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Dave the tram

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Dave the tram last won the day on March 9 2019

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About Dave the tram

  • Birthday 28/04/1951

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  • Location
    Bamford, Derbyshire Peak District
  • Cars Owned
    GT6 mk 3 1973 swing spring. used daily and fairly original except for gaz shocks, slightly lowered, electronic ignition, K&Ns and twin pipe sports exhaust. Other car Skoda Yeti 4x4. Previous 3rd car 205 GTi 1.9 - oh why dud I sell that?!

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Expert (4/13)



  1. Well, some progress. Re threaded the water pump housing using Helicoils - a new skill! Fitted new studs and nuts, reconditioned water pump, put radiator back on. So far so good. I cleaned the surfaces up pretty well and didn’t use any sealant, just paper gasket. I have slight leak, which I don’t think is around the gasket but from the nut on the lower stud. Nuts tightened to about 12 lb/ft as per manual. I’m guessing that, as the lower stud goes right through into the water channel, its possible to get leakage through the threads and past the spring washer. I can’t decide weather to refit that stud with some sort of sealant, or just refit the nut with a plain washer before the spring washer and some sealant on it.Not sure what sealant - my local garage man said silicone sealant is useful on water gaskets with older cars, but I think that needs exposure to the air to make it set. All ideas welcome. Dave
  2. Seem to have solved my own problem here - I decided to mess with some inserts seeing as I’ve got a box full. I now understand that the Helicoils, being just a coil of loose threads can easily be trimmed down. Just seperated a couple of turns by forcing a small screw driver under them, then snipped them them off with side cutters. Voila, a correct length. Just waiting for the new studs to arrive now. Dave
  3. Continued - looking on Fleabay I think I’ve found shorter Helicoils, if the photo is to be trusted, with about 8 threads instead of 11. Worth a shot for another fiver. Once I’ve sorted that, I’ll clean the surfaces again and try a new gasket without any sealant - it might hinder rather than help.
  4. I’ll try the thick washer approach, I may have a short tube of the right size among my bike spares (cycling is my other love). Also, I might have a solution. Looking on fleabay
  5. Well, I always said that working on old cars taught you patience! Got the Helicoil kit and new stud, fitted it ok, put everything back, with refurbed pump, radiator back on etc. Filled it and weeping from pump (it’s a new new gasket and a smear of silicon sealant, as recommended for older cars by my local garageman). I hadn’t tightened the 3 nuts too much so tried a bit more - and a different stud pulled out, threads looked like they had rotted away, both male and female. I’m not a gorilla mechanic and only using fingers on a spanner with a 5 inch lever. Now that I’ve come this far, having got the Helicoil kit that seems to have worked ok, will continue. I’ve taken everything off again and will rethread the other hole and fit another new stud. Bit of advice though please on using Helicoil. The inserts are a few mm longer than the hole (2 of the three stud holes emerge into the water channel of the housing). So the far end with the tab on emerges from the other side before it’s fitted in flush. The first one started to unravel cos I’m twisting the tab tool with a couple of loose threads having emerge. Extracted the inserted and fitted a new one, this time pulling slightly on the tool once it had started, whereas your instinct is to push slightly. This kept the coil more compact and did the job. But I can’t break the tab off as no resistance to push against, and I have a few loose threads emerging into the water channel of the housing. I decided to live with this for one stud, but doesn’t seem ideal. I can’t get at it to trim the loose threads, perhaps a slightly shorter Helicoil insert would be best if they make them. Trying to trim one down seems tricky. Any ideas, or do you reckon live with a bit of flow obstruction? If all this fails I’m back to sourcing a new housing. Cheers Dave
  6. Thanks Johny, that all makes sense. I’d worked some of that out from internet/Wikipedia and you have plugged the gaps. I will go straight out and check against that drill size. I know what you mean about standardising all three studs, but might not be easy finding correct length stud in that size, once I’ve managed to work out the size. The existing stud has damaged thread, whereas I now have a replacement 5/16 stud. At the end of the day, I’m driving a car that has ended up with a metric brake calliper one side and imperial the other. But the car generally works very well keeps me happy!
  7. Well, still not there. The new stud pushed straight into the hole. Compared it to existing stud and the latter is a bit bigger with fewer, bigger threads (about 11 on the long section compared to 16 on the correct stud. Perhaps all three have already been repaired to slightly larger stud size, one of which has failed and pulled out. Found a bolt the exact same size as existing stud, but that pulled out as well so the female threads are spoilt - I had thought I might make new stud out of that. So will order a Helicoil repair kit for 15/16 unf as I think the hole is still small enough and will still need a bit of drilling out to fit the helicoil. Then use the new stud (and make note in the book for any future owner that the studs are non standard and now different sizes!) Question - in ordering the kit, presumably unf is different from unc, and when they describe for example as 5/16 x 24 unf, what does the 24 signify. I’m looking at different suppliers to find one that can give 1st class delivery so I can get cracking. cheers, Dave
  8. Got it, seen the ‘how to’ videos on YouTube and found helicoil kits on flea bay, cheers all. Will see how well the new stud fits when it arrives and take it from there.
  9. Ah, now that makes sense. So presumably you have to accurately drill the old threads out and create the new hole and threads - I’ll look for YouTube clips of using a helicoil. cheers
  10. Took Bob’s hindsight advice on this one because as soon as I looked at my new updated bush I could see it wasn’t going to fit without spoiling it or wrecking the column outer. I separated the outer rubber by repeatedly dipping in boiling water then prizing it off - easier than I imagined when warmed. Then took most of one flange off the plastic inner by sawing through each side with a mini hacksaw, to leave just 2 tabs of flange about 1cm wide, then filed these at 45 degrees to a point. (forgot to photograph it before inserting). Put the rubber in first, easy, then the inner after wetting it. Smart eh. Well not so smart. At the instant it went home for ever with a satisfying click, I realised I should have put the inner column in first from the top as I hadn’t intended to remove the bottom bush which was still ok. Sorted now. Another useful tip for others in future if you damage or destroy the rubber tabs on the outer bush while fitting it - especially with the standard ones, I find that getting the bush lined up correctly then pouring some liquid fibreglass resin to fill the hole in the metal outer tube works. Do one hole at a time with it held horizontal until set. If worried that the bush is so loose that resin might flood through to the insides, just do a couple of drops to seal the cracks, let it set, then fill the hole with some more. Seems to last well. Dave
  11. Thanks all Stud came out easy and threads look poor so have ordered new one first class. I guess I should try and at least clean the threads in the housing before screwing it in. How exactly does a helicoil kit worK? I can see that cleaning the threads is useful, but how can you repair metal that’s missing other than to thread it to a slightly bigger stud by going into new metal?
  12. Well, things are rarely simple with our old cars. Excellent service from EP services as recommended in reconditioning my water pump, but on refitting it I found one of the 3 nuts wouldn’t tighten with only moderate resistance on a short spanner. Checked the nut and tried a new one, then realised the stud as slowly pulling out.Now about to remove radiator to get at things better to remove the stud and have a look. Hoping a new stud is what’s needed, as original type housings seem to be unavailable now - just alloy ones for about £100. Re tapping and fitting an oversize stood is currently beyond my experience. Anyone know where o might get a descent housing from cheers Dave
  13. Hi Just a long shot but I had a misfire with my GT6 that I could never resolve until recently. At full throttle, higher end revs and especially uphill - it would start to loose power as if starved of fuel, then immediately cough repeatedly as if back through the carbs. I think it was, as one air filter casings got a bit sooty! I sort of learnt to live with it having tried so many things, but couldn’t confidently overtake. Recently I serviced the car and the only things I did that could have affected it were: - check and clean plugs, all looked ok and gap correct - check dizzy cap (it has electronic ignition) - checked tappits, all correct. In refitting the rocker cover, I noticed it was deforming a bit around the bolts and the washers weren’t seating well. Refitted with better combination of steel, nylon and rubber washers to get good seal. It has run well ever since and I think a vacuum leak was causing it via the breather pipes. I intend to try and recreate the fault to confirm this, but am currently in the middle of other jobs on the car. cheers, Dave
  14. Pretty sure the noise at the front is the water pump (started new thread under ‘cooling’. ) I took Nicks suggestion a step further and made an emergency short fan belt just to the pump - noisy with, quiet without the belt, so hoping to get the water pump refurbed. As for the alternator pulley that fell apart, I now find that the smaller hexagonal part at the front of nut that seats into the pulley was cracked and falling apart and won’t go back together, so going for new alternator. As for Pete’s ‘turn the radio up’ - I’ve gone one better. Although I like to keep my car fairly traditional, I have taken the radio out and replaced it with a panel of USBs and a 12v socket. I have a phone clamp on the dash and lovely blue tooth Apple AirPod pro earphones. These fit in the ear and have a noise cancelling function that makes the car sound like a modern luxury car while I’m still able to hear horns and sirens. (I also keep adding more and more sound deadening). Long motorway journeys are now very relaxing. I set the phone up with music and podcasts, google maps interjects through them as required and I can give a quick answer to any phone calls with one touch to the ear. I do still have a 1980s road atlas on the back seat though! Dave
  15. Yes, thanks for confirming.will pursue EP services on the phone as their website is still down. cheers Dave
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