"I followed the instructions, I can't think what I got wrong, it doesn't make any sense."
etc Oh. You numpty.
I'll redo it as soon as I can to the proper gap and it'll be fine. Thank you for pointing out that it seemed off, I know it's not the first time, and it probably won't be the last. I am the perpetual apprentice.
Everyone makes mistakes, no harm done and you'll have learned from it
As for being a perpetual apprentice, I left school after my Highers, didn't want to go to Uni, wanted to work with my hands. Could have gone into several trades but in my naivety I thought electricians have a clean job (that's another story for another time) and there will always be a future for them so I started as an an apprentice electrician a week before my 17th birthday, when I retired as a chief electrician just before my 69th birthday I was still learning (and relearning), I'm still learning now hopefully still be learning the day I shuffle off this mortal coil
So keep at it
Black is not a colour ! .... Its the absence of colour
The new high level light unit arrived for the Lanchester it looks like we're on to a winner with it. As expected, the big central chrome... boss?.. is entirely the wrong shape, it's stopping the whole unit sitting down into the gap that's available.
I was prepared for this and planning to make a bracket, I've got some steel that should do the job well for that. When it's fitted properly it'll occupy the small space of the original parcel shelf nicely without eating up the whole rear window.
From outside (bearing in mind I can't actually get the car out of the garage today for various reasons, hence the cramped dark photos here) they look about right too. Decent size, very visible.
I reckon a simple bent bracket bolted to the parcel shelf will suffice to hold all three lights at the bottom of the screen without impacting on rear visibility (such as it is) too badly. Should end up with something a bit like this. Just imagine some black shrouds to prevent glare too, I think it'll work well.
I think I would want something smaller than that for the stop/tail. That’s a big chunk of blind spot right smack bang in the middle of your already limited rear view. Maybe something like a Lucas one that doesn’t incorporate a reflector?
Or a long LED strip?
The indicators in the corners look good. That kind of thing also suits mounting off a bracket on the bumper irons, and can look reasonable and be where people are expecting to see them.
My worst worry about dying is my wife selling my stuff for what I told her it cost...
You'd be surprised how unobtrusive that brake light ends up being, if I turn it upside down the entire reflector disappears behind the bodywork under the window and the top of it is barely higher than the seat back then. Eventually we'll likely switch to LED strips, this bike unit just came up at the right price at the right time and allows us to solve some of the wiring that's left unfinished. Once the crimp tool arrives I can actually get the indicators and horns sorted all being well, and have this unit dismantled and rearranged properly.
Let's have a go at some video write ups, see how we get. Pat is now testing negative for Covid and is almost entirely well again, which is super. I've been testing negative since he contract it, but I've also spent the last few days having all the Covid symptoms on speedrun so that's been pretty appaling. Today I'm sore, my sinuses are blocked, and my temperature is very up and down. Still, gives me time to try and get caught up on this since I can take breaks as I write if I need to.
The old lower front grille on the Maestro is bust and repaired and needs replacing. The fixings holding it on aren't original.
The repair works, so I can't fault the creator of it on that front, I can just do better. First up is removing the four fixings that hold it in place, one at each end of the grille and two in the middle.
The passenger side one proved more challenging because the head had turned to rust. The stack of improvised parts was curious too.
I'm not entirely sure what the wrinkle paint coated aluminium was off originally that was used to repair the old grille, perhaps some old electrical device? They'd gone to a lot of trouble with shaping and cutting out holes for air flow, pretty commendable stuff really, just like that front wing. Just seems a bit strange this much effort was undertaken rather than just buying a replacement.
Apparently, the original fixings are plastic with a push pin that spreads the legs on the back of the fixing to hold it all in place. I didn't have anything like that so I reused the plastic squares from the old fixings, some grommet things scavenged from the inside of Princess doors, and some suitable screws. These worked pretty well.
For a belt and braces approach I also used a couple of cable ties on the outer corners until I can get proper fixings to hold this in place, I didn't entirely trust the ancient plastic of the grommets I'd used and thought it sensible. You can't tell I fixed anything, so this is definitely something I could have left alone.
More rewiring. I've actually learned a few things since recording this so some of the mistakes you might see could well be rectified already. First thing was to get more of the bullet connector sleeves that aren't provided with the harness, I was just waiting on a replacement bullet for the one that fell off here.
Then a case of figuring out what wires do what. This purple-black with a white-red inside is for the brake switch, it turns out.
That comes out under the driver's side front footwell where the brake switch lives.
The other two purple-black both have a plain white inside, one of which is for the wiper and one of which is for the horn. Happily the wiring for the wiper is pretty close to the wiring I'm trying to identify so doing a continuity test to work out which is which won't be too difficult.
Then I found out the battery in my multimeter had died and being an A23G it wasn't one I happened to have a spare of. Rather than let that stop me, I moved on to a different job, namely the dim-dip switch.
This was one of the items where the original wiring on the back of the switch matched the colours on the wiring diagram I was using so that made life a bit easier. I did each wire individually before moving to the next one so I didn't get anything muddled, I knew the switch worked so the wiring on it should be correct. The connectors are an open spade connector so you just slacking the screw, slide the spade connecter in, and tighten the screw down. Aside from the awkward access since you're in the footwell to do this, it actually went quite smoothly. The plate bolts to a cross beam but because it's nuts and bolts that aren't captive, it's a two person job to reinstate it. I couldn't get tools to stay wedged to do it up myself and my arms simply weren't long enough to reach both sides simultaneously.
I then spent some time identifying what wires went were and trying to get all of the instrument panel wired up properly. Not the easiest job to record or do as access isn't the best and removing the cluster from the dashboard didn't really give any better access due to wire lengths.
One issue I did encounter was the telltales for oil and ignition had yellow wires with bullet connectors on that couldn't reach anything else on the wiring, including each other, and the two wires that were probably to feed them had ring connectors on. Initially I didn't know what the problem was with this and when I found it, I was a little bit disappointed.
The new battery for the multimeter was got so I could do a continuity test and figure out which wire was for the wiper motor, and then I connected all the wiring to the voltage regulator in the way I thought was correct according to the information I had at the time.
I also figured out the flasher cans (that were provided) go on the custom wiring spur for the indicators. Whether this means the semphores are going to flap in and out in time to the indicator flash or not, I don't know. Some people think they will, some think they won't, but I can't see how you'd provide power to activate them and flash the bulb without deactivating the power to them. Maybe the flash rate is such that the arms stay stuck out but the bulb flashes, I won't know until I test them.
I figured out what was amiss with the telltale bulb holder wiring too. Not only did the new bulb holders not like to stay in the instrument binnacle, they didn't actually have the correct provision as standard for the wiring. There's probably some way to modify or complete the wiring provided to make them work, instead I opted to fit the old known good holders to the new harness. This did then resolve the connectivity issues. The old holders have an additional tang on the side with a screw which allows you to connect those eyelets that I couldn't connect to the new wiring, it also did away with the mystery of the bullet connectors and where they're supposed to go.
It was then a case of reinstalling all of the spaghetti, including the ignition switch wiring, to get everything ready to go.
Another thing to do is to connect the harness inside the car to the harness that comes in from outside the car. Again, not enough sleeve connectors provided for this so I had to acquire more for that
The last thing was to see what happened when I turned the ignition switch on and, happily, the oil and ignition light came on like they should, the fuel guage jumped to full (it's not actually connected, but it's good it moved) but the panel lights didn't come on as I didn't have that fully connected yet. Progress at least.
Great progress 👍 From what I remember from seeing cars with trafficators when I was young when switched on the arm pops out and stays out till cancelled, the light stayed on, don't remember them flashing.
Black is not a colour ! .... Its the absence of colour
jimi: correct, they should be a plain static light for the semaphores. How I think it's done is that the feed from the indicator switch goes to the semaphores without going through the flasher cans so they should be on static as originally intended, while the flashing auxiliary indicator wiring branches off from that and goes through the flasher cans. If I've understood it properly, that should mean the semaphores stick out with the light on static while at the same time the extra indicators front and rear flash. If the wiring for both semaphores and indicators goes through the flasher cans then we have problems, but I don't think that's what Autosparks have done when we specified wanting both from their options list.
Yes, if both flashing trafficators & indicators are fitted the flashing would need to be synchronised 👍 (wouldn't be too difficult to arrange 😉) The original flashing bulbs were meant for cars with just trafficators, the new LED ones could be use that way as well.
First thing to do was get a new battery since the one on the car wasn't reliably holding charge. Alternator was doing its job just fine and putting the zaps out, but the battery wasn't always holding on to them. Headed out to try and find one in a shop, mixing it with the moderns.
Make way for the ambulance.
Then completely failed to find a battery in a shop anywhere. Lots of shortages at the time, so it was probably that. Amusingly, I found exactly the same kind of battery as I removed brand new online, so ordered that and plonked it in instead.
The other issue I'd been having was that the hazards weren't working properly. Time to inspect the fuses, namely the one for non-ignition accessories.
The fuse I took out looked perfectly fine, if a little less shiny than would be ideal, but I put a fresh one in the socket anyway. Experience has taught me that sometimes these ceramic style fuses just seem to go bad for some reason. The problem was mainly that it had got itself stuck with corrosion.
That meant that when you turned the hazards on the interior light flashed and the indicators didn't, a very odd electrical issue that was a proper head scratcher. Replaced the fuse and the hazards and interior light went back to working properly. That's not really one I can show in static images so well, so if you really want to see that, go watch the video. While looking for potential earth problems, I found the secondary main earth had gone rusty again which definitely wouldn't have helped. Gave it a good scrub and got it back to as not-rusty as I could. Used a bit of ACF-50 on it too which seems pretty good at keeping moisture, and by extension corrosion, at bay.
With that all sorted, it was time to see how much happier the car would be about starting. Traditional choke pegs, check it's in neutral, and see if it fires up... which it did basically instantly. This was a huge improvement on how it had been so I was pretty happy about that.
With the wipers, headlights, heater fan, and brake lights all on the alternator was keeping up with charge properly and while the wipers did slow a little, it was definitely in the realm of normal rather than struggling.
An 8 mile test run later, decided to check the head gasket seam for any issues because previously this had been a short enough run to highlight that. I was pleased to see the areas of concern previously were no longer areas of concern. Also no bubbles in the expansion bottle so it looks like when I last re-torqued the head bolts down that's all that was required.
I did notice that the heaters had become very effective and the coolant had gone quite brown so I assume there was a blockage somewhere in the system that had cleared through. The mileage I'd done in this video was about the same as I'd done when the head gasket last went so I was both hopeful I'd fixed the problem, and concerned it might be about to happen.
Finally, even though this video was recorded a year ago, I'm still on the look out for some of these Princess rubber floor mats, front and rear, since I only have the one. They do occasionally appear, though never in great shape. If you happen to have one or more of them please do drop me a line.
The wiper motor did work when we got the car, sluggishly, and then just didn't seem able to move at all. A quick look inside soon revealed the culprit. I don't know what I'm doing so this isn't a tutorial on inspection and improvement, merely how to dismantle, clean, and reassemble one of these Lucas SW4 units. To remove it from the car you undo the nuts from the studs that go through the bulkhead and into the cabin. Access isn't great, and isn't terrible, it is what it is. Being made pretty much entirely of cast metal parts, it's got a decent heft to it. Our unit has been repainted at least once in its life.
The screws aren't in great shape on it, the slots are a little chewed up, so I was careful as I undid things. The end plate on the right gives you access to the gears that convert the motion from the worm drive on the end of the motor to the output of the drive shaft, this is where you'll find old hard grease. I suspect this is ancient white lithium grease, so I took care because I have some sort of contact allergy with lithium based stuff. It had really gummed everything up in there.
The other end of the unit has a bakelite end cap, this is pretty dirty and I wasn't sure if it was cracked or had a mould line at this point. It's been painted too, quite heavily in places. I was careful with this item, I didn't know if replacements could be got or what condition it was really in under the paint and grime.
That allowed me to see the general condition of the carbon bushes which are in those two sprung arms. While they are worn, they're not worn away, so I opted to leave these as is. They're already shaped nicely to the other components and I know the unit works so I could come back to this with new brushes in the future if need be. Happily, things were looking pretty clean in here, no signs of corrosion or water ingress which should mean less work for me.
The back of the bakelite cap was a little grimy but in mostly reasonable shape. An ultrasonic cleaner is very useful for parts like this and that's exactly the treatment I gave it.
With all the main components apart I could assess what I needed to do next. I wasn't originally going to strip it down fully but I thought it made sense to figure out how to get the commutator assembly out and just check for any excessive wear and dirt. I could have tried to find some schematics on this or, given how simple a thing it is, use some common sense and care to see how far I could go.
What I wasn't sure of is what was holding everything inside the main body. I could see some screws on the outer casing and thought I might need to remove that to get inside. I didn't, as it happens, but it was still worth doing anyway. You can see more of that crusty old grease on the end of the worm drive here.
I set that aside so I could prepare some parts for cleaning in the mean time. The drive cogs could be levered out carefully with a screwdrive and then pulled free by hand. The old grease had just gummed things in place and I couldn't get in otherwise, normally these are a nice sliding fit and you can just tip the unit to release them rather than having to use a prying tool. There's two cogs with shafts, I didn't attempt to remove the cogs from the shaft as there didn't seen to be any advantage to that and I don't think they're supposed to come apart anyway.
With that out and a whole wealth of hardened old grease to contend with, I could turn my attention to removing the bent steel U shaped cover thing (I don't know what it's called) which even after the screws were removed and penetrating fluid applied was pretty firmly in place. That's okay though, because I had just the right tool for the job.
All joking aside, it took a bit of patience tapping, wiggling, and pulling to get the u-shaped piece free. Normally, I don't think you'd bother with this bit. I'm glad I did though, it helped with cleaning up and painting later. What it didn't do was make any difference at all to removing the motor from the housing.
To remove the motor you just push the bushes out of the way and slide it out. Happily, there was no items of concern in here (to my untrained eye) and it all looked in reasonable good shape. A very light amount of cleaning just to remove the dust of years of use was really all that was needed. Even the hole it lives in wasn't that bad, just very dusty and carbon-y which means it's probably the remains of the bushes that have worn off.
I would then spend some time cycling some bits through the ultrasonic cleaner, struggling to remove that old white grease which was as stubborn and sticky as toddler handprints, and just a whole world of patience to get it all ready for reassembly. I used a variety of ultrasonic fluid for alumimium, soapy water, thinners, paper towels, and cotton buds. Anything that would cut through the stuff really. To get the paint off the bakelite the ultrasonic cleaner got the bulk of it off and a few stubborn bits were carefully chipped off with a slightly blunt craft knife.
With everything cleaned I could see the damage on the bakelite end cap. What I wasn't sure was a crack or a mould line turned out to be a crack. In the past, someone had screwed this down too tight and once the grime and paint was removed there was nothing holding the crack together and one small piece fell off. A nice clean break at least and after some research online it was suggested a thin superglue or epoxy resin was best for the repair so I used the former to create the smallest bond I could, epoxy resin can sometimes step a broken piece out and interfere with fitment.
The main body of the wiper motor came up really nicely, as cast aluminium often does, and the central bore cleaned out lovely with the contents literally just being dust. Not interested in polishing this or soda/sandblasting it (I don't have a blaster anyway), I'm happy to keep the raw finish with a bit of age to it so it blends in with the rest of the car.
Dry fit with everything cleaned so I could figure out what I wanted to paint and what I didn't as well as checking it all moved freely now and I was happy to do the last cosmetic job which was redoing the steel parts. I made sure to mask these off internally since that's how it was when I took it apart and since there was very minimal corrosion inside I didn't regard it as an issue. After sanding, I applied rust converter to the bare steel surfaces that were to be painted and I could have almost left it like that since the finish wasn't far off what I was aiming for.
It's always nice seeing the stamped text reappear when you clean parts up like this, you couldn't really read any of the end plate before. This confirms it's a Lucas SW4 for a 12V car.
To paint, after masking the relevant areas, I used a red oxide primer followed by matt black paint and finishing with a clear satin varnish. This gives a pretty close finish to factory. To help prevent things sticking to the surface I was spraying on I used some small pots for propping them up, if you mask the pots it helps keep them clean and give the part a little more grip so it doesn't get moved by the spray.
Once the paint was cured it was a matter of reassembling with some lithium-based grease - I opted not to use white lithium here, modern convention seems to be to use a more general purpose lithium based grease since it doesn't go hard and gummy - and then bench tested it with the old Princess battery. The motor runs a lot smoother and looks a lot better.
I then popped it back in the car but didn't connect up the wipers as there's a bit more work to do there before those are ready to go. Was an enjoyable little project this one that didn't throw any nasty surprises at me.
Was feeling well enough today to get out and redo the valve clearances on the Maestro to the proper .38mm which didn't take very long since I'd only recently been in and done them all incorrectly. Then took it for a half an hour drive to get it warmed through and see how it behaved.
Little bit noisier than when I'd done the clearances incorrectly the first time around (at 0.05mm because I'd read the wrong bit of the manual), and a lot quieter than when the car arrived. Actually sounds pretty healthy, the usual A series chatter rather than an unpleasant clatter. Next on my list is going to be the oil changes to flush out the gunge and a carb rebuild to improve general performance. Shall be waiting for warmer weather before tackling either of those things, it'll do no harm leaving things as is for now.
Pleasantly surprised with how the Maestro performing on ice and slush, a lot more predictable and decent feedback through the controls than I was expecting. Certainly easier to predict what it was about to do than my 414 with its massively over-assisted steering and a lot easier to modulate speed and steering. It was quite enough work for me for one day though, really knocked the stuffing out of me thanks to still recovering from Covid. Still, was good to get some fresh air and get out of the house for the first time in at least a week.