Friday, 8 August 2014

We have a pass!!!

After nearly 3 years, 1 baby and a workshop move I'm pleased to say that yesterday GBS got my beloved Zero through the IVA.

After building with absolute commitment for the first 2 years I must admit other priorities meant I got distracted. An IVA fail in September 13 and not enough time to resolve before the retest, I decided to pack the car off to GBS so they could do their work. A list of bits to fix and a new camshaft, I have an IVA passed car. Not the cheapest method but clearly effective.

Now I just need to get the car back whilst GBS sort out the registration paperwork.

A big thank you to Simon at GBS for all the hours he has put in over the last week or so.

Pictures to follow once I have the car home.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

GBS to the rescue

So after months of debate I have decided to send the car the GBS so that can fix the car, test it and send it back to me registered as a fully functioning vehicle.

Courtesy of Paul Bowden Logistics, fully enclosed trailer, big enough for a Ferrari!

Good news to follow shortly (hopefully!).

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The IVA retest that never was

With a week or so before the IVA retest I wanted to get the car running again and have a weekend of essentially burning fuel.

The car started almost as soon as the fuel made it up to the carb, it settled at idle for a little while however as I brought the revs up to about 3000 it just died. There was a puff of smoke back out the carb, nothing special about the smoke.

Went to restart the car, it won't start! The engine turns, you can see the fuel pumping up (mechanical pump) but no fire. I've checked the wiring to the coil, all ok, checked that the coil is generating a spark to the dizzy, ok, each of the ht leads is creating a spark. This leaves me to think maybe the spark plugs are shot.

I took the plugs out, very black and a little damp. I've cleaned them and dried them but no such luck on the engine. I will purchase some new plugs this week to try.

It's a 2L pinto, 32/36 carb and a mechanical pump. It's a brand new carb but was in the car for the original IVA where the car was fine going through all the tests (except noise!). 

Safe to say I never made it to the test!

    IVA Fail

    There has been a bit of gap between my last post and this event in September 13. The build stalled with my priorities changing, the birth of my first child.

    So in September 13 I had managed to get the car ready for the IVA. I attended my IVA in Southampton, conducted by Andy from their office. I had mixed reviews about Southampton but all I can say is that Andy was helpful, complimentary of the car and genuinely seemed like he wanted the car to pass. However it failed, some more major issues than others but overall nothing too worrying.

    1) Exhaust 109db instead of the 99bd limit - using small silencer bought as an early GBS exhaust
    2) Brake bias - failed on the rollers, suggested that I need the Sierra brake valve (G-Valve?)
    3) Differential - extra washers required rather than the GBS spacers supplied
    4) Key switch in dash protrudes too much
    5) Bolt in passenger compartment needs a cap
    6) Trim on rear supports and centre console edges
    7) Fuel lines - extra support in engine bay
    8 ) VIN letter sizing - 3mm numbers rather the required 3.5mm. Also some rusting from the rain enroute.
    9) Column shroud - required on the lower half of the column to tidy up block any ignition wiring
    10) Steering column rubber mount had slipped - needs securing!
    11) Rubber boot on the coil positive

    Nothing too difficult except for the brakes, I had new drums and discs so maybe a mistake on my part. Exhaust is a cost I'd rather without.

      Saturday, 2 March 2013

      We have movement

      Today I hit another big milestone, testing the engine power right through to actual car movement. In a sense this worked but it wasn't without a few hick ups! I can however say that the oil pressure was ok, the fan kicked in when it was meant to and the seats were quite comfy.

      After the long cold winter the car took a little while to start, this was mainly due to a lack of fuel in the carb but also linked to the cold air. Once started there was the usual smoke as mentioned in the last couple of posts, this soon disappeared as the engine heated up. There was also the issue of the high revs, Mike & I set about adjusting the idle speed, the engine might have died down slightly hoverer we never got to really test this as we then encountered the carb issues.

      The carb issues are related to the auto choke on the Weber DGAV 32/36 and the point at which the choke opens up the air flaps. Basically these seemed to open up despite the engine not being able to cope with the cold air, therefore at lower revs the engine would stall. The only solutions were to either rev the engine very high for idle (4000 rpm) or for Mike to hold the flaps shut, we went with option 2! Once we were happy everything else on the engine seemed OK, it was time to test the clutch and try moving the car on its own. The fear was that the clutch was fitted by myself early on in the build, the engine & gearbox had come from the Sierra donor but the clutch was all down to me. So I stuck the car in reverse, released the brakes and lifted the clutch slightly - and the car moved!!! Fortunately Mike was paying attention and moved along with the car so the engine would keep running. Also tried 1st gear which also seemed to work OK, my cheeks were hurting as I was smiling far too much, I couldn't believe it was actually working.

      I should probably add that my throttle pedal wasn't connected up properly so Mike was also operating the throttle cable. Essential I did gears, clutch and brakes; Mike did throttle and choke which not getting run over.

      Thursday, 28 February 2013

      The forgotten blog

      I must be honest and admit I've been neglecting both the blog and the car for a few months, the last post I made celebrated a huge milestone but it came with a number of issues which probably deterred me slightly; that, the cold whether and the thought of driving to the IVA centre in the snow!! I'm pleased to say that in the last few months I have managed to get a few hours out on the car every now & then, I've managed to overcome a few issues I previously mentioned.

      Doesn't switch off
      I had managed to wire my alternator wrong, somehow I have a live going back to the ignition coil which effectively created a closed loop with the engine providing the earth. I've corrected this fault, or human error, but still need to wire in the alternator to get the battery warning light to work correctly.

      Oil Leak & Pressure Light
      The seeping oil has cleared up, think it was just some residue muck from the time the engine has spent on the garage floor. Hopefully when running for a period of time this won't return. The pressure light still needs to be tested but I think this will be fine.

      Its clear my carb is over fuelling, hence all the smoke, and a strong smell of fuel. The plan is to correct this over the weekend and get the engine running a little more smoothly. Hopefully an easy job and doesn't end up breaking anything I'd previously done!

      Actual Progress
      Over the winter period I managed to carpet the car, I was surprised how much of a difference this actually made to the car, it suddenly became a real looking car. I think I even vacuumed the carpet/car which is more that can be said for my Focus.

      Halfway through the carpeting we decided to put our house on the market. In order not to put off any viewers I thought I'd get the car moved to my parents, also it would be one less thing to worry about when it came to actually moving. Big thanks for Rhocar member(s) Florin Metal Works for organising a trailer and delivering my Zero for me! Fortunately my parents have the space to take the car and tools, also I now have a few extra helpers to bring me tea & biscuits.

      Back to the carpeting, once fitted I made up some seat runners. Due to the flat floor on the zero and the flat bottomed seats I needed to create a step so that the runner release arm could be operated. I'm not sure if the picture below really show the solution but you might get the idea.

      Once these had been bolted to the floor I was able to fit the seats, the end result makes the car look pretty amazing - even if it hasn't moved under it's own steam yet.

      What is apparent in the seat picture is that I must decide if I want inner panels to hide the chassis and protect the bodywork from accidental knocks. I think something there would really help finish off the appearance of the car.

      Small amount of progress over the winter but I think the break was good, I'm back on the car and determined to save up for the IVA test!

      Sunday, 9 September 2012

      The Zero lives

      Since my last post in July I haven't been ignoring the car and enjoying the British summer, no, I've been trying to get the engine to start! This has been a long, testing period of the build but I can finally announce some positive news - it starts!! There have been a few issues along the way which I will hope to address now.

      Fuel Pump
      The first weekend I tried to start the engine failed before it really got going! Mike & I started by removing the rocker cover to investigate the valve placement at camshaft TDC; all looked good but we suspected there was a misalignment with the crank. Didn't think it was too bad and not bad enough to get the engine started. So, chug chug chug with the starter and nothing...............not even a drop of fuel in the filters. The starter turned, the engine turned but there was a fuel issue. The engine was originally an injection model, I've stuck it to carbs with a mechanical fuel pump - the trouble here was that I didn't have the small push rod that is required to pump the pump.

      Thanks to a very helpful Locost member who sourced the part and sent it to me. Fitted, problem solved but still no fire!

      I stuck a post up on Rhocar asking for a bit of advice, I was fortunate enough to have Alan_builder living very close by. He came over and we worked through the ignition electrics to determine that there was a spark and enough power to, in theory, get it started. After fixing a loose connection on the dizzy, setting the timing on the crank and dizzy we then tried the engine - still nothing. A few more tests on the leads and plugs, we were in agreement that the spark plugs were rubbish.

      A few days later, I had new plugs and was able to create a better spark. However still no luck on the engine!!

      Weber 32/36 DGV Carb
      Wtih a second visit by Alan and a useful post on Rhocar by Longboarder, we determined that my carb was also causing issues. My carb had an anti-dieseling valve which wasn't connected up to the live, however once connected we discovered that it was damaged beyond repair. The purpose of this part is to stop fuel getting into the engine if the power is cut, sounds an ideal part however mine was broke!! £45 for a replacement, bit steep so I bought a second hand Weber 32/36 DGAV and this seems to be OK.

      As mentioned above, there was a suspicion of a timing issue between the crank and cam, this was true and as all other avenues had been explored I thought I should follow up on this. Crank turned to TDC, timing belt slackened, cam turned the shortest possible direction to line up with TDC and dizzy lined up. I tightened up the belt tensioner, checked the dizzy (about 8 deg before TDC), turned the engine to check it stayed lined up and then took the plunge - it started!!!!!!!

      Now, the engine starting was a huge milestone, it was the first time I had ever heard it running and coincided with the 1st anniversary (give or take a few days) since I collected the kit from GBS. However it did highlight a few issues that need to be resolved before I can run the engine for a longer period:

      Smoke on Engine Block
      There was a small amount of smoke coming from near the top of the exhaust manifold, not apparent in the video but visible to me stood next to it!! Will investigate this but not a urgent issue.

      Oil Pressure Light
      This didn't switch off as expected, not sure if this was due to the leak I later found or if there is a fault with the old Ford switch or my wiring. Stupidly I forgot to look at the oil pressure gauge I had paid good money to show up if there is an oil pressure issue!! One for the future.

      Oil Leak
      Looks like there is a leak coming from the rocker cover, I might have not tightened the bolts properly so I will follow up on this. It was a new gasket so might need bedding in. One to think about.

      Doesn't switch off!
      The biggest issue that I found after starting the engine - it doesn't switch off!! I have a feeling there might be a wiring issue linked to the alternator that keeps the ignition coil live despite the key being switched off and even taken out of the car. I had to stop the engine by removing the ht leads. This is a very odd issue but one that will be solved by understanding the entire wiring loom - hopefully! Think I might give GBS a ring on this one before I mess around too much.