Friday 24 February 2023

Rad Troubles

The very first time I took the Stylus out with the car club all the water ran out because the rad had been mounted touching an edge on the GRP body, which had slowly slowly cut through the aluminium. I got that mended, but last weekend I noticed the water level was again low, but looking around I found a stain on the rad. £300 of Coolex radiator was leaking from the core.

I didn't buy it - I wouldn't be so daft, but as it was now obviously recycling fodder I bought a radiator from a Polo - which doesn't look so nice, but as it's tucked away deep in the nose, who cares? If it keeps the water in & the engine cool, that'll be just fine with me.

It arrived as promised & fitted perfectly in place of the old one, as a bonus it's 1/2 the weight & holds less water so there's a 2 1/2kg weight saving. It's now on the car & the cooling system has been flushed, tomorrow I'll tighten the clamps & put fresh coolant in it & give it a testing.

Just as an aside, the weight of the car at purchase was 700kg, the car still has all the features it used to have plus a few new ones, like removable side windows, USB ports, seat cushions, a fuel tank that doesn't scrape the road & it now weighs 627kg, None of it's been big stuff, just little savings here & there, taking off things it didn't need, like the oil cooler & swapping steel components for aluminium ones, none were really worthwhile in isolation, but they all add up - or subtract down.

Sunday 12 February 2023

Out Again


This weeks little saunter was from Newlands Corner to Brighton & we were joined by "Captain Slow" of the wider SKCC (also by some production cars). The Captain's name is legend in the SKCC for his ability to mend any fault on any car at the roadside - even welding things back together with a welder he carries in the seven in extreme cases.

The Captain's car was built from plans - meaning he bought lengths of steel tube & cut & welded it into a chassis etc & it's not long on the road after a major re-build & I have to say, looking good, the other runners were two Elises & an Exige 430.

The Stylus was going nicely today, getting back into it's stride from the months of non use. I've replaced the other two rod ends in the rear suspension leading arms with polybushes & the ride is much improved. Nick with the Exige commented on how it appeared to be riding the potholes better that his car.

Did I mention pot holes? Sussex seems to be in competition with Surrey to have the worst road surfaces, Fulking (it's the name of a place) was particularly bad with canyons about 4" deep right across the road. On the upside we went up Ditchling Beacon for the first time & there were no cyclists! we were following a 4x4, but at least it was keeping up a reasonable pace.

So, another nice run out, with no damage / breakdowns / things to mend & we got to meet Mrs Neil who has voluntarily agreed to come on the Rogue Runners trip to Devon, but appeared to be otherwise quite normal.

Sunday 5 February 2023

Camberley - Amberley - Camberley

 First blatt of the new year. As it was one of GB's, the Stylus was the only kit, the other three being Loti. The route was basically a figure 8 lying diagonally across a map from Christchurch to "the garage on the A23" (not much idea where it is - kind of Horsham ish), but it all went a bit odd.

When I set off it was dark - dark & cold, but mostly dark. I particularly noticed this because the driver's side main beam appears to have gone dead again. But by the time I got to the start point & we set off it was getting light, so not a problem - something to mend during the week.

It all started going wrong when my Satnav said "turn left" but everyone carried on. At the next junction is also said "turn left", again everyone carried on. Then it said to go straight across a roundabout where the road was plainly closed, we followed the diversion signs back along the road we'd come down, my SatNav now insisting I should turn right. After a while we turned left to follow the diversion signs & eventually the blue line on the screen suggested we were back on the route. However, it was still suggesting I turn off & the mileage to the end was increasing. I followed the herd & after a while we turned into a side road so our leader could have a conflab. When we re-started we had a new leader, but my SatNav still wasn't happy. After a while I lost sight of the car in front & following the route on screen turned left - apparently everyone else turned right.

I realised it had all gone wrong & pulled over to delete a load of waypoints & head for the cafe as I was cold & rumbled along in the sunshine, but I was driving through the same places, suggesting that we were on the route - but heading the wrong way. Whatever. When I arrived at the cafe the SatNav took me into the exit, so having never been there before I got confused & turned round & followed the A4 paper signs.

The cafe was on an "industrial estate" - a bit of "alternative farming" by a local land owner & even though I was now in the right place, finding the cafe was still a challenge. But find it I did & parked up & sauntered down to find a unit surrounded by Porsches as well as a couple of interesting cars, a Noble, a Lanham Sprite (one of the modern kits that's made quite locally) & an Inoccentti Mini, one of the square shaped ones that Inoccentti designed for themselves.

I ordered a coffee & went to the loo - which for no reason that I could fathom had a Red Arrows theme, the rest of the cafe was quite good, with lots of automotive memorabilia & F1 posters etc - BUT - no full English. Bacon rolls were possible, but apart from that it was burgers, pizzas & cake - lunch time stuff rather than breakfast, so obviously I had cake, a toffee apple cake in fact & very nice it was too. About 10 mins after I arrived, the others pulled in. "before we got to the the closed road" I said "the SatNav was saying turn left". "yes" replied our leader "mine too". I refrained from asking why he'd ignored it going in BOTH directions & got us onto the return route while still heading outbound.

If you want to test the cafe for yourself it's the "Torque Moto Cafe" - bound to have a website.

So then it was just getting home. The Stylus worked well - the temperature gauge only showed 60deg, so I'm wondering if it was so cold the screen heater rad was enough to over-cool the engine? I may have to fit a restrictor to ensure the thermostat opens. the suspension was good, no squeaking at all & a much better ride than hitherto without any detrimental effect on the handling, happy with that.