June 1999


he engine and gearbox arrived this month.

3rd June

Continued with the wiring and completely finished wiring up the dashboard. When I came to install the dashboard and check to make sure everything worked, I then encountered a few problems. The loom was supplied by John and Crendon, and a full wiring schedule came with it. I installed the loom as per the schedule and double checked to make sure I've done everything correctly. My first problem was when I was trying to wiring up the dashboard, there were three green wires that have to be traced back to the fuse box to confirm which components they are feeding. No problems with this, however my fuse box, as I was to discover, had the fuses installed back to front. So fuse number 1 was in fact fuse number 12. So when I was trying to check these three green wires I couldn't understand why I could not trace them back to fuse numbers 1, 3 and 4. As I soon found out I was checking them against numbers 12, 10 and 9!

I then found a faulty wire in the loom that was supposed to be an earth for the washer bottle motor, so I had to make up an alternative earth for it as the one on the loom did not work.

4th June

I picked up the radiator and header tank from John at Crendon today. The radiator is from a Rover V8 and once I'd fitted it I realised what a tight fit it was. I also managed to fit the twin 12" Kenlowe fans as well, they certainly look the business.

I queried the wiring problems I was having with John and we discussed the possible problems with the loom. As I stand today I have the following wiring problems to still resolve:

  • No main headlights, side lights only
  • No indicators or hazard lights
  • No wipers

I've since traced the no wiper problem to the wiper motor no functioning. This will go back to the supplier as it was a brand new Lucas wiper motor. I'm still stumped on the indicator and main headlights problem. I've double checked all the connections and so far nothing has come to light. My next task is to check the system with a low voltage from a 6V battery so I can test the current and flow.

7th June

I sorted out all the wiring problems by the end of the week. The main headlights turned out to have the incorrect rated fuse in the fuse box, it had a 7.5 amp and it should have been a 10 amp. The indicators and hazards was just a poor connection on my part. The wiper motor was sent back to the supplier and they reported no problems with it when they bench tested it. When I received it back I wired it into the loom and it worked straight away. I understand that they can be a bit temperamental with the park facility so I guess that this was the problem with mine.

10th June

After a phone call to the engine supplier they said it was ready and would be delivering it on Friday the 12th June. This was bad news as I had to work on that day. However, after a few phone calls John at Crendon said he'd take delivery of it and even offered to give me a hand to fit the engine and gearbox. So it was all set for delivery on Friday.

12th June

John phoned to say that the engine and gearbox had arrived and it was safely put away. I arranged to go over there on Saturday to put the engine and gearbox together. And we agreed to fit the unit into the car on Wednesday the 16th June.

14th June

I spent today making brackets for the bonnet stay assembly. I'd asked a local sheet metal worker to make them for me some 4 weeks ago and offered a sheet of 2 metre x 1 metre x 1mm stainless steel for their trouble and they said they would do it. But I was tired of waiting. So I'm not too good with stainless steel I find it difficult to work with and shape. But I persevered and I was very pleased with the end result, however it did take a lot of hand polishing to bring it back to a smooth surface after my hammering it into shape.

16th June

I hired a trailer to get my car over to John's to install the engine and gearbox. I'd never installed an engine this big before so I was glad of John's help and experience. Previously I'd installed motorbike and small car engines but nothing this big. Installing the engine went without a hitch we had it in and bolted down in 30 minutes or so.

20th June

I finally managed to fit the demister vents on the dashboard today. They've been bugging me for ages trying to get them done properly. I've had numerous goes and left them rather than put up with a substandard job. But today I cracked it and I'm happy with the end result. I sprayed the vents with a black crackle finish paint.

24th June

Took the clutch master cylinder and the remote mechanism supplied with the engine to get the copper tubing and ends made up by a local garage - this should be ready at the weekend. Fitted the twin horns just in front of the radiator after I'd made up a bracket to fit them to.

26th June

Put the car on four axle stands to enable me to drill up from underneath to secure the gearbox mounting bracket. I also put an earth strap on the gearbox. I was going to put a earth strap on the engine but I'm waiting until the exhaust system is fitted to make sure the strap doesn't get in the way. I fitted a rubber grommet in the driver's footwell where the steering column enters.

While the car was on the stands I took the opportunity to put Copper Ease on most of the bolts I could not get to from above. This will make it much easier if I ever have to undo any of these bolts on the future.

I was going to install the heater today, however I had done some modifications to the heater and I wanted to test that they would work before I finally fitted it in place. The mods were to block off the original outlets, which are situated on the front of the heater, to the demister vents and re-site them on either side of the heater. The original position would not clear the 'A' frame of the scuttle so they had to be re-sited. Once my bit of handwork had been completed I wanted to test that the new position of the outlets gave sufficient air through the ducting. I temporarily positioned the heater and wired it up and turned it on full. Unfortunately there wasn't too much air making its way to the demister vents, the majority was heading towards the footwell areas. So I decided to block off the vents to the floor and concentrate all the air to the windscreen demister vents. As the SVA regulations require working demister vents I thought it was better to make sure the air was really pumping out of the vents rather than a little trickle.

29th June

Spent all day fitting in the heater. It was a bit difficult as there is not a lot of room to work and I had to keep removing and reinstalling the dam thing to check that the brackets I was making were accurate and fitted in the relevant holes. I noticed that the heater matrix entrance and exit tubes looked a little cracked so before I finally fitted the heater I checked to see if they leaked - and yes they did! So a spot of soldering soon took care of this little problem.

30th June

I fitted the choke mechanism today. This, like the heater, was from a Triumph Spitfire. It didn't take too long to fit. I decided where I wanted to fit the choke on the dashboard, drilled a hole and routed the wire through the drivers footwell and into the engine bay.

I decided to have another go at the heater assembly mechanism and how the heater blows the air to either the demister vents or to the footwells. I knew if I left it how I'd currently done it, it would annoy me over a period of time. If you remember I'd blocked of the vents to the footwells so the air would only go to the demister vents. I've decided now to fabricate some custom flaps so I can move these to direct the air flow to either the footwell or the demister vents on both the passenger and drivers side of the heater. I know this will be a bit of extra work but I think it will be worth it in the end.

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