Rear wheel bearings

I decided to replace the rear wheel bearings on the seven as they were making a bit of noise. To make life easier i knocked up a stand for the rear of the car which means I can stick it on the stand rather than using floor standing axle stands or a trolley jack to support the car. This proved very useful.

Made a small stand to support the car on the lift.

The theory is you remove the hub, and undo the bolts that hold the bearing in place, and use a slide hammer to yank out the half shaft. Not having a slide hammer compounded this, but the first one came out with a few stern blows with two hammers on a back to front hub (providing me with something substantial to hit.)

Removing the rear half shaft

The other took many hours of smacking with hammers, chisels, heat and general swearing before it gave up. I cut a groove into the bearing itself, and then used a cold chisel to break it off, this worked pretty well. The new bearings are now ready to fit, and will get pressed into place by my local garage.

And corroded on, so it was easiest to cut a groove and use a cold chisel

Seven Trip to spain

Not much driving weather this year, however I did manage to get a trip to spain with some friends, they were flying from all over the place, so I drove down through france on my own. The weather was forecast to be wet (Imagine my surprise) so I decided to take it easy over a few days as it can be pretty miserable driving when the water is coming in through the drain holes.

The rain held off long enough for a broodje kaas, and a well deserved pee.

The first day was mainly getting through the Netherlands and Belgium, which is miserable at best, but the rain was just damp rather than biblical, so quite good fun. Northern france got a bit wetter, but started to dry up by the time I got to Dijon. I had a bit of a moment when there was a horrible metalic noise, I thought at first the alternator had come off again, which was surprising as its threadlocked, and lockwired, but alas it was only the number plate which had come off at one side. I just undid it and threw it in the boot where it will stay for the time being.

I went through about half a litre of oil on the way to dijon, so apparently I still have a major oil leak out the sump. Grumble.

The next day was towards the Tarn, the morning was very wet, and very slow, but the roads were nice, and fairly quiet, in the afternoon it turned to random showers, and the scenery changed into some nice twisty mountain roads, i went over numerous cols, and found I far prefer the Yokohama A048 tyres over the Toyos, it just feels more planted.

The sun came out just in time for Mende, so I spent a few hours going up and down Cols and mountain roads, the car is really on form, traffic is minimal and i’m enjoying every second. I stop for some groceries, and go out for another our or so before stopping for the night in a camping.

The next day I followed to Tarn gorge, before heading up the side, and over the Millau bridge. At this point I noticed that the alternator output was lower than it should, and the ignition light was flickering. Having had an alternator fail a year ago I know all about the tell tales signs, but the ammeter was flickering all over the place. I also know that David ashurst has been plagued with ignition light flickering recently and that its caused by an electrical connection in the lucas plug. I pulled over and cleaned it up, and squashed the connector a little to provide a better connection, and the problem was solved.

Traffic was obnoxiously bad so I just followed the coast down to spain and then cutting off a pininsula and coming over an amazing bit of road into calonge.

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The week was spent driving shorted distances over some great stretches of road in the costas, with a different passenger for every trip. The car was in great form for the most part, with a crack in one of the vaccum connectors forming and causing an air leak which was a bit of a pain for the rest of the day until I got back home and resolved it.

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The way back I went pretty much dead straight home, doing around 130kph most of the way up the peage, everything was fine till belgium when I noticed a small water leak when refuelling, there was a pinhole in one of the hoses, so I just cut it off and shuffled it up a little which got me home. I also noticed the fuel consumption was up for the last tank, which turns out was a fuel leak in the tank (again) so I’ll add that to the list of jobs to do which is currently:

  • Adjust the position of the gear box so it doesn’t vibrate against the crossmember on hard left turns.
  • Fix the fuel leaks from the tank
  • Replace the rear wheel bearings which are getting a little noisy
  • Make the speedo work again.

Fuel tank and wheel bearings

I’ve had nothing but bother with the fuel tank since I had it made to my design by a company in the UK. First they forgot the order, then when it finally arrived it leaked fuel all over the place, and to top it all they over charged my credit card by 100 pounds. I still haven’t had a refund for the difference let alone the leak stopped. This all came to a head last week when I went out for a quick drive and could smell petrol. I turned around and went home, when I arrived I could see a steady stream of fuel dripping out the rear of the car, the weld had failed in the swirl pot.

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I decided it was time to get the fuel tank out and fix it properly, before doing so I drained the tank and filled it with water, I could see it driping out of a seam at quite a rate. I took the tank out at this point (which requires dismantling most of the rear of the car.) and decided to pressurize the tank a little so i could find all the other little leaks too. At 5psi the tank burst along the top seam. The welds are terrible, and not very deep, which left a 9″ gash along the top.

I didn’t want to waste any more summer driving time, so I decided to fix it myself. I borrowed hans’ TIG welder and set about learning to weld with it, its not easy, and for some reason I seemed to get electric shocks off the welder very regularly, but I did manage to get to the point where I could run a consistently deep, if not very tidy weld, so moved onto the tank. I welded in a bit of right angled aluminum along the top as the gap was too big for me to weld up again, and welded up the seam at the bottom of the tank all the way along. It stopped leaking streams but it still leaked a drop here and there at 10psi.

I’ve now sealed the tank with some Tapox tank sealer, so hopefully this should do the trick, over the winter I’ll probably get a new one made up as I don’t trust this tank any more.

Interior Finished

I finished the interior of the car this weekend. I was being held up mainly as I had to wait on some parts. I had to fit the on/on/on switch for the wipers, however in some fit of mouser madness I misread the part number and whilst it is an on-on-on switch, its actually not any use on its own, as its positions are Z+X X+A A+B which means I still need to use a relay. So I just broke, and wired up a relay that breaks the park circuit when the wipers are on. They wipe, and seem to do so pretty quickly.

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I fitted the replacement flasher, which flashes, and checked all the switches function as they should. They did, so I bolted in the dash, its pretty solid, and fits just the way it should. I think it looks really good, and am very pleased with the end result. It was definitely worth all the mess. I cleaned the interior with an air gun, hoover, and fabric cleaner, and routed the internal wiring, and stuck down the side carpets. The immobilizer stopped working because the sensor was too far away from the fob, so i need to move it somewhere else, but I’m not sure where yet.

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I then trimmed down the seat belt tails to a more sensible size, i went for six inches past the buckle. Next up was to trim around the windscreen. My plan here is to use alcantara, with one edge tucked under the windscreen ever so slightly (should be fine since its bonded in place with copious amounts of PU) and the other is held down with some U trim which also puts the required radious on the edge of the windscreen surround. I then used contact adhesive in the bits in the middle, so hopefully it will all stay up there. It was fiddly and took forever, but looks pretty good now.

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I bolted up the hideous sierra steering wheel, and checked everything worked, it did so had a celebratory drive around the car park, gear change is crappy since there is no tactile feedback from the lever, but this will be easily remedied post IVA. The car is pretty quick, first gear is pretty tall though, i’m hoping the 3.21 diff was the right choice afterall. The interior is now finished, I’ll need to start covering it when i’m doing messy jobs to try and keep it nice and clean.

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