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About RayMK

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    Retired in 2008, now 69 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. Same with Citroen CXs with the factory sliding sunroof. A few bubbles around the aperture hid extensive corrosion which demoralised owners who were already paddling in LHM most weekends. At least this Rover has got a year's ticket courtesy of DW and may go on to survive with its new owner.
  2. This is a 'no news' report. A few weeks ago I mentioned my intention to get the Reliant out of my garage, give it a checkover and see how best to fit an electric fuel pump which I bought years ago. Well, I got close to doing something but was thwarted by a V70. My son updated the sound system in his V70, replacing the multi CD/radio lump in the dashboard with a swish Pioneer unit with screen. It looks and sounds very good. A few days after buying and fitting an electronic module to enable the use of the standard steering wheel audio controls the battery went flat. We recharged it and it was flat again the next morning. He checked and rechecked the wiring and V70 set-up switch positions on the electronic module but battery flattening did not go away. The remote control connections were thus disconnected to avoid an embarrassing fire and he is happy at the moment to control the audio system from the screen. Unfortunately, the battery did not recover even after charging (10.7V). By some fluke, I had had a battery of exactly the same size and similar rating in my garage for at least 10 years. It actually had 1999 felt penned on it but I can't believe that it is that old or indeed remember which car it was removed from. Anyway, this ancient battery which had been unattended for years was showing a healthy 12.5volts, so we put it in the V70 which fired up immediately. Remarkable! Even more remarkable is that it has not faltered for 2 weeks of occasional V70 use. The Reliant 'no news' resulted from the old failed battery being plonked at the entrance to my garage, blocking the Reliant in. I am an old cripple and cannot shift the battery - it has no handle. When the stars line up again I'll get my son to shift it and will try again.
  3. Is fitting a larger sunroof an option (the cut-out taking the rust away)? Sunroof rust is the last straw for quite a few cars unless you have access to a wizard with sparky sticks. I hope it doesn't kill this one.
  4. Yesterday I was under the Tipo investigating why the exhaust note had become uncharacteristically sporty. Needless to say, the exhaust is several weeks out of its 2 year warranty and the flex-joint has failed. A Nescafe Americano (decaff) tin, some aluminium foil tape and two jubilee clips are now on duty until a replacement arrives. Fortunately, a new downpipe with integral flex-joint and fitting kit is only £45. Whilst the front of the car was on ramps I was pleased to see that the floor pan looks solid enough, though I was not bold enough to poke it - it is Italian, after all.
  5. I also wondered whether it might be. There's an ebay seller who put one up at an optimistic price but had 0 bids. Reducing it by £100 this week has had the same level of response.
  6. I've got a 2017 Mirage Juro CVT hatchback which does not look as dumpy as that saloon. A lot of hatchbacks which are offered as saloons, i.e. with a boot, have awkward styling. The Mirage above is no exception.
  7. Is the belt V angle matched to the CVT pulley V angle? If they are significantly different, squealing will be the result. LBF's suggestion of mounting a camera to spy on the behaviour of belt and pulleys during representative driving is a good one. It may show whether the belt is becoming misaligned due to the new pulleys being mismatched but I would be surprised if that was happening. The passive, spring loaded pulley should accommodate whatever the speed sensitive pulley demands provided that the static belt tension is correct. Have the belt or pulley driving surfaces picked up oil from somewhere? There's nothing to be ashamed of regarding trailering TWC. You have already demonstrated that long distances are possible. A 400 miles trip each way is a serious distance in a car made for 'local' trips in a different era. You can refer critcs to your TWC videos.
  8. Is the earth lead between engine and bodywork in good order? Check by using a jump lead between the battery earth and the engine and see if that gets life from the sparky bits. Obviously, if it makes no difference, the cars standard earthing arrangements are probably ok. I had a thoroughly confusing fight with my Reliant's ignition a couple of years ago. Sparks died when I was out and nothing I could do beside the road made any difference. After getting towed back home (always fun* with a three wheeler) the diagnosis seemed to point to the coil. New one was ordered and fitted. No spark. Condenser was changed. No spark. Dizzy cap centre contact and all plug contacts and leads checked for continuity/resistance. All checked fine. The rotor arm looked fine and was conductive in all the right places and open circuit in other places as it should be (i.e. insulated from the shaft) but I fitted a filthy, battered one from an old spare engine in desperation. The damned thing fired up immediately. I could not find any reason for the 'good' rotor arm not working. As a previous poster mentioned, try to resist the temptation to change everything in one go. One item at a time and then run checks. Eventually you will win and with luck know which bit had caused the problem. Forgot to mention that the points were also checked, together with all low tension wiring and connectors....before the offending rotor arm was identified.
  9. I have not booked for this event but may drop by the FOD in the afternoon, probably in the Tipo. The VMCC is holding its 'Founders Day Rally' at Stanford Hall on Sunday 21st July. I will be going to that one to drool over hundreds of motorcycles - unless the weather is lousy. Unfortunately, I have not done anything to the Reliant since last year's post FOTU FOD run. It needs attention to the fuel system to prevent vapour locking. Its mechanical fuel pump is way past its best. I bought an electric fuel pump many years ago to see if pushing fuel to the carb cures the problem. The mechanical pump of course sucks fuel from the tank which, in a Reliant's hot engine bay, increases the tendency for the fuel to vaporise in the line prior to reaching the pump. Pushing fuel from an electric pump mounted near the tank does seem to tick a few boxes in my logic. I have tried insulating the fuel line, installing heat shields etc without success. Running without the internal engine cowling works but makes driving the thing unbearably noisy and hot. Circumstances and enthusiasm permitting, I'll try to look at it in the next few weeks (that's usually as far as I get 😀).
  10. I have only rarely borrowed cars, partly because I would hesitate if someone asked to borrow one of mine. However, when my desperation for working transport has called, moral dilemma had to be put on hold. A brother in law lent me his nearly new Audi 100 sometime around 1980 when my Viva FTP'd on the way back from college but conveniently near his house. His white 5 cylinder Audi was a revelation. So smooth and refined and it came complete with an ELO cassette in the stereo. I delivered it back to him the next day exceedingly grateful for the loan. The alternative was a multi-change bus ride home or a taxi which I could not afford. About 6 years later, mortgage interest rates had forced me on to a Jawa 350 sidecar outfit as my daily. It was not reliable. My dad, who had become 'late' left his Citroen GSA in the garage whilst mum tried to pass her driving test. It took a while. I asked if I could borrow the GSA for a month and thus had my first hands on experience of hydropneumatic motoring. It was fascinating and impressive. An honourable mention also goes to a company called 'Rent a Wreck' which saved me from having to cancel a holiday in Cornwall when my Renault 12's clutch began to slip days before setting off. They provided a rusty orange road legal Morris Marina 1800 saloon for a negligeable week's hire cost. It was completely trouble free and actually pleasant to drive.
  11. Trying to be helpful, but my experience of seizing is only with 2 strokes which, for me at any rate, have only ever run tight or seized on full throttle when riding. Apart from checking that rings have not been shredded by the ports, recovery and a return to normal running was undramatic. Therefore, my experience leads me to be surprised that an engine can seize after an apparently normal period of running, and I assume a normal switch off. In my ignorance of possible reasons for the perplexing 'lock-up,' I would go for the easy investigations first e.g. 1. Drain the engine oil to see if there are traces of metal - which would suggest mechanical conflict and probably warrant a strip down. 2. If possible, and with the bike on a centre stand, observe parts of the transmission when rocking the back wheel to ensure that everything is free to move (rock) up to the crankshaft. I suspect this will be difficult or impossible because of the enclosed nature of the Sunbeam engine and transmission design. 3. With your knowledge of the engine's internals, are there any components located with a woodruff key or similar locking/orientation devices which may somehow have dislodged and caused a mechanical obstruction? I would be looking at camshaft, oil pump and distributor drives in this context. Of course, if a possibility is identified then strip down is the unfortunate consequence. 4. If the engine has pushrods, can you ascertain by looking at them (assuming minimal dismantling for viewing access!) as to whether one or other end of a rod has become unseated and locked the engine? That's my lot. I think you will have to bite the bullet and strip the engine unless something obvious and fixable is found. Life's little troubles can be bloody inconvenient when they gang up on you.
  12. When these came out they were commonly referred to as 'a motorised slipper.' The few that I've seen in action when new were usually pedalled when going up the slightest gradient. Vulnerability redefined. Well done!
  13. Other reverse raker suggestions: Mazda Carol; Toyota Will VI. I thought there was another small Japanese car with this feature but can't remember the make. There's been at least one yank land yacht with it as well. Edit: The yank I was trying to remember was a 1963 Mercury Monterey Breezeway.
  14. Worst of all are the old chaps who have a photograph album of their car's restoration. Show the slightest bit of interest as you pass, and they pounce. The only way to escape the detailed review is to receive an imaginary urgent phonecalll.
  15. Lots of interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. As an old giffer of impeccable taste, I would take the Jensen CV8 or the Renault 6 home.
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