Monday, 11 October 2010

On a go slow...

Looks like I've fuel issues. It takes time to realise, but she has definitely become more sluggish, and really down on top end power, particularly cold, and on veg oil. I switched the tank from near 100% SVO to about 70% DERV, and a lot of the go came back, which makes me feel fairly sure I know the culprit. A new fuel filter will be fitted shortly.

(This is one of the problems of switching to SVO after a prolonged time on DERV - SVO drag's all sorts of sedimented muck out of the tank and into the the filter. I went through two filters in the first 500 miles, now its probably getting on for time to change the filter again anyway, and the dirt has built up again. The problem gradually dies down provided there isn't a prolonged switch back to DERV, I'd expect a normal lifespan from the next filter.)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The downside to playing in mud...

Was under the back end of Bitsa adjusting the brakes, when I noticed a distinct noise from a rear wheel bearing... rumble, rumble, rumble.

That makes two that have gone in as many weeks, on opposite sides. Both bearings being of different ages (I forgot which but I changed a hub and bearing for one off my spare axle last winter due to a lose stud), I'm inclined to suspect its not a co-incidence, but related to something - probably mud from Sibbertoft.

At least I caught this one, unlike the previous one which gave up at the start of a 400 mile round trip, and hence was pretty mashed by the time it got removed 200 miles later.

I've obtained another bearing, and got my box spanner back off loan, so changing it is a job for Friday.

In unrelated news, I've finally stuck some stickers on the speedometer glass to correct for the new rear diff. At some point, when I've got the dash apart I'll take the glass out and do a neat job inside, but this should do for the minute. If its of any interest, 4.7 diffs changed for 3.54:1 diffs means more or less each 0.75mph marked on the gauge is 1mph in real life.

Monday, 4 October 2010


...I've got round to fixing the "pet annoying little job"... the bad earth on one headlight.

Its so nice having full power from both headlights, I'm tempted to go and drive round in the dark to enjoy it.

Judging from the state of the headlamp plug (mildly melted) it seems the earth lead had partially fallen off, then got very hot and rusted. I've cleaned it all up, tightened the crimps and put it back. That of course took 30 seconds, dismembering the headlight bowl enough to get at the offending connector took about 15 minutes. Last time I did this, I just pushed the plug back on, and it went back to being dim about 10 minutes after I started driving... hopefully now I've tightened the connectors its problem solved for good.

I had a mild panic after doing the headlight; I checked the water level in the radiator, and found to my horror an oil emulsion on the bottom of the cap. Halfway through a prolonged effort to see if there were any bubbles in the water the penny dropped - guess who had used old 3L veg oil cans to transport the water last time he filled the radiator up, and not washed all the oil out first. Panic over (I think, I'll have to keep a bit of an eye on it to check just in-case there is another cause).

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Oil Change

Finally done an oil change. Gone from 10w40 semi synth to API spec 20w50 Mineral in an effort to solve the hot oil pressure issues - the light had been coming on at anything up to 1000rpm with the engine hot, which didn't bode well. The underlying issue is almost certainly that the crank is worn out (it had new shells 8K miles ago, but that didn't fix the problem), but the more miles I get out of it, the longer till I've got to pay for a new one...

The warning light is now out except at hot idle, and then it goes out if I nudge the throttle to add an extra 50rpm or so, which is much better - I'm tempted to knock the idle up to hold the light out all the time.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested I'm still running on SVO, and inadvertently on 100% this weekend... it goes fine at 90%, but at 100% its noticeably down on power... combined with 3.54 Diffs, the peak district, and having a dumper engine belonging to someone else in the back (don't ask), and hills have been "interesting". I've burnt enough SVO off to get £10 of diesel in the tank, which has improved matter dramatically.