Le Mans or Bust

Archive for the 'Technical' Category

Take ze next left.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

I’ve started work on a SatNav setup using only accumulated junk that I wouldn’t be upset to see inside a burning taxi at the side of French Motorway.

A mighty 266Mhz Panasonic Toughbook has been called into service, with the addition of my first GPS (theres a good idea for Fisher-Price) which will need a good wrap of Duck tape to hold the innards in place.

I’m currently wrestling with installing Autoroute 2006 on a machine with only a floppy drive but thats the sort of challenge I must embrace.

I gather Autoroute 2006 will talk to me, I wonder if it will adjust its accent to continental travel ?

Work cut out…

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Just thought I’d share these photos with you. I’m hoping that the one with the bonnet up isn’t an omen, especially as the spring catch is at the perfect height to catch your head on.

The second shot shews the old sump washer…in two parts which was how it (finally) came off, and the bright shiney new one about to go on.

The third? That’s what I’m going to use to resurface the road outside my house as it’s really not oil any more, even though it came out of the sump. Mmmm…nice.

I really hope that the sump washer isn’t indicative of the state of the rest of it. Oh wait, no I’ve just remembered the state of the wiring underneath the dashboard… :-) I’m looking forward to this …

Sump Washers old and new.Bonnet Up!The tar from the sump

Status update

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Rain. Not to begin with, oh no, but just after all the flaky, rusty surface paint had been taken off, and just before any form of primer could be applied. However, once it cleared up, the rust work continued, and the door pillars are now looking a lot better.

The near-side headlight was re-mounted (with a spot of light drilling), and while it’s not perfect, it is more stable than it was. All I need to do now is find the source of the short that’s making it so dim.

The near-side wiper doesn’t work. No problem over here, but a potential problem on the continent. Fixing this will apparently involve taking out the dashboard, and some heavy duty bodging.

Having removed the new fuel filter and re-primed it in the classic way (a length of hosepipe and a lot of spitting - bio diesel tastes better than conventional diesel, but still not nice), the b**tard still wouldn’t start. Currently, we have a taxi with a flat battery, and fuel lines full of air. Great.

On the bright side, the Taxi’s purchase price has come down from £345.51 to £342.41 as I found £3.10 in the boot that had fallen out of passengers’ pockets. Result!

Next day of tinkering is to be Saturday 29th unless I can wangle an evening next week…

Let battle commence!

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

I took the day off, and purchased the following items:

  • Bottle of injector cleaner for diesels
  • 10 litres mineral oil (15w40)
  • Fuel filter
  • Air Filter
  • Oil Filter
  • Ducting for air intake (50mm)
  • Black Hammerite Smooth Spray
  • 40 litres of biodiesel

That sounded easy didn’t it? It took about 2 hours to find the bits, even at that most competent of Motor Factors, Andrew Page.

AP: “Are you going into the taxi business then?”
Me: “No, 3 friends and I bought it to drive to Le Mans and watch the race.
AP: “……..”
[Five minutes of conversation about how slightly crazy the plan is, and am I sure I know what I’m doing.]
AP: “So, what Engine is it?”
Me: “It’s a 2.7l Nissan Diesel unit”
AP: “What’s that from?”
Me: “Well according to Nissan Customer services, the only 2.7l lump they ever made was in the Terrano.
AP: [Searches] “Nope, not coming up. Can you get any numbers of the existing filters?”
[Cue 15 minutes of fumbling, swearing & skinned knuckles]
Me: “Success! Try these numbers!”
AP: “No, not from a Terrano.”

Still, I got all the bits eventually thanks to the patience of the staff at Andrew Page, York. Incidentally, most of the parts are shared with the Nissan Patrol, so bear this in mind potential taxi purchasers…

Air filter fitted, and a new cruising speed of 60mph obtained as a result, I drove to the stable to sort the oil. Changed the tar oil and filter, and then changed the (still original) fuel filter.

I freely admit that this is where I ballsed up a little. Having carried out the procedure a number of times on my Audi, I followed the same principle, and didn’t prime the fuel filter with diesel.

Where the Germans and the Japanese engines differ in this respect, is that the Audi after cutting out having used the remaining diesel, can prime the fuel filter before allowing the fuel access to the injector pipes. The Nissan doesn’t, dragging air into the cylinders and pipes.

I finished with the Taxi now unable to start, oh yes, and the ****ing ducting is too small by about 3mm to make an air intake.

I’ll be back on Saturday….

J885 DYK