Got the car back this past week. It has been a rather involved story – I dropped the car off in late August – later than I had wanted to get it looked after, but the guy I usually take it to was unavailable, and the new guy I had found was going on holiday. I took it in to get the brake master cylinder rebuilt (as it was leaking – see drawing above – red arrow points to main leak) and to see if he could figure out what was going on with the fuel pressure. He rebuilt the master cylinder and told me that he’d have to replace the fuel pump – but that this was hard to source. I said I’d wait. He found a new pump – but – two things – the “new” (old actually) pump leaked, and it didn’t help the fuel pressure issue at all. So he looked at the filters again and found them full of crap – so he opened the top of the tank – and – hey – presto! Rust. So – he phoned me – told me he was going to return the fuel pump (so no cost to me!) and that the tank needed to be removed and re-lined. I approved this and he told me it would take a week or two. It was closer to two, but I picked it up last Tuesday. While I was there he showed me another tank which had had the same thing done… they take the tank out, remove the circular plate in the middle of the tank, on top where all the gauge senders go in, and they sand blast it out. They drill a hole in the top back end of the tank (where I’ve indicated the plug) and I think (this is a guess) that this is where they spray the lining material in (which is a sort of epoxy) and I suspect they do a sort of “rotational moulding” distribution of the lining around the tank by hand – I did look in the tank and saw some very small “waves” in the set material which suggested this process.
My mechanic told me that this was a one time fix – that if this happened again, I’d need a new tank. Apparently, they are quite aggressive with the cleaning of the tank, and though there is a good solid epoxy type lining in there now, the metal won’t stand up to another blasting of this sort. The mechanic also, for a small fee, removed the steering wheel and re-set it so that the spokes lined up properly at “ten to two” instead of what it was previous – more like “13 minutes to almost two” if that’s even possible…
Oh – and he leaned out the SPICA injection as he thought it was running too rich. Finally, he told me that I shouldn’t rev the engine on start up (or even give it much gas to catch) as the SPICA injection is different than most other types of injection and that aggressive “gassing” at start up will flood the injection. Better to wait and allow it to catch “almost” on it’s own, apparently…
The long and short of it? I’ve driven the car below a half tank of fuel (where the fuel pressure light would inevitably come on) and have driven it close to 100 miles with no appearance of the dreaded orange fuel pressure light. I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders… :-)
I was so busy looking at exotics at Brummen, that I rather neglected this one. I suspect that this is a late 60s or early 70s BMW 1600 convertible (well, I’m pretty sure about the “convertible” part) and it really was a lovely car. It was an unusual colour, a dark green as you can see; not a colour I’d associate much with BMW but that suited this car beautifully. This design is all the more impressive, because unlike the Ferraris, the Lamborghinis, and the Porsches that were evident at Brummen, this little car was quiet and understated, and yet it jumped out at me (metaphorically) when I walked passed it nonetheless.
I was browsing through my Alfa Romeo Owners Manual the other day (looking for more information on my leaking brake master cylinder) and came across the above pictures – and I thought – “Hey – I’m obviously not the demographic for this car!”. Then I looked at the pictures again and realization cleared my crinkled brow as I realized that these meant that, indeed, I very MUCH was the demographic for this car… :-)
Ahhhh. The 70s.
Went to Cars and Coffee the other weekend at the suggestion of one of my ex-students… met up with him there and toured around the cars. An amazing collection of cars; some classic, some modified, some quirky… This car is the one that I wanted as a 16 year old… and still sort of want. :-)