Ok, so here's the lowdown.
I was actually on-call the night before, so was up from 4am and running on fumes most of the day. I caught a late morning train from Cardiff, sadly not a Pacer but some class 150. Arrived into Brizzle TM to find there was a signal failure delaying all the trains by about a half hour. This meant missing my bus connection in Devon and delaying an hour for a later one to the rural hamlet where the work was going on. This shouldn't have been an issue...
Arrived to this.
Had a catch up and chat, then set off. First stop as tradition, refusing to comply with suggestions.
Set off to run some errands locally, and then up the A38 for home. After 30 miles I was getting used to the engine/ gearbox/ shell combo, and the engine seemed to have loosened up from it's multiple year garage slumber - breathing easier and pulling harder. I did take a video but it's mainly rainy road noise and wiper action, so I'll have another go.
It does seem to run very cool, struggling to get up to temp on the long flat run. Not sure if that's a dead thermostat or having such a massive rad for a little diesel, but will need to investigate.
At Sedgemoor I pulled off to check fluid levels, tyres etc. As it sat idling the battery charge light flickered once or twice, now visible in the gloom of dusk, but I thought nothing of it.
As I pulled back onto the M5 the battery charge came on a little brighter for a couple of miles before extinguishing itself. Puzzling. It stayed off for a few miles before flickering some more near Clevedon.
Going up the M49 towards the bridge it came on and stayed on, getting gradually brighter. Some bricks were shat, but sense reigned; this was an old diesel, it don't need no charge. The battery could run the lights and wipers the 35 miles home, and most of the motorway was lit anyway.
Foot went down a little harder, and I raced on only to get stuck in a queue as the M4 was shut around Newport for the never-ending roadworks. Stress.
The last few miles were quiet sleep deprived hope, and the Scirocco duly made it to my on-street parking.
- It's hilarious to drive - the combination of old school diesel truck soundtrack, turbo whistle and coupe shell is deliciously incongruously mad
- It sips diesel. £10-15 max used for about 200 miles. Again - old small diesel, tall gearing, aerodynamic (0.38cd) shell
- The engine starts on the button, runs sweetly, and the gearbox doesn't whine like the old one
- In gear acceleration is reasonable and surprising
- It will pull away in third, and happily manoeuvres at parking speeds on the clutch only
- Charging circuit issues. Next job is to chase all the wiring, nip everything up and if that fails I may replace the original alternator. A bit of research suggests the regulator fails, but the reg is £10, alternator £35, so tempting to change the lot.
- Wiring is a rats nest. The dealer fit scorpion immobiliser has all been chopped out, and the glow plugs wired in correctly but the under dash harness is all still tangled up together. The fuse board is currently cable-tied to the underside of the dash. Somewhere along the way the main feed to the stereo has also been chopped (so no tunes to drown out the diesel drone). I would like to install a reasonable aftermarket alarm, C/L, glow plug light, get the tunes back and generally tidy everything up.
- The rev counter doesn't work. This should be fairly simple as I think it can take the feed off the W pole of the alternator. All of the above can hopefully be done at the same time.
- Cool running - turn the boost up to warm it up (and swap the thermostat for a spare I have).
- First gear is sometimes reluctant. Suspect dead syncromesh. I can drive around this.
- It's not quick. The pump has been set up for emissions MOT pass.
So general success, but some issues exposed on the 150 mile motorway shakedown. Plans underway for remedies.