Knowing me, knowing you, ah ha

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to sit down and write an update, but here it is!

After a few more drives to get to know the car a bit better and taking it to some local meets, the first thing I did was to get a new radiator. This is much bigger, and thicker, and is bright and shiny and alloy.

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After fitting it, I took it for a pootle around town to get it up to temperature, and to check that there were no major leaks. With that trial run all good, and the temperature not going much above 90, degrees C, I took it out on a run on the motorway, to see what a period of sustained motorway speeds would do to the coolant temperature.

The coolant temperature remained somewhere between 90 and 95 degrees C at a sustained 70mph, and it actually drives better at 70mph than at 50mph! This was a triumph! I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS! It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

However, all was not right – and about 20 miles down the road, a misfire started. Knowing I was only about 4 miles from a services, I thought I’d try to limp it there, so as to not end up broken down on the side of the motorway.

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Yeah… that plan didn’t work. Another mile down the road after the misfire started, I lost all power, and the engine just wouldn’t restart.

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My guess is that with the extra heat, not only the output from the better radiator, but the heat from the turbo/exhaust due to running at a higher sustained speed, one of the coil packs overheated, and therefore exploded.

When it expired, it also took out the Ignition Failure Sensor (which provides power to the ignition coils, and provides the rev counter output based on actual ignition pulses rather than “requested” ignition pulses) – so with no power feed through the IFS, that’s why the engine wouldn’t run, even on 4 cylinders.

I have replaced all 3 coils with new ones, a new IFS, and also fitted a “turbo blanket”, which has reduced the radiant heat given off by the turbo on that side.

As well as resolving this minor electrical/heat issue, I have also been tidying up the interior, and making it more civilised.

First off was to paint both the dash, and inside of the doors, around the rear windows, and fit some carpet:

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The carpet has made a huge difference to the sound levels, removing a lot of the road noise.

I also tidied up the glove box lid and dial surround with a coat of the same silver used on the outside.


I am now finishing up the remaining bits of painting in/around the bonnet – those being the master cylinder cover, central bonnet catch bracket, and a bonnet grill.

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The next thing on the list will be to make up some panels for next to where the rear seats would be, and either paint or cover them, along with the front door cards.

That will then make the interior look a lot nicer, as well as being more sound deadened. Short term, I’ll put some carpet in the back where the rear seats would be, but I do also have a couple of options for rear seats which I’ll investigate to better tie in with the rest.

A lick of colour

With the car successfully back at my dad’s, I left him the fun task of playing with the bodywork.

The initial coat of primer was put on before the trip to the Ace Cafe so that it was mostly one colour, and to cover the remaining bare metal.

My dad then continued to prepare the primer for paint for a few days, with lots of late nights – I did have to remind him at one point that the colour was only supposed to be temporary (and that I was taking it home soon!), he stopped with the preparation of the primer, and started laying down some colour.

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With that done, next was to add a bit of detail:

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And after yet another very late night, a few coats of lacquer were added:

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While this was taking place, I was busy at home giving a spare set of wheels a quick refurbishment:

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With it all together, I was finally, after many years, able to take it back home with me.

The radiator still needs to be replaced with something better, but I have now been able to begin sorting some of the small niggles, and do little bits and pieces that weren’t suitable to do during the limited time when visiting my dad.

The fuel gauge was being intermittent, so I have now investigated that, and found that the earth to the sender unit was not making full contact, so I have created a better earthing point on the sender body.

The Check Engine light had been on whilst driving, and when I had previously retrieved the error codes, it pointed towards the Crank Position sensor. Upon spending a little more time reading the codes, I had actually mis-counted the flashes, and it was the Barometric Pressure sensor. Upon investigation, I noticed that the MAP-ECU was not configured to output the Baro signal (on the original car, it was an additional sensor in the MAF, but that has been removed, so the MAP-ECU steps in again to perform this duty) – simply ticking a box in the setup for the MAP-ECU has switched off the Check Engine light!

I have also finally got rid of the remainder of the red paint from the inlet manifold – something I hated from the day I picked up the donor car!

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My tinkering will continue – I plan to tidy up the interior – painting the dash/doors, fitting carpet, door cards, rear seats etc, as well of course as replacing the radiator.

A different post code

Prior to this weekend, it had been driven about 20 miles by my dad, and I was able to get down for a day, and in that time we have found, and had to sort the following teething issues:

Replace injectors – I fitted new filters to them, but in doing so, managed to get some dirt into some of them, which left them stuck open, pouring fuel into the engine!

Tweak the ECUs – the MAP-ECU appeared to lose some of its configuration, meaning that it was not actually giving a signal to the standard engine ECU for air flow! So the first 5 miles or so, it was running only on the “fail safe” fueling!

Replaced all the spark plugs, as it was missing under load.

Discovered that the tyres on the back are awful, as under power, it was pulling quite hard to the left, and to the right under deceleration. Swapping the rear tyres side to side improved it, so a new pair of tyres had been ordered and been fitted.

The PLX wideband O2 sensor control unit has failed, so it’s not putting out the correct voltages on either the wideband output, nor the simulated narrowband output. This has been removed, and replaced with the stock narrowband sensor until I can afford a new wideband controller.

With the annual “Anglias At The Ace” happening the weekend just gone, and determined to get there, I went down and spent last Thursday night and Friday doing some more to make it ready. My dad had done some more filling & sanding, getting the car ready for paint. However, with life getting in the way, by Thursday it was only nearly ready for priming – so Thursday evening was spent finishing off the sanding back, and giving it a blow over with primer – which was finished at 12:15 on Friday morning!


Friday morning I got up early, and spent the morning undersealing the car – if we were taking it on the road, the bits we’d previously welded and primed needed some better protection. So, after masking up all the bits I didn’t want to get covered in underseal:

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I covered both myself and the underneath of the car with underseal:

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During the small amount of driving it had done, we noticed that the bonnet got VERY hot right above the turbos – so something was needed to reduce the heat transfer into the fibreglass. With a sheet of nice thick stainless steel, I made up some heat shields to cover the turbos, bolted onto the strut tops, so that the heat is transferred into the rest of the body.

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With all that done, and just 25 miles on the odometer, it was time to firstly give the interior a good hoover out as it was covered in filler dust, and then take it out for a bit of a longer drive – firstly to see if the new tyres made a difference to the handling, secondly to see if the heatshields had made a difference before the “long” drive to the Ace Cafe, as well as to shake down anything else that we’d not picked up yet.

Given that I’d only driven it about a mile so far, I went out onto the road tentatively, and all felt good. As I started to become a little more confident, and the engine came up to temperature, I pushed it a little harder, until I was trying out some full-throttle runs. However, here is where I found an issue – it pulled great in 1st and 2nd all the way to the red line (no pulling to the left now the new tyres are on), but in 3rd and 4th, it got to just over 4000rpm and hit a rev limiter.

Came back, and got the laptop out and hooked it up to the ECUs to check the configuration. Nothing jumped out at me, so went out for another drive to save some log files for looking at later. There was also a small “chirping” coming from the back, which was related to road speed, that disappeared when lifting the handbrake slightly. Got it back home with the odometer now on a huge 49 miles!

I did find when looking through the logs that the original Mitsubishi ECU thought that I was doing over 400km/h – I certainly wasn’t doing that!! I then remembered that the speed limiter on the ECU can’t be removed, but it can be increased to 255 MPH – which is 410km/h!

So, with it being late on Friday, on Saturday morning got out early, cut the speed sensor signal to the ECU, and removed the rear wheels to back off the handbrake slightly.

With that done and back on the ground, we set off for our drive to the Ace. As this was the furthest from my dad’s post code it has yet to be driven, we decided it safe for my dad to follow me in his Shogun with a trailer and a boot full of tools – just in case anything was to go wrong or not feel right, we could simply load it up, and deal with it later.

Heading off down the road, first I noticed that there was no more chirping from the back end. Getting onto the dual carriageway, I gave it full throttle in 3rd, and it revved straight past 4000rpm and to the redline – so it obviously was the engine ECU engaging the speed limiter at 4000rpm.

I had to pull over about half an hour and 25 miles after leaving home, however. As dad pulled over behind me, he gets out the Shogun with a worried look on his face as I walk towards him. “Can I have the duct tape, please?” I ask. “The chrome surrounds for the heater controls, and the ashtray are rattling, and it’s annoying me”, I add.

After taping up the rattling trim, the rest of the journey to the Ace was completely uneventful.

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Another great day, met and chatted to plenty of lovely people, and saw 49 other lovely Anglias!

Then I drove it back home without any more issues, pulling up back at my dads with 210 miles on the clock. On a run, the engine coolant temperature gets a little higher than I’d like it to be, so (as was always expected) a better radiator is required for more serious running – but it’ll sit happily at 70mph without overheating as it currently is.

It’s only running at about 6psi of boost at the moment (I’m hoping I can get around 14psi out of it), so it’s not quite as quick as it could be, but… even with that, it’s rather quick! Using the timers built into the gauges, and still not *really* pushing it too hard yet, it’s given so far a <7 second 0-60, and under 17s quarter mile. Just need to get it tuned right, get the launch control set up, and get it to a drag strip to see what it can really do! IMG_6031 IMG_6036

A culmination

This update comes courtesy of my step-mum, who suggested that my dad booked a week off work to spend purely on the car! Thankfully, my girlfriend also thought it was a good idea, and so this is the culmination of a week’s work! The last full week I had on the car (back in November 2011!), we made loads of progress – would this week be as productive? Read on to find out!

As the suspension mounts have been moved onto the diff carrier, the mounting points needed reinforcement. The rear mounts had already been reinforced, so we did the fronts, they now bolt through some nice heavy box section.


Where we had to cut away the bulkhead for the water pipes off the back of the engine, this needed replacing, so a new panel was made up. Originally we planned for this to be removable to gain access to the water pipes – but with the engine so simple to take out (less than an hour), there’s really no point, so it’s welded in for no loss in strength.

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It was always to plan, once we’d proved that the brakes/clutch worked OK to replace the temporarily made push-rods with new ones, made from a single piece of metal, rather than the extended temporary ones.


Being a 1967 (and, of course, for safety), it needs seat belts in the front. A pair of inertia-reel seatbelts have been fitted, which are much better than the original fixed belts!


Having had the car running and driving for a while (only as far as in/out of the garage, and on/off the trailer), we noticed that the coolant level was dropping, and the oil level was increasing… so, the engine/gearbox came out, and it had a pair of new head gaskets, a set of 24 valve stem seals, new lower inlet manifold gaskets, and new injector seals/filters.

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Whilst the engine was out (hopefully for the last time for a while!), the bare metal and welds were given some protection.


Not having enough of a single colour in the cupboard, we mixed together 4 different colours: Mitsubishi Fiji Blue pearlescent, Mitsubishi Twilight Blue metallic, Ford Java Blue metallic and Vauxhall Lagoon Blue metallic. So even the paint is a hybrid of various makes! (The flash makes it look a little lighter than it is in daylight – that’s all the metallic/pearl bits catching the extra light from the flash)

Meep meep! A pair of horns scavenged from a scrap BMW.

I mentioned before the new connectors for the engine – there’s one of these on each side of the engine bay. So to remove the engine, we simply needed to unclip these two.


All the wiring inside, now completed, has been tidied up, tucked properly under the dash, and a panel was made up to house the boost gauge & various switches (hazard warning, heated front screen, clutch servo solenoid and launch control)

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Then came the moment of truth – an MOT test! With everything put together, checked and double-checked, we took it for a fresh pair of eyes to give it a thorough check over. A nervous wait followed whilst the tester looked, prodded, pulled and poked at everything they usually look at, prod, tug and poke during an MOT test.

He then wandered through into the testing area, and presented a piece of white paper (I miss the days of coloured paper, where you at knew what the result was from across the room without having to read it!) – “Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate” was what this one was not titled! Instead, it said proudly at the top of the sheet “MOT Test Certificate” 😀

Having sorted insurance a couple of hours earlier, I fired up the vehicle licencing page on my phone, and promptly taxed it and drove it back home!

So – how far has it now been driven? Well… back home… where we then proceeded to start on tidying up the bodywork! Having seen the blue in the engine bay, we decided that, as there was some bare metal that still needed protection, to give the whole car a blow over with our newly created colour. All the bits of surface rust have been ground back and treated, the holes for the side trim (which isn’t going back on) welded, ground back and filled over.

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Next is to smooth back this filler, and give it a quick coat of primer & paint so it’s all a single colour, and protected for now – until it comes off the road again in a few months to be stripped back to a bare shell to have a full, proper fix of bodywork and paint.

Suspension Redesign, Part 2

The next task is to make up the suspension arms – 3 per side. 2 for the bottom, 1 for the top.

As with the trailing arms, these consist of a length of steel tube, threaded inserts, locking nuts, and rose joints. One rose joint is right hand threaded, the other is left hand threaded, and this allows fine adjustment of the length of the arm, without needing to remove anything from the car. Simply loosen the locking nuts, and rotate the tube to lengthen, or shorten, the arm as necessary.

This gives the ability to fully adjust every aspect of the suspension – the toe (whether the front of the wheels point inwards or outwards, and by how much), the camber (how far from vertical the wheels are), and the position within the arches.

We started by making the arms to the correct size needed to put the wheels in the same position as they are with the De-Dion. When looking at it on the car, I’d decided that the wheels were too close to each other, and ideally needed to fill the arches more – so basing the arm lengths on getting it as it current is, will allow adjustment outwards to where necessary (there’s about 5cm of length adjustment on each arm, whilst still maintaining a suitable amount of thread within the insert – which gives up to 10cm overall width adjustment on each side… plenty, as it only needed to come out by about 2cm each side to really fill the arches)

So, we made up the lower arms on the bench:

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To get the correct length and position for the upper arms (avoiding the exhaust), we then began to transfer stuff to the car, firstly re-fitting the diff and carrier.

The next bit I forgot to photograph, so I’ll try to explain what we did. We reattached the existing De-Dion axle, including the new lower arms, made up the top arms to length, and then removed it, and chopped the hubs off from each end of the De-Dion tube. This then gave us the hub units separately – our first step towards making them independent.

We needed to give a slight tweak to the exhaust pipes to give us clearance for the top arm – we could have curved it under the exhaust, but as the legendary Colin Chapman allegedly would have said, they then would have been “pre-failed”. But, we’ve got enough capacity in the exhaust to be able to sacrifice a small amount of volume!

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So, with the welded (and labelled) suspension arms:


We began to attach each hub unit. First the two trailing arms:


Then the remaining arms (as you can see, I was extremely useful here, and took it upon myself to take photos, rather than help hold the weight of the hub!)


The rubber boots for the rose joints actually ended up causing us the most hassle – we’d used 25mm box section, which the bare joints slotted into perfectly. With the addition of the rubber boots, they just wouldn’t fit right. So, we decided to use them slightly differently to how they are supposed to be used, and instead cut the end off them, and stretched them over the box section and over the nuts/bolts – just as water/dust tight, and much easier to fit!


So, with both sides attached, this is how it looks with full droop:

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Suspension Redesign

First off, I know it’s been a few months since any updates – I’ve not fallen off the face of the planet! The weekends have just fallen quite badly – with the likes of Christmas and other events meaning that time spent on the car has been reduced.

Some of this time has been spent in re-wiring the engine (again) – this time, using quick-release connectors, which will be located in a much better place than they currently are. The current connectors are all tucked down between the engine and the bulkhead, and have prevented us from making up the panel to seal off the bulkhead again.

These are the connectors I’m now using – have worked out (after buying them) that 2x 20 pin connectors is enough to do all of the engine wiring (but no harm in having some extras)

Electrical connectors

It had always been a plan of mine to have fully independent suspension on the back of the car, because it allows the greatest amount of adjustment, which will be critical to get the handling just how I want it.

However, my dad didn’t initially want to go fully independent, and so we came to an agreement on the De-Dion setup. The plan then was to drive it around for a while, and then redesign the suspension later.

However, he has since changed his mind, and come round to my way of thinking, so we’ve now started to replace the De-Dion with fully independent – whilst still maintaining the majority of the work on the suspension we’ve already done.

So, the plan is to replace the large, solid tube between the two hubs, and the panhard bar, with more links – we will need upper and lower, to prevent the wheels from folding in on themselves, or falling outwards (like the DeLorean from Back To The Future Part II). There will be 3 of these on either side – 1 top, 2 bottom, which will also allow for a control of toe.

The existing twin trailing arms will remain, and these will prevent the wheels from moving forwards/backwards, as well as preventing any rotational force applied by braking or acceleration.

The following diagram should hopefully explain this better, and this will be the basis of our design. (Red is the existing trailing arms, green will be the new arms we need to make)

SusProg source image
Found on the SusProg3D site.

The first step is to add a frame around the diff, which will form the inner mounts of the suspension arms.

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With the basic positioning sorted with it on the car, and the parts tacked together, we then removed the current axle, and put it all onto the bench for fully welding up all the parts for the frame that becomes part of the diff carrier.

Diff carrier

Whilst it was still bolted to the car, we tacked on the lower brackets for the wheel end of the suspension arms – these will be fully welded on when we are perfectly happy with their position.


Putting it all together on the bench, we position the existing axle with the modified diff carrier, and begin to make up the suspension arms.

Independent rear suspension Independent rear suspension

By doing it this way – until we are happy with the positioning, we don’t have to cut through the De-Dion tube, so we could potentially bolt it back up to the car without affecting the current suspension setup! This is one of the reasons we prototype in the way we do – functional, usable, but not necessarily completed immediately – whilst yes, it took us some time to make the De-Dion axle, it allowed us to get it rolling under its own power, gave us the ability to position the diff, exhausts, trailing arms etc and build around them, but still give us the option to change things later – or, if we’re happy with what we prototyped, we will go back to it and finish it off to a high standard.