Friday, 16 February 2018

More Eleven build plus the 1st Engine start

Well the DSVA have got back, extracted £450 from my bank account and I now have an IVA date 14 March at Exeter - no pressure then.

First task was to get the engine running, after priming the oil pump and cranking over the engine without spark plugs to ensure I had oil pressure, making all the various cable and pipe connections to the carb, checking the EDIS4 wiring, setting the timing trigger wheel to TDC, adding fuel and getting a fire extinguisher to hand I went it and..... start. Checked that there was a good spark, trigger wheel was correct, crank sensor gap etc, the spark plugs had some fuel on them so dried them out.....still not start not even an attempt.  After advice I rechecked the trigger wheel and then added another 5 deg of advance... still no start.  Time to call in the cavalry, the next evening Malcolm and Dale came over and checked everything over, all seemed good but still no start, various attempts with differing advances and resetting the crank sensor we eventually ended up trying the trigger wheel 180 deg from where it should be set and....the engine briefly spluttered into life and then died. By this time it was getting late and the battery was dead so we drew stumps and called it a night.  The next morning I followed Malcolm's advice and swapped over the coil pack A&B channel wires, reset the trigger wheel to the original settings and with the battery recharged overnight cranked it over and started and carried on running until I blanked off one of the vacuums that I'd forgotten to reconnect at which point it wouldn't restart.

Having confirmed that the ignition looked ok I then reflected on the apparent over fuelling and that having the vacuum disconnect would have significantly weakened the mixture so I raised the mixture a whole turn and tried again and.... still no start and once again the plugs were wet with fuel.  After swapping emails with the carburettor supplier he suggested that I return it and he'd look into why there appeared to be too much fuel....end of engine starting and back to the rest of the car.

Having decided to replace the speedo with a modern Smiths programmable one I needed to fit a sensor, after making a bracket for the front upright to replicate the SEIW it dawned on me that the Midget discs bolt to the front of the hub and therefore couldn't be accessed, no problem I'll bond magnets to the disc I thought.  Unfortunately this was flawed, firstly there was too little clearance between the disc and the upright and, once I'd bought thinner magnets and set everything up I realised that after heavy braking the magnet were likely to debond - back to the drawing board.  The next obvious option was to used the prop shaft but I had to find a mount that would maintain a constant gap to the sensor as the back axle moved after discounting to front of the prop shaft I noticed that the differential housing has flat fins that a bracket could be bolted to and then allow the sensor to point and the 4 x bolts at the prop shaft/differential coupling.  After some measuring, finding a suitable piece of metal, hacksawing, drilling, filing the bracket was fitted and the sensor gap set using a battery.  I then ran the sensor cable back through the tunnel, up through the bulkhead and to the speedo.
Next I moved on to the interior fitting the carpets and the Sports Turbo seats from the SEIW as these are certified and fully comply with the IVA requirements.  Unfortunately this also meant removing sections of the rubber trim from various parts of the rear bodywork clam and fettling it to clear the seats and inner wings.  To cover the handbrake I fitted press studs to the tunnel carp and a trimmed square of carpet that was in the kit.

Once the interior was fitted I tested all the electrics and everything worked apart from the rear number plate light.  This is paralleled off the rear lights so had to be something with the rear loom, after focussing on the changes I'd made to the loom in order to fit the reversing light I eventually traced the problem to the number plate light earth wire not being connected and nothing to do with my alterations.  I refitted everything and retested - everything is now working.

Moving on to the engine bay I drilled and filed slots into the expansion tank bracket as it looks like the cap was very close to the bonnet a without the carburettor access was good.  I then tidied up the dash wiring, added a reset button and headlight high beam warning light that I'd found were both missing when I tested the electrics, trimmed up the scuttle to clear the bracket and fitted it.  With the scuttle on I measured up and fitted the rear mirror brackets and the centre rear view mirror.
I got a call from Robin (an Historic Lotus Seven Owner) who'd heard about my engine problems and offered to come over with a spare HIF44 carburettor and give me a hand.  He turned up a couple of hours later and after fitting the carb, immediately better that with my carb but still wouldn't sustain running.  After rechecking everything on the ignition side etc we got the engine to start with the mixture setting much leaner than the standard setting.  As the engine is new build one of the first things needed was to run in the camshaft at 2,000 rpm for 20 minutes, unfortunately, once the engine started to warm up it spurted coolant all over the garage floor so we had to switch off the engine and sort it out.  We refilled the coolant from the highest point and then when around all of the hoses releasing trapped air and confirming coolant, once we were happy we restarted the engine and finished the camshaft bedding in.

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