Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Long Haul

Well, it's been a frustrating month since my last post...

Despite my PMA (positive mental attitude), my engine rattle didn't disappear. Admittedly, I only used half a tank of fuel with the cleaning additive but still rattling. I met up with Matt from the SKCC forum who's a great bloke - a mechanic who has been racing and building cars since he was 12. He's the guy who helped me setup my front suspension shortly after IVA.

Despite all this experience, neither he nor his brother (who worked for Ford as a mechanic for years) could explain what my rattle was. Using the long-pole-and-an-ear technique, he believed the noise was coming from the front of the engine and suggested the only way forward was to take the sump off and see if anything showed up.

With the design of the GBS (and most kits), taking the sump off is much simpler than a normal car as it can easily drop out underneath with only the starter motor that needs to come off. So, off came the starter motor and the sump bolts came out with no difficulty at all. Then, it all went to Hell...

The sump just wouldn't drop. I had used sealant round the edge but I cleared most of that out so that shouldn't be the problem. I spent over a week of evenings trying numerous different techniques to lever the damn thing off. Even Matt couldn't work out why it would not come off. Then, a post on the Tiger Owners forum suggested that the problem might be the windage tray. I used the tray that came with the ERA sump from Tiger but it seems it is a VERY snug fit in the sump, not something I noticed when I fitted it. Now, when trying to pull the sump down, the curved edges of the tray were digging into the side of the sump - the harder I hit it, the more it dug in!!

A cheap endoscope verified this was the problem as I could clearly see the edge of the tray dug into the sump wall. After a few more days of trying to get round this, I admitted defeat and took the last resort - I drilled a hole in the bottom of the sump and used a screwdriver to lever the tray away from the sump wall. The sump dropped off almost immediately. Jesus, what a ball-ache...!!

In the pic above, you can see the hole I had to drill and the groove above it, cut into the wall of the sump by the tray.

Now the sump is off (and I need to find someone to fill that hole now), I can't see any obvious problem; the oil pipe and windage tray are solid, there is slight play in the bottom ends but I'm guessing that is normal as all 4 cylinders are the same. I'll have to get Matt over to have a look...I don't really know what I'm looking at.

Some better news, my doors are done and they look awesome:

I just need to bend the frames a little in places to follow the curve of the body but otherwise they look great.

Hopefully back on the road soon - I've got a long holiday for most of August and then a very busy September planned for Zedster; an epic long journey, a trip to Brands Hatch, our first foreign trip and a handling day in early October.

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