Transatlantic 175 Classic Car Cavalcade

So, the reason that I needed the seatbelts was that we got invited to take part in the Transatlantic 175 weekend, celebrating 175 years of cruise passenger travel between Liverpool and New York. Organised by Wayne Hemingway and his team, the highlight of the weekend was to be a Classic Car Cavalcade through the city’s streets, featuring everything from James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 to a (slightly more well known) Ford…

Gearbox saddles and seat belts

Which brings us to this weekend. First on the list of jobs was seeing what I could do about the rather wooly gearchange. It’s always been a bit hit or miss ever since I put the Type 9 in, but never really so bad that it got onto the “must be done” list. Given I was getting some other stuff from Burtons, I tagged a brass selector saddle onto the order to…

Time for a bit of a catch-up

To think, I used to be able to spend loads of time on the car in the evenings and then write it all up before bed – can’t imagine what’s changed in six years  Oh yeah … daughter  Anyways, since the car’s come out of hibernation I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time fannying around with the cooling system. It seems to run warmer than I remember it ever did…

Things you never knew were so affordable – part 43

Turns out that I had the timing 180 degrees out, so I was on a hiding to nothing trying to get it started the other night  Went back to basics by lining up the timing marks on the crank pulley, the cam pulley and the distributor body, then loaded a blank map into the Amethyst so that it applied no advance. The engine fired after a couple of goes and…

Lock up your dizzies

One thing that did arrive in the post this week was a pair of lockwire pliers, which will undoubtedly be useful for lots of things but their first outing is to replace the rubber O-rings used to lock the advance on the distributor. I never liked the rubber rings – they seemed generic, stretchy and not the right size. That’s not based on science and it’s not knocking Aldon, it’s just…

Back from the rollers with a smile

Right, Stef removed and stripped the carbs, confirmed it was the spring on the accelerator pump diaphragm, put everything back together and ran it up on the rollers. Contrary to my assumption that the jets were oversized, the jets actually wanted to go up a size and it was then running sweet as a nut … an indicated 110 bhp and 12.5 AFR around 5,500 RPM. Which all sounds perfectly…

Off to the rollers

TOP TIP: Late at night before going to the rollers to get your car set up, don’t whip the rocker cover off, spend a few minutes getting the valve clearances pretty much bang on, think how pleased you are with yourself that you remembered to do it, put a brand new gasket on, then get distracted and overtighten the bolts and warp the soft ally rocker cover… You’ll not be surprised…

Needs a new fan

The electric fan hasn’t come out of hibernation very happily – it’s been making some strange graunchy noises and generally been rather loud. Probably dried up or knackered bearings or some such, but thankfully the availability of cheap Chinese fans has come on in leaps and bounds since I last looked around eight years ago. Nowadays, just twenty two quid delivered gets you a 12″ 120W fan  I hooked it up to…

Toys from the toy cupboard

With the MOT out of the way, the obvious thing to do was to start taking the car apart and make some room for the DHLA 40s. Thankfully I had the assistance of a mate who knows what he’s doing, but is happy to stand back and chirp in with comments like “have you thought about…” or “if I was doing it, what I might do is…”, whilst without being patronising or a…

Off to the steam fair

Time doesn’t half fly when you get distracted … all of a sudden it’s “summer” and time for the local steam fair.  As usual, an incredibly diverse range of vehicles on display  Saturday’s weather was variable to say the least, but it held off raining all day. Sadly Isabella didn’t get to do the parade round the arena as she was on her way back from that London. Never mind we thought, it’ll…

If there’s one hose I don’t want leaking – it’s gotta be the fuel hose in the engine bay …

Turns out I owe the members of the Petrol Hose Manufacturer’s Association of Great Britain an apology… it wasn’t the hose that was leaking but the Filter King regulator I got all the way back in 2006. It was dripping unseen onto the overbraided hose which then got soaked. At least needlessly going to the motor factors to get some new hose gave me a walk in the fresh air  The glass bowl…

Rebuilding the carbs

Spent over a week trying to find the genuine Dellorto service kit that I’d bought a few years ago and put away somewhere safe so I didn’t lose it…  Finally got a chance to rebuild the carbs, so spent the evening at the kitchen table following the instructions in Des Hamill’s book. My auntie tells me it was a scene reminiscent of my uncles sat round the kitchen table at my grandma’s some…

Exhaust o’clock

As nice as my Prodrive stainless exhaust is, the Capri’s a very different shape to the Impreza and no amount of twisting, turning and contorting would get the back box tucked up in the rear … or over the rear axle for that matter.  When you compare it to the one I just took off the car, it’s pretty clear they’re two ever so slightly different shapes. Who’da thunk it,…

The box of bits is back from the cleaners

Turned out nice  Picked up the carbs today and I’m more than happy with the job done by Ian at CRC Restorations. I chatted it over with him beforehand and the brief was to get them functionally cleaned, rather than focus on them being cosmetically clean – after all, they’re only going to get dirty when I use the car, so I don’t personally see the need to spend extra to…

Disassembling the carbs

Spent the evening with a glass or two of red and some screwdrivers, following the instructions in the book and stripping down the carbs, one by one. They’ve gone off to a local chap for an ultrasonic bath to get rid of the gummed-up petrol in the insides and ensure that when they go on the car, all the delicate little holes are the right size, rather than full of…