Saturday, 31 March 2012

So close, but no cigar

Nearly there, but ran out of time today, mainly because while re-shimming the cams I found that the timing marks on the crank pulley were way out. TDC on these engines is top of compression stoke on cylinder 2, and that is where I had timed the cams to. However I had spent time last week timing the dizzy to the marks on the crank pulley at 14 deg btc. However when I refitted the cams I noticed that the TDC mark on the front pulley was no where to be seen. It was a bit of a bad moment as I assumed at first that I had timed the cams incorrectly, which would have meant radiator out and front timing cover off. However when I removed number 2 plug, the piston was where it should be at the top of the bore on compression stroke. So after checking the timing I remarked the front pulley.

However this meant the distributor was way out, the rotor arm should be pointing at the rear coil mounting bolt, not the inlet manifold, so that meant distributor removal and replacement which isn't very easy on these engines.

That done I finished the engine off - all complete and ready to go

Apart from the coolant. I have decided to try this american coolant to prolong engine life. Its strange stuff doesn't boil until 400 degrees, and totally prevents corrosion as there is no water in it. It doesn't suffer from local hotspot boiling either. This also means I can run the coolant system at 7psi instead of 20, which should reduce leaks from the water pump impeller seal and the manifolds. I hope so, as this coolant is a tad expensive at £45 for 4L and this engine needs 14L, but it should be worth the investment as it never needs replacement.

So tomorrow its fill with coolant, check for leaks, put some petrol in, let the fuel pump work, check for petrol leaks and then go for ignition.

My long jobs list is now down to this:-

9). Fit remainder of exterior brightwork (rear window surrounds)
Part done 11). Fit dash parcel shelves
13). Fit seat belts
16) Fit front and rear bumpers – part done
30). Insert petrol and see if it starts
31). Test gearbox and check kick down
33) Fit trim strip to rear window seal
 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!

Total hours now worked 958

Money spent now £20667

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A day of little finishing jobs today, got the new radiator fan controller installed and tested

then fitted the ABS module, I am not sure how this triggers as nothing happens when 12v is applied, I suppose it needs to see pulses from the tooth wheel in the transfer box, followed by an abrupt stop in them before it applies the abs valve - not sure - unless its 12v supply is supposed to come from the brake lights - time will tell, at least no smoke escaped from it when I wired it up. It looks to contain discrete components so should be quite repairable. A bit more carpet needs fitting behind the module.

I then finished the rear carpet and fitted the sill tread plates

I then remembered to attend to the rear subframe anti vibration straps, they had been incorrectly fitted by the  paint shop - which I don't want to think about, there's a really good diagram on Chris Witor's site under technical, which show the correct way to do this.

I finished the day faffing about getting the trim finisher in the rear window surround - who invented these - I gave up in the end as its time to go to the pub !

I have even found my boot floor key for the spare wheel, so that's stowed in its little pocket.

A few more finishing jobs tomorrow.

For the sake of a few shims I could have started it today, never mind next Saturday is the day when  it will live again (I hope), although I want to look at installing a water header tank for the radiator, but that's made more difficult than normal as the engine is mounted so high.

Not many jobs left on the pending jobs list  down to 13 items, and some of those are post engine start and MOT

Friday, 23 March 2012

Nearly There

Back to work on the estate after a few weeks working on the children's cars, gearbox swap in a mini one among other things - don't try it - it took me 14 hours or so!

I'd hope to get the engine started today, but sadly some of the new shims were wrong. Not the fault of the engineers who made them, I didn't have any shims small enough to start to measure the gaps on some valves so I had to take a guess at the sizes required, but the guess wasn't accurate enough. Still the new shims at least let me measure the gap, so it will be simple to get the correct sizes made, now that I have found someone to do them.

So after spending a few hours shimming the  engine, I then got oil pressure by turning the pump manually down the distributor drive, even by hand with a speed rachet I could get 20 psi!

The dizzy in and timed up, with spark at the plugs so that will help.

I have then started to wire in the ABS module and the electric fan controller which I will finish tomorrow.

I fitted the number plates too, so now the car has an identity.

more tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Despite my desire to finish the engine and start the car before Stoneleigh, it was not to be. The pallet shims that I needed haven't arrived, so I decided to complete the interior for the show.

First job was to do the fuel filler breather and drains so here they are

Then it was a simple(?) matter of fitting carpet, trim panels and seats - didn't take long - just 30 hours or so, and I still have a few bits to finish off, a few small bits of carpet to fit, and the parcel shelves. The 2 trim panels behind the passenger doors need remaking, as you will see from the pictures they are about half an inch too short - don't know why, as I copied the originals, but they will soon be rectified. I also have the remaining heater hoses now thanks to Ted Taylor, so another day will finish the interior.

So here's a few pictures of the interior. The camera has made the seats look a little grey, but they are black.

It was quite a moment when I could finally sit in the driver's seat after all this time - and yes I pretended to make engine noises! I'd never sat in the seats before, as the car was lacking front seats when I first got it. Quite a special moment!

Incidentally the passenger seat does fit despite the wider transmission tunnel, although it will not move far forward - if fact just enough to fit the rear mounting bolts.

I didn't really understand until I got the car unloaded at Stoneleigh just how complete it now is and how near to completion the project is.

I am not going to rush the rest, I will fit the shims, start the engine and try the gearbox, but then I will devote some time to "snagging" the car off, recheck everything, especially all the suspension nuts and bolts, and any other missed jobs.

Finally I will fish the bonnet and get that and a few remaining parts painted, and then its time for an MOT.
Total hours worked now 931, 30 added this week in 4 plus days (and nights!)

Where am I?