Britney arrives at Phaeton Towers

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Phaeton

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Got back home with the latest purchase, current plan is just to get it registered & then sold, but we'll see if it grows on me & then decide which one goes. However I'm not allowed to do anything with it for now, we have space for 4 cars across the front of the house, currently we have Melvin, the wife's Rav4, my son's other half's X1 which they are supposed to be selling but they are on holiday and then the truck with Britney on it. So it has to stay on the truck till the X1 gets sold, the truck is also supposed to be being sold as well, which will then give me s[ace to work.

I have also promised to put some decking & artificial grass in the back garden which has to be completed before I can make a proper start. Only issue with that is I started when I got back only to find I had a Bumblebee colony right where the decking is supposed to go, so it might be delayed.

Anyway enough of the ramblings, I used Melvin's waterproof sheet inside Britney yesterday so even though I'm banned on touching her I had an excuse that I had to recover the tarpaulin. It has revealed though that both subframes will have to come back off, they don't even look like they've been sanded down, looks like just been painted up. Couldn't resist putting a battery on & checking a few things out, headlights work, indicators work, brake lights don't, but possibly because the wires have been cut too short to reach the pedal 🤣 it's missing a lot of little brackets, like the braided brake lines are in, but not fastened to anything, the wires appear to go the wrong sides of the panels, so plenty to do.

But the best bit was

 

Phaeton

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Nothing has happened with Britney since arriving, the back garden has been remodelled, 60 flagstones picked up & moved around the front of the house for collection, then 300 blobs of mortar were taken to the dump, 50 meters of 3x2 tanalised timber made into ladder frames, then 80 meters of decking, 2 tonne of sharp sand & eventually 4m x 5m artificial grass up down. Which of course because of all the newness made other things look shabby so out came the paint!!!!!

However today I'd had enough & needed a distraction, the X1 had gone to it's new owners on Sunday, my son needed the truck to fetch a car for a friend which meant Britney had to come off the back of it. She was driven off & put on the drive only 50 yards, (do need to check if there is any coolant in her), as stated the subframes need to come off, so I started today, I can already see I need to go through the whole car to see what hasn't been done correctly, I'm amazed new track rod ends have been put on, but the ball joints are rusted solid, I can see I'm going to have to cut them off.

The suspension arms are going to have to be checked over as they are very rusty, the car had only done 54K but I suspect it was by the sea,

The suspension gave up a bit of a fight but was defeated





Although I did find a life lesson, when the upper arm bolt goes back on make sure it goes from the back to the front, otherwise the next time it has to come out the whole subframe will also have to come out as well. Not sure why the design wasn't changed so these bolts could be fitted either way.




Next job is to support the engine on a strap so that it can be unbolted from the subframe, so the subframe can be lowered to finish dismantling, need to get both upper & lower balljoints on order, just think it looks much better on the test if they can see all consumable parts have been replaced with new.
 

Phaeton

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Between the rain I managed to put a a piece of wood across the chassis rails, then a large ratchet strap under the engine to remove the main subframe from Britney. I can now fully strip the hubs off the arms, as above I suspect the use of an angry grinder will be involved.

Not quite sure I really understand what was going on, the top balljoints covers are damaged, so had the kit been going for an MOT it would have failed, unless they were dry building it to then strip & replace, no idea.

I'm leaning towards doing it in 2 stages, pushing the bushes out, then getting this blasted & coated, rebuilding & then doing the rear, rather than like I did last time & doing both together.




 

Phaeton

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So the idea was to get the front subframe powder coated & then rebuilt before tackling the rear, however as usual you start to do something & then by the time you've realised it it's too late to stop & the whole of the rear was stripped.

I couldn't get the driveshafts out of the hubs so went down to my mates garage to use the hydraulic press to get all the bushes out so whilst there I tried to push out the driveshafts!! Yep you guessed it I need a new hub now, I managed to snap off the calliper mounting bracket, it can be welded, but do you want to weld a brake part?



So now on the look out for some new 2nd hand hubs, annoyingly I've also been offered another MX5 with a 1.8L, 6 speed box & LSD for good money but I've nowhere to strip it.
 

Phaeton

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Fetched the suspension from the powder coaters yesterday & just had to fit a piece, the rebuild now begins



Managed to get some spare hubs but getting the driveshafts out of those is also proving difficult.
 

Phaeton

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OMG what a day, I don't remember the polybushes being as awkward last year, had a nightmare with 2 long ones for the bottom of the front lower arm, took ages, seem to remember last year just putting them in hot water for 5 minutes did the trick. Might be my imagination but these seem far harder than last year, logically the colour shouldn't make a difference.

But I managed to get one side completely build the other side I damaged a brand new top balljoint so have had to order another one, steering rack remounted, then got the rear subframe up & into place, we're supposed to be having rain all day tomorrow but we'll see. Only got the lower & upper arms to fit as can't do hubs until I go into mates garage to push out the driveshafts.








But progress is progress, also bought myself a Bini Cooper S for the winter, which surprise surprise has an oil leak so need to have a look at that as well.
 

Phaeton

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No pictures I'm afraid but yesterday I did

Nearside rear hub mounted, have to order a new bottom bolt.
Nearside rear wheel arch mounted.
Both seats removed & sliding mech repaired, trim put around edge.
Wiring try removed, various wires rerouted correct side of frame.
Lots of wire wrap tape removed so wires will actually reach where they are supposed to, but it looks like all the wires to the rear will have to be extended, not sure what they have done as the Mevster wires were too long.

Just feels a little 2 steps forward 1 step back currently,
 

Phaeton

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Bit of an update about the progress, which seems to have been very slow, lots of hours put in when the weather is suitable, but again lots of going backwards before going forwards, removing & redirecting stuff the previous builder had done, the wiring looked great when I picked it up, all wrapped up in the proper tape.But some cables were wrapped up with others that they shouldn't have been, the brake switch cables were too short, the clutch cables too short, the nearside repeater wires in completely the wrong place, wires going over the chassis & all connected up where they needed to go through it.

Wiring tray had to come out, lots of the tape had to come off, but the main reason was to get space to be able to finish off the firewall & centre cover.







I now know that if I ever build another one the first job I would do is the firewall & centre cover, before the floors go in, the pedal, steering column, everything that gets in your way, even if you have to take it back out whilst other jobs are done, it's a nightmare, but it's done now.

So turned my attention to the rear of the car, again having to reengineer stuff that I thought was done, it has full braided hoses, but the tee for the rear was just floating in space, also the rear hoses were that tight you could have almost played a tune on them. Not sure if they came with the kit, been bought separately but they were 2 equal hoses, where it should really be one long & one short. I fixed the tee towards the offside & used the hose, then I made up a piece of cunifer brake pipe with a male to female to extend the nearside hose. You can see it going across the chassis



I've since put another hose clip outside of each main rail to support them as they go to the hubs.

Next turned my attention to the fuel tank, again had to remove & reroute the hoses & move the fuel filter, although it did end up very close to where they had fitted, but further back so the cover would actually fit on without bulging, this is how it ended up










Although just looking at the images now I may have to move the pipe going to the filter, as it goes behind the up-stand that is the bolt to hold the cover goes on, as it is at present the bolt would go straight into the hose, but of rerouting required.

The the other big issue is the filler neck, getting this to fit leaving the breather otherwise they take AGES to fill

 

Phaeton

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Frustrating day, finished off the main wiring for the battery, didn't like how the fuel pipe was squeezed up against the chassis on a bend so took it off & got a bit of slack then wrapped both pipes in protection & put it back together. As I'd put the battery on thought I'd go through the electrics as I wasn't sure if the fuel sender was working, however before I got to that I thought I'd check the rest of the lights etc. Brake lights now work after rerouting the wiring so they were long enough, there's no fog light fitted yet, but I have 12V at the right point.

Then tried the indicators, Nope, not working, Hazards the same, eventually found if I put 12V onto each side repeater the lights would work, so started tracing back & it turned out to be the dodgy hazard switch, along with a blown fuse, along with a brand new connector (not fitted by me) that the wires pulled straight out of the crimp, but eventually they are all working & new connectors ordered, they will be soldered as well as crimped.

Then onto the blue headlight telltale in the dash, if I pull the wiring & give the dash 12V on the printed circuit board the light comes on, but not with the stalk, so started to unwrap more wiring, found where the wire from the dash joins the wires to the headlights but still not getting a reading. Stripped all the wrapping on the wires to the OS headlight as they were jointed halfway there, in the end I gave up for tonight as I was starting to make mistakes & getting confused over the colours, it doesn't help that the wire starts as Green, then becomes Blue, then terminates on the bulb as a White, when the wire that starts as White on the car becomes a Red & the Red on the car becomes a Black, or something like that.

Then the other weird thing they have done is take all the earths from all the connectors in the car & extended them to the front of the car, why not simple terminate them all in the wiring tray & them if you feel the need strap that to the chassis, although it actually bolts to the chassis anyway, so that needs addressing.

The only other one that I know isn't working & not sure if it did before is the ignition warning light, then there are the reversing lights, but I don't know if they ever worked.

Sorry for the Rant, but I do feel a little better for it.
 

Phaeton

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Another day where I seemed to spend ages but not a lot to show for it, I re-pinned the headlight connectors & now they work correctly & I get the Blue telltale on the dash, all the earths have been brought into the wiring tray & then strapped to bother the chassis & the engine. As the wiring was all wrapped up in tape it took ages to unwrap it all. Proved the horn through only to find it was the clockspring which was damaged, this the device that allows the steering wheel to turn whilst still being able to use the horn & airbag.




Indicators stopped working again, initially thought it was poor terminals that had been crimped on, but it turns out it's the actual relay itself, switch the indicators on the move the base plate of the relay & they stop.

But getting very close to the end of the wiring now, just got to tidy it all up, put a few mounting clips on & it should be okay, but still not sorted the ignition warning light, but I can't do that really until the fuel filler is finished so I can get some fuel back in. Had a call from an ebay seller this morning saying they can't supply the silicon hose I need, annoyingly it took them 4 days to tell me.
 

Phaeton

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Not sure if anybody is keeping up, but I'll maintain this for my own record, in between the torrential rain this weekend managed to go forward a bit even though it did stall at one point.

Cut a big hole in the fuel tank cover & fitted the filler cap always a big nervous moment, then the pipework down to the tank, wired up the rear fog, reversing light & number plate lights, drilled the cover into the mountings & fitted rivnuts & got it all finished off, all that it needs is a couple of reflectors, but they may have to be mounted on the arches as I think the cover is more than 400mm from the edge. But it does mean that apart from the rear brakes bleeding & than handbrakes adjusting the rear of the car is finished.

But still no ignition warning light so I just wondered if as it hasn't been run in a while if starting it would resolve the issue, well that in itself was an issue, it wouldn't start, no fuel pump priming, it would turn but not start, that was the end of Saturday.

Overnight I poured over the wiring diagrams & still couldn't work out the issue, again after more torrential rain I got to have a quick look Sunday afternoon, pulled a plug, no spark, still no fuel pumping, started to follow the wiring, checked all the fuses which were good, then moved onto the main relay, which wasn't getting an earth, put an earth on it & tried, pump primed & on turning the engine started WTF!! So I followed the wiring it went to a joint which one side went to a connector & then was cut on the other side of the connector (not by me) then following the other side of the joint it went into a part of the harness I haven't touch so I am well confused as to why it lost the earth, it doesn't make sense, but we're running again AND I have an ignition warning light & a charging battery.
 

Phaeton

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Today I've been sidetracked with the Bini, it's been a bit of a nightmare since buying, we've managed for nearly 2 years with 1 car, but there are times when we could do with 2, so I figured on buying just a cheap runaround, but SHE got involved with I'll not be seen dead in that, or if you think I'm driving that when you have the Rav, so in the end I told her to decide & we ended up with a Bini Cooper S, the Turbo not the Supercharger version. Within a week it snapped a spring which went through the tyre & of course it started to leak oil, it was getting really bad so decided I'd best fix it.

Allegedly you can do it by putting it into service mode which means pulling the front end 4 inch forward, but TBH it's only a couple of washer pipes, a couple of radiator hoses & the air con hoses & you can remove the whole front end. As the air con didn't work it (see image later) I decided to go for it, the access is much better.

Front end removed



Can see how much oil was leaking



Front end after removal



Think you can see why air con wasn't working



Got to order the parts now, so might get a bit done on Britney tomorrow, but I've been advised we're shopping first
 
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