Thursday, March 30, 2006

Parts arrived today.

The gaskets, oil seals, brake drum screws and flexible brake hose that I'd ordered from Rimmer's arrived in the post today. I filled Snowdrop's petrol tank and put some STP fuel treatment in. I've also bought some degreaser and some more brake fluid. I'll be having a relaxing night at home tonight. I still can't get over how quiet the diff is!

Done it!

The axle swap on Snowdrop is complete. It took me just over four hours from start to finish and it has transformed the car. I can't get over how much quieter it is. I can now refurbish the original axle at my leisure.

Monday, March 27, 2006

At last I've got the rear axle off the Toledo. It took a bit of struggling but I got there in the end! Hopefully, it will be a bit easier when I do Sonwdrop's. We shall see... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Taxing stuff

The road tax for Snowdrop is due at the end of this month and the reminder from DVLA duly arrived through the post this morning. As Snowdrop had one of the computer generated MoT certificate I decided to apply for the tax disc online. It was easier than I expected & I didn't even need to supply any insurance or MoT details.
Tonight, I'm hoping to finish removing the Toledo's rear axle. Hopefully when I do Snowdrop's it will be much quicker.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Other stuff done

I've now covered the Toledo so things look a bit better now. Last night I went round the exhaust system undoing the manifold joint and reconnecting it with some exhaust putty. I also did the downpipe-to-centre section and now my exhaust is totally leak-free. I'm not 100% happy with the tappets so I'll have to recheck them and then I can recheck the timing. As to the diff problem, I'm now thinking about doing the axle swap from the Toledo. It appears to be less work than a diff swap and seems easy enough. We shall see...

Friday, March 17, 2006


I had a go at setting the tappets on Snowdrop last night (for the first time ever!) and it made things worse so I left it until I went back after work today armed with my Haynes and a Gunsons Clickadjust. Job done and Snowdrop is running a bit better now! Well worth it! I also bought a new rocker gasket and I used some sealant when I refitted the rocker cover being careful not to tighten it up too tightly! When driving I noticed that the temperature gauge wasn't registering. It turned out that I' forgotten to reconnect the wire which I'd taken off to avoid it fouling the rocker cover when I was refitting it. The indicator problem has now mysteriously disappered and when I was jet washing Snowdrop one of the number plate lamps came apart so I had to spend a few minutes putting it back together. I've also gotta sort out the reversing lamp switch. One of the wires needs to be soldered back on. There's always something that needs doing on these cars!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Just a bit more

My mate Brian told me that I'll need to adjust the valve clearances on Snowdrop before I recheck my ignition timing. She'll be running even better after this. At least I don't have to spend any more money!

Cooking on gas!

I cleaned the timing marks and when I checked with the timing light the timing was way out so I set it statically then I checked it with the engine running. I gave the carburettor a clean with some carburettor cleaner. I took the plugs out and regapped them, (should've done it when I fitted them) increased the points gap to get the dwell angle down and it has done the trick! Snowdrop is running even better than ever. I checked the RPM and it was a bit high but at least she's idling. I took Snowdrop on a road test and she perfomred quite well but I discovered another problem. Whenever I indicated left the light would stay on constantly. I soon found out the cause. The left front indicator bulb wasn't working. That particular lens is broken so I might as well replace it at the same time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Not good

I thought Snowdrop would run better but now she's running worse. I've just fitted new points and condenser. I've bought an automotive multimeter and a timing light. The dwell angle is 62 deg which is more than it should be. (according to the data sticker on the inside of the bonnet) Worse still, I think the timing is way out but the timing marks need a good clean before I'm sure about that one.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

And here is the engine bay after I'd cleaned it up a bit and done the rocker cover. A big improvement. I've also replaced the distributor cap, rotor arm and spark plug leads so hopefully, Snowdrop will run a bit better. They were overdue for replacement! Posted by Picasa

I managed to get everything done that needed doing. First I jacked up the rear of Snowdrop and put her on axle stands to refit the rear section of exhaust. While the back end was up I started her up and put her in gear to trace the whining noise. It was defintely the diff. I've already arranged to have the pinion bearing and oil seal fitted at my mate's a week on Monday. The boot light was easily fixed. The switch just needed connecting and it worked. I removed the rocker cover, cleaned it up (inside and out) repainted it, fitted a new gasket and put it back on. The pic is the engine before I started on the rocker cover. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

Oil slick...

Not quite Exxon Valdez but bad enough. I was checking Becky's oil and had to top it up and I didn't fasten the lid on properly and I ended up spilling Castrol GTX on Becky's boot carpet. I've managed to get most of it off. I'm glad it wasn't used oil which would've been a lot worse! On a slightly more positive note, I've got the rocker gasket. (£2.75 from my trusty local motor factor!) I've found another jobt to do on Snowdrop. The boot lamp will need fixing. I can always rob the bits off the Toledo to save me money yet again!

Monday, March 06, 2006

All is well again

I went out to Snowdrop, replaced the split hose, filled the radiator and got her back home. I then decided to fit the rest of the hoses and the stainless steel water pipe that runs from the back of the water pump to the heater. I've just road tested the car and she is now running fine so all the fluids have now been replaced. I didn't have time to paint the rocker cover so that can wait until I do the gasket replacement.

Problem solved!

After last night's breakdown I was pleased when the hose set arrived so I can just replace the split hose with the new one to get going again and fit the rest when I get Snowdrop back to her resting place. (chez Anita) I was so pleased that I ordered some more parts from TD Fitchett. I've decided to replace the pinion bearing in the diff in the hope that it will cure the noise. I've ordered a new oil seal as well. I think the diff is leaking there and I'll have to replace the oil seal anyway. I've also remembered another small job that needs doing. The rocker gasket is leaking so that will have to be replaced and I'm going to paint the rocker cover so I've bought a can of silver high temperature paint in readiness for the job. The road tax is due at the end of the month so I'd better keep that in mind as well!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Snowdrop has had her first breakdown. As I was driving the temperature gauge went into the red and the heaters were blowing cold which meant that I was losing coolant. My fears were confirmed when I saw steam coming out of the engine compartment. One of the heater hoses had split causing coolant to leak. Fortunately I was able to park up somewhere safe and I went to Anita's to get Becky. This is ironic considering that I'd already ordered a compete hose set. I knew that they were overdue to be replaced. Fortunately the split is right next to the clip so I reckon that the hose can be trimmed back, refitted, the radiator refilled it it would be good enough to get back to Anita's until I get the new hoses. Snowdrop is now in Anitia's sister's pub car park and Snowdrop will be safe where she is.

More stuff to do

The list of jobs for Snowdrop seems to be growing.

All the cooling system hoses have to be replaced. They've been ordered from TD Fitchett.
The radiator will be drained, flushed and refilled. Already got enough anti-freeze.
I really need to do something about the diff. I'm not sure which course to take on this one. Options are: Swap the axle, swap the diff (the Toledo will provide donor parts) or replace the pinion bearing and oil seal.

A nut on the exhaust bracket dropped off on the way to a meeting today. It was a good thing I'd replaced the nut because the weather turned soon after. As I'm typing the snow is still falling!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Gonna sort that diff!

Last night's North Yorkshire meeting made me realize just how noisy Snowdrop's differential is. 60-70 mph and the noise is almost unbearable so I'm gonna do an axle swap with the Toledo and then I can repair and overhaul Snowdrop's axle at my leisure (when time and finances allow!) With this in mind I've ordered a replacement set of nuts and bolts for the trailing arms and the tie bars (where they bolt to the body. I'll be leaving the other end well alone for now!) so I can afford to waste seriously rusted 30+ year old nuts and bolts that probably haven't moved since the 70s! I know that the Toledo's diff is a LOT quieter that the one that's on Snowdrop. Another job in mind will be to change the coolant, flush the radiator, flush the matrix and replaces all the hoses and hose clips. An ex-Rover mechanic recommended the Unipart antifreeze. I've been using Castrol in Becky so I might go along with the Unipart stuff. Worth a try.