Showing posts from April, 2009

La Carerra Caledonia

Well what an interesting couple of days. I had to go to Manchester on business for a meeting today so I drove up last night and stopped off to see Dave at Canley Classics. I often drop in for a pint and a chat (OK usually a pint of coke). I had considered entering and mentioned it to Dave but it was somewhat half hearted as I knew I would have no time to prapare or help prepare a car and mine hasn't really proved itself yet. Anyway Dave said he'd been visited by Dave Langrick who had convinced him that doing La Carerra was a good idea - we'd done the event together 2 years ago in my fire breathing Vitesse (the flames out the back had scorched Langricks bumper) and it had been fun despite the issues. Anyway, Dave asked if I wanted "in", well I had already decided that I could not do it in my own car, due to the lack of any preparation time. I'm due out to India again in a few weeks and won't be back until Thursday evening on the 4th but hey! If there's

Unstuck stickiness

Well that's me done for the day, my back's gone stiff and it's time for a shower and a beer. It's been a decent day really, the sticky brake is unstuck. I couldn't really see much in the way of a cause but there was quite a lot of dust and crud in there. I've cleaned it all up and made sure there's no rust on the drum or lumps on the shoes. To be honest it just looks like they were sticking to the drums, everything now looks fine. It's all pretty new looking in there, all NOS stuff. I also managed to get blanking plugs into all the holes in the nearside inner wheel well. Throughout it's life the car looks like it's had several incarnations of PI plumbing. That's not uncommon seeing as there were half a dozen factory modifications done to Mk1 PIs! I've gone and done my own version relocating the pump to the offside, away from the exhaust. I've plumbed in a fuel tap and glass bowled agglomerater with a drain. That drain goes down throug

Stabilisers back on

Well stabiliser (single). Ever since getting the car the dashboard has been a weird ornament. None of the instruments worked. I had a low fuel warning light but that was about it. First came the choke light, that was just a clear up of the mechanism and I did that when I found the right choke cable to fit. Next came the clock, thanks to Scrapman Colin Wake I got a working clock - it even kept excellent time. Next came the speedo, that was my fault I think, when I fitted the cable I seem to have managed to miss align it at the gearbox, quite how I did it I don't know but a happy few days tracing it sorted out and that was great. But the fuel and temp gauge eluded me - I got a new voltage stabiliser but that didn't work, it was more serious than that. I managed to buy one of those new solid state stabiliser chips (no connectors just the chip) and was prepared to "go modern" to fix it. First though lets get the multimeter out and see what the hell's going on. Yup, it

I've seen the light

I've always been keen to use modern technology to improve the lighting on my cars, I don't think I've ever had standard lighting for long on a car. Usually that's been fitting relays and higher wattage lamps. There's never been much choice for upgrading the sidelights so I was quite interested when I started seeing LED lamps coming down in price. I also liked the look of those modern LED indicators that are crisp and instant as they come on. For nearly a year now I have had an HID kit sat on the shelf waiting for me to get round to fitting it, I don't have all the lenses I want to do that yet. So last week, in a moment of weakness and I dare say idleness, I took a surf and ended up with a set of LED lights. Somehow I managed to mess up the order and ended up with a bit of an odd assortment - I didn't want to do the indicators until I had figured out how to ensure they actually work! LED indicators and old school flasher units don't play well together, ap

Sometimes the Gods smile on you.....

....and sometimes they turn round and take a dump on you. So, it goes like this - MOT passed, feeling good. I'm sorting out the rough running (I'm running out of ideas but I'm still keen). I refit the air filter, it's all a little tight with the "spaced" throttle but it just about fits. Now let's see if the timing is still OK. I find that the timing is a little off, weird because I've done that a few days ago. Never mind, get the timing gun out and get it sorted, dizzy feels a little loose so I tighten it all up. The car's ticking over nicely and then just stops, dead. No stutter just stops. I jump in the driver's seat and whiz it over, it doesn't catch. Strange. Then I get that flash of inspiration or was it the sound of the pump changing ever so slightly or the stench of petrol? So with ignition still on (silly boy) I take a look in the open boot - it's not a good sight. The high pressure hose on the output side has split where it goe

Whooo Hoooo!

It's that feeling you get when you win the lottery, when you find one more chip in the bottom of the bag, when you come home and the kids haven't broken anything, when, when , when - you get the drift. Well that feeling was mine today when the PI sailed through the MOT without a problem. The guys in my preferred MOT station are old car friendly, Bob the one I see more often than not, appreciates the finer things in life, like Triumphs :-) OK so whe I said "it's running a bit rought I've got a dodgy injector" he did say that they were standard on PIs - thats' why he always ripped it all off and put Webers on! Nevertheless, a fresh ticket is mine. The car made it there and back - I have even managed to get the speedo to work, bonus! So, to celebrate, I gave her a present The issues now are all around getting her running right, anything else is pretty much cosmetic tarting - I have promised myself that I will attend to the important stuff first. Otherwise I&#

Thanks Bert

I've been struggling with the PI, I think I've turned the corner thanks to Albert Einstein. You see I have a "Home Page" on my PC that includes a daily random Einstein Quote, I'm trying to increase my bullshitting repertoire. Anyway, today's quote was 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.' and as I sat there looking for inspiration this morning I figured that was good advice. Let's go do something different! You see I couldn't understand the results I was getting with the fuel injection - bubbles in the now clear line (sometime you can have too much information) and poorly injecting on No1. All unions tight, no sign of leaks, everything all as it should be visually. I had changed out several components and generally messed about with the usual suspects. All my test readings on my pressure gauge were OK but it would still not run well, popping and farting like me after a curry and bucket of lager. I

A few more silly little jobs done

When I bought the car it came with a nicely rechromed bonnet badge, these things are getting to be silly money, £100 for a decent one, £200 for NOS. Anyhoo - mine was nicely rechromed with a new foil for the Injection lettering, however it wasn't quite right as the indents weren't black. So I decided to try something and took a roll of go faster striping I had and a craft knife - here are the before and after pictures Hopefully it'll stay on, I've had that reel of stripes for about 30 years! I remember nicking it from my Dad's garage and using it to put some on my mates Raleigh Chopper when we were about 10 years old! The other major achievement today is that the proper steering wheel is back on and..... ...... I'm not so sure I like it! Too thin, too flimsy and too big! With PAS I don't need a bus wheel and I may well find a smaller Motolita one - if I can find one for a reasonable price. More later, I'm enjoying this :-)

Today's learning......

There two ways to remove a steering wheel, one way is to leave the nut on but loosly so the wheel just comes un-stuck and doesn't actually come off the column - ie you can undo the nut completely after you've loosened the wheel on the colum and are left with the steering wheel in your hands and a smile on your face. The other way involves you removing the central nut and sitting in the driving seat. You pull on the wheel whilst bending your head over the steering wheel. Now give it a few repeated tugs culminating in one big snatch. The wheel will now fly off the steering column and you will whack yourself on your head with the wheel. Bearing in mind you have just put a lot of energy and ooomph into this it will hurt, you will see stars and if you're really luck you will have a nice red mark on your forehead, a small lump and a big headache. Guess which method I used? Remember kids, I do these stupid things so you don't have to. Tomorrow I am going to play with electrics

I have redeemed myself

Got the PI back together and took her for a blast down the road, well more of a pootle than a blast! Never mind, it runs and I can now get stuck into MOT preparation, well checking really because she's been nowhere in the last 12 months. A couple of corroded connections got in the way of the passenger side repeater working, but that's sorted in a second, just need to do a little repair on the lens to ensure it lasts another 40 years. I returned wo the orginal pump and have noticed that the fuel pressure is falling under 100 psi so I will change that all out this week - must try and see if I can relocate it to the other side of the boot, away from the exhaust. I picked up a pair of black Stag seats for pennies last week, they need work - diaphrams etc but they may do for a trial fit - I like them, just need blue covers!