Difficult Problems

Exhaust Problems
 I decided to have the Bug-eye’s exhaust re-done. It was far too noisy and most likely illegal.

Ken Dutch suggested I try: Carline Mufflers
                                       Unit 10
                                       Marion Trade Centre
                                       Marion SA 5043
Phone 8377 1322
Prop: Bob Strawbridge
Well I was impressed, he actually knew what a Sprite was, which is unusual in itself.
He fitted a flange to the end of the extractors and on to the exhaust pipe, an small echo box and a muffler plus some new pipe and fittings. The car sounds better, revs quicker. The standard of workmanship was very good. The price was very reasonable, much cheaper in fact from his original rough quote.
So I am happy to recommend his business.
David Low


Removing the Bonnet Bolt
I decided that I needed to replace one of my bonnet hinges. It had cracked and was forcing the bonnet to spring up and forward. On undoing the bolts to the bonnet I noticed the hinge was very stiff, and could only be moved using a crow bar.


The bolt to be removed that holds the hinge is under the dash. Removing the speedo and fuel gauge helped me see the bolt head. I removed the seat base to help me see, but my line of sight was not lower enough, so I knelt outside the car and looked in, but that gave me cramp. Also I could not see, so I needed to get closer so my reading glasses would work.

The bolt head was very burred from a previous owner trying to remove it. The bolt was painted so I painted some brake fluid on it to remove the paint. That worked.
To gain some real access I took to dis-connecting the dash board with all its instruments , switches, lights, etc. All the connections were carefully marked. So now I tried a spanner on the burred nut. No good, it just fell off. So I bought some reverse helical threaded nuts that would grip the burred nut-no good still fell off. There was not enough room to tap it on with a hammer. So I tried vice grips-no good just fell off. Got frustrated went inside !

Decided to drill out bolt from the bolt head side. Drill would not fit. Borrowed a flexible shaft drill chuck. Too bulky would not fit. Bought a right Angle drill chuck-too bulky would not fit.
So went to the other end of the bolt statred to drill down the centre of the bolt, and was doing really well when the drill went off line at an angle. The bulk of the drill was just a bit too big to get drill dead straight. So I tried the flexible drive this was ok till the drill bit broke. Next I tried the right angle chuck. This was going really well and seemed to straightening up the hole. Another Drill bit broke, then the whole chuck just melted. I pulled apart expecting to see plastic gears, but no it had metal gears but a plastic bearing. I know it was cheap, but how much is a small metal bearing. Imported Oriental crap!



Got Frustrated and went inside. By now the Real estate values in my street had fallen $50,000 due to my loud and colourful language coming out of my shed

Next day decided to angle grind the head of the bolt off, then with a power file I ground the head down till the body of the bolt was visible. About then the sand paper ribbon that goes in a power file broke. More profane language.  However I then decided to try with a small punch to bang out the body of the bolt. Nothing happened.


Several days now passed where I kept away from it. Next I decided to drill through the hinge box and into the bolt and cut in half. I finally did that, but the other half was jammed. It had been suggested that Oxy was the only way of geting it out. meanwhile I had posted the problem on forum section of ‘Sprite Spot’ and oxy again was suggested. But I did not want to blister my nice paintwork.

The next advise was to get a high tensile bolt of the same thread, turn a point on it and feed it through from the opposite end and hopefully push the bolt out. Did not work. It ran off line with my off line drilling. Another suggestion was using from the engine side a reciprocating saw. So I rang around the local hire places, but they did not have one. So may be I could buy one, so down to the local hardware store. Yes they had one. What was the length of the supplied saw blade. I had a good looK and decided it was marginal. So I bought it on the understanding I could bring it back. Well you guessed it , it was half an inch too short. So with my refund I set off to Bunnings, found the saw I thought would be OK, explained I needed a blade that was longer than 5 inches. Got all that went to pay for it only to find the Chinese saw was pretty cheap, but the “Made in Australia” blades were as dear as poison. Well what do you do ?

Back to the shed set up the saw, now full of confidence, this will work. Well the bolt is situated about a quarter inch from the back of the hinge box and right out of sight. The saw throws the blade 30 centimetres. So I place the saw upside down against the bolt and press the trigger. The saw hits the back of the box and vibrates so much I cant see and nearly all my teeth are loosened. So not to be beaten just yet, I try pulling the saw back far enough to accommodate the 30 centimetre stroke of the saw. But as I cannot see all it does is hit the bolt and get jammed between the hinge and the hinge box. So more profane language and I go inside.

Next attempt I go back to drilling the bolt in half, which I finally do. But still the hinge won’t come out, but it does now freely go up and down. So I think get a hacksaw blade, break the end off it, wrap a rag around the other end and start sawing from the engine side. Here I have to kneel on the ground, pretty soon I get a cramp and have to stop. This I continue on and off for 3 days. Progress cannot be seen, so I can only guess or hope progress is being made.

Finally Peter Holmes comes around to have a look at my so called progress. We decide that with me holding the hinge at a certain point and Peter using a hammer, then a bigger hammer, we finally get lucky and the hinge falls out. Much yelling and cheering takes place along with a couple of beers. Then we examine the bolt only to find it was so rusted in it was unbelievable.

So after all that, what really did it was use a bigger hammer. So go and look at your hammer selection, and then go and buy a bigger one. Believe me one day you will need it.

David Low

Rear Brake cylinder circlips

It is known that circlips were a pain in the “A…” when fitting wheel cylinders !

Having removed and painted my backing plates I have considered the possible problems. I will be reinstalling the cylinders before I fit the backing plates to the car and have at this time tested my solution, photographs attached including results of my tests on an old cylinder.   It worked and I have a few bits of copper tube left, ie it may mess up the tubing after a few goes. The tubing is approx 5/8′ diam (extn & thick walled) flared using my “flaring tool”,  I also beveled the internal wall to fit and a slightly bigger diameter piece of copper tubing (> 5/8″ internal) was used as a drift. They were jammed together (the copper tubing) after the operation, minor problem.   The circlip slides down, spreading as it goes, at then pops onto the cylinder.

Sample Image             Sample Image

Ref My last.

I’m chasing/searching my scrap for a bolt of suitable length of the same thread as the hydraulic pipe fitting. With this inserted into the cylinder, the outer copper tube followed by a nut/washer that can be screwed down (pushing the tube and circlip). No need to drift the circlip. This could be used when the backing plate was in place. Cheap and nasty, made from bits and pieces.



Where to go about instruments

 SA Auto Instrument Repairs

21 Albion Drive
Strathalbyn SA
Phone 8536 3095
Mobile 0427 363 095