The Frog Blog

August 2018

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The Blog - Living with a Frog Project.  


    The Frog landed here in Lancashire from Oxford a few days after first going to see it. It started up fine for me to take it off the transporter and drive into the garage, however the following morning I tried to get it going for a sneaky wee run around the block and it fired up ok then spluttered to a stop. At first I thought it had run out of petrol, it sounded like it had but it turned out to be the fuel pump which had stopped working.  A Facet solid state type fuel pump had been fitted to replace the original cam driven mechanical one on the engine block. When it was off the car I noted that it's dated July 2000 so it's not done too bad for 18 years.

     I thought it best to replace it like for like & Merlin Motorsport were showing them in stock so I ordered one from them. Meanwhile whilst waiting for it to arrive I got on with tidying up a few bits and pieces. First off was the steering wheel which was looking a bit sad and mouldy, I was going to buy a new leather one (and probably still will at some point) because I'm not really a fan of wood rim wheels but this is a genuine Moto Lita which has a bit of patina to it so I cleaned it up and fitted some nice new stainless steel mounting screws and it's growing on me, it suits the car perfectly. 

     The bracket holding up the steering column was very loose so that's now been tightened, the offside headlight was also loose as were all of the nuts on 3 of the wheels and the fuel pump mounting bolts, so now that I've discovered that somebody's not been too keen on tightening nuts and bolts I'm going to have to go over the whole car with a spanner just for peace of mind to make sure everything is tight. (NB -.I've found since writing this that the fuel tank bolts, rear shock mount bolts, and the handbrake cable bracket were also loose) 


The heads on the replacement stainless screws were a bigger diameter than the originals 
so I had to cut the countersinks in the outer ring a bit deeper accommodate them. 


         The steering column had a rattle coming from it on the test drive which I thought may have been a worn top bush so was preparing to have to replace it. It's far easier to tighten a couple of bolts than to change a bush though, so that was a good result.  The tachometer doesn't work - it's a positive earth one and the car has been converted to negative, Mike gave me another tacho which needs repairing but it's the right one for the car  - which the one that's fitted isn't. Not that I'm bothered about originality but it looks a bit odd with that outer ring. The odometer is also non-operational, although I think the speedo works ok. I'm not sure about the fuel gauge yet, it does go up to half full when the ignition is turned on so I'm hopeful.  I have an idea for changing the clocks in the future so watch this space.

I cleaned up the door cappings a bit as well and fitted some hex head stainless screws. Two of them on each door will have to come out if I ever fit the side screens.


This wee mirror appeals to the boy in me but it'll have to go if I restore the side screens - which is the intention

Carrying on with the fuel system repair after all the bits that were ordered arrived

Old fuel pump removed.


         This is the fuel filter I took out, it's obviously never been checked or changed in a very long time.  Due to the amount of crud being in it I decided to remove the fuel tank as well because judging by this it looks like it's going to be quite rusty inside. That turned out to be a wise decision because some really horrible stuff came out of it when it was drained, it's no wonder the pump packed up. It had been overworked trying to pull the fuel through all this muck.

      A new tank is definitely needed so I'll change the sender unit as well, might as well while it's out. The rubber fuel pipe to the filter is also blocked solid, probably the result of using the latest biofuel brews which can rot old rubber and cause condensation in the tank which causes rust to form.  The rubber hoses have now been replaced with ethanol resistant "Gates" tubing. 

New fuel pump as it arrived from Merlin Motorsport. It needs building up onto the back
 plate which is going to take a while because I'll be making up a new version which will be
 easier to get off in the future.


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