Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tuesday 26th Feb- Fuel sender repair.

One of the things I had noticed on Saturday while taking the Red Shed for Mot was the low fuel warning light being on and the gauge reading nearly empty.  I know we had drained all of the old fuel out of it, but had also added about three gallons since then, so the gauge should have been showing something at least.
I was pretty sure the problem would be a stuck float in the sender unit in the tank, so with this in mind I set about removing it. (Best to do it while the fuel level is low too.)
With the sender unit and float removed it was discovered that sure enough, the float was stuck. A bit of spraying with some carb cleaner ( I couldn't find the WD40!) and some cleaning up and the float was working on its pivot freely again.

I refitted the sender unit and connected the wires back up. I then turned the ignition on to find that the low fuel warning light had gone out and the gauge slowly climbed up to a quarter of a tank. Perfect!
I love these easy jobs that take no more than an hour. Wish I had more of them!
I also had one of my van drivers at work today call in at the Chelmsford Vehicle Registration office so he could collect my free tax disc and change the classification on the V5 to 'Historic Vehicle'. It has been off of the road for so long that this had never been done.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Sat 23rd Feb. Another one on the road!

Waking up still knackered on a Saturday morning is never a good thing. Especially when you have to be at a work training course at 08.30.
The night before had been the Chelmsford Motor Club 12 car navigational rally. Darren Armitage kindly offered his services as navigator for the event and we did well enough to finish in fourth place. (Thank you Darren) :)
I eventually got home around half past midnight after taking two lads home who had had to abandon their MGB GT on the route with fuel pump problems. (Two MGB's broke down actually, both with the same problem.)
The work training course kept me away from the garage until 1pm when Gavin came round and then a quick inspection of the Red Shed revealed that one of the carbs was overflowing petrol! A quick removal of the carb and another clean up of a needle valve and all was well again. A test drive led us to believe that the timing was pretty much spot on and other than a slightly sticky throttle, the beast was performing well.
MOT time arrived and soon the car was up on the ramp and being thoroughly inspected. Despite the fact she has been parked up and not moved for 24 years (1989) she sailed through with no advisories.
Now I have the Mot I can send off all the necessary documents and have the taxation class changed to 'Historic Vehicle' so I can claim my free road tax. This car was heading to be scrapped before I bought it, so it's nice to be able to keep another one of these great cars on the road.

The Red Shed after being nicely washed before Mot.
(Although getting the green moss of the bootlid knackered my sponge!)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday Feb 17th. A better day-eventually!

A hard frost had set in overnight, so the first task of the day was to unfreeze the estate so I could run out and get some petrol for the Red Shed. I thought that the petrol was really low on the car because all throughout yesterday the fuel light stayed on. However, I now believe it to be a stuck sender unit as even after more petrol being added to it today, the gauge remains in the same place and the fuel light is still stuck on!
With the petrol added I started investigations as to why said beast wouldn't rev correctly. I also decided to set the valve clearances and set the timing. This obviously didn't go to plan as after messing about with the distributor the damn thing wouldn't run at all!  A cup of tea and a warm up beckoned  and a ponder on the non-starting dilemma.
Once suitably refreshed I turned to the distributor again and found that there was virtually nothing left of the points. I changed these and the condenser and then found that the car would now start. However, it still wasn't right and was pretty much the same as yesterday. i.e well down on power. After taking some advice from Colin Wake on the phone I started the car and pulled the plug leads off of cylinders 5 & 6 which made it run worse. I then pulled the leads off of cylinders 1 & 2 to find there was no difference at all. This was my problem. The front carburettor wasn't doing its job and the car was only running on three cylinders!
So I removed the front carburettor and cleaned it out thoroughly. I also found a stuck needle valve where the fuel should flow into the float chamber, so this was cleaned out and lubricated. As soon as the front carb was refitted I started the car to find that it had been transformed. As soon as it ran on tickover you could tell there was a world of difference. It responded sharply when revved and even sounded quieter and smoother.
I took it for another sneaky test drive and it was like driving a different car. It's still not 100%, but it's close. Certainly good enough for a run down to the Mot centre next Saturday.
it's quite smooth as well. It must as I'd left a washer I'd been using to do the mixture on the front wing and it was still there when I returned home!

 I'm looking forward to getting this car on the road now and then the bodywork will be the next thing on the agenda. Who knows? I might even be able to be ready for a couple of HRCR events before the season's over. (But the spotlights will have to come off first!)


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Saturday 16th Feb. The Red Shed finally turns a wheel!

With all the farting about I've been doing over the past few weeks trying to patch up odd bits of exhaust to fit the Red Shed, I finally lost patience and did what I should have done in the first place and ordered a new manual centre section from Chris Witor.
Luckily Gavin was around to help fit it and pretty soon I was in a familiar pose. (Flat on my back under the car!) After fitting a downpipe, removing a downpipe, cutting a downpipe and refitting a downpipe, the downpipe was fitted! Next was the centre section which after a bit of fettling with the universal adjuster (Hammer) was in its rightful place too. The pea shooter tail pipe was reasonably easy and for the first time in my ownership the car has a complete exhaust system.
The next job was to start it up and see how quiet it was (Not very!) and also put some water in it as I still hadn't refilled it since I did the core plugs. (Not a good idea with all the freezing weather recently.)
The exhaust  still had a blowing coming from it, but further tightening of the downpipe bolts silenced this. We also discovered a water leak, but a change of jubilee clip soon had this resolved.
With the car now running I decided on a sneaky test run around the block. ( I needed to be sure it will make it to the Mot station at least!) She ran well but is down on power. There's no mis-firing or running sick, but just no 'get up and go either'. We quickly checked the diaphrams in the carburettor and also found that the carbs need some fine tuning as the front one seems to be running too rich.

By now time was getting on, so we decided to call it a day. I shall be having a better look at the tuning tomorrow when I have more time. Overall though i was pleased with how the test drive went. The gearbox is noisy, (I knew that anyway) but it handled well and felt good. No nasty knocking or clonking noises from the suspension and the engine never overheated or spat its contents of engine oil out anywhere. I did notice the diff leaking though.
Just a few small jobs to do this week then and I will be booking it in for Mot next Saturday. (Hopefully!)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Sat/Sun 2nd & 3rd Feb. One step forward.......

Saturday morning started off with a cold wind howling round the garage and making me wish I didn't have so much to do. However, I persuaded myself to go and get stuck in as the Red Shed isn't that far away from MOT now. (Or so I thought!)
Gavin came round to finish off the welding, so I carried on with the last few electrical jobs required. I managed to get the horn (Ooh her missus!) working and after swapping a washer motor and after unblocking the hoses and jets, I got the washers working too.
When Gavin had finished the welding, I stopped what I was doing so we could have another go at fitting the exhaust. After much faffing about underneath, and then looking at pictures for reference, we then realised that we had a manual downpipe and and an auto centre section! So the two were never going to fit anyway! Bloody Balls! So I now have to find either an auto down pipe or a manual centre section. very annoying as this is now the only thing holding up the Mot now.
Gavin made tracks after the exhaust fail, but I braved the cold a bit more and fitted another pair of rear shocks and put the centre console back in.
Sunday morning I carried on with some more small jobs and wired up the overdrive as well. This seems to be working, (I.e. the solenoid clicks in when it should) but a test drive will tell if it does or not.
Whilst finishing this off Dave Maton arrived with his long ladders as the plan for the day was to clean out my blocked gutters on my house. This only took a couple of hours, so once this was done we were able to start on the outstanding task of fitting a Brantz International pro2 trip meter in Gertie. With the amount of rallies that I now do this is an essential bit of kit. Plus, it will come in very handy on the Dutch night rallies too. Seeing as we have one of these coming up in 5 weeks, it made sense to get it fitted.

The first thing to do was to find somewhere to mount it. Seeing as the dashboard clock has never worked we made the decision to remove the clock and mount it there. This will also allow us to still use the ash tray, (For fuel receipts and small euro coinage) and the glove box. (For all kinds of other crap!)
The speedo cable was next as it has to be partly removed to fit the sensor. The appropriate wiring was then connected and powering up commenced to reveal all was working as it should.
A test drive then took place for calibration purposes and we are close to being spot on. A few more tests when I have more time at the weekend should finalise it.