Sunday 24 April 2022

Stress-Free Blatt


With the successful fit of the PowerLite starter I embarked on a blatt with the Rogue Runners. This week the start & end points were convenient (OK they weren't way out east), so I was up with the lark - in fact I was awake SO early I could've taken the lark breakfast in nest.

I put the hood down, the car started beautifully & I met the others at a filling station on the A24. There were SatNav issues, so we would have to keep in sight of each other, the car started again & we headed off. After a while there were signs for a closed road, but the SatNavs usually know about these things & steer us round. Nope, this time it was our route that was closed, just before we arrived My SatNav was saying turn left when we went straight on, so after turning round that would be a right - no, it was now saying turn left in a mile, everyone else turned right & I followed. "No problem" I thought "I'll re-load the route & tell it to start at the closest point", easy. But when I tried that it just said "no route possible". 


So I followed the others - Brian ahead of me was kind enough to make sure I could see which way he'd gone at every junction. As a precaution I set the SatNav for the cafe & as we approached, it did indeed direct me to the car park - then out again & on somewhere else for another 50 miles. No idea what it thought it was doing.

We sat in the sun at the cafe, but were a little perturbed when the waitress said they were out of sausages!! We needn't have worried, when the breakfasts arrived sausages had been found.

After some time we headed home, there was a classic car meet around Arundel & some old bloke in an immaculate Triumph Toledo 1300 (why would you??) pulled out right in front of me & then laboured up the long hill doing 35. There were LOADs of interesting cars out today, which was good to see. By this stage I needed fuel & had to resort to buying a little for £1.69 / l - EEEK.

But the big news was that the Q performed just about faultlessly.

I arrived at my Brother's & handed over the fuel tank access panel & level sender as the Stylus' new tank is welded & will be leak tested this week. Then I'll have TWO fully working kits!

One final thing, I've adding a little decor to my Kitchen:-

Saturday 23 April 2022

One Ray Of Sunshine

 Last weekend someone got in touch saying they were interested in buying the Quantum & asking for more details & photos. I sent some, being brutally honest about the condition & the ongoing problems with the starter, but adding that what it needed was a modern geared starter & offering to knock £250 off any agreed price to cover the cost - haven't heard from him since.

But with work still looking promising, I bit the bullet & ordered a PowerLite starter for the car & found that the recommended one wasn't in stock, but a different one was & joy of joys was £180. It's maybe 3/4 the size & 1/2 the weight - the size being the critical thing, as instead of being 1/2" from the hot exhaust, it's now about 1 1/2" & air is the best heat insulator.

I fitted it this morning & instead of the wuh .......... wuh .......... wuh ..... wuh..wuh wuh wuh vroom I had been getting, in now goes ning ning ning vroom. But, it's the Q so with one thing fixed there was bound to be another & sure enough there was a coolant leak. Fortunately, having refurbed two cars in two years I had some spare heater hose & could fix that straight away.

So the next thing was fuel. The gauge was DEEP into the red, but I set off for the nearest petrol station & obviously hit every traffic light at red, it took ages to get round the A30 roundabout, so by the time I rolled up to a pump the temperature gauge was pretty high - certainly as high as the last time when if refused point blank to start. I optimistically filled it right up, collected the receipt to give it a little longer to heat-soak, got in & turned the key.


Excellent! So on the off-chance that the Stylus' fuel tank isn't ready, I have a spare kit for the road trip, & the man that claimed to be interested in buying the Quantum has missed a bargain.

Plugging the numbers into the Q's MPG spread sheet, it appears to have done 55mpg which sounds way too high, but we'll see over the next couple of tankfulls.

Monday 18 April 2022

Compare & Contrast

 Just a couple of before & after photos showing the car when I bought it & how it looks now.

Adding More Lightness

After having the car weighed at 563kg it occurred to me (several days after) that that figure included the tools, the jack & the jump leads I'd taken as insurance, so the car is actually well under 650kg with more to lose when the fuel tank gets changed (still waiting for the welding). But in the mean time I was wandering round the car wondering if there was anything else I needed to do before this year's road trip when my eyes fell on the soft top frame brackets. They were 3mm stainless & while not large & overweight, they had both been drilled in the wrong place & re-drilled by a previous owner, so looked a bit unsightly. They were also rivetted on with 4mm countersunk rivets with the formed tail in the fibreglass side, so had worked loose.

I found a piece of 3mm aluminium left over from the steering wheel adaptor, made a couple of triangles & this time bolted them on. It's only a few ounces saved, but more importantly it doesn't shout "I MADE A MISTAKE WHEN I DRILLED THESE" like the old ones did.

A couple of days ago when bored I took the car round to see an old friend, who looked round it, stood back & said "yes - you've done it again haven't you" - which at the time I took to be positive, though now I come to think of it ................

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Testing Times For The Stylus

 So the MoT went well, the Stylus passed with an advisory on the handbrake. It wasn't all plain sailing as the damn fuel tank hit the concrete as the wheels dropped onto the brake test rollers, but that will cease to be an issue soon.

Today it's been to Northampton Motorsport for corner weighting, geometry set up & engine mapping, so an early start for me - though not as early as the 03:00 I awoke at. For the journey north I had the hood up & the full side screens on for the first time - I also had ear defenders as the scream from the axle, transmitted through rose joints & resonating through the flat rear bulkhead was deafening - a job for another day.

On arrival the car was pushed round to the workshop & lifted into the ceiling for the suspension adjustments. It all seemed to go well & so after a while it was wheeled into the rolling road bay for the mapping, which is where it unraveled a bit - though nowhere near as badly as the RR session for the quantum. Firstly there was an air leak in No. 1 inlet tract, so the throttle bodies came off to correct that, then when running on light throttle, the engine regurgitated 1/2 litre of oil through the cam box breather, which is something I'll need to look into - it's not done it before.

Inevitably there are a few technical issues I need to address, but ultimately it didn't go too badly at all & all the good folk at Northampton Motorsport were very professional & efficient.

But you really want to know the numbers don't you?

Weight wise, I knew the car was heavier than the Fury (600kg) because the rear floors, the rear transmission tunnel, the bulkheads & the side panels are all steel, where on the Fury they were aluminium, but having taken a load of weight off the car I was hoping for 650kg after the fuel tank swap. In fact it's 653kg before the fuel tank swap - which could shave another 8 -10 kg off. So that's a good thing.

Then there's the power, I knew the car was similar in performance to the Fury, but the junkyard Zetec actually made 175bhp with 155ftlb torque which gives it pretty much exactly the same power / weight as the Fury, so this is all excellent news.

What was less good was deciding to drive home with the roof down - it pissed down on the M40 making me & the inside of the car very wet indeed - lucky I had those removable seat covers made.