Saturday, 7 April 2007

First drive in the DHC

After I got the engine running last week I did go out for a short test trip on the Sunday morning. As the temperature gauge didn't work I found it wise to keep the trip short and return home to rectify the problem. The fact that the car didn't have the bonnet fitted yet and was missing some of the interior trim, also was reason enough to keep the trip short...
Checking the temperature feeler with a multimeter on return, showed nothing wrong. So I reconnected the wire to the feeler and to my surprise the gauge did work. Probably some oxidation that wasn't removed by the contact spray ?

After finishing the remaining small jobs, that needed to be sorted last week, the car was ready for a longer test trip today. As the engine hadn't run for years I thought it better first to get it on temperature before checking the timing and the carburettors. A 45 km drive over some country lanes in the area didn't show any real problems. Most obvious was the temperature gauge which cut out after a fast corner, but it came to life shortly after, problem solved (might put a new connector on one day). Also the coolant light came on a few times , but as it is a TR7 that's nothing to worry about. As long as the coolant level remains outside the danger zone, which it does.
On return I checked the carburettors and ignition. Only thing which needed adjustment was the idle speed which was a bit low at 600 rpm when hot and some slight balancing.

As for the (stock) suspension and brakes. The car under-steers rather heavily, but due to it's soft springs (especially on the front) and a slightly tuned engine it can be made to over-steer or even go sideways. But overall the suspension definitely needs sorting, as do the brakes. The standard brakes do what they are there for, slow the car down. Only the way they work is not very confidence inspiring, they do take their time with slowing down. But then I might be spoiled a bit ...

All in all the car should be ready for it's first longer trip this Monday. Target is a small restaurant at the end of a very nice mountain road in the German Eifel, near the Nürburgring.

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