Monday, 30 September 2013

September 2013. Blue Car Bodyshop work finished

13th September.  Went down to pick up the blue car after its time at the bodyshop having the rear wheel arches repaired, it was 5:00pm Friday, it was raining heavily and we were going on holiday next day.  The guys there had told me the car run out of petrol when they were moving it around and so I took a jerry can of fuel with me. Funny thing was I had put about two gallons in after replacing the tank so was a bit surprised and thought it was maybe a fuel pick-up problem but added the extra petrol anyway to be sure.

The rain even got to the phone camera
Two miles up the road I found out that it wasn't just a pick-up problem as the car started to miss then gradually just died.  It had all the signs and feel of running out of fuel so the only answer was a blockage or a pump problem.  Curses, no choice but to call the Towergate Insurance breakdown service.

A wet Friday rush hour turned out  to be a very busy time for the breakdown guys and I spent 2 hours waiting in the rain. Eventually one had to come from 40 miles away and it was fully dark when he arrived..  He was good but had no idea about the LT77 gearbox and the fact that it cannot be towed so I had to explain and persuade him to put the rear wheels on his tail-lift.

Next morning I dried out the car as best I could..  I left it in the garage with the hard top off, and the doors, boot and bonnet open and went on holiday to Portugal for two weeks sunshine.

Update:  On return from holidays the car was nicely all dried out so I made a start on trying to find out why it had broken down.  I was looking for a blocked fuel line so planned to begin by disconnecting at the tank end and blowing it through presuming I had disturbed some muck when I re-fitted the tank.. First step drain the excess fuel but I couldn't get a siphon to work. No problem, I'll blow it back the other was so I disconnected the feed pipe at the pump end and tried blowing back with the air line.
Imagine my surprise to hear the air arriving loudly in the tank - but with no sounds of bubbling - the tank was dry!  It had not broken down at all, I had run out of fuel.
I added a couple of gallons and it fired up perfectly but I then noticed a drip by the pump as I was reconnecting the rubber pipe. Closer examination proved the rubber was split and rotten although it looked pretty new. See picture below. I guess the lesson is not to assume fuel pipes are sound just because they look OK.
That explains the fuel leak then

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

September 2013 GLAVON day out in the old car.

GLAVON group cars at Rodmarton Manor
Away from working on the cars we had a nice Sunday afternoon out at Rodmarton Manor. Its a local manor house built in the early 1900's in the Arts and Crafts style developed by William Morris. It was all made from local materials and is still complete with all the original furniture made for the house. Amazingly it is also still owned and occupied by the Biddulph family who commissioned it. The latest generation Mr Biddulph was there to welcome us, he seemed genuinely interested our cars and asked lots of questions.

From our point of view it also made a great place to show off the cars in front of the house.

Nice line up with my TR7 nearest the camera (one of the members came in his Lotus Elan +2)
 To end our visit we had a wander round the garden which was also laid out in the Arts and Crafts style and an old Canberra then proceeded to give us a diplay fly past. The aircraft is based nearby at Kemble and we think he was trying out his display for the Goodwood Revival next week.

Canberra fly past

 The week previously the red TR7 had decided to play up. The clutch master cylinder leaked most of its fluid down the bulkhead and then the new(ish) fuel pump started to leak as well. There was not time to change the master cylinder and the clutch still worked OK so I just topped it up and put a bottle of brake fluid in the boot - just in case.  The fuel pump leak turned out to be just the top loose so I was able to nip it up gently and that fixed it.  Did start to wonder though if the car was getting a bit agoraphobic, or maybe it realises its days are numbered so it is showing off?

On the day The TR7 behaved itself perfectly, Then on the way home it rained quite heavily so I got to try out the wipers in anger and the headlights worked as well. Magic.