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Interceptor 650

Ah - G994PNH - where are you now - There follows a blow by blow account of the long struggle to get this car up together. This was originally written on a Psion 5 on successive evenings down the pub and published using the Serif Webplus service that is now discontinued so is now reproduced as a text file

During an initial reading of the fault codes from the gearbox and engine controllers (using a LED and resistor as an indicator and briefly connecting pins on the diagnostic sockets to "flash" out the codes and counting the flashes - thanks again SJM) the only fault code apart from the brake switch fault mentioned last time was one reporting that the distibutor hall sender for the ignition timing was out of alignment. This led to a good deal of denial but it was becoming obvious that the car was running as if the ignition was retarded and several people opined that this may be due to the engine controller switching to a fallback map due to the feedback signals not computing.  

Referral to the Alldata website produced some pictures of timing marks on the vibration damper and the right hand distributor and a suggestion that a distributor realignment would be a relatively easy fix. One hot Sunday AM found me outside the bonnet glumly staring at the stuff within.

It's easy to remove the engine cover, plug covers and plugs (small long plug socket and 450mm extension) which leaves the right hand distributor cap to be removed. I've never tried to get this off the VW Golf 16 valve twin cam motor that the V8 is supposedly based on so I can't comment on the relevant removal but on the V8 the cap is not only about 2 inches from the bulkhead but also secured by small recessed bolts. After half an hour of failure some sort of access was gained by removing the air filter and housing, lying flat on the inlet manifold.and turning the bolts about 1/8th of a turn at a time with the only collection of small extensions that both cleared the distributor cap and fitted into the small gap in the assortment of pipes and cables that lives behind it. The cap finally removed, the timing mark was visible with a mirror and a torch. As this was supposed to be a quick fix no dismantling of the front bits was to be undertaken so the starter was operated numerous times until the mark on the vibration damper was reasonably close to the timing pointer and, yes, the distributor rotor was visibly out of alignment. The two fixing bolts were slackened and the distributor confidently rotated - not a chance due to its being fixed with a large pin. Oh how wonderful. It was no easier to refit the cap than to take it off but, once this was done, I took a glance at the throttle linkage. It occurred to me that the cruise control should be connected somewhere but it certainly wasn't obvious. Then I noticed a ball on the throttle cable pulley that looked as if it should have something fitted to it. Lo and behold about 4 inches away was the cruise control actuator rubber ball thingy. And no connecting rod. Why somebody had not refitted it I've no idea - perhaps it was the same person that left out the bit of heater duct. Anyway it was the same rod that is used by the 200 turbo and there was one kicking about on the garage floor (honestly!) so I bent it straight and fitted it. There was some mention of a service recall in the USA for a binding cruise control bushing stopping the throttle returning fully but there wasn't any bushing on this car.

With the knowledge that I was one step closer to a working cruise control if nothing else the plugs, covers, leads, air filter, casing and stuff were replaced. A quick test drive to confirm that everything was plugged back in revealed that no, the cruise control still didn't work.      

Part Four

Part Five