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Since trying to get the car running right, yesterday I removed the injection loom and checked all the wires/connections. After that I started the car to try and test a couple of the sensors again to see if I could find where this fault lies.

The car began idling steadily higher by itself as I was getting the multimeter out, and by the time I switched it off it was at around 1700rpm. I then restarted the car only to find that it was spluttering and the tappets were noisy. I switched it off, then spun it over a third time to show my mate what had happened and there was no compression at all, on any cylinders.

I removed the rocker cover to find some very loose rockers, particularly on valve #2. I then turned the engine over by hand to try to see what the problem was. The engine would turn over so far, then hit firm resistance, at which point the timing chain would begin slipping over the crank pulley teeth. After removing the timing chain, plunger, timing gear, and distributor I had found no problems, and was wondering how on earth this could be happening.

All I can guess is that one of the little tensioning shoes inside the timing case has broken off, allowing the chain to become slack. I was further dismayed when I noticed that two of the valve springs remained compressed after I removed all the rockers - a sure sign of bent valves.

This car has slowly destroyed me both physically and mentally over the past 4 1/2 years. I have put everything into it (it has needed EVERYTHING doing). I've eaten nothing but tomato sauce sandwiches at university for days on end just to be able to aford the parts for it at times. There has been blood, sweat, tears and endless hours of work late into the night yet it still defies all my efforts to get it sorted. It is utterly cursed, and has been a drain on me for such a long time I feel emotionally numb whenever I think about it. To look at it turns my stomach.

The big-valve head im guessing is now ruined, and all my hard work lately has been undone. It's cost me around £2500 over the past few years since i've been at uni, money I really haven't had, and i'm still left with nothing. It's just one unlucky event after another. It is a cursed machine. The physical embodiment of purest evil. It has broken my body, my spirit, my passion for cars, and generally ruined my life.

This injection problem that nobody can seem to help with, and now this obscure timing chain problem have finished me with it. I'm making one last effort tomorrow to put it right and get it running, but if that fails then i'm selling it. So anyone interested let me know. Just about every part on it is new or rebuilt by myself, including the gearbox, diff, engine, brakes, suspension, new customised exhaust, fuel lines, brake lines, all re-welded underneath, rust proofed, new steering rack, suspension bushes, wheel bearings, basically everything. My plan was to use it for track racing so it has all been upgraded beyond standard spec, using the best quality components I could afford, and using all my knowledge as an almost now graduated Master of Automotive Engineering to make any improvements I could. I also made some custom improvements to some of the wiring, added loom for parts planned for the future, and fit a full sound system which supports a total of 8 seperate amplified channels.

The only things wrong with it at the moment are the injection problem, (now) the bent valves/timing chain problem, the drivers window smashed by the vandals, and the paintwork is faded (but it should polish back, it has done before). It basically just needs a tidy up and a dust off where its been stood so long.

Heres a few pics.









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Scream your head off, kick it in the nads, then hit it with a big stick.............

After that, have a laugh and stick a different engine in it. Don't get too disheartened, I'm sure you have the skills and enthusiasm to get it right .

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Ahh bad luck Mantadoc...

I know you guys are right, I just have no enthusiasm at all with it anymore because i've never actually had any enjoyment from the car despite all the work i've put into it. I know what I said may sound really over the top, but this car and my life have become inexplicably entwined in the last 4 years or more, and its got to such a point in the last year getting it finished has turned more into an obsession which has begun affecting my general well-being. No machine is worth that, which is why im becoming prepared to sell it on.

I'll give it one last chance, but if its still not playing ball then it goes. I won't be negatively affected by this pig-iron hell-hole-of-a-life-sucker a moment longer.

Thanks for the encouragement people, its appreciated. I had to let it out on here because nobody else understands what its like to own a Manta. Either heaven or hell, and no between


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Its easy to feel like this and most on here have felt like this at some point if they're honest. I had this with my coupe, I spent about 6 months doing the bodywork and spraying it myself in the evenings, could only spare a couple of evenings a week having 2 pre school age children and a wife. Got her sprayed, sanded down and buffed, silly me coz when I took it outside you could easliy see 3 different shades and I mean DIFFERENT! The thought of losing that time made me feel sick and I honestly considered selling as an unfinished project.

I give this advice knowing how you'll feel and knowing you probably wont heedit as I never heeded any advice I was given . Close your garage door and walk away for at least a week, better 2. do not go back to it when your blood's up, take a bit of time and try to relax before you make any decisions :thumbup

good luck with it, Mantadoc is right, its only metal.

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I know, can be soul destroying at times can't it. Surely a test of character restoring old cars, so much can go wrong and until its done you really have nothing. Spraying can be a nightmare aswell like you say, its a lot of work to get to the point of getting the spray gun out, its the prep work thats the hard bit.

Cheers for the advice Gunman, feel better about it all already just getting it out on here.


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