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.