Unseizing the clutch (part 3)

The clutch pedal was very stiff and wouldn’t move under gravity and brake pedal was going the same way. A week ago, I attempted to remove the whole pedal mounting assembly, only to find that a bracket on the steering column was in the way. I managed to remove the pedals, the clutch one being more difficult which also left the copper sleeve on the pivot spindle.

With my little helper (soon to be 10 son), we unbolted the steering column support mounts and undid the four bolts mounting the steering shaft to the steering box. Though a load of oil came out of the steering box, it enabled the column to be turned thus moving the column mounting bracket out of the way. The pedal mount bracket was then extracted after the brake master cylinder bolts and one other bolt were removed from the bulk head.

Clutch and Brake pedal mounting bracket dismantled and part way through a clean up

With the bracket removed, the clutch pedal was eased back on and with some luck or patience, the copper collar came off too with lots of twisting, wiggling and gentle prising off.

The spindle that the copper collars and pedals mounted onto were fairly corroded and dirty, so out with the variable speed drill, a flexible cord with a chuck on the end and small grinding bits (bit like a Dremel but bigger). A vice to hold the bracket and they came up nice and clean with the pedals now freely moving on their spindles.

The little movie (mp4) will hopefully demonstrate how and what was used to clean the spindles.

Mid year update…

Not a lot really has happened. I wire brushed the Master Cylinder and Slave Cylinder which cleaned up quite nicely. I also managed to extract the Master Cylinders internals by banging the open end onto a block of wood and with the help of gravity. The same can not be said of the Slave. An air line (will need to travel else where for that one) is the next idea to extract the components.

The Corsair saw more daylight briefly this month before being wrapped up in a tarpaulin, as the garage was needed for a head gasket job on the MG ZR, out of the rain.

Unseizing the clutch (part 2)

Finally did it, I got the slave cylinder off, you know, the one mounted on the bellhousing. After spending 2-3 hours tussling with various tools in the morning I decided to stop and have a break.

After lunch I resumed, jacked the car up a bit more, which enabled the front wheel to be turned allowing more room to manoeuvre. Starting with the coil spring clamps I manged to get a grip on the front cross member, the mole grips helping keep the clamp in place and the push rod end of the slave. A few turns on the clamp’s bolt was enough to get things moving. From there on it was a hammer on the ball joint splitter tool and then a lever iron to drive the slave through its mounting hole.

Next: freeing up of the clutch pedal.

Unseizing the clutch (part 1)

After some advice from the Rods ‘n’ Sods forum, on Saturday (19th) I removed (wrestled with) the clutch fluid reservoir to inspect the extent of seizure. The photos may indicate the level of corrosion but don’t illustrate the fact that the reservoir was dry upon removal.

I had to cut the fluid pipe to remove it from the engine bay. I then attempted to take off the slave cylinder mounted on the engine block. I got as far as removing the circlip before spraying the unit in WD40 to help the removal of that at a later date.

It’s Alive!

6th November 2011, 2.30pm: Reconnected the battery with it’s new earthing strap, a recheck that each of the plugs were sparking and several seconds (seemed like minutes) of cranking over and the old girl erupted into life.


The engine is alive!


Revving the half V8, erm I mean the V4


A short tour, front to back. Note the exhaust grime on the blue car. 😉

Cover back on… Cover back off

Doomed by the prospect of no cash and lacking motivation the car cover went back over the Corsair in early September. However, tinkering around in the garage this afternoon and with the likely chance to show a visitor it was time to roll back the cover and show her off. In the time leading up to the visit I fitted the new earth strap (bought way back in June) and fitted the spare coil to distributor cap HT lead that was given to me by Hill Top Motors, Shaftesbury.

The Corsair was rolled back into garage, but the covers weren’t replaced. Start up day looms! Well, attempt two.

That old car smell

…mmm, that old car smell, right up my nostrils today when digging around in the garage for some tools on a non car job. Yep, the passion is still there to get the old girl started, and there is a glimmer on the horizon for at least a set of new leads next month.

Project on hold

Cash flow is the real problem here, a decent set of HT leads are required and I’ve not a penny to spend on the Corsair to try again on starting the engine. So, motivation has taken a bit of a knock, but the Corsair is not forgotten.

Crayford info

Just added 12 scans of genuine Crayford brochures here. Not much is on line about this company that specialised in soft top conversions of UK production cars and according to the Company brochure they did some engine development too. Hopefully they’ll be of interest.

The first of the fire up attempts

A couple of hours on Saturday saw the Corsair being prepped for it’s first crank over. The cooling system was re-filled then it was plugs out and checked. The engine was hand cranked over just to ensure it hadn’t seized and things moved freely. The mower fuel can was set up as a temporary fuel source.

This was the moment that hadn’t happened for over eight years, the engaging of the starter motor and cranking of the engine. I kept the key turned and after an initial slow turn over everything seemed fine… except the engine didn’t fire. Out with each plug, and test. Well weak spark at No.1, ok on No.2, not sure about No.3 and ok-ish at No.4. Tested the HT lead from the coil, well it sparked. Checked the points gap was fine and condenser ok. Turned over… several times. Checked the fuel was getting to carb, all ok. Re-checked dizzy cap etc, looked ok. Re-checked HT lead to dizzy, prodded the wire that would make contact with the distributor and it broke off. Answered that then!

So, the battery was taken out of the Corsair and reconnected to the trickle charger with the next task to obtain newer HT leads. I came away happier that the battery was good and man enought for the job, the fuel was getting to the carb, the carb linkages were freed up and now aware of the dodgy clip mounting on the distrubuter body.