September 19th

An unusual piece of car maintenance equipmentSo, I thought I would put some water in the cooling system in readiness for the upcoming grand start up. I started pouring in the requirement mixture of antifreeze and water and, after a while, was rather taken aback by the large quantity of water coming out from inside the nose cone. This didn't look like not tightening up the hoses properly, it seemed as though I had actually forgotten to install a hose. Some poking around with a torch revealed that the leak was coming from the area of the top hose connection with the radiator.

This connection is, of course, buried deep inside the nose cone. So, after loosening the bottom hose and the consequent flooding we took off the nose cone. This has to be the least well designed part of the Westfield. When everything is together it's fine, but as the radiator is an integral part of the nose you can't get at it without disconnecting all the hoses. I did wonder whether it would be possible to make some sort of bracket that would hold the radiator and air ducting and allow the nose cone to be removed separately.

Innocuous hole above top hoseSo, after much loosening of hoses and disconnecting of cables, I separated the nose cone again. I removed the radiator and its ducting from the nose and then lashed it in position against the chassis, connected the hoses and started filling up again. Eventually it became obvious that the place the water was leaking from was a small union, just above the top hose connection, that had nothing connected to it at all! It's not surprising that it leaked. The only problem is, how should I bung it up in a reliable manner? I could connect a small piece of hose to it, but then I would have to seal the hose somehow.

You can see the relevant union in this photo, just above the top hose itself.

September 20th

Offending hole with a bolt shoved up itOn Chris Masters' suggestion, I bunged up the hole by tapping an M5 thread into the plastic of the radiator and screwing in an M5 bolt with silicone sealant all over the place. I hope it will hold.

After that I had another go at bleeding the brakes. In order to, hopefully, improve things I had bought a pressure bleeder. (One of those things that forces brake fluid through system from the master cylinder under pressure.) Using this I managed to push about 1 litre of expensive DOT 5 fluid through the system without getting much in the way of bubbles out of it.

Unfortunately, the pedal's still very spongy though. Hence, I need to think of something else. I guess there's probably some air trapped somewhere, although I can't see where. I must admit that I hate messing around with brake fluid so I may just put up with it as it is for now and get a garage to bleed it as part of a pre-MOT before the SVA test.

There's still no word about an SVA date, although the insurers did phone today so something is moving on that front.

September 21st

Reassembled the nose cone and everything, after waiting for the silicone in the above fix to cure. I seemed to get it back together rather quicker this time so perhaps eventually it will be dead quick. I improved things somewhat by sawing the bracket that takes the air horn compressor off the chassis--if you remember I had to move the compressor elsewhere. This provides a tad more room for the top hose.

After that I refilled it with water, although this time I left out the antifreeze as I can always add it later and it makes rather less mess on the floor if everything goes wrong again.

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