August 1st, 2006

Working on it

Minor update

I now know why the guy who sold Fenchurch to me said he thought the petrol tank was full of gunge, and why he'd connected a can up inside the engine bay to get it running: no fuel is getting from the tank to the pump, which just merrily ticks away without delivering anything to the carb. Since I know the petrol in the tank is fine and the pump worked fine when connected to a can, I suspect the rather rusty steel fuel pipe is leaking. The pump is in the engine bay, so a hole in the pipe would allow air in and prevent the fuel being sucked up out of the tank, which is a rather safer failure mode than what happens to cars that have a pump inside the tank. New copper fuel pipes are about £15.

I also now know why there is an indicator stalk and flasher relay but no indicator lights: Fenchurch was made in the brief changeover period between when trafficators were discontinued and separate yellow indicator lights were introduced. It has a magic silver relay box that flashes the (red) brake lights and the (white) side lights when you operate the indicators. I plan to change it to use separate yellow indicators instead, as flashing red/white lights are likely to confuse other drivers almost as much as trafficators would, and they'd probably confuse the MOT test examiner too.

I've had a closer look at the radiator and I think I might have been wrong about the pinhole leak. The corrosion may have been caused by water leaking from the top hose and accumulating along the bottom edge. The top hose is definitely knackered but they're very cheap to replace. I've managed to bodge the drain cock shut, and a new one of those is only a couple of quid too. I'm going to get a new top hose and then try running it under pressure to see if the radiator really is leaking. If it isn't, then replacing it can wait a while.