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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Vintage and Classic Roadster Kit Car Builds

Vintage and Classic Roadster Kit Car Builds For Vintage and Classic era kit cars. Post your build reports, problems and progress here

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  #141  
Old 11th July 2020, 10:13
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andysharrock andysharrock is offline
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I was shocked how thin they are in places thats if its the same body fab, the reason I flipped mine over was to reinforced all the fixing points and vitals.we seem to put a lot of work in were you cant see it but still coming on and it will be worth it in the end with a better build
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  #142  
Old 13th July 2020, 10:00
Ozzie Dave Ozzie Dave is offline
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I love the fact that you have come up with such great solutions for this, and love the idea of a speedster thats Front engine RWD. dont know if you have come across this stuff, Thermolite, its a GRP and cellulose composite board. here they use it for bus & horsefloat floors. Its easily cut to shape with a jigsaw, very strong. the only issue is its not UV stable, so give it a coat of GRP coloured resin.
I have done some playing with it and its strong and light weight. May well be worth looking at for your floor or boot. Its also used as marine bulkheads. comes in different thicknesses from 1/2" to 1".
Its also interesting as it just glues together. If you have some flexing it also works as good reinforcing and I even made a single person vehicle chassis out of it very easily (with the help of the local CNC machine) .
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  #143  
Old 15th July 2020, 08:07
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Originally Posted by andysharrock View Post
I was shocked how thin they are in places thats if its the same body fab, the reason I flipped mine over was to reinforced all the fixing points and vitals.we seem to put a lot of work in were you cant see it but still coming on and it will be worth it in the end with a better build
I'm pretty sure my shell is a Banham New Speedster from the late 90's or early 2000's. To be fair, it's mostly quite a heavy-duty moulding where it matters if it were to be mounted over a cut down Rover 100/Metro body.

The engine lid and front bonnet are quite thin but will be easy to strengthen, and the only place it's really thin is the rear seating area, which I think might have been laid up by a previous owner rather than Paul Banham as it's got strips of chicken wire and aluminium sheet bonded into the corners. They're going to be cut out and replaced with CSM so I don't get any corrosion bursting through.

As you say, work put in now to strengthen what we have will result in a better built car in the long run

Progress is a bit delayed this week due to wife demanding DIY jobs be done before car, so I have some bathrooms to redecorate as I ran out of excuses not to
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  #144  
Old 15th July 2020, 08:16
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Hi Ozzie Dave, glad you like my off the wall idea. The body I have - a Banham New Speedster - was intended to fit over a cut-down Rover 100/Metro, which, just in case they never made it down-under, was a front engined, front wheel drive 90's supermini.
I've just taken it back in time a little with an older donor chassis, which also happens to have the correct wheelbase where the Rover 100 was about 200mm too long.

I'll take a look at the Thermolite sheet as I do want my floors to be strong and light. I do already have a large roll of core mat though (bought very cheaply as a part-used roll via ebay) so I'll probably be using that, but I doubt this will be my last build so it might just feature in another project.
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  #145  
Old 15th July 2020, 10:25
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Cool Über Cool

I've just revisited this thread in its entirety, have been reading updates only for a good while.

I'm not worthy

Regards, Mick
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  #146  
Old 15th July 2020, 16:38
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You're too modest, Mick, your D Type and Monaco are every bit as cool as anything I could create.

Glad you like my Speedster though
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  #147  
Old 27th July 2020, 08:04
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DIY now finished so I've been able to make some progress on the Speedster. Nothing particularly photogenic, though, just connected up and filled the coolant system ready for the first engine start and routed the fuel and brake lines with the body off the chassis so far.

Cooling system had a few leaks - my water pump housing is cracked so a second hand one is on its way and the water outlet pipe arrangement that runs from it under the exhaust manifold is knackered so all new parts are on their way from Canleys.

I also opened Pandora's box yesterday which contained the flying spaghetti monster that is a 1970's Spitfire 1500 wiring loom. It has tentacles of many colours sprouting out randomly from the main loom, none of which seem to match the colours shown in any of the wiring diagrams in the Haynes manual. It's a good job I used to be a detective as I'm currently having to forensically analyse every circuit to establish what it's for.

I immediately discovered that I need a new alternator - the one on my engine has a four pin and a two pin connector, while the loom has a single three pin plug. Should be picking up a new MGB/Midget alternator from the MGB Hive later today, and I know it'll fit because I have one on my MG Midget (running a 1500 engine so the same mountings and loom).

Next headache is the main light switch. I've been trying to fathom out which pin does what, but there doesn't seem to be any difference in which pins connect to which between the two 'on' positions. I expected the first click to be sidelights only then the second click to add in the headlights but that doesn't seem to be the case. Anyone know what I'm missing here?

Anyway, I'll post some pictures when there's something interesting to show you, hopefully soon...
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  #148  
Old 28th July 2020, 07:19
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Towed
Next headache is the main light switch. I've been trying to fathom out which pin does what, but there doesn't seem to be any difference in which pins connect to which between the two 'on' positions. I expected the first click to be sidelights only then the second click to add in the headlights but that doesn't seem to be the case. Anyone know what I'm missing here?
I have that style of switch on the A352. I'll investigate later, it may even lend itself to a picture if I've left enough slack in the loom. On the Monaco I've adapted the Spitfire loom for a two position Lucas toggle switch which I felt was more in keeping.

Re. the alternator connections: I cannot fathom why your existing plug has so many? It only really needs two: one to energise it (from ignition switch 'on' position via red dash light) and one to provide the power (the two big spades are connected internally). I imagine cable gauge restraints are the reason for twin outlets?

Regards, Mick
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  #149  
Old 28th July 2020, 12:56
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Lightbulb Enlightenment. Geddit?

Right. The spade terminal stations on my A352 master light switch are numbered 1-8. nos 2,3 & 5 are blind. Power is to no.1; side and panel lights supply is from no.4; and headlight supply (via relay and dip switch) is from no.8. I'd put a piggy back connector on no.4 so that I had a separate feed to the panel lights, enabling them to be turned off for 180mph blasts in the dark on the Mulsanne Straight. I'd also put insulated female connectors over spades nos 6 & 7 to prevent idiot shorts if I was ever monkeying behind the dash blind. Belt and braces always!

Hope this helps.

Regards, Mick

Last edited by Mick O'Malley; 28th July 2020 at 13:11.. Reason: Typo.
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  #150  
Old 29th July 2020, 07:17
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Thanks Mick, that's going to be very useful info. I should at least be able to make a start on wiring in the lights - I think I'm missing the relay for the main lights but it would make sense if the outlet supply from that relay was only live with the ignition on.

As for idiot shorts while fiddling under the dash, I had smoke and flame from behind Iris' (the Midget) dash when the metal wound oil pressure gauge tube shorted against a live connector and set fire to a masking tape label attached to a nearby cable on start up. Needless to say, everything in my Speedster will be very well insulated!
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  #151  
Old 30th July 2020, 09:11
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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I think I'm missing the relay for the main lights but it would make sense if the outlet supply from that relay was only live with the ignition on.
I can't see there'd be any advantage in that. I find it handy to be able to use the headlights anytime when parked. It would also mean you couldn't use parking lights as the feed to the light switch supplies both. You could, of course, have separate switches for side and head lights...

I always fit one of those red key isolator switches into the heavy +ve battery to starter solenoid 135A (or more) feed, removing it when I leave the car, even if I'm only popping into a shop. Paranoid, moi?

Regards, Mick

Last edited by Mick O'Malley; 30th July 2020 at 09:28..
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  #152  
Old 31st July 2020, 07:30
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I think I expected the headlights to automatically switch off with the ignition off so you don't flatten the battery if you accidentally leave them on.

Modern cars tend to have a buzzer that's activated when you open the driver's door when the lights are on, but I seem to recall that in most of my cars back in the 70's and 80's only the sidelights worked with the ignition off, but I could be wrong as it's a long time ago now.

As for security, I had a transponder immobiliser in my Spyder - you had to hold a 1p sized key fob close to a hidden loop to activate the ignition - and I'll be using something similar in my Speedster.

Anyway, I'll be spending this afternoon with a test meter trying to trace which wire does what in my loom as there are coloured wires that just don't match anything in the Haynes manual wiring diagram. Once I've worked that out I'll be close to getting the engine started for the first time.

I hope that goes better than the first firing of the straight six in my Spyder.
On first turn of the key the starter solenoid exploded sending a shower of sparks into the fuel cascading out of the carburettors.
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  #153  
Old 1st August 2020, 07:40
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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...cars back in the 70's and 80's...
Bit of a non-sequitur, but this took me back to the day in the 50s when my mother and I were exploring the first self-service Woolworth in London. Goods that you could pick up and examine without asking a flunky - revolutionary! Anyway, I remember amongst the accessories available to enhance your pride and joy were indicators and heaters...

Regards, Mick
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  #154  
Old 1st August 2020, 13:38
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Yes, I remember heaters being optional extras on most cars. It was one of the selling points of the Beetle - it came with a heater as standard!

Revolutionary stuff back then, shame it made the interior smell like an oily rag, though...
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  #155  
Old 1st August 2020, 14:12
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So, electrical woes now hopefully sorted.

I'm really keen to have all the electrics fully sorted before my first attempt at starting the engine as I have fitted a reground cam. The instructions for the cam say to run the engine for 20 mins at 2,000rpm on first start without lots of slow cranking beforehand, as this will fuse the bearing surfaces of the cam and followers together, scrapping both, so it's important the engine fires quickly.

Now, the wiring diagram and colours/combination of actual wires in my loom indicate I have a built in ballast resistor wire on the ignition circuit, so I need a 1.5 ohm ballast coil rather than a standard 3 ohm coil.

As luck would have it, my Midget runs a separate ballast resistor on the ignition circuit and I have a spare ballast coil in the boot, hurrah!

For those unfamiliar with such wizardry, the ballast resistor or wire reduces the voltage from 12v down to 6v, which powers the 6v ballast coil in normal running.

The ballast resistor or wire is then overridden by another wire carrying 12v directly from the output side of the starter solenoid on engine start to make sure there's still a strong spark when the starter motor is pulling all the current out of the battery. The coil won't fail during start up because it doesn't have long enough to overheat while it's being 'overpowered'.

With this in mind I connected the battery and checked the voltage at the coil positive terminal, which should be 6v. Hmm, 12 volts present.

I checked the resistance from the ignition switch to the coil positive terminal and it's 2 ohms. The manual says 1.5 ohms, which is supposed to drop the voltage to around 6, but I have 12. I also checked the resistance through the secondary coil positive circuit from the starter solenoid and that's virtually zero ohms, which is right.

I then checked the voltage at the Midget's positive coil terminal and it's 8 volts as it should be.

As if that wasn't confusing enough, I then checked the resistance across the coil that's happily running in the Midget, the new spare coil, the coil that was in the Midget when the electronic ignition module failed and a new Lucas DLB105 Sports coil I have on the shelf, and they're all the same at 3.5 ohms.

After much head scratching (electrics are a bit of a mystery to me) I decided to run a zero resistance 12v to the coil positive terminal, use the Lucas sports coil which is the only one I know for sure isn't a ballast coil and ditch the ballast wire.

Everything seems to be fine now, I have 12v where I expect it and the right coil fitted to handle it. Hopefully...

I'm waiting on a few parts for the cooling system at the moment and once they arrive there's nothing to stop me firing up the engine. I do hope it all works.

Last edited by Mister Towed; 1st August 2020 at 14:15..
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  #156  
Old 1st August 2020, 15:11
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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The circuit for the 'cranking voltage to the coil' may only happen when the starter is cranking, and is connected when the plate in the solenoid is pulled into position onto the 2 large connectors - via another connector at the same time (I hope that makes sense). The clue is if you have 2 smaller wires connected to 2 posts on the solenoid c/f 1.
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  #157  
Old 1st August 2020, 17:51
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Thanks Mitchelkitman, you're absolutely right, that is how it works. The problem I had was that the voltage was too high at 12v in the 'normally live' coil circuit at the end of the ballast wire, where it's supposed to be 6v or thereabouts.

I have a separate ballast resistor in series with the 'normally live' ignition wire in my Midget and the coil positive wire reads 8v until you crank it, then it jumps to 12v, as you say, from a connection on the output side of the starter solenoid.

I did a bit of research about the ballast wire in old Triumphs and it seems the resistance breaks down over time leaving you with burnt out points and a fried coil, hence bypassing it in mine as I suspect it's failed.

The whole ballast resistor thing was a good idea fifty years ago, but with a well maintained ignition system and electronic ignition starting shouldn't be a problem, fingers crossed...
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  #158  
Old 1st August 2020, 17:59
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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Aye these old cars are objects of mystery and education at times. When I met her my (now) Wife had an ageing Volvo 340 (manual 'box thankfully). This car was still a nightmare. One day (I was convalessing from operations) it packed up on her way to work. Long story short, points burnt out, garage replaced, 2 weeks later same. It was only when I got a 'jolt' off the points when flicking them that the mystery was solved - coil was also sending HT through the LT circuit! The car had a novel design of seat (2 door car) which were hinged so they tilted forward and towards the trans tunnel.
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  #159  
Old 2nd August 2020, 22:06
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So, electrical woes now hopefully sorted.

With this in mind I connected the battery and checked the voltage at the coil positive terminal, which should be 6v. Hmm, 12 volts present.
You only get a voltage drop across a resistor when there is a current flowing so if the points were open (or dirty?) you'll get the full 12 volts.
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  #160  
Old 3rd August 2020, 13:30
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You only get a voltage drop across a resistor when there is a current flowing so if the points were open (or dirty?) you'll get the full 12 volts.
Hmm, electrics really aren't my thing and I'm really confused now.

Wouldn't the current flowing through the test meter complete the circuit and drop the voltage? And why does the positive terminal of my Midget's coil have 8v after the ballast resistor from a battery showing 12.6v when I'm connecting the same test meter to it?

I need to read up on low voltage electrics, methinks...

Oh, and I have now managed to check that I do have a spark and I've set the advance with a strobe by turning the engine over on the starter for a few seconds at a time (any longer might damage the new cam). I should be able to start the engine for the first time later this week once some cooling system parts have arrived from Canleys, which are essential as the motor has to run at 2,000rpm for twenty minutes immediately on start up to bed in the new camshaft.

Last edited by Mister Towed; 3rd August 2020 at 13:36..
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