More Work on The Ferrari Dino Replica

Published on 17 December 2023 at 10:14

The Dino had been taken over to derby for it's Basic Individual Vehicle Approval tests and perhaps unsurprisingly had failed on a few things. It's a very comprehensive test with a lot of opinion based bits, only about 7 per cent of cars presented for test pass first time. It's something that came out of the EU, where every country had their input and the rules just got more and more, the manual got bigger and bigger and the test got more and more expensive as a result. There are not many test centers, the nearest ones to Boston are two hours away at best and a transporter is needed, unless you want to drive an untested car that distance. I did that once with my Robin Hood - never again.

Anyway, we had a list, it wasn't too bad really, the tester said he had seen far worse and that overall the car was done really well. Most of that was down to Russell, he really had done an amazing job, especially when you consider that no factory support was available. He's a clever bloke is our Russ, considerably more talented than he would have you believe.

Anywayyz, he only really needed my help with two things - the fog lamp wiring and the rear brake efficiency. The fog lamp wiring was my fault anyway, there had been a lot of discussion about it on various forums, I had gone with the wrong interpretation and wired them so that they would come on if the button was pushed if side, main or high beam were on. That is incorrect, they should only come on when  low or high beam come on and they should automatically reset to off if the lights are switched off and back on again or if the fog light switch is pressed a second time. A simple little box of electronics helps but I had wired to the side light circuit, which meant the fog light could come on with the side lights - bugger.

I did a bit of head scratching and intended to use a couple of diodes - one off the high beam and one off the low beam to provide the feed to the fog switch, then when I played around with it I realised that when I went on to high beam the low beam lights remained lit. This mean that I could take a feed from the low beam and the requirements would be met. Easy life, I like it when stuff like that happens.

We then went on to the rear brakes, the tester had noted very low efficiency, something that we verified with Russ in the car operating the middle pedal and me turning the wheels too compare the rear brakes with the front ones. When the front ones were impossible to turn the back ones were still rotating fairly easily so that gave us a benchmark to get an idea if we were making any progress. We started off by bleeding them, a tiny bit of air came out of one side, nothing out of the other. We then tried bedding the pads a bit by running the car and applying pressure to the brakes. That seemed to make some difference but not really enough so we took the wheels off and had a look at the pads and calipers. It was clear that the calipers were old and a bit sticky, a rebuild or replacement seemed in order. Malc was there so we had a chat and decided to get two new ones - I think that was by far the most sensible thing to do, they are really cheap, not much more than a service kit. We will get them next week and bung em on, I reckon that will be fine then.

There was a problem with the driver's door lock not engaging on the anti burst, that was just the lock mechanism snagging on the window runner, Russ had that sorted before I got there. The tester had found some wiring he wasn't happy with, mainly the wire to the speed sensor on the front wheel and the wire to the oil pressure sender. I got some spiral wrap and did the speedo sensor to show Russ how to do it, he did the rest and supplemented that with ty-wraps and bases to make a really good job of it.

We have found a MoT test center with a 4 wheel rolling road so we can get the speedo calibration tested, that will be done in the New Year. the rest of the items have now mainly been attended to, we have a very short list of things to do now, I am very confident that it will pass at the retest.

While we were there Malc decided it would be a good idea to see if his old racing metro would fire up, it had been laid idle for about 2 years. The car was one of the very first Metros off the production line and had been designated as a press car. It had been used in the first advert for the new Metro on tv so it has a pretty interesting history. The boss of Leyland's racing program at  the time asked Malc if he would like to race one but he had just lost his Father at the time and didn't feel much like it. they persisted though and bribed him by telling him he could have the car if he agreed to race it for them. He did, the car went off for prep and it was pretty competitive with Malc behind the wheel.

The car survived it's racing days and still has the original Holland Bros Sponsored livery, it is in remarkably good condition, a very rare survivor. It took very little to get it going, a jump pack, a few squirts of easy start and away she went. A bit rough at first as there is no choke to assist cold running but as soon as a bit of temperature got in she ran beautifully. Video here -

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