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mat_the_cat

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  1. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to Asimo in Honda Inshite   
    This happened last week, northbound M6 in the Tebay / Shap bit. The 68.8 mpg is the running fuel consumption since I reset the display shortly after getting the car, nearly 5 years / 30,000 miles ago. Note random and annoying airbag light. 

  2. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to Asimo in Honda Inshite   
    Somewhere during the great software update crisis I moaned about not using this car and that it had hardly moved since the MOT, which had been expired for months, and that I ought to do something like get rid.
    Instead I gave myself a talking too, started driving it to work, took it to Honda who properly turned off the airbag light with their diagnostic wallet emptying device (£54), got my mojo back and started getting some miles on it with airport trips, a funeral near Morecombe and other bimbling around just for the fun of it. About 1300 miles in the last 3 weeks.
    Thats better. Even my wife has stopped mentioning how surplus this car is now she has noticed it uses less than half the fuel of any other vehicle we have.
     
    But it has been a bit spluttery, lurching at small throttle openings around 2000rpm / 56mph in top, just where you need good throttle response. Annoying.
    One good thing about Insight ownership is that because it is a nerdy persons car, and nerdy people like the internet, there is easy internet access to a great deal of knowledge about these cars. Many if not most were sold in the U.S. so that much of it is in English too.
    Consulting the Insight hive-mind about the splutters pointed the finger at the EGR valve, specifically to the wear of the variable resistor that provides feedback to the engine controller of how open the valve is. New EGR valve, a sealed not-repairable assembly, from Honda is about £300.
    I took the EGR valve off, good access, considered swapping it with similar looking one on my wife's redundant Civic, bad access so didn't bother, and with it on the bench made sure that the wee poppet valve bounced up and down when current was applied to the actuating coil with a handy stack of old laptop batteries. Measured the resistance of the variable resistor with the valve open and shut  and yes it did vary but that was too crude a test to show if it was faulty or not.
    I have "fixed" audio gear - where the fault is crackling noises when the volume control (another sort of variable resistor) is operated - with a few squirts of contact cleaner/lubricant.
    This is easy to do and free, works on most things with variable resistors so why not Hondas?
    So after looking at internet photos of an EGR valve in bits I drilled a 3mm hole through the centre of the plastic cap of the unit where the variable resistor is and squirted in a good dose of contact cleaner. Shook the thing about a bit and then, with the batteries, banged the valve open /shut etc repeatedly. 
     
    Fitting was the reverse of removal. (For once) I sealed up the little hole I had made with pvc tape and had a drive.
     
    Success! For now at least. No more stumbling and shuddering, drives as it should. 
     
    Because every story needs a picture, here is the valve, meter, drill, batteries and all important contact lube.

    The EGR valve is stood on two blocks of wood so the little poppet valve has room to move when current is applied to the valve. The solenoid that moves it is quite powerful and I didn't want it jumping off the bench. The hole I drilled is in the centre of the plastic bit by the numbers.
  3. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to Asimo in Honda Inshite   
    Charger in action. Meter is showing battery voltage, which increases from around 150v when cold and not very charged to 170-ish when charged and warm.
     
    The charger is simply made from a constant current driver intended for driving a string of LEDs.
     

     
    It was ideal for this, designed to push a constant 1/3amp into a 100v to 200v load. All I had to do was put it into a box with suitable cables and connectors to make it all safe and dependable.
     
    And it does work. After an overnight charge the battery ECU has to be reset by taking a fuse out and waiting for a few seconds. After that, the ECU twiddles about for a few miles trying to establish what the battery condition is and, having decided it is fully charged, then displays max charge on the meter and allows full electric boost with full throttle.
     
    The throttle pedal had a lot of dead travel so today I adjusted the slack. This makes it easier to drive smoothly; I should have done this immediately, not left it for nearly a year!
     
    The duct from the airfilter to the throttle body had to come off to do this and when I removed it I was puzzled to find a sensor (induction air temperature?) hanging free and useless on it's wires instead of being snug inside the duct. It will be interesting to see what difference measuring the right temperature makes to how it goes and what it drinks.
     
    Noticed the injector seals look perished.
     
    Next job  better be taking the wheels off and checking pads / linings etc. A bit naughty not to have done this yet after nearly a year. Then new aux belt, re-fit undertray, valve clearances................
  4. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to RayMK in Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 19/08 - Actual Paintwork Progress...I think.   
    It's a major cosmetic step forward so don't be too hard on yourself.  Even if experimentation does not give a more glossy result you will have the option of polishing until it shines once the paint has hardened, or even go the DW route and apply clear coat.  I brush painted my Reliant and years of polishing (20!) has given it quite a shine though the finish requires at least 10 paces away to look decent 😀.
  5. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to richardthestag in Range Rover resto - 1972 project - Plan B, Phase2 - Paint n' detailing... Page 22   
    I sure hope so, am worried that I am going to get bored with doing it!
    in other news today...
    I have funding for the door window rubbers  
    Fatha thestag confirmed that the tapping tappet is back on a cold start, not oil pressure related! on start up oil pressure is instant to 40psi, one of more tappets clatters like a good un for 2 seconds. not good enough! they are supposed to have an anti drain back feature, becoming clear that items fitted have failed in that dept. ffs.
    Brake caliper replacement should be pretty straightforward. that doesn't worry me, I just hate doing things twice and those types of jobs seem to be stacking up on this project. I wanted it away to Brightwells next week but that is looking less likely!
    Good news is that more work is appearing on the horizon, 
    Fatha thestag accidently snapped this up from a chap at the pub for a bargain price that we are both delighted with  (i would have bought it but am borasic at the moment + Mrs thestag who just doesn't understand these things would cut me balls orf)



    very together 109 s3 2.25 pez. needs smoll work to bulkhead, chassis looks* sound, starts and runs. no clutch. All in and delivered for a bag.
    Last on road 2 years ago wcpgw, 
    Also via youtube videos I have been contacted by a chap who wants a spanish 2 door range rover converting to rhd + other odds and sods. spoken at length on the phone and plan to go see it next week.
     
     
  6. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from danthecapriman in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I forgot to post up this photo yesterday...towbar coming in handy to collect a log splitter this week.

    They adjusted the suspension alignment yesterday too, and both camber and toe were out - I think down to the fact that they were adjusted with larger wheels fitted.

    Ignore the fact the figures are still in red on the lower diagram, that's just because their machine surprisingly did not have the settings stored for a Stellar. If you compare them with the factory settings they are now pretty close to nominal, and well within tolerance.

    It seems a bit more planted on the road and less affected by rough surfaces, but I may just be imagining that!
  7. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from danthecapriman in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    My understanding is that the cooling capacity is less, although there are other benefits such as no pressurisation. Pretty sure it's just a matter of airflow though, as on the move at decent speeds, the gauge doesn't budge regardless of load.
    I've been giving the compressor mounting a lot of thought, and I reckon that instead of mounting in the 'factory' position high up, I'd be better off using the space low down on the block which is normally taken up by a PAS pump. Number of reasons:
    Should look neater, lower temperature, a shorter belt run, and no worries about bonnet clearance. I've got an idea for a pivoting  bracket to allow me to set the tension, but I need a compressor first to start building that. And I'm still not sure on compressor sizing - trade off between power loss and cooling capacity...
    I've been planning the overall layout (below), which led me to consider the effect that putting a condenser (albeit only 16mm thick) directly in front of my radiator would have! I reckon the single large fan on the rear is slightly better than two small ones on the front, but firstly it's switching in slightly too late, and secondly more airflow will be needed for the AC. So here is the planned circuit and layout:

    The AC will operate the twin fans in front of the condenser and radiator via a trinary switch on the receiver/drier. (This both stops the compressor functioning at dangerously high and low  pressures, but also operates the fans only when the pressure in the AC system demands it). The rear radiator fan will only be operated by coolant temperature.
    I will replace the existing fan switch (closes at 90 deg C) with a twin contact switch from a BX, as I recall they close one contact at 87 deg C, and the other at 92 deg C. As the engine gets hot, first the rear fan will suck air through, then if the temperature continues to rise, both front fans will switch in. Handily the BX switch has the same M22 x 1.5 thread as the Audi radiator.
    I'll make a start on the wiring first, as a lot of the bits are considerably cheaper in the States so I may wait to see if the exchange rate improves! I can't find a UK source of the reduced size AC hose anywhere online either.
    In other news it failed the MOT today for brake imbalance. I think the problem is an oil leak from the rear axle I thought I'd cured  New bearing and oil seal didn't stop it so I figured it must be seeping past the bearing outer race, so I sealed that up too. Still there is a leak, so it's either a blocked breather (but why just on that side?) or seeping down the halfshaft and between that and the inner race. New brake shoes on order, so watch this space.
  8. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from RayMK in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I forgot to post up this photo yesterday...towbar coming in handy to collect a log splitter this week.

    They adjusted the suspension alignment yesterday too, and both camber and toe were out - I think down to the fact that they were adjusted with larger wheels fitted.

    Ignore the fact the figures are still in red on the lower diagram, that's just because their machine surprisingly did not have the settings stored for a Stellar. If you compare them with the factory settings they are now pretty close to nominal, and well within tolerance.

    It seems a bit more planted on the road and less affected by rough surfaces, but I may just be imagining that!
  9. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from LightBulbFun in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I forgot to post up this photo yesterday...towbar coming in handy to collect a log splitter this week.

    They adjusted the suspension alignment yesterday too, and both camber and toe were out - I think down to the fact that they were adjusted with larger wheels fitted.

    Ignore the fact the figures are still in red on the lower diagram, that's just because their machine surprisingly did not have the settings stored for a Stellar. If you compare them with the factory settings they are now pretty close to nominal, and well within tolerance.

    It seems a bit more planted on the road and less affected by rough surfaces, but I may just be imagining that!
  10. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to Microwave in Rover 800 no longer doing a Rover 800 - ROADTRIP   
    What is the first thing you think to do after getting a car that's been stood for the best part of a year to be road legal?
    You take it on a 400+ mile round trip of course.
    Yesterday was a busy day for this thing. Started off by doing about 60 miles worth of errands, followed by a 150-ish mile trip up to Hartlepool to show a friend the Rover, to look at his recently imported Toyota Blade Master G (give that one a google) and to sort some dodgy stuff out on the car. The car was very well behaved on the way there, bar the fact that it thought it was stone cold the whole time I was on the motorway, which is a nice contrast to the last time I did this trip in this car, where I had to pull over onto the hard shoulder 2 or 3 times because the gauge was creeping up. The tyres could really do with balancing, as at about 80-90 the car starts to rattle itself to death, but the tyres that are on it are just so shit that I don't think it's worth doing. I would seriously love to meet the person who decided to put a different brand of tyre on each corner of the car. It makes the handling so dangerously shit, especially in the wet. 
    Anyway, got there and reserved a thermostat at Euro for 3 pound odd. Turns out they used this thermostat on absolutely everything for decades, including the Mini (to absolutely nobody's surprise, cheers Rover). Got back, took the housing off expecting not to find a thermostat whatsoever, but to my surprise there was actually a relatively new one in there, just with an awfully fucked gasket of some description. Got that cleaned up, new one put in with the correct paper gasket and thankfully, it no longer loses heat (or water, it had dropped a little when I came to cold start it yesterday morning). Checked the oil at the same time, and as my friend gracefully put it, it was "engine blowingly low". Oops. Put a full litre of Triple QX wank in, and it was barely past the minimum, so god knows where that's all gone. I did notice a drop or two under the car yesterday when it was parked on the driveway, but that seems to line up with one of the valve cover gasket seals. Don't think it will have lost a litre through that though, so I'm just gonna assume it was low in the first place when the oil was changed (not by myself, might I add). Checked the oil and coolant this morning and neither had dropped even a little bit even after lots of caning, so I'm gonna call it all ok. On the test run out, my mate took some belter photos of the car (@nutnation.photos on Instagram, do have a look):
    https://imgur.com/gallery/FhulL6n
    After I was done up there, I drove it the full 150 or so miles back home without a hiccup. It really is a wonderful car, and it's growing on me more and more everytime I drive it. The smells, the sounds (happy turbo noises) and just the way it looks. I can't help but look back at it everytime I park it up and walk away, it's just such a unique shape that looks massively out of place in a car park full of boring moderns. It's not a perfect car by any means, and a lot of cheaper modern stuff will put it to shame, but it's just got so much character. Yes, your DSG Golf might twat me on the straights AND in corners, but I can guarantee you I'm having a lot more fun. Everything that feels wrong about it also feels so right at the same time, like the hilariously shit brakes, the overly assisted and vague steering, the rattles and squeaks. It wouldn't be the same without. Because remember... above all, it's a Rover.

  11. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Scruffy Bodger in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I don't own a Rover 45. I have never owned a Rover 45. I don't ever plan to own a Rover 45. So why do I find myself the proud owner of a Rover 45 condenser? 

    A: Because it was cheap!  
    Rimmer Bros sent a clearance catalogue through the post, as they need to make room for more stock. Some crazy prices in there, so I took advantage.
    Looks like it should fit too, fortunately. I noticed it came with a frame for mounting cooling fans, which I thought would be a bonus as it's one less thing to worry about.
    I was pleasantly surprised to see it came with not only the frame, but a pair of fans!

    Not ideal to be blowing instead of sucking, and will block airflow someone when not turning, but I'll have to see what the overall effect is.
    In other news I've booked it in for an MOT this Friday - gave them my reg no. over the phone to which the response was:
    "Hiya mate, how many miles is it up to now?"
    "Just clicked over 201,000."
    "It's getting a fair bit of use then!"
    (4000 miles last year...don't ask about fuel costs!)
    I'm going to get the suspension alignment checked too, make sure everything is OK. Fingers crossed for the test!
  12. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Scruffy Bodger in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    Fortunately that tankful seems to have been down to an unusually full fill-up, as the next one was 33mpg which seems equally doubtful!
    Another 400 miles to and from FOTU covered in quite warm temperatures, and what is the verdict on the fan mods? Well, going on the gauge the temperature still rises to a similar position, but the fan is on for less of the time - i.e. it actually switches off in traffic so the measured temperature must be dropping, even if not shown by the gauge. Previously, I'd be sat there with the fans running most of the time, rarely dropping out, which was a worry. If I turn the fan on manually with the AC switch, the temperature sits about halfway on the gauge, which gives me more confidence. I could mess around with the 'on' temperature, but I don't think it's rising enough to be of concern. Plus there is cooling capacity in reserve should I need it.
    The other change I've now made is the addition of some Water Wetter, thanks to Tadhg Tiogar  No chance to determine any difference, as the way back home was both traffic-free and cooler. I will report back if I see a lower reading on the gauge, although if it does aid heat transfer it will also improve the transfer to the temperature sender!
    I quite like the photo that was taken of me leaving the show - might be biased but think the car actually appears almost good-looking from this angle.

  13. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Scruffy Bodger in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I confess not to having much knowledge of suspension design, apart from the basics like castor and camber – the simple reason being it’s never been a much interest to me, so I’ve never read up on it. But given that it felt dynamically worse than the ex-RayMK Stellar, and Ian felt like it had worn bushes made me realise that something was actually not right, so I started thinking it’s about time I did some learning!
    A number of factors started coming together in my head – firstly, the fact that it seems to have visible negative camber with the wheels straight, yet (as pointed out at SF ’19) huge positive camber with the wheels turned. I always park with the wheels straight so hadn’t really noticed this before. Secondly I noticed an unusual wear pattern on the outside edge of the new tyres. Thirdly in my research I read something about wheels with a different offset potentially screwing up handling…and although mine are the original wheels, I had fitted (small, 10mm) spacers in order to clear the bigger brake calipers.
    Cortina front suspension (as is typical with double wishbone setups) has a large positive scrub radius; the only real advantage which I can see is that it helps the steering effort when parking. By its nature it’s going to be more prone to tramlining, but increasing it by 10mm is only going to exaggerate that effect due to the greater leverage. This leverage also acts on the dampers, springs and anti-roll bar, making it feel softer and more wallowy. And crucially, it will increase the already present camber change during cornering, leading to unpredictable handling. Especially if you then introduce bump or braking forces.
    This link explains it better than I can:
    https://suspensionsecrets.co.uk/why-you-should-not-fit-wheels-spacers/
    So, I wanted to try it out without the spacers. A few minutes work with a flap disk on the calipers gave enough room for the wheels to fit, so time to take it out for a drive. What a transformation! I really don’t know how I put up with it for so long – maybe it was because I was still having fun despite the handling I still have to take it out in the wet (I’m sure I’ll get chance this weekend!) but it feels so much more planted, less prone to wandering on uneven surfaces, and you can feel grip levels better through the steering wheel.
  14. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Cavcraft in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I don't own a Rover 45. I have never owned a Rover 45. I don't ever plan to own a Rover 45. So why do I find myself the proud owner of a Rover 45 condenser? 

    A: Because it was cheap!  
    Rimmer Bros sent a clearance catalogue through the post, as they need to make room for more stock. Some crazy prices in there, so I took advantage.
    Looks like it should fit too, fortunately. I noticed it came with a frame for mounting cooling fans, which I thought would be a bonus as it's one less thing to worry about.
    I was pleasantly surprised to see it came with not only the frame, but a pair of fans!

    Not ideal to be blowing instead of sucking, and will block airflow someone when not turning, but I'll have to see what the overall effect is.
    In other news I've booked it in for an MOT this Friday - gave them my reg no. over the phone to which the response was:
    "Hiya mate, how many miles is it up to now?"
    "Just clicked over 201,000."
    "It's getting a fair bit of use then!"
    (4000 miles last year...don't ask about fuel costs!)
    I'm going to get the suspension alignment checked too, make sure everything is OK. Fingers crossed for the test!
  15. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Cavcraft in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    Fortunately that tankful seems to have been down to an unusually full fill-up, as the next one was 33mpg which seems equally doubtful!
    Another 400 miles to and from FOTU covered in quite warm temperatures, and what is the verdict on the fan mods? Well, going on the gauge the temperature still rises to a similar position, but the fan is on for less of the time - i.e. it actually switches off in traffic so the measured temperature must be dropping, even if not shown by the gauge. Previously, I'd be sat there with the fans running most of the time, rarely dropping out, which was a worry. If I turn the fan on manually with the AC switch, the temperature sits about halfway on the gauge, which gives me more confidence. I could mess around with the 'on' temperature, but I don't think it's rising enough to be of concern. Plus there is cooling capacity in reserve should I need it.
    The other change I've now made is the addition of some Water Wetter, thanks to Tadhg Tiogar  No chance to determine any difference, as the way back home was both traffic-free and cooler. I will report back if I see a lower reading on the gauge, although if it does aid heat transfer it will also improve the transfer to the temperature sender!
    I quite like the photo that was taken of me leaving the show - might be biased but think the car actually appears almost good-looking from this angle.

  16. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Cavcraft in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    And, looking on the bright side I'm sure you'll get better mpg...

  17. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from Cavcraft in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    On to the cooling system improvements, and this is why I think the low speed cooling is impeded, at least until the fans kick in. The (static) blades and motors cover a significant proportion of the radiator:

    I was aware of this when I fitted them, but I didn't know how significant an effect it would be, plus these were already in my possession (borrowed from the blue Disco).
    I've now removed them both, and replaced them with this.

    This may seem like a backward step (and it may be), but there is logic behind my thinking. Firstly it removes the shielding effect, so the fan will be required less when actually moving slowly. And if the fan is predominantly required only when stationary i.e. idling, there will be less heat being generated, therefore less airflow actually needed. Thirdly, the new fan covers the whole height of the radiator - the previous ones had a gap, so some of the tubes would allow uncooled water straight back into the engine. And lastly, using a fan as a pusher means you get a lot of turbulence and back pressure as you are trying to 'fire' the air at a restriction. For this reason, pulling the air through is more efficient.
    Early signs are that the duty cycle of the fan at idle is less, so it would seem to be having a positive effect. Proof of the pudding will be when I see hot temperatures next!
    Of course, the other benefit is that I can put the fans back on the Disco, and have the luxury of air con on the log collector...
  18. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to Zelandeth in Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 19/08 - Actual Paintwork Progress...I think.   
    Some progress.  First off was getting everything masked off so I didn't need to worry about overspray on stuff I didn't want painted.

    Bit more experimental spraying was done.

    No question that it's a thousand times better than where we started.
    If you ever wondered if it's worth wearing a mask...well here's what the particulate filters look like now after about an hour and a half.

    They were white when we started, and this has produced about a quarter of the amount of garage fog that the rattle cans do...so yes, make sure you're wearing the correct PPE.  It's somehow reassuring to actually see evidence of the filters doing their job.
    The only issue I seem to be having is actually getting enough paint onto the car.  Think I'll need to experiment with a bit more thinners than the instructions actually recommend to see what happens.




    Will do a bit more experimentation with paint mix over the weekend and see if I can get a thicker layer put down.  Feels like we're heading in the right direction, even though there's a fair way to go yet.
  19. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to Zelandeth in Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 19/08 - Actual Paintwork Progress...I think.   
    Oh the exhaust for the Xantia will be very understated.  Just be nice to have something there, even if just a bit of a burble to accompany you as you pull out of the driveway with the windows open.  I have zero interest in making something antisocial or wearing on the motorway.
    Had an opportunity to do a very quick test of the paint this evening - which was basically 30 minutes setting up the spray gun, wiping the panel down, then the same to clean the spray gun out.  Actually painting covered about five minutes.
    Yeah...this is going to be an order of magnitude easier than any messing around with rattle cans.



    The green blob on the floor is a fair amount of the original paint matching test, spilled courtesy of next door's cat.  She is a menace.  No huge loss though given the neon peppermint colour didn't seem to really match anything well on the car.
    It's not been put down nearly thick enough here, I'm fully aware of that.  This was just a quick test - a bunch of masking and cleaning will be done before I hopefully do a reasonably complete run round the car.  Shouldn't take me long to establish how far the paint is going too so I can see if I need to go and get more well before actually running short.
    It's been a while since I've had a decent A2 rated respirator on.  Having a bit of equipment which successfully totally filters out the smell of solvents is *weird* I tell you.  You kind of expect goggles to restrict your vision, ear protectors to muffle sound...but to have a little plastic thing that does little to restrict air flow essentially be able to turn smell on and off is something which messes with my head a bit.
    Effective though - was utterly oblivious to how strong the garage was smelling until I took the mask off (after airing the garage out a bit too)... should be effective though given that's why I bought it.
    First time I've had paint actually made with spraying in mind through the spray gun...so much more user friendly than rattle cans.  Hopefully there will be an evening update with some more photos with a bit of luck.
  20. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from LightBulbFun in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    My understanding is that the cooling capacity is less, although there are other benefits such as no pressurisation. Pretty sure it's just a matter of airflow though, as on the move at decent speeds, the gauge doesn't budge regardless of load.
    I've been giving the compressor mounting a lot of thought, and I reckon that instead of mounting in the 'factory' position high up, I'd be better off using the space low down on the block which is normally taken up by a PAS pump. Number of reasons:
    Should look neater, lower temperature, a shorter belt run, and no worries about bonnet clearance. I've got an idea for a pivoting  bracket to allow me to set the tension, but I need a compressor first to start building that. And I'm still not sure on compressor sizing - trade off between power loss and cooling capacity...
    I've been planning the overall layout (below), which led me to consider the effect that putting a condenser (albeit only 16mm thick) directly in front of my radiator would have! I reckon the single large fan on the rear is slightly better than two small ones on the front, but firstly it's switching in slightly too late, and secondly more airflow will be needed for the AC. So here is the planned circuit and layout:

    The AC will operate the twin fans in front of the condenser and radiator via a trinary switch on the receiver/drier. (This both stops the compressor functioning at dangerously high and low  pressures, but also operates the fans only when the pressure in the AC system demands it). The rear radiator fan will only be operated by coolant temperature.
    I will replace the existing fan switch (closes at 90 deg C) with a twin contact switch from a BX, as I recall they close one contact at 87 deg C, and the other at 92 deg C. As the engine gets hot, first the rear fan will suck air through, then if the temperature continues to rise, both front fans will switch in. Handily the BX switch has the same M22 x 1.5 thread as the Audi radiator.
    I'll make a start on the wiring first, as a lot of the bits are considerably cheaper in the States so I may wait to see if the exchange rate improves! I can't find a UK source of the reduced size AC hose anywhere online either.
    In other news it failed the MOT today for brake imbalance. I think the problem is an oil leak from the rear axle I thought I'd cured  New bearing and oil seal didn't stop it so I figured it must be seeping past the bearing outer race, so I sealed that up too. Still there is a leak, so it's either a blocked breather (but why just on that side?) or seeping down the halfshaft and between that and the inner race. New brake shoes on order, so watch this space.
  21. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to JimH in It is just so Super (Sentinel).   
    Just wanted to stick a couple of photos up because I'm aware the last couple of updates have featured very little other than bits of metal in funny shapes that are unlikely to mean anything to anyone who hasn't driven themselves mad trying to understand a poor quality general arrangement drawing.
    This is the reversing and handbrake levers sitting in place as I try to decide how long to make things. This should give a slightly better idea of what all those bits of metal were being made for. This is the handbrake lever. Note how you have to clamber over them to get through the door and into the cab. And we think the Peugeot 307 had a piss poor driving position. Pull the lever back to put the handbrake on, press the button on the top (not there yet, just the operating rod) and let it forward to take it off. The handbrake is just a parking brake. You never need to use it on the road.

    This should give a slightly better idea of the problem. You can see where the levers are and where the boiler is. The big block poking out of the boiler is the throttle valve which gets about as hot as Hell so you want to keep your knee as far from it as possible. However, you are also trapped by the levers - you can probably work out where the reversing lever will sit once I've cut a hole in the floor to fit it. - so you need to move those as far to the outside as possible. But if I move them too far I trap my fingers on the cab upright when I let the handbrake off. What Setinel drew would be intolerable so you just tinker with sizes and positions until you find something that isn't too awful. I'm quite pleased with how convincing my handiwork looks.

    That is all. Just wanted to show I had been doing something useful rather than just welding and grinding lumps of metal.
  22. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to JimH in It is just so Super (Sentinel).   
    These control levers are taking forever. There are so many pieces and fabricating things so they look like castings is a painfully slow process so this update shows very little actual progress even though I've managed quite a lot of time in the workshop lately.  For example, a bit of revision. This was the start of the bearing block that supports the handbrake actuating shaft.

    It doesn't look it but by that point it has already had many hours in both the lathe and milling machine. Then you spend a while burning welding rods into it until it looks completely shit and quite depressing. However, all it takes is many more hours in the lathe and the milling machine and it ends up looking like this.
     
    Which you will hopefully agree looks a lot more like a casting. It isn't all the way there yet because the mounting points need to be milled round which takes a lot longer to do than to type. Many hours just to make one silly bearing block. Then there is the frame for the levers. Take the casting, machine the base flat, drill the mounting points and ream the hole for the pivot pin. The lengths of 5/8 whit studding used here are for first fit purposes. Finding whitworth nuts and bolts that look right is becoming harder and harder. The ratchet plate is for the handbrake and the other for the reversing lever detents.

    Then you need to make some lever bases. Scroll up and you'll see a pile of lenths of 2" round bar. They are for turning into the lever bases but they do need to look right which makes things much slower. This is the handbrake lever halfway through the manufacturing process. Start with the round bar and turn it into this. The lever for the handbrake slips into the hole in the end and is clamped in place by the clamp bolt which is why there is a slit in the open end. The other end is tapered and fits to the actuating shaft. One end has been somewhere near finished while you'll probably note that the other end is only part way through the welding/grinding/finishing process.

    See? Welding spatter and grinding marks. They'll be gone soon.

    While the other end is a bit closer...

    The reversing lever is more complicated. In an effort to squeeze everything in the reversing lever pivots on the handbrake shaft so one turns inside the other. This makes sense when you see it but trying to work things out from drawings gets a bit confusing which is why you might see yellow marker paint on things. I find that if my attention slips I end up welding things on back to front which would bring me down a bit. So this is a getting somewhere near reversing lever base. Again, this started as bits of round and flat bar which was cajoled with lathe, milling machine, boring machine, welder and grinder into something that starts to look like a casting.

    This is the other end. This started as a piece of flat plate 15mm thick and 70mm wide. You start to get quite good at sculpting things with a 5" angle grinder. The whole at the end is only pilot drilled which why is looks so wee.

    In the next update these bits should start to look a bit more assembled like the finished item so should make more sense to those who don't know what a set of Super control levers are meant to look like.
    The S has been taking up a lot of time lately so the ony other bit that has been worked on are the track rod ends. Here they are waiting to have the holes bored in them to take the ends.

    And here is a pile of S Type cylinder heads waiting to be machined. We are currently trying to find the best way of stopping the exhaust valve seats corroding which is what knackers the heads after a bit of use - up until now people just recut the seats until you run out of metal. And no, valve seat inserts aren't the answer. Not without making modifications to the pattern which we don't have access to.
     
    Just to show that things get finished eventually here is the S out on a test run a couple of weeks ago. There have been some issues with the exhaust valve clearances going to cock (which is beyond critical on these things) but I think we're on top of that now. When it is on song it is a truly splendid theng to drive. Certainly way easier and more pleasant than the Pioneer. It's chuntering along at about 25mph in this shot. It's blowing off because we're coming down hill with the throttle closed. 

    Out in the traffic. Its 0-25mph time is quite brisk and it makes it much easier to drive in traffic. Local viewers may recognise the junction we've just been over (we're coming back from Dunfermline) where getting going really bloody quickly is a good thing to do.

    Finally this is our boring machine. It was bought in the early 90s and I believe it came out of Yarrows place. Those who know about that sort of thing will spot straight away that it is a bit crap because it doesn't have a live spindle. This is a weapons grade pain in the arse and it makes milling/drilling  a right faff. The problem is that most boring machines that come on the market are usually about the size of a house a cost about the same. If anyone on their travels/snooping round old places sees one of this size or the even better one size bigger but with a live spindle we would be very interested indeed.

    For reference this is a library photo of a Richards boring machine of a size and spec that would be beyond awesome. The live spindle means that it has a quill that moves independently of the boring head.

  23. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to JimH in It is just so Super (Sentinel).   
    Right. Holidays, houses, sailing, losing cameras and other jobs have been getting in the way so progress has been a bit sluggish. Camera has been found and a number of other jobs have been finished so a quick yet unenlightening update...
    One of the things that was slowing us down was having to rebuild the engine in this thing. It now has a slightly strong 3.5 Rover V8 than it had before. You may ask why it has a Rover V8 in it when like every other Land Rover ever it should be gas axed and the bits buried in the ground where they can't bother anyone ever again but I don't know the answer. I don't really like Land Rovers like this and doing any work on them reminds me how much I dislike them. Anyway, the lad who owns it likes it so that is all that matters. As they might say in Eastenders, "Leave it, it's faaaaahmleh"

    Other time wasting this included finishing this off. A Mk7 Transit with 180K on the clock bought to replace the dear departed LDV400. We removed the tipping body it came with (still available if anyone wants one) and fitted the flat bed and tail lift from the LDV. This took somewhat more effort than first thought because the tail lift required some fairly heavy re-engineering for the different chassis width and the hydraulics needed some TLC. Crap picture because it is shoved in the only available corner in the shed. Unlike crappy Series LRs I love Transits so I'm quite excited about this. We need a glass fitter to come and remove the steel panels from the rear doors and fit the windows instead. Also replaced were the brakes and front wheel bearings.

    About the only outward sign that it was a tipper on road mending duty was that the seats were a wee bit tarmac-y and the mats were worn through. However, it's not too difficult to get the covers off the seats and pop them in the washing machine. The squab on the driver's seat was new because it was so shiney I never thought it would come clean. However, when I washed it for shits and giggles just to see how it would come out it ended up looking as good as new so there is a spare one now. The quality of seats is just amazing now - 180K of abuse and a run through the washing machine and it looks like this. I couldn't get the covers off the headrests which is why they look grubby. Headlining could do with a clean but enthusiasm started running low. 
    BTW, anyone got/know of a decent set of rear seats for a crew cab which aren't a squillion miles from Central Scotland? 


    A floormat and pair of wheelarch covers from a breaker hides the mileage even more. For those who don't know and might care the wheelarch covers are an absolute pig to change because they put them in before the dashboard goes in and it is quite a wrestle to get them out and back in without removing everything. However, all done now so there is no excuse for not getting on with the house. Trying to collect materials in a Vectra estate isn't very handy.

    Finally, the S needed a significant amount of work to sort out the drive for the auxilliary unit. This involved the usual work of removing the prop shaft, moving the axle back by a couple of inches, removing the flywheel, the cam shaft wiper assembly and dismantling the gear box to get one poxy, troublesome screw gear out. All of this is done while being covered in the treacle thick oil that S types need to use. In the end it needed a new pair of screw gears (they look like helical cut gears but they aren't) made by Leek Gears in guess where. Leek are bloody amazing and do some incredible work. Proper company with proper people and a proper mechine shop that properly smells like it bloody well should. Highly recommended for all your gear cutting requirements.
    Once the gears came back there was then a fitting hell to make sure they were running as intended and then the simple job of refitting it the reverse of removal. Oh and test it then find out that the problems were masking yet another problem so waste a couple of days stripping and re-engineering the auxilliary unit.  Not really a lot to see so here is a couple of hundredweights of prop shaft back in place. The funny looking shaft and flexible coupling upper right is the troublesome auxilliary drive.

    All very dull and uniteresting but what about the other Sentinel? Well the driver's seat got finished. The seat has to sit further back than the stoker's seat because of the control levers but you need to sit quite far forward so you are over the steering wheel. That is why there is a slight overhang on the seat base. It is cut away to clear the levers on one side and give leg room between the seat and the throttle valve on the other.  The sharp eyed may notice that the plates fixing the cab sides to the ash bend have been bolted in properly too.


    And from the other side you can see the pokey emergency seat behind the driver. The base of that seat is hinged so you can keep your lunch and a map under it. These rear seats are our modification because on the proper waggons the bunker sits between the driver and stoker. On this layout the bunker will sit further back in the body on the back with a chute into the cab. This makes it easier to fill the bunker and also allows you to fit more people in the cab when you go to the pub. I still haven't decided on the radius on the sides of the seats.

    So that is the cab floor, back, sides and seats are pretty much done. I spent a day measuring up and making the jig to steam bend the ash beams for the cab roof but my woodworking muse is spent for the time being and someone else has been having most of the fun standing in front of lathes so I'll move onto that for a bit. So there you go. One Super Sentinel cab minus theroof looking not too bad at all I reckon.

    Still keeping it sort of cab related, though. This pile of cut bar will shortly look like a set of control levers. Originally all of these were cast but that would be far too much effort for five castings so they will be fabricated/machined from steel. As with all jobs you've got to start somewhere...

    For those who don't know Supers there are two control levers (or if it is an early one one lever and one wheel but that is getting too dull) - one for the handbrake and one for the reversing lever. These are arranged in an odd way because the rods linking the levers to the brakes/engine run either side of the chassis rail and have to avoid the front wheel. There is a drawing with some dimensions on so that is a start. This ugly lump is the start of the bearing block. Yes I know it looks like crap at the moment but once some magic has been worked on it things will look much more Sentinel like. The levers are the very first thing you see whn you open the drivers door so they need to look right. 

    Meanwhile we picked up the start of the water tank. The place down the road folded this up because it is too wide for our folder. This sits between the chassis rails behind the rear axle. The tricky bit is going to be making the ends because these were pressed and had pretty radii where they slip into the wrapper and were rivetted in. The sensible approach would be to weld it up but that would look terrible so we are going to need to do a lot of 18 gauge bashing to replicate the original design.


    Finally and most excitingly we were sent this picture by the pattern maker who is making the pattern for the rear axle spring pads. This was just before it went off to the foundry. There is a lot more work before it sits on its rear wheels but this is a very exciting step not least because it looks exactly like what a Super rear axle should look like and it is a beautiful job. The half pipes are the core box so they are cast hollow.

    So, what is next (apart from houses, sailing and other shit that gets in the way)
    Keep welding, machining and filing the control levers Finish the steering box, steering arms and track rod ends Test the S and gas axe the bastard if it gives any more gyp.  
  24. Like
    mat_the_cat reacted to vulgalour in 1987 Citroen BX   
    While we wait for the contact grease to arrive from Lithuania it's a good opportunity to get the broken console fixing peg reattached.  First up was trying to find out where it went, which meant even more dashboard dismantling.

    To the right, in the middle of the hole you can see a metal bracket.  There should be another to the left side of the hold, where the thicker part of the wiring loom is.  I'm not exactly sure how someone has broken that bit in the past, it's not exactly easy to get to, nor is it really in the line of fire of anything.  Fortunately, the break was fairly clean and I could get to everything without too much trouble.


    Plenty of surfaces to glue to which should make for a good strong repair.  I'm using the same epoxy glue I used for the sunvisor clip since that did an excellent job and is probably higher stress than this area.  A bit of duct tape was used just to keep the part in place while the glue dried because I didn't want to be sat holding it for half an hour and there's no way to get clamps or similar on there to keep it in place.

    While that was drying I could clean up the black panel that all the various little bits and pieces slot into, like the ashtray, under which was the usual grime that's pretty much impossible to clean up with it attached to the car.

    Lovely.  With that cleaned out and all the various bits and pieces cleaned, I reassembled as much as I could.  Someone has put two large self-tapping screws through the sides of the centre console, what I think of as the 'wings' of the dashboard panel. At first I thought this was to hold everything together because of that broken fixing peg, it turns out it's because the dashboard is warped slightly and that's the only way to get the wings to pull snug to the centre console nicely.

    That's also why there's a bigger gap one side than the other.  Ideally, I could do with a new dashboard shell, this will have to do for now.  I plopped the top trim panel in place but didn't screw it down yet as I can't rebuild the heater controls until the grease arrives and, since this top section is quite awkward to remove, it makes sense to not actually fit it just yet.  After fixing that peg, there's a lot less movement in this console now, unsurprisingly, which makes it feel just a little bit better built than it did before.  It was also nice to get a couple of decades of grime out of all the inaccessible bits, like the blower fan ducting, and just make the whole thing look a feel that little bit nicer in a way regular cleaning doesn't allow.

  25. Like
    mat_the_cat got a reaction from danthecapriman in Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!   
    I don't own a Rover 45. I have never owned a Rover 45. I don't ever plan to own a Rover 45. So why do I find myself the proud owner of a Rover 45 condenser? 

    A: Because it was cheap!  
    Rimmer Bros sent a clearance catalogue through the post, as they need to make room for more stock. Some crazy prices in there, so I took advantage.
    Looks like it should fit too, fortunately. I noticed it came with a frame for mounting cooling fans, which I thought would be a bonus as it's one less thing to worry about.
    I was pleasantly surprised to see it came with not only the frame, but a pair of fans!

    Not ideal to be blowing instead of sucking, and will block airflow someone when not turning, but I'll have to see what the overall effect is.
    In other news I've booked it in for an MOT this Friday - gave them my reg no. over the phone to which the response was:
    "Hiya mate, how many miles is it up to now?"
    "Just clicked over 201,000."
    "It's getting a fair bit of use then!"
    (4000 miles last year...don't ask about fuel costs!)
    I'm going to get the suspension alignment checked too, make sure everything is OK. Fingers crossed for the test!
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