Last week – too much of a crap mood to write anything then – I looked at taking the Corsair out for a bit of test drive around the nearby garages/flats access road. While it took a bit to get started, the engine ran lumpy with popping and back firing through the carb, just as before. All I could think of was the fuel was dirty and contaminating the jets and other fine points of the carburettor. A message on Facebook about this and it was suggested that the electrics were at fault, but the other week the engine was running sweet, however the fuel did look dirty in the carb float chamber. So I have decided to remove the fuel tank (at some point), clean it best as I can and flush through the fuel lines, filter and pump, clean the carburettor (again) and hope this will solve the carburettor set up problems. I have also bought a NOS Motorcraft distributor, but upon closer inspection suspect it is for a Pinto (Ford) rather than for Essex V4.
I will get on to it when I feel like it and I need to buy a cleaning agent for the fuel tank.
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.
From early August John from AJ Restorations started to work on the front chassis sections that needed to be repaired. Thankfully he had good weather in nearly all the 28 days that he had the car and spent approximately 35 hours on the restoration (between other better paying work). First he started on the off side section and cut out from the front right back to the cross member supporting the engine. He only went half way up the chassis leg, retaining the bumper mounts, as the top part was in good condition. He also ground off the old ‘repair’ plates that had been wrapped around and welded over the old corrosion.
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:
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.
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.
Got the Corsair back home without an MOT. It needed a fair bit of welding to the front end just behind the front valance where the anti-roll bar mounts are. The estimate for the welding was over £200 so I decided to have the car back and do as much my self in preparation and cleaning the affected area ready for welding by some one else.
The plus side to the pre-MOT inspection is that I got advice on other areas needing attention as well as several minor fixes done along the way. The Tappets need to be re-gapped/adjusted and the carburettor needs rebuilding and cleaning as the throttle doesn’t appear to move to full throttle. I also need to source a new or working main beam/indicator steering column stalk due to the full beam light switch not working. On tick over the car ran fine after some adjustments by Hill Top Motors but possibly due to the throttle not opening up enough, driving under load was still tricky with back fire and lacking power. If I was very gentle with the throttle it would be OK.
It would have been nice to have had it on the road for June, but I have got this far taking my time, I don’t want to rush into paying for a welding job that I could help with to save costs.