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.