Sunday 9 June 2024

Present Status

New Visitors :

If you are interested in the full story I suggest you read this post from July 2013 first for the back story : The Beginning of my Journey and then work through the rest of the Archive on the panel to the right.

Current Visitors :    Latest Post:  Lost Bung

Tasks Completed
1.    Initial Cosmetic Fixes
2.    Clutch Cable replaced
3.    Front Ride Height increased
4.    Sump Guard fitted
5.    Wheel Alignment checked
6.    Steering Bushes replaced
7.    The Boot (Trunk) redesigned
8.    Battery Isolation Switch fitted
9.    Brake Light Switch replaced
10.  Auxiliary Electrical Panel fitted
11.  Engine/Chassis Earth Strap fitted
12.  Fuel Filler Pipe replaced
13.  Exhaust Pipe fixed

14.  Replace Front Number Plate after crash
15.  Repair the Offside Front Wing after crash
16.  Fit Tension Spring to Clutch
17.  Fit new Front Wing
18.  Fit a new Thermostat and Cooling Fan Switch
19.  Grease Propshaft CV Joints
20.  New Rear View Mirror fitted 
21.  Steering Rack checked 
22.  Oil leak in Sump reduced
23.  A Better Rear View Mirror Fitted  
24.  Additional Flasher Light and Bigger Buzzer fitted 
25.  Elastic Band added to Fuel Filler cap to make a better seal 
26.  Rear Exhaust Mounting changed to a Rubber Mounting 
27.  Wind Deflectors Fitted
28.  New, Longer, Mud Flap fitted  (Second attempt)
29.  Exhaust Heat Shield Renovated   
30.  Doors made Folding for Storage behind Seats
31.  Reversing Lights Fixed
32.  Handbrake Guard Fitted   
33.  Reversing Sensors Fitted
34.  Reversing Switch Power feed changed to Ignition Live  
35.  Matching Nearside Front Wing and Mudflap fitted 
36.  Fog lights mounted direct to car body
37.  Handbrake adjusted  
38.  Fitted Aluminium Treadplates to Footwell Floors
39.  Catalytic Converter replaced  
40.  Petrol Smell identified and pipe replaced
41.  A Ram-Air Cooling System fitted to Starter Motor
42.  Tested the Exhaust with one outlet blocked
43.  New Luggage Rack Fitted  
44.  Fitted a new Grill
45.  Fitted a new Thermostat Gasket
46.  Fitted a new Serpentine Belt
47.  Replace Bushes on Bottom of Rear Shock Absorbers.  
48.  Raise Rear Ride Height 
49.  Engine Cover Fitted
50.  Fit Daylight Running Lights
51.  Rewired Front Indicators  
52.  Fitted Brake Light Monitor
53.  Fitted LED Voltmeter and USB Charging Point  
54.  New Battery Fitted
55.  Redesigned Heat Shield Mounting
56.  Fitted more Running Lights 
57.  Built ECU Diagnostic Interface Cable
58.  Painted Rear Drums
59.  Fitted Handbrake Warning Light
60.  Fitted Longer Wind Deflectors
70.  Fitted new Exhaust System and Lambda Sensor  
71.  Fitted Flexible Joint in Exhaust System
72.  Fitted Seat Belt Extension to Driver Seat
73.  Changed the Idle Speed from 1000 rpm to 850 rpm 
74.  Replaced Coolant Temperature Sensor 
75.  Partially blocked off Intake Grid    
76.  Fitted a Grid Guard
77.  Fitted Bonnet Louvers
78.  Fitted New Larger Wiper Blade (10")
79.  Fitted New Air Filter
80.  Fitted Tyre Pressure Gauges  
81.  Fitted New Tyres all round
82.  Removed Top Coolant Pipe
83.  Redesigned Rear Number Plate 
84.  Fitted Third (High-Level) Brake Light
85.  Fitted LED Rear Light Cluster to test
86.  Fitted Proper Thermostatic Fan Switch 
87.  Replacement Windscreen Washer Bottle fitted  
88.  Built-In Battery Charger fitted
89.  Cargo Net fitted to Passenger Footwell  
90.  New Spark Plugs fitted
91.  Fitted Power Steering Reservoir  
92.  Redesigned Dashboard 
         Phase 1 - Warning Lights and 12V Supply
         Phase 2 - Provide Access to Electrical Panel with New Cover
         Phase 3 - Fit matching Driver side Cover
         Phase 4 - Fit matching covers to Transmission Cover
         Phase 5 - Fit improved Warning Light Panel
         Phase 6 - Fit matching Centre Panel  
93.   Revised the Interior to match the Dashboard
94.   Fitted combined Oil Pressure Switch/sensor and new Switch  
95.   Added a Leg Pad
96.   Rewired Lambda Sensor  
97.   Fitted Reversing Assist Camera
98.   Fitted New Exhaust Shield  
99.   Fitted Replacement Speedo Cable
100. Fitted new Radiator
101. Repaired Nose Cone  
102. Fitted a New Nose Cone
103. Fitted a new Sump and Sump Guard  
104. Replaced cheap Oil Pressure Gauge with a Mechanical One
105. New Gear Change Knob  
106. New Sump Guard fitted
107. Carried out a Corner Weighting - Perfect 50% each way.
108. Fitted a Diagnostic Port
109. Replaced Fuel Pump/Sender
110. Fitted Headlight Warning Light

Tasks In Progress
Electrical System

     Phase 1 -  Identify Relays     (Partially completed)

Status: Just need to track down the ECU Relay.  I can hear it clicking behind dash and instrument cluster.

     Phase 2 -  Identify Fuses       (Partially completed)

Status: Just need to identify 3 fuses

     Phase 3 -  Identify Services   (Partially completed) 
     Phase 4 -  Fit Battery Isolation Switch   (Complete)
     Phase 5 -  Fit Auxiliary Panel                 (Complete)
     Phase 6 -  Wire in Camera and SatNav   (Complete)

Tasks Still Outstanding 

1.  Redesign Cooling System

Lost bung

 As you know (if you have read everything) I have a bung in one of my exhaust outlets to increase the back pressure a bit.  This enables me to pass the emissions and I feel the car is more responsive with it in.

On the way back from Malvern I felt that, although she was running perfectly well, she was a bit sluggish, so I wasn't surprised when I saw the bung had been blown out.  This was the 3rd time this happened so I though it was time I did a better job.

So this time I pushed the bung in as far as I could but then added a self-tapping screw through it.  Hopefully this one is going nowhere.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

National Kit Car Show

Since HS2 construction made a mess of Stoneleigh, the National Kit Car Show moved to the Malvern Showground.   The only proble with that is that it makes it a very long drive for me.   Almost 3 hours.

Nevertheless, as Membership Secretary of the UK Kit Car Club I felt obliged to go.   But I decided to do at least some of it the night before and stay over at my daughters (even though they were away on holiday).   I also decided to meet up with a friend from Bedford so we could drive down together.   All that worked very well, although it meant I covered over 4 hours driving in total.

Had a nice day at the Show, although it is much smaller these days, kit car ownership seems to be shrinking.   When it came to coming back a quick check on the Satnav showed that if I went on the motorway (normally something I avoid) I could do it in 2:45.   In the event it actually took 2:55, but turned out to be quite a nice drive.   Apart from a near miss on the M5 when someone tried to force me off the road See dashcam video. In his defence, there was an emergency vehicle rushing up behind him and he was sitting so high up he probably didn't know I was there.

I was really pleased that the cooling system worked perfectly, and when I checked I had covered 250 miles and the coolant level was still good.  I really think I have fixed it.

Thursday 23 May 2024

Indicators fail

 We get used to niggling faults with these cars.  After all they are hand-built.   Occasionally I run a full check of the lights as there are some you cannot see while driving (brake lights, indicators, flashers).   Normally a bulb failure in the indicator system is obvious as it starts flashing at twice the speed.   But I have so much on the system (6 flashing bulbs, 3 different lights in the cockpit and an industrial strength buzzer) that the loss of just one bulb has no effect.

On this occasion I saw the nearside front indicator was not operating.   To narrow down the cause I swapped the bulbs over and it was still the nearside one that wasn't working so it was obviously not getting power.

I also tested the emergency flashers to make sure it was just the bulb (remember I have an independent emergency system with it's on flasher relay.   Unfortunately they didn't work at all.  Luckily the design of my dashboard means I can reach behind the switch, so I wiggled all the wires and they suddenly started working so it was a dodgy connection.

Back to the normal indicators.  For various reasons I have 3 bullet connectors between the bulb and the wiring loom so that was my first port of call.  They all looked solid, but just tbe sure I took each one apart, cleaned the connectors and put them back.  After this I tried again and everything worked perfectly.  Just normal corrosion over time I guess.

Monday 22 April 2024

Cooling System solved (again)

 I hesitate to say that my cooling system problem has been solved, but I am cautiously optimistic this time.   I felt I had proved that all the problems were caused by a leak somewhere in the system, and I had eventually traced it to the seal between the expansion bottle and the pressure cap.   Although I had tried 3 different caps I decided to try once more.  I also upped the pressure from 20psi to 22psi.

I did about 110 miles yesterday and the temperature gauge hardly moved from about 90℃.  And this morning I checked the water level and it hadn't changed, so maybe it was 4th time lucky ?

We'll see.

Stilton Cheese 2024

Just got back from the Annual Stilton Cheese Run. 
For those who didn’t know, Stilton Cheese was never made at Stilton, it was made in a village called Hungerton in Leicestershire, some 40 miles West. In the early days the cheese was delivered to Stilton by horse and cart via various small villages to eventually sell it to all the people travelling up from London on the Great North Road (now the A1). As such it became known as Stilton Cheese.
Every year, this is celebrated by inviting classic cars to retrace the route along the country roads. We actually start about a third of the way along the route at Uppingham, which is large enough to host the start. Also, rather than just do the straight line we do a semi-random meander around the Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Rutland back roads. And we have a break point about half way at New Lodge Farm on the A43 for coffee, loo stop and a hog roast if you are hungry, before finishing at Stilton. As such the run covers maybe 40-50 miles (In my case getting to the start point and getting back from the end point, via a pub lunch, adds another 60 miles so I have covered almost 110 miles today).
Like most events at the moment it has shrunk from it’s heyday pre-pandemic. In previous years they had to limit the turnout to 300 cars. This year they managed to get only150. Having said that there where lots of very interesting cars and I have added a few photos. Similarly I remember the Club submitting 12-15 entries, this year it was just the 3 of us (with 2 wives). A pity, but nevertheless, very enjoyable for all concerned. The weather was perfect, the cars were running beautifully and the roads were narrow and windy.

Friday 2 February 2024

Cooling problems again

 On my last trip I almost overheated again.   When I checked, the overflow bottle I have fitted was almost full.  And putting that back into the expansion bottle brought the level back up.   So I don't have a leak anymore, it's being dumped via the pressure cap on the expansion bottle.

So either the pressure cap is faulty, the seal between the cap and the bottle is dodgy, or the cooling system is over pressurising.  The cap is 20psi, so I don't think it is the third option.  As a first step I will buy a new cap at 22psi and see if that helps.  If it doesn't help then I will have to replace the expansion bottle.   I do have a spare, but swapping them is not a trivial task.

Watch this space.

Sunday 2 July 2023

Static Test (6) - Alternator

My program also tracks the battery voltage (actually the alternator voltage when the engine is running)   The voltmeter I have in the car indicates about 14.2V, although the ECU reckons it is 13.7V.   It’s perhaps a bit on the low side, but is still well within the normal range so not worried about that.

Static Test (5) - Lambda Sensor

One of the most important checks is the lambda sensor.   You will have seen from previous posts that this is a sore point on the Superspec.  I’m pleased to report that mine continues to work perfectly.  The pictures show the whole 20 minutes and a snap shot of a 2 min segment.   It’s a fairly crude system that we used to call the ‘bang-bang’ method (maybe they still do?).  Rather than try and stabilise the fuel/air ratio it goes from rich to lean in a very fast cycle so that over time the average mixture is correct.