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1.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Graham Bichard
Date Posted: October 17th, 2021, 09:04:54
Thanks Neil.
Washers and screws now received, sealant ordered (Hylomar Hylotyte though) so I'll look to have a crack at this next weekend.
I need to update my 'to do' board in the garage:
- Lambda,
- Radiator/fan,
- Throttle cable
- Speedo cable
I'm sure there's something else I've forgotten (this is why I write things down!)
2.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Neil KilBane
Date Posted: October 15th, 2021, 15:15:06
Original screws are 8/32" x 1/2"UNC. I'm afraid I can't remember if I retapped them to metric though.

I used Dirko Sealant.

Screw - Washer - sealant - O-ring - sealant - Sender Unit - sealant - gasket - sealant - tank.

The Hex Head just allows you to use an allen key rather than a screwdriver , an angle grinder can shorten it easily idf needs be.
3.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Graham Bichard
Date Posted: October 12th, 2021, 16:15:02
Thanks for the link Craig - don't now why I could see that.  I'm a little surprised that I haven't heard of this van tank leaking problem before (although I've never owned a vehicle that's used this tank to be fair, but would've thought it would've been 'advertised' when I bought the tank kit.
The link helpfully shows some standard hex head screws too, so I've ordered these too.

Neil - I'm guessing socket head screws might have a smaller head diameter, therefore could possibly fit in the gap available easier.  I might yet need to get my hands on these if I can't get the hex heads in place - do you know the thread details (Minispares doesn't give this info)?
Do you recall what type of sealant you used (petrol resistant)?
And for clarity - you fitted the rubber O-ring tank side of washer (washer in contact with the screw head)?

Thanks both - I'll definitely be trying this as a solution before I do anything drastic like dropping the tank.  I've syphoned the tank as much as I can so will clean up the sender unit before resealing/replacing screws and see if it safely solves the problem.
4.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Neil KilBane
Date Posted: October 11th, 2021, 12:27:07
Final result.
5.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Neil KilBane
Date Posted: October 11th, 2021, 12:26:03
Fuel leak from the sender unit is very common but can be a bugger to sort. I ran in to it myself a few years back even though everything I was using was new (tank/gaskets/sender unit etc.).
After many attempts , the combination that finally worked for me was.

1. I changed the screws for Stainless Steel Cheese Head Hex Socket bolts. This makes the access issues much more simple as it does away with need for screwdrivers.
2. I added a washer and a rubber O ring to each bolt, the rubber compresses and reduces the chances of fuel seeping past the bolts.
3. I used a good quality gasket cement and copious amounts of it, on both sides of the cork gasket and under the O rings and Washers.
6.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Craig Smith
Date Posted: October 11th, 2021, 08:20:12
Here is your washer:


Without them fuel seeps down the threads of the fixing bolts of the sender.  I have no idea if they can be fitted without dropping the subframe, but worth a go.
7.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Graham Bichard
Date Posted: October 10th, 2021, 14:31:28
Craig - I don't have copper washers fitted to the sender unit.  The tank/sender unit were purchased new as a unit and I don't ever recall there being any provided - this might be the cause of the problem then.
(I take it they're a kind of crush washer?)
So is it worth me trying to fit these one at a time (using an instant gasket too) to try and seal the sender before going the route of trying to lower the subframe?  Must be worth a try, do you think, starting with the two lower retaining screws (the ones masked by the subframe and difficult to get at?
As for the rad/fan, I have an alloy Fiat Cinq radiator fitted - this being discussed as the way to go before the club started supplying items.  I'll do some research into the Spall/SPAL fan first before making a decision on this.  I've never had a problem with the car running too hot (albeit only running/idling on the drive of course) with the fan cutting in when temp reached, so guess it is the extra heat/stress generated by running on the RR.
Something I didn't mention earlier (in regards to the RR session), RS had to do the mapping in 3rd gear as the car kept jumping out of 4th.  This reminded me that the car did this when I drove it to the IVA test.  I think it's to do with the fact that the engine/transmission is absolutely solidly mounted due to the proximity of the bulkhead (to either this or the original fuel injection system) with no rock/give whatsoever.  This will need to be addressed in due course, possibly with a modified gear selector mechanism.  Does this sound a plausible explanation?

ETA - Using the guess-works calculator, at 6600rpm the car would be doing around 140mph apparently.  I should think that'll do for now...

Edited again to add - just looked at the Minispares website and can't see any mention of copper washers:
Any ideas?
8.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Craig Smith
Date Posted: October 8th, 2021, 16:06:42
Hi Graham,

I know that you are watching the pennies, but have you considered a club radiator, with one or two SPAL fans that we also hold in stock?  My car is a 1380 (carb) with 105hp and I have never had any cooling issues with it (club rad and one SPAL fan fitted).  

As for your fuel leak, did you use copper washers on the bolts when fitting the sender unit?  If not you need to.

9.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Graham Bichard
Date Posted: October 8th, 2021, 09:41:11
Craig - yes a relief to get this done, but as mentioned not without problems.  The problems started before the car was transported to RS Tuning but I'll return to this in a bit.

RS Tuning recommended fitting a new Lambda sensor.  Because the car had been running so rich, the lambda sensor had been contaminated.  While on the rolling road the sensor did appear to clean up but did still occasionally give a 'bad' reading, causing the car to revert to a rich, protection running mode.  I did fit a new lambda during the build - a pattern part from memory as I don't think the Rover OEM is still available.  For the sake of £40 or so (I can't remember how much it was exactly) it would be worth swapping this out.
Hopefully the sensor hasn't welded itself in to the manifold after going through heat cycles.  I'm not sure that I'll be able to change it in situ - that'd be too much to hope for.  We'll see.

They also advised that during the session the car was running hot.  That is, they recommend fitting a more powerful cooling fan.  Of course I'll look at doing this - they did recommend a make (Spall) which I'll research.  I'm not sure I can fit a larger diameter fan to the radiator, but it may be possible to fit a deeper (thicker fan blade) fan, or perhaps two fans.

And now the big problem.  The car was almost out of fuel so I decided of course to fill it.  I've never had more than around 10 litres in it previously but decoded to put more in it, not knowing how much would be needed.  I put another 10 litres in and then noticed the smell of petrol.  Long story short - the fuel was leaking around the fuel sender.  Bugger.
Tightening up the accessible screws slowed the flow quite a bit and I hoped (beyond hope) that the gasket was just 'dry' and would seal as it swelled.  No such luck.
I was debating whether to call the whole thing off (and lose the rolling road slot deposit) and called the transportation guy (who is also a part time mechanic at my local, trusted garage).  He suggested he look at it and ended up putting a silicon sealant around/over the sender, which further slowed but didn't stop, the leak.  So we took the decision to send the car down and keep an eye on it the next day and discuss it with RS on arrival.
But this still needs to be addressed.  I've ordered and received three new gaskets (£1.06 each) in case there is any variation in these (I'll choose the best one to fit).  The fuel appears to be coming through the screw head holes, not just around the sender sensor.
I did use a liquid gasket when fitting this originally (so many years ago!), but is there a sealant you'd suggest I use.
The main question is though - can this be dome with the subframe and tank in place?  I don't think so, but want to get this confirmed before attacking the car.
I know the lower two screws cannot be accessed as it is.  If I can change this gasket just by moving the tank (lowering it slightly) then I'll need to remove the fibreglass cover I have in place around the filler neck.  If I need to remove the rear subframe, that's a whole different kettle of fish ( ).
What's the general opinion - I'll need to lower the subframe?

While I've bought the gasket, I'll have to take it easy on the spending front for a little while - having the car transported to Leeds and the rolling road session cost a pretty penny.  But I also need to have another throttle cable made up and possibly a new speedo cable with a longer inner.  Hopefully these two items won't be too expensive and I'll be able to tick these two items off the 'to do' list.

Finally, while my scanner isn't working at the minute, a couple of photos of the printouts received from RS from the session:

This first one gives a plot of power/torque - 88.7bhp (89 for cash?) and 85.6 ft/lbs.  While I'd hoped for a little more power, look at the power/torque curves!  Should be very nice to drive (eventually!).  RS did say that the car could probably do with another hour or so on the rolling road to fine tune the car when it has a few miles on the engine.  Hopefully it might break 90bhp.
As an aside, MPI mini 90bhp kits used to give around 82-85bhp (on a good one), and I know 1380cc carb engines can give 100bhp, so ~90bhp on a home built engine with a home ported head isn't so bad.  And at least I know it holds together up to 6600rpm .
This second photo shows the fuel/air ratio (14.7 being stoichiometric):

So there we are - two steps forward, one step back (again!).

Craig - I wasn't able to attend the rolling road session so can't comment on exactly what this was like, or how easy the software was to adjust etc. but can put a few words together supported by lots of photos if it'll help to put into the magazine?

ETA - Not sure why the images are rotating through 90 degrees.  Perhaps they're giddy with excitement too!
10.   Reply to Right - join Part A to Part B etc, etc, etc Posted by: Craig Smith
Date Posted: October 4th, 2021, 18:14:38
Well done Graham, that must feel like a massive step forward.

Any chance of an article for the magazine please?
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