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1980 Austin Princess


vulgalour

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Minor updates on the old bus.  Recently ticked over 79,000 miles so that something I guess.

The oil leaks have generally stayed fixed except for one which is the fuel pump.  Turns out the paper gasket between the pump and the phenolic spacer had failed.  The paper gasket between the same spacer and the cambox is still fine and in fact that part has sealed so well it stayed firmly in place when I removed the pump today so I left that well alone.  Stripped off the remains of the failed gasket, went over things with a sanding block to find there wasn't any surface deviation to speak of in the castings, and the made and fitted a new cork gasket.  A short test run proved it seems to be staying oil tight but I'm pretty sure it'll start leaking again soon because it always does.  Next attempt to seal will be a cork gasket with goop of some sort.

Oil filler tube has remained oil tight and the oily residue on the belt side has been steadily drying up so that's good.  I'm leaving less oil spots on the drive where I park too, which is nice.

The other thing I've done is order some modern LED headlights.  I did a lot of thinking and asking on this one to find the right solution and settled on these as the best compromise: https://www.originalcaferacer.com/product/5-75-monaco-gp-led-headlight-pair-50w-drl-dot-e-marked/

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I wasn't going to go for LED headlights at all, instead I was going to try the relay harness upgrade, maybe brighter bulbs, maybe even high quality LED bulbs in the current headlights.  I did a lot of asking and reading and looking to figure out what the best compromise would be for what I want to achieve, and these look to be that.  I want ideally to have all my lighting in the twin headlights to keep the front end as clean and tidy as possible.  I would have liked to keep chrome reflectors but that was limiting my lighting options and would have meant finding alternatives for indicators and sidelights since I wanted to do away with the MG B units that were only ever supposed to be a temporary fix really.

These answer my need for better lighting output with lower demand on the existing wiring.  They're also as close to plug-and-play as I'm likely to get.  Being E marked and with a two year warranty offers a nice bit of peace of mind.  Style wise, they're not my first choice, but I think because they'll be in the big slab of black plastic that is the grille and headlight trims on the Princess I'll get away with it.  The LED bar that serves as sidelights I'm undecided about, I'll know better how I feel about that once fitted, and I might end up doing whichever bar of the front grille aligns with them in chrome or something to continue the theme across the front of the car.  Or I might not.

Now that the Princess is my only car I do have to make some concessions to modernity.  I've been finding that now I'm using the car more often it is starting to show its age more than it ever has.  It's not a quick car, it never was, but now when I'm setting off from a standstill at busier times I'm very definitely slower than everyone else.  It also doesn't accelerate or brake anywhere near as aggressively as modern traffic so at times I have to be a lot more careful because of that.  Increasing my stopping distances near retail parks and during rush hour is an absolute must because some people seem to think the only way to brake is last minute and as hard as possible.  I can't join roundabouts as quickly as I'd like either, the rate some people come around them has almost caught me out a couple of times, usually when I've been shielded by the car in the lane next to me who has been able to set off far faster than I have (and is usually an electric, so has insta-torque).

For all that though, I'm still enjoying piloting this old bus on the regular.  I've slowly begun to work through the jobs that are waiting for me and I'm currently saving up for a new windscreen to again help with night driving since my existing screen is very badly scratched and has some fine grinder spray from before I bought the car which definitely doesn't help when faced with ultrabright LED headlights glaring at me.  A new windscreen will allow the new seal to be fitted to and that should stop rain getting into the car.  £500 for a new screen, since the only place I know to get one is special order from Pilkingtons, but at least I can get one.

Not yet fussed about upgrading the rear lights to LEDs because they're massive and nobody seems to have any trouble seeing them, but perhaps in the future I will if for no other reason than to give my alternator an easier time of things.  Other big spends are that I still want to get the suspension regassed and I would like to refit a set of interconnecting pipes (nobody makes the original steel type, I'll have to get some special order hydraulic hose) since I'm told it is a bit crashy in the back.  Paint, of course, is still on the cards and that needs a spell of decent weather so I can get on with welding things and other prep.  It is easier now I've only the one car to look after and while I definitely miss working on the Lanchester and am looking forward to getting back to that eventually, it feels good to have some pressure taken off for a bit.

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were the original screens triplex? seem to remember some sort of advertising campaign with a purple princess estate? could be wrong probably am.

performance improvements - i doubt swapping in a 2.0 o series would make that much difference to performance, (for the hassle involved - let alone finding one) but maybe using the twin carb setup from another model to the 1.7 may give you a little more torque? (again could be more hassle to find than a whole engine, but easier to fit and remove! and someone reading this may have the parts? well it would be nice. maybe a little tune and time would offer  a little more even as a peace of mind kinda thing.

lights look good, are you doing all four or just two to see how good they are? i have tried led stuff in the rear lights of the fusion, and even the not cheap ones from amazon dont seem to last very long, particularly the two filament replacements. the single filament (fog and reverse) ones seem to last a bit better, but the fusion really dont see a lot of use so i expect they will also fail soon.

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Original screen was indeed Triplex, mine still has the little sticker on it.

There's not really much performance gains to be had with the factory offerings.  The 2.0 is a bit better balanced for the car, especially in manual guise, and offers similar actual performance to the bigger 2.2 straight six.  Twin carbs again don't offer much advantage, and finding the correct manifolds etc. can be a bit of a chore.  The other problem with the twin carb set up is reduced fuel economy and since I'm lucky if I'm in the low 20s around town with this one I don't really want to drop that any further down than it is.  Best I've ever done out of this car - 1.7, single carb - is about 37mpg on a run.

I'm doing all four headlights up front, so it was a bit spendy.  Didn't see any point just doing the outers and didn't want to run the risk of doing the outers and then finding the style was out of stock or changed when I came to doing the inners.  I can't see them being any worse than the H4s currently fitted.  As long as the beam pattern is something like reasonable we should be good.  Good LED bulbs do exist, but they are very expensive if you want longevity alongside decent performance.  Tricky thing with the rear lights on the Princess is finding the right type of LED bulb so it puts the light where the reflectors can make use of it properly in the big brake lights, the other lights are less of an issue.  My high level indicators use push-in sidelight bulbs since they're actually Austin A30 front sidelights and I might swap the incadescent ones out for some much brighter LEDs so they're a bit more visible in daylight, haven't decided yet.  I'm only trying to upgrade things that I feel could perform better in day to day use rather than modernising for the sake of it.

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Hey I did some photos for once so let's do an update on today's adventure.  Recently I found a little hole in the floor under the pedals, I'm pretty sure this is down to my leaking windscreen seal and a big chunk of underseal that had fallen off on the outside of the car... and my general neglect while I was working on other cars before pressing the Princess back into daily duties.

Got it up on an axle stand so I could pop the wheel off and clean up the area.
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I completely failed to get any before photos, I just wanted to get this job done.  Working in footwells is not my idea of fun, nor is welding upside down on the drive.  There had been a larger repair done to this area well before I got the car so that was done at least 12 years ago, probably nearer to 30 which is when the car was restored in the '90s.  For the most part, that repair is holding up just fine so I left it alone, the issue is where water has been sitting inside the car from the leaking windscreen seal, and the missing underseal on the outside I didn't know about.  Some chopping and grinding and rust treater later and it was no longer a hole nor was it rusty.
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Had a bit of an explore of the rest of the inner arch and found some flaking paint and surface rust, a couple of localised bits of rot that need welding up, and not much more than that.  Picking battles again with this one, I only really had an afternoon available so decided to leave the welding that requires partial dismantling of the suspension alone for the time being.
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While I had the car in the air I went over the sill repair, caught any pinholes that appeared after grinding off the welds, and just gave things a general tidy.  I've got a full outer sill to go on this side when I have time so I didn't go nuts.
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Inside wasn't too bad, bit blurry for the photo because it had got to that point in the job.  This did end up being a much larger repair than I was expecting, there was a lot of overlapping panels and sealant going on here which I think had exacerbated things.
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Passenger side didn't have the same problem, although it was a bit damp from the recent downpours.  I took out the foam sound proofing panels from the front of the car since they are definitely holding on to water, the red carpet barely holds on to any water at all so that can stay for now since I hate driving around with no carpets in the car.  Annoyingly, it wasn't until after I had put all my tools away and was refitting the carpet that the light caught what turned out to be a tiny hole in the middle of the passenger floor pan so I'll have to come back and sort that out, it's so small you could probably drill it and fit a bung to repair it.
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A break to let things cool down and whatnot, flatting off of the repairs, and then a nice dose of primer and seam sealer on both sides to keep the weather out and the rust at bay.  Actually ended up looking a lot better than I was expecting.
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Finished it all off with some top coat and a spritz of underseal, forgot to photograph that, and let the underseal cure a bit before letting it down off the jack.  That's when the jacking point - which has always looked pretty mangled on this corner but never offered a problem - decided to make some awful crunching noises, try and push up through the floor and generally give me The Fear.  Found another point to jack from and all was well so I could investigate.  It looks like the seam between the jacking point and the inner sill has partially failed, hidden by a very thick layer of factory underseal.  There's also been a repair to the floor over the jacking point which might have been me, I'm not sure, and that still looks perfectly sound.  I'll have to pull the carpet back again and have a bit of an explore, it'll either just need a quick line of stitch weld or for the jacking point to be removed and straightened, the floor likewise, and the whole lot put back together again.  There's no obvious holes or rust so it's a bit of an odd one.

I'm tempted to take a few days off work since May is always super quiet and just do as much welding as I can to deal with all these niggly little bits in one go before work gets busy again.  We shall see.  For now I'm just happy the big hole in the floor is now a big steel patch.

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Small update here.

That weird deadspot issue has totally gone. It must have been the air in the clutch hydraulics, it's the only thing that's changed since bleeding it out and I simply can't get the car to repeat the deadspot issue at all.

Recently I brimmed the tank for the first time in ages. New problem is that it is definitely dragging some rubbish through from the tank. I do have a filter before the pump so I'll swap that out, it's probably clogged. Over the years I've had periods where a red sandy sediment (not rust) has been pulled through from the tank so it's probably flushed a bit more of whatever that is out.

Oil leak from the fuel pump appears to be solved too, the cork gasket has thus far done the trick. Normally it would have at least started weeping by now and it isn't yet.

There's been a bit of a delay delivering my new headlights because of bank holiday so I'm still waiting on those arriving.

I've not done a list in a while, so here's where we're at on that:

Windscreen - order and fit (maybe order it next month if things go to plan). Already have a new seal to fit at the same time.
Roof - paint when new windscreen is fitted.
Front Driver's Inner Wing - small repairs to driver's side
Front Driver's Outer Wing - media blast and paint NOS wing before fitting
Front Passenger Wheel Arch - cut out rot, fit repair panel
Rear Passenger Wheel Arch - cut out rot, fit repair panel
Driver's Outer Sill - fit NOS outer sill
Driver's Front Jacking Point - straighten, weld, and otherwise sort out
Passenger Front Floor Pan - weld small hole
Passenger Front Door - repair, paint, and fit spare door
Driver's Front Door Hinge - determine what's worn and repair/replace it. Probably the top hinge pin.
Suspension - Full regas of all units. Ideally find someone to remake the interconnecting pipes too, tricky since I have no template to work from.
Rear Passenger Axle Mount - replace metalastic bushing
Steering Rack - replace boots
Headlights - Fit new LED units when they arrive
Valve Shims - adjust to correct values
General Service - We are due an oil and coolant change this year, perhaps a little past due now.
ICE - fit head unit, speakers, and aerial. Still fancy twin electric aerials on the rear wings.
Spoiler - repair crack in fibreglass spoiler and then get it painted
Boot - make and fit interior trim panels for boot lid and boot interior
Protection - cavity wax all the things, underseal all the things
MoT - I'm exempt, and taking full advantage while I've got other things going on in my life right now. I would prefer to have an MoT all the same, just so I can be sure I've not missed anything daft.
Profit? - unlikely.

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10 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

That weird deadspot issue has totally gone. It must have been the air in the clutch hydraulics, it's the only thing that's changed since bleeding it out and I simply can't get the car to repeat the deadspot issue at all.

Recently I brimmed the tank for the first time in ages. New problem is that it is definitely dragging some rubbish through from the tank. I do have a filter before the pump so I'll swap that out, it's probably clogged. Over the years I've had periods where a red sandy sediment (not rust) has been pulled through from the tank so it's probably flushed a bit more of whatever that is out.

I haz no clue how clutch air could affect combustion, but glad it's gone.

I had that red sediment years ago, can't remember the cause, sorry.

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My working theory is that it was affecting clutch engagement/disengagement but manifesting with symptoms as if it was combustion/fuelling at fault which is why I hadn't been able to pin it down.  I'm pretty sure that red sediment is what killed my in tank pump too, it's probably completely clogged up with the stuff.  Since removing the in tank pump means the war to get the tank to seal up again I opted to leave it alone and fit the mechanical pump and fight the oil leak there instead.

Should have called this car Incontinence instead of Serendipity, really.

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On 04/05/2024 at 22:09, SilverMachine said:

were the original screens triplex? seem to remember some sort of advertising campaign with a purple princess estate? could be wrong probably am.

Are you thinking of the Ogle Triplex Glassback 10-20? Based on a Princess and designed to advertise Triplex's glass making skillz?

https://www.aronline.co.uk/concepts-and-prototypes/triplex-10-20-glassback/

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Been trundling around no bother today when I could smell fuel sometimes.  That could have been all sorts of things really, Scunthorpe has a fair few filling stations and industrial zones and whatnot so I just put it down to Someone Else and carried on until I could park up.  Took some pics when I got home of the carnage, I forgot the Princess does this.

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Yeah.  Well that goes to show the paint I bought is not only nowhere near the quality I was expecting, it's also not fuel resistant.  Can't really do much of anything about this until its dried out now.  The cause I'm not entirely certain because it only happens when I brim the tank and it's a hot day, which is why I don't normally brim the tank.

Maybe modern fuel pumps have the cut off trigger a bit higher in the neck of the fuel tank than they did when the Princess was new, allowing it to be technically overfilled?  Maybe there's an issue with my filler cap (it never leaks any other time, only under these specific circumstances)?  Maybe I shouldn't brim the tank.

Easy fix at least, just need to let this dry out, scrape/sand off the ruined paint, and redo it in something fuel resistant instead.  On the plus side I now know the easy way to get this paint off the car should it turnout to be a sanding pad clogger when we prep for proper paint in the near future.

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5 hours ago, martc said:

Are you thinking of the Ogle Triplex Glassback 10-20? Based on a Princess and designed to advertise Triplex's glass making skillz?

https://www.aronline.co.uk/concepts-and-prototypes/triplex-10-20-glassback/

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yip thats the one i was thinking of! wonder how many they actually made? probably just the one i guess. i do like it though, can i have one please?

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If the cap was sealing it would stop the fuel,unless there's a breather there.only fuel proof paint I've used is tractor enamel. Pretty sure those guys that go round the country regassing Cars and fitting recon spheres make pipes on the spot,or bring with,though no doubt not cheap.

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The cap has a breather but the thing is, it normally seals just fine.  It's only when there's a brimmed tank and a hot spell that it does it and it's always done it.  I'll see if I can get a new cap for it and see if that solves it.

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On 09/05/2024 at 17:27, SilverMachine said:

yip thats the one i was thinking of! wonder how many they actually made? probably just the one i guess. i do like it though, can i have one please?

There was only one and I'm pretty sure it's now at Gayden. You'll have to ask them if it's for sale ......

(I bet it isn't)

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I've got a job interview tomorrow, it's a round trip of about 60 miles, so today I wanted to make sure I did all my pre-roadtrip checks.  I know 60 miles isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, I just wanted to be certain I was as prepared as I could be.  Popped the wheel trims off and checked the tire pressures and found the passenger side was a few PSI low so topped that up, also check the wheel nuts since it's been a while and a couple needed a tiny tweak.  Checked the spare tyre too and that needed 10PSI putting in, I normally forget to check the spare so I'm proud of myself for that one.

Checked the oil and the consumption has reduced dramatically since sealing up the oil filler tube properly, unsurprisingly.  Only needed a little dribble to bring it to the full line rather than a couple of glugs (these are very accurate measurements).  Coolant, brake fluid, and clutch fluid all exactly where they should be.  Topped up the screen wash as that was quite low.

Then on to actual fixes, first up was replacing the fuel filter since some red sediment had been pulled through from the tank and the filter was looking pretty grubby.
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Next up was to do the leaking fuel pump gasket.  The cork gasket did hold for about 50 miles before starting to weep, and then leak, so that's better than I've had before from a plain gasket.  You can just see where the oil pools in the cambox casting under the fuel pump, when enough oil gets in there it overflows on to the exhaust manifold and stinks so it's not my favourite thing.
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With the gasket removed you can see that oil leaks past it on both sides below the bolt line.  There is good compression of the gasket and it is conforming well to the surfaces which don't appear to be significantly warped after having sanded things, it just isn't quite good enough on its own to seal everything up.  I left the fuel pump draining the oil out so it was as dry as possible before reinstalling.  The phenolic spacer is still firmly bonded to the cambox and isn't leaking so I left that alone.
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Weapon of choice for resealing is some Wurth red sealant which I'm told is supposed to be good for this sort of application since it's got good plasticity and I suspect part of the problem with this leak is that the vibration of the pump is breaking the seal with paper and cork gaskets so it needs a bit of help.  Also cut a new gasket even though I could probably have re-used the one I had in there before, it's such a tiny gasket and I've got material it made no sense to penny pinch by reusing the old one that might leak again.
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That needs to be left alone for at least 30 minutes, which is why I'm typing this up while I wait since there's an errand I want to run but I can't while I'm waiting for the goop to set.  I did a couple of small jobs, one of which was adjusting the striker on the driver's front door so that closes a bit better now, another was adding a dab of glue to the back of the velcro strip holding my carpet down since the self-adhesive on the velcro had failed.

I also fixed my flaps.  Whenever the weather gets warm the steel rod comes out of the plastic socket that operates the flap, pretty much every year without fail on this one.  I should fit something to the end of the steel rod so it can't pop out really.  I didn't this time, just relocated everything and put it back together so I can actually have some fresh air to the face again.
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Only other thing I want to do today is clean off that fuel-damaged paint and redo it in some fresh, something I can do once the goop has set and I can go get some black paint since I'm all out.

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Little before and after.  Just a quick clean up to get rid of the old paint (it had lifted all the way down to the steel), fresh primer, fresh black aerosol.  The goal here is to make it look a bit less unsightly and prevent water getting trapped and causing rust and I achieved that.

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If I've got time and weather tomorrow I might just go over the back panel that's still red, just to make it look a bit more finished.  Again, not aiming for perfection, just making it look okay from 250 yards or so.

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Did a 60 mile round trip this morning for a job interview.  Princess performed just fine, don't know what I was worrying about.  Didn't go over 50mph though partially because I didn't know the roads - lots of wiggly Lincolnshire country roads since I'm avoiding motorways at the moment - and purely out of mechanical sympathy.  Fuel pump gasket is still bone dry so that feels like an achievement in and of itself, temperature stayed nice and constant, dropping down to 1/3 on the gauge on the faster longer stretches of road.

LED headlights arrived while I was out too... well one pair did.  Have left a message with the supplier to see what's happened to the other pair, I suspect a packing error because who orders two pairs of headlights?

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I think it went okay.  I did turn up *way* too early, I planned as if I were doing the same journey in Kent and even though I took it steady I was still so early that I spent some time chatting to an auld fellah in the car park before going in.  I'm a terrible judge of these things though so I shan't get my hopes up.  I'll know by the end of the week.  That said, when the interviewer says things like they're desperate for reliable staff and ask you for your measurements for a uniform you do get the impression that it's probably gone pretty well.

---

Had a go at fitting the LED headlights and have encountered some small issues.  Nothing terrible, I'm pretty sure it can be worked around, but these aren't quite as plug and play as they might be.  I do know these aren't really being sold as a twin headlight solution, so I did expect a bit of wiring shenanigans to get that aspect to work.  This is fine, it can be done.  What I hadn't expected was that they wouldn't actually fit without modifying the car a bit.

The headlights on the Princess are held in place with standard classic car adjuster bowls that locate on two screw threaded bolts and one retaining spring, like so.
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The trouble is the shape of the back of the LED unit is such that it can't sit down in the adjuster bowl properly and the retaining ring can't be attached.  So, I need to chop off a lot of the adjuster bowl which I could do by the magic of having a spare set and this is why it's not hoarding.
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A little bit of massaging of the metal to stretch it a little further and it does fit.  However, there's now nowhere to put the retaining spring that stops the bowl from falling off so I'll have to modify these further to accomodate that somehow.  That put paid to fitting these new headlights today, that's more work than I want to get into right now.
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Then I tried plugging in the LED unit to the outer pair as you would any other headlight and found it wouldn't turn on at all.  It's only when I remove the twin headlight harness that runs from the outer to the inner light (inners are H1, and do main beam only) and plug the LED light directly in as if the car has only got single headlights that they work properly.  What did surprise me is that I actually do like how these look on the car, you end up with a mostly black front panel with the chrome retaining rings for the headlights and that actually looks very smart.  I couldn't mock it up safely for camera, too many bits to hold on to, so all you get is this shot of me showing just how much brighter the LEDs are compared to the halogens.  If they're this bright in daylight I should be fine at night.
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Finally, the sidelight and indicator function on the new headlight units.  The new headlights came with no instructions at all, not even a basic wiring diagram to say what things were for.  Fortunately I found a listing showing the standard wiring practices on LED replacement units and now know that the white wire is for sidelights and the yellow is for indicators they just plug in like the originals did so that's easy.

My next challenge is figuring out how to wire everything to do what I want.  Wiring wise, they are pretty much plug and play, it's just the challenge of physically fitting them to my particular car.

Is there some sort of standard harness I can use to wire the headlights together?  At the moment, there is a three pin socket on the main harness that you plug a three pin plug into that then feeds another three pin socket for the outer headlights, and two female spade connectors for the inner headlights.  I'm guessing if those female spades were replaced with a three pin socket it would work for the set up I plan to fit with the LED units?

I hope it's something that simple at least, then the only hard bit is modifying the adjuster bowls to suit the LED units.

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Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and have a think and that's what I did with this.  Why don't I just use longer screws to hold the retaining rings in place, thought I, and then I gave it a go.

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Well, that actually worked.  It holds the headlight securely enough that I can wiggle the car with the headlight so I doubt it's going to be a problem!  Did the other side too.

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Can't tell if the slight frown is an optical illusion due to camera fisheye and car styling, or if they're actually wonky, they don't look that wonky in person.  Trims are all sorts of wobbly too so that's not helping.  Anyway, by simply using much longer screws to hold the retaining rings these do fit and because the depth of the trim on the front of the Princess is what it is, there's enough space to push the headlights forwards a bit without it looking goofy.

Shall we turn them on?

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Umm... yeah.  I reckon those will do and I'll have another pair going on when they arrive so I think I might be okay seeing at night.

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Well... it got dark so I could try the new lights out and wow, I can actually see.  When I was sat in the car to set off and turned the lights on I had to turn them off and back on again to be sure I was seeing what I was seeing, I genuinely didn't expect so huge a light output increase over a much better area.  The other nice thing is because they draw so much less power than the halogens the car in general just seems happier about the whole thing.  I found a dark car park to pull into so I could demonstrate with some photos, very aware of the connotations...

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Phone camera didn't know what to do with a head on shot, focus was all over the place, but you get the idea.  Now, when I did the test trundle I did get flashed once by oncoming traffic and it's due to the oblique angle where the lights do dazzle.  They were turning across the road in front of me and I think they got hit by the dazzle.  Everybody else seemed not to notice.  They do cancel out oncoming wanker lights except for one German SUV I encountered so that too is a huge improvement.  I felt a lot safer because I could see more than I think I ever have in any car I've driven.

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I didn't change the alignment and honestly I don't think it's far off where it should be if it did move at all.  I can see pedestrians at the side of the road much better now, and reflective signs show up at a more sensible distance than before.  The quality of the light is very blue, a lot of other headlights I encountered looked very yellow by comparison.

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One of the bulbs for the speedo might have fallen out of its socket again, it does that sometimes which is why you can barely see it.  I don't think I'm going to upgrade the rear lights to LEDs just yet, they're incredibly visible purely due to their size and I've got a third brake light.  To celebrate, one of the wires to the spade connector for the flasher relay snapped and left me without indicators for the way home so that was neat of it.  Quick bit of crimp work in the dark and I got them back again.

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Overall, I'm really happy with this as an upgrade at the moment.  The only concern I now have is that when I do fit the new inners it might be too much light because just this one pair is significantly more light output on dipped beam than I was previously getting from twin main beam halogens.

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15 hours ago, vulgalour said:

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I know it's impossible to tell accurately from a picture taken by a camera phone wobbling around at night and with no idea if this is main beam or dipped beam (that might be the greenish blob top right of the dash - and if so, ignore me!), but from this photo it looks like there may be a little too much throw to the right/oncoming traffic?

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There might be.  I will get an alignment done.  It's dipped beam but there's nothing for the headlights to see on the left, it's just flat tarmac and I am pointing slightly towards the hedge there.

---

DRAMA!  Got hit-and-run today in broad daylight.  Had parked up at the local supermarket as usual and once I was stationary the car next to me started to leave.  Was getting a bit close... and then the car wobbled and he KEPT GOING.  I honked my horn and got out and shouted at him and he only seemed to stop when he realised he'd drawn a lot of attention.  Opened his window and stared at me while I proclaimed he'd hit my car.  He just stared.  He looked at the other pedestrians and then very slowly drove away.  No apology, nothing.  Just... drove away.  I don't know if it was a shock response or what and it's not like I'm going to put this through insurance since it's only a paint scuff but still, the sheer shittiness of it!  I didn't get his number, and the store CCTV wasn't on so I'm just sort of impotently angry about it.

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Luckily it's only paint damage and the paint isn't very good, except for the nice scratch he's put on my wheel trim right down the centre.  The car that hit me was some big dark metallic blue mpv thing, maybe a VW Touran I'm not sure, bit new for my knowledge base.  I hope he gets an itchy arse for the rest of the year.

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In happier news, it's been about 150 miles and the oil leak from the fuel pump has not resurfaced. Not even discolouration of the cork gasket. Could it be, could I have finally fixed it?

Also, since the drive out for the job interview and fitting the LED headlights the car is just running way smoother than it has in yonks, it seems a lot happier and isn't such a chore to get going from cold. Was in stop-start traffic in the rain today, even got stuck behind a genuine rag-and-bone horse and cart (what is this, 1974?) and the car was just fine. No wiper slow down when stood at traffic lights with all the electrical gubbinz going, nobody flashing me because of my obnoxious lights, everything just being decent.

Second pair of headlights arrived, and the splitter harness so I can run the twins is on the way. The only thing I couldn't seem to find was anywhere selling automotive wiring by the metre so I can do the little extensions I need for the indicators and sidelights, all the electrical places I stopped in at only really sold stuff by the reel, so that'll likely have to be an online thing which is a bit of a faff considering how little I actually need. All my wire stocks stayed down south with the Lanchester because I thought it would have been more use down there, more fool me for not stealing a little bit for myself.

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On 09/05/2024 at 14:23, vulgalour said:

Been trundling around no bother today when I could smell fuel sometimes.  That could have been all sorts of things really, Scunthorpe has a fair few filling stations and industrial zones and whatnot so I just put it down to Someone Else and carried on until I could park up.  Took some pics when I got home of the carnage, I forgot the Princess does this.

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Yeah.  Well that goes to show the paint I bought is not only nowhere near the quality I was expecting, it's also not fuel resistant.  Can't really do much of anything about this until its dried out now.  The cause I'm not entirely certain because it only happens when I brim the tank and it's a hot day, which is why I don't normally brim the tank.

Maybe modern fuel pumps have the cut off trigger a bit higher in the neck of the fuel tank than they did when the Princess was new, allowing it to be technically overfilled?  Maybe there's an issue with my filler cap (it never leaks any other time, only under these specific circumstances)?  Maybe I shouldn't brim the tank.

Easy fix at least, just need to let this dry out, scrape/sand off the ruined paint, and redo it in something fuel resistant instead.  On the plus side I now know the easy way to get this paint off the car should it turnout to be a sanding pad clogger when we prep for proper paint in the near future.

My dad's old 1970s Range Rover would do that when brimmed on a warm day. Fine on cold days and seemed worse if filled from nearly empty rather than topped up. 

 

We always just put it down to expansion (cold underground tank to warm air) and maybe some bubbles forming under pressure in there that caused it to glug out. That theory is absolutely NOT scientific 

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Well I brimmed it recently and it's been cold and it didn't barf so it sounds like a case of the TADTS to me.

Today, the wiring for the second pair of headlights arrived so I fitted them and learned that it must be easy because even I could do it.  The only frustration is I can't wire the indicator and sidelight portions up yet because I could not find a single shop selling wire by the metre, I don't need a whole frigging reel of the stuff, I only need a metre of white and another of yellow... so that's an online order job.

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I was a bit surprised at how much I actually like this.  Depending on where the camera is, the lights do end up looking straight or wonky, there's some weird optical illusion shenanigans going on.  I do think I would have still preferred chrome reflectors to the black ones but I don't mind these at all, I think they go well with that slab of black plastic on the front of the car.  When the indicator/sidelight portion of the LED units is wired up, those MG B units will get blanked off and I might move the numberplate up on to the valance instead of under it since there won't be as much clutter around it.

Dipped beam (the camera and the sloping drive is making everything wonky, they look even in person).

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Main beam.

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I don't think I'm going to have any problems seeing where I'm going now.

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