Monday, May 27, 2013

Easy as 1-2-3?

I don't really add much to this blog anymore because BOB just gets driven and every now and then the oil is changed, points reset and son on. But as you may just about tell from the photo below some new wheels were added a while back. Predictable 15 inch Revolutions. Awesome Kenda tyres too (seriously, they grip very well in the wet).

But a more tinkery change occured last weekend.




In an effort to tame BOB's lumpy idle I took the plunge and grabbed a 123 Tune - it's the version which enables the user to set bespoke ignition curves for crankshaft advance and manifold absolute pressure (MAP).

The classic car modification world is a weird one I must say. Nowhere did the website say (as far as i know) that the module doesn't come complete with the cable to connect to the laptop, but I verified through websearches that it's a mini-usb > USB cable (NOT micro-USB) and bought one in advance (pun intended).

Here it is alongside the cable. Interestingly, I took a photo of the instruction manual too ... shortly before I burnt it (ok, I got close).



I thought instruction manuals normally had diagrams and photos explaining what goes where, etc, but apparently 123 Tune only needs a dodgy schematic in the back and amateur Dutchglish writing which skips out sections. Well it's not hard to identify that beneath this (photo below) is the socket for your mini-USB cable but why didn't they tell me in the manual? (You need an 8mm hex head key to undo it by the way)




Once you have the screw out and the cable in, attach the laptop and fire up the free, downloadable software and swoon at the curvy possibilities.



Here's the 123 facing off with its predecessor - a worn out buggered about Lucas wobble-top.



The unit drops in as a straightforward replacement. The manual suggests you set up as per the static timing (for me 13' on the Lucas) but I don't think there's any sense in that, because (as far as I can tell) the unit doesn't know what that static timing point is, it starts from 0 and your curves are being set at static timing plus crank advance ... i.e. if you want 23' total advance it's only 10' crankshaft advance on the curve. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The manual explains you set the unit with the rotor pointing to #1 and rotating until the green LED light turns on, then rattles on a bit, then mentions the LED is between the holes in the base plate. Of course you (I) don't (didn't) see that, already have the lid on and am looking around everywhere for a bloody green LED!!! Well, maybe it's ... oh yes, it's inside. Anyway here's a photo for anyone looking.



So far my installation was going fine, just a little bit slower due to a bad manual and bad reading of the manual. The I hit a big stumbling block.


All hooked up, wired in and ready, nay raring, to go. Turn the key and... a bit of a whirr but no apparent firing. Hmmmm.

... insert hours of tracing wires, setting it up over and over again, trying a zillion different advance settings for idle, checking websites (including the manufacturers awful forum), screaming at the instruction manual, charging the battery (a few times), retiring for beer, sleep and blood pressure pills...

Then breathe deeply, swap out the ballast resistor friendly coil (9v) for a non ballast resistor coil (12v) and remove the ballast resistor... oh, so the coil wasn't happy was it. Now we've got a spark and, not much more. The engine would fire with vigour, but as soon as the key was released die again.

Then I remembered the original wiring had the ballast resistor built in to the wiring. It was severed when I put a different ignition system on ... then I think when I went back to a system which needed a ballast resistor I used the ignition live (red spade terminal in photo) through a bolt on ballast resistor.

Anyway I taped these wires together, turned the key and bam!



Now I can honestly say the old boy is firing better than ever before, some test runs around the local, (very hilly) area were enough to allow me to back off the SUs' mixture three flats.

There's still plenty of experimenting to go, but the lumpiness is slightly subdued so far (may end up swapping the cam over). However it picks up in all gears from 1000 rpm with no hesitation, screamed up to 4700 rpm in fourth this morning (before I reached the end of my private test track) and ... well, I'm pretty happy so far.


... and if you need any auto-electrickery advice. ... Erm, ask someone else.

Friday, July 13, 2012

All choked up

We've had BOB for nearly seven years now and the choke cable has always been 'a bit dicky.' Nothing terrible, it worked, but felt odd.

Last month the choke cable on my motorbike seized up - dirt had got to the plunger and blocked it such that the outer cable would push out of its housing at the lever and the choke failed to operate. Solution for that bike (KLR 650) is to replace the cable with a plunger on the carb which you can access easily.

Last week BOB's cable started to the same thing, except I could operate the choke but not turn it off. It turned out the outer cable had detached from the back of the plunger housing! Bugger.

As i'm sure you know, it's not practical to get out of the car and manually operate the bloody thing, and it's winter here in Queensland (under 20 celcius somedays!)

Bugger.

But then I found a garage 5 miles away who makes up any cable you like to order. We dropped in the inner on the old plunger and outer with the original plunger housing, and two days later picked up a new inner and new outer bonded to the plunger housing.

And all for $30.


... now where the bloody hell did I put the ferrule!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smooth running

Spent a little bit of time getting BOB running nicely.

When driving down from Bundaberg (4 hour trip) things didn't seem 100%. Stalled a couple of times.

Turned out this was probably just the remnants of the 2-year old fuel.

Nevertheless i ordered all new ignition parts and some iridium plugs on 25% discount.

Plugs went in first with new cap and rotor arm. Not a huge difference to be seen.

Couple of weeks later changed points and condensor. Suddenly a lot of the lumpiness at idle smoothed out and there was a noticeable power increase. Dwell angle still spot on, but I think the old points were never alligned perfectly.

I'm getting another mile per gallon and have a new improved top speed. Bonus!

Got the wheel alignment sorted by the local tyre guy, too. He worked wonders and the car's handling much better now.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Guess who's back?

P6258217 by greeksinoz
P6258217, a photo by greeksinoz on Flickr.

After two years 'rest' in the in-laws shed the time came to resurrect the Big Orange Bus.

Oh, yes. BOB's back!

Waking up the neighbours never felt so good.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun and brake fluid...

Check my other blog to see the fun we had this week!
>clicky<

It seems that a 10 year old Land Rover can actually require more ongoing maintenance than a 30 year old Triumph after all...

(actually it's been great fun!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Up and running and of no fixed abode

Both me and the website that is.

http://ofnofixedabode.wordpress.com

... see you again in 6 months (or more).

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Roll over BOB ... make way for The Bench

Oh lordy, it's confession time.

BOB's been a brilliant car, that I can't deny. In four years of ownership and about 30,000 miles (give or take some odometer error) of use he's not once caused a serious problem. Since the engine transplant a little over a year ago, he's taken us on a couple of epic fully-loaded trips - from Tassie up to our new home in Melbourne, west out to South Australia, north up to New South Wales, and on loads of day trips into the Victorian bush. In 15,000 miles he's required just one pint of oil!

But sadly, while BOB makes light work of highways, munches up the mountain roads and is pretty capable on the odd dirt track, satisfying as he is, there are some parts he just can't reach. And this is why he's being laid up to rest ... temporarily of course.

Ella and I have been planning a little outback adventure that requires a tad more ground clearance and a little extra space. So here's BOB's stablemate. A Land Rover Defender 110 TD5 with LPG and more bells buzzers than you could ring and buzz in an entire month of sunny Sundays.

Introducing, The Bench!


The Bench

Anyway, there's another website in the making where you can find out the details of our adventure (and all the technical details on the heavily modified Bench) ... i'll post a link once it's worth viewing.

BOB drove north in convoy with The Bench last week. We travelled from Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney to Brisbane to Bundaberg visiting family along the way. BOB is now tucked up in the shed to be given the occasional run while we're away. I think it's going to be the longest I haven't driven a Triumph for in about seven years!

BOB in shed

Shedlife