It’s a bodge Jim, but not as we know it…

More motoring capers with Mike and the Rover… 

Well, the weather here in West Sussex has been glorious, perfect for smoking around in a V8 hatchback catching admiring glances and receiving brilliant comments from other people. Thanks to a leaking radiator (pending), the cooling system is having to work hard for a living and, as a consequence, the (knackered) viscous fan is really worrying me. 

When the fan tries to cut in, your ears are greeted to the sound of what can only be described as a canary tweeting and a loud banging noise akin to some form of Soviet-made industrial steam hammer. Sufficed to say, it’s got the potential to scare old ladies and make small children cry. As a result, it made me put my thinking hat on with regards to a temporary fix if you like. 

The problem is a very very worn out bearing race in the hub of the fan – it’s been bothering Keith Adams for ages and it sure scares the cr*p out me too. The collateral damage of a free spinning fan detaching itself into the engine bay does not bear thinking about – mental visions of the Tasmanian devil in a Chinaware shop comes to mind. Until the new radiator and fan arrive, say hello to my little, albeit temporary, modification… 

The best 4 pence spent on a temporary fix

What I did was loosen off the left handed Nylock on the water pump spindle enough to create a large enough gap behind the thick spacer washer, place the coins at opposing sides behind the washer and tighten up the nub nut. This locks the fan solid and stops the fan jiggling around – the source of all the horrendous noise. Net result, the car can now be driven without the risk of a circular saw flying round the engine bay and no more embarrassing clunks, tweets and bangs! 

Shocking Electrics 

I had some fun just the other evening when the throttle cable decided it would be a good idea to snap at the pedal end whilst leaving work. I’m convinced that the car knew I had a table booked at a Horsham restaurant for 8.00pm and the time was 6.00pm when it happened. 

Some quick thinking was required and, owing to the fact the cable had snapped at the nipple on the loud pedal, I rummaged around in the workshop for some suitable idea for a repair. The answer came in the form of a block connector or chocolate block as some readers of taste may know them. 

Working cable once more with some awful looking wiring!

The frayed ends of the cable were trimmed back and the connector was clamped onto the end – result, a fully functioning throttle cable once more. As mentioned in a previous ramble, the cable was initially too tight which has caused it to weaken and break. Just for the record, we were in the restaurant for 7.50pm. 

What was also obvious was the state of the wiring above the pedals. The flasher unit was just hanging by its wires and a section of loom was, in fact, being rubbed the the throttle cable. A plastic tie wrap was used to truncate the wiring clear of any moving parts (i.e., the brake and throttle pedals). Now the indicators can be heard ticking away thanks to the flasher unit being correctly fitted into its metal clip. 

As a final thought, one thing is very true and needs to be considered. Anyone who considers running and driving an older car without any mechanical knowledge or ability to ‘make do and mend’ is only asking for trouble. Charm and character in abundance older retro classics may hve, but these kinds of problems can seriously leave you in the lurch if you don’t have the know how or right contacts! 

Mike Humble

About the Author:

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade. Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications

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