Today has been something of a "one step forward, a few hops sideways, and one backward." We knew there were going to be some of them, that's the whole reason we're doing the VERY local shakedown runs. Which I'm sure are really annoying my neighbours by now.
First up, I did managed to track down the Not-A-Go-Pro and do a test with that stuck to the rear window. Annoyingly, while the video is better than I've managed from my phone - the microphone really didn't enjoy such close proximity to 493cc of thundering power behind the driver's seat in the Invacar, so I must apologise for the horrible audio distortion.YouTube Video over here.
This really does seem to make the ride seem a lot firmer than it feels in person, but better captures the degree of lean when cornering. At least around town you don't really notice the lack of a wheel up front. Until you come to park up at a kerb...the lack of a bump from the nearside front corner the first time I pulled over at the side of the road, *that* messed with my head.
I hadn't spotted until viewing that video that the nearside indicators seem to be playing funny business again...Yay...Those tail lights are going to be a recurring problem aren't they...
The free play in the brakes looks way worse in the video than it feels in person, I think the angle and the lens exagerrates it a bit. There's a good 2" of clearance between the point at which I can lock all three wheels and the bars hitting my knees. I managed to get the single carriageway down the side of our neighbourhood clear a couple of times today, so was able to do an emergency stop from 50mph, and am pleased to say that she can come to a stop more than adequately rapidly when needed.
When I got back from that run, with an even five miles on the clock I decided to check the condition of the plugs just to give me an idea how the engine was running. It's worth noting that the one in the offside cylinder has always had a history of flooding quite regularly on startup, and had always been sooty when the car had just been idling on the driveway. This is how it looked today.
Here's the partner from the other cylinder.
Not bad at all I reckon, though obviously it's hard to tell too much from so few miles. No obviously catastrophic oil contamination or anything like that at least.
Today did unearth a few gremlins though.
 Fuelling. It seemed today that after I'd been going for roughly 30 minutes (including three higher speed runs), I started to experience what felt like severe fuel starvation. Thankfully I was able to limp back home. This definitely shows why I'm doing things this way though, for all it might seem needlessly over-cautious to some folks.
I'm pretty sure that this problem is due to a problem with the fuel pump itself.
Looking at the fuel filter in the engine bay (between the fuel pump and the carb) you can see bubbles of air being pumped through along with the fuel. This is an absolute pain to try to catch visibly on camera. Here's the best I could manage over on YouTube
A problem on the suction side of the pump really is the only cause I can see for this. The line from the pump to the tank is a single piece of new hose, and attaches to the bottom of the (full) fuel tank. I'd have expected any holes in the line to have therefore made themselves known by leaking fuel out overnight as there should be a decent head of pressure there. Top of the fuel tank is roughly level with the top of the carb.
Obvious question: Is there a vacuum issue due to venting problems? Nope...The cap is vented - and in fact the cap wasn't even on the tank when that video was snapped.
A rebuild kit is avalable for the fuel pump...so I think that will be my next stop.
I think a gasket set for the carb probably makes sense too...
 Gearchange linkage fell off!
As I limped into the driveway on one-and-a-bit cylinders due to the fuel starvation issues, I applied the handbrake then suddenly found that my right hand couldn't find the gear lever for some reason.
Oh. That doesn't look right! Sure enough, pulling the rear service hatch out and standing on my head showed that the connection between the lever and the actual gear selector had come apart. Nice and "easy" to get at...
You may recall when I took this out of KP I was unable to extract the split pin from this linkage, so I'd put it together with a bolt and lock nut. Obviously this isn't up to dealing with the vibration etc, so I'll need to find a better solution. In the meantime I'll make up a new locknut and apply some threadlock to hopefully keep things together in the meantime. A long enough bolt to fit this position definitely needs to remain in the vehicle toolkit though!
It was nice to see that the pulleys do seem to be cleaning themselves up quite nicely though simply through a bit of use, and that the belt tension seemed to have remained exactly as I left it when I adjusted it.
While there's still some oxide left there visible, the surface itself feels far, far smoother than it used to. I did wonder if I should put more work into cleaning this lot up - but given that the drive system seems to be generally behaving itself I'm inclined to leave it alone for now.
 Gearbox oil leak.
When reattaching the gear linkage it was hard to miss the fact that there was quite an obvious leak of gearbox oil from the top cover.
This wasn't a huge surprise to me given that the box was found essentially caked in a 1/2" thick crust of gearbox oil mixed with mud - what was a surprise what that all four of the nuts were barely finger tight...Let's hope that having nipped them up has sorted that. Failing that I don't think the cover holds anything in, so shouldn't be too hard to make up a new paper gasket if necessary.
Before I went out today though I set about trying to do something to make her look a bit less like a set piece from some post apocalyptic disaster movie, this basically meant trying to shift some of the moss and grime.
Attacking the doors with a stiff scrubbing brush and caravan & motorhome cleaner did a pretty decent job.
There is still some discolouration which I'll need to hit with some cutting paste, but at least it looks *slightly* less like it's just been dragged out of a field now.
I think thinks will probably need to take a back seat for a few days until I can get the parts for the fuel pump in. Sadly I don't have a suitable alternative pump, electric or otherwise, laying around or I'd test by substitution first. Obviously I can't really keep driving with a known fuelling issue.
What I might do is hook up the fuel injection pump I've got laying around drawing from the carb end and dumping back to tank - the flow level that should get going might allow me to use my eyes and ears to track down where the leak actually is as I'll probably be able to hear it hissing.
Annoyingly I'll most likely have to drain the tank down if I do need to dismantle the system...Methinks a fuel tap right at the tank might be a sensible upgrade...
Will take the opportunity to readjust the brakes again - I have my suspicions that the front adjuster isn't doing its job, so may well swap it for a known good spare and see if that helps. As I've said before, the brakes feel really good. Nice firm control and good bite, just a lot of dead travel before you get to the point that the control does anything.
Would have been nice to get a clean bill of health and just start driving places (as I'm getting quite comfortable with the actual act of piloting her now), but realistically we knew there were going to be things that would turn up and need sorting didn't we.