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


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    United Kingdom

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mat_the_cat's Achievements

Rank: Lancia Gamma

Rank: Lancia Gamma (8/12)



  1. It's stuck me that the gauge, with the sender placed close to the top hose outlet from the inlet manifold, is most closely measuring the temperature of the water going into the radiator. Hence it's not really a good reflection of any cooling system improvements. But the radiator fan switch is located close to the outlet, so even if the gauge creeps up, if the fans doesn't kick in that means the radiator must be doing its job. I'm thinking of rigging up a couple of LEDs to tell me when the two sets of contacts close and open. It'll be a crude indication of how well things are working, and easy to read on the move. And in other news, is this the first film to feature a Stellar in a starring role? https://butwhytho.net/2022/07/22/stellar-a-magical-ride-review/
  2. I almost bought a very late one in 2005, so a brief test drive, and a passenger ride in a French minibus are my only experiences of them.
  3. There's just something beautifully ugly about them, if that makes sense.
  4. The second weekend is definitely the one to go for, in my unbiased opinion Which will probably mean it will chuck it down all weekend...
  5. Yay! I finished the first pass of polishing! Not only that, but started on the second, given the recent dry (although HOT) weather. Finished just before the rain: And today, I made a start with the finer polish. It's actually starting to look good. Not perfect, by a long chalk - there are pits and deep scratches in places, but for 55 years the odd blemish is understandable!
  6. We've just had a 'not a weekend' away down in South Wales. Perfect weather, and an ace little campsite with great views. Basic facilities, which suits us fine. We could have camped in the lower field, right at the top of the cliffs, but all the levellable spots were taken! https://www.nantycroiholidays.co.uk/ Not the ideal vehicle for the tiny lanes, but we managed. I am wondering about a future project for the van though, and that is engine-driven AC. The electrical system I installed 5 years ago works well for when we're parked up, but marginal whilst driving (fighting the heat from the engine) in the recent heatwave temperatures. I reckon it knocks off 10°C from the ambient temperature, which is welcome but not cool, plus takes a while to bring the temperature down on a hot day. So I'm thinking of fitting an engine driven system and building it into the existing heater system. This would have in the order of 5x the cooling power. First stumbling block is compressor mounting, as the only reference I can find to an factory fitment has the compressor in place of the optional PAS pump, which I don't want to lose. I don't know whether that was simply more convenient in production to offer an either/or option, or whether there's difficulties in mounting elsewhere... I reckon though, that if I re-route the coolant hose, I could mount it here. I already have an evaporator, which was too big for the Stellar installation. With a bit of luck this will be suitable for the LT. Condenser should be easy, unless I choose not to mount it in front of the radiator where there is plenty of space!
  7. This has been trundling around just fine for a while, as well as ferrying around part of the mountain rescue team on occasions. Although we have two official vehicles, that's not enough for the whole team so it's useful to avoid a long walk if it's possible to drive! Earlier this week it's been put into use as a tow vehicle, as I need to put up a few gate posts at the holiday let. So I've cut a few from reclaimed telegraph poles, but are too heavy to lift, and too long for the van so I've had to hire a trailer. The only way I could load them was by rolling them up the ramps, and swivelling them around. Complete overkill for what I need them for, but free is free! Then it seemed inefficient to return with an empty trailer, so I loaded up with some firewood which was felled early this year. Ash dieback is a real shame, but the only positive thing is it makes ideal firewood. It towed surprisingly well, although probably only 1500kg all in at a guess. I even managed to overtake a dawdling tourist, which seemed to surprise them!
  8. As expected, there was a queue to get into FOTU. Took around an hour all in, and yes, the gauge does rise from the normal 12 o'clock position. But doesn't seem to rise any further, and the second set of cooling fans were cycling in and out as they should (when AC was turned off), suggesting temperatures between 92 and 97°C. It did this before however, so I'm not totally convinced there's been an improvement, although it did give me enough confidence to leave it idling to prove that it wouldn't boil over. It smells less hot, as a completely subjective test! It all reinforces the need to get proper measurements, but I'm less convinced there is actually anything wrong. It was fantastic to have a decent drive in it again too 😀
  9. All I want from a night's camping is somewhere with good views, where I'm not going to get disturbed, and ideally where I can't see any other folk. Oh, and a spot where I can have a fire would be the icing on the cake. For a night or two, I just don't need any other facilities. It's good to see there are places offering this sort of thing
  10. I did exactly the same! It's not lasting perfectly, but given the price of NOS flaps I can get the yellow pen out once a year or so.
  11. I did. I deliberately didn't wash mine either, as it struck me in previous years that my memory of the cars present was not of them showroom fresh, but dirty and well-used. I think it just looked like I couldn't be arsed though! But doesn't this Cortina look so 'right'?
  12. I had to wait for a gap in the crowd, but i managed to get a snap eventually.
  13. I thought the same, especially compared to its rarer (at the time) stablemate, the BX.
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