Lightweight at Billing

We took the Lightweight to the Billing show on the Saturady (I was working the Friday and Sunday).  It was a close run thing – the engine has started playing up again.  When pulling hard in upper gears, the engine is down on power and sounds like it’s detonating, sounding similar to a card being put into a bicycle’s spokes.  Unable to find a cause, Neil Armstrong, a fellow member of the Lightweight Owners Club who not only lives in Bedford but is also in the REME (the British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) spent a couple of hours tinkering with it.  Sadly, all he could find was a slightly ill-fitting distributor cap, which he tweaked, but a test run showed no major improvement.  Neil kindly followed us with his V8 powered uniquely rebuilt Lightweight in convoy the next morning to the show, just in case.

We made it to the show without any major problems and were met by Sue Foster of the club, who escorted us to the club stand.  The vehicle was put on stand, antennas fitted, with several other members’ Lightweights, alongside Neil’s incredible vehicle (I’ll add a couple of photos if you send me them, Neil!).   We were then able to spend time catching up with other members before browsing the stalls and stands, coming back to the club stand for a break and refreshments.

Close to midday, the club displayed the Lightweights in the show’s main arena.  The hosts interviewed each of the owners in turn on the PA system, so Helena enjoyed five minutes of fame.  It was very pleasing to see so many people photgraphing our Lightweight and to hear so many flattering comments about it on the way too and from the arena, unlike the 109 when we went to Gaydon Heritage Run, which seemed only to attract negative remarks and was ignored by the commentator.  A few comments were made about the rear seating, which I had suspected might draw criticism for being the one mod to the vehicle, but actually seemed of interest to people who also wanted to carry their kids safely in a SWB Rover.

One of the things we had intended to get last year for shows and finally got round to this time was a pair of military number plates bearing the vehicle’s in-service registration.  I picked up a brand-new front plate mounting, so the number plate can come off the grille and be refitted in the correct location and also bought a new tin of NATO green paint, so may repaint the bumper and rear cross member the correct green rather than black if Helena so chooses (she hasn’t decided yet).

I collected the new FFR ignition coil from a club member, so have just refitted the entire FFR system – we do want to keep this vehicle as original as possible, after all.  Hopefully, the engine running issue might just be down to timing drift from a bad tank of fuel or inaccurate concentration of the Castrol unleaded petrol additive we use.  The brake master cylinder, which decided to spring a leak just before the show, stripping the paint off the servo and underside of the foot well, has been replaced with the relatively new master and servo from the 109.  It has small differences, so I have kept the original master and pipes for rebuild and later refit, but the differences are relatively minor.


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