Friday evening (10th Aug), I had just eaten my dinner and I get a phone call from John saying he was at the side of the road on the B3081 just before Zig Zag Hill and was I available this evening? The washing up could wait until I got home. And no, he hadn’t broken down – there was plenty of that the day before, but John said the Corsair was running well and he had been out to Six-Penny Handley and back without a hitch or hiccup and could come over to pick me up in it. After collecting me and with John driving it back to his workshop, I could feel the car was running so much smoother, even as the passenger and it seemed responsive on the throttle.
Once back at John’s, the Corsair was switched off with no over run even if the temperature gauge was, probably incorrectly, reading hot. John then went on to explain the shenanigans he had on the Thursday with it breaking down on him most times he took it out. It was as if the fuel system was being starved every so often and he thought it was the fuel tank not having a breather pipe (it does, as I fitted a new pipe with the recent tank re-install). He drilled two tiny vent holes in the filler can to help alleviate this, but still the problem occurred intermittently. He then noticed the over flow return pipe running back to the fuel tank had a leak, so he cut out the bad section and replaced with a section of pipe. From there the Corsair would continue to be starved of fuel but seemed worse on the next test drive, so he disconnected the return pipe from the carburettor running back to the fuel tank, and then the Corsair ran/drove normally.
An overflow pipe had since been connected and re-routed to over flow away from the engine bay, but not to the fuel tank, for now. At least all seemed well with the Corsair. John said he had tuned it with about 10° Advance and with the new carburettor, the mixture screw now allowed for more finer tuning. Test drives over the weekend beckoned but I had to have a quick cruise through the town’s high street before I took it home to put away in it’s garage.
A few little jobs to do over the coming months will be to replace the flexible brake pipes as the bores of them maybe too small and possibly causing a temporary lock up of the brakes, as John experienced when the car was parked up. I’ve also to put the drivers window back in, now that John has also repaired the window glass runner utilising a window runner from a MGB.
Since the tale of two fuel tanks and one breakdown, I did manage to get the Corsair to John’s (AJ Restoration) just and I mean only just. For the last half mile and going up a gentle hill, the car was reduced to chugging along at 5-10 miles an hour in first gear while I was waving on the stream of traffic that built up behind me. It was only so I could have a clear run up to John’s gates for it to stall and then roll the last bit to be left unceremoniously in the middle of his yard. That was early July and the arrangement was as before, to fit it in with his other bigger paid jobs. Around this time I decided to buy an new old stock (NOS) Zenith Carburettor 36 IV (3046) with a 28 choke from the Carburettor Hospital, based in Essex. The photos below don’t do it justice – the camera on my phone was struggling to digitally process the clean flat grey colour.
Since the Corsair spluttered to a halt on the on the driveway back on Christmas Eve, I’ve been tinkering away trying to solve the fault. Testing the fuel pump, checking the points and condenser, rebuilding the carburettor and fiddling with all manner of idle mixture settings, had not made any difference. The Corsair would start, fire on the first turn over then cut out.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another nice day last week (Tuesday 5th July) and I had the Corsair out on the driveway to adjust the tappets and refit the drivers side window winder mechanism.
Adjusting the tappets wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be, the only thing I had to keep an eye on was the sequence of adjusted inlet and exhaust tappets with the corresponding feeler gauge size. I’m sure I missed one or two, while the engine sounds a lot quieter there is still a tappety noise, something I’ll revisit another time.
I had welded the broken winder arms together again a few weeks back and it looked and felt a lot stronger this time. Fitting wasn’t too traumatic the only tricky bit was getting the clips to clip on and hold the arms in place. With the welding repair done, what I didn’t do last time and that was to drill a hole and tap a thread so a screw could be fitted to hold the winder handle in place. Just got to do the same on the passenger side. I seem to remember these window winder mechanisms are from a Triumph Spitfire and cost me £22 for the pair back in 2001/02 and then I had to chop them up to fit. The inside runners were all rusty and falling apart so the glass rattled against the door top when wound in the up position.
I had a visit from John from AJ Restorations the other day to look at pricing the front chassis welding repair. I bought some repair sections from the MK1 Cortina club and have become a member of the club as well.
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.