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Author Topic: Bagheera Roll Cage wanted  (Read 67548 times)
andyowl
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« Reply #120 on: October 21, 2009, 06:46:01 pm »

The rear suspension travel on a Bagheera is limited solely by the shock absorbers. I have never taken one apart but if you operate the shocker by hand the force required increases dramatically at the upper and lower ends of the stroke. I believe there are "bump stops" inside.

The reason I did not notice the car hitting the bump stops over sleeping policemen and other upward obstructions was that it was already resting on them! Having been out today with the rear suspension 24mm higher than it was at the last sprint I will admit that I did not notice any difference. On a track next week it may be very different however.

Today I had the suspension and steering alignment checked by some very sophisticated optical/computer kit. Maybe you are familiar with such toys but it was new to me (maybe I should check wheel alignment more often!).

The rear suspension was close to perfect which, as it is officially "non-adjustable", is just as well. The front needed some adjustment in camber and toe-in. Toe-in was  expected as the lowering of the front suspension means that the track-rods that connect the ends of the rack to the steering arms are now virtually horizontal whereas before they sloped down towards the wheel. We adjusted the right hand trackrod and the computer gave us a display in real time as we made the changes. The left side front wheel also had a camber fault. We removed 2mm shims from each of the two top bolts on the wishbones and the camber was corrected. Easy Peasy and not expensive. If all "Merit Tyre Services" staff are as good as the guy who served me today I can certainly recommend them.

So next Tuesday we will have our track day and try adjusting the front camber again to reduce the understeer typical of all Bagheeras.

Just one point to ask you...
- The Bagheera manual gives "pincement" (toe-in I believe) in millimetres as 1-3mm. The computer did not accept this as a way of specifying toe-in and we had to use the Talbot Alpine "degrees" figure instead. Does anyone know the recommended Bagheera toe-in in degrees?

Andy Owler
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JL
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« Reply #121 on: October 22, 2009, 02:04:31 pm »

Hi Andy
For the conversion try this link  http://www.furybusa.org.uk/camber.php

Is your rear suspension movement reasonably progressive or does it go solid very suddenly because of the shock absorber limiting the travel?

Do you have  a picture of one of your rear shocks, it has been ages since I last saw one; we used to modify spax shocks but without knowing what yours look like I do not know if this will be any help.

Regards
John
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andyowl
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« Reply #122 on: October 22, 2009, 03:26:10 pm »

An interesting web site! Kind'a puts you off doing circuit racing doesn't it?

Mick Ward from the Simca Club is following the same train of thought as you I think and has suggested fitting shorter shocks from another car. I will take some overall length measurements and take a photo at the same time.

The original shocks are very linear for most of their travel and it is only in the last 25-30mm that they get progressively harder. It feels like a conical "stop".

Thanks for the suggestion.

Andy Owler
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andyowl
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« Reply #123 on: October 29, 2009, 12:30:50 am »

We had a good day yesterday testing suspension settings at Mallory Park race circuit. I had never driven Baggy Joe hard for more than 2 minutes without stopping before!

Conclusions:-
- We have now raised the rear ride height from "absolute minimum", as in the photos, by 35mm i.e. 10mm more than last week. We fitted pieces of thick white plastic pipe to the narrow lower part of the shock absorber and downward movement during compression of the socker pushed the pipe downwards. This told us that even with the 25mm increase we had last week the shocker was "bottoming". The pipes were refitted and I have not yet checked them again. It is possible we may need to raise it some more.

- We played with tyre pressures and concluded that 27psi front and 28psi rear gave the best confidence (1.86 bar and 1.93 bar )

- We removed 3mm of shims from the upper front suspension to introduce a little "negative camber". It is hard to see the difference but it made a big difference to the, already good, handing. The steering is much lighter and the understeer is certainly reduced.

I and my young assistant Alex lost count of the number of laps we did but we started around 0940 and did not leave until 1600. There were breaks for lunch and when the Managing Director of the organising comany threw his Audi Quattro into the Armco during the first session. He was alright but they took a long time washing down the track to clean up the petrol.

The bad news is that I forgot to turn on the radiator fan during one run and we overheated. At the end of the day there is reduced compression in #3 and #4 cylinders and I fear that the head gasket has failed. Hence the questions in the supercharger thread about low compression pistons! Major surgery will follow I think.

Andy
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« Reply #124 on: October 30, 2009, 01:18:44 pm »

Andy, the good new is that it is very quick and easy to change a head gasket on our engines.  Smiley
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andyowl
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« Reply #125 on: January 14, 2010, 09:02:18 am »

We just got the final results for the 2009 UK ACSMC Sprint Championship.

Baggy Joe was in a class with two others (big class huh?). A 1950cc Westfield and a 1600cc TVR.

To my surprise we came 2nd in Class! beating the TVR!

I now know we had a 1592cc Murena/Solara engine, but hey, that's still smaller than the TVR!

Must do better in 2010!

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #126 on: March 11, 2010, 08:56:16 am »

During last year I purchased four Murena size wheels for a very modest sum from an Irish Forum member in London. My apologies for mislaying his name - put it down to my age! They are 15" x 7J wide but with the Baggy/Murena hole sizes. They are well worn and could do with refurbishment but they were very cheap.

For this year MSA and the local motor clubs have changed the rules for "AutoSolo" events (driving as fast as you can around a course marked out by traffic cones). Always on tarmac, these events are supposed to be intended as "entry level" motorsport and you can enter is your every-day car. Indeed the car must be street legal, taxed, insured and tested if it is old enough. It even must be driven to the event - no trailers allowed.

Baggy Joe is street legal, taxed and tested and AutoSolo events have been a very useful and enjoyable practice and means of learning about the car off the public highway.

The rule changes are intended to bring the event "back to basics" and they say they will insist on regular tyres (no Track Day tyres allowed) and the interior must be complete with the original trim. Fitting back the Matra twin passenger seat is not difficult and I am allowed to keep my FIA driver's seat but the Yokohama A048 sticky tyres must be replaced. So my Irish friend's wheels have come in very handy. Thanks Pal!

But what tyres to fit? With the rims being 2 inches (50mm) bigger diameter the tyres will have to be of the "low profile" type if we are not to have problems with the tyres rubbing on the GRP body and bumpers! After much calculating and research we established that the front should be 195 x 45 15R type which is a little larger than the existing A048 tyres for the front and 205 x 45 15R for the rear (slightly smaller than the A048 rears).

The word on the FDMC Forum was that Toyo have good, near track-day performance, tyres in the "Proxes T1-R" series and they make the sizes we need, and they are still on the "List 1A" schedule in the MSA Competitors handbook for 2010. (The Yokohama A048 tyres are List 1B and therefore banned for AutoSolos. We can still use them for Sprints, Hillclimbs and Track-days however.)

A search on eBay found two front tyres and emails to the supplier in Scotland also found two rears. The total price was about half of what I would pay at the local Toyo dealer. I am sad not to support my local tyre man but half price is hard to ignore. ATS charged £10 each to fit and balance the tyres and we are now ready to roll!*

The wheels look really good and modern - five spoke wheels to me look just right with the Baggy and we have had 5 spoke wheels on Baggy Grey for 18 years. Don't get me wrong, I think the original Matra alloy wheels also look great and I look forward to seeing them, and the Yoko's, back on BJ soon.

* "Rolling" proved to be a problem as the right side front tyre rubbed badly on the bumper! I now know that this is a result of my big contact with a straw bale and signpost on the last Sprint we did back in October. A few hours work with levers and a hammer is straightening out the "elephant ears" behind the headlights and we should be back to "clearance" later today!

Note also the headlights are now fixed to the "elephant ears" to make removal of the nose cone a 5 minute job!

Andy
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Murena IRL
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« Reply #127 on: March 13, 2010, 02:23:23 am »


Hi Andy - I'm glad you like the wheels......they look good.

They are speedline replicas (as fitted to Alfa 155's). Offset is ET30 and PCD 4x98 so a good fit for Murena/Bagheera.

Cheers
Derek
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andyowl
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« Reply #128 on: March 22, 2010, 08:58:16 pm »

The first event of 2010 is over and we (Baggy Joe and I) survived very well! In fact if it had not been for the driver we might have done better than 6th in Class (out of 6!).

I put my entry in early and in consequence received the Car Number 1. Nice to see it but I then realised the consequence:- "Historics" are Class A. Number 1 in Class A goes first on each different course layout! Brain turns to jelly as the starter says "3, 2, 1, GO" and I got lost halfway around the course! They red flagged the run because the car behind was catching me. Oh the shame!

In case I have not explained, each AutoSolo course is made up of around 100 traffic cones set out to use every corner of the huge parade ground. That makes up to 30 changes of direction many of them 90 degrees or more. Hit a cone and there is a 10 second penalty. Take the wrong direction and you get "WT" and no time (Maybe it stands for "Wrong Turn" or "Worryingly Thick" just that the driver can't remember a simple route written on one piece of paper). Either way I got three "WTs" on the day. You get three or four runs with each course arrangement so 14 runs in total. Use the first run to find your way around and get faster on runs #2 and #3. The fastest time is used for the result. When there are four runs the fastest two runs are counted. Because of my inability to remember the routes I ended up 6th. But when I look at the individual times for the runs I had a 2nd place, five 4th places and six 6th places. But my grand total time made me 6th overall. Room for improvement - lots!

Baggy Joe went very well and caused lots of interest.

Questions such as:- "You got a supercharger in there (with incredulity)? Is it legal? What will it do? Have you had it mapped properly?

Answers:
- Yes, it's a bit tight but it's in there!
- Yes it is legal. I got the insurance company to write down the modifications I have insured including the blower and the 1600 cc engine.
- I have no idea what it will do yet. It just seems ***** quick!
- "Mapped"? This car has a carb and a distributor. What's to map? It's 33 years old!

The next event is in  mid April - a Sprint at Rushmoor Arena. We will be in with the "Over 2 Litre" class so no prizes expected there. But the track is a road around a grass exhibition arena with longish straights and bends and curves. I hope Baggy Joe's improved power and better road holding will be beneficial. It's only fun after all!

The AutoSolo with the many changes of direction does not let you get out of 2nd gear. I did the first three runs without getting out of 1st gear! And so did many others I found out later. Good fun never-the-less and good value too at 30 pounds. Sprints are twice or three times that cost with much less driving time. But Sprints are high speed motor sport and much more organising and safety equipment. Fire extinguishers, Safety Cage, FIA seats, overalls, helmet and gloves required for this year especially in France. Big boys sport perhaps.

A new picture below of Baggy Joe 2010. It that sexy or what??? The width across the outside of the rear tyres is 1750mm. That's just 25mm narrower than the trailer bed!

Thanks for your support!

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #129 on: May 17, 2010, 08:59:10 am »

Now I know what a 270 degree spin in a Bagheera feels like! Very quick and very disorientating!

At the "Spring AutoSolo" yesterday, on the third run on the (new to me) tarmac course, I braked hard for the last bend before the finish line and executed a perfect spin. Or so they told me after the cheering and clapping died down. There was loose grit on the surface that I hadn't seen on the previous runs.

I had always wondered what would happen if I spun Baggy Joe? Would I hit something? Would the grippy tyres cause it to roll over? Or worse? I did remember to dip the clutch during the spin but much too late and the engine had stalled. It re-started quickly enough and we only lost 12 seconds in the process. 12 seconds is a huge time penalty when the cost of hitting cone is only 10 seconds, but it was an interesting experience. I shall be less scared of doing it again now.

The blower continues to impress both me and the spectators but I was disappointed when one man, keen to supercharge his BMW, said he could not hear the blower from outside the car. Inside it is deafening! One of the pleasures of having the blower on my Vauxhall Viva in 1968/9 was the noise it made! We have not yet properly solved the problem of the grub screws on the blower drive shaft universal joints loosening off in use. Locktite has made it better but I had to tighten them several times in the last few days.

For the first time yesterday I drove Baggy Joe to the event rather than use the trailer. AutoSolos have the rule that competitors' cars MUST be driven to the event and trailers are not allowed to be used. But my wife Charlie uses an electric mobility scooter if she has to walk some distance and the AutoSolo organisers gave her/me a dispensation to allow us to use the trailer to carry both her scooter and Baggy Joe. But yesterday she was not well and, deciding not to come, my excuse was removed. The trouble was that I have got used to being able to chuck everything on the tralier or in the motorhome without worrying too much about weight and "do I really need to take all this kit?" So yesterday I loaded Baggy Joe in the boot and the passenger area with a serious quantity of stuff! The list was large and I won't bore you with it all here. The list included a large tool bag, 1/2" socket set, hydraulic jack, axle stand, compressor and tyre gauge, Gazebo, two chairs, umbrella, shooting stick to sit on (my back is still not good and standing around marshalling for any length of time is torture). Spare clothes, wet weather clothes and towel, boiler suit, spare shoes etc ... the list goes on, not to mention the tarpaulin on which to put all the stuff when you get there as part of scruitineering is to check that you have taken everyting loose out of the car in case it starts to move around while you are competing and distracts you. To my surprise Joe coped very well and apart from the rough access road to the MoD site he didn't "bottom" at all. So that is comforting too!

I was sorry that my "supporter" was not there but I did have the opportunity to talk to the other competitors more than I have done in the past.. Another silver lining I suppose. Hopefully back to normal for Prescott in two weeks. I need to find some time to give Baggy Joe some cosmetic tidying. He is now looking a bit "used" although bares his scars of battle well. However he looks it will be a better paint finish than the "undercoat grey" he wore to Prescott last year!

Go Autosolo motorsport - it's not expensive - and real fun. Try it soon.

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #130 on: May 21, 2010, 08:17:12 am »

One of the photographers at the AutoSolo last Sunday put a message on the FDMC club website offering to supply pictures of your car if you would get in touch with him.

One of the disadvantages of only having one driver is that you never get to see your "pride and joy" in action! Having a photo or two is the next best thing so I sent him a message asking if he had any pictures of my yellow Matra Bagheera.

He replied:-   "I have loads of your Matra, as I think it is one of the coolest cars there! I will have to go through the pictures to see what I have got, but I know I have plenty of yours."

How nice is that? The man whose hobby is taking pictures of interesting competition cars thinks that Baggy Joe "is one of the coolest cars there"!!

In amongst Subaru's, Evo's, Lotus', Westfields and Caterhams, never mind MG's and modern "boy racers", a 33year old Matra Bagheera is "one of the coolest cars there"   Wow!

It made my day, or possibly even made my week!

I'm still smiling!

Pictures will follow!

Andy
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« Reply #131 on: May 21, 2010, 07:47:49 pm »

Pictures will follow!

Always enjoying reading about your adventures, I can't wait to see the photos! Cheesy
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andyowl
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« Reply #132 on: May 28, 2010, 12:55:39 am »

Well we are off to Prescott tomorrow and I spent some time today cleaning the paintwork. I'm ashamed to say this is the first time I have made any attempt to clean him up since he was painted in June last year. OK, he has been washed a few times but the driver's door fits badly and water gets onto the FIA driver's seat too easily.

The paintwork is only one coat thick so I was very gentle while rubbing away oil and tar marks from the paint.  "White spirit" was used which took off the oil based marks without dissolving the paint itself. He could do with a coat of polish however! I'm surprised how much better he looks! I didn't think it would make much difference.

I rubbed away the "marks of battle" with some sadness. The two cones I hit during an AutoSolo, and the paintwork damage when I destroyed the hay bale hiding the "keep right" sign by driving through it rather than to the right! I follow the Lewis Hamilton philosophy... "If you don't hit things sometimes and go off occasionally you were not trying  hard enough!". Hopefully the Prescott Armco safety barriers are not listening to me now!

I was tempted to try to paint Baggy Joe to the same high standard to our other Bagheeras but I felt that a beautiful bodywork might intimidate me and prevent me trying hard enough. The odd honourable blemish or scar is not a disgrace in a competition car at least not on an amateur competition car.

I am pleased to see Graham Pryme's Talbot-Matra Murena is number 75 while we are number 76. Our Class has plenty of characters including several Alpine Renaults and my friend's Marcardier CanAM racer. I expect to be last as usual, but it is a great priveledge to compete at Historic Prescott. Spectators are very welcome. Open to the public on both days of course.

I have just had my entry at the Etretat (near Le Havre) Hill Climb in August confirmed. We are entered in "The Two Hills Challenge". Hopefully we shall make it to the start line this year. Ferry tickets are booked too!

Wish us luck on Sunday!

With Best Wishes and thanks for your support!

I can't believe that this thread has been visited over 12,500 times!

Andy and Baggy Joe
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andyowl
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« Reply #133 on: June 11, 2010, 01:58:22 pm »

Andy wrote, very late on Thursday May 27th, "..Well we are off to Prescott tomorrow..".

Sadly it didn't happen like that!

On Thursday I had fitted a new steel coupling onto the Blower drive shaft in place of the original aluminium version. I had always considered this to be the weakest point of the whole drive system and the component most likely to fail under stress. The aluminium shaft was suffering where the locking grub screws were tightened down. Replacing it seemed a good idea.

While the drive shaft was out there was an opportunity to remove the rocker cover and tighten down the cylinder head now that we have driven a few hundred miles since the new head gasket and "de-compression plate" was fitted in November last year. I was suprised how much the bolts needed to be tightened - typically about 1/2 turn on each bolt. It also means that the valve tappet clearances would have closed up and so these needed checking too. I have used the Gunson "Click-Adjust" device for Baggy tappets for some years now and it was used again and all tappets re-adjusted.

When I came to put him back in the car port he was reluctant to start but I put that down to having taken apart the blower pipework and the need to refill it with flammable mixture. He eventually started and I wrote the previous item for this thread..."Well we are off to Prescott tomorrow". "Famous Last Words" as they say!

Thinking about the problem overnight (as you do!) I wondered what I could have done that might cause the problem. I have not mentioned that I had also had a crisis with a leak in one of the steel water pipes when a 1mm hole suddenly appeared and caused a steam cloud in the engine compartment! I found a spare pipe in the garage and fitted it easily but I wondered if that had caused any overheating?

In the morning I  checked the compression pressures and they were very odd! In psi they were 185/165/167/125. That would certainly explain the problems starting! I jumped to the conclusion that the head gasket had failed due to the water leak and overheating. But I had no spare 1592cc head gasket and the previous one had taken several days to obtain. After asking Mick Ward of the Simca Club if he would bring one to Prescott I found a spare at "Speedy Spares" in Brighton. These are the people who bought the Talbot/Simca spares stock from the former "Grimes" company of Purley in Surrey. I set off for Brighton in high hope.

On the way there I wondered again what I might have done to cause the low compressions? It suddenly occured to me the I had done the tappets! Had I done them right? In the right order and leaving the right gaps?? Incorrect gaps could certainly cause the problem!

to be continued...

Andy
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andyowl
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« Reply #134 on: June 12, 2010, 09:27:22 am »

Continued...

Speedy Spares did indeed have cylinder head gaskets for the 1592cc engine, in fact they had four! I purchased two and set off home again more than ever convinced that the tappets were the problem. This was easily checked by simply slackening off all the tappets and re-testing the compressions. All of them came back to normal around 180psi (normal that is for the low compression head I now have). What a relief - I did not have to change the head gasket after all!

Moral: Don't jump to conclusions!

Many years ago I was going on leave from my ship and the Chief Engineer was doing my end-of-voyage performance appraisal. One of the questions he had to answer was "In an engine room emergency, can Andy make decisions quickly?" He answered: "Yes. Sometimes too quickly". That answer still haunts me 55 years later!

I had set the tappets wrongly, not just in the wrong order but to the wrong clearances! After all these years of doing it!

Get it right, Owler!
First step.. Assume you are going to set the tappets on Cylinder #1. Make sure the valves on Cyl #1 are fully closed before you start. This happens when Cyl #1 is at "Top Dead Centre" on the firing stroke. Because the engine has four cylinders when  Cyl #1 is ready to fire its "partner" cylinder (Cyl #4 on a Bagheera) will have just finished its exhaust stroke and be just starting its inlet stroke. You can see this easily as you turn the engine by looking at the valves on the partner cylinder. When the exhaust has closed and the inlet just starts to move - that is Top Dead Centre for Cyl #1. Set the valves as described below and then rotate the engine by one revolution and do the valves on Cyl #4 (the valves on Cyl #1 will then be changing over from Exhaust to Inlet). Repeat the process for Cyl #2 and Cyl #3.

Except that I had become confused in my haste to get the job done quickly and been looking at the wrong partner cylinder!

 Second step.. Adjust the valve clearances according to the manual. 0.25mm for the inlet valve and 0.30mm for the exhaust valve. The traditional way is to use feeler gauges of the right thickness but I have always found this a fiddely and time consuming task. There is so little space around a Bagheera rocker box! You really need three hands, one for the locking nut spanner, one for the feelers and a third for the Tappet adjusting screw!

Some years ago I discovered the Gunson "Clik-Adjust".
http://www.frost.co.uk/images/datasheets/M560_datasheet.pdf

It is a very clever tool - I wish I had invented it - but the principle is simple..

There is a lever that carries a 12mm socket to fit the tappet lock nut and a central knob with a slot to fit the tappet screw head. The central knob has a "clicker" that operates 30 times for one revolution of the tappet screw. If you know the pitch of the tappet screw thread (Bagheeras have an M7 screw and 1.0mm/rev) you can work out the number of clicks you need for the inlet and exhaust valves. Inlet valve = 0.25mm or 7.5 clicks, exhaust = 0.30mm or 10 clicks.

It works like this...
- Fit the Clik-adjust onto the tappet (make sure the valve is fully closed first, see above)
- Loosen the lock nut by about 1/4 turn
- Tighten the tappet screw until a loud CLICK is heard from the central knob (this takes up all the existing clearance and any wear in the pushrods or rockers)
- Slacken off the tappet screw by the right number of clicks (I use 8 clicks for the inlet valve and 10 for the exhaust valve)
- Tighten the lock nut.
- Job done!

But I had done this simple task wrong as well! And I had been doing it wrong for years! I had been setting the inlet valve to 5 clicks and the exhaust to 7 clicks. I must have made the mistake when I first followed the Gunson instructions for calculating the number of clicks (if you do not know the pitch of the adjusting screw).  My Grey Bagheera had very quiet tappets and I was very proud of that. I now know the clearances were too small!

So a combination of two errors made me set the tappets badly and my old problem of jumping to conclusions gave me a panic attack 24 hours before setting off for Prescott!

But that wasn’t the end of the story! We normally tow our trailer to Prescott behind our 9m 1994 Winnebago motorhome as seven* of us go for the whole weekend and stay in the camping field for three nights. (*Me, Charlie my wife, and five cats). About 1500 on Friday we were all loaded up ready to go, cats in their boxes strapped down on the bed, food and liquids for seven for four days and three nights, spares, tools, manuals and kitty-litter trays and I went to start Winnie to reverse onto Baggy Joe’s trailer to couple up. But Winnie would not start! The starter motor was operating very slowly and making grinding noises! At 2200 that evening we gave up and changed the plan! In the end we used our smaller motorhome and left home very early on Sunday, leaving the cats behind! So my apologies to those who hoped to see Baggy Joe at the Matra stand on the Saturday. We did try our best!

Footnote: Two weeks later and Winnie’s starting problem is still not fixed. The battery cables have been checked, re-terminated and tested. The twin batteries, less than 12 months old, have been charged again, and the starter motor just received back from a check-up with nothing found wrong except some signs of overheating on the armature. Tomorrow we will put all back together and start to look at the engine and automatic gearbox for clues. You can’t push-start a 6.5 tonne RV with a 6.5litre V8 turbo diesel. Starters need to be reliable!

Andy
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