I needed to tackle the handbrake next, the nearside sidepod also needed removing at some stage so I got that off first. I had 2 problems with the handbrake, not enough braking force and inadequate reserve movement, i.e. the inspector could pull it up to the stop. Looking at the mechanism I found I could adjust a bit of slack out of the cable and probably solve the reserve movement but fabricating new bracketry with some sort of multiplying lever was going to be a PITA. After a bit of head scratching I decided to investigate the possibility of extending the existing lever. After half an hour of looking at it and fiddling with bits of tube and aluminium bar I reckoned I could extend it with a length of 1″ aluminium tube and turn up a pushbutton mechanism on the lather. So on Sunday morning that’s what I did and here’s a pic of the parts – the larger aluminium parts at each end are drilled so the connecting pushrod locates positively within them. I also spotted that the end stop on the lever was preventing the use of the last ratchet tooth so I filed that away a bit too to give a little more range of movement.
Once I’d bonded the end piece on and screwed the tube onto the lever it was ready to fit. With the cables adjusted as tightly as I dare without any binding it works very well, with just 2 clicks making the wheels barely turnable by hand and still about 3 teeth to go once it’s been given a good heave-ho.
20 minutes with some rubber trim strip and superglue sorted out the edges around the number plate lamp and the lower edge of the rear cover across the back. I also took the new centre mirror off and trimmed round the edges of that and refitted it.
Then onto the headlights – all working OK but beam quite a bit too low. I have incorporated a degree of adjustment – basically each headlight unit is held in by a screw at each side and I’ve added a rivnut that allows me to intruduce a screw at the bottom of the unit from the back thus pushing the beam upwards as it’s tightened. It really needed the mounting screws slackening off though so I pulled the covers off to get at those – they needed to come off anyway as when Andy and I threw the car together prior to Oulton we didn’t have time to seal around the light units so the pods had accumulated a load of gravel and debris. The covers are only stuck on with double sided tape so come off fairly easily and once they were off I used a spirit level to mark the correct beam height on the jack handle and it didnb’t take long to get them both set up.
The only thing remaining is to remove the nearside duct and trim the rear edge to make it sit a bit further back as the front edge was protruding a bit in the intake aperture. Sadly I had to abandon the garage to head off to Croydon for 3 days I rang the VOSA inspector on Monday hoping to get the car booked in fairly soon for its retest but he can’t fit me in this Friday on my day off and he’s off all next week so it’ll be a couple of weeks.