Friday, 27 July 2012

July 21st - Improvement to CAC

Not much to report of late. My newly rebuilt engine has gone back to the engineers where it is being rectified under warranty, so until I get this back there's not much I can do.
The thing is, the longer this goes on the nearer we are getting to the RBRR. I know it's not until October, but if I don't get the engine back for another month or so, that doesn't leave a lot of time to get it fitted and run in and iron out any niggles before the event. I would then be forced to use the estate car as back up.
So, with this in mind I took  said estate car (CAC) down to Dave Picton to have a good quality electronic ignition fitted. This didn't take long, so once done I called into fellow RBRR piloteer Davemate's for a coffee where we chatted about all things car and grumped about modern life in general. Coffee drank, I was able to give the estate a good run up the motorway on the way home.
(CAC outside Dave Picton's)

I have to say it has been a good car of late and any thoughts that I did have of selling it have now faded. It was a complete nail when I first bought it and any chance of a breakdown free run was about as rare as a Spurs away win. But over the past few years gradual changes and improvements have been made and she's now a pleasure to drive again.
Although I'd rather use Gertie for the RBRR as I think she suits the spirit of the event better, I think the estate would be up to the job as a suitable replacement.

 So, if Gertie's engine isn't back and in place in time, 'Team Gertie' (See the web page below) could end up having to change to Team CAC! Watch this space!

Monday, 16 July 2012

July 16th. Examination time!

Further Investigation took place tonight of my recently rebuilt, but now removed engine. I had some assistance in this matter and I was lucky enough to rely on their expertise and guidance.
The first problem we found was that only two out of the six caps on the big ends were even tight. On numbers one and two the caps were so loose that they were able to move side to side and connect with the crank when spinning round. When we did this and it made a 'clatter' type sound I recognised this as the noise I had been hearing since the Scottish rally.
Removal of the big end bearings also showed excessive wear on some, but not all of them. Although the bearings with excessive wear also didn't seem to fit the caps properly, so this needs to be investigated too.  
Luckily, the crankshaft doesn't seem to have been damaged, so a replacement set of 'decent' big end bearings should be all that's required. (Hopefully!) We also found some slight pitting on a couple of cam followers, so a new set of these will be ordered too. To be continued..............

Saturday, 14 July 2012

July 13th - Engine out again! Arse!

While on the Scottish rally I was aware of a slight rattling noise from the newly rebuilt engine. As the engine was new I just put it down to a noisy tappet or something similar and just generally tried to ignore it. However, since the jaunt north of the border I've been having suspicions of it being something more serious. I'd tried to put it to the back of my mind,  but the more I've used it recently, the more evident it's become. I've taken a number of people of test drives to get their opinion, but while some can hear the noise, others can't. Weird!
The final straw was when I put the car into Mowatts for a rolling road session on Tuesday last. I didn't mention any engine noise to them as I wanted to see if they would pick up on it without any suggestion from me. Sure enough they did. The session revealed plenty of power in the engine, (109 BHP at the back wheels) but they would only push it to 5000 RPM because of the engine noise.
So, I had no choice but to remove the engine again. Not exactly pleasing, especially as it only went in at Easter and hasn't even covered 2000 miles since.

So, Friday night my RBRR partner in crime Dave came up to give me a hand to lift the engine out. I had disconnected everything the night before so the actual removal didn't take long. It is presently sitting on my work bench where it will be looked at by another engine builder on Monday night.

Once it was out Dave used my garage facilities to sort out the exhaust issues on his own car. Dave has a sense of humour similar to mine (Politically incorrect as well as warped) so a good laugh was had while the work was carried out. On this basis the RBRR will be entertaining if nothing else!
Meanwhile, because of the engine issues with Gertie, the estate will be kept running and up to spec just in case she has to take on RBRR duties, but I hope Gertie will be back in fine form again by then.