Monday 31 August 2020

Loooong Weekend

 Bank Holiday Weekend & I've spent the great majority of it in the garage - Hoorah!

So what have I achieved? As previosly reported, I've mounted the roll bar & fitted a high level brake light, since then I've had the rear brakes in bits to see if a non-adjusting self-adjuster was the cause of the vague pedal, but no luck, done a load more bit's & bobs that I've already forgotten about & yesterday I started by fitting power points behind the driver's door for the radio (walkie-talkie) & a roll bar mounted camera - note to self - get a camera roll bar mount. Today in an attempt to improve the brake "feel" & get the clutch bite point out of the carpet pile, I took the whole pedal box out of the car. Sadly there were no obvious faults apart from the brake push-bar that links the pedal too the actuator. Whoever built the car cut it off too short & omitted a lock nut, so it's served 20 years wearing out the mere 3 1/2 threads it was attached by. A trip to Margnor tomorrow I think.

But before all that I bled the brakes, no air came from the back, so the slave cylider replacement was done properly, but the nipples on the front calipers were both seized, but yielded a little air & quite a lot of dirt when I got them freed, testing showed brakes that felt like brakes - which was nice.

While I was in the driver's foot well,  I stopped the accelerator pedal sliding side to side as that was a bit pants too, There's photos of the pedal slid to the left & right - which Blogger has seen fit to rotate so it's top & bottom.


 But the big news is the clutch. I have thought & considered, mulled & even cogitated what to do with the clutch. The trouble is as soon as I changed anything, the auto-adjust re-set it to how it was before - in the carpet, this is a known thing on 2+2s & there is a section in the build manual on how to fix it - I did that - cost me £25 - it didn't work.

With the pedals out of the car I saw the clutch pedal trvelled a little less than the brake pedal before it hit it's stop, so I cut some of the stop away - only about 1/8" (3.25mm for millenials) but the business end of the pedal is some way away, so it multiplys. So that inceased the amount of travel & I put the pedal box back in the car with a couple of penny washers between the lower two feet & the bulkhead, again it's a very small distance, but it tips the pedal box so the pedals are further from the bulkhead and......... the cluch bites about an inch - 1.5 inches away from the floor, making the gear change much much nicer & while it would be pushing it to say the car is now a joy to drive, it's a world away from wrestling it down the road when I picked it up.

 I still have another couple of jobs to do.

1/  Check the nearside front calliper nipple isn't leaking.

2/  Buy & fit another few power points, both USB & 12v.

3/  Sort out the brake push-bar.

But it's nearly ready for it's first big adventure, the RogueRunners Welsh trip 2020!

There's a photo here of the second lot of wire I've removed from the car.


Saturday 29 August 2020

Closing In.....

 ....on the "Initial Operating Capability" - the point where I have poked into the car's nooks & crannies & sorted any horrors I've found lurking. I've spent all day on the car today, starting with fitting the roll bar, cutting the carpet round the feet, then fitting the high level brake light to the tube & wiring it in.

The wire runs through the tube to the right hand foot, then passes back to the boot where it splices into the brake light wire. The bar is a little chipped & battered, so fit's right in with the rest of the car. At some point I'd like to get it blasted & powder coated, but I need to decide how far I'm taking this car first.

The next proper job was to have the rear brakes in bits. I've been a little concerned at how far the brake pedal travels, so wanted to be sure the self-adjust was working. I would've done this before now, but being Fiesta based you have to take the wheel bearing apart to get the drum off. 

First thing, the wheel bearing being was slightly loose - just after an MoT? Also the split-pin on both sides was too short & too small in diameter, so hopes wern't high, but inside all was shiny & new including the slave cylinders (are we still allowed to call them that? Will someone get upset?), the thing that did catch my eye though was the missing spring clip on the rear shoe (with the spring rattling around loose in the drum), they're a complex shape & I'd thrown out all the old bits of brake when I moved house - but wait - the bottom bit of a soft top press stud fastener fits beautifully inside the spring & with a little dremelling, the pin fits too! I will of corse replace this with the proper thing when I get one, but it's secure & better than it was.

I also rubber mounted the fuel pump, I wanted three mounts, but everything gets in the way of everything else in that part of the engine bay, so it'll have to wait until I strip the front down & can get to it.

At about this point I opened the passenger door & a buzzer went off! Another earth problem, I'd disconnected an earth unde the dash & as the courtesy light switch (on a kit car!) & left repeater indicator shared this earth, the power was finding it's way from the courtesy light to the indicator buzzer before earthing. So the dash has to come out again.

A job for tomorrow I think, my son sent me some beer & chocolate so now's the time for relaxing.

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Too Busy

It's been a few days, so what's been happening in my garage?

I've cut out another 2 metres of unnecessary wiring, deleted the manual fan switch ty-rapped to the bottom of the dash, I found that there were a lot of circuits earthed to the steering column support - which wasn't earthed - so sorted that out.

Then having put in relays for the day running lights & moved the fuel pump relay behind the dash (& given it an off switch), I re-fitted the instrument panel. I turned on the side lights to check the lighting level, the left indicator light came on. I switched on the left indicator & the fuel pump started! Arse!

Tracing the fault took a while, but turned out to be the wiring plug in the tail lights fitted the wrong way up - WHY CAN IT BE FITTED THE WRONG WAY UP??

Next problemette was the charge light not coming on with ignition, all the wiring checked good as did the bulb, then I remembered the voltmeter had read low for the first few minutes after start up which triggered my memory to think about field coils & the way an alternator works. The alt. has gone off to the menders this evening & having taken it off the car, the bearings are shot too.

Away from the electrics, I've made a copper pipe to take the sump gasses into the air filter so the car's a little less smelly & wisps of smoke don't come out of the bonnet vents.

I am struggling a bit, but I think I'm now knocking the problems down faster than they're coming up.
This evening I've reconnected the tail lights, with a connector in the boot rather than the at's nest of un-insulated wires it had before. There is still enough wiring between the tail lights to go twice round the boot, but tidying that is a job fo another day.
Which brings me more or less up to date.

Friday 21 August 2020

More Wiring

 Yes I'm still cutting wiring out of the car. In the last couple of days I've added a "normally closed" relay for the Daytime Running Lights so they all work nicely. The power comes on with ignition & flows through the relay to the DRLs, When the side lights go on, the relay is energised, opening the contacts & turning the DRLs off. Cool.

Next to the DRL relay behind the dash will be the relay for the fuel pump. at the moment it's in a P-clip adjacent to the pump in the engine bay. A huge thick wire comes from battery live, through a 7 1/2 amp fuse to the relay & an energising wire comes from the ignition switch. I've found a couple of yards of red permanent live wire coming from the fuse box (cut off, no insulation on the end & the fuse still in), so I'll run that to a relay holder by the DRL relay, so the fuel pump relay will be "indoors" & the length of wiring to make the fuel pump work will be halved - & I'll have an off switch so I can put the ignition on for working on the car without being driven mad by the ticking of the pump. I have a third relay holder to go on which I'll use for the headlamp flap motor relay, but that looks like a significant wiring job, so that'll wait a while. I'd like to move that indoors too because I've already had to stop & waggle the relay to get the flaps down & I've only driven it at night once.

Also on the list of wiring coming off the car are two wires coming from the radiator fan, all round the engine bay, into the car & to a switch TYRAPPED to the bottom of the dash (wires all dangling under the lower edge). Why folk do this is beyond me. I can't imagine any situation where I'm going to be better at switching on the rad fan than an automatic system that's got nothing better to do than watch the engine temperature & put the fan on if it gets a little toasty. Maybe if I was towing a caravan I would switch it on permanently, but a/ I'm not going to be doing that & b/ that's no better than the automatic system, it's just a comfort blanket.

I'd like to think I'm getting to the end of the wiring jobs & will soon be able to put the dash back in & get on with some of the other jobs. Something a little more "photo-worthy".

Oh & driving it would be nice too.

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday 18 August 2020

New Stuff

 My heart sank.

The e-mail said a package was being delivered to my house by Hermes. Last time this happened I was in, I got the email to say it had arived - it hadn't. No way of responding to the e-mail to say it hadn't.

This time I got an e-mail to say it had been "securely delivered to my letterbox" which sounded promising, but since they'd lied through thier teeth last time........

What had arrived was a box from Car Builder Solutions. As usual, everything I ordered, in a box, there when they said it woud be.

When I got home I found that my parcel had been "securely delivered" to a puddle on my drive not far from the front door. Lucky it wasn't anything water sensit........ Oh, a USB charger socket for the car.


Anyway, I set about installing stuff, I was going to put the USB on the B pillar behind the seat, but decided against it as I don't yet know where the roll bar mounts to. Instead I fitted it where the choke cable was, using the wiring for the light in the choke cable to make it work (it did still work). By now the dash was all out of the car, so I set about fitting the LED capable flasher unit, followed by two LED indicator bulbs I found among my stuff when moving house. The flasher unit is electronic, so doesn't "tick", with the roof down the tick was inaudible & the dash warning lights were unsee-able with no roof, so next I thought I'd fit the indicator buzzer, taking it one step at a time, assisted by finding stumps of wires soldered into the indicator feeds & cut off.


While looking for them, I found a self-tapper lodged in the wiring at the back of the ignition switch. I'll repeat that - SOMEONE HAD DROPED A POINTY SELF-TAPPER INTO THE PERMANETLY LIVE WIRING DIRECT FROM THE BATTERY & NOT BOTHERED TO UNDO THREE OTHER SELF-TAPPERS & REMOVE A SMALL COWL TO RETRIEVE IT.


Then I noticed the connector had pulled off the brake light switch. Then I noticed that even though the original Ford wiring was long enough to reach the switch, someone had crimped 6" of wire on.

Then crimped another 2" of wire onto that.

Then soldered the connector & two 1" lengths of wire on to that.

I have already significantly reduced the weight of this car just by cutting out unecessary wiring!

Anyway, the buzzer works & has a mute switch built into the place where the stereo joystick thing was. The USB works & little by little the wiring is getting straightened, reduced, properly terminated & untangled.