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1st - 3rd June, Action.
Having yesterday tested that the car would actually move the next task was
to make it 'drivable' !
The driveshafts were popped back out again, circlips fitted to
stop them falling out of the CV (not that that happened yesterday - honest), and
some CV grease & boots were added. The brake were adjusted to prevent the
pedal from hitting the floor and the bias valve was set to give the front a bit
more bite. The last thing needing adjustment was the clutch as unfortunately the
combination of Mini master to Princess slave did not disengage fully, so the
small bore Mini slave was put on. Shame really as the large bore slave gave a
nice easy pedal.
A couple more test runs were completed, this time with enough
enthusiasm to 'loosen' the tyres on the tarmac. Not because I like the
screeching tyres of course, just to see if anything would shake off ;-) Nothing
did, which was nice.
Time to brave it on the road for the first time (gulp)
First thoughts were mostly of fear, but once I felt confident
that it was not going to explode these soon subsided. On the road the car was a
lot quieter than expected, but then again it was quite happy to be driven on
very small throttle openings. Other than the odd bit of smoke from the oil
leak everything was fine around town at about 30mph.
Out onto some faster roads for a bit and the temp gauge started
to creep up so I pulled over to find that the pipe from the stat to the
expansion bottle had popped off and water/steam was spurting out. Refill with
water, refit pipe and try again. OK up to about 40mph, but after a few minutes
above that the pipe sprang off again. Too much pressure for pipe, or water
getting far too hot.. Hmm.
Seems to drive pretty well (meaning not too scary), the gearing
is very low but quite happy up to about 65MPH. Cooling seems to be the only
problem so back to HQ for a pit stop :-)
Fixed the pipe more securely then topped up oil & water and
added a couple of temporary side scoops to grab a bit more air into the ducts. I
also removed the KAD quickshift and fitted a standard gear stick to help with
the elusive reverse. Stick will need a bit of bending as it almost hits the dash
The next days drive proved to be much more successful with the
temperature staying much more controlled so a quick ~70MPH blast along the dual
carriageway was in order. Seemed pretty happy, to it looks like legal driving
will be OK ;-)
Started to run hot again, so I stopped and removed the rear
valance to help airflow, but foolishly left the fans running and didn't have
enough 'leccy to start the car :-( Superwife to the rescue and Doris
started with a short push :-)
After 45 miles real driving the oil leek is getting worse, so I
guess I need to buy some more cheap oil for further testing ;-) but apart from
that the only thing that needs looking at is the cooling. A quick test shows
that I can squeeze a Metro radiator under the front bumper, so I think I will
try that next weekend.
Click for pics
and a couple of AVIs
8th - 9th June, Action.
In order to provide some additional cooling a second
radiator was fitted to the front of the car. The hope was that this would
provide more cooling than needed, then the radiator could be covered a bit at a
time to find out just how much extra is really required, this information should
allow a reasonable system to be designed and fitted.
A support frame was made from 20mm box section to position the
radiator about 120mm in front of the gearbox (to allow good airflow and a 'leccy
fan), then a 'spare' BBQ grill was welded on to the front for some protection
and to provide some top mountings. Then another creative session with bits
of copper pipe, rubber hose and jubilee clips was needed to plumb the radiator
into the bottom hose. Not very pretty, but should keep things cool.
I checked the 82C thermostat and found that it would not start
opening until 85C reaching max opening at nearly 90C. This was not on, so I cut
the middle out of the stat just to make sure ;-) Well I can fit another if
needed in the winter !
Running the engine on the drive without any fans the temp
crept up to 85C, then after 3 5 mins with all three fans running it had pulled
down to 65C. Cooling looks great, but the spreading oil slick under the car is
not quite as ideal... Extra supplies of oil required before any more road
By early evening Damian had arrived, so it was time to test the
cooling system under load. For the first couple of miles Doris was running a bit
lumpy at but once the temperature got over 70C things smoothed down
nicely, apart from the oil leek, which was happily combining with hot things
like the exhaust system to provide smoke almost thick enough to trip over.
We took the car for a quick blast at 50 - 60 mph and the
temperature seemed very happy sitting between 78C - 82C, which was nice. At this
point Damian spotted the bonnet scoop flapping and asked if it would stay on, I
replied 'Yes', then 10 seconds later it bounced off the windscreen and flew
across the road!
After the 'support crew' had collected the somewhat dented
'flying scoop' we continued for another 20 mins or so until the oil light
flicked on, so we found a quiet(ish) place to stop and poured in just over 5
liters of oil. By this time the inside of the car was beginning to smell a bit
so opening the sunroof seemed to be a good plan. Then having done our bit to
wreck the peace and air quality of a small local village we headed towards home.
Just one last bit of testing under hard acceleration seemed to
put a fair bit of smoke out from under the wheel arches, so even when the oil
leak is fixed we should still be able to make some from the tyres if needed ;-)
A good days work has proved that the cooling system can be made
to keep the car too cold, so now all I have to do is remove the engine (again)
and sort out the leak.
Sunday the engine out starts again, while Damian prepares the
first trial fit of V8 into the back of the Imp (pics of the Imp soon!)
Click for pics of
radiators & smoke !
13th June, webstuff
Put the budget page back up, with more figures added (gulp!) as
I think I am able to admit the costs to myself again ;-)
V8 Fools page updated with pictures of a couple of other V8
Minis, hopefully I will collect more pics and put together some sort of gallery.
15th June, Action
I decided that this weekend should be a more relaxing one,
without too much V8ing going on...
On Saturday morning I lifted the engine out of the
subframe and started stripping things down to sort out the cursed oil
leak. When I popped the clutch out I found the friction material only seems to
be biting around the outer part, so I guess the pressure plate is a bit worn,
but after a bit more use it should wear itself in ;-) The crank adapter seems
happy, with no signs of damage, and the adapter plates are still straight too.
The source of the leak is from the back of the engine / box /
adapter plate / sump extensiony gearbox bit. Looks like there is a bit of iffy
welding on the adapter plate or sump extension that is not quite as oiltight as
hoped, or possibly the blanking of the oil feed from the speedo drive. I will re
do both next weekend just to make sure !
The gear change lever and linkage was also taken out from under
the car so I can modify it slightly to make selecting reverse a bit easier
On Sunday I managed to con myself into a day off from working on
the car by driving 1/2 way across the country to collect a set of alloy wheels
(for the car). Nice day out, picnic etc and no opportunity to 'just nip out for
1/2 an hour on the V8' !
21st June, Hardware.
Called in to Minispeed for some wheel nuts for the new 12"
wheels, and accidentally bought a set of 13" Superlites with Yokos - oops
22nd - 23rd June, Action.
This weekend was mostly spent rebuilding the V8 and fitting it
back into the car, much the same process that I have described (too many) times
before so I won't add any more detail than that! Suffice it to say that it went
back in and started up first time (always a relief!)
Having decided that we will try to mould a bonnet scoop/cowl
thing from fiberglass, Elaine spent a fair few hours sculpting a 'plug' from
which the mould will be made. As usual our local 'hi-tech' B&Q was raided
for a suitable prototyping medium - undercoat plaster, dirt cheap & easy to
work with. When the basic shape is done then a skim of body filler, or maybe
topcoat plaster will be added, then the whole thing will be painted, smoothed
and waxed. Should have made it hollow though as 15 kg of plaster is quite heavy
;-) but only £5!
Feeling a bit left out of the therapeutic art
(or making a mess with plaster), I had a little play with some 'design' issues,
mostly concerning wheels, a department where we are somewhat spoilt for
for pics of the styling process
26th - 29th, Action.
A quick spin showed another oil leak, this time from the clutch
area (bum), so the engine was 1/2 lifted out and the flywheel removed to reveal
a nice leak from under the 5th main cap. Some more orange silicone instant
gasket was bunged on then clamped in place with the transfer adapter plate and
the engine went back together again, ending up in the car on Thursday lunch
Went out for a run in the evening and everything seemed to
be going well with the temperature not going above 75C, so after about 3/4 an
hour of country lanes we braved the 'dual carriageway'. A nice blast at 70(+)
for 15 mins managed to raise the water to 80C with no loss in oil pressure. All
is looking good and 80mph (5250rpm) doesn't sound too scary, so all seemed OK
Until the funny tappy rattly noise under hard acceleration
The noise was too high pitched for mains or thrusts, so may
be a busted lifter, or the dodgy ring seats on #5 could be failing. Limped most
of the way home, with a nice smoky exhaust, then stopped for a tow when
the noise got too scary.
Friday I removed the engine and popped
it into the shed, then on Saturday I split the block from the box and found no
big scary bumps in the bottom end and the crank still moved a bit, which
was a relief I s'pose. I lifted rear head off, and found some small dents in the
chamber and crown of piston number 5 . Pulled piston out, bore OK but piston,
& rings dead. More spares needed !
To relax I had some beer
and sniffed paint fumes while pretending to spray the Superlites fluorescent orange
- he he anti-style at its best ;-)
With some beer flavoured
bribery I also managed to get Elaine & Lynne to do a bit more work on the
plaster prototype of the bonnet scoop, though I don't know if the beer helped
the design much.....
of broken engine bits, wheels & scoops
it's next month already !
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