ManiacImp - 1966 Singer Chamois

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ManiacImp - 1966 Singer Chamois

Post by ImpManiac » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:08 pm

Here is the story of my Singer Chamois sprint and hillclimb car in photographs!

There is a long, long story that goes before the first of these pictures - about ten years' worth! Basically, my old car (first Imp :P ) was standard, then (after the original engine broke a valve) I fitted an Imp Sport engine, then that wore out (after 25,000 miles :roll: ) and I took it out to replace it with a 930cc Talbot Sunbeam engine. I thought, "Hmmm, the engine bay could do with a tidy up..." An Imp-fanatic friend said, "Why don't you put an R21 in that 930?" and the rest is history. :wink:

Anyway...

This was the car in July 2006.

Interior shot.
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Nearside view, looking forwards.
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Front view, lower half still not in top coat yet.
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Dashboard and binnacle.
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Nearside rear view. The exhaust hangs from the engine and is tucked well within the rear valence finisher panel. This is an ImpSpeed tubular crossmember.
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Side view. Still no paint on the lower part of the exterior.
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Engine bay. 930cc, Stage 6 (Reg Patten) Sport head, R21 camshaft, lightened and balanced throughout, Weber 40 DCOEs... :wink:
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Leap forward to about November 2006.

Front view, now with paint on lower part of exterior of body.
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Rear nearside view, car on axle stands.
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Nearside shot. Nice paint finish! :D
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Photos taken 14th February 2007.

Interior, almost finished.
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Rear opening window. A stay similar to the front compartment cover stay has been fitted.
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Rear view. Looking just how I want it to! :D :D
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That's the story so far. What do you think?

IM 8)
Last edited by ImpManiac on Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:59 am, edited 90 times in total.
Paul Harrison
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Post by ImpManiac » Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:42 pm

Found some more photos, also taken on the 14th February.

Inside the front compartment
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Inside the finished engine bay
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Front view, still masked up
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Still looking good for the coming weekend, by all accounts. 72 hours and 15 minutes to go... :D :D

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:14 pm

More photos! :D

Close up offside rear 3/4 view
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LH door pocket
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Bonnet, now painted
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Nearside rear, showing engine cover, now painted
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MOT later today, hopefully. :D I shall update when I have any news.

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:14 pm

I have brand new silver-lacquered Superlites in the garage witing to go on. I agree, though - white alloys with polished rims would have looked really good! :wink: They have Marangoni tyres - 185/60R13 - fitted. The car is being supplied back to me with steel wheels, as it had when I sent my old car up to Barry. I asked him to blast me some and paint them white for me.

I also have a set of 5" by 12" Elf slot mags - Wolfrace. These need to be tidied up and either polished or re-lacquered but might make a nice alternative. :) I'm not a massive fan of them but might try them and see. I need to find my wheel nut inserts for those too.

Personally, I think I'd prefer my Superlites or steels compared to the Scirocco style wheels Barry fitted temporarily. They are his anyway, so are not being supplied back to me with my car.

IM 8)
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Post by pure~hillman~imp » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:49 am

looking good Tim, im sure Paul will be loving the car.

Also, you know you want to get out on that event IM :wink:
Change of location: Avoiding teh forumz Police...
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Post by ImpManiac » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:13 am

The car is not back just yet. Barry managed to break his tow vehicle - a Land Rover Discovery, no less! Must have taken quite a bit to break a front diff on one of those! Anyway, unless any more problems arise, it'll be with me Saturday or Sunday. The Disco is fixed now, though.

I have a new picture of my car on its own steelies (thanks, Tim!). This is how it will look when it is delivered to me at the weekend (all being well). You can see the hand of Barry doing yet more buffing of that paintwork!

Image

More pictures will follow when I get it back, along with driving impressions and, maybe, a video or two... :wink:

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:24 am

So far, delivery is still set for this weekend! 8) In the meantime...

Can you spot the subtle change in my car's appearance?

Image

IM 8)
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Post by boy_racer2f2f » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:35 am

i can :oops:
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Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:46 am

paint waste line rectification?
74 Clan Crusader 1040 Red 190 bhp/ton
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Post by ImpManiac » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:54 am

Award yourself one blue and white star! :wink: Well spotted!

IM 8)
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Post by boy_racer2f2f » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:08 pm

delivered the car to paul today. ill let him expalin how he feels but from what i know hes very happy.

some pics i grabbed from todays 400mile round trip delivery

on the superlites
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what i think is a happy Imp Maniac :)
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and a car thats stolen the colour scheme
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cheers

Tim
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Post by davidhampshire01 » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:45 pm

Great stuff, bet he's out on a long test drive now!
875i
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Post by boy_racer2f2f » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:13 pm

davidhampshire01 wrote:Great stuff, bet he's out on a long test drive now!
hes been on one, but ill let him tell that story, i dont want to steal his thunder :twisted:
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Post by rootes » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:51 pm

cool looking great! glad you have the car back - paint does look very nice
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Post by ImpManiac » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:02 pm

Yep! It's back home now! And it certainly did not disappoint 'in the flesh' either! :D :D :D

I was sitting, eating some brekfast and drinking something on Saturday morning and I just saw my car sweep past on the trailer. It was kind of spooky! :? :shock:

Anyhow, Barry started it up on the trailer and does it ever sound great! :wink: Then he and Tim unloaded it and Barry reversed it onto the drive. I pulled the Superlites out of the garage and Tim insisted on this one last job on the car and kindly changed them for me while I watched, tea in hand! :) It really looks good on the Superlites.

Driving impressions. Well, it's very loud! :wink: It starts on the button and makes a really lovely noise. It handles even more like a go-kart than it used to! Monte Carlo springs and Spax shock absorbers help with that, along with Superflex bushes. The ride quality is actually surprisingly good! Better than the Vectra daily car, in fact! :shock: The brakes need bedding in - new front Fiesta discs, pads and calipers - and the pedal is on the long side, so they could probably do with one last quick bleed before the first long journey.

On the road, it feels really excellent! Very, very responsive to control inputs. It really, really gets attention! Naomi and I stopped to put some petrol in and it is just a magnet! Off again and the clutch rattles when the pedal is up - it is a paddle clutch - and the transmission screams in third and top - straight cut gears with close ratios. 8) Perfect!

Overall, it really feels like the race track refugee I always wanted it to be. I am very happy with it and cannot wait to clean it more, give it a good polish and sort out the gremlins, which are minor faults. One of the oil lines needs nipping up a touch because there is a slow drip of oil from it. The brakes I've already mentioned and it needs an expansion bottle in the cooling system at the front end. But it's perfect to me!

I couldn't be happier with it! First planned outing is this Wednesday night. There's a Retro-Rides meet up in Bedfordshire. Anyone up for it...? http://retrorides.proboards86.com/index ... 1152008488

Anyway, some more pics, courtesy of my lovely fiance, Naomi... :) :)

Just arrived!
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This is when I heard the engine for the first time. :D :D Flat back tyre too! Typical! Brand new tyres! Oh well. I'll get it repaired. :roll:

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Barry driving the car off his trailer.

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Superlites! 8)

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Looks good on these too, though...

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Snug fit. Better see if I can move the seat back a bit! :lol: That's my mate Mike and my dad in the background. And a very happt ImpManiac in the driver's seat! :D

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Momo T-Frame seats.

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Interior, showing dashboard.

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Engine bay.

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And finally...

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Image

Image

Image

Imps rule!

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:07 am

Yes, Saturday was quite a day for me! :D My car is finished and back and I have finally driven a seriously tuned Imp, which just happens to be mine too! 8) I took Naomi out in the car and we only drove about three, maybe four miles around the block to a petrol station. I think I'll be getting friendly with those in this Imp! :wink: But yes, it certainly ticks all the right boxes. The coolant temperature hardly moved all the way and the oil pressure is a healthy 55psi at idle when cold, dropping to about 45psi when hot, according to the gauge.

The brakes need another quick bleed, I think, and there are a few other little chores that need doing. There were some drips of coolant in the front compartment and Barry and I think that the car may need an expansion bottle fitted - especially for competition. One of the little plastic brackets that holds the delightfully period radio aerial on is broken and needs some glue to repair it. Also, as Barry told me, it needs a rear hatch seal - the part that fits onto the window frame itself. I think I have one but need to make sure it is the right one. I'd better investigate that engine mounting bush bolt too! :shock:

Otherwise, it is ready for action! I plan to go to a Retro-Rides meet up at the Five Bells, somewhere in Bedfordshire, in it on Wednesday, weather permitting (i.e. if it has not snowed :roll: ). That'll be a much better test. I'll post up any more on the road impressions and photos of the car under this thread. I might start a thread under Events for any pics of other cars, etc.

Thank you all for your kind comments! :D

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:05 pm

Bad news. :cry: The transmission seized on the maiden outing in the car. It was driving very well - handling superbly and the engine sounds great and goes brilliantly. But then the noises started, so we turned back for home. We didn't make it back, the transmission finally seizing about 5 or 6 miles out. So we returned home on a recovery wagon. :cry:

I don't know what is wrong with the transmission. I was driving carefully and keeping the engine speed down. I called Barry and discussed it with him and he is offering to come down at the weekend, swap the transmission for a different one and repair the broken unit. Can't say fairer than that, really. The transmission was almost new! :roll:

Ah well. Not much Imp driving for me until the weekend at the earliest. These things happen. Barry and I will get it sorted out. :wink:

IM 8)
Last edited by ImpManiac on Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by benwick3 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:44 am

In view of the missing nut from the engine mounting bolt is the drain plug still in place?

Sorry to here of your further misfortune with the car. Maybe now's the time to retreat from issueing details on the forum and get everything sorted out of the spotlight.

Pete Richards
Last edited by benwick3 on Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ImpManiac » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:49 am

Thanks for the comments, guys. All I am saying is that IT WILL BE SORTED VERY SOON! :D I am not too disheartened. I was expecting some problems, albeit I had hoped it would be nothing too serious. Between us, Barry and I will find out the cause of the problem. He has offered to come down, replace the transmission and rectify the fault - this weekend. I really cannot say fairer than that, so I am happy - believe it or not! 8) :shock:

EDIT - I forgot to mention the positives! The engine is magnificent! It is really urgent and just wants to GO. Once you breach 3000rpm, all hell breaks loose and it sounds and goes :D like the racer it is meant to be. Also, the handling is fantastic! The temperature stayed constant at about one-third of the way up the scale, even in traffic and without the fan on. The Monte Carlo springs and adjustable Spax dampers - not the racing type either - seem to give the car a very compliant ride but without much roll (at the speeds I was using). A couple of times, I deliberately chucked the car into corners and it just went where I pointed it - no fuss, no drama. Brilliant! And the brakes are getting better already too. :D :D :D

I shall report back when I know what the problem was.

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:21 am

Barry and Tim were kind enough to come down from Wigan to sunny St. Albans yesterday to investigate the problem with the transmission in my Chamois. I am very grateful to them both for their help! :D On removing the close ratio transmission that was fitted, it turned out that one of the spring clips that hold the clutch release bearing in place had popped out and initially we thought was likely to have been responsible for the squealing noise from the back end the night the box appeared to go bang. :shock: :? Much relief all round...

Then Barry investigated the transmission further. The input shaft was really difficult to rotate. Also, rotating it forward and backward revealed the sound of the internals of the transmission moving about, as though a bearing had failed. Taking the back off the transmission, it had spat out some thrust rollers from one or more of its bearings, explaining the sounds I heard the other day. :( Also, a single ball bearing came out! :?

So Barry has taken the transmission back up north with him for further investigation and repair work.

The car is now fitted with the transmission from my old 1973 Imp Super and appeared to be driving really well. No transmission problems for now! :P

Then I noticed that the temperature had crept up. I pulled over, waited a few minutes and took the radiator cap (in the front compartment) off. The coolant level was well down. Indeed there was no coolant in the header tank/swirl pot at all! :roll: So I topped it up and allowed the engine to run for a while with the cap off. Either the system was pressurising from a blown head gasket or there was an air lock in the system. There is no sign of oil in the coolant, nor any sign of water in the engine oil, so I assume it was an air lock.

Anyway, after three or four cycles of filling the system and it spewing its coolant out on the road (and all over the inside of my front compartment :evil: ), along with some kind help from people refilling my gallon bottle with water, it decided then to behave itself for the last 6 or 7 miles home! :shock:

I think that the difference is that the last time I filled the system up, the car was pointing up hill slightly. That seems to have made the difference and allowed the system to fill correctly, with no air locks.

When I returned to my parents' house, I allowed the engine to idle for a while before I shut it down. The system got nice and hot again but did not spew its coolant out. After shutting it down and letting it cool for about ten minutes, the level was fine.

So it was probably an air lock. Hopefully, the head gasket is still okay. I am minded to replace the thermostat because the engine never used to get hot - even idling after a run. The radiator cap may well not be up to the task with the modified cooling system, so I shall try a 13 lb cap. I only ever used to use a 13 lb cap in the past and never had any problems.

At least there appear not to have been any leaks from the system - apart from the header tank where the overflow vent is located!

Arrrrrgh! One thing after another at the moment! But I shall investigate and get it fixed. Oh yes. :D

When it's running right, I want to take it somewhere nice and get some decent photos... :)

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:52 am

I have thought about rearranging the plumbing. I think it might give fewer problems.

IM 8)
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Post by rootes » Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:20 am

ImpManiac wrote:I have thought about rearranging the plumbing. I think it might give fewer problems.

IM 8)
the header tank can be anywere in the system either flow through ot 'T' d into it

as long as it at the highest point and air can bleed to it from trap points
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Post by ImpManiac » Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:23 am

That's what I thought. I'll leave it where it is for now. If it proves problematic, I'll relocate it later. For the most part, it seems fine. I'll at least check the thermostat and replace the radiator cap, though.

IM 8)
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Post by cov_climax » Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:06 pm

My imp can be a pain to bleed too, I've a rear mounted header tank, with an air bleed from the top of the cylinder head to tank. In the front i've a bleed from top of rad to heater circuit, (acts as by-pass when heater turned off).

i have no problems bleeding the engine compartment but at the front the air has no-where to go, i have to run it with the bleed hose disconnected at the heater until i get all the air out. This should be the heater circuit and rad free of air, however when stopping the car on the first few runs after filling i get gargling noises from the front end due to trapped air - eventually after about 5 or so runs it's fine, the level in the tank changes about 1/2 a pint max. The only way round it i think is to run the bleed from the top of the rad back to the header tank.

i guess each system has it's own advantages/disadvantages and each variant on a theme will have it's own Idiosyncrasies, i guess it's just a learning curve to see what your system needs.

BTW Paul (IM) your car is looking good :wink:

Cheers

Brian
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Post by StuartC » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:57 pm

I expect you've already done so but just in case - if you've put loads of water in the coolant will not have enough antifreeze in it (thinking from the corrosion point of view) so I would check the strength with one of those measuring thingmys that I cant remeber the name of to avoid draining and refilling with 50:50. I get paranoid about not having enough inhibitor in mine.

Nice car by the way :)
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Post by ImpManiac » Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:25 pm

A hygrometer? For checking specific gravity. :D And yes, I ws the class swot...

I plan to check and replace the thermostat any, Stuart, so the coolant will have to come out. At the moment, it's almost pure tap water - just to get the car home. But I shall refill it with deionised water/antifreeze 50:50 when I'm done.

I just hope the head gasket is okay... :roll: So far no sign of problems but I only went about 7 or 8 miles after the initial problems. I did not let it run for more than about 2-3 minutes between refills. But...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

IM 8)
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Post by benwick3 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:26 pm

Not much of a swot. A hygrometer is for testing humidity. What you should have said is hydrometer.

Pete Richards
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Post by ImpManiac » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:16 pm

benwick3 wrote:Not much of a swot. A hygrometer is for testing humidity. What you should have said is hydrometer.

Pete Richards
:oops: :oops: What Pete said... :oops: :oops: I gets confuzzled...

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:31 am

No change since Sunday.

But I have plans for this Saturday! :D I am going to work through the cooling system and maybe change things around, if necessary. I shall take the thermostat out and check that it is working properly and just make sure that all is as it should be.

I'll be back on this thread afterwards, hopefully with some more pictures.

IM 8)
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Post by james » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:32 am

ImpManiac wrote: sunny St. Albans
Can I come and worship at the alter of shiny Imps?

I live in Harpenden.

james
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Post by ImpManiac » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:47 pm

James,

It'll be sorted soon... :wink:

Good old Hellfrauds. I bought a new 82 degC thermostat, a new radiator cap, antifreeze and deionised water! Yay! :P The 'stat that's in there now has been in a while - I put it there myself! And the radiator cap may well be missing a rubber diaphragm. Roll on tomorrow...

IM 8)
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Post by ImpManiac » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:07 pm

Latest update.

I went over to my parents' house to work on the car. The last time I went out in it, it continually spat its coolant over the road. Puzzlingly, though, it did not do that the very last time I refilled it with the car pointing uphill. :idea: Maybe it was an airlock. Hopefully the head hasket would be okay...

I pointed the car up the drive instead of down and topped up the cooling system. Then my friend Mike showed up. We bled the cooling system via the special valve that Barry fitted at the rear, at the top of the engine compartment. No bubbles. Hopefully no air lock! :wink:

So I started the car, warmed it up and kept a careful eye on things. So far, so good. I put the pressure cap on. Mike then pointed out that it was not seating properly and appeared loose. Aha! :idea: :idea: Perhaps I had not made certain it had gone all the way down on some previous occasions! It is incredibly difficult to tighten down fully, I think because the 'thread' on the filler neck is somewhat worn. Anyway, it was on properly this time. So off I tootled arond the block. All was well.

One last check of the coolant level. I am still testing using tap water for now. A longer test drive was needed both to check the system and because I could wait no more! :P So an 18 mile test drive ensued... No problems! :P :P Upon our return (Mike in the support vehicle), I checked the coolant level - still fine! And no sign of any loss via the expansion tank! Yay! :D Not a bad return for so little effort.

So my Chamois now has over 70 miles on the clock - a reconditioned Stiletto unit. I had a chance to really extend the engine more than before, although still not the full rev range. It REALLY moves! :twisted: But just as the engine really starts to get on cam (6-7000rpm), the clutch slips! Grrrrrr! :x

Anyway, at least it's driveable. I shall put some miles on it, all being well. When Barry comes back down with my close ratio transmission, we'll put a proper diaphragm clutch in there and a new pressure plate. Currently, it is running an 'uprated' non-diaphragm type. Speaking to Barry today, we think that the pressure plate is not up to the job.

Anyway, I am EXTREMELY happy with how things went today! We didn't even need to change the thermostat or radiator cap either! Useful to keep as spares, though.

Here is a video of my car running. The ignition has gone off a little since I got it back. Maybe the points have closed up. I shall check it all over when I can.

:D :D :D

Image

IM 8)
Paul Harrison
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Post by skamanfrank » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:37 pm

PHWOOOOOOOAR! Said it before I think, but I'll say it again... I can't wait to see this beast!

That exhaust sounds great, is it a bike can on there? What's it from?

Glad to hear you're getting there with it! Bet it's been worth the wait isn't hasn't it?
Cheers
Frank
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Post by ImpManiac » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:06 am

The exhaust was made for me. Barry supplied it. It is a repackable silencer. Barry made the link pipe and it has a boss welded in for a wideband O2 sensor for later EFI antics.

Glad you like it, mate! I'm really pleased with how it went yesterday. :D :D It is exactly what I want it to be! And boy does it move! :twisted:

IM 8)
Last edited by ImpManiac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paul Harrison
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Post by 617sqn » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:39 am

Won't Cars and Car Conversions be interested in this here beauty, especially considering the reg plate is a perfect fit ? :D

Andy G.

Lovely Job: shows what a bit of commitment can achieve eh 8)
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Post by impmann » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:45 am

But just as the engine really starts to get on cam (6-7000rpm), the clutch slips! Grrrrrr!

When Barry comes back down with my close ratio transmission, we'll put a proper diaphragm clutch in there and a new pressure plate. Currently, it is running an 'uprated' non-diaphragm type. Speaking to Barry today, we think that the pressure plate is not up to the job.
Errr, a non-diaphragm one? Uprated? :shock: I'm not surprised the thing slips, they suck with a standard engine!! Uprated with what? They're made of case-hardened cheese - did they use the rind this time? Sack that!

I'd reccommend the organic comp clutch plates that Ben Boult sells - we have one in Skye and its very progressive plus it grips like the billy-o when you hoof it. Unless you like taking the engine out (or a like having a super-heavy to operate clutch), fit a Laycock clutch cover while you are at it. The 'Heavy Duty' clutch covers sold by some folks are deeply unpleasant to drive with, and you don't need one for that engine.

As per other threads about those pony multi-spring clutch covers, don't rev your engine too hard until its replaced - I learnt the expensive way that they break up at high RPM and take the gearbox casing with them!
Tim Morgan
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Post by rootes » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:05 pm

617sqn wrote:Won't Cars and Car Conversions be interested in this here beauty, especially considering the reg plate is a perfect fit ? :D

Andy G.

Lovely Job: shows what a bit of commitment can achieve eh 8)
shame the mag is no longer with us
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Post by ImpManiac » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:17 pm

impmann wrote:Errr, a non-diaphragm one? Uprated? :shock: I'm not surprised the thing slips, they suck with a standard engine!! Uprated with what? They're made of case-hardened cheese - did they use the rind this time? Sack that!
The clutch pressure plate was not supplied by Barry. I fitted it many years ago, when I had the engine machining done by Reg and BEFORE I knew any better. :oops:

I have a proper diaphragm clutch in the garage and propose to fit it when I swap the c/r transmission back in.

It is a shame CCC no longer exists! :lol: In so many ways...

IM 8)
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Post by bazzateer » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:39 am

Would have been ideal for Retro Cars too, but they've gone to the wall as well! :cry:

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Post by ImpManiac » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:19 pm

Another journey, another breakdown! :evil: It is getting frustrating. But at least the symptoms of the problem were familiar to me. The car spluttered, ran on three, then two cylinders, then stopped running. It looked and felt as though the points had closed up, so I changed them for good measure, fitted a new condensor too and... still the same! So I returned to base on a tow rope.

New coil needed now. :roll:

Ho hum! :wink:

IM 8)
Paul Harrison
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