What a wonderful weekend we had at the Bo'ness Hillclimb Revival meeting on September 7 and 8. The one aim I had with the car this year was to make it to Bo'ness, and I did.
If you have not heard of this event before, or been there, you should find out more on the Club's own site. It has to be some of the best fun in the calendar, with a tremendous 'gala' atmosphere. This is, after all, the hill that hosted the first ever round of the British Hillclimb Championships and has seen more notable competitors than myself in the past: including Messrs J Y Stewart and J Clark.
Here are links both to the BHCR site, and to John Crae's wonderful galleries of pictures he has taken at recent years' events. John was good enough to provide the pictures of my car here. And 'read more' to learn about my own experience.
The car had left these shores in about 1980 and subsequently borne a series of Danish number plates. In Denmark registration numbers are unique to the car/ owner combination - so they change each time the car has a new owner. But in the UK, the number is 'stapled' to the car throughout its life (absent someone putting a personalised number on it).
Fortunately the licensing body, DVLA, has a specific procedure that is intended to restore numbers that have been 'lost' to historical vehicles. This uses a procedure described by the name of the application form it uses - the V765. This requires you to present evidence that your car did bear that particular number - DVLA is usually looking for old tax or registration documents, and a certificate from a recognised owners club to back it up. Other documents I would need were an MOT certificate (roadworthiess test) and insurance certificate.
So I wanted to recover the car's original registration number if it was still available, 70 DNR. But this was to be neither obvious nor easy....
One problem that became apparent as I worked on the wipers was a fuel leak. With the ignition on and the fuel pump chattering away, there was a growing patch of petrol on the floor inside the left rear tyre. It was small but insidious - a bunch of polyester resin dripping in VPower would certainly 'keep the home-fires burning'.
My immediate solution was simply to disconnect the fuel pump earth so I could get on with the wipers. I would return to investigate this later.....
Getting under the car with a wheel off I could see the culprit was a short length of flexible fuel hose that joined two hard lines high in the rear arch, which would get wet and drip when the line was pressurised. The problem was a jubilee clip, just out of sight, that had to be tightened.
However, as I looked further downstream I realised the offending connection was only 30cm short of a factory fuel pipe union joining two lengths of hard line. Then checking upstream, the flexible hose was fixed again to the original hardline that disappeared into the boot. In the boot it had now gained another flexible hose connecting it with the fuel regulator - but only after passing through a stepup connector to get it from 6mm to the 8mm ID demanded by the regulator outlet.
So this one metre of fuel line started with a metal union and then ran through six jubilee clips to get it only as far as the fuel regulator. A classic case of 'just one more clip' being added by multiple owners over many years. While Bo'nes was too soon to allow for any radical replumbing, I figured I could at least replace that stretch of hose with something more robust.
Having resolved to do it, I pulled its entire length between the metal union and fuel regulator. Then realised I was holding something that looked like a 3/4 scale model of a mediaeval Welsh rice flail, bristling with jubilee clips.
A quick call to the very helpful folks at Speedflow had them prepped to confirm the size of the metal union connection and ship me the -6 braided hose I needed. I sent the union to them that day (Monday) and they were on the phone on Tuesday to tell me it was threaded 1/2-24UNF, which was an unusual size. Fay recommended a self-forming JIC alternative and I had the bits I needed in my hands on Wednesday. Unfortunately they would be 'out' of the nylon-braided hose I wanted to try until Thursday, and Bo'ness was on Saturday - so cutting it too fine to wait. Hence I opted for a less-flexible, but hugely robust, stainless-braided hose.
Working with this hose, it certainly helps to following the instructions and use a brand new 32T hacksaw blade, but I found putting it all together to be a coast. As was fitting the new JIC union to the hardline. I tied it all down and there was not a drip in sight.