Gearing down

Hmmm, I seem to have spent a lot of time in the garage recently, albeit hobbling around rather. But, I don’t seem to have made too much progress, and have made at least one rather backward step.

First up, though, is a bit more progress on the electrics. In fact, I’ve just about got it all finished now. For example, I’ve now got all the sensors on the engine such as the oil pressure/switch in the photo here.

As usual (it’s good having done this before, at least I don’t have to work everything out) the sender is attached by some hose to the engine; I’ve found out the hard way that things like this are just shaken to bits by then engine if hard-mounted.

Of course, in order to check that the wiring to the senders works properly I need to have at least some sort of instrumentation. So, I’ve (probably temporarily) taken the data logger out of the Fury and installed it in the J15. I’ve left the internals of this lunch box exactly how it was on the Fury and have now wired up the connector to the lunch box in the same way as it’s wired on the Fury.

That meant that I could check, by plugging a Palm display in, that things like the temperature and pressure sensors were reading correctly and that I can start¬† and stop the logger from the driver’s seat. That’s all easy to say, but it takes a lot of wires…

I’ve also installed, and wired up, a lot of other bits and pieces, such as the radiator fan, the rain light and the fuel pump. One thing I haven’t done, though, is actually try to start the engine. The main reason for this is being a wimp. However, the secondary reason is that I haven’t got any oil, fuel or coolant in the car. I’ve actually held off putting oil in the engine because I hadn’t sorted out how to fit an oil cooler because I couldn’t find a sandwich plate to take the oil off the engine. However, Neil (another RGBer) found somewhere that sold them and I’ve bought that and installed it on the engine and here it is for your delight and delectation.

OK, as you can see if I were to spin the engine round then all the oil would come shooting out of these empy ports. In order to bung them up I’m going to have to install the oil cooler.

The long term plan for this has been to put it somewhere low and on the right hand side of the engine bay. I can easily add a submerged duct to the sidepod and arrange for air to blow on the cooler. Or, possibly, enough air will come down the sidepod in any case.

The photo on the right shows, very roughly, the sort of position where I’m planning on putting the cooler. It’s a bit tricky finding exactly the right place as I don’t want to make the battery too hard to get at, and the suspension has to be free to bounce up and down.

Obviously, though, I’ll need to make some sort of bracketry to make this work.

You will remember that I was talking about the gearchange bashing into the bodywork. Well, I sorted that by cutting a chunk of the tub away, as in the photo.

I’ve then starting working out how to mount some sort of dash here to attach the minimal dash that I use.

However, I’m getting less and less enamoured of this gearchange. In addition to the problems I’ve already mentioned of ergonomics and leverage, then there are other issues. Worst of all is that my legs bash into the lower side of the gearchange arms. Obviously I can chop those off as they’ll never get used anyway.¬† However, there are a couple of other issues. For one thing the structure above the column actually gets in the way of where I’d like to put instrumentation (I use a pretty small wheel and that makes the hole in the wheel rather small). Also, the bearings for the pivots are really rather naff in that they use oilite bushes which aren’t as freely operating as I’d wish.

With all that I’m actually considering junking this and making something rather like, if not exactly like, the gearchange on the Fury.

This doesn’t look too smart but it actually works rather well. What’s more, it pivots on a proper sealed ball bearing which make the movement rather slick. Admittedly, though, I’m never going to make a cable operated change work as well as the bearings and rods on the Fury. However, at the moment I’m really not happy with it. Unfortunately, of course, that just slows me down even more.


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