Saturday, 27 October 2007


Last weekend I fitted the windscreen wipers, took about 5 minutes plus 30 to clean then up first. Pleased with myself I retired to the couch.

The hood header rail has now been painted. So a new hood was bought from and as part of the "Is it finished yet?" chat I mentioned the lack of bolts for the upper damper mounts. A pair of High tensile bolts were swiftly produced. I keep forgetting he has a good stock of fixings in the back, saved a special trip to Namerick.

The holes were not actually that bad, two sweeps with a file and it was OK. The dampers are now fitted. It isn't the best conversion kit but it works. The brake hose is a bit close to the damper.

The bracket inside that supports the upper mounting point is not a good fit on this car so has an extra few fat washers to fill the gap.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Measure twice drill once

Or not in my case.

The front telescopic damper, upper mounting points, don't line up very well with the holes in the inner wheel arch. Shame really, more drilling required.

Also the brackets that bolt onto the lever arms don't quite touch where they should. I have some thick washers now from B&Q that will do the job of filling the gaps but I've lost the bolts that hold this bit together.

Another trip to Namerick is required.

All this week I have been de-rusting the hood header rail ready for the new paint and hood. It isn't quite fully rust free but its close! I've now painted it in the blue rust killer stuff ready for the primer.

Not much really... and winter is coming.. it'll be cold in the garage soon.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Further on down the drive...

Found that the brake light switch was loose hence the brakes needed bleeding all the time.
This time, pressure seems to be holding, although all the wheels seem to be binding slightly.

So we went for a spin up the drive and back. The first journey out of the garage under her own steam for 20 years.

Now all I need to do is...

fit the hood
Sort out the front dampers.
cure lack of brake lights
binding brakes
dicky left main beam
Windscreen wipers and washer
dodgy door fitting
speedo cable
Wire wheels
still more stuff I've probably forgotten

Friday, 21 September 2007

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' ........... Not Stoppin'.

So the clutch push rod was filled with weld and a new 8mm hole drilled into it.

The hole was set nearer to the end than normal to push the clutch actuator lever away as much as possible. I might have overdone it, as it was a bit tight getting it to fit.

Engine started and warmed up, I got in, engaged gear, let out the clutch and away we went.


About 3 feet later I applied the brake and not a lot happened.

Next job then, bleed the brakes.


Sunday, 16 September 2007

Clutch dragging on

I bought a replacement starter motor recently - another bit of the original Jemima gone forever. But now it is fitted she starts every time without problems.
The problem now is the clutch.

I bled the clutch but I can’t press the pedal far enough in to disengage the clutch. It took me some time to remember the adjustments at the top of the pedal into the dual master cylinder. Memory like a 20 year old sieve.
With the upper adjuster rod adjusted fully out, I could now start the engine in gear and drive up the garage but I couldn’t start the engine and engage gear!

With thoughts of having to remove the engine and gearbox I retired to the lounge and had a few beers and watched TV for a week.

This weekend I had another look at the clutch problem and decided it could be the old pushrod. So I’ll take it to work (I leave my welder there these days) and fill the hole full of weld and re-drill.

Next weekend I’ll see what happens.

Garage door

I haven’t done very much on Jemima recently.

The local scum smashed my daily driver side window to get at the sat-nav I had stupidly left on show. Later in the week they smashed a neighbour’s rear window and then further up the street a windscreen.

Thoughts naturally turn to security in these troubled times and I wanted new keys for my garage doors anyway - and I also wanted the same key for both doors.
The local garage door provider and the local security firm couldn’t supply standard or improved door locks with the same key. A rummage through eBay didn’t help and a few supplier’s responded to questions with “they all have different keys mate”.

Then I found and the D613 Enfield Garage Door Bolts Keyed Alike for more than one Garage – excellent news and just the job.

The following weekend they were fitted. I should have bought the triple set then I could have fitted one to the Side door too.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Interior trimmed

With the doors and inside body waxoyled the trim could be attached and carpets fitted.

Some of the carpet is glued to the bodywork.

I started with Copydex on the RH wheel arch and found it didnt like being repositioning while I was adjusting the carpet, the LH wheel arch was done using Evo-stick Timebond which worked well but I used too much, so I then used a tin of aerosol carpet spray glue, on the "chassis" rails, which was easy to apply but again, didnt like being repositioned.

The rest was held on by the usual press-on fasteners.

The door panels were a bit awkward as the door had been fitting nicely since fitting the cloth weather strip. These panels fit so they close on the weather strip - so the door fit has been pushed out again. All the other panels fitted nicely and stay put using velcro rather than screws.

The seats had been recovered before we moved house - which means that was done about 8 years ago. The drivers seat was bolted in place and we were able to sit in her properly for the first time in 20 years.

If the starter motor had worked we could have tried to drive her!

Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Waxoyled (some)

After the smell of spilt fuel was aired from the garage it was time to contaminate the atmosphere again with waxoyl.

I decided to use Waxoyl because it has worked so well on this car before. The bits that were treated have survived, the bits that weren’t have turned to dust. This time I was going to use a compressor wax injection kit and really get into the nooks and crannies.

The Spray gun took some time to tune correctly, in fact for ages it refused to blow out anything but air. Eventually, more by luck and a hacksaw to open up the spray nozzle, I had a high pressure wax mist perfect for the cavities.

The left chassis rail was done, the sills, doors, rear wings, rear box section, jacking point and crossmember. The right chassis rail was missed as the hole I had drilled in the front wasn’t in quite the same location as the left and the nozzle wouldn’t bend over the bumper bolt reinforced tube. I'll do it next time when I do the other exposed areas.

Now I can start to trim the doors and fit the carpet.

Oh, and the starter motor has failed again!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Petrol leak

On my way to work I found the garage floor was covered in petrol. The tank had leaked.
I mopped it up and checked for drips and went off to work.
When I got back another gallon or so was on the floor.

The leak was coming from the outlet pipe area. I drained the tank properly and remade the tank connection. Easier said than done.

I had to make the first part in 6mm pipe then upsize to 8mm. This was because the nut for 6mm pipe was too short and was fully in before the pipe was clamped tight. The nut for 8mm pipe was a lot longer, so the 8mm pipe was bored to accept a bit of 6mm soldered into it. The 6mm olive would then seat inside the tank and make a good connection.

That was the plan and it seems to have worked so far.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Engine running problem solved.

I discussed my engine problems with the chaps at work. One contacted his brother in law who suggested it was a leak between the carburettors and the inlet port.

I had a look at all the connections and they looked fine and tight. So it could be the vacuum advance or the engine breather. A finger over the vacuum advance port had no effect so the breather was removed and a 3/8” socket extension stuffed in the hole.

Eureka – the engine runs at a constant speed - very fast but the idle speed was adjusted quickly and Jemima was left to idle and warm up for the first time in 20 years.

The garage filled with smoke from the oil that was burning of the outside of the engine, the exhaust was emitting less smoke now. Actually I’m using leadfree with a slight diesel contamination due to a mistake at the pumps several months ago so a bit of smoke is expected.

The BMW thermostat finally switched on at 99˚C but it was connected to the slow side of the fan so it didn’t have a great effect at first. The lower temp switch doesn’t seem to be working. I switched Jemima off and allowed her to cool down.

Next day I came back to start her up again and all I got was a click from the solenoid again. Out with the starter motor and a recrimp of the stud-winding connection got her restarted again. I’ll change the motor next time.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Still smoking, Still roaring.

The starter motor was a bit annoying, after removing it, it worked on the bench so I refitted it only to get the click again!

Removed it once more and opened it up. The screw post that the battery cable connects to is soldered to the coil winding – or at least it should be. Mine had come adrift. I set to straightening the wire (it’s more like a bar) and cleaning it up ready to resolder. The post would solder nicely but no way would the solder stick to the winding. I cleaned and heated, set fire to most things near by but the coil wire/bar wouldn’t solder.

I was ready to resign and buy an exchange unit but fortunately it was past shop closing time so I cleaned it one last time and crimped the post hard to the wire/bar and when I fitted it I twisted the post to hopefully make best contact.

This seemed to work well at least for the rest of today.

The BMW thermostat was fitted in the block. I bought an M14x1.5 tap on eBay and made a wafer thin helicoil type adapter so it would fit.

I then set the ignition timing again, and reset the carburettors to the manuals spec and tried running the engine again.

Lots of smoke and it still idles for a bit, then roars up to 4000rpm and back to idle. It does tend to spit back through the carbs occasionally too.

Quite baffled.

Friday, 20 July 2007

She's alive! ALIVE!

Getting close to starting the engine so drained the storage oil and topped up with good old-fashioned Dukhams Q. Started to fill the gearbox too then remembered I hadn’t fitted the propshaft. Without the propshaft fitted all the oil will fall out of the hole at the back.

The propshaft can be fitted when the engine is in but it isn’t easy. The trick is to keep the front wobbly bit (technical term) straight. A spare piece of shed (she likes to call it the summerhouse), a torch and a bent bit of metal does just the job.
Next the new battery was fitted and all was ready to go go.

Plugs out, spin the engine on the starter, all sounded good. Check for oil pressure, after a while it came up to 40 psi.Then needed to set the timing with the strobe.

Fuel pump on, choke and Jemima roared into life.
A little too much life, as she would tick over nicely for a few seconds then race up to 4000rpm, then tick over for a while and repeat or stop, while I was scratching my head wondering which bit to adjust.

After reading the books I went back to restart and all I got was a click.Now looks like the Starter motor has failed.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Samson back from the dead.

In 1985 I bought a blue Samson unlimited warranty battery.
Like a lot of people at the time, I wanted a good battery and as we planned to keep the car, the "as long as you own the car" warranty sounded ideal.

Despite keeping the battery trickle charged and the occasional drain it had no chance of lasting the intervening 20 years but it had a good go.

I had "heard" on the web that it wasn’t easy anymore to get replacements and Unipart wouldn’t honour the warranty anymore. But nothing ventured - nothing gained. I contacted the local Partco who were not in the least bit helpful and gave every excuse not to replace the battery, "GBY5603 - Sorry not on my list anymore. Will have to sell you a 3 year warranty battery instead" "We don't like the blue ones..."

So I set the Rottweiler on them. She contacted head office and found a nice girl who was perfectly happy to arrange an exchange for us and contacted the local Partco to tell them off and arranged a new one for collection. We went round and collected a very nice period looking, black, Unipart, 3 year warranty Battery. And the lifetime warranty continues as well, bonus.

Good result, Thanks to the wife and Unipart HQ.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Underneath stuff

This week Jemima is back on axle stands.

The plan was to fit the exhaust, clutch slave cylinder and new rear bumper.

None of which was easy.
Couldn’t find a bolt that would fit the slave cylinder mount. Then realised they are 3/8" UNC, not UNF, so bought some new ones from Namerick. When I got back, the next bolt out of my used nut/bolt box was 3/8" UNC.

Couldn’t find the bumper support bars anywhere, they were only painted last month, so started on the exhaust.
The manifold mount fitted easily enough but none of the others did. Drilled a new hole in the boot floor for the rear mounting. Then found the bumper support bars and realised they would be in the way of the exhaust.

The rear bumper irons and triangular reinforcing bracket use four bolt holes each. Three in the boot floor and one in rear lower panel. None of which really lined up. Boot and rear panels are "new" and came with holes pre drilled but not quite in the right place.

Six more holes were drilled in the boot floor to fit all these bumper supports. Then the bumper itself was not very central so more holes where drilled in the spring bars to sort that out.

I liked the look without the overiders fitted but "she - who must be obeyed" wanted the overiders. Naturally the original ones would look silly so new ones were ordered.

Drilled new holes for some M6 Rivnuts in the rear bulkhead for the centre exhaust mounting and reversed the rear mount to still use the hole drilled previously.

So, three 5 minute jobs, which took about a week.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

How much?!

It's raining a lot but the garage is dry - so far.

I thought I would look at how much We had spent on the Midget so far.

£270 Initial purchase cost in 1974, followed by
£300 for the next MOT.
£450 rebuild in 1980, lots of welding and a respray in the wrong colour.

£500 running cost over the next 10 years including
£800 garage repair work, A posts and wing, that made me "think I can do that!"failed its last MOT seriously in 1987

£6300 rebuild cost so far. inc
bodywork panels, welding = £770 (1989).
Engine = £760 (1996),

So, give or take a few missing receipts Jemima has cost us about £9K.
Not bad really.

Monday, 2 July 2007

2000rpm without the carburettors

Rather than re-chrome I bought a new bumper.
It's easy to throw money at an MG almost everything is available.

Of course now the lamp surrounds look a bit scruffy!

Having fitted the magnetronic ignition I then fitted the Tacho lead to the coil as this had been waiting for me to find the little plastic clip that the white wire wraps around for the tacho pick-up.

Now the tacho is indicating 2000rpm.

I thought the tacho was a pulse counter. Pulses ÷ 4 = rpm. But the current drawn by the magnetronic module also has an effect.

A quick search of the internet shows that this isnt just my problem so I'll look at the solutions and see what's best.

First thing is to supply the magnetronic module from a seperate source to the coil.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Stainless Steel Grill and old bumper

Fitted the new grill this weekend.

Bought on eBay and made from stainless steel it looks absolutely wonderful.
The stainless surround was fitted with screws and only needed slight trimming and bending to fit. The grill itself also needed some tweaking and adjustment to the last two slats at each end.
Trying not to scratch the surround with each trial fit was difficult; the slats are very sharp and easily cut through my masking tape protection.

Next I offered up the front bumper. It is in OK condition but looks awful under the grill. A test patch was cleaned with solvol autosol. It's not going to help much. I took it to my local plater (he did my TR5 bumper 6 years ago) who said he has stopped doing "that sort of work". Then looked on the sussexclassiccar website and found its only £80 new!

There won’t be much of Jemima left at this rate!

Other jobs done
Fitted magnetronic coil and ballast.
Fitted Kevlar reinforced hose set (Why isn’t the straight heater hose kevlar reinforced?)

Friday, 15 June 2007

JYC 603, Radiator, and some more little things...

11 June 2007
The radiator wasn't easy to fit, It never is on the Midget.

I tried to make life easier by rivetting together the splashgaurds and the support brackets so I only had 3 things to line up. Unfortuneatly the front end assembly still made contact and needed a few washers as spacers. The "new" electric fan was fitted with tywraps and I started wiring it in but thought I would test the thermostat. I may now know why the BMW, it came from, was in the scrap yard - it doesnt work!

Also adjusted the tappets as they had all been set to be really loose after the rebuild.Fitted the rear number plate, connected the cable to the starter motor. Went to fit the earth strap from chassis to engine but cant find a bolt the right size for the chassis nut.

Has anybody seen JYC 603?

More goes in the engine bay

06 June 2007

Not much done this weekend. Jet lag and a general laziness is my excuse.

One of the reasons for fitting the engine (other than it needed to be fitted!) was to add weight to the front end, to help compress the springs, so I can undo the bolts on the front dampers. I also had to stand on the steering rack mountings to make sure.On top of the dampers I then bolted the Spax shocks reinforcing plate. A bolt should then pass throught the wheelarch to mount the top bracket.

This is an early version of the Spax kit and it was originally fitted to CLK???H years ago. It fitted CLunK quite well, It doesnt fit Jemima. The bracket has a large gap between it and the wheel arch which will need to be filled. I have looked at the new style lever arm that replaces the whole unit. A much better system but rather expensive at this stage.
While I decide what to do I removed the exhaust manifold. The gasket had stuck very well to all parts and needs replacing without ever getting hot. The manifold was removed to fit the exhaust insulation wrap.

I used this stuff on my TR5 when it had what I thought was fuel vapourisation problems. It successfully reduced under bonnet temperatures and delayed the problem of "Fuel vapourisation". The TR5 would run nicely if kept running or stopped only to fill up. If stopped for 5 minutes or more it wouldnt start until it had really cooled down - up to 45 minutes. This troubled me for years and embarrased me once on the M25 in the outside lane during the usual traffic jam. I had to use the starter motor to drive us to the hard shoulder. Just before I sold it, I replaced the coil lead, and the problem went away!

Anyway, I want to use the wrap to help reduce under-bonnet temperatures especially as the exhaust manifold is directly under the carbs. I then read in the sales literature "competition use only". What does this mean?

Also fitted the magnetronic electronic ignition.

Footwell repairs

24 May 2007

Still in Qingdao, waiting for customs to release my stuff.

The footwell area had been repaired many times. Patches on patches, some welded, some braized and some pop rivetted.

The sill hadnt been welded at all behind the wing so I guess the sill was fitted without removing the wing at the time.
This meant that all the water that went behind the wing wheel arch area went into the inside of the sill. The result is more rust and the sand that had built up inside the sill over time.

With the sill removed the triangular foot area was revealed in its many layers. This was easy to repair with 1mm sheet steel and the sill and floor sections then added on.

The end results looks ok (not that you can tell in this picture).

Spring hanger area behind the seat

19 May 2007

Hello, I'm In Qingdao this week so even less work done on the car. Qingdao is the home of Tsingtao beer, brewed since 1903, and where the sailing part of the Olympic games will be held. (Qingdao and Tsingtao are pronounced Ching-dow.)

More history of Jamima. The spring hanger area was the main reason for the last MOT failure in 1996. As can be seen we were probably lucky to have got that far.

The more I poked the more dust and fresh air was found. I was having difficulty deciding which bits to cut out and how to start the repair as there was little that would remain original.

The sill were fitted first, then the floor, then the triangular section was built up using the spring mount as a means of aiding alignment
Very satisfying once completed.

Time for another Tsingtao beerCheers.

A week away

first posted 14 May 2007

Hi, I'm in Hong Kong this weekend, and last week in Madrid, so i haven't been able to work on the car for a while.

Here are some old photos from the body restoration all those years ago.The rear wheel arch was rather tricky, I thought.

Rear wings for the MKII aren't available so I was going to replace the lower half. This was roughly cut off and the inner arch damage was more obvious to see.

With an inner arch repair section attached, the rest of the rust was removed and replaced with a patchwork quilt of bits of sheet steel.

The area behind the wheel at the bottom of the wing was so far gone on both sides I had no idea what shape it should be, so both sides received a different approach, neither probably anything like what it should be, but you can't see it when the wing is on.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Engine finally slots into place.

Got up early and wheeled out the car and removed the bonnet.

Played with the various hoist options and raised up the engine. Then thought it best to remove the gear lever!

With the engine tilted back what I thought would be enough,
the gearbox 'storage-oil' poured out of the back where the prop shaft would be. Naturally the angle of dangle wasn't enough, and the height the come-along would lift , wasn't quite enough either.

To help, the front tyres were deflated and the back-end jacked up. The engine was spun around and finally it was almost there. With another pulley added to the front to increase inclination the engine started to look as if it was going to fit.

With the usual amount of rushing about, pushing the car forward, lowering the engine, adjusting the angle, jacking under the gearbox etc it's now in.
Time to reward myself and sit back in the garden and read the paper. I'll bolt it all down later.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

The engine has moved...


The engine has moved from the back of the garage where it has been since we arrived here.

In the last house it was rebuilt in the conservatory. The head was modified for unleaded use by a company in Brighton who also gave it a rebore and supplied the pistons. I assembled it all with new oil pump and timing chain and all sorts of other stuff.

The gearbox was stripped and inspected a few months ago, a few things looked a bit loose so new bearings were fitted and they were just as loose, so that must be the way they are... I made a little mistake with the clutch plate as it was used to hold the mainshaft to undo a nut. A replacement was more expensive than I recall from the last one I bought. Ho hum.
I also seemed to have lost a spring, I'm convinced it wasn't fitted but It probably was and is on the floor somewhere. This spring isn't available from the shops but a friend of a friend came to the rescue and gave me one from an old 'box. Thanks Iain.

The Flywheel was covered in rust, as was the important part of the clutch cover plate. These were wire brushed as best as possible. Next time (ha!) I'll grease them before laying them up.

With flywheel and clutch fitted, the gearbox was added and all is ready for fitting.

Thanks to Russell for lending me his Haltrac engine hoist. All assembled and ready. Just need to get the wife out, to lend a hand removing the bonnet.

Other jobs today.
Bled the brakes again, now feels as good as new. Problem being the front offside is binding slightly. I'll ignore it for a while, hope it goes away. Also fitted the steering column seal. Best done as the steering column is fitted not as an after-thought several weeks later.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Bleeding Brakes

Bought the last tin of silicon fluid from and filled the master cylinder. I pumped away on the pedal and nothing happened.

Left it over night and tried again this morning. Much the same.
Found my old Gunsons brake bleed kit. The one you can pressurise with a car tyre. The last time I tried it I had brake fluid spraying everywhere, so this time I just connected it to the cylinder and to the tyre.

With 30psi in the tyre, I expected somthing to happen but nothing did. Even pumping the pedal had no effect. I had another look a the bleed nipples.

I bought these fancy bleed nipples ages ago (like most things for this car) . These nipples are complete with a mini non return valve fitted. So you have a nipple, plunger and spring. It seems you need to loosen the nipple a long way before the 30 psi will push past the valve - or I probably had a little blockage that just needed more pressure or time.

Naturally, I had released it too far and when the blockage released, the spring and plunger shot across the floor, followed by lots of expensive fluid.

Brake bleeding seems to be back to normal now. All 4 slaves bled, still lots of bubbles but time to let it settle and read the paper.

The small stuff

I should be fitting the engine this week but I've been doing the little things.

The radiator was tested to see if it leaked. I had an accident with it in Truro. I was cutting of the wing and while the disc cutter was slowing down, I turned and caught the radiator a glancing blow. Two of the pipes were ruptured. These were resoldered and still seem to be holding out.
A small leak was coming from the top where it had been soldered before so this was sorted and the cooling fins seem to be a bit brittle.

it was rubbed down, de-rusted, and painted in quick set enamel from the trusty payless/focus/do-it-all (whatever they are called this week).

An electric fan was found at Billy Bridges scrap yard. It was from a Range Rover but just fits the front after some plastic was cut away. A thermostat switch (dual-temp) from a BMW is also planned to be fitted.

Other things done, 8mm Copper fuel pipe finished from pump to engine bay.
Removed the heater box to fit new solenoid. Heater box doesnt line up with fan so another bodge needed.

Also started fitting eDead sound deadening to the inside. Not sure if this is a good idea or not. I had a Midget ages ago that had the sheet of black dimpled sound deadening in it, this stuff is similar but with an aluminium top layer. I've decided to fit to most inside panels but to leave the seems free so they can be inspected in the future for rust.


Decided it would be good to fit the brake calipers at the front.
Like a lot of things, these were stripped and painted many years ago.

Wisely I decided to test them before fitting. I applied the air gun to the hole and nothing much happened. I tested the next one and a small movement was observed. I squirted in a bit of WD40 and tested it again. The vapourised WD40 covered most of the desk now - but both pistons are moving.

On the first caliper, this method only moved one piston. I stripped it down and found the culprit. The seal between the halves was too wide and covered both ports. The seal was modified too look a bit like Mickey mouse and all now works fine.

Fitting the calipers was fairly easy - but the Disc dust shields needed a bit of a tweak to allow the calipers to fit.

It looks quite good now with the copper pipes and Aeroquip hoses. I'll get the silicon fluid and start to fill the system later in the week.

Fuel Pump

I "restored" the fuel pump, probably 18 years ago, with seals and diaphragm and re-restored it last year with new points.
Finally fitted it today.
Then took it off again as it would get in the way of fitting the Spax shocks. The Spax kit was purchased for Jemima but used on a different Midget for a while, hence they don’t look pristine.

With the shocks and the fuel pump on, I bought some hose and copper pipe from the local Strand Motor Spares shop and plumbed in the pump ready for testing. The output was directed into a 5l container.

The tank was drained of a few litres of storage oil and re-filled with petrol/diesel mix I had handy from a recent event at the local garage.
30litres of unleaded was added accidentally to my daily diesel runner, fortunately it was fairly empty and I spotted my mistake while reading the advert on the filler handle. At the end of the advert was the word "unleaded" in SMALL letters. Oops...

Anyway it has come in handy to clean the inside of the tank and test the fuel pump.

Fuel pump didn’t work until the usual light tap with a hammer. Rather disappointing but I guess to be expected after 20 years. It clunked away for ages and starts every time now.

When I thought I had finished with the work for the day I found that the tank was still draining slowly through the pipe. I would have thought the pump would have stopped the flow but it doesnt. Had a big puddle on the floor before I spotted it and raised the level of the end of the pipe.
Drained the tank properly again now.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Twenty years!!

The 3rd April past without fanfare.
I forgot.
Twenty years Jamima has been off the road. But she is getting closer to the next self-propelled journey.

This week I have been finishing off the wiring. Despite a new loom, it has needed many modifications. An Ammeter was fitted, an interior light, door switch and a cigarette lighter (destined to be a charging socket). The super loud, twin horns, were also fitted and the plunger screen washer wired up with new "hidden" switch which operate the washer and starts the wipers Almost like a new car.

Then, I thought would be a good time to test it all. I plugged a battery charger and connected to earth and solenoid and switched on.

No smoke, no bangs or pops.

The lights worked, indicators were a bit "buzzy", the wipers wouldn't stop but so far so good. A new flasher relay fixed the indicators (and an earth lead on the left rear). Adjusting the wiring of the wiper switch sorted the wiper - after blowing several fuses when I got it wrong. The toad powerkey light flashed and the system armed when the key was near the spot. But the solenoid refused to click.
Another dud.

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Completing Dashboard

Which switch goes where? I wasnt sure. And it took ages to work it out.

From top left it is, Washer plunger, Fuel guage, Ignition key (oil filter warning above), Dual guage (oil pressure, cooling temp) and Lights switch, then bottom left it is , Choke, Wiper switch, dash lights and heater knob.

And of course when fitting the various wires through the bulkhead each one went through the hole that seemed right at the time but later was found to be the hole for the heater cable or Cooling guage capillary tube.

The washer plunger now has switch built in, to look original, but operate an electric pump. The oil filter warning isnt required due to an oil filter mod and is now the immobiliser warning LED.

Now its time to add a battery to test all the electrics...

Where's the fire extinguisher?

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Yamaha XT500

eBay are doing a "advertise your motor for free" weekend, so I thought I would advertise the motorbike.

I've had this bike for about 17 years and it was last taxed in 1994. When I last rode it the bob weights on the advance retard mechanism fell to pieces. It was still running though.

The dust sheet was removed and after a quick clean it began to look sell-able. Next I needed to start it. It hasn't run for a few years and each time I tried it would cough and splutter when the "easy start spray" was used. Petrol doesn't last forever so I started by draining the tank, It wouldn't drain, as the fuel tap was blocked, so this needed to be fixed. Then I realise the carburettor was empty, so it had to be dismantled. All the fuel, that had been inside, had turned to jelly blocking the main jet and float valve.

It still wouldn't start. So the timing was adjusted. Still wouldn't start except an occasional burst when started with "easy start" and a full throttle. Maybe the idle jets are blocked as well.

Having jumped on the kick starter about a thousand time I was rather tired so gave up.
Half an hour later, my leg was feeling quite sore, and my right foot began to ache. When I walk its like I have large thing in my shoe. I seem to have bruised the sole of my foot!

All this reminds me of the chap who sold me the bike. He was getting on a bit then too and found starting the bike was tricky with a bad back and a dodgy leg.
Sounds familiar...

Tuesday, 27 February 2007


Went to Helsinki 3 times last week, didn't get very much sleep so feel rather jet-lagged. Consequently I haven't done very much.

I did have a look at the dashboard problem. It fits but not with the door seals fitted. So I had to bend back the door surround I bent a while ago to fit the door seals. More touch-up painting required.

Then found that the right angle brackets were "handed" which probably explains why they never fitted 20 years ago. The right hand one now fits but the left hand one is just for show.

I spotted a slight crack in the paint while I had my head contorted in the passengers footwell, so jabbed it with a chisel and revealed more rust! The inside footwell part of the "chassis" rails were covered in a surface layer of rust, last painted over 30 years ago by a mechanic with a new toy (mastic spray gun). It should be OK after a quick rub and a layer of rust killer.

I hope...

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Hydraulics, and Instruments

Today it was time to fit the brake pipes and hoses. Copper pipes were fitted 22 years ago and, as expected, they are still in perfect condition.

I also fitted Goodridge braided hoses. These were bought, but not fitted, 15 years ago! Fortunately they claim to be guaranteed forever. We'll see if they last that long.

Whilst crawling around under the car to fit the rear pipes and hoses, I found it rather difficult to get back up again, wedged as I was between car and garage wall. Maybe I need to fit some some of those handles that usually adorn old folk's bathrooms.

It being rather chilly outside, I also cleaned up the Speedo and Tacho, ready to fit to the dashboard. The dashboard was painted many years ago using the original looking crackle finish paint. It took 3 goes to get any crackles in the paint. It needed to be done in the right temperature environment. "She" wouldn't let me do it in the house so I took it to work. The results were superb.

Decided it would be nice to see the Dashboard fitted today, so began the task. Then found it wouldn't fit due to the door seals (see earlier post) and the windscreen bolts had bowed the dash top, such that the centre section wouldn't bolt in place. This explains why the windscreen centre bolts had two gasket/spacers fitted in the dash top. Both are now fitted and the dashboard looks fine - except the door seals are hanging off again.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Windscreen, and number plate light.

New seals obtained from sussexclassiccar. These seals go under the windscreen, where it bolts to the body. Problem being, these seals are new and don't compress, so I couldn't fit any of the 4 bolts that hold the screen on.

Struggled for ages, then gave up. I cut some rubber matting to the right shape and fitted the screen without problem.

The number plate plate lamp was next. I had fitted the plinth some time ago. As usual this had to be removed to fit the light. Then the new light unit has M5 studs not 3/16". Another trip to the shops for some nuts to fit. With the wires soldered and the earth bolted to the boot lock support, it should work if I ever get to fit a battery.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Windows, easy to get out, hard to get in.

I've been avoiding the passenger's window ever since I fitted the drivers window. It took a whole day to fit it. I should have done the passenger window straight away while the process was clear in my mind.

Two hours later it was done! Easy! The quarter light goes in first, Then loosen the channel by the door lock. Wind the winder until the winding mechanism is as far to the rear as possible then remove all 8 bolts. Shuffle the window and winder about until it all joins up and re-bolt.

It's a good idea to fit the right angle bracket at the end of the quarter light channel before putting in the window. Darn tricky otherwise.

Then found that the windscreen doesn't really line up that well with the quarter lights. So it had to come off again. Needed some new seals anyway.

With the wiring loom in yesterday, I offered up the dashboard. Its rather tight and the steering wheel and shaft had to come off as well.

Net result, 2 things on, 2 things off.


Saturday, 3 February 2007

Too Many Wires...

It's cold outside, so I thought it would be a good time to deal with the wiring loom.

Somewhere over the last 20 years I seem to have lost the "original" wiring loom. I bought another from eBay but it was too different to what Jemima needed. So, feeling flush, I bought a new loom from sussexclassiccar . Then spent a few days thinking about how to modify it.

I need to re-do the mods for negative earth and the alternator conversion, which I first did years ago. Then I'll fit the Toad Powerkey immobiliser, electric washer, reverser switch & lights, Fog light and multi way fuse box.

So I thought about it some more and then started cutting up the old loom for parts. The original control box was modified to contain 2 fuses by removing the internals and adding a few links underneath. This article gives some of the idea.

The immobiliser has two switching circuits. One circuit cuts the supply to the starter solenoid and the other cuts power to something else ( I'm not saying - just in case) hopefully when I come to try to start the car it will work as designed and detect the "magic" keyring.

As I now have reversing lights on Jemima, I used the rear portion of the old loom and spliced it onto the new loom with some minor changes.