Trials and tribulations

Trials and Tribulations

About to take part in the MGCC T Register Autumn tour to Llandridod Wells to tour mid Wales, I decided to fill up my TA with fuel on the night before departure.

Problem 1 - When I came to undo the fuel cap, it was loose, the nut had come undone that holds the sprung loaded seal and had dropped into the fuel tank.  I set about making a new one to overcome the problem until I could fish the parts out of the tank.  I had some thin neoprene so I cut out a new seal that would be held by a large diameter washer and a replacement nut.  This I did, I then filled the tank up more than I would normally to try out how good the fuel cap was sealing.  It worked perfectly, no fuel leakage from the cap at all.

Problem 2 - Later in the evening when I had occasion to go into the garage there was a strong smell of petrol in the air, on investigation I found that it was fuel leaking out of the top of the fuel tank, only a dribble but annoying.  Apart from catching it from where it was dripping off the chassis there was little I could do, I presume that filling the tank up exposed one of the problem areas on our cars.  Where the rubber packing strip goes horizontally across the back of the tank it acts as a water trap and I believe that is where the 'hole' must be.  This is a job for the Winter, when I get the tank off I can recover my missing parts for the filler cap and slosh plenty of sealant around the tank.

Problem 3 - On the Friday morning before setting off I had decided, on looking at the weather that it may well rain, so I put the hood up, just the hood, no side screens, just in case.  Drivers side, hood located on peg, locked up and braced, passenger side, located on peg, locked up and braced.  However on bracing the hood there was a crack and yes you have guessed it, the peg on the passenger side snapped!  We were supposed to be leaving in about an hour so what should I do?  Too late to get one from the Club, so what should I do? I had some wire and could have lashed it down around the wing mirror but that would have been unsightly and not good practice.  The solution; drill and tap the 'stump' of the bracket with a 5mm tap, and drill and tap the broken peg with the same.  Get a 5mm set screw chop off the head, screw it until it locks up in the bottom of the thread then screw the peg on to the stump with a touch of 'Loctite' high strength retainer, screw it on as far as it will go then lock the hood in position to get the flat in the correct place.  It took about half an hour so I was well in hand with our time to set off.

Problem 4 - Problems, they do not come in threes, occasionally they come in fours.  In the area of the Elan Valley my car started to miss, a most unusual occurrence, it cleared but what had caused it?
I found out, water, lots of it, being spewed out all over the engine and electrics, the fan blades had cut through the top hose and that is where I thought I would have no problems!  The water pump had been reconditioned and should be giving me no grief, however as was pointed out to me it was not the pump but the pulley that was wobbling.

What to do? That is the problem, I did not have a spare hose and what would I find when I got the water pump pulley off?  With a little help from my friends I decided to have a go at repairing the problem especially as Jim Manning loaned me his spare hose, it was an XPAG one, but as he was from Southampton, 'any port in a storm', especially as there did not appear to be a great deal of difference in the sizes.  I decided straight away to remove the bonnet totally, I would have to be working both sides of the car so the five minutes it took to take the bonnet off was well worth it.  It is one of those decisions you hum and ha about but it saved a lot of time that day!

Undoing the radiator stay rods and removing the headlamp fixing brackets, using the tubular box spanners from the tool kit (the first time I had used them, and now I know how useful they can be).  The radiator now 'hinged' backwards towards the rear of the car.  With the hose clips already slackened the top hose slipped off with a little persuasion and we could see where the fan blades had worn through the hose on the bulge where it is at its largest diameter.
The nut holding the pulley on to the spindle of the water pump was removed and the pulley slipped off, here we found the reason for the pulley coming loose, the metal around the key way had broken up due too metal fatigue or for whatever reason, this was why the pulley had wobbled.  I took some washers off the badge bar securing bolts and used them to pack out the spindle where the thread had become damaged by the pulley coming loose and damaging the thread.  I had to take the pump off to hold the impellor so I could lock the nut up having carefully removed it so as not to damage the gasket.

By now it was raining quite heavily but we carried on, protected from the elements by two umbrellas held over us by the girls, one to keep me dry and the other to keep the engine compartment dry!  The pump was fitted back on and the TC top hose fitted, I must say it fitted easier than the conventional TA top hose and it seemed to fit well.  The head lamp brackets were re-fitted as were the radiator stays, the fan belt replaced and tensioned, then the moment of truth, would it all hold together?  First or should it be thirst though, we had to replenish the water in the cooling system, my wife organised a relay to fill bottles of Elan Valley water out of a nearby stream and up to the car.  When this was done the engine was started and lo there were no leaks, was I sure?  Yes I was! The bonnet was re-fitted, locked down and off we set.
It is still working well as I await a new pulley or failing that I will get the old one bushed and re-bored and new key way cut.

I would like to thank my wife Fran and Barbara Ford for providing 'top cover' and getting the replacement water and encouraging me with 'pearls of wisdom' during the repair, my thanks to Peter for his assistance and to the many 'T' typer's that offered me help and assistance that day.