The recent Chinese Rally (In Holland!) had left Gertie running a little bit sick. To be fair she wasn't running 100% when we arrived at our hotel on the Friday night, but she carried on regardless and was never really a cause for any concern. On high revs and motorway speeds she was fine, but on tickover and slow running speeds she had a constant misfire that I just couldn't get to the bottom of. After tinkering half of Saturday and until late last night and with time (and patience!) running out before the HCR this weekend, I dropped her off at Carlow engineering to let Gordon have a play and see what he could find.
When I collected the car from there tonight, Gordon revealed his diagnosis........I had blown the inlet manifold gasket on ports 1 & 2. Oh dear! Maybe we were trying a bit too hard in Holland then! While talking to Gordon, I also mentioned our issue of constantly blowing no.1 fuse and everything that it affected. Gordon suddenly said 'Oh! I might have cured that then. I've just bent a spare tab on the voltage stabiliser out of the way because it was touching the clutch master cylinder resevoir'. He then led me over to Gertie and opened the bonnet to show me what he meant.
On the bulkhead of the Mk1 is said voltage stabiliser. Close (in fact dangerously close) to the stabiliser is the reservoir for the master cylinder for the clutch. The reservoir should also have a bracket that holds it tight to the bulkhead. Mine is missing! So the reservoir was moving every now and then, and when it was, it was touching the spare tab on the voltage stabiliser and shorting it out and subsequently blowing the fuse ! As I was in the middle of trying to eliminate the problem, the temperature and fuel gauges were currently disconnected, so when I arrived home I reconnected them, (They are on the same wire on the fuse box) then bent the spare tab on the stabiliser back over towards the reservoir and then made the two contact. Sure enough there was an instant spark and the fuse blew again! So it looks highly likely that this was causing the 'blown fuses' issue in Holland. I then decided to move the voltage stabiliser away from the reservoir or any other 'loose' parts. I also now need to look out for the bracket that holds the reservoir tight to the bulkhead.
With the car now running well and sounding good, I'm looking forward to the overnight challenge of the Historic Counties Rally this weekend.