Sunday 26 June 2022

Car Show Again

The Stylus & my nephew's Devon
I'd fancied going on the SKCC's run today, but my brother wanted to go to the Blackbushe meet, so that's where I went. My nephew came too in his newly finished Devon hot rod-ish, so the three of us arrived together & parked up. I was immediately engaged in conversation by a guy building a Formosa, which is a car I'd looked at building myself. We talked about the seat covers as he has aluminium seats & fabric, so needs them stitched into covers, so I was able to pass on the upholsterer's No.

Then my brother bumped into someone he knew many many years ago, they got talking & it turned out the guy is organising a show & handing out application forms, so that was good, but then the green MG Magnette I've posted photos of before on this very organ turned up. My brother's a big fan, so introduced himself & it turns out my brother has parts the guy needs & the guy may have access to parts my nephew needs - so all in all, a very worthwhile trip!

It's not east to fit a Rover in a Pop. It's REALLY not easy to do it this well

Laurel & Hardy must be here somewhere

Very understated, very nicely done.

Apparently not a McLaren, but not a UVA either.

Saturday 18 June 2022

A Day Of Farewells

 Firstly & most importantly I waved goodbye to the Quantum. I'd had a number of enquirers, most seemed to just talk about the car, then on Thursday a text held promise & the guy came to see the car that evening. The quantum is a good car, I couldn't manage it & the Stylus but I didn't want it to go to someone like it's last couple of owners who just let it dilapidate.

Matt has never had a kit car, but has had several classics - so I expect he'll be disappointed by the complete absence of rust - he seemed to like the car straight away & a brief test drive cemented his enthusiasm, a deal was done & he collected it today.

He gave me a little more for the car than I paid in 2020, but in the mean time I have spent over £4,000 refurbishing it. but it was never about the money, I bought it to keep me sane at a particularly dark time in my life & it achieved that. So the drive's looking a bit empty now.

The other goodbye was a more pleasant one, I said farewell to the really awful handbrake on the Stylus. The handbrake cable runs round a pulley on the trans tunnel & back through the side wall to the the inside of the tunnel. There it was doubled back & clamped around the middle of a length of studding. At each end of the studding were two nuts clamping two more cables in a "balance bar" arrangement which was way too short, so really only one brake ever came on. My fix was to have the loop pull on a "yoke" which pulls a Harrier flying control pulley & add a new rear cable in one piece, so the brakes are pulled on equally no matter what. Having been out for a swift test, the handbrake still isn't brilliant, but I can no longer push the car along with the brake set. I have a few ideas to improve it further over the winter when the car's down for having the rear chassis refurbished.

Also mended is the SatNav mount. I'd printed one which had worked OK, nut just before (luckily) the road trip it broke where I always thought it would & I'd cobbled something together out of a TomTom cradle, a Ram mount, a couple of bolts & a tyrap - it worked though. With the Quantum going I had a spare TomTom mount, so I cut the suction end off one & glued in a modified motorcycle mirror Ram mount. so the SatNav is back in it's rightful place.

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

Sunday & an "out", a run from a garage on the A24 to the Chalet Cafe. 

As the crow flies just a few miles - we'd be doing 100, seven Elises, two Caterhams, a Westfield & a Stylus.

But even before that, one of the RogueRunners had got tee-shirts printed with the excellent artwork from the RR22 tour sticker emblazoned on the front. As luck would have it both he, I & a few of the other Rogues would be on this run to collect, though two would be at a car show. But wait! The Chalet is due south of one of the two & I had a 3D print to had over to him, the other lived not 1/2 mile from my Dad - who I was going to see before turning for home - job done!

The run went well, with the Stylus performing superbly, especially in the Hindhead tunnel. At the Chalet the car park was heaving with interesting stuff & the queue for breakfast was out the door & half way to the main road.

After that I rumbled to Reigate (finding petrol at "only" £1.78 / l) & handed over the shirt & print, then went on to Selsdon for more deliveries.

Nice day.

The following day - not so much. I was due to be the only person in the office as the others were either working from home or on a business trip, but I awoke far too early with a headache. By the time I arrived at work it was worse & by 11:30 I was feeling sick it was so bad. I took the Quantum home.

After quite a lot of painkillers & a walk on the heath I was feeling better & jacked up the Stylus to investigate improving the hand brake. I was prodding & poking at things when I felt a drip on my arm. I looked round & a three-way hydraulic fitting on the axle had a drip on it, but the trail of hydraulic oil down the pipe had just started, furthermore there were no drips on the carpet (yes, carpet) beneath it, so the first drip had landed on me.

The drippage seemed to be coming from the connector on the new pipe I'd made a few weeks back, so naturally I assumed I'd loused up the swaging or the tightening, I got another 1/4 turn on the fitting, but the dripping got worse.

Having had a good look round I found the oil was coming from above the fitting I'd done (so nothing to do with my workmanship), from a pipe I'd thought at the time was over-long, not attached & vulnerable to vibration & metal fatigue. I moved it, oil rushed out. Having stripped it, the pipe had indeed fatigued through, so how lucky was I that it survived the road trip & the blat, only to drip for the first time when I was there to feel it.

I cut & re-swaged the pipe less than half the length it had been & re-fitted it, bled the brakes through again & it all seems OK.

The irony is, I'm pretty certain it doesn't even need the rigid pipe that broke, the flexi line could go straight into the three-way fitting. I've put the shortened pipe back on for now because to confirm it wasn't required would've meant lowering the car, jacking it up again by the chassis & checking the hose at full axle droop. I'll do that when I refurbish the rear chassis over the winter.

I've thought before that this car likes being used (it's averaged 700 miles a year for 20 years before I bought it, so it must've been bored right? 

Now I'm convinced it's doing it's best to help me.

In more good news the Quantum has been my daily driver this week & is going just fine.

Sunday 5 June 2022

Farnham Festival of Transport

 An alert from a western SKCC member (thanks Hammy) sent me to Farnham where there was a "festival of transport" The Stylus was waved straight in & directed to a parking bay, & I wandered about the cars varying from a shiny new Konigsegg to a micro car resembling a lego brick with a 90cc engine, 3 wheels & rollers at the front in case it tipped over.

Stunning 47 Chevy pickup - it's not pink, it's peach, it says so on the side just in case there was any confusion

But you wouldn't want to get something out of the back if you were short

A GT40's always nice to see & two is even nicer

Orange wheels - it's the future

Someone said this ^^ was the actual car used in The Italian Job - it isn't.

If someone said they owned a supercharged Porsche, I bet this isn't what you'd think of

Rover 110 with a little extra

Not my thing, but other folk seemed to be impressed.
F40 - the last "proper" Ferrari?

Nice, a Singer apparently

Nice at the other end too

The star of the show - if you wanted attention this got it. Just under the front you can see the anti-tip castors.

Well, when I say the star, it wasn't my favourite car there.

Thursday 2 June 2022

Road Trip Repairs

 With a long bank holiday for the Platinum Jubilee I had a little time to sort out some repairs for the couple of minor matters thrown up by RogueRunners 22.

Most of the time away there was a faint petrol smell which was caused (I think) by the either the cork seal round the fuel tank access panel weeping a little, or - more likely - the vent valve. I say the vent valve because it didn't smell when the tank was properly full (when the cork seal was flooded & the vent valve would be held shut), but it did smell when the tank was 3/4 full (when the vent valve would be mostly open & fuel was sloshing about). I took out the panel in the boot floor & knocked a larger bulge in it where the valve is so I could fit a hose which runs up to a space under the rear bulkhead, now any fuel escaping before the valve shuts is held in the hose until it's drawn back in. I also put some instant gasket on the cork seal for good measure.

Next, the airbox. There was a pattern of cracks, mostly around the middle radiating out from the middle bit, then running along the corners, so I'm guessing the air pulses were making it pant (if you're British) or "oilcan" if you're American, that would account for the cracking & the pattern of the cracks. Maybe I should've used TWO pairs of wooly tights to make it. 

I duct-taped the loose bits back into place & painted the inside with GRP resin mix, then a layer of chopped strand mat & more resin on the inside, remove the tape & add a couple of layers on the outside where the missing bit wasn't & a big layer or two right over the the lot.

Will it fix it? No idea, it depends if I'm right about the pulses & how much the sides move now the top wall is stiffer. But making a new one with what I've learned from making this one isn't a big job.

But the really good news is that the trumpets have suffered no heat damage. They'll be fine all the time the engine's running as they are cooled by the intake air, but I had wondered if they'd suffer when the car was parked up with a hot engine bay. but so far, so good & as they obviously contributed in no small way to the 175bhp it made on the rolling road, this is a good thing.