Hit and Mostly Miss

Lots happening in the shed, translating to not much happening on this blog.  First off, the Fulvia has been occupying me with a small fault but has turned into a huge production.

I thought the car was missing at light throttle openings like cruising down the freeway so as I was going to change over to electronic ignition anyway this was the first of many things that I replaced and it made no difference so here is a list of what was checked or replaced:

Sparkplugs replaced
Plug leads checked
Distributor Cap substituted (Thanks Garry)
Rotor replaced
Ignition Timing checked
Carburettor Float Level checked/corrected (Thanks Marnix)
Fuel pump pressure checked
fuel lines checked
Fuel tank venting checked
Carburettor Balance checked/corrected
Idle Mixture checked/corrected
Loose venturis fixed
Valve Clearances checked
Valve spring pressure checked

The alleged culprit

All these adjustments resulted in no change.  It was suggested by a certain Mr Bondini that “Are you sure it’s not the nut behind the wheel?” a comment that as it happened was very close to the truth.  I was having my doubts, was it really a miss?  I had been pouring out this tale of woe on a Fulvia forum when it was postulated that maybe my engine mounts were shot, making the engine wobbly so appearing to be a miss and that sounded about right, new mounts are ordered we will see.

 

The Futile Fulvia Fiasco has kept me away from the Austin 7 Special for too long but I’m back on it.  Last time I checked in the Austin was a rolling chassis, now it’s a rolling running chassis with most of the body complete see below, the timeline for the project is to be completed by December although I think that was originally December 2017, never mind I had better get my skates on.

The Austin 7 as purchased was a heap of junk, the only redeeming feature was its photo in the advertisement, the actual car was rubbish.  The process so far has been to replace or recondition everything.

In summary

Differential: renew everything except the case
Brakes: replace dodgy leaking hydraulic conversion with “Semi Girling” shoes and backing plates and replace drums with cast iron ones, new cables etc.
Front axle: Replace with lowered one, new kingpins, sexy double shockers renew all swivels.
Chassis: Box in Top hat section, sandblast and paint.
Gearbox: now close ratio
Engine… seems good?
Body frame reshaped to look less like a “Ute”, seat moved back 125mm so I can now fit.
Dashboard: Machine turned, new fake Ulster instruments Tacho and 100mph Speedo!

For the body I have gone for the bare aluminium riveted look, initially thinking aviation but the more I look at the finished product the more I think a tank sans gun turret, Oh well I guess I will not notice once I am actually driving it.

bbblbbbr
resized_IMG_20180605_151430410.jpg
resized_IMG_20180609_123718757.jpg
resized_IMG_20180620_174136848.jpg
resized_IMG_20180720_125712164.jpg
resized_IMG_20180720_125745071.jpg
resized_IMG_20180720_125753541.jpg
resized_IMG_20161017_183138.jpg
resized_IMG_20161024_102014.jpg
resized_IMG_20170715_145628.jpg
resized_IMG_20170816_193022.jpg
resized_IMG_20170818_143635.jpg
resized_IMG_20170827_111338.jpg
resized_IMG_20170827_145446.jpg
resized_IMG_20170829_175640.jpg
resized_IMG_20170830_201615.jpg
resized_IMG_20180519_172253992.jpg
resized_IMG_20180605_151430410.jpg
resized_IMG_20180609_123718757.jpg
resized_IMG_20180620_174136848.jpg
resized_IMG_20180720_125712164.jpg
resized_IMG_20180720_125745071.jpg
resized_IMG_20180720_125753541.jpg
resized_IMG_20161017_183138.jpg
resized_IMG_20161024_102014.jpg
resized_IMG_20170715_145628.jpg
resized_IMG_20170816_193022.jpg
resized_IMG_20170818_143635.jpg
resized_IMG_20170827_111338.jpg

 

Posted in Austin 7 Special, S2 Fulvia Coupe | Leave a comment

Tricks for young (and old) players

I have often fallen into the trap of getting a few things right and then assuming I actually know what I am talking about, a case in point is a compression test I carried out on the Fulvia.
I bought the Fulvia while we were on the Tassie Tour in October, it never seemed to have much getup and go but as the previous owner had not driven it much I thought that it just needed an “Italian Tune” (aka a good thrashing). After returning from a trip to Falls Creek which I believe qualifies as the said thrashing I set about doing a compression test to prove the positive affects caning your engine, alas the numbers were not good, coming in between 40 and 80 psi which are the sort of numbers you may expect from a lawn mower.

This provided me with the excuse of buying more gauges of dubious accuracy from Ebay in the hope of a better result, but as I had to wait delivery I decided to do the cam timing which involved reading the manual many times then doing what I thought it meant, getting it wrong, going to bed and having a revelation at about 2am then getting it right the next morning. The new gauge arrives, and I get a similar result but now all about 100psi. so an improvement of sorts. It was suggested that the engine needed to be hot with the throttle wide open (HOT & WOT), so I duly did the test again with the same result, very perplexing.

The new gauge like the old gauge looked like this:

Then it was time for Revelation #2: The Fulvia engine is only 1300cc so each cylinder is about 325cc, the hose on the compression gauge is long and is a bit elastic so could I be losing something in the hose or is it just too small in diameter? Or probably a combination of both.

Next I used the same gauge but with a metal tube as per this picture:

Which meant I had to also make a remote starter switch as I now had to hold the gauge in place and turn the starter, the result? Cylinders now read between 150 and 165 psi. which is reasonable for a 47 year old engine.

In conclusion, paying less than $20 for a compression gauge may be asking for trouble. However the correct cam timing has transformed the car and it now likes to rev, very Fulvia, very satisfying.

Posted in S2 Fulvia Coupe | 4 Comments

The Good Oil on Castor or Caster Measurement

The Austin’s suspension is somewhat lower than standard so the castor angle probably needed a tweek but how to measure it?  Initially I thought I would use some flat surface on the axle or the stub axles but are those surfaces perpendicular to the king pins?

So, after a little Googling I found another use for the bevel box (Digital Level) and I think it would make a pretty good excuse to buy one if you have not already.

The jist of it is with the wheels straight ahead and sitting on a level surface, place the level on something vertical (it’s magnetic) as in the picture and zero it.  Turn the wheel 20° right and record the result then go back to straight ahead and go left 20° and record that number, in my case it was 1.3° for right and 1.2° for left so to calculate the castor it was 1.3 + 1.2 =2.5 then here is the magic part x 1.5 = 3.75°

Evidently, it’s important that the wheels are moved only 20° each way and that it’s related to the 1.5 that you multiply the result.  I will have to go ask a Maths teacher (Ian?) as my brain hurts when I try to do the trig.

20° lines drawn on the floor the White wedge is a piece of wood cut at 20° on the drop saw and used as a template

A7 chassis with one radius arm in place, I needed a 4° wedge to go under the spring to get the castor right then the radius rod needed some work to match.

Posted in Austin 7 Special | Leave a comment