Engine Work

Corsair empty engine bay
The Corsair’s empty engine bay.

Earlier, back in May, I got the Corsair to John Midwood’s for some long over due engine work to be carried out, as the oil leaks were getting worse and the nearside cylinder head, rear core plug needed replacing. In readiness, I had got new core plugs and crankshaft seals (front and rear) on eBay, but then needed a bottom end gasket set available from Burton Power which also came with crankshaft seals and ‘O’ rings. Also, John advised I got a gearbox front oil seal which I purchased from Bearing Kits UK but ended up getting a gearbox oil seal set just in case.

By the end of May, John and Peter had replaced all the core plugs (Remember, Peter did his apprenticeship in a Ford dealer back in the late sixties, early seventies and was familiar with the Essex V4). This necessitated in stripping the engine down quite a bit, with the removal of all of the timing gears to get the back plate off, to access the front of the block. The crankshaft front and rear seals were apparently straight forward but with only one minor seal that wasn’t included in the bottom end gasket set from Burton Power, which was for the balance shaft end cover/cap. Sourcing one of these was nigh on impossible, unless there is a specific name for them for which we didn’t know. Anyway, John had come up with a solution which was to cut down a thin rubber (oil resistant) pipe, split it along it’s length and super glue it around the lip edge of the balance shaft end cover cap, which would be further held in place by the rear cover plate on the back of the engine block.

June came and went but with the Balance Shaft end cap sorted as described above, John then went on to clean up the engine exterior and paint over the core plugs. He removed the old electric fan assembly from the radiator as it was redundant and, if anything, more of an obstruction to the radiator cooling. Peter came back to tackle and replace the gearbox seals and cleaned up the oil that had leaked in the bell-housing and around it. By the beginning of July, the engine was back in the car and the damaged throttle linkages were fixed using parts from my old spares. Unfortunately, work stopped for a few weeks as John had other commitments but by the end of July I got the Corsair back which was running sweetly (apparently there was dirt in the carburetor) and without any oil leaks. It was a shame things took so long as I missed several key dates that I would have liked to have used the car for. But, if it performs as well as it did last August/September there will be several hundred miles applied to it by October.

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