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2008-02-24 - 2008-02-24 Painted the Nextel and Checked for wheel clearance

Although it's been a month since my last update, I have in fact been getting on with a few bits. After looking everywhere for 3M Nextel paint, my dad managed to locate some for me, and a big thanks to him. I tried trimite for a suede effect paint, but they had a minimum order of 5ltrs, which at £35 a litre + hardener + thinners was a bit much for the small amount of painting I needed to do!

Many internet searches say that Nextel is no longer made, but that actually translates to 3M no longer manufacturing it. It is however still produced under licence from 3M by a German company called Mankiewicz. 3M originally designed nextel under contract for NASA for the space shuttle to coat their control desks. It is extremely mat and non-reflective which is ideal for the area surrounding the windscreen so I don't get blinded on sunny days.

3M is a two pack paint, and can be sprayed on. However, they recommend a 1.5-1.8mm tip. I used a 1.4mm tip, because that's what I had and I wanted to get this done ASAP as it was holding me back. It is extremely thick without thinners, and I put in as much thinners as I dared which really was quite a lot, but the gun still struggled. I struggled with it a lot, but in the end, the finish is fine for a rally car; near-black and non-reflective. Matt or Satin finishes from standard aerosol's come nowhere near as matt as nextel. Nextel is also very hard wearing, hence why I did the cage with it too.

I also did some actual measuring up to find out what tyre widths I need to run. The Kumho V70A tyre is available in 205/225/245 and 265 widths for a 16" rim. I need to use a 16" rim to be able get the wheels over the front brakes which will need to be pretty large. I am not using a brake servo and it will be doing tarmac events.

Having had a good measure up with a few fabricated bits of steel I worked out that I need to run 225 maximum at the rear, as 245's and 265's don't fit inside the arch no matter what the wheel offset could be.

With 225's at the rear, I will use 205's at the front. Kumho recommends an ideal wheel rim width to be 7.0" for each tyre (The front's having a section of 45 and the rears having a section of 50). So at least that means I can run the same wheels all round. I also need to run an offset of 45mm. I measured 40mm, but as there will be a brake disk between the half shaft and the wheel, 45mm seems a good bet.

So, I need to get:

Kumho V70A, 205/45R16 (Front) Kumho V70A, 225/50R16 (Rear) Braid Winrace 'A', 16x7"/ET45/PCD4x100