I've got ratchet spanners, just not any of the sizes this engine uses unless it's a nut/bolt I can't physically get the ratchet spanner I do have that fits on.
melle: Oh no. I just ordered based on length since all the dials I'd seen were metric so... yeah. When there's a chance for me to order the wrong thing by accident we all know I'm going to end up with the wrong thing. Hooray!
Well, they arrived today and relief of reliefs, they actually fit the tool so no harm done. Hopefully be able to get out and sort the timing out on that in the next few days.
Clutch master and slave cylinder rebuild kits arrived for the Princess too, so that's a job to have a stab at in the next few days too, just need to get some fresh fluid since I'm all out.
Came close to buying a window louvre for the Princess. Turns out, the Talbot Solara rear screen is a similar width, just shorter, and the Talbot Horizon rear screen is a similar height, just a little narrower. I bet if I can find a rear window louvre for a Talbot Alpine it'll be pretty close to the right size, and rare though that part might be, I have seen more Talbot rear louvres on the market than I have Princess ones over the last few years. I'll keep looking, keep talking about it, one day I'll get one.
I'm so glad I have my louvre, I've seen a few cressidas with venetians but none with a louvre! I should really try and work out what it came from haha. The market for louvres over here was a lot bigger though I think, what with all the sun..
I had a quick look but couldn't see any on the usual sites for a princess.
Had another crack at the BX today to see if I could get the thing running. Carefully followed the instructions in the book right up until it came to turning the front wheel by hand with the car in gear. Annoyingly, with the car in any gear, the wheel just wouldn't turn, like something was locking it up. A bit of a think and a tap of the starter motor with a broom handle sorted it out, looks like the starter motor has taken to sticking lately. That done, I could rotate to the requisite point with the dial indicator.
Now, I'm not sure if it's because I've not slept properly for a week so my brain is currently full of bad earths, or if it's just one of those jobs, but I found this to be an incredibly annoying thing to do. The magnetic base on the dial indicator is next to useless because all the magnetic surfaces are too far away from where I need to be, and all the flat surfaces close enough aren't magnetic. So trying to get a reliable reading of any sort on the dial indicator is pretty much impossible. In reading the manual it then turns out you need to leave the first dial indicator in place while you set up a second one for the pump which... well... I've only got one indicator and I cannot see how I'm supposed to set a second one up for the pump. So that puts us back to the alternative of 'move the pump about until it sounds about right' which is the route I'm likely going to go here. Get it running well enough and then get someone that knows what they're doing to fine tune it for me.
In an effort to see how far off it was I did try starting the car. It does now prime without the pump making weird noises, and in fact I couldn't hear any weird noises like it was making before, so hopefully that means the air leak has been cured. Unfortunately, the battery on the car is quite flat and the only other battery I have access to is too small to offer enough of a boost. Because of how the cars are set up at the moment and the fact both of them are currently sort of broken, I couldn't hook jump leads up either without expending effort and energy I didn't have on pushing cars about. Never mind, at least I've learned that things turn over freely, the starter motor may be on the way out, and nothing is leaking while the car is sat still and the engine is being cranked. I did notice the driver's side engine mount has a lot of movement in it, not ecause the bolts are loose, it just seems to be that the rubber is very soft so perhaps that's going to need replacing too.
Stuck the battery on charge and turned my attention to something else. I'd recently bought a Valeo original headlight adjuster to replace the broken one on the car. It's a very slightly different design than the original but is the same where it matters.
To install it, I first needed to straighten out the hole it goes into. I also had to use the old collar since the new one seems to be just a tiny bit too thick, I can cure this by sanding the back of it down by about the thickness of one half of a birthday card. For now, old and new will do.
Initially, the headlight sat quite badly, as I thought it might, because this corner has had something done to it in the past and something about the headlight surround is out of shape slightly.
There are other weird alignment issues on the front. The subtle crease that goes down the centre front of bonnet, grille, and bumper, all line up. However, the black grille itself seems to sit too far over to the right by a little bit. I can centralise the grille and then the crease doesn't line up with anything so I'm not sure what that's about. I did some faffing about with a hammer and a pair of pliers and massaged the headlight mounting area until I'd got the fit improved as much as I could. It's not perfect, there's still something amiss about the bonnet or the wing that I can't pin down and everything is so flimsy it's difficult to get things to stay in place for very long once you've adjusted things.
To celebrate, the passenger side headlight lens then fell off.
Luckily I have a spare headlight and it happens to be the passenger side. On fitting the replacement headlight I noticed the lens on it too is loose on the bottom edge so that will likely fall off too soon. I'll have to get some sealant to glue the lenses back on again, recommendations welcome providing the sealant is white or clear. The front end is looking marginally better. I do need a new pair of indicators, both of mine have broken clips so they have a habit of popping out if you're not careful, at least they're easy to get hold of.
This weekend I'll have another crack at starting the car with the battery charged and fiddling with the pump until my ears reckon it's about right, there's not a great deal else I can do about it other than that really.
Good news! The BX is running again. After some trial and error I found the spot the pump seemed to run best and now the car starts quite willingly which is great.
Bad news! After a while of running at idle the car stalls. If you apply a lot of throttle and let off, it stalls. Raising the idle made no difference and moving the pump just made the car stall quicker.
I have no idea what the cause of this is. The car is driveable, and perhaps some fresh fuel would help even though what's in isn't that old. It doesn't seem to be exhibiting any of the air leak signs it was before and the pump isn't make any unusual noises or leaking (just as well really, considering) so I suspect this is a timing or set up issue rather than anything actually being broken. The only problem I've faced in setting up is that to get the car to run its best, the pump is all the way at the end of the adjustment, by which I mean turned fully towards the windscreen, and I'm not sure that's correct. If I turn the pump back it stalls more quickly, and if I turn it back further you start to get knocking noises, so it is where it is.
Help and advice, as always, welcome on this one. I do want to get someone with more knowledge than me to set this up properly and get it to best tune so it runs the best it can, I just have no idea who to go to for that since I'm not after any sort of performance gains here, I just want it set up right.
Decided to attempt my errand today, a quick jaunt to the shop to pick up the stuff I need for the Princess. BX was running well enough yesterday that I could have got there and back providing I feathered the throttle when stopping, so I had hoped to stick some fresh diesel in and do the errand and see if it just sort of improved a bit with use. The BX had other ideas. It now won't idle long enough for me to get it in gear and even with throttle applied, it will eventually stall. It's behaving more like it's running out of fuel than like the timing is off, and when the wind changed direction and blew some exhaust fumes into the car, it smelled a bit paraffin-y.
One long walk to the shop and back and supplies got at least, one of those walks where it's just too far to be pleasant, and almost not far enough to justify going in the car. I'm going to chuck a can of fresh diesel in the BX and see if it improves matters before fiddling with any settings. I have already run out of patience with this job now so I would very much like to give it to someone else to sort.
Let's do the clutch master cylinder rebuild! First, fight with the crusty bolts holding it to the bulkhead, painfully aware that access is not great and spanners will try super hard to round the corners off nuts. End up literally sitting in the engine bay because it's the only way to get enough force applied to a couple of the nuts. Eventually, you have this crusty thing off once it's disconnected from the clutch hose and the master cylinder.
You also reach up to the top of the clutch pedal, push out the split pin from the clevis pin, and watch as the bracket for the master cylinder falls out of its place and tries to get lost behind the pedal box.
Then see all the paint that's lifted because the master cylinder has been leaking. Some of this paint was still very soft so it's probably been leaking very recently.
With that off, bring it indoors so you can clean it up and rebuild in an environment where you're less likely to loose small components. Marvel at the sludge that oozes out of the reservoir.
Then, learn that you need a pair of circlip pliers to remove the circlip so that you can clean and rebuild the master cylinder. Find out you don't actually own a pair, and that nowhere local that's open appears to carry them in stock, and end up ordering some online to be delivered in the next few days. Nothing else for it but to remove the several layers of paint and get the cylinder cleaned up as much as possible.
So yeah. That's it. At least I can see the letters on the thing now, I suppose that's something. Guess I won't be using the Princess for today's errand.
Got a lift up to the fuel station and got a jerry can of diesel for the BX. Dumped it in and watched the fuel gauge bob up and down, which is not normal, it's usually a nice clean sweep, so something is up there. Anyway, fresh diesel meant the car would idle for long enough to actually select gears and I could sometimes get it to hold on the throttle when it tried to stall and recover back to idling normally. That was something. So I decided to run to the fuel station and stick more fuel in to see if it would make any more difference. It did, the car was more willing to idle but still tried to stall sometimes, the fuel gauge now swept cleanly rather than bobbing, and I got home fine with the car stalling just as I pulled onto the drive. Then, when I got out, I noticed a puddle of diesel on the floor.
What I can't figure out is where it's coming from. It's not where I had the jerry can when I was using that and I didn't spill any from the jerry can either. There's no obvious sign of where it's leaked out and it's definitely diesel. It must have come from the back of the car because it's parked now where it has been while doing fuel stuff. The drop on the bumper is from where I filled up at the fuel station. Looking underneath the car there's a couple of spots of LHM under the rear displacer which is from the bit where the sphere meets the socket as far as I can tell.
Diesel tends to stick around when it leaks so I expected to see something obvious under here. My gut feeling is that there's a leaking return pipe somewhere at the back, I've done the hoses at the front and everything is staying fuel tight up there as far as I can tell, but I've done nothing at the back because of the tediousness of access.
I'm admitting defeat on this one. It will have to go to a specialist, or a talented enthusiast, to get to the bottom of the issue. I am at a loss and have no desire to do more on it.
I wonder if you have a perforation in the fuel line between the tank and pump, would mean you draw air in and could account for the leak plus putting more fuel in increases the level and reduces the amount of suction needed and thus air ingested which would explain why it runs better.