Another long day in mechanic mode

So today was hard going. Started at 9:30, finished at 17:30 with only a break for lunch and a couple of quick trips to (a)Halfords and (b)Proper MotorFactor.

At one point I was so demoralised I stood staring at Vixy wondering both how she’d actually managed to stay running so well, wondering if the fault I’d found had anything to do with the poor idle and failure to up-revs on braking, and contemplating whether she should return to the internet in search of a new home.

However, thankfully (I think), I opted not to do that.

Faults found and rectified today:
– Idle / Braking: There’s an Electro-Magnetic doojit on the carb, it wasn’t actually screwed in. I’ve no idea if it was sucking in air around the barely attached doojit, but certainly, doing it up screwed with the mixture. Then I found that the pipe which covers the join between the inlet manifold and one of the inlet pipes (it’s got a flexible segment made by having a sleeve and a tube with a bit of rubber over it) was completely beyond saving. It was cracked and split and a mess. It’s been replaced. The idle’s now much better and the engine does it’s thing when you put your foot on the brakes.

– Oil Leak: Turned out to be the oil-pressure warning sensor. It was leaking like a secret government meeting filled with double agents. Having spent an entertaining twenty minutes with my newly aquired ‘shop towel’ (like J-Cloths but less strength in tension and way more absorbent) cleaning gunky oil off bits of the engine I lay under the car waiting for the dripping to start. Sure enough, there was the leak, oozing it’s way out of the pressure switch. Amazingly my local autofactor had one in stock. Took them about 20 minutes to find it, but they had it.

– Radio: Wired in and working, but I still need the bracket and an arial. Remarkably it can pick up Heart 106 (not that I like Heart 106, or it might be Star 106. It’s 106, anyway) despite not having an arial. The tape bit sort-of-works, and sound comes out of the really rather silly Goodmans Speakers plonked on the back shelf. I do need some means of attaching them as they don’t actually appear to have any means of attachment.

Discoveries of a non-awful nature:
– According to my wildly innacurate Autodata manual, the DAF has the pre-1972 wiring scheme. This is odd for a late ’73 car. However, the Autodata manual is noted for it’s similarity to the Haynes Book of Lies in the respect of ensuring things are accurate (like, for example, the non-existent Lockwasher I spent time angsting about).
– The exhaust really is an astonishing piece of bodgery. It changes diameter twice and appears to have been made by someone going ‘hey, that’s a big ‘ol chunk of straight exhaust; that’ll do’.

Things not fixed today:
– The brakes.

Discoverys of an unfortunate and upsetting nature:
– Jejy’s brakes are dangerous. I took her to the store to get the oil pressure switch and had one of those ‘oh-dear-god-I’m-going-to-die’ moments when I put my foot on the brakes at a junction. The slightly weepy front cylinder has become the ‘pouring brake fluid out in a very generous and lubricous nature thus ensuring stopping is a gentle and largely terrifing experience’. I had a look on arriving home, having got Vixy fairly much as far sorted as I could, and basically, the brake cylinder is the fucked. I’ve asked my local autofactor if he can order 3 brake cylinders for me, if not then they’ll have to come urgent-first-class-next-day-as-soon-as from Holland, which’ll be pricey.

Still, I consider myself to have rocked today. You may all praise me :)

Author: KateE

Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at