Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The joys of caring for an old tired engine

I've been hunched over the Pug today setting valve clearances, laboriously cranking the engine with a big ring spanner and watching the rise and fall of the valves....(sound like a Sting song)

The only reason I had to do it was because on idle the engine was starting to sound like somebody had tipped a bag of spanners into the cylinders... or sometimes like a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tap routine, but less fun to listen to....needless to say once I had the rocker box cover off it was easy to see why ... the clearance on the intake valves should be between 0.15mm and 0.20 all of them were above that which meant on fuel intake the valves were being opened later than they should have, so I went through all the valves on the intake side and got them to within less than a hairs breadth of each other......

The exhaust side was even worse, talk about slack !!! no wonder it sounded like Fred Astaire on start up.....put it this way on one of the valves I don't think I could even measure the gap it was that wide... so I went through the same procedure cranking the engine by hand and losing precious knuckle skin in the process as the big ring spanner slipped a few times... anyway in no time flat it was all done and dusted..... I was racing against daylight which was fading fast... I got to the moment where I put the key in the ignition and turned it, I have to admit I was biting my lip as it turned, not that I was expecting a loud bang or anything as a valve was pushed through the bonnet.... no don't be silly .....I started up the Pug and she ran as sweet as a nut... the annoying tap tap tap had gone.... so I took her for a spin and she flies now, much more responsive on the throttle and really wants to go when you floor it.... another home grown repair which cost me nothing except for my time and several layers of skin... I have to say I quite enjoy repairing the Pug it's a very easy car to fix.... (so far)

I do have a small niggling problem with the off side front brake calliper which seems to be seizing/grabbing.. but I'm sure when I have a bit of time and good weather, it will be in bits and polished back into shape.

No news on the job front I'm afraid, things are looking really desperate and seem to be getting worse economically, I spoke to one of my old colleagues from the company I used to work for and he told me there are only four people in the office now, which seems a bit ridiculous there were hundreds when I first joined.....

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