Tuesday, 3 July 2012

An MOT full of obstacles

Since fitting another prop shaft I went over the car in preparation for its MOT. And I found a few interesting faults. To start with I started the engine for the first time since I switched her of on top of the Timmelsjoch in early September last year. She did need a few attempts before she fired. But when I wanted to select gear that was not possible. So I switched of the engine, selected gear, pressed the clutch and started the engine again. Clearly a sticking clutch, but it was released by the starter motor. After which gear selection went pretty well and the car moved under its own power for the first time in ¾ year.

Next on the to do list was a complete check of all auxiliaries like lights, wipers etc. Everything worked fine except the horns. After a pitiful beep they decided to go on holiday. As I could hear the horn’s relay clicking in the glove box I concluded that the switch, the fuse and wiring to the relay had to be OK. So probably a relay failure, alas not. Next point of investigation were the earth points, but they all were nice and clean. Which left me with only one possible culprit, the horns themselves. As they were new when fitted to the car during its restoration only a few years ago, I started getting visions of cable loom removal to search for a mysterious wiring fault. But with the horns removed from the car I connected them directly to the battery. In both cases nothing happened. They were both completely dead, weird to say the least. So of to the local car parts store for a new pair, which solved the problem.
Sadly cutting up the old horns to see what went wrong didn’t reveal much. The inside looked fine ... so still none the wiser what went wrong with them.

With everything working as it should, last Saturday saw the cars first test drive. All went well till I returned home after a high speed blast over the motorway. During the last few miles there was a rather clear knocking sound coming from the engine. So after putting her back in the shed it was time for a quick check under the bonnet. I was met by a rather disheartening sight, a big oil spill around the oil cooler thermostat . And the knocking came from the front of the engine, clearly not good. Luckily a quick check of the oil level and the oil cooler hoses showed nothing wrong there. Inspecting the oil spill in more detail showed that the oil was coming from the front pulley’s oil seal. But as it was getting late and all my tools were at home I locked up the shed and went home with mixed feelings. But not before I had found out that the front pulley was wobbling about a bit and had some play.

So on Monday afternoon I returned to the shed with all my tools and a few spare parts to investigate the leak in more detail. With the fan belt and fan assembly removed it became clear that something was very wrong with the crank shaft pulley. Although the bolt was still very firmly in place, I could move the washer behind it, and there was a fair amount of play on the pulley itself. Removing the bolt revealed what had caused the problem ...

This bolt, which was sold to me as a normal European engine front pulley bolt almost 20 years ago, clearly is too long. Checking it against one from an AC equipped US spec engine I have lying around in the shed, proved this. Luckily I had the old bolt still lying around in a box so that problem was solved pretty easily.
And with the bolt removed it was time to remove the pulley itself, which was very easy as it was rather loose on the crank shaft, for obvious reasons ... 

As you can see the pulley is very badly damaged. But luckily the crank shaft and woodruff key showed no visible signs of damage. And the aforementioned US spec engine provided me with a new front pulley. Together with a new oil seal all should be OK now up front.

And to finish ¾ years of idleness for the car she got a new MOT ticket today. At last I should say, but just when I was thinking of enjoying the car the fuel gauge decided to go on strike ... 

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