Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bentley Drivers Club Concours D'Elegance

Bentley at the 1929 Irish Grand Prix
(oil on board)
A piece made for the 75th anniversary Concours D'Elegance.

The Bentley Drivers Club had their 75th anniversary Concours D'Elegance on 25th June. I was there enjoying the line up as well as running painting and sketching demonstrations.

1929 HJ Mulliner 4.5 Litre
Winner of the Patina Class

I really liked the owners run it as it is approach.

The First Production 8 litre Bentley
Last restored 1987
First Owner Jack Buchanan He was known for three decades as the embodiment of the debonair man-about-town

1923 Vandeplas 4.5 Litre

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some more words.....

Since I created this blog a couple of months ago I have recieved some great feedback from my peers. The main purpose of this blog is to promote my business and foster my love of writing. I have had over 1500 views of my blog. Mostly from here in the United States and Canada.  But, there have been some Germany, England, Mexico, and such. I wanted to say thank you to all for checking it out and reading. I have had some private e-mails as well from do it yourselfer's, techs, and shop owners as well. I would like to see more interaction between myself and the people that are reading my posts. Leave a comment or comments. Don't be shy. What would you like to see me discuss? Is there an issue that you would like to see how I approach it? Scantool questions? Anything? I hope to hear from you all. Thanks again.  

2000 Buick Lesabre Part 2

You remember our last case study. Well, I am called back to this shop because the vehicle left running well then a week later it has issues and a MIL lamp on. At this point do we have another issue? I arrive and start the car which seems to run pretty decent but the MIL is on for sure. I retrieve a code P0102 (Mass Air Flow Sensor Circuit Low). Hmmmm. Well, I do my checks and guess what? The culprit is a bad remanufactured Mass Air Flow Sensor. This car left a week ago with 137,052 miles on it and here it is with 137,182 with a bad MAF.
This the point where I get on my soapbox about the automotive industry. Here goes my rant. About 10 years ago the automotive industry changed from a quality driven business to a price point business. Today, it is all about getting the cheapest part possible. This saturation of cheap parts has driven the quality of automotive parts into the toilet. Manufacturers really don't care because even though they have a 30% defect or return rate, they are still making 150% profit. The general public is really ill informed about this. All they know is that they can go online and get that part for $45.00, why are you charging me $125.00. The big box stores reap the benefits of this by buying these cheap parts even cheaper due to volume and can offer these parts at ridiculously low prices. The real loser is the shop owner. He or she is put in a difficult situation. Should we try this cheap part to remain competitive. Possibly, tarnishing our image if this part comes back defective or worse yet doesn't even work out of the box. Not to mention the time and money lost on having to do the job over again. Or, do we offer a quality part that in some cases is double the cheap part price. Now he has to "justify" and educate the consumer on why it is more money. It is a slippery slope. If the customer pulls the car and the guy goes down the street and that shop installs the cheap part and it works, the first shop owner looks like a crook. This is a real issue in our industry. It used to be primarily starters and alternators. Now it is rampant. With auto parts just like anything else-you get what you pay for! The thud you just heard was me getting off my soapbox.
So what do I do here? It is not my fault this part failed right away. Do I charge the shop owner again to diagnose? He is one of my best customers. I take one on the cuff and inform the shop owner to only use a quality MAF sensor. We both live to fight another day. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Brooklands Double 12 report

W.O. Bentley in Experimental Number 1 at Brooklands
(oil on board work in progress)
Part of my painting demonstration on the Saturday. I will be continuing this piece at this Coming Saturdays Bentley Driver Club Concours D'Elegance

My home for the weekend the ERA Shed.

An improvised set up.

One of the current residents in the E.R.A. Shed
The Napier Railton (24 litre Napier Lion Areo Engine) :
Holder of the outer track record at Brooklands
143.44 mph (230.84 km/h)) set in 1935:

Bluebird Sunbeam (350HP)
Originally built by built by the Sunbeam Car Company in 1922. It Was Later campained by Malcolm Campbell. More info on it's life and records can be found here:

This car was on loan from Beaulieu and was subject to some of my scribblings over the weekend. I couldn't pass up an opportunity like this.

Quick pen and ink Sketch
Watercolour study

As part of the celebrations they had three Napier Lion engines. Two were in cars the Napier Railton and the Napier Bentley. The other was on a trolley and had a propeller attached.

The real monster of the weekend was Chris Willaims' Packard Bentley a 42 litre aero engined black beast.
Pen and Ink Study

As well as the large areo engined cars there was lots of other exotic machinery to see. Including this Alpha Romeo Areo Spider. It was built in the 30s to run at over 200mph and was never completed. After a long spell in various barns in England it was restored in Europe (I'm currently trying to fond out more about its history). Unfortunately it only had a 6 cylinder engine installed, it was intended to have a 12 cylinder engine but Alpha Romeo never produced one. It still made a great noise though.

Originally designed to be a single seater it can now take 3 people with the driver in the middle. So McLaren weren't the first!
The front brakes are huge, you couldn't even see past them through the spokes!

There was a fantastic array of Veteran cars on display outside the front of the Club House.

1898 Henroid
Pen and Ink Study

The Henroid can run on either alcohol or petrol with very slight adjustment. This is the only known surviving example. Owned by Roy Fisher of Eastbourne, on the south coast of England, the 6 hp Henriod Duc, or “Madame Henriod” as he calls his pride and joy, is untouched, never having been restored, and is completely intact.

Large exposed flywheel can be seen lurking behind the engine.

Willy Wonka style oil resevoirs which drip directly onto various parts of the engine.

1897 British Built Daimler
Pen and Ink Study

The earliest surviving example a Coventry made Daimler.

The Morgan Three Wheeler Club were well represented on the day.

Special congratulations go out to Ian and Maria Parkinson for winning the Concours!
(photo by Trevor Seymour)

The Clive Lones Morgan
Baragwanath JTOR 996CC J.A.P. Engined Cycle Car
It Achieved 37 world records and in 1930 was the first Light Car to lap Brooklands outer Circuit at 100mph.

There were also some fantastic Austin Severn's out and about.
Chris Williams' Austin 7 special with a 3 Cylinder Light Aircraft Engine

An unusual short bodied Austin 7

Special thanks to all at Brooklands who made me feel so welcome and made such an amazing event possible. I fully recommend this event to anyone and urge you to attend next year.

Don't forget if your not already I would also like to recommend that you become a Brooklands trust member and that you support this amazing living museum:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Upcoming Events for June - July

Well June to July is pretty packed with 5 upcoming events on 5 consecutive weekends so I thought I'd deal with them all in one post so here goes.

1922 Brooklands Double Twelve Record
(work in progress)

June 18th - 19th Brooklands Double 12

Billed as "The biggest motoring competition held at Brooklands since 1939" this is going to be a spectacular event and I'm very honoured to be invited to show at this event. I will be displaying new artwork and running a painting demonstration throughout the weekend in the ERA shed. More details can be found here:

June 25th Bentley Drivers Club Concours d'Elegance

This year is the 75th Anniversary of the formation of the Bentley Drivers Club, and so this years Concours d’Elegance is set to be a well attended event with cars from all over the globe attending Broughton Castle for this annual event.
Especially seeing that the Britain by Bentley Tour is taking place at the same time, with visitors from far and wide joining a group of 50 Bentleys travelling the length and breadth of Britain throughout June and July the turnout will include cars that are not normally seen in this country!
More info can be seen at the Bentley Drivers Club here:

July 3rd UK Roadster Nationals
The UK Roadster Nationals are open to all convertible and open top cars including Veteran, Classic, Custom, Americans, Hot Rods and Replicas. So this is going to be a really interesting event as the range of cars is huge. Along with a special painting demonstration planned I'm really looking forward to this.
More Info Can be found here:

8th - 10th July VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes
This is the Vintage Motorcylce Clubs main event of the year and it has a vast line up "the event gives enthusiasts the opportunity to ride their own machines in multiple track sessions over the weekend. On the Saturday of the event we cater for all classes of road machines from the earliest Veterans (discounted entry fee available for pre 1925 machines) through to machines of the super bike era which reflect the wide range of interests within the VMCC. With lesser noise restrictions Sunday is the day for riders to display their racing machinery in special track sessions running throughout the day.
It is now recognised that this unique event provides the best line up of “Past Masters” and famous machines assembled every year in the UK."
More info here:

16th July Pre War Prescott
This is the first year that this event is being run and it is set to be an annual event from now on. The event is being run by the Vintage Minor Register and a great range of Pre war Cars is expected. I'm hoping to organise a special painting demonstration for this event too.
More info here:

I look forward to seeing you if you are attending. If you are unable to attend then as always I will be posting up event reports.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Charles Jarrott Commemoration Run (Sunday 5th June)

Charles Jarrott on a De Dion Bouton Tricycle
Watercolour on Bristol Board
Quick ink sketch of the front end of a De Dion Bouton in Richmond Park

On the 29th November 1897 the first race meeting for motors in Great Britain Britain took place at Sheen House Richmond Park, London. Charles Jarrott organised the event which took place on the cycle track at Sheen House.

To celebrate such a momentous occasion the De Dion Bouton Club UK retraced the route that the Motor-Car Club took on that day starting off at Whitehall Place and driving to Sheen House.

It was the first time this event has been run and it was a fantastic sight to see so many De Dion Bouton cars and tricycles, being flagged off from Whitehall Place and running through London to Richmond Park. The Club then ran their cars and tricycles round the park, before heading off to Brooklands.

Pedal Start of a De Dion Bouton tricycle

De Dion Bouton Club Members Dressed for the occasion.

Large single cylinder De Dion Bouton engine

1897 De Deon Bouton tricycle engine

For more information on the De Dion Bouton Club UK please visit their website where you can read more on the history and the clubs activities.

The clubs bulletin "De Dion Bouton Motorvations" is a fantastic read, as it not only documents the clubs activities it contains articles on the history of the marque.

Many thanks to Nick Pellett who organised the The Charles Jarrott Commemoration Run, making it such a success.

Friday, June 3, 2011

2000 Buick Lesabre

This fine example of GM engineering has 137,050 miles on it. It has the 3800 K motor in it and the complaint is simple. When it gets hot it stalls out and doesn't want to restart too well. Let the car cool down and away she goes. My mind is already thinking crankshaft sensor, ignition module, bad ground for the fuel pump, ignition switch heating up and going open. These vehicles have always had issues with those parts. I start the car and the vehicle cranks well, fires right up and runs well. I have other vehicles to look at so I close the hood to build heat and let it run. I hook up my scanner to check codes and there are none. I am really not that suprised. I leave the scanner hooked up and go off to check the other problem vehicles. I come back to our Lesabre about 20 minutes later and it has stalled. I try to restart and it starts and immediately dies. I restart and try to feather the gas and it stays running barely. I get the distinct odor of a vehicle that is overfueling. I have been down this road before. I get out and open the hood. I disconnect the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator fully expecting it to be wet with raw fuel. This is a very common intermittent issue on these cars. In fact, when I was on the techline I used to tell the techs over the phone my trick to add a piece of clear airline tubing from the aquarium store between the vehicles existing vacuum harness and the fuel pressure regulator and look for liquid fuel.
Dry as a bone as you can see! I hook my fuel pressure gauge just to see where that is.
Nothing wrong here. Well within specs. Now, lets look at some scan data. When you have a gross mismanagement of fuel you want to look at the big four. No, not Metallica, Megadeath, Anthrax, and Slayer( I have my tickets for Yankee Stadium) but RPM, Coolant Temp, Engine Load, and Throttle Position. So, that is what I do. Everything seems to be in order until I look at my MAF (Mass Air Flow) pid on my scanner while cranking. See below.

Yikes! That is correct 170 g/s (grams per second) during a crank event. Remember, our general rule g/s should basically be the same as you liter displacement at an idle and 40 times your liter displacement at wide open throttle. So we should see approximately 4.0-5.0 g/s at an idle and about 152 g/s at full throttle. we have 170 g/s just cranking! Do we have a bad MAF? It does seem lately that every other car I look at needs one. I am not convinced yet. I need to check the wiring.

Well the first thing I do is check for the proper open circuit voltage from the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) to the the MAF. the PCM sends out a voltage of 5 volts that the MAF will bring down to ground and release creating a square wave. The speed of this action is the frequency. The PCM uses this frequency to determine engine load. This input along with others helps the PCM to map fuel, ignition timing, egr, etc.
Nothing wrong here. I shake the harness and look at my min/max voltages. They don't waver. The remaining two wires at the MAF supply power and ground. Whenever possible I like to scope powers and grounds using the battery negative terminal as my ground. So I set my scope up to capture mode. I reconnect the MAF to load the circuit and I backprobe. I crank the engine and record.
Channel 1 is the power feed and channel 2 is the ground. Nothing wrong here. The reason I scope is to look for noise on either circuit. Something that could be missed with a multimeter. I reset my scope parameters and caught this on a start and stall.
Lots of ugliness. I was able to capture the MAF failing after it cooled down some. Check out the screen shot below.

This shot is at an idle. Notice we have great upstream O2 sensor activity, MAP kpa, and MAF value is at the expected 5.0 g/s. Then at about the 175 frame the MAF skyrockets and the MAP tanks, and O2 values peg. Let's get the cursor on that spike.

You are reading correct that is 307 g/s at an idle. To put it in perspective that would be a good value for a 7.7 liter motor at full throttle. The lesson here is never assume. Past experience and pattern failures are nice but you are better off looking at every vehicle as a brand new experience. Next.....