. I have 2 Bilstein shocks rebuilt for this car. Still need to more for the front. Currently old Armstrongs are there and I would like to replace.
Another task that is taking more time is finding some longer 3/8-24″ wheel studs for the front and rear. The fronts are Triumph Spitfire and they are a bit short when using the Revolution alloy wheels and their sleeve nuts. The 3/8″ studs are pretty much a dinosaur in favor or 7/16 or M12 wheel studs. But since I have 3 sets of revolutions and spent the money to true them up I want to stay with the 3/8″ studs. I have scoured the forums like “www.apexspeed.com” and think I have found a source in the UK. When that is confirmed I will post that info.
So that is it for now and off to the shop.