Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Oil leaks again

Took the car to a family get-together - 80ish mile round trip - all good but it's sprung a leak from the remote oil filter again ho hum.

That aside is cruised at an easy 65-70 although it was very windy and I got grit in my eyes a couple of times. I'll be interested to find out how much of the 23 quid or so's worth fuel I put in it I've used.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


So I have tried cleaning and greasing the old cable - no help.

Changing the cable over from the '67 - this cable looked in much better condition so I had high hopes - no go.

Finally, fitting the speedo from the 67 got the speedo working. It reads about 8mph fast according to the GPS speedo thingy but at least it is working.

Downside is that the mileage reading is now wrong - it read 42000 exactly when I put it in, now reads 42007 after yesterday's short trip out, and should have a quite a bit more on by the end of today with any luck.

Sunny Day

So time for a drive.

Actually quite a bit of stuff has happened that I haven't blogged so time for a short catch up. When I changed all the steering components for the MOT, I tried to set up the lengths of the arms to be the same as the ones I'd replaced. This didn't really work although it was close enough not to be unsafe.

I also didn't notice that although the new Track rod ends came with grease nipples, they hadn't been filled with grease.

To cut a long story involving an annoying brand new grease gun that didn't work short, I have now greased everything at the front that needs it. The tracking's better but not right.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


I stole the speedo cable from the '67. I have a theory that RHD speedo cables must be longer and will therefore be hard to find. Once fitted, I took the car for a blast (er I mean gentle drive) to the filling station. I haven't put any fuel in it for a while - not really a clever strategy when the guage doesn't work. So 15 quid's worth of Super unleaded later I found that the speedo needle still jumps around - but closer to the real speed now.

So now the question is - as the new cable has improved matters but not solved the problem, do I need to try a change of speedo head?

Current Mileage 93620

Tyres Out of Shape

There's been a "wobble" from the front end ever since I've owned the car - when I discovered the oval hole in the drag link (after the MOT man angrily and fairly pointed it out) I assumed that was the cause.

I was therefore a bit disappointed to find the wobble still present and if anything a bit worse when I drove to and from the MOT.

So I jacked up the car a side at a time and span the wheels. Every one of the four tyres is out of shape so it's hardly surprising, really. It will be expensive to sort though.

Friday, 14 March 2008

MOT Passed

Well the 68 is now legal again. The testers don't do appointments, so I had to hang around for ages, but having replaced the brakes (new front discs, hubs, calipers, quite a few pipe etc) and quite a bit of the steering, as well as adjusting the parking brake, it passed. Looking back at the paperwork, it appears to have taken since May2007 to get it all sorted - much longer than I thought, but at least it's done.

I think one of the front tyres is out of shape, and there's a long list of stuff to do (isn't there always?) but at least I can drive and enjoy it, once the snow stops.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Instrument Panel

The printed circuit on the back of the speedo/gauges on the '68 is a bit dodgy. In particular, the pins for the connector have been soldered because they were loose. They are still loose and generally in poor condition.

For once, instead of "stealing" the one from the '67, I bought a secondhand one from eBay - actually for an AMC American not a Rebel - but the dials are very similar and the printed circuit is the same and fitted on the back of the unit no problem. This was all fine until put it in place and connected it upon which the tiny fuse for the instrument panel blew. I left it alone then as I had more pressing issues.

A couple of weekends ago I finally got back to it. Seems the back of the circuit board was contacting the metal case of the unit - hard to see why as the dimensions appeared identical to the old unit. Anyway, a couple of strips of insulation tape (and the tiny fuse raided from the '67) and I'm back on the road to a set of working clocks.

One reason I changed the circuit board rather than just fit the one I bought was to keep the mileage honest - I have a limited mileage insurance policy (although I haven't even managed 1000 miles, yet alone the 5000 I'm allowed!).

Saturday, 9 February 2008

A Better Day

Last Sunday I gave up in (mild) disgust and exasperation as I seemed to be getting nowhere fast trying to bleed the newly completed brakes.

I cleaned up all the tools and put them away.

Today I decided to get the car out of the garage to blow away the cobwebs of the last few weeks it's spent inactive in the garage.

The car fired up no problem and as I drove out of the garage I thought I'd give the brakes a try. They aren't perfect, but they are working - great news.

Better than that (and I don't really want to write this down as I suspect it may be a dream), my efforts on the remote oil filter (and replacing a couple of dodgy looking clips on the rubber hoses that connect the transmission to the oil cooler at the base of the radiator) appear to have been rewarded with a car that no longer leaks oil - great news.

Friday, 1 February 2008

The '67

The '67 has been donating parts for the '68 for a while. This is worrying me as it makes it incomplete - and although it doesn't even run, I would like to make something of it one day. It's all dreams at present but I'm thinking mild custom.

Nice Wheels
Steering rack (no idea how I'd do that!)
electronic ignition
new carb or single point injection

As I said - dreams!

Oil Leak (continued)

The offending pipe
Once the Alternator was swung out of the way I was able to gain access to the connections for the send and return oil pipes for the oil filter. The connectors were very tight and very hard to get at. As they are pipe connections I could only attack them with open-ended spanners. One of them was so oval that I actually needed two different sized spanners - removing them took ages.

I then had to repeat the exercise for the '67. I made up what I hope is one good item from the two. I had some great responses from the AMC list again, but sadly, unless I'm missing something, we don't have anything like the preponderance of helpful hydraulic engineering places here that they do in the US.

For now, I'm going to try to use what I've got. I'll try to source something better as soon as I can, but for now I want the car mobile and oil tight (ish).

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Oil Leak

I spent a good part of today changing the equaliser over on the parking brake and adjusting it. In the way that old cars have of repaying expenditure and time spent by developing further and more esoteric faults, the car decided now would be a good time to pump most of the contents of the sump onto the ground.

It was at this point that it became apparent that the RHD version of the oil pump has been modified. I'm pretty sure this was done because the steering box was in the way of the oil filter. The RHD car has a remote filter fed by two hoses and mounted on a bracket above the alternator. One of the hoses has sprung a leak so I suspect it'll be off to the '67 again to plunder hoses for the 68.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Even more on Brakes

Since I haven't finished the brake pipework yet, I've been moving the car around using the parking brake. This isn't that easy since it's one of those weird American style ones with a pedal and a release lever.

When I was stuck on the main braking system, I thought I'd adjust the parking brake. It took a while, but I got it to a point where both wheels could be locked and the car wouldn't move on the parking brake - great - or so I thought.

On returning to it, the parking brake had jammed on. Even releasing it, it applies itself when it feels like it - especially in reverse.

Time for a more detailed investigation.

The first thing I found was that the 68 was missing the return spring. The photos show the one I stole from the '67.

The second thing was that the equaliser bar was fitted the wrong way round - this means the left hand brake will operate way before the right hand and adjusting the cable tight enough to get the right hand one working leads to binding on the right hand side. I suspected this after consulting the workshop manual and confirmed it by checking on my new best friend, the unmessed with '67.