Not so cheerful!

SAM_0829_522f26b8be1da-entryImageThere really is nothing to touch them for the money and with leggy examples now falling under the £1k barrier they are becoming almost disposable toys.

Although all has not been rosy in the Roadster world just recently though, taking it to have the standard gear shift refitted (the short shifter was too unpleasant to use) my mate commented that there was smoke coming out the back.  I kept an eye on it on the way home and sure enough when I lifted off to change down for corners/roundabouts and put the power back down it was met with an accompanying puff of blue smoke.  A trawl of the owners clubs hoping for a miracle cure revealed that it is a problem that gets all the early cars in the end and mine had done well to hit 80k with no issues. I tried oil additives and a flush and service but to no avail, in fact the smoking became worse with the new oil to the point where it was embarrassing to drive the car. I started looking into the possible scenarios. 1) Reconditioned engine £1395, the car didn’t cost that so a no go. 2) A rebuild of my current engine, £975 with no guarantee that the block isn’t damaged. Too risky. 3) a second hand lump.  4) Break the car and reclaim what money I could.

After a few days searching a contact on the owners club pointed me in the direction of a 40k mile lump for £475, he could fit it for £250, significantly less than the prices I had been quoted and the engine was cheaper than similar ones i had seen, it was also fully built up with all pumps and ancillaries attached so ready to drop straight in.  As I type this it’s going away in 4 days to have the new engine fitted and breathe new life back into it. Following the owners club advise of regular flushing and sticking to ‘cleaning’ fuels like V Power should see it last till the body starts to drop off at which point the values will have started to climb with so many being scrapped so I’ll probably have it restored!

As I mentioned in my earlier report, I’ve had the standard air intake system removed and a carbon airbox and custom made tubing relocated to the rear of the engine bay low down to take advantage of the air coming in through the side intake. Psychologically the difference in performance is huge! Realistically the noise under full throttle is addictive and with the route to the engine now being shorter and the air cooler I like to think it’s freed up a few more bhp.  The only other parts that have been fitted are new discs and pads all round, unfortunately this highlighted another or the Roadster’s issues, seized rear callipers, the pads came out ok but there was no way the piston could be persuaded to go back in to make way for the new pads. Fortunately I managed to pick up a set of reconditioned callipers for £75 delivered.  When I unpacked them I discovered they had been painted red, well it would have looked daft to not paint the fronts to match…

So this time next week I should have a fighting fit Roadster just as the floods have hit our town!  Remind me again how impractical it is…

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Gavin Davis

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