Finally having time to actually sit down let's get the summary for today down.
Initially I went to go and finish off what I was three quarters of the way through doing on the van yesterday evening. Within 30 seconds I managed to stab myself under a fingernail with a rough edge of some plywood. I decided that his was a sign from the gods that I should leave the van alone today.
No issue there, given I've a list as long as my arm of things that need done on the Invacar. Oh...and Lada...and Xantia. Need to see if my desktop workstation can be revived too...Let's just concentrate on the Invacar.
Given that the fuel level had dropped below a third of a tank I reckoned that I should have plenty of clearance to pull the fuel gauge sender and flip it around so it was fitted the right way up. For future reference - the cutout in the case that the wiring comes out of should be pointing directly up.
Flipped round and resecured to the tank let's see if the gauge is reading sensibly now...
Much better. I did a dip test, and that's actually reasonably accurate, only reads slightly low - which is exactly what I want, following the gauge I shouldn't get caught short.
Finally got around to re-fitting the number plate light. I've turned the entire garage upside down several times looking for the little metal trim...No idea what I've done with it.
Current plan is to stop looking for it - as soon as I do that I'm sure it will turn up, that's how things usually work here.
Having paid careful attention to both the behaviour I had seen on the last few test runs I'd done and watching a couple of videos on YouTube that another owner has just produced where they have fitted a brand new set of pulleys and a new belt, I had decided that my CVT belt needed to be slackened back off a bit. It seems that if the belt is too tight it tends to make the behaviour when taking up drive very snatchy, and as it pulls the belt too far down into the grooves it also messes up the gearing. This was quite obvious in that the belt was sitting a good inch down from the outer edge of the secondary pulley at rest, rather than level with the outer edge as it should be.
A quick fiddle around with the tension soon had things sitting more sensibly.
The drive system here seems to be very noisy at speed - My best guess is that this is due to the fact that the secondary pulley is really badly pitted due to rust. The primary looks bad in the photos, but feels smooth save for the last 1/2" or so to touch with just some light pitting at the very outer edge. The secondary (to the right in this photo) is in quite a state though.
Time to take to the road for a test run. Once TP got done reminding me that it's far too long since she was last out by blanketing half our neighourhood in smoke when she was first started anyway.
There's no emission test as such required at all for a vehicle of this type and age beyond a visual "doesn't emit huge plumes of smoke at idle" check. TP isn't bad at all on that front, just tends to smoke for a few second or two on startup after sitting for a few days. There's no smoke visible on the overrun when driving so I'm not worried about this being symptomatic of worn valve stem oil seals - think it's more a case of "a really basic engine from the early 1970s" than anything else. I'm just going to keep an eye on it, I've a sneaking feeling that it's something that may well get better with use anyway.
We spent a good half hour or so trundling around our local area, the drive system seeming *far* happier today than on any previous outing, and so far the newly dismantled, cleaned and rebuilt carb has been behaving itself. No bouts of "sneezing" or any carrying on like that were seen other than one or two when she was still cold - and it seems that this happening occasionally is just "something they do" on occasion and shouldn't be worried about so long as it's not excessive. My gut feeling is that it's thanks to the inlet tract being quite long - I think under certain circumstances it takes longer for a richer mixture to arrive actually at the cylinder than it ideally needs to to keep things running exactly right. That's my theory anyway.
I was just thinking about going for an experimental high speed run when I noticed something at the side of the road stacked up next to a skip. I wasn't initially sure what it was - but it was clearly some form of tech from the 60s or 70s - something that my eye is pretty well attuned to spotting. Turned out that there were actually quite a few things there which were of interest. Of course I was in the ideal car for dragging ancient tat back home wasn't I...oh...wait...no, I was in a tiny three wheeler with no luggage compartment of any kind. Well, one of the main things I want to prove is that these little cars can actually manage just fine in day to day life...so she was loaded up!
Think we can officially say she's earning her keep by doing actual work now can't we?
Turns out that you can actually fit quite a decent amount of stuff in there on account of there being no foot controls.
I wasn't actually sure what I had grabbed to be honest...Was vary much a case of purely grabbing what really looked of interest. I may make another run by tomorrow to see if there's anything else worth grabbing hidden a bit deeper. I did speak to the owner of the house and they were fine with me helping myself. The way stuff was stacked neatly next to rather than in the skip very much suggests to me they were hoping someone would adopt some of the now homeless stuff which really was too good to be scrapped.
So what did I grab? Figure some of you might be interested at least given you put up with my ramblings most of the time...
A pair of these old Menvier emergency flood light units for a start.
Doesn't feel like they're fitted with any batteries currently, but with a new set sourced that should be emergency lighting for my garage sorted. That's something I've been meaning to look into for a while - our fuse box is in there so it's kinda sensible to make sure there is some provision in there.
Next thing looks to be one of the oldest 12V DC to 250V AC inverters I've come across so far.
Curious to have a closer look at this, suspect that one this old probably runs at a low enough frequency to ensure it whistles in just the correct way to ensure you want to you've your own eardrums out in ten minutes flat. Curious to take a look at how it's put together and what components have been used. Even if it's not actually used often, could be a nice upgrade to fit to the van too.
Not sure what the next one is yet beyond "DC - probably low voltage - power supply of some sort - possibly battery charger."
I'm guessing the 500uA range on the meter is misleading and it's likely been scavenged from another bit of gear at some point. No makers mark anywhere on it, so this might be a home brew job. Given the age this quite likely involves a selenium rectifier, so testing will definitely be done outdoors! You don't make that mistake twice...
Nearly dismissed this motor under the "don't know what I'd do with it" heading before telling myself to stop being silly, we that it was far too good quality kit to be seeing get binned.
Here's the rating plate for those who know their motors...
For all it looks rough, if you give it a spin by hand it takes a good thirty seconds to stop, so the bearings seem fine.
This is what I initially spotted poking out beside the skip which made me look closer and saw the rest of the stuff.
It's a teeny tiny compressor...Beyond that I've nothing. As with anything from this era though it's just a really nice...thing. I'll have a run by there again tomorrow and see if there's a receiver to go with this, though I doubt it. Will be curious to see whether it works. The plastic fitting on the outlet suggests it has been in relatively recent use though, and turning it over by had seems to suggest it is pumping.
A couple of reels of proper old school solder were grabbed as it's always useful to have around.
Last thing I spotted though - literally as I was initially pulling off - was something I've been keeping an eye out for for a while. Nice proper old-school pump action oil can.
That will look right at home in the Invacar regular maintenance tool kit.
Having obviously put my actual plans momentarily on hold when spotting all this stuff and dragging it back to my garage, my schedule was a little behind. I decided that I'd get one more thing ticked off before calling it a day - the high speed test run I had been about to do before I distracted myself by spotting interesting tat at the side of the road. Given the drive belt had been adjusted and the carb was a lot happier I wanted to see if she was capable of handling main road speeds now without excessive drama or any bits falling off.
An ideal day for that, as unsurprisingly the grid roads in MK are pretty quiet on a Sunday after the shops have all closed. First three attempts to get up to any real speed were thwarted by almost immediately catching up with and getting stuck behind modern traffic trundling around the 60mph roads at well below 40. Eventually though I did get a clear run on the stretch alongside our area - and decided to see if 60 was something that could actually happen.
Yes, yes it is! She will definitely do 60 (well, indicated anyway!), even within the relatively short run between our side road and the next roundabout, and on a slight uphill gradient. Time was against me today though given the amount of it I had wasted earlier, so I had to wrap it up there. Sixty isn't nearly as terrifying as some would have you believe - incredibly noisy, but didn't feel as though I was staring death in the eye. Only thing which makes it feel a bit strained at the moment is the low frequency vibration from the drive system, which I think is largely down to the rust on the secondary CVT pulley.
Had to do a bit of Automotive Tetris to get her back in the garage, so here's a photo of TP looking triumphant before retiring for the day having both hauled a load of stuff home and then managed to safely reach the posted speed limit.
Nicely showing off the hubcaps donated by a friend recently too.
Have to wonder, is that the first time that she has ever actually travelled at that sort of velocity under her own power? You do have to wonder with a vehicle like this!
Did get a fantastic double-take from the driver of the first Prius taxi I got stuck behind though when he saw me in his rear view mirror...
I'd say that's quite a decent day really. Will get the Megger out tomorrow and if they pass the initial tests, maybe see if any of this stuff works...Then inevitably make another run past to see if there's anything else worth nabbing that I can justify given the limitations on space I have to play with. Today's lot seemed far too good to just leave sitting there though.