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About mat_the_cat

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    Rank: Renault 16

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


  • Country
    United Kingdom

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  1. This may have been asked/answered before, and doesn't quite fit the symptoms of appearing at the rear of the car, but how are the front to rear fuel pipes, behind the driver's side sill? They are a common failure point and have likely been replaced already, but doesn't necessarily mean they are OK now.
  2. I can reveal some developments in this, in that there will shortly be a nice shiny new set of hoses on their way to be fitted! Most of it was completely straightforward, but one hose was a little unusual, so I thought I would post up the solution in case it helps others. Modern AC systems have different sized suction and discharge ports on the compressor, to match the different sized hoses required. But for some strange reason, R12 systems often have the same sized port for both. Hence I needed to find a rare fitting with a #10 O ring connection, which crimped to a #8 hose. I found one in the US, but it wasn't quite as simple as that! As I was using reduced barrier hose (easier to route, plus it's what I had in stock) this has a smaller OD for a given hose size although the same ID. I couldn't find an off-the-shelf fitting anywhere, so had to make a hybrid. First I cut off the too large ferrule... ...and carefully ground away the remains. The cheapest way of getting a suitable single ferrule was to look for the lowest price fitting, and just cannibalize the one on that! Mate that to the first fitting... ...and crimp on the hose. The same technique can be used to recover an existing hard line, and crimp a new rubber hose to.
  3. 350 miles later, after a trip down to the Field of Dreams, and all seems leak-tight. Although the same could not be said at 3pm Friday afternoon when I wanted to be setting off! The last time I drove it was in some absolutely scorching weather, 30 degrees C, and I'd been driving it hard uphill - then I came to some roadworks. Not wanting to turn the engine off and lose the AC, I kept it running for the duration. This turned out to be around 15 minutes while they unloaded a gravel truck, and it was too much for my welded repair on the crack in the heater tap. I noticed the smell of antifreeze later in the journey, and when I took a look it was weeping slightly (I think so was I at this point...) I thought I'd better have another go at fixing it before barreling down the motorway, so off it came. To try and get a better weld I used a blow torch to bring the moulding towards its melting point. And beyond, as a gaping hole opened up No photos of this, as I was definitely not in the mood! An hour or so later I had slowly managed to build it all back up again, and it held air pressure well in a bucket of water. I replaced the tap and proceeded to pack my camping stuff and a change of clothes. I topped up the coolant and set off, with more than a little trepidation! I took the lack of smell as a good sign, but daren't look at it on the journey, until safely there late on Friday evening! Both coolant and engine oil stayed where they should, so up went the tent while I brought Aldi's finest red wine up to an acceptable drinking temperature. Night fell, and we used the bonnet light plus a few others which gave quite a cosy atmosphere. Driving home yesterday, was pretty uneventful, after I had put the dash back together in the morning. A hot day but no problems, and it was nice to head over the mountains with good visibility. It's the first decent trip since the diff ratio change, and it worked well giving more relaxed cruising and an average of 27mpg at 70mph
  4. I'll be down probably slightly later, but hopefully before dark. That is assuming no mechanical problems... Bringing 30mm spanner plus 1mm shim, plenty of gloves, a server for @Zelandeth, and a circular florescent plus assorted old bulbs for @LightBulbFun. Oh, and a bottle of wine EDIT - anyone need BX parts bringing down?
  5. No, I really can't think of any extra functionality that I'd like. Unless you could get the timer function to sound a buzzer perhaps, rather than operate the heater. I've no idea how you'd go about doing that, and given my phone works perfectly well as an alarm clock, probably not worth worrying about!
  6. I bought a diesel heater controller from Australia recently, and the maker kindly agreed to include a pair of P76 rocker cover gaskets in the package for no extra cost. (Although I sent him extra as a thank you). The Rover gaskets are too large, so don't sit properly and have a tendency to pop out. Even torquing them down partially, and then trying to poke them in as I tighten the screws fully, didn't really work effectively. The new gaskets are now in place, and so far seem to be sealing. I'm planning on heading down to the Field of Dreams on Friday, so that will be a test whether they still seal with hot, runny oil!
  7. We've booked this week off work, and for the first time since March, leisure travel over 5 miles from home is allowed, so spent a couple of days over in Shropshire. It was lovely to get away, and no problems with the van. Today I had a parcel arrive from Australia, with an Afterburner controller, and a pair of P76 rocker cover gaskets for the Stellar! First job was plugging it in, and copying the existing settings from the heater ECU. This was incredibly simple, and equally easy just to halve the Hz value to pulse the pump less often. So with some trepidation I fired it up. Success! No smoke, even on low, and no surging of the burner at 0.8 Hz. Plenty of scope for playing with the rest of the settings, but I'll save that for when we next go away. It just remained to mount the controller in place of the old rotary dial.
  8. If you want, I could take a look next weekend. Try and earn my keep!
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