I had booked a place at Revington TR in Somerset some weeks ago as an incentive to get the car ready for a good test run and, although cruising was fine, there was still something lacking top end of the rev-range that needed sorting out.
First of all, I needed a new spare tyre. The nearly new Michelin XAS was a 175/70 13 however it was date-coded nearly 23 years ago… I didn’t feel like starting a 4000km round trip without a safe usable spare…..
The only reasonably-priced 185/80 13 tyre I could find was a Maxxis MA1 for 58 Euro + VAT. A new Michelin is, of course, available from their ‘Classic’ range but it’s about 4 x the price. As it is, the Maxxis is correctly speed-rated and seems to be balanced without too many weights on the wheel. It’s only a spare after all – hopefully, it won’t get used….
After last checks on the car, I set off at 18.30 on the Saturday, heading to the Caen ferry leaving at 0830. I fitted my new ‘car radio’ – a Bluetooth speaker and a radio app on the phone meant Radio 2 all the way! The ashtray proved an ideal support for the phone whilst using Waze too – ideal car for cruising!
Stopping only for fuel a couple or so times on the way – it is a fairly small tank after all – I arrived bang on time and had a coffee. Great to see the sun-set / sun-rise on the way – it was a dry, clear trip and the car held approx 130km/h all the way without problem.
Coming into Portsmouth, we passed the new aircraft carrier – looking pretty big but not really to be used for the next couple of years…!
I used Revington’s website suggestion for a place to stay close by – 5km in the morning after a full breakfast was perfect.
Unfortunately, the only bit of rain for the whole trip was the night of arrival at the hotel and a little in the morning – but at least it did show up a small leak from the lower windscreen seal – a towel on the floor sorted that for the night and the next morning it cleared up and was hot and sunny again.
There was a short break on the way to Revington thanks to an early morning nature walk…
Having someone well versed in the PI system go over it made all the difference. There’s a Crypton tuning machine there along with the rolling road and together, it showed that the settings in the metering unit were quite a bit off. Carl had a bit of a fiddle using their software that calculates the settings you need after measuring what you have in way of springs and adjustments and produces the fuelling graph – interesting to see it in action!
I ended up with a little less vacuum on the inlet side but a much fuller torque curve and an engine that now pulls to 6000rpm without struggling.
Leaving Middlezoy, heading up towards the M5/M6 to Chester then onto the Wirral, I called into see Chris Witor and pick up a few pieces before heading up North. I stopped at Cheshire Classic Cars in Broughton for a look around and a bit of a gossip with Iain, the director, with whom I went to school. Great place there for an oggle – lots of exotics and a great team with several expensive restorations ongoing. I managed to get an afternoon top-down in my TR and a pub lunch before heading home to see the family.
I ordered a set of ‘classic’ raised-letter type registration plates to replace the rather nasty modern flat plastic plates that had been fitted sometime since 1998… Much better look now and a return the original look.
It’s completely original inside, done about 45k miles and only had some paint in the early ’80s to sort out the start of some corrosion on top of the rear wings. Really, a great example and quite rare now I think, a totally original one – so many have modern touches now but I like the traditional look. The red lamp under the dash on the passenger side was for a tow-hitch indicatior lamp fitted in the 70’s – the tow hitch has been removed since but I left the lamp in place as a period piece.
A couple of nights at home on the Wirral and I headed back towards Middlezoy to collect a few parts, including a couple of o-rings for the dizzy shaft that had been leaking. I left Revington and headed to Portsmouth in the sun.
Around Salisbury, there was quite a bit of traffic and I had an unexpected problem with the car – fuel seemed to be vapourising in the plastic lines to the injectors when stopped in traffic for a long period, to the extent that on filling up with petrol, the car wouldn’t start again on the garage forecourt…. I removed 3 injectors and bled them through on full-enrichment then the engine started and we were off again, the remaining 3 bleeding through of their own accord. I have a permanent fuel pressure read-out and that remained at 104psi so I’m sure it was a problem with fuel in the nylon pipes gassing up in the hot weather and stationary traffic rather than the primary loop to the tank which has a Bosch conversion. Once underway, all was fine again and it didn’t repeat itself.
Back to France and the trip down South – all went well and the car cruised perfectly. Average MPG up was 31, back down 28. More fuel = more fun I guess…!
Photo just after arrival – before I had to set-to repairing a mouse-chewed water pipe and sink u-bend after an emergency call from the Mrs at 7am…
On arrival, after a trip to the hardware store for the pipe fittings and, a pot of Yorkshire Gold, I attacked the front screen with some Creeping Crack Cure and a smear or two of Arbomast to seal that up and then went into the footwell to check the floor there – I guess it had been leaking previously so was expecting some problems however, it wasn’t bad at all in fact.
I cleaned off the old paint and surface rust with a drill and wire brush in the affected areas then painted up with Rustol primer and will now recover with some top-coat after curing. As can be seen, there was little in the way of corrosion and the outer edge of the floor against the sill is in very good condition with some anti-corrosion coating along the seam already in place. The brown cable is the feed to the fuel pump direct from the battery to keep the voltage up at the pump.
Step 1 – manual wire brush
Step 2 – wire brush on the electric drill about to remove the rest of the loose coating and all signs of surface corrosion.
Step 3 – two coats of Rustol primer followed here by first coat of original colour followed by a second the next day. job done.
The other side is still perfect:
I also gave the original rocker cover to a local Company to sand-blast and powder-coat silver again as it was looking a little the worse for wear. They agreed to 40 Euros, which I didn’t think that was too bad considering where we are here….
I had fitted an alloy cover prior but couldn’t get it to seal properly – silicone gasket, cork, another silicone gasket and on comparing the original to the alloy one, it was rather obvious that it was never going to work…
The corners are very badly matched to the original – a shame really as it would have finished off the engine bay quite nicely….
That’s up to date now – off for another local club trip on Sunday into the Var – no doubt a bit of lunch on the way; rather nice I expect in the Autumn sun as it’s really the best time to be here.