Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 4567 LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 66

Thread: Green Machine - On the Road...

  1. #51
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    5,347
    Last Thursday the weather down here was horrible. As I had an appointment in the morning I thought I would take the car. The rain was relentless, and when I finally returned to the car at around 5:30 pm there were a few issues with water ingress

    First, the depression in the top of the dashboard that accommodates the wiper motor was full to the brim with water, with the motor semi-submerged within it for most of the day. I mopped the water out with my ever-present chamois and climbed into the cockpit. Next observation - water ingress evident on the seat squabs (side windows not completely sealed yet) and sodden carpets, probably as a result of the vent holes in the side windows. I wiped the water off and started the engine (bit of choke needed as the temperature was pretty low).

    Next observation - the oil pressure warning light doesn't go out, even though the gauge reading is 75 psi. Hmm, something amiss there. Also, the cylinder head temperature warning light (a feature unique to the Alfasud) is flickering dimly even after the engine gets up to temperature.

    As my return journey continued under darkening skies, the oil pressure warning light eventually started flickering and within a few miles of home went out completely. The cylinder head warning light also went out completely. I think with the engine bay largely open to the elements (I don't have any bodywork under the louvre panel as you know), some water must have got into the wiring in those locations and provided an alternative path to ground, until the engine heat had baked them out.

    I also noticed that the wiper (which survived its dunking and was immediately called into service for the return journey) was banging against the A-pillar during its sweep, so some re-adjustment of the splines was necessary.

    The good news was that the windscreen demister worked adequately throughout, and can be augmented by the fresh air vents on the dashboard in those hard-to-reach corners close to the drivers side A-pillar, and the headlamps stayed virtually mist-free throughout, thanks to the headlamp demisters.

    After thinking a bit more about the wiper well filling with water, I have concluded that this must be due to water ingress around the wiper spindle hole in the canopy. Previously I had sealed under the cover plate with silicone sealant, so this time I used non-hardening mastic to do the same job. While I was at it, I made up a waterproof grommet to go around the base of the spindle using some left-over closed cell foam sheet. Hopefully that will stop any water ingress through that route now. I also moved the wiper over by one spline on the spindle to stop the A-pillar banging, and cleared the washer nozzles (two of the three of which had become blocked) with thin wire. All working again

    So my next task will be to properly seal the side windows and make up some bungs for the vent holes to use when the car is parked outside in inclement weather...

    More news as it happens!

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  2. #52
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St Andrews, Scotland
    Posts
    1,567
    You’re certainly giving her a thorough road test Lauren! Could the water in the hollow for the windscreen wiper motor possibly be getting past the canopy front seal? Also, it sounds like some sort of engine cover under the louvres might be a worthwhile project.

    For those of us still at the build/rebuild stage it’s great to get the benefit of the experiences of those who have their Novas on the road so that we can hopefully iron out all those wee niggles.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Alistair

  3. #53
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter***
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,179
    Blog Entries
    1
    Nice update. I love all this real-world stuff. There is quite a difference between getting a car MOD'd and getting it fully 'sorted' for day-to-day usage.

  4. #54
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    5,347
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNova View Post
    Could the water in the hollow for the windscreen wiper motor possibly be getting past the canopy front seal? Also, it sounds like some sort of engine cover under the louvres might be a worthwhile project.
    Hi Alistair - I did check the carpet on the front bulkhead, also on the floor in the footwell and it is not wet, so I think the canopy seal is holding up OK. Also, there is a big gap between the bodywork and the dashboard which the water would have to bridge. I also found some tell-tale signs of water dipping down over the wiper motor, hence my tackling that first.

    Being mid-engined, the majority of the electrics in my case are shielded by the bodywork between the canopy and the louvre, but with the incessant rain and stiff wind on Thursday the more exposed components clearly suffered a bit! All I can say is that the same problem must have afflicted the Lamborghini Miura, which has the same scant protection from the elements. If I ever get around to moulding a removable luggage bin to fit over the top of the gearbox (De Tomaso Pantera style) that should provide some additional protection from the elements above. The inner wheel arches and the underside remain exposed, and I have often considered covering them up, but worry about disrupting the engine cooling...

    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    Nice update. I love all this real-world stuff. There is quite a difference between getting a car MOT'd and getting it fully 'sorted' for day-to-day usage.
    Hi Steve - you can certainly say that again! That is sort of why I decided to start this thread. Glad you are finding it useful/entertaining!

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  5. #55
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter***
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    East Riding
    Posts
    1,648
    Quote Originally Posted by Spacenut View Post

    As my return journey continued under darkening skies, the oil pressure warning light eventually started flickering and within a few miles of home went out completely. The cylinder head warning light also went out completely. I think with the engine bay largely open to the elements (I don't have any bodywork under the louvre panel as you know), some water must have got into the wiring in those locations and provided an alternative path to ground, until the engine heat had baked them out.

    Lauren
    I always put a good lashing of dielectric grease over connectors once they are mated it really helps to keep water out.

    Dirk

  6. #56
    Regards wet electrics. For years I have been spraying exposed electrics with motorcycle chain grease spray. Resistant to washing off, sticky and easy to apply.



    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

    http://ukhozi.page.tl

  7. #57
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Upper Hartfield, E Sussex
    Posts
    38
    [QUOTE=Spacenut;132249]Last Thursday the weather down here was horrible. As I had an appointment in the morning I thought I would take the car. The rain was relentless, and when I finally returned to the car at around 5:30 pm there were a few issues with water ingress


    The best thing I’ve used sealing electric is the Car Lube ignition spray sealer, it leaves a very thin flexible skin on the component so not as messy as grease it used to keep the mud and water out of my grass track car .You must have a very early engine to be fitted with the cold coolant sensors, if yours is faulty am sure I have some among my piles alfa spares

    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #58
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    5,347
    Thanks Mike - I can see where waterproofing the electrics could come in handy!

    Based on what I believe to be date codes on the block casting, my engine appears to date from 1980. As you say, only the early Alfa engines had the cylinder head sensors, and with modern semi-synthetic oils their job is now redundant, but I rather enjoy the sense of occasion that waiting for a warning light to go out brings

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  9. #59
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    5,347

    The Strange Case...

    ...of the reversing oil pressure. A mystery in three acts, by Agatha Spacenut

    Act 1 – An Implausible Occurrence.

    As we enter our third month of lock-down, the Green Machine continues to provide good service, clocking around 12 miles per week, which is the round trip distance to get the weekly shopping. On the whole the weather has been fabulous, the roads almost completely deserted, car parks nearly empty (no free parking for East Hampshire, alas) which is wonderful. Only one small issue has blighted my driving experience, and that is the oil pressure reading, particularly the readings I have been getting in the last few weeks.

    About a month into the lock-down I hopped into the car as usual and fired up the engine. Everything seemed fine, but not only was my engine warning triangle lit up (it monitors the water temperature and oil pressure and gives warning if either exceed their preset limits), but my oil pressure was reading 118 psi! I have had some issues in the past with the oil pressure sender so I was not immediately alarmed, but it was disconcerting driving around with the gauge reading flashing away and the warning light on.

    Once the engine had warmed up, the pressure reduced to a slightly less scary 75 psi, and with the engine switched off altogether, the reading was 27 psi. Time for a new sender, methinks.

    The sender in question was a VDO device, rated at 0-10 Bar, 10-184 ohms and with a 1/8” NPT thread which requires a brass adapter to fit the standard 14mm thread in the Alfa engine oil gallery. This is it...



    Note the single connector – the sender earths through the body and the engine block.

    Act 2 – A Most Ingenious Disguise

    So I ordered a replacement sender from an online Alfa Romeo parts supplier, and sure enough it arrived a week later and fitted directly onto the engine. I plugged in the wire and switched on the ignition. Hmm – the reading shoots up to 147 psi, with the engine off. Start the engine, and the reading drops to 60 psi, and drops further when I rev the engine. The darned thing is running backwards!

    I swapped the new sender for the old one and the readings went back to (almost) normal. My oil pressure gauge was supplied by Dakota Digital in the USA. It was time for some further investigation!

    VDO still list the sender, but while trawling the Interweb for similar experiences I discovered another curious cultural difference between Europe and the good ol’ US of A – it seems that as well as all the common differences (boot/trunk, bonnet/hood, wrench/spanner, tomayto/tomahto…), gauge senders in the US work on the principle of reducing resistance with increasing pressure, whereas their European counterparts work the opposite way around – increasing pressure equals increasing resistance. This was further backed up by the VDO technical literature, which helpfully states that the normal resistance for this sender is either 10 or 184 ohms!

    I could not find any differentiator to uniquely identify the American or European part – it appears to be entirely down to which side of the Pond the item is purchased. So rather than spending more money in Europe on identical parts which have the opposite characteristic to the one I needed, I went straight back to Dakota Digital, who fortunately still list a replacement sender for their Classic range of gauges (note that my gauge set was purchased when I was resident at Lockheed Martin, which was over 20 years ago now).

    Act 3 – An Inspector (well, a courier actually) Calls

    Just 7 days later a box arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of UPS, together with a fat bill from UK Customs which I had to pay there and then. This was interesting to say the least, given the current zero-contact restrictions imposed by the lock-down. Still, once the strange ritual of filling an envelope with cash and putting it on the door mat, then standing back and allowing the courier to step forward to pick it up was over, I finally had a sender that I knew would work!

    Next problem – the replacement sender had two contacts, one for the gauge and one for a separate earth connection. This was a bit irritating as my wiring loom is designed for a sender that earths through the body, like most senders do. After all, to get the starter motor to work properly, the engine block has to be really well earthed – why wouldn’t you earth through the sender body?

    The terminals were designed for crimped eyelet connectors, so I had to hunt around for some spare spade terminals raided off an old ignition coil. Also, as the brass threads appeared to be a US Imperial thread I managed to rustle up some 6BA Nylock nuts to clamp the terminals down with. The brass adapter was fitted and I used the copper washer that came with the Alfa sender for good measure. Then it was time to fit the new sender in place…



    The observant among you will have noticed that I have managed to retain the engine breather pipes and the flame trap with the K&N air filters. I just don’t like the idea of venting engine fumes directly to atmosphere, and besides, where would I put the catch tank???



    The green dot signifies the polarity of the sender unit. And before you ask, no, the gauge doesn’t read backwards if you reverse the polarity

    Next I had to work out an earthing path to the engine or chassis frame that wouldn’t compromise service access. I settled on a mounting tab left over from my old fuel pump location…



    The 8mm mounting hole closest to the side of the engine bay was used to clamp a crimp eyelet, and the earth wire was routed through the rear chassis harness up the roll bar brace to the coil and then along the RH breather pipe to the sender unit.

    So – now that it is all connected up, what’s the verdict? Well, with the ignition on, and the engine not running, this is the sight that greeted me – zero oil pressure and the warning triangle illuminated, just what I was hoping for!



    ...And with the engine running at idle (and still cold), a much more sensible reading!



    A quick check around the sender shows no evidence of oil leaks from either the tapered 1/8” NPT joint or the 14mm adapter, so it looks like we are good to go, to the end of the lock-down, and beyond…

    Overall, a costly and time-consuming exercise. Still, I console myself that Lamborghini must have had the same trouble with the early Countach, which was equipped with American Stewart-Warner instruments throughout...

    Until next time, stay safe out there!

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  10. #60
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter***
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    East Riding
    Posts
    1,648
    Nice write up and interesting to know the differences, I got most of my VDO gauges from Machine 7, but at the time no one in the UK had the speedo to match so I had to get that from the States. Obviously that does not have the same issue.

    Dirk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •