Well, had my first and second failures today, i've spent the day finishing the modified gearbox tunnel and shifter, started the car fine and it went through the gears fine, but the brake light switch interlock on the trans wasn't functioning and I had to release it manually, the cause was a faulty brake light switch and I had another so swapped it out. That took care of that. Fired it up for test and it ran a couple of seconds and died, then wouldn't restart. Turns out the HP fuel pump has died! Instead of a healthy whine when I switch on, all I get is a dull "thunk"
By an odd coincidence, EXACTLY the same thing happened to the Carledo when I was building it. In that case, the new pump I fitted failed with only about 15 minutes running under it's belt. I replaced it with a second hand pump pulled off a scrap Renault Espace which is still there to this day, 9 years later!
So this time I fitted a second hand pump from a Cavalier from the start! Now i'll have to swap to the new one I bought "just in case"!
Never mind, better now than in the middle of the night and the wilds of Scotland in October!
But I WILL buy yet another pump as a spare spare! I've always worried, since that first failure on the Carledo, because I don't have a filter on the tank side of the pump (NOT laziness, just nowhere to put one, ideally it needs to be in the tank itself and my hands are too big to put anything in there) and HP pumps are notoriously susceptible to damage from debris in the tank. But the fact that the old used pump has kept the Carledo going all these years seems to prove it's not that much of a problem!
People may remember this from P19!
I fitted the spare pump and, almost immediately, it made horrible grinding noises, like it was on the point of breaking down again! It ran long enough for the test drive in the video (though if you listen carefully you can HEAR it protesting) and failed entirely a couple of days later, same "thunk" and no pump!
Enough, I thought! Some time ago, I noted that the tank sender wasn't working, so i pulled it out for a look and sure enough the arm was seized solid. A look inside the tank also showed a small amount of flakey rust just in the 2 or 3 inch area around the pickup pipe, everywhere else was clean steel.
So I went in with a magnet-on-a-stick, banging it on the tank bottom as hard as possible to dislodge and rescue as much iron oxide as possible and then fitted a new tank sender.
But I realised that this wasn't a complete solution and resolved to SOMEHOW get a prefilter in the system. And immediately encountered 2 problems! Problem number 1 is that, though fuel filters are 2 a penny and available everywhere, fuel filters with fittings for 12mm pipe emphatically AREN'T! Eventually I found one on ebay that offered a choice of fittings including 12mm only to find when i'd ordered it, that the guy didn't actually HAVE any 12mm ends in stock and HIS suppliers were out due to covid! So I waited 3 weeks for his stock to return, ordering ANOTHER new pump in the meantime, alas, in vain! Back on ebay and I found another, larger and more expensive prefilter WITH 12mm fittings from SimonBBC! This one also has the advantage of replaceable paper elements, so is "lifetime" in effect! The second problem is fitting a 6" long filter in a 5" long pipe betwixt tank and pump!
This is what it looks like fitted:-
I plan to replace the big dangly loop of flexible hose with something bespoke in 12mm copper once the makings come from ebay! If I've had any problems from covid this is it! Waiting for stuff to come! I guess I should be grateful that's the extent of my worries!
So, having fitted this up and the new pump and filtered and refilled with petrol, I switched on, only to be greeted with another dull "thunk" of a duff pump! Not believing it, I went all round the rather complicated circuitry that works it, looking for errors or bad connections. This was further compounded by my draining and testing the LAST pump on a battery and discovering it ran, not well, but it ran!
In desperation I took a live from the battery to the still fitted new pump and still got the same thunk, so I pulled it off AGAIN (this is getting boring) and replaced it with the last (barely) running one . At least the engine is now running again! A final test of the new pump straight off a battery gives only a thunk and i'm now in touch with the supplier over it.
TBH, I'm not too hopeful, the last one that failed (the original on the Carledo) the supplier insisted I return it for test. Wherupon he CUT it apart and found (HE said) a flake of what looked like copper or brass (he sent it back to me in a little plastic baggie along with the destroyed pump) which had allegedly killed the pump. Since at that point the Carledo engine had only run for around 15 minutes on fuel drawn from a PLASTIC can, I didn't see where this metallic flake could have come from, but what was I to do? I had no pump and no real proof that the failure wasn't MY fault! We shall see what this (different) supplier has to say!