Over the weekend a group of us went on a pootle down to Wilson’s Promontory as we Regionals can, it was a lovely weekend but I think the businesses down there need the return of the Melbournites as we were the sole occupants at the motel.
While we were away during one of the many group male huddles around an open bonnet, it was noted by Colin Cheesman that I had a Grey Fergie tractor carby, this was news to me.
Then I stumbled onto a great article on why this is so, basically in the UK after WW2, old cars were being recommissioned as all the new ones were being sent overseas. A particular problem with late vintage cars was the use of Mazak instead of brass for carburettor bodies. As you probably know Mazak was a really crappy alloy that was used for all sorts of things but it corroded, so this left a whole lot of useful cars with useless carburettors, Zenith who was already making an updraught carby for the grey fergie tractor made a special one for the Austin Seven and that’s the one on my car.
I took the Chummy for a run into Warragul today, first stop the petrol station, filled up then realised that I didn’t have a mask on as this car has not been used for months, bugger so paid and went home. After turning the car off I got out and stood waiting to see if the rear main leak had been conquered only to find fuel pouring out. Hmm. turned fuel off (gravity fed) removed carby and emptied the contents of the fuel bowl into a container this is what was in it:
The float bowl had a fair bit of rusty muddy water amongst the fuel. The car came from South Australia so red dust can be found throughout and the fuel cap seal was non existent so that explains the red dirt, it is amazing it actually ran.
After a bit of reading it seems that the amount of water fuel can hold is temperature related so this car was filled with summer fuel, it has sat through a cold winter with the water separating and rusting the tank. The obvious answer to this is use your car and if you can’t because you are in lockdown, drain the tank and use it in your everyday car or even the mower.
I will chuck some metho in to hopefully suck up whatever water is left but usage should fix the problem or I may end up fitting one of those glass bowl water separators but for now fingers crossed.
Austin 7’s have a Lucas/CAV 6v generator that on a good day, going flat out will outup about 8 amps, so that’s 8 X 6 = 48 watts minus about 5 watts for the ignition so that leaves 43 watts, not much of a budget when one headlamp could use 32 watts . So no night trials? Some people will fit an alternator but the easiest way to hold back the darkness is using LEDs.
LEDs have a long life if they do not get too hot, most of the cheapies on Ebay fail after a sometimes surprisingly short time they are not engineered thermally or electrically but some good stuff is coming through but they will cost cost you a few more shekels.
The Austin like many cars and motorcycles of the era have BA15d based lamps these are like stop tail lamps without the offset pins.
I am trying some LEDs from BMH Trading in QLD that are sold for motorcycles and are negative earth (yes Austin’s were negative earth until they changed their mind) There are some available for A Model Fords from Logo Lites in the US that I think have the same base that come in positive and negative earth and like these work 6v or 12v that could be worth a try.
As the Chummy was pretty happy just to have lights without all this fancy dipping stuff I have wired them for low beam on the sidelight position and high beam on main so I don’t have to add another switch and these on low beam only draw 3 watts each so they can be used as parkers anyway.