More Electrics – The Coil

Chasing the electrical fault recently, led me to Youtube to teach me how to use my multimeter properly. With the new found wisdom I tested the coil. I got a low reading of 1.6 ohms on the Primary circuit (between the – and + posts) which should have been 3 ohms or more. On the secondary circuit, the one that goes to the distributor, the reading was 1, meaning there was a fault or the coil was dead.

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The Ignition Switch Fault

So in early March, I was going to try and do an electrical test of my circuits to the fuel pump, but wasn’t sure how to use my tester unit properly. I therefore took a peek at the ignition switch which threw up this horror to me… evidence of things getting hot and a potential fire risk. Could something else be causing this? or was it the switch mechanism shorting out? There was fair bit of corrosion on the terminals and I wouldn’t be surprised if the internals were in a similar condition.

Original 4 position ignition switch looking a bit melted.
New ignition switch fitted just requiring some insulation tape to be wrapped around the connections.

So, Easter Sunday (1st April) and I finally get the energy to go out in to the garage, plus it wasn’t too cold, wet or snowy. I plugged in the new ignition starter switch that I got some time ago and cleaned up the terminals by cutting off the old melted insulation material. With the wires and spade connections exposed they looked to be in good shape and I didn’t think they needed a rewire, so wrapped them with insulation tape for further protection.

So, with the battery reconnected it all fired up, and the engine stayed running. I just need to re-tune the carburettor just as John had last year because I still had the flat spot even after putting in new jets.

Update 2nd April: The engine fired, ran for about a minute and then cut out, for it not to re-start – so back to square one.

The Starting Problems Continue

Moprod fuel pump and filter. Original set up.

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.

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Fuel Tank MkII

Forever perusing Ebay for those odd elusive items for the Corsair, I came across this petrol tank with the fuel sender for a Corsair way back in November 2017. The seller initially was asking £50 buy it now, so it went on my watch list and then the listing ended without being sold. A week or so later it re-appeared but this time for a £60 buy it now price. Again on my watch list and with a week to go I offered £40 but was countered with a £45 offer that I turned down. Another fortnight leading up to Christmas it came back on again, and then it appeared to have sold a week before its end date.

ebay screenshot
Ebay screenshot of the Fuel Tank

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Wobbly Steering Column – Sorted

The fuel issue is still unsolved though I have another idea to try out, but got distracted with a quest to sort the wobbly steering shaft in the steering column. Looking at the manuals, the column was missing a felt bush, backed by Peter from AJ Restorations also saying something about a felt bush being required. So a search around the internet and I saw on the MK1 Cortina site the felt bush, a small rhombus shaped scrap of fabric about 6 x 4 cm (approx 3×2 inches). The problem being, minimum orders were £10 and this part was only £4 and I think my membership had lapsed anyway. So looking around Ebay I saw a very similar felt bush for the MGB steering column, so for about £7.50 including postage, I had placed my order.

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Problem Solving and a Carburettor Rebuild

A short jaunt out in the Corsair on Christmas Eve ended with the car spluttering the last ½ mile home and cutting out on the driveway. A bit of a tinker a few days later couldn’t get it started and I suspected a condenser problem.

Today, I had a whole afternoon to fiddle with the Corsair, after ordering new points and condenser as a back up/ precaution from a local motor factor (Automotive). Tests showed the fuel pump was working fine and that the condenser appeared to be in good order. So my attention turned to the carburettor which was due a rebuild as I had bought new jets a while ago as John from AJ Restoration had suggested.

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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 Fan Belt Saga

Well, pretty much as the title describes. After the fan belt had snapped I knew it wouldn’t be too much of a problem, after all I’d be going to the NEC Classic Car Show in Birmingham (Saturday 12th Nov 2017) and hoped to be able to buy one up there for an inflated show price.

Simon Barlow’s Supercharged Methanol burning Outlaw Anglia (Fordson Van) at the NEC

It was a good show, lots to see as I got in there from about 9.30am and didn’t leave until 5pm and no I didn’t find a fan belt to buy but the chaps on Burton Power suggested I phone them and discuss their options. The Ford Corsair Owners Club came up trumps with a cup of tea for a paid up member just at the right time and then I ate a piece of cake from the Enthusiasts of British Built Motor Vehicles Built Before 1985 club stand, and there was lots of talking too. I came away tired but satisfied along with a couple of presents for myself. Continue reading “The Fan Belt Saga”

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.

A few more miles

A bit more driving the Corsair happened today and what a lovely day it was. First it was family trip to Compton Abbas Airfield, and the Corsair struggled up Spread Eagle hill in second gear with a line of traffic behind, but probably glad that I turned off for the airfield. After my son had his flight experience at the airfield I took a scenic route home via the fantastic B3081 that has far reaching views to Shaftesbury and the Blackmore Vale and then a drive down the legendary Zig Zag Hill. The brakes were fine and the tight turns ok.

After some lunch another jaunt took us out to Clayesmore School where I took the opportunity to take some photos against the back drop of the school’s main house. The car ran well and I’m getting used to the flat spot and driving through it. It also keeps up well with the local traffic, except on the big hills! So after three trips the corsair had done 54 miles. More fuel will be required before the next trip out, just in case.

So, once home I had to deal with the soggy carpet (when it got drenched over night last Friday) in the passenger side rear foot well. As per usual, a seized bolt holding the seat fame to the floor sheared so I needed to drill that out and re-thread to fit another bolt (metric though). It was a very good day.