Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Jobs on the Vitesse

Although OOD looks pretty much together and ready for the road, there is a lot to do to start her up and get driving.
I'm going to list the main jobs as I see them and then go into some detail.
Firstly, it's worth pointing out that this car is in remarkable condition and it's a testament to the builder and the choice of quality parts when it was assembled. I have to admit to being a little in awe of it and that's some of the reason it's taken me so long to get to this point. It's gradually becoming mine as I get to know its secrets.
The main issues I see are:
  1. Fuel system - it's a PI that's been sat for a long time, partially stripped and now needs putting back together with some new components. Hoses are mostly good as they are Aeroquip. 
  2. Brakes - well hydraulics really - discs need de-rusting, it's equipped with Tilton race brakes and a Tilton pedal box that all need attention and maybe rebuilding - pedal goes to the floor and stays there. I'll rebuild the three master cylinders, I suspect the callipers will be fine but will need testing. Rear cylinders my need replacing but it's had silicon fluid in it and it all looks very good. Clutch seems fine, it's got a Saab annular release bearing that seems to function OK.
  3. Electrics - needs a battery and probably some cleaning of contacts etc, again it all looks great and as good quality components were used I suspect all that will be needed is checking and contact cleaning. Battery is in the boot and the batter box mounting needs attention to fully support it - I need to design something to cope with the angled boot floor.
  4. Oil system - the oil filter housing isn't fully mounted - it's insecure at the moment and that needs sorting, I'll give it an oil and filter change before I try and start it. I'll also drain the gearbox oil and use some Redline MT90 which I used in my last Vitesse - a great fully synthetic that works well with overdrive.
  5. Door trims and window winders - these were never fully finished and Adam is working on improved window regulators to cope with the body strengthening mods (more on this later). He's designed some new regulators and has relieved the door panels to suite, I just have to pick them up from him in Portsmouth. This was part of the purchase deal and I'm very grateful he's doing this. I've also noticed that there's no anti-drumming in the doors, I'll get some adhesive pads fitted before the door cards go back in.
  6. Engine - a bit of an unknown quantity here. The car was run for about 700 miles (I think) and developed a fault, believed to stem from overly strong valve springs that may have caused premature cam wear. The engine was pretty much new and a well tuned 2 litre. However, some of the quality of the components available in the late 80s early 90s was dubious and Adam thinks this may be what's happened here. I've got some investigations to do that's for sure! 
  7. Minor stuff that will wait - the seats (Bond buckets) are fixed and will need some runners for other drivers. The hood, white vinyl, has shrunk and I fancy a black mohair hood, the fuel tank sit across the (extended) spare wheel well and needs a tweak to allow the full sized spare to fit, there are a few other non essential bits I'd like to do but most are minor.
No 1 - the fuel system.
One of my favourite views - Lucas PI in a Vitesse

The fuel system was partially dismantled when I got the car - when she was parked up it was never envisaged that she's be stationary for circa 20 years . As Adam said, life intervened - as it does. So the fuel system solidified in the tank, filters, pump, injectors, etc. Most of this has been cleaned out and the rotted out fuel sender replaced.  
The car is a 2 litre with Lucas PI, Bosch pump and diaphragm PRV. The system was build well with new or reconditioned parts - in fact that goes for the rest of the car too really. There are numerous modifications which I'll explain as I come to them, lets just say this isn't a standard Vitesse.

This was the temporary installation - some great rope work with paracord - the pump and filter mounted on a backing piece and slung on the rear outrigger. Age and fuel had eaten the low pressure feed pipe from the tank - I have some new pipe for that. The Aeroquip pipes are all fine, they are pretty indestructible. 

Stainless custom fuel tank, the big heat sink looking thing is an amplified for the in car entertainment system, some of which Adam still has - all in good time.

Bosch pump and filter - testing shows it runs but I'm not confident that it'll be OK, I will assume it is until I can test it fully

Bosch filter, looks fine but I'll renew before running it, I have a spare in a box somewhere!

I powered her up (battery, in the boot, was knackered and didn't come with the car, I've since bought a replacement). The gauges are really neat with digital read outs of fuel and oil pressure in one gauge and oil temp and pressure in the other.

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