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About RayMK

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    Rank: Citroen Ami

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    Retired in 2008, now 70 years old (2019). Interests? Well, anything that's interesting. Currently own a 1961 Reliant Regal MKVI Saloon (since 1992) Previously mentioned Stellar and Tipo are now with new owners but my son and I may buy the '94 Tipo 1.4ie back in the new year. The most exotic car I've owned was a Citroen CX GTi Turbo 2, the most unreliable was a Ginetta G26 and the most boring was an Escort MK2 Automatic. A new Mitsubishi Mirage Juro CVT has been acquired after the failure of my Peugeot 205's autobox in November 2017. 14/01/19 update: I bought the Tipo back from my son's friend a few days ago. It will need MOT rectification work (brakes, track rod ends, front spring and a CV boot clip, no bodywork) and should be road legal on 16th Jan 2019 (further update: Now in regular use).


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  1. Similar climatic themes had crossed my mind. The fuel gauge sender has never worked but I think the tank is about half full i.e. at least 2 gallons. I think the only breather is via the filler pipe and vent hole in the cap. Another possibility is that whatever was in there has completely evaporated. I have not started the car since 9th January this year. I have noticed on previous occasions after months of inactivity that the fuel looks brown, indicating that the mild steel tank is gradually being eaten away by internal corrosion. If I get round to checking and starting it tomorrow, I am anticipating carb jet blocking problems despite having fitted a fuel filter just before the fuel pump in the engine bay. Having a 60 years old transparent fuel line does have some advantages - I can see what is being drawn in to the fuel pump. Amazingly, whatever it's made of has not gone brittle or soft despite its age and ethanol soakage. It is thin walled and very tough, unlike any plastic fuel tubing which is available today for lawn mowers or old motorcycles.
  2. Yesterday was too wet to investigate the suspected fuel tank leak on the Reliant. Today I had a closer look and the result is inconclusive. Whereas two days ago the tank area had a strong smell of petrol and looked slightly wet with the stuff, today it all looked as dry as a bone and there was no trace of a smell or sight of a leak. I've cleaned the tank exterior and the rear chassis cross member as best I could without putting the car on ramps and will have a look again tomorrow. I may even get it out of the garage for a checkover and go for a drive if it co-operates. The photos show the car slightly less blocked in - I moved my mobility scooter which was also piled high with tool boxes and spares for other cars. I need to go on a training course for 'How to keep garages tidy.' The following photos show the tank before and after I had wiped it over with engine degreaser.
  3. Whist driving near Cheltenham on Sunday 19th July, a very nice gold coloured, chrome bumpered Citroen CX floated past in the other direction. So nice to see clean design amongst all the modern dumpy, chunky, bloated things.
  4. Earlier this afternoon I was forced out of my armchair by my son who needed a 23mm spanner or socket to remove the cassette on his road bike. Being organised* my tools are loosely congregated in the garage, with a concentration of ring spanners and sockets in the boot of my little used 1961 Reliant Regal. A 23mm ring spanner was found in the boot and the cassette swapped to another wheel with remarkable ease. However, whilst in the garage I could smell petrol. It could only be from the Reliant so I went back in to investigate. With barely enough room to lie down between my 1967 Peugeot moped and the Reliant, I lowered myself to a kneeling position using my sticks for support then, with the sticks hung out of the way, cranked myself to a fully face down lying position with a slight twist to have both arms to the Reliant side. Using a small torch, I could see a hanging drip of petrol near the tank mounting and somewhat surprisingly the whole rear chassis crossmember was wet with petrol despite the tank being dry in that area. I satisfied myself that the leak was very minor and will have a better look tomorrow when my son's car is out of the way and my mobility scooter moved. I had suspected that the tank was leaking many months ago but could not find any 'wetness,' just the whiff of petrol on that occasion. Having got myself neatly lying down, I found that I had insufficient room or strength to pull my left arm from my twisted position in order to heave myself back upright. I was going to phone my son for a hand - he was still in the house fiddling with bikes. From my lying position I could see that I'd emptied my shirt breast pocket and placed the contents, including my phone, about 6ft away. I thus spent another interesting* 10 minutes studying the underside of a Reliant whilst trying to find a way of freeing my trapped arm so that I could get up. Fortunately I succeeded. I'll live to post another day 😄.
  5. I've been using and enjoying my Tipo 1.4ie regularly since lockdown eased. I always preferred the Stellar that I owned until June 2018, but the Tipo is slowly growing on me. It's not all good news with the Tipo though. Recently the clutch pedal has occasionally been sticking down. There's no drop in the hydraulic fluid level (clutch and brakes share the same reservoir), no hydraulic wetness near either the master cylinder or slave cylinder and the clutch itself works fine when the pedal behaves normally, which is about 90% of the time. I lubricated the pedal pivot and the clutch actuation lever in case they had become dry with age (26 years) but that made no difference. The obvious probable remedy is to replace the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder, neither being particularly difficult until you put my decrepitude in to the equation. For the moment, an easier fix* is being tested i.e. an additional return spring acting at the pedal - all out of sight and looks almost as if it had been designed by an Italian - and because that only made a slight improvement, a beefy tension spring has been hooked between the actuation lever on the bell housing and a convenient vacant bolt hole in the front crossmember. The latter looks like a bodge worthy of an old giffer. Clutch weight has not noticeably increased as a result of the additional springs and, so far, the clutch pedal has not stuck down as often. As soon as I get a chance to look under the car to photograph the master cylinder I'll order a replacement off the 'bay and also get a slave cylinder, then pass the job to my classic friendly garage, assuming he and his business has survived the virus.
  6. Mid 50s to late 60s covers my period of interest. I do not consider myself a collector but have kept everything that survived my childhood. Matchbox toys were the only diecasts that were within my pocket money range if I saved for two weeks. Dinkys were Christmas and birthday present additions if I was lucky. My brother, 4 years younger, had mainly Corgi toys. Towards the end of our toy buying phase we sometimes splashed out on Spot-On (they were not as robust as Dinky or Corgi), or even more rarely a Norev or Solido when on one of our occasional continental holidays. My son (now 40) does not seem to have any sentimental attachment to his early toys. If they had not broken from use, he sold them. The last Dinky I bought was a Trojan van about 3 years ago and the few purchases over the last 20 years have been fairly modern offerings of cars or aircraft that 'speak' to me 😀.
  7. My hi-fi* stack at home has the same Grundig reel to reel. They get quite warm, handy when the central heating goes wrong.
  8. It's your car, do as you please. Thank goodness no one has used the word 'custodian' rather than 'owner.' My preference for original versus new audio equipment in cars varies according to the car. I admit to thinking 1950 to 1990s cars can look a bit odd with a garish modern unit in the dash, and seeing a Morris Minor or similar with a dash cam and satnav/smart phone suckered to the windscreen looks even more incongruous. Real men get lost properly with a 1960s issue Ordnance Survey map spread out on the passenger seat. My 1961 Reliant has no audio equipment. The engine easily out shouts music, conversation and thoughts. The Tipo has a fairly modern Pioneer unit which blends in with the dash quite well, though I hardly ever listen to music or radio in that car. My son replaced the Volvo tailored unit in his V70 for a modern touch screen device. It looks ok but he now agrees with me that touch screen is more eyes off the road difficult to operate than the original, so the perfectly acceptable old bespoke multi CD system is going back in.
  9. Well done. I've never attempted a cambelt replacement. Pushrods and chains I can (could!) handle in longitudinal layouts and of course side valve engines are a doddle. Transverse engines are just bloody awkward. Full marks also for the Guinness assistance.
  10. I had not realised that the Sana used a Tipo engine. I remember Sanas briefly appearing in the UK market and quite liking their general appearance. They disappeared before I could be tempted to try or buy one. As a current owner of a 1.4ie Tipo, and previously of a 1.6 which snapped its cam belt and chewed valves (it got repaired and was subsequently fine), I can instantly recognise the lump under the Sana's bonnet. Based on a sample of one (1.4ie), the Tipo unit is revvy, has little low down torque, consumes oil (unlike most Japanese cars of similar era), will only exceed 40mpg if you drive it so gently that all joy evaporates, has a top end gasket which is a devil to seal unless glued first and has an alternator tucked behind the engine, making access for replacement or belt adjustment an under the car awkward task. Generally though, it's a reliable unit and will perform adequately if driven like an Italian on a tune-up run. Good luck with the project. Much more interesting than a very rusty Tercel and probably* a better bet than a City Rover.
  11. I've seen a few of these around. Not my cup of tea, but clearly a useful vehicle and an interesting video. As is often the case, I went on to catch up with some of your other videos, namely the rather charming Rover P3 and the surprisingly pleasant Pug 404. I had a ride in our next door neighbours 404 back in 1966 when dad was based in Germany. It was almost new then and impressively refined. It was also beige. Good luck with coaxing some of your other vehicles in to service and through MOTs. Elly sounds healthy enough so should sail through once the unusual back brake cylinder disintegration has been seen to.
  12. ...and when I do, it is deliberate. I like to know how far a car's handling can be pushed so that if I decide to drive rapidly (subject to conditions and laws of course) I know what to expect. The Mirage understeers strongly but it's short travel suspension and stiff anti roll bar and torsion axle cause a rear wheel to unload suddenly, causing oversteer. Many modern front drive superminis and city cars, Mirage included, will readily cock a rear wheel when parking on only moderately undulating surfaces. The Tipo's underlying characteristics are similar but it has longer travel suspension, taller profile tyres and is not as stiff in roll. Consequently, the transitions are more benign. Lift off oversteer (or tuck-in of the front) is quite pronounced on the Mirage but hardly noticeable on the Tipo. My Pug 205 also had excellent handling for similar reasons. However, give me rear engined handling any day. Contollable oversteer is so much nicer than the allegedly safer ploughing straight on understeer which reached chronic levels on some cars. Most moderns have high limits then breakaway suddenly, hence the electronic aids to prevent those limits being reached. I do go on a bit. Ever since having a Meccano set at 7 years old and testing all sorts of suspension characteristics it's become a slight obsession 😄.
  13. My Tipo was the car of choice from 22nd May until today. I had used the Mirage for a hospital appointment on the 21st and decided to forego its aircon and autobox for a few days whilst it purified itself in the heat. As mentioned above, the Tipo gave me stress free motoring over potholed lanes. It was genuinely a pleasure to drive. Today I swapped back to air conditioned, automatic modernity and, using the same route used with the Tipo to get to my exercise haunts, there was an almighty BANG as the f*****g thing hit an unremarkable pothole after just 7 miles. I swore loudly about modern rubbish tyres and suspension then continued muttering obscenities until I stopped to check for damage. All seemed to be well. For the rest of my local journey I was on edge. Designers should forget about the bloody Nurburgring and consider a bit of resilience and comfort in their equations. Note: The Tipo actually handles better than the Mirage on the limit as well - no sudden breakaway, all nicely progressive and controllable. I do however concede that the aircon was nice today. Grump over.
  14. RayMK

    Shite Postcards

    Another fabulously nostalgic set of postcards, thanks for posting them here. I particularly liked the second one, Market Hill Sudbury, 1970s because of the wonderful selection of marques. NSU RO80, Austin 3 litre, Simca estates x 2, various vauxhalls including Victors FC and FD, a Renault 4, Morris Cowley and so the list goes on. Is that a blue Mazda 1300 motoring towards the camera (Right side of postcard)? I'm familiar with Burford. It is generally busy but modern cars being somewhat bloated makes the place look more crowded now. Edit: The white car bottom right (postcard 2) which I thought was a Victor FD may be a Datsun Laurel Six saloon. My eyes gradually homed in on the none Victor looking indicator side repeater and possibly upturned front bumper ends. Nice brown Citroen GS parked up left as well.
  15. Good that you've found a probable cause of the fuelling problems. When ethanol laced fuels were introduced, there was much debate about its effects on older cars with copper and brass components in the fuel system. Although most official lab tests reported only minor tarnishing rather than actual corrosion, they may not have considered a time span of circa 50 years for a (BMC!) car, more like 10 years to be on the optimistic side. Your new float will avoid that particular problem. A decent sized in-line filter will prevent too much crud getting in to the carburettor. My Reliant is still running a mechanical fuel pump which certainly dates from the 1980s and may even be the original 1961 item. I have read reports saying that the diaphragm material reacts to ethanol by getting less flexible and ultimately puncturing. My pump is weak but the car runs fine at all speeds* except when the ambient temperature exceeds 22degC when it will vapour lock - my fuel line is clear plastic and I can see the fuel turning to gas (vapour, for US readers) in the hot engine bay before reaching the pump. If I slightly pressurise the tank, the car will restart. After a long rest in my garage, usually many months, the mechanical fuel pump will take 10 to 15 seconds of continuous turning on the starter before the fuel system re-primes. I intend to convert to an electric pump near the tank to overcome my problems (around 3psi is the best delivery pressure for carb systems, not 10psi or more which is for injected engines.). Anyway, you are methodically tracking down and curing problems. Always good to see a Princess coming back to life.
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