Thursday, 2 September 2021

Stoneleigh 2021

After cancellation in 2020 the 2021 show was delated to the late August Bank Holiday weekend (but not the BH Monday) and significantly reduced in scale.  As a result the Dorset WSCC group decided to make the effort but limited to a dat trip.

I left home at 05:30 in to the darkness and fog meeting up with Dave & Adge at Sparkford.  We headed off to meet those travelling from Dorset at the Warminster Services on the A350 after an uneventful journey we arrived at Stoneleigh well before 09:00 and parked up on the WSCC stand.

Cars lined up and Adge just finishing off a quick polish!

As expected there wasn't the usual breadth of show stands and it didn't take too long to see everything of interest and meet up with other WSCC members, Westfield Sports Cars had a selection of Chesils, SEIWs and was co-located with who had the electric Eleven that I'd seen at Kingswingford a couple of weeks ago, £22k for the electric kit plus the Eleven Kit at ~£12k and the MG Midget axles/wheels/steering rack so ~£38K on the road - awesome power and ~100miles range. Time flew and before long it was time to head home,  after stopping for lunch/dinner on the way I got home just before 18:00 so a 12.5 hour round trip.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Fat Rack

The later 1275 MG Midgets were fitted with a Triumph steering 'thin' racks as part of rationalisation of parts across British Leyland's products. The consensus of Eleven owners is that the earlier Midget 'fat' is better suited to the car as it has a faster ratio giving sharper response.  Changing between the two requires the rack, mounts, track rod ends and steering arms as well as adjustments to account for the narrower Eleven chassis.

I was checking over the car and noticed that the front tyres were slightly worn on the inside edges and a check with my alignment kit confirmed that the tracking was 20' toe-out.  An attempt to adjust confirmed that all the adjustment range had been used so I had two options (1) remove the track rod ends and cut them and the steering rack arms down (2) fit the 'fat' rack - I opted for the latter.

To gain access I removed the bonnet, the cooling radiator top mount, jacked/axle stand the front of the car and removed the front wheels. I unbolted each of the steering arms (2 x bolts) and steering rack mounts (3 x bolts) and slide out the steering rack complete with track rod ends and steering arms.  Fitting was roughly the reverse but I assembled the components on the car having cut 10-12mm off each of the track rod ends and rack arms.  I also needed to trim the track rod/steering arm bolts to ensure they cleared the alloy wheels as I'd needed to do with the originals.

While I had the wheels off I fitted the Mintex M1144 brake pads having given up on the ECB 'green' when I experienced significant fade around Exmoor/Porlock/Lynton.  The final step was to reset the front wheel alignment which I set to 10' toe-in, as most of the driving is done with 2 up I didn't bother ballasting the car with the driver's weight.

I went out for a drive and quickly confirmed that the 'fat' rack is much better suited to the light weight Eleven and M1144 are excellent pads; I'm now looking forward to the weather improving over the next week so I can get some more miles on the car.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Run Out Over Exmoor

Going through a bit of dry weather phase and with the forecast ahead not looking quite we planned a day trip.  Tricia and I had an early start and headed off to Exmoor.  Lots of B Roads between Taunton, Lynton and the back home, stopped off in Porlock for a coffee, 160 miles in all and back in time for a very late Sunday lunch.

Dunkery Hill looking over towards Minehead

An unplanned stop at the top of Porlock Hill to reconnect the cutch pedal and once we got home I readjusted/threadlocked it and then changed the differential oil to EP90 in an attempt to quieten it down and, whilst there gave the back end of the car a good check over.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Garage Doors and Flooring

 It's now close to 20 years since we bought the house as a new build and for almost 20 years we've had to live with the constant risk that the wires that control the garage doors will jump off their spindles, usually when it's late in the evening or raining. Well now this is no longer an issue as we have two new electric roller doors

Halfway through

Finished (close out panels to be fitted once I'm happy that they're adjusted)

Once the doors were fitted it was on to the flooring - this required the entire content of the garage to be moved so I did it in quarters.

Just about 1/2 done

Nearly finished - need to build up some enthusiasm to clear the racking! 

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Getting Ready for 2021

 On the assumption that 'things can only get better' I've been getting ready for 2021.

First the Eleven, I've fitted a Cobra immobiliser as I noticed that my insurance disclosure assumed it had one; it's the same one fitted to the SEIW that has worked well over the last 8 years and was straight forward to fit.  Whilst I had the scuttle off I also fitted the 10.5V regulator to the fuel gauge supply in order to reduce the over reading.  Final thing was a service and off for an MOT, the Eleven's 1st,  passed with no advisories (after I'd tightened up the front disc bolts).  First trip out for the year was trip to meet up with the new WSCC Somerset and Devon Area Organiser; having met up at the Royal Oak in Over Stratton we headed off down the A303 then on the A30 followed by a pint and chat before heading home.

With the Eleven 'on the road' I focused on the SEIW, over the winter I swapped the rear springs for some 160 to 210 lb progressive ones supplied by Spax, fitted a new starter motor find that the starter solenoid connection stub on the old one had become loose - hence the occasional no start issues on the Anglesey trip and replaced the rear brake callipers for Golf Mk4 ones to resolve the hand brake effectiveness issues I'd been living with since being really exposed in the Alps.  Whilst bleeding the brakes I sheared the bleed nipples on both the front callipers so took the opportunity to overhaul them with all new seals, I now own a 7mm tap set!  Last of all was an MOT, again passed with no advisories, and now the wait until next month to start the road tax.

We're currently on a phased exit from COVID 19 lockdown so it's not clear what events will be going ahead this year.  I've pre-booked a couple of Haynes Breakfast Clubs in June and July, they're no longer a turn up on the day event, I assume a combination of the issues they were having on numbers attending and COVID.  The first Dorset Area monthly meeting is planned for 20 May after the pubs are properly open and Colin has tentatively arranged the Devon Run in mid-July.  Dodging between showers Tricia and I have now managed to get out for a couple of blats around Somerset and Dorset largely missing the rain.

Whilst the car was up in the air I noticed a star craze under the rear body by the diffuser so have repaired it but the gelcoat isn't a good match, I've now tried RAL 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009 and none are a good enough match for a repair on a visible panel so I've ordered some gelcoat direct from Westfield.

Westfield announced that they were no longer going to supply AP Racing brake components so I ordered one of the last master cylinders at the same time as I ordered the gelcoat.  I'm reasonably happy with the current front callipers but the AP MC is supposed to improve the instantaneous feeling as the brakes are applied - we'll see if it's worth the £330....

MSE sent me an email advising that they now have 3 dates at Keevil so I've booked for the end of July with the usual Dorset Area suspects, hopefully some of the Devon & Somerset Area will also come along.  I've changed the Differential oil to EP90 GL5 and so far the slight n/s output shaft oil leak has stopped, my intention is to strip the back of the car over the winter to treat any rust and replace all the fuel hoses with ethanol 10% ready R9 specification.