Well, it's that time of the year again and there are a lot of buggy owners all over the UK that are getting ready for the highlight of the year which is Stoneleigh kit car show. This show for me has always been the start to the summer, and I have always made it to Stoneleigh, and this year marks a massive year as its 10 years of Muddy Buggies and not only that my road legal buggy is also 10 years old as well.
So to try to get my road buggy ready for Stoneleigh, I have had to get a few jobs done first, and they included replacing the rose joints on the back of the rear steer arms, and I would have to get the buggy tracked and then there was the task of getting my new shiny rocker box fitted along with all the polishing and touching up, I need to do.
So the first task was to get the rear rose joints replaced as there was a little bit of play and the buggy was skipping around a bit, and so it was a very simple task to do and it took only a couple of hours, and that included me being a little OCD when it came to getting all the torque settings perfect. Once the rose joints were fitted, I decided that I would fit the new polished alloy rocker cover fitted, and this went well right up to the point where I decided to start the buggy up, and I could hear the roller tip rockers hitting the side of the rocker cover... this was not good.
I took the new rocker cover off and put the old one back on and then called it the night as I was exhausted, and I had to get the buggy to the tyre shop in the morning for the tracking.
I woke up bright and early and got the buggy from my garage and headed to my nearest tyre center and on the way there I could smell a strong smell of oil, which concerned me a little, but I decided that I would push on and just get to the garage. When I arrived, I drove straight into the bay and onto the ramp. I passed on the settings that I wanted for the tracking and the camber, and I left the chap to work his magic. I watched, and he made a comment that the front offside wheel felt like it was binding. I thought it was just the brakes being a bit sticky as the buggy had not been driven for quite a long time.
Oh and did I mention that the buggy leaked a huge amount of oil? Well, the old rocker box cork gasket was knackered and there was a lot of oil leaking everywhere. I apologised to the mechanic, and he just laughed muttering something about kit cars 🙂
I got the buggy home, and that strong smell of oil was back again but at least this time I knew what it was, and I could kinder relax a little. I pulled into my yard and parked the buggy outside my neighbors garage as I did not want oil outside my own...lol your don't pee on your own doorstep...lol
I had to make the decision on whether I had to just change the cork gasket or do I make the new rocker cover fit or both?
Well, it was an easy one, I decided to get out the Dremmel and angry grinder, and I decided to modify the inside of the rocker box and after four hours of grinding and polishing I finally had a rocker box that fitted, and the rockers were not clacking on the side of it, which was handy. I am not saying it was easy it took a lot of effort and a lot of trial and error to get it right, but boy does it look good.
The next thing on my list to do was to get the buggy polished and all the stone chips touched in 🙂 This took me well into the evening, and I have to say the buggy was looking good at the end of day, and I was itching to get the buggy out and go for a blast, but I was exhausted. However, I have to say something was playing on my mind, and that was what the mechanic at the tyre place had said about the offside wheel...
Waking up to sunshine the following day and I thought I had better take a closer look at the wheel as I do not want any break downs on the way or to Stoneleigh kit car show, so getting in the garage early I stripped the wheel off and removed the brake pads and suddenly the wheel freed up, although there was a little bit of play in the bearing it was quite clear that the brakes were binding. A quick phone call to my uncle who owns a huge garage in MK for his advice, and he suggest cleaning up the calipers and hopefully that would fix the problem. Out came the wire brushes, and I started... I soon realised that I couldn't push one of the pistons back into the caliper...
This was going to be a problem and would kinder explain why my brakes for the last couple of years have only really been OK and not excellent. I decided that I was not going to mess about trying to free the caliper up and just go out and buy a new pair of them. After a mad rush to get to the shop before they close I was back in my garage working out if these were the right calipers for the buggy. You will know exactly what I mean by this if you own a kit car as everything is made up of odd bits so when replacing anything it is normally down to educated guesses as to whether it's the right bits or not.
Thankfully, the calipers were right, but I still had to make the holes in them slightly bigger to accept the bigger bolts. From now on, in it was an easy task. I also decided to check over all the ball joints and tighten them up along with re greasing them, which is always a fun task but after a few hours, both the calipers were fitted, and the buggy was back together.
It has been a tying few days but hopefully the buggy is in perfect working order to get me to Stoneleigh on Sunday and back home again...
Wish me luck