My JC Locust: Arctic Fox
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A quick repair

I came back from work one day to see that someone had knocked the rear wing, and cracked it slightly. Luckily, I know how to repair this kind of damage (it's complicated to do right, but you have to do it right).

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This is actually a fairly extensive star-crack, which means you need to strengthen the back, and cut out all of the cracks before filling it in again. This is what it looked like from the back (after cleaning the grime from it)

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And after a bit of a clean in the front, pulling away the loose bits:

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Using a Dremel tool to cut the trenches out - it looks quite bad!

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And then sanding the side ready for filler:

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After putting some GRP on the inside, and some filler on the outside:

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And then painting it:

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Unfortunately, it looks like there was a reaction somewhere, and it needs stripping and repainting (it could've just been caught in the sun, so I'll sand it down first and repaint - I'll know fairly quickly if it needs stripping completely). However, the repair is very strong, and un-noticeable.

Problem solving

Last year, I'd had an overheating problem - I thought it was due to the oil thermostat blocking so the oil cooler was not getting any hot oil through it - after I'd bypassed the cooler, it didn't happen again. However, it co-incided with the end of summer, and it wasn't the problem. (This was what I wrote about in the Car show at Thorney Island last year.)

It recently started to have the same problem - when the engine gets hot, it misfires at about 5,000 revs, and does not want to accelerate. So, I took it down to Portsmouth, for Pete to have a look at - he's much better with engines than I am.

We checked the carbs to see if they were jetted correctly - they were.

It took Pete a while to find out how to reproduce it (he'd take it for a spin, and tell me it was fine; I'd do it and it'd do it again). When he heard it, he thought it was more electrical than fuelling.

So, we replaced the ignition coil. That didn't fix it.

We replaced the ignition leads. That didn't fix it either.

There was some slight wear to the distributor rotor arm, which was one possibility, or it could be the distributor cap, or maybe the electronic ignition. Unfortunately, the local Halfords doesn't sell any of these bits for the distributor (it's an Aldon distributor), so I'd have to order it. Since we weren't able to fix it, on the way back home I took the scenic route, which doesn't involve heavy driving, and meant the engine didn't get very hot.

A couple of weeks later (I'd ended up going on a business trip to California), I ordered a new rotor arm and distributor cap, and that weekend, I fitted them. I didn't order a new electronic ignition system because they're quite expensive (£80, whilst the rotor arm and cap was £20).

Much better! It now revs quite happily to 6,500 revs when hot (I took it on a trip on some of the busy roads in the area to let the engine get hot, and then accelerate hard - much harder than I would normally do).

Problem solved!

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