Slow Car Fast
June 5, 2012 - So, how does the new fuel tank work?
So far, so good. I used the car for some errands today (which somehow required sudden bursts of acceleration for no apparent reason) and it worked fine. It was hot, too - somewhere around 95F and the car managed to keep its cool.

There was one troubling moment - after stopping at an auto parts store, the car didn't want to fire, just crank. Eventually, it did roar into life. But it was an odd moment. Next time that happens, I'll check the fuel pressure. The main fuel line does run awfully close to the exhaust at one spot. Could it be heat soak from the hot exhaust in the high ambient temperatures?
entry 643
June 6, 2012 - Insulation time!
The exhaust has to run just below the main fuel feed at one point. I had it insulated with the foil-backed fiberglass insulation at right, but figured it wouldn't hurt to improve it. The rubberized...umm... stuff is the same sort that's used for protecting wiring for oxygen sensors, so it's easily able to deal with high heat. It's actually from a company that also made parts for the space shuttle, only that version had more Kevlar and looked cooler. Anyhow, it was a fairly short job pop the fuel line off the filter/regulator and slide the black insulation over top. Let's here it for quick-release fuel fittings!
The silver insulation shows no sign of heat damage, so this may not do anything. But it won't hurt.
entry 644 - tags: fuel
June 12, 2012 - When I repainted the dash a while back, I simply covered up a crack with black tape and sprayed over it.
This was intended to be a temporary thing, with a future plan of refinishing the complete dash. But then the 1969 parts car showed up with a plastic dash cap - and you know what? It looked pretty good. I think I saw one in place when I was at the Mitty as well. So I decided to take the easy route.
Unfortunately, when I unpacked the cover there was a big gouge out of one side. Nothing functional, but when a part is 100% aesthetic it's difficult to overlook a problem that's right in front of the passenger and very much not aesthetically pleasing. The box wasn't damaged and the gouge appeared to have been in place when the part was wrapped up at the factory.
So I called Moss Motors and got Kevin on the line. He offered to send me a new one - and after I told him it was damaged inside the plastic, he actually went into the warehouse and started unwrapping. He called back the next day and said they were all a bit rough, but he'd picked the best for me. It was shipped out that day and arrived shortly after.
Now that's excellent customer service. I've been on the other end of that phone call. Would our company have handled things as well? I don't think so.
The cover will likely go on this week. Janel thinks it's a big step up.
entry 645 - tags: interior, dash
June 12, 2012 - Time to work on steering.
I've been trying to track down some free play in the steering wheel. It's definitely not the tight, responsive steering it should be. It appeared to be in the rack itself. First I tried adjusting the rack to see if that would help, but no. So today was spent pulling out the old rack and slotting in a replacement. It was a bit of a challenge, one of the bolts was almost completely inaccessible with the engine in place. One custom-length socket later and it succumbed!
On a quick drive around the block, the new rack appears to be a success. We'll see how it feels on a longer drive tomorrow.
entry 646 - tags: steering
June 12, 2012 - Another steering tweak.
The steering feels overassisted - it's too light for my taste. I have a few things to learn about power steering systems in terms of the results of different pressure versus different flow, but the RX7 crowd seem to think that trimming the relief spring should drop the pressure a bit. Others claim that the only real solution is a Turn One pump for $240.
The spring cut makes logical sense to me - and if it doesn't work out and I end up going for the Turn One setup, it doesn't make any difference. So I made the cut. A fairly conservative one at that. It's not a massive change, but there is a bit more meat to the wheel. I might try one more little snip later, but first I'll drive it for a bit to get used to the new rack and assist.
entry 647 - tags: steering
January 5, 2014 - The MG's seen some action.
First, I took it to the track again. I finally got the chance to see how it handled at the limit without the big fireballs. The answer? Not that well, really. The car was oversteering badly, feeling like an arrow flying backwards. On the sweeper, it was actively trying to kill me constantly. The steering still had the wobble in it I didn't want. I tried adjusting the rear suspension pickup points (based on something I came across in Mark Donohue's "Unfair Advantage", of all things) and it helped a bit. But it was still twitchy and difficult to even drive on the interstate without the car exhibiting roll steer.
But I noticed something. The front tires were worn as if I had significant toe in. Lots and lots of it. So I checked, and sure enough. The toe was way out. I fixed that and all of a sudden the car was much better. The odd roll behavior went away and the steering dead spot disappeared. All of that chasing around, and it was just a bad alignment. Which is odd, given that it's been aligned before...
I also took the car out to a Corvette autocross, which they found fairly entertaining. Unfortunately, I simply didn't have enough tire to deal with the torque of the engine on a first-gear course and finished 4th overall if memory serves. Still, it was a fun day.
So it's mostly a driver right now. There are still some things that need to be sorted - in particular a vibration from the transmission leaning up against the tunnel under load and the bad reverse selection - but those don't stop me from driving it. That steering problem really took the fun out of it. That's been sorted!
entry 648 - tags: track, steering, handling, autocross