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.
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.
I got to have a chat with John (and Peter) from AJ Restorations earlier in the week about the Corsair running problems. It has been suggested that the fault could be a burnt out valve (inlet?) causing the back fire and poor running under load. So John will be picking up the Corsair next week to take back to his workshop to run some tests and potentially fix.
As a result, it spurred me on to finish the front valance that John repaired last year. Well, I couldn’t let the car go back having not done as John suggested last September! So over a couple of days I rubbed the filler primer down with 240, 600 and 800 grit wet and dry paper. Then with an acrylic aerosol bought a few months back sprayed over the primer – unfortunately the colour I chose wasn’t a great match (a bit bright) but should at least make the front more water proof and easier to keep clean.
On the Saturday (8th April) I fitted a battery to use the fuel pump to suck fresh clean fuel from a fuel can to flush through the pipes, electric pump and in-line filter into a jar. The first wave of fuel was quite dirty, the second was cleaner and then the third batch was better still. The fuel wasn’t wasted – it went straight in to the lawnmower. The original battery was fitted – as the one I initially used didn’t have enough charge to turn the starter over properly. This one eventually fired the engine to life, after a few sluggish turn overs and then ran using fuel from the fuel can still sited on a wooden block at the other end of the car. After being satisfied with the car starting and running for a few minutes it was shut down and then the refurbished fuel tank was refitted with the remnants of the fuel can put in the tank.
On the Sunday a gallon (5 litres) of Tesco Momentum fuel was added – have been “Internet” informed it doesn’t contain ethanol, which can harm old fuel lines and components. With the help of my son, the brakes were re-bled (the system had a slight leak last summer and the reservoir became empty) and another fire up loomed with a test drive.
The test drive was down an access road to a car park, just across the road from my driveway, but it didn’t go to plan and the Corsair cut out as I was about to manouevre the car around at the bottom of the car park to come back! Then the Corsair wouldn’t start, not enough battery juice, at which point my son had been sent down to investigate as my wife couldn’t hear the Corsair’s engine running. We managed to push the car out of the way in the car park and then I jogged back to get the jump leads and the Passat.
The Corsair started fine but would only run for about a minute – so adjustment to the mixture screw enabled the engine to run without dying so quickly but with a fair bit of popping through the carburetor under load or acceleration. At least I could keep it going and drive the Corsair back into it’s garage. Disaster averted, but I’m none the wiser for getting the Corsair to run smoothly.
A spare half hour spent in the garage resulted in fitting the fuel sender with a new seal from my local Ford dealer who said (a while ago) they didn’t have any old stock left… The Ford Corsair Facebook came up with this gem though and somebody quoted the part number (6085380) and sure enough for £1.81 I had a brand new seal. The old one came off without too much drama, then a quick wire brush to clean off the residue of rust and any other dirt.
Sorted, I just need to flush the fuel pipes and fuel pump with clean petrol and then another start up looms…
Another fine day towards the end of March enabled me to get the Corsair up on the ramps. It was after speaking to John (AJ Restorations), last year in August, that he strongly advised that I get the underside of the car Waxoyled or protected in some way. So a birthday present was a Waxoyl pump system. There were mixed reviews on line, but this one seemed to be a new and improved version. I had previously used Waxoyl, but applying it by brush was a messy process as it dripped a lot.
The instructions for the pump set up were a bit basic and not very in depth, so it was trial and error, again. There was the basic fitted nozzle to treat easily accessible, flat panels; a black pipe as per the photo with a squirty nozzle (there was a wide spray nozzle also supplied) for awkward areas and working upwards and then there was a thin transparent pipe for inserting into chassis rails etc. What a messy system I had got my self into.
Some nice weather in mid March and there was a great opportunity to finish off the fuel tank with some more black Hammerite I had left over from previous jobs. All was going great, paint looking nice and drying well in the sunshine, and then I looked inside. The sealant I put in the previous week had begun to peel! Damn! ****! I was well aware that the inside of the tank needed to be ‘bone’ dry, but did I get it dry enough last time?… Obviously not!
The fuel tank was removed a couple of weeks ago when there was a nice spell in the weather and I hadn’t fallen asleep by the Sunday afternoon! It didn’t take long and thankfully there wasn’t much fuel in the tank, about a litre of a translucent brown fluid. Straight after Christmas I bought a fuel tank repair kit, POR-15 on Amazon for about £45, in readiness and to help spur me on.
Reading about the procedure, it was evident that up to 3+ hours was needed for the process of which I used two hours on a nice Thursday afternoon on the 2 March to clean the tank. First it was the ‘Marine Clean’ (1:1 mix with very warm water), however my bubble wrap cover over the fuel sender unit hole was not very good and leaked a fair bit when I was sloshing the fluid mix about. The bubble wrap in the filler neck was fine and when I came to do the ‘Metal Ready’ part I just used duct tape over the sender aperture which was fine and hardly leaked.
Last week – too much of a crap mood to write anything then – I looked at taking the Corsair out for a bit of test drive around the nearby garages/flats access road. While it took a bit to get started, the engine ran lumpy with popping and back firing through the carb, just as before. All I could think of was the fuel was dirty and contaminating the jets and other fine points of the carburettor. A message on Facebook about this and it was suggested that the electrics were at fault, but the other week the engine was running sweet, however the fuel did look dirty in the carb float chamber. So I have decided to remove the fuel tank (at some point), clean it best as I can and flush through the fuel lines, filter and pump, clean the carburettor (again) and hope this will solve the carburettor set up problems. I have also bought a NOS Motorcraft distributor, but upon closer inspection suspect it is for a Pinto (Ford) rather than for Essex V4.
I will get on to it when I feel like it and I need to buy a cleaning agent for the fuel tank.
The carburettor was fitted a couple of weeks ago (18 Sept 16) along with the radiator and cooling system for a test start up. However, it didn’t work out as well as I hoped. While the car started easily the carburettor was not set up right or properly adjusted or whatever… With the choke out the engine was revving high – guessing 2-3000 rpm and with the choke pushed in it rose higher still! Fiddling about with the volume control screw didn’t seem to have an effect, even swapping it out for another only made things worse. I had to abort the running engine when the revs were rising – and so it was back to rethinking what was wrong.
A couple more weeks pondering options, re-reading paperwork and on-line solutions gave a hint that the carb needed rebuilding or stripping down again.
Back in the garage, armed with a better mood I tried again with the carburettor rebuild, took it apart and sought to clean the mating surfaces within it more efficiently. Using 1200 grit wet/dry paper lubricated with WD40 I rubbed down the surfaces again though a bit more thoroughly and getting a cleaner/shine to them. While it was all apart I sprayed more carb cleaner in various orifices when removing a variety of screws.
Upon rebuilding I paid more attention to the set up of the throttle stop and volume mixture screws and then put it back on the engine. I tentatively restarted the car without any choke to begin with and it fired up ok though was a bit lumpy. I gave it a small amount of choke and it ran fairly smoothly but not at high revs this time. Blipping the accelerator was smooth and there weren’t any pops and back fires through the carburettor. Idling needs to be adjusted properly with a tweak to volume control and throttle stop required, but that can come on a later date.
So far so good, I had a minor leak on the brake system while the car was away being restored, so that will need re-bleeding all round.
From early August John from AJ Restorations started to work on the front chassis sections that needed to be repaired. Thankfully he had good weather in nearly all the 28 days that he had the car and spent approximately 35 hours on the restoration (between other better paying work). First he started on the off side section and cut out from the front right back to the cross member supporting the engine. He only went half way up the chassis leg, retaining the bumper mounts, as the top part was in good condition. He also ground off the old ‘repair’ plates that had been wrapped around and welded over the old corrosion.