Thursday, May 28, 2009

More work done

I got 2 more jobs crossed off my list. They were the engine oil and filter change. Unfortunately, I suffered a disaster. After completing the job I started the car and when the oil light didn't go out I stopped the engine and to my horror there was a large puddle of engine oil beneath the car. It turned out that I hadn't fitted the filter housing on straight so oil was just leaking out. I refitted the filter housing and refilled with oil. (after having to buy some more engine oil) This time there were no leaks and Brown is none the worse for the loss of oil. I use some cheap cat litter (£1.16 for a 10kg bag) from my local Morrisons to soak up the oil slick. I've just put down a 2nd bag as the first one didn't soak it all up. I've also tuned the car again. I checked the timing and it was on TDC so I have adjusted it and set it by ear rather than follow the figures. I synchronized the mixture by ajusting the jets until they were level with the carburettor bridge and then turned the nuts down 12 flats to get an initial setting, adjusted the tickover, balanced the carbs by ear with the rubber hose, weakened the mixture by a couple of flats and then checked the tickover and there seems to be more power. The exhaust is still bowing at the manifold so I'm gonna get ETC to sort out the manifold. They did the same job with Becky so my exhaust problems should be sorted once and for all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For the first time in ages...

...I worked on Becky. I had dug out my angle grinder so I took the opportunity to grind as much rust off her. I'd washed the car a couple of days previously. Most of the offside sill had dissolved so I'll have to replace the entire outer sill. I took a look inside and it seems that the inner sill is fine. Looks like some of Austin Rover's protection did work after all. I'm sure the car is saveable as outer sills are now available from the Acclaim Guru for only £20 each. I just need to master the art of welding...

I bought an oil filter and some engine oil for Brown's oil and filter change. I decided to use some decent classic engine oil so I went for the Duckhams mineral 20W/50. I just need some dry weather to do the oil change.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Parts to get

Started to buy some more parts for Brown. I got a choke cable on eBay for £5 that has the connection for the choke light. Brown has an aftermarket choke cable so it has never had the choke light working. Once that's fitted I can set the carbs up properly. I'll get an oil filter ordered then I can do the oil and filter change. I might even change the tranmission fluid as well. It won't do any harm to do so.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A bit of spannering done today

It all started with the storage unit that I'm renting. I've decided to give it up and in the process of removing stuff I came across an exhaust mounting bracket that I'd bought from Rimmer Bros in error last year. It was an exact match for the one that is missing off Brown so I fitted it and now the exhaust is on all it's mountings. I picked up the brake pads I'd ordered from Champion and asked about an oil filter on the off chance. Due to the Bank Holiday it'll be Tuesday before I can get one so I'll have to leave it until then.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A little tune-up

Brown seemed to be thirsty (a sooty tailpipe and a full tank not lasting far enough were the warning signs) so after filling up with petrol (pay day today) I got my tools out. I'd already read up the procedure in the BL workshop manual as the Haynes doesn't cover SU-carbed 1850s. The first thing I did was to remove No. 2 spark plug and sure enough it was covered in soot meaning the replacement carbs I'd fitted were running too rich. I balanced the carbs, (the front one was getting less airflow) adjusted the idle and then I turned the mixture nuts up until the revs started to drop and turned them back down till the revs just started to rise again so hopefully, I should get better fuel economy.

I've noticed that petrol prices have started rising again (96.9p a litre at my local Morrisons) so I'm going to do something a bit radical in order to improve my mileage. So far my best average has been 28mpg. I don't want to say too much at this stage as it will be experimental. If it works then I'll reveal all in due course.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another small job done

Got a small job crossed off the list. I fitted the driver's side door mirror that I've had in the boot. Using my electric drill made the job very easy. I must have had it finished in 10 minutes and it all went without a single hitch. If I come across a passenger side door mirror I'll get it. Amazing how quick and easy the job is with power tools.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting Blue repaired

As you may know Blue's been out of action due to a suspected head gasket failure. I was given the name and phone number of someone who skims cylinder heads and I was quoted a price of £20 so I'll be going for it as soon as funds allow. I'll be replacing the timing belt at the same time as it is an unknown quantity. All I need to do is to get Blue to somewhere where I can remove the head. I'll order the head gasket set and timing belt from Champion as well. The guy who reommended the engineering place builds replica bodies of the Triumph Spitfire Le Mans in fibreglass and was recently featured in a recent edition of Triumph World.

Brown needs a replacement choke cable, an exhaust bracket for the intermediate section, (the bit between the 2 silencers just ahead of the rear axle) new steering rack bushes and the gaskets for the exhaust manifold. These are the more immediate jobs.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Some light spannering

I filled up today and consumption has averaged out at just over 23mpg. Not as good as before but still not too bad. I'll get a better idea at the next fill up as I've swapped the carbs since the previous fill up. Brown's running like a dream and is better than before when cold so I can cross the carb job off my list. I also took the opportunity to jet wash the car as I'm going to a classic car show tomorrow at the White Rose Centre in Leeds. After the jet wash I balanced the carbs and they weren't that much out. I adjusted the tickover and I'm now happy with the way Brown is running. The show will give me an opportunity to give Brown a blast along the M62 as the White Rose Centre is just off junction 28 so I'll see what it's like at motorway speeds. Money's getting a bit tight again so no more spending till the next pay day.

Friday, May 01, 2009

More ups and downs

Starting with the ups. I managed to sort out the exhaust. One of the joints had to be sleeved to make a gas tight seal and with the help of my neighbour I got it done. While the exhaust itself isn't blowing there is a blow where the manifold is bolted on to the cylinder head. I've fitted the carbs and it has improved performance.

Moving on to the downs. As soon as I'd got Brown running after the carb swap a squealing noise has appeared which only disappears when I'm accelerating under load. This has marred an otherwise great day of achievements.