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.