More Steering Column Happiness 
In the clamp that attaches the steering column to the bracket at the bottom of the dash (and is attached to that clamp with 2 7/16 nuts on the top of the bracket...below) there is supposed to be a spring steel secondary clamp that's captured inside the two pieces that grips the column when you tighten the clamp down. It's also frequently missing especially if (d)POs took the clamp apart and the spring steel went walkabout. In maybe 50% of the columns I've taken was missing. The column should not be loose in the clamp, that spring steel fitting helps stabilize it.

I agree it is a PITA to get to those 2 nuts (especially if folks haven't dressed the wires properly...and have routed various wires under or around the column). Patience

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Battery Movement 
Want to move the battery from its position (in photo below) back to where it belongs. Found that the long bolts were still in the location where they needed to be...and want to get rid of the weight behind the wheels...not that I'll be doing any slaloms or autocrossing, mind you, but...and move it back to where it belongs.

Of the top of the head, anyone recall what the proper size is that will fit in the location it was designed for or should I just take measurements and dig through what's at the local parts emporium? Figured I'd ask first...(and have to make the hold-down channel...I have angle aluminum channel, so, that won't be a big issue to cut and drill for the hold-down....).

FWIW, pulled the heat shield out, degunked it, polished it up...ok, the rest of the fiberglass body in that location is very greasy from all the oil leaks, but, if you clean as you starts to look better (that's what I tell myself as I'm digging grease and ick out from under my fingernails....)

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Balancing Carbs  
I'd have to dig out my balancer sticks from the storage shed in PA and bring them up. Used them last time I remember back in 06 or 07 on my CB750F4 to set the carbs up. That was going to be my next step. The feeds back from the (disconnected) charcoal canister to the base of the carbs are there (but blocked off) so it would be easy to get a vac signal there. In fact...have 2 of the Smiths dash-mounted vacuum gauges...maybe plumb them in today and see if that works. Hey, couldn't hurt, right?

Swapped in a second tach from my box o'spares collected over the years; they're within 100 RPM of each other, so pretty sure what I'm getting is what I'm getting.

Oh, I know it can be done...with time and thought. So...was more pleased that the thing reliably starts and runs at SOME speed for now; will work on the fine touches as time goes on...But pretty sure this engine is not on the young end of its life, but past middle age into its dotage...and in need of an "out-of-body experience" after this season is done and I get a few miles on her. This is just an interim, not a final destination.

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Half Step Back 
Saturday 30 April:

Well, spent some quality time on 3291R. New dizzy, low resistance coil, still futzing with those blasted strombergs with the euro needles, but, set for 10 degrees advance…kicks right over.

Got to loose 500 rpm somewhere. Emission plate in the engine room says timing at idle is supposed to be tdc, static 5 degrees (but the pertronix-II can’t be set statically.). Thoughts? Never replaced the throttle shaft seals...maybe that's the last step (though, squirting ether around the base of the carbs or at the ends of the throttle shafts produce no change in idle...and my plugs say that I'm still rich.) Oh well...sort it out...may be that I've not cleaned out the cylinders with a good hard run down the to wait to finish the brakes...)

And looks like the oil leak is from the head drain tube in back of the carbs…crappy job to replace in situ…and from the oil pan area at the front left.

Have new oil pan gaskets…but that means dropping the exhaust. Always 2 steps forward, one back…But coolant level is steady, engine runs smooth…albeit idle at 1200…lol.

I have the US needles…was thinking of swapping them in and see if it makes a difference.


Sunday 1 May:

More digging around. And, discovered a couple things along the way:

1. The oil pan bolts were uniformly loose. Like some at least a quarter turn loose. So...7/16 on an extension, rear of car on jack stands, and tightened them all nice an snug. Probably NOT to the torque value in the book, but not loose either. We'll see if that slows down the puddle of dino juice on my garage floor. But as a fellow lister sent in an email...if a Ford block is not leaking, it's because it's Also used a pair of mole grips (channel locks) and twisted the drain tube a bit. That seems to have slowed down the leak, but still have a new one, and put it in a pan of boiling water to see if that loosens it up a bit so I can compress and get into its position in situ. Seems to work ok, don't want to have to pull the head if I don't need to just to replace a rubber fitting...but have a line on a freshly overhauled head nonetheless, so...

2. Took the pistons out of the carbs, set needles to their lowest setting referenced to the BRASS fholder, not the nylon washer. Was going to swap in what I thought were the set of US emission needles, but one had a tag on it that said "BAD". So much for that idea. Ordered a set from Ray with some other stuff...Put all back together. Idles at 1050 or so now, if the tach can be trusted. Getting there...Closer to being able to start on the brake system anyway.

3. While on jack stands...looked at taking out the charcoal canister and now unused lucas ignition coil. Think I'm going to stick with the pertronix dizzy and coil...seems to be running just fine. Old dizzy is really knackered: the wiring inside (cloth covered) is all deteriorating to where you can see the copper...the old retard capsule was just hacked off the body. Thinking it can be renovated and kept Just In Case, but with a low-impedence coil now in the car...may have to rebuild and upgrade to a pertronix module. Right now? Threw it in the 'removed bits' bin. Got other things to do.

More later...

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Starter and Timing Success 
Got the starter in today. Whomever installed it the last time must have used an air ratchet to tighten it down...had to pull out the 24" breaker bar and 9/16ths impact impact socket to break the bottom bolt loose. It's all good now; RD had clocked the starter on the mounting flange and it all went together just fine. Just to protect the leads, used a light coat of penetrox (which I use when building antenna installs on towers to prevent corrosion; it says it's good for CU/AL, AL, and SN connections, so, thinking it's just fine for what we use it for...)

Needed to freshen up all the power connections; pulled a lead off to carry the 12V up along the bundle so I have a place to provide power for my remote start switch (the white/red lead for the starter solenoid was modified with a Y lead for the other lead off the remote button). Cleaned up the wiring at the coil side, and behold, the tach started working properly rather than bouncing around. Amazing what fresh crimp connections on tinned leads will do for connection goodness. Yes, I know about embrittlement of solder on copper, etc. Takes years, like using galvenized versus stainless piping for the radiator transfer will be an issue long after I'm sitting on the porch in my bathrobe yelling at kids to get off my

Next up...VCG, timing, new dizzy, new coil, timing. What say the tribe about which sealant to use on the cork gasket? Wilkins says a thin coat of RTV on the D plugs (all three are leaking nicely, so going to replace them too...). Aviation form-a-gasket (which I have...and we use to seal case halves on Lycoming and Continental aircraft engines...and a silk thread laid in it, believe or not...) or some other goop?

Next next up: have new spitfire .70 MC coming and Ezbleed pressure bleeder. Thinking at this point, going to disconnect all the bundys going to the wheel cylinders, rebuild the calipers with stainless pistons I have on hand and new seal kits and greenstuff pads on the way, hook up drain lines to all the cylinders, open them all up and flush the old fluid out after replacing the MC, then put all back together. Replace the original rubber hoses with new armored hose, and redo the pipes on the top of the rear trailing arms. They look like they've been manhandled along the way, and I still have 22' of nickle/copper pipe to use..

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More Garage Time 
And a little more work...

Bonnet nose interior painted with truckbed's still wet, hence the sheen, but should transition to more satin-ish in time.

Brake line jumpers to bypass the boosters and PWDV (for now...until I replumb). Hint: use the same type of fittings across all the bits: if your junction is brass, use brass pipe fittings, if steel...use steel. Don't mix and match, especially putting harder male threaded fittings into softer female junctions. There's a lesson there for other things, I

On to replacing the starter with the new high-torque unit I picked up from RD. I built a short jumper for the solenoid so that I could hook up a remote starter push button whilst working in the engine room to crank her over. Kind of hard to try and start from the cockpit while needing to attend to the engine directly.

Next? I think attacking the valve cover gasket, get the TDC and paint marks on the flywheel set, and installing the new Petronix dizzy, coil, fresh wiring, and new plug wires (sparkers were replaced a couple months ago) and see if that improves matters.

Ordered, from Moss, the Gunson Ezbleed kit; it's only me working in the garage (no helper, but have my phone always in my pocket Just In Case), so, thinking this will help with the bleed process in lieu of having someone to pump and release the pedal on prompting. So, will pend the final brake system attack...until it comes in.

Ordered, from AutoMat in Hicksville NY a set of loop pile (which is what's in the car already) driver and passenger side carpets for the footwell and underneath the seats. I've put down dynamat on the floor (which will attenuate the drumming of the fiberglass...yeah, a bit more weight, but that's ok) so, that should work out just fine when it comes in...

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BDA Said 
BDA (on Irwin's site) said:
"Congratulations on your progress and making your list. Have you gotten your Pertronix Ignitor (dizzy module) yet? If not, you have a choice to make: the Ignitor I can burn up if you leave your ignition on too long (I have no definition for “too long”) but it can be statically timed; the Ignitor II is protected from burning up but it can’t be statically timed. There is an Ignitor III but for whatever reason I didn’t consider it but I’m pretty sure it can’t be statically timed.

I started with an Ignitor I and later got an Ignitor II thinking I would like the protection from burning up so I got an Ignitor II. I was able to get my motor running with it pretty quickly but then my timing light died and I happily went back to my Ignitor I. I may get a spare Ignitor I in case the one I have dies. I’d even be able to replace it and if necessary, I can time it on the side of the road."

I replied:
I believe it's the Ignitor II that's in the dizzy; it's the whole assembly put together by them. I know it takes the .6 ohm coil, which I have on hand too. Busy with the brakes right now; I want to get pedal; It looks like the MC is ok (it's holding fluid....); I was going to get creative, but decided instead to just build patch lines to plumb the front to the front return and rear to rear return, removed the PDWV (I know that's going to start a religious war....but for now...I'll save it, and perhaps mount it up front when I fully replumb the system) and try bleeding it out (I have the Gunson pressure bleeder that you hook up to a tire set to 20 lbs) after I put in speed bleeders. It's just me, so, it is either use my mitivac to suck it out or use the pressure system to push it. One thing for certain, the fluid will probably be mostly flushed through the system by the time I get it all together and bled out. (if the MC is too hard...I have a .75 dual circuit MC on hand to reduce the bore...but am going to put greenstuff pads and a new set of disks on the front when I finish with the rear end of the car.)

The new flaring tool seems to work a treat. I'm doing inverted in the patches and will invert flare the lines in the car to match the double female couplings. If I really wanted to get creative, I'd pull out my 37 degree tool from the airport and do AN fittings everywhere...but that's a bit over the top for a street car (though, sometime down the road, I may go for the armored flex lines to the wheels. I figured that I'd just do the patching now; if I have to put a proportioning valve in for the rears, then I've already put the fittings on to splice it in.)

Can you tell I'm having fun? I can see the end of the initial resurrection on the horizon...and perhaps actually get the car sorted enough for inspection...famous last words, eh?

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Garage Therapy Today 
Did a bunch of stuff was springish…and calendar was empty.

1. Removed brake boosters from the engine room. Strangely, no fluid leaked out. Gave me the opportunity to put a nice heavy coat of truck bed liner paint on the sidewall to match (for lhd) the offside. Photo of the removed boosters down below. Free for cost of shipping, if anyone wants them on this side of the pond.

2. Can of truck paint was open, so…started with freshening up the forward nose area. Need to vacuum out the dust that I brushed down into the lower area and keep going. You can see the difference. Amazing what a coat of paint will do, eh?

Note to self: get a fan going when using that paint. The fumes are strong, and don’t need a college flashback…lol.

3. Don’t remember whether I posted a photo of the S2 steering wheel installed, just to see how it looks. It's in good condition...and IIRC, was current for the early TCs. Have the original (as I've posted before)...decisions, decisions... If so, sorry for the dupe.

4. Obviously got the beast up on jackstands so i can get underneath to mount the new starter; need to get to lower bolt, and it’s hard from up top.

5. Didn’t shoot a photo of using tapered wheel nuts on the diagonal studs to stud-center the wheels when mounting; when you get the two proper nuts on in the other studs and torqued, remove the tapered nuts and replace with the proper fitting. So, just screwed the tapered nuts on and took a shot.

6. Replaced the oil cap gasket; the one on there broke apart when I tried to take it out. Guess it was time, right? Still no mayonaise on the cap inside.

In the queue for this week:

1. Replace starter.

2. Remove valve cover and old gasket. Find the true TDC based on cyl 4 lobes and use a mirror to find sprocket timing marks. Paint a line on the flywheel to give me a TDC reference for the timing gun. Check head torque. Check chain adjustment, new gasket, new selocs, new nylocs for cover.

3. Freshen wiring to coil to remove bodged existing wiring and install new low resistance pertronix coil.

4. With TDC established, install new dizzy and wires. Connect up the Ignitor module to new coil, and time this sucker. New dizzy is mechanical advance curved to the TC engine. Should (I hope) work better than the tired Lucas dizzy that's been in the car since it left Hethel.

If I have time:

5. Mix up the washing soda and water solution. Fill one of the gas tanks to brim with solution (capping off the outlet). Ground tank. Suspend positive lead with length of iron bar in solution. Turn on 12V supply at 2 amps. Wait a day. Supposed to work well. Alternative is 5 gal of white vinegar, topped off with water and soak.

Have new fuel level sender and some various brit 3/16 pipe fittings warming up at the usual suspect…and Greenstuff pads for front. Speedbleeders for brakes, Gunson pressure bleeder, and air/oil seperator to plumb into the head and return the air to the carb air box (will hide in front of right tail light). Have all the rebuild stuff to build a new set of calipers (including the cross-half quad seal) with stainless pistons; yes, the spare calipers I have were split (and I have the break away torque for the bolts written down in my 693R journal online...), so, may paint them up with caliper paint and build a fresh set and install those in place of the existing ones. Also have a fresh set of disks that I had bought still in wax paper stored in a dry location, so may throw those on while I have the fronts apart.

Oh, and a coolant overflow/reserve tank.

If I keep "freshening up" will be a little patina-ish on the outside...but under the covers will be presentable, right?

Enough for now, I think.

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New Parts! 
Had the opportunity to stop by RD this morning to replenish my 'to be installed' parts stash...nice to catch up after a few years, pandemic, detour to an MGB...good to see old friends...I've been dealing with him for over 40 (!) years...and trust his insight as to what I need to have on hand for the near future.

New valve cover gasket...going to check the head torque and it's weeping oil anyway, so no time like the present...Pertronix distributor, low-resistance coil, new plug wires...high-torque starter...pair of stainless caliper pistons (I have a spare pair already)...caliper rebuild kit..."D" plugs for the head...seloc washers...caliper half seals...oil cap gasket. I'm sure I'll need more, but for today, that's enough flogging of the checkbook...

25' of cu/ni 3/16" brake line, and flare tool.

Pretty sure the OEM dizzy, after 50 years, and been hacked apart and so forth, is probably in need of attention...having an electronic ignition and high-power coil is probably not a bad decision; the starter sometimes seems to strain to turn the motor over...other times spins just fine...same thing...original Lucas starter...the high torque replacement worked well for me in the, why not? Brake piping and flare tool was recommended by a couple of folks here, so, will be interesting to use it in the car to rip out the boosters and replumb the brakes (for now, all in the engine compartment to get on the road and bled...will work in the future on simplifying the piping, thus having a stock of piping...)

This should keep me busy as I move forward on getting her back on the road

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Front Alignment Calculator 
I know it's a bit down the road for my ride at this point (my quick trip around the block did not reveal any steering or alignment abnormalities...yet...but Fall River MA streets are bomb-cratered, so no doubt it will happen at some point..).

Was used to using the parallel string method, but converting from/to angle vs inch measurements was a bit confusing.

Ran across this website that allows you to calculate angles from the length measurement if you are interested.


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