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.
Had some time to scrape out a fair amount of rust from around the front anti-roll bar mounts, problem was I couldn’t loosen or remove the bolts with one shearing off all a bit too easily. The welding shouldn’t bee too difficult but it is relocating the anti-roll bar mounts or sorting out the sheared bolt. Cost is also a factor – but I have a couple of options but may have to wait.
I’ve other jobs to be done (tappets & carb rebuild) but while the car is still drivable they can wait until the welding is organised or done. Reading up on the carburettor refurbishment the other week has highlighted the probable cause of the problems and a rebuild should sort them out.
Had about 2.5 hours out in the garage fiddling about with the Corsair – got the new alternator fitted OK this time and looked at changing over the dodgy ignition barrel – but I bought the wrong one that had 3 main terminals not 5… So liberal amounts of lube oil and WD40 into the old one (it was sticking on starter turn over) and cleaned up the terminals and then it took a few attempts working out which wires plugged into the terminals – I tell you, I don’t do things very well in my haste and forget to make notes before taking apart or unplugging…
I had the cleaned up rims get new tyres fitted on Tuesday (19th). OK, so some may say why didn’t I clean the wheels some more? I just needed to get the tyres on, it added psychological momentum to the project. Chris at Shaftesbury Tyres and Batteries was very helpful and gave that personal touch ensuring a good seal on the old wheels. I also sorted out the new alternator bracket problem, it was a simple undo the 3 bolts on the alternator casing (body) and then rotate one of the body brackets to line up with the other hole to convert it to a left hand swing, so it will be ready for install next time.
In the post I received a new ignition switch, seemed a bit cheap and flimsy, but it will be better than what is there. The original ignition switch is sticking and getting difficult to turn and won’t spring back on turning over. Also in the package was another battery clamp as the last one I got was just a bit too small and a variety pack of split pins – It will make a change that I can put in ‘new’ split pins on jobs where I have had to take them out and preserve them to put back in!
It was a nice day [Sunday 17/04/2016] and I decide to bite the bullet and convert the Corsair from a dynamo charging system to an alternator. Armed with a guide from a March 2008 issue of Classic Ford, I had all the components needed; mounting bracket (off an Essex V6 – Capri or Scimitar) and a new Lucas alternator.
First problem was finding long enough bolts of imperial sizes to fit the new (Essex V6 – ebay) bracket to my my V4 block. With the bracket on, it was then unwrapping the new alternator and now my next problem… the tensioner mount hole was on the wrong side. I’m sure I selected one for an Essex V6…
Reluctant to put the dynamo back on I dug out two ‘spare’ old alternators that I had for a Pinto engined Capri. One was seized solid the other, although knackered, at least had a rotating pulley. So after some more rummaging for nuts and bolts (I could go metric here) I got it fitted so at least the fan belt could be used to drive the other components when I start the car up to get it back into the garage.
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.
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.
After a couple of phone calls around, I eventually consulted with John Midwood from AJ Restorations in Ludwell, near Shaftesbury, about repairing the fuel tank hole(s) near the filler neck on the top side of the tank. He was quite concerned that the underside of the fuel tank was in poor condition and may not be worth too much work being done to make it worth while.
Well I was on a roll and had a couple of hours to spare on the Sunday (yesterday) so decided to remove the fuel tank. It had a couple of small rust holes on the top side that I felt at this point could be fixed, by some one else. Upon removal, I was surprised to find just short of a gallon of 13 year old leaded petrol in it. That was poured out and will be kept for parts washing.
The Sender unit was removed for inspection and an attempt at cleaning it was carried out. Currently seeking advice on whether to blank off the return fuel pipe (bit with the old black pipe still attached).
Simple really, I asked Martyn from Hill Top Motors to help. He popped round one long lunch on Saturday, checked for a spark in the points and from the coil. Cleaned the very dirty points (with plain paper) and hey presto the Corsair started – Martyn did have to nip back to his workshop to get an insulating boot for the lead out of the coil as it was arcing out on the body work.
So while the engine was running I tried out the clutch so now can get the car in forward and reverse gears and move the car! Hurrah! It all works! As I was on a roll I even re-fitted the drivers seat.
PS: I don’t know why I struggled for so long to go around to Martyns and ask for help – It was my initial email contact and communications with a mobile mechanic, Miles Chislet who was positive and keen to see the Corsair but it was just a bit beyond the area he normally covered. However, it was enough to encourage me to try Martyn.