Final solution?

So, with the bits and pieces done; propshaft joints, diff seal, quill shaft bearing, drive shaft mods all tested and OK, I decided to go for a solution to the high-idle with a hot engine.

Coming back from the test drive, I took off the air plenum and checked the linkages. There was a small reduction in rpm – about 20-30 perhaps – if one pushed down on the linkage to further close the butterflies but as soon as the pressure was released and the throttle blipped, it was back up to 1300 again.

I loosened off the linkage rod locking nuts and checked that the butterflies were closed fully only to find perhaps half a turn on the rods available that reduced the idle down to 900 when secured. It seems that the heat from the exhaust manifold expands the length of the rods to open the butterflies enough create the high-idle. Once these are open, I guess any build up of carbon around the butterflies to help seal them up completely wouldn’t be given the chance to settle there with the increase in flow through the airway. Ignition timing can be advanced back up to 11 BTDC too all being well before my trip up to the UK for the Nationals in a week or so.

Hopefully now, the idle will start to drop off as the deposits build and I can reinstate the idle air valve to maintain a more sensible 900rpm and keep the temp down a bit stuck in traffic in summer – 12-1300rpm was a bit of a test for the cooling system in 35C..!



Back together – again!

So, parts arrived from Chris Witor last week – a bit late due to ongoing strikes in France I guess.

First job was to soak the new input shaft seal in oil as soon as I got home on Friday evening after work. This makes the leather supple and prevents it burning out on running up in operation.

Next morning, I tapped the seal into the casing and nipped up the castellated nut on the end of the pinion shaft back to it’s original position, fitting a new split-pin afterwards.

Next job was to open the rear cover of the diff to inspect the tooth wear and general condition. It was pretty good actually with only minimal deposits of light ‘slime’. I washed the cover in petrol and refitted it with a new joint after a smear of Hylomar to both sides after cleaning up the faces with a craft knife blade to give a good seal. The old joint was very thin, almost like a chart-paper joint we used to use at sea…. Interestingly, there was a letter ‘P’ stamped into the diff casing mating face – no idea what that was for…

'P' stamped into mating surface Diff internals

Diff cover

I refitted the crossmember connection / diff extension piece back into place and fitted the springs back into the trailing arms with the spring insulators after scraping out the recess in the arms – there was quite a deposit of mud under the insulators previously – perhaps leading to their physical damage before the work. I found it necessary to drop the locknuts off the lower rear shock securing studs and unscrew the main nuts to the end of the threads to lower the arms enough to get the springs in – it did at least, save using a spring compressor at this time and, let me see that I need to replace the rubber bushes on the shocks due to cracking around the circumference……

Once secured, I refitted the diff onto the extension piece with the great assistance of the transmission jack and torqued up the set screws then attached the support with new tab-washers and Superflex bushes to replace the old worn ones.

Using new nuts, I reconnected the drive shafts to the diff and torqued up the flanges on the trailing arm backplates. This then allowed me, with the handbrake on, to torque up the diff extension input flange using a new self-locking nut. At this time, I also adjusted the rear brake shoes and the handbrake cable.

The propshaft was refitted with new nuts and greased up then the diff was refilled with 80W gear oil. After a few hours, I dared to have a look underneath again and the diff seal was holding tight – main job done, ready for a test drive! When it stops raining…..

If all is OK, preps for the trip to the 50th anniversary week in the UK will start shortly – engine oil (20/60) and filter along with an oil change for the gearbox/overdrive mainly on the cards, along with some testing of the electric fan in hot weather stationary traffic, just in case!!

Getting there, finally…

Diff oil leak, etc….

I decided to have a go at sealing up the input shaft on the diff. Leakage had become quite noticeable – and a little embarrassing when visiting friends – and, with the trip up to the UK due in June for the 50th anniversary, I thought it was a good idea to go for it now before it gets too hot here to do it comfortably.

I used a pair of HD axle stands under the sills in way of the original jacking points with some plywood to protect the sill.

Sill supports

On undoing the propshaft flanges, it became obvious that the diff-end UJ was on its way out with a lumpy feeling on rotating it so, that was the first thing on the list of parts. They actually proved a little difficult to remove from the shaft ends with the cups not quite coming out far enough to loosen up for easy removal with Mole grips – a vice and a small hammer were required to get them apart in the end.

I removed the exhaust rear section and over-axle pipe to make access better for dropping the diff  and removed the nuts from the output flanges to drop the shafts away.

Unfortunately, there was about 5mm of stud remaining through the flanges, even with the trailing arm fully down so, off with the brake drums and a loosen up of the 6 nuts on the new studs to allow them to retract that little bit further.

Next, the four set screws through the nose-piece extension to the diff were removed and with a transmission jack under the diff, it was lowered away to reveal the subframe / diff studs. These were removed and the suspension subframe was chocked down with some wooden blocks to prevent it returning up whilst the diff support was removed along with the bushes. At this time, the springs were free so were removed and the plastic spring caps were inspected – two were damaged, two OK. More parts for the list….

Once the springs were removed, I sprayed thoroughly with Dinitrol RC900 in the upper spring support recesses, followed by Dintrol cavity wax – just to be sure all is OK up in there for the foreseeable.

Wood blocks keeping subframe down

Subframe to diff studs

Diff down!

The pins from the floor of the car that locate the bushes were wire brushed off and found to have very little wear and just a little surface dusty corrosion generally in parts that were inaccessible that cleaned right up and were then sprayed with Dinitrol wax.

New Superflex bushes are on order for the diff mounts from Chris.

Floor above diff to be treated

With the transmission jack lowering and a gentle pull rearwards on the diff, it came away and, dribbled oil over the floor of the pit of course, missing the plastic container strategically placed to catch the same….!

Once removed, the subframe nose-piece bolts were removed and that was taken away for overhaul. The contact point between the subframe support and the diff aluminium cover plate was corroded a little but with a wire brushing and some scraping, this was removed and the diff surface was found to be in good condition underneath.

Diff end cover corrosion - steel to ally

Inspection of the diff showed the air vent on top pretty blocked – not completely however, perhaps enough to restrict flow and help the seal on its way out. The output seals are in good (not leaking) condition so I have left them as is for the moment – seemingly, they can be a bit of a nightmare to get out with a big press required to remove the flanges.

The input shaft seal was one of the original leather items – one could see the hardened / darker running edge leading to the leakage. Removing this required a chisel and a little butchery. All good however and the space on top of the bearing was sealed with a piece of clean cloth to keep the rubbish out during the cleaning up and renovation.

The diff nose quill shaft bearing was removed after tapping the shaft out – that was in good condition with no noticeable ridge on the seal running surface, just a little dark discolouration and no noticeable play on the splines. The bearing sounded a bit rough when spun so I ordered a new one. The bracket itself went for cleaning and painting.

The three parts – diff, subframe bracket and diff support – were wire-brushed, washed off with petrol and left to dry in the sun.

I decided to complete the modification of the quill shaft bracket with two pieces of steel cut from a piece of plate I had lying around the garage. Measurements were 40 x 50 x 6mm. These were welded in place and should prevent any cracking in the future on this tube extension.

Mod to support bracket 40mm x 50mm x 6mm

Weld modification completed

Painting followed another wipe down with acetone with two coats of red Rustol primer and a top coat of a green French Hammerite equivalent that actually seems pretty good; it leaves an almost stove-enameled finish when it goes on so hopefully, this will stay after the drying process!

Parts to reinstall painted with anti-corrosion primer

Finished diff

Diff support subframe

Diff extension piece


Now, waiting for Chris Witor to despatch the parts to let me commence the reassembly. Roll on Wednesday next week!

On they go…..

So, once the rain stopped, the car was back over the pit. Hub stud conversion to 3/8 UNC and new driveshafts to fit.

The stud repair modification kit arrived with all parts required, even down to a sachet of Trefolex for the thread-cutting. First job was to remove the old studs, apart from two diagonally opposing to allow the fitting of the drilling / thread-cutting jigs. There were a couple of stubborn studs that soon relinquished their hold under attack by a butane burner…

Blowlamp persuasion

Removal of studs

Once the 4 studs were removed, the jigs for drilling 8mm and thread-forming were used in succession and then, the final two studs were extracted and the process completed. New studs went in with red Studlock (supplied in the kit) and torqued up. The brake backplate was replaced and the shaft installation began.

The shafts were separated from the hub bearing and fitted in from the diff side with the nuts loosely fitted to the 4 diff flange studs. From the other end of the shaft, the hub was fitted over the splines of the shaft and the new Nyloc nuts supplied were fitted to the six studs to the correct torque, finishing the installation.

Brake drums were refitted and adjustment was found to be OK as it was.

All in all, it took about 6 hours to complete the process – lunch and tea intervals included…

Whilst the car was over the pit, I took the chance to put another half-turn on the maximum fuel screw on the metering unit – I found that pulling out the enrichment on a warm engine improved the idle and smoothed it out.

Test drive proved the units to be quiet and free of corner twitch and the engine felt stronger again and the idle was no longer affected by pulling out the enrichment – job done!

Next, the leaking front seal of the diff and perhaps the fuel tank internal treatment. Along with the crank regrind / replacement at some point…. THEN, the wood cappings to renovate and seat diaphragms to replace and it’ll be close to finishing!


2018 – more projects on the way….

So, with the new year, plans for the Triumph progress.

It was my intention to fit an electric fan for the radiator at some point after being stuck in traffic and the temp gauge starting to head North…. Before that, I needed to uprate the alternator to suit. I contacted Tim Brise in the UK as they have a solid 60A unit that fits the original mounts. Purchase made, I at the same time as fitting that, uprated the +ve side with a 10mm2 cable direct to the positive on the battery, complete with soldered joints, and another, through a HD relay to the negative to minimise the earth resistance from the block – the new alternator earths through the body into the mounting bracket. The original cable is good for 35A max so although I have lost use of the ammeter on the dash as the electricity finds its easiest path, it’s a lot safer than just continuing with the original cable.


I have a rather unusual battery isolator located under the dash on the LHS that switches out the earth of the battery when required – same type of switch as the bonnet pull on the right. I do use it a lot but with the direct earth from the alternator bracket to the battery, it became redundant – hence the need for the relay, operated from the switched +ve on the coil.


The other connections on the alternator are for the charge light on the dash and a switched +ve (from the coil in this case) to let it know when to start charging.

Once completed, I checked and there’s a very steady 14.4 volts, whatever the load and now, loads of spare capacity for ‘stuff’….

Revotec supplied a 12″ fan, in-line temp controller and relays to fit – I measured up in front of the radiator and I think this particular model is about the largest I could comfortably fit on the PI.

I drained the water-less coolant from the system overnight and once empty, removed the radiator – I put a piece of cardboard in front of the engine driven fan to protect the fins; always a good idea I think – and put the new fan into the nose cone, secured towards the front with a cable tie to let me get the radiator back in and secured.

The fan was mounted in front of the rad with the pull-through plastic ties that worked pretty well and the motor cable fed through the nose cone to the left hand front corner of the engine bay. I chose the top hose to mount the thermostatic switch as it was easier to access and the length of the hose was a little shorter than perhaps it could have been so proceeded to cut it in half, removing a short section to compensate for the length of the switch unit. Once completed, I fed the cable down the top hose and over the top of the rad towards the left hand side of the engine bay.


The Revotec fan controller comes with its own relay and harness and with that and the fan installation kit – another relay and electrical connectors. I didn’t want the fan running when the ignition was switched off, so wired in the positive side of the temperature controller relay to the small 12v bus bar I fitted early on for the mods to the fuel pump and headlamp feeds, via the second relay fed from a switched +ve.



I ran up the engine to get it warm and adjusted the temperature controller so the fans cut in at perhaps 60% travel on the gauge which seemed to be fine – cutting in and out on the thermostat and as it was running, I topped up the water-less coolant as it bled out and made the wiring a bit more tidy before finishing off.

I did a polishing job on the front grill whilst it was off to access the radiator – looks much better now – there were a few drops of Dinitrol wax that had dripped down without me noticing but it made a big difference to the look – shiny and clean now!

Job done! Next, drive shafts…. There should be a package arriving from the UK this week – more time in the garage this weekend, all being well…. Getting ready for the trip up to the UK in June for the 50th….



The trip ‘oop North’….

I had booked a place at Revington TR in Somerset some weeks ago as an incentive to get the car ready for a good test run and, although cruising was fine, there was still something lacking top end of the rev-range that needed sorting out.

First of all, I needed a new spare tyre. The nearly new Michelin XAS was a 175/70 13 however it was date-coded nearly 23 years ago… I didn’t feel like starting a 4000km round trip without a safe usable spare…..


The only reasonably-priced 185/80 13 tyre I could find was a Maxxis MA1 for 58 Euro + VAT. A new Michelin is, of course, available from their ‘Classic’ range but it’s about 4 x the price. As it is, the Maxxis is correctly speed-rated and seems to be balanced without too many weights on the wheel. It’s only a spare after all – hopefully, it won’t get used….

After last checks on the car, I set off at 18.30 on the Saturday, heading to the Caen ferry leaving at 0830. I fitted my new ‘car radio’ – a Bluetooth speaker and a radio app on the phone meant Radio 2 all the way! The ashtray proved an ideal support for the phone whilst using Waze too – ideal car for cruising!


Stopping only for fuel a couple or so times on the way – it is a fairly small tank after all – I arrived bang on time and had a coffee. Great to see the sun-set / sun-rise on the way – it was a dry, clear trip and the car held approx 130km/h all the way without problem.


Coming into Portsmouth, we passed the new aircraft carrier – looking pretty big but not really to be used for the next couple of years…!




I used Revington’s website suggestion for a place to stay close by – 5km in the morning after a full breakfast was perfect.


Unfortunately, the only bit of rain for the whole trip was the night of arrival at the hotel and a little in the morning – but at least it did show up a small leak from the lower windscreen seal – a towel on the floor sorted that for the night and the next morning it cleared up and was hot and sunny again.

There was a short break on the way to Revington thanks to an early morning nature walk…


Having someone well versed in the PI system go over it made all the difference. There’s a Crypton tuning machine there along with the rolling road and together, it showed that the settings in the metering unit were quite a bit off. Carl had a bit of a fiddle using their software that calculates the settings you need after measuring what you have in way of springs and adjustments and produces the fuelling graph – interesting to see it in action!



I ended up with a little less vacuum on the inlet side but a much fuller torque curve and an engine that now pulls to 6000rpm without struggling.

Leaving Middlezoy, heading up towards the M5/M6 to Chester then onto the Wirral, I called into see Chris Witor and pick up a few pieces before heading up North. I stopped at Cheshire Classic Cars in Broughton for a look around and a bit of a gossip with Iain, the director, with whom I went to school. Great place there for an oggle – lots of exotics and a great team with several expensive restorations ongoing. I managed to get an afternoon top-down in my TR and a pub lunch before heading home to see the family.


I ordered a set of ‘classic’ raised-letter type registration plates to replace the rather nasty modern flat plastic plates that had been fitted sometime since 1998… Much better look now and a return the original look.


It’s completely original inside, done about 45k miles and only had some paint in the early ’80s to sort out the start of some corrosion on top of the rear wings. Really, a great example and quite rare now I think, a totally original one – so many have modern touches now but I like the traditional look. The red lamp under the dash on the passenger side was for a tow-hitch indicatior lamp fitted in the 70’s – the tow hitch has been removed since but I left the lamp in place as a period piece.

A couple of nights at home on the Wirral and I headed back towards Middlezoy to collect a few parts, including a couple of o-rings for the dizzy shaft that had been leaking. I left Revington and headed to Portsmouth in the sun.

Around Salisbury, there was quite a bit of traffic and I had an unexpected problem with the car – fuel seemed to be vapourising in the plastic lines to the injectors when stopped in traffic for a long period, to the extent that on filling up with petrol, the car wouldn’t start again on the garage forecourt…. I removed 3 injectors and bled them through on full-enrichment then the engine started and we were off again, the remaining 3 bleeding through of their own accord. I have a permanent fuel pressure read-out and that remained at 104psi so I’m sure it was a problem with fuel in the nylon pipes gassing up in the hot weather and stationary traffic rather than the primary loop to the tank which has a Bosch conversion. Once underway, all was fine again and it didn’t repeat itself.

Back to France and the trip down South – all went well and the car cruised perfectly. Average MPG up was 31, back down 28. More fuel = more fun I guess…!


Photo just after arrival – before I had to set-to repairing a mouse-chewed water pipe and sink u-bend after an emergency call from the Mrs at 7am…

On arrival, after a trip to the hardware store for the pipe fittings and, a pot of Yorkshire Gold,  I attacked the front screen with some Creeping Crack Cure and a smear or two of Arbomast to seal that up and then went into the footwell to check the floor there – I guess it had been leaking previously so was expecting some problems however, it wasn’t bad at all in fact.

I cleaned off the old paint and surface rust with a drill and wire brush in the affected areas then painted up with Rustol primer and will  now recover with some top-coat after curing. As can be seen, there was little in the way of corrosion and the outer edge of the floor against the sill is in very good condition with some anti-corrosion coating along the seam already in place. The brown cable is the feed to the fuel pump direct from the battery to keep the voltage up at the pump.

Step 1 – manual wire brush


Step 2 – wire brush on the electric drill about to remove the rest of the loose coating and all signs of surface corrosion.


Step 3 – two coats of Rustol primer followed here by first coat of original colour followed by a second the next day. job done.


The other side is still perfect:

I also gave the original rocker cover to a local Company to sand-blast and powder-coat silver again as it was looking a little the worse for wear. They agreed to 40 Euros, which I didn’t think that was too bad considering where we are here….



I had fitted an alloy cover prior but couldn’t get it to seal properly – silicone gasket, cork, another silicone gasket and on comparing the original to the alloy one, it was rather obvious that it was never going to work…

The corners are very badly matched to the original – a shame really as it would have finished off the engine bay quite nicely….


That’s up to date now – off for another local club trip on Sunday into the Var – no doubt a bit of lunch on the way; rather nice I expect in the Autumn sun as it’s really the best time to be here.

Problem solved???

Under the car again this weekend, completion of the job at hand before next weekend’s trip out with the car to a show down the coast.

For interest, before reassembly started, I removed the bottom end bearing of No3 cylinder and main bearing No2 cap to see how they looked. The bottom ends seem to be original sized and the mains are marked -10.




A little unfortunate however, the marking on the shell was not sharp with edges that had been worn and the journal whilst discoloured, was not really ridged. Unfortunately, it looks like not enough care was taken at the rebuild previously and perhaps the crank wasn’t washed through sufficiently to prevent some carry over of deposit into the bearings.

Anyway, the bearings were replaced and torqued back up correctly and then, the oil pump was removed to be replaced with one of Chris Witor’s close-tolerance items. I ground the body into the block face as suggested and reassembled the pump with some engine build pre-lube smeared around. The suction filter was a 1/4″ longer than the depth of the old pump (which will be cleaned and checked then perhaps ground in to keep as a spare) at its shortest setting so I left it as it was. The suction tube length is adjustable on a screw / locknut arrangement.


Next, the front cover plate joint. I supported the block with the assistance of the transmission jack and a block of wood to take the weight then removed the radiator, fan and viscous coupling, crank pulley, water pump housing, alternator, timing cover and finally the plate itself. It was pretty messy with sections in poor condition.



Once thoroughly cleaned up with a scraper, it was ready for reassembly of the front bearing cap cover block. The new steel section fitted perfectly and the wood wedges tapped in nicely. I used a chisel to remove the excess and smooth it out with the block.

I used Hylomar on all the faces to be sealed – I’ve found this the best product in these conditions. New joints from Chris Witor and correctly torqued screws should HOPEFULLY end the leakage now….

During reassembly of the front end, I rechecked the cam timing and it was good at 106.5 degrees. I used the rocker on No1 inlet and a DTI to verify the lift and a protractor printed off the internet and stuck onto a piece of card. The TDC position on the crank pulley was already proven exactly correct and I used this as a reference.

Once back together, I refilled the cooling system with Evans water-less coolant and topped up with fresh 20/50 and pre-lubed the oil pump with an oil can through the pressure relief valve. I gave the valve seat a quick clean out with a hard nylon glow-plug brush to make sure of a good seat and with the plugs out, I turned the engine on the starter to ensure the oil pump had suction on the gauge prior to starting.

Plugs in, the engine started first flick of the key, which was nice! The management was happy, as you can see….


Steering rack back in, I checked the tracking with my Trackrite in the driveway and finally, set the steering wheel a couple of splines over to correct the dead-ahead position.

A final check underneath and I topped up the diff with about 200ml of oil till it overflowed the filler plug and that was it.

Test drive tonight perhaps, all being well; too late a finish last night and beer was required….

Back from the trip around the valley – no overdrive and another slight adjustment to the wheel position to correct it to straight ahead.

Overdrive easily solved; I forgot to connect the solenoid! Wheel equally quickly done and whilst under the front of the car, it seems there’s no oil leaking so far! Result…..

That little oil leak….

So, I decided to head down to the garage to sort out the leaking front end of the engine. The threads into the aluminium bridge piece were stripped and although I could Helicoil a repair, I decided to send off to Classic Technologies in the USA for a CNC-machined steel version to solve that problem for good. Marc Goldblatt provided great service and the part duly arrived a few of days later with a couple of wooden wedges via UPS I think for a total of $60 – no import duty or tax applied in Europe; the package was marked ‘commercial sample’ with a $10 value.

I removed the steering rack which gave enough access to remove the sump pan and then separated the gasket of the front plate away from the closing block with a craft knife blade then levered the bridge piece away, no problem. I can see however, that I will replace that front plate joint with a new one at some point in the future – it’s going to be difficult to get a good seal, even with a jointing compound, against an oil-soaked paper joint in way of the sump gasket.


The sump had a few millimeters of sludge in the bottom, or rather, thick oil perhaps more than sludge. I cleaned it and pressure-washed the sump afterwards.

On starting to clean up the block sump flange face, I noticed another leak site at the rear crank seal in way of the seal carrier / flange. When the engine was rebuilt previously, the seal carrier was not fitted 100% square with the machined surface of the block and this, I think, would be a cause of leakage from that area. Unfortunately, to fix this requires the gearbox to be removed again…


I had a beer, thought about it whilst Lewis Hamilton won the British GP and decided to go for it. Box out again in a couple of hours and seal carrier off. Plenty of cleaning up and I removed the old seal (which was in good condition) and inspected the seal running surface on the crank end. There was a little polishing of the surface but no ridge so no need for Speedi sleeve although, there is perhaps a case for fitting one anyway to protect the crank in the future….


I also ordered a close-tolerance oil pump from Chris Witor to fit whilst the sump is off. With the hot weather down here in the South of France, at low engine rpm after a motorway run for example, I think it will be a help to keep the pressure up.


I examined the sump pan and found after cleaning that there had been some damage previously repaired by welding – quite a neat job and not leaking in any way. There was also a dent in the bottom which I straightened with a lump of wood..


Before assembly, I’ll check the sump pan flange is straight and true to keep the chance of leaks down. Assembly will be with Hylomar Blue when the time comes – it’s the best I’ve found for sealing in oily environments.


Another week gone – busy at work but back to it this weekend. I thoroughly cleaned up the rear seal carrier with a scraper and acetone then smeared a little RTV Red in the seal housing to ensure a good seal – the seals are not a super-tight fit in there and could be pushed in with your thumbs. The silicone will prevent any leakage past the edge of the seal, just in case…


I ran a tap down the threads of the holes to clean them out, especially the one at the top which is open to the crankcase and had some Loctite residue from the previous reassembly.

Once completed, I used some Hylomar on the crankcase and seal carrier to make best possible joint and smeared some oil over the running surface of the seal and placed it over the end of the crankshaft. Again, the top screw was given a coating of Loctite 577 and a new copper washer then all screws were torqued up.

The lower surface of the carrier now mates up perfectly with the crankcase so hopefully, another source of leakage is removed!

Spigot bush, flywheel and clutch plate and cover followed then, the fun part, getting the gearbox in again.

It actually went back in OK, not quite as easily as the first time however, all secured. I noticed however that there’s a slight weep on the speedo drive with the box sitting at the angle going in – I’ll need a new o-ring at some point.


Exhaust followed and then the propshaft.

I also found a little surface corrosion around behind the diff and up on the front end of the spare wheel well. This was wire brushed off and treated with Dinitrol RC900 and then a spray of Dynax wax to keep it in good condition.

During the cleaning of the area there, I found a hardened flexible jumper pipe in the return line for the fuel from the metering unit. I cut this away and replaced it with a new section of ethanol-proof pipe.

All else looks OK – next is the front cover plate gasket and fitting the steel bridge piece.




Annoying leak..!

After another evening out in the car, enjoying the fruits of many endeavours(!), I opened the bonnet to check all was OK only to find a little smoke haze coming off the exhaust manifolding.

Following it through under the car, I found both the inner front plate securing screws, the ones that go into the aluminium bearing cover plate, loose. One was held in with a bit of Sika, the other, with slightly less badly worn threads, unable to tighten without further stripping, which I promptly did….


Into the garage and the dismantling began. Draining of the coolant and removal of the radiator. Fan belt removed after loosening the alternator and thus access to the fan bolts was made easy. This was removed along with the damper bolt that took a couple of shots with a rattle gun and the pulley was free. With the damper removed, it showed that the new double lipseal on the timing cover was dry and access to the holes for repair was easy. I checked the holes were still ‘blind’ with a toothpick and will use a couple of new 5/16 screws along with some Loctite 577 to make sure there’s a good seal.

I ordered a 5/16 UNF Helicoil repair kit and a 90-degree drill off Amazon – there’s not enough room to drill end on with my standard drill to allow the new thread for the Helicoil to be fitted.

They consequently arrived from Amazon and I set to on the job. The kit worked well – drill out, tap with a bottoming tap then screwing in the Helicoil after a dab of Loctite red threadlock. The tang on the coil snapped off when it reached the bottom of the thread – no need to punch it off. The new stainless screws should arrive this week and it should be job done.

I have a viscous fan conversion kit from Chris Witor to fit on the reassembly so, I separated the fan mount from the damper using a punch and hammer and swapped it with the NOS adaptor from Chris. I locked the crank with the car in 1st gear, handbrake on and torqued up the centre bolt to 90 ft/lb. Radiator went in next, lowered onto a trolley jack set to the right height and with an old T-shirt between the rad and the fan to allow the bolts to be fitted without having to try and hold it up at the same time… I’ll be interested to see how the visco fan copes with the traffic and heat down here at the moment – it’s 30+C for the foreseeable and the tourists have arrived! It seems quite ‘stiff’ at the moment, not really going to freewheel much that I can see unless the rpm gets up there and the load comes on the fan blades.


With the new silicone hoses connected, I topped up the radiator with the previous charge of Evans Waterless Coolant and that was that. A quick run up at idle to ensure all was bled through the heater etc and set to go.

I was looking around for something else to fix and eyes turned to the windscreen washer bottle and pump… It’s been pretty poor since I had the car – not sure if it’s supposed to be any better or not however, I thought I’d overhaul the pump.

Removing the pump motor from the bottle cover and opening up the electrical box showed a bit of gunk around the rotor and some build up on the commutator. I cleaned all the bits up, found some 50 year old graphite grease squirted into the upper rotor bearing non too accurately and a little corrosion on the field magnet plates.



A good clean up with electrical solvent, a wire brush and a pick brought the parts back up to good condition and I re-lubed the rotor shaft bearings with Molykote and reassembled the motor. I also removed and cleaned the gauze from the water suction into the pump and checked all the pipes were clear. Reassembly and back on the car, I have a faster pump and a little better flow. I think removal of the jets and a wash in the ultrasonic bath will be the final job to get best possible operation now….