Sunday, 26 February 2012

Nearly There

First job of the day was to fit 3 oil gallery plugs to the engine which was another forgotten job from the past. The first was easy, it was up by the distributor "hole"

the second and third were in a nasty position that meant I had to remove the alternator - the position of one is shown by the long bold screwed into the block, the view is taken from under the car looking up - the third one is just above this bolt.

those done I replaced the alternator and power steering pump, which I also filled with power steering fluid. I then replaced the exhaust manifold that I had removed last week.

Next job was to shorten the battery retention bar as it was fouling on the radiator, and I couldn't move it over to centralise its mountings unless I took a little metal off the bar

that done I fitted the water pump and the lower radiator hoses

so now the air intake could go in place and be secured with the top radiator mounts

having done this I fitted the inlet manifold and torqued down the heads

then onto the thermostat, although my new stat had the correct rear "top hat" to block the bypass when open, it did not have the proper poppet bleed valve, so I drilled a 3mm hole in it to ensure no air gets trapped

the bypass can just be seen through the thermostat housing. If an incorrect thermostat is fitted you cannot cool the engine correctly, as the bypass is never shut and most of the hot water just goes round in circles!

The remaining heater hoses and rail were fitted in this picture too

Now a nice bit, fit the carbs - I've been looking forward to this moment for ages

The standard throttle cable is a bit short too, as you can see it stretched across the servo, so Its off to a bike shop for a longer cable tomorrow.

I still have to do the tappet shims, but I couldn't resist putting the elbows and airfilter box in place to see what it looks like

So I am still awaiting my new speedo cable, I need to do the tappets, choke cable and new accelerator cable, fit the fuel filler breather pipes, plus fill with oil and insert the distributor AFTER using its drive to get oil pressure up with an electric drill. So I might just get it running before Stoneleigh. I need a day off this week, as Saturday is planned to fit the seats and get it to the show.

I am considering using 4Life coolant, as it never needs replacing and won't boil until 190 degrees! - this means that I can run a "normal" coolant pressure of 7lbs or so, which gives the hoses and water pump seal an easier life than the Stag's customary 20lbs. Its expensive, but has other benefits too

9 hours work today bringing the total to 901

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Another world of pain

Another job that I hadn't done before, and should have done before the car went for the exhaust, bit me today. I know it all my fault, but it was still a swine.

Anyway first things first, adjusted up the handbrake cable so I now have a functioning handbrake.

Next up I changed the ignition switch for a NOS unit that I bought a few weeks ago, as the original was a little intermittent and needed the key waggling about, probably just corrosion from being left unused for so long but still a nuisance.

That done it was on to the power steering pipes from the rack to the pump.  I KNOW I should have done them before, but I didn't and today paid the price. I had to remove the new manifold to get at them. The exhaust guys had told me some of the bolts were difficult - I'll say. Two of the bolts needed 2 spanners with different offsets used one after the other - i.e. rotate bolt 1/16 of a turn, change spanner, rotate another 1/16 of a turn, go back to first spanner and so on and on and on and on ................... and before you ask no room for a rachet, even a sub minature one, anyway the manifold did come out ........... eventually, I am not looking forward to replacing it.

That out of the way I managed to bend the steel pipes and get it all to fit, and even leave room to replace the manifold ! The pipes were originally mandrel bent, so I replicated the bending device by forming the bends that I needed round a large socket in a vice.

The manifold needs to go back on, but I need exhaust gaskets first as they had used sealant and removing the gaskets destroyed them - Stags usually run without exhaust manifold gaskets, just manifold to head, but if the exhaust company used them, so am I.

That was the morning gone, and the end of spannering for the day, so I moved on to other items, fitted my original furflex door seals, door ashtrays and window winders - all looking smart now.

Cleaned up the front seat runners

and got the front seats up from the cellar. No prizes for guessing which is the driver's side - the seat membrane has split.

However I just happen to have 2 NOS ones, so I quickly replaced the split one - I am keeping the remaining new one as a spare, as its 40 year old rubber and may not last long

Quick clean of the seats and this is how they look ready to go back in the car (assuming the passenger one fits with the tunnel modifications)

So will it be running for Stoneleigh ?

Possibly, I need to fit inlet manifold and carbs, wire up the cooling fan, do the tappet shims, fit distributor, fuel filler breathers, speedo cable (which has been ordered from Speedograph) and hope it works. I think I need to take 1 or 2 days off from work to do this, especially as I am working next Sunday at the O2 arena

9 hours worked today total now 892

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bleeding Brakes

This morning started with an investigation into the disk run out issue and play in one front wheel bearing hub. The answers in the end were simple but time consuming to identify and fix.

The play in one front hub was due to the hubs being custom machined and different to each other ! I have never been able to tighten one hub up enough to remove the bearing play, I had thought that I had damaged splines on the drive shaft CV joint or some powdercoat left on the splines. Well I stripped it all down and still couldn't see an issue. But by measuring everything I found that one hub has its centre bearing carriers about 4mm longer than the other - hence I couldn't close the gap - swapped it round onto the other drive shaft and all was well.

Incidentally although the front CV joints are reputed to be triumph 1300, they aren't, here's a genuine 1300 one, the splines are longer and the nut thread thicker

Then disk run out, if you recall I had  the new discs custom manufactured, however they weren't quite as original, the bolt holes for the hub to disc bolts were too shallow and the bolts were bottoming out, just breaking through the rear, as you can see in the following picture before clamping the disc up tight. Grind 2mm off the bolts and all was well, less than 5thou run out on each disc, spec is a maximum of 7thou so I was happy with that, as it was about 15thou before

So brake pads fitted, (I cannot fit the anti squeal shims as the discs are thicker than standard - when they have worn a bit I'll fit the shims)

Then onto brake bleeding, what a performance - this should be a simple job, but I couldn't get fluid through the system by pumping the pedal. In the end I applied a vacuum to the bleed nipples and sucked the brake fluid through. As soon as I had fluid at the nipples they then bled in the conventional manner, so now I have a nice hard brake pedal. During the bleeding process I noticed that the servo and maxaret abs valve made a nice series of wooshing and wheezing noises as the air circulated through the abs parts.

That done, new 13inch fan fitted and radiator installed.

Rather than pack the crankshaft pulley bolt out with spacers (as it normally goes through the VC for the fan) I sourced a new bolt which was an inch shorter than standard, for those stag owners who want to do this its 5/8th UNF 18TPI 3.5 inches long available from Land Rover dealers as it used in the suspension somewhere.

ATF transmission fluid also installed - although I checked the manual and it said capacity 8 litres so I poured in 8 litres, forgetting that it needs the gearbox pump to run to fill the torque converter, so I had a big puddle of ATF on the garage floor from the autobox breather - at least I hope its the breather!

Tomorrows jobs, adjust the handbrake and sort out the power steering pipes - then at last I can look at getting the engine ready for first start

8 hours worked today, grand total now 883

Sunday, 12 February 2012

All those little jobs that I had left until now

At time during the build of the estate I was aware that a few items needed revisiting, but some of the work had been done in a great rush to get it ready for various shows or the exhaust fabricators. So having put off the evil moment for so long I decided to revisit those items that were essential to getting it running but I had put off rectifying as the jobs were potentially quite time consuming and fiddly.

First off were the water temp sender housings that fit at the rear of the heads - easily fitted with the heads off, but a real PITA with the heads on as there is so little clearance to the bulkhead, and each has 5 bolts to tighten. I hadn't done these before because the originals were grotty, full of old rust and I had forgotten to take them to the blasters.

Anyway here they are fitted, with hoses and sensors attached. the cable with the springy wire wrapping visible is a capiliary temp gauge with oil pressure gauge - I know its another worry gauge, but I do like to see the oil pressure, especially in a new engine, and I need to know if the oil will get too hot because of the FF parts - I have yet to mount the gauge inside, that can wait until the parcel shelves go in.

I also fitted the accelerator cable at the same time.

Next, I wanted to replace the autobox sump gasket - the new one had squeezed out quite a lot when fitted for some reason and I wasn't happy with it, so after jacking the car up I could do this and fit the autobox to engine strengtheners.

At the same time I could connect the loom to the autobox inhibitor switch, although I had to undo the front propshaft to get at this - the actual switch is somewhere half visible in the depths of this picture.

That done a quick test of the wiring proved that I had reversing lamps and starter motor. I was unaware until testing that these will also start in neutral as well as park.

The gearbox mount was also not correctly fitted as a spacer fabricated by FF had been fitted on the wrong side by me, that corrected the mount is nice and level, although I now need to get some longer bolts for the mount with the spacer, as the nylocs now do not have thread protruding through the nut. Fix one thing and something else needs attention!

I have also found that I need a custom speedo drive cable - the standard one that I have used is 20" too short due to the FF box, so that's another item to source

I am going to leave the car on axle stands for now, as next I am going to strip the front hubs and cure the endfloat issues that they have always had. It should be much easier with them on the car. That done I can fit brake pads and bleed the brakes.

That little lot was 10 hours work, so the grand total is now 875 hours

Saturday, 4 February 2012

I don't mind the cold, its the snow that gets me

I know you all want me to get on with the engine, so do I BUT I must finish other jobs first, or they will never get done, it'll be driven unfinished.

First things first, get Ted Taylor's new laminated windscreen fitted, so I don't damage the thing while its sat on the floor.

So new screen rubber fitted to screen, and windscreen trim fitted to that - its easier while its off the car. I can normally get a screen in first attempt, not today, 3 goes and three hours before I was happy with the result. To be fair, I think its the cold, the screen rubber wasn't exactly soft and pliable, and I am normally happy to give windscreens a good bash or two to seat them, but not on a laminate screen - they have a very nasty habit of cracking, so here it is fitted and with windscreen wipers on too

Next, electric cooling fan, I purchased this, its a two speed unit for Stags and looks the business, complete with relays and electronic temp control, it will push or pull. But will it fit ? NO, it would go in if I didn't have an autobox oil cooler, but with that in the way no chance - I need a slimmer standard unit, so no more work on the engine today.

I had a go doing more of the internal trim, but the contact adhesive has turned to rubber in the cold, so I couldn't do that either, and it was getting a bit cold in the garage with snow blowing inside, so I turned my attention to the rear seats.

Good clean, fit the backing boards and chrome trim, and got them finished. Not quite what I had intended to do today.

Tomorrow, if the weather isn't too bad, its time to fit the autobox strengtheners, check and attach the wiring to the start inhibit switch on the box (which will be a pig), and fill the autobox and transmission with ATF

Interesting the size of the pending jobs list, its now down to this:-

FF jobs list

3). Bleed brakes
4). Fill gearbox and transfer box with ATF
5). Fit gearbox to engine stiffeners
6). Adjust handbrake
9). Fit remainder of exterior brightwork (rear window surrounds)
11). Fit dash parcel shelves
13). Fit seat belts
14). Fit side carpet panels to front cockpit
15). Fit ABS electronics module
16) Fit front and rear bumpers – part done
18) Fit carpets
20), Fit remaining interior trim, side panels and wood to rear of estate
21) Fit seats
Part done -22). Complete heads after machining as follows, fit Valves and springs, cam buckets and camshafts, gap tappets with shims
25). Fit inlet manifold and carbs, with fuel pipes, breathers and accelerator cable
26). Fit Dizzy, plug leads and coil
Part done -27) Fit radiator and cooling fan and remaining hoses
29) Make up PAS to pump pipes (won’t take standard Stag ones!)
30). Insert petrol and see if it starts
31). Test gearbox and check kick down
32). Fix run out on front disks – suspect its a hub / bearing issue
33) Fit trim strip to rear window seal
34) Fit window winders and internal door handles
35) Fit ashtrays!
39). Rust proof box sections with Dinotrol
41). Complete bonnet lead loading and paint somehow and fit
42). MOT
Part done - 43). Get old registration back – part done
44). Cure slow airleak in 2 tyres
45). Run and test!

I MUST get the manifold back next week from the machine shop

hours worked now 865 - 8 today

Friday, 3 February 2012

Tubular Bends

Took the car trailer up to JP Exhausts in Macclesfield today and collected the estate. I haven't even unloaded it yet I am so pleased with the exhaust and manifolds that they have fabricated, and couldn't wait to share the pictures with you all.

Despite the difficulties and extra work it's still come in at the quoted price - what gentlemen and skilled too, after my paintshop problems its a joy to discover such good honest workmanship. I am chuffed to bits and cannot wait to get on with it and get it fired up for the first time in 20 or so years - need to get the inlet manifold back first though, but plenty to work on now. Come and see it at Stoneleigh it should be running by then. Sorry Colin / Amanda should I have said that ?

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves

There we are, automotive porn!

How much ? £1800 plus vat, which brings the expenditure to £20342

Where am I?