Friday, 6 July 2007

The Rolling Road

For the last few weeks preparations for the rally have been in full swing, storage shelves have been fitted, new sponsorship acquired and wheels and seats replaced.

However, in and amongst this excitement a serious problem has been developing with our humble SJ. The problem has been occurring at high revs and/or when the weather has been damp. Bring the car up to any speed over 50(ish) and the engine begins to violently shudder and jolt to a complete stop. Only restarting the engine seems to bring her back to life.

Upon spending many, many hours scouring through forums we found numerous possible causes of the problem and have consequently replaced;
  1. The ignition coil
  2. HT leads
  3. Spark Plugs
  4. Distributor cap
  5. Rotary arm
However, the problem still remained. With time running short we bit the bullet and took it to a professional garage, one equipped with a 'rolling road'. A rolling road enables a mechanic to run the car at 60mph, while inside the garage and therefore allow the mechanic to experience the problem first hand.

A rolling road setup

My amateur diagnostic (this being that the car was suffering from a bad misfire) was completely off the mark - I am grateful that the mechanic didn't laugh in my face for that! - and our SJ was in fact suffering from an old, ropey fuel pump that couldn't keep up with the demand of the engine at higher speeds.

A quick trip to our local Unipart dealership and the pump was ordered, 6 hours later and she was fitted. All ready for our trip to Mongolia.

A clean, shiny fuel pump inside our oily chariot

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