November & December 2002

4th November, 2002

Having already completed a V55/5 (Application for a registration number for a previously used vehicle) and a V627/1 (Built up vehicle inspection report) and popped them (and a cheque for £185) in to the LVO in Maidstone last Wednesday, today was the final hurdle to being fully on the road.

I had decided to apply for an age related plate and to that end the above application forms were supported with copies of the donor Sierra's V5, the Rover P6 V5 (as engine 'receipt'), a receipt for the gearbox and DJ Sportscars' invoices for the chassis/body and suspension.

Trev's Tip:- Always obtain and keep all receipts for major items as listed on the V627/1, since without proof of ownership of all the parts, the LVO cannot process the application.

I arrived for my 10:30 appointment and after waiting for 45 minutes or so, Mr LVO came out and after apologising for keeping me waiting, announced an age-related plate (1989 'G') would be issued once he'd inspected the chassis and engine numbers. It then only took 2 minutes to inspect the car and after another 10, I had my registration number and tax disc in hand!

There is now is list of 'snags' and 'non-SVA approved enhancements' that need to be made when time permits over this winter. These range from relatively quick things like fitting a Momo steering wheel to stripping, rebuilding and installing my 3.9 engine.

17th November, 2002

I received my V5 this week and was surprised to see that it said 'Non-transferable registration number' even though I have an age related plate. This is either a mistake or there's another reason I thought. I have to admit that I began to question the age-related wisdom if it meant that I couldn't stick on a personalised plate (as with a 'Q'). However a quick gander at the DVLA website (prompted by a comment made by Ash Trowe on the list) revealed a .PDF file explaining everything. Here is the relevant extract:-

23. My V5 registration document says my registration number is non-transferable. Can I transfer a cherished number onto my vehicle? Yes. Although you cannot transfer or retain a non-transferable number, the vehicle can receive a registration number providing the non-transferable number is not a "Q" mark and providing the vehicle meets the normal conditions of the Sales, Transfer and Retention schemes (see the appropriate sections elsewhere in this booklet).

So all is well again.

Have had a couple of blasts around the Kent countryside since registration (weather permitting of course) and I am finding the Rush a bit of a handful. I've had it 'step out' on me a few times already and I know that before too long I'm gonna have a 'bit of a huge moment'. I need to experiment with the tyre pressure/damper setting combination to get the best compromise. Getting the tracking set correctly last weekend has also improved the drivability. I am also surprised at the amount of 'bump steer' I seem to be experiencing. Hitting any kind of sizeable road anomaly (and there's plenty here in Kent) can have you pointing in a somewhat unexpected direction!! On the positive side, there is very little scuttle shake. Can't wait for next spring!!

8th December, 2002

The weather seems to have contrived to prevent much 'Rush-age' over the past few weeks however I did manage to drop enough hints to the family about a Momo steering wheel for Christmas and a large box from Burton Power has recently arrived (yippee)!

The other day I was clearing out old kit car magazines when I came across an article about speeds and gearing on a Westfield Seight (Which Kit, March 2001). It rather concerned me that Mr Nigel Dean's Seight could only manage a theoretical top speed of 111 mph at 5000 rpm. Given that I have exactly the same drive train I felt that my top speed ought to be higher than that, especially since I have 16" wheels. So today I set about doing the sums and realised quite early on that Mr Dean's formulae left a little to be desired. The major error was only adding one tyre wall height dimension to the rim diameter instead of two, i.e. rolling diameter = (2x tyre wall height) + rim diameter. That being said, the figures in his final table seem to have over come this anomaly. Similar to Mr Dean, I've also reduced Pi by 2.3% to take into account the actual rolling diameter I measured when I calibrated my speedo (due to tyre pressure and the weight of the car). So click here to see my findings (I have used the ratios quoted in my Range Rover Haynes manual for an LT77 'box).

As part of this process, I have come across another anomaly. My engine, as you may recall, came from an elderly Rover P6 and was purely installed to get me through the SVA (my 3.9's age could not be proven). I was interested in what power and torque it had albeit given that I had changed both the induction and exhaust systems. The problem is that I have conflicting information as to the compression ratio for the P6 engine. The owner's manual quotes 9.25:1 but Rimmer's list quotes 10.5:1. Not really a problem but there is also the question of power output. Rimmer's reckon 165 BHP for a standard 3500, but my owner's manual quotes a measly 143 BHP @ 5000 rpm. There are no figures for the torque in the Rimmer's manual but my P6 owner's manual quotes 202lb/ft at 2700 rpm. All a bit academic given some of the changes that I've made. Never the less, this information suggests that the 3.9 rebuild and installation need happen ASAP in order to get my Rush up to a much more respectable 200+ BHP! Still a good rule of thumb right now is 'keep it around 2700 rpm for maximum acceleration'. And if maximum power is at circa 5000 rpm, then I should be able to knock on the door of 130 mph in fifth!!

15th December, 2002.

All winter work on the Rush has come to an abrupt and premature stop due to my company announcing that 70% of its 300 or so staff are going to be made redundant! It was very hard having to announce this news to the 30 people who work in my department just before Christmas, especially when I may also be out of a job. Hey ho, time to update the C.V.,:-(

Happy Christmas!

27th December, 2002

Father Christmas came by on the 25th December and left a very nice Momo Power 30 steering wheel and hub in my stocking. I must have been a very good boy this year! I decided to fit them before the turkey, and take the Rush for a spin. Blimey, I needed forearms like Popeye to manoeuvre the car out of the garage but once on the road I found the smaller wheel definitely made the Rush easier to drive. However, I should really have known better than to get 'enthusiastic' on damp roads and soon found myself with the back of the car trying to come past the front at a worrying rate of knots. This rapidly led to the application of several handfuls of opposite lock (easier now with the Christmas present). I managed to keep three of the round rubber things on the black stuff but the nearside front went for a ramble into the muddiest verge in West Kent. This resulted mud depositing itself all over the n/s of the car...inside and out. No damage done but several hundred more grey hairs and the afternoon spent with a bucket and sponge. Mental note to self....'Red=Mazda 323=FWD, Green=Rush=RWD'.

31st December, 2002

I have resolved the compression ratio issue by reading more carefully the books that I've got on the shelf. David Hardcastle's excellent 'Tuning Rover V8 Engines' states that ".....although in 1974 the Rover P6B engine had the compression ratio dropped to 9.25:1 (from 10.5:1 - Ed.) with a change of piston". Oh well, that clears that up then.

Happy New Year!!

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