August 23rd

All this stuff is now done, until it leaks...With the front end of the car completed, I can press on towards getting the engine going. I had a look round tonight and made a list of what I have to do to get to this point. There's quite a lot of things on it:

  1. I want to clean out the expansion tank that I bought a while ago, it's got some lime build-up in it. I'm assuming that the stuff that clears this out of kettles will do the job.
  2. I want to rig up a bracket to support the expansion tank. Eventually it will bolt to the front of the scuttle but that isn't in position yet.
  3. I need to plumb in the expansion tank, missing out the heater which is not necessary yet.
  4. The radiator vent pipe needs to be added, going from the radiator via the thermostat housing vent up to the expansion tank.
  5. I want to mount a minimal collection of instruments (oil temperature and pressure, water temperature) on something temporary such as a block of wood or a bit of spare aluminium. They then need to be wired in.
  6. The fuel filler and breather need to be connected.
  7. All of the unused wires, of which there will be quite a number, need to be insulated.
  8. Mount the exhaust systems, probably in a fairly temporary manner.
  9. Check out the wiring using the battery!
  10. Complete the column wiring and connect up the lashed-up instruments.
  11. Check the oil pressure by spinning the oil pump with an electric drill. I'll need to top up the oil first as it's never been quite full since I filled it.
  12. Check the static wiring. (To do 11 I have to take the distributor off so this needs to go here.)
  13. Check the fuel pump and pressure.
  14. Try it!

With luck I'll get some of this done this weekend.

Vent connection is a bit tight...One issue that I have noticed is that the radiator vent has a very small amount of pipe showing, and it might be very difficult to get a hose onto it. Still, I'll just have to try.

On a completely different note. I've been wondering about panelling in the bottom of the car under the rear suspension. It would have the advantage of stopping grot getting up here and might have a slight aerodynamic difference, although God knows in which direction.

Finally, I've finally given up on Revolution wheels. It's obvious that they are so inefficient that they will be a nightmare to deal with. Hence, I've been looking round for something different. One possibility is the Compomotive MOs, which are available in a half decent range of sizes. I've got someone at a place I found on the net, Tyresave, looking into it for me at the moment.

August 24th

Vent pipe wiggling its way backwardsI jammed the expansion tank in about the right place and started making some pipes up to form the vent pipe. The tricky thing with this is going to be making sure that it goes up all the way to the expansion tank, without there being any high spots. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to achieve this as yet.

The pipe is made out of aluminium tubing bent in a fairly complicated manner.

Curiously I had a phone message left today from "KN Alloys", who are the company that "hosts" the Revolution wheels now. It sounded like the person I spoke to there a while ago and he was "phoning about my email". Curious because I've never emailed them. Perhaps it was provoked by the Tyresave people??

August 25/26/27th

Header tank bodged into placeIt was the bank holiday weekend and I intended to make at least a bit of progress. First thing was to connect up the header tank, This was achieved after a certain amount of difficulty. For some reason I was having trouble getting pipes at the side of the battery. I could just have temporarily removed the battery but for some reason that didn't occur to me. I made a little bracket to nearly support the tank in position, but it'll be good enough for testing.

After that I tried to fill the cooling system and disaster set in. As I was sort of expecting, one of my duff aluminium welds leaked. From what I have been reading recently it is just about impossible to make a fluid tight joint with a MIG welder and I seem to have proved it. I will have to go back to straight tubes and blue pipes. As such I will have to order a few bits as soon as I can.

Filler and ventI then moved to the back of the car (not been here for a while) and plumbed in the fuel filler pipe, as you can see in the photo. After the photo was taken I ran a bit of tubing around the top of the rear tub and down to the ground. I fixed this in place with a bit of silicone sealant, and made a bit of a mess of my hands in the process.

Mini dashboard for testingIn order to start the engine I'm going to need to finish off chunks of the electrics and I really need some gauges to see what's going on. So, I made a mini-dash out of a bit of scrap aluminium and mounted the instruments I needed: tachometer, oil temperature and pressure and water temperature on it. Oh, and there's the charge light too.

...and mounted in the carI then set about mounting this in the car and wiring up the minimum of wiring that I need to get all the gauges working. Actually, "mounting" isn't quite the right word, "resting" would be better...

In order to do this I finished off the column wiring. In order to finish this off I needed a good earth. Dax seem to want you to earth things with a self-tapper into the chassis. This doesn't meet my requirements for something that might work in the long run, so I drilled the chassis and welded a 6mm stud into it near the steering wheel.

As part of this wiring effort I went all round the car and insulated all the wires that are currently unterminated. Unfortunately, measuring the resistance from the point of view of the battery showed a potential static current flow of about 7 amps. Hence I retired to think about it, but it may well be that it was just because the points are closed at the moment. It's been so long since I fiddled about with a car with clockwork ignition that I've forgotten how it all works!

August 28th

After a bit of fiddling about, it was clear that the ignition was shorting out the coil. Strangely enough one of the sets of points (this is a dual point distributor) was just about nearly but not quite within a gnat's whisker of touching. This gave quite a reliable 3 ohms which is pretty odd really. Still, that and the fact that I had screwed up the wiring for the ballast resistor bypass on starting explained the huge potential power drain. With that fixed I pressed on with powering up the thing.

So, I connected the earth lead and nothing went bang. Next I turned on the ignition and the fuel pump burst into life! Great, that's the first sound of life from the beast! I disconnected the pump and pressed on. I noticed that when the ignition was turned on (I'm being very careful not to power up the starter as yet) the instrument needles kicked a bit. I pressed the washer switch on the end of one of the stalks and it went whirr, even better.

I put my fingers in my ears and pressed the horn button. There was a bang from one of the fuses and a visible flash. Oh well, it had been going so well. This problem caused a huge amount of hunting around, but it eventually became clear that the column, or perhaps the combination of the column and the wheel was shorting out the horn to ground. Three fuses later and I worked out what was going on and re-wired it to work differently. Now it spoke, rather too loudly for the time of night!

August 30th

After thinking about the ballast resistor issue it has become apparent that the starter solenoid that I have does not have the required connection for the ballast resistor bypass. This is a real bummer and I'll have to get a relay to provide it for me, which seems rather an overkill in that the solenoid has essentially all the gubbins to be a relay anyway...

New top hose arrangementFollowing the mini-fracas with the leaking water system, I started replacing most of the stuff with silicone hoses. The top hose has had to be made out of a couple of 90° bends and some bits of alumimium tubing.

Bendy hoseThe bottom hose is now a bit of flexible hose, as it has been at one point in the past!

Whirly thingWith all that done I put the header tank and the vent pipe back in, so the car is much as it was a while ago again. However, now I have the electrics going I was able to test the radiator fan, which seems to work as advertised. The only issue is where the air goes once it's got through the radiator, as there's an awful lot of clutter just behind there.

I would have taken a photo of it going around, but it isn't very interesting...

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