Posted 3 months ago

Lotus 7 turned 2 today!

(Source: assets)

Posted 6 months ago
beautiful car! well done
zoid429 asked

Thank You :)

Posted 10 months ago

Slipping Alternator Pulley

I have been experiencing a major problem with the belt slipping on the Alternator Pulley. The other problem was the wobble on the Radiator fan. I discovered that the wobble was due to a couple of washers behind the fan spacer and pulley. These washers were necessary to line up the pulleys. To resolve this issue I drew up a CAD drawing of a simple spacer and sent if for laser cutting.

After it had been cut, I spray painted it. NO MORE WOBBLE !! :)

The next major issue was the alternator pulley was incorrect so I went and bought another one from the local V8 shop. The pulley that was on the car is the smaller one.

You can see in the picture that the V of the pulley was completely wrong and as a result, the belt was standing out of the pulley. It turned out that the new pulley was pressed from flat steel and was completely buckled and created another wobble. I was not satisfied so I took it back and bought this billet aluminium machined pulley on the left, in the picture below.

Once again you can see the V difference.

And now on the alternator..

And Finally on the car..

The alternator was still slipping!! As you can see in the previous image, the alternator is quite low. The wrap around on the pulley with the belt was just not enough. I tried rotating the alternator further round away from the other pulleys but the bracket was too small. I then decided I would make a new bracket. I first bought a new belt which was longer. This would allow for more wrap around with the pulley further out.

I then drew up another CAD drawing and sent it for laser cutting. It was really difficult to get the perfect curve on the drawings so I kept printing paper templates. Below you can see the new bracket on the car. It is clear that the pulley is now further from the other pulleys. The bracket is now on to of the alternator compared to before where it was underneath the alternator.

I tested it and there was no longer any slipping:)

The bracket however needed polishing.

After 2.5 hours of continuous polishing……

I can see myself in it :) :)

And finally back on the car.. finally, NO MORE SLIPPING !!! 

I will be test driving the car soon. Hopefully that will have completely resolved the issue.

Posted 1 year ago

I’v been working on sorting out my pulley’s. I have had a slipping alternator pulley and I haven’t been completely happy with the alignment of the water pump pulley.

Posted 1 year ago

Wits University | Wits Solar Car | South Africa

Check out our new Solar Car website.

Posted 1 year ago

1969 Ford Mercury Cougar

Posted 1 year ago

Sorry for the long absence. Been extremely busy with life. Still need to do a bit more work on the Cougar but here it is.

Posted 2 years ago

Freeze plug disaster

So I poured a little bit of fuel into the carb and cranked the engine, it fired up for a second or two. Boy!!! Was I excited… UNTILL I heard this water noise. I got out the car a water was pouring all over the floor.

I thought:

Could it be the radiator?

The hose?

The water pump?

None of those!! next thing I saw was the water was coming from the side of the engine block!!

I stuck my hand in and feel, a freeze plug had sprung a hole. These things had probably never been replaced and had rusted thin. As soon as I started the engine the pressure just burst the plug.

My lack of knowledge led me to ask a few people what to do. I spoke to various “professionals” who said with that size V8 in that engine bay, it would NOT be possible and the engine would have to be taken out. It turned out that there are actually 6 plugs and two sit right behind the engine mounts. One behind the starter motor and another behind the exhaust manifold. Apparently when one goes then they all start to go. Great! Just Great!!! Back to square one.

In the meantime I imported the required plugs and started to try remove the ones I could. That was the two front ones that had nothing in its way.

Below is a picture of a plug with the engine mount in front of it.

Now what do I do about that??? I decided screw it, there is no way in hell I am going to take that many steps back and take the engine out again!!! So I had to make a plan. I had to take the engine mounts out without taking the engine out. Sounds crazy right? Wait till I’m lying underneath it smacking it with a hammer. So I pulled the crane over the engine and hooked it up.

So I left one mount connected and disconnected the other and lifted the engine slightly, the problem now was I had to get the old plugs and and put new ones in. I put a car jack underneath the engine as well as tires where I could and finally some wood across the cranes legs so that if the engine fell I would be okay.

I made a hole in the plug and then using a size 32 spanner I then levered them out with great force smacking my hands a few times. I then use an appropriate size socket and put that in the new plug with an extension and then used a big hammer to knock them in. Sound easy but wait till you have to deal with the horrible angles and not enough room to move your hammer. With great difficulty I managed to get the new plugs in :)

I didn’t get too many photos of the other side as I was struggling for much longer because the exhaust manifold comes further down and there is no way of removing it. I must be honest, the one plug I was originally concerned about on that side but is holding out great. I have two spare plugs if something happens.

Posted 2 years ago

This is just a cool photo. I love these rims.

Posted 2 years ago

Some engine assembly

So I had painted my water pump black along with the radiator and power steering pump. Below are some pictures of the water pump on the engine with a new flex fan which straightens slightly at higher rpm.

I then put the radiator in with the chromed bracket.

And finally the new stainless steel radiator hose.

I then filled the radiator with anti freeze, checked a few things and connected a few wires and then I could finally start the engine up. Well… That didn’t happen as I had hoped!!

Posted 2 years ago

Rear lights and valence

Finally it was time to start with the fun parts…

The restored rear light assemblies could now be attached.

I would just like to point out the rear valence which is the piece that is cut out for the exhausts. This piece was lost over the years and I managed to find one a a scrap yard here, LUCKY! The people who painted the car first did not put one on so it was originally missing. I had just put it on before the rear lights.

Posted 2 years ago

Inside paint

Once I got the car back, the paint job was looking much better and I was excited to get started on the assembly.

However the interior paint was peeling badly and needed to be cleaned off and painted again. This is what it looked like after I had cleaned it nicely and removed all the loose paint.

I thought about what would be the best paint in this situation and it had to be Hammerite, I used the hammered texture to help with carpet grip. Once it was painted, it looked great, was quite a big job as Hammerite is quite thick and needed a couple of coats.

This should provide a good protective layer for years to come.

Posted 2 years ago

Restoring 40 year old parts to their former glory

While my car was at the panel beaters, I spent the time sanding all the parts down to bare metal and spraying them to look like new.

Here is a photo of my little spray booth with an extractor :)

Here is my rear light before I sanded it and painted it.

And after… Including the front fog lights.

Here is my radiator after sanding as all the other pieces looked. Bare-metal.

I stripped my hand brake, painted it and fixed it, it wasn’t pulling back after it was released.

Below is the power steering pump before I restored it.

My power steering pump looks like it is new, believe it or not, its 40 years old.

No how could I possible put any of the restored pieces back on with rusty bolts. Some I sent in for galvanizing but others I just used a wire brush, cleaned them and then sprayed them. Below are the nuts and bolts ready for paint.

My rule when building a car is the “bedroom test” If the part isn’t clean enough to be put in a bedroom for storage, then it isn’t clean enough to go on my car!!

Finally time for assembly :):):)

Posted 2 years ago

Body Work

Sorry for the long absence. Engineering has been getting the better of me AGAIN and in the December holidays I pushed to get as much done as I could on the Cougar. Let me try fast track to where I currently am.

Well after my car had been utterly ruined, the paint work needed to be done again so this I had completely stripped the car down AGAIN. With the body being so badly chipped, I had no other options.

Now it was time to send it to someone to do the bodywork again, this time I was even more nervous. Below are some photos of the body work that was done.

There was a bad dent on the side that had been filled with so much body filler, I’m surprised it didn’t fall off!

This patch had been fixed with fibre glass but metal was to be welded in.

Finally the car was resprayed, this time in a slightly darker orange which was against my wishes but the couldn’t match they previous colour.

Now it was time for me to start with assembly. In the mean time I had been refurbishing parts like the grill and rear lights etc.

Posted 2 years ago

Fuel Pump

So this morning I called the post office to ask about my long awaited fuel pump.. It was there :) I had to collect immediately.. Even though I have an exam on Friday I could not miss this opportunity to get the engine running for the first time in a year. There have been numerous problems like the freeze plugs which I will talk about later. Never the less I have managed to sort all these problems out. Like a little kid opening a birthday present, I ripped the packaging open and immediately started to fit the pump. After about 20 min of putting the pump back on and connecting fuel lines, I cranked the engine a few times…. In no time at all the engine started :) Music to my ears :)

Turns out that last year when I ran out of fuel on a third tank, it was not actually a problem with the fuel gauge but rather the fact that the engine was being fed by gravity feed (pressure from the fuel in the tank) because the fuel pump wasn’t working. So today it started up on a quarter tank. This is fantastic :)

Now to just get the rest of the car assembled… But for now, back to the studying.