|Another new engine|
Yet more problems...
In March 2000, Pete and I decided that we'd put a better cam in the engine, change the cylinder heads, and put in an oil cooler/filter. However, upon taking the engine apart, Pete found that the crankshaft had been damaged at some point, and some of the conrods were also scored. In addition, a couple of the bearings were also worn quite badly.
We had had a problem where the valve clearances would never settle down, and would open, and this could be a reason. Since the engine was still under warranty (albeit with 3 months to spare), we got a replacement one from VW Heritage (after finding recepits and checking the engine number (which was slightly different to what they had recoreded)).
This new engine was taken apart (to make sure), and then reassembled. It was then put back into my car, and it did make a difference - it was very much quieter, and revved higher.
Unfortunately, we didn't fit an oil cooler/filter, so it still runs hot, but it is so much better.
As a temporary stop-gap measure, Pete and I repainted the wheels - originally when I rebuilt the car, I painted them in the same colour as the body, but now this paint was beginning to peel. We chose a dark silver colour, which also hides the brake dust quite nicely!
The Monza 4-tip exhaust is fine except for two things. Firstly, its size is not very good, and it protudes from the back too much. Secondly, it does not sound very nice. Pete built a custom exhaust from piping, two Rover exhaust boxes, and two DTM-style tailpipes. The new exhaust does not protude at all, and the position of the tailpipes is closer to that of a Dino. It also roars quite magnificently at between 3,000 to 3,500 revs (especially when it is doing a lot of work).
The following picture shows the new wheels, and also the less obtrusive exhaust.
New rocker gear
It is my aim to improve the engine a lot, so we have been doing some preparation work for when I increase the engine size. One of the changes is to put a bolt-on rocker shaft into the cylinder heads. This helps prevent the rockers from popping off the end of the shaft (which should only happen on high revving engines). At the same time, I also bought some high ratio rocker gear (1.25:1 as opposed to 1.1:1), which increases torque and power.
We fitted these, and it did make a slight difference - some cold-running flat spots were ironed out, and it had better acceleration at high speeds.
Hit and run
On the 24th July, a car went into the side of mine (while I was driving it), and he took off. I followed him, worrying that I'd had the rear end smashed up, until I lost him. Unfortunately I didn't see his registration number, so all I could do was report it to the police.
Luckily, the damage was not as severe as I had guessed, and some body filler, and some spraying should repair it to a state which looks okay. It really does need a complete respray (since blending in the area could be difficult), but until I am able to claim off his insurance, I am not worried about it.