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1980 Austin Princess - Daily Driver

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3647 replies to this topic

#3631 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 07:11 PM

Looks like I forgot my end of Week 11 update here too.  That's okay, nothing happened.

 

Princess Update end of Week 12:

All systems normal, as usual, with one exception. A peculiar wubwubwub noise and a vibration through the passenger floor, an occasional vibration through the brake pedal under heavy breaking.

Today being the first day of Week 13 means the following are identified as part of this week, rather than last week. The peculiar noise and vibration could be a failing wheel bearing as there is some slight play in the passenger front one and the noise is localised there. The other peculiar thing it did was on setting off home today, the starter motor decided to drag after the car had started, and then behaved normally once I got moving, I'll keep an eye on that and hopefully it won't require replacement or another rebuild and was just a random occurence. I'm not superstitious, but this is Week 13 of the experiment so...



#3632 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 07:25 PM

201902-01.jpg

 

Don't panic!  I haven't run Mike over, the suspension hasn't broken, we just decided to give it a check.  We'd both noticed the rear passenger side sometimes seemed to be sitting a little lower, by maybe an eighth of an inch, if that.  I'm a firm believer in doing my best to do preventative maintenance if I can so the bills can be kept low and big repairs avoided.  So, Mike got out the dalek and started by flushing the displacer on that corner.  The fluid that came out was green, but had some brown-ish sediment in it.  Reinflated back to the requisite pressure with fresh fluid and it seems fine.  The other corners were done as well and while the driver's side was very clean, the passenger side fluid was noticeably dirtier.  We're putting it down to being the side that does the most work, what with it being curb side, so it's likely just flushed more stuff around inside.

 

201902-02.jpg

It's about the right sort of timescale and mileage to do a check after the last service on the suspension anyway and we found it had all settled out a bit lower than it should.  Reinflating all four corners to the requisite pressure has improved the ride and appears to have levelled the car out again, so we're hoping it was just that things had settled from use and needed a refresh.  Certainly something to keep an eye on, other things keep getting in the way of me affording to get a set of displacers regassed, though that is on my shopping list for the future.

 

While Mike was doing the suspension, I was sorting out the rebuilt carburettor that a friend had done for me.  This was originally so covered in grime and muck I wasn't entirely sure it was salvagable, but after replacing basically every part that can wear out, it was returned to me as good as new.  Perhaps even a little too nice!  Certainly made the rest of the engine look like it could do with a clean.

201902-03.jpg

 

The only issue was the float wasn't set quite right and rather than faffing taking the carb on and off (which is incredibly annoying because of where it's located), I cheated and took the new float out and refitted the old one which is set correctly.  Ideally I was going to fit this new carb and set it up at my friend's place, which would have made things easier, but after weeks of clashing schedules it was determined to post it out to me. At some point I'll either swap the new float in set to the correct height, or I'll totally forget and leave it as it is.

201902-04.jpg

 

201902-05.jpg

 

One annoying thing I noticed on cleaning the car recently is that the paint around the side repeater on one side is lifting.  I have no idea why, it's not doing it anywhere else, I'll just have to clean it back and repaint it.

201902-06.jpg

 

Everything sorted, we could go home.  I was having an issue with the throttle not being very responsive, which was a little strange.  Disconnected the throttle cable and held the engine end while Mike operated the pedal end and the cable sorted itself out.  Not sure how, but it seemed to have got bound up inside the sheath somehow.  Once reconnected, normal throttle was returned.  With the suspension serviced and the new carb, the car rides much nicer and accelerates much better.  The occasional hunting/flutter thing that it would do is gone, and there's no hesitation setting off.  I will of course monitor things over the next few miles to see if things stay like this, but initial signs are promising.

201902-07.jpg


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#3633 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:14 PM

This is turning into a lovely thing!
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#3634 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:19 PM

Have you lost the front to rear hydro connection pipes? Or did these never have them?
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#3635 OFFLINE   captain_70s

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:21 PM

I thought all hydrasag systems worked interdependently front/rear as it helped stop the bouncing you used to get with the hydrolastic systems?


35lR772.jpg


#3636 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:32 PM

Keep up at the back.  I took the interconnecting pipes off ages ago in favour of individualising units, an idea nicked from MG F racers.  A compromise, really, since I've sacrificed some comfort in favour of handling.  It also means if a displacer does fail, you can see immediately which one it is and the car is much more driveable should a displacer fail.  My original pipes had rotted and failed, as they do.  It's not as nice in the back, I'm told, the ride is a little bouncy, but since I'm never in the back I don't care about that.


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#3637 OFFLINE   MikeKnight

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 12:58 PM

attachicon.gif201902-01.jpg

 

Don't panic!  I haven't run Mike over

 

..... yet.


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#3638 OFFLINE   MikeKnight

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 10:01 PM

It's not as nice in the back, I'm told, the ride is a little bouncy, but since I'm never in the back I don't care about that.

 

It's bouncy like "my rear dampers have failed" bouncy would be on traditional strut suspension.

 

Not horrible though, don't get me wrong, it's only unpleasant if you're going over speed bumps or such and then it feels like it's bouncing for about fifteen minutes.



#3639 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 10:43 PM

End of Week 13.  Late again, this time because I've been unwell.

 

No oil and coolant usage as I've come to expect.

 

The biggest change this time around was fitting the newly rebuilt carburettor.  Initially this was a little frustrating as the float behaved as though it was stuck, initially solved by swapping out the new float for the original.  However, a drive the following day resulted in several failures to proceed with the same sticking float symptoms.  A simple matter of pulling over, letting the excess fuel drain out of its own accord, restarting the car and driving for as long as it would before the needle stuck again.  Tedious, but not particularly dangerous since I was so close to home when it happened on slow roads.  Fortunately, because it was a friend that had rebuilt the carburettor, it meant we could have a chat about the potential issue and both agreed that while nothing looked amiss it did sound like a sticking float or float needle, so he popped some new ones in the post for me and once they arrived, I could remove the carburettor yet again to have a look.

 

201902-08.jpg

 

Initially, nothing appeared amiss at all with the float he'd installed, nor the seat.  Everything was still spotless and free moving.  It wasn't until I got the replacement needles - fluted type, rather than triangular type - that it became apparent that the needle he'd used for the rebuild was ever so slightly off centre.  Honestly, on its own you couldn't really tell, it was only when compared to another needle and in photographs that you could make out the slight deformity.  I took three photographs with the needle resting on each side of the triangular body to show how minor a flaw this was.

201902-10.jpg

 

With the replacement float needle and seat fitted, I also refitted the new float and checked the various measurements before reinstalling on the car.

201902-09.jpg

 

The result was 10 minutes of happy idling followed by a day of trouble-free errand running.  A frustrating problem initially but one that was thankfully easily resolved, it appears. With the new carburettor fitted I can get the car to idle at about 800rpm, the book suggests 750rpm.  If I drop the idle below 800rpm, the engine cuts out so the next suspect item is the distributor which discussion has led to the theory that the advance springs may be weak. Fact is, the car is happy enough at 800rpm idle so, for now, I'm happy to leave it alone.

 

Next on my list is the front wheel bearing, a replacement kit - 2 bearings and an oil seal is required - is £15-20 delivered per side and the workshop manual makes it look like a fairly straightforward job.  I have a couple of complete spare front hubs in my stash and I'll strip one of these to get an idea of how difficult the job might be before digging into the car, at least that way I'll have some idea of how likely it is I'll end up immobilising the car.

 

Since servicing the suspension the car rides much nicer on broken road surfaces and is considerably less bouncy, so I'm glad we did that too.  Fuel economy is I suspect improved, but the figures likely won't show this because of the float needle issue, so I'll have to drive and fuel up a few more times before that becomes apparent.  Certainly the car accelerates much more smoothly now and slightly more rapidly, which is welcome.


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#3640 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 11:28 PM

End of Week 14 report.

As has become something of the norm, there's nothing of any real note to report.  The new carburettor is working a treat and the fuel overflow issue appears to be resolved.  With the milder weather, the car has been starting and running much better.  Hopefully the new wheel bearing kit will arrive soon so I can get that done, I'm not having any real problems with the worn one on the car beyond the noise, so I'm keeping the use and speeds down as much as I sensibly can so I don't make the problem prematurely worse.

Other than that I get in and drive wherever I need to go, whenever I want to go there, and the Princess does it.


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#3641 OFFLINE   MGSven

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 09:56 AM

Hi

When you do the wheel bearings have a close look at the drive shaft uj boots, When you have it all apart changing these is all the much easier. And it is easy to damage them dismatling the bearing assy. Don't ask how I know!

 

Good luck

 

Sven

ex many Princesses


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#3642 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 04:26 PM

I already have a pair of boots to go on, somewhere, just in case.  I suspected this might end up being an issue.  Now, just to figure out where Somewhere Safe was this time.


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#3643 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted Yesterday, 05:36 PM

End of Week 16 - Unidentified noise finally identified when wheel bearing play was found. At the same time, it was discovered one of the CV boots (on the opposite side to the problem wheel bearing) had split. Parts ordered.

End of Week 17 - couldn't undo the hub nuts because they're on far too tight for any of the tools and people I have access to. For the first time ever I've had to book the car in at a garage to have work done and, since the MoT is due at the start of April anyway, decided to get it all done in one go. Car was dropped off on Thursday and I've been without personal transport since.

I don't know whether or not to regard this as the end of the 6 month experiment. We've done four months and this is the only thing I haven't been able to sort out myself. It's also the sort of repair job even much newer cars require, so it's not like it's a strange Princess-specific failure, or even an old-car-specific failure.

I'll keep logging the weekly reports (when I remember) until the six months are up and then do a review, assess things on balance at the end of it.


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#3644 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted Yesterday, 05:43 PM

Assess it why?

You'll still be keeping the blahhdy thing;)

It's done well, certainly more reliable than a Clio 172
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#3645 OFFLINE   dozeydustman

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Posted Yesterday, 05:49 PM

I think Vulgalour means the viability of using the car as a daily for ever & ever amen, while when the BX is finished, which will be daily car & whch would be weekend plaything,


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#3646 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted Yesterday, 05:53 PM

Yes, that.  I'm not getting rid, but the experiment was to see if I could live with the Princess as my only car, back when I foolishly thought just one car would be enough.



#3647 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted Yesterday, 05:55 PM

Yes, that. I'm not getting rid, but the experiment was to see if I could live with the Princess as my only car, back when I foolishly thought just one car would be enough.


You are a chap like myself - the number of dailies needed is only constrained by the number of days in the time period selected;)

I'd forgotten about the BX..

That and the princess = difficult decision every day before you go out the door!
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#3648 OFFLINE   LightBulbFun

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Posted Yesterday, 07:17 PM

 

End of Week 16 - Unidentified noise finally identified when wheel bearing play was found. At the same time, it was discovered one of the CV boots (on the opposite side to the problem wheel bearing) had split. Parts ordered.

End of Week 17 - couldn't undo the hub nuts because they're on far too tight for any of the tools and people I have access to. For the first time ever I've had to book the car in at a garage to have work done and, since the MoT is due at the start of April anyway, decided to get it all done in one go. Car was dropped off on Thursday and I've been without personal transport since.

I don't know whether or not to regard this as the end of the 6 month experiment. We've done four months and this is the only thing I haven't been able to sort out myself. It's also the sort of repair job even much newer cars require, so it's not like it's a strange Princess-specific failure, or even an old-car-specific failure.

I'll keep logging the weekly reports (when I remember) until the six months are up and then do a review, assess things on balance at the end of it.

 

 

its been very interesting and fun reading your blog of it all

 

it shows that it is possible to daily a vintage car without the world coming to an end :)







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