Intention for today was to test the drive system on the Invacar to see whether the belt drive would change ratios properly. However before I got to that point a few things needed doing.
Firstly, if I was going to subject the drivetrain to higher speeds I wanted to check the oil levels in the gearbox and diff. Both have easily accessible level and fill plugs, so that's the work of minutes. Both needed a top up, but only a bit.
Next up was to investigate the odd scraping noise coming from the offside rear wheel. Actually turned out to be used error - this idiot had put the return springs on the wrong side of the shoes so they were touching the hub. Putting them back on the correct way around was exceedingly fiddly, but not really difficult as such. Definitely one of those things that is probably easier once you've done it a dozen times.
This is also the side that's been leaking - but the cylinder is bone dry now...will keep an eye on it. It'll be changed likely before the road, at £12 each it's not worth not doing.
Next up was to engage drive, get the revs up and see what happened. Answer was a huge cloud of dust and cobwebs being ejected from the drive assembly directly into my face. Oh, and the speed coming up nice and smoothly, bit of resonant vibration at a couple of points (from the belt which I know is a bit loose), but nothing untoward.
There's a notable change of the note at 45mph, which is when the system is meant to drop into a "direct drive overdrive" mode, which it seems to be doing. Great. Cranked the revs up a bit further, and briefly had an indicated 65mph on the speedo, at which point yet more crud was blown out. I caved at that point as the levels of noise in a small garage were reaching biblical levels, and I really didn't want the car to vibrate its way off the axle stands. Fundamentally though, the variomatic system seems to work as intended. Rear brakes too, even if they're not perfectly balanced yet.
Not really done much today aside from testing something, but it feels like progress.