SuperSpec

SuperSpec

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

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:  New Sump fitted

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 

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

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

Kimbolton

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

Huntingdon

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.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Exhaust Pipe


Been a very quiet time lately with the appalling weather, although I have managed a few short test runs.   Over the last few days I have been 'fixing' the exhaust.   A nightmare, and yet another example of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'.
 
You will recall that something (and I still have no idea what it was) had caused the whole exhaust to move backwards by about an inch, putting a huge strain on the rubber bobbin at the back and obviously opening up one of joints so she was blowing.   I assumed it would be a simple job, just whip off the exhaust, bend the rear mount back to vertical and then put it all back on again.
So first took the exhaust off.    

I could see the rear mount had twisted, as you can see from this picture with a long bolt put in.






So I put a 2 foot piece of copper pipe over the bolt and with a huge effort managed to get it back roughly vertical.  (And writing off the copper tube in the process :-))


 
Then the problems started.   I couldn't see any problems with any of the joints, but the mounting on the exhaust was now 1" behind the bobbin.   So I decided the best thing to do was to break the exhaust down into it's 3 component parts (The short length that holds the lambda sensor, the flexible joint and the cat/silencer) and redo all the joints.

Sounds easy, but I couldn't get the flexible joint back onto the other 2 parts anywhere close to where they had been.   Best I could manage was about an inch even hammering as hard as I could.    So that meant the whole system was now some 3" too long.   
 

So I treated myself to an exhaust expander (only £8 off E-Bay).   
 
This is a very good tool for flaring pipes that have slots cut in them, but is of marginal use in standard exhaust pipes.   But using it I managed to open up one end of the flexible pipe so it would go all the way onto the cat/silencer.   But whatever I tried I could not get the other end to go all the way onto the lambda sensor 'T' piece.  So I had to resort to using the angle grinder to cut about 1/2" off the pipe.  
So all reassembled and back on the car yesterday.  Started her up and she sounded better, but only time will tell.   Luckily I still have my MOT exhaust in the attic, so if necessary I can switch to that.
 

So today I started putting the heat shields back on.  The front one went on OK, and the back one was still attached to the silencer, but with all the changes, the middle one would not go back on and kept hitting the rear one.   So I had to redrill 3 of the 4 mounting bolts to move it forward.   Luckily 2 of the old holes are underneath the car and cannot be seen and the one on the side of the car is hidden by the shield.

But what a pain that was, a 20 Min job that eventually took hours.


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Brake Lights

Just had a very interesting day.    On my last run I noticed the brake lights had stopped working again.   So I checked the circuit and the switch and found everything was OK.   There was 12V on one of the switch terminals and the other terminal connected to the lights.  

But when I bridged the switch nothing happened.   But, when I put a direct 12V to the lights terminal as a test. everything lit up.
So it seems that although there is a 12V supply on one switch terminal when measured with a meter, once you close the switch and put the load of the lights on the circuit there isn't enough current flow to illuminate the lights.    So I can only assume that there is some resistance in the live wire circuit.

Now, a 'real' mechanic would have spent hours tracing the circuit back to try and find the problem.    I spent 10 mins wiring in an alternative 'jump' supply from the ignition-live circuit to the switch.  I even included an in-line fuse.

Brakes lights now working again ! 


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Solved battery problem


Very good session today, spoilt only by having to spend a maximum of 30 mins in the garage each time before coming in to thaw out.   Only outstanding problem was the battery draining overnight, so the first thing I did last Thursday was to get it tested at Halfords.  Passed with flying colours.   So there was obviously a current drain somewhere.   

When I took the battery out the tray was rusty and soaking wet, and the wiring was resting in it.  But when I wiped it the rust all came away and it cleaned up quite nicely.   I thought the water had come from the last time I filled her up, but when I looked closely I have a small leak in the washer bottle, so that wasn't helping.   I initially thought that was the reason for the current drain, but it turned out to be a red herring.    But glad I found it.


I'm the first to admit my wiring is 'ad-hoc' and really needs sorting out so I thought that might be the problem.   So I stripped all the diagnostic wiring out.
 
No, another red herring.
 
So then it was time to check the circuit.   By undoing the mounting of the isolation switch I was able to isolate the battery then bypass the switch by putting a multimeter across the terminals.   And Bingo, there was a 160ma drain.    That doesn't seem much, but in theory it should be zero, so needed investigating.

Now, I thought the only things that are live all the time are the 12V charging socket, which shouldn't take any current, the lights, the horn and the Voltmeter I had fitted, which should take zero current.   But then I realised that because the horn, the voltmeter and the oil pressure gauge are on the same panel, I had also wired the oil pressure gauge to be permanently live as well and I had no idea what the current drain on that was.    So I unplugged that and the drain dropped to 60ma, so that was a help.  Then just to check I unplugged the voltmeter and the current drain dropped to zero.   So my voltmeter does take a current drain of 60ma (cheap off E-Bay from China so shouldn't really be surprised).   
So both rewired to become active only with the ignition.

I then wondered if that was why my previous battery had started losing charge.   Luckily I hadn't taken it to the tip so for the time being I have put that back in to see if it holds charge.   I'll know tomorrow afternoon.


So everything replaced, with a cloth underneath the washer bottle as a temporary measure.   And the wiring tied up.   And extra insulation added to the positive terminal of the battery just to make sure.


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Repaired Bonnet

Picked up the bonnet today.   It wasn't cheap, but they have done a very good job on it (2 man hrs work apparently).   They have shaped it correctly so it sits square and all 4 catches lock very positively.   They have knocked out the dents but were unable to get a perfect finish, so I have an area about 10" x 6" that is 'dimpled'.   His advice if I was worried about it (which I'm not) was to put two 9" strips of 'sticky backed plastic' either side of the bonnet as 'go faster stripes', either carbon fibre lookalike or blue to match the rest of the car.  That would hide the damaged area.  These would be on the bend of the bonnet, leaving the central part with the louvers untouched.  I'll take that under advisement.


And I have also riveted in a replacement louvre as the previous one was destroyed.

 






So that just leaves the nose cone, but I am going to wait for the weather to warm up before I tackle that, as it is perfectly serviceable as it stands.

And I now need to figure out why the battery is suddenly draining overnight.  I recall knocking off the protective sleeve on the positive terminal while I was playing around shaping the bonnet so I could have shorted it and trashed the battery. (There is only a few mm clearance between the terminal and the bonnet).  Or I might have damaged some of the wiring that runs down the sill.   So I am charging the battery up off the car and will get it tested on Thursday and if it has failed catastrophically I'll get a new one.   If not I need to trace the residual leak.


Sunday, 28 January 2018

First Run in 2 months

Woke up this morning, looked out of the window and realised this is one of those winter days why I don't SORN the car.   So emergency repairs was the order of the day.    

First I just sprayed blue paint over the cracks to disguise the damage.   You may remember that originally the nose cone was mounted on the two steel supports at the front of the car, but I had replaced that with hinges so I didn't have to remove the grill to take off the nose cone.   

Those supports were so badly distorted after the crash they could not be used for a direct mount, so I went down a different route.   I mounted a wooden batten (Much prefer wood to metal) and then mounted a single bolt on another piece of wood that acts as a locating 'peg' for the bottom the the nose cone.


So drilled a hole in the middle of the bottom of the nose cone and put it on the car.  Perfect fit, rock solid and looks perfect if you don't get too close   And I can remove the nose cone just by unbolting the bolts at the back and lifting it off the locating bolt.


Next I tried to reshape the bonnet.    Just about managed to get it to a state where it will sit on the car and engage the latches, but it isn't pretty.  But at least I can drive her to a body shop and see what they think.    


So with everything buttoned up she was ready to go.

Note the rectangular hole in the bonnet where there used be a louvred vent.   That was totally destroyed in the crash so I drilled the remains out and I have a replacement on order from E-Bay arriving next week.

Originally I was going to do an instrumented run but the battery on my netBook was flat, so I had to rely on 'feel'.   So then, with fingers crossed, I started out, conscious of the fact that she hadn't moved in two months.    Battery was down to 11.8V but she still started (just) .  I had originally intended to do a short test trip but she was going so well, and I was enjoying myself so much that I finished up doing 30 miles.  I kept to country roads but according to the speedo on my iPhone I got up to 70mph at one point.  I played safe by doing it in a clover leaf pattern based around the house to give me an opportunity to bale out if anything was wrong.  I did 7 miles to the A1 and back, 11 miles to Bourne and back then 12 miles around my test route to Grantham and back.

The result was:

1.   The front right indicator isn't working  (easy fix)

2,   One of the 4 bonnet latched came undone but there was no danger of the bonnet flying off.

3.    Once she had warmed up the temperature remained rock solid.
 

A perfect temperature.   This was a big surprise as all I had done was top up the system when I fitted the new radiator and I expected to have to play around 2-3 times to get rid of air locks and get it working properly.    But not only was it perfect, but when I checked the water level a couple of hours later I had not lost any  So really chuffed with that.

So off to the recommended body shop next week and get quotes for straightening the bonnet and doing a proper job on the nose cone breaks.





Thursday, 25 January 2018

Nose Cone Repair (2)

Today I finished off the fibreglass repair on the nose cone.    I had plenty of glass and resin so put double the amount needed on the main cracks.   It doesn't look pretty but boy is it strong.   Total cost £9.99.

And I reinforced the top mounting holes so they are now really solid:



And here she is mounted back on the car.

Very pleased, as I now realise that of the five cracks, the main 2, where the whole nose cone was broken right through, are underneath.   And once the number plate is mounted they are impossible to see unless you lie on the floor.    That means I can practice on those two before I tackle the other three.   You can see one of the others in this picture, on the left side of the nose cone, about 12" long

There is also small one about 3" long on the top right of the nose-cone.  As you can see, about half of it will be covered by the bonnet so that should be easy.    I could even cover it with a sticker  
The final crack is on the other side and is shown here. Again, not very visible unless you know it is there.     So I am fairly confident I can have an acceptable solution just by filling the cracks, sanding them down, priming and then spray painting the affected areas.   I don't need to repaint the whole cone.   Luckily I still have primer and eclipse blue spray cans from my repair of the rear wing.

So that will just leave the bonnet to be straightened and she will be good to go. 



Fuel Leak

Another nice day today so made the most of it.    First I took her outside and ran the engine up to temperature to check if there were any coolant leaks under pressure.   Initially it looked OK, but then I saw a very small drip.  Confusingly it was nowhere near any of the cooling pipes, and a quick taste test showed it was petrol.  It turned out to be a leak where the fuel line goes into the pressure regulator.


Amazingly the jubilee clip was actually loose and took about 6 turns to tighten up.    I have absolutely no idea how long that leak has been there, but it could have been months as I very rarely run the engine with the bonnet off.    


So a very useful exercise. and when I checked later when the engine had cooled down the coolant was at the same level in the expansion tank.    Good news.    I will still need to do some more runs to confirm it, before I go on the 100 mile+ Stilton Cheese run in April, but there is plenty of time.


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Nose Cone Repair (1)

And now the first phase of the nose cone repair.   Having decided I would need to 'wrap' the spare yellow one I realised that it would make more sense to try and repair the old blue one and then wrap that one.  

And having learned my lesson on my first attempt at fibreglass repair that you do NOT lay fibreglass on the outside as you will never get a decent finish, I needed to lay lots of fibreglass on the inside of the nose cone to provide structural strength, before using filler on the outside which can be sanded down to get a decent finish.    What is nice about working on the inside of the cone is that it doesn't matter what it looks like as it will never be seen.   So did the first few cracks, initially concentrating on the ones where the nose cone was actually broken.  Here are some photos of the result so far.







So the nose cone is now structurally sound.  But there are still a couple of places where I need to add some more fibreglass, and I want to reinforce the mounting holes where the bolts were pulled through, and as I have plenty of resin and fibreglass I will add quite a bit more fibreglass to over-engineer it

So once that is all done it will be time to sand down the top surface and use filler to finish it off.    Not sure how it will finish up, but if it is reasonable I may try painting it and see what it looks like.    I can always wrap it if it looks scruffy.