Corsair Driving

Following on from the last blog post, the next day (Saturday) I took the Corsair for a worthwhile drive to Blandford as a good excuse to do a bit of shopping. I was soon leading a line of cars through Melbury Abbas and then pulling up Spread Eagle hill out of the village at about 25 mph still with a long line of traffic behind me. As the car got to the top of the hill and then constrained by the road’s 50 mph limit, the Corsair settled in at 50-ish and I managed to shake off the long line of traffic behind as I cruised the straights and glided round the bends on the way to Blandford.

Corsair engine bay – August 2018. Note new mechanical fuel pump that replaced the electric pump, the coil was also re-sited.

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The Corsair Christmas tipple

Gallon of 97 Ron fuel
A gallon of 97 RON fuel

OK, been a bit quiet of recent as I’ve not made the time to take another look at the carburettor or even have a bit of a tinker. However, I was prompted to make this post as a thank you to a person from my place of work. Now, I’ve done plenty of favour jobs in the past and never sought anything in return. Recently, I have been doing some software tuition with a colleague down a couple of corridors and I was asked my tipple, obviously as a show of thanks for what guidance I had given… being a non drinker I said not to worry maybe a gallon of fuel for the Corsair. So to my utter surprise and amazement on Thursday I was handed this can of fuel even the high octane  (more expensive) stuff in a new can too! Thanks Nigel Cook… I think you may have booked yourself a passenger ride when the weather improves.

The Salisbury Trip

Sunday (5th Nov) was to be another fine weather day so a trip to Salisbury was planned for the Corsair as I fancied getting a photo of the car with the Cathedral as the back drop. The drive down the A30 was uneventful, just struggling to get the power down smoothly and going up hills with out too much throttle, and I had nobody catch me up until I reached Wilton. Once cruising at 50-55mph the Corsair ran sweetly and was a pleasure to drive.

Once through Wilton I carried on and when I was in Salisbury I turned off the Wilton Road in to Cherry Orchard Lane then on to Churchfields Industrial Estate to take the back route to the City centre getting the full majestic view of the Cathedral as I passed Queen Elisabeth Gardens. There was no where to stop for a photo shoot so I carried on to Crane Bridge Street and New Street. I then took a left into Catherine Street and followed the road left again on to the New Canal. I was glad to have the roof up as I was becoming conscientious of being looked at. I continued my tour of the City centre going past the Poultry Cross and carrying on to the Blue Boar Row and cruising past the Market Place. Eager to get a photo of the car I decided to take the Corsair to the end of St Anne’s Street as I knew I would have a view of the Cathedral from there. Lighting wasn’t good, there had been a small rain shower moments before, but I had my shot.

Corsair at the top of St Anne’s Street Salisbury with the Cathedral as the backdrop

It was then on to Harnham with the chance I could get another photo by the Old Mill off Middle Street. When I got there, too many people were about and other cars in the way that I abandoned the idea of another photo. Next was my comedy moment, as I drove around to Upper Street my drivers door swung open, and it was typical there was a bemused pedestrian taking it all in as I grappled to get the door closed. Luckily nothing was coming the other way!

Corsair outside Wilton House

Back on the main roads I headed back to Wilton via the Netherhampton Road. When at Wilton House I parked up outside the main gates to the house for another photo opportunity – a rather posh Aston Martin came out as I was about to take the photos, but they didn’t bat an eyelid at the Corsair. Photos in the bag it was onwards home-bound and it was around the this time the fan belt was starting to squeal. Carefully getting the car up the gentle hill out of Wilton the A30 opened up before me and all that was behind me never kept up. Next scheduled stop was at the Fovant hillside WW1 badges for another photo oportunity. The Fan belt squealed in to life upon the restart.

Corsair at Fovant by the Badges

Traffic had caught me and the Corsair up by now and apart from them tailing me on the gradients we seemed to open a gap on the level. It wasn’t until after Ludwell when there were some not so nice noises coming from the car followed by a clank and thud on the underside. Steeering seemed fine as I gave that a wiggle and then I noticed the generator light was on and new I must have thrown a fan belt. Thankfully I wasn’t far from home and got the Corsair safely back.

It’s the Classic Car Show at the NEC, Birmingham this weekend, so I maybe able to pick up a spare there.

The Corsair has an MOT!

John has had the Corsair since April, with the brief to tune up the carburettor to run better between his better paying jobs. If you go back through the blog threads you will read that it has been something of an epic journey, testing the patience and skills of John and Peter. The work done has entailed the tidying up of the fuel lines and re-positioning the in-line fuel filter after the fuel pump and stripping down the carburettor and using parts from the spare I provided, leading into their nemesis of the ignition and distributor problems and finally getting it through an MOT.

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The Refurbished Distributor

H& H Ignition Solutions [website here] delivered as promised a rebuilt and refurbished distributor. It looked like new. I presume my original internals were used but a new body was sourced which was added to the total refurbishment cost. You can see from the photos what a great looking piece of kit it looks like, just hope it performs as well as it looks.

So the new dizzy was passed to John along with a collection of gaskets and an oil filter for the engine re-assembly and hopefully a good starting point for a fresh tune-up.

Fuel Tank Refurb Part 2

Fuel Tank re-painted

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!

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Carburettor rebuild (Zenith 361V)

While the Corsair was away at AJ Restorations I had a go at rebuilding the Zenith 361V carburettor. I had bought another one to practice on first, but it was mainly designed for a Land Rover application as the fuel inlet was different and I wasn’t sure on some of the other internal subtle differences, so it was not suitable for the Corsair application. The only part I salvaged was the rod connecting the floats as the original was bent. I refrained from swapping the pump too as the Land Rover one had a much softer spring and I wondered if that would have an adverse effect on final operation.

The images are in a sequential order and partially explain the process.

Plenty of time was spent taking it apart and with the old gasket scrapped off and the whole carb dismantled, the mating faces of the body were rubbed on 1200 grit wet and dry paper with WD40 as a lubricant to flatten the surfaces. Plenty of carb cleaner was sprayed in all the holes and orifices then blown through with an air duster but it wasn’t very powerful.

I used these useful links to help in my research for what to do:

At this point the carburettor is untested but no doubt a report will be done once it has been fitted. I hope that was of interest and thanks for viewing.

HELP: Nothing has happened

Thought I’d better write something to at least put you in the picture, considering you have got this far.

I’ve not done a thing to the Corsair. I did try to test the coil last month that I had on the car and it turned out from an enquiry on a forum, I would need an unballasted replacement coil. I’ve lost all motivation, confidence and self esteem and I’m not saving up the pennies for parts. Seriously if you think YOU can help me, please comment below and I’ll get back to you. No crap please, I’ve no idea who even looks at this blog/website either, the ‘webstats’ go only so far as number of hits…

In a nutshell, it’s a desperate call for help,. Even then I’m not sure if I could accept due to the personal turmoil I’m in, but I just don’t know where to turn on this. The car is NOT for sale.

Thanks for reading, with regards,


2013 – Not forgotten…

clutch slave cylinders
old and new clutch slave cylinder

OK, been very quiet for over five months and have done nothing to the Corsair. I must admit I was really p*ss*d off that I messed up the clutch slave cylinder which seriously knocked my confidence on the whole job. The wife came up trumps at Christmas and bought me a new slave cylinder from these guys Powertrack Ltd. It wasn’t enough to get me going though as I REALLY didn’t want to screw that one up!!

clutch slave cylinders
the gouge in the left hand cylinder is clearly seen

I actually had a quick look again at the Corsair on Saturday (13th April), to try and figure out how to free off the seized clutch plate. A squirt of WD40, maybe? Couldn’t get the tin anywhere near the opening to the bell-housing to be on target with the spray…

It was a step closer at least to resuming work. I know, some (most?) folk would of had the car out, on jacks/axles stands, gearbox off and clutch assembly off in a coupe of hours. It’s not as if I haven’t done something like it before either.

Pedals; back in!

After months of taking things out,  un-seizing components, dismantling and cleaning them up they were actually going back in and in an operational state. Most satisfying was getting the clutch pedal back in which now moves beautifully up and down as it should and so does the brake pedal. The steering box was refilled with SAE90 oil, I had un-opened bottle on the shelf dating back several years.

Pedals all in
The pedal cluster all back in place and un-seized

The front under dash body work brace that ran left to right (or vice versa) was re-installed, pipes pushed back on to the heater outlets and suddenly a faint glimmer of light was on the horizon. However, my next project is proving to difficult. The removal of the brake pipes to release the brake master cylinder is proving to be tiresome. Not wishing to round off the nuts they have all been liberally soaked in WD40. With some patience I hope they’ll loosen soon.

Brake master cylinder due for removal
Brake master cylinder in process of removal, awaiting for seized up brake unions too free off.