In short… Child Labour, Korean TV, bent valves, head rebuild, MOT (UK and NL), and winter strip down.
…and the longer version:
Earlier this year I needed to remake the rear cycle wing supports as the tubular version was showing weaknesses and I wanted to change to a box section support. Holly and my son CJ were here so I set them to work. Although we didn’t get it finished it was nice that they could do a bit for me.
The car had done some mileage now and I wanted to change the Cam belt and give the block a clean up, the sump and fix a few small oil leaks. The engine came out quite easily and I did all of the cleaning up, changed the cambelt, rebuilt the engine and dropped it back in. I made a mistake unfortunalty and although the car started and sounded good, I had left the cambelt idler loose and the cambelt came off. The net result was two inlet valves were bent, so the engine came back out again. Upon inspection it was only the two valves so damage was limited, just I was annoyed at myself. Following all of this, if I hadn’t of messed up, the engine would have been good for the TV crew, but a second rebuild was now required.
Yep, TV calls. Korean TV approached the Essex kitcar club (of which I am a member) looking for volunteers for some TV interviews about kit cars. I answered and asked the members if anyone else was interested. Only Russ (Furore) and myself were available so we made an appointment for them to come here and Russ to drive up. My car was in the process of being rebuilt following the issue with the valves etc, and I was waiting on the injectors to come back from MrInjector. At least Russ’s car was running so they could see one of two cars working. While filming we did try to get the car running, but as one of the injectors had stuck in the open position it was flooding cylinder3 and preventing the engine from turning over and also any fuel to the other cylinders stopping it from working. I took the injector back to MrInjector and although we couldn’t find anything wrong we gave it a full strip down and retest. This fixed it and although the TV crew had gone I did get the car back up and running.
The roll over bar I had was the original one, it was powder-coated steel with the harness belt fittings on the two uprights. I didn’t like this design and wanted the harnesses to be more direct, a change was required. Mr Stainless in the local boat harbour agreed to build a bespoke roll over bar using gauge 10 stainless which I have to say is absolutely cracking, albeit slightly heavier. The harness mounts are perfect and the finish is so much better than the powder coated hoop I had before.
During the second rebuild I also change the flywheel from the original Dual Mass (DM) flywheel to a lightened version from TTV racing. The original flywheel was 32Kg, the lightened version 5.5Kg. Based on what I have heard, every 1kg off of the flywheel is the same as loosing 5kg from the vehicle weight in 1st gear. Due to all the messing around and work getting in the way 😉 I haven’t had a chance to check for the actual new 0-60 times, but driving the car does feel nippier.
During all of the work I noticed the starting of the engine was starting to sound lethargic. I thought this was the battery, so I replaced it. Next was the starter motor and doubling the battery lead from the front to the back of the car, this again didn’t help. In frustration I removed the battery again to replace the terminal clamps which were bolt on, and are now clip on. These clips are easier to access if I am removing the battery, but the good news was I found the grub screw holding the earth strap in place had come loose, the cause for all of the starting issues! I swapped back to the smaller battery and the car was starting again perfectly.
As I am in the UK I took the car for an English MOT before heading off to the Netherlands for the Dutch APK. The English MOT is completely valid and my dutch registered car is MOT’s in the English system, but the Dutch do not recognise this so if I cancelled the SORN I would be fined as officially the car was not MOT’d. Both MOT’s were passed with only one issue in the NL test when my reversing light stopped working. A quick test and a length of wire solved this issue, but it was added to the list of items to be checked in the Winter months.
As always a load of project ideas, some more important than others, some also more expensive than others.
- I will be starting with removing the body shell to give me unlimited access.
- The engine and gearbox will be removed so I can check the input shaft bearing in the gearbox which I think is wearing.
- The head may come off again so I can re-surface it and replace the valves, have the tappet guides polished and maybe the cam lobes, along with new tappets.
- The brake master cylinder will be replaced with dual units, allowing for a balance bar so I can adjust the brake balance to achieve optimum stopping.
- Radiator fan sensor position will change as it is coming on too early.
- I may try and get a 6 speed box, but this is an optional item
- Seat base and floor pan removal, clean up and re-fitment, along with a new seat (Hopefully)