Saturday 30 October 2021

Brake Lights

 I was sitting in the car a while ago & I pushed the brake pedal - the brake lights seemed to take a long time to come on, so I tried again & realised that as the brake lights are switched by a hydraulic switch, they come on when the brakes are on, NOT when the pedal is pressed. In theory I could be braking gently & the lights wouldn't come on at all.

To improve this & give someone following me just that split second longer to react I bought a microswitch & today I've fitted it to the pedal.

The pedals are inevitably billet alloy jobs & heavier than they need to be (I'd say they are heavier than the plate steel ones the Fury had), but the good thing is that the actual foot pad bit unbolts so I was able to make up a small bracket & mount the microswitch to the top of the pedal, triggered by a bolt head in the footwell roof. Nothing can hit anything else & the pedal travel isn't restricted at all.

I kept thinking "the last thing I must do is fit all this to the car without photographing it for the blog" & sure enough, the last thing I did..........

So you'll have to make do with the couple of poor shots here. The first one shows the pedals - I really should make an alloy cover for the throttle pedal - in the second one you can just see the new bracket & the triggering bolt above it.

Next job is to wire them into the circuit just by the brake reservoirs, which has an added bonus that I can also wire in a disused brake hydraulic switch which was fitted in the rear brake line (so presumably took even longer to come on). After all this the brake lights will have double redundant switching. I wouldn't plan it that way, but since it's there I might as well make use of it.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Yet More Stuff

 Just two deliveries today, some engine paint & the header tank for the cooling system.

The catalogues & websites never give enough information, the Merlin Motorsport site gave a height & diameter for the tank, but it turns out that was just the tank, not the mounting bracket or the length of the hose stubs or anything, so when I put it on the car, this happened.

There's no way a 19mm hose it going to make that corner, so what to do?

I wondered about swapping the positions of the fuse box & the tank, so the tank was outboard & missed the engine, but that would mean complex pipe runs & wires crossing hoses & buying another sheet of aluminium.

I wondered about shortening the stub & using a silicone hose elbow, but that always looks messy with hose joiners & jubilee clips & there was no guarantee it would work. In the end I bit the bullet & sawed up the brand new £80 tank. I cut the hose stub off, taking as much weld as I could with it, cleaned the weld off the outside & drilled a new hole in the side of the tank, drilling up the sizes & finishing off with a sanding drum in a dremel to make the hose stub a nice tap fit in the hole.

The mounting flange also needed messing with as it was too wide to fit between the bonnet catch & the fuse box - this was a good thing though because I used an offcut to make a plug to fill the now redundant hole in the front of the tank. My theory being that it's the same aluminium as the welded on bracket, so it should pose no problems welding it.

So that was today's project, tomorrow I'll drop it into the excellent Ashby Welding in Church Crookham who will weld up where I've marked & then it's just getting the hoses sorted.

In between all this re-work, I fitted an oil catch tank. The car came with a billet alloy tank supported on a very dubious bracket. Being machined from billet it was very thick & heavy & blue anodised, so I put it on the Quantum which could do with some weight ahead of the front wheels. For the Stylus I found an old aluminium bike bottle & a nice light alloy cage & made up quite a nice folded bracket to secure it to the chassis rail next to the exhaust, the breather pipe will go in the top & I'll have to remember to empty it from time to time. The wire wrapped round it is the yards of wire on the lambda sensor, I should shorten that really.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

More Stuff

The postman arrived with no fewer than FOUR parcels for me. There was:-

Mmmm - shiny

The reverse water pump.

A new screenwash hose as the one on the car was slightly too short to make a nice "run".

Two lengths of heater hose (8 & 10mm) to make the air bleed pipe the cooling system didn't have.

A brass hosetail to replace the radiator fan switch.

The re-plumbing of the cooling system continues apace! The water pump with a reverse impeller - beautifully made by IKEngineering) arrived very well packed the day after it was posted, I only called to order it on Saturday, so very pleased with the service & quality. That means the slightly under-driven pump has only three pulleys & an idler, so it all looks neat.

The hose means the previously blocked off air bleed in the radiator will now vent to the header tank which will allow a little more water into the radiator.

The hosetail as I said will replace an un-used fan switch in the water rail (it'll be wired up & re-located closer to the engine in a position where it's permanently submerged), the hosetail is now the highest point in the system (except for the header tank) & will ensure the system is entirely full of coolant by allowing air back to the tank (due tomorrow). None of these things is going to make a dramatic - or even noticeable difference, but they all build in a little more "resilience" to the system.

In other news, I've booked the hotel for next year's "RogueRunners" road trip, in Northumberland, so now I just need to write eight routes & build a car reliable enough to take.

Saturday 23 October 2021


 After all last month's expenditure I decided I needed to spend nothing on the cars until the credit card bill closed for this month. That happened this morning & I've already spent the best part of £300 on the next batch of parts.

Today in the garage I cleaned the last of the oily muck off the engine ready for paint & with the arrival of some red heat shrink, I've finished the battery cut off switch. Not exciting or even particularly interesting, but it's another job done & means the car is mobile again.

Thursday 21 October 2021

Been Away

 Not much to report on the car front I'm afraid, I've been to Scotland in the Cactus - the THIRD time it's been there this year. This time I just set the cruise control for 55 & sat in the slow lane with the lorries. I find I don't have to concentrate full on & so don't get so tired, so don't need to stop as much. Also, the Cactus does an astonishing 100mpg at that speed on the flat! When I used to go to Scotland in the 80s it cost MORE in petrol than is does now in diesel & Petrol was £1 / gallon.

The point of going was to spend some time with my grandson & his family all of whom are lovely. My grandson is just at that stage where he's a bit unsteady on his feet, occasionally smelly & says one or two words at a time - he's 15 (no he not, he's twenty months).

On the car front I took the Quantum out on a club blatt & I have to admit it disgraced itself. Coming into a village the engine died, I was still moving so bump started it, then when clear of the village I pushed the clutch - it died again - & again. It was at this point I remembered the tool box was still in the Cactus, so I turned for home, keeping the revs up at each junction. When I got home, I eased off the throttle & the engine idled at about 400, I opened the bonnet & the Idle Speed Control Valve connector was dangling by its wires, I plugged it back in, the revs climbed to 800 & that was it fixed - I could've stopped & fixed it at any time (sigh).

Work on the Stylus continues only slowly, I'm not spending any money on the cars this month as I rather over did it last month, but I've taken the master switch off & moved it both electrically & geographically, so it's now tucked under a front wing & in the live wire rather than an earth. I've ordered a resistor for it, so it'll all work properly & also ordered some red heat shrink & re-used the earth wires it was connected to before.

The other thing that's happened is the passenger seat has gone off to an upholsterer of my nephew's acquaintance to have seat pads made. They'll be like the ones in the Fury that are easy to remove & easy to remove the foam from, so if they get wet they're easy to dry ready for the next day. Unlike the Fury they'll be curvy & diamond stitched to make the seat look a little more "late '60s" like the styling of the car. They're costing a lot of money so I'm hoping they turn out well. 

Saturday 9 October 2021


 With the media created fuel crisis still in full swing I still didn't wan to use the Cactus, so still couldn't swap the cars around or do anything serious to the Stylus, but there were things that could be achieved. One of these was to make space in the front bulkhead for a proper header tank to a/ get rid of the heavy stainless air separator attached to the chassis by only two bolts out of four, right at one end & b/ to give the cooling system some resilience in the form of an extra litre of water.

The fuse / relay box was mounted on the firewall to a very thin Carbon fibre panel which had been riveted glued on with most of a glue gun cartridge, I drilled the rivets & gingerly peeled it off revealing a number of holes of various sizes. After pulling the fuse box this way & that I decided where I wanted it & made up an aluminium panel that would fit & riveted it on with rubber edging all round the hole for the wiring (something it lacked before), so now I just need the credit card bill to arrive so I can order the new header tank.

I also started looking at the front indicators as the wiring inside the wheel arches looked wrong - too many wires - I took the headlights out & found this. The LED headlight units have built in LED indicators so there was a relay to turn off the side lights when the indicators were on, but the old LED indicators were still in the bowls as well as the original indicators still being in the bodywork below the headlights. 

I took out all the relay wiring so the built in indicators won't work, Then took out the Lucas indicators & replaced the metal gubbins with an aluminium disc with the formally hidden LED indicators in & now it all works & is simpler.

There were a few horrors, the power for the indicators had been taken by stripping the insulation from the feed wire, wrapping another wire round it by a couple of turns, then wrapping the whole in insulating tape. No solder, no connectors, in a wheelarch where it's all going to get wet.

^^This is the wiring that came out of just the headlight bowls.

Saturday 2 October 2021



The pulley issue is resolved!

I know I've been whittering on about the water pump & alternator pulleys for a while, so you'l be pleased to hear the whole issue is now sorted - & quite elegently too.

The Audi waterpump pulley arrived & the mounting holes lined up with the pump, but the big hole in the cente was too big. The mounting holes are 9mm for M6 bolts, so there was no chance of using the bolts to align the pulley co-axial with the pump - I needed an adaptor.

I drew this ring up on CAD with the idea that the outer diameter of the central "boss" would snap into the pulley, the inner diameter would fit over the central boss on the pump & the bolts would hold the whole thing together.


To check the sizes I printed one in "prototype pink" (when I ordered it it claimed to be red - it wasn't, so as I don't know any pre-pubescent girls who might insist on pink stuff I use it for prototypes). That fitted perfectly & I wondeed if I could just use a printed one, but sense prevailed - as the mounting bolts go through the part, when it got hot the platic would soften, the tension in the bolts would be lost & the pulley would first lose concentricity & then come off!

So yesterday afternoon in spite of the continueing media inspired fuel shortage, I took the Quantum over to my brother's house & re-made the part in steel - he did have some alloy, but it was an odd shape & would've taken ages to machine it down to something I could start from - all went well & this morning I just need to put the three mounting holes in & give it a coat of paint & I'm done.

The Audi part is a little larger than the Ford one, which means the pump will turn a little slower, which is OK as by internet reputation the Ford impellor cavitates at high RPM, it's also a little further forward, so it doesn't sit on the same plane as the Ford one, that's OK because all three pulleys have 6 grooves, but as the belt is only driving the water pump & the alternator I can use a five or even four groove belt & it can sit on the grooves that align - & as a bonus, because the Ford pulley is steel, the Audi one alloy, even with my steel adaptor, it's still lighter than the Ford one & the weight is concentrated closer to the centreline, so the engine will spin up an infitessimal bit faster.

Best of all, the whole thing has cost £15 & some time rather than the £110 for a billet alloy machined part from a motersport supplier.