Saturday, December 08, 2007

Long time no reports.

Well it has been some time since I made a report on MLE 302D (affectionately known as Emely.) The last report being in June 2007. Just after she had passed her mot and was on the roads. We were soon to be enjoying drives locally and 'Emely' got herself noticed attracting a lot of attention as well as having her photograph taken regularly. Which of course made us feel very proud and pleased after all the hard work re the building of her.

I then naturally wanted to try a longer journey so it was on 1st July we went to Sawston to meet Toby Cowper who had ordered a Vincent Hurricane kit to rebuild his elderly decaying Triumph Spitfire. Toby was impressed with our MLE, photographs were taken etc.
Also in July we took MLE to Croxley Green in Hertfordshire this was her second long journey being some 200 mile round trip from our home.

A week or so later while out cruising the engine started making a funny noise. We returned home at a slow pace to reduce any serious damage to the engine.

On investigating we found no2 big end had started to pick up on the crank luckily the damage was not too serious and a new set of big ends were ordered from Canley's and duly fitted.

We then started a slow running-in period not over revving the engine and covered a further 350 miles at this point an oil and filter change were done in readiness for Duxford.

MLE had been invited to Duxford earlier in the year for the August anniversary of the Spitfire fighter plane. The Hurricane was also used during the 2nd world war although not mentioned as much. MLE 302D was of course a Spitfire and is now a (Vincent) Hurricane.

On 5th August we left home at 7Am so the trip would not be too much of a rush and it was already promising to be a hot day. Having met up with Colin Wake in Colchester we then made our way towards Duxford via Earls Colne and Halstead continuing on through to Great Yeldham, all was going well we were making good time and it was getting hotter by the minute.
We left the village of Ridgewell heading for Haverhill then on approaching New England we developed a misfire and loss of power so finding a safe place to investigate the problem.......Up came the bonnet.......A quick check of coil and plug leads revealed nothing I restarted the her and she seemed happy firing on all four cylinders so off we went. By this time Colin had realized that we were no longer following him so had turned around to look for us. We now passed each other travelling in opposite directions Colin did a U turn and now of course he was behind us which was very fortunate as MLE soon started to play up again we pulled in to take another look, Colin had pulled in behind us. This time we decided to change the points and condenser.
Now restarted once again and were running sweet this seemed to have cured the problem. THEN as we were going down the Haverhill By Pass power was lost once more and again we pulled into a lay-by at this point another Triumph Spitfire passed and on seeing we were having difficulties turned around and pulled up to offer some assistance. Colin had offered me the spare coil he carries, this was soon fitted and once again the engine started all was well ........Or so it seemed!
One mile down the road and it was the same old story at this point I told Colin and the crew of the other Spitfire to continue on to Duxford as the cars were expected to be on display to the public. We had all been asked to arrive by 9.45am this was looking increasingly unlikely for us and we were running out of ideas fast. There was no sense in several cars arriving late because one couldn't behave herself! At this point that we thanked Colin and the Spitfire crew for their help and we hoped to see them all later. Having played mechanic for a while longer we eventually arrived at Duxford on a wing and a prayer...........Several prayers.

We had a very enjoyable day at Duxford and were given a lot of advice from many very kind and helpful people. But of course at the end of the day we had to get back home with the problem remaining unsolved. The journey back home was a stop/start event but we were able to get home under our own steam.

Since Duxford various parts have been removed and cleaned with some parts being replaced but the main problem was that the fuel tank. It had possibly got some rust in it as it had been unused for many years. The fuel tank in MLE is the older type having the pick up at the bottom. I have now been informed that the later fuel tanks have the pick up coming in from the top....... Hence on filling the tank to capacity for the first in many years the rust etc. would have been disturbed and then settled at the bottom making it easy to enter the fuel line. I have now modified the fuel line and have also fitted an in-line fuel filter at the tank end this has now cured the problem. MLE is once again well and happy and we are still enjoying getting out as often as we can with warm scarves these days! Perhaps it is time to think about a hard top especially as my wife is thinking about taking a hot water bottle on our next outing.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

On the road

Well it has now passed its Mot and we have been out on the roads clocking up some miles.

Just a few minor adjustment to make but nothing serious.

Very pleased with the way it all went the Mot was my biggest worry but the car passed first time.

The chap who did the Mot was very impressed with the way the car was put together.

He also like the stainless exhaust system and the clamps i used to hold it all together.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Well it seemed like it was going to take for ever to finish but today the Hurricane it finished.
Have been out for a small test drive and all is well.

Mot is booked for Saturday the 16th june 9.30 am.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The complete car.

Both doors are refitted.

The engine has now been run up for the first time in 12 years.
Well the oil pressure was instant and did not smoke.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More pictures/more progress

Rear interior panels are all fitted in.
Exhaust system is now fitted.
Rear number plate and light also now fitted.
The hood is fitted and suit's the car colour.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

windscreen fitting complete

windscreen fitting complete.....A good tip for fitting the plastic chrome insert is to spray a little WD40 along the insert groove aprox. 12" at a time then gently tap insert into rubber with a rubber mallet. This idea came to me after the wife had struggled for some time! with a crochet hook and various other instruments including a rug hook!