Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Problems

You will of course get flagged down from time to time, and occasionally asked for directions which can cause a certain amount of confusion when you don't know the answer. Your cab will have a switch on the centre console that lets you lock the doors stopping people from just jumping in the cab when you are stopped at traffic lights. This is useful because if a drunk bloke falls into your cab at midnight, you're going to have a job explaining why you can't take him home.

The windscreen wipers are a bit crap. I've put longer blades in which make it a bit better, and have replaced the wiper module thingy that parks them properly when you switch them off.

Most cabbies seem a bit reluctant to spend money on their cabs, so you may want to tinker a bit with a few things. Mine had quite a lot of sticky tape holding the wiring together, but it is easy to sort out. The dashboard can be easily removed with a philips screwdriver and all the wiring will be there in front of you. Go to halfords and buy a crimper and a box of crimps, then just re-do any thing that looks flakey.

The mileometers often jam when they roll over through 200,000, 300,000 or 400,000 miles. There is a bloke called Malcolm Smith at London Vintage Taxi spares who can fix/overhaul them if yours has jammed. But the engines are usually good for half a million-ish if you service it regularly. Well that's what I've been told anyway. Bonkers mileages I know, but apparently quite possible. It's because the engine only revs 3500rpm full whack... Main thing is to keep an eye on rust, which is more likely to finish your cab off than anything else.

It seems that many Fairways let water in through the windscreen seal, where it works it's way down and drips on your feet. Can be fixed with a tube of silicone sealant from the hardware shop.
It can also come in as a result of a blockage in the heaterbox. A chap called Russ on the London Taxi Cabs forum explained ...
"Open the bonnet and look at the heater on the bulkhead, just below it you will see a pipe coming out and dropping down to the gearbox. Remove the rubber pipe and you will find the metal outlet is probably blocked with bits of broken glass and bitumastic body paint... What happens is that windscreens break and the bits fall into the air vent at the base of the screen between the wipers. They rattle around and chip the badly applied paint and when they repaint the cabs all the paint and junk goes in there and blocks the outlet. What you have is a sort of gulley behind the heater where the fan motor draws air in. Water will come in from the air inlet but this falls into the gully and should drain out to the roadway. Age and vibration corrode it and crap blocks it up, before long the inner wall of the dashboard rots through and in heavy or prolonged rain, water runs over your feet. Easiest way to check when buying a cab is to run a hosepipe into the vent and see if it runs out under the engine or trickles over the back of the radio. There is a repair for this I have developed, contact me if you wish and I will give you guidance... regards Russ"

10 comments:

  1. WOW - this sounds like exactly the thing that's causing my leak!!! hoorah - i reckon i know what i'll be doing this weekend!!

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  2. Great advice, but if you leave the fuse-box in it's 'locked' position ( so you can't see it) you will get problems with water getting onto it, thats why you will find it will be down in the visible position if you buy a taxi.

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  3. Aha - thats why - shouldn't they have a cover of some sort ? Anway, I'm going to 'unlock' my fusebox and let it dangle.

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  4. Cant agree more with the engine - an excellent choice. I drive a 1996 Nissan Urvan, it has a 2.5D motor, same as your taxi motor but smaller capacity, starts on the button hot or cold, no leaks and great pulling power even with a full payload, (and over 100K miles on it at that!). Pity the modern crap is so poor, the modern 'Nissan' van is not a Jap at all, just a crappy re-badged Renault Trafic. When my van finally reaches the end of the road, I will be offering its engine to keep a taxi on the road!

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  5. How do I contact Russ? In serious need of help with our leaky taxi! Claire.

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  6. How can we contact Russ - already wearing a divingsuit while driving in rain !
    jamesfrazer@gawab.com

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  7. can you explain "the wiper module thingy that parks them properly"

    and also, what size wipers did you go for? mine are crap

    im going to try and work in an intermittent wipe button like most cars have

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  8. Silicone - Use the alcohol setting kind for Upvc frames that doesn't smell like vinegar. The smell in the standard stuff is acetic acid which will east through paint and cause rusting.

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  9. im going to try and work in an intermittent wipe button like most cars have.taxi booking software

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