Saturday, 27 October 2018

Lights and breaks

The LED units arrived so I set about fitting them - not complicated but fiddly and time-consuming.

The units are all-in-one; low beam, high beam, indicator and DRL and look pretty cool. The DRL needed a live ignition feed which I don't have at the front of the car, so I had to take the dash off and re-wire one of my gauges to add a wire on a live feed and then route that through the car along the existing loom to the front.

Removing the existing headlamp unit out of the bowl, I had to do a fair bit of re-wiring as I needed the indicator signal feed to go into the bowl and the new unit. The hardest part was removing the loom tape off the old wiring - that stuff is tough! But otherwise, it was very simple - the new unit fits neatly into the headlamp bowl with all the plugs and the little DC converter (?) the LEDs need. A final step was to change the indicator relay for a LED version, to keep the correct flash rate for the LEDs.

This is just the DRLs on:

When the indicator is on, that DRL flashes orange instead of solid white - very cool and bright. The low and high beam look pretty bright in the garage but not driven at night yet to tell how good they are.

The day after fitting these, I went on an early morning run with the SKCC forum guys, meeting up at Pease Pottage (services on the M23):

We then had a great 70-odd mile cross-country route which was a good blast UNTIL 10 minutes from the end. At the suggestion of someone on the French trip I did last month, I brought some RainX for the windscreen, to help keep the screen clear in light rain without wipers. Now, I don't know if I put the stuff on wrong but, at certain temperatures (around zero maybe), the stuff turns opaque and it kept doing it on this run. It was very scary - one minute all fine and then seconds later my screen is totally obscured! It was during one of these blackouts, while I was frantically wiping the screen, that I missed a turning and lost the others. I turned round a few miles further up the road and set off in pursuit of the others. And then, just before Ditchling, PING and my throttle goes loose. I managed to coast to a reasonably safe stretch of road, bonnet and pedal box off and confirmed that the throttle cable has snapped at the pedal (and you thought I'd spelt the title of this post wrong, hey?).

But a pretty place to breakdown:

With hindsight, it was a bad bit of design; the cable looped back over a straight edge so it was rubbing on every movement of the throttle - I'm surprised it lasted 4k miles. I couldn't work out how to rig it to get home, so I called the AA. After an hour, they guy turned up and took 30 seconds to jury-rig it enough to get me home- I have much too learn!

I'm too much of a tightwad to pay GBS £30 for a new cable and it had snapped just a few inches from the end, so after a bit of research, I found a nice hunk of metal normally used for wire balconies. A bit or re-jigging of my pedal box and voila:


So, with my recent disasters fixed, I'm back to a list of other upgrades/fixes:

1. Get rid of the ugly nosecone indicators. I was thinking of replacing them with slim bike indicators but I've also got another idea - I'll keep it a surprise, in case it turns out to be rubbish.

2. There is a (hopefully) minor issue with my engine idle; from cold, it's fine but just before the lambda sensor kicks in, the engine 'hunts' - revs drop to about 750 rpm and just before it stalls, the ECU seems to realise the problem and revs up to 1200 rpm. This is only happening since I re-did the timing - does the ECU need some twiddling?
UPDATE: this seems to have cured itself - maybe a bit of dirt in an injector?

3. Windscreen washer - no power to the motor so another dodgy wiring issue.

4. Door armrests.

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