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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company



1949 MG TC

June 2016



Physio, which I missed last week, after which I went to the bodyshop to pay the bill. OUCH! got back, had lunch, got changed and started work. Took the N/S handbrake cable off at the adjuster (it's broken so rest is still on). Also undid the two screws which hold the cable to the chassis in front of the back wheel. Then removed the O/S/R wheel and drum,  took the shoes off and refitted the clip that the top actuator arm sits in. I had to drill out the siezed drum screw but that went well. I'm now back to square one. The rear arm, the one hooked on the cable will not full retract so I can't get the drum back on. I try levering, tapping, begging, pleading, threatening, all have no affect. I ask Lynne to come and look. I usualy do this when I have a problem as she will often come up with a silly answer but it gets the brain (so I must have one then, is this proof?)  working and an answer emerges. She said why not pull the handbrake on and off. She did and after the third time i heard a click and the arm retracted. No idea what it was caught on but it seems OK now. By this time I was done in. I fixed the front door handle on our... well, front door. The shank had moved forward so the handle didn't open the latch from the outside. When I got back from the bodyshop I thought Lynne had finally had enough and locked me out. After dinner I spent the rest of the evening creating a new gallery. Hope you like it. I've done the same in a bound book which will be kept in the car. There is a few pictures of the rear brake shoes and the troublsome clip on 26th to 29th August.


 Went to the doctor for 0930. I'm now on sleeping pills for a month. He reckons I need help (THATS TRUE!) to get back to sleeping 6-8 hours a night. He also says if I can get regular sleep all my other problems will heal.

Did a few bits on the car, let it down and washed it ready for its public showing at the BBQ on Saturday. Did I tell you about the BBQ, no, well we're having a BBQ for my daughter to meet our friends and to show the car. 22 people will be here. Had lunch and went to sleep. My Friend with the TC came and Lynne helped him compose a presentation he has to do in English. When I awoke I jacked the rear and painted all the new screws, nuts, bolts and the outer edges of the floor. The floor has had nine coats of clear wood preserver stuff but as it should be black I've slapped some black paint on it.

Now for these bloody handbrakes. After a lot of faffing about I worked out that the little clip tgat locates the actuating arm was on the wrong shoe. Changed it over and the handbrake should now work. I'll find out tomorrow as I finished at 2000, totally knackered (that's worn out for our non-English readers). What an idiot! Still my only defence is I'm old, worn out, a wreck, memory and eysight going, shoulders dont work and have had a pain in the back for the last three years. Add to that arthur rightous living in my joints and I think I'll end it all now...... Oh, hang on, most of this will be cured if I sleep. Goodnight zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Forgot to mention the latest on the speedo and tacho. I've been given the name of a chap who has a good reputation on Jeager chronomatic stuff. Spoke to him and explained the situation. He wants the speedo to fix but told me how to tighten the tacho needle on its spindle. I did what he said and it seemed OK, but by the time it was back in the needle had, once again, dropped to the six o'clock position. I'll send them both back. The original repairer has responded and said "we'd better have them back". No thanks, I'll get someone who can do it right first time. I'll ask for a report on what was wrong and get the original repairer to refund the amount of the repairs.

Just been told we're playing Portugal, sleep will have to wait.


My task today was to clean both gites, the kitchen area and the bathrooms, Lynne to do the rest. Normally Angela does the gites but they are away this week so it's down to us. Now then, if Ian and Francis read this I must tell you I now have a huge demarcation dispute on my hands. They're picketing the farm and are burning tyres in the lane. Let me explain. People who belong to the friends, family and guests union do not clean gites, people who belong to the gite owners union do that job. It made my job easier but you're not supposed to clean them, that's our job.

I started at 0700. I went to bed with a sleeping pill at 2300 ;ast night and, I'm told, was asleep by 2320. I awoke at 0500 so, just short of six hours sleep - marvelous. After cleaning the gite I adusted the handbrake cable on the O/S it will need further adjustment when I get the new cable on the N/S on Sunday. Droped the car to the ground and pushed it out. Vacuumed the carpets and cleaned the rubber gearbox cover with the cleaner I got from Julien (the older Brits will remember "This is my friend, Julien"). Applied the tyre black and it's OK and will get better when I can put more on. Applied some red dye to the stained drivers seat and polished the wings where I had got fingerprints. Opened the roof and cleaned and applied protection cream. For now I've laid the half tonneau over the rear. I won't fit it as I have a full tonneau coming with Tanya and I will fit that later.

I went to Brico at 1100 to get some slotted head screws for the brackets of the handbrake greasers. I'll fit them on Sunday, should only take five minutes (here he goes again!!!). Then to the bodyshop and picked up my stool, blanket, clamps and the tin of black paint (Moss to match the correct colour). After lunch I brush painted the door  hinge screws. and then put the car back in the workshop.

Spent the rest of the afternoon cutting the grass with the ride-on. Not all the grass, only in front of the gites. We have to go shopping for food and drink in the morning for the BBQ tomorrow night for twenty two people. Should be fun.

One of our Coypu. It is right outside the window of the porch. It just looks up when I came out. Anyone else and it runs back into the pond.

Pinky and Perky, our pair of gay ducks. They are waiting for Lynne to feed them.

Gearbox cover before cleaning...

... after cleaning.

After aplication of tyre black. I will give it 2 or 3 more coats when I have time


Looking good.


The day of the BBQ. Started shopping at 0900 and got back at 1100. Moved the tables from the gites outside, the dragged the old table from the front of our house to the front of the gites. Got the BBQ's ready. Only the bench table thing to get round now and find a few more chairs. The BBQ starts at 1800, but my freind from Nantes with the green TC has misread the invite and drives in in his 328GTS at 1200. We have some lunch and a few drinks and he leaves. Then our English freinds from Dinan arrive and we start to get the bench table round. Get it as far at the side of our house but it won't go between the house and the well. We leave it until more people turn up. There were supposed to be 22 comg but Jean-luc from the bodyshop brought one of his sons and the other son couldn't make it. Maurice and Michel pick up the bench table like it was a feather so all the tables and seating done. Phil does the BBQ and it was really good, lots of burgers and sausages and fish and salads and beer and wine and cider and coke and lemonade and .... well we won't need to shop for a week we have so much left over. So only, (ONLY!) about 19 people. It went of very well everyone said they had a great time nad started to leave about 2130, whic is late for the French. Some pictures of the day.

My friend walking toward his 328GTS.

Getting in.

Nice motor, what'll it do mister.

Rear quarter.


No, he's back.

Bye again.

The next few are the MG.



Guests have arrived

Jean-Maurice who did such a fantastic job is in the white tee shirt.

English real ale, they drank it almost dry!

Camille, my doctor. He's laughing at my efforts to walk!

OK, let's be serious.

So, cars and people. A good time. I was so tired that I went to bed at 2230.


Started at 0630. Wish I hadn't bothered. All I had to do was fit a handbrake cable and a headlight lens and bulbs. Thought I'd be finished by 1000. Oh yeah! Finished at 1700! I got the drum off and took the shoes off and fitted tha cable. I cleaned everything up and went to refit the drum but it wouldn't go on. Took the shoes off the check it was all OK. Nothing wrong that I could see. Then I took the brass nut off the adjuster end and the drum went on. Took the shoes off again (each time I have to remove wheel cylinder). Eventually I realise the cables too short. I must have this handbrake working in the morning for it's French MOT. so I make a deep nut and a threaded rod and "extend" the cable. It works. Put the wheel back on and as I'm picking up the tools see the horseshoe clip laying on the floor. Wheel and drum off again, squeeze the clip together and refit, drum and wheel back on let the car down and that bits done.

Now for the headlamp lens. Look for the clips where I thought I'd left them. Paul (son-in-law) helps but I can't find them. After half hour I give up and decide to use two clips, of the four, from the other headlight. I take the two rims off and Paul gives a shout. He's found the clips. I'd put them on a magnet on the shelf above the bench. Pillock! (me, not Paul). Fit the new glass to the empty rim and Paul notices that it's different to the other, pattern is the same but one is flat and the new one is domed, Never mind, no one will notice. Go to refit the rimms and the new one won't. Same problem as before, the rim of the glass is too thick and the rim won't fit the bowl. Get the broken lens, super glue the broken segment in and fit that. I'll send this lens back and get one from the other supplier. Thgen try the lamps and find one hasn't got a dipped beam. Check the wires at the lamp and they're OK. By this time I've had enough so leave it for the nnight. I'll go over early in the morning and rfit the wire under the dash which has probably fallen out the multi plug.


Plan is; breakfast, fix the loose wire under dash and at 1000 go for CT. Top oil when there and come back. Get car in workshop and go out to Aroll for lunch and a walk around the shops. Come back and Paul and i will remove the bonnet ready for engine out tomorrow.

Well that the plan, lets see how wrong it goes.

Passed the CT and got back at about 1100. We then went to Atoll for a huge Chinese meal. Wandered around Casterama and a bile shop and then coame home via Julien's to picj up some oil fot our guests YA.

Paul and I will take the bonnet off the TC tonight and I'll take the engine out in the morning.


Up and in the garage by 0600. Engine out by 0930 I got the starter jammed between the engine and the steering box. I was trying to get the split pin out of the drag link nut but couldn't see it so was trying by feel. After 10 minutes and being under pressure with time I exploded. Not a pleasant sight but I bet it was funny. In the end I just put a socket on it and cut the pin with the nut. I'll get the bits out tomorrow. Then I thought I'd get the clutch and flywheel off to see what was leaking. We were supposed to leave for the Normandy beaches at 1000. I got the clutch and flywheel off then remembered you've got to drop the sump to get the flywheel off. I left it, got showered and changed and set off to Normandy.

Since I've had the apnea mask and taking sleeping pills I've been sleeping five to six hours a night. Problem is can't wake up during the day. So, my darling wife drove from here to Arromanches and back for me. I'll make a public statememt. I love this women because she is good for me. Thank you darling.

We stopped at Avaranche for lunch which was so good it took longer than we planned. We got to the village with the display of military vehicles that Paul wanted to see 5 minutes after they left. Sorry Paul. We then went on to the beaches and had a good look round. There were some vetrans there, in dress uniform and they had a small service by a statue. Very moving and, they must all be in their nineties, and we owe them a huge debt which we could never pay. Not that they would want us to, to them they were just doing their duty.

Lynne then drove us home and we got back at 2100. I drained the oil from the engine so I'm ready ro drop the sump in the morning.


In the dark.

Ah, flash. That's better.

It was at this point I realised I had to drop the sump.

Can you imagine what the young German soldier felt like when he looked out to sea at 0430 on 6th June 1944 and saw 7000 ship coming towards him.

The view towards tne memorial.

A plaque on the viewing platform. There are about 14 in all.

Another. Says it all really.

The mods were here today.

The start of the remeberance ceromany. The bagpipe player played all the right notes, but not in the right order. Didn't matter, we all had a tear to shed when the prayers were read.

Note the section of baily bridge on the left.


Woke at 0455 and went back to sleep until 0550. Started work at 0610. Dropped the sump, took flywheel off and could see an oil stain below the crank. But there was oil everywhere. I took the lower half of the seal housing off and took the seal out. It seeemd to have been leaking. I fitted the sleeve and then tried to fit the new seal on my own. Ooops, damaged the lip!. Went to physio. I was supposed to have about 8 bllod tests (that's an armful!) this morning but remembered as I was eating my breakfast. Tomooroe will do and no breakfast. Got back at 1000. OK, inspected the old seal with Paul and we decided it was good. I held it in position and Paul tapped it in. Oooops, damaged the lip.

I took the steering box out and fitted new shims. This should cure the tight steering. Then swapped the pulley over on the exchange dynamo.

Lunch and then started cutting grass outside our house. Then spent the next three hours strimming. I'm now exhausted.

The parts didn't arrive but that may be because UPS know were normally out on Wednesday. I've ordered a new seal from NTG and it should all turn up tomorrow.

But the new fridge did arrive. Very nice, only taken Ikea nine months to supply a new fridge under warranty.

Steering box, shimmed and oiled.

Clutch cleaned of oil and the springs re-tensioned and re-fitted to the release pad. I've had to get a new first motion shaft bush as the old one came out in four bits.

The seal housing.

Can you smell the newly cut grass?

More cut grass.

Cut grass around the pond.

More grass.

And more grass.



I forgot to mention. The other day, I came back from somewhere and there was a wasp in the porch. Lynne hears it buzzing, jumps up and opens the door. "Come on Mr. wasp, go" she says. It hovers in front of her. I say it's a French wasp and probably doesn't speak English. OK, she says, "Allez M. guêpe, aller" and the wasp flies out the door!

I'm running late, been out with my daughter. Will catch up this afternoon (being Saturday)

OK, back now. Our guests, who have come here from Cheshire in a 1949 YA which is totally unrestored and charming, found a restaurant on the River Loire. Literaly on the river, it's on a jetty over the water. We went and had a great meal. The river is in full flood and travelling along at about 40 MPH. We got home and sat about talking, then had bread and cheese with cider. It's really nice spending time with my daughter and her better half.


 Sat around all morning, had a light lunch and set off to Dinard Airport to collect Barry, our friend from Sheffield. I drove there but was having trouble staying awake.Picked up Barry and Lynne drove home. When we got to REnnes it started raining and the Friday night traffic was very slow. When we got south of Rennes it really rained, the roads were flooded and Lyne slowed down to 35 MPH. We were going into Rennes for a meal but Lynne decided that was too difficult so we went to Buffalo Grille in Chateaubriant. Got home about 2100 and sat around talking until gone midnight.


 0900 see's Paul and I at the supermarket getting the shopping for this weeks guests. Paul came with to get out of Tanya's way whilst she packed and cleaned up. Tanya, Paul and our other guests left about 1000 and I started cleaning the gites. Angela who normally does them was away for the weekend. I did the two showers and lynne was to do the rest. She hadn't started when the guestes arrive, one in a BMW 5 series estate and the other in a Camaro which is very loud. So, I entertained them in the kitchen whilst Lynne was doing her scrubbing bit. She finished one and they started to unpack whilst she finished the other. I emptied the dustbins into different bags for the recyling bins. We then decided we'd go to Joel and Clauds for lunch, Barry and I in the Land Rover and Lynne would meet us in there having disposed of the rubbish. We would then come home and Lynne would go shopping.

We sat around talking all afternoon, watched Wales win and then waited for the England game. The guests came in and we all watched. Now, I say if you're an England and Sheffield Wednesday supporter you should be used to dissapointment. How true!

My crankshaft oil seal has arrived.


At 0600 I'm in the garage ready to fit the seal. STUPID!!! I slide it over then plastic sleeve but the "Speedy Sleeve" which I fitted to the crankshaft eariler in the week slices the lip of the seal. The air was blue with my ranting and swearing. I'll have to order another in the morning. This has upset my plans to run the engine outside to check for leak and tefit it in the morning. In the meantime my friend has bought his TC for me to look at his oil leak.

We're going to Atoll for a Chinese tonight.


 We (my friend from Sheffield and I) went to the bodyshop. They are working on the Caterham (treating the carbon) and it looks good. They want me to take the manifold off so they can get to the panel underneath. I've said I'll come over and lift the engine for them to get at it, taking the exhaust manifold off is a nightmare, and I have enough of them with the TC. We got back and had lunch, sat aound talking all afternoon and went to the fish restaurant in Ancenis, about 40 minutes away. Coming home we got lost getting out of Ancenis then missed a right fork and didn't get in until 2345.


We took Barry back to the airport. Had lunch in Dinard and dropped him at the airport after. Lynne drove home and I slept most of the way back. Advice from UPs, the new oild seal won't arrive until Thursday. So I'll go and do the Caterham tomorrow, instead of Thursday and finish the TC on Thursday. Plans again....


 I forgot to mention that when we took Barry back to the airport yesterday we left early and went into Dinard for lunch. We found a nice restaurant and were shown to our table next to the serving station. The waitress was very pretty with a fantastic figure, very tight jeans and a loose V neck top with no bra. Every time someone came in she faced me and bent down to get a menu. I've no idea what I had for lunch but it took me two and a half hours to eat it.

After physio this morning and changing the gas bottle in one of the gites I changed and set off for the bodyshop. They have the Caterham in for a treatment to restore the carbon which has gone dull from UV. They wanted me to remove the exhaust manifold so they can get to the side panel. I got there at 1120, took ten minutes to get the rad off, ten minutes to undo the four engine mounting bolts, a minute to undo the oil return pipe and undo the clip holding the oil feed pipe and jack the engine up. Silencer and four into one pipe took a few minutes to get off and I then removed all sixteen nuts holding the manifold branch pipes. 1200 and finished. I wanted Maurice to weld some brackets to the Land Rover passenger door which has rusted and the window frame was about to fall off. But he went to lunch. I rang Lynne who was going shopping at Segre and caught her as she arrived at the supermarket. I told her I would come over and we would have lunch in the cafe. Nice lunch and got back at 1430. Maurice got the Land Rover near his bay which is next to the tyre bay.

Just to prove what I've been telling you all for ages, I'm a 100% plonker. The Land Rover is a nightmare to drive. It wanders to the right and left and it's a fight to keep it straight. The steering is very heavy and I'm exhausted after a twenty minute drive. You may remember that I replaced a siezed off side front hub and freed off the near side a few months ago. OK, I thought, as I was next to the tyre gauge I'd check the tyres. Connected to the near side front.... reading .3 bar. I thought the gauge was faulty so checked the off side. 2.4 bar. Pump up the near side to 2.4 and the steering is much ligher and it no longer wanders. What did I say... 100% plonker.

I forgot to publish these pictures of our Tan and Paul.

Our Tan.

Our Paul, being nosey.

Paul, it's an old house full of rubbish, what are you looking for?

He's still looking.

Just to show he's a handsome brute really.

The happy couple.


Todays pictures.


Caterham with manifold removed.

Branches and silencer inside the car.

The front wing after treatment......

.... and the rear before.


The plate welded on by Maurice. He welded a plate on the inside jamb as well.


What would you call a bloke who gets a new bonnet catch because the slide that screws to the bonnet is miising, has it on the blanket with the bonnet and then can't find. Spends over an hour searching for it. Asks his darling wife to help look for it. She's looks for a minute or so and says "It's not in your pocket, is it?" You know waht comes next so I'm not putting my plonkerism in print. All bonnet catches now fitted and all work the correct way.

The sump gasket and seals arrived at 1255. Linda sent a bottom end set, better than just the sump gasket. I was a bit suspicious because the parcel wasn't very big. Reason it wasn't big is because she's sent front crankshaft seals not the rears. They're on their way and should be here Monday. I'll finish the trim tomorrow.

I've taken the housing off, cleaned the excess silicone off, made sure the drain hole isn't blocked (ir wasn't) and refitted the housing, wrapped the speedy sleeve in masking tape and all is ready. I've also fitted a new camshaft core plug.

Rear main cap, all cleaned up.

A clean face.

Crank all shiny and clean.. ish

Up my bottom.


Ready for a seal. I wonder how I get it off when the seal is in there.


I've not been wearing the apnea mask for the past three nights as I've had a cold and I'm breathing through my mouth. I woke up last night at 0200 choking. So I went downstairs, sat in my chair, put the television on and slept until 0800. I was really dopey (more then usual) and when I got back from physio I went back to sleep until 1430!

So, who needs all this high tech equipment, just sit in front of the TV and sleep well.

I was going to work on the car today. Do some of the outstanding work on the trim, but have been having a rest. Looks like it's all caught up with me.

Off to Le Mans for the weekend in the morning, get ready for hundreds of pictures.


I forgot to mentiuon that on Wednesday we were invited to dinner to Muriel and Alexandre in Angers. Alexandre is the chap with the red TC at trhe bodyshop. We had a really nice time, great food and realy greta people. They had invited their friends Jean-Peirre and Valerie. Jean-Pierre has a TC with a replica Q type body.


 Off to Le Mans at 1000. Will update the weekend and pictures on Monday morning.

Set off at about 1030. No traffic and got there about 1200. Small queue at the roundabout to turn left to parking blue. Get to the car park, for which I've paid 27€ to be told it;s flooded and to go to a car park past Porsche Curves. Off we go and are allowed up the road into a "free" car park in a shopping centre. We walk back to the main road and get the shuttle bus. Not the one that was loading, that's full, but the next. This takes us to roundabout for Porsche Cureves and we have to walk down to the bus park for the next bus. We are dropped off opposite the entrance to the circuit. No big que and we start the walk to our stand. By this time it's getting closer to 1500. We stop to buy the wotlds worse sandwich. The rain starts and gets heavier so I shelter just in side the tent with tressle tables. I'm out of the rain but not the gutter that overflows and deposits a bucketfull of water all over me. The rain eases and we carry on our trek to the stand. It's a long walk, well it is fot me and my back is hurting by the time we get there. We have missed the 1500 start but the cars have started under safety car conditions as part of the tarck is flooded. At about 1545 the safety car is withdrawn and off they go. I'm very damp, cold and uncomfortable. Two Porsches and two Toyotas are in the lead with as liuttle as 2 minutes seperarting them. This goes on all aftyrenoon and night. One Porsche falls ny the wayside so now two Toyotas and one Porsche. In fourth, 2 laps behind is an Audi, towards the end one of the Toyotas drops to 4 laps and the Audi is now 14 laps behind. The Toyota is in control and starts the last lap just over a minute in the lead. For those that don't follow these thinsg the normal race pattern is for a team, usualy Audi to have three cars 6-10 laps in the lead after 6 hours and them keep in the lead for the next 18 hours. To watch two teams be within 2 minutes of each other for the whole 24 hours is rare.

The Toyota crosses the line for his final lap and victory.... and stops out side the pits! As yet I have no idea why but running out of fuel could be a possibility.

We don't wait for the presentations and set of to catch the bus by Partking Blue to get back to Ianms van. Except there is no bus. I can understand the filed is flooded, I can understand getting the shopping centre car park but I cannot understand why there isn't a shuttle to take people wjho have 27€ for a flooded car park, back to the substitue car park about 3 mailes away. Ian sets off at a jog to get the van and we will meet him at the roundabout. I struggle to get there and we're, Brian and I, Dave was already at the van, sit down fot 5 minutes before they appear.

We set oiff without drama and no long queues to La Fleche and then onto Durtal. The SatNav then falls asllep and wilst I'm snoring Ian take the wrong turning a follows the signd to Angers. But it the far side of Angers and probably adds forty minutes to our journey. Never mind, we get home about the time I'd said.

So, why no long queues? Well the normal attendance is about 340,000 to 250,000 but this year it was only 253,000. All the stand seats where sold to the trip organisers so it was there loss not ACO (the event organiser).

A car entering Dunlop curves.

Another car in the sams place. The problem I had was I couldn't read the numbers on the sides. It was pointless getting a programme as I couldn't read that either. Blind bugger.

The stands above the pits. These were all sold out when I bought our tickets but must have beem sold to the trip organisers who failed to sell them on.The stand nearest the camera had a handfull of people in it.

I was too damp, uncomfortable to take many pictures. Also we were very close to the metal rails at the bvottom the stand. The top rail was in line with the track but I couldn't stand up due to my back. At one point I was thinking "never again" but the weather shouldn't be as bad next year and once I get back into the habit of sleeping my back, shoulders and eyes may all heal. I can hear you.. "he's such oprtamist... fool"


Tragedy at Le Mans for the Toyota team who were in the lead on the penultimate lap and then the car broke down. Closest finish for years with the Toyota's and Porsche never more than two and a half minutes apert over the twenty four hours.


The blokes went in one car to the bodyshop and looked at the Caterham. The girls went in Lynne's car to Atoll and we met at the Chinese and pigged out. Then we lokked around the shops and came home. The SatNav fell asleep on the way home and Ian took the wrong turning and went to Angers. Journey took 40 minutes longer than it should. I'll learn to keep awake when acting as Sat Nav next time. Two of us watche the fottball in the evening.


I had some sort of nightmare during the night and kept Lynne awake for two and a half hours screaming that my leg hurt. I've no idea if it was or if it was a dream.  Our friends went out and left me to get on with the TC  and Lynne to catch up on sleep. I aplogise but I forgot to take pictures. Anyway, the seal is in without the Speedy Sleeve which is cutting the rim of the new seal, even with tape wrapped around the edge of the sleeve. I've run it for ten minutes on the floor and it has no leaks. I'll run it again tomorrow for ten minutes, take lots of pictures, remove the flywheel and inspect. If all is well I'll chuck it back in.


To say I'm furious is a gross understatement. I have steam coming out my ears....a nd elsewhere.

Let's start at the beginiing. I got back from Physio at 1000. My friends helped me take the ton of beer bottles and food packaging to the re-cycle bins. I got changed, they went out for the day and I started the engine again. It ran for ten minutes and was drip free. I removed the starter and dynamo and exhaust. Put the tools away and moved the engine to the front of the car. As it must have been 98% humidity (it was light drizzle and 28c) I stopped for lunch. When I went back I noticed a drip of oil under the bell housing. I got a light and the inside of the bell housing has oil in it. The bloody seal is leaking again. Now you know why I'm furious. I decided that I'd refit the engine and run it to see how bad it is when refitted. I tightened the flywhhel and wired the bolts, went to fit the clutch and found the mandrel was too latge to fit inside the new first motion shaft bush. I took the bush out, rubbed a piece of emery cloth around the inside until it slid easily over the shaft and then took a few thou off the plastic mandrel in the lathe. I refitted the clutch and asked Lynne to work the crane whilst I got the engine in. She said she wanted to go to the toilet and went inside then forgot to come back. I called her over again and we fitted the engine back in. I then came in for a rest and informed the TABC group what I thought of Moss and their bloody seal. A lot of corrospondence has flowed but my point is that for over £222 ($366) the tools should work and the instructions should be up to date and sent out with every seal. Some have said that it's a matter of luck if these seals leak or not. I was too tired to finish but will have it running by lunchtime tomorrow. I'll decide on Monday when I know how bad it's leaking if I'll fit a 6th seal or revert to the original scroll.


The battery pack and ignition coil wire. The engine isn't running at the moment.

Sitting on a block of wood at the rear of the sump and not a drip of oil to be seen.

The fuel supply.

The two wooden legs steadying the engine. It's also on the crane but not lifted.

Side on with hose and running water. You can see the light and it's drip free at this stage.


Back in.


Started at 0700 and plodded on slowly refitiing the engine. Refitted the dynamo without putting the engine bolt in first so the dynamo had to come off again. Then refitted the rad and hoses but forgot to refit the thermostat and circlip. Then realised I'd forgotten to refit the steering box but managed to wriggle it in without having to take the rad off again. I started it up about 1200 and watched for a minute or so, no leaks. Went to talk to  a friend who's staying and went back after 5 minutes to be greeted by a pool of oil. I'm putting it all back together. Then I'll get the engine out of my friends TC to do his oil leak after which I'll decide if I'll try another seal or revert to the original scroll.


We went to the zoo. I walked about for an hour or so then had chips and salad for lunch. After that I sat on a couch until 1600 then met the others to watch the Sea Lions perform. Very good, the trainer is a very nice redhead and the Sea Lions seem to love her, well she does keep giving them fish. Got home and then sat around talking and drinking.


Started at 0700 and got the steering box in. Started the engine and watched the oil tunning out. Checked the idle and mixtures and switched off. Fitted the air cleaner and the chrome nut for the rocker cover stripped. Let the car down off the axle stands and went inside. About 1000 Ian helped me put the bonnet on. I then started building the software and data on the new computer. At 1700 I showered and changed and got my TC out, put my friends in and then put mine back in.We all went to Buffalo Grille for dinner before our friends leave in the morning 

Ooooh two of them.


Promise not to laugh. I got up at about 0600. Went to the loo and cleaned my teeth and was thinking so much about the problems with the new computer that I came down stark bollock naked. I only realised when I sat on my chair and it was cold. Never mind, I wrapped myself in a blanket and stayed in my chair all day, too tired to do anything else.


Got up late (for me) and started taking the engine out of the other TC. Nightmare, it's a collection of odd nuts and bolts and I can't see them properly so have to keep trying all the different spanners to find what fits.

I stopped at 1830 when I needed help with one of the manifold to down pipe bolts which was turning. Lynne was cooking so I gave up for the day.


Up at 0600 and went to the bodyshop as they wanted to talk to me about the Caterham. Got back at 0845 and felt so rough I just went to sleep.... until 1500. The nurse is coming tomorrow with a full face mask for my sleep apnea machine. I'm not able to use the nose mask as I'm waking up after an hour or so choking as I try and breath through my nose. I'll get that engine out tomorrow.

I keep saying I'm stupid, want more proof? I sent an email to the TABC group asking if I could run the engine on the workshop floor without the flywheel. Someone asked how I was going to start it and I replied that I would put the starter motor on. When they informed me that the starter motor engages the ring gear on the flywheel I woke up and fell in... a huge hole. STUPID!!!! I think this stupidity is due to lack of sleep. At least that's my excuse.


I went to the physio and then had great difficulty walking back to the car. It was like I was drunk. Got home and collapsed into a chair. Next thing I knew was it was 1400 and the technician from the sleep apnea machine company was here to check the SD card and bring me a full face mask. The SD card showed that I had had a maximum of two hours sleep per night for the last month. She said this was not unusual when a nose only mask was used. I tried the mask in the afternoon but I don't think I slept. I went to bed at midnight and took a sleeping pill. I slept most of the night, waking at 0300, looking at the clock and went back to sleep. I awoke at 0500 and laid dozing for an hour. Took the mask off and dozed until 0700.


Got up, had breakfast and started work on my friends TC. Took me all day to do about two hours work. Engine out, sump, clutch and flywheel off, I washed all the rear of the engine and seal and housing with Acetone, blew it all dry and covered it all in talcum powder. Fitted the starter, dynamo, rad, refitted the sump (two bolts each side) and flywheel. Connected the fuel supply and wired up a coil. Fitted the down pipe and it started first time. Ran it for twelve minuts and not a drop leaks out. I had to stop at 1700 as my back was in agony. I'll ran it again in the morning and wait for it to leak. Then sump and flywheel off to see where the leak is from. I must cut the grass tomorrow. We have people coming on Saturday.



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