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Catch up 13 December 2009

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Well that was the last of the historical posts. From now on the updates will be further apart as I don’t work on the car that often.

I have painted the oil cooler so it is now ready for refitting. I may well leave the freeze plug as is, it’s not causing a problem and the cooling system is not pressurised so I think it will be OK. I’ll make a final decision when I go to refit the oil cooler.

I bought some more bits from the guy selling stuff near me. A pair of used rear wheel arch vinyl covers as mine are rotten, a pair of ‘D’ window seals, one new, one good used and a pair of clips for the jack handle in the boot. I also bought a drivers side armrest cover on Ebay. It was advertised as being in the original grain, but of course it isn’t. I’ll probably buy a vinyl repair kit and attempt to repair the armrest I bought and also use this new cover to repair the one currently fitted to the car, I’ll then see which one looks the better.

Drip stopped 13 December 2009

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24th October 2009

Well the gear box drip seems to have stopped. Maybe I just didn’t clean up properly after changing the seal. I certainly hope so. Last weekend I bought some parts from a guy living not too far from me. A NOS hand brake cable, a pair of original arm rests and an alternator. Of the arm rests, the passenger side is not split while the driver side is barely split at all. I’ll have to see if I can do anything to prevent it getting any worse. I have decided to refit the oil cooler so I bought a new O ring to seal it to the block, it may need a coat of paint though. I also sourced a plug to fit on the remote regulator for the alternator but I could only find that from Dave Barton who is in the US. I could have just used three separate spade connectors as most people do but I felt like doing it properly. The main charging feed cable is threaded around the front of the car and awaiting fitting of the alternator. It looks like the rebuilt alternator I bought a couple of years ago is a Motorola unit and should have come with a spacer to get the pulleys to line up correctly. I am going to space it out with some washers until I sort something better out. The alternator I bought last weekend came with a cranked adjusting bracket which is the part I most wanted, the alternator itself is a bit dubious having sat unused for quite a few years and is another Motorola unit so no help in the correct fitting stakes.

Today I spent most of the time fitting the rear half of the Simonz exhaust I bought a while ago. The rearmost rubber hanger was tough to get on. The body bracket seems to be too large a diameter for the hole in the rubber. I had to use a ‘G’ clamp to force it on. There are reports of this part failing prematurely, but stronger alternatives are easily available so it is not a big deal. I spent a while considering how to fit another bracket from the fitting kit. however it turns out that it is for very early cars and is not applicable to mine. I did however find that there is a bracket attached to the gearbox that has been bent out of the way which I will have to straighten. It is clamped in place by the gearbox support bracket so will be a bit of a pain if I have to remove it to straighten it as it will mean supporting the gearbox while the support is removed and that is going to make access difficult.

I need to sort the oil cooler out next as that must go on before I can refit the manifold. I also need to decide if I am going to fix that freeze plug before I refit the manifold. I need to fit the manifold before I can finish the exhaust and I need to finish the exhaust before I fit the alternator as it impedes access to the manifold to down pipe nuts. I’m also going to fit two new hand brake cables. One of the current ones has a completely perished rubber seal and although that could be replaced, I’ll be happier with a new cable.

Clunk 13 December 2009

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1st October 2009

Well I fitted the rear wheels as intended but as I rotated them back and forth I noticed a significant clunk each time I reversed the direction of the wheel I was working with at the time. Thinking that the replacement axle was in fact junk I started to strip it all out again and was intending to refit the original axle. I was pretty upset about this and wasn’t really thinking it through. I also went off and ordered a new pinion oil seal to fit in the old axle. Anyway after I got a good way through the removal process I realised that the clunk was actually coming from the gear box and not the axle. So I had to tighten everything back up again. I adjusted the brake shoes so they are close to the drums. The car is now sitting on all four wheels again, something it has not done in over a year. Things still left to do include, tightening propshaft bolts to gear box flange, centre carrier bolts tightening, starter motor bolts, new exhaust, finish alternator conversion and associated rewiring and then refit the manifold. Doesn’t sound too much when you say it quickly now does it? Trying to ignore the drip from the gear box where I replaced the oil seal on the output shaft, ho hum.

Bleeding brakes 13 December 2009

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26th July 2009

I fitted the rear brake backing plates with the new gaskets. I just cleaned up the seal carriers and used them as is for the moment. I then connected up the brake pipe to the rear brakes and removed the clamp that had been on the flexible pipe for about 18 months. I left the joints loose for a week and found brake fluid oozing out when I went back to it today. For good measure I bled the rear brakes out with fresh fluid so they should be good to go now. Unfortunately the dripping brake fluid has taken some of the paint off so I’ll have to touch that up soon but otherwise I am about ready to refit the rear wheels at least long enough to tighten the castle nut on the axle end and then adjust the brake shoes so that they will be close to the inside of the drum as they should be. When disassembling the axle one of the torque rod bolts was very stuck and I used a blow torch on it. This slightly burned the rubber piece that locates the lower spring mount. I bought a pair of these rubber pieces on eBay and replaced the burned one today as well. I jacked the axle up and then put spring clamps on the spring, then lowering the axle again took the pressure off the mount enough to change it over. This was all a bit nerve wracking as I don’t like working with suspension springs under tension but went OK in the end.

Shims 13 December 2009

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10th April 2009

I have cleaned up the shims that set the end play on the rear axle. There are some either side and they fit behind the brake backing plates. I also cleaned up the spacers that go in front of the backing plates but in the process of removing the gaskets that sit either side of these spacers I damaged the paint on the backing plates. So I touched that up but now I need to get new gaskets. I also need to decide what to do about the seal carrier as they are a bit rusty, I’m just not sure what the best way of finishing them will be. Last week I continued on removing the insulating tape and then the braided cloth covering as well from the wiring loom that went to the generator. This loom runs from the generator, through the front bulkhead and along above the radiator before passing back through the bulkhead and back along the nearside wing, past the fuse box and on round to the starter motor. Curiously enough I found some disconnected wires in amongst the others. A couple of these could well have been to drive the second horn which seems to have been rewired at some point using additional wires. I’ll join those horn wires into the harness to make it a bit neater there. I think I’ll use cable ties to keep it tight around the points where wires join/leave and then the spiral binding to keep it neat.

Spiral binding 12 December 2009

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21st February 2009

I bought the blanking plate for the head to seal off the feed to the oil cooler, but I need to get some gasket material to use with it and it also needs painting. I also bought an inlet ring and a freeze plug. I removed the rear brake backing plates that I had put in place so that I could get at the rear bearings. After a bit of an effort I managed to get the axle half shafts free, using the brake drums as a slide hammer. There was not enough space to use a real slide hammer. I put fresh grease into the rear bearings, the stuff in there was old and probably diluted with gear oil as it was quite runny. I’ll have to keep an eye on it and see if the inner grease seal needs to be replaced. I started to peel off the insulation tape that is wrapped around the wiring loom so that I can re-wire for the alternator. The braided covering underneath is in quite poor condition. I ordered some new cable and terminals to cope with the higher charging current that the alternator will supply as well as some spiral binding.

One screw missing 12 December 2009

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14th February 2009

I put the starter motor back in its place a couple of weeks ago but I have not tightened the bolts up yet.┬áThe prop shaft went in the same time as the axle and I tightened the big nut holding the centre bearing in place before I replaced the starter. I have not fitted the new nuts and bolts at each end of the prop shaft yet. Today I drained the coolant from the engine and removed the oil cooler. When I bought the car it had one screw missing from the valve cover and when I removed the oil cooler, there was a screw lodged behind it which I think must have been the original valve cover screw. On removal of the feed pipe I found the remains of an ‘O’ ring that had disintegrated and fallen into the oil cooler. I think I managed to get all the parts of it out. I have a replacement shorter oil filter spigot and the simpler bottom radiator hose without the extra connection from the oil cooler but I don’t have a good way to remove the longer spigot that is used with the oil cooler. Also I cannot find the blanking plate I need to seal off where the feed pipe attaches to the head so I may just refit the oil cooler for the present once I have given it a good flush. I found the alternator and voltage regulator I intend to use amongst my boxes of spares that I have bought,┬ámany ‘just in case’ but some, such as the alternator and regulator, were actually bought with a plan in mind.

Grit in my eye 12 December 2009

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31st December 2008

Progress has been slow as usual but it has been happening. The rear axle is back under the car and the trailing arms and torque rods are connected. While doing this I decided to redo the paint on the panhard rod mount on the body. I only managed to get one coat of hammerite on it before I got some grit in my eye. By the time that was sorted out it was too late to put a second coat on immediately and I have to wait six weeks for the first coat to cure properly. With the cold weather I am probably going to give it a bit longer as well. I had given up on getting an alternator bracket from Scandcar so I bought an IPD version from eBay, whereupon Scandcar got back in touch and sent another bracket which has now arrived. So I now have two alternator brackets to choose from. The IPD version is the nicer of the two so I’ll probably go with that one.

Freeze plug 12 December 2009

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24th August 2008

I should have mentioned that while cleaning up the manifold gasket surface that I noticed the freeze plug on #2 cylinder does not look particularly secure. It is at an angle with one edge practically coming out of the boss. I prepped and painted the axle tunnel over the last couple of days which is a great relief. All that exposed metal was making me quite anxious.

Insecure freeze plug

Sheared off 12 December 2009

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16th August 2008

I got the rear nut off with a nut splitter and then removed the manifold from the engine so that I could work on replacing the studs. I sheered off the last remaining stud even after freezing it and applying heat and oil. So I had to drill out the studs. I bought a set of left handed drill bits in the hope that while drilling the studs out the left handed action would encourage the studs to unscrew but no luck there. Two of the holes were rescued by running a tap down but the third suffered from having too large a drill bit used on it and needed a thread insert.While I had good access I replaced the braided oil pressure gauge line, the old one was in quite a poor state as the braiding had frayed at one end. I then noticed that one of the rings that locates the inlet manifold to the head was missing so I’ll have to source one of those before the manifold is replaced. I moved the exhaust out of the way and found that it separated from the down pipe quite easily. I then managed to disconnect the front box from the middle pipe again with surprising ease. The back box was so rotten that it would have disintegrated before coming off so I cut it free with a hacksaw, keeping the middle pipe intact. I removed all the studs from the head with no incident and cleaned up the mating surface where some of the old gasket had stuck. I should now be able to get back to sorting out the rear axle tunnel.