Saturday, 30 May 2015

Exhaust Modifications

With the girls staying overnight at Sam's parents, I had an early start to be parked up outside Custom Chrome in Nuneaton a good 45 minutes before they opened. They operate a "first come first served" policy on a Saturday morning and I wanted to be sure to be the first on the ramps and therefore know that this would be sorted today.
It is about 50 miles to them from my house, so this was the first long drive I have done. Sitting at a sensible 55-60mph on the motorway (running new engine in!) and altering the speed between 50 and 60 occasionally, it was a lovely drive. Roof open, windows down, all good. Temperature gauge sitting at 1/3 all the way, no clonks or noises. Wheels out of balance and the speedo is squeaking like a banshee, but apart from that, all good.
 When Graham, the owner, arrived for work in his XK140, I knew I was in safe hands!
 First off, the front pipes were heated and bent to the correct shape (n/s one was sitting too low and too long). Then the the rear section was fettled to fit properly and the tubes out of the back of the silencers cut off and positioned correctly. This made everything sit up and in the right place (Del Lines floor cut outs in the correct place to standard Stag silencers now fit up in the floor properly).
 Graham, happy in his work!! Really lovely friendly and experienced people, couldn't recommend then highly enough.
 2 hours later, job done. Sits in the right place, doesn't rattle, doesn't blow.
 A much quieter trip home (my home made centre section really was awful!) I had a hour or so spare before I had to go and collect the girls. I fitted the drivers side carpet section on the A post, then fitted the parcel shelf.
 Moving on to the rear, I fitted the window trim (painted black as original), the side panels and then the rear trim on the drivers side. Passengers side will have to wait until next time as time was pressing on.
 Next job was to put it back in the garage, lift up the front and remove both front suspension legs. I had a clonk on the nearside suspension which we traced to a worn shock, despite it being new, so I have now got a set of Spax Adjustable front shocks and tomorrow I'm going to see Brian who is going to fit them for me (I don't have the tools to do this).
 However, once I removed the n/s leg, I found the real problem. The shock tube has snapped off just below the threaded section which holds the shock in. Effectively, I have been driving it with no front shock at all !!!! Disaster!!!

Anyway, Brian has a spare front tube (although we don't have time to powder coat it, for now it will just have to be fitted and made pretty later on) and we are going to stick with the plan to put the SPAX in it. They will be much better, so thats the plan for tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Squeek Squeek Squeek

So, why does the new fan belt on the new alternator squeek like a mouse in a tumble drier?

Its a new WOSP high performance alternator, with a new toothed belt and its slipping despite being tight.
Closer investigation shows that the pulley is the wrong one, its too wide and it means the belt is sitting on the base of the pulley, rather than being trapped on the sides in the V.

So, I ordered a new pulley, narrower with a V and last nights job was to fit it.

The shaft on the alternator has an allen key to hold it steady, which you can't get to because the radiator is in the way. So, you have to take off the alternator and get it on the bench to do it, which means you have to remove the Power Steering Pump to get it out.......... grrrrrr !!

Anyway, ably assisted by Bradley again, 2 and a half hours later (there was an hour lost as we had to drill out the centre of the new pulley a little as it didn't quite fit!) its on and no more squeeking!!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Comparing old vs new

I was just thinking today, about comparing photos of "as was" and "as is", and I have enough photos to almost recreate it!!

It just reminds me how much I have done !!!

Interesting looking back at before and after.......... !!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Road Legal!!!

Last minute flurry of activity to get it ready for the MOT. Tracking set, interior lights finished, number plates fitted, wiring to windows finished and the gearlever trim fitted.

Finally, although not completely finished, it was ready for an MOT.

 We also had to change the rear wheel studs for longer ones as the revvies on spacers made the standard ones too short. That done, and the handbrake re adjusted.

 The drive to the MOT Station was the scariest of my life. Its about 8 miles away, and trying desperately to resist the temptation to bury the throttle into the floor, I took it gently and it behaved and drove perfectly.
 We do have a clonk on the n/s front suspension which we have traced to a defective front shock (brand new but still not right) so we need to change them and I shall be fitting SPAX adjustables to the front. The rear has Monroe Load Levellers and they feel just fine.
 A quick headlight alignment later and my MOT man confirmed all is well.

5 and a half years after I dragged the sorry looking rusty wreck back from Switzerland, its finally got an MOT.
I then went to the Post Office and got the tax changed to Historic and taxed it for a year, then we went away for the weekend so I've had no time to play since!

A reminder of what it looked like back then!!!

On the to do list is;

Trip to the exhaust builder to have the home brew extensions done properly
Change the front shocks
Clip the new wiring away and replace the interior trim still missing (A posts, parcel shelves, one rear boot trim board and the rear estate woodwork.)
Then I have a tuning and head torque session booked with Andy, followed on by getting some miles on her and progressively building up the revs to run the engine in, ready to tow the caravan to the 2000 Register Nationals in Ashbourne in June.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Almost ready for an MOT!

Lots to do today, hoping to get the car ready for an MOT, not finished, but MOT-able.

Brian popped over this morning and with his expert help we managed to fix and install the interior lights, adjust the tracking (he brought his proper gauge with him!), get the electric windows working and install an additional fuse box.

Afterwards Bradley and I carried on and changed the rear wheel studs for longer ones (due to wheel spacers on the back), then trimmed and fitted the gearlever surround and gear knob.

We also finished off the wiring, fitted the number plates, fitted rear view mirror, door mirror, and a host of other things including timing and carb tuning.

Apart from a new washer pump (old one had it!), its MOT ready now.

Still got to tidy up the new wiring, install the A post interior trims, install the parcel shelves, finish off the boot trim and some other minor works.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Long time coming..................

Lots of little jobs today. Sorting out lights, indicators, horns, number plate mount, tuning the carbs (not finished yet!!)

I think this short video sums up the end of a long day on the tools................

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Turn the key!!!

Bank Holiday Monday was a big day in this project, it was the scheduled day to fire up the V8 for the first time!!!

Sobering thought, this car has not had a running engine in it for 36 years...................... !!

So, Andy came up to help as he wanted to check things over and start the engine, which I greatly appreciated, as there are some aspects of this I am just not sure about!!

First we need to check over the plumbing, pipework and wiring. Sure enough, I had made some errors and Andy spent quite a while correcting some of my mistakes. Pipes routed incorrectly, too close or touching things, wires going to the wrong place etc etc.

Next on the list was to connect the battery and check out the wiring. This took some time as we wanted to make sure all was well. Few issues, but nothing major. I have some more gremlins to sort out light the odd light and indicator not working (I suspect earth issues) and the Maserati Air Horns may not be a viable options after all as we can't get them to work on a continuous tone, but several hours of checking we were ready to try.

Fuel pump fire up straight away and promptly blew apart a fuel pipe joint that I had missed. I had spare fuel line and clips so that was sorted pretty quickly.

We had a worrying hour or so when we couldn't get the oil pump to prime and put oil around the engine before start up, but eventually, about 8 hours after we started....... the big V8 burst into life!!

Carbs are out of tune, so its a bit coughy, but it ran............. !!!!

................ briefly, before pouring oil out of the oil filter housing!!!  We used the spin on conversion kit as fitted to this engine originally, but its clearly not right as it won't hold. So, a new one is on order. Once that is fitted I can fire it up again, tune the carbs, finish the wiring, and then aim for an MOT in a few weeks.

What a wonderful day!!!!!!  Shattered, but happy.