The Salisbury Trip

Sunday (5th Nov) was to be another fine weather day so a trip to Salisbury was planned for the Corsair as I fancied getting a photo of the car with the Cathedral as the back drop. The drive down the A30 was uneventful, just struggling to get the power down smoothly and going up hills with out too much throttle, and I had nobody catch me up until I reached Wilton. Once cruising at 50-55mph the Corsair ran sweetly and was a pleasure to drive.

Once through Wilton I carried on and when I was in Salisbury I turned off the Wilton Road in to Cherry Orchard Lane then on to Churchfields Industrial Estate to take the back route to the City centre getting the full majestic view of the Cathedral as I passed Queen Elisabeth Gardens. There was no where to stop for a photo shoot so I carried on to Crane Bridge Street and New Street. I then took a left into Catherine Street and followed the road left again on to the New Canal. I was glad to have the roof up as I was becoming conscientious of being looked at. I continued my tour of the City centre going past the Poultry Cross and carrying on to the Blue Boar Row and cruising past the Market Place. Eager to get a photo of the car I decided to take the Corsair to the end of St Anne’s Street as I knew I would have a view of the Cathedral from there. Lighting wasn’t good, there had been a small rain shower moments before, but I had my shot.

Corsair at the top of St Anne’s Street Salisbury with the Cathedral as the backdrop

It was then on to Harnham with the chance I could get another photo by the Old Mill off Middle Street. When I got there, too many people were about and other cars in the way that I abandoned the idea of another photo. Next was my comedy moment, as I drove around to Upper Street my drivers door swung open, and it was typical there was a bemused pedestrian taking it all in as I grappled to get the door closed. Luckily nothing was coming the other way!

Corsair outside Wilton House

Back on the main roads I headed back to Wilton via the Netherhampton Road. When at Wilton House I parked up outside the main gates to the house for another photo opportunity – a rather posh Aston Martin came out as I was about to take the photos, but they didn’t bat an eyelid at the Corsair. Photos in the bag it was onwards home-bound and it was around the this time the fan belt was starting to squeal. Carefully getting the car up the gentle hill out of Wilton the A30 opened up before me and all that was behind me never kept up. Next scheduled stop was at the Fovant hillside WW1 badges for another photo oportunity. The Fan belt squealed in to life upon the restart.

Corsair at Fovant by the Badges

Traffic had caught me and the Corsair up by now and apart from them tailing me on the gradients we seemed to open a gap on the level. It wasn’t until after Ludwell when there were some not so nice noises coming from the car followed by a clank and thud on the underside. Steeering seemed fine as I gave that a wiggle and then I noticed the generator light was on and new I must have thrown a fan belt. Thankfully I wasn’t far from home and got the Corsair safely back.

It’s the Classic Car Show at the NEC, Birmingham this weekend, so I maybe able to pick up a spare there.

A few more miles

A bit more driving the Corsair happened today and what a lovely day it was. First it was family trip to Compton Abbas Airfield, and the Corsair struggled up Spread Eagle hill in second gear with a line of traffic behind, but probably glad that I turned off for the airfield. After my son had his flight experience at the airfield I took a scenic route home via the fantastic B3081 that has far reaching views to Shaftesbury and the Blackmore Vale and then a drive down the legendary Zig Zag Hill. The brakes were fine and the tight turns ok.

After some lunch another jaunt took us out to Clayesmore School where I took the opportunity to take some photos against the back drop of the school’s main house. The car ran well and I’m getting used to the flat spot and driving through it. It also keeps up well with the local traffic, except on the big hills! So after three trips the corsair had done 54 miles. More fuel will be required before the next trip out, just in case.

So, once home I had to deal with the soggy carpet (when it got drenched over night last Friday) in the passenger side rear foot well. As per usual, a seized bolt holding the seat fame to the floor sheared so I needed to drill that out and re-thread to fit another bolt (metric though). It was a very good day.

The maiden run

No maidens here, but took the old Corsair for a run with my son as passenger. First it was a stop at the petrol station to put in a couple of gallons and refill the fuel can – just to be sure. The car was a bit lumpy under load but the extra choke dealt with that.

So a nice 34 mile loop of the locale was covered and felt great to be back behind the wheel. The fuel gauge doesn’t work and the temperature gauge kept moving about however the speedo was fairly accurate when compared to the speed app on the phone. The car cruised quite well at 50mph but didn’t like being under load at lower revs and performed better when the choke was eased out. It was a good drive and allowed the car to dry out some more after getting a soaking from Friday into Saturday.

The Corsair is home

Went to John’s this morning to pick up the Corsair and in typical style it was lashing with rain when I arrived. John’s hospitality was tip top as usual and came with a cup of tea. With the bill paid it was a briefing on how the Corsair would like to be started and warmed up. John had spent some time the previous day fettling the tune on a few trips to Win Green and back. So all was good and it ran well on the trip home which was very wet and the wipers worked well. A bit lumpy and noisey and lots to deal with but I got the Corsair home.

The Corsair has an MOT!

John has had the Corsair since April, with the brief to tune up the carburettor to run better between his better paying jobs. If you go back through the blog threads you will read that it has been something of an epic journey, testing the patience and skills of John and Peter. The work done has entailed the tidying up of the fuel lines and re-positioning the in-line fuel filter after the fuel pump and stripping down the carburettor and using parts from the spare I provided, leading into their nemesis of the ignition and distributor problems and finally getting it through an MOT.

Continue reading “The Corsair has an MOT!”

It’s Alive! (well, for the third time)

Ford Corsair V4 (1700cc) engine bay

Went to see John today as the Corsair is now up and running very nicely, especially now that it can be tuned properly and has many new ignition components. It has been booked for an MOT on Thursday – just to see if anything more needs doing. Fingers crossed, eh?

Thanks for viewing.

The Refurbished Distributor

H& H Ignition Solutions [website here] delivered as promised a rebuilt and refurbished distributor. It looked like new. I presume my original internals were used but a new body was sourced which was added to the total refurbishment cost. You can see from the photos what a great looking piece of kit it looks like, just hope it performs as well as it looks.

So the new dizzy was passed to John along with a collection of gaskets and an oil filter for the engine re-assembly and hopefully a good starting point for a fresh tune-up.

The 500 pound distributor

John and Peter at AJ Restorations had finally got the distributor out. They eventually used an aluminium drift from beneath and persuaded it out, after drilling the alloy body to release it from it’s infernal grip on the cast iron block.

It didn’t look too good but I was assured in a phone call to H&H Ignition in Dudley, Birmingham that they could refurbish anything so long as the internal main shaft was OK along with the cog drive. John also had a contact that may have a couple of spare distributors for future reference, just in case mine was unserviceable.

1700 Essex V4 Distributor in bits, literally.
Essex V4 1700 engine block with distributor removed

So that’s it for now. I’ll be taking this little lot up to H&H Ignition on Tuesday (15th Aug) and see what they have to say.

Distributor Woes

28 July 2017: Ooh. Dizzy looking very mangled up now. 🙁

The distributor has been causing all manner of problems for John and Peter at AJ Restorations. It had battery acid soaked into it for a week and it still wouldn’t budge. Heat and brute force with massive grips could not move it, either.

Upon visiting John last Friday (28th July) it has been decided to dismantle the distributor to leave the aluminium shell and then cut the bugger off and then drill out the seized in remains. I have been assured from an ignition specialist that they can rebuild the distributor from the bits I supply.

the all important numbers to help identify the right one (12127).

In all this time, I’ve been trawling Ebay for a replacement but they are all Dizzy’s from V4 Transits or quite pricey only to be rebuilt anyway. The distributor I had (Bosch) is for a Pinto and manufactured in 1976 and will be on Ebay soon.

It will get done, though it’s costing a lot more than first thought.

Dom

Summer 2017 Update

The Corsair has been with John at AJ Restorations for 2 months now, however my brief to him was to tinker between his bigger paying jobs to keep the costs down, only thinking it would be a carburettor tweak and a few other bits of tuning to get the car running properly. Well, nothing is ever simple. There are problems with the carburettor possibly having the wrong idler needle and jets but the main issue now is that the distributor appears to have seized in its mounting and won’t turn for adjustment.

Visiting John’s today, I got to chat with Peter who helps out twice a week and is Ford trained from the 1970’s so he is quite familiar with the Corsair. However, the distributor is stuck, seized, no move. The internal weights had seized up too but they free’d off after a good soak with oil. So, the Corsair is looking rather sorry for its self at the moment.

Closer view of the distributor that has been causing a problem
Inlet manifold off the Essex V4 to give better access to the distributor

I also took down the distributor I bought some months back and after taking delivery had a suspicion that it was for another Ford car. It is quite different to the one in the Corsair which is probably a Lucas type and the new old stock one I had was a Bosch. Anyway, it was hard to identify the numbers on the box but John knows a man that can and if isn’t suitable then I should have the right info to re-sell it.