Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Stereo

Hi All, While waiting for my new brake cylinder I also ordered some other goodies, including a new stereo. Due to the vagaries of USPS and EmPost the brake cylinder still wasn't here so we're off the road still. So in order to cheer myself up I thought I'd fit the stereo. There was an original British Leyland twin knob one fitted but somebody had snapped the aerial and it was AM only so it's pointless. (Sorry about the focus, this is a crop from another photo. MUST remember to take photos before I start next project !) Once out it's no great surprise it didn’t work well. This is the new unit, specially designed for old cars. It’s a RetroSound Classic model. As it's designed for old cars the centre body is small, so no CD, however there is jack on front for iPod and also a media card reader. You can adjust and position the control knobs where ever you like, so a bit of assembly needed to get this far. Cropped off the DIN harness connections and soldered on a Lucas style bullet and then as I'll not be running permanent power (Battery Isolator fitted) I twined both powers together. Then a nice big eye for earth, a proper crimping tool was a recent purchase and works nicely. The antenna runs inside the wing, partly through a cut out from inside the bonnet and partly inside void accessed via a removable mud panel in the wheel well. The old speaker was a single coil 4 ohm speaker mounted directly to the trim in the passenger foot well. I've gone for the same location but I am using a dual coil 4+4 ohm speaker so will be louder. I've also done the job properly and mounted it with proper brackets so it's not just dangling on plastic trim. This is the new unit in the hole in the steel support structure behind the dash, all wired and connected. However the unit relies on the being bolted from the front to the dashboard. There is a replacement facia that comes supplied and took me a long time to figure out that I would have to glue this to the dash. Sadly the instruction manual just refers to "multiple options for custom mounting" and no clear instructions. In case you've goggled and ended up here, this is how I did it. Now on all in, tested and working, just to put it all back together ! Foot well lining with speaker, the grill is original. Media card reader, USB and jack input sockets all nicely mounted out of the way in the glove box. And all finished. Doesn’t look that different really, but guess that's the point. But it does work and sounds great, not sure for 120 kph but certainly enough for cruising around town. Any comments, questions or other abuse please leave a comment. Cheers, Richard B. Next . . . . . Hopefully the master cylinder to get back on the road.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Power Probe III - aka Light Sabre

It has been often said that Lucas is the "Prince of Darkness" and in the battle agains the "Dark Side" I have got a new Light Sabre. A few weeks ago I spent a very fruitless evening with my head under the dash and in the boot trying to trace a faulty rear indicator. Multi meter, scotch pad, electra clean all in hand and let battle commence, of to trace the green and red wire ! Bulb looks okay. Wiggle wiggle, maybe a bad ground, typical with old british electrics, a bit of a clean up and ground "okay". In with the Multi-Meter I've got 12V to the bulb, what's going on. Lots more checking, swapping bulbs etc, still got 12V but no light ! After a lot more checking, wiggling, including removing the bodged remains of an old alarm I give up for the evening and resort to the font of all knowledge . . . . . . . the WWW. Yes I know your all screaming the answer at me . . . . . . AMPS, I need Voltage and Current. I should have used a test lamp to trace as it creates a load. Well I did but I have a cr4ppy one from Speedex and is less reliable than Lucas electrics so binned it and it was off to Amazon. Hence this is my latest toy... PowerProbe III It is a specifically designed meter for automotive electics (6-24v only). Connect it directly to the battery to ensure good power and ground. Testing, check to positive, 12.3V Positive Testing, check to negative, 0V Negative The best bit is that at a flick of the switch you can then supply a good power (or ground) to test the circuits. You can also directly ground and load a positive supply and this will casue the inbuilt break to trip after a second if a good supply. For the audio boys if you touch a speaker cable it will play the music over the inbuilt speaker and also hear ponints in a distributor. There is also automatic max and min voltages for tracing intermitent and starting issues.
Supplying Power Supplying a ground And the offending article tonight was . . . . . . a broken 4 way female bullet connector. So far I'm very impressed and hopefully this will give me good service fighting the good fight.
Only down side, not availible here ! WWW and then Aramex Shop & Ship. Here is the manufacturers site. Cheers, Richard B.
Next . . . . refitting the master cylinder, when it arrived.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pedal Power

Hi All, Okay, change a master cylinder, Two bolts and a clevis pin to the pedal, sounds as if it should be simple. . . . WRONG the instruction manual says "Remove pedal box complete". No way I thought, but after a couple hours of removing the skin off my knuckles I gave up hit the WWW and went back the next night and in an hour pedal box out. Only drawback is that I'll now need to rebleed the clutch, but given all the cursing at first attempt it’s worth it. Once I got the pedal box out turns out that this was an old problem for the Prior Owner and the firewall and pedal box were all worse for wear from long time leaks. However on plus side looks like the clutch cylinder is new, even had a cable tie label still on. I've been flimflam'ing on how to fix, either complete cylinder or just rebuild kit. Original thoughts were change complete but MOSS were out of stock, so then thought rebuild, but then changed again when I saw the state of neglect inside of the pedal box. So thanks to Basil Adams a new TRW/Lucas cylinder is on the way over from the states. (Basil also passed on top tip about year of build. She has an 18V series engine which was only fitted from 72, so she is probably a 72 series but built in 71 knowing sale would only be in 72. MUST watch out for that when ordering parts.) Here they all are tucked away in the corner. Quick look under and this isn't a new problem ! Clutch master cylinder, looks new. The ofending article, brake master cylinder. And this is where it all sat, nice isn't it, NOT ! Pedals Cleaned and prepped. Main pedal hanger, also cleaned. No paint stripped was used, just shows how much / long the leak has been ! All Primed and ready for top coat. Reseviour cleaned and ready for re-use. New cylinder but will try and re-use this. Pedal box top coated. All finished, now wait for the postman with presents from America and then boxing it all back up ! After that more begging to get the wife to help me bleed it all, AGAIN. Cheers, Richard B.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jack - New Toy

Hi All,
During all the brake work I was a good boy and she was up on stands, however they are big 6 ton ones which showed my existing jack to be not up to the job.
To weak, lowering was at one speed "terminal velocity", low lift hight, but still to high to go under front cross member, etc.. Basically I need a new jack, well that's my excuse.
Sadly there isn't a great range of suppliers out here so choices are limited, or often non exisitent.
Somebody gave me a tip about dragon mart, home of all chinese tat, however, there is some good stuff if you look.
Hopefully my new jack will stand the test of time and prove itself, so far looks very good.
Low profile, 2 TON aluminium racing jack.
Jack dismantled, two piece handle. All assembled and ready to go. Minimum height. Shaft connection and lowing UJ from the handle, nicely made. Lowered under the front cross member, lots of room. At full height, maybe enough to change a tire on a 4x4 but not a lifted one. 650AED, JZX trading, Dragonmart. Cheers, Richard B.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not so Masterfull Cylinder

Ah well I predicted Electrics next but she had other ideas.
After all my recent brake work and having thought I'd traced the problem to a leaking brake piston.
I was wrong !
A gentle trip to the shops ended up with my shoes covered in brake fluid ! Damn that will be the master cylinder then.
MOSS . . . . . . . . . parts ASAP ! Not going to re-build, far to many little bits to get in the wrong order or place or so it's going to be a new one. (MOSS don't even recommend rebuild kits.)
Richard B.
Stand by for next installation . . . . . . . . changing the master cylinder.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Disc Brakes - Now we're stopping !

Continuing on with the brakes, onto the front, twin pot disc brakes. Much more familiar overhaul, this is how the looked, again not bad condition.
Seals wern't in bad condition and think there may have been a slight leak so problem traced.
Plan :-
Caliper off, pistions out, new seals, new dust seals with retianers, new bleeders, coat of paint, change disk and re-assemble.
Simple ! . . . . . . . . Or is it to change the disc you have to take the wheel bearing and the hub off the stub axel.
Having the right tool for the job makes it a lot easier. In this case a special clamp to hold the piston in place to allow you to press the other one out. Also thanks to a handy attachment it can also be used to press in the dust seal. Finished !
New drilled and groove discs to help with the heat and glazing. New ceramic EDC GreenStuff fast pads. New Braided hoses. Very sexy, even if I do say so myself.
Hopefully these will help stop quicker and also slow the heat build up from the million speed bumps at the Ranches.
Richard B.
Next . . . . . . Not sure but I see electrics in my future, not my favourite fix but a ongoing issue with any old British car.

Drums - Anybody remeber them !

As I mentioned in earlier post, Safety First so after fixing seat belts it was on to the brakes. I'd recently had a soft pedal, followed by a really soft pedal and no brakes. A top up of fluid solved it short term but now it was time to rebuild the brakes. Judging by some of the stuff I've found so far, I wasn't sure what I'd find but to my surprise they were in okay condition. But I had to trace the lost fluid and I'd ordered new pads and seals all round. As i opened them up, tad rusty but okay. Internals in good condition, pleanty of meat left. However not sure where the shoes came from as they look like they are rebonded local made jobs. Deglazing the inside of the drum, both it and the shoes were badly polished. Coat of heat resistant paint to make it look nice. Overhauled the cylinders and pistons, all new seals and bleeders. All rebuilt with new shoes, pistons / cylinders done and adjuster stripped, cleaned and rebuilt. The finished article.
Should keep me stopping safely for a while.
Richard B.
Next ...... Front brakes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First Job !

Hi All, Safety First, well that's what we always say at work and its right. Orignal she came with three point diagonal seat belts but non intertia (reel) types. These were replaced by a prior owner to inertia types but they didn't work and even on a good day fouled the hood. So first order to MOSS Europe included these, three point racing harnesses :- Sides fitted to the original mounting points. Rear drilled through the read bulkhead and supplied strengthing plates fitted. (A trunk respray with a rattle can is planned when these will be painted.) After having grown up with interia reel seatbelts harnesses feel very restrictive but also very secure and most important they LOOK COOL ! Now fingers crossed they never get needed for real. Cheers, Richard B. ..... Next on the list is Brakes and a Fire Extingusher.