Well, that was a week just gone by... Hectic and busy and sadly so little time for spannering or this forum
I went to Somerset on Sunday and for no other reason that it was the easiest of the V6s to get to, I went in old V6 but there was a job I HAD to do and that was to fix an essential part that had been non-operative for a while.
That essential part was the cruise control. Cruise is one of those things that once you've experienced it you never want to be without it. The thought of driving 330 miles without it was too much to bear...
A quick check showed it to be the usual old problem; a split in the vacuum pipe where it fits onto an oversize spigot on the vacuum pump. The pipe is too tiny for the spigot and it has to be stretched too far to make it fits and it splits as a result. To (hopefully) overcome this issue I did a modification involving a piece of washer hose, which is a nice snug fit but not too much of a stretch on the spigot, and a reducing coupler that is a better match to the size of the original vacuum pipe. My first attempt did not work as there was just the teeniest vacuum leak which was enough to stop it working. My second attempt was fully successful.
Today I had a day off to much catching up on neglected tasks from last week and even found time to complete my little hydraulic pressure gauge project.
Here it is:
This allows a gauge to be teed into the 4.5mm main hydraulic feed from the pressure regulator and thus to be able to confirm the regulator is cutting in and out at the right pressures and there are no leaks sapping away pressure.
The tee is made of brass and tapped to act as a female hydraulic union (it's what I needed an M9 tap set for) and brazed into this tee is a 4.5m feed pipe ending in a male union to screw into the pressure regulator and a branch pipe to the gauge. The gauge adapter had to be specially made and again brazed to the pipe.
It was a stern test of my brazing skills as it has to stand at least 170 bars of pressure and that's a lot. It's 2500 PSI in proper units of measure
I tested its basic integrity on the sphere tester and took it to 80 bars without issue.
I then put it on the Activa and gingerly started up with a spanner on the bleed valve just in case it decided to go bang so that I could release pressure quickly.
It didn't and here it is reading 150 bars:
It was interesting to watch what happened on the gauge as the engine started and pressure built. It quite quickly reached 80 bars or so (security valve opening pressure) and then stayed around 80 or 90 bars for some time as the rest of the system charged. Then the pressure slowly rose to 160 bars, a click signified the regulator had cut out and then the gauge slowly fell to just above 140 bars whereupon the pressure started to rise again to 160 bars as the regulator cut in. Soon another click was heard as the regulator cut out.
So, my regulator is a bit down but only by 10 bars so for now it's good enough.
What was amazing was how long the car held pressure after switch-off. It fell to around 120 bars and stayed there for ages before dropping to around 90 bars. At that time I had to attend an emergency in the close. A manhole cover was lifting and spewing raw sewage down the street
A neighbour and I got our rods out and set to a very unpleasant task. Our drains around here are terrible.
Anyway, it was one hour and 20 minutes before I looked at the gauge again and it was still reading 90 bars. I released pressure at that point and reassembled the car.
I'd love to know how much longer it would have held on to the pressure...
Still, it all looks good on the hydraulic front.
The day was nicely rounded off by a quick visit from Rhothgar who turned up on his Harley. A seriously lovely bike that and it sounds heavenly
Hoping this week will be a bit less hectic than the last.