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Thread: Green Machine - On the Road...

  1. #51
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.



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  7. #57
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    [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
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  8. #58
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    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!

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