Sunday, February 27, 2011

Something sorted out

I was washing and vacuuming Becky II when I decided to take a look at the cig lighter socket as it has been loose. I had a spare so I canniblaised it for parts and put it all back together. WHile I was at it I decided to test my phone holder/charger as the charger wasn't charging my phone. After sorting out the socket I plugged in my phone holder and the charger is working so I'm pleased with my work. While I was in the garage I decided to make a list of jobs that are needed to get Brown roadworthy. These are:

Replace the battery.
Replace the front tyres.
Sort out the blowing exhaust or replace it.
Replace the ignition parts or fit electronic ignition.
Fit solid carb mounts.
Adjust the carburettors.
Change the engine oil and filter.
Replace the transmission fluid.
Adjust the handbrake.
Respray the car. The car has had a poor paint job at some point in the past.
The widscreen might need to be replaced because it is scratched. I'll need a new sealing rubber.

I've finally manged to get a job (albeit temporary) so all being well, I should be able to get Brown back on the road.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I overcame the final hurdle this morning when I got 12 months road tax for Becky II. I'm £125 lighter but the car stays road legal for the rest of the year. On another positive note, I've finally managed to get a job albeit temporary (until the end of March). If I can get Brown through an MoT then that car will also be back on the road. A bit unlikely but putting the car through would give me an idea if what is needed to pass. I keep on promising to take this car down to the testing station that I use. One day hopefully...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ups and downs

Yesterday (I'm writing this at twenty to one in the morning!) was an emotional roller coaster. Becky II went back to the garage for the welding and retest so I was without transport for the day. 5 o'clock came round and I hadn't heard anything so I made my way down and when I got there the welding had just been finished and the car was having the retest. Fortunately, she passed so I have that all-important piece of paper. All seemed well and on they way to get Anita from the local Sainsbury's where she works Becky II died on me and wouldn't start again. I ended up calling the breakdown service (included with my insurance) who couldn't get the car going again so they recovered the car back home. After some head scratching and component swapping (from Becky) I decided to consult my workshop manuals. To my surprise, it was the Haynes manual that provided the answer. I was getting a spark fron the coil but there was no spark at the plugs. According to Haynes, this is either a faulty distributor cap or rotor arm. Both these had been replaced recently with new parts. I knew better than to assume that the new parts were fine so after more part swapping the fault was traced to the rotor arm. I'd already swapped the HT leads earlier on and because they were in better condition I kept them. A short road test proved that all was well. In fact, Becky II seems to be running a bit better with Becky's HT leads. I'll be returning the rotor arm to get it exchanged. Lucky I kept the box it came in!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I think I've sorted it...

I took a look at the handbrake today. I removed the OS rear brake drum and I found out that the linkage had seized up so I freed it off, cleaned it, greased it and it has done the trick. The handbrake now works on both wheels and holds a lot better. I think I need to adjust it further to make sure it'll pass on Thursday's retest.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More MoT work done

I've now crossed 3 items off the fail sheet. I've completed the lower suspension arm swap with the donor parts coming from Becky. She also had to donate the anti-roll bar after I was unable to liberate the nearside lower suspension arm. It is a lot better and even Anita has noticed the difference. No more rattles.

Just the handbrake to do next...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well well well... the words of Jeremy Kyle.

Becky II failed her MoT. I was expecting this so it isn't much of a surprise. This is what she failed on:

Offside rear tail light.
Offside front suspension mounting corroded.
Offside front floor pan corrosion.
Nearside rear outer sill corrosion.
Nearside rear inner wheel arch corroded. I found this when I was adjusting the handbrake and is the worst of the corrosion.
Nearside lower suspension arm bush loose.
Offside lower suspension arm bush deteriorated. This explains a knock which I've been ignoring.
Offside rear parking brake recording little or no effort.
Handbrake efficency below requirements.

I've arranged for the garage to do the necessary welding and got the car booked in to have it done the the car retested. I'll do the rest of the work myself. I've already fixed the tail light. I had a spare bulb which I've fitted so that's one item ticked off the list. To fix the handbrake, I'll just have to clean and regrease everything which should sort it out. I'll just swap the front lower suspension arms with Becky's as they should be fine.

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

MoT time.

Becky II's MoT is due on the 21st so I've booked her in for Friday. That should give me enough time to sort out any failure points. The only thing I'm worried about is the handbrake efficiency so I'll adjust it before the test. I'm using the same testing station as last year so I know the job will be done properly.

Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I've just had a scare.

As mentioned in an earlier post, my insurnace was due for renewal and I was able to make the payment so a cheque was posted. I hadn't heard anything since. Because today was the last day of my current policy, I was waiting for the postman with baited breath. Nothing arrived from Footman James (my insurers) so I gave them a call and I was told the the documents had been posted yesterday so that's a weight off my mind and the first hurlde overcome.

The next one is the MoT which is due on the 21st. I shall be getting the car tested before this date like I did last year and I shall use the same tester again as they're classic friendly. I was looking at the soon-to-expire current certificate this morning in the car and noticed that the mileage was just over 56,000 when I had the car tested last year. Becky II's mileage is now just over 76,200 at the time of writing so it now comes as no surprise that the front tyres were worn. The joruneys "down south" I've been doing have contributed to a fair percentage of the 20,000 miles I've done in the last 12 months. This will be coming to and end soon and the trips to Thatcham will be to Ripon so less mileage and wear-and-tear. Fortunately, I have unlimited mileage on my insurance so that's not an issue.

The third and final hurdle is the road tax. I might put 6 months on to avoid it coming due at the same time as the MoT and insurance. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.