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.

Here are some of the new bits:

  • new solenoid as there was a wobbly terminal
  • rebuilt/reconstructed distributor
  • new HT leads and other ignition components
  • new battery
  • rear axle pinion seal fitted (supplied)
  • new seat belts fitted

The main fault and quite likely to have been the cause for all the engine running troubles in the early days was that the ignition was far too advanced. John said it was at something like 32° advanced when it should have been 8°! We suspected the problem with the distributor being difficult to turn or ultimately jammed had sent previous garages to tune the car around this problem and thus the ‘fudged’ carburettor set ups. With the new distributor fitted John had a great base to re-tune the Corsair and the previous post has a video of the car up and running nicely and revving very well. John said on his trips to the MOT station that there was a slight delay in throttle response but otherwise the Corsair pulled like a train. He said he will tweak the tune some more over the coming week, as he still had the rear axle pinion oil seal to fit.

There had been some more welding required (see photos above) for the MOT, – rear off-side outer sill at the rear wheel arch, near the rear spring hanger mounting, offside inner wheel arch and small hole on the chassis near the gearbox (off side). The main problem with the  MOT failure though was the lack of seat belts. I was always under the belief that the Corsair didn’t need them, especially as there weren’t any mountings. Some research and I found this AA document (PDF) that helped explain what should have happened to the Corsair in 1968 but didn’t.

So to clarify, UK cars sold from January 1965 had to have seat belt anchorage points fitted (belts wear an optional extra). From Jan 1967, new cars had to have seat belts fitted. Legislation was passed in 1968 for all cars prior to 1967 back to 1965 to be retrospectively fitted with seat belts. The corsair missed this fitting and therefore was technically illegal each time it was tested and on the road until the MOT in 2017!

Near side rear interior panel – Note; no seat belts

So to wrap this post up, John just has the axle oil seal to fit and then the Corsair will be back home. One anomaly John also worked out was that there is/was a vibration when at 45-50mph and he thinks it’s down to the Cragar wheels fitted that are difficult to centralise on the hub due to their ‘Unilug’ design. I have an idea to explore but I’m keen to use the car!

Thanks for reading, Dom

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