Tuesday, 31 August 2021

August Bank Holiday - More RBRR Preparations!

 With the impending Round Britain Reliability Run now only about five weeks away, I used the long weekend to carry on with some more preparation work on Gertie2. 

The weekend before the Bank Holiday, I had fitted Koni adjustable front shock absorbers along with replacing the track control arms bushes and drag strut bushes with Polyurethane items. 

Next on the agenda was to fit a Stirling Harmonic damper (harmonically balanced crankshaft pulley) from Vibration Free. This is an incredibly expensive bit of kit, but worth it in my eyes as it balances the crankshaft, reduces crank torsion and pro-longs the life on the engine. Plus, the recent profit I made on selling the Gunmetal Mk1 I sold covered the cost of it, so it didn't really cost me anything. (That's they way I look at it anyway!)


 After this I made up a bracket to house a 14 inch electric fan and mounted it in the cavity between the radiator and the front panel. The two previous smaller electric fans I had were attached to the radiator, but this meant taking the water pump off every time I had to take the radiator out as there wasn't enough clearance. Doing it this way means the fan can stay in place if ever I have to remove the radiator. With this done I was also able to refit my newly re-cored rad from Colchester Radiator repairs

Dave Maton came down on Saturday as he wanted to check out a recent clonking noise on his car. After meeting for breakfast at a cafe we then took the opportunity to test the recent CB radios we had bought to use on the RBRR. (I took the Pi as Gertie2 was still in bits) We are running as a three car team this time and want to be able to communicate instantly with each other if need be. We had tried walkie talkies before when running as a two car team on our south coast runs, but these were a waste of time to be honest. The CB's were a success and we could still hear each other from a mile apart. (That was the furthest apart we could get from each other in the short drive back to my house, so the range should be a lot more than a mile) 
Once back at mine we had Dave's driveshaft's off and gave them a thorough greasing and inspected the underneath of the car. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anything amiss and a test drive revealed the problem still exists, so further investigations are required. 

My next port of call was to investigate why my driver seat has always felt like it is leaning in towards the middle of the car. It's been like it ever since I got the car and first of all, I just put it down to a knackered seat diaphragm on the original seats. However, it was still doing it when I fitted the Alpha Romeo seats in as well. 
With the interior stripped, the carpet was removed to inspect the condition of the floor and see if there were any cracks in the metal around the seat mount area. With a sense of relief I found no cracks at all and the entire floor to be in very, very good condition.

I then turned to the Alfa seat and spent a good half hour inspecting the frame work for cracks or bent metal that would cause the seat to lean inwards, but I found nothing untoward. 
I then went back to the floor pan and laid a straight bar across the bolt holes for the seat runners and then laid a spirit level on the straight bar. I did this on both sides. The passenger side was fine and the bubble was bang in the middle of the spirit level. However, the driver side needed to be raised by about 6mm on one side before the bubble was in the correct place. I checked that the car was on level ground, which it was, and then double checked again. The inside bolt holes (Near the hand brake) were definitely 6mm lower than the bolt holes on the sill side. So either that panel is poorly pressed (unlikely) or the man responsible for welding that panel in was in a rush to get away that day, or had just come back from a good liquid lunch! (It wouldn't happen on todays cars with all the laser cutting and robot welding)
So, as a trial fit, some square plates were placed underneath the runner to bring it up to the same height as the other one and the seat re-fitted. It seems to do the trick and you now dont feel like you're leaning towards the passenger.

I then made up some better plates and refitted the carpet and the runners. I then also decided that I'd had enough this weekend and would refit the seats next weekend. I had booked the Friday off work as well and had spent every day working in the garage! 
I also need to buy a new fan belt and some coolant and once this is sorted and the seats are re-fitted, I can take the car for a good test drive before the RBRR. 

If you fancy sponsoring us on our mad non-stop drive around Britain you can do so by donating on our Just Giving page. It's for a really good cause and all donations, however big or small will be gratefully received.  Richard Warr is fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association (justgiving.com)



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