Thursday 3 May 2012

Expensive month

As the title suggests I've been on a small spending spree, the most love the car has recieved since it was first built. Parts purchased were oil, filter, clutch plates, Barnett clutch spring conversion, Mintex 1144 front brake pads and some DBfaukner springs.

I've always been a bit weary of our clutch as now and again there is some slip along with the friction plates being near the minimum thickness limit. I had also tried to double up on the original diaphragm spring but this was pretty graunchy as with a diaphragm spring its either on or off as the plate flips. Finally ive decided to do it properly and fit a Barnett coil spring conversion which offers progressive clutch pressure but at a price - £120!!! All in, i am down £240 on clutch parts but saved myself £100 by shopping around using AB performance and ebay seller jaysperformance.

Onto the fitting and with the cable detached and the clutch cover off i removed the clutch spring and took the friciton plates and steels out. The steels had a very minor blue tinge which was removed with some scoure pads as directed by the very helpful Andy Bates of AB performance ( The new friction plates were left to soak for 24 hours in some of the new Castrol 10w-40 Power racing oil as they are slightly absorbent and should not be fitted dry.

The old diaphragm clutch spring is ditched in favour of the new Barnett conversion which is a pretty easy fit and everything else is reassembled

As the clutch is using new oil it only seemed fair to give the engine some too so it was drained, new filter fitted and refilled.
The original supplied pads are wilwoods own smart pads however i've found them to feel pretty wooden. This could be down to the fact that our brake system is basic and not servo assisted like a modern car but I am sure we can do better so we are trying the Mintex 1144 pads as a trial and error fix, only another £70, gulp!

What i do love about Wilwood though is there calipers as fitting and removing pads is the simplest thing ever with a clip that you lift it up in the middle, push through the caliper holes with a wiggle and then lift out the pads, apply some copper grease and refit. Other than removing the wheels its a 1 minute job either side.

For years now we have put up with an overly harsh ride so now seemed like a good time try a cheap trial and error fix with some softer springs from dfaulkner. At the same time we plan to have a proper look over everything else and attempt to resolve a slight knocking at the rear end. First thing we get the nose cone off and jack the car up. The wheels need to come off to reduce the mass on the springs and we use stands to old the hubs up.
With access to the main components we can check that the wishbone bushes are free and allowed to rotate and guess what they were not. So a quick spring change has become a full blown suspension remove, adjust and refit.

With the wishbone bushes we have two mushroom poly bushes are inserted into the wishbone with a cylindrical crish tube pushed through the middle. The bracket the whishbone sits in should tighten against the crush tube. In motion the wishbone and bush should move unresisted by the crush tube and bracket.

Ours definitely had some resistance so every wishbone was removed, inner powder coating removed and reamed, bushes fetled, greased and all put back together. Sounds simple but it was a good two hours work per wishbone and there are 8 of them! Finally though everything fitted nicely after several refits.

At the same time we checked the dampers to see if at there lowest setting they were easy to pull in and push back. There was some resistance at zero so a possibility they are too highly pressurised and on there hardest setting moving them in and out was a serious work out! At the same time we should probably get the springs in and see if that makes a noticeable difference first and put another job on the winter 2012 wish list. With everything in pieces the springs were a real doddle to take out and refit.
We found the cause of the knocking which turned out to be the rear lower rod end which was completely shot, it was grinding as it span and very loose. The rod end has aspherical bearing that allows the wheel to move with the suspension. To save time we purchased replacements from MNR and although the first one was wrong we go there in the end with a set of 4 for all the lower wishbones as chanses are if one is shot the rest will follow shortly. When the replacements arrived they looked noticeably better being the same as the ones fitted to the front which are in perfectly good working condition.

At the same time we purchased a bucket load of new nyloc nuts to ensure everything we had refitted wouldn't be coming off again anytime soon.