Category Archives: Public

Anyone can see these items

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – Banbury

The Club on tour – Barnstones Caravan and Camping Park, Banbury, Oxon

May 12th to 16th 2022 saw the Club’s annual AGM, BBQ and Club Camp (ABC camp) in Great Bourton. Convenient for the M40 allowing many people to join us, we had nearly 30 vehicles after some late dropouts due to mechanical trouble. Over 60 people spent the weekend together with a lot of laughter, plenty of burgers and maybe the odd glass of something.

In addition to the AGM and BBQ, we also had the FA cup final televised in one gazebo, Eurovision later in the evening and some singing from our resident jazz singer Lorna.

On the plus side, 5 people joined the Committee. On the minus side, Derek Leary stepped down from the Committee after several decades shaping the Club into what it is today. We’ll miss you Derek (and Christie).

Upcoming event – Just Kampers Weekend! – 10th to 12th June 2022

The hugely popular JK Weekender is back! Having been cancelled due to COVID, last year’s tickets are still valid in a rollover way to this year.

Set in a field next to the JK headquarters just outside Odiham in Hampshire, Mark and the team give us a chilled out, music, outdoor evening movies, stalls, displays and of course their shop.

Our club enjoys a dedicated club field for members only which includes a disabled toilet. We get plenty of space in a prime position and the club lays on a club tent for congregating is you feel sociable plus we are doing our famous BBQ on Saturday evening – come and get a free burger and have a natter!

If you are lucky, our very own Events Manager Lorna will be singing again! Check out the Events page on this site or see the latest edition of Transporter Talk

See the source image



See the source image

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – Cheddar

The Club on tour – Petruth Paddocks, Cheddar, Somerset
April 22 to 25 2022

The first club camp of the season saw us down in the pretty down of Cheddar at Petruth Paddocks, hosted by the wonderful Jules.

What did you miss? Burgers, fire pit, marshmallows, bacon baps. Cheddar village, Cheddar gorge, the caves. Locally made cheese, 16 club member dogs, 33 adults, 2 children, live singer on Friday and Saturday and a lot of laughter.

Here is some feedback from a member:

“We have been VWT2OC members for a few years but had not previously got involved in meetings or attending camps. What have we been missing? The St George’s camp at Cheddar over the weekend was a fantastic event. The campsite was beautiful, clean and friendly; the club negotiated camping rates that could not be beaten; the Saturday evening social around the firepits, with burgers provided and lovely entertainment from Lorna was fantastic; and the coffee, tea and bacon rolls provided on Sunday morning was very welcome. I had nothing to do than enjoy myself. Big shout out to Lorna Williamson, Nick Gillott, Malcolm Marchbank and Val Lewis for all the hard work planning, organising and delivering the camp. You are stars. We were already booked in for the May BBQ & AGM, now we are looking forward to it more than ever.”

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Ask The Mechanic – Checking spark plugs

An article from Chairman Malcolm Marchbank

Spring has sprung and those classics will be
starting to come out of hibernation. After months
in the garage with the occasional start up to
keep it ticking over, your engine can suffer. I have
personally experienced this after months of an
engine sitting during restoration work and being
moved from one side of a workshop to another.
Once the work was complete, trying to drive
away from the workshop, my T2 Bay Campervan
wouldn’t accelerate down the road. Reason –
fouled spark plugs.

I have also had a spark plug with a closed gap
(don’t even ask how that happened, but it
involved losing part of the carburettor through
the engine… lucky it didn’t do any other damage!)
The condition of your spark plugs can make a
massive difference to the running of your engine,
so it’s worth checking them every so often,
especially after a period of time unused.
Hopefully the following information will help to
make you a spark plug expert.
Before starting work on checking your plugs, it is
helpful to have the right tools to hand; accessing
the rear two spark plugs at cylinders 1 and 3
can be a real fiddle, especially on later twin-port
engines where access is further compromised
by the inlet manifolds. A short 21mm socket and
universal joint may give you a bit more flexibility.
When checking the plugs, it can help to remove
each lead and plug individually so that you don’t
get them mixed up. This will cause an incorrect
firing order and your engine will not run.
When removing the ignition lead from the plug,
be sure to pull it off by the connector, not the lead
itself, as you’ll run the risk of pulling the lead off
the connector (trust me!)
If you notice any damage to a connector or if a
lead is a lose fit, it is best to go out and buy a new
HT lead set.
Make sure you have the socket on the plug
properly when you’re undoing them and it’s also
best to do all this while the engine is cold to avoid
burning yourself!
Once the plug is out, take a good look. Is it brown,
grey, sooty or oily? If the engine is running right,
it should be light brown or grey. If it is sooty but
dry, your engine is running rich and not burning
all the fuel. If the insulator is white and flaky then
your engine is running too lean. Either way, you’ll
need to tune your carb to adjust the fuel/air
mixture.
If the plug is wet and oily, there are a couple of
possibilities. The first is that you’re not getting
a spark, in which case you may have noticed
a misfire. If this is the case, check the HT lead
connection at the plug and also where it pushes
into the top of the distributor cap.
A worse scenario is that your engine has worn
piston rings and/or valve guides, which means a
rebuild is on the cards. If there is serious carbon
build up on the plug, or what looks like molten
bits of metal, chances are your ignition timing is
out.
Whatever their condition, while the plugs are out
of the engine they will benefit from a good clean
up using a brass wire brush. While you are at it,
check the spark plug gaps using a feeler gauge.
For most air cooled engines the gap should be
0.024” or 0.6mm, however check your workshop
manual because the gap will be different on
some engines. If the gap is correct, the gauge
should slip in and out without much resistance.
If it is too loose, you can adjust it with a gentle
squeeze in a vice to close it slightly, or if the gap is
too tight, carefully prise open the contact with a
flat bladed screwdriver.
Spark plugs should be checked every 3000 miles
and replaced every 10,000 miles as part of your
service routine. If you suspect a poor running
engine there is no harm fitting new ones sooner,
they are relatively cheap for a set.
When refitting, always start screwing the plug
back in by hand, only using the socket for the
final tightening, otherwise you risk forcing a cross
thread. If you feel any resistance early on, unscrew
and carefully try again

Ask The Mechanic – 171 – E10 fuels

The mechanic has noticed a recent uplift
in questions and concerns surrounding the
upcoming introduction of E10 fuels. The
following is information provided by the
Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs
that we hope members will find useful.
Federation of British Historic Vehicles
Clubs – Introduction of E10 petrol
After an extensive consultation process, the
Department for Transport has announced that they
will legislate to introduce E10 petrol as the standard
95-octane petrol grade by 1 September 2021. They
will also require the higher-octane 97+ ‘Super’ grades
to remain E5 to provide protection for owners of
older vehicles. This product will be designated as the
‘Protection’ grade.
The introduction of the 95-octane E10 grade and the
maintenance of the Super E5 protection grade will be
reviewed by the Government after 5 years to ensure
they remain appropriate to the needs of the market:
In relation to the E5 protection grade, such a review
will examine market developments over the period.
HM Government have sought to reassure FBHVC
members and historic vehicle owners that, without
a suitable alternative becoming available, it is highly
likely the Super E5 protection grade would continue
to be available.
Filling stations that stock 2 grades of petrol and
supply at least one million litres of fuel in total each
year will need to ensure one product is the Super E5
protection grade. While not all filling stations meet
these criteria, almost all towns across the UK will have
a filling station that supplies the ‘Super’ grade and
currently one major retailer, a national supermarket
group, has committed to offer the product. The main
exception to this is in certain parts of the Highlands,
north and west coast of Scotland, which will be
covered by an exemption process and allowed to
continue to market the 95-octane E5 grade.
The Federation therefore recommends that all
vehicles produced before 2000 and some vehicles
from the early 2000s that are considered noncompatible with E10 – should use the Super E5
Protection grade where the Ethanol content is limited
to a maximum of 5%. To check compatibility of
vehicles produced since 2000, we recommend using
the new online E10 compatibility checker: https://
www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol .
It should be noted that some Super E5 Protection
grade products do not contain Ethanol as the E5
designation is for fuels containing up to 5% Ethanol.
Similarly E10 petrol can contain between 5.5%
and 10% ethanol by volume. Product availability
varies by manufacturer and geographical location
and enthusiasts should check the situation in their
location.
Latest News:
The federation’s fuels specialist Nigel Elliott has
received some new questions with regards to
ethanol and the use of E10 in historic vehicles and his
thoughts are as follows:
There are three key areas of concern with Ethanol
compatibility with historic and classic vehicle fuel
systems:
‹ Corrosion of metal components
‹ Elastomer compatibility – swelling, shrinking and
cracking of elastomers (seals and flexible pipes)
and other unsuitable gasket materials
‹ Air/fuel ratio enleanment
Corrosion of metal component
Ethanol has increased acidity, conductivity and
inorganic chloride content when compared to
conventional petrol which can cause corrosion
and tarnishing of metal components under certain
conditions. These characteristics are controlled in the
ethanol used to blend E5 and E10 European and UK
petrol by the ethanol fuel specification BS EN15376 in
order to help limit corrosion.
Corrosion inhibitor additives can be very effective
in controlling ethanol derived corrosion and are
recommended to be added to ethanol in the
BS EN15376 standard. It is not clear if corrosion
inhibitors are universally added to ethanol for E5
and E10 blending so as an additional precaution it is
recommended that aftermarket corrosion inhibitor
additives are added to E5 and E10 petrol.
These aftermarket ethanol corrosion inhibitor
additives often called ethanol compatibility
additives are usually combined with a metallic
valve recession additive (VSR) and sometimes an
octane booster and have been found to provide
good protection against metal corrosion in
historic and classic vehicle fuel systems.
Elastomer compatibility
As the ethanol molecule is smaller and more polar
than conventional petrol components, there is
a lower energy barrier for ethanol to diffuse into
elastomer materials. When exposed to petrol/ethanol
blends these materials will swell and soften, resulting
in a weakening of the elastomer structure. On drying
out they can shrink and crack resulting in fuel leaks.
Some aftermarket ethanol compatibility additives
claim complete protection for operating historic and
classic vehicles on E10 petrol. The FBHVC is not aware
of, or has tested any additives that claim complete
fuel system protection with respect to elastomer and
gasket materials for use with E10 petrol. The FBHVC
therefore recommends that elastomer and gasket
materials are replaced with ethanol compatible
materials before operation on E10 petrol.
Air/fuel ratio enleanment
Ethanol contains approximately 35% oxygen by
weight and will therefore result in fuel mixture
enleanment when blended into petrol. Petrol
containing 10% ethanol for example, would
result in a mixture-leaning effect equivalent to
approximately 2.6%, which may be felt as a power
loss, driveability issues (hesitations, flat spots, stalling),
but also could contribute to slightly hotter running.
Adjusting mixture strength (enrichment) to counter
this problem is advised to maintain performance,
driveability and protect the engine from overheating
and knock at high loads.
Modern 3-way catalyst equipped vehicles do not
require mixture adjustment to operate on E10 petrol
because they are equipped with oxygen (lambda)
sensors that detect lean operation and the engine
management system automatically corrects the fuel
mixture for optimum catalyst and vehicle operation.
Operating classic and historic
vehicles on E10 petrol
If you should decide to make the necessary vehicle
fuel system modifications together with the addition
of an aftermarket additive to operate your classic or
historic vehicle on E10 petrol. The FBHVC strongly
recommends that you regularly check the condition
of the vehicle fuel system for elastomer and gasket
material deterioration and metallic components such
as fuel tanks, fuel lines and carburettors for corrosion.
Some plastic components such as carburettor floats
and fuel filter housings may be become discoloured
over time. Plastic carburettor float buoyancy can also
be affected by ethanol and carburettors should be
checked to ensure that float levels are not adversely
affected causing flooding and fuel leaks.
Ethanol is a good solvent and can remove historic
fuel system deposits from fuel tanks and lines and
it is advisable to check fuel filters regularly after the
switch to E10 petrol as they may become blocked
or restricted. If your vehicle is to be laid up for an
extended period of time, it is recommended that the
E10 petrol be replaced with ethanol free petrol which
is available from some fuel suppliers. Do not leave
fuel systems dry, as this can result corrosion and the
shrinking and cracking of elastomers and gaskets as
they dry out

Member’s Motor – Rachel – Skype

For this edition of Member’s Motor, we look
at Rachel’s Bay, called “Skye”. This is what she
had to say about it.

We have a blue T2 called Skye. We originally
found her in May 2018 when someone local to us
used to hire her out, so we hired her for a trip to
Scotland. We took the van around the highlands,
including to the Isle of Skye. My husband Kyle
(then boyfriend) proposed to me on the trip,
which was a total surprise, so that trip and the
van had some very special memories for us.
In June 2019 we got married and I was waiting
for my wedding car to pick me up, instead of the
car arriving with my dad in it, Skye the T2 arrived
with our friend as the driver! I was shocked as I
had not seen Skye since we had got engaged
and I thought “How lovely, he’s hired her again as
a surprise”. He had decorated her with wedding
ribbons and bunting inside etc. When I got in the
van (with my dad inside) Keith our friend who
was driving, passed me a note which had the
typical wedding phrase:
Something old: Skye is from 1975.
Something blue: Skye is blue.
Something borrowed: She is borrowed
for the wedding.
Something new: actually she’s not borrowed,
Skye is yours!

Unbeknown to me, the guy who owned
Skye was selling her and Kyle bought her as a
surprise for our wedding day, so that’s how we
came to get her! What a surprise. Since then
we have had a lot of trips away, even in current
circumstances. We took her to Glastonbury 2
weeks after our wedding and then managed to
do the NC500 in September last year, as well as
lots more local weekends to the Lake District and
Northumberland where we got married. We have
a rescue fox terrier called Delilah who loves van
life as much as us 😍

We learnt a valuable lesson in September when
doing the nc500; we broke down in one of the
most northerly areas of Scotland and had to
wait 8 hours for recovery to be towed back to
the campsite, which was so embarrassing. The
problem was a snapped clutch cable, which we
have since learned is quite common and should
have carried a spare!

Typically the day we had to wait for 8 hours at the
side of the road was also the sunniest, warmest
day of our whole NC500 trip and we spent it at
the roadside! By the time we had been recovered
we were just grateful to get back to the campsite
and get it temporarily fixed, celebrating with a
big glass of well deserved wine!
We have been having problems finding someone
decent and reputable in the north east to fix our
van, there’s a few things we needed done and
ideally wanted it done before this summer. We’ve
been trying to find someone since last year, but
no one wants to touch it, so it’s getting a bit
stressful.

Spares by Ian Crawford

Many people will be away and wish they had something with them – here is a list from club member Ian Crawford on spares he packs in his 1971 Bay window that he bought at 1 year old in 1972. I am not sure about corks – leftover wine is not something I really understand!

Parts
• Accelerator Cable
• Aluminium Tube
(To Fit Inside Fuel Hose
If Leaking)
• Battery Earth Strap
• Brake and Clutch Fluid
• Brake Pedal Return
Spring
• Spare Bulbs
• Cable Ties (Various
Lengths)
• Carburettor Return
Spring
• Clutch Cable
• Coil
• Condenser For
Distributor (Make Sure
You Have The Correct
“Bung”!)
• CV Axle Boot Cap
and Grease
• Distilled Water
• Distributor Cap and
Rotor Arm x2
• Distributor Contact
Points
• Dynamo Brushes
• Engine Oil (5 litres)
• Fan Belt x2
• Fuel Hose and Clips
• Various Fuses
• Handbrake Cable
• Rocker Cover Gaskets
x2
• Spark Plug Set
• Starting Relay and
Fuse
• Tyre Valve Cores
• Voltage Regulator
• Walking Boot Laces

Tools
• Allen Keys
• Battery Diagnostic
Tester
• Feeler Gauges
• Hacksaw Blades
• Insulation Tape
• Magnetic Dish Holder
• Magnifying Glass (My
Eyes Are Dimming!)
• Multi Meter and
Spare Battery
• Plastic Wire Cutters
• Pill Pot Containing
Matches, Lighter,
Flints, Water
Purification Tablets,
Sweeteners, Sewing
Kit, Safety Pins and
Buttons.
• Shorting Links
• Stanley Knife
• Tyre Pressure Gauge
• Vaseline
• Wine Corks
• Other Various Tools
Ian has provided a pretty extensive list here,
very cautious!
We would also recommend a timing gun if space
allows, a foot pump, warning triangle, decent jack,
various sockets and spanners and maybe even a fuel
pump! (We even carried a spare carburettor once!)
Thanks to Ian for his submission, hopefully this will
help members when putting a kit together.

Ask The Mechanic – 169 – Solar Panel Charge Controllers

For this instalment of The mechanic, we welcome a submission from the club’s chairman;
Malcolm Marchbank.
SR PWM MPPT – A question of control


If you have or thinking of getting a PV (photo voltaic)
solar panel, then these terms may concern you.
There have been several articles about the use of
solar panels to provide power in vans when there
is no hook up available. The panel(s) will almost
certainly be used to charge a battery for use when
there is insufficient power available from the sun. The
maximum power available from any panel is in a very
clear set of circumstances, the sun needs to have an
energy at the panel of 1000 watts per square meter,
the sun’s rays must strike the panel perpendicularly,
the air temperature should be 23 deg C. So, if you set
up your panel at noon on a cloud free midsummer’s
day carefully angled so the sun strikes it at 90 deg and
there is a gentle breeze, a 100w rated panel will give
100w of electrical power. In any other circumstances
the power will be substantially less. So, in reality it
is better to estimate the average power to be 30 to
60w from a 100w panel.
The next thing is how to make the most of the power
we do get. If you examine the “rating plate” fitted to
almost all solar panels you will see some numbers.
Ok you see 100w max power but look at the “ipmax”
this is the current at maximum power, ”vpmax” this is
the voltage at maximum power. A typical example
of a 100w panel ip max =5.55a vp max =18v 185.55 =100w. So we need a control unit to regulate the power sent to the leisure battery. Small panels less than about 30cm square sold as “trickle chargers” to maintain a battery while laying on the dashboard have so little power they are self regulating (SR) as the current is so small as never to damage the vehicle battery. Those for phone or device charging rely on the internal battery controller in the device to regulate the power and prevent overcharging of the internal battery. This leaves the choice of the two types of actual control unit PWM (pulse width modulation) or MPPT (maximum power point tracking). At first the generally available controllers were all PWM and cost from £8 up to around £35. These work by monitoring the battery voltage and sending pulses of power to provide an average voltage to the battery. Initially when the battery is low, the power pulses are very wide, but as the battery voltage rises then the pulse width is reduced. It is important then for the controller to “know” when the battery is at full charge so the pulses can be reduced. Different (lead acid) batteries fall into at least 3 types; Flooded, AGM and GEL. Each has a different charging requirement. So, any controller needs to be set to the correct type. Cheaper controllers may have no settings at all or be described as “automatic detection” and are probably best avoided! When you look at the typical full power voltage and current from a solar panel you will notice the voltage is too high as the maximum needed for the battery is 14v so the best this controller can do is to give 145.5=77w. The rest of the power is wasted due to
the effective internal panel resistance.


So around 25% of the power we do get is just
wasted, to overcome this a MPPT controller can be
used. This is often a combination of PWM control (for
trickle charging when full power is not needed) and
an inverter which is controlled by a microprocessor.
This changes the 18v 5.55a into 14v 7a, this is an
example as the controller constantly measures both
panel output (change in sun intensity) and battery
condition (low, charging, full) and adjusts the inverter
to maximise the power to the battery. This results in
an efficiency of better than 95%.
SOLAR PANEL CHARGE CONTROLLERS
Transporter Talk Issue 169 | 23
I have tested this and can confirm that just changing
the controller increased the current from 5a to 7a
. If as I have, you have more than one solar panel
(I use 3) and they are all slightly different outputs,
the MPPT sorts out the balance even when one is in
shade and 2 are in sun.
The MPPT controller is as you would expect, more
complex and expensive up to around £70. This may
mean that some suppliers may claim to be MPPT
when they are not. I was fooled by this but claimed
back from the seller as the description was clearly
false. I have some photographs of the various types;
PWM 10 amp, fake MPPT (plenty of usb points on it!)
and a real MPPT 10 amp unit. So check that you get
the correct item!
I have 2 panels on the roof of my Westy and when
raised the angle is quite close to optimum. I also have
one on the front luggage rack so I can get power
even as the sun passes over. I have this arrangement
to support not only lights and water pump, but the
compressor fridge that is of course run 24/7. I would

not want to run out of ice for our G&T’s after all!
Malcolm

Upcoming event – Club Camp, BBQ & AGM Banbury, Oxfordshire – 13th to 15th May 2022

This event has proved to be so popular that we are now operating a waiting list as we are over-subscribed! If you are not already on the list, please do not book with the site.


The 30th Anniversary Club Camp (delayed a year), BBQ & AGM will be
held at Barnstones Caravan & Camping Park, Main
Street, Banbury OX17 1QU.

Please get in touch with our Events Manager Lorna at
events@vwt2oc.co.uk, or on our Facebook page with any questions.