Thursday 31 December 2015

Back End again

Sudden unexpected day off and good weather.    Doesn't take a rocket science to know what comes next  

Took one of the grandchild who is keen on cars and working towards being a mechanic out for a run over Xmas.  He loved it   But as usual with a passenger we grounded the exhaust pipe mount at regular intervals.    You will recall that I had raised the front suspension about 1" to stop grounding the sump, and much later raised the back end about 1" to compensate and to try and stop the grounding.   It was partially successful and reduced the grounding but not completely.

So decided it was time to raise the back end another 1"  and see what happens.   So did that, and also took the precaution of adding a lock nut to the lower suspension bolt.  Probably unnecessary but better to be safe than sorry.
Then took her around my standard 25 mile test circuit (Grantham and back on a circular route, nice mix of country roads, villages, turns and the A1).  First impressions are good, she didn't ground once and I even managed to stay on the left hand side of the road leaving the village when I normally have to go on the right hand side to avoid a vicious bump in the road.   Handling is fine, although I got the impression she was a bit more lively on the bumpy roads and jumped about a bit more than before.   Don't mind that, adds to the fun, as long as she carries on going in the direction I point here   And she was rock-solid at 70mph on the A1, which wasn't unexpected as raising the back end should increase the aerodynamic downforce. 

Fun day

Monday 21 December 2015

Just Tinkering

She has been running well but I just felt after the last few runs that she was a bit reluctant to change gear, no noises but seemed to be a bit stiffer and I was having to put more pressure on the clutch.   I decided the clutch cable has probably stretched a bit since I installed it so first job was under the car and wound up the adjustment a bit.   Feels much better now.

I also noticed the exhaust had started to rattle again, but the cause of that was obvious when I checked, the rear mounting bolt had come loose again, like it was when I first bought her.  Decided the sensible thing to do was to fit a lock nut to prevent it happening again.

Then decided to look at the practicality of fitting the flexible joint to the exhaust pipe.   As you can see from the picture I can't replace the existing 'fixed' joint with the flexible one, there just isn't enough room between the 4:1 joint and the lamda sensor. .   What looks like the best solution is to cut the pipe half way between the lamda sensor and the bell housing and add the joint in there.   I don't want to trash this exhaust system but I have another complete one in the attic and another off E-Bay I hope to get soon for around £30-£40, so I can experiment on those.

While I had the heat shield off (again) I decided it was time to do something about the mounting.  The present system is that the top is mounted on 2 bolts in the side panel, which are fine, and then 3 self-tapping screws on the bottom.  I had always found them a pain to get back in, having to do it almost blind to find the holes and with the shield always trying to spring away.  So it was time for a better solution. 
So I got a piece of 1/2" x 1/2" wood and mounted 3 captive bolts on it, lined up so they exactly fitted 3 holes in the heat shield.   I then mounted the wood permanently onto the underside of the body, using the self-tappers and with the captive bolts pointing down.  


Although you can hardly see it under normal circumstances I did paint it black to make it completely invisible


Result, removing and replacing the hear shield is now a very quick and simple operation.



Finally had a play with the daylight running lights.   The original fit of some cheap LEDs mounted on the top wishbone was meant to be a 'proof of concept' and to get the wiring done properly before I mounted some proper ones.
So as some decent ones had arrived from Hong Kong (as they were proper running lights they cost more, £5 for 2 ) I decided to fit them.   

Mounted them vertically on the side of the nose cone, using some scrap stainless steel to move them out slightly and riveting them to the body.  

 And they look good and work well.  The only problem is that I have got quite attached to the original ones so haven't taken them off.   And they do provide better visibility for other drivers on these grey days.   

Thursday 17 December 2015

New Battery Fitted

Went to start her this this morning and it was real chug-chug, although she did eventually start.   But as I have seen before, and now see all the time with my new voltmeter, the voltage, although nominally OK off-load at 12.3V, dropped off to 9.3V during cranking.   A sure sign the battery was really failing.    So swapped in the new one that my son had got me.  Fitted perfectly, although I had to incorporate some adapters to convert the battery pillar terminals to flat bolt-through types.    Also added a cut-off valve on the negative terminal that I happened to have lying around.
Result ?   Instant start the moment I turned the key.   Didn't even crank long enough to see the voltage drop.   Good job done.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Voltage Display

Back from holiday and she started first time and ran beautifully on a short run out.   But wasn't sure of battery status and whether I should fit the new one.  So bought this from Hong Kong.

Plugs into the 12V power supply, has 2 USB charging sockets and the LED display alternates between voltage and temperature.   After charging the battery looks OK, have to see what happens over the next few weeks.

Monday 26 October 2015

Thermostat Re-fitted

After a couple of weeks driving without the thermostat fitted it has the desired effect of stopping the overheating, unfortunately it worked too well and the engine does not warm up enough to get into the Normal range.

This wasn't doing the engine much good and also the fuel consumption was dropping (engine running rich as ECU thinks it is still cold?).   So I have put the thermostat back in.   Unfortunately after 100 miles nothing has changed.  I need to do a long journey as a real test.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Brake Light Monitor

A couple of times recently I have found the brake lights have stopped working (reported by a kit car following me) because the switch has vibrated slightly out of position.   And because I tend to open the garage door before getting in the car I never actually notice.   So time for a solution.  I have now wired in an LED strip (£1.49 on E-Bay) in parallel with the brake lights.   Didn't want it to be a distraction as it is very bright, so hidden it inside the drivers dashboard.   So now when I tap the brakes I get a nice rosy glow on my right knee, very discrete.

So I am now in the fairly rare situation where all the lights actually work.

Later:   It also huighlighted the fact that the brake lights come on when the clutch pedal is pressed as well.

Sunday 11 October 2015

Hog Roast and Vulcan

Just back from a really great day out.   Weather just perfect so drove for 50 minutes through the country lanes to a Farm in Northamptonshire that was hosting a classic car meet with a hog roast.   
Car behaving impeccably, loving the cool weather and has now developed a lovely throaty roar (probably exhaust blowing again )

So after an hour or so chatting with friends, cup of coffee, 'pig bun', admiring other cars...   three of us left for another 25 min formation run to Rutland Water through back lanes, villages (and under a viaduct) so we could watch the Vulcan on her Southern tour.   Arrived at Rutland Water to find hundreds of cars parked up wherever there was a space, luckily the leader found a nice spot for us to park.

Short video of the drive is at

We had originally intended to go onto the dam, as that was the official waypoint for the route, but changed our mind and stopped with lots of other people near the Normanton church on the South Shore.   Inspired choice as it turned out, the crew must have seen us and maneuvered accordingly

Here is my video of her flying over:

Then another lovely 30 min drive home.

Still grinning

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Brake Lights Not Working

I had noticed the brake lights weren't working again (maybe I should wire in a warning light for brake light failure).  I assumed the switch had simply vibrated out of position so fiddled with the mounting, wiggling it about a bit).

And I was right, lights now working again.   This is a bit hit or miss, and as you never normally notice if the lights are working (I suspect they just work for a few days before the MOT and a few days after ) In the long term I need to come up with a better solution, so the mounting is rock solid and there is some sort of proper adjustment on the switch.

Revised Exhaust Pipe Block

At the Corby Glen Sheep Fair at the weekend I was asked over and over why I had a tea towel stuffed up the exhaust (except for one veteran kit car enthusiast who immediately recognised it was designed to increase back pressure.  He said he usually used a potato but it dried out and fell out ).   And there were dire warnings about it catching fire.   So I decided I should do something a bit more presentable, while still leaving it removable so I can test the emissions with and without it.   Having said that, when I pulled the tea towel out it was just carbonised at the end with no real sign of heat.

So I bought some stainless steel scouring pads and pushed them tightly up the pipe, then made a 'plug' by drilling a hole in a piece of wood and using the part that was punched out.   A bolt through the hole should allow me to remove it when required.

Looks much smarter.  Probably will still get the questions though

Rewiring The Indicators

I have found I have to take the nose cone off quite a lot and that involves disconnecting the indicator lights.   Recently the inevitable happened and one of them stopped working because of all the constant fiddling.   So time to do a proper job.   Interestingly she doesn't behave like most cars, where the flashers run double-speed if a bulb fails.  They still run at normal speed.  I expect it is because that with the additional side repeaters, the 2 extra warning lights and the industrial strength buzzer I have fitted, there is still enough current going to operate the flasher unit properly.

I rewired them so they are now attached by proper plugs that are designed to be taken apart.  I also treated myself to a heat gun so that not only are the joints all soldered (rather than just twisted together) but they also have heat-shrunk insulation on them.   Should last forever.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Daylight Running Lights Fitted

One of the first pieces of advice I was given was always to assume I was invisible to other road users.   But with more and more cars being fitted with daytime running lights I decided it was time to join in. 

  So bought some LED strips from China and after looking at various mounting options, decided to put them on the top wishbone.
 Here's a close up of the fitting.
And to keep it legal I wired them up using a 'Normally On' relay so that they turn on with the ignition switch but go out if I turn off the sidelights or headlights.

Nice bling !

Starter Cooler Improved

As the Ram-Air cooler seemed to be helping with hot starts, I extended the tube into the nose to bring in even colder air.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Newark Auto Jumble

A nice day at the Newark Auto Jumble.  It was a very good day.   Weather perfect, I had a nice 40-mile run each way through the country lanes of Lincolnshire.   And the turnout was very impressive.   I didn't count but I reckon there was easily 300 classic cars (although some of them stretched the definition a bit), more than I have seen at some dedicated classic car shows.   And a very impressive collection of stands as well.   It took me almost 2 hours to walk around.  Lots of stuff you didn't realise you needed :)

Here are some piccies:

Cooling System Again

After she boiled over last week I decided to throw the book at her this weekend.

First I took the thermostat out and checked it in boiling water.   Unfortunately I don't really know how much it should open, but I wasn't impressed, it didn't look to me as though it moved.  So decided to leave it out for now, which is how the previous owner had her for years.  Very carefully filled her up with all possible holes open, and massaged all the pipes until I was as certain as I could be there were no air locks.   Checked in a tin of K-Seal (same as RadWeld) to try and block any holes, and then put the 20psi cap back on.

Did a very scenic long-winded run yesterday (25 miles) and a return trip to the Newark Auto Jumble today (75 miles).   At no point did the temperature gauge leave the white box at the bottom of Normal, even when I was held up in  a local village where road works have meant a 4-way set of traffic lights (which I arrived at at the wrong time in both directions)  Played it very safe and switched the fan on the moment I stopped, so it maybe wasn't a proper test.  But not interested in experimenting yet.   I guess you could argue I shouldn't be running her that cool, but I was still kept cosily warm by the air coming up through the footwell, and the bonnet was nice and hot when I stopped so I am happy with that.   I think we also have to remember that in this case the temperature of the engine core may not be the same as the temperate sensor at the thermostat, as that is one of the first points that is exposed to air when the coolant level drops and so will give incorrect values.

So quietly confident (again ), but only time will tell.   I now have to get out of the habit of looking at the temperature gauge every 5 seconds.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Engine Cover Fitted

Ever since I have had the car it has niggled me that it was missing a cover over the spark plugs.  It's a minor thing but as I often take off the bonnet at car shows I thought it was time to smarten it up a bit.

Unusually I could find nothing on E-Bay but I eventually found a Land Rover dealer who could sell me one for £7.

Job done, much smarter now.

First Breakdown

The weekend meet was good fun but the journey there and back was another story !!   On the journey there everything was going fine until I got to Melton and hit traffic and road works then she started to overheat.  I actually had to stop 10 miles short of the camp site to put some water in.   Luckily I also saw a big black cloud approaching so had the time to put the top up.  And then drove through a massive rainstorm, luckily short lived.    So a bit depressed that the cooling problem was obviously still there.

So for the journey back this afternoon I filled her up with water and left for a 55 mile journey back.   Got safely back home and under my own steam (literally) After I left I treated her very carefully but as I was driving along the A50 the temperature started to climb and it wasn't looking good.   Crossed the M1 and started down the A6 ready to turn left to Rempstone and Melton.  With 100 yds to go, big bang and engine stopped, so I pulled over in a huge cloud of steam.  Jumped out and saw a huge pool of liquid under the car.   Was actually quite relieved it was water and not oil !

Took the bonnet off and was just getting ready to phone the breakdown service when I happened to notice a stainless steel pipe from the bottom hose had come adrift from the rubber hose to the Thermostat.


Very difficult to access, especially with the engine hot, but after a bit of fiddling and loosening off the jubilee clip a LOT I managed to get the pipes reconnected and the clip tightened.   Got a fairly respectable set of blisters on my hand from the exhaust manifold.   Put 2 litres in from the bottle I have got used to carrying, got her started (a bit reluctant but she had received a dousing) and carefully carried on.  The temperature gauge quickly rose to the 12:00 position slap bang in the middle of normal and then, to my astonishment,  stayed there, unwavering, for the whole of the 35 mile run back regardless of what I was doing, stopped at traffic lights, doing 60mph...etc... 

So here is Hypothesis Number 11.  When I saw the disconnected pipes, the jubilee clip on the rubber one was at an unusual angle and as I said, was much tighter than it should have been, so I am now wondering if it wasn't actually fully on the SS pipe, positioned correctly on the top but just missing the pipe underneath, thereby compressing the rubber hose. 

This would probably be watertight normally, but under pressure the water would come out, creating air locks and hence the vicious cycle.  But putting on the 20psi cap meant that she could get up a lot more pressure, enough to completely blow off the rubber tube. 

And when the pipe was full on and the jubilee clip tighten dead square on the pipe then she behaves immaculately for the rest of the journey, bang on normal, not moving.  Something I have never seen in 2 years.    It couldn't be that simple could it ?   I have said it was solved too often in the past to count my chickens, but it does look promising.   Next step is to make sure the connection is good, fill up and get rid of any air locks (have to take the grill off to 'massage' the lower tube) and see what happens.  I will also revert back to the 13psi cap as if that was the problem I don't want to over pressurise the system unnecessarily.

End-of-Season Bash

Quite a few owners take their cars off the road over the winter (although not me), so each year we all meet up for a get together.  This year was a pub in the Peak District with a big field at the back.

In the event nearly 50 people turned up. including wives, partners and children.  One of the members is an archery instructor so we could all have a go at that.
Some came for the day, some were in caravans, some in motor homes and some, like me, camp overnight.

Here is my 'pitch'
In the afternoon we had a 16-car 25-mile run out for charity, in honour of a previous Chairman who died suddenly at a young age.  I was about number 10 in the queue.

And here we are all parked at the halfway point at Carsington Water, for a cup of tea.

In the evening we had a band playing in the pub and lots of drinking.  This is me on the Sunday morning having cooked myself a 'full English' and after a couple of cups of coffee and reading the Sunday Times on the iPad.  Although I may have been a quick nap :-)

So a great weekend, although the journey back was a bit of a trauma.  That is the next post.

Friday 11 September 2015

Test Drive

The run to Chesterfield was 1.5 hr each way, mainly on the A1 but with some country roads at each end.  So it gave me a good chance to do a proper test of all the recent changes I had made.  And she passed with flying colours.

Major change was the cooling system.  The indicator stayed pegged at the bottom of the Normal range for the whole journey.  And more importantly she didn't lose any water over the whole journey.

The new bushes on the back shockers worked well.  No more sign of the persistent squeak that had always been there.  And the handling seemed much more precise and at 70mph she was absolutely rock solid.  I'm not sure if that was the bushes or the raising of the rear ride height but it is definitely better.

The engine behaved impeccably, not hesitation, no popping, and even at 70mph, putting my foot down gave a very satisfactory push in the back.   And the icing on the cake was she did 35 mpg, as against the previous 31 mpg.   So the tea towel is working.

Very pleased all round.

Early Christmas Present

I was very grateful when one of the members of the RHOCaR club gave me a Superspec exhaust to get me through the MOT (see here).   While we were talking later he said he had a spare ECU, as he had replaced his with a more up-to-date one.   So as yesterday was such a glorious day I arranged to take the car up to his workshop in Chesterfield to show him the car and pick up the ECU.

As I left he gave me the ECU and a box containng all this:

The ECU, 2 new rear shock absorbers (with bushes), a spare instrument cluster, the ECU loom with all fuses and plugs and a complete set of rear lights (normal, stop, reverse, indicater and number plate illuminater).

Very grateful to him and I am now well on the way to having a complete set of spare parts for the car.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Raising Ride Height

While I had the shocks disassembled to replace the bushes and I had access to the whole unit I decided to try raising the ride height a bit to stop the exhaust grounding.  So I wound them up about 1/2"  (If you remember I could not do that in situ as the whole unit was rotating when I turned the adjuster, now I could hold that in a clamp while turning the adjuster). 

Took her for a short run and the ride height doesn't seem to have made much difference.  There is a spot on the exit from the village that I always avoid as I ground there regardless, so I tried again.   She still grounded, although it was more of a 'kiss' than a violent thump.   Maybe I could try adding another 1/2" to the coils.   We'll see how it goes.

Rear Suspension Bushes

At the MOT there had been an advisory on the nearside bottom suspension bush.  Following my mechanic's advice that changing the rear suspension bushes was very straightforward I decided to give it a try.

Obviously had no idea what the bushes were from (a search for Sierra rear suspension bushes produced nothing) but at first glance a set of Land Rover suspension bushes looked like they might be OK.  

So £2.99 (free postage, next day delivery) later I got these.

So jacked up the car with wheels off and with the bottom bolt of the shock absorber removed, and as predicted the shocks came clear and I got access to the whole bottom end.

The first surprise was the nearside, which had been the MOT advisory.  The bottom bush was a bit ropey, as expected, but the top bush (the one you can't see until the suspension is dropped) was completely missing.    Either it had disintegrated over time or maybe it was never fitted ? 

  Anyway, the nice surprise was that the Land Rover bush was almost right.   This is what the proper one looks like:

So although not an exact match it was certainly miles better than the one that was in.   So I rebuilt it using the new ones.   And while I was on a roll I decided to check the offside as well.  Good thing I did as although the bottom bush was OK (the one in the picture), the top one was present but badly split.   So I decided I might as well go the whole hog and replace both of those.   I can now keep the good one as a template when I go to the next car show, to buy a proper set, although I am actually quite confident the Land Rover ones will be fine.

Good job done

Monday 7 September 2015

Front End Day

Had a 'front end' day today. I had a number of outstanding jobs:

1.   Check steering U/J joint to make sure bolts were still tight after replacement (mechanics advice)
2.   Change serpentine belt  (mechanics advice)
3.   Refit sump guard
4.   General check of suspension and steering, making sure everything tight.

So put the front wheels up on ramps so I was safe underneath and had a good session.    All the bolts for steering and suspension still good so that gives peace of mind  (Why do I keep checking them when I never ever look at the Volvo ?).

Successfully changed the belt.  Had to Google how to do it as the mechanic had said you loosen off the tensioner and I could not see how to do it.   Turns out he was wrong and it is an automatic tensioner.   So you just put a spanner on it and swing it to one side and the belt falls off.   

Having been warned,  I didn't make the classic mistake of not drawing a diagram of the routing first, and the new belt (I have carried a spare in the boot for 2 years) went back on very easily.  

Looking at the old one it looks fine to me although there is a very slight cut (3mm) on one side.  Certainly good enough to keep as an emergency spare.    And it certainly hasn't done any harm changing it.

And I decided to put back the sump guard that the mechanic had taken off.    I accepted his point that the 2 'skid bars' he had welded on would protect the sump on sleeping policeman (or ferry loading ramps) but I was still slightly worried about going over a sharp stone that would puncture the centre.   

So again using the belt and braces principle I decided an extra layer of protection would do no harm.    Had a slight problem as he had sheared one of the bolts and left the remaining part in, but managed to drill it out without damaging the thread.

So it is back on, ready for action.

Cooling System (7)

At the MOT the mechanic had noted a small weep at the thermostat housing, and I was finding more and more water on the floor of the garage.   So it was time to change the gasket.   I had bought a new thermostat a few months ago and it come with it's own 'generic' gaskets made of paper.  But when I checked on E-Bay I found it should be fitted with a rubber gasket.

There were actually 5 for sale so I bought 2 so I have a spare (I did wonder about buying all 5 and becoming the sole supplier)

So whipped off the thermostat housing, saw the paper gasket has actually split, popped in the new rubber one and put it all back together.

I filled up the system and went off for lunch.  When I came back there was water all over the floor.   I hunted high and low for the leak but had no success, but I could see the thermostat housing was still weeping a bit.  So this time I took it all apart, cleaned everything, removed all trace of the old gasket and made sure the 2 mating surfaces were perfectly clean.   Put it back together and there is no apparent leak and after a long drive the system was still full and after a few hours there was no water on the garage floor.

I also took the advice of a fellow Superspec owner and replaced the 13psi radiator cap with a 20psi cap to stop the system overflowing.


And while I was checking it all I took all 4 spark plugs out to see if one of them was different.   In fact they were all a nice chocolate colour, meaning the mixture is correct and that a gasket problem is actually unlikely.

Saturday 29 August 2015

New Grille

As a consolation present for the damaged rear wing I treated her to a new grill.  Here is the before and after.

 Looks lovely.

My Second crash

Crash Number Two this morning. Totally my fault again of course, but as I wasn't actually in the car so I was never in any danger

She was sitting in the garage and my daughter-in-law's Citroen was parked outside.    I had put her in reverse to demonstrate the rear sensors to my son, had a chat about the new exhaust pipe then I leaned in to start the car to demonstrate the nice new idle and......... 

She went smartly backwards straight into the
Citroen.   But here is the incredible bit.  Because of the angles involved the bottom of the rear wing hit the rear wheel of the car and actually pushed the Citroen about 3 feet sideways.  When we separated them the ONLY damage to the Citroen was a bit of blue GRP stain on the wheel, which we wiped off.  The bodywork was untouched.    On the Tiger there was some damage, the reversing light cover was cracked, the rear light unit plastic cover was snapped in two and knocked off and there was a lot of scuffing on the edge of the wing. 

But amazingly, that was it.   All the lights still operated perfectly, I fixed the plastic light unit with superglue (as you can see there is a bit missing in the middle which we can't find, so will probably replace it next year for the MOT) and I already have a spare reversing light cover I can fit. so I just need to get the sandpaper, primer and paint out to tidy up the wing.  I still have a complete new body set up in the attic but I don't think it's time for that yet.  

If you had told me the GRP rear wing was strong enough to push a Citroen 3 feet sideways without breaking I would never have believed it.   And how the wing completely missed the bodywork and just hit the wheel is a miracle.   Mind you, if they had been on concrete and not gravel it might have been a different story.

So pride hurt, my daughter-in-law is never going to let me forget it   And the Tiger gets another war wound so she looks even more 'lived in'.  But good lesson learned so I won't do that again.  

Thursday 27 August 2015

New Luggage Rack

One of the members of the Club has just sold his car and was clearing out the garage so I decided to have his luggage rack.

Very clever design.   Two tubes are mounted underneath attached to the chassis using exhaust pipe clamps.   And then the luggage rack slides into them and is held by 2 knurled nuts.

 Now when I go camping I might be able to see out of the back.


Tuesday 25 August 2015

This must be magic ?

Ever since I have had the car it has been marginal on the emissions test and this year, even with a completely new exhaust system it only just scraped through.   At the same time I have always felt that something wasn't working properly.   Although she idled OK there was a bit of hunting.   When I pulled away she occasionally hiccupped, when I put my foot down there was sometimes a bit of hesitation before the revs picked up, and she would regularly have a small uncommanded surge for no apparent reason (lamda sensor switching mixtures?).  Finally, there was lots of popping and banging on the overrun.

But up till now I have lived with that, as with a non-programmable ECU and the fuel injection I didn't think anything could be done or adjusted.  I just assumed some of the sensors were a bit iffy.

But while I was asking for help on the Robin Hood forum regarding my catalytic converter Nigel Evans (n.r.evans) told me of a trick a mechanic had recommended to him when he was trying to pass the emissions test, which I don't recall reading on the forum before, and that was to block off one of the 2 exhaust outlets.   So, willing to try anything I shoved the remains of an old tea towel up the exhaust.

 What an amazing transformation.  She now idles perfectly, and there is no hesitation during acceleration.  The power (apparently more than before) comes on smoothly when I put my foot down, and there are no more unexplained surges.   She is now working as you would expect.   There is also no more popping and banging on the overrun (which is a pity as I quite liked it :))

So what is the explanation for this dramatic improvement?   Nigel's mechanic reckons that when the system was designed there was no attempt made to match all the exhaust components, they were just picked because they fitted together in the right space available.  In particular he thinks the lamda sensor needs some back pressure before it will work correctly and with the exhaust as designed there just wasn't enough.  Blocking one of the outlets is just enough to provide the necessary back pressure to make the sensor work.    Obviously I can't prove it but it seems very logical?

I haven't had a chance to check if it has improved the emissions yet but based on Nigel's experience I am very confident.   Meanwhile I am enjoying a much improved performance.   I just need to find a more professional way of blocking it than an old tea towel. :)

Poor Hot Start Solved ?

Ever since I have had the car I have dreaded stalling, as trying to start a hot engine has been very difficult.  As discussed at the post here, there have been various suggestions put forward.  I thought that the extra earth strap would help, but unfortunately it soon became apparent that it wasn't the answer.

Another suggestion made was on a radio show, and that was that the starter motor was getting hot and the resistance in the windings was going up, hence the poor cranking.   I could see the logic of that as the starter motor is hidden behind the engine with no air flow over it.   So I decided I would experiment with adding a pipe to provide some ram air cooling to see if that would help.

 Here is the initial try, taking air from just in front of the engine and funneling it vertically down onto the starter.

At first try it seemed to work.   After a long drive and with the engine nicely warmed up she cranked over a full speed when I tried a restart.   Only time will tell. 

Update:   4 x Hot Starts today, all cranked over at full speed.  Looking good.