Thursday, 6 August 2020

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:  MOT Time

Scarcity of postings simply means that nothing has needed to be done to the car.  I am still using her most weeks, depending on the weather.   She is running beautifully.

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. 

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
2.  Get Speedometer working

MOT Time

It was that time of year again.   I had checked the car over and all the obvious stuff was OK, lights all worked, brakes looked good.....  However, the usual spectre of the emissions test loomed over it, although I repeated the procedure from last year in that I ran a bottle of injector cleaner through the system and then did a reasonably long run staying in 3rd gear to get the RPM up to 4-5000 rpm.   Also there were the advisories for last year regarding the wishbone bushes.

So put her in with some trepidation.   Result:  A clear pass with no advisories 😅

Not bad for a 13 yr old car, particularly as she took 5 years to build so is actually 18 yrs old, and the engine and transmission date from 1995, 25 years ago.

Friday, 31 July 2020

Breakdown Number Three

Nice day today as 6 of us met up at Foxton Locks for a picnic.  Lovely drive, didn't touch a single A Road, all country lanes.  It was a comfortable 1:05 hr each way (40 miles) and great weather. 
I think I had been through the locks in a boat but had never wandered round.  

Unfortunately while I was driving there I had breakdown number 3  (First was when the water hose blew off the pipe and the second was when I holed the sump.   Still not bad for 7 years of driving).   I was just coming out of Oakham when I found I couldn't change gear easily.   It got worse until suddenly the clutch pedal just dropped to the floor.   As luck would have it I was passing a housing estate and just inside was a row of garages with plenty of tarmac in front,  So I stopped there to check.   I has assumed the clutch cable had snapped, a regular occurrence on these cars.   But I was wrong.   Some of you might remember I modified the clutch cable/pedal a few months after I bought the car.    The diagram shows what I did.

The original fit is the top diagram and you can see the clutch cable is bent so has a lot of strain put on it,  So I used a couple of pieces of stainless steel to make a joint that allowed the cable to be perfectly aligned.  

And this is what I saw when I took the top of the pedal box off:

After 7 years of constant flexing the stainless steel had given up and parted in the middle.   Luckily the fix was fairly easy, I just removed all the bits and bolted the cable directly to the pedal as it used to be when I bought the car.   Total time was 30 mins.  I had been running 20 mins ahead of schedule so was actually only 10 mins late at the locks.

So I can keep my 100% record of never calling the rescue services to get me home, and I didn't have to use the spare clutch cable I always keep in the boot. :-)

I will rebuild it tomorrow but use thicker steel, even though the normal steel lasted 7 years.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Drinks Holder

I have got into the habit of carrying a bottle of water around.  Up to now it has just been left in the passenger seat.   Not any more.😆

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Corner Weighting

Fascinating day today.   My friend with the same car had bought 4 Post Office weighing machines from another member of the Club.  

As it was such a nice day I drove down today so we could 'corner weight' both of the cars.   This technique is really only applicable to racing cars and is designed to make sure the car is properly in balance so it handles correctly, but as we had the machines, and can easily sell them on to anyone else in the Club we thought 'why not give it a try'.

You have to put the car on the scales, making sure they are absolutely level with each other, so as the drive was slightly on a hill we had to put pads under the rear ones so the car was horizontal.   Then the driver sits in to 'mimic' normal usage and we both happened to have about 1/2 tank of petrol.
We did his car first and his figures were about

Front Right     210 kg
Front Left       180 kg
Rear Right      240 kg
Rear Left        250 kg

There are then some calculations where you get percentage figures for the diagonal as well as the more obvious ones across the car. Although his scores were still in the high 40%s, obviously there was something amiss with his front left.   Also, interestingly he says that under heavy braking that wheel always locks up, which makes sense if it not carrying as much weight as the others.  Also, when looked at from the rear the car is definitely right side higher.    

We tried adjusting the suspension to get it more equal but didn't have much success as it suspension adjuster was rusted.   So sprayed with WD40 and he will try later.   

So then we put the Tiger on the scales.   Bear in mind I have played with the suspension units a lot over the years, trying to get the ride height up and the car slightly nose down.   Here she is:

And here are the figures

Front Right    218 Kg
Front Left       220 Kg
Back Right     260 Kg
Back Left       256 Kg

Which gave an overall score of 49.7% against a perfect score of 50%.    AMAZING !!   A tribute to whoever put the rolling chassis together (and to me of course for ensuring all changes I made were symmetrical.)   ]

It was also nice to confirm the overall weight of the car.  With me in it totalled 950 Kg, without me the kerb weight was 850 Kg.    This confirmed our suspicion that the Superspec is heavier that the average 2B, as they come in at 750Kg.   I think a lot of that is our engine, which is much heavier than the other engines.   But when you think the Rover 400 used to weigh in at 1270 Kg we still have a good saving,

So a most enjoyable day, as well as 2 nice 1:20 Hr drives in glorious weather.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Stamford Car Show

Took her to the Stamford Car Show on Sunday.   A bit disappointing, only 4 cars turned up, the usual suspects who keep the Lincolnshire chapter working, even though one lives in Rutland and one in Leicestershire :-)

As you can imagine it was ridiculously hot so we spent most of the day sitting under trees about 100 yds away.:-)
She drove well apart from an occasional quite disconcerting rattle which came and went depending on engine speed.   I was a bit worried till I realised it must be my new sump guard, which isn't such a snug fit as the last one, was vibrating at a resonant speed and hitting the engine.  And not surprisingly the engine ran about 2-3 degrees hotter on the journey back as the outside temp was 86F.

So I have taken the sump guard off, bent the holding arms to make it a better fir and put some cardboard between the sump and the guard to isolate it in case it still vibrates.   Time will tell if that works.

Friday, 23 August 2019


She's good to go for another year :-):-)
Dropped her off on Wednesday and my mechanic took her straight to the MOT station.  When he went back the tester said she had failed so he assumed it was the emissions.  But to everybody's surprise she had got through, and this was on my day-to-day exhaust system..   The CO was 0.049 against a maximum of 0.2 and the HC was 35 against a maximum of 200.  Looks like catalytic converter is working OK, maybe the 40 mile blast in 3rd gear did the trick.   And the lambda was fine, 0.999 against a range of 0.97 to 1.03, so that is almost perfect.   Only the second time I have actually received an emissions certificate,:-)

She failed on the windscreen wipers not clearing the windscreen properly, mainly because of my upgrade from 7" wipers to 10" wipers.  But I didn't need to change them back as a quick 'bend' of the wipers solved the problem.

And the other problem was excessive play on the steering column lower U/V joint.   This has been a problem for the car for years, Pete had to tighten it up before he sold me the car. and I had to have it replaced 4 yeas ago.   He took it off, hit it a few times with a hammer and replaced the pinch bolts.  Good to go

The only other problem is that when he put the car on the rollers they stripped my sump guard off He had eyeballed the clearance and decided it was OK.   Easy enough to replace, and having the MOT tester owe you one is no bad thing.

There are 2 advisories for the top bushes on the front suspension, I'll get those done sometime in the year.  It's amazing they have lasted 10 years (5 with Pete and 5 with me) and 23,000 miles,

The icing on the cake is that he had only ever driven her to the MOT station which is a mile away.  This time, because of road closures he had to take the back roads and went quite distance. He said he really enjoyed it and found the drive and handling very good.

I asked him about the high oil pressure,  He laughed and said the majority of his clients would kill for that pressure.   Told me not to worry as if it was really excessive I would be leaking oil all over the place.   And I haven't had to add any oil for months.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Stoneleigh Kit Car Show

Nice day yesterday at Stoneleigh Kit Car Show.  Good to catch up with old friends and meet face to face some people I have been helping on the forum.

A bit depressing though, as the Show is obviously slowly dying.   The exhibition halls were only half full and although there were still a lot of cars there, our Club was an example of the problem.  

Five years ago I remember counting 120 cars on the stand, this year we managed only 25.

As usual, she behaved impeccably, although I had my hearing aids out and my noise-cancelling headphones playing music so actually the engine could have been thrashing itself to death and I would have been none the wiser :-)   Unfortunately It was very cold and although I had 4 layers of clothes and a neck warmer and woolly hat I was still shivering.  Once the car warmed up I kept switching the fan on to try and get some warm air into the cockpit.

One of the more interesting aspects was a test I ran on fuel consumption.  Ever since the speedo cable failed 2 years ago and the odometer stopped at 17,500 I have no idea what the consumption is doing.  So to estimate the mileage I have been assuming 32 mpg, which is what I was getting for the first 3 years (although because of the incorrect gearbox gearing that was probably 10% too high).   

But yesterday I noticed that when I started the day the fuel gauge was reading exactly 3/4 full.   So I ran a GPS speedo app on my iPhone to see many miles I covered during the day.   When I got close to home in the evening the gauge was reading 1/4 full and I know from experience that 21 litres is enough to get it back to 3/4 and sure enough when I put 21 litres in I arrived home with the gauge reading exactly 3/4 full.   A check on the iPhone, confirmed by the satnav program, showed I had covered 163 miles.   That worked out at 35 mpg, which was a lot more than I expected.  

Admittedly I spent most of the day cruising at 55-60 mph, which is the ideal speed for fuel consumption, but I am still rather pleased.  

Monday, 29 April 2019

Stilton Cheese Run

Nice day yesterday on my 6th annual Stilton Cheese run.   While it stayed overcast the rain held off so it was near perfect driving weather.   So my record of laying on good weather remains intact (Incredibly I have only failed once in 6 years and that was the Stamford Show about 3 years ago).    

Including the journey to the start at Uppingham and the journey back from the end at Stilton, I covered 125 miles.   Tiger performed almost perfectly and I like the new taller gear change, it made it much easier to change when in 1st/2nd. 

It was a bit chilly but once the engine was up to temperature a quick run of the fan every so often kept me nice and warm.   I'm still not sure about formation runs, which I don't really enjoy any more, but this one is definitely one of the better ones as the couple who do the lead are very sensible, keeping the speed down and slowing/stopping after traffic lights until everyone has caught up.  

But being at the back I still found I had to do quite a bit of stop/start & slow running and the Tiger does NOT like running below 10 mph, she vibrates, kangaroos and rattles so much I can hear it even though I had my hearing aids disabled.   I think I better have her up on axle stands before the Stoneleigh Kit Car Show next weekend and make sure nothing has worked loose.  

She is also beginning to be much more lively on poor roads so I have to hang on the steering wheel for grim death as we bounce all over the place.   On the other hand, although it was a bit boring, the 25 mile run back up the A1 was very pleasant, a steady 60 mph and she was very stable.   I have a complete set of brand new shock absorbers and springs  sitting in the attic and I am wondering whether I should replace them all.

This year they must have upped the numbers as there were way more than 300 cars.  I have never seen it so busy and parking at Uppingham before the start was a nightmare.  The Club came with 15 cars in total, although only 11 of them were Hoods, the others were just normal cars (although 3 were sports cars so I guess they can be forgiven).   

Here is a picture of the 15 of us during a stop for a photo.  You won't see me as I was right at the back.

And here's a picture of the 2 Superspecs at the midpoint of the run when we park up for lunch. The yellow one is owned by a chap called Ivan who hails from Warrington.  I like parking next to him as his car is also a bit scruffy and 'lived in'

Saturday, 27 April 2019

New Gear Change Knob

For almost 4 years now I have lived with the fact the the gear knob rotates under use.   It was just a push fit and over time it has got worse and worse.   It a symmetrical knob, so it didn't affect the use, but I just got annoyed when the diagram on the top didn't match the gear gate.
So time to stop faffing about and get a new one.   Here it is installed (with the original just below it) and while it is still a push fit, under the aluminium collar are 3 grub screws to anchor it solidly to the shaft.   It also has an extra bonus of being larger and just over an inch taller so gives more torque on the gear change.

I'll be able to test it properly on the Stilton Cheese run tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

New Oil Pressure Gauge

Been taking her out most days, but took some time out today to tinker.

You might have seen earlier in the blog that I fitted a cheap Chinese electric oil pressure gauge some time ago.  Initially I was a bit concerned as when the engine started it shot up to 90psi and under load went to 100 psi.  Even when the engine was warm it still hovered around the 90psi mark when cruising and dropped to only 80psi when idling.    

The official pressures from the T16 manual are 0.7 bar (10.5 psi) for the idle and 3.8 bar (57 psi) when running.
I just decided there must be a mismatch between the sender and the gauge so ignored it, although I was glad of it when I holed the sump as, unlike the warning light, it gave plenty of warning that I was losing oil.

Anyway, I decided to treat myself to a proper, old school, mechanical one and see what that read.   Fitted it all in and started the engine.   Slightly better, but still very high.  At idle the pressure was 70psi, rising to 80 psi when I blipped the throttle.  

So took her for a run to warm the engine up and when I got back the 'running' pressure was 76 psi and the idle was 62 psi.   So still way above specification and I am not sure what to do, if anything.   Maybe those are minimum values and the engine is just very healthy?   I think I will ask on the forum and on the Rover forum as well.

Here it is as bought  

and then installed:

Thank goodness manufactures all still use 2" as the standard size.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

First Drive of 2019

For various reasons (health, holiday, weather.....), she has been sitting in the garage for almost 8 weeks.   But today I found I had to take some stuff to Woolaston and Pytchley so I wrapped up well  and did almost a 3:00 hr round robin.   She had been on a trickle charger so started instantly.  And she loved the cold air and ran flawlessly for the whole trip.  The only disappointment was that it was overcast so I couldn't test my new sun visor. 

A timely reminder of how much fun it is.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Tyre Pressures

Also re-learnt another lesson this week    When I fitted the new sump I decided to wind up the front suspension another couple of turns to improve the ground clearance.  Have to be careful of doing it too much or the suspension will become coil-bound (i.e. the coil will totally close up and possibly bend the wishbone if you hit a bump).   Took her out for a ride and realised there was something wrong as she was wallowing a bit, the steering was a bit vague and generally didn't feel right.  
Luckily, before changing anything I remembered I hadn't checked the tyre pressures for a couple of years so although they looked OK I checked them.  Turned out they varied between 12psi and 15 psi !!    So blew them all up to 18psi.   Took her to Grantham Hospital for my catheter change and she was transformed.   Steering absolutely solid, handling improved and generally a vast improvement all round.  I'd better start checking them more regularly    Trouble is, unlike a normal car when you can see the tyres a looking a bit squashy, the Tiger is so light the tyres always look OK.

Off on holiday now so no more driving till mid-Dec.

Sun Visor

I've been driving her now for over 5 years and I always suffer this time of year when returning to the village in the afternoon as the sun sits just above the windscreen bang in the middle of the screen.  Makes it very dangerous as I cannot see anything.

Been trying to think of a solution for a sun visor but always hit the problem that anything permanent would prevent the roof clipping on to the windscreen.   

 Then found this last week:

Clips onto the windscreen so I can leave it off in the summer or if rain is forecast.   Very stiff hinges so it ought to stay in position with the wind. 
I also like the fact that it has an extra filter (at the moment in the middle), which you can slide sideways to actually block the sun even more.   Haven't tested it yet so fingers crossed.  Although at £12 it was worth a gamble.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

New Sump fitted

Busy day today, but all done and dusted.   Having borrowed the engine hoist I was able to remove the undamaged sump off the spare engine and put it on the Tiger.  Sounds simple but it took hours, with the associated skinned knuckles and frustration.    Turns out Ford designed the sump so that you couldn't take it off without removing the oil filter mounting.   We are only talking about a 1mm overlap here, you would think they could shave 1mm off the sump to enable it to be removed easily.   Body is aching all over from having to adopt weird positions under the car to access everything.

First problem was getting the gasket to fit.  I had a new one but I could not get the little mounting pegs to line up.  Again we are talking about 1-2mm.   So I decided to reuse the old gasket off the spare engine as that definitely fitted.   Then getting the holes lined up took a long time.  I suspect that the sump had bedded in on the old engine and distorted slightly (I had the identical problem putting the old sump back onto the spare engine).   I eventually got one bolt in and that enabled me to work my round the engine.  Occasionally there was a 'ping' as the sump settled into position and probably 'stretched' a bit  and I thought I had cracked it when bolts 12-17 went in quite easily. Then the final bolt refused to go in and it took 15 mins to get the thread to catch.

Just after doing that I got a phone call from my mechanic, saying my sump was ready.  Turns out he couldn't fix it so he passed it onto a mate who was an expert welder and he has done a lovely repair.  And he refused to charge me for it. 
I wondered about swapping them back but then remembered the hours I had spent so decided not to do it.   It will mean that for the first time in years I won't need a drip tray under the car.   So oil filter mounting replaced and all 18 bolts tightened up as per the Haynes manual and the new, stronger sump guard fitted.  It actually sits 2mm below the sump so I might take it off tomorrow and redrill the mounting hole.

Finally started the engine and as expected there was a bit of a rattle for the first 3-4 seconds while the oil filled up the filter and all the other spaces, then the pressure gauge went up to 90psi and she sat there idling nicely.   No obvious leaks with the oil under pressure, time will tell though.

So another lesson learned, but not something I enjoyed doing, very frustrating all round.   Hopefully I won't have to do it again.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Holed Sump

I thought it was all going too well.    

Decided to go to the pictures in Peterborough.   Bowling along nicely on the A151 to Bourne when I remembered a spot where I always 'kiss' the road, so pulled across to the other side of the road to avoid it.   Result was an almighty bang that rattled the teeth.  

I carried on, while checking behind the car to see if I was dumping oil.   It looked OK so I continued.   Then half way there I noticed my oil pressure had dropped from it's normal 80psi to 40psi
Turned back home and made it to within 8 miles when the pressure dropped to zero and at long last the Oil Pressure light started flickering.   Am I  glad I put in a pressure gauge and didn't rely on the light, it comes on way too late.    

So pulled into a layby.  As I was so close I decided not to wait for the breakdown service and phoned Ruth.   So for the first (and probably last ) time she towed me home (I had always had a tow rope in my boot).   Very nicely done.

So I will have to take the sump off and take it to my mechanic to see if he can weld it (again!).  As a fallback I have a replacement alloy sump (the present one is mild steel) so can get him to fit that.   It will mean redesigning a sump guard, so it would be easier if he can repair the old one.

So grounded for a bit.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Passed MOT !!

She has passed the MOT !! :-):-)

She had originally failed the emissions test with the spare exhaust fitted.   So just before we went on holiday I swapped it for my well used, scruffy exhaust.  I did not have time to test it and the first time I drove the car was this morning, taking it to the mechanic.  It quickly became obvious there was a leak somewhere as she sounded like a racing car and there was lots of popping and banging on the overrun.   I took 2 more exhaust systems with me and told him he would have to try and find a cat/silencer/lambda sensor combination that worked.   But apparently he tried her on his own gas analyser and he could see that even in the battered, leaky state she was almost passing the test.   So he took a gamble and took her to the MOT station and said that she was OK on his machine

Here were the results:

Fast Idle:

CO Limit             0.2      Actual Value     0.197      (Close)
HC limit              200     Actual Value     141         (Safe)
Lambda  Limit  1.03      Actual Value     1.022      (Close)

Natural Idle

CO limit               0.3      Actual Value    0.294      (Close)

So basically it was a real 'skin of the teeth' pass.  Incredibly lucky.

She still kept me on my toes though.   When I drove her there the fan light came on but the fan itself didn't.    Same on the way back, so I assumed the fan relay was playing up.   Then I happened to go into the garage 10 mins later and the fan was happily running, cooling the engine.    Kit cars, don't you just love them.

I still need to try and come up with a solution as I probably won't be that lucky next year, maybe a programmable ECU. Meanwhile, here's to another year !!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Failed MOT

Put her in for the MOT and no unexpectedly, she failed.  A couple of small things (split steering gaiter, twisted brake pipe) easily fixed, but also on emissions.

This is particularly frustrating as with an ECU-controlled fuel injection system you have no control over the emissions so there is little you can do.   I've handed the car across to a mechanic, along with another exhaust and a brand new catalytic converter to see what he can do.

Friday, 27 July 2018

New Clutch Cable

The heatwave we are currently having played havoc with my clutch.  Once the car got really hot I found there was a 'notch' when the pedal was about 1" off the floor and I had to push hard to get it past to change gear.   Decided the first thing to try was to swap cables with my spare.   So I did that and the clutch movement, while still heavy, was much smoother.   I was going to keep the old one as a spare, but it had effectively seized so was just junk.   Luckily 1984 Fiat Ducato clutch cables are still available on E-Bay so I bought another one for the spare.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Happy Birthday

She has just had her 10th birthday and, coincidentally, has just passed the 20,000 mile point.  Still going strong although clutch release bearing sounds really bad.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Fitted New Nose Cone

Having decided the damage to the nose cone from the garage 'incident' was beyond repair, I was lucky to find a brand new one from Richard Stewart (the founder of Robin Hood Engineering), so today was fitting day.  Not a difficult job but I had to drill 15 holes into it in exactly the same places as the old one
The old and the new

And the new one in place

While I had the nose cone off I also fixed the nearside flasher, it was a corroded bullet connector that needed splitting, cleaning and putting back.  Interesting I tried putting the old fuel pump relay back and the car ran perfectly, so I wonder if it was the same cause, corroded joint ?   Disappointingly, the side lights and back lights have also stopped working so that could be an electrical joint that needs remaking as well.   Perhaps the car is reaching the age when all the joints are too old.  Massive job

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Second Breakdown

Today I experienced my second breakdown in 5 years.   I was with a friend in his Superspec which was handy.

On the journey we were lucky that we saw the A1 was stationary as we drove over it, so we changed our plan and came back through Grantham.   I took the opportunity to fill up at Sainsbury's but when I came to drive away she just wouldn't start.  Cranked at full speed but absolutely nothing happened. Luckily we could push her out of everybody's way to a corner of the forecourt while we discussed it.   

I was also lucky that Andy was there as we could bounce ideas of each other.   We quickly figured out she was not getting any fuel and the fuel pump wasn't running up when I turned on the ignition.   So first check was the fuses but I have replaced all the fuses with ones that have an LED on them that lights up if the fuse has blown.  And none of the LEDs was lit up.   So the next step was the relay, and Andy confirmed he couldn't feel it click when I turned on the ignition.   So I removed the relay and plugged in the horn relay instead and this time he felt the click and the engine burst into life.   So I drove home without a horn    Moral of the story is to carry a spare relay in the car.

So that's my second breakdown and both times I've managed to fix it at the roadside and I haven't had to call out the breakdown service.    Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Clutch Cable

Doing a fair amount of driving in this heat wave has raised an interesting problem.   After a long trip I am finding it difficult to select a gear and the clutch has to pressed right to the floor.  However, although the engine coolant temperature stays at 87°C, the engine bay has got appreciably hotter than normal.   I am thinking the clutch cable might be stretching in the heat causing the problem.   So I have tightened the cable up to see if that helps.

Follow up:   Did another 80 miles today and didn't experience the problem.  But the temperature wasn't as high so the engine bay didn't warm up so much.   Might still change the cable though as it is getting on for 5 years old and it is relatively cheap.

Monday, 9 July 2018


Not much happening on the technical front as I am too busy using the car during this spell of good weather.

This weekend it was time for the Kimbolton Fayre.   A cracking day out for the family and we took 12 cars there, contributing to the over 900 total.

 And here are a few of the rest

Saturday, 30 June 2018


Back in 2017 one of the Club members volunteered his farm for a weekend meet.   He had plenty of room for the cars and the tents and was prepared to lay on a BBQ.   So 17 cars plus 3 caravans pitched up on Saturday afternoon.  
Here am I with my tent.

And here are all the cars lined up.

In the late afternoon we went out for a run for 30 mins or so, then at 18:30 we had the BBQ, enough meat and salad to feed an army.   Then a few beers before bedtime and in the morning a nice surpise when we were given bacon butties.

All in all a great weekend and I am looking forward to next year.

Friday, 18 May 2018

May Meetup and run out.

Although the Club had our major meet for May at Stoneleigh, as I am away for all of June I decided to have a small one for the Lincolnshire contingent this weekend.  We normally do Saturdays & Sundays, but we were all busy on Sunday and there appears to be something happening tomorrow ?    

But as the 5 of us are all retired we decided to hold it on a Friday.    

And just to make a change from the usual pub run, we had a 'boys' day out at the Nene Valley Railway terminus at Wansford.   It was great, not only the weather and the journey there and back (35 mins each way for me) but the place itself.  
They didn't have any trains running so we had the place almost to ourselves and could have a good wander around the exhibits.

We were also lucky that a few weeks back 'Tornado' burst part of her system while going through Peterborough so she was dragged in there for repairs as it was the closest train yard,  Here she is with one of the 'Battle of Britain' class locomotives closest to us.

All followed by a leisurely lunch in the cafe.    Very civilised, beautiful weather and it made a change to be taking about trains instead of cars .

Thomas wasn't on display but we tracked him down in the workshop having a refurb.

So all in all a nice relaxing day.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Stilton Cheese Run - Year 5.

Lovely day on the Stilton Cheese Run.   Weather was perfect, I did the whole (100+ Miles) in my shirtsleeves.  
Basically we all park close to the Main Square in Uppingham at around 09:45 and spend an hour or so admiring the cars (300+).  Then we group up at an RV about 1/2 mile away.  It's a housing estate but luckily the inmates don't seem to mind.   In fact one of them came out and said that if she had known we were coming she would have put the kettle on :-)   We then follow the old Stilton Cheese delivery route with a sideways diversion to see Rockingham Castle.

Here we are at a viewing point about 1/3rd of the way round:
I'm hidden behind the second, green, car.   We had a turnout of 18 from the Club, although a couple were in ordinary cars.   The 'leader' had a good excuse as he has just had a new knee and can't drive.:-)

At the half way point we all go into New Lodge Farm, which has a Farm Shop, cafe and a huge field.  So more chatting and admiring the cars and a well earned cup of coffee.    After about an hour it's off again for a drive thorough the back roads to Stilton itself on the A1, getting there about 14:00.    At the end some stop for lunch.  I tried it 2 years ago but they insisted on having a full 3-course lunch and it took well over an hour to start service.  So for the last 2 years I have just driven back home.

As you can imagine, being in convoy was very testing on the Tiger, with constant gear changes and stop/start motoring.  She coped well, although I seem to have developed a new rattle on the front left, and I am convinced my clutch is getting noisier.   Cooling was perfect.   I can see now that I have a sweet spot between 30 mph and 60 mph.   Drive between those speeds and there is status quo, heat generated by engine equals cooling generated by system.   But if I drive below 30 mph there is not enough air getting in, and if I drive above 60mph then the heat generated overcomes the system.   In each case the fan comes on and restores the status quo.  So did the whole 100 miles sitting between 87C and 91C,

Whilst it was a nice day, I didn't really enjoy travelling in convoy, as I said it means you are never at your natural speed.   I will definitely do it again, but I think next year I will go solo and go at my own pace.

Here's me parked at the start.  I forgot to leave her in gear or put the handbrake on so after I left she must have gently rolled forward and rested on the wall :-)   Senior moment.