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.