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kws last won the day on August 10

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  1. kws

    KwS's TVR

    Yeah, it'd be great if I could drive the damn thing though!
  2. Another small job I wanted to take on whilst the car was in bits, was to check the valve clearances. I had no history of it being done, and its a fairly important thing to check on these engines, and not hard to do. Valve clearance is the small gap that must exist between the rocker arm and the top of the valve stem. This gap allows for expansion of the parts as they heat up (mainly the valve), so that there isn't either excessive space between the two (valve won't open as far or as long, and will make a loud tapping noise) or too little (valve may not close, and can result in a burnt valve). Some engines have the means to self adjust, usually via a hydraulic lifter (those things that make Mitsis go "tick tick tick"), but on these older engines (and even some modern engines, like Hondas) the clearances were a scheduled service item and needs to be checked and corrected. On this engine it's nice and easy to access with the intake piping out of the way. It's just a matter of removing the valve covers, of which mine were leaking anyway. It turns out that a few of the valve cover bolts weren't even finger tight, so no wonder the oil was getting through the gasket! With the covers off, you need to use a socket and ratchet to rotate the engine so that the crank timing mark lines up with TDC on the front pointer. If its correct, you should find that No 5 cylinder valves are "rocking" and this is when you measure No 1 cylinder clearances. "Rocking" is the term for when you watch the rockers on that cylinder and you will see the both are at the same height, but if you rock the crank one way, one rocker will push down slightly, and if you rock it the other way, the other rocker will push down. Ford Cologne engines are a little special, so the layout isn't quite what you expect. Take note of the layout of the intake and exhaust valves, they aren't always in the same order. The clearances should be as follows. These are done on a cold engine (about 20c ideally). The exhaust has a bigger clearance due to the additional heat the valve is subjected to. When checked with a feeler gauge, there should be a slight drag on the blade, but not too tight, or too loose. You kinda just do it by feel and get to know what it should feel like When one cylinder is done, check the list to see what rockers will be rocking next and turn the crank (in the direction of normal rotation) until those rockers rock, and check the clearances on the opposing cylinder in the list. Easy. If any of them need adjusting, there will be a screw on the opposite end of the rocker, that either needs to be loosened or tightened to open or close the gap. Most cars have a locking nut to stop it rotating, but the Cologne doesn't, so turning the screw will adjust it, and it self locks. Mine were very tight, so I used a six sided socket and rachet to turn them. A little goes a long way though, so sometimes even a slight tweak of the screw will be the difference between loose, and the right amount of drag. Five of six cylinders had valves that were too tight to get the blade into, and one cylinder was loose as a goose. I don't know what this means, hopefully it isn't a sign of valve recession due to a lack of lead, but time will tell. It could also just be bad adjustment from a previous mechanic....
  3. Its been a while since the last post; almost exactly a month. Although it's been quiet on here, work has been slowly progressing on the TVR. Unfortunately I've been suffering serious issues with motivation recently, and getting down into the garage to work on the car just wasn't happening often. It hasn't helped that for every little scrap of success I've been having with the car, I would get a big wad of failure dumped on me. It seems like a constant battle at times. When I could get into the garage and plug away at the TVR I did. I have done a lot of testing, cleaning and investigation into the K-Jetronic system trying to chase down the running issue it has. This will be the subject of a post in the near future, but I'm learning a lot about the system and how it works. Hopefully that knowledge will lead to me getting it working correctly, and helping others along the way. In the meantime, I did have a couple of small successes. One was the gas struts for the bonnet and boot. The old ones were well poked, and held nothing, so other means of support were employed. The bonnet and boot may be fibreglass, but they sure ain't light; I didn't want to take one of them to the noggin. Not flash, but they worked. The boot had the wood plank, and the bonnet had an aluminium tube. I did some ringing around and research into the option of having the existing struts regassed, as finding a set of struts in the correct length and with the low pressure they require (100NM) locally didn't seem possible, but the cost of regassing the struts, if even possible, wasnt much less than a new set of struts from SGS Engineering in the UK. The old ones appear to be the original Stabilus Lift-O-Mat struts, as the date mark on them is 04/80. They did pretty well to get this far! Upon removing them, three had some pressure, although minimal, and one of the bonnet ones was completely dead. Removal was easy. The old ones had plastic locking pins that needed to be removed and then the ends could be popped off the ball with a long screwdriver. All of the ball joints had to be removed to replace with the new shiny ones, which is easily done with the appropriate spanners. The replacements are lovely and shiny, I'm glad I went for the new option as the old ones just never would've cleaned up as well. They are Nitrolift branded, and gassed to the correct 100NM. It appears SGS custom build these for each order. The ends are particularly nice They fit and work perfectly. Much better. For the money spent, its a great upgrade from the saggy old struts. Moving on, the second win I had was finally working out what the ashtrays are in the early Tasmin. My old ones were badly rusted and falling to bits. They weren't useable and looked terrible. I suspect this was from rainwater coming in the window due to the failed/damaged seals. The front was literally being pushed off by rust, on the driver's side. There had been a lot of information/discussion on the internet about the ashtrays being from a Jaguar XJ6. I can dispel this myth now, they are not. You could probably make them fit, but they aren't the original ashtrays. I purchased a pair of ashtrays from an XJ6, and when compared to the TVR ones the difference is subtle, but there. Jag on the left, TVR on the Right. The Jaguar ones are rounded on the sides, and slightly taller. The mounting tabs for the ashtray into the housing are completely different too. Speaking of the housing, that also differs from the TVR one. TVR Left, Jag Right. Jag is slightly smaller in all directions except depth. Its slightly deeper and has a sloped back on it, whilst the TVR one is flat on the back. The mounting hole also doesn't line up. So, with that bitter disappointment, and waste of money, I kept digging. I eventually found that the 2 Door Range Rover Classic used the same ashtray as the TVR, but finding one of those was proving impossible. It wasn't until a member on the TVR Wedges Facebook page pointed it out, that it was suddenly obvious where the ashtrays came from. I almost felt embarrassed I didn't notice it... they're from a Series 1 Rover SD1! There it goes, sitting there, in the door. Finding one of these was a lot easier, albeit blue is a rare colour so I have ended up with a pair of tan, like the above photo. It turns out that TVR modified the Rover part slightly, by removing the foam tape off the back of the housing, and bashing the mounting hole with a hammer to flatten it off (sits proud normally, and the ashtray won't sit flush in the door). They aren't perfect, due to the tan, but I'm keeping an eye out for a blue pair, but will give dying these a go at some point. Better than rusty old ones falling out of the door! So once again, I've been left with some small victories, which are better than nothing, but the KJet system continues to fight me. More on that later though, as thats been a big, ugly, process.
  4. Anyone got experience locking a distributor and using it with electronic controlled ignition, like Megasquirt or Megajolt? Would I need to worry about rotor phase or anything, or can i just lockwire the mechanical advance into place where it would be 0 mech advance, and be done with it? Ideally i would go for a trigger wheel, but there isnt one made for my engine (ford cologne) and I could deal with a custom/universal one later once the engine is running on the locked dizzy.
  5. For re-rego on my Mini I used a bunch of brake stuff from both local and UK, and provided receipts. All no-name generic stuff. No issues, didn't need to strip them down for inspection or anything.
  6. Do you need a cert for something that has factory height adjusting airbag shocks in the rear only, converting to coil springs?
  7. Interesting, it used to be that if it were there, it had to work (wife got failed on it years ago) but obviously changed now.
  8. Since I'm still waiting on the pressure testing kit to arrive, I got impatient and did some more testing. I wanted to remove the injectors and see if any of them were leaking and what the spray pattern is. The intake plenum needs to come off. before this can be removed though, the coolant block on the front needs to be unbolted. Unbolting this saves disconnecting the coolant hoses. All the other hoses got removed, and the 7th injector was removed from the plenum. The plenum is held down with eight long bolts that go into the inlet manifold. Just a note, these bolts aren't sealed off from the inside of the plenum, so will need sealant on them upon reassembly. With everything disconnected and unbolted, the plenum just lifts off Removing the injectors is fairly simple. The clamp on the pipes (which goes above, below and between the pipes), as visible in the lower Lh corner of the above photo, has to be removed to allow enough slack in the pipes, but otherwise its a case of removing the single bolt per injector, and then pulling it free from the manifold. They are meant to be sealed in, but mine came out suspiciously easily. The rubber collar is weird. I presume/hope there is a normal O-Ring under it, as that is what all the parts manuals say it should have, and there seems to be no part for that rubber collar. I'll have to carefully remove and reuse the collar. All the injectors look pretty rough, but I guess thats what 39 years of sitting in the intake looks like. The ends all look clean enough, with no obvious buildup. I did note that cylinder 6 was very wet upon removal, and a couple of others were damp. The engine has been off and cold for about a week, with no pressure in the lines. Testing them isnt rocket surgery, just pop them all into jars, fire up the pump and see if they produce any fuel (which they all did to some degree), which indicates either the fuel plunger is letting excess fuel through, or the injectors are leaking. Further investigations show its probably a 50:50 on leaking or adjustment causing it. With the pump running, lift the sensor plate in the AFM to its stop and observe the flow and pattern from the injectors. All mine seem to flow roughly the same, but the flow pattern out of all of them appeared to be rubbish, with minimal misting and heading off in all directions. That's good, it confirms that buying a whole set of replacement injectors was the right decision! One other thing that has been bugging me, was the sensor plate in the AFM. This is meant to be a finely calibrated instrument, but I think someone has mucked with mine before. You can see in the above photo that it looks like the sensor plate (the disk in the middle of the cone) is sitting high with a gap under it. Well, it is. From the below diagram, you can see the sensor plate sits at the bottom of a cone. As air comes in from the filter at the bottom, it comes in under the plate and a combination of that air coming in, and engine vacuum in the intake, lifts the plate to allow air into the intake. Lifting the plate also lifts the fuel plunger, increasing fuel flow. The plate should be set to a specific height, which is more or less with the highest point of the plate flush with the lip at the bottom of the cone (before where it tapers outwards again, under the plate). Mine was clearly sitting a lot higher than that. Not to mention the other issue... The plate was off-centre. I even thought the plate was too big to fit through the opening, but it was just because it was off-centre. I carefully backed off the center bolt, and centered the plate (this should be done with feeler gauges, but I did it by eye this time) Now it fits through the opening It was still sitting too high though There is a spring under the plate that sets the height. The manual says to adjust it with pliers, but I'm damned if I can bend the thing. I'll keep at it and see if I can tweak it. The other thing I noticed is that you can hear and feel the plunger moving when you manipulate the sensor plate. I'm not sure how normal it is, but my plunger seems very slow to return to the zero position. It doesn't seem to bind and it moves smoothly, it's just slow to return. I'll be removing and cleaning this in the future anyway. So that's where I'm at. I'm waiting for a set of new injectors to arrive, and I need to remove the fuel distributor and WUR to clean them out. I'm planning on setting everything up from zero since I have no idea what's been done to this by previous bodgers.
  9. Do you have to be able to flash your headlights to pass a wof? My headlight stalk is a bit iffy, but everything (high beams, indicators and horn) other than flashing works on it.
  10. Just as a quick follow up. I have ordered a set of new injectors, and will be removing the fuel distributor to inspect/clean the plunger. I'll be setting it up properly from a zero setting after cleaning everything. Just waiting on parts/tools to arrive. I've noticed the AFM sensor plate is way out of setting (should be sitting a lot lower than it is) so either its sticking or its been setup incorrectly (50:50 on either). Chances are the system was running a bit average due to a lack of maintenance, so it was "tweaked" to compensate and now its all out of whack, seems pretty common for people taking on projects with KJet.
  11. As mentioned previously, I'm having some running issues and I need to try and work out what it is. The issue has been getting worse the more I run and drive the car. It previously only happened under load at about 4000rpm, where the engine would fall on its face and cut out like you had turned the key off. If you kept the throttle steady it would recover with a surge as the revs dropped, but as soon as it got up to about 4k again, it would cut out. When stationary, and not under load, it will happily rev to its 6k redline. It's a very annoying issue. I had a couple of suspicions of what it could be, but I needed to do some testing to narrow it down. My first suspicion was that I must be losing spark, as the engine cuts so abruptly and I felt that if it were fuel it would kinda stutter out. The first thing I noticed was that the replacement coil the previous owner had fitted was a Bosch GT40. This is a 12v coil, and from what I have discovered, widely known to have issues with electronic ignitions. Now, the ignition system on my car is both a ballasted system and electronic. A ballasted system runs a resistor on the power feed to the coil, dropping the voltage, meaning the coil doesn't see 12v. So I was already running the coil under voltage. After testing and confirming the resistor was still in place, I removed this coil and refitted the original Ford coil that came with the car. Changing this resulted to a smoother idle (maybe, but probably a placebo), but the engine still cut out. The next thing was to check the lead positions, cap and rotor. I note that the cap and rotor have been replaced, and the old ones were with the car. The old cap is stuffed, but the old rotor looked OK, so I swapped that in after a quick clean. No change. Next was to confirm if I did lose spark or not. The only way I could think of was by thinking out of the box and using my timing light... So I connected it up, and strapped it to the wiper so I could see it when driving. Sure enough, when the engine cut, the light was still flashing away happily. That indicates I have spark (although, not if I have a good strong spark, but some spark is better than none). So this points me down a different path. I have air, and I have spark. Could it be fuel after all? I posted up on a few forums asking for help, and got some great tips on where to start looking. One of the easiest to do was to check the sensor plate in the AFM was clean. This plate is hinged, and lifts up with airflow as it gets sucked into the engine, which in turn pushes a plunger up and down to control fuel flow. Well, although the top looked reasonably clean, the underside was filthy (probably thanks to the incorrect air filter that was fitted) I gave this a thorough clean and made sure it was spotless. This made no change, but its good to know its clean now. I also, once again, checked the intake tube and boot for splits or cracks, but none found. All vacuum lines (all two or three of them) were checked, all OK. One thing that makes me suspect its possibly fuel, is the state of the new plugs I fitted. Even after a couple of runs around the block, a couple look almost unused. Maybe lean? From 1 to 6 in order. This is leaving a couple of possibilities, ones that I cannot test without further equipment. First is an intake manifold leak or the likes. Today my smoke machine arrived, so I could test this. It's just a cheapie, but makes a good amount of smoke, and has a pump to actually blow it out under pressure. After a quick test, I modified it to work how I needed it to. I salvaged a cap from a CRC rust convertor can, drilled a hole in it, glued some hose into it, and glued the cap onto the front of the smoke machine (as it just has a big nozzle on the front normally, for maximum smoke dispersion in da clubz) This hose then goes into a rubber glove with a finger cut off it. I find using one of these seals the intake pipe nicely with the wrist of the glove, but doesn't crush the rubber hose. I don't know if it's good or bad, but smoke testing the intake shows there are no intake or vacuum leaks. I tested with the throttle open and closed, to check the intake hose for leaks as well as the plenum/manifold, but nothing, not even a weep. So what left? Well, two things really. I need to test the fuel pressures of the system, but because the fuel fittings use banjo bolts and hard lines instead of rubber hoses, I can't use my existing pressure testing kit. I have a new kit on the way, which has all the fittings I need to connect into the KJetronic system. This will tell me if there is an issue with the Warm Up Regulator or the main pressure regulator. The whole system relies on having the correct pressures, so even a few PSI difference can make it all turn to custard. The other thing I need to do, once I have tested the pressures, is to remove the fuel distributor and injectors. I need to see if the plunger in the fuel distributor is clean and moving freely, or if it's sticky. I also need to check the flow and spray pattern from the injectors. It's possible either, or both, of these things are causing an issue. My main theory at the moment is a sticking fuel plunger, which is causing the engine to starve of fuel when it demands more. The worst thing you can do with a KJet system is to leave old fuel in it and not run the car regularly. This car has been off the road for years, and I don't know when it was last started and run, or how old the fuel in the system was. KJet runs at such fine tolerances that even a slight gum or varnish on a component can make it upset. I'm determined to work this issue out and get the KJet working properly as it's a cool system, and one I haven't worked with before. I have everything I need to convert to EFI and Speeduino, but I'm trying hard to resist that urge. Now we wait. Once the pressure test kit arrives, Its game on.
  12. Last weekend was a productive one on the TVR, starting with wrapping up the fuel hose replacement job I started earlier. I was held up with the wrong filter, so I did some more research and ordered what I hoped was the correct filter (using the number off the existing filter) Thankfully it was the right one. The early cars with the filter under the car use a Ryco Z399 filter. A set of nice new copper crush washers and on went the fitting I had to replace the hose from the pump to the filter, as I was doing away with the accumulator, and the existing hose was both incorrectly rated, and starting to perish 1/4" hose is pretty small, and not that common here, but I found Repco stocks Gates Barricade hose, which is bloody expensive per meter, but some of the best hose available. You'll note in the photo above that the old hose is J30 R6 rated, which is safe to about 50PSI in an injection system (despite saying a higher rating on the hose). The Bosch MFI system runs at about 80PSI, so although that hose had been working OK, I wasn't going to trust sticking with an R6 hose. The Gates Barricade hose is safe for 225PSI as it is a J30R14T2 rated hose. Since I had been doing all this work on the bench first, it was time to move to under the car, where I got a timely reminder to always check your lifting points. The TVR had been in the air on the Quickjacks for a week now, and unknown to me it had settled on the front blocks, and they had started to tilt and slip. It's possible it would've been OK, but it's not worth the risk. I dropped the car back down and reseated all the blocks. ALWAYS check the car is secure before getting under it, even if that means giving it a good shake or shove. Better it falls off the stands onto the ground, than onto your head. With the car safely in the air again, I refit the new filter to the mount and secured the bolts and ground straps. I wanted a nice straight hose from the pump to filter, but due to the proximity and angle, the only way I could do it was a loop back from the filter. At least this time I don't need to wrap the hose in tape to stop it from being rubbed through where it was touching the body, as it had been... And here is the new hose Once everything was happily in place, I torqued both banjo fittings up with my torque wrench. They don't take much, just 18-20NM, but it's essential they are torqued correctly. I have heard much talk about not using the moulded hex on the ends of the filter or disaster can strike. I don't know how true that is, but I didn't need to secure the filter as the mounting clamp held it tight anyway. After mixing some more injector cleaner into 10L of fresh petrol, I slowly poured it into both tanks, keeping a close eye on the new hose joins. When everything appeared to be dry and sealed, I reconnected the battery, and turned the key and listened as the system primed. I let it prime for a short time and checked all the high pressure lines, and once satisfied they were dry, I fired the beast up. Everything still looked good. Winning. With the car still in the air, I planned some more maintenance. I wasn't sure when the last time the driveline oils were done, so like usual, I spent hours pouring over fluid specs, and eventually settled on a Nulon fully synthetic 75W-85 GL4 for both the gearbox and diff. Nulon sells it in these nifty little baggies, which at first I thought were a gimmick, but I'll tell you now, its way better than a bottle. The gearbox is a bit of a pain to get at due to the exhaust, which chills out directly under the drain plug, and allows only a small space to access the fill plug. Always undo the fill plug first, just in case. One thing that always bothers me is getting oil on the exhaust, as even if you hose it with degreaser or brake clean, it'll still stink as it burns off. There was no way to avoid oil pouring on the exhaust with the TVR, so I settled for being smart and using some plastic sheet wrapped around the exhaust. Worked a treat. The old fluid actually looked really good, so I suspect it hasn't done a lot of miles in the car, but its probably still been in there a few years. The diff was easier to access, with the drain plug smack bang on the bottom, and the fill plug on the back. Both were bloody tight but came off when I asked nicely. Yeah, the diff will probably need some seals at some point, but that's down the list a bit for now. I used three and a half bags (1L each) between the gearbox and diff. Here we see the squeezy bois chilling at the watering hole One thing I noticed with the bags is that it can be hard to get the last little bit out. What you can do is join the two bags together, and drain one into the other. I also reused hoses between bags, leaving me with one unused, clean, hose to stick back onto the half full bag to use later. With the fluids changed (except engine oil, I still need to do that) I lowered the car back down and took it for a quick spin. Unfortunately the running issue seems to be getting worse. It used to just be under load at about 4000rpm the engine would fall flat and cut out. Now it happens randomly and is almost undrivable. Watch the video with subtitles on as I note where it has issues. You can see it revs happily with no load at the end. I had my suspicions of what it could be, but I needed to do more testing.