What would you buy & why?

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GHT
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#961 Post by GHT » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:04 pm

Well John, seeing as you have started doing a mea culpa. For the uninitiated, that's Latin for: "My Fault." The story of my missus isn't actually true, well it is and it isn't. The car wasn't a ragtop, but it did have a sunroof, and she had left the sunroof open. The rest is as I wrote previously. Now seeing as John owned up to his self caused breakdown, I too, must come clean.

A day or two ago, Rich posted among many other links, a TK Bedford. You might remember that I said that they were subject to fuel problems when the weather got cold? Well, back in the early seventies, when I was on the bottom rung of the greasy ladder, a driver of the company that I worked for phoned me from a service station on the M4 near London, I was his line manager, he told me that his very pregnant wife had just been taken to hospital and he wasn't far from becoming a Dad.

I called my superior, briefly explained to him that it would be a good thing if we could get our driver to the hospital before the baby came into the world. My boss agreed. He ran me to the services, left me with the TK and took our driver straight to the hospital. I must add here that I had a licence to drive an HGV.

This all happened before, tacographs, driver's records and speed restrictors. Once my boss had left with our driver, I re-positioned the TK and left it parked while I got myself a hot drink and used the loo, or perhaps it was the other way around. Once back at the vehicle I couldn't start it. Just like John I tried everything but all the truck did was spin over, no sign of starting. I phoned our call out people, they sent out a fitter, he couldn't start it. He tried everything, in the end I was towed back to our yard. Then I remembered that TK's have a device called a strangler. It choked off the diesel to the engine. It looked very much like a choke cable button, probably why it got called a strangler.

So in the yard, and with access to an array of spanners and tools, I raised both flaps to access the engine, made lots of noises underneath the flaps, made a few visits to the cab, discretely pushed the strangler back in, faffed about under one side then the other until I looked suitably grubby, tried the key and away it went. I was called a genius, then asked what the problem was. I told them that I remembered that the TK's were prone to diesel difficulties if the fuel got cold. Everyone nodded agreement, TK's were well known for that problem. So I told them that I had cleared the fuel line. pumped the lift pump and hey presto, got it started. I almost believed myself in the end. And just a rather nice PS. Baby came into the world without a hitch and so glad to tell you that baby is now 45, I do hope that he, and his parents are still with us.

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Zelandeth
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#962 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:47 am

Slightly "my own fault" breakdown, albeit taking me a while to discover. It was a good head scratcher though and I defy anyone to have worked it out quicker than I did!

I was out doing site visits for work (I used to work for a local authority, and was responsible for maintaining all the on street infrastructure for the buses), in my trusty old Saab 900. I'd had the car a year or so by this point and she never missed a beat generally. Thankfully while heading downhill and having just turned off the main road, I suddenly started to lose power. Engine was idling happily enough, but applying any pressure to the accelerator resulted in it cutting out. Popped it into neutral and pulled up in a bus layby. One with clearway markings in, for which I felt really guilty! It got me out of the flow of traffic though so I deemed it a worthy reason to break the rules. My coworker hopped on the bus that arrived just after we pulled over and headed back to the office, leaving me to figure out what was going on.

Okay...sitrep. Eventually the engine started missing and cut out entirely and wouldn't restart. Did a quick check around of things to see if there was an obvious cause, there wasn't. I could hear the fuel pump running and priming as normal, plugs looked normal, checking the king lead to the distributor showed a mighty strong spark there. I tried it again at this point, and it started. I decided to leg it at that point before it had a chance to change its mind. I made it all of half a mile down the road - but it at least allowed me to park up in a less dodgy area in a quiet side street. Immediately behind an RAC van attending another breakdown. He agreed that if I was still there when he finished that call that he'd come back to assist me.

After a bit of experimentation I established that the fault seemed to be fuel starvation. It would start fine if left for a few minutes, but would cut out or backfire like a carb engine needing more choke if you touched the throttle. After thirty seconds or so idling it would then cut out again.

This is an old 8V Saab 900, so has the K-Jetronic injection system. Which unless messed with or chronically neglected, is usually very reliable. In the absence of any better ideas I got the air cleaner out (which means removing eight screws from the top of the air cleaner enclosure because over-engineering) wondering if it had collapsed or the air metering plate had jammed for some reason. The air cleaner had been changed a couple of weeks ago when I serviced it, so had the new air filter collapsed or something? Nope...and as expected the air metering plate was spotless, as was the throttle butterfly. While I was there it was a good opportunity to check all the hoses were properly attached and the main hose was properly seated as any vacuum leak there can cause major fuelling issues. All fine. Restarted...same fault returned after about a minute. For want to completeness I tried another ignition amplifier as I happened to have one in the car.

The RAC man returned at this point, and he checked exactly the same things I did...and then after walking around for five minutes asked where the diagnostic socket was. He was slightly baffled by the concept of a car with fuel injection and no ECU. He pronounced it broken and towed me the couple of miles back to the flat car park. Thankfully it ran long enough back there to get it parked.

In the following month the following was done.

[] Fuel pump changed (the original was noisy, so seemed worth a punt). Proved that they all make the strange chuntering noise from time to time, even when brand new. Also confirmed that the inside of the fuel tank was spotless.
[] Warm up regulator (which cost a small fortune) changed.
[] Distributor cap checked for any signs of distress.
[] Fuel pump relay changed (and bypassed).
[] Idle fuel mixture screw adjusted.
[] Ignition coil changed as it looked manky and had been squashed by someone over tightening the clamp.
[] Fuel injectors removed and spray pattern checked - also confirming that the injection system was responding linearly to the air metering flap movement.

At this point I was really struggling for ideas...and was thinking that I was going to have to remove the fuel metering head and send it off to be checked over professionally as I had no other ideas. From cold it would start just fine, and would run fine right up to about 1/3rd up the temperature gauge...about a needle's width below normal running temperature. Then it would start missing if you put load on it or blipped the throttle... eventually stalling. I was out of ideas. As was my flat mate, who had known Saabs for years and had a cantankerous Jag XJ6 as his daily at the time so was used to hunting weird and wonderful faults.

Completely at random I stumbled across the old rotor arm from prior to the service I'd done a few weeks before this problem occurred. I shrugged my shoulders and shoved it on in the exceedingly unlikely chance that it would change anything. The car started perfectly. It then proceeded to continue to run perfectly...fan cycled...it continued to sound happy, ticking over absolutely smoothly with the exhaust "ringing" as the original Saab ones on the 8V 900s seem to, sounding very pleased with itself. I somewhat gingerly took a test run round the block...drove fine.

I got back and compared the two rotor arms. The new one was about 0.5mm shorter, but probably more importantly had a totally different resistor in it. The part numbers match...there was only an error in the Intermotor catalogue wasn't there. I uttered something unprintable at that point and hurled the cursed thing into the derelict area of ground behind the flats. ...I then felt guilty for littering and spent half an hour unsuccessfully trying to find it again. Probably still in there somewhere!

So I have to guess the wrong rotor was causing a weak spark, which was enough to keep it going when the mixture was rich, but was just blowing out once the fuelling started to be dialled back as the engine warmed up. Quite why it took several weeks of driving to show the fault I never quite worked out...

Having ordered the correct *Bosch* rotor arm and fitted it, it never missed a beat for several years after that.

If I'd just reverted everything I'd recently changed I could have sorted it in no time...instead I wound up chasing a non existent fuel fault for over a month.

On the plus side, I learned a lot about the incredibly clever bit of engineering that is the K-Jetronic fuel system though, and it makes for a good story to make mechanically minded folks scratch their heads...

I do wonder how long it would have taken me to figure it out - and if I ever would have for that matter - if I hadn't randomly found that old rotor arm in the boot.
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Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

GHT
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#963 Post by GHT » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:52 pm

Wanna make friends at the Goodwood Revival? Show up in this: a 1966 Cortina prepared by Team Lotus and driven by Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jacky Ickx, among others. As classic touring cars go, it's about as special as it gets, which is why Silverstone Auctions expects it to sell for £200,000 (roughly $255,000) at auction.
lotus.png
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Paul240480
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#964 Post by Paul240480 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:10 am

Just don't do this :o

Image

Clicky to enlarge. Is that 'your one' in the background of this pic GHT?

rich.
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#965 Post by rich. » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:03 pm

this may sound odd but if its a genuine ex ford car & that a standard lotus is worth £75,000 that sounds quite reasonable. (i don't belive i said that :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :?
meanwhile i spotted this recently & thought id have a look..
https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1545349241
& while the body seemed ok all the suspension was rusty as f##k the seller also states that white is a rare colour it was difficult to pick one shade.. a really nice guy who lives somewhere that can't be found on google maps... i did cover an extra 50 odd km & met some rather baffled people when i tapped on their front doors... a 280km round trip for nothing....

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JPB
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#966 Post by JPB » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:52 am

rich. wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:03 pm
(i don't believe i said that :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: ) :?
:lol: Nope, me neither. Who are you and what is the cost of the ransom for Rich's safe return? :P

Regarding the Mazda; If the shell itself was actually free of rust, then some suspension components being in need of a wire brushing and some suitable protective treatment may not have been the end of the world, unless of course the springs, spring seats, suspension arms and damper bodies were so bad that they weren't safe to use, in which case sue the twunt for your out of pocket costs and shove a doggy pooh through his letterbox! :evil:
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

keef
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#967 Post by keef » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:37 am

JPB wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:11 pm
:drool:
Shiny Maxi, but unless its displacers are as new or have had valves fitted so that the nitrogen level can be adjusted
That only applies to the later (hydragas) ones. What you need is an early (hydrolastic) one like this. :-

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hk11_yah/44497289665/

Imageimage by keef, on Flickr

:)

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JPB
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#968 Post by JPB » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:55 pm

Hello stranger! Liking that white one, very decent looking old thing. :thumbs:
Yes, my preference would always be for Hydrolastic, but the car to which I was referring was a post-'75 example so most likely Hydrasag, which concerns me. As you're the chap to ask and purely so that we have this question answered for others who are fond of the Maxi; do Hydrolastic displacers fit into the front crossmember of the Hydragas cars, or does the crossmember need to be changed to accommodate the older type of units?
Every square inch of my available space is currently full of weird Japanese cars, Land Rover Discovery & parts to restore my own recently acquired example, other folks' cars and then there are the old radio sets, TV sets, record players, etc. but a Maxi is a thing I can still manage to drive (in AP automatic form) and the bed in a Maxi is much more comfortable less uncomfortable than the one made by folding the seats in the daily Toyota into sleep mode. Oddly enough, that daily car is often considered to be the closest thing available to a Maxi for the 21st century, sharing the BL product's overall dimensions (apart from the useful extra height) and having a similarly soft ride, albeit on steel springs with supplementary airbags at the rear only.
The only real "progress" that I have identified when comparing the two vehicles is that the Toyota's 1300cc engine comes with a handy 131bhp from the factory and I always start to worry if fuel consumption falls below 40mpg on any tankful, where the 1750cc engine found in Dad's best Maxi HL (SJR***N, Damask Red HL, still in the hands of a local enthusiast who was the mechanic who looked after SJR and bought it from the dealership when Dad p/x'd the car for RFT897S, Brooklands Green HL) used to endow the car with a very respectable performance for a family car of the time, but Dad would have been more than satisfied with that car's lifetime average of 31.7 mpg over the 142,000 miles it covered - without missing a beat - between CJR495K and RFT, the rustiest Maxi ever!
I still love the things and, if I only had the energy to do such stuff these days, would have loved to fit a Toyota 2NZ-FE engine and U441E 4 speed (with overdrive 4th) auto across a Maxi engine bay. It would be tight, but the 441E is so short that the extra space available by fitting a front-mounted radiator would allow the Japanese bits to sit happily in there without any need for metal chopping, though comparing the 2NZ's weight (excluding manifolds) of around 61Kg to the E series' rather more weighty presence may require some rethinking about the fluid volume of those front displacers, but if I could get that far I could work something out.

Meanwhile, it's back to throwing cash at the Discovery, which is fortunately sound structurally and came with a strong set of oily bits so shouldn't cost more than the likely cost of three of the finest surviving Maxis to finish to a durable, if far from concours standard.. :oops: ;)
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

keef
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Re: What would you buy & why

#969 Post by keef » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:37 pm

I believe you can fit adaptors to allow you to fit hydrolastic displacers in an hydragas subframe. ;)

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JPB
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Re: What would you buy & why

#970 Post by JPB » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:23 am

keef wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:37 pm
I believe you can fit adaptors to allow you to fit hydrolastic displacers in an hydragas subframe. ;)
Hmm, that's worth knowing.. Especially for anyone who kept a set of (Hydrolastic) Maxi "bottles" some years ago after the car for which they'd been earmarked was sold and the buyer didn't feel the need to own spares! That said, I like the immediate post-cable change cars best of all as they seem to survive in greater quantity than newer examples (relatively speaking of course), which given that these are older than some of the really rotten ones may suggest that the steel of that period was superior in quality, as it certainly appeared to be in early Dolomites such as the two I've owned.

Of my Maxis (and my late Dad's series of them that he chose as company cars between 1969 and 1982), the one pictured below was the best, yes, it was a Hydrasag one but the suspension was never a problem and it always felt just as comfortable as Hydrolastic ones would have done. I've posted the image many times before but it's difficult to have too much Maxi content in a forum whose subject matter is older cars. Isn't it? :oops:

Image

Note that Dad's car by that time was a Datsun Stanza, a decent car in its own way, and certainly very comfortable and roomy, but Dad would always scrounge a drive in my Maxi when the folks used to come and visit me during my time spent working in the south and he always got out of the car with a broad grin on his face!
Mum passed in May 2016, Dad in October 2018, they were ok I guess but damn, I miss that Maxi! :o :scared:
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

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