Odds and Ends

Ok, so what do you pay? Mine is due now and the reminder is for £85.00 which is a fair jump on last year. I’m on 6000 miles and limited use. I don’t insure with the MMOC and on the form where the company asks for the classic car club I usually fail to mention the MMOC and list the two other clubs I’m involved with. So I wondered what other people pay and had a quick ring around half a dozen people in the local club with similar cars. Seems to me like the club is not negotiating a good deal. Perhaps we need more information and it’s difficult to compare like with like when some people are on 3000 miles but I still get the impression…….. Cade’s Corner. OK, so it’s that sort of article this month. It was to be something along the lines of storing your car on bricks for the winter, [perhaps tongue in cheek] but boredom struck.

My post bag has been busy again lately and some of the items are relevant to all Classic Car enthusiasts, not just the moggy fraternity. My everyday car is a Polo, nothing strange about that. It’s 17 years old, has a Pico expansion box instead of the regular two baffle and deflect silencers, a Webber twin choke in place of the Pierberg that drove me crazy and ended up in the crusher with a Sierra one Saturday Morning. Trouble was, you could still see the little piece of bright aluminium when the Sierra came out as a box! It also has a 56 amp alternator, Radyot driving lamps and Cibie fog lamps. No, there isn’t an external parcel shelf or a go-faster stripe down the side. But it does go like a bat-out-of-Hell. 15” alloys on 45 profile tyres and tuned adjustable rears with gas filled front on stiffened coils. It also has a stereo system. CD player and radio, amp, pre-amp and Pioneer speakers front and rear. The load is 600watts. It’s my last fling before I go grey or even bald and have to Settle Down! [God Forbid!!]

So a guy I know has a Moggy Pickup. He’s done a brilliant job customising it along the same sort of lines as my Polo with hand finished wood flares on the load area. Forty years ago I would have done much the same. Supercharger, perhaps. But his Sound System, two speakers, pre-amp and tuner is 500 watts. I did warn him. [Watts divided by volts equals amps.] One rendition of “Smoke on the water” at full blast and the battery is flat! Dynamo output is 22 amps at 3000 revs. It’s surprising how few Classic Car enthusiasts understand car electrics. If you slot two size AA batteries into your alarm clock and take a reading you’ll find it’s twice that of one battery. Similarly with a car battery. Put two batteries together with links, as in jump starting, and you end up with 24 volts. Starter motor will probably love it just this once but the coil might take a wobbler. No matter what the polarity of a car’s system, jump starting is ALWAYS pos. to pos. and neg. to neg. Another guy who emailed me wanted to know why he always got a belt from his plug leads. I emailed him him back with the explanation this his leads were breaking down and the belt was the result of the HT finding the easiest route to earth – through him and back to the metal of the car. He emailed back to ask why he should get a shock from a twelve volt car. Twelve volts it might be, but the spark that jumps across the contacts of the plugs to create the explosion in the cylinder has to come from a much better source than twelve volts and the coil supplies this. In our cars, with the older coil the voltage is somewhere between 9000 and 11000 volts. This is why it’s called High Tension.

On a slightly more modern car, my Polo, it might 35000 volts. Graphite leads were invented for the Mini Cooper which had a high coil voltage for the plugs that were available then. Copper leads, if you still use them, do leak a little and grabbing them should prove to be just a “tingling” sensation. Any more and your cap and/or leads have had it. And a word on overheating which remains a perennial problem to some people. On the Burnhope Rally recently [Did you visit the Calendar?] one Moggy was ticking over at about 2000 revs in case it stalled and wouldn’t start again. Mr Grumpy’s overheating kit installed too! Some cars seem really prone while others never suffer. Age-old mysteries! I’ve suggested a plate to go between the manifolds, where the inlet sits on the exhaust, to divert the exhaust gasses rather than let them heat the inlet manifold but wonder if I’m simply blowing in the wind. Some feedback from those of you with the problem would be helpful. Mike’s references to Carrie and restoration in last month’s newsletter left me with goose pimples, the shakes and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. God Forbid there be an angle grinder handy! However, a car I bumped into in a car park recently, a trav, had weeds growing out of the woodwork. The driver was young and there was a child seat attached to the passenger seat. The conversation got around to restoration and he was horrified. “Weeds!” he waved his arms. “ My girlfriend planted them one by one from the packet1” Next month, starter motor or dynamo overhaul, watch this space.

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