Quick fleet update – August 2017

Oh dear. Work has conspired to keep me very busy, hence 20 days since the previous post.

For some of those days, we were in Ireland, in the 2CV, which was nice.

I also got the Proton MOTd, though having been home-based for a couple of weeks, I’ve barely covered any miles in it so far.

The same is true of the Bluebird, though I’ve a feeling that car will be covering some serious mileage during September. The Bluebird is now fitted with Blockley Tyres’ in 185/70 R14 size, which is far better than the wrong 175/65 R14 size that was fitted. The new tyres are a good bit taller, so the gearing is better, the speedo reading is more accurate and the car looks better. Well, I think so anyway.

It’s the wrong tyres Gromit.

That’s better! Chunky rubber.

Now, the top shot is the car parked on a slope, hence the mild crossaxle going on, but those arches look very empty. With the new tyres, the car just looks much better. The 185 size is actually what was fitted to alloy wheels, whereas 165 R14s with an 80 profile would have been standard for a 1.6LX. I hope you’ll forgive me a bit of width, but I do like to push on a bit, so it seemed wise.

The Bluebird is also now running on Evans Coolant, specifically the Power Cool 180 product. It’s too early to say whether Evans really makes any difference, so we’ll see how it goes. With a boiling point of 180 degrees, at least it shouldn’t steam up too readily though, despite what Evans says, just because it isn’t steaming doesn’t mean the engine isn’t overheating. There is a temperature gauge, however, so it’s not too difficult to monitor. So far, so normal.

On the plus side, the coolant should reduce corrosion within the engine, and should last a lot longer than regular coolants – indefinitely if the blurb is to be believed. It’s also classed as non-toxic, thanks to an additive which renders the definitely-toxic ethelyne-glycol safe – not that I’m about to test this by drinking some. I may try pouring a little on an unimportant patch of grass though, as regular antifreeze will certainly kill it!

The Bluebird is now running sweetly though. I’ve re-torqued the cylinder head, reset the valve clearances, sorted a leak from the manifold to downpipe joint (I had a very poor fitting gasket here) and have also knocked the ignition timing back slightly as it was pinking a little.  We’ll see how it goes.

The Honda has spent the month on SORN, so I could get the Proton roadworthy again. It’s for sale, but despite some keen interest, I don’t yet have a deposit. I don’t want it on SORN indefinitely, so if it hasn’t sold for definite by 1st September, then the Proton will get SORNed, and the Honda can return to the road. For some reason, I have missed it, even though it’s generally not very good to drive on so many levels. Odd.

Which leaves the Nippa, which soldiers on merrily, even more so since the front tyres were replaced and the tracking sorted out. Lovely.


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