Saturday 6 January 2024

Wednesday January 3rd - Another Rolling road session!

 Since fitting the new Weber carb on the Green Cortina I'd been meaning to arrange a rolling road session just make sure that the car is running as it should. So, I rang Atspeed Racing in early December and got booked in and put on their waiting list. (very popular this place)

My booking date was January 3rd, so after moving cars around I got the Cortina out and had a leisurely drive down to them. 

I left it with them and walked back home and then went to work. Later that afternoon they rang me to say my car was done and ready for collection. They said all it need was a different Idle jet and an accelerator pump jet. The carburettor was brand new, but carburettors ideally need to be tuned to suit your engine. Just bolting on a brand new carb wont always cure your issues. 

I collected the car next day and as usual, they had done a great job and the car now runs smoother and feels quicker. Another job off the list and a good start to the year! 

Thursday December 21st. An early Christmas present-for me, from me!

 I hadn't been looking to replace my every day car, the trusty Renault Clio, but a car came up for sale at a very good price and looked a very good option for me. There's nothing seriously wrong with the Clio, but it is getting on now and has also covered over 200,000 miles! 

The car in question was a Peugeot 308 Diesel 1.6 HDI estate. It's been very well looked after and drove very nicely on the test drive. It has lots of creature comforts that the Clio doesn't have, built in satnav, automatic handbrake, separate driver and passenger heating controls, air conditioning, digital radio, cruise control and even a speed limiter! (That will come in handy on that bloody A127) etc. It also has a 6 speed gearbox which makes it very economical. 

So, I'm very pleased with my new purchase and think I've got a good deal.  One of the things that used to bug me about the Clio was that the AM band on the stereo never worked, so I could never listen to the footy. The new Peugeot has a digital radio and an AM band as well, so my footy days are restored!
I will soon be doing a couple of small jobs on the Clio and then putting it up for sale. It's been a good servant, and been very reliable, but I'm afraid it's time for it to move on. 

Saturday December 16th - A bit of heat for the garage.

 After considering different options of types of heaters for the garage I decided on a diesel heater. I've tried various heaters in past, such as space heaters (too damn noisy) and fan heaters (too damn expensive) so this time I thought I'd try something else. 

A guy at work has been using a diesel heater in his garage for years and highly recommended one. So after looking at different models I put in an order for one and to my surprise it was delivered the next day. I set it up on the work bench first just to perform a test run and then figured out where in the garage would be the best place for it. Eventually I decided it was going to sit on the floor next to workbench, although this meant extending the exhaust to the other side of the garage and exiting it through the outside wall. 

Now, due to the fact that this heater obviously runs on diesel and has an exhaust I am well aware of the potential problems should anything go wrong that might lead to fumes building up in the garage while I'm in there. So, I took the precaution of buying a carbon monoxide detector and alarm and have mounted it on a shelf in close proximity of the heater so that should any leaks occur, I'll quickly know about it. 

At present, the weather has been fairly mild, so I've not really used it yet, but I'm sure that will change in January! 

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Monday November 27th -The Zetec Cortina returns.

 I'd had a phone call from Redline tuning the previous week saying that my Cortina was ready for collection. Unfortunately, I was booked on a two day training course in Greenford, West London for the latter part of the week and couldn't get there to collect it. Redline also doesn't open weekends so it would have to be Monday morning before work. 

The car had also been on a dyno for it's final tune and the Zetec engine produced 136 bhp and 147 pound of torque. Now, by modern car standards that's not a lot, but for an 850kg car that only had around 60bhp available when it was first produced, that's quite an increase. Even the Lotus Cortina's were only 115bhp, so as you can imagine, it has a good power to weight ratio and is a 'bit quick'! 

So, good friend Gavin picked me up at 8.15 and after a quick coffee we went to Redline to collect the car. It was a horrible damp and rainy morning so we didn't hang around too long. 

It was great driving the car again and it now runs a lot smoother and cleaner. (and faster!) I didn't have too long to play with it though, as I had to get it back home and then go to work. I'm looking forward to getting it out for a good long test drive, but now that the freezing weather has arrived and the gritters have started putting nasty salt all over the roads, the drive is going to have to wait for a while. It's good to have it back home again though. 

Saturday November 25th - New throttle bracket for the Triumph

 Since converting the Triumph from injection back to carburettors, I'd become aware of how sloppy the throttle cable set up is on the twin SU carbs. Injection uses a direct link to the throttle cable whereas the carbs set up uses a cable but joined to some weird scissor type linkage. (See below)

As luck would have it, a Triumph enthusiast by the name of Dylan Day posted on Facebook that he had made up a bracket that will do away with this weird contraption. So, after a few messages, I decided to buy one and give it a try. 

Once I received it I found that it's a very well made item and also made of good quality metal. It didn't take long to fit and other than needing a few adjustments to the carburettor link bar and also fitting a stop on the throttle pedal (So that the cable doesn't over travel and stretch and snap) it's a straight forward fit. 

It took out all of the previous sloppyness and has made the throttle much more responsive. I'm very pleased with it. I just need to get the car out for a test drive now. 

Sunday November 19th - Cleaning out the parts washer.

 After stripping an engine down and cleaning all of its internals in my parts washer, it had left it with lots of gunge and old burnt engine oil in it, so I decided it needed a good clean. The engine that I had been stripping had been seriously over heated at some point in its life and the oil had turned to a thick black paste. Most of which was now lying in the bottom of the parts washer. 

I purchased some brake cleaner and set about my task. The first thing was to undo the drain plug, but on undoing it nothing came out. It was obviously blocked up with the gunge, so I stabbed a screwdriver through the hole and cleared the blockage so it could pour out. 

I had to use several containers to get it fully drained and had to scrape out a lot of gunge that had settled in the bottom. With the worst part of it gone, I used about half a gallon of brake cleaner and got through about ten rags.

Eventually though, it was all looking nice and clean again and I was pleased with my mornings work. I just need to buy some jeizer now so I can re-fill it. 

Saturday November 11th - Distributor marker.

A few years back my friend Gavin made a marker for his distributor, so that if ever he removes it, he knows exactly where to put it back so that he doesn't disturb the ignition timing. 

After testing it on his car and finding that it fitted ok, he also made one for me, but because I was running a 123 distributor at the time, I'd never got around to fitting it. (Because the 123 can be tuned with a lap top and doesn't need moving.)  

However, now that I'm running a standard distributor again, I decided to fit it and give it a try. I have to say, it's a very good fit and will serve its purpose very well. I've marked the body of the distributor in line with the pointer, so this will be the exact marker to line up with if ever I have to remove the distributor. A very good idea that I'm surprised wasn't thought of by manufacturers.