109 Update, Nov 2012

There’s not a lot to report on the 109.  I replaced the bulb holders and bulbs in all four instruments as the existing bulbs were to dim and were causing the temperature gauges to over-read when illuminated.  I initially used green LEDs to match the lighting of the Carling Tech switches and stereo, but they were of a very deep green rather than the bright yellowy-green that most LEDs create, which not only looked a little ugly but also made reading the gauges even more difficult.  So, 3w incandescent T10 bulbs were fitted to the new holders giving white illumination.  The instruments are not only now easily legible, but also no longer use the instrument casing to earth the bulbs and so now read correctly when illuminated.

I still need to get the speedo recalibrated following the axle swap.  I’ll get that done over the kids’ Christmas holidays, while the car can be off the road for a while.  I have decided to use JDO Instruments (JDO1.com) as his turn around time is much better than the other, cheaper company I found, he is willing to do the work based on the accuracy of the speedo for the standard transmission and recalculate based on the two diff ratios rather than using a pointless and inaccurate rolling and measuring system that the competitor insists upon.  He also seems to a much better attitude and greater knowledge than was displayed by the competitor over the phone.  It may cost twice as much, but at least I will have reasonable confidence in the speed and quality of the work.

The 109 will get Masai rear windows each side of the back door to deal with some panel corrosion that is beginning to blister under the paint and to eliminate the recurring window seal perishing/splitting problem. The side windows will stay as they are, though.

The roof bag needs to be removed soon as the ply base is rotten and breaking up, and the bag itself (the cover from a Hannibal roof top tent) is being damaged by creases and flapping in the wind – the rubberised coating is splitting along the creases, allowing water ingress and accelerating the ply rot.  I intend to save the bag by covering it with either a bonded and riveted sheet of chequer plate (this will not only cover the splits, sealing it, but will also prevent it flapping in the future and give a good standing surface) or with a large vinyl sticker, keeping it flexible for easy opening (possibly a large Union Flag sticker like on a Mini’s roof).

The vehicle is running very well, though I still find it a little over-geared with the 3.54 diffs.  I’ll stick with them, though, as they have increased the mpg by about 10% and make high speed cruising much more comfortable than the 4.71 diff ratio, and intermediate ratio diff gears are just too expensive to be considered (at least for the foreseeable future).  I need to adjust the swivel housing shims as the swivel bearings have settles a little since putting the new axles to use, creating a little slop in those bearings.  It’ll be a day’s work to do it well, so will wait until the opportunity presents itself.  The steering and braking are great with the new axles, though.

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