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About mat_the_cat

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    Rank: Renault 16

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    Riding the trough of the fashion wave
  • Interests
    Anything with wheels or an engine...


  • Country
    United Kingdom

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  1. Not sure - it's the one on the right after you climb out of Ysbyty Ifan, and the road starts to level out. Now renovated and looks lived in last time I was up.
  2. If there's a few of us Ysbyty Ifan is probably more sensible - (slightly!) wider road if we meet other traffic, and still scenic wilderness.
  3. We could make the Evo triangle into a diamond, and head via Frongoch-Migneint-Penmachno? We've both shared the same video!
  4. Ah, it's not the Evo triangle you're right - but the Migneint pass, i.e. the B4407 road from Llan Ffestiniog, joining up with the Bala to Trawsfynydd road. I should have recognised it sooner given that I did it every day for 7 years! EDIT - this is a better video which actually shows the correct road:
  5. OK, everything you (n)ever wanted to know about AC hoses! Back in the early days, when R12 was used as a refrigerant it was usual to have to regularly top up the system every year or two, as it would slowly permeate through the hoses. This, as we now know, was a bad thing. With the introduction of R134a (a smaller molecule so more prone to leak out), and the need to protect the ozone layer, a new hose was required. This was known as barrier hose, for the simple reason it now contained an extra barrier layer to reduce this leakage by a factor of 10. So, all hose that you can buy nowadays is barrier hose. Trouble is, while there is plenty of room for most of my planned hose routing, there will be some tight spots. So I needed the less common reduced barrier hose, which is basically an improved construction allowing it to be thinner with the same performance (burst and permeation resistance), as well as being more flexible. I'm just trying to make life easier for myself! I couldn't find any online UK source of reduced barrier hose or fittings, so again had to look over the pond. I am very envious of both the choice and low prices over there! Compare the prices and selection (this includes both male and female O-ring fittings) here: https://www.carbuilder.com/uk/ac-unions#/pageSize=20&viewMode=grid&orderBy=0 with *just* the female fittings listed here: https://coldhose.com/fittings/oring/female-oring.html Plus male, male insert, male and female flare and springlock fittings! For a geek like me it was quite enjoyable browsing through the selection and choosing (hopefully) exactly what I need. The fact that even including postage it was cheaper than the UK was the icing on the cake! So as soon as that arrives I can start making hoses, leaving 'just' the evaporator under the dashboard to sort.
  6. Back in 1997, on the day before New Year's eve I started my first 'big' job on the car, which was swapping the noisy rear axle for a Cortina one. I remember it well, as although daunting, went quite smoothly until I came to attach the propshaft. The flange was totally different, and I had to find a propshaft specialist within cycling distance who could do the job at short notice! They had to cut the end off, then weld on a new UJ and balance it again. It was like memory lane working underneath the car, removing the axle again. It's now off, ready to get a new diff installed on Friday. I checked and unfortunately the leaking wheel bearing isn't down to a blocked breather, but I'll get some advice from Arwel hopefully. Decent branded bearings to go in too While the axle was off I was finally able to work out what the clonk was from the rear while going over bumps. I was sure it was the exhaust, but couldn't see any witness marks, and couldn't replicate it by waggling the tailpipe. But with the axle out of the way, I could get my head into a position to see where one of the pipe clamps was hitting the underside. I couldn't just rotate it, as clearance to the upper suspension arm was tight, so I fitted a different style of clamp which takes up less space. Stainless too, so should last. Then back to the AC installation. I've bought some bulkhead fittings, which have a neat little O ring in one of the nuts, to provide a good seal between engine bay and cabin I drilled two holes in the best location: Then painted the cut edges and installed the fittings. As you can see, the location coincided with an existing reinforcement bracket, which I had to trim around the lower fitting. Now these are in, I can make up all the underbonnet hoses, and finish that job before I start the head-scratching job of mounting the evaporator under the dashboard. Bite-sized chunks makes the overall project seem more manageable! More on the hoses in the next post...
  7. Mine's 0.022ml, despite being a 2kW (based on physical size as well as description). I've read that this will smoke heavily, but no problems so far...
  8. That's what I did,but sadly I can still hear the damned thing! I'm seriously considering getting one of these: https://www.aclsretail.com/index.php/item/87-challenger-diesel-autoheat-whisper-quiet-fuel-pump Either that, or drinking more heavily in the evening before so I pass out and can't hear it!
  9. Brave man! It really is looking great, just when I thought it couldn't get any better.
  10. No more progress, but I had an good chat with Arwel the Diff this afternoon, and planning to drop round the axle next Friday. I've had a recurrent leak from the nearside rear wheel bearing for a while, and neither replacing the bearing or seating it on silicone has cured it. He was saying that it's getting hard to come by decent quality bearings nowadays, and interestingly he doesn't rate the ones supplied by one of the places who recommended him to me! Says he keeps telling them they're no good, but people keep bringing them and asking him to fit. But he said not to buy anything till he's had a look, so will wait and see. I've bought the differential bearings from a different, recommended supplier: https://www.bearingkits.co.uk/about.asp who I also spoke to on the phone. Same comments about wheel bearings, in fact to the extent that the only ones they can currently source, they don't want to sell! However he did say that it'd be unlikely that I'd have problems with a bearing I'd bought from Burton Power, so maybe it still is a mystery. One suggestion could be a blocked breather, so oil is being forced out when it heats up. Something to check at least.
  11. Thanks, but there is a rather large amount of luck involved! Take the compressor for example - I wasn't certain it would fit, but it quite neatly fills the available space, with just a tiny bit of grinding to the head required.
  12. More steady progress, as I've removed the radiator, and managed to squeeze the condenser in front of it. The wiring loom is a little tight, but I'm not relishing the prospect of splicing in umpteen lengths to extend it! But if needs be... The radiator sits back in the right position, happily. And this is how little room there is up against the bonnet release catch! If I'd realised it would be this close I'd have measured more accurately! But luckily a Rover 45 condenser is a great fit - who'd have thought it? It's currently held in with zip ties, so next stage is to make up proper brackets. In other news I've found somewhere local who can shim my replacement diff I was tempted to have a go myself, but I can't find a definitive figure for the backlash. Stuff I read online is conflicting. Plus if I hand it over I can concentrate on the AC. I've actually got a choice of two places, first was the brother in law of a guy at work who's done one a few before. Second is a guy who I've had recommended from two sources, including the local trusted garage who uses him, as well as the rally boys. Arwel the Diff he's known as, which is surely a good sign! I'll pop the axle off in the next week hopefully and get the ball rolling.
  13. I was about to say that wouldn't explain an intermittent problem, but actually it could. If you had a valve that was sticking, rather than badly adjusted. To check, 'just' pop the valve cover off and check the clearances next time it fails to start quickly! Hmmm...
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