January 2009

I’m still more than a little twitchy about the new engine from TopCats. Not being ‘technical’ on the engine front it’s hard to articulate what it is that feels different from the original engine, but a few things spring to mind:

  • Overwhelming smell of petrol whenever I go to the car, & whenever I get out of the car (as my beloved has commented on a few occassions now…)
  • MPG seems to have dropped.
  • Engine temperature higher than on original engine
  • Idle never drops below 1200rpm. Thr original engine tended to initially idela at 1200 rpm then settle down to 600 rpm
  • Emissions test shows 6.8%

Again apologies for lack of updates but car was sent back to TopCats who investigate the issues listed above: TC adjusted the idle from ‘race setting’ back to 600rpm, but can’t find anything else wrong with the engine to some considerable mutual frustration. The replacement A/C rad from MHS is fitted & the A/C gassed. The car is trailered back from Topcats to Cheshire & I start using it again. Petrol smell far less prevalent. Idle is fine if very slightly lumpier than on the original engine: not a problem though. MPG ‘seems’ improved but overall, I’m just grateful to have the car back, & an emissions test shows the levels have dropped back down to 1.8% (I can’t find the paperwork so may be expressing this using the wrong terminalogy or quoting the wrong figures) which for a non-CAT test is fine. Upon receiving the car my initial focus is on how the engine drives (fine… I think. Now slightly paranoid perhaps!), & it’s not until a week later that I try the A/C only to find warm air being dispensed, & the A/C clutch not being engaged, which suggests no gas. This is very frustrating indeed, having paid for new hoses & a new rad, but Topcats are adamant that the A/C was tested sucessfully on the Saturday before it was sent up. The next step is to get the system filled with dyed gas to locate the leak, if that is what the problem is, but preparations for the 50th Anniversary Rally are the priority so the investigation is on hold.

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