Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Something odd with the brakes!

Over the last couple of days I had noticed that I was beginning to get a "slack" bit on the brake pedal before they began to bite. If the brakes were re-applied within 30 seconds the pedal was OK. If you drove for a bit longer the "slack" came back.

Reminded me of when I managed to warp the discs on an old Astra..... but I have been careful with these so it seemed a bit odd??

I decided to check the disc runout.... offside OK... but then I noticed there was a slight amount of slack in the nearside wheel bearing.... not enough to detect at the steering wheel but possibly enough to knock the pads away from the disc.

Tightened it up... quick test drive all OK. Ordered a new bearing and fitted it just to be on safe side. Especially a it had been one of the last things I re-checked before SVA.

Strange...... but sorted.

I assume the pads are still bedding in as they are producing copious amounts of brake dust.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Alignment Check and Joy Ride

Took the Cob down to my local tyre place who have a couple of those swanky John Bean Laser Visual Alignment set ups to check the suspension geometry.

Cambers and Castors were as they should be and the rear toe in was nearly spot on at 3 minutes & 4 minutes N/S and offside respectively. The front toe in for some reason measured 20 minutes total - a tad too much so this was reduced to 3 minutes per side (GD recommended 0-10 minutes total). At the same time the steering wheel was centred - it was half a spline out and was starting to annoy me.

The Wheelbases on each side were checked as were the diagonals and the resultant line of thrust was only 1 minute out. I would have posted a copy of the printout but it blew out of the car on the way home!!

On Sunday I had a visit from Tommy who lives not too far away and is just embarking on a build himself. He came to have a look at the GD and obviously to go for a ride:


By the way... the oil stains are off my mates 1971 VW beetle - the cob hasn't blotted it's copybook yet!

And here's some photo's taken my Tommy's missus - been a bit short on photo's recently:

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

More Miles and some Suspension Tweaks

Nice day so went to work in the Cob.... caused a bit of a stir. At least I only managed to set one car alarm off! The return journey to and from work is only 24 miles but somehow when I checked the speedo tonight I had done 80 odd. Mainly due to having to scare a few work colleagues at Lunchtime!

I had noted that the rear suspension had settled a bit so I raised the back another 10mm on the springs which gives nearly 20mm at the wheelarch.

Also when exceeding 80mph the front was starting to get a bit "choppy". I sorted this by going up 2 more clicks on the front dampers. This has also had a positive effect on the handling in general.

The other day I received a calibration kit for the carb, so this weekend I'll have a fiddle and see if I can improve the sub 1400rpm running.

Forecast more sun tomorrow so looks like another good excuse to take it to work.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Adjusting the Timing and.... more miles

Bought a Dial Back Timing light today and used it to tweak the timing. I don't have a vacumm advance on my distributor (only needed for economy and emissions .. ha.ha.) so it was set to 36 degrees of advance all in at 3500rpm, which resulted in 16-17 degrees at tickover.

Had another fiddle with the idle circuit mixture screws and off for some more shake-down miles. Result.... it runs much improved at low rpm will pull from 1200rpm OK now. With the camshaft I have it is never going to be that smooth below 1200 rpm!

So that's 159 miles so far and all seems well - all fluids present and correct (no drips of anything on the garage floor), it gets up to temp OK then cycles between 80 & 90 on the stat. If you drop from 60/70 to 20/30 in traffic then the latent heat in the engine bay will cause the temps to just top 90 but then the fans kick in and its back down to 85 in 2 minutes. No strange rattles or squeaks, nothing dropped off. In fact, at the minute I can't think of anything needing attention - other than maybe another fiddle with idle circuit on the carb - odd whiff of petrol fumes in the exhaust in slow moving traffic now and again.

The paranoia of something going wrong is starting to subside a bit now so I might start to venture a bit farther away from home.... got my AA card and a mobile phone so I'll be OK!

The next milestone is 500 miles, drop the oil, new filter and start to build the revs up.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Steering Wheel Fitted and More Miles

Fitted the steering wheel this morning:

Ho - Hum time for a few test miles! - Indicators cancel perfectly - I can now spend all my paranoia on watching the gauges!!

Time to load up the first passengers today. First of all was my Mother in Law who brought along Ray's ashes. This was very emotional moment for me as I had never really come to terms with the fact that Ray would not be here to see the finished article. I think he enjoyed getting the first ride!

Fiddled with the carb a bit more and managed to cure a slight off-idle stumble. I still have one issue at the minute in that it's not happy going slow!! It is not happy doing 30 in 4th, it likes to be in 3rd. Below 1500 rpm with the throttle just cracked open it's a little lumpy. Out on the road it's fine - it will pick up from idle with just a little bit of throttle with no stumble. I'm not sure if it is just a function of the cam or if its timing or carb related?

Anyways I only encounter it when having to cruise past speed camera's..... maybe I'll just avoid them instead.

Started to increase corner exit speeds today and It still seems pretty sure footed. It is quite a revelation driving a car with such direct controls - the feedback is far greater than any mass produced euro box and gives you much more confidence on knowing exactly what is going on with things. However, always at the back of mind is the fact that 400+ BHP in a light rear wheel drive car is a potential recipe for disaster!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

The First Driving Experience

So there we are, after 955 days it finally hits the road. Managed the heady total of 34 miles today!

First thoughts?

  • If I don't watch out I'm gonna loose my licence!
  • Even keeping to 3000rpm during running in your speed picks up much quicker than expected.
  • It gets to 100 (on private roads) before you realise it would be possible to.
  • The power delivery is unlike anything I've experienced before - no waiting for the revs to build up..... it just goes.
  • It goes round corners, boy does it go round corners (better than my tin top and that has sports suspension and traction aids) - can't see why you would need to fit a anti-roll bar - very little body roll if any.
  • I thought the steering was heavy to start with but no - it's a nice weighted feeling when turning in that you don't get in your everyday car.
  • New pads and discs on non servo brakes require a bigger gap to be left before you get used to them.
  • It's just downright brutal! - no better way to contribute to global warming.
  • Bear in mind the above and the fact that it is not run in and hasn't had the carb set up properly yet!
  • I'm left feeling slightly shaky in good way and have lost the ability to construct proper sentences and can only do bullet points!

I hope the sun shines tomorrow .........................................

On the Road at Last!!!

Today these arrived in the post: This enabled me to go and get these:These plates will only be temporary until I get my V5 at which point I'm going to change the registration. So I needed a temporary means of putting them on (as the final front plate will be a stick on affair on the nose). Cut up and bent some aluminium strip, a few rivets and some chassis foam and made these:These are a snug fit thus:With some stick on pads the front plate was fixed:The rear plate was simply stuck on with sticky pads direct onto the boot. Next job was to get the vacuum gauge out and set the mixture screws on the carb to lean best idle... which is more or less the maximum vacuum for a given idle speed. The maximum vacuum was around 15"Hg and the screws didn't seem to have a massive effect on vacuum unless they were way in / way out. I ended up with 1.5 turns out and had to reset the idle down around 200 rpm.
The next job was to fit the mota-lita wheel having got a replacement boss from GD. Problem.... I needed to know where "straight ahead" was on the Vauxhall Wheel as I had sort of thrown it on just before SVA. Solution... quick drive armed with a piece of masking tape to stick on the steering wheel rim.
34 miles later I came back!..... got a bit carried away!
The main issue with fitting the boss is to make the indicators self cancel (out of the 34 miles I had probably left them on for 20 niles! - too excited to notice)
On the Vauxhall column there is a small white peg that protrudes when the indicators are armed:Here's a close up:You need to drill 2 holes in the back of the boss and insert 2 pins to flick the peg and cancel the indicators. After lots of careful measuring I ended up this:The pins are 6mm stainless steel and are an interference fit into holes drilled into the boss. I also Araldited them in just in case. I'll put the wheel on tomorrow when the Araldite has gone off.