Monday, 10 August 2020

STILL Wiring

 I took the car to Merrow Tyres this morning, it's in Farnham, about 15 miles from Merrow, maybe there's a story there....

I got the tracking set after replacing all the front ball joints & again the car has become a little nicer to drive. There's not going to be a eureka moment, just minor improvements. In the afternoon (after FINISHING the front bedroom) I took the dash out of the car again & rationalised the wiring. Here's a picture of what I cut out of the loom that ONLY goes to the stereo, heater controls & two power outlets.

In some cases a wire of a diferent gauge & colour had been soldered on, then another wire of another different gauge & colour had been soldered onto that - & the first one was long enough! There were connectors feeding connectors & if there were four bulbs to light the panel, four wires came down to them, but in spite of all the connectors, it was still not possible to separate the panel from the dash!

On the upside, the courtesy light has started working, so I'm guessing something I did had fixed a fault there. The boot lights still doesn't work, but a/ there's a similar rats nest in the boot & b/ while there is a wire going to the boot light switch, there's nothing earthing it to the car.

Investigations continue!

After tea I sallied forth again, I sort of sorted the rat's nest in the boot.

 The black thing at bottom appears to be an earth busbar, but usually they're secured to something. I deleted it & put all the earths to an earth stud through the boot front wall.

While I was in that area I looked at the boot lights & the bulbs were a little corroded, but worked arfter a little manipulation, the next problem was indee the absence of an earth with to the switch - no sign it ever had one either, but the main issue I discovered with the boot lights was nothing to do with them not working at all.

It was this:-


Wire soldered to wire with no insulation at all - it may once have had some tape stuck round it, maybe. Needless to say it's all been cut back, neatened up, heat shrinked and now (drum roll).....

.....they work!

I've been saying since I got the car there was room to hide a body in the boot.

Does this make it a 2+3?

Sunday, 9 August 2020

And Then .........

 .........And then, just when I was tidinging it up for the night, I pulled at that brown (PEMANENT LIVE) wire & found this was how it was connected behind the dash.

Don't try this at home children!


 OK I was supposed to be tidying the house this afternoon, but I thought I'd just do a quick job on the car......

One of the things this led me to was the stereo. The dash is all black - except for a shiny silver stereo, I thought I'd take it out & have a look. I found this:-

Yes it seems Blogger still won't show pictures the way up they're saved.

But also, thee are dozens of connectors. The stereo has four speaker outputs. The car has four speakers. Only two of the outputs are connected. There is a loom, conected to a loom, conected to a loom, connected to the stereo.

Ford has a wiring convention, red is permanent live, black is switched live, brown is earth. On the stereo, brown is permanent live, red is switched live, black is earth.

The car has a neat (Ford) joystick arrangement for adjusting the four speakers. All the wires are cut off.


That's not all. It has a choke knob which lights up when it's pulled out. The guy explained that it's a Weber carb so the choke doesn't work well, just give it two sqirts of the throttle - & yes that works. But the reason the choke doesn't work well is not because it's a Weber - it's because SOMEONE HAS TAKEN THET CHOKE BUTTERFLY & ITS' OPERATING ROD OFF THE CARB. They left all the cable & levers there though. Taking the opeating rod off  leaves a 3mm open hole into the air filter, which isn't too bad, not much is going upwards into the air cleaner, but why when there's an open hole, did they bother fitting a cork gasket to seal the airfilter on? Further more, why did they fit TWO gaskets then do the bolts up so tight it's distorted the flat mating surface of the air filter?

I love old kit cars, I really do. It's like archeology, picking your way through the midden of evidence, trying to work out what people were trying to achieve.

1st Blatt

Up with the lark & out on the Quantum’s inaugural blatt, From the Shell garage on the A24 to the Chalet cafĂ©.

First surprise was that it was all Elises (OK, Robert was in a Fiesta). Having filled up the tank & borrowed GBs spare satnav with the route on, I attempted to set myself up. First problem was the sucker on the satnav wouldn’t work, then I had to shift my mind back to when I had a TomTom XXL to remember how to work it. I got it balanced on the dash in a satisfactory manner as the first Elises were leaving. I had no intention of getting in amongst them, so waited for them to pass. Then I couldn’t get the satnav to update, so I followed the last Elise – who was having a similar issue, so pulled over. When we set off again the Satnav tried to take me back to the start (sigh).

So after deleting they first waypoint, I did the first half of the run alone, which was fine, just feeling the car & slowly pushing it a little harder. It really seems to be “coming back to life” now, the suspension is working well & the engine seems a bit more willing, I think the second choke on the carb is now working - but it's hard to be sure.

But I pottered along at 40 & 50 wondering if I’d get to the half way loo stop before they’d set off again when the radio crackled into life with something that sounded like “is that you?” Looking in the mirror revealed a chain of five Elises behind me. I picked up the radio & suggested they might like to consider an engine swap to a 1.4CVH if they were having trouble keeping up.

After the loo stop, I again let the Lotii go first, but this time did kept up, by now the traffic had increased & it was easier to keep them in sight, though there were a few fast corners & roundbouts where I pushed the Q & it was not found wanting – obviously straight line acceleration was another matter.

So there we are, first Blatt successfully accomplished, no drama, no coming home on a flatbed, just some testing, good fun, good company & 34mpg.


 Dos Fiestas

More Of The Same

 Later that same day.......

I decided to look at the doors in genaral & the door locks in particular, the windows on both sides are rather wobbly, so off came the trim panel & lying in the bottom of the door was a window slide - aha!

I glued that back into it's track & the window is now ferm.

The car has no door lock buttons - I suspect it may once have had central locking - so I screbbled around & found:-

A pair of tastless valve caps, a coat hanger, some electrical connectors.

I bached these all about until they resembled a door locking button & then tried to do the same on the other side which ended up in an hour trying to make the existing door handle work properly, which I sort of did, eventually.


Yesterday’s jobs on the “Q” as it has become known, were to install the gearshift bushes & take out the toe in on the front wheels. Fitting the bushes was easy enough I had dispensed with the M8 bolts through the UJ & instead put a tube through which was 8mm O/D & 6mm I/D with an M6 bolt, carefully cutting the tube to length & fitting penny washers on the outside meant the bushed are just gripped, so there is no play in the joint at all. The gearshift is now much more positive.

Sighting along the front wheels to the back ones confirmed the car had some toe-in – should be parallel according to the build manual, so I lined the steering wheel up & adjusted the off-side wheel which seemed to be the one that was askew. I’ll have it set up properly.

Then I moved the “oil separator for the rockerbox breather & it came apart in my hand AND had a teaspoon of oil in the bottom. It had a pipe to drain to the inlet manifold, but clearly wasn’t. The union on the inlet is the usual aluminium type that I have never successfully removed – they usually crumble & leave me with a big problem, but this one undid! Hoorah!

It was completely blocked with crud – I had to drill it out! But I now had the problem of not being able to connect the inlet to the rockerbox. As a temporary fix I joined the inlet union’s two pipes together with some hose & fitted a catch tank that had been on the Rickman many years ago & plumbed the rockerbox to that. I also did some more re-routing of wires & pipes to stop things rubbing, stop things being tangled & stop things getting in my way.

So another good morning’s fettling & the car is starting to improve.

Friday, 7 August 2020

More Better News

Yesterday I re-fitted the gear selector & the clutch quadrant, both things made a little difference - not as much as I'd hoped, but the car's drivable now at least. Today it passed the MoT - bit of a formality really as it filed in two joints & I'd replaced all four. Then I took my ex-next-door nieghbour for a spin, he was impressed & tomorrow I'll finish off the gear linkage - the new bushes arrived today, so I can get that all done finished - been TOO HOT this afternoon.

I may wash it - It's coveed in greasy hand prints.

On a side issue, I've been working on an estimate for a work package & upon my return from the MoT I thought I'd better look it up, see if I needed to do anything. When I got to the bottom of the last page I saw the Boss' name & "Managing Director" alongside my name & "Chief Design Engineer" - which was nice - & made me chuckle because I'm the only design engineer.

My Mum would be proud. From now on I shall answer only to "Sir".