Wednesday 24 December 2014

So Here It Is ..............

Ah Christmas Eve - I really ought to be wrapping some presents. What have I been doing since last I wrote? The car went to Crawley for the SKCC Christmas breakfast - disappointingly one of only four kits there, then it went to Goodwood for a PistonHeads "Sunday Service" which I found a disappointing affair. In spite of the good folk on PH raving about how much they'd enjoyed it, the sight of rows of silver Porsches does little for me. The points of interest came from the older & more modified cars. A Lancia Fulvia & an MX5 with a V6, I passed one guy talking at some length about his latest "mod" to his M3 - he'd bought a BRIGHT orange cold air intake moulding & fitted it. REALLY? YOU DID THAT ALL YOURSELF?

Ah, each to their own I suppose.

Back in my own garage I took down the fuel tank in the hope of finding out why the gauge wasn't working. I had hoped to find the wire disconnected, but no. I checked how many voltages were getting in & out of the sender, & replaced the connector just in case there was a problem, but I didn't find anything definitive.

I've also been agonising about wheels. I wanted something that looked more 50s - 60s & had found that I could get a set of gold minilites with tyres for the same prices as a set of new 888s for the Pug wheels, then I realised that would lower the car to the point where the sump would be dangerously low unless I bought 70 series tyres - which were the same price as the 888s. I wound this conundrum around for some days, sometimes thinking "Dammit just spend the money & get what you want", sometimes saying "spending £750 on a set of wheels & tyres is just daft at the moment". Then Captain Slow of the SKCC said he had some old RS four spoke alloys in his garden I could try for size, so that's a possible solution to the problem I've built up to the size of a cow (sigh).

Hoping for a more positive 2015 now the jobs settled & going well, so Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to anyone reading this.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Screen Wipe

One of the long standing niggles with the Fury has been the screen wash.
The only place I could fit the jets at the time I built it was the scuttle. I could've put it on the bonnet, but that would've required a hose right to the front of the car where the hinge frame is, then all the way back along the underside of the bonnet where there's nothing to mount it to. The problem with where it is is simple, it's right at the foot of the screen, so it ether squirts the base of the screen, or right over it, it's impossible to set it "nicely". It needed to be further forward.

Looking at my CAD model of the Fury one day it occurred to me that the solution was a bracket reaching out from the bulkhead with a nozzle on the end squirting through the vent at the back of the bonnet. I drew it up - it looked good & today I've made it. It's not plumbed in yet because I need to take the dash out to get to the hose.

At the TKC Live event a week or two ago, I bought a tall washer jet from the nice people at Car Builder Solutions & today I found some time to get out in the garage.

I found an offcut of 0.5mm aluminium & marked the profile from my CAD drawing on it, cut it out with snips (easy as the metal is so thin) then bent it to give it some strength & It looked like this - the protective film is still on it at this stage.

I drilled a couple of matching holes in the bulkhead (after removing my "skull & crossed spanners" sticker) & jig-pinned it on, closed the bonnet & there it was - perfect.

Here it is in the engine bay, with the old nozzle at the bottom of the screen. As you can see I've had to grind away the screen seal to allow the water to pass.

And here's the view with the bonnet closed, perfect I'd say

"But" you ask "what about all the extra weight?" well I'm assuming the new tall plastic nozzle is lighter than the old chromed brass one & the bracket itself weighs 15g, yes, one-five-grams.

Saturday 22 November 2014

TKC Live Brands Hatch

The SKCC had been invited along to Brands to show our faces at TotalKitCar Live. It's best described as mid-way between a kit car show & a disappointment. It's a sound idea, a race track is rented for the day & manufacturers rent pit-space so they can take prospective customers round the track. the public turns up to see the cars & watch the track action & everyone goes home happy.

SKCC area & erm another club's less densely packed area
Except that being November, It wasn't the ideal time of year & the public mostly stayed away in droves. It wasn't all bad news, the club met up at a golf club for the traditional full English & a very nice breakfast it was too.

I had taken Neil along for the ride (he of the "man cave") & after we were fed, we convoyed(ish) to the circuit, out allotted club stand was between the only other two clubs with a stand, the Kent & Essex kit car clubs, each of which had about five cars on. The SKCC rocked up with 30 & COMPLETELY filled our area.

Just gorgeous
I was going to leave the car uncovered, but thought better of it & put up the hood before walking down to the pits. There were some interesting cars there, a couple of Cobra replicas, the gorgeous GD T70 Moda, a few bike engine Furys, a Hayabusa powered Mini, a space-framed, GRP bodied, bubble-arch Escord MkI with the V8 made from two Hayabusa top ends & a new start-up Company called Ewens Sports Cars, wit a newly designed chassis which looked to be very well engineered in deed. Also Zenos were there with the pre-production E10, it's not a kit car, but it is very minimalist & again has very impressive engineering.

Lining up for the track action
Mean while cars were going round the track. It was wet, it was slippery & there were a few spins, but it was interesting to note that one of the fastest cars out was the 'busa powered front wheel drive Mini which was keeping up with the cobras (one of which sounded like the Wehrmacht was going past) without too much trouble, I guess when it's slippy torque is more of a hindrance than a help. Then it TIPPED with rain while Neil & I were talking with the man from Zenos. Due to the rain, no "real" customers were coming in so we chatted until it stopped, he seemed a really genuine guy who just wants to make a really good car.

Ear defenders at the ready!
Mmmmm GT40 & corners
 At last it was time for the "parade lap". By the time we'd wrestled the soft top back into it's stowed position we were last in the queue, but no matter. In front of us was a MkII Escort & a black seven, we all headed off behind the control car - obviously all hanging back to give some acceleration space. The parade followed the control car up & round the first bend & the seven held a beautiful drift, the Escort thought it'd try it's luck at the same trick & ended up 90deg to the track one way, then the other before he got a handle on it. It was slippery though, the back of the Fury jiggled a couple of times - easily controlled with a little opposite lock though.

So then it was time to go home. It was an enjoyable day, but for me only because the SKCC were out in force. Had I gone on my own, I could've seen it all in an hour which is a pity.

Zenos - impressive

THAT Escort


Tuesday 11 November 2014

Post Script

Something I should've mentioned from the last post (see what I did there? - Remembrance Day - last post?) was mention that the engine had been much smoother around the idle with none of the hesitation nonsense it's suffered with. I'm guessing (hoping) this is the result of increasing the fuel return pipe diameter - the theory being that there was pressure in the return line, which meant that when the car wasn't using much fuel the back pressure was overcoming the fuel pressure regulator (as the excess fuel had no-where to go) & so over-fuelling the engine. On Sunday, the pick up from idle was as crisp as a crisp thing (possibly a crisp?) so hopefully that's another niggle consigned to the list of "problems it used to have".
Fisher Fury from the rear.
It's with some pride that I write "That's the car I built".
Also on Sunday, DJ from the SKCC took this rather appealing photo of the Fury while passenging in GB's car. AND another thing, While it was in bits I turned up both rear shocks by two clicks & that seemed to stop the crashing over potholes - of course I may just have not gone down any really big pot holes.

On the down side (every silver lining has a cloud) the fuel gauge wasn't working so the tank will have to come out again (ar5e)

Sunday 9 November 2014


Legions of loyal readers have quite literally not been asking me what the current situation is. Well, firstly I have a job. A proper job this time, on a real airfield with real aeroplanes, though as yet I haven't been formally introduced to the scrap bins.

Owing to the above, the Fury has been re-taxed & the mods & updates are complete(ish). Today is Remembrance Sunday when the SKCC invades a small Sussex village & lays a wreath on their war memorial - whether they like it or not - fortunately they seem to like it.

I decided not to partake of the blatt before hand as this would be my first drive of the Fury in 2 1/2 months & it's first outing since a fairly major strip-down, but there were no mechanical issues, except the fuel gauge isn't working & on re-starting it at thee cafĂ©, it sounded like a bag of spanners being vigorously shaken. I shut down the engine, but the noise continued & then it became apparent that it was someone else's starter motor I could hear over my engine.

Good Turn-out
The plan was the same as ever, a blatt followed by breakfast, then a procession to the church. I have yet to arrive as part of the procession in spite of setting off as part of it every time. This year we came to a staggered junction & one car went right-then-left, the next car & the one after it went left. I decided to go with the majority decision, but as we rumbled along, the ETA on my satnav was saying 10:45 ........ 10:50 .......... 10:55 at which point I decided to turn round & follow the satnav on the "fastest" route to the church. As we know Satnavs exist in their own part of the space-time continuum & in spite of me taking the "fastest" route, the cars I was following when I turned back not only arrived before me, but they were parked up & their occupants were out & deep in conversation (probably about where the idiot in the Fury had gone).

Bathed in sunshine again
The service itself was conducted with decorum by the village vicar & was only interrupted by some late-comers (ironically all in German cars) who compounded the faux-pas of lateness by parking up in such a way that the road was impassable, causing a couple of cars to have to back back to the last junction (sigh).


Sunday 19 October 2014

Job Done

Earlier today I had a small excursion to the local petrol station, where I purchased almost six litres of fuel. I put half in the Fury & waited - no splashing sounds - good. I put the rest in & looked underneath - no drips - even better.

I left it for a while in case some small seepage became apparent, but there was none, so I turned on the ignition (no fireball - getting better & better) & turned on the fuel pump. Nothing.

Peering under car's pert rump, I found a spade terminal disconnected. With that fixed I moved the switch again & was rewarded with a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooooooh, as the pump flooded the system & built up pressure. Still no leaks.

I turned the pump off & back on while watching the return hose - no jumping (regular readers may recall this was the reason for fiddling with the fuel system in the first place). So that gripe appears to be sorted. I'll have to run the pump for longer & do a proper leak check, but nothing's gushing.

So the only thing left was the un-bled brakes. My wife returned from a shopping trip & offered to operate the brake pedal (usually a comical sight to behold as she's very nearly a foot shorter than me & has to sit in the footwell to reach).

I moved the car out & jacked up the rear, found some hydraulic fluid, but could I find a jam jar & length of clear hose? No dear reader I could not.

However, I did find an "eezibleed" kit I'd bought some years ago, so I set about the car solo. The rears bled down pretty easily, opening & closing the valve helped move some reluctant bubbles, I then opened the valves in the Wilwood front callipers just to get some fresh fluid into them. I climbed aboard the car & pushed the centre pedal, it went half way to the bulkhead. I jiggled it up & down in the time honoured method of "pumping up" brakes with air in, but nothing changed. I tried bleeding the rears again & managed to loosen a few bubbles who thought there were there for the long haul, but not enough to give me half a pedal back.

Only one thing for it, the "self adjusting" brakes hadn't, no surprise there then, they never seem to. I took off the wheels & the drums & adjusted them by hand, re-assembled & I now seem to have serviceable brakes Hoorah!

So the car's ready to go as soon as the month turns & I get it taxed. Thanks to being made redundant I've done a whole winter's refurb in two weeks as well as a whole bunch of decorating & landscaping & ironing & washing up.

What a virtuous person I am.

Friday 17 October 2014

Back Together

Today was a good day. After breakfast with the guys I'll be travelling to Boscombe with, I started on the Fury. The Waxoyl was ladled about & the wishbones, upright & drive shaft were re-assembled with the shock absorber, all the bolts were treated to a little waxoyl, but not tightened until the car is back on the ground. As I may have said, the brakes were stopping me re-assembling the hub & fitting the wheel, so I moved on to the fuel tank.

I connected up the new fuel return line & the wires for the ign-live & earth for the level sender & lifted it into position. Fitting the nuts onto the tank fixings is always a hassle, but it is at least do-able which wasn't the case the way it was supposed to be arranged.

It was now time to move on to one of those jobs I wanted to do to from the outset. I shortened the fuel tank outlet pipe & fitted a three way junction, two 12mm & one 8mm. Obviously the two 12s take the main fuel supply, the 8mm joins to a copper pipe which passes though a stop valve & a stop-end behind the rear chassis member. The plan here is that next time I need to drain the tank I can remove the stop-end & put the pipe in a jerry can, remove the panel under the diff & turn on the fuel cock. Proper control over the draining, but if some joker thinks they can steal the petrol by opening the stop-end they'll meet with disappointment as the cock will be off so they'll get nowt.

Right at the top of this pic, you can see the tee piece with a large hose passing inside the diff cage to meet the filter & pump. Coming down is a joiner hose & an 8mm copper pipe which goes forwards & inboard under the diff, through the stop-cock (you can see the yellow bit on the handle) & then out of the back. I've now cut the bit at the back down & fitted the stop-end.

So I'm now waiting for the brake slave cylinders to arrive & I can finish the car off ready for a club outing to Brands Hatch next month.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Worn Out Slave

Did I mention the off side rear brake slave cylinder was leaking? A certain wetness around the seal suggested that I'd stripped the brakes not a moment too soon, but the brake hardware was all new when I built the Fury, so they've only done 10k miles.

Whatever, it'd need to be changed. Googling for the parts suggested there were two sizes, I needed the smaller one (fastidiously keeping the details of the donor car has it's rewards), but to be on the safe side I stripped the leaking one to measure it & found this tale of woe:-

I ask you dear reader, does that look like it's done 10k miles?

I found a Ford parts site which wanted £20 + VAT + postage each, then a motor factor in Norwich who could do a pair of QH pattern parts less than that delivered. Now being brakes, there's a school of thought that says one shouldn't compromise, however, I wonder when the last time Ford made Sierra parts was? And the important bit is rubber. So an ancient original part, or a more recent - but still high quality - pattern part. I've never had a problem with QH before, so I went with them.

As for the bigger picture, The off side is now cleaned, surface treated, & painted RED, so later today I'll stipple on some wunderseal to stone-chip affected areas, tomorrow will be waxoyl & re-assemble, so just as soon as the slave cylinders appear (Ok a day or two later), It'll be ready for taxing on the 1st of Nov.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Carrying On

So, the near side suspension is all done & back together - on to the other side.

Things to note, the brake slave cylinder is weeping :cry: & one of the upper wishbone bolts wasn't tight, well it was tightish, but not TIGHT. All the moving parts are stripped out & the wishbones are cleaned & on a radiator drying (yes, my wife is out). I've started cleaning the chassis with a rotary wire brush & on a couple of tubes the powder coat just fell off in about three sheets, it's RUBBISH! So a little more abrading to do there, then:-
Clean & paint the upright, chassis & wishbones,
Re-fit the fuel tank & pump,
Fit a seal kit to the slave cylinder,
Re-assemble the suspension.

Then it's good for re-taxing from the 1st ready because there's a kit car show at Brands Hatch & apparently the Southern Kit Car Club has been invited, so as we get to do a "procession" on the track, it would be rude not to attend.

But before then (next Monday in fact (eek)) I start my new job.

I watched Guy Martin building a Spitfire on the TV at the weekend - a very enjoyable programme & I take my hat off to Guy Martin without hesitation, but WHY do they never check the "facts" with the experts? The narrator said the Spitfire was made using "exactly the same" methods as were used in the factory - sorry, no, in the factory most of that would've been done using press tools & stretch forming, not the hand methods they were using. They said the rivets were "steel alloy" but were annealed using the process for aluminium alloy rivets. They said the mock dog-fight was with a Messerschmitt 109, when it was clearly a Hispano Bouchon - a post war Spanish built 109ish with a Merlin engine.

I know all these things are a bit pedantic, but why say the wrong thing when it's easy to check with the guys at Duxford? (sigh).

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Belt Up

Not much on the car today, I was supposed to be putting up a fence out the back, but I was having a fumble day. Every time I turned round I knocked something off a shelf, whenever I put something down it rolled off the bench & when I tried to walk I tripped over some unseen object. I eventually got the new rear gate hung. I'll do the fencing tomorrow (touchĂ©).

But while waiting for a shower to pass, I drove over to West Byfleet to pick up my modified lap straps from F.D.T.S. They'd been changed from "pull down to tighten" to "pull up to tighten", reason being, I could never get them tight enough as my hand hit something on the inside of the car first. The nice people there made me a prototype belt which I fitted, measured & sent the details in, & they fit perfectly, with the adjuster about an inch above the side of the seat.

Nice when you find a small local firm that does what you want in the way you want it done.

Tuesday 7 October 2014


I've always been a bit suspicious of the fuel return line on the Fury, it carries excess fuel from the fuel rail back to the tank, so there should be no pressure in it right? But when I turn on the fuel pump the return hose "jumps" so it has pressure in it. This might not be important at all, but my train of thought went .......... When the engine's racing, a lot of fuel is being used from the fuel rail, so not much is being sent down the return line. Conversely when it's idling very little is being used, so quite a lot is returned. If there's pressure in the return line, the regulator may not be able to dump enough pressure at idle & the fuel rail may be running over-pressure.

 So today I ran a new 8mm return line through the tunnel. It looked as if it would be a real git to do as the bends were complex, with no access to get the pipe bender in & if it was bent on the bench it would be impossible to thread the finished pipe through the chassis. After contemplating this for a long time I realised that the existing pressure pipe went more or less where I wanted & had a break in the tunnel, so it was easier to make the rear section of that pipe into the return line & make a new pressure pipe, so that’s what I did, then took off the tunnel side panel, ran the pipe right to the front, re-attached the tunnel side (I need to get some more bolts as the heads of some are worn & the alan key slips). I still need to connect up both ends, but that should be easy.

I also painted the rear upright (red - because I'd run out of yellow) & then re-assembled the wishbones, shock, hub & driveshaft. At the moment the bolts are all loose because of course they're only tightened with the weight on the wheels.

Still to do on this side:-
Reassemble the brakes.
Waxoyl the rear upright.
Fit the wheel.
Put the car back on the ground.
Tighten all the wishbone bolts

Sunday 5 October 2014

Out & About

The car's still in dry dock in the garage but a shout on the SKCC forum from David T asked if anyone was interested in doing the Goodwood Breakfast Club, I said I would, but I'd need to passenger. The arrangements were made & we met on the Shepherd & Flock roundabout in Farnham.

David's car is a Tiger Avon - a Seven style car with - crucially at this time of year - no windscreen. At the last moment I remembered to pick my gloves & silly (but warm) hat out of the Fury. Then I saw the ice on the windscreen of the tin-top & realised it was colder than the weather forecast had erm forecast. To say a 70(ish)mph blast of 1deg C air is "refreshing" would perhaps be understating things. This is the second time I've passenged in the Avon & it always impresses me with it's smoothness.

David had plotted an excellent route with some previously undiscovered roads, we zig-zagged about as we approached Goodwood & arrived at Goodwood from the opposite direction to everyone else :D. We were queuing to park up in a field when what appeared to be the lead yellow-jackets shouted "doughnut it!" - well - t'would've been rude to disappoint wouldn't it?

Also worthy of note on the journey there was quite a lot of near suicidal wildlife. We followed flocks of Partridge, Grouse & Pheasant as they ambled down the road, ignoring hoots & revving, until at last one of them seemed to remember it could fly & prompted the rest into the air. Then 1/2 mile down the road, it all happened again with another flock.

So, thanks again to DT, I feel suitably prompted to get on with the car properly.

Thursday 2 October 2014

A Little More

Not much to report, I received the 1/2 shaft seals from Burton's - excellent service, I only ordered them Sunday eve on the cheapest postage & they arrived Tuesday morning. So I tapped one of them in & applied some Wunderseal on the chassis areas most vulnerable to stone-chips.

I also too the harness lap-straps into Sue at FDTS Seatbelts who were recommended by Willans. I want the lap-straps changed from "pull down" to "pull up" to make them easier (OK, possible) to adjust I thought this would be a simple thing, but Sue pointed out a few problems with my plan & even sent me home with a mock up she'd made on the spot to test & measure (which I've done). They should be ready to pick up next week.

One by one the car's irritations are ironed out.

No Further Injuries

Yes! I have no more injuries to report.

I have been under the car & given the nearside rear of the chassis a coat of POR-15, which is a sort of rust-killing glaze, a coat of red Hammerite, & later today I'll get under it again & coat some areas vulnerable to stone chips a coat of "wunderseal" from Car Builder Solutions. Then tomorrow I'll splash some Waxoyl around in a last ditch effort to keep water out of hidden corners. The Fury's pretty good & there are no obvious water traps, but I'll do it anyway.

I've also ordered a couple of oil seals for the drive shafts - the nearside one was weeping - & some ethanol-proof fuel hose & copper pipe to re-make the fuel return line as I think the current one is too small at 5mm & may be raising the fuel pressure at idle.

Just to show I've been virtuous, I've ALSO re-painted the main bedroom & shower room ceilings!

No photos again today, maybe when I start rebuilding.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Friday 26 September 2014

Shiny Shiny

So, home from work early, get under the car & remove the rear suspension - on the near side at least. The wheel came off OK, then the brake drum, then the hub, the upright & the driveshaft came off as a unit so I didn't have to remove the big nut on the end of the drive shaft.
So far so good. Then I went for the rear wishbones - & that's where the trouble started.

I put a spanner & a ratchet on  one of the upper wishbone attachment bolts, I pulled on the ratchet, nothing moved, I pulled harder, nothing continued to happen. I pulled harder still .... The ratchet slipped, my hand - with the ratchet, moved (quite fast) in a direction tangential to the axis of the bolt, fortunately there was something soft which stopped me hurting my hand. Unfortunately it was my face.

There was quite a lot of pain, some tears & a bit of blood. I walked myself into the house expecting to see a face like a balloon in the mirror. This proved not to be the case, but as I write, I have a swollen nose & a black eye.

After the application of some cold water & a tissue, I returned to the garage & removed the wishbones. They proved to be less corroded than I'd feared, with the powder coat just being chipped off the outside ends & strangely the lower face of the rear tube of the lower wishbone - I guess that area picks up debris picked up from the tyres. I'll put some protective coating on it when it goes back on. I decided to begin with the wishbones as they were to hand. So I went at them with a wire blush, then a coat of yellow hammerite - not he same yellow as the plastic coat, but yellow never the less

So it's begun, the Fury is in bits & so far I have  badly cut finger & a black eye. Will the car be fit to see before I am? Only time will tell.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Back To The Garage

With my wife off doing her hobby & the daughters at the work (yes - they both have jobs now - Hurrah!) I was left to my own devices. The device in question being the Fury.

As I've mentioned The rear chassis needs the loving caress of a wire brush, so I took down the rear valence & the fuel tank, noting a couple of things that needed doing better when it goes back. I also noted some surface damage where bolts have been rubbing against the tank. Nothing serious, but I took a bossing mallet to the areas to get a little more clearance - wonderful stuff aluminium!

I then tried to remove the aluminium panel under the diff, it's attached by ten stainless 4mm bolts into riv-nuts & five of them unscrewed - the other five span. A few I was able to pull through the chassis tube, the others had to have the bolt heads ground off. Altogether a nasty, uncomfortable & unpleasant job, made worse when the claw hammer I was using to pull one of them through, slipped & the panel edge took a lump of skin 1/4" wide by 1/8" deep off my finger - fortunately it was the same finger I nearly took the end off with the jigsaw 18 months ago & the feeling hasn't properly returned yet, so it didn't hurt much. Every cloud, as they say.

So I haven't got very far yet, but on the other hand I wont be needing the car for the foreseeable future either, so I can take my time.

Still to do:-
Remove the rear suspension.
Run a new return pipe from the rear bulkhead to the tank.
Remove all other equipment aft of the rear bulkhead.
Wire-brush all the chassis aft of the rear bulkhead.
Re-treat the chassis.
Re-assemble the rear suspension.
Bleed the brakes.
Re-fit the fuel tank.
Re-fit the rear valence.

Wednesday 17 September 2014


So, what’s been going on?

The answer is “next to nothing”, still no job, not even a sniff of an interview, though there is something simmering that could be the answer to all my prayers, about which I’m saying nothing in fear of putting the royal kybosh on it.

On the car front I have decided on one mod for the winter tear-down, I need a de-fuel valve. I came to this conclusion while lying on the garage floor, with one arm of my tee-shirt & my hair soaked in petrol trying to empty the fuel tank.

I’d jacked the back-up & slid the petrol can underneath, I’d disconnected the 12mm supply hose, but moving the fuel from one of the tanks to the other seemed to be beyond me. I managed to get most of it into the Zafira, one can at a time, but there was an abundance of spillage. I abandoned the garage in some haste without using anything electrical & had a shower which almost – but not quite entirely removed the smell of unleaded.
I'm promised a quiet day on Saturday, so the plan will be to bag & label as much of the car as possible so the clean up can begin.


Tuesday 2 September 2014

Not a Good Year

2014 has been a bit of a duff year in Blatterland. I was booked to go on the Rallye-des-Jonquilles, but had to pull out as my job was looking shaky, then I was booked on the SKCC tour of Europe, only to have to cancel that for the same reason, I suffered a spell of ill health, had a break down, separated from my wife (only briefly thank goodness), the daughter's horse was ill, then the daughter was ill & today I've been made redundant, so the car is on a SORN & I've had to cancel my participation in another couple of SKCC runs I was looking forward to (sigh).

I was intending taking the car off the road for the winter anyway as there's some rust on the chassis towards the back that needs dealing with, so a full strip-down is planned, looks like I'll be starting it a month early & I may have more time to do it than I'd anticipated.

So the plan is:-
Drop the fuel tank (unfortunately full of fuel in preparation for this weekend).
Remove all the rear suspension.
Remove the 1/2 shafts & diff.
Remove the exhaust.
Give the rear chassis a damn good wire-brushing.
Treat it with POR15.
Get another job (for preference this item needs to be further up the list).

Fortunately I've bought what I need to do all this up-front.

That's probably little more than a couple of weekends worth, so I may need to find some more cheap things to do to it to keep my mind active.

We'll see what happens.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

We Like Airfields


 A run out had been organised to Compton Abbas aerodrome, but it clashed with an England world cup game, so it was re-arranged for the 22nd – which dawned warm & bright & clear. There were two groups out for this one, easterners & westerners, I could’ve joined either from home, but selected the western group as that gave me an extra ¾ hour in bed. I was the second to arrive at the east / west meet point on the A31, David & Mrs T having been there long enough to fuel up, people pulled in in ones & twos & we had to wait for a couple of late
comers. While there a couple of blokes came in to fill-up, one in a Maserati, the other in a Porsche Panamera, both pulled out of the garage & hit the loud pedal hard, in the process probably using more petrol than I would all day & not accelerating any faster.

When we were all collected, fuelled up & had inspected each other’s cars for new modifications, we hit the road. It was a glorious day, the roads were quiet - can’t remember seeing a single horse-box! We rumbled through pretty thatched villages & whizzed along the dead straight A30. Usually we’d dismiss dead straight roads as being too dull, but that road, on that day was sublime. One or two cars to break up the straightness with a little overtaking, good visibility, then back to the twisties.
And twisties there were aplenty, there is a superb switch-back section only about a mile from the aerodrome which has maybe six tight turns, we picked them off with gusto & without any tin-tops ahead of us.
Breakfast was taken on the patio watching the little planes putter about, while the SKCC bantered. Also there for feeding time were a couple of very pretty 1950’s Austin Healeys & a whole flock of police folk who kindly took no interest in our car’s front No. plates. Also filled with kindness was the lady who parked next to me at the end of a row, then asked if there would be any more of us, because she’d move her Fiesta so we could all park together. How very considerate.

 Breakfast devoured, we headed back to the car park, I had plotted a route home via the New Forest so I could pick up some rough cider in Burley, but Mr Mango had compiled a route for a handful of the crew, so I tagged along with that to begin with, this turned out to be a good thing as his route went up the switch-back, I waved my farewells & dropped out of formation at the top, turned - & did the switch-back again.




The journey home was a pleasant one, with the sun still shining, I did get stuck in traffic close to Ringwood, but avoided it apart from that.

Ahhh yes, a very pleasant Sunday morning.
There's a video here:-


The multi-LED bulb
At the Loomies run a couple of weeks ago David T pointed out that my front indicators weren’t working, a closer inspection revealed they were working but so dim that they didn’t show up in the sunshine. Something needed to be done.

The new single LED lamp units
The problem stems from my own fussiness. I wanted a late ‘50s look for the car (without getting obsessive about it), so fitted the Lucas style indicators, then I found some clear Lucas “488” lenses on Ebay & bought them, these are the flat jobs rather than the pointy ones & are clear, so match the headlights in both shape & colour.

But all was not well! The Lucas 488 bulb holders are different – deeper so the bulb fits behind the flat lens. I didn’t have the bulb holders so the bulbs didn’t fit. I found some small globe bulbs in orange – but they weren’t dark enough orange, Mr MoT man said. So I bought the small LED bulbs which as I said weren’t bright enough.

External earth in a wheel bay? It WILL corrode.
So now I’ve bought another pair of 3w LED lamps like the Day Running Lights & the reverse lights, except these light up orange. I took the indicators off the car, which as an additional benefit meant the external earth which had caused problems got binned, took out the already rusty steel bulb holders & made four aluminium discs, two accurately fitted the bulb holders, the other two “less so”.
 I cut the rubber boot off the back of the bulb holder, sikaflexed the rougher discs to the inside of the body & used the thread on the back of the lamp to hold the two discs & the rubber lens holder together.
 Wired it up & Bob’s-your-uncle. Reliable modern LED indicators inside 1950’s looking lamps.


Tuesday 10 June 2014

Little Blatts

Been out on a couple of short - ish runs, one with NCD from the SKCC who's Fury has been stripped pretty much to the chassis, re- engineered to a much higher standard (& it was a nicely built car to start with) & passed it's MoT 1st time after three years. He needed a wing man for a test drive, so we kept it pretty local, but alas there was a problem - a loss of power, though the car got him home which is always the main thing.

Good to see the blue Fury out on the road though.

Then on Sunday I met up with David T & we took a trip to Loomies for breakfast to meet up with another couple of SKCCers. Gorgeous day as you can tell from this bit of video.


The aim of the vid was to mess with synching footage with music, as you'll see, some of it worked, some didn't.

Friday 30 May 2014

The Last Post (for today)

For today's third & final post, I'd like to draw you attention to this month's Complete Kit Car magazine, the cover of which looks like this:-

And there dear reader, 4th from the front is my Fury. I was invited by CKC to attend a small gathering at Donnington race track, the plan being to put together one good example of each of the esteemed Mr Phillips' cars.

It was a long old trek to get there, but nice - no - an honour, to meet the man himself & the Fury behaved impeccably throughout - as did the rest of the Sylva designs present. Inside the magazine is a long article about JP & his cars, the stories of each car present will be the subject of an article next month, so I'm going to have to buy another when that comes out.

The Last "Exhausting" Joke - I Promise - For Now

That's because (fanfare) the extended exhaust is finished. Today I picked up the welded tail section from Ashby Welding ( & what a lovely job they've made of it.

As soon as I got home I trimmed the tail pipes to length & shaped them a bit - purely for artistic impression - & made up a stainless steel hanger to the weight of the tail pipe isn't hanging from the last bend, I also cut holes in the grille over the central vent in the removable valance. After a quick brush up with a wire brush, I must say I think it looks pretty good. On the evidence of a few miles - no fumy smell in the car at all.

More Exhausting

So, with the exhaust more or less in place, all it needed was a mount near the back & I could put it back on it’s wheels & drive it – it’s still waiting the tail pipes, but with the rear valence removed the exhaust was clear of the car. 
The exhaust was passing the main chassis rail behind the wheel, so having found a short length of aluminium channel left over from the alternator mount, I cut it to suit, squirted it with black pant & with a little sikaflex as jointing, riveted it on. As it doesn’t show up terribly well in the wheel arch (this is a good thing) I offer a CAD drawing so you know what it looks like.

I’ve also cut & shaped the tubing for the tail pipes & will drop them into Ashby Welding this evening as this section will be visible & my welding REALLY isn’t good enough for that.

Assuming I don’t find that the tyre hits under full bump, the car’s drivable again. Hoorah!