Not housework in the generally accepted meaning, no feather dusters here, more about rationalising the fleet. There are now too many vehicles to have a button each and it therefore seems like a good idea to group the bikes into one thread. There has been quite a bit of bike activity of late, much of it intertwined so that helps too…. Lets see how it goes.
Its been such a long time since I updated progress on Lady Marilyn you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d given up. Absolutely not the case, just taking a bit of a breather and sorting other stuff out. Poo has gone, Herman has arrived (and new toys just HAVE to be played with – it’s the Law) plus I’ve been working for a living too – and work has been manic….
So, when we left the story the venerable lump was out and mounted on its engine stand, the head was off, the studs were all loose and everything was going well…
I took the head to W. Drake in Bradford (http://www.wdrake.co.uk/) for pressure testing and cleaning. Just a quick job, or so I thought. As is always the way with testing, it revealed the need for more work. The head was leaking from the core plugs, the guides needed replacing, the seats could do with updating too and… and…and…. So I took the easy (but not cheap) route and told them to fully fettle it for me.
Drakes are very good but like, Ward Engineering, you couldn’t accuse them of being quick. To be fair I hadn’t been in the zone to do much during that time and no harm was done. Then 4 months later, like the second coming, the phone rang to tell me my head had finally arrived in the dispatch bay. Was I ready for it? Was I bloody hell!
And so the head was duly collected. Sadly Drakes don’t do the gold paint required for the head so once again I turned to the internet for guidance.
What’s the best way to walk from the kitchen to the stairs? If you follow the internet’s advice you’d leave by the backdoor, walk to Droitwich before hailing a cab to the train station heading for Seaton Sluice (real place), taking the bus to the front door and right there you’ll find the stairs.
This is how it was when I tried to track the paint down, about a million web pages later I’d arrived at HMG paints (https://www.hmgpaint.com/) who do a decent approximation to Jaguars Harvest Gold (the generally accepted shade used on the later S1 E Type heads). At least they had an outlet a couple of miles from work and I could happily collect said material in my lunchtime. So that was done and another part accumulated.
Meanwhile, back to the block and time to see what’s happening down below.
I span the engine over on the stand and whipped off the sump. To be fair there were no nasties floating around in there, but a ton of sludge had accumulated. A simple degrease was all that was needed.
I put the sump back on, masked the top end and cleaned up the block ready for a fresh coat of paint. Probably the wrong sequence this, but it made me feel like I’d made more progress than I actually had….
During the rebuild hiatus I tried to convince myself I was still doing meaningful work by accumulating all the bits for the rebuild, timing chains, tensioners, gaskets, seals and new head studs were waiting for the head to come back, and waiting, and waiting and so on…
Time to play catch up, uncover the block and take a peek at the bottom end and once again all looked pretty good.
From what I could see of the cylinders they were all pretty good.
I pulled the big ends out and they looked good. In many ways that’s the worst thing that could have happened. If they’d been worn it would have been a black and white crank grind, but they were fine.
Interestingly it appears the shells came from Gustav Graves Diamond mine in Iceland…
Next, pull the mains. Here there was wear, so the decision became easy – off to the grinders after all.
So, strip off the oil pump and pipework, remove the big ends and pull the pistons before taking off the mains and lifting the crank out
Next pull the oil pump drive and cam chain pulley
and off to the grinders it goes, along with the fly wheel which needs skimming too.
I’d bought a bore gauge to check the wear on the cylinders to decide if a re-bore was also on the cards. Neat bit of kit, checked its calibration at a friend of mines climate controlled measuring room (all very posh – but useful too) and it was bob-on.
Assemble the necessary configuration of collars and pin and we’re ready to go.
Happily the bores show very little wear
The base line measurement at the bottom of the bore was 0.05mm, maximum measured wear was 0.04mm, well within the 0.15 specification. Finally something that doesn’t need doing and isn’t anywhere close enough to “do it anyway” logic.
Now I can get into the oil ways and have everything spic and span for when the crank comes home.
Until next time, once again its….
Well its been a while since I’ve posted on here and much has happened, Herman has joined the fleet and, sadly, Poo has now left…
Poo managed a measly 700 miles between MOT’s in the last year, living under her cover in storage just wasn’t a fitting tribute to the car that had brought so much joy to me and my Daughters. So, with a heavy heart, it was time to send her to a new home – somewhere she would be loved and looked after.
The MOT history says it all…. In my defence there are a lot of vehicles in the fleet and only so many hours in a day. Plus I have the inconvenience of a job to go to in order to maintain them all…
A new MOT was the first step and she flew though that, as normal, with just an advisory on headlights, so I bought some new ones and fitted them. The usual issue with fitting new lights in an Elise is that the mounting brackets tend to fall off when you try. Poo, though, was playing nicely and they headlights were changed without issue.
This was followed with a damned good clean and voila,
Poo was ready to hit the classifieds. I’ve tried ebay before and there’s nothing more than a barrage of idiot questions, including but not limited to, will you take a shoe in part exchange, what’s you buy it now price (needs to be under a tenner), what colour is the blue Elise etc…
So, I tried SELOC, the lotus club website and within a couple of days a nice man from Holland emailed (whilst having a schmoke and a pancake no doubt) with some reasonable questions which were duly answered and an offer came back. I decided to take the offer and we arranged to meet at the Ferry port in Newcastle – which was oddly fitting as it was the ferry port in Belfast where I bought her originally.
The money was already in my bank, so handover was an easy enough affair and off went Poo to the wild blue yonder.
In summary, I’d had poo for around 7 years, done around 10,000 miles and sold her for £2K more than I bought her for. If only all cars were like that.
Bye, bye Poo, we had a great time together….
This section starts with an admission…. I’m getting old!
The Ducati, beautiful though she is as well as fast and sweet handling, leaves me needing traction after a run of a couple of hundered miles. As a result I was riding less and less as all the readily accessible suitable fast roads have been ridden again, again and again.
Then, my friend Felix came to be with an admission tat was tantamount to coming out of the closet. He’d bought a GS. Granted it was the junior, feminine, low fat variety, but a GS none the less. Open season, it was no longer a point of ridicule – well at least after I’d finished ridiculing him – and a GS could be owned by me too…
I took him to the wilds above Whitby to collect his dismally underpowered, fake, GS lookalike… but even then, a plan was forming….
I began the search for a GS of my own, but I wanted the full fat 1200 version. There were lots around, most with 35-50K miles (not an issue as the GS is good for north of 100,000) but they all looked a bit, well, tired. All the front engine cases were suffering the normal BMW corrosion and I wanted something more…
I spotted an add on UKGSers.com, one owner, 22K miles, full history 2005 R1200GS. The pictures looked mint and it had been properly looked after. I borrowed the spare works van and headed off to Kent. Why do I always find the best machinery bloody miles away from Yorkshire? I mean Poo (The Elise) came from Belfast, The Duke came from Rochester, Smelly the KDX came from Cardiff and Lady Marilyn came from south of Gatwick….
Anyhow, set off we did and one bright Saturday morning we arrived down the smoke (again). Herman was waiting and my god he looked good. Nothing really to say, low mileage, used only for touring and complete with a set of luggage. The chap had bought it new from BMW Mafair and cosseted him ever since.A deal was done and Herman loaded into the van for the long journey home.
Well, I say home, Herman didn’t have an MOT so I decided to take him to work and MOT him from there, so thats what I did.
Herman flew though his MOT and it was time to hit the road.
When I bought the Duke, the seller told me not to ride with my friends for a while until I’d got used to riding a Ducati, which was very different to the Jap fours I’d been used to. That’s what I did and it paid off in spades. The Duke was so different that it took a while to be able to ride instinctively without finding myself in the wrong gear or at the wrong speed or braking too early etc. Its the same with Herman, very different to the Duke and massively different to four cylinder engines. The engine braking is huge and the tendency to rock left and right when blipping between changes, rather than forward and backwards, takes some getting used to.
That said it wasn’t long before I enjoyed the riding experience and, even more so, the ability to ride slowly without pain. This opened up a lot more roads and destinations….
The speed has picked up too, once I learned how to keep Herman on line I’ve got considerably quicker – yes he’ll never be a sports bike, but he can surprise a fair few of the would be MotoGP wanabees….
I suspect there will be much more from Herman, but it doesn’t bode well for the Duke, shsssss, don’t tell her….
Jaguar head studs were first conceived in the heat of a S&M session, probably. A man with bulldog clips on his nipples while receiving 40 lashes had a sudden rush of something, lets call it inspiration (for want of a better word) and decided to tap the inside of the water jacket to receive the studs. Here those studs would be free to corrode to their hearts content – thank you sir, may I have another – and some poor smuck would have to free those wasted away studs from the corrosion hell of the water jacket years later – after you with the jar of bees and scrotum seal – all in all a terribly good idea, if your mind works that way.
Back to the here and now and I had become that smuck, Jaguar in their wisdom had allowed the victim, sorry, rebuilder, to see the extent of his torture be revealing what was left of the head studs via the core plugs.
On a cold and blustery day in November I find myself going down the path of whylie Coyote with my very own chemistry project. The “why” was fairly simple. As mentioned . My studs had corroded significantly and were really narrow at the point that they went into the block. If they sheared I was in real trouble, so this was an important job.
I googled to find the best penetrating oil to give me a head start, among the usual suspects of PJ1 and WD40 was a thread on a Do-it-yourself formula, acetone and ATF mixed 50:50. Some testing had been done and the alleged results gave the best performance. But its flammable and explosive…
So, here I am, standing at my bench with bottles of acetone and ATF, a measuring jug and a vague urge to check the house insurance cover. Does this come under the terrorism act or the soon to be released stupidity act 2015.
My mind wandered back through the decades to my first Scout camp. I must have been age 11 or 12 at the time and it was a very exciting event. Tents were erected, wood chopped and a roaring camp fire established outside our patrol tent. The Patrol leader told me to put some water on the fire. It sounded a shame to do that after all the effort to get it going in the first place, but being the patrol junior I did as I was told and out went the fire. Noooooooo shouted the patrol leader, I meant in a billy can you wazzock.
And that is the problem with instructions, you have to hear them as they were meant to be heard. So, my instruction from a faceless individual over the medium of the internet (which as we all know is 100% reliable….) was to mix acetone and ATF in a 50:50 ratio. In for a penny in for a long-stretch-in-casualty….
Happily nothing exploded, the vapour didn’t kill me and the resultant pink fluid looks mostly inert. So I dried out the previous WD40, that I’d been applying daily for more than a week, and sprayed the new concoction onto the base of the studs.
It sat this way for a day or so before I decided it was time to tackle the actual removal.
I thought a lot about how to stand the best chance of getting them out whole. The normal option would be to lock two nuts together and apply pressure. I decided to try a different route and welded one of the head nuts to the stud so that I could use the windy gun to put some shock loading through the studs.
Obi-Wan Preston-Ladd had suggested using a little heat as well, so I dried out the new fluid (explosive remember) and very cautiously flashed the flame over the area. To my delight, nothing blew up….
So I added more heat
after about 5 minutes of heating (its only a propane burner after all) I took he heat away gingerly added some of the new fluid hoping it wasn’t hot enough to go bang, and fired up the windy gun…
a couple of minutes of rattling and hey presto! thank the lord of the internal combustion engine, the stud broke free…. Using the same technique on the other 7 they all freed off nicely..
I haven’t taken them out yet as I want to clear all the crud from that water jackets and don’t want it falling into the threads. I will be posting pictures of them once out though, just to illustrate how bad they were…
With the lump out of the car, it was time to have a poke around. first job to split the gearbox off
Easy enough even it there are loads of bolts to undo, all of them behaved and quick as a flash….
Next came the pressure plate and low and behold, the friction plate is knackered… It was getting changed anyhow so no great shakes, what is amazing is how well it drove in the state it was in, no judders and a smooth take off..
The flywheel will need dressing too when I rebuild as there is some marking on the surface, but again, no great shakes.
I bought an engine stand to make life easier which is both a good and less good thing. The stand itself is fine, but as its the heavy duty version its too wide at the front to get the crane in and mount the engine, it needed a bit of swing….
I needed some longer bolts to mount the engine to the stand and I wasn’t entirely confident that they’s be ok, but they’ve turned out fine. I mounted the engine and left the crane on loose while I rocked, pushed and lent on the engine and all was good. I used 4 inch long 3/8 UNF bolts, grade 10.9 to be safe, they were fine with a few hardened washers. – but I could have gotten away with 3.5″. I figured I could add washers, but it was harder to add length – god knows I’m aware of that problem.
Once all was tight, secure and generally very happy, I added some degreaser and a light jet wash, it didn’t need much, another telltale that the engine hasn’t seen much use in all its years in the car.
Now for the head studs, as hidden behind the core plugs. As mentioned previously corrosion is very much evident and they need to be changed. I cleared the crud out with the aid of a dentists pick and airline and left the soaking in WD40 whilst I get on with other jobs. This part of the project weighs heavily on my mind and I’ve sent and SOS to my friend, and resident expert, Jerry Preston-Ladd of the challenger owners club for advice. If I shag this up I could be looking at a new block…
Before stripping the engine I’d done compression checks and all seemed fine. but the head needs to come off anyway for general inspection and any remedial work necessary, so it was out with the crane again.
Having released the tension on the top cam chain, I undid the 4 bolts per cam sprocket and slid them along the tracks to clear the head. This is a great design feature, made the whole exercise so much easier… I also tie wrapped the cam chain to the sprockets first – not entirely sure why as its getting changed anyway, but, at the time it seemed like a good idea. Unlike many of my other “good idea at the time” decisions, this one wont cost me a house 🙂
Next I took off all the head nuts and the 6 bolts at the front of the engine and introduced the crane again. With a little load on the head and wd 40 sprayed around each of the head studs to my surprise the head began to move…
I’ve heard so many horror stories of the heads being corroded onto the blocks, but mine just lifted easily requiring nothing more and a gentle rocking to make sure it lifted evenly. Before I knew it I had a head off….
There is something very satisfying about engine rebuilds, its like surgery, bringing life back to those who were losing it. I mean, how hard can an operation be? Surgeons don’t have to worry about differential corrosion, collects or cam timing…. Tish, easy life…
Just a little time left for a quick glance at the bores and pistons, and yet again, all looks good. This appears to be a low mileage engine that’s just suffering from a lack of use, so often the problems with cherished cars…
My time with this phase had run out… and it was time to pack up for the evening. Daughter Sophy decided that I didn’t need the full 4.2 litres of jaguar engineering and, apparently, daughter power trumps horse power every time.
I’ll see how she likes it when I connect the propshaft…..
Well, the time has come for a major withdrawal, the IRS was home and snug, the front suspension all new, the wiring was like an explosion in a spaghetti factory, but can wait, lets get the engine and box out for a look see.
First job was to put the wheels back on and drop the rear. so I could move the old girl around. I still haver to fit the handbrake and torque up the hub nuts, but for now, just the wheels will do.
I rolled her back to give me some room for the engine hoist and had to put the front wheels on bricks so the hoist would get under the wishbones, but all fairly straightforward stuff. Next I undid the gearbox mount (which is more complex than it needs to be and something I’ll take a look at before it goes back in). Then I secured the engine on two strops, using a load leveler to allow me to adjust the angle, undid the front mounts, ancillary wiring, hydraulic clutch and took the exhaust manifolds off. Surprisingly all this went well and nothing broke or was sized. Happy days. Just the gear lever to take off, two ways of doing this, I chose the longitudinal bolt rather then the transverse, but its probably as broad as it is long…
I removed the inner panels on top of the gearbox and at the front of the scuttle to give me more space and then…
I started the lift…
It took some rocking of the engine to release the front mounts, both of which broke. I was replacing them anyway, so no harm done. Bit by bit I lifted, constantly checking for clearance and making sure I hadn’t left anything connected.
all looked good, the front brake pipes are perilously close to the front pulley so I always had an eye on that too…
inching it out, all looked good…
And then she was free 🙂 Its a heavy old combo the engine and box (complete with over drive) and needs a bit of work to man handle to the resting place, but not too bad.
Once on the deck, the first job was to look behind the core plugs. A few of mine had been weeping but I also know they are a sludge trap, time to see if I’d caught anything…
Oh yes, there was enough muck in there to to fill a sink hole. Its to be expected after many decades of corrosion and my car had been little used, allowing it to react over long periods. I pulled out all the core plugs and blew out the debris with an air line and a dentists pick to release the stubborn bits.
the head studs pass all the way to the base of the block and that’s what you can see through the hole. I’ve heard of studs so corroded they’ve nearly rusted through. Luckily mine aren’t bad at all…
Once I’d cleared the sludge I filled each recess with WD 40 as I’ll be changing the head studs as part of the engine rebuild and the penetrating oil can have lots of time to do its stuff.
I took off the in;et manifold and starter to help with access as both also are in line for a rebuild.
Next on the list is an engine stand so I can work at a reasonable height. More progress as it happens…
Smelly is a KDX 220, one of a gang of three, Itchy (250 Suzuki), Hairy (KTM300) and Smelly. Smelly came around, as these things often do, from a discussion over a few beers. It was decided that we should all get enduro bikes and start doing a spot of green laneing.
Ebay is your friend at times like these, some clicking later and we realised that Wales was the land of plenty when looking at enduro bikes, so we made a list of possibles, borrowed a van and then at some ungodly hour on a Sunday morning set off for the land of Leeks, thistles and nervous sheep.
Many hours later we had two of the three bikes we needed
Smelly seemed fine, but when I got her in the mud she just lacked a bit of punch at high revs… Time to investigate. I pulled out the engine to make it easier – top tip if your thinking of doing this, dont! The rear engine mount is also the pivot shaft for the swinging arm. Once you take the shaft out the monoshock linkage trys to kill you… still once it was done the problem became clear..
The little bit floating in the crank cases isnt supposed to be there. It is supposed to be fastened to the end of the powervalve actuator shaft. As the engine was out anyway, it may as well all come to bits for a poke around…
all parts de-coked, actuator repaired, all fairly straight forward stuff…
Now, green laneing is all about lots of fairly gentle stuff and the occasional really tricky bit. Being novices we headed to Deadmans hill, a well known green lane.
The first bit was easy enough, if a bit foggy. It did get tougher at the hill itself, the ground was heavily rutted by the 4WD’s and ts steeper than the photos let on..
but we made it
We’ve done a few more since, but more often than not we ride up the sharrow, arse about there for a couple of hours and head home.
That said, this winter we’re planning on doing more proper green lanes… More to follow 🙂
Thats all folks
The work on the IRS was largely finished, an emergency delivery from John Gordon Jag spares (jagman0_6 on ebay) allowed me to replace the outer fulcrum I wasn’t happy with – really quick service from those guys – and it was pretty much job done.
Now, the jag diff is a heavy piece of kit by its self, bolt the rest of the IRS on and it weighs more than Buster Gonad’s wheel barrow.. I had to use the engine lift to get the assembly from the trestle’s onto the trolley jack
to protect the newly painted components, I sat the IRS on a block of wood, but as I tried to maneuver the unit under the car the wood kept slipping… to get over this I screwed the irs cage to the wood at the back ( but loose enough to get a cutting disc in when the unit was in the car, and then used a G clamp at the front.
It was an easy job to get the unit back in, just raise it slowly and make sure the bushes line up properly.
Next came the trailing arms, because the wishbone is “down” the arms don’t line up with mounting brackets. So get over this I just jacked the wishbone up until it started to lift the car, then used a ratchet strap to get the last bit of movement. The bushes slipped straight in and it was job done.
Just a few tidying jobs left on the rear and I can think about lifting the engine and box out.
One of the problems with tinkering with cars is that you can attract a lot of “can you take a look at this for me?” type requests. One such job came in the shape of a neighbours “dirt bike” that he’d acquired to go over the fields with his son, who has a quad. I don’t mind helping neighbours out and its been a while since I tinkered with old two strokes, so it was no hardship.
It didn’t run when he got it and would I take a look at it for him. Hmmmm wiring was none existent and the magneto morse taper was a bit second hand…
The ignition systems on old TS’s are a piece of cake. A magneto (not alternator – so no rectifier) with the points between the magneto and earth leaves just one wire to the coil. However the points were shagged and the rust on the taper would stop the flywheel from sitting right.
A quick clean, change the points and gap them correctly – its actually a case of timing them, if they open at the right place the gap takes care of itself. I ran a new earth from the engine case to the coil, fitted a new plug, popped some new petrol into the float bowl and we were away. Still needs a bit of work as it runs rough, but I can sort that..
The joys of tinkering!
The woodruff key sheared because I hadn’t tightened the flywheel fully – I didn’t have a puller if I needed to get it off again, but now I know its nearly there have ordered a new key (all of 89p) and I can finish this little job and clear the garage again.
Poo came about because of a trip to the Nurburgring in 2009, it was to be my daughters first trip to this hallowed place. I had intended to do the trip in the Westfield as I had done previously, the Westfield though is basic in the extreme with no weather protection at all. My friend Felix was coming too, in hios Elise.
As with all things, planning something is a piece of cake but as time rolled onward I had second thoughts about the Westfield. Finally the second thoughts became a decision, I needed a more practical car for the young one. Only problem was I’d left it a bit late, were were booked on a ferry in a little over two weeks time…
I’d always liked the Elise, my friend Felix already had one and I decided that’s what I needed, but quickly. Time to hit the classifieds…
We managed to find the right car, beautiful she was (and is) too and bought her on the spot. I’ve never looked back….
Back to the trip, loaded up with stuff (well as much as you can get in a couple of Elises (including helmets for all) and off for the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge
Poo has been a model of reliability ever since, passed every MOT, never broken down and still has the same head gasket as she did when I bought her ( a known K series issue). I’ve changed a water pump and a thermostat over the 6 years (to date) I’ve had her, had the front end resprayed to take away the stone chips.
In 2013 Sophy and I did a whirlwind European road trip covering 2000 miles, taking in 10 countries, in 5 days. We did route Napoleon, the Monaco Grand Prix circuit, Italian cost road, Swiss mountain passes, the Black Forrest run, Nurburgring (again) Holland and home via a few of the smaller countries (like Luxembourg and Lichtenstein). Once again poo was flawless and was running better than ever when we made it back to Blighty.
This was the perfect road trip, lots of fast driving, glorious weather and the best company, Sophy and I are taking about doing Norway, the long way round, next time….
We’ve spoken of selling Poo now Lady Marilyn is here, but she’s just a part of the family – there’s no real need to sell her so she keeps her place in the fleet…
A Tale of two Clippies
Been an odd week really. Went for a run in the Lotus with my youngest daughter (for her birthday) on Friday, I’m fond of telling people how reliable the Lotus is and that is never any bother. Hmmm it seems that Poo, for that is her name, decided it was time to teach me a lesson in speaking too soon…
The run was good fun, off to Whitby for fish and Chips, roof down, light rain turning heavy..
Then down the coast road to Scarborough. Some way along We caught up to a low loader hauling an Articulated Dump Truck ( I used to design those), it struggled on a hill and I had to nip into first gear, except first gear had decided to take a holiday… First gear, being the sociable type, decided to take 3rd and 5th for a bit of company, leaving me with fourth and a possible second – if I dare risk it… Truth be told I didn’t risk it and came home the 70 or so miles in fourth…
A great day was had not spoilt in the least my the misbehaving gearbox, but as Saturday dawned I decided it was time to take a look and see what the problem was…
As the undertray had to come off I got a gallon of Mobil 1 and a new filter as Poo was due her annual change anyway. It didn’t take long to find the problem, on of the gear selection cables had lost its retaining clip. Poo was smiling on me though as the offending clip was still lying on the inside of the undertray. Piece of cake to slide it back on and I took the opportunity of adding a couple of cable ties to stop it happening again.
I also had a quick bleed of the clutch as it felt a little spongy and all back together.