A Californian drying out in South Africa

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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:43 am

With the sender unit assembly back in the tank I now need to wait a few days to see if the smell of petrol returns?

The brass washers will be a reminder of what I have done, there is also a sheet of clean white paper laid over the sender unit so that I can check for vapour leaks.

The new cork tank gasket has been fitted clean and without sealant of any sort.

Note, as the screws are now, I went for a test drive and saw that the dash petrol gauge did not work, with the screw with the original copper washer re fitted the gauge started to work :D

So the new brass washer to sender unit was not a good enough contact?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by 617sqn » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:21 pm

Those screws should all be turned to align with the radius of the circle of the sender flange. Have you NO shame !? :(

Andy G
Member No. 7500, and Stan's best mate.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:16 am

This cars rebuild is now three years into the making, I was never going to touch the engine as I knew it to be in good condition when I sold the car around 2007, then when I looked closer at the engine and saw grey silicone sealant in places like the front timing cover, oil filter base, oil sump I knew someone had opened the motor anyway.

So I took the head off, removed the timing cover, oil filter base and sump and had a good look inside, I saw nothing much wrong, excepting two tappet blocks had top surface marks and some tappet gaps were at zero.

I then redid the camshaft settings and fitted a new timing chain as well.

The bores looked not bad, used but then they are all of fifty years old now, so forty seven years old then, the top of the pistons had damp carbon on them due to the car having not been driven much in the past four years?

When the engine was back in the car and I got to drive around some, I found that the number three spark plug tended to burn with a sooty trace, it was working but not as clean as the other three cylinders?

Today and after some one thousand kilometers of driving I find that the number three spark plug burns much the same as the other three?

The picture of the bore is from three years back when the cylinder head was removed, the picture of the spark plug was taken yesterday.

Note that the original Payen type silver gasket is failing on the edges of the steel rim, that gasket was fitted while the car was in the hands of the person I sold the car to, he bought the new gasket from myself.

I had fitted a new set of piston rings to this engine about ten years back, I suspect that given the cars low mileage since that time, they are now bedding in and giving better performance, the car certainally drives very well with very good engine performance, uses little oil and it does not smoke from the exhaust either.
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:40 am

617sqn wrote:Those screws should all be turned to align with the radius of the circle of the sender flange. Have you NO shame !? :(

Andy G
I would like to adjust the screws for you to suit the lining up of the screw head slots, having just tried to do so I would need to back off the screws and so reduce the tension on the new cork gasket, so In this case they will have to stay as they are.

I still smell a trace of petrol in the cabin, there is nothing staining the clean white paper I laid over the sender unit, so no leaks from there? :) Imp027
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:52 am

Does an anti seize paste like Copaslip really work? I ask myself this each time I remove a spark plug, as even though I had applied the paste last time the plug was removed there is very little evidence of the applied paste being there?

Today I will apply the Tef-Gel paste that I have and have used with success in marine applications over many years.

TEF-GEL™ APPLICATIONS

All Grades Stainless Steel & Aluminium
No dissimilar metal corrosion
No Galling
Lubricated for serviceability

Electrical Connections
Prevents Corrosion, without impeding current
Mechanical Fastenings, Fittings & Hinges

Tef-Gel is very thick, so I used a stiff short bristle brush to do the application to the thread of the spark pllug.
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:50 pm

Today and in Hout Bay, I was visiting the tyre fitment shop that checked the cars front wheel alignment out last year.
That was a very worthwhile investment in both time and money.
The German made machine even had the data for the Hillman Imp in its computer :)
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:04 am

I was told recently that the Imps piston gudgeon pin and the front suspension king pin are the same size diameter, are they?

Looks to be the case!
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:05 am

Would the bush off an Imps King pin fit the Imps piston gudgeon pin, I was told not!

Either way my box of tricks from The Imp Club Spares department included a new set of Glacier bearings to fit the conrod small ends, do they need reaming out after they are fitted is my question?

Have you ever taken the time to view the vast amount of stock holdings our club has for the Hillman Imp?

http://www.theimpclub.co.uk/club-spares/

You can access the spares lists via this link :)
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:20 pm

Tef-Gel anti seize paste, does it stay on the threads of the spark plug better?

Well after a nice fast drive on the local Chapmans Peak Driveway and back, a quick check of spark plug number three confirms that it does.

The Tef-Gel is still in place and no further application will be required right now :)

The tinge of brown will be from the remaining Copaslip that was in the threads of the cylinder head.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:36 am

If I kept a log book for this 1967 Hillman Imp Californian I would know when I rebuilt the engine and fitted a set of new piston rings?

The fact is there was and is no log book but there are a few happenings that came after the engine strip down and then re assembly.

One was the David Piper Springbok race series and a round of which was held here at the Killarney International Race Circuit.

The engine was in very good condition then, I had the car serviced at the Killarney Auto Services shop, a straight through exhaust pipe was made and fitted then.

Using borrowed race suit and a crash helmet I took the car on the circuit one friday and did a test lap.

There was just the one lap as the fan belt flew off at what was BP Corner , now named Cape Town Corner, I made it back to the pits ok and packed up for the day and the event.

This was (i think) 2006/7 so the engine was fitted with a set of new piston rings some ten years back, low miles since then have not taken much out of them, in fact my drive yesterday tells me that an engine rebuild is not required.

Todays picture but the same engine inside :D
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by Pog » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:02 pm

Well it's only taken me the best part of 3 weeks of on-and-off reading, but I have just finished all 167 pages of this thread - I have to say that this has been such an incredible transformation! The car is a credit to you Roy and is easily one of the best finished Cali's around. Your attention to detail is superb and the way you're able to tackle pretty much any task at hand is remarkable - you're a wizard with epoxy!

Many thanks for your detailed posts and photos, I do hope they remain on the forum as they are - I'd like to be able to refer back to them once I finally have a restoration project of my own.

A true inspiration and well done for keeping the Imp alive - particularly in such a part of the world where parts are scarce and hard to come by.

All the best,
Pog
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:25 pm

Pog wrote:Well it's only taken me the best part of 3 weeks of on-and-off reading, but I have just finished all 167 pages of this thread - I have to say that this has been such an incredible transformation! The car is a credit to you Roy and is easily one of the best finished Cali's around. Your attention to detail is superb and the way you're able to tackle pretty much any task at hand is remarkable - you're a wizard with epoxy!

Many thanks for your detailed posts and photos, I do hope they remain on the forum as they are - I'd like to be able to refer back to them once I finally have a restoration project of my own.

A true inspiration and well done for keeping the Imp alive - particularly in such a part of the world where parts are scarce and hard to come by.

All the best,
Pog
Pog, many thanks as your comment is like a breath of fresh air to me.

The reason being is there are those who have objected to some of my postings and some actually say I am using the Imp Club Forum as a Blog?

This is far from the truth as my own blog has been running for a decade and more with over one and a half million viewers now.

The Californian Drying out in South Africa is really the cars diary and since I began the restoration of the Imp.

Three days back I was given an unknown compliment on the car.

I was in the service station for some petrol, a guy asked me what the car was?

I replied " Its a Hillman" his reply was " Oh I was not aware they had started making them again?"
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:31 am

A smell of petrol has been with the car for some time now, I had assumed it was the petrol tank sender unit gasket, for sure there was a vapour escape there.
The new cork gasket as supplied by the Imp Club Spares deparment has sealed that area off.

Today I sensed more petrol smell than before, was it on the engine end?

It was!

The white plastic strip is fitted under both hose clamps and in that way holds the AC fuel pump spigots together :)
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:37 am

Have you checked the steel pipe under the car, they can rust after all this time if its still the untouched original especially behind the rack mounting plate, though I realise there you only have wet weather once in every blue moon in a month of Sundays. :D
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by briang » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:39 am

Have you checked the breather pipes around the filler pipe area.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:46 am

The Nun wrote:Have you checked the steel pipe under the car, they can rust after all this time if its still the untouched original especially behind the rack mounting plate, though I realise there you only have wet weather once in every blue moon in a month of Sundays. :D
Good question and one I have considered but I would expect the petrol to then drip out and onto the garage floor?

I have seen an issue with poor starting recently, as in I need the choke, that was never used in the past, do I have an air lock due to the leaking rubber feed pipe I found this morning?

Interestingly I have re tightened all of the petrol hoses a number of times, not often enough it seems?

By the way, rain is still in short supply but yesterday much of South Africa was covered in snow!
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:50 am

briang wrote:Have you checked the breather pipes around the filler pipe area.
Yes and more than the once, I suspect the large filler elbow to some extent, is the rubber as air tight as it needs to be?
Visually it looks to be in good condition.

The breather pipe will have an air line on it just now, that will at least prove that the line is open, then again a full tank and hard braking can normally bring with it a smell of petrol as the petrol flows along the breather and out to the ground.

The none Rootes type rubber elbow was on another Imp I took over, I have a spare original type but its past its best :(

Looking at this none standard petrol tank filler rubber elbow I would give it a much better chance of survival in a front end smash?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:02 am

African Imp wrote:
briang wrote:Have you checked the breather pipes around the filler pipe area.
Yes and more than the once, I suspect the large filler elbow to some extent, is the rubber as air tight as it needs to be?

The breather pipe will have an air line on it just now, that will at least prove that the line is open, then again a full tank and hard braking can normally bring with it a smell of petrol as the petrol flows along the breather and out to the ground.
The air line was tried from both ends, no issues with a blockage was found.

The tank breather pipe is the cars original one, it is now a hard plastic but shaped to the position it has been in since just before February 3rd 1967 when the car came off the Linwood, Scotland, factory production line.

Little did anyone know that this Imp and many others are still driving around and over fifty years later. :)

That yellow sticker was supplied by Infraza , so its really a Chrysler addition but it suits the car I think?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:30 pm

The Nun wrote:Have you checked the steel pipe under the car, they can rust after all this time if its still the untouched original especially behind the rack mounting plate, though I realise there you only have wet weather once in every blue moon in a month of Sundays. :D
I have just checked back to a previous posting, the existence of a petrol drain union was news to me and proved that the car was built to be exported.

The area was power washed after this image was taken, the pipes looked sound enough I think?

As the car was worked on a rubber grommet will have been fitted where the petrol pipe exits the area under the petrol tank.

The crud on the pipe is dirt, it is nor rust!
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:41 pm

Your fuel pipe looks a bit rusty Roy, did you replace it with Kunifer type? Ive always found the pipework is far worst a state where you cant see it, ie behind the rack mounting plate so if its showing rust where you can see it then is likely to be far worse behind that.??
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Singer Chamois? I know them, my wife's got one of their sewing machines.

Thanks for your concern.

I will have checked that pipe out when the front suspension was off.

Looking now it just needs a decent wire brush clean and some paint.

Is that my next task I wonder? :(

I have just reached under the car and taken this picture.

It is dust dry under there and I have no intention of it ever becoming wet, I do however intend painting under there.

One section at a time over say a week?

While I did spend an entire week cleaning and then painting the floor pan, I never did remove the steel cover plate and paint inside the tunnel.
An inspection may be an idea, at least to blow it clean with an air gun and check that fuel pipe is sound?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:01 pm

The tank to pipe union feels and looks dry and I did fit a rubber grommet around the exit pipe :)

So the petrol tank end of the car does not seem to be at fault, was that leaking rubber pipe before the AC petrol pump the cause? I will know more when I sniff around the car in the morning?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:16 am

With a window open, the front bonnet open and left all night I detect no smell of petrol fumes this morning?

One fix that did work was the Viton O rings that Bob Allan told me to use on the twin Strombergs, they do not leak.

The picture is yesterdays, the dark area on the drip tray was from some Caltex extended life coolant that leaked a while back.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:40 am

The Rootes supplied original petrol filler rubber elbow I have looks fine from the outside, the inside tells quite another story.

Can I buy the same size and pattern here I wonder?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:41 am

The same rubber elbow but from a closer view and the inside :(
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by briang » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:47 am

As I said above, the breather pipes in the same area, although they look ok, they may not leak but they may be just as porous, fumes may be leaking out.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:32 pm

A lot of the modern so called rubber hoses don't last long at all now, considering your hose is a 50 years old one now it's done well, a new one now only 5 years old will look like that perished typically :?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:47 pm

The Nun wrote:A lot of the modern so called rubber hoses don't last long at all now, considering your hose is a 50 years old one now it's done well, a new one now only 5 years old will look like that perished typically :?
I now buy my petrol hose from a place called Hytec, they supply the road transport and mining industries.

The Goodyear hose they supply is suitable for diesel and petrol, plus it is good to use with all the aditives like ethanol too.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:49 pm

Goodyear water hoses too?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:50 pm

briang wrote:As I said above, the breather pipes in the same area, although they look ok, they may not leak but they may be just as porous, fumes may be leaking out.
The original vent pipe is quite hard, like nylon really, I would need thinner hose than I have to change it.

As its nice to have the cars original vent pipe in place I guess an airline pressure test will be my best option right now? Imp027
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:56 pm

The Nun wrote:Goodyear water hoses too?
Who knows, Bob Allan supplied the new ones I have.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:15 pm

A fuel hose that has been on the car over a year now is an Italian make?

It was also used on the blue 1971 Imp Deluxe belonging to InfraZA.

There have been no issues with this make of hose on either car.

The black Goodyear hose was purchased recently so that I can remove the pipe with the white stripe fitted on the car now.
Since then I have decided to ask Hytech to fabricate the correct fuel line hose and to a suitable metal T fitting, they will then use end crimps and I will not have the hose clamps we can see now.

I used a short section of this eco hose to connect the Solex float bowl to the main carburetor body on the new 24mm Solex we imported from the Imp Club spares department. That was for the engine of the 998cc sized engine of the 1971 Imp Deluxe I re built for InfraZA.

The engine was prepared for starting, it fired up first time too, I ran the engine a short while then switched off and went into the house for lunch.

When I got back to the car a half hour later there was a petrol leak on the floor, the petrol we have here now had softened the Solex's standard float bowl connection pipe, so in less than an hour with our local petrol the damage was done. :( Imp003
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by 617sqn » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:28 pm

Do you have junk E10 ethanol fuel in SA ? When ethanol was first introduced into the UK there were loads of problems, especially with leaking hoses on older injected vehicles where the rubber has gone soft and hose clips became loose.

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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:38 pm

617sqn wrote:Do you have junk E10 ethanol fuel in SA ? When ethanol was first introduced into the UK there were loads of problems, especially with leaking hoses on older injected vehicles where the rubber has gone soft and hose clips became loose.

Andy G
I think we do, some web sites say that 2% ethanol is added to both diesel and petrol here.

Now 2% does not sound like a lot but as over a billion litres of fuel gets sold in the RSA each year, that is diesel and petrol, the numbers soon stack up.

https://www.e10petroleum.co.za/branding-strateagy some stuff here on the E10 that you ask about.

They are using sugar cane and sorgum as the feedstock?

It should be seen against the background of the same support that was given when the synthetic fuel industry was developed as well as the protection that the industry enjoyed until 2005 when the international oil price dropped below certain lower levels.

Final product

The manufacturing of bio-ethanol (bio-ethyl alcohol = C2H5OH) has internationaly made way for the manufacturing of biobutanol (biobutyl alcohol = C4H9OH).

In the US many of the bio-ethanol plants have already been converted to biobutyl alcohol some years ago for several good reasons.

Biobuthanol contains two addisional carbon molecules and provides more energy than bio-ethanol.

Biobutanol can also be transported by a pipeline and it is less higroscopic and flammable than bio-ethanol, which will makes the consumption of biobuthanol gel.

It is, therefore, more safe to use. Biobutanol was already tested and used successfully as a jet fuel and should, therefore, be seriously considered with the manufacturing of biofuels in South Africa.

Biobutanol can be manufactured from the same feedstock as bio-ethanol such as maize and sorghum.

When we consider the future there are so many positive effects on moving towards bio fuels that it is only a matter of time that we move from an initial 2% upwards towards e100 bio ethanol. The same can be said for bio diesel and its initial introduction percentages. (B2 to B100) E10's future is bright - our aim is to establish these bio fuel processing plants and distilleries so that South Africa as a whole can benefiet from a greener sustainable fuel. There is no telling how quickly the future of our fuel industry is going to move, in terms of how much bio ethanol will be introduced after the 2%, but one thing is certain - e10 Petroleum will be there all along the way.The future starts now - with e10!
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:07 am

One hose that is made by Goodyear is the heater hose, made in the USA so as an import sort of expensive but the quality is there.
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:30 am

An email from the past:

I have a Hillman Imp file here, full of printed pages from long ago, I was not creating " Folders " in the PC back then, printed stuff is so much easier to find and work with?

One mail is from the Imp Clubs " Events Secretary " aka Richard Sozanski, its dated Wedensday May 19th 2004, so all of thirteen years back.

Richard was supplied with the cars serial number B401002286 RCO and was kind enough to date it to 10/03/1967 , I think this was revised at a later stage to February of the same year, I need to check this out.

Part of my mail to Richard mentions that the car previous owner still had the original engine block, a complete short motor, just no cylinder head.
The engine had been removed due to a stripped cylinder head bolt, that was all that was wrong!

I noted that the bores were perfect and the engine just required new piston rings, this was dated back eight years, so the work was done circa 1996? which is now twenty one years in the past and a lot longer back than I had thought. Imp027
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:58 am

Modern petrol issues?

This underlines just how careful we need to be when selecting new petrol lines made from rubber?

Viton is the product to use, The Imp Club spares department has Viton in stock.

Found on an Imp related web site today:

Just been back in the garage to have another look at the imp , it only gets better , the modern petrol has eaten through the the little rubber hose from the float to the carb and all that petrol I just put in is all over the garage floor , what next ?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:53 am

Metal tee and viton rubber replacement?
Peter Nunn...ey im member 00033
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by ImpManiac » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:59 am

African Imp wrote:Just been back in the garage to have another look at the imp , it only gets better , the modern petrol has eaten through the the little rubber hose from the float to the carb and all that petrol I just put in is all over the garage floor , what next ?
A few Imps have suffered this way. It's incompatibility between elderly original rubber pipe and modern petrol. I think Imp Club Spares sells the Viton hose cut to length. :)

IM 8)
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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:19 pm

ImpManiac wrote:
African Imp wrote:Just been back in the garage to have another look at the imp , it only gets better , the modern petrol has eaten through the the little rubber hose from the float to the carb and all that petrol I just put in is all over the garage floor , what next ?
A few Imps have suffered this way. It's incompatibility between elderly original rubber pipe and modern petrol. I think Imp Club Spares sells the Viton hose cut to length. :)

IM 8)
Yes your correct and as we bought a brand new 24mm Solex for the 1971 blue Imp we should have recieved a new Viton connection pipe with it.
In this case Bob had forgotten but we did recieve the correct pipe in our next Imp Club spares batch, I wonder if Rob ever got to fit it? Imp003
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:22 pm

Two things to do with the car today, see how it starts with the leaking rubber petrol pipe tightened, that and see what the new Mintex 'sport' rear brake shoes look like?

The car was given some choke and it burst into life on the turn of the ignition key!
If that leak in the fuel supply line was all the problem was it just goes to show that a leak is a leak and must be stopped, will the engine continue to start well now, time as ever will tell.

After a drive around our local area to warm things up, I next backed the car into the garage to remove the drivers side rear wheel and then inspect the new brake linings.
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