Saturday, February 27, 2016

It's never easy

So today I went back to trying to fit the radiator.

A big problem here was that the front panel had been pushed back which was interfering with the fit of the radiator so first I used a length of wood and a big hammer (!) to bash out the front panel from the engine side.

Next I fitted up the radiator with cardboard covering the front of the engine initially to protect the radiator. The two pictures show the start and end of the process whcih looks straight forward enough but it was far from it. I needed to do a great deal of "fettling" to get the mounting points in a position where the radiator could be fitted.

I checked and found that there was clearance between the bottom of the radiator and the panel work this time but was not quite satisfied there was enough. I solved this by fitting spacers between the radiator side plates at the bottom and the mounting points on the panelwork which was tricky but manageable.

Having acheived this I then went to fit the elctric fan which mounts the grille side of the radiator. Amazingly I couldn't get it in from the front and even loosening the top bolts on the radiator wasn't going to give enough room to slide it in from the top on the engine side.

Now I know when to call things a day and this was one of those times! I'll return to this another time and that large hammer may come into play again.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

On off radiator

From last time's update I have now bolted up the drag struts.

For me this takes a bit of courage or is that stupidity as I have to lie under the car knowing that if it came of the exle stands I would be trapped under the engine - gulp! Oh well, with 6 axle stands, 2 spare wheels, a plastic bin and the jack as well I braved it and accomplished said task.

From there I looked to fit the new radiator. As I am planning just to get the car roadworthy again I am not too bothered about the dents at the front of car in fact I might make a feature of them and leave them there just painted over to preserve the structure.

What this means though is that the frame that the radiator bolts up to is not as "square" as it should be and that two of the retaining nuts had been left back in the Czech Republic. I had bought new nuts and a replacement bolt too from Chris Witor so I set to bolting the new radiator in.

It wouldn't pull up square but I had been expecting this. The gaps didn't look too bad though so I got 3 of the 4 bolts in and started to tighten them up hoping this would pull everything into line. Well that 4th fixing just wouldn't quite pull up close enough and then I noticed the bottom of the radiator was hard up against the cross part of the inner front panel which can't be right.

Realising this I decided to take the radiator off before it became damaged and store it safely away again in the boot. I will have to think what I do next but I think it will involve a big lump of wood and a bigger hammer! The aim being to push the front panel back out sufficiently to get the radiator in and mounted again.

The photos show from inside of the engine bay the bent lower panel and then the lower one is from outside the car showing one of the new captive nuts fitted but also another view of bent metal work!

Meanwhile, here below is a picture of the offside front wing and how the wheel arch lip has been split away with the impact. I have a complete new repair panel on order at the moment to replace all this.

After all of this though I switched back to other matters mechanical. Having lowered all the suspension to fit the "new" sump I had taken the opportunity to change the engine oil and filter. From experience I know it takes time for the engine to get oil pressure up after this kind of work so I took the coil lead off in order to make sure the engine wouldn't fire and cranked it over.

Sure enough over 2 minutes of cranking (or it seemed like it) and the oil light was still on. So, take out the oil pressure sender unit and prime the oil way with oil from an oil can and try again after refitting the sender unit.

Still the oil light wouldn't go out.

Next I removed the oil pressure relief valve and filled the oil way there with oil again from an oil can and after refitting tried again. Still the oil light wouldn't go out and the battery was getting very low.

With the aid of another battery and jump leads I tried again and eventually the oil light went out so at least now I know we have oil pressure and when the car starts the internals won't be starved of oil for the first minute or two.

I did then go on to try and start the car even without any water in it (having replaced the king lead) but although it tried it wasn't going to go, probably due to too much fuel on the plugs by now so I called it a day and put a battery on slow charge for next weekend.