New Year, New MOT

The Corsair had been a bit tricky to start since it’s last outing to Blandford before Christmas. Unfortunately, it let me down on New Years Day as I had planned to go to a classic meet at Sturminster Newton but it failed to start and I drained the battery in the process. A couple of weeks later, with the battery on trickle charge, I tried it again and after several turn overs I just caught it enough for it to cough in to life on minimal choke and after several pumps of the accelerator (gas) pedal.

Ford Corsair in for an MOT inspection at 5 Square Motors, Shaftesbury
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October round-up

To start the month I took the Corsair to the Hampshire Capri Club meeting at the New Inn pub/hotel at Heckfield. Where the ‘heck’ is that? Heckfield is a small village off from the A33 between Basingstoke and Reading, just inside the North Hampshire border to Berkshire. It therefore became 70+ miles each way journey for the Corsair, which drove fine with no problems and cruised happily at 60mph on the A303. I didn’t take it on the M3, opting to go through Basingstoke and negotiating the multiple roundabouts which wasn’t too daunting mixing it up with all the Sunday shopper traffic. I hadn’t lost my touch on the traffic lights either, successfully burning up a Fiesta on one occasion. The weather was glorious and warm but the hood stayed up as it was now in the winter mode (after a cooling off at the end of September) and will stay that way until after March next year.

Corsair at the New Inn, Heckfield, near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

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Running problems and carb farts…

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.

Brakes, Wheels and a Cheeky Try-out

Made some more time with the Corsair on the Sunday morning before the expected rain for the afternoon. With the right foot help of my son, we bled the brakes all round – and now they work. May need doing again, but I can stop the car without using the handbrake. Set about using my 80 grit flap wheel polisher (bought at SSR Wheels Day) on the Cragars and Cal-Chromes and it brought the inner rim up well enough for new tyres soon. I’m not going to get the outer faces of the wheels in much better condition now – though they still have some hard to remove paint on the alloy parts of the wheels. But they look heaps better than they did 9 months ago.

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I took a closer look at the brake discs to see what could be done with them. They had a lot of surface rust from nearly 14 years of being idle, however I had seen on a forum and then a Youtube video about cleaning rusty brake discs with a poly-carbide disc. Unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of a disc for my angle grinder but the got one for the electric drill instead, which was OK, but I think the angle grinder version would have done a better job, so will re-order another from Amazon. The front face was quite heavily pitted after the clean up and wipe down with clutch/bake cleaning fluid. The back face wasn’t too bad, but I am hoping the brake pads will bed them in more as they get used.

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New Pipes



Been shopping of late, new fuel pipe with the fixings in stainless and stainless braided pipe in the top picture and new brake lines all in stainless including one for the master cylinder to match the clutch hydraulic pipe in the one below. I’ve still to remove the rear flexible brake pipe but I have been soaking it in WD40 for a while now – I don’t want to snap anything at this stage!

This weekend I hope to nip over to Hill Top Motors and get the pistons out of my front callipers to un-seize them and then will be looking forward to a day off, get the Corsair up on axle stands and spend a day plumbing the fuel tanks and new lines in along with the overhauled brakes. Well, that’s the plan!

Fuel Tank clean up continued

As you can see from the photos I have a nice decent fuel tank. John Midwood welded up the pin holes on the fuel tank just after Christmas and he was pleased the tank had cleaned up better than initially thought. As soon it was back in my possession in the first week of January 2016 I painted it in two coats of black gloss Hammerite.

I soon set to work on buying some fuel pipe parts which I’ll post pictures of later, just waiting on some brake pipe components in stainless steel to come in the post.

So, the Corsair hasn’t stalled as such – in fact I have twice started it up to get it back into the garage after working on it out on the driveway. Next job will be puttting in the new fuel pipe and fixings and un-seizing the front brake callipers and checking the rear brakes too.

Brake pipes renewal

Had most of a Saturday to ‘play’ or work on the Corsair. Having put 500ml of oil in the gearbox just to give it some lubrication I then thought what I could be getting on with next.

Creating some new brake pipes and freeing off the old seized connections seemed like a good idea. I had bought the new pipes and male/female unions along with some of the tools for the job way back in Oct/Nov 2012 but with the clutch problem(s) was put on the back burner. The process of creating new pipe lengths and end connections seemed to go well  from master cylinder via a four way splitter and then to the two front flexi hoses. However the system hasn’t been tested for leaks as more pipes are needed to be made up from the flexi hose to the calipers. The calipers will require removal and checking that they hadn’t seized either, the nearside caliper may be OK but offside seems stiff.

The gallery describes my process in making up my sections of copper pipe.

Hydraulic Cylinders Refurbished

A bit of quality time in the garage saw the final stages of the hydraulic cylinders overhaul.

Brake Master Cylinder componnets
The repair components laid out for the Brake Master Cylinder

Hydraulic cylinders
Clutch Master Cylinder (Top); Clutch Slave Cylinder (Middle Left) and Brake Master Cylinder (Bottom)

The repair kits costing about £5.00 each were fairly easy to do. A small amount of brake fluid eased the rubber seals into place nicely then the bores of the cylinders wiped with fluid to help with the  re-insertion of the pistons.

So, after nearly after a year, the refurbished clutch and brake master cylinders are ready for putting back in the car along with the clutch slave cylinder. I obtained some pipe (black in picture) that will hopefully be good enough for between the clutch master and slave unit.

Brake master cylinder removal

Had the brake master cylinder fluid pipe bolts soaking for a week and no movement… so in 30 seconds I nipped through the pipes with pliers and out came the master cylinder. The casing was as filthy and with surface corrosion much like the clutch master but this one hadn’t nearly dried out!

Brake master cylinder
A very mucky brake master cylinder (Ford V4 1700)

brake master cylinder (Ford V4 1700)
brake master cylinder (Ford V4 1700) looking a bit corroded, well it was seized

The push rod was seized too and no worse than the clutch mechanism, infact it was probably better as the piston came out easier. All looked fairly good, even the seals looked unworn. Just have added new brake piping to the list of parts, now do I go for copper or cunifer (a mix of nickel and copper).