Sunday, 23 April 2017

Stoneleigh Kit Car Show plans

The Kit car show of the year is fast approaching, running Sunday 30th April through Monday 1st May. Seems to have arrived so quickly this year.

I'm planning to take the Zero up on Sunday 30th at some point - usually get there mid morning, park up on the RhoCar stand and stay for lunch and a few hours mooching about before heading home. 

Shopping list:
    T moulding - need a longer bit under the windscreen
    P moulding - might replace the bonnet chrome trim
    Wide rear view mirror for the top of the screen
    .... ? - who knows - ?

An excuse for a run out as well as the show itself.

Replace number plate lights

My original 5 LED unit only had one left working, so replacing it.

Bolt LEDs units for under £5 from China, I made some simple brackets from PETG offcuts left over from the Wind Deflectors, these will stick behind the plate rather than bolt through it to avoid any issues of making the plate less readable.

They wire into the original number plate lamp on the rear panel, which is still in place.
I still may re-visit the wiring route...

I should be all set for MOT now, perhaps after Stoneleigh.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Gear selector saddle upgrade

5 minute upgrade - the gear lever saddle clip which isolates/cushions the lever from the gearbox linkage.

I was watching discussions on Rhocar replacing these clips with brass parts to tighten the gear selection. Any wear on the plastic saddle I also understand can affect ability to engage some gears - so seemed like a nice straightforward upgrade.

I really dont want to feel pure metal on metal 'zing' feedback from the gears through the gear lever. Opted for middle ground, a heavy duty glass re-enforced nylon version (red) sourced from MKF Engineering to replace the original (black) one.

Straightforward pull out and push the new one in - making sure to maintain correct orientation. There is no particularly obvious wear on the original, time will tell if this new one makes a noticable difference.

Re-install seats

New plate washers and bolts arrived so quick job to bolt everything back in.

Slightly new arrangement which saves me 5mm seat height! (12.5mm down to 7mm) this is secondary to spreading the seat load on the floorpan a little more.

Inside: A half height nut, who's job is only to stop the bolt falling out when putting the seats back in, and a 3mm thick 50mmx50mm plate washer.
Outside: No change - penny washer and new full size nyloc. 

This still gives just enough clearance to lift the seat position adjuster bar.

Changed to hex heat bolts rather than cap head, the hex locks into the rail and along with the half height nut on the other side its never going to turn.

Plate washers showing the size in context.

...and all shiny and new on the underside until the next run out which will hone the bolt length.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Replace front indicators

This one was on the cards for a while, a breakage on the Ireland trip just forced the issue. No idea where the lens went, didn't even notice it was gone until one of the campsite owners told me.

So looked for some options, this one only £3 from china - nice shape - but a little too extreme on size - perhaps more suited to being a repeater.

After browsing Ebay for 'motorcycle fairing indicator' settled on this. It would be no good for IVA - no 45ยบ visibility from the front, but MOT just checks number and functionality on indicator lights so I should be fine.

The car is on stands so no way to stand back and double check I got them exactly level - all functional though, nice new clean look.

Couple of longer shots in the drive - looks fine to me, they are even reasonably level!

Replace steering column bush

I had a little, 2mm, play in the steering wheel, traced to the nylon lower bush.
Didn't feel right, apart from being an MOT issue, so swapped out the whole thing.

The parts are cheap, new on the left, old worn one on the right.

The bush had ridden back up the column. I'd seen plenty of pictures before the build of jubilee clips to back up the standard sliding clip, ignored them and now learned the hard way - its worth adding!

Interesting job replacing the bush and its mounting with the car built - last time I did this there was nothing in the engine bay and the scuttle was not installed. New installation shows the inner bush pushed fully through.

And the steering column moutnings - replaced with new nyloc nuts towards the driver this time - much easier to install & remove when the scuttle is on due to limited room behind to weald a spanner.

I did contemplate upgrading the bushing to a full metal bearing, decided not to because:
1. This arrangement has been fine for 4 years and 18.4k miles
2. Its a relatively straightforward like for like parts swap
3. I need to focus on the MOT and not make maintenance jobs larger than they need to be

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Remove seat bolts

I already knew, checked, the lowest point on the car which scrapes cambers or speed bumps are the seat bolts. i.e. no real harm done, they can be sacrificial and replaced as and when.

These were getting up to the line though - worst on the drivers side where the inside rear bolt was down to two threads and 4mm of its former 11mm self. Lasted 18.4k miles though so no complaints.

I'll replace the lot, probably use slightly larger washers on the inside too - some 50mm plate washers to help spread the seat load.

Interesting dent/notch in the leading edge of the passenger side footwell - that must have been a rock/other immovable object. Thank you for steel floors GBS!

I gave it another coat of under-seal while I was there.

 No issues inside - just a collection of road detritus.

Update - seats re-installed

Monday, 10 April 2017

Wet feet, Pedal box mod

Whenever it rains I get a leak over my right foot.

I've never definitively worked out the water route, I don't think it is puddling or coming in via the scuttle since I had rubber moulding in both locations, it also leaks when the car is just standing in the rain or being washed.

Strongly suspect the hole in the pedal box lid combined with my rear edge bonnet vents is the culprit.

So, while checking and re-adjusting the clutch cable, designed and made a simple waterproof flap which should stop any direct downward ingress while still providing access. The front edge is weighted to stop it lifting.

Afterthought - the cover may benefit from a couple of simple pleats in the front corners so it moulds more closely to the shape of the break fluid reservoir beneath. Need some rain to test it.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

16v Zetec plastic badges

While I was away some ordered badges arrived, these ones are embossed plastic by a firm called Signomatic based on my original cam cover images. Similar tech to that used on shopstaff name badges and various colour combinations available.

Relatively expensive in small runs but the quality is above anything I can produce on the 3d printer, not sure yet if/when they will be applied to the car.

They also produce aluminium nameplates but too expensive for me.
The ideal would be some enamel on metal.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Ireland - Teaser

The road trip was from 24th March returning 7th April, with a week's break in the middle. I'm intending to write entries for those dates as time permits - 

They will appear before this one due to the way the blog is date ordered.


Returned safely around teatime on the 7th April - 18.5k on the clock now so I must have driven getting on for 1,900 miles on this one.

One day across Wales, 5 days Ireland west coast, a break in the middle for a family holiday then two days back across to Dublin and through Snowdonia - mostly in the Sun - was awesome driving!

The route detailed on this previous post.


Running repairs,

Duncannon sunset,

Mizzen Head,

Healy Pass - snaking roads and the view for miles,

Slea Head,

so-called Craggy Island via some inland Burren driving,

 Doolough Valley - the most incredible driving,

Old Head,




Slightly cooked from sitting in motorway traffic, car with its new Wesport GAA colours chequered finish flag.


Uploading videos here, not much editing - just as it happened hi-lights.

More to follow!