Restoration of an ex-Barrichello F1 car is nearing completion and owner Warren Stean is planning its first public demonstration
I don’t quite yet have a fully rebuilt and dyno-tested engine, but the good news is that the Peugeot internals have passed crack testing and there are, so far, no horrible surprises. I’m still itching to see — and hear — it up and running. I have never been in a dyno room with a V10 Formula 1 engine on full song. People who have tell me it’s one part awesome and one and a half parts terrifying.
In the meantime, we have started to put the final touches to the chassis build of my ex-Rubens Barrichello Jordan 195. The first job was fitting the fuel tank. The physical fitting is not a simple job, because the aperture through which it must pass to fit inside the monocoque is very small. All the foam inside must be removed then painstakingly refitted into the tank, along with the pump hardware. This means the guys at Tour-de-Force Power Engineering are essentially working blind most of the time.
The uprights have been stripped, crack-tested and rebuilt. Visually they appeared to look fine and non-destructive testing proved this to be the case. It’s only when they are apart that one can appreciate just how much design and manufacturing skill has gone into these components. The uprights on the car are fabricated from titanium with a machined centre. They are beautifully made.
I have been incredibly lucky to find another pair of front uprights to use as spares, but interestingly these are fabricated from steel. I can only guess that these were possibly off a test car. Before rebuilding the uprights, we re-greased the bearings, which themselves were in such good condition that they did not need replacing.
The radiators have also now been serviced. They were sent to an F1 radiator specialist at Silverstone to be ultrasonically cleaned and pressure tested. Apart from a minor repair needed to one small part of one radiator, everything else was perfect and they have now been mounted back on the car with fresh fittings and fasteners.
The Brembo brake calipers were in great condition and have been stripped, cleaned and rebuilt with new seals and fittings. Suitable carbon-carbon discs and pads were sourced. Carbon-carbon is an incredible material, but the braking system used in 1995 was relatively simple, certainly compared with the brake-by-wire and energy recovery systems of modern F1 cars.
The modern electronics have been mounted in the original box locations on the car, including the ECU above the fuel cell. New brackets were produced for the mounts in the tub and all components fit into the original recesses with the period closing panels. We can now move on and begin to build the wiring loom. We are also testing the original dash and cockpit electronics to ensure these are fit for purpose.
New front and rear dampers are being manufactured and should be on the car very soon. Engine permitting, we aim to give the car its shakedown test in the early spring at Snetterton, and I am hopeful that it may get one of its first public outings at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, followed by some demo runs at Brands Hatch in August and Jarama later in the summer.
Next month: Final pre-test preparations – and will Warren’s ears be ringing?
Thanks to: Tour-de-Force Power Engineering, Bedford; Engine Developments, Rugby