Sunday 27 March 2022

Quantum News

 One more thing.....

The starter on the Quantum - it wouldn't work if the engine had got hot. remember?

I took it for a rebuild at Burghfield Starter & Alternator Centre, put it on, checked it turned the engine over - it did, so I re-built all the cooling system around it ....... and it stopped working.

When I'd finished swearing, I took it off again & returned it, I got a call the following day to say it was repaired - one segment of the armature was faulty. I put it back on the car & it was turning the engine quite slowly, but it speeded up & the engine fired.

It was the same the next time, but since then it's got better, so I'm calling that a fix.

After That....

 When I got home from the car show I decided to look into why the handbrake is PANTS.

Part of the reason I know is the rear disc conversion - they have a reputation. When I got under the car I found that the "balancer" that should ensure the load is equal on both cables to the rear wheels was right at one end, so one side was getting most of the pull, I put in some washers to try to even it up, but it was still rubbish.

Then I looked at the bracket that holds the cables - when you pull on the handbrake you're pulling against this, so it needs to be rigid so all that pull goes into the cable inners. It looked like this:-

Not terribly substantial then, just a 3mm thick aluminium angle bolted to the sheet metal trans tunnel, when the lever was pulled, this bracket deflected & I suspect the transmission tunnel panel did as well.

I rummaged around the garage & found a much stronger piece of steel angle with a gusset at one end (it was actually bolted to the Stylus & serving no purpose when I bought it), I cut the other end off & welded it on to make another gusset & after quite a faff, bolted it back to the car, using one of the legs of the old bracket as a back-up plate on the outside of the tunnel. The handbrake is still pretty lousy, but better.

Assuming it passes the MoT like this I'll look at it again over the winter & stiffen up the trans tunnel.

It's not pretty, but it is beefier - but the thing it bolts to needs to be as well.

Maiden Car Show

 This morning I decided to take the Stylus out to the "White Lion Antiques Classic Car Show", I checked their web site & there was no sign of a cancellation, so I set off. On the A30 I found myself following a Morris Traveler which I assumed was going to the same place, however, it turned off the road at Blackbushe Aerodrome where there were other old cars parked up. "odd" I thought & carried on, but at the Antiques shop there was no sign of a meet, so I went back to Blackbushe & turned in there, to find a man waving frantically at me.

"I was going to the White Lion Antiques show" I said. "Blimey - that was years ago" he replied. I was directed to park up alongside the Traveler I'd been following.

After the usual "It's a Ginetta isn't it?" I wandered round the show looking at the wide range of vehicles it had attracted, from 1920s cars, through lorries & a coach, to classics, hot rods & kits. It got quite crowded towards the end.

Bedford CA camper & 105e van


V8 Anglia (not a Pop)

Kits & Hot Rods

105e Anglia - Pinto - Nitrous

Capri Soft Top

Reliant Sabre

Ultima parked up outside as the show is for 20+ year old cars

Elan with slightly odd sting exhaust

The Stylus at its' first show - I got many pleasing comments

This note was pinned to the screen of the 300e below

Rust Magnette (see what I did there?)

Thursday 24 March 2022

More Tanking

 There's a bit of a saga here.

The design for the tank was done- I've discussed it with Grace who will be doing the welding & tweaked the design, then I started looking for metal. I found a Co. called "Metals4U" (toys R Us has a LOT to answer for) & they could ship me a sheet of 16swg aluminium for around £100 - which was OK, but wait! they do a free cutting service & free postage if you spend over £70, so I worked out all the sizes I needed & it came to just under £70, so I added one more piece to go into stock & got it free. Two days later I got a message from a courier at 08:30 saying it would all be delivered between 09:10 & 11:10, luckily I only work 4 miles from home so got there just as Saleem dropped the package off.


Except, all the sheet was there but none of the extrusions. I called them, they apologised & said they would all be with me Monday. On Monday I was again alerted at 08:30 for a delivery - again by Saleem at 09:10 - 11:10, again I got home just as he arrived & again I was disappointed - the angle to support the weight of the tank was 1/16" thick, not the 1/8" I ordered. I called them again & they apologised again, so tomorrow I'm expecting to meet Saleem AGAIN.

But in the mean time I've made up all the parts of the tank & Grace will weld it all together for me when she has a spare moment.

As well as that, I've finished modifying the full size side screens (except for a little toggle thing to keep them closed) & made a new set of deflectors to go on the car when I don't need the side screens. They just clipped the door mirrors as they closed, so I drew up & printed a couple of spacers to move the mirrors outboard a little - I love that printer.

While I was at my Brother's I noticed that one of his spare gearboxes had a short Quaife gearstick with chipped black paint. It wouldn't be much use to him on the Street Rods as it's way too short, however, the one on the Stylus was way too long & chromed, so we've swapped

Friday 18 March 2022


 Unlike Vlad P, my tank is not stalled - well, it is a bit.

I ordered all the metal from Metals4U, who promised to cut it all to size & deliver it free, which they duly did, except that what I got was all the sheet metal, none of the extrusions. However, the extrusions should be with me on Monday. So tomorrow I have a day of tin-bashing, making up the main shell, the ends, the baffles & the sump, so that the lovely Grace can weld them all together for me.

the current tank has a number of "features" to whit:-

It's too deep - deep enough to hit the ground on speed humps.

It's tee shaped - which means you think you're doing really well for fuel until the level drops to the narrow bit, which is 1/2 the gauge, but only 1/4 of the capacity.

It's heavy - I have the drawing it was made to & there's a note pointing to the bottom skin saying "2mm" & another pointing to the upper skin saying "3mm", if that's the metal thickness (it's stainless steel) then the tank weighs about 15kg - my new one will weigh about 4.

The filler is in the boot, in spite of the car having an aero filler cap on the rear wing.

The return line is via a large brass fitting on the access panel in the boot, you may remember I had to make a domed cover when I first had the car. With the new tank it'll just be flat.

Also on the jobs list for this weekend is the side screens, the second lot of lift-off hinges arrived, so this PM I've mostly fitted the driver's side screen, I just need to attach the ball joint & make up the deflectors that'll be fitted most of the time.

In other news I put on the Quantum's new starter, which promptly failed (yes, I was a little cross). I took it back to Burghfield Starter & Alternator where the nice man had it in bits & repaired it, so now the stereo is in the car, the starter works & I've started advertising it for sale.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Today Was A Good Day

Tails on the horizon

I set off for a potential client's base at an airfield, where I was going to meet a couple of guys from work. I went in the Stylus, the meeting went well & I'll get some interesting work from it - don't know if I can say what it is, so I won't. 

While I was there I had a call from Burghfield Starter & Alternator Centre to say the Quantum's starter was all mended, so after lunch on the Co. I went to Reading to pick that up, then home. About another 100 miles on the car.

The Stylus - apart from squeaks from the polybushes & a whine from the axle because of the lack of polybushes - was faultless. The ride is now smooth, with excellent cornering grip & traction. When the geometry & corner weighting are done it will be the equal of the Fury. When the rod ends are changed for polybushes it'll drive quietly & the whole car will then be a joy.

Hopefully I'll have time to fit the Quantum's starter tomorrow, then after another couple of tweaks it needs (there's a permanently energised relay flattening the battery & a rattle from behind the dash) it'll be ready to sell.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Tanks - But No Thanks

 I took the Stylus out this morning, partly to check the ground clearance with the new shorter panhard rod bracket. Imagine my disappointment when there was a hearty thump even before I left the estate. In fact it wasn't the panhard rod bracket this time, the fuel tank had hit the ground coming off a speed hump - EEEK!

The tank has been a bone of contention since I got the car for a number of reasons:-

It hangs below the rear valence.

It's vulnerable in an accident.

It's WAY too low.

It's made of stainless so it's heavy

On that last point - I have the drawing the tank was manufactured to among the paperwork that came with the car, it's around 8 1/2 gal & there's a note pointing to the bottom saying "2mm" & another pointing to the top saying "3mm", which I'm assuming is the material thickness. So having drawn it on CAD, I can say it weighs about 15kg!

I've drawn up a replacement tank which fits in the same space, to the same brackets & is slightly larger at 8.9gal. It doesn't show under the valence, worn't hit the ground, has no vertical faces at the back (so if it's hit it tends to lift the car rather than crush) will have piping & brackets to attach a high pressure pump, so I can do away with the low pressure pump AND the swirl pot & it should be less than 4kg, saving 11kg with the LP pump & swirl pot saving at least another 3kg.

The brownish orange colour is the current tank, the grey is the initial idea for the one I'm working on.

All the measuring had to be done on the drive because the Quantum is in the garage waiting either for the starter to be mended or replaced. The starter has been a constant irritation, it works just fine as long as the engine's cold, if the car has been moving it'll start OK, but if the engine was idling when it stopped, so the temperature has climbed a little, the starter goes wuh ........... wuh ..........wuh as if the batteries flat & the engine won't start. Open the bonnet & allow it to cool for about a minute & turn the key again & it starts. Yes it's weird - AND EXTREMELY ANNOYING. So it's gone into the Burghfield starter & alternator centre for a good looking at & while it's in the garage I'm also looking at the last of it's problems, the permanently energised relay that drains the battery & the rattle behind the dash.