Monday, 19 September 2022

Monday 19th September - A nice drive out.

 Today should have been the day I returned to work, but with the very sad passing and funeral of our beloved Queen, my return was put back to tomorrow. 

As usual I was up early and as a bonus, the sun was shining. So, I decided to take the 4 door out for a drive as I hadn't driven it for some time. The plan was to sell it once I had got myself a 2 door, but just lately the prices seemed to have dropped, so it doesn't make sense to sell it just yet. 

Despite Tesco and Sainsbury's being closed I managed to find some fuel at Asda South Woodham and found a nice route all round Woodham, Bicknacre, Hanningfield and Rettendon. The car drove really well and is really smooth and quiet. In fact, it made me wonder why I'm selling it. Maybe I'll have to re-think that one. 

After being out for a while, the traffic started building up, so I headed home and was indoors by 10.30. I then put the car away and spent the rest of the day watching our Queens funeral. 

Sunday 18th September - Battlesbridge Breakfast meet.

 Sunday morning saw me up bright and early to meet up with some friends at the Battlesbridge Classic Car Breakfast meet. The car show season is starting to tail off for the winter and this meet could end up being the last time this year (depending on weather) so it was vital to get there. 

I had been undecided on which Cortina to take, the 2 door, the 4 door, or the 5 door! In the end I decided on the 2 door which meant shuffling cars around before leaving. I left my place at 08.30 and was at Battlesbridge 20 minutes later. Peter Silk arrived in his Triumph Mk2 shortly after and before long Keith Halstead arrived with his Mk1 Lotus Cortina. We enjoyed a few cups of coffee and then Ivor Cross and son Anthony arrived as well in Ivor's Mk1 Triumph 2.5Pi. 

It was a good day and great to meet up with old friends again, but unfortunately, I had to leave around 12.30pm as I had other things to do. The traffic was light on the way home so the Cortina got a chance to stretch its legs. It's a great car and with its twin cam engine and electronic fuel injection, and it's also very, very quick. 

It's a shame I've bought it more or less at the end of the show season as I'd love to use it more, but at least it gives me a chance to make some small changes and address a few little jobs that need doing. All in all, a very pleasant morning. 

Saturday 17th September. The estate comes home.

With the Triumph saloon causing no issues whatsoever on the recent Club Triumph 10cr and therefore with no further work being required, I made the decision to put it into long term storage for the winter and bring the Cortina estate home instead. When I drive the Cortina estate, I can hear a very slight rattling noise when I pull away in each gear. (Although nobody else can-I've either got exceptional hearing, or a vivid imagination!) My suspicions are that the timing chain tensioner is failing, or maybe even the timing chain itself. Time will tell. 

I arrived at the storage point in North Essex at around 10am and after jump starting the car, (A new battery is on the shopping list) a quick cup of coffee and getting some petrol, I set off home again. On my journey up I had seen the aftermath of an accident on the southbound side of the A12 that was causing considerable delays. So, I decided to come home through Colchester town centre. What a mistake that was! What a ridiculous place Colchester is for badly designed junction layouts and traffic lights on the exits of roundabouts. I honestly think I would have been better off just joining the queue on the A12!

Anyway, two and a half hours later, I finally arrived home and decided that was enough for the day. It did feel good driving the estate again though I have to say. I had sat in a lot of standing traffic on the way back, but at no time did the car run hot or cause me any issues or worries. What a great car! 

Monday, 12 September 2022

September 5th - 11th. The Club Triumph 10 Countries Run.

 Day 1.

it should have been a nice easy straight forward run today, but as usual, things don't always turn out that way. My two co-drivers, Mark and Colin had arrived at my place around 9am and we then set out to meet up with the other crew, Richard and Roger at Thurrock services. We didn't hang around here too long and got going down the M2 towards Dover. 

We were going to be very early for the ferry, so we decided to stop for a bacon bap and cup of coffee just outside Dover. While we were here, I applied the official run stickers to the car that I had only received that morning. 

With the drinks and food consumed, we set off for the ferry and other than me stopped by customs at Dover, had no further issues. 

Once we were off of the Ferry, Richard's satnav decided to take him a different way to where we were going and he then found that he couldn't turn round for about 20 miles! We arranged to meet him further down the route and in a rest area in Belgium, but by the time we met up we had lost a total of 45 minutes. 
The stopping point of Sedan in France was further away than we realised and we didn't arrive until 19.50. We then asked to book a table for dinner only to be told that the kitchen was closed. Not impressed! We then took to the town and found that everywhere else was closed as well 'because it's Monday!' Even less impressed! We eventually found a kebab house open and settled for burger and chips. Not a great start!

Day 2. 

The official start of the event was in a huge supermarket car park in Sedan town centre and we decided to get some milk and provisions from the supermarket before setting out. Only, that wasn't the case as we were there at 8am and the supermarket didn't open until 9am. 

We set out provision-less and had a swift drive through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and into Germany. Around lunch time we found a supermarket and brought some milk and biscuits and set out to find somewhere where we could have a 'brew with a view'. We picked a lovely spot just before the Black Forest and enjoyed a well deserved cup of coffee. 
We had the ridiculous amount of 639 kms to cover today, so our coffee stop was shorter than usual as we didn't want another late night. So, we pushed on and arrived at the town of Kempten in Germany around 7pm. We then walked into town and found a great restaurant where we enjoyed a meal of Schnitzel and fries. (With a few beers of course!)

Day 3.

After a good breakfast we set out and continued down through Germany, into Austria and finally into Italy. The most spectacular part of the day was climbing the 2509 meter high Timmelsjoch pass. The high altitude does some weird and wonderful things and we found the packets of crisps that we had in the boot had inflated to balloon size! 
Whilst there we got the cooker out and made another brew and watched the other Triumphs on the run struggle up the mountain due to the lack of air. 
We then headed down the other side of the mountain and carried on with the days route. We managed to make good time and arrived at our hotel in Brunek around 5pm. A nice couple of beers were enjoyed before attacking a dinner of Stroganoff, potatoes and salad. We then retired to the bar across the road where more drinking was enjoyed whilst watching some spectacular lightning flashes and torrential rain. 

Day 4

The day started off with some heavy rain fall, but luckily it cleared within a couple of hours. Our first journey was a run to Cortina D'Ampezzo. (Where the Mk1 Cortina got its name from)
We had some free time today, so we took the opportunity to actually stop for lunch for a change and seeing as we were in Italy, settled for a Pizza. Very nice it was too. 
After more rain in the afternoon, it did eventually brighten up and we were able to enjoy some 'open window' driving to our next night's stop at Trento. After walking round the town for an hour looking for a restaurant, we eventually ended up back at our hotel and decided to eat there. A small dish of Pasta and fish was on the menu which was quite suitable after the large Pizza earlier. Unfortunately, this was also the night that we heard that our beloved Queen had passed away, so the mood wasn't as lively as previous nights. I put my TV on when I returned to my room and the first four channel's I came across were also showing programmes in tribute to the Queen. It just confirmed to me what an amazing impact this special lady had on the world. 

Day 5. 

A breakfast of meats, cheese and croissants were on the cards along with copious amounts of coffee to try and shake off the knackered feeling we were all experiencing. These trips are great but sleeping in a different bed every night takes its toll on you and starts catching up after a few days. 
Today was to be a good day with the outstanding Stelvio, Umbrail and Fluela passes to be covered amongst others. The rain started heavy again, but had stopped by the time we started the climb up the Stelvio. 
Both cars handled the massive climb with no issues, so we celebrated with a milky coffee at the top. Roger and I also showed how juvenile we were by having a snowball fight! 

The rest of the day was filled with glorious sunshine and we enjoyed the drive through Switzerland and Liechenstein before reaching our hotel in Singen in Germany. This was our last 'scenery day' really as tomorrow would pretty much be a 'transit day' just to get us up to the finish. We had a good night in Singen and again enjoyed a good meal at our hotel. 

Day 6. 

Today was the official last day of the tour and consisted of a long hard slog across Germany and to get to the finish at Kerkrade in the Netherlands. Most of it was a motorway slog so we just got on with it and only stopped for fuel and coffee. We arrived at the finish reasonably early and were able to get the two cars in a good position for a great photo in front of the old Monastery.

It was a great night with all the other crews in attendance and there was many tales of brilliant drives, spectacular scenery and also stories of breakdowns and running repairs. Our team were all very sensible and didn't get too drunk as we wanted to get an early start in the morning to catch our early Ferry. We had also noticed some horrendous traffic jams and roadworks on the A16 just outside Calais on our way out, so we wanted to avoid them as well. 

Day 7.

We skipped breakfast so we could get on the road and when we felt we were far enough ahead of schedule, then we stopped for a quick coffee in Belgium. The sun was shining again and although we had had a great time, we were all glad to be going home. We arrived at Calais with an hour to spare, so enjoyed it just basking in the sunshine while waiting for loading. 

We had the inevitable delays at the Dartford crossing, but other than that, had a good run home. Both cars had performed exceptionally well considering their ages and we had enjoyed a fantastic week away. 
Old cars, great mates, and a few beers. What more could you want? 

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Sunday 28th August. Not another Cortina!

 Since buying the Green Cortina, I still hadn't been able to get the thought of a two-door model out of my mind. I had been keeping my eyes open on ebay and other websites and had even won one in a private auction, but hadn't met the reserve. (Plus it was in Southern Ireland and transport was a problem)

There are some good cars out there, but there are also some stupid prices out there as well. I can't justify spending anywhere near £20k and more like most people are asking, so I had to bide my time waiting for a car to come up at the right price. So, luckily for me one did, and also luckily for me I was the only bidder when the auction finished on Thursday night. Contact was made with the seller and I arranged to collect the car on the Sunday

Good friend Richard was down from Gloucestershire over the weekend and agreed to give me a lift to the sellers house on his way home on the Sunday. The car was as good as I'd hoped it was be, so the transaction was completed and I set out for home. I really enjoyed the drive back (apart from the 30 minute delay at the Dartford Crossing) and the car drives well and sounds great. (Especially in the Dartford Tunnel!) 

My dream car has always been a Mk1 Lotus Cortina, but the prices have always been about twenty grand in front of whatever I've had in the bank, so I've never been able to have one. This car is probably the closest I'll ever get to a Lotus Cortina. It's a two door and it's also got a Twin Cam engine like the Lotus Cortina has. It has a 2 litre Zetec engine fitted with electronic fuel injection, so it's bloody quick as well. A standard Zetec pushes out 142 Bhp and with the electronic fuel injection as well, it probably produces well over twice as much than a standard 1500cc Cortina engine does. There are a few small jobs that I need to do on it, but nothing major. What I do need to do now, is sell some of the others. I really haven't got the space for this many cars!

Saturday 27th August - Preparation work continues - But not on my car.

 Fellow Team Spotlight members Dave Harvey and Richard Warr were in town this weekend so that we could do some prep work on Richards car. Dave arrived on Thursday afternoon with Richard following on the Friday. Needless to say beer was involved although not too much as we had work to do. 

The first job on Saturday morning was to remove the trailing arms and driveshafts from the car so that Richard could fit his newly acquired 15 x 7 genuine minilite wheels. The offset on these meant that these wheels wouldn't fit on the standard Mk2 rear axle set up, so it was being changed to the Mk1 set up instead. Whilst I was doing this, Dave Harvey re-tuned the carburrettors as we had both noticed that Richards car wasn't quite running on song when it arrived. 

While Dave was doing his tuning, he also noticed that both engine mounts were completely broken and that the engine had moved about three inches to the left and dropped onto the steering rack as well. Not good!

I got the trailing arms and drive shafts finished off,  then after a cup of tea, we jacked up the front of the car and worked at replacing the engine mounts. This was quite hard work and at one stage I thought we were going to have to take the bonnet off and set my engine crane up to support the engine. Luckily though, after about two hours of sweating, manoeuvring, levering and swearing, we managed to move the engine back over and fit some decent replacement engine mounts. This was a totally unplanned job that had used up a lot of time, but was totally necessary. Especially with the car venturing around Europe in a weeks time.

Richard was more than pleased with the repairs and also with how the car looks on its new wheels. We had a quick photo session before ordering a Chinese takeaway and then visiting the pub to celebrate. 

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Sunday 21st August - Battlesbridge Breakfast meet

 After another long day in the garage yesterday, I decided to chill out a bit today and not do much at all. A classic car breakfast meet was on at Battlesbridge Antiques Centre, so I headed down there in the green Cortina. It's only a short journey to Battlesbridge, but it was a short but pleasant drive and the Cortina ran well.

Once there I met up with Triumph friends Peter, Carl and Gavin and also met Keith, a member of the Cortina Mk1 Owners club and who also owns a beautiful Lotus Cortina. It's one of a batch of only eight Lotus Cortina's that was sold to the West Sussex Police Force. Amazingly, five of this batch still survive. Keith's car even still has the Police radio, speaker and two-tones fitted. He also has the 'Police' roof box complete with blue light in the boot as well. 

After a few cups of coffee and a good chinwag, I made tracks around 12pm as I wanted to catch my local car shop before they shut. Once home, I changed into my overalls and carried on where I left off yesterday on the Triumph. With the gearbox oil topped up and the new oil filter fitted the engine was topped up with new oil and a new fan belt fitted as well. I then refitted the wheels and moved the car out of the garage. I'm going to take it to work tomorrow to give it a test drive and make sure everything is as it should be. 


With all of the chattering going at Battlesbridge, I had forgotten to take a pic of my Cortina with its newly painted front grille. So I had to make do with parking it in the road opposite and taking one there. I still think it looks really good. 

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Saturday 20th August - Preparation work continues.

Todays plan was to check over the Triumph as much as possible as time is now moving on. The car was jacked up front and back and all wheels removed. I started with the front hubs, brake pads and front suspension. All bolts were checked for tightness and all grease nipples were greased. 

With this done the differential was checked for oil levels and so was the gearbox. The propshaft was also greased and the exhaust was checked over. I then removed the brake drums so that I could replace the brake adjusters. These were still working but not as good as they should, so brand new ones were fitted. I then drained the engine oil and removed the oil filter in readiness for an oil and filter change when I get the parts. 

After a break for some lunch and to watch the mighty Spurs on the tele, I then painted the front grille on the Mk1 Cortina. The early Lotus Cortina's had black inserts on the front grilles and I thought this would look good on mine with it being the dark colour it is. I think it came out quite well. 

I'd also picked up an original steering wheel on Monday for it and had spent the week rubbing it down and preparing it. The past two days have been good weather wise with no dampness in the air, so I've spent a few days spraying it. I have to say this came out pretty good as well, but it still needs to be lacquered to give it a bit of protection.


Thursday 18th August. Additional Vacuum Tank

I had an early start in the garage this morning, so I started off doing a job that was reasonably quiet. When I drove this car home from Colin's I thought it was a bit 'tappety', so I had made a mental note to check the valve clearances. I'm glad I did because a few of them were looser than they should be. Adjustments were made and the engine should be a tad quieter now.

Once I've taken this car round Europe, it's also being converted to injection at some point after the event. Now, Mk1 Pi's have a huge remote brake servo on the passenger side, but Mk2 Pi's have a smaller direct servo on the driver side and a smaller vacuum tank on the passenger side to boost the braking efficiency. 

My car has the smaller direct servo, so it made sense to fit the additional vacuum tank. With all the mountain passes we are going to be tackling on the 10CR, it made even more sense to fit it before we leave for Europe! 

The tank already has a bracket attached to it that will fit onto the existing radiator mounts, so that bit was straight forward. The problem was that that space was already taken up by the radiator expansion bottle. The easy answer was to reduce the size of the expansion bottle that could fit in that gap I had left after fitting the tank. The ideal solution came in the form of a plastic drinking chocolate jar that had been sitting in one of my cupboards since the winter. Job jobbed! 

The next job was to relocate the horn that had now been evicted from its home by the vacuum tank. When I have a bit  more time, I will relocate this properly in the recess of the nose cone, but for now I have just made a metal bracket and extended the mount. All in all, a good mornig's work and another couple of jobs off the list! 

Wednesday 17th August - 10CR Preparations finally start

The good thing about my job having a 12pm start is that I can get a few hours in in the garage before I leave for work. Today was no exception and I made a start on preparing the Triumph for the impending 10 Countries in 5 days rally with Club Triumph. 

I will be running with good friend Richard Warr who's in my old Mk2 Triumph, Rusty Custard and in order to be able stay in touch with each other whilst on the move we have opted to operate CB radios. We have tried various walky-talkies in the past, but frankly they are....shit!

We had used CB's previously on the RBRR and had some good success with them, so it makes sense to run with them again. I mounted by CB just below my rally trip meter so it's out of the way and then mounted the extension speaker in the centre of the car with the microphone holder fixed to the side of it for easy reach. 

The aerial has been placed on the boot lid, but with enough free coax cable to be moved onto the roof if required. Another job off the list and a good mornings work. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Tuesday 16th August. Front suspension alterations - again!

 My visits to Gaz shocks and Burton Power Products on Monday to try and buy new springs for the green Cortina turned out to be quite unsuccessful. They can order new springs but both have a one month lead time. (Apparently Mk1 Cortina's have their own specific spring diameter and other springs from Escorts and Cortina's don't fit-which is not what the 'experts' on facebook were saying!) There are other options available, such as converting to adjustable coil overs, but they need your original struts to do that and I cant have my car off the road for any long periods at present.

So, my only option at the moment was to re-fit the cut down springs that I had taken out on Saturday! It's not an ideal solution, but they aren't dangerous or illegal, so they will just have to do for now. With my previous recent knowledge of doing this job, this time it took me just over an hour to do both sides. I then took the car for a quick spin around the block and it was looking much better without the horrendously high front suspension. 

It was a nice day with no sign of rain, so I decided to to take the car to work where I could park it in the warehouse on a dead flat floor. (Hardly any roads round my way are on the flat) The car drives really well on the different rear springs with no banging and clanking like I was getting before. It goes reasonably well too and has no issues keeping up with modern day traffic. In fact, now that I've got through most of the bodges, it's very nearly where I want it to be and is turning into a really good car. (A small exhaust issue is the next on the agenda) 

Parking it the warehouse showed that it isn't quite level. It either needs to come down an inch at the back or lift up an inch at the front. For the time being though, it'll do until I decide what I'm going to do about the situation with the front springs. I'll probably go down the coil over route, but not just yet. I've got an impending week long trip around Europe coming up in the Triumph and I haven't even started the prep work on that yet! 

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Saturday 13th August. A mammoth garage session!

 My Saturday morning in the garage started very early with me being out there about 6.30am. I had woken up at 5.20am (That seems to be my new waking up time in this heat!) and had a couple of cups of coffee before venturing out to start work on the green Cortina. Luckily my neighbours are early risers, but I started off doing jobs that weren't making much noise anyway.

My first job was to replace all of the bell housing bolts and replace them with ones of the correct length instead of the mish mash of oddities that were currently fitted.  The next job after this was to replace the interior mirror. The car does have one but is very loose and moves out place whenever you hit a bump in the road. With this done I then removed the steering wheel so I could get to the column shroud. I'd never been happy with the steering wheel on the car as someone had bodged a Steering wheel boss to make the Motolita steering wheel fit it. Although it never felt loose, or dangerous it was just something I couldn't live with once I'd seen it. 

This steering wheel was also flat as opposed to the dish type. Due to it being flat someone had moved the column shroud closer to the dashboard. To do this they had had to fit additional brackets onto the steering column, but instead of welding these brackets on, they had siliconed them on. (See below)
It's amazing the amount of bodges I keep finding with this car! With the incorrect brackets removed, I then re-attached the column shroud to the correct brackets and fitted the Mountey steering wheel that was on the estate. All was now looking good and as it should be. At least I'm safe in the knowledge now that this steering wheel has a proper boss that hasn't been bodged or messed about with and wont fall apart while I'm driving. 
The next item on the agenda was to relocate the ignition coil. It was under the battery tray which to be honest, is where it should be. However, the battery for this car is in the boot, so I moved the coil on top of the battery tray where it's away from puddle splashes and is easy access should I need to get to it. 

I then paused for a spot of breakfast before starting the next job which was going to be a massive task. I'm always weary of cars that have been lowered. Most people do the job properly, some people don't. Whoever lowered this car didn't, which isn't really a surprise considering all the other shortcuts and bodges I've found. 
Removing the front springs was straight forward as so much height had been cut off of them I didn't even need to use spring compressors! 
However, getting the replacements back in was a nightmare. For some reason I just couldn't seem to get them seated enough to get the insert to come through the strut top. Luckily, around 3pm Dave Maton arrived and within an hour we had managed to to sort out what was causing the issue. We then decided to do the other side and got that done in about 20 minutes!
With the front springs done we then turned our attention to the rears. This was a bit more involved as new bushes had to be fitted to the springs being fitted and removal of the old bushes proved to be a challenge to say the least!
We persevered though and despite stopping to scoff a Chinese takeaway that I had had delivered, we were all done by 8.30pm!
It had been a mammoth day for me and I dread to think how many gallon of water I had sweated out! Poor old Dave had the bad luck of a road closure on the M25 and didn't get home until gone half past ten!  

So, with the new springs fitted I took the car for a test drive on Sunday morning to see if the springs would settle. I must admit, when we let the front of the car down off the jack on Saturday afternoon I wasn't happy with how high the new springs were sitting. Dave had suggested that they would go lower once driven, but I had my doubts. They would needed need to drop by about 3 inches to be right and I've never known coil springs drop that much. 
Sure enough, the test drive showed that the front springs wasn't as advertised and are indeed way too high for the car. From the side view it looks like it's about to launch into orbit! The rear springs are ok, I'm happy with them, but the fronts are rubbish. 

Its also changed the way the car drives and handles. Frankly, It's awful. So Monday morning will involve a trip to Gaz shocks at Basildon and Burton Power products to discuss and hopefully buy, the correct springs. 


Friday, 12 August 2022

Friday 12th August - Gertie2 returns!

 With the 10 Countries Rally getting closer every day, I needed to retrieve Gertie2 from her storage place close to the Suffolk border and start doing some preparation work. I also don't have much room at present to store too many cars at my place, so my Cortina estate was sacrificed in the exchange. 

I had also finally got my Cortina estate steering wheel back from the painters, so this was fitted on the car Thursday night ready for the early morning drive on Friday. I have to say it looks so much better than the Mountey wheel that was on there when I bought it and it just completes the car. I'm very pleased with it.

After a beautiful drive up the A12 in glorious sunshine, I arrived at Colin Wake's place where the car was stored and after playing musical cars so we could park the estate and dig out Gertie2, we went for breakfast. 

Colin couldn't hang around too long as he needed to be somewhere else, so I left and took a slow drive to work. Due to the incredible heat, I parked the car in the warehouse away from the blistering sun. 

There isn't really a lot to do in the way of preparation, so a few mornings next week before work should see most of it done. 

Monday, 8 August 2022

Sunday 7th August. Cortina Mk1 Owners Club National Day

 Saturday afternoon saw me loading up the Cortina estate with tools and spares ready for the long drive up to Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire. However, by Saturday evening, I had changed my mind and swapped everything over into the Cortina saloon instead. The saloon has a five speed gearbox, plus a 1600 GT engine, so would be more suited to the six hours or so of motorway driving. I didn't feel that the constant hammering of the estates 1500 engine and four speed gearbox would do the car any good.  

So, Sunday morning I was awake at 5.20am and after a few cups of coffee, set out on my three hour, 150 mile journey. Filling the car with petrol was only £33 (small tanks on these cars) and the journey began in bright sunshine. I was making good time, but then the overhead gantry signs on the M40 were stating that the A46 was closed at junction 15. Bugger! This was the way I was planning to go. So instead, I turned off at Gaydon at Junction 12 and picked up a couple of lovely B roads before heading north on the A422 to Stratford. 

I arrived at Stratford Racecourse at 9am and was parked in the designated area for the 1500 De Luxe models. (Which is what my car is). Coffee was the next thing on the agenda and I enjoyed drinking it in the sunshine whilst watching other cars arrive. 

More and more cars were arriving and the club had also invited the Anglia 105E club and also the Cortina Mk2 Owners Club, so there was plenty to look at. 

There were also traders selling parts, plus club members had brought bits and pieces along to sell as well. It was a fantastic day and was very well organised. The quality of some of the cars was outstanding and some of the engineering that had gone into the modified cars was very clever indeed. I also met some great people and also got some very good technical advice for queries I had with my car. 

Around 2.15pm I was feeling quite jaded and very hot, so decided to make tracks home. I still had a three hour drive in front of me. (and that's only if the dreaded M25 was clear) Luckily, the motorways weren't too bad and I arrived home around 5.15pm. It had been a great day and my car hadn't missed a beat. It's got the makings of a good long distance cruiser similar to my Triumph, so I'm really pleased with that. I've still got a few 'previous owner' bodges to work through yet though, so work will continue. For now though, I'm pleased with how she runs and drives. The final car count of Mark 1 Cortina's in attendance was 83. A fantastic turn out.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Friday 5th August. More bodges discovered!

 After the recent seat modification, I decided to take the car to work on Thursday to test my new driving position. This in itself was fine and I'm happy with the results. However, a nice drive in the sunshine was ruined by the constant banging from the nearside rear. To be fair, it had always been there since I bought the car, but now it was getting progressively worse. 

Once home from work I put the car in the garage and got it up on axle stands with the rear wheels removed ready for inspection Friday morning. On removal of the shock absorbers I discovered that someone had fitted an extra dished washer above the rubber that goes through the shock absorber mount. So therefore instead of the rubber bush making direct contact with the mount and thereby being cushioned, the dished washer was making contact with the metal mount and no cushioning was taking place. Hence the metal banging sound whenever the suspension travelled up and down. 

So with the extra dished washers discarded and the bottom shock absorber bolts fully de-rusted and coated in copper slip the shocks were refitted and the car was bounced up and down as a test. Excellent! I had now had no banging noise, but a test drive would have to be the real test. 

Whilst under the car, I also had another look at the exhaust. Despite fitting an extra bracket on the rear a few weeks back, I could still hear it knocking slightly when the car was on tick over. I could also see marks on the exhaust and the back axle casing where the two were coming together. Being a bit short on time I made up a temporary bracket just in front of the back axle to stop sideways movement of the exhaust and hope that would cure my irritating exhaust knock. 

So, after all my exertions, I took the car the work for another test drive. Wow! What a difference! It was like driving a different car. I was very pleased with my mornings work and also pleased that the car is now getting where I want it to be after the magnitude of bodgery that I have come across so far. 

I must be starting to like it, I even polished it while I was at work!