Dumping the Coolant when warm
Check the water
expansion bottle, and specifically the bleed pipe from the radiator to
the small pipe on the top. This pipe stub has a pressed metal
sleeve inside it which rusts up and blocks the flow of air and water
from the radiator. Remove the rubber hose and drill the sleeve out
with a 3mm (1/8") drill, then re-attach the hose. If you're lucky,
you'll save the headgasket in time..
Water in both cases..first one is water entering
the airflow meter as the Reliant air filter housing has a funnel built
in (the lip around the top) to allow water onto the hot wire airflow
sensor. Either seal it properly with either a good rubber seal, or
even silicone. I've seen plastic bags over the top as well.
Don't forget to dry it out first..
Second is water in the ECU thanks
to the placement of it (passenger footwell). Remove, dismantle and
dry it out (airing cupboard is about the best place). Clean any
residue/deposits from the PCB with a Printed Circuit Board Cleaner
(DON'T USE WD40), available from the likes of Maplin. If you're
lucky, it'll live. If not, find another Ti one, or from a Nissan
Erratic running (all models, but especially
Water in the petrol tank causes all sorts of
poor running issues. But how does it get there?!?! The
petrol filler sits in a recess in the bodywork and this recess should
have a small drain hole to let water out. Alas, this tends to get
blocked up such that water collects and finds its way through the filler
cap into the tank. Its not uncommon for a gallon or so of water to
end up in the tank. Keep the drain hole clear (or make another
with a 3mm drill), or fit a aero-style cap instead, flush mounted to the
rear deck panel.
Strange clunking noise from the front suspension
Not always apparent from a cursory glance, and only visible when jacking
the offending corner up is the death of an anti-roll bar link.
These are still available new, so don't bother looking for a Chevette -
they die on those as well! Why isn't it easily visible?
Compression of the front suspension keeps the bits in place.
The front top wishbones are a known SS1 weak spot and can crack around
the balljoint mounting. Check yours now as replacements are
getting thin on the ground.
Also known as a twitching when driving straight ahead (steering feels
notchy when making small steering adjustments in a straight line).
Whilst normally associated with excessively wide wheels/tyres, the 185
section tyres on an SS1 puts a bit more load on the steering rack than
the 155's on a Chevette such that the rack gets a bit slack. Recon
steering racks are still available through usual sources
CVH Engined SS1's lacking "oomph"
The CVH engine used in 13/14/1600 SS1/T and even some Sabres are known
for their cam wear issue - alas another design "feature" masks the
problem to an extent, this being the hydraulic tappets. Valve lift
should be a tickle over 10mm (1600) or 9.5mm (1300/1400) on each valve.
Note that the deflection visible on the top of the tappet might not all
be translated to the valve as the tappets might be getting lazy and
compress a bit first... Cam changes aren't possible with the head
still in place on an SS1, so "off with its head"..
To save a lot of copy and paste, have a look
here for the good, the
bad and the ugly about CVH heads...
Wishbones and Trailing Arms
I could go on for quite a while here, but
check both the top and bottom ones for rust and cracks - there are more
and more horror stories of broken and rusted wishbones. The lower
front ones are standard Vauxhall Chevette; the uppers being a modified
and strengthened Chevette one. The rears are alas Reliant
only..Check yours now but here are some quick pictures to keep you on
Front upper wishbones:
and shortly followed by
Or trailing arms..
CVH Rocker Cover
Next time you're anywhere near a
scrapyard, locate a E to K reg 1.8 Sierra and relieve it of its rocker
cover. It's a straight swap and allows the oil filler to be
accessed much easier, plus its silicone rubber gasket doesn't leak or
crack with age. A 10 minute swap
Shown here mounted on my 1.8 EFi-T engine - for sale...