The weekend started with a Chelmsford Motor Club 12 car rally on the Friday night. Setting out from Epping golf club Dave Saunders and I were doing quite well and by the time we reached time control six we had zero fails and were only a couple of minutes down. However, being thrown around in the car in the dark while trying to read a map and navigate for the past forty minutes had taken its toll on Dave who was by now being violently travel sick. The signs were there from TC2; the long puffs of air, the long windy burps. (It was like having Davemate in the car!)
We tried to continue but were losing too much time every time we had to stop for a vomit break. With regret we rang the clerk of the course and announced our retirement. We took a slow drive up to the finish point anyway and waited for the other entrants to arrive. We stayed long enough to hear the results fully expecting to finish last as we had missed the last three time controls, but to our surprise we finished second from last. Another crew had got more fails than us even though they completed the course. We didn’t feel so bad now.
Saturday morning I made the trip up to a village near Harwich named Ramsey where I collected a nice set of wheels and tyres for the Red Shed. (Although the way she’s been behaving lately, I don’t see why I should treat her to anything!) I then continued up to
Sunday morning I resumed my efforts to get the Red Shed running properly. The previous week it had decided to refuse to even start at all. I had suspected the solenoid and so managed to blag a spare one to try.
However, even with the new solenoid fitted the bloody thing still refused to start and the starter motor just made loud clicking noises instead. I decided to show it that I could better its clicking noises in volume and velocity by taking my large ‘Universal adjuster’ (pictured below) to it to persuade it to return to work.
In danger of being beaten to death, the starter motor then surrendered its protestations and took to spinning the engine over as intended. For some reason, the engine which had been running well(ish) was now putting up a fight with regard to firing. Various plug leads were changed; ignition timing was set and reset again. Spark plugs and gaps were also checked but all no avail. I then decided to pull the garage door down and turn the lights out so I could see how good the spark at the points were. The answer was not very good at all. The brand new points that were fitted a few weeks back were removed and the old ones fitted. Much better! Now we were getting somewhere. The car was now starting better and running better but still not 100%. I changed the condenser as well, (this was new too) and also changed a couple of spark plugs which didn’t seem too efficient. Whatever the fault is, it’s very intermittent as the car runs quite well, but then either starts chuffing and missing for no reason or increases its idle by a thousand revs. Very strange!
It also seems to miss on low revs, but revs fine on high throttle, so a possible inlet manifold gasket fault? Who knows? Time was getting on now so it was time to call it a day. Guess what I’ll be doing next Bank Holiday weekend? L