Restoration or Repair?

The next step with the Corsair has been decided and after a chat with John from AJ Restorations he came back with a a plan and two prices on tackling the front chassis/anti-roll bar mountings problem. It was either the repair job that was cheaper but only would use part of the repair panels I bought and be worked around the bumper mounts and other non-essential chassis work. The second quote was for a restoration of the front chassis legs and I was assured it would look as good as new.

To help get the car ready I had a spare half hour in the garage that enabled removal of the radiator to give more access to the chassis area as per the photos. The front bumper still needs to be removed but climbing around under the car is needed and can be done another day.

I decided to go with the restoration, though it is more expensive and will use up a lot of my budget it will be for the long term, an investment in maintaining if not enhancing the cars value. The corsair is booked to go in for it restoration from next week and done over August.

Cooling Down

Tackling the cooling system was meant to be a fairly straightforward affair, but this is me we’re talking about here. Last week I took a long way around of missed turnings and going back on myself to get to Yeovil to drop off the Corsair radiator at Rayson Radiators for them to recondition. In the afternoon they called back with the price and that they may get it done by the Saturday (in 2 days). So that evening in the garage I decided to prepare the engine for flushing by removing the thermostat housing on the inlet manifold only to shear one of the 2 bolts. Calmly, I set about drilling the broken nut before stopping for the evening and leaving it for a couple more days.

Continue reading “Cooling Down”

The first of the fire up attempts

A couple of hours on Saturday saw the Corsair being prepped for it’s first crank over. The cooling system was re-filled then it was plugs out and checked. The engine was hand cranked over just to ensure it hadn’t seized and things moved freely. The mower fuel can was set up as a temporary fuel source.

This was the moment that hadn’t happened for over eight years, the engaging of the starter motor and cranking of the engine. I kept the key turned and after an initial slow turn over everything seemed fine… except the engine didn’t fire. Out with each plug, and test. Well weak spark at No.1, ok on No.2, not sure about No.3 and ok-ish at No.4. Tested the HT lead from the coil, well it sparked. Checked the points gap was fine and condenser ok. Turned over… several times. Checked the fuel was getting to carb, all ok. Re-checked dizzy cap etc, looked ok. Re-checked HT lead to dizzy, prodded the wire that would make contact with the distributor and it broke off. Answered that then!

So, the battery was taken out of the Corsair and reconnected to the trickle charger with the next task to obtain newer HT leads. I came away happier that the battery was good and man enought for the job, the fuel was getting to the carb, the carb linkages were freed up and now aware of the dodgy clip mounting on the distrubuter body.

A bit of plumbing

engine bay
A copper 'U' pipe fitted to bypass the heater matrix
The fuel fileter is disconnected from the petrol tank

Another hour was spent on the car on Saturday by the fitment of the copper U pipe I had kicking around for a while as a a bypass to the heater matrix (which is suspected as being blocked). The fuel pipe to fuel filter was disconected and another pipe added which was then fed into the lawn mower fuel can. The battery was also fitted with the vain hope that it would turn the engine over but also to test that the fuel pump was sucking. which it did.

The battery still failed to turn over the engine, but a fire up is getting closer.

A lot of thinking

Bank Holiday Monday, and lots of thinking while sorting out the work bench I also created a board to hang spanners and other tools on. ‘Sad Man’ said my wife. The cooling system was drained at this point. Yep, it had coolant in it all these years and no anti freeze either, luck that several hard freezing winters hadn’t damaged anything. The water that ran out was pretty clear and rust free.

Engine minus the Air Cleaner
Engine minus the Air Cleaner

So off with the air cleaner, for a closer look. The battery was re-attached just to see if there was any charge after a day of full charging, and yes! But not to engage the starter motor, but enough for the side lights, fuel pump (electric) and dash lights etc. A note was made to replace the negative terminal as that had broken apart. Throttle linkages seemed seized or very stiff… will need a closer look at a nearby scrapped Corsair to doulbe check things. Next in mind was to see about taking a closer look at the heater matrix, as a possible source of the original over heating problem. The two pipes were disconnected (that go into the bulkhead) just left of centre in the photo.

Time to put away, but I’ll be back! Below is a drivers view of the dash and steering wheel.

The Corsair Dashboard
The Corsair dashboard as seen by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall!