!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> March 09

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GTM Coupé Page 29

March 2009

Still carrying on with the bumper area, after a coat of hi-build primer, I gave it one more wet sand, this was interrupted by a shower of hail!
Typical Spring weather 12oC and hailstones.

primer sanded
primer sanded

As some relief from the sanding I headed to the scrap yard, for a look around, and to pick up a couple to indicator relays. For some time, I have been trying to find a solution to the problem of slow flashing, due to the lack of current, because of the low wattage bulbs fitted, needed to work the thermal flasher units fitted.
A couple of Vauxhalls seemed to have standard Lucas type units, fitted so I took them home.

19fl relay

Once home I tried them out, to find they just buzzed and the test bulb stayed on. No problem as this was what I was expecting. I quickly opened both relays up and checked the small IC fitted on the boards.

relay open
relays opened

These both turned out to be U243B chips. A quick Google and I found what I was looking for, a datasheet.
Once read, I confirmed that pin 7 on the chip was the one that controlled the "bulb out" feature, needed under some E.U. regulation, to alert people to the fact one bulb had gone. I then disconnected this pin, by cutting through the PCB track at the rear.

pin 7 disconnected
Track cut through

I then hooked it back up to my test bulb and it worked. Nice a regular flashing.

How times have changed, in the 24 years, since the car was originally constructed the Lucas 9FL has moved on a bit.

mechanical flasher
mechanical flasher
mechanical flasher opened
open mechanical flasher

The old mechanical indicator relay is powered by nothing more than a bi-metal strip.
The current flows through a small coil, heating the bi-metal strip, which bends away from the contact, breaking the circuit and letting the strip cool, where it straightens and starts the process again.

While playing with the lights, I remembered I had planned to coat the insides of the housings with some silver paint. So I striped the lights off then removed all the insides. A quick coat of "Chrome" paint, had them looking good, will be interesting to see how the paint looks when dry. To make the rear fog light stand out that bit more, in true BMW style, I plan to fit a polished metal parabolic reflector, as all the lights I have seen have this.

chrome lights
Chromed lights

While the lights were off, I took the chance to repair the holes left by the number plate light, and number plate mounting bolts. Then I replaced the now painted lights onto the back of the coupé.

lights replaced
lights replaced and holes fixed

Now they are back in place a quick test of the hazard lights, seem to be ok. They do go off, just my camera seems to lag a little.

While removing the dash to fit the relays, I managed to scratch the paint on the steering column shroud, so I gave it a quick sand, coat of primer and a coat of matt black paint, ready to be fitted again.

cover painted
shroud repainted

Then it was back to bonnet and its bumper area. As I still wasn't happy with the finish, I found some knifing putty and filled up the few holes I could find, then ,guess what, it was back to sanding again!
I tried to fit the grill using hot glue and filler, but wasn't happy with the look, so time for a think on how to hold it in place.

a skim of stopper
a skim of stopper

A bright start to the day, allowed me to mask up and paint the sides of the grill opening, followed by yet another sanding! Then as the wind picked back up the bonnet was returned to it resting place. The lines where the bumper was, seem to look ok.

back on
back in Place
from the side
Lines look OK

Started at the back of the car today, and gave the number plate light a coat of paint.

lamp painted
number plate light painted

With the paint on the light drying, I started to prep the car for the engine being removed, first to go was the starter motor, then the gear linkage. Both were treated to a clean up with some petrol, to remove the oil and grease.
Now the gear linkage is out, I can see about fitting a reverse light switch to it, as the linkage is fitted the "wrong way around" the standard position for the switch is 180o out.

starter motor
gear linkage
gear linkage

A pleasant evening allowed me to fit the reversing switch into a place where it would work. After careful measurement, I drilled and tapped a hole, 180o around from the previous hole. The holes that were on the housing beforehand were filled with a little "liquid metal" just to seal them off.

reverse switch
reverse switch