Saturday 13 October 2012

How Old is Too Old?

It is a simple question.  How old is too old to enjoy a ride in a kit car?  Well, my father came to visit me a week ago and decided he wanted a ride in the Zero.  He is 82 years young!  He always amazes me with what he gets up to.  He lives in a retirement apartment and often complains there is nothing to do there because, to quote, 'it is full of old people!".

Anyway, I took him out for a short 20 minute blast and he loved it.  He struggled a bit to get out, but then sometimes so do I, so nothing to be ashamed of there.

Here he is before the blast.

Just goes to show, you are never too old.  Thanks pops!

Fuel Woes

As mentioned in the last post, the new exhaust had been fitted and I was ready for a trip up to Donnington Park for the newly resurrected Donnington Kit Car Show.  It is about 100 miles from Gloucester to Donnington and about an hour an 45 minutes taking the motorway route.  This is not the nicest of routes but once I was on the move it was actually quite a relaxed drive.

I had covered about 80 miles when the car started to feel a bit hesitant, the definite symptoms of fuel issues.  I limped on until I found a convenient exit and found a lay by to pull in to.  First thing I noticed was that the fuel pump sounded laboured, which was a bit odd.  I took the opportunity of a quick pit stop for myself and let the car cool down a bit, in case it was a bit of an over-heating issue.  After about 5 minutes, I started her up and she seemed to be running better, so I set off again.  She still wasn't running right, but I was able to get to Donnington.

I went in to the main hall and found Richard Hall of GBS and had a chat with him about the issues.  This wasn't really very fair as he could only listen to my version of the symptoms and not experience them for himself.  Anyway, we discounted the fuel pump at this stage as he said they had not had one fail, even on the demo car which has had some real abuse over long distance and on the track.  He was pretty sure it was dirt in the system.

A post on the RHOCaR forum also agreed with this and so 2 new fuel filters were ordered.  The first is a low pressure filter that is in between the tank and the low pressure pump at the rear of the car.  The second is a high pressure filter to go in between the high pressure pump and the injector rail at the front.  This is new, as I don't currently have a filter here.

Once the filters had arrived I set about fitting them.  This is when I had another thought.  What if the Facet low pressure pump was duff?  Fortunately, I live quite close to Castle Coombe so was able to pop down to Merlin Motorsport and pick up a new one.  I got one with a slightly higher fuel rate in case that was also an issue.

Once home I set about fitting it all.  First thing was to stop the fuel coming through from the tank and I purchased some pipe clamps from Machine Mart for the job.

Health and Safety Notice:  With the car finished, I had no option but to get the car up on jacks and work on it on my back underneath it.  There is not a lot of room to work in and I ended up with fuel on my hands, up my sleeves and on my face.  Whilst trying to undo some jubilee clips I dropped the spanner and it hit me in the face.  I know it is all common sense, but it can't be stressed enough to take care when under a jacked up car.

Anyway, back to the problems.  When taking the old fuel pump off, I found that the mounting rubbers had come apart and the pump was only held in place on one side.  This was caused by a fuel leak and the petrol melting the glue that held this bobbin together.

I proceeded to fit the new pump but was told by the sales guy at Merlin that the brass fittings for he fuel pipe were tapered so could just be screwed in.  WRONG! Once fitted like this, there was a fuel coming out of the joints and dripping below the car.  Not much, but enough to cause vapour fumes and a mess.

I took it all off again and this time fitted the brass fittings with PTFE tape.  Voila, so far no leaks.

A quick run round and it all seems OK and the fuel issues seem to have gone away.  I am not sure if it due to the new pump on the back, but for now I am happy.