March 11th, 2001
Back from Oz and I'd rather hoped to push on with the Rush. However a seemingly never ending succession of domestic & business activities meant that I only had chance to work on the car today.
The loom finally arrived from Lightening Looms last week and a very impressive, if not daunting, item it is too. My first impression was 'how the hell am I going to sort this lot out' but having sat down with the drawings (an electronics background certainly helps) and read the single sheet of instructions, it does appear to be a fairly straightforward thing to install. The loom I purchased was the generic Lotus Seven inspired loom (LSIL in Lightening speak) and even though the delivery time was a little protracted, I am very impressed with the quality.
As I mentioned at the end of February, I set about extracting my 3.5l V8 from its donor today. Everything went well except that when I was removing the power-steering pump bracket I broke one of the very long bolts that pass through the water pump & timing front cover into the block. Fortunately it broke leaving at least 100mm proud of the block so removal at a later date should not be a problem. Otherwise the weather got the better of me and I was unable to get under the car to undo the exhaust pipe clamps, the engine mounts and the bellhousing bolts. I'm hoping that the engine and gearbox can be split prior to engine removal. Another day or so should see the engine out and into the workshop.
In lieu of finishing the engine extraction, I set about cleaning up the bellhousing and gearbox. Seems I've had a bit of luck, the slave cylinder push rod and retaining clip are still connected to the clutch actuator arm. These items are as rare as hen's teeth I'm told, so I count myself lucky that these items just happened to come with the second hand box I bought!
March 19th, 2001
The weather again prevented any further attempts to extract the 3.5 V8 from its donor yesterday (Sunday). Saturday was lost to Rushery as a consequence of having to fit a laminate floor in the lounge and dining room!!
Still spent Sunday fitting the rear portion of the loom into the chassis and then went about finishing the cleaning up my LT77 gearbox and bellhousing.
During the week I had ordered a new gearbox remote and gearstick to suit an R380 gearbox from Ashcroft Transmissions for £30.00 + VAT. It duly arrived and is basically the same as the LT77 SD1 item excepting:-
That being said, the rest is identical so I have decided to renovate my SD1 item with any appropriate bits from the R380 item. That way I keep the LT77 casting and therefore the reversing lamp switch mounting and accidental reverse selecting mechanism. Unfortunately, whilst removing the gearstick from the R380 remote, it came out rather too quickly catching me somewhat unawares. I later found a 5x30mm (ish) spring lying on the bench that looks as like it might have come from a hole in the side of the 'ball' at the bottom of the gearstick (cant think where else it could have come from). I suspect that there was also a ball bearing or similar on the end of the spring but I can't find one so am unsure if there was one there to begin with.
Time ran out before I could finish the remote refurb but another hour or so should see it finished.
There's no avoiding it now, the engine just has to come out of the donor and into the Rush otherwise the project will really have stopped in its tracks. To that end I bought an engine stand from Machine Mart ready to carry out the work on the 3.5 previously mentioned. As a time saving measure, I've worked out that it should be possible to swap the injection system from the 3.9 onto the 3.5 without going through the lengthy head swapping process. I'm hoping that the minimal amount of machining needed on each inlet port, to allow the necessary injector clearance, can be done VERY CAREFULLY without removing the heads. This avoids the lengthy process of having to set the lifter pre-loads etc., after replacing the heads. By stuffing the inlet ports with suitable material to stop the filings entering the cylinders and by the judicious use of a Dyson/Dremmel combination, I reckon I can carry out the small modification to each port without filling the cylinders with alloy dust. Time will tell (gulp).
March 24th, 2001
Finished the overhaul of the LT77 remote with the exception of the reversing lamp switch which will require a new item from Rimmers or RPI. With the help of an SD1 Haynes manual, I managed to find out what went ping from the gearstick assembly. Armed with this information I located the mystery item (a nylon 'rivet' shaped object) under the workbench behind one of the legs. So all went together fine and dandy.
Also completed the wiring to the fuel pump. I have wired a ballast resistor in series with the pump as fitted to an SD1. This is to slow the pump slightly to reduce wear and noise. It should not cause too much reduction in pressure as the pump is rated at 60psi, and the regulator on the engine is rated at 38psi. I hopefully shouldn't notice any fuel starvation (unless I upgrade to 5 litres later!!).
Otherwise took the old flywheel and automatic gearbox plate off of the 3.9 engine since it will need to come off sometime and didn't have time to begin extracting the 3.5 from its donor. The flywheel is not suitable for a manual clutch assembly unfortunately
Off to Brazil tomorrow so nothing will get done now until early April. Still the next step will mean a large bill so perhaps its just as well that I am going away until after payday! To install the engine/gearbox I still need to buy :-