April 2nd

Good grief. Has it really been this long since I last did anything?! No wonder people have started making digs at me!

Anyway, to bring y'all up to date, I've done virtually nothing over winter (the only thing I can think of is partially fitting the rear tub tonneau). However, the good weather and the motivation of having attended the open day on Friday (and getting a lift there in Duncan's Dax (ta!)) have got me to get my arse in gear and recommence work. I also bought a nice'n'shiny air intake pipe while down there. The only down side is that I told them my plenum was 80mm across, and they sold me a 75mm diameter pipe... Ho hum, that'll be going back then.

So, on Saturday, it was into the garage to give it a good tidy up so I knew where everyting was to start with. That took the whole day...

On Sunday, I decided that the task for the weekend should be to finish the rear of the car. So, tonneau finished. bootbox trimmed and fitted, fuel pump wired up, return fuel pipe routed and fitted, and wheelarches coated in icky liquid rubber stuff (roof repair in a tin) to try and reduce the chances of star-cracks in the wings from stones being thrown up inside the arch.

While in the swing of things, I've ordered the necessary adaptors to fit the oil pressure sender, along with 2m of oil hose for the remote filter, and also mounted the remote filter head onto the nearside triangulation rail in the engine bay.

I've booked next week off work, so in the meantime, I'll try and create a "to-do" list. Oh, almost forgot - attending the Autosport show in January, I found a suitable alternator mount by JE Engineering. On asking about it, and explaining that I needed clearance for a diagonal chassis rail, he said "Ah, a Dax Rush. Yeah, we sell these to Dax". AAAARGH! Why wasn't I told?!


April 22nd

Another delayed update. However this time it's just down to me not bothering to update the website :-)

During the week off work, I managed to get a reasonable amount done. Not as much as I'd hoped (is that _ever_ the case?), but a reasonable amount nonetheless. The front of the engine bay is a lot more filled now, with the oil hoses fitted, all the wiring done, and the oil pressure sender plumbed in. Now there's a story... I know Tim managed to plumb his sender in quite easily with adaptors from Think auto. However, try as I (and Think) might, we couldn't figure out a way to do it. This perplexed both of us for quite some time, until I decided to check on the greengauges site, and lo and behold, the CAI sender on their site was 1/8" NPTF, whereas the CAI one I got from Europa was 1/4" NPTF. AAArgh! One new sender later, and it was all plain sailing...

After this, it was time to catch up on some bits and pieces, so I've now fixed the scuttle and windscreen for good, the rear view mirrors, the wiper motor, the brake pipes are all tightened up (bar the front flexis, as the ones I got with the new calipers are too short), the clutch is plumbed in, and the battery leads fitted. Also, the exhausts are now fully gummed and gasketted in. All that remains to be done in the engine bay now should be the cooling (it sounds easy if I say it quick), as the EFI splicing takes place under the scuttle :-)

As can be seen from the pics below, I also went down to Dax and got the right air intake elbow. After a bit of 'gentle fettling' into shape, it fitted extremely snugly onto the plenum. A quick clean of the airflap meter later, and the picture was taken. In the pic, the AFM is sat on the resistor pack - I'm going to get some ally U to hold it over the pack, and attach the AFM to the U with Wurth to try and provide a tad of vibration insulation.

Ooh, spacious Shiny

May the 4th be with you (sorry :-)

Ahem. Didn't update last week, though I did do a bit on Saturday. Sunday was taken up by an East Anglian DROC pubmeet, which was thoroughly enjoyable, and helped me decide a couple of things (notably that the AFM should be electrically isolated from the chassis - the Wurth should do this admirably!).

The AFM mount is now made up, and I'm just waiting to Wurth it up until I have a few more Wurth-requiring things ready (fuel tank venting, front arches, fill-in round rollbar), which should be mid-week. During this week, I've got to grips with the loom/ECU wiring, and started to put it all together. This is going to require the dash in place to do the last few bits, so I also decided to get the carpeting done.

On unwrapping the carpet bundle, there appeared to be plenty of the stuff. Notably though, there were no transmission tunnel pieces (instead, there were two sets of outer front triangles - oops), and some of the floor parts are, quite frankly, an appalling fit. However, by not carpeting under the seats, I was able to use those panels to 'fill in' the gaps. The tunnel pieces themselves are a right sod to fit due to the compound curves. I'm not 100% happy with the result, but carpet's only so flexible. Decided to fit the seatbelts too, as people seem to have passed SVA with them (despite not being e-marked), and more specifically, Tim has the same ones, and will SVA before me :-)

From the pics, you can tell it's just a trial fit of the dash after cutting the central bolts down as they foul the demister venting tray. Another fine design point for Dax. Anyway, the next brainache thing to tackle (after trialling the electrics) is the coolant system. That's going to be a barrel of laughs, as the Dax manual shows a carb system, the TVR manual shows an EFi system, and my set up is different again to that. The big pipes to/from the rad are easy enough, but that still leaves another 5 pipe connections on the engine...

At last, it looks like a car! Mmm, carpety

May 22nd

Bad me. No update for a fortnight... The rest of the May bank holiday weekend, my parents visited, so I got nothing done. However, I did get the gearlever gaiter and handbrake cover made up by my mum out of it :-). May 11th, I spent helping strip down a crash-damaged Caterham, which was interesting - it's amazing how quickly you get used to the engine bay being crammed full with V8 - a K-series looks positively miniscule!. Having planned out the coolant system, I started doing that on the sunday (major hoses) and did quite a few little things (sorted out the earth straps, re-routed one of the main +ve cables, tidied up the connectors to the starter motor, fitted washers under the wiper nuts, Wurthed the AFM down, fitted the fuel tank breather and several other things I can't rememner.). During the week, I got the rest of the hoses sorted (the radiator-pump hose is a monstrosity consisting of 4 aluminium tubes, 4 90deg bends, and a 32-40mm reducer). However, the bit between the back of the engine and the expansion tank is a bit fiddly, and required a copper-pipe sculpture to sort. Even then, it needed some of the superflex silicone hose to make it possible! Amazingly, having filled it with 100% water (9litres of it!) to check for leaks, there was only one, and that was quickly rectified with a tweak of a jubilee clip. I'll leave the water in until I've run the engine, to make sure it all copes ok under pressure, and then refill with coolant proper. To tempt fate, I filled the oil too, to try and persuade the pump to prime itself...

The weekend just past, I decided to try out the electrics. After removing the ECU relays and connector (just in case anything really disastrous happened), power was applied. Almost everything worked, with the exception of the reversing light, mainbeam indicator (dimly lit on dip), one sidelight, wipers not self parking, and mainbeam flash. The former was that the wire's come off the gearbox. After happily being connected for ages, it's decided to fall off as soon as it's inaccessible... The mainbeam indicator was solved by just rechecking the connectors on the offside headlight. Sidelight was a naff bulb (it was all blackened - the replacement's fine). Wipers not parking is a duff park switch on the wiper unit (ex-scrappie, so no great hassle there, but I'll see whether I can fix it before I just get another). I've no idea why mainbeam flash doesn't work though, but it's not overly important. Even the demister worked! The hairdryer triumphs again! So, with those sorted, it was on to the next task - getting some oil pressure showing on turning the engine over.

The priming trick of filling the remote filler piping worked wonders, and the engine shows a good 1.5bar pressure on cranking. Now there's only one thing left to try. So, connect the loom, refit the relays, and.. 'BANG'. There goes the pump fuse. However, there seems to be sparks, and the injectors are clattering aweay like good'uns. And that's the end of the weekend.

Determined to get the engine running before this weekend, I asked on the lists, and the best/only advice was to bung a bigger fuse in. First, I checked out the wiring, and that was short-free, so not the problem... Then, test the pump according to the Rover workshop manual - flip the flap to make it think the engine's running. Nothing. At all. Not even a relay click. Odd... Ah hah, duff connector on that pin of the airflap connector. Now, it makes the pump run. Interestingly, and slightly surprisingly, it's latched - the pump runs even if the airflow meter closes again. Note to self, get an inertia cutout switch! The pump runs, and then sounds like it's struggling. Hmm. Check fuel is getting to the pump by loosening the hose to it from the tank. Yep, that's fine. Is it getting to the engine? Follow the depressurising procedure and Cranked without the pump connected to depressurise the system, and then started loosening the feed hose to the engine. As it immediately started pushing off, it all suddenly became crystal clear... The only way it could do that is if there was no escape route through the pressure regulator. Hang on, how does it regulate the pressure if there's nothing in the way of the return to the tank. Oh, wait. I've got the return/feed reversed... In mitigation, I'll claim that it appeared to be that way round cos the fuel pressure valve has a nice connector with an anti-blowoff end, whereas the 'return' is just a bit of pipe with no such thing. So I assumed the one that seemed suitable for high pressure went on the high pressure side. So, the feed is stuck at about 65psi, with no way in, and no way back. A towel over the end, safety goggles on, and gentle easing sorted that (though it still spat - it's pretty high pressure!). Swap 'em over, turn the key, and 'BANG' again. This time it's a backfire. Close... Switch the ignition leads round 180deg, prepare to crank the engine over a few times, turn the key, and it starts immediately. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Unfortunatly, it's now gone 9pm, and the neighbours will be getting a lynch party together if I carry on, so that's it for the day. Hopefully should be able to get some MP3s and pics of this update done tomorrow...