Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:44 pm

I popped back in the garage this afternoon for some gentle dashboard work. Or gauges, if you prefer. But today of course was one of those days where if anything was going to go wrong, it would. Allow me to elaborate.

The rev counter I now have has no needle on it. I figured I could easily fix it by removing the speedo needle from the clocks I already have. SO out came my gentle plastic trim removal tools and I started gently persuading it out. It was very tight and very stubborn. Eventually, it gave up and let go. Or so I thought. Nope, it had snapped the little prong that the needle sits on. Great.

I managed to get the prong out of the needle with some gentle work with some needle nose pliers, then set about putting it on to the rev counter. And I ran into yet another issue. At some stage Austin / Austin Rover / The Rover Group or whatever they were called that week had changed their design oh so slightly. The outside diameter of the old-style needle? 3mm. The diameter of the hole it had to go into in the newer-style clocks? Yup, 2mm. I thought I would be clever and gently file it down using a needle file (geddit?!). Did this work? Nope. All it did was collapsed the plastic so now I can't use it at all. It was at this point that I shut the garage door and walked away.

Anyone got a 90s Cooper-style rev counter going cheap?

Rev counter came without a needle

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So I thought I would be clever, and use the needle from my other speedo. Instead I broke bits and got frustrated.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby benofbrum » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:25 pm

any chance of doing something creative with a cocktail stick, araldite (or epoxy putty) and your old needle .
I am old enough to remember tales of rotor arms being replaced with a cork and a pin
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:58 pm

benofbrum wrote:any chance of doing something creative with a cocktail stick, araldite (or epoxy putty) and your old needle .
I am old enough to remember tales of rotor arms being replaced with a cork and a pin


I would have to be pretty accurate - my hands are more accustomed to nuts and bolts than tiny pins I can barely see. I have put the feelers out for another rev counter.
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:07 pm

I have decided that I do not like gauges. Or, more specifically, old gauges in various states of "Nope". I have decided to revert to my initial plan of the two-gauge pod in the dashboard, as I have had enough of man-sausaging about with trying to sort a working 3-pod rev counter. I do have a 52mm rev counter, which has never been used. I just thought that perhaps a 3-podder would have been easier. Sadly, today they are not as easy to come by, and when they do turn up they're often silly money. I can practically buy a digital speedo for some of the prices asked. I shall leave those overpriced Cooper items to the originality fans. Also, with the youngest being 20 years old, condition is not always going to be the best, especially with the ones I don't have to give my left plum for.

I thought that it would be pretty easy to simply transfer the innards of a GT rev counter into the pod of a 90s Cooper rev counter. Sound easy? it isn't. The plastic pods they mount in are different. The actual body of the rev counter is different (and by some margin). And, to all insult to injury, the printed circuit boards are massively different. So I will continue with a 2-pod set of clocks and use my smaller rev counter.

I turned my attention to the two other small gauges I have. The voltmeter I have (which looked great cosmetically) was not so great inside when I went to clean it. In fact it may have been stored in a small pool of water for some time. So that's in the bin. I am also not keen on the oil pressure gauge I have acquired. So I am once again on the lookout for some different items, and I have got no further with my dashboard. Nuts.

1275GT casing is similar but different enough to 90s Cooper casing to make it unworkable.

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Cooper Rev counter innards extremely different to 1275GT innards. PCBs are different too.

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Even the two smaller gauges were no good. Don't like the look of the Oil Pressure Gauge and the Voltmeter, although cosmetically nice, was scrap inside.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:05 pm

Well as I was so annoyed with the dashboard work, and I'd got an expenses claim approved at work (a rare thing in my job...), I did a bad thing and ordered a few things from Mini Spares, because, well, you know, THE EXCITEMENT OF GETTING A BIG BOX! One thing that's bugged me was the lack of an exhaust. The original Midas exhaust from the factory from what I understand is a bit of a pea shooter and the likelihood of finding one is somewhat small. And having waited for a secondhand exhaust to experiment on for FAR too log, I figured it was time to do something. So I bought a twin box RC40. Now, I know this is not likely to fit properly, but I figure that with a little bit of adjustment (cutting and welding here and there) and maybe a couple of extra bits of pipe, I should be able to sort something that is perfectly usable and isn't a complete Frankenstein of a system.

Other things in the box were an oil pressure pipe and adaptor, an exhaust fitting kit and a pair of 3mm spacers for the rear wheels - if I go down the route of 165 tyres I want to be sure of clearance. Finally, Tink gave me a special prezzie - an aircraft-style switch, which I will probably use for the fuel pump. Epic.

Voltmeter bolt was so rusted on to the stud, that instead of it coming free, it ripped the inside out. I thought it was undoing too easily...

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BIG Mini Spares box, which included...

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...An RC40 twin box system and fitting kit...

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...an oil pressure pipe and adaptor...

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...and a pair of 3mm spacers for additional clearance without the need for new studs.

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Plus Tink gave me this awesome switch. I think I should put a transfer on it. But what???

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:54 pm

It would appear that I could be about to have more time on my hands given the likelihood of being sent home from work due to health concerns. As such I spent a day or so clearing up my mess in the garage and then turned my attention to the mess of gauges and similar gubbins on the workbench. I knew that unless I pay through the nose for them, I am not going to get a Cooper-style set of clocks, so as I already have a 52mm Rev Counter, I would continue with that and use the 2-pod gauges I had already cut a hole for. Trouble was, the 15 or so years that they'd been in a box in a garage had left them in a bit of a filthy state.

What to do? I am nothing if not careful when I don't have a power tool or hammer in my hands (I recently counted that I have 17 hammers so I suppose this could count as dangerous), so I thought I'd take everything apart and give it all a good clean. Step one - remove all bulbs from the back of the pod. A simple gentle twist 7 times and they were all out. Then it was time to remove the printed circuit board. These are no longer available, so I needed to be really diligent. They're kept in place by three different means - there's a number of screws holding it down, the bulbs as previously mentioned and then there's a bunch of locator pins which the pcb fits on. I removed the screws one by one, and found that there were 2 that were different sizes to the others. This also released the entire fuel and temperature gauges within the pod. Once I'd removed all the screws I spent a LONG time gently prising the pcb off over the locator pins.

Once it was off, I got out the electrical contact cleaner and spent several minutes making it look a lot more like it did when it left the factory. I also set about the pod itself with a rag, some white spirit and some cotton buds. It took a while, but eventually it looked a lot cleaner. There were 2 strange little brackets that had come out from behind the temp/fuel gauges, and I figured out these were to do with the different sizes screws. They could only go back in one way, so once I'd realised this, "refitting was the reversal of removal".

Now I have a nice clean set of gauges, I need to start messing about with the dashboard again.

Dirty clocks with bulbs removed

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They're FILTHY!

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Pod staring to look a little better

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PCB in the process of being cleaned, thanks to...

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...this wonderful stuff!

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Odd little brackets which fitted behind the fuel & temp gauges and used the smaller screws.

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And ain't she pretty??

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:12 pm

I went to have a look at doing a test fit of the exhaust to see what needs modifying and where. As is normal with this car, I came across an immediate problem, mainly due to the delights of eBay. As I didn't have the funds to pay for a new Maniflow LCB manifold, I managed to get hold of one via eBay, which helpfully came to me with a Y-piece connector. I didn't look at it that closely when it arrived a few years ago, so when I finally clapped eyes on it again, I quickly realised that it wasn't a Maniflow item. This is not a problem in itself as it fits the LCB prefectly well.

However when it came to attaching the front pipe of the RC40 exhaust I've bought, it did not work too well. In fact it was virtually impossible. I measured the diameter of the pipes and found the difference between the inside of the Y-piece and the outside of the RC40 to be 0.1mm, which is not a lot of clearance. All the decent Y-pieces available had slots in the end of the pipe to aid fitment. Mine did not. So out came the angry grinder and I cut 3 small slots in the end, filing them afterwards to remove any burrs. This enabled a little expansion where it was needed and I was able to fit the front pipe in. It is a very close fit, but it shouldn't (hopefully) cause any great issues. I will report back on how the initial fitment of the RC40 goes.

Inside diameter of the Y-piece...

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...and external diameter of the front pipe left virtually no clearance

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A touch of the angry grinder later led to success!

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:59 pm

Just a very quick further update as I had half an hour spare in the garage: I have lightly put together the RC40 exhaust on the bench, and as it stands it looks like it might not be too far off fitting. Obviously it will need some creative input re mounts and whether it will point in the right direction, but I have to say I am quite surprised and pleased. Doubtless tomorrow I will be full of woe and anger...

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:18 pm

So, the burning question is this: Does the Mini Spares RC40 exhaust (flipped over at the rear so it exits the other side) fit a Midas? After this morning's exertions the simple answer is "no". BUT it is not a resounding no. I knew it would need a little bit of work to make things work anyway, but I was surprised at how close things were.

I was able with the use of two axle stands and a centre mount to get the exhaust hanging roughly in position. A lift would have helped massively here, as would an extra pair of hands. However, due to the current situation, I had to make do with me, myself and I. Naturally it was a bit of a struggle, but as this is just a test fit it will do for now.

Some things I have learned:

1. The centre mount is too low - a bit of massaging (i.e. shorten it by 3/4") would sort that, although the exhaust doesn't quite hang centrally to the mount. I may have to investigate further. Also the pipe from the centre box to the back box angles down a touch. As I will be modifying this anyway, I may cut the "droopy" bit out to be replaced with straight pipe.

2. The pipe exit is about 3-4 inches too far to the left. I didn't expect it to line up anyway, but to be that close is quite satisfying. My plan here is to cut the pipe between the two boxes and add a small extension. I have a couple of bits of exhaust around the garage - hopefully I will have something suitable.

3. I need to make a shield for the fuel pipe from the tank to the pump and also add some extra heat protection to the bottom of the tank where the exhaust will pass underneath.

4. I need to also rig up a mounting for the rear as well as securing the LCB to the gearbox. I am sure I have a bracket for the latter somewhere in my pile of goodies.

All in all a successful morning.

Front pipe on and secured by axle stand.

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Oh so close!!

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For something that goes on a different vehicle, it's pretty close. Needs work and a bit of lateral thinking, but good enough for now.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby dusz » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:22 pm

Looking forward to when you post a video of the engine running. Wonder what it will sound like through the RC14?
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