It rained heavily the other day, for the first time since getting the Vitesse…. and it leaked. Damn.
I’ve been spoilt by the EFI being water tight since I sealed the tail lights, but the Vitesse got caught outside in a downpour and ended up with a swimming pool in the boot.
A bit of poking and prodding and I noticed that there was water inside the tailgate glass seal, between the metal and seal. There was also some minor rust where it was wet, showing it had been leaking there for a while.
I suspected that the water may have entered the seal higher up, and travelled down. Inspecting the seal showed some old gunk in the top corners of seal, possibly old sealant that has broken down, which has pushed the seal away from the metal. I carefully removed as much of the old gunk as I could and taped off the area. I noted that when blowing compressed air at the seal to clean it out there was a section of seal down the side that wasn’t stuck down
I wasnt expecting good things. Just looking at it was bad enough, all the paint was bubbling and crunchy.
Now, I’m not silly, I do realise that what I can see is probably just the tip of the rust-berg, but its all I can do without removing the screen. This will hopefully slow it down until once again, I can afford to replace the windscreen and have the metal fixed.
I don’t know exactly how the previous owner had the Link secured, but my plan was to use the original ECU mounting plate I found in the spares, to mount it in the factory location.
Then I set about fitting the Link to the plate. Link ECUs are a bit of a pain, as unless they changed it in later models, they have no real mounting brackets on them. It’s a box with no holes, no tabs, nothing. Because of this, I used two original mounting holes and a couple of zip ties to stick it in place
This arrangement allows me to access the connector with the inspection plate removed
And whilst that dried, off to fix another issue I went.
This time it was the coolant warning light that wasn’t working. When I got the car I noticed that both of the expansion tank sensor connectors and the one on the radiator were disconnected, yet the light wasnt lit, so obviously it was missing a bulb. A quick removal of the binnacle cover, and sure enough, a familiar sight. Seems I’m two for two on my SD1s both having the coolant bulb removed.
This car seems to be a bit hit and miss with its coolant level since I got it. It seems to be steady at the correct level now, though time will tell. At least having the light working means I can keep an eye on it easier.
Anyway, the primer was dry, so on went a couple of light coats of gloss black paint. It’s not an amazing job, and I didn’t bog it up or anything, but it should slow the rust from spreading. When I machine polish the car I might be able to knock down the harsh edges of the new paint and blend it in a bit nicer.
Hopefully it’ll rain in a couple of days so I can see if my leak fix worked or not, but until then it should have some time to cure.
The next job will be replacing the valve cover gaskets, which will be in the next couple of days so it’s done before the WOF. When I do that I’ll be swapping to one of my spare plenums, to get rid of that yellow monstrosity.