Neil Fletcher Racing

The Rebuild - Part 4.

Or as it will be re-titled

JIJ9975 - Running Reports No1.

Go to My Escorts Index

After working at the car for nearly 4 years, "The Rebuild" is finished apart from one or two very minor jobs.  At the end of "Part 3" I had taken the car out on her first event at Drumhorc Hillclimb. Her next outing was to AVO Day 2003.

Click on any of the images below for a larger photo.

h_brake_1.jpg (76729 bytes) One of the first things that needed doing after coming home from AVO Day was to get the car fully prepared for an MoT test. Then I would be able to get her taxed for road use and then get out and do a few rallies.
h_brake_2.jpg (97541 bytes) The main thing for MoT was a proper mechanical handbrake. A cable from a disc braked Sierra was obtained, if you look closely you will see one end of this has already been attached to the caliper on the Navigators side and then loops up over the axle. The other end of the loop is lying on the ground beside that wheel.
h_brake_3.jpg (18901 bytes) The Sierra cable has two adjusters where it loops forward to the handbrake itself. One of these attached onto the standard Escort cable mount. I then cut and shaped these two bits of metal to make another similar shaped mount to fit on the opposite side of the transmission tunnel. More info and photos on this mod - once I find them :-)
sumpgd_1.jpg (70420 bytes) Another job I needed to do was refit my homemade Sumpguard. This wasn't required for MoT, but was most definitely a requirement for the sort of rallying I do.
sumpgd_2.jpg (64363 bytes) As you can see from both this photo and the one above, the first thing I did was give it a good blasting and a fresh coat of silver paint - its an all steel sumpguard.
sumpgd_3.jpg (68525 bytes) The two black mounts to the left of this picture are two normal anti-rollbar clamps. My guard is mounted on the rollbar at the front using them. The legs in the middle of the picture then rest under the chassis legs in front of the engine cross-member. The final two legs then bolt onto brackets welded to the chassis legs, roughly where the legs sweep downwards in an "S" shape.
sumpgd_4.jpg (51441 bytes) A closer look at the bottom side shows some of the many scrapes and bangs that the sumpguard has suffered over the years. Now you see why I say its a definite requirement for rallying.
sumpgd_5.jpg (66678 bytes) In this photo I have already attached the front of the sumpguard to the anti-rollbar using the clamps mentioned above. then I'll swing it up under the crossmember and bolt the rear legs in place.
August 2008 and I get ready for the restart of our rally season in September.
3rd Sept 08 001.jpg (166346 bytes) After not having turned a wheel since AVO Day there's not much to do to the car other than checking that everything was in tip top shape. But it did take us away from other projects for a few days.
3rd Sept 08 007.JPG (115820 bytes) The only problem of any significance that I did find was a slightly dodgy wheel bearing on the Navigators front strut but they're cheap to buy and easy to fit so that issue was soon rectified.
September 2008 and our rally season restarts in Dungannon - it's not long before I start breaking things.
17th Sept 08 008.JPG (73369 bytes) Dungannon Motor Club's Moonraker Rally is the first rally after the restart and already I am breaking things, this time it was the gearstick. Here you see the knob pushed onto the broken bit of the stick. It was a bit iffy getting the right gear but at least it got us to the finish of the rally.
17th Sept 08 011.JPG (70689 bytes) It was a standard 4-speed Mk2 quickshift which I had modified to fit a 5-speed box. 
17th Sept 08 013.JPG (129140 bytes) It broke off just at the bottom of the vulcanised rubber bit.
17th Sept 08 014.JPG (108717 bytes) First job was to remove the homemade plate round the gearstick.
17th Sept 08 015.JPG (132969 bytes) It's easy to see all that was left of the original stick.
17th Sept 08 017.JPG (127620 bytes) I had a couple of different choices when it came to the repairs. Here you see in order, the broken stick, a rally design 5-speed kit, a standard Mk1 quickshift with my modified lower plate and finally a Quaiffe rose jointed 4-speed stick.
17th Sept 08 016.JPG (126796 bytes) I eventually decided to use the Quaiffe stick and modify it in the same way as I had the original broken stick. First thing was to cut a plate to fit the gearbox. I used the Rally design plate as a template.
17th Sept 08 018.JPG (143047 bytes) The rough cut plate needs some holes drilled and a little tidying before it ready for the next stage.
17th Sept 08 019.JPG (109805 bytes) I then use a couple of tack welds to hold the Quaiffe stick to my plate, I then try it in the box to ensure that I can select all the gears before fully welding it in place - and yes I did remove the rose joint while welding.
17th Sept 08 021.JPG (125160 bytes) It then just a matter of refitting the finished item - i did wonder what had gone wrong when I couldn't select some gears until I realized that the stick was turned back to front. Once that was sorted I was well pleased with the end result, a really good sharp, quick change.
21st Sept 08 008.JPG (176862 bytes) Two weeks later at North Armagh's Orchard Rally and I break one of the mounting bolts on the alternator on a hard landing after a big yump. I take the tie-down strap from the spare wheel and manage to strap the alternator in place so that we can continue to the finish. 
29th Sept 08 001.JPG (48325 bytes) The culprit - it looks as if it was already cracked before the final break.
29th Sept 08 003.JPG (91658 bytes) When I remove the other bolts they are quite well worn where the mounting has been moving slightly on it rubbers. I'll just replace the bolts at the moment but I really need to look at a better system of mounting the alternator so that this problem doesn't reoccur. 
29th Sept 08 004.JPG (74847 bytes) As you can see here I also attach the plastic works style adjuster to this bracket rather than have it fitted to the water pump.
3rd March 2009 044.JPG (116033 bytes) Another rally and this time we hit a deep pot hole rather hard, there was a banging from the driver's front suspension for the rest of the event.
3rd March 2009 038.JPG (116857 bytes) It turned out that the rubbers in the TCA were completely shot - the truth is they were probably already on the way out. Luckily the ball joint was still in good condition.
3rd March 2009 039.JPG (117886 bytes) Here you can see the damage to the rubber bush that the roll bar goes into.
3rd March 2009 041.JPG (94252 bytes) The old bushes are so badly damaged that they almost drop out of their own accord.
3rd March 2009 042.JPG (135961 bytes) The new H/D bushes are a good bit harder to fit but the rebuilt TCA is now as good as new.
March 2009 and the steering rack needs checked out, about the same time I start to sort out a replacement door for the driver's side.. 
6th May 2009 110.JPG (119008 bytes) The front driver's side suspension is still not 100% after rebuilding the TCA as detailed about. After further investigation it turns out that there is more movement than there really should be in one end of the steering rack - so out it comes.
6th May 2009 116.JPG (54207 bytes) It's not really obvious from this photo but there half moon shaped end of the track rod it worn/damaged as is the cup/nut which retains it. Luckily I have a few spare standard racks lying about and I'm able to pinch a track rod and retainer from one of these.
6th May 2009 113.JPG (68326 bytes) The rebuilding of the rack starts with putting in this little spring.
6th May 2009 114.JPG (64570 bytes) Then the little cup that the track rod rests against.
6th May 2009 115.JPG (65659 bytes) This is held in place by a little dab of grease.
6th May 2009 117.JPG (98073 bytes) Then it's the turn of the replacement track rod end and retaining nut. There is a setting for how tight the retaining nut should be - it's all to do with how easy or hard it is to move the track rod up and down.
6th May 2009 118.JPG (75050 bytes) Normally the locknut and retaining nut are pinned but I just tighten them as much as I possibly can and leave them at that.
6th May 2009 119.JPG (93648 bytes) Once the rubber boot is fitted the rack is all ready to go back into the car
6th May 2009 120.JPG (92081 bytes) Then it's just a matter of setting the track with my home made gauge - it is placed behind the wheel with the end resting against one rim and a measurement is taken at the other wheel, then I repeat the process with it in front of the wheel and compare the measurements. 
1st Jan 2009 029.JPG (82352 bytes) Next job was to replace the drivers door which had been damaged in an accident almost two years previously. Back in January I had brought this door round from where all the old spares are kept at our family farm.
1st Jan 2009 034.JPG (108596 bytes) I am going to re-skin one of her old doors which had actually been replaced the last time the car was rebuilt back in 2003. First thing is to strip all the furniture off the door, I soon have just a rather rusty shell of a door.
1st Jan 2009 035.JPG (91097 bytes) And a pile of bits in the middle of the garage floor, these will be put well away for use when I eventually get round to putting the door back together - this will turn out to be much longer than originally expected.
1st Jan 2009 036.JPG (67952 bytes) Then I need to remove the outer skin, this is done by going right round the outside edge with the angle grinder and just lightly grinding the folder over edge completely away.
1st Jan 2009 038.JPG (89944 bytes) With a little extra work I soon have the skin off and all the remnants of the old skin are ground off - the only part remaining is the bit round the window which doesn't come on most repro skins. 
19th March 2009 010.JPG (63196 bytes) After blasting and a coat of etch primer it's obvious that the two bottom corners of the door would need some repair before putting the skin on. I cut this little bit out of the rear corner first.
19th March 2009 012.JPG (75683 bytes) Then it's a matter of cutting and shaping a little bit to piece into this corner - cardboard always come in useful as a template.
19th March 2009 023.JPG (75679 bytes) There's a little bit of work to do with the dollies to get the shape just right. You'll also notice that I cut the repair piece bigger than is really needed then I can trim it down to size once I get the shape right.
19th March 2009 025.JPG (77792 bytes) Once it's welded in place and the welds are ground down flush on the outside it really looks quite good and a useable door is well on the way to being saved.
19th March 2009 032.JPG (71046 bytes) The front lower corner also needs a couple of little pieces set into it too.
April 2009, our last event of the winter months and I have a leaky radiator, and I'm still working on that door every now and again.
6th May 2009 161.JPG (115024 bytes) On our last event of the winter season I tear up to the final control and notice wisps of steam curling up from the front of the bonnet. Time to pull the radiator out and have a close look - unfortunately I forgot to take any "before" photos. 
6th May 2009 162.JPG (110477 bytes) It turns out that the soldering along the top edge of the header tank has started to part company with the radiator - luckily it's only very minor and hasn't done any other harm.
6th May 2009 163.JPG (100554 bytes) It's a fairly simple matter for my local radiator repair shop to re-solder the upper edge. Along the lower edge of the header tank you can also see where the 3 core centre has been soldered in a few years ago. 
6th May 2009 164.JPG (78468 bytes) This radiator is originally out of a Mk1 Cortina so it's over 45 years old - not bad going. I was given it a few years ago as the fan had destroyed the core, I dismantled it and had a tall 3 core centre fitted and then made up my own side mounts to fit the Escort, more details are given in The Rebuild Pt3.   
6th May 2009 166.JPG (101750 bytes) While working at the radiator I start to seriously think about fitting a new engine - one of my old BDAs, more details are given further down the page.  
6th May 2009 165.JPG (91868 bytes) With the two lower corners repaired I take the shell of the door round to my mums and give it a bit of a go with the blaster before giving it a coat of etch primer.
6th May 2009 172.JPG (83853 bytes) The inside of the skin gets a coat of primer as well before both are given a couple of coats of red oxide.
6th May 2009 211.JPG (85524 bytes) Now I start to fit the skin, a couple of pairs of vice grips hold it in place while I gently fold the lip over with a hammer and dollie. You can now see why I got this door skin given to me for nothing, it's been lying about for a long long while and has quite a few spots of surface rust.
6th May 2009 212.JPG (73215 bytes) As it's going on the rally car I'm not that worried about the rust spots, it'll probably be stuffed into another hedge long before the rust gets a chance to reappear. It also gets a couple of tack welds to hold it in place for the first of quite a few trial fits.
6th May 2009 213.JPG (85665 bytes) The first of many trial fits - I just use bolts on my doors rather than the proper roll pins, this means that it's dead easy to fit and remove doors as required.
6th May 2009 215.JPG (53003 bytes) The front edge lines up fairly well - even if the door gap is a bit on the wide side but I'm not that concerned, I'm sure the wing will get knocked back a bit the next time I hit the hedge.
6th May 2009 216.JPG (64320 bytes) The back corner is a different matter entirely, the door is hanging down and there is no gap at all. In fact the door won't even close - it's hard to believe that this door came off the car 6 years ago.
6th May 2009 217.JPG (64518 bytes) But after some work on the hinges on both the door and the car the whole thing starts to line up properly and I can actually close the door too.
6th May 2009 219.JPG (66375 bytes) Once I'm happy with how the door is hanging I finish off the fitting of the skin and weld it as required.
6th May 2009 222.JPG (97857 bytes) Another trial fit after the welding to ensure that I haven't distorted it, as you can see I've started to give those rust spots a bit of a going over with a flap wheel in the angle grinder.
27th May 2009 248.JPG (79094 bytes) After a couple of coats of etch primer and high build primer it's starting to really look the part - unfortunately 6 months later it's still sitting in the back of the garage unpainted as I've got caught up in other projects, namely a BDA.
May/June 2009 and a new engine is planned for the car - wisely or otherwise I've decided to rebuild one of my old BDAs.
13th May 2009 007.JPG (128551 bytes) Towards the end of our winters rallying my old faithful crossflow had started to give trouble, a slight missfire in the engine had started to get worse. I suspect that worn valve guides was allowing the plugs to foul up. A new engine was called for and I decided that there was no point in having all these old BDA bits lying around and not using them.
13th May 2009 035.JPG (105949 bytes) I had this block which had been bored out to 83.5 and had been lying under my bench for many years. It would make the good basis for a 1700 BDA. First job was to clean all the grease etc off it and make sure all the oil ways and galleries were clear.
13th May 2009 039.JPG (59913 bytes) Unfortunately things are never simple and straight forward. One of the plugs in an oil gallery is particularly tight and the corners just get rounded off as I try to remove this one with an Allen key. To remove it I end up drilling right through it.
13th May 2009 038.JPG (76470 bytes) I then hammer a Torx bit into the centre of it trying not to expand it any further than necessary which would only tighten it in the hole.
13th May 2009 036.JPG (68827 bytes) Luckily it then comes out fairly easily allowing me to clean the rest of the galleries.
13th May 2009 040.JPG (95613 bytes) It's not long before I have a nice clean spotless block all ready for crank and rods etc to be installed. 
27th May 2009 063.JPG (98910 bytes) I have now moved the block to my BDA building table. I've installed the crank and tightened each main cap as I bolted them in place. Once they're all in I go over them again with the torque wrench to make sure that every single one is tight.
27th May 2009 064.JPG (97829 bytes) Then it's time to put the rods and pistons into the block.
27th May 2009 059.JPG (113146 bytes) And the big end cap goes on and is torqued down. It's not shown here but in later pictures you'll see a can of Wynns Oil treatment, I use this on all the bearing surfaces etc as I build the engine, it helps protect everything on first start-up.
27th May 2009 066.JPG (109123 bytes) The next piston is tapped slowly into position with the rubberhandle of a hammer. great care must be taken that the ring compressor is correctly seated on the piston as it's very easy to break a ring as they go down into the block. The pistons, rings etc have all been given a liberal coating of the Wynns.
27th May 2009 245.JPG (119177 bytes) All four pistons and rods are now installed and caps torqued down, then I recheck each one in turn with the torque wrench.
27th May 2009 246.JPG (102434 bytes) Next up is installing the jackshaft, in this case I'm just using a standard crossflow camshaft for the job. You can use a dedicated jackshaft which is only half the length but this requires the rear cam bearing to be turned in it's housing to avoid the oil pouring out and loss of pressure.
27th May 2009 250.JPG (110115 bytes) With the cam/jackshaft fixed in position it's time to fit the front cover, after fitting the two seals and gasket the front cover is offered up. I then push both the crank and jackshaft pulley into place to help centre the seals in place and then gently tighten up the retaining bolts.
27th May 2009 252.JPG (114041 bytes) Putting the seal into the rear housing, it gets a smear of Blue Hylomar before being tapped into the housing.
27th May 2009 253.JPG (128648 bytes) Now we have my way of fitting gaskets, first the component gets a smear of Blue Hylomar all round where the gasket will go,
27th May 2009 254.JPG (130218 bytes) Then the gasket is put in place, it is held by the sticky Hylomar, then finally it gets a smear of normal grease,
27th May 2009 255.JPG (107152 bytes) And is then offered up to the engine, I allow the seal to find it's own centre on the end of the crank, it's gently pushed home and bolted in place.
8th June 2009 011.JPG (121865 bytes) Next up is the job of fitting an Oil Pump, in this case it's a High Capacity/High Pressure one, you can see from the rather tatty box that it's been lying in my stores for a rather long time.
8th June 2009 012.JPG (72732 bytes) You can tell that it's the high Capacity type by the much thicker endplate, it's almost twice as thick as that of a standard pump.
8th June 2009 015.JPG (148202 bytes) A selection of the many bits that go to make up the head of a BDA engine, all nicely cleaned and ready for fitting.
8th June 2009 016.JPG (126207 bytes) Some of the gaskets and seals etc which I ordered from Burton Power, I liked the way they packed them all in packets with cardboard stiffeners so that they wouldn't get damaged. I also liked the fact that I ordered this stuff online one night and two days later it was delivered to the door.
8th June 2009 017.JPG (105483 bytes) And some of the stuff ordered from John Wilcox Engines, including a Works Alternator Mount, a Polly-Vee kit, Plug Leads and other assorted small bits and pieces, this stuff was ordered one morning and was delivered the very next morning - now that is what I call really good service.
8th June 2009 043.JPG (107054 bytes) And here I am at one of those slightly boring jobs which must be done - grinding in the valves the good old fashioned way.
8th June 2009 018.JPG (100187 bytes) Starting to put the head together, in the foreground I have started to fit springs etc to the valves. In the background you will see some valves which have only the spring platforms and retainers fitted, this is so that I can check and adjust the fitted length of the springs using shims as required. 
8th June 2009 021.JPG (87989 bytes) Here are a couple of examples of the shims mentioned above which are fitted below the spring platform to adjust the fitted length of the springs.
8th June 2009 022.JPG (98669 bytes) The guide in the bottom of the picture has just the shims fitted, while the upper one also has the spring platform and oil seal fitted.
8th June 2009 019.JPG (96132 bytes) After fitting the shims, spring platforms and oil seals it then the turn of the double valve springs. 
8th June 2009 020.JPG (100622 bytes) Then it's time for the valve spring retainers to be fitted.
8th June 2009 025.JPG (79466 bytes) Finally the spring compressors are used to compress the lot and allow the collets to be fitted, I you look closely you will also see that a little grease has been smeared into the collet to hold it in place while the spring compressor is released. 
8th June 2009 030.JPG (113102 bytes) Slowly but surely all 16 sets all get fitted, I'll soon be ready to try the head on the short engine assembly.
8th June 2009 032.JPG (114478 bytes) Back to the bottom end of the engine and there is one last, and very important job to do before fitting the sump, the very last thing I always do at this stage is recheck that all the bolts on the mains and big ends have all been torqued properly - even though it's already been done twice before. You never want one of these bolts of these coming undone.
8th June 2009 040.JPG (111289 bytes) The sump can now be fitted and the engine turned right way up ready to start on the top end.
8th June 2009 042.JPG (53791 bytes) This is something that I forgot to show earlier, the little brass oil restrictor which has to be fitted to the oilway in the top face of the block on all iron block BDAs.
13th June 2009 001.JPG (115383 bytes) To help locate both the headgasket and the head itself I use a couple of locating dowels, they are actually just old crossflow head bolts.
13th June 2009 003.JPG (63129 bytes) As you can see here their heads have been cut off and a slot cut in the top of each one to make for easy removal once the head etc is fitted in place.
13th June 2009 007.JPG (120392 bytes) The head is now placed on the block for the first time to check valve clearance etc and torqued down.
8th June 2009 046.JPG (69273 bytes) Before putting the head in place I put some plasticine in the valve cutouts of one of the pistons - as a temporary measure the valves corresponding to this piston only had the weaker inner springs fitted. This allowed me to push the valves down by hand to check the clearances around the cutouts. A dial gauge was also used in conjunction with the plasticine. 
13th June 2009 008.JPG (112330 bytes) Here's the cambox I'm going to be using, notice the coloured paint around the tappet holes, the buckets are also painted with the same spot of colour this helps make sure the same bucket always goes into the same hole.
13th June 2009 055.JPG (122613 bytes) When dialing in the cams etc you can check and set TDC before you put the head on, or if you have extensions like this for your clock you can do it once the head and cambox are fitted to the block.
13th June 2009 057.JPG (73003 bytes) One problem with an alloy head and cambox is the fact that they are not magnetic and the magnetic clock won't stick to them, I usually set a rather big flat piece of steel across the top of the engine to hold the clock steady.
13th June 2009 004.JPG (133360 bytes) With the head and cambox on I can set the cams roughly and fit the cambelt, the water pump will come later when I sort one out, they are a bit different from the normal crossflow one.
14th June 2009 001.JPG (94098 bytes) I'm setting the TDC mark on my degree wheel, some people actually turn the wheel to line up with the zero mark, I just take a note of the setting. The bit of steel plate that I place my magnetic clock stand on is also a good place to rest the cup of coffee.
14th June 2009 004.JPG (115222 bytes) I'm not setting the torque on the crank pulley but the extra length of the handle of the torque wrench is useful for turning the engine over slowly when timing the cams.
14th June 2009 005.JPG (106394 bytes) My old degree wheel is rather batter and worn but it still does the job, it's a nice bit one for me to read with my poor eyesight.
14th June 2009 007.JPG (110944 bytes) Another thing is the pointer which must be really well fixed to the block so that it doesn't move or it will make a mess of all your hard work.
13th June 2009 010.JPG (97838 bytes) Shimming up the cams is another important job which usually takes at least three goes to get them all right, here you see some of my measurements and calculations of the shim size that I will need to get the right.
14th June 2009 009.JPG (83149 bytes) To time the cams in properly you really need to get the end of your dial gauge onto the cam bucket/tappet.
14th June 2009 011.JPG (98887 bytes) But as you can see here there's not a lot of room in there between the tappet bucket and the cam lobe.
14th June 2009 015.JPG (72302 bytes) With the lid of the cambox fitted I mark the various timing marks on the back of the cam pulley. The three marks on the pulley equate to blue = TDC, white = 10 BTDC and yellow = 36 BTDC.
14th June 2009 017.JPG (159253 bytes) Before rechecking the cambelt tension, one of the last jobs I do is fit the water pump. BDA engines used a modified crossflow pump.
14th June 2009 019.JPG (111824 bytes) With the BDA built and ready to go in it's time to remove a rather grotty crossflow.
14th June 2009 018.JPG (109445 bytes) Before fitting the BDA the engine bay gets a bit of a freshen up, well OK I'll admit it, I just washed it down with the power hose. But it did help the look of the engine bay a bit.
14th June 2009 020.JPG (132622 bytes) The BDA all ready, and loaded onto the hoist which rolls on an "H" iron in the ceiling of my garage - it makes for handy fitting and removal of engines etc.
14th June 2009 022.JPG (98609 bytes) During the fitting of the BDA I discover a problem with the starter motor, the bendix is badly cracked and about to bust open completely.
14th June 2009 023.JPG (127616 bytes) Luckily, many years ago when I was no more than a nipper, I spent time in the local Training Centre and one of the many projects we did there was to make a set of bendix spring compressors which have come in very handy when rebuilding starters.
14th June 2009 024.JPG (132362 bytes) With the starter sorted I can then proceed with lowering the engine down into place.
15th June 2009 001.JPG (136932 bytes) It's now only a couple of days until I have to head off for AVO Day and there is still plenty of work to do before the engine is ready to fire up.
15th June 2009 002.JPG (169002 bytes) Slowly but surely everything gets bolted into place, including a newly blasted and painted exhaust manifold, an old three piece item of unknown vintage.
15th June 2009 003.JPG (195227 bytes) With the carbs and distributor and all fitted I'm almost ready to fire her up and see if she'll run - of course she will.
16th June 2009 004.JPG (118253 bytes) But there are still one or two issues to sort, things like the exhaust system as fitted to the crossflow not really wanting to line up with the BDA manifold.
16th June 2009 002.JPG (57576 bytes) Eventually all is sorted and I fire her up only to see the oil pressure rocket off the end of the scale before suddenly dropping back to about 35 psi. I cut the motor only to discover oil leaking as the seal at the filter has been pushed out of place. I eventually trace it to a stuck relief valve in the oil pump.
16th June 2009 005.JPG (129669 bytes) And once I get that sorted it's hard to resist the temptation to take her for a blast down the road to see how she goes. The local farmers are well used to see a half built Escort blasting round the local lanes. 
MyaAvodayJune2009101.jpg (144930 bytes) Here, as this borrowed photo shows, she did actually make it to AVO Day and was able to drive on and off the trailer under her own steam even if there were a few small items which still need to be sorted.
13th May 2009 009.JPG (116902 bytes) This is one of a number of spare BDA heads that I have lying about - I believe it was fitted to a 2 litre BDG spec engine at a time but has had a couple of skims so is only really suitable for a 1700.
2nd july 2009 129.JPG (104669 bytes) When I'm over at AVO day in June I drop the above head off with John Wilcox to get him to check it out, clean up the ports and do a couple of minor repairs. 
2nd july 2009 134.JPG (101220 bytes) A couple of weeks later Rita sends me a large package, the reworked head plus some spares for my next "All Steel BDA" but that story will keep for another time.
14th August 2009 005.JPG (115440 bytes) Meanwhile back to the story in hand. This engine had been built in rather a hurry just to get it fitted and going for AVO National Day, once I was back home there were a few minor issues to sort out before the car would go on the rolling road in August. So out it comes again.
14th August 2009 002.JPG (94096 bytes) One of the first jobs I did was to check the tappets etc as by now she had a few miles on her from test runs and everything had time to settle in. They all turned out to be within half a thou of their original settings so nothing more needed to be done there.
14th August 2009 006.JPG (75640 bytes) Next up was to change the Allen bolts holding the exhaust for proper studs and K-nuts, when John Wilcox saw the engine he said that he would never use these Allen bolts - they had been fitted by an earlier owner.
14th August 2009 004.JPG (94155 bytes) So I removed all the Allen bolts and fitted a full set of the studs and nuts which Rita supplied.
6th Aug 2009 262.JPG (108430 bytes) The exhaust manifold that I have fitted to this engine is a rather sexy three piece item of unknown vintage.
6th Aug 2009 258.JPG (120498 bytes) Trouble is there are only two original bits to it, the lower bit is very much a home made item, not only that but it was a slightly loose fit onto the two upper parts.
14th August 2009 009.JPG (129137 bytes) Anyway the first job that I needed to do was weld in a union to take the lambda sensor when she goes onto the rolling road - it's supposed to give more accurate readings rather than just sticking the sensor up the exhaust as most rally cars have sliding joints with the odd leak or two.
6th Aug 2009 257.JPG (63408 bytes) First thing I did was take the air hacksaw and make a 4 inch long slice down each of the two tubes that slide over the upper tubes.
6th Aug 2009 254.JPG (58312 bytes) I then placed a couple of jubilee clips over them and tighten the clips up to close the two sides in on each other. Then it was just a matter of welding up the join again and they were then a nice firm fit.
6th Aug 2009 259.JPG (72297 bytes) You can see that the exhaust has had the odd good thump on the ground - there's also a couple of tiny pinholes in the original welding, not mine I hasten to add, which will need to be welded up.
6th Aug 2009 242.JPG (108735 bytes) Next up is the job of bolting in the core plugs to make sure they don't pop out. I never forget years ago lying over a newly built engine and rev'ing her, suddenly one of the core plugs shot out and hit the inner wing, luckily the water was just warm rather than boiling.
6th Aug 2009 246.JPG (94250 bytes) First off I drill and tap a couple of holes, one each side of each core plug.
6th Aug 2009 247.JPG (88457 bytes) Then it's just a matter of screwing in a little button headed screw with a washer to catch the edge of the core plug, it'll not go anywhere now.
14th August 2009 008.JPG (73105 bytes) When putting the clutch on one of the bolts sheared - even with using the correct torque. I'd didn't have time to sort it before AVO Day but now I had time to drill it and remove it with an eezy-out.
6th Aug 2009 248.JPG (95924 bytes) Another job which didn't get done in the rush to get ready for AVO day was the noisy bearings in the cambelt tensioner. A couple of new ones are obtained and the old ones are soon removed.
6th Aug 2009 249.JPG (91023 bytes) Then it's just a matter of pressing the new ones in with a bench vise and a block of wood to protect the alloy of the pulley wheel.
6th Aug 2009 250.JPG (83650 bytes) With the eccentric sleeve fitted it's now all ready to go back on the engine.
6th Aug 2009 251.JPG (74537 bytes) Even on a crossflow I never liked the idea of the alternator tensioner strap bolted to the water pump. I always make a little bracket and bolt it to the side of the block itself.
27th July 09 002.JPG (64125 bytes) Next job to tackle was a stripped thread on the bellhousing. It would need helicoiled - a simple job to do, but take it to an engineering firm and you could get charged 25 plus. First thing it to drill the hole out to the appropriate size for the helicoil.
27th July 09 004.JPG (60364 bytes) Then you need to "tap" the hole so you can screw the helicoil in. Hole the tap holder, it's one of the first things that they get you to make as an apprentice in the training centre.
27th July 09 005.JPG (77760 bytes) I'm not admitting to how old I am but my tap holder is probably as old as the car I'm working on. Now I'm not a buftie but I did get it passivated a few years ago when I was getting some parts of the car done. 
27th July 09 007.JPG (73518 bytes) The alloy of the bellhousing is easy to tap, but you still need to back it off and clear the tap every few turns - tapping fluid should also be used but not having any I just use oil.
27th July 09 008.JPG (175199 bytes) Helicoil kits like this can usually be bought for about 25 and contain 5 sizes of helicoil as well as the necessary drills and taps and loads of helicoils.
27th July 09 010.JPG (48305 bytes) And this is what a helicoil looks like close up, it's really just like a coiled spring. This special tool is used to screw it down into position.
27th July 09 013.JPG (50828 bytes) This is one of the recessed holes but if you look closely you can just see the helicoil in position.
27th July 09 014.JPG (77391 bytes) Last thing is to break off the little tang that was used to screw in the helicoil.
27th July 09 017.JPG (66854 bytes) Then the bolt should screw down in again with no problem and will be as good as new. Now the engine and all can be refitted to the car.
27th July 09 095.JPG (139432 bytes) Another one of the "jobs to do" was changing the carbs, the set that were on her at AVO Day had just been pulled from another BDA. Originally I had planned to fit a set of 45 dell'ortos but I'm keeping them for my all steel BDA.
27th July 09 096.JPG (119215 bytes) Instead I'm just fitting a rebuilt set of 40's, many thanks to Roy Brown for that job. In the photo you can also see the distributor which was removed to check why the timing was proving hard to set properly - more details later.
27th July 09 097.JPG (103944 bytes) Some parts of the old carbs needed to be used including the short trumpets and the air filter backplates etc.
27th July 09 098.JPG (89000 bytes) Another job I wanted to sort while the carbs were off was the breathing. On my other BDA heads the breather hole from head to block was either closed off, or never machined in the first place and a normal crossflow style breather was used. Rather than try and block the hole in the head I decided to leave this standard type breather in place and fit another.
27th July 09 099.JPG (107023 bytes) With a high rev'ing engine I have always found that extra breathers are a good idea - maybe I just rev my engines too hard. After some thought I came up with the idea of fitting an extra breather to the unused fuel pump hole. A new plate was cut and drilled.
27th July 09 100.JPG (108694 bytes) Then a tube was fitted which pointed into the engine at a downward angle and welded in place. Hopefully I'll not need to fit a flap over the end of the tube - only time will tell.
27th July 09 102.JPG (75714 bytes) The finished article ready to fit, I've just welded round the inside so the outside would look nice and tidy.
27th July 09 103.JPG (114303 bytes) And now the breather plate is bolted in place and a tube fitted, this tube will join with the breather coming from the cambox lid and go to the catch tank. Now she is all ready for a session on the rolling road.

For the next installment go to Running Reports No2.

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