kws

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About kws

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  1. Things with Tess haven't been going quite to plan, so I took a couple of days off, but here we go again. After pulling down the front struts to replace the shocks, the next part of the game was to strip out the rear and replace the shocks and springs there. I also needed to get some oil into the now clean but empty transmission. That was the first thing I wanted to do, fill the trans. Now I did mention in the previous post that I had a special mixture of oil to go in the trans, and here it is. Another variation of a Ramon recommended solution for the gearbox. He swears by a mixture of "5W40 "Castrol RS" " and a dose of Molyslip. Now, neither the Castrol RS oil (which I believe has been superseded anyway) nor the Molyslip is available locally, so I substituted for the closest I could get. The Shell fully synthetic oil seems to be decent stuff, was available in 1L bottles, and cheap. The Nulon Smooth Shift is an additive that is meant to improve shifting. This seems to be very similar to the Molyslip additive, and should do nicely as a substitute. I was originally going to use some Redline MTL, but my local BNT was out of stock. I couldn't be bothered ordering it in, so decided to try this combo instead. Hell, if it doesn't work to plan, it can't be worse than no oil, and I'll just drain it and refill with MTL later. Filling the trans was the same as filling it with the flushing solution, except I squeezed the tube of the Nulon additive in first, and then pumped in the oil. Of course, before I did this I popped the drain plug back in with a new fibre washer. The washers I used come in a pack, from Mitre10, and were cheap as chips. Much better than the over re-used and over crushed washer on the fill plug (which was loose and leaking originally), and the remains of the washer on the drain plug, which had turned to mush and stuck to the transmission. Needed a scraper to remove the remains of that one. The verdict so far? Well, I haven't driven the car obviously, but I ran it through the gears today. At idle it's already much quieter, although the bearing whine is still just audible but it doesn't sound like a bag of bolts now. All the gears went in slickly, but the real test will be how it drives on the road after about 200km or so when the oil has broken in. Its going to go either way, it'll be an improvement on no oil, or I have just made it so much worse and will need to rebuild my spare gearbox for transplant. That'd be my luck. Moving back the main event, the suspension. This is what's currently in the rear, some lovely Monroe air shocks. Well over their use by date, don't seem to hold air and do NOTHING that resembles damping. Playing with them, I suspect the air in them does all the damping, so without any air in them they just bottom out. Guess this explains why they recommend something like 15PSI in them at minimum. One of them also rattles when shaken... It's a fairly tidy install with the air hose run through a tiny little hole the perfect size for the hose. The springs are a bit random. They are lowered, and have a sticker on them with "PROKIT" on it, but other than that no obvious markings. The bump stops have seen better days... years ago. You can see above, in the middle of the spring mount, a nice clean patch. That's where the metal bolt that should be the bump stop, has been hitting it. No bloody wonder it feels like the car is being rear ended when going over bumps in the rear. Ouch. Now in theory the rear suspension should the one of the easiest things to do on a car like this, with a solid live axle. The shocks are just bolted top and bottom, and the spring is held in place by a clamp on the bottom, and hopes and dreams at the top (well, they kinda freely rattle around in the tower but are stopped from dropping out by the shock limiting the axles downwards travel). First up was to find the top of the shock. Drop the rear seat, and then behind the carpet will be the top of the shock. I also removed the bolsters, because it's easy on my cars and I didn't know what I was looking for (and thought I had to remove them; you don't, but the extra room is good). With those located on both sides, all that was left to do was to stick the jack under the axle to take the weight Rattle gun off the nut, and lower the axle down to drop the shock out of the body The bottom of the shock had a locking nut setup with two nuts. Whizz them off, and the shock just freely pulls out. You can see the state of the bushes too; they are stuffed. Interesting to note there was nothing locating these shock in place in the (much larger) holes, other than friction and the compression of the bushes. Old shock vs new shock. Here you can see the length difference, which I will go into shortly. With the shock removed, if you lower the axle down further the top of the spring comes free, and the spring is then only retained in place by the single clamp on the bottom mount. This is held in with a 10mm nut/bolt setup. Undo that, remove the clamp and out comes the spring. New spring is a bit longer, but has more coils. With the spring removed you can also remove the top cone that has the bump stop mounted to it, and replace the bump stop. Obviously mine was missing something previously... That's better Pop that on the top of the new spring, and slip the new spring in place. Here starts the first of many issues I have with the Rimmers kit. If you refer back to the photo comparing the two springs, you can just make out that the overall width of the new spring is narrower than the old spring. It's not by much, but its enough that when you try to get it to sit nicely on the lower spring perch, it doesn't. It's a real fight to get it to sit nicely, and it has a habit of pulling free from the clamp. The problem gets worse when you fit the shocks that come with the kit.... but more on that soon. To fit said shocks, first you need to fit the new bushes. These are a much better design than the ones I removed, so obviously Rover had some idea of what they were doing here. The new bush goes through the hole so that it has rubber on each sides of the hole. The two washers are to squish the rubber against a metal sleeve on the inside of the bush. This is the lower bush in place, with the metal sleeve inside. The sleeve is only half the length of the bush. This setup locates the shock centrally in the holes. Just for reference, here is an awesomely drawn diagram from one of the Rover workshop manuals. I love exploded diagrams. This is what things look like inside my head. Getting the bushes in is a pain. LOTS of silicone spray helps, but in the end it just takes lots of force and some twisting to get them in place. Tightening up the top nut takes some creativity as I didn't have a spanner small enough for the flat on the top of the shock, to stop the shaft spinning as you turn the nut. I gently used some vice grips on the shaft and a ratcheting spanner on the nut to tighten it up. You can see some squidge in the second photo; you need to tighten the nut until it squashes the rubber and the nut starts to tighten down on the sleeve. So with the shock installed I noticed one of the most annoying issues with the Rimmers kit. The shocks are too long, and allow the rear springs to drop down too low. For me this caused binding of the cone on top of the spring, which would pull the bottom of the spring out of the retainer clamp. If the shocks were shorter this wouldn't be an issue. I could also have issues come WOF time if the springs fail to be captive. I will have to see how I go on that one. I was a bit pissed off by then but decided to do the other side too, just in case there was an issue with that side of my car. The bump stop was even worse on this side, it had been hit so hard it had dented the cone inwards! You can see the impact point on the spring perch Low springs plus stuffed shocks = pain. The new bump stop pulled the dent out as I tightened it, but the issues I had on the right side were also the same on the left. It's the kit that's at fault, not the car. You can just make out the grey zip tie that is stopping the spring from pulling out of the retainer. After this I was pretty pissed off and feeling a bit dark about the whole job, so I took a day or two off from working on the car. Today I cracked back into it, and got stuck into reassembling the front struts. Autolign supplied some generic bump stops that fit well (to suit the 22mm shaft); thanks to one of my Facebook followers for messaging me about that. Reassembly of the struts isn't rocket science, it's just the reverse of disassembly. Compress the spring as much as possible, fit it, fit the boot, then the spring seat and top mount. Whack the nut in and tighten it up. Oh, another thing, the flash new nuts that came with the new front struts didn't actually fit, they are too small, so I had to reuse the old center nuts. I thought fitting the struts back into the car would be hard, as completely assembled they are actually pretty heavy, especially with the new springs, but it went smoothly and easily. I'm a fiercely independent person in the garage, so I managed it all myself. Jack under the strut, and whilst operating the jack with one hand, maneuver and align the strut with the other hand. Align the studs with the hole, raise it up and pop the nuts on. Done. I did need to do some extra jiggling to get the swaybar back into place, but nothing major. Jacks are such a handy third hand. It was good to finally see the car looking more like a car again. Since the struts were in, I took the chance to swap over the new tie rod ends, to get rid of the worn out haggard looking ones on the car. This is the part number for future reference. Fits like a glove and looks so much better. Be interesting to see if I can tell any difference in the steering. They are a lot stiffer than the old ones. The last thing I did today was to remove the other front caliper for repainting. As you can see they don't look flash at all. The black paint is covering many years of other colours, from red to white (primer?) and even our familiar friend, yellow. The pads look to have been changed fairly recently as they have good meat on them, but the retaining pins and shims have seen better days. I'll get some new ones in my next Rimmers order and swap them over in the future. Compared to Effies brakes, these are ugly. Be interesting to see if the pads have any part numbers on them, as they are different to the ones in Effie. Would be good to know more options. That's where we are. I'll need to find some time to get to the brake specialists in town to have the broken pipe remade, and I'll repaint the calipers. Once that's done, I'll drop her down and see how I feel about the new ride height. Many nerves about that. I hope like hell it was worth it.
  2. It's never a dull day in the garage when you own a Rover. Having shown off Tess at the show the other day, it was time to start digging further into some of the issues she has. I couldn't risk doing this work before the show, in case it was delayed and didn't make it there. That was a good choice it seems... So what was the plan? Well, the obvious first step was to replace the springs and shocks with new shocks and standard Vitesse height springs. I purchased these on sale with the steering rack, because I knew the current setup was bad. The front shocks could be compressed by hand on the car, and the front was just too low to be practical. The rear also bottomed out badly over bumps, to the point it would pop the passengers glove box open on hard bumps. It wasn't pleasant. The other job I wanted to do whilst there, was to bleed the brakes. They haven't been touched in at least 4 years, since the car was sitting, but who knows how long before that too. The pedal was spongy, but the brakes did all work, just not as good as they should (and not as good as Effie). A surprise job was thrown at me the other day too; I needed to do the transmission fluid. I knew the gearbox wasn't happy because it whines and rattles, but changes smoothly and otherwise drives well. The other day I picked the wife up from the train station, and proceeded to do a 0-100kph full throttle pull on the motorway. Shit it sounded amazing, but after that I had some reservations about the gearbox and decided to park her up until I could get her in the air. I noticed after that run the gearbox developed a clunk coming off throttle, and was making a different whine. It wasn't happy. I needed to have a look. So today I decided it was as good time as any to get Tess in the air and start spinning some spanners. I got her up on all four stands, and made a hovercar. Being the first time I have had all four wheels off the ground in one go (except for the WOF), I had a good look around and got some photos. These are the lovely box section rear trailing arms. No, I don't know why they chose these over the readily available standard ones. And the massive exhaust. Its well built and looks good. I'm pleased to see standard two bolt flanges all through it, instead of the stupid flanges the Rover uses standard (three bolt, sliding flanges with olives). And the target for today's suspension, the front struts Before that though, I wanted to tackle the gearbox. I needed to drain the oil and see what the state of that was. On the SD1 LT77 gearbox, the drain plug is on the drivers/RH side in the iron mid case, and the fill plug on the passengers/LH side, in the alloy rear housing. This is the drain plug. On the D suffix box it's a 32mm hex and the fill plug (with a socket on it). This is 15/16" As it turns out, the gearbox in my Vitesse is a suffix C box and not the D suffix it should be. So many things have been changed on this car, it's no real surprise. The suffix C box uses 15/16" for both drain and fill plugs, but they are in the same location as above. I cracked and removed the fill plug first (as is good practice, just in case it's seized in, and you drain the oil without a way to get it back in) and then removed the drain plug. To my surprise, only a tiny trickle of oil came out. Nuts. That might have something to do with the angry gearbox. This is all that came out (ignore the coolant, that stuff is everywhere in my garage). Probably 50ml or so, not the 1.9L it should have. Bloody amazing the gearbox worked half as well as it did considering! The drain plug has a magnet on it, to catch metal shavings that occur in normal use. Amazingly, this magnet did have some shavings on it, but nothing too unusual for an old gearbox. No chunks. I gave Sonic the Metallic Headgehog a haircut And then it was time to get radical (dude). The SD1 whisperer, Ramon Alban, wrote up many years ago about how he flushed and cleaned his gearbox out, and swears by it. Others on forums have also done it with good results. I figured, since my box was already in a bad way, it can't hurt. The flush calls for a 2:1 ratio of white spirit and ATF. Fill the box with that, run it through the gears with the engine running and then let it idle for 10 minutes with no load. This ensures that the oil pump in the gearbox circulates the mixture everywhere, and that it gets into all the gears and syncros. I grabbed two bottles of white spirit from Supercheap, and just used some leftover ATF I have from doing auto services. These by the way, are one of the best tools you can buy. It's a hand pump bottle, with a hose and curved steel pipe on the end. The pipe hooks into the filler hole, and you can pump up to the trans from the ground. Its easy, clean and no fuss. So in that mixture went, and as per the instructions I ran the car through the gears. The box was a little quieter, but that was probably just because it now had some oil actually in it... This is what came out. It went in pink as per the photo above.... The magnet also found some more shavings Still no chunks though, so we are kinda winning. I filled another couple of pump bottles of fluid and pumped them into the gearbox, and did it again, this time leaving it to idle for longer. This time the fluid came out much more pink. This time the gearbox was much quieter in operation, so maybe it is helping. We will see. I have a special mixture of oil to go in, but first I need to grab some new fibre washers for the plugs. More on that next time. Anyway, onto the shocks. Unlike the Mini, the front struts on the Rover also incorporate the hub and stub axle, so you have to remove it all in one go. This makes it heavy, and awkward to work with. Another issue I soon encountered, was that my bloody swaybar is kinda rust-welded into the lower arm and I cant remove it without cutting it off. Lame. Glad it has urethane bushes I guess. To make life easier, I unbolted the front calipers from the hub and hung them up. Well, one of them anyway... The passenger's side didn't go so smoothly, and the bastard thing broke the copper hard-line that goes into the caliper. I didn't even apply much pressure to it, so obviously it was weak. It turns out that the pipe was rusted into the nut, so that didn't help. Question. How do you stop a broken brake pipe from draining the master cylinder reservoir (when you have braided lines and can't clamp them off)? With a rubber glove of course. Stretch it over the opening of the res, and zip tie it in place. This creates a seal in the system, so the fluid can't just freely drain out. As you can see above, it pulls a fair bit of vacuum, so to be safe I also used a silicone cap to plug the pipe in the meantime. Better safe than to drain the whole system onto my garage floor overnight and then have to refill an empty system. So that sucked, and now I have to go get a new pipe made up. The one plus to this is that since one caliper is off, i'm going to look into repainting both as they are looking pretty haggard. Many layers of flaking paint. Moving on, back to the struts. I unbolted the swaybar from the crossmember, so that it could hang down (since I couldn't remove it from the arms), and one of the lower arms had to be removed (or the swaybar still fought me). With all that sorted, out came the struts. On went my sweet spring compressors and off came the strut top The boot on the RH side is mint, but the LH is torn and will need replacing. The same can't be said about the front bump stops. Years of being smashed by lowered suspension had turned them into chunks floating around in the boot You can also see a lot of oil floating around in the above photo. This is from the shock, as it had been leaking badly but was contained within the boot, effectively hiding the failure. The shock on this side was so bad that as soon as the strut top was off, the shock collapsed down by itself. You can pull it up by hand, but it pulls itself down again. Well buggered. The next fun was to remove that massive nut on top of the strut leg, so I could remove the insert. I didn't have any spanners big enough, so what do I do? Improvise. Out came the chain oil filter wrench and a breaker bar. Other than the strut flopping around, this made short work of it, without even damaging the nut. I could reuse it if the new shocks didn't already come with new nuts. Off came the nut, to reveal the shock insert. I saw in the receipts the front shocks had been replaced years ago, but wasnt sure what was actually in here. The shock should just pull straight out; and this is what I have. Monroe Gas-Matic. This is the difference between the old and new shock and the old left and right shocks (left on top) Old spring vs new spring. You can see the new spring is a fair bit longer and slightly thicker coils. I added a squirt of hydraulic jack oil into the strut leg (adding this is neither here nor there; some say its to help transfer heat from the shock to the strut leg. It's easy to do, so I did it), and slipped the new shock into the leg. A couple of dabs of copper grease, and on went the new nut. This was tightened by hand as much as possible, and then cranked up tight with the chain wrench. Its well nifty that thing. Anyway, that's where we sit today. I can't reassemble the front struts without new bump stops, so i'll need to grab some, and I need a new brake line made (but first I need to undo the old one from the braided flex line, which is proving to be very hard to do). Tomorrow I will swap the rear shocks and springs, and hope that goes well and that I don't need parts for that too. Thankfully the new shocks have new bushes for that. To be continued.
  3. Effie passed her WOF easily, so both cars made it to the show on Sunday. Unfortunately the weather was gross and it ended up pouring down, but both cars looked great. I spent Saturday machine polishing and waxing Tess, which has made a huge difference in the paint. Being black, its unlikely to stay that way, but hey.
  4. Johnnyfive's Land Rover

    That last photo makes me pine for a landy. very cool.
  5. bmw R80 scrambler project

    Use Chrome with the Photobucket embed fix extension.
  6. Just a quick fix today, getting Tess ready for the show. The waist mouldings on Tess were in terrible shape. Most were cracked, some missing chunks and all of them were hard as a rock. They didn't look or feel good. I believe these had been swapped once already in the past, as they had signs of being cut by hand and not factory fit like the original ones on Effie. There are also some printed/faxed/copied documents showing different styles of trims in my box of receipts. These are fairly quick to swap, with the hardest part being the removal of the old ones as they get stuck in the holders and break apart when you try to pull them out. I used some needle nose pliers to gently pull them out. I used a thin coating of silicone spray on the part of the seal that locks into the trim, and it just slips into place. For such a simple job, it makes a big improvement. I purchased the seals from Rimmers and knew they would be decent as I replaced the ones on Effie over a year ago with Rimmers seals and they still look and feel good Effie goes for a WOF on Friday, so everything crossed she passes, or Tess will be alone on Sunday at the show.
  7. Finally, something that isn't coolant related! A while ago I picked up a pair of good condition re-covered D-Pillar trim from the Whanganui haul. The ones on Effie were beyond stuffed. All the material was long gone, except for the torn bits around the edges. It looked haggard as. After doing the work on the engine today, I quickly swapped them over for the good ones. To remove the trims there is one screw up near the top of the trim. Remove this completely, and then there is a hook near the bottom, so the trim needs to be lifted up towards the roof/front of the car to unhook it. It takes some practice to do, especially refitting. Getting that hook back in can be a pain. These are the old trims And the replacements (albeit a tad dusty) And fitted 110% improvement with little effort. I'll keep the old ones and maybe recover them for Tess one day (when her ones wear out).
  8. Another day, more coolant. I'm quickly running out of time to get Effie ready for the show this weekend, but I needed to fix the leaking coolant first. The British Car Day show is in 5 days, Effie is leaking coolant and doesn't have a Warrant. Time is running out, and I still have some work to do on Tess too. I'll at least have Tess there, but I would love to have both Rovers in the show. So in my last post I detailed the issues I was having with a leaking under intake pipe. I couldn't drive the car far as I didn't want to risk an overheat, so I haven't been able to get a WOF for it yet. The other day I put the urgent call out on the OldSchool forum for someone to weld my steel pipe to the threaded boss. This was a crucial step towards fixing Effie, but not having the tools to weld it myself, I was stuck. Thankfully a member on the forum ( @Get it done ) came to the rescue, and yesterday he did an awesome job of machining down the boss, and welding the pipe into it. It was good timing, because today was a public holiday (hey Kiwi's, happy Waitangi Day!) and this gave me a whole day to work on Effie, so there might be a chance of getting a WOF this week. This is the engine, in all its wasted spark coil glory The first step is to dump all the coolant, and like usual, still no drain plug so it goes everywhere. With the coolant everywhere but your drain pan, its time to start ripping everything to bits. This isn't a small job by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, it's a bigger job than the "big injection hose" job I did this time last year. Off comes the intake piping, and the plenum. I'm getting pretty good at this particular part of the job The smart person I am, made this job easier for myself by putting plugs in the main engine loom, so that it can be disconnected from the section that runs into the car. The engine harness has to be completely removed to make life easier, otherwise it will get in the way. My plenum base had some oil residue in it. This appears to be normal for injected SD1s, and despite having drain holes in the bottom of the plenum base (at the bottom of the trumpets) this little pool of oil just chills out at the back. This is the whole reason for this job. Coolant on the valley gasket. It builds up until it overflows the black clamp, and then spills over the bellhousing. Six bolts, and off comes the trumpet base, leaving just the inlet manifold and injector setup. The loom is still fitted here, but it was removed, along with the injectors. The injectors and rails have to be removed to gain access to the manifold bolts under them. I was hoping to leave the injectors attached, but it wouldn't be worth the hassle. I also chose to remove the whole throttle cable bracket from the head, which was easier than removing the two cables from it. Before I could remove the inlet manifold I had to remove the leaking coolant hose. Yeah, the end of the pipe is FUBAR. I had been slipping the hose further and further forward to get it to clamp on good metal, but eventually the rust just poked its way through another part of the pipe anyway. The inlet manifold is held on with 12 bolts. The two at the front are longer than the others, but the manual recommends keeping the bolts in order (which is why they are lined up on the valve covers). The manifold isn't actually heavy with all the rest of the bits removed. This is the pipe in question. Nowhere near as bad as the donor in my last post, but the end was stuffed and coolant was weeping out through one spot where it had rusted through The same process as the donor worked on this too. Cut the pipe as close to the threaded boss as possible, and then using some Ugga Duggas, spin that thing out. Easy. I'll be using the parts from this pipe to try to work out how to completely replicate the pipes. Another thing I noticed, and another reason i'm glad I did this work, was that the connection from the waterpump to the manifold (which I think feeds this pipe) was 95% blocked with rust and crud. I shone a light in from the back of it, and this was how much shone through. One small spot. Compared to after I had cleared it I took the manifold outside and gave all the coolant passages a real good blast out with the hose. A few big chunks came out, but over all the cooling system is actually very clean in this car. Its possible the breaking down pipe was just circulating rust. I also took this time to give the manifold a quick degrease. It came up a lot better. Quality parts Next I removed the valley gasket. The old tin one had lasted well really, with no damage or rust. I guess the coating of oil from the old leaks helped that. With the gasket removed I got to have a good look at the cam and lifters. The cam looked really good with minimal visible wear. I didn't rotate the engine to check the cam lobes, but I have no reason to suspect cam issues anyway (and it was replaced not long ago). I noticed one of the coolant ports was completely blocked. This is a blind hole anyway, as its blocked by the intake manifold, but it was ugly, so I cleaned it out. I had often heard talk of the injected engines having a cutout in the port for the injector to spray the back of the valve, but until now had not really seen it. This little notch, circled, indicates original EFI heads. Carb engines don't have this. This is the replacement pipe. Fits like a glove, with some thread sealer on it to make sure it doesn't even think about leaking again. A new valley gasket, of the black coated type, went on with some new seals and clamps. The clamps were bit of a prick to fit as the seals sat slightly proud in the corners. Got there in the end though, and on went the inlet manifold. All bolts were torqued up in stages to 30NM, working outwards from the center. I was about to refit the injectors and rail, when I chose to check the hoses, and this is what I found. FML. More severely cracked fake R9 injector hose. Its been a constant battle against this stuff, but damn i'm glad I caught it now as those cracks are the worst I have had. Two hoses on the fuel regulator, and the main fuel feed hose all got replaced with the good Codan stuff I picked up a while ago. I gave ALL the other hoses a real good, close up inspection and they are all in good condition still. The issue seems to be when the hose is bent. With the hoses replaced I refit all the injectors, and reassembled the rest of the engine. With it all back together, i gave the fuel system a decent prime to check it was sealed, and then filled the cooling system A trusty 50:50 mix of Nulon Long Life green coolant, as used in almost everything, because it's good stuff. Effie would know, she's gone through bucket loads of it. So has my garage floor. See? At least I tried to catch it. After bleeding the cooling system, so far she has been keeping her coolant where it should be. The heater is hotter than before too, so obviously it's getting better coolant flow now. I took her for a quick drive, and gosh she is lovely to cruise around in. So smooth, refined, comfortable, and grunty. I'll need to monitor the coolant for a bit to be sure we are all good now, but tomorrow i'll be calling up and asking for a huge favour... a warrant inspection this week. And then we can go to the show. Hopefully.
  9. Sigh,This game again. Effie is leaking coolant. I have had a guts full of doing coolant on this thing. I thought I finally had it sorted but last time I drove her I noticed that the coolant light had come on and the expansion tank was low. I topped it up, but it didn't stay full after a drive. We had a leak. I did some investigating; I had a hunch that since I fixed the leak from the waterpump bolt (by moving the crank sensor mount to a different bolt), that it would be coming from the damn under intake coolant pipe. I checked the rear of the engine and sure enough there was some bright green coolant in the back of the Vee. I tried slipping the coolant hose further up the pipe and tightening the clamp down, but it was still leaking. There aren't many places it can leak that will end up with coolant in the back of the vee. Under the intake manifold, in the Vee, there is a steel pipe that feeds the heater core. These pipes are notorious for rusting out and causing issues. The biggest issue is that you cannot see the pipe, let alone fix it, without removing the whole intake manifold. Lame. Heres a spare manifold I have, showing the long, rusty, metal pipe (the lower one. The top, black one, is for early EFI cars and mine doesn't have it) Here's the problem. This pipe would make a good garden soaker hose. Its full of rust holes, and no matter how far you slip the hose along the pipe, it wont go far enough because of the mounting bracket. My plan was to remove this pipe from the manifold, and use the hex fitting that screws into the intake with a new pipe, and then fit that to Effie. The first issue, is how the heck do you remove a steel threaded fitting that has been in an aluminium thread for 30+ years? I tried with a spanner and lots of penetrating fluid, with no luck. I tried using my weight as leverage, and it didn't budge. I asked on Facebook what the best option to remove it is, and it sounds like anyone that has done this job before, has had the same issue without luck. I don't give up though, and the best option came to me the next day. An angle grinder and rattle gun. Time to get serious. I used my angle grinder with a thin cutting disk, to cut through the pipe as close to the fitting as possible. It took two seconds. A hacksaw would do the same job, but slower. I removed the pipe, and then using a 13/16" spark plug socket, which fit perfect, a long extension and a rattle gun, I beat on it for a minute or two. I did a couple of ugga duggas forward and reverse to try to break the seal, and then bam, it spun off freely. I really need more impact sockets... It was clear the threads were full of oxidation. It screws back in again fine, so once its out if the threads are cleaned up, it can be reused. Funnily enough, the pipe had even more holes on the top side, that you couldn't see when it was fitted. The pipe measures an OD of almost 16mm (this is important as the hose that goes onto the pipe needs close to this OD to seal) and the ID of the fitting is 13.78mm. If it can be reamed out to a smidgen over 14mm, and a 14mm pipe sourced, it could be slipped inside the fitting and soldered in. I need to look at my options for opening up the end of the fitting as I don't have a lathe. As long as a bead is on the end of the pipe, the hose will be able to clamp down on a 14mm pipe OK. 16mm pipe would be better, but then it would need to be welded to the end of the fitting. I'm going to put my thinking cap on tomorrow, and see what Bunnings has in the plumbing department for pipe. Copper pipe would be good as it won't rust, and is easy to work with. It would also be good if I could work out what the thread on the fitting is, as if I can work that out, I could reproduce the whole pipe from end to end. These pipes have been NLA new for a long time, and despite multiple requests to Rimmers, they havent started to reproduce them. The EFI SD1 was the only RV8 engine to have this pipe, as the carb engines have a different design (which is available new), and the Range Rover eliminated it completely. Either way, I need to sort a pipe for Effie from what I have here, or she isn't going to the show.
  10. One of the things that has bothered me about Tess is the wipers. The RH one sits too high, and they are the weird old pin fitting. Being the sneaky one I am, the plan was to swap the standard J-Hook style arms from Effie to Tess, so that I could easily get replacement blades instead of just refills. You can see how much higher the RH wiper on Tess sits compared to Effie here. The wiper on Effie is almost obscured by the bonnet and well within the dark strip at the bottom of the screen, whilst Tess sits high and is visible in the drivers vision. It's a real small thing, but bothers me. Wipers are easy as to remove on these things. Just a 13mm nut to remove and then the arm can be wiggled off the spline This is the difference between the two. Tess has the one on the left, where the blade is held on by a metal pin. The one from Effie on the right uses a standard J-Hook. Replacement blades to suit the pin style are less common, whilst J-hook ones are everywhere as its standard on a lot of modern Japanese cars. Good and bad news, the arm from Effie fit Tess But the arm from Tess didn't fit Effie. The spline size is different for some reason; Tess has a bigger spline and the arm won't engage on Effie. I had to swap them back over and live with the pin arms on Tess, but at least I did manage to align the arm height better. The LH arm can't go lower without catching the windscreen surround but that's fairly normal. With that disappointment I moved inside the car to have a play. Mrs Petrol pointed out my ugly missing label on my computer the other day and reminded me to fix it Luckily I have some spare buttons, so I harvested a label. I could swap the whole button over, but to do that you need to remove the front panel, which means risking ruining the whole thing as the front panel is the only thing holding all the buttons and springs behind them, in place. I used a razor blade to carefully pry the label off the button and stuck it back on with its existing adhesive. If it comes loose I'll look into a dab of glue to secure it Don't worry, I have started cleaning the grot too, but that's another post, when I have finished. I removed the dash mat for the first time and to my surprise, it was hiding some goodies. No idea what the rubber gasket goes to, but the screws and washers are for various dash trim bits, and the spanner is for my collection. So that's where Tess is for now. I really need to pull finger and start getting her ready for the show, but unfortunately I'm going to have to spend some time on Effie very shortly as once again, she needs some coolant work
  11. After driving my "new" Mini for a bit, i forgot what torque was. And then i drove Tess again.
  12. For the first time this year, Tess finally made an appearance out of the garage. Since replacing the rack a couple of weeks ago, and getting the wrong tie rod ends from Repco, I've been waiting patiently (hah!) for a pair of new ends to come from the motherland via Rimmers. It seems no one else in NZ has a listing, let alone the ability to supply them. When getting a Warrant of Fitness inspection on a car, if it fails you have 28 days to return for a free recheck without having to do another full inspection at your cost. Yesterday was 28 days from the initial inspection where the car failed.... So on Tuesday, with one day left, the new tie rod ends hadn't arrived yet and I was out of time. When I removed the old rack the RH tie rod end was seized into the knuckle and unfortunately the boot got torn to bits removing the joint. Finding a universal boot locally was a pain in the ass. Repco had nothing, Supercheap Auto thought I wanted a boot liner for my car, BNT said they had them on the phone but somehow magically lost all of them 20 mins later when I went in.... but a huge thanks to Autolign in Petone who not only had a decent range in stock, but actually managed to sort me out one that fit perfect. I really didn't want to reuse these joints but with no other options it's all I had. They were good enough to pass the initial warrant check, so they would still be OK to pass the recheck. I just didn't want to use old and worn parts on my lovely new rack. Anyway, I reassembled the steering, did a quick spanner check, and began to refit the wheels. One thing I wanted to do when refitting them was to replace the wheel nuts with some spares I have. The current ones are all pretty rusty, and although the replacements are old and used, they're far less rusty. Original on the left. Interestingly they are actually different, with the original ones having a shorter hex, and a bigger domed cap. They all went on, got torqued up and Tess was on the ground once again A quick test drive shows that the alignment is slightly out and the steering wheel is off to the right by a couple of degrees. Everything else is working properly, as it should, but the steering rack doesn't feel as smooth as the old 30+ year old one. Hopefully it'll wear in and get better. Yesterday I drove Tess in and went for the recheck. A few minutes later, after checking the rack had been replaced, this ugly thing was stuck to my windscreen So that's a great success, the first warrant since 2013. Getting Rego (road tax) was a bit more of a pain. I swung home after getting the WOF, and swapped my plates over to the personalised plates I will be running and went to VTNZ for the rego Unfortunately there was a nationwide system outage for the rego label printers, meaning no one could sell me rego, take the cars rego off hold, or swap the plates over. Eventually I managed to get the post shop to sell me rego without printing the label. This meant I could use the car last night, and the worst I could be ticketed for would be "Failure to display licence label in the correct manner". Better than driving an unregistered car, but this did mean I had to swap back to the original plates again. I'll change to MEH another day. One of the other things I needed to do yesterday was to change my oil again. Back when I did the shifter bushes I also changed the 4+ year old oil with some nice, expensive VR1 10W40 as used in Effie. Unfortunately Tess didn't take too kindly to this thin oil, and started smoking heavily when getting up the revs. She blew a little smoke before the change, but this was like a Bond smoke screen. The oil that the previous owner had been using was a 20W50, so I thought something along those lines would be a good start. I ended up picking up some Penrite HPR30 20W60 with "full" Zinc. I drained out the 5L of expensive 50KM old engine flush oil, and filled up with the Penrite. I didn't change the filter, there was no point as it was barely used. The oil came out a little darker, but still golden. With the HPR30 in her, the smoke has lessened a lot, and the oil pressure is still very good. It's thicker than I usually prefer, but every engine is different and this is what Tess likes. It's also cheaper than VR1 which is good (not to mention coming in 5L and 1L bottles, which is great when a drain and fill takes 5.5L. Two bottles of 5L VR1 isn't cheap) Driving her last night was great. Sure, it was pissing down, but gosh it drives god. The Falken ZE912 tires seem to be working well in the wet and dry. Compared to the Supercats on Effie, it's like comparing apples and chewing gum. I can still over power the Falkens, especially when it comes on cam in second gear, but otherwise it was nice and grippy. The new shifter bushes make a huge change in shifter feel, with far less movement, and much more accuracy. The gearbox is still very noisy, and has a great trick of sometimes popping out of 3rd when you let the clutch out (uncommon though). I will try Ramon's recommendation of flushing with white spirit, and then using an engine oil with Molyslip and see what happens. Worst case, I have that spare box in the garage. So that's where we are now. The car is fully road legal and usable. I need to swap the tie rod ends and get an alignment, and the damn boot still leaks like a sieve. One step at a time, but now I get to put some Miles on her.
  13. 666DAN's HZ Holden Wagon banter

    lol great minds and all that
  14. 666DAN's HZ Holden Wagon banter

    Not my thing at all. Have you considered removing the rest of the paint/bog and rusting the whole tailgate panel, if you're going to keep it that way? Would look better than the patchy half done look atm. Its a mean wagon though
  15. It isn't a fun job, but it's one I needed to do. To get Tess on the road I needed to replace the steering rack. But first, let me wish everyone a Happy New Year! Tess (yes, the cars now have names. Tess the Vitesse and EFI, pronounced "Effie", the EFI) failed her WOF on a leaking power steering rack, and boy was it leaking badly. I suspect it was the original rack, and may have just failed either due to time, or from sitting for years. Either way, it needed to be fixed. My first thought was to get the rack reconditioned, as surely this would be more cost-effective and quicker than ordering a replacement rack... but how wrong I was. No one was too interested in actually doing the work, with the only workshop in Wellington able to do the work quoting about $600 to do it plus labour to remove/fit if needed, and the only other place I was recommended was in Auckland, which was "about $800", excluding me having to remove the rack and send it to them. Not only that, everyone was busy and being only days away from the big Christmas shutdown, there was no hope in me having it back before mid Jan or so. Eek. The next option was to source a used rack and fit that, but in the end I ruled this option out as it was probably just going to be money down the drain when that one eventually succumbed to its 30+ years of age and also starting leaking. The only option left to me then was to order one from the UK. The pricing wasn't great, but considering its a brand new unused rack (albeit made in 1986) that has been reconditioned with new seals, it's not a bad deal. Even better was the next day when I went to place the order, the rack was suddenly on sale at only 200 Pounds! Win! After much calculating we worked out that it was cheaper to buy the rack with a set of replacement standard Vitesse height shocks and springs than it was to buy the shocks at a later date... oh what a shame, so they got tacked onto the order. $400 of just shipping costs later, and the parts were on their way. I had a good laugh when the Fedex site said ETA for delivery was the 27th Dec.... 5 days after it was ordered, but I'll be damned if I didn't get a call from Fedex the morning of the 27th to say it had cleared customs and I needed to pay the Government to clip the ticket, and then it would be out for delivery. And there it was, later that day, 5 days after the order was placed in the UK, and two days after Christmas. One box full of springs, and the other with a steering rack, four shocks and some door window seals. Amazing. HUGE thanks to Rimmer Bros and Fedex for the great service. Yes, a BRAND NEW "Cam Gears" rack. Not used, and not an old used rack that has been reconditioned. Bling Bling. Like usual getting the car in the air is the standard low-car faff, but once up I whipped off the wheels and began poking around. Interestingly someone at some point has swapped the standard two hose 4 pot Vitesse calipers for single hose 4 pot calipers. The disks are standard Vitesse vented disks, so not performance loss, but an interesting change. Filthy as hell and covered in multiple layers of paint. They need a clean and probably a repaint. Be a good candidate for an XJS big brake upgrade. Braided Goodridge hoses to the calipers. Yes, the standard strut legs have been painted yellow also >_< That's enough poking around, let's get to the real work. Removing the rack. I got really stuck for ages trying to get the tie rod end to come free from the knuckle on the RH side. The typical way to remove these (and all taper fit ball joints) is to give the side of the item the ball joint goes through a few hard smacks with a hammer. This will usually shock the taper free and it will pop out. This happened on the LH side after a few whacks, but the right side just didn't want to pop. This is the offending article I suspect it was original, and was rusted in the knuckle. In the end I used a couple of Pickle Fork style ball joint separators to pop it. It didn't go without a fight though, and unfortunately it made a mess of the boot in the process. A win is a win though, this meant I could move on. The next step was to disconnect the oil hoses. I believe the correct thing to do is to remove the hoses from the rack, but I just couldn't get a spanner in there to undo them on the car, so I chose to disconnect them from the pump. This also allowed easier draining and cleanup of the fluid. One pipe in the back of the pump is a 5/8" hex and the other is just a standard hose clamp There aren't many photos of the next part of the process because it's a hell of a messy job. Even with barrier cream all up my arms it took ages to clean the grease and oil off me. The rack is held to the crossmember with four large 17mm bolts, the nuts of which are visible in the above photos on either side of the jacking bump on the crossmember. A spanner held on the bolt on top of the rack, and a rattlegun on the nut under the car and they were undone quickly. The one bolt at the back on the RH side cannot be removed with the pipes in place on the rack. I just pushed this up as far as it would go, using the pipes and hoses to hold it in place. Next is to disconnect the steering coupling from the spline on the rack. This was bit of a pain as mine had been there for many years, but a good soaking in WD40 helped. Completely remove the 1/2" nut and bolt (has to be completely removed as the bolt locks the spline in place) and then use a thick chisel driven into the split to open up the coupling and release the spline. There wasn't enough room to move the steering shaft to free it from the rack, so I had to push the rack forward to free it up. This is a great time to also check the rubber disk on the coupling for any splits or damage and replace if needed. Before the rack can be removed the engine needs to be lifted a few inches. I ummed and ahhed over this for ages, until I just bit the bullet and did what Haynes recommends. Use a jack, and a block of wood under the sump. Because I only needed clearance on the RH/Drivers side of the car, I removed both bolts on the RH side and removed only one bolt and loosened the other bolt on the LH side. This allowed the engine to sort of pivot on that bolt when it lifted, so when it was lowered again everything was easy to align back into place. Keep in mind that I don't run the standard radiator fan and shroud, so I didn't have to worry about moving or removing these before lifting, but may cause issues on standard cars. The engine is held with two 17mm bolts/nuts on each side To gain enough space to remove the rack I also had to remove that yellow brace you can see over the rack boot. This is bolted through the RH mountings for the sway bar The engine does have to come up quite high With the engine up, and the rack unbolted all that is needed to do is to wiggle and jiggle the rack out. The rack MUST be removed from the RH/Drivers side of the car, and to get it out meant that I had to rotate the rack upside down, so that the pinion pointed downwards. It also helped if I raised the LH side of the rack. Eventually it will come out and you will wonder what all that fuss was about. The original "Cam Gears" brand rack as used on the later SD1s. Apparently the best for road feel of the three brands used at various times (but all interchangeable) The hoses came through with the rack with no issues, so I see no advantage to removing them on the car other than gaining a little more space from being able to remove that one mounting bolt. The hoses are held onto the rack with two different sizes. One was a 17mm and the other was smaller, and I used a 9/16" spanner for it. They were easy to break free off the car, but the smaller pipe took some careful coaxing to spin in the nut. These hoses need to be transferred to the new rack, and MUST be kept clean from any dirt entering them. I ziptied a glove over the end to keep them clean upon refitting. Take note of how the pipes are run on the rack too as they need to be oriented correctly. Before refitting the new rack you need to center it. There is a port on the rack for checking the centering, and apparently locking it, although I didn't need to lock mine. its a 1/4" hex to remove this plastic plug It's hard to photograph, but there is a dimple in the rack that can be seen through this hole when the rack is centered. When it's not centered there is just solid, shiny metal that can be seen Not centered Almost centered (rack needs to go slightly to the right) Centered Apparently you can insert a bolt into here to lock it in place, but I didn't find this was needed, and I just used a mirror to check it was still centered when it was on the car before fitting the steering coupling, and again when the coupling was in place. Pipes were refitted and had a very quick clean. I ensured that the pipes and hoses weren't hard up against each other or the rack. Refitting is just the reverse of removal. Wiggle and jiggle the rack into place, being careful to route the hoses over the crossmember and under the sump, and to not damage any of the boots and threads. The rack comes with good protective covers on all the threads and splines which helps. Remember, like removal, turning the rack upside down helps to refit (but isn't good for taking photos). It'll eventually just fall into place, and then it's time to install that damn steering coupling again I had my lovely wife help this by holding the steering wheel straight whilst I wiggled it all into place. I needed to use a chisel again to open the coupling so the spline would slide in nicely. I also applied some copper grease to the spline, so that it wouldn't rust together again, and that helped to slide it together. Once that's in, drop the rack bolts through the crossmember. There is one bolt on mine that is longer than the others. This goes in the front RH side hole. It's obvious if you have put this in a different hole as it's a fair bit longer. Then start bolting it all back together. Check the hoses are in the right place, and then the engine can be lowered down again and bolted in place. This is good for space under the car, and not having to worry there is an engine above your head holding on by a jack and one bolt. Once everything was bolted back into place, I refit the hoses to the pump with a new hose clamp. This is where I would usually be fitting the tie rod ends but unfortunately that turned to rubbish. One of mine had a damaged boot from removal, and both were looking aged and generally a bit blegh. I didn't just spend hundreds on a new rack to fit old worn out parts back onto it, so I went to Repco and picked up the last two that they had in stock for an SD1. They are TRW JTE224. The TRW website lists them as the correct part for all SD1s including the Vitesse and the photo looks OK As does the technical info and measurements of them Unfortunately what was in both of the boxes isn't quite right. It doesn't look like the photo, or the old part, and more importantly the threads don't match up. The old one has a 12mm thread, the new one 10mm. Either this is a mistake and a bad batch, or the TRW part is wrong. I'm going to check tomorrow if any other stores have them in stock and if they can source me a pair to match up. If they can't, I will have to resort to ordering a new pair from Rimmers. In the meantime I have refilled the system (with the same ATF as I used in the EFI), loosened off the PS pump so it can be spun by hand and hand filled the rack. Once the level was stable, I tightened the belt and secured the pump and fired up the engine. I ran the rack lock to lock to bleed the air out, and refilled the pump until the level stopped dropping and then that was done. Now I'm at a halt until I can get a pair of tie rod ends. Once I have those, I can fit them, put the wheels back on and take it for an alignment. Then its WOF time!