3rd - 4th April, Non V8 stuff...
Quiet start to the month on the V8 front, with the some time being spent on Pete the trailer, so he can now function as a sort of work ramp. Then a bit of work on Annie (the auto) removing the rotten panels (front wings, front panel, both sills), stripping the interior, and generally getting her ready for welding.
9th - 12th April, ACTION.
Pulled out the old clocks and chopped the loom, so there was no turning back! Spent about 1/2 a day just trimming, tidying and relocating various wires to try to get as much free space as possible. Finally managed to wiggle the EFI loom under the dash, so the ECU fits tight under the shelf, meaning we may actually have some glove room. Fitted the test clock and switch panels and got them mostly wired in. The only thing left to do is run the cable from the pickup to the electronic speedo.
Minor disaster... there appears to be a bit of an oil leak due to a crack in the gearbox, so Neil popped over to help pull the engine out. Seems like the tab the holds the lock washer to the gearbox input shaft fell off, and the nut unwound against the drop gear casing, pushing against it until it cracked!
Well, with the engine out it was a good chance to tidy the brake pipes around the front subframe, paint the engine bay, replace the rubber donuts, and fit yellow poly bushes to the suspension. My bucket for parts waiting to be fitted looks a lot emptier now :-)
17th - 19th April, ACTION.
With a bit more help from Neil, the engine went back in without too much trouble and fired up but sounded a bit on the lumpy side. Cleaned the plugs, set the timing and all seemed ok, reasonable idle and no drippy oil !
With that minor saga over, I could get back on with the real game of generally finishing off things. After the welding of the rear bulkhead, and the mods to get the flush fuel filler to fit, there were a few bits of paint in need of attention, so the Dulux was dug out and a very rough covering thrown on to get her looking mostly yellow (from a distance (with your eyes shut (when facing the other way))). Interestingly, with a bit of thinning, Dulux undercoat doesn't spray too badly, but the top coat had to be hand painted, else the finish could end up too smooth ;-)
22nd - 23rd April, ACTION.
Spent a couple of evenings tidying up the interior a bit more, it's a strange feeling when you think you should fit carpet inside your car...
The old door cards were (if described honestly) unbelievably scabby, so an hour was spent with some hardboard, a jigsaw and a couple of rolls of Fablon to create something new. B&Q sticky backed plastic is cheaper than the stuff from Halfwits, and doesn't have stupid 'pretend' carbon fibre weave printed on :-)
24th - 25th April, ACTION.
Quite a productive weekend, finished fitting the black arches, stuck the Weller/Yoko 048s on, got the last bits of cage padding on and made some more 'Unsafe Devices' stickers. Externally, the car looks acceptable enough now, but if I get a chance I may play with a bit more Dulux.
With the back end of the car jacked up I saw the drillings in the rear subframe and had a thought... The holes are about the same size as seat belt bolts, so a spare pair of eyebolts could make handy towing eyes. The spreader plates needed a bit of folding at the edges to fit into the subframe channel, but apart from that they were an easy fit :-)
Last job was to refurb the steering column, so that came out of the car and had new bushings fitted top & bottom.
More good news about Weller wheels. Not only are they 1kg each lighter than the Superlites, but they also have a narrower track, which should help with the torque steer problems.
Initial quick test drive seems to indicate that the combined effects of new wheels, tyres, suspension & steering bushes has made a serious improvement to control in a straight line under acceleration !!!!
26th April, Ooooo - bad thing :-(
Went out for another test drive and lost oil pressure, had to drive for 10 mins slowly home with the oil light on. Possibly trashed bearings and rings??
With the car back home, I disconnected the oil pipe to the remote filter and spun the pump with the leccy drill, not enough pressure to turn the light off, but there was still quite a bit of flow.
The plunger in the oil pressure relief valve was stuck slightly open so the pressure was leaking down. A bit of work with some 1200 grit wet & dry on the plunger and barrel removed a bit of scoring - maybe from bits of the gearbox lockwasher earlier in the month. Anyway, after that the plunger had a much smoother action.
Warmed up the engine, then added some flushing stuff, drained the old oil. Refilled with nice new stuff and stuffed a new filter on, oil pressure straight up to normal on first start up. No nasty knocking noises, so she seems OK, but only time will tell...
28th April, ACTION - test drive.
Went out for what we planned to be a short test drive and Doris was running pretty well, so we ended up staying out for about two hours, clocking up over 90 miles. The trip included a couple of 15 min dual carriageway sections, which of course had to be taken at 70 + lots of wiggle roads to get the oil thrown about.
Oil pressure stayed happy for the whole trip, and still no nasty noises :-)
So now she seems OK, I can get back to Will at PPCmag about a meeting...
2 new test drive clips added to the vids & wavs section
NOTE AVI files compressed with the DivX codec, free from www.divx.com
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This page last modified 04/02/2008.