November 24th

The registration document arrived today. However, it seems to have two problems:

  • It states the SVA date as 8th November 1990. I think this is before the date of introduction of the SVA system.
  • I had thought that it should state the age of the engine, and therefore the applicable emissions regulations. Although it does state that the parts are not new it doesn't have any actual dates on it.

I guess I will have to phone the VRO again about this.

November 25th

Spoke to Terry Hill at the VRO about the registration document. He suggests not bothering about the issues. He seems rather dismissive about what's on the document, pointing out that it just emerges from Swansea and the VRO itself really has nothing to do with it! He then chatted away about cars and pubs for a while. He even seems to know all the pubs in the village I live in, apparently because in the good old days they used to go out for car inspections rather than making us visit the VRO.

As the car's done over 600 miles now I'm planning on changing the oil at the weekend and converting to the expensive synthetic stuff. One slight concern is the oil filter. The one that's fitted to the engine is a standard Ford part. However, the instructions in the build manual for sourcing your own engine talk about using a special small filter, presumably to clear the lower steering column which is in the vicinity. I'm a bit concerned that this means that I won't be able to get the existing oil filter off, at least without removing the column which counts as a rather drastic thing to have to do in order to change the oil!

I was wondering what the car was like to drive with the hood. So, in the evening I fitted it (no easy process involving a lot of bad language) and went out for a zoom around. It is, essentially, quite horrible to drive like that. The noise is really unpleasant and the visibility is awful. However, it could certainly be seen to be useful if it was pouring with rain. Interestingly, the noise from the final drive--always fairly noticeable as it is very close to the occupants--seems much worse like this, presumably because the sound is bouncing around inside the interior. The whole process wasn't helped, however, by a tool box which was bouncing around in the boot box. I suspect I need to jam a lot of foam rubber inside it to quieten it down a bit.

November 28th

As the car has done about 700 miles now I decided to change the oil. The intention is to run it for a while on Mobil 1 (synthetic oil that's clearly made out of gold dust) and change again after the Mobil 1 has got all the vegetable matter out of the system.

In order to get at the oil filter more easily, I removed the air filter. I was rather surprised to see this lot of soot there. This is presumably an indication of either:

  1. something amiss in the valve area of the engine, or
  2. something amiss with the carburettor settings.

One way to check the first is to check the compression of the engine, so I went out and bought a compression tester. I haven't had time to use it yet though. As for the second, I am planning on getting the car to a rolling road and carb expert soon. However, the chap who's recommended in Cambridge is on holiday for a couple of weeks so it will have to wait.

Actually, changing the oil was a bit of a disaster too, in that the can I put the spent oil into turned out to have a leak in it. Unfortunately, I didn't notice this until the following morning when the oil had gone all over the garage floor.

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