carport 1, hire van 0
Opel Monza fan faux pas sorted out, but John gets a lesson in basic physics in the process
Owned Since August 2004 RecenT Mileage 70ft TOTal Mileage 78,000 since 2004 rebuild laTeST cOSTS £600
Progress slowed on the Monza over early winter because I wasn’t able to get to Ipswich and mate Graham Booty – who occasionally allows me to come and mess up his tidy workshop and who was busy sorting his blown-up Transit tow vehicle. Finally, a time window opened and we made some good progress, even making it move under its own steam… a bit!
The first job was to fit the new front ABS sensor I’d stumbled across on eBay, something I’d been after for six months because I knew that it would be an MoT failure. The rotten backplate and strut were a pig to get off but some heat and swearing saw it all removed and rebuilt. We then finished fitting the polybushes which we have been working on with SuperPro for three years or more, sending them scrap Monza suspension to measure. I can thus announce a CCW first; we have achieved full kit. Every bush on a Monza can now be polybushed if needed, an important thing for us Monza-ites, and achieved in the UK rather than Germany. I’m grateful to SuperPro which has been superpatient in a confusing task originally started by other AutobahnStormers. With the Monza running, the next job was cooling it. The larger viscous fan fitted to the Irmscher donor car was seized so I turned to William Bartlett at Revotec. William has helped us a lot on For The Love of Cars builds and was his usual logical self. He sent me a paper fan template and asked me to photograph and measure the space we had. This I did, adding a note that the engine fan had to sit behind the radiator as there are two aircon fans in front. The result a week or so later, was perplexing. I’d established that the radiator fits the fan he recommended but that the water pump was in the way. We talked this over, and William suggested cutting off the protrusion, which was only there to mount the visco-fan no longer being used. D’oh! Why hadn’t I thought of that?
That gave us three inches of clearance between the block and the radiator – enough for a 15in fan. The excellent Revotec brackets were secured and the temperature controller was cut into the top hose and wired to the fusebox. I now have a car which ticks over well, switching the fan on and off as required.
Fitting a strut-brace to a Monza – especially one like mine that’s fitted with ABS – is a good idea. A Google search revealed a German company selling them off cheaply. But it wasn’t until Graham and I tried to fit it that the sheer stupidity of my bargain percolated through to my Monzaaddled brain; it was for a left-hand drive car and didn’t fit. You could see that it would, if the brake master cylinder wasn’t there, but removing that seemed like a poor plan.
Graham phoned me a day or two later with a brainwave. ‘ Why don’t we cut the top off the master cylinder and weld a flat top on to it?’
The job on the polypropylene master cylinder was carried out by Joe at Stansa Plastic Fabrications using a heat polypropylene weld and the result is impressive. The brake fluid reservoir volume is unaffected and the strut-brace fits a treat.
That is the difference between an amateur like me and trained ninja professional racing engineer like Graham; he wouldn’t have bought it as he would have realised that it was for a left-hooker, but that would have denied him the pleasure of solving the problem I set for him.
I took a hire van back to Birmingham, weighed down with a Monza engine and suspension. It backed under my carport just fine, but when we’d finished unloading, I went to close the van’s door and realised that it was embedded in the roof. A wise man would have simply let the tyres down, but it was midnight, it was cold, and I’m not wise. So after consulting with my mate (who has a doctorate, I might add) I carefully drove the van forward. With a terrifying scrunch the door released but bent the framework of the van so badly that it was miles off shutting.
The hire company has since written the six-month-old van off it was so badly twisted. I’m not sure whether to lament my stupidity or celebrate my prowess as a constructor of strong carports.
Thanks to: William Bartlett at Revotec (www.revotec.com), Graham Beckerson at Superpro (www. superpro.eu.com), Joe at Stansa Plastic Fabrications (www.stansa. co.uk) and, of course, Graham Booty
Graham and ryan Booty loading the Monza’s previous engine into the hire van. Unloading it later wrote the van off! John works on the injection rail. lHD strutbrace now fits nicely.