Saturday, January 25, 2014

On the way back - with PMW

Back to PMW and the unfortunate incident of fitting the wrong head gasket! This meant the mixing of oil and water so that had to be got rid of - see the evidence below as it drained from the sump, looks more like milk than oil doesn't it.

Once that was out of the way then a general clean up and I replaced the oil filter which was contaminated as well of course.

OK, then it was put it all back together and here's a picture of what I sincerely hope is the right gasket fitted the right way up!
 From that point I refitted the head and torqued it down, hopefully correctly as I am getting really paranoid now. Once the pushrods were back in I fitted the valve gear and rocker cover before putting in flushing oil. The plan is to run the car for about an hour with flushing oil then drain that, replace the oil filter with another fresh one and refill with new 20/50.

The rest of today's action was refitting the inlet and exhaust manifolds which is much easier to say than do. I actually called it a day about 5PM after struggling with a particularly difficult fixing but it gave in in the end.

Next weekend should see it all back together and an attempt made to get it running again.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Yes, but for how long?

A change from PMW this weekend.

Mrs R's Mini had refused to start last week but I wasn't concerned as it was down to the fact that it hadn't run for a while and being also cold the battery didn't have enough life in it to turn the engine over fast enough (come to think of it this reminds me of PMW).

One week later though with the battery having been on a trickle charge Lil Min sprang into life when I refitted the battery and turned the key.

So next was UNJ our TR7 convertible. The repairs to the starter motor connections and the replacement second hand starter motor are still doing the trick as it fired up no problem either - I am getting to like this!

I suspected the clutch would be stuck though as it has been months since the car has moved and I was right. Having moved Lil Min well out the way I started UNJ in gear with the clutch depressed to free of the clutch which it eventually did. Now I will be starting and moving both cars every two weeks so hopefully that will keep them both OK through the winter.

Now on a roll I moved on to the problem with the interior lights and rear sidelights not working as helpfully pointed out by the French Police back in September (oops).

I checked for poor earths but then moved on to removing the light switch from the dashboard. I had done this in a car park in a small French town in the early hours back in September to try and clean it up but hadn't fixed the problem.

This time I could take my time in my garage and stripped the switch down, cleaned the contacts and then used switch cleaner, re-assembled the switch, put it back in the car and success :-)

See below

But for how long?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A game of two halves or - we were winning at half time!

Retrunmed to the attack on mission PMW with two mates of mine, Paul Darbyshire and Andy Flexney.
Here they are taking a moment to consider the next move!

Well the main problem was getting the engine to turn over anything like quick enough even with another battery to jump start it and then with a fully charged booster pack. Taking much longer to get to than it does to type we sorted this out by using a jump lead to go from one of the starter motor bolts to the battery earth lead and then with battery booster in place it was much better.

OK - no sign of it firing though. So we took the rocker cover off so that we could make sure the timing was right at top dead centre and that we had the plug leads the right way round (well one of the two dizzy lay outs we had put together before was right so we put that one on).

We also took out the carb dampers so the pistons would lift easier ready for Easy Start. Then with cranking the engine over, full throttle and the aforementioned Easy Start in use PMW actually fired up to much cheering from me!

Sounded pretty good to me too but it wouldn't keep running on anything other than Easy Start so next was to take 5 gallons of 3 year old fuel out  of the car and put fresh SuperUnleaded back in.

Now PMW ran happily on petrol rather than Easy Start.

So, as Andy said, if this was a football match we were going in to half time winning!

Coming back out for the second half though we had been concerned that the top end was dry with little oil there but with the rocker cover off of course when the car was now running we saw what looked like water instead of oil being sprayed on the rockers. Checking the dipstick showed an oil/water mix from the sump.

Not what was wanted at all! I was/am fairly sure that there's more than one cylinder head gasket so it was possible I had the wrong one and this was allowing the fluids to mix. Only thing for it was to remove the cylinder head which we got stuck into.

My goodness there was alot of water about including in the cam followers etc.
Water can be seen in the picture above of the block after we removed the cylinder head.

It also shows though that the cylinderhead gasket is the right one in that the holes line up with the holes in the block - at least that's what logic says to me.

First conclusion is that the head wasn't torqued down correctly so I'll be getting all the oil/water mix out of the sump then taking it off to clean it all out. After that another cylinder head gasket can be fitted and we try again.