kws

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About kws

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  1. After rebuilding the calipers an issue that was slightly noticeable before, was very pronounced now. The brake pedal was sinking. This was not ideal. The pedal had been soft and a little sink-y before I rebuilt the calipers, and I was hoping that the calipers may have been the cause of it, but clearly not. If anything, having all the pistons working properly had made the issue more evident, and holding pressure on the pedal would now cause it to gradually sink to the floor. Unfortunately having just reassembled the calipers days before the car had to be moved into storage due to losing our house, there was nothing I could do at the time, and I had to drive her to storage. Needless to say driving down the hill from home was interesting; having to keep pumping the pedal to build pressure back up. I got there OK, and I got her to her new home again later. A sinking pedal, with no fluid loss, means the master cylinder for the braking system was leaking fluid internally, passed the seals. Whether this was from the car sitting for so many years, or if it had just worn out, I'm not sure. The other issue I had noticed, was that when shutting off the car there was a hissing noise coming from under the bonnet. I tracked this down to coming from the brake servo (or brake booster as its otherwise known as). This would indicate it was leaking vacuum, so that wouldn't be helping at all. I was initially going to just rebuild the master cylinder, but once I narrowed down the noise to the servo I knew it was going to be a bigger job than just the master and started looking for other options. I would need to at the least, replace the servo (as rebuild kits are NLA) and rebuild the master. Rimmers has both, and even do them as a pair for a discount, but the freight made the parts rather unattractive. I was wary about getting an old used one that had been sitting on a shelf somewhere for years, so wasn't too keen on getting something locally from a wrecker (if there was even anything still around). I did end up going for a secondhand pair of servo and master, from a car that had been driven at speed into a tree, and came worse off. The seller claimed the servo was only two years old, and the master worked well (maybe too well...) and wasn't leaking. It was cheap enough to take a punt and hope it worked. The replacement parts arrived the other day but I haven't had a chance to unbox and inspect them until today. It's a bit dirty and covered in polystyrene from the packing, but there are no signs of fluid leaks or peeling paint on the servo under the master (like my current one does). There aren't may ways to test if the servo is OK or not, but one of them is to see if it will hold a vacuum. I happen to have a small vacuum hand pump, so I plugged it into the vacuum line and drew a vacuum. Being such a big unit it took a while, but eventually I drew a decent vacuum, and sure enough to held it for a few minutes without dropping. Great success. Of course I did the same test to the one on the car.... the results were uh... different. I checked and double checked all the connections, but no matter how much I squeezed, I could not draw any vacuum at all. I guess that confirms that then, the servo is poked. I can't really test much of the master, but I did split it from the servo to see if there were any signs of leaks. Plenty of grease, but no brake fluid. Excellent. It will be interesting to strip down the failed servo and master and see how it compares to this one. I'll tidy up the mating faces, and then use some copper grease before reassembly as they were a little seized together this time. I still need to drain the brake fluid res, and removed the failed parts and fit these replacements, and then bleed the whole system. First though, I need a new, very expensive addition to my workshop tools, just to make my life easier.
  2. A month later; Its been a long month; without Tess, internet or for the most part, a home. But now all of that is over. We purchased, and finally moved into our house just over a week ago. We are still surrounded by an ever shrinking pile of boxes (where does all this crap come from, and where does it go now?!) but at least everything is with us again. Our two goldfish were being babysat whilst we had no home, as we didn't want to try to move them each week to a different AirBNB. Sadly, after over 6 years of him being around, our little guy Stan "High Fin" Lee passed away the day before we were to pick them up. He was an old chap, so it wasn't totally unexpected, but its a shame he's gone, and he couldn't wait a day and not make the babysitter feel bad. His little bro, Dwight, has taken up residence in our lounge now, and is doing well. RIP in the big tank in the sky Stan. Dwight doing Dwight things. Anyway, Tess also came home the other day. She had also been babysat which was a great help, as she was able to be stored away in a dry garage and I didn't have to try to move her around. A huge thanks to our babysitters for their help. Tess seems happy in her new home, although she takes up an awful lot of it In order to help reduce what we put into storage, I filled the boot and back seat with spare parts. There was a lot of weight in there but the new suspension handled it OK. One thing I did change as soon as I got her into the garage, was to replace the tailgate struts, so that I didn't end up being decapitated by the stupidly heavy tailgate. I went to Supercheap with a spare strut and matched it up against the ones they had on the shelf, and tried to get the highest force they had, which was 450N. These are a little longer than the original struts, so you do have to take care when fitting them as the top edge of the tailgate might contact the body, but in normal use they work perfect, even with the Vitesse spoiler. The other small thing I did was to add my trickle charge hard wire connector to the battery. As Tess sits around a bit, it'll be good to keep her battery topped up, without having to have clips on the battery and the bonnet open. So that's where we are today. A good second-hand brake booster and master cylinder arrived this morning, so that will be fitted shortly, and then we should be back on the road. I have big plans to get this car in better shape, including stripping out the interior for cleaning (and fixing the heater box issues). More on that later.
  3. Well, all good things come to an end I guess. I'll get back to that in a moment, but first, a couple of updates. First, the Mini has been sold tonight. Although I will miss it, it was a great little car to drive, it needed to be sold. Owning it made me realise that the even without the supercharger the Cooper is actually a really great little car. Built like a BMW, but small, nimble and like a modern version of an old Mini (unsurprisingly). A+ would own again (with boost though). Next up, Tess had a wheel alignment the other day. Thanks to Hutt Valley Tyres for aligning it. They treated Tess with enthusiasm and respect, which I really appreciate. The guy was stoked to work on her, and was full of compliments. A stark contrast to a call I made to another workshop the day before who, when I asked for an alignment, proceeded to rubbish my car over the phone when I said it was an SD1 I needed an alignment on. Pro-Tip, if you want customers, do NOT rubbish their car. You never know when that "piece of junk" is actually their baby, no matter what you think of it. Here she is up on the alignment hoist. I was impressed though, although the steering needed straightening (the wheel was on the wonky by 1/4 turn), I actually managed to get the toe pretty damn close just by eye when I reassembled it. Only needed tweaking by about a mm. Now the car tracks straight, and the wheel isn't on the piss. Lovely. Unfortunately, now that the front brake calipers work properly, the damn master cylinder and servo/brake booster have packed a sad. The servo has started hissing when shutting off the engine (indicating a vacuum leak), and the brake pedal now sinks slowly to the floor if you keep pressure on it. I tried bleeding the brakes again, but although the pedal feels nice with the engine off straight after bleeding, with the booster helping the pedal sinks. I suspect fluid is bypassing the piston seal, and leaking internally (as im not losing fluid). There are signs that the master has been leaking down the servo in the past, its stripped the paint off the front under the master. I'm working on options now, it's either get the master rebuilt locally and i'll re-kit the servo, or buy a new master and servo from Rimmers. But for now, that will have to wait as there are more pressing matters... After five years, I have to move house. Unfortunately the landlord has come into some serious financial issues and the only way out is to sell the rental we are in. We came to an agreement that instead of running open homes and selling it whilst we are still here, we have three weeks to move out. There is good and bad news to go with that. The good news is that we are going to buy a house of our own; the new Tastes Like Petrol HQ. The bad thing is that we are still about a month away from having anywhere to move to. This leaves us with a sticky situation of a crossover period without a home. Tess will hopefully be going to the same storage lockup that Nicks Vitesse is at, so that will keep her out of trouble, and off the street. All our other belongings are going into storage. I have a buyer for Effie, so hopefully (and sadly) she will be sold next weekend. I'll likely shed a tear when she drives off, it's like selling your first child. The buyer sounds like a great owner for her, and he is super excited. Moving is also why it was important to sell the Mini, I'm losing my parking spaces, and don't want to have to try to find parking for that car too. So that's where we are; it's all chaos and mess. Due to this, I'll have to take a hiatus from posting as there just won't be anything happening, and I won't have a home and possibly no internet access. Of course I'll still be on Twitter and Instagram. I will be back, and hopefully, bigger and better. As always, if you have it, drive it... or fix it.
  4. The time has come, Effie has been sold. With all that's been happening recently, and trying to get my fleet of cars from 4 down to 2, after selling the Mini it was inevitable that eventually Effie would also find a new owner. I was contacted by the buyer, Nick, a couple of weeks ago regarding potentially buying Effie. He was a long time fan of SD1s and had been pining to buy a Vitesse for years. Back many years ago he planned to buy one in the UK and bring it back to NZ, but unfortunately life got in the way and it never came to fruition. He has tried to buy a Vitesse in the past and it just didn't manage to happen, so when he saw Effie for sale, at a reasonable price (especially compared to the Vitesse that have been for sale recently) he gave me a call and we went from there. Of course when selling a classic British car, not everything goes smoothly. The agreement was that since I was selling for less than the asking price the car would come without the headunit (my flash $200+ JVC unit) and would have the standard steering wheel fitted instead of the wooden Momo wheel. Swapping these over was a piece of cake... The issue came the next day, the evening before Nick was flying in from Nelson for pick the car up, after I had washed the car, when I noticed that the interior lights aren't working. Hmm, that's odd I thought.... must be a fuse. Sure enough, I found a popped fuse. Figuring I had popped it removing the radio, I removed it and went to replace it. The original spec for the car calls for a 25A fuse, but I noted there was a 20A fuse fitted. Knowing I had a spare 25A, I popped that into place and immediately noted that it was warm to the touch. Odd. The interior lights were now on again though which was a start, but the left hand one was dim. Weird. And then I smelt it. Melting plastic. Shit. And then I saw it, the massive plume of white smoke pouring out of the engine bay. Double shit. I quickly sprinted to the driver's side, flung open the glovebox and ripped on the bonnet release. Throwing open the bonnet I quickly spun off the nut for the negative battery terminal to kill the power (damn glad I have a wing nut for quick release) and went to see what damage had been done. Thankfully an inspection of the area the smoke came from showed only one wire was melted; the power feed for the bonnet lights. I have taped the end up, but all of the insulation has been melted off the bonnet side of the wire, and the car side of the wire started to melt towards the loom bundle (thankfully stopping short of melting through the bundle). It turns out that some time in the cars past someone had pinched the power feed for the lights in the bonnet hinge, so obviously years of movement in the metal had worn through the insulation, and yesterday it chose to create a dead short. Annoyingly the 25A fuse I fitted didn't blow. So once I had tested and checked it wasn't all going to try to melt down again, I removed the 25A fuse and refitted a new 20A. Everything still works, except the bonnet lights obviously, which is a relief. I'm lucky it happened in the driveway, and in my driveway at that (not the new owners), so damage could be caught quickly and minimised. WIth that crisis averted, Effie was looking nice and clean and ready to go. Today was the day, and after a quick check over that all the fluids were good, and that she hadn't tried to burn herself to the ground again we were good to go. Since it was the first time since picking the car up in 2016 that I had driven with the standard steering wheel, I was pleasantly surprised by it. Sure, it was huge, and weird shaped, and rubbed on my thighs when I turned, but it was comfortable and easy to drive with. It also lightened the steering due to the increased diameter over the Momo. Not a bad wheel over all, but not as nice in the hand as the Momo. We were picking Nick up from the Airport, so after a nice half hour cruise into town I met up with Nick and we had a good chat and look over the car. He seemed very happy with her, and I could tell straight away he was the right buyer for her. I couldn't be too picky as there aren't a huge amount of SD1 weirdos out there like us, but I could never risk selling her to someone who would disrespect her, or worse still, wreck/strip her for parts. Nicks plans are to tidy her up, and make somewhat of a Vitesse replica by fitting the Vitesse spoilers and suspension. It's a good plan and he should be rewarded with years of happy motoring as long as he keeps up with the maintenance. Being a panel beater by trade, I feel he is in the right industry to take Effie to that next step and make her really shine. It also helps he looks right at home in the driver's seat. It's a bittersweet day. I'm glad she is sold as I just wasn't doing her justice anymore. I couldn't drive her as much as I wanted, and being homeless soon I wouldn't even have anywhere to store her. It is sad though, I put so much blood, sweat and swears into this car to save her and make her what she is today. From a dilapidated old bucket that ran badly and was (once again) trying to burn herself to the ground, to a car that im genuinely proud of, and could just jump into, drive and enjoy. She will be missed greatly, but times change, and now she can be enjoyed more and get out and do what she does best; cruising. Bye my lovely.
  5. Alignment done, steering wheel no longer 1/4 turn out. Despite that, I got the toe within a mm of correct by eye when it put it all together. Notbad.jpeg I suspect the reason the steering was out is that the previous steering rack wasn't setup with the center finder like I did on the new rack, so when I counted turns on the rod ends and spin them on the same the toe was visually way out. I adjusted it by eye but this threw the center out of whack. all good now though.
  6. With the brakes rebuilt, it was time to get it all together and back on the ground. It's finally time to finish the work I started a month ago. The calipers are now rebuilt, and ready to fit. Before I got all excited and fitted the calipers, I wanted to get the rest of the car ready, so it needed the front under tray and spoiler refitted. When I removed the old undertray I noted it was completely buggered, and cracked in multiple places. It was held together with hopes and dreams (and engine oil). Thankfully smart me kept the spare under tray I got with my bulk lot of parts ages ago, so I pulled that down out of the ceiling and fitted it to the car. It's not perfect, it has a couple of broken spots but its way better than the old one. I refitted the front spoiler too, making it a bit more secure than it was previously. I still need to fix the cracks, but it looks OK from a distance. Another thing I needed to fix, since my parts came in, is why there was always a bad fuel smell from the rear of the car. When taking the LH rear shock out I noticed the fuel tank vent hose looked pretty average. Upon removal, this is what I noted Yes, they go right through the hose Well that will do it. Everyone should check this hose, as when the tank is full fuel could potentially leak out of this hose. Rimmers have the hose available, so on went a new one of those and a new clamp. Now, back to the main task. Brakes. Refitting is easy, it's just the two bolts per caliper. The perfectly aligned genuine pipe on the LH side. I had a bit of a fight on my hands with the braided hose nut that clamps to the strut, but a rattle gun freed that up. Doesn't look bad The RH side, as I mentioned in my previous brake post, doesn't have a genuine pipe available. The fittings are the same as the LH side, but as I suspected, the kink in the pipe is slightly out of place. It lines up nicely with that lower slot, but needs to come to the right a bit. Some gentle pressure, and it all came together. It's not perfect, but a lot easier than making a new pipe. In went the pads, with new retainer plates and reused pins And then it was a matter of bleeding the brakes. I started with the two front ones just to get fluid into them, and then bled as per the book, starting at the rear. The fluid from the rear lines was pretty gross. Dark and it appeared to have some floating matter in it. Thankfully with all the work I have done, all of the fluid in the master cylinder had been replaced, so I flushed the lines and it all came through nice. It took a bit of work to get all the air out of the front, but the pedal now feels pretty good. I think it will get better again as the pads bed in a bit better. Oh wait, so does that mean she is on the road again?! Yes. Oh yes she is. She has lost of a bit of her aggressive low stance, but still sits lower than Effie, and the improvements in ride quality and not smashing the front spoiler on everything make up for it. The springs should settle a bit too over time. Before After Ignore the massive difference in gloss...! So, how does she drive? Gearbox is much quieter, although a little more notchy. Hopefully this wears in a bit as I drive her more. The brakes? Well they were a bit pants initially, but even that was better than it was. Now with some hard braking to bed the pads in, she pulls up pretty well. Pulls up straight, and can lock the brakes if needed. The pedal has a little mush to it, so I'll need to bleed the brakes again, obviously there is still some air in there, but it's so much better than it was. Oh, and the suspension? Bloody awesome. Instead of being all crashy and thumpy like it was, the ride is firm, but she floats over bumps like she should. The rear that used to bottom out harshly, regularly, now dampens nicely. I tested it on a couple of bumps that I used to dodge because it literally hurt to go over them, and it was almost a pleasure now. I haven't driven her hard yet because I need to get an alignment, but already I can tell the cornering is flatter and more controlled. Oh, and I can get in and out of the garage without blocks now. Its cost a lot, and taken a bit of time, but it was all well worth it.
  7. Well finally, the parts from Rimmers arrived! We left Part 1 with the calipers off, and the pistons removed from one of the calipers. Because of the corrosion on the pistons I did remove, I chose to order a full set of pistons, instead of reusing some of them as planned. In the meantime I tried some paint stripper to remove the paint from the calipers. It was a bad idea. Who ever would have thought caliper paint was pretty resistant to chemicals? The whole lot kinda turned to a sticky mush, without doing a lot. So I said bugger it, washed the calipers off, and hit them with the grinder and wire brush again. They came up pretty well really. Before the next step, I had to completely strip the calipers of their seals and pistons. I popped the calipers out with compressed air, and used a small pick to gently remove the piston seal. The dust seal at the top of the bore was a bit harder because its held in with a metal retainer, which had rusted in place. To remove this I used a small pick to tear a gap in the seal, and then a narrow flat blade screwdriver to pop the retainer and seal out. This is the top seal and retainer With all those ripped out, the calipers went into 10L of Evapo-Rust for two days to clean any corrosion off them. The calipers responded very well to the rust treatment, with no more corrosion hiding around the bolts on the back, and the seal retainer areas are spotless now. Since the calipers were now just bare metal, I didn't have much time from rinsing them off to get paint on them otherwise corrosion will set in again. I smeared a ton of red rubber grease over the bores, just to make sure they wouldn't corrode. Rubber grease plays nice with brake fluid, and wont swell seals. And then on went the masking tape. I completely masked the flat areas around the bores And the mounting tabs. I left these unpainted because the lower one is sandwiched between the hub and steering bracket. I didn't want paint to cause issues there. After a wipe down with wax and grease remover, on went the paint. For some reason Mrs Petrol didn't think it was a good idea to bake the calipers in the oven, so I made do with cooking them with a heat gun to set the paint. The true baking will happen on the car anyway. Yesterday the parts I ordered from Rimmers arrived, so I set about rebuilding the calipers and preparing them to go on the car. Off came the masking tape A quick wipe out of the grease in the bores, and in went the piston seals. They slip easily into place. Just make sure they don't get twisted during fitting and use lots of red grease. MMM, new piston and seals And with an old piston. This isn't even the worst piston, but has a lot of pitting. With the piston seal smothered in red grease and inserted in the bore, in goes the piston, also smothered in red grease. I assembled the dust seal into the retainer, and slipped it over the piston. Now, you can't just push this retainer into place by hand, it needs to be pressed into place. I have seen many ways to do this, but the simplest was posted in a YouTube video by an Alan Phillips. Big thanks to him for posting the details on it. My version of it involves metric fittings, so it's a 75mm long M10 bolt and a couple of nuts, two 2" OD washers (minimum), and a handful of small M10 washers. I got these from Bunnings. Because of the bolt I used, I had a lot of unthreaded shank to cover before I could use a nut to clamp all the washers together, hence the massive lump of washers. Push the piston down by hand until it sits just above the seal retainer. Slip the tool into the caliper, being careful to not scrape the bore opposite the piston and unwind the lower nut to push the washer against the piston. Using a spanner, gently wind the nut down, this pushes against the top of the caliper, and will push both the piston and the seal retainer down into the bore. This pushes them in completely straight, and wont bend the retainer like it can using other methods. Does a pretty good job Rinse and repeat, another 7 times. Love the nice clean metal. I ordered a pair of new brake pipes. Only part number CRC3238 is available. This is the LH pipe for the single pipe caliper. The RH side is no longer available. I originally ordered two as I was going to cut one up to use the fittings with a new pipe that would be made up for the RH side. More on that later.... So with all the pistons and seals fitted, the only thing to do next was to fit them to the car.
  8. Fine. In the last post I had removed both calipers in order to strip and paint them. I popped my wire cup wheel on the grinder, took one of them outside and had a bash at it. Most of the top layers of paint basically exploded on contact with the brush, but the red must be proper stuff because it's tougher to remove. (excuse the weeds, need more fire for them) Under the layers and layers of paint, the caliper wasn't actually in bad shape. There is some corrosion under the paint at the back of the caliper, but nothing major. I took the pads out so I could remove some more paint. The retaining hardware was worse than I thought. The pins have certainly lost some metal, but the plates have almost completely corroded through in places. I have ordered some replacement plates from Rimmers, but the pins were out of stock so I will find the ones I removed from Effie, and use them. The pads are Lucas GDB789. They seem to be listed for Range Rovers (like the ones fitted to Effie), and made by a few different brands, like TRW. Options are good. Hmm... something doesn't look right with those pads. Spot the piston that isn't doing its job (hint, it's the top photo, on the left). The pads seem new enough they aren't worn unevenly, but I'll double-check before refitting. So that's where it all went to hell. After removing the pads I tried to push the pistons back into the caliper, and only three pistons (of four) on each caliper could be pushed back. One piston in each caliper was seized solid. I used some compressed air, with my inflation thinggy, and the pin that is usually used to fill sports balls, to push the pistons out. I wrapped some tape around the pin to try to make a decent seal. Make sure the bleed valve is shut of course. I found cork sanding blocks were a perfect size for pushing the pistons out far enough to remove them, but not have them shoot across the room. One of the calipers slowly but surely freed up the stuck piston with some compressed air (not the caliper from the above pads) The other flat-out refused. No matter how much air I pumped into it, that one piston didn't move. The other three made a dash for freedom though. Oops. I sprayed penetrating fluid into the caliper, and all around the stuck piston and left it to sit a couple of days. It wasn't magic, and didn't free up by itself. Darn. Today I got the big guns out, and was determined to remove the piston one way or another. There is another method other than compressed air to remove a stuck piston, but it involves a tool I don't have, and didn't want to buy just for this job; a grease gun. The big guns? A chisel, screwdriver and hammer. First I removed the outer seal and retainer with a pick. It was well corroded in there but came out easy enough WIth that removed I started beating on the piston with the hammer and chisel, trying to get it to turn in the bore. I quickly noticed the chisel was too sharp and was cutting into the piston a bit much, so changed to a nice big blunt screwdriver. After much beating, some swearing, lots of penetrating fluid, a moderately sized fire as the penetrating fluid ignited when I tried to apply heat, the piston finally started to rotate. A little bit at a time i knocked it around, until it was moving much freer. Then I gave it some air, and this happened Out the bastard comes. I stopped there and used air to remove all the other pistons first, and then used the vice grips to pull the sticky piston out. This might have something to do with why it was so hard to remove. That black stuff is corrosion/rust pitting in the piston. The bore it came out of thankfully looks OK. No more worn than the others, but the section between the two seals is a bit worse for wear and will need some tweaking with fine sandpaper or emery tape. Upon close inspection of the pistons that came out of that caliper, all of them have signs of pitting and corrosion. Some worse than others, so along with a new seal kit, I have ordered a set of 8 new pistons also. Whilst I wait for them to arrive, I will be completely stripping the calipers down, soaking them in paint stripper, then in Evaporust, and after a clean down they will get a coat of paint. In that same order I have ordered a new pipe for the one I broke (still available new), but the other side pipe is now NLA, so I have roped a friend (with all the tools and knowledge) into helping make a new pipe up for that side, using the fittings from a spare pipe I have ordered and will cut up for parts. I did manage to get that pipe off. I had to use vice grips, a spanner and lots of brute force to crack the nut. Some copper grease will help in future. It's no wonder the brakes felt like rubbish. They had a very soft pedal, and when pushed hard they didn't work all that well. I'm glad I found this now, as it wasn't likely to fix itself and magically start to work, and doing the bleed I had planned wouldn't have done anything either. Once back together they should be as good as the Vitesse brakes can be. Now the waiting game again.
  9. ... - - - ...
  10. Effie has just started to leak coolant from a dodgy coolant cap, so a new one of them is on the way. Bloody coolant.
  11. Not to mention all the coolant you have to buy
  12. Rovers are awesome. No end of things to do in the garage with them.
  13. Cmon man, just give me a new page
  14. It slows things down
  15. Too many photos on this one