... has become more difficult to spread so winter is fast approaching. A couple of domestic jobs turned into the usual nightmare. Changing the kitchen mixer tap took 5 hours; I had to make up a special tool to get at the brass assembly retaining nut carefully located in the least accessible position and of course to get at that, I had to disturb all the plastic under-sink pipework which, now brittle with age, leaked on reassembly - another trip into town to get a twin-sink manifold kit.
Which, due to a manufacturing error, also leaked. I hate plumbing....
...except this sort. I spent a peaceful Saturday morning welding up a stainless steel manifold for a pig feed unit.
An excellent piece of Hake with steamed cabbage and boiled new potatoes at Andrew Edmunds in Soho to celebrate a family gathering was a welcome indulgence after my exertions in Norway and then it was back to the grindstone.
The engine and gearbox from this MX-5 is destined for a racing car project based around a Locost chassis - the project being instigated by Learned Counsel and The Racing Driver. I've done a preliminary sketch for a proposed body..
.. the bulge in the nose is to accommodate the MX-5 camshaft covers. I think it's going to fall to me to make up the prototype, so I'll be learning about fibreglass; something I've only messed about with in a very small way for alterations to my old Jodel cowling.
We had fun finding the ECU and then stripping out and removing as much of the wiring loom as we could whilst still being able to start the engine. In comparison with my Mercedes, where everything you touch (electrically) appears to be connected to everything else and will stop the engine if you so much as think about interfering with it, the MX-5 is a joy to work with. The saga of my Merc has (hopefully) concluded. I got a secondhand engine wiring loom from Poland and took it along to Ed who, coincidentally looks after a racing MX-5, and asked him to fit the loom and give the Merc the once over as it hadn't shown any sign of wanting to start since July. On the phone, a couple of hours later, Ed mentioned that ECU testing firms were not necessarily all they're cracked up to be. The loom hadn't made any difference but, in taking the ECU apart, Ed had discovered some very corroded connections which he'd cleaned up and re-soldered. The engine then started and ran perfectly.
The throttle body motor was probably also faulty, so I got a complete assembly from eBay and fitted it the following evening. Result? The engine ran for about 2 seconds, died and I was back to square one!! I don't know what he did but Ed soon had it going again. I'm hoping that the Merc is going to be back on song because the Peugeot 407 I bought in the interim is driving me nuts. I use cruise control all the time and the Peugeot system is not intuitive, neither are the rest of the ancillary controls, so I'm looking forward returning to the simplicity of the Merc.
Because I've been away so much, I've not been able to keep an eye on The Great Collector's activities. A dawn raid on Sunday morning caught him at breakfast where he confessed to having tripped over a very nice 2.5 litre Riley RMB - irresistible, he explained, with a look as though butter wouldn't melt....