Wednesday, 2 July 2014

MOT (Inspection) Time

Had quite a bit of fun in the car since I last posted.  I did fit a new Master Cylinder and Servo (Booster) last December.

To say the difference was striking would be a massive understatement.  Once properly operating with the proper parts, the brakes were really good and highly reassuring.

A previous owner had not only fitted a totally incorrect servo/booster, but had fitted the wrong master cylinder pushrod - in fact it was two pushrods, one connected to the brake pedal mechanism, and the other just rattling around loose in the end of the master cylinder - not deadly, but very odd and certainly not correct.

Unfortunately, my joy at having proper brakes was short lived.  In spite of assurances to the contrary, the master cylinder that came with the servo was for drum/drum cars, not disc/drum as mine has,  Apart from the size of the reservoirs, the difference is that the disc master cylinder has a valve to hold the discs off slightly so they don't grab at low speeds.

Mine did grab at low speeds (because the valve wasn't there), so coming to a stop gently and smoothly was almost impossible, despite the fact that stopping from speed was now so much better.

In addition, the "Brakes" Warning light was showing on the dash, so it was apparent attention was needed.

Short version - I plan a full rebuild of the rear brakes, upgrading to later type brakes.  In the meantime, I have fitted several new brake pipes, rebuilt the differential pressure valve and fitted (another) new master cylinder.

The car passed its MOT today so it was all worth it - legal for another year.

Current Mileage 43131

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

No News is good news

With Summer now drawing to a close, I was reflecting that this has (at least partly due to the good summer) been the summer in which if  I've probably made most use of the car.

Other factors have coincided of course, and that's meant I've had a good year with the car.

Mileage has climbed to 42916.

On my to-do list -

Sort the parking brake (can't call it a handbrake as it's foot operated).
Weld up some subframes and install the BMW E46 Seats I bought for 99p off eBay
Put the proper brake servo (power booster if you're American) from the 67 onto the 68.
Fit the hazard (4-way) flashers I bought a while ago
Fit a rev-counter I've ordered from eBay
Repair the instrument cluster multiplug pins I damaged from my ham-fistedness.

Saturday, 3 August 2013


At the MOT this year I got an advisory on exhaust blowing.  I thought it was the left hand exhaust manifold. Posting a question on the AMC forum about it elicited some interesting responses - I'd been surprised to find my car wasn't fitted with exhaust manifold gaskets but apparently this is normal.

Anyway, I ordered some gaskets (since they do seem to exist), but failed at my first attempt to fit them.  I also after some time figured out that whilst there might be a leak at the manifold, most leakage was coming from the joint with the downpipe.

Long story short - now all fitted (inc gasket) and lots quieter.

Miles 42776 after a quick trip out today.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Window Switches

The electric window switches on the 68 (driver's side) were replaced at some point in the past with a set from a 60s/70s/80s Japanese car.  Not bad, but they were tired and a bit odd looking - one had packed in, and the wiring was all those "chocolate block" terminals, OK but not ideal.

Some years ago I bid on a set of switches (there are four plus the lock - that stops the rear window switches working) from the USA, but sadly they proved to be the only thing I've ever had go missing from eBay.

Determining it was time for action, I bought a set of four switches and made my own panel.  It is smarter, if not perfect and they all work now.

Have taken the car for a couple of drives lately in the good weather and I hear there's more to come.  I also replaced the rubber pipe to the PCV valve with a silicone one - in black - no garish colours for me.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Spring Has Sprung At Last

The Week before last I took the 68 over to my sisters.  My nieces asked for a trip out in the car - I was more than happy to oblige.

When I got home, there was a fair amount of oil leaking from the rear crank seal again, but otherwise the car behaved OK.  Mileage 42548.

So this long weekend I determined to do battle with the '68 on a number of fronts.  Of course nothing I planned worked out how I thought.

What I have managed to do (and it was a lot more difficult than I expected) is to replace the front seats from the '68 with those from the '67.  The original '68 ones are full width items whereas the '67 has "bucket" seats and a centre console with the gear lever in it.

The reason for changing is simply that the driver's seat on the '68 is getting really threadbare and the switch over is cheaper than having it reupholstered.  In fact, finding £2.34 under the seats meant I was slightly up on the day, although I'm sure I spent more than that on spray grease and freeze and release.

Whilst I was at it I decided to check the screenwash and the parking brake for the forthcoming MOT.  The brake I've done by adjusting it - further than I should really have done perhaps, but at least I stand a chance of it passing this year.

The screenwash worked but then gave up almost immediately.  The reservoir turned out to have a huge blob of something very organic looking in it.  No idea what it was but it looked unpleasant.

Monday, 18 February 2013

First trip of 2013

Sunday I had a few hours to myself so I took the '68 out for a blast.  It behaved fine - even though it rattles and shakes due to the mishapen tyres.  Kickdown is a riot of sound and vibration, and it shifts a bit, too.

I really ought to try and check the seatbelts against the fixed ones in the '67 at some point.

Mileage might be 42529 but this is subject to correction as I didn't write it down.

Looking back over the blog I thought I should add that I did fit a new water pump and I did rebuild the rear brakes with parts from the '67 last year.

Monday, 20 August 2012

and another step back

As predicted (see last post) I did live to regret trying to recycle the water pump from the '67.  Although it seemed fine, once fitted it clanks whirs and moans at least as badly as the one I removed - it's also nearly as wobbly.

The good news is that (touch wood) I seem to have made a successful transplant of the old Motorola Alternator and control unit (also removed from the '67).  This makes the car a bit more authentic (not that I care about that) but also has got a straight running alternator at no cost.  I expect I will regret this too, but not yet.  I need to source a short alternator really, as the Lucas ACR units are just too long - aside from the bracketry issues.  I have scored a working alternator warning light too, having "modified" the wiring back to its original state.

I did what I should have done in the first place and got in touch with US Automotive.  The pump's neither cheap nor a stock item, but at least I should have a new one in round about 2 weeks.