Easy access

Working on the Sportster is great – such easy access to everything!




MOT time

It was MOT time this week. I changed the driver side ball joints as they had a warning last year, the lower one had noticeable slop.

I didn’t check the handbrake, or the driver side ball joints this year – guess what it failed on… hindsight a wonderful thing.

The rubber on the lower driver side ball joint was perished so failed on that. I replace the whole ball joint as I had spare ones.

The passenger side handbrake had no brake effect, on checking the cable seems to have stretched a bit and there was not enough thread to tighten it up properly, so put a space it and did them up.

Passed just fine with those two little fixes – could have avoided them if I’d spent a bit more time check the car over before the test.


MOT pass

Yesterday the Sportster passed it’s MOT. Testers were ready and waiting as they heard it coming!

Advisory on near side lower balls joint so I’ll be replacing that. He said there’s only a tiny amount of play but they’re relatively cheep parts which are easy to whip out with the airgun!


MOT Pass

MOT Pass – bar a slightly dodgy light on the rear number plate everything is fine

Might get some LED’s for the number plate lights and solder them in. The plastic ones I have are of very poor quality


MOT Time is just around the corner

Got my MOT reminder this week, time to stick the Sportster up on the ramps and see how its doing this year

Have noticed a few rust spots that need sorting on the chassis underneath the doors – this is a bit of a water trap. Rest of the chassis usually needs a tiny bit of surface rust cleaning up and painting.

Only other problems in times past has been the handbrake cables – the attachment to the level broken on one side last year, and the previous side the year before. Both are now welded so hopefully that will be fine this year

Only other issue that needs looking at is a sticky idle control valve, that’ll hopefully just need a blast with carb cleaners


Engine issues

My M20B28 started making loud high pitch noise. The pitch changed with RPM and seem to reduce under load. I thought it might be a loose belt or a shot bearing. Noise was located near the back of the engine.

After a an hour or so of poking around today it turned out the intake manifold gasket was leaking on cylinder 6.

I’m pretty sure it must have been a materials failure as I’ve not put that many miles on since the rebuild. Need to order new gaskets, going to do all of them to be sure. Some non-setting gasket sealer has shut it up as a temporary solution 🙂


1st Aniversary of SVA pass

I can’t believe its been a year and 2300 miles already!

It’s been little turbulent in that time:

  • Shortly after SVA pass we lost a wing stay (oops)
  • During December a complete disaster with the lower wishbone.
  • While off the road we completely rebuild the engine enlarging the capacity to 2.8ltrs.
  • In March we finally got the new and improved parts to put the car back on the road, decided to get light weight Carbon fibre wings to avoid issues with the (albeit stronger wing stays).
  • From then on it was a pretty uneventful summer with regards to mechanical issues.
  • We visited a number of kit car and other cars shows which was great to finally have the car there rather than just looking at everyone else’s!
  • Recently it pass its first MOT with one issue to sort out (handbrake cable loose), no problems with emissions on the rebuilt engine which was great.

The car is fun to drive now that it’s had most of its teething issues sorted out (still one or two such as the clutch and pedal box assembly need strengthening)

To come in 2009 a paint job (I know I keep saying it but I mean it this time)



It’s been a year since the MOT it passed today! No problems at all with emissions on the rebuilt engine.

Only one small problem, the hand brake cable had slipped out of one of these things:

The solution was to mill a hole in one side through to the centre bore that the cable sits in. We then welded the handbrake cable into the bolt – its not going anywhere now!  Pictures to follow at some point.

Engine Work

A few new bits

Swapped the alternator out today as the old one was showing signs of failing. New one charges properly at 14v.

Replaced the blue temp sensor in the hopes of fixing occasional warm start issues, but that will need more testing. It was fine after filling it up.

Replaced the Silkolene Silk Tran Syn 5 in the gear box with Fuchs ATF 3000 which has smoothed out the gear changes a lot (no more crunching, even from cold) gear box is still a bit stiff though.

Final touch to the wheel restoration!

Final touch to the wheel restoration!

some silver BBS badges, from eBay

some silver BBS badges, from eBay

Sadly not the best quality, they needed epoxying on as the sticky on the back was rubbish.

Sadly not the best quality, they needed epoxying on as the sticky on the back was rubbish.

Engine Work

Temp Sensor

The reason the temp sensor was not working is that the bigger bit at the end that does the sensing had fallen off! Doh.

New sensor from CBS looks a lot better. The switch has an override setting so if the sensor goes you can wind it all the way up and the fan comes on even when the engine is cold.

This is the new sensor:…stat-763-p.asp

Been for a 15 mile round trip an all is well again.

The Rad is a bit border line -situation is the temp comes up and keep going up until the fan kicks in when your stopped. The fan stops the temp going further but the rad is not big enough for the temp to come back down again to normal when sat in traffic.

So it will be OK for now, We’ll see what it does when the outside temp goes up.