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Old Jan 25 2019, 06:10 PM   #4761
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As hoped, I managed to get a couple of hours this afternoon to attack the to do list.

Getting the rear brakes actually connected up was of course the first order of business given how close to done that job was before.



Just need to fit a couple of clips to keep the pipes from rubbing against things.

Oh - and get the flexis changed. Though the rubber is actually in pretty good shape, I've tortured them pretty well and there's no real perishing to speak of and they've stood up quite happily to me literally hanging my entire weight on the handlebars without any bulging or anything. They'll still be changed as a matter of course - but I'm happy enough for that to be after the first test runs. The front one has been replaced already with a NOS part I got with KP.

At this point I figured I'd save myself some time by grabbing an Easibleed. I want to change the fluid in the van soon and that's going to be quite tedious the old fashioned way and they're hardly expensive.

...However they do not come with an adaptor in the box to fit the old Girling master cylinder. The largest one in the box is a good 1/2" too small. D'oh!

Fine, back to doing things the old fashioned way. The piping runs being pretty short at least mean that it doesn't take long to bleed the fluid through. Even if the offside one had to be done from the union onto the wheel cylinder as the bleed nipple on that side still isn't interested in moving.

All done and I have what feels like a reasonable "pedal" - there's still more free play than I'd like, though as I've mentioned already the handbrake mech needs freeing up - and I've not adjusted anything. Not faffing around trying to do that inside the garage where I've no room to move.

Time for some moving tests though...so let's clear the car of the accumulated junk (again), button the rear access panel back up and shift the van so I've got a bit of room to play with.

Took a surprising amount of time to empty this tiny space again...



I managed to ascertain that I do have brakes. Didn't have time to really ascertain much beyond that as the smell of petrol started to become obviously not just that from the open can out the back, but was Far More than I should be smelling...Immedialy obvious when I stopped the engine was the "Tssssshhh...Tsssssh..." of something dripping and evapourating from something hot.



That would be petrol dripping out of the fuel pump, onto the tinware and then straght onto the offside exhaust branch. Rather unnerving!

That hose was weeping about a week ago and I trimmed the last inch or so off the end of it - today though it's escaping from around the access cover on the top of the pump itself. Grrrr...Easy enough to sort at least, and I spotted it *before* the car had a chance to set fire to itself!

Will get that sorted out (I wanted to give the screen in the pump another clean anyway so not all bad) tomorrow and then give the brakes a bit more exercise on the driveway. Next up will probably be either swapping out the indicator switch to one that works more reliably or fashioning a heat shield of some sort to cover the exhaust until I can summon the willpower to fully rebuild the rear apron.

She's pretty much unburied though which is pretty rare these days!



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Old Jan 25 2019, 11:07 PM   #4762
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It's cute
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Old Jan 25 2019, 11:35 PM   #4763
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One thing I see that could be a potential problem. Brake lines are usually seamless steel with a double flair, not copper. Parts stores here usually have a rack of lines in an assortment of lengths with the ends on them because the flair is hard for the average mechanic to do with hand tools on steel line, not to mention that it's supposed to be a double flair. Copper is used for fuel lines because it will never see anywhere near the pressure of a brake line. The flexible line going from frame to rear axle is specially reinforced rubber to handle said pressure. Any vehicle inspector worth his salt would fail the inspection on that point alone, here in the U.S. of A.

Not to mention the possibility of a catastrophic loss of pressure in a panic braking situation.
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Old Jan 27 2019, 07:03 PM   #4764
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The copper tubing that has been used here to replace the original lines is specifically brake pipe rather than just some random pipe from the DIY store, and is a lot thicker walled than the sort of thing you'd use for other stuff (22 gauge wall thickness if I remember rightly), and has all the prerequisite approval markings. Not sure if that's a UK/US difference, but it's pretty normal here to see copper lines, (think it's actually a copper/nickel alloy) especially where preformed steel lines aren't available. The flare types used were copied from the original lines that came off - two of which were actually copper, having been replaced at some point in the history of the vehicle. The rubber flexible lines are going to be replaced as a matter of course due to the condition of the ferrules, luckily there is a hydraulics specialist just a couple of miles from here so that won't be too big a headache.

My basic test of brake system integrity has also been to essentially jump on the handlebars with all my body weight which should apply way more pressure than you can get from normal application of the controls. The parking brake is cable operated and has some pretty clever cantilever business going on so it should always be there as a backup. If I wind up using the car regularly I'm already planning to convert it to a dual circuit braking system, single was fine by the standards of the 1950s, but these days it's rather lacking in redundancy.

On to today's fun and games...

I had been hoping to get the brakes adjusted today, but given the very gusty wind I decided that crawling around underneath an extremely light car that was jacked up probably wasn't the smartest idea. Not as though I've not got enough of a to do list as for there to be enough to be getting on with.

Let's check to see if the recent bout of incontinence from the fuel pump has been resolved.



That would appear to be a yes. Though it does appear that there is still oil seeping from the dipstick handle...Why do I get the feeling that this is going to be one of "those" jobs which is going to keep being a pain. Might see if a new dipstick is a spare I can get with the rest of the engine bits I'm after.

There is a very brief video from when I was peering suspiciously at the fuel pump if anyone wants to see it...Just an Invacar engine burbling away at a fast idle, so nothing exactly exciting.

The angle grinder having been uneathed (yes, my garage is such a mess I managed to lose it) meant that I could finally attack that bit of trim from over the windscreen and get rid of the remains of the old adhesive. As expected, it was so old and dry that it just sanded off.



Cleaned up nicely.

Quick coat of hammered black paint had it looking rather less scruffy and had rather improved the sort of 1960s industrial aesthetic that rather matches the rest of the interior better.



Reliabily working indicators are kinda high on my wish list for the road test, so I pulled the indicator stalk off to swap it for my spare. It hadn't been too bad until I started trying to get the horn working, then it started playing up. So time to swap it.

Helpfully the plug was willing to come off so I was able to unplug it and bring the whole lot inside so I can transfer things over and tape the loom up again inside.



The new stalk is set up for being on the right (SIII Land Rover I think), but I personally prefer that so I'm happy to move it over. Should work better with the control layout in there anyway. Right hand has throttle and stalk, leaving your left hand free for the controls on the dash - no arm crossing dance required to use the windscreen wipers.

Last edited by Zelandeth; Jan 27 2019 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Correcting autocorrect and my inability to string a coherent sentence together!
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Old Jan 28 2019, 03:53 PM   #4765
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Didn't take long today to get the new stalk wired up to the existing indicator stalk wiring loom.



Not the prettiest job, but it should be electrically sound. The connections were made with crimp butt connectors which were then also soldered and heatshrink wrapped, before the loom was then re-wrapped. In hindsight I should probably have continued the wrap about an inch closer to the back of the switch itself...but I'm not worrying about that now. I did away with the grommet in the end as it was just getting in the way.



Had to rotate the throttle grip slightly to prevent the indicator stalk from fouling on the cable when signalling right, and the cowling needed the opening made a little wider to accomodate the high beam flash feature which the original stalk didn't have. There was originally only one screw holding the plastic cowl on, so I had to have a bit of a rummage around in the box of random fasteners but soon had it properly secured so it doesn't wobble around like it used to.

The only thing that I need to be careful of is that at extreme full left lock the stalk can foul the dashboard, though I doubt that will really be an issue in the real world.

All the lights are now behaving properly again, however still no signs of life from the horn. Given that the front service cover was I believe open for a number of years, it's unsurprisingly looking a bit worse for wear.



Connecting it directly to 12V resulted in nothing happening. Checking with a meter revealed that this does indeed seem somewhat poorly.



Not going to waste time trying to resurrect that or find as close a match as possible. My plan has been since day one to fit something which is rather louder than standard, so an air horn will be getting installed tomorrow. My logic is that a tiny car needs a Very Loud horn, especially living in a city of blind Audi driving maniacs and never ending roundabouts.

Here's how the trim panel from above the windscreen has come out now it's had another coat of paint.



The visor has now been reattached and hopefully I'll get it reunited with the car tomorrow.

Thinking about possible upgrades in the future I've also been thinking about the heating system. It seems to chuck out decent heat, and the biggest issue is probably that the airflow isn't great - especially at low revs - and let's not forget that quite a bit of my driving is probably going to be around town. So I'm definitely pondering the addition of an electric fan to replace the existing engine cooling air bleed setup. I'd obviously not want to pull any more air from the cooling system, so a bit of re-plumbing would probably be needed. Not something I'm looking at doing now, just something I'm sort of mapping out in my head as a possibility for the future.

In other news, for the last few weeks I've kept hearing something sliding around *somewhere* in the cabin of the Activa. However actually tracking down what it was had thus far been unsuccessful. Until this afternoon.



That'll be it! This usually lives in the boot, so has probably been in there since the car was in the garage having work done for the MOT. It has now been returned to its usual home in the boot.
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Old Jan 29 2019, 05:23 PM   #4766
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The wheels from the Invacar are currently at Vintage Tyres in Bicester, and should be ready to pick up with new tyres fitted in the morning.

A moderately deep level excavation of the loft turned up the air horn I'd bought a while ago for another project.

A slight problem turned up in that it couldn't fit on the original mounting point as it was too big. Cue some brief improvisation.

I still had a bracket in the front compartment which had originally been a support for the front brake flexible hose. However I had not been able to convince the end left over from the original hose to unbolt from it. However as KP used a different bracket I'd swapped that over and just left the original in there, it didn't really get in the way or anything. That bracket however was exactly what I needed to act as a spacer to attach the new horn.

So started a three quarter of an hour fight with it to try to remove the ferrule from the original brake hose. Between penetrating oil, brute force, having the whole thing glowing red hot... eventually the blasted nut threaded itself...and still won't come undone. So it's still there for now!



I'll just chop it off with the angle grinder next time I have it out. Just one bolt to get it off the car after all. I'm not worrying about it for now. I'll need to wire up a relay to provide power for it as well, but being virtually next to the fuse box (it's about six inches away on the other side of the bulkhead) that won't exactly be a chore.

Speaking of electrical stuff, this tiny little combined DC voltmeter and ammeter turned up today.



This obviously won't be a permanent addition to the dash as it's so out of period. However during the initial shakedown period I'll take as much information from the car as I can get - it did spend 15 years dumped in a field. The charging system is worthy keeping an eye on too as any glitches with the voltage regulator (which is mechanical) can destroy the battery and the Dynastart unit itself...so if it plays up I want to know about it.

The shunt which was supplied with this is rated for up to 100A continuous, and given that the starting circuit is fused at 50A this meant I could just stick it directly in series with the battery feed (and I wanted to change the ground lead as it was somewhat dog eared anyway). Version 1.0 has the shunt just attached to the battery.



I don't like this. Even though it's not a permanent addition... it'll be getting moved to a better supported and tidier location tomorrow, probably either under the battery tray or on the tray the coil, solenoid and voltage regulator live on.

I hadn't spotted how manky the battery to lead connection on the positive side was until looking at these photos, I'll get that changed out for a new one tomorrow.
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Old Jan 30 2019, 10:23 AM   #4767
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I'd suggest getting one of the European police-style air horns like I found on ebay some time back. Quite compact and loud to the extreme. Super shrill, which makes them sound all the louder. Small enough to work quite well on a motorcycle, which is what I bought mine for. I just looked, and similar to mine are running anywhere from $15 to $25 on ebay now. I'll you figure the metric conversion on the money. But I know why you want an air horn instead of some anemic thing like was probably original, akin to the usual things found on motorcycles, inaudible at distances greater than 2 meters. I'm going to get one for my car. I'm tired of idiots cutting me off, or blocking the passing lane on the hiway.

Way back "in the day", as they say, I had a CB radio in my car, with a PA speaker under the hood. I could do a fair imitation of a police electronic siren's "woooooo", which coming through that sort of tinny sounding speaker sounded like the real thing. Someone went flying by me in a school speed zone, and I could make them stand their car on its nose. Funnier than all get out.
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Old Jan 30 2019, 05:45 PM   #4768
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This one is quite piercing and is far louder than the diminutive size would suggest. Plus I already had it in stock. Long term I may consider further upgrades, but this will do for now.

While I didn't actually have the opportunity to do anything to the car today, two very important parts have now arrived.

While my wallet may now be £200 lighter, I've got three nice new tyres on the wheels.



I'm really happy with how in period those tyres look.

The other thing to turn up is this bundle of fuel hose.



It's worth noting that I've kind of lost patience with hoses starting to disintegrate virtually as soon as they're fitted, so I may have resorted to slight overkill.



Let's see how that lasts shall we? Only downside is that with the pipe walls being about twice the thickness of the ones on there I'm going to need to get a bunch more hose clips.

I'll get the wheels back on tomorrow (she's currently sitting on three very flat tyres) and get the fuel hoses routed properly so that's all ready for the fuel tank when it turns up - which should with a bit of luck be in the next couple of days.

So a short update (by my standards anyway!) this one, but quite important items to have ticked off.

Aside from my usual automotive rambling, all of you over there in the US, you take care and stay safe with that crazy weather that's coming through just now, okay?
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Old Jan 30 2019, 08:41 PM   #4769
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Anyone who is in a heat wave, stay cool.
If you're in the artic blast stay warm.

Or change places, then you can complain about the opposite of what you're complaining about.
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Old Jan 31 2019, 02:03 PM   #4770
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Old Feb 1 2019, 06:01 AM   #4771
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The eagle eyed among you may have noticed the mistake with the fuel hose. Yep... they've sent me 5/16" hose - not the 3/16" I ordered. The seller has been really polite though and replacement is already on the way. These things happen.

So given I couldn't set about re-plumbing the fuel system, where did I get to today?

Well firstly these obviously needed to be fitted to the car.



I'm getting far too much enjoyment from how genuinely like something you'd have seen this car roll out the factory wearing back in 1973 these look like, despite the December 2018 production date.

While I had the wheels off I set about checking the shoe adjustment, sure enough the one I'd not had totally to bits had a heap of slack in it. Nipping that up has greatly reduced the amount of dead travel.

Hard to show how the tyres look on the car as it's really cramped in the garage.



I'll try to get some better photos soon.

An annoying issue I had previously been unable to resolve was a significant mismatch between the flash rate of the left and right indicators. As this uses a thermal flasher unit (no, I'm not replacing it...the *piiing-tick....piiing-tick* sound effect is important) it's very sensitive to any impedance mismatch between the sides. Thankfully simply fitting a full compliment of new lamps has sorted it. The right hand ones still flash slightly quicker, but they're close enough.

Final task on my list for yesterday was "shore up NS Door.". Some of you may remember from the interior photos that there is a hole in the interior surface of the nearside door to the rear just below the window. My guess is that somebody at some point has shut something in it.

Now if this wasn't so close to the latch I would probably just have ignored it for the time being. However as it was so close to the latch it had a serious effect on the rigidity of the door in that region. As such I needed to tie each of the surfaces involved back together again. This is a job I'll probably get a body shop to do at some point as it will require a bit more finesse than I possess. However this has vastly improved matters from a functional perspective...



It's particularly noticeable in that the door closes with a slam now rather than a hollow rattly click, basically because there's no longer about 1/16" of lateral movement in the latch itself.

That's where work closed yesterday. Not sure how much time I'll have to look into anything else before the weekend so depending on how things go this might be the last update until then.
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Old Feb 1 2019, 09:39 AM   #4772
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Those are some good looking meats. Nice aggressive tread pattern.
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Old Feb 1 2019, 05:13 PM   #4773
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Kibby has decided she wants to come back home. Which I said had said when she left she could do.

Through a 3rd party I found out why. She is being sexually harassed at work by 2 guys. To the point that she is scared. I'm going up there tomorrow, to try & get her to talk to me.
I want to help her come up with ways she can stay up there, where she is happy & still feel safe.
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Old Feb 1 2019, 09:00 PM   #4774
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This evening I've made a start getting this lot fitted.



Have only done the section between the fuel pump and carburettor so far, but it won't take long to finish things off.





I have changed the hose routing from the factory spec slightly. It originally crossed from the offside to nearside inside the engine cowling. I'm not a fan of that for two reasons, even if it does help reduce engine bay clutter. Firstly, I can't see it without removing the cowl. Secondly, having the hose essentially sitting on top of the cylinder barrels just seems like a recipe for heat soak issues after the engine stops (shouldn't be an issue with the engine running given the huge amount of airflow).

Instead I've run it along the rear edge of the cowling on the outside where it's easier to keep an eye on. Also means if it did spring a leak, it would dump fuel over the gearbox casing and front of the engine cowl rather than straight over the cylinder barrels and exhaust.

The marine grade fuel hose is meant to be really resistant to abrasion etc compared to normal automotive stuff, so that will hopefully won't be too big a worry.

Very much hoping that this won't be the scene in six months time.



That's supposedly injection suitable, unleaded compatible hose from a major national car part supply chain. Shudder to think of the possible consequences of that having a few tens of PSI behind it, buried under a car where it can't be seen. Let's see if the marine stuff does better. It feels like a far higher quality product, and it's really noticeable how much better it holds its shape when the hose clips are tightened up than the normal stuff.

There was originally no fuel filter fitted other than a coarse screen in the pump, so I've added an in-line one between the pump and carb, I've positioned it near to the offside cylinder head so it's pretty easy to check visually. Need to try to find some clear filters, all the ones Motorserv stock these days are opaque it seems, makes it harder to see what state the filter is in until it's really filthy.

-- -- --

Really hope Kibby can get things straightened out. Really hard when things like this happens, especially in the workplace where there really should be safeguards in place to prevent and respond to this sort of thing.
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Old Feb 3 2019, 10:23 AM   #4775
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The guy threatened to stab her Friday when he was told to clock in, so she could leave. This was 10 min after he was suppose to. He had been there for 45 min hanging out.
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Old Feb 3 2019, 03:15 PM   #4776
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Here's something a little different: Instead of not being able to get into MOM here, now it's been about 3 days since I've been able to get into Simon's NKT. I get an error message saying the site is not secure, and no way to bypass it. Anyone else having the same problem, or have any way of contacting the "powers that be" outside of the site itself to finds out what's going on?

Maw, has Kibby's employer been made aware of the threat and harassment? What about the police? I think that kind of thing would be in the nature of "making terroristic threats", if you had to file charges, especially if the old line "I know where you live" was used in the threat.

But you definitely don't want his words to go unchallenged while making sure the girl is safe. It should be reported as soon as possible. If she didn't tell you what's going on, she probably hasn't said anything to her employer or the police either.

Wish I was closer. I'd try to help with actions rather than just words.
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Old Feb 3 2019, 06:42 PM   #4777
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Manager blew her off & won't do anything. I just found out it started in Sept. She just didn't tell me. She says there is no point in filing a police report. It will be a he said she said. I told her that at least it would be documented.
People around her do no what os going on & keeping an eye on her & making sure she's not walking anywhere.
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Old Feb 3 2019, 11:42 PM   #4778
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If the manager won't do anything, then she needs to go to HIS boss. And definitely file a report with the police. If there are people that know what's going on, they're called "witnesses", and should have enough guts to come forward. If they withhold information in an investigation, their title could easily change from "witness" to "accomplice" and if the pinhead actually does anything, they could be held culpable under the law.

First rule in this type of situation: DO NOT BACK DOWN TO THE BULLY. Stand up to him. Fight back. Stand your ground and fight. Virginia has some very reasonable requirements to get a Concealed Carry Weapon Permit. I could get one for there from here. If Kibby is of legal age (21 there like here, I think) she can avail herself of the lawful, Constitutional right to carry a weapon to defend herself.

Second rule: DO NOT MAKE THREATS WITH THE WEAPON. Do not warn your potential assailant. He tries to do you harm, drop him like a bad habit. Several shots to "center mass", the area from neck to waist, will do wonders for his attitude, and ruin his whole solar year. He sounds like the typical idiot that would bring a knife to a gunfight.

I'm not just talking, here. I'm serious. I have over 50 years experience with firearms and while having been a Corrections Officer doesn't mean as much to people as being a policeman, it's still considered law enforcement, and many will tell you that it's probably the toughest job in the field of law enforcement. One I survived in for over 15 years, retiring at the age of 68.

Survival against such a person as her adversary is not about knuckling under and hiding. It's about standing up, standing your ground, and proving to him that you are NOT willing to be his victim; that he's about to be in for one helluva fight. There is strength in numbers, so those who are escorting her should be ready for a fight as well.
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Old Feb 4 2019, 08:57 AM   #4779
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Kibby would have no idea what to do with a gun. Her last day is Friday. She has decided to move back home to get away from him. Until then she is not going anywhere alone. Someone is picking her up and taking her to the bus stop or to work. People where she hangs out are keeping an eye on her & making sure she has a ride home. She finally told her boyfriend. I told him to get her to file a police report. She is being stupid & refusing to. I'm hoping he might be able to get her to do it.
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Old Feb 4 2019, 10:32 AM   #4780
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That's what the training classes are for. My wife was raised around guns, shotguns and rifles. But she could never hit the broad side of a barn from inside. She had never shot a handgun in her life. She and I took the CCW class together, where we found out that while she is right handed, she is left eye dominant. That is why she couldn't hit anything with a shotgun. But with a handgun, the dominant eye just takes over sight alignment. She learned well. Actually, she blew the center out of the target. She carries a 9mm pistol and knows how to use it. She doesn't want to use it, but knows what to do and when and how to do it.

Maybe her boyfriend can have a head to wall conference with the fellow for her.
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Old Feb 4 2019, 02:28 PM   #4781
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That is why she hasn't wanted to tell him or us. She is afraid someone will end up in jail. One thing in her favor is the boy has just turned 18. It will not be an adult gping off on a minor. It will be adult on adult.
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Old Feb 5 2019, 11:21 AM   #4782
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I got Kibby to file a report. She was able to do it on line. Kibby is NOT a people person. She didn't want to talk to anyone.
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Old Feb 5 2019, 02:25 PM   #4783
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Here's something a little different: Instead of not being able to get into MOM here, now it's been about 3 days since I've been able to get into Simon's NKT. I get an error message saying the site is not secure, and no way to bypass it. Anyone else having the same problem, or have any way of contacting the "powers that be" outside of the site itself to finds out what's going on?
Hi Allen

My domain is up for renewal but I've not paid it yet. I thought I had another month. It will be back up at some point soon.

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Old Feb 5 2019, 02:27 PM   #4784
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Look what I picked up today...



This was made for me by Fusion Fabrications, and I reckon they've done a really nice job of it. Well worth the £220 they charged for it I think.

Sadly won't have time to get it installed this evening - but suffice to say though it will be the first thing on my to do list for tomorrow!
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Old Feb 5 2019, 07:24 PM   #4785
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Just sitting here watching Jeopardy, When the 1600 dollar question in double Jeopardy was, the Planet where Anne McCaffery's fire breathing Dragons protect the people, None of the contestants knew the answer, Phhtt, they are not very smart I think!
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Old Feb 7 2019, 05:52 PM   #4786
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I make a glazed pork loin for dinner & it was actually edible.
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Old Feb 7 2019, 07:56 PM   #4787
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Sadly due to other commitments which required me to run off to London I've had to leave the job half done - but the tank is actually attached to the car now.



Didn't spot that the lower bracket has a tab missing until just now annoyingly, but I have a spare so no problem.

Should have a pretty clear program tomorrow so should be able to crack on with the jobs a bit.
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Old Feb 8 2019, 06:21 PM   #4788
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Having finally got the fuel tank installed and piped up (note to self: if you take it out again, connect the fuel line to the tank BEFORE installing it), there was only one thing left to do.



The following photos of a very damp Invacar demonstrate quite an important milestone.





This is for the first time in probably a couple of decades, running entirely on internal power and fuel. No fuel cans balanced on the engine cover, no borrowed battery, it's got a full tank of fuel and is ready to drive.

Now it's been blowing a gale and tipping it down all day here... exactly the sort of conditions you *don't* want during the first test run of an extremely small three wheeler with questionable stability and laughably poor weatherproofing. So I really should have waited until the weekend.

Yeah...we all knew that wasn't going to happen didn't we?

YouTube link

Big point though: Safety etc. This test run has been entirely within a quiet residential area with very little traffic, for a grand total of about half a mile. It won't be going anywhere near the open road until quite a bit more remedial work has been done to the bodywork. This test was largely to help me make a judgement on what the mechanical to do list was - there's only so much you can do with thirty feet of driveway.

[] CVT Belt needs tightened up resulting in it failing to "change up" as the speed picks up.

[] Brakes need readjusted now she's left the drive - quite a bit of free play now, whereas there was hardly any before we left the drive. The nearside rear is dragging a bit too - though far less so after the run than before.

[] Weatherproofing needs to be made to exist at all...It's truly comical how many places water gets in.

[] Demister is essentially useless. There just isn't enough airflow to do anything meaningful...Methinks a booster fan will be getting added to that.

Pretty much exactly the sort of result I was expecting and hoping for to be honest.

Will get the CVT belt and the brakes adjusted, then we'll do another run at the weekend.

I see what folks have been saying about the steering, it is VERY direct...definitely requires a bit of skill to drive smoothly.

Bottom line though: She lives!
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Old Feb 9 2019, 12:56 AM   #4789
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Congrats on getting her semi road ready. I bet you will feel even better once she is completely ready.
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Old Feb 9 2019, 02:56 PM   #4790
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Today on "coceptually simple tasks that are actually an absolute pain in the tail" we have adjusting the CVT belt on an Invacar.

Sequence of what you need to do is:

[] Loosen the final drive chaincase pivot bolt.
[] Loosen off the nuts on the threaded bit of the adjuster so there's some free play.
[] Loosen the three nuts around the final drive input shaft.
[] Wind the adjuster in the correct direction until the belt tension seems reasonable.
[] Tighten all of the above back up.

Sounds nice and simple, and even looks pretty self explanatory when you look at the nice clear diagram in the manual...



What this doesn't take into account is that you can only see one of the three nuts around the final drive input that you need to loosen off. So two of them need to be done blind, and that no matter which way you go in there is stuff in the way. Now I know where they are it will be a bit less of a pain next time, but the first time when you only know vaguely where they are it's an exercise in extreme frustration.

What would have made life slightly easier would have been to get the protective cage around the pulleys off, however this is utterly disinterested in the idea of moving after 43 years. I gave up trying to remove the retaining bolts when the spanner started to bend.

Tension now seems a lot more reasonable...There's no obvious "slop" in there now, and you can still just about make it slip with the handbrake on by hand, but it's a case of "Just about" now rather than easy.

By the time I eventually got things back together it was too late to faff around moving the clutchless wonder that is the van out the way for a test run. I'll see about that tommorrow.

Note to self: Sort the clutch in the van already. Meant to check on the price for the master cylinder when I was driving past the dealer today but totally forgot.

I did a bit more work on the rear bumper framework earlier in the afternoon. I think this is as far as the metalwork will go, should be a decent base that I can start to build up the glass fibre around.



Based on the noticed behaviour during the road test yesterday I made some more brake adjustments. The offside needed to be nipped up a bit more, whereas the nearside had something like three complete turns taken off the adjuster. Will check tomorrow to see if that's helped things out.

I can't help but wonder if I'll notice any real improvement if I were to simply get out onto a slightly faster road and to get the drive belts to cover the full range of their travel a few occasions to clean up the pulley faces.

Hopefully time will permit some further tinkering tomorrow.

Last edited by Zelandeth; Feb 9 2019 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Added Additional Image
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Old Feb 10 2019, 07:28 AM   #4791
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From what I can remember of these beasts/beauties when they first came out: you were only allowed to drive one if you were registered disabled.
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Old Feb 10 2019, 06:59 PM   #4792
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From what I can remember of these beasts/beauties when they first came out: you were only allowed to drive one if you were registered disabled.
That's correct. One more reason that the fact that it became possible to change the vehicle type to tricycle was such an important step forwards as it made it possible to drive them on a normal licence.

Having got the belts adjusted (after much swearing) yesterday I wanted to take the Invacar out for another quick test today.

This didn't start great as I discovered that the clutch in the van had decided over night to go from "somewhat dodgy" to "non existant." Now, I might be willing to try shuffling a small car around the drive with no clutch, but trying to move something that big with as many blind spots without a clutch just seemed to be a disaster waiting to happen. Especially given that there's a good second or so delay between turning the ignition off and the engine actually stopping!

The whole master cylinder failing right after the slave cylinder just seemed a bit odd to me. I know the slave had failed because overnight at one point it dumped all the fluid on the ground under the van...no questions there. Seemed distinctly odd to me though that the master would fail so nearly simulteneously. What I did remember though was that the fluid in there when I got it was absolutely rank - it looked like strong black coffee. I had a sneaking feeling that it might have wound up ingesting some of the crud that was inevitably floating around in the bottom of the reservoir when the fluid all leaked out.

So then...let's go stand on our head for ten minutes and get the master cylinder out.



This would have been far easier if the driver's door wasn't jammed up against the hedge meaning I had to do everything from the other side of the cab. Neverthless, didn't take me long once I figured out how to get the split pin holding the pushrod onto the pedal out. I reckon I wasted about twenty minutes on that.

Initially when I got the master cylinder off it was utterly disinterested in holding pressure. Blocking the outlet and pushing the actuating rod in simply resulted in it making strange burping noises from the fluid inlet. After flushing and working through copeous amounts of brake cleaner though it seems to have come good. Reassembling it and bleeding things through has resulted in a working clutch. In fact a working clutch with the bite point at a far more sensible point than it has been as long as I've had the van. It had always been quite low before.

Right...After wasting probably an hour and a half and most of my daylight I could finally move the van so I could get the Invacar out of the garage.

I wasn't going to let that spoil my fun.



Yes, I need to find the little metal shield that goes on the number plate light. It's in a box somewhere.

Initial tests show that the drive system seems to be behaving better. I still reckon it may be letting the engine rev a little higher than normal, but it's one of those things that I've only given it such a brief test at this point that it's hard to say. I think I'm going to have to take a brave pill and take her out onto a 60mph road and open the throttle and see what happens. Yesterday though it felt like getting to 30 was a chore, whereas I had to back off the throttle to stay within the speed limit today - so definitely a step in the right direction. As mentioned before, I'm curious to see whether just getting the belt and pulleys cleaned up through a bit of use may make a difference.

In terms of use helping though, the brakes seem to be a lot better for it. There's still a bit more dead travel in the "pedal" before you get brakes than I'd maybe like, but they seem to have really good bite now. It's possible to lock all three wheels in an emergency stop, and the handbrake is more than capable of locking the rear wheels - I really wanted to check that as it's obviously your only backup in the event of a hydraulic braking system failure. The brakes when I took it out the first time felt quite wooden even though they did stop you, but they're definitely better now.

There's quite an important milestone visible here...



Maybe if you look closer...



Yep...For the first time since 2001 the odometer has moved. She's done a whole two miles now, and I hope to add to that again tomorrow.

The only recurring gremlin I've found again has been the oil leak from the dipstick.



This absolutely refuses to seal. I've tried to braze it up four times now. I think the issue is that I can't totally clear the residue from where the oil has been. Given that new dipsticks are available for £13, I'm just going to include that in the order I'll be putting through for engine bits shortly. I've already wasted a couple of hours trying to sort it.

I think the plan for tomorrow is to visually tidy the rear bodywork up a bit, maybe try to scrub some of the undergrowth off the driver's door, then go do a higher speed run down to the nearest roundabout and back. I'm seriously tempted if that doesn't result in anything terrifying happening, to take her to one of the nearby supermarkets...Yes, photos will happen if that does.
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Old Feb 11 2019, 06:40 PM   #4793
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Task number one for today was to get the offside brake light working again as I noticed yesterday when I got back into the garage that it was out again. This eventually turned into a 45 minute round of chasing my own tail before re-terminating the main ground for the cluster as I should have done in the first place - which of course immediately resolved the issue and also got both sets of indicators to flash at the same rate for the first time.

Task number two was to cover up some of the bare metalwork on the rear of the car. This has wound up with the whole thing encased in duct tape for now, looks horrific, but at least there are now no sharp edges accessible. I'm sure a bunch of these cars were largely held together by gaffer tape back in the day too.





No, I'm not proud of it. It's a means to an end - I want to drive the thing, and don't want to wait until I can put aside a couple of complete afternoons with decent weather to attack it with fibreglass.

The offside front corner has had a steel band added to reinforce it, and has been similarly plastered in tape. I've also stuck a patch on the hole in the roof primarily to assist in keeping the weather out.

Speaking of keeping things in or out, I'm glad to see that the lock on the front service cover has freed up after a couple of months of regularly dosing it with penetrating fluid.



Nice the way stuff seems to keep coming back to life.

With this all done it was time to go for today's test run. After a little noodling around our estate again I decided that it was time to try the higher speed run. No horrors to report. Managed to get up to just under 50mph before having to brake for the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. On the way back progress was slowed a bit, but still got up to 40 or thereabouts. The only slightly unnerving aspect was that she briefly decided not to give me any power when I intitally went to pull onto the roundabout coming back - a fraction of a second's delay and audible pop back through the carb and she was off again. I've notice this happen a few times on roughly half throttle. Guessing there's still a bit of crud floating around in the carb.

On arriving back from that run (wanting to give thigns a check over given it was the first time she had exceeded 30mph in quite a while), there was quite an odd "hot" smell - which I reckon was coming from the paint on the silencer after a bit of checking. The popping back through the carb I reckon is the reason that the carb itself was damp with fuel.



The carb being cold I think was the only reason this hadn't evaporated pretty much as soon as it had ended up there. I'll keep an eye on this.

I then went about a little further local testing, getting a little more used to the controls meant that a certain degree of mild hooning may have taken place. It's a long while since I was last in a Reliant, but to my mind this definitely feels less tippy when you throw it into a corner or roundabout.

I did attempt to get some video footage of the test drives - but managed an epic fail today on a video front. Attempt number one went just fine until the first roundabout was taken at any speed...at which point the phone fell out of where I'd wedged it. Attempt number two would have been fine if the phone hadn't wound up pointed mostly at the ceiling. I'm going to try to dig out the Not-A-Go-Pro tomorrow and use that instead as it at least has some proper options to secure it to the car. If you guys want me to upload the video I do have just let me know...You can kind of see what's going on and have the audio to go with it.

So, stuff I've ascertained today:

[] Oil leak from dipstick might be fixed.
[] The grounding arrangements in these tail lights is epically rubbish. I may wind up improving this myself to save me trouble in the long run.
[] Handling is better than I expected. I reckon you could actually chuck this car around quite a bit once you're used to it.
[] On the same topic, the suspension and steering feels really tight. No knocks, clonks or obvious play in anything like that.
[] Ride is pleasantly compliant, bit of a surprise given how light she is.
[] One horrible noise which has turned up a couple of times is the guard touching one of the pulleys very lightly - mainly just as you come off the throttle. I will sort this using a small amount of violence shortly. I know what it is though and it sounds way worse than it actually is.
[] 50mph looks to be doable without too much trouble.
[] Occasional miss/backfire on part throttle needs an eye kept on it.

I needed to go to the nearest supermarket for one or two things this afternoon and very nearly took the Invacar...Sadly I chickend out. Maybe tomorrow.

Definitely overall seems to be running better. The drive system seems to be behaving itself pretty much as I'd expect now, I think the biggest thing which initially was throwing me off is just the level of overall noise involved with the engine running at the speed it needs to for the clutch to engage. Was really glad to see that once up to speed that there weren't any unpleasant noises or vibration which would suggest duff wheel bearings or any boring problems like that needing attention.
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Old Feb 14 2019, 11:36 AM   #4794
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SNIP

I'm going to try to dig out the Not-A-Go-Pro tomorrow and use that instead as it at least has some proper options to secure it to the car.

SNIP
The "Not-A-Go-Pro" amused me! I'd love to see a video, partly for the car, and partly for the nostalgia of seeing MK, we moved away from the area six and a half years ago.

Keep up the good work!

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Old Feb 17 2019, 10:16 PM   #4795
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Simon, looks like I might have missed an update here...the video such as it is so far is over here on YouTube - not much to be seen yet, though there will be more as I get confident enough to venture further.

Given that I've spent quite a bit of money on car bits over the last week or two I had a plan to try to get through this weekend without spending any more money. Oh...wait...



£83 later...we were able to run those few errands.

In terms of the cars I've actually had very little chance to do anything this weekend, had a couple of hours this evening and that was in. The tasks attacked were:

[] Readjust the brakes. I knew there was too much free play in the system, and checking showed that things did need a tweak. On the front in particular quite a lot of slack was taken up. There is quite a bit of play in the actual pushrod that acts on the master cylinder. This is quite a critical adjustment...and I think I may need to change it...but I'm trying to see if there is in fact a way to do that (without the factory tool) without removing the master cylinder from the car. As I don't want to have to disturb and bleed the entire system yet again until I get the new rear flexible hoses made up and fitted. I seem to have spent as much on brake fluid as petrol lately between this thing and the van.

[] Fuel system check. Given the issues I've had with the fuel system lately I wanted to go over it with a magnifying glass. I couldn't see anything amiss, but reterminated things at the tank end anyway, access was quite awkward last time due to the way the car was parked, so I know it's all lined up nicely now.

[] Fuel gauge. As mentioned before, the sender I'd fitted was for the later Curtis/Veglia gauge, so have no reading on the old Smith's moving iron gauge. With my meter I was pretty quickly able to figure out which wires were what, and made up a jumper for the ground connection (through the case on the old one, which is isolated on the new one).

Now I knew in theory it should work...only three wires involved and electronics is an already I'm usually at home, but would theory work in practice?



Yep! That's exactly how much fuel is in the tank. This gauge is damped, so rocking the car only resulted in a tiny amount of gauge wiggling, but it definitely did move. I'll have to wait to see how accurate the tracking is as the tank is used. There's no wire in the original vehicle loom for the warning light, so I'll need to route a new conductor for that at some point. That isn't a priority though at the moment. If I'm smart, I'll ignore that until I get around to pulling the dash to properly repair a couple of ancient wiring bodges back there and to add some mommon sense stuff like relays.

A friend has found an electric fuel pump I can borrow to either prove or disprove mine as the cause of my current fuelling gremlin too, which will be helpful. Given the rebuild kit for the current pump is £60 or so, I'd rather know before shelling out on it. At that sort of price I'm tempted to actually go with an electric pump anyway. Main reason being safety. If I do away with the mechanical pump I can keep the fuel lines all well clear of everything hot. That's currently impossible as the pump is essentially on top of the offside exhaust downpipe. I can see that causing fuel evaporation issues down the line too given how much more prone to that modern fuels seem to be.

Target for this week? Get it to Newport Pagnell. Not least because I want to see the look on the face of my usual garage's staff when they see it!
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Old Feb 18 2019, 05:25 PM   #4796
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Thanks to the generousity of the gent behind Hub Nut I received a couple of items which are functionally unimportant but psychologically important shiny bits for TP today which I've now got fitted.





Kind of hilarious worrying about shiny thing like this given the overall cosmetic disaster that the car is, but it makes me happy. Worked out quite well actually as I had a bunch of 12" wheel trims but am running 10" wheels, and he had a set of 10" ones but is running 12" wheels, so we did a swap.

This afternoon I was able to run her up to temperature again and can confirmed that we still have bubbles in the fuel line...time to try an alternative pump. If we still have issues then I guess it will point to a pinhole somewhere in my new fuel pipe. That would be a highly annoying outcome of it was the case...

To that end, have just collected this from a local enthusiast to do some experimentation with tomorrow.



If this does resolve my fuel delivery issues I will really need to have a good think about whether I want to rebuild the original pump or move to an electric one full time. The idea of being able to reroute the fuel lines entirely away from hot parts of the engine does hold quite an appeal...
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Old Feb 19 2019, 02:38 PM   #4797
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Having the electric fuel pump in hand meant that I could start doing a bit of investigative work on TP's fuel system. Step one though was to test the pump and to run a bit of clean fuel through it first, as I've no idea when it was last used nor what it last pumped. Not too much gunk came out really which was good to see.

Attaching it to the car however did pose a bit of a problem. Connecting it directly in place of the original fuel pump was going to be a bit tricky on account of the hose connections on the electric pump being 5/16" rather than 3/16" like on the original. However the tank outlet is 5/16" and I have a reducer up front changing it down within a couple of inches of the tank. So it makes sense to just plumb it in up front - which is where I've generally seen electric pumps installed anyway. Can plumb the existing tank outlet to the pump, then the outlet onto the existing reducer. Annoyingly I don't have quite enough 5/16" hose to sensibly position the pump, so I'll need to go and get some tomorrow. I basically want to hang it from the top tank retaining strap in the front compartment - currently it's cable-tied to the nearest chassis rail.

In the engine bay this left me with a slight quandry as well - as I needed to join the two bits of hose that were the pump was bypassed - however I didn't have a joiner specifically that size anywh...Wait...I think I know exactly what will do nicely.

Going back about a year, one of the things I remembered happening when I was starting to contemplate the fuel injection conversion on the Lada was that the fuel return hose connection barb pulled out of the carb body when I attempted to disconnect the hose from it. The bit of my brain centred around improvisation figured that this would probably make a perfectly good hose joiner if I could find it. Thankfully this didn't prove difficult as I'd stuffed it back into the carb before dumping that in the box of "leftovers" from the injection conversion.



This indeed did the job nicely, and allowed me to tether everything to one of the support struts in the engine bay.



Obviously I'll do some proper hose trimming and rerouting if I stick with an electric pump long-term, but this will do just fine for testing purposes.

Initially running things up hasn't shown any evidence of air being drawn into the system with the engine having run for 30 minutes or so. I have seen the occasional bubble *leaving* the fuel filter, but nothing on the inlet - so this must this is just a certain amount of fuel evaporation taking place within the filter housing itself. It is just the occasional one too, rather than a pretty steady stream we had before.

I'll get some more hose tomorrow so I can secure the pump in a slightly less dodgy way, then will look to do a bit of a road test to see if there's any noticeable difference in behaviour.

Also finally got around to throwing a bit of paint at the windscreen scuttle on the van, which I'd been meaning to do forever.



It's not a permenant solution nor is it pretty, but the idea is that it will keep the critical combination of water and air from being able to get to the metal to continue to rust things once it's painted. Plus it looks a bit less dodgy at least!
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Old Feb 19 2019, 07:05 PM   #4798
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We get to have ice falling tomorrow. As long as it clears by the weekend.
Kibby & I are going to a convention, that Jody Lynn Nye is going to be at.
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Old Feb 20 2019, 06:15 PM   #4799
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Have only encountered freezing rain once in my life so far, and definitely hope it's the only time I do! You folks be careful in that nonsense...

Following the seemingly successful test yesterday of the electric pump I wanted to move it to a slightly more sensible location. Putting anything like that under the car on an Invacar is pretty tricky as the chassis is quite shallow and there's no central tunnel or anything. So it will be getting attached to the upper fuel tank retaining strap. That will make it far easier to route the pipes without risking kinks as well and make wiring a power feed in less hassle.

As the fuel tank outlet is at the bottom of the tank though I would need to empty it before I could remove the existing pipe from it. Previous tinkering had been done by clamping the hose, but I actually want to remove that hose now.

I've a secret weapon for that though - an old and heavily abused fuel injection pump from my old Saab.



This had the tank from about 90% full to empty within a couple of minutes. The rate that thing can shift fuel at when there's no restriction on the outlet is astonishing! Sadly I had to down tools before I got any further because folks arrived home from work early and I suddenly found I needed to have dinner in the oven half an hour before I started work on the car...

Tomorrow though I've some actual time set aside properly to get something done with the car so hopefully will get back on track and actually do a road test with the electric pump in place.

Annoying lack of progress today!
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Old Feb 20 2019, 11:12 PM   #4800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelandeth View Post
Have only encountered freezing rain once in my life so far, and definitely hope it's the only time I do! You folks be careful in that nonsense...

Following the seemingly successful test yesterday of the electric pump I wanted to move it to a slightly more sensible location. Putting anything like that under the car on an Invacar is pretty tricky as the chassis is quite shallow and there's no central tunnel or anything. So it will be getting attached to the upper fuel tank retaining strap. That will make it far easier to route the pipes without risking kinks as well and make wiring a power feed in less hassle.

As the fuel tank outlet is at the bottom of the tank though I would need to empty it before I could remove the existing pipe from it. Previous tinkering had been done by clamping the hose, but I actually want to remove that hose now.

I've a secret weapon for that though - an old and heavily abused fuel injection pump from my old Saab.



This had the tank from about 90% full to empty within a couple of minutes. The rate that thing can shift fuel at when there's no restriction on the outlet is astonishing! Sadly I had to down tools before I got any further because folks arrived home from work early and I suddenly found I needed to have dinner in the oven half an hour before I started work on the car...

Tomorrow though I've some actual time set aside properly to get something done with the car so hopefully will get back on track and actually do a road test with the electric pump in place.

Annoying lack of progress today!
I've not only driven, but ridden motorcycles in everything but a tornado and a hurricane. Rain, freezing and regular, snow, sleet, ice, hail. All on two wheels as well as four Actually got caught in 3 separate hail "showers" as part of heavy rain in one afternoon. Got back to the barracks just in time to hear the tornado sirens, but saw no tornado, so I won't say I rode on one, just the accompanying storm. That hail stuff hurt. Sat on the steps to the barracks, pulled off my boots, and poured water out of them. Then I wrung out my completely saturated socks.

Did you know that bar soap will stop a gasoline leak? You could have stuck a bar of regular soap on the pipe while it was running a solid stream, not broken off the plug in the pipe, and tape the bar in place. Once knocked a split in a car tank, running solid stream. rubbed bar soap on it and watched it stop. Drove it that way for a couple of days until I found fuel-proof epoxy and applied a patch right over the soap. Never leaked again.
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