My Car in 2009

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14th October 2009

Just been out for a nice drive in the Scimitar out in the countryside.  Must be global warming as I was wearing a T-shirt and had the sunroof open.  Can't be bad for mid-October!!

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Above:  Trees changing colour



26th September 2009

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Above: Useless Kevlar Reinforced hose

Well, after spending the day at Prescott watching Scimitars compete in the Scimitar and Sabre Speed championship and see a a number of them play with the scenery, the curse of the Scimitar seemed to stick with me as I left Prescott.  Shortly after leaving Prescott, my kenlowe fan light came on, even though the Scimitar hadn't really been going long enough to get really hot.  
I pulled over into a pub car park (handy place to break down!) and then there was quite a lot of steam coming from the engine bay!!  I carefully opened the bonnet and waited for the steam to calm down and then investigated where it was all coming from.  Standing in a pool of water/antifreeze, I  removed the spare wheel and spare wheel tray and I found that the bottom radiator hose had split.  It's bloody typical that I had left most of my tools and spares at home after cleaning out the car for previous show at Tamworth.  I normally get the mickey taken out of me as I usually carry enough tools/spares in my boot to build a new Scimitar :o)   
I cut off a small section of the hose, refitted it and then topped up the cooling system topped, but the hose seemed to be cracked all over and just started to spring new leaks!  Most of my water hoses have been replaced with silicon hoses, but there were a couple that wouldn't fit properly, so I used the 'Kevlar Reinforced' hoses in their place.  

Well to say I am not impressed by theses Kevlar hoses is an understatement!!  You will be lucky if they don't start to crack within a year!!! (Chocolate fire guard comes to mind).  

After about an hour or so playing with the car I decided that I wasn't going to repair it with sticky tape (only joking!), so I called for the breakdown services to come and rescue me and take me and the car home.  I had to wait first to be towed by a transit van to to Junction 7 on the M5, where I would then be loaded onto a flatbed unit to be transported home safely.

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Above:  Scimmy on the flatbed.


13th September 2009

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Above: Back home in Tamworth where my Scimitar was built 40 years ago. As part of the Tamworth Heritage weekend we had 81 Reliant cars, 3 and 4 wheelers! 
See:  Tamworth Heritage Reliant Display 



20th August 2009

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Above:  Gearbox ready to be fitted back into Scimitar.  I have refitted the gearbox on my won before a number of time, but old age is creeping up with me and I found that I could manage on my own.  Finally with the help of Mark and Sue Cropper, we were able to refit the gearbox. 

19th August 2009

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Above: A trip Kings Bromley, after Sue's father "Bob", kindly offered to investigate the cause of my gearbox.  The main problem was found in the gearbox top cover/selector housing.  It was sticking and was very difficult to move the selector across the shaft to select 3rd and 4th gear.  Bob stripped the gearbox and gave it a thorough check.  We decided to change a couple of the synchroniser rings and replace the main drive gear.  Luckily, I had a few spares which were in much better condition! 

Special Thanks to Mark, Sue and Bob for their help :o)



18th August 2009

Well, after doing a number of very enjoyable laps of Curborough Sprint Circuit in the Scimitar, without any problems, at the end of the day the gearbox decided it didn't want to play any more and I had lost 3rd and 4 gear.  So when I got the car home, I had to remove the box to have a look.

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My dad let me put the Scimitar in the garage so I could remove the gearbox.  Once the Scimitar was jacked up, I made sure it is safe using axle stands.
 On the SE5 model, you can remove the gearbox, leaving the bell housing in place.  First I drained the gearbox oil, the I removed the gear stick/linkage, removed the prop-shaft and speedo cable, the overdrive switch wires, then I undid the 6 bolts that hold the gearbox to the bell housing.  Next, I put a small jack underneath the gearbox mounting to help support the weight, then undid the gearbox mounting bolts.  I was then able to slide the gearbox backwards into the chassis tunnel as far back and as high as possible and manually work the gearbox out from the bell housing and carefully lower the gearbox, nose first, onto the floor. Then slide the gearbox forward and lower the back out.  I was able to remove the gearbox on my own, but I did manage to get stuck underneath the car with the gearbox on top of me for a while (forgetting how heavy the gearbox is)   I would recommend using a small trolley jack and supporting the weight of the gearbox , it can be fiddly getting the gearbox out this way, but atleast you don't get squashed by a gearbox :o)



17th August 2009

Curborough Test Day

As part of the Sabre and Sabre Owners Club "Sporting Weekend", there was a test day beforehand, so that people could take their own cars around the circuit and the competition guys could set their own cars up ready for the weekend.
I had decided to have a go in my Scimitar now it was running properly again, with Sue Cropper as my victim passenger, who took the in-car footage for me.

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Above: Some say that he runs a website called Sporting Reliants and that red hammerite runs through his veins..... all we know is he's called the Stig!!! 

Above: Single Lap

Above: Double Lap

Above: External footage by Rob Breen

The car performed very well (unlike the driver), and I must have driven around the circuit atleast a dozen times or more in the morning session.  By the afternoon, I was just a spectator, watching and filming other people take there own cars around the circuit.  I the evening, I went to leave in the Scimitar and when I got out on the main road, I found that I couldn't get the car into 3rd or 4th gear!!  I had a look at the external rods to see if they had come out and they seemed fine.  This meant that the gearbox would have to come out...



7th August 2009

Well after fitting the new carburettor, overhauled distributor and setting up the timing with the help of my cousin Tony, I was horrified to find out that the car was still not running very well!!  I couldn't get the car to idle properly.  I would set the revs to about 800 rpm and it would stall, so I adjusted it to 900 rpm.  When starting the engine again, the revs seemed to stay at 1200 rpm :o)  I played around with the timing, tickover and mixtures and still the car would not run right :o(   To say I was a little frustrated and disappointed was an under statement!
Sues father, Bob, said he would have a look if I could get the car over to him. I arrived in the afternoon he tried to set the carburettor.  As I had found, the idle speed seemed to have a mind of it's own and Bob said, it was possible that I could have an air leak from the inlet manifold.  He said he would check the inlet manifold bolts were tight first, so I set about removing air cleaner and the rocker covers.  Bob then asked when was the last time I have checked the valve clearances.  I told him that it would have been about 2 years ago, so he said we should check those first.  As we started to check the clearances, Bob discovered that two of the exhaust outlets had virtually no gap!! He reset all the gaps in the correct order to 15 thou (15 thou for both inlet and outlet for Kent V63 Cam only).  He said that that was probably causing the problem and was confident that if I put the rocker covers back on, then the car would run ok.  
We started the car up and reset the carb and it ran great!!!!!  So I was a little embarrassed, to have not checked them in the first place and it would have saved me quite a lot of time, money and stress!! 

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Above: Check your valve clearances!!

Many thanks to Bob!



5th August 2009

New shiny Webber carburettor arrives!!

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Above: New Webber 38DGMS (John Wade, blocked off the fuel return pipe, which isn't needed on my Scimitar

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Above:  The only thing you need to keep from the old carb is the throttle linkage arm, as the new one is totally different. 

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Above:  Old and the new

Thanks to John Wade for his help and advice



27th July 2009

I had continued to use the Scimitar for various cars shows and events, but gradually the stalling became worse.  After a please for help on the Reliant Sabre and Scimitars Owners Club forum ( it was suggested that it may be my brake servo, so I blanked off the pipe from the servo to the inlet manifold and it still didn't make any difference.  I had tried different many other things during May, June and July and decided that it was time to perhaps get the car looked at and set up properly on a rolling road.  I provisionally made an appointment with Aldon Rolling Road but after speaking to one of their engineers, he said that I would be wasting my time and money if my carb was worn.  I did know that my Webber 38DGAS had quite a bit of play in he linkages etc, so put the rolling road on hold until I could get a better carb.  I rang Ford Essex guru John Wade to see if he sold reconditioned carbs and he said that it wasn't worth him doing them, because the prices of new Webber cars were quite low.  John suggested I purchased a new Webber equivalent called a 38 DGMS, with built in manual choke.  He then said that it would be worth me getting my distributor rebuilt and the power curve set properly to match my V63 cam and new carb.

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Above:  Removed my old Webber 38DGAS

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Above:  Removed the distributor ready to send to John Wade for it's overhaul



18th July 2009

Scimitar passed it's M.O.T, with an advisory of both front tyres worn on the inner edge (sorted that problem out now, tracking had been set wrong by garage) and both rear half shafts have slight leak.  I will rebuild my spare axle ready for next year.

Mileage covered since last M.O.T:



27th June 2009

Happy 40th Birthday!!

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Above: My Scimitar is 40 years old today (registered 27.06.1969) and as the Scimitar can't eat cake, I had to eat it all myself :o)



May 1st 2009

I have recently been having a few problems with the car stalling under braking.  As it was due for a service, I set about changing the plugs, points, condenser, rotor arm, oil & filter, fuel filter.  I took the car out for another run and the problem still occurred, so I purchased a Webber 38 Dgas repair kit and changed the gaskets, diaphram, filter, cleaned/checked the jets, re-adjusted the idle jets and tick over.

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Above: Service time

The Scimitar was still misbehaving so I looked at the vacuum mechanism on the distributor and that seemed to be sticking, so I fitted a spare vacuum and got that working properly, but the Scimitar still wanted to stall when braking.

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Above: Change dodgy vacuum on distributor.

To be continued......



April 11th 2009

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I am gradually swapping my black instrument bezels for chrome ones, which I think look much better 



April 10th 2009

As previously mentioned my milometer had stuck at mileage 999.  I thought I would take it to bits to see if I could see what was wrong with it.

speedo.jpg (78118 bytes) speedo_3.jpg (100857 bytes) speedo_4.jpg (114112 bytes)First, I undid the chrome bezel on the front and remove the glass and inner rim..

speedo_1.jpg (85124 bytes)  speedo_2.jpg (84859 bytes) Next, I removed the two bolts in the back of the speedo.

speedo_5.jpg (85948 bytes) speedo_6.jpg (77193 bytes) Then I carefully lifted off the out casing, leaving the internals for me to examine.

speedo_7.jpg (88707 bytes) Initially it looked as if there was a spring missing, but I opened up my spare speedo and there isn't a spring fitted..

speedo_8.jpg (105483 bytes) I couldn't see anything wrong with the internals, so I helped the clock turn from 999 back to 000 and it freed itself.

I am pleased to say that the speedo/milometer has been refitted and is working again :o)



21st to 29th March 2009

As a sufferer of depression, I am lucky to have a car and caravan to escape in when life gets too much.  I decided to take a much needed break and take some time out.  Wiltshire is a stunning picturesque place with lots of things to see and do around the area.  The Savernake forest was fantastic to go cycling and walking in and I was lucky to spot a few deer and other wonderful wildlife in the area. The evenings were wonderfully peaceful, just what the doctor ordered :o)

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Above: Arrived at Postern Hill Camping and Caravan site on the edge of Savernake Forest in Wilshire.


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Above: Probably the biggest mole hill in the world?  Well actually Silsbury Hill is biggest man-made Neolithic mound in Europe - but still nobody knows why it was built.


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Above: A visit to the superb Atwell Wilson Motor Museum near in Calne, where there is a 21st Edition Reliant Robin and a Scimitar GTE SE6a inside amongst many other wonderful cars, motorbikes and other exhibits.  I wish the fuel price on sign was real!!!


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Above: Hitched up and ready to go back home.

The Scimitar drove very well.  The only slight problem I had was the milometer has got stuck at 999 miles. Although the speedometer is still working.  Looks like another little job to keep me busy ;o)



6th March 2009

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Above: Collected my radiator from J & J Radiators, refitted radiator then refilled with 50% water and 50% antifreeze. 


3rd March 2009

 Mileage covered since 1/1/2009 = 586 miles

The Scimitar has been running very well, but today (after a quick light check) one of my main beam lights (sealed beams) had packed up and I also has a coolant leak.

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Above: A nice easy job of replacing the broken light and re-checking the lights.

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Above: Initially I thought it was the top hose leaking, so I tightened up the hose clip, but it still kept leaking.  Once the radiator was removed I could see where it was leaking from.  It had actually cracked around the weld, so I have taken the radiator to be welded and pressure tested at J & J Radiators in Coventry, who have always been very helpful.     



15th February 2009



Above: A quick clip of my Scimitar, so people know what it sounds like without the centre boxes. 



15th February 2009

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Above: Midlands Breakfast Club car meet at RAF Cosford.

This superb monthly car meet is a must for the petrol head and it's totally free!.  The meet starts from 9am and finishes at mid day, although plenty hang around and look around the fantastic aircraft museum (which is also free).

For more details of the event visit:

Other Car Pictures



13th February 2009

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Due to the previous ice and snow we had, there were plenty of gritters out spreading salt on our roads (well, until they ran out!).  This salt can effect any metal, causing it to go rusty alloy.  My alloy wheels are now pitted and my fronts bumpers have pitted badly this year and have started to go rusty.



3rd February 2009

Removed Centre Exhaust Silencers

One of the baffles had collapsed inside my centre exhaust silencer, so I decided to remove both centre silencers and get them replaced with stainless straight through pipes!

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Above:  Out for a road test in the snow.  The exhaust system sounds great!!

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Above: It's not so clean after a few miles!

Special Thanks to the guys at Custom Chrome



1st January 2009

A visit to Brooklands New Years Day Event

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Above: What better day to spend time with other petrol heads!

Too see more of my pictures of Scimitars & Sabres at Brooklands visit:

Brooklands 2009



More stories and pictures of my car:

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